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Mar 25 (CT) I was glad to note that the Commissioner of Elections (EC) is in a genuine attempt to implement the election law to the dot. This has caused a lot of tension among some PC election candidates. Some even hold protests in front of office of the EC. Several candidates criticized the Commissioner at media conferences and propaganda rallies. Unfortunately, they forget the fact that the EC implements the law formulated by the politicians. more..

Off The Record

Mar 25 (CT) President Rajapaksa last week participated in a ceremony to hand over a Sangha Nayaka appointment letter to the Chief Prelate of the Weeraba Pirivena of Matara. Ministers Dullas Alahapperuma, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Hemal Gunasekara and Governor of the Southern Province, Kumari Balasuriya, took part in the event. However, on the stage, seats were allocated only to the President and Dullas. Hence, the other ministers had to sit with the general audience. more..

‘Storming’ Bogambara

Mar 25 (ST) A morbid curiosity or is it fascination impels us with the hundreds of men, women, some carrying tiny babies, and children including those in school uniform, to the “star” attraction. The stampede, bypassing everything else, is towards the red-painted gallows. A clamour is obvious when the Sunday Times team climbs up to the gallows on Tuesday afternoon amidst a massive pushing-and-shoving crowd. “Ellung-gaha apahu genne.” more..

Editorial: Politicians!

Mar 25 (Island) British Prime Minister David Cameron says he has secured the European Union’s backing for a UK co-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka to be put to vote at the UNHRC in Geneva shortly ‘to bring about reconciliation’ here. Making a statement to the media he has said, "As you know, this is an issue I care deeply about … I want reconciliation in that country [Sri Lanka] …" The EU would have resolved to vote with the US with or without arm twisting by Cameron. more..

Learning together from Geneva mistakes

Mar 25 (Island) The resolution on Sri Lanka that is to be voted on this coming Friday at the UNHRC is tighter than the draft that first made its appearance two weeks ago. This would be disappointing to the Sri Lankan govt that worked hard through its friendly countries to dilute the draft resolution, if not defeat it entirely. However, mistakes made by the govt and circumstances beyond its control have worked against it. Many of the govt’s problems have arisen from the fact that important decisions are more..

Dialog, Etisalat create world history in mobile money revolution

Mar 25 (FT) Industry leader Dialog Axiata and Etisalat yesterday created world history by partnering for the popular mobile money platform eZ Cash of the former in a bid to enhance financial inclusion in Sri Lanka. In a global industry of 219 mobile money service providers in 84 countries touching over 200 million people, it was the first time two competing mobile operators have united to provide seamless and convenient more..

Tea smallholders see their plight as affecting national tea output

Mar 25 (Island) Tea smallholders in Galle district just manage to reach break even, while facing non-payment of tea replanting subsidies amid a severe labour shortage, committee member, Meepawala Tea Smallholders’ Association, Galle district, said. Galle district tea smallholders make a significant contribution to the 76% of the total national tea output by smallholders across the country, and issues prevailing in the industry may adversely affect the tea growers in Poddala, Keembiya, more..

Nishantha Ranatunga inaugurated as chairman/CEO of Mihin Lanka

Mar 25 (Island) Nishantha Ranatunga commenced his official duties as the chairman/CEO of Mihin Lanka with an inauguration ceremony at the Mihin Lanka office in Colombo. The event began with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, followed by religious observances and blessings given by clergy from Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim denominations. The ceremony was presided over by a series of high profile officials including Dr Ravinda Ruberu-Secretary of the CAA, more..

Warnasinghe says CBK fixes Mahinda in Geneva

Mar 25 (CT) JHU alleged that former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's report on 'Religious Reconciliation in Sri Lanka' has paved the way for France to make a submission against Sri Lanka at the ongoing UNHRC session. Colombo District candidate Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe accused the former President of having emulated Minister Rauff Hakeem. He said that the successive reports published by the duo had paved more..

Stats: Lowest totals, shortest innings

Mar 25 (CI) Netherlands' score of 39 all out is the lowest in T20 internationals. The previous lowest was Kenya's 56 against Afghanistan in Sharjah in 2013. Netherlands' previous lowest was 73, against Barbados in the Caribbean T20 tournament in 2011-12. Their previous lowest in an international match was 86, against Ireland in the World T20 Qualifier in 2009-10. Netherlands also made the second lowest total in any T20 match (international and domestic). Tripura were bowled out for 30 more..

Braving bureaucracy for the Cup that Cheers

Mar 25 (Island) Apart from her academic achievements in marketing and allied disciplines, it is evident that Sri Lanka Tea Board chairperson, Janaki Kuruppu’s vibrant personality has impacted favourably on the local tea industry’s fortunes. Notwithstanding restrictive influences on some institutions flowing from govt financial regulations, FRs, and administrative regulations, ARs, Kuruppu, was included in ‘The Group of 50’, (Echelon magazine’s, fifty most powerful women more..

Harsha bemoans delay in tabling 2011 EPF accounts

Mar 25 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva in a statement bemoaned that the Govt once again failed to table long overdue 2011 EPF accounts in Parliament. Full text: In an unexplainable and a shameless development, the Ministry of Labour has once again failed to submit the audited accounts of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for the year 2011 by the finally promised deadline of end of March 2014. more..

If Australia wants to stop the boats, it must stand against abuses in Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (Guardian) To many Australians, Sri Lanka means one of two things: the home of “boat people” or an exotic beach holiday destination. Sri Lanka’s idyllic palm-fringed beaches with new tourist resorts give no inkling of the country’s grim recent history: a nearly three-decades-long, brutal and bloody conflict that ended almost five years ago with the defeat of the LTTE, known as the Tamil Tigers. UN estimates that up to 40,000 civilians may have died during final months of fighting. more..

Ceylon Chamber marks 175 years

Mar 25 (LBO) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it was seeking to build a society that thrives on merit and enterprise as it marks 175 years. Started as an organization representing the plantation community on March 25, 1839, the chamber now represents all business sectors in the country. "We extend our unstinted support to re-focus the Sri Lankan private sector towards export markets, modernize the Nation’s education system, create a society that thrives on merit & enterprise & more..

India yet to take call on Geneva vote on SL

Mar 25 (IANS) India is yet to take a final call on whether to vote for a UUNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva on March 28 as the govt is waiting for the final shape of the resolution, official sources said. However, a govt source indicated that India is likely to vote in favour of the US-backed resolution this time too. If it does, it would be the 3rd time the UPA govt would be doing so. UN resolution seeks an international more..

An unfinished war: The unseen horrors of ruptured Sri Lanka

Mar 25 (DM) The report, written by human rights lawyer Yasmin Sooka, the Bar Human Rights Committee, England and Wales, and the International Truth & Justice Project, Sri Lanka, is based on the testimony of 40 victims; and concludes that their credible accounts, establish a prima facie case for post-war crimes against humanity. These involve torture, rape and sexual violence by the Sri Lankan military five years after its defeat of the LTTE, ending a 26-year territorial conflict. more..

Lottery agents in K’negala protest against online game

Mar 25 (Island) Members of the Kurunegala District lottery agents union staged a demonstration with schoolchildren, teachers, parents and civil society leaders yesterday in the town, calling upon the govt to revoke its plans to introduce an online lottery. Chairman of the Kurunegala District Lottery Agents’ Welfare Association, Gamini Karunaratne said that the govt was planning to establish an online lottery by the name Online Game which would facilitate gambling via Internet. more..

'JVP is the party on everybody’s minds'

Mar 25 (LT) “People remember the JVP whenever they come across issues and difficulties. They remember the JVP when they confront an issues in their villages, work place or an issues faced by the country. Whether they vote for the JVP or not they have JVP in their minds. This is why people expect the JVP to get involved when an issue comes up. As such, vote for the party that is in your mind. Vote for the ‘bell’ on the 29th, more..

Australia's silence on Sri Lanka is deafening

Mar 25 (ABC) Australia's reluctance to back international efforts to investigate Sri Lankan war crimes reveals that it has a long way to go to become a principled and robust voice on human rights in our region. This week the UNHRC will vote on a resolution to establish an inquiry into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war in 2009. If established, the inquiry would be a critical step towards justice for the estimated 40,000 more..

CTU to meet Wigneswaran

Mar 25 (CT) Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) will soon meet the Northern Province Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran, as there are many administrative issues, in the provincial education sector, relating to teacher and principal transfers, promotions and lack of facilities in schools, which need to be sorted out. CTU President said there were numerous teacher transfer and principal appointment problems in the province. "Issues were addressed many times but suitable action was never taken. more..

Ranil challenges MR to a debate

Mar 25 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesighe on Monday challenged President Rajapaksa to a public debate this week on the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka which is expected to be adopted or rejected on Thursday. He said this debate should be telecast worldwide as well as on all local television and radio channels. He said a date and time for a debate should be fixed before Thursday as the vote is going to be taken up more..

Sri Lanka Army collaborates with private sector for cultivation of commercial crops

Mar 25 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army in order to develop lands, belonging to it further, entered into an agreement with Browns Global Farm (Pvt) Ltd for lease of 400 hectare for exclusive environment-friendly cultivation purposes in Kandakadu, off Welikanda in the dry zone. Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army on behalf of the Army and Mr I.C Nanayakkara, Chairman, Browns Company Ltd, signed the cultivation Agreement on Friday at Army Headquarters. more..

Credit card fraudster trained, funded refugees

Mar 25 (Hindu) International credit card racketeer Jeyatharan Thambapillai (28) had distributed lakhs of rupees of siphoned off money among Sri Lankan refugees in camps in Chengalpattu and Dindigul, said city police, who have apprehended him. His two accomplices, who were picked up with him from a hideout in Ramapuram on Friday last, were youths from the refugee camps trained by him in bank card cloning. A Lankan national, Jeyatharan was wanted by Interpol in connection with more..

Supreme Court clips Wigneswaran’s wings

Mar 25 (DM) Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Administrative Standing Instructions of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran. Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Peiris, Justices K.Sripavan and Sathya Hettige issued the Interim Order until the final determination of the fundamental rights petition filed by Northern Province Chief Secretary challenging the more..

Hangmen want to return

Mar 25 (CT) The two former executioners at the Welikada Prison, who were thought to have vacated their posts in fear of executing anyone, say that they never left their position and are not afraid. In an interview given to a television channel, executioners say they are ready to come back to work. Commissioner General of Prisons, Chandraratne Pallegama however said that he would not accept the duo back and is more than capable of finding a replacement when needed. more..

Women's World T20: Patchy India lose to Sri Lanka by 22 runs

Mar 25 (CI) A poor batting performance from India Women saw them lose their opening game of the World Twenty20 against Sri Lanka Women by 22 runs, after their bowlers did well to restrict the opposition to 128. India lost Smriti Mandhana in the second over and were always struggling for impetus in their innings. Like Sri Lanka, only three of their top six batsmen managed to score at more than a run-a-ball but the difference between the sides was that India's run-scoring in the latter stages more..

Kilinochchi troops shrink their locations releasing more lands to civilian owners

Mar 25 (SLA) Security Force Headquarters, Kilinochchi (SFHQ-KLN), in consistent with the govt’s policy of releasing lands of civilians hitherto used for security purposes, returned 21 more plots of land of the SFHQ-KLN premises, Pooneryn, Mulankavil and Pulliyankulam areas to their rightful owners on Monday. Symbolic release of those lands, a move which made owners’ dream come true, came about due to SFHQ more..

Democratic Party calls off Hambantota campaign due to undemocratic harassment

Mar 25 (FT) “As the Democratic Party is the emerging threat to the Rajapaksa regime our supporters in the Hambantota District have been harassed and threatened. The licenses granted to hold election meetings have been revoked at the last minute or the owners of the venue have been threatened. Even candidates for the forth coming SPC Election are being harassed. Hence DP has called off all the meetings and rallies which were to be held in Hambantota District,” more..

Centre opposes move to free convicts in Rajiv case

Mar 25 (Hindu) Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the Tamil Nadu govt had no jurisdiction to order the release of seven life convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case as such a power was vested only with the Union of India. In its rejoinder to Tamil Nadu's reply justifying the Feb 19 decision to release Murugan and six other life convicts, the Centre said “the conduct of the State Govt in proposing/considering/granting remission to the seven convicts is apparent in more..

Spending public funds Sri Lankan style: NWPC members to tour China and Thailand

Mar 25 (CT) Members of the North Western PC are to go on a tour to China and Thailand, spending Rs 25 million from public funds. First batch is to leave for China on 27 March and to return on 3 April. This team includes 17 PC members and three officers of the PC. Second batch which consist of 14 PC members is scheduled to leave on 5 April and return on 11 April. A third batch will for China on 20 April and return on 27 April. more..

Several attempts to destroy religious harmony in Sri Lanka - Dullas

Mar 25 (DN) Several groups are attempting to destroy religious harmony in Sri Lanka, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said. He said that Sri Lanka which suffered due to 30 years of war is now enjoying the dividends of peace. “Certain forces with vested interests and ulterior motives are trying to bring the country into disrepute by spreading various rumours. They have also brought forward a malicious US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva,” more..

Five-judge SC bench says President’s actions cannot be challegned in court

Mar 25 (Island) A five judge bench of the Supreme Court yesterday declared that the President had legal immunity under article 35 of the Constitution of Sri Lanka and that his actions could not be challenged in Court. The Supreme Court declared the judgment in respect of the fundamental rights violation application filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives and its Director P. Saravanamuttu, who had complained of the appointment of Mohan Pieris as the CJ subsequent to the impeachment more..

Third draft text of US resolution on Sri Lanka circulated in Geneva

Mar 25 (FT) An international probe into allegations of human rights violations will be confined to the last seven years of the war in Sri Lanka and will have no mandate to investigate post-war abuses, according to the latest draft of the US sponsored resolution to be taken up in Geneva this week. Third and likely final draft of the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka lays out a time-frame for investigation into human rights more..

The fluctuating trends in the call for the death penalty

Mar 25 (DM) The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms has extended the time for public viewing of the historic Bogambara Prison because of the high demand from the people who are keen to visit it. It is reported that more than 120,000 people had visited the prison during the first ten days of public viewing and the most sought after exhibit within the prison had been the gallows, on which many notorious criminals such as Sardiel and J.D. Siripala alias Maru Sira, had been hanged. more..

'Opposition will not be in the opposition forever'

Mar 25 (DM) UNP Colombo District leader Manju Sri Arangala is contesting for the upcoming PC Elections. He says that despite the city beautification, we have people in the Colombo District itself who do not have basic facilities. Q: As the former Opposition leader of the WPC pressure is mounted on you. The UNP so far has not named a Chief Ministerial candidate. As a senior member of the party do you think the leadership council did justice to you? more..

Hanwella protest a repeat of Rathupaswela?

Mar 25 (ST) A village monk had encouraged the people of Thunthana in Hanwella to rise against a rubber glove factory by saying its effluents were contaminating the water in the area, residents said last week. In an incident strongly reminiscent of Rathupaswela, hundreds of people protested on March 15 and 16 demanding the closure of the Hanwella Rubber Products Factory. They claimed that chemicals it discharged had made more..

Kolonnawa’s mount of garbage

Mar 25 (SL) Meethotamulla, Kolonnawa is mostly known for the 16-acre garbage dumpsite where the stench travels miles away. The residents of the surrounding area are the worst victims not only because of the smell but due to flooding and various other health hazards. Residents carried out protests in the past crying out for the attention of the authorities to find a solution for their issues created by the garbage dumpsite more..

Govt. in race to find markets for natural gas

Mar 25 (CT) The govt is in a race against time to find markets for the 'potentially greater than' two trillion standard cubic feet natural gas reservoirs discovered by Cairn India off the Mannar coast, with global oil and gas majors waiting in the sidelines. A report into the country's potential markets for natural gas is nearing completion with electricity generation and the transport sectors identified among the main beneficiaries. more..

First Sri Lankan 3D Digital Film launched

Mar 25 (LBT) Trend in the global scenario has shifted towards concentrating on space and unconventional type of films. Although the Indian cinema is attempting to break new ground in this regard, the local industry though improved on several aspects, has not yet attempted this novel and challenging change. The launch of a film which will change all this was held yesterday, under patronage of minister Basil Rajapaksa. more..

SLMA pledge support for govt's anti-narcotic programme

Mar 25 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) lauded the anti-Narcotic -programme mooted by President Rajapaka. Sri Lanka Medical association in appreciation of the contribution that is being made by the President and the Government to achieve a country free of alcohol and drug use, thanked President Rajapaksa for the initiative at a meeting held between President and the SLMA more..