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'The most corrupt regime since independence'

Mar 17 (SL) The UNP’s Chief Organiser for Kalutara, Lakshman Wijemanne was scathing in his attack of the Rajapaksa Administration. He charged that, “since independence we have never had such a corrupt administration.” He cited the “white-elephant” projects of Mattala Airport and Hambantota port as examples of wastage and efforts at “ego boosting” and nothing else. The people he says, are “frustrated and helpless” more..

Post 9/11 world: Compromises with war crimes and accountability

Mar 17 (GV) A mapping of differences amongst and alliances within member States of the UNHRC, reduced to 46 with Libya not qualified to vote till a permanent govt is installed in Tripoli, does not show a clean sweep to either side. US would still need another 6 votes even after watering down its Resolution. That says, GoSL would need to stop at least 5 out of that 6 to say, it won again at the UNHCR. Meanwhile the battle rages on in Delhi and Chennai, over what India should do more..

Editorial: India's waiting game

Mar 17 (Island) Pro-LTTE elements including those in the garb of Tamil Nadu politicians are all out to force India to back the US resolution on Sri Lanka at the current UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Theirs is a desperate effort and the Indian govt is said to be under tremendous pressure. Speculation is rife in the diplomatic circles that India is trying to exact a commitment from the govt of Sri Lanka to the so-called 13-A Plus in a bid to defuse tension in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. more..

Tendulkar scores his 100th international century

Mar 17 (CI) Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman to make a 100 international centuries, getting to the milestone against Bangladesh at the Shere Bangla stadium in Mirpur at 5:05pm local time on March 16, 2012. It ended a year-long wait for one of the most discussed landmarks in cricket history, and was his first ODI hundred against Bangladesh, completing his set of centuries against every Full Member country in both Tests and ODIs. more..

National Pride and Prejudice and the UNHRC Sessions

Mar 17 (Island) Alexander Pope was a controversial but outstanding poet, well known as a social critic and for his satirical poetry. In this poem, he urges that high standards of truth and virtue should make up all social and political activity in civilized society. He calls the reader, all lovers of their country, to join him in this crusade for social morality. The poem is apposite for our time when all sorts of jingoistic trash are being aired over the ongoing sessions of the UNHRC. more..

Broken promises - Part 2

Mar 17 (Island) 2.6. A few months later, in his statement made at the 11th Special Session of the UNHRC on 26 May 2009, Minister Samarasinghe stated: "We have always said that the only durable and lasting solution is a political process which addresses the socio-economic and political grievances and expectations of our citizens through a home grown process acceptable to all sections of our multicultural society. The efforts in this direction Mr. President have already commenced." more..

‘Sandesaya was my university’

Mar 17 (ST) He is 73 years old but for Hiralu Pathirannehelage Dharmasena Hemapala of Kumbal Oluwa, Veyangoda, unlike for many others of his vintage, retirement is not an option and does not seem for a while. Shuttling between his home and Dambulla, he is busy crafting a statue of Kali Amma as well as six of Saraswathie for a Canadian film which is to be shot there. His life and the silver screen have been inextricably entwined since he was more..

I raised the question 'Was Prabakaran and his entire family executed?'

Mar 17 (DBS) The present crisis facing Sri Lanka is not an exception, it is one that has been played out repeatedly across the world. In South America, Africa, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia powerful nations, primarily the United States has over the last century armed and trained local militaries as a bulwark against their perceived Great Satan. For most of last century the great Satan was communism, and after 9/11 it was replaced by terrorism. more..

Reaching out to the unreached

Mar 17 (ST) Kumarini Wickramasuriya moved to Tangalle for love. Born and raised in Colombo, educated at Ladies’ College and in the United States, she would never have dreamed that the rest of her life would be spent in the sleepy southern town. But her husband, Dr. Sena Wickramasuriya was from Tangalle, and as they say ‘ain’t no mountains high enough for love’. “My husband taught me to love Tangalle, and he taught me to love the community,” she smiles. He passed away after just 19 years of more..

US resolution will create dangerous precedent

Mar 17 (Island) The US is pushing hard to have a resolution on Sri Lanka passed at the ongoing sessions in Geneva. Of the 3 paragraphs in the current version of the draft resolution – Paragraph 1 calls for the implementation of "constructive recommendations" in the LLRC report; Paragraph 2 calls for the Sri Lankan Govt to present an Action Plan to "implement recommendations made in the Commission’s report. more..

Taming the ‘Monsters’

Mar 17 (CT) State ownership of public utilities dates back to the colonial period. The early post-Independent years saw the state establish public enterprises that were involved in the production and distribution of key goods and services. The share of state ownership in the economy expanded steadily and gathered momentum in the 1970s when government policy, in the name of socialist or progressive reforms, sought to gain control of the “commanding heights of the economy”. more..

SLT launches Technology Experience Centre

Mar 17 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) launched a new Technology Experience Centre – a platform where enterprise and SME customers can experience first-hand, the company’s enhanced services provided through state-of-the-art technology. The one-of-a-kind SLT Technology Experience Centre is located at the company’s head office premises at Fort, Colombo. The Technology Experience Centre was set up to provide a dedicated location for the company to carry out demonstrations of more..

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields 2

Paramedics decided to strike after minister agreed to grant their demands

Mar 17 (Island) The Health Ministry on Wednesday decided to issue all drug requirements prescribed for OPD patients at the State-run hospitals through the Osu-sala outlets scattered across the country free of charge due to the ongoing strike of the paramedics. They launched a strike from March 13. As a result a large number of OPD patients were affected and could not get their drugs at OPD outlets. As a temporary measure the Ministry has made arrangements to issue drugs more..

Buses to display destination boards in three languages

Mar 17 (DN) The destination boards of private and SLTB buses must be displayed in all three languages from next month. A circular issued by the Private Transport Services Ministry has directed provincial transport authorities to take immediate action to make it compulsory for private and CTB buses to display destination boards in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. "This decision was made following a complaint made to the Human Rights Commission that most more..

'Ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo to resume soon'

Mar 17 (Hindu) The ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo is expected to resume either by March end or in the first week of April, A. Subbiah, Chairman, V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust, said. Efforts are being made by the port agency, vessel operators and other stakeholders to resume the ferry operations between the two countries. Most probably, it would resume before April 14, Mr. Subbiah expressed hope. more..

Victims of Sri Lanka holiday tragedy buried in RAK village

Mar 17 (GN) Ras Al Khaimah The bodies of a 20-year-old Emirati woman and her 15-month-old child Ali, who died of suspected food poisoning during a holiday to Sri Lanka, arrived home in Ras Al Khaimah Friday and were buried in their home village near the city, Sultan Abdullah Al Mazroui, cousin of the Emirati woman, told Gulf News. "The head of the family, Mohammad Ali Obaid Al Mazroui, 24, arrived with the bodies of his wife and children on a special plane sent from the UAE," more..

CEB could save Rs 4.5 billion if each house switches off one 60 watt bulb

Mar 17 (Island) The world market price of coal had gone up six times in a decade and oil prices had gone up four times during the same period. The careful use of those resources were of paramount importance to avert further burdens to the power sector, says Power and Energy Minister, Patali Champika Ranawaka. Addressing a packed audience at the BMICH on Wednesday evening, he said fossil fuels were depleting at a rapid rate and it was reaching its peak. more..

Minister suspends decision to bring down Indian surveyors

Mar 17 (DN) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has decided to suspend the decision to bring down surveyors from India, following a pledge given by the Surveyor General's Department. Surveyor General S M W Fernando promised Minister de Silva that local surveyors could complete the surveying of all Mahaweli land within one year. The pledge was given at a meeting between the minister and Surveyor General's Department officials on Thursday. more..

Until companies supply purchasing data there will be no change in milk prices

Mar 17 (Island) Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando was determined to keep a lid on milk powder prices till the ministry received the reports from all importers through the Consumer Affairs Authority (CCA) regarding the last date of import, stocks in hand and the price they paid for the imports, etc. He said only two milk powder importing companies had obliged by sending the necessary details and others were hesitant to divulge details. more..

Documents centre of witness questioning

Mar 17 (Island) At yesterday’s Colombo High Court trial against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka and his personal assistant Senaka Haripriya de Silva, who have been charged with committing mutiny and insubordination against the government and harbouring 12 army deserters, the core questioning focused on a dossier of documents. The accused had pleaded not guilty to the 41 charges brought against them. Yesterday, the third day of the hearing, more..

Lanka seeks Kingdom’s support on UN resolution

Mar 17 (AN) Sri Lanka govt sought the support of the Kingdom and other Muslim countries in the region yesterday to show their solidarity toward the island nation for its successful fight against terror at the current UN summit for human rights being held in Geneva. Minister Rishath Bathiudeen said that the Sri Lankan govt under the able leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa had always stood for the cause of Arabs and Muslims in the region. more..

Pharmacy dispensing drugs without valid prescription raided

Mar 17 (Island) The officials of the Cosmetic Devises and Drug Control Authority (CDDCA) on a tip-off given by the Moratuwa Rawathawattha police had raided a pharmacy allegedly selling drugs without prescriptions from doctors. Although all pharmacies were supposed to stock limited amount of Tramadol and highly narcotic cough syrup Corex D, the pharmacy had a stock of 6100 Tramadol tablets and 7082 bottles of cough syrup. There was no qualified more..

War-torn beauty

Mar 17 (FT) Saying I’m going on holiday to Sri Lanka elicits one of two reactions from my friends. There’s the ooh-elephants-temples-cocktails-at-sunset-lucky-you! brigade. And then there are my friends who read the newspapers. “Which beach did you say you’re staying on?” emails a friend. “The one where Sri Lankan forces massacred civilians? Or the one with the death camps?” Hmm. It’s a fair point. It’s just two years since government forces finally routed the Tamil Tigers: more..

Minister wants IGP to forward list of SLFPers accused of illegal activities

Mar 17 (DN) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has informed IGP N.K.Illangakoon to produce a list of SLFP organizers, SLFP Provincial Councillors and SLFP Pradeshiya Sabha members who have been accused of bribery, corruption, malpractices and other illegal activities. Minister Sirisena said that accordingly, the IGP will forward to him the list along with a special report soon. A similar list and report will be produced by all SLFP organizers in all electorates. more..

Effigy burning thwarted

Mar 17 (TOI) In a bid to oppose the Indian government's stand on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka, agitators from political parties attempted to burn the effigy of Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse. However, the police averted their move and arrested 31 agitators here on Friday. The protesters were arrested and released later in the evening. A group of 50 agitators from converged in front of the district court campus more..

Mahamayake lashes out at present day politicians

Mar 17 (Island) The quality of the present politicians of our country was nil. The behaviour of some politicians was disgraceful, said the most venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Chapter on Thursday. The prelate made the remark while in conversation with the IGP N.K. Ilangakoon who called on him in the afternoon. "Some politicians of our country conducted themselves so badly that they are even worse than the most uneducated elements," more..

Northern Muslims ousted by Prabhakaran left out of Indian 50,000 houses project

Mar 17 (Island) Fifteen Muslim Ministers and MPs including a UNP MP, have petitioned the Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha, requesting him to consider the nearly 100,000 Muslims who were driven out of the North by the LTTE in October 1990, when allocating the 50,000 houses his govt intends building. The petitioners include Ministers A.H.M. Fowzie, Rauf Hakeem, Rishard Bathiudeen and A.L.M. Athaulla, more..

Britain ‘arming Sri Lanka despite atrocities’

Mar 17 (MS) Britain was condemned today for continuing to supply arms to Sri Lanka despite evidence of appalling atrocities committed by the regime. Campaign Against Arms Trade (Caat) demanded the government explain why it continues to license weapons for export to Sri Lanka as a Channel 4 documentary reveals further evidence of war crimes by the country’s military. Since the military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, Britain has licensed over £3 million worth of military more..

'Land from South for rehabilitated LTTEers'

Mar 17 (DN) Land from the South could be allocated for rehabilitated LTTE cadres. Applications in this regard can be sent to the govt, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said. He revealed this at a meeting with a group of rehabilitated LTTE members at the Ambuluwawa Bio Diversity Project Complex, Gampola. The group of rehabilitated LTTE cadres visited several places organised by the Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry and visited the Ambuluwawa Bio Diversity Complex as more..

Defence Secy. responds to C4 allegations

Mar 17 (Island) Having failed to throw a fresh lifeline to the LTTE, an irate former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called President Mahinda Rajapaksa and senior Sri Lankan political and military figures liars. ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields II: War Crimes Unpunished’ telecast on Wednesday in support of the US-led bid to move a resolution at the current session of the UNHRC targeting GoSL, quoted Miliband as having made the remark during more..

Supplementary medical service professionals continue strike

Mar 17 (NF) The strike action commenced by supplementary medical service professionals is still underway. The strike action which had been called off temporarily was re commenced with the strikers claiming that the solutions they had been provided with to their grievances were insufficient. The General Secretary of the Joint Trade Union Federation of Professions Supplementary to Medicine, Saman Jayasekera said that at present they have also decided to more..

Bogawantalawa estate strike over

Mar 17 (Island) Chairman of Bogawantalawa Plantations Ltd. Dinesh Ambani said the protest by the workers over the increase in the amount of tea leaves to be plucked per day from 13 kgs. to 15, was over. He said the situation was back to normal and the workers had returned to work as usual. The good relations of the past between the Trade Unions and his Company. he said, had been further strengthened, The unconfirmed reports said that CWC General Secretary and Minister more..

GMOA’s NHSL branch special meeting ends in storm

Mar 17 (Island) A special meeting of the GMOA National Hospital (NHSL) branch ended in a storm yesterday when a vociferous section of its members accused the GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya who also attended the meeting of having a personal agenda. Nearly three hour long meeting ended paving way to divide the GMOA over its President’s inability to stand up to the govt to solve the problem of the membership. more..

Indoor Cricket catches on in Sri Lanka

Mar 17 (DM) Action Sports together with the Ceylon Indoor Cricket Association (CICA Opened their Indoor Cricket Tournament 2011 on February 28, 2012. With 2011 being successfully completed, where the National team ended at an improved world ranking of 4 at the World Indoor Cricket Championships and a series of events that triggered the rebuilding of the game in the country, Action Sports are looking at strengthening more..

PSM continue to demand their pound of flesh

Mar 17 (Island) The Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM) resumed their strike from yesterday morning causing immense inconvenience to thousands of patients seeking treatment at State-run hospitals countrywide. They resumed the strike, which they suspended on Thursday, following failure to win their key demand during talks with the Treasury. JCPSM President Harendra Kuruppu said yesterday that the Treasury had been unable to grant more..

Displaced Muslims face problems to find land in Jaffna for resettlement

Mar 17 (Island) There was no planned programme to re-settle the 22,000 Muslim families forcibly evicted from the Northern Province by the LTTE in October 1990, said UPFA Jaffna Municipal Councilor Moulavi Sufiyan, Founder President of Northern Muslim Rights Organisation. Almost 80 per cent of the 22,000 Muslim families had been displaced from the North. They had returned to their original areas their to re-register themselves more..

Fishermen attacks: Jaya wants PM to talk to Lanka

Mar 17 (PTI) Voicing serious concern over continued attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday asked the Centre to take up urgently the issue with the island government to ensure that no such "brutal incidents occur in mid-sea again." "I am also deeply pained to point out that the issue of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen is not being treated as a national issue. more..

Second Channel 4 video: Another mud smearing effort- govt

Mar 17 (DN) The govt while denying outright the wild allegations contained in the second video footage released by Channel 4 yesterday stressed that it is another attempt aimed at tarnishing the country’s reputation. Media Centre for National Security Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said that this programme is another example of the Western media’s arrogance in dealing with or claiming to report on the emergent and developing world. more..

Mahanayaka calls Kandy night races ‘Nonsense’

Mar 17 (DM) Mahanayaka of the Asgiriya chapter the most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero lashed out at the proposed Kandy night races stating that it was ‘nonsense causing much distress to the public’. The Mahanayaka Thero made these remarks when he met media representatives at the Asgiri Maha Viharaya. “I condemn the conducting of night races by harassing the public of Kandy, more..