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UK can accommodate ‘last minute’ additions to Lankan cricket squad

Mar 28 (LR) Responding to recent comments made by Sri Lanka Cricket’s chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya, the UK Home Office says a provision exists to accommodate last minute additions to visiting sports squads. Sri Lanka Cricket was disadvantaged by the lengthy visa process of the UK and was forced to name preliminary squad six weeks ahead of the first match, Jayasuriya said. A UK Home Office spokesman said, it’s routine for sporting bodies like SLC to provide advance more..

Elections Chief moots electronic voting machines

Mar 28 (Island) Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya stressed the need for Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) to avoid possible malpractices at elections. "This has been under discussion for a long time," Deshapriya said. He said however 250 new plastic ballot boxes imported from Kenya would be used at tomorrow’s election. The Polls Chief said all precautions had been taken to conduct free and fair elections tomorrow. Nearly 50,000 officials would be on duty on the Election Day and more..

Global hotel brand Best Western finds Sri Lanka one of Asia’s most exciting

Mar 28 (FT) Best Western International said yesterday it is embarking on a major expansion strategy in one of Asia’s most exciting emerging markets – Sri Lanka. This year, the company, which operates more than 4,000 hotels worldwide, will plant its flag in Sri Lanka for the first time in its 68-year history. Best Western International and local organization Elyon Hotels have signed a development partnership to spread the more..

Harsha insists EPF at fault over delay of accounts in Parliament

Mar 28 (FT) Central Bank was proved wrong yesterday for “violating Article 148 of the Constitution” and publishing the annual accounts of the EPF in national newspapers before it reached Parliament, which holds full control over public finance in Sri Lanka. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva alleged that ignoring Parliament was a “deliberate attempt to buy time till people forget the scandalous mismanagement of the fund”. EPF’s assets are worth over Rs. 1 trillion. more..

BJP says won’t support division of Sri Lanka

Mar 28 (CT) The Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) candidate K. Raja, who is contesting the Sivagangai, the constituency of Indian Finance Minister and Congress stalwart P. Chithamparam in Tamil Nadu, has stated that once the BJP-led Government was formed it would not support any division in Sri Lanka or the creation of a separate Tamil State. Raja, in a press conference in Chennai on Wednesday, said his Party, the BJP, was not for any form of extremism in Sri Lanka. more..

Tamil Nadu parties hail Lanka vote, flay India

Mar 28 (TOI) The resolution passed at the UNHRC meeting on Thursday ordering a war crimes probe in Sri Lanka may have come at the right time for the Dravidian parties who have been pushing for a strong resolution. Their poll manifestos had sought an international investigation into alleged human rights violations. Beyond this, parties had also called for a referendum among the Tamil population on the Eelam question. more..

DMK would have made Centre vote against Sri Lanka: Stalin

Mar 28 (Hindu) India abstaining from the UNHRC voting to seek independent investigations into the alleged genocide in Sri Lanka held was because the DMK was not part of the Central Govt, DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin said. The Central Govt had voted for an independent probe when the DMK was part of it. This was because of the pressure the DMK had created, he said suggesting that had it been in the govt the DMK would have forced it to vote against Sri Lanka. more..

SF sues Sarana for defamation -Seeks Rs 500 M in damages

Mar 28 (CT) Democratic Party leader General (rtd.) Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed a case in the District Court of Mt. Lavinia claiming a sum of Rs 500 million in damages from the Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardena for defamation. The petitioner has alleged that the statement made by the Deputy Minister, on a TV programme, pertaining to the female suicide bomber, who attempted to assassinate the petitioner, was derogatory, and defamed the petitioner. more..

Mixed reactions to resolution vote

Mar 28 (CG) Mixed reactions have been pouring in to the adoption of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC yesterday as the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) prepares to launch an international investigation into the war in Sri Lanka. Australia today said it maintains its stand against the resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC and also opposes an international investigation on the war. more..

Northern fishers lose hope

Mar 28 (CT) Fishermen in the North of Sri Lanka have given up hope of a settlement to the poaching issue, following the postponement of the second round of talks with the fishers of India, which was scheduled for 25 March. Mannar Fisheries Corporative Society President N. M. Aalam said the Northern fisher folk were having doubts and had lost hope following the postponement of the talks. Aalam said the Sri Lankan Fishermen were the victims of this long time issue and have been struggling more..

India to take back 24 fishing boats

Mar 28 (CG) A salvage team of 72 fishermen from India are heading to Sri Lanka to take back 24 boats anchored in Kayts and Kankesanthurai after they were confiscated by the Sri Lankan authorities when they arrested the TN fishermen during July-August last year. Escorted by the ICG vessel Abheek from Chennai, the salvage team, comprising 29 fishermen from Rameswaram and Mandapam in five boats and 43 fishermen from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district in nine boats, more..

Sri Lanka sizzles at UNHRC

Mar 28 (FT) UNHRC has launched an international probe into alleged rights violations during the last seven years of Sri Lanka’s war, but there were tense moments and dramatic scenes on the floor as the US-led resolution came up for vote in Geneva yesterday. 47-member Council adopted Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1 after two hours of tense debate and stall tactics by member states aligning with Sri Lanka, but ultimately passed 23-12 more..

TNCs trying to hijack our food supplies

Mar 28 (DM) The Daily Mirror in its editorial yesterday spotlighted the plight of tens of thousands of families in the fishing community who were facing danger on one side, and destitution, despair and degradation on the other. Today we focus attention on the plight of the millions in the farmer community who once formed part, if not the very heart, of Sri Lanka’s civilisation for thousands of years, but have now been dragged into the mudholes of poverty and pain. Representatives of farmer associations more..

All eyes on Mahinda Deshapriya

Mar 28 (DM) As the country focuses on the outcome of the PC elections in the Western and Southern provinces scheduled for Saturday all eyes will be on the man who will preside over the poll, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya. On Tuesday Deshapriya marked three years in office as the person responsible for overseeing the country’s major elections but he has already conducted several major polls in the provinces including the landmark NPC elections, held for the more..

Song, dance and a night to remember

Mar 28 (DM) On a balmy evening, as the Galle Fort was basked in the golden glow of the setting sun, traditional, electro, rock, folk and other types of music from all over the world came together at the Galle Music Festival 2014. On Saturday, March 15, The Moon Bastion was thronging with local and foreign music enthusiasts while music, dance and theatre groups from all over Sri Lanka and around the globe thrilled more..

Blame passed around for PGIM blunder

Mar 28 (SL) Following our exposé as to how the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), which is a professional body, has acted in a manner contrary to such, it is now under query how its Director and Chairman Colombo Uni Senate may have interfered in the issuance of results. Apart from Director PGIM Prof Jayantha Jayawardena who has come under severe criticism for this situation, Chairman Colombo Uni more..

Contribution of LTTE to development negligible: Survey

Mar 28 (ST) While a majority of those interviewed, in a recently released, 1,085-respondent research study conducted in the five major Northern Province administrative districts, felt there was development, many felt it was mostly on infrastructure type projects. Lacking was development focused on generation of employment and income, and even the supply of water. Elaborating further, the study noted; more..

World Twenty20: ICC release replay footage used to give Mahela not-out

Mar 28 (Indepentdent) The ICC has taken the unusual step of releasing the video footage used by third umpire Steve Davis to give Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene not out against England. Jayawardene looked to be on his way for a golden duck in the World Twenty20 group match when he was held at cover point by Michael Lumb, but stood his ground due to doubt over what looked a tricky low catch. more..

JVP accused of assaulting estranged comrade

Mar 28 (Island) DNA MP Ajith Kumara, who is a member of the JVP breakaway Frontline Socialist Party (FSP), alleged that a section of JVP members had assaulted him at the funeral of slain trade union leader Sumathipala Manawadu at Ganemulla Wednesday night. Galle District MP said that he had been there to pay his last respects to Manawadu, but JVP members had ordered him to leave the place within five minutes. more..

'India should have supported resolution against Sri Lanka'

Mar 28 (PTI) Differing with his govt’s stand of abstaining from voting in UNHRC on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said New Delhi should have supported it. “It is my personal opinion. 23 countries had supported it and we also should have supported even if it was a watered down one,” he said. The decision could have been taken by officials in the External Affairs Ministry, more..

Sison attempts to convince public

Mar 28 (CG) The US Embassy and the Ambassador in Colombo, today attempted to clear the air over the resolution adopted at the UNHRC yesterday by saying it is not “against” Sri Lanka. US Ambassador Michele J. Sison, met a few journalists today at the Embassy in Colombo and said the resolution is in recognition of the resilience the Sri Lankan people have shown after years of war and their yearning for democracy and prosperity. more..

Sri Lanka probe 'not ideal' says Bishop

Mar 28 (Sky) Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the proposed United Nations investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka is not the best way forward. Ms Bishop said the Australian govt considered engagement with Sri Lanka to be the most effective way to encourage progress on human rights issues. Genuine advances in accountability and reconciliation will only be possible with the co-operation of the Sri Lankan govt, she said. more..

MR frees Indian fishermen after UN vote

Mar 28 (Xinhua) President Rajapaksa ordered the release of all Indian fishermen in SL custody, hours after India had decided to abstain from backing a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UN. Just over 100 Indian fishermen remain in SL custody after some 170 others had been freed last week after being presented before court. President's Office said that Rajapaksa had ordered all remaining Indian fishermen to be set free more..

SL claims moral victory from UNHRC vote

Mar 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka tried to claim a moral victory Friday and insisted it would push on with reconciliation efforts after being censured by the UN's top rights body for failing to bring perpetrators of war crimes to justice. The US-initiated resolution was carried at the UNHRC in Geneva Thursday with 23 votes in favour and 12 against. Sri Lankan officials said the fact that another 12 nations abstained meant that more..

Better late than never

Mar 28 (CT) It is heartening to note that the Auditor General has finally woken up to the criticism of the public on the Norochcholai Power Plant, the first phase of which has been dysfunctional since it was commissioned in March 2011. Though the plant had remained inoperative for 271 days, having broken down 24 times in less than three years, the CEB officials had dismissed all criticism with the excuse that these were normal occurrences in a project of such magnitude, which had to be expected. more..

Electric chair political blunder to fool voters

Mar 28 (CT) These days the most spoken about topics in Sri Lankan political circles are the UNHRC resolution and the Electric Chair of the International Criminal Court (ICC). All the leaders, from the ruling party to the opposition, talk primarily about the electric chair, and I was wondering why these political mavericks are talking about something which is not in place at all in the ICC. Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa accused his local political enemies on many stages that more..

Ajantha Mendis: Bird of prey or sitting duck?

Mar 28 (CI) Meet Ajantha Mendis, the wizard. He puts rabbits in his hat and yanks out dismissals. Carrom balls peg off stumps back. Two-finger googlies sneak between bat and pad. Leg breaks that take the outside edge, and offies trap batsmen off the crease. You can't come forward to him, because what if you've misread the ball? You can't just wait on the back foot, because he's quick off the pitch and the margin for error is small. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.3%

Mar 28 (LBO) Stocks close 0.34% lower Friday with tobacco and insurance stocks losing ground amid strong foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 20.45 points lower at 5,972.17 down 0.34%. The S&P SL20 closed 4.52 points higher at 3,278.67, up 0.14%. Turnover was 3.29 billion rupees, up from 1.62 billion rupees a day earlier with 55 stocks close positive against 108 negative. John Keells Holdings closed 2.20 rupees higher at 225.00 rupees with market transactions of 2.83 billion rupees more..

SL rupee steady; UN resolution weighs

Mar 28 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Friday despite importer dollar demand, helped by moral suasion by the central bank, but dealers said a U.N. resolution for a probe into alleged war crimes may hurt the local currency in the medium term. The UN on Thursday launched an inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed by both Sri Lankan state forces and Tamil rebels during the conflict that ended in 2009, saying the govt had failed to investigate properly. more..

Congress downplay's Chidambaram's remark on Lanka issue

Mar 28 (PTI) Congress today downplayed Finance Minister P Chidambaram's remark that India should have supported the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka. "He is certainly entitled to that view and we understand that he is from Tamil Nadu. Equally, Congress, on a national perspective is entitled to agree to disagree with it", party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said when his reaction was sought over the issue. more..

No basis for int’l war crimes probe on Sri Lanka - Russia

Mar 28 (Island) Russia having backed a no action motion,which was supported by Cuba against the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lankan govt at the UNHRC in Geneva yesterday, said that there was no basis for an international inquiry on alleged war crimes. Asked at press conference in Colombo if the adoption of the US led resolution by the UNHRC, calling for a comprehensive international investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights by both the Lankan more..

Nurses threaten walkout countrywide in three days

Mar 28 (Island) Nurses attached to the National Hospital, Colombo yesterday staged a protest from 7a.m. to 1.00 p.m. Only hospital emergencies and Intensive care Unit (ICU) services were maintained. President of the Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA), Saman Ratnapriya said that their demands included a payment of an allowance during the one-year midwifery training and the provision of clinical training for nurse- midwife trainees. more..

'UPA govt disappointed Tamils by not voting against Sri Lanka'

Mar 28 (PTI) Charging the Congress-led UPA govt with disappointing Tamils by not voting in favour of a US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka, DMK today contended that even Congress workers in TN would not accept this. DMK president M Karunanidhi expressed "some satisfaction" over 23 countries adopting the resolution and international community's concern that has moved the emotional issue to the more..

England fined for slow over-rate against SL

Mar 28 (PTI) England has been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during its ICC World Twenty20 Group 1 encounter against Sri Lanka at Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chittagong on Thursday. David Boon of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed the fines after the side, led by Stuart Broad, was ruled to be two overs short of its target when time allowances were taken into consideration. In accordance with the regulations of the ICC Code of Conduct for more..

World T20: West Indies beat Australia

Mar 28 (CI) West Indian batting power ejected Australia from the previous World T20 in Sri Lanka and has all but done so again after Darren Sammy pulled off a remarkable heist in Mirpur. Chris Gayle gave West Indies a blazing start to their chase of 179 but they spluttered in the middle and Australia were firm favourites when George Bailey handed the ball to Mitchell Starc with 31 still needed from the final two overs. Sammy had other ideas. A half-volley was smashed over long-on more..

India's abstention from voting against Lanka was for good of

Mar 28 (PTI) India today justified its abstention from voting on the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, saying the decision was driven by welfare of Tamils in that country. Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said India's position on the UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka has always been consistent with its view that the process of national reconciliation must be expedited in a manner that meets aspirations more..

Secretary Defence inspects housing construction sites

Mar 28 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa made an inspection visit to review the progress of the housing complexes which are nearing completion in Colombo area today. During today's inspection tour, Mr. Rajapaksa visited the Edirisinghe Mawatha, Cyril C Perera Mawatha and Ferguson Road. He also looked over the ongoing constructions of the proposed commercial complex at Mihindu Senpura housing scheme which was opened recently more..

BJP slams Chidambaram, Centre over UN resolution against Lanka

Mar 28 (PTI) The Tamil Nadu unit of BJP today dubbed Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram's statement on India's decision to abstain from voting against Sri Lanka at the UN as 'a lame excuse' and came down hard on him for blaming the officials for it. "Congress never took a stance in support of Sri Lankan Tamils and now they are blaming officials for not supporting the resolution," BJP National Executive member L Ganean said. Claiming that it was a "known fact" that ministers are more..

'Rajapaksa family to blame for Sri Lanka’s current plight' :UNP

Mar 28 (LT) The UNP today accused the govt of “playing a dangerous game” with the present human right situation concerning Sri Lanka and risking the wellbeing of the entire nation for mere “political expediency.” “Confirming our worst fears, the President has himself publicly admitted recently that he does not care at all about the challenges in the human rights arena which culminated on the 27th with a vote concerning Sri Lanka in Geneva,” more..

LTTE killing of Rajiv heinous crime

Mar 28 (CG) The Indian Govt has told India’s Supreme Court that the assassination of the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in 1991 by the LTTE was a very serious and heinous crime which could not be forgotten so easily or brushed aside. A Bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana reserved its verdict on a writ petition filed by the Centre, challenging the Tamil Nadu govt’s decision to release the seven convicts in the case, more..