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Transparency in the UNHRC investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka

May 9 (Island) The UNHRC should demand that its investigation into possible war crimes in Sri Lanka deploy transparent, replicable forensic tools and methods that are open to scrutiny by all. In a dispute of any consequence, parties deserve the opportunity to question the methods behind expert testimony against them. In a public dispute touching post-war stability, as will the UNHRC investigation, the need for open methods is all the more urgent. Investigative methods of reducing data to more..

A brief history of the UPFA from 2004 to 2014: Statistics and Real Politics

May 9 (GV) By 2015 Sri Lanka will have experienced a decade of rule by the UPFA govt under President Rajapakse. He ascended to the Presidency in 2005 after Chandrika Bandaranaike’s 1994 PA transformed and returned to power as the UPFA in alliance with the JVP in 2004/2005. The military defeat of the LTTE in May 2009 was an outcome of this metamorphosis. The UPFA became the most powerful stakeholder in terms of Sri Lankan political power in post war Sri Lanka. more..

'We don't trust govt's explanation on casinos'

May 9 (CT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa, said James Packer's investment challenges the culture and the economy of the country, although there are several casinos already operating in the country at present. "We don't need mass-scale casinos," he said in an interview. Q: Why are you against James Packer's investment in Sri Lanka? A: No MP who voted against the govt or had abstained from voting, when the Gazette more..

Editorial: Speaker’s woes

May 9 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa is in an enviable position. His job is becoming increasingly difficult; it must be more stressful than running a nursery. On Wednesday, he saw red when some MPs disregarded Standing Orders and talked a blue streak during question time while a minister, true to form, beat about the bush without answering a query posed to him. An irate Speaker even threatened to walk out unless the member fell in line, according to media reports. more..

Keep Off the Grass

May 9 (GV) Colombo has been blossoming under the keen watch of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who, in his self-appointed role as Godfather, presides over a grand plan of urban beautification that will ultimately, we suppose he believes, turn Colombo into a first-world city like any of the world’s greatest cities; high-rises crowding the skyline, up-market stores selling everything from Lamborghinis to Cartier diamonds, storefronts all groomed and decked up to mimic vintage more..

Can the TRC model work in Sri Lanka?

May 9 (KSA) For Sri Lankan northerner Kalaiselvam, the sights and sounds of peace have replaced those of war. Yet nearly five years after ethnic conflict ended, things still aren't quite right, said the Mullaitivu resident who lost many friends and relatives during the war. For Kalaiselvam and many others in Sri Lanka's predominantly Tamil north, questions related to the war and its underlying causes remain unresolved. more..

Statement from Coca-Cola Beverages SL

May 9 (Island) Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) is used in some of our beverages available in some parts of the world, to improve the stability of our products, preventing certain ingredients from separating. All of our beverages, including those with BVO, are safe and always have been – and comply with all regulations in the countries where they are sold.  The safety and quality of our products are our highest priority. In the coming months, The Coca-Cola Company will more..

India's Adfactors PR expands to Sri Lanka

May 9 (LBO) Adfactors PR, an India based public relations firm that has a strong focus in financial and corporate communications has set up an office in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the third overseas office added to the firm after Singapore and Dubai. "The intense economic activity in Sri Lanka will have a direct correlation with demand for competent communications services," Madan Bahal, Co-founder and Managing Director of Adfactors PR, said in a statement. more..

Dealing with India still difficult, chamber not satisfied

May 9 (CT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce says firms doing business with India are "not fully satisfied" and have requested the Sri Lankan envoy to Mumbai to work towards smoothening trade ties. The two countries have a free trade agreement but many Sri Lankan businesses complain of bureaucracy and red-tape and a plethora of other non-tariff barriers when dealing with the separate States of India; which more..

Expo Global Distribution Centre begins Sri Lanka free-port operations

May 9 (LBO) Expo Global Distribution Centre (EGDC) a logistic firm set up under Sri Lanka's free port regulation aimed at boosting entrepot trade and multi-country consolidation has begun operations. Sri Lanka's state investment promotion agency said the first shipment to ReimaOy Finland has been made with Eskimo Fashion Knitwear making use of the facility. "ReimaOy are one of Eskimo's major customers," Manik Santiapillai, Managing Director Eskimo Fashion Knitwear (EFL) was quoted more..

SriLankan Airlines starts charter flights to Chongqing, China

May 9 (GDI) SriLankan Airlines, in a move to meet the increasing demands for air services between China and Sri Lanka will soon be operating scheduled charter flights to Sichuan province, China. Starting from July 1, SriLankan will be operating a weekly flight to Chongqing from Colombo, returning via Bangkok. The signing of the agreement between Chongqing Huapont International Travel Service Co. Ltd. and SriLankan Airlines was held today (8) in Colombo. more..

Audio: CEA on collection and management of e-waste

May 9 (DM) Around 65 metric tons of e-waste was generated in Sri Lanka per year, Central Environment Authority’s (CEA) Director General Dr. Saranga Alahapperuma said. “According to calculations, around 50 million metric tons of e-waste is generated throughout the world per year,” he said. E-waste is all electrical and electronic equipment, after their life time. Out of 50 million metric tons, only 10% was managed properly more..

Three new SC Judges sworn in

May 9 (FT) Three new justices to the Supreme Court were sworn in on Wednesday before President Rajapaksa. President of the Court of Appeal Justice Sisira De Abrew, Justice Sarath De Abrew and President’s Counsel Priyantha Samarakoon were sworn in before the President as Supreme Court Judges at Temple Trees. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and President’s Counsels D.S. Wijesinghe, Arthur Samarasekera, Ikram Mohamed and Senaka Walgampaya were also present more..

ACBC organises Bauddhaloka Vesak zone

May 9 (DN) The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress has organized its 13th Bauddhaloka Vesak Zone to mark the forthcoming Vesak ceremony which falls on May 14 and 15. A Sila and Meditation program will be held at the ACBC premises on May 14. The Sacred relics from the ancient Gedige Raja Maha Viharaya in Kandy will be on display during the four days to the public. As on previous years, the area from Tunmulla Junction in Bambalapitiya to the Borella Roundabout at the Kanatte junction on more..

Religious Affairs Ministry says new Bhikkuni Sangha order cannot be formed

May 9 (Island) A new Bhikkuni Sangha order could not be established until the birth of the next Buddha, Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs Deputy Minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday. The Deputy Minister said that even the Mahanayake Theras had stated that a new bhikkuni order could not be established without violating the Vinaya rules and Conventions of the Sangha postulated in Theravada Buddhism. more..

Sri Siddhartha Gautama sweeps the boards at UN Buddhist Film Fest

May 9 (DM) Sri Lankan epic movie 'Sri Siddhartha Gautama' based on the life of Prince Siddhartha won the award for the best film at the UN Buddhist Film Festival in Vietnam this evening. The film’s producer, production designer and co-scriptwriter Naveen Gunaratne received the award for the best film which also won the best director’s award for Saman Weeraman, the best actor’s award for Gagan Malik, Praveen Jayaratne the best editor and Pradeep Rathnayake the best music director. more..

Suspended officer on a walk seeking probe against Sri Lanka

May 9 (Hindu) An Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, under suspension from the Customs Department, Mumbai, B. Balamurugan (50), is on a walk from Chennai to Kanyakumari pressing India to move a resolution seeking a war crime probe against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC. The 2003-batch officer, in the cadre of Assistant Commissioner, began his ‘padayatra’ from St. Fort George in Chennai on April 18. He crossed Sattur and entered Tuticorin district on Thursday. more..

WB supports urban services improvement with $ 147 m support

May 9 (FT) World Bank said it approved a credit of $147 million to help rehabilitate basic urban services and improve liveability in two major cities beyond Colombo – Kandy and Galle city regions. The project seeks to produce a more spatially balanced distribution of economic opportunities, while at the same time reducing congestion in the capital and improving overall liveability. “SL’s Urban Vision is to develop more..

Sri Lankan immigrant in Canada wins social justice award

May 9 (CCN) Catholic Social Services will honour Oblate Father Brian Jayawardhana with its Msgr. Bill Irwin Award of Excellence at the agency's annual meeting in June. Msgr. Jayawardhana, 76, has served with CSS since arriving in Canada from his native Sri Lanka in 1976. Organization will honour him with its top award because of his academic contributions to the study of people with developmental disabilities and for his exceptional service to CSS and community as a whole. more..

The killing of policeman: Police scrutinize CCTV footage

May 9 (Island) Kurunegala Police are scrutinising video footage recorded on a CCTV camera to obtain any possible information that may lead to the arrest of those responsible for the abduction of two policemen and killing one of them in the early hours of Tuesday. The two traffic constables were abducted by a group of men while they were on duty opposite the SLTB Provincial Workshop on the Kurunegala- Dambulla road and taken in a van to a lonely area where one of them was killed. more..

Sri Lanka briefs New Zealand on listing

May 9 (CG) The Govt briefed New Zealand on the background to the recent action taken by Sri Lanka against terrorist financing and related activities. The briefing was given by Minister G L Peiris during bilateral discussions with Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Sports, at the Foreign Ministry in Auckland. Minister Peiris recalled with appreciation the three recent visits to Sri Lanka by Foreign Minister McCully and more..

Father of two killed, body dumped in pond

May 9 (Island) A 47-year-old father of two in the Pamunugama police area was killed on Tuesday night or Wednesday early morning and his body was found in a muddy pond behind his house at Paranambalama on Wednesday afternoon by the villagers. Villagers who were searching for him had seen his sarong in the muddy pond, the police said. The killers had tied a nylon rope around his neck. The deceased Damien Rodrigo had gone missing according to a complaint made by his wife more..

Saudi takes part in world youth gathering

May 9 (AN) First ever world conference on youth kicked off on May 6 and will continue until May 10 in Colombo. The conference aims to produce a joint interstate outcome document under the “Colombo action plan” to make youth an integral part of development in line with the UN’s post-2015 development agenda. Almost 169 countries are sending speakers, delegates and youth in the conference to discuss themes such as gender equality, cultural exchange and other more..

Judge among those keeping jumbos illegally

May 9 (Island) Minister Wijayamuni Zoysa told Parliament that an elephant selling racket and a massive gene-piracy cartel were operating in the country. "This morning, too, we seized a jumbo kept in a house on my instructions. There is a racket of persons selling jumbos to private owners. It is illegal to rear baby elephants without licences. We request the public to provide us with information of more..

Elephant census cost Rs 17.3M

May 9 (CT) Minister Wijithamuni Soysa told Parliament that Rs 17.3 million was spent to conduct an islandwide census on wild elephants in 2011. Based on those reports, three-year and five-year plans have been prepared and put into operation towards minimizing the human-elephant conflict. Answering a question on whether places of observation had been arranged for foreign tourist to watch wild elephants, minister said such places had been put up in Minneriya, Udawalawa, more..

PC elections are important: Poll

May 9 (FT) LMD reports on a nationwide survey carried out by TNS on the public’s perceptions of local elections, with the recently-concluded provincial council elections under the microscope. “In the latest LMD-TNS Lanka survey, nearly seven out of 10 respondents confirm a belief that local provincial council elections are very important, with only 20% failing to accept this premise while another 11% are simply ‘unsure’ as to whether it is a worthwhile endeavour,” more..

Accreditation Status for Sri Lanka in African Union (AU)

May 9 (CG) Turning a new chapter in the history of Sri Lanka – Africa relations, the Commission of the African Union granted Sri Lanka Accreditation Status in the African Union (AU) with effect from April 2014 as a non-African State. Sri Lanka is the 3rd South Asian country along with India and Pakistan to have obtained Accreditation Status in the African Union. This new membership is a progressive reflection of the country’s more..

Legal action against those publicly commemorating LTTE cadres

May 9 (Island) The govt warned that anyone who organized public ceremonies to commemorate the death of LTTE cadres would be prosecuted. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella responding to questions at the weekly Cabinet press briefing in Colombo, said that it had been brought to his notice that the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) was once again making arrangements to mark the death of LTTE cadres on May 19, which was the day the organisation was defeated five years ago. more..

Vice den near Town Hall raided again

May 9 (Island) Police yesterday evening raided a gambling center situated close to the Town Hall. Raid led to the arrest of 34 persons, including seven employees and a woman. The arrested employees included its manager. Investigations are being carried out by the CCD and Western province anti-crime fighting unit. A police raid on the same gaming den on Nov 4, last year led to the transfer of 23 officers and men attached to the special unit involved in the operation. more..

'Invisible hand blocking pictorial warnings'

May 9 (Island) Cancer Care Association (CCA) President Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa alleged that there was an unseen hand behind the inordinate delay in the implementation of Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) covering 80% of the display area of cigarette packets in spite of a new law passed by Parliament. He said about 55 people died daily in Sri Lanka due to tobacco consumption. more..

Court of the people, what is your verdict?

May 9 (DM) From the time democracy began to take root as the govt of the people, for the people and by the people, historically four ‘Estates of the Realm’ or pillars of democracy have been identified, tested and honoured by time. The four pillars are the executive, the legislature, the judiciary and the free media. What has happened or is happening in what is still being projected as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in terms of the 1978 Constitution. Since 1978 and especially after 2011 more..

Towards a Buddhist approach in Jurisprudence

May 9 (DM) International Law at present is greatly influenced by Western thinking and ideals whilst there is very little input of Buddhist concepts. Thus we are of firm belief that it is time that we unearth and nurture the existing Jurisprudence with Buddhist concepts and values especially in the field of Humanitarian Law, International Dispute resolution etc. It is our view that understanding, formulation and implementation of International Humanitarian Law and Human rights need to be more..

Save Sri Lanka from Tobacco: WHO

May 9 (DM) Dr. Firdosi Rustom Mehta (WHO Country Representative in Sri Lanka) in an interview, talks about the adverse effects of tobacco and preventive measures that could be adopted. Q: What are the benefits for a govt involved in tobacco control activities? A: If current patterns continue, tobacco use will kill more than 8 million people per year by 2030. Up to half of the world’s 1 billion smokers will die prematurely more..

Water Board neglects environmental procedure

May 9 (SL) Environmental issues are getting more prominence globally but, unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, the Environmental Ministry shows no concern in protecting the environment as state institutions have got a ‘free hand’ to destroy the wild and the beast without following environmental rules and regulations. National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB), the Central Environmental Authority and more..

Religious complaints: Police in unholy mess

May 9 (ST) Members of the police unit dealing with complaints related to religious activities have no special training in their assigned field and are still uninformed about the types of offences they are expected to investigate. Officials admitted that the answers will only become clearer as the weeks progress. Critics say the task delegated to the unit that of dealing with “complaints related to religious activities” is too broad and poorly defined. more..

Dinuda not born on victory day

May 9 (DM) The much awaited investigation report on how the baby elephant ‘Dinuda’ was included in an animal exchange programme, has revealed that the baby elephant had been born not on May 18, 2009 but eight months before Victory Day. According to the report the director and the staff of the Zoological Gardens Department had been at fault in including the name of Dinuda on the list of animals for the exchange programme. more..

Hit-and-run driver surrenders to police

May 9 (DM) The suspect -- wanted in connection with a road tragedy that resulted in the death of a pregnant woman near the Pettah bus stand -- surrendered to the Pettah police this morning after his return to the country last night, Police said. The victim Mohamed Fathima Mujiya (27) was a resident of Pujapitiya in Kandy and she was on her way to Dehiwala with her husband when she was knocked down by a jeep on April 27. more..

English challenge for Sri Lanka's seamers

May 9 (CI) Quiz question: What feat has Rumesh Ratnayake achieved in a Test in England that no other Sri Lankan player has? Answer: He is the only fast bowler from the country to take a five-for in a Test in England; he took 5 for 69 in 1991. In ten Tests since then, the only four-wicket haul by a Sri Lankan seamer in England is 4 for 122, by Chanaka Welegedara, in 2011. Sri Lanka have generally struggled to make an impact in more..

CHOGM mini zoo there to stay: Ministry

May 9 (DM) Rejecting claims that several animals kept at the ‘Ape Gama’ Mini Zoo in Battaramulla had died, Botanical Gardens Ministry said the Zoo would not be closed down or shifted elsewhere. Ministry Secretary W.W. Gamage claimed that only two animals had died at the mini zoo. “I agree that some of the animals were inconvenienced. Two mouse deer had died because location was new & there was a hidden pit. more..

NFF reiterates govt. must mend its ways

May 9 (Island) NFF led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa would make every attempt to convince UPFA govt to mend its ways, but if it didn’t NFF wouldn’t be able to remain in the govt, party spokesman Mohamed Muzzamil, who is also a Councilor of the CMC said. 12 resolutions had been adopted at the second NFF Convention on Monday and they would be presented to the govt and if they were not heeded, more..