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CPI (M): probe war crimes by Sri Lankan armed forces

May 1 (Hindu) The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will organise demonstrations in major cities of the State, demanding an enquiry into “war crimes” committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces in the final phase of the civil war. In a statement, CPI (M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said the report of a United Nations committee has indicted the Sri Lankan armed forces for killing thousands of civilians in the armed struggle with the LTTE and of other human rights violations. more..

Lanka yet to respond

May 1 (NN) The government has not officially communicated a response to the UN panel report on Sri Lanka, a UN spokesman said. UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the United Nations would still wait for a formal response from the Government, as it made clear in earlier statements. “We have not received an official response. We have, of course, seen what’s played out in the public domain. And I think I have addressed that aspect already, earlier in the week, namely that, more..

Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi sapling for France to mark the 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi

May 1 (IL) A sapling of the sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura is to be planted in Paris to mark the 2600 Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi celebrations, announced the French National Buddhist Organization in France. The Bo sapling was handed over recently to the Head of the International Buddhist Centre in France Ven. Parawahera Chandarathana Nayaka Thera by the Anuradhapura Atamastanadipathi Ven. Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayaka Thera more..

652 Sailors pass out at SLNS Parakumba in Sampoor

May 1 (SLN) Six hundred and Fifty two (652) recruits belonging to the 202nd, 203rd Intakes of the Regular Naval Force of the Sri Lanka Navy and Artificer sailors of 2nd Direct Entry batch-2010, passed out in a colourful Passing Out Parade held at SLNS Parakumba in Sampoor on 30th April 2011. Director General Logistics Rear Admiral Dhushyantha Molligoda graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and took the salute. Commander Eastern Naval Area Rear Admiral Jayanath colombage, more..

Sri Lanka call up Maharoof and Silva

May 1 (CI) Sri Lanka have called up allrounder Farveez Maharoof and wicketkeeper Kaushal Silva to provide cover for the players who will miss the start of the England tour due to the IPL, but it appears increasingly likely that Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, will arrive with his squad at the start of the trip next month. Last week, Dilshan said how he wanted to be part of the tour from the start as he takes over the captaincy from Kumar Sangakkara and more..

Tamil war crimes report: Lanka monk threatens self immolation

May 1 (AFP) A Buddhist monk on Saturday warned of self immolation unless UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon withdrew his advisory panel report that has called for an investigation in to alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Reverend Aththadassi, the chief of the Bodirukkaramaya in the southern town of Matara, made the statement following a street protest this morning. "Over 5000 people participated in the protest demonstration against the UN report. more..

Pharmacy raids raise Rs.3.17mn

May 1 (DM) The Health Ministry stated that last year alone, a sum of Rs. 3.17 million was gained through raids conducted on unregistered pharmacies by the Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority. Health Ministry Spokesman W. M.D. Wanninayake said that although over 7000 pharmacies are operating countrywide, only about 3000 of them are registered with the CDDRA. “Last year only 2969 pharmacies registered with the CDDRA and this year so far about 622 have been registered,” more..

Sri Lanka: Dare not criticise

May 1 (HM) After many months of work, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka submitted its report to the Sri Lankan government. Though the report has only been sent to Colombo for review, and the formal release is still awaited as Himal goes to press, extracts have already been leaked to the media. As a result of these leaks, the report framed by this advisory panel – not an investigative panel, as often misrepresented in the media more..

Sri Lanka Cricket officials to discuss allegations of match fixing allegations

May 1 (Bettor) Sri Lanka Cricket is planning to hold a special meeting regarding the match-fixing allegations from the former captain Hashan Tillakaratne. He claimed Friday that match-fixing is present in cricket since 1992 and it has spread like a virus. His allegations are bound to be taken very seriously considering the fact that he has played international cricket for quite some time and has also captained his country from 2003 to 2004. more..

Last Phase of Civil War at Mullivaikal: What happened really?

May 1 (LG) The events at Mullivaikal mark the climax of the civil war in Sri Lanka, the most vicious of the battles where the lives of poor civilians were totally ignored. That the innocent civilians got massacred in large numbers is not in doubt, but the orthodox story omits entirely the context in which this occurred. What is most important to keep in mind is that Mullivaikal today has sadly become largely a political tool, an excuse for ethno-nationalists on more..

UN must excavate truth buried in LLRC

May 1 (LG) The title of LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission) based on South Africa’s TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) speaks for itself in that it is not the function of the LLRC to find out the truth. Truth is brazenly omitted in the title. Right from the very beginning of the sittings this disregard to find out the truth of the war was clearly manifest in the kind of witnesses summoned to give evidence before the LLRC. more..

'New pension scheme will benefit over 12m'

May 1 (SO) The much awaited and controversial public sector pension scheme to be introduced by the Govt for the benefit of over 10 million Sri Lankans is now almost a reality. About seven million private sector employees, migrant workers and over three million workers engaged in self-employment will be covered by the scheme. Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge said that trade union leaders and other relevant parties pledged their unstinted support and more..

Editorial: Why double standards?

May 1 (SO) The intentions of the three-member panel headed by Marzuki Darusman to study what took place during the final stages of the battle against the LTTE was a foregone conclusion from the day the United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon decided to appoint it. Initially, it was identified as a mere advisory panel that would study developments in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the battle against terrorism and report only to the Secretary General. more..

Editorial: The war is over. Or is it?

May 1 (SL) Last week dozens of people boarding and getting off buses and trains in the Pettah were being literally forced to sign a petition against the UN Advisory Panel report. Asked if they had any idea what the report contained they shook their heads mutely. Placing their signature to a govt petition was ok, a minor annoyance, “it doesn’t matter” they muttered in Sinhala before boarding their bus or train that would take them away, from a madness they little understood. more..

'Masses commitment to Govt, against terrorism'

May 1 (SO) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara speaks to the Sunday Observer on the significance of the May Day rally 2011 and the position of the Government with regard to the Private Sector Pensions Bill. President Mahinda Rajapaksa re-iterated that May day should be a show of strength by the large mass of people who support the UPFA as a mark of the commitment of the people to support the govt on account of the many important steps so far more..

Editorial: Cohesive diplomatic strategy needed

May 1 (NS) The Moon saga, it seems, will not end in the near future. As Sri Lanka braces itself for a decisive tussle with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the stage is being set nationally and internationally for a high intensity drama that will be played out in the coming days. Moon announced this week that he is unable to act on the recommendations of the advisory panel he arbitrarily appointed to probe the last days of the Eelam war, unless Sri Lanka agreed or more..

Editorial: The contours of a new foreign policy

May 1 (LB) Who is not a bit perplexed when well known pro NGO columnists and other regular banshees say that the recent Advisory Report (you know which one it is though it is known by several names) is being met with a hysterical response, one that they say is being orchestrated. This may very well be, and of course a hysterical response is not called for — a sober one would help keep things in perspective. But even so, when those who are hysterical every week when more..

Why did the the Rajapaksas lie to the people of Sri Lanka?

May 1 (TC) Ne plus ultra (Not further beyond): the inscription believed to have been carved on the Pillars of Heracles (Straits of Gibraltar), warning seafarers against venturing any further. In politics there is a ‘Ne plus ultra’ line which cannot be crossed with impunity. The LTTE, by attacking civilians, conscripting children and murdering political-opponents, ventured far beyond this line, time and again. more..

Editorial: Creeping nationalization of banks

May 1 (Island) In an article we published a fortnight ago, Mr. Eran Wickramaratne, a former CEO of the NDB Bank who is now a UNP National List MP, talked of the "creeping nationalization’’ of Sri Lanka’s banking industry. He was, of course, referring to recent investments by the EPF, ETF and the Insurance Corporation, now back in state hands buying, into privately owned banks quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange. He argued that 30 to 40 years ago, socialists would more..

Editorial: May Day: Distress call from migrant workers

May 1 (ST) Today is International Labour Day, the day the workers of the world unite; but worker solidarity is the last thing that happens in Sri Lanka where political parties have hijacked the trade unions and march, not to a single drum, but down different roads. In the United States, where this event was first commemorated after events in Chicago, Labour Day is now celebrated in September, and in countries like Russia, it is marked with a military parade. more..

May Day falls today: Championing productive industrial relations

May 1 (NS) The bedrock of labour legislation is essentially equity which runs as a golden thread consolidating industrial relations. The concept of equity calls for an inclusive approach from all stakeholders at play in industrial-related practices. Despite the plethora of labour legislation Sri Lanka claims, how prepared are we as a nation towards achieving this very inclusiveness and flexibility, in tune with current economic realities and wants? more..

May Day call to revive freedom and democracy

May 1 (LG) Government is planning to hold a mammoth May Day rally organized by the UPFA and it will be held in Colombo under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. We are told that four major processions organized by the UPFA constituent parties will start from Campbell Park Borrella, Narahenpita, Maligakanda and Rajagiriya and will march to Town Hall, the venue of the May Day rallyZ. Reports say that the theme of the UPFA May Day rally will be “People’s power to protect the country”. more..

A government’s arrogance and a country’s plight

May 1 (LG) It appears to have gone unnoticed that the annexures to the report of the Advisory Panel to the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) show that the engagement of the Sri Lanka Government with the Panel had gone far beyond the surreptitious visit of toplevel government officials to New York. As must be recalled, this visit was first disclosed in this newspaper and denied until it was conceded much later by the Minister of External Affairs. more..

'Moon report is illegal'

May 1 (NS) It is an irony in a country with a history of over 100 years of Trade Unionism and with 95% literacy, outsiders continue to manipulate the destinies of the workers. These self appointed protagonists are either politicians or followers of come decadent ideology and use Trade Unionism to maintain to climb to power to preserve the positions they already hold. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the lone ranger of Sri Lankan politics who earlier dared to more..

UNP in political tangle over Moon report

May 1 (NS) There is only one issue dominating the political headlines these days and that is the report released by the panel appointed by United Nations Secretary (UN) General Ban Ki- moon to ‘probe’ the final stages of the Eelam war against the LTTE. The potential diplomatic consequences of the report are many and they are dealt with elsewhere in today’s issue. However, the report appears to be creating considerable dissension in the local political landscape as well and more..

Too many cooks tackling Moon report

May 1 (NS) Sri Lanka is making every effort to come out of a diplomatic muddle, following the release of the ‘Moon report’ on the last stages of the war against the LTTE. The reports which include allegations of human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity by both the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka during the final stages of the war runs into nearly 214 pages. The government is yet to make up its mind whether to respond to the report in a more credible and more..

Sri Lanka to get a Chinese International Medical University

May 1 (ST) Children are indeed the precious wealth of all parents. Parents untiringly devote their time and energy to bestow them with all wealth and treasure. It is a fact that parents succeed in providing their children a primary and secondary education at their village or city schools without much problem. However it is thereafter that they face enormous difficulties and challenges in providing a higher education for them. more..

Postscript to a fiasco

May 1 (Island) The Ban Ki-moon report was made public last Monday, and by that time, we had basically said most of what we had to say about the report. For almost two weeks The Island had a complete monopoly over the report, with media organizations both local and overseas, knowing only what was published by us. The present columnist read in a certain daily English newspaper that after we started publishing excerpts of the report, starting with the executive summary, more..

Handicapped baby jumbo left bleeding and abandoned in paddy field

May 1 (ST) A month-old baby elephant was found lying in a paddy field, bleeding from its mouth, after being beaten and abandoned by its mother, outside the Buddhangala Wildlife Sanctuary, in Ampara. Early on Thursday morning, residents of the village of Walathapitiya woke up to see a mother elephant desperately trying to push its infant into the jungle. The calf – which was later found to be deformed, with inwardly turned legs – was moving slowly, and more..

Sri Lanka now e-ready to march against e-crime says AG

May 1 (Island) Attorney General, Mohan Pieris, PC, delivering his keynote address at the international workshop on "Co-operation against Cybercrime in South Asia", held in Colombo recently. Council of Europe Economic Crime Division Head Alexander Seger looks on from the head table. Sri Lanka is now e-ready to march against e-crime, Attorney General told a recent international workshop on "Co-operation against Cybercrime in South Asia", more..

Home Garden Club hopes to change Sri Lankan attitudes towards food production

May 1 (Island) The Mahatma Gandhi Centre launched a Home Garden Club last week, in what they hope will be a small step towards Sri Lankan agriculture becoming self-sufficient. The Club aims to provide support and advice to everyone interested in home gardening, regardless of their economic restraints, and to raise awareness of the need for sustainable agricultural practices at all levels. This initiative, which encourages its members to grow their more..

Moratuwa Mayor threatens provincial journalist: President orders probe

May 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed UPFA Secretary-General Susil Premajayantha to probe an incident where Moratuwa Mayor Samanlal Fernando had allegedly threatened Divaina provincial correspondent Henry Priyashantha Mendis. The President’s order follows written representations made to him by Mendis, who has asserted that the Mayor verbally abused and threatened him with death. He has also complained to the Moratuwa police about the incident. more..

Destabilization plot the May Day theme

May 1 (Island) The stage is set for a decisive confrontation between the Govt of Sri Lanka and a section of the international community, with the ruling UPFA calling a massive protest in Colombo today (May Day) to protest against what a senior aide to President Mahinda Rajapaksa called "a diabolical plot to destabilize Sri Lanka." Today’s protest is culmination of a series of small demonstrations and the launch of a public petition against war crime charges. more..

Wild Life custodians ‘tame’ pachyderms

May 1 (LB) Ten baby elephants have been sprited away from jungles by influential persons, sources from the Department of Wildlife and Conservation Department (WCD) said. Sources at the WCD told this newspaper that they had received information about a well-planned operation to snatch baby elephants from the forest reserves at Udawalawe, Kantale, Huruluweva and Ritigala, amongst other reserves. These sources said that recently, as many as 10 baby elephants had been snatched more..

UNP grudge battle for national organiser

May 1 (NS) The idea of putting forth a compromise candidate in Daya Gamage to fill the now highly coveted vacant post of UNP National Organiser on Tuesday may yet prove to be another bruising fight as the man already nominated for the job Ranjith Madduma Bandara shows no sign of backing down. Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has now twice put off the appointment as he had instead wanted to appoint Ravi Karunanayake to the post. The Nation learns that though Gamage and more..

Dual citizenship of 35,000 people under review

May 1 (ST) Dual citizenship granted to some 35,000 Sri Lankans living overseas has come under review as the authorities plan to tighten the screening process before granting this facility to applicants, a senior official said yesterday. Immigration and Emigration Controller W. A. Chulananda Perera said only those with loyalty to their country of birth and who abide by the rules of the land by paying their taxes would be granted this facility. more..

Large scale waste at Dambulla Economic Centre

May 1 (LB) Over 50,000-70,000 kilos of vegetables that are brought to the Dambulla Economic Centre are dumped at the Digampatana forest reserve, sources from the Centre told Among the large quantities of vegetables that are being dumped are cabbage, cucumber, leeks, ladies fingers, radish, and other varieties. Before the Sinhala and Hindu New Year the prices of almost all vegetables went up considerably. However, after the New Year period the demand for vegetables was less more..

Sri Lanka Cricket to finalise player contracts this week

May 1 (LB) The delay in finalizing the cricket contracts may have caused confusion among players but Sri Lanka cricket says negotiations are on the way to finalize the central contract by this week. Sri Lanka Cricket and players are in negation about their price but it has been delayed primarily due the heavy load of cricket happening since the World Cup. “We are having discussions with the relevant parties regarding the amount we would be offering them and more..

UN Panel report: Ratnasiri pulls out of talks with TNA

May 1 (ST) Former Prime Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremenayake, has resigned as leader of the government delegation holding talks on “power devolution” with the TNA after the latter’s endorsement of the United Nations Panel report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. In his letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this week, Senior Minister Wickremenayake has said he could not negotiate with the TNA after it had supported allegations that more..

Top multiplex cinema company keen to invest in Lanka

May 1 (SO) The Mexican business delegation’s visit to Sri Lanka will lead to more trade and investment between the two countries, said Mexican Ambassador for India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Jaime Nualart. He said he is optimistic that the visit will help diversify trade and explore opportunities for investments and business ventures between the two countries. A high powered business delegation from Mexico arrived in the country on Tuesday for the first time to strengthen economic ties more..