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Lanka: All solution in works

Mar 19 (AA) Under pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu, which want India to support a US resolution at UNHRC in Geneva seeking accountability for war crimes in the last phase of the Eelam war in Sri Lanka, New Delhi is quietly working on a solution that will ensure Tamil sentiment is not hurt while maintaining healthy relations with the neighbour. The move comes even as DMK convened an executive committee meeting on March 20 to discuss the Indian stand on Sri Lanka at UNHRC. more..

Sri Lankan envoy's remarks condemned

Mar 19 (Hindu) Ambedkar Makkal Iyakkam has condemned Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam's recent remarks about alleged connection between Member of Parliament from Tamil Nadu and LTTE. In a statement issued here today, A. Annadurai of the organisation condemned the commissioner's comment that MPs from the State were sympathetic to the LTTE cause and were involved in false campaign against Sri Lanka. The statement said that MPs from the State were only more..

SL condemns Norway-LTTE powwow

Mar 19 (Island) The govt has strongly protested to Norway for having discussions with the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) in the run-up to the forthcoming vote on a resolution moved by the US, targeting Sri Lanka at the current sessions of the UNHRC. Authoritative sources said that Norway had timed the meeting to send a strong signal to those countries who have still not decided to back the US move. Responding to a query, sources said that Sri Lanka’s ambassador more..

4000 Buddhist monks, other religious leaders at today's Adishtana Pooja

Mar 19 (DN) An Adishtana Pooja and Satyagraha organised by the Surakimu Maubima National Organisation, to defeat anti-Sri Lankan forces and conspiracies will be held at 4.00 p.m. today at the Viharamaha Devi Park, Colombo. Over 4000 Buddhist monks and Hindu, Islam and Christian religious dignitaries are expected to participate in the Satyagraha campaign along side this Adishtana Pooja. The peaceful Satyagraha campaign will be held at the Colombo Municipal ground more..

Colombo eyes Delhi’s green transport

Mar 19 (TOI) Delhi's transport system will now be replicated by other major cities. Sri Lankan minister for petroluem and oil Sushil Premajayantha said that they were using Delhi as a model to replicate the CNG-transport system in Colombo and hoped to start work on the same in coming months. The minister made the announcement at the second Asia Energy Summit held in Colombo last week. The summit organized by Independent Power Producers Association of India in Colombo discussed co-operation for more..

Geneva meet: rallies galore in Sri Lanka, not all altruistic though

Mar 19 (Hindu) “Let us not lose the victory achieved by war heroes by sacrificing their lives” read one placard at a pro-govt rally soon after the draft of the U.S.-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, at the UNHRC in Geneva, was available in the public domain. That rally was on Feb 27. Since then Colombo, and many parts of Sri Lanka, have witnessed rallies, some on their own, some encouraged by the govt. more..

Govt. won’t permit shotage of essential goods

Mar 19 (Island) Public should not have any doubt about a shortage of essential consumer goods or a price hike in any consumer articles during the forthcoming new year season, Minister Johnston Fernando assured in Kandy last Friday. Addressing a meeting to discuss arrangements for the Mahapola Educational and Trade Fair at the premises of St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota from April 07 to 11 the Minister pledged that he would take every step to prevent any scarcity of more..

Govt will study draft of resolution against Sri Lanka: Krishna

Mar 19 (PTI) With Dravidian parties mounting pressure on Centre to support a resolution in UNHRC against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said the govt will study the draft of the resolution and consult Tamil MPs before taking a call. “The minister is concerned over human rights. Once draft of the resolution is made, India will study it and consult MPs and take a call,” official sources said. “Krishna is giving importance to views more..

Luxury buses running low on comfort

Mar 19 (ST) The comfort standards of the air-conditioned (AC) private bus services are on the decline, a new survey carried out by the National Transport Commission (NTC) has revealed. The survey is being used to warn some of the operators to withdraw road unworthy vehicles, while others have been given time to improve the overall condition of the buses. The aim of the survey was to improve the efficiency of the luxury bus services and ensure that set standards are met. more..

Below the poverty line

Mar 19 (SL) The houses in 87 Mahawatte, Mattakkuliya (formerly known as Andrewwatte) are overshadowed by what looks like a huge mountain in the distance. Closer examination reveals that this mountain is made up entirely of garbage, now overgrown with grass. The Madampitiya dump is no longer used, but it still looms over the shanties ominously. There are at least 500 wood houses here, and an estimated 3000 people. more..

Surprise guest at UNHRC

Mar 19 (CT) Sandhya, wife of disappeared journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda, is expected to speak during a side event at the UNHRC, sources from Geneva said. A high-ranking govt official who is currently in Geneva said that Amnesty International has announced a ‘surprise Sri Lankan guest’ for a side event scheduled to be held today and that the govt speculates it could be Sandhya Eknaligoda. Her husband, a supporter of former Army Commander and more..

Uranium rich Namibia turns to Lanka’s apparel, paddy expertise

Mar 19 (Island) Namibia, the world’s fifth-largest producer of uranium, is keen to leverage Sri Lanka’s apparel and rice cultivation successes. "We are now starting to develop our apparel sector and the rice farming sector. We are eager for tech and know-how support from Sri Lanka given the country’s successes in them," said Samuel K. Mbambo, the new High Commissioner of Namibia to Colombo more..

Senior lawyer confronts CID chief over abduction of client

Mar 19 (Island) A senior attorney at law has asked the Director, CID whether a man who was abducted on March 9 from his residence at Mattakkuliya by an unknown group of seven to eight persons is in the custody of any authority and if not whether complaints made regarding the offense and follow up attempts by some individuals to demand through repeated telephone calls a ransom from his wife for his release, are being investigated. more..

No breakthrough in museum theft probe

Mar 19 (Island) Police investigating Friday night’s burglary at the Colombo National museum are examining the video tapes with recordings of recent visitors who frequented the museum. Statements of 20 employees have been recorded to find out why the CCTV system installed in the chamber which was burgled was out of order at the time of the incident. There had been no breakthrough, the police told The Island last evening. more..

Govt. politicos in the thick of illegal activities

Mar 19 (LB) Sri Lanka’s image has of late been tarnished due to the manner in which its politicians conduct themselves. Reportedly, most of the crimes that have been committed, be it frauds, engaging in rackets, taking bribes, trafficking in drugs, et al., have been carried out by persons who have strong links to the govt. Furthermore, politicians engaging in such unlawful activities are Members of Parliament, Pradeshiya Sabhas or Provincial Councils. more..

Kiriella wants both ‘war crimes’ documentaries telecast

Mar 19 (Island) The JVP yesterday said that no one could be held accountable for war crimes or crimes against humanity on the basis of allegations made by a section of the media, a country or a group of countries. JVP MP Vijitha Herath emphasised that allegations could be brought by any party at the conclusion of a conflict not only here but in any part of the world, though they couldn’t be accepted as the truth, without being investigated. more..

Karuna to go on fast on Lanka resolution issue

Mar 19 (PTI) Stepping up pressure on the UPA government over the issue of US resolution against Sri Lanka at UNHRC on its alleged war crimes, its key ally, DMK on Monday announced a state-wide fast led by party patriarch M. Karunanidhi on March 22. The party's announcement came even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that India was 'inclined to' vote in favour of a resolution on Sri Lanka which meets 'our objectives' with regard to the future of ethnic Tamils. more..

India may back U.N. resolution on Lanka if it meets its objectives: PM

Mar 19 (PTI) Amidst mounting pressure from ally DMK and other parties, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said India was “inclined to” vote in favour of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the U.N. which meets “our objectives” with regard to the future of ethnic Tamils. Responding to strong concerns of political parties, Dr. Singh told the Lok Sabha that India was yet to receive the final text of the draft resolution moved at the UN Human Rights Council. more..

Editorial: Plundering the past

Mar 19 (DM) Some histories were erased. Gutted to ashes. Razed to the ground. However, such were the actions of the invaders who were deliberately deaf and blind to the cultural and archaeological values of the countries conquered by them. Smuggling artefacts from museums and palaces were their off-time prizefights. They plundered treasures and spirited away half of kingdoms and civilizations. A country’s pride always depends on the quality of preservation of the historic monuments and artefacts, more..

Shares becalmed despite big deals

Mar 19 (LBO) Shares closed barely changed Monday although foreign buying into a local conglomerate pushed turnover up over three billion rupees, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index was stagnant at 5,449.46, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.51 percent to close at 4,889.08. Turnover was 3.1 billion rupees. A foreign investor bought a five percent stake in Aitken Spence, amounting to 20.5 million shares, from the Employees' Provident Fund, more..

MP Namal Rajapaksa at prestigious India Today Conclave

Mar 19 (GDI) Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa was an invitee panelist at the prestigious India Today Conclave 2012 held in New Delhi from 16-17 March 2012. The India Today Conclave which is held annually has seen the participation of leading Indian and international personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan, Mohamed ElBaradei, Sarah Palin, Dominique De Villepin, Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, former US Vice-President and more..

Swann lambasts 'cheat' Perera

Mar 19 (ESPN) England bowler Graeme Swann has criticised Sri Lankan batsman Dilruwan Perera heavily in the wake of Saturday's warm-up game, saying the 29-year-old cheated following a heated incident in Colombo. England coasted to victory by an innings and 15 runs against a Sri Lanka Board XI as they continued their preparations for the first Test next week, but an unsavoury incident unfolded when Perera failed to walk after edging low to Andrew Strauss at slip off a James Anderson delivery. more..

Karunanidhi calls off fast on Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (IANS) DMK president M Karunanidhi on Monday called off his scheduled hunger strike after the government said it intended to vote against Sri Lanka on a "war crimes" resolution. Karunanidhi made the announcement soon after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made his government's position known in Parliament, ahead of the Human Rights Council (HRC) meeting in Geneva. Karunanidhi was to fast here on Thursday, backed by DMK cadres all across Tamil Nadu. more..

Rise with all Sri Lankans to protect the country – President to the Opposition

Mar 19 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that all Sri Lankans whether they are from the North, South, East or West must rise against the situation that has been created in Geneva. He has said that it is the paramount duty of the opposition to rise with the people to protect the country for the sake of the nation. He has said that the opposition and all Sri Lankans must forget their religious, cast, ethnic and political affiliations at this hour more..

Railway union blames death of commuter on the Railway Dept.

Mar 19 (Island) Pro–JVP railway trade union yesterday accused the Railway Department of being responsible for the death of a passenger at the Weyangoda station, where the commuter fell to his death from a dilapidated footboard of the No. 85 Rajarata Menike train on Saturday. The train which started from the Fort Railway Station had reached the Weyangoda station around 3.06pm when the incident happened. General Secretary of the All Ceylon Railway Employees more..

TNA welcomes Indian move

Mar 19 (DM) TNA parliamentarian Mavai Senadirajah commended Indias support towards the US led resolution at the UNHRC. “This decision taken by the government of India is most welcome because their role is very important in the efforts of national reconciliation and a lasting political solution for the ethnic problem” he said. Senadirajah said that TNA is not against the country and the support for the move made by India is due to the impact it will have towards reconciliation. more..

WikiLeaks: 'How can the UN consider having contact with terrorists?' MR to UN

Mar 19 (CT) “The President voiced strong opposition to a possible UN role in negotiating a humanitarian pause or a surrender by the LTTE, asking, “how can the UN consider having contact with a terrorist organization?” He categorically ruled out the possibility of the UN entering into negotiations directly with Prabhakaran.” The US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. “Nambiar replied that an envoy’s role would be limited to more..

India never supported SL: JVP

Mar 19 (DM) The JVP said today that India never supported Sri Lanka at any moment in its efforts to solve the national question. JVP leader Somawansha Amarasinghe said that it is this policy that the congress party govt pursues to this day. “India never supported Sri Lanka at any point of time as far as the national question is concerned from the time of the Premiership of Mrs Indira Ghandhi. She categorically pointed out that the national question of Sri Lanka must be managed with the interests of India safeguarded and more..

Over 1,500 illegal tourists nabbed in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan authorities are cracking down on foreigners that overstay their visas with over 1, 500 visitors being detected within the first two months of 2012. Immigration and Emigration Department Commissioner W.A.C. Perera said that the numbers could touch 1,700 if the March detections were added on as well. He noted that in 2011, around 3,000 foreigners whose visas had expired but were still remaining in the country were detected by the authorities. more..

Sri Lankan govt. releases latest response to C-4 documentary

Mar 19 (SM) The Sri Lankan govt, through the Defence Ministry, today released its official response to Channel Four’s latest “Killing Fields” documentary. In the response, the govt interviews civilians and former LTTE members on the atrocities committed by the LTTE. “Shadows of Terror: Response to Channel 4” contains much of the footage from the previous govt response. Additionally, it has two major incidents which occurred during the more..

Sri Lanka sells US$72mn 3-yr bonds

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka sold 72 million US dollars of three-year bonds at six-month Libor + 385 basis points and 12 million dollars of four-year bonds at Libor +415 bp, the Central Bank's Public Debt Department said. The US dollar six-month LIBOR rate was 0.74 percent, Monday. The govt offered Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDBs) of 35 million US dollars in 3-year tenor and 10 million dollars in 4-year tenor to eligible investors for subscription through competitive bidding. more..

Sri Lanka set to suffer if wheat prices rise: ADB

Mar 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka is one of the countries in South Asia whose poor would suffer if prices of commodities like wheat rise further, the Asia Development Bank (ADB) said in a new report. It said targeted food subsidies would help South Asia cope with future food price spikes. "A spike in the cost of food staples like rice and wheat could push tens of millions more people into extreme poverty in South Asia but food subsidies targeted at the very poorest in the region more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 19.03.2012

Mullaitivu LG elections temporarily suspended

Mar 19 (NF) The Appeals Court ordered today to temporarily suspend the Pudukudiyiruppu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabha elections which were scheduled to be held on the 24th of this month. The order was made after considering two petitions that were filed by voters in the two Pradeshiya Sabha divisions. The petitions state that de-mining and resettlement activities in the two respective areas have not been completed as yet. The petitioners requested that the elections be more..

Must-win encounter for upbeat hosts

Mar 19 (CI) Sri Lanka have been knocked out of the Asia Cup. But they can still spoil Bangladesh or India's chances of qualifying for the final. Earlier this month, they knocked India out of the CB series after beating Australia in the tournament's final league game. They can ensure India go through this time by winning against Bangladesh, or inflict a second-straight knock-out, undermine another sterling Virat Kohli ton and another run-chase of 320-plus, by losing. more..

U.N. panel seeks vote on carnage in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (NYT) Even as it faces new demands to act to protect civilians in Syria, the UNHRC will vote this week on an American-led initiative calling on Sri Lanka to account for the carnage that ended its civil war three years ago, a move that has become the focus of a tense diplomatic tussle in Geneva and anger in Sri Lanka. The target of Sri Lankan official ire is a resolution put forward by the United States at the rights body in Geneva calling on the govt more..

Negombo: this Lent a thousand children take part in Via Crucis

Mar 19 (AN) Aged between 9 and 16, more than a thousand uniformed students from St Nicholas in Munnakkaraya and Holy Cross in Siriwardhana Place took part in a Via Crucis yesterday. The procession, which started at 7 am and lasted three hours, saw the students mark Lent and bear witness to Jesus' Calvary at the 14 Stations of the Cross erected on the grounds of Holy Cross Church. Teachers from the two schools organise the event each year. more..

World Bank approves its first IBRD loan of US$213 million to Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (WB) Today the World Bank approved its first IBRD loan of US $ 213 million to Sri Lanka for the Metro Colombo Urban Development Project (MCUDP) to assist develop the Colombo Metropolitan Area as the environmentally sustainable, modern capital of a middle income country, by rehabilitating, improving and maintaining critical infrastructure and services in order to position the city as a competitive hub by 2016. The project will be implemented within more..

Sri Lankan clergy protest UN rights resolution

Mar 19 (AP) Hundreds of Buddhist monks and other religious clergy Monday participated at a ceremony praying for the defeat of a U.N. resolution calling on Sri Lanka to probe wartime human rights abuses. Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian clergy carrying national flags and preceded by traditional drummers paraded in Colombo and later read out a statement of resolve that Sri Lankans may defeat the resolution expected to be brought to the more..

Rs. 14 B demanded from BOI over Sevanagala Sugar takeover

Mar 19 (SM) Sevanagala Sugar Industries of Daya Group of Companies has sent a Letter of Demand to the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka, demanding damages of Rs. 14 billion due to the state’s takeover of Sevanagala Sugar factory. On behalf of Sevanagala Sugar Industries, Paul Ratnayeke Associates has delivered the letter dated March 16, 2012, to the BOI by registered post. The LoD says that in the event of the failure of the BOI to pay the sum on or before March 25, more..