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Sri Lanka’s Long Road to Reconciliation

Mar 29 (FP) In 2009, when the Sri Lankan govt defeated the terrorist LTTE after an almost 30-year civil war, opportunity awaited the country and its people. I hoped the victory would pave the way not only for reconciliation among Sri Lanka's ethnic groups, but also for the strengthening of democracy and greater economic development. This postwar Sri Lanka would have been a natural partner for the United States. more..

No resolution can stop the country's forward march - MEP

Mar 29 (DN) The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) in a statement yesterday said the resolution adopted at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka cannot impede the country's forward march. In a statement, MEP leader and Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said this resolution cannot change the overwhelming public mandate received by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. "No resolution can stop the country's forward march," the MEP statement statement added. more..

President's decision, major boost for Indo-Lanka ties - Minister Rajitha

Mar 29 (DN) Decision taken by President Rajapaksa to release all Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody will further help strengthen relations between both countries, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "Indian fishermen who were arrested by the Sri Lankan authorities for violating Sri Lankan IMBL have been released on the President's directives," he added. "This measure has been taken by the President to show Sri Lanka's gratitude to India for abstaining from voting on the resolution more..

'New govt will move resolution in UN against Sri Lanka'

Mar 29 (TOI) Chief minister J Jayalalithaa said steps would be taken to make India move a resolution at the UN seeking action against Sri Lanka for killing innocent Tamils during the war. At a meeting in Madurai on Friday, she said she would ensure that those responsible for the genocide are punished. The assurance comes on a day the Centre faced flak from parties and activists for abstaining from voting on a US backed more..

Mob threatens Assistant Election Commissioner

Mar 29 (Island) The Assistant Election Commissioner Matara was threatened with death by a group of supporters of a UPFA candidate operating an illegal election office when the former visited the place and the police had to be called in to bring the situation under control. "A tense situation arose when the AEC walked into the place and asked those present to close it down as it was an illegal one," a senior police officer said. The police closed down the illegal elections office more..

Suspect detained in alleged sexual abuse case

Mar 29 (DM) Bambalapitiya Police today obtained a 48-hour detention order from the Colombo Magistrate Court to detain for further questioning, a suspect who was arrested for alleged sexual abuse on a German woman. Police said the suspect would be produced in the Courts tomorrow after the detention period is over. A German woman, who is reported to have been under the influence of liquor at a night club in a star class hotel in Colombo, had been taken to a house in Bambalapitiya more..

Election Commissioner asks public to vote early

Mar 29 (Island) Election Department expects to release first postal vote result of the Western and Southern PC election held today from 7 am to 4 pm by 8 pm tonight. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya urged voters to exercise their franchise as early as possible and avoid the last minute rush. "There are 4,253 polling centres in the six districts of the two provinces and 3,794 candidates vying for 155 seats more..

Reading ‘Geneva’ after the vote

Mar 29 (DM) It’s all done. The annual Geneva circus, that is. It was played for the most part according to script. It was also a foregone conclusion, given swaying powers of those who tabled the resolution on Sri Lanka. Twenty three ‘ayes’, 12 ‘nays’ and 12 ‘thumb-twiddlers’ do not add up to an emphatic resolution. The thumb-twiddlers were in effect saying a ‘diplomatic nay’. That’s small consolation for Sri Lanka, for the resolution stands at the end of the day. more..

The fishy dispute

Mar 29 (DM) What is ‘fishy’ in the so-called `fishing dispute’ between Sri Lanka and India is not the conduct of the fishermen concerned but that of the ‘patrons’ of the Indian thieves. By Indian thieves I mean the Indian fishermen; and by their ‘patrons’ I mean the twin clowns of the political scene of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi, and the invertebrate Indian PM Manmohan Singh. What, one wonders, would the reactions of any of these three have been if some burglar is apprehended more..

'Charges have got to be brought if there is any justice in this world'

Mar 29 (DM) Khuram Shaikh’s brother Nasser speaks on the trial of his brother’s murder in Sri Lanka on Christmas Eve two years ago. Q: How do you feel about the trial being put off for so long? A: It would have been six months into the actual incident itself; I was quite naďve to think that investigations would be completed by then and charges would have been brought. Never did I think two years on we would have to be fighting to more..

Sri Lankans vote in provincial polls seen as referendum on UN vote

Mar 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lankans went to the polls on Saturday to elect representatives to two local councils in an election which the Govt hopes will be a form of referendum on a resolution against Sri Lanka adopted at the UNHRC this week. Elections for the western and southern provincial councils got underway with both the govt and the opposition confident and coming out on top. The govt is confident of winning the elections more..

The beach paints an ugly picture

Mar 29 (SL) The idyllic beaches and traces of Dutch architecture of the popular Southern town of Tangalle, have drawn visitors from around the world for many years. However, in the recent past, picture-postcard town has been marred by a series of alarming events – from theft to murder. As lawlessness and impunity prevails, seedy coastal stretch of the popular beach is fast becoming known as a dangerous site for female tourists. more..

Inam: Teardrops in the ocean

Mar 29 (Hindu) Like all cinematographers, Santosh Sivan is in love with nature, and his frames are Zen-koan odes to a utopian equilibrium — the human forced to share space with the non-human. In an early scene in Inam, Nandan (S Karan), a teenager with Down’s syndrome, is tied to a post alongside goats. Then there’s the kitten, perched skittishly on a television set beaming images of war. more..

UN probe can’t bring Sri Lanka communities together

Mar 29 (TS) On Thursday, the UNHRC passed a resolution calling for a UN-led investigation into alleged war crimes committed in Sri Lanka during the last stages of that country’s 30-year civil war. Five years ago, Sri Lanka’s armed forces decisively defeated the LTTE in a brutal military showdown. The assault also resulted in the deaths of an estimated 40,000 Tamil civilians, in part due to both Tamil Tiger tactics and more..

UNHRC vote: Mexico reneges on promise; three Asian countries switch sides

Mar 29 (Island) Much to the surprise of the Sri Lankan delegation at the ongoing session of the UNHRC, Mexico, voted for Thursday’s US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in spite of its promise to skip the vote in return for Sri Lanka’s support to get elected to the rights body. Mexico was among the 14 countries elected through secret ballot on Nov 12, 2013 to serve on UNHRC for a period of 3 years beginning on 1 Jan 2014. more..

New National Child Council established

Mar 29 (Island) The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs (MCDWA) said it hoped to protect the rights of children better by formulating rules and regulations regarding their well-being through the second National Child Council established early this week. National Child Council (NCC) had been established under the guidance of Minister Tissa Karaliyadda by Commissioner of Department of Probation more..

Indo – Lanka talks to resume soon

Mar 29 (CG) Talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen are expected to resume soon, the Fisheries Ministry said with both India and Sri Lanka cementing ties following the vote on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC last week. Fisheries Ministry spokesman Narendra Rajapaksa said that even talks on Govt level between both countries on the fishing issue is expected to resume. more..

US disappointed with India on vote

Mar 29 (CG) The United States has expressed disappointment with India’s decision to abstain from voting for the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf said the US has made its disappointment over the issue known to Indian officials. “It is disappointing to us that India abstained from voting on this resolution when they voted yes for the last two years. more..

Govt says it will not comply

Mar 29 (CG) The Govt insists it will not comply with the US resolution adopted at the UNHRC by providing any form of assistance for its implementation. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the Govt will maintain its position that it is against the resolution. He said that no country can force Sri Lanka to accept or implement the resolution which was passed by a majority vote in Geneva last week. more..

Two senior BBC Sinhala Service producers suspended

Mar 29 (CT) Two senior producers of the Sinhala Sandeshiya Service of the BBC World Service have been suspended from service until further notice, allegedly on charges of harassment, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns. According to inside sources, Chandana Keerthi Bandara and M.J.R. David have been suspended few days ago by the BBC, after two controversial recruits – one from Sinhala Service and the other from Tamil Service made official complaints against the duo. more..

Saner counsel should prevail over UN resolution

Mar 29 (CT) The next 12 months would be the most decisive period in the Sri Lankan history since the end of the Eelam war in May 2009. During the 28th session of the UNHRC, scheduled for March next year, Navi Pillay, the UN Human Rights Chief would present a comprehensive report based on an investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Sri Lanka. A UNHRC resolution that was adopted on Thursday mandated the Office of the High Commissioner for more..

A bigger plan by the LTTE nipped in the bud

Mar 29 (DBS) Hectic events over the past few weeks in Sri Lanka have driven home three salient truths on the security front relating to the LTTE. The first is that tiger or pro-tiger elements in the Tamil Diaspora will persist with efforts to resurrect the LTTE and disrupt life in Sri Lanka. The second is that the Sri Lankan state will effectively respond to such a challenge regardless of international implications. more..

After Geneva what?

Mar 29 (CT) At the moment of writing the vote has not yet been cast on a final anti-Sri Lankan US Resolution in Geneva. If no Resolution is adopted in favour of the immediate setting up of a mechanism for international investigations of alleged war crimes in the final phase of the war, and there are no Western moves for the imposition of sanctions against Sri Lanka, the SL Govt can legitimately claim a triumph. At the time of the Cameron visit to Sri Lanka for CHOGM and in the ensuing more..

Patriotism without justice is pure bluff

Mar 29 (CT) Human beings, however poor or however oppressed, seek justice in the same way. Even a tuberculosis patient looks for fresh air. All wisdom traditions have associated justice as having the same character as fresh air. To deny justice is to deny a fundamental condition of being human. If a person cannot get fresh air in the normal way, they have to be provided with air through artificial means of giving oxygen. To treat a patient’s illness, the patient must first be kept alive. more..

The forever war?: Military control in North

Mar 29 (ICG) The heavy militarisation of Sri Lanka’s northern province after the civil war’s bloody end in 2009 has been the subject of growing domestic and international concern. Large numbers of military personnel in the north, and the deep involvement of the military in the province’s governance, endanger the re-establishment of democratic institutions that is necessary to lasting peace. Faced with international demands more..

Briton dies in bizarre motor accident

Mar 29 (ST) A British motorist died on the spot after suffering a major heart failure during a motor traffic accident in a bizarre incident that took place at a location on the Puttalam-Kurunegala Road today, police said. The victim-Nicholas Anton Tone aged 65 collapsed and died after he banged on a pedestrian and then rushed to help the fallen man. The pedestrian suffered minor injuries and was later treated at the Puttalam Hospital. Victim had suffered the heart failure out of shock. more..

I was never deprived of civil rights- Fonseka

Mar 29 (SM) The former Army chief Sarath Fonseka stated that he was aware of the fact that his name was included in the voters' list since last month and that he was never deprived of his civil rights. He further stated that if he is to be denied of his civil rights he has to complete his jail term and since he was offered freedom prior to completion of the his punishment he was not denied of his civil rights. However, the military tribunal which penalized him is not an acceptable court of law, he said. more..

Over rate offence brings luck to Sri Lanka

Mar 29 (DM) Sri Lanka will finally get a chance to blood their unused but in-form batsman Lahiru Thirimanne on Monday in their final Group 1 match of the ICC World T20 tournament against New Zealand in Chittagong. This piece of fortune came Sri Lanka’s way after their regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal was suspended for one game when the team was found guilty of maintaining a slow over rate in their loss to England more..

World T20: New Zealand beat Netherlands

Mar 29 (CI) Netherlands competed gamely for 34 overs in Chittagong, but Brendon McCullum struck an unruffled 65 from 45 to drive New Zealand's highest successful World Twenty20 chase, which was completed with six wickets and an over to spare. New Zealand needed 56 from the last six overs, before McCullum whipped a flat six over deep square leg to ease the final charge in motion. Had the man on the fence been right back on he rope, he might have caught McCullum to give more..

GTF hails US resolution, echoes TNA’s call for immediate int’l probe

Mar 29 (Island) UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has called for the launch of an immediate inquiry into alleged war crimes allegations in the wake of the UNHRC adopting a US-led resolution against Sri Lanka. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiran stressed on the importance of the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) given strong support to undertake the investigation as quickly as possible. The GTF official said: "We share the TNA’s view that an inquiry should more..

'Rulers who belittled our country in Geneva should be taught a lesson'

Mar 29 (LT) Don’t be deceived by crocodile tears of the govt. The rulers who belittled our country in Geneva should be taught a lesson says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said, “The resolution against Sri Lanka presented by the USA at Geneva summit has been adopted. We have a criticism regarding the conduct of imperialist countries including the USA. We would never approve such conduct. more..

Sudden death in trishaws sound a warning

Mar 29 (ST) Recent tragic three-wheeler accidents that have claimed lives on the spot should come as an eye-opener for authorities on the growing need for monitoring and regulation of three-wheelers, an expert warned. The warning from former deputy inspector-general of police Camillus Abeygunewardena followed the deaths of four young men last week when the three-wheeler in which they were travelling collided with a Sri Lanka Transport Board bus along the Narammala-Giriulla road more..

Tense situation in Beruwala; STF deployed

Mar 29 (CT) A tense situation has been reported a short while ago in Beruwala. Three persons who were injured have been admitted to hospital and three persons have been arrested in connection to the incident. Reportedly the clash has erupted between supporters of a UPFA candidate and a UNP candidate. The Police and Special Task Force officers have been deployed to control the tense situation. sSeveral vehicles and other property have been damaged in the incident. more..

Jayalalithaa describes Sethusamudram project as useless; slams DMK

Mar 29 (PTI) Describing the Sethusamudram project as a "useless" one that could harm the marine environment badly, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Saturday said Centre had wasted Rs 830 crore on it. The project envisages dredging of a shipping channel across the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka. Campaigning for Anwar Raja, AIADMK candidate from Ramanathapuram constituency, more..

Fallen number plate gives away hit and run driver

Mar 29 (Island) Kollupitiya police took into custody a driver of a car who had drive off following a fatal accident near the Queens Junction on the March 23. He was arrested within five hours of the mishpa. Pedestrian who received serious injuries in this accident succumbed to his injuries at the National Hospital Colombo. He was identified as Subramaniuam Bala Krishnan (61) of Alfred Place, Colpetty. Number plate of the car which was found at the scene of the accident helped more..

Highest number of complaints against Divisional Secretariat staff

Mar 29 (CT) The highest number of complaints received against public servants in 2013 is against officers at Divisional Secretariats. According to the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs, P.B. Abeykoon, out of 680 complaints received by the investigation unit, there were 533 named complaints and 133 anonymous complaints. He added, inquiries regarding 452 complaints were completed while 228 complaints are in the process of being inquired into. more..

Lanka must build on Indian goodwill at UN vote: Rights Envoy

Mar 29 (PTI) Sri Lanka must build on the goodwill shown by India at the UNHRC where it abstained from voting on a resolution against Colombo, President Rajapaksa's human rights envoy said today. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, said that India had been with Sri Lanka on two side votes before the main vote. "India voted with Sri Lanka on the vote on the 'no action motion' while they also voted with us on deleting more..

Medical student knocked down by train

Mar 29 (DM) A 22-year-old female medical student was killed after she was knocked down by a train in Wellawatte, opposite the Ramakrishna Road this afternoon. The second year undergraduate of the Sri J'pura University's Medical Faculty, and the daughter of a specialist surgeon attached to the Lady Ridgeway hospital, was knocked down by the Anuradhapura bound train travelling from Matara. The body now lies at the Kalubowila hospital while the post mortem is due to be held tomorrow. more..

Accident in Warakapola claims 3 lives

Mar 29 (DM) Three persons were killed and another eight were seriously injured when a Colombo-bound intercity bus from Kandy collided head on with a tipper at Tholangamuwa in Warakapola last night. Sources said that six persons injured in the accident had been transferred to the Kegalle General Hospital from the Warakapola Base Hospital, while the others are being treated in Warakapola. Two of the six persons transferred to Kegalle are in a critical condition and one person died more..

The glyphosate affair: All scientific studies refuted

Mar 29 (CT) The Registrar of Pesticides G.A.W. Wijesekara as well as the Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene refuted all scientific studies done on glyphosate poisoning as they said that glyphosate has not been proven to be dangerous to human health and that all such notions were simply hypotheses, not fact. On 19 February President Rajapaksa issued a directive banning the use of glyphosate and more..

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