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'Rajapaksa’s pilgrimage should not be hit'

Feb 4 (Hindu) Hindu Munnani leader Rama Gopalan on Sunday said there should be no hindrance to Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa’s pilgrimage to Tirupathi. In a statement here, he said the Hindu Munnani had organised protests against Mr. Rajapaksa when Hindu temples were demolished in Sri Lanka. It also condemned depriving Tamils of their livelihood even after the war. “But now, he is making a pilgrimage to Tirupathi. Sometime ago, the attack on Christian pilgrims from more..

Three boys hit by train; one killed

Feb 4 (Island) A 16–year–old boy was killed and two others critically injured when they were hit by a Colombo bound train near the Colpetty Railway Station around 1.30pm yesterday. SSP Prishantha Jayakody said that injured students were admitted to the Colombo National Hospital. Two of the boys, including the deceased were residents of Wellampitiya area and the other one was from Maradana, he said. The train came from Kalutara to Maradana and it hit the boys who were more..

Health Ministry pays pvt. security firm Rs. 3.5 bn pa – docs

Feb 4 (Island) The Health Ministry has hired a security firm to work at 54 state-run hospitals for eight years by paying the company Rs. 3.5 billion per annum (5% of the total health budget). But, the CEB, some contractors and canteen operators in some of the hospitals have not been paid regularly. The the Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) alleged that instead of calling tenders from competitive bidders, the Ministry had more..

Perceived economic opportunity optimism dips sharply in Dec.

Feb 4 (FT) The Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI), having seen a welcome post-Budget upward movement in November, saw a significant fall in December to a nine-month low of 1.66, according to its compiler the Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka (FEFSL). “Perhaps the major reason for the sharp fall in optimism could have been the impeachment battle of the Chief Justice, where the majority of lawyers of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, civil society activists more..

Leading UNP reformist suffers heart attack

Feb 4 (Island) UNP MP for Monaragala District and leading reformist Ranjith Muddumabandara was admitted to the Karapitiya Teaching hospital yesterday morning about 5.00 a.m. after he suffered a mild heart attack. MP Bandara was admitted to the Emergency Treatment Unit and from there hewas transferred to the cardiac intensive care unit. The condition of the MP was stable and he would be discharged on the recommendation of the Consultant cardiologist treating him," more..

JVP rebels smell a rat

Feb 4 (Island) The JVP rebel group affiliated undergraduates claimed that this year too, some strange features could be seen in the GCE (A/L) results released by the Examination Department. Convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara said that there was an abnormal increase in students who had obtained three A passes in the Commerce stream. He said that 9057 students obtained A passes for all three subjects more..

President's Independence Day Message

Feb 4 (GDI) We Sri Lankans who have sacrificed immensely to ensure the sovereignty of the nation, celebrate this 65th National Independence Day with utmost pride. The nation has embarked on a path of development which has made freedom really meaningful. This is a very difficult and challenging task, the fulfilment of which would bring both justice and prosperity to the nation. The time has now dawned when you and your children need not to think with fear and suspicion about the future. more..

Oman, Lanka trade set to reach $250m

Feb 4 (OO) The bilateral relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the Sri Lanka have been on a steadily growing mode and the same is all set to hit a whopping $250 million by the year 2015, according to the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the Sultanate, Asoka Girihagama. This growth trajectory is based on the analysis of the past years’ Balance of Trade and Balance of Payments figures and the rate of increase at which the same has been marching is nearly 10% average. more..

Navy would have role in turning asylum boats around: Morrison

Feb 4 (SMH) The Australian Navy would be charged with repelling Sri Lankan asylum seeker boats outside Australia's international borders under a Coalition govt. Shadow immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said a Coalition govt would turn all Sri Lankan boats around, without exception. Mr Morrison and deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop were speaking about their recent trip to Sri Lanka, which they said showed the more..

Ancient burial pot found in unauthorised excavation

Feb 4 (Island) Archaeologists who inspected an unauthorized excavation in a protected land at the historical ‘Seetha Maligawa’ complex in Polonnaruwa found an ancient clay pot yesterday. Archaeological experts believe that the pot covered with a stone belongs to the Polonnaruwa Period. Polonnaruwa Archaeological exploration officer Malan Abeykoon said that most of the pots like the one found yesterday contained human remains. He said that further tests on the pot would be more..

Sri Lanka users get Google doodle for Independence Day

Feb 4 (LBO) Google has helped users in sri Lanka celebrate the country's Independence Day on 2013 with a 'Google Doodle' on its homepage with a stylized lion and three colours found in the national flag. Google Doodles are used to commemorate special events or people briefly replace its familiar logo with a different one which is hot linked to search result usually on Wikipedia. According to a post on Google product forums, a Sri Lankan uses has requested the google team to more..

65th Independence Day celebrations today in Trinco

Feb 4 (FT) Sri Lanka will today celebrate 65 years of independence from British colonial rule in 1948 with pomp and pageantry in Trincomalee in the Eastern Province. The 65th Independence Day celebrations will be held under the patronage of President Rajapaksa at Fort Fredrick in Trincomalee. This year’s celebration will be held under the theme ‘Prosperous Tomorrow – Glorious Motherland’. The Govt has called upon public more..

Editorial: Independence Day

Feb 4 (DM) The 1996 Hollywood movie Independence Day is about preparation by the United States for an alien attack on earth. With Will Smith in the lead the Hollywood blockbuster went on to lift the patriotic spirit among the Americans. Sri Lanka is celebrating its 65thIndependence Day at a time the ruling UPFA is warning about an impending US led ‘alien attack’ on the island at the UNHRC session in Geneva. Interestingly the Sri Lankan govt instead of staging a strong counter attack more..

Geneva 2013: When national interest must supersede ideology

Feb 4 (DM) It is that time of the year. As the heat builds up in an otherwise wintry Geneva, capital cities of the world are abuzz with preparations for the forthcoming UNHRC sessions to be held in February-March 2013. While UNHRC sessions in general are important for Sri Lanka, the upcoming sessions in February-March 2013 are uniquely important for Sri Lanka for four reasons: first, it is the first time that Sri Lanka will come before the UNHRC after the UPR review meeting; more..

Independent for Sixty Five Years

Feb 4 (DM) Theoretically we are and have been an `Independent’, Sovereign’ State that is equal to all others – i.e equal in all respects to the International Thug, [a.k.a. the United States of America], its `lap-dog’ the once `Great’ Britain, India, our giant neighbour and `Regional Thug’, [now castigating Pakistan for allegedly sending armed thugs to murder its citizens in Mumbai] and all others. That, is the `theory’, but how is it in `practice’? more..

Heading towards wonder of Asia

Feb 4 (SL) A nation battered by the continuously increasing cost of living is also burdened with maintaining one of the largest Cabinets of ministers in the world. The increase in the number of Cabinet ministers and deputy ministers at last week’s Cabinet reshuffle has increased the expenditure of the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt. President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has pledged to make Sri Lanka the ‘Wonder of Asia’ has more..

Hungary will stand by SL – Speaker

Feb 4 (DN) Visiting Hungarian Speaker Laszlo Kover assured Prime Minister D M Jayaratne that the country will stand by Sri Lanka against international pressure. The Hungarian Speaker told the Prime Minister that his country was prepared to help Sri Lanka when faced with international pressure. He said Hungary raised its voice in support of Sri Lanka within the European Union and was willing to help as an intermediary more..

Vipakshaye Virodaya in crisis over rift

Feb 4 (DM) Vipkashaye Virodaya, the UNP led joint action group of opposition political parties had temporarily stopped its programs following the critical statements that have been made by the Nawa Sihala Urumaya Leader Sarath Manamendra on Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. The UNP’s opposition to Muslim Tamil Alliance leader Asath Sally joining the alliance had been another reason for the stoppage more..

WHO commends Lanka's visual impairment eradication programme

Feb 4 (DN) The World Health Organization (WHO) commended the visual impairment eradication programme launched by Sri Lanka simultaneously to the "Vision 2020" programme launched by the WHO. The WHO said Sri Lanka's "Vision 2020" programme is the best in the world, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The Health Ministry prepared a five year new action plan to prevent visual impairments and blindness more..

'UN, Commonwealth behind communal tensions'

Feb 4 (DM) International forces like the UN and Commonwealth Union are gearing up to force Sri Lanka to hold a referendum to set up a devolution unit by merging the North and the East, led Anti Imperialist Peoples Movement (AIPM) charged AIPM Co-convener Dhambara Amila Thera said that the sudden Anti Muslim feeling that was brewing up in the country had hand work of these international organizations. more..

Uni admission: Standardisation going out

Feb 4 (DM) The district quota system introduced under the standardization of university admissions is presently under review for the introduction of a novel system in conformity with recommendations by the LLRC, officials said. The standardization of admission criteria was introduced in 1973/74, and it was roundly opposed by the Tamil polity. Political analysts even cited it as a reason, among others, for the advent of Tamil militancy. more..

Assassins of Moratuwa monk found dead

Feb 4 (CG) The police said they had found the assassins of a monk in Moratuwa dead with bullet wounds in Bandaragama today. Sujith Gunaratna and R. Randima were wanted over the murder of the monk last night. A search operation had been launched last night to locate the suspects but their bodies were found in Bandaragama with bullet wounds. Mount Lavinia police and Moratuwa police are investigating the incident. more..

I will train my right hand says left-handed Achala

Feb 4 (ST) Twenty-three-year-old W.K. Achala Priyadharshani was taking a break at home in Urubokka from her arduous studies at the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo. She would be sitting the final examination in June and being boarded in Colombo the break in January was a good opportunity for her to see her father. She had not seen her mother in a while as she was toiling in Lebanon to uplift the family fortunes, more..

Sri Lanka slams moves to interfere in its internal affairs

Feb 4 (Xinhua) President Rajapaksa on Monday criticized attempts by some countries to interfere in the internal affairs of his country. He made the remarks in a speech to the nation while marking the 65th Independence Day celebrations in eastern Trincomalee. Reading out from the UN Charter, he said that every nation has a right to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He also said that the best way his govt responds more..

Editorial : Reshuffling to expand and please

Feb 4 (CT) So the Jumbo Cabinet, said to be one of the biggest in a democratic nation, had to have its seams let out last week to accommodate a few more MPs, who were given some nonsensical ministerial portfolios in what is being described as a reward for ‘exceeding the expectations of the President.’ In the parliamentary system of govt, Cabinet reshuffles are nothing new. But, in the Sri Lankan context, when the Westminster system was being practised and collective responsibility of the Cabinet of more..

MR finishing JR’s relay

Feb 4 (CT) The govt is reportedly preparing a new amendment (19A) to the Constitution to confer legal power to Standing Orders and limit the term of office of CJ to three years. After removing the term limit on the presidency which is fundamental to constitutional democracy through 18A, the govt seems now set to enact 19A to limit the tenure of the CJ which is fundamental to judicial independence. The new amendment will also put to rest the Supreme Court’s recent determination that laws and Standing more..

Solheim returned to SL ‘empty-handed’ and urged govt of SL to take a ‘bold step’

Feb 4 (CT) “Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim has returned to Sri Lanka ‘empty-handed,’ Dhanapala said, with no fresh initiative to offer from the Tigers. (Note: Solheim arrived in Sri Lanka Sept 14 and will depart o/a Sept 17. End note.) According to Dhanapala, Solheim has urged the GSL to take a ‘bold step’–which Dhanapala interpreted to mean accept the Tigers’ controversial proposal for an interim administration as a more..

Sri Lankan national arrested with over 80 fake passports

Feb 4 (PTI) A Sri Lankan national allegedly involved in sending Lankan Tamils living in the state to various countries on fake passports was arrested on Monday and 82 fake passports seized from him, police said. The 32-year-old man from Manavakkal in Sri Lanka was nabbed at Devala during a routine vehicle check and handed over to police, who found the fake passports in his baggage. On being questioned, the man said he had enlisted the help of an agent in Chennai to send Lankan Tamils more..

'No one can challenge Muslim commitment to patriotism'

Feb 4 (Island) Former Sri Lanka envoy to Iran M. M. Zuhair PC yesterday declared that the Muslim community looked forward to strengthening unity amongst the people and enhancing respect for the dignity of the human being, as the country celebrates 65th Freedom Day. "There are a few trying to threaten this unity and damage the peaceful co-existence which had existed between Muslims and the other communities in this country for over 1,000 years. Fortunately they comprise more..

Independence Day messages from Religious Leaders

Feb 4 (DM) After Sri Lanka came under the rule of British empire by the agreement signed on 2 March 1815, they did not bestow independence upon us, but through riots occurred in 1818 and 1848 and subsequent political activities we have gain national, religious, social, cultural, political and economical independence. People who lived under imperial power with many sufferings were well aware of the value of independence. more..

Welikada prisoners on compassionate fast

Feb 4 (CT) In a heart warming tale of compassion, inmates at the Welikada Prison will be foregoing their meals today to help the final year Law Faculty student, Achala Priyadharshani who lost her arm, due to alleged medical negligence. Commissioner of Prisons, P.W. Kodippili, said about 400 inmates of the Welikada Prison have decided to refrain from having their lunch and dinner today in order to donate the cost of their meals towards Achala’s welfare. Meanwhile, the special committee more..

Rights group seeks release of 2 students

Feb 4 (CG) Amnesty International, a London based international human rights group, is campaigning for the release of two Jaffna university students who are under police custody. The two students were among four boys arrested by the Terrorist Investigations Division in December last year following a tensed situation which arose in the Jaffna University. It was reported that they were arrested due to their alleged involvement in a petrol bomb attack on the office of a local political organisation, more..

Sri Lanka releases 1,200 prisoners on Independence Day

Feb 4 (Xinhua) President Rajapaksa granted amnesty to 1,200 prisoners on the country's 65th Independence Day on Monday. The prisoners were released after a short ceremony held at Colombo's Welikada prison which was attended by Prison's Commissioner P.W. Kodippily and other govt officials. Prison officials said that those released were serving minor sentences and some were those who had not been able to pay their fines. more..

CEB takes action to disconnect electricity to Omanthai School

Feb 4 (OU) Electricity Board had taken action to disconnect electricity to Omanthai School, which was utilized as a detention camp. A danger has cropped up to disconnect the electricity to the school which was utilized as a detention camp, because the electricity payment has exceeded to 23 lacks of rupees. At the final phase of war, the Omanthai Central College was used as a rehabilitation camp for the arrested and surrendered former rebels by the defense forces. more..

1Malaysia good concept for Sri Lanka to emulate in rebuilding

Feb 4 (Bernama) The 1Malaysia concept is a good platform for Sri Lankans to learn and adopt in their efforts to rebuild their nation after three decades of civil war that ended in 2009, says Sri Lanka's Acting High Commissioner, Major-General Lalith Daulagala. "The war was a painful piece of history for Sri Lankans, and now the people want to reunite as one," he said after a flag-hoisting ceremony to mark Sri Lanka's 65th anniversary of independence at the High Commission, here, today. more..

UPFA Deputy Mayor arrested regarding murder of Bhikku

Feb 4 (LT) The Deputy Mayor of Moratuwa Municipality Sujith Pushpakumara has been arrested by police regarding the murder of the incumbent of Sunandopanandarama Temple at Moratuwa Ven. Metigahatenne Wimalawansa Thera. Deputy Mayor Pushpakumara of the UPFA ruled Moratuwa Municipality had a dispute with the deceased regarding a land. He had also abused the deceased in foul language more..

Delegates from 15 countries invited for the Independence Day celebration

Feb 4 (OU) A reports state, delegates from 15 countries operating from New Delhi was invited to attend the Sri Lanka's 65th Independence Day celebration. They were invited as state invitees to attend the celebration which is held at Trincomalee today. Ambassadors from 11 countries, High Commissioners from three countries and one official in charge of diplomatic affairs were among the invitees. Ambassadors from Afghanistan, Azerbaijani, kacakstan, Peru, Culoveniya, more..

Mukthar released on Rs 1M bail

Feb 4 (CT) A man remanded on charges of appropriating land using a bogus power-of-attorney was released on bail when he was produced before the Colombo Additional Magistrate, Nishantha Peiris. The Chairman of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Sports Complex, Diyagama, Mukthar Saley Mohamed, was released on bail after being produced before Court for the alleged fraudulent land deal. The suspect had allegedly received ownership of a plot of land using a bogus more..

Ranil’s solution to counter human rights allegations

Feb 4 (AD) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe says that the best solution regarding the human rights allegations against Sri Lanka by the UN, Commonwealth and certain nations is for the govt to implement the proposals it had submitted to the UNHRC in 2009. He stated that the implementation of those proposals would suffice and that the govt would not have to accomplish anything beyond that. Speaking during a ceremony more..

Lawyer appearing in case against Mohan Peiris & PB threatened

Feb 4 (LT) The lawyer who appeared for the petitioner in the fundamental rights application against former Attorney General Mohan Peiris (Now Chief Justice) and Finance and Planning Ministry Secretary P.B. Jayasundera has complained to the British High Commission in Colombo of a possible threat to his life. The lawyer, Nagananda Kodituwakku, who is a British passport holder, appeared in the case in which the Finance and Planning Ministry Secretary more..