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Editorial: Karunanidhi’s conniption

Mar 20 (Island) The DMK has pulled out of the ruling UPA in a bid to coerce India into voting against Sri Lanka in Geneva. But, the Congress claims that the govt remains stable in spite of the DMK’s withdrawal and Karunanidhi says he is willing to return to the UPA’s fold if the govt gives in to his party’s demand without watering down or tweaking the US resolution on Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu politicians’ anti-Sri Lankan frenzy has found expression in violence. The past few weeks have seen a series of organised more..

Harsha hammers economic policies

Mar 20 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva guarantees the present regime will be changed by the people before too long. “The UNP will soon form the next govt. It is not going to take long as we thought.” De Silva further states that Rajapaksa regime that failed to deliver its economic promises is now trying to find scapegoats to put the blame on. “Policies are not made by the Treasury Secretary. Policies are made by the President and his more..

The bitter fruits of our own only

Mar 20 (CT) As family members of a murdered ruling party politician travelled to Geneva this week to lay their case for denial of justice before the UNHRC, the ironies are palpable, almost painful. Are we to see in coming months, an unfairly impeached Chief Justice, persecuted Cabinet Ministers and scores of once loyal supporters of this administration following in their wake? These are questions that demand reflectively serious answers. True enough, the hysterical cries of more..

The collapse of institutions

Mar 20 (CT) Some weeks ago the post of Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo was advertised. The advertisement was impressive. It outlined the very high standards of excellence that prospective candidates should satisfy. Applicants were being considered for the post of chief academic and administrative officer of what is expected to be an autonomous and non-political institution, entrusted with responsibility for achieving excellence in university education and research. more..

සංවිධිත: ගාල්ල කතිකාව (දෙවන කොටස)

Six former ambassadors under one roof to discuss Sri Lanka’s foreign policy issues

Mar 20 (DBS) Six distinguished former Ambassadors will be converging under one roof on Wednesday March 20th to discuss various issues concerning Sri Lanka’s forign Policy. The event will held at 6 pm at the CPA auditorium in Colombo is the fifth in the series of discussions organized by the Liberal Party on Ideas for Constitutional Reform. The event programme is as follows: Presentations by two former Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives to the UN in Geneva on how foreign policy more..

Arsenic as the cause of CKDu –II

Mar 20 (Island) When the Kelaniya group announced to the media that Arsenic is the main cause of Chronic Kidney Disease, unidentified etiology (CKDu) all hell broke loose and those who had come out with various other causes began to attack the group. There were many accusations as it was not scientific to get ideas from gods and the group should have published in so-called peer reviewed journals before divulging the ‘findings by the gods’ to the media. Of course these more..

Marcus slams apparel boss for wanting to import labour

Mar 20 (Island) The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) Secretary Anton Marcus completely dismissed the claim made by the Chairman of the Apparel Exporters’ Association (AEA) Anis Sattar, that a request was to be made to the govt to permit the recruitment of foreign workers to fill the 10% worker shortage in the sector. Sattar, at the annual general meeting of the AEA, a member of the more..

Hemas buys land for Rs. 250 m for next hospital in Ratmalana

Mar 20 (FT) As part of its expansion to provide world class but affordable healthcare, Hemas Hospitals has invested Rs. 250 million in buying land for a facility at Ratmalana whilst its third at Thalawathugoda is slated for opening in May. Hemas Hospitals Chairman Murtaza Esufally said that having already spent over Rs. 4 billion on the three hospitals, an acre of land has been brought for Rs. 250 million near Ratmalana. While the management is still in the process of more..

US will not table resolution without consulting India - Rajitha

Mar 20 (DN) Whatever may, or may not happen as far as the US resolution to be brought against Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva, the US will not table the final draft of the resolution without consulting India, Minister Rajitha Senaratna said. Asked if the govt was expecting the Indian govt’s influence on the US resolution to be in favour of Sri Lanka, he said, ‘Whatever India’s stand will be, it is going to reflect India’s opposition to the LTTE and those those trying to revive more..

Optimism for Mathews as SL are reborn

Mar 20 (CI) At the end of Sri Lanka's debut Test, "The baby," David Frith wrote, "had been delivered without complications." Sri Lanka have now won 66 Tests since that day, but on this tour, they are being reborn. A flood of new personnel are either in, or on the cusp of the team, a pair of young batsmen have taken up the leadership, and the Murali-era, during which Sri Lanka reaped so much of their success, is a distant memory. more..

Manilal under pressure to quit Holcim

Mar 20 (ST) Under-fire Holcim Sri Lanka Chairman Manilal Fernando is under pressure to resign from the company over alleged irregular happenings after a probe by the Swiss-based parent company, company sources said. “He hasn’t come to work for several weeks and doesn’t operate (in the office) as the chairman anymore. The parent company is discussing a compensation/resignation package with Mr. Fernando,” said one company source. Calls to Mr. Fernando’s mobile for comment, more..

Golf: Sri Lanka's Perera sticks with the old

Mar 20 (NST) Newcomer Mithun Perera is resting his hopes at this week's Maybank Malaysian Open on a collection of old golf clubs as the Sri Lankan seeks to better his famous father's feats in the championship. The slightly built Mithun, the first Sri Lankan to hold a full card on the Asian Tour, is a rare breed as he has resisted the lure of new equipment technology in the game, opting instead for fairway woods and a putter which is some 12 years old or more. more..

Brothel exclusively for foreigners raided

Mar 20 (DM) A brothel operating under the guise of a hotel in Marawila catering exclusively for foreigners was raided by the Walana Anti Vice squad, police sources said. The hotel situated in Marawila is said to be owned by a German national and is a locally registered company. The squad had used a decoy who had pretended to be a soldier from a UN peacekeeping mission and booked a room at the hotel. more..

Three of Duminda’s bodyguards allowed bail

Mar 20 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Lalith Jayasuriya yesterday granted bail to three bodyguards of UPFA MP Duminda Silva, currently in remand custody. The three persons given bail were Anuara Thushara de Mel, a police constable of the Ministerial Security Division, and two of Duminda Silva’s private body guards, namely, Sarath Bandara Dissnayake and W. Amila. The quantum of bail was set at Rs. 50,000 in cash for each and two sureties of Rs. 5 lakhs each. more..

'Women given due place under this govt'

Mar 20 (DN) President Rajapaksa is the only leader who granted the opportunity for women to get involved in politics without taking religion and race into consideration, SLFP Women's Association Head, SLFP Deputy Secretary and Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. The SLFP is the only political party which has given a prominent place to female representatives. The contribution by the SLFP to strengthen women on the political stage should be appreciated, more..

Hirunika arrested and released on bail

Mar 20 (DM) Hirunika Premachandra and three others were taken into custody this evening and released on police bail by the Borella police for allegedly assaulting and threatening a businessman last Thursday after entering his shop in Kinsey Road. Police said they arrested her last evening after considering all the evidence. Police say she and five others had gone to the businessman’s graphics shop and got into an argument with more..

Lanka ghost returns to haunt Delhi

Mar 20 (TI) For over a decade, Sri Lanka's Tamil "problem" has dogged India's coalition politics and brought down governments at the Centre. In each instance, the DMK was the catalyst that precipitated the fall. But the DMK's dominance in Tamil Nadu politics has ensured that it remains a kingmaker at the Centre. Which is why, despite the Congress's brouhaha over an inquiry commission's adverse remarks on the party in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, Sonia Gandhi sought it out as more..

Karunanidhi is covering up his betrayal of Tamils: Jayalalithaa

Mar 20 (Hindu) AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa accused her rival and DMK president M. Karunanidhi of seeking to deceive the people of the State and cover up “his role that caused untold misery to Sri Lankan Tamils”. Reacting to Mr. Karunanidhi’s announcement of withdrawal of support to the Congress-led UPA govt, Ms. Jayalalithaa listed instances of, what she called, betrayal of the Sri Lankan Tamils by Mr. Karunanidhi and said his decision came after more..

OIC expresses concern over Sri Lanka’s ethnic tensions

Mar 20 (AN) The Jeddah-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the parent body of 57 member countries, has expressed its concerns over the escalating ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, which has affected the island’s Muslim community and its businesses sector. The OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. more..

Jolted, Congress ups rhetoric on Sri Lankan Tamils

Mar 20 (Hindu) Not anticipating that the DMK MPs would hand over a formal letter of withdrawal from the govt as early as Tuesday night to President Pranab Mukherjee, the Congress managers had worked all evening to draft a resolution on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils, to be moved in Parliament, in a bid to dissuade the southern party from quitting the govt. Taken by surprise, senior Congress leaders gathered shortly after at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence to review the situation: more..

India will have to balance human rights with strategic and political compulsions

Mar 20 (TOI) Last week, Indian TV channels claimed the world premiere of the Callum Macrae film No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka, depicting the last 138 days of the war that ended on May 19, 2009. But the horrific images were first shown on March 1 this year in Geneva on the sidelines of the UNHRC meeting. That is fitting given that the UNHRC will, on Mar 22, vote on a US-sponsored resolution which includes allegations of war excesses committed by the Sri Lankan Army more..

Solidarity Sri Lanka’s Tamils can do without

Mar 20 (Hindu) If the pressure being brought to bear by the DMK and other Tamil political parties and groups on the UPA govt to take a strong stand against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC is aimed at helping the Tamil minority in that country, it is unlikely to achieve that objective. In fact, it is quite likely to have the opposite effect of painting Sri Lankan Tamils as a fifth column for Tamil nationalist or Eelamist designs emanating from more..

Burning, storming, blockading, fasting

Mar 20 (Hindu) Protests against the Sri Lankan govt’s human rights record heated up in the city on Tuesday, with road and rail rokos, demonstrations and fasts taking place across several locations. While a few train services were briefly disrupted and traffic had to wend its way through marches, the agitations were mostly peaceful. Over 40 members of the Tamil Nadu Youth Front staged a protest by burning copies of the US resolution on Sri Lanka as well as the Indian govt’s recent statement on more..

House sittings suspended for 10 minutes

Mar 20 (Island) Parliament sittings were suspended for ten minutes after the Opposition MPs protested when UPFA MP A. H. M. Azwer took the Chair during the debate on four financial bills taken for second reading yesterday. Azwer had to suspend the sittings and leave the Chair as the MPs shouted against him taking the chair and pointed out that the MP had been prohibited by the Speaker from presiding over sittings. MP Azwer took the Chair when UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake more..

Athletics claims fourth teen in two months

Mar 20 (Island) A 16-year-old youth collapsed and died while participating in a 5,000-metre race, organized by the Youth Front, in Kuliyapitiya yesterday. This was the fourth death of a youth in running events within a period of two months and the first male victim below 20 years. The youth, was not a student though he was 16-years-old. He was identified as Lakshitha Madushan, a resident of Wadumunegedara. more..

Monk’s attackers held

Mar 20 (Hindu) The Government Railway Police (GRP) have arrested the three men who attacked a Buddhist monk at Chennai Central railway station on Monday. W.M.K. Bhandara (33) was attacked by the men on board the Tamil Nadu Express, just as it arrived at the station. On checking CCTV footage, the GRP found that one of the attackers, was wearing a cap and sporting a beard. “He was identified as Periyar Anban alias Meesha Srinivasan of the Naam Tamizhar Tamil outfit. more..

DMK says Sonia’s speech is “too late”

Mar 20 (Hindu) As efforts went on through the day to see whether a resolution on the issue could be passed in Parliament to appease the DMK, and the Congress Core Group took stock of the situation, ministerial sources said that with or without the party’s 18 MPs, the govt was stable: the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party both affirmed their continued support to the govt on Tuesday, they said. Union finance minister P Chidambaram told journalists, “The govt is stable and enjoys more..

Debate on Khuram Shiakh murder

Mar 20 (CT) When sittings commence in Westminster Hall, UK, tomorrow, a debate on the killing of UK national, Khuram Shaikh, in Tangalle, will take place, UK MP Simon Danczuk, said. When the debate titled, Simon Danczuk: Justice in Sri Lanka, begins, the MP will raise concerns with a Foreign Office Minister on how slowly the wheels of justice are moving in the case pertaining to the killing of Khuram Shaikh. more..

'GoSL won’t accept new US resolution'

Mar 20 (Island) In spite of the US watering down its second resolution targeting Sri Lanka in a bid to reach an agreement on the proposal, the govt yesterday reiterated its decision to call for a vote at the UNHRC sessions tomorrow. In letters addressed to Foreign Ministers of HRC member countries, Minister G. L. Peiris has said, "the Govt of Sri Lanka believes that drawing disproportionate attention to Sri Lanka’s situation and introducing resolution that seeks to discredit, single out the country and more..

Revised US draft a triumph for Indian diplomacy

Mar 20 (TOI) As the US softened its resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, it has made it easier for India to support it. However, it would neither satisfy UPA's ally DMK, nor Sri Lanka. But it takes care of most of New Delhi's concerns and officials say; it is something India will be able to "live with". The final draft, released by the US on Tuesday, will be up for a vote on Friday. Sri Lanka rejected the reworked draft. Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India, more..

Has U.S. watered down Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution?

Mar 20 (Hindu) At the eleventh hour before a crucial UNHRC resolution calling on Sri Lanka to improve the post-war welfare of ethnic Tamils on the island, the U.S. appears to have watered down the text of that resolution. Washington’s revised draft copy of the resolution, which was freely circulating on the Internet, in particular hinted at at least one major change from an earlier version: an entire paragraph calling for 'unfettered access' more..

Editorial: Anti-Buddhist India

Mar 20 (DM) Nehru certainly was fortunate that he did live to see the tragedy –how Buddhists, especially Buddhist monks, were hounded and beaten up by his compatriots during the reign of his own kith and kin – the Gandhis, while the family maintained stony silence. And this family also includes his charismatic great grand-daughter Priyanka who holds a masters’ degree in Buddhist philosophy. The DMK pull out, notwithstanding the silence by the Congress-led United UPA, more..

External interference

Mar 20 (DM) The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is a UN Agency that works to promote and protect the human rights that are guaranteed under international law and stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. The office was established by the UN General Assembly on 20 December 1993 in the wake of the 1993 World Conference on Human Rights. The office is headed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who more..

Buddhangala bulldozed for Deyata Kirula

Mar 20 (SL) The Departments of Wildlife Conservation and Forests are accused of following an ignorant attitude when part of their lands in the Ampara District is being bulldozed for the Deyata Kirula exhibition. More than 10 acres in the Buddhangala sanctuary and over four acres of forest lands situated opposite the sanctuary have already been bulldozed to use as a vehicle park for the exhibition. more..

Do you know what’s in that bottled water?

Mar 20 (ST) Whether at a five-star restaurant in Colombo, at a neighbourhood kade or even backpacking though the countryside, locals and tourists alike rely on bottled water. However, Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) warn that they may not be as safe as you think. Last week, PHIs in the Eastern and North Eastern Provinces seized some 4,000 to 5,000 bottled water items carrying expired or falsified Ministry of Health more..

Stunning bid mistakes bewilder SLC

Mar 20 (DM) Nimbus and their subsidiary Neo TV have submitted the highest bids for the TV rights of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for the next seven years, but there are serious anomalies in the bids submitted by the controversial company which has a history of an acrimonious relationship with SLC. Nimbus has submitted the highest offer, worth over 53.5 million US dollars while Neo has submitted a bid worth over 52.5 million US Dollars more..

Sri Lanka media guards top salary secret

Mar 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's media, including banned-but-popular news websites, have evidently avoided reporting on the "princely wages" they have just been awarded by a govt keen to win over their support. The Wages Board for the Journalists Trade determined last week that an editor of a daily newspaper should be paid a minimum 22,730/= rupees, three times the amount of money a family needs for a month. more..

'Govt. temporary loans from CB, not paid back on time'

Mar 20 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva told parliament that the Central Bank and Treasury were in breach of Section 89 of the Monetary Law Act of 1949 with large sums of money loaned to the state not returned to the monetary authority within six months as stipulated by this law, echoing that age old warning that unbridled money printing puts the entire economy at risk. The Treasury is allowed to borrow up to 10% of its more..

Mahanayake Theras condemn attacks on Sri Lankans’ visiting TN

Mar 20 (DN) The Malwatu-Asigiri Maha Nayaka Thera’s yesterday condemned the recent attacks on Sri Lankans’ visiting Tamil Nadu and conveyed their protest in writing to the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka. The Mahanayaka Thera’s warned that the long standing friendly ties between India and Sri Lanka will be at risk if the Indian govt did not take adequate steps to stop such intimidation. Commenting on the efforts to more..