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NPC wants govt. to implement LLRC Report in a worthy manner

Mar 9 (Island) National Peace Council (NPC) said that the govt must take this opportunity and implement the provisions related to good governance and human rights set out in the LLRC Report in a worthy manner.  Or else the international process that puts pressure on the govt to improve its good governance and human rights record is set to increase. "The govt must also be mindful to the vulnerability of a foreign debt more..

Sri Lanka US$600mn rail deal to China firm

Mar 9 (LBO) A 600 million US dollar contract to extend a rail track from Beliatta to Kataragama in Sri Lanka's South has been awarded to China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CNMIEC). Sunday Times newspaper said another 28 km section of the track from Matara to Beliatte is already being built by the same company on a 272 million US dollar contract. "We have decided on the Chinese company as the Exim Bank (of China) has agreed to grant a loan for the project,” more..

Woman, children arrested at BIA

Mar 9 (CG) A woman and her two children were arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport by customs officers with jewellery worth over Rs. 6 million. The 48 year old lady and her 20 year old son as well as her 17 year old daughter had attempted to smuggle the items to India. On being checked on suspicion the customs officers found 8 yellow gold bangles, 1 necklace, 2 silver plated gold anklets, 2 chains, 7 pendants and one gold bracelet. The suspect is a resident on Kotahena and more..

Sri Lanka: new video evidence of grotesque violations

Mar 9 (C4) Not because of the scale of the deaths it depicts – five deaths is a small incident in a war which saw upwards of 40,000 civilians massacred in the last few months alone, mostly by govt shelling. This footage is awful because of the behaviour of the soldiers towards the bodies of the female Tiger fighters, and because of the underlying culture of systematic brutality and sexual violence which it seems to illustrate. more..

Twice-punished student ends up in hospital

Mar 9 (DM) A Grade VII student of a school in Nawalapitya who was punished by his teacher was subsequently caned by the principal, warranting admission to hospital. The school principal was taken into custody but later released on the intervention of area residents and boy’s mother. The student was allegedly sent out of class by the teacher as a punishment for a misdemeanour, when the principal who was passing by decided to cane him on the assumption that he was loitering. more..

A paucity of planning

Mar 9 (ST) The problem of accommodation at the Kelaniya University has regularly interrupted student activities over the past few years.The most recent interruption arose when 300 female students of university forcibly occupied the canteen on the grounds that they have not been provided hostel facilities. Despite students occupying the canteen for the past seven days, no solution to the problem has been put forward by university authorities. ”If we fail to gain a solution we will continue more..

Spot fine payments through mobile phones

Mar 9 (ST) Spot fine payments through mobile phones will soon be a reality by June. The moment a police station has been alerted that the fine has been paid to the service provider, the license would be released. “This will eliminate the need to go back to the police station where an offence took place (in case the offender lives in Colombo and the incident occurred in Monaragala), as the fine can be instantly paid,” SSP Ajith Rohana said. more..

Piranhas in Diyawanna Lake

Mar 9 (SL) Steps are being taken by the Department of Wildlife Conservation to counter several non-indigenous species of fish including the piranha and knight fish, which had been introduced to local lakes and streams by fish breeders, Director General H D Rathnayaka said. The introduction of these species had caused an imbalance in the ecosystem as well as reduced the indigenous fish varieties that inhabited the lakes and streams, department officials further said. more..

Monk to fight against proposed ban

Mar 9 (SL) Leader of the Jansetha Peramuna Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero while condemning the recent ban on political activities by the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, states that he would seek local and international legal redress if the Siyam Nikaya Chapter took such an action. He added he belonged to the Siam Chapter and that he believed that monks had the right to engage in politics because they are also human beings and no entity or person can interfere with that right. more..

Visas for foreigners to be categorised

Mar 9 (SL) Steps are underway to further diversify and categorize visas issued to those who enter Sri Lanka for varied reasons, the Department of Immigration & Emigration official’s stated. More than 300,000 of the 1.2 million tourists arrived in Sri Lanka this year were not actual tourists. Due to this reason the current visa’s issued under tourist visa, resident visa, business visa and My Green Home visa would be revised. more..

Live kidney donation program soon

Mar 9 (SO) Plans are afoot to launch a kidney donation program for the first time in Sri Lanka, to help those in need of live kidneys needed for transplants. "We now see a sharp rise of end-stage patients with chronic kidney disease who need transplants to give them a longer quality life. The option that most people now have is dialysis treatment which is a costly and long drawn out process. As those on dialysis treatment need dialysis a minimum of twice a week, more..

Moral development societies in schools soon

Mar 9 (SO) Minister Bandula Gunawardena, has instructed Provincial Directors of Education island-wide to set up moral development societies in all government schools with immediate effect. This move is to prevent school students from engaging in immoral and anti-social activities due to misdirection of anti-social elements prevailing at present in the country. These moral development societies would be set up in schools. These societies will comprise senior school teachers, deputy principals, more..

BMICH cancels BASL’s booking for a forum

Mar 9 (ST) Administration of the BMICH has suddenly cancelled a booking placed by the Bar Association of SL to conduct a public forum on the implications of a gazette notification to vest police powers in the armed forces. ‘Booking had been made by paying an advance of Rs. 50,000 for the event on March 19, but we were told on Friday that the booking was cancelled as the President is visiting BMICH,” more..

‘Opposition responsible for issues taken up’

Mar 9 (SO) Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody said the Opposition has every right to engage in politics, but they must be held responsible for what they take up, especially issues that concern the country. Asked about the UNP’s claim that the Govt has deliberately ignored to take up its No-confidence motion against it during the next sittings from March 18 to 21, the Deputy Speaker said the Opposition can take it up at the Party Leader’s meeting and get it listed. more..

Toll fee for Kottawa-Kaduwela Expressway announced

Mar 9 (AD) Light vehicles such as cars and jeeps will be charged a toll fee of Rs 100 on the newly-opened Kottawa-Kaduwela Expressway while heavy vehicles will be charged Rs 300, the Ministry of Highways said. The first phase of the Colombo Outer Circular Highway (OCH), which was ceremonially declared open by President Rajapaksa yesterday, was opened for public use from this afternoon. Bus services along the expressway will commence within the next two weeks. more..

El Nino effect expected to hurt plantation crops this year

Mar 9 (Island) National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York has forecast an El Nino effect would affect parts of Asia and Australia, a prediction confirmed by the Australian Meteorological Department. Countries in Asia and Australia are expected to experience warm dry weather as a result while South America will receive more rain than usual. more..

Election laws nonexistent in Gampaha

Mar 9 (SM) Mass scale election law violations are taking place in Gampaha district, with the two main culprits being the brother of deputy minister Sarana Gunawardena and former chief minister Prasanna Ranatunga, according to reports. The deputy minister’s brother is holding meetings of teachers and parents and offering them hundreds of thousands of rupees to solicit their votes. The money thus being spent comes from the allocations being made under ‘Divi Neguma’ programme more..

Asian Champs receive rousing welcome

Mar 9 (CG) The Sri Lankan Cricket team receive a rousing welcome as they returned home today after winning the Asia Cup. Crowds lined the streets to welcome the team as they traveled in an open roof bus from the airport to the Sri Lanka Cricket headquarters. The cricketers tweeted images of their return saying it was great to be home after winning the title. Sri Lanka beat Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup in Bangladesh yesterday. more..

'Congress, DMK are Anti-Tamils'

Mar 9 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa today squarely blamed the Centre and DMK for the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka and also the fishermen from the state. At a time when her government has been pressing the Centre for intervention on these issues, the Congress-led UPA government was engaged in training Sri Lankan naval forces in India, she said, addressing an election rally here. more..

Joint effort to protect Jaffna's civilians

Mar 9 (CT) Jaffna's civil society, religious leaders, the police, and security services have joined hands, in an effort to strengthen the civil security system. They all came together at a special meeting, chaired by Senior DIG for the North, Pujith Jayasundera, at the 'Illankai Venthan' Auditorium in Jaffna last week. Several issues that were disturbing the current trouble free atmosphere of Jaffna were brought up at the meeting. Leaders of the civil society brought to the notice of the police the illegal activities, more..

Sri Lanka slams new war crimes video

Mar 9 (CG) Sri Lanka has hit out at a new controversial video aired by the British television channel, Channel 4, which allegedly shows soldiers engaging in war crimes. The Sri Lankan High Commission in London has told Channel 4 that the latest attempt to denigrate Sri Lanka is a continuation of the pernicious campaign by the TV station that has already been exposed in the book titled Corrupted Journalism Channel 4 and Sri Lanka. more..

Provinces get their own butterflies

Mar 9 (ST) Everybody loves a butterfly and perhaps Sri Lankans more than most: four years after the Sri Lanka Birdwing was declared the national butterfly each of the nine provinces are to get their own butterfly. The nine are considered flagship species due to their attractive colour patterns and have been selected because they are endemic to Sri Lanka, charismatic and readily seen. None of the butterflies are a pest at any stage more..

Issaipriya, Vany Kumar and Ananthi; Women of courage – Beating the labelling

Mar 10 (CT) Out of the many women of courage the world has seen, three stand out for me. If courage is measured in real terms, free of prejudice, they would win hands down. My women of courage are Issaipriya, Vany Kumar and Ananthi Sasitharan, They’re icons in our struggle for justice and freedom, but they’re labelled as “terrorists”. It is about these women of courage that I want to write about. Take Issaipriya, a young woman who worked as a correspondent and more..

Knock (Ed) out by too much rich cake too soon

Mar 10 (SL) THE 2013/14 season, concluding today, has provided wonderful entertainment, but if you must find something to gripe about, then it has to be the absence of a meaningful interval between the League tournament and the Knockout competition. With one event beginning only a week after the conclusion of the other, any mistaken notion that the Knockout is an extension of three-half-month League would have to be pardoned. The final three weeks was really the memory of more..

'Afghanistan to replicate SL's peace story'

Mar 10 (SO) Afghan President Hamid Karzai who was on a two-day state visit to Sri Lanka from last Wednesday said his visit here was an eye- opener and he witnessed first hand how peace prevailed in the country. His visit marked the opening of the first Afghan mission in Sri Lanka and signing of four Agreements and MoUs in nurses training, education, sports and export of Sri Lankan professional and skilled manpower. more..

Muslim voters, beware of traitors

Mar 10 (SL) Muslim voters of Western and Southern Provinces will be safe if they exercise their franchise in favour of candidates from major political parties irrespective of their race, caste or religion. They should refrain from casting their valuable votes in favour of Muslim political parties. The reason for above request is because none of these Muslim political parties have raised their voice against discrepancies and irregularities done to Islamic places of worship including more..

Mahinda Chinthanaya and Geneva

Mar 10 (CT) The Rajapaksas are right. On the global stage, Sri Lanka is receiving a degree of (negative) attention totally at variance with her far from significant position in the world. What the Rajapaksas do not realise is that they sowed the seeds of this predicament when they renamed the Fourth Eelam War a ‘Humanitarian Operation’, insisted that victory was achieved sans a single civilian casualty and peddled this ‘model’ internationally as a worthy example. more..

'US seeks to eventually partition Sri Lanka'

Mar 10 (CT) The United States has no genuine interest in accountability or reconciliation in Sri Lanka, but is seeking a strategic military base in Asia, says Tamara Manimekhalai Kunanayakam, onetime Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN Office at Geneva and SL's Ambassador to Holy See. In an interview, Kunanayakam said, the US would demand more concessions using the resolution as a tool more..

Ranil goes after Govt. on Colombo Port City Development Project

Mar 10 (ST) Questions about the Colombo Port City Development (CPCD) project once again came up in Parliament this week, with Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe calling upon the Government to table in the House, the project proposal pertaining to it, as well as the report of the Standing Cabinet Appointed Review Committee (SCARC) that has to study such proposals, make an assessment and report on it. This time the Opposition Leader submitted details of the controversial project more..

Govt. strategy prevents the worst-case scenario in Geneva

Mar 10 (CT) The resolution on Sri Lanka tabled at the 25th sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva by US-led six member nations last Monday, in a way, gave the govt a sense of relief for it was not the worst it expected. The draft report on Sri Lanka released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, earlier had recommended an independent international investigation into war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law and human rights during the armed conflict here. more..


Drought could impact adversely on economic performance

Mar 10 (ST) The continuation of the current drought could have a pervasive impact on the economy. The prospect of an improvement in the trade balance, and consequently a significant overall balance of payments surplus this year is threatened by drought conditions. Already agricultural production and hydropower generation have been reduced. Drought conditions since November last year have affected paddy, food crops, tea and rubber production adversely and next year’s more..

Editorial: Rape of sovereignty

Mar 10 (Island) The Geneva circus is on with the worst violators of human rights in the world masquerading as champions of democracy. Perhaps, there is no bigger farce than this summit. The UNHRC is dominated by the West and, therefore, it could not be expected to act independently. It has become a kangaroo court in all but name. Sri Lanka has taken exception to the US-sponsored draft resolution against it as a ‘bad precedent [which] can, in the medium-to-long more..

Aravinda versus Sanga, more on the debate

Mar 10 (Island) Following our expansive study last week based purely on numbers as to whether Kumar Sangakkara rates higher than Aravinda de Silva as the best Sri Lankan batsman, several of our readers contributed Letters to Editor arguing for and against the subject. Hence we thought of providing an even further analysis to determine whether Sanga ranks ahead of Aravinda. Several of our readers who more..

Local bio fertilizer to cut import bill

Mar 10 (NS) Lanka Bio Fertilizers (Pvt) Ltd has introduced BioFilm, an environmentally friendly bio fertilizer for tea to the Sri Lankan Market. The fertilizer is said to be 100% natural thereby giving hope to Sri Lanka’s chemically destroyed soil. According to the company, the usage of BioFilm-T in the tea plantation sector will save the country billions in foreign exchange as the importation of fertilizer for tea sector alone is estimated to cost over Rs.16 billion per annum. more..

HNB expects tough 2014

Mar 10 (NS) The Chairperson of Hatton National Bank Dr. Ranee Jayamaha says that despite the economy rebounding in Q3 of 2013 with a lower interest rate structure already in place, and private sector lending showing signs of takeoff, the year 2014 will be viewed as another challenging year. Presenting her message in the Bank’s Annual Report 2013, she said that in a low interest rate era, the Bank would need to improve on its fee generating capabilities and look for new more..

SEC tackles transgressing Touchwood!

Mar 10 (FT) Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stepped up its stranglehold on the transgressing Touchwood Investments (TWOD) following the completion of investigations. SEC informed Commercial High Court, which is hearing a winding up case of TWOD that Notices of Action have been issued on several Directors for alleged malpractices including market manipulation via non-disclosure. more..

Sheaam Dean releases debut single Afterglow

Mar 10 (Island) RnB, soul and pop artist Sheaam Dean with his singular flair for music released his debut international single Afterglow under Midas King Productions, an international production company. The 22 year old singer who gained much fame with his single ‘Rebekah’ in Sri Lanka is now set on creating strides in the international music arena as well. As such, Raymond Fry, Manager of Midas King Productions reflected on the extremely positive feedback the single has received more..

Interest free loan scheme for women entrepreneurs

Mar 10 (FT) Marking International Women’s Day, President Rajapaksa on Saturday launched the ‘Liya Isuru’ interest free loan scheme for women entrepreneurs in the country. Under the free loan scheme for women entrepreneurs announced in the 2014 Budget and implemented by the Regional Development Bank, women entrepreneurs can get an interest free loan of maximum Rs. 200,000 irrespective of their age without need for collateral. Govt has allocated Rs. 3.2 billion for the more..

Malaysia aims to attract 70,000 visitors from Sri Lanka in 2014

Mar 10 (Bernama) Tourism Malaysia aims to attract 70,000 tourists from Sri Lanka this year, where more than 200 events await them, its Deputy Director-General, Datuk Noordin said. "Sri Lanka has always been an important market for us," he said. Tourist arrivals from Sri Lanka stood at 64,051 in 2013, which was an increase of 2% from 62,821 tourists in 2012. "With new products and destinations being promoted specifically for the SL market, more..