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Emiratisí death under investigation

Mar 15 (DM) Ambassador Hamad Saeed Al Shamsi, Director of the Department of Operations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Ministry has been following up and coordinating with the UAE Embassy in Colombo over the death of family of Emirati Mohammed Ali Obaid Al Mazrouei in Colombo. According to the Sri Lankan Authorities, the wife and son of Al Mazrouei died because of severe poisoning. Al Shamsi said that the condition of father was stable after receiving more..

Sri Lanka to auction more oil exploration blocks

Mar 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said it plans to auction new oil exploration blocks in the western Mannar basin and the northern Cauvery basin by mid-year, after finishing talks with India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation on exploration rights. Cairn India has discovered natural gas in two wells in Sri Lanka's offshore Mannar basin, demonstrating the presence of hydrocarbons, although their commercial viability has yet to be determined. more..

SF acquitted in Hi-Corp case

Mar 15 (DM) High Court judge Sunil Rajapaksa today acquitted Sarath Fonseka from the Hi-Corp case, dismissing it by saying that he cannot be sentenced twice on the same offence.vHowever, the court fixed the trial against Fonsekaís son-in-law Dhanuna Thilakaratne who was also charged in the same case to be heard in absentia on May 3. The High Court Judge made this order consequent to a preliminary objection raised by Sarath Fonsekaís Counsel Saliya Pieris more..

Those who commit Human Rights abuses cannot preach to Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (NS) Sri Lanka ís delegation presently at the Geneva sessions of the UNHRC are facing a barrage of onslaughts on the theme of ďaccountabilityĒ. For a country that has become the only nation to defeat terrorism and put an end to sporadic acts of terror with bombs, suicide and assassination this is an achievement no other nation is likely to achieve. Instead of bouquets Sri Lanka receives bricks Ė why because Sri Lanka jerked the happy existence of too many more..

US Draft Resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHRC ignores LTTE war crimes

Mar 16 (NS) We are all in agreement that the West & India is culpable for making a banned terrorist movement into a semi-legitimate movement. This ďlegitimacyĒ was totally uncalled for. The interference, the intervention, the mediations & involvement of the West & India only served to lengthen LTTEís terror acts and result in the denial of the right to life with freedom for Sri Lankan citizens. Therefore not only the LTTE but the West especially more..

Rural areas - the midpoint of prosperity

Mar 16 (SO) Southern Province Governor Kumari Balasuriya is hailed as the first and only female Provincial Governor of Sri Lanka. She has also renewed her record by being reappointed for the second consecutive term of office as Governor. While marking the 101st International Womenís Day, the Sunday Observer had the opportunity to interview her. The following are the excerpts of the interview: Q: Madam Governor, you have brought much honour and more..

India, Sri Lanka and the UNHRC

Mar 16 (DM) Of course, there was an (implied) reference to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa writing twice in the past weeks to Prime Minister Manmonhan Singh on the UNHRC vote, and urging the Centre to vote for the resolution and against Sri Lanka. Other political party leaders in the State, starting with former DMK Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, have also spoken in similar vein. Union Ministers belonging to Prime Minister Manmohan Singhís Congress have said that more..

Geneva Resolution: Sting is in the Tail

Mar 16 (DM) The danger zone of the resolution lies in the final clause, which reads: - ďEncourages the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, and the Govt of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above mentioned steps, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present a report on the provision of such assistance to the Human Rights Council more..

The dead never lieÖ

Mar 16 (DM) The double murder at Kahawatta is related to a drug distribution racket. According to the media the daughter that was murdered had been duped by the murderous neighbor to carry a parcel of drugs that looked like a parcel of food to one of his accomplices. However, this vile act was exposed and the murderer killed both mother and daughter to keep the act a secret. Politics is a ceaseless and compulsory factor that is entangled with the drug racket. more..

Sri LankaĀfs Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished: Unofficial video now online

Mar 16 (GV) Channel 4ĀĆs new documentary on Sri Lanka, Sri LankaĀfs Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished aired for the first time in the UK last night. Before it is even available on Channel 4ĀĆs official web based on-demand service, itĀfs now up on YouTube. It is likely that the video is soon taken down by Youtube over copyright violation claims, and Channel 4 notes the video will be officially available soon. In a series of tweets to Channel 4, we informed that more..

Of Symbols, Identity and Sovereignty: The Sri Lankan flag and us

Mar 16 (GV) He said: We Sinhalese are the people of the lion. Our flag represents us. Every point every line has a meaning. Look at the color of the flag it is red and yellow. Yellow is symbolic of wisdom and derives from the color of the Buddhaís robe. The Buddha, when he attained enlightenment wrapped himself in a cloth that covered the bodies of the dead. The bodies in those days may have been bathed in saffron, which was used as a disinfectant. more..

Prof Rjiva Wijesinha counters allegations in New Channel 4 documentary on Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (TC) In a statement from Geneva, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Presidential Adviser on Reconciliation, responded to claims in the latest Channel 4 film on Sri Lanka. Responding to Channel 4ís recent claims, he explains that ď[Ö] the deaths of civilians occurred largely because of the strategy of using civilians as human shields, and then fighting from amidst them. [Ö]We did keep asking the ICRC to tell the LTTE to stop using this tactic, more..

Editorial: Blakeís doublespeak

Mar 16 (Island) "Experience in many civil conflicts around the world has shown that countries that don't take adequate measures to address reconciliation and accountability frequently experience a regeneration of the insurgency that they faced. We could see very much that similar situation in Sri Lanka." Thus spake President Barack Obama's point man for South Asia, Robert Blake, the other day in an interview with the Associated Press. If the situation is so bad in Sri Lanka as more..

Be it Mannar, Matara or Mutur, no politician must control a policeman

Mar 16 (DBS) This response is in reference to the article by Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran MP. It is indeed a good thing that this vexed issue is opened for discussion in the public domain. We must be thankful to him for expressing his views as it enables public scrutiny of these ideas. It is unfortunate that Mr. Sumanthiran (MAS) and his ilk see the so called national problem only form their point of view. Naturally what they see is a distorted picture. more..

"I donít know...I forget... thatís confidential," says CSE CEO

Mar 16 (Island) With the new automated trading system in the Colombo Stock Exchange wreaking havoc, the CEO of the exchange refused to divulge how much was spent on the system, saying it was not for public knowledge. "The execution engine of the new ATS-7 has been working properly, but brokers have expressed concerns on issues relating to the front end. We are addressing the issue and we will be implementing the changes to the front end in more..

The big lie about the US resolution

Mar 16 (GV) It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency of the intellect and the function of the educated, which is to educate the public. One of the rankest untruths in the public domain today is that the US resolution is innocuous more..

India in dilemma over Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (DBS) 1. We have seen how the human rights violation issue is often used by terrorist and insurgent organisations and their supporters to demoralise the security forces. 2. We had seen how after the Khalistani terrorism was defeated in Punjab, dozens of police officers were sought to be harassed in Punjab on the ground that they had allegedly violated the human rights of the people while putting down terrorism. A senior Indian Police Service officer, who more..

Broken promises

Mar 16 (Island) TNA response to the position of the Government of Sri Lanka at the 19th session of the UNHRC. 1. The Government of Sri Lanka has serious issues with regard to telling the truth and keeping its promises. 1.1. In response to Minister Mahinda Samarasingheís statement to the 18th Session of the UNHRC on 12 September 2011, the TNA issued a statement the very next day correcting the record and urging the Sri Lankan govt "to be more forthright and more..

Colombo Hotel killing:Video footage of suspect sent for examination

Mar 16 (Island) At the non summary proceedings before Fort Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne into the murder of a newly married woman, an employee of the Metropolitan Police London UK, in a room at Renuka Hotel in Kollupitiya, I.P. Duminda Kulasekera told the court that the video footage from a hotel camera of suspect Sinnathamby Gnachandran, the husband of the deceased, had been sent to the University of Moratuwa for examination. The suspect had been captured by the hotel CCTV. more..

University dons gird themselves for trade union battle

Mar 16 (Island) President of the Federation of University Teachers Associations (FUTA) Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri told The Island yesterday that the govt had been informed that unless their problems were solved immediately, they would be left with no alternative but to resort to trade union action. "Ministry has reneged on the promise again and we will make a final decision on the issue at our executive committee meeting scheduled to be held on March 21," more..

Boston Lanka News: March 15, 2012

'Local engineers to handle future constructions'

Mar 16 (DN) All future constructions under the Irrigation and Water Management Ministry, would be done by utilizing the knowledge of Sri Lankan engineers, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said, addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Wekumbura Reservoir in Uva Paranagama recently. He said the country was knowledgeable in the field of irrigation from the inception of Sri Lankan's history. However, he said the above knowledge had been hijacked by colonialism. more..

CEA designs clean air project

Mar 16 (DN) The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) has designed an integrated air quality management project, "Blue Sky 2020", to ensure clean air for the next generation, CEA Chairman Charitha Herath said. He said that the project would be launched by the end of this year. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the treasury to make a special financial allocation of Rs 120 million for the project. The project's objective is to manage the ambient air quality of the country. more..

Footage of execution of Prabhakaranís son is "authentic," claims Channel 4

Mar 16 (Island) Britainís Channel 4 has claimed that its footage broadcast in London on Wednesday purporting to show that the slain LTTE chief Velupillai Prabakaranís 12-year-old unarmed son Balachandran Prabakaran was "brutally executed" by Sri Lankan forces in May 2009 even as he was preparing to surrender is "authentic". The footage is part of a documentary, "Sri Lankaís Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished," screened on Wednesday. more..

Mahela blames top order for loss

Mar 16 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, has blamed the failure of the top order for the defeat against Pakistan that has left them on the brink of elimination from the Asia Cup. He and Tillakaratne Dilshan had provided a fast start, but Jayawardene holed out in the sixth over attempting to clear extra cover. Dilshan's go-at-everything brand of batting led to the next wicket, as he top-edged a pull. Dinesh Chandimal fell to a wonderful slip catch by Younis Khan and Lahiru Thirimanne was dismissed chasing a wide one. more..

Sri Lanka overworked and imbalanced

Mar 16 (CI) How often has an away team arrived for a series earlier than the home side? Even as Sri Lanka began their second match of the Asia Cup, England's first warm-up game was underway in Colombo. The warped international schedule has already prompted Sri Lanka to rest some of their Test bowlers for this tournament, to allow them to recover for the England series. To compound their problems were the injuries to allrounders Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera. more..

Govt to sell EPF stake in JKH worth Rs.15 bn to Malaysian Fund Manager?

Mar 16 (Island) Speculation was rife with stock market circles agog yesterday that the Govt was to sell the equity stake that the Employees Provident Fund held in premier blue chip corporate conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC to a Malaysian Fund Manager, a deal said to be worth over Rs. 15 billion. The EPF is the third largest shareholder of the premier Glennie Street blue chip and has 69,945,530 shares in its books amounting to 8.3%, more..

Editorial: Dealing with Sri Lanka

Mar 16 (Hindu) India faces a crucial decision-making moment at the UNHRC on the U.S.-sponsored resolution that urges Sri Lanka to address rights violations alleged against its army in the final phase of the war against the LTTE in 2009. At one level, this decision should be easy to make ó New Delhi does not support country-specific resolutions at the HRC in Geneva. Sri Lanka, however, poses a special challenge. All this time, quiet diplomacy rather than grandstanding has been more..

University for state sector employees

Mar 16 (CT) The Public Administration and Internal Affairs Ministry is to build a Ďuniversityí and a training centre for state sector employees. Minister John Seneviratne said the Ďuniversityí and the state-of-the art training centre will be constructed in a spacious land in Nuwara Eliya. ďThe newly recruited officials will be trained at the new university. There will be lecture halls, auditoriums, accommodation facilities and other infrastructure,Ē The Minister said. more..

CPA on misinformation and myths regarding the UNHRC resolution

Mar 16 (CT) Centre for Policy Alternatives has issued a document which aims to clarify some of the basic facts and developments and dispel any misinformation and myths regarding the resolution and its impact on Sri Lanka and its people. The full document is reproduced below. This document provides basic information on the UNHRC, the proposed resolution on Sri Lanka at the present 19th Session of the UNHRC and its implications. more..

Talking point: Amnesty Internationalís mouth stumped by its tongue

Mar 16 (DN) Peter Splinter, Amnesty Internationalís representative to the United Nations, commenting on Sri Lanka, said that Sri Lankaís position on issues of human rights is akin to someone who, having murdered his parents, is now demanding sympathy on account of being an orphan. It is now clearly established that Amnesty International (AI) has received funds from LTTE front groups and that as such its position on Sri Lanka has been compromised beyond salvation. more..

Cabinet committee to probe Trinco port land given to investors

Mar 16 (Island) Trincomalee Port Residential Manager, J.A. Chandrarathne says that authorities have decided to assess the value of the land at the Trinco port before March 19 for the benefit of investors. This decision was taken at a pre-bid meeting at the Sri Lanka Port Authority, (SLPA) on March 9 with the participation of nearly 20 prospective investors. Some of the participants have also been taken for a site visit on request. "The authorities have set April 10 as more..

Trade deficit only problem: Basil

Mar 16 (FT) As the rupee hit an all-time low, Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday strived to bolster confidence in the economy terming the trade deficit the countryís ďonly problemĒ. Speaking at a press conference to announce the record number of foreign delegates at Expo 2012, the largest trade fair to be organised in Sri Lanka in decades, the Minister was insistent that neither the US$ 9.7 billion trade deficit nor possible fuel shortages due to more..

M.I.A. and Anderson Cooper in Twitter beef

Mar 16 (3N) Outspoken hip-hop star M.I.A. and CNN newsman Anderson Cooper have settled their differences following a war of words via on Wednesday over Sri Lanka's secret war with the Tamil Tigers. The ĎPaper Planesí hitmaker, whose father Arul Pragasam is a leading Tamil activist, has always been vocal about the plight of her people in Sri Lanka, accusing the nation's government officials of engaging in systematic genocide. A new British documentary chronicling more..

Navy denies Indian fishermen attack

Mar 16 (CT) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) today denied Indian media reports which stated that a group of Indian fishing vessels were attacked by the SLN, Navy spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasuriya told Ceylon Today. ďNo attack of this nature was carried out by Navy personnel,Ē he said. Indian media reports today stated that Sri Lankan Navy personnel had allegedly hurled petrol bombs at a group of fishing boats from Rameswaram, sinking one and damaging 20 near Katchatheevu more..

DMK backs off, won't press for Lanka censure

Mar 16 (TOI) After easing of tensions with Trinamool Congress, there is relief for Congress on the DMK front too with the southern party unlikely to force a showdown on the alleged human rights violations of the Sri Lankan Tamils as long as the govt offers adequate assurances that it will not abandon their cause. The mellowing of DMK's stance comes in the wake of discussions with the govt during which the Dravidian party was told that India would more..

SLTB strike: President agrees to solve workersí problems

Mar 16 (Island) Some Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) trade unions are demanding an upward revision of their basic salaries up to Rs.11,700 per month with effect from Feb 22. 2012. The salaries of SLTB employees have not been increased in keeping with the Govt Circular No 6, 2006. Minister Kumara Welgama held a discussion with President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Monday and Presidentís Secretary Lalith Weeratunge, Secretary to the Transport Ministry Dhammika Perera more..

Deaths due to allergy?

Mar 16 (DM) Though it was initially believed that the deaths of a young mother and child from UAE was due to food poisoning, it is now suspected that the reason could be an allergy caused by a mosquito repellent vapor in the hotel room. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said investigations revealed that they had not consumed any food after the family arrived in Sri Lanka on Tuesday evening from Dubai. They were staying at the Ramada Hotel in Seeduwa when they were rushed to hospital, police said. Meanwhile the relatives of the victims had opposed to more..

Sri Lanka welcomes Japanís stand on human rights

Mar 16 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt welcomed Japanese declaration that no country has a perfect record on human rights. "We hope those human rights champions will take note of the Japanese sentiment," a senior govt official said. The Japanese statement couldnít have come at a better time, he said. Minister Sakashita Osamu of the Japanese Permanent Mission in Geneva told the current session of the UNHRC: "No country has a perfect record more..

UNP files FR plea against disruption of Feb.17 Maradana rally

Mar 16 (Island) The UNP yesterday filed a fundamental rights violation application in the Supreme Court against the disruption by the police of their protest rally on February 17, 2012. The rally was held near the Fort Railway Station to protest against fuel price increases. The rally was lawful but the police fired teargas to disperse the crowd. The petitioner was nauseated and subsequently admitted to the National Hospital. The petition has said that more..