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'Ban on SL players in TN won’t be enough'

Apr 4 (Island) The UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said that banning of Sri Lankan national cricketers from playing in Tamil Nadu, in the IPL series, wouldn’t be enough to convince the Sri Lankan govt to address accountability issues. The GTF said that tougher action was needed to pressure the authoritarian govt to fulfill its international obligations. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran said that the group appreciated a range of more..

Lawyers Collective congratulates BASL

Apr 4 (FT) The Lawyers’ Collective in a recent statement congratulated the delegates of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) who gathered in Colombo on 30 March, for showing its commitment to uphold the principle stand BASL took, regarding the attack on the Rule of Law and the independence of the judiciary. BASL has not reiterated its stand that the issue of the attack on Rule of Law and the Independence of Judiciary, which was demonstrated by the process, adopted to impeach the more..

Artificial breasts for cancer victims

Apr 4 (Island) The Health Ministry has implemented a programme to provide a breast-wear cushion for women who have had their breasts removed due to cancer. For the first time in Sri Lanka, the Zonta International Organisation has launched a project to assist Sri Lankan women who have had their breasts removed for medical reasons. Women worried about their appearance when they lost their breasts and therefore the programme would be a source of great relief to women more..

Railway employees threaten strike

Apr 4 (CT) Railway employees yesterday threatened to launch a 48-hour islandwide token strike from midnight 9 April, if their salary issues are not resolved. Convener of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) of Railway Employees, Janaka Fernando, said they informed President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga and officials of the Ministry of Transport about the strike. He also said railway employees had discussions with more..

Imposter sending niqab hate mail: BBS

Apr 4 (CT) The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has made a complaint to the CID against an e-mail circulating under the BBS letterhead, asking the public to remove the niqab worn by Muslim women when spotted on the street. General Secretary of BBS, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera claimed that some organization is trying to discredit the BBS by spreading wrong information, while pretending to be members of the BBS. "Threatening letters have been sent to some mosques in the more..

SLC Ex-Co summoned

Apr 4 (CT) Colombo District Judge, Amal Ranaraja, yesterday issued summons on the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to appear before Court on 8 April. The Court issued notice on the Executive Committee after considering an enjoining order sought by plaintiff, Devapriya Priyantha Zoysa. This was a sequel to the plaint filed by Zoysa in the District Court complaining of the Executive Committee's unlawful activities in violation of the Constitution of the SLC. more..

Displaced Lankan Tamils cash in on MEA’s scheme

Apr 4 (IE) Implementing a direct cash transfer scheme seems to be a tedious job only at home if the Ministry of External Affairs is to be believed. The MEA has been transferring cash to build houses for internally displaced Tamils in war-ravaged north and eastern Sri Lanka successfully for the last six months. The project was rolled out on October 2, 2012 and since then the govt has spent Rs 100 crore. With this money, over 11,379 more..

Amidst foreign buying, return of locals boosts Bourse

Apr 4 (FT) The Colombo stock market experienced a rebound yesterday with its value rising by Rs. 9 billion thanks to the return of locals amidst continued foreign buying. The ASPI improved by 24 points, with gains marked in Ceylon Tobacco Company (1.5%), DFCC Bank (3.0%) and Union Bank (12.2%) weighted heavily on the positive performance. The S&P SL20 too ended up by 16 points. “The benchmark index displayed a clear uptrend with notable buying pressure on banking counters. more..

‘Massive campaign to create public opinion against govt’

Apr 4 (DN) A massive campaign is under way in the country to create public opinion against the government in the backdrop of an adverse campaign launched by the LTTE proxies against Sri Lanka internationally. An international media organization which has an office in Colombo has also launched a similar campaign within the country to portray the world that there is no free of media in the country, said military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya. He was speaking at more..

Lanka prepares for any eventuality in Korean peninsula

Apr 4 (Island) Immediate steps had been taken to guarantee the safety of Sri Lankan workers in South Korea, if a war broke out with North Korea, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) chairman Amal Senalankadhikara said yesterday. He said that discussions had been held with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) regarding the need for urgent evacuation in more..

Why mix the two?

Apr 4 (Hindu) Two different grounds. Two separate issues. Two unrelated reasons. Why mix Sports and politics? Youngsters in the city react in lieu with the recent ban on Sri Lankan players playing in Chennai. Linking cricket to politics is unnecessary. They are coming to play a game and not as ambassadors of Sri Lankan politics or of what has happened in the past. In fact, they are representing our own Indian states and wearing their jerseys. While politicians do have a point in more..

Students storm Mihin Lanka office in Trichy

Apr 4 (TOI) Eleven pro-Eelam students were taken into custody by the police on Wednesday, as they barged into the Mihin Lanka airline's corporate office at Trichy. They charged that the Sri Lankan airline was owned by the brother of Sri Lankan president Rajapaksa who is charged with war crimes by the Tamil organisations. The protesters, who had a sit-in at the Mihin Lanka office, said they wanted to draw the attention of the Central govt to the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. more..

SLC won’t allow TN crisis jeopardize Indo-Lanka cricketing ties

Apr 4 (Island) Sports Secretary Anura Jayawickrama and Sri Lanka Cricket Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said that Sri Lanka’s participation in the ongoing IPL would be of pivotal importance regardless of Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa’s decision to interfere with the tournament. Ranatunga differed with his elder brother, Arjuna, former captain and Opposition MP, that Sri Lanka should have boycotted more..

India should abstain from Commonwealth meet: Sinha

Apr 4 (Hindu) Flaying the foreign policy flip-flops of the Congress-led UPA for letting the Sri Lankan Tamils issue come to such a pass, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said India should abstain from the CHOGM to be held in Colombo in November. Sinha said while there could be no Commonwealth without India, the big question was whether the Prime Minister would muster the courage to inform the Commonwealth Secretary General India would not attend the summit to protest against SL more..

Assailants wielded cricket bats - witness

Apr 4 (Island) The Jaffna-based Udayan newspaper’s Kilinochchi regional distribution office was attacked by an unidentified gang early yesterday morning. Five employees including the branch office manager were injured in the attack. The condition of two victims was serious. The attack took place around 5.00 am while copies of the newspaper were being unloaded from a lorry by its employees. "Two of the five workers injured in the attack were admitted to the Kilinochchi more..

JVP looking for missing members

Apr 4 (CT) The JVP established a special committee yesterday to collect details of its members who had gone missing between the years, 1987-90, in the Matale District and requested the families to come forward with the information, in order to identify the perpetrators. A team, under the leadership of a former JVP PC member, Gamagedera Dissanayake, has been appointed to liaise with the families that had lost relatives more..

White elephants that gulp public money

Apr 4 (DM) Building infrastructure is imperative for any country seeking economic development. Nobody will dispute that. But when the infrastructure built does not yield the expected economic outcomes, they would become a curse instead of a blessing. Further, if these infrastructure projects are carried out without consideration for the priorities at the time, they will grow to be white elephants that gulp public money, as opposed to springboards for economic prosperity. more..

Never India, never again

Apr 4 (DM) The USA is not only the sole super power in the world but also boasts of the highest diplomatic presence. When Sri Lanka has diplomatic ties with only 48 nations, the USA maintains diplomatic relations with 196 out of 206 sovereign nations in the world. In comparison with the USA, Sri Lanka is an insignificant member of the world community. However, the number of nations in favour of the US resolution has been increased only by one during the year. India is of course the more..

Dreams of a trip to museum come crashing down

Apr 4 (ST) For 14 year old Sachini Sewwandi, a student of Sumanajothi Maha Vidyalaya, Welimada, it was a dream come true when she learnt that she was coming to Colombo. There was added joy when her trip with fellow students included a visit to the National Museum. There were scores of other students who were not that lucky. Unlike her parents, they could not afford Rs. 2000 for the excursion. Today, Sachini lies on a bed in more..

Newly declassified document shows the ‘horrible’ voyage of the MV Sun Sea

Apr 4 (NP) From Sri Lanka, they travelled to Bangkok, some through Singapore and Malaysia, accompanied by agents who bribed border officials. They were kept at the Sky Place hotel until a double-decker bus brought them south to the MV Sun Sea for the long voyage to Canada. Once aboard, they quickly discovered the fee of up to $35,000 charged by the smuggling syndicate didn’t buy them much: A spot on a cramped more..

When a Tsunami Comes, Tweet

Apr 4 (IPS) Soon after the deadly tsunami struck Kesennuma city in the Miyagi Prefecture in Northern Japan on Mar. 11, 2011, 59-year-old Naoko Utsumi found herself on the rooftop of a community centre with only one line of communication to the outside world – the email option on her mobile phone. Utsumi emailed her husband who in turn emailed their son in London, more than 9,500 km away. From London, more..

Sri Lanka embassy opens in Bahrain

Apr 4 (GDN) SRI Lanka has opened its first fully operational embassy in Bahrain. Newly appointed Sri Lankan Ambassador Anura Rajakuruna said yesterday that the embassy was up and running following months of delays. The diplomatic mission, located in Mahooz, will work towards boosting ties between the two countries and support its 20,000-plus community members. "We are functioning as an embassy, although a formal opening is yet more..

An altered Sri Lanka map by 2100

Apr 4 (CT) The current rate of atmospheric change is likely to leave a strong impact on Sri Lanka, with the island's northern tip and the nearby small islands likely to suffer severe inundation by 2100, a top scientist warns. Senior Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Environment and Professor of Physics, Dr. W.A. Sumathipala insists that just like the Maldives, the identified parts of Sri Lanka are likely to be submerged by the more..

Acute drug shortage due to lack of funds

Apr 4 (CT) A senior official attached to State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) admitted there was an acute shortage of drugs in hospitals as the Treasury has stopped allocating money to buy the required amounts of medicine. According to an official in the Medical Supplies Division, Ministry of Health, Rs 125 billion is allocated annually for the health service from the budget. Out of that amount, 25% is allocated for drugs." more..

Sri Lanka Army women’s corps empowers 95 women ex-combatant

Apr 4 (SL) The first ever batch of 95 Tamil girls from the Kilinochchi district who were enlisted to the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps (6 SLAWC) on 17 Nov 2012, passed out after around three and a half months of basic training during a landmark ceremony at its headquarters at Bharathipuram, Kilinochchi last week. Although initially 103 girls enlisted to join the army women’s corps, due to numerous reasons 8 of the girls more..

Vital Electricity Act amendments stuck in parliament

Apr 4 (Island) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) would be in a position to further reduce the CEB’s expenditure if the Electricity Act No. 20 of 2009 was amended to give it more powers, a power and energy expert said on the condition of anonymity. He told The Island that six Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that produced more than 25MW did not come under the purview of the PUCSL. more..

Another group of Sri Lankans sent home

Apr 4 (CG) Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O’Connor today announced another group of Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals were flown home from Christmas Island to Colombo. The Australian High Commission in Colombo said that a group of 20 people were advised of their status and they were subject to removal from Australia as none of them raised issues that engaged Australia’s more..

Resolution passed against BBS

Apr 4 (CG) A resolution was submitted and adopted at the Kalmunai Municipal Council this morning against extremists groups including the Bodu Bala Sena. The resolution also calls for the support of efforts being taken by Minister Vasudeva Nanayakara to crackdown on extremist groups. Speaking during the Council session today chaired by Kalumunai Mayor Dr. Shiraz Mirashib, several Council members spoke against the BBS more..

LfD condemns attack on business establishment

Apr 4 (CT) Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) condemned the attack on a business establishment at Pepiliyana by a mob and the attack on a journalist, who was covering the incident. LfD issuing a statement said: It was astonishing to see a person in the robes of a Buddhist monk attacking the premises encouragingly watched by a number of police officers. The attack on the journalist was not prevented by the police. The personalities involved can be easily identified as the more..

Counter campaign to overcome new threat to peace

Apr 4 (CT) Even as the govt prepares to celebrate the fourth year anniversary of the end of the war next month in May, a new threat looms on the horizon. This is the prospect of violence arising from politically-motivated communalism which passes for patriotism within a society that has grown increasingly polarized on ethnic and religious lines. The sudden rise of extremist Buddhist groups is occurring in a context in which the fears of the Sinhalese majority are being more..

Muslim militancy: Four groups based in Colombo – Former US intelligence officer

Apr 4 (CT) “(C/NF) Source reported there are four primary Muslim groups based in Colombo: Sri Lanka Jamthi Islam, Thauhid Jamath, Thableeq Jamath, and Jamathi Muslim.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. CT found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable discusses Muslim militancy in SL. The cable is classified as 'confidential' and written on June 9, 2004. more..

Passikudah assault case before HRC on April 08

Apr 4 (Island) DIG Ravi Waidyalankara’s son, Asela, had lodged a complaint with the Human Rights Commission demanding justice over the alleged attack at Passikudah and claimed that his fundamental rights were violated by the police officers who inquired into the matter at the time, Commissioner, SLHRC, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said. The Commissioner said that both parties were summoned to for a hearing on April 8 at around 9.30 a.m. more..

Editorial : Arms control for whose benefit?

Apr 4 (CT) In what is seen as a historic concurrence, the 193-nation UN General Assembly approved the first ever treaty on the global arms trade on Tuesday, with a 155-3-22 vote (155 for, 3 against and 22 abstentions). UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has welcomed the vote, saying the treaty, which seeks to regulate the $70 billion business in conventional arms and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers, "will help keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and more..

'Power: Pay less than Rs 75 more for now'

Apr 4 (DN) More than three million households will experience a price increase of less than Rs 75 temporarily until the generation cost of electricity is reduced drastically as a result of the prudent policy decision taken by the government to switch onto low cost coal power generation rather than depending on expensive petrol and diesel powered power generation, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. more..

NCEASL raises concerns

Apr 4 (CG) The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) is deeply concerned regarding the prevalence in Sri Lanka of an organized campaign of hatred against adherents of non]majority faiths. In recent months Muslims and Christians alike have faced numerous attacks and violence against their practice of worship. Additionally Muslim owned business establishments and Muslim women in their religious attire have faced attack and assault, NCEASL said. more..

Lankans killing themselves with salt

Apr 4 (Island) Consultant Neurologist Dr. Ms. Padma Gunaratne yesterday said that Sri Lanka consumed approximately 150,000 MT of salt per annum. Of that amount, people consumed about 120,000 MT, she said. A high percentage of sodium chloride (common salt) could cause gastric cancer, osteoporosis, kidney stones and Alzheimer’s disease. Research had shown that an average Sri Lankan consumed 12.5 g of salt per day, but the WHO recommended intake was only 5 g, more..

'Fuel subsidy withdrawal hits fisher folk'

Apr 4 (Island) As many as 216,260 fishermen had lost their livelihoods, consequent to the govt doing away with fuel subsidy, given to them with effect from March this year, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa alleged. He claimed that over 185,480 fisher families comprising over 820,000 had been affected by the suspension of the fuel subsidy. Premadasa said that President Rajapaksa’s administration had introduced fuel subsidy more..

CMC officials in drug scam

Apr 4 (CT) A large quantity of drugs that do not conform to quality standards is said to have been imported from an unregistered Indian company by a senior female official attached to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) Department of Health, with the support of several other officials. 6.6 million medical drugs (tablets) at an estimated cost of Rs 5.5 million had been imported from the unregistered Indian company. The tablets, prescribed to diabetes patients, do not conform to quality standards, more..

Extra bus fleet, trains for New Year holidays

Apr 4 (DN) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and the Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) have deployed extra fleets of buses and additional train services during the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year season for the benefit of passengers to travel to their villages. This service is in addition to the regular bus services and train services from the Central Bus Stand (CBS), Pettah and the Fort and Maradana railway stations to provincial destinations. This is been done on the instructions of Transport more..

Pakistan played a crucial role says MR

Apr 4 (CG) President Rajapaksa says Pakistan played a crucial role in assisting Sri Lanka during decisive points. He said this during a meeting with the Secretary of the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jilal Abbas Jilani today. During a courtesy call on the President at the Presidential Secretariat Jilani said that there is a marked difference in Sri Lanka from when he last visited during the war in 2005. more..