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'Colombo is being turned into a Chicago'

Mar 24 (DM) Former JVP Western Provincial Councillor and Kalutara district leader, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa spoke to Daily Mirror on the issues of health and education sectors, beautification of Colombo and of the drawback suffered by the JVP due to their dwindling voter base. Q: Are you satisfied with what you have accomplished in your capacity as a Western Provincial Councillor during the past five years? more..

LTTE fronts overseas trying to revive terror?

Mar 24 (SL) With the police hunt for K P Selvanayagam, alias Gopi, an LTTE cadre who shot a police officer, intensifying, the govt has initiated an investigation into the LTTE international network. Hiding under the bed of Balendran Jeyakumari in Kilinochchi, Gopi opened fire at a police sub inspector investigating an arms cache including mortar and RPG type live ammunition, three hand grenades, a 2.5 kg claymore more..

Sri Lanka prepares for Geneva showdown

Mar 24 (IPS) As Sri Lanka steadfastly refuses any external inquiry into human rights abuses allegedly committed when the govt pushed a military victory over Tamil rebels in its decades-long sectarian conflict, right groups say the global community is left with no option but to push for an international investigation. The South Asian island nation faces a critical U.S.-backed resolution this week at the Geneva-based UNHRC. more..

TNA delegation heads to Geneva

Mar 24 (CG) A TNA delegation has departed for Geneva to hold last minute discussions with members of the UNHRC. Uthayan reported that TNA MPs Mavia Senathirajah, M.A. Sumanthiran and Suresh Premachandran are among those who had left for Geneva over the weekend. TNA delegation is to seek wider support for the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka which will be debated and taken for a vote this week. more..

S'pore team to train Sri Lanka doctors and nurses in palliative care

Mar 24 (NST) A Singapore medical team will train doctors and nurses in Sri Lanka in a branch of medical care that aims to improve the quality of life for patients with life-threatening illnesses by preventing or minimising their suffering. About 50 people in Sri Lanka will attend the first palliative care training stint from Monday to Friday this week. Five more stints will be held over the next two to three years, under the programme launched on more..

Temples losing their land: Title Registration Act to be amended

Mar 24 (ST) The Title Registration Act No 21 of 1998 under which the ‘Bim Saviya’ programme is implemented, is to be amended so that its provisions do not conflict with those of the Buddhist Temporalities Act of 1931. Protests have been made by the Maha Sangha that temple land has been alienated to unauthorised persons as a result of surveys conducted by the Surveyor General’s office. more..

UK’s top diplomat ignorant of ground realities here, says GoSL official

Mar 24 (Island) The British suggestion that an international tribunal similar to UN-backed court which tried those who had been accused of human rights violations in Sierra Leone meant the Cameron govt was ignorant of ground realities here, a senior govt official said. He said British Foreign Secretary, William Hague wouldn’t have made such a proposal if he was genuinely interested in post-war national reconciliation here. more..

Coalition tight-lipped on whether it will support the UNHRC resolution

Mar 24 (SMH) The Coalition govt is continuing to sidestep whether it will support an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, despite Labor and the Greens now both backing it. The US-backed resolution, to be debated by the UNHRC this week, aims to enforce an international independent investigation into alleged war crimes, which could lead to the prosecution of current members of the Sri Lankan govt. more..

'Hakeem-BBS conflict created at Temple Trees': UNP

Mar 24 (AD) The conflict of opinions between SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem and the Bodu Bala Sena is a “tele drama” which was created at Temple Trees (Office of President), says UNP MP Kabeer Hashim. Minister of Justice had recently angrily responded to criticisms made the Buddhist nationalist group, which had accused the Muslim party of betraying the country by allegedly secretly submitting a report to UNHRC. more..

US Resolution: EU wants all its members to take common stand

Mar 24 (Island) EU mission in Colombo indicated that its members would take a common stand on the US resolution when it came up for voting at UNHRC on Thursday. Asked whether EU member states would be allowed to decide on their own or follow EU directives as regards the resolutions a spokesperson said: "EU holds an observer status at the UNHRC alongside with the full membership of 28 EU member states. more..

We need men and women of dignity and honour

Mar 24 (CT) In less than a week the people of the Western and Southern Provinces of the country will be voting to elect the candidates of their choice to administer matters connected with local govt. These will be honourable ladies and gentlemen representing the second strata of the political firmament, intent on serving us, the people who voted them to power. Most of them would be new to the business of politics, and cutting their teeth to become national politicians of some stature; more..

The real Geneva diversion & A game changer

Mar 24 (CT) There is more than one Geneva diversion. The obvious one is that perpetrated by the regime, but it is not the only Geneva diversion and is not even the bigger one. True, a Minister of External Affairs whose diplomatic practice, is no match for the arrogantly aggressive effort of his UK counterpart against the country, and who spends his time playacting as an unlikely Aristotle to an unlikelier Alexander, exemplifies a regime that regards the Geneva challenge primarily more..

No buses ply on EO1

Mar 24 (CT) The Southern Expressway, opened to the delight of the masses, was recently mired in controversy after private bus operators forcibly denied all Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) buses from accessing the expressway. The problem arose when the Ministry of Transport refused to grant route permits to private bus operators to ply expressways. The decision was made following numerous complaints of misconduct on more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.2%

Mar 24 (LBO) Stocks close 0.26% lower with tobacco stocks losing ground amid thin foreign involvement. All Share Price Index closed 15.64 points lower at 5,922.23 down 0.26%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.89 points higher at 3,246.91, up 0.03%. Turnover was 197.93 million rupees, down from 251.35 million rupees last Friday with 68 stocks close positive against 111 negative. Tokyo Cement closed 1.00 rupee higher at 36.00 rupees with market transactions of 22.88 million rupees more..

Vaas and Ravindu to be produced in HC

Mar 24 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M. Shahabdeen directed the Prison Superintendent to produce former DIG Vaas Gunawardena, his son Ravindu Vaas Gunawardena and several other police officers before the Colombo High Court on March 31 to face the charges against the accused for killing Bambalapitiya businessman Mohamed Shiyam. The Magistrate made this direction on the Prison Superintendent on considering the submissions made by the CID who asserted more..

JVP to build broad election front

Mar 24 (LT) The JVP is preparing to build a broad election front targeting the presidential and general election the govt intends having after the provincial council elections on the 29th. The JVP states it would rally all progressive people’s forces in forming this broad front and its aim would be to form a people’s government based on the programme of five principles adopted at its 7th National Convention in February this year. more..

Malaysian bikers on goodwill tour

Mar 24 (MoD) A 14 day familiarization tour by members of the Malaysian biking community began from the Galadari Hotel in Colombo today (23). Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake flagged off the riders on their quest to discover and savour the wonders of this resplendent land and friendship of its people. This Friendship Bike Tour will especially be a good opportunity for the Malaysian bikers to see and experience firsthand the true ground realities and more..

In SL, 9,000 TB patients detected annually

Mar 24 (Island) Around 9,000 new tuberculosis (TB) patients are detected annually in Sri Lanka. About 43% of the TB patients are from the Western province and of that around 23% of the cases have been reported from the Colombo district, according to TB and Chest Diseases Control Unit. Unit Director Dr. Gamini Seneviratne said that TB had attacked around 9 million people globally and about another three million TB positive cases had not sought medical attention. more..

India-Sri Lanka bilateral trading can reach to $10 billion

Mar 24 (ML) Sri Lanka, our southern neighbour, occupies a close, strategic and religious association and connection with India, from time immemorial. True, there was a brief period of problems created by LTTE and with the elimination of Prabhakaran in the north, peace has slowly returned to this emerald Island. It is predominantly an agricultural country and, has been a leading grower of quality tea throughout the world for almost more..

Bio-fertilizer capable of cutting chemical fertilizer use by 50% hits market

Mar 24 (Island) Lanka Bio-Fertilizers has introduced an environment-friendly bio-fertlizer which is non-toxic and promises high productivity in the agricultural sector. It is seen as capable of reducing chemical fertilizer use by 50%. Island Business Review spoke to Prof. Gamini Seneviratne of the Institue of Fundamental Studies, who introduced fertilizer of this kind for the first time in Sri Lanka, after extensive research. Prof. Seneviratne said that bio-fertilizer which is also called bio-film, more..

My preference is Prasanna – Basil

Mar 24 (LT) “My preference is to Prasanna, there is nothing to think more about it” says the Minister of Economic Development and the Leader of the SLFP for Gampaha District Basil Rajapaksa. Speaking at a meeting at Kotugoda Mr. Rajapaksa has said, “I’m very careful when talking. I wouldn’t like to talk about the chief ministerial post. However, my preference is Prasanna. There is no doubt about it. The people in Gampaha District would take care of it on the 29th whether I tell you or not.” more..

UK hopes Lanka will grant access

Mar 24 (CG) The British Govt says it hopes Sri Lanka will grant full access to the investigators if the resolution calling for an international investigation in Sri Lanka is passed at the UNHRC this week. Minister of State at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, in a Question and Answer session on Sri Lanka via Twitter today, said that the LLRC is not adequate to address accountability issues over the war. more..

Sri Lankan rupee edges down on importer dollar demand

Mar 24 (Reuters) Rupee ended slightly weaker on Monday due to thin importer dollar demand despite state banks defending it at 130.65 levels. The spot rupee ended at 130.65/70 per dollar, compared with Friday's close of 130.62/65. "There was little importer dollar demand. Banks did not trade above 130.65 rupees a dollar, which is seen as a desirable level for the central bank," said a currency dealer. Another dealer said banks were asked to keep the rupee at 130.65 per dollar more..

Politicos offer to have interdicted cops reinstated

Mar 24 (Island) Two politicians have offered to step in to help reinstate the OIC of the Giriulla police station and four other officers who were interdicted last week for allegedly violating the rights of a suspect by detaining him for 38 days without producing him in court and torturing him. OIC Inspector W.M.D. Weerasinghe, however said that two politicians had inquired from him regarding the injustice caused to him and his junior officers and offered to help them with their reinstatement. more..

Massive demo against US resolution

Mar 24 (CG) A massive demonstration was held this afternoon at the UNHRC headquarters in Geneva with the participation of over 5,000 expatriate Sri Lankan community in Europe. This demonstration was organized by the United Sri Lanka organization based in Europe to protest against the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka. The demonstrators handed over a letter more..

JVP sees hidden Govt plan

Mar 24 (CG) JVP feels the Govt is targeting remaining in power for another six years by holding early elections. JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that after the upcoming PC elections the Govt is preparing to hold a Presidential election and General elections. He said that that WPC elections were earlier scheduled for May and the SPC elections in September but the Govt decided to hold both elections this month in order to fulfill its goal of remaining in power. more..

World T20: South Africa beat NZ

Mar 24 (CI) No team had successfully chased 170-plus against South Africa and Dale Steyn single-handedly ensured it stayed that way. The pace spearhead led the defence of 29 off the last three overs and seven off the final one to keep South Africa in the hunt for a semi-final spot. After Steyn conceded just five runs in his first two overs, the third and 14th of the innings, Faf du Plessis held him back for the final squeeze and it proved a master move. With 18 balls of NZ's innings left, more..

Round 2 of Indo-Lanka talks put off

Mar 24 (CG) The second round of talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen which was scheduled to take place tomorrow in Colombo has been postponed. The Fisheries Ministry said that preparations had been made for the discussions to take place on schedule but demands placed by Tamil Nadu saw the talks been put off. TN Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram had demanded the release of Indian fishermen in SL custody more..

Arrest warrent issued on Sinhala Ravaya general secretary

Mar 24 (AD) The Colombo Magistrate’s Court today issued an arrest warrant on the General Secretary of the Sihala Ravaya organization, Ven. Madille Pannaloka Thero, over a protest which had taken place at the Law College in Colombo. The court had previously issued notice on the Thero to appear before the court and testify over the protest staged by a student on the roof top of the Law College. However, the Sihala Ravaya general secretary had failed to appear before the court more..

Court orders arrest of Krishantha Pushpakumara

Mar 24 (AD) The Matara Chief Magistrate today issued an arrest warrant on Southern Province UPFA candidate Krishantha Pushpakumara, popularly known as Raththaran, for failing to appear before the court. The arrest warrant was issued by Matara Chief Magistrate Ruwan Sisira Kumara when the former Provincial Councilor had failed to appear at court today to testify over the clash between UNP supporters which had taken place in Matara on October 05, 2013. more..

Khuram’s family seek justice at trial

Mar 24 (CG) The family of British Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh and a British politician are hoping justice will be serves as the trial over the 2011 murder of Khuram Shaikh begins this week. Sampath Vidanapathirana is one of six men charged with the murder of 32-year-old Khuram Shaikh, who was shot and stabbed to death at a beach resort while on holiday on Christmas Day, 2011. more..

Indonesian naval ship in Sri Lanka

Mar 24 (SLN) Indonesian naval ship, ‘Kri Frans Kaisiepo’ arrived at the port of Colombo on 23rd March, on a goodwill visit. It was ceremonially welcomed by the SL Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Kri Frans Kaisiepo is a corvette belonging to the Indonesian Navy. It is 90 meters in length and has a displacement of 1,444 tons. Ship is commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Ade Suwardi and carries a complement of 100 naval personnel including 9 officers & 91 sailors. more..

'US, UK envoys exterting pressure'

Mar 24 (CG) Govt says the US and UK envoys in Sri Lanka had put pressure on some countries to support the resolution against the Sri Lankan govt at the UNHRC. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Govt, on its part, did not succumb to US pressure on the resolution and took the fight all the way. Minister, who returned to Sri Lanka today after holding briefings in Geneva on the Sri Lankan issue, spoke to reporters. “I met one Ambassador recently before I went to Geneva and more..

Sri Lanka record fastest ever T20I victory

Mar 24 (CI) Perhaps no team in world cricket puts weaker sides away so emphatically as Sri Lanka. Since becoming full-fledged graduates from the easy-beats category in the mid-90s, they have spared no thought to their former peers, and today they added two more world records to the small pile they have accumulated against easy-beats over the past 20 years. Netherlands' 39 all out is the lowest ever Twenty20 score. more..

Surprises unlikely from forthcoming PC elections

Mar 25 (NS) Come Saturday and the Western and Southern provinces will go to the polls to elect their provincial councilors, an election that has attracted much attention if only for the ‘star’ quality of its candidates in the absence of any other factor that will crucially alter the balance of power in Colombo or the province. That the poll will be held on the same day that the UNHRC will be voting on a resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva maybe mere co-incidence but the govt more..

View from Ritigala - by mahasona

Mar 25 (NS) An elephant ‘torture chamber’ has been discovered in Pannipitiya. Apparently the creatures are held in horrifying conditions. This is strange news considering that the entire country is a veritable torture chamber as far as jumbos go. There’s been so much wincing-in-pain for years and years. Each time elections are called, it’s akin to being jabbed with the henduwa in some tender part of the body. Each time results are announced, jumbos groan with agony. more..

Untimely death of an officer and gentleman

Mar 25 (SO) SP Prasad Siriwardena's sister Nirosha Siriwardena who is very sad over the death of her beloved brother said that on that fateful day Prasad while leaving for work he had asked her whether she would cry in the event he died -a premonition of the fate that befell this man of the people, an absolute proof that death lay in wait for him in the vicinity of Hunnana. My brother's words on the eve of his death still ring in my ears. Why did he ask this question? more..

Rail systems: Metro, Mono and High Speed

Mar 25 (CT) In pushing the frontiers of development in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to geographical extremities, Railways have had an impact like no other. The westward push in the US, Trans-Siberian railway of Russia, the network in China and linkages in all directions in India are remarkable. As significant for modern times are the Metro, Mono and High Speed systems for commuter transport. Strides made in engineering have reached wider humanity most effectively. more..

Is righteousness being practised in SL?

Mar 25 (CT) The origin of Righteousness is the history of the search of God. Righteousness is the moral law coupled with spiritual discipline which guides one’s life. This is a universal law acceptable to all faiths. All religious people consider righteousness as the foundation of life. Righteousness is a concept found in Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism and other religions. Maha Bharath mentions that he who does not observe more..

'I don’t expect CM post'

Mar 25 (CT) With less than a week remaining until the crucial PC elections, the battle for preferential votes has reached a crescendo. Prominent UPFA candidate, Udaya Gammanpila, who has launched a unique election campaign, said in an interview, that he does not expect the post of Chief Minister of the Western Provincial Council and that he will not leave the JHU, for the sake of the Chief Minister post. more..