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Intl community not highlighting true story of conflict: Lanka

Mar 5 (PTI) Claiming that the population of Sinhalese and Muslims in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province has dwindled due to LTTE's terror tactics, Sri Lanka today faulted the international community for not highlighting the "true story" of the 30-year-old conflict. Patali Champika Ranawaka, the minister of power and energy and a senior member of the Sinhala majority nationalist heritage party, JHU said LTTE's terror tactics in their separatist campaign had caused more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 05.03.2012

Karuna’s man arrested over human smuggling racket

Mar 5 (SM) A man said to be a coordinating secretary of deputy minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman has surrendered to authorities in connection with a human smuggling racket. Identified as Wasanthan, he gave himself up on March 02 through a lawyer, who is a retired DIG. The CCD subsequently arrested the suspect, who is reported to be one of the racketeers evading arrest. The man has obtained sums of between Rs. 800,000 and Rs. 1.5 million more..

Sri Lanka seeks investment in agriculture

Mar 5 (E24|7) Sri Lanka is opening up its farmland to attract international investment and is keen on building business partnerships with Gulf based firms. Speaking to Emirates 24l7, Sri Lanka’s Consul General in Dubai MM Abdul Raheem said his country wants to extend the farmland investment promotion specifically to Gulf based businessmen. The country is inviting UAE businessmen to participate in a major conference it plans to host later this month. more..

Sri Lanka wins PATA Grand and Gold Awards

Mar 5 (GDI) Sri Lanka has been awarded the PATA Grand Award 2012 for Heritage and Culture, and a Gold Award for Environment. The Grand Awards have been presented to outstanding entries in four principal categories such as Education and Training, Environment, Marketing and Heritage and Culture. The awards are supported and sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office. This year, the Awards recognize the achievements of 21 separate organizations and individuals. more..

PM briefed on Jaya line on Lanka: PMO

Mar 5 (IBN) Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V Narayanasamy on Saturday said that the PMO has been apprised of the sentiments of people and political parties in Tamil Nadu about the US-sponsored motion against Sri Lanka for human rights violations during the civil war. Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, DMK president M Karunanidhi and MDMK leader Vaiko had taken up the issue with the PM. The Minister, without elaborating, said India will not support any sort of more..

More buses on Southern Expressway

Mar 5 (CT) The National Transport Commission (NTC) had deployed five new buses today to ease the congestion of commuters travelling on the Southern Expressway. The NTC Chairman Roshan Gunawardena told the ‘Ceylon Today’ that according to a survey done by them, buses from Galle, Kottawa, Maharagama, Nugegoda, Bastian Avenue (Pettah) and several other areas use the Southern Expressway. Every passenger is provided with a bottle of water, cooling towel and a newspaper free of charge, more..

Ranil directs probe

Mar 5 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has directed that incidents, which took place during recent protests organized by the party in Badulla and Panadura be investigated, party sources said today. He told General Secretary Tissa Attanayake to probe the behaviour of two UNP members of Haliellya Pradeshiya Sabha and few others in Badulla on Sunday during a meeting attended by him. He alleged that these members had acted in the manner more..

Catholic religious and activists gather once a month in a silent vigil for the victims of police violence

Mar 5 (AN) For seven months, Catholic clergymen, human rights activists and ordinary people have gathered on the first day of the month at Ftz Junction in Katunayake in support of Roshen Chanaka's family. They want justice for the young worker who died in May 2011 as well as other workers who were injured during clashes between with police and workers from the local Free Trade Zone. The peaceful silent protest is organised by Right to Life, a movement more..

Fmr. IGP’s order not to open fire ‘foolish,’ Solicitor General tells SC

Mar 5 (AD) The Supreme Court is to deliberate whether the attack on the protest by Katunayaka Free Trade Zone (FTZ) workers last year was a violation of fundamental rights. The decision was announced today by the three member bench led by Judge Shirani Bandaranayake, which granted approval to examine the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by 10 FTZ workers who claim they were subject to the police attack. One FTZ worker, Roshan Chanaka (21), was killed after clashes more..

LLRC does not adequately address issues of accountability – US tells UNHRC

Mar 5 (AD) The United States took another jab at Sri Lanka at the ongoing 19th session of the UNHRC by stating that the Govt appointed LLRC report does not include any plan to implement those recommendations, nor does it adequately address the crucial issue of accountability. US stated that, “We note the publication of the final report of Sri Lanka’s domestic LLRC and welcome its recommendations on reconciliation. However, the report does not include more..

Human rights and world's bleeding hearts

Mar 6 (LB) It is time for the grind in Geneva. After the opening statement was made by the President’s Human Rights Envoy Mahinda Samarasinghe, at the first day’s high level sessions of the UN Human Rights Council —- the gradual process of countering the propaganda against Sri Lanka is underway in Geneva. This is no straightforward exercise with sessions going onto focusing on much more germane issues such as the ground situation in Syria for example. more..

Are Delhi and Colombo playing a prearranged game?

Mar 6 (LB) The sixty-four thousand dollar question doing the round in town: Is the government really under intense international pressure and will it be compelled to do something about the Tamil question, or is it all plain bluff till the Human Rights tamasha in Geneva draws to a close? I do not know how much credence to give Frances Harrison, a former BBC correspondent based in Sri Lanka, who wrote on February 10 in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper: “There are signs that more..

Colombo's Chinatown

Mar 6 (SO) The China Street at Main Street, the Pettah and the Malwatta Road that runs in front of the Fort Railway Station up to the Colombo Harbour are very popular commercial streets in the hub of Colombo city. Not only old people, but also young shoppers in their thousands visit these streets everyday to purchase various household items. Some of the items such as glassware, gift items and electrical goods are not even seen at popular shopping arcades in more..

Women on their rights

Mar 6 (NS) International Women’s Day falls on March 8 every year. While the World is ready to celebrate the day this year under the theme of “Connecting girls, Inspiring Futures”, Sri Lanka selects the theme of “Safeguard the young girls of Sri Lanka”. The Nation spoke to some women politicians and women activists over their day. Here are excerpts. Issues not addressed - Nimalka Director, Women’s Political Academy Nimalka Fernando said women’s rights were lagging due to the more..

The Attorney General's incompatible roles

Mar 6 (Island) Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde were two personalities in one body. Our Attorneys General (AGs), by their "flexibility", have developed rather more schizophrenic morphs. The lure of a seat at the head of the Supreme Court may have encouraged some chameleon performances in the past. The manner in which they switch between their often incompatible roles leaves many a citizen bewildered. This undesirable state of affairs owes its sustenance to the fact that more..

US begins ‘Operation Monsoon’

Mar 6 (NS) The entire country’s attention is right now focussed on the UNHRC. This is due to the United State’s claim that it will bring a resolution against Sri Lanka regarding the killings that are alleged to have occurred during the war against terrorism. According to reports received thus far, among other things, the resolution will urge the setting up of a mechanism to implement recommendations made by the LLRC, the announcement of a specific timeline for more..

Who killed Cock Robin?

Mar 6 (LB) On 9 June 2011, it was reported in Lankan papers that US Pacific Commander Admiral Robert F. Willard has assured Lankan Navy Chief Vice Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake of continued US support in the post-war era. This was when Vice Admiral Dissanayake called on Admiral Willard in Singapore. Admiral Willard served as commander of the US Pacific Fleet from May 8, 2007 to Sept. 25, 2009 before taking on his current position. It was further reported that the govt of Sri Lanka has always more..

Geneva-II & four-legged furniture

Mar 6 (GV) The US resolution at the UN HRC in Geneva has deepened the schisms in Sri Lankan society. That resolution will have the same polarising function as did the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), in defining each political tendency in the popular mind for a while to come. The dominant elements of the centre-right Opposition, the UNP (apart from its ‘Reformists’, that is) opine that there is nothing wrong, or particularly anti-Sri Lankan, with a resolution that calls on the state to more..

The Ravaya 25th Anniversary Speech – Victor Ivan

Mar 6 (CT) Reverend Sirs, His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka, the Honorable Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the TNA, Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends, At the outset, let me explain to you, the reason why I ventured to convene this special forum with the distinguished presence of the head of the state, the leader of the opposition, the leader of the TNL, a selected number of people’s representatives, public officers, more..

Human Rights Hypocrisy

Mar 6 (Island) My friends in the UK are asking me what is happening to Sri Lanka as they read about the Commons debate and the shenanigans in Geneva. This is what I told them. On Feb 22, the House of Commons witnessed one of its periodic orgies of self-righteousness. The Pecksniffery was ecumenical – opposition MPs eagerly lined up to offer their unsolicited support for the govt line. The issue that united so many diverse humbugs was the human rights record of more..

Editorial: Terror backers' conniption

Mar 6 (Island) Perturbed greatly by media reports that India will stand by Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva as it did last time, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi and MDMK chief Vaiko are going flat out to secure the Centre's support for the US-sponsored anti-Sri Lankan resolution. They have confronted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue. Interestingly, these are the politicians who unflinchingly supported the LTTE to more..

US$ 278.2mn Chinese loan for railway extension project

Mar 6 (FT) Hot on the heels of the Daily FT story yesterday regarding a high powered Transport Ministry team is in Beijing to finalise the China’s Exim bank funding for Matara-Kataragama rail track extension, the Finance Ministry said yesterday that China has approved a loan of US$ 278.2 million through its Export-Import Bank of China on concessional terms to finance construction of the Matara-Beliatta Section (Phase I) of the Matara-Kataragama more..

A disorderly depreciation of the Rupee

Mar 6 (CT) Sri Lanka’s Central Bank (CB) is now engaged in a rearguard action to stop the rupee from overshooting on the downside. Its first attempt was to use ‘moral suasion’ to establish a trading range. Dealers have reported it intervening several times by selling dollars to prevent sharp moves lower. Now, it has capped forward rupee transactions at 90 days; and, this will not be the last of many controls the CB will use to prevent a disorderly depreciation. more..

Sri Lanka and its ‘Geneva-problem’

Mar 6 (GV) The year 2009 was when the Western group of States at the UNHRC made a serious diplomatic blunder, by attempting to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka. The West missed the plot. This was just days after a bloody three decades long war had ended in Sri Lanka; just days after a group which was listed as a terrorist group in their own countries had been comprehensively defeated; at a time when they themselves had already begun a ‘War on Terror’; and soon after they more..

New CB ruling sparks volatility, say currency dealers

Mar 6 (Island) The rupee fell on Monday against the dollar with a new Central Bank regulation to contain speculation in the foreign exchange market fuelling volatility instead, currency dealers said. The rupee closed at Rs. 121.90/122 against the dollar yesterday from around Rs. 120.50 last Friday on strong importer demand. Last week the Central Bank trimmed by a third the level of overnight foreign exchange positions held by commercial banks for trading. more..

Answer to dry zone drinking water woes

Mar 6 (DN) Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) scientist J P Padmasiri and engineer W M Jayawardhana have successfully designed a water purification unit which can reduce excess thickness and fluoride in drinking water in the dry zone. This new unit will be useful to clean and purify drinking water in the dry zone, specially the North Central Province, where water borne disease including kidney ailments are proliferating. IFS which functions under the Technology and Research Ministry conducts basic and more..

Website and online registration system on contractors launched

Mar 6 (DN) The Institute for Construction Training and Development (ICTAD) launched a website on contractors to facilitate those who are engaged in the construction sector. The website and on line registration system was launched yesterday under the patronage of Minister Wimal Weerawansa. He said that the website is an electronic platform to share construction details. With the increasing of the usage of the electronic media, people try to take unnecessary advantages from them. more..

Fuel price hike and ongoing economic crisis

Old claymore mine found in Malabe

Mar 6 (Island) The Sri Lanka Navy found an old claymore mine in an abandoned land at Pothuarawa Road in Malambe yesterday. Security forces’ investigators believe the bomb had been taken there by an LTTE cadre planning a VIP attack and had abandoned it after changing plans. The navy men, who came across the mine, were clearing the area in view of the security arrangements for the handing over of a house won by the winner of ‘Ranaviru Real Star’ competition. more..

GMOA laments non-implementation of Nat. Drug policy

Mar 6 (Island) The Government Medical Officers’ Association yesterday lamented at the fact that Sri Lanka continues to be among nations without a national drug policy. "This is sad given the fact that the importance of having a national drug policy was introduced to the world by a Sri Lankan and many other nations adopted such policies and benefited by doing so," GMOA Chairman Dr Anurudhha Padeniya told a media conference at the GMOA head office in Colombo. more..

Lanka growth to dip below 7.5% – IMF

Mar 6 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday forecast Sri Lanka’s economic growth would cool to less than 7.5% due to its tighter monetary policy and currency depreciation measures, aimed at cutting the trade and current account deficits. The global lender has withheld the last $800 million left in a $2.6 billion loan program since September, after the central bank refused to adopt a more flexible rupee exchange rate policy. more..

Price of gas to be increased by Rs.300 - Gayantha

Mar 6 (Island) The govt, having confused the masses by distorting the contents of the US resolution on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC, was on the verge of increasing the price of gas by a further Rs. 300 per cylinder, UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake allegedd yesterday. He said that the people have been hoodwinked into gazing at Geneva, while the Rajapaksa regime was having a field day, by increasing the prices of essential goods and services by unprecedented margins. more..

JJ blames PR system for not enough women getting to Parliament

Mar 6 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena says that the proportional representation system had hindered women’s representation in parliament. "Women’s financial status and the lack of strength to compete with their male counterparts, in order to get elected, is a major drawback that should be addresses within the system," he said. To address this drawback at the party level the UNP had set an example by admitting women into their working committee and more..

CPC in debt, Rs. 80 million borrowed

Mar 6 (CT) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has borrowed a staggering Rs. 80 billion from state banks during the past twelve months to cover up its massive losses. As a result of these mammoth loans provided to the CPC, the state banks are now heading towards a serious crisis, Finance Ministry sources said. The CPC has lost Rs.89 billion in 2011 and is expected to lose Rs. 63.6 billion even after the oil price hike this year, more..

True story of LTTE conflict not highlighted properly: Lanka

Mar 6 (PTI) Claiming that the population of Sinhalese and Muslims in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province has dwindled due to LTTE's terror tactics, Sri Lanka today faulted the international community for not highlighting the "true story" of the 30-year-old conflict. Champika Ranawaka, minister and a member of the Sinhala nationalist party, JHU said LTTE's terror tactics in their separatist campaign had caused the reduction of the Sinhala and Muslim communities in the north. more..

Five Rameswaram fishermen held for ferrying Sri Lankans

Mar 6 (Hindu) Five fishermen from Rameswaram have been arrested on the charge of ferrying a Sri Lankan Tamil woman and her child illegally from Kachchatheevu after the annual St. Antony's festival on the island. Highly placed sources told The Hindu that V. Mahalingam, Consul-General of India in Jaffna, has sent a communiqué to the Director of Fisheries, Government of Tamil Nadu, stating that the fishermen and owner of the boat could not be faulted for ferrying the Sri Lankans. more..

India urging Sri Lanka to allocate oil exploration blocks

Mar 6 (Hindu) India is persuading Sri Lanka to allocate oil exploration blocks in the waters that separate them as it considers the location too strategically important to allow companies from other nations to base themselves in this area. Diplomatic sources said the two countries were trying to set up a meeting between the Petroleum Ministers this month to discuss the issue afresh, now that Cairns India has struck oil in one of the blocks. more..

Sri Lanka online traders get quick access to new trading system

Mar 6 (LBO) IronOne Technologies, a Sri Lanka based firm said its online trading system used at 15 out of 22 brokers has been connected to an upgrade to the Colombo Stock Exchange's new automated trading system. The CSE upgraded to MillenniumIT, ATS-7 system on Febuary 24. Iron one said an upgrade to its ASTRAD platform (FIX 5.0/FAST Protocol) was simultaneously launched at 15 brokering houses. more..

GMOA to decide its move next week

Mar 6 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers’ Association will take a final decision, at its General Committee meeting scheduled for March 11, on whether to take stronger trade union action or not over the non-payment of the Telecommunication Allowance for doctors. All doctors in the govt service were allowed to produce mobile phone and Internet bills up to Rs.6,000 per month. It was introduced on Sept 9, 2009 for all high ranking public officials, including doctors. more..