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Cake worshipping Vs. Sino-devotion

Mar 9 (SL) Tamil Civil Society Forum, a network of Tamil civil society activists including Bishop of Mannar (retired) Rayappu Joseph, has stated that the draft resolution presented by the US to the 25th session of UNHRC does not call for an international investigation. The draft of the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, which is now circulating among the member nations of the UNHRC, was at the centre of discussion among political circles of the country in the past few days. more..

Thirimanne century could prove career-defining

Mar 9 (CI) When he looks back on his match-winning 101 in the Asia Cup final, the highlights reel in Lahiru Thirimanne's head is unlikely to include the single that took him to 39. The shot Thirimanne played, moreover, was that banal middle-overs staple: the push, with the spin, for a single. That particular single, though, was significant. It nudged Thirimanne's batting average from 29.9761904762 to 30. An ODI average of 30 more..

Sri Lanka's fifth triumph, and Fawad's special feat

Mar 9 (CI) Sri Lanka's five-wicket win against Pakistan gave them their fifth Asia Cup title, equaling India's five title wins. The last time Sri Lanka won the title was in 2008. Sri Lanka have now won 34 matches in the Asia Cup - the highest by a team in the tournament. Sri Lanka have won nine ODIs on the trot, starting with their win against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last year. This is just one short of their longest streak of wins which lasted for ten ODIs between Feb 2004 and July 2004. more..

Misbah bemoans ineffective bowling

Mar 9 (CI) Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has attributed his team's Asia Cup final defeat to his bowlers' inability to put pressure on Sri Lanka's batsmen. Chasing 261, Sri Lanka, led by a century from Lahiru Thirimanne, cruised to a five-wicket win to take their fifth Asia Cup title. Only Saeed Ajmal posed a threat to Sri Lanka, as Pakistan looked to defend a hard-earned total. Ajmal took 3 for 26 in 10 overs, but apart from him and to an extent, Mohammad Hafeez, the rest of the attack more..

My Day: Sri Lankan fisherwoman

Mar 9 (BBC) Vijayakumar Thevarani, 42, has been working in fishing since the age of 16. She is a widow with four children, two of whom still live at home, and lives in Karainagar, an island joined by a causeway to Jaffna in northern Sri Lanka. I have always done fishing work. The men go out to sea and if there is work available I do everything from tapping fish - that is, removing them from the nets - to repairing nets. This is the work I have more..

Shrewd Wickremesinghe

Mar 9 (NS) The politics look shrewd because politicians believe that without shrewdness survival in politics is impossible. If we are to go by what was witnessed during last week’s parliament sittings, one does not need to toil to find the shrewdest of them all among 225 members in the House for Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had lifted the cup. The issue that laid bare his shrewdness was Colombo Port City Development Project (CPCDP). As the readers of this column know more..

Polls department to seize vehicles

Mar 9 (SL) Special teams from the Elections Department will be deployed to take into custody government vehicles that are being used illegally for propaganda work ahead of the Western and Southern Provincial Council Elections, Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. He said the move follows several complaints received regarding the unlawful use of government vehicles for election propaganda in Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambanthota districts. more..

Health Ministry to depend less on India

Mar 9 (SL) The Health Ministry is to sign MoU with Malaysia, Bangladesh and Thailand to purchase pharmaceuticals to reduce dependency on India, a Spokesman said. “The Health Ministry is unable to take any action against the Indian drug manufacturing companies as such an action could be detrimental to us. When we call tenders for drug suppliers, only a handful of Indian drug manufacturers send their quotations. more..

'Lankan women set many valuable examples'

Mar 9 (SO) Sri Lankan women set many valuable examples to women in most societies, said First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa in a message to mark International Women’s Day yesterday. Here is the full text of the message. “I am pleased to send this message for freedom and peace to all women of the world on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Sri Lankan women set many valuable examples to women in most societies. Enriched by great historical and cultural heritage, ethics and more..

Ministers violating election laws

Mar 9 (SL) Election monitors have accused Govt Ministers of violating election laws by opening more than one political office at several locations in the Southern Province. People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) said that there was also an incident where farming equipment was to be handed over to some people in the South by Govt officials. Election monitors had lodged a complaint over the incident and the attempt was eventually stopped as it violates election laws. more..

'US seeks regional military base in Sri Lanka'

Mar 9 (CT) Under the guise of demanding accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, the United States is exerting pressure on Sri Lanka to secure concessions, possibly of a military nature, Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka's former Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, said. She said the US needed a strategic foothold in Asia and would use the UNHRC resolution to promote an international more..

Unholy racket in import of vehicles

Mar 9 (ST) The misuse of import licences issued by the Controller General of Imports and Exports is being probed after it was revealed that vehicles imported under this scheme were sold fraudulently depriving the country of revenue, Customs detectives said. The concession has been given to religious places to receive vehicles as gifts, but investigations have revealed this concession has been abused with such vehicles being sold and licences issued to non-religious places. more..

'Thirimanne batted with a niggle' - Mathews

Mar 9 (CI) After missing most of Sri Lanka's series against Bangladesh with an ankle injury, Lahiru Thirimanne returned to the side ahead of the Asia Cup. After he scored a century in the final to help the team achieve a five-wicket win, Sri Lanka's captain Angelo Mathews said Thirimanne had batted with a "bit of a niggle" in their last two games. "He [Thirimanne] has been amazing for us," Mathews said. "He got injured, unfortunately, in the last series but he came back for us. more..

UN Rapporteur on Migrants to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (ST) The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants is planning a week-long visit to Sri Lanka on 19-26 May 2014 to assess the situation pertaining to migrant workers, according to UNHRC. In his first visit to Sri Lanka, François Crépeau, a Canadian-based right academic, will focus on a number of issues. They include recruitment practices of labour migrants while looking at a number of relevant topics, more..

30,000 vials of vaccine airlifted to save pigs

Mar 9 (ST) Animal Production and Health Department has airlifted about 30,000 vials of Foot-and-Mouth immunisation vaccine from France as the disease spread to seven districts, including Gamapaha. “We decided to treat it as an emergency situation and airlift the vaccines to be used mainly on pigs,” Dr. Kumar de Silva, the department’s Director General, said. The vaccine would be used mainly to immunise pigs in the affected districts from tomorrow as they spread the disease. more..

Chinese company wins Colombo Port City Project twice

Mar 9 (ST) Almost three years after the govt abruptly cancelled a contract awarded to a Chinese company without calling for tenders for the Colombo Port City project, the same company, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) has been offered the deal contract – this time drawing criticism from the UNP. CCCC is incorporated as a holding company under the China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) group. Deal was exposed exclusively by ST in a 26th June 2011 more..

Oncology drugs purchases run into a storm: Supplies suffer critical breakdown

Mar 9 (Island) Amidst a conflict with the College of Oncologists on the procurement of an Indian drug to treat cancer patients, a comprehensive board of experts comprising oncologists and pharmacologists is expected to be appointed for evaluation and recommendation on govt tenders, a high-ranking health official said. This unprecedented move comes in the wake of last week’s cancellation of a multi-million rupee tender more..

Drug policy ball in Cabinet’s court

Mar 9 (NS) The national Drug Policy (NDP) which was going round and round at the Ministry of Health, Legal Draftsman’s Department and the Supreme Court has now stopped at the Cabinet of Ministers. When the case filed by the People’s Movement for the Rights of Patients (PMRP) on the speedy implementation of the NDP was taken up for hearing at Supreme Court on Friday, the AG’s Department revealed that the Draft Bill had been finalized and sent back from the Legal Draftsman. more..

Lankan refugees get lessons on self-defence

Mar 9 (TOI) Some of their sisters fell to bullets; some others took to arms. Five years after the war ended in Sri Lanka, these women refugees from the island nation are now learning self-defence with the help of an NGO. Fear and insecurity have been a part of Sharmila's life. Sharmila* was only 10 when she encountered men dressed in military clothes carrying guns on her way to school. "Sometimes, they would come to school and ask us to join the LTTE. more..

Private online lottery introduced in Sri Lanka

Mar 9 (ST) A private company with foreign connections has been given a licence to operate an online lottery including thousands of e-Games terminals from next month – a move that could draw young people, including schoolchildren into gaming. The licence has been given to Oceanic Games which will operate in collaboration with eGame Solutions, a Hong Kong-based company which markets itself as a global lottery provider. more..

Lawyers reveal Hakeem’s duplicity

Mar 9 (NS) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has reiterated that it would not quit the Government until and unless the President asks them to do so. Sources at the SLMC said that the party had supported the Govt at several crucial stages and therefore it would not leave the Govt voluntarily. The SLMC Leader and Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem came under fire after the party had provided information to UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay’s report on Sri Lanka. more..

Mannar mass grave: TNA scoffs at Archeology Department

Mar 9 (NS) The TNA yesterday scoffed at claims made by authorities that the alleged mass grave site in Mannar may have been a cemetery. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said they would request an international investigation by reputed parties on the skeletal remains found at the alleged mass grave site, and claimed this was the only way justice could be served. He asked, “Why is the government coming up with various stories?” adding that no one needs to ‘imagine things.’ more..

OHCHR likely to play major role in war crimes probe

Mar 9 (ST) It went viral after a UN-based web outlet last Monday reported on the initial draft of a resolution the United States will move on Sri Lanka at the on-going UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Local and foreign media reproduced the four-page full text, posted as a cross reference to a report in ICP. Some mistook the draft to be the final one and claimed it has already been handed over to the Council Secretariat. It is not so. more..

Seeking equality in an unequal world

Mar 9 (CT) The global spotlight shifted to women yesterday as an unequal world celebrated International Women's Day, with a UN declared theme 'Equality for women is progress for all'. Certainly, as stated in the UN Secretary General's message, countries with more gender equality have better economic growth, companies with more women leaders perform better, peace agreements that include women are more durable, and Parliaments with more women enact more..

Crimea and Geneva: Reverse lessons for the Rajapaksa regime and Diaspora separatism

Mar 9 (Island) What is happening in Crimea is what diaspora separatism would love to have happening in Sri Lanka. And Russia is one country that the Rajapaksa regime would be hoping to rely on to prevent northern Jaffna becoming a South Asian Crimea. But what Russia is doing in Crimea is almost a casual demonstration of the fulfillment of separatist aspirations, on the one hand, and an inconsiderate frustration of the textbook expectations of national sovereignty and more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Mar 9 (ST) Afghan President Hamid Karzai is one of the most protected world leaders and is covered by a highly trained personal security detail which includes Pentagon bodyguards now working for Dynacorp, a private US military outfit. So when it came to addressing a news conference during his two-day visit, the men who accompanied him on the special aircraft, and their local counterparts had a tug-of-war. more..

Resolution to be discussed again

Mar 9 (CG) The draft resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UNHRC which is currently meeting in Geneva, is to be discussed again at an informal meeting tomorrow. The meeting has been organised by the cosponsors of the resolution, the US, Britain, Macedonia, Montenegro and Mauritius. Open to the public, the discussion is the second such meeting being held on Sri Lanka in Geneva on the sidelines of the ongoing more..

GK wants CIESOT to transfer ownership of Kotelawala’s 2.25 million shares

Mar 9 (Island) In an official intimation, CIESOT (Pvt) Ltd., has been asked to transfer the ownership of 2.25 million shares worth around Rs. 3.5 billion held by Lalith Kotelawala to the Golden Key Special Purpose Vehicle to pave the way for the implementation of the next phase of settling long-suffering depositors, officials said. A letter, jointly signed by GK Chairman, Priyantha Fernando and Ms. Dushanthi Hapugoda, a director, more..

Sri Lanka to support Afghanistan cricket development

Mar 9 (CI) Sri Lanka have signed a MoU with the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) to support the development of cricket in Afghanistan. The Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa was visited by his Afghanistan counterpart Hamid Karzai, who also brought along Dr Noor Mohammad Murad, the ACB chief executive, as part of the delegation. The two countries signed four MOUs, including more..

Govt MPs backing illegal mining in Sinharaja Seven forest officials assaulted

Mar 9 (NS) Several UPFA MPs from the Ratnapura District are alleged to be actively backing illegal gem miners operating within Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Allegations surfaced after officers from Department of Forest Conservation who raided a site in the area, were waylaid and viciously assaulted last week. Environmentalists allege at least two UPFA MPs, who don’t hold ministerial portfolios, were backing miners. more..

PC election: Local monitors to push up their representation

Mar 9 (Island) Elections monitors PAFFREL and CAFFE are expected to increase their representation, where necessary, as 112,322 eligible postal voters mark their ballots before the respective Certifying Officer (CO) on Thursday and Friday for the forthcoming PC elections. Highest number of 6,004 postal voting applications were rejected from Galle district, while the lowest rejected 2,635 were from Colombo district, more..

Maldives, Lanka and India agree on maritime cooperation

Mar 9 (Haveeru) Military leaders of the Maldives, India and Sri Lanka have come into agreement to conduct more training programmes to impede and take executive steps on vessels that violate marine laws. This agreement was made at the third National Security Advisor (NSA) level Trilateral Meeting on Maritime Security Cooperation between Maldives, Sri Lanka and India on sixth and seventh of March 2014 in New Delhi, India. more..

Attack on Excise Chief possibly linked to audit probe on 10 companies

Mar 9 (ST) Excise Commissioner General D.G.M.V. Hapuarachchi was conducting a massive audit inquiry of alleged tax evasion by some 10 top distillery companies when his house was shot at earlier this week, it was revealed yesterday. Mr. Hapuarachchi said he had started an audit check last month on these distillery companies to check out on tax evasion and other frauds since the Government was losing millions in revenue. more..

‘LTTE created by Indira Gandhi for protection of Indian interests’

Mar 9 (AD) India’s former Union Law Minister and advocate Ram Jethmalani has said that the LTTE was created by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for the protection of Indian interests. Jethmalani also hit out at the India-Sri Lanka peace accord signed in 1987 stating that it was the great betrayal of Indian interest. He said LTTE was created by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for the protection of Indian interests. more..

Pakistani heroin smuggler disappears: Customs, Police trade charges

Mar 9 (ST) The Customs and the Police yesterday traded charges over the failure to arrest the Pakistani mastermind involved in the smuggling of 36 kilograms of heroin to Sri Lanka on Friday as he made his escape from a shipping line office in Kollupitiya. The Customs claimed that they informed the Police to arrest the suspect from the shipping office, but the Police Narcotics Bureau claimed it did not receive any communication more..

Sir Ivor Jennings: Less known facts and anecdotes

Mar 9 (Island) As a follow up to my article in last Sunday’s Island titled ‘Catharine Watson, grand-daughter of Sir Ivor Jennings - in Sri Lanka recently’ I had a couple of telephone calls with interesting anecdotes about her maternal grandfather. I am strong on the fact we should never forget him for what he did for Ceylon politically and educationally. I need not state the fact, but will do so for those not quite familiar with his name: Sir Ivor Jennings was the main moving force in more..

Wigneswaran has got the balance right

Mar 9 (Island) It was in the 1960s at a meeting in the Colombo Town Hall grounds that I heard Colvin say this; he attributed it to Lenin. I have searched for the original quote but never could locate it. Perhaps he was not quoting, only describing Lenin’s unerring genius for getting it right each step of the way. Any damn fool leftist will tell you that socialism is the ideal, or chant "From each according to his ability to each according to his needs", but what step to take next in a concrete conjuncture, more..

'UNP leadership ill-treated me'

Mar 9 (CT) Hashan Thilakaratne claims he organized a very attractive rally for Common Candidate, Sarath Fonseka, in 2010. "Fonseka told me after the rally that it was one of the best three rallies in the campaign he participated. But the UNP leadership was unhappy about that rally," he says in an interview. Q: What made cricketer Hashan Thilakaratne enter politics? A: I joined the UNP in 2005. There was a Presidential Election more..

Visitors to Kumana National Park increase

Mar 9 (Island) There has been a marked increase in the number of local and foreign visitors to the Kumana National Park in the Eastern province following the opening of the sanctuary to the public in 2013, says Province W. M. Weerasinghe, Assistant Director of Wildlife (Eastern Province). Safari jeeps and trained guides are available outside the entrance to the national park if not local and foreign visitors can hire them from Pottuvil town, he said. "We have taken precautions to more..

Investment zones for the North and the East

Mar 9 (SO) Three to four investment zones will be set up in the North and the East. There is a conducive environment for local and foreign investment after terrorism was eradicated, Deputy Minister Faizer Mustapha said. He said several big projects are now operational including the port city, John Keells and a project launched by businessman Dhammika Perera. The Port city project will cost over US$ one billion, he said. Three to four investment projects are under way more..