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MPs urge dialog with Diaspora

Feb 26 (CG) A group of cross-party young parliamentarians have urged the Govt to have dialogue with the Sri Lankan Diaspora in order to ensure there is sustainable reconciliation in the country. The MPs, who have been working towards promoting positive and open dialogue with Diaspora communities since 2011, which includes the Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim Diaspora, have also offered to play the role of mediators if the need be. more..

Two Lankans nabbed with 29 gold nuggets

Feb 26 (DM) Two Sri Lankans who attempted to board flights to India after having swallowed gold 29 gold nuggets had been arrested at the BIA by Customs Officials on Feb 19, Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said. Suspects were aged 36 and 44 from Colombo 10 and Meegoda area. X –Ray images later revealed about 15 and 14 pieces of gold nuggets in each individual. Suspects were admitted to the Negombo hospital under the supervision of Prisons officers more..

Gota was not wrong says SB

Feb 26 (CG) Minister SB Dissanayake says Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was not wrong in attending an election rally organized by JHU Western Provincial Council candidate Udaya Gamanpilla. Addressing a media briefing today, Dissanayake said that Rajapaksa had attended the rally on an invitation extended by Gamanpilla and not on his own. He noted that the rally was not something which was organized by the Defence Secretary, nor did he speak at the rally. more..

Singaporean contaminated fuel shipper agrees to take back stock

Feb 26 (Island) Vitol Asia based in Singapore has agreed to take back the remaining stock amounting to 17,000 MT of Low Sulphur fuel found to be contaminated. It was worth nearly two billion rupees. Samples of the latest stocks had been sent to the plant even before unloading was done at the CPC. Independent tests in Singapore have confirmed that the fuel is contaminated with polymer and other substances related to food industry. more..

30 cell phones recovered from Colombo remand prison

Feb 26 (Island) Officers of the Colombo Remand Prisons in a lightning search operation detected 30 mobile phones in the possession of remand suspects yesterday. Among those were one TG type mobile phone which showed the picture of the user at the other end. It was also revealed that, the phone belonged to a heroin king pin known as Nuwan, who had conveyed telephone numbers of Prison Officers to heroin dealers by SMS. When ‘The Island’ contacted Commissioner General of Prisons more..

Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka opened amidst row

Feb 26 (PTI) Amid row over the choice of Honorary Consul, a Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka was today declared open by Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor here. Appointment of Kerala based businessman Joemon Joseph as the Honorary Consul had triggered a row with allegations that a criminal case was pending against him. Apparently to avoid any controversy, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and State Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala, skipped the function. more..

Rajapaksa offers to return boats of Indian fishermen

Feb 26 (ENS) President Rajapaksa has invited TN fishermen, whose released vessels are still in the possession of the Sri Lankan Navy, to come over to the island and take charge of them at the earliest. Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake told Indian journalists on Tuesday that 49 boats which were released earlier are still in the possession of Lankan authorities. Rajapaksa feels that it is time the fishermen concerned more..

Court of Appeal refuses intervention

Feb 26 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday refused an intervention filed by 783 officers who had done cover up duties as Acting Directors of Sri Lanka Education Administrative Service. They had wanted to intervene with regard to a Writ Application filed by Sri Lanka Teachers’ Union, its President, Priyantha Fernando an its Secretary, Joseph Starling. The Writ Application has requested the Court to quash a Cabinet paper which approved the appointment of 783 offices who had more..

Another tragedy

Feb 26 (Island) An 18-year-old girl in the Chilaw police area succumbed to burn injuries she sustained on Monday night. She had committed suicide by setting herself on fire after dousing her body with kerosine oil. The victim, Sukumali Vinodani of Thaladiyawella, Chilaw, had killed herself due to a love affair, according to initial investigations. The postmortem conducted by the JMO of the Chilaw hospital revealed it to be a death compatible with suicidal burn injuries. more..

Six top guns to retire within a year

Feb 26 (DM) Sri Lanka national cricket team will be going through a crucial period of moulting in the next few months as some of the few stalwarts will draw curtains over their glittering careers to mark the end of an era. The first major change will take place after the forthcoming ICC World T20 tournament which to be held in Bangladesh from Mar 16 to Apr 6, as the team’s long-standing icon players Sangakkara and more..

Probe on missing moves East

Feb 26 (CG) Presidential Commission to investigate cases of persons from the Northern and Eastern Provinces who went missing during the period 1990–2009 will commence its first public sittings in the Eastern part of the country in the Batticaloa District in March. The public hearings will take place from March 20–22, 2014, in the towns of Vakarai, Chenkallady and Batticaloa, covering 56 Grama Niladhari Divisions in the district. This is the first time the Commission is hearing cases in the East, more..

Sri Lankan denies intending to harm woman he killed in Yeovil

Feb 26 (WMN) A petrol shop worker has denied intenting to harm a friend’s girlfriend who he killed in a knife attack at her home. Gobinath Vellasamy told a jury Mayurathy Perinpamoorthy had been pestering him months with messages telling him she fancied him and he had gone to ask her to leave him alone. Mayurathy, 32, was the girlfriend of his fellow Sri Lankan Punnahairaja Servaraj, and all three had previously shared the same flat in Ilchester. Vellasamy told Exeter Crown Court he had more..

Video: Linking SF for Lasantha’s killing: DP to take legal action

Feb 26 (DM) Democratic Party would take legal action against its former Media Coordinator Sanjeewa Samarasinghe for making defamatory statements involving party leader Sarath Fonseka with the killing of the Editor of the Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickramatunga a few years ago. The party said that Sanjeewa Samarasinghe was suspended from the party. Democratic Party Deputy Leader Jayantha Ketagoda said more..

The Beast: A liberation theology for Tamils

Feb 27 (NS) Published by Godage and Brothers, I am writing this review of Mario Perera’s book ‘The Beast - A Liberation Theology for Tamils’ from London where S.J.Emmanuel’s headquarters, the B.T.F. is located. The book appears at an ideal moment when Emmanuel’s forces are being aligned to humiliate Sri Lanka at the Geneva Summit of March. What this book does is ‘cutting the ground from under Emmanuel’s feet’. As indicated by the author the book is a probe into the more..

Making of our political future via local govt

Feb 27 (CT) The Southern & Western PC elections, scheduled to take place at the end of next month, has certainly not gone unnoticed as many budding politicos and their parties have taken both to the streets and through all forms of media like a storm. PC elections, and the PC in general, have received damning press over the recent years with local councillors being accused of wide scale corruption, nepotism, threats, intimidation, rape, drug running and even the murder of local citizens more..

'More counselling centres could reduce Suicides'

Feb 27 (SO) The last two weeks sent shock waves hearing the untimely deaths of two schoolgirls who hanged themselves for various reasons based on certain issues which cropped up in the popular social media website Facebook. A Police detective who shot himself to death due to frustration and a man who hanged himself after killing his friend's wife as well as the mother of two who jumped in front of an oncoming train more..

Michael Roberts as an apologist for Sinhala Nationalism/Chauvinism

Feb 27 (CT) The republication of Michael Roberts’ 1991 article “Nationalism, the Past and the Present: The Case of Sri Lanka” gives rise to some concerns in a context where the efforts on the part of the current political regime can best be characterized as ‘assimilation’ of minority communities and not ‘reconciliation’ within a plural society and a democratic political system. What it tries to establish or re-establish is the hegemonic position of Sinhala Buddhism over the other strands of more..

Asia Cup: India Beat Bangladesh

Feb 27 (CI) Fatullah crowd waited for Virat Kohli to reach his 19th ODI hundred, and started heading for the exit soon after he reached the landmark. India still needed 77 from 12.3 overs in a chase that, if statistics were anything to go by, still had some juice remaining. They had every right to leave, however, as the India captain made 136 and easily brought out a six-wicket win. Bangladesh's bowling attack hardly put a dent in the record 213-run third-wicket partnership, barely creating a chance more..

Why the Govt of SL fails internationally

Feb 27 (GV) This is among the many important challenges to the “democratically elected” Govt of “democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka” . There may be various answers but let me offer five reasons why the present Govt in the present frame of mind cannot win the support of the international community at the present moment. Politicization of the foreign (diplomatic) service started many decades ago. more..

Power cuts during election time

Feb 27 (SL) We met Shorty (Silva) after decades, in sweltering heat of a February afternoon in Fort. Shorty was an E-Fac (Engineering Faculty) student in the days gone by and had been earning his living abroad generating power. We sought refuge in an air-conditioned restaurant and Shorty was relieved. ‘Machang’ your minister in charge of power must be a hell of a fellow. I hear that Kotmale, Victoria, Rantambe, Bowatenna – all have hit rock bottom with this drought. more..

Taking ‘accountability’ forward or sideward?

Feb 27 (SL) Based on media reports, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay’s call for an international probe into ‘accountability issues’ in Sri Lanka, if taken forward, has every potential to drift and drag sideways if extra-care is not taken to ensure that it is not either the intention or purpose of any such move. That is if, and only if, such a recommendation forms part of a resolution from the floor, and is approved by a majority of the 47 voting-members meeting in Geneva in March more..

A litany of broken promises!

Feb 27 (FT) The Oxford educated Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, recently lapsed momentarily into literary metaphor in attempting to explain some of the current complexities that govern the bilateral relationship between New Delhi and Colombo. “What can I say, but to borrow from Eric Segal’s Love Story: Love means never having to say you’re sorry. That is how our relationship is,” the Minister told more..

Editorial: Of JJ’s tall promise

Feb 27 (Island) Election fever is running high in India and promises of all sorts are being made. In Tamil Nadu, AIADMK Leader J. Jayalalitha, at a previous election, promised gold and electric kitchen blenders, among other things, to gullible female voters and won comfortably. This time around, she has included in her manifesto a promise to divide Sri Lanka and take over Kachchativu! Jayalalitha made a public vow, a few years ago, to have Indian troops deployed in Sri Lanka to carve out Eelam more..

Accountability issues: The UK factor

Feb 27 (Island) British High Commissioner, John Rankin, recently dismissed allegations that Western powers were seeking a regime change in Sri Lanka. The British envoy was commenting on accountability issues ahead of the forthcoming 25th session of the Geneva-based UNHRC. The declaration was made a few days before BHC Rankin, accompanied Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staffer, Julie Scott, on a two-day fact-finding mission. For some reason, a statement issued by more..

'There is an ideological conflict in the UNP'

Feb 27 (CT) UNP MP, Ranjan Ramanayake, says, that there is an ideological conflict in the UNP. Q: How many people are hungry in Sri Lanka nowadays? A: Both of us must think of important facts. Q: What is your aim in joining politics? A: For a long time now, I have been raising my voice against corruption, coercion and other mean acts of the present political system. I spoke against the UNP also when the killing of journalists more..

RALH Gunawardana’s separation from his Pali Dictionary at a crucial time

Feb 27 (NS) “It is ever so with the things that Men begin: There is a frost in spring, or a blight in summer, and they fail of their promise.” “Yet seldom do they fail of their seed,” said Legolas. “And that will lie in the dust and rot to spring up again in times and places unlooked-for”.- Return of the King, Lord of the Ring, Book V,Chapter 9-In 1967, as a young man of 30, RALH (Leslie) Gunawardana successfully challenged S. Paranavitana’s Ceylon-Malaysia fixation and won renown. more..

Touchwood plants guarantees for settlement in Court

Feb 27 (FT) Case No. 31/2013/CO filed by K.A.D.L.P. Nanayakkara to wind-up Touchwood Investments PLC was taken up in the Commercial High Court of Colombo on 25 Feb 2014 where counsel for the Petitioner, the Company sought to be wound up (Touchwood Investments PLC), Securities Exchange Commission, and many other investors of the Company were present in Court. The CEO of the Company sought to be wound-up, Lanka Kiwlegedara, was also present with more..

D.B.S. Jeyaraj’s journey home

Feb 27 (FT) Forced into exile 25 years ago and compelled to stay away in order to survive, journalist D.B.S. Jeyaraj always dreamt of returning to Sri Lanka. That flame of hope flickered occasionally, as the war dragged on and then escalated despite intermittent ceasefires, but he never let it go out entirely. For David – who regards himself not as an emigrant but as an émigré – Sri Lanka has always been home, and the hope of return more..

Tensions rise between the US and Sri Lanka

Feb 27 (HP) A major diplomatic rift has emerged between the United States and Sri Lanka over the island nation's human rights record. The dispute focuses on possible war crimes that occurred during the final phase of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war against the LTTE in 2009. Citing Colombo's lack of progress in addressing the charges, Washington is preparing to sponsor a third UNHRC resolution in Geneva pressing Sri Lanka to commission a credible investigation into alleged wartime atrocities. more..

CTC clarifies position

Feb 27 (Island) CTC wishes to make the following clarification with regard to various news regarding changes to the cigarette packs including printing pictorial health warnings. CTC has always respected Parliament as the supreme law making body of the country and as a responsible corporate citizen has always complied with the laws made by the Parliament. Parliamentary approval of the Regulations made by the Minister of Health is a procedural requirement under the NATA Act, more..

MasterCard upbeat about SL prospects

Feb 27 (DM) Sri Lanka could benefit and seek higher growth from global electronic payment trends, falling in line more with the current cashless spending patterns, a top official from the US financial services multinational, MasterCard said. MasterCard South Asia Area Head Vikas Varma said they are upbeat about promoting electronic payments system in Sri Lanka through new deals and products. more..

Defamatory texts doing the rounds

Feb 27 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered two mobile phone service providers to provide details pertaining to three telephone numbers alleged to have been used by a person who allegedly sent text messages posing as President Rajapaksa. Filing a B report before Magistrate Thilina Gamage, the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) sought a court order to obtain details regarding two telephone numbers alleged to have been used by the offender. more..

Roger convicted yet eligible to contest

Feb 27 (CT) Actor and UPFA Colombo District candidate, Roger Seneviratne, can contest at PC elections, despite being sentenced to a suspended five-year term of imprisonment for assaulting a businessman, Elections Commissioner said. Seneviratne was sentenced by the Avissawella High Court Judge, for having caused businessman, Mihira Wickremaarachchi, serious injuries by assaulting him with an iron rod. He was previously sentenced to one year's rigorous imprisonment, more..

Sri Lanka-Iraq trade talks begin in Baghdad

Feb 27 (FT) The latest Sri Lanka-Iraq Joint Committee for Economic Cooperation (JEC) commenced on 25 February in Baghdad. “Iraq is certainly an important market for us not only for tea but even for other prospective products. Similarly, there would be good opportunities for Iraq to promote its products with potential in Sri Lanka,” said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, making his opening remarks at the 8th session of JEC more..

Third gantry cranes shipment arrives at CICT

Feb 27 (DM) Mega vessel, Zhen Hua 11 recently shipped a large consignment of gantry cranes and container trailers for the newly built Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT). The consignment consisted of three gantry cranes, 10 rubber tyre gantry cranes (RTGs) and 26 container trailers. This was the third shipment to arrive at the CICT. The two previous shipments that took place last year also discharged the same amount of equipment. Two more ships are to arrive in more..

President extends his greetings to Hindus

Feb 27 (GDI) Hindu devotees across the world will celebrate Maha Shivarathri today in reverence of Lord Shiva. On Maha Shivarathri day devotees throng to temples and holy shrines to offer prayers and please Lord Shiva. President Mahinda Rajapaksa issuing a message in view of Maha Shiva Rathri stated that Hindu devotees in Sri Lanka can freely celebrate this important festival in true spirit of unity and understanding in a peaceful environment. Full Text of the message: more..

Video: 'Campaign for Rs. 100 a success'

Feb 27 (DM) Although the opposition parties complained that JHU candidate Udaya Gammanpila was begging for funds for the election campaign, He said begging for funds was always better than robbing funds unlike some candidates. “Even Lord Buddha has gone looking for meals door to door. So what’s wrong with asking for something that I don’t have? It’s not a robbery unlike some candidates do. Even a UNP candidate was allegedly more..

Sri Lanka: Helping those who need it most

Feb 27 (ICRC) Having worked in Sri Lanka during its past conflict, I was interested to see for myself, and to discuss with the country's leadership what we could do to help people in a meaningful way. I was received by Gotabaya Rajapakse, the defence secretary, Lalith Weeratunga, the permanent secretary to the president, and by other government officials, all of whom highlighted the importance of helping people affected by the past conflict and welcomed the efforts of the ICRC. more..

Specimens of skeletons to be sent to USA

Feb 27 (DM) Specimens of the skeletal remains recovered from the mass grave at Matale are to be referred to the Beta Analytical Archaeological Laboratory in Florida USA in order to date them. Former Supreme Court judge S.I. Imam, the head of the presidential commission to investigate the mass grave, ordered the Criminal Investigation Department to do so last evening. Retired secretary general of parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda, and retired Supreme Court judge more..

SSP Ajith Rohana mulls resigning

Feb 27 (CT) Following allegations levelled by the UNP, Media Spokesman for the Police, SSP Ajith Rohana, admitted yesterday that he was contemplating resigning from his post. "The UPFA accuses me of siding with the UNP, and UNP accuses me of siding with the govt, but the truth is that I am not taking any sides," SSP Rohana said. The decision to resign would be made after PC elections are held, he further said. more..