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BBS strikes

Apr 10 (CT) BBS, which stormed the maiden media briefing of the Jathika Bala Sena (JBS) yesterday, vowed that they will not allow any sena to rally against them and will not tolerate Muslim extremists using Buddhist monks, to attack the organization. "We never used a Muslim to attack even the most extreme Muslim elements. So why are they using people in saffron robes, who do not belong to either the sangha fraternity or more..

Diplomacy with Lanka has been spot-on

Apr 10 (Hindu) In April 1977, just after the Janata Party govt assumed office, the eminent Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko arrived in Delhi, looking visibly nervous. Having backed Indira Gandhi’s Emergency Rule, Gromyko expected a cold reception in South Block. His counterpart Atal Bihari Vajpayee smilingly put him at ease saying: “Indo-Soviet relations are strong and do not depend on the political fortunes of any individual or political party.” Happily, that type of statesmanship more..

CPC too bans tuition classes on Poya days and on Sundays

Apr 10 (Island) The Central Provincial Council has decided to ban private, tuition classes on Sunday morning to noon and on Full moon days from next month. Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake said that it had been decided to regulate the private tuition classes in the Central Province in consultation with Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa. Accordingly private tuition classes from year 01 to year 11 will not be permitted to be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays and on Poya days. more..

'Exam Dept has still not paid teachers who marked O/L answer scripts'

Apr 10 (Island) Teachers who evaluated the answer script of the G.C.E. O/L exam three months ago accused the Examinations Department of so far failing to pay their remuneration for the work they did even after releasing the results of the exam last week. General Secretary of CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said that nearly 40,000 teachers engaged in answer script evaluation from Dec 31 to Jan 24, during more..

Batti blocks micro finance

Apr 10 (FT) Microfinance industry is up in arms over overnight restrictions placed by the Govt authorities in the Batticaloa District, a move which some fear could be extended to rest of the Eastern Province. Following a recent meeting, Govt Agent and District Secretary of the Batticaloa district has issued new guidelines for micro credit activities. One requirement is that micro credit institutions have to work with GA’s approval with Divisional Secretaries recommendations. more..

Sri Lanka’s borrowing costs hit record low

Apr 10 (FT) Sri Lanka’s borrowing costs have dropped to a record low, the latest sign of strong global appetite for frontier market credit. SL sold $500m of five-year debt on Tuesday with a coupon of 5.125% – its lowest to date – and attracted more than $4bn in orders. Interest was particularly strong from US investors, who took up almost half the deal. In January, Sri Lanka raised $1bn in a separate sovereign issue, offering a five-year bond with a 6% yield at a time of growing worries over more..

Trade unions to protest against replacing Pension Dept gratuity payment

Apr 10 (Island) More than 400 trade unions in the public sector will meet today in Colombo to plan their future course of action against the govt introducing a loan scheme in place of the gratuity payment hitherto paid to retiring public servants by the Pensions Department. President of NTUC K.D. Lalkantha said that so far a govt employee going on retirement was paid a gratuity equivalent to two years’ salary and the amount was recovered more..

NTC Chairman resigns making way for defeated UPFA candidate

Apr 10 (CT) Renuke Perera took over as Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) yesterday after former Chairman, Roshan Gunawardane, submitted his resignation to the Transport Ministry. Gunawardane, stated that he had submitted his resignation on personal grounds. "I have been at so many places before this, and nobody has ever asked me why I was resigning from the place. I assumed this job on 2 Feb 2011 and the term isn't over but I have tendered my more..

President willing to meet CBK for talks on religious reconciliation

Apr 10 (CT) President Rajapaksa, has agreed to hold discussions, on religious reconciliation within the country, with a delegation from the SAPRI, headed by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, on any day between 16 and 24 April. PMU said there had been a request seeking an opportunity for the representatives of SAPRI to hold discussions with the President and he had expressed his willingness to hold the discussion, but so far the date for talks had not been fixed. more..

Top UK diplomat in Sri Lanka intervenes in drug peddling case

Apr 10 (Hindu) The interest shown by a British diplomat in Colombo, in what seems to be a high-profile case of drug trafficking involving suspects from at least three countries, has raised eyebrows here. On April 3, Deputy High Commissioner at the British mission in Colombo sought an appointment with the IGP N.K. Illangakoon to discuss a recent heroin seizure. Diplomat had said a suspect arrested in connection with the case was an informant more..

Something fishy in this canned deal

Apr 10 (DM) Consumer rights and health action groups are expressing concern over the announcement last week that Japan will provide tins of canned fish to the value of about Rs. 202 million to Sri Lanka through the United Nations World Food Programme. On the surface it seems to be a good and generous deed, with no tincan agendas, but the consumer action groups see something fishy if not worse in a statement issued by the Japanese Embassy in Colombo. more..

Lasith Malinga the Hero

Apr 10 (DM) As the entire country celebrated Sri Lanka winning the T20 cricket world championship in Bangladesh by beating the more fancied Indian team convincingly, there emerged an unlikely hero: stand-in captain Lasith Malinga. Lasith Malinga was for long the ‘bad boy’ of Sri Lankan cricket. He had irked cricket selectors, administrators and the public by his irreverent attitude. His commitment to his country was in doubt. On Sunday night in Dhaka though Malinga, being the winning captain, more..

Allegations and counter allegations

Apr 10 (DM) Central Bank (CB) report was released on Tuesday announcing that county’s economy had grown by 7.3% in 2013, one percent increase from 6.3% growth rate reported in 2012. However, the Research Division Head of the CB, Swarna Gunatilake, referred to it as a marginal growth against that of the previous year. The use of the word ‘marginal one per cent’ was not to the liking of President Rajapaksa and more..

Sri Lanka’s Displaced

Apr 10 (TD) Sanjeev sits nervously in a scuffed plastic chair, half-listening to the sounds of the road outside the displacement camp where he lives. 7 years have passed since his involvement in the LTTE, the militant separatist organization that claimed a homeland for minority Tamils until its demise in 2009. Sanjeev’s neck, where an LTTE cyanide capsule once hung, is now bare. After 2 years in a rehabilitation camp, more..

The win they waited 18 years for

Apr 10 (CI) Cross the railway line from Station Road in Wellawatta on the fringe of the city of Colombo, head for the Indian Ocean and you should stumble upon Beach Wadiya, the most authentic seafood restaurant in town. It is a sand-in-your-toes sort of place, where the chilli crab is a standout and the wine list a gamble. It was here, in the mid-February of 1996, that Arjuna Ranatunga clearly explained how Sri Lanka could, and more..

Terrorist infiltration of Canadian Media

Apr 10 (SL) The LTTE was successful in creating a terrorist support base in Canada by systematically indoctrinating the Sri Lankan Tamil migrants, both old and new. The Tamil community, one of the most peaceful communities, came under the influence of misinformation and disinformation. The outcome was the subversion of a segment of the Tamil community and growth of a terrorist support base. more..

Farming at standstill in north as skies stay dry

Apr 10 (ST) Agriculture in the north has come to a complete stop because of the lack of rain, an expert said this week as climatologists warned the current seasonal positioning of the sun directly over the island is intensifying the protracted heatwave. Last week’s sporadic thundershowers might not soothe the scorched lands and hot conditions are expected to prevail. Worst affected areas are Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, more..

'Halt to sale of state resources spurred development'

Apr 10 (DN) President Rajapaksa said the govt's decision to stop selling state resources helped develop the country. He said the country's economy has improved owing to this policy of the govt. "We firmly believed that selling public resources will not solve problems in the country," he said. He was speaking at the presentation of incentives to employees and farmers of Sevanagala sugar factory yesterday. more..

Ministry to probe missing body parts complaints

Apr 10 (DM) The Foreign Employment Promotion Ministry has initiated inquiries into complaints that organs of dead Sri Lankan expatriate workers in some Middle Eastern countries had been removed, Minister Dilan Perera said. He made these remarks in response to a question by UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake, asking whether the Ministry had taken any steps regarding the complaint that internal organs including bowels of a SL maid more..

Army insists no bar to Tamils, Muslims joining it

Apr 10 (Island) Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that Sri Lanka Army had no new vacancies to recruit Tamil youth any more though they flood in numbers to join the army and there was no restriction as such to ban male youth from applying for recruitment even during the fight against the terrorists, if they were citizens of the country. He made these comments when a journalist questioned whether there was any truth about more..

Lakvijaya fully operational No power cuts

Apr 10 (DN) There will be no cause for power cuts since the Norochcholai Power Plant has been made fully functional from February following repairs, Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman(CEB) Chairman W.B. Ganegala said yesterday. He said many attempts had been made by those with vested interests to discredit the Govt over minor snags at Norochcholai. "The power plant is fully functional, the CEB Chairman said. more..

Work permits for foreign experts approved

Apr 10 (DM) State institutions and private companies are now permitted to obtain the services of foreign professionals, technical experts and skilled labour not available in the country, following the approval of the BOI that will issue a work permit for a specific time period, President Rajapaksa said. He that state institutions and companies must apply for specialised foreign human resources through the BOI and if and when more..

Sri Lanka stocks close lower

Apr 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks close down 0.14% lower with index heavy stocks losing ground amid thin foreign participation on the bourse, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 8.50 points lower at 6,075.05 down 0.14%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.96 points lower at 3,345.00, down 0.03%. Turnover was 359.25 million rupees, down from 1.32 billion rupees a day earlier with 77 stocks close positive against 76 negative. Lanka IOC closed 70 cents higher at 40.90 rupees with an off market transaction more..

Politicization, cancer of Sri Lanka cricket

Apr 10 (CT) The alleged harassment of Sri Lanka's top two cricketers, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena, by certain officials of the local Cricket Board and allied parties, on the eve of the recently concluded T20 tournament in Bangladesh, which Sri Lanka won, must roundly be condemned by all right thinking people in the country. Cricketers, or sportspersons for that matter, cannot be expected to keep mum on certain trivia, like diplomats, however, have to. more..

On the trail of Gopi & other LTTE revivalists

Apr 10 (CT) Kapilan alias Nandhagopan, who is said to be the second-in-command of the LTTE's Nediyavan Group abroad was captured by Sri Lankan authorities, with the help of Iranian and Malaysian authorities. Ceylon Today learns that LTTE's senior leader, Nandhagopan, was brought to Sri Lanka last week. Nandhagopan was the deputy of Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyavan, who is handling the LTTE overseas network. more..

Buddhism, Sinhala-Buddhism and Rajapaksa-Buddhism

Apr 10 (CT) Ven. Ranthiligama Ratnajothi Thero passed away last month. Mahinda Biddhist colombotelegraphWhen he died, the government did not declare national mourning and the nation did not wallow in an orgy of grief. There was no media frenzy or a public competition to claim his legacy. Such veneration is reserved for the likes of Ven. Gangodawila Soma Thero who preached his own anti-dhamma of bigotry and venom. Ven. Ratnajothi Thero took the antithetical path. more..

Kuwait-Sri Lanka Assembly donates 100 schols to children of war heroes

Apr 10 (Island) Ranaviru Seva Authority in collaboration with Kuwait-SL assembly granted 100 scholarships to the children of war heroes under the patronage of Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo. Scholarships were given by Sri Lankans employed in Kuwait through the Kuwait-SL assembly. A total of Rs. 1,200,000 collected from 100 individuals was distributed among 100 children of war heroes as a scholarship. more..

JVP slams BBS behaviour

Apr 10 (CG) JVP slammed the behaviour of the BBS after BBS members had stormed the venue of a press conference yesterday and verbally abused a monk and a Muslim cleric. A JVP statement said that the BBS had no right to disrupt a press conference as in a democracy anyone has a right to hold press briefing to express their views. The JVP also said that if anyone has an opposing view the they can hold a separate press more..

Lankan husband jailed for pursuing 'traumatised' wife

Apr 10 (NNW) A rejected husband who “relentlessly pursued” his ex-wife despite being told to leave her alone has been jailed for six months. Maligawe Akalanka, of Wrexham, had come over from Sri Lanka to support his wife through her university studies. But within two months of his arrival she had ended the marriage – leaving him “lovesick”, Wrexham Magistrates Court heard. Since then he caused her “considerable psychological trauma” by persistently breaching a restraining order more..

Tamil asylum seeker fighting for his life

Apr 10 (SMH) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker on a bridging visa is fighting for his life after dousing himself in petrol following a decision by the Australian immigration department to deport him back to Sri Lanka. The man, whose first name is Janarthanan and who is in his late 20s, was on a bridging visa and had been working as a cleaner in Sydney's inner-western suburb of Balmain. The Tamil asylum seeker, who had been living in Australia for at least 18 months, more..

Video: 60 detained for subversive acts

Apr 10 (DM) Police said today that 60 people including 10 women had been arrested and detained by the TID during the past two months for allegedly supporting subversive activities in violation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). SSP Ajith Rohana said they were arrested amidts reports of a reemergence of the LTTE. Most of the arrests have been done after a policeman was shot in Kilinochchi by more..

Squatters at Wilpattu: BBS falsely linked it with Jasmine Housing Project

Apr 10 (Island) 12 Muslim organizations have jointly appealed to President Rajapaksa to reign in the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), which was once again trying to revive communal disturbances by making false allegations with regard to the resettlement of Muslims who were driven out of the North by the LTTE in 1990. The petition signed by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama, Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, Muslim Lawyers Association, All Ceylon YMMA Conference, Muslim Womens Research more..

Speaker laments lack of will to halt unlawful reclamation of land

Apr 10 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday told Parliament that if the Ministry of Economic Development wanted to it could stop unlawful reclamation of lands in a single day. Fertile lands were being reclaimed to construct buildings that had affected farmers badly and if there was a need for the Ministry of Economic Development to put an end to this it could do so at once, the Speaker told Deputy Minister of Economic Development S.M. Chandrasena. more..

Video: Govt. should make a statement on Wilpattu issue: UNP

Apr 10 (DM) While claiming that any kind of construction carried out in a National Park was illegal, the UNP urged the govt to make a statement on the controversial housing complex being constructed within the Wilpattu National Park. “Any step taken against the environment is wrong. If there is a housing complex being constructed within the Wilpattu National Park, govt should make an official statement on the issue. more..

Attacks on fishermen a case of mistaken identity, says AAP

Apr 10 (Hindu) To avoid incidents of shooting due to “mistaken identity,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), in its manifesto for Tamil Nadu, suggested “co-ordinated patrolling” between the Sri Lankan Navy and the Indian Coast Guard. Minutes after the party released its manifesto at a press conference, members of the policy team was asked why the AAP did not realise the fact that the Sri Lankan Navy shot at the fishermen knowing well that they were from Tamil Nadu. more..

No unusual increase in deaths of Lankan migrant workers in West Asia

Apr 10 (Island) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) yesterday said that the reported deaths of around 300 Sri Lankan expatriate workers, a majority of them in West Asia each year was "normal." SLBFE Additional General Manager and Media Spokesman Mangala Randeniya told The Island that the death rate of Sri Lankan expatriate workers was 0.02 percent and it was a small amount when compared to the death rate of labour force within the country. more..

Video: JHU wants Nuremberg-style trial on LTTE

Apr 10 (AD) JHU, a constituent party of the UPFA, called for the establishing of a special war tribunal to probe those responsible for the start and spread of Tamil separatism and terrorism in Sri Lanka and punish them. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will not be able to impose sanction on Sri Lanka, through the United Nations, because friendly countries possess the veto power, Udaya Gammanpila said. more..

Video: Helping hand

Apr 10 (DM) Police Chief N.K Illangakone handed over Rs.1 million as compensation and educational assistance for the two children of the slain Matara Anti Vice Squad policeman who was killed along with his wife by notorious underworld figure Ketayam Chinthaka in Kamburupitiya on Nov 16, last year. Addressing a gathering to mark the event IGP Illangakoon said PC Weligama Sunil had to sacrifice his life as he was safeguarding the law and discharging his duties properly. more..

'Undercutting talent is a national game now'

Apr 10 (SM) Acting leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya blames Sri Lanka Cricket for having exerted extreme pressure against Sangakkara and Mahela which they had to carry in their recent games. In a statement, he says it is no secret to the country that SLC administration has had various clashes in recent times. Every sport association has been squeezed by politics and undercutting talent has now become a national game, he charges. T-20 World Cup victory by Sri Lanka was more..

Pakistan offers prestigious scholarships to Sri Lankan students

Apr 10 (PHC) High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka invites applications for award of Jinnah Scholarship from deserving Sri Lankan students pursuing their studies at O/Ls and A/Ls. The Govt of Pakistan is awarding Jinnah Scholarships for Sri Lankan students for past 9 years through Pakistan High Commission. Scholarships are named after the great statesman and leader of the Sub Continent, more..