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Floods due to structural defect

Mar 23 (CT) Due to a structural defect of the almost 15 feet- high railway embankment that divides Thannayamkulam Tank into two segments, Bodhirajapura in the Mihintale electorate is faced with severe flooding during rainy season. About 15 houses in this area are constantly threatened by floods. People allege, due to a structural blunder, three drain pipes have been fixed to empty the water that gets accumulated on the other side of the tank. This water, as it accumulates on rainy days, more..

Farmers take non-payment of their pensions to HRC

Mar 23 (Island) Farmers have moved the Human Rights Commission against the govt’s failure to pay their pensions. The All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation said that the govt had failed to pay the farmers’ pensions for one and a half years. The Federation has complained to the HRC that the govt’s failure is tantamount to a violation of their fundamental rights. National Organizer of the Federation Namal Karunaratne said that more..

Hangmen recruits vacate post

Mar 23 (CT) The two men, who were recruited for the hangmen's job recently, have been served with notices of vacation of post, this week. This follows the two men not reporting to work after a long weekend holiday last month. "The two men have been terminated from the government service as per rule," Deputy Commissioner Operations, G.B. Kulatunge said. It is learnt the men, who had been recruited last year and were given three weeks training, had been disillusioned with the job. more..

Vaiko’s mother, 91, too joins anti-Sri Lanka protest

Mar 23 (TOI) The ongoing anti-Sri Lanka protests might be driven by youth from colleges. But it received a boost on Friday in the form of a nonagenarian protester. It was none other than V Mariammal, the 91-year-old mother of MDMK leader Vaiko. Mariammal sprang a surprise by joining the hunger strike at Vaiko's native village, Kalingapatti, near Sankarankoil in Tirunelveli district. Clad in a white khadi sari, Mariammal reached the protest site named as "Balachandran Thidal," around more..

Two Sri Lankan buddhist priests attacked in TN: What exactly happened?

Mar 23 (DBS) The Brahadeeswarar Temple at Thanjavoor in Tamil Nadu state is the biggest Temple in India. The temple dedicated to Lord Siva was built by the Great Chozha emperor Arulmozhivarman known as Rajaraja Chozhan in 1010. The temple was originally known as “Rajarajeswaram”. It’s splendid structure is visible testimony to the magnificent antiquity of Tamil architecture. Later during the periods more..

Navy commander visits Iran 24th fleet

Mar 23 (PT) Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage has visited the 24th fleet of Iran Navy, which has docked in Colombo after successfully conducting its mission in the Indian and Pacific oceans. On Friday, Colombage embarked on the Sabalan destroyer and Kharg helicopter carrier, and talked to the Commander of the 24th fleet of Iran Navy, Capitan Seyyed Omid Golestaneh. The Sri Lankan naval commander expressed satisfaction over his visit to the more..

45 Colonels promoted to Brigadier

Mar 23 (DM) A total of 45 Colonels of the Sri Lanka Army have been promoted to the rank of Brigadier with effect from March 1 this year, military sources yesterday revealed. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had approved the promotion to the rank of Brigadier, the sources said. Accordingly the following officers were promoted: DCJW Jayasekera, KMRP Karunatilaka, WANM Weerasinghe, MDP Chandrasekere, HPNK Jayapathirane, PAD Kahapola, AI Marasinghe, DT Gamage, more..

Mahanayakes to discuss the future of Buddhism

Mar 22 (DM) The Four Mahanayake Theras of the Siyam Nikaya, the Amarapura Nikaya and the Ramanna Nikaya will preside at a meeting of Bikkhus, Bikkhunis and intellectuals to be held at the Pallekelle IBC. They will discuss the current state of Buddhism and what steps that need be taken for its sustenance both locally and internationally. This meeting was sequent to the one held on February 08 where a number of committees were more..

Cancer hospital lab tech. stabbed to death, son injured

Mar 23 (Island) A 52-year-old female Medical Laboratory Technologist (MLT), employed at the blood bank of the National Cancer Institute in Maharagama, was stabbed to death at her residence at Katuwawala, Boralesgamuwa in the early hours of yesterday. Her 19-year-old son, too, received cut injuries. The Police conducting investigations into the killing, suspect that there would only have been a lone attacker. They were investigating how the assailant entered more..

Joy canoe ride leads to watery grave

Mar 22 (Island) A joy canoe ride ended in tragedy on Thursday afternoon as two men between the ages of 31 and 21 drowned after their craft carrying five capsized in the Periyakulam Lake in Trincomalee. The incident occurred in the Kuchchaweli police area. Police spokesman said that five men had been in the canoe, when it capsized around 2.00 p.m. Asked whether they were drunk, he answered in the negative and added that the other three had swum to safety. The deceased were identified as more..

UNP, JVP lock horns

Mar 22 (CT) The main opposition UNP and the JVP engaged in a heated argument for nearly one hour in Parliament yesterday, over the issue of taking up the adjournment debate on late President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. When the motion was ready to be taken, UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, got up and pointed out a condolence motion on late President Chavez has already been passed in the House, thus more..

Blake says resolution not watered down

Mar 22 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake says the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UNHRC was not a watered down document. In an interview with the BBC, Blake said that the resolution urges Sri Lanka to work towards reconciliation among all the communities. He says the resolution does push Sri Lanka to investigate alleged abuses committed during the war and punish those responsible. more..

Video: Probe will take time: Kohona

Mar 22 (DM) Sri Lanka's UN Ambassador Palitha Kohona said like in other countries including the United States, it would take time to complete investigations into allegations levelled against Sri Lanka. “Some of these issues based on allegations, can be defiantly determined only after proper investigations have been conducted, as you know from your experience in other countries, including the US, it takes time,” Dr. Kohona said. Admitting that there was much to be done, more..

Sri Lanka says Geneva resolution combined US-EU project

Mar 23 (Island) Sri Lankan govt pointed out that the majority of those who had voted for the US resolution targeting Sri Lanka, at the UNHRC sessions, were either member states of the European Union (EU) or those waiting to join the grouping. Of the 25 votes received in support of the resolution, as many as 12 EU member countries and those seeking EU membership threw their weight behind the US resolution. more..

GL clashes with Canadian Senator over CJ impeachment

Mar 22 (DM) A heated exchange took place at a guest-lecture by visiting Canadian Senator Hugh Segal at the Kadirgamar Institute yesterday when the impeachment of CJ Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake arose during the ensuing question and answer session. Responding to a journalist, Senator Segal said the Canadian Federal Court and the Supreme Court had given many rulings against the Canadian Government on the issue of the ‘first nations’, which constitute four percent of the total population. more..

Sri Lanka to switch off for Earth Hour today

Mar 22 (FT) All Sri Lankans are requested to join the hundreds of millions of people around the world across borders of race, religion, culture, geography and society in one hour of contemplation for the planet and celebration of their year-round commitment to protect it. Today you will see homes, schools, businesses and iconic landmarks across the planet turn off their lights for the appointed one hour – Earth Hour – at 8:30 p.m., 23 March. Now in its seventh year, the annual lights out event more..

Resolution not ‘against’ Sri Lanka says US

Mar 22 (FT) The US Govt yesterday emphasised its successful resolution at the UNHRC was not against Sri Lanka but aimed at helping the country to achieve lasting peace, justice and equality through an inclusive, constructive and expeditious process. “I want to stress that this is a resolution on Sri Lanka and not against Sri Lanka,” US Ambassador Michele Sison told a press roundtable at the American Centre. She said that more..

Editorial: Geneva debacle - Turn the searchlight inward

Mar 22 (DM) The crisis that hit the Sri Lankan Govt with the adoption of the US-led resolution at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva on Thursday had reverberated in New Delhi with tidal wave after tidal wave hitting the ruling UPA Govt. Its main ally the DMK led by M. Karunanidhi carried out its threat to pull out of the Central Govt. The DMK on Tuesday withdrew its support to the UPA and pulled out its five Central Ministers over the issue of alleged human rights violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka more..

Like him or loathe him we've got to live with him

Mar 22 (DM) There have been rumblings against Sri Lanka in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu in recent weeks resulting in several Lankan establishments being damaged and several persons including Buddhist monks being assaulted. This is believed to be part of the build-up to the sessions of the UNHRC where Eelam lobbyists are working overtime to tarnish Sri Lanka’s image. Their sentiments have found ready resonance in Tamil Nadu, home to some 60 million Tamils. more..

An uncle’s present to a nephew

Mar 22 (LT) Shashendra Rajapaksa, the nephew of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and son of the Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa, has been given the opportunity of continuing as the Basnayake Nilame of Ruhunu Maha Katharagama Devalaya through an extra special gazette No. 1807/39 issued on 15th March without any election. The gazette with the signature of Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne has exempted more..

Landmark insurance case decided in SC

Mar 22 (SL) In what some have termed a ‘landmark case’ the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the appellant Kiran Atapattu, in an insurance claim against Janashakthi General Insurance Company. It is expected that the case will be entered into the Law Reports, as it is a landmark judgment. The case, decided on February 22, 2012, said that the petitioner Atapattu was entitled to awards due to destruction of property. more..

Authorities say fertiliser, pesticides use not contributory factors

Mar 22 (ST) Top Govt authorities, facing head-on the charges that agrochemicals may be a contributory factor in the mysterious kidney disease affecting mainly Dry Zone farmers, reiterated that there are rigid checks on imports of both fertiliser and pesticides. All fertiliser imported to the country is checked and has to conform to international standards, said Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, while the more..

Ambassador Aryasinha thanks countries that stood by Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (IL) Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha has said Thursdays vote on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC, had provided a rare moment of solidarity for countries that continued to believe in principle, to stand up and be counted, at a time the composition of the HRC is heavily weighted in favour of Western powers, and Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Jordan, Russia and more..

Jobs abroad go a begging due to lack of skilled Lankan workers

Mar 22 (Island) In spite of receiving 270,000 overseas job opportunities in 2010, Sri Lanka had managed to fill only 71,000 of them for want of skilled workers. This was revealed by Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, at the MoU signing ceremony between the Ministries of Construction and Engineering Services and Youth Affairs and Skills Development. In 2004 the country couldn’t fill the 700,000 skilled job opportunities it received. more..

Govt. to appoint subcommittee to implement WHO recommendations

Mar 22 (Island) The govt yesterday said it would appoint an Inter-Ministerial Sub Committee to implement the WHO recommendations on the Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown etiology (CKDu). The spokesman for the Health Ministry said the committee would comprise representatives of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Irrigation, Water Supply and Drainage and, Local Govt and Provincial Councils. more..

Crimes against tourists on the rise

Mar 22 (CT) Sri Lanka's tourism industry is facing a growing concern over the increased number of crimes committed against tourists. In December of 2012, there was an estimated 10% rise in the number of reported crimes against tourists. S.P. Perera, of Bentota Police, explained, "The number of crimes reported by tourists holidaying along the Southern coast has increased. In December 2012, our station experienced more..

US warns of international action

Mar 22 (CG) The United States has warned that international action maybe initiated on Sri Lanka if the island fails to implement the latest resolution adopted at the UNHRC. US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Sri Lanka should listen to the words of the international community and implement the plan that they have never implemented. She was referring to the recommendations of the LLRC which the more..

1st batch of Tamil female soldiers pass out

Mar 22 (GDI) Sri Lanka Army on Thursday marked a new turning point in its life span of more than 63 years, by taking the salute of 95 recently-enlisted Tamil woman soldiers who passed out during a colourful Passing out Parade at Security Force Headquarters- Kilinochchi premises. This was the first time the Army saw such a large group of Tamil women joining the organization en bloc, although the Army has had a fair number of more..

Australia criticised over SL war crimes vote

Mar 23 (ABC) Human Rights Watch has criticised the Federal Govt for waiting until the last minute to endorse a UNHRC resolution calling for a war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka. The US-sponsored resolution, which passed on Thursday, says the Sri Lanka govt should conduct independent investigations into violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law during the country’s 30-year civil war. more..

Editorial : Nose-dive for wildlife

Mar 23 (CT) The way commercial development projects are taking place, one wonders whether in the next 10 years, the country's wildlife will be confined to just the national parks only. At the turn of the century, Sri Lanka's forest cover stood at 40% of the land surface and today, according to estimates, the figure is below 20% and that is taking into account the protected areas. The irony is that, all this depletion of forest cover is taking place at a time when the emphasis falls on tourism. more..

Geneva and the anti muslim campaign

Mar 23 (CT) It fell on IGP N.K. Illangakoon, at a recent press conference to uncharacteristically speak out against those that sought to create social disharmony and incite violence on ethno religious grounds. The maintenance and promotion of social harmony is generally a task of a country’s political leaders. However when the political leaders fail, managing and dealing with the ensuring violence and social upheaval becomes the responsibility of the security forces, more..

'All we can do is invite countries for CHOGM'

Mar 23 (DM) The level of representation of countries at the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM) is beyond Sri Lanka’s control, and all the govt can do is invite member states to participate, Minister Prof. G.L Peiris yesterday said. Making closing remarks at a guest-lecture by visiting Canadian Senator Hugh Segal at the Kadirgamar Institute, the Minister said Sri Lanka is a “hospitable country” and would continue in this tradition. more..

We Sri Lankans are a bunch of hypocrites!

Mar 23 (CT) The events which have been unfolding in the social landscape of Sri Lanka, particularly in the recent past, are so unsavory that to recount and analyse them is in itself is a painful exercise. As a nation we have lost direction in whatever we do as it is all hypocritical. Why is this so? Let us unravel ourselves from the present to the past. This day the 18th of March 2013, sees the opening of the new airport in Hambantota. This is seen as a project extraordinaire, in the Miracle of Asia. more..

Ceylinco Life crowns 25 years of excellence at glitzy awards gala

Mar 23 (Island) A veritable pantheon of international and regional insurance heavyweights was in attendance at the 25th anniversary edition of life insurance leader Ceylinco Life’s annual awards in Colombo. The company presented 150 awards to top achievers in several key areas of sales and operations who had contributed to its growth in 2012, during which Ceylinco Life surpassed Rs 10 billion in annual premium income, becoming the first life insurer in SL to do so. more..

Beijing's bear hug for Colombo: Rajapaksa among Xi's first 5 calls

Mar 23 (IE) While India-Sri Lanka ties hit another low after New Delhi's proactive efforts to censure Colombo at the UNHRC, Chinese President Xi Jinping elevated the island nation's profile by including President Rajapaksa in the first list of five phone calls he made after formally taking over from Hu Jintao last week. In fact, Xi spoke with Rajapaksa on March 16, the same day he spoke to his Pakistani counterpart more..

Lankan roulette

Mar 23 (BS) In June 2009, when Sri Lanka officially celebrated the defeat of the LTTE after a bloody war that lasted 25 years, the victory parade, which included tanks, fighter jets and artillery pieces, made India sit up: most of the military hardware on display was of Chinese make. China had played a key role in making that victory possible, and the Rajapaksa govt made no attempts to hide its gratitude. India has since watched with increasing concern, and some helplessness, China's growing more..

Lands grabbed will not be returned

Mar 23 (OU) Reports furnish the people lands confiscated by the forces in the north will not be returned back, which is getting affirmed. Towards this all activities are advanced behind the screen by the government. Instead of lands confiscated by the three forces in the Northern Province, according to the values assessed alternative lands will be provided is according to the directive circulated by the Northern Province Land Commissioner's Department circles. more..

Health inspectors launch Operation Sweetmeats

Mar 23 (Island) Health authorities have commenced inspecting confectioners and shops selling sweetmeats in view of next month’s Sinhala-Tamil New Year festive season. Secretary of the Public Health Inspectors’ Union of Sri Lanka Senarath Bandara said that PHIs had taken legal action against 33 bakeries, tea kiosks and hotels in the Kaduruwela and Hingurakgoda areas, of the Polonnaruwa district, within the last more..

Construction work for Vadaliyadaippu flood canal stopped

Mar 23 (OU) The Vadaliyadaippu flood canal construction work has got terminated due to the non-implementation of the agreement made with the divisional council was said by its Chairman A.Jebanesan. The flood canal located at Vadaliyadaippu in the Waligamam South west region, is not in the state of floods getting flown out during rainy season, hence the people from the locality were facing immense difficulties. Due to this problem, the Jaffna district govt agent more..

Environment activists from India, Lanka unite against Kudankulam

Mar 23 (BS) Indian and Sri Lankan environment activists are planning a series of joint protests against the proposed Kudankulam nuclear plant in southern Tamil Nadu. “Several environmental groups are protesting in that country (Sri Lanka), too. We are in touch with the environmental organisations there on a regular basis. Last week, one of them had organised a protest in front of the Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka and we are looking to take this tie-up forward,” said more..