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UN resolution on war crimes adopted: 24 in favour, 15 against. 8 abstained

Mar 22 (CT) The resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted a short while ago with 24 votes in favor, 14 against and 8 abstained. Phillipines: The delegation of Phillipines stated that technical assistance had been aimed at developing countries forcing them into submission and that it has been used as an instrument to pressurize these countries. The delegation voted against the resolution. Thailand: The delegation of Thailand stated more..

Foreign Direct Investments doubled in 2011

Mar 22 (GDI) Despite negative predictions made by “Doomsday Pundits” in the Opposition saying that the economy will collapse and several thousands in the private sector will face retrenchment, Sri Lanka’s direct foreign investments doubled last year and employment in the apparel sector alone increased by 24,826. This was disclosed by the Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene at the Cabinet Decisions announcement Media Conference held at the Information Department this morning. more..

State media must not be part of hate campaign – NPC

Mar 22 (SM) There is an ongoing media campaign against some key Human Rights workers and the NGOs who have spoken out in favour of the proposed resolution on Sri Lanka at the sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva, says the National Peace Council. The campaign to vilify and incite hatred towards these NGOs and human rights activists in the context of the sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva is of particular concern as it involves the use of the state controlled media, says more..

Strike action by hospital employees called off

Mar 22 (NF) The strike action launched by the junior staff and several other categories of employees of several hospitals has been called off. Convener of the Joint Health Trade Union Committee, W.A.D. Wimalaratne stated that the strike ended as the relevant officials had addressed the demands of the strikers. The strike was launched last afternoon demanding solutions to eleven issues. The day to day activities of a number of hospitals were disrupted as a result. more..

India votes against Lanka

Mar 22 (NDTV) India is among 24 countries that voted against Sri Lanka today at a session of the UNHRC in Geneva. The UN's top human rights body has passed a resolution, sponsored by the US, that Sri Lanka must properly investigate alleged war crimes during its 26-year conflict with the rebel Tamil Tigers. 15 countries including China and Russia backed Sri Lanka, which had rejected the resolution, saying it unduly interfered in the country's domestic affairs and could more..

UNHRC on Sri Lanka

Possibility of new opportunities – successful UN resolution: AHRC

Mar 22 (AHRC) The successful UN Resolution on reconciliation and accountability should pave the way for a new period of commitment to cure the wounds of a long conflict, caused upon individuals as well as on the institutional structure of democracy and the rule of law in Sri Lanka. A responsible approach to dealing with the past violence cannot under any circumstances damage any nation or its people. In fact the capacity to understand the past and more..

Museum loss Rs. 44 mil. due to theft

Mar 22 (CT) The estimated value of the stolen items from the National Museum is over Rs. 44.4 million, Minister Dr. Jagath Balasuriya informed Parliament today. In response to the special statement made by DNA MP, Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, the Minister said that no matter how much of security personnel is stationed if a robbery is to take place it will happen because even the world famous Monalisa painting was stolen amidst much more advanced security measures. Balasuriya said that more security officers have been requested from more..

Sri Lanka not to change policies despite outcome in Geneva

Mar 22 (Xinhua) Whatever the outcome in the UNHRC session in Geneva is, Sri Lanka will not change its policies and ongoing projects. Acting Cabinet spokesman Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena on Thursday said that the conduct of the govt would not be changed depending on Thursday's decision in Geneva. "Even before the U.S. backed resolution was introduced Sri Lanka had acted on various decisions to bring about reconciliation at the end of more..

Sri Lanka should punish civil war crimes: U.N. forum

Mar 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka should ensure government troops who committed war crimes during the final stages of its war against Tamil rebels are brought to justice, the UNHRC said on Thursday. Despite heavy lobbying by a 70-strong team from Colombo, the Geneva-based forum adopted a resolution put forward by the United States urging the Sri Lanka govt to implement the recommendations of an official Sri Lankan probe. That commission called for the prosecution of more..

SLC stands by Dilshan over Nupur Mehta association

Mar 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Thursday said that it will stand by its cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan over media stories linking him to a Bollywood actress. A story in a local newspaper, 'Daily Mirror', on Thursday claimed that the little known Bollywood actress, Nupur Mehta, whose name surfaced in match-fixing allegations, has claimed to have been dating Sri Lankan batsman Dilshan. According to the daily, the starlet had admitted to have met more..

Sri Lanka responds to adoption of resolution

Mar 22 (CT) Minister G.L. Peiris today commenting on the resolution against Sri Lanka being adopted stated that voting at the Human Rights Council is now not determined by the merits of a particular issue but by strategic alliances. He said that it also depends on domestic political issues in other countries which have nothing to do with the subject matter of a Resolution or the best interests of the country to which the Resolution relates. more..

UNHRC vote could rouse Sinhala rage and weaken India’s hand

Mar 22 (FP) For all the bluster and hectoring around the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka, the skies haven’t fallen on Colombo just because the Council voted on the US-sponsored resolution. For a start, the resolution for “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka” is a non-binding resolution. And a key amendment that was made to the final paragraph in order to get India on vote in favour of the resolution directs the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human more..

Vote over, now get on with reforms: SL activists

Mar 22 (FP) The director of the CPA in Sri Lanka Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu has welcomed the passage of the US sponsored resolution calling on Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of a govt commission to promote reconciliation. Speaking to Firstpost shortly after the vote was adopted in Geneva, Dr Saravanamuttu said that hopefully now that the vote was over, the country could “get on with the job” of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC. more..

MEA explains why India voted against Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (IBN) The 47-member UNHRC in Geneva adopted the resolution against Sri Lanka on alleged war crimes on Thursday with 24 countries voting in favour, 15 against and eight abstaining. India also voted in favour of the US-backed resolution. The resolution urged Colombo to investigate alleged war crimes during the last stage of its military action against the LTTE. The Ministry of External Affairs issued a press release explaining why India more..

England win Sri Lanka tour match

Mar 22 (BBC) England chased 359 to beat the Sri Lankan Development XI by four wickets in their final warm-up game ahead of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka. The home side declared their second innings on 199-4 at lunch to give England a run-chase of 359 in 64 overs. Kevin Pietersen hit a run-a-ball 52 to show England's intentions while Ravi Bopara (66), Matt Prior (84) and Samit Patel (72) kept the scoreboard moving. However, Bopara has a side strain and is "unlikely to more..

Sri Lanka rupee edges up on treasury comments

Mar 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee closed a tad firmer on Thursday after the island nation's treasury secretary forecast the currency would stabilise at 125 to the dollar, dealers said. An hour before the market closed, Treasury Secretary P.B Jayasundera said the rupee should strengthen to that level once seasonal importer demand for dollars ends in mid-April. The rupee closed at 130.10/130.30 a dollar, edging up from Wednesday's close of 130.25/130.50. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 22.03.2012

Police intelligence names 50 LG politicians as drug traffickers

Mar 22 (SM) Police intelligence has prepared a list of more than 50 local govt politicians involved in drug trafficking, with the support of several deputy ministers of the govt. The list, handed over to the Police Headquarters, has named an MP of Colombo and four deputy ministers from Gampaha, Ratnapura, Kalutara and Puttalam as those who are harbouring the drug traffickers. Members of Kolonnawa urban council, Kotikawatte-Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha, more..

PM: Weighed pros, cons before voting against Sri Lanka at UN

Mar 22 (IE) Overcoming its dithering, India today voted for a US-sponsored resolution at the UN's top human rights body censuring Sri Lanka for alleged rights violations during the war against LTTE. India had initially shown reluctance to vote on a nation-specific resolution but had to change its stand under severe pressure from political parties in Tamil Nadu, particularly DMK which had threatened to pull out its ministers from the UPA govt at the Centre. more..

Clinton welcomes UN resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (AFP) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday welcomed a UN resolution urging Sri Lanka to "credibly investigate" allegations of war crimes during its battle against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009. Thursday's Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva "encourages the government of Sri Lanka to continue on the path toward reconciliation following 27 years of civil war," the chief US diplomat said in a statement. more..

Pakistan wins Asia Cup by beating Bangladesh 2 runs

Mar 22 (CI) When their gut-wrenching disappointment dies down, Bangladesh will remember that they were just one stroke away from the Asia Cup title. And see it as clinching evidence of their progress. When their sense of relief passes, Pakistan will remember that they were tested to the hilt, but came through somehow. And see it as a confirmation of their renowned ability to win the big moments. But for the moment, Bangladesh will be gutted; gutted at what could have been, more..

India works to tone down anti-Lanka resolution at UN

Mar 22 (PTI) With an aim of striking a balance, India worked behind the scenes to tone down the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN while ensuring dignity for ethnic Tamils, an act Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said was in line with the govt's stand. Singh said India wanted to ensure that concern was expressed to enable minority Tamils in that country to get justice while there was no infringement on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka. "One has to weigh pros and cons. more..

Sri Lanka unfazed by U.N. rights resolution

Mar 22 (IPS) As the UNHRC voted in, Thursday, a resolution asking Colombo to act on recommendations made by its own LLRC, Buddhist prayers reverberated through the Sri Lankan capital. "It is a resolution that encourages Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of its own LLRC and to make concerted efforts at achieving the kind of meaningful accountability upon which lasting reconciliation efforts can be built," United States ambassador to more..

Five ‘Take Away’ tips for Channel Four

Mar 23 (NS) The big news of the week was the final release of the much touted Channel Four (C4) video. There were, and I suppose still are expectations, it’s going to go ‘viral,’ but my sense is, no, not really. However, it’s pretty close to that viral edge though, and I think my tips are really going to help the next show in the series. I must say I got all my tips from the masterpiece viral video, Kony 2012 a 53 min. video about an INGO, which has 78 million hits on YouTube as more..

Channel 4’s - A Review

Mar 23 (NS) Channel 4’s new doc is still malicious agitprop, wrapped around a seed of truth. People suffered and died, but Channel 4 – like Kony 2012 to a degree – is too quick to use that suffering to further a simplistic agenda. They completely ignore the history and context of Sri Lanka’s civil war and instead offer up war porn, strategically staged by the LTTE, proposing the decapitation of Sri Lanka’s elected government and military as a solution. I think the Channel 4 doc is more..

Media ethics: Where do we draw the line?

Mar 23 (SO) “The Govt always respects the right to disapprove, disagree and completely reject an opinion, but nobody has the right to insult another”, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella had said at a ceremony at the Ministry premises to hand over registration licences to 27 websites. The Minister said that the Govt has always maintained cordial relations with media organisations and noted that the Ministry has to play a pivotal role in balancing more..

Thinking through and beyond the Sandahiru Saya

Mar 23 (CT) The construction of the Sandahiru Stupa in Anuradhapura, which we are told, is the “first among nine such Stupas to come up in all the nine provinces, giving due recognition to the memory of those War Heroes who defended the country from threat of separation, sacrificing their precious lives for the sake of our future generation,” raises inevitably a question about ‘history.’ Have Sri Lankans always done this kind of thing, after a war? Is this an age old more..

Choosing What to Believe

Mar 23 (GV) With the airing of Channel 4’s new film, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, a follow-up to their first one Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields first broadcast nearly a year ago, there is bound to be a renewed interest in the matter of alleged war-crimes concerning the Sri Lankan Government. Because, let’s face it: Channel 4’s first video came and went, and while there were about two weeks of discussion around it, mostly everyone eventually forgot about it. Now, with the emergence of the new film and more..

Uncle Sam a guiding hand to 24-year-old Parliamentarian

Mar 23 (ST) ‘Sam Wijesinha- His Parliament, His World’, a book paying tribute to the landmark contribution to the country by the former Secretary General of Parliament was launched at the BMICH on Monday before a distinguished gathering. We publish here extracts from the book, drawn from chapters by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe reflecting on their own personal relationships with the man who is a legend more..

In memory of our police heroes

Mar 23 (Island) Since March 21, 1864, the day on which Police Constable Sabhan sacrificed his life in performing his duties, thousands of police officers have paid the supreme sacrifice in the service of the Nation. This date has been set apart as the police commemoration day. Reflecting on the circumstances of the demise of these officers, honouring their memory and paying silent tribute is only a part of this ritual. The significance of a Service Commemoration for the dead lies not so much in the ceremony of the occasion but more..

e-waste management in Sri Lanka: Private sector to the rescue

Mar 23 (SO) The haphazard manner of discarding electronic waste which is detrimental to the environment should be stopped. The waste could be given to collecting institutions for recycling, waste management specialist Nalin Gunaratna said. The Sunday Observer interviewed Gunaratna on electronic waste management and environmental hazards. Q: What does e-waste stand for? A: People use various electronic items such as hand phones, air conditioners, radios, television sets, more..

If India had been with Sri Lanka the vote in Geneva may have been Different

Mar 23 (DBS) The final scorecard on the giant screen at the UNHRC read 24 yes votes and 15 no votes. Eight countries abstained. Thus came to an end weeks of Sri Lanka’ diplomatic efforts in Geneva, Colombo and other world capitals. But the battle has not ended yet. There will be more work to be done, more steps to be taken and more fine-tuning of diplomacy. Sri Lanka feels that it in fact had the support of 23 countries more..

Editorial: A defeat as good as victory

Mar 23 (Island) The diplomatic badger hunt in Geneva is over. The cornered badger bravely fought the mastiffs of neo-imperialism, savage in the fray, and went down fighting yesterday. It certainly was a defeat as good as victory! The US, the EU and India won against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. They secured 24 votes for the US resolution as opposed to Sri Lanka's 15 with eight abstaining. The US and its friends should be ashamed that they, in spite of their combined might, could muster only 24 votes. more..

Sri Lanka’s Unique ethnic problem

Mar 23 (Island) Its uniqueness is such that I even wonder whether we can today appropriately talk of a Tamil ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. It might be more appropriate to talk of an Indian Tamil ethnic problem. If there were no Tamils in India and there were no Tamil Nadu, we can be certain that Delhi and the rest of the world won’t care two hoots about what happens to the Sri Lankan Tamils. I am using the term "unique" in its strict dictionary sense as meaning something that is unmatched, unparalleled, having no like or equal. more..

Jayalalithaa welcomes India's vote

Mar 23 (Hindu) Welcoming India's vote in favour of the US-sponsored resolution before the UNHRC on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa regretted that it had been “very indecisive on this very sensitive issue, which is an inherent emotive issue for Tamils all over the world”. In statement, she said that the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a resolution in June last year, urging the Govt of India to more..

Apparent loss of public confidence in the supremacy of the rule of law in Sri Lanka

Mar 23 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight today on the deterioration of the supremacy of the rule of law in Sri Lanka, whereas Sri Lankan society would aspire for the maintenance of such supremacy. It was reported in the media recently that tensions erupted in Sri Lanka’s gem mining town of Kahawatta in the Ratnapura district when angry mobs set fire to several houses which belonged to the more..

Suspect on bail shot dead

Mar 23 (Island) A 30-year-old bachelor was gunned down in Grandpass on Wednesday by an unidentified gunman between 8.00 p.m. and 8.20 p.m. Police spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said that Mohotti Arachchilage Prasannakumara aka ‘Ukku Patiya’ had been shot dead at ‘Weligoda Watta’ in the Grandpass Police division. The killer had fled the scene. He said that the victim succumbed to his injuries on admission to the National Hospital, Colombo. The victim, who was not a permanent resident of more..

Karunanidhi’s ‘Eelam dream’ is a curse on Lanka Tamils

Mar 23 (FP) Among politicians in Tamil Nadu, there is now a headlong scramble to claim credit for the Indian govt’s vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC proceedings in Geneva on Thursday. DMK president M Karunanidhi, who has elevated political blackmail to a high art and who held the UPA to ransom by threatening to withdraw support if the govt did not support the US-sponsored resolution in Geneva, has reason to believe that his pressure tactics worked. more..

Geneva: forewarned, but not forearmed

Mar 23 (DM) Did Sri Lanka ignore the warning signs of the defeat in Geneva last evening? ‘Strategic foresight’ is what it is termed in English, though the French who invented it in the ’50s, call it ‘strategic prospective’. Strategic analysis and anticipation – not to be confused with ‘security’-- are major aspects of it. Other events can be anticipated if preceded by accurate analysis. The Indian turnaround and its effects were not only predictable; they were predicted and therefore preventable, and yet weren’t. more..