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Sri Lanka needs more international assistance not less

Mar 21 (CT) Foreign assistance to Sri Lanka has been falling partly on account of Sri Lanka’s post-war accession to the ranks of middle income countries, albeit of those at the lower end. It is from this perspective that an old friend of Sri Lanka, former Japanese peace envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, has been quoted by the Presidential Spokesman’s Office as having said that he was “amazed by the ability of govt officials, starting from the leadership, to mobilize the extra efforts more..

History of the beginning of UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (CT) “According to a source close to President Rajapaksa’s inner circle, the GSL has counted votes within the Human Rights Council and is confident it can defeat any country resolution on Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan media are reporting that Sri Lankan PermRep in Geneva Dayan Jayatilleke, who is known for his hardline Sinhalese views, will be reinforced by Attorney General C.R. De Silva and a three-man more..

Sri Lanka plans 500MW coal plant in South West

Mar 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka state-run CEB is planning a 500 MegaWatt eco-friendly coal plant in Ahuruwella, Induruwa in the southwest coast, the power ministry said. Aministry statement quoted minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi as saying that the plant would use eco-friendly technology and funding is expected from Japan. Industry sources say funding has been requested from Japan but no decision has been made. Japan had earlier funded a study on natural gas fired plants. more..

Senaratne, Sirisena join hands to fight babul menace

Mar 21 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne in consultation with Minister Maithripala Sirisena would seek Cabinet approval to prohibit the import of chewable intoxicants, such as beeda and babul blamed for causing oral cancers, especially among schoolchildren. Schoolchildren in the Kalutara District were already prone to oral cancer as some junk food stalls, in the vicinity of schools, were selling a new brand of ‘beeda’ called ‘wawa’ (arecanut soaked in tobacco juice more..

D-Day dilemma for MR

Mar 21 (FT) Vasudeva Nanayakkara, current Minister of National Integration and long-time friend and ally of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, tells a fascinating story. In September 1990, after a violent insurrection had been crushed with brutal force by the UNP Govt at the zenith of its power, a young Opposition politician from Hambantota joined Nanayakkara on a journey to Switzerland. They were travelling to Geneva, where the UN more..

Editorial: Does Tamil Nadu really care?

Mar 21 (CT) With less than 48 hours left before the vote on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, it is India that appears to be in turmoil rather than Sri Lanka, which disconcertingly seems to be striking a different self-destructive course. Already Tamil Nadu seems to be simmering, with both anti-Sri Lankan rhetoric and whipped up frenzy. The high jinx of the south was transformed into high drama in the Delhi Parliament, where the Sri Lankan Tamil issue more..

Seven OICs transferred

Mar 21 (DM) Officers In-Charge of seven police stations including the Borella police station have been transferred with immediate effect, the Police Headquarters announced. Accordingly, following OICs have been transferred: Chief Inspector (CI) B.M.A. Bandaranayake-OIC Borrella has been transferred as HQI in Avissawella, CI L. Siriwardana-OIC Katunayake Air Port police has been transferred as OIC Borella, CI L. Pussella-HQI Avissawella has been transferred as OIC Kelaniya (DCB), more..

Muslims demand an end to hate campaign

Mar 21 (CG) The Sri Lanka Muslim Council has written to President raising concerns regarding the recent incidents targeting Muslims in the country. The Muslim Council says the Muslim community has recently been targeted by extreme Buddhist groups for virulent attacks of hate and abuse on the basis of religious beliefs and cultural practices and erroneous assumptions regarding the increase in our numbers. more..

New Kalladi Bridge opens tomorrow

Mar 21 (Island) The newly built Kalladi Bridge, in Batticaloa, would be declared open on Friday under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The new bridge, connecting Batticaloa North and South, on the Akkaraipattu-Batticaloa-Thirukkondiadimadu road, was constructed to replace the old Kalladi Bridge that was built by the British 70 years ago. The project to construct the 288.35-metre long and 16.5-metre wide bridge cost Rs. 2.6 billion and was funded by the JICA. more..

Sri Lankan refugees long to return home

Mar 21 (Hindu) "About 23 years ago I came here as a refugee. It is my curse that not only my children, but also my grandchildren continue to carry the tag of refugees,” rues S. Vigneshwari (48), a Sri Lankan Tamil living in the Anaiyur Sri Lankan Refugees Camp here. She was one of the protestors who took part in a hunger strike at Anaiyur undertaken by the inmates of the camps at Anaiyur and Tiruvathavur. Vigneshwari was echoing the sentiments of the Sri Lankan Tamils here. more..

UNHRC adopts US resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (CG) The UNHRC today adopted the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka with 25 in favor, 13 against it and 8 abstentions. The US Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Eileen Donahoe, in presenting the resolution to the Council, said that there were 41 co-sponsors to the resolution. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, speaking as a concerned country, said that the resolution was unacceptable to SL. more..

Tamil girls complete military training

Mar 21 (CG) A group of 95 Tamil girls completed basic military training and joined the army ranks today, the army media unit said. The girls are the fist Tamil female recruits to successfully complete basic military training, Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasuriya said. He said that a passing out ceremony was held at the Security Force Headquarters in Kilinochchi today to mark the event. Brigadier R Rathnasinham the Director Sports Sri Lanka Army was the chief guest of the event more..

Lanka on track to meet Millennium Development Goals

Mar 21 (Island) The Sri Lankan govt is on the right track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals target by 2015 and it is also keen to use the SAARC platform to adopt a common position on water, sanitation and hygiene in the post 2015 framework, said MP Dr. Rohana Pushpakumara and MP Victor Anthony. They were speaking at the concluding ceremony of the two-regional meetings on water and sanitation in Kathmandu. Speaking at the South Asia Regional Campaign on Sanitation, more..

Sri Lanka to seize part of India oil depot after UN vote

Mar 21 (PTI) Sri Lanka announced on Thursday it would repossess part of a strategic oil storage depot from Indian Oil Company's local unit after Delhi supported international calls to probe war crimes. Minister Rambukwella said there were provisions to repossess tanks that were not being used by the Indian Oil Company's local unit, Lanka IOC, in the northeastern port of Trincomalee. "If they are not using the tanks, we can use them," more..

Sri Lanka has 24 mn dental cavities and only 2,500 dental surgeons

Mar 21 (Island) The increasing problem of dental cavities could not be tackled by just extracting and filling teeth, said Deputy Director General of Dental Service Dr. Jayasundara Bandara said. He said that teeth should be taken care of even before a child was born to prevent dental caries. Dr. Bandara said there were approximately 24 million dental cavities and only 2,500 dental surgeons in the country to handle them. The numbers were way too large for even a developed country to deal with, more..

Teachers in North-Central gearing for strike action – LTSU

Mar 21 (LT) The students, parents, teachers and principals in North Central Province are subjected to excessive stress and strain due to stubborn and arbitrary moves of the Minister of Education for North-Central Provincial Council Peshala Jayaratne states Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU) adding that teachers have decided to boycott attending schools on Saturdays. In an announcement LTSU states due to idiotic instructions of the Minister Time tables for more..

India votes for resolution, Japan abstains

Mar 21 (CG) India voted in favor of the US resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC while Japan, a close ally of Sri Lanka, abstained from voting. Libya, which was also a close ally of Sri Lanka at one time under the Gaddafi regime, voted in support of the US resolution. The other countries that backed the resolution are Argentina, Austria, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d’ivoire, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, more..

UNHRC fails on probe into war crimes: HRW

Mar 21 (IANS) The UNHRC resolution passed in Geneva fails to seek an independent international probe into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Thursday. It was the second year in a row that the 47-member Council adopted a resolution on reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. The Council "noted with concern" the failure by Sri Lanka to address serious allegations of violations but stopped short of holding it accountable for that failure, HRW said. more..

South Asia divided over UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka

Mar 21 (OW) Sri Lanka saw a majority of the votes stacked against it at the UNHRC session which mulled over the human rights violations progress in the country. Despite the vote count, the Sout Asian nations remained divided over the vote with India voting for, and Pakistan and Myanmar voting against it in the UNHRC today. After much turmoil in India’s domestic politics, India went ahead and voted at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. Since last year, India has been showing keen interest in the human more..

India votes against Sri Lanka at UNHRC, DMK slams govt for diluting resolution

Mar 21 (TOI) The UNHRC adopted a US-sponsored resolution on human rights violation in Sri Lanka with 25 countries, including India, voting in favour of the document in the 47-nation strong body. While 13 countries, including Pakistan, voted against, 8 member-states abstained from voting on the resolution that saw political tremors in India with DMK pulling out of the UPA alliance and the govt. Gabon, a member-country had more..

Mattala airport has no oil tank, violates int’l law - Ravi K

Mar 21 (Island) The Mattala airport does not have an oil tank in keeping with international aviation regulations the, UNP charged. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the oil tank was required to have a minimum capacity of one million litres, but the Mattala airport, which was declared open, by President Rajapaksa, with much fanfare on Monday, was being serviced by three bowsers with a total capacity of 100,000 litres. To make matters worse, Fly Dubai had left after being filled up with more..

Kerry says resolution gives clear message to Lanka

Mar 21 (CG) US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US sponsored resolution adopted at the UNHRC today reaffirmed that Sri Lanka must take meaningful action on reconciliation and accountability in order to move forward. He says the vote in the UNHRC encourages the Govt of Sri Lanka to continue on the path toward lasting peace and prosperity following decades of civil war and instability. “This resolution, which builds on a similar 2012 resolution, reaffirmed that more..

CCD summons Azath Salley

Mar 21 (CG) The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) has summoned Muslim Tamil National Alliance leader Azath Salley to appear for an inquiry tomorrow. Sally said that he was asked to appear at the CCD office at 11am tomorrow but was not given any reason for the summons. “The CCD officers had first come to my house at 4 this evening and asked for me but I was in office. They had come against at 6 in the evening and looked for me more..

Karuna rules out patch-up with UPA

Mar 21 (DP) The DMK’s decision to move out of the UPA is final and there will not be any reconsideration, according to party chief M Karunanidhi. In a release issued on Wednesday, Karunanidhi lambasted the UPA Govt for diluting the resolution against Sri Lanka to be introduced in the UNHRC meeting in Geneva. “The dilution of the resolution was with the whole hearted acceptance and appreciation by India. We came to know about the details of the final resolution against more..

Sri Lanka to host Japanese language Speech Contest

Mar 21 (GDI) The 3rd South Asian Federation of Japanese Universities Alumni Association Japanese Language Speech Contest organized by the Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS) together with the Japanese Language Teacher’s Association in Sri Lanka (JLTAS) and the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka and sponsored by the Japan Foundation, New Delhi Office, India will be held on 23rd March at the Sasakawa Memorial Hall, Colombo 03 more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 21.03.2013

After Chennai and in averting a major disaster

Mar 22 (CT) It was shocking to see the video of a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk being attacked in Chennai Central Railway Station yesterday and this was the second such an incident within few days. This act should be condemned unhesitatingly. Of course the government can issue a travel advice and perhaps pilgrims or others can refrain from visiting Chennai or India. Some are more interested in advocating the arrest and punishing of the culprits in India. All of these may be necessary but more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: Z is for Z-score and zipperman

Mar 22 (GV) There are only two Z-words that I have come across in SLE: Z-score and zipperman. Both are terms which are found in standard English, but which have particular meanings and associations in a Sri Lankan context. The Z-score is the controversial system used to determine university entrance based on average A-level marks for each subject adjusted according to regional quotas. Z-score, or standard score, is a mathematical term referring to the calculation of the more..

A promenade amidst the glamour of greens

Mar 22 (SO) It was 11.20 in the morning on a warm, sunny day - February 20, 2013 – that I got lost in the glamour of greenery as I began my guided tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya. The Peradeniya Gardens spanning 147 acres is divided into 20 sections, from ‘A’ to ‘T’, and is home to over 4,000 species of plants. The garden is open to visitors from 7.30am to 5.30pm on all 365 days of the year including public holidays. more..

Will we miss the bus again?

Mar 22 (CT) A colleague, who calls himself an ‘Economic Historian,’ has confessed that his dream is to concoct a fictional economic history of Sri Lanka, based on the fiction that the European penetration of this island took place from the east coast and not from the west. He firmly believes that if not for the historical accident of the Portuguese Captain General Francesco de Almeida at Goa, on India’s West coast, in 1505, deciding to send his son, Lorenzo, to the west of Sri Lanka, more..

Gratitude for Life

Mar 22 (GV) While the word biodiversity is gaining currency worldwide as a result of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) an internationally binding set of agreements. Whose articles are legally binding and used today to address some or other aspect of nature. Thus it is critical to appreciate the true nature of biodiversity and what role it has in our future. Biodiversity is the measure of the variability of living organisms at any spatio-temporal point i.e. the number of different species at anyplace at more..

From drought burden to rainwater harvesting

Mar 22 (CT) We dreaded those endless trips carrying heavy pots of water for two to three kms. What's more, be it sunset or dusk, heavy rain or scorching sun, we had to do it by foot or bicycle." Living in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Safra's and Sarifa's families – along with hundreds of other village families – frequently faced extended periods without rain, which dried out their wells. Despite the dry spells, what was of utmost concern to more..

Not so quiet on the Indian front

Mar 22 (Island) In the third week of the UNHRC sessions, Karunanidhi played what he hopes will be his trump card. Unless India not only votes against Sri Lanka but also ensures that the resolution includes a commitment to a war crimes investigation, his party will quit the coalition govt. Whether or not he gets what he wants in this instance, he knows that there is a limit to what can be achieved by means of threats alone. Threats couldn’t have persuaded Manmohan Singh more..

Basil’s response to Ranil’s MoU suggestion

Mar 22 (SO) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe last week came out with his latest strategy to overcome problems within his UNP and remain as the UNP leader until his death! He suggested that the UNP is ready to sign a MoU with the Govt so that he could go all the way to Geneva to speak on behalf of Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC sessions. He said he would even come to Mattala, where the country’s second international airport will be opened by President more..

බෞද්ධ දර්ශනය සහ ආගමික සහජීවනය

Editorial : Geneva - A triumph for hypocrisy

Mar 22 (Island) So, mighty America has beaten little Lanka in Geneva! It secured 25 votes for its resolution as against Sri Lanka’s 13 with eight abstaining. The outcome of the vote came as no surprise; it had nothing to do with anyone’s concern for human rights. Some of those who voted for the resolution are the worst perpetrators of crimes against civilians. Sierra Leone is a case in point. However, Sri Lanka has to come to terms with reality. It shouldn’t continue to drag its feet on more..

World War II and the development of airports

Mar 22 (ST) After World War 11 the northern hemisphere of the earth was pockmarked with airfield, airstrips and devastated cities and towns. If not for America supplying arms to the valiant British, and Russia attacking the Germans from the north, Germany and Japan ould now have been conquerors of the globe. With the establishment of the United Nations the world looked for peace and development. The big countries developed fast and didn’t help other devastated European more..

'There is no economic crisis'

Mar 22 (FT) Q: Do you believe the country is heading towards an economic struggle? A: The whole world has to face serious economic challenges. Sri Lanka is no exception. But, even with such challenges, we are on a planned path to reach a per capita income of over US$ 4,000 and a GDP of US$ 100 billion by 2016. These are ambitious economic goals and we need to work hard towards those goals. So far, we are on track more..

Anti-Muslim feeling grips Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (GN) Ameen Mohammad sits in a corner of his clothes shop in central Colombo, Sri Lanka, poring over the company’s accounts. The numbers do not look good; business has been bleak over the last few months. He says it is because he is Muslim. “We have experienced a steady drop in sales since January because the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) had put up posters around the country telling people not to shop at our stores because our company is Muslim-owned. They threaten to take violent action more..

Brand Korea returns

Mar 22 (Island) South Korea, one of the largest international investors in Sri Lanka in the ‘90s, wants to re-enter the country in a significant way, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce announced yesterday. "Sri Lankan govt deserves credit for running the economy well. We were the largest investor in Sri Lanka in the ‘90s. Korean investors now say that Sri Lanka is advantageous for re-entry and want to grab the opportunities," revealed Jong Moon Choi, the soft-spoken Korean more..