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BBS agitated by Hakeem’s report

Mar 17 (DM) While condemning a report submitted to the UNHRC on alleged religious disharmony in the country by Minister Rauf Hakeem, the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) today charged that the contents of the report were false and Minister should immediately rectify his actions. “Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem has mentioned that there is no religious freedom in Sri Lanka in his report submitted to the UNHRC. more..

Veteran cinematographer Gafoor no more

Mar 17 (DM) Veteran, award winning cinematographer and film director M. A. Gafoor passed away this morning and his funeral will take place at the Thihariya Muslim Burial Grounds this evening at 4 pm. Gafoor who started his film career at Ceylon Studios, has handled the camera in more than 200 Sinhala movies and he also directed two Sinhala films – Shirani and Sagara Thilina. He first became a fully fledged cine cameraman in Yasapalitha Nanayakkara’s ‘Sahayata Danny’ more..

Former Borella OIC posthumously promoted

Mar 17 (AD) Late Chief Inspector Prasad Siriwardena is to be promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Police posthumously on the recommendation of the Inspector General of Police. The office-in-charge (OIC) of the Borella Police Station, Chief Inspector Prasad Siriwardena, who was injured due to the violence at Thunnane on High Level Road succumbed to his injuries on March 16. The police officer was injured when a tree cut down by angry protesters reportedly fell on him, more..

'Royal Trio is the worst election offenders'

Mar 17 (LT) It is Mahinda Rajapaksa, his brothers Basil and Gotabhaya who blatantly violate election laws says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said, “The govt arbitrarily, obstinately and illegally use state resources, state officials and all state assets in its election campaign. The Commissioner of Elections, after meeting party secretaries, decided on several moves to minimize election violations. more..

Political hand behind OIC's killing - Police

Mar 17 (DN) Police yesterday alleged that there was a political hand behind the killing of Borella OIC Chief Inspector Prasad Sirirwadena. Addressing the media at the Police Headquarters, Police Media spokesman Ajith Rohana said while UNHRC sessions were on in Geneva, some were trying to indicate that the Police does not respect Human Rights in Sri Lanka. "This is a plot by the organisers who have the support of the diaspora to discredit the Sri Lankan govt and the Police," he said. more..

Ranil says UNP is the only option

Mar 17 (CG) Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, says his party is the only option available for the public to defeat the Govt. Speaking at an event, he said that only UNP can gather the support needed to stage protest on the streets against the Govt. He says other political parties can join the UNP at mass protests to express opposition to the Govt but in the end the people must vote for the UNP at an election. “Only the UNP to form a Govt so the people must vote for the UNP,” more..

Sri Lanka beat India in Twenty20 warm-up

Mar 17 (CI) Sri Lanka overcame an unimpressive start to make a competitive 153 for six in 20 overs against India in their first ICC World Twenty20 warm-up game at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here Monday. Mahela Jayawardene was the top scorer with 30 while skipper Dinesh Chandimal made 21. Nuwan Kulasekara made a quick-fire unbeaten 14-ball 21 while Thisara Perera remained not out on 18 from 11 balls. more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Mar 18 (NS) It is reported that bakers will consider offering 50g loaves of bread. We don’t know if they’ll call it ‘Buddy-Bread’ but it clearly shows that the bakers have a pulse on affordability. Those who can’t buy regular loaf can now go for half. In time, one wonders, whether they’ll sell bread by the slice! Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran believes that women in his province are not safe because of a ‘military presence’. Well, if that’s the case, then the Army would have to more..

Home to Lanka

Mar 18 (CT) Homing stories may be a genre; if so, the genre would include stories like Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje and Return to Fontamara by Ignazio Silone. Silone’s story is about a man who has been convicted of murder, in Italy in the mid-nineteenth century, but who returns after reprieve to his village in Southern Italy. He had not commited the murder, but he refrained from proving his innocence before the court, as that would have resulted in his fianceé being brought to more..

Will the decline of House Sparrow affect humans?

Mar 18 (SO) The house sparrow, the non stop exploiter of anything was once an extremely common sight. Until a few years ago, a house didn't become a home without the house sparrow's nest hanging on the wall made out of a clay pot or a cardboard box. The family only had to fix it and the house sparrow comes from nowhere and builds the rest of the nest. It was a joyful sight seeing the house sparrow couple feeding the off springs. more..

Africa, Myanmar and ‘The Chinese footprint in Sri Lanka’

Mar 18 (CT) An analyst has commented after reviewing the People’s Republic of China’s recent economic and political incursions into the continent of Africa that “Africa is China’s honey pot. Where else would China find political leaders so easy to buy!?” China has over the last 10 years carried out a sustained political and investment push into Africa. Visits have been made at the highest political level to several leading African countries; loans, grants and investments have more..

Election malpractices bound to echo in Geneva

Mar 18 (NS) The attention of the rest of the world is focused on Sri Lanka’s fate at the upcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva, where the United States is furiously lobbying support among other nations for its anti-Sri Lanka resolution. Sri Lankans, however, are arguably more concerned about how the votes will accrue not at the UNHRC but at the provincial council elections in the Western and Southern provinces on March 29. All major political parties are in the fray but there are more..

'President gave me permission to care for children at Menik Farm'

Mar 18 (CT) Dr. Lalith Chandradasa, the brother-in-law of President Rajapaksa, says that Mahinda is a great human being and treats his relations, friends and neighbours very well. Following are excerpts: Q: Can you introduce yourself? A: I am Lalith Chandradasa, a doctor by profession. Apart from my profession, I attempted to make a social change. Future may decide to what extent I was successful. more..

Tamil Nad ill wind may herald Lanka’s tempest of doom

Mar 18 (ST) Two weeks ago Tamil Nad Tiger God Mother Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalithaa called upon the UN to hold a referendum amongst Tamils in Lanka and those displaced elsewhere to determine the establishment of a separate state of Eelam on Lankan soil. This week, not to be outdone, Tamil Nad’s opposition party, Muthuvel Karunanidhi’s DMK called upon the Indian central govt to hold a referendum under UN auspices for the Lankan Tamils and the Tamil Diaspora to more..

Politics of Cricket: When ‘my country’ plays ‘our country’

Mar 18 (SL) Cricketing purists will undoubtedly say: ‘Simply not cricket’ over the arrest of 67 Kashmiri students who had cheered Pakistan when Pakistan Master Blaster Shahid Afridi hit two consecutive sixes to beat India in their recent One Day International and knocking out India from the Asia Cup. Kashmiri students of the Swami Vivekananda Subharti University in Meerut in Uttar Pradesh had been watching the India-Pakistan encounter played in Bangladesh on TV when Afridi more..

සහන් රාජපක්ෂ

Editorial: Crimea’s verdict

Mar 18 (Island) Crimea has, at Sunday’s referendum, overwhelmingly endorsed secession from Ukraine and joining Russia. Its verdict has come as no surprise. A vast majority of people in that part of Ukraine are of Russian descent. The knee-jerk reaction of the US has been to reject the outcome of the referendum and threaten sanctions against Russia. Russia could not have been unaware of the consequences of its action and is not likely to buckle under pressure. more..

World T20: Netherlands beat UAE

Mar 18 (CI) Peter Borren will not have any reason to be "pi**ed off" with his batsmen tonight, the way he had been after they had blown potentially winning positions in both their warm-up matches. When it came to the game that counted, Netherlands, led by their openers, made short work of a potentially tricky target of 152. Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart took on from where Paul Stirling and William Porterfield had left off earlier in the evening. Ireland had been 61 for 0 after the first six overs more..

Wrong approach to development

Mar 18 (ST) Sri Lanka’s development process in the post-war era has come in for a lot of discussion in recent times. On the one hand while there are many plus points in the progress on infrastructure particularly in roads, express highways and beautification of cities, the other side of the coin is that the needs and concerns of communities are (sometimes) either ignored, disregarded or very little attention paid. more..

SLSEF helps young Lankan minds enter the global arena

Mar 18 (Island) Master G.B.R.D. Malewana from Nalanda College, Colombo was adjudged the winner of the Sri Lanka Science and Engineering Fair (SLSEF) 2014 under the individual category. The SLSEF features ten best projects each from the Science Research Project Competition of the National Science Foundation (NSF) of Sri Lanka and the Junior Inventor of the Year (JIY) competition held by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL). Master W.A.N.U. Piyasiri of more..

Arresting performance: Shelling Sri Lanka’s zone in Geneva

Mar 18 (GV) With the arrests of an outspoken middle aged Tamil woman activist with no history of violence, her detention in Boossa under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the handover of her 13 year old daughter to the child protection authorities, the detention without acknowledgement of two human rights activists, Ruki Fernando and Fr Praveen reportedly also under the PTA, Sri Lankan authorities just torpedoed Sri Lanka’s chances at the ongoing sessions of UNHRC. more..

The state is being over-represented by its security arm

Mar 18 (Island) The sudden deterioration in the climate in the north is unfortunate. When I visited North last week it seemed that sense of normalcy in the North was getting stronger. Military posts and uniformed sentries on duty at short and regular intervals on the roads are no longer there. Most of the people I spoke to in Jaffna told me that military personnel in Jaffna behaved well and they encountered few or no problems with them. more..

Air Chief Marshall Abeywickrema new BoC Chief

Mar 18 (CT) Air Chief Marshall Harsha Abeywickrema assumed duties as the Chairman of Bank of Ceylon (BoC) yesterday. Former Sri Lankan Air Force Commander, Air Chief Marshal Abeywickrema, joined the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) in 1980 as an Officer Cadet and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1982. He has earned a Master of Arts degree in International Studies from the King's College University of London and a MSc in Management from KDU. more..

Fortune 500 business advisor in Sri Lanka

Mar 18 (FT) A globally renowned and top American thought leader who specialises in the genre of excellence, Robert Van Arlen, has been flown down by the Charted Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Sri Lanka to address elite business leaders. Robert is a business advisor for several Fortune 500 companies in the United States and will share examples spanning varied industries including technology, hospitality, apparel, education, financial and insurance to name but a few, more..

Together they worship

Mar 18 (CT) The annual two-day Kachchativu Festival, celebrating the feast of St. Anthony’s church, drew to a close on Sunday, with devotees from both, India and Sri Lanka, attending the feast. Festival was hosted by the SL Navy (SLN). Final mass was conducted by the, Vicar General of Jaffna Justin Gnanapragasan. Event was graced by clergies of both India and SL. SLA Commander Daya Ratnayake and SLN Commander more..

SLF Wi-Fi enabled with SLT superior Wi-Fi technology

Mar 18 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the integrated telecommunications service provider, in partnership with the Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF), the premier leadership, education and training institution operating under the Presidential Secretariat, is proud to announce the launch of the Wi-Fi zone at SLF, powered by SLT that makes it fully Wi-Fi enabled. Thus, visitors to the Foundation can now experience superior high speed uninterrupted internet services from SLT. more..

Work on the Old Auditor Generals Dept nearing completion

Mar 18 (MoD) Work on the renovated old Auditor General's Department building complex is nearing completion. Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made an inspection visit to the site to review the progress in work. SL Navy has been entrusted with the renovation and development of the building complex. Land mark building complex has been renovated and restored while retaining its original architectural features. more..

3 activists held in Sri Lanka, raising fears of Crackdown

Mar 18 (NYT) Fears of a broad crackdown against rights activists in Sri Lanka have been heightened after the Sri Lankan police recently arrested two prominent human rights advocates and a woman who has made a public campaign of finding her missing son. The arrests took place just as the UNHRC considers starting an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by govt forces and separatists during SL’s 26-year civil war. more..

SLPA to call for tenders for US$ 50-75M cruise terminal in Galle

Mar 18 (CT) To support the country's tourism industry by attracting high spenders, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority is expected to call tenders for a US$ 50 to 75 million cruise terminal development at the Galle Port. In January, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority said that two small berths in the Colombo Port were expected to be demolished to create more space for luxury cruises. Sri Lanka expects to attract more than 2.5 million tourist arrivals by 2016 with an income of US$ 2.75 million. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils Fear 'Culture Cleansing'

Mar 18 (ENS) After establishing military supremacy in the Northern Province, Sri Lanka is now imposing Sinhala and Buddhist culture among the Tamil population in the province. Under the pretext of reconstruction of the Northern Province, the military is settling Sinhalese families in Tamil-dominated area and govt has started imposing cultural dominance in everyday life of Tamils, said Lankan Tamils from the region. “We fear that very soon the use of Tamil in public places will vanish.” more..

‘Brothers’ hope for amicable solution

Mar 18 (Hindu) “There are no boundaries in the sea,” says S. Emarit, a fisher leader from Rameswaram. One of the pilgrims at the Katchatheevu St. Anthony’s festival that concluded on Sunday his prayer, he says fishermen in India and Sri Lanka should be able to continue fishing without any trouble for either side. The issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen being caught for crossing the IMBL is an ongoing one. more..

Fishermen back home from SL prison

Mar 18 (Hindu) 24 Rameswaram and Nambuthalai fishermen, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy early this month and released by a Sri Lankan court on March 13, returned home on Monday, ending their week-long miseries in the prison. The Sri Lankan navy arrested 15 country boat fishermen from Nambuthalai with their three ‘Vallams’ on March 5 and nine mechanised boat fishermen from Rameswaram with their two boats on March 6 on charges of illegal fishing in the SL’s waters. more..

A porter in a million

Mar 18 (Island) A porter working in the Manning Market, Pettah, came in for much praise yesterday after he had returned a purse he had picked up with Rs.145,000 to its rightful owner. Officers of the police post situated at the market said Chandana Pushpakumara from Grandpass had found the purse belonging to vegetable wholesaler Sampath Dayananda residing at Dias Place Pettah. On finding the purse he immediately contacted the police, who in turn got in touch with its owner. more..

Private arms cache of interdicted DIG found?

Mar 18 (Island) A special police team has recovered a stock of arms allegedly belonging to former DIG Vass Gunawardena now in remand custody in connection with the murder of millionaire businessman Mohamed Shiyam. Arms cache was unearthed from a livestock farm in Weliveriya area. Items recovered included five T-56 assault rifles, two RPGs, grenades, ammunition and pistols, according to the police. more..

Sri Lanka against any forced action

Mar 18 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt told the UNHRC that it is against any action being forced on a country in an attempt to promote and protect human rights. Speaking during the interactive dialogue on Iran and separately on Myanmar, Sri Lankan delegation said that its consistent position has been that any action must have the consent of the respective countries. Sri Lankan delegation also noted that action taken to promote and protect human rights should be based on the principles of cooperation and more..

SLMC, TNA coalition likely soon

Mar 18 (CG) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader and Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem says the time is near when the SLMC and Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will join forces. Hakeem says the late SLMC leader M.H.M Ashraff had often said that the right thing must be done at the right time and now is the right time for an alliance between the SLMC and TNA. The SLMC leader and Government Minister had said this at a function organised by the Verakeseri Tamil newspaper in Colombo. more..

Broken promises: FUTA threatens to resume dons’ suspended strike

Mar 18 (Island) FUTA threatened to resume their suspended trade union action if the Higher Education Ministry did not respond to them before April 10. Ministry had not implemented the agreement that the FUTA entered into with the govt when they suspended the 100 days long strike in 2012, FUTA Executive Committee member Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said, adding that the agreement had been signed by more..

China backs Lanka on rights issue

Mar 18 (CG) Chinese Govt expressed strong support for Sri Lanka on the human rights issue, particularly at the UNHRC in Geneva. Deputy Head of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka, Ren Faqiang said that China does not see a need for a resolution to be submitted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Speaking at the opening of the reconstructed road between Mulatiyana – Mawarala and Kotapola, official hailed the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka after 30 years of war. more..

Majority want death penalty restored

Mar 18 (DM) About 90% of the public who visited the gallows at the Bogambara prison wanted the death penalty restored. More than 90% of the visitors had sought the restoration of the death sentence, according to comments made in a book left near the gallows, seeking the views of the public about the implementation of the death sentence. Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry had shifted the inmates of the Bogambara Prison to a different location in Pallekele during the past few months. more..

Second private Medical Uni in Kandy

Mar 18 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake confirmed that the country's second private Medical College will be in Kandy. He added that the initial plans for the project, were being formulated and spearheaded by several retired dons and professors of the University of Peradeniya. "We have already made the decision. The moment the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine problem is over, we will commence. more..