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SL calls for Indian protection to Lankans

Mar 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka today asked India to provide necessary security to Lankan people and property there following continued protests especially in Tamil Nadu. Karunathilake Amunugama, Ministry of External Affairs' Secretary said Colombo has lodged a formal request with the Indian authorities in this connection. Sri Lanka's concerns arose after two successive attacks against Buddhist monks and a group of pilgrims. more..

Hilton piracy stirs the pot

Mar 19 (NS) Last Sunday’s lead story in The Nation, ‘Hilton Pirates,’ has resulted in Hilton Colombo Residency (HCR) launching a full scale investigation into the use of pirated software inside the building. The General Manager of HCR, Mr. Manesh Fernando spoke with The Nation, elaborating the extensive efforts expended in ‘getting to the truth of the matter’. Meanwhile V. Kanagasabapathy, Executive Director of Hotel Developers, wrote to The Nation disassociating his company with HCR. more..

Rage must turn to outrage

Mar 19 (NS) Well I’ll be damned! And so should we all! Every ‘Man Jack’ of our citizenry should hang our heads in shame and not try to conceal our blushes. Make no mistake about it we are a nation of rapists and pederasts. Statistics reveal that in a time frame of 90 minutes a woman is raped in Sri Lanka and that almost one-half of all crime recorded in the country are rapes of women and girls. The victims are mostly females under the age of 16. In addition, activist lobbies have claimed more..

Oddusuddan: Ghost town turns into a bustling city

Mar 19 (SO) In between the Mullaitivu, Mankulam connecting road, lies the now bustling city of Oddusuddan. Three years ago it was a ghost town, but today it shows no such traces. The roads are being widened, pavements constructed, new shops and buildings coming up – just like in any other developing small town in the outstation it is dusty, hot and chaotic. Life is buzzing on the streets of Oddusuddan and people are definitely more..

Lankan Ambassador’ s domestic aides vanish in Italy

Mar 19 (DBS) With Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy being ordered to return to Sri Lanka on or before March 20, comes the news that three domestic aides employed by him have done the vanishing trick. Three days ago, as many of the staff had expected, Asitha Perera complained that all three doemstic aides had disappeared. However, the Italian intelligence had received information that the aides were taken by one of Asitha’s agent friends to Verona. The Italian Foreign Ministry has been more..

Sri Lankan Muslims in the racist paradigm

Mar 19 (DBS) It is questionable whether there are today any purely internal problems, serious internal problems, without any external dimension to them at all. It is true that govts frequently try to explain away internal problems, for which they alone are responsible, by alleging foreign interference. It is true also that there is the human propensity to indulge in conspiracy theories. In certain situations of stress people can become paranoid and imagine that sinister foreign forces are at work more..

What will Sri Lanka do without Herath?

Mar 19 (CI) Before Rangana Herath's 19th over of the day, Sri Lanka were drifting towards trouble. The pitch had begun to bite, and Bangladesh were edging ahead in the third innings with not much fear, for not much menace defied them. In two brutal balls, Herath reeled in the upper hand for his side again. Jahurul Islam, having ground a gutsy 48, stepped down the track to lay down his terms for Herath's spell, but a more..

How the old economic triad is becoming the new cockup

Mar 19 (CT) The process of colonial economic development is common knowledge. Vast stretches of land were consumed by the development of plantation agriculture producing tea. The tea plantations were export oriented, while the plantation labour was immigrant-based. The colonial govt used tax revenue from export earnings to build infrastructure – roads, rail, ports, electricity, and water & sanitary services – primarily to service the plantations but extending the more..

The GTF comes out of the shadows: What’s new in the Tamil diaspora?

Mar 19 (CT) It is to be expected that the obliteration of the LTTE would transform all Tamil polity. Armed militancy has ceased in Lanka (except the hallucinatory hypocrisy of the Defence Ministry when cracking down on rights and freedoms), and the TNA has surfaced as the main political representative of the Ceylon Tamils. (Ceylon is used here to exclude Muslims and Upcountry Tamils and the generic Tamil hereafter refers to Ceylon Tamils). The status quo was slower to change in more..

Corrupt or Committed?

Mar 19 (CT) Govt schools have always been a key part of the education system of Sri Lanka, appreciated and respected for the services provided to the up and coming generations of this country. The old boys unions and past pupils associations of many schools play a ‘behind the scenes’ role in the day-to-day running of schools, and take an active interest in the maintenance of school facilities, in addition to providing more..

Editorial : Shirani before CIABOC

Mar 19 (Island) Ousted Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake is in the news again after a lapse of several weeks. She appeared before the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) yesterday. While she was fighting tooth and nail to defeat a government move to get rid of her, we warned through these columns that her impeachment was likely to be the least of her problems, given the extent to which she had antagonized the powers that be. more..

Restrictions on fishing, cultivation, access to the church and school continues

Mar 19 (GV) The continuous appeals and campaigns carried out by the people of Mullikulam, the Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph and members of the clergy and civil society seems to have finally borne some results, in terms of the resettlement process of the people of Mullikulam. Even though the situation is still far from ideal, and the people still aspire to return home, as the intention of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to stay put, is quite clear, and as the people have more..

Budget transparency: SL third biggest fall in international survey

Mar 19 (Island) The latest survey report released earlier this year by the International Budget Partnership (IBP) which measures the state of budget transparency, participation, and oversight in 100 countries around the world, shows that Sri Lanka is among countries where budget transparency has declined considerably since 2008, registering the third biggest fall in its score in 2012. "While some countries registered dramatic more..

'While Sakvithi 'played' the govt. slept'

Mar 19 (CT) Addressing a meeting of depositors of Sakvithi Finance, former MP, Ven. Akmeemana Dayaratne Thera, said Sakvithi Ranasinghe, is a fraudster who had swindled hundreds of investors of their hard-earned money by blatantly violating rules and regulations pertaining to financial activities. He added the govt had in fact been aware of the illegal activities conducted by Sakvithi Ranasinghe but taken no appropriate steps to stop him from cheating the depositors. more..

IMF surveys Sri Lankans on country’s future

Mar 19 (ST) The IMF, which completed a US$2.5 billion loan to Sri Lanka in mid-2012, has launched a survey seeking the views of Sri Lankans on various issues relating to economy and economic fundamentals. Among the questions being asked are: “Is Sri Lanka heading in the right or wrong direction (or are you not sure)?” Another question was “Is Sri Lanka’s economic fundamentals in the right, wrong or (are you not sure) direction?” Titled “IMF Country Survey 2013 – Sri Lanka”, more..

China's satellite deals with neighbours jolt Indian security agencies into action

Mar 19 (ET) China has sparked off a fresh scare in India's national security establishment, this time with its little-known collaboration with neighbouring countries' space-related programmes, adding a new dimension to fears among intelligence agencies the eastern neighbour was encircling India strategically with large communication networks. A string of satellite deals China has struck with Sri Lanka, potential more..

Moratuwa University’s designers rewarded by Textured Jersey

Mar 19 (ST) Three of Sri Lanka’s brightest fashion designers of the future have been recognised with special awards for Creativity, Innovation and Inspiration respectively by Textured Jersey PLC. The three designers were chosen from 20 students who presented designs when the 34 that made up the seventh batch of the University of Moratuwa’s Bachelor of Design Degree in Fashion Design & Product Development graduated recently, the company said. Textured Jersey presented more..

Three week long Sri Lanka Tourism road show kicks-off in St. Petersburg

Mar 19 (Island) The three week long "Mega Tourism Road Show in Russia & Ukraine" commenced its first phase on17 March in the historical city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. This mammoth task of organizing a three week long tourism campaign in three major cities of Russia and Ukraine would not have been a reality, if not for the persevering and untiring efforts of Udayanga Weeratunga, the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Russian Federation. His vast experience and hard earned more..

Outsourcing backfires; airmail back to Sri Lanka Post

Mar 19 (ST) The contract granted to a private company to deliver airmail was suspended this week due to its poor performance, Postal Services and Telecommunication Ministry secretary Hemasiri Fernando said. He said the the contract to the company was given in the hope that it would streamline matters, but the company failed to perform and had caused a lot of back log. He said the task of transporting airmail had been more..

Editorial : Mindless solidarity

Mar 19 (Hindu) A fanatic fringe seems intent on hijacking the protest movement in Tamil Nadu against Sri Lanka’s treatment of its Tamil citizens. With the terrorist LTTE no longer in the picture, large sections of the people in Tamil Nadu have begun to openly sympathise with the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. But, even as the protest movement gathers momentum, extremist outfits without any popular base have started carrying out violent attacks on Sri Lankan students and offices. more..

'Justice Ministry to act on Sicille’s warrant'

Mar 19 (DM) The Attorney General’s Department told the Colombo High Court today that steps would be taken through the Justice Ministry to arrest Golden Key Credit Card Company Director of Sicille Kotelawala, who is in hiding since the company collapsed. Senior State Counsel Damith Totawatte informed High Court Judge Kumudini Wickramasinghe in reply to a question by depositors’ counsel Sumudu Hewage. Mr. Hewage said even though a warrant had been issued for the more..

Total Boycott of TN

Mar 19 (CT) With another Buddhist monk being assaulted in Tamil Nadu yesterday, the govt constituent party, the JHU demanded that Sri Lankans should boycott Tamil Nadu until things 'turn better.' "Sri Lankan citizens should boycott Tamil Nadu, and those in Tamil Nadu should not be allowed to come to Sri Lanka until politicians of Tamil Nadu 'comes to their senses,'" Minister Champika Ranawake said. The JHU strongly protested against the more..

Another attack on fishermen by SL Navy

Mar 19 (TOI) In yet another attack, Sri Lankan Navy unleashed fresh attack in mid sea on three fishermen from Pudukkottai district. Fishing nets were torn and the catch was also seized. The injured fishermen are being treated at govt hospital in Aranthangi on Monday. The fishermen identified as A Boomiraj, 29, N Ramar, 30, and N Lakshmanan, 30, from Therku Pudhukudi in Pudukkottai district set out to sea in a fibre boat on Sunday from their coastal village. When the group was fishing, more..

Geopolitics may hurt Bajaj in Lanka

Mar 19 (DNA) Bajaj Auto, India’s biggest two-wheeler exporter, risks a decline in exports to Sri Lanka if the island nation hikes import duties yet again. Sri Lanka faces a vote at the UNHRC on March 21 over alleged violation of human rights of its ethnic Tamil population and there is a huge political pressure on India to vote against it. “Last year, when India voted against Sri Lanka, we saw import duties going up and exports to Sri Lanka dropping from 20,000-22,000 units per month more..

UPA buys time from DMK

Mar 19 (Hindu) The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) govt has bought time from its ally DMK, which is threatening to leave the alliance, by promising to adopt a resolution in Parliament supporting two important amendments to the U.S.-sponsored draft resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC. This was the outcome of the reconciliation talks, lasting over two-and-a-half-hours, on Monday between DMK leader more..

'Teachers being transferred arbitrarily'

Mar 19 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU) accused the government of completely violating the conditions stipulated in the National Teacher Transfer Policy by arbitrarily transferring teachers by favour, as they have political connections. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, alleged the Education Ministry, had transferred teachers with political connections who had served for less than the stipulated years, despite claims they would only transfer teachers who had served more..

Spielberg to visit Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (CG) Hollywood Director Steven Spielberg is to visit Sri Lanka this year as part of a vacation around the world. Foreign media reports said that he will be taking some time off following the success of his latest film “Lincoln” by sailing around the world with his family this summer. The moviemaker’s drama about former President Abraham Lincoln took home two Oscars last month, and now he is set for some much-needed rest and relaxation with his wife Kate Capshaw. more..

Cannot send country to hell for regime’s sins: Ranil

Mar 19 (FT) As the Mattala festivities unfolded, Opposition coalition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe attempted to bring the spotlight back to the impending UNHRC vote and reiterated his call for an open dialogue with the Govt to protect the country’s international image. Flanked by his fellow members of the Vipakshaye Virodhaya, Ranil insisted that the “country cannot be sent to hell for the sins of the Govt”. more..

Wimal tells Jayalalithaa to set up Tamil Eelam in South India

Mar 19 (Island) If Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa envisions the setting up of a separate state for Tamils worldwide, then the best place is south India, where people speak all the languages of the Dravidian family, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said on Saturday. He that the TN Chief Minister kept her mouth shut when the LTTE leader Prabhakaran was alive. Now Jayalalaithaa has commenced a campaign to talk about emancipation of Tamils and the need for eelam. "This so-called eelam more..

National policy on Agro chemicals soon

Mar 19 (DN) The govt will soon finalize the National Policy on Agro Chemicals, Agriculture Ministry Secretary W. Sakalasooriya said. He said that the rise in kidney failure cases each day has become a major health problem in Sri Lanka. Not only a health problem it has also become a social problem as whole families have become victims of of kidney disease. Following the directions of the Parliamentary Advisory Committee held on Nov 22 last year to find a solution for more..

'Borrowed money spent to develop country'

Mar 19 (Island) President Rajapaksa, inaugurating Sri Lanka’s second international airport at Mattala yesterday, stressed the need for the procurement of foreign funds for development of mega international projects, just as much as there was local capital infusions for infrastructure development, which was equally important for the development of the country He said: "It was not possible to build internationally important more..

Five Sri Lankan fishermen arrested for straying into Indian waters

Mar 19 (TOI) Five Sri Lankan fishermen were held off Tuticorin coast by the Indian coast guard on Sunday. However, the incident caused anxiety among the fishermen in Rameswaram, who were expecting the release of 19 of their counterparts, held on similar charges by the island nation. The Sri Lankan fishermen had apparently started from Kalpatti fishing harbour on March 14 and they were fishing in the sea. Indian coast guard vessel Nayagi Devi patrolling the coast allegedly found more..

The Colombo-Katunayake highway is to be opened in August

Mar 19 (GDI) Arrangements are being made to open next August, the 26 kilometre-long Katunayake - Kelaniya Expressway built at a cost of 291 million US dollars. The Ports and Highways Ministry commenced the construction of the express way in 2009 under the direction of President Rajapaksa. Minister Basil Rajapaksa who inspected the expressway recently instructed the relevant officials to plant trees native to Sri Lanka on either side of the road after conserving the marshy lands more..

'India has moral responsibility to support SL'

Mar 19 (HT) Foreign Minister Professor G L Peiris says it is India's in interest to ensure that there is a "stable, long-lasting settlement" to the Tamil issue in the island country. Allegations of war crimes and Tamils being harassed are untrue and part of a vicious political campaign, Peiris tells Padma Rao Sundarji in an interview. Q: On March 21, the US will introduce a tough resolution at the UNHRC to make Sri Lanka culpable of more..

Over 3400 Lankans living on streets

Mar 19 (Island) The Census and Statistics Department revealed that 3,418 Sri Lankans had no permanent or temporary shelter and they were living on streets. Director, Population Census and Demography Division, of the Department, Indu Bandara said that it was revealed in the Basic Population Information report of the Census of Population and Housing 2012. Mrs. Bandara was addressing a seminar organised to make journalists aware of the Department’s activities, more..

After raising temperatures, Karuna offers peace formula

Mar 19 (HT) The tension between the DMK and the ruling UPA over the SL Tamils issue seemed to be cooling off on Monday evening. Although talks between the two UPA partners ended inconclusively, DMK chief Karunanidhi seemed to have come up with a compromise formula to save the alliance. He suggested that his demands be adopted by Parliament, a move seen as a climbdown. “I have urged them to bring about this resolution in Parliament and they have agreed,” more..

US explains human rights resolution against Sri Lanka

Mar 19 (PTI) The US is going ahead with its resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva as the Rajapaksa govt has failed to fulfill its international obligations, which it promised after the fall of the LTTE, the Obama Administration said. Without naming any one, State Department spokesperson told reporters that the US is working with a lot of govts who share its concerns about the lack of progress in Sri Lanka. more..

Editorial: Waste and corruption lead to economic crisis

Mar 19 (DM) On a TV programme last week, JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti challenged the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) to disprove his claim that it was making a profit of Rs.69 on every litre of petrol. In editorials last week and the week before we also pointed out that the price of Saudi Crude was Rs. 91 a litre and not Rs. 113 as claimed by the CPC. A minister who also spoke tried to defend the Govt by saying there were expenses for freight, insurance and local transport. more..

20 years of fostering and promoting Sri Lankan literary talent

Mar 19 (DM) This year the Gratiaen Prize celebrates 20 years. Founded in 1993 by the Booker-Prize-Winner Michael Ondaatje, the prize is awarded to the best work in English by a resident Sri Lankan writer and both manuscripts and published submissions are eligible. As in previous years, the British Council would be hosting the shortlist announcement. The award of the prize would take place on May 4, 2013. The judges for the 2012 Gratiaen Prize are: Jayantha Dhanapala more..

'I have not even thought about the premiership'

Mar 19 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa spoke to the Daily Mirror about the ongoing development projects undertaken across the country, intra-party politics and his future political aspirations. Q: Yesterday was the opening of the Mattala Airport; many have questioned whether Sri Lanka needs another airport and if these funds could not have been used for a purpose that would have benefited the people in a greater manner. more..