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UN resolution and war crimes in Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (NS) I have been closely monitoring the recent developments in connection with the UN resolution which has been discussed at the highest level of the international arena. As an officer, who had first hand information and wealth of experience in the conflict zones in this country for many years, I wonder whether the UN resolution, by trying to highlight the last stages of the conflict in the North and to accuse the Sri Lankan forces for human rights violation is justifiable. more..

'Honesty, my best asset'

Mar 19 (SO) Geetha Kumarasinghe earned a reputation in the Sri Lankan film industry as a popular and talented actress and as a film producer after entering the film industry at the tender age of 16. Serving as the SLFP organiser for the Bentara Elpitiya electorate in the Galle district, she is now contesting the SPC election under UPFA ticket. Geetha shared her views about her political career and the forthcoming election. more..

The US resolution and the SLMC twist

Mar 19 (CT) There is trouble in paradise. A government constituent partner, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) first chose to break its silence over alleged religious intolerance in the island, highlighting govt inaction on its own blueprint for achieving reconciliation, in a report presented to the visiting UN Human Rights Chief, Navanethem Pillay, last year. Its updated version has now reached the UNHRC causing all hell to break loose within the govt. more..

Putin-Yanukovych and Modi-Wigneswaran

Mar 19 (CT) When the news of former Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, fleeing the country amidst escalating violent protests against his rule reached our shores, political power base in the local scene was shaken to its very roots. They simply could not believe that Russia would allow such a debacle to take place in a country in its own backyard. From their point of view, it was unthinkable that Russia could not protect an anti-American-European and pro-Russian more..

'I will make the cake bigger next time'

Mar 19 (CT) Pitiduwe Siridhamma Thera, who hosted a controversial 'birthday party' recently, defended the event, insisting that it was an alms giving akin to one hosted by Buddhist King Kosala. The monk claims he is an enlightened person and would walk on a carpet of burning coal as freely as he walked on a carpet of lotus flowers during his birthday extravaganza. Q: Venerable Thera, let me wish you a happy birthday! more..

Tamil extremists undermining Geneva resolution

Mar 19 (CT) Some things are incredible but true. Two crazy possibilities have come into the limelight recently. There is a lobby that argues that the Malaysian Boeing 777 was abducted by aliens. The lobbyist’s case is that not even a remotely credible conventional explanation has been offered by Malaysian, Chinese or US authorities. If nothing turns by the time you read these lines, it is not too silly to engage in unconventional speculation, especially if you are young at heart! more..

A resolution authorizing the Human Rights commissioner to conduct an investigation?

Mar 19 (CT) Second draft of the resolution, ’Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, was taken up for discussion on the 18th March. US Deputy Secretary of State, who is also the head of delegation at the 25th UNHRC as well as chair of the resolutions drafting committee, led the informal consultation. Resolution, co-sponsored by Macedonia, Montenegro, Mauritius and the UK was discussed at length with State Parties suggesting alterations to the text. more..

මුජිබුර් රහුමාන්

Cyber Concepts helps to launch online coconut auction

Mar 19 (ST) Cyber Concepts, one of Sri Lanka’s leading software and web solution companies, is partnering with the Coconut Development Authority (CDA) to develop a technologically-advanced coconut auction system in Sri Lanka. Introducing e-marketing concepts is an idea put forward by Minister Jagath Pushpakumara, and implementing this proposal was delegated to the Coconut Development Authority by Nihal Somaweera, Secretary of Ministry of Coconut more..

US-UK moving third resolution on the basis of C4 propaganda

Mar 19 (Island) Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF) had the wherewithal to provide accurate real time intelligence required by ground forces pushing into rapidly shrinking LTTE-held territory on the Vanni east front. In fact, the SLAF had the capacity to conduct such operations during the night thanks to Israeli manufactured Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including the EMIT Blue Horizon II acquired in 2007. In fact, Sri Lanka had acquired Israeli UAVs in 1996 during the tenure of the more..

Govt. hoping to grant new oil, gas exploration licences before Oct.

Mar 19 (CT) Govt is hoping to finalize the evaluation of bids submitted by two oil exploration companies by April and grant licences so that exploration activities could commence by October. "Govt is hoping to finalize the evaluations of bids made by Cairn India and Bonavista Energy Corporation for oil exploration blocks in April. If approved, this would give them room to exploit the weather window to commence oil exploration more..

Editorial: A new torture device

Mar 19 (Island) Longevity, some people believe, is synonymous with happiness. History is full of instances where emperors and empresses or kings and queens strove to attain immortality through various experiments which even involved human sacrifices. Modern-day leaders are no different. Two years ago a group of scientists in Kazakhstan declared that they had invented an elixir of youth and energy in the form of a life-lengthening yoghurt drink for their President Nursultan more..

Initiative to jumpstart Palestine - SL trade

Mar 19 (Island) Bilateral trade needs to be revived first, before moving for such trade mechanisms as FTAs when it comes to trade with the virgin market of Palestinian Territories. "FTA with the Palestinian Territories is a good idea but with non-existent trade at present, it is too early for it" said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. He was speaking to Ms Mai Bakry, presenter of "Palestine TV" on March 07 in Colombo when he was interviewed for the channel. more..

TISL urges Govt to set up independent Food Authority

Mar 19 (FT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) is urging the Govt to take immediate action to set up an independent Food Authority with qualified personnel dedicated entirely to food control administration to protect the public health by reducing the risk of food borne illness. Such an authority should work in close liaison with the Ministries of Health and Trade but should be accountable to Cabinet of Ministers more..

World T20: Bangladesh beat Nepal

Mar 19 (CI) Pressure? Not a bit of it. Bangladesh are strutting their way through Group A with an insouciant swagger, as good as sealing a place in the tournament proper with a second emphatic display. Dismissing the challenge of Associate sides can be a damned-if-you-don't, damned-if-you-do-it-well sort of scenario but, given the team's recent form, it had been by no means guaranteed that Bangladesh would make it through the first round without any scares. more..

'Lankan advertising can excel globally'

Mar 19 (FT) Julian Boulding, the Founder and President of the world’s largest independent agencies network – networkone, yesterday said Sri Lankan advertising can excel globally as the country opens up for more business post-war but challenges remain. “Sri Lanka is on the way up and the Sri Lankan advertising industry can be competitive and excel globally but there are challenges too,” Boulding, who founded the 750-strong independent agencies network in 2003, told journalists more..

'I feel very let down'

Mar 19 (CI) Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya has expressed deep disappointment at not having been told Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene's plans before the players announced their Twenty20 international retirements to media. Sangakkara had told Sunday Island he would quit T20 internationals in a one-on-one interview just before departing for the World T20, while Jayawardene announced his more..

Fallacies underlying SLFP-JVP economic policies

Mar 19 (CT) A JVP bigwig has said they are for a mixed economy. What is a mixed economy? It is one where there is both a public and a private sector. In his sense all economies are mixed, since there are public sector undertakings in every Capitalist economy and some private sector activity in even the diehard Communist economies of the past. Singapore Airlines is in the public sector, but it follows the market in its decision-making and is committed to making a profit like any more..

K Line car carrier ‘Grand Race’ calls at MRMRP on maiden visit

Mar 19 (FT) A K Line car carrier loaded with domestic use vehicles from Japan called at Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MRMRP) in Hambantota on 15 March. The vessel M/V ‘Grand Race’ discharged 383 units from Japan for domestic use while 205 units were loaded as transhipment for Gulf ports. The agents for the vessel ABC Shipping Ltd. arranged a plaque ceremony on board the ‘Grand Race’ between Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chief Manager (Operations) more..

UCSC-ICTA finger-print innovation saves Rs.1000 m, interests world

Mar 19 (Island) About Rs. 1000 million was saved, thanks to developing the recently introduced Automated Finger-print Identification System (AFIS) locally, says ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) chairman Prof. P. W. Epasinghe. This AIFS was launched by Telecommunication and IT Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the Deyata Kirula 2014, in Kuliyapitiya. more..

Brandix Talent Forum benefits 1,000 undergraduates

Mar 19 (Island) The Brandix Group engagedwith nearly 1,000 undergraduates from leading Sri Lankan universities and professional institutions on the critical skills required for the future work place and also shared talent development insights of Brandix, Sri Lanka’s single largest apparel exporter. Two sessions conducted at the Universities of Kelaniya and Moratuwa recently under the 2014 edition of the Brandix Talent Forum saw thought-provoking presentations by more..

Lankan seaman abandons ship in Canada

Mar 19 (OE) Court documents claim a seaman from Sri Lanka jumped ship in Oshawa over two years ago to seek refugee status the Canadian government would ultimately reject. The Canadian govt alleges he failed to abide by Canada’s immigration laws, citing a section that states anyone who abandons a ship in Canada must leave the country within 72 hours after ceasing to be a member of a crew. The man would later be arrested and issued a removal order from the country. more..

Sri Lanka, admired from above

Mar 19 (NYT) Jeff Powell, decked out in shorts and open-toe sandals, doesn’t want anything to do with the big airlines. The 34-year-old Canadian says he is more than happy flying for Cinnamon Air, Sri Lanka’s only scheduled seaplane service. Mr. Powell, who was a pilot in the Maldives last year when he was hired by the four-plane Sri Lankan start-up, says that the 440-km, long island off India’s southern coast more..

Indian Coast Guard action draws flak

Mar 19 (Hindu) Leaders of fishermen associations criticised the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) for taking 87 Rameswaram and Mandapam fishermen all the way to Karaikal with their 18 boats after their repatriation on Monday. After repatriation of the 87 fishermen with 18 boats and 29 other fishermen from Pudukottai, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam with their 18 boats at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) north off Kankesanthurai, the ICG took all of them to Karaikal. more..

'Forces will not allow LTTE regrouping'

Mar 19 (DM) SL govt and the defence forces would not allow the reemergence of the LTTE as the Tamil Diaspora wants, Jaffna Commander Major General Udaya Perera told the Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting. “Defence forces are on alert about several groups who are trying to destroy peace in the Northern Province, including Jaffna,” he said. “SL army is willing provide the maximum support according to the requirements of govt officials, civil community and the govt forces,” more..

President’s order to ban agro-chemical not carried out

Mar 19 (Island) President Rajapaksa has ordered a ban on the importation, distribution and use of the toxic chemical glyphosate contained in most weedicides, but no action has been taken so far by the relevant authorities to carry out his directive. President decided to ban that chemical following a meeting with Minister S.M. Chandrasena, who had been briefed on the findings of a research conducted by a team of more..

CJ assures expeditious disposal of Ceylinco Shri Ram Ceylinco F&G cases

Mar 19 (Island) Chief Justice Mohan Pieris said that the petitions filed by the depositors of the Ceylinco Shri Ram and Ceylinco F&G will be taken up for hearing before him on May 8 and dealt with expeditiously. Yesterday, when the petitioners were mentioned before his court, he advised all the parties connected to the case to co-operate fully and make sure that the matters were settled with the grievances of the depositors, in mind, within a short spell of time. more..

Denmark, Germany raise concerns

Mar 19 (CG) Denmark and Germany raised concerns over the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and called for an investigation into the allegations of human rights abuses committed during the war. Germany told the UNHRC today that its concerns on Sri Lanka remain high and it deeply regrets that concrete steps to implement the report of the LLRC or investigate atrocities alleged to have been committed at the end of the civil war in 2009, remain outstanding. more..

Sri Lanka slams revised US draft

Mar 19 (CG) Sri Lankan Govt slammed the revised US draft resolution on Sri Lanka circulated among members of the UNHRC, saying it sought to initiate an international inquiry mechanism on Sri Lanka in violation of the founding principles of the UNHRC. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who addressed a briefing on Sri Lanka for the Member and observer states of the African region of the UNHRC at the UN Office more..

Polls Chief powerless to prosecute violaters

Mar 19 (CT) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said he had only a fraction of the powers that had been afforded to India's Elections Commissioner. He said he had no power, even after the conclusion of the PC polls, to take legal action against any candidate who violates election laws. Deshapriya however said the Elections Department had an extensive archive of photographic and video footage evidence, which they had received and amassed, that would aid in filing cases more..

Report to MR on death sentence

Mar 19 (CG) A report is to be handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the death sentence, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera said. The Minister said that the report has been compiled by his Ministry and the Ministry of Justice and follows calls to reintroduce the death sentence for grave crimes. He said that in recent times there have been calls for the death sentence to be reintroduced in order to curb the crime wave in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka explains the arrests of rights activists to UNHRC

Mar 19 (DM) Sri Lanka informed the UNHRC in Geneva that Sri Lanka’s Law enforcement authorities have to take national security into consideration as a prominent LTTE operative now in Sri Lanka was actively involved in reviving the LTTE by regrouping LTTE cadres. “Investigations revealed that K.P. Selvanayagam a.k.a. Gobi who had been overseas and returned to Sri Lanka was actively involved in reviving the LTTE more..

Port City controversy: Ranil fumes over delay; Govt. promises answers by Friday

Mar 19 (FT) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe came to an understanding with the Govt to accept the “long-delayed responses” on Colombo Port City and the details of the “unsolicited tenders” next Friday. Initial questions on Colombo Port City were raised on 21 Feb and the Govt was reminded on 7 March, according to Wickremesinghe, who wanted to know the reasons for the delays. “We wanted the information in line with Article 148 of our Constitution. more..

CPC owes state banks Rs. 447,000 million

Mar 19 (Island) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told Parliament that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) owed Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank Rs. 447,000 millions. Responding to a question raised by JVP Parliamentary Group Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the minister said that the CPC had obtained loans from the two banks from June 2011 to December 2012 amounting to Rs. 631,000 million. Of that amount Rs. 380,000 million had been paid back. more..

Two human rights activists freed

Mar 19 (CG) The two human rights activists who were arrested over the weekend, were set free last night, SSP Ajith Rohana said. He said that Ruki Fernando and Catholic Priest, Father Praveen Maheshan, were produced before a Magistrate last night and released. They were arrested in Kilinochchi by Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and questioned in Colombo more..

The right to disagree does not condone lawlessness

Mar 19 (DM) Creating a parallel with the agitation against a glove factory in Rathupaswala last year, people in Hanwella had protested against a rubber factory in the area on Sunday. It is unfortunate that the authorities has let the issue aggravate and that the protest on Sunday had claimed the life of the OIC of the Borella Police Station, Prasad Siriwardena. It is a universally accepted norm that any person or group have the right to protest in the case of injustice or harassment more..

What’s in a name? It’s ‘touting’ season

Mar 19 (DM) One of the ethical standards expected of all Attorneys-at-Law is that they refrain from “touting” work, which means canvassing people to retain them to render their professional services for fee or reward. This is an integral part of the code of ethics of Attorneys-at-Law. However, inasmuch as this stern injunction does not extend to “touting” votes, one often sees the ugly spectacle of allegedly eminent and senior Attorneys-at-Law touring the length and breadth of the country more..

'This regime needs to be overthrown'

Mar 19 (DM) Former Provincial Councillor and senior UNP member Srinath Perera is contesting in the upcoming PC elections from the Western Province. A lawyer by profession, he has been involved in politics for over a decade. In an interview he said that under the present regime. Q: As a senior party member, how do you plan to lead the UNP into victory at the upcoming PC elections? A: To answer your question, more..

School students up in arms

Mar 19 (SL) Protests or demonstrations staged by university students are not a strange phenomenon in Sri Lanka. Student activism has a long history not only locally but also in foreign universities. Student activism is meant to draw the attention of the authorities to pressing issues and direct the country towards positive social, economic and political change – even though it has not always been the case. more..

Sri Lanka target Russian and Ukraine visitors with beach festival

Mar 19 (LBO) A beach festival in Bentota in Southwestern Sri Lanka will kick off next week targeting water sports lovers and tourists, particularly those from Russia and Ukraine, officials said. The Bentota Beach Festival will start on March 21. It is organized by the Hawkeyes, the sports arm of Sri Lanka's Military Intelligence Corp, the Bentota Sports Club and Sunshine Water and Sports Club for the third year running. more..