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Teachers unions express displeasure over incident at National Museum

Mar 30 (NF) The teacher unions have expressed their deep displeasure in the National Museum becoming an unsafe place for school children. General Secretary of the Ceylon Teacher Services Union, Mahinda Jayasinghe, said that large numbers of students visit the National Museum each day. He said that as a result, they are disappointed in the inability of the authorities to provide adequate protection, while students and their parents have charged that museum officials had not more..

Lanka's Queen of cinema Malini Fonseka’s latest role: ‘Dubai Malini’

Mar 30 (E24|7) She is dubbed the Queen of Sinhala Cinema, but these days Malini Fonseka is busy scouting for the next Queen and King of Lanka showbiz. What’s more, the scouting, according to sources has been going on in Dubai. Malini is behind the talent show ‘Rata Viru Talent Star’, and the Sri Lanka press has been agog with reports that the politician has recently spent a lot of time in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where she is promoting the show under the name ‘Dubai Malini’. more..

April 15 declared a public holiday

Mar 30 (DM) Minister W.D.J. Senevirathne said April 15 has been declared as a public holiday in view of the Sinhala - Hindu New Year. He said that it would be appropriate because the New Celebrations fall during the weekend this time. “Due to the two days of the New Year celebrations on April 13 and 14 falling on the weekend the govt has paid attention to declare Monday April 15 as an additional holiday,” he said.

No breakthrough in Faraz’s shooting

Mar 30 (CG) The police say they have not yet made a firm breakthrough into the shooting incident involving The Sunday Leader journalist Faraz Shauketaly. Police spokesman SP Budhika Siriwardena said that investigations into the February 16 shooting incident were still continuing but the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) had not arrested any suspects as yet. Faraz Shauketaly was shot at by a group of unidentified men in his house at hotel road in Mount Lavinia. more..

President stresses on religious freedom

Mar 30 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa says all religions have freedom in Sri Lanka as it is a democratic country. He also said that while protecting Buddhism in Sri Lanka Buddhists should set an example to others through their actions. “We should not help arm those waiting to raise false allegations against us. When the world is looking at us I believe we must set a good example in everything we do,” he said. The President said this at a ceremony held in Matara today. more..

'Pressure on SL to end on high'

Mar 30 (CI) Sri Lanka's new Twenty20 captain Dinesh Chandimal has admitted there is significant pressure on the hosts to finish the home series against Bangladesh on a high note, ahead of the one-off Twenty20 in Pallekele on Sunday. The hosts had been expected to win each series comprehensively, but could only draw the ODI series 1-1, and allowed Bangladesh to draw a Test against Sri Lanka, for the first time. more..

Controversy over laundry at Perahera Mawatha

Mar 30 (ST) The Urban Development Authority has drawn reference to a news item in the Sunday Times last week under the heading – “This land belongs to us say washer families facing eviction”. A letter from the UDA Chairman Nimal Perera said: We understand that it is impossible to reveal the actual situation of the washer community in such a small column in your article. However we regret to see that an outsider called R.Mahadevan who is neither a worker nor a person came forward to more..

Ban Wahhabism in Sri Lanka: Save Muslims and save Sri Lanka

Mar 30 (EAR) There comes a time when tough actions need to be taken in the interest of the country. Inaction leads to dire consequences – 30 years of LTTE terror is what happened. The similarities between what we went through and what is enfolding now gives sufficient reason for prompt action. Power and money were the curses that delayed then and are likely to be the key obstacles for present inaction. Previous Govts were not resolved enough to take action more..

UNP slams ‘lukewarm’ action on Pepiliyana incident

Mar 30 (AD) Condemning Thursday’s attack on clothing store in Pepiliyana by a violent mob, the UNP today said it’s dissatisfied with the manner in which the govt acts regarding such incident. The intervention of security forces to resolve the situation had been delayed and that a lukewarm approach was evident in the legal steps which had followed, charged UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. He claimed that the govt had more..

Govt not taking honest position on Sri Lankan issue: CPI

Mar 30 (PTI) CPI today accused the govt of not taking an honest position on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and asked it respond to the resolution adopted by the Tamil Nadu assembly. "The govt is not taking a forthright and honest position on the issue. The TN Chief Minister has been raising the matter through a series of letters to the Prime Minister, the state assembly has also unanimously adopted a resolution. But there is no response from the PMO," party National Secretary D Raja said. more..

CAA consumers not fleeced

Mar 30 (Island) With just a fortnight to go for the Sinhala and Hinsu New Year, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) will conduct surprise raids to ensure that traders do not resort to hoarding and jacking up prices of essentials. Trade Minister Johnston Fernando issued orders to the CAA to ensure that consumers are not fleeced. Ten raiding parties will be set up and they will check on even large warehouses to see whether they have any consumer items unfit for human consumption. more..

New posting for India’s envoy to Colombo

Mar 30 (CG) The Indian govt has cleared the decks to appoint Ashok K Kantha as a new secretary in the ministry of external affairs (MEA). Kantha is currently India’s high commissioner to Sri Lanka. He will be in-charge of East Asia. His name has been sent for approval to the appointments committee of the Union Cabinet that approves all secretary-level appointments in the govt. Kantha has also served as joint secretary heading the more..

Murali's statement, food for thought

Mar 31 (SO) The recent statement by the world's best bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan is indeed food for thought, not only for racist politicians in Tamil Nadu, but also for the international community. It sends a clear signal to India's central govt and others who show undue concern for Tamils in Sri Lanka. Some Western countries and certain key officials in international organisations invariably attempt to project a dismal picture on Sri Lanka, thereby undermining the country's more..

Editorial: Stop the humiliation

Mar 31 (SL) Geneva was a humiliation that must not be repeated. All responsible for the shame that was brought before the country must now devise an effective plan that will prove credible before such international forums. The issues facing the masses in Kilinochchi should prove a good start to this. And a lot remains undone in Kilinochchi. Granted, houses have been built, schools rehabilitated and livelihoods creation attempted. Normalcy is really not far off. But there is still the fear of the more..

'COPE Report in Parliament soon'

Mar 31 (SO) Chairman of the COPE, Minister D.E.W. Gunasekera said the report this time around has made fundamental recommendations to push institutions for transparency and financial accountability. He said the committee is working overtime to finalise the much-awaited report and to table it in Parliament by April end.“We have completed scrutinizing all 235 institutions. We are in the last lap and in the process of writing the more..

Editorial: A nation on the edge

Mar 31 (NS) The nation is on edge. There is a sense of foreboding. There are fears of a July 1983 repeat. Indeed, there are even those who are eagerly waiting for such an eventuality. And there is no shortage of people and organizations that feed these fears, knowingly or unknowingly contributing to tensions. In the aftermath of the violent incident in Pepiliyana, where a Muslim-owned business, Fashion Bug, was attacked by mobs, the Bodu Bala Sena categorically denied involvement and more..

Editorial: Termites and idiots

Mar 31 (Island) The national museum has been in the news during the past several months—of course, for the wrong reason. First, invaluable artifacts including an ancient sword and precious stones went missing mysteriously. It took the police months to recover them and a druggie was blamed for the theft. He has told us a tall story! The manner in which the artifacts were removed proved that the museum was not safe for the country’s archeological treasure. Today, we know it is not safe for more..

Champika calls for new Asian brotherhood

Mar 31 (SO) Clad in his immaculate white banian and cloth, Minister Champika Ranawaka made his debut in the JHU to rediscover a lost heritage. Fully convinced of his convictions, he would tear the arguments of his rivals in debate to shreds or debunk its myth. He said, “As a country, we should not be worried about the US sponsored resolution passed at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva recently. more..

Editorial: A Pan-Tamil axis in the making?

Mar 31 (ST) If it was the ousted Chief Minister of the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu last week, then it was the turn of the incumbent Chief Minister to kick the ‘Sri Lanka Tamil’ football this week. We will not see the end of this charade for many months, what with the Indian elections due in the next 12-14 months. For more than a year, we have urged the Sri Lankan Govt not to let Sri Lanka-Tamil Nadu ties plunge to the depths they have now. Alas, it has fallen on deaf ears. more..

Tamil Nadu enslaves the Center

Mar 31 (NS) In India, the tail is wagging the dog: Tamil Nadu is dictating New Delhi’s political strategies and our giant neighbor has got itself into all sorts of trouble while trying to prosecute Sri Lanka at the United Nations. For a second successive year, India supported a United States sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. This year though, its actions have been blatantly exposed as being politically motivated and dictated by domestic political concerns. more..

'Govt cannot win cold war against the country'

Mar 31 (SL) The Co-convener of the Anti Imperialist People’s Movement, K.D. Lalkantha says people should reject the resolution passed at the UNHRC at its 19th sessions, the report presented by the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the 22nd session of the Council, the resolution adopted at the 22nd session and the LLRC report. He added that their rejection does not mean that human rights are unimportant. more..

Central Govt bowls doosra, but Jayalalithaa bats for SL Tamils

Mar 31 (NS) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe celebrated his 64th birth day last Sunday. Meanwhile President Rajapaksa and his ministers were busy holding the Deyata Kirula development exhibition in Ampara. However, as usual, President was the first to wish him, while he was on his way to Galle with his wife Maithree. JVP leadership change powwow was pooh poohed by the Party. As expected by all, UPFA’s Colombo district MP who is receiving treatment at a private hospital more..

Looking beyond dollars, wickets and runs

Mar 31 (ST) My dear Sri Lankan cricketers, I thought I must write to you after hearing that you have been asked not to play in Chennai or anywhere else in Tamil Nadu by that state’s Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa in the upcoming IPL. The organisers of that tournament, I am told, instead of doing the right thing and cancelling the games that were to be played in Chennai, have decided that you should not play in Chennai at all. So far, I haven’t heard any of you say that you will pull out of the more..

Govt haunted by ghosts from the past

Mar 31 (SL) That the Rajapaksa govt is now on a fast descending precipice of its popularity is evident by the continuous issues faced by the administration. Hot on the heels of the adoption of a second consecutive resolution at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva against the Rajapaksa govt’s failures, the administration is now being haunted from ghosts from the past. The Matale mass grave that was dug in November last year and the more..

Preparing for Unilateral Sanctions

Mar 31 (Island) Since it would be impossible for the government to comply with the recommendations of the recent US sponsored UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka, this country will now have to prepare for sanctions in the not so distant future. International sanctions against Sri Lanka will need the concurrence of the UN Security Council and since China and Russia will never allow that to happen, the US and EU will have to settle for the second best—unilateral sanctions which more..

Brandix rewards workers for water projects

Mar 31 (ST) The Brandix group has pledged Rs 2.5 million for community water or sanitation projects as a reward for the unheralded community service of its employees in their individual capacities. Ten associates, as employees are referred to across the group, have been chosen for the work they have personally undertaken, of their own volition, to help people in need of water — the cause adopted by Brandix as its principal commitment to the community, the company said in a statement. more..

Today is Easter Sunday

Mar 31 (Island) Jesus’ rising to new life from the dead is pivotal and central to the life of Christians. The resurrection of Jesus is the foundation on which their faith is built. All that they believe and act upon should be due to their faith in the resurrection so much so that St. Paul said to the people of Corinth in Greece, ‘If Jesus has not risen from the dead then our preaching is without substance and so is your faith. more..

Colombo campus to get VC by New year

Mar 31 (NS) The appointment of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo will be made before April 12. UGC Chairperson, Professor Kshanika Hirimburegama said that a special admission process was adopted in the appointment of the Vice Chancellor. The appointment was delayed mainly due to the controversy surrounding the applicants and nominees. Accordingly, three members of the University Council, Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa and more..

‘Swim or sink’ – the Lankan young bunch at the deep end

Mar 31 (ST) New players ensemble, including the T20 captain Dinesh Chandimal, have been thrown into the deep end as Sri Lanka take on Bangladesh in their one off T-20 international at Pallekele this afternoon. World’s number one team in T20 international cricket, Sri Lanka, is in a must win situation, against Bangladesh, to keep their top spot in the ICC rankings. The million dollar question is whether Dinesh Chandimal and his crew will be able to maintain the standards of more..

State terrorists carrying Lion Flags launch stone attack on TNA meeting in Kilinochchi

Mar 31 (DBS) Sri Lanka’s national flag was disgraced and disrespected in the Northern town of Kilinochchi on Saturday when a motley crew of “State Terrorists” launched a stone attack on the TNA office premises while a political discussion was in progress. The assortment of state sponsored, inebriated rowdies shouting abusive slogans and throwing stones was also carrying the sword bearing Lion flag with two stripes as it engaged in more..

Nedumaran demands Khurshid’s resignation

Mar 31 (Hindu) Tamil Nationalist Movement leader Pazha Nedumaran has demanded the resignation of Minister Salman Khurshid for having rejected the TN Assembly’s demand to move a resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC) against Sri Lanka, including a referendum on the creation of a separate Tamil Eelam. He condemned the Union minister for stating that a resolution could not be moved in the UNSC at the instance of just one State Assembly in the country. more..

National grid to lose 300MW

Mar 31 (CT) The national power grid is in the danger of losing 300MW of power, due to the CPC refusing to supply fuel to the Keravalapitiya Power Plant, unless some of its debts are paid, Chairman of the CEB, W.B. Ganegala, said. He explained the CPC has already stopped supplying fuel to the plant, in the wake of an ultimatum presented to the CEB, where the CPC has demanded that a minimum of Rs 21 billion of the Rs 74 billion in total debts owed to it be immediately settled, before further more..

'Decision has robbed the IPL of its sheen'

Mar 31 (TOI) His wife Madhi is a Chennai girl, and the city is like a second home for him. And this makes the world's greatest off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan all the more disappointed that Sri Lankan players won't be allowed to play in the city during IPL 6. Murali, who plays for Bangalore in the IPL, talks to Boria Majumdar about what this decision means for the players and India-Sri Lanka cricketing ties in the long term. more..

Flogging the ‘Tamil Eelam’ issue

Mar 31 (DH) Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s celebration of the ‘Argumentative Indian’ as enriching India’s ‘unity in diversity’, went for a tumble in Tamil Nadu as its political leaders joust with one another to touch new ‘peaks of loquaciousness’ in demanding action against Sri Lanka for alleged war crimes against Tamils. The high-decibel belligerence by Tamil Nadu’s political class swung up since UK’s ‘Channel 4’ put out pictures of 12-year-old Balachandran, son of LTTE chief, more..

Private bus operators threaten strike

Mar 31 (SL) The private bus operators are planning to take strict action if the 7% bus fare hike is not approved tomorrow. The Secretary of the All Island Private Bus Companies Federation, Anjana Priyanjith said with the increase in diesel prices, the increase of bus fares should be around 7%. “The govt does not seem like they are going to grant us the bus fare hike as promised. When we discussed the matter with the minister of private transport C.B. Ratnayake and the Ministry more..

SriLankan flight hit: Ice or birds?

Mar 31 (ST) A SriLankan Airlines aircraft has been damaged when it ran into a “burst of hail” while descending into Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake, official records show. The incident, which occurred on Monday, left a crack in the aircraft’s windshield. The Airbus 330 was flying from the Maldivian capital of Male to Katunayake via Mattala Rajakapsa International Airport with passengers on board. more..

Dinesh Chandimal rejects IPL offer

Mar 31 (TI) While SLC has said that it is powerless to stop the players from participating in the IPL, Dinesh Chandimal, the country’s T20 captain, has rejected offers to play in the sixth edition of the tournament. Chandimal was not among the 13 Lankan players originally contracted to play in IPL-VI. But, according to SLC sources, Chandimal has rejected offers from the Pune Warriors India to fill in the void of the injured Michael Clarke and from Delhi DareDevils to replace injured Pietersen, more..

JVP to launch massive public agitation

Mar 31 (CT) Opposition political parties are planning a massive agitation against imminent electricity, railway and bus fare hikes next week, only a week before the dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Propaganda Secretary of the JVP, MP Vijitha Herath, said, the people are finding it increasingly difficult to bear the economic burden, which is becoming heavier by the day. "Prices of essential items have skyrocketed and the cost of living has gone up in a big way," he said. more..

India and China fight it out to rebuild Sri Lanka's economy

Mar 31 (DM) How do you recognise a Chinese construction site in Sri Lanka?" our driver Arjuna N asks as the Lanka's emerald landscape blurs past. "Easy," he laughs, "you won't find a dog anywhere near it." The 341kms highway our sedan coasts on at nearly 100 kmph, was rebuilt by Chinese construction firms in 2010. Chinese workers may have amused locals with their culinary preferences but are quietly transforming the more..

Bangladesh fancy chances against experimental Sri Lanka

Mar 31 (CI) Whatever happens on Sunday night, Sri Lanka will look back on this tour and feel it has not gone as they would have liked. Bangladesh had never taken a Test to the fifth day in Sri Lanka, but they bettered even that achievement by keeping the hosts to a draw. Sri Lanka were made to fight hard in the second Test, and though they triumphed handsomely there in the end, they were embarrassed in the ODI series, when Bangladesh stormed home in Pallekele. more..