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The national and international significance of the 13th amendment

Mar 15 (SL) It appears to be widely believed in ourcountry that Indian foreign policy, particularly in relation to Sri Lanka, is shaped by the ethnic politics of Sri Lanka. Disseminating such a belief may serve the interests of various political leaders in diverse ways. It may help to sustain the morale of Tamils in Sri Lanka and their leaders, and the ego of the leaders of Tamil Nadu who never had a major role in the resolution of our national question. It may serve the political interests of more..

‘Political drama’ over Tamil heritage month proclamation at Queen’s Park

Mar 15 (LR) A political drama is being played out between the three main parties in Ontario’s legislature to lay claim over a proclamation to name January as Tamil Heritage Month. Governing Liberals’ Immigration and Citizenship Minister Micheal Coteau blamed opposition parties of playing ‘political football’ over the act. "It’s also important to note that the New Democratic Party (NDP) motion is non-binding, which means more..

Bus crew arrested for selling weed to students

Mar 15 (Island) Menikhinna police who conducted a search on a private passenger coach on Kandy Teldeniya Road found 3,800 ml of ganja concealed in it. The police made the detection, acting on a tip off received that the crew of the bus supplied drugs to schoolboys travelling in it. The police have received information that even some public servants purchased the drug from the bus crew. The driver and the conductor were taken into custody and further inquiries are being conducted by more..

Jeyakumari ordered held at Boosa

Mar 15 (CG) Tamil activist Balendra Jeyakumari was last night ordered to be detained at the Boosa detention camp for further investigations while her young daughter was released into the hands of a probation officer. Tamil National Peoples Front General Secretary Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam said that the mother and daughter were produced before the Kilinochchi Acting Magistrate last night. The Magistrate ordered Jeyakumari to be held under a detention ordered for further questioning more..

SLC threatens to send a second-string side to WT20

Mar 15 (CI) The contracts standoff between SLC and the Sri Lanka cricketers has escalated to a crisis, after the board issued threats of sending a second-string team to the World Twenty20, because the players maintained their refusal to sign contracts, less than 16 hours before they are due to depart for Bangladesh. Players had rejected the incentive-driven payment scheme offered by the board on Thursday, because more..

Man using electric motor to fish gets electrocuted

Mar 15 (ST) A 28-year-old motor mechanic died on Tuesday while fishing with an electric motor in a canal in the Kaduwela area. A watcher at the land besides the canal told an inquest that the victim, identified as Ravindra Lanka Kumara, a father of two used to come to the canal twice a week to fish. “He came and spoke to me around 4.30 in the morning as in previous occasions to get permission to climb up the electric pole and get current from it for his motor that he fished with. more..

Prelate counters CBK’s claim

Mar 15 (Island) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge’s call for backing from political parties for bringing about religious amity is an untimely move to create dissension in a country where all religions existed in harmony, said Ven. Dr. Medagama Dhammananda Nayaka Thera, Senior member of the Asgiriya Chapter Karaka Sangha Sabha and Director, Success Sri Lanka organisation and chairman Dharmapala Parapura Organisation. Thera told the media yesterday that more..

Ananthi slams US draft resolution

Mar 15 (CG) NPC member Ananthi Sasitharan briefed the UNHRC 25th session today and called for an international investigation on Sri Lanka. Sasitharan told the UNHRC she was representing the TNA and the NPC at the session. She also said Tamils in the North were disappointed with the draft US resolution on Sri Lanka submitted to the Council at its current session as it fell short of expectations. more..

Health Ministry distributes ambulances to 7 provinces

Mar 15 (GDI) Ministry of Health has distributed 86 brand new ambulances with intensive care facilities to hospitals in seven Provinces, namely the Northern, North Central, North Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Uva and Eastern Provinces. The ambulances were handed over at a ceremony held at the BMICH on 11th March, to mark the current National Health Week (10 - 17 March). Highest number of ambulances totalling 24 has been allocated to Northern Province, more..

CAA destroys 60,000 packets of curry powder unfit for human consumption

Mar 15 (Island) A stock of 60,000 packets of curry powder weighing 100 grams each found unfit for human consumption, was taken into custody by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) from a food manufacturing facility in Gonawala, Kelaniya on Wednesday. Nipun Ekanayake, Media Secretary to the Minister Johnston Fernando said that the entire consignment imported from India had been destroyed after being produced before the Mahara Magistrate. more..

Over 3000 Indians set to take part in Katchatheevu church fete

Mar 15 (Hindu) A total of 3,432 pilgrims, including 535 women and 134 children are set to sail on Saturday for the annual festival at St. Antony’s Church in Katchatheevu, the uninhabited island in the Palk Bay even as the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Coastal Security Group (CSG) finalised the security arrangements. Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), CSG, Sylendra Babu, reviewed the security more..

Oral cancer snuffs out three to four Sri Lankans a day

Mar 15 (Island) Director General Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said that around 90 per cent of Sri Lankans were suffering from dental caries and another 90% of people were also suffering from gum diseases like gingivitis. A considerable number of Lankans were dying of oral cancer at the rate of three to four a day, he said at a media conference held at the Health Education Bureau yesterday in view of the World Oral Health Day, which falls on March 20. more..

Report on politicians in drug rackets

Mar 15 (SM) Military intelligence has handed over a confidential report to authorities with regard to politicians involved in drug rackets, reports V FM radio owned by minister Johnston Fernando. The list includes politicians from both the government and the opposition, it said quoting defence sources. Information given by leading drug racketeers arrested by the police anti-narcotics bureau also indicates their connections with politicians, added the radio. more..

'This is not a democracy but a thugcracy'

Mar 15 (LT) This country has been turned not into a democracy but a ‘thugcracy’ says Senior Lecturer Chandraguptha Thenuwara. While a ‘Geneva’ drama is being playacted in the country ‘thug dramas’ too are being played, he said. He said this at a press conference held at the Center for Society and Religion at Maradana yesterday to protest against the thug attack on the street drama troupe of the Society for Socialist Art of more..

'Constructive criticism is most welcome'

Mar 15 (DN) "If I have done anything wrong or unacceptable in my political life, you are welcome to criticize and correct me. I welcome constructive criticism. But, please do not blindly insult and sling mud at me," UPFA Colombo Central Co-Organizer and Colombo District candidate for the WPC Hirunika Premachandra said. Addressing the media at the launch of her official website at the Sri Lanka Tourism and Hotel Management Institute more..

China hails Sri Lanka’s progress

Mar 15 (CG) Chinese Govt hailed what it noted was considerable progress following the end of the war in Sri Lanka. The Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Wu Jianghao, speaking at the opening of the second phase of the Southern Expressway today, said that notable development can be seen in the entire country. He said that over the past two years since he has been Ambassador to Sri Lanka he was able to personally witness the development of the country, which was not confined to Colombo. more..

Text of new US draft gets tough

Mar 15 (CG) The new and revised US draft resolution on Sri Lanka which is circulating among members of the UNHRC has got tougher by calling for an international independent investigation on Sri Lanka as proposed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. The new draft, which is expected to be further discussed at a meeting between co-sponsors of the draft and others on Tuesday, has been reworded more..

Mahinda questions JR’s policies

Mar 15 (CG) President Rajapaksa today questioned the foreign policies of former President J.R. Jayawardena which led to Indian intervention in Sri Lanka. Without naming the former President or India, President Rajapaksa said that the policies of past Govts led to foreign troops being placed in the north during the war against the LTTE and local troops virtually confined to their barracks. The President also noted that poor foreign policies in the past led to foreigners intruding SL’s airspace more..

Swindling job seekers money: Foreign job agency raided

Mar 15 (Island) The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) attached to Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) on Thursday raided a foreign employment agency located at Pradeepa Mawatha, Maradana for cheating foreign job seekers out of Rs. 20 million. The SIU led by an inspector of police took into custody 223 passports belonging to those who had sought the agency’s help to secure foreign employment though they were aware that its permit had been suspended by the SLBFE for more..

Sri Lanka Quest

Miracles can't be performed overnight

Mar 16 (SO) The US and the co-sponsors of the latest Resolution against Sri Lanka to the UNHRC have not only brazenly interfered with the internal matters of a sovereign state but have also violated Sri Lanka's constitution. Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha had quite rightly pointed out that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka deposited with the UNHRC by the core group comprising the US, UK, Mauritius, Montenegro and Macedonia, more..

Address Tamil grievances and deflate US-British resolution

Mar 16 (SL) The American and British sponsored draft resolution against Sri Lanka before the current sessions of the UNHCR at Geneva does provide breathing space of one year for the Sri Lankan government even though the scope of the resolution has been widened to have the Rajapakse govt entrapped in a greater number of tentacles. However, it is much better than what the British PM David Cameron vowed to move during the CHOGM sessions held in Colombo last year, more..

'West tries to de-stabilise the country'

Mar 16 (SO) Minister Champika Ranawaka said the US , West, Tamil Nadu and neo-nazi Tamil separatist movement are attempting to de-stabilise the country so that they can interfere and rule here. That is their aim. The Minister in an interview said whether we devolve power to the North and East or not , they are now widening their charge sheet. Earlier it was only the accountability issue. Now they are talking about devolution and religious disharmony. more..

Who is scared of Colombo Telegraph?

Mar 16 (NS) We live in a world where the Bible and Quran are used to justify anything and everything, a world where the teachings of the Buddha are (mis)interpreted to buttress political projects quite antithetical to the teachings of Siddhartha Gauthama and a world where the works of Karl Marx are mined for ‘appropriate’ quotes to support preferred political position. In such a world, selectivity, deliberate downplaying and happy inflation abound. The Internet, for all its promise, more..

Who made that call?

Mar 16 (Island) Minister Rishard Bathiudeen is no doubt happy that the contempt of court charge hanging over his head had been settled on Friday with his expressing his 'highest regard' for the judiciary and regretting the unauthorized use of his telephone to make two threatening calls to the then Mannar Magistrate. Bathiudeen has maintained that these calls had never been made by him and his phone has been 'used in an unauthorized manner.' The petitioners who sought to have more..

'No split among members of TNA'

Mar 16 (SL) Text of the draft resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to be amended this week after an informal discussion scheduled to take place between the co-sponsors in Geneva on Tuesday. TNA has been expressing mixed views on the draft text with some saying it should be stronger and others saying it is fine as it is. Differences of opinion have given way to speculation of a possible split in TNA over the entire issue. more..

Massive kickbacks in unsolicited projects

Mar 16 (ST) It has long been suggested that the UPFA Govt’s signature fondness for unsolicited proposals comes from the generous fringe benefits they earn for some of its members. It is also speculated that Sri Lanka pays premium rates for its gleaming new infrastructure because prices are inflated to include massive kickbacks. In a recent interview , Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera did not deny that commissions are factored into project costs. He only said he did not know. more..

For a few cricket dollars more

Mar 16 (ST) My Dear Angelo and the cricket team, I thought I must write to you not only because of your great performance at the Asia Cup where you were unbeaten and eventually became champions, but also because you were in the news a few days later asking for more money from Sri Lanka Cricket. First though, congratulations are in order. It was a fantastic performance by a team with a lot of talent. What was encouraging was to see youngsters perform well in tandem with trusted old hands more..

'I am ashamed to be part of this govt'

Mar 16 (CT) It is widely speculated that the SLMC has fallen out with the govt over a report the SLMC had handed over to UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, citing incidents of religious intolerance and hate campaigns particularly against the Muslims community in the country. Report is said to reflect negatively on the govt at a time when a resolution is to be brought against SL at the UNHRC more..

Sri Lanka braces for Channel 4’s new storm

Mar 16 (NS) The past seven days were full of political incidents. The highlight was the latest production by the infamous media institute Channel 4; a video filmed with the intention of putting Sri Lanka in trouble just two weeks before voting begins for a US sponsored resolution begins against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions. A six-minute-clip captured on a mobile phone where there is footage of soldiers speaking in Sinhala. It’s a production by Callum Macrae who also did more..

The art of delaying a no-confidence motion

Mar 16 (NS) One does not need to be a math professor to count the number of seats in parliament and to understand the numerical supremacy the govt enjoys there. Bringing in a motion of no confidence against a govt that gets more than two third of votes in its side would be only a waste of time. But the main opposition did so and they are now demanding the govt must take it for debate when the House meets next week. Govt had rejected this call saying that its key ministers were more..

Watered down resolution?

Mar 16 (SL) While the Tamil Diaspora strongly rejected the draft US resolution against Sri Lanka submitted to the UNHRC saying it watered-down the pressure on Sri Lanka to address the issues of the Tamil community. A joint statement issued last week by TNA leader R Sampanthan and Northern Province CM C V Wigneswaran welcomed it saying it was a constructive step forward. Some Tamil politicians opined that the resolution more..

Why SL needs a defence pact with China

Mar 16 (Island) We are living through a period when tectonic shifts are taking place in the global balance of power and Sri Lanka finds itself smack bang in the middle of these momentous happenings. There are several flashpoints in the jockeying for power between the two rival power blocs – the Western powers on the one hand and the emerging China-Russia alliance on the other, and Sri Lanka is clearly one of the Asian flashpoints in this tug of war. For the better part of its post independence more..

Geneva playing hot in election rallies!

Mar 16 (SL) What is circulating among member nations of the UNHRC is a draft of the resolution which is to be presented to the 25th session of the UNHRC towards the end of this month. It is important to realize that the draft will undergo several changes based on the representations of the UNHRC member nations and other stakeholders before the final vote where the members will vote for and against the resolution. On March 7, there was a special meeting in Geneva with more..

Sana through the looking glass

Mar 16 (ST) Lankan chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya was reliving a moment from his past. Six years ago when Sri Lanka had brought home the Asia Cup, he has set ablaze the National Stadium in Karachi when he thumped the Indian bowling attack to the tune of 125 runs in 146 balls that included a rain of fours and sixes. His knock and T.M. Dilshan’s 56 in the middle order had seen the Lankans scoring a sizable 273. more..

Formidable Sri Lankans favourites for title

Mar 16 (Island) The national cricket team emplanes to Dhaka today to take part in the 16 nation World T-20 tournament as the world’s number one ranked team. The odds are in favour of the Sri Lankans for a variety of reasons and having emerged runners-up in the 2009 and 2012 editions of the tournament, the Sri Lankan team’s search for their first World title in almost two decades. Tomorrow will mark the 18th anniversary of Sri Lanka winning the Wills World Cup under leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga. more..

Malinga provides reason for finals losses

Mar 16 (Island) The ICC rates the Sri Lankan cricket team very highly. The Sri Lankans turn up for ICC events firmly focused at the job at hand and perform exceptionally well. Not many teams can boast of four ICC finals in the last seven years. But yet, the trophy keeps eluding the Sri Lankans. Why Sri Lanka keep losing the finals is a tough question to answer and on Friday, addressing the media, fast bowler and vice-captain of Sri Lanka’s T-20 side Lasith Malinga gave some input when more..

‘Personalised’ number plates on cars soon

Mar 16 (ST) Sri Lankans will soon get an opportunity to display ‘personalised’ numbers and letters in their vehicle number plates subject to certain restrictions and guidelines of the Department of Motor Traffic. The department is taking measures to introduce this scheme owing to demand from a section of vehicle owners at present, particularly the younger generation, Commissioner General S.H. Harischandra said. more..

More than 5 firms to delist from CSE

Mar 16 (ST) The new rules on minimum public float requirement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have prompted many listed firms to delist from the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) in the coming months, industry sources said. “More than five firms are discussing with their major shareholders and director boards to delist,” one industry source said. In January, listed companies were instructed to have a minimum public float of 20% in the hands of a minimum of more..

Common candidate from JVP for Presidential Election

Mar 16 (SM) JVP has decided to initiate the campaign to bring victory to the opposition's common candidate in the Presidential Election which presumed to be held in the beginning of next year. JVP, which played a major role in presenting Sarath Fonseka as the opposition's common candidate, will again pioneer in presenting a opposition's common candidate for the next Presidential Election. Party has stated that following the victory of the common candidate he will amend more..