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Sri Lankan couple finds love in Queens

Feb 15 (NYD) Sri Lankan couple Shamini and Sathiyaruban Ramasamy have a cozy life in Richmond Hills, Queens — sharing home-cooked meals of crab curry and watching Tamil-language comedies. But as they celebrate five years of being together in New York each Valentines Day, exchanging cards and gifts, Shamini likes to look back on their extraordinary journey. “Our love is a different love,” said Shamini, 29, who, more..

Rathupaswala controversial factory moves

Feb 15 (Island) Rathupaswala glove manufacturer that had been accused of contaminating ground water in the area yesterday engaged in the last phase of shifting its factory. Accordingly seven large tanks used to store rubber latex had been dismantled and taken away. Factory is to be relocated at the Biyagama Investment Promotion Zone. Area residents in large numbers witnessed the tanks being mounted on container movers and they lit firecrackers to express their joy. more..

Eight Indian fishermen repatriated

Feb 15 (PTI) In the latest repatriation, eight Indian fishermen were handed over to the Coast Guard by the Sri Lankan Navy at the Indo-Lankan International Maritime Boundary Line in the Palk Straits today. Coast Guard ship ICGS Aadesh received the fishermen along with four of their boats around 8 pm tonight, an official release said. The fishermen are being taken to Tuticorin where they will be handed over to the local authorities early tomorrow, it said. more..

LTTE rump hires ex-UN bigwig

Feb 15 (Island) One time UN Assistant Secretary General Denis J. Halliday is now in Canada to convince major political parties to support US-UK call for an international war crimes investigation targeting Sri Lanka at the forthcoming 25th session of the Geneva-based UNHRC. Well informed sources said that Halliday would meet influential Canadian lawmakers during the next two weeks on behalf of the National Council of more..

Monk receives death threats After saying will reveal politician’s drug involvement

Feb 15 (CT) A Buddhist monk has received death threats after saying that he intended to reveal information to the media regarding a politician, who is involved in drug trafficking in Kolonnawa. Chief Incumbent of the Kolonnawa Sri Anandaramaya, Ven Sitinamaluwe Vajirasiri Thera, had received the threats. Associates of the politician, who represents the Kolonnawa area, are suspected of threatening the thera. Apart from these threats, between 12.00 midnight and 2.00 a.m. on Friday, more..

‘White van’ comment at Cinnamon Grand concert raises eyebrows

Feb 15 (Island) Many an eyebrow was raised when Mano Chanmugam declared that he couldn’t talk because ‘white vans’ were still in operation in Colombo at an excellent performance by internationally renowned concert pianist Shani Diluka at Cinnamon Lakeside last Wednesday. Event was organised by the Mano Chanmugam Music Foundation. He was addressing those who had gathered there to enjoy Ms. Diluka’s performance. Among the audience were more..

Arrest Bahu or not Police to decide today

Feb 15 (CT) Leader of the NSSP, Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, has been summoned by police for questioning on certain irregularities detected by Elections Department officials, since receiving his nominations list for the Gampaha District. After questioning him, the police will take a decision today on whether to arrest him or not. Dr. Karunaratne, who is also the Secretary of the party, has signed the nominations list and more..

India may vote against Sri Lanka again

Feb 15 (Hindu) India is most likely to vote against Sri Lanka when its human rights record comes up for evaluation before the UNHRC in March, according to a senior official who did not want to be named. Sri Lanka had an opportunity to highlight elections to the Tamil-majority Northern Province as one concrete attempt at political reconciliation. But Colombo seems to have “squandered it by locking horns” with the newly elected provincial govt. The provincial elections apart, Sri Lanka does not more..

Arjuna Ranatunga not surprised at Sri Lankan players' IPL snub

Feb 15 (MD) 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has reacted sharply to only one current Sri Lankan cricketer being bought at the IPL auction that concluded in Bangalore on Thursday. “I am not surprised,” said Ranatunga at Thisara Perera being the only current international player bought — by Kings XI Punjab. “He was picked just to show that there was no diktat (not to pick Lankan players). Do you think a player like Mahela Jayawardene doesn’t fit in to any IPL team? more..

Russia rejects proposed war crimes probe for Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (Reuters) Russia on Friday rejected calls by Western nations for an international probe into alleged war crimes in the final phase of the 26-year Sri Lankan civil war that the govt won in 2009. Visiting Colombo amid concern about the country's human rights record in the United States and Britain, a senior Russian diplomat said attempts to impose an international inquiry into wartime atrocities would be counter-productive. more..

Sri Lanka drops to lowest rank in press freedom index

Feb 15 (DM) In one of the darkest chapters for the free media in Sri Lanka, the Paris based Reporters Sans Frontiers—a widely respected international press freedom movement—said Sri Lanka had been ranked 165th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index for 2014. Sri Lanka, which ranked 162nd in this global index last year, dropped three places this year. The latest ranking is the lowest for a South Asian country, with India ranking at 140. Finland was ranked No.1 in this year’s index more..

Re-imagining dependency an ode to unpopular economics

Feb 15 (DM) The relationship between migration and development has been a long-scrutinised topic of debate within developmental discourse. Understanding of these dynamics have “swung back and forth like a pendulum” (de Haas, 2010) since first emerging as an area of academic interest in the 1950s, oscillating from optimism to pessimism and back again. Early perspectives attached to modernisation theory highlighted the potential for migration to catalyse a more..

Plan prepared to wean farmers from toxic agrochemicals

Feb 15 (Island) Additional Secretary Ministry of Agriculture Dr. D.B.T. Wijeratne announced the formulation of a constructive plan to eliminate misuse, overuse and abuse of agro-chemicals in Sri Lanka. He pointed out that since the 1960s, Sri Lanka had been using various kinds of toxic agro-chemicals, especially class 1 A and class 1 B highly toxic pesticides, weedicides and fertiliser. Now Sri Lanka was beginning to face the more..

Thalatha, Ranjith, Ashok and Palitha in hot water?

Feb 15 (Island) One of the key UNP reformists and former Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne is of the opinion that the party leadership will be absolutely insane if they attempt to take revenge from MPs Thalatha Athukorale, Ranjtih Madduma Bandara, Ashok Abeysinghe and Palitha Range Bandara for addressing political meetings in the Hambantota District in view of the forthcoming SPC elections in March with more..

Wigneswaran wants dual nationality for diaspora

Feb 15 (DM) Northern province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran stressed the need to give 'dual nationality' to members of the diaspora so that they could return to Sri Lanka and participate in post-war rebuilding work. He made this request on Thursday while addressing the National Conference on Post-war Socio-Economic Development of the N&E Provinces. While being cautious about possible implications of such a move, more..

What is missing in today’s marriage proposals is ‘love’ – Bimal

Feb 15 (LT) The only topic that is missing in matrimonial advertisements in newspapers is ‘love’ says Bimal Rathnayaka. This was said by the National Organizer of the Socialist Youth Union (SYU) participating at the ‘Painting of Love’ organized by the SYU held concurrent with the ‘Valentines’ Day’. Speaking further Mr. Rathnayaka said despite Saint Valentine was a person who sacrificed his life for the love of the poor, more..

'Include Eelam in manifestoes'

Feb 15 (Hindu) The self-styled Prime Minister of transnational govt of Tamil Eelam, Visvanathan Rudrakumaran, on Friday appealed to all parties in India to include the issue of Tamil Eelam in their manifestoes and urged the Centre to prevail upon the international community to pave the way for a referendum in SL. He said the people were aware of the genocide committed against Tamils during the last phase of the war more..

'We continue to monitor land issue in SL'

Feb 15 (DM) Britain reiterated that it will continue to ‘monitor closely civil and political rights as well as land issues in Sri Lanka.’ Answering a question during a debate in UK Parliament Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire said that his govt will continue to underline to the SL authorities the need for a long-term political settlement to address these underlying grievances and will continue to monitor these issues. more..

Attempt to snatch baby elephant from wild

Feb 15 (ST) Hearing a baby elephant’s cries from the forest all Tuesday night, villagers called wildlife officials who thwarted an attempt to snatch the baby from the wild and sell it into captivity in private hands. The officers had been expecting to find the elephant injured from an accident but instead found it tightly tied to trees with strong nylon ropes. Two armed men guarding the elephant fled when the officers appeared. more..

National youth policy of Sri Lanka launched

Feb 15 (GDI) The National Youth Policy of Sri Lanka was launched under the distinguished patronage of President Rajapaksa at the Sugathadasa Indoor stadium, Friday. At the ceremony President Mahinda Rajapaksa taking over the National Youth Policy from the Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, presented it to youth representing all sectors of the society. more..

Intellectuals to urge Govt. Follow procedures of 13th Amendment

Feb 15 (CT) Several renowned academics and intellectuals are planning on informing the govt of the negative consequences that may be felt from the international community, if the govt does not follow the procedures of the 13th Amendment. Several ministers and academics are preparing to confront the govt if the 13th Amendment is not completely followed by the govt as they believe that Sri Lanka would not be more..

'Sri Lankan Navy acting with greater impunity after talks'

Feb 15 (PTI) Charging the Sri Lankan navy of acting with “greater impunity” against Indian fishermen from the state, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said the island’s navy has intensified its “hostile action” after the Indo-Lankan fishermen level talks in Chennai. Taking up with PM Manmohan Singh the latest instance of arrest of 29 fishermen, she said the Lankan navy “is now effectively thwarting Indian fishermen more..

Rajarata undergrads resume Satyagraha at new location

Feb 15 (Island) Undergraduates of the Rajarata University yesterday resumed their Satyagraha protesting against administration’s decision to suspend 27 students. Their previous Satyagraha on the same issue had been dispersed by the Mihintale police on Thursday acting on a court order. Students who gathered at a new location nearby the previous Satyagraha site yesterday morning recommenced their protest demanding that the suspension order be revoked. more..

Geneva 2014 and Sri Lanka’s India policy the March of folly

Feb 15 (CT) In his authoritative presentation on his January 2014 trip to Geneva and the US, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga made a pointed reference to the IPKF, which was noted as it was doubtless meant to be, by Indian commentators. It came across as an attempt to up the ante (to my mind, rather clumsily), by signalling the Indians that if the resolution goes through and results in a war crimes probe, Sri Lanka will tell all, so therefore Delhi had better help us. more..

Gota and Gammanpila break rules

Feb 15 (SM) Despite the senior administrative officials of the state being banned from participating in political events in public, the Secretary of Urban Development and Defence Ministry, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has violated the particular law by participating in the inaugural ceremony of UPFA Colombo district leader Udaya Gammanpila's re-election campaign. The event has taken place at the SL Foundation Institute more..

Let us face the challenge before us

Feb 15 (CT) The 25th Regular Session of the UNHRC in March, where a third resolution is to be brought against Sri Lanka, could prove to be a crucial one for the country and the govt, which has twice before been found wanting in matters such as transparency and accountability connected with the final days of the 30-year war against the LTTE, despite the pledges made at the UNHRC sessions in 2009. It is the lack of progress on the pledges made that gave rise to the two earlier resolutions more..

Thewarapperuma to hand deliver his explanation to Sirikotha

Feb 15 (Island) Kalutara District UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma who has been suspended from the party for his alleged threatening behaviour at the party Parliamentary Group meeting at the parliament Complex on February 5 said that his reply to the letter of explanation would be hand delivered to Sirikotha on Monday. He said that the letter had been drafted by Attorney-at-Law Paraman and that he was not guilty of any of the four charges levelled against him. more..

JVP accuses Gamini Lokuge of violating election laws

Feb 15 (CT) JVP Kesbewa Municipal Council member and candidate for the WPC election, Chamara Maddumakaluge, charged that Minister Gamini Lokuge, hosted a luncheon for all the officers of the Kesbewa Divisional Secretariat on Thursday, in violation of election laws. He alleged, the lunch, hosted at the Mawiththarasevana Reception Hall was followed by a meeting headed by the minister. more..

SL start favourites in familiar conditions

Feb 15 (WI) When it comes to cricketing cultures, England and Sri Lanka are two extreme examples. England’s focus has always been on producing technically refined players, while Sri Lankan cricketers have made a mark with their attractive and uncanny brand of play. Ian Botham and Kevin Pietersen would be in the minority in an all-time England XI, but unorthodox and rare talents like Muttiah Muralitharan, Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis would be popular in any SL side. more..

'Religious Discipline is vital'

Feb 15 (GDI) "Religious places such as Temples play a pivotal role in transforming the society into an obedient and disciplined one while decreasing the level of crimes drastically", said Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa. "Based on the religious obedience that we have attained thus far, without any revenge we have rehabilitated and socialized 12800 former LTTE cadres and 9000 suspects" added Rajapaksa participating at a more..

England Lions beat Sri Lanka A

Feb 15 (CI) Madawa Warnapura, the son of Sri Lanka's first Test captain Bandula Warnapura, reminded England of the family name they had first encountered more than 30 years ago with a stubborn century on a lifeless wicket which delayed the Lions' victory until the stoke of tea on the final day. Warnapura's leaping celebration on reaching a fifth first-class century was richly deserved. He batted for six hours and resisted more..

How to overcome emerging HR bottleneck

Feb 15 (DM) Sri Lanka has potentially extremely favourable medium-term prospects. In addition, macroeconomic conditions are likely to be more benign in the short term with 2014 being better than last year, provided the US Federal Reserve’s tapering programme does not cause severe turbulence in emerging and frontier markets. However, there are challenges that need to be addressed if Sri Lanka is to realize its full potential. It is arguable that the lack of the necessary more..

Discrepancies in asset declarations by candidates

Feb 15 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that there were some discrepancies in the asset declarations handed over by some of the candidates contesting the forthcoming Provincial Council elections. They were from the independent groups and minor parties and were contesting in order to support candidates from main political parties, he said. Deshapriya said candidates who had not yet handed over their asset declarations had been given time till February 28. more..

Health Ministry human resource management in a jumble

Feb 15 (Island) Former Director of the Lady Ridgway, Hospital, Dr. R. Hewage yesterday called on the Health Ministry to establish a proper human resource policy which could accommodate qualified and competent professionals. He was speaking of the unnecessary upheaval at the LRH over two weeks ago when he was made to step down unceremoniously. Dr. Hewage said that the govt had spent a large amount of more..

'Planned a last-ball bouncer' - Mashrafe

Feb 15 (CI) Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh T20 captain, defended Farhad Reza's bowling in the final over of the second T20 against Sri Lanka, saying they had planned to bowl a bouncer off the last ball to set up a catch in the deep. Reza came on to bowl the final over of a frenetic T20 with Sri Lanka needing nine off the last six balls. With the batting side needing two off the final ball, Reza bowled a short-of-length delivery that was put away by Sachithra Senanayake for four. more..

Spittal residents fund new well in Sri Lanka

Feb 15 (BA) A tsunami-hit community in Sri Lanka can now enjoy fresh water thanks to the generosity of Spittal residents who have funded a new well. Previously, villagers in Thelulla Janapodaya in the Wellawaya district had to set off at 5am on a walk of two miles to obtain water for drinking and washing. But they now have a newly constructed well paid for by the Spittal community which raised £2,700 through donations and fundraising events. It has been coordinated by Project Sri Lanka, more..

Perera wins Eagleburg Open golf

Feb 15 (IANS) Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka came up with a resolute one-under-71 in the final round of the PGTI Eagleburg Open to bag his second title in two weeks here Saturday. Perera signed off with a tournament total of 22-under-266 to register a three-shot win despite defending champion Anirban Lahiri's spirited challenge on the final day at the Eagleton Golf Resort. Local favourite Lahiri secured runner-up position after more..

Some train drivers return to work

Feb 15 (Island) In spite of the ongoing rail strike that started Thursday afternoon, some trains functioned with the assistance of some engine drivers, who reported to work after they felt the strike was unjust due to it being over a private matter. The strike is said to be over a dispute among trade unions. Following the sudden strike thousands of commuters suffered a lot on Thursday. Ruhunu Kumari, Galukumari and Sagarika, functioned as usual yesterday according to railway control unit. more..

Cabinet Decisions (2014-02-14)

Feb 15 (DN) Development of the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Engineering at Kiliinochchi, University of Jaffna - The Indian government has allocated Rs. 300 million each for the Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Engineering through Small Development Project (SDP) Grant Assistance. With the Rs. 300 million allocated to the Faculty of Agriculture, it is proposed to set up a Centre for Skills Development which will provide facilities for an Auditorium, more..

'SL facing challenges for not being pro-West'

Feb 15 (PTI) Sri Lanka faces international and diplomatic challenges as the govt has spurned pressure from powerful Western countries over its human rights record, a senior minister today alleged. "Our leader (President Rajapaksa) is being disliked because he is not pro-West," minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said while addressing a political gathering. "As we know we are being threatened with international investigations against us. more..