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No bail for asylum seeker on sex charge

Feb 27 (SBS) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker charged with indecently assaulting a Sydney woman in her university accommodation was not present when his matter was heard in court. Daxchan Selvarajah, 21, did not apply for bail in Sydney's Central Local Court on Wednesday. His lawyer, Ken Robinson, said his client would make a bail application in Parramatta local court on March 7. Selvarajah was charged on Tuesday with the indecent assault of a 20-year-old student at Macquarie University more..

Shots of Shavendra Silva & Scalia, US Supreme Court Justice

Feb 27 (ICP) On the eve of a UNHRC presentation by Sri Lanka, some of the specifics of the “war crimes laundering” campaign of Deputy Permanent Representative Shavendra Silva have become more clear. Inner City Press has closely covered Shavendra Silva's time at the UN in New York, particularly when he was accepted as a Senior Adviser to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous on Peacekeeping Operations. more..

‘UNHRC should not encourage any resolution on Sri Lanka’

Feb 27 (IL) Exercising a ‘right of Reply’ to a statement made by Ms Esther Brimmer, US Assistant Secretary of State for international organisations during the High Level Segment of the UNHRC today (26), Ms. Priyanga Wicremasinghe, Counsellor of the Sri Lanka Permanent Mission in Geneva said, “Sri Lanka should be encouraged in its reconciliation process, rather than being singled out for any disproportionate attention more..

Only govt Ministers’ personal economies growing claims UNP

Feb 27 (FT) The UNP rejected claims by the Central Bank Governor that the Sri Lankan economy was robust, saying price hikes under the cover of night belied the proclamations. UNP Spokesman Gayantha Karunathilake said that the only economies that appeared to be robust and growing were the personal wealth of ruling politicians. “When you hear the Central Bank Governor say that Sri Lanka does not need IMF funds because there is so much money in the Treasury, you begin to more..

Immigration adjudicators and federal judges at odds over refugee claims

Feb 27 (VS) Immigration adjudicators and federal judges are at odds over a key question stemming from the hundreds of refugee claims that were filed after the arrival of the migrant ship MV Sun Sea in 2010, court records state. The question they’re wrestling with is this: Does the fact that the 492 Tamil passengers travelled on a ship with links to the Tamil Tigers rebel group, and which received considerable notoriety, now make all of them members of a “social group” that exposes more..

Canada PM says won't back off Commonwealth summit boycott

Feb 27 (AFP) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday held firm on his threat to boycott the Commonwealth summit in Colombo later this year, rejecting calls to make nice with Sri Lanka. "I have indicated that unless changes occur in Sri Lanka I will not be attending the Commonwealth summit there," Harper told parliament. "I am concerned with further developments, since I made that statement, more..

Manhunt in Dimbulagala for leader of armed robber gang

Feb 27 (Island) Police and army have launched a manhunt for a suspect who escaped into the Dimbulagala forest from police custody after a car robbery at Punani. The suspect, who had led the police to the rest of his gang, during the ensuing exchange of fire between the police and the other suspects in Dimbulagala, had given the slip. The area had been thoroughly surrounded by the army and police personnel. Therefore the police expect an early breakthrough. He is believed to be the more..

Bodu Bala Sena rejects ACJU proposal

Feb 27 (CG) The Bodu Bala Sena has rejected the proposal made by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) that the government take over the issuing of the Halal certificates in coordination with the ACJU. Speaking during a talk show over a private television station late this evening, the Bodu Bala Sena said that the issue should be further discussed and the proposal put forward by the ACJU is not acceptable as the final solution. The Bodu Bala Sena also said it is not against against the Halal certificate and more..

SL Army rebuts rape charges in HRW report

Feb 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka today dismissed as "fabricated lies", a report by a leading rights group alleging that its military used rape and other forms of sexual violence to torture suspected Tamil rebels since the end of the island's civil war in 2009. The 141-page report by New York-based Human Rights Watch titled "We will teach you a lesson" has provided details of 75 cases of alleged rape and sexual abuse by Sri Lankan troops more..

Editorial: Our duty is to enrich the lives of others

Feb 27 (DM) There is a beautiful but thought provoking moral lesson in sacred scripture. “A man had a tree planted in his garden, and he came looking for fruit, but found none”. He said to the gardener, “for three years I have been looking for fruit on this tree and found none: Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?”. “Sir”, the man replied, “leave it one more year, and give me time to dig around and manure it: It may bear fruit next year; if not then you can cut it down”. more..

Sri Lanka needs an ‘All inclusive and accommodative constitution’

Feb 27 (DM) The constitution is the organic law of any state. It regulates and articulates the relationship among the state and its people, people and people, state and the institutions, institutions and people and it also regulates the relations of that state and other states. The purpose and objective of any constitution is to define, regulate, enforce and give practical manifestation to the terms of the social contract which the state has entered into with its subjects (people). more..

Pressure mounts as D-day nears

Feb 27 (SL) Pressure has been mounting on Sri Lanka during the past week as the UNHRC begins its 22nd session in Geneva. Several human rights groups and NGOs have submitted reports to the Council regarding Sri Lanka, to be considered for discussion at the session. This is apart from the reports submitted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, the draft resolution submitted by the United States and, more..

Dual citizenship hangs in the balance

Feb 27 (E24|7) Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration & Emigration (DIE) and the office of the Legal Draftsman are at loggerheads over the new amendments to the Dual Citizenship Act. The two departments are forwarding papers to and fro, between their offices, while having a disagreement as to how the new amendments could be accommodated. In an interesting twist to the year-long drawn out amendment, it is learnt that more..

Diplomat rejects claims Sri Lanka forces rape Tamil detainees

Feb 27 (ABC) Sri Lanka's top diplomat in Australia has rejected claims the Sri Lankan Govt is using rape and sexual assault as a way of extricating confessions from suspected Tamil Tiger sympathisers. A Human Rights Watch report has detailed what it says is widespread rape and torture by Sri Lankan security forces. Their report comes after 75 Sri Lankan Tamils, male and female, recounted their experiences of torture, rape more..

UNP warns government over UNHRC outcome

Feb 27 (CG) The opposition UNP has warned that the govt will need to take the full responsibility if a situation which is prejudicial to Sri Lanka arises at the UNHRC. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, in a special statement today, said that at the UNHRC, an unfavourable situation has arisen for Sri Lanka, not for any other reason, but solely because of the unfulfilled promises given to the international community by the govt and its Ministers. more..

Sri Lanka says 2013 growth to be 7-7.5%, higher than IMF forecast

Feb 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economy will expand between 7-7.5 percent during 2013, the treasury secretary said, shrugging off a lower forecast by the IMF which has warned of risks to the island's economy. "With the supply side acting very favorably, the monetary expansion of 15 percent should generate a decent economic growth rate in the range of 7-7.5%," P.B. Jayasundera, told a Foreign Correspondent Association (FCA) more..

War crimes: Srima, Sudarshini voice concern over Int’l hypocricy

Feb 27 (Island) Former UNP presidential candidate Mrs. Srima Dissanayake yesterday alleged that those raising accountability issues at international forums, including the UNHRC in Geneva, conveniently failed to condemn assassinations carried out by the LTTE. Mrs. Dissanayake said that she felt really bad about such outright international hypocrisy. Had they been genuinely concerned about what was going more..

Over 300 foreign students apply to join local universities

Feb 27 (Island) More than 300 applications had been received from foreign students, to enter Sri Lankan universities, in the next academic year. Secretary to the Ministry Dr. Sunil Navaratne said that Sri Lanka had offered scholarships to around 50 foreign students. "We will accommodate a small percentage of foreign students in Lankan universities, done under the scholarship scheme and the others who more..

Some don't want me to be PM; hence the outcry – Sirisena

Feb 27 (CT) "Some people who do not like to see me as the Prime Minister are making a big fuss over the incident involving my son, and highlighting the same in the media so as to prevent me from being so appointed," Minister Maithripala Sirisena, said. "It was a trivial incident. The DIG's son had undergone surgery on his shoulder several months ago. Pictures taken of him at the time are now being published in the more..

UK PM calls for healing in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (CG) British Prime Minister David Cameron has called on all parties in Sri Lanka to work together to heal the country. In a message issued on the Global Tamil Forum’s (GTF) 3rd anniversary conference to be held in London today, Cameron said that his govt wants to see lasting peace in Sri Lanka. “For it to succeed any peace must be based on justice and the rule of law, an inclusive political settlement and more..

US ‘disappointed’ with SL - Blake

Feb 27 (DM) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake said the US was ‘disappointed’ about Sri Lanka’s failure to address several issues including the implementation of the LLRC action plan. Mr. Blake told the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific that, “I must say progress thus far on implementing the LLRC action plan has been slow and more..

India’s slap on Sri Lanka’s (mis)conduct

Feb 27 (CT) At the end, India’s decision to support the US-sponsored resolution, slated to be moved before the UNHRC next month, doesn’t really come as a surprise. For, no matter the delusional thoughts the govt would have had about India’s allegiances to its tiny neighbour, history and a few pesky issues like resettlement, reconciliation, human rights violations and obduracy over the 13th Amendment, have always stood out as huge signposts, indicating which direction India would take, more..

3000 more Tamil language qualified Army personnel receive proficiency certificates

Feb 27 (SLA) A record 3000 Army personnel serving the Security Force Headquarters - Kilinochchi under the ongoing Tamil Language Proficiency promotion project of the SFHQ-KLN, received their merit certificates upon completion of their course during a ceremony at Infantry Training School, Bharathipuram, Kilinochchi on Saturday. Of different groups, who followed the 4th phase of the programme, 5 Battalion Mechanized Infantry Regiment (MIR) was adjudged the Best Unit, more..

WikiLeaks: Tamils in SL and Tamil diaspora split over war crimes accountability – US

Feb 27 (CT) “There have been a few tentative steps on accountability for crimes allegedly committed by Sri Lankan troops and civilian officials during the war with the LTTE. President Rajapaksa named a committee to make recommendations to him on the U.S. incidents report by April, and candidate Fonseka has discussed privately the formation of some form of ‘truth and reconciliation’ commission. more..

Counting every casualty of SL cvil war

Feb 27 (CT) At first, the announcement of a “scientifically designed census” that will be conducted by the Department of Census and Statistics of Sri Lanka on “deaths/ injuries to persons and property damages during the period of the conflict as recommended by the LLRC”, was a pleasant surprise to me, then I am reminded of #HRC22 aka UNHRC regular session 22, an attempt to ease the US led pressure in Geneva. Still, I hope this will be a genuine attempt to count the more..

Uproar in Rajya Sabha over Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (IBN) There were noisy scenes in the Rajya Sabha as the govt came under fire from the AIADMK over war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan govt in the last days of the crusade against the LTTE in 2009. The AIADMK's V Maitreyan lashed out at the govt for not doing anything for the people of Tamil origin living in Lanka. "The UPA doesn't understand the ethnic conflict. It is blindfolded by the Lankan President. The Lankan constitution discriminates against minority Tamils," Maitreyan said. more..

India says Sri Lanka is not an enemy

Feb 27 (CG) Speaking in the Indian Rajya Sabha today, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Sri Lanka should not be called an “enemy country.” His remarks came after AIADMK leaders urged the govt to change its Sri Lanka policy and branded Colombo as an “enemy” of the Tamils. “We may have anguish, we may have anger but we should not be saying Sri Lanka is an enemy country,” the minister more..

Police team sent to Passekudah

Feb 27 (Island) Eastern Province DIG Ravi Waidyalankara yesterday said that his transfer to Colombo was effective about three days ago and it had nothing to do with the clash his son had with Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s son in Passekudah on Monday. "I was only acting as the DIG of the Eastern Province," Waidyalankara said. A special team of investigators had left for Passekudah to investigate the incident, the police headquarters said. The team is expected to more..

Revisiting the horror in Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (NYT) In the series of photographs shot in 2009, the bare-chested boy is first shown seated on a bench watching something outside the frame. Then he is seen having a snack. In the third image he is lying on the ground with bullet holes in his chest. The photographs, which were released last week by the British broadcaster Channel 4, appear to document the final moments in the life of 12-year-old Balachandran Prabhakaran, the youngest son of the slain founder of the LTTE, more..

Incident blown out of proportion: Maitripala

Feb 27 (DM) Minister Maithripala Sirisena commenting on the incident at Pasikudah where his son Daham was allegedly involved in a brawl with DIG Ravi Vidyalankara’s son Asela said the incident should not be blown out of proportion. He said the law must be allowed to take its course. Explaining what happened he said that he had followed the incident from the very beginning. “At 5 pm, I called my son who was on a trip more..

'President & govt have not taken any step to develop SLTB'

Feb 27 (LT) Ministers of transport and chief ministers in provincial councils compete with each other to provide route permits to their kith and kin and issuing excess permits for their personal financial gains would weaken and bring about the downfall of Sri LankaTransport Board says the General Secretary of All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union Sepala Liyanage. He said the right of issuing route permits should be restricted to the Ministry of Transport. In a letter addressed to more..

Mitigating climate change impact high on Susil’s agenda

Feb 27 (Island) Climate change impacts, especially on the agriculture sector and in turn its huge economical losses, had to be minimized with the assistance of all relevant stakeholders working hand in hand, newly appointed Environment Minister Susil Premajayantha has said. He has told Climate Change Secretariat officials that their assistance is of paramount importance in speeding up adaptation policies on climate change issues. As his predecessor, former Environment Minister more..

Australian gaming tycoon Packer eyes Sri Lanka bet

Feb 27 (Reuters) Australian gambling tycoon James Packer may be lining up a bet on Sri Lanka, scouting the Indian Ocean island for potential investments as he seeks to build a global casino empire. Packer, who owns half of casino operator Crown Ltd, met with Sri Lankan ministers this week to discuss hotel and entertainment investment options, according to officials who met with him. "They have not finalised the area more..

Consumer durable imports slow in 2012

Feb 27 (LBO) Growth in consumer electronics imports to Sri Lanka have slowed following a fall in the exchange rate and higher interest rates and China has increased its share. CCC said, machinery and mechanical appliances classified under chapter 84 of the international harmonized customs code system, grew 19% in 2012 slowing from a 66% growth in 2011. Electronic machinery and equipment increased 18% in 2012 slowing from a 57% increase in 2011. more..

Japanese youth team here

Feb 27 (Island) A Japanese youth delegation visited Sri Lanka last week under the 25th Ship for Youth Programme, initiated and conducted by the Japanese govt, in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skills Development, Chairman of the National Youth Services Council Lalith Piyum Perera said. He said that the programme had been launched in 1989, but the exchange of youth with Sri Lanka had been suspended in 1996 due to an LTTE bomb attack while the Fujimaru Youth more..

4,000 more principals to get military titles

Feb 27 (DM) Some 4,000 school principals have been called for interviews at the Cadet Corps Headquarters next week to be awarded military titles, raising more concerns over the militarization of more than 50 per cent of the schools in the country. The letters sent out by the Sri Lanka Cadet Corps (SLCC) state that officials of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service who hold the post of principal and those in Grades I and II more..

Indian prisoners transferred from Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (CG) Two eligible sentenced Indian nationals, serving prison terms in Sri Lanka, were transferred today to Trivandrum, Kerala, under the provisions of the India-Sri Lanka bilateral Agreement on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, the Indian High Commission said today. All formalities in respect of 20 persons (six from Kerala and 14 from Tamil Nadu), including the two transferred earlier today, have been completed and their transfer to India will be undertaken within a week. more..

Third schoolgirl dies in long distance race

Feb 27 (Island) An 18-year-old girl collapsed and died while participating in the school sports meet 5,000-metre race yesterday. She is the third schoolgirl to have died in this manner. Yesterday morning, Hashini Anusha Kumari, a Grade 13 student of Rivisada Central College, in Aranayaka, fainted while taking part in the race and died on admission to the Mawanella hospital. Police said the cause of death was not known and a postmortem was to be conducted. more..

Sri Lanka is being targeted over rights abuses, says envoy

Feb 27 (AN) The Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka is once again in the spotlight over allegations of human rights abuses against the minority Tamil population, although the war against Tamil separatists ended in May 2009. A Human Rights Watch report on Tuesday alleged that Tamils had been tortured, while a U.S. sponsored resolution censuring Colombo over violations is expected at the UNHRC currently meeting in Geneva. more..

Bandara leads as Sri Lanka win team championship in NCR Cup golf

Feb 27 (PTI) Sri Lanka's numero uno amateur golfer Vijitha Bandara lived up to his country's expectations as he shot two-under 70 to take the lead on day two of Gannon Dunkerley 8th NCR Cup on Wednesday. Bandara's two-day total of 144 and his colleague Sisira Kumara's 154 ensured the team championship trophy for Sri Lanka after fighting hard on the tricky greens and fairways of the Par-72 Delhi Golf Club. India's Hemendra Chaudhary, who was 13th on Tuesday, jumped to the second spot more..