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‘LTTE fabricated videos to gain propaganda advantage'

Mar 19 (PTI) The Tamil Tigers fabricated video footage to demonise Sri Lankan military and distributed them among international media to gain propaganda advantage, the now defunct LTTE's former media co-ordinator has claimed. Velayudam Dayanidhi alias Daya Master told ITN television that fabricated footage produced in 2002 during the ceasefire with the Army was distributed internationally. "The footage used by Channel 4 are those fabricated footage issued by the LTTE," more..

Olympic broadcast rights 'will not be transferred'

Mar 19 (BBC) The sports minister says that exclusive broadcasting rights of 2012 Olympics obtained by state-owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) will not be sold to private channel as reported by media. The Sunday Leader newspaper said the Carlton Sports Network (CSN), reportedly owned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family, has sought the broadcasting rights of the 2012 London Olympics. The newspaper said The SLRC had obtained the rights more..

Reconciliation cannot be a single-hand clap

Mar 20 (NS) Two statements from two high profile US officials caught my eye this week. The first was by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, commenting on the brutal massacre of 16 Afghans by a US soldier. Describing it as ‘awful’ and ‘terrible’, expressing ‘shock and sadness’, Clinton claimed, ‘this is not who we are!’ Astounding! It can’t be that Clinton has been blind to what US Foreign Policy has been and is. She knows that this particular crime against humanity is just one of thousands. more..

We will get you in March, said US rep. in Geneva

Mar 20 (NS) Whether the LLRC report is good or not, we will get you in March – US representative in Geneva to Sri Lanka. I was shocked last evening to be told that this was what the US Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva had told her Sri Lankan counterpart last in September 2011. The occasion was when she was trying to persuade the latter to accept an Interactive Dialogue on Sri Lanka, which I believe the Canadians were advancing at the time. more..

'Sri Lanka in Catch 22 situation'

Mar 20 (NS) Terrorism Expert, Head of the ICPVTR, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Prof. Rohan Gunaratna said the US backed resolution was a result of Sri Lanka’s failure to restore its relations with the US and Europe after the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka. In an email interview with The Nation, Prof. Gunaratna speaks about the resolution, its possible impacts and the role that should be played by the country at this juncture. more..

Not today, wait for tomorrow

Mar 20 (LB) The arguments in the media, including those by the UNP, that the current economic woes are the result of waste and corruption, are very weak. The situation is much more serious. The problem here is not that policy is being implemented inefficiently, or that corruption is feeding into expenditure. The failure lies with the policies themselves, and the perspective of Mahinda Chinthanaya. Many of the economists who are critical of the govt now, for the balance of more..

Thank heavens for foreign pressure

Mar 20 (LB) For three years political and non governmental entities have been pressurizing, pressing and pleading for action on post-war issues. The government has been telling them to go stuff it. Thousands are said to have been “rehabilitated” but they have been rehabilitated only in name; no homes, no facilities, and no livelihood; it’s a charade. As for demilitarization, publication of names of missing persons and detainees, or re-opening the cover up of more..

GL alleges West manipulating ‘UN system’ to undermine GoSL

Mar 20 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said last week that it was not a question of who won or who lost at the current session of the UNHRC. "That was not the issue, the minister said in Colombo before leaving for Geneva to take charge of the GoSL campaign in the face of joint US-EU move. Addressing a distinguished gathering including the Colombo-based diplomatic community, at the Kadirgamar Institute, the minister said: "What is right? more..

Okay, okay, i’ll try to write this one in lighter vein

Mar 20 (SL) It is said that incessant drops of liquid can wear away the hardest granite. I do not claim to be a ‘hard man’ in the terminology of an Irish friend who is a veteran of “the troubles” in that great, green land. However, I have to admit to insisting for a long time that the status quo in Sri Lanka, the Miracle of Asia, hardly merited facetiousness. But, as I said, incessant complaining tends to wear down the defences of even the most stubborn newspaper columnist more..

What is the bigger lie? US resolution in Geneva or number of people in Vanni in 2009?

Mar 20 (GV) “One of the rankest untruths in the public domain today is that the US resolution is innocuous and unobjectionable…” said Amb. Dayan Jayatilleka in his article THE BIG LIE ABOUT THE US RESOLUTION on 16th March 2012. It would be pertinent to question whether a bigger untruth in the public domain since 2009 is about the population in Vanni in 2009. Correct me if I’m wrong – but from my memory, Amb. Jayatilleke was a party to this lie, helped cover it up – more..

Then they came for… the writers

Mar 20 (SL) Last week an astrologer Madura Peiris had his moment in time. Featured on a private news television station Peiris said that intellectuals, especially, writers who use their pen as a weapon, are destined to face bad times. This situation would prevail until the first week of April, he said. This is indeed a profound statement. Sri Lanka is a nation with a rich and ancient history and astrological predictions of fortune and doom have more..

Sri Lanka and the UNHRC: Implications for India and for Human Rights

Mar 20 (GV) As the 19th session of the Human Rights Council progresses, the discourse on Sri Lanka with reference to Human Rights is reaching its annual climax. It is annual in the sense that it has been reaching the said level of climax each year ever since the UNHRC took up the issue after the completion of war in Sri Lanka. In the first two sessions Sri Lanka managed to defeat the Resolutions forwarded by the Western countries with the support of its allies from more..

Channel 4 and others told “Good try, but…..”

Mar 20 (LB) Though anti Sri Lankan sentiment is being ratcheted up here in Geneva, particularly with the release of the so called new Channel 4 documentary War Crimes Unpunished, it appears that the final outcome of the vote on the resolution now before the UNHRC will depend on many other considerations – such as block allegiances of member nations, and truly dispassionate analysis of the ground situation in Sri Lanka. However, this has not stopped the diaspora lobbyists and more..

Swann outburst surprises coach Flower

Mar 20 (Island) The media briefing by England Team Director Andy Flower yesterday gave you an indication that off-spinner Graeme Swann labeling a Sri Lankan player, ‘a cheat’ was his personal opinion and not that of the England team. Flower looked bemused during yesterday’s media briefing, when he was informed of Swann’s comments the previous day, where he had accused Sri Lankan all-rounder Dilruwan Perera of ‘cheating’. more..

Editorial: Muddying the waters, the Indian way

Mar 20 (Island) India continues to blow hot and cold about the US resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva. Its gobbledygook defies comprehension, to say the least. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday told the Lok Sabha that India was inclined to vote for it if it covers 'our objectives namely the achievement of a future for the Tamil community in Sri Lanka that is based on equality, dignity, justice and self respect'. It was only the other day that the Indian govt more..

IMF bullish on Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Island) IMF Sri Lanka Resident Representative Dr. Koshy Mathai reiterated the fund’s stance on the recent policy reversals of the Central Bank regarding the exchange rate and interest rates and the government’s decision to increase domestic fuel prices, saying the policy moves were encouraging and could help the economy. Addressing a special forum convened by HSBC Sri Lanka yesterday morning, Dr. Mathai said that Sri Lanka’s economy was in strong position compared with more..

SLDB oversubscribed: Costs govt. more, sentiments erode

Mar 20 (Island) A re-issue of Sri Lanka Development Bonds (SLDB) amounting to US$ 45 million was 2.2 times oversubscribed with bids amounting to US$ 100 million, of which the Central Bank accepted US$ 84 million on behalf of the govt. Sentiment has eroded somewhat with yields determined through competitive bidding being higher than for SLDB issues both last year and in 2010. "The Central Bank of Sri Lanka, on behalf of the govt of Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka Scouting to celebrate centenary Jamboree

Mar 20 (DN) The Sri Lanka Scout Association will hold the Asia Pacific Regional Jamboree with the Centenary celebrations from April 1 to 6 in Dambulla. Over 1,500 scouts from 27 countries of the Asia Pacific Region and 6,000 scouts from all parts of the island will participate in the international jamboree. This is the first ever international jamboree with a large contingent from foreign countries, to be held in Sri Lanka. The conducive and peaceful environment more..

'Detection of VAT scam saved country Rs.140,000 m'

Mar 20 (DN) The revelation of the Value Added Tax fraud saved nearly Rs.140,000 million for the benefit of the people, which otherwise would have been defrauded, Auditor General H.A.S.Samaraweera. The disclosure of the VAT fraud happened some time back. "A large number of frauds, corrupt activities and misappropriations have been disclosed by our auditors during investigations with the most significant recent revelation being the VAT scam" he said. more..

Exodus and eviction in Sri Lanka's civil war

Mar 20 (Hindu) At a time the debate on Sri Lanka is focussed on the first five months of 2009 during which a yet undetermined number of Tamil civilians lost their lives in the final phases of the Army's military push against the LTTE, an anthropological discussion of how the island's two main minorities – Tamils and Muslims – view family, home, and homeland from the prism of their 30 year-experience of conflict might seem esoteric. Yet, the ethnographic In My Mother's House is more..

Kidnapping of trader: Businessmen call on lawyers not to appear for suspects

Mar 20 (Island) A protest was staged in the Tissamaharama town urging lawyers not appear for some suspects remanded in connection with the abduction of a leading businessman from Debarawewa to extract ransom of three million rupees. The protest was oraganised by the Tissamaharama Rice Producers Association and Tissamaharama Business Association. They were shouting slogans and carrying placards that read "Lawyers should help punish criminals", more..

Sri Lanka’s poverty figure lowest in Asia - Wimal

Mar 20 (Island) Sri Lanka has recorded the lowest number of people suffering from abject poverty in the Asian region, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the poverty rate in Sri Lanka had been reduced from 22.7 percent in 2002 to 15.2 percent in 2006/7 and to 8.9 percent in 2009/10. Rural poverty dropped from 24.7 percent in 2002 to 9.4 percent in 2009/10. The impressive reduction of poverty since 2006 is attributed to more..

President opens new Auditor-General's Dept building

Mar 20 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open the Auditor-General's Department's new headquarters building in Battaramulla yesterday. The Department currently at Independence Square in Colombo will be moved to the new five-storeyed building equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. It has been built at a cost of Rs. 400 million. A commemorative first day cover and a souvenir were issued to mark the occasion. more..

Prime Minister's statement evasive, says Jayalalithaa

Mar 20 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa described as “evasive” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in Parliament that India was inclined to vote in favour of the U.S. resolution on Sri Lanka and said it would serve no purpose. In a statement, she said the Prime Minister was silent on human rights violations in Sri Lanka. “Nor did he say the Sri Lankan govt has to be condemned for violation of human rights. It was an evasive reply and served no purpose.” more..

Vavuniya heading for good times

Mar 20 (Island) According to the Central Bank, the Vavuniya district had topped all districts in terms of poverty alleviation in 2011, Vavuniya District Secretary P.S.M. Charles said. A large number of steps had been taken to boost the post-war economy in the district, she said. The Cabinet had already approved a proposal to set up an industrial zone in Vavuniya and the officials had received more than 15 proposals to set up various industries. According to Charles, the District’s more..

Rupee falls to an all time low of Rs.130.50 against dollar: Forex foxed?

Mar 20 (FT) The country’s forex market encompassing highly dependent importers and key source exporters was yesterday rocked by what analysts described as the sharpest day gain in the US dollar exchange rate. Before mid-day the Rupee touched a new low of Rs. 127 and then on to Rs. 128 prompting many to assume the rate had bottomed out. However as panic spread within markets, the rate touched a record low of Rs. 131 dealers told the Daily FT. more..

Sri Lankan bankers visit Mangalore

Mar 20 (DH) Eleven delegates from Sanasa Development Bank (SDB) and Sanasa Insurance Ltd of Colombo, visited Bankers’ Institute of Rural Development (BIRD), Mangalore recently for an exposure programme. The exposure visit focused on lending by banks to agro/food processing, dairy farming / milk processing units and lending by banks in association with NGOs/MFIs to Self Help Groups/ Joint Liability Groups and undertaking of livelihood activities by such rural group members. more..

Nearly half of CFL bulbs of low quality

Mar 20 (Island) Despite, the availability of five star grades, nearly 50% of the Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in Sri Lanka were of low quality with most of them having a shorter life span and lesser brightness. "There are more than 25 varieties of CFLs, most of them refurbished bulbs from China. The worst part is that they contain higher Mercury levels," said Centre for Environment Justice, Executive Director, Hemantha Withanage. He said 2 mg mercury could pollute a large lake. more..

Rs.7500 enough for family of three -Bandula

Mar 20 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardena said a family of three could live a comfortable life with an income of Rs.7500 per month if they used their money wisely. Addressing a gathering at the opening ceremony of the Maternity and Childcare Centre at Mullegama in Homagama he pointed out that if people refrained from wasteful expenditure they could live happier, fuller and pleasanter lives. He went on to say, “The govt’s budgeted income from more..

Indian PM caught in Lanka spot

Mar 20 (TI) The Prime Minister today told the Lok Sabha that India was “inclined” to vote in favour of the US-backed UN resolution asking Colombo to punish those guilty of war crimes on Sri Lankan Tamils in 2009. Manmohan Singh’s statement betrays his coalition compulsions. An Indian vote for the resolution would have implications on its status as a regional power and its ties with Sri Lanka, and may affect New Delhi’s leverage with Colombo on sending aid to Sri Lankan Tamils. more..

Tourist Info Kiosk launched at BIA

Mar 20 (Island) A Tourist Information Kiosk, TIK, was launched at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday by Minister Priyankara Jayaratne. Managing Director of the Tourism Promotion Bureau Rumi Jauffer said Tourists could view information at the Kiosk at the touch of a button. Authentic information would inform tourist of available ancillary services on transport, hotels, shopping, culture, beaches other interest sections that give visitors sufficient knowledge of more..

Local Americans trying to kill me: Wimal

Mar 20 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa today claimed that he had been subjected to a huge attack and local Americans were trying to kill him following a request he made to boycott American products. “Yes, I made a request from our patriotic Sri Lankans to boycott America and American products to show our protest to the American sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva and more..

Some Tamils demand India support Sri Lanka

Mar 20 (Hindu) A group of Sri Lankan citizens who said they were Tamil businessmen protested in front of the Indian High Commission in Colombo demanding that India support Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session in Geneva. The protest was held before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made clear India's “inclination” on the U.S.-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the Council. The businessmen reminded the Indian High Commission of the riots targeting Tamils in Colombo and wanted India to more..

Popular actor Anton Jude dies

Mar 20 (DM) Popular actor and singer Anton Jude passed away early today after he suffered a sudden heart attack. He made his debut on stage and went on to play unforgettable characters in films like Bahubuthayo, Rankewita, Numba Nadan Apata Pissu, Sikuru Hathe, Rosa Kele, Ethumai Methumai and several other popular movies. He acted in tele dramas Punchi Rala, Sabanda Pabilis, Sakisanda Pabilis and others. His song ‘Ais Amma Gundu' was also a popular hit among the masses. more..

Govt. opposed to external monitoring mechanism

Mar 20 (Island) With India likely to back the US resolution to the UNHRC on accountability and reconciliation issues in Sri Lanka, to be taken up in Geneva this week, the govt says that it is opposed to external monitoring of the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday told a joint sitting of parliament that his govt was "inclined to vote in favour of the US Resolution if it covers our objectives, more..

We stand by our principles- Dinesh

Mar 20 (CT) Responding to India’s stand on the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan govt yesterday said it is surprising that the countries are backtracking without appreciating the govt’s efforts towards reconciliation. Speaking to Ceylon Today, senior Cabinet Minister and Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena said no one can assist reconciliation and the development projects in the North and East by supporting the US resolution against Sri Lanka.“As the govt, we always stand firm on our principles. more..

Paramedics restrained from striking

Mar 20 (Island) Colombo District Judge Dhammika Ganepola yesterday issued an enjoining order restraining the Joint Federation of Paramedical Services from continuing with their trade union action, which amounted to a strike. This followed plaints filed by two patients seeking treatment from the Bandarawela Government Hospital and the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital. The plaintiffs were P. Hemapala Perera of Bandarawela and D. P. Chandrasena of Ratmalana. more..

Sri Lanka rights probe gains force

Mar 20 (WSJ) U.S. officials said they gained a key ally in their effort to push Sri Lanka to allow an independent investigation of government atrocities carried out at the climax of the country's 26-year civil war against the Tamil Tigers in 2009. Eileen Donahoe, U.S. ambassador to the UNHRC in Geneva, said the council this week is set to accept a U.S. resolution to that affect during a meeting in Geneva that ends Friday, despite Sri Lanka's attempt to block it. more..

Love for singer puts him in trouble

Mar 20 (Island) The Cinnamon Garden’s police yesterday took into custody a youth who was following popular singer Nirosha Virajini and begging for her love. The police are expecting to obtain a court order to refer the suspect to a psychiatrist, sources said. Nirajini, in her complaint to the police, said that the suspect youth had frequented the places she visited for the past 18 months and had on several occasions expressed his love for her, but she had turned down him down. more..

Central PC meeting: SB’s brother faults police for ‘lack of security’

Mar 20 (Island) Chairman of the Central Provincial Council, Saliya Bandara Dissanayake, presiding at the Provincial Council meeting on Monday (19) said that the police were not doing enough to ensure his protection and that of his residence at Madanwala, Hanguranketha. "Since the torching of my two buses, I have requested the police to deploy four policemen to protect me and my house but only two unarmed policemen have been detailed. What can un-armed policemen could do?" more..