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Municipal Commissioner hauled up

Mar 23 (ST) Colombo Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardena has been summoned by the Commission Investigating Allegations of Bribery or Corruption over the failure to declare assets and liabilities in her capacity as a supra grade official of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service (SLAS). A Bribery Commission official said Ms. Jayawardena was summoned, but declined to give details. “I had to face an inquiry into why I did not submit the document. This came on a complaint. more..

Vaiko calls for ‘United States of India’

Mar 23 (TOI) MDMK chief Vaiko on Saturday called for revoking the ban on LTTE and strengthening the country's federal structure on the lines of the USA, a demand which is unlikely to go down well with his national ally, BJP. Releasing his party's manifesto in Chennai, Vaiko said India should be called "United States of India", not Union of India, and "there is a need to review the Constitution". The party, in its manifesto, vowed to revoke the ban on LTTE and make efforts for a referendum more..

Prelates to discuss UNHRC resolution with GL, Mahinda S

Mar 23 (CT) Mahanayakes of the Asgiri and Malwatte Chapters are to have a special discussion, on the impact of the UNHRC resolution against the country, with Ministers G.L. Peiris and Mahinda Samarasinghe at the Dalada Maligawa tomorrow. The Mahanayakes requested President Rajapaksa to make them aware about the impact of the resolution which is to be moved against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. more..

Hanwella villagers complain to HR Commission

Mar 23 (NS) Residents of the Thunnana village lodged a complaint with the Human rights Commission against SSP Ajith Rohana. Residents also requested a balanced inquiry be conducted on unlawful arrest of protesters. According to the Padukka OIC, the factory in question is Hanwella Rubber Products which is in the business of glove manufacturing. The factory had been operating in the area for 25 years and has been administered by the Dipped Products Plc (DPL). more..

Sri Lankans eyeing Gulf jobs warned against con agents

Mar 23 (AN) The Sri Lankan govt has warned its citizens against traveling to the Middle East for work on Umrah and tourist visas. It has said it would not be responsible for those who use their visit visas to seek foreign employment. Mangala Randeniya, deputy general manager and media spokesman of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), told Arab News from Colombo that seeking work on such visas is a new problem that the bureau is facing recently. more..

Geneva: What went wrong; is damage control possible?

Mar 23 (ST) President Rajapaksa cautioned Minister G.L. Peiris over the release of media statements on important foreign policy issues without proper scrutiny. He said they should be examined carefully before being made public. The move was prompted by an External Affairs Ministry statement personally initiated by Peiris. It was over the crisis in Ukraine where Russia later ended up annexing Crimean peninsula. more..

JVP best bet in the Provincial Elections

Mar 23 (Island) The mood apropos Western and Southern Provincial elections is not disinterest; it is mild indecision and gentle bemusement. I am not referring to anti-govt folks only, though most of my associates belong in this category. Though UPFA supporters are lackadaisical now, this may change; Op-Eds in newspapers say preparations are afoot to bus thousands into Colombo to unleash frenzied xenophobia if the UNHRC enacts a regime-hostile resolution. more..

Development must be for the people

Mar 23 (CT) It is a pity that the govt is not taking any action to bring down the cost of living and offer relief to the suffering masses when it is spending millions and millions of rupees on development projects all over the country. The common man who has elected this govt to power definitely deserves some consideration when the government sets it priorities, for it is he who bears the brunt, when it comes to paying back the loans taken by the govt. The many development projects initiated by the govt more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Mar 23 (ST) Room XIII at the Palais de Naciones in Geneva, home for the UNHRC, was half packed last Tuesday. It was perhaps the final informal consultation convened by the US to discuss the improved text of its draft resolution on Sri Lanka. The deadline for amendments was 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Taking the chair was the US together with Macedonia, Montenegro, Mauritius and the UK. more..

Excise probes ten liquor companies

Mar 23 (CT) Ten local liquor manufacturing companies are being probed by the Excise Department as they have been found to have defaulted in there invoicing, which, on average, has up to now deprived the State coffers of up to Rs 7.2 billion per annum. It is indeed tragic that there has been a loss in revenue accrued to the State amounting to Rs 7.2 billion annually, Commissioner General of Excise, Wasantha Hapuarachchi, more..

‘Distorted agenda with political interests behind UNHRC resolution’

Mar 23 (Island) Member of European Parliament, Geoffrey Van Orden said that the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC meeting in Geneva has been tabled with a "political interests with a very distorted agenda".  Orden made this observation during the debate on Resolution on EU Priorities for the 25th Session of UNHRC in the European Parliament last week. He said the spotlight has shifted off Zimbabwe, more..

Tipoffs see rise in seizures of contaminated food

Mar 23 (ST) A string of raids carried out by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) this week saw major seizures of food and drink unfit for human consumption, with one official disclosing that increasing tip-offs were resulting in the rise of successful raids. A stock of 500,000kg of contaminated sugar was seized on Wednesday from a warehouse in the Sedawatta-Wellampitiya area. The sugar, worth Rs. 50 million, had been more..

'Muslims will oppose coalition with TNA'

Mar 23 (NS) Some of those who are currently representing the TNA in Parliament were working with the IPKF during its operations in Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister V Muralidaran claimed. Muralidaran, who was known by his nom-de-guerre ‘Karuna’ while in the LTTE, said he knew that some of the MPs representing the TNA were actively helping the IPKF, which is accused of numerous atrocities against Tamil civilians more..

President links polls to UNHRC vote

Mar 23 (CG) President Rajapaksa says the outcome of the PC elections will be significant as it could send a message to the international community at the UNHRC. Speaking at an event in Kalutara, he said that the public must send a message to those looking to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka that they will not support international interference in the country. “People and the whole world is watching more..

1200 lashes and jail term for Lankan maid in Saudi Arabia

Mar 23 (ST) A Sri Lankan housemaid in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to a 12-year jail term and 1200 lashes after she was found guilty of a robbery. Woman had allegedly stolen from her employer. Foreign Ministry officials of the Consular Division in Saudi Arabia will visit the imprisoned housemaid in jail and get her side of the story to see if there was a possibility of an appeal. Housemaid has been punished according more..

GMOA parent body routed at NHSL branch union election

Mar 23 (Island) In an unprecedented move, the Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) is actively considering appointing an Interim Committee to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) following a group of dissident members wresting control of the key branch union of the country’s biggest, 3,000-bed state-run medical facility, at last week’s decisive election in Colombo, senior medical officials said. more..

Two suspects arrested over former Borella OIC’s murder

Mar 23 (AD) Two main suspects in the murder of SP Prasad Siriwardena, the former OIC of the Borella Police Station, have been arrested by the CID today, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said. Siriwardena had died from injuries sustained due to the violence during a protest at Thunnane on High Level Road on March 16. The police officer was injured when a tree cut down by several individuals reportedly fell on him, more..

Poaching continues: No more release of Indian fishermen

Mar 23 (ST) No Indian fishermen arrested for poaching will be released on humanitarian grounds until proper talks are held either with TN officials or with Indian central govt officials, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. Govt’s decision came as Tuesday’s proposed talks in Colombo on the fisheries crisis hung in the balance after TN demanded the release of more Indian fishermen who are being held in custody here. more..

Sri Lankans have peaked at the right time

Mar 23 (Island) Tillekeratne Dilshan went to Bangladesh with doubts over his fitness and the selectors had given him an ultimatum of 19th of March. He top scored with 43 runs during Sri Lanka’s second practice game against West Indies on Wednesday and that should be sufficient proof that he is good enough to play. The form of fast bowler Laisth Malinga will be huge bonus for the Sri Lankans. Malinga was the Man of the Match during the finals of the Asia Cup and prior to more..

Ban on meat transport lifted in most districts

Mar 23 (SO) The Health Ministry has lifted the temporary ban on the transport of meat from districts affected by the Foot and Mouth disease. An estimated 12,500 head of livestock are said to have been infected by the disease, which health sources said had no adverse impact on humans. “Since no new reports of fresh cases of infected cattle, or any other farm animal, had been reported we decided to lift the ban with immediate effect in most areas where it was imposed”, more..

Was Wijeweera imprisoned at Fort Hammenheil?

Mar 23 (CT) For all those who have been to Fort Hammenheil, at first glance, it is a paradise. The idyllic Fort nestled on an island between Kayts and Karaitivu in Jaffna makes it a must visit place, if one ever visits Jaffna. It is not only the beauty of the Fort that is enchanting, but also its mysterious history of incarcerating political prisoners as well as foreign conquerors. Today, the Fort is a luxurious hotel run by SL Navy more..

'Nation’s wealth is wasted on useless projects'

Mar 23 (DM) A social worker and a beautician, Ranmali Gunawardena is contesting from the Democratic Party (DP) for the upcoming WPC election. With the motto that politics is about serving people and the country and prior experience is not essential as long as one knows what is needed to be done, Ranmali a new entrant to Sri Lankan politics shares her views on her decision to contest from the DP headed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka and her future political plan. more..

Shaky India, Sri Lanka look for boost

Mar 23 (ICC) India, easily among the top four in the Women's game till not too long ago, suddenly finds itself slipping at an alarming rate. If the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in 2012 was a rude shock, the Women's World Cup last year was a sad eye-opener. Failure to qualify for the Super Six stage of the tournament at home meant it has to find its footing all over again. To make matters worse is its lack of exposure to quality opposition like England and Australia. more..

Moratuwa University builds UAV

Mar 23 (Island) The Moratuwa University has developed an unmanned, fixed wing aircraft propelled by an electric motor. Named Ravan, this unmanned aerial vehicle weighs eight kilos, and can fly speed 80-100 kmph at 200m altitude with a 30-minute flight time. This aircraft has so far flown six times, each flight lasting five minutes, clocking a flight time of 25 minutes. During these flights, the stability and control more..

Ex-Tiger spills the beans on Elilan

Mar 23 (CT) A former senior LTTE cadre, Yo Karnan, who has now turned writer in Jaffna, in one of his latest write-ups, recollecting the final moments of war in the Wanni in 2009, has described the NPC, Ananthy Sasitharan's husband, Sasitharan alias Elilan, as a ruthless cadre. Karnan, who lost a leg when he was an LTTE cadre, has written that he had witnessed the ruthless manner in which Elilan handled hundreds of innocent civilians, who were trying to flee the war-torn areas more..

UNP to begin mass demos in May

Mar 23 (CG) The UNP says it will launch mass demonstrations in May aimed at ousting the Rajapaksa Govt. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the mass protests are part of a three stage strategy of the party launched against the Govt. He said that the first stage will target the upcoming elections where the UNP will seek to govern the Western and Southern PCs. Wickremesinghe said that stage two will be the mass demonstrations to be held in May in order to push for early more..

Audio: 'SLMC disappointed over govt action'

Mar 23 (DM) SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem said that SLMC was not only disappointed with some actions taken by the govt but also strongly condemned it. Commenting on the appointment of members to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), the Justice Minister speaking at a public rally at Negombo said that despite being the party with the second highest number of seats in the govt, SLMC did not have a seat in it. more..

Call executive merchant for more details

Mar 23 (LT) The Parliament is a whole sale shop today and more details could be obtained by calling the executive merchant at Temple trees says the Member of the Central Committee of the JVP Samantha Vidyaratna addressing a propaganda meeting at Ambalantota. He said, “If anyone wants to buy anything wholesale under one roof come to Parliament that is situated in a very attractive Diyawanna environment at Battaramulla. Heroin, brothels and ethanol are available in bulk. more..

More youth to be ordained

Mar 23 (SO) There is a severe dearth of Bhikkhus in the country and to overcome this, the Buddhasasana Ministry has appealed to Buddhist families to ordain their children to perpetuate the Buddha Sasana. A recent survey by the Buddhasasana Ministry has revealed that there are only 41,000 bhikkhus in the country at present. This number is inadequate to cater to the religious needs of the Buddhists. Prime Minister and Buddhasasana and Religious Affairs Minister D.M. Jayaratne more..

'Time frame for probe likely'

Mar 23 (SL) Final text of the US resolution on Sri Lanka is expected to include at least one more change before it is taken up for a vote at the HUHRC in Geneva this week. TNA MP M A Sumanthiran said that the most likely change to be included is a time frame by when Sri Lanka needs to complete investigations into alleged human rights violations committed during the final phase of the war. “I do not think there will be any major more..

Hotel Show to propel Lankan hospitality to world stage

Mar 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s hospitality and partner industries will converge from June 13 to 15 at the Hotel Show 2014, the largest trade exhibition of its kind in South Asia. This year the Hotel Show Committee sets a more interactive tone to the event with the introduction of a barista and pizza making competition. An International Hoteliers Conference is also added to the agenda for the first time and will be held at a separate venue. Over 300 exhibitors will showcase portfolios covering the latest more..

The Greatest patriot runs up Rs.118,000 electricity bill

Mar 23 (Island) A Minister who claimed to be the "greatest patriot" the county had ever seen has run up a Rs.118,000 Electricity Bill at his official residence last month, UNP MP Harin Fernando charged. He that the "patriot" who frequently used the word "deshadrohi" (traitor) to describe anyone who dared to criticize the corrupt and dictatorial Rajapaksa regime, had no qualms about wasting public funds. "Would any patriot worth his name, palm of a monthly bill of Rs.118,000 to more..

Split on vote a victory says Lanka

Mar 23 (CG) Govt says the split over the vote on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC is a form of victory for Sri Lanka. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who has just returned to SL from Geneva, said that the split shows that Sri Lanka has been able to successfully convey to the international community what it has achieved following the end of the war. He also said that most countries have succumb to US pressure on more..

World T20: Pakistan beat Australia

Mar 23 (CI) If ever proof was needed that Pakistan are world cricket's most mercurial side, take this match as exhibit A. Bilawal Bhatti's first over cost 30 runs, Pakistan dropped two catches in three balls, they conceded an 18-ball half-century to Glenn Maxwell and in their own innings stumbled to 25 for 2 in their 5th over. Oh, and they won. Comfortably, in the end. So relaxed was Mohammad Hafeez by the end that he trusted Bhatti with the final over, with Australia needing 23. more..

Kitul products, forex earner

Mar 23 (SO) The first week of April has been declared as "Kitul Products Promotion Week". Several programs to promote and strengthen the Kitul industry will be implemented during this week under the directive and supervision of Minister Douglas Devananda, according to Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy. He said that the Govt has granted several incentives to those who are engaged in the Kitul Industry under the Mahinda Chintana national development agenda. more..

President Rajapaksa to brief Chief Prelates

Mar 23 (NS) President Rajapaksa positively responded to a request made by the Chief Prelates of the Asgiriya and Malwathu Maha Vihara to brief the Maha Sangha over the latest happenings at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva. Chief Prelate of the Malwathu Chapter Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangalabhidhana Nayaka Thera and the Chief Prelate of Asgiri Chapter Most Ven Udugama Buddharakkhithabhidhana Nayaka more..

No mining or quarrying for limestone in the province: NPC passes resolution

Mar 23 (ST) Northern Provincial Council this week passed a resolution not to allow any companies or individuals to mine or quarry limestone in the province, Agriculture and Environment Minister P. Ingaranesan said. A meeting headed by the Minister of Environment and Renewable Energy Susil Premajayantha and District Secretary of Kilinochchi Rupawathi Ketheeswaran will be held tomorrow at Kilinochchi Secretariat office, where officials will discuss exploration work in Pooneryn. more..

CAA initiates programme for hygienic food, fresh consumer items for festive season

Mar 23 (ST) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has initiated a special programme to save consumers from fraudulant issues they would come across at the marketplace during the forthcoming New Year season. The programme which started on March 10, will continue till April 10, with the CAA’s district representatives including from the Colombo headquarters, intensively engaged in the inspection of retail shops and warehouses during the period. Making vendors aware of fraudulent groups more..

Over 120 make submissions in East

Mar 23 (CG) Over 120 people made submissions to the Presidential Commission on the disappeared, which concluded its first public sitting in the East yesterday. Presidential Commission to investigate cases of alleged disappearances of persons in the Northern and Eastern Provinces during the period 1990 – 2009 concluded its first public sitting in the East yesterday with 129 people from Chenkallady, Vakarai and Batticaloa more..

Trade union action paralyses Water Board

Mar 23 (ST) Trade union action by Water Board engineers has paralysed key activities such as providing new connections and work at project sites, a union official said. J.A.C Piyal, secretary of the Engineers Union of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, said union members resorted to trade union action, protesting over appointing engineer assistants to top posts bypassing engineers who were more qualified for such promotions. He said some 298 engineer more..