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Red or white, parboiled the best for low GI

Mar 27 (ST) As polished or unpolished, white or red, vied for a place on the plate of Sri Lankans well known as rice-eaters and the rice-diabetes link came under the microscope internationally, local experts urged that parboiled is the best. Parboiled (thambapu) rice has a Glycaemic Index (GI) even lower than some varieties of the much-touted basmathi, points out Prof. Sagarika Ekanayake, a biochemist attached to the Sri Jayewardenepura University whose more..

BoP crisis: Prospects and uncertainty of non-merchandise earnings

Mar 27 (ST) The balance of payments problem the country is facing is unlikely to be solved by an improvement in the merchandise or trade account. The current policies may reduce the trade deficit, not wipe out the trade gap. The underlying reason for this is the country's structure of imports and exports. This is in turn reflects the structure and weaknesses of the economy: especially the high propensity to import. The expectation is that the trade deficit would be more..

Alert civilian helps police capture double murder suspects

Mar 27 (SO) Last week the CID was called to investigate the theft of priceless treasures from the Colombo National Museum by burglars who broke into the building. The matter is being investigated by the CID although no arrests have been made as yet. In a twist of events, Panditha Pitigala Jinasiri Thera (80) and Borelesgamuwe Gunarathana Thera (60) of the Kotte Rajamaha Vihara were killed sending shockwaves in the country. The double murder is being investigated by more..

'We live in an inter-dependent world'

Mar 27 (LB) Europe does not conduct its foreign relations on the basis of emotions, said Ambassador Bernard Savage, head of delegation of the European Union in Sri Lanka, last week. He also said that calls for accountability will not go away but stressed that a war crimes tribunal was nowhere near being considered. Excerpts from the interview: Q: How would you characterize EU-Sri Lanka relations at present? A: We have broad of areas of cooperation more..

Editorial: Driving children to suicide?

Mar 27 (Island) The GCE (O/L) 2011 results released yesterday have brought smiles and tears to children as is the way with all examinations. Some of them are celebrating and others are sobbing their hearts out. In this country, examinations have become the means by which students are tested not for what they really know but for what they do not know, as cynics say. Educationists seem to derive some perverse pleasure from the harrowing experience of children who are more..

Mahela masterclass defies England

Mar 27 (CI) Sri Lanka have been playing one-day cricket for the last three months and it showed on the opening day in Galle. With one notable exception. Mahela Jayawardene has the ability to make batting effortless even when others around him are digging a hole and he single-handedly defied the England attack to ensure Sri Lanka had enough runs on the board to be firmly in the contest. To say that Jayawardene has jumped at the chance to captain Sri Lanka again, after more..

Lanka upbeat about prospects of exports to EU

Mar 27 (Island) More than 35 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports reach Europe despite the gloomy economic outlook there and competitor countries receiving preferential treatment. With more than 35 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports reaching Europe despite the prevailing issues in the Western market the country hopes to exploit further exports for economic development. Minister Rishad Bathiudeen addressing the National Symposium on EU Trade Policy themed more..

India's UN 'yes' vote was a wrong move on Sri Lanka

Mar 27 (MO) Many arguments can be made against our decision to vote against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC in Geneva, a decision highly questionable from the foreign policy point of view. Domestic compulsions seem to have outweighed foreign policy considerations in this case. India and the West have been at odds on how best to address the issue of human rights internationally. India shares the view that the West uses the issue to embarrass, destabilise or more..

A step towards justice

Mar 27 (IE) The UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka is a landmark in many ways. It dilutes the much despised blockade on country-specific resolutions that has often dogged the council; it indicates a positive change in the voting patterns of big and influential Commonwealth countries such as India and Nigeria; and it dismantles a longstanding impasse on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC that many feared might tire the international community into avoiding the question of accountability. more..

'India not supporting us did considerable damage to the Sri Lankan position at UNHRC'

Mar 27 (DBS) Q: Why was Sri Lanka unable to obtain enough support to defeat the United States sponsored resolution? A: I think the public should know that one matter that the international community and the delegation were distressed about was the manner in which the UNHRC is functioning today. The Council was set up by the General Assembly because its predecessor the Human Rights Commission had become excessively politicized. more..

High tuition fees affecting parents

Mar 27 (CT) With the escalating cost of living in the country, parents and students are facing numerous difficulties as the cost of tuition classes has also been increased. It is estimated that over 75% of the country’s student population between grades two to thirteen attend tuition classes. Hence hundreds of thousands of families are faced with the dilemma of coping with the added expenditure. Accordingly tuition classes that charges Rs 250 have increased their charges by Rs 50, while more..

Agri. Ministry in bid to increase chilli cultivation

Mar 27 (Island) The Agriculture Ministry has taken measures to develop chilli cultivation with the objective of reducing imports, Ministry Secretary W.A. Sakalasooriya said. Sri Lanka needed 45,000 MT of chillie per annum but the annual production had declined to nearly 10,000 MT. Most of the local production went to the market as a vegetable while a major portion of the dried red chillies was imported. Nearly 90 percent of chillies consumed in the country were imported. more..

Connections | March 26, 2012

32 dengue deaths countrywide

Mar 27 (CT) A total of 32 deaths have been reported due to dengue countrywide for the past three months, the Epidemiology unit stated. Approximately 50.7% of the dengue cases have been reported from the Western province. The highest amount of dengue cases have been reported for the month of January. To date, 12 deaths have been reported from the Colombo district, while four and two deaths have been reported from the Gampaha and Kalutara districts respectively. more..

Undergrads forced to attend ceremony

Mar 27 (CT) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University have been threatened by the University administration thereby forcing them to attend a ceremony that is to be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. IUSF alleged that the university administration threatened to give lesser marks for students during exams, and also hinted at ‘white van’ abductions if the undergraduates do not attend the opening ceremony of the applied science faculty’s building. President Rajapaksa, Higher Education Minister S.B Dissanayake, more..

'Resolution will not affect SL’s international ties'

Mar 27 (DM) British High Commissioner John Rankin said the passing of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka in Geneva last week would not have an impact on the country’s ties with the UK, the rest of the EU, US or even India despite controversy regarding the matter. “I see no reason why the resolution should negatively impact the trade and investment relationship between Sri Lanka and those countries that supported the resolution. more..

Amid Sri Lankan denial, threats rise for journalists

Mar 27 (HP) In the wake of the UNHRC resolution calling for an investigation into Sri Lanka's alleged abuses of international humanitarian law during its war with Tamil separatists, the govt has resorted to outright threats of violence against journalists who might dare to return home after taking part in the Geneva discussions. Thursday, CPJ called on the govt to immediately halt its intimidation of journalists who supported the adoption of the HRC's resolution. more..

Moscow dubs UNHRC vote on Lanka 'politically motivated'

Mar 27 (TOI) Without criticizing India directly for backing the US-initiated resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, Russia has described the resolution as "politically motivated" and one that has ended up discrediting the Council itself. The remark by Russian ambassador Alexander M Kadakin, ahead of the BRICS summit here, has brought to the fore differences among the grouping which is seeking better coordination on major international issues. more..

Staggering 33 pc of water unsafe for drinking

Mar 27 (Island) A staggering 33 per cent of the water samples of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board collected by Public Health Inspectors in all districts, including Colombo, were unsatisfactory and not safe for drinking. Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Paba Palihawadana told The Island yesterday that laboratory testing had proved that out of 2,000 odd samples taken from different parts of the country, 33 per cent were not satisfactory. more..

Time to think, act as one nation – Bishop

Mar 27 (Island) This is not the moment to speak only about the rights of Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka. This is the most appropriate time to think and act as one nation as Sri Lankan, observed Church of Ceylon Bishop of Kurunegala S.T. Francis, at a media conference in Kandy. Bishop S.T. Francis said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, following the victory in the 30-year-old war had laid the foundation for a one Sri Lankan nation under one single administration. more..

Farmers educated on safe use of Paracot

Mar 27 (DN) The Health Ministry which has observed a high incidence of farmer deaths due to unsafe and irresponsible use of the pesticide Paracot has drawn up a programme to educate farmers in agricultural regions about the safe use of the chemical, a ministry release said yesterday. This follows a directive issued by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena and ministry Additional Secretary Dr Palitha Maheepala. It has been observed that a large number of farmers in areas such as more..

Five coalition parties to rally separately

Mar 27 (CT) In a remarkable alienation from the UPFA five political parties that include three senior ministers of the coalition government have decided to hold the May Day rallies separately. The five political parties are Lanka Sama Samaja Party, Sri Lanka Communist Party, Democratic Left Front, Sri Lanka Mahajana Party and Desha Vimukti Janata Party. Thus senior ministers, Prof. Tissa Vitarana (LSSP), D.E.W. Gunasekara (CPSL), Vasudeva Nanayakkara (DLF) and more..

President calls for speedy implementation of Nilwala Project

Mar 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that the bottle necks that impeded the implementation of Nilwala Project in Matara would be removed soon. He was speaking at a meeting with officials over the implementation of Nilwala Project at Temple Trees yesterday. The project officials said the agriculture sector in the Matara district has been affected by a high level of salinity. They also said that this situation has also affected the potable water. more..

SC dismisses Dr. Mrs Senaratne’s petition

Mar 27 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the fundamental rights violation application filed by Dr. Sujatha Senaratne, wife of Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Romesh De Silva, PC, appearing for the Public Services Commission, took up the objection that the petitioner, Dr. Senaratne, had not sent her application for the post of Director of the National Hospital Colombo on time. Although she had ample time to send her application within the specified time limit, more..

Colombo changing tack on LLRC?

Mar 27 (Hindu) A mere four days after a resolution at the UNHRC wanted Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of a commission that went into issues of reconciliation, a senior Minister has said the commission had gone beyond its mandate. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who had presented the report of the LLRC to Parliament and assured on the floor of the House its implementation, said on Monday the LLRC went beyond its mandate. more..

Four million schoolchildren in energy saving drive

Mar 27 (DN) Four million schoolchildren pledged yesterday to uphold their responsibility in saving electricity to face the looming energy crisis which will intensify during the next three decades. All students in schools took an oath at 8.15am yesterday at their schools towards this end in a programme launched jointly by the Power and Energy Ministry and the Education Ministry. The students pledged their commitment to save energy resources and protect the environment in the motherland. more..

Abducted, then released

Mar 27 (DM) Former UNP Provincial Councilor and now SLFP member Sagara Senarathne was abducted this evening in Kotte by a group that arrived in a van before being dropped in an area close to Ja-ela town at around 9.30pm. He was abducted while he was about to get into his vehicle in front of the Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya by an unidentified gang. The Mirihana police was immediately informed of the abduction and had started a search for Mr. Senarathne. more..

'US sponsored resolution non-binding'

Mar 27 (CT) The resolution passed at the 19th Session of the UNHRC is ‘non-binding’, unlike those passed by the Security Council; Minister G.L. Peiris stated speaking on the consequences of the UNHRC resolution being adopted against Sri Lanka at a press briefing held yesterday. He added that there was “absolutely no question about sanctions and those sanctions having anything to do with the resolution and that is fundamentally different more..

Two students petition Court against cruel act by Dy. Principal

Mar 27 (Island) Two students, aged 16 years, studying in grade eleven at Weera Keppetipola Madya Maha vidyalaya, Pallepola, Akaramboda, through their fathers, had complained to the Supreme Court, that on October 24, 2011 the Deputy Principal of their school had assaulted them with a cane till it broke. The students were injured and were warded at the General Hospital Matale. They had been brutally caned on the suspicion of having damaged a window more..

BASL wants IGP to take action against lawyer’s attackers

Mar 27 (Island) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka yesterday called upon the IGP to hold an impartial and immediate inquiry into the case of Attorney-at-Law Sumith Silva, who had been assaulted on March 23, outside the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court premises. In a statement issued yesterday the BASL urged the IGP to bring the perpetrators of that crime before a Court of law to be dealt with without delay. Full text of the BASL statement: "The Bar Association of Sri Lanka has been more..

'Even I went to UNHRC, but did not mess up'

Mar 27 (Island) Even in the past the UNHRC had raised questions on human rights issues in Sri Lanka, but the then governments had responded speedily by replying to the allegations levelled and addressed the issues at hand without letting them develop into crisis situations, Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga said yesterday. Ameratunga told The Island that he, as a Minister, had gone to the UNHRC and replied to the charges against the then govt. more..

Horizontal drilling possible; chances for piracy?

Mar 27 (LB) Cairn Lanka, has successfully completed the first phase of the exploration campaign in Sri Lanka Block SL-2007-01-001, delivering two back to back discoveries in Sri Lanka, and has now commenced the second phase of exploration. This is the second well, in the first phase, in the three well frontier basin programme. The well was drilled to a total depth of 4741m, in water depth of 1509m, and encountered 24m of hydrocarbon bearing sandstone, more..

Diaspora link to Channel 4 revealed

Mar 27 (SL) The Sunday Leader has unearthed startling evidence showing that the LTTE-leaning Diaspora in Britain have made in-roads to the highest levels within the British Channel 4 TV network. Sri Lankan born Shirani Sabaratnam originally from Jaffna and Vaddukoddai is married to Channel 4 TV’s Director of Diversity, the well-known British journalist Stuart Cosgrove. Stuart Cosgrove’s responsibilities at Channel 4 is without doubt a major one: he oversees Channel 4’s more..

Reveal LLRC recommendations to be implemented - UNP

Mar 27 (Island) The govt should reveal which of the LLRC recommendations it intends implementing without continuing with its bluff game, the UNP said yesterday. Harin Fernando MP, said that the govt, having failed in its bid to prevent the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka, was now playing its old records hoping to buy more time. But, it was making a huge mistake since non-implementation of all the LLRC recommendations, more..

Docs to strike over phone allowance

Mar 27 (Island) GMOA has given two days to the govt to pay the allowances. If the doctors ado not receive the allowances on March 28, the GMOA would launch the scheduled strike on Thursday morning. The Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) General Committee, at a meeting held on March 25, unanimously decided to launch a one-day strike in the Western and North-Western Provinces on March 29 in protest against the non-payment of doctors’ more..

Govt responsible not to USA but to masses in the country – PWC

Mar 27 (DM) "This govt did not fulfill the accountability process for the parties that were affected by the 30 year old war the rulers of a country that had gone through a war are expected to carry out. Four years have passed since the war was ended. There was no commitment by the govt to release political prisoners, to resettle the displaced, eject those who have encroached upon lands and hand over them more..

Thonda going, but not gone!

Mar 27 (Island) CWC General Secretary and Minister Arumugam Thondaman had tendered resignation from his Ministerial portfolio yesterday, party sources said. He had submitted his letter of resignation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, they said. However, Presidential spokesman Bandula Jayasekera, when contacted for comment, told The Island last night that President Rajapaksa had not received any such letter. "This is not the first time Thondaman has resigned," Jayasekera said. more..

Court inquires about Duminda Silva’s whereabouts

Mar 27 (SM) The CID has been ordered to inform courts about the exact whereabouts of MP Duminda Silva, a suspect in the Mulleriyawa political murders. Additional magistrate of Colombo Prasanna Alwis today ordered police to report on April 04 whether it could arrest the suspect, or if there are difficulties in the way of arresting him. MP Silva is a main suspect in the gunning down of presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and more..

Sri Lanka Scouting to celebrate centenary Jamboree

Mar 27 (DN) The Sri Lanka Scout Association will hold the Asia Pacific Regional Jamboree with the Centenary celebrations from April 1 to 6 in Dambulla. Over 1,500 scouts from 27 countries of the Asia Pacific Region and 6,000 scouts from all parts of the island will participate in the international jamboree. This is the first ever international jamboree with a large contingent from foreign countries, to be held in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka to shut down some embassies in Europe

Mar 27 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt has decided to shut down some of its embassies in Europe. A spokesman at the ministry said that the govt is of the view that embassies in Europe which are not serving any purpose in obtaining support for Sri Lanka's national issues will be closed and new embassies will be opened in Asia. "President Mahinda Rajapaksa had discussed the issue with the govt and it will now be decided exactly which more..