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'Can’t compromise national interests'

Jan 26 (CT) Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris, says that US Ambassador in Colombo has already intimated that the US would present a third resolution on Sri Lanka during the March Sessions of the UNHRC. He says Sri Lanka could 'put a stop to all these resolutions by agreeing to the conditions that they are stipulating,' but insists that the govt would not 'jeopardize vital national interests.' In an interview with more..

Maithri, Shiral & Karu’s obligation

Jan 26 (Island) With nominations for the Western and Southern provincial councils set to close within the next two weeks, the UNP’s biggest headache has become not so much the search for chief ministerial candidates but the application for nominations made by the two dissidents, Shiral Laktilleke and Maithri Gunaratne. Since the UNP does not have a snowflake’s chance in hell of winning in either of the two provinces, who the chief ministerial candidate is does not matter. more..

A star studded affair

Jan 26 (SL) The SLFP Nomination Board meeting at the SLFP headquarters at T.B. Jaya Mawatha last Monday was a star-studded affair as singers, actresses and media personalities turned up to face the Board in a bid to be selected to contest the Western and Southern Provincial Council elections. The interviews were conducted in two separate buildings, one to select candidates for the Western Provincial Council elections and the other for the Southern polls. more..

Party politics Vs national politics

Jan 26 (SL) Recently President Rajapksa, CM of Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran and several UNP MPs were brought together at the opening of a cancer hospital in Tellippalai, Jaffna which many thought was a good platform for the leaders to initiate friendly discussions on addressing the national issue leaving party politics aside. Some are of the opinion that the opposition and other political parties in the country more..

Malinga back at training

Jan 26 (ST) Chairman Cricket Selection Committee Sanath Jayasuriya said, that fast bowler Lasith Malinga returned to the island on Friday and went in direct for training with the Lankan coaches and trainers. Jayasuriya said, “I am very happy that Malinga has retuned on our request and he has resumed his training. He will now undergo these sessions before he would join the squad for ODIs and T-20 matches against Bangladesh, prior to Asia Cup and World T-20 Championships more..

Several positives despite Sharjah heartbreak

Jan 26 (Island) Sri Lanka were destined to come home from their recent tour of United Arab Emirates victorious but the captain’s tactics on the final day saw them return home with a drawn series. Their first series win away from home since 2000 (except Bangladesh and Zimbabwe) still remains only a dream. When Sri Lanka finished with a lead of over 300 runs with just two sessions remaining, it looked as if there were two results possible - SL winning 1-0 or them winning by a margin of 2-0. more..

ICC tyranny: Lankans fighting at Armageddon with rubber bullets!!!

Jan 26 (ST) Is this cricket’s Armageddon? According to the Book of Revelation, Armageddon is the site of gathering of armies for a battle during the end times. But, the present location for this current scenario is Dubai. There the armies of the rest of the cricketing world are scheduled to confront (barring New Zealand which have opted to self-subjugate themselves) and rally to derail the chariots of the self-appointed cricketing gods from more..

Hotel to replace Air Force HQ

Jan 26 (SL) A new hotel project is to replace the Air Force headquarters near Cinnamon Lakeside hotel. Sources said that an army regiment office located in the area will also be shifted to make way for the project. Earlier a decision had already been taken to shift the three-forces to a new building at Battaramulla. When contacted, Air Force spokesman Andy Wijesuriya confirmed that the Air Force headquarters will be moved to Bataramulla as decided on earlier. more..

CDDRA director awaits summons

Jan 26 (NS) Director of the Cosmetics Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) Dr. Hemantha Benaragama said he was yet to be summoned by the Commissioner to Investigate Bribery or Corruption to give a statement regarding what he claims is an attempt to frame him on a bribery charge. Dr. Benaragama was originally supposed to go before the bribery commission last week regarding an alleged attempt to frame him for accepting Rs.50, 000 as a bribe. more..

Havelock City Chairman S P Tao donates new temple complex for Sama Vihara

Jan 26 (Island) The reconstructed Sama Vihara Complex fronting the Havelock City Project was declared open last week by President Rajapaksa in the presence of a distinguished gathering. Temple was a gift from Havelock City’s Chairman, the visionary entrepreneur and leader, Mr. S P Tao. Havelock City, which offers luxury condominium living is the largest mixed development in Sri Lanka being built on more..

CB warns banks against misleading, unethical ads

Jan 26 (ST) Commercial and specialised banks have been warned by the Central Bank (CB) against what the regulator termed as “misleading and unethical advertisements”. In a recent circular to CEOs of commercial and specialised banks, the CB urged all these institutions to “refrain from publishing misleading and unethical advertisements” and to ensure that all important information is highlighted in a visible manner to enable the general public to understand “clearly the nature of more..

New Cargills Bank operational in about two months

Jan 26 (Island) The new Cargills Bank which last week received regulatory clearance that had long been in the pipeline is expected to be operational within the next two months. Central Bank would like the new bank to take over at least three finance companies and this has been suggested to the promoters with similar suggestions made to the entire banking sector, these sources said. A corporate office for the new bank has already been set up on Galle Road, Kollupitiya. more..

Market shaken with cement giant Holcim's imminent pullout from SL

Jan 26 (NS) While the local business sector is shaken with the news of Holcim’s imminent pullout from Sri Lanka, Holcim Lanka Spokesperson Fiona Nanayakkara said that the company had made considerable investments and finalized future development plans, and therefore the issue of wrapping up operations in Sri Lanka did not arise. When asked about the ongoing inquiry at the Bribery Commission, he said considering the gravity more..

Rajarata Uni lecturers protest

Jan 26 (SL) Some lecturers of the University of Rajarata have refused to conduct lectures when students turned up in the class with black bands as a mark of protest over the suspension of some student leaders of the university. According to the Secretary of the Students’ Council of the Faculty of Agriculture W.P.S.P. Kumara, some lecturers of the department of Agriculture have refused to conduct lectures when the students showed up in classes with black bands to protest more..

Teacher Trade Unions issue warning

Jan 26 (SL) The Teachers and Principals’ Trade Unions Joint Committee is ready to take extreme measures if the govt does not take necessary action to settle overdue promotions and salary arrears. Speaking on behalf of the Teachers and Principals’ Trade Unions Joint Committee, Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers’ Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the unions will decide to take extreme measures by February or March this year, if the govt fails to address these issues. more..

Victoria to attend Shaikh murder trial

Jan 26 (CT) Russia born Victoria Tkacheva, the only eyewitness and girlfriend of Red Cross worker, Khuram Shaikh, who was murdered in Tangalle, will be in Sri Lanka on 26 March to attend the murder trial at the Colombo High Court, Khuram Shaikh's Rochdale Constituency MP Simon Danczuk's office said. Victoria was gang raped and her partner murdered on Christmas Eve in 2011. more..

Sri Lanka in OHCHR report

Jan 26 (SL) While the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will be presenting a report on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC at its 25th session in March, she has also made references to Sri Lanka in her annual report which will be submitted to the Council separately. In the annual report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Pillay notes that last year OHCHR continued to support the development of national capacity on human rights monitoring more..

Shammi Silva apologizes to SLC

Jan 26 (CG) Executive Committee member of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), Shammi Silva, has apologized to others in the Committee over parts of the contents of a letter he had sent to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Sri Lanka Cricket said that the communication was pertaining to a Position Paper put forward by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Minister of Sports and the members of the Executive Committee of SLC were in copy of the communication. more..

Norochcholai 2nd phase also breaks down

Jan 26 (CT) At a time when engineers, both foreign and of the CEB, are struggling to resume operations of the Norochcholai coal powered plant, which had broken down yet again, the CEB commenced trial runs of the US$ 375 million second phase of the coal power plant on Friday. However, yesterday the trial runs came to a grinding halt, unions said. First phase of the Norachcholai coal power plant, which cost more..

182 released TN fishermen return

Jan 26 (Hindu) In a protracted process lasting for over many hours, 182 fishermen, released from Sri Lankan prisons, and their 30 boats finally landed here on Saturday. Beginning in the early hours of Saturday, men and their boats started arriving in two batches, ending their arrival at about 9 p.m on Saturday night. The first set of 71 fishermen arrived here past midnight, led by Indian Coast Guard Ship Samudra Paheredar, which had taken custody of the men and their 15 boats on Friday noon. more..

73 officials on foreign jaunt at public expense

Jan 26 (ST) Southern Province Governor Kumari Balasuriya has called for explanations from 73 regional education officials after they defied an earlier order and went on a foreign junket at public expense. Officials at the Governor’s office said the group that included teachers and other education officials both male and female had gone to Malaysia and Singapore on Jan 7 and returned on Wednesday. They said the trip had cost about Rs. 20 million that had been drawn from more..

Jayalalithaa sets 5-point agenda for fisherfolk meet

Jan 26 (ENS) The much-awaited fishermen-level talks between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka will be held on Jan 27 here and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has set a five-point agenda for the talks. The talks will be held at the office of the Director of Fisheries in Teynampet at 10 am. Originally, the talks were scheduled for Jan 20 but were postponed following a request from Sri Lanka. TN govt has already conveyed to more..

Health Secretary under fire: GMOF passes no-confidence motion

Jan 26 (Island) The executive committee of the Govt Medical Officers Forum (GMOF) last week unanimously passed a no-confidence resolution on the Health Ministry Secretary, but Dr. Nihal Jayathilake dismissed the move as the work of "interested parties with vested interests". The Forum listed what it termed the ongoing conflict between the Secretary and Director General of Health Services (DGHS), growing corruption in state health services with constant quality failures more..

Maldives rejects military pact with USA to support India and Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (Island) The Maldives has ruled out entering into a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States on the grounds that it would be disrespectful to Sri Lanka and India. Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, asked during his official visit to Colombo last week if his govt would comply with a US proposal that it establishes a SOFA, replied in the negative. "There were discussions on the American request for a SOFA, but we will not pursue such an arrangement since more..

Foreign mire and people’s ire, will there be voter fire

Jan 26 (ST) Rejection of informal Govt overtures to Opposition political parties to forge a common front has forced the ruling UPFA into a panic driven dual track diplomatic initiative to counter the issues before the March sessions of UNHRC. Moves to obtain Opposition support for a bi-partisan strategy have proved futile. UNP has not only spurned the effort but is busy this week working on a vote of no confidence against the govt. more..

Looking for another bogey!

Jan 26 (CT) In the 1960s, fed mainly by the disinformation crafted and tuned-up to precision by the then Soviet Union, the United States of America, the 'Mecca of World Capitalism', was symbolized by the term, 'Ugly American'. But since the dramatic fall of the Soviet Empire and the collapse of the Communist-Socialist economy in Eastern Europe, the image the global community held of the USA too changed, not dramatically as the collapse of the USSR, but certainly perceptibly. more..

The fall of the Tiger, the rise of the Sinhala Roar (Ravaya), and Geneva anxieties

Jan 26 (Island) It is as though the fall of the Tiger has directly led to the rise of Sinhala Roar, or Sihala Ravaya, literally speaking. Looked at it another way, just as there is talk about LTTE remnants floating around the globe, it is possible to talk about Sihala Ravaya and other organizations of its ilk as being the remnants of the wave of triumphalism that the Rajapaksa govt unleashed in the south after crushing the LTTE in the north. Sihala Ravaya seems to have earned special notoriety more..

Waste of paradise by SriLankan Chairman

Jan 26 (ST) Diverting an aircraft on a scheduled flight from one country to yet another is an exclusive privilege enjoyed by Heads of State or Govt. However, in Sri Lanka it is a different story. Even the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines, can do it by merely making a telephone call. Chairman Nishantha Wickremesinghe, his wife and a guest were on a non-official visit to Singapore this week. This is exactly what he did. He ordered more..

Lankan HC’s official residence now ready

Jan 26 (Island) The official residence of Sri Lanka’s high commissioner to the UK situated in the upmarket St. John’s Wood area of London has been reconstructed and is now ready for occupation. All it requires now is for this residence on Avenue Road to be furnished which, informed sources say, can be completed by end March, if those responsible put their heart to it. If the residence is made habitable after all these years of more..

CHOGM luxury cars: Govt. steers in the dark

Jan 26 (ST) Only 18 of the 54 Mercedes Benz cars imported from Stuttgart, Germany at the cost of nearly a billion rupees for the CHOGM have been sold so far. The Mercedes Benz hybrid sedan petrol cars were imported at a cost of more than Rs. 910 million with the cars priced at a little more than Rs. 152.5 million. The duty waiver amounted to more than Rs. 757.7 million. Super luxury vehicles were paid for by the Ministry more..


Jan 26 (SL) With several of the power plants reportedly out of service together with the breakdown at Norochcholai, it has raised concerns whether it could be due to sabotage. Currently there is a major dispute between the mechanical and electrical engineers of the CEB, where the mechanical engineers accuse the CEB of favouring the electrical engineers and sidelining them. Likelihood of four power stations more..

'President reappointed me'

Jan 26 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva, resumed his political activities as the SLFP Organizer for the Kelaniya electorate, last week, claiming that he had been reappointed to the post. However, Kelaniya PS Chairman, Prasanna Ranaweera, said they were not informed about Mervyn Silva being appointed as the Party organizer for Kelaniya. he also said, President had promised them he would not appoint Mervyn Silva more..

Cracks in Tamil diaspora

Jan 26 (SL) Cracks have begun to emerge among the Tamil Diaspora groups which were collectively campaigning against the Sri Lankan govt both during and after the war. The first major crack came with the British Tamils Forum saying it has decided to distance itself from the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) which is also based in London. BTF said that when the war came to a bloody end in 2009, there was an urgent need to unite more..

Late Appeal Court President paid heavy price for CJ 43 judgement

Jan 26 (Island) Three statements were issued yesterday on the death of Justice S. Sri Skandarajah, President of the Court of Appeal, by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Bar Association President Upul Jayasuriya and UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya focusing on the late judge being deprived of a place on the Supreme Court Bench. Traditionally, the Chairman of the Appeal Court is elevated more..

Report on Welikada Prison riots: Committee follows another committee

Jan 26 (NS) New three-member committee appointed to re-examine the report of the Welikada prison riot in 2012 according to the Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera. However, the Minister stated the new committee was appointed to revise the report in order to overcome practical issues that came up when implementing the proposals of the previous committee. A three-member committee was appointed on more..

Sri Lanka may be let off the hook again at UNHRC meet

Jan 26 (ENS) Sri Lanka is likely to be let off the hook again at the UNHRC session in March this year, political sources say. The US, the UK, France and Germany seem determined to seek an independent international inquiry into alleged human rights violations in the last phase of Eelam War IV. But most member countries are likely to support only a mild resolution against Sri Lanka. In March 2013, the harsh US resolution more..

Sri Lanka’s blunder steals honour from Palestinian leaders

Jan 26 (ST) The Presidential Secretariat has issued gazette notifications conferring one of Sri Lanka’s highest National Honours on two Palestinian leaders, Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Arafat—and then withdrawn them. “Once they were gazetted, the Presidential Secretariat realised that such National Honours could only be awarded in Sri Lanka,”. But legal experts said this contention did not hold water because more..

Rotten leaders: Grist to an extremist mill

Jan 26 (Island) There is an old adage that every people gets the govt it deserves; this is true except when nations are subdued by force, say foreign occupation or military dictatorship. The same is true of communities. Arguably, the Sinhala-state and chauvinism was an imposition on the Tamils of which the LTTE was a manifest excrescence; but also had the Tamils chosen another path such as Karalasingham pleaded for in Way Out for the Tamil Speaking People their destiny more..

Next President of Sri Lanka

Jan 26 (CT) After the elections in the Southern and Western Provinces in March, it is believed that the govt is going to dissolve the Uva Provincial Council and hold elections there before the end of 2014. There is no doubt the President wants to test the water. If the government manages to win all the elections in the Western, Southern and Uva provinces comfortably, we can expect the Presidential election within the first 3 months of 2015 and the Parliamentary elections soon after. more..

Heading toward a crisis, economist warns

Jan 26 (CT) A study by the Economics Department of the University of Colombo has cautioned that multiple issues with regard to governance and transparency could lead the economy into a crisis situation. A study conducted by an economist showed that country could head into tough times with the Right to Information Bill defeated, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution repealed, restriction on the presidential more..