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Us islanders…

Mar 31 (NS) Here in our land of sunny weather and warm smiles, do we not take pride in claiming ourselves as a ‘paradise isle’? I believe that has worked much to our advantage when charting the course for strategising for tourism. Islands seem exotic, mystical and alluring to the western mindset that sees the tropics as playgrounds to frolic under the Sun on soft sands while being soothed by the feel of ocean waves and tropical breezes. Yes islands have that allure to Europeans who seem to more..

Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s allegations against ‘CARITAS-SEDEC’ are baseless and untrue

Mar 31 (TC) In a news item telecast over ITN at 9.30 pm on 23rd March 2012, Hon Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health accused Caritas SEDEC Sri Lanka as an NGO of being responsible for instigating farmers to protest. He also claimed that Caritas SEDEC Sri Lanka had a presence in Geneva where the UN Human Rights Council had its 19th Sessions recently. As Caritas SEDEC Sri Lanka which is the social arm of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka functioning under the purview of more..

Tamara Kunanayakam: Fighting for Lanka in Geneva

Mar 31 (DBS) Many Sri Lankans watching live proceedings of the UNHRC on the fateful Thursday of March 22nd 2012 were puzzled by the composition of our representatives when the spotlight was on Sri Lanka in Geneva. With our learned minister of External Affairs himself being present in Geneva it was but natural to expect that Prof GL Peiris would deliver the official response of Sri Lanka. Instead we saw the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe more..

Of political appointments and resultant disservice to the nation

Mar 31 (SL) This column dedicated to the notion of making Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia turns its spotlight on the ill-effects of political appointments of persons unsuitable to hold diplomatic or other public sector position thereby resulting in the deterioration of such services to the detriment of public interest which defeats the aspirations of Sri Lankan society to have an efficient diplomatic and public service. The recent defeat of Sri Lanka at the vote taken to pass more..

Ensure the security of fishers union leaders Herman Kumara and Anura Roshantha

Mar 31 (TC) We, the undersigned civil society organisations and activists, are deeply disturbed by the threats faced by Mr. Herman Kumara of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) and Mr. Aruna Roshantha Fernando of All Ceylon Fisher Folk Federation (ACFFF) and condemn these attempts to stifle democratic rights and silence these leaders. Herman Kumara was followed from the airport by an unknown group upon his return to Sri Lanka after attending a meeting more..

Beware the Wounded tigers

Mar 31 (Tehelka) THE RECENT conflict in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 at Puttamattallan, a beautiful stretch of beach in the northeast. It left a community destroyed and a country further fractured. The three-decade conflict between successive govts and the LTTE climaxed, trapping thousands of Tamil civilians between the Indian Ocean to the north and the Sri Lankan Army in all other directions. Within these bounds they were held captive by the LTTE, more..

Spotlight in a Rogues Gallery

Mar 31 (Island) What is a rogues gallery, asked little Vishmitha, who is considered a prodigy in social networking still in his early teens. Why, what is your interest in rogues? Because that is what the UNHRC in Geneva has been called. Now who would have said that? Did you get that it from an Indian friend on your network? These Indians work in strange ways today. No it I got it from an American link. Now who in America – I mean the USA - would call the UNHRC a rogues gallery, after working so hard within it for the past few months. more..

Post-Mortem on Geneva

Mar 31 (Island) We have to face up to the fact that the Sri Lankan Govt suffered a serious set-back at Geneva. We can of course argue that adding the abstentions to the votes against the US Resolution shows that we lost only by one vote. That kind of statistical casuistry will take us nowhere. In fact the refusal to face up to ugly facts that motivates such casuistry could prove to be dangerous. It could even lead to the international isolation in which Sri Lanka found itself more..

National Interests and Foreign Relations

Mar 31 (Island) A cartoon this week in one of our newspapers said it all. A tall gaunt man with his head held erect walks into a room in Geneva saying, ‘I think we can, I think we can.’ The same man is then seen coming out of the door in Geneva, head bent down with a distraught face and almost bent in two, saying, ’I thought we could, I thought we could.’ Last year, one of our professionals always seeking the limelight headed a mammoth delegation to more..

Clouds on the Sri Lankan horizon for China

Mar 31 (CT) China’s relationship with the regime of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is rock solid. Chinese arms were instrumental in the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in 2009 that brought their insurgency to an end after 27 bloody years. China is the largest provider of foreign aid and investment to the island. And on March 22, when the UNHRC considered a resolution censuring Sri Lanka for shortcomings in its investigation of possible violations of international more..

Editorial: JVP on a slippery slope

Mar 31 (Island) The JVP's split is now permanent with its rebel group having formed a political party––the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP)––and sought its registration with the Elections Commissioner, as we reported yesterday. The inevitable has happened. This is a standard problem that an ideologically driven revolutionary outfit faces when it remains in mainstream politics for a long time with no prospects of a revolution; cadres become disillusioned and they vote with their feet. more..

Vietnam accepts offer of oil exploration block

Mar 31 (Island) Sri Lanka has offered Vietnam a block on the Mannar Basin to carryout oil exploration and the latter has officially accepted the offer. Discussions are now on between the two countries to formulate an agreement in this regard. Deputy Director General, South Asia and Africa Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Vietnam, Tran Quang Huy, addressing a forum organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) yesterday said more..

Batti youth hone vocational skills, find jobs

Mar 31 (Island) The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Miani Technical Institute of Batticaloa joined forces to provide National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) to 55 young women and men in the Batticaloa District. The annual certificate awarding ceremony for graduates was held recently with Donglin Li – Country Director of ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives as the chief guest. "The ILO is working towards decent employment for youth of the country more..

SL records highest lightning related deaths

Mar 31 (DN) Sri Lanka records the highest number of lightning related deaths in the world. According to statistics, 52 persons have died after being struck by lighting last year, said Kurunegala District Education Director W M Balasooriya at a meeting of school Heads at Bingiriya Youth Training Centre recently. "A national centre for preventing disasters of thunder and lightning has to be set up. A proposal in this regard will be forwarded to the Cabinet in due course. more..

President gets economics lecture from Harsha in Parliament

Mar 31 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who attended the Parliament yesterday on the special session on amendments to the Finance Act received a lecture on economics from none other than UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva. While Dr. De Silva was engaged in a rather heavy criticism of the proposed amendments to the Finance Act to allow for free ports in Sri Lanka, the President walked into the Chamber. Noting his presence, the UNP MP then went on more..

Holistic development path laid - Wimal

Mar 31 (DN) A road map for holistic development has been laid by the govt, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He made these observations at a meeting after opening the Janasevana Viru Gammanaya (War Heroes' Village) at Sridharanpura Mahawilawatta in Ganga Ihala, Kandy on Tuesday. The minister said the country is enjoying development dividends under the auspices of the government. "A development programme encompassing all regions and villages is underway. more..

Sharing in Sri Lanka: Part VI

Mar 31 (CTV) CTV Calgary's Karen Owen went with a team from World Vision to Sri Lanka to meet some of the people who have benefitted from its programs and even more who need our help. In part six of her series, Karen talks to a boy and his family who have been getting a hand up from World Vision. Dinesh is 11-years-old and has been sponsored by World Vision for two years. His sponsor family looked at his picture and sent him some school supplies and a little something from Canada. more..

'Govt. treating UNHRC vote as a joke, bound to backfire'

Mar 31 (Island) The Mahinda Rajapaksa regime has not changed one bit even after the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka and kept plying its trade mark contradictory statements, which indicated that it was treating the whole issue as a joke, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday. He said that even after the country had been humiliated, with the UNHRC adopting the US Resolution on Accountability and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka, senior ministers were contradicting more..

Indian actress rubbishes Sri Lanka Cricket's statement

Mar 31 (IC) Indian actress Nupur Mehta has dismissed a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) condemning her recent remarks to the media. Mehta maintains she was in a relationship with Tillakaratne Dilshan in 2009 while he was married. The actress made the startling revelation last week after the UK's Sunday Times reported that Mehta was being used by bookies to lure cricketers into match-fixing. Shortly after, SLC issued a statement saying that it "stands by more..

Columbo visits Colombo

Mar 31 (Mirror) As England head to Colombo for the Second Test against Sri Lanka, we ponder what might happen if Andy Flower called in the services of legendary detective Columbo. England's form has become a serious cause for concern as the team head into the Second Test in Colombo with their number one status hanging by a thread. So, rather than simply sitting down with the video analysts and batting coaches in an attempt to improve England's form, we reckon coach Andy Flower more..

ජිනීවා යෝජනා සහ රට පාවා දීමේ චෝදනා...

Galle canned fish factory commences production on April 3

Mar 31 (Island) The first fish canning factory of Sri Lanka will be opened in Galle next Tuesday. The factory has been completed at a cost of Rs. 84 million as a joint venture between the Sri Lanka Fisheries Corporation and a private institution. The factory has a capacity of producing 10,000 cans of fish per day and it will be increased to 20,000 in the future, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. In addition to the Galle Fish Canning Factory, 2 more fish canning more..

Judge refuses bail to three Peradeniya u’grads

Mar 31 (Island) Central Provincial High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilaka refused bail to the three undergraduates of the University of Peradeniya, held in remand custody in connection with ragging, torturing and sexually assaulting a fresher. He ordered the prison authorities to escort the suspects to the University Examinations Centre on the days they were to sit the examination. The bail application was filed by the parents of the suspects. more..

'Kotmale commissioning delay no big impact'

Mar 31 (Island) The delay in commissioning the Upper Kotmale Power Plant – the last of the hydro power projects - would not have had a huge impact due to there being no rain in the reason past Minister Champika Ranawaka said. However, the amount that would have been saved if the plant was commissioned in January, this year, would be calculated shortly, he said. Ranawaka said that the delay was chiefly due to a few people in some locations holding protests more..

Travelling with Kids: Sri Lanka worth throwing caution to the wind

Mar 31 (National) Nothing stands in my way when it comes to a holiday. I'd decided that a last-minute family trip to Sri Lanka to stay at a small guesthouse which had been recommended by a friend was a good idea, and even my husband cannot persuade me otherwise. "I don't think we should go. What about malaria?" he says unequivocally. A cursory online search uncovers the fact that Sri Lanka is actually malaria free so I book the flights anyway. The fact he doesn't want more..

Sri Lanka’s unending conflict

Mar 31 (DP) Colombo betrayed its complicity to genocide years before the first gunshot was fired in the Lankan civil war. In 1971, to stall the great slaughter in East Pakistan by the Pakistani Army, India had closed its airspace to airplanes from Pakistan. Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s government, however, had permitted Pakistani aircraft to fly through Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) with refueling facilities at Colombo. Unwilling as she was to withdraw that favour, even in the face of more..

William Hague faces legal action over Sri Lankan diplomat war crimes claim

Mar 31 (Guardian) An organisation representing the international Tamil diaspora is taking legal action against William Hague over the Foreign Office's failure to confront a senior Sri Lankan diplomat accused of complicity in crimes against humanity during the final stages of the island's civil war. The Global Tamil Forum has instructed the law firm Birnberg, Peirce and Partners to bring a judicial review against the foreign secretary for more..

UN resolution casts shadow on Lankans' lit meet in Toronto

Mar 31 (HT) Toronto may be nearly 4,000 miles away from Geneva, but a US-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC cast its shadow over a literary meet, aimed at bringing closer various Sri Lanka ethnic groups in the Canadian city. The event was Samadhana 2012, organized by the local group Sri Lanka Without Borders. This one, featuring authors Shyam Selvadurai, Mary Ann Mohanraj, Koom Kankesan and Sultan Ameerali, is the first of five such scheduled, with the last in late November this year. more..

Guidelines for tourists visiting Mullaitivu

Mar 31 (DN) The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) which has observed a large influx of tourists to Mullaitivu consequent to the return of total peace has issued a set of guidelines for the convenience of both the visiting public and the people of the area. The Centre in a press release said tourists visiting the area should identify and honour and respect the cultural traditions and values of the Tamil population in the re-settled areas. They should specially make it more..

Businessman son abducted

Mar 31 (DM) A gang which abducted the 22-year-old son of a millionaire in Vakarai is demanding Rs. 30 million to free him, police said. The youth identified as Ananda Krisho had been abducted on Thursday in the Vakarai police division in the Batticaloa district. He is the son of Nallathambi Thanihasalam who owns a fleet of buses and lorries. According to the police, a gang had come in a van and parked it near the businessman’s house. more..

CPC to hire foreign expert at Rs. 165,000 per day

Mar 31 (Island) Speculation is rife over a move to hire a foreign expert for the debt ridden CPC at a staggering Rs. 165,000 per day salary. Sources alleged that the CPC’s board of directors had been discussing the issue, though a competent IT expert was currently in service. Responding to a query, sources said that the expert was paid a monthly salary of Rs. 100,000 plus a range of other perks and privileges.

John demolishes Bandula’s argument

Mar 31 (Island) Minister John Seneviratne yesterday disputed his ministerial colleague Bandula Gunawardene’s contention that a family of three could live on a monthly income of Rs. 7,500 if they led a frugal life. Seneviratne said a family of three needed at least Rs. 15,000 a month. He said, "A family of three generally needs to pay telephone, water and light bills. Not only that, but also they need to eat three meals a day properly. So, one needs at least Rs. 15,000 per month." more..

Govt. may stop supplying dollars

Mar 31 (CT) Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivad Cabraal has said the govt may stop supplying dollars to pay for the oil import bills from May. The govt’s earlier move was to allow more rupee flexibility after it refrained from intervening in foreign exchange markets last month. The Central Bank shifted its foreign exchange policy to allow the market to determine the currency’s rate and stopped defending a certain price level by selling dollars in the market. more..

Premier hospitalized

Mar 31 (DM) Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne was admitted to the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital in the last evening, and he is now receiving treatment at the Preliminary Care Unit (PCU) of the hospital. According to hospital sources, the Prime Minister is due to be transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for further treatment. Hospital Director Dr. Chandra Goonetilleke was not available for comment.

UN probe into local institutes

Mar 31 (CT) The special audit apparatus of the United Nations Organization is probing the activities of three local institutes that have allegedly defrauded US dollars 1.57 million from the Food and Agriculture Organization. The Colombo Telegraph website quoting the permanent resident of FAO in Sri Lanka Patrick G. Evans states that the three local institutes that go under the names of Deva Traders, A.H. Associates and Y.C.O. Pam have no realistic existence. The FAO has not been able to more..

Tigers ready to exploit London Olympics

Mar 31 (Island) The LTTE is now citing the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka, recently adopted in Geneva, to support a major propaganda campaign to coincide with the forthcoming London Olympics. With various LTTE front organizations exploiting the Geneva resolution to promote separatist sentiments in Sri Lanka, the self-styled Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has called ‘human rights lovers’ theworld over to use the London Olympics more..

Ebert Silva Passes away

Mar 31 (GDI) Ebert Silva, a pioneer in the field of travel and tourism in Sri Lanka passed away on Wednesday at the age of 79. Ebert Silva gave life to an important and glorious chapter of Sri Lanka's transport, tourism and motoring history with the name being synonymous with the industry. Continuing the business his own father had started in 1928, and later named after him, he not only operated a model transport service during those pre-nationalization days but also more..

Three Indian trained men arrested over EPDP cadre’s killing

Mar 31 (Island) Police investigating the killing of an EPDP cadre, identified as Ragunathan alias Muththu, on March 17 at Periyakulam, Trincomalee, have arrested three Sri Lankan Tamils who received weapons training in South India. A leaflet left near the body identified the victim as a traitor claiming that the LTTE had killed him. Muththu had been with the LTTE before joining the EPDP. Investigators said that the suspects had carried out the killing after more..

Disappeared without a trace

Mar 31 (SL) Amidst much talk of the abuse of Human Rights taking place in the local and international fora, the fact that there remain 27 persons who are missing in the last five months serves as a damning indictment on this govt that has continuously pledged to up hold the rights of the people. Today we carry a list of 32 incidents of abductions and missing persons taken place between October last year and February this year. Out of which 5 have returned to their homes. more..

'Sri Lanka forex inflows rising'

Mar 31 (LBO) Central bank said there had been a "considerable improvement" in foreign exchange inflows in March 2012, amid a caution that it is domestic monetary policy and not inflows that determines an exchange rate. More than 500 million US dollars in foreign investment is expected in the next few weeks, the Central Bank said in a statement. Analysts however warn that inflows themselves make no impact on the exchange rate if the underlying credit more..