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Presidential Secretariat caught red handed

Mar 10 (SL) A large number of vehicles which were under the Presidential Secretariat had been obtained on lease from friends and relatives of former Govt members. Although it is a mandatory requirement to call for tenders as per the government financial regulations, when obtaining vehicles for lease to a govt office, the former administration had allegedly violated all norms of rules for personal benefit. more..

Balendra Jeyakumari released on bail

Mar 10 (AD) Tamil activist Balendra Jeyakumari, who was arrested for allegedly harbouring terror suspects in her home, has been released on bail with strict conditions by the Colombo Additional Magistrate. Jeyakumari, who was in remand custody for 362 days, was ordered released on a personal bail of Rs 200,000 when her case was taken up today. She had been prohibited from leaving the country, and also ordered the defendant to more..

I did everything according to the law: Gota

Mar 10 (DM) Commenting on the foreign travel restriction imposed on him in connection with the floating armoury of Avant-Garde, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he had never done anything illegal and always stood by the law. He said he had already given all the details in connection with the incident to CID and criticized the impounding of his passport claiming even the probe into the incident was not completed. more..

Strengthening the reconciliation process

Mar 10 (CT) I am pleased to have been asked to speak today on Reconciliation, at the meeting to mark International Women’s Day, because it is clear that women have a great role to play with regard to Reconciliation. Most important perhaps, in today’s context, is the need to act as advocates for coherent policies and actions with regard to reconciliation. I must admit to being deeply disappointed that this govt, which we welcomed with such hopes, has put reconciliation on the back burner. more..

Can Hindu nationalist Modi play saviour of Tamils in Sri Lanka?

Mar 10 (CT) The coming state visit of India’s PM Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka, and the red carpet welcome accorded to him, including the ceremonial speech to the Sri Lanka’s parliament, is indeed a bad omen for all the democratic minded, left and progressive forces of this country. As International Socialists the United Socialist Party (CWI – Sri Lanka) stands for the best of co-operation, understanding and solidarity with the neighbouring countries peoples, especially with India with more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

WC 2015: India beat Ireland

Mar 10 (CI) India confirmed the top spot in their group, took their winning streak in World Cup matches to nine, their longest and now only behind the great Australian run between 1999 and 2011, and also maintained their record of bowling oppositions out in this World Cup, claiming their 50th wicket in five matches in the 49th over of Ireland's innings. Ireland scored the highest score against India in this World Cup, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling registered the best partnership more..

Protest against Maithripala in London

Mar 10 (AD) A large number of British Tamils staged a rally in London on Monday against the visiting Sri Lankan President Maithripala Srisena. The protestors accused the Sri Lankan President of committing war crimes and demanded that “Tamils need justice for war crimes and genocide.” This rally was organized by British Tamil Forum (BTF) while Several British MPs and other political leaders also joined and addressed this huge rally, according to media reports. more..

Sangakkara's refined avatar in his final phase

Mar 10 (CI) In the back garden of a colonial home sitting snug against a hill above Kandy, Kshema Sangakkara sends throwdowns at his youngest son. Kumar is in his teens, and has become enamoured again with cricket after stints of badminton and tennis. Kshema doesn't mind his switching sports. But he is firm that his son excels. So on weekend mornings, he rouses Kumar for hours of technical work and shadow batting. more..

Spirited Scotland upbeat for big matches

Mar 10 (CI) There has been a fair bit to like about Scotland in this World Cup. Josh Davey is equal sixth on the tournament wicket tally. Kyle Coetzer's 156 against Bangladesh is so far the sixth-highest individual score. Scotland's best total of 318 is higher than anything made in this campaign by England, India, Afghanistan or UAE. There is just one problem: they haven't won a game. And life will not get any easier for them in their final two matches before heading home. more..

Sri Lanka push to consolidate position

Mar 10 (CI) Bangladesh's win over England means the quarter-finalists are decided in Pool A, and all that remains is to settle their positions. Should results fall as form would suggest, Sri Lanka will finish third in the group and Bangladesh fourth. But Scotland can throw those predictions off if they manage to beat Sri Lanka or Australia over the next week in Hobart. It would be some sort of story; Scotland debuted in the World Cup in 1999 but are yet to win a game. more..

Chandimal ruled out of World Cup

Mar 10 (CI) Dinesh Chandimal has been ruled out of the World Cup due to the hamstring strain he suffered in Sunday's match against Australia. Kusal Perera, who has been training with the squad in Australia since last week, has been included into the squad, coach Marvan Atapattu confirmed. Chandimal tweaked a hamstring in his right thigh when attempting a tight second run in the 41st over in Sydney. more..

Dilum Amunugama defiant and ready to face any inquiry

Mar 10 (Island) UPFA MP Dilum Amunugama said he was ready to face any disciplinary inquiry against him for participating at last Friday’s meeting organised by the MEP, NFF, NLF and PHU in Kandy. SLFP had banned its elected representatives from attending that event. The meeting was held demanding that former President Rajapaksa be picked as the UPFA’s PM Candidate at the next general election. Amunugama said that so far he had not been informed of a disciplinary action more..

Eminent Lankan Consultant Psychiatrist who served NHS dead

Mar 10 (Island) Dr. Buddhadasa Bodhinayake, former Consultant Psychiatrist attached to the National Health Service, UK, passed away in London on March 4, 2015. Born at Bentota, he received his secondary education at Ananda College, Colombo. Having graduated in 1969 from the Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, he served under Mr. P.R. Anthoniz, founder President of Ceylon College of Surgeons and Prof. M.H.M. Hamza, Consultant Paediatritician at LRH. more..

Video: JVP asks CB Governor to step down

Mar 10 (DM) JVP called for the removal of Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran from his post until the investigation into the controversial bond issue was completed. JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi said the Governor should be removed or he should resign from his post to pave the way for a proper investigation into the one-billion-rupee bond issue, which the JVP describes as a shady deal. He said the bond issue appeared questionable more..

US to help Sri Lanka heal ethnic tensions

Mar 10 (IANS) The US will help Sri Lanka's new govt to restore democracy and heal "fragile ethnic tensions", a senior American official said on Tuesday. Addressing a two-day seminar here, US Department of State Regional Affairs' deputy director Neil Kromash said: "Positive developments have taken place in Sri Lanka where the January elections brought a new govt, overthrowing a longstanding autocratic regime. "US will do all it can to support new govt in restoring democracy more..

Arjuna Mahendran leaves for Singapore amidst treasury bond controversy

Mar 10 (AM) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran has for Singapore last night, amidst controversy on the Treasury bonds issue. Mahendran is still a citizen of Singapore. When contacted a Central Bank spokesperson could not confirm the date of Mahendran’s return. President Sirisena decided to appoint a three member committee to investigate to probe into the 30-year Treasury bond issue after allegations were made against a company which was involved in more..

Sri Lanka to continue with development projects of former gov't: Minister

Mar 10 (Xinhua) SL govt said that it will continue with the development projects initiated by the former govt although some had to be reviewed. Minister Gayantha Karunathillaka said that some of the companies had agreed to do the projects at a lower cost as there was a lot of red tape in previous Rajapakse govt. "Claims that the new govt is attempting to stop development projects initiated by former govt is completely false. more..

Sri Lankan shares fall for 7th straight session

Mar 10 (Reuters) Sri Lankan stocks fell to a more than one-month low on Tuesday, losing for a seventh consecutive session, as investors stayed on the sidelines amid rising interest rates and political uncertainty ahead of parliamentary elections. The main stock index fell 0.09%, or 6.28 points, to 7,130.05, its lowest close since Feb. 5, extending the fall to 2.56% in the last seven sessions. "Everybody is waiting for directions on the interest rates and political front," a stockbroker said. more..

Committee named on Bond issue

Mar 10 (CG) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed Gamini Pitipana (Chairman) Mahesh Kalugampitiya and Chandimal Mendis as part of a three member committee to investigate the Treasury Bond issue. The PM’s office said that urgent Attention of the Govt had been drawn in to the different opinions expressed regarding the Treasury Bond issue which was declared on the 27th Feb. PM after having consulted the President over the phone, decided to appoint a 3 member committee more..

'We’ve got to guard against complacency'

Mar 10 (NS) Sri Lanka head coach Marvan Atapattu has warned against complacency and advised his team to play their best cricket in their final World Cup Pool A match against associate member Scotland at the Bellerive Oval here on Wednesday. “You've still got to respect your opponent, respect the good bowlers that come along. If they have a good shot and play their best cricket on the day upsets can still happen,” more..

Court refuses Gen Fonseka interim order

Mar 10 (Island) The Court of Appeal, yesterday refused interim relief to petitioner, General Sarath Fonseka, the retired Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. The interim relief was to suspend Jayantha Ketagoda from parliament, until the final determination of the writ application filed by Fonseka, requesting the Court to quash the decisions of the former Elections Commissioner and the former Secretary General of Parliament, to unseat Fonseka from Parliament, more..

Lankan fans arrive in droves for Sanga show

Mar 10 (GN) Sri Lankan fans have all arrived in Hobart in droves, wanting to witness Kumar Sangakkara’s fourth consecutive century in the World Cup. All of them strongly believe that the veteran batsman will notch up a ton, which could be his 25th century in One Day Internationals, in the match against Scotland on Wednesday. The strong belief of the fans stems from the fact that Hobart’s Bellerive Oval is one of Sangakkara’s favourite grounds. more..

'Job seekers prefer govt, not private sector'

Mar 10 (EN) While Sri Lanka's private sector faces worker shortages most job seekers prefer the comfort of lower paying govt employment, a minister has said, describing how he's inundated with applications. "I get hundreds of CVs but hardly anyone wants to join the private sector," declared Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne. "Everyone wants to join the govt. Maybe it's because of hidden benefits including leisure periods," more..

OPA urges President to introduce mixed electoral system prior to next poll

Mar 10 (Island) Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) has written to President Maithripala Sirisena requesting him to implement a mixed electoral system before the next general election. Letter signed by OPA President Athauda Jayawardena says that the existing system is distorted and breeds political rivalry even among candidates of the same party. "We are pleased to inform that a Sub Committee of OPA was appointed to study and make recommendations more..

Sarath Fonseka to be appointed Field Marshal?

Mar 10 (AM) Speculations are high over reports that General Sarath Fonseka is to be named Field Marshal on March 22 at a ceremony in Army Headquarters. While there has been no official confirmation, rumors were circulating on the appointment of Sarath Fonseka as Field Marshal from the days he was acquitted from the charges against him earlier this year. Spokesperson said that he will be appointed a Field Marshal but said that there was no official confirmation from army. more..

Video: Drunk man attacked by elephant in Udawalawe

Mar 10 (HP) An amateur cameraman has uploaded shocking footage of a seemingly drunk man being attacked by a wild elephant. The man stumbles towards the four ton beast before being knocked to the ground by it's trunk. Onlookers can be heard saying Hey idiot, are you crazy? What the fuck are you doing? and One man was killed by this elephant days ago. The man was on a safari through Udawalawe National Park when he decided more..

Chunnakam water contamination data collected

Mar 10 (CT) Northern Environment and Agriculture Ministry is currently collecting data pertaining to the water contamination issue in Chunnakam. Accordingly, the Valikamam South and North Pradeshiya Sabha officials are directly involved in collecting water samples from contaminated wells in Chunnakam and other areas where the water is contaminated due to an oil leak from the nearest power plant. This mission is being guided by the Northern Ministry of Environment and more..

Tamils yet to experience change: Devananda

Mar 10 (CT) EPDP General Secretary Douglas Devananda, said the Tamil people are yet to experience the actual change in politics as the Tamil representatives in National Executive Council (NEC) have failed to solve their issues so far. "Those who said the problems of Tamil people will be solved through the NEC are just representing as members. They are representing the Tamils but have failed to address the issues. We condemn this move of the Tamil representatives in the NEC," he said. more..

SL wants to be good with all: President

Mar 10 (CG) President Maithripala Sirisena says it is the foreign policy of the present govt to win the backing of all countries by sticking to the nonaligned policy. He says Sri Lanka needs the cooperation of all nations in its development drive and that the govt is in the process of promoting goodwill with the United Nations. President stated this when he met UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon, in London. more..

People’s movement for democracy should continue despite the challenge of racism

Mar 11 (CT) As Karl Marx insisted, ideas first emerge in the form of activity. Such activities may be theorized later on. When a new form of activism becomes the self-consciousness of a society, it could create social movements. We can consider this Marxist idea for examining how social movements emerge in capitalist societies. A broader social movement can arise through a larger concentration of people around a certain activity. In Sri Lanka we have very recent examples of more..

Heroes, Traitors and Tamil Politics: Lessons (un)learnt

Mar 11 (GV) Following the deferral of the presentation of the report of the UNHRC mandated investigation on Sri Lanka (IOSL) conducted by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) passed a resolution on 10 Feb 2015 urging the UN to investigate the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka by successive govts. The postponement of the presentation of the report of the OISL and the NPC resolution has resulted in much discussion more..

Seas around Sri Lanka vulnerable to oil spills

Mar 11 (SO) Sea around SL is highly vulnerable to an oil spill, as 25% of the world’s oil transportation, which runs up to 550 million tons per annum, passes via Sri Lanka’s exclusive economic zone. Though Sri Lanka had not faced huge disasters due to oil spills in Sri Lankan waters, except for a few incidents which were reported around the country during the past few decades, the risk of an oil spill is high around Sri Lanka. more..

National symbols, cultural sites & events

Mar 11 (CT) The second objective of the Ministry of Diversity and Inclusion (MID) is to foster inclusion and diversity in cultural symbols (e.g., national flag, emblem, and ID cards) and events (e.g., Independence Day celebrations, inaugurations, opening ceremonies, and commemorations and memorials) that represent an “all Sri Lankan identity” in all national institutions (e.g., administration, security, education, culture, and foreign missions). MID should also take steps to prevent more..

19 A: A constitutional Cyanide capsule

Mar 11 (CT) The 19th Amendment is quite seriously flawed in terms of (a) definition (b) process and (c) content. It is flawed, indeed false, in terms of its definition, because an amendment which repeals whole sections of an existing Constitution and moreover changes it from a presidential to a parliamentary system is not an amendment. It is an abrogation disguised as an amendment. One cannot help but wonder at the subterfuge. The 19th Amendment is flawed in terms of process. more..

'No hope in Modi's visit'

Mar 11 (CT) Northern Fisheries Association President N.M.M. Aalam said, visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi cannot solve fishermen's issues, and also the problems of Tamil people. "We have been undergoing various livelihood and other issues. Indian PM's visit is just political, our issues are beyond politics. A single visit cannot solve all problems. But we hope for the best!" said Aalam. Q: What are the problems faced by Northern more..

A short note on the historical legacy of International Women’s Day

Mar 11 (GV) In the West, International Women’s Day was first observed as a popular event after 1977 when the United Nations General Assembly invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace. Its theme for 2015 is ‘Make It Happen’ with a dedicated hashtag for social media. “Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!” is the Day’s UN theme for this year. Women’s Day is a day of international solidarity. more..

Amaratunga, Police, pulling at opposite directions

Mar 11 (CT) There appears to be a communication breakdown between the present govt and the Police Department. That comes in the wake of the police introducing a ban on full face or face covered helmets recently. The ban came into effect after two armed motorcyclists wearing full face helmets robbed a suburban bank of millions of rupees. But Minister John Amaratunga has ordered the police to suspend the implementation of this ban which was to have come into effect on 21 March. more..

'Previous govt didn’t guide youth'

Mar 11 (NS) Former Minister Festus Perera is a known and respected politician who has served the country in many ways. He is still being remembered everywhere in the country not only the fisheries sector. His political legacy was later taken up by his wife and several years ago, their son Niroshan Perera committed himself to shoulder it. Today, young Perera who is an electronic engineer by profession is State Minister of Youth Affairs. more..

Why is Ranil attacking India?

Mar 11 (CT) Ruling BJP and the Congress Party in India were shocked by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe's statement to the Indian media that Sri Lanka would shoot Indian fishermen who poached into Sri Lankan waters. Ranil portrayed himself as a close friend of India in recent times and campaigned in favour of India's stand to recognize the 13+ as the solution to the Tamil problem in his country. During Rajapaksa's administration, Ranil took the lead to attack Chinese funded projects like the Colombo Port City more..