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Ban hails Pillay’s Lanka report

Mar 3 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay. He made reference to the report while making a speech on the opening day of the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva today. He stressed on the importance of accountability before making reference to Pillay’s report on SL which has already been rejected by Sri Lankan Govt. more..

Latest radiation technology to treat cancer

Mar 3 (CT) Health Ministry is planning to introduce the latest radiation technology to treat cancer patients, in a bid to bring down the large number of deaths caused by various cancers. Accordingly, ministry will purchase 10 new Radiation Accelerator Machines at a cost of nearly Rs 7 billion, which would be set up in 10 hospitals, countrywide. Machines will be set up in special units that would be constructed underground, in order to prevent spread of hazardous radiation. more..

Candidates shoot down LC proposal to bar reformists from campaigning

Mar 3 (Island) Three top UNPers including Leadership Council (LC) Chairman Karu Jayasuriya, Party Chairman Kabir Hashim and General Secretary Tissa Attanayake during a visit to Tissamaharama last week with former UNP MP Ananda Kularatne raised objections to reformists, Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilaka addressing meetings of the UNP in the Hambantota District. Gunaratne said that Attanayake had officially sent a communique to all candidates in the more..

Sri Lanka president in Myanmar for crucial talks as UNHRC sessions begin

Mar 3 (Xinhua) As his govt faces a UNHRC resolution, President Rajapaksa on Monday flew to Myanmar to attend a key trade summit and also drum up support from UNHRC members, President's Office said in a statement. The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is a regional grouping of seven South and South East Asian countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, more..

Maithripala says he will reveal all

Mar 3 (CG) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena says he will reveal the names of people preventing him from implementing a price control on drugs. Speaking at an event today, the Minister said that he will have discussions with the Trade Ministry in this regard. He said that individuals and some institutions are hampering attempts to implement the price control on essential drugs. The Minister said that President Rajapaksa and the Cabinet had agreed on the price control. more..

Burglars were GCE A/L students

Mar 3 (Island) Police arrested three GCE A/L students who had allegedly stolen 72 mobile phones and accessories worth around Rs. 400,000 from shops in the Maharagama and Kottawa. Three suspects were arrested on Saturday. They had gained entry into the shops from their roofs at night and got away with the loot the same way. The suspects were from Maharagama, Hokandara and Mahalwarawa in Pannipitiya. Some of the stolen mobile phones had been recovered more..

Video: Bribery Commission acts in suspicious manner: JVP

Mar 3 (DM) JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti said the manner in which the Bribery Commission handled the complaint against its Chairman and the manner in which the investigation was dropped were questionable. He said the Bribery Commission had revealed its decision to drop the investigation to two govt media institutions without informing him who was the complainant. “It is suspicious how the state media published more..

Bureaucrat bars national hero from his own house

Mar 3 (Island) Organisers and participants of the 70th Cumarathunga Munidasa Commemoration programme were forced to hold the ceremony for the nation’s pioneer linguist, grammarian, commentator, writer, poet, and journalist on the road side owing to a bureaucratic bungling yesterday. "We have been holding the annual Cumarathunga Munidasa commemoration at his birth place for the last 69 years but today unfortunately we have been barred from entering the ancestral home of the more..

Security stepped up at Chidambaram’s residence

Mar 3 (PTI) Security was stepped up at the residence of Union Minister P Chidambaram at Managiri in the district on Monday after a computer generated notice, signed by a pro-Tamil outfit, was found near his house. Special striking force has been deployed near the house. Shrubs near the house have been cleared and police have been asked to provide additional security after a notice signed by ‘Tamilar Viduthalai Padai’ (Tamilar Liberation army) was found. more..

India for 'much more progress' in reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (PTI) India today made it clear that it looks for "much more progress" in the reconciliation process in Sri Lanka while being non-committal on how it will vote at the UNHRC on a resolution on the country's alleged rights abuses during the war with Tamil Tiger rebels. "India's approach is that it looks for much more progress in the reconciliation process," official sources of the Indian side said here. Asked whether more..

EU for accountability in Lanka

Mar 3 (CG) The European Union (EU) today called for accountability in Sri Lanka saying it is important that the full truth of past events in made known. Speaking at the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council, on behalf of the EU, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Dimitris Kourkoulas said that pursuing accountability in Sri Lanka is the only way to foster stability. Kourkoulas noted the release of the report on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. more..

Malaysian Tourism Minister to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (Bernama) Minister of Tourism and Culture, Datuk Aziz will make a sales mission to Sri Lanka and India to further increase tourist arrivals from this region as part of the Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2014 programme. The 10-day mission starting March 10 will cover Colombo in Sri Lanka and four cities namely Kochi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi in India. "The mission is mainly to drum up Visit Malaysia Year 2014 as well as Malaysia Year of Festival in 2015," more..

'End rule by tribal cliques'

Mar 3 (LT) Mahinda Rajapaksa, like Ranil and Chandrika did, rules the country as in a tribal society building his own gang of henchmen. This culture should be ended and the country should be guided on a new path towards a new era says Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka. He said, “There is a dialogue going round among people in the country that our country cannot go on the way it is being driven now. more..

NHSL ENT Unit wins ISO award

Mar 3 (Island) National Hospital of Sri Lanka Ear, Nose and Throat Unit has won 2001-2008- ISO International Award for the first time in Sri Lanka. Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that NHSL’s ENT Unit was blessed with eminent ENT surgeons who had been performing their duties with a sense of responsibility and dedication. He was aware that the services provided by the ENT Unit was laudable, he added. Besides, the ward management and the Japanese 5S concept had been followed, more..

J’pura suspended students barred from sitting exams

Mar 3 (DM) The Students' Union of the Sri J'pura University today threatened to launch a protest campaign aganist the adminstration's decision to debar 18 students, who were earlier suspended over a clash with Internal Security officers, from sitting the ongoing exams that started today. 18 students were suspended over a clash with security officers on February 24 within the university hostel premises. “The argument had erupted after security personnel entered the hostels and provoked more..

BBC apologises for graphic Sri Lanka documentary pre-watershed

Mar 3 (PG) The BBC has apologised for a "significant scheduling error" which led to a graphic BBC documentary on alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka being broadcast before the watershed. Our World - Sri Lanka's Unfinished War was broadcast on BBC1 and the BBC News Channel last November and was today found in breach of Ofcom's broadcasting code. It featured various men and women giving more..

Sri Lanka slams attack in China

Mar 3 (CG) Sri Lanka today condemned the “brutal attack” in the South-western city of Kunming last Saturday in which several people lost their lives and many more were injured. President Rajapaksa sent a message of condolences to his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping on the attack and said that Sri Lanka stands firm in solidarity with the Govt of China in fighting against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “It is with deep sadness and dismay that I have learnt of more..

SL, Myanmar emphasize Asian solidarity

Mar 3 (GDI) The importance of Asian solidarity with regard to a wide range of challenges confronting the region formed the central theme of the bilateral discussions which took place on Sunday at the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw between Minister G.L. Peiris and Wunna Maung Lwin Minister of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar. The two Foreign Ministers noted that Sri Lanka and Myanmar share common international platforms in the UN, the Colombo plan, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, more..

'We will not jeopardise our independence'

Mar 3 (DM) UNP said it would not do anything that would put Sri Lanka in difficulty while the UNHRC sessions were being held in Geneva. No one can take Sri Lankan President or anyone to the electric chair UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya made this point at a ceremony held to commemorate the Late General Ranjan Wijeratne on his 23rd death anniversary yesterday. Mr. Jayasuriya came forth with this pledge more..

Mahinda Yapa’s election fraud exposed

Mar 3 (LT) A vehicle bearing registered number 53 – 3309, belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and being used for the election campaign of Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene’s brother, who is a candidate of the UPFA for Southern PC election, has been seized by Matara Police. Vehicle was seized after receiving several complaints from election monitoring organizations and candidates of the opposition political parties. At the time the vehicle was seized police found cut outs, more..

UK calls for action on Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (CG) The United Kingdom today called for international action on Sri Lanka saying the Govt has failed to ensure an independent and credible probe over human rights abuses committed by both parties during the war. British Minister of State in Charge of the Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire, speaking during the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva today, said that an international probe will help pave the way for lasting peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka cruise to final with third win

Mar 3 (CI) Two days after achieving their highest profile ODI victory, Afghanistan's diverse attack added to their growing reputation, against Sri Lanka, but in pursuit of 254, the batsmen could not muster the same pugnacity. Scuttled by Sri Lanka's own varied threats, they fell short by 129 runs. The result assures Sri Lanka a place in the Asia Cup final. Afghanistan had muzzled Sri Lanka expertly in the early overs, before more..

Geneva is a distraction SL can do without

Mar 4 (NS) To plan for year, they say, you have to plant rice. To plan for a decade you have to plant trees and to plan for a century, you have to teach the people. I believe that’s a Chinese saying. Politicians think of the next election while statesmen think of the next generation. That’s common knowledge across time and space. In Sri Lanka, whatever is planned it is marked from one session of the UNHRC to the next, especially the ones in Geneva. ‘Geneva Talk’ begins in December. more..

Censure resolutions against SL are unjust

Mar 4 (NS) This is a letter written by Gayle F. Bodorff, P.O. Box 1401, Coupeville, Washington, a USA citizen who spent two weeks in Sri Lanka in January 2014, to Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with copies to Nisha Desai Biswal, US Assist Secretary of State; Michele J. Sison, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Brad Adams, HRW, Exec Director – Asia. The United States and other members of the UN are being unduly harsh in seeking to support more..

'March 29 will mark the beginning of a new era'

Mar 4 (SO) PC elections are round the corner, and all major political parties and some independent groups have filed nominations and are actively engaged in their election campaigns. Since the introduction of the PC system in the country, these two provinces are ready for the fray for the 7th consecutive term. Both these councils had been under the UNP rule only once (in 1988) and since then both had been under SLFP led UPFA more..

Amarapura Nikaya bans politics for rebel monks

Mar 4 (ST) On Monday, Lanka’s second largest monastic order for Buddhist monks, the Amarapura Maha Nikaya, banned all monks belonging to its Chapter from engaging in any form of political activity forthwith. In a far ranging decision taken by its Executive Sangha Council, Buddhist monks of the Order will no longer be allowed to participate in protests, satyagrahas, demonstrations and any other activities that may possibly involve clashes with the police, unless special permission more..

Tamilization of Indian foreign policy

Mar 4 (CT) Jayalalithaa, the CM of Tamil Nadu commenced her election campaign by pasting a very interesting poster. Jayalalithaa has pointed a finger at President Rajapaksa and he was paying homage to her having knelt before her. In fact, this picture is a result of smart editing of two separate photographs. Jayalalithaa was addressing a meeting in one photograph and President Rajapaksa paying homage to the Sri Lankan land on arrival from Jordan soon after recording more..

'Cameron is a hypocrite'

Mar 4 (NS) Richard Mundy is a British national who has lived in Sri Lanka for 12 years. He’s a teacher and also an actor. He was also part of the production of the film The Last phase. He attended the screening of the film at the British Parliament recently on behalf of Sri Lanka. He was critical of Britain and its PM David Cameron for targeting Sri Lanka. He said that Sri Lanka had done its best to address its issues and more..

Some countries have friendships, not only interests

Mar 4 (SL) The govt appears to be considering two options in responding to the US-sponsored resolution in the UNHRC that is expected to set the stage for an international investigation into alleged war crimes. One is to mobilize its friends in the UN to sponsor a counter-resolution. The other is to devise an alternative process of dealing with the past that could satisfy the international community. Minister G L Peiris gave an indication of the govt’s positive expectations on this score. more..

India’s direction, Modi’s strivings and impact on Sri Lanka (Part l)

Mar 4 (CT) Come May and it is for sure that a new regime with adequate strength for stable governance will be in power. As certain is Modi as Prime Minister. Very seldom has an unfolding future election yielded a clear and precise result so well in advance. Congress, loitering in the seventy seat range is now an orthodoxy among forecasts. Group of eleven putting on a brave Front can’t last till even the day of count. With support surge having their effect on alliances as nominations approach, more..

Solheim summarizes Sri Lanka in his autobiography

Mar 4 (CT) A handful of books published in 2013 increase the understanding of Sri Lanka. Norwegian peace broker Erik Solheim’s autobiography is highly interesting in this context. For ten years Solheim was in the middle of the quest for peace in Sri Lanka, which was shot in shreds. Erik Solheim is a guest in the highly popular Friday evening talk show “Skavlan”, broadcasted in both Norway and Sweden. more..

Implications of Geneva resolution being a political process

Mar 4 (Island) Govt seeks to give an impression that it is untroubled by the impending US-sponsored resolution on it at the latest session that has just commenced at the UNHRC in Geneva. In his first meeting with the Foreign Correspondents Association in Sri Lanka in three years, President Rajapaksa is reported to have said he was not disturbed by it and that it would only be a single black mark against the country. However, other reports said he admitted feeling disturbed more..

Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka to be finance company

Mar 4 (LBO) Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), a unit of Bank of Ceylon said it was merging with two subsidiaries and become a finance company, under a regulatory directive. MBSL will merge with MBSL Savings Bank and MCSL Financial Services, under a master plan by central bank to reduce total number of banks and finance companies in operation. MBSL said it was dropping an earlier plan to merge with MBSL Savings Bank and become a 'licensed specialized bank.' more..

'Cabinet is powerless, Parliament is of no use'

Mar 4 (CT) Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, said selecting the common candidate for the next Presidential Election is a secondary matter, as what is important is the preparation of a framework to set up a common alliance. Q: Ven. Thera, what is your opinion on Buddhist monks engaging in politics? A: Party politics is not that suitable for a Buddhist monk because a Bhikkhu is a common leader. However, the Buddhist more..

Mendis' googlies, Shahzad's slog

Mar 4 (CI) Mohammad Shahzad is capable of some spectacular hitting. He once struck an unbeaten 72-ball 100 as Afghanistan chased down 225 in 31 overs against Scotland. He showed a glimpse of that ability when he waltzed down the track to Suranga Lakmal and flayed him for a flat six over cover. Next ball, however, he lost his head. He came down the track again, gave himself room again, and lost his stumps as he slogged across the line. The carrom ball may be Ajantha Mendis' more..

Afghanistan bowlers grab all the attention

Mar 4 (CI) Afghanistan's bowling attack has shown the potential of grabbing the viewers' attention and keeping it for three-and-a-half hours. Its variety and control has been quite evident in the three Asia Cup matches and with some more tweaks, it could be a decisive factor in the near future. The attack has usually carried two out-and-out fast bowlers, one left-arm and one right-arm, who have been quite effective with the new ball, but has work to do in the death overs. more..

Document gives clue to SLC’s mysterious ‘U’ turn

Mar 4 (DM) The secret why the “Big Three” cricket boards of the world – India, England and Australia are so powerful and why the whole cricket world is bending backwards to them and lift their hands to support whatever they say is crystal clear through a document Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) financial experts have compiled and submitted to the office bearers. According to this document which details the financial potential of each cricket board more..

NDB facilitates LTL’s regional expansion in power sector

Mar 4 (Island) NDB Group’s Project & Infrastructure Financing Department and Investment Banking units have facilitated the establishment and the commissioning by engineering conglomerate, LTL Holdings Group, of its first thermal power plant, ‘Raj Lanka Power Company Limited’ in Bangladesh last December. The NDB Group ‘played a pivotal role in structuring, arranging and partly financing this bold venture by a Sri Lankan firm, an NDB press release said. more..

Much-maligned Manape

Mar 4 (Island) Manape or the preferential vote is the mother of all battles during election times as is common knowledge. All candidates, save a few, blatantly flout election laws, throw money around and bust a gut, as they say, trying to obtain as many preferential votes as possible. The end, in their book, justifies the means. With only a few weeks to go for the PC polls, the pace of campaigning is hotting up, and all signs are that we will witness many more violent clashes. more..

China denies eying Norochcholai ownership

Mar 4 (FT) China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), the contractor of the Norochcholai coal power plant issued a statement clarifying its stand on the contentious breakdowns. Following is the full text of the statement issued by Wang Ludong, Site Manager of Puttalam Coal Power Project, CMEC. At the initiation, in Oct 2005, the MOU of Puttalam Coal Power Project was signed between CEB and CMEC as more..