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After Trinamool, now DMK impacts foreign policy

Mar 24 (Hindu) Pressure exerted by the United Progressive Alliance govt's southern comrade, the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham, forced India to vote in favour of the U.S.-sponsored censure motion against Sri Lanka on Thursday in the 47-member UNHRC in Geneva, urging that country to probe rights abuses in the war against the Tamil Tigers. But this is not the first time a UPA ally has influenced India's foreign policy. Last September, the Trinamool Congress, which routinely more..

'Knowledge bonds crucial for India-SL ties'

Mar 24 (DN) Partnership of knowledge is crucial in enhancing relations between India and Sri Lanka, said Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K Kantha. "Knowledge partnership is critical among friendly countries and it should be the core of the relationship between Sri Lankan and India," he said. The Indian envoy was speaking at Taj Samudra to mark International Students Day and Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) Day. Minister Maithripala Sirisena was the chief guest. more..

Respect for national sovereignty - a pillar of international relations - Russia

Mar 24 (DN) Respect for the principle of non - interference in internal affairs of sovereign states as it is declared in international law is one of the pillars of Russian foreign policy, Russian ambassador Vladimir P Mikhaylov said yesterday. Issuing a statement in connection with the deliberations in the UNHRC of the resolution on Sri Lanka, the Russian embassy said: "The question of national sovereignty of a state more..

Unity can counter int'l challenges - PM

Mar 24 (DN) Sri Lankans should shed differences and collectively face challenges from the international community, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne said. "No person can stand against the motherland in the face of challenges posed by the international community," he said. The Prime Minister said that unity is the best way to counter challenges posed by the international community against Sri Lanka. "We should take up this challenge unitedly," he said. more..

Colombo needs to change, Geneva or no Geneva

Mar 24 (Hindu) That the United States has no moral right to talk about human rights does not take away the urgent need to discuss the issues at the heart of the final resolution now in the making in Geneva. Irrespective of how it is voted at the Human Rights Council meeting on Friday, what needs to be debated is whether it will make a difference to the situation now prevailing in Sri Lanka. In all probability, it will not. The reasons are not too far to seek. more..

Call to boycott American products in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (Hindu) The day after the vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC on its ‘dismal progress' on post-conflict issues, Colombo saw more protests on Friday. One organisation distributed pamphlets calling for boycott of U.S. products as it sponsored the resolution. Elsewhere, Minister Mervyn Silva told demonstrators he would break the limbs of journalists who went abroad and made statements against the country. “I'm the one who chased one of those journalists more..

Docs insured against occupational hazards

Mar 24 (Island) In a bid to protect interns, an Insurance Scheme for occupational hazards was introduced yesterday. On January 20, 2012 the GMOA had written to Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena explaining the necessity of implementing an Insurance Scheme. Following the letter Minister Sirisena had a discussion with the union and agreed to implement an Insurance Scheme for interns as they were not entitled to a salary or insurance scheme, the GMOA said. more..

97 member Lankan delegation at India Engineering Sourcing Show

Mar 24 (Island) A group of 97 business delegates from Sri Lanka are visiting Mumbai to participate in India Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) being organized by Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) from 22-24 March, 2012. The Sri Lankan delegation is visiting this Show with the objective to forge business partnership and identify potential suppliers to source Textile Machinery, Printing Machinery, more..

UNP: US resolution not inimical to Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (Island) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella yesterday said that the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the just concluded sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva was not inimical to this country. "This is certainly not inimical to Sri Lanka and this is for the benefit of all Sri Lankans," Kiriella said last night. He said that the resolution had referred to the recommendations of the LLRC which stressed the need to investigate widespread more..

Sri Lanka thanks Kingdom for UN vote

Mar 24 (AN) Sri Lanka thanked the Kingdom and other GCC countries for voting in her favor at the UN summit for human rights held in Geneva. The United States brought a resolution before the UN rights council urging Sri Lanka’s govt to investigate allegations of human rights abuses and to seek reconciliation. Minister Rishath Bathiudeen said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his govt is thankful to the Kingdom, Kuwait and Qatar for supporting Sri Lanka on the resolution. more..

Sri Lanka visit of Indian MPs under cloud

Mar 24 (TOI) The impending visit of an all-party delegation of Indian MPs to Sri Lanka in April is now doubtful after India's vote in favour of a US-sponsored resolution on war crimes in the island nation which was adopted at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. "Whether the visit will happen now or will it will be delayed, we can't say at this juncture," Congress Rajya Sabha MP and president of the Tamil Nadu Congress unit B S Gnanadesikan told TOI. more..

'No tolerance of interference in SL’s affairs'

Mar 24 (DN) Sri Lanka, as an independent country would not give in to any arbitrary interference in its affairs. The govt’s policy in respect of all matters will continue to be guided by the vital interests and well being of the people, President asserted yesterday. Referring to the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC, he said that Sri Lanka’s narrow defeat in Geneva would please the LTTE proxies and the diaspora but not diaspora but not the people of Sri Lanka. more..

India a 'loser' in Geneva, says Sri Lankan media

Mar 24 (TOI) A widely-respected Sri Lankan daily led a tirade against New Delhi describing India as "a loser in Geneva, though it helped the US win" on Friday for voting in favour of a resolution demanding war crimes probe in the Island nation at the UNHRC. The Island in an editorial said the move would embolden Tamil politicians to pressure the centre and even resurrect the LTTE in India. It said New Delhi may have extricated itself from a domestic imbroglio at Sri Lanka's expense at more..

India is too influential to be neutral, says rights body

Mar 24 (TOI) India joined 40 countries to condemn "sharply escalating" and widespread violations committed by govt forces in Syria on Friday, a day after voting against Sri Lanka. India's stand against Sri Lanka and Syria has come in for unqualified praise from human rights organizations. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch (HRW), a global human rights body, said India did the right thing and would be on the right side of history. more..

Sri Lanka rejects UN war resolution amid anger

Mar 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka Friday rejected a UN resolution urging it to seek external help in probing alleged war crimes committed during an onslaught against the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels nearly three years ago. Acting Foreign Minister Dew Gunasekera told parliament that Sri Lanka will resist outside help to investigate violations of humanitarian law, a key demand in the US-initiated Human Rights Council resolution in Geneva Thursday. more..

SL has potential to be regional maritime hub – Rajitha

Mar 24 (Island) Sri Lanka has a very good potential to develop into a maritime hub in the region, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. He was speaking at the inauguration of the 12th North Indian Ocean Hydrographic Commission (NIOHC) meet which began in Colombo, on Tuesday. He said that NIOHC and all other international and regional gatherings enhance the international and bilateral cooperation including knowledge transferring and trade links, which will lead to more..

CEB engineers get their pound of flesh

Mar 24 (Island) Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundra has given in to the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) demand that the salary ratio between the management and non-management grades be restored. Following the recent 25 per cent salary increase given to all CEB employees, the earlier ratio had eroded. The union bypassed Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and demanded an increment eight times that of the lowest grades to restore the ratio. more..

'NGO conspiracy to create anarchy'

Mar 24 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday exposed a major conspiracy involving NGOs to create anarchy in the country by launching a spate of strikes in the public sector during the 19th session of the UNHRC. He said that the govt has received reliable information that certain NGOs had directly funded trade union leaders to organise the working massesto demonstrate against the govt to show the world that there is worker unrest in Sri Lanka. more..

'Knowing Dilshan does not make make me a match-fixer'

Mar 24 (TOI) Nupur Mehta defiantly dares everyone to prove match-fixing allegations against her, even as she hints that she may have more cricketer friends. Q: Everyday, there's a new story about you... A: Well, I'd like to make it very clear that all accusations levelled against me by the Sunday Times London edition, of me being involved in the Indo-Pak semi-final match-fixing scam, are not true. Now, they are putting up articles on my personal more..

Palestinian issue: US loss at UNHRC takes gloss off win against SL

Mar 24 (Island) The failure on the part of the US to thwart a resolution on the ‘right of the Palestinian people to self-determination’ at the just concluded 19th sessions of the UNHRC has taken the gloss out of its success against Sri Lanka. Of the 47 members of the UNHRC, 46 countries voted for the resolution, leaving the world’s solitary superpower isolated at the rights council. more..

Medical reps restricted from govt. hospitals

Mar 24 (Island) A special circular prohibiting medical sales representatives from visiting State-run hospitals has been sent to all hospital directors by the Secretary to the Health Ministry, Dr. Ravindra Ruberu. The decision was due to a deluge of complaints from the general public and the medical personnel that such sales representatives visit during working hours to promote their drugs to doctors and more..

Tamil Diaspora asked to return and assist their people

Mar 24 (Island) SLFP Organizer for the Killinochchi District Mrs. Geethanjali Naguleswaran yesterday appealed to the Tamil Diaspora not to use their money for negative action against their own in their motherland, but to come and help uplift the lives of their kith and kin who praying fervently to make "tomorrow a better day for the next generation of Tamils". "It would be a meaningless exercise to talk about all what may have or have not happened in the past. more..

US resolution has set a very dangerous precedent - SL

Mar 24 (Island) Sri Lanka has, in a note prepared by Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam for the African group, as requested by External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris, warned the UNHRC members of the dangers of the US resolution on Sri Lanka. Working with an initial draft provided by the Advisor to Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, she was able to get this done late March 19 night, so it was also available for distribution the next morning to a meeting of more..

Sri Lanka corporate earnings growth seen losing steam

Mar 24 (LBO) Double-digit earnings growth among listed companies in a post-war economic boom in Sri Lanka appears to have ended according to the latest quarterly figures, a report by a stock brokerage said. Earnings growth was led by the financial services sector with the health care sector also posting good growth, Lanka Securities said in its quarterly earnings review for the December 2011 quarter. more..

Financial sanctions by US on SL likely-report

Mar 24 (DM) Sri Lanka is among eleven countries which may be subjected to American financial sanctions for failing to cut on oil imports from Iran, Russia Today newspaper revealed. The US State Department has revealed the list of 12 countries including Sri Lanka. The number of countries was mentioned earlier on Tuesday, as Washington announced a penalty waiver for Japan and 10 EU counties which complied with American demands and more..

Sri Lanka govt denies UN charge of intimidating activists

Mar 24 (LBO) The Sri Lankan govt today denied the United Nations charge of intimidating pro-Tamil activists at the UNHRC in Geneva. The UN human rights commissioner's office has accused Sri Lankan delegates of intimidating NGO activists with what it calls "unacceptable levels of threats and harassment". The activists, many of whom work in Sri Lanka, were present at the UNHRC in Geneva. more..

Rajapaksa balances his rhetoric

Mar 24 (Hindu) In his first comments after a resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva, President Mahinda Rajapaksa balanced the need to play to the gallery with the compulsions of on-the-ground realities. While asserting that Sri Lanka would not tolerate any arbitrary interference in its affairs, he refrained from singling out countries that had supported the resolution. It was abundantly clear that Mr. Rajapaksa had taken a considered view of more..

TN announces welfare measures for Tamil refugees

Mar 24 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday ordered extension of the government’s comprehensive health insurance scheme to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees and allocated Rs 25 crore for improving basic facilities in the camps in the state where they are lodged. She ordered extension of the scheme, presently available to poor people of the state, as part of measures taken by her government for the welfare of the Tamil refugees, an official release said. more..

Editorial: Geneva verdict and Karunanidhi's cravings

Mar 24 (DM) For a country like the United States, passing a resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka or any other country is no big deal given its economic and political hold on the rest of the world. Whatever the interpretations given by the govt, the fifteen meber states who opposed to the resolution and the eight countries that refrained from voting have not only left little space for Sri Lanka to breathe but also have stood up to America’s pressure instead of more..

Gunasekera 95 guides Canada to victory in Dubai T20

Mar 24 (LR) In-form Canada opener Ruvindu Gunasekera smashed a sparkling 65-ball 95 in an innings that included six boundaries and six sixes, while team-mate Hiral Patel added a quick-fire 43 as the side punished the Danish bowlers to make 178 in its 20 overs at the ICC World T20 Qualifier tournament in Dubai. In reply, Denmark’s Rizwan Mahmood and Freddie Klokker battled to chase down the big target, after Henry Osinde had removed more..

Provincial minister involved in day light plunder

Mar 24 (LT) The land belonging to Sri Lanka Postal Department where Mahiyangana Post Office is situated was seized on the 22nd by the Minister of Agriculture of Uva Provincial Council and leveled using bako machines states Lanka Postal Services Union. The Post Master of Mahiyangana Post Office Senadheera has made a complaint (No. CIB/22/282) to Mahiyangana Police. Despite the complaint being made at 11.20 a.m., the police had not taken any step to prevent the more..

553 Varsity students fell sick during training: S.B.

Mar 24 (DM) As many as 553 university students fell sick during the leadership training, of them 294 were down with fever, Parliament was informed yesterday. Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake revealed this in the House in response to a question by UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara. He said that six students were found to be carrying infectious diseases, two suffered fractures, 20 had abdominal pains while 231 hadgone down with minor illnesses. more..

WikiLeaks: “I haven’t had an easy time with Rajapaksa brothers”

Mar 24 (CT) “Ambassador met with Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe January 30 to share with him a list of suggested actions the Government could take to address the human rights situation. The deeply frustrated Minister (strictly protect throughout) expressed concern that the President and his two brothers have rendered his human rights and humanitarian access efforts ineffective and that he would not sacrifice his political career to more..

Keheliya speaks up

Mar 24 (SM) Certain local groups that sided with foreign elements to attempt a sabotage of the efforts to defeat terrorism continued their campaign in Geneva with the cohort of the LTTE agenda, said minister Keheliya Rambukwella. He has told ‘Dinamina’ that these local groups have betrayed the motherland for dollars after enjoying free education and health services, and they are worse than the foreign elements. Mr. Rambukwella has spoken to the newspaper over the phone from Australia, more..

Police to probe Mervyn’s threat

Mar 24 (CG) The police are to investigate the statement made by Minister Mervyn Silva in Kiribathgoda yesterday where he had threatened to break the bones of some human rights activists and journalists. Silva had also claimed that former convener of the Free Media Movement (FMM) Podala Jayantha, had to flee the country because of him. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana, when contacted by Colombo Gazette, said that the purported statement made by the Minister will be investigated. more..

ජිනීවා යෝජනා සහ ශ්žරී ලංකාව

Ranil’s bodyguard dies

Mar 24 (CG) A bodyguard of opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe died this morning after suffering a heart attack. The police said that the bodyguard, a policeman, had died while taking part in a training exercise with several other officers. He had gone on a morning jog with the rest of the team during the training session but minutes later suffered a chest pain and died on admission to hospital. The bodyguard was said to have been with the opposition more..

Resolution respects Lankan sovereignty: Indian envoy

Mar 24 (NDTV) A day after India voted against Sri Lanka and supported US' resolution, India's envoy to the United Nations Dilip Sinha in Geneva tells NDTV that the resolution ensures Sri Lanka's sovereignty is respected. Here is the entire conversation: NDTV: It's being said that India had domestic compulsions which is why it voted for this draft resolution, but doesn't India also subscribe to the spirit of this resolution? Dilip Sinha: This resolution is titled 'Promoting more..

Paddy farmers hit below the belt

Mar 24 (DM) The Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry said 20,512 metric tons of paddy had been purchased from farmers in the Maha season at over Rs.550 million. The Ministry further noted there was more paddy bought than expected from areas like Amapara, Killinochchi, Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Trincomalee. However farming organisations disputed the government’s claims and charged that most farmers were compelled to sell below the guaranteed more..

England monitor Broad fitness

Mar 24 (CI) Stuart Broad did not bowl during England's first training session in Galle to protect an ankle injury he picked up earlier in the tour but is still expected to be available for the first Test against Sri Lanka which starts on Monday. Broad tripped on a boundary rope shortly before the first warm-up match against a President's XI in Colombo and was pulled out of the game. However, he was part of the team for the second practice game where he sent down 23 overs against more..