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Fishermen set to leave for Colombo for second round of talks

Mar 11 (Hindu) Even as representatives of TN fishermen are all set to leave for Colombo for the second round of talks with their Sri Lankan counterparts to find a solution to the dispute over fishing in Palk Bay, fishermen here keep their fingers crossed. For, they fear Sri Lankan fishermen may harden their stand on trawling in Palk Bay. Albeit the tough stand taken by Sri Lanka on releasing 172 fishermen arrested after the more..

Hangman quits over fear of gallows

Mar 11 (DM) The newly appointed hangman has quit his job soon after seeing the gallows, Prison Department sources said. They said the hangman, who is a father of one had only served four days in the post. He is a 40 year old resident from Anuradhapura and was appointed to the post on March 3. This was the third person who had left the job after being appointed. The newest one was appointed as the first two hangmen left their duties after completing their two week training. more..

Contempt of Supreme Court Application

Mar 11 (Island) Chairman of the Hingurakgoda PS K.S. Gnanarathne, has filed an application for contempt of the supreme Court, against the its Chairman R.M.C.P. Ranayake and the commissioner of Local Govt, North Central Province. Petitioner has submitted that the Supreme Court has said that the status quo in respect of the office of the chairman should remain the same till March 31, 2014. Despite that order, the Vice Chairman is acting in the capacity of Acting Chairman and more..

Sri Lanka missions report sharp drop in cases of runaway maids

Mar 11 (AN) Following the end of the amnesty, the Sri Lankan missions in Jeddah and Riyadh are witnessing a sharp drop in the number of runaway housemaids. “There is a remarkable decrease in the number of runaway housemaids coming to the Jeddah mission,” Consul General at the Sri Lankan Consulate in Jeddah, Dr. Atham Lebbe, said. He pointed out that the main reason for the fall in this category of more..

Govt declares 29 March a public holiday

Mar 11 (CT) The Ministry of Labour announced that all govt employees would enjoy a paid holiday on 29 March, in view of the Western and Southern Provincial Council Elections. Minister Gamini Lokuge said, the govt sector employees worked according to two different schedules. "Some of them work for five days a week while there are others are who work according to a roster. The declared holiday would benefit especially those who work on a roster," he said. more..

Radiologists continue with work-to-rule campaign

Mar 11 (Island) Radiologists yesterday warned that they would continue with their work-to-rule campaign till the Health Ministry met their outstanding demands which included an increase in their incentive of Rs. 125 paid to them since 1978. General Secretary of the Govt Radiologists Union, Dharmakeerthi Epa said that the Ministry had continued with that amount over the years. However, with the increasing cost of living as well as the risk factors involved in the profession more..

CBK seeks meeting with MR on religious harmony

Mar 11 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has sought an appointment with President Rajapaksa today in her capacity as the South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI) representative, to submit the organization’s recommendations for religious harmony, sources close to her said. This is part of her plan to meet with the leaders of key political parties. Earlier SAPRI organized a few more..

Large crowd at anti-resolution march

Mar 11 (DN) A peaceful protest was held in Kalmunai town yesterday against the forces conspiring in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka. Thousands participated in the protest shouting slogans against the resolution which is to be moved against Sri Lanka by the US. Participants representing all communities in the area said they are committed to strengthen the hands of President Rajapaksa who brought peace to the country after ending the 30 year scourge of terrorism. more..

Commercial Bank says plastic money use up

Mar 11 (LBO) Commercial Bank says it has seen a sharp increase in payments by debit card and 400,000 new cards had been issued over the past year. Bank claims to have the 'largest active debit card base' in Sri Lanka which had now expanded to 3 million, CEO Ravi Dias told shareholders in the annual report. Last year purchases made by debit card had grown 30%, he said without elaborating on a volume. Bank has also upgraded its mobile and internet banking services. more..

4,000 Tamils protest in Geneva for Sri Lanka war crimes probe

Mar 11 (AFP) Thousands of Tamils demonstrated in Geneva on Monday to protest Sri Lanka’s rejection of calls for an international probe into alleged war crimes at the end of its civil war. Some 4,000 people, who had come from across Europe by bus and train, marched through Geneva and crowded into the square outside the UN European headquarters. The demonstrators blocked traffic through the center of town and around more..

Malani Fonseka's 50 years in Cinema and Theatre felicitated at UNESCO

Mar 11 (AT) International award winning actress and MP, the Malani Fonseka was felicitated at the UNESCO in commemoration of her fiftieth year in the fields of film and theatre. Ms Fonseka had a personal meeting with Madam Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO at its Headquarters in Paris on Monday, 3rd March 2014, and was accompanied by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Professor Karunaratne Hangawatte. more..

Elections monitoring bodies fault President

Mar 11 (CT) Calling it an act unbefitting of a national and political leader, elections observers and monitoring bodies, PAFFREL, CaFFE and IHR NEM, have all condemned President Rajapaksa's involvement in the 'live' Janapathi Jana Hamuwa programme held last week. "As a President, he has the right to intervene in people's issues. However, he is also the Leader of the UPFA and SLFP, and therefore he shouldn't use his position to get undue advantage for his Party which is also more..

'No dancing to anyone's tune'

Mar 11 (DN) No force can change the Govt as long as the people of the country place their faith and confidence in us, President Rajapaksa said. He was speaking at a mammoth public rally in Ratmalana yesterday to ensure the victory of the UPFA candidates contesting the forthcoming PC elections. He said that attempts by some elements to change the govt will be fruitless as long as the people are with the govt. more..

Need for a strategic stance at UNHRC

Mar 11 (DM) President Rajapaksa has rejected the US-sponsored draft resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the UNHRC and said the vote on the resolution later this month would be of no significance. Responding to a question raised on a live television broadcast on several channels recently, the President said the Govt was not concerned about the resolution or the vote outcome. The Govt has also rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights more..

'Election laws should be revised'

Mar 11 (DM) Postal voting for the Western and Southern Provinces will start in a few days. The election field is tensed and the rush is escalating day by day. Gampaha District which has a historical background for political families and strong political personalities. It is one of the districts which draws a lot of attention. The Team Leaders from UPFA and UNP for the Gampaha district said that they will bow down for their respective party’s decision with regard to the post of Chief Minister. more..

Drug war intensifies

Mar 11 (SL) A battle over the price of drugs has intensified with Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena claiming some influential elements are preventing him from implementing a pricing formula which had received Cabinet approval. Following Minister Sirisena’s claim that the drug mafia in the country has sabotaged all his attempts to introduce a price control mechanism for pharmaceuticals, questions have been raised more..

UN unaware of new C4 war video

Mar 11 (CG) The UN says it is unaware of the new controversial video on the war in Sri Lanka aired by Channel 4 which alleges war crimes were committed during the conflict. When asked about the video at the daily press briefing at the UN headquarters in New York, Stéphane Dujarric, the new Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the position of the UN Chief more..

Lankan Tamils, fishermen, Sethusamudram poll issues for DMK

Mar 11 (PTI) Resolving to demonstrate the strength of DMK in the Lok Sabha polls, party chief M Karunanidhi expressed confidence of putting up a good show without taking on board a national outfit as an ally and showcased Tamils cause to win support of the electorate. The 90-year-old DMK patriarch, who stood a firm ground in spurning revival of ties attempted by its former ally Congress and also overtures by BJP and more..

Human smuggling: Five kingpins arrested since 2012

Mar 11 (ST) When Muhundan got a call from Raju* inquiring about his ‘migration services’ he readily gave details. The next boat to New Zealand will leave soon, and if Raju wants a place in the boat he should pay the advance immediately. Raju agreed to do so and arranged to meet him in Trincomalee with Rs. 50,000 as advance money. Muhundan was raising money to leave the country and give the authorities the slip. more..

CEB bigwigs paper over Sampur cracks

Mar 11 (Island) Following what the CEB terms successful talks on the country’s proposed second coal-fired power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee, to be built as a joint venture with India, CEB Chairman W. B. Ganegala, General Manager Shavindranath Fernando and Additional General Manager M C Wickramasekara are scheduled to return today from New Delhi. The hurried visit of the trio to India came in the wake of more..

Fifth leading drugs kingpin arrested

Mar 11 (CT) Sri Lanka's fifth leading heroin kingpin, who was wanted by the law enforcing authorities for engaging in large-scale smuggling of narcotics into Sri Lanka, was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday morning at the BIA, Katunayake, police sources said. The 44-year-old suspect, Thamal Ajith Kumara, alias Devundara Chamith, is reportedly the owner of eight trawlers, 11 plots of land, several vehicles, and a cold room, more..

Australian police declined to interview 'tortured' Sri Lankan asylum seeker

Mar 11 (Guardian) The Australian federal police declined the opportunity to interview a Sri Lankan asylum seeker sent back from Christmas Island who alleged he had been “severely tortured” by local police on his return, a cable obtained under freedom of information laws has revealed. The cable, sent to Canberra from the Australian high commission in Colombo in August 2010, states that the AFP did not interview more..

Former Sri Lankan President calls for interfaith coexistence

Mar 11 (Xinhua) Former Sri Lankan president Chandrika Kumaratunga said she has commenced dialogue between political parties and other groups in the country to promote interfaith coexistence. Speaking to reporters after meeting opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, former President said she had taken part in the initiative following an invitation extended by South Asia Policy and Research Institute (SAPRI), a NGO. more..

Hakeem offers to back President for a third term

Mar 11 (Island) Leader of the SLMC, Minister Rauff Hakeem told party candidates, contesting the WPC election on Sunday that his party was not prepared to leave the govt as demanded by certain political parties. Hakeem said that various remarks made by vested interests should not be taken seriously and that the SLMC would not leave the govt. They should realise that the SLMC had helped obtain a two-thirds majority for more..

Colombo Port City Project: Will govt. deal with WB blacklisted company? - UNP

Mar 11 (Island) The UNP yesterday urged the govt to state if it intended to use the services of China Communication and Construction Company (CCCC) allegedly blacklisted by the World Bank for the Colombo Port City Project (CPCP). UNP MP Harsha de Silva said that he did not wish to reply to vague statements issued by state agencies. "All we want to know is whether Rajapaksa govt would continue to deal with CCCC censured more..

SLMC's challenge

Mar 11 (CT) Leader of the SLMC, Minister Rauff Hakeem, is in an unenviable position. He has been told by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in no uncertain terms, that he should play by the rules of the ruling alliance, or quit. The President, thanks to the 18th Amendment which provides him with near absolute power, has now found little use of the SLMC. However, the bitter truth is that the SLMC had voted for the controversial 18th Amendment, which action has now boomeranged on them. more..

The royal tweet and sexual harassment

Mar 11 (CT) The Royal tweet from the Presidential scion about Anarkali Akarsha is nothing less than sexual harassment. A young woman is sexualized as an object and reduced to her body parts; the arrogant young man in question shrugs off shocked comments by claiming it was all a joke. But is the joker laughing alone? Apparently not, since the objectified lady has joined the joker in assuring those concerned about her that she too, is laughing. Since both the joker and the object of more..

Violent side of Sri Lankan Buddhism

'President’s development strategy has worked'

Mar 11 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa, addressing a meeting at the Ratnapura New Town, recently stressed the need for people from all walks of life to work towards the development of the country. The minister spoke of budgetary allocations for various programmes like Divineguma, Gamaneguma and the development of roads and the health and education sectors. The minister recalled how in days gone by budgets had been treated as a closely guarded secret. more..

Stocks down 0.2%, rupee stronger

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks close 0.22% lower Tuesday with index heavy John Keells Holdings losing ground and the rupee was allowed to appreciate slightly by authorities, brokers and dealers said. All Share Price Index closed 13.04 points lower at 5,944.57 down 0.22%. The S&P SL20 closed 12.17 points lower at 3,240.12, down 0.37%. Turnover was 804.56 million rupees, up from 304.30 million rupees a day earlier with 42 stocks close positive against 122 negative. more..

Colombo to get wetland and beach parks

Mar 11 (LBO) Wetland's in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo will be preserved and a educational wetland park is also being built, under a World Bank funded program to improve the city, an official said. Rohan Seneviratne additional secretary of urban development ministry told a recent LBR-LBO Forum in Colombo, that Mathew Simpson, an international expert on wetland management is advising Sri Lankan authorities. more..

'Original National Drug Policy draft Bill stolen by drug companies'

Mar 11 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the National Drug Policy Draft Bill whetted by the Attorney-General had been submitted to President Rajapaksa. The National Drug Policy draft Bill delayed for nearly 40 years would be submitted to the Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament, the Health Minister said, expressing confidence that it would be implemented either in April or May 2114. He was speaking at a function on Public hospital Relation Day held at Homagama hospital more..

Sri Lanka rupee ends steady after hitting 4-month high

Mar 11 (Reuters) Rupee ended steady for a third day running on Tuesday as the currency surrendered early gains on high importer dollar demand in late trading while there was no intervention from the central bank. The spot rupee ended flat at 130.55/57 per dollar, retreating from 130.50/55, its highest intraday level since Nov. 7, touched in early trade due to remittances and banks dollar sales. Currency has gained 0.38% in the last nine sessions through Tuesday, more..

Peiris, Sharma discuss road map

Mar 11 (CG) Minister G L Peiris held discussions with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Kamalesh Sharma at Marlborough House in London today. Peiris is representing President Rajapaksa, Chair-in-Office of the Commonwealth, at the Commonwealth Day celebrations in London, including the Multi-Faith Observance at Westminster Abbey. Minister Peiris discussed with Secretary-General Sharma more..

AG tells SC assets of Golden Key directors identified

Mar 11 (Island) Attorney General informed the Supreme Court that the assets owned by directors of Golden Key Company has been identified, by the Task force empowered to do so. Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne, appeared for the AG. The progress report was also submitted to the court regarding the repayment of depositors, done up to February, and those that will be done in March/April and May/June 2014. An inquiry to be conducted in respect of the repayment of depositors, more..

Underworld gangster Heen malli shot dead

Mar 11 (DM) Notorious underworld gangster ‘Palankada Heen malli’, alleged to have been responsible for several killings including that of a Ratnapura gem businessman, last month was shot dead in a police shootout today. Ratnapura Police said Sugath Chaminda alias Palankada Heen malli was arrested in connection with the killing of gem merchant Sumith Gunasekara of Malangama and the robbery of cash, gems and jewellery from his house on Feb 13. more..

Sri Lanka addressing accountability

Mar 11 (CG) Govt says the issue of accountability is being looked into and so resolutions, such as the one currently before the UNHRC, was unwarranted. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who is currently attending the 25th Sessions of the UNHRC, briefed the Asia-Pacific Regional Group of Member and Observer States at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. He informed the Group about the progress achieved in Sri Lanka, not only more..

Mayoress alarmed by proliferation of massage parlours, brothels in Jaffna

Mar 11 (Island) Mayoress of Jaffna Yogeswari Patkunarajah yesterday warned those who were running brothels and massage parlours under the guise of health centres and hotels that she would put an end to their illegal operations. She said that irrespective of who they were all culprits would be brought to justice. "It is my responsibility as the Mayoress of Jaffna to disclose that some members of the fairer sex had come from the Southern parts of the country to set up massage clinics more..

Trial begins in case relating to illegal possession of explosives

Mar 11 (Hindu) Trial has commenced in the case relating to alleged possession of explosive substances illegally by three Sri Lankan Tamils in Tiruchi for supply to the outlawed LTTE at the District and Sessions Court. Inspector General of Police, (Training) K. Vanniaperumal, who was the Tiruchi Commissioner of Police in 2010 when the Lankan Tamils were arrested with the explosive substances, deposed before the court for over an hour on Tuesday in connection with the case. more..

Newly constructed Delkanda public Fair vested on the people

Mar 11 (MoD) The newly constructed public fair at Delkanda, Nugegoda was vested in the people by President Rajapaksa at a function held on 9th March. President made an inspection tour of the new public facility after unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion. Rs. 132 million Fair Complex consists of 208 shopping stalls and other facilities specially designed to accommodate large number of more..