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JVP move saves millions for PCs

Mar 28 (LT) Media had revealed that councilors from the UPFA, UNP, DP, SLMC of the UPFA ruled North-Western PC were preparing to go on a pleasure tour to Thailand and the JVP councilor Namal Karunaratna issued a statement protesting against the tour that would waste public funds. He further stated that JVP councilors oppose going on foreign tours spending public money saying he refuses to participate in the tour and would take all measures to stop it and informed PC officials more..

I feared for my life: Victoria Alexandrona

Mar 28 (DM) During the second day of cross examination yesterday, murdered British aid worker Khuram Shaikh’s girlfriend requested Court to consider her frame of mind when giving her statement in the immediate aftermath of the killing. Victoria Alexandrona said this when the defence counsel was repeatedly referring to her previous statement. She said she was giving her evidence under oath and as such whatever she was more..

Govt responsible for Geneva debacle: JVP

Mar 28 (DM) JVP said today the Govt was solely responsible for the adoption of the UNHRC resolution because the Govt was unable to win the confidence of the 12 countries that abstained due to continuous human right violations and the inability to uphold democracy in the country after the war.“Govt did nothing to secure the support of the member countries. Even countries like Indonesia and Kuwait which voted in favour of Sri Lanka last time abstained from voting this time. more..

Cuba in minority as UNHRC votes to investigate Sri Lanka for human rights abuse

Mar 28 (HT) Five years after the ethnic civil war in Sri Lanka was won by the Sinhalese govt, with thousands of Tamil civilians killed in the final weeks, the UNHRC authorized its High Commissioner to investigate if human rights abuse occurred. Cuba was in the minority opposing the investigation. On a vote of 23 for, 12 against and with 12 abstentions, the HRC voted to promote reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka by having its High Commissioner, more..

India was never against Sri Lanka: Indian envoy to UN

Mar 28 (NDTV) India abstained from the vote at UNHRC in Geneva which calls for an international investigation into alleged war crimes in the final stage of the island's civil war which ended in 2009. Indian envoy Dilip Sinha said India does not support the operative para 10 OF the resolution which asks for an international inquiry but encourages Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry's report and findings. more..

Interpol may investigate fraud case

Mar 28 (GDN) INTERPOL could be brought in to investigate the case of a Sri Lankan man, who fled the country after allegedly conning people in Bahrain out of thousands of dinars. It is claimed the 28-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pocketed money from hundreds of customers of Hrbor Travel and Tourism in return for visa services and issuing plane tickets. Company owner Mohammed Saleh earlier filed a complaint with police after learning the man had left Bahrain, more..

Challenge to US citizen Rajapaksas

Mar 28 (SM) UNP communication unit chief Mangala Samaraweera challenges Gotabhaya and Basil Rajapaksas to demonstrate their opposition of the US by tearing up their US passports in front of the US embassy. Samaraweera said he has come to know that president Rajapaksa was going to do a wailing act in front of the people on television on the night of March 28 in order to fulfill his hunger for power at the upcoming PC polls. He said he would call it the ‘Geneva loin cloth’ more..

'US-sponsored resolution is detrimental to lasting peace in Sri Lanka'

Mar 28 (USE) A large group of Sri Lankan- American voters representing multiple states gathered at Capitol Hill to meet their Members of Congress in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on March 26. The purpose of the meeting was to express their serious concerns over the resolution against Sri Lanka sponsored by the United States at the UNHRC for the third consecutive time. more..

'Entire Premadasa family has called the President'

Mar 28 (SM) After details of the financial fraud came to light, the entire Premadasa family including Sajith, Dulanjali and Hema had phoned President Rajapaksa who had listened to their plea, Minister Johnston Fernando says. He hinted that however, if the Rajapaksa family was caught up in such a fraud during the Premadasa era, the outcome would have been quite different. He was making a statement on Dulanjali Premadasa being nabbed by the CID while in posession of four hundred Rs. 5000 more..

German woman, abducted from night club, abused

Mar 28 (DM) A twenty-one-year-old German woman, who had been in an intoxicated state while at a night club, had allegedly been taken a house owned by a millionaire businessman in his car and abused. Later on, following a complaint made by the woman who had allegedly been taken advantage of, the 27-year-old businessman had been arrested by the Bambalapitiya police. Sources revealed that the German woman was in the country following a course in English at University of Colombo more..

Chandimal suspended for one match; Malinga to lead against NZ

Mar 28 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal will miss Sri Lanka's final group match against New Zealand after he was suspended for one game due to Sri Lanka being found guilty of maintaining a slow over rate for the second time inside 12 months under his leadership. ICC match referee David Boon ruled Sri Lanka were one over short, as they strove to defend 189 against England in Chittagong on Thursday. Chandimal will also be docked 20% of his more..

Ananthi Sasitharan remembers (well)

Mar 29 (NS) I am aggrieved and so are my children. I don’t know where my husband is and they don’t know where their father is. Some may not know who my husband (their father) is and was so let me tell you briefly. I met him while I was still a schoolgirl. Even then Sasitharan was very active in the political wing of the LTTE. He was called Elilan. He didn’t recruit me although he recruited many a young schoolgirl and approved of and oversaw the forcible conscription of thousands of children. more..

The great history cook-fest

Mar 29 (NS) Its fans as well as critics agree that the Social Scientists’ Association (SSA) of Sri Lanka was on a mission. According to Michael Roberts, this mission was born out of the carnage of 1983 July, which apparently “came as a rude shock to local Leftists and liberals. As the ethnic conflict took a turn for the worse, a number of liberals and Marxist radicals linked hands to develop arguments against the ideological constructs that were part of the heightened conflict”. more..

Bandula’s ministry of blithering blundering

Mar 29 (NS) It appears that Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena has a heck of a lot to learn. Poor old Bandu is a bundle of contradictions since he stepped into the political arena. And he certainly has had a chequered career in the rough-and-tumble of the local political snake- pit. He entered Parliament from the Colombo district in 1989, on the MEP ticket. MEP coalesced with the UPFA under more..

After the vote in Geneva

Mar 29 (CT) One does not have to agree with a single sentence of the strident stonewalling engaged in by the representatives of Sri Lanka in Geneva, in order to oppose the grotesque call for an international inquiry mechanism. One does not have to disagree with any criticism of the conduct of the Govt of Sri Lanka made by the members of the UNHRC in order to reject an international inquiry. As Sri Lankans, our rejection of an international inquiry must be unconditional. more..

Writing the Truth is being partial according to Sri Lanka and its friends!

Mar 29 (CT) As the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, a former International Jurist of eminence presented the Introduction of the Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka (A/HRC/25/23), Sri Lanka once again was up in arms calling the report as biased, partial, unwarranted and rejected it. In her address the High Commissioner stated, more..

Action against us unnecessary: Sri Lanka's envoy on UN resolution

Mar 29 (NDTV) India abstained from the vote at the UN session which calls for an international investigation into alleged war crimes in the final stage of the island's civil war which ended in 2009. Indian envoy Dilip Sinha said India does not support the operative para 10 OF the resolution which asks for an international inquiry but encourages SL to implement the recommendations of an internal inquiry's report and findings. more..

Who really gets hurt by Geneva resolution?

Mar 29 (CT) Although they pretend otherwise for obviously local reasons, the last three years must have been very traumatic for the ruling politicians in Sri Lanka. The Geneva fiasco has been plaguing them and as Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke rightly asserted in his recent contribution to the media, the Govt has chosen to be frozen on a fixed standpoint instead of showing any flexibility that is usually associated with statesmen in general and thereby dragging the county and her people towards more..

Sri Lanka’s two options after Geneva

Mar 29 (CT) The outcome of the UNHRC vote on the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka, that was adopted last evening, had been a foregone conclusion. The resolution titled 'Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka,' was adopted with 23 member States in favour, 12 against and 12 abstentions. The govt in Colombo knew it was coming, and it had resigned to the inevitable defeat. Now the real question is as to what lies ahead of the resolution, a third more..

Practical, not conventional, wisdom has driven SL's rebuilding and reconciliation

Mar 29 (Forbes) About five years ago, Sri Lanka faced three daunting economic challenges. To deal with these challenges, the Sri Lankan authorities implemented certain pragmatic strategies that challenged conventional wisdom. At the time of defeating terrorism in May 2009, a massive investment was required to restore normalcy in the terror-torn Northern Provence. Conventional wisdom suggested that more..

Geneva shouts: ‘Human Rights – We are Right’

Mar 29 (Island) It was jolly time in Geneva, The voting at the UNHRC went the way Navi Pillay and the "international community" had wanted, though not exactly how they planned it. There was a problem with the numbers, as those who abstained – were far too much for the movers to feel very happy. Yet it was time to enjoy beating Sri Lanka. Navi Pillay was the toast of the evening. Diplomats, State officials from the West, and Civil Society swarms who were planning the moves more..

Editorial: A dangerous precedent

Mar 29 (Island) India has, at long last, seen through the wiles of its newfound western friends. In what has been described as a surprise move, it refrained from backing the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC on Thursday. The reason it has given for its decision is of interest: "An external investigative mechanism with an open-ended mandate to monitor national processes is not a constructive approach. In our view, adopting an intrusive approach that undermines more..

Earth Hour at 8.30 p.m. today

Mar 29 (SO) Come Saturday and the world will plunge into darkness for 60 minutes. This unusual phenomenon let me hasten to add, is not related to some alien or extra terrestrial force. Rather, it is distinctly earth based - a voluntary action triggered off by millions of earth loving men, women and children to save the further denigration of our planet in a symbolic gesture to honour the planet on which they live. more..

India through to semis with another easy win

Mar 29 (CI) Indian fans have liked this movie so much they have watched it three times in a row. Now they won't mind it in the semi-finals either. Forget whatever is happening with their administration in India, the cricket team has put in another big performance to become the first entrants into the World T20 semi-finals. Once again MS Dhoni won the toss - the 15th consecutive time he's done it in completed matches - once again a nervous opposition self-combusted despite more..

SL women suffer eight wickets defeat

Mar 29 (CI) West Indies Women cruised to their third win in a row and moved to the top of the Group B table after bowling Sri Lanka Women out for 84 on their way to an eight-wicket win in Sylhet. Sri Lanka chose to bat and made a good start, their openers putting on 25 in just 3.2 overs. Even when they lost their second wicket, that of Yasoda Mendis who fell for a 17-ball 21, they were in a decent position at 41 in the sixth over. Starting there, though, Sri Lanka collapsed, losing their last nine wickets more..

Happiness is now a global issue-Sri Lanka among ‘saddest’ countries

Mar 29 (CT) Two years after declaring March 20 the International Day of Happiness, the United Nations has released its first World Happiness Report. The UN has formally recognized the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal. It can be argued that the UN has far more important issues to concentrate on, but surely we can all agree that happiness is every human's deepest wish - and therefore a serious issue. more..

Chamber of Construction Industry writes to UN Secretary General

Mar 29 (FT) The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said it was backing the Government’s reconciliation measures via the LLRC process, which it said was the way forward. Following is the full text of the CCI’s letter sent by its President Dr. Surath Wickramasinghe: The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), Sri Lanka, is the apex body of the construction industry comprising of allied institutes/associations, more..

UN-Habitat holds intl. conference in Colombo on post-emergency shelter reconstruction

Mar 29 (FT) Senior Govt officials, donors, implementing partners, policy makers, development practitioners, academics, community members and representatives of UN agencies and NGOs participated in the international conference ‘Restoring Communities through Homeowner-Driven Reconstruction: From Post-Emergency to Development’ held in Colombo from 24 to 25 March. Organised by UN-Habitat, the forum discussed good practices and lessons learned from more..

Lanka’s biggest FDI partner readying for a new push: Govt.

Mar 29 (CT) As its private sector investments in Sri Lanka topped US$ 1.5 billion, the country's biggest FDI partner Malaysia called for stronger B2B and investment cooperation, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce said. "Sri Lanka has shown strong economic progress. We like to see closer cooperation at business to business and investment levels. We want a strong Sri Lankan trade delegation to Malaysia with more..

Is Lanka combining domestic problem with intl. power struggles like Ukraine?

Mar 29 (FT) It looks like it is complicated and difficult to understand world affairs today. Many say that there are double standards, hypocrisy and hidden agendas in international relations. It is simple to understand the complicated situations if one can go to the basics. What are the basics? They are self-protection and self-interest. Let us try to understand the complicated scenarios objectively by examining the basics. Foreign policy of any super power is based on defence strategies of America. more..

Ceylinco Shriram payment plan to be expedited on Supreme Court order

Mar 29 (ST) The Ceylinco Shriram Company’s payment plan for depositors is to be expedited on a directive issued by the Supreme Court last week. Chief Justice Mohan Peiris on Tuesday directed all relevant parties involved in the Ceylinco Shriram case to extend their fullest support to settle the money of disgruntled depositors within a short period of time. He said that this case should not be allowed to drag on for several years. The Watawala Committee earlier appointed by more..

Dangerous defeat in Geneva

Mar 29 (FT) Having lost the crucial vote in Geneva and opened the door to an international investigation, Sri Lanka is now in new territory. Sri Lankans saw who their real friends were at the UNHRC on Thursday night. Our friends, Pakistan, Cuba, China, Russia — and in a welcome turn around, India, which opposed the intrusive mechanism of an OHCHR led investigation and abstained— did far better for Sri Lanka than more..

Singapore uplifts English language learning facilities in Jaffna

Mar 29 (Island) A high powered ministerial delegation from Singapore will open the refurbished youth section of the Jaffna Public Library as part of a year-long capacity building project aimed at improving English language skills of Jaffna students. The opening scheduled for early April will also see the donation of a mobile library which will help provide easy access to reading material in English. The project initiated by the Singapore International Foundation in partnership with more..

GMOA asks Health Minister to amend archaic SLMC’s archaic election rules

Mar 29 (Island) The GMOA has requested Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to issue a gazette notification modifying the election regulations at Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). GMOA President Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the current election regulations of the SLMC were adopted in 1926 by the then Colonial rulers. The existing rules and regulations of the SLMC election system were obsolete. On behalf of the GMOA he had met Minister Sirisena and requested him to more..

Japan signs Rs. 45.5 b deal to finance new bridge over Kelani River

Mar 29 (FT) Japan committed Rs. 45.5 billion worth of concessionary financing to build a new bridge over the Kelani River. Signing of Exchange of Notes pertaining to the Yen loan package took place yesterday at the Ministry of Finance and Planning. Ambassador of Japan in Sri Lanka Nobuhito Hobo signed the Exchange of Notes on behalf of the Govt of Japan while Ministry of Finance and Planning Secretary more..

A mandate for the UNHRC

Mar 29 (Hindu) In adopting a country-specific resolution against Sri Lanka that calls upon the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner to “undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka,” the UNHRC has again brought the focus as much on the killings in the last phase of the civil war in Sri Lanka, as on the international investigation into issues in a sovereign state. more..

Omanthai check point fully operational again

Mar 29 (CT) The Omanthai checkpoint in Vanni is now fully operational and vehicles entering via A9 highway to the Jaffna Peninsula and the vehicles leaving the Peninsula are now being subjected to checking at the Omanthai checkpoint. "A year ago the checkpoint was not fully functional and random checks were done. Due to the present security situation and a possible regrouping of the former rebel group LTTE we have increased the security at the checkpoint," Bridger Ruwan more..

India’s abstention evokes mixed response

Mar 29 (Hindu) India’s decision to abstain from voting on the U.S.-backed resolution in Geneva has evoked mixed response in Sri Lanka. It caused surprise and a measure of disappointment, leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan said. “Nevertheless India must have good reasons for its decisions and we look forward to discussing that with India in due course,” he said. However the TNA, he said, was very satisfied and happy more..

India's Volte-Face on Lanka Is Unjustified

Mar 29 (NIP) After voting for two previous UNHRC resolutions on war crimes in Sri Lanka, India’s decision to abstain from voting on the latest resolution is difficult to fathom. It exposes lack of consistency in India’s foreign policy. New Delhi’s explanation that the intrusive approach adopted by the US-sponsored resolution is counterproductive as it undermines national sovereignty and institutions is spurious. The resolution merely says that independent investigations will more..

Beware of cheap perfumes

Mar 29 (Island) Cosmetic and Drug Devices Authority (CDDA) cautioned the general public against purchasing cheap perfumes available in the market. CDDA Director Dr. Hemantha Beneragama said that the CDDA had seized 1800 unregistered bottles of perfume and taken into custody the owner of the shop where they were being sold. A CDDA team, acting on a tip-off, had raided the place with assistance of the police. Cosmetic manufacturers required CDDA registration. more..