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Election monitors prepare for polls in the North

Apr 8 (LB) Election monitors in Sri Lanka have begun their operations in the Northern Province in preparation for the provincial council elections. The govt has decided to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) before September this year. Executive director of the PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said the public awareness campaigns have been commenced in the North regarding the NPC election more..

'No funds to maintain archaeological sites'

Apr 8 (CT) Vast funds are needed in order to maintain and preserve over 275,000 archaeological sites neglected within the country, as well as other commitments and services of the National Heritage Ministry, Minister Jagath Balasooriya, noted. He also lamented that with the reorganization of the portfolios, the money allocated by the Treasury to the Ministry of National Heritage had been reduced, and had resulted in the main more..

Number of Lankan runaway maids swells

Apr 8 (AN) The number of runaway housemaids seeking refuge at the Sri Lankan mission has doubled following the govt’s enforcement of the Nitaqat program in recent weeks, the Sri Lankan Embassy said. The Lankan mission in Riyadh receives around 10 runaway maids a day from the central province. “We have witnessed a remarkable increase in the number of runaway maids following rumors of raids that are spreading around more..

President Rajapaksa first Head of State at Aluth Sahal Mangalya

Apr 8 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated at the National Aluth Sahal Mangalya at the Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi premises on Sunday. He was the first Head of State to participate at this National ceremony. The Aluth Sahal Mangalya is a celebration of offering milk rice made of the maiden harvest. The objectives of the function is to invoke blessings on the deities who protected the paddy cultivation and more..

Premier impressed by Malabe medical college achievement

Apr 8 (Island) Some professional organizations, especially trade unions of medical professionals, had been protesting against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) at Malabe, out of jealousy, said Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, after declaring open a 1002-bed ultra-modern teaching hospital belonging to SAITM there last Friday. The PM said the SAITM had complied with the main guidelines set by more..

Editorial : Prepare ye for a knock-out shock

Apr 8 (CT) The people, already overburdened by the rising cost of living, are soon going to receive a shocking increase in the form of an exorbitant electricity tariff. That is despite the promise made by the new lady Minister of Power and Energy when she took over the organization not so long ago, and the many submissions made by the various business chambers, trade unions and over 40 other groups totalling almost 200 representations, to the Public Utility Commission seeking more..

Building peace in Sri Lanka: A personal story

Apr 8 (CT) Rod is R.D. Perera. We met in 1954 when he enrolled in the University Entrance class (HSC) at Jaffna College. Before it became associated with the slogan of Eelam, Vaddukoddai’s sole claim to fame was that Jaffna College was located there. Apart from that Vaddukoddai was a cultural desert. There were no good restaurants, shops or other commercial establishments. There were a couple of thosai kadais and toddy spots under Palmyra trees for those who were more..

'71 struggle was the first proletarian uprising of capitalist Sri Lanka – JVP

Apr 8 (CT) Despite different persons come out with various interpretations regarding the '71 struggle, it is the first uprising of the proletarian class against the capitalist class in Sri Lanka states the JVP. The JVP held the 42nd Commemoration of April Heroes at Kurunegala on the 5th. The Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe addressing the gathering said, "We are gathered here to commemorate the '71 uprising that is seen more..

Schoolchildren to be taught heritage protection

Apr 8 (Island) The Ministry of National Heritage has decided to educate schoolchildren on the value of the national heritage and the need to protect it. This programme is to be implemented with help of Ministry of Education through heads of schools. More than 4,000 awareness programmes would be held at schools throughout the country and lectures delivered by officials of the Archeological Department, a top education official said. "About 1,500 thefts of artifacts have been reported more..

DPF accuses Govt. of trying to sabotage TNA victory

Apr 8 (CT) The DPF accused the govt of plotting to sabotage a possible victory of the TNA in the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Election. Western Provincial Councillor, N. Kumaragurubaran, said it was clear the TNA would win the NPC Election as it is using various tactics to stop the TNA. "Already a TNA office was attacked. However, police are seemingly mute regarding the incident," he alleged, urging the govt to set up an independent police commission and more..

Controversy erupts over mass grave investigation in Sri Lanka

Apr 8 (Xinhua) The govt on Monday denied attempting to protect perpetrators of a mass grave where skeletal remains of over 150 people have been unearthed and insisted that a full investigation would be made. On Sunday President Rajapaksa announced plans to appoint an independent commission to probe the mass grave that has so far unearthed skeletal remains belonging to 154 people. The opposition, however, more..

Illicit sand miners freed by force from custody

Apr 8 (Island) Wildlife officials, who nabbed illegal sand miners, along with a tractor load of sand at Manampitiya were attacked by another group of sand miners, who secured the release of the suspects and the vehicle. Wildlife officials raided an illicit sand mining quarry at Kotaleeya Oya in Manampitiya on Friday and nabbed two suspects mining for sand. The other suspects, who escaped, later arrived at the site with around 25 persons who attacked the wildlife officials more..

UNP charged CEB incurring losses due to corruption

Apr 8 (CT) The UNP yesterday charged the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is incurring huge losses due to corruption taking place within the institute. Addressing the media in Colombo yesterday UNP Parliamentarian Joseph Michael Perera pointed out, during the period the UNP was ruling the country, the CEB made a profit, and also added corruption is taking place within every State institution and eventually the public have to take the burden for such corruption. more..

Son of Mervyn’s secretary allegedly gave weapon

Apr 8 (DM) The Kadawatha Acting Magistrate today issued an arrest warrant against the son of Minister Mervyn Silva’s parliamentary secretary in connection with the killing of Kelaniya PS member Hasitha Madawala. The parliamentary secretary Sarath Kumara Edirisinghe alias Singapore Sarath was earlier granted bail on the advice of the Attorney general. When the case was taken up yesterday, the CID informed court that the govt analyst’s more..

Global e-system to boost Sri Lankan apparel export volume

Apr 8 (F2F) Apparel exports from the South Asian island nation of Sri Lanka are likely to get a boost as the country’s small and medium apparel exporters are to be linked to global customs electronic system, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. If things go as per plan, the shipments of Sri Lankan apparel exporters can be linked to the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) global e-system by May 2013, and this would give a major boost to more..

De-miner killed in explosion

Apr 8 (CG) A local de-miner was killed following a mine explosion in Jaffna today, police sources in Jaffna said. The de-miner, who works for the HALO Trust non-governmental organization, was clearing mines in Muhamalai when the explosion took place. The victim was identified as K. Muragesu, a resident of Kilinochchi. Between 2002 and October 2012, HALO Sri Lanka has cleared over 650 hectares (1,607 acres) of minefields and systematic Battle Area Clearance of over 1,640 hectares more..

Attempts to frame Gota over Matale

Apr 8 (CG) Attempts are being made to frame Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over the human skeletal remains found at Matale, Director of the MCNS Lakshman Hulugalle said. Hulugalle said that the sudden interest of opposition political parties in the Matale mass grave is with an ulterior motive. He said that the Defence Secretary was the coordinating officer in Matale during the time the people were said to have more..

Philandering husband remanded

Apr 8 (DM) A man who allegedly kept company with two other women while his wife was hospitalised and assaulted her on her return home, causing injuries, was produced before Kalutara Additional. Magistrate Namal Perera and remanded till April 10. The suspect Beneragama Vidanalage Sameera Lakshan was a resident of Galessahena. The complainant stated to police that she had found her husband in the company of two women when she returned home after hospital treatment and more..

President wants speed limit increased

Apr 8 (AD) President Rajapaksa today said that steps will be taken to increase the speed limit for vehicles in the country’s roads and that pavements will be compulsory in all roads being built. People who have imported new vehicles are grateful for building roads, however complain that they are stopped by the police each step of the way, he said at a ceremony in Galgamuwa after declaring open the Padeniya-Anuradhapura road. The reason for this is because speed limits are still set up more..

Britain's 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher dies

Apr 8 (Reuters) Margaret Thatcher, the "Iron Lady" who transformed Britain and inspired conservatives around the world by radically rolling back the state during her 11 years in power, died on Monday following a stroke. She was 87. Britain's only woman prime minister, the unyielding, outspoken Thatcher led the Conservatives to three election victories, governing from 1979 to 1990, the longest continuous period in office by a more..

Cobra girl: Court turns down police request

Apr 8 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today turned down a police request to direct the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to arrest Nirosha Wimalaratne also known as ‘the cobra girl’ when she returns to the country. Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya had on April 4, issued a warrant for Ms. Wimalaratne’s arrest for not being present in Court to answer charges in the case where she is alleged to have had a cobra in her room at a Kollupitiya nightclub. Kollupitiya police informed Court more..

Heroes who shouted 'Long live Revolution' even when ....

Apr 8 (LT) "What we have in this country is not democracy but a despotic, pro-imperialist family rule that slashes rights of the masses. New police battalions are created to suppress revolts. There are lessons from Tunisia and Egypt. The JVP will never tolerate a rule that attempts to make slaves out of people," said the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva addressing the 42nd Commemoration of April Heroes held at Kurunegala on the 5th. He said, "We are participating at a ceremony held to more..

Sri Lanka reacts strongly to TN Assembly resolution

Apr 8 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Monday reacted strongly to the recent Tamil Nadu assembly resolution against it, saying it was “disturbing” and asked the critics to visit the country to see the progress on the ground instead of going by “exaggerated” allegations of human rights abuses. The Tamil Nadu Assembly had on March 27, unanimously adopted a resolution urging the Centre to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and to slap more..

Sri Lanka denies killing Indian fishermen

Apr 8 (IANS) Sri Lanka Monday described as "erroneous" media reports that its navy was killing and harassing Indian fishermen, and said that the latter frequently entered Sri Lankan waters. "The persistent allegations against the Sri Lanka Navy with regard to alleged killing and harassment of Indian fishermen are erroneous and without any factual basis," a foreign ministry statement said. "The Sri Lanka Navy is under strict orders to treat all Tamil Nadu fishermen, who cross more..

Key suspect in Slave Island theft arrested

Apr 8 (CG) A key suspects wanted over the Rs. 10 million robbery at Slave Island in February, was arrested at the Bandaranaika International Airport today after he arrived from overseas. His arrest brings to eight the number of suspects arrested over the incident, the police said. The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) had arrested seven suspects including 3 policemen last month. A group of men in police uniform had stolen Rs. 10 million from a businessman in Salve Island On Feb 12. more..

Monthly fuel allocations for police jeeps and bikes reduced

Apr 8 (LB) The monthly fuel allocations given to police stations has been reduced, police sources said. The amount of litres of fuel provided for police jeep and motorbikes per month has been reduced since March 1. Earlier, a police jeep was allowed 225 litres a month, while an additional 50 litres was provided according to the service requirements. However, the full monthly total has been reduced 180 litres, more..

Sri Lankan cinema artistes to protest against TN anti-SL campaigns

Apr 8 (LB) A pro-govt collective of Sri Lankan cinema artistes has summoned a mass protest against the campaigns in India on Sri Lanka's ethnic issue and human rights, sources said. The artistes' campaign named as an Adhistana Puja will be held at the Independent Square on Thursday, April 11, at 4.30 p.m. The collective has called all artists, sports personnel and all celebrities to participate in the protest wearing white. The protest has been organized in response to the protests by more..

Pakistan Foreign Secy. meets Minister Basil Rajapaksa

Apr 8 (MEA) Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani called on Minister Basil Rajapaksa during his Sri Lanka visit last week (April 4-5) to participate in the third round of bilateral political consultations. The visit is part of a tradition of high-level contacts and exchanges between the two countries both of which have active engagement in all important fields including trade and commerce. At the meeting with Minister Rajapaksa the Pakistani Foreign Secretary stressed the need for the more..

Kaushal Silva hands SSC Premier League title

Apr 8 (CI) Sinhalese Sports Club has triumphed in the Premier League Tournament final, defeating Moors Sports Club by six wickets in the four-day match at SSC. League top-scorer Kaushal Silva starred again, hitting 171 in the first innings to help SSC to a 62-run lead, before making a rapid 88 from 105 in the second innings, as SSC chased down the 262 runs they required, with only 4.3 overs still remaining in the game. The hosts arrived on the final more..

New churches thrive when we make martyrs of them

Apr 9 (NS) Researcher Shenali Waduge interprets historical events and writes, “Spreading the Good” has led to purging of territories and their wealth and excommunicating natives and their unique cultures. Current fears associated with the repetition of past colonial crimes needs to be [emphasized] in view of the objective of both Christianity and Islam competing for world hegemony. The Church is Christianity’s first soldier and it is becoming more and more evident that behind most terrorists’ more..

Nirupama and Jaliya: Contrasting approaches of two South Asian ambassadors

Apr 9 (DBS) Having read a post by Jaliya Wickramasuriya, our Ambassador in the USA, titled “A Role for Sri Lanka in US Pivot to Asia”, I thought it may be ideal to understand how others compete to be in the US pivot to Asia to do business. I mean “business” only in economic terms and exclude issues such as politics, rights, accountability etc; the presently more quoted US interests. Concurrently, Minister Maithripala Sirisena stating that “the Sri Lankan govt had implicit faith in the Indian more..

Evicted Sinhala families resettled in North

Apr 9 (SO) Ranathunga ran a rice mill in the heart of Murunkan until he left the town on December 24, 1984 when the LTTE abducted and tortured him. His National Identity Card says Ranathunga Mudiyanselage Gunapala and villagers called him Ranathunga. “Murunkan is where I was born and for generations we lived in the town,” Ranathunga said remembering the painful memories of his wonderful youth. more..

View from Ritigala

Apr 9 (NS) In a shocking turn of events, a dead body has been stolen in Nochchiyagama, a few kilometres away from the sacred city of Anuadhapura. The theft of the body had taken place on Thursday (4) around 4.30 in the morning where a person has kept the corpse of his 87-year-old mother-in-law’s body at his place, after stealing it from the place where it had been before. The woman whose body had been stolen was living in her daughter’s house, who had been working in the Middle East. more..

If we are emotional so be it, is it wrong if emotionally we state the facts?

Apr 9 (CT) The whole discussion between Kusaliah arguing on the side of the Sinhalese, Ms.Usha arguing on the side of the Diaspora, Pon.Chandran and me on the side of the Human Rights fraternity in India (thanks to Kusaliah who branded both of us as Tamil activists from his earlier stand of Human Rights activists) centered around the main theme of “Referendum” Call For “Thamil Eezham” Could It Serve SL Tamils in Sri Lanka ? The whole phrase was coined by Kusaliah who had circulated more..

Attempt to free Wijeweera inspired Jaffna militants

Apr 9 (NS) The 42nd anniversary of the April 1971 insurgency fell on Friday. This is an account of little-known facts of the attempt to free JVP Leader Rohana Wijeweera from the Jaffna Prison during the uprising. In 1969-1970 the JVP - then popularly called the Che Guevarists - was supporting the Opposition United Front’s election campaign against the UNP Govt. Simultaneously they were preparing for an armed more..

The govt’s foreign policy

Apr 9 (DBS) I read in a newspaper an account of a recent meeting on the Govt’s foreign policy, in which several ex-Ambassadors and others had participated. The outcome was apparently unfavorable to the Govt, since it was seen as making foreign policy mistakes which have placed Sri Lanka in a very disadvantageous position. In any case there seems to be a very widespread public perception that the Govt has been seriously blundering in the sphere of foreign relations, more..

'The silent majority': Sharing some thoughts

Apr 9 (CT) “The majority of Sri Lankans are fair-minded, decent and generous. This majority shouldn’t be silent but, for the sake of the Island, unite and speak out against the extremists.” Such and other similar sentiment are not uncommon, and quite understandable. “The silent majority” is a phrase, a claim and an appeal that one encounters not uncommonly in different countries and contexts, and with different implications. Often, it seems to me, it’s a small group that uses the more..

Anushka Wijesinha

Russell to retire, Rajendra to take over at NDB

Apr 9 (FT) Senior banker Russell de Mel will retire as CEO of NDB from August and will be succeeded by Rajendra Theagarajah who moves from HNB following his retirement in June. NDB said yesterday that de Mel will be retiring on 23 August after an illustrious 33-year service. It also announced Theagarajah will be appointed as CEO-designate from 1 August and thereafter as CEO and Director with effect from 23 August subject to approval from the Central Bank. more..

Why Cong double-speak on SL Tamils won’t fool anyone

Apr 9 (FP) Despite its devious efforts to muddy the waters during the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka in Geneva last month, the Congress’ game-plan in handling a rogue-neighbour appeared too obvious to overlook: support the Rajapakse regime even while appearing to oppose it. For some strange reason, the Congress leadership has been playing this game for quite a while with impunity, whether the people of Tamil Nadu liked it or not. Therefore on Sunday, when Finance Minister P Chidambaram and more..