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Editorial : Children killed by races

Mar 21 (Island) Another child has died in a cross-country competition, as we reported yesterday. The same fate has befallen two other children during the past few months. We thought the previous incidents would jolt the authorities concerned and the organisers of such gruelling tests of stamina and endurance into taking precautions such as subjecting runners to thorough medical tests. But, nothing of the sort has happened and children are being exposed to unnecessary risks. more..

Fourth Exporters’ Forum clears $106K in VAT refunds

Mar 21 (Island) In a significant development to the Exports sector, the Exporters’ Forum (EF) –the Ministerial level Forum that solves exporters’ issues on the spot- has promptly moved with the Inland Revenue Department on VAT refunds of several exporters. Also, $ 822135 of pending EDRS payments to other exporters have now come under the consideration of Sri Lanka’s international trade arm-the Department of Commerce. These important developments are reported at the successful more..

Boston Lanka: March 21, 2013

Geneva and the anti - Muslim campaign

Mar 21 (DBS) Sri Lanka continues to be under international scrutiny for its lack of progress on human rights and reconciliation. The absence of any progress on implementing the excellent recommendations of the LLRC has meant that the international community to whom undertakings of post war reconciliation was promised, seeks to hold the government to its word. The UNHRC resolution is on Sri Lanka. It is not against Sri Lanka. It fell on IGP N.K. Illangakoon, at a recent more..

'Innocent masses protected SLFP'

Mar 21 (DN) The SLFP was always protected by the innocent and poor masses, Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He was speaking at the sixth anniversary of the Sri Lanka Independent Health Employees' Association in Colombo on Tuesday. Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana and Deputy Health Minister Lalith Dissanayaka also participated. “Around 104 Trade Unions registered at the Labour Commissioners Department are from the Health Department. more..

Amid tensions, SL students fear backlash

Mar 21 (HT) Devika Krishnan keeps a dual identity these days. To friends on her Coimbatore college campus, she’s Sri Lankan. But to the people she meets on the streets, who raise eyebrows at her distinct accent, the engineering student born and raised in Colombo adds a word to her introduction. “I tell them I’m a Sri Lankan Tamil,” she said. “It’s sad, but right now I feel safer that way.” In Chennai, almost 500 km away, Sinhala student more..

CSE steps up investor educational programs

Mar 21 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) is stepping up its drive to educate existing and new investors via a countrywide awareness program. Titled ‘Insight for Investing,’ the initiative is set to attract a wide and broad group of potential and existing investors, giving them a comprehensive understanding about investing in the Stock market. This will enhance the knowledge of the general public in relation to investing and prove that anyone can successfully invest in the share market. more..

People do not share Govt’s views on economic growth -Sajith

Mar 21 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa told Parliament that though the govt boasts of an eight per cent growth rate in the economy, the people do not share the same view, as they do not feel or see the dividends of such growth. Participating in the debate on the Customs (Amendment) Bill, the MP dismissed the govt’s brag of maintaining such a growth rate for years and pointed out that the per capita debt that stood at Rs 129,873 in 2006 has risen to Rs 291,420 at the end of 2012. more..

TN attacks on Sri Lankans: GTF defends its role, condemns attackers

Mar 21 (Island) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF) condemned a spate of attacks on Sri Lankan pilgrims, particularly the Buddhist clergy in Tamil Nadu. UK based GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran said that violent acts of a few should not be allowed to overshadow, what he called, genuine and sincere protests and peaceful demonstrations, held all over Tamil Nadu, calling for an international independent investigation into alleged war more..

Japan assists livelihood projects in A’pura, Matara

Mar 21 (Island) The Govt of Japan yesterday extended a sum of US$ 203,067 grant aid for two projects to improve livelihoods of the communities in the Anuradhapura, and Matara districts under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The Grant Contracts were signed by Nobuhito Hobo, Ambassador of Japan, N. K. Mudalige, Chairperson of Soba Kantha Environment Management and Community Development Foundation and A. Wijesundara, more..

Stop Sri Lankans from playing in Chennai IPL: students’ forum

Mar 21 (Hindu) A students’ organisation spearheading ongoing protests against Sri Lanka on Wednesday warned that it would go to any extent to stop Sri Lankan cricketers from playing in IPL matches in Chennai. Urging the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to prevent Sri Lankan players from participating in the IPL matches here, the ‘Students’ Federation for Free Eelam’ coordinator V. Prabhakaran said students would disrupt the match if Sri Lankan nationals were allowed to play. more..

Why India needs to vote for U.N. resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (Hindu) With a vote due soon on a U.S.-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC, the Indian govt has a chance to strongly encourage sustainable peace and political reform in Sri Lanka. Policy-makers in Delhi are clearly disturbed by the Sri Lankan govt’s backsliding on promises of devolution of power to Tamil-speaking areas, its politically motivated impeachment of the Chief Justice there and its refusal to comply with more..

Youth involved in crime due to parental negligence - AG

Mar 21 (Island) Attorney General Palitha Fernando, President’s Counsel participated in the 48" Annual General Meeting of Hendala Susitha Wadana Samithiya (SWS) as the Chief Guest. The Attorney General in his speech said that Crime had increased in the country and theyouth were involved in those crimes, mainly due to illiteracy. Parents must give their children a good education and it is the responsibility of both parents and teachers to keep children under their supervision, more..

'Sri Lankans get assaulted in Tamil Nadu due to irresponsible rule of Rajapaksa govt'

Mar 21 (LT) Incidents like assaulting and harassing Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu take place and escalate due to neglect of its national and international obligations by Rajapaksa govt says JVP MP Vijitha Herath. Mr. Herath says the govt should immediately mediate to halt harassing of Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu by urging Indian govt to have a permanent programme to protect Sri Lankans in India. He says mere diplomatic powwows would not bring about a permanent solution for the issue. more..

Two knowledge parks coming up

Mar 21 (FT) Sri Lanka is likely to get two knowledge parks in the future – one in the old Tripoli Market in Maradana and another in Hambantota, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. Speaking at the SLASSCOM CXO briefing, Rajapaksa noted that the one in Tripoli Market would be set up in response to an industry request and the one in Hambantota was part of a larger plan under the Hambantota more..

'Rs 100 note below standards'

Mar 21 (CT) The UNP claimed the Rs 100 currency notes printed by a firm in Latin America to be substandard, and demanded details of the transaction. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake, said the transaction had been allegedly done through an agent in England and queried as to who gained a commission from it. He said the responsibility of printing currency notes lies with the Central Bank and therefore, the CB should give an answer as to why some of the Rs 100 notes are of low more..

LPBOA resists colour-coding

Mar 21 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) threatened to launch an island-wide bus strike yesterday, unless the govt withdraws the request to paint the buses in blue, before the dawn of 2014. President of the LPBOA, Gemunu Wijeratne, said, if Minister Kumara Welgama insists on the buses being painted in blue, the govt must provide the bus owners with the necessary funds. "The Ministry has informed us that all the private buses should be painted blue more..

China-Sri Lanka space cooperation worries India

Mar 21 (Hindu) Concern is growing in Indian security establishments over increasing Chinese footprints in Sri Lanka’s strategic sectors. The National Security Council Secretariat has called an inter-ministerial consultation next week to decide on “possible approaches” to protect “Indian interests” in its neighbourhood. The latest to cause alarm are reports of Chinese-Sri Lankan collaboration in the area of space. more..

Govt. should talk to India, halt attacks on Lankans - UNP

Mar 21 (Island) The UNP on Tuesday called on the govt to talk with India and ensure that attacks on Sri Lankans, especially in Chennai, be halted. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the negative approach of the Rajapaksa regime to national issues had led to Sri Lankans being attacked and humiliated on foreign soil. While condemning the assault of a Buddhist Monk from Kandy at the Chennai railway station on Monday, he said that urgent measures were required to more..

'Parliament resolution will hurt Sri Lanka'

Mar 21 (ET) Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka's high commissioner in India, is at the centre of the island nation's diplomatic efforts as India prepares to vote on a US-sponsored resolution on war crimes and human rights violations against the govt of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. In an interview with Sruthijith KK, the high commissioner said his government views a resolution by the Indian Parliament naming Sri Lanka as unnecessary. He spoke on telephone from Mumbai. more..

Sri Lanka faces double whammy!

Mar 21 (FT) Sri Lanka will feature prominently in an extraordinary meeting of a powerful grouping of Commonwealth nations with the muscle to suspend and expel member states, following a vote on a US backed resolution against Colombo that will be taken at the UNHRC’s 22nd Session today. The Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) will hold an extraordinary meeting via teleconference this evening, more..

India plans ‘resolute’ message on Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (TOI) India is scheduled to move two amendments to the US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. India's envoy to the UN, Dilip Sinha, who was here until Wednesday night, returned to Geneva with instructions to move the two amendments to the resolution. While this is clearly a political move, it comes after a revised draft that watered down the initial resolution following a lot of persuasion by New Delhi. Now, India will be officially moving amendments to seemingly toughen more..

Anti-Sri Lanka stir peaks across TN towns

Mar 21 (Hindu) Students, lawyers, political activists and even the public took to the streets across major cities and towns in Tamil Nadu, as protests against Sri Lanka peaked on Wednesday, just a day or so ahead of a vote in the ongoing UNHRC meeting in Geneva. Students of at least 50 arts and science colleges joined the protest, as hundreds went on processions in Madurai and Tiruchi, among other places, demanding not merely an international probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka, more..

Indian govt promises 'strong' Sri Lanka resolution

Mar 21 (HT) The govt denied that it had diluted the US-sponsored resolution denouncing Sri Lanka over rights abuses at the UNHRC in Geneva and promised to push for a "strong" resolution. "India's position has always been and should adopt a strong resolution that would send a resolute message to Sri Lanka and goad Sri Lanka to accept an independent and credible investigation," minister P Chidambaram. "This is a canard. more..

Karunanidhi hits back at Jayalalithaa for her 'drama' remarks

Mar 21 (PTI) Joining issue with his arch rival and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa for dubbing his party's pulling out of UPA coalition as a "drama," DMK chief M Karunanidhi today said it was the AIADMK supremo who had made "contradictory" remarks on the matter. In a letter to party workers a day after announcing withdrawal of support to the Congress-led coalition, Karunanidhi also responded to Jayalalithaa's criticism of his "three-hour fast" on April 4, 2009, demanding ceasefire more..

No consensus on House resolution on SL

Mar 21 (Hindu) The all-party meeting called by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Wednesday evening to seek a consensus on the government’s draft resolution on Sri Lankan Tamils failed: if the text did not go far enough for the DMK and the AIADMK, the BJP, the Samajwadi Party and the Janata Dal-United all said they were opposed to a country-specific resolution. The BJP had pointed out earlier that if India had objected to the resolution passed on the Afzal Guru issue, more..

Developing countries behind Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (CG) Developing countries expressed their confidence for the efforts made by Sri Lanka towards achieving national reconciliation and commended its level of cooperation with the UN, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva said in a statement. The statement said that the developing countries clearly highlighted that the report (A/HRC/22/38) tabled today at the UNHRC under the agenda item 2 by the Office of more..

Editorial: Is Mattala airport a commercially viable project?

Mar 21 (DM) Sri Lankans on Monday witnessed the opening of the country’s second international airport in Mattala, a location over 200 Kms from Colombo. The airport was built at a cost of US $ 209 million, a sum obtained from China as a loan. The dialogue about a second international airport had been there in the country even before the Rajapaksa govt came to power, quite similar to a port in Hambantota. So what President Rajapaksa and his govt have done is the execution of the plans, more..

Women and empowerment: The Sri Lanka experience

Mar 21 (DM) In recent years empowerment of women has been recognised as the central issue in determining the progress and status of women. Within the framework of a democratic polity, laws, development policies, national plans and programmes in the last two decades, both the State and women have continuously aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. The approach has been both positive and negative. The 1978 Constitution (certified Aug 31) expresses more..

People face blackout blow for the new year

Mar 21 (DM) The festival season is already looking bleak as the people are now dreading a tariff increase on electricity. The request made by the CEB to increase the electricity rates, from the Public Utilities Commission has sent shock waves among those who were already struggling to make ends meet. It seems that the govt will put the people from the frying pan into the fire as price hikes of key products and services are announced one more..

White house on beachrock above the law

Mar 21 (ST) Residence reportedly belonging to Presidential physician and spiritual healer Eliyantha White raises questions. Under the Coast Conservation (Amendment) Act No. 64 of 1988, all construction along the coast must be built 45 metres away from the vegetation line. No building is allowed on the beach. Regardless, in scenic Ahungalla about 200 metres from the Heritance Hotel, is a modern-looking house right on the beach. more..

Tax amendments laid bare the development myth

Mar 21 (SL) The dictator in Charley Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’ enjoys whirling a globe on his palm and attempting to do it with other parts of his body. This is how Chaplin portrays his dictator. His intention is to manipulate the world according to his wishes. What Chaplin attempted to depict was Hitler’s insanity of rolling the world on his palm. The intentions of other dictators are similar. Instead of the whole world these petty dictators more..

Sri Lanka mass transit system for Colombo studied by Japan

Mar 21 (LBO) Japan's aid agency is preparing a transport master plan for Sri Lanka's capital and its environs leading to the building of a mass transit system which it could finance, officials said. Tetsuji Iida, senior representative of the Japan International Co-operation Agency told LBO that the transport master plan could come up with various recommendations including bus lanes, a Metro system or a combination. more..

'13 state ventures not answerable to AG'

Mar 21 (Island) Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama told Parliament that there were 13 State institutions which did not come under the scope of auditing by the Auditor General’s Department. They are: Mihin Lanka, Naval and Aviation Information and Research, Polipto Lanka, Sri Lanka Thriposha, Rakna Securities, Lanka Logistics and Technologies, Sri Lanka Savings Bank, Lankaputhra Development Bank, more..

NCPA to protect children from foreign sex offenders

Mar 21 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) yesterday said they would take measures to protect children from foreign sex offenders visiting the country. NCPA Chairman, Anoma Dissanayake said that the increasing number of tourists visiting the country had led the NCPA to take the necessary precautionary measures to protect the country’s children. Dissanayake said that number of visitors to more..

Burt says UK concerns on Lanka no secret

Mar 21 (CG) British Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Alistair Burt says the concerns of his govt on Sri Lanka’s human rights issue is no secret. Speaking at the House of Commons yesterday Burt said that the UK has a number of concerns about progress in Sri Lanka. He said this in response to a statement made by British MP Simon Danczuk who had visited Sri Lanka recently to seek justice more..

Sri Lankans protest against U.S. resolution

Mar 21 (Xinhua) A demonstration was held outside the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka on Thursday against the U.S. sponsored resolution scheduled to be discussed at the UNHRC in Geneva. The demonstrators raised objections to the resolution and demanded that the U.S. govt stay out of Sri Lankan affairs. The United States this week tabled the final version of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the 22nd session of the UNHRC more..

Jayalalithaa urged govt to take stern action against against Sri Lankan Navy

Mar 21 (ENS) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has reiterated her demand to the Prime Minister for immediate diplomatic measures to put an end to repeated Sri Lankan attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu. In a strongly-worded letter to Manmohan Singh, written in the backdrop of two brutal attacks on fishermen from Tamil Nadu in as many days, Jayalalithaa reminded the PM that TN’s fishermen were Indian citizens too. more..

UN votes on Sri Lanka resolution today, India likely to move amendments

Mar 21 (IE) The UNHCR in Geneva will vote on Thursday on a resolution to press the Sri Lankan govt for a more thorough probe into allegations of human rights abuse against ethnic Tamils in the last days of its war against LTTE in 2009. The resolution, sponsored by the United States, expressed concern about continuing reports that security forces killed, abducted or tortured civilians even after the end of the conflict. more..

Sri Lanka’s largest Solar Power Plant commissioned

Mar 21 (GDI) President Rajapaksa vested with the people Sri Lanka’s largest solar power plant established at Baruthakanda in Hambanthota. The plant was established on a grant received from the Japanese govt. The power plant is of 737 kilo watt capacity. Rs. 1020 million have been spent for establishing this power plant, which will generate more than one million units of electricity per year. The plant will save 275 thousand liters of fuel, and it will also prevent the release of more..