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Wigi says politics not important

Mar 5 (CG) Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran has said that the Northern Province needs development and not politics. Speaking to reporters in Jaffna after meeting the Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo today, Wigneswaran said that he did not discuss politics with the Japanese envoy. Wigneswaran said he also did not discuss the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva with the Japanese envoy. Uthayan website quoted him as saying that politics is not more..

CAA offers rewards to informants

Mar 5 (Island) Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) announced that it would pay cash rewards to those who provided information regarding frauds which violate the Consumer Services Act. Spokesman of the Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade Nipun Ekanayake said that CAA had conducted numerous raids on establishments selling consumer goods unfit for human consumption. Ekanayake said that the decision had been taken as there was an increase in rackets of selling and more..

Sri Lanka to issue absence certificates for disappeared persons

Mar 5 (PTI) As many as 16,000 Sri Lankans - who disappeared during the war against the LTTE - will be issued certificates of absence instead of death certificates, head of a probe panel said today. "We have held discussions on the possibility of issuing certificates of absence in place of the current practice of issuing death certificates," said Maxwell Paranagama, a retired judge and the head of the govt's 3-member panel more..

‘Our Vision’ presented to Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith

Mar 5 (LT) 'Our Vision’ the policy framework of the JVP adopted at its 7th National Convention was presented to His Eminence, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith by the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka today (4). The event held at Archbishop's House, Borella, was attended by the Member of the Political Bureau of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. “We appreciate your intelligent and appropriate views expressed in Parliament,” said His Eminence, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. more..

Strict action to be taken against those who contradict Working Committee - UNP

Mar 5 (AD) Strict action will be taken against those who work in contradiction to the process approved by the UNP Working Committee, the UNP Leadership Council unanimously decided. Leadership Council held a meeting today at Sirikotha and took this decision. Meeting was chaired by the council Chairman MP Karu Jayasuriya. The UNP stated that reports have already been submitted regarding those operating in contradiction of the Working Committee more..

Minister G.L. Peiris at the UNHRC

Outsiders in Foreign Ministry

Mar 6 (NS) Our Foreign Service/Ministry is much maligned institution. It is brought to focus on time to time with eye-catching headlines. Three years ago it was “political diplomutts”, two months ago it was “foreign service or family service”. It has become a routine bashing, and indictment on the administration and the powers to be. The particular article, headlines as no relevance to the content. One could surmise it is a figment of the imagination. “Govt intends to dismantle the more..

UNHRC meeting March 2014 – Another farce

Mar 6 (CT) Here we go again. It is carnival time (or shopping time or sight-seeing time) again in Geneva as the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council kicks off on 3 March 2014. Two years ago on 15 March 2012 I wrote an article (still on the net), titled “UNHRC Meting. Another Farce”. I started with “This is not a document for easy reading, nor is it meant to be. It is a reasonably comprehensive record of the abysmal record of the UN and the UNHRC in addressing human rights violations. more..

Excise dept puts tight lid on alcohol adulteration

Mar 6 (SO) Adulterating a consumer item is a common issue that could be noticed in any developed market. To make impure by adding extraneous, improper and inferior ingredients to gain more profit from consumer goods such as food and beverages is a punishable offence in every country. Adulterating milk with water in poorer nations in Asia as well as adulterating hamburgers with horse meat in leading retailers in the UK are examples more..

1975–2014 Sri Lanka launched: Easing the tensions of a post-war Sri Lanka

Mar 6 (NS) Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, SL’s premier national think-tank, in collaboration with Center for Reconciliation and Co-existence (CRC) launched the Coffee Table Book: 1975 – 2014 on February 25 at its premises in Colombo. Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the chief guest. The author of the book The Nation Editor Malinda Seneviratne, Minister G.L Peiris, and lawyer Gomin Dayasri addressed the gathering. more..

Why should Mahinda help Manmohan……to wiggle out of TN conundrum?

Mar 6 (CT) Indian PM, Manmohan Singh, always had a soft corner in his heart for Mahinda, at least until his commitment to 13 Plus took a sour turn, much to India's anxiety and later disappointment with the recurring blow-hot blow-cold attitude adopted by him towards its implementation. India's South Block mandarins were frequently reined in by Singh when they were trying to push through their self-opinionated policies on Sri Lanka. Clearly, it was Singh who held back the hands of more..

'Voters confused over screen characters of actresses'

Mar 6 (SL) In an era where women enter politics, based on their looks or on sympathy grounds after the demise of either their husbands or fathers, Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, is one of the few women who have chosen politics as a profession. She points out that voters are confused with the screen characters of popular actresses and musicians, and they consider these to be their real life stories. more..

Geneva after GL

Mar 6 (CT) At the High Level Segment of the UNHRC Geneva, Prof GL Peiris did something I haven’t seen him do in a quarter century. He read out from a text, looking up only once or twice. It was on a perfect continuum with Mahinda Samarasinghe’s clumsy, bellicose speeches at the same venue in 2012 and 2013 (which raised the curtain on Sri Lanka’s successive defeats) and GoSL’s recent written response to Navi Pillay’s report. It is certainly not the superb and more..

The statement by the Tamil Christian priests

Mar 6 (Island) 205 Tamil Christian priests in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka including Bishop Rayappu Joseph have written to the members of the UNHRC asking for a so called international investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights violation. It is not my intention to analyse the contents of the letter by the priests though invariably I will have to refer to some of its parts. What is important is that we are in the process of creating history and nobody can claim more..

A crisis of expectations

Mar 6 (FT) Months of anticipation for human rights campaigners, the Tamil Diaspora communities and the country’s main Tamil party ended in an anti-climax when despite international pledges and dire warnings, US draft resolution at the UNHRC failed to call for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Many of these groups have rejected the resolution outright as being weak and ineffectual, but the real tragedy is more..

Editorial: MR, MS and SI

Mar 6 (Island) Attempts are being made in some quarters to pit Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha (MS) Thera as a Single Issue (SI) candidate against President Rajapaksa (MR) at the next presidential election with a view to effecting a regime change. The prelate is reported to have indicated his willingness to contest. Even if he runs for president, he won’t be the first SI candidate to do so. At the last presidential election, it may be recalled, all opposition parties campaigned on more..

Bangladesh desperate for slump to end

Mar 6 (CI) The outcome of this match will have no bearing on who contests the Asia Cup final, and so Sri Lanka will use it to fine-tune their preparation for the summit clash against Pakistan. For Bangladesh, it is the last opportunity to win a game in the tournament and go into the World Twenty20 with something other than defeat and disappointment. Angelo Mathews' side has played three strong games of cricket against Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, but there are areas they would more..

Highway hype!

Mar 6 (FT) Days ahead of the Outer Circular highway opening and rolling out of new projects, a top official acknowledged revenue from existing expressways are inadequate to cover their costs but insisted fares would not be increased exorbitantly. The tolls for the two new highways will be released in a gazette notification on Friday. After the opening of the Colombo Outer Circular Highway on 8 March and the extension of Southern expressway more..

Under-19 cricketers to undergo tests to clear bowling action

Mar 6 (Island) Spinners A.K. Tyrone and Priyamal Perera will have to undergo bio mechanical tests in Perth, Australia to determine whether their bowling action is legal after they were reported for suspect bowling actions during the just concluded ICC Youth World Cup in UAE. The two Sri Lanka Under-19 players were reported for suspect bowling actions during the just concluded ICC Youth World Cup but were allowed to bowl pending tests down under. At least one of them were reported just prior to more..

CIFL depositors dying as medical bills pile up

Mar 6 (ST) A cancer patient, a member of the CIFL Depositors Association taking treatment for the last three months is at death’s door as she is unable to meet her medical expense of Rs 9,000 per month. She used to live on the interest she received from CIFL.This and many other issues were discussed by the association at a meeting in Colombo this week aimed at finding solutions to urgent needs of many, very-ill members. Wijaya Gunawardena, Association President, said that the prospect of some more..

'GSP Plus: Sri Lanka still in for a chance'

Mar 6 (CT) Even after four years of losing European Union trade concessions under GSP Plus programme, doors were still open for Sri Lanka to regain the scheme. The Director General Trade of the European Union told Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister Faiszer Musthapha that the withdrawal of the GSP plus scheme in 2010 was not intended to be a punitive measure, and that Sri Lanka would be able to obtain GSP Plus, if more..

Death bowling all about perfection: Vaas

Mar 6 (HT) A compact fast-bowling machine capable of taking apart the opposition batting is the hallmark of a top team. On Wednesday, Sri Lanka's pace bowling coach Chaminda Vaas laid out a list of instructions for Thisara Perera, Dhamika Prasad and Suranga Lakmal at the team's practice while death-over specialist Lasith Malinga fired in yorkers at one of the nets. Sri Lanka have stormed into the Asia Cup final but the bowlers are all ears. For Vaas, with 761 international wickets, more..

Sri Lanka IT-BPO firms can draw capital, reward talent with listing: officials

Mar 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's information technology and outsourcing firms could unlock value for their owners, draw capital and attract talent by a planned stock market listing, officials said. Colombo Stock Exchange CEO Rajeeva Bandaranaike said listing which will lead to a value being placed on the shares when they are traded, unlocking the value of a company and generate wealth for the owners, in addition to raising fresh capital. "Shareholders can become wealthy, overnight," more..

‘Industries and plantations hit by acute labour shortage’

Mar 6 (Island) Sri Lanka’s industries and plantation sectors, are facing an acute labour shortage, with tea, rubber and coconut plantations proving to be particularly affected by the problem. Minister S.B Dissanayake said that labour shortage was a serious challenge that Sri Lanka faces in the development sphere at present. He added that labour shortage in areas bordering the Western Province was particularly acute. more..

Sudden rent hike shocks Kollupitiya flat dwellers

Mar 6 (Island) The UDA has increased the monthly rental of the Kollupitiya flats suddenly this year after 25 years causing heart burn among their occupants. A letter issued by the UDA states that the monthly rental for shops and houses in the Kollupitiya housing complex have been increased with effect from Feb 1 of this year. However, as a concessional measure, the UDA has decided to levy only 50% of the increase from this year, 75% next year and the full amount in 2016. more..

Bora Bora Resources defines large conductive body at Matale graphite project

Mar 6 (PI) Bora Bora Resources should trade significantly higher after revealing results from an airborne electromagnetic survey flown over its Matale graphite project, adjacent to the Kahatagaha Graphite Mine in Sri Lanka. A clear late time electromagnetic anomaly has been defined, which correlates with the position of the operating Kahatagaha mine, which extends into Bora's Matale project. The most likely source of the anomaly is conductive graphite, with initial interpretation more..

'Foreign forces spreading anger and hatred'

Mar 6 (FT) Although a small group in Sri Lanka has connived with some foreign forces to spread hatred against Sri Lanka people have given moral strength to President Rajapaksa to continue undeterred for ensuring the country’s victory in the economic sphere after having secured peace, making it possible for all citizens of every faith and ethnicity to move about freely without fear and suspicion. Minister Basil Rajapaksa more..

Outdated flour seized

Mar 6 (Island) Stock of 10,300 Kgs of outdated and inferior quality wheat flour was seized by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) from a wholesale establishment near the Pattiwala National Housing Scheme at Gonawala yesterday. Nipun Ekanayake, Media Secretary to the Minister Johnston Fernando said yesterday that the seized flour was meant to bake bread and the outdated flour was also to be sent to the open market to manufacture various kinds of Roti too, including Parata. more..

Vijitha Yapa elected Chairman of Afro Asian Book Council

Mar 6 (ST) Vijitha Yapa was elected Chairman of the Afro Asian Book Council last week at the AGM of the organization held in New Delhi during the World Book Fair 2014. The former newspaper editor turned book publisher is the first Sri Lankan to hold this post. Mr. Yapa is currently the President of the Sri Lanka Book Publishers’ Association and Vice President of the Asia Pacific Publishers Association. Addressing the members of the Afro Asian Book Council, he thanked them for the confidence more..

Ranil’s exposes Govt.’s Port City contradictions

Mar 6 (FT) Unhappy due to members giving contradictory answers misleading the house in favour of the Govt, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was adamant that it was time that he delivered a personal explanation on the controversial Colombo Port City project and the CCCC deal. He found it misleading to the house as a violation of its member’s privileges. “Minister Nimal Siripala made contradictory statements. more..

President and BIMSTEC leaders pledge to strengthen bilateral relations

Mar 6 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held bilateral discussions with several leaders on the sidelines of the third BIMSTEC Summit in Myanmar. During these discussions leaders agreed to strengthen existing relations both within and outside the BIMSTEC framework in all areas where there is potential for cooperation. For the first meeting President Rajapaksa met the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Myanmar International Convention Centre. more..

Loan system to replace pension gratuity scheme?

Mar 6 (FT) Govt plans to introduce a loan system to replace the longstanding pension gratuity scheme, an entitlement to all State employees at the time of retirement came under fire yesterday at Parliament with Leader of JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake making a statement under Standing Order 23 (2). The pension gratuity scheme is an additional benefit a retiree would enjoy apart from the regular pension received. “Pension gratuity allows the retiree to obtain a lump-sum equal to more..

MR to kick off ‘All World Network’ today

Mar 6 (FT) President Rajapaksa will today kick off the Sri Lankan edition of ‘All World Network’ program, which identifies the most advanced emerging companies. The initiative aims to encourage strategic advancement of Sri Lankan companies as well to find and credential 25 of the country’s fastest growing privately-held companies. At its launch President will be joined by the initiative’s Co-Founder Anne Habibya more..

Beware of turmeric and chilli powder you buy

Mar 6 (Island) Chief of the City Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam yesterday announced that inspections were being carried out at grinding mills and sachets of spices available for sale with wholesalers. Dr. Kariyawasam said that the mills and the sachets would be checked for possible use of carcinogenic colourings and contamination with salt and starch. The PHD had on several occasions detected adulterated spices for sale in the Pettah Manning Market, he said. more..

Parliament live telecast to resume after House Standing Orders amended

Mar 6 (FT) Speaker of the Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa said yesterday that the live telecast of parliamentary proceedings will re-commence after amending the House Standing Orders. Speaker made this comment in response to a question posed by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayaka as to when the live telecast of parliamentary proceedings will re-commence. Rajapaksa assured that the live telecast of House proceedings will re-commence and that an agreement on the matter will be signed with more..

'Sri Lanka Law College faces unprecedented difficulties'

Mar 6 (Island) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem told Parliament that the Sri Lanka Law College (SLLC) would face unprecedented difficulties and problems if it increased the intake of students on the basis of cut-off marks recommended by the Council of Legal Education. Responding to questions raised by UNP and JVP Leaders, he said that SLLC commenced its academic year on Jan 15, 2014. "These cut off marks were later more..

Pay Rs 1M and keep an elephant

Mar 6 (CT) Minister Vijayamuni Soyza, is planning to introduce a new law prescribing that any individual who wishes to keep a wild elephant in his custody must register the animal for a sum of Rs 1 million and must possess a land of at least five acres in extent. He said, a booklet is being prepared explaining the conditions that should be fulfilled by a person, if he is to be chosen as a suitable person to have an elephant in his custody and a Cabinet paper containing the set of proposals relating to more..

Hirunika baffles Netball association

Mar 6 (SM) An intense battle is on the cards after Hirunika Premachandra’s having informed SL Netball Association that she will contest for its chair. Election is due on March 22, and nominations closed on Feb 28. Ms. Premachandra handed in nominations, but later wrote to the association to say she would withdraw from the contest. With that, Victoria Lakshmi was to be elected to the chair uncontested. However, Ms. Premachandra has now said that she would contest. more..

Afghanistan president arrives

Mar 6 (DPA) Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday for a three-day visit that was rescheduled due to an attack on Afghan troops. On his first-ever trip to Sri Lanka, Karzai is expected to discuss with his Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapakse a wide-range of issues of bilateral interests. Afghan President was due to visit Sri Lanka last month, but the visit was postponed due to an attack on Afghan troops more..

New nine Major Generals

Mar 6 (DM) Nine Brigadiers of the Army have been promoted to the rank of Major Generals. President has approved the promotion of these officers on the recommendation of Army Commander Daya Ratnayake. Accordingly, Brig KMU Wijeratne has been promoted with effect from May 24, 2013, while Brig KC Gunawardena has been promoted with effect from Nov 3, 2013. The remaining Brigadiers have been promoted to the rank of Major General with effect from Oct 7, 2013. more..