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No excuse for failure this time!

Apr 1 (SL) Sri Lanka has hosted the Asian Rugby tournament thrice before, but none had quite managed to generate the sort of optimism today’sfourth hosting has.More than one reason inspires this goodishfeeling; the national team’s superior state of battle-readiness not the least of them. After all, no preparation for the premier Asian competition over the past decade and a half has been as exhaustive and as expensive as the one Yoshita Rajapaksa’s men have been put more..

SF on ‘salon-door’

Apr 1 (NS) The only firebrand of the firebrand party says his party does not have a saloon door. He made this remark alluding to the salon door of the ruling party through which people can walk in and out with the same ease. “Our party’s doors will be open to anyone. If someone values our principle he or she can come in. But our party’s doors are not like saloon doors - as some say their party’s doors are. If someone wants to get a job done, he comes in and when the job is done he goes out more..

'UNP targets two million new members by end 2013'

Apr 1 (SO) The UNP suffered defeat after defeat since 2004 and has been in political doldrums during the past few years, riddled with internal disputes. However, recently the party sorted out all disputes and has got a new lease of life with the reorganisational activities conducted islandwide. The Sunday Observer had an exclusive interview with MP Gayantha Karunathilake to ascertain the present position of the party more..

A political judge or a political Chief Justice can cause more damage

Apr 1 (CT) Ven. Maha sangha, Your Lordships Judges of the Supreme Court Hon. Attorney General, Your Lordship President of the Court of Appeal and judges of the Court of Appeal, other judges Your Excellencies of foreign Missions, Distinguished guests Ladies & Gentlemen, I would like on this important occasion to thank all of you for the overwhelming support I received at the last election of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. In the annals of the records of our association, more..

Vibrant management can turn around CEB

Apr 1 (NS) In the wake of submissions made by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to the Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), there has been much discussion over the proposals pertaining to electricity tariff revision. The PUCSL was established by an act of Parliament in 2003, to regulate the entire utility sector in the country, including the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the Water Board and the CEB. However, although the CPC and the Water Board have so far more..

'Govt must buckle down and get to work'

Apr 1 (SL) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake says the govt should not look at blaming others for the issues faced before the international community since the govt needs to blame itself for the current situation. He observed that based on the promises made by the govt to members of the international community, it is now on the govt to walk the talk. “The govt thinks that the international community could be intimidated by more..

Geneva 2013: A lot of froth and bubble

Apr 1 (SL) Subsequent to the Human Rights Council’s resolution on Sri Lanka this year there has been some thoughtful analysis from knowledgeable quarters. There has also been the (inevitable) sycophantic babble from the “Pandam Hamudawa” that seems to constitute the larger part of the “punditocracy” of Sri Lanka, thanks to the govt’s ownership of control over the media. They determined that Sri Lanka won some kind of moral victory and suggests that everyone from more..

Extremism: Take the bull by the horns

Apr 1 (Island) Thursday night’s dastardly attack on a clothes store warehouse owned by a Muslim businessman in Pepiliyana is a clear indication that anti-Muslim protests have spun out of control and the country is headed for disaster. Some suspects are said to have been arrested and opinion is divided on the motive for the attack. The police are apparently muddying the water in a bid to obfuscate the main issue for reasons best known to them. But, they cannot fool the informed public. more..

Al Jazeera hoax

Apr 1 (NS) I often watch Al Jazeera because I’ve always thought of it as a critical media outlet that espouses liberal and progressive causes. Few weeks ago Al Jazeera News broadcast a report on the recently uncovered Matale mass grave with footage showing the exhumed skeletal remains of unknown victims. On March 21, Al Jazeera News aired a report on the UN resolution against Sri Lanka. I was shocked to find the footage of more..

New plan to pay Golden Key depositors

Apr 1 (ST) The Golden Key fiasco is to take new twist with the intervention of the Central Bank (CB) in creating a repayment mechanism through a Special Purpose Vehicle Company (SPV) for the benefit of nearly 10,000 depositors, official sources said. The new plan is expected to come up before the Supreme Court hearing on the GK Fundamental Rights case on Tuesday, the sources revealed. All the remaining assets of the GK company will be vested in the SPV and the CB will more..

Why unity and social harmony are crucial for economic development

Apr 1 (ST) No single factor has retarded the country’s economic development as much as ethnic disturbances. The cumulative economic impacts of the series of ethnic disturbances since independence are considerable though immeasurable.Another setback to the economy due to communal violence could spell a death knell for the economy. Once again dark clouds of communal hostility may ruin economic growth. Nipping the hatred that is being stoked is vital to ensure more..

Dialog to ring better 4G via Rs. 3.2 b LTE spectrum buy

Apr 1 (FT) Dialog Axiata recently announced that its 10 MHz tranche of Mobile 4G LTE spectrum auctioned by the TRC has been secured. Dialog’s success at securing spectrum for the launch of Mobile 4G LTE services to supplement its 3G HSPA and high speed mobile internet services was followed soon after the company’s fully-owned subsidiary Dialog Broadband Networks launched Sri Lanka’s first 4G LTE service, more..

Eurozone hits another deadly snag while the Gota-BBS-JHU fascist lump gains ground

Apr 1 (CT) It has been a dreary week, everything went as expected. The Rajapakse govt had its ears boxed in Geneva, but it will go on just as before; or worse, if the Gotha-BBS-JHU fascist lump gains ground in a backlash of extremist ranting. (Are Mahinda and Gotha out of sync, or just playing bad-cop, worse-cop?). Internationally, Obama’s Presidential visit to Israel is the most inane in living memory. And thirdly, the global economy still shudders in the pits, more..

Mystery deepens in killing mother and maiming son

Apr 1 (SO) Katuwawala Ehellape in Boralesgamuwa is a densely populated busy suburb of Colombo. However, at night it resembled a ghost town as residents retired early to bed. The dawn of March 22 was quiet as usual. However, pre-monsoon clouds had made the area pitch dark. Dogs howled incessantly, breaking the silence and creating an eerie atmosphere. 52-year-old Tilaka Jayasinghe lived in her partially built upstair house at Katuwawala Ehellape in Boralesgamuwa with more..

Credit to private sector slumps to new low

Apr 1 (FT) Growth in credit to private sector has slumped to a new low in the New Year reinforcing concerns over the rebound in the economy and prevalent interest rate regime. As per latest data from the Central Bank, credit to private sector in Jan had grown by only 15.5%, further down from 17.6% in Dec and by over half of 37% rise witnessed a year earlier. Cumulative credit to private sector as at Jan 2013, amounted to Rs. 2.368 trillion, more..

Activists demand apology or resignation

Apr 1 (CT) Eleven organizations and several individuals have issued a statement condemning parts of a speech made by the Minister of Child Development and Women's Affairs, Tissa Karaliyadda on 11 March, as being derogatory of all women. The joint statement claims, the minister had said that, "women are incapable of performing duties of the head chair" and "when a woman is given authority in a department or a ministry, they tend to suppress other women under their more..

Bhikku Front wants Karuna, KP, Pillaiyan prosecuted

Apr 1 (FT) A recent attack on a Buddhist priest in Tamil Nadu was a clear cut attempt to restart ethnic tensions in Sri Lanka, while the govt continued to harbour architects of the recently ended conflict in the country, the UNP affiliated United Bhikku Front said. The UBF said that the law was not being enforced against former LTTE commanders and leaders, Karuna Amman and Pillaiyan and Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) who were being sheltered and protected by the Govt. more..

Deyata Kirula creates strong platform for overall development – PM

Apr 1 (DN) Deyata Kirula creates a strong platform for overall development in every sector of the country, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said. The Prime Minister participating in the closing ceremony of the seventh Deyata Kirula Exhibition at Hardy Higher Institute of Technology, Ampara, on Saturday said the exhibition Organising Committee including Minister and Deyata Kirula Exhibition Organisation Committee chairman more..

Fourth largest contributor to Consolidated Fund holds on to triple-A rating

Apr 1 (Island) RAM Ratings Lanka has reaffirmed National Insurance Trust Fund’s (NITF) long-and short- term claims-paying ability ratings at AAA and P1 respectively; the long-term rating has a stable outlook. "NITF’s ratings reflect its status as a statutory body of the Govt of Sri Lanka and the Fund’s systemic importance as the sole provider of health insurance coverage to government employees (known as Agrahara); Strike, Riot and Civil Commotion and Terrorism cover more..

Centre should respect Tamil Nadu's resolution on Sri Lanka: CPI

Apr 1 (TOI) The CPI on Sunday said the Centre should respect the resolution passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly asking it to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and to slap sanctions on it while demanding a referendum for a separate Tamil Eelam. "The Centre's view that it need not respect the resolution is wrong," CPI leader D Pandian told reporters here. "If they (the Centre) thought that the Tamils' issue was an internal matter of Sri Lanka, why did they extend Rs 2,000 crore for more..

Legal pretenders prostitute law for Eelam project

Apr 1 (DN) An attempt to pass off the impeached disgraced Chief Justice as the ‘43rd Chief Justice of the country’ with one speaker expressly stating that she remains Chief Justice, unraveled badly at the Navarangahala on Saturday. The appointed Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was not invited. Former Supreme Court judge C. Vigneshwaran speaking at the Bar Association of Sri Lanka annual ‘convocation’ held at more..

DNC to sell 15,000 to 20,000 made-in-Malaysia motorcycles in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (TS) DNC Asiatic Holdings Sdn Bhd targets to sell 15,000 to 20,000 made-in-Malaysia motorcycles in Sri Lanka this year. The 51:49 Malaysia-China joint venture firm sold close to 2,000 units last year in Sri Lanka, the first overseas market it penetrated two years ago. DNC Asiatic executive director Hu Ying said to boost sales in a big way, the company planned to introduce five new models two each for the street bike and scooter and a scrambler this year on top of the three models it marketed more..

JMO asks relatives to come forward

Apr 1 (CT) The Matale JMO Dr. Ajith Jayasena said yesterday if there are claims from the families of those who had disappeared in 1998-90, he and his team are ready to make a comparison of the features they have found in the skeletal remains in order to identify the missing persons. He called on the public to come forward and disclose information about members of their families who had disappeared, adding they could further assist in the investigations into the skeletal remains more..

No change in no.of Vanni seats: Deshapriya

Apr 1 (DM) The Department stated the number of voters in the area had not changed, therefore they’d have the same number of representatives from the district. Earlier last week, Deputy Elections Commissioner for Vanni and Mullaitivu, A. S. Karunanidhi alleged that the Vanni District would have only five seats in Parliament instead of six, as the number of registered voters in 2012 had seen a considerable decrease when compared to more..

Ranil visits Batticaloa

Apr 1 (CT) Leader of the Opposition, Ranil Wickremesinghe, visited the Batticaloa District on Saturday to commence party's pre-poll work. UNP sources said, the Opposition Leader's visit to Batticaloa was a prelude to the local government polls to be held in the district shortly. He was accompanied by UNP's Colombo District MP, D.M. Swaminathan. Meetings were held with UNP members in various parts of the Batticaloa District. The main gathering was held at more..

Three schoolboys and teacher drown

Apr 1 (Island) A school outing from Badulla to Batticaloa ended in tragedy when three of the students and their teacher drowned while sea bathing yesterday morning. A school party of eight students and one teacher from Badulla, who had come on a tour of Batticaloa, had gone for a sea bath at watersmeet, Navalady in the Kattankudy police area when the tragedy struck. The teacher, Kanagasabai Pradeban (40) and three students Paulraj Polkanth(17), more..

'No room for racial or religious extremism'

Apr 1 (DN) All who love the motherland have a responsibility to ensure that Sri Lanka will not be tagged a racist and ‘religious extremist’ country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. Stressing that the govt will leave no room for racial or religious extremism, the President said all who love the country should shoulder the responsibility of safeguarding religious and ethnic harmony. Noting that elements with vested interests were more..

Accidental gunshot kills schoolboy

Apr 1 (DM) An eleven-year-school boy was killed at his residence in Kele-Thirappane, Mihintale today when a gun was allegedly fired accidentally, Mihintale Police said. Investigations were under way to determine if the gun was procured for protection of the cultivation. The boy’s brother who heard the explosion rushed to the scene saw his brother lying in a pool of blood. Subsequently the victim was taken to hospital with the assistance of neighbours as the parents were in the Chena at the time. more..

'Protests on Sri Lanka politically motivated'

Apr 1 (Hindu) Union Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy on Sunday said that the protests on Sri Lankan issue were politically motivated. Inaugurating a token fast undertaken by the Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee, protesting against the recent incidents of violence during the anti Sri Lankan protests in Puducherry, he said most of the protests carried out by a few organisations, forums and students in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu were not spontaneous. more..

'SL has implicit faith in Indian Central Govt.'

Apr 1 (DM) SLFP General Secretary and Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said the Sri Lankan govt had implicit faith in the Indian central govt and would continue to maintain close ties with them despite the current situation in Tamil Nadu. “No matter what transpired in Tamil Nadu, we are maintaining close ties with the Indian central govt, which constantly comes under pressure from the Tamil Nadu govt,” the Minister said more..

SF’s party likely to get political recognition today

Apr 1 (Island) Election Secretariat is expected to inform retired General Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party (DP) today of its decision on the latter’s application seeking political recognition. Sources said that Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya was expected to inform the party General Secretary of his decision today, though the announcement was earlier to be made on April 5. Speculation is rife that the General Fonseka will get the long awaited approval. more..

Lawyers Collective calls BASL Convocation historic and uncompromising

Apr 1 (FT) Members of the legal profession commended the recently-inducted President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka Upul Jayasuriya for organising a historic convocation held in line with lawyers’ aspirations and without compromising the stand of the Bar, a group of legal activists said. The recently-elected President of the Bar was inducted at a ceremony at Nawarangahala on Saturday. The Lawyers Collective, an umbrella group of legal associations that was intensely active more..

CEB buying power from private concern

Apr 1 (CT) The CPC has recently decided to stop supplying fuel to the CEB in an effort to quell mounting losses. Of the billions of rupees owed by CEB to CPC, as well as by Mihin Lanka, the Police and the Military Forces, CPC has demanded that the CEB pay back at least Rs 21 billion of the Rs 74 billion owed to them, or alternatively, pay upfront, if fuel is to be purchased. Speaking on the ultimatum given by CPC, more..

MS Queen Victoria calls in Colombo

Apr 1 (FT) MS Queen Victoria, the luxury cruise ship operated by Cunard Line, arrived in Colombo on her maiden call yesterday. In January this year, she set off on a stunning 105-night circumnavigation of the globe and arrived in Colombo from Port Kelang in Malaysia. She sailed from Colombo last evening, heading towards her next Port, Mumbai in India. With a length overall of 294 m and a total of 16 decks, Queen Victoria is a near identical sister ship of the Queen Elizabeth, more..

'Tamil Nadu politicians are fooling public'

Apr 1 (NDTV) World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga blasted Tamil Nadu politicians on Sunday for their calls to keep Sri Lankan players out of the IPL matches in Chennai. He said while he believes sports and politics should be kept separate, it is not the case in reality. "Politics and sports should be kept separate. It has been for the last so many years. But it happens every time India goes into general elections, this is the way Tamil Nadu politicians have been behaving. more..

Police released Kilinochchi attackers — TNA

Apr 1 (Island) The TNA accused the govt of trying to disrupt its Northern Provincial Council election campaign by attacking its national and local level leaders. TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said that Saturday’s attack on a meeting held in Kilinochchi, attended by four TNA MPs, including himself, could be the beginning of a govt campaign to scuttle his party’s election campaign. He alleged that a gang led by a person carrying a national flag had more..

Editorial: Why don't they set up Eelam in Tamil Nadu?

Apr 1 (DM) The antiques of Tamil Diaspora including its latest trump card, the controversial British TV Channel 4 seem to have succeeded in precipitating a chain reaction in fostering hatred in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka, shortly after the photographs of alleged killing of LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s son were telecast on a TV programme a few weeks ago. The Tamil cause was taken up by students in Tamil Nadu who first started actively protesting in rallies which their police more..

The long war…and the cold peace that follows…

Apr 1 (DM) I would like to attempt to explain how perhaps the most successful defenders of the Sri Lankan strategy in 2009, at the UNHRC, were a former Stalinist and a Liberal. I don’t think there will be any challenge to the claim that Dayan (Jayatilleke) and I, though he of course was the senior partner and the strategist, worked together effectively. This was based on two things. First, we had no doubt whatsoever that Sri Lanka was fighting a just war and fighting it justly, more..

Sparks fly as proposed CEB mega rate hike meets stiff opposition

Apr 1 (ST) A statutory body examining tariff hikes heard numerous complaints that consumers would pay for corrupt activity at the CEB if there is an upward revision of prices. Over a hundred proposals have been put forward this week to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the official body empowered to decide on the rate hike. According to proposals put forward to the PUCSL, over more..

Exports down by 12% in two months

Apr 1 (SL) There has been a 12% drop in exports in two months alone, causing a significant roadblock to achieving targets set out in the Mahinda Chinthana, the Export Development Board (EDB) confirmed, Executive Director EDB, Dr Yousuf Marikkar said. The drop, which he said was ‘a little bit alarming,’ was due to various factors, many of which were out of the EDB’s control. The international market was going through a more..