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Sri Lankan arrested for beating maids

Apr 29 (AN) A Sri Lankan expatriate has been arrested for beating fellow nationals seeking work in Saudi Arabia as domestic workers. He was nabbed in Colombo by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), with police assistance, shortly after arriving for his annual vacation. The man was exposed when amateur footage was screened on several television channels showing him abusing SL maids more..

Bodies of mother, two children found

Apr 29 (Island) The Police are investigating the discovery of the bodies of a mother and her two children from a house at Kotawela in the Karandeniya police area yesterday. Karandeniya OIC Inspector Lal Chandrathilake said that the mother (39), her son (9) and daughter (7) lived alone in the house. The villagers complained to the police of an offensive smell emanating from the house situated on Lower Road, Kotawela, he said. IP Chandrathilake said that the investigations more..

Arrest of Lankan refugees: TN ‘Q’ Branch begins probe

Apr 29 (ENS) Officers from the internal security wing of the TN Police Q Branch arrived here on Friday in connection with the arrest of the 10 Sri Lankan refugees. Aluva East police station SI P A Faisal said that the Q Branch officials had come to the state on the basis of the report filed by the Kerala Police. The officials had arrived with the purpose of confirming that the apprehended Lankans were listed in the refugee camps in Tamil Nadu and had no links with any militant groups. more..

'New stream of GCE A/L exam to be introduced'

Apr 29 (DN) A new stream of study for GCE A/L exam will be introduced initially intended for the candidates sitting the A/L exam in 2015. The novel study stream will be launched in collaboration with the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Ministry aimed at providing students with a job oriented practical knowledge and training assuring them employment after school, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. more..

Ratnapura Dep. Mayor ‘bites’ cop

Apr 29 (CT) Deputy Mayor of the Ratnapura Municipal Council was remanded after he was arrested by the police for allegedly assaulting, and biting the face of a Police Sergeant, in the heart of Ratnapura town, yesterday. The suspect was arrested while being admitted to hospital, claiming he had been assaulted by the policeman. He was produced before the Magistrate yesterday, who ordered that he be remanded until tomorrow . Onlookers were stunned when more..

Tourists experience New Year festivities

Apr 29 (LBO) Tourists in Negombo, a resort north of Colombo have participated in a traditional New Year festival getting a taste of seasonal games and rituals, the tourism promotion office said. The event held in Negombo beach showcased cultural practices and rituals found in the 'Avurudu' or Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations. Yevegenia Kotenko from Russia was selected 'Avudu Kumari' or New Year Princess and Shota Kiladze from Russia the New Year Prince. more..

'Sri Lanka’s position understood at C’wealth'

Apr 29 (Island) Despite the well planned and persistent attempts, in some quarters, to re-canvass the decision to hold the CHOGM in Sri Lanka in November this year, the govt has been able to defeat those efforts and it is a matter for satisfaction that justice has been done, Minister G.L. Peiris said in Hambantota on Saturday. He was addressing the Bala Mandalas in Katuwana and Weeraketiya over the weekend. more..

UN expert backs Sri Lanka CHOGM boycott

Apr 29 (AAP) A SRI Lankan human rights expert says she's shocked the country will be allowed to host the CHOGM this year despite ongoing cases of torture and disappearances. Yasmin Sooka, who was asked by UN chief Ban Ki-moon to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during Sri Lanka's war, says the country is still perpetrating abuses against its own civilians. "People continue to be tortured and disappeared," she said. "Sri Lanka is quite frankly descending into a state where more..

MEP wants concessionary electricity pricing formula

Apr 29 (Island) Ruling party UPFA constituent, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, has requested the govt to introduce a concessionary pricing formula for electricity consumers hit by the recent power tariff hikes. The MEP, in a press release, signed by Assistant Secretary of the party, says that the issue of recent electricity tariff hike and its consequent developments had been discussed by the party’s politburo and the party had arrived at the conclusion that the new price formula was unbearable. more..

SLFP union boss slams govt over wages and electricity

Apr 29 (Island) Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya General Secretary Leslie Devendra yesterday said that the govt should pay a ‘living wage’ to the workers as the purchasing power of current wages was little or nothing and the masses had been pushed from the frying pan to the fire. The Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya is a trade union affiliated to the SLFP. He said that this year’s May Day rally at Campbell Park more..

A politician of great skill

Apr 29 (DM) It is not often that a person not amongst us hits the headlines but that is what happened last week when the twentieth death anniversary of assassinated former Trade and National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali was commemorated on Tuesday. Athulathmudali was one of the rising stars of the J. R. Jayewardene administration that came into power in 1997 and was soon hailed as a potential national leader. His untimely and controversial death robbed the more..

BASL Probe: Judges reluctant to comment

Apr 29 (DM) Comprising about 11,000 lawyers, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) recently held a special meeting of its Executive Committee, the Bar Council to decide what action to take regarding the mass transfer of District Judges and Magistrates. More than 60 transfers were made earlier this month by the Judicial Services Commission headed by Chief Justice 44, Mohan Peiris whose appointment is seen by the BASL and other independent analysts as illegal and unconstitutional on the basis of more..

Sri Lanka University Games 2013 from May 2

Apr 29 (GDI) The University of Moratuwa has the privilege of organizing and hosting one of the most eagerly awaited events in the Sri Lankan University calendar, Sri Lanka University Games 2013 will be held from May 2 to 12 mainly at the University of Moratuwa Grounds. The 11th opening ceremony will be held at the main grounds at 4pm under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the chief guest while more..

Vigil attendees questioned by CCD

Apr 29 (SL) In a new twist following the candlelight vigil on April 12, several attendees are being questioned by the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD). Suchetha Wijenayake was one of the people who attended the vigil. His picture was taken by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) supporters at the event. Last Saturday Wijenayake said a police officer from the Mount Lavinia area visited his residence around 8 am. more..

'Govt. should discuss resettlement, land issues with NPC members after poll'

Apr 29 (ST) Govt should hold discussions with those who are elected to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) at the upcoming poll on issues such as resettlement and land allocations and not take unilateral decisions, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “The UNP’s position is that the resettlement of the people in the north must be done after discussions between the Govt and elected representatives to the NPC. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 11.6% in February

Apr 29 (LBO) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 11.6% in February 2013 to 93,232 from a year earlier, helped by gains in Europe and East Asia, official data showed. Arrivals from Western Europe rose 13.7% to 43,635 with Britain growing 26.1% to 11,031 and Germany up 8.1% to 8,276. Arrivals from France rose 4% to 6,632, Netherlands was up 1.1% to 3,020, Switzerland was up 27.1% to 2,980 and Eastern Europe up 17% to 7,218 more..

Foreign drug suppliers cut off supplies to Lanka due to unpaid bills

Apr 29 (Island) A number of companies supplying drugs to Sri Lanka, especially those in India, had flatly refused to supply fresh stocks of drugs and other pharmaceuticals till the govt settled the arrears in payments, running into about Rs.01 billion, due to them. ACHSU General Secretary Gamini Kumarasinghe said that it had been found that the govt owed foreign drug companies nearly Rs. 01 billion in 2012. more..

TNA defends bid to thwart CHOGM 2013 in Colombo

Apr 29 (Island) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran yesterday defended campaigning in London against Sri Lanka hosting the CHOGM in Colombo later this year. The TNA wanted the venue shifted to a suitable venue regardless of a previous decision to allow Sri Lanka to host the meeting. Sumanthiran faulted the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) for giving Sri Lanka the honour of hosting the summit in spite of the more..

Ranil to table missing persons list in Parliament

Apr 29 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is expected to table a document comprising the names of 472 people who are known to have disappeared in Mannar during the war. The document will be tabled in Parliament at the request made by Mannar Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph and the Association of Families Searching for Disappeared Relations. The request was made when Mr. Wickremesinghe met more..

NZ to go to CHOGM despite human rights protest

Apr 29 (3N) Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand will attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka later this year despite the country's questionable human rights record. Canada says it will boycott the summit unless the host nation investigates allegations of war crimes during the climax of a 26-year civil war. Since Sri Lanka was announced as the host of this year's CHOGM, anger has been building - protestors took to the streets in more..

Fate of CMC employees in the balance

Apr 29 (CT) The issue pertaining to the number of cadres employed by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), which has been hanging on a thread for some time, will take a decisive turn, with a special discussion on the issue scheduled to take place at the Western Provincial Council (WPC) today (29). Sources of the WPC said, the Management Services Department (MSD) and the Salaries and Cadre Commission of the more..

No Confidence Motion against Pavithra

Apr 29 (DM) The UNP has intensified its campaign against the electricity tariff hike by handing over a No–Confidence Motion in Parliament against Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, informed sources said yesterday. After last Wednesday’s candle light protest in the Well of Parliament, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake handed over this motion to Secretary General of Parliament Dammika Dissanayake. more..

Editiorial: More woes for the people

Apr 29 (CT) The initial euphoria of the war victory of May 2009 appears to have waned, with the people being called upon to face a tough reality that is contrary to govt claims, especially about a thriving economy. The truth, analysts claim, is that the economy is sliding, economic growth is slowing down, govt revenue is declining and inflation is rising. According to the analysts the redeeming factor however, seems to be that private foreign remittances and earnings from more..

The ExpoRail experience

Apr 29 (CT) That the fraud that claims that Public, Private Partnerships (PPP) are the greatest thing since sliced bread lends itself to ready transference across continents and oceans was brought home to me most forcefully recently when we were taken in by the advertising hype of one of these operations and bought (inordinately) expensive rail tickets to the Eastern Coast. I am referring to the journey on ExpoRail from Kurunegala to Trincomalee on the 11th April and return on the 14th April. more..

Marketing higher education?

Apr 29 (CT) Undergraduates of State universities who had vehemently objected to the setting up of private universities, are now up in arms over State educational institutions providing degree courses at a nominal fee. They claim such provisions are part of the govt’s attempts to privatize education and turn it into a profit-making venture. The IUSF, accused the govt of granting degree awarding status not only to private institutions more..

Tense situation during Jaffna demo

Apr 29 (CG) A tense situation arose in Jaffna today during a demonstration staged against the government acquisition of land in Valikamam. The demonstration was staged outside the Tellippalai Divisional Secretariat’s office and some Tamil politicians including TNA parliamentarians Mavai Senathirajah and M.A. Sumanthiran also took part. According to reports from Jaffna, the demonstrators had later attempted to move into a high security zone in the area. more..

Customs double talk

Apr 29 (Island) The Sri Lanka Customs is expected to resume the investigation today into three potato containers, which arrived from Pakistan with 30,000 vials of a banned drug used in abortions. Media spokesman of Sri Lanka Customs, Director of Customs Lesley Gamini told The Island that the detection was made by the Revenue Task Force at the Colombo port last Friday. However, he strangely commented: "So far the officials have not found out the name of the drug." more..

Over 1,000 Sri Lankan boat people returned

Apr 29 (Xinhua) The Australian govt repatriated 25 more Sri Lankans who attempted to illegally migrate to the country, bringing the total number of boat people returned to over 1,000, a press release by the Australian embassy said here on Monday. The group was advised of its status and that all its 25 members were subject to removal from Australia as none raised issues that engaged Australia's international obligations, according to the more..

'Govt members undermining one another'

Apr 29 (AD) The UNP claims that the govt is undermining itself adding that the members of the govt are openly criticizing its decisions in the media signaling a split within its ranks. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathilaka said that when the former Power and Energy Minister says one thing, the current Minister says something against it adding that this is a clear indication of the crisis within the govt. The MP pointed out that the corruption and wastage within state institutions is rising while political more..

Mass grave recalls rural massacres

Apr 29 (wsws) Evidence is mounting that a mass grave found recently in Sri Lanka, containing hundreds of dead bodies, could be a burial site for some of the tens of thousands of rural youth massacred under the UNP govt of President R. Premadasa between 1988 and 1990. The site was accidentally found during an excavation for the construction of a hospital in Matale, about 150 km from Colombo. The police and the govt sought to cover-up the revelation, which initially more..

Lankan woman seeks Rs 20 lakh for illegal detention

Apr 29 (TOI) A Sri Lankan Tamil woman, claiming that her Chennai-based husband had illegally admitted her in a private asylum at Urappakkam here and kept her confined there for 20 months, moved the Madras high court seeking 20 lakh compensation. A division bench, before whom the habeas corpus petition of K Rizmiya came up for hearing, summoned her husband Kaja Mohideen to the court, and then referred the case to be more..

Who has forgotten? Where are the doctors who issued certificates?

Apr 29 (LT) "I do not have any health issue. I will continue with the political activities of the Kolonnawa electorate," said MP Duminda Silva addressing the media when he went to his residence at Palawatta from Nawaloka Hospital. Mr. Duminda Silva who was in Singapore for nearly 1 ½ years alleging that he had been shot at Kollonnawa and was injured remained in Navaloka Hospital since he came to Sri Lanka but walked out at 11.25 a.m. on the 27th from the ward where he was staying smiling more..

Ranil urges govt to consider TNA proposal to reclaim sea

Apr 29 (Island) Having toured the Jaffna peninsula, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has urged the government to consider the TNA proposal to reclaim the sea off Palaly air base to build the new airport and harbour. In a statement issued from Sirikotha, Wickremesinghe said the govt should seriously consider the proposal in the wake of simmering controversy over the release of land categorized as high security zones in the peninsula. Addressing the Jaffna based business community, more..

Sri Lanka Cricket to launch talent search in former LTTE regions

Apr 29 (PTI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is to conduct a talent search for potential youngsters from the former LTTE controlled regions in the north and the east. For two days next month, the SLC would run coaching camps and conduct a talent search for under-14 to under-19 age categories in northern capital of Jaffna. There will also be programmes for coaches and the schools’ masters in charge, a SLC release said. more..

UNP plays prank on govt

Apr 29 (DM) The UNP yesterday said they had played a trick on the govt to prove that even the bombers of Boston could enter army run hotels in the North. This trick played by the party was revealed by General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake at a public meeting in Vavuniya last evening. The party had booked the room at an army run hotel by giving the name of the Boston bomber Tsarnaev. The person who answered the phone had informed that more..

Remand of fishermen extended upto May 6

Apr 29 (Hindu) For the third time, the remand of 26 fishermen from Tamil Nadu – who were held by the Sri Lankan Navy on April 5 – has been extended, now upto May 6. The case came up for hearing at the magistrate court in Kayts Island on Monday. It was last heard on Friday, when simultaneously, the magistrate court in Mannar extended the remand of the 30 fishermen from Rameswaram apprehended on April 6, upto May 6. The issue of Tamil Nadu’s fishermen being caught engaging in more..

Sampur Power project heads for Rs.5 billion loss: Predicted relief a hoax - Harisson

Apr 29 (Island) The Sampur power project was heading for a Rs.5000 million loss in its very first year, the UNP said. UNP MP, P. Harisson, said that the govt’s promise of cheaper electricity in 2014, would turn out to be another hoax, since the Sampur Station balance sheet already carried a negative balance of nearly Rs. 5 billion, due to the terms of the 2011 contract entered into with India’s NTPC, which included the high prices more..

Three police officers arrested over three missing people

Apr 29 (DM) Three police officers were arrested in Trincomalee for being allegedly involved in the disappearance of three people in 2008. The CID which conducted investigations into the disappearance of a woman and two others on July 1, 2008 at Pimburugaspitiya in Gomarankadawala made the arrest. Those arrested included an Inspector attached to the Thambalagamuwa police, a Sergeant attached to the Anuradhapura Uda Maluwa Police and a police constable more..

Chennai Business Community appeal to send more Sri Lankans

Apr 29 (GDI) The business and traders community at large in Chennai had observed that the activities of some extremists groups in Tamil Nadu, had caused a hindrance of Sri Lankans visiting the state and that had been detrimental to their business. Therefore they have appealed to the head of the Edgmore Maha Bodhi Temple Ven. Kalawane Mahanama Thera to make arrangements for more Sri Lankan pilgrims to visit Tamil Nadu and Chennai in India. more..

Japan confers Dr. S.M. Punchi Banda with distinguised honors

Apr 29 (Island) The Govt of Japan will today confer Dr. Sabhapathi Mudiyanselage Punchi Banda, Senior Advisor – FICA Sri Lanka Office, with one of its distinguished honours "The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays", in recognition for his outstanding contributions in enhancing relationship between Japan and Sri Lanka. Commenting on the award Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan to SL mentioned that more..