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The defeat of Gobi’s master plan

Apr 23 (SL) Although the LTTE was defeated almost five years ago, the rump of the LTTE has yet not given up their aim of dividing the country. This was evident by the recent incidents that took place in the North involving several terrorists both from here and abroad. According to intelligence sources, had these terrorists been successful in their attempt, the country could have plunged back into chaos. more..

Arjuna disappointed with Farbrace

Apr 23 (Island) Arjuna Ranatunga says he is disappointed with Paul Farbrace’s decision to end his tenure with SLC after a mere five months into the contract. Farbrace yesterday told SLC that he wished to move back to England to take up a coaching position with England and Wales Cricket Board, where he is expected to be deputy to Head Coach Peter Moores. "I am disappointed with what Paul has done, but on the other side more..

Wigneswaran accuses MR of reneging on pledges

Apr 23 (CT) Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, in a hard-hitting speech delivered at the Kilinochchi District Development Council (KDDC) meeting said, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has not fulfilled any of the pledges made to him concerning the successful governance of the Northern Province. It is the first time since the NPC was established in September last year that Wigneswaran presided over more..

Consumers cheated while traders caught in price trap on rice

Apr 23 (ST) Efforts by the Trade Ministry to keep rice prices down by imposing price controls on selected varieties has rebounded on consumers with low-quality produce being dished out in the markets. The Govt’s decision to impose price controls came a week ahead of the Sinhala-Tamil New Year after many small traders had already bought their stocks from paddy millers and major wholesale traders. more..

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Apr 23 (CI) Less than an hour after Paul Farbrace's resignation was announced, Nishantha Ranatunga - the mover and shaker of the Sri Lankan board - made a comment that exhibited the feebleness of SLC's present place in the cricket world. When asked what he thought of the ECB approaching Sri Lanka's head coach with a job offer, without consulting SLC first, Ranatunga's reply was docile. "That's another board's issue," more..

Docs to launch strike on April 29

Apr 23 (Island) The GMOA said about 17,000 doctors would launch a countrywide strike on April 29 as the Public Service Commission (PSC) had again amended the service minute of the doctors. Earlier the GMOA was to launch an indefinite strike from April 22, but it was postponed as the PSC had given the green light to Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka to issue a special gazette notification approved by the Cabinet. more..

‘Jayalalithaa shedding crocodile tears for Sri Lankan Tamils’

Apr 23 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi accused CM Jayalalithaa of shedding crocodile tears for the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils. Addressing a public meeting in Chennai Central Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Karunanidhi recalled the resolution passed by the AIADMK govt led by her in the past in the Assembly, urging the Centre to take measures for the arrest and extradition of LTTE chief V Prabakaran. more..

Wildlife Dept. moves court against ‘Wilpattu squatters’

Apr 23 (Island) Encroachers occupying temporary shelters at Mollikulam in the Wilpattu wildlife sanctuary would be removed by a court order within the next few days, Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Vijayamuni Zoysa said yesterday. Addressing a hurriedly called media conference, he said that there were 41 temporary structures within three acres out of the 660 hectare northern part of the sanctuary. more..

BBS mob storms Rishad’s Ministry

Apr 23 (CG) A mob led by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) stormed Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce saying they were looking for the venerable Watarekke Vijitha thero. Ministry officials said that after staging a protest outside the building some of the protesters led by a monk went inside and searched the rooms. The General Secretary of the BBS, the venerable Galagodatte Gnanasara thero did not more..

Players fire another salvo at SLC

Apr 23 (DM) The chaotic situation at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) reached crisis proportions yesterday, just a fortnight ahead of a near-two-month full tour of England as the country’s national players who are rebelling against the establishment delivered another decisive blow. The players who are presently without a central contract due to a simmering issue of a disputed payment, attended training at Premadasa Stadium yesterday more..

Will Lady Luck accompany a common candidate?

Apr 23 (DM) There is a search for a common oppositional candidate as the possibility of a presidential election has been announced by pro-government media. With the miserable election results it may be wise for the president to try his luck before the degeneration proceeded further. One pro-government pundit said that the opposition would have to display paid advertisements in the media calling applications for a “common candidate” for the post of President of Sri Lanka. more..

Govt Protects And Promotes BBS: Muslim Parliamentarians Protect The Govt

Apr 23 (CT) The govt and opposition MPs began, directly and indirectly, accusing the govt of being behind the Sinhala extremist Bodu Bala Sena and its anti Muslim campaign following its attack on the Slave Island Nippon Hotel press briefing of Jathika Bala Sena – JBS. The JBS is another group of Buddhist monk organization that promotes Peace and co-existence in the country. However long before politicians woke up after the attack on JBS, most Muslims were convinced of govt’s more..

WikiLeaks: South Africa’s Sri Lanka reconciliation broker meets US secretly

Apr 23 (CT) “This is the second in a series of cables on the strengths and weaknesses of the emerging candidates for the ANC and national presidencies in South Africa. This messages presents the view of Ebrahim Ebrahim, ANC National Executive Council member and former Political Advisor to Jacob Zuma. Ebrahim, who was imprisoned on Robben Island with Zuma, said the current speculation about the ANC more..

US $150 Mn World Bank credit line to develop Kandy, Galle

Apr 23 (Island) With US $ 150 million funding from the World Bank the govt had planned to develop the Kandy and Galle towns, said Additional Secretary, Ministry of UDA Janaka Kurukulasuriya. He said that designs were now being drawn up and construction would to commence in September this year. The Additional Secretary said that to ease the heavy congestion in Kandy town they planned to move the Bus parks to Peradeniya so that Colombo-Kandy bus services would terminate. more..

Sri Lanka shares end down 0.3%

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's shares end 0.31% lower with tobacco and diversified stocks losing ground. All Share Price Index closed 19.06 points lower at 6,172.77 down 0.31%. The S&P SL20 closed 23.87 points lower at 3,373.55, down 0.70%. Turnover was 670.86 million rupees, up from 551.13 million rupees a day earlier with 68 stocks close positive against 95 negative. Hatton National Bank closed 1.90 rupees lower at 155.10 rupees with an off market transaction of 70.65 million rupees more..

'Sri Lanka achieved a lot since war ended'

Apr 23 (IL) Special Envoy and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea Mr. Yu Myung-hwan said that Sri Lanka has achieved tremendous progress in every field after the end of terrorism. He made these remarks when he called on President Rajapaksa on Monday at Temple Trees. During the discussion Mr. Yu Myung-hwan told the President that 'Sri Lanka has achieved a lot' since the war ended. more..

Three women nabbed for smuggling foreign currency fined and released

Apr 23 (Island) Customs yesterday released a mother, her daughter and their female elderly neighbour arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport for attempting to smuggle into the country foreign currency worth 8.3 million rupees from India on Monday night. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that a 57-old mother, her 39-year-old daughter and a 64-year-old woman of Grandpass had tried to smuggle in USD 20,800, USD 13,700 and USD 25,000 respectively by more..

EPDP, TNA, UNP join hands against land acquisition in Jaffna

Apr 23 (Island) In a rare show of unity all elected members from the EPDP, TNA and the UNP from the Jaffna District have come together to unanimously pass a resolution at the District Coordinating Committee meeting on Monday, calling upon the govt to withdraw all notices issued under the Land Acquisition Act in the Jaffna District and to release those lands to the displaced people, enabling them to return to their own lands immediately. more..

Support for SL's domestic mechanisms gathering momentum in US Senate

Apr 23 (CBSL) Over the past two months, there has been a growing number of US Senators who have been calling upon the US govt and the govt of Sri Lanka. This growing group of Senators have called upon the US to give due regard to Sri Lanka's sovereignty, stability and security, in establishing domestic mechanisms to deal with any grievances arising from actions committed during and after the civil war in Sri Lanka. more..

Philips resigns from SLC disciplinary committee

Apr 23 (DM) Eminent lawyer Dinal Philips has resigned from the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) disciplinary committee with immediate effect, in response to an email sent by SLC asking the committee to probe the statements allegedly made by Mahela Jayawardene at a press conference upon his arrival from Bangladesh after the ICC World T20 triumph. President Counsel Philips told ‘Daily Mirror’ that he did not wish to offer reasons for his decision, but confirmed that he had responded to more..

Rupee edges up on exporter dollar sales

Apr 23 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee ended a tad firmer on Wednesday, recovering from early losses on dollar sales by exporters in late trade. Dealers expect the local currency to remain stable until imports pick up sharply. Spot rupee, which had hit a low of 130.64 per dollar earlier in the day on importer demand, closed at 130.60/61, firmer than Tuesday's close of 130.62/67. The central bank on Tuesday kept policy rates steady at multi-year lows, as expected, and expressed confidence that more..

SL suspends sending workers to Libya

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka on Wednesday suspended sending workers to Libya due to the volatile situation in that country. Measures are also been taken to bring back some 20 Sri Lankans employed in Libya, the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) said. Some 20 Sri Lankans are working legally in Libya and they will be flown back to Sri Lanka as soon as possible. External Affairs Ministry had earlier informed SLFEB more..

BBS challenges govt.

Apr 23 (Island) General Secretary of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) challenged the govt to take legal action against Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph forthwith who, he alleged, had helped the LTTE. "If the govt had the backbone and if its conscience was clear it should without hesitation arrest the Mannar Bishop for atrocities committed by the now defunct terrorist outfit," he said. Claiming that the BBS was not scared of either the govt or any other political party, Ven. Gnanasara added that more..

Indian HC rejects Lankan refugee's plea

Apr 23 (PTI) Madurai Bench of Madras High Court today rejected the plea of a Sri Lankan refugee, who claimed himself to be an Indian citizen, to quash the detention of his son under Foreigners Act 1946 and set him free. A bench comprising justice A.Sevlam and Justice V.S.Ravi held that the family card of the petitioner showed that they were Sri Lankan refugees. "The court cannot come to the conclusion that Provisions of foreigners Act 1946 are not applicable," they said and more..

Video: UNP protest tomorrow over casino legislation

Apr 23 (DM) UNP MPs will hold a protest rally at the proposed site of the Crown Multi-Purpose Development Project at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha to show their opposition to the legislation, under which tax concessions are being granted to three major development projects. The proposed legislation is to be taken up in Parliament tomorrow and the day after. UNP MP Harsha De Silva said that MPs will gather more..

City school canteens being checked from today

Apr 23 (Island) Colombo Municipal Council Public Health Department (CMC PHD) announced that it would inspect school canteens within city limits from today to ensure that food served there was safe and nutritious. Acting Food Inspector, Lala Kumara said the inspections being conducted under the guidance of CMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, aimed at ensuring the children were given nutritious food such as food prepared with lentils, gram and cowpea. more..

Gifted Australian ship due here tomorrow

Apr 23 (DM) An Australian Bay Class patrol boat that was gifted by the Australian govt to the Sri Lankan government is scheduled to arrive at the Colombo Port tomorrow morning, the navy said. The Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) took delivery of the Bay-class patrol boat, donated by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), at a flag-transfer ceremony in Cairns, Australia on 30 March. Australian media reports said that, the vessel, rechristened ‘SLNS Oshadi’ more..

Chandimal relieved of T20I captaincy

Apr 23 (CI) Sri Lanka's selectors have relieved Dinesh Chandimal of all his leadership positions, appointing Lasith Malinga as the T20I captain and Lahiru Thirimanne as vice-captain across all formats untill March 2015. Chandimal had had a poor run in limited-overs cricket, particularly in Asian conditions, but had maintained a good record in Tests, averaging 63.75 in 10 innings, since being named vice-captain in February last year. more..

Parents testify on Jaffna girl’s death

Apr 23 (CG) The parents of a girl found dead in a well in Jaffna testified in court today and raised suspicion over two Catholic priests alleging they were the cause of her death. The mother of Jeron Consoleeta, in her testimony before the court in Jaffna, claimed she had heard her daughter speak to the priests on one occasion and claimed that both priests had said they were in love with her. Consoleeta’s mother had said that when she questioned her daughter about more..

SL gets natural disaster credit from WB

Apr 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka has been given a 102 million US dollar credit line that can be drawn immediately after a natural disaster, as well as another 110 million dollars for measures to cut disaster risk, the World Bank said. The lender said Sri Lanka is the first county in South Asia to gain access to its new Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option, which can be drawn down fully or partially as soon as a state of emergency is declared after a natural disaster. "Poor people are usually the first to more..

SL players, board break contracts impasse

Apr 23 (CI) Sri Lanka's cricketers have agreed to sign the board's annual contracts after SLC decided to award the players a 10% cut of the ICC and ACC-events participation fee for the next five years, bringing the s7-week dispute to a close. Players have not yet put pen to paper, but Test and ODI captain Angelo Mathews had struck a deal with the three-member SLC committee appointed to review the issue, after a meeting more..

Former SL spinner Neil Chanmugam dies

Apr 23 (NS) One of Sri Lanka’s foremost off-spinners of the pre-Test era Neil Chanmugam passed away on Tuesday at the age of 73 having lost his battle with cancer which affected him for the past four years. Chanmugam formed an integral part of the Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was known then) cricket team that created history by beating Pakistan and India for first time in unofficial tests in the sixties. Two years after breaking into the limelight as an off-spinner when he scalped 5 Englishmen for 43 more..

UK amends travel advisory to include ‘tattoos’

Apr 23 (DN) UK amended its travel advisory today to include a clause in the Local Laws and Customs section inferring specifically on tourists who have tattoos of the Buddha. The updated version of the section reads “The mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this. British nationals have been refused entry to Sri Lanka or faced deportation for having visible tattoos of Buddha. Don’t pose for photographs by standing in front of a more..

10 international universities to establish operations in Sri Lanka

Apr 23 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's govt is opening up its public university system attracting significant investment with plans to allow 10 private universities to operate locally by 2020. Higher Education Ministry Dr. Sunil Navaratne outlined ambitious plans to reporters that aim to attract 50,000 foreign students to study at these private universities in addition to local youth. "Plan is to allow these universities to establish themselves in more..

People have lost faith in the judiciary sans its credibility

Apr 24 (CT) Ministers G L Peiris and Mahinda Samarasinghe state that the govt of Sri Lanka has no faith in the inquiry into human rights abuses undertaken by the UNHRC. They claim that Sri Lanka has an independent, robust justice system to inquire into any such allegations and any international inquiry into human rights abuses in Sri Lanka lacks credibility. Given the total control of the Judiciary under the grip of the Executive President, it is quite natural that the same question arises more..

Did Canada give a rap on the knuckle to both Mahinda and Sharma?

Apr 24 (CT) International political commentators have come up with a highly probable reason for Canada's withdrawal of Commonwealth funds rather abruptly. They contend that it was a palpable snub to both Mahinda Rajapaksa and Kamalesh Sharma who are current Chairperson and Secretary General respectively of the Commonwealth Heads of States Association. Rather more precisely, Canada has shown quite openly its displeasure with Sharma where his obvious favourable treatment of SL more..

Over 30% increase in tourist arrivals

Apr 24 (SO) The tourist industry is gaining momentum rapidly with 421,501 arrivals in the first quarter of this year indicative of a positive forecast of the Govt's targeted 2.5 Mn arrivals by 2016 generating a foreign exchange revenue of US $ 2.75 billion. The total number of international inbound tourists reached 146,000 tourists in January 2014 as against 110,543 in the corresponding month last year which is a 32.6% increase, more..

From Gota’s war to Gota’s crimes

Apr 24 (CT) As Gotabaya Rajapaksa lectures on “counter-terrorism,” to the people listening, the truth behind this man won’t hurt them. But to numerous others ‘hurting’ by this man, his speech at the Defence Services Asia Conference in Malaysia this last week would be most revolting. Talk about illegal evictions, to ‘White Van’ abductions, to disappearances, to Matale ‘mass graves’, to BBS terrorism, to torture and sexual violence by the armed forces, to unwarranted militarisation, more..

Yet another fleeting opportunity

Apr 24 (GV) Anxiety dominates the post-Geneva political climate in Sri Lanka, the result of a heady mixture of different reasons, which sees the ruling regime pursuing short-sighted solutions in order to neutralise. March turned out to be an eventful month for Sri Lanka domestically and internationally, with the passage of the UNHRC resolution, the arrest and detention of several key human rights defenders and elections in two PCs, all set against a backdrop of an alleged resurgence of LTTE more..

Hope flows forth from Kurusa Palliya

Apr 24 (ST) Silent but intent are the men, women and children who raise their eyes in prayer and pleading, to the life-size statue of Jesus Christ hanging on the Cross, looking down on them benevolently. While some sit cross-legged or kneel with arms outstretched on the sandy-floor in this simple and spartan shrine, others drag themselves on bended knee along the narrow concrete pathway leading to it. They murmur their prayers, more..