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Apologize, for God's sake

Apr 27 (KT) It was shocking to hear the news about the Sri Lankan New Year celebrations that were disrupted at the Jahra sports stadium. Nobody knows what happened exactly. Even the Ministry of Interior didn't provide a proper explanation. Hardliners barged in while the people were celebrating and asked them to leave. Police were at hand, but what was their role? Did they stop these extremists from abusing the Sri Lankan community on their festive day? more..

The Blue Water

MoI under pressure over Lanka debacle

Apr 27 (KT) A Kuwaiti lawmaker has asked the interior minister to explain the disruption of the Sri Lankan New Year celebrations on Friday. The daylong celebration organized by the Sri Lankan embassy at Jahra Stadium was cancelled hours before its scheduled end after angry Kuwaitis invaded the field and demanded that the participants, estimated at more than 10,000, leave the premises. more..

Opposition parties unanimously back new parliamentary speaker

Apr 27 (wsws) When the new Sri Lankan parliament was sworn in last Thursday, one aspect of the proceedings underlined the degree to which the entire Colombo political establishment supports the anti-working class agenda of President Mahinda Rajapakse. Government and opposition parties came together to vote unanimously to install the president’s elder brother Chamal in the key post of parliamentary speaker. more..

All in the game in the name of archaeology

Apr 27 (TN) The Sinhala academics cannot compare their plight of opposing totalitarian social fascist system of governance with that of the Tamils who bear the entire brunt of fascism amounting to genocide set against them by an ethnic-powered state mechanism, says a Tamil academic in Jaffna responding to professor Sudharshan Seneviratne defending the archaeology agenda of Colombo. more..

Colombo Port handles record volume: Highest monthly container throughput

Apr 27 (GDI) The Colombo Port marked the ever highest monthly container throughput in March this year. It handled a record volume of 360,801 TEUs (Twenty foot Equivalent Units) Sri Lanka Ports Authority said. This is an increase of 21.1 percent compared to the total container throughput of the Colombo Port for the corresponding period last year which was 297,911 TEUs. more..

Nadunkerni Divisional Hospital opens

Apr 27 (LP) The Nadunkerni Divisional Hospital was declared open by Hon. Governor, Northern Province, GA Chandrasiri recently. All the buildings of the hospital and the Medical Officer’s Quarters have been renovated with the World Bank assisted Health Sector Development Project (HSDP) at a total cost of Rs.20.0 Million. The hospital which was vacated during the conflict period and left abandoned for more than two years more..

Provincial Council vacancies to be filled

Apr 27 (GDI) A Special Committee will look into the filling of vacancies created in the Provincial Councils. Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena said that the committee comprises several senior Freedom Alliance members. It has been appointed on the instructions of the President. Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that many Provincial Councilors of the Freedom Alliance resigned to contest the recently concluded general election. more..

Tourism as the highest foreign income earner– Minister Basil Rajapaksa

Apr 27 (LP) Assuming duties at the Tourism Ministry, the Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa vowed to take every possible effort to turn the tourism industry into the highest foreign income earner of the country. “Development activities will begin in all areas ensuring the dividends of country’s development to all masses equally he said. more..

New Minister of External Affairs briefs the media on the 16th SAARC Summit

Apr 27 (LP) The newly sworn in Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Pieris had his first interaction with the media at his residence, on the eve of his departure to take part in the 16th SAARC Summit and the Council of Ministers, to be held in Bhutan from 27th to 29th April 2010. The Minister said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take part in this Summit at a time when SAARC is taking stock of what has been achieved and more..

Several new ministers assume duties

Apr 27 (GDI) Several Ministers of the new Government assumed duties in their new portfolios yesterday. Susil Premajayanth took over duties as Minister of Petroleum Resources Development. He gave an assurance to work for economic development and the welfare of the people. It will be based on the “Mahinda Chintana – Extended Version” A.H.M. Fowzie assumed duties last morning as Minister for Disaster Management. His Deputy W.B. Ekanayake also assumed duties. more..

Jaffna library to be upgraded and computerized

Apr 27 (LP) Jaffna public library is to be computerized and upgraded. Accordingly the library will be enhanced in facilities to computerized digital facilities. A meeting in this regard was also held yesterday by Mayor of Jaffna Mrs. Yogeswary Patkunarajah and Hon. Governor, Northern Province, GA Chandrasiri at the Auditorium of the library. Messers SIERRA Information Technologies Ltd. have been entrusted the task of making a survey on this accord. more..

SriLankan Catering shows its class with 24 medals at Culinary Art

Apr 27 (LP) SriLankan Catering (Pvt) Ltd demonstrated that it is preparing truly award-winning cuisine for passengers of airlines flying in to Colombo when it won 24 medals at Culinary Art 2010, the largest food industry competition in Sri Lanka. Producing cuisine of the highest standard is simply a routine matter for the talented team at SriLankan Catering, more..

New Deputy Minister of External Affairs takes up duties

Apr 27 (LP) The new Deputy Minister of External Affairs, Gitanjana Gunawardena assumed duties at the Ministry of External Affairs on Monday. The Deputy Minister stated he is assuming duties as the Deputy Minister of External Affairs at a momentous time in the history of our country when terrorism has been defeated and the people have given a resounding mandate to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take the country forward towards making Sri Lanka ‘the wonder of Asia’. more..

Minister W D J Senevirathne assumes duties as Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs

Apr 27 (LP) Newly appointed Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs W D J Senevirathne stated that the responsibility of systematically and efficiently running the Public Administration mechanism rest with them. He made this statement, today addressing a media briefing after assuming duties at the Ministry in Torrington square, Colombo 7. The administration of Public service and Home Affairs is directly under the Ministry more..

Lanka's vibrant women missing in politics

Apr 27 (OW) Considering the massive turnout of women voters in elections, female literacy rate close to 90%, and the extraordinary role played by leaders in the past, there should have been more women political representatives. Nearly 80 years later, the numbers are dismal and gender fair decisions missing. "She is ninety years old and feeble, my mother. But she insists on casting her vote, as she has done at every election for so many decades...." more..

PM visits Maligawa, pays homage to Sacred Tooth Relic

Apr 27 (DN) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne yesterday visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy and paid homage to the Sacred Tooth Relic. He later called on the Malwatte Prelate at the Malwatte Viharaya and received his blessings. Members of the Malwatte Viharaya Karaka Sangha Sabha chanted Seth Pirith and invoked blessings on the Prime Minister. Ven. Nahiniwala Piyadassi Nayaka Thera in an Anusasana said D.M. Jayaratne is a veteran politician from the hill country and more..

Tourism set to be the fourth highest foreign exchange earner

Apr 27 (MoD) Tourism in Sri Lanka is forecast to be the fourth highest revenue earner this year. Given the high returns estimate and its importance to the country's economic growth, a focused plan to develop this lucrative market has been implemented by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB), official data says. The country is also looking forward to improve tourism making it the third highest foreign exchange earner by 2016. more..

'I will serve every person irrespective of their political affiliations'

Apr 27 (LNP) Newly appointed Minister Wimal Weerawansa said yesterday, that the Cabinet of Ministers of post war Sri Lanka, would have to work for the protection and development of a country which has been liberated by the armed forces at great sacrifice, in the same selfless spirit of dedication. He assumed duties as the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities at the Ministry in Sethsiripaya in Battaramulla. more..

Selvanayagam Selvantha, 'Imagine being with traumatised people every single day'

Apr 27 (IRIN) Selvanayagam Selvantha, 34, has worked as a pastor and social worker for eight years in rural northeast Sri Lanka, helping people to recover from the country’s civil war and the 2004 tsunami, which displaced more than a million people. He works with the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, which provides free nursery and after-school activities for affected children, and spoke to IRIN about his experiences: more..

Rs.2000 million spent for general election

Apr 27 (LT) Nearly Rs.2000 million was spent for the general election says an official of the Election Secretariat. Payments for election duty and other expenses are being made at present and all payments would be completed by 15th of May said the official. The exact expenditure for the general election would be known only then he said. Rs.1600 million was spent for the presidential election but the cost for the general election would be more as it is a more complicated affair said the official. more..

'When world goes forward widening their subject matter, our universities slash course periods'

Apr 27 (LT) When the world goes forward adding subject matter, adding curricula and expanding their scopes, the government in Sri Lanka is slashing subjects and courses and allows education sector in the country to breakdown says convener of the Inter University Students’ Federation Udul Premaratne. Addressing a discussion held to apprise the media regarding the decision taken by the UGC to reduce the course period at more..

'Prov. councils must be abolished'

Apr 27 (DM) Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association (LPBOA) yesterday called for the abolition of the Provincial Councils as they believed that the Councils had failed to even draw up time tables for passenger transport buses. "Like what was done to terrorism even the Provincial Councils must be abolished if the country is to be developed," LPBOA Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said. He said beginning May 1 the LPBOA hoped to stop people from begging and selling goods inside buses. more..

Jaffna University students meet SF commander

Apr 27 (MoD) A special meeting was held between the Commander Security Forces-Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and representatives of "Students' Organization for Justice" on Sunday morning at Civil Affairs Office in Jaffna town. Students from the Faculties of Law and Arts of Jaffna University and the Higher Education Institute at Gurunagar, during meeting, freely aired their views on matters pertaining to present situation of the student fraternity in the peninsula. more..

'The IGP must explain the circumstances of Prageeth Ekanaliyagoda's disappearance'

Apr 27 (AHRC) Prageeth Ekanaliyagoda, a journalist, disappeared on the 4th January, 2010 and despite enormous efforts made by his family and friends, media groups and humanrights organisations locally and internationally to bring this to the attention of the government. No serious investigation has been made into his disappearance. Prageeth's wife, once again publically protested this weekend complaining that more..

SLFP to take up private sector workers’ cause on May Day

Apr 27 (Island) Veteran SLFP Trade Unionist and Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana yesterday said that his party would pass a resolution at the May Day celebrations, at Town Hall grounds, calling upon President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring in legislation to grant redress to private sector workers who had not been granted a salary increase or any other benefit other than the EPF. more..

Editorial: New Constitution: Rush unwarranted

Apr 27 (LNP) Last year by this time the UPFA government was going hell for leather to demolish the last bastion of the northern terrorists. One year on, armed with an enhanced mandate, it is making a similar effort to do away with the existing Constitution and replace it with a new one. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has, as we reported yesterday, said that the next Local Government elections will be held under a new Constitution. more..

'UNP supported to establish Rajapakse company in Parliament'

Apr 27 (LT) The UNP by seconding the proposal by the government to elect Chamal Rajapakse as the Speaker has supported to establish Rajapakse company in the Parliament as well says General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. The UNP that criticized Rajapaske company and the family bandism during the presidential and general elections indicates that it is shying away from the responsibility of directing Parliamentary democracy on a correct path by more..

Fowzie vows to strengthen disaster relief efforts

Apr 27 (Island) The new Minister of Disaster Management, A. H. M. Fowzie, who assumed duties at his office yesterday, said he would be happy to work for the poor people in remote areas who get hit badly by floods caused by heavy rains, earthslips, cyclonic winds and other natural disasters. Speaking after religious observances by the clergy of all religions, he said he would do his utmost to circumvent the ill-effects of natural disasters. more..

'Arrest and detention of Fonseka done carefully'

Apr 27 (Island) Brigadier Wijesiri, Head of the Military Police, in his recent statement of objections, filed in the Supreme Court, against the fundamental rights violation application filed by General Sarath Fonseka, had said that he informed Fonseka that the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army directed him to arrest Fonseka. He said he requested Fonseka to corporate and comply with the Military Police who performed a legitimate duty. more..

'Be diligent in your work or face consequence'

Apr 27 (Island) The newly appointed Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha yesterday warned the ministry employees that they would have to improve their efficiency levels and those who failed to reach the required standards are bound to lose heavily. "This is an essential service and the manner in which we operate is quite different to other ministries," he said. more..

TMVP still with UPFA

Apr 27 (DM) The TMVP, which contested the April 8 general elections on its own would continue to be a constituent party of the UPFA, the TMVP spokesman said. Party spokesman Azad Maulana said the decision to contest the elections under its own symbol had caused no rift with the government. “We are still a part of the ruling UPFA and will continue to do so and our policy decision to contest on our own is in no way intended to cause a rift between us and the alliance,” more..

Editorial: External Affairs

Apr 27 (DM) A change of ministry name alone would not help erase the murky, immediate past of a ministry. However one hopes that External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris would inject some semblance of sanity to the place which was run more like a private property of a crounger during the last couple of years. Prof. Peiris who is known for his benign, quiet, scholarly ways lacks that right degree of gentle aggressiveness which is mandatory to get demands met. more..

Gang boss known for hostility towards journalists appointed deputy media minister -RSF

Apr 27 (LeN) “In what country do you appoint an arsonist to put out fires?” Reporters Without Borders asked today after learning that Mervyn Silva, a politician notorious for insulting and physically attacking journalists, has been appointed deputy minister of media and information. Labour minister in the last government, Silva was confirmed in his new post by parliament on 23 April. more..

UNF leaders to discuss issues

Apr 27 (DM) UNF leaders, including Democratic People’s Front (DPF) Leader Mano Ganesan, SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem will meet to discuss various issues, including the choice of national list members, which has displeased some members of the alliance. The DPF and the NUW (led by V. Digambaram) are currently disgruntled over the choice of national list MPs. more..

Living in wishful hope of a new beginning

Apr 27 (NPC) The decisive election victories achieved by the government have set the stage for political stability. The most important question is whether this will lead to problem solving as well. National elections are not due for another six years. With the government having both the Presidency and a near 2/3 majority in Parliament there is no legitimate or likely means by which this stability can be threatened. more..

Will Amitabh Bachchan host IIFA in Sri Lanka?

Apr 27 (IANS) Amitabh Bachchan Monday said he would make sure everyone's sentiments were respected, a day after protests from a Tamil group urging the megastar not to host the India International Films Awards (IIFA) function in Sri Lanka. "A Tamil group picketed my houses, asking me to not conduct IIFA in Sri Lanka. I beckoned personnel from Wiz (Wizcraft) who own and conduct IIFA, to come and meet me to discuss this matter and give it due importance," more..

Gota wants Sri Lanka police reformed

Apr 27 (LNP) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa demands urgent remedial action to restore public confidence in the police. `Now that the war against the LTTE is over, their priorities should change without further delay to meet people s aspirations,` he said. Addressing a gathering at the Katana Police Academy yesterday, the war veteran emphasised that it was the duty of the IGP and the police top brass to revitalise the department. more..

President Rajapaksa holds talks with Bhutan Prime Minister

Apr 27 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is currently in Bhutan to attend 16th SAARC Summit has held bilateral talks with Bhutan Prime Minister Mr.Jigmi Y.Thinley at the Sri Lanka House in the SAARC Village. The Prime Minister conveyed on behalf of His Majesty the King and the people of Bhutan a warm welcome to President Rajapaksa and the Sri Lankan delegation on their visit to Bhutan. more..

Sri Lanka shares slip from record high on profit taking

Apr 28 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's shares slipped on Tuesday, snapping a six-day record streak as foreign and institutional investors booked profits in high trading volumes. The All-Share Price Index .CSE of the Colombo Stock Exchange fell 0.04 percent or 1.59 points to 4134.46. It hit a new all-time high of 4,161.56 points on Monday. "A layer of profit-taking seen in the market which brought the index marginally down on high turnover," more..