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'LTTE which deprived Tamils of their rights now goes to Geneva ostensibly for the same right'

Mar 18 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the LTTE which deprived the people of the east of their rights and lives are now going to Geneva under the guise of the same right. Minister speaking as the chief guest on the occasion of the first Delegates Convention of the TMVP held in Batticaloa Sivananda College ground on Sunday. The Leader of the TMVP and Chief Minister of Eastern Province Mr. S Chandrakanthan presided over the convention more..

‘Fonseka not cleared of charges’

Mar 18 (SM) Former Army chief Sarath Fonseka has not been cleared of fraud charges in the Hicorp incident, said human rights commissioner Dr. Prathibha Mahanamahewa. He said that the Colombo high court has upheld the military tribunal sentence against the ex-Army chief. Since there are civilians accused in the Hicorp matter, charges had to be filed by the attorney general against all of them, including Mr. Fonseka, he said. The high court decided not to pursue charges against more..

Lanka resolution issue: Centre slams 'campaign' against Congress

Mar 18 (DNA) With pressure from Dravidian parties to back a US-sponsored resolution in UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes, the Centre today slammed the "campaign by some parties and Tamil outfits" against Congress and UPA on the issue. Congress leaders and workers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry were firm that the Centre should support resolution at the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, Minister of State in PMO, V Narayanasamy told reporters here but more..

ජන හා නිවාස සංගණනය 2012

Postal stamp cost to go up

Mar 18 (SL) The cost of postage stamps is to be increased soon, Secretary to the Ministry of Posts, Hemasiri Fernando said. He said that Cabinet approval has been sought to increase the cost of postage stamps. He said that the increase in the cost was required as the Postal Department was unable to meet administration and distribution costs. Fernando said that a committee headed by Additional Ministry Secretary Vinitha Kaluarachi will decide on the increase in the postage stamp prices. more..

Sri Lanka’s post-war economic miracle sours

Mar 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s president began his second term vowing an economic miracle after decades of conflict, but the post-war boom is already fraying, putting his record on economic management to the test. Mahinda Rajapakse launched his second six-year term in 2010 promising to turn Sri Lanka into the “wonder of Asia” by doubling GDP per capita income to $4,000 by 2014. After the end of the island’s civil war in 2009, brought about by an army onslaught that is dogged by more..

MP allegedly stops co-op board elections forcefully

Mar 18 (DM) Govt MP Nishantha Mutuhettigama, well known for controversy had allegedly stopped the election which was held to select the board of directors of the Ehala Lellwala Cooperative society in Badegama today. UNP Organizer for the area, Ananda Lanaralle said the MP had stormed into the cooperative premises together with some local govt members of UPFA and allegedly stopped the poll forcefully. more..

Thousands in march on embassies

Mar 18 (UCAN) Thousands of govt supporters marched on foreign embassies yesterday to call on Western countries not to table a planned resolution critical of the country at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. Around 15,000 people marched to the US, Norwegian and German embassies, as well as the British high commission in Colombo to hand over petitions urging the resolution on alleged rights abuses committed during the country’s civil war be dropped. more..

Swann unconcerned by competition from Panesar

Mar 18 (CI) Graeme Swann has said he is not worried about the threat to his place in the England side from Monty Panesar, suggesting with his usual flair for a colourful quote that only a "fairly sad individual" would be perturbed by the good performances of a team-mate. Swann remains England's first-choice spinner, perhaps as much for his all-round ability and dressing-room presence as his bowling, but has been overshadowed by Panesar after the left-armer's more..

Strengthen internal rights mechanisms - TMVP

Mar 18 (BBC) A Tamil political party led by a former LTTE child soldier has called on the govt to strengthen internal mechanisms to safeguard human rights and democracy. Pro-govt TMVP made the call at the party's first national convention held in the eastern town of Batticaloa. In an apparent remark on US attempts to adopt a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, the Chief Minister (CM) of the eastern province Sivanesathurai Chandrakantan more..

Rohan: It’s easier to enter group two than to stay in it

Mar 19 (SL) HIS seventeen-year involvement with Sri Lanka’s Davis Cup team – fifteen as player and two as part of the team management– is why Rohan de Silva remains such a pragmatist. He is currently the Non- playing Captain (read: courtside strategist and motivator) of our Davis Cup squad – ask him about our prospects in the tie against Hong Kong, three weeks away, and you won’t hear the sort of boastful predictions other officials tend to trumpet. more..

What happened to the Rupee?

Mar 19 (SL) A little more than a month ago the rupee was doing fine. Ticking along at a nice pace of about 110 ish. The subsequent move to 115 shocked a few people, but in true Sri Lankan fashion, we put up and shut up about it and just moved on with our lives. After the sudden hike in petrol prices and the dollar skyrocketing to 124 rupees however, even the most cynically stiff eyebrows in the country raised in consternation. A higher dollar is going to limit all those luxury imports, more..

'Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a candle'

Mar 19 (SO) We need to create an education system where we can avoid clashes and find solutions in an amicable manner. Education should help cultivate respect for others, their culture and religion, said Education Monitoring Minister Mohan Lal Grero while addressing the national conference on the Role Education in Reconciliation. He said it is vital to promote non-violence among children to foster peace in the country. more..

What if some are true?

Mar 19 (NS) By the end of this month (March) people of Sri Lanka will know whether the US sponsored resolution calling the Govt of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to implement the recommendations of the LLRC and to accept UN expertise has been accepted by a majority of the UNHRC membership or not. Whatever the outcome, the people of Sri Lanka should take a long and hard look at the issues that has brought the country to this cross-road. The simple and misleading explanation would be more..

Cultural programme to cultivate amity

Mar 19 (NS) A four day exchange programme was recently organised in Vavunathivu, Batticaloa, with the participation of the youth from the South. Around 150 youth from Batticaloa, Ampara and Badulla took part in the programme. Several cultural programmes were also presented by the participants at an event held at Vilavattavan Vinayagar temple. Several dignitaries including Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan attended the event, which saw youngsters more..

Side shows in Geneva: NGO activists’ true intentions exposed

Mar 19 (SO) At a ‘side event’ organised by the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, Sunila Abeysekara and Nimalka Fernando, Sri Lankan NGO activists, raised a number of issues pertaining to the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and the issue of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. The side event was held against the backdrop of the 19th sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva. more..

Channel 4 videos on Sri Lanka: Background is essential

Mar 19 (CT) The Channel 4 News videos on the ethnic conflict in Sri Lankaare about the most important contributions to apprise the world of what has gone on, and is still going on, behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka. There are now two documentaries, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields released in June 2011, and Sri Lanka’s killing Fields. War Crimes Unpunished released in March 2012. They contain crucial evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, if not Genocide of the Tamils. more..

UN ignored its own report on Israeli war crimes

Mar 19 (CT) Why does the United Nations remains silent on its own report on Israeli war crimes on dehumanized and starving Palestinians in Gaza? Where are United States and its UNHCR resolution on Israeli war crimes? These are questions no one dare ask. Raising such questions means paying heavy price- be it UNHRC Commissioner Navi Pillay, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon or even US President Barack Obama-as former US President Bill Clinton paid his price in the form more..

Wimal Weerawansas American boycott should start with Gotabaya and Basil renouncing their US citizenship

Mar 19 (TC) The latest Channel 4 documentary is efficacious because it happens in a vacuum created by the myopic obduracy of the Rajapaksa regime. The vacuum is characterised, not so much by the absence of a credible investigation into alleged war crimes, but by the absence of a credible attempt to address the politico-psychological roots of the long Eelam War. Govts rarely investigate their own crimes, more..

A Realistic look at the draft resolution by the US on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC

Mar 19 (GV) The US recently tabled a draft resolution against Sri Lanka is so incredibly weak that President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be breathing a sigh of relief. It is no wonder that the US feels confident that it has the votes in needs. Besides, it is possible that the resolution will be watered down even more in the coming days—making this exercise seem that much more formulaic and pointless. The resolution requests that the govt of Sri Lanka implement the more..

Editorial: Britain does it again!

Mar 19 (Island) Sri Lanka is reported to have boycotted the recent Commonwealth Day at the British mission in New York as Deputy UN permanent representative of Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva was not invited to the function. It is ironical that the Cameron government has chosen to stoop to the level of acting according to the whims and fancies of terror backers who are all out to take revenge from Gen. Silva for crushing the LTTE terrorism. But for Britain, more..

Is the 2009 war victory, a licence to plunder?

Mar 19 (TC) There is a fundamental fallacy in believing that the fortunes of Sri Lanka will rise or fall solely on the outcome of the US draft resolution due to be taken up before the 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva this coming week. The contrary is precisely the case even though the Govt is expending extraordinary expenditure and exhibiting frantic energies in support of its cause. Let us make no mistake about this. If the resolution fails, more..

Kahawatte killing: police seek eyewitnesses

Mar 19 (SO) The cold-blooded killing of a mother and her daughter at Kotakethana-Kahawatta still dominates newspaper headlines even after three weeks of the crime due to the turn of events. People of Kahawatta who flocked to the streets during the past three weeks staged mass protests by burning tyres on the highway what they did five months ago to show their displeasure over the Kahawatta police for their inability to arrest the suspects forthwith. more..

Be Sri Lankan and buy Sri Lankan

Mar 19 (ST) The policy agenda that is in place consisting of a flexible exchange rate; monetary policy to restrain credit and demand for imports; and fiscal policies that inerease costs of several imports are expected to contain the trade deficit to a manageable level. However, there are structural characteristics in the import structure that make the country vulnerable in its external finances. It is for this reason that the country has had persistent trade deficits more..

Asoka Abeygunawardana on YaTV

Channel 4 Film is UK media neo-colonialist bid to ‘divide and rule’

Mar 19 (DBS) The documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished”, was aired by Britain’s Channel 4 on Wednesday. The documentary is a follow-up to last year’s controversial documentary “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields”. The new documentary, made by the same team reiterates accusations on “War Crimes” during the latter stages of the conflict. It also makes new accusations on Defence Secretary and President himself more..

Borrowing rates: Interbank stabilises, increases for customers

Mar 19 (Island) Interbank borrowing rates were seen stabilising with the Central Bank no longer printing money to help banks with liquidity issues, latest data from the Central Bank showed while the huge stock exchange deal featuring the EPF and JKH failed to buoy the rupee, which fell to a new low against the greenback. With rupee liquidity drying up on account of the Central Bank selling dollars to keep the exchange rate stable, around Rs. 300 billion had been printed more..

War widows 'forced into prostitution'

Mar 19 (BBC) Women who have lost their husbands and sons in Sri Lanka's decades-long conflict have been forced to turn to prostitution, say women's rights activists. Geetha Lakmini of World Fisherfolk Solidarity Movement said over 85,000 women were widowed in the north and east after the war. "One village in Madhu area is infamous for prostitution because they have no male family members, no jobs and there is no other way of survival," more..

'Govt bullish on US$ 500 m foreign equity target for capital market'

Mar 19 (Island) The Govt is extremely bullish in its target of UD$ 500 million in foreign investment flows into the Colombo Stock Market, which it expects to be a reality before end 2012. The Central Bank announced in its road map that it has targeted US$ 500 million in terms of inflows from Foreign Fund Managers into the Colombo Stock Exchange and out of which there has been around US$ 140 million through the just concluded Khazanah Fund of Malaysia deal with more..

Broken promises: Part 3

Mar 19 (Island) 3.8. These modest interim recommendations were made in September 2010 and included the publication of a list of detainees and the disarming of armed paramilitary groups. Notably, the LLRC in its final Report commented on the non-implementation of these recommendations, noting: "The Commission regrets that full effect has not yet been given to its Interim Recommendations. Delay in taking effective remedial action would only result in a breakdown of law and order more..

Switch on to conserving electricity by switching off

Mar 19 (ST) “Switch off a bulb at your home during peak hours and save electricity,” a message widely promoted by the Ministry of Energy, as a measure of conserving domestic electricity, is receiving a good response, but is often blatantly ignored by commercial establishments and State institutions. From casinos to shopping complexes, bright lights are on throughout the night. Street lights illuminate not only at nights, more..

GMOA accuses ‘imposters’ of issuing misleading statements

Mar 19 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya yesterday warned that some doctors who were not officially elected as office bears of the GMOA were spreading false rumours. He said as a result the Constitution of the GMOA was being violated. The GMOA’s Executive Committee and the General Committee had officially appointed its General Secretary Dr. Chamdika Epitakaduwa, Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne, more..

He thrived on sale of dog meat, claiming it was venison

Mar 19 (Island) A man calling himself a hunter of wild animals had a roaring business of meat in Mailapitiya, Matale. But, what his buyers were not aware of was that stray dogs were his game. According to the police the dog killer used to sell meat to not only to individual connoisseurs of venison but also to several hotels in the area at Rs. 350 a kilo. One of his regular customers grew suspicious as there were no deer anywhere near Mailapitiya and he reported the matter to more..

‘Champika fanning communal unrest’

Mar 19 (CT) Batticaloa District TNA MP P. Ariyanenthiran cautioned that Minister Champika Ranawaka will be responsible of fanning communal unrest in the country in the future. Ariyanenthiran released a statement yesterday to counter the comments made by Champika Ranawaka saying that if the US resolution against Sri Lanka succeeds in Geneva there will be a communal unrest in the country. Ariyanenthiran in his statement has said that more..

CMC intensifies anti-dengue campaign

Mar 19 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council has intensified its anti Dengue drive with onset of rains and several instances of patients warded at both state and private hospitals contracting the deadly dengue fever being uncovered by the CMC Public Health Department between mid last year and this year. Apart from state institutions being identified as fertile grounds for proliferation of dengue, the CMC on a request of the Medical Supplies Department under more..

More disabled youth complete vocational training

Mar 19 (DN) "Around seven percent of the total population of Sri Lanka are disabled and it is the aim of the govt to provide them with suitable vocational training and to get them involved in the country's development process," Minister Felix Perera said. The minister was addressing a ceremony to present certificates and tool kits to 100 disabled youths who completed a two year course at vocational training centers attached to the Social Service Department more..

Army tells Channel 4, NGOs and Tamil Diaspora : ‘Present allegations to LLRC with evidence’

Mar 19 (DN) ‘Channel Four should present the allegations they make against Sri Lanka Army with evidence to the LLRC instead of dramatizing their old video clips taken from open sources of pro-LTTE websites’, the Sri Lanka Army yesterday said. “NGO activists,such as, Pakiasothy Sarawanamuttu, Sunila Abeysekara, Nimalka Fernando and Sunanda Deshapriya from Sri Lanka, could have done the same, if more..

Landmark deal on nanotechnology

Mar 19 (DN) The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) in a landmark agreement entered into a strategic collaboration with Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL) of Hyderabad, India, to develop the next generation of nanotechnology based plant fertiliser solutions. It was the first technology providing programme from the country to the international market, SLINTEC science team leader, Professor in Chemistry, University of Peradeniya, Professor Veranja Karunaratne said. more..

SF completes 2nd Court Martial sentence

Mar 19 (CT) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has completed his two and a half year term of Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) delivered to him by the second Court Martial following the HiCorp charges. According to Senior Counsel Saliya Peiris, Fonseka finished serving the prison term on 15 March. Fonseka was found guilty before the second Court Martial hearing, under section 109 of the Army Act on 17 September 2010 and was sentenced to two and a half years RI, but was acquitted of more..

98 stranded Sri Lankan maids set to go home

Mar 19 (AN) A total of 98 stranded Sri Lankan housemaids will be repatriated this week on an initiative made by the country's consulate in Jeddah. Consul General Adambawa Uthumalebbe said yesterday that consulate officials handed over a large group of domestic workers and six children to the Deportation Center (Tarheel) in Jeddah. He explained that the repatriation of the runaway maids has to be streamlined through the Deportation Center, more..