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'Attacks on Sri Lanka will not defeat or intimidate us'

Mar 23 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has criticised the US-sponsored UNHRC resolution against his country and said the such "attacks would not defeat or intimidate us". "This attack would not surprise us at all. These attacks would not subdue us either, nor would they defeat or intimidate us in any way," he said yesterday. The President said he was expecting such attacks from the pro-LTTE diaspora and anti-Sri Lanka more..

'Govt. should not burden future generations'

Mar 23 (CT) The govt cannot continue to obtain excessive loans and thereafter expect future generations of citizens to carry the financial burden, Counsel J.C. Weliamuna stated in a petition submitted to the Supreme Court. The Bench comprised CJ Mohan Peries and Justices Chandra Ekanayaka and Sathya Hettige. Counsel Weliamuna was making submissions on behalf of petitioner Y.M. Punchibanda, who challenged the constitutionally of an amendment to the Fiscal Management more..

IPL teams tell BCCI to drop Chennai as venue over Sri Lanka vote

Mar 23 (IBN) With less than 10 days to go before the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) begins, politics is making an impact on the cricket tournament. Sources say that IPL franchisees have told the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to drop Chennai as a venue for matches, if the current political situation over Sri Lankan Tamils remains. Protests have been on in the city over the UN resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes against Tamils. Sources say that IPL franchisees more..

Vehicles worth Rs.70mn vanish from CEB

Mar 23 (DM) A survey carried out by the Internal Audit (IA) of the cash-strapped Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has revealed that vehicles worth more than Rs.70 million had been written off. A confidential Internal Audit report issued after a 2012 survey which is in possession of the Daily Mirror revealed that 34 vehicles valued at Rs.70 million and used by various CEB branches have been written off with an estimated more..

A Lanka lost?

Mar 23 (DC) With India unequivocally backing a vote against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC resolution that reprimands the Rajapakse govt for war crimes against the Tamil mino-rity, 40,000 of whom were slaughtered in the final days of a 27-year-old Tamil Tiger insurgency, Delhi’s Lankan challenge has only just begun. The UNHRC resolution may not be seen as eno­ugh of a rap on the knu­ckles by the two regional rivals, the DMK and the AIADMK using Parlia-ment to score points off each other. more..

Actress Geetha makes Lanka politico see red over ‘lipstick’

Mar 23 (E24|7) An exchange of words had taken place between popular actress Geetha Kumarasingha and Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody over the 'applying lipstick'. The incident allegedly took place at the SLFP meeting held in Galle over the subject ‘lipstick’. At the meeting that Deputy Speaker had said "Some ladies came to do a house-to-house visits in Habaraduwa sometime back. I don't know any of those ladies. They came with lipsticks applied, just like lady Geetha". more..

'Don't open the floodgates of external intervention'

Mar 23 (TW) Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam speaks about the UNHRC resolution and the implications. Q: Has domestic politics over Lankan Tamils damaged India-Sri Lanka ties? A: There is no dispute between India and Sri Lanka. Our bilateral ties are not at all affected. Core issue has been the resolution, which was brought in by the United States. The resolution of the UNHRC was more..

Nandimithra complains to the CID

Mar 23 (CG) Deputy Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake has lodged a complaint with the CID saying that some Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) members had made false claims against him. He said that some members of the Matale Rathota PS had sent a letter to President Rajapaksa alleging that he was trying to defame the President. The PS members have claimed that he was also conspiring against the President by teaming up with former President Chandrika Kumaratunga. more..

SLC apologises for floodlight failure

Mar 23 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has apologised for the generator failures that halted play for 99 minutes in the first ODI in Hambantota, and said an investigation into the problem will be launched tomorrow. One floodlight tower lost power after the 41st over of the Bangladesh innings, before both the towers on the western side of the ground went out during the innings break, causing the major 85-minute delay. Sri Lanka's innings was curtailed to 41 overs as a result, and their target adjusted more..

High Commissioner of India meets monks over attacks

Mar 23 (HCI) The High Commissioner of India has held meetings with Venerable Senior Monks of the Maha Sangha, to address their concerns about the two recent unfortunate incidents involving assaults on Sri Lankan Buddhist monks in Tamil Nadu state of India. He has underlined that these were isolated incidents and did not reflect the strong people-to-people bonds that have been an integral part more..

A Canadian’s adventure tour of Sri Lanka yields a crash course in Buddhism

Mar 23 (NP) When in Rome, do as the Romans do, goes the saying. And in Sri Lanka, I was going to do what the Sri Lankans do — or at least what the Buddhists do, since the country is 70% Buddhist. But how to be a holiday Buddhist respectfully? Cultural appropriation strides a fine line between appreciative and offensive. It’s one thing to take off your hat and shoes and cover your legs or shoulders as required at the nation’s holy sites, but when you observe other local customs, more..

An unusual pitch invasion

Mar 23 (CI) Long before generator outages played havoc in Hambantota, a swarm of bees brought about the first disruption of play, when they invaded the northeast pocket of the ground near third man. The spectators in the area seemed unconcerned, as they danced on to the papare beat, but the players would have none of it. Most of the fielders on the offside fled their half of the field and dove to the turf on the legside until the insects had moved off and the "all safe" signal was given. more..

Dilshan powers Sri Lanka towards victory

Mar 23 (CI) Bangladesh's first ODI of the year should be remembered for several events, including a Tamim Iqbal century, but the assault on their bowlers by the Sri Lanka openers overshadowed all that. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kushal Janith Perera, playing only his fifth ODI, took less than an hour to decimate an already feeble pace attack and demoralise the spinners, Bangladesh's strength. Sri Lanka eased to an eight-wicket victory, more..

Editorial : OHCHR oversteps its mandate

Mar 24 (SO) The UN and its affiliated bodies had been set up mainly to unite all countries under one umbrella with the prime objective of helping each other while respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every member country. However, certain international organisations now seem to have deviated from its original principles. Certain so-called big countries have apparently taken unofficial control in some of these organisations and operate in an unbecoming manner to underline their more..

Editorial: The aftermath of Geneva

Mar 24 (Island) Reflecting on the post-Geneva scenario, the conclusion is irresistible that the very fact that the resolution was moved at all de-stabilized India, endangering the continuity of its Congress-led central govt. Tamil Nadu was able to demonstrate that in the context of coalition politics, the tail could wag the dog and India was again forced into a situation of having to vote at UNHRC for a country specific resolution much against the wish of the New Delhi govt and India’s more..

'Internal matters could be resolved in Sri Lanka, not Geneva'

Mar 24 (SO) His revolutionary zeal during his student days was the springboard to politics. Despite being aligned with different political camps in the past, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne never compromised his political ideals. In fact, he weathered all political storms having sticked to his policies. Threats to his life culminated in several assassination attempts by his enemies. He said, “We may have problems or other more..

Editorial: Spare a thought for Manmohan Singh

Mar 24 (NS) India has a question for Sri Lanka: How will India’s vote in the UNHRC impact Indo-Lanka relations? It’s a complicated question and one which prompts multiple answers. Officially, the Govt still considers India a friendly country. The nature and volume of trade between the two countries, especially what Sri Lanka imports, both in terms of volume and number of items, makes severing relations hard. The fact that the Indian Parliament did not choose to pass a resolution against more..

Editorial: Double standards, political opportunism and muddled diplomacy

Mar 24 (SL) The American sponsored resolution adopted at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva last week was the sum of double standards, political opportunism and muddled diplomacy. Double standards were the American contribution. While unmanned American aircraft are still massacring terrorists as well as innocent men, women and children in the remote borders between Afghanistan and Pakistan, American and other western diplomats with much gravitas demanded more..

'TN politicians creating problems for Lanka Tamils'

Mar 24 (HT) Politicians in Tamil Nadu are creating "problems" between Tamils and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. The race to prove who among Tamil Nadu parties helped Sri Lankan Tamils most is motivated, says Valautham Dayanidhi, alias Daya Master, the former spokesperson for the LTTE. Dayanidhi spoke to HT in an interview in Jaffna. Q: Why did you surrender to the Sri Lankan army, one month before the war ended in May 2009? more..

Time to call India’s bluff

Mar 24 (NS) There is a sense of déjà vu about recent events in Tamil Nadu: Sri Lankan establishments being vandalized, attacks on Sri Lankans, the DMK withdrawing support to the ruling party and the Indian Parliament moving a resolution on Sri Lanka. All this coincides with events in distant Geneva, where the United States, after extensive discussions with India, is moving a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC demanding that so-called ‘war crimes’ during the more..

Et tu, India?

Mar 24 (ST) My Dear Manmohan, I thought I must write to you when I heard that your country has voted against Sri Lanka at the UN again, while your countrymen are engaging in their favourite pastime of bashing Sri Lankans-even Buddhist monks-who visit your country. Whenever this type of event happens-which, these days, is quite often-we on this side of the Palk Strait like to refer to India as the country that produced Lord Buddha and Mahathma Gandhi. I guess the hope is that you too more..

'Resolution does not change govt’s position'

Mar 24 (SL) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says that resolutions adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva in 2012 and 2013 are not indicative of an agenda to promote and protect human rights. “We noted that there is a political or other extraneous agenda at work,” he observed. However he noted that Sri Lanka managed to garner considerable support at the UNHRC during the vote on the resolution although most member more..

Sri Lanka gets immune to Indian betrayals

Mar 24 (NS) The week began with the ceremonial opening of the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) making it a historical day for Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa, while appreciating the Chinese govt’s financial assistance via Export and Imports Bank of China to construct the airport at a cost of US$ 209 million, sent a strong message to all the criticizers over govt’s procedure of obtaining loans. “We have been criticized for taking loans to build this airport. It (the loan) was not more..

Editorial: LLRC Sri Lanka’s answer to circus in UNHRC, India

Mar 24 (ST) The dust is yet to quite settle on the anti-Sri Lanka resolution passed at the UNHRC in Geneva on Thursday. The reverberations have been felt, ironically enough, in neighbouring India even more than in Sri Lanka. There is much to be vicariously amused about successive Indian govts continuing to get hoist on their own petard. A thousand of their soldiers and a Prime Minister paid the ultimate price for their ‘Sri Lanka misadventure’ starting from the late 1970s. more..

'Impact of resolution would be determined by govt’s reactions '

Mar 24 (SL) TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran says the international community has realized that the request for time and space is not a genuine one but only for the govt to implement its own agenda. He observed that if the govt acts responsibly at least at this stage and engages constructively with the international community following the adoption of the 2013 resolution at the UNHRC, the country could deal with all more..

Sri Lanka’s bumbling foreign policy

Mar 24 (Island) Even after the US resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC was toned down, it had provisions that the present govt found obnoxious. It would be interesting to examine this US sponsored resolution in the context of the larger scheme of things in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a multi-party democracy with coalitions led by the UNP and the SLFP holding power alternately. Power can change hands only through elections. Both political parties need the goodwill of the majority of the more..

The return of the rampaging SL openers

Mar 24 (CI) There was an age in Sri Lanka when everyone from captains, to connoisseurs, to cricketing commoners summoned at every turn the notion of a "Sri Lankan brand of cricket". Its definition would change from series to series and from one leader to the next. For some, it was a batting strategy founded on unfettered strokeplay. For others, the singularity of a varied and vibrant attack capable of contriving dismissals at unlikely times, in unusual quantities. more..

Challenges begin for saber rattling Rajapaksa govt

Mar 24 (SL) The Rajapaksa govt was last week reminded that the tactics used to mislead people in Sri Lanka would not work with the international community. President Rajapaksa has constantly being stating that the country needs time to address reconciliation issues after the war. Sri Lankans have believed the President’s words given that he had managed to end a three decade long war. However, nearly four years after the end more..

Live telecast of expunged unparliamentary conduct

Mar 24 (ST) Whether Parliamentary proceedings should be telecast Live and should the use of electronic gadgets such as laptops and iPads, within the Chambers, be regulated, was hotly debated in the House last Thursday, after the Govt raised a privilege issue of the telecast over a private television station, of a heated exchange between Minister Wimal Weerawansa and UNP MP Sujeewa Senesinghe. UPFA MP A.H.M. Azwer who raised the issue, alleged that the particular part of more..

There is a lesson for everyone in Sangakkara’s professionalism

Mar 24 (ST) He had completed his century. Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara looked down at the crease and took his guard once more. The sweltering heat that prevailed at the Premadasa Stadium was quite unforgiving. As he was looking down a streak of sweat poured down off his helmet and became a part of Lankan soil. Yet the determination in his eyes was unwavering. He was there with a mission. He was there to guide the younger brood and he knew by experience more..

Hazardous milk powder sneaks into SL market

Mar 24 (NS) A controversy has arisen with the suspicion that milk powder containing DCD aka Dicyandiamide, a hazardous agrochemical, has entered into the SL market. The agro chemical was identified in milk powder produced by New Zealand Dairy Company Fonterra whose flagship brand ‘Anchor’ is widely popular in Sri Lanka. New Zealand govt investigation, had revealed traces of soil- treatment product DCD in 371 more..

College girl’s suicide gets Lanka angle, dad denies it

Mar 24 (NIP) Mystery shrouded the suicide committed by a city college student in Vyasarpadi on Friday evening. While her grandfather attributed it to mental distress because of the sufferings of Sri Lankan Tamils, her parents said she took the extreme step because of severe stomach cramps. As news of the suicide spread, some Tamil nationalist groups arrived to pay respects to the girl’s body. Sources said Gowthami alias Rasathi (18), a first year student at a city college, was more..

Sabaragamuwa Uni alumni concerned over Wimal’s statement

Mar 24 (SL) The Sabaragamuwa University English Graduate Alumni is disheartened by recent regressive outbursts of Minister Wimal Weerawansa who has reportedly indulged in a pervasive character assassination of former Professor of Languages and former Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Social Sciences of Sabaragamuwa University, Professor Rajiva Wijesinha. “We have grave reservations as to whether Mr. Weerawansa is enlightened enough to comment on a topic as more..

Picketers, protesters beware!

Mar 24 (CT) A special police squad is currently being trained in specialized tactics in dealing with mass protests and riots, at the Katukurunda STF training school. This is part of the Police Department's contingency plan to deal with potential street protests. The squad, which will be Sri Lanka's first of its kind, is being trained in handling street protests and demonstrations. Well-placed sources within the Police Department said more..

Casino mogul here on 27 March

Mar 24 (CT) Australian casino mogul, billionaire James Packer, is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on 27 March, to finalize discussions with the govt over setting up of a major casino complex at the heart of Colombo. A State land in front of Lake House, currently being used as a car park, is earmarked as a major gaming zone and a hotel complex, to be built by Packer's multinational casino empire, Crown Casino, govt sources said. Work on this complex is slated to commence early next year. more..

‘India far better than Lanka in peace parleys’

Mar 24 (ENS) The accords signed by India with ethnic groups to usher in peace may not have satisfied all of them but the country is far better than its South Asian neighbours, including Sri Lanka, in facilitating peace, according to experts. Addressing a event to discuss “Governing systems and internal conflicts”, which was organised by the Centre for Security Analysis, Dr P Sahadevan, professor of South Asian Studies, School of International Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University said that more..

'90% of Govt. MP’s willing to defect'

Mar 24 (Island) Leader of the DNA and former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka said that 90% of govt MP’s were not happy with the dicatatorial manner in which the country was being run and would defect if they were assured of forming an alternate administration. Asked during an interaction with the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo last week how he viewed his political future since his civic rights would more..

Political parties versus Tamils in Sri Lanka: Who wins in the protests?

Mar 24 (TOI) For all the noise they make, the anti-Sri Lankan protests that have engulfed Tamil Nadu are not likely to help any of the major players in the issue — be it India, the political parties or, most importantly, the Tamils living in Sri Lanka. Since Feb, there has been widespread anger in Tamil Nadu after British Channel 4's documentary on alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan army suggested that the 12-year-old son of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran was killed in 2009. more..

PIL seeking closure of Indian high commission in Colombo dismissed

Mar 24 (TOI) The Madurai bench of the Madras high court dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) seeking closure of the high commission of India in Sri Lanka. The petitioner M Solaikannan, the Madurai district president of Hindu People Party, had filed a PIL seeking directions to the respondents, namely, the Union cabinet secretary, the national security advisor and the foreign secretary, to consider his representation dated January 21 and pass orders. more..

Sri Lanka may pull out of Tamil Nadu

Mar 24 (ST) The Govt is exploring the possibility of shifting the Sri Lanka Deputy High Commissioner’s office in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, to Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala State. The move comes after the recall to Colombo of SSP Rohan Dias, who is Sri Lanka’s Defence Attach in the DHC’s office. The developments have been prompted by growing anti-Sri Lanka sentiments, threats and intimidation to those visiting more..