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Women’s organizations team up in protest

Apr 5 (CT) Women's organizations from various areas of Jaffna staged a mass protest on Wednesday, against the violence perpetrated on women and children in the Jaffna Peninsula. Women, both young and old, accompanied by children, engaged in protest by chanting slogans, highlighting the violence perpetrated against their gender. The protest march proceeded through the main streets in Jaffna and concluded at the Govt Secretariat, where a memorandum was more..

Scottish police officers guide Sri Lankan counterparts

Apr 5 (BBC) Scottish police officers are coming to the end of a three-year project to retrain their counterparts in Sri Lanka. BBC reporter travelled to Sri Lanka to see how the venture was working. Nanda Kumara has no hint of shame on his face when he shows me his home. I step over an open sewer to reach the door where Nanda's wife and four children are gathered. Inside is a cramped living area almost totally devoid of furniture. more..

BOI deal signed for Rs. 600m new investment to revamp Liberty Plaza

Apr 5 (FT) Colombo Land and Development Plc Group yesterday signed an agreement with the BOI to undertake a Rs. 964 million revamp of Liberty Plaza in Colombo, including Rs. 600 million for new buildings. The proposed project intends to undertake a huge refurbishment process in the near future which will convert the Liberty Plaza into a world class shopping mall as well as an icon in Colombo City. Some of the main features of the refurbishment/revamping project of more..

Train forgets to stop at station; has to backtrack

Apr 5 (DM) The “Udarata Menike” express train bound for Badulla from the Colombo Fort Railway Station yesterday, had failed to stop at Gampaha and continued on to Veyangoda. The train had then returned to Gampaha to pick up over fifty passengers who had made bookings in advance to travel by this express train. The train had left Colombo Fort at 9.45 am and was scheduled to reach Gampaha at 10.15 am, but, to the amazement of the commuters, it had passed through more..

Typhoid among food handlers: Public at risk

Apr 5 (CT) The alarming spread of typhoid among food handlers working at eateries and restaurants in Colombo and its suburbs has become a major health hazard to the public. In the last quarter alone, 377 cases of typhoid and paratyphoid enteric fever were reported. CMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said, for every five kitchen staff tested for typhoid, one person is reported to have had the disease. more..

Lankans held for kidnapping businessman

Apr 5 (Hindu) A special team of the city police apprehended four Sri Lankan nationals in connection with the kidnap of an Australia-based Sri Lankan businessman. The businessman was lured into a trap by his abductors and detained when he came to Chennai last month. He had allegedly promised the Sri Lankan men jobs in Canada and other places abroad and cheated them of Rs. 2.5 crore. The police identified the suspects as Sri Lankan nationals Jain Moulana (40) of more..

Students threaten protests during IPL matches

Apr 5 (Hindu) Students owing allegiance to the ‘Students Federation for Free Eelam’ on Thursday threatened to stage agitations during the IPL matches in Chennai demanding the owner of Hyderabad Sunrisers to drop Sri Lankan players Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera from the team. At least 40 students who participated in a demonstration in front of the Sun Network’s corporate office at MRC Nagar here were arrested and released hours later. more..

Sobitha Thero and team present constitutional reform proposal

Apr 5 (FT) Proposals for sweeping constitutional reform founded on the basis of the abolition of the presidential system, drafted by a team of senior lawyers, was handed over to the Chief Prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya chapters in Kandy yesterday. Commissioned by the National Movement for Social Justice headed by Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Nagavihara Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero and drafted by more..

GCE O/L 2012 results released

Apr 5 (Island) The results of the GCE O/L Exam 2012, were released to the web by the Examinations Department yesterday afternoon. Candidates could download the results from the Department’s website, Commissioner General of Examinations W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara told The Island. He said that principals in the Colombo and Jayewardenepura Education Zones could collect their school’s results from the department in Pelawatta, Battaramulla in the morning today. more..

Temporary ban on Lankan workers to Cyprus

Apr 5 (DN) The Foreign Employment Ministry decided to suspend temporarily, Sri Lankan workers being sent to Cyprus as the country has been affected by a financial crisis since lately, a spokesman said. He said issuing of licence to private job agencies to send Sri Lankans to Cyprus will also be stopped until the country recovers from the crisis. Once the situation becomes normal, Sri Lankans will once again be allowed to seek job opportunities in Cyprus, he said. more..

SL must seize the opportunity for genuine reconciliation: India's President tells Ranil

Apr 5 (Island) Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has said India has always felt that the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka provides a unique opportunity to pursue lasting political settlement, acceptable to all communities. Sri Lanka must seize the opportunity for genuine national reconciliation and move ahead, he told Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lankan Parliament Ranil Wickremesinghe during a meeting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here more..

Sri Lankan rupee at year high on remittances, exporter dollar sales

Apr 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's rupee firmed to its highest close in nearly a year on Thursday on high remittances and selling of dollars by exporters ahead of a festival season, while stocks rose on foreign buying of bank shares. The rupee ended 0.44% firmer at 125.65/70 to the dollar from Wednesday's close of 126.20/25, its highest level since April 9, 2012. 'This is mainly due to seasonal inflows due to inward remittances and exporter conversion of dollars ahead of the new year more..

Pakistan, Sri Lanka agree to enhance level of cooperation

Apr 5 (DT) Pakistan and Sri Lanka held Foreign Secretary-level Bilateral Political Consultations in Colombo on Wednesday. Foreign Secretary Jalil Abass Jilani led the Pakistan side, while Sri Lanka was represented by Foreign Secretary Tilakaratne Amunugama during the talks. The talks focused on gamut of issues encompassing the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and the two sides had detailed exchange of views on a number of issues of mutual interest. It was agreed that the consultations more..

'Sri Lanka needs foreign help to establish war death toll'

Apr 5 (Island) Ongoing efforts to ascertain the number of persons, including LTTE cadres, killed during eelam war IV (July 2006-May 2009) and deaths caused due to natural causes as well as accidents, had been hampered by the reluctance on the part of countries accommodating those making accusations to share information with the Sri Lanka govt, govt sources said. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said that an more..

Editorial: The lesson that Sanga taught

Apr 5 (DM) On Sept 23rd 1993, when it was announced that Sydney had pipped Beijing by two votes to win the bid to host the 2000 Olympic Games, the result was duly heralded by the Western media as a victory for sports over politics, when in fact politics had prevailed over sports. A re-enactment of the sports versus politics drama was seen recently when Tamil Nadu politicians insisted that Sri Lankans playing in the IPL would not be welcome in that state and pressurized the more..

The going has got tough for Jayasuriya

Apr 5 (DM) The induction of Upul Jayasuriya as President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) last weekend could mark the beginning of a turbulent period for Sri Lanka’s legal profession, which is seemingly set on a collision course with the Executive and the Legislative of the country. Jayasuriya was elected President of the BASL in February with a massive majority. His main rival at the election was senior lawyer Tirantha Walaliyadda who campaigned on a platform of more..

India and Sri Lanka: Trawling for trouble

Apr 5 (Economist) The men untangling nets in Akkaraipettai harbour, in Tamil Nadu, southern India, know how to ease growing tension with Sri Lanka: scrap the international frontier. “You can’t put a border on air, so how can you do it on water?” says the leader of a fishermen’s union. In any case, trawlermen pay it little heed. Their frequent clashes with SL’s navy are part of a serious and widening quarrel between the more..

Humiliation defies reconciliation

Apr 5 (SL) Humiliation is defined as state of disgrace or loss of self-respect. This definition raises the question of whether reconciliation is possible in an environment that perpetuates humiliation – where a section of the population is disgraced, robbed of self-respect and dignity by a majority that bullies, intimidates, embarrasses and generally mistreats the rest of the citizenry. The Sri Lankan govt in an effort to keep the more..

Face-sized tarantula lives in trees in Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (CSM) Wired reports on what may be a new species of tarantula in Northern Sri Lanka, and it's unlikely to be appearing on the island nation's tourism materials any time soon. Writer Nadia Drake describes the tree-dwelling Poecilotheria rajaei as "about the size of your face" – the human face apparently being a standard metric for tarantula sizes – and notes that it has a pink band on its underside. more..

Tackling heart disease the tried and tested way

Apr 5 (ST) A drastic but tried and tested change is being introduced in the management of risk factors that are harbingers of diseases of the heart or blood vessels. Not just a part, but the whole picture is being looked at to cut down disease and deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD), while avoiding unnecessary medication of people, the Sunday Times understands. In the battle against CVD, the focus now is to screen people more..

'CEB should not subsidize places of worship'

Apr 5 (LBO) CEB should stop subsidizing places of religious worship which had their own methods of deriving income and some were operating commercial businesses, respondents at a hearing on a tariff hike said. Ranatunga said people may not object to subsidized power being used for strictly charitable purposes but not for other activities. He said there was at one time a report of a piggery being run with the more..

'Govt has not stopped fuel subsidy'

Apr 5 (DN) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne frowned at the rumour mongers who spread falsehoods stating that his ministry has stopped paying fuel subsidy. "There is no truth in this at all. We have not stopped payment of subsidy, but there was a delay", the minister said. He pointed out that the delay of payment was caused by fraudulent activities of some of those involved in getting the fuel subsidy and the improper conduct of some more..

Over 2 Million join SLFP

Apr 5 (CT) Over two million have joined the SLFP under the ‘Rata Nagana Nil Rella’ membership drive programme during its first week from 28 March to 2 April, SLFP General Secretary, Minister Maithripala Sirisena, said. He said the high success of the membership drive showed the people’s trust and confidence in the SLFP leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Minister said the membership drive will continue. more..

'Sethu project harmful to Lanka’s resources'

Apr 5 (Island) A high-level team of Sri Lankan marine scientists, environmentalists, geologists and marine engineers, appointed by President Rajapaksa, has found that the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project (SSCP) is detrimental to the maritime and environmental resources of the island nation. The experts were shocked to learn that India had blatantly violated all global norms like the International Law of more..

No arrests yet over attack on Uthayan-Police

Apr 5 (DM) No arrests have been made yet in connection with Wednesday’s attack on the regional office of the Uthayan Newspaper in Kilinochchi, Police Spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena said. “A special team has been deployed to arrest the suspects of this attack. It is headed by an ASP on the instructions of the DIG in charge of the district,” he said. According to reports, six masked attackers had stormed into the more..

Plantation workers win 18% wage hike

Apr 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea and rubber estate workers have won an 18% hike in their basic daily wage from April 1 effective for two years, which may cost firms in excess of 250 million rupees a year, industry officials said. The basic wage was increased from 380 to 450 rupees a day up 18.4%, while an attendance allowance (for 75% attendance on days offered work) was increased to 140 rupees a day from 105 rupees, a spokesman for more..

Open competitive exam to select 4,000 Grama Niladharis

Apr 5 (Island) The Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs has decided to hold an open competitive exam on May 04, 2013 to recruit 4,000 Grama Niladharis countrywide. There are 14,000 GN divisions throughout the country and 4,000 vacancies exist at present. Many GNs now have to look after other GN divisions in addition to their own division due to the prevailing shortage of officers. Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne has instructed his officials to call for applications to fill more..

Patriotism, allegiance and loyalty of Sri Lankan muslims to Mother Lanka

Apr 5 (CT) It is imperative to examine and gauge the true nature of Muslim peoples’ patriotism to mother Lanka. Particularly, this is a timely needed subject in the context of prevailing current debates about Muslim people in Sri Lanka. Muslim population in Sri Lanka according to the recent census constitutes 9. 2% and do they really have loyalty and allegiance to this land? Do they love this land as the majority people of the land do? Or do they have loyalty to another land in the world map? more..

Dialog Axiata awaits nod to facilitate inward remittances

Apr 5 (DM) In a move to further liberalize country’s foreign exchange controls, the Central Bank has granted permission to Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog) to facilitate inward remittances via mobile phone technology, according to the Exchange Controller. “We recently granted Dialog, permission to be in the business of channeling foreign exchange remittances via mobile phone, upon request. But they are yet to receive more..

Electricity tariff hike: Subsidies cannot be provided forever – Yapa

Apr 5 (Island) With the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) having proposed a power tariff hike to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Petroleum Industries Minister and acting Cabinet spokesman Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said yesterday that the entire country could not be given subsidized power forever. He told the weekly post-cabinet media briefing in Colombo that it was up to the PUC to rule on the CEB proposal, but unfair allegations should not be levelled against him. more..

Messing with Sri Lanka

Apr 5 (NIP) It was the early 1980s when, as I recall, Anton Balasingham, “foreign minister” of the “Tamil Eelam” walked into my office, and vehemently protested a piece I had written warning of the dangers of being sucked into the Sri Lankan civil strife that was soon to morph into a full-fledged civil war with not little help from India. The LTTE cadres were trained by the Indian external intelligence agency, RAW, in guerrilla tactics, including demolitions, and in setting up more..

Govt. turns to India for KKS Port project loan

Apr 5 (DM) The govt will raise a loan of USD 44.3 million from India for the development of the Kankesanturai Port for commercial operations, Daily Mirror learns. The port, located in the northern-most part of the country, could not be operated fully for decades due to damages sustained during the war. There were also wrecks of vessels destroyed due to bomb attacks at the time. After the war was over in May, 2009, India pledged to assist in the more..

Ability to conduct elections in north is govt’s achievement – Dallas

Apr 5 (Island) Although the SLFP led UPFA coalition couldn’t  secure the majority of votes in the Northern Province at local polls, it was the Rajapaksa government’s achievement that created the situation for conducting elections in the province, much of  which was ruled by the LTTE for a long time under Prabhakaran’s dictatorship, Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said yesterday. He said that although the constitution was amended in 1987 to bring in the 13th Amendment, more..

Bananas cultivated in Sri Lanka 6000 yrs ago

Apr 5 (Island) Sophisticated palaeo-ecological studies, conducted on cave deposits, found in the Fahien cave archaeological site, have produced evidence that ancient Lankans cultivated bananas some 6,000 years ago and contributed to a new scientific hypothesis that domesticated varieties had been introduced to the African and Indian continents via a sea route in which Sri Lanka served as a link. Dr T. R. Premathilake of the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeological Research, more..

Budget packs for Avurudu season

Apr 5 (MED) The govt has introduced a special budget pack of essential items to provide maximum relief to consumers — while keeping the prices of essential items under control during the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year season. The package which will be sold at Rs. 1000 comprises 2kgs of samba rice. 2kgs of red rice. 1kg dhal. 1kg rice flour, lkg sugar, one canned fish. 425g pack of milk powder, one 100g pack tea, more..

Play on and play on, it’s only a game

Apr 5 (CT) Greek philosopher Plato, the founder of the 'Academy' in Athens, the first institution of higher learning on record in the Western world, said: "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." That is precisely what has happened in the foggy environment of the aftermath of our celebrated 'war-victory.' And it is not only in Sri Lanka that this scenario is taking root. In Tamil Nadu, now considered to be our closest more..

Temple land acquired illegally in K’nochchi

Apr 5 (CT) TNA MP, S. Sritharan, has brought to the notice of the Govt Agent (GA), Kilinochchi, the attempt made by a private firm in Anuradhapura to acquire three acres of land that belongs to the Uthiravengai Vairavar Temple, closer to Kilinochchi town, that comes under the purview of the Kanagambikaikulam Grama Sevaka Division. MP Sritharan, in a letter to the GA, Kilinochchi, has pointed out that three acres of land of the Uthiravengai Vairavar Temple, which is used more..

Driver, conductor sentenced to death

Apr 5 (CG) The driver and conductor of the passenger bus which met with an accident at Yangalmodara in 2005 after colliding with a train killing over 40 people, were sentenced to death by the Kurunegala High Court today. The judge ruled that the driver and conductor were responsible for the death of 41 passengers and creating bodily harm to around 30 others. Both convicts had 100 other charges against them in relation to the case. more..

'19 Indian fishermen will be released on April 11'

Apr 5 (IBN) Sri Lanka has promised to release 19 Indian fishermen, who are in its custody for allegedly crossing into its waters. Sri Lankan Minister Armugam Thondaman told CNN-IBN that the India fishermen would be released on April 11. Sri Lanka had on March 15 released 34 of the 53 Indian fishermen arrested by its Navy. The release had come a day after India summoned Sri Lanka's Deputy High Commissioner and lodged a strong protest over the arrest of the fishermen. more..

Chinese delegation impressed with security forces in the North

Apr 5 (CT) Deputy Minister of State Security of China, Zhou Oing, commended the humanitarian activities carried out by the Security Forces in the North. The Deputy Chinese Minister met the Jaffna Security Forces Commander, Maj. Gen. Mahinda Hathurusinghe, at in Palaly on Wednesday. Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe briefed the Chinese Deputy Minister on the efforts taken by the Security Forces in the North to improve the living conditions of the civilians, and had also highlighted more..