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Pramodya Wickramasinghe: Selector or underworld gangster?

Mar 22 (Island) Barely a week after the drunkard escapade of a national selector during the Royal – Thomian, another national selector is under the spotlight for his alleged connections with the underworld. Cricketer turned politician Pramodya Wickramasinghe is a member of the five man national selection panel headed by former captain Sanath Jayasuriya. There had been several instances where Pramodya’s volatile character caused stirs in cricket circles and his assault on more..

No help from foreign missions in Colombo to trace missing persons overseas

Mar 22 (DN) Several foreign missions in Colombo refused assistance, to ascertain whether some persons reported missing during the conflict were residing overseas, Maxwell Paranagama, the Head of Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons said. "Some foreign missions turned down our requests for help," the former High Court Judge said, noting that the Commission had made requests through the more..

Suspect in UNP supporter killing surrenders

Mar 22 (CT) Main suspect in the murder of a supporter of a UNP candidate for the forthcoming WPC elections, Pathberiya Arachchige Wasantha, surrendered to the Dompe Police yesterday. Suspect was produced before the Pugoda Magistrate and remanded until 3 April. Despite renewed claims of a political killing, SSP Rohana abstained from commenting on the subject citing ongoing investigations. "He has just been arrested and we will carry out investigations to establish the actual perpetrators of the crime," more..

Walkout by NWSDB TU crying finance-commerce merger foul

Mar 22 (Island) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) Engineers’ Union staged a walkout at Ratmalana headquarters premises on Thursday, in protest at the merger of Commerce and Finance sections of the institute, and the alleged granting of unethical promotions to a group of junior engineers. "The NWSDB used to have a separate Commercial section and a Finance section to ensure maximum transparency of the Institute’s revenue generation and expenses. more..

Bangladesh pushes biosimilar pharma JVs with Sri Lanka

Mar 22 (FT) For the first time, a govt to govt level cooperation effort is emerging to strengthen the supply of a crucial class of medicines in the $ 450 million Lankan pharmaceutical market. Bangladeshi pharmaceutical sector, which manufactures no less than 450 generic drugs for 5,300 registered brands, is now ready to partner with Sri Lanka to produce vital medicines used by seriously ill patients. “Our local pharmaceutical manufacturers more..

India must support UNHRC resolution

Mar 22 (NIE) As India goes through the fine print of the resolution moved by the US, the UK, Montenegro, Macedonia and Mauritius on Sri Lanka’s continued violation of human rights before it comes for vote at the UNHRC on March 28, it is becoming clear that New Delhi has few options but to vote for it. The resolution refers to the report of the UN high commissioner for human rights, N Pillay, that accuses Sri Lanka of rights violations and demands an international probe. more..

Hakeem fires another salvo at BBS

Mar 22 (Island) SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem has once again come out strongly against the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) which he says is ruining the country. He made these comments, addressing his party candidates contesting the WPC elections. He accused the Secretary of the BBS Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera of making derogatory statements and said that he felt sorry for the prelate who did not practise and preach 'ahimsa' in keeping with the tenets of Buddhism. more..

U.S. expresses concern on Sri Lanka's arrest of rights activists

Mar 22 (Reuters) The US expressed concern on Friday about the Sri Lankan govt's arrest of two human rights activists this week and about an overall "deteriorating human rights situation" in the island nation. Ruki Fernando, a human rights adviser, and Praveen Mahesahn, a pastor and director of a rights group, were arrested, Sri Lanka's military said on Monday, under an anti-terrorism law that was used to crush Tamil Tiger rebels more..

The Amazing Race'rs learn 'how to dance Sri Lankan-style'

Mar 22 (z2i) "The Amazing Race" all-stars are headed to Sri Lanka this Sunday, where they will receive a blessing from a Buddhist monk at a temple, ride in tuk tuks, screenprint T-shirts, go fishing and also have to complete a Detour that involves spinning plates on top of sticks while dancing. Zap2it has an exclusive first look at the Detour, which racers tell us over email is much harder than it looks. "Spinning and dancing at the same time is waaaaay harder than rubbing your belly more..

He robbed 14 houses at the same lane within three weeks

Mar 22 (Island) Vigilant residents of 6th Lane, Nawala Road in the early hours of Wednesday nabbed a 47-year-old suspect who is alleged to have burgled 14 houses on that road within the last three weeks and handed him over to the Welikada police. Suspect from Mawathagama in Kurunegala who had arrived in a car worth four million rupees robbed houses by opening windows with the help of two screwdrivers had been roughed up by the residents and handed over to police. more..

Govt. refuses to release Indian fishermen -Despite Jayalalithaa’s threat to abort talks

Mar 22 (CT) Sri Lanka said it has no plans to release 74 Indian fishermen and the 18 boats seized on Wednesday, before the proposed Colombo Talks next Tuesday, despite TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram categorically stating that there will be no talks if the fishermen are not released. It is learnt that Jayalalithaa has written to Indian PM Manmohan Singh calling for immediate intervention of the Centre for the release of more..

Badminton: BWF warns SLBA, orders to abide by Olympic Charter

Mar 22 (ST) The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has warned its Sri Lankan affiliate through a strong letter according to sources. The BWF has instructed the present officials of Sri Lanka Badminton Association (SLBA) that it should comply with the global body’s constitution as well as the Olympic Charter. The letter dated March 19, signed by BWF general secretary Thomas Lund has strongly condemned the manner in which the SLBA is being conducted sources say. more..

Police sergeants went to Court for promotions

Mar 22 (CT) It was revealed in Parliament yesterday that several police sergeants, who were due for promotion, were forced to seek redress from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal to obtain their promotions. UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana said several police sergeants, who had obtained the cut off mark of 62, to be promoted as Sub-Inspectors of police were not given promotions while four officers who scored less than 47 marks were promoted. Due to this injustice, a group of the victimized more..

UK calls for UN-backed Sierra Leone type war crimes tribunal

Mar 22 (Island) An unprecedented British push for a Special Court for Sri Lanka on the lines of UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone has surprised even those who have been calling for an international investigation into atrocities allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE during Eelam War IV (Aug 2006-May 2009). The UK would have made its last move at the behest of influential LTTE activists in the UK. more..

Are we really living in a connected world?

Mar 22 (DM) Sometimes it’s silly to think that we are living in a world where the National Security Agency (NAS) of the United States could listen to the personal mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel while search and rescue teams of over twenty-five countries cannot find a jumbo jet that vanished over the South China Sea carrying 239 passengers. So many theories have since then surfaced about what happened to the jetliner. Earlier the Chinese and the Malaysian authorities more..

The Pulling and Pushing at GENEVA

Mar 22 (DM) There are 10 items in agenda of the 25th UNHRC sessions from March 3 to 28. They are: Organizational and procedural matters; Annual Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Reports from the office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General; Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including right to development; Human Rights situations that require the council’s attention; more..

Sri Lanka hotels see 'excellent' winter season

Mar 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's hotels have seen a good winter season with high occupancy levels, backed by stable pricing and strong arrivals from Western Europe, Russia and China, officials said. "Occupancies have increased really," Jayantissa Kehelpannala, head of Sri Lanka's tourist hotels association said. "Sometimes it is very difficult to even get a room. This season has been excellent." The so-called winter season starts more..

JVP’s ‘Dekma’ encompasses a total overhaul of all sectors

Mar 22 (ST) The JVP’s election campaign for the Western and Southern PCs elections is being carried out under the party’s policy manifesto titled “Ape Dekma” (Our Vision) which was launched on Feb 2, at its 7th National Convention. The manifesto categorically addresses virtually every sector of the country which should be restructured and improved. Education being one of the most highlighted topics, it describes more..

Tax payers at risk from CEB / Water Board

Mar 22 (SL) Residents of Kandawala Mawatha in Ratmalana are facing health and safety hazards due to several problems created as a result of a project under the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) left unfinished by a Denmark contractor. Residents of the area complained that the project was, however, a failure and the foreign contractor E-Phil and Son has abandoned the project. more..

Tempers flare at meeting on Lanka

Mar 22 (CG) Tempers were high at a meeting in Geneva yesterday on Sri Lanka, held on the sidelines of the UNHRC meeting, sources who were at the meeting said. Organised by the International Buddhist Foundation regarding the Human rights situation in Sri Lanka, the speakers mostly praised the Govt for the efforts taken to protect human rights in Sri Lanka. Representatives from NGOs and Buddhist religious groups were among more..

Agitation against UNHRC Resolution continues

Mar 22 (Island) The Unity for the United Sri Lanka organization based in Europe has organized a protest march to garner support of UNHRC member countries to vote against the US sponsored resolution on March 27 targeting Sri Lanka. A mammoth protest rally with the participation of over five thousand Sri Lankans will be held in front of UNHRC Headquarters in Geneva on March 24 from 11AM. Sri Lankans living in Italy, France, more..

Election complaints mount, but mostly of frivolous nature

Mar 22 (Island) The Election Department and local election monitoring organization, CaFFE yesterday said that there was a spike in violations as election got closer. Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya said that candidates were complaining even if one of their rivals gave a rough look, but all of them were not real violence. However the Elections Department has received 867 complaints from the two provinces, more..

Indian peacekeepers figure in Lanka disappearance probe

Mar 22 (PTI) The conduct of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka figured in complaints received by a govt commission probing disappearances during the country's civil war. The complaints against the IPKF was received during the sitting of a 3-member disappearances probe panel in the former conflict zone in the eastern province. "We began our sittings in Chenkaladi and called some 60 cases. more..

MDMK manifesto proposes to lift the ban on LTTE in India

Mar 22 (DM) India’s MDMK party, led by Vaiko has promised in its manifesto released on Saturday that it would lift the ban on LTTE in India and would work for holding of a referendum on creation of Eelam in Sri Lanka for Lankan Tamils, if it takes part in government formation after the Lok Sabha polls. The party said it would work for holding of a referendum on creation of Eelam in Sri Lanka for Lankan Tamils. more..

Now, Pillay equates SL with North Korea

Mar 22 (Island) UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillai, has equated the govt of Sri Lanka with that of North Korea during a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se at the onset of the ongoing 25th session of the UNHRC. Pillay had demonstrated her hostility towards Sri Lanka when the top level South Korean delegation met her during the high level segment. Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, too, had been more..

World T20: Sri Lanka beat South Africa

Mar 22 (CI) Lasith Malinga versus David Miller. It was supposed to be the yorker versus the big hit. It was supposed to be the cracking finish. But the pressure resulted in miscommunication and again, South Africa ended up on the wrong side of a chase. With 15 runs needed off the final over and a finisher at the crease, the batting side is always in with a chance, even if that is narrowed by the presence of Malinga. more..

Policeman's mother's murder: suspects arrested after eight years

Mar 22 (DN) Two youths were arrested in connection with the mysterious death of the mother of a senior police officer now attached to the Colombo Narcotics Bureau, nearly eight years after the crime. The policeman's mother was murdered in her house at Walana Panadura on June 2, 2004 where the suspects also robbed jewellery and cash from the house. Panadura Police investigating the murder was unable even to collect information regarding the unidentified persons more..

How Mahinda Rajapaksa lost his Kalinga moment

Mar 22 (CT) The famous Kalinga war that took place in India around 262 BC had been a seminal moment in Emperor Asoka’s personal journey, in India’s history as well as in the history of Buddhism. The Maurya King Asoka waged the war to bring the province of Kalinga under the empire’s control. Thousands died and their bodies lay scattered all over with blood drooping from their limbs. This experience stirred a spiritual revolution in the psyche of Asoka. Deeply shaken by the tragedy of more..

St. Anthony works miracles in Puttalam

Mar 22 (CT) Early one morning, when Ramya Sriharan went to the household shrine room, to make the daily offerings and opened the door, she was astonished at what she saw. She could not believe her eyes and shut her mouth tightly with her palm to avoid screaming. What she beheld was a miracle. Of the two statues of St. Anthony that were in the room, one oozed pure milk from its body and the milk had trickled down more..

Against Duckspeak on the SL Muslims

Mar 22 (Island) My primary purpose in this article is to point out that the main instrument of most of our Governments since Independence in dealing with our ethnic problems has been duckspeak. It is a neologism coined by George Orwell in his Swiftian satire on totalitarianism, Nineteen Eighty Four. This is what he writes about it: "Ultimately it was hoped to make articulate speech issue from the larynx without involving the higher brain centers at all. This aim was frankly admitted in the Newspeak more..

Drugs, drugs and more drugs

Mar 22 (CT) Is Sri Lanka fast becoming a hub for the global trade in narcotics? A few days ago, the Customs Department nabbed a massive consignment of heroin, 36 kg to be exact, which had arrived from Pakistan in a container and was in the Customs yard at Orugodawatte in Colombo. This was just a couple of months after the largest consignment of heroin ever found in South Asia, 260 kg, was seized by the Customs, again at the container yard in Orugodawatte. more..

Video: Army probe finds video is authentic

Mar 22 (CG) The military says a new video leaked and circulating on YouTube showing some soldiers harassing a group of female recruits is authentic, and promised strict action against them. Army spokesman said that Army Commander had ordered an investigation into the video after it first surfaced earlier this month. The investigation carried out by the Sri Lanka Army Corps of Military Police had revealed that the video in question more..

Muzammil accuses leading UNP parliamentarian of sabotaging ceremony

Mar 22 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil alleged that a leading UNP MP prevented several UNP Councillors from attending Thursday’s foundation stone laying ceremony for the proposed market complex at Dematagoda except for Deputy Mayor Titus Perera and Premaratne Kasturiarachchi. Speaking on the occasion, the City Father said that the construction work started on Thursday itself and it was undertaken by CMC workers themselves. more..

SA's running disasters and Chadimal's precision change

Mar 22 (CI) It's far too early in the tournament for South Africa's 'chokers' tag to be given an airing, but they didn't help themselves with some brainless running in the final over. Although the batsmen should have spoken after the penultimate over and nutted out a strategy, David Miller and Dale Steyn were on disparate wavelengths when Miller squeezed a Lasith Malinga yorker to midwicket. With 15 needed, Miller didn't budge, not wanting to give up the strike, but more..

Police offer Rs 1M reward for Gobi

Mar 22 (CG) The police today offered Rs one million as a reward to any information which could lead to the arrest of Kajadeepan Selvanayagam, alias Gobi, who is in the center of a massive manhunt underway in the North. The police media unit said that Gobi, aged 31, is brown in complexion and on the left side of his face there is a cut mark above the lip. The police said that the identity of the informant will be kept confidential. more..

KMC officials, MCs face audit queries

Mar 22 (ST) An audit query dated Feb 17, 2014 has been sent by the Auditor General to two former Mayors, a Municipal Commissioner, a Local Govt Commissioner, the Legal Officer of the Kandy Municipal Council (KMC) and 21 coucillors, for the alleged loss of revenue to the KMC. Audit query confines itself to the non-collection of funds due for the use of the Municipal Council car park and for monies due for use of road parking lots in Kandy. Period covered is from Dec 8, 2005 to more..

Japanese Coast Guard delegation meets Secretary Defence

Mar 22 (MoD) A three member Japanese delegation led by Vice Commandant for Operations of the Japanese Coast Guard Vice Admiral Hiroshi Suzuki paid a courtesy call on the Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (20) at the Ministry premises. Japanese delegation was accompanied by the Director General of Sri Lanka Coast Guard Rear Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne. Matters of bilateral relevance and mutual interests were discussed during more..

Tharmapuram shooting: Is there a real LTTE resurgence in the North?

Mar 22 (DBS) Two pistol shots rang out in the afternoon of Thursday (13) at house No. 5 of the Indian Housing scheme in Musalampitty in the Puliyampokkanai area of Tharmapuram region in Kilinochchi district. A fifty year old Police officer named Ratnakumara attached to the TID was injured. The man suspected of firing the shots from a 9 mm handgun was 31 year old Ponniah Selvanayagam Kajeepan alias Gobi more..

Video: 'An attempt on prostituting medical profession'

Mar 22 (LT) “Medical Ordinance is the constitution of the medical sector. Medical profession needed a constitution, unlike in the engineering or legal sectors, to have provisions in the act to deal with issues that come up in the sector and to compile laws necessary. As stated by the Medical Ordinance the main intention of the Medical Council is to protect qualitative characteristics of medical service and education. Without the qualitative character of medical service and more..

Punish Health Ministry bigwig or face a strike, GMOA tells govt.

Mar 22 (Island) GMOA General Committee member Dr. Haritha Aluthge alleged that the Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary and Western Province Health Director Dr. Amal de Silva acted in a dictatorial manner. Dr. de Silva’s tenure as additional Secretary had ended in 2013 Oct 30, but he was still clinging on to that post, the GMOA, Dr. Aluthge said. He pointed out that due to the closure of the Avisawella Base hospital’s ICU many patients had to be transferred to other hospitals. more..