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Tea small holders hold back stocks

Mar 26 (SL) Sri Lanka’s tea industry continues to flounder with falling tea prices and increasing sanctions on Sri Lanka’s largest tea importers. The govt has attempted to deflect attention from the worsening situation in the industry by insisting that the export of tea to the Middle East has continued despite these sanctions. Lal Premanath, Head of the Federation of Tea Small Holders’ Associations, said that the farmers could be getting better prices for the tea leaves than more..

JVP dissidents see fresh battle ground

Mar 26 (Island) Unemployed graduates plan to launch a fresh battle against govt’s action to lower the age limit for graduates to be recruited to the public sector. Convener of the Combined Association of Unemployed Graduates (CAUG) Dhammika Munasinghe told The Island the government had reduced the age limit to 28 years from 30 years to recruit the graduates to Sri Lanka Accounting Service’s Grade III. He said it had been done after the govt called for more..

Museum robbery: Police up against a wall...

Mar 25 (LB) Even though it’s over a week since the National Museum was robbed the police are yet to apprehend the thieves. According to the police, they had been informed of the robbery on March 17 early in the morning. However, the museum had been opened to the public as usual at 8.00 am. It has been revealed that the stolen items – a gold sword used by Lawrence Nugawela Adhikaram, the case in which the gold sword had been kept, a belt worn by more..

Govt to amend paddy prices

Mar 26 (CT) Following the protests by the farmers, the govt has decided to consider amending the paddy prices. Subsequent to the protests by the farmers in his electorate, Polonnaruwa district MP and Minister Maithripala Sirisena, has appointed a fact finding committee to look into the necessity of amending the paddy price. Paddy farmers have been facing numerous difficulties in the recent past due to their inability to sell their harvest at a reasonable price. more..

Sri Lanka rights vote stirs nationalist passion

Mar 26 (AT) A new wave of nationalism among the Sinhala majority in Sri Lanka following a United Nations vote last week could embolden the govt of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to avoid ensuring accountability for atrocities committed against Tamil civilians in the final stages of the civil war and continue ignoring the need for a political solution to the country's decades-long ethnic conflict. The US-sponsored resolution, which was passed on Thursday at more..

Govt. reacts to India’s warning:Terrorism not possible without external support

Mar 26 (Island) The Sri Lankan government yesterday ruled out the resurgence of LTTE terrorism unless foreign powers threw their weight behind terrorists to destabilize the country again. A senior govt official said that since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009 the ruling coalition with the support of the international community had provided a range of facilities to the war-affected civilians and those who fought for the LTTE. more..

Controversy looms over lack of action against stock market manipulators

Mar 26 (Island) Controversy surrounds the failure on the part of capital markets watchdog- the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to take action against a few market manipulators, some high net worth individuals who manipulated the market in a spirit of "pump and dump" leaving the small retail investors in the lurch. All these shares which were artificially propped up have plummeted to realistic levels now, with more..

Sri Lanka refuses to give into any pressure following UNHRC resolution

Mar 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Monday announced that the country will not give into any outside pressure following the recent defeat in the United States sponsored resolution at the UNHRC session. Minister G.L. Peiris said that the best interest of the citizen would be the guiding light and the country's policies would be formulated based on that. "We oppose the internationalization of issues connected to Sri Lanka as we do not see any justification in that," more..

Editorial: No lasting growth without social justice

Mar 26 (DM) After about 40 years, the journey to the Promised Land or Utopia expected from the globalised capitalist market economic system appears to be at a dead end. The economies of the United States, the European Union and other countries are like sand castles that might fall in the next storm with countries like Greece plunging into bankruptcy. The master minds and master builders of this economic system which enveloped virtually the whole world acted on the basic concept of more..

Special Committee to look into quality of teaching in universities

Mar 26 (NF) The Federation of University Teachers' Association says that a special committee will be appointed to look into the quality of teaching of university lecturers. Its Chairman Prof. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri stated that this steps was taken during a meeting of the Executive Committee. He added that various areas including lecturing techniques of lectures and the problems faced with regard to this will be looked into through this committee. more..

WikiLeaks: Sri Lanka’s new friends cannot compete with her old ones – Butenis

Mar 26 (CT) “Although President Rajapaksa trumpets the importance of Sri Lanka's friendship with China, the relationship is very lopsided in terms of trade. For example, in 2008 Chinese exports to Sri Lanka constituted 96% of total bilateral trade. In terms of investment, Hong Kong has become a key source of foreign direct investment to Sri Lanka, while China proper focuses on direct govt aid. In contrast, Sri Lanka investment in China consists of more..

160 Sri Lankan specialist trainers graduate from NYP International

Mar 26 (CNA) Singapore's Nanyang Polytechnic International has trained 160 Sri Lankans to lead the country's technical and vocational education and training (TVET) reform. The courses, which vary in duration from one to six weeks, were designed to expose to Sri Lankan policy makers and leaders to the different aspects of managing and developing a modern TVET institution. The training programme was funded by a S$919,600 grant from Temasek Foundation. more..

Luxury bus owners in Galle on strike

Mar 26 (CT) Luxury bus owners in Galle have launched a strike due to several grievances, Chief Secretary of the All Ceylon Private Bus Owners' Union Federation Anjana Priyanjith said. According to Priyanjith, the lack of parking space and less profit due to the launch of highway luxury bus service were the main reasons for the launch of the strike. “Luxury buses that operate on the Southern expressway have also been allocated the parking space equal to the space that more..

I have my heart for you!

Mar 26 (DM) In one of the most significant acts that symbolizes the power of true love, a 23-year-old army soldier who had lost both his eyesight and right arm in the war, tied the knot with his 18-year-old fiancée at the ‘Abhimansala Ranaviru Resort’ in Anuradhapura yesterday. Lance Corporal Charith Kularuwan Kulatillaka of Wellamorana, Mihintale was caught in the explosion of an anti-personal mine during the last phase of the war in Kilaly more..

England quiet over ball-tampering worry

Mar 26 (CC) England have declined to comment on match referee Manoj Mendis' suspicions of possible ball-tampering during their second tour fixture in Sri Lanka. Mendis voiced his concerns, and included them in his report, after the state of the ball England were using surprised him at tea on day one of the match against a Sri Lanka Development XI in Colombo. "There was a bit of dryness and, I would say, roughness on one side of the ball," he told The Times. more..

Sri Lanka exports fall in January, trade gap up

Mar 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports fell 0.6 percent to 917.7 million US dollars in January 2012 from a year earlier with a sharp drop in tea, while industrial exports grew at a sluggish 3.3 percent, while imports powered ahead, official data showed. Last year, Sri Lanka's exports grew 22.4 percent. Central bank said tea exports fell 19.1 percent to 104 million US dollars in January due to uncertainties in importing countries. The Middle East is a key importer of Sri Lankan tea. more..

Sri Lanka FM to meet Clinton after UN vote

Mar 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's foreign minister said on Monday he would meet with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after the adoption of a UN resolution pushing Colombo to properly investigate war crimes allegations. Sri Lanka has angrily rejected the resolution tabled by the United States and passed last week by the UNHRC in Geneva. Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, who had turned down an invitation to meet Clinton before the Council vote, said more..

'Swindlers in Nilame attire; only 32 legally appointed in Sri Lanka'

Mar 26 (DM) Against the backdrop of the alleged involvement of a Basnayake in the assassination of two Buddhist monks, the All Ceylon Basnayake Nilames Association said there were only 32 legally appointed Basnayake Nilames in the country. Association’s Chairman and Basnayake Nilame of the Pasgama Sri Natha Devalaya Gemunu Tilaka Bandara Walisundara, at an urgent meeting of the association said that even rogues and criminals had been appointed as Basnayake Nilames more..

Plane crash in 2000 due to LTTE attack

Mar 26 (DM) The police said that the AN-26 aircraft crash, which killed 40 security forces personnel in 2000 in Wilpattu, was due to an LTTE missile attack, although at the time it was believed that the reason for the crash was a technical failure. They said that the TID is to re open the case of the crash after two suspects arrested by the TID had confessed to shooting down the plane which caused the crash. The two suspects are to be produced in Anuradhapura court soon. more..

Mahela saves the day for Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (CI) A masterful century from Mahela Jayawardene helped Sri Lanka fight back against England on the first day of the first Test in Galle. Jayawardene, unbeaten on 168 at stumps, batted for all but two overs of a hot and humid day to frustrate the tourists and ensure his side were not completely overwhelmed. None of his colleagues made more than 27 and between them, they contributed just 111. But if England go on to win this Test, more..

Sri Lanka shares end up 0.4-pct

Mar 26 (LBO) Sri Lankan shares closed firmer Monday with an increase in trading by foreign investors who ended up as net sellers, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index rose 0.37 percent to 5,442.62, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.56 percent to close at 4,875.07. Turnover was 1.1 billion rupees. Lanka Securities said trading ended on a "lacklustre note" although the market went up. There were several crossings or off-the-floor privat deals in Nestle Lanka more..

Anderson's milestone on sell-out day

Mar 26 (CI) Now a complete Test bowler, James Anderson became the sixth England cricketer to reach 250 Test wickets when he had Lahiru Thirimanne caught at second slip in the third over of the match. Next ball he added No. 251 when Kumar Sangakkara played loosely and later trapped Prasanna Jayawardene lbw to go level with the most famous Lancashire fast bowler, Brian Statham, on 252 Test wickets. Anderson should have quite a few years ahead of him in Test cricket and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 26.03.2012

‘Women’s power to overcome challenges’ in Anuradhapura

Mar 26 (LT) A seminar, one of the series of seminars under the theme ‘Women’s power to overcome challenges,’ was held by ‘Women for Rights’ at CTC Hall at Anuradhapura on the 24th. The seminar was held with the participation of Attorney Jeewa Ranasinghe, Ms. Saroja Paul Raj, Ms. Posia Hassan and Dr. Chandani Karunatilleke. Senior Lecturer of Rajarata University P.D.N.K. Palihena made the keynote address. The Executive Committee of the Anuradhapura branch of Women for more..

India's vote against Lanka in UNHRC calculated: Official

Mar 26 (PTI) Calling it as "calculated vote," a top official defended India's vote to the resolution in the recent UNHRC session on Sri Lanka and said that the Island Republic has "not done enough" and was "not doing what it promised to." "..we believe that country (Sri Lanka) although has won the war, is losing the peace..definitely in the long term, because they have not done enough. Or they are not doing what they promised to. Definitely, our voice was in that direction," more..

Wife of missing activist harassed

Mar 26 (CT) Missing Activist Kugan Muruganathan’s wife has been threatened to sign a document by military personnel alleged the Collective against Abductions and Disappearances. Speaking at a press conference Kugan’s wife Janaka Muruganathan said that when she went to Jaffna after attending the Habeas Corpus petition case in Colombo which was filed against the disappearance of her husband, four military officers threatened her and her daughter. more..

Today's was a fascinating day's Test cricket

Mar 26 (BBC) You'd think in a way England might have settled for 289-8 when play began and Sri Lanka might not, but the way things transpired Sri Lanka will have been very pleased to have got there and England rather less so. One hard rule of playing overseas is that it is often the final session when things slip and England will be bitterly disappointed because they were so close to having a really good day. It was an exemplary innings from Mahela Jayawardene, though, more..

How to burn bridges and alienate neighbours

Mar 26 (DNA) Twenty-four countries voted for the motion against Sri Lanka and there were 23 against it including abstentions. India’s vote against Colombo at the UNHRC was decisive. On Wednesday, we were told we are ‘inclined’ to vote for the US-backed resolution that calls upon Colombo to better investigate its war crimes. On Wednesday, we were told we are ‘inclined’ to vote for the US-backed resolution that calls upon Colombo to better investigate its war crimes. more..

Govt. has misled people - UNP

Mar 26 (CT) UNP MP Harin Fernando speaking at a press conference today said that the govt is trying to go for a snap election as it has now realized that before the next six months their true face will be blared to the people after misleading them for so long. However, he said UNP is prepared to face an election at any time. Continuing he said that partners in the govt themselves have criticized its actions and therefore President Rajayapka is seeking to more..

India’s Quiet Diplomacy Has Its Limits In Sri Lanka

Mar 26 (EAR) Letters written by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the DMK and AIADMK leadership clarifies India’s stand on the US-sponsored UNHRC resolution asking Sri Lanka to address the issues of human rights violations during the last phase of the Eelam war in 2009. New Delhi wishes to underline its position as a benefactor rather joining the US to corner Colombo. However, even as it duly plays out the role as per Colombo’s expectations, there is an urgent need to emerge from more..

minister Mervyn Silva condemned by colleague

Mar 26 (BBC) Sri Lankan Foreign Minister GL Peiris has condemned a cabinet colleague for making public threats of violence. He said no-one could condone or justify remarks made by Mervyn Silva, who on Friday threatened to "break the limbs" of those who "betrayed" the country. The row comes days after state TV channel ITN broadcast pictures of journalists and rights workers it labelled as "disloyal" and "traitors". However, Mr Peiris declined to criticise the network. more..

Thonda submits resignation letter

Mar 26 (SL) Minister Arumugam Thondaman has submitted his resignation letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The letter was submitted this evening. However the President has not accepted the letter. The resignation was over some posts in the govt sector, sources said. President had sent Minister Maithripala Sirisena to meet Minister Thondaman in an attempt to settle the dispute. Thondaman, the Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development, more..

Two letters to Indian PM

Mar 27 (NS) Dear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, I just read your Olive Branch Love Letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka after the fact when your India purposely hammered one nail onto his right palm to crucify Sri Lanka on UNHRC's crucifix while encouraging the US to hammer another nail onto his left palm to attach Sri Lanka to the UNHRC crucifix and leave her hanging. Do you honestly think Manmohan Singh that we are a bunch of stupids, or what? I have told you more..

Lanka needs development oriented media usage

Mar 27 (NS) To have a righteous society in a country, the mass media of that country has a major role to play. Technology, which strolled on each and every sector on the Earth, has not forgotten the media, and it has introduced many types of equipment making the journalists’ job easier. However, at the same time, the issue of the development of a good and accepted media culture should be taken seriously. Mainly, Sri Lanka being a country, which is under pressure from more..

Sustainable power plan essential

Mar 27 (NS) In a review of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka passed I met a number of people from a cross-section of society at various gatherings. A tea producer of the south commenting on the high prices of oil, devaluation of the rupee and increased electricity rates said, the escalating prices and rates could be absorbed by the consumers as our economy was strong now, but public protests and demonstrations emanate from doubts about the more..

Sinhala unhappiness is unlikely to turn into bitterness and hatred against India

Mar 27 (TC) The unhappiness in Sri Lanka over the Indian vote in favour of the resolution in the UNHRC on the question of the human rights of the Sri Lankan Tamils-action in respect of past violations during the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against the LTTE and to safeguard their human rights in future in the form of a political solution to the grievances and aspirations of the Tamils is understandable. This unhappiness is unlikely to more..

Wimal wants ban on American goods but does not want US Defence Pact revoked

Mar 27 (TC) The third VV – Vipaksaye Virodhaya – the protest of the opposition took place in Hatton town on 14 March. Thousands turned up, shouting slogans and braving the rain. I was greeted with cheers and waves at each junction we passed, as we went to Hatton from Colombo. A few years back on such a journey I faced silent and sullen people who probably murmured ‘traitor’, fooled by the Mahinda Chinthanaya. Ranil, Mano, Siri, Manamendra and other leaders participated, more..

Flower garlands - a thriving business

Mar 27 (SO) Garlands made of natural flowers are mostly used by devotees to fulfil vows. Buddhists, Hindus and even Muslims use garlands of flowers for fulfilling vows. Particular types of flowers are threaded together using the dried part of the plantain tree. In Tamil it is known as ‘Naar’. The reason for using this may be attributed to its strength and long-lasting capability. Now however, it has been replaced with twine. Using garlands in worship is an age-old tradition. more..

Determined effort to make Prof. G.L. Peiris the scapegoat for foreign policy failures

Mar 27 (TC) Now is the time to come to the aid of the country is the rallying call today in this internationally besieged island. We too are all for it but being cynics we do so with reservations. Our inspiration is that arch rationalist and cynic, Bertrand Russell who had reservations on unlimited patriotism. ‘I will not die for my country because my country may be wrong,’ he declared. Such thoughts resulted in this British aristocrat, philosopher and mathematician more..

Why the UN acts to hold Sri Lanka accountable for war crimes

Mar 27 (CT) A resolution on Sri Lanka was passed in the UNHRC in Geneva, Thursday. Human rights activists hailed the resolution as a hopeful first step by the international community in holding Sri Lanka accountable to war crimes. It is significant that this resolution was sponsored by the United States which became a full member of the UNHRC only in 2009. The 27-year civil war in Sri Lanka between the Sinhala and Tamil communities ended in May 2009 with more..