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We’ll work with other opposition parties in PCs: UNP

Apr 3 (DM) UNP said anti-govt votes had been recorded as 46% in the Western Province and 41% in the Southern province and said it would work with other opposition parties in the two PCs. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said international community had lost confidence in this Govt and said Sri Lanka could not hope to rebuild its international image by winning elections. “International community has lost faith in elections in SL. more..

Principal re-remanded in student suicide case

Apr 3 (Island) Principal of Sir John Kotalawela Vidyalaya, Saman Indraratne allegedly implicated in the suicide of Venusha Imandi, a student of his school was re-remanded till April 11 by the Kurunegala Magistrate Court yesterday for violating bail conditions. OIC of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), B.W. Bopitigoda said that Indraratna had allegedly influenced the witnesses. The Principal was arrested on February 18 by the NCPA Police Desk on charges of child cruelty more..

Minister helps restore sight of 40 senior citizens

Apr 3 (Island) Forty senior citizens living at Singhapura in the Polonnaruwa District were losing their eyesight due to cataract, but on hearing of same Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena immediately brought them to the Seeduwa Vijaya Kumaratunge Eye hospital and had emergency operations performed to restore their sight. If emergency operations had not been performed, some of them would have gone blind, Minister said as he visited the Seeduwa hospital more..

26 Lankan Tamils on illegal ferry journey to Australia nabbed; all deported

Apr 3 (PTI) 26 Sri Lankan Tamils were nabbed by Indian Coast Guard while on an illegal voyage to Australia in a ferry off Andaman coast and deported to their country today. They were brought to Chennai by Andaman Police and sent back to Sri Lanka by a Spice Jet flight this morning, airport sources said. They said coast guard personnel, on a patrol, intercepted the ferry in which the 26 Lankan nationals were travelling more..

SL to raise US$500mn from sovereign bond

Apr 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka is planning to sell a 5-year, 500 million US dollar sovereign bond amid more stable international conditions. Citi, HSBC and Standard Chartered, who arranged a billion US dollar bond in January 2014, have been retained to sell the bond. The January bond due in 2019, which was sold to yield 6% a year, is now trading at around 4.8/9% levels. Sri Lanka said in a budget for 2014 that up to 1.5 billion US dollars would be raised from international markets during the year. more..

Minor fire at National Hospital

Apr 3 (Island) A minor fire broke out in the Neurology Division close to the Blood Bank of the National Hospital yesterday morning in a room used as a clinic. Director of the Hospital Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that the fire had started in the room situated on the ground floor when an air-conditioner was switched on. He said that patients had been evacuated while some of the staff opened windows to prevent them from being overwhelmed by smoke. The fire brigade arrived and doused the fire. more..

Engage with Sri Lanka says Singapore

Apr 3 (CG) Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs, K Shanmugam, during a meeting with President Rajapaksa at the President’s Office this evening, called on countries to engage constructively with Sri Lanka and look to the future rather than dwell on the past. Shanmugam said one of the main objectives of his visit is to “tell the world what the (Sri Lankan) people really need is development. What people are really interested in is their future more..

'Thanks to her I became a mother'

Apr 3 (AN) Crowning the desire to have a child thanks to the intercession of the Virgin Mary: this is the story of a devout Tamil Hindu Vijitha from Sri Lanka. "I have had to face a lot of difficulties in my life - the woman tells AsiaNews - but I've always found comfort in devotion to Mother Mary. After seven years of prayer she has given to me and my husband a beautiful little girl , making our lives happy and serene". Vijitha, 42, lives in the village Mullivikkal East in Mullathivu District. more..

Sri Lanka stance needs urgent rethink

Apr 3 (TH) LAST week in Geneva dozens of countries combined to institute what will effectively be a UN criminal inquiry into the war in Sri Lanka that ended bloodily in 2009. The UNs says between 40,000 and 70,000 civilians were killed just in the last months of the war, most from govt bombardment. With war in Syria still raging, there are good reasons to worry when govts and rebels wage war. Led by the US, Canada, and Britain, backed by the EU, and promoted by more..

World T20: Sri Lanka book another final spot

Apr 3 (CI) West Indies banked on a frenetic finish, but Sri Lanka's bowlers had choked the chase to suffocation-point before heavy rain, then marble-sized hail, cut the innings short and sent Sri Lanka to yet another major final. When the heavens opened, West Indies had needed 81 from 37 balls, with six wickets remaining. The Duckworth-Lewis calculation had them 27 runs adrift. It was always a dangerous ploy to begin the chase more..

World Autism Awareness Day 2014

Apr 3 (GDI) World Autism Awareness Day falls today. The day will be marked by lighting blue lights. Health Ministry requests the public to illuminate houses and buildings with blue lights to mark the day. Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. These signs all begin before a child is three years old. Not many children with autism live independently after reaching adulthood, more..

SL boat poaching in Bay of Bengal held

Apr 3 (IANS) Indian Coast Guard has apprehended a Sri Lankan ship with four crew members after it was poaching in Indian waters in the Bay of Bengal, an official said. The boat belonging to Matara district, which had sailed Feb 17 was laden with four tones of tuna fish which has a huge demand in international market and fetches a great price. The boat 'Ran Muttu Dua' which is a specialised vessel for catching oceanic tuna fish, was intercepted Wednesday by Coast Guard ship Vajra while more..

Suspect of Dulanji Premadasa fake notes case released

Apr 3 (SM) The main suspect Rolith Perera, who wasarrested in connection with the counterfeit currency notes deposited by MP Sajith Premadasa's sister Dulanji Premadasa ,was today granted bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya. At the hearing of the case the lawyer appearing on behalf of the CID objected granting bail to the suspect, pointing out that the suspect might be a threat to the bank, more..

Allied Health Science undergrads threaten to cripple medical services

Apr 3 (Island) Undergraduates on a campaign to have the duration of the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) degree restored to four years said that they were planning to cripple the public health sector with the support of trade unions of the heath service as next step of their protest. Convener of the IUSF Najith Indika said that health trade unions had already agreed to join their protest. "We are leading health workers to a strike against cutting down on the length of AHS degree from four to three more..

Film, Television and Soundtrack archiving becomes a reality

Apr 3 (GDI) A National Film, Television and Soundtrack Archive will be launched at the Department of National Archives on April 5 at 10am. The National Film, Television and Soundtrack Archive, a concept of President Rajapaksa will be launched marking the 95th birth anniversary of Dr. Lester James Peries, with the participation of National Heritage Minister Dr. Jagath Balasuriya, Mass Media & Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and MP Malani Fonseka. more..

Country may face rice shortage by end August

Apr 3 (Island) Sri Lanka might experience a shortage of rice towards the end of August due to the prevailing countrywide drought conditions, Agriculture Ministry warns. Paddy cultivation had been severely affected by the drought and Maha season harvest had dropped drastically. Prevailing drought conditions had affected the harvest in main paddy growing districts, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Ampara. more..

Robert Brownrigg Butcher of Uva-Wellassa

Apr 4 (NS) Slaughter every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast)” were the orders given by Governor Robert Brownrigg (3rd British Governor of Ceylon from 1813 – 1820) to Maj. Gen. Hay MacDowell in 1818 that left the people in the agriculturally rich grain growing region of Uva-Wellassa of then Ceylon in a state of famine and starvation. Uva – Wellassa region was the granary of the Kingdom of Kandy before it was annexed by the British in 1815 under more..

The restless earth laments…

Apr 4 (NS) I am not the earth. I am just a tiny piece of it. Minuscule, all things considered. I reside in Borella. That’s prime land. Except that my address is ‘Plot &(#*@&’, Kanatte, Borella. Miniscule, yes, but morbid too, you would agree. They say this place is infested with ghosts. I wouldn’t know. I’ve seen so many ghost-like people in my time that if I saw a person-like ghost I wouldn’t know what’s what, if you know what I mean. I’ve seen lonely people-ghosts here. more..

Why fret over Facebook?

Apr 4 (SO) To begin with, this is not at all a self-pleasing ego-excursion. I need to aver, with all the earnestness I can muster, that my preoccupation here, is to raise the alarm. This urge is brought on by a series of soul-searing tragedies that have deeply scarred the collective soul of the Lankans. Self-imposed deaths of a number of innocent children in recent past, have devastated the totality of our national conscience. more..

What is Chandrika up to?

Apr 4 (CT) Chandrika Kumaranatunga reigned with unbridled power and might for eleven years, first as Prime Minister and then as Executive President. For all those years in office, the only remarkable achievement she could probably write home about or even relate to her grandchildren one day would be that she never ever kept an appointment in time. An utterly careless leader of a nation, even though she possessed an extraordinary intellect and scholarly disposition, there isn't more..

A flawed triumph and dilemmas of the Elite

Apr 4 (CT) Purely from the point of power relations, 1990 began as a bright year for the Premadasa Govt. The tide had definitely turned in the fight against the JVP, with the key leaders dead. The killing rate was still high in the South and in the North-East, but that did not seem to matter. Indo-Lanka Accord was undermined and the IPKF was set to withdraw. The LTTE and the Govt seemed the best of pals and were jointly picking off members of the Tamil opposition. more..

Lester by Lester: A book review

Apr 4 (CT) Today as Sri Lanka's cinema industry spreads its wings towards various genres ranging from teen pop to historical films and so forth, one of the forefathers of the Sinhala cinema Dr. Lester James Peries claims a pedestal that few mortals can during their lifetime, to be a 'living legend', celebrating his 95th birthday on Saturday. Today, as this iconic creator of moving images quietly rests in his days of more..

Why did the ‘electric chair’ fail Mahinda at this election?

Apr 4 (CT) Mahinda's decision to hold Southern and Western PC elections just one day after the vote on the US resolution in Geneva was not a random decision based purely on auspicious planetary movements in the heavens. He had a more down-to-earth reason to do so. He was more or less aware that the Geneva vote would deal him a defeat, albeit, as he was wont to believe, somewhat less severely than it was ultimately delivered. He had estimated that the vote would be a close call, more..

Paid NGO professionals, volunteer activism and Rajapaksa’s advantage in South

Apr 4 (CT) In Southern Sri Lanka, the Resolution adopted at the 25 Session of the UNHRC in Geneva on 27 March, 2014 was positioned as against the whole nation (Sinhala by default), by not only this regime, but by those who believe the war ended a 30 year period of ruthless terrorism and rightly so. Any attempt now in trying to dig out skeletons from that war, is anti Sri Lankan, pro LTTE and is an attempt to change the regime by vested(?) international intervention. more..

Meet our resident fellow creatures

Apr 4 (ST) A synanthrope is a member of a species of wild animals or plants of various kinds that benefit from an association with humans and live in the somewhat artificial habitats that humans create around them, like houses, gardens, farms, roadsides, garbage dumps, and so on. One side of my house at Rajagiriya borders the marsh that is on the banks of the canal that goes across Nawala–Nugegoda Road towards Parliament. more..

Editorial: Scarecrows galore

Apr 4 (Island) EC Mahinda Deshapriya has laughed off a barb from DP Leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who called him a scarecrow the other day. He has said he would rather be called a scarecrow than a corpse because a hay-man frightens birds away without letting them harm crops and he, too, wards off harmful elements and protects people’s franchise. Blessed with a puckish sense of humour and lambent wit, Polls Chief has been wise enough to avoid a slanging match. more..

Whale watching in safe hands

Apr 4 (MoD) Sri Lanka Coast Guard has guaranteed the safety for over 10879 whale watching local and foreign tourists in the month of March this year by means of safety evacuation boats set-up in down south in Mirissa. As a search and rescue body, existence of Coast Guard as life guards at sea would not be noticeable to the world. But it enjoys the pleasure of providing life assurance to many in any kind of distress. These specially designed safety evacuation boats are converted more..

Sri Lanka thrive before the storm

Apr 4 (CI) Before the hail, lightning, gust and rain, it was Sri Lanka who were bossing it at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. Their fielding, bowling and decision-making pushed West Indies on the back foot for 13.5 overs of the chase. Dinesh Chandimal's decision not to play in the semi-final can be seen as a defensive move, especially coming from the team's appointed captain himself. But it was daring of the man not to play, and let the more..

Geneva resolution counter-productive, says Ceylon Chamber

Apr 4 (ST) The resolution against Sri Lanka which was passed in Geneva on Thursday has been condemned as “counter –productive,” by the country’s most powerful business chamber. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Suresh Shah, (before the resolution was taken up), said it was “counter-productive” to the entire reconciliation process. Highlighting it to be a “political issue”, he noted that however, looking at it from a business perspective it was “not fair.” more..

Flight of Goeing-Goeing 007: From Hula-Hula to Pong Pingulahulaul-Hu

Apr 4 (SL) [ Attn: TOP SECRET REPORT FROM UTT(Under the Table) to YNW (You No Who). This is a verbatim Transcript. For your Eyes Only.] Mayday, Mayday…. calling Mutta-la. This is Flt No 007 Goeing-Goeing from Hula Hula to Pong Ping. We are almost out of fuel. This plane is being hijacked. I’ll put you on to the chief hijacker. Hallo, Hallo Mutta-la, We want to land there and re-fuel. Hullo, hullo, Mutta… we want to land and re-fuel—— Bloody hell they are not responding. more..

SL sizes up Senate support to Sweet 16

Apr 4 (FT) Support for Sri Lanka in domestic procedures is gathering momentum in the US Senate with two more members joining in as co-sponsors of a special resolution bringing the total to 16 now. Two latest senators to join as Co-sponsors of the Senate Resolution 364 are Dan Coats (R-Indiana) who serves on the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds State Department and Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), more..

Flamingo uppercut & Boundary magic

Apr 4 (CI) When Tillakaratne Dilshan tried to get off strike in Samuel Badree's third over, he exposed his fellow senior Mahela Jayawardene to an inglorious way to potentially end his T20 career. Darren Sammy bullocked to his left from point, took the ball on the bounce and rifled a throw over the top of the stumps for Denesh Ramdin to complete the run-out and send Jayawardene on his way for a diamond duck. Luckily, he will have one more crack. Not content with seeing off the team's more..

BOC records profit of Rs. 15.7 b in 2013

Apr 4 (FT) Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has concluded its financial year 2013 reporting the highest profits over its domestic peers successfully proving, yet again, its market leadership. The results indicate an increase in volumes in both assets and gross operating income and achieving asset growth in all its business lines. Firmly entrenched as Sri Lanka’s No. 1 financial organisation through its 75 years of existence, the bank is fully geared to support the growth and development of the country more..

North to get agro economic zone

Apr 4 (CT) Govt is planning to set up a 500-acre agricultural economic zone in the Northern Province and the BoI has called for investments up to US$ 35 million or more. Agro economic zone will comprise a 350-acre processing facility. Project is expected to enhance the facilities available within the province to address the urgently needed job opportunities, while creating a centre of excellence with research, innovation and technology. more..

Biz confidence regains ground

Apr 4 (FT) “The exclusive barometer of business confidence bounces back from its fall in February, with sales volumes looking up, although macro factors are weighing on the corporate mindset,” leading business magazine LMD says, in its April edition. LMD notes, in an exclusive pre-publication release to the Daily FT, that “the latest LMD-Nielsen Business Confidence Index (BCI) shot up by 16 basis points (to 140) in March. And notably, this reverses the free fall in the previous month.” more..

Women's World T20: Pakistan beat Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (CI) Bismah Maroof was the backbone of Pakistan's batting as they took the seventh-place play-off against Sri Lanka by 14 runs in the Women's World T20. Her 62 off 53 balls resuscitated a top-order collapse to present enough of a score for the bowlers to defend. Pakistan were 17 for 2 when she arrived and lost her partner Nida Dar not long after. Sri Lanka's control was slowly coaxed out of their grasp by a a fourth-wicket partnership 75 off 67 between Maroof and the captain Sana Mir. more..

'I come from a strong UNP family'

Apr 4 (DM) Health Minister and SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena says that he comes from a staunch UNP family and once almost got hammered by his father for supporting the Communist Party as a student. Minister Sirisena was in the midst of a group of old farmers in his Polonnaruwa constituency brought down on his instructions to the Vijaya Kumaratunga Eye Hospital in Seeduwa for eye treatment yesterday, more..

Mixing goan verve with Lankan ethics

Apr 4 (ENS) As much as the Class of ’96 played a pivotal role in Sri Lanka’s rise to the top with some splendid performances on the field, the Class of ’03 is doing something great, though off the field. While their run in the 2003 World Cup ended in the semifinals, a decade on, many of them have take up new roles as coaches, match-officials and administrators. If Kumar Dharmasena took up umpiring, Jayasuriya went into administration and is the selector of the Sri Lankan side. more..

Payment Card industry in Sri Lanka pretty transparent: analysts

Apr 4 (Island) As 95% of retail business centres in Sri Lanka carry out credit card transactions using POS (Point of Sales) machines with upgraded chip-based technology, the risk of having credit card details stolen and duplicated has been minimized, a Payment Card industry analyst said. "Actually this is a piece of good news for both retailers and shoppers in Sri Lanka. When the risk component of credit card deals is significantly down, the card-swipe fees that retailers are charged by banks remain stable. more..

Customs accuses Wildlife Department of napping

Apr 4 (Island) Following the detection of a huge consignment of rosewood being transhipped through Colombo, SL Customs Biodiversity, Cultural and National Heritage Protection Division (BCNP) found fault with the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) for the latter’s failure to make regulations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as DWC was the more..