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PC who pursued absconding accused found dead inside well

Feb 14 (DN) A police constable attached to the Habarana Police Station, who followed an accused evading arrest, was found dead inside a well in Puwakpitiya yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as W A Sumudu Chinthaka, 45, of Kokawewa, Gatalawa, Galenbindunuwewa. The incident occurred when a team of officers of Habarana Police, set off to arrest a warranted accused, known as Matara Suda in Puwakpitiya, Habarana around 3am yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka selectors turn focus on development

Feb 14 (CI) Sri Lanka's new selection panel has put the onus firmly on development, as they named two young captains and a Test squad brimful of youth, three months after Sri Lanka fielded their oldest ever Test side in the second home Test against New Zealand. The 20-man squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh features nine players who are 25 or under, 5 of whom have never played a Test more..

Muli-billionaire businessmen behind Buddhist – Islam ‘bomb’

Feb 14 (LT) Sri Lanka is a country where Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and other masses live peacefully. There should be diversity among communities. Their beliefs should be respected. Imperialists are waiting to ignite the ‘Gajasinghe’ and ‘Halal’ bombs. What is behind this issue is a business war. The govt should comprehend this clearly and act accordingly,” said the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe at Dambulla. Speaking further at a meeting held at more..

Kelaniya Uni. to probe attack and theft

Feb 14 (Island) The Kelaniya University administration will conduct an investigation into the attack on the Students’ Council office by an unidentified group last Friday night. Registrar of the University W.M. Karunaratne said that that it was difficult to point the finger at anyone as the SC office was used only by its members. He claimed that SC members did not complain about the incident to the university administration. "However, our senior student counselors went to the SC office more..

Sri Lanka opposes U.S. resolution at UNHRC but open to "specific assistance"

Feb 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka will continue to oppose the U.S.-backed resolution at the UNHRC later this month but would accept assistance to address specific post-war reconciliation issues, a top official said here on Thursday. Last month the U.S. announced that a second resolution on Sri Lanka would be presented at the UNHRC sessions that start from Feb 25, saying the Sri Lankan govt had failed to implement key reconciliation and more..

Golden Rice trophy presented to Minister Basil Rajapaksa

Feb 14 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa was presented with the ‘Golden Rice’ trophy for being the pioneer in introducing a rice-based economic development programme at a ceremony held to mark the launch of Raigam ‘Deveni Batha’ at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo, recently. The Deveni Batha is noodles made with 100 percent rice flour by the Kingdom of Raigam Group of Companies to introduce a new meal to consumers instead of the usual rice meal. more..

Iranian navy says it used Sri Lankan waters

Feb 14 (CG) The Iranian navy says it used Sri Lankan waters to anchor its ships, the Iranian media reported today. The US and it’s allies have been concerned about Iran and its deployment of ships in international waters. Commander of the Iranian Navy Habibollah Sayyari said that Iran has a right to use international waters like any other country. “We are present on the free waters of the world and we anchored on many ports which we have coordinated before, including Sudan, Jeddah, Djibouti, more..

Thilan Samaraweera joins Worcestershire

Feb 14 (ECB) Worcestershire have signed Sri Lanka batsman Thilan Samaraweera as their overseas player for the entire 2013 season. The 36-year-old right-hander is set to be available throughout the campaign, having today been dropped from his country’s Test squad following a disappointing year in the longest format. Samaraweera has been an under-rated member of Sri Lanka’s Test middle order, with more..

Lankan immigrant dies in Indonesia

Feb 14 (CG) A Sri Lankan immigrant has died in a camp in Indonesia, the Indonesian media reported today. The report said that Sithy Safeekaabdul Jabar died at the camp in Cilacap on the Java mainland. He was among 25 illegal immigrants who had attempted to reach Indonesia by boat last month. However three of them died and 22 were rescued after their boat capsized. Head of Monitoring and Enforcement at the Immigration Office, Edi Cilacap Rohaedi, said that Safeekaabdul Jabar more..

Wimal lashes out at PB

Feb 14 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa yesterday hit out at Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara calling him an ‘economic hit-man.’ At a function organised by his Ministry at the Youth Centre in Maharagama Minister Weerawansa called for the resignation of the Treasury Secretary. He questioned whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa had liberated the country from the clutches of terrorists to allow an economic hit-man to destroy the economy. “Imagine what would have more..

Swiss push reconciliation plan for Sri Lanka

Feb 14 (SI) Almost four years after Sri Lankan govt forces crushed Tamil rebels, Switzerland is backing a South African post-Apartheid reconciliation initiative to bring parties to the negotiating table, but the prospect for lasting peace remains elusive. Since 2011 South Africa and civil society groups have been leading a multi-pronged peace initiative aimed at restarting TNA and Sri Lankan govt negotiations and supporting more..

Mattala Airport offers 50% discount

Feb 14 (CT) The Mattala Airport will offer 50 per cent discount on ground handling charges for international airlines when it commences commercial operations on 18 March, Minister of Airport and Aviation Priyankara Jayaratna said. He said, "Leading international airlines including Emirates, Qatar Airlines, Etihad, Air Arabia, Sichuan Airlines have already agreed to use the Mattala Airport." The open skies policy allowing international carriers to operate freely at the Mattala more..

Private hospital detains teenage girl until bill is settled

Feb 14 (DM) In a shocking revelation, a 45-year-old man told a magistrate that his 13-year-old daughter was detained in the custody of a private hospital in Colombo until the bill involving his wife’s hospitalization was settled. Giving evidence at the inquiry into the death of a 38-year-old woman due to alleged medical negligence at a private Hospital in Colombo, the husband said his 13-year-old daughter was detained under hospital custody until the bill was settled. The witness Upali Gunatilake a more..

Bangladesh wishes CHOGM Sri Lanka every success

Feb 14 (MEA) The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, expressing appreciation of the noteworthy progress achieved by Sri Lanka during the brief period since the eradication of terrorism, said that she is looking forward to attending the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting in Sri Lanka in November this year. She wished the Summit all success, adding that her govt would do everything in its power to more..

A simple experiment to highlight ingrained racism in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (GV) When Etisalat dreams of a Sri Lanka where everyone is connected, it’s clearly thinking only of the Sinhalese. Why else would the company’s website feature, so prominently, a Lion to depict ‘everyone’ in Sri Lanka? In popular media, corporate marketing and govt output, there are numerous other examples of a racism so deeply internalised and ingrained in Sri Lanka that even when flagged, it is dismissed as unimportant or at best, of marginal and passing interest. more..

Sri Lanka’s national plan of action vis-à-vis reconciliation

Feb 15 (GV) Once again Sri Lanka is in the thralls of yet another ethnic conundrum. It would seem that Sri Lankans like to live dangerously, in the midst of controversy, conflict and violence. Why else will we on the eve of the Human Rights Commission sessions coming up in March 2013 impeach our chief justice raising issues of the independence of the judiciary followed much too soon by sundry chauvinist organizations such as the Bodhi Bala Sena, Hela Sinhala Hiru mushrooming more..

Baring the truth about donated blood

Feb 15 (NS) A recent report by this paper carried last week on blood donations becoming a lucrative business for some private hospitals which are earning up to five thousand rupees per pint of blood from their patients, has stirred a hornet’s nest. The Nation spoke to some of the private hospital blood banks who justified their billing charges on what they called the amount of pre-testing that has to be done before the bank actually issues more..

Sakkara Deiyyo and Ratnawalli

Feb 15 (NS) Sakkara deiyyo was a god king particularly sensitive to the iniquities of asinine individual on the Earth. His throne, made of precious stone (Sailasana) heated up whenever things turned sour. But Lanka became really foul. Sakraya couldn’t handle it. The Inter-celestial Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded the privatization of Sakraya’s office, opening the heavens to free markets and removing all `handouts’ to the poor. The Sailasana, lacking even a thermostat overheated and split more..

Preparing for the next ‘War’, via enabling laws

Feb 15 (CT) The day before President Rajapaksa reached Buddha Gaya, with a gargantuan delegation in tow, Lankan parliament passed the Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Financing (Amendment) Bill. Earlier in the week, a controversy arose when the opposition pointed out a critical lacuna in the Bill: it contained no definition of what constitutes ‘terrorism’ (just as the ‘Sacred Areas Act’ did not contain a definition of ‘Sacred Areas’). On Thursday the Bill was more..

Story of Kilinochchi maha vidyalayam is one of tremendous resilience against all odds

Feb 15 (DBS) Travelling on the Kandy-Jaffna A9 Highway as it passes through the former LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi, a dilapidated building used to catch the eye. Two storeyed and pockmarked with bullet holes, the yellow walls stood out in this embattled region, partly because it has had its entire roof blown off, a poignant war memorial even when Kilinochchi town became the Tigers’ showcase capital during more..

Why did chief of 'RAW' meet MR?

Feb 15 (CT) "India proposed a time schedule for the political processes in the North and East. This was prepared by the RAW in consultations with Dixit. The schedule was as follows: 12 June, to announce the North East merge. 15 June, LTTE to announce support to the Accord, readiness to surrender arms and join the political process. 16 and 21 June, discuss with LTTE military leadership, the modalities of surrender and ground rules for the observance of informal ceasefire. more..

Modalities of an emergent dictatorship

Feb 15 (CT) There have been occasions in Sri Lanka’s post-independence history when the terms authoritarian and dictatorship were used, but it was episodic, not sustained and systematic. This time is different as never before seen phenomena mark an altered landscape. For the first time the island faces a premeditated plan to usher in an autocratic state (of a particular type whose modalities are the topic of this paper). Sri Lanka is not there yet, but half way down the road; the pace is mounting and more..

Sri Lanka very much on his menu

Feb 15 (ST) Peter Kuruvita, one of the hottest chefs in Australia, with a growing international culinary empire, has a move to Sri Lanka on his bucket list: “If I get the opportunity I’ll move back for a few years. The family loves this place, and I think it’ll be good for my kids (sons aged 13, 12 and six) to go to school in a different country,” he says. Peter, whose newest restaurant, in Fiji, opened last Wednesday (6) is currently leading a celebrity more..

India losing patience with Rajapaksa

Feb 15 (DBS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is well known for wrongly timing his foreign visits. In the past his India visits were more successful than his European sojourns because they were diplomatically ‘tenderized’ in advance to avoid any embarrassment to the President. His two-day ‘pilgrimage’ trip, with an entourage of 70, to Tirupati and Gaya after a stopover at Chennai that ended on February 8, 2013, ‘pilgrimate’ visit was also probably tenderized in advance. But this time, it completely failed more..

Editorial: From guns to roses

Feb 15 (Island) Time was when among ultra radical leftists in this country there was a taboo on love. Romance was a preserve of their leaders considered ‘more equal’ than their rank and file, who had to make war while practising ‘incel’ or involuntary celibacy, as it were. For, they feared that love would have a mellowing effect on the pitiless hearts of brainwashed, pugnacious youth ‘programmed’ to kill and die for a macabre cause. Instead, they used to romanticise mindless violence and their leaders went underground and more..

The ghosts of expediency

Feb 15 (FT) Sri Lanka’s legitimate CJ Shirani Bandaranayake may soon cease to hold what some legal minds have called that ‘de jure’ or lawful title. The newly-installed regime at Hulftsdorp will soon be presented with an opportunity to declare null and void two judgments by the highest courts of the land, that declared the process to remove her unlawful and unconstitutional. The Attorney General has appealed for a divisional bench of the Supreme Court to more..

The Rule of Law: Is it worth defending?

Feb 15 (Island) Let me at the outset thank the Transparency International for inviting me for this discussion. I was a bit hesitant to accept the invitation as I thought I would be a misfit here. Because I am not a great fan of ‘Rule of Law’, ‘good governance’, ‘the independence of judiciary’ and other goodies of the same kind. It does not mean that I do not see any value of these principles and practices of democratic governance. On the contrary, I believe that they are very valuable more..

Australia education exhibition in Colombo

Feb 15 (DN) The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) with the support of the Australian High Commission and partners Australian Education International and Perth Education City will hold 'Australia Future Unlimited: Education Exhibition 2013' in Colombo on February 23 and 24 from 10.30 am to 6 pm at the Taj Samudra Hotel. 27 Australian education providers consisting of universities, technical and further education institutes and colleges will engage directly with more..

හලාල් වර්ජනය හා බොදු බල සේනා

International degree providers, an asset to national education sector - SB

Feb 15 (DN) International degree providers in Sri Lanka are an asset to the national education sector, rather than being a bane to it, Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake said. Stating that local university system does not have the capacity to accommodate all who qualify for higher education and this has created a plethora of issues for students who fail to enter the system, the minister said international degree providers have filled this vacuum to a certain extent. more..

Sri Lanka: skeletons in the cupboard?

Feb 15 (C4) The UN Human Rights Commissioner didn’t mince her words this week when she accused the Sri Lankan govt of ‘triumphalism’ in the Tamil north, home of the vanquished Tamil Tiger insurgency. In a report published on Monday, Navi Pillay said civilians in the region known as ‘the Vanni’ have been forbidden from commemorating those killed in the war. Tamil Tiger cemeteries, containing more than 20,000 graves, have reportedly been bulldozed by govt forces, more..

Humiliated uni student attempts suicide

Feb 15 (CT) The young woman from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura attempted to end her life on 8 February, was driven to such extremes because of attempts made by certain persons to assassinate her character and humiliate her in the eyes of her parents as well as her neighbours, the IUSF, alleged. Speaking on the one year suspension that had been imposed on three students of the University of J'pura, more..

Govt. gets Rs. 6 billion support from Hungary

Feb 15 (FT) In considering the request made by the Govt of Sri Lanka, the Hungarian Export-Import Bank Private Ltd Company (Hungarian Exim Bank) has agreed to provide financial assistance of Euro 35 million (around Rs. 6 billion) for the rehabilitation of Labugama and Kalatuwawa Water Treatment Plants. Under this project, the water treatment process of the two plants will be transformed to a high-tech process, which will improve the water quality significantly. more..

Public, private sector TUs poised to strike

Feb 15 (CT) Private and public sector trade unions are engaged in discussions on the need for trade union action to win their long-standing demands. NTUC President, K.D. Lalkantha, and representatives of health, railway, port, universities and private sector trade unions participated at the preliminary discussions. According to Lalkantha, the main objective of the discussions was to reach a common consensus on how to achieve their demands which include salary hikes. more..

SLC bans player agents

Feb 15 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) yesterday took a bold step to ban all player agents. SLC’s decision will put an end to the manipulation and maneuvering by player agents, some of whom looked to have hijacked country’s cricket administration running things the way they wanted. Although there are three prominent player agents in the country, Englishman Charlie Austin living in Colombo enjoyed enormous powers as he more..

Samaraweera axed

Feb 15 (Island) Veteran Thilan Samaraweera was axed for the two Test series against Bangladesh after a poor showing in the three Test series in Australia earlier this year. Thilan, who will turn 37 this year was involved in a couple of soft dismissals during the Test series in Australia and was left out of the series that will get underway next month. Also left out were wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene, opener Paranavithana, fast bowlers Dhammika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal. more..

Programme in East to prevent abuse of women

Feb 15 (Island) The National Committee on Women will initiate a special programme in the Eastern province to prevent abuse of women today. The spokesman for the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs (CDWA) said yesterday that it aimed to implement the recommendations made by the LLRC and the Human Rights Report (HRR). He said that it would be the preliminary step towards implementing the National Action Plan identified by the LLRC and HRR. more..

EPF buys shares of loss making TFC at inflated price: AG

Feb 15 (Island) The Central Bank has used EPF funds to purchase The Finance Company (TFC) shares at Rs. 40 each, inflated by 66.66%, when the market value was just Rs. 24 per share in 2011, according to a report submitted by the AG to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), R. Yogarajan UNP MP, a member of the PAC, said. The now infamous NSB-TFC deal also saw shares being bought at a price inflated by 66%. more..

Nurses vs Matron tussle at Mahamodera heading for strike

Feb 15 (Island) A protest by about 300 nurses and 100 midwives, at the Mahamodara Teaching Hospital, against the Chief Matron Mallika Jayasinghe and Hospital Directress Dr. Priyani Senadeera, over alleged mal-administration and harassment is heading for an all out strike, according to hospital sources. Unless the Health Ministry takes appropriate action to settle the dispute, the nursing union would launch a strike next week, nurses have warned. more..

Indian Cultural Centre hosts ‘Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana’ today

Feb 15 (FT) The Indian Cultural Centre Colombo will host ‘Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana’, an annual musical festival paying homage to the great Carnatic music composer Thyagaraja, on 15 February at 6 p.m. at New Kathireshan Hall (Hall II) located at 339, Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4. Musicians, vocalists, as well as instrumentalists and percussionists from all over Sri Lanka will come together and render ‘Pancharatna Keerthanas’ (five songs) of Thyagaraja on this occasion. more..