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UNP making manifestos like people changing clothes – SLFP

Mar 18 (Island) The govt claimed that the UNP was launching manifestoes for every election under different names for want of consistent policies. Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that the UPFA was the only party that had implemented its manifesto. "We launched Mahinda Chinthanaya policy programme in the run-up to the 2005 Presidential Election," he said, adding that thereafter they had implemented the manifesto without introducing new ones. more..

Sri Lanka nominates new ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Mar 18 (AN) Sri Lankan govt has nominated former Colombo Mayor M.H. Mohamed as the new ambassador to its embassy in Riyadh. M.H. Mohamed will succeed Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, who has been nominated as ambassador to the Lankan mission in Kenya. M.H. Mohamed is the son of former Sri Lankan Speaker Haniffa Mohamed, a founding member of the Constituent Council of the Muslim World League in Makkah. The ambassador-designate has also served the WPC more..

NPC to bar military from school and civil events

Mar 18 (CT) NPC is planning to table a resolution barring security forces personnel from participating in school and civil functions, which come under the purview of the NPC. Northern Province Education Minister T. Kurukularasa said, "The resolution is still being processed and prepared and is going to be tabled soon." As there is no love lost between the two parties, this move would only serve to further widen the existing rift more..

When is Ananthi going to say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’?

Mar 18 (DM) Ananthi Sasitharan has reasons to grieve. So have her three daughters. Ananthi’s husband is ‘missing’. Her daughters have lost their father. They all want to know what happened to Velayutham Sasitharan. Ananthi needs to know what happened to her husband. She believes that this knowledge can only be obtained through the intervention of powerful sections of the international community. If that is the only pathway she sees, then it is understandable that she has to more..

An environmental time bomb waiting to happen

Mar 18 (DM) Sri Lanka is going through a harsh spell of dry weather. Rains are scanty. Rivers, lakes and water bodies are running dry. The ferocity of raging wild fires are devouring large expanses of rich foliage. An aerial view would clearly show large brown patches of cleared areas dotting forest lands caused by illegal & chena cultivations for various other reasons. All these are symptomatic of the environmental catastrophe fast taking place in this country. more..

'Benevolent dictatorship and limited democracy are keys to a developed nation'

Mar 18 (DM) A strongman in the modern nationalist movement and JHU National organiser Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe has been behind the scene campaigner for the cause for nearly two decades. He makes his electoral debut from the Colombo district under UPFA banner this time. Q: At various points you pointed the finger to the govt with regard to various mishaps. But all your protests end in mere words and slogans more..

Bolder crime puts gun in every cop’s hand by law

Mar 18 (ST) With criminals getting bolder and violent crimes on the increase and with police themselves coming under attack, the police department this week made it mandatory for all personnel to carry a pistol while on duty. The decision was announced after it was found that 27 police officers had been injured over the past two months while attempting to stop criminals from escaping. Among these is a traffic policeman more..

The Brutes in the Dehiwala Zoo

Mar 18 (SL) What goes on at the National Zoological Gardens at Dehiwala is anybody’s guess. So, no one seems to be interested in animal welfare in the Zoo although it has come to the surface that its inmates are suffering and starving to their furthest extreme. It is alleged that the animals are not fed properly although the income of the Zoological Garden goes on swelling daily. “This has to be investigated to find out whether it is more..

UK warns Sri Lanka over arrests

Mar 18 (CG) Britain has warned Sri Lanka that the world is watching what is happening in the country and so the Govt must respect human rights defenders and uphold the principles of free expression and movement. British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said he was “deeply concerned” to hear of the arrests of two human rights activists and urged the govt to allow them “immediate access to lawyers and their families”. more..

Sri Lanka provides air space in hunt for MH370

Mar 18 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has allowed search parties looking for the vanished Malaysian Airline flight to use Sri Lankan airspace as the hunt expands into the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka's govt had been approached to provide assistance by the Malaysian embassy, External Affairs Public Communications Director Satya Rodrigo said. He confirmed that the Malaysian authorities had requested use of SL's airspace for more..

'BBS, Ravana Balaya have spun out of control'

Mar 18 (Island) SLMC Leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem said that extremist groups like the Bodu Bala Sena, Ravana Balaya and Sinhala Ravaya had spun out of control and they should be kept on a tight leash by the govt. He said that the law should apply to all and sundry and containing those extremist groups would help stop attacks on places of religious worship. Minister said that the SLMC was a democratic party and more..

Delimitation Commission completes its task

Mar 18 (Island) The four-member National Delimitation Commission (NDC) that completed their task of demarcating the new boundaries of the local councils in the country within one year would hand over its report to President Rajapaksa shortly, Chairman of the NDC Jayalath Ravi Dissanayake said. They were in the process of proofreading the draft report. This is the first proper countrywide National Delimitation Commission (NDC) more..

UN notes arrest of rights activists

Mar 18 (CG) UN has noted the arrest of two human rights activists in Sri Lanka and recalled the Sri Lanka’s obligations towards the protection of human rights. “On the arrests, yes, we’ve seen the reports, we are aware of them. And as you will recall, the Secretary-General and the President of Sri Lanka, in their 2009 joint statement, emphasized the importance of protection and promotion of human rights in keeping with more..

Arrest of SL rights activists condemned

Mar 18 (AP) Sri Lankan govt should release two human rights defenders, including a priest, because their arrests are an attempt to silence criticism, human rights groups aid Tuesday. A joint statement issued by Amnesty International, Forum Asia, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group and the International Commission of Jurists called Sunday's arrest and detention of Ruki Fernando of Colombo-based INFORM and more..

'No legal provision for probe on Sri Lanka'

Mar 18 (DM) Minister G.L. Peiris raised ethical concerns on UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay heading a probe on human rights allegations against Sri Lanka while pointing out that she was neither legally nor financially provisioned to carry out such an inquiry. Present circumstances Ms. Pillay had already made her stance explicitly clear on the human rights allegations against Sri Lanka and the war against LTTE. more..

Violent protests Vs investment climate

Mar 18 (CT) In the context of the prevailing lawlessness in the country, the tragic death of the Officer-in-Charge of the Borella Police came as no surprise. Chief Inspector Prasad Siriwardene succumbed to the injuries that he sustained when a tree, felled by marauding protestors in Hanwella, landed on him on Sunday. The locals had been agitating against a rubber glove making factory in Thunnana, Hanwella following in the footsteps of their cousins in Rathupaswala, more..

Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen

Mar 18 (GV) Last night(16)’s arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen in Kilinochchi on terrorism charges, soon after the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on suspicion of harbouring a criminal, is extremely disturbing and an urgent call to action. In stark contrast to what the Govt says in Geneva is what it does in Sri Lanka. Human rights activists are being arrested under draconian laws which permit the authorities to interrogate them in isolation for more..

'Govt. does not see SLMC leaving as a red light'

Mar 18 (CT) Leader of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem did not submit any reports during LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran's time, despite the slaughter of many innocent Muslims, the govt said. Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said Minister Hakeem was in fact intimidated by Prabhakaran and had committed his treacherous act against the nation due to the democracy, which has been provided by the present govt. more..

OIC left for Hanwella even without a cup of tea – driver

Mar 18 (Island) A hail of stones had greeted the police personnel who accompanied OIC of the Borella police station to Hanwella Rubber Estate at Thunana at sunrise on Sunday to prevent a group of protesters from taking the law into their own hands, a police driver said. He said that the attack had forced them to reverse their vehicle and OIC Prasad Siriwardena had then ordered his men to proceed to the factory, Hanwella Rubber Products Ltd on foot taking all precautions. more..

One way road to hell from Technical junction to BCC roundabout

Mar 18 (Island) One-way traffic from Technical junction to BCC roundabout is making life miserable for thousands of passengers and drivers as vehicles coming from two main roads converge at the Sangaraja Mawatha to proceed in that direction. It causes much inconvenience to daily travelers. Road is badly maintained and huge pot holes have worsened the situation. Lack of discipline on the road coupled with bad policing has contributed to the exacerbation of the problem. more..

Govt using Geneva challenge as a political battle cry - UNP

Mar 18 (AD) Recent developments in the North raise serious concerns about the human rights record of the ruling regime, while also creating doubt as to whether it is intentionally provoking international action in order to gain petty political milage, the UNP said today. In a statement issued over the recent arrest of several activists, the party says that the fact that so many individuals, political parties and the international community have raised more..

NCP docs call off strike at noon

Mar 18 (Island) A strike launched by about 1,200 doctors in the North Central Province was called off yesterday at 2.00 p.m. after the Chief provincial Secretary assured the GMOA that he would take action against Public Health Inspector Senerath Bandara within six weeks. The GMOA is demanding action against PHI Bandara over a series of allegations including insubordination, but he has claimed that he is being hounded for making a complaint against a corrupt doctor. more..

Sri Lankan rupee firmer on remittances

Mar 18 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee rose on Tuesday as inflows from inward remittances outpaced importer dollar demand, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 130.58/64 per dollar, compared with Monday's close of 130.63/70. "Normal remittances amid lack of importer dollar demand pushed the rupee up," said a currency dealer on condition of anonymity. Contrary to market expectations, the local currency has been gaining ahead of the traditional new year in April. more..

'Country needs young generation with high moral values'

Mar 18 (DN) The objective of the development drive being implemented throughout the country is to create a better society for the younger generation, President Rajapaksa said in Matara. He said all Sri Lankans should be committed to supporting the development drive to build a future generation that can conquer the world. He added that the country needs a younger generation with high standards and moral values. more..

Women’s World Twenty20: Australia breeze past Sri Lanka in first warm-up match

Mar 18 (ICC) Aiming to win the Women’s World Twenty20 for the third consecutive time, Australia started its campaign on a positive note, seeing off Sri Lanka by 19 runs in the first warm-up match on Tuesday. Australia posted 144 for 5 from its 20 overs. After a steady start, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could manage just 125 for 5 from its quota. Opening the batting for Sri Lanka, Chamari Jayangani and Yashoda Mendis added 37 runs in 4.5 overs for the first wicket. more..

Sri Lanka shares end weaker

Mar 18 (LBO) Shares end 0.11% lower with food and beverages firm Nestle losing ground amid net foreign selling on the board. All Share Price Index closed 6.47 points lower at 5,907.64 down 0.11%. S&P SL20 closed 1.22 points higher at 3,214.64, up 0.04%. Turnover was 509.27 million rupees, up from 91.19 million rupees a day earlier with 91 stocks close positive against 74 negative. Foreign investors bought 307.99 million rupees worth shares while selling 369.22 million rupees of shares. more..

'UNP has no place for Hakeem, Thonda'

Mar 18 (NS) There was no room in the UNP for people like SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem, UNP MP Harin Fernando said today. He said he was saddened to note that Hakeem clearly had ‘no backbone’ as was evidenced by him continuing to stay in the UPFA govt despite him being abused from all ends by others in the coalition. Labeling Hakeem as a man with ‘two-faced principles’ Fernando said he was certain the SLMC would receive the more..

Police record rise in Muslim clashes

Mar 18 (CG) The police have noted a rise in inter-Muslim clashes in various parts of the country in the recent past. SSP Ajith Rohana said that the incidents are taking place at a time there are reports of clashes among religious groups. He said that recently there was a clash between two Muslim groups in Madampe and another clash in Kuchaveli. Most clashes are over opening new Mosques of different Muslim groups and the police spokesman says such disputes can be resolved by more..

World T20: Afghanistan beat Hong Kong

Mar 18 (CI) Mohammad Shahzad is Afghanistan's most prolific Twenty20 batsman by a long way. His recent form had been quite poor, as scores of 7, 22, 0, 22 and 0 in his last five innings would indicate. He broke this peculiar streak by hammering 68 off 53 balls as Afghanistan rushed to a seven-wicket win over Hong Kong. The garnish on the win was provided by Shafiqullah, touted the T20 specialist by captain Mohammad Nabi. He blasted 24 runs off the 17th over, bowled by Aizaz Khan, more..

First election related death from Dompe

Mar 18 (LT) CaFFE reports that a supporter of the UNP, O.K. Piyasena, in Kimbulwilawatte, Dompe has been killed when he was assaulted by UPFA supporters today. According to CaFFE, clash had occurred over election propaganda material in the area. UNP supporters were pasting posters announcing a meeting to be held later today and have allegedly pasted over UPFA posters which sparked the clash. more..

JVP stages walkout in hospitals

Mar 18 (Island) The JVP-affiliated All Ceylon Nurses’ Union (ACNU) warned yesterday it would resort to a three hour walkout today (18) in four major hospitals demanding midwifery and mental health care training for nurses. Organising Secretary ACNU, H. M. B. Mediwatte warned that nurses of the National Hospital, Kandy and Kurunegala teaching hospitals and, several other major health institutions would take part in the ACNU trade union action from 10 am. to 1 p. m. more..

UPFA candidate arrested for assaulting supporters of another candidate

Mar 18 (AD) Former SPC Minister and current UPFA candidate D.V. Upul was arrested for allegedly assaulting supporters of another UPFA candidate. Five persons were injured and hospitalised after a group of supporters of D.V. Upul and supporters of M.K. Kasun clashed in Beliatta. The wounded persons, including supporters from both factions, have been admitted to Beliatta and Matara hospitals. Upul, who was arrested over the incident, is to be produced before Tangalle Magistrate Court more..

Audio: This election is a contest between political parties & govt – Anura

Mar 18 (LT) “There should be a free and fair election where political parties compete with each other using their capabilities, assets and deploying their members and supporters. However, Rajapaksa regime has made the election a contest between political parties and the govt,” says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. Speaking to the media at a campaign launched to distribute leaflets apprising the public regarding more..

‘I will remain a Cobbler’ despite son winning Rs. 58 mn in lottery

Mar 18 (DM) Lottery luck had brought windfalls to many. The son of a cobbler from Rakwana who was habitually purchasing lottery tickets never believed that fortune was around the corner, when he was tempted to buy a lottery ticket from a sweep seller who showed him the last five unsold tickets he had with him. Following day he was taken by surprise when he noticed the super ball lottery ticket he had purchased the previous day had made him rich bringing him Rs.58 million as the winning more..

US module maker drives Sri Lanka factory plans

Mar 18 (PVT) A 150MW cell and module factory to be built in Sri Lanka will help an unnamed US manufacturer expand its reach in South East and South Asia, according to the consultancy behind the development. Patrick Featherston, director of Energy Puzzle, told PV Tech that the site, announced last month, would be used to help his client tap a promising emerging market. “This particular arrangement spun out of a consulting arrangement with a solar panel maker in US more..

Murdered real estate agent Esan honoured

Mar 18 (DT) Western Sydney’s tight-knit Sri Lankan community has farewelled murdered real estate agent Vissa Esan with an emotial parade through Pendle Hill. The 47-year-old was fatally stabbed outside his Pendle Hill office on Thursday. He left behind his pregnant wife Shanika as well as son Lachlan, 9, from a previous marriage with Sashi Sen. This morning Mr Esan’s body was lead into Pendle Way by his grieving siblings and more..

EC in quandary over President's events

Mar 18 (DM) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya yesterday disagreed with the stand taken by the heads of state media institutions that President Rajapaksa’s presence at public meetings did not have an impact on the UPFA polls campaign. He said he would discuss this matter with the general secretaries of political parties and the heads of independent groups. State media institution heads led by Information and Media Ministry Secretary Charitha Herath and Information Director more..

'Geneva resolution won't harm country'

Mar 18 (SM) Sri Lanka nor its citizens would come to harm even if the resolution tabled before the UNHRC in Geneva is passed, former Army commander Sarath Fonseka says. He said thus while speaking to journalists outside the Colombo High Courts yesterday after arriving there for a court case. Fonseka said that intention of the resolution backed by the US and other Western nations was to penalise the rulers who violated human rights. It has no intention of harming the public, more..

Sanga, Mahela betrayal shocks SLC

Mar 18 (DM) The announcements by stars Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene of their retirement from T20 Internationals did not come out of the blue as it appeared when the news suddenly took the world media by storm on Sunday and Monday. The fact that “Daily Mirror” was able to report it exclusively and accurately, nearly three weeks ago on February 26 is ample testimony to that. However, since “Daily Mirror” report more..

The true temperature of aggrieved-tears

Mar 19 (NS) Only a mother who has lost a child can fathom the grief of a woman who has lost her son. Balendra Jeyakumari is not a mother who lost a son. She’s a mother who lost three sons. That’s not three-times the grief. It is unfathomable grief. This side of death, whatever closure is possible can only be wrought from knowing what happened to each of them. This is why Jeyakumari’s activism among families of disappeared individuals generates sympathy which of course is as eminently more..