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‘Govt. trying to intimidate Tamil people’

Apr 30 (NS) TNA Parliamentary Group Leader, R. Sampanthan says that the Tamil population in the country was opposed to the return of violence. He stated that he was unaware as to whether the LTTE was in fact regrouping in Sri Lanka, but added that the Govt should take action if there was anything illegal happening. Q: There were reports of minor clashes in the North a few weeks ago between LTTE suspects and the Army. more..

Editorial: A land oozing with religiosity

Apr 30 (Island) There has been a mixed reaction to the setting up of a special police unit to curb religious violence. Although it is said to be President Rajapaksa’s brainchild, the JHU has fired a salvo at it, questioning its usefulness and warning that it may lead to unforeseen problems in time to come. However, the new unit has already received several complaints, according to the Police Spokesman. We only hope that the religious police unit will be provided with adequate resources to cope more..

Sri Lanka’s National Immunization Program to be made best in the world - Minister

Apr 30 (DN) National Policies on many important subjects such as Health, Education, Economy and Agriculture have already been introduced by the Govt, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. According to Minister Sirisena, the National Policy on Immunization has been drafted and persons and organizations can now forward their proposals and suggestions in connection with the Bill. The Policy will be submitted for Cabinet approval and then introduced to Parliament. more..

Tea in ‘thumbs – up’ mood, first quarter earnings top Rs. 50.3 billion

Apr 30 (Island) January to March results put tea circles in an ‘all smiles’ situation particularly because earnings exceeded those of last year over the same period by as much as Rs 8.3 billion. Additionally, exports of 75.2 million kilos indicate increase in quantities exported, by 4.3 million kilos, a Forbes & Walker tea market report said. However, the Asia Siyaka weekly tea market report had an equally interesting story that more..

Sri Lanka’s ‘missing persons’ and relevance of a Norwegian suicide bomber

Apr 30 (Island) With the Geneva-based UNHRC now set to initiate an investigation, targeting Sri Lanka, it would be pertinent to inquire into the basis of the major accountability issues confronted by President Rajapaksa’s govt. Undoubtedly, the alleged killing of over 40,000 Tamils, during the final phase of the conflict, would be the serious most issue, though the government faced a spate of accusations, ranging from use of cluster ammunition, against civilians, to systematic rape of Tamil women more..

Sri Lankan foreign reserves boosted by borrowed cash

Apr 30 (ST) Sri Lankan foreign reserves boosted by borrowed cash year-on-year inflation remained low with headline inflation (y-o-y) for March 2014 recording 4.2%, unchanged from the previous month, while core inflation (y-o-y) increased marginally to 3.4% in March from 3.1% in February 2014, the Central Bank said in its latest monthly review of the economy. “Looking ahead, although some price pressures may be felt due to supply disruptions brought by drought conditions, more..

Financial sector consolidation gathers steam

Apr 30 (FT) Central Bank (CB) yesterday indicated that the consolidation process of the country’s banking and finance sector is on track with considerable progress so far. Nine audit firms selected by the CB to carry out valuations on the banks and Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFI) will finalise and submit their reports on 2 May 2014. Interested buyers will then have access to the documents on request to the CB who will be more..

Why so many failures in mathematics?

Apr 30 (Island) According to media reports, every year about 50% of the student candidates at the GCE O/L exam come down in mathematics. This is a worrying situation as mathematics plays a major role in developing logical, critical and creative thinking of an individual and the application of mathematics is seen in almost all spheres of activity in the modern world. Therefore, it is important to find out why such a situation has occurred and how remedial measures can be taken. more..

SL start ups beckoned by angel investors

Apr 30 (LBO) Sri Lankan start ups have been invited to compete for capital from a regional angel investor network which kicked off a call for business plans this week. 'Venture Engine 2014' kicked off on April 29 with a final deadline for submissions on May 26. In addition to capital, there will be workshops and mentoring sessions from Lankan Angel Network and Indian Angel Network, alliances of angel investors, that aspiring entrepreneurs could make use of to improve their business plans. more..

Shangri-La increases investment to US$450m

Apr 30 (DN) Shangri-La hotel chain, which will be initiating Sri Lanka’s first seven star hotel, has revised its plan of construction and has decided to increase their investment to US $450 million, excluding the cost of the land and along with an increase of rooms from the initial 500 to 625. The hotel is to be built on 10 acres of land overlooking the Galle Face Green. The land was initially bought in 2010 with a price tag of US$125 million more..

Special project to protect roads

Apr 30 (DN) A special project will be started to protect roads in several districts, especially the upcountry road network from landslides on a directive by President Rajapaksa. Ports, Highways and Shipping Project Minister Nirmala Kothalawala said areas vulnerable to landslides have been identified in the upcountry road network and the Japanese govt has offered Rs. 7,000 million to address this problem. Sri Lankan govt has allocated Rs. 3,300 million to implement this project. more..

Steps in place to ward off MERS

Apr 30 (DN) Health Ministry has made arrangements to prevent the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) coming into Sri Lanka. Arrangements are also in place to manage the MERS virus successfully if it does enter the country, a spokesman said. The public should follow certain steps to avoid being infected and to protect others. “Persons arriving from Middle Eastern countries and those visiting these countries should take special precautions to protect themselves from the more..

Pope may visit Sri Lanka in January

Apr 30 (DM) While some media reports said Pope Francis is expected to visit Sri Lanka on January 13 next year on an invitation from the local church and the Sri Lankan Govt, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka said the dates were not fixed though the pope was expected in Sri Lanka in January 2015. Rev. Fr. Benedict Joseph, who is the official spokesman for the church in Sri Lanka confirmed the Pope's visit in January though more..

Over 33kg of gold smuggled from SL seized

Apr 30 (Hindu) Gold weighing 33.453 kg and worth Rs. 10 crore were seized on Tuesday by officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in a raid on an apartment at Triplicane, here. Two youths were arrested. The gold was smuggled from Sri Lanka. DRI sources said they had received information that gold was being brought to Chennai for distribution. Following the tip-off, they kept vigil on the movement of smugglers. The seized gold comprised crude bars and more..

Husband with sinister plan arrested

Apr 30 (Island) Milleniya police yesterday took into custody a man who had dug a pit inside his house after locking all its doors and windows to allegedly kill his wife and only child and bury them. In a statement to the police, wife B. Janitha (42) has said that her husband dug a pit right in the middle of the house and threatened to kill her and the child after locking the doors. She has said the following morning she pleaded with him to allow her to go to the well to wash clothes more..

Mahela sees no big deal in Farbrace exit

Apr 30 (DM) Mahela Jayawardene does not agree with a lot of hypothetical theories that have been flying around in the past few days on how Sri Lanka cricket team would be adversely affected during the forthcoming tour of England after national team coach Paul Farbrace suddenly changed camp and joined England without warning. The Sri Lankan stalwart, world cricket’s second most senior player after Shiv Chanderpaul, more..

First WYC delegation arrive

Apr 30 (DN) The first youth delegation participating in the World Youth Conference (WFC) to be held from May 6 to 10 arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday, WCY official spokesman and National Youth Services Council Chairman Lalith Piyum Perera said. He said the first youth delegation is from the Republic of Slovenia. The delegation includes leading youth representatives of Slovenia, Ja-ek Tee Aah and Veeha Mohorko. According to the chairman, the delegation arrived in SL, more..

Lehmann reflects on racial outburst

Apr 30 (GS) Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann has called his racial outburst against Sri Lanka in 2003 “the biggest mistake” of his life, and also offered an insight into how he manages the diverse personalities and egos present within the national team, from Mitchell Johnson to David Warner. Lehmann has returned to work at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane following a long and wildly successful summer with the Test team, and is currently planning for the challenges ahead more..

Sri Lanka look to have overegged the pudding by recruiting Chris Adams

Apr 30 (Guardian) I am intrigued by the recruitment of Chris Adams as a "consultant" to the Sri Lanka squad for their England tour which begins next month. Intrigued, indeed, not just by the fact that they already have a head coach and an assistant, albeit interim appointments, but also by what precisely a "consultant" will add to the sum of knowledge already contained within the team. Notwithstanding their great successes more..

‘It is your crisis too', Mangala tells Kamalesh Sharma

Apr 30 (SM) Former foreign minister, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera has written to Commonweawlth secretary-general Kamalesh Sharma, saying the erosion of democracy and fundamental freedoms in Sri Lanka is no longer only Sri Lanka’s crisis, but that it is his crisis too.“The fate and future credibility of the Commonwealth is inextricably bound to the actions of its Chair in office and his commitment to protect and uphold the Commonwealth Charter during his tenure,” more..

Hakeem in official visit to Malaysia

Apr 30 (FT) Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem, who is currently on an official visit to Malaysia met the Secretary General of United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) and the Minister of Federal Territories Tengku Adnan Mansor at the UMNO headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Ministers discussed in detail the current political developments in respective countries. Minister Mansor explaining in detail the current political climate in Malaysia analysed the results of parliament elections more..

Sri Lanka prepares ‘Certificates of Absence’

Apr 30 (IPS) Five years after the end of a bloody and protracted civil war, Sri Lanka has begun its first survey of families of the missing in order to assess their needs. The assessment is expected to lead to recommendations for assistance and, in some cases, bring closure, say govt officials and members of the ICRC. In January, the ICRC made a proposal to the Sri Lankan govt to carry out an evaluation of the needs of families of those more..

FR plea of Muslim schoolgirl on 13 May

Apr 30 (CT) Supreme Court yesterday fixed the Fundamental Rights (FR) application filed by a Muslim girl seeking permission to attend Janadhipathi Balika Vidyalaya in trouser and hijab, in addition to the school uniform, for 13 May. The Bench comprising Justices Chandra Ekanayaka, Eva Wanasundara and Buwaneka Aluvihare informed the Petitioner's Counsel to support the petition on that day. Fathima Hishani, a student of Janadipathi Balika Vidyalaya, Nawala and more..

SriLankan Airlines joins oneworld today

Apr 30 (FT) Creating history in South Asia’s aviation industry and in a major boost for itself, SriLankan Airlines will today formally join the prestigious oneworld alliance. Given the significance of the event, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the Chief Guest at the ceremonial entry of SriLankan Airlines to the global alliance of 14 airlines at the Mattala International Airport today. SriLankan will be the 15th carrier and first in South Asia to join oneworld, which includes more..

Sri Lankan with Pakistani terror links arrested in India

Apr 30 (TOI) Tamil Nadu police claim to have busted a major terror network with the arrest of an ISI suspect in Chennai on Tuesday. Highly placed sources confirmed that a 37-year-old man of Sri Lankan nationality, Zaheer Hussain, allegedly linked to a Pakistani terror outfit, was picked up in a joint operation of Central and state police forces. The terror suspect, hailing from Kandy, has been remanded in judicial custody by a magistrate more..

Sri Lanka to decide today on proposed fisherfolk talks

Apr 30 (DN) Fisheries Minister is expected to decide on today on whether the govt will take part in the proposed talks with the voluntary organization over the fishermen’s issue on the May 12 and 13. “Contrary to reports that have appeared in the media, we were notified by the Central Govt of India of the proposed talks scheduled for May 12 and 13, but we can only take a decision once the Minister arrives to the country today.” Said Secretary to Fisheries Ministry, Narendra Rajapaksa. more..

E01 bus fares to remain at reduced rates

Apr 30 (CT) The reduced fares on buses plying along the Southern Expressway will not be changed. The bus fares had been reduced along the Matara-Kaduwela (Rs 500), Matara-Maharagama (Rs 500), Maharagama-Galle (Rs 420) and the Kaduwela-Galle (Rs 420) routes due to the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The reduction of bus fares had been in anticipation of a larger crowd using the bus services along the expressways. "We foresaw a rise in the number of passengers and more..

Sri Lanka put on MERS alert

Apr 30 (CT) The sharp increase in the number of patients afflicted with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, has prompted the Ministry of Health to take precautionary measures to curb its spread in Sri Lanka. With the number of new cases of MERS Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia spiking to 26, with 10 deaths reported over the weekend, the Health Ministry rushed into forming a more..

A garland of slippers for the destitute

Apr 30 (DM) Not so long ago, the media reported the harsh treatment of a female student by the principal of the school in which she was studying, allegedly for using her Facebook page improperly which led to her suicide. Again we heard this week of another cruelty by a teacher inflicted on a schoolgirl for wearing slippers to school instead of shoes. The student from Kantalai had worn slippers to school on Friday as she did not have a pair of shoes and the female teacher in question is more..

SL not late for an alternative Agreement

Apr 30 (DM) UNHRC’s proposed international probe into Sri Lanka’s alleged human rights abuses, purportedly committed during the period covered by the LLRC, is likely to get underway in June 2014. Accordingly, the setting up of the required mechanism will be announced by the end of May, paving the way for a full-fledged inquiry. According to the US-backed resolution adopted on May 27 in Geneva by the UNHRC, the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (OHCHR) has been more..

Mumbo jumbo in elephant records

Apr 30 (DM) In ancient Sri Lanka the elephant was considered a revered animal. The early elite class had elephants as a status symbol. On the contrary, it is said that elephants were gifted to enemies to have their wealth exhausted on the maintenance of the elephant and they would become poor. No doubt, owning an elephant is a lavish and an expensive matter. Recently Sri Lanka paved the way for more..

The grip tightening

Apr 30 (SL) With depleting support for LTTE activism worldwide, LTTE fronts overseas, notably in Canada, are turning to prey on impressionable Tamil youth and children in order to revive their terrorist activities. As the photographs show, over 50% of the participants in the Tamil Community General Assembly gathered on April 13, 2014 were youth and children. Convened at the Toronto City Council Chamber by the more..

UDA gobbles up more prime land in Colombo

Apr 30 (ST) The UDA continues to acquire vast extents of prime property in Colombo Fort and surrounding areas, the latest being 1.7 acres (or 269 perches) in Kompanna Veediya. Included is a 107-perch block in Masjidul Jummaih Mawatha owned by the Department of Examinations (DOE) which has been relocated to Sri J'pura Kotte. A gazette notification published on Tuesday and signed by President Rajapaksa as Minister of more..

Botham launches ‘Laureus Cricket Bats for Good’ initiative

Apr 30 (Island) Laureus World Sports Academy Member Sir Ian Botham has launched a new initiative to create cricket bats for the next generation and raise funds for Foundation of Goodness projects in Sri Lanka. Last year, Sir Ian, the former England all-rounder and one of the world’s greatest ever cricketers, undertook one of his toughest fundraising challenges, walking 160 miles across Sri Lanka with a number of more..

Sri Lanka joins global airline alliance

Apr 30 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka today joined the global oneworld alliance, becoming the 15th member of the group which includes some of the top names in the passenger airline industry. The national Sri Lankan carrier also becomes the first carrier from the Indian subcontinent to join any of the global airline alliances and completes oneworld's biggest expansion program since the alliance was launched 15 years ago. more..

First accused in VAT scam pleads guilty

Apr 30 (Island) Colombo High Court Judge Kumudini Wickremesinghe had, on April 25, postponed the imposition of sentence on the first accused in South Asia’s biggest VAT (value added tax) scam case, former Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue Department, Gnanasiri de Zoysa, to May 8, SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said that the first accused in the case had pleaded guilty to 34 charges filed by the CID following investigations. more..

Sajith claws back into father’s base

Apr 30 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa claimed that the party’s vote base in the Colombo District especially in the Colombo Central electorate, had been drastically reduced during the past few years. He said that he would get personally involved to rebuild the voter base that his father, late President R Premadasa had built up in Colombo Central and the entire district, in addition to his work in the Hambantota District. more..

BASL concerned over new SC appointments

Apr 30 (DM) The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) while expressing concern over the impending appointments to fill Supreme Court vacancies will send a top-priority letter instructing regional branches of the Bar Association to send an immediate response on the intended appointments to the Supreme Court. The Bar Association would take the views expressed by the regional bar association on the more..

No disciplinary action against UPFA MPs

Apr 30 (Island) UPFA General Secretary, Susil Premjayanth, said that there wouldn’t be an inquiry or disciplinary action targeting those who hadn’t voted for three orders the govt moved under the Strategic Development Projects Act. He was responding to a query whether the SLFP-led ruling coalition was in turmoil in the wake of a section of the constituent parties as well as some SLFPers refusing to throw their weight behind more..

68 injured in train accident

Apr 30 (DM) At least 68 passengers were injured in the train accident at Pothuhera, Kurunegala this morning. Four of the injured were in serious condition. According to the Police, there were 45 women, 25 men, four boys and two girls among the injured. The 45 injured were admitted to the Kurunegala and Polgahawela hospitals while four of them were treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Kurunegala hospital. more..