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Economy has no culture or religion: Eran

Apr 11 (FT) Over investment, poor investment management and apathy in the face of the break down in the rule of law and escalating ethno-religious tensions was costing the Sri Lankan state revenue, an Opposition MP warned while President Rajapaksa was attending Parliamentary sessions briefly last afternoon. UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne who addressed Parliament last afternoon said in the face of controversies like the recent Halal issue, the govt was failing to play the role of the more..

Land grab by the politically influential

Apr 11 (CT) Lands belonging to some schools in the Hatton Education Zone are under threat of being forcibly taken over by certain individuals. Sources said the individuals, who are resorting to the illegal acquisition of lands are using the names of certain politicians in their attempt to claim ownership of the lands. They further they accused some politicians of being part of the conspiracy to acquire the lands. The politicians from the District are said to be collecting cash from various individuals to more..

'Post-war rehabilitation: Sri Lanka generous towards vanquished'

Apr 11 (Island) The outgoing Chief of Mission of International Organization for Migration (IOM) Richard Danziger yesterday said that the ongoing re-integration of ex-LTTE personnel, including combatants into the society could be in jeopardy unless fresh funding was available for the project. The continuation of the project after July would entirely depend on availability of additional funding, more..

Meethotamulla garbage dump: The stink is the CMC's

Apr 11 (DN) The waste management of the Meethotamulla garbage dump is a strict responsibility of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), Colombo Mayor M.M. Muzammil said yesterday. He said the Meethotamulla garbage dump is not the responsibility of the UDA. This was contrary to TV news reports that suggested the UDA was to blame. The waste management of the Meethotamulla garbage dump is a strict responsibility of the CMC, the Mayor said. more..

8,000 Lankans took refuge in Australia after war

Apr 11 (TOI) At least 8,000 Sri Lankan nationals, including refugees from camps in India, reached Australia since May 2009, when the bloody civil war in the island nation came to an end. A source in the Australian immigration department told TOI that 8,170 Lankans arrived in Australia between May 2009 and April 10, 2013. But she declined to specify the ethnicity of the illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka and the manner in which they reached Australian shores. Statistics show that the influx of more..

'India should address their own HR violations'

Apr 11 (DM) The JHU today said, before India sought to point its finger at Sri Lanka on war crimes allegations it should address the human rights violations of the Indian people including 93,000 disappearances in Kashmir which still remained unaddressed. JHU General Secretary and Minister Champika Ranawaka said, if the Indian Parliamentary Delegation which is currently in Sri Lanka had visited the country with more..

Ranil points finger at Jaffna SF Commander

Apr 11 (CT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, told Parliament, the Jaffna Security Forces (SF) Commander, Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, was behind the attacks on a political rally held in Jaffna, recently. The Opposition Leader said he had attended the rally and some people had attempted to disrupt it. Those who came to disrupt the rally were military men in civvies. There were military men in civvies serving in Jaffna and these persons are under the more..

Non refugees will be flown back: govt

Apr 11 (AAP) Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says Sri Lankans who come to Australia by boat and are not genuine refugees will be flown back home. Mr Clare was speaking on Thursday after Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe said most of those leaving his country to come to Australia were doing so for economic reasons. Earlier this week, a fishing boat carrying 66 suspected asylum seekers from Sri Lanka arrived in the Western Australia port more..

Mihin Lanka decides to stop Trichy operations

Apr 11 (TOI) Mihin Lanka, which operates four flights every week from Trichy to Colombo, has decided to stop operations from June 1. S K Mittal, executive director of Translaka, the Chennai-based general sales agency (GSA) for the airline, said the falling tourist traffic between Colombo and Trichy had forced the decision. "We have taken a decision to ground the four flights to Colombo because of lack of patronage on this sector," more..

WHO lauds govt. action on its recommendations

Apr 11 (Island) The World Health Organisation (WHO) appreciated the govt's positive response to its recommendation that three agro-chemicals, which had caused health problems for people in the North-Central province, be banned. WHO Country Director Dr. F.R. Mehta, addressing a seminar on South East Asian Framework on Kidney Disease, at a Colombo hotel early this week said that the Sri Lankan govt had fulfilled its commitment by taking necessary steps to prevent more people more..

JVP claims skeletal remains are those of party cadres

Apr 11 (CT) With the recent unearthing of 154 skeletal remains from the Matale Hospital compound, the JVP, claims they are the physical remnants of murdered party cadres and loyalists during the1988-90 period. JVP's Publicity and Information Secretary, , told Ceylon Today, the party had sufficient reasons to believe these were remnants of murdered party men and women from Matale and nearby districts, and kept a dark secret of the State for over two decades. more..

Rs. 57 b ‘duty free’ ride for public servants’ vehicles

Apr 11 (FT) The Govt has forgone a staggering Rs. 57 billion in revenue during the past two years in granting duty free concessions for import of vehicles for public servants. The hefty sum was revealed in the Central Bank’s 2012 Annual Report. The Govt had forgone Rs.38.6 billion due to the exemptions of relevant taxes on vehicles procured by public servants on concessionary duty terms in 2012 and in the previous the figure more..

Editorial : Pondering over Sison’s speech

Apr 11 (DM) US Ambassador Michele J. Sison, addressing the Foreign Correspondents Association is reported to have flagged some important concerns her Govt has with respect to Sri Lanka. She has mentioned threats and attacks on media institutions and journalists, while commenting on issues of accountability and human rights. Sison should be applauded for her efforts to help keep these concerns alive especially since they echo the sentiments of everyone concerned more..

Corruption is shrouded in ‘top secrecy’

Apr 11 (DM) Board secrets, cabinet secrets, minister’s or chairman’s ‘must’ be private and confidential, of these then one is sure to encounter in the realms of officialdom as one ‘dutifully’ discharges his or her official duties to upkeep an unjust and corrupt system operative worldwide. Corruption is shrouded in what is ‘top secrecy’. The greater the openness, the lesser the corruption. Why does one need to ‘hush up things if dealings are straightforward. more..

Twist in Avurudu spending as high prices hit urban shoppers

Apr 11 (ST) Avurudu shoppers came out in force last week and cash registers rang amid complaints of prices being much higher than a year ago. Interviews showed that shoppers this year were more aggressive in hunting for bargains than they were last year — a clear sign that spiralling prices have hit pockets. Most major clothing chains offered discounts of around 20%. Clothes were the most popular purchase. more..

Tariff adjustment without CEB restructuring: Changing pillow to cure headache

Apr 11 (DM) The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) welcomes the efforts currently underway to address the chronic losses incurred by the CEB; and congratulates the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) and other stakeholders for conducting a professional Public Hearing. PUCSL is also to be commended for its proactive stance in cutting the costs put forward by the CEB to the tune of Rs. 40 billion. more..

Justice sought for the fallen comrades

Apr 11 (SL) The largest mass grave in the country excavated in Matale between last November and February this year has set a new situation in motion following the revelation that the skeletal remains belonged to the period between 1986 and 1990. The onus is now on the govt to carry out a full-scale probe on the Matale mass graves following the announcement by the Matale Magistrate that the grave belonged to the more..

Schoolgirl petitions Supreme Court

Apr 11 (Island) A 15-year-old schoolgirl and her mother have filed a fundamental rights violation application in the Supreme Court claiming that an Inspector of the Matara police station had taken the girl into police custody in July 2012 and insisted that she tell the police officers that she had been sexually abused by the Chairman of the Akuressa Pradeshiya Sabha. When the girl insisted that no such incident occurred, the inspector had more..

Colombo generates 750 tonnes of garbage every day

Apr 11 (CT) A staggering 750 tonnes of garbage, that cannot be disposed of in any way, at present, is collected from around the Colombo District each day by the CMC. Colombo Mayor, A.J.M. Muzammil said, no decision had so far been taken about the continued dumping of waste in the Meethotamulla dump site, after the recent protests held in the area by residents concerned by the hazardous effects of the waste being dumped more..

Sampanthan tells govt. to halt violence against Tamils in North

Apr 11 (Island) The TNA yesterday called upon the Govt to take immediate action to stop violence against the Tamil people in the North. TNA leader R. Sampanthan, making a special statement in Parliament, said the attacks on Tamil people were taking place with the active support, sanction and collusion of the govt. Full text of the TNA leader’s speech: "On Saturday, 30th March, a mob of around 50 persons, who came in a procession more..

No flood of boats, says Sri Lanka

Apr 11 (AAP) Sri Lanka's high commissioner to Australia says he doesn't expect a flood of asylum seekers will follow the 66 potential refugees who gobsmacked onlookers with their arrival in Geraldton. Passengers of the rickety boat that pulled into the busy port on Tuesday remain in the country but will be flown to Christmas Island for processing as soon as possible, an Immigration Department spokeswoman said. more..

Artistes to hold Adhishtana Puja today

Apr 11 (DN) The Sri Lankan artistes will hold an Adhishtana Puja today at 4.00 pm at the Independence Square in response to the protests carried out by the actors and actresses in Tamil Nadu. Addressing the media yesterday veteran artiste and MP Malini Fonseka said they request from all actors and actresses who protested against Sri Lanka to visit Sri Lanka and witness the real situation in the country. more..

Sangakkara and Mahela may bring their 'Ministry of Crab' to India

Apr 11 (ET) Call it out landish, Sri Lankan cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara hope to do in India what Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag could not: win over the taste buds of Indians. The two Sri Lankan cricketers are toying with the idea of bringing their popular seafood restaurant, Ministry of Crab, to India, Jayawardene has said. "Kumar (Sangakkara) and I have been looking forward to it and, more..

Sumanthiran challenges Govt. to hold NPC elections

Apr 11 (CT) TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, challenged the Govt to hold Northern Provincial Council (NPC) elections in June 2013. He charged the govt is simply procrastinating on the NPC elections, since it did not wish to face the embarrassment of defeat, and also because a potential defeat would send a strong message to the international community regarding the ill-feelings of the Tamil community towards the ruling more..

What if Kim Jong Un really wants war?

Apr 11 (CT) The sabre rattling of North Korea's untested leader, Kim Jong Un, has turned increasingly bellicose the past several weeks, giving rise to the very real possibility that the situation could spin out of control and lead to a perilous conflict that may not remain confined to the region. Kim Jong Un's pugnacity, viewed until now as some kind of posturing for the home crowd, has however taken a sinister turn, with North Korea warning foreign embassies in Pyongyang it more..

‘Make Monday a holiday’

Apr 11 (DM) The Labour Ministry yesterday requested the private sector, govt corporations and statutory boards to grant a holiday on Monday, April 15 for their employees, as it had already been declared a public holiday. A statement signed by Minister Gamini Lokuge said, “The Government has declared Monday, the 15th of April 2013 as a Public Holiday on behalf of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Accordingly, employers are kindly requested to grant a holiday for all employees more..

WikiLeaks: Hakeem only interested in maintaining his ministerial position

Apr 11 (CT) “Muslims are increasingly worked up about the apparent surge in LTTE influence. In a meeting with a group of Muslims at Southeastern Uni, the team was told that Muslims felt that the LTTE was slowly but surely working to take over the Eastern Province. M.L.A. Cader, the vice-chancellor of the university, was adamant that eastern Muslims had to take steps to ensure that the govt in Colombo heard their concerns. more..

Bikkhu brigade, Dr Roberts and the Tamil spring

Apr 11 (CT) What intimidates the Sinhala apologists is the fact that the Eelam revolution is not being fought with guns any more on the Tamil side, unlike the heavy handed military response that the Sri Lankan govt is still pursuing in the NorthEast with no political solution offered or insight; it is being fought with cell phones, the Indian media and pure solidarity, involving the mobilization of 80 Million people, moved by high moral principles of justice and freedom, achieved through a democratic more..

Kings College cricketers break 21-year record on Sri Lanka tour

Apr 11 (TWL) Kings College cricketers were the first English team to tour Sri Lanka and remain unbeaten for 21 years. A squad of 26 cricketers and four staff spent two weeks in Sri Lanka and the under-17s side were undefeated in six games. The Junior U16 side won an impressive three out of six games and improved dramatically over the tour. Both teams were lucky enough to play at a test match ground and there was also a huge amount of individual success for a number of our top players. more..

Countrywide census: GTF won’t cooperate with Gov of SL

Apr 11 (Island) The UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) yesterday said that it wouldn’t cooperate with the govt of Sri Lanka as long as President Mahinda Rajapaksa remained in power. The GTF was responding to a query by The Island on whether it would support GoSL efforts to establish the number of dead, missing and those who left the country through legal and illegal means since 1982. GTF spokesperson Suren more..

Visit visa scam surfaces in Eastern Province

Apr 11 (E24|7) Sri Lankan customs officials at the BIA in Katunayake stopped two women from the Eastern Province from departing to the Middle East for jobs on Thursday, as their visas were visit visas and not work visas. It is learnt the women had believed they were going to work in the Middle East as maids, but were not aware that their visas were only visit visas valid for three months. The Human Rights Commission in Batticaloa has received numerous complaints from women who have more..

Hathurusinghe to coach Thunder

Apr 11 (E24|7) Former Sri Lankan Test batsman Chandika Hathurusinghe has been appointed as the new coach of the Sydney Thunder in Australia's Big Bash League, the team said on Thursday. The former opener, who played 26 Tests, takes over from Shane Duff and faces the task of turning around the struggling franchise after two disastrous seasons in the domestic Twenty20 competition. Hathurusinghe coached New South Wales in the second half of the Sheffield Shield season more..

Sri Lankan navy investigates asylum seekers exit to Australia

Apr 11 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy has launched inquiries to investigate how a boat of more than 60 asylum seekers reached mainland Australia earlier this week without being detected by local authorities. Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that the naval intelligence unit is currently investigating the incident and no further details can be divulged until investigations are complete. more..

'Paltry Rs. 500 million allocated for LLRC Report implementation'

Apr 11 (Island) The budgetary allocation for implementing the Lessons LLRC recommendations was a paltry Rs.500 million, but virtually nothing of it had been spent, the UNP charged. Badulla District MP Harin Fernando said that it looked as if the UPFA govt, by providing a mere Rs. 500 million, wanted to impress the international community. Nevertheless, the US Resolution on Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka, which was co-sponsored by 43 countries, had been more..

JVP complains to IGP regarding covert Army operation

Apr 11 (LT) The Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe has written to the IGP regarding a covert Army operation at the Matale mass grave. He had stated that the JVP Organizer for Matale had informed him regarding a suspicious Army activity at the mass grave site yesterday night. Amarasinghe states his letter is in response to the telephone conversation he had with the IGP yesterday night at 10.28 p.m. He states that the JVP Organizer for Matale had informed him that more..

Sri Lanka goes up two places in WEF network readiness index

Apr 11(LBO) Sri Lanka has moved up two places in a ranking compiled by the World Economic Forum, which measures how well information communications technologies are used by the people to 69, just behind India. Last year Sri Lanka was 71 out of 142 countries. Sri Lanka moved up in 2013 out of 144 countries without an increase in the score of 3.9 points. Sri Lanka scored very high in the affordability measure, ranked at more..

TULF calls for Indian model

Apr 11 (CG) The TULF led by V. Anandasangaree has called for a political solution in Sri Lanka based on an Indian model. In a memorandum submitted to a visiting Indian parliamentary delegation, Anandasangaree says India must also give an assurance to the govt that it will never permit the division of the country. “I strongly urged the Indian delegation to impress on the Sri Lankan Govt to accept the advice of the Indian Govt, to find a solution based on the Indian Model and more..

'Twenty million smiles await you'

Apr 11 (GDI) “Sri Lanka has many attractions for its visitors, the best being the twenty million smiles awaiting to greet you” opined Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s envoy to the United States. He highlighted that Sri Lanka affords a grand array of interesting and exciting opportunities for a traveler to experience from a single visit. “Adding to Sri Lanka's incomparable hospitality, you will find pristine beaches , misty mountains, UNESCO declared world heritage sites, more..

No more blackouts, assures CEB

Apr 11 (Island) The public need not fear of blackouts as the 300MW Combined Cycle Thermal Power Plant, at Kerawalapitiya, had no technical issues in supplying a full load, or going for maximum capacity generation, to the national grid. However, to cut down on waste, steps had been taken recently to run the plant on a rotation basis and go full capacity only during the peak hours, between 6.00 p.m. and 10 p.m. more..

British Airways flights from April 15

Apr 11 (LBO) British Airways will resume flights to Sri Lanka from April 15 thrice a week via Maldives using Boeing 777-200 equipment, the airline said. "We are proud to announce British Airways’ reopening of the route between London Gatwick and Colombo and welcome the paradise island of Sri Lanka to British Airways’ unmatched global network. "Sri Lanka has emerged as one of the most popular destinations among leisure and business travellers," Christopher Fordyce, British Airways' more..