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Candy is dandy but not the Kandy with a ‘K’

Apr 15 (SL) High up in an old bungalow, accessible only by a winding road, Kandy residents were awaiting the arrival of their daughters’ Prince Charming, the Avurudhu Kumaraya. This Prince Charming is certainly no fairy tale. In most neighbouring abodes there were the ‘gottas’ weaved out from young coconut leaves (gok kola) with a lit oil lamp – a pahana placed in it, welcoming the prince. Astrologers and astro-sociologists will claim that this prince is symbolic of the sun. more..

CEO confident of SriLankan Airlines’ route to profitability

Apr 15 (FT) SriLankan Airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena is confident and optimistic of the national carrier’s route to profitability in the medium term, having put in place a host of key measures – including fuel efficient re-fleeting as well as revenue optimisation. Seeds for a turnaround were placed two years ago as part of a five-year revival plan. With three more years to go, Chandrasena expressed confidence that more..

Colombo has to repay for India’s jilting

Apr 15 (NS) Just when the UNHRC had finished flexing its muscles by adopting a United States initiated resolution against Sri Lanka demanding an international inquiry, Colombo responded this week by saying that it would not co-operate with any such investigation. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris enunciated this position giving several reasons: Firstly it would be biased as it would be led by the office headed by Navanethem Pillay whose allegiances on this issue are well known. more..

Sri Lanka: Reconciliation after war

Apr 15 (TP) The recently passed UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka marks a high point in terms of the country’s road towards peace. The US backed UNHRC resolution paves the way for an international investigation into the war crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan govt during the final military battles of the war. According to the Office for the Commissioner for Human Rights, the resolution asks that Sri Lanka “conduct an independent investigation into allegations of more..

Pledging support towards a multilingual community

Apr 15 (Island) Walking along the corridors of the Jaffna Public Library (JPL) where a sense of culture and hallowed tradition permeates, an avid reader is tempted to tarry oblivious to the outside world. The re-modeled Children’s Section, with brightly coloured desks and chairs instantly transports one to a childhood marked by Ladybird Classics, Enid Blyton evergreens, Children’s Encyclopedia and much more with that more..

A review of the working of Provincial Councils: Legislative powers

Apr 15 (FT) The 13th Amendment Article 154C says: “Executive power extending to the matters with respect to which a Provincial Council has power to make statutes shall be exercised by the Governor of the Province for which that Provincial Council is established, either directly or through Ministers of the Board of Ministers, or through officers subordinate to him, in accordance with Article 154F.” So the provision was for the Governor to exercise his Executive powers on the advice of more..

Sri Lankan inventor designs coconut shell portable cooker

Apr 15 (ST) Due to the high cost of living with often price increases of goods and high taxes, it has been an ongoing struggle to maintain household expenses. The spiralling costs of electricity and gas are unbearable. Sri Lankans are now looking for cheaper alternatives to costly electricity and fuel use. Tenison Perera, owner of Asiri Hotel, Tudella, Ja-Ela, using a simple but unique technology, has invented a cooker using coconut shells or coconut shell charcoal. more..

Saudi imposes fines, jail terms for visa lapses

Apr 15 (AT) Saudi Arabia will punish people who employ foreigners illegally or break the terms of their visas, in an effort to encourage local employment. Punishment ranging from fines and jail terms to confiscation of assets and deportation may be imposed, escalating a year-long crackdown on visa irregularities that have been overlooked for decades. Interior Ministry decision was carried on the official Saudi Press Agency on Monday. more..

'Quitting SL captaincy was a tough call'

Apr 15 (KT) Sri Lanka's 29-year-old woman's cricketer Shashikala Siriwardene says decision to step down from the captaincy was a tough one. The Sri Lankjan all-rounder relinquished team captaincy last week. Speaking exclusively on Sunday morning over her mobile from Colombo, she said, "yes, it was a tough call but have no regrets. I am happy to end like this. My family members, cricket board officials and friends have supported my decision. I got lot of support from them". more..

'Gold smugglers may take to Sea'

Apr 15 (ENS) Following a high number of seizures of gold at airports across the country, smugglers are likely to take the sea route to smuggle in gold to the country. The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has given an alert to the police in coastal states of the country to enhance surveillance along the coastal belt so that smugglers would not bring gold with the assistance of fishermen in fishing boats. According to IB, there are possibilities of smuggling in gold from neighbouring countries like B'desh and SL more..

Toronto's Mayor congratulates Lankan cricket team on World T20 victory

Apr 15 (LR) Toronto’s Mayor Rob Ford congratulated Sri Lanka on their first world cricket title in 18 years and said he always backs the underdog to win. The mayor made his remarks to Lanka Reporter during the official launch of the fourth annual CIBC Trophy – Mayor’s School Cricket Tournament presented by CIMA Canada. “I always cheer for the underdog; I think it’s great and want to congratulate Sri Lanka on their victory,” more..

Sri Lanka develops Biofilm to come out of current chemical loop

Apr 15 (FT) The WHO-UN internal report in December 2013 identifies Sri Lanka as the highest per hectare user of pesticides and the eighth highest user of chemical fertilisers in the world. Once a paradise for lush greenery and vegetation, the soil under our feet has now critically deteriorated with the excessive dumping of chemical fertilisers and agro chemicals for the past 60 odd years. The situation is steadily aggravating as more and more chemical fertiliser is needed for more..

Brandix rewards commendable voluntary service of associates

Apr 15 (ST) Eleven employees of Brandix, or associates as they are known as by the apparel exporter, have been recognised for voluntary community service as part of the Group’s commitment to World Water Day 2014, observed annually on March 22. Titled, ‘Nihanda Mehewara’ (silent service), this year’s initiative sought to identify those among Brandix’s associates in Sri Lanka, who through their efforts and expense have helped others in their communities, more..

'I won World Cup but I’m not right for England yet'

Apr 15 (DM) There is an English coach who has led Sri Lanka to two trophies in four months in charge but he will not feature in this week’s interviews to find the man to succeed Andy Flower at the helm of the England team. Paul Farbrace could hardly have made a better start to his international career, with his 17th win in 18 matches as coach of Sri Lanka seeing them add the World Twenty20 title to the Asia Cup they won more..

Wattala UC Deputy Chairman remanded

Apr 15 (NF) The Deputy Chairman of the Wattala Urban Council who was arrested on charges of assault has been remanded until April 16 by the Acting Magistrate of Wattala, Channa Gunawardena. The Deputy Chairman was arrested on charges of having conspired to assault an individual from the Bangalawatte area in Mabola, Wattala. The Wattala Police made the arrest on Sunday evening. The victim was attacked by a group of persons on April 6 who had more..

Tamil journalist attacked in Jaffna

Apr 15 (CG) A Tamil freelance journalist was attacked in Jaffna last night while he was on his way home, Jaffna based Uthayan newspaper reported. Journalist, identified as Sivagnanam Selvatheepan, was attacked by unidentified men on a motorbike in Vadamarachi, Jaffna. According to reports, the 29 year old was attacked with iron rods by the men on the motorbike who had followed him from behind. Journalist was admitted to hospital for treatment and a police complaint had been lodged.

Indian forces took part in Lankan war: Plea

Apr 15 (TOI) Did India clandestinely deploy its armed forces in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the ethnic war in 2009? A PIL filed in the Supreme Court has said Indian military personnel took direct part in the war, and that some were even injured in the battle. A Sikh officer was commanding the forces, it said, citing eyewitness evidence and international probe. Noting that deploying Indian military without more..

Dilmah launches tea capsules

Apr 15 (Scoop) Loyal tea drinkers will be able to entertain their tea-loving friends at the push of button with the New Zealand launch of Dilmah tea capsules. Available in popular Earl Grey and English Breakfast, the new tea capsules are compatible with Nespresso machines and allow for an alternative, and quicker, tea making experience to traditional tea bags. The perfect cup of tea traditionally takes three minutes to draw out the full flavour and goodness, Dilmah still encourages this as the best way more..

Fan reaction to Asia Cup success inspired Sri Lanka to World Cup glory

Apr 15 (IC) Sri Lankan cricket team were inspired by the public's reaction to their Asia Cup victory upon their return to the island in March and were determined to do well at the World Twenty20 that followed, bowling coach Chaminda Vaas said in a recent interview. Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup, and received a heroes' welcome home. "While being paraded in the street, the enormity of their achievement sunk into the players, Vaas said. more..

Round II of Fishermen Talks to begin in Sri Lanka on May 12

Apr 15 (ENS) Taking the dialogue process forward, the TN govt on Monday announced that the second round of talks between the representatives of fishermen communities in the State and Sri Lanka will be held on May 12 and 13 in Colombo. Announcement follows the release of 98 fishermen of TN and their 23 boats by Lankan authorities. SL govt took steps to release the fishermen and their vessels due to the firm stand taken by more..

A second warning by FUTA

Apr 15 (LT) Various changes are being made in the university sector without any consultation despite the govt pledging it would discuss with university teachers before making such changes and if this attitude is not stopped within the next few days stern action would be taken against such acts warns the President of FUTA Chandraguptha Thenuwara. He said authorities have been asked to stop establishing private universities and the move to sell university courses. more..

Negombo Prison inmate dies in hospital

Apr 15 (AD) An inmate of the Negombo Prison, who was arrested and remanded on charged of heroin possession, has passed away today. Prisons Commissioner General Chandraratne Pallegama stated that the prisoner was admitted to the Negombo Hospital on April 12 due to suffering from pneumonia. However, he passes away at the hospital this morning, Mr Pallegama said. The suspect was arrested in 2010 for the possession of 30kg of heroin and placed in remand custody.

Canada suspends Commonwealth funding over Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (AFP) Canada's govt announced Monday the suspension of funding to the Commonwealth over rotating chair Sri Lanka's alleged rights abuses. While Sri Lanka remains chair of the 53-member bloc, Canada's US$9 million annual contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat will instead go for two years toward combatting the practice of child, early and forced marriage. "As host of the 2013 CHOGM and more..

Facts on coconut and oil production come to the surface

Apr 15 (NF) Reports from the Central Bank indicate a 14.5% drop in coconut production in 2013 compared to 2012. The reports add that this decline has been attributed to the decline in the production of coconut oil and other related products. The 2,940 million coconuts that were plucked in 2012 had dropped to 2,513. The report indicates that the low rainfall received in the coconut triangle has caused this drop in production. 72% of the total coconut oil production had been used for cooking more..

Biswal and Solheim discuss Lanka

Apr 15 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian affairs, Nisha Biswal, had had discussions with former Norwegian Minister Erik Solheim on Sri Lanka. Solheim was a former peace envoy and mediator during the conflict in Sri Lanka and continues to follow the Sri Lankan issue while Biswal had in February visited Sri Lanka for the first time since taking over as Assistant Secretary of State. Both Biswal and Solheim tweeted about their meeting with Biswal saying she appreciated more..

First Family celebrates traditional New Year

Apr 15 (IL) When the entire country is gripped in a happy and festive mood, Sri Lankans celebrated the traditional ‘Aluth Avurudda’- Sinhala and Hindu New Year which marks the transit of the sun from the house of ‘Meena Rashiya’ to the house of the ‘Mesha Rashiya’. According to the reports, Sinhala and Tamil people throughout the country enthusiastically got ready to celebrate it in usual grand style. more..

Police probe Gobi’s telephone calls

Apr 15 (CG) Police say they are investigating the telephone calls made by Gobi, a former LTTE cadre who was killed during a confrontation with the army last week. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the telephone calls of two other former rebels including Appan, who were also killed during the clash in Vavuniya are also under investigation. Once the details of the telephone conversations the three men had made are collected the next course of action will be taken. Earlier there were reports that politicians more..

Guilt by ethnicity: Liberal Sinhalese response

Apr 15 (CT) Dear Sinthujan, I read with bemusement your letter to the “Sinhalese ally”. Coming after the arrest of the human rights activist Ruki Fernando, such condescension may be untimely given how devoted Ruki and other have been towards advocating for the rights of the Sri Lankan Tamil community as well as other minority groups. Notwithstanding the emotional reaction, the allegations and insinuations in your piece deserve a response. This is mine. more..

TID hails arrest of Prabhakaran’s confidant as great victory

Apr 15 (CT) The arrest of Subramaniam Kapilan a.k.a. Nandagopan by the TID is considered a great victory in the battle against the struggle of the Tamil Diaspora to resuscitate the LTTE. Nandagopan is believed to be the second-in-command to Nediyavan, a leader of the LTTE international network. Nandagopan was a close confidant of slain LTTE Leader, V Prabhakaran. He was among those who attempted to smuggle a submarine more..

The great Indian betrayal: India voted twice for Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (CT) India proved once again that it cannot be trusted by anyone. When everyone who have been keenly following the Sri Lankan affairs expected India to vote for the US sponsored resolution seeking International Investigations, India abstained after giving an unwanted moral preaching at the 25th UNHRC in Geneva during the course of the passing of the resolution A/HRC/25/23. In all there were three voting on the 27th of March 2014. The first one was on a vote sought by more..

For Sri Lanka bishops, Easter is a time of reconciliation for our people

Apr 15 (AN) "Whilst we observe certain positive signs of development in the country, the need is also felt to promote unity and reconciliation among the people in our motherland. This can only be done if we respect one another and safeguard each other's dignity," said the Catholic bishops of Sri Lanka in their Easter message. Released today in Sinhala, Tamil and English, the statement is signed by Card Malcolm Ranjith (Archdiocese of Colombo) and Mgr Valance Mendis (Diocese of Chilaw), more..

8 persons including a woman arrested in raid on Dehiwela bakery released

Apr 15 (DBS) Eight Persons including a woman who were under detention for more than three weeks breathed the air of freedom on the eve of the traditional April new year. These eight persons taken into custody by the Police after a lightning raid on a bakery in Dehiwela some weeks ago. Twelve persons including the eight released yesterday were taken into custody. Police suspected that bakery premises was being used as more..

Police net 877 drunk drivers

Apr 15 (AD) The Police Department today revealed that 877 motorists have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, following the special operation launched to curb road accidents in view of the festive season. 149 of them were nabbed within the past 24 hours. 76 motorcyclists, 61 three-wheeler drivers and 12 drivers of other vehicles are among the total DUI arrests in the 24 hours from 6am yesterday. Special operation to apprehend drunk drivers would continue more..

Big Trip: Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (TNT) Tucked away at the bottom of India and surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the island of Sri Lanka is a haven for wildlife, filled with solitary beaches and snorkelling opportunities, plates of spicy curries, bustling cities and temples galore. The usual mentality of people visiting Sri Lanka is to choose either the greenery and wildlife of the hill country and the north, or the relaxing vibe of the south, where all those beautiful beaches are. However, there’s no reason why more..

Abuse of Presidential Pardon

Apr 15 (AHRC) Panadura High Court judge, Kusala Weerawardana, found ten Presidential Security Division (PSD) officers who were accused of assaulting two famous songsters Rookantha Gunathilike and Chandraleka Perera to be guilty of the charges and sentenced them to four and a half years of rigorous imprisonment. The PSD officers entered the living premises of the two famous singers, shaved their heads and assaulted more..

Woodhall Spa swoop to sign SL star Bandara

Apr 15 (HN) Woodhall Spa Cricket Club has pulled off another sensational signing ahead of the new season in the shape of Sri Lankan star Malinga Bandara. Test ace is a more than adequate replacement for fellow countryman Prasanna Jayawardene, who has to pull out of his planned return to Jubilee Park. Jayawardene, who made such a big impact at the club last season, is touring England this summer with Sri Lanka. He will also be involved in a home Test series against SA more..

Chinese men arrested in Poonaryn

Apr 15 (CG) The police arrested two Chinese nationals in Pooneryn for engaging in business activities while in Sri Lanka in a tourist visa, the police media unit said today. The police said that the two men had been arrested yesterday while they were selling imitation items in the Pooneryn town claiming it was gold. The two men were produced before a Magistrate in Vavuniya and were remanded till April 24, the police media unit added. Further investigations are underway.

'Canada using funds as political tool'

Apr 15 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt has accused Canada of using its voluntary funds to the Commonwealth Secretariat as a political tool based on the dictates of electoral compulsions, thereby holding the membership of the wider Commonwealth to ransom, through competing claims for power. Canada had yesterday decided to suspend its voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat and reallocate more..

Gota holds talks with Malaysian PM

Apr 15 (CG) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has had talks with Malaysian PM Najib Razak in Malaysia. Talks had taken place on the sidelines of the Defence Services Asia 2014 summit taking place at the World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Rajapaksa is among several foreign Defence Ministers and officials taking part in the summit. Sri Lankan Defence Secretary and his delegation had talks with the Malaysian Premier for some 30 minutes but more..

UN youth advisory panel launched

Apr 15 (AT) The United Nations Youth Advisory Panel (UNYAP), officially launched on 7 April, is part of the wider UN-wide Action Plan on Youth to establish direct linkages between youth and the UN Country Team (UNCT). It was followed by a three-day orientation programme in Colombo. UNYAP brings together a group of fifteen Sri Lankan youth with a passion for myriad aspects of development work. The panel, chosen after a competitive process, will come together with more..