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The saga of a criminal

Feb 24 (SO) Four years can be a long time in one's life. For a criminal at large it may seem safe especially if he is of the view that the crime is forgotten and he could roam freely. But the police are on the alert and watchful, awaiting the slightest opportunity to nab him, following even the smallest clue. This is how the police were able to solve a crime after four years. It was just another day for Naveen who was used to moving around in Matara, fearlessly going about his task of more..

No cohesive plan to counter US resolution

Feb 24 (SO) The month of March is upon us once again and with it, what has now become an annual ritual: A resolution against Sri Lanka at the sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva sponsored principally by the U s. The resolution encompasses a variety of issues such as human rights, media freedom and democracy in the country, but hinges pivotally on one critical factor: An inquiry into alleged war crimes supposedly committed by Sri Lankan troops during the final stages of Eelam War 5, years ago. more..

Those who fall through the cracks

Feb 24 (NS) The tragic suicide of a former student of Peradeniya University, whose body was found hanging from a tree on the university premises on February 11, has once again shined the spotlight of the ugly practice of ragging, its unforeseen consequences, and the shocking failure of university authorities to protect the victims who come forward. Nishantha from Angunukolapelessa, who was later identified as the more..

Editorial: Macrae flogging dead Tigers

Feb 24 (Island) Channel 4 Director of the No Fire Zone fame Callum Macrae, has, as usual, fired the first salvo in the annual human rights offensive against Sri Lanka with days to go for the UNHRC summit in Geneva. This time around he has blamed the LTTE—not for its gruesome crimes but for miscalculating ‘the ruthlessness of the Sri Lanka Army’ and expecting the international community to intervene to stop the war. He has expressed this view, inter alia, in a recent online interaction more..

BCB requested to reduce Shakib ban

Feb 24 (CI) Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has confirmed that there was a request made to the BCB president Nazmul Hassan to reduce Shakib Al Hasan's suspension. The board punished Shakib for "making an inappropriate gesture on live television" during the second Bangladesh-Sri Lanka ODI. Along with coach Shane Jurgensen and Mashrafe Mortaza, Mushfiqur asked Hassan to reconsider the ban, immediately after Bangladesh's six-wicket loss against SL more..

Aussie firm lights up Hambantota with $ 190 m solar power project

Feb 24 (FT) Australia-based Energy Puzzle Group on Friday committed an investment of US$ 190 million to put up a solar panel and solar cells plant in the Mirijjawela Export Processing Zone in Hambantota. Spanning across 8.5 acres, plant is expected to be fully operational by Q1 2015, generating 150 mega watts of power per annum. The majority of the energy produced will initially be for export. more..

Asia Cup: Sri Lanka challenge India’s number two spot

Feb 24 (Island) India starts its campaign in the Asia Cup, which commences on Tuesday in Dhaka, with an aim to retain its number-two position on the ICC ODI Team Rankings. At number two, India will be the highest ranked side in the 5-team tournament, with 115 ratings points, and will contest the tournament that also features 4th-ranked Sri Lanka, 6th-placed Pakistan, 9th-placed Bangladesh and unranked Afghanistan. Sri Lanka rounded off a three-match series against host Bangladesh more..

Oceanpick stocks Sri Lanka’s very first sea cages in Trinco

Feb 24 (FT) An oceanic farming trailblazer stocked Sri Lanka’s very first sea cages on Saturday in Trincomalee, gearing up to harvest the benefits of the country’s vast ocean resources. Launching the groundbreaking aquaculture venture, Oceanpick in joint partnership with Kames Fish Farming stocked the sea cages with barramundi juveniles. Minister Rajitha Senaratne introduced the initial batch into a pen, kicking off Sri Lanka’s accessibility to premium quality, responsibly-farmed marine fish. more..

SL electricity consumers pay 100% more per unit than in developed countries

Feb 24 (CT) The Head of Schneider Electric in India, Anil Chaudhry, said Sri Lankan electricity consumers pay 100% more per unit compared to develop nations due to high cost of power generation. He was speaking at an event organized by Schneider Electric to introduce energy savings solutions to the local industries in Colombo. "The price you pay for every unit of electricity in Sri Lanka is one of the highest, even if you take more..

Digitally enabled multi-utility device for taxis

Feb 24 (Island) Sri Lanka's premier connectivity service provider, Dialog Axiata, has inked an agreement with the leader in taxi service business - 3 Wheel Lanka (Budget Taxi) for the launch of the patent-pending product, Dialog Street Smart which would facilitates innovative services that range from video advertising to mPOS (Mobile Point of Sale) enabling credit and debit card transactions. The Android based patent pending product developed by Dialog is the first of its kind more..

Man with unusual desire remanded

Feb 24 (Island) A father of two who invited strangers to his house and forced his wife to have sex with them was arrested by the Gampaha police last week. The victim has told the police she was not in position to defy his orders because non-compliance was met with beating and torture. She has said her husband watched her having sex with strangers. She has told the police that she was hospitalised after being beaten on several occasions. The suspect, a resident of Gampaha, more..

Sri Lankan conflict gets the attention of Kollywood directors

Feb 24 (TOI) Looks like Kollywood likes to have a finger on the pulse of current affairs of the state. While the debate over the release of Rajiv Gandhi's assassins is proving to be one of the hottest topics in the state, the Tamil film industry is also currently churning out films on the Sri Lankan issue. Chennai Times lists out some of these films. Film: Sivappu; The trailer of this upcoming film explicitly talks about the plight of refugees more..

Island first commerce student makes CA Sri Lanka her professional dream

Feb 24 (DN) Institute of Chartered Accountants of SL (CA Sri Lanka) was the ultimate choice for Erandi Kanchana, last year's GCE A/L's Island First in the commerce stream, who chose the Institute to follow her ambitious dreams of becoming a globally sought after Chartered Accountant. "From the inception I always wanted to become a chartered accountant, and hence I chose CA Sri Lanka because of its prestigious standing in the accounting world and because it is recognized even abroad," more..

Special teams formed to nab gold smugglers in Madurai

Feb 24 (Hindu) The Coastal Security Group (CSG) has formed three special teams to nab two Madurai-based agents, who acted as vital links in the smuggling of gold biscuits from Sri Lanka by sea on Saturday, CSG Additional Director-General of Police C.Sylendra Babu said. Talking to reporters here on Sunday after inspecting 34.52 kg of gold biscuits, seized by CSG special teams at the Pamban Railway station near here, he said the teams were formed to arrest Mohideen, who escaped more..

Video: Royce Fernando arrest not due to political pressure

Feb 24 (DM) Asserting that the arrest of Royce Fernando, a UNP candidate for the WPC Election, was carried out only because of the evidences against him, the police said that there was no other reason for his arrest and that it was not done on anyone’s instigation. Royce Fernando, a UNP candidate for the upcoming WPC Election was arrested in connection with the Rs. 15 million-robbery in Negombo on Feb 17. more..

Minister Duminda Dissanayake injured

Feb 24 (AD) Minister Duminda Dissanayake has been hospitalized with injuries following an accident in the Padeniya area in Kurunegala this morning (23). His vehicle had collided with a parked bowser in Padeniya, Galgamuwa at around 3.00am today. Dissanayake was rushed to the Kurunegala District Hospital and later transferred to the Colombo National Hospital. Minister’s driver and a security officer had also suffered injuries and have been admitted to the Kurunegala Hospital. more..

Galle Port to get yacht, boat repair facility

Feb 24 (DN) As per the Mahinda Chinthana Idiri Dekma, The Port of Galle is scheduled to be developed as a tourist destination with upgraded facilities. Accordingly, a fully fledged Yacht Marina facility is being established by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and phase one of the project is nearing completion. To offer extended facilities and provide required yacht repair services to attract more tourists to the Port of Galle, Gulf Ship Yard Ltd recently signed an agreement with more..

Congress asks Tamil Nadu govt to review decision on convicts’ release

Feb 24 (TOI) Union minister G K Vasan said the TN govt's decision to release the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is "very unfortunate" and should be reviewed, as there are national security issues involved. He said that the state govt should have acted in a responsible way. He ruled out any possibility of the Centre accepting the state govt's decision on humanitarian grounds. more..

Now, Hirunika wants to head SL Netball Federation

Feb 24 (Island) SLFP’s Central Colombo Organiser Hirunika Premachandra has decided to contest for the post of Chairperson of the Netball Federation of Sri Lanka. A media statement issued by her Secretary Ruchira Madhusanka, said that Hirunika had taken that decision with the intention of taking the country’s netball to higher levels in the international arena and to ensure a better future for Sri Lankan players. Hirunika also serves as the Colombo District Chairperson of more..

New insights to Five Hubs strategy tomorrow

Feb 24 (FT) The Daily FT and Colombo University MBA Alumni Association organised first-of-its-kind full-day forum tomorrow on the Govt’s five hubs strategy will see a top panel of experts shed some new insights. Keynote speaker Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal is expected to share with Forum participants the economic rationale for the five hubs strategy, the various benefits to the country and the private sector and how the Govt is progressively pursing the strategy. more..

JHU says no to no-confidence

Feb 24 (CG) JHU says it will not back UNP sponsored no-confidence motion against the Govt on the drugs issue. JHU member and WPC candidate Udaya Gamanpilla says JHU has no intention of working against the Govt in Parliament. JHU was very vocal on the drugs issue and had even called on PM D.M Jayaratna to resign after an official in his office was allegedly found to have been involved in a drugs smuggling scandal. more..

Suganthie heads Sri Lanka’s IP commission

Feb 24 (ST) Suganthie Kadirgamar has been appointed as the new Chairperson of Intellectual Property Advisory Commission of Sri Lanka (IPACSL), for a new 3 year term . Ms. Kadirgamar is the Senior Partner of Sri Lanka’s oldest law firm, F.J. & G. de Saram. Other members of the commission are J.M. Swaminathan (Attorney at Law and senior partner of Julius and Creasy); Dinal Philips (Attorney at Law); Anura Jayasinghe (Attorney at Law); Palitha Gamage (Attorney at Law); more..

Rajiv's death: A revisit

Feb 24 (Hindu) In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court on February 18 commuted(reduction of legal penalties ) the death sentences of three convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case - Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan - to life, citing inordinate delay (11 years) in deciding on their mercy petition. The court left it open for the Tamil Nadu govt to grant remission to the convicts under provisions given in Criminal Procedure Code. TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa announced that more..

Drug rackets: UNP asks JHU, NFF to vote for its No Confidence Motion

Feb 24 (Island) Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga said that JHU and the NFF as well as those UPFA members who had been vociferously campaigning against heroin kingpins would be exposed when a motion condemning the failure on the part of the govt to eliminate the narcotics trade was taken up. He said that JHU at loggerheads with Premier D.M. Jayaratne over a letter seeking the port clearance of container more..

Over 50 leading supermarket outlets face prosecution

Feb 24 (Island) 51 outlets of four supermarket chains will be prosecuted following raids conducted by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Nipun Ekanayake, Media Secretary to Minister Johnston Fernando said the CAA officers had found food items past shelf life and weighing less than the amount mentioned on labels. They were mostly cheese and biscuits, he said. Some vegetables and fruits for sale were rotten, Ekanayake added. more..

Fonseka’s party to withdraw from election?

Feb 24 (SM) Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party warns that it will withdraw from contesting the upcoming provincial council election if the elections commissioner and the IGP fail to take immediate action to prevent continuing disruptions to its propaganda campaign. The party leader on February 19 met the elections chief and brought the matter to his attention. Deputy leader of the DP Jayantha Ketagoda charges that armed thugs of the govt are preventing the party from more..

Govt. to go ahead with casinos

Feb 24 (CT) The govt will proceed with its casino plans as a part of its overall plan to develop tourism, which was unveiled last week. This follows the Cabinet approving a new US$ 15 million tourism promotion drive, with a large-scale increase in tourist arrivals, in the post-conflict era and with new efforts to promote Sri Lanka in markets such as India, the Gulf, China and other parts of the world. "We will use all aspects of tourism to more..

Politics or no politics, sports is the loser

Feb 24 (DM) Last Monday we warned about the serious consequences that were imminent unless Sri Lanka’s sports authorities moved quickly to change the sports law. It was no secret that the threat of an international ban on Sri Lanka was very real. Then by Friday, we learned how the Sports Minister had taken swift action by asking the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to send down an official to assist the ministry with the process of amending the current sports law of the country. more..

Disillusionment with the Public Education System in Sri Lanka

Feb 24 (DM) I recently had the opportunity of interviewing a cross section of undergraduates in Colombo. I asked how they felt about the school education that they had gone through. Their overwhelming response was that the way the schools imparted knowledge on various subjects was highly ineffective and counterproductive. Most of them felt that there was little or no attempt by the teachers to relate what they teach from text books to the real world outside the school. more..

'Elections will be a historical turning point'

Feb 24 (DM) The newest member of the UNP’s Leadership Council which was at one time hailed as a revolutionary change within the party, but in essence is currently perceived as another ‘white elephant’ although intended to circumvent the fortunes of the ‘Grand Old Party’, Wijedasa Rajapakshe spoke to the Daily Mirror on issues relating to his appointment, allegations cast against him and the future of the UNP. more..

Heroin’s ugly face

Feb 24 (SL) Negombo seems to be the worst heroin affected area in the country after Kolonnawa where the hapless residents are caught between politicians and police. Unlike in the ‘kasippu’ (illicit liquor) era, where the police nabbed the illicit liquor dealers, today the police nab only the drug addicts and safeguard the dealers as well as the drug smugglers, according to Negombo residents. Heroin is sold openly on more..

Festering wounds of Sri Lanka's war

Feb 24 (AJ) "The shells fell like rain," Ajanthan tells me. He laughs now talking about it, but it's not a laughter that I recognise. It's a laughter of sheer astonishment that he even survived to tell the tale. Ajanthan joined the Tamil Tigers in 2006 after the rebels instituted a one-person-per-family draft. "My younger brothers were all in school," he tells me. "My older brother had already been with the Tigers in 1990s, and was now married. more..

JHU cries halt to interference in Customs

Feb 24 (Island) JHU Leader Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera demanded an end to political interference with the Sri Lanka Customs. He said that two sons of two govt ministers had forced the release of two containers within the last two weeks and the JHU would complain to the IGP N. K. Ilangakoon shortly regarding such illegal action. He said the Customs should be free to conduct checks before releasing containers. more..

State assets misused, polls laws flouted, as candidates fight for places

Feb 24 (ST) Candidates of the upcoming PC polls continue to misuse state assets and flout election regulations, say monitoring organisations. Monitoring organisations had advised candidates contesting seats in the Western and Southern PCs to refrain from misusing state assets during the pre-election period in order that a free and fair election is conducted. However all major parties have more..

Women’s group decries US project meant to debase armed forces

Feb 24 (Island) A women’s organisation affiliated to the NFF has accused some Jaffna based women groups of propagating lies to support US led project to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming Geneva-based UNHRC session. Priyanga Kotelawela, the national organiser of Lakmawa Diyaniyo alleged that several representatives, including two women lecturers had told US Ambassador-at-large for Women’s more..

Unidentified flying object photographed by schoolboy

Feb 24 (DM) A schoolboy had reportedly taken a photograph of a mysterious object that he had seen lying on the ground near an abandoned cemetery in Gurugalhinna, Kahatagasdigiliya that was preserved by the Department of Archaeology. It had looked like a golden plate and it had floated away towards the sun when he tried to pick it up. This object had been seen near the cemetery by a grade ten boy named Nishantha Prematilake (15) more..

Construction of new prison in Hambantota district to begin next month

Feb 24 (Island) The laying of the foundation stone for a proposed new prison complex to be built on a 40-acre land at Angunakolapelessa will take place at the end of next month. The complex would have a swimming pool, the Commissioner General of Prisons, C. Pallegama said. The prisons in the country were overcrowded and it had become a serious issue at Welikade Prison, he said. There are 24,998 persons serving prison terms more..

Human rights advocates condemn employing former Sri Lankan military officer

Feb 24 (ABC) Human rights and asylum seeker advocates are condemning a decision to employ a former Sri Lankan military officer as the acting operations manager of the Manus Island detention centre. The ABC has confirmed that Dinesh Perera has been running the facility for the G4S security company. A spokesperson for the Minister for Immigration says Mr Perera is the acting G4S centre operations manager at the more..

Video: MR says opposition tarnishing Sri Lanka’s image

Feb 24 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa charged that opposition parties were attempting to jeopardize the relationship between Sri Lanka and friendly countries by spreading disinformation about Sri Lanka. “Opposition parties are attempting to do this because they are unable to find any other fault with regard to the development projects undertaken by the Govt,” he expressed these views at the more..

Making police more accountable

Feb 24 (CT) The recent incident where three policemen attached to the Minuwangoda Police Station breaking into a house and assaulting a person said to be a suspect in a minor offence, and his mother who witnessed the incident dying of a heart attack, has to be condemned in the strongest possible terms, by all law abiding citizens. The shock of witnessing the severe attack on the suspect had caused the death of the woman, a healthy 50-year-old. The policemen are also said to more..