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UNP threatens legal action against power price hike

Apr 2 (Island) The UNP has decided to take legal action against the CEB, if the latter goes ahead with much speculated electricity price hike. UNP Deputy General Secretary, Dr Jayalath Jayawardana, MP said that his party believed that the govt should not permit the increase in electricity prices at a moment when the masses were suffering under the heavy burden of high cost of living. According to the information available, the CEB was planning to increase the electricity tariffs by more..

Editorial : Make a decisive move on mass grave

Apr 2 (CT) This newspaper covered in disturbing detail, the discovery of a mass grave in the backyard of the Matale Hospital, and the gory revelations that emerged subsequently, which were made in two specialist reports which said the site was a mass burial pit that dates back to the time of the JVP insurgency in 1989-90, and that the skeletal remains bore marks of extensive torture. On Sunday, the Judicial Medical Officer of Matale urged the family members of the disappeared more..

Long war, lost peace, and late reactions in Tamil Nadu

Apr 2 (CT) At the governmental level, the late reactions in Tamil Nadu are cheap street theatre that is right up the alley of the two DMKs. At the Tamil social level, the recent protests are a serious development. While the protests will not bring any direct or immediate benefit to the Sri Lankan Tamils, they are a new front of neighbourly detraction which the Rajapaksa govt can ill afford to ignore or dismiss as Western aberration. The ADMK and the DMK are competing to take ownership of the more..

Sri Lanka exports slump 18.2% in Feb, trade deficit narrows

Apr 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports fell 18.2% to 726.7 million US dollars in February 2013 from a year earlier, with apparel exports falling 8.9% to 333.9 million US dollars. Sri Lanka has a trade deficit because domestic economic players get money abroad through means other than merchandise exports, including remittances (exports of labour), foreign borrowing (exports of debt), tourism services and foreign investments. more..

Lak Sathosa buys Dambulla veggies

Apr 2 (Island) Lak Sathosa purchased 20,300 Kg of vegetables from the Dambulla Economic Centre on Sunday which could not be sold by farmers. They are now available for sale in 30 Lanka Sathosa outlets in Colombo and the suburbs. Chairman of Lanka Sathosa Nalin Fernando said that the vegetables would be sold through their outlets at reasonable prices. He said that the Minister Johnston Fernando had ordered that Lanka Sathosa purchase the extra vegetables on more..

Rajinikanth, other actors join hunger strike

Apr 2 (PTI) Virtually endorsing the Tamil Nadu government's stand on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, the South Indian Artists Association (SIAA) today said India should take action against the island nation for its war crimes. The day-long hunger-strike observed by SIAA was attended by Kollywood bigwigs like superstar Rajinikant, Kamal Haasan, Ajith, Surya, Dhanush, Aishwarya Dhanush, Radharavi, Sathyaraj, Prakashraj and was headed by SIAA president Sarathkumar. more..

Sri Lanka frees monks after anti-Muslim attack

Apr 2 (AFP) A Sri Lankan court on Tuesday freed three Buddhist monks and 14 others suspected of torching a Muslim-owned clothing store in an attack that scaled up the country’s religious tensions. In the latest in a wave of attacks targeting minority Muslims, an angry mob of hardline Buddhists vandalised and set fire to the store in a suburb of Colombo, leading police to boost security for Muslim businesses nationwide. more..

Shift CHOGM venue, Vasan urges PM

Apr 2 (Hindu) Union Shipping Minister and Congress Rajya Sabha member from Tamil Nadu, G.K. Vasan, on Tuesday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here and urged him to take up with other countries to shift the venue of Commonwealth Countries Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), due in November this year, from Colombo, in view of the “anti-Tamil attitude” of the Rajapaksa govt. Dr. Singh listened to his request with rapt attention, though he didn’t commit anything, Mr. Vasan told more..

Sri Lanka stocks fall for 5th session

Apr 2 (Reuters) Stocks dipped marginally on Tuesday to their lowest level in more than two weeks, the fifth consecutive day of declines as investors waited for direction on interest rates. On Monday, after the market closed, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that interest rates would ease this year as the monetary authority maintains a loose monetary policy stance. The main index edged down 0.01%, or 0.58 points weaker at 5,704.62, its lowest since March 15. more..

Levy on agro chemical recommended

Apr 2 (Island) A committee appointed by Agriculture Ministry to recommend measures to prevent the spread of chronic kidney disease in the country has proposed a levy to be imposed on agro chemicals. Agriculture Ministry, Secretary, W.A. Sakalasooriya said that the 10 member committee has proposed a 10% levy on agro chemicals. The committee was headed by Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary D.B.T. Wijeratne. more..

'Implement National Language Policy'

Apr 2 (DN) Minister W D J Seneviratne requested govt institutions under the purview of the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry to implement the National Language Policy to the letter so that the public would not be inconvenienced. The govt recruited a large number of Tamil graduates to the state sector during the last year, he said. "The shortage of state sector employees with Tamil language proficiency was the main issue in the govt service in the recent past more..

Sri Lanka hydro power output up, demand weak

Apr 2 (LBO) Hydro power generation has picked up sharply in Sri Lanka allowing state-run CEB to cut thermal power, while demand was barely growing in January 2013, official data shows. Total power generation in the month rose just 0.6 percent to 987 GigaWatt hours (millions of units of electricity) from a year earlier. In December total generation fell in absolute terms by one percent to 988GWh amid a slowing economy and higher tariffs which promote conservation. more..

Ranil in India, gamut of bilateral issues to be discussed

Apr 2 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe left for India yesterday, on a two-day official visit, during which he is scheduled to discuss a gamut of bilateral issues with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and leading govt and opposition figures. UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne said that Wickremesinghe was scheduled to visit New Delhi in February, but had delayed it, since the US Resolution, on Reconciliation and more..

Graduate trainees passing out parade on April 9

Apr 2 (GDI) A two-week training course for the first batch our of 15,596 graduates who were recruited and assigned to Divisional Secretariats countrywide by the Economic Development Ministry commenced on March 28. Selected from 19 districts they are being successfully trained in 16 centres. The passing out parade of the first batch is to be held on April 9. The aim of this training course is to give them a basic knowledge of working as facilitators in implementing rural development programmes more..

Australia, Sri Lanka discuss boat people issue

Apr 2 (CG) Australia and Sri Lanka had talks today over various issues concerning both countries including the boat people issue, sources said. The talks had taken place in Bali, Indonesia between Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O’Connor and Sri Lanka’s Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and more..

'Mahinda Chinthanaya has given way to fraud, corruption and vile acts'

Apr 2 (LT) 'Mahinda Chinthanaya' is now supporting corruption and vile acts states the co-coordinator of Anti-imperialist People's Movement (AiPM) Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera. He said, "Govt's economic policy has become an incompatible affair. At present govt's economic policy is tourism. The govt has come to a position that it would provide infrastructure facilities to liquor, gambling and casino that are more..

UNP lashes govt’s casino plans

Apr 2 (CT) UNP today claimed that Sri Lanka will have a bad image among the international community if the govt supports casinos. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake emphasized Sri Lanka should not be a hub of betting and gaming. “Recently the govt granted lands to James Packer to set up his Crown Casino in Colombo. This is a Buddhist country. If large numbers of casinos are going to be set up in Sri Lanka, the country will be named as a ‘casino country’ and people more..

Await rotten eggs – BBS warns cricketers

Apr 2 (LT) Sri Lanka cricketers who, ignore the affection of people in the country and decide to play in IPL tournament in India should expect rotten egg attacks on them at Katunayake International Airport says Galagodaaththe Gnarasara thera. He said Sri Lanka is an independent country and as long as Buddhist Bhikkus live in the country Tamil Nadu would not be allowed to create an Ealam in Sri Lanka. The thera said this at a meeting held at Pannala in Kurunegala. more..

Sri Lanka dockers threaten boycott of Indian cargo

Apr 2 (AFP) Dock workers at Sri Lanka's main container port called Tuesday for a boycott of cargo from neighbouring India amid worsening relations. Ruling party-affiliated workers staged the protest at Colombo harbour, demanding that the govt retaliate against politicians in India's southern state of Tamil Nadu who have called for trade sanctions against Sri Lanka. "There is an anti-Sri Lanka campaign in Tamil Nadu," a union more..

Richie Mccaw visits Fonterra’s Sri Lanka operations

Apr 2 (Scoop) Fonterra’s global ambassador Richie McCaw has gained an up-close view of Fonterra in Sri Lanka last week during a two day tour of the Co-operative’s operations in the country. McCaw said it was great to see first hand how Fonterra was growing its business in the region. “It’s my first time in Sri Lanka and it made me realise how big Fonterra and Anchor are in the region. You drive through Colombo and see Anchor signs everywhere – it’s amazing that Sri Lankan kids more..

Violating federalism

Apr 2 (DH) The anti-Lanka agitation in Tamil Nadu has taken a bizarre turn with competing Tamil groups exploiting misguided sentiment through irresponsible one-upmanship for petty political gain. Scratch the surface and trace the trail of events and most will discover not so much a pro-Lanka Tamil agitation as a lingering pro-LTTE one. For it is the LTTE that massacred and systematically removed all liberal Tamil voices in Sri Lanka and then used innocent Tamils as human shields in more..

Fonseka for domestic probe

Apr 2 (CG) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says a proper domestic mechanism should be in place to address accountability issues to ward off pressure for an international investigation. Fonseka also said that the govt cannot lean on countries like China and sideline other countries. “I don’t think even the Chinese government will like that,” he said. He said the accountability issue had damaged the image more..

UNP ready to parley with BBS

Apr 2 (CT) The UNP today said they are ready to discuss with Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) or any other organization about the current issues concerning the Muslim community. UNP Western Provincial Councillor, Mujibar Rahuman, said the govt has not taken necessary steps to curb the anti-Muslim campaigns conducted in many parts of the country. He added many of the Muslim countries such as Qatar, Kuwait and Indonesia supported Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, and pointed out those countries more..

EAM seeks report on Chennai demo

Apr 2 (CG) The External Affairs Ministry has sought a report on the demonstration held in Chennai today by South Indian film stars against the Sri Lankan govt. Several leading Tamil film stars including Rajinikanth took part in the one day protest today calling for a solution to the Sri Lankan Tamil issue. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama said that the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission in Chennai has more..

3 Lankan Tamil youths held in TN

Apr 2 (PTI) Three Sri Lankan youths, who arrived here by a boat claiming that they fled their country fearing detention by military there, were today arrested and remanded in judicial custody. The three were produced before Magistrate G M Saravanakumar who remanded them in judicial custody for 15 days. They would be lodged in the high-security Puzhal Central Prison in Chennai, police said. Earlier, the youths - identified as Vijayaraj, Prasanth and Vijayakumar - were more..

Sajith insists on self-esteem for fishermen

Apr 2 (NF) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa says it is the govt's responsibility to create an environment where fishermen have self-esteem, instead of acting irresponsibly with regard to the future of the fishing community. Issuing a communique MP Sajith Premadasa says the fuel subsidy to fishermen has been stopped, because the CPC has not issued coupons to the Department of Fisheries of district offices. Premadasa claims that the Petroleum Corporation has stated that more..

Basil strengthens SL-Czech ties

Apr 2 (MEA) Minister Basil Rajapaksa met with Czech Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba, during the former’s visit last week to the Czech Republic where he attended the opening of the first Sri Lanka-Czech Economic Forum organized by the Confederation of Industry of the CR. He also met Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas at his office where Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Dub was also present. more..

'Mental wealth is part of wellness'

Apr 3 (NS) The new General Manager of Nestle Lanka PLC Ganesan Ampalavanar is a Malaysian national with Sri Lankan roots. His association with Nestle spans 20 years and the reason he gives for sticking with this company for two decades is that he has found a job which he looks upon as his hobby. Ampalavanar has served in many positions in sales, brand and commercial management. He was once the Head of Sales for Nestle operations in South Asia. Here are excerpts of an interview more..

'Did not our hearts burn within us?'

Apr 3 (NS) The Feast of Easter that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus is the most important feast in the Christian liturgical calendar. The resurrection of Jesus defines Christianity. Christ’s resurrection is also the pledge of the resurrection of all those who believe in Him. Christians hope in the resurrection of the dead, that the dead will rise to new life again. Belief in the resurrection is the foundation of the Christian Faith so much so that St. Paul said, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then more..

Katunayake Expressway, another leap into the future

Apr 3 (SO) With the opening of the Southern Expressway, the country's first limited access road in November 2011, people gained the experience of reaching long distances within a short time. Similarly, people who travel to Katunayake, particularly to the Bandaranaike International Airport, too desired to reach their destination within a short time. As the country is moving fast on the track of development, all these dreams are becoming more..

Fashion Bug Attack, Gota, BBS and the Anti-Muslim hatred

Apr 3 (CT) Facebook is full of posts from Sri Lankans thanking the eight countries that voted against the United States sponsored UNHRC resolution that censured Sri Lanka on Human Rights violations. Considering the wave of anti-Muslim hatred being unleashed by the so-called patriotic forces in Sri Lanka, it’s ironic that several of those that supported the country in the final vote are Muslim countries. Those who believe that Sri Lanka has been wronged need to look beyond more..

Helping the Police arrest brutish “monks” in Sri Lanka

Apr 3 (GV) Apparently the infamous Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has condemned the attack on Fashion Bug warehouse a few days ago and asked the Police to arrest those involved in it, even if they are monks. A news report suggests BBS thinks the individuals captured on film destroyed private property were actually impostors. Prima facie, this then begs the question as to why dozens of Police failed to arrest any of these “impostors” on the scene. This is not the first time Police have stood idly by as more..

'Demeaning the judiciary and crowning the law of the jungle'

Apr 3 (DBS) This press conference is being held today at a time when all spheres in the country are in disarray. When we look at some incidents, we get the feeling that whether we are living in a country in which the law of the jungle prevails. Incidents of this nature could happen in a tribal society, not in a country with a long history of democracy. The incident which took place at Pepiliyana brought disrepute to the country. more..

Recognising ourselves as our worst enemies

Apr 3 (CT) With a foreign policy in tatters, the judiciary and the legal system in deep crisis and the state of the economy looking more perilous with each monumentally wasteful govt extravaganza, the seasonal call of the koha heralding the Sinhala and Tamil New Year sounds more eerily mocking than musical. On the domestic front, a superficial bubble of postwar development waits in suspense as it were, to be pricked by the sharp pin of anti-minority extremism at the hands of militant Sinhala more..

Editorial : Probe Matale mass grave

Apr 3 (Island) Having blown hot and cold on the Matale mass grave for weeks, the JVP has finally called for a probe even at the risk of opening up a can of worms for itself. On Monday, it reiterated its call, demanding that all those responsible for killing 154 people whose bones were found there be brought to justice. It claims that the victims were its activists tortured and killed during its second uprising in the late 1980s. The JVP has asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa, more..

Ominous threat to democratic process in North

Apr 3 (Island) The lessons of history seem to be going a begging. The steady dismantling and throttling of democratic institutions in a major way in this country from approximately the mid –seventies onwards and the veritable institutionalization of political thuggery and violence proved very potent factors in the 30-year war which bled Sri Lanka white. It has also been this country’s sad lot to be saddled with govts and political more..

Possible conflict of directors raised at Combank AGM

Apr 3 (ST) Praise over a generous dividend payout to shareholders at Commercial Bank and concern over conflicts of interest among board directors figured at the bank’s annual general meeting (AGM). It was also revealed that current chairman Dinesh Weerakkody would retire next year having completed nine years as a board director, the maximum one can serve as a bank director under tough Central Bank rules. His place is expected to be filled by deputy chairman Dheerasinghe, more..

Rajendra to step down as CEO/MD from HNB

Apr 3 (FT) Veteran banker Rajendra Theagarajah yesterday announced his retirement from the post of Managing Director and CEO of HNB, the country’s second largest private sector player. his retirement is from 30 June 2013 and he will be stepping down from the Board of HNB as well. Theagarajah counts 15 years of service at HNB including nine years as CEO. He will be succeeded by Jonathan Alles, currently serving as the Deputy CEO. Alles will also be appointed to the HNB Board from 1 July more..

Righting the wrongs of the govt.

Apr 3 (CT) Q: Some Buddhist organizations are engaged in arousing communal unrest in the country. As one of the senior Buddhist prelates, a senior academic and Chancellor of the Sri Jayawardenapura University, what are your views about their conduct? A: I don't say those Buddhist organizations are engaged in arousing communal unrest or communalism. They have been engaged in important activities to more..