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While we breath we hope, let us live while we live

Mar 21 (EAR) Will the Sri Lanka’s ‘Cavalier Father’ be a father to all the children who lost their fathers to the white van murderous carnival happening in the country for the past three years though the current regime has officially declared that the country has attained ‘real independence’ after it crushed the LTTE? Or, will this self-proclaimed ‘father’ be son to all mothers who lost their sons to the nightmare of the white van killings? When is the govt going to guarantee more..

India should abstain from voting on US led resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (EAR) As the 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva prepares to discuss about the human rights situations in various war ravaged countries, the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka has drawn much of the international community’s attention. The western countries seem to be serious about human rights abuses and war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan forces during the final phase of the war. The draft resolution on Sri Lanka submitted by the US to the UNHRC last week more..

Who really supports reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka?

Mar 21 (GV) The official media page of the LLRC tells its own story. It’s blank. There’s literally nothing on the official website of the LLRC that provides information on public statements by the LLRC and coverage of its proceedings in the media. Furthermore, it’s impossible to find the interim recommendations or the final report of the LLRC on the official website. The interim recommendations of the LLRC were first published in full on Groundviews. more..

'Human Rights in Sri Lanka can best be protected by Sri Lankans themselves'

Mar 21 (TC) A vote on the US-sponsored resolution aimed at promoting reconciliation in Sri Lanka is scheduled to take place later this week at the conclusion of the 19th session of the UNHRC in Geneva. Bitterness and rancor have accompanied the debate in Geneva. The thrust of the proposed resolution in Geneva is the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC appointed by the Govt of Sri Lanka. However, the circumstances under which this resolution is to be passed more..

Tragic if Sri Lanka ends up as a test case for UN sanctions than as a model of post-war reconciliation

Mar 21 (TC) The presentation of the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the ongoing session of the UNHRC appears inevitable. The Sri Lankan people have every reason to be bemused. They lived through nearly three decades of terror and war where they saw successive governments battling it out with the LTTE, not only on the military battlefields of the North and East of the country, but also in various international forums. Now with the LTTE eliminated, more..

Sri Lanka wants dawn of Palestinian State in the near future

Mar 21 (TC) Madam President, My delegation, at the outset, associates itself with the statement delivered by Egypt on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement. Sri Lanka is steadfast in its support for the Palestinian people’s struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable and united State of Palestine, on the basis of the secure and recognizable borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. more..

Geneva circus: Today it is Sri Lanka, who will it be tomorrow?

Mar 21 (TC) The Country was agog, not long ago, with the news that an alleged dignitary of the State Department of the United States of America named Blake had said that the United States of America would support a resolution against Sri Lanka that would be moved by some European States in the UNHRC. Today, however, we find that contrary to what Blake said, the resolution has been proposed by the United States of America itself with the support of some European States, and more..

Ruling Rajapaksa dynasty must be held accountable for the atrocities they are responsible for

Mar 21 (DBS) Dear Fellow Sinhala Canadians: It is time that we express our immeasurable gratitude to Sri Lanka for our early education, facility in language, social skills, leadership qualities and all other factors that have led to our many successes in Canada. We can best do so by asserting the founding principles of the country of which we are now residents and citizens – peace, order and good govt and helping Sri Lankans residents to wrest back our more..

ADMK, CPI raise Lanka issue, force DMK walkout

Mar 21 (IE) UPA ally DMK was put on the dock in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday by arch rival AIADMK after the latter, along with the CPI, forced a division on the amendments moved to the President’s address on the issue of the human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Unable to vote in favour or against the amendments, the DMK was forced the break ranks with the UPA and quietly walk out of the House to save its face. more..

India’s Volte-Face: Winners and Losers

Mar 21 (GV) India’s hasty decision to support the United States of America led Resolution on Sri Lanka came as a big surprise. While a few rumours flagged the possibility of an India “for” vote a couple of days before the actual announcement by the Prime Minister, they were largely ignored. The prevailing orthodoxy was that India would likely abstain, and that the vote would carry with a narrow majority. That orthodoxy has now been questioned, and with India coming on board, more..

Broken promises: Part 4

Mar 21 (Island) 4. Concealing the truth and promises not kept on the conduct of the war: 4.1. The shocking rate of civilian casualties caused during the last stages of the war was a direct consequence of the failure of the Sri Lankan govt to fulfill not merely its international legal obligations, but also the specific assurances it made to the international community in late 2008 and early 2009. The LTTE’s conduct during the war — however reprehensible and violative of international more..

Connections | March 19, 2012

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: The time for accountability has come

Mar 21 (HP) Sri Lanka's civil war was one of the most bloody internal conflicts in history. Fought between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist militia known as the "LTTE, the internecine struggle is estimated have led to 100,000 deaths since its outbreak in 1983. In early 2009, as the war neared its conclusion, hell on earth was very likely unleashed on civilians assembled in the confines of a so-called "no fire zone" on the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka more..

Back resolution against Colombo, say activists

Mar 21 (Hindu) Women's rights groups and individuals have appealed to the govt to support the U.S.-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. In an appeal on Tuesday, they said, “We also note the role of the Indian govt in urging the govt of Sri Lanka to move forward on key issues relating to a political settlement and reconciliation." While Sri Lanka had taken some steps towards strengthening peace, there were specific issues where more..

PMC as obstinate as a mule

Mar 21 (CT) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) called on the govt to immediately shut down the Private Medical College (PMC) in Malabe, claiming the institute is failing to meet conditions set by the UGC. According to the GMOA the UGC issued a gazette notification last November classifying the PMC as a degree awarding institution. Under this notification, several conditions which had to be met within a period of six months had also been listed. more..

Professionals call govt to respect accountability

Mar 21 (BBC) A group of professionals said in Colombo that the call for an independent monitoring of the human rights record of Sri Lanka is not only welcome but also justified. “In this modern age the President of Sri Lanka can’t rule the country as if a kingdom“ said prominent writer Gamini Viyangoda. He said that govts need to be accountable to the international community if they want to be part of it “If the Rajapaksa govt doesn’t want to have its matters discussed at more..

Japan extends Rs.11 M for Anuradhapura District Agricultural assistance

Mar 21 (GDI) Japan has extended grant aid of US$ 93,177 (around Rs. 11 million) for the rehabilitation of the Weliwewa Tank in the Mihintale Divisional Secretary Division, Anuradhapura District under the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects scheme (GGP). A new release from the Japanese embassy said yesterday: "The project, which would be implemented by Rajarata Janasahana Foundation, aims at improving agricultural activities and livelihood of more..

Malaysian Co. in US$ 600mn metro rail project linking BIA with Fort

Mar 21 (FT) Airport Express Air and Rail Company Ltd. yesterday announced its decision to invest US$ 600 million on a new transportation venture, a metropolitan railway system running from Katunayake to Fort. Construction work is likely to start in 2013 for what will become Sri Lanka’s first metro express electric train service and end in 2016, aligning with the ‘Mahinda Chinthana – Idiri Dekma’ plan of development once the feasibility study is completed by KPMG India. more..

Sri Lanka v England: Hosts look for green shoots of recovery

Mar 21 (BBC) Sri Lanka have gone through a turbulent period since finishing as runners-up in the 2011 World Cup with key players retiring, a new captain to bed in, allegations of wrongdoing and even players going unpaid. But even before that, their game had been in decline. Despite their whitewash against Pakistan, England will start as favourites in the two-Test series because Sri Lanka's recent form is appalling. Since July 2010 they have won only one of 15 Tests more..

Sri Lanka should not antagonize India - Anandasangaree

Mar 21 (CT) Taking the regional political realities into consideration Sri Lanka should not antagonize India, according to a letter written by TULF leader Veerasingam Anandasangaree to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday. Anandasngaree in his letter to President Rajapaksa in the backdrop of India’s decision to standby the US backed UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka stated, If not for India and the US Sri Lanka would have not won the war against the LTTE. more..

'Sri Lanka plans to turn Indian Ocean into Peace Zone'

Mar 21 (Island) Sri Lanka is planning to explore new approaches to revive the concept of converting the Indian Ocean into a zone of peace despite the heavy opposition from major power players in the UN, Parliament was told yesterday. Acting External Affairs Minister DEW Gunasekera said that Sri Lanka took this initiative several decades ago but was confronted with heavy resistance from the US, the UK and France. more..

Resolution of the Sri Lanka conflict

Mar 21 (Guardian) At the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva a US-led resolution is being debated, which seeks to help resolve the outstanding issues of accountability and reconciliation resulting from the end of Sri Lanka's long and bloody civil conflict in 2009. This resolution is not only vital to the prospects of peace and stability but is also a litmus test of the international community's resolve to protect international law and reaffirm respect for human rights. more..

Has India forgotten LTTE killed its soldiers? - Felix

Mar 21 (Island) Has India already forgotten the fact that it was the LTTE that killed over ten thousand of their soldiers, belonging to the Indian Peace Keeping Force, when it decided to vote for the US-led resolution against Sri Lanka for defeating the LTTE, Minister Felix Perera queried in Parliament yesterday. He said that in addition to those who had been killed, over 22,000 Indian soldiers were maimed or disabled by the LTTE during the IPKF missions. more..

What happened to the Cabraal roadmap?

Mar 21 (FT) Following is the statement issued by UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday: On 4 January this year we issued a statement on the state of the economy. Referring to that the ‘Road Map of Monetary and Financial Sector Policy for 2012’ unveiled by Governor Nivard Cabraal, the previous day we said it was “a nauseatingly one-sided propaganda attempt”. The statement issued under my name specifically stated: “It has no analyses of the possible scenarios for exchange rates and interest rates more..

Saudi Arabia offers Lanka aid to develop road networks

Mar 21 (AN) The draft agreement for the financial assistance was finalized in Riyadh on Monday during a meeting between the Vice Chairman of the Saudi Fund For Development (SFD) Yusuf Al-Bassam and Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Sri Lanka’s secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Planning, in Riyadh on Monday. During his day’s visit to Riyadh, Jayasundera also had discussions with Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Bazei at the latter’s office in Riyadh. more..

Best to abstain

Mar 21 (IE) With the annihilation of the LTTE leadership, the Sri Lankan govt and the Sinhala nationalists may have thought that the 80-year-old ethnic conflict in the country has been settled, fully and finally. But now the basic issues of the conflict have been resurrected in international fora, with allegations of war crimes and violations of human rights. The Sinhala-Tamil ethnic conflict ceased to be an internal affair of Sri Lanka in the 1980s — it first became a bilateral issue between India and Sri Lanka, and more..

Nugawaela Adikaram’s priceless ceremonial sword among stolen articles

Mar 21 (FT) Among the stolen artefacts from the Colombo Museum, are a priceless ceremonial sword with gold and silver inlayed cover, two gem studded walking stick handles and a belt with gold and silver work that belonged to Nugawela Adikaram, the CID informed the Colombo Chief Magistrate. The CID made this revelation before the Colombo Chief Magistrate Court by filing a report on the burglary that took place on 16 March night at the Colombo Museum. more..

Two die as paramedics continue strike

Mar 21 (Island) The ongoing strike by paramedics resulted in the death of two innocent patients, Health Minister Matihripala Sirisena said yesterday. He said that the striking workers should take responsibility for the two deaths reported from the Colombo National Hospital and Polonnaruwa Hospital yesterday. Minister said that the consultant doctors of the both hospitals had reported to him that the deaths were due to delay in laboratory reports which had been held up by the paramedics citing their trade union action. more..

New research vessel for hydrographic surveys

Mar 21 (DN) Within a few months, NARA will deploy a new research vessel fully geared to conduct hydrographic and oceanographic surveys and research in the maritime environment. It will be a great boost to NARA to cater to the nation's needs in keeping with the vision for future development of the country, said Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. He was addressing the inauguration of the 12th North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission held at the Hotel Taj Samudra yesterday. more..

Two monks stabbed to death at Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya

Mar 21 (CT) Two prominent monks attached to the Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya were stabbed to death by unknown assailants at the temple premises late last night. Pitigala Jinasiri Thera and Boralesgamuwe Gunarathana Thera were attacked by the intruders between 9:45 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. According to eye witnesses the monks had been killed by a lone assailant who had arrived in a white car. However, police were unable to confirm the fact. more..

Private sector joins anti-UNHRC chorus

Mar 21 (Island) The cream of Sri Lanka’s private sector, last evening thronged in their numbers, where around 5,000 people gathered outside the Nelumpokuna roundabout expressing solidarity in their clarion call for the United States to leave Sri Lanka alone in the context of the imminent Geneva resolution on accountability issues. The representatives of the corporate which gathered included: John Keells Holdings, Aitken Spence, Sri Lanka telecom, Mobitel, Lanka Bell, Dialog,Etisalat, Hilton Colombo, Mount Lavinia Hotel, Commercial Bank, more..

US resolution likely to be deferred – Ranil

Mar 21 (Island) The govt was negotiating with the US on the resolution at the UNHRC calling for accountability and reconciliation issues in Sri Lanka and it might not be put to vote this week, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told the UNP parliamentary group meeting in Colombo. He said that the resolution was to be deferred on the strict condition that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime undertook to speedily implement the LLRCs recommendations which inter alia call for the re-establishment of the independent police, election, public and more..

'Colombo to be turned into a world class city'

Mar 21 (DN) The ongoing development would see Colombo being transformed into a world-class city, that could be the centerpiece of Sri Lanka’s economic revival. At the same time, the govt would also develop cities and towns in the rest of the country, Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. “With the prevailing economic growth, a great deal of urban regeneration is very clearly taking place in more..

Eight are held over killing of charity worker Khuram Shaikh in Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (RO) A prominent politician is one of eight people being held by police in Sri Lanka after a Rochdale charity worker was killed there on Christmas day. Sampath Vidanapathirana, chairman of Tangalle village council, has been held in police custody since 32-year-old Khuram Shaikh was murdered in the coastal resort. Mr Shaikh was killed in the popular tourist destination of Tangalle in Sri Lanka as he tried to act as a peacemaker during a dispute outside a hotel. more..

IGP, Army Chief et al granted time to file objections

Mar 21 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday granted the IGP, the Commander of the Special Task Force, the Officer-in-Charge of the Keselwatte police station, the Army Commander and the Commissioner of Prisons time till April 27, 2012 to file objections to the Habeas Corpus application filed by Subramaniam Raman of Kelaniya, wife of Velaudan Mathias Chandrapalan alias Mervin allegedly abducted on February 13, 2012, by persons who came in a white van. more..

A mayor, The Army, and white van abductions

Mar 21 (SL) The attempt to abduct governing UPFA Chairman of the Kolonnawa Urban Council, Ravindra Udayashantha has taken an interesting twist with various versions being related. The Chairman and the army, who were involved in the attempted abduction, have made contradictory statements. The involvement of army personnel in the incident has raised concerns over the series of white van abductions that seem to be taking place yet again. more..

BIA not ranked

Mar 21 (LB) One of the busiest and upgraded airports in the Asian region, the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) is not ranked nor is it in the fray for any ranking even with the Airports Council International (ACI) which ranks airports based on safety, security, environment, airport service quality, airport economics, facilitation and technology. “While the physical infrastructure of BIA has improved vastly, the organization is now showing the ill effects of abuse of power for political and venal purposes, more..

Now, C4 claims 40,000 killed ‘in a matter of days’

Mar 21 (Island) The UK’s Channel 4 has alleged that over 40,000 Tamils were killed on the Vanni east front in a matter of days in May 2009. The US resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC will be put to vote. It is backed by several countries, including Norway and France will take place tomorrow. Geneva based sources said that the vote was likely to take place in the morning or early afternoon. Foreign Affairs correspondent Jonathan Miller made the more..

'We have made many mistakes'

Mar 21 (CI) Less than two weeks ago, when Mahela Jayawardene and the Sri Lankans landed in Dhaka after a spunky performance in the Commonwealth Bank series in Australia, he was asked what he had done to revitalise the side since taking the captaincy from Tillakaratne Dilshan. Jayawardene had played down the notion of a magic wand, pointing out some of the highs under Dilshan's leadership before bringing out the old cliche, more..

Bus owners threaten strike over increase in log sheet charges

Mar 21 (Island) Private bus operators yesterday threatened to go on strike in protest against the sudden log sheet charge hike. The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne warned of strong trade union action over the sudden increase of log-sheet charge to Rs. 1,000 from the current charge of Rs. 600 per month. He said it was unreasonable to increase the log-sheet charge all of a sudden. more..