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Sri Lanka joins South Asian Autism Network

Feb 19 (GDI) Minister Maithripala Sirisena attended the Conference of the First South Asian Autism Network in New Delhi which adopted the Delhi Declaration of the South Asian Autism Network for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was the Chief Guest at the Conference which was organized by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India and attended by several South and South East Asian nations, at the level of Ministers of Health. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 19.02.2013

'Take in all those who have passed A/L exam, expand state university system'

Feb 19 (LT) The petition campaign organized and is to be carried out throughout the island by the ‘Voice of Youth’ (VOY) demanding the government to take in all students who have been successful at the GCE A/L exam and to expand the state university system in the country was launched opposite Fort Railway Station yesterday. The co-coordinator of VOY Gayan Janaka said this is a time about 140,000 students who have been successful at the A/L exam are in a predicament whether their hopes of more..

Lankans in Italy protest against Ambassador

Feb 19 (CT) The Sri Lankan community in Italy protested against the Sri Lankan Ambassador in Italy, Asitha Perera, on Sunday, claiming he had failed to maintain the embassy's standards and accusing him of having political favourites. The Lankan community including embassy officials protested as the ambassador failed in his duties and did not look into the employees' welfare, even when officials of the embassy were abused and harassed by persons known to the ambassador. more..

Tamara out, Dissanayaka new envoy to Cuba

Feb 19 (CG) Sarath Dissanayaka, the former Director General of the Publicity Division of the External Affairs Ministry, has taken up the appointment as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Cuba and also accredited to Argentina. Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Representative to Geneva Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam had earlier been appointed to the post but according to the Asian Tribune she has now been “thrown to the wolves”. more..

Chandrika to write her autobiography

Feb 19 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga revealed her intention of writing her autobiography and said that she was not afraid to say that though the country had won the war it had lost the peace. She was speaking at a ceremony to commemorate her husband Vijaya Kumaratunga’s 25th death anniversary at the Western Province Aesthetic Institute. She said that throughout the last seven years she had been made to suffer. The media questioned her on such harassment, more..

Minister halts arrest of underworld figure

Feb 19 (LT) Police officers who were about to arrest Sirimevan Jayasekera alias ‘Dacan’, who had been wanted in connection with illegal excavation for treasure, have been prevented from doing so due to direct mediation by the Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. This person called ‘Davan’ is the brother of Thilak Jayasekera, the main suspect of heisting the billion rupee loot from Bank of Ceylon branch at Hale-Ela and both of them are members of a powerful underworld gang. more..

Sri Lanka govt denies killing Prabhakaran's son, slams TV channel

Feb 19 (PTI) A British channel has come out with a documentary featuring the pictures of the alleged cold-blooded killing of LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran's 12-year-old son, which was on Tuesday dismissed by Sri Lanka as "lies, half truths and numerous forms of speculation". The Channel 4 documentary titled 'No War Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka' is to be aired in Geneva at the next session of the UNHRC in March. more..

Kachcheri fire targeted vital documents related to fraud

Feb 19 (Island) A high ranking administrative source said that the Colombo Kachcheri had been set on fire, by some elements, with a view to destroying certain documents relating to the construction of the new six storey District Secretariat at Narahenpita. "There had been a financial fraud in the project and those responsible would have set the Kachcheri ablaze as the relevant documents were stored there," the source said. He however said that the targeted documents were not destroyed by more..

Sri Lanka's chief curator to be honoured

Feb 19 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) will felicitate its chief curator, Anurudda Polonowita, at the end of next month's second Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Polonowita, who will be retiring as chief curator on March 31, has been involved with the game in Sri Lanka for 53 years in different capacities, including as vice-president of SLC and chief selector. He also played 20 first-class matches, including an unofficial Test against India in Ahmedabad in 1964. more..

Arjuna to decide next week on contesting

Feb 19 (CG) Sri Lanka’s former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga says he will decide by next week if he will contest for President of the cricket board or not. Ranatunga said that he has been approached by former cricketers and some cricket clubs asking him to run for President of the board. However Ranatunga says he has no faith in the entire current cricket setup and fears political interference if he does decide to contest. more..

Refurbished 'The Surf ' at Bentota declared open

Feb 19 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa ceremonially declared open the newly refurbished The Surf in Bentota on Monday. The traditional oil lamp was lit during the ceremony by Basil Rajapaksa, Sanjeev Gardiner, Group Chairman – Galle Face Hotel, Chandima Weerakkodi – Deputy Speaker, Lakshman Samarasinghe Chairman of Ceylon Hotels Corporation, Gayan Sirimanna, Chairman Provincial Council and Chethiya Perera, CEO - Galle Face Hotel Management Company Ltd. more..

JHU opposes redemarcation on ethnic, religious lines

Feb 19 (Island) A SLFP proposal, that re-demarcation of the local boundaries of the country be carried out on ethnic and religious lines, has caused serious worry to the JHU. The JHU has serious concerns that the re-demarcation in such a manner could have a disastrous effect on the country’s sovereignty, National integrity and Unitary status. National Organizer of the JHU Nishantha Warnasingha said "We do not argue against and have no objections that the govt is more..

'No fuel, electricity price hikes'

Feb 19 (Island) The govt had no intention at the moment of increasing fuel prices and burdening the masses, a ruling UPFA Govt heavyweight said yesterday, hinting that there would be no electricity tariff hike either. Newly appointed Petroleum Resources Minister, Anura Priyadharshan Yapa said that cross subsidies would continue without burdening the people and fuel would be given to the CEB as it was done earlier. more..

‘Utter rubbish’

Feb 19 (CT) The govt yesterday said it was not bound to reveal the details of deals pertaining to weaponry or military equipment. Rubbishing British media reports accusing the British Govt of providing military equipment to Sri Lanka, Lakshman Hulugalle, Director General of MCNS, when contacted said; "Those are mere allegations levelled by certain British media citing unconfirmed sources. Anyway, we are not bound to reveal details of our arms deals." The British Govt has more..

Former UGC Chairman absolved of contempt of Court charges

Feb 19 (CT) The Supreme Court yesterday discharged the former Chairman of the UGC, Prof. Gamini Samaranayake of contempt charges against the Court. The Bench comprised CJ Mohan Peries, Justices P.A. Ratnayake and Priyasath Dep. Prof. Samaranayaka was charged with contempt of Court by a Bench comprising former CJ Dr. Shiranee Bandaranayake, Justices Gamini Amaratunga and K. Sripavan for not taking steps to implement guidelines given to him by the judgment more..

Clergy want international probe on Sri Lanka Civil War

Feb 19 (AP) Christian clergy from Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil-majority north have asked the UNHRC to push for an independent international inquiry into alleged atrocities in Sri Lanka's civil war. A letter dated Monday and signed by 133 Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist pastors and nuns said the govt lacks the will to resolve causes of the conflict on its own. Both the govt and the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels have been accused of more..

Modern equipment for Kantale sugar factory

Feb 19 (Island) Newly appointed Minister of Sugar Industries Lakshman Seneviratne said that he had prepared plans to revive the Kantale Sugar Factory even before assuming duties in the present portfolio. Responding to JVP’s claims that the Kantale Sugar Factory had been neglected by the govt, the minister said that he had visited the facility last week and was sanguine about reviving it. "We held discussions with officials, religious leaders and politicians in the area, more..

Images shock TN leaders

Feb 19 (Hindu) Pictures of LTTE leader Prabakaran’s son Balachandran in military custody before being shot dead evoked shock and strong condemnation from political parties in Tamil Nadu. Reacting to the report, based on photographs released by Channel 4 as part of a new video film on alleged war crimes in the end stage of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said she would express her views only after watching the full video. CPI(M) state secretary more..

Lankan jailed for burning down own restaurant in Ireland

Feb 19 (DM) A Sri Lanka man has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after being found guilty of setting his own restaurant on fire in an attempt to claim compensation. 46-year-old Meril Fernando, of An Tuairin, Lackenfune in Co Waterford, was found guilty last November of starting a fire at the Quasi Lanka restaurant at the Dungarvan Shopping Centre in the town on or about Oct 8, 2009. Judge sentenced Fernando to five years in prison more..

Feeling the pulse behind the religious curtain

Feb 20 (NS) Attacks on the Sangha have been reported many times recently. The despicable and horrendous acts remind how drastically the virtues of civil society are deteriorating. It is not only poverty that compels people to act brutally even though it may be one of the reasons. However, one may agree that religious leaders, who are supposed to lead the people in virtuous ways of life, distancing themselves from the very virtues that they preach is another major reason for it. more..

Illegality of Halal certification

Feb 20 (NS) The dialogue on Halaal certification being imposed on food items in Sri Lanka has been in the air for some time now. Even though many were not aware about Halal was all about, talking against Halal certification was firstly criticized for promoting inter religious agitation between the Sinhala-Buddhists and the followers of Islam as it is a “religious thing”. The government was also criticized by various factions for promoting inter religious hatred. However, the recent more..

A new Pudukuduyirippu

Feb 20 (SO) It was totally a different picture three years and nine months ago in Pudukuduyirippu. The end of a ruthless terrorist outfit took place a few kilometres away from the Pudukuduyirippu town. This, the final battle against terrorism of the Eelam war IV is what became the turning point in the history of this island nation. On this day, May 18, 2009 the country was waiting to hear the news of their motherland regaining peace. more..

The games that these people play

Feb 20 (CT) As we await with breathtaking suspense the coming of yet another ‘procedural’ resolution in Geneva, there is a certain exquisite irony to the manner in which the Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidency has been able to run rings around its international critics so far. So while the Govt mouthed sweet nothings regarding the implementation of the LLRC recommendations on the one hand to the so-called international community, it deliberately and drastically more..

The 21st Century Fox

Feb 20 (CT) These is always a reason why people do the things they do or don’t do! It is indeed a strange and ironic phenomenon in the system of governance of Sri Lanka that when it comes to sound policies to solve issues of a national nature, those in power appear to be at a loss, while those in the opposition seem to have all the best policies to solve the country’s ills. In Sri Lanka today, there is much written and talked about the perceived inaction of a certain Opposing individual who is more..

Who needs Halaal?

Feb 20 (GV) When the big international fast food chains came to Sri Lanka they did not have halaal certification. However subsequently most of these chains went ‘halaal’. This had nothing to do with any ‘Islamist’ conspiracy to take-over Sri Lanka. It was a pure case of demand and supply and the pursuit of profit. The same applies to Islamic banking. There is nothing surprising about almost every player in the financial services more..

63 civil society organizations condemns anti Muslim rhetoric and attacks

Feb 20 (DBS) In recent months there has been an increased outpouring of virulent anti-Muslim sentiment by persons claiming to speak for all Sinhala Buddhists. Organized groups led by Buddhist monks have held public meetings, distributed pamphlets, and made press statements. Articles in mainstream Sinhala and English newspapers have propagated ethnic and religious hatred. In addition, there have been hate campaigns via SMS, email, and face book. more..

US sponsors new UN resolution on Sri Lankan human rights

Feb 20 (DBS) After a visit to Colombo last month, a delegation of senior US officials declared that Washington would table another resolution on human rights violations in Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session in early March. The delegation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State James Moore, concluded its three-day visit on January 28 after meeting with Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, external affairs officials and opposition UNP and TNA leaders. more..

සංවිධිත | Coexistence

Independence is a process – III

Feb 20 (Island) Independence is a process since colonialism is a process that has evolved over five centuries. The colonialism that is experienced by us is not the same as what Seethawaka Rajasinghe experienced in the 16th C or what Anagarika Dharmapala experienced in the latter part of the 19 C and in the first two decades of the 20th C. In the 21st C we may have partial political independence but economically and culturally we are dependent now more than in any other period. more..

Editorial : Sri Lanka and British guns

Feb 20 (Island) The British media and human rights groups have gone ballistic over reports that Britain has sold arms and ammunition to Sri Lanka. The balloon has apparently gone up in London and the Cameron govt is being hauled over the coals. Their right to protest cannot be questioned. The LTTE has carried out a successful propaganda offensive against this country whose human rights record is also far from satisfactory. However, the fact remains that Britain has done Sri Lanka no favour. more..

Enough is more than enough

Feb 20 (Island) We don’t seem to have learnt anything from the long list of journalists who have come under attack in Sri Lanka in recent years. Whenever an incident takes place, we do exactly the same things, and on each and every occasion, our response does nothing to prevent a recurrence. The first step is condemnation. But why? Surely everybody agrees that it is wrong? Could anybody argue that the people who shot more..

Thilan to replace injured Mahela

Feb 20 (Island) Thilan Samaraweera will replace injured Mahela Jayawardene in the Sri Lanka Test squad after the latter was ruled out of the upcoming Test series against Bangladesh. Jayawardene is likely to miss the Bangladesh series after he sustained a fracture to the middle finger of his left hand during a Premier League match while playing for Singhalese Sports Club last Sunday. Jayawardene has dislocated his middle finger while taking a catch in the slips cordon. more..

Lankan illegal immigrants nabbed

Feb 20 (DN) Seribu Islands Resort Police apprehended 26 illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka after the motorboat they were in, KM Damar Jati, was stranded in the waters of Tidung Island northern coast of Indonesia on Monday. The immigrants were evacuated by the Police to Kampung Baru Mosque, Tidung Island, to be handed over to Tanjungpriok Immigration Office for questioning. Seribu Islands (Thousand Islands) are a chain of islands to the north of Jakarta, Indonesia. more..

Without IMF, Lanka’s credit risk profile at risk

Feb 20 (Island) Economic think tank the Pathfinder Foundation says the absence of an IMF programme would affect the country’s credit risk profile and make macroeconomic management difficult. It warns against Central Bank money printing and the crowding out of the private sector as the govt seeks to finance the bulk of this year’s deficit via domestic sources. The govt had asked the IMF for balance of payments support for around US$ 1 billion more..

SLT ups operating profit by 19% to Rs. 6.17 b

Feb 20 (FT) The premier integrated telecommunication service provider, Sri Lanka Telecom Plc (SLT) announced its Group and Company financial results for 2012, notching up Rs. 6.17 billion group operating profit, a growth of 19% year-on-year (YoY). Despite the gain on foreign exchange translation in the second half of the year due to the appreciation of the rupee against the first half, cumulative translation loss on exchange for the full year has diluted the Group Profit more..

Sri Lanka BMW registrations up 281% in Jan after tax changes

Feb 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's registrations of BMW luxury cars rose 280% in January 2013 from a year earlier following changes to taxes while new registrations of small Maruti/Suzuki models plunged 84%, data compiled by an equities research house show. Monthly data from Sri Lanka's motor vehicle registry compiled by JB Stockbrokers research shows that registrations of brand new BMW cars rose to 281% to 84 in January 2013 from 22 a year earlier with 82 being 5-Series models. more..

Rising cost of living makes govt unpopular, poll reveals

Feb 20 (ST) The cost of living in Sri Lanka is going one way: UP, and that impact is reflecting on the popularity of the Mahinda Rajapaksa-led Govt, an islandwide poll conducted by the Business Times and the Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) has revealed. Asked whether the cost of living (COL) would rise this year, 100% of the 450 respondents in the email poll said YES while 59% in the islandwide poll more..

‘Teacher-killer JVP exploits coconut girl’

Feb 20 (DN) The manner in which the JVP engaged in mass killings including innocent teachers in the past is an open secret, Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said. He was making a special statement at a meeting of the WPC in Battaramulla yesterday. The Chief Minister was replying to a statement made earlier by JVP PC member Dr Nalinda Jayatissa. Dr Jayatissa in a statement alleged that an incident which occurred at the Horana Medhankara Vidyalaya recently, more..

Harsha on govt.’s ‘Parliament Jokes’

Feb 20 (FT) UNP MP Harsha de Silva in Parliament read an extract from the book – Western Powers and the Destiny of Sri Lanka authored by Minister Wimal Weerawansa. “In this book there is a saying that rich countries provide loans to construct power plants, harbours, highways, and industrial parks, which are not required by the poor. Later the lenders prompt that huge debt is outstanding where they seek a pound of flesh. This is where the word economic hit men cropped up. more..