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‘PSC not the authority to discipline Ministry Secretaries’

Mar 4 (DN) The Public Services Commission (PSC) is not the authority responsible to look into disciplinary issues of Ministry Secretaries and the heads of institutions, said UPFA Colombo District Leader and former WPC Minister Udaya Gammanpila. Commenting on a recent statement made by UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake. He said that complaining to the PSC about disciplinary issues concerning Ministry Secretaries and heads of institutions is useless as it is not more..

Pre-poll scam in South: PAFFREL

Mar 4 (DM) UPFA members of the SPC have surreptitiously taken one million rupees each from an institution coming under the provincial authorities to be used for their political activities in view of the March 29 elections, officials said. Southern Province Development Authority, which comes under the Chief Minister, had apportioned one million rupees each to the 38 outgoing members of the Council prior to its dissolution to be more..

Trade union action over shaving one year from AHS degree

Mar 4 (Island) Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) and nurses of the Central Province yesterday pledged support to the Allied Health Sciences (AHS) students by resorting to a three-day protest, starting today, demanding the authorities refrain from reducing the number of years of the AHS degree from four to three. General Secretary of the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine (JCPSM), Saman Jayasekara said the PSM and nursing staff of the Kandy and more..

Three remanded over preventing Tamil women joining military

Mar 4 (DM) The Pudukudiyiruppu Court today remanded three suspects for allegedly threatening and attempting to assault a father who have consented to his two daughters joining the Sri Lanka Army as recruits. One more suspect in the same team was released on bail by the Court. An Army spokesman said that the four suspects on hearing that two daughters of K. Madaswamy of Theravil, Udayarkattu, Pudukudiyiruppu, were volunteering to join the Sri Lanka Army Women’s Corps more..

'There are no challenges that we cannot overcome'

Mar 4 (LT) Today, we came before you to request you to cast your vote for the bell and bring victory to the JVP on the 29th. However, I met you all three months ago. I came to know residents of 52nd Watta, 49th Watta, 41st Watta and Seevalee Avenue in a different environment. You all were confronted with a special issue. As such, we founded the ‘Organization to Protect Houses at Wanathamulla’. The houses at Wanathamulla more..

Now, docs and nurses lock horns over midwife duties

Mar 4 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday threatened to withdraw all obstetricians and doctors responsible for labour rooms from their duties if the nurses took over duties there. GMOA committee member Dr. Navin de Soyza said midwifery and nursing were two different fields. Midwifery was an internationally accepted profession responsible for attending to deliveries in labour rooms. But, of late many nursing unions had persuaded nurses to work in labour rooms. more..

Nizamuddin leaves Rishad to join Hakeem

Mar 4 (AD) Former Deputy Minister S. Nizamuddin has resigned from Rishad Bathiudeen-led All Ceylon Makkall Congress (ACMC) and today joined SLMC. He obtained membership of the party in the presence of SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem at the latter’s residence. SLMC Political Wing Director MP H.M.M. Harris was also present during the ceremony. Nizamuddin was a former member of the SLMC, which he had joined in 1998, before crossing over to Minister Bathiudeen’s party in 2010. more..

'Employees Provident Fund safe and sound'

Mar 4 (DM) SL’s biggest social security fund, EPF had invested a massive Rs. 2,091 billion in 2011 and 2012 and these investments were safe and sound drawing a good return, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. He said that between 91% - 93% of the total investments were in Govt Securities in the two corresponding years amounting to Rs.985,599 million in 2011 and Rs. 1,105,544 million in 2012. more..

BBS meets Myanmar's Virathu Thero

Mar 4 (SM) General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero, who is on a tour of Myanmar at the present has met and had lengthy discussions with Virathu Thero - who is known by Western media as the 'The Face of Buddhist terror'. The delegation of the BBS has visited Myanmar to study the Buddhist - Muslim clashes in the country. Upon meeting the delegation, Ven. Virathu Thero has presented Ven. Gnanasara Thero a birthday gift. more..

Sri Lankan guilty of murder in UK

Mar 4 (WG) A callous killer has been found guilty of murder after police filmed him confessing at the scene and saying: ”I hope she’s dead. I’m happy she die.” Gobinath Vellasamy still had blood on his hands when his dramatic arrest was captured on a police bodycam as he calmly told officers “Some people are not eligible to be on this earth.” The Sri Lankan asylum seeker was caught within minutes of his brutal knife attack on victim Mayurathy Perinpamoorthy because I neighbour saw it more..

Union Place gambling den case postponed

Mar 4 (DM) The case filed against Vajira Nettikumara who owned the building where the alleged gambling centre in Union Place was located, was yesterday postponed for May 5 by a Colombo Court. When the case came up before Magistrate, the first witness in the case, a Police Inspector was not present in Court. Accordingly, the case which had been fixed for trial was postponed. At a previous Magisterial Inquiry, the suspect informed more..

US says Lanka failed on probe

Mar 4 (CG) United States noted that the Govt had failed to conduct an independent and credible investigation into the death of thousands of civilians during the war. US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights Sarah Sewall, speaking at the 25th session of the UNHRC in Geneva today, called on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to conduct an investigation in Sri Lanka. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power was more..

Ten Sports signs 7 year deal with SLC to broadcast Sri Lanka Cricket matches

Mar 4 (ISC) Ten Sports, under the Zee network, has announced a partnership with Sri Lanka Cricket Board (SLC) for a seven year deal to broadcast SLC’s international cricket matches. The deal will run through till March 2020 and includes multi-platform media and sponsorship rights globally. Through its network of international affiliates and other broadcasters worldwide, content will be distributed in over 100 countries, reaching millions of cricket lovers. more..

Indian-assisted railway line opened in Lanka's former war zone

Mar 4 (PTI) The 27.5-km long Kilinochchi-Pallai railway line, reconstructed with Indian assistance in Sri Lanka's former war zone, was today inaugurated that would help in reconciliation and development of the region. The railway track has been built under the concessionary credit line of about USD 800 million provided by India to undertake the Northern railway reconstruction project in Sri Lanka. more..

Contamination threat looms large

Mar 5 (NS) We see more cancer and diabetic patients, graying of hair in the young ones. All these are as a result of poisonous food we eat - food poisoned by pesticides, weedicides and chemical fertilizers and food poisoned by unauthorized preservatives. The newest method proposed to distribute water will systematically poison the water supplied to the people living in Colombo and its suburbs. A water tank was built at Gothatuwa, Kolonnawa to distribute water to the people in more..

Foot and mouth disease

Mar 5 (NS) The prevailing drought conditions have aggravated the foot and mouth disease among the cattle, forcing authorities to ban slaughter and transportation of cattle in seven districts. Director General, Department of Animal Production and Health, Dr. Kumar de Silva said that despite the situation being brought under control, the prevalent drought conditions had reduced the immune system of the cattle to a great extent. “The animals have become weak. more..

More alternatives needed to secure power generation

Mar 5 (SO) Massive traffic jams on the roads as traffic lights break down, factories and businesses experiencing a stand-still, hundreds of families experiencing frequent power cuts - all symptoms of an energy crisis. Have we experienced these symptoms recently? Not so severely as yet. It was the decision of the Sri Lankan Power and Energy authorities not to give annoying power cuts to the citizens, yet the most crucial part of more..

No chances of escape; Rajapaksa surely missed the final call

Mar 5 (CT) As we wait with bated breath as to the outcome of this very crucial UNHRC session, I can’t but help think that we may have finally turned the corner in our quest for an international inquiry. Rajapaksa has surely missed the final call for the establishment of any domestic inquiry mechanism, through lost opportunities and the culture of impunity. On this the 25th Session of the UNHRC one thing is obvious; the Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa has done nothing; naught; zero; more..

Mad dog politics

Mar 5 (CT) Rabies is an infectious disease of dogs, cats, bats, monkeys, jackals and other animals and man, usually fatal if prophylactic treatment is not administered. It is caused by the virus Formido inexoribilis and usually transmitted to man by the bite of an infected animal. It is also called hydrophobia. Rabid is explained in the dictionary as: irrationally extreme in opinion or practice, furious or raging, violently intense, affected with or pertaining to rabies; mad. more..

A home for tradition

Mar 5 (ST) In ancient times, messages and orders were communicated from one village to another by an ingenious method. Royal artisans would create a transportable replica of the king and this would be taken around; upon entry to each village the royal messengers would manipulate the king’s hands and body with string, voicing the message so it sounded as if it were coming from the king himself. more..

President to woo Manmohan one last time

Mar 5 (CT) As President Rajapaksa left the island to participate in the third Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), in Myanmar, the UNHRC where a resolution is pending on Sri Lanka, simultaneously got underway in the HR capital, Geneva. Indicative of the Geneva mood was the response by the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, who last week hailed the UN Rights Chief, Navi Pillay, as a fearless fighter while welcoming more..

Born again Gamunu’s dilemma

Mar 5 (SL) History repeats itself even after millennia. Remember the story of Dutu Gamunu, the first, bent in two in bed in his father’s palace down south with his toes curled and pillow over his head when his mother peeped into his room and inquired why he was in that posture? The reply of our all-time hero is still remembered: How can I stretch out and relax when Elara is marching southwards with his forces and there is nothing but the deep blue sea behind us? Almost two millennia later more..

Ten years after

Mar 5 (NS) Exactly ten years ago, on March 2, 2004 rebellious Ampara-Batticaloa regional commander of LTTE, Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, known by his nom de guerre ‘Colonel Karuna Amman’ proposed a separate ceasefire agreement with govt— however, the deal offered on behalf of his beleaguered leader by the private secretary, Varathan, was rejected by the govt as it would violate Cease-Fire Agreement (CFA) more..

SLT’s Hutch acquisition could hurt ratings

Mar 5 (CT) Ratings agency Fitch yesterday said Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) proposed acquisition of Hutch Telecommunications Lanka, could hurt its ratings. Fitch on Tuesday affirmed SLT's (SLT) Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'BB-'. The agency also affirmed SLT's National Long-Term Rating at 'AAA(lka)'. The Outlook is Stable. "Acquisition Risk: SLT's potential debt-funded acquisition of Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka. more..

Editorial: Smelly food

Mar 5 (Island) Nury has, in his today’s column (in the Leisureland section), written about some portable weapons of mass destruction of Asian origin, capable of wreaking havoc in the West. They are not imaginary unlike the ones which Bush and Blair said Iraq had acquired. They are not only real but also edible, our columnist tells us! Among the edible weapons listed by Nury are smelly durians and hot lentil-cumin dish. He tells us about an Asian youth who got into hot water because more..

23 Chinese firms seek tie-ups in Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (FT) 23 companies from Zhon-gshan, China are seeking business opportunities with Sri Lanka’s private sector with special focus on light industries. Chinese business delegation led by Zhongshan Municipal People’s Govt Deputy Secretary General Cen Hongkai met with local private sector representatives yesterday to exchange details on the investment climate in each other’s countries and have B2B meetings. more..

3rd Batch of Mihin Lanka trainee First Officers takes wing

Mar 5 (Island) Mihin Lanka, Sri Lanka’s low cost carrier is proud of the rapid progress made by its 3rd batch cadets inducted in July 2013. The Airline fulfilled its commitment to clear 4 Trainee First Officers to fly on line as fully fledged pilots within a mere six and half months, well ahead of the scheduled 8 months. Two more pilots are scheduled to follow suit before end of March 2014. Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama, Chief Pilot – Training and Standards, Mihin Lanka, commented: more..

'Sri Lanka insurance sector needs consolidation push'

Mar 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's insurance sector may need a regulatory push for mergers as another regulatory driven move splits general and insurance business, an influential head of an insurance firm has said. Ranee Jayamaha, chairperson of HNB Assurance, a newer but fast growing insurance firm who is also an advisor to Sri Lanka's President said the splitting of general and life business is expected to weed out potentially non-viable firms. "However, if the post segregation structure more..

UNP refuses to budge over Port City

Mar 5 (FT) Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday blasted the Govt yet again for failing to reveal the documents on the controversial Colombo Port City fraud estimated to exceed $ 300 million. According to Wickremesinghe, the proposals submitted by the China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) and the subsequent Cabinet approval are being deliberately kept away from the public domain. more..

Asia Cup: Pakistan beat Bangladesh

Mar 5 (CI) Ahmed Shehzad's fifth ODI century set it up, but Pakistan needed special innings from Fawad Alam and Shahid Afridi, who blazed an 18-ball fifty, to pull off their highest chase in ODIs and book a place in the Asia Cup final, against Sri Lanka. Afridi ransacked 59 off 25 balls, hitting seven sixes during a 69-run stand for the sixth wicket with Fawad Alam that took only 5.3 overs. They resurrected a flagging Pakistan chase, after Bangladesh had surpassed expectations to post 326 for 3, more..

Afridi misses Jayasuriya’s fastest 50 again

Mar 5 (LR) Once again Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi missed out on equaling Sanath Jayasuriya’s fastest fifty record by one ball during a match-winning innings against Bangladesh in Dhaka at the Asia Cup today. Afridi equaled the second fastest fifty record off 18 balls inside the 44th over of Pakistan’s pursuit of 327 for a win against Bangladesh, who posted their highest total in ODIs. His innings today marked the 3rd time he reached 50 off 18 balls. Jayasuriya’s innings against Pakistan in 1996 more..

Court orders closure of Dehiwala mosque

Mar 5 (FT) One day after a draft resolution sponsored by the US Govt at the UNHRC noted with “alarm” rising attacks on places of religious worship in Sri Lanka, a court has ordered the closure of a mosque in Dehiwala after Police filed a public nuisance case against the premises. Gangodawila Magistrate issued an injunction against the Kadawatha Road mosque in Kalubowila Dehiwala, demanding the cessation more..

World pancake recipe: Pani Pol from SL

Mar 5 (Guardian) "Pani Pol has always been a favourite of mine," says Peter Kuruvita, author of Serendip: My Sri Lankan Kitchen. "My aunties used to make it as a treat for all of us, but I was particularly fond of it." The term "pani pol" refers specifically to the filling (which is also served with "imbul kiri" milk rice, and "lawariya" string hoppers). Traditional Sri Lankan pani pol recipes use a palm treacle base, but Kuruvita insists that golden syrup is a great substitute, more..

Discontent in North Sri Lanka

Mar 5 (ENS) With the impending meeting of UNHRC, international attention is once again focused on happenings in Sri Lanka. As the International Crisis Group, in its briefing note, has pointed out, “Failure is most obvious with respect to accountability of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the final phase of the civil war, but also by the lack of devolution of power, ongoing militarization of the north and the east, and deepening authoritarianism in the country.” more..

Tutu to the UN: Sri Lanka needs healing

Mar 5 (M&G) In a letter to the UN, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, representing human rights activists, has appealed for a commission of inquiry in Sri Lanka. We, concerned individuals and organisations from around the world, urge UNHRC to use their March session to pass a resolution that will include a commitment to an independent international investigation in the form of a commission of inquiry more..

Brandix in search for ‘disruptive genius’

Mar 5 (Island) The Brandix Group has committed up to US$ 1 million over three years on a new venture that is intended to fast-track ‘Sri Lanka’s evolution into a knowledge and innovation hub for the apparel, textile and fashion accessories sectors’. ‘The new venture ‘Disrupt Unlimited’ will run a seed accelerator that will inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough solutions to disrupt products,practices, processes and business models in these sectors, a press release said. more..

Clarification: Norway based Sethurupan denies involvement with LTTE

Mar 5 (Island) With reference to the news report headlined UK’s IBC Tamil radio ordered to award damages to Jayadevan pubished on the Feb 9 of ‘The Island’, Norway-based Nadarajah Sethurupan has sent the following statement: "I am not involved in anyway with There is absolutely no basis for claims that I have been involved with the LTTE and continue to represent the interests of that group." Sethurupan said that there was no basis for more..

Mannar Bishop leads call for international war crimes probe

Mar 5 (Island) A group of Catholic priests and Rev. sisters from the North and East has urged UNHRC to adopt a strong and action oriented resolution on Sri Lanka. Appeal was made by 205 persons on the eve of the inauguration of the UNHRC’s 25th sessions. Move is led by the Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, who has been in the forefront of local Tamils’ push for an international war crimes inquiry. more..

3 youth bowled playing cricket on the road

Mar 5 (DM) Three youth arrested by the Police were produced in Court on charges of having played cricket on Kew Road in a manner that caused obstruction to vehicles travelling on the road. The three suspects pleaded guilty to the charge when the case was taken up for inquiry by Colombo Fort Magistrate. They were released after being warned not to repeat the offence for which they were hauled before Courts. Police said the suspects had committed a punishable offence more..

Indian PM pitches for Jaffna demilitarisation

Mar 5 (Hindu) PM Manmohan Singh met Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the sidelines of a regional summit on Tuesday, hours after a five-nation coalition moved a resolution at the UNHRC, condemning the island nation’s human rights record during its war against Tamil militants. Speaking to journalists on board the Prime Minister’s flight back to New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said Mr. Rajapaksa had been “courteous, sensitive and forthcoming.” more..