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Cultural treasures pillaged every day

Feb 6 (ST) An upserge in the number of treasure hunters since the beginning of the year is putting Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage under serious threst, warn archaelogists. There were 27 botched attempts last month despite the threat of punishment by the sites’ guardians, both human and supernatural. They are abandoning crowbars and shovels for mechanised equipment to search for valuables – a practice that will lead to more..

Bid to excavate 2,000-year old ship

Feb 6 (IANS) In a bid to find clues about the historical link between Rome and Asia during ancient times, an international team of archaeologists is set to embark on an excavation drive at the oldest known shipwreck in the Indian Ocean. The sunken ship has been sitting on the seafloor off the southern coast of Sri Lanka for some 2,000 years. The shipwreck lies 33 metres below the ocean's surface, just off the fishing village more..

'Groups shedding crocodile tears have forgotten LTTE attacks'

Feb 6 (DN) Certain sinister international forces which tried to label our country as a failed state in the past due to LTTE terrorism are now trying to bring baseless human rights allegations against it through a different manner, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. Groups shedding crocodile tears for human rights have forgotten the cruel LTTE attacks on the Sri Maha Bodhi, Sri Dalada Maligawa and Kaththankudy Mosque more..

Sri Lanka's High Commissioner rejects fresh war crimes allegations

Feb 6 (SBS) Sri Lanka's High Commissioner to Australia says his country's civil war has nothing to do with the rest of the world and there's no need for an independent investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Sri Lanka is under pressure from countries including Britain and Canada to hold such an inquiry and the UNHRC is due to consider a new resolution on the issue next month. more..

Human rights violated says UNP

Feb 6 (CG) The UNP said that there were human rights violations committed by the Govt and they need to now set things right. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that Weliweriya incident where villagers were attacked when demanding water and the Welikada prison riot where several inmates were killed, are good examples of human rights being violated. “The law and order situation has completely broken down in the country,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka boat arrivals returned to Colombo

Feb 6 (DM) The Australian Govt has today successfully returned 45 Sri Lankans who arrived illegally in Australia by boat, the Australian High Commission said. All 45 detainees were screened out of a protection assessment process. Eight of the detainees chose to return voluntarily. As they had no matters ongoing with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, they were removed. This is consistent with Australia’s obligations. more..

Ranil wants Parliament apprised of Colombo Port City Project

Feb 6 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urged from the govt to present to Parliament all the documents pertaining to the Colombo Port City Project being built by reclaiming the sea near the Galle Face Green. He said: "The media has reported that a city called ‘Colombo Port City’ is being built beyond Galle Face Green, Colombo by filling the sea. According to those reports quoting sources of the more..

Sri Lanka military rejects new war crime allegations report

Feb 6 (DN) The latest report of alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka issued by a so called expert panel of a so called 'Public Interest Advocacy Centre Limited' comprising of infamous former UN spokesman in Sri Lanka Gordon Weiss is a ploy to mislead the member countries in the UNHRC, the Sri Lankan Army spokesman alleged. This report which received wide publicity in the international media last morning said that more..

Bracing for another dengue outbreak

Feb 6 (CT) Sri Lanka it appears is destined to remain the vanquished in the continuing battle to rid country of the dengue menace. And if the news coming from the Health Ministry is anything to go by, we are not likely to emerge winners over this deadly menace in the foreseeable future. For, not only are we experiencing yet another outbreak with four deaths and 2,130 cases reported in the first 31 days of this year, as revealed by the front page headlines in newspapers over the weekend, more..

A nation of bystanders

Feb 6 (CT) Mel Gunasekera, the accomplished journalist; Lahiru Rathnayake, the aspiring undergraduate – both died last week. The acclaimed journalist at the Zenith of her profession was murdered, reportedly by a non-professional thief. The unknown student at the threshold of his university life died, when a pre-existing health condition turned lethal during the military-conducted ‘Leadership Training Programme’ all university-entrants are subjected to. more..

Sri Lanka: Reconciling and Rebuilding

Professions Supplementary to Medicine to strike from Tuesday

Feb 6 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned yesterday they would resort to a continuous strike from Tuesday (11), demanding reimplementation of Grade One promotions. PSM General Secretary, Saman Jayasekera, yesterday said that PSM personnel had not been awarded Grade One promotions for the past eight years. The union had held several discussions with the Ministries of Public Administration, Finance and Health, he said. more..

Sri Lanka shares end lower

Feb 6 (LBO) Shares closed weaker Thursday with tobacco and index heavy stocks losing ground amid strong foreign selling. All Share Price Index closed 7.13 points lower at 6,168.50, down 0.12%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.95 points higher at 3,383.77, up 0.03%. Turnover was 3.74 billion rupees, up from 1.16 billion rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 116 firms closing in the red against 73 gainers. JKH topped the turnover contribution with massive 2,324.5 million rupees of three more..

Surveillance and survival

Feb 6 (FL) “FOR the motherland” was the final call made to the audience at the close of the film Aba as the young hero—historically, the would-be Pandukabaya—holds high majestically a “sacred” sword standing atop a hill, framed dramatically by towering mountain peaks. Film relates the story of a young prince raised clandestinely by the natives of the north-central hinterland in fear of his jealous and despotic more..

All-round Fernando makes it 3-0 for Sri Lanka

Feb 6 (CI) Anuk Fernando took four wickets and scored a vital unbeaten 25 to guide Sri Lanka Under-19s to a two-wicket win over Australia Under-19s, giving them a 3-0 series win. Having won the toss and elected to bat, Australia made a decent start, with openers Matthew Short and Kelvin Smith putting on 43 before left-arm spinner Lakshan Jayasinghe trapped Short lbw. Smith followed soon after, edging left-arm seamer Fernando to the wicketkeeper to give him his first wicket. more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady; seen falling on seasonal dlr demand, lower rates

Feb 6 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee ended steady on Thursday as exporter dollar sales offset demand for the greenback from importers, but dealers expect the local currency to ease on lower interest rates that could drive credit growth and on expected seasonal imports next month. The spot rupee ended at 130.65/67 per dollar, little changed from Wednesday's close of 130.65/75. "There was light trading today. Importer dollar demand was set off by inward remittances and exporter dollar sales," more..

Sri Lanka’s 66th National Day held on board Magistic Cruise in Sydney

Feb 6 (Island) For the very first time, a Sri Lankan National Day event was held on board the ‘Magistic’ cruise in Sydney on 4th of February. Organised by the Consulate General in New South Wales, the cruise hosted diplomats, members of parliament, media, defence personnel, business and community leaders and friends of Sri Lanka. With the proud Sri Lankan flags fluttering, the Sri Lankan National Day cruise went more..

MBBS course for RMOs, AMOs: Memorandum to be submitted to SC soon

Feb 6 (Reuters) The Attorney General in consultation with the Sri Lanka Medical Council and the Govt Medical Officer’s Association will submit to the Supreme Court, a memorandum by Feb 17, 2014. It will suggest the commencement of a training course to qualify up to the MBBS degree, Sri Lanka, for those who have followed the Assistant Medical Officers’ training programme and worked as Assistant Medical Officers (AMOs) and Registered Medical Officers (RMOs) in SL hospitals. more..

NFF pleased with govt. for refusing entry to US representative

Feb 6 (AD) National Freedom Front (NFF) is pleased with the govt’s decision to refuse a US representative entry into Sri Lanka this week, NFF Spokesman Mohammed Muzammil stated. US ambassador at large for women’s issues Catherine Russell was due to visit Sri Lanka ahead of a UNHRC meeting next month at which Colombo is due to face fresh censure. US embassy spokesman said it was “regrettable” Colombo had refused to grant Russell a visa for the planned visit more..

Sri Lanka to time provincial polls with UNHRC resolution

Feb 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka today announced that two key provincial elections would be held at the end of March which will likely coincide with an expected UNHRC resolution criticising the country's human rights record. Mahinda Deshapriya, the Election Commissioner said the Western and Southern PCs would go to the polls on March 29, about the same time as the widely anticipated resolution by the UNHRC in Geneva against more..

New JVP Leader willing to take back some, but not traitors

Feb 6 (Island) Those who had quite the JVP could return tot he party fold after sorting out their differences, new JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said yesterday. He said they had already started discussions with some of the JVP members who had quit the party over minor issues. However, Dissanayake said they would not allow those who had conspired against the party, and those who had betrayed it and worked as spies to leak party secrets to its enemies to return. more..

Why Sri Lanka’s Test future does not look very bright

Feb 6 (CC) At the time of writing this article, Sri Lanka are ranked sixth in the ICC rankings table with 90 points — significantly short of Pakistan (5th with 100) and marginally ahead of West Indies (7th with 87). It is not a fact Percy Abeysekera will be proud of: they may slip below West Indies and New Zealand (8th with 82) if a few things go wrong. That, however, is not the most intimidating of facts: given the fact that there are only ten Test-playing teams the sides may move up or down more..

Day 3: Late wickets give Sri Lanka advantage

Feb 6 (CI) Maiden tons for the overnight pair of Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes had energised Bangladesh and their crowd in the morning, but by stumps, Sri Lanka's industrious spinners had extracted enough dismissals to stay on track for victory, despite the visitors' abject fielding. A late Ajantha Mendis double-strike swung the match decisively in SL's favour, after Bangladesh middle-order provided fitful resistance. more..

'No let-up in action against Indian poachers'

Feb 6 (Island) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne warns that the Sri Lankan Navy will continue to arrest Indian fishermen poaching in Lankan waters. At a discussion held recently between Indian and Sri Lankan fisheries associations, Indian fishermen agreed to refrain from entering SL waters for 30 days starting on Feb 10 and to stop illegal fishing methods with immediate effect. Dr. Senaratne said that the recent Indo-Lanka talks had allowed the country to save Rs. 95 billion per year more..

Govt. fiddles with broken air quality testing machine for years

Feb 6 (Island) With the incidence of diseases caused by air pollution on the rise, researchers and authorities in a number of sectors find it hard to ascertain the present air quality in the country due to the malfunctioning of the only ambient air quality testing machine in Fort. However, newly appointed Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman D.W. Prathapasinghe said that plans were underway to take necessary action. He said that he had asked for relevant documents and more..

Australian govt turns blind eye to Tamil genocide

Feb 6 (CT) Former Australian foreign minister Bob Carr and his successor Julie Bishop view the world as they want it to be rather than as it is. Bishop, like her predecessor, has engaged in transparent and clumsy denial in order to placate what she likes to term Australia's friends. She recently claimed there was nothing illegal about the latest round of Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory, only to be taken to task by four more..

Teen commits suicide over facebook photo

Feb 6 (CG) A 16 year old girl in Kurunegala has committed suicide over a photograph of her which had been published on Facebook, the police said today. The police said that the school in which the girl was studying had found out about the photograph and sough an explanation from the parents of the girl. The parents had been subsequently summoned to school by the principal to discuss the photograph which appeared on Facebook. However yesterday the girl had more..

Sri Lanka's Jan. tourist arrivals rise by 32.6%

Feb 6 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals increased by 32.6% in January this year compared to the same period in 2013 helped by tripled Chinese tourist numbers. The month recorded 146,575 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 110,543 arrived in Jan 2013. The numbers were helped by Chinese tourists that flocked to the tropical island in January. Last year's 3,328 arrivals from China grew to 10,779 in Jan 2014, which is a 223.9% increase, according to SL Tourism Development Board more..

SLC questions legality of proposals

Feb 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's board president Jayantha Dharmadasa has followed up SLC's publicly stated objection to resolutions for vast changes to cricket's global revenue sharing and governance by openly questioning the legality of the proposal and the manner of its creation in a letter to the ICC. The correspondence was sent to the ICC's head of legal affairs Iain Higgins on Feb 5, after a special meeting of SL board's stakeholders more..

Lees leads Lions to strong start

Feb 6 (CI) A second top order batsman showed his potential for England Lions as Alex Lees made a century to lead his side into a strong position on the opening day of the second tour match in Colombo. Sam Robson made three figures in the opening fixture and Yorkshire's Lees, at 20-years-old, here provided more optimism for England supporters left wondering where the national side can turn to after the carnage of the Australian tour. Lees's fourth first-class century outshone his more highly more..

Convicted drug lord departs to Sri Lanka for medical reasons

Feb 6 (Haveeru) Ibrahim 'Shafaa' Shafaz Abdul Razzaq, the man believed to be the head of one of the most notorious drug cartels in the Maldives, had on Wednesday night departed to Sri Lanka for medical reasons. Criminal Court had in last November sentenced Shafaz to 18 years of imprisonment and a fine of MVR75,000 on charges of drug trafficking. Reportedly, Maldives correctional service was neither informed of his return date, nor did a member of the correctional more..

Peradeniya, Rajarata undergrads appeal against court orders

Feb 6 (Island) Undergraduates of the Peradeniya and Rajarata Universities continued their satyagraha campaigns at the Galaha Junction and Mihintale despite the police having obtained court orders to remove them from public places. President of the Students’ Council of the Peradeniya University Dimuthu Gunaratne said that the police had obtained an order from the Magistrate Court, but they had appealed to more..

Seeds lost in the winds of change

Feb 7 (NS) This article draws heavily from a well documented and thought provoking book titled:’ From the ground up-Rethinking industrial agriculture’ by Helena Norberg Hodge, Peter Goering and John Page. First published in 1993, it is a comprehensive critique of industrial agriculture. Helena received the Right livelihood Award, commonly known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ in 1986.“Economic liberalization along with huge government expenditures on trade infrastructures and more..

Sinhalese and their fear of freedom

Feb 7 (SL) With the displacement from Rajarata, the heart, soul and body of their ancient culture in the 13th century the Sinhalese settled for safety over liberty; mediocrity over excellence. By the 18th and 19th centuries the Sinhalese, after sustained exposure to the pressures of colonization had developed a self defeating defensive mechanism. This mechanism remains in full operation as we move into the 21st century and it is something that all Lankans must view & review seriously. more..

A new gecko species discovered

Feb 7 (SO) A recent discovery of a new rock-dwelling gecko species became rocking news in the environment field. The new species found in a unique habitat in the Rammalakanda Forest in the Hambantota district is scientifically known as 'Cnemaspis rammalensis'. According to the research team leader expert herpetologist Mendis Wickramasinghe, this newly found gecko is the largest so far reported from its genus more..

Diogenes on a motorbike

Feb 7 (SL) The story of the (4th Century BC) Greek philosopher Diogenes walking the streets of Athens in broad daylight with a lighted candle in hand in search of an honest face has continued to fascinate people down the years. Reports of the Sri Lankan police asking motorcyclists to turn on their headlights while riding in Sri Lanka’s dazzling daylight took our minds back to Diogenes with his lighted candle in Athens long years ago. What was the purpose of the police in more..

Sobitha hamuduruwo’s stunning interview

Feb 7 (CT) Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero gave an interview to a bright young journalist E. Jayasuriyan which received full page coverage in the Sunday Thinakural newspaper (Tamil) of 2 February. I don’t know if I am overreacting, but to me this is the most significant political interview of the last 6 months – I will explain in a moment why it is a stunner. I rubbed my eyes and had some difficulty, so I made it a point to meet Jayasuriyan and ask him: “Even if hamuduruwo did say all this, more..

JVP revisits CIABOC

Feb 7 (CT) It is now a month since the JVP filed a complaint with the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), against its Chairman, Jagath Balapatabendi, but the commission has failed to conduct a semblance of a probe into the matter. This compelled the JVP to meet the Secretary to the Commission, this time against its lukewarm attitude towards the first petition, accusing more..

Editorial: A pot-kettle tussle

Feb 7 (Island) A student union affiliated to the JVP splinter group, Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) has renewed its call for scrapping the govt’s leadership training programme for university entrants in the wake of a participant’s death, as we reported on Wednesday. He was the second student to die while undergoing training. A Sabaragamuwa University undergrad died in 2011. If FSP students want the leadership programme to stop because two participants have died in three years more..

Genocide and ‘equivalent’

Feb 7 (SL) Northern Province Chief Minister, Justice C. V. Wigneswaran has to be commended for not giving in completely to hard-liners’ demands for a Provincial Council resolution seeking an (fresh?) international probe on ‘accountability issues’. He and a few others in the 30-member TNA grouping in the 38-seat PC got the draft modified to read that it was ‘equivalent to a genocide’, and not ‘genocide’ per se (until proved under international law/norms). Yet, Justice Wigneswaran cannot justify voting for more..