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Murder in the temple

Mar 25 (ST) Two weeks ago Harsha Manjushri Keerthi Perera Basnayake Nilame of the Vapikaramaya Temple in Galgamuwa, Kurunegala District, called a youth known to him promising to find him employment. They met in Colombo. Keeping to his promise he found employment for 21-year-old Suresh, a resident of Embilipitiya, as a labourer at a worksite in Mirihana. They met regularly thereafter. The Basnayake Nilame told Suresh that he needed some money urgently and more..

Govt. should give up extravagant projects to stabilize the economy

Mar 25 (Island) Dr Nimal Sandaratne, a leading analyst in economics, says govt should undertake infrastructure projects that would bring fast economic benefits. Therefore, it is better to focus on good and economically viable projects that would bring quick benefits for public. "If any project is important and would positively impact the public at large, the govt then should go ahead with it. Apart from that, giving up extravagant projects at this juncture will help the economy to more..

Sally slams Milinda, Maharoof

Mar 25 (SL) UPFA Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) member Azath Sally slammed UPFA CMC members Milinda Moragoda and Mohommad Maharoof over their failure to protest against the US sponsored Resolution on Sri Lanka submitted at the UNHRC. Sally recalled that when he attempted to resign from his post in the CMC President Mahinda Rajapaksa had urged him to stay. Sally says that as a result he now continues to operate as an independent member and not a member of the UPFA in the CMC. more..

Oil imports: US gives concessions to Lanka

Mar 25 (ST) Hard on the heels of the US sponsored resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva this week, Sri Lanka has gained a concession from the US on restrictions imposed on fuel imports from Iran. United States, which imposed sanctions on Iran, has asked Sri Lanka to scale down crude oil imports from Iran for the current year only by 15 per cent. Minister, Susil Premajayantha said such a reduction meant Sri Lanka would not face a total ban immediately. more..

US official here for talks on labour rights

Mar 25 (ST) Top US Trade official Michael J. Delaney is visiting Sri Lanka next week for continuing discussions on the labour rights petition against Sri Lanka, officials said. Mr Delaney, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for South Asia, is the first-high level US official to visit Colombo after the US resolution on Sri Lanka’s human rights situation was passed on Thursday at the UNHRC session in Geneva. Palitha Athukorala, Progress Union President, said unions had been invited for a discussion with Mr Delaney on more..

Golden Key case to proceed in Commercial High Court

Mar 25 (Island) Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake last week ordered that the case now before the Commercial High Court (CHC) for the liquidation of Golden Key (GK) be proceeded with and directed that the respondents in the Fundamental Rights (FR) plea in the Supreme Court (SC) file objections before May 15, 2012. Granting time till June 8 for the petitioners in the FR application to submit counter objections, she noted that the CHC action filed by a party for the winding up of GK, more..

After Geneva, government must evolve clear-cut policy

Mar 25 (ST) Like the proverbial story, the UNHRC laboured hard like a mountain, and brought forth by majority vote a mouse or a 'non-binding,' seemingly toothless US backed resolution on Sri Lanka on Thursday. Yet, the dangers it portend cannot be underestimated. For the first time, a UN body has brought the country under its microscope and the international community's scrutiny. For many days before the final document emerged, in Geneva, more..

Rs. 43 billion loss expected by the power and energy ministry

Mar 25 (SL) The Power and Energy Ministry will stand to lose Rs. 43 billion for the year 2012, based on the situation after fuel and electricity tariff hikes, it is learned. Figures provided by the Ministry showed that the estimated income was expected to be a little over Rs. 175 billion. On the other hand, expenditure as a result of increased prices is expected to rise to Rs. 219 billion for the year 2012. Meanwhile, the cost per kilowatt of electricity is Rs. 21.70, but more..

Ministry rejects 50 applications of 50 websites

Mar 25 (SL) The govt has rejected the applications of 50 websites which had sought to register with the Media Ministry. Media Ministry Secretary W.B. Ganegala said that 100 applications had been received for registration but only 50 were approved. He said that the 50 which were rejected did not have the required information or had false information. The Media Ministry, through the applications it issued, had sought information on the website Editor, reporters and contact details. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Mar 25 (ST) The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, named after one of the country's illustrious Foreign Ministers, periodically arranges public lectures beneficial not only to the academia and officials but also students of foreign affairs. The one due on Wednesday March 28 was to be from Michael J. Delaney, Assistant United States Trade Representative for South Asia. He was to speak on "The Role of Economic Development in Fostering National Reconciliation." more..

'We're all off the booze... it can help beat Sri Lanka heat'

Mar 25 (DM) James Anderson and his Test teammates are ready to make what previous generations of England tourists would have considered the ultimate sacrifice in their attempt to retain the world No 1 spot in sweltering Sri Lanka - a fortnight on the wagon. The forecast for the first Test starting tomorrow in Galle and the second of the two-match series commencing in Colombo four days after the first finishes more..

PBJ defends Cabraal at Parl. Consultative Committee

Mar 25 (Island) Treasury and Finance Ministry Secretary, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera, last week vigorously defended Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal at a meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee to the Finance Ministry. Cabraal who usually attends these meetings was unavoidably absent due to a family wedding. Observers regarded his absence as fortuitous as Jayasundera, perceived by some to be an opponent of more..

Army holds first ever military tattoo in former war-zone

Mar 25 (SLA) Erasing the memories of the orgy of violence that dominated their lives for over three decades, the Jaffna populace, have now begun to reap the harvests of freedom and live as they wish by trying to overcome their string of traumatic experiences and bitter gun culture. This was amply affirmed once again on Friday, judged by the packed and unprecedented crowds that thronged Jaffna’s Alfred Doraiappa Stadium when the Army for the first time in Jaffna’s history, more..

Museum break-in: Robbing spree in the dark of the night

Mar 25 (ST) Serious lapses in security arrangements at the National Museum have emerged as investigations continue into last weeks’ robbery where priceless items were removed from the building. Two watchers along with a supervisor were on duty at the time of the robbery at the 135-year-old Museum spread over four and a half acres of land. The Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) system had been malfunctioning for more..

'Blatant politicization at UNHRC'

Mar 25 (CT) The Sri Lankan envoy in Geneva Tamara Kunanayakam in her comments following the conclusion of the voting on the US resolution said the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka constitutes a negative precedent that challenges the core values of the Human Rights Council, and reflects a blatant case of politicization that takes the Council hostage to the hidden agendas of the mighty. Kunanayakam in her statement to more..

Official committee report says Govt agencies misled by school authorities

Mar 25 (ST) The entire process of setting up the controversial private medical school at Malabe was flawed, a high-powered official committee has charged. The committee, headed by Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu, said the private medical school authorities particularly its founder Dr. Neville Fernando had misled Govt agencies and despite repeated warnings by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) regarding more..

Govt dissociates itself from boycott of US products

Mar 25 (ST) The Govt yesterday dissociated itself from a campaign launched to boycott the use of US products in Sri Lanka. Govt spokesman Lakshman Yapa said the govt did not encourage the campaign which had been launched against US products. “This is not the govt policy and we are not involved in the campaign which is on”, he said. A group calling itself Mavubima Surakimu (Protect the Nation) continued a more..

Free landing at Mahinda’s Airport

Mar 25 (SL) In an attempt to woo international passenger airlines to the new Mattala international airport, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to grant free landing and parking for the airlines during the first year of operations. The Mattala international airport is scheduled to be opened on November 18 this year, the day the President celebrates his birthday and third anniversary since he took office for the second term. The original deadline was June 2013 but the government has ordered more..

SL rejects claim of Indian ‘helping hand’ in Geneva

Mar 25 (Island) Sri Lanka yesterday strongly dismissed claims that India had intervened on behalf of the government to thwart UN intervention by amending the US-sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution captioned ‘promoting reconciliation and accountability is Sri Lanka’, though it voted with the US-Norway grouping. The resolution received the backing of 24 countries, while 15 opposed. Eight abstained, including Malaysia. more..

TNA welcomes passage of Geneva resolution

Mar 25 (Island) In a short statement issued on Friday following the passage of the US sponsored resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva, the TNA said it welcomed the passing of the resolution titled "Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka." "We believe that the Resolution will benefit all Sri Lankans, regardless of ethnicity. We sincerely hope that the Resolution and the clear collective will of the Council will encourage the govt to face the future with more..

'No option but convert SJTH into a govt.-run General Hospital'

Mar 25 (Island) With administrative hiccups and continuing joint trade union action exacerbating the crisis at the Sri Jayewardenepura Teaching Hospital (SJTH), Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that this key medical facility may have to be converted into a govt-run General Hospital to tide over the disturbing situation. "We will have to make a firm decision on this as the smooth functioning of this 1,040 bed hospital has been disrupted", more..

Could Sri Lanka end England's time at the top?

Mar 25 (CI) The Test rankings say England remain No. 1 - and on April 1 they will receive the cash bonus for holding that position - but it is becoming a weak grip on top spot. There is actually the chance that a few days after the cut-off the positioning at the top will change, if South Africa take the series against New Zealand, as is looking certain, and England lose by the same margin, or greater, against Sri Lanka. more..

MDP dismisses reports of referendum, reiterates call for Waheed’s resignation

Mar 25 (MN) The MDP have refuted claims within some local media that former President Mohamed Nasheed is seeking a public referendum over the legitimacy of the curent government headed by Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan. While the constitution does grant the President and the Majlis to call public referendums on “issues of national importance”, MDP spokesperson Hamed Abdul Ghafoor assured that this was not the MDP’s current policy and that reports suggesting otherwise were inaccurate. more..

Sri Lanka deny ticket claims

Mar 25 (SL) Sri Lanka Cricket have denied they are adopting a two-tier pricing policy for locals and foreigners for the Test series against England. The board have admitted their prices for the two-match series, which starts on Monday in Galle, are significantly higher than before but have refuted reports that home fans are paying a fraction of the price being quoted to the Barmy Army. There are two ticket prices for Monday's play - 5,000 and 7,500 Sri Lankan rupees. more..

Sex change operations at Dept. of Registration of Persons

Mar 25 (ST) The National Identity Card (NIC) issued by the Registration of Persons dept is considered the most reliable identity document necessary to cast one’s vote, produce at security checkpoints, open a bank account, obtain a passport or driving licence, sit for exams or for job applications, or gain entry into a State or private institution. This card that ensures identification of persons, mandatory that all citizens above 16 years of age. more..

North - East merger

Mar 25 (CT) The merger of the Northern and the Eastern Provinces in the future will be decided by the people in the East and the TNA cannot decide anything on this issue according to Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan. He said so addressing a public rally in Vavunathivu in the Batticaloa district on Friday. The Chief Minister said that the Northern leadership has isolated the Eastern Province and they have been even misleading more..

‘Sri Lanka must seek public vote over UN vote’

Mar 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka must put the question of the UN resolution against it before people, a constituent partner of the ruling coalition, UPFA said on Sunday. Minister the leader of the nationalist NFF Wimal Weerawansa told reporters that the govt cannot face the problem alone. "We must get people involved in this. We must face this together to fight than surrendering. If not they (West) will say that people are not with the govt", Weerawansa said. more..

The man is nuts; Dayasiri

Mar 25 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara responding to the call for a fresh mandate from the people by Minister Wimal Weerawansha said that the request was a very “foolish one and wouldn’t solve the mess we have got ourselves into”. “This is as foolish as someone can get. Firstly we know how this govt has repeatedly won elections; they have done everything illegal and taken the real wish of the people away. Secondly at this juncture how could a fresh poll solve more..

SLN deny attacking Indian fishermen

Mar 25 (CT) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) today denied reports that the navy had assaulted six Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district. Foreign media reported that a group of Tamil Nadu fishermen had alleged that Sri Lankan Naval personnel attacked six fishermen from Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district. The fishermen, who had put out to sea on March 20, claimed that they were attacked by the Sri Lankan naval personnel on March 23 while they were fishing in more..

No time frame on military investigations

Mar 25 (SL) Investigations into the conduct of the military during the final stages of the war, as recommended by the LLRC, was proceeding smoothly, according to military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya. However, he said no definite timeline could be given on when the military hoped to conclude the investigations. Wanigasuriya explained that Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya had ‘appointed a panel to investigate the conduct of the Army as was outlined in the LLRC report’. more..

'1600 Tamils to be recruited to the Police'

Mar 25 (DM) Some 1600 Tamils are to be recruited to the Police Force working in the North East, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said. During a meeting with Ambassador Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s Special Representative to Sri Lanka in Tokyo, Mr. Rajapaksa said that ‘initiatives have been taken to recruit 1600 Tamil nationals to the Police Force working in the North and East’. Rajapaksa is currently on an official visit to Tokyo. more..

Invitation to visit Lanka: No diary entry from Pillay

Mar 25 (ST) An invitation extended by the Sri Lanka govt for the UN Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva to visit the country is yet to be officially accepted. Ameen Izzadeen reporting from Geneva said so far the invitation has not been recorded in the diary of the UN Human Rights Commissioner. Acting External Affair Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera told Parliament on Friday that the Govt had extended an invitation to the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to more..

Leave UN; Tissa

Mar 25 (DM) Secretary of the UNP MP Tissa Atthanayake said that if the govt is not willing to be bound by the UN it should resign as a member state. “ As a country that has been a part of the United Nations for decades and having accepted the Human Rights charter of the United Nations, if this govt can’t abide by what the UN has called for, there is no point remaining within the UN” he said. Attanayake went on to point out that that instead of ‘parading’ on the streets the govt should be honest in its diplomatic approach. more..

Dr. Neavis Morais

PCB agree to host Australia in Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (CI) Pakistan's home limited-overs series against Australia this August is likely to be played in Sri Lanka. SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said the PCB had agreed in principle to let Sri Lanka host the series, while Cricket Australia's stand has not yet been made public. "Sri Lanka Cricket had expressed the desire to host the series to the PCB a month ago and both boards have no problems with it. I do not know about the stand of the other cricket board [CA] yet," Ranatunga told ESPNcricinfo. more..

Sri Lanka to kickoff National Forum on EU Trade Policy

Mar 25 (CT) Sri Lanka is to kickoff a top national forum-National Forum on EU Trade Policy, with the participation of experts from such international entities as UNCTAD and the Commonwealth Secretariat, will be in session in Colombo tomorrow. “EU Trade Policy and the Way Forward for Sri Lanka” organised by the Department of Commerce in close collaboration with the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and in coordination with the Commonwealth Secretariat more..

Fingerprint analysis to go digital

Mar 25 (LB) The Police Department’s Fingerprinting Bureau comes under the direct purview of the CID and also engages in photo identification as well as stores data on criminals and criminal activities. Currently headed by Registrar Chandrapala, who has four assistants manning the four separate units and totalling a workforce of 214, the Bureau is now all set to go digital. The Fingerprinting Bureau was set up in 1908, in then Ceylon, more..

War displaced stopped from cultivating

Mar 25 (BBC) The people in the former war-torn areas will not be able to enjoy the hard won freedom after decades of war if the govt does not settle them back in their ancestral lands, says a provincial minister from the ruling party. Wimalaweera Dissanayake, the land minister of the eastern province, made these remarks at a meeting people in Eravur to resolve land-related issues. Residents of the area, mainly war displaced Muslims, informed the minister that they are more..

England head to iconic Galle for start of Test series

Mar 25 (BBC) It's certainly been an eventful start to England's final tour of the winter. An emphatic opening victory marred by accusations of "cheating" with an England player talking about "wanting to kill" one of the opposition, a thrilling run chase as darkness began to fall at the SSC and a game disrupted by reports of a cobra by the boundary edge and a two foot lizard on the outfield. At one stage I thought about sending for David Attenborough rather than Jonathan Agnew. more..

Minister Mervyn in 'cover up of VVIP'

Mar 25 (BBC) The senior journalist union leader who was forced to flee Sri Lanka after being brutally attacked has accused a controversial minister of making public statements in order to protect the real perpetrators. Poddala Jayantha was abducted by an unidentified group on 1 June 2009 taken to a hideout, brutally assaulted and left on the street with a broken leg, the next morning. He was forced to leave the country having received death threats due to more..