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India take on Sri Lanka in warm up game

Mar 17 (PTI) Their confidence at its lowest ebb after continuous failures, India would look to pick up the pieces and make a fresh start when they take on Sri Lanka in their first warm-up game of the ICC World Twenty20 here on Monday. The warm-up tie gives the team a chance to try out all 15 players in the squad. Therefore while all the batsmen can expect to get a hit in match situation, the bowlers will also get an opportunity to prove their worth to the skipper. more..

140 TN fishermen to be repatriated today

Mar 17 (Hindu) Indian Coast Guard (ICG) will repatriate on Monday 140 of the 172 Tamil Nadu fishermen held in Sri Lankan prisons for about two months and released a couple of days ago, clearing the decks for the second round of talks between representatives of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen on March 24 in Colombo. The ICG vessels — Rajkamal, Rajtharang and Sarang — would repatriate the fishermen with their more..

TN Fishers pin their hopes on mutual talks

Mar 17 (TOI) As much as fishermen from India and Sri Lanka keep their hopes on the second level of talks scheduled in Colombo on March 25, the island nation's naval chief vice-admiral Jayanath Colombage also expressed hope on an amicable solution through talks. Colombage was attending the Grand Holy Mass of St Antony's feast at Katchatheevu on Sunday. Addressing reporters, he said that the Sri Lankan navy has to arrest Indian fishermen violating the IMBL. more..

Frankfurt City Center hotels geared to meet Sri Lankan taste

Mar 17 (Island) Millenium Hospitality International, one of the key hospitality industry specialists for accommodation in Frankfurt City Centre have upgraded the services of its five properties to meet the growing demand. Company’s newly appointed Group and Sales and Marketing Manager Laura Nicli said our properties namely Ramada, Mercure, Clarion Collection, Comfort and the up market United Hostel with ist state of the art theater are patronized by a multitude of business more..

Religious festival on Palk Bay strip unites competing fisherfolk

Mar 17 (Hindu) Spine upright, and hands together, A. Rajan was offering a prayer to his guardian angel on Sunday. Fishing trade in Talaimannar, where he has come from, has never looked so tough, he says. “The catch has gone down drastically, and the price we get for our fish has fallen,” says the young man who does fishing for a living. For fisherfolk - both in SL, particularly in its Northern Province, and TN more..

Aussie delegation briefed on Jaffna security

Mar 17 (GDI) Commander Security Force – Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Udaya Perera on Saturday said that different groups with vested interests are still instigating separatist ideology disturbing peace in the peninsula. Explaining the present security situation in Jaffna to Jonathan Bonnar, Assistant Director of Country Information Section at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the team, during a meeting that took place in Palaly, Maj. Gen. Perera said that more..

Lankans in Italy protest against US

Mar 17 (CG) Thousands of Sri Lankans living in Italy gathered at the Central railway station in Milan, yesterday to protest against the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka submitted at the UNHRC. Some 2,000 people, who had come from across Italy by bus and train, marched through Milan city center and crowded into the square of the Central railway station. They waved Sri Lankan and Italian national flags; posters and banners against outside interference on Sri Lanka and also demanded more..

Hakeem's 'damning' report

Mar 17 (CT) The contents of the 50-page document titled, 'Religious violence in Sri Lanka,' which was handed over to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay by Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem, who is also the Leader of SLMC, has been made available to Ceylon Today. Document has been described by the SLMC as 'an update of Muslim's concerns by the SLMC to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.' more..

Leading rights activists detained

Mar 17 (CG) Two leading human rights activists were detained last night in Kilinochchi for questioning by the police. Rights activist, Ruki Fernando had said that he and Father Praveen had been detained at the Killnochchi police station. Fernando had informed his colleagues via SMS that he and Father Praveen were being questioned separately. A lawyer who called the Killinochchi police station, was initially informed that no such persons were arrested by the police. more..

Lessons on child protection for school principals

Mar 17 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) in collaboration of the Sri Lanka Telecom will hold a series of countrywide awareness programmes for school principals on child protection, the NCPA said. Arrangements have been made to hold the first of this series at Sea Bank Rest in Anuradhapura from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm today with the participation of 200 principals, Chairperson of the NCPA Anoma Dissanayake, CEO of the SLT Publications and Vision Com Institution, more..

Elilan’s wife tears into Sri Lanka over accountability issues

Mar 17 (Island) NPC member Ananthi Sasitharan flayed the Sri Lankan govt at the UNHRC on Friday for what she called the suppression of Tamil speaking people, particularly subjecting the Northern Province to military rule, though the war had ended in May 2009. Asked whether Sasitharan had addressed the gathering on behalf of the TNA, sources said that she had lambasted the govt using the time allocated more..

It’s do or die for our harassed heroes

Mar 17 (DM) The Sri Lanka cricket team left for Bangladesh in the early hours of yesterday to play in the ICC World T20 where they will be one of the favourites to lift the title. The team had a dream preparation and was on top of the world as they left for the tournament. Having spent more than a month in Bangladesh, the players are well used to the conditions of the host country and can be termed only second to the hosts themselves in terms of familiarity with the territory. more..

Medium of Instruction, Quality of Education and National Integration

Mar 17 (DM) Even since the two native languages were made the medium of instruction in schools and universities, successive generations of Sri Lankans have had the choice of either remaining almost totally monolingual for the rest of their lives or making a gradual transition to bilingualism over an extended period of time. Most school leavers in almost all parts of the country moved into occupations that did not require them to learn a second language. more..

Expert body seeks meeting with President on proposed glyphosate ban

Mar 17 (ST) A high-level technical body mandated to look into pesticide-related issues is seeking an urgent meeting with President Rajapaksa to discuss the controversy surrounding glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide ‘Roundup’ used by paddy farmers and the tea sector. The decision to meet both the President and the Agriculture Minister was taken by the Pesticide Technical Advisory Committee (PeTAC) more..

Analysts Sceptical on Poll Dividends from Lanka Issue

Mar 17 (ENS) The issue involving Sri Lankan Tamils is one of the few that finds mention in the speeches of almost every political leader, campaigning for the upcoming polls in the State. Every party, even the Congress, which is the most unfavourable among pro-Tamil groups, seeks vote claiming that they are the real champions of the Lankan Tamils cause. But will this issue swing votes in the State? more..

Undressing the Hijab harassment

Mar 17 (SL) Muslim women are a fast-growing population in Sri Lanka that reflects the breadth of this country’s racial, ethnic, and multicultural heritage. Many Muslim women, although by no means all, practice wearing the hijab in accordance with their religious beliefs: these women may wear a headscarf, also known as hijab or khimar, and loose-fitting clothing when they are in public and when they are in the presence of more..

Mannar the new bikini on the beach?

Mar 17 (FT) As Sri Lanka tourism’s spend per day rate topped $ 105, a ground-breaking study by International Finance Corporation (IFC) with several international stakeholders has now identified and unravelled one of the best kept secrets of Sri Lanka tourism – Mannar. “Mannar, though it appears to be innocuous, clearly has the potential to become the eco-tourism destination of Sri Lanka if not the whole region and more..

Mahela to quit T20 internationals after World T20

Mar 17 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene, the former Sri Lanka captain, will retire from international Twenty20 cricket at the end of the World Twenty20. The news came a day after his team-mate, Kumar Sangakkara, announced the tournament will be his last in the format as well. Jayawardene, 36, has played 49 T20Is to date, and is his nation's leading runscorer in the format, hitting 1335 runs at 31.8, with a strike rate of 134. more..

US $ 10mn Canadian investment signed for Hub Operation

Mar 17 (GDI) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka signed on 13th March 2014 an agreement with GLOWBAL Outlets which is a Canadian Investment for a project to undertake logistics services for international clients. Dr Lakshman Jayaweera, Chairman of the BOI signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and Mr Ramzey Hammound, President of the company signed the agreement on behalf of Glowbal Outlets. more..

Video: JVP on Thunnana: Police allegations a fabrication

Mar 17 (DM) The JVP said today the allegation by police spokesman Aith Rohana that a group of people with ulterior motives had incited the Thunnana residents to protest was baseless. JVP said it was the police and the factory owner who had provoked the people. General Secretary Tilvin Silva told a media briefing that SSP Rohana had indirectly alleged that opposition politicians were behind the incident without knowing the facts. more..

National Drug policy may not be the real Macoy

Mar 17 (Island) Prof. Seneka Bibile Commemorative Association (SBCA) National Organiser Dr. Jayantha Bandara said he doubted whether the original Prof. Seneka Bibile’s National Drug Policy would be presented to the Cabinet for approval. He said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena had told the media that he would be presenting the Prof. Seneka Bibile National Drug Policy to the Cabinet next week. more..

US expresses concerns over arrest

Mar 17 (CG) The United States has called on the Govt to ensure the due legal process is provided to human rights activists Ruki Fernando and Reverend Father Praveen after they were arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) last night. The US Embassy in Colombo said that the US Government is concerned over the arrest of the two activists. It urged the Govt to ensure the two activists have full access to a legal counsel. more..

Army denies using chemical weapons

Mar 17 (CG) The army has denied fresh claims that it used chemical weapons during the war against the LTTE as alleged in a video aired on Indian television. The video aired on News X shows a man clad in army uniform describing how chemical weapons were used against the LTTE during the final stages of the war. Allegations over the use of chemical weapons by the army and the LTTE had surfaced during more..

Sinhala Buddhist bigotry root cause of strife in Sri Lanka

Mar 17 (CT) I believe Sinhala Buddhist bigotry is the root cause of strife in Sri Lanka. If it were not, there will be recognition and respect for everyone’s rights, not a denial of those rights. This bigotry in the name of Sinhala Buddhism, no doubt bringing disrepute and shame to Lord Buddha’s philosophy and causing yet more strife in this beautiful island is a vexing question true Buddhists must now address. The island would have been spared an ethnic conflict that has still not been resolved, more..

GMOA agrees to give teachers priority at govt hospitals

Mar 17 (Island) On a request of Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, GMOA Executive Committee has unanimously decided to allow all teachers, school principals and the zonal and other educational directors to get OPD and clinic treatment without waiting in the queues in the state-run hospitals. GMOA General Committee member Dr. Navin de Soyza said that Minister had sought the GMOA’s help for teachers to receive treatment on priority basis. more..

Born free, captured reality

Mar 17 (CT) Wildlife officials have confirmed that the baby elephant found at a home in Maharagama on 13 March 2014 and believed to be caught from the wild has three toes missing from its back leg and one toe missing from its front leg. According to environmentalists the wound on its back which looks like a lump, is a clear indication that this baby was separated from its mother and caught from the wild. more..

Stocks up 0.3%,turnover five year low

Mar 17 (LBO) Stocks end 0.3% higher partly reversing last week’s losses despite reporting a turnover of five-year low. All Share Price Index closed 17.88 points higher at 5,914.11 up 0.30%. S&P SL20 closed 6.31 points higher at 3,213.42, up 0.20%. Turnover was 91.19 million rupees, the lowest turnover recorded since April 2009 with 80.9 million rupees. 60 stocks close positive against 76 negative. Foreign investors bought 6.41 million rupees worth shares while selling 11.30 more..

Stop the scourge of ragging

Mar 17 (CT) Ragging has been a perennial problem in our State universities and other government educational institutions. It continues to be practised with utter disregard to the person's self-respect and dignity, and in some instances descends to the lowest of depths where students suffer permanent disability, and sometimes even death. This is despite there being laws to curb ragging. No serious study seems to have been done to find the root cause of this scourge, except in one instance, more..

GDP grows 7.3% in 2013, 8.2% in 4Q

Mar 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's gross domestic product grew 7.3% in 2013 with the economy estimated to have grown 8.2% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier. Agriculture grew 10.4%, industry 10.7% and services 6.5%. In agriculture tea grew 6.5%, rubber 18.7% and paddy 57.2% recovering from a 39.9% contraction in the same quarter a year earlier. Fishing grew 8.2% with inland fisheries up 78.8%. Industry grew 10.7%, more..

UNHRC steps in where Sri Lanka has failed to act

Mar 17 (MS) There was a time, not so long ago, when Sri Lanka was known for the quality of its democracy. In 1975, when I was a Foreign Service officer at the U.S. Embassy there, the country was in economic straits but proud of its international reputation for an independent political culture, a feisty press, and a remarkably high standard of education and social services. There were tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamils, but there was also a history of cooperation more..

Docs out for PHI chief’s scalp down steths in NCP

Mar 17 (Island) Around 1,200 doctors attached to North-Central province, including the Anuradhapura Teaching hospital, Polonnaruwa General hospital and more than 80 govt-owned peripheral clinics and central dispensaries will launch a 24-hour strike commencing at 8 a.m. today until tomorrow 8 a.m. in protest against the alleged failure on the part of the NCP to take disciplinary action against PHI a Public Health Inspector by provincial health minister S. B. Semasinghe and his Secretary. more..

Mercy Edirisinghe passes away

Mar 17 (DM) ‘Made Lagina Tharawan Nawannada Mang – Uru Delen Mona Gajamuthu Aragannada Mang’. This song will no doubt remind you of the actress Mercy Edirisinghe who sang and played the lead role in the Tharawo Igilethi stage play which became immensely popular. Multi-talented Mercy who excelled in many spheres including acting, singing, dubbing and music, passed away this morning at a private hospital in more..

Sri Lanka rupee up on dollar sales

Mar 17 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee edged up on Monday as a private bank sold dollars obtained from selling gold, dealers said. Contrary to market expectations, the local currency has been gaining ahead of the traditional new year in April. Usually, the rupee falls in March and early April due to higher import demand ahead of the Sinhala-Tamil new year. However, dealers said they are yet to see higher import demand. The spot rupee strengthened to 130.57/62 per dollar at 0612 GMT, more..

Video: SLFP has been ruined – Rajitha

Mar 17 (LT) SLFP founded for the downtrodden people is now serving not the downtrodden but the affluent says the Minister Rajitha Senaratna. He says how the affluent suppresses the downtrodden could be seen when traveling along areas where provincial elections are being held. Minister says the offspring of the affluent are given nominations by the SLFP; they get a set of people intoxicated and get posters of the innocent pulled down. They carry out an uncivilized politics says more..

Families of disappeared living in fear

Mar 17 (CT) Families, who have been involved in agitations over the disappearance of their loved ones, now live in fear of being arrested following last Thursday's arrest of Balendran Jeyakumari and her 13-year-old daughter, Vithushaini. Jeyakumari who with her daughter, has participated in a numbers of demonstrations, in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya, demanding information on the disappeared persons, more..

UPFA Municipal Councilor remanded for assaulting wife, mediation board members

Mar 17 (Island) Nugegoda Magistrate on Saturday remanded UPFA Kotte Municipal Councilor Dhanushka Vishwajith till March 28 for assaulting his wife and three members of a mediation board that attempted to sort out a family dispute. The municipal councilor had assaulted the victims on Saturday morning at Sri J'pura Girls’ School where the mediation board met to solve problems referred to it by the court, the police said. A case against the councilor for assaulting his wife had been more..

Sri Lanka Press Institute holds panel discussion on proper use of Social Media

Mar 17 (Island) On a mission to right the wrong and make amends before the situation escalates, the Sri Lanka Press Institute will be organising a panel discussion entitled "Social Media and Facebook: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly" on Tuesday March 18, 2014 from 9.30 to 11.30 am at the SLPI Auditorium. The panellists would be a healthy balance of youth, adults and experts from relevant fields. Driven by the need to create awareness especially among the younger generation on not only more..

Wimal accuses Mannar Bishop of trying to destroy country

Mar 17 (CT) Minister and NFF Leader, Wimal Weerawansa has charged that the Bishop of Manner, Rev. Rayappu Joseph is an active component who is attempting to destabilize the country by siding with Western forces. He said that Bishop of Mannar was spreading propaganda among members of the international community, by stating that Tamils were subjected to abuse by the country's Sinhala majority. more..

NSB celebrates its 42nd Anniversary in Matara

Mar 17 (GDI) The National Savings Bank celebrated its 42nd anniversary, expanding its services with the opening of the new 30 story building complex in the heart of the Matara town under the distinguished patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The NSB introduced three savings accounts, “Divisurekum, “Diriya Diyani” and “Buddhi” marking its anniversary. The President accepted the first deposits for these three accounts and presented mementos to the depositors. more..

World T20: Ireland beat Zimbabwe

Mar 17 (CI) Some say the phrase "The luck of the Irish" refers to the good fortune enjoyed by the citizens of that country when they took up mining, with much success, in the United States. Others say it was coined in irony, to reflect on the potato famine and wars that affected the country so badly. After their last-ball win against Zimbabwe on St Patrick's Day, Ireland's cricketers will be inclined to believe the former. They restricted their Full Member opposition to what more..