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UNP misses bus for umpteenth time

Apr 2 (CT) An analysis of Saturday's PC elections showed that the UPFA Govt, which won those elections, had however seen its vote base eroded by 10.7% or 247,103 to 2,063,083 vis-à-vis the previous PC elections held in those provinces in 2009. Nevertheless, despite the high cost of living (CoL) and the fact that the Rajapaksa Govt had been in power for the past nine years, and hence, the general trend being that longer a party has been in power the more unpopular it gets, more..

The proscription of the Tamil Diaspora: War by other means

Apr 2 (CT) I woke up this morning and found that two organizations I work very closely with, the National Council of Canadian Tamils and the Tamil Youth Organization, are now banned terrorist front organizations in Sri Lanka. Any politician, civil society member or NGO that works with us from the island will be treated as a criminal. Any representative from these Diaspora groups who visits their homeland will be arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. more..

JVP demands Rs. 1 mn from UDA Chairman

Apr 2 (Island) JVP has sent a letter of demand to Chairman of the UDA over the latter’s alleged refusal to grant permission for  JVP a meeting at Kottawa Bus Stand Ground. He has pointed out a UPFA meeting was allowed to be held at the same venue on that day. JVP has demanded Rs. one million from the UDA on Friday on behalf of Maharagama Urban Council JVP member Dewananda Suraweera. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

Apr 2 (LBO) Stocks close flat Wednesday with strong foreign buying on the board. All Share Price Index closed 2.95 points higher at 6,004.78 up 0.05%. S&P SL20 closed 17.96 points lower at 3,281.94, down 0.54%. Turnover was 1.95 billion rupees, up from 341.54 million rupees a day earlier with 93 stocks close positive against 76 negative. All off market transactions accounted for 27% of the daily turnover. Foreign investors bought 1.03 billion rupees worth shares while selling more..

'Political-ruiners have emerged eclipsing intellectuals'

Apr 2 (LT) “The voice of the intellectuals has been drowned and the cacophony of political ruiners has been set forth. They have become the know-all of everything. Those who do not have the O/L qualifications are awarded doctorates. They are the ones who take decisions regarding education in the country. Intellectuals who have come out of all universities should get together to prepare a programme of higher education for the future generation,” says VC of Sri J'pura University more..

Sri Lanka’s Udeshika Prabhodhini becomes No 1 T20I bowler

Apr 2 (CI) Sri Lanka’s Udeshika Prabhodhani has jumped five places to take over as the number-one ranked bowler for the first-time ever in the latest Reliance ICC Women's Player Rankings for T20I Bowlers. The latest player rankings were released on Wednesday at the end of the group stage of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2014 in Sylhet. The four teams that have progressed to the semi- finals are Australia, England, SA more..

'Hambantota victory is a team effort'

Apr 2 (CT) Hambantota District UNP MP, Sajith Premadasa, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the people of Hambantota for the support extended to the UNP during the PC elections. He stressed that the strength and support given by the Hambantota people was because of the combined efforts of all 17 people in the group, who were contesting for the UNP. He also said their voter base will be well taken care of, and that the UNP will do their utmost for the people of Hambantota. more..

99 new ASPs

Apr 2 (Island) 99 police chief inspectors have been promoted to the rank of Assistant Superintendents of police with effect from January 13, 2014. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that of the 99 police officers, four were retired police officers. He also said apart from the above 99, another 24 chief inspectors had been promoted and they were in the waiting list as there were investigations pending against them. Once cleared they would be promoted, he said.

The World T20 roller coaster

Apr 2 (CI) While it is not unusual to see stories about the ICC in the Times law section, to be informed that it will soon "acquire jurisdiction over the international crime of aggression" was bewildering. Thankfully, the ICC in question turned out to be the International Criminal Court rather than the newly reconstituted International Cricket Cabal. The latter, as we know, actively encourages aggression, most vividly in the World T20, more..

GMOA attempts to clip nurses’ wings

Apr 2 (Island) GMOA General Committee has decided to propose to the Health Ministry that clerks be appointed to all wards in the govt hospitals. GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that many GMOA branch unions had requested the parent union to ask the Ministry to introduce the services of ward clerks in the state-sector hospitals to ease the workload of nurses. Currently, ward nurses in addition to doing their regular duties attend to taking inventories, admissions & audits. more..

Spot the Sri Lankan captain

Apr 2 (CI) Among the puzzling issues surrounding Sri Lankan cricket over the last few years has been the captaincy which has seen a quicker changeover than the average footballer manager. Dilshan, Mahela and Sangakkara have enjoyed a merry-go-round in the job with Angelo Matthews and now Dinesh Chandimal being handed the role. But for their final match against New Zealand, Sri Lanka tried something wholly different. With Chandimal - the official captain - banned for more..

Video: De-mining: only 82 sq km remain

Apr 2 (DM) While claiming that more than 1 million land mines had been unearthed so far in the de-mining process, the Army said today the lands with landmines in the North had been reduced to 82 square kilometers from 2,064 square kilometers because of the successful efforts of Sri Lankan Army and the assistance of local and international NGOs. “We have found and destroyed more than one million of land mines and explosives so far. more..

Lessons from Geneva

Apr 2 (ENS) Gross human violations that took place in Sri Lanka during the last stages of the Fourth Eelam War have come into sharp focus once again. The UNHRC, on March 27, after taking note of the recommendations of the UN High Commissioner, highlighted the “need for an international inquiry mechanism”. The resolution was supported by 23 members, 12 voted against and 12, including India, abstained. It should be pointed out that when human rights violations figured in the UN soon after more..

Singing for animals in Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (BFP) An evening of entertainment filled with talented bands and dancers will be held for animal charity Animal SOS Sri Lanka. The Totally Tribute fundraiser, which will take place at Hazlemere Community Centre on April 19, has been organised by dedicated volunteers Denize Woodstock and Ria Parslow of Posh Birds Production. Animal lover and full time PA, Denise, has been involved with Animal SOS for four years, and became a trustee after visiting the sanctuary in 2012 to more..

Video: Six nabbed in Matugama heist

Apr 2 (DM) Police arrested six persons in connection with the theft of Rs. 5 million that took place in Matugama, this evening. The suspects included the two alleged armed robbers as well as the three men who transported the cash to a private finance and leasing company. Two men reported to have been wearing full-face helmets were rounded up in Kottawa. While making their exit after the alleged robbery, the two suspects more..

UNP says will push for polls in 2015

Apr 2 (CG) UNP says it will push for a General of Presidential elections next year despite the Govt saying such an election will only take place in 2016. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the opposition, including JVP, DP and the TNA, should join forces to topple the Govt. He claims the screws of the Govt have been made loose and there is now a need for the opposition to join forces to topple the govt. UNP leader however refused to commit to agree on forming a joint opposition more..

CCC focuses on ‘Ease of Doing Business Index ranking’

Apr 2 (Island) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Employers Federation of Ceylon organized a seminar on `Online Remittance of EPF and ETF Payments’, recently at the Chamber auditorium. The seminar was addressed by P.W.D.N Rodrigo, Superintendent of EPF, J.M.S.B Udugama, Additional General Manager, ETF and Harin Malwatte, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, who made the opening remarks. more..

Groups warn of backlash as U.N. calls for probe into Sri Lanka civil war abuses

Apr 2 (CNN) Rights groups are warning of a backlash against activists in Sri Lanka following a landmark UN resolution calling for an international inquiry into abuses at the end of the country's civil war. UNHRC passed a resolution Thursday calling for a "comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights" allegedly committed both by Sri Lankan govt forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers more..

Delegation from China's Guangdong province visit Sri Lanka

Apr 2 (LBO) A high powered delegation from China's Guangdong provincial govt had visited Sri Lanka and had expressed interest in fish processing. Chinese delegation was led by Li Jian, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Govt of Guangdong province, the BoI said. The delegation was visiting countries along the so-called 'maritime silk route'. Chinese side had sought more information on the fisheries sector particularly fish processing, the BOI said. more..

Two Sri Lankan asylum seekers on bridging visas need help

Apr 2 (CM) Jeeva Palasundram and Siva Ravichandran are two asylum seekers who now call southeast Queensland home, after they received their 12-month bridging visas last Thursday. Mr Palasundram, 28, said he knew how fortunate he and his 18-year-old second cousin were, despite the violence they experienced before they left their home town of Batticaloa in 2012. “My parents said it wasn’t safe for me there anymore so my cousin and I took a boat to Cocos Island,” he said. more..

Video: Customs seize Rs. 1 bn worth rosewood

Apr 2 (DM) The Customs had seized 420 metric tonnes of Rosewood valued at Rs.1 bn in 28 containers at the Grayline II terminal, Customs Director General Jagath Wijeweera said today. The detection is the largest detection ever made by any border agency against international illegal trade operations of Rosewood (Dalbergia spp). “There were 3,669 logs weighing 420 Metric tones valued at US $7mn ,” he said. more..

SC reaffirms death sentence on Angulana murder convicts

Apr 2 (DM) A five Judge Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Shiranee Thilakawardena dismissed the appeal filed by the four persons including the former OIC of the Angulana Police station convicted for the murder of two youth in Angulana and reaffirmed the death sentence ordered by the High Court, today. The Judges while reaffirming the decision ordered a letter to be sent to the IGP commending the work of the inquring officer, ASP Shani Abeysekara. more..

United States defence ties intact says MOD

Apr 2 (CG) Ministry of Defence (MOD) says Sri Lanka’s defence ties with the United States remains unaffected despite the US sponsoring a resolution against the island in Geneva. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said today that defence exchange programs between Sri Lanka and the US have been taking place for several years. He said that the US also provides training for the Sri Lanka military and those training programs have not been affected by political issues. more..

'Sri Lanka will be thinking about 2012 final'

Apr 2 (CI) Darren Sammy does not think West Indies have an edge going into their World T20 semi-final against Sri Lanka because of what happened in the final of the previous edition. Sri Lanka had tied down the West Indies batsmen completely for more than half of their innings in Colombo before Marlon Samuels' counter-attack lifted his side to a title-winning score. Sammy felt, however, that the incidents of that night more..

Let’s awake from the fearful palsy fallen upon the people

Apr 3 (CT) As I rise before this august assembly for the second time since my last convocation having been re-elected. As the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka It is my pride and privilege to place before you some of our achievements and state the way forward in the ensuing year with reference to the issues that we are encountering as the Bar in Sri Lanka. As you may be aware, the year 2013 will go down in the annals of the BASL given the numerous projects that were added more..

Is Sri Lanka heading towards a Rohingya type attack on Muslims?

Apr 3 (CT) The alliance between anti Muslim Sri Lankan racist outfit Bodu Bala Sena and Burma’s blood thirsty Buddhist Monk Ashin Wiruthu, responsible for slaughtering thousands of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, spells disaster for the island. This extremely dangerous alliance, brought together by their common hatred towards Islam and Muslims, perhaps trained and financed by their new found Israel and US friends, has all the ingredients to turn the island into a killing field from more..

Colombo port city project, a reality soon

Apr 3 (SO) It was our ancestors that first discovered the value of the shipping industry and this was how the 'silk route' was created making the then Ceylon a naval hub in the world. The foreign invaders took a cue from this and redeveloped the harbour network not for the love of Sri Lanka but to use the harbours for their economic gain. However in the late 1960s the harbour sector suffered severe setbacks with a series of more..

How DS inspired a nation

Apr 3 (NS) DS, his two brothers, FR, DC and a host of national leaders working on Temperance Movement of Ceylon were falsely accused; unfairly arrested and tormented by the Colonial rulers in 1915. The British Governor and official’s attitude motivated young Don Stephan Senanayake of Botale, to fight for political reforms and to take up freedom struggle. In a strange turn of events all three Senanayake brothers played an active role in Temperance Movement in spite of the fact more..

Editorial: Saying it with fish

Apr 3 (Island) India’s refusal to vote for the US-backed resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC has riled TN politicians, especially Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha, beyond measure. But, her biggest worry is not the Centre’s U-turn in Geneva, we reckon. Instead, it must be the post-Geneva sea change in Sri Lanka’s policy towards Indian poachers. There were serious allegations that TN fishermen who crossed the IMBL suffered harassment and even assault at the hands of the Sri Lanka Navy. more..

A chink in the armour!

Apr 4 (FT) Govt is having a spectacularly bad week. Technically, with the two assemblies lapsing in late April, March 29 elections for the Western and Southern PCs took place on schedule. But the polls were also extraordinarily timed – with a little help from the Elections Department – to take place 24 hours after the UNHRC vote on a US resolution that would launch a war crimes investigation into the last seven years of SL's more..

Ides of March and a reality check for SL

Apr 3 (ST) Surely the members of the LLRC would not have thought, even in their most nightmarish dreams, that a resolution by the UNHRC sanctioning an international investigation into Sri Lanka’s human rights violations would be primarily based on their 2011 findings. Indeed, it would not be a stretch of the imagination to think that the LLRC Chairman and former AG, the late CR de Silva (to his credit, a stubborn man with a stubborn appreciation of the limits to which he could be pushed to) more..

Remembering Sithie Tiruchelvam

Apr 3 (GV) Writing a tribute to Sithie Tiruchelvam is not an easy task. Sithie was an intensely private person who was averse to public, over-the-top displays of emotion and sentimentality. I am aware that a piece that says little about her private persona could sound impersonal, even clinical. I have therefore attempted to pay fitting tribute, not only to her public achievements but also elements of her personality that are remembered and missed, in a manner that respects privacy she cherished. more..

The Amazing Race: Sri Lanka 2

India takes the wind out of US sails but leaves Lanka puffed

Apr 3 (ST) Though India took the wind out of puffed US sails set to charter a new turbulent course for Lanka by abstaining from voting in the US-sponsored resolution on Thursday, her non committal stance did nothing, however, to rock the smooth passage of the resolution which was comfortably passed with 23 nations voting for and 12 against, thus conferring the United Nations’ inquisitorial mandate upon Navi Pillay’s office to conduct an international probe into Lanka’s more..

The relative merits of Jeyakumari, Ruki and Fr Mahesan

Apr 3 (NS) An activist is an activist is an activist. This means there are all kinds of activists. An activist is someone who engages in or advocates activism. Activism is defined as ‘a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue’. The moment we bring ‘vigorous’ into the equation we are talking about an even bigger can of worms. The advocates and practitioners of drone attacks, for example, more..

UNHRC: Measuring consequences and implications

Apr 4 (DM) Last year Verité Insights examined the trading relationship between Sri Lanka and the countries that had voted for and against the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka both in 2012 and 2013. Findings were important. First finding was that those who have a stronger trading relationship with Sri Lanka were also the most supportive of the resolutions. Those who opposed or abstained are those that have a weaker trading relationship. more..

West Indies: High-risk and handsome

Apr 3 (CI) "Stop us from hitting sixes," was Darren Sammy's challenge before West Indies began their World T20 campaign. It came in reply to Suresh Raina's statement that West Indies relied too much on sixes and did not rotate the strike much. While West Indies' self-confessed preference for the big shots did not help them against the Indians, it bailed them out in two must-win matches against Australia and Pakistan. Both times, the sixes came out when nothing else would have worked. more..

Windies firepower gives them the edge

Apr 3 (CI) Sri Lanka and West Indies won three matches and lost one each in the group stages of the World Twenty20, and their overall batting and bowling stats are fairly similar. West Indies have the marginally better batting numbers, with a slightly higher scoring rate and average, while Sri Lanka have a marginally better bowling average. Both teams have taken exactly 31 wickets, which shows there's little to separate the two teams. Both teams have had one match in which more..

Captaincy contrasts couldn't be starker

Apr 4 (CI) One camp is unsure who will lead them out less than 24 hours before they play a crunch game while the other side is buzzing under theirs. In terms of leadership ahead of their semi-final of the World T20, there could not be a bigger contrast between Sri Lanka and West Indies. On Thursday evening, the Sri Lankan team could be led out either by the appointed captain Dinesh Chandimal, his deputy Lasith Malinga or, more..

SLINTEC and Dept. of Agriculture to conduct nano-fertiliser field trials

Apr 3 (FT) The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) signed a MOU with the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to carry out field trials on its slow release nano-fertiliser formulations. Initial trials with rice at the Rice Research and Development Institute in Batalagoda indicated that the nano-fertiliser can save urea by about 40%. This is significant considering that during fertilisation up to 70% urea is lost to crops because of leaching and volatilisation. more..