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Water’s Edge on the spot DWC’s failure questioned

Mar 19 (SL) Questions have been raised regarding the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s failure to take legal action against the Management of Water’s Edge at Battaramulla for keeping deer and sambur in their premises. According to the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO) section 30, sub section 2, sambur is a strictly protected animal while spotted deer is also a protected animal. more..

Blood ivory a topic at International Forum on Wildlife Crime

Mar 19 (ST) The poaching of elephants for tusks was another issue discussed at the many side events held parallel to the 16th Conference of Parties (COP16) at the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The fate of the haul of ivory seized recently by Sri Lankan Customs was a hot topic at CITES and the ADB side event ‘Symposium on Combating Wildlife Crime.' more..

Population: Census expert disputes anti-Muslim claim

Mar 19 (Island) A senior census and statistics official yesterday disputed a claim being propagated in the country that the Muslim population is likely exceed that of the majority community. The Sinhala population in the country is 74.9% according to the Basic Population Information Report of the Census of Population and Housing 2011. According to the 2011 census, the Muslim population was 9.2% and the Sinhala population was 74.9%. more..

Sri Lanka planned land rights legislation queried

Mar 19 (LBO) A law to apparently improve people's absolute property rights while another declared policy is aimed at taking away existing liberties has raised queries whether the moves are intended to benefit interest persons, a legislator has said. Harsha de Silva, a legislator said an amendment proposed to section 6 of Sri Lanka's Finance Act of 1963 removed a 100% tax imposed on sales of land to foreign nationals. more..

Sri Lanka says no cancellation of defence dialogue with India

Mar 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka today dismissed media reports about cancellation of its annual bilateral defence talks with India, where the government is facing pressure from Tamil Nadu-based parties to vote in favour of the US-backed resolution against Colombo at the UNHRC. A govt source here on the condition of anonymity said the talks were to be held in Colombo from 23 to 25 March. He said the official reason given by more..

India takes attack very seriously

Mar 19 (DM) Sri Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam told Daily Mirror Online a short while ago that India had taken the spate of attacks on Sri Lankan monks and pilgrims very seriously. “India has taken these incidents seriously and showing serious concern. It has also agreed to provide Sri Lankan pilgrims security and we are in constant touch with the relevant authorities,” Mr. Kariyawasam said. more..

'Plight of SL Tamils is close to our hearts'

Mar 19 (PTI) Congress president Sonia Gandhi demanded an “independent and credible” inquiry into the violation of human rights in Sri Lanka even as she refused to comment on key UPA ally DMK withdrawing support to the govt at the Centre. Voicing her pain and anguish over the “denial of legitimate political rights” to Sri Lankan Tamils, Ms. Gandhi dwelt at length on the issue at the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting more..

Sri Lankan monks protest against attacks in south India

Mar 19 (Xinhua) A group of monks staged a protest outside the Indian High Commission in Colombo on Tuesday against the attack on Sri Lankan monks in southern India. The monks demanded that the Indian government provide protection for Sri Lankan monks in southern India. The National Sangha Council which consists of leading Buddhist clergy in Sri Lanka, called for a ban on Sri Lankans traveling to Tamil Nadu. more..

DMK withdraws from Indian Govt. over Sri Lanka issue

Mar 19 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday announced his party’s decision to quit both the Union Cabinet and the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA), arguing that continuing in the govt and the alliance would be great harm to the Sri Lankan Tamils. Reacting to this announcement, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said in New Delhi there was no threat to the govt. more..

Editorial : Consider India's stance

Mar 19 (CT) Pundits would say that foreign policy decisions are immune from populist outbursts that emanate from the grass roots, but that is only a half truth. Democracies are susceptible to constituency pressures and the world's largest democracy, India is no exception. We reported yesterday that New Delhi has voiced support for an international war crimes probe at the concluding phase of the war in Sri Lanka. Indian Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, was quoted as saying at more..

BBS saffron brigade and a nation in tears forever

Mar 19 (CT) ‘Buddhist Sri Lanka’ perceived as the ‘sole protector’ of the Dhamma is where all beings irrespective of caste, creed, religion or race are supposed to live in peace, compassion and harmony. Then why is this tiny tear-drop shaped nation in the vast Indian Ocean destined forever to be in tears? Where did Buddhism go wrong for Lanka? Or should it be where was Buddhism made to go wrong for Lanka? Never before in recent history has the populace of this comparatively more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lankan delegation at Pope Francis's inauguration mass

Mar 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka's official delegation comprising Deputy Minister Neomal Perera, Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratna and Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga will attend the installation ceremony of Pope Francis I, at the vatican today. They are expected to hand over a special message of greetings from President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Pontiff. Pope Francis is due to be inaugurated in Vatican City Tuesday in front of an expected one million people. more..

Pensioners get Rs. 875 more from January 2013

Mar 19 (Island) All 514,000 Lankan pensioners, including those residing abroad, would receive an increment of Rs. 375 in addition to an additional sum of Rs. 500 as Cost of Living allowance, along with their pensions from 01.01.13 as indicated in the Budget for 2013, Commissioner General of Pensions D. Swarnapala said. Asked about the much spoken off new online system, where pensioners could address their grievances as well as find solutions to their pension problems, more..

Birthday boy Herath stars in Sri Lankan win

Mar 19 (CI) Since Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement in 2010, Sri Lanka had won only four Tests. Rangana Herath's figures in those are: 9 for 128, 12 for 171, 5 for 121 and 11 for 108. They completed their fifth victory on Tuesday at the Premadasa Stadium, and Herath was instrumental yet again - marking his 35th birthday with figures of 12 for 157 to strangle Bangladesh and set up a 1-0 series win. There was the added joy of more..

Students’ protests gather steam

Mar 19 (Hindu) Despite the closure of educational institutions, students from various colleges staged a series of protests in connection with the Sri Lankan Tamils issue in Madurai on Monday. The protests were, by and large, peaceful though a group of students of Government Law College attempted to lay siege to the branch of a nationalised bank on Melur Road. Security personnel locked the bank door when they saw the students locking the gate of the premises. more..

Murder suspects arrested after four years

Mar 19 (Island) Two brothers wanted in connection with the killing of a 69-year-old father of four were arrested by the Morawaka police last Friday after a four-year hunt. The two brothers are accused of killing the owner of Morawaka Jayawardena estate, in 2009, by attacking him with a brick. They were taken into custody from an estate in the Ketanwila area of Maliduwa. The suspects, Govinda Raj Kumar and Govinda Raj Udayakumar, were produced before acting Morawaka Magistrate more..

'Welcome to Sri Lanka via Mattala'

Mar 19 (IL) The Hambantota Mahinda Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) is Sri Lanka’s second international airport, with its wondrous new sky gate which has currently finished in its 1st phase. The official opening to the nation will be on 18 March. I had a very rare opportunity to talk directly to the Chairman of Sri Lankan Air Lines Mr Nishantha Wickramasinghe at a historic time of the airline industry in Sri Lanka. He is one of the more..

Fisheries Ministry ties up with Navy to tackle illegal fishing

Mar 19 (Island) The Sri Lanka navy and the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry have launched a special programme to arrest and prosecute those involved in using illegal fishing methods and equipment, in the Northern, Eastern and Southern seas. The navy has so far, during search operations in Puttalam, arrested over 1,200 persons for using illegal equipment. Six were arrested in Pulmudai. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that legal action would be taken against more..

Health Ministry assures no threat to Lanka from deadly Coronavirus

Mar 19 (Island) The Health Ministry reassured the public that the country was not under yet another impending threat of a deadly flue. It said that the corona-virus, that was worrying many people, had only affected Saudi Arabia and the UK so far. Ministry sources said however that only 15 cases and eight deaths from corona-virus had been reported in the world from April last year till February this year. There were several flu conditions in the world and this one was known as more..

UNP membership drive meetings flop

Mar 19 (CT) The meetings held at Galgamuwa and Yapahuwa Electorates on Saturday under the programme ‘rally for a change’, inaugurated by the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, with a view to increasing the UNP membership had attracted very little crowd, and many UNP members of the local bodies of the areas had also not participated, and the meetings had flopped. At the meetings held at Giribawa more..

Jayawardene missed despite series win

Mar 19 (CI) Nasir Hossain had largely batted responsibly in the series, before the final day, but as he and Mushfiqur Rahim - Bangladesh's final recognised batting pair - attempted to lift their side to a defendable total, a moment of indiscretion from Hossain saw his team slip even further. He had only arrived at the crease two overs before, after Rangana Herath had removed overnight batsman Mominul Haque, but spotting a flighted Herath delivery on leg stump, Hossain aimed an more..

Sri Lankan gov't condemns attacks on Buddhist priests in India

Mar 19 (Xinhua) Following a spate of attacks on Sri Lankans travelling in south India, the Sri Lankan govt on Tuesday condemned the incidents and called on travellers to be cautious. The govt of Sri Lanka regrets the recent incidents of intimidation of Sri Lankan nationals, particularly the instances of violent assaults against Buddhist Monks in Thanjavur and at the Central Chennai Railway Station of India, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka to formally respond to U.S. resolution

Mar 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is to formally respond to a new U.S. resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the UNHRC, an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. Spokesman Rodney Perera said that the govt was studying the document and will respond to it when it is discussed at the Council. The US on Monday tabled the final version of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the 22nd session of the UNHRC meeting in Geneva, more..

CPI(M) for full autonomy for Sri Lankan Tamils

Mar 19 (Hindu) Describing as “state of uncertainty” the situation at the Centre in the aftermath of DMK’s pullout decision from UPA, CPI(M) said it favours full autonomy for Sri Lankan Tamils. “Right now the situation (at the Centre) is in a state of uncertainty... they (DMK) have formally announced pulling out of UPA and the govt is in minority because of this,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury told reporters here outside Parliament. He said his party is clear about the autonomy issue. more..

Catholic children celebrate the Way of the Cross without priests or teachers

Mar 19 (AN) Children at a govt primary school in Uchchamunai Island (Western Province) regularly stage by themselves a Via Crucis during the period of Lent. They have done it without the help of teachers or priests. Wearing their school uniforms, the pupils leave their school and go as far as Annai Velankanni Catholic Church, which is part of Kalpititya Parish (diocese of Chilaw). Uchchamunai Island is home to about 175 Tamil Catholic families, all involved in the fishing industry. more..

Sri Lankan safari

Mar 19 (TA) PETER Kuruvita was sitting at the edge of a wide reservoir built by Sri Lankan kings more than 1000 years ago, wondering how he could portray the simplicity of village cooking in what would become the international hit SBS cooking series My Sri Lanka. "This guy came floating past in a canoe," says Kuruvita, whose culinary expertise, marked by his Sri Lankan ancestry, has made him one of Australia's hottest chefs. more..

Kitul treacle industry dying

Mar 19 (CT) The much-hyped plans to develop the kitul treacle industry in the Kalutara District, appears to have lost its momentum over a period of time. In the last two years, many facilities had been provided to those engaged in the manufacture of treacle. These include protective gear, new methods of tapping, and training – all at a cost. The areas under the Agalawatta, Palinda Nuwara, Matugama and Walallawita Divisional Secretary, where the industry is concentrated, had received a bigger share more..

'Govt. to Govt. agreements not a necessity'

Mar 19 (CT) Govt to govt agreements with other countries are not a necessity when dealing with the importation of petroleum, as long as the terms and conditions agreed upon are favourable to Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Petroleum Industries said yesterday. Responding to inquiries regarding any plans by the ministry to have govt to govt agreements to purchase fuel, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said, "Regardless of the agreement being between two govts, agents or traders, we make sure more..

Srilankan cuts flights to Tamil Nadu by half

Mar 19 (CG) Sri Lanka’s national airline has announced that it was halving the number of flights to south India following a number of incidents in that part of the country. SriLankan Airlines said it has observed a drop in traffic between Chennai and Colombo due to recent developments in Tamil Nadu, hence it was decided to reduce its frequency of flights to Chennai from 28 to 14 per week from Thursday. “Revised schedule involves more..

DMK says will reconsider pullout decision if govt brings Lanka resolution in Parliament

Mar 19 (HT) As the DMK decided to withdraw support, the govt on Tuesday moved to bring a resolution on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue in Parliament in an attempt to placate the key ally which has set it as one of the conditions for reconsideration of its decision. Sources said the govt is drafting a resolution to be brought in Parliament. The decision was taken after the Congress Core Group meeting, hours after DMK chief M Karunanidhi announced that his party more..

Sri Lanka sells $129 mln in 3-yr development bonds

Mar 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka accepted all bids worth $129 million in dollar-denominated three-year development bonds, the central bank said on Tuesday. The govt accepted $129 million of three-year bonds at 6-month LIBOR plus 400 basis points (bps), the central bank said in a statement. It had offered $50 million for the issue. Six-month LIBOR on Tuesday was at 0.44454%, the central bank said. The central bank on Feb. 15 raised $152.12 million in three-year development bonds to more..

IGP orders probe on threat to pastor

Mar 19 (CG) The IGP N.K. Illangakoon has ordered an investigation where a Christian pastor and his family were threatened by a mob, including several monks, in Weeraketiya yesterday. SP Budhika Siriwardena said that nearly 300 people had reportedly demonstrated outside the house of the pastor and threatened him and is family. “The IGP has instructed the police to thoroughly investigate more..

Nearly 13,000 TB cases detected annually

Mar 19 (Island) Nearly 13,000 Tuberculosis (TB) patients were detected per year in the country but a majority of them were reluctant to take the prescribed doses of medicine, Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said yesterday. He said that most patients waited till the last minute to rush to a hospital for treatment. Sri Lanka had been able to gradually control the cases by introducing Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTs). more..

Lankan players safe, matches on schedule: Shukla

Mar 19 (PTI) After Sri Lanka Cricket Players' Association expressed concerns over ongoing attacks against Sri Lankan nationals in Tamil Nadu, IPL commissioner Rajiv Shukla today said that there is no threat to the upcoming mega-tournament, scheduled to commence from April 3. "There is no threat to the IPL. Matches will take place at the scheduled venues. Till now, we haven't seen any threat," Shukla told reporters outside the Parliament. Asked about participation of Lankan players more..

'Backbone of officers to be broken and customs to be made a political center'

Mar 19 (LT) Customs officers who carry out their raids without any political bias are to be made cats’ paws of politicians, their backbones are to be broken and political power is to be used for politicians and their lackeys to wriggle through the tax net says JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. He said, “The govt is preparing to debate and adopt 21 tax amendment bills within 3 days starting from today. He said what is grave in the move is more..

'Attacks on Buddhist monks and SL visitors to Tamil Nadu must cease'

Mar 20 (DBS) We have observed the recent attacks on Buddhist monks and other Sri Lankan visitors in Tamil Nadu with grave concern and extreme unease. These attacks are callous and disgraceful and will not help the Sri Lankan Tamils, but may cause them more harm. We offer our heartfelt sympathies to the victims. Certainly, there is no justification for these acts from either a political perspective or, in truth, from the perspective of any other moral and freedom-loving people. more..

Pope Francis: of Assisi, Buenos Aires or Washington?

Mar 20 (NS) Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina appears to be a different from others who came before him. To the Papacy, that is. He is the first Pope from Latin America. He is the first to take the name Francis. Both are significant. In a context where the Catholic Church is fast losing ground in its ‘traditional homelands’ (Europe and North America), where the numbers of atheists are on the rise and among theists Muslims are gaining ground at a rate that they are projected to be the dominant more..

'Genuine HR concerns not addressed'

Mar 20 (SO) Senior Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said that the US resolution on the alleged HR issues in Sri Lanka to be moved at the UNHCR sessions in Geneva next week is apparently part of the US's "regime change" agenda and does not represent genuine HR concerns. Imperialist countries always resort to such intrigues, manoeuvres, and machinations whenever a progressive or centre left govt is in power. more..

Hourglass figures don’t come easy

Mar 20 (NS) Nihara Jayatilleke Rutnam has graced the pages of fashion magazines and newspapers as the wife of a celebrity. People in general know her as filmmaker Chandran Rutnam’s wife while her close associates know her as a fitness fanatic. It’s the latter that brings a lot of attention her way and The Nation deemed it fit to get Nihara to share some of the secrets behind maintaining her beautiful body. The charming lady is a mother now and despite a heavy work schedule drives herself to more..