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Sri Lanka on Tiger Airways Asian promotion

May 19 (LBO) Singapore based Tiger Airways, a budget carrier, said it was kicking off a promotion to Asian destinations in June as it adds Sri Lanka to its network. "Travellers looking for a different holiday in the region will be amazed at what multi-faceted Asia has to offer," Stewart Adams, managing director of Tiger Airways Singapore said in a statement. "Catching a spectacular view of the world’s largest blue whale colony in Sri Lanka and exploring Kochi’s breath-taking more..

Kapilavastu relics to journey to Sri Lanka after 33 years

May 19 (Hindu) The Sacred Kapilavastu Relics will travel from India to in Sri Lanka in August. These will be on display across Sri Lanka from August 20 to September 5. The relics will have the status of a Head of State in Sri Lanka. An agreement to make this happen was signed in Colombo today by H.P. Cashian Herath, Secretary, Ministry of Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs, Sri Lanka, and Pravin Srivastava, Director General, National Museum, India. more..

Justice Wijesundera, family given security following threats

May 19 (Island) The govt has provided security to Court of Appeal Justice, Deepali Wijesundera’s family following recurrence of death threats. Authoritative sources told The Island that the Defence Ministry had acted promptly after Justice Wijesundera brought the latest threat to the notice of the ministry. An unidentified party threatened Justice Wijesundera’s daughter and son-in-law. Sources said that the govt would continue to provide security to the Wijesundera family.

More ex-Tigers join hunger strike

May 19 (DM) Another 100 ex-Tigers in remand prison today joined the hunger strike launched by 80 of their colleagues on Thursday demanding that the authorities either expedite their court cases which according to them had been dragging on for years or in the alternative to release them. Prison authorities said 50 ex-Tigers at the Vavuniya remand prison, 20 at Kalutara another 30 who were at the Colombo Remand Prison (CRP) have joined the hunger strike. But the Prisons Department charged that the former combatants launched the hunger strike hoping more..

U.S. "encouraged" by Sri Lanka moves on Iran oil

May 19 (Reuters) The United States is encouraged by Sri Lanka's drive to cut its oil imports from Iran, the U.S. State Department said on Friday in a positive assessment of the island nation's efforts to escape potential U.S. sanctions. Sri Lanka's oil minister, Susil Premajayantha, said this week his government expected to avoid U.S. sanctions after cutting Iran oil imports by up to 38 percent by switching to alternatives from Oman and Saudi Arabia. more..

Roads closed for V-Day celebrations

May 19 (Island) Special traffic arrangement have been put in place in view of the Victory Day parade celebrations to be held at the Galle Face today, Police Headquarters said yesterday. Roads leading to the Galle Face will be closed from 5.00 a.m. till the celebrations are over. Police requests motorists to use alternate routes. The roads which would be closed today are as follows: Galle Road from the Bagatale Junction upto Galle Face Roundabout. Marine Drive from Glen Aber place to Kollupitiya Railway junction. more..

JVP agitates against administration that distresses masses

May 19 (LT) The JVP has launched a series of agitations throughout the country to ‘Rally against the administration that distresses masses!’ The series of agitations named ‘Rally against the administration that distresses masses’ is held simultaneous with the 45 day programme carried out by the JVP from 15th May to 30th June which includes agitations, discussions, campaigns, meetings and distribution of leaflets to make the masses aware of more..

Bookie claims he paid Sri Lanka cricketer Rs 10 crore to fix IPL match

May 19 (TOI) Bookie Sonu Yogendra Jalan alias Malad has told the crime branch that he paid Rs 10 crore to a Sri Lankan cricket player for fixing a match. He also mentioned that some Indian cricketers were also involved in match fixing, sources said. He along with Devendra Kothari alias Bhaiyyaji, were arrested by the city crime branch on Thursday. They are believed to be a part of a bigger international cricket betting racket, crime branch officials said. more..

President opens second phase of Administrative Complex

May 19 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday opened the second phase of the construction of the Administrative Complex at Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla as part of the govt's initiative to turn Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte into the country's administrative capital. Colombo, the economic capital is being developed as the commercial hub of South Asia. The UDA is the constructor of the second phase of the administrative complex, which provides office space for nine ministries more..

AI urges US to put pressure on SL

May 19 (CT) The rights watchdog Amnesty International today urged the United States to pressure Sri Lanka into implementing accountability measures in Sri Lanka. "Secretary of State Hilary Clinton should use this meeting to follow up on her decisive action during the March session of the United Nation's Human Rights Council to press the Sri Lankan Government on accountability for abuses committed during its 30-year internal conflict,” Frank Jannuzi, head of Amnesty International's Washington D.C. office said more..

University student leader attacked in Jaffna

May 19 (CT) The University of Jaffna Student’s Union Secretary Tharshananth was attacked by four unidentified men at Kalatty, Jaffna today. Tharshananth was attacked at around 8.30 am while he was on his way to the university today. He was taken to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital soon after the attack and he is undergoing treatment for the head injuries he suffered, sources said. The victim is a final year student from the Arts Faculty of the University of Jaffna. more..

No suspicion in ruggerite’s death - police

May 19 (DM) Police said yesterday that there was no suspicion in the death of ruggerite WasimThajudeen as the government analyst in his report stated that Thajudeen’s car had caught fire when a spark from a metal piece in the chassis had grazed the road due to its excessive speed. According to police he had lost control as he was driving at a very high speed on the Park Road in Narahenpita early Thursday morning at around 1.00am and crashed into a wall. more..

Labour says no credible probe in Sri Lanka

May 19 (CG) Britain’s Labour party three years after the war in Sri Lanka a credible accountability process has still not been initiated from within Sri Lanka to investigate the serious allegations of war crimes detailed in the UN Panel of Experts report. In a message to mark the remembrance of the incidents which occurred in Mulivaikal during the final stages of the war, Labour leader Ed Miliband MP said that his party remains deeply concerned by the desperate plight faced by more..

Nation commemorates Victory Day today

May 19 (DN) The nation will commemorate the third anniversary of totally vanquishing terrorism in the country, at a solemn ceremony to be held at Galle Face Green today under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s patronage. Over 12,828 personnel and 852 officers representing the Tri forces, the Police and the Civil Defence Force will participate in the Victory Day parade marking the third anniversary of ending 30 years of terrorism in Sri Lanka. more..

Nation pays tribute to War Heroes with pride - President

May 19 (DN) It is with great honour towards War Heroes that I issue this message to mark National War Heroes' Day ceremonies held today to pay the nation's tribute to War Heroes who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the freedom of the Motherland, states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a Victory Day message. The message adds: "The ability to unite the Motherland under a single banner offers us a great sense of pride. It is also a pride and a sense of dignity to the entire nation. more..

LLRC implementation plans to be accessible to both Sri Lankans and those outside

May 19 (TC) Excerpts from US State Dept. Daily Press Briefing | Washington, DC. QUESTION: Do you have a readout on Secretary’s meeting with the Sri Lankan foreign minister this morning? MS. NULAND: I do. Secretary met this morning for about 45 minutes with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Peiris. The foreign minister presented a very serious and comprehensive approach to the LLRC’s implementation and the plans that the govt has, including plans to make it more public and accessible both to Sri Lankans and more..

US praises 'very serious' Sri Lanka reconciliation plan

May 19 (AFP) The United States said Sri Lanka had put forward "a very serious" plan Friday for reconciliation after its 27-year war, and urged the island to move forward on protecting human rights. Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L Peiris met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the wake of a US-backed UN resolution -- that provoked fury in Colombo -- urging accountability over alleged war crimes. Peiris "presented a very serious and comprehensive approach" to more..

MEP welcomes change of leadership in France

May 19 (Island) In a communique issued by the Secretary, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, a constituent party in the UPFA states that it extends warm wishes to newly elected French President Francois Hollande as the President of France. It says "President Francois Hollande, Leader of the Socialist Party, was entrusted with a mandate by the People of France, a leading state of the western world, for change of path in France. "A socialist president been elected after more..

Armed Forces in forefront of development thrust

May 19 (DN) The Security Forces are playing a pivotal role in the reconstruction of war-affected infrastructure, resettlement of thousands of civilians displaced by LTTE terrorists and reintegration of ex-combatants into society with the goal of promoting reconciliation. These peace warriors have contributed to the development of the North and East in the aftermath of the humanitarian operation. They have helped revive the livelihood of people in more..

Sri Lanka’s Milky Way

May 19 (SL) Last week, the streets of Hatton flowed with milk (literally) as disgruntled dairy farmers protested that private dairy companies were not buying their product. Some even bathed in milk as it cascaded down the road. Some 12,000 litres of milk were reportedly lost due to the protests. This was the latest development following an increase in the price of milk powder. The farmers reportedly claimed that private companies were not buying their product. more..

Narcotics trade hit by Police vigilance

May 19 (ST) Over 13,000 persons have been arrested for narcotics related offences in the first four months of this year. Nearly one-third of them, or 4,260 persons, were linked to heroin related cases, of which 3,954 were arrested by outstation police, the latest statistics of the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) revealed. Of the 13,407 persons arrested for narcotics related offences, 9,142 were for cannabis and 8,947 of them were from the outstations. more..

NSB-TFC share deal: ‘Golden Key’ to unravelling mystery?

May 19 (Island) Reversing the recent National Savings Bank-The Finance Company share deal, was not feasible and would make the Securities Exchange a laughing stock, the UNP said yesterday while calling for stern action against the decision makers. Nullifying consensual open market transactions went against basic economic principles and it was not the manner in which mature financial markets acted. However, those who had violated the pub lic trust reposed in them should be punished under more..

Gibbs confirms participation in Sri Lanka T20 league

May 19 (PTI) South African batsman Herschelle Gibbs has confirmed that he will be taking part in the upcoming Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) T20 tournament. Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had previously announced the involvement of foreign stars in the SLPL, but no names have yet been released by them. The Sri Lanka board has also said players like Chris Gayle, David Warner, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Daniel Vettori are more..

Sri Lanka Cricket claims ignorance, says no knowledge of fixing

May 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Saturday denied any knowledge of its player being accused of match fixing in the on going Indian Premier League. "No we are not aware of such an occurrence. If it had happened the BCCI would have informed us," the SLC secretary, Nishantha Ranatunga told PTI expressing surprise at the accusation. Ranatunga said the governing body would definitely investigate the matter if informed by the BCCI. more..

Video douses hope of Saroja Devi

May 19 (Hindu) A picture published in The Hindu on October 1, 2011, brought hope to Saroja Devi, a resident of Alambil in Mullaitivu, who has been searching for her son who surrendered to the Sri Lankan Navy, since 2008. A video shown to her at the Office of Commissioner General of Rehabilitation on Friday doused that hope. Her search for Kerbert Morino Leon Roxy, who should now be in his late twenties, and who, according to her, surrendered to the Sri Lankan Navy on July 9, 2008, continues. more..

Rs. 1 bn MBSL loan for Navara to buy MBSL Savings Bank ?

May 19 (Island) Hot on the heels of the National Savings Bank- The Finance Company fiasco, comes the bizarre scandal of another listed bank- The Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka PLC where the pioneering merchant bank has provided a loan of Rs. 1 billion to Navara Capital to purchase 67% of its subsidiary MBSL Savings Bank, where Sri Lanka’s commercial legislation does not provide for Leveraged Buy Outs. Top market sources and bank insiders allege more..

President rejects demands to rollback military camps

May 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s president on Saturday, rejected demands to remove military camps in the island’s north and urged international co-operation to modernise the country. “We must ask if we in a position to remove the armed forces camps in the north and reduce our attention national security. That is not possible,” President Mahinda Rajapakse said in his nationwide address to mark the third anniversary since ending the decades’ long conflict. more..

Sri Lanka itself will probe war abuses, including by forces

May 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Saturday said it will conduct its own investigation into allegations of war abuses including those by its armed forces, the country's Foreign Minister said, rejecting calls for setting up an international tribunal. "The Sri Lankan Attorney general has started the inquiry into the alleged war abuses and human rights violations that occurred during the last few months of end of the civil war," GM Peiris, told reporters more..

Sri Lanka marks anniversary of Tigers' defeat

May 19 (AFP) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday rejected international calls to withdraw troops from the island's former war zone as he marked the third anniversary of the Tamil rebels' defeat. In a bullish address to the nation, Rajapakse said he could not dismantle military camps in the north because it would undermine national security in a country slowly emerging from nearly four decades of ethnic bloodshed. more..

Editorial: The wise course after Victory Day

May 19 (DM) Victory Day will be celebrated in a big way again today with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces presiding at a spectacular military show to honour the war heroes who were killed or injured in the battle against terrorism. It would be more honourable and graceful if we also remember not only the security forces personnel but all people who were killed or injured in the thirty-year war. There were two bloody insurrections by more..

Three cops killed in accident

May 19 (CG) Three policemen were killed in Pannala when the motorbike they were riding collided with a parked lorry this morning, the police media unit said. According to the police, all three policemen were on one motorbike and they were heading to Pannala from Kulliyapitiya when the accident took place. The motorbike crashed into the parked lorry near the Pannala Catholic church along the Pannala-Kulliyapitiya road. All three policemen were attached to the Pannala police.

Soldier kills two over love affair

May 19 (CT) An army officer from the Katugastota police area shot a young woman and her parents with a T 56 rifle in the wee hours of today. The 21 year old woman and her mother died upon admission to the Thittapajjala hospital, and the father is currently receiving treatment at the Kandy hospital. The soldier had shot the victims as the young woman had refused to get romantically involved with him. The police report that when the suspect was more..

Vaiko flays move to send Buddha relics to Sri Lanka

May 19 (PTI) MDMK leader Vaiko on Saturday criticised India's decision to lend 'Kapilavastu relics' (fragments of Buddha's bones) to Sri Lanka for an exposition and said the move was an "unpardonable betrayal" of Indian Government against the Tamils. Citing the alleged killing of ethnic Tamils during the war against LTTE in Sri Lanka, Vaiko, in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said the decision was "pouring fire in the terribly wounded hearts of the Tamils". more..

In the land of the Buddha

May 19 (Hindu) We are on the Buddha Trail and we are on a high. The experience of physically travelling on the path the Buddha and Mahavira trod is extraordinary, indefinable. My trip to Bodh Gaya begins at the Delhi airport, much to my surprise. I am glancing through the books on Bihar at a well known book shop. “Do you have anything on Bodh Gaya?” I ask the shop assistant. “There is a book on the Buddha on the far shelf,” replies a young man beside me. “And you will find books on more..

UNP against extension of school hours

May 19 (DM) The UNP yesterday requested the Education Ministry not to rush towards extending school hours as such a move would affect children psychologically. UNP Kurunegala District MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam told a news conference yesterday that extending school hours till 3 pm would exhaust the children a great deal. He was referring to a proposed move by the education authorities to extend school hours in some schools till 3pm. more..

Four high-ranking police officers transferred

May 19 (AD) Four high-ranking police officers, including two Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASPs), one Chief Inspector and one Inspector, have been transferred according to service requirements, police spokesman’s office said today. Chief Inspector Weerasinghe has been transferred from Kegalle Devision to OIC of Punarin police station while Inspector K.D. De Silva who served as Nagoda OIC has been transferred to Seethawakapura Devision. more..

Olympics broadcast is an immense service to sports, says Minister Lokuge

May 19 (NF) Minister of Labour and Labour Relations and a Former Minister of Sports, Gamini Lokuge has commented on MTV/MBC's decision to broadcast the London 2012 Olympics. "Several Sri Lankans have secured an Olympic berth this time as well, we should appreciate that and wish them all the luck to secure victory and make our country proud. Sri Lankans expect to view the Olympics which takes place once every four years through improved technology." more..

World Vision Sri Lanka

Editorial: Lanka's red letter day, more significant today

May 20 (SO) People consider miracles as something contrary to the laws of nature and are widely regarded as an act of God. It is not all the time that miracles turn out to be realities. In similar vein, almost everybody was under an illusion that only a miracle could defeat terrorism in Sri Lanka. Theories hatched in the West also projected such a belief not only among people in Sri Lanka, but also among the international community. On the other hand, more..

Editorial: Victory over terrorism not yet

May 20 (SL) The annual Victory Parade which has now become a ritual in Sri Lanka’s official calendar took place with the usual military razzle-dazzle. Colombo last week was rattled in the mornings with the Air Force doing their practice runs and streets around Galle Face closed for military rehearsals. Commemorating the military victory over terrorism is amply justified but whether all the military trappings evident at the ceremony were justified with the poor and more..