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In search of truth in Sri Lanka

May 4 (TOI) "I still remember that night... As I turn back, I see three men drag Sivaram into a van and drive away in 30 seconds!" An eyewitness account of a senior journalist in Sri Lanka remembering the night how his journalist friend Taraki Sivaram was taken away by unidentified men brings out the brutality of the treatment meted out to journalists during the civil war in the island country. "Taraki: Journey of a Journalist", a documentary directed by Someetharan and released in 2012, more..

Start of a US-Sri Lanka reset?

May 4 (TD) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently visited Sri Lanka. He was accompanied by Nisha Biswal, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. Kerry and company were welcomed with open arms by the Sirisena administration and this high-level visit is the latest (and most prominent) reminder that Sri Lanka’s recent political shakeup is a genuine game changer for the Obama administration. It was a brief stay and one could argue that Kerry may more..

John Kerry's remarks with embassy staff

May 4 (NRA) SECRETARY KERRY: (Applause.) Can I just -- really, thank you. Thank you. Thank you and good morning. You love it. I’m just getting at it, just (inaudible). It’s really nice to see all of you. Kids, thank you for coming out. How are you? You all look fabulous. You look terrific. No school today, right? (Laughter.) Yay. (Laughter.) That’s really, really good. Anyway. Well, I’m really happy to see all of you. Thank you. more..

Sri Lankans in Japan celebrate New Year

May 4 (Island) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan and the New Year Festival Executive Committee, in close association and coordination with Tokyo based Associations, celebrated the Sinhala Tamil New Year in Chofu Sports Stadium in the city of Chofu in the Prefecture of Tokyo. Well over 6,000 Sri Lankan nationals domiciled in Japan, particularly, in nearby cities of Tokyo, and Japanese and foreign nationals attended the event. Director General of Chofu International Friendship Association more..

Buddhist heritage sites in north Andhra cry for attention

May 4 (Hindu) The treasure trove of Buddhist heritage sites, flourished between 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD in the three north Andhra districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, and Visakhapatnam districts, is in a neglected state. These sites have the potential to attract international tourists from SL, Japan, Indonesia and China besides other nations. Half a dozen sites located in and around the city have failed to attract attention of tourists even decades after their discovery. more..

6 years after war, Tamil families want to know where their loved ones are

May 4 (LAT) Kuhendran Manoranjithamalar and her husband trudged into the army checkpoint on the last day of SL civil war, clutching their three children and some jewelry. They had lost everything else. Then, as they sought refuge in govt territory, they lost each other. Soldiers detained her husband, Balasingham, a sometime driver for the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. He has not been heard from since that warm evening in May 2009, more..

Oral cancer on the rise among bus crew

May 4 (DN) Oral cancer among bus crew in Sri Lanka is on the rise, sources said. A betel chew has 32 cancerous substances. "Bus drivers and conductors keep the betel chew in their mouths for a long time. This leads to injuries to the tissues in the mouth and ends up in cancer," they said. Of the total cancer patients reported in the island, 13% are cancer patients. Three oral cancer patients die every two days and 1,400 new oral cancer patients are detected every year. more..

Protest against Sampur Power Plant

Apr 4 (SL) Environmental protection groups held a protest at the Muttur Navalady junction last Friday against the construction of the Sampur power plant in the Eastern province. Approximately 500 acres of land in the area has been allocated for this purpose, said the protestors and initial construction of the border fence surrounding this land has commenced. A meeting of the officials was to be held last Thursday regarding the construction of the border fencing, but at the last moment more..

MS-MR meeting on Wednesday

May 4 (DM) The planned meeting between President Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa is to be taken place at the Speaker’s residence on Wednesday or Thursday, informed sources said. Accordingly, SLFP MPs Dilan Perera, Mahinda Amaraweera and Lasantha Alagiyawanna had met President Sirisena on Saturday to discuss about the meeting. The MPs had reportedly told the President that the meeting between the two more..

Film on Buddha to be shot in Kolkata

May 4 (TOI) In 1993, Bernardo Bertolucci did it with Little Buddha starring Keanu Reeves and Bridget Fonda. Martin Scorsese touched upon the subject when he made Kundun in 1997. Earlier, of course, there was Conrad Rooks' 1972-film Siddhartha with Shashi Kapoor and Simi Garewal in the lead. Now comes the news that critically acclaimed Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundara is making an international film on the Buddha. Parts of the film will be shot in Kolkata. more..

NDB Jaffnaspire receives overwhelming response

May 4 (Island) NDB Jaffnaspire held from 22nd to 25th April in the Jaffna peninsula received a tremendous response from the people in the region. The mammoth effort by NDB in Jaffna during these four days comprised of several community development projects, an Investor Forum, a vehicle fair, a mega door-to door campaign and a musical show by the famed Indian Super Singers. With NDB Jaffnaspire, the Bank reached out to elevatethe living standards of the Sivappomi home for more..

'19A still inoperative, will take a few more days'

May 4 (DM) Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said it would take a few days for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution to come into force though it was initially set to be operative from April 30 onwards. Minister said there were a lot of amendments proposed during the Committee Stage of the debate, and they should all be incorporated into the Bill. After that, he said it had to be perused both by more..

Iranian falls to his death while photographing

May 4 (DM) One of the two Iranians who was attempting to have some scenic places photographed in Giragala island in Mirissa, Weligama drowned when he slipped from the rock and fell to the sea beneath. However, the Navy personnel who were in the vicinity were able to rescue the second Iranian and admitted him to Matara hospital in a critical condition. Two Iranians identified as Kerama Mair (30), Nimaar Arahder (24), who are employees in Uma Oya project, more..

FCID summons Johnston

Apr 4 (Island) Former Minister Johnston Fernando has been summoned to Financial Crimes Investigation Division tomorrow. He has been summoned to record a statement for allegedly not paying five million rupees for goods he had obtained from the Lanka Sathosa when he was the minister. Sources close to him said that they had receipts to prove that the payments had been made. The objective was to put former Minister behind bars to disrupt organising of the forthcoming rally to more..

Alleged coup attempt on the night of election proving to be a mirage

May 4 (Island) The police hadn’t been able to establish a prima facie case to proceed with the investigation into an allegation that a section of the army sought to help former President Rajapaksa remain in power in spite of his defeat at the Jan.8 presidential poll, authoritative sources said. However, ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said that the investigation had been concluded and the findings submitted to Attorney General more..

National Chamber welcomes enactment of 19th Amendment

May 4 (Island) The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka congratulates the President, PM and all the MPs in getting the 19th Amendment passed with many obstacles and difficulties encountered on the way. The Chamber welcomes the enactment of the 19th Amendment which puts Sri Lanka on the right road to democracy and signal the return of meaningful parliamentary democracy. For a President who had just completed the 100 days in office, it is an achievement of highest order more..

'Professionals, not politicians to take investment decisions'

May 4 (CT) There will be no more Strategic Development Projects (SDP) in the future, Board Of Investment (BOI) Chairman Upul Jayasuriya said. However, he noted that ongoing Strategic Development Projects will not be halted and the BOI will provide its assistance to continue those projects. He stressed that the decisions regarding investment projects should be taken by professionals in the BOI, not by the politicians. "Strategic Development Project law was brought to more..

TNA demands special arrangement for Northern Province

May 4 (Island) TNA insisted that it wouldn’t cooperate under any circumstance with the electoral reforms meant to reduce the number of elected representatives from the Northern and Eastern electoral districts. Nine members are elected from the Jaffna electoral district, whereas six enter parliament from the Vanni electoral district comprising Mannar, Vavuniya & Kilinochchi districts. 16 are elected from Eastern Province more..

Yahapalanaya among health professionals

May 4 (DM) With the approval of the crucial 19th Amendment to the Constitution, we need to see good governance, accountability and transparency not only in politics but also in other vital spheres of society. One such important area is healthcare, which includes medicine, food and nutrition. After a delay of more than 40 years, broken promises by political leaders and subtle operations by Trans-National Companies, a bill to set up the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) more..

Practise Satipattana

May 4 (DM) During Buddha’s time, there lived an erudite scholar monk named Pothila, who was an authority on Buddhist ‘doctrinal’ teachings. He was also like the present day masters of chronicle studies [a Tripitaka Wagishvara], ‘proficient’ in all facets of training and guiding others on the practice. Pothila also possessed an in depth ‘knowledge’ of every discourse of the Buddha. For this reason Pothila became a respected ‘Guru’ to a large number of monks. more..

‘Buildings fell like puffs of smoke’

May 4 (ST) Last Saturday the Sri Lankan Under-14 girls football team was at a museum near Kathmandu, Nepal, studying the rich history of the city while on a sports tour. Around noon, they experienced the terrible shaking that caused the city to collapse in a matter of minutes. “We ran into the garden of the museum. Everyone was screaming – there was a huge sound. The air was with full of dust when the buildings collapsed. more..

Yet another former minister under suspicion

May 4 (SL) A former top minister has been accused of misusing his ministerial powers which has resulted in the Govt having to bear huge financial losses. The former minister (name withheld) operated a small communication center in Kadawatha before entering parliament. He has been accused of acquiring wealth running into millions within a short span of time after extending his support to former President Rajapaksa. more..

People are with us: UNP

May 4 (DM) The UNP today said its May Day rally was one of the most successful rallies ever in the history and that it had proved the majority of people were with the UNP. UNP General Secretary and Minister Kabir Hashim said the number of participants at the UNP rally had exceeded the number of participants took part in all other May Day rallies organised by other political parties and trade unions. more..

Army hotel raided for operating without liquor licence

May 4 (Island) The officers attached to the Kalutara Excise office on Saturday afternoon raided Laya Beach Hotel run by the Sri Lanka Army for operating without a liquor licence and seized 843 bottles of liquor which included 354 bottles of arrack, 112 bottles of brandy, 42 bottles of whisky, 78 bottles of gin and 53 bottles of rum (all locally manufactured). 204 bottles of local beer were also seized. more..

President visits Ampara General Hospital

May 4 (GDI) President has said that the highest tribute that can be received by the politicians as well as the public servants is the people’s gratification. The President expressed this view after making inquiries into the well being of the patients who are receiving treatment at the Ampara General Hospital. President Maithripala Sirisena visited the Ampara General Hospital Sunday. He inquired into the well being of the patients more..

Sri Lanka state bus service reduces losses

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka’s state-run bus agency managed to reduce losses in 2014 but both it and private bus operators failed to provide efficient transport services to the public, the Central Bank has noted. A bus tracking system was introduced last year to regulate operations and private operators were encouraged to form companies instead of individually running buses. “In spite of these efforts, both SLTB and more..

'Handover war crimes inquiry to the HRCSL'

May 4 (CT) Calling on the govt to handover the national inquiry into allegations of war crimes to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), Attorney-at-Law, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa said that a counter-resolution could be brought to rebut the report to be released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. All information for the report to be released by the UN High Commissioner more..

More poverty in four districts

May 4 (CT) The Districts of Mullaitivu, Moneragala, Mannar and Batticaloa had a higher rate of poverty in comparison with others, Senior Visiting Fellow at the IPS Wimal Nanayakkara noted. The 2014 Millennium Development Goals Country Report prepared by the IPS highlighted the incidence of income poverty based on socio-economic groups revealed that the poorest in the country were labourers more..

Controversial consultancy fees add to losses at Central Bank

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's Central Bank has spent 2.05 billion rupees in 2014 on consultancy fees adding to massive losses made during the year, official accounts show. "Consultancy, Communication, Advisory and Professional Fees," of 2,050 million rupees, up from 16.8 million rupees a year earlier doubled administration and other expenses to 4,050 million rupees in 2014 up from 1,997 million a year earlier. more..

12 charges listed against Bribery DG in no confidence motion

May 4 (Island) Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption Dilrukshi Dias Wickramsinghe has been accused of misusing the funds of CIABOC to purchase a mobile phone with a market value of Rs 65,000 for an amount exceeding Rs 125,000. This is among 12 charges against Wickramasinghe in a no confidence motion signed by 105 UPFA MPs. more..

Refendum for 20A?

May 4 (CT) While the Nineteenth Amendment (19A) which revolved round the clipping of executive presidential powers was passed by a massive 96% majority in the 225 member House last week, the other seemingly contentious issue is electoral reforms. Known as the proposed Twentieth Amendment (20A) to the Constitution, the SLFP, which has the largest number of MPs in the House, has proposed a hybrid form of electoral reforms. Those comprise, when deciding on more..

Pattini Razeek’s body buried within a half built private house

May 4 (CT) The discovery of the body of Pattini Razeek buried under a half-built private house, in a remote village on Uddamaveli, in Valaichchenai, would have flared up the imagination of any detective. However, despite of the discovery on 28th July 2010, the case itself, remained buried till to date. Mr Pattini Razeek who was quite a well-known community leader at the time, disappeared on 11 Feb 2010. He was last seen near the Jumma Mosque in Kaduruwela, Polonnaruwa more..

Lalith Kotelawala with Sannasgala

Sri Lanka military clears roads, treats Nepali earthquake victims

May 4 (EN) Sri Lanka's military engaged in disaster relief in Nepal has treated 1,500 earthquake victims and is clearing roads and re-building bridges to restore communications with isolated villages. Sri Lanak's military team is working in Dolalghat, an area 60 miles from Nepal's capital Kathmandu, a statement from Sri Lanka's Prime Minister's office said. The team has cleared number of roads, allowing relief to be provided to over 100,000 people cut off. more..

Sri Lanka to participate at Annapoorna World of Food India

May 4 (GDI) National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCESL) through its Trade Promotions Unit is planning to participate in the Annapoorna World of Food in India. 10th edition of Annapoorna World of Food India will be held on 14-16th Sept in Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India. The event, organized by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Koelnmesse YA Tradefair Ltd is an extraordinary B2B platform for the Indian food & beverage market. more..

CKD preventive activities brought to standstill since prez election

May 4 (Island) Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Research Scientist Dr. Channa Jayasumana disclosed that the preventive health care activities to alleviate suffering of more than 70,000 kidney patients in the North Central, North Western, Uva, Eastern, Central and Northern Provinces which were active before the Presidential election had come to a standstill now. He said that in those affected districts and provinces many forms of cancer more..

Pakistan PM for strong economic ties with SL

May 4 (AAP) Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Monday said that Pakistan's economic ties and trade linkages with Sri Lanka must be further strengthened for the benefit of their people. The Prime Minister stated this while talking to Pakistan's newly appointed High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Maj. Gen. (Retd) Shakeel Hussain here at the PM House. The designated High Commissioner thanked the govt for reposing confidence in him, a PM Office statement said. more..

Sri Lankan jailed for reckless driving in Qatar

May 4 (GT) A Criminal Court in Doha has awarded a six-month jail sentence to a Sri Lankan expatriate motorist for his reckless driving, which caused the death of a GCC citizen and injury to some others, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported. The court also sought suspension of his driving licence for three months. The convict should also pay QR200,000 as blood money, jointly with the insurance company, to the legal heirs of the person killed in the accident. The accident happened on Salwa Road. more..

Video: High expectations from Maithri-Mahinda meeting on May 06

May 4 (AD) SLFP Media spokesman and State Minister Dilan Perera says that the scheduled meeting between President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Rajapaksa, on Wednesday, will be a slap in the face to those wishing to see the party split. A senior SLFP delegation is also expected to attend the meeting, which will be the first time that the two leaders meet since Sirisena defeated Rajapaksa at January 8 election. more..

Worcestershire captain impressed with Sri Lanka's Senanayake

May 4 (IC) Sachithra Senanayake has made a good impression of himself in his debut county stint playing for Worcestershire, according to the county side's captain Daryl Mitchell. Senanayake flew to England last month and played his first match a day after his arrival. Worcestershire skipper Mitchell, writing in his column for Worcester News, said he was very impressed with Senanayake's attitude and stated that the 30-year-old had "a positive influence in the dressing room." more..