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Veddah chieftain warns of a war in the jungles

Mar 17 (SM) Veddah chieftain Uruwarige Wanniya has expressed his displeasure to the govt over the killing of a young member of his clan, on top of the disappearance of three others. He has warned that if the lives of the young Veddah members are threatened in this manner, a war similar to the 30-year-old war in the north east, could begin in the jungles. The Veddah chieftain he would not be able to control his people if these threats continued. more..

Burglars strike at National Museum

Mar 17 (SM) Robbers broke into the Colombo National Museum last night (Mar. 16) and got away with several artifacts, said police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana. Cinnamon Gardens Police have received a complaint regarding the robbery. A sword, gold coin and several rings were stolen from the second story of the museum building. The robbers had removed tiles from the museum roof and got into the building with the aid of a rope, police said. more..

Wheelchair bound Keheliya begins physiotherapy

Mar 17 (Island) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, who underwent a series of operations on his legs in a Melbourne hospital, following a fall from a third floor balcony of a hotel plans to return to Sri Lanka between March 23 and 30. Rambukwella said that he had just started physiotherapy exercises. He felt that his legs were improving due to the weight lifting regimen they were being put through. more..

Editorial: Magnanimity and courage for a new Lanka

Mar 17 (DM) As the Rajapaksa government continues its political war with major players in the international community, we need to be aware that actions speak louder than haughty or high-sounding words. Instead of a battle of words the Govt needs to respond to the pressure from the international community by taking effective steps for national reconciliation and unity, the restoration of the Rule of Law, democracy and media freedom. The Govt also needs to take effective more..

England XI bowlers deliver big win

Mar 17 (CI) England still harbour doubts about their batsmen as they approach the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle, but their bowling attack has quickly found the groove. The England attack was largely blameless during a 3-0 defeat against Pakistan and they could not have made better use of the first warm-up match, dismissing a Board President's XI for 119 on the final day to force victory by an innings and 15 runs. James Anderson took three more wickets to finish with 7 for 40 more..

'Govt. plays different tunes to UNHRC, Sri Lankans'

Mar 17 (Island) While the govt has requested the UNHRC for more time to implement the LLRC’s recommendations, it was singing a different tune to Sri Lankans, UNP MP Harin Fernando said. He said that Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe had pleaded with the UNHRC in Geneva to give the Govt more time and space, while Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has said that all LLRC recommendations cannot be implemented. more..

Boutique break in stylish Sri Lanka

Mar 17 (News) FOR AN exclusive escape that won't break the bank, boutique travel experts Mr and Mrs Smith tip Sri Lanka, a romantic Indian ocean isle that's home to a swath of chic and cheerful hotels. Surely the quickest way to make a destination a must-visit is to utter the word "undiscovered" the mere whisper of off-the-radar has travellers racing for the latest hot spot. We've lapped up Laos, pored over Cambodia and now we want the next big thing. more..

DMK's high-level committee meet to discuss Lanka resolution

Mar 17 (PTI) With India under pressure from Dravidian parties in Tamil Nadu to support a US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes, UPA's key constituent DMK today announced convening of its high-level committee on March 20 to discuss the issue. Party chief M Karunanidhi will chair the meeting on Tuesday morning at its headquarters here, DMK general secretary K Anbazhagan said in a statement here. The agenda at the meeting more..

Lankan army chief slams proposed resolution at UN meet

Mar 17 (PTI) With a US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka's rights record expected to be moved at the UNHRC meet next week, the country's army chief has claimed that the motive behind the move was to frame President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the powerful Defence Secretary. Lt Gen Jagath Jayasuriya, addressing troops in the island nation's north yesterday, said the resolution was a challenge that Sri Lanka had to face. more..

Sri Lanka should watch external developments, learn lessons: banker

Mar 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka should watch global developments closely, in particular the unfolding scenario in Europe and learn lessons, Saliya Rajakaruna, chief executive of the Nations Trust Bank has said. Rajakaruna said the US economy was still struggling, the future of the Euro single currency was in doubt, the Middle East was in turmoil and Even India and China was beginning to slow down and showing signs of stress. "Among the many issues so confronting more..

Weapons caches found

Mar 17 (CT) The Intelligence Unit of the Vavuniya Police found weapons caches in the Mullaitivu and Killinochchi districts during search operations on 15 and 16 March. The weapons and ammunition are believed to have belonged to the LTTE. Further investigations are underway, Police Media Unit said. The weapons caches included 127 ammunition, 85 Multi Purpose Machine Gun ammunition, 2000 Multi Purpose Machine Gun links, 10 RPG bombs, 10 hand grenades, 11 Multi Purpose more..

Indian prisoners in Colombo feel betrayed by Delhi

Mar 17 (IANS) Amid allegations of Indian indifference towards Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian prisoners serving long sentences in Colombo’s main prison say they feel badly let down by Indian authorities. A spokesperson for the 30 Indian men and three women in the Wellikade Jail said that despite the existence of a bilateral pact, New Delhi was making no efforts to take them back so that they could serve their sentences in Indian jails. more..

Wimal knows why Lakshman Yapa cannot oppose US

Mar 17 (SM) Acting media minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena cannot oppose or utter a word against the US, because he is a close friend of imperialist-ally Milinda Moragoda, said NFF leader and minister Wimal Weerawansa. The NFF leader has told ‘Lankadeepa’ that it is unthinkable that a person who is friendly with an US ally like Moragoda could reflect positively about anything anti-American. During the war, those gentlemen said ‘can’t do’, but when things were more..

Sri Lanka tea trade warns of lower orders, prices

Mar 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea trade has warned that tea export orders and prices could fall in the months ahead as crops rise and consumption falls off in key markets. The Colombo Tea Traders’ Association said money raised from an export tax for tea promotion should be spent on promoting the product in new markets like India and China as demand from traditional markets in the West and Middle East wanes. "A general trend of declining prices/demand has been experienced more..

Thirty new houses for war heroes from 'Api Wenuwen Api'

Mar 17 (MoD) Another 30 houses constructed under 'Api Wenuwen Api' fund in Kegalle district were given ownership to war heroes today. The main event was held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Meeduma Sri Sumangala Vidyalaya in Kegalle district. Leading Transport Assistant of SL Navy, ATK Bandara received the keys to his new house from the Chief Guest the President. more..

‘35 abductions, disappearances within 5 months’

Mar 17 (SM) There have been 35 incidents of abductions and disappearances in the period from October 2011 to February 2012, said committee member of the Collective Against Abductions and Disappearances Surendra Ajith Rupasinghe. Noting that 10 extrajudicial killings have also taken place during this period, he told the media that in Colombo yesterday (Mar. 16) that all these incidents made the path of the government very clear. more..

Tamil Nadu will be informed in advance about Sri Lankan VIPS’ visits: PM

Mar 17 (PTI) The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has assured the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms J. Jayalalithaa, that the State Government would be informed about the visits of Sri Lankan VIPS and other dignitaries in advance. “I am asking our authorities to bear your views in mind when they handle such visits in future and to share such information as they may have about such visits with the Government of Tamil Nadu beforehand,” Dr Singh said more..

Pakistan's Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee to arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow

Mar 17 (SANA) Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Pakistan to Arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow. General Khalid Shameem Wynne, NI (M), Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Pakistan is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka from 18 – 22 March on the invitation of Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke. General Khalid Shameem Wynne, NI (M) was commissioned in April 1972 in an infantry battalion. more..

Editorial: Throwing stones from glass houses

Mar 18 (SO) Most countries, especially those in this part of the globe, swallow hook, line and sinker what the Western media dishes out from time to time. Nevertheless, if one were to make an analytical study of what some of the most prominent news agencies in the world and international television channels say, it is crystal clear that most of them dance to the tune of some Western countries. A few powerful nations in the West manipulate these key news agencies and more..

Editorial: Japan can show a way out at Geneva

Mar 18 (SL) With the Rajapaksa govt’s political and economic fortunes very much tied up with China’s munificence, it would be in the order of things to heed the advice of the legendary Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist of 25 centuries ago, who wrote the military strategy, The Art of War. The theme running through the Chinese military strategist’s text is that the finest of victories in war are those that are won without a conflict. A skillful leader, he says, more..

'A country's sovereignty is sacrosanct'

Mar 18 (SO) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said he is confident that there will be a larger number on our side while some of those who should have supported the US-sponsored resolution might abstain. That will work to our advantage. The Minister said any sane person who looks at the fabric of international relations will know that one cannot impose on any country his will or the will of a group of countries. more..

Editorial: It is time to learn Chinese

Mar 18 (NS) The history of the world can be written along many lines. Some go year by year, event after event. We can talk about the evolution of species or class struggles, or review the unfolding of centuries in terms of species extinction, loss of forest cover and biodiversity depletion, the spread of disease, demographic tendencies, technological innovation, etc. We can also talk about empires: the Ottomans, the Umayyad Caliphate, Persia, Byzantine, the Hans, more..

Editorial: With scout’s honour – Be prepared

Mar 18 (LB) By this time next week it will be known whether Sri Lanka was able to stave off the controversial UN Human Rights Council resolution sponsored by the United States and having the support of the European Union. Technically it is true that anything can happen between now and the end of the UNHRC’s 19th formal outing. The United States for instance could – hypothetically – withdraw the resolution before it gets to the point of a vote on the floor of the UNHRC. more..

'We will counter with incontrovertible facts'

Mar 18 (SO) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who is heading the Sri Lankan delegation in Geneva at the 19th UNHRC sessions said the Channel 4 documentary will serve no purpose but help those who despise seeing stability, peace and harmony returning to Sri Lanka. On the proposed resolution led by US, he said, “As far as the draft Resolution on Sri Lanka is concerned, we are taking a principled stand that it is misplaced, unwarranted and unnecessary, more..

Editorial: SLINTEC and nanotechnology

Mar 18 (Island) An event of great significance which took place in Colombo last Thursday sadly did not attract the national attention it deserved. The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC), a govt – private sector partnership, entered into an agreement with a major Indian fertilizer and chemical company, Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemical Ltd., under which global rights, excluding Sri Lanka, for a research breakthrough in the slow release more..

Editorial: India - To be or not to be with Lanka

Mar 18 (ST) Sri Lanka's High Commissioner in New Delhi may have committed a diplomatic indiscretion by having referred to the "friendship" that certain Tamil Nadu legislators and politicians have had with the LTTE. To have made such a remark, just when India is having difficulty in making up its mind on which way to vote on the US-sponsored anti-Sri Lanka resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva is doubly worse. He has been made to retract the comment, but plainly put, more..

EPF books Rs. 800 mn. capital gain selling JKH stake

Mar 18 (Island) The Employees Provident Fund has booked a capital gain of around Rs.800 million by selling off its 8.85% stake in John Keells Holdings to Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional Bhd, for Rs.14.5 billion paying Rs.194 per share in the second biggest deal ever done on the Colombo Stock Exchange. "I haven’t got the final figures yet but it’s around Rs. 800 million." Central Bank Governor Ajit Nivard Cabraal said yesterday. more..

The growing culture of impunity

Mar 18 (NS) The goings on in Geneva where Sri Lanka is battling a United States sponsored resolution has kept the govt busy in the past few weeks but that should not distract it from the shenanigans of its political minions which are taking a considerable toll on its reputation. The goings on in Geneva where Sri Lanka is battling a United States sponsored resolution has kept the government busy in the past few weeks but that should not distract it from the shenanigans of more..

Merge Vasu’s party into the LSSP

Mar 18 (Island) What purpose in pluperfect heaven does Vasu’s party, the Democratic Left Front (DLF), serve that is not within the ambit of the larger LSSP? The DLF was formed in 2001 as a delayed social democratic schism from the NSSP and LSSP. The NSSP in its early years subscribed to the Leninist theory of forging a revolutionary party in continuity with the Left Tendency of the 1970s, Vama Samasamajaya, out of which it emerged. The essence of Vama was an internal effort or "entrism", whose objective was to win control of the party more..

Construction industry plagued by delayed payments

Mar 18 (ST) The cash-strapped Sri Lankan government's delay in paying billions of rupees of outstanding payments for construction consultants and contractors has created serious problems for the local construction industry, a stalwart of the industry said. Over Rs 8 billion outstanding payments are due to the contractors in the road sector alone. In addition, there are other outstanding payments due from other state agencies. more..

Quaking in their billion dollar boots!

Mar 18 (ST) My Dear Wimal, I thought I must write to you when I heard you say that you would not use American e-mail addresses or other American products as a mark of protest against the Americans bringing a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. We are so proud that we have a patriot like you who can stand up to the Americans and threaten to boycott their products when they are acting like big bullies and trying to impose their will on small countries like us, Wimal. more..

Sword of damocles hangs over govt. as D-Day nears

Mar 18 (SL) The govt is engaged in its final attempt to garner the support of the international community to back the country in defeating the US backed Resolution to be taken at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva on Thursday. The diplomatic community in Geneva is now torn between the numbers game by the govt and the US. The canvassing by the govt and the US has reached a fever pitch with both sides trying to muster support as the number of days remaining for the vote are lessening. more..

God Save America, several ‘Americans’ are today rulers of our own country

Mar 18 (TC) Dear God, These are terrible times. They say someone at the Central Bank mucked up the economy. There is a balance of payments crisis. Investment hasn’t taken off. We are heavily indebted. If the rupee sinks any lower, God, we will have to ask the Chinese to do something about it. After all, the Chinese are pretty much the only ones doing anything about our problems. We have a new harbour, but no ships. more..

The storm in a Geneva teacup: World divided over conflicted Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (Island) The Sri Lankan issue cannot be more than a storm in a teacup in Geneva. Everywhere in the UN, the topical notoriety belongs to the murderous Syrian regime and the untenable vetoes of Russia and China. But Geneva and UNHRC are hot topics in Sri Lanka and are getting hotter in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu has not shown so much discontent against Delhi in a long time, perhaps not after the anti-Hindi agitations in the 1960s. There could be more..

International Community is responsible for Sri Lanka’s present crisis

Mar 18 (Island) 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..

GTF lobbies Solheim and key Norwegian MPs

Mar 18 (Island) In the wake Norway pledging its vote for US-led resolution against Sri Lanka at the current session of the UNHRC in Geneva, a delegation from the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) met Norwegian politicians last Friday to intensify their campaign against President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s govt. The GTF delegation discussed the situation with one-time peace facilitator Erik Solheim, now Norway’s Minister of Environment and International Development, more..

SLC official reacts to Mahela’s statement

Mar 18 (ST) A very senior SLC official reacted sharply refuting the Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene’s statement that the Lankan team did not have a break between the Commonwealth Bank series in Australia and the present Asia Cup contest in Bangladesh. Mahela was quoted as saying, “The team did not have a break after touring Australia and they had to fly directly to Bangladesh and the lack of rest also contributed for the poor performance of the Lankan team in the Asia cup”. more..

Inimical Nimalka’s ‘attacks’ come a cropper

Mar 18 (LB) Nimalka Fernando, alleged women’s rights activist, claimed in Geneva yesterday at a side event on minority rights that there are threats to her life in Sri Lanka on account of her human rights activism. She said that unlike in other countries – whose representatives made submissions at the event as well – in her country, activists such as herself are ‘subject to threats, even on their lives.’ However, when challenged from the floor by audience more..

Imports from Iran: Big oily mess

Mar 18 (LB) Sri Lanka was hit with the fallout of the US-EU Iranian oil embargo last week, well before the June-July deadline for sanctions are to take effect. CPC sources said they were unable to open letters of credit to buy crude from Iran because a large number of Iranian banks were last week blocked from doing business with much of the world. This effectively means that Sri Lanka is without its substantial crude oil shipment from more..

Payment for Galle Face leased land next week

Mar 18 (Island) A payment of around USD 73.5 million for a 99-year lease of five acres of Galle Face land to build a Sheraton Hotel here is expected to be made in the next few days, authoritative official sources said. Originally, the land adjacent to the Galle Face property on which the Shangri-La hotel is to be built, was to be sold to China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation (CATIC) and the payment consideration received. more..