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Israeli envoy to Lanka says his country boycotts UNHRC

May 4 (Island) Israeli Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alon Ushpiz says the Jewish State wouldn’t take part in deliberations conducted under the auspices of the UNHRC, as the 47-member grouping wasn’t being fair by the govt of Israel. The group is divided into five regional bodies. Asked whether the govt of Israel could ignore the global rights body, in the wake of spate of allegations directed at the administration, more..

Boycott threat embodies sharp turn in Canada’s ties with Sri Lanka

May 4 (CH) Esan Satkunarajah doesn’t feel anger towards the Conservative government, even if he believes it bears some responsibility for recent events in his native Sri Lanka, and hasn’t treated Tamils like himself fairly over the years. Canada is standing alone in threatening to boycott this year’s Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Sri Lanka because of that country’s abysmal human rights record and refusal to reconcile with the minority Tamil population. more..

Fishermen express apprehension

May 4 (Hindu) The Assembly resolution, seeking the retrieval of Katchatheevu, evoked lukewarm reactions from the fishermen of Rameswaram island who are more worried about the need for an immediate solution to their fishing problem and a measured approach to secure the release of 30 fishermen lodged in a Sri Lankan prison since April 6. Leaders of various fishermen associations said it might help them in the long run, but they were worried about the immediate problem of more..

'Economy controlled by criminals'

May 4 (CT) The country's economy is being handled by four 'bureaucrats,' who are 'white-collar criminals', Minister Champika Ranawaka, alleged. He charged, "These 'criminals' have no vision or proper knowledge to handle the country's economy. They are in their own world. The country should be rescued from these smart 'white-collar criminals.' Why should we allow them to decide on the electricity tariff? It should be more..

Thailand, Sri Lanka to double trade

May 4 (BP) Thailand and Sri Lanka have agreed to double their trade to US$1 billion over the next three to five years. The two countries set the trade target at the 3rd Sri Lanka-Thailand Joint Commission meeting in Colombo on Thursday. Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris agreed that the two countries would boost their trade significantly. The trade between Thailand and Sri Lanka is currently valued at about $500 million. more..

Sritharan summoned to TID HQ

May 4 (CT) The Terrorism Investigation Department (TID) has requested the TNA MP, S. Sritharan, to appear at the TID headquarters over the comments he has made to the press on alleged land acquisition in the Kilinochchi District. Sritharan said two men from the TID had even visited his house in Jaffna and inquired about him from his wife. “A person identifying himself as PC Thilakaratne from the TID spoke to me over the phone on Thursday and requested me to be present at the TID more..

Rolls-Royce to provide engines for SriLankan Airlines refit

May 4 (Guardian) Rolls-Royce is expected to provide the engines for a multi-billion dollar refitting of SriLankan Airlines planes – but this must not influence the UK's diplomatic position over human rights in the south Asian country, campaigners say. The deal has emerged at a time of mounting controversy over Sri Lanka's hosting of the biennial CHOGM in November, despite allegations that it is intensifying a crackdown on critics more..

Frederica ordered to pay Rs 1 M to Ladduwahetty

May 4 (CT) Colombo District Judge ordered former Editor of the Sunday Leader, Frederica Jansz to pay Rs 1 million to President's Counsel, Nalin Ladduwahetty, for defaming him in four articles published by the Sunday Leader. The Court observed that Ladduwahetty is a well-respected lawyer and the plaintiff proved the case against the defendant.The Court ordered she pay the cost of the case to the plaintiff and the interest of the award from the date of the judgment delivered. more..

Heavy rains bring relief from heat, but also misery

May 4 (Island) Heavy rains lashed Colombo and other coastal areas countrywide, from the early hours of yesterday, hampering all day-to-day activities and affecting thousands of people in the city, especially during the morning and evening rush hours. The Met Department warned that more showers and thundershowers could be expected today, too, as certain signs of monsoon were now being witnessed. However, Meteorologist Jeewan Karunaratne said that the people could now more..

David Cameron will defy boycott calls to attend CHOGM

May 4 (Telegraph) Calls on Mr Cameron to boycott the event risked an embarrassing split with Buckingham Palace, had the Queen travelled to the meeting as the Commonwealth’s head. The organisation decided at its last meeting two years ago to hold the CHOGM in Sri Lanka this year but many states have since been dismayed by Sri Lanka's failure to heed calls for reform. In particular Colombo has come more..

Editorial: Money, Money, Money - It’s a rich man’s world

May 5 (DM) Whatever the advocates of the globalised capitalist market economic policy may say, the nett result of it is that it has produced societies where priority number one is money, priority number two is money and priority number three is also money. Hallowed values of our ancient civilization, traditional culture and other principles come far down in the list not only in business and trade but even in other fields like environmental protection, social justice, music and art. more..

The Logic of Power Sharing

May 5 (DM) There are many things around us, besides alcohol and drugs, which are addictive. Two of these are wealth and power. Those who have tasted power and enjoyed wealth would like to have more of both, unless society takes effective measures to restrain them. Modern capitalist societies encourage accumulation of wealth in the hands of individuals and firms as it is believed that capital accumulation is necessary for productive investment. So having billionaires around more..

Observing Press Freedom in Sri Lanka

May 5 (DM) Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Currie on January 28, 1786 wrote “our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost”. Although this golden age of freedom of expression has been abridged by the practical needs of economy, individual rights and evolving legal constraints—the freedom of the media still remains an important tenet of democracy. At a time when Sri Lanka more..

Destruction at what cost?

May 5 (SL) Startling revelations have come to the fore as to how thousands of acres of thick forest lands in Hambantota district are being destroyed for development. After clearing 2,000 hectares of forest lands for the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, plans have been drawn to construct a Commercial City, a housing complex, a university and a solar garden (solar power project) clearing thick forest lands. more..

CEB engineers want a Norochcholai senior engineer out

May 4 (Island) The powerful Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) urged CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala to remove a senior engineer at the Norochcholai Power Plant, hinting that failing to take immediate action would lead to a number of technical issues, due to none coordination between that senior engineer and others. Engineers Union President Nandika Pathirage said: "We have taken up the more..

Sri Lankan firms gearing up for petroleum support services

May 4 (LBO) Sri Lankan firms are gearing up to provide petroleum support services as off-shore oil exploration and development begins to take-off, officials said. Following the sale of the first off-shore oil exploration block to Cairn Energy, Sri Lankan firms had supplied logistics to the seismic and drilling vessels that arrived. "Sri Lankan companies provided the support services which were pretty complex," more..

Walk the talk and go home: Ravi tells Wimal

May 5 (DM) UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake referring to the separate May Day rally and the speech made by Minister Wimal Weerawansa challenged him to “walk the talk” and go home. Minister Weerawansa claimed that his portfolio was of little value to him and he could leave it at any moment if the govt acted against his conscience. Mr. Karunanayake said Minister Weerawansa was known to make such statements but had more..

EU appoints new envoy to Sri Lanka

May 4 (CG) The EU has appointed David Daly as the new Head of the EU Delegation to Sri Lanka to replace the current Head of Delegation Bernard Savage. Daly is currently the Head of the EU Delegation to Australia and New Zealand in Canberra. He was previously Head of the Croatia Unit in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU more..

'Nine out of eleven CEB power purchase agreements signed under UPFA'

May 4 (Island) UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne said that nine of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) that the CEB entered into with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) had been signed after President Rajapaksa had assumed office. The other two had been signed by UNP administrations in 1996 and 2002. Quoting from the Central Bank Report of 2007, Wickremeratne said that the IPPs enjoyed many benefits despite more..

SLFP Trade Unions claim credit for power tariff reduction

May 4 (Island) The SLFP trade union, Sri Lanka Nidhas Sewaka Sangamaya, claimed the credit for convincing President Rajapaksa to lower the increased power tariffs for low rung consumers, which came as a May Day bonanza. It also announced that its May Day 2013 had the highest number of participants at more than 500,000. Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge said that trade unions understood the reasons for the more..

Misfiring Sri Lankan IPL stars to be recalled home

May 4 (DM) A concerned Sri Lanka will call back their off-colour stars from the IPL tournament to take part in a local preparation tournament for next month’s Champions Trophy, chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya said. “SLC must make an immediate official request to the BCCI to discuss with the IPL franchises and get those franchises to release the SL players who they might feel won’t be picked for the remainder of this IPL season. more..

IMF help to restructure CEB, CPC, SriLankan and Mihin

May 5 (DM) A high level IMF delegation yesterday pledged its full cooperation and assistance to introduce an extensive tax reform formula to Sri Lanka. At a meeting with COPE Chairman D.E.W. Gunasekara, the delegation said IMF would help restructure four major loss making state ventures -- the CEB, CPC, SriLankan and Mihin Air. A spokesman said the delegation listened keenly to Minister Gunasekara when he more..

Angoda Mental Institute Head attracts GMOA wrath for another’s sin

May 4 (Island) The GMOA General Secretary Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa yesterday accused the Angoda Mental Institute’s Director Dr. Gayan Mendis of requesting the Health Ministry to set up a smoking area at the Angoda Mental Hospital premises. Dr. Epitakaduwa told The Island that the mental hospital Director had requested Director General of Health Services to set up a smoking area at the hospital premises for patients who were in the habit of smoking. more..

‘Marshall Plan’ And Sri Lanka

May 4 (CT) What a war devastated nation needs most is resource for rebuilding. What Sri Lanka lacked most was the requisite capital. When local resources cannot be fully mobilized recourse is necessary for infusion from abroad. Both strategies have been employed by the present regime. No doubt adding to debt, but permitting of first world expenditure in a third world economy. Public debt of Rs. 2.222 trillion in 2005 has risen to Rs.6.000 trillion in 2012. Year on year increase alone more..

President urged to free Salley

May 4 (CG) The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka has urged President to free former Colombo Deputy Mayor Azath Sally on humanitarian grounds. In a letter addressed to the President, the Muslim Council said that the Muslim community in SL is deeply concerned about the arrest and detention of Azath Salley. The President of the Muslim Council, N.M. Ameen said that Salley was suffering from hypertension and diabetes. more..

Editorial: Lankans unmasked one by one

May 4 (CT) Are Sri Lankans now unfurling their true identity to the world? Sri Lanka was once a society known for its closed-door identity or in other words, a country and people who were practising two cultures, one indoors and the other outdoors. Now the true face appears to be showing. Many Sri Lankans, if they cannot meet their waterloo in their own country, are taken head-on like the old saying 'taking the bull by the horns' away from what they call home. Such cases are numerous. more..

BASL And The Judiciary

May 4 (CT) In the wake of concerns expressed by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) and members of the legal profession on the unprecedented transfers of judges and the appointment of a judge of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court by the President bypassing the President of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court, the question is posed as to whether the BASL and/or members of the legal profession has a right to express its concerns on such transfers more..

Measures to overcome the electricity pricing impasse

May 4 (CT) On 24 April 2013, banner headlines of Ceylon Today spotlighted the current problem with the new electricity pricing formula, facing the people. It stated that the new pricing structure had essentially breached a SC ruling given in 2008 based on the 'Fuel adjustment charge.' Five years later, it appears that the CEB has not given due consideration to the 'Fuel adjustment charge,' in determining the new formula. more..

Slight dip in dengue countrywide, while Colombo sees increase

May 4 (Island) The number of dengue cases recorded during the first four months of the year, till the end of April, had reached over 10,670. 15 deaths had been recorded within the same period. The Ministry said that the number reported last year during the same period had been over 11,000. The Highest numbers of cases were from Colombo (2,519), Gampaha (1,165), Kurunegala (1,568), Ratnapura (628), Kandy (605), Kalutara (564), Jaffna (354), Kalmunai (405), more..

Police bigwig abusing position

May 4 (CT) A police bigwig in the Sabaragamuwa Province is accused of causing immense distress to his subordinates and acting contrary to the required fair and equitable practices, while being on duty, Police sources allege. They claim two police officers from Ratnapura were transferred to Mawanella and Rambukkana for including two female police officers as part of a raiding party, as required by police rules. Additionally, the Ratnapura Police OIC (Administration) had also been transferred more..

No sign of child abuse decreasing, despite much effort

May 4 (Island) The Kegalle Police warned that child abuse cases were on the rise within the District. SP Priyalal Dassanayake said that the number of child abuse cases within first three months of last year and this year did not show much of a difference despite the increasing number of awareness programmes carried out by the police and other child protection authorities in the District. Dassanayake said that the number of more..

Sri Lanka's abused worthy of help

May 4 (BT) Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor returns today from a visit to SL, where he discussed the challenges of refugees and people smuggling. Part of the "Gillard govt's commitment to deepening Australia's relationship with Sri Lanka", the visit aimed to progress the Bali Process goals of tackling those difficult "migration management" issues. Migration management is bureaucratic speak for "what to do about asylum seekers", but another thing happened last week, more..

TNA wants foreign monitors

May 4 (CG) The TNA has called for foreign monitors at the Northern Provincial Council elections scheduled to be held in September. A TNA delegation has raised this issue during a meeting with the Elections Commissioner. The TNA has said that having foreign monitors will help ensure the election is free and fair. The TNA also said that Tamil Political party representatives have urged the polls chief to make arrangements for the SL Tamil Diaspora to caste their vote at the election. more..

Karunanidhi denies Jayalalithaa's charge on Katchatheevu issue

May 4 (PTI) Joining issue with his archrival and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa over the Katchatheevu issue, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today denied her charge that he did not take any effort to retrieve the islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India. A day after the agreement was signed four decades ago, he had convened an all-party meeting where a resolution was adopted against it, Karunanidhi said. more..

Interview to TN magazine lands Sri Lankan leader in jail

May 4 (ENS) Asad Sally, a Sri Lankan Muslim leader who has been a critic of the Rajapaksa regime while being a votary of Tamil-Muslim unity, was arrested here on Thursday under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for “stoking the fire of ethnic and religious strife and harming national unity.” A Sri Lankan Muslim website,, quoted Sally’s lawyers as saying that the reason of his arrest was an interview he had given to a Chennai-based magazine. more..

14 Lankan fishermen arrested off AP coast

May 4 (PTI) Following the arrest of 11 Sri Lankan fishermen on May 1, the Indian Coast Guard has arrested another 14 fishermen from the island nation for entering illegally into Indian waters, Marine Police said here today. Three mechanised fibre boats and 1,500 kg of tuna fish catch was seized in the action taken by the Indian Coast Guard. Coast Guard spotted the three Sri Lankan boats off Isukapalli coast in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh yesterday and took the fishermen into custody, more..

MenCare - Sri Lanka

Northerners won't be swayed by TNA

May 5 (SO) The Govt's decision to go ahead with the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election has perturbed Opposition political parties. All this time, the Opposition has been pointing an accusing finger at the Govt for not holding the NPC election. But the Govt's stance was that NPC election should be conducted when resettlement is completed. Demining, rehabilitation, development and reconciliation programs have been going on at a rapid pace and the Govt firmly believes that more..

Saving the economy or saving face

May 5 (SL) Whether it was a trial balloon, red herring or a political ploy, the announcement of reductions in the proposed power tariffs at Campbell Park on Wednesday enabled President Rajapaksa and his party faithful to save face before a massive May Day crowd. It was an unprecedented situation which President Rajapaksa who had ridden rough shod over the opposition in his eight years in office (first and second terms) had to face. The rising tide of opinion on the deteriorating more..

'President’s unshakeable policies helped the masses'

May 5 (SO) Minister Susil Premajayantha has carved a niche in politics within a spell of nearly two decades. He has traversed the slippery road of politics by sheer grit and determination. He has held many Ministerial portfolios in addition to being the UPFA General Secretary at present. The Minister said under the dynamic leadership of President Rajapaksa, the Govt is reaching all its set targets by doing its utmost for the people. more..