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Sri Lanka’s defeat

Mar 27 (Island) The UNHRC sessions ended last week with the passage of another resolution on Sri Lanka. It was a victory for the United States, which secured 25 votes in favour compared to 13 against, with eight abstentions and the representative from Gabon being recorded as AWOL. Life having continued as normal in Colombo, the Govt is bound to learn all the wrong lessons from the experience. For a start, it will think that more..

'Grow exports, FDI to avoid debt trap'

Mar 27 (Island) "As export earnings are not adequate even to meet the import expenditure, this could result in running down foreign exchange reserves of the country. When they are limited as they are, there would be recourse to borrowing. When such gaps between export earnings and import spending persist, the country has to borrow further. This cannot go on for long without getting into a debt trap," Prof. A.D.V. De S. Indraratne said last week addressing a seminar on more..

From the Comfort Zone to the Conflict Zone

Mar 27 (DBS) In Sri Lanka, photography is a field strongly dominated by men. Few women have taken up photography or photojournalism as their career. Engaging in this special craft requires women practitioners to often justify their reasons for choosing a challenging and male-centric career. There had been constant judgment and doubting of both the required skills and endurance – an essential if serious about pursuing photography as a career path. It begins generally with more..

Marriott International boss in town next week to explore fresh prospects

Mar 27 (FT) CEO of Marriott International Arne Sorenson will be in Sri Lanka next week to explore further prospects in the leisure industry, which has been enjoying a rebound following the end of the war. Marriott has already set its footprint in Sri Lanka when it tied up with business tycoon Nahil Wijesuriya last year to manage his upcoming 200-room luxury resort in Weligama, which will also be the tallest resort hotel in the country. more..

Sri Lanka garment sector concerned that state losing focus

Mar 27 (ST) Sri Lankan garment industrialists are perturbed over statements allegedly made in parliament implying that this sector is not as important as before. These issues were also raised at this week’s Exporters’ Forum headed by minister Rishad Bathiudeen, where a representative from the Apparel Exporters Association urged that Sri Lanka should explore new areas for garment exports. He said Sri Lanka should capitalize on the rising labour costs in China, a cheap apparel exporter more..

Motorcycles for Fisheries Ministry officials

Mar 27 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry will provide motorcycles to 21 information and data officers attached to the fisheries sector to facilitate them to obtain correct information about fisheries resources. The Ministry provided special training to 34 officers attached to the Fisheries Department and National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) on gathering information from well - known fishing grounds. more..

Dissa does a U-turn!

Mar 27 (FT) Depending on which way one reads it, in an apparent U-turn or perhaps setting the record straight, the SEC temporary Director General Prof. Harreendra Dissabandara issued a detailed statement to the press over his pre-announced resignation. Since news of his resignation broke on Friday, Dissabandara has been extensively quoted in the media saying he found it difficult to uphold his principles with the more..

Econ. Ministry’s two-week course for graduate trainees starts tomorrow

Mar 27 (FT) A two-week training course for 15,596 graduates the Economic Development Ministry has recruited as Development Officers and assigned to Divisional Secretariats countrywide will commence on 28 March. The aim of this training course is to give them a basic knowledge of working as facilitators in implementing rural development programs to eradicate poverty by strengthening the family and the village, according to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka’s fatal flaw of skirting the core issue

Mar 27 (Island) There has been a splurge of commentary on issues relating to the recent second US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, but ‘discourse’ in this country, in the main, runs the risk, all over again, of generating more ‘heat’ than ‘light’ on these questions. True, it is all too evident that the principal Western powers are zealously intent on bringing Sri Lanka to its knees in the so-called Councils of the World, but has not Sri Lanka been tarrying or ‘playing for time’ more..

'Constitutional amendments ready'

Mar 27 (CT) Recommendations for the amendments to the existing Constitution of 1978 have been drafted by a panel of experts and would soon be presented to President Rajapaksa, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and other political party leaders, Convener of the NMSJ and Chief Incumbent of Naga Viharaya, Kotte, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera said. "The recommendations will seek to reintroduce more..

Unannounced power cuts

Mar 27 (DM) An unannounced power cut in several parts in the Colombo District and its suburbs took place today for the second consecutive day which the CEB stated that it was due to ongoing repairs and maintenance work delayed by bad weather conditions. The power cut mainly took place in Rajagiriya, Battaramulla, Koswatta, Pelawatta, Kaduwela and Nawala. Residents complained that the power cuts took place throughout the day but the CEB stated that the power cuts were reported more..

Editorial : Chauvinism at its worst

Mar 27 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa did more than give her stamp of approval to calls for protests against the participation of Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League. By declaring that the State govt will permit the matches to be held in Chennai only if the organisers provided an undertaking that no Sri Lankan players, umpires, officials or support staff would participate in these matches, she effectively endorsed chauvinism and discrimination in sport and politics. more..

Govt likened to Somali pirates

Mar 27 (Island) The UNP likened the SLFP-led UPFA govt to pirates operating off the coast of Somalia. The UNP alleged that the govt was undermining the economy, the way Somali pirates were threatening shipping lines much to the discontent of the global community. UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilleke said that the govt had been mercilessly increasing the tax burden on those struggling to make ends meet, while more..

‘SL needs competent professionals’

Mar 27 (DN) Sri Lanka needs professionals who are competent. All should change their mindset, if they want to see the country being turned into the hub of aviation, maritime, education, power and energy and knowledge in the region as envisaged by the government, Colombo Dockyard CEO Mangala Yapa said. He was speaking at a ceremony to enrol students for the University of Vocational and Technology for 2013 - 2014 at the university. Yapa, a marine engineer by profession, more..

Stars at war

Mar 27 (DM) In a new turn of events, film and teledrama star Damitha Abeyratne has planned to take actress Semini Iddamalgoda to courts demanding Rs. 1000 million as damages for defaming her. Damitha has sent a letter of demand through her Attorney Ms Samanthi Gamage, refuting the allegations made by Semini Iddamalgoda who earlier sued her for Rs. 500 million damaging her (Semini) reputation. In a counter action to be filed, Damitha said that she never attempted to more..

Thilanga to sue Aluthgamage

Mar 27 (CT) UPFA MP Thilanga Sumathipala is to take legal action, challenging the rejection of his nomination to the post of President of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), by Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, sources close to Sumathipala said. When contacted, Sumathipala said 'no comment' as the official decision had not yet been conveyed to him by the relevant authorities. "Until I receive official communication, more..

UNP rebels to go it alone at polls

Mar 27 (Island) Jathika Paura, the political wing of the UNP reformist group, would field candidates in all forthcoming elections. MP Range Bandara, a stalwart of ‘Jathika Paura’ said that candidates would contest under the symbol of another registered party, since his party was yet to be recognized by the Commissioner of Elections. However, Bandara said the members of Jathika Paura would not sever connections with the UNP since they were still members of that party. more..

Only 13,500 NCP wells contain good drinking water

Mar 27 (Island) Researches who, during 2012, conducted investigations into 34,000 wells in the North-Central province have revealed that the water in only 13,500 was suitable for drinking, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said he had ordered that more Public Health Inspectors be detailed to check the quality of the water in North-Central province wells. A survey carried out by the Ministry had found that about 10 million metric tons of artificial fertiliser was being used in more..

Govt. mulls banning advertisements of pesticides and fertilizer

Mar 27 (CT) The govt is contemplating on banning advertisements of pesticides and fertilizer in the media, in a bid to discourage the use of such products by the farmers, as recommended by the WHO. A study conducted by the WHO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, has identified pesticides and fertilizers as the main causes of the Chronic Kidney Disease of uncertain Aetiology (CKDu), which prevails more..

New laws to curb religious cults?

Mar 27 (DM) The Religious Affairs Ministry intends to introduce a legislation that enables authorities concerned to take action against anyone distorting the original teachings of the four main religions- Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. Ministry Secretary M.K.B. Dissanayake said that a dialogue with the relevant stakeholders had been initiated in this regard to introduce such a law in the country. However, Mr. Dissanayake said the Ministry is yet to identify modalities for a mechanism to curb more..

Over 200,000 visitors at Deyata Kirula so far

Mar 27 (DN) More than 200,000 people visited the seventh Deyata Kirula national exhibition at Hardy College of Technology, Ampara yesterday. Deyata Kirula Exhibition Committee Secretariat sources said more people are expected to visit the exhibition today. The exhibition is the biggest Deyata Kirula put on so far. Among the daily features are parachute displays. The three Armed Forces are also conducting other events. Sports competitions have also been organised. more..

Some IPL franchises severely affected due to Sri Lanka issue

Mar 27 (TOI) It's time to bite the bullet and play ball. Some of the IPL teams — Hyderabad Sunrisers, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils — will be severely affected by the IPL commission's decision not to allow Sri Lankan players in the Chennai matches in the league phase. There's not much they can do about the decision at this stage. There are 13 Lankan players playing in eight more..

Rural development society restructure underway

Mar 27 (DN) A programme to restructure rural development societies is being launched on the instructions of North Central Provincial Rural Development and Cooperative Affairs Minister K H Nandasena. It is planned to convert the rural development society in to the main body of gaining village level economical, social and spiritual emancipation in the village itself. Ministry secretary K B Hettiarachchi said to make this vision a reality, it is targeted to increase the number of more..

Murali, Chennai's son-in-law, says 'not end of the world'

Mar 27 (IE) The city of Chennai, in many ways, has been a second home for Muttiah Muralitharan. Besides being a Tamil, the former Sri Lankan off-spinner is married to an Indian who belongs to the city. Moreover, Muralitharan represented the Chennai Super Kings during the first three seasons of the IPL. But with the Tamil Nadu govt having declared the state capital a 'no-Sri-Lankan-zone', Muralitharan will in all likelihood be forced to give Chennai a miss during the sixth edition of IPL more..

Doctors welcome pictorial warnings on packs of cigarettes

Mar 27 (Island) GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya claimed that more than 65% of the children in Sri Lanka were exposed to second hand smoking. A survey had revealed that though around 60% of the smokers were interested in quitting the habit they could not do so for want of counseling, he said. Displaying pictorial warnings on the cigarette packets was a long-felt need because smoking had caused 75% of more..

From selfishness to other centredness

Mar 27 (DM) As hundreds of millions of people all over the world mark Holy Week, we need to reflect deeply on the real meaning of the word holy. Many people of all religions often think that to be holy means largely to go to places of worship, take part in rites and rituals or go into long hours of meditation or prayer and reflect on the holy scriptures. All these are good and provide spiritual nourishment for our growth in or into holiness. Often these religious practices do not translate into action, and more..

Time for a rebellion for democracy

Mar 27 (DM) The US resolution on accountability and reconciliation, which was moved at the UNHRC, remains a threat directed at the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. But many Tamils feel that it falls far short of their expectations. It is naïve of them to believe that global powers will go against a regime that has won the heart of the IMF. Despite the theatrics by Minister Wimal Weerawansa, the President follows the path laid down by the global capitalist masters; he has also satisfied the conditions more..

To hell with the evidence

Mar 27 (DM) The resolution against Sri Lanka proposed by the International thug otherwise known as the United States of America has, predictably, been passed by the UNHRC. Similarly and equally predictably, the resolution to impeach CJ Shirani Bandaranayake was also passed by Parliament by a 2/3 majority. Theoretically, where a person votes for or in favour of a resolution, by such act conveys his agreement with the factual more..

The violent creed

Mar 27 (SL) And then they went for the Christians – and even the Buddhists. A new group called the Sinhala Ravaya is making their presence felt across the island, carrying out systematic attacks on what they deem to be illegal places of worship. On Monday (18) members of this new group laid siege to the home of a Christian pastor, threatening his family and demanding that religious services cease. Last Friday (15) members of more..

Students take note, you will be ‘watched’ at historical sites

Mar 27 (ST) Teachers of govt schools in Hatton have been summoned for a meeting on Thursday after three students from Maskeliya were caught defacing the Sinha Padaya or Lion’s Paw in Sigiriya. The principal of the relevant school was sent a letter asking for explanation within a week, C. Kanapathy, Zonal Director of Education for Hatton said. She stressed that teachers should take the blame for more..

SLC executive committee to pick next president tomorrow

Mar 27 (DM) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s decision to reject the nomination of Thilanga Sumathipala to contest the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) election is likely to force SLC to reject all three nominations for the post of President and pave the way for current SLC President Upali Dharmadasa’s brother Jayantha to be the SLC President without a contest for the next two-year term. more..

Tiger, tiger burning bright

Mar 27 (CT) Sweat drenches his face and the bare upper body. It looks in different colours – yellow, red and green. The face and the body are painted in those colours. He doesn't care about the heat or the sweat. He is soaking in the action that is unfolding before him. 25-year-old Shoaib Ali is definitely creating a scene at the Sri Lanka-Bangladesh second Test cricket match at the R Premadasa Stadium. more..

Sri Lankan pilot crisis results in huge losses

Mar 27 (DM) The simmering crisis within Sri Lankan Airlines surrounding the lowering of cut off marks to accommodate two extra cadet pilots has resulted in losses running ‘into millions’ of rupees for the country’s national career and continued disruption of flights. Regular flights have been disrupted and delayed during the past three weeks as a result of pilots and instructors of the airline deciding to ‘work to the roster’. more..

President warns of attempts to scuttle peace

Mar 27 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapapaksa on Wednesday warned of attempts both locally and internationally to scuttle the peace in the island nation and urged all Sri Lankans not to fall prey to such pressure. Addressing the SLFP ceremony in Temple Trees, Rajapaksa said that it is the right of all Sri Lankans to ensure that peace is protected in the country without falling prey to any rumors. more..

Sri Lankan navy arrests 97 illegal immigrants

Mar 27 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan navy on Wednesday arrested 97 Australia-bound illegal immigrants in Oluvil in the eastern province. Navy Spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that among those arrested are 40 children and 18 women. He said that all of those arrested were minority Tamils and they were brought to the Oluvil harbor to be handed over to the police for further investigations. more..

India eases non-tariff barriers on Sri Lanka apparel, meat

Mar 27 (LBO) India has raised a quota of Sri Lanka-made apparel and the validity of a sanitary permit for meat had been doubled giving more freedom for Indian nationals to buy goods from the island. The Indian High Commission (embassy) in Colombo said, there would be no sourcing requirement for fabric for up to eight million pieces of fabric exported from Sri Lanka each year from the current five under the Indo Lanka Free Trade Agreement. more..

US closely consulted with India on Lankan resolution: Blake

Mar 27 (PTI) The United States has worked with India throughout the process on the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, Obama Administration’s point man on South Asia has said. “We worked very closely with India throughout the process and we indeed welcomed some of the changes that India made,” the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told the BBC more..

Editorial : From values to debris...

Mar 27 (CT) Hype has been in high gear the past few days as the govt strives to project a rosy picture, not so much about the second resolution adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva last week, as about how the Western powers hadn't won by the margin they are talking about. Such calculated dishonesty is not unusual among those; one may call 'sore losers,' who often opt for 'excuses' instead of 'reasons' to explain away their defeat, in whatever field. But in the Sri Lankan context, what appears as more..

Heroin packing centre busted

Mar 27 (Island) Five drug dealers from Grandpass, including the main heroin dealer and his wife, were arrested, by the officers of the Western Province Intelligence Division (WPID) on Monday afternoon, while they were packeting heroin at a rented two storey house in Meegoda, Padukka. The raid had been successful as the team had been patiently monitoring the movements of the suspects for a few days. The suspects had in their possession 727 grammes of heroin worth Rs. 3.63 million. more..

IPL cricket: India media attacks Sri Lanka player ban

Mar 27 (BBC) India's media has criticised the decision of Tamil Nadu state not to host Indian Premier League (IPL) games with Sri Lankan players, amid anger over Colombo's rights record. The Indian Premier League said teams taking part were being told of the move. Players from around the world compete in the world's richest cricket league. Thirteen Sri Lankans are signed up to play in the nine-team Twenty20 tournament, more..