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'Ranil, UNP Leadership Council members should resign immediately'

Apr 7 (CT) Former General Secretary of the UNP, National List MP and Chairman of the CPC, Daham Wimalasena, believes that UNP Leader along with all the members of the Party’s Leadership Council should resign immediately on grounds that all of them lost their electorates at the just concluded PC polls. Some of the others in the Party, who were not in this coterie, have won their electorates and performed much better, more..

Off The Record

Apr 7 (CT) When the campaign to elect members to the Western Provincial Council was at its peak, a major candidate from the Colombo District visited Temple Trees to meet the President, a week ahead of the election. By then, this candidate and Hirunika Premachandra were in a pitched battle for preferential votes to become the first in the district. President told him that he was sure Hirunika would top the preferential votes list of the district. He added that all reports govt had received verified it. more..

New look UPFA to face elections

Apr 7 (CT) After deciding to dissolve the Western and the Southern PCs, President Rajapaksa consulted his astrologers regarding an auspicious day for holding the polls to the two PCs. The astrologers were unanimous in their view that March 24 was the most auspicious day for holding the proposed elections. President who, in the meantime, received reports that the vote on the US resolution against Sri Lanka was due to be taken on March 28 and all indications pointed to its adoption, more..

Pied Pipers of the ‘revolution’

Apr 7 (NS) 43 years ago in the early hours of April 5, 1971 an armed attack on the Wellawaya Police station jolted Sri Lanka’s citizens out of their two decades of slumber. The rebel gunfire heralded the country’s first armed insurrection since independence and gave the Sri Lankan military its first combat experience, although it was almost a ‘picnic’ compared what they underwent a decade later following outbreak of LTTE terrorism. more..

Lies and bluster will not work any more

Apr 7 (ST) For long, it had been blissfully believed by this Govt that the deliberate undermining of Sri Lanka’s systems of justice could be covered up by outright lies and bluster on the one hand coupled with the resurrection of the eternal bogeyman of the LTTE on the other. This was a simple strategy which seemed to work well at first. Post-war, the aggravated militarisation of law enforcement and the centralisation of power in the Office of the Presidency went almost unnoticed as it were. more..

Economic performance in 2013 and growth prospects

Apr 7 (ST) The spurt of growth in the third quarter of the year — 8.2% — contributed to an economic growth of 7.3% in 2013 and it was significant. The growth in industry by 9.9% with factory industry growing by 12.1% and textiles and apparels growing by 15.3% in the last quarter portend well for this year’s economic growth. These achievements give rise to expectations of a continued growth momentum in 2014, especially as export manufactures have recovered and expanded. more..

SLT unveils fiber-to-the-home, enhanced broadband footprint

Apr 7 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national ICT solutions provider announced that it has launched the country’s first fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services covering major markets, greatly enhancing the broadband footprint in Sri Lanka. Being the largest communication backbone network operator, SLT ensures that residential, business, public sector, carriers and ISPs in the country including more..

Editorial: A tot kicked by an ass

Apr 7 (Island) Some people made fools of themselves by falling for pranks of all sorts a few days ago and a woman in the US even got into hot water as she took it a bit too far, claiming that there had been a shooting incident in a school. A bizarre court case that would have been laughed off as a joke if news thereof had come on April 01 has been reported from Pakistan. A tiny tot who could hardly crawl or throw a soft toy a few yards has been accused of hurling projectiles and, more..

India’s vote on SL: A responsible choice

Apr 7 (Island) On March 27 the UNHRC adopted resolution 25/1 on Sri Lanka. India abstained in the main vote, while the resolution got the support of only 23 countries out of 47 members of the HRC. India’s decision to abstain has been a sensible, responsible and balanced choice, taking into account a host of factors. The new resolution could adversely affect the process of national reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Earlier in a procedural motions tabled by Pakistan, India had voted more..

Buddhist monks in firsthand tour of Wilpattu squatter settlement

Apr 7 (FT) As desperate squatters vowed suicide and lambasted a top Minister, Mannar GA, M.Y. Deshapriya has promised some relief action for the desperate squatters of Wilpattu at a patch of squatting grounds, in Wilpattu. Marichchikattu on 6 April. 100 members of squatter families also received a delegation of seven venerable Buddhist monks led by Watareka Wijitha Thero (Secretary, Jathika Bala Sena more..

DFCC bank to administrate of European Investment Bank’s credit line to SL

Apr 7 (FT) Govt of Sri Lanka has appointed DFCC Bank to administer the new credit line of EUR 90 million extended to Sri Lanka by the European Investment Bank. The management mandate agreement and the on-lending agreement were exchanged between DFCC Bank and the Ministry of Finance and Planning on 4 April. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is owned by the member states of the European Union. DFCC Bank, the country’s pioneer development bank with more..

‘Hybrid clinics could provide wider access to healthcare’

Apr 7 (Island) Nearly 4.3 million shipping containers move through Sri Lankan ports every year, and Hybrid Homes came up with an idea for repurposing these ubiquitous steel boxes: Make them into houses, restaurants, hotel rooms, chalets, offices, store rooms, showrooms and even clinics or mobile clinics that could be even shipped around the world to developing countries in need of or to disaster zones where brick-and-mortar hospitals have been damaged. more..

Divi Neguma to open 324 Avurudu fairs island-wide

Apr 7 (FT) Economic Development Ministry has made arrangements to have Avurudu fairs under the Divi Neguma programmme in the main towns of 324 Pradeshiya Divisions for the Sinhala-Hindu New Year season. The fairs will be open to the public from Monday 7 April to Saturday 12 April (9am to 8pm). The objective of organising these fairs is to provide items essential for the festive season such as clothes, textiles, fresh vegetables more..

Captain’s buy 2% more of JKH for Rs. 4.3 b

Apr 7 (FT) Largest shareholder Sohli Captain on Friday picked up a further 2% stake in top blue chip John Keells Holdings for Rs. 4.36 billion. Analysts estimate the collective stake controlled by Captain is around 19% following the fresh buying. As at end 2013, Captain held 11.7% stake of 116.15 million shares directly and a further 5.3% via Paints and General Industries Ltd., bringing the collective stake to 17%. The Captains have a trading portfolio of JKH as well. Analysts welcomed the capacity of more..

JVP SPC members sworn in

Apr 7 (Island) Southern Provincial Council JVP members, elected at March 29 polls were sworn in yesterday before Province Governor Kumari Balasuriya at her office in Galle. Members of the Western Provincial Council were scheduled to be sworn in before Governor Alawi Maoulana tomorrow. JVP secured five seats in the SPC at recently concluded election. Former Council member Nalin Hewage from the Galle District, former MP Jinadasa Kitulagoda and Jayantha Pathirana from more..

A night to remember in Colombo

Apr 7 (CI) There were no crowd catches from the thousands at Galle Face green on Sunday night. No wild cheers for a well-struck ball until it was absolutely clear it would cross the rope. As Kumar Sangakkara and Thisara Perera hit the boundaries that lurched Sri Lanka towards an 18-year dream, there was some jubilation, but the masses held something back. They had been burnt too many times. more..

Sri Lanka's life assurance policy to the rescue again

Apr 7 (CI) At the end of the 15th over, India were 95 for 2. They had erected a platform, Virat Kohli feverishly throwing up scaffolding while Yuvraj Singh pulled on his overalls and got ready to go to work. Nuwan Kulasekara bowled the next over and Kohli rattled 14 off the first three deliveries, as India moved friskily into three figures. Keep going at that sort of rate and they would set a useful 160-odd, enough to put the pressure on to a Sri Lanka batting attack that has developed a few creaks. more..

Fruity scam factory at Mawanella raided

Apr 7 (Island) The Flying Squad of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday recovered 150,000 sachets of fruity flavoured jelly past their shelf life during a raid conducted in Mawanella, Spokesman for the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade Nipun Ekanayake said. He said that acting on a tip off the CAA officials found the stock of jelly packets popular with children being prepared to be sent to the market, at a manufacturing warehouse. "Expired date of the outdated fruity jelly more..

Yuvraj innings applies Dementor kiss to India

Apr 7 (CI) Harry Potter readers will be familiar with what a magical creature called a Dementor does. It sucks all happiness, all positivity, all hope from a living being. It does not stop at that. It proceeds to suck the very soul out, leaving only the body behind, practically lifeless. The latter act is called the Dementor's Kiss. Now not even the most cynical person would brand Yuvraj Singh a Dementor even in the extreme emotion of more..

Stone pelted at Yuvraj Singh's residence

Apr 7 (DC) Unhappy with Yuvraj Singh's miserable batting performace in the finals of ICC World T20, angry fans pelted stones at his residence in Chandigarh. As per TV reports late on Sunday night, after losing the final cricket match against Sri Lanka in Mirpur. India were only able to manage 130 for the loss of 4 wickets in their allotted 20 overs. Sri Lanka achieved the target in 17.5 overs without any trouble. Yuvraj had a terrible time on the pitch scoring just 11 runs off 21 balls, more..

Sri Lanka keep their emotions in check

Apr 7 (CI) Even at a time when yorkers were being pumped under India's bats towards the end of their innings, that Sri Lanka could fluff their lines occurred to one and all. By 10:26pm on a refreshingly cool Dhaka night however, the unease of the last seven years had flown away into the dark sky. Sri Lanka let emotions take over only in the end, as they remained true to practicality for much of the final, easing their path to a first major title win since 1996. While much of the talk would surround more..

'I don't think the game of cricket owes us anything'

Apr 7 (PTI) Kumar Sangakkara's eloquence is unquestionable and he was grace personified on the final day of his T20 International career stating that it was a privilege to play the sport and it "does not owe anything to the players". It turned out to be a fitting farewell for Sangakkara and his other illustrious teammate Mahela Jayawardene as Sri Lanka triumphed at the ICC World T20, beating India by six wickets in the title clash here. more..

Yuvraj's 21-ball struggle, and SL's death bowling

Apr 7 (CI) Sri Lanka's six-wicket win was their first triumph in the final of a world event in five attempts since the 1996 World Cup. Since then, Sri Lanka had ended up on the losing side in the finals of the 2007 ODI World Cup, 2009 World T20, 2011 ODI World Cup and the 2012 World T20, before winning this World T20. Sri Lanka have been the most consistent team in the World T20s, having made it to four semi-finals and three finals. They are also the most consistent T20I team since more..

'Sri Lankan exports to Germany could be of higher quality'

Apr 7 (Island) German ambassador to Sri Lanka Dr. Jurgen Morhard said last week that Sri Lanka's bilateral trade with Germany could be expanded. He said that although trade with Sri Lanka could be pursued to reach higher levels, it was imperative that Lankan exports be of high quality. Germany, he said, was constantly looking for quality with their trade partners and goods and services that form bi-lateral trade would have to achieve such quality standards. more..

UN to review 20-year confidentiality clause ‘at a later stage’

Apr 7 (Island) The UN said that the issue of confidentiality of sources/eyewitness needed to be considered at a later stage. A senior UN spokesperson said: "The High Commissioner for Human Rights will now be making arrangements for a comprehensive investigation requested by the UNHRC and these are issues which will need to be considered at a later stage. In any case, the protection of witnesses and more..

State Hospitals in dire need of nurses

Apr 7 (CT) State hospitals are faced with a crippling shortage of 10,000 nurses and the Health Ministry is planning to recruit retired nurses to hospitals on contract basis, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. He said, the health sector is in a crisis due to the dearth of medical professionals, particularly doctors and nurses. He noted, the ministry has to cope with the hardship of lack of medical professionals as a result of large number of doctors and nurses migrating to greener pastures. more..

Cricket fan fined for revelling in b’day suit

Apr 7 (DM) A cricket fan spotted in the nude at a public location in Kollupitiya over the Sri Lanka Cricket team’s win against the West Indies in the ICC World T20 Semi-Final last Thursday was ordered to pay a fine of Rs. 2,500 by a Colombo Court. Producing the suspect before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the Kollupitiya police stated that the suspect had watched the semi-finals match of the ICC World T20 Championships through a giant screen put up at the Liberty Plaza building more..

Diplomatic gains from a strategic abstention

Apr 7 (Hindu) With 23 countries backing a relatively strong resolution against Sri Lanka at the recent UNHRC session in Geneva, one would have thought the country would feel effectively cornered. However, a day after the resolution was adopted, Sri Lanka only seemed too pleased, thanks to its neighbour. Amid all the buzz around the strategically-timed elections to Sinhala majority Southern and Western Provinces, more..

Sri Lankan Anacondas for Indian zoo

Apr 7 (Hindu) Come April 10 and the city zoo would, in all likelihood, be home to seven Anacondas being brought over from the Dehiwala zoo in Sri Lanka. Snakes would be flown in as cargo from Sri Lanka to Chennai on April 9 where officials from the Animal Quarantine Centre-Southern Region would inspect them. The health certificate of these snakes was received at the city zoo on April 4. Anancondas would set off on the last leg of their journey on April 9 itself in a specially designed truck. more..

JVP to fight for rights of Muslims

Apr 7 (CT) Coming down hard on an alleged illegal construction taking place in a Muslim burial ground at Maligawatta, JVP said it remains committed to protect the rights of SL's Muslim community. JVP WPC member, K.D. Lal Kantha alleged that illegal construction, in Muslim burial ground at Maligawatta, is taking place with the consent of Ministry of Defence and Urban Development. "Since of late, a trend has been witnessed where Muslim Community is being subjected to marginalization. more..

Sri Lanka savour long-sought success

Apr 7 (CI) "There were two gentlemen who gave a lot not only to Sri Lankan cricket but to cricket as a whole. May be the Almighty wants them to win a World Cup and leave on a high. That's why He put his hand in this so that they get another match." When Darren Sammy made this prediction at the end of the first semi-final, one felt how strongly the West Indies captain believed in destiny, particularly after a hailstorm hit the more..

Take a bow, gentlemen!

Apr 7 (DM) Following his side’s defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the semi-finals of the World T20, WI cricket captain Darren Sammy made a sensational remark that grabbed headlines around the world. We do not hear such comments often these days of commercialised sports which only aim to pile up money, resulting in a breed of sports stars who know nothing more than how to become billionaires. True sportsmen with respect to fellow human beings have become a rare commodity. more..

Role of education in democratic governance and collective well-being

Apr 7 (DM) The UN today consists of over 190 countries. How many of these are fully functional democracies? The answer depends on how we define a democracy. If we adopt a very strict definition, the number would not be very large. Yet, the leaders of most of these countries would claim that they are presiding over democratic govts. On the other hand, it is a well-known fact that govts vary widely in terms of the degree to which they are democratic. So much so, a prominent more..

45 state unions in protest march tomorrow

Apr 7 (Island) More than 45 trade unions have organised a protest march from Town Hall to Public Administration Ministry tomorrow against the proposed loan scheme for retiring public servants replacing the gratuity. Spokesman for the Public and Private Trade Union Coalition Saman Ratnapriya said that Tuesday’s protest march was their second course of action against the proposed programme as they earlier held more..

War on the Diaspora

Apr 7 (SL) A new war has now began, a war between leading Diaspora groups and the Govt. The war of words began after the Govt had decided to proscribe 15 Tamil groups operating overseas over their alleged links with the LTTE. The 15 groups join the LTTE on the list and will now have all their assets channelled to organisations operating in Sri Lanka frozen. Added to the list apart from the 16 organisations are several more..

Paddy cultivation slashed; rice to be imported

Apr 7 (ST) Farmers have been asked to slash paddy production by as much as 50% in the coming Yala season due to the prevailing drought, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said. “We are not in a position to compensate farmers for crop loss if they do not follow our instructions,” he said. He said farmers had been told to cut down on paddy and switch to crops which required less water. Among the crops suggested were soya, more..

President thanks Indian PM for UN abstention

Apr 7 (TOI) Days after India bucked domestic political pressures and signaled it would not slam Sri Lanka publicly and abstained on a crucial vote at the UNHRC, President Rajapakse sent a warm thank you letter to Indian PM Manmohan Singh. India's abstention has reopened relations with Sri Lanka. Indian officials said it gives them greater flexibility to pressure Colombo on political devolution to the minority Tamils. more..

Doctors threaten strike in 250 MOH areas

Apr 7 (Island) The GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya urged Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to immediately intervene to halt the tug of war between the nurses and midwives. If he failed to intervene from today all the doctors serving in 250 MOH areas would keep away from work. He pointed out that the College of Surgeons, National Institute of Health Sciences and the GMOA yesterday unanimously agreed to request more..

Nothing to do with luck, says Malinga

Apr 7 (ICC) For all his deadly yorkers and a great assortment of slower deliveries, Lasith Malinga is a gentle soul. Beneath that unruly curly mop lies a shrewd cricket brain, and a smile is never far away, not even when he is, on the rare occasion, being taken apart by the batsmen. Malinga seemed the least likely of individuals to steer Sri Lanka to a world title, but on Sunday night, he managed what illustrious predecessors such as Mahela more..

'Adhere to govt. policy on Geneva issue'

Apr 7 (CT) President Rajapsaksa has told all constituent Parties of the UPFA to adhere to the govt policy on the Geneva issue. President made this announcement at the post PC election meeting of the govt Parliamentary Group held at Temple Trees, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardena said. President stressed on the need for all the political Parties of the govt to speak in one voice on govt policy to avoid distortions whenever more..