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'Mahinda Chinthanaya is a statement of false promises'

Mar 10 (LT) ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ is not a policy declaration but is only a statement of false promises says Senior Lecturer of the Department of Chemistry of the Ruhunu University Dr. Jinasena Hewage. Dr. Hewage says, “A policy declaration should be a programme of a country from its foundation. It should be a total programme that sinks deep into the consciousness of the people. ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ is no such programme. It is an unused and an expired programme. more..

CaFFE says most disturbing election since 2008

Mar 10 (Island) Police Elections Secretariat yesterday said that it had received 64 election related complaints and 60 persons had been arrested so far in the run-up to PC elections. According to statistics of the police stations in the two provinces, 33 complaints had been lodged regarding the election law violations, SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said that 31 complaints of assault and destruction of election offices more..

Human Rights groups seek firm steps to probe Lankan genocide, war crimes

Mar 10 (ENS) Calling upon the Centre not to “hide” behind economic and strategic interests and to take a firm step in investigating the genocide and war crimes in Sri Lanka, human rights activists from all parts of the country have unanimously decided to garner support for the initiative in their respective States. The US-sponsored UNHRC resolution on the Sri Lankan war crimes in their view is ‘mild’ and hence, India should sponsor a separate resolution highlighting the demand for more..

Credentials of envoys questioned

Mar 10 (CG) The JVP says the Govt has poor envoys in key countries, including in the US, Russia and the EU at a time it needs a strong team to counter the human rights issue. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that relatives of the President and others had been appointed as Ambassadors instead of important people. “At a time our country is facing a crisis we need a superman in the US,” he said. Dissanayake also said that PC elections are being held earlier than more..

Video: No T-56 for policemen

Mar 10 (DM) Taking into consideration the safety of police personnel on duty the Police Department has decided to arm each policeman with a pistol or a revolver. SSP Ajith Rohana stated that this move means since the day from being recruited, the policeman will have a pistol or a revolver for his protection. “This will not have a negative effect because a policeman cannot use it whenever he wants, he can only use it only if more..

Drug policy is not for masses but for multi national companies – ACHSU

Mar 10 (LT) The ‘National Drug Policy’ scheduled to be presented by the Minister of Health to the President today is one that has been prepared not with the interest of the people but according to the interests of multinational companies says the General Secretary of All Ceylon Health Services Union Gaminie Kumarasinghe. When preparing a national policy it should be done after discussing and getting views from intellectuals, specialists in the field, trade unions and the public says more..

A day to recollect saving Tamil speaking women from Tigers says Arun T

Mar 10 (Island) Batticaloa District SLFP organiser, Arun Tambimuttu said that those who had been condoning the LTTE's use of females as cannon fodder during the conflict in Sri Lanka were now shamelessly using international women's day to accuse Sri Lanka of ill-treating Tamil speaking women. Sri Lanka celebrated the international women's day on March 8. Whatever those pushing for an international war crimes probe may say, Tamil speaking women were safer than ever today, more..

'Sri Lanka rates to hold steady, no easing seen in next 2-3 months'

Mar 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark interest rates will remain steady for the next 2-3 months, Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera said on Monday, downplaying expectations of further near term monetary easing despite weak private sector credit growth. The central bank has maintained an easing bias on monetary policy since December 2012 as it sought to bolster growth and boost demand. more..

Six new envoys to Sri Lanka present credentials to President

Mar 10 (GDI) Newly appointed five Ambassadors and one High Commissioner presented their credentials to President Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat today. Following are the New Heads of Mission:- 1. Austria - Mr. Bernhard Wrabetz - Ambassador 2. Slovenia - Ms. Darja Kuret - Ambassador 3. Finland - Mr. Rauli Suikkanen - Ambassador 4. Surinam - Ms. Aashna Kanhai - Ambassador 5. Oman - Mr. Al Malek Al-Shehi - Ambassador 6. Nigeria - Mr. S.U. Ahmed more..

Sri Lanka industrial zones get fire engines from Japan

Mar 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka's export processing zones will get five fire engines and other gear from Japan as grant aid to improve safety. "We are glad that Japan came forward in helping us when there is a need for us to upgrading our fire protection," Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the BoI said. "Support in improving safety of our zones is an important area." Tokyo Metropolis had donated 3 fire engines, Yokosuka city 1 and 1 from Kasukabe city and fire protection gear from Inakshi City. more..

Baba, pay the money or I’ll take poison: Ranjan tells teacher

Mar 10 (DM) A former Rahula College teacher with tears streaming down her cheeks read a letter in Court sent by a bank to MP Ranjan Ramanayake seeking arrears of a payment she made on his behalf. The complainant Namal Wijeyaratne alias Udayangani Wijeratne read out the letter to Kandy Chief Magistrate Vasantha Kumar after Sub Inspector Rohitha gave it to her to be read for the benefit of the Court. more..

Sri Lankan hospitals record 115 mn visits

Mar 10 (Island) Sri Lankans had made 70 million visits to state-run hospitals for admissions and OPD treatment in 2013 while 45 million patients had sought medical treatment from private sector hospitals in the same year. Altogehter 115 million visits had been made to both govt and private hospital, the Health Ministry said. Though Sri Lanka's total population was only 21 million, but 115 million patients had visited both state and private ran hospitals last year. more..

Army says C4 video targets UNHRC

Mar 10 (CG) The army says the latest Channel 4 video on the war in Sri Lanka is aimed at gathering support against Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC session in Geneva. Army spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya, while rejecting the allegations raised in the new video, said that the British television channel had on previous occasions as well aired similar videos on Sri Lanka. He said the new video attempts to claim that war crimes had taken place in Sri Lanka, more..

Stephen Harper urges Sri Lanka to respect ‘human rights, rule of law’

Mar 10 (LR) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen says he is concerned about the situation in Sri Lanka in a message celebrating Commonwealth Day today. He also warned the Commonwealth may loose relevancy and credibility as a values-based organization in the 21st century under Sri Lanka’s chairmanship. The Canadian leader boycotted last November’s CHOGM in Sri Lanka citing human rights concerns. more..

Committee appointed on social media awareness

Mar 10 (DM) A committee will be appointed to investigate the use of Internet and Social Media Networks, Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRCSL) Director Anusha Palpita said. He explained that an awareness programme would be introduced with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team Coordination Centre (Sri Lanka CERT CC), Children & Women’s Bureau, National Child Protection Authority, Ministry Of Education, more..

Over 100 school students arrested

Mar 10 (CG) The police arrested over 100 students on the charge of misbehaving in public during the school cricket season. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the students were arrested this morning but were released after being severely warned. “The students were brought to the Colpetty, Bambalapitiya and Kurunduwatte police stations are released,” he said. He said that any student found to be misbehaving on the streets during the ‘Big Match’ season will be dealt with severely.

Manhunt on for Pakistani drug trafficker

Mar 10 (CT) The Pakistani mastermind behind the smuggling of 36 kg of heroin worth Rs 270 million, which had been seized by Sri Lanka Customs last week, had managed to slip away, authoritative sources said. Customs officials on Saturday, had handed over the 36 kg of heroin, which had been shipped from Karachi as well the investigation into the racket, to the police. The boxes containing the narcotics, more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Mar 11 (NS) Ravi Karunanayake says that Mayor Muzammil (of the UNP) is giving Oxygen to the govt. That’s really bad of His Worship, political commentators lament. Govt has all the Oxygen it needs and if that’s not enough has got O2 boosts from all sections of the Opposition as well. Mayor, if he has excess supplies of the life-giving Oxygen should channel it all to Sirikotha, political analysis observe. That party, after all, is literally gasping for breath, Karunanayake included. more..

CTC challenges supremacy of Parliament

Mar 11 (NS) It is rarely that the Sri Lankan Parliament endorses new legislation with unanimity. In a country strongly divided on party lines such bipartisanship usually signifies a special need. It happened a few years ago when the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution was introduced. It also happened a few weeks ago. That was when Parliament unanimously endorsed the passage of legislation mandating the use of pictorial warnings on cigarette packets. more..

Bogus foreign education agent nabbed after nine years

Mar 11 (SO) Parents spend a lot of money on a child's education. After completion of secondary education, children are financially supported by parents in their higher educational pursuits. This requires thousands of rupees or perhaps hundreds of thousands of rupees in when children are sent overseas for their higher education. Except for a few upper class families who could afford this amount, it is no secret that middle class families send more..

Face the UNHRC resolution to restore credibility

Mar 11 (Island) There was speculation that the ongoing 25th session of the UNHRC would see the immediate establishment of a high powered international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka and economic sanctions against the country. The unexpected feature of the draft resolution sponsored by the US is the provision to give the Sri Lankan govt another year in which to show progress on the matters included in the resolution. Despite this seeming concession, initial response more..

Peacemakers’ solution: Make War for Peace

Mar 11 (SL) “When our world is torn asunder by Peace it is imperative that former peacemakers be sustained by a war,” declared Samagi Kotipathi well known former peace activist addressing a seminar on ‘Sustaining Peace Makers in Times of Peace’ held in a rundown hotel in Colombo. Samagi explained: “We peacemakers— called peace mongers by jealous war mongers when the war was on—were an affluent community. We did well in life, circumnavigated the globe to attend more..

'We want to achieve a regime change'

Mar 11 (CT) Senior politbureau member and Western Province chief ministerial candidate of the JVP, K.D. Lalkantha, claims that the people are looking for a strong political alternative and describes the Party's new leader, Anura Kumara Dissanyake, as the country's de facto opposition leader. In an interview, Lalkantha speaks about the JVP's past and the future, political mistakes and its own desire to evolve into a political party more..

Archbishop Tutu’s initiative for Sri Lanka reconciliation

Mar 11 (CT) Archbishop Tutu has placed his name and prestige for the cause of reconciliation in Sri Lanka. With motives that are purest, he invokes the UNHRC to add a cutting edge to the Resolution. Towards this end, he urges the setting up of an Independent International Commission of Inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka. Joining him from across the world with as much conviction and equal force are 38 other society leaders and institutions more..

Fighting for FOI: Have we realized what an ugly being a dictator is?

Mar 11 (CT) Yes, unhindered free flow of information is an absolute necessity for good governance and peaceful living. I realize we must be aware of the dangers of media dominance itself. We are in a world of relativities. Our hopes must work out within the limitations of this wider reality. By definition information has to be carried. Carriers of information constitute the media. This is why the civilized world demands media freedom and unrestricted access to information. more..

Wild Yala goes live on the world wide web

Mar 11 (FT), the official website for Yala National Park, was launched by the Department of Wildlife to coincide with the first-ever World Wildlife Day. The in-depth, one-stop info and conservation catalyst on the cutting-edge of web technology was launched by Minister Vijayamuni Zoysa at a special event to mark Wildlife Day. Standing out is the website’s multi-faceted strategy of providing everything more..

Editorial: A damning indictment

Mar 11 (Island) Former Indian Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani has said the late PM Indira Gandhi created the LTTE to protect Indian interests as she believed China and Pakistan were establishing their power in Sri Lanka. He has made no revelation. That Sri Lanka got a RAW deal from India is only too well known. Jethmalani has also suppressed part of the truth, we reckon. India was troubled by the late President J.R. Jayewardene’s pro-American foreign policy more than Sri Lanka’s ties more..

What worth, our ‘sovereignty’?

Mar 11 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations declared in Geneva this week that the draft resolution lodged with the UNHRC by the United States, the United Kingdom and three other member states violates Sri Lanka’s Constitution, is highly intrusive and breaches territorial integrity as well as peoples’ sovereignty. Let us look at one specific component of this defence, namely that the resolution violates our constitutional provisions. more..

No interest for 10 Kalpitiya islets

Mar 11 (CT) The BoI has failed to attract investors for ten islets offered to develop integrated resorts at the Commonwealth Business Forum at CHOGM 2013 in Colombo, an official said. In 2010, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority called for potential investors to submit project proposals to develop 14 identified islets off Kalpitiya througn a tender notification. Eleven investors submitted proposals, more..

Chandimal dilemma and a walk in the woods

Mar 11 (ST) When you are a kid, you emulate your elders and learn things like the usage of your daily routine in life along with the do and don’ts. When it comes to recreation or sport there is no exception the kids learn and get interested in the past times that their parents do enjoy. Then while you are growing with the skills that you learned from your elders, you like them to watch you engage in it and when they enjoy the skills that you exhibit, it gives you immense pleasure and more..

Harsha reiterates Chinese firm is banned

Mar 11 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva responded to the SLPA’s latest comments on the Port City by issuing the following statement: In a longwinded and muddled statement, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has not denied that China Communication and Construction Company (CCCC) that has been awarded the US$ 1.3 billion contract to reclaim 233 hectares of ocean on an unsolicited proposal has been debarred by the World Bank until 2017. In fact, when I revealed the ban for more..

Investors from Chinese city worth US$ 43b GDP looking at Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (Island) Cen Hongkai, the leader of a Chinese delegation that recently met with BOI chairman Dr. Lakshman Jayaweera and officials said China’s Zhongshan, which was the home to 23 enterprises with a GDP of US$ 43 billion, and some companies from the Guandong Province have already expressed interest in investing in Sri Lanka. Cen Hongkai is Vice Secretary General of China’s Zhongshan Municipal People’s Govt. more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority responds to concerns over sea reclamation project

Mar 11 (LBO) State-run Sri Lanka Port Authority has responded to criticism over the award of an unsolicited sea reclamation project to a Chinese firm saying deals on similar lines had happened earlier. China Communication Construction Co. Ltd (CCCC), a key player in the 'Port City' project involving 233 hectares near Colombo Port has been blacklisted by the World Bank as the successor to China Road, Sri Lanka's main opposition has charged. Unlike some African countries, Sri Lanka has no policy of more..

Cost of living a burden for the people: Poll

Mar 11 (FT) Business magazine LMD reports, in its March 2014 issue, that “when asked whether the cost of living in present-day Sri Lanka is reasonable, the vast majority (88%) claim that it is not the case”. This conclusion emanates from the LMD-TNS Talking Point, a monthly nationwide survey that addresses burning issues facing the people. On the other hand, more than a third of the respondents say official inflation data does, in fact, accurately reflect the cost of living. more..

Govt. raises $ 187 m via Development Bonds

Mar 11 (CT) US$ 60 million Sri Lanka Development Bond was 3.1 times oversubscribed on Monday with Central Bank accepting all bids amounting to US$ 187 million, with risk premiums rising since 2011. The bonds have a three-year maturity period and was issued at a market determined risk premium of 400 basis points higher than the US dollar six-month London Inter Bank Offered Rate which stood at 0.3318% more..

2 held for carrying fake Indian passports

Mar 11 (TOI) Two men, suspected to be Sri Lankan nationals, were arrested by the Airport police early on Monday morning for using fake Indian passports to travel from Pune to Dubai. In September last year, two Burmese nationals hoodwinked Pune airport police as they flew to Sharjah on fake passports, but were arrested at the destination and sent back to Pune. The two men have been identified as Udden Subramaniam (36) and Rukhman Yusathal (25), both from Sri Lanka who more..

eNerds chases growth strategy in Sri Lanka

Mar 11 (Age) Australian IT services company eNerds has changed its business model for an expansion to Sri Lanka to battle the high cost of labour domestically and stay competitive in a fast-growing industry. The company, which provides tailored technology services to small and medium-sized businesses, has opened a network operations centre in Sri Lanka to monitor, manage and support clients’ infrastructure around the clock. “Australia is expensive because of the cost of labour in more..

'NZ must support inquiry on Sri Lanka war crimes allegations'

Mar 11 (Scoop) New Zealand needs to lend its support to an independent international investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka, Green Party human rights spokesperson Jan Logie said today. A draft resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva, sponsored by the US, creates the opportunity for an international investigation into alleged war crimes. Resolution will be voted on near the end of UNHRC session in late March. more..

Sri Lankan maid jailed for stealing Dh55,000 worth of jewellery

Mar 11 (GN) A maid who was arrested shortly before attempting to flee the country with Dh55,000 worth of her sponsor’s jewellery has been jailed for six months. The maid was said to have taken the jewellery from her Indian sponsor’s flat and absconded. Police arrested the 31-year-old Sri Lankan maid, D.S. outside her house in Mankhool with her luggage. “I did not steal anything from my sponsor,” the defendant told the Dubai Court of First Instance. more..

One of students fasting on Sri Lankan issue hospitalised

Mar 11 (Hindu) One of nine students, who had launched an indefinite fast at the Mullivaikal Mutram here, demanding that the United Nations adopt a resolution seeking a referendum on creation of the separate Eelam in the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka, was admitted to hospital after suffering seizures. P. Karthick, who looked visibly tired on Monday, was rushed to a private hospital in Thanjavur after he developed seizures at the venue in the evening. On Monday, four more students joined more..