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NWP CM bans Sunday tuition classes

Apr 4 (Island) Having obtained the consent of the Opposition, Chief Minister of the North Western Province, Dayasiri Jayasekera has banned Sunday tuition classes up to GCE O/L in the province from 6.00 am to 1.30 pm with immediate effect. The province comprised Kurunegala and Puttalam Districts. Chief Minister Jayasekera said that both Buddhist and Catholic clergy had been pushing for an effective ban on tuition classes on Sunday to attract children to Sunday Schools. more..

60% drop in supply of meat to city

Apr 4 (Island) There had been a 60% drop in the supply of meat to the city following the ban imposed in February on the sale and transportation of animals or animal products (except poultry) by the Department of Animal Production and Health in the wake of the Foot and Mouth disease outbreak, the Veterinary Department of the Colombo Municipal Council (VDCMC) said. Most of the 111 meat stalls in the city had been closed down owing to the scarcity of beef, mutton and pork. more..

JVP rejects UNP’s advances-Puts a wrench on common platform plan

Apr 4 (CT) JVP put a wrench in the UNP's plans to work on a common platform at future elections to topple the Rajapaksa Govt, stressing it will not be a part of any move by the UNP or one that involves the UNP's agenda. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe recently said the Party is planning to work on a common platform to topple the govt, indicating plans to get the support of the JVP and the DP, led by former Army Commander more..

Rajapaksa should bring Sinhalese, Tamils closer

Apr 4 (ENS) As expected, President Rajapaksa’s UPFA has won the recent Southern and Western PC elections. However, the lower margins of victory suggest he is no longer the undisputed leader in the two regions, considered the heartland of the ethnic-majority Sinhalese. In the Southern province, his party won only 33 seats out of 55, down from the 38 it won in 2009. The fall is more precipitous in the Western province, where it won 56 seats out of 104, against the 68 it won in 2009. more..

Proscription should have been before Geneva – NFF

Apr 4 (CT) The NFF, while commending the govt's hardline decision to proscribe 16 pro-LTTE outfits, which operate within the country, states that had the decision been drawn prior to this year's Geneva summit, it would have proved more efficacious. NFF noted that during this year's Geneva summit, the leaders of these proscribed organizations had hurled human rights allegations against the Govt, while clad in sheep's skin clothing and appearing as those who champion the cause of human rights in SL. more..

War crimes allegations: India calls on UNHRC to help SL conduct domestic probe

Apr 4 (Island) India said that the UNHRC should, instead of pursuing an international probe into allegations of war crimes against the Sri Lankan govt and the LTTE, encourage Colombo to conduct a comprehensive, independent and credible national investigation. Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Y.K. Sinha said that his country which skipped last week’s US backed UNHRC resolution calling for an international more..

Arangala and Nilame as Opposition leaders

Apr 4 (DM) UNP working committee which met today decided to appoint Manjusiri Arangala as the Opposition Leader of WPC and Thennekoon Nilame as the Opposition Leader of SPC. Arangala obtained 45,664 preferential votes from the Colombo District whereas Thennekoon Nilame who contested from the Hambantota District obtained 28,829 votes. Harshana Rajakaruna who obtained 51,000 votes contesting from the Gampaha District will act as the Chief Opposition Whip of the WPC more..

Sammy defends wait-and-watch approach

Apr 4 (CI) Was it the rain? Or was it Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels? West Indies needed 81 to win from 37 balls with six wickets remaining when a hailstorm ended the first semi-final of the World T20, leaving Sri Lanka winners by 27 runs by the Duckworth-Lewis method. Gayle made 3 off 13, and Samuels was unbeaten on 18 off 29 when the rain came down. Darren Sammy said it was disappointing to go out under the rain rule, and refused to answer when he was asked more..

Army-built 101 more houses in Mullaittivu vested in Civilians

Apr 4 (SLA) 101 more new houses, built solely with labour and expertise of the Army troops at the Security Force Headquarters - Mullaittivu (SFHQ-MLT) for the greater benefit of displaced Tamil people in Mullaittivu area under the Phase - 2 of Keppapilaru Model Village project, were vested in civilians on Thursday (3) during a ceremony, headed by Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development as the Chief Guest. more..

J’pura undergrads protest claiming harassment by authorities

Apr 4 (Island) Undergraduates of Sri J'pura University protested against what they called continuing suppression of students. President of the Students’ Council Sampath Wickremesinghe said that the latest incident of harassment has been the arrest of 14 undergraduates by the Mirihana police for allegedly attacking security guards at the main gate on Feb 24. "We marched from the University to the Wijerama junction and demonstrated opposite the university’s main gate," he said. more..

Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Pakistan conferred prestigious civil award

Apr 4 (AT) Former Army Commander and SL High Commissioner to Pakistan, General (R) C.S. Weerasooriya was decorated with Sitara-i-Pakistan by the President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain. Investiture ceremony, marking Pakistan Day on 23 March, was held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr Islamabad, and was attended by Chairman Senate, Speaker National Assembly, Federal Ministers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Services Chiefs, Ambassadors and other notables. more..

‘Don’t blame US resolution for long-standing divisions in Sri Lanka’

Apr 4 (CT) US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the recent UNHRC sessions in Geneva could not have sparked division within the island for, unfortunately, those divisions existed long before any UN resolution, the US Ambassador in Colombo, Michele J. Sison, said. Sison who met Colombo-based foreign correspondents yesterday said: "I have heard the claim that the resolution sparked divisions in the country. more..

Beyond the clouds, the sun of righteousness

Apr 4 (DM) One clear message from the elections to the Western and Southern PCs is that a large number of people are looking for a credible alternative or an effective opposition that would restore good governance, accountability and democratic values. This was evident in the response to the 3rd forces – war hero Sarath Fonseka’s DP and the JVP now headed by the dynamic young Anura Kumara Dissanayake. In Hambantota, the home-base and bastion of Rajapaksa family, more..

SF’s dramatic comeback via the polls

Apr 4 (DM) Ever since he retired from the Army and decided on a political career, former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka has never been away from the limelight. He hit the headlines once again this week as the Western and Southern provinces went to the polls last Saturday. Fonseka’s DP stunned political observers with a creditable showing at the election, pushing the long established JVP into fourth position in the country’s most populous region, Western province. more..

Drought begins to bite in Sri Lanka

Apr 4 (IRIN) Sri Lanka has had six months of drought and could face severe crop losses and electricity shortages if the coming monsoon is as weak as forecasts predict, experts say. “The situation is really, really bad,” said Ranjith Punyawardena, chief climatologist at the Department of Agriculture. “Already there are harvest losses and more are anticipated.” 5% (280,000 tons) of the 2014 rice harvest has more..

Fiancee recounts brutal assault on her

Apr 4 (ST) Tkacheva Victoria Alexandra, the Russian fiancee of the British national killed in Tangalle on Christmas Day three years ago, told the Colombo High Court this week that she was brutally assaulted and pushed into the swimming pool as her would-be husband lay dead close by.She was testifying at the trial which commenced on Wednesday into the death of Khuram Shaikh, a British Red Cross worker. more..

Sri Lanka signs agreement with Korean power company for power generation

Apr 4 (FT) Sri Lanka has cooperated with a Korean power company to strengthen the bilateral partnership in the energy sector to boost the power generation in the island. The Ministry of Power and Energy has a signed a letter of intent with Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), that country’s sole power supplier, on 1 April to strengthen bilateral cooperation, according to a KEPCO statement. more..

Now, LTTE claims 146,000 Tamils missing besides over 70,000 killed

Apr 4 (Island) Close on the heels of the UNHRC adopting a resolution to set up a war crimes probe against Sri Lanka, a consortium of LTTE groups has alleged that 146,679 Tamils have gone missing besides over 70,000 Tamils were killed during January-May 2009 final phase of the war. The accusers include British Tamil Forum (BTF), Federation of Tamil Sangams in North America, Illankai Tamil Sangam, People for Equality more..

WHO hails Lanka’s fight on malaria

Apr 4 (CG) The World Health Organisation (WHO) says Sri Lanka has made remarkable progress in controlling malaria even as dengue has become the world’s fastest growing vector-borne disease, with a 30-fold increase in incidence over the past 50 years. The organization is urging countries to prevent and control all vector-borne diseases such as chikungunya, dengue, kala-azar, lymphatic filariasis and malaria. more..

Social Progress Index: SL ranked 85

Apr 4 (DM) Sri Lanka is ranked 85th out of 132 countries on the Social Progress Index 2014, a measure of human wellbeing that goes beyond traditional economic measures such as GDP or per capita income, becoming the top performers for the region, a global index released Thursday. Of the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — only India ranked lower than the 100th position on the list more..

Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi to expand coverage of mobile services

Apr 4 (AN) Sri Lankan Embassy has announced that it will be extending its mobile services to the northern parts of the Kingdom. “Hitherto, our mobile services were only confined to the Eastern Province, but because of the growing demand we want to extend it to Hail and Buraidah in the northern parts of the Kingdom,” Vadivel Kirshnamoorthy, Sri Lanka's ambassador said. There is a regular flow of Sri Lankan workers coming into more..

Court acquits Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka church attack case

Apr 4 (KT) Ven. Galaboda Aththe Gnanasara of the radical Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) group, and 13 others including three monks were charged with causing damages to the church. They were also accused of attacking and injuring two pastors, stealing a cell phone worth LKRs 15,000 and snatching a gold chain worth LKRs 50,000 that belonged to the pastors. The Colombo High Court acquitted the 13 accused of all charges. more..

India’s abstention at UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka ‘a political decision’

Apr 4 (PTI) India’s decision to abstain from voting on the U.S.-sponsored resolution at the UNHRC against alleged war crimes by Sri Lanka was taken at the “political” level for the welfare of the Tamils in that country, the External Affairs Ministry said. “Any decision relating to foreign policy is a political decision, is it not? And no official will take a decision without taking a political sign off,” Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh told PTI. more..

New chief ministers sworn in for Western and Southern provinces

Apr 4 (IL) Prasanna Ranatunga and Shan Wijayalal de Silva were sworn in this morning as Chief Ministers of the Western and the Southern PCs respectively before President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat. The other ministers and the MPs of the UPFA also took oaths in front of the president at the same ceremony. Prasanna Ranatunga received the highest preference votes in Gampaha District with 249,678 votes more..

Sri Lanka shares close up 0.6%

Apr 4 (LBO) Shares close up 0.6% higher Friday with tobacco and telco stocks gaining amid strong foreign selling on diversified stocks. All Share Price Index closed 36.08 points higher at 6,054.55 up 0.6%. S&P SL20 closed 27.60 points higher at 3,323.10, up 0.84%. Turnover was 5.04 billion rupees, up from 2.57 billion rupees a day earlier with 86 stocks close positive against 72 negative. John Keells Holdings closed flat at 232.70 rupees with market transactions of 4.41 billion rupees more..

On Sri Lanka’s War Criminals by an officially labelled Terrorist

Apr 4 (CT) “Let the UN Unmask the Criminals of Sri Lanka’s War” was a plea made by Louise Arbour, the former UN Human Rights High Commissioner and the President of International Crisis Group. Her concern and rightly so was the lack of accountability, an omission that needed to be rectified she said: True to form the UNHRC has voted for an international probe that could lead to suspects being named and prosecuted, a prospect that has put the Rajapaksas on edge. more..

WikiLeaks: Canada banned LTTE, but did not ban Canadian Tiger front orgs – US

Apr 4 (CT) Canada’s Conservative-minority govt domestically designated the LTTE/Tamil Tigers under Canada’s Criminal Code on April 10, 2006. The GOC did not, however, list the many Canadian front organizations for the Tigers, despite the fact that Canada’s anti-terrorism act allows the GOC to designate terrorist groups and their front organizations; in the past, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has stated that eight more..

Bank robberies a sign of times

Apr 4 (CT) Call them bandits, burglars, criminals or crooks, men in full faced helmets walking into banks as ordinary customers and walking out with millions in purloined cash is fast becoming an everyday occurrence in post-war Sri Lanka, giving rise to the phenomenon 'helmet robbers' and renewed concerns about the law and order situation in the country. Sri Lanka is no stranger to daring heists. Yet, the recent spate of bank robberies, committed by very ordinary-looking men, more..

Here's to Herath

Apr 4 (CI) Rangana Herath has grabbed the spotlight with both hands this week. It is an unfamiliar position for him. In contrast to the near-deification bestowed on Sri Lanka's stellar cricketers, Herath has slipped gently into the national consciousness. I can't help but feel that suits his style. HMRKB Herath - he follows the Sri Lankan tradition of having almost as many initials as there are letters in your surname - comes from Kurunegala, a city that sits amidst coconut more..

Mathews hails team’s attacking efforts

Apr 4 (ICC) On a day when Mahela and Sangakkara failed to get going, when Dilshan was involved in two run-outs, one of which cost him his wicket, Sri Lanka’s hero was Angelo Mathews. Coming in to bat at No. 6, Mathews was the difference between Sri Lanka posting a mediocre score and one that would put the pressure back on the opposition. When a potent mix of rain and hail, backed up by gusting winds, thunder and more..

NPC members seek police protection

Apr 4 (CG) Members of the Northern Provincial Council have written to the Chairman of the NPC, C V Sivagnanam seeking protection, reports from Jaffna said. The NPC members have reportedly said that they are facing threats to their lives and are in urgent need of police protection. Sivagnanam has written to the police in Jaffna and Vavuniya expressing the concerns raised by the NPC members. He urged the police to position officers in areas where the NPC members are residing more..

Police grill Matugama robbery suspects on a 24 hour detention order

Apr 4 (Island) Matugama police are grilling four suspects including the mastermind of the Rs. 5 million heist outside a branch of LOLC Company on the Agalawatte road on Tuesday morning, on a 24 hour detention order issued by the Matugama magistrate. Police had released the other three men arrested on that day, the driver of the van that carried the money to the company from Colombo and the two security guards after questioning them, as they had no links to the daring heist, more..

President Rajapaksa recognises highest achievers at O/L exam

Apr 4 (IL) President Rajapaksa recognised the students, who scored highest marks at GCE O/L Exam which was held last December, at the Temple Trees on Thursday (3). Nine students who secured first five places called on President Rajapaksa and the President congratulated the students for their excellent performances in the Exam. Congratulating the students the President also handed over cheques for further studies more..

International award for Ampara General Hospital

Apr 4 (Island) Ampara General Hospital had won international accolade for patient management, provision of quality medical services and excellent surgical care, and quality maternal and paediatric care. The hospital had been presented 2014 International Annual Award for Excellence by the Institute for Health and Productivity Management of Arizona, USA. Health Ministry spokesman said that the Ampara General Hospital had set an example to the other hospitals in Sri Lanka by winning more..

Sri Lankan rupee edges up on remittances, local demand

Apr 4 (Reuters) Rupee ended slightly up on Friday after gaining 0.2% in early trade as banks sold dollars to meet customer demand for the local currency and on dollar inflows from remittances ahead of the festive seasons. The spot rupee strengthened to 130.40/50 per dollar in early trade on banks' selling of the greenback before retreating to 130.60/65 as a state bank, through which the central bank usually directs the market, bought the dollars for up to 130.60 rupees. more..

Sri Lanka offers $1 mn bonus to win T20

Apr 4 (AFP) The Sri Lankan team will be handed a million dollar bonus if they can shake off their reputation as chokers in the final of the World Twenty20 this weekend, the country's cricket board announced. Day after the players won a rain-affected semi-final against the West Indies, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said it would treble the money it had previously promised if they return home from Bangladesh with the trophy. more..

Singapore extends help to Sri Lanka's Jaffna

Apr 4 (CNA) Some 3,000 youths from Sri Lanka's Jaffna district will benefit from a community development project by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF). Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugam launched the project at the Jaffna Library on Friday. The project aims to enhance the English Language communication skills of the youth -- aged between 10 and 18 years old -- by equipping them with learning resources in English and training Jaffna's English language teachers. more..

Special Police probe to arrest Gopi, accomplices

Apr 4 (DN) A special investigation is on to arrest LTTE member Kajeeban Ponnaiah Selvanayagama alias Gopi and his accomplices who were reportedly tasked to revive the LTTE in the North, SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said LTTE Diaspora communities in many countries including Germany, Switzerland and New Zealand who have adopted subtle manoeuvres to sow the seeds of terrorism in the country, are sending money to the women folk of those who supported them in the North. more..

'What people of North want is good education for their children'

Apr 4 (Island) What the people of Sri Lanka’s North needed was a good education as well a better life for their children, Singapore Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said. Addressing the MOU signing ceremony and the launch of the encyclopaedia of the Sri Lankan diaspora, the minister said that by further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the Singaporean govt would more..

National Pay Commission gets series of proposals from trade unions

Apr 4 (Island) Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions, Ceylon Federation of Labour, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya, General Services Employees Union and United Federation of Labour have submitted a series of proposals to the newly established National Pay Commission. General Secretary Ceylon Federation of Trade Unions D.W. Subasinghe said that those proposals called for the setting up of a National Wages Commission for the private sector as envisaged in part 3 of the more..