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Initial meeting of the Sixth Western PC today

Apr 22 (CT) First meeting of the Sixth Western Provincial Council (WPC) will take place at 9.30 a.m. today, in the Auditorium, Provincial Council Building, Hector Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla. All Provincial Council members are due to be sworn in before Governor of the Western Province, Alavi Maulana at 9.30 a.m. Attorney-at-Law, Sisira Jayakodi, elected to the Gamapaha District, will be elected as the Chairman of the new Provincial Council at around 10.30 a.m. more..

UN inquiry holds few terrors for a Sri Lanka used to impunity

Apr 22 (TC) The Sri Lankan govt is on the defensive again over human rights. It is hoping to ride out a diplomatic storm after failing to thwart a UNHRC vote approving an international investigation of alleged war crimes. The US-sponsored resolution targeted both the Tamil Tigers and govt troops, but such objectivity failed to impress a Sri Lanka bristling with indignation. The brutality of the LTTE is beyond doubt. The massacre of civilians in border villages, large-scale bombings, more..

Protest outside Jaffna Bishop’s House over girl’s suicide

Apr 22 (Island) Jaffna police have launched an inquiry into the suicide of Ms. J. Consolita (22) in the wake of recent public protests opposite the Jaffna Bishop’s House near Colombuthurai, Jaffna accusing two young priests of responsibility. The victim, a resident of Mandaitivu had been involved in a teaching project within the premises of the Jaffna Bishop’s House. The victim’s family, relatives as well as some villagers more..

Are paper qualifications the answer?

Apr 22 (DM) President Rajapaksa had said at the Getambe Rajopawanaramaya on Saturday that he hopes to introduce amendments to the Constitution with a view to absorb qualified people into politics. He had pointed out that degrees and postgraduate degrees are the qualifications for politicians in some countries such as Pakistan. No doubt, the news item on this statement might have been a relief for hundreds of thousands of people in the country as it has been their life long craving to more..

Concrete dinosaurs vs human existence

Apr 22 (DM) “I suppose, I must walk to church”. About a hundred years ago, it happened to be a caption that appeared in every newspaper in the USA, attributing to President Woodrow Wilson (1913-21). During the First European (or the world) war, the USA was in the grip of oil shortages, resulting in the govt imposing “gasoline less Sundays’. Setting an example to the nation, President Woodrow Wilson and the first lady walked to church. Coincidently, with this year’s more..

Pistol wielding drama in Hambantota

Apr 22 (DM) Attention is now drawn towards the Mayor of Hambantota - Eraj Fernando, for the alleged assault on the UNP MPs who visited Mattala Air Port and Hambantota Harbour, on a fact-finding mission on April 17. The Mayor, despite the media spotlighting him trotting with a pistol, initially denied that he had a pistol in his possession and later said that it was just a toy pistol and it was grabbed by him from more..

Bombers to Martyrs

Apr 22 (SL) Terrorism cannot be sustained without an above ground and underground support infrastructure. One of the world’s most notorious terrorist groups, the LTTE sustained itself because of the support it received and the bystanders that watched the spread of hatred and the conduct of violence. Father Sleemanpillai Joseph Emmanuel, a key supporter of the LTTE and an admirer of its leader V Prabhakaran, more..

Grief amidst New Year celebrations as 94 die in accidents

Apr 22 (ST) New Year is all about joy and celebration but the dawning of this year’s Sinhala and Tamil New Year has brought grief to the loved ones of about 94 people who lost their lives in road accidents during the festive week. In the latest tragedy, on Friday, four children were among 10 people who were killed when a tractor loaded with 21 villagers toppled into an irrigation canal in Aralaganwila, Polonnaruwa. more..

Fonseka sees special treatment for Sajith by govt

Apr 22 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) claimed that the govt meted out step motherly treatments to one faction of the UNP and favoured the other. DP leader Sarath Fonseka said that although the govt had not permitted his party to campaign in the Hambantota District during the Southern Provincial Council election, no such restriction had been placed on the UNP’s campaign in Hambantota. more..

Govt considers hiking monthly Mahapola schol to Rs. 6000 - SB

Apr 22 (Island) The govt was contemplating increasing the monthly Mahapola Scholarship grant from Rs. 2500 to Rs. 6000 as it had been found that the majority of the scholarship recipients could not manage with the present allowance, minister S.B. Dissanayake disclosed at the presentation of Mahapola scholarships to 711 undergraduates of the Kandy district at the Kandyan Art Centre, Kandy. more..

CMC, Mayor under fire over controversial vehicle deal

Apr 22 (Island) The controversial purchase of 11 pick-up trucks for the CMC has raised many an eyebrow. Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) and Finance Committee (FC) recommendations had been disregarded in purchasing the vehicles at a cost of Rs. 63 million, a group of councillors said. Opposition councillor Tony Ramzie said that there had been 10 to 12 bidders and one company had been placed 8th more..

CB keeps rates unchanged on low inflation

Apr 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's central bank kept its rates unchanged on low inflation and a conducive environment for private sector credit to pick up, a statement said here on Tuesday. Releasing its Monetary Policy statement, the central bank has decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the bank unchanged at their current levels of 6.5% and 8% respectively. more..

JHU sees no casino bill on horizon

Apr 22 (Island) In the wake of the UNP and JVP alleging that there is an attempt by the govt to reintroduce the hotly debated casino bill in parliament as a new document with amended text, JHU said that there was no such attempt and the govt had earlier removed the word casino from the draft. JHU Media Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that his party was opposed to gaming and casinos functioning in Sri Lanka. more..

Investments in shares: EPF loses billions

Apr 22 (DM) Auditor General H.A.S. Smaraweera in his review of the 2011 annual report of the EPF said Sri Lanka’s main social security fund had lost nearly Rs.11.7 billion through investments in 58 private institutions. He said these losses had resulted in a 1 % decrease on benefits payable to 2.5 million EPF members in 2011. “There has been a 1% decrease on the benefits payable to the members in 2011 as compared with 2010. more..

Farbrace quits as Sri Lanka coach

Apr 22 (CI) Paul Farbrace, the Sri Lanka coach, has resigned with immediate effect in order to take up a role with the ECB, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed. The development came a day after Farbrace returned to Colombo and met with SLC officials to discuss his position, following reports that he had been approached by the ECB to be assistant coach to Peter Moores, the new England coach. Farbrace was a little over three months into more..

Disappearances and post-war reconciliation

Apr 22 (CT) Our Sunday edition quoted the Secretary to the Presidential Commission on Disappearances as saying that the Commission has received complaints implicating three govt politicians in incidents of disappearances and abductions. The Presidential Commission was appointed, last year ahead of the CHOGM in Colombo in an obvious effort to deplete the international criticism on the country's contentious human rights record. After a lacklustre beginning, Commission has now more..

WikiLeaks: South African ICT firm ‘Datatec’ has operations in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (CT) “South Africa-based ICT group Datatec has acquired a 50.01% stake in India-based ICT distribution business Inflow Technologies. The stake in Inflow provides Datatec with an entry point and initial footprint in India. Inflow has a presence in nine key Indian cities and has operations in Sri Lanka and Singapore” the US Embassy Pretoria (South Africa) informed Washington. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka: Tweaking the Muslims

Apr 22 (CT) Why Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa is tweaking the Muslim community, which by and large had been his loyal political partner? Since 2012 the Buddhist fringe organization Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) has continued its attacks with impunity on individuals, institutions and businesses connected with Muslim cultural and religious practices and identity like places of worship, religious education, wearing of burkha, and Halal meat. Churches have also had their share of such hate campaigns. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close higher

Apr 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks close 0.08% higher with index heavy stocks gaining amid net foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 4.80 points higher at 6,191.83 up 0.08%. S&P SL20 closed 2.48 points higher at 3,397.42, up 0.07%. Turnover was 551.13 million rupees, down from 816.06 million rupees a day earlier with 83 stocks close positive against 96 negative. John Keells closed 90 cents higher at 239.90 rupees with market transactions of 103.44 million rupees contributing to 19% more..

Video: Mangala urges removal of MR as C’wealth Chair

Apr 22 (DM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said the Hambantota incident was further evidence of the violation of the Commonwealth Charter and urged Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma to remove President Rajapaksa from the post of Commonwealth Chairman. “Mahinda Rajapaksa is not Gaddafi. He is Chairman of Commonwealth and therefore he is bound to uphold Commonwealth Charter. more..

WIPO picks Lanka as high capacity legal IP destination

Apr 22 (DN) Sri Lanka has high legal, scientific and tech capacity to adapt to demanding global Intellectual Property (IP) dynamics-and for the first time, a global body vested with universal IP powers has openly acknowledged its potentials. “When it comes to IP and patent designs of international levels, Sri Lanka shows high potentials. Sri Lankan legal, science and tech fraternities display strong capacity to grasp, adapt and adjust to demanding global Intellectual Property (IP) dynamics” more..

3 vacancies in the Supreme Court bench

Apr 22 (SM) The President is in a dire crisis after three of the 11 Supreme Court judges have retired, internal sources of the government say. Supreme Court justices Shiranee Tilakawardane and Sathya Hettige retired on April 05 and April 18 respectively, following the completion of 65 years of age. Supreme Court justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga, who is famed for his impartiality, retired on March 2014. Meanwhile, Supreme Court justice Saleem Marsoof too, is to retire next month, more..

UK following case of tattoo woman

Apr 22 (CG) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office says it is dealing with the case involving a British woman ordered to be deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of the Lord Buddha on her arm. The British tourist in Sri Lanka is currently being held in a detention centre ahead of deportation. The police said Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was arrested at BIA in Colombo, after she arrived from India. more..

Douglas says stop digging the past

Apr 22 (CG) Minister Douglas Devananda says it is time to stop attempting to justify wrong actions of past and instead look towards the future for the betterment of the people. The Minister was speaking at the Kilinochchi District Coordinating Committee meeting which was held today in Kilinochchi under the joint chairmanship of the Minister and Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. Minister Devananda said that meetings like the District Coordinating Committee meeting more..

'Ireland can beat Sri Lanka'

Apr 22 (BBC) Ed Joyce believes Ireland will never have a better chance of toppling world champions Sri Lanka than when the sides meet twice at Clontarf next month. Joyce is named in a 13-man squad for the matches in Dublin on 6 and 8 May. "I'm convinced we have a real chance of beating Sri Lanka as they won't relish the conditions we're likely to face in early May in Dublin," said Joyce. "As a player you want to test yourself against the best and Sri Lanka certainly come into that category." more..

US Ambassador celebrates Earth Day with Sri Lankan Girl Guides

Apr 22 (USE) To celebrate Earth Day 2014, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison met with Girl Guides as they launched their "Earth Day Ambassadors" program. 60 girls from Girl Guides chapters in Jaffna, Kandy and Colombo were selected to be “Earth Day Ambassadors”. The participants researched and scored their respective city’s environmental ‘green’ ranking, and will now collectively build an action plan to improve more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends slightly weaker on importer dollar demand

Apr 22 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee edged down on Tuesday due to late importer dollar demand after the central bank kept its key policy rates unchanged at multi-year lows in line with market expectations. Dealers said they expect the currency to remain steady in the near future until credit demand rebounds. The spot rupee ended at 130.62/67 per dollar, weaker from Monday's close of 130.60/62. Before the market opened, the central bank kept policy rates steady at multi-year lows, more..

DSI in hot water after Mount Spring raid

Apr 22 (SM) The Consumer Affairs Authority has sealed the Dalugama factory of DSI subsidiary - Mount Spring Water (Pvt) Ltd, after seizing 37,000 bottles containing contaminated water unsuitable for consumption. It was discovered that the water contained a chemical similar to kerosene oil. The owner and manager of the factory was arrested and was later released on bail bonds, reports say. They are to be produced before the Kadawatha Courts tomorrow (April 23). more..

Special envoy from Korea visiting Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (LBT) Yu Myung-hwan, Special Envoy of the Govt Republic of Korea, is visiting Sri Lanka from April 20 - 22 to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. Mr. Yu, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea from 2008 to 2010, paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa and held bilateral talks with Minister G.L Peiris on April 21. more..

Blackmailed following Facebook love affair

Apr 22 (Island) A teenager who befriended a 24-year-old woman via facebook and which later turned into a love affair was taken into custody by the Galewela police after the 19-year-old threatened to blackmail her. Young woman is a resident of Nilagama and the youth is from Eheliyagoda. They had been talking to each other over the phone and met for the first time in Galewela. The police said that he had posted naked photographs of the woman on six separate Face Book accounts more..

We can topple or create govts - BBS

Apr 22 (AD) Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Organisation can topple govts or create governments in Sri Lanka if it wants, BBS General Secretary Galaboda Atte Gnanasara Thero said today. However, he assured that the organization has no intention of toppling the ruling Rajapaksa govt. Addressing a press conference, Thero stated that certain Ministers are alleging that the BBS are conspiring against the country and challenged those ministers prove their conspiracy claims. more..

Guns, stones, rotten eggs cannot hide truth about Mattala Airport, Magampura Port - UNP

Apr 22 (Island) The UNP said that their study tour of the Mattala Airport and Magampura Port in Hambantota last Thursday had only confirmed that both projects were meant to boost the egos and political fortunes of the Rajapaksa family and were huge burdens on generations to come. R. Yogarajan, one of the five UNP MPs who were manhandled, threatened and pelted with stones, rotten eggs and tomatoes by two UPFA more..

JHU doing ‘hunting with the hounds & running with the fox’ act

Apr 22 (LT) It is reported that JHU has decided to boycott the debate on the three gazettes related to casino that are to be presented to parliament on the 24th and the 25th. Among the gazettes that are to be debated is the hotel project by the Crown Casino owned by Australian Billionaire James Packer. Gazettes would give strategic development project status to the projects and would include gaming activities, fine dining restaurants and other associated facilities. more..

Wilpattu squatters will be removed

Apr 22 (CG) Minister of Wildlife Wijayamuni Soysa, says govt is taking measures to remove several squatters in the Wilpattu national park. He insisted that illegal permanent structures have not been built inside the park but there are people living in 44 tents and those tents need to be removed. Soysa said that since the issue involves a group of minorities the Govt needs to deal with the issue in a sensitive manner and so legal action has been filed to remove the squatters with court intervention. more..

Coastal line trains delayed due to protest

Apr 22 (AD) Ten trains plying along the coastal railway line will be delayed due to the tense situation currently prevailing at the Colombo Fort Railway Station as a group of railway employees are blocking the railway track, the Railway Department said. Railway substitute workers are obstructing the Ruhunu Kumari train, preventing it from leaving the Colombo Fort Railway Station, until their demands are met. more..

CB destroys 157.7 soiled currency notes

Apr 22 (DM) Central Bank has destroyed 157.7 million soiled currency notes bearing a face value of Rs.67.7 billion last year in an effort to maintain its Clean Note Policy, a report says. In its 2013 annual report the CB said this policy was adopted in 2007 but more vigorously implemented last year. CB’s Currency Department encourages this policy so as to expand the life span of notes printed for circulation. In addition to public awareness programmes highlighted through media, more..

Massive demo against Vijitha thero

Apr 22 (CG) A massive demonstration was staged against the venerable Watarekke Vijitha thero in Mahiyanganaya today outside the Pradeshiya Sabha. The police had to escort the venerable Watarekke Vijitha thero inside the building following fears the protesters may attack the monk. Several monks also took part in the protest against Vijitha thero who was recently accused by the Bodu Bala Sena of backing moves to illegally resettle some Muslim families in the Wilpattu national park. more..

Disciplinary action against Sanga, Mahela: Sumathipala slams ‘brainless’ move

Apr 22 (AD) Launching a scathing attack on Sri Lanka’s cricket officials over a possible move to conduct a disciplinary inquiry on the country’s most senior cricketers, a former SLC chief said it is a “foolish” decision taken by “brainless” officials. It was reported that former captains Mahela and Sangakkara could face disciplinary action over remarks they had made on arriving in Colombo after winning the ICC World T20 title. more..

Over 100 countries to attend world youth conference in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (Xinhua) A total of 103 countries have confirmed their participation in the World Conference on Youth (WCY) to be hosted by Sri Lanka next month, the Youth Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The confirmed list of invitees include senior ministers and senior govt officials from over 40 countries, national youth delegates representing 103 nations and over 300 youth delegates representing various civil society movements. Furthermore, the President of UNGA more..