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Sri Lanka bourse at week-low on year-end profit-taking

Apr 1 (Reuters) Shares hit a week's low on Wednesday as investors booked profits with the end of the financial year coming, traders said. Rupee currency LKR= ended firmer on exporter dollar conversions ahead of the Sri Lankan New Year holiday season. The All-Share Price Index .CSE closed 1.08 percent or 40.48 points weaker at 3,724.59. "The market came down with investors booking profits at the end of the financial year," more..

Bishops slam ‘lawless’ attack on media firm

Apr 1 (UCAN) Catholic bishops in Sri Lanka, worried about possible violence in an upcoming general election, have condemned a violent attack on one of the country’s leading media companies, calling it “lawless behavior.” A group of protestors pelted Sirasa Media’s offices with rocks before trying to storm the building on March 22 in Colombo. The attack, which injured four people was to protest the company’s sponsorship of a proposed concert featuring more..

Debrief News - 31. 03. 2010

Contest aims to preserve Lenten tradition

Apr 1 (UCAN) Church people say they hope an annual passan chanting competition will help preserve one of the oldest Lenten traditions in the country. On March 27, 30 young people took part in a passan contest organized by the Sacred Heart Society of St. James Church in Jaffna. Passan, which was started in Sri Lanka a few centuries ago, depicts Christ’s passion through chanting. The contestants, aged 13-27, were judged on vocal clarity, choice of words, movements and other aspects. more..

Lankan couple sentenced to death in sponsor murder in Kuwait

Apr 1 (AT) The Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced a Sri Lankan man, identified as Hajj Mohyeddein, and his female compatriot, identified as Sisha Siba, to death in absentia for the premeditated murder of a Kuwaiti man in 2006. The court then referred the case to the concerned civil court. Case files indicate on Dec 6, 2006, the two suspects, who worked as driver and housemaid for the victim, agreed to kill their sponsor and steal his money. more..

Tamil refugees told to get out of Sri Lanka or suffer persecution

Apr 1 (HS) Thousands of desperate Tamil refugees in Sri Lanka have a stark choice: stay and be persecuted or risk the long, dangerous voyage to Australia. A senior diplomat, experienced in people smuggling matters, said Sri Lanka's government cared about neither the refugees' fate nor Australia's boat people predicament. Naval intelligence sources told the Herald Sun that Colombo encouraged Tamils to risk the dangerous voyage. more..

The government spars with aid agencies; the displaced still suffer

Apr 1 (Economist) Nearly a year after the end of Sri Lanka’s long civil war, life remains grim for hundreds of thousands of Tamils in the north of the country, displaced in the final months of fighting. Now they face a new threat. International agencies are running out of funds to meet their needs, after the government’s rejection of a United Nations-led mechanism for channelling humanitarian assistance to the country. more..

Tamil asylum seekers battle rat plague

Apr 1 (AAP) Sri Lankan asylum seekers refusing to leave a boat in Indonesia are battling a plague of rats as they mark six months aboard the vessel. The Sri Lankans boarded the Jaya Lestari 5 cargo boat bound for Australia in early October last year. The Indonesian Navy apprehended the boat at Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's request about ten days later. But the ethnic Tamils - then numbering 254, refused to get off the boat at the Javan port of Merak because more..

Cloud over Jayasuriya's World T20 selection

Apr 1 (CN) A dispute in Sri Lanka cricket circles with rumours that the inclusion of Sanath Jayasuriya's name in the Sri Lanka team of the ICC T20 event to be held in the West Indies, has been through political interference. Informed sources have said that a row has broken out between the selectors and the Minister of Sport Gamini Lokuge before the final names were released through the media on Wednesday afternoon. more..

Political will required

Apr 1 (LG) With President Mahinda Rajapaksa on an unprecedented winning spree on the battlefield and at the hustings, can he secure a two-thirds majority in the parliamentary elections on April 8? The complex proportional representation system virtually rules out such an outcome on the strength of just his own party. Mr Rajapaksa wants to drop reliance on defectors and inconvenient allies which had forced him to appoint 113 Ministers out of his alliance’s 131 legislators. more..

The psychological impact of political violence in Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (LG) Commonly violence is defined as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. Political violence refers to acts of violence undertaken to further the political objectives. more..

'Suspension of GSP+ facility is not punishment'

Apr 1 (F2F) Speaking at the 17th AGM of the Sri Lanka Garment Buying Offices Association, Mr Bernard Savage and Head of the European Union (EU) delegation said that EU has stood by Sri Lanka in difficult times and that the temporary suspension of the GSP+ facility is not a punishment. He said, “The Government needs to carry out an action plan as per the dialogue it had with the European Union and more..

ADRA improves health and nutrition for women in Tsunami-ravaged Sri Lankan communities

Apr 1 (ADRA) In southern Sri Lanka, where many tsunami-affected communities have made significant strides toward finding long-term stability, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is implementing a new project that is helping women improve their health and nutrition, as well as that of their future children. Through the Health and Nutrition Assistance (HANA) project, more..

Tamil Nadu govt blocks protest march against SL Tamil woman refugee’s suicide

Apr 1 (TN) Tamil Nadu government blocked the protest march that was to be staged Wednesday against the forced death of the Eezham Tamil woman refugee, Ms. Kumar Pathmathevi, sexually abused by three Tamil Nadu policemen, by the Protection Committee for Human Rights (PCHR) led by Periyar Dravidar Kazhakam Leader Kolaththoor Mani, sources in Tamil Nadu said. On being refused permission by Tamil Nadu police to stage the protest march more..

India hands over cement bags to Sri Lanka

Apr 1 (Hindu) Indian High Commissioner Ashok K. Kantha on Wednesday handed over to U.L.M. Haldeen, Secretary, Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, the first lot of 10,000 of the 400,000 cement bags being supplied by India. The bags procured from Ultratech Cement Lanka Pvt. Ltd. will be supplied in lots of 10,000 cement bags each day for the next 40-45 days and more..

Parliamentary Elections, April 2010: An opportunity for voters in the North and East

Apr 1 (GV) I remember visiting Jaffna in 1997. Local government elections were due. Several leading political figures had been assassinated in the preceding years, some by the LTTE, others by anti-LTTE groups. In the prevailing climate of fear, the Federal Party had reluctantly submitted nominations for elections for the Jaffna Municipal Council and one or two other local bodies. more..

A film about the war called 'Maathaa' is being shot on location at the 'No-fire zone' in Mullaitheevu

Apr 1 (TC) It is impossible to imagine what the last days of the war were like for the people caught up in it, even standing on the same ground, looking at what they left behind. In the few square kilometres between the sea and the lagoon to the north of Mullaitivu, where Prabhakaran breathed his last and Sri Lanka was liberated from 30 years of the most tragic suffering, no house stands undamaged. more..

Samantha Vidyarathne on YaTV

Conformity with international law is better than relying on global powers

Apr 1 (NPC) The “Great Game” was the name given to the contest for power and territory in Central Asia in the 19th century between two of the most powerful world powers at that time, the British and Russian empires. They moved their armies and entered into treaties with rulers of those areas, like on a chessboard, to safeguard their interests and weaken their rival. It was also in those times that the British Foreign Minister, more..

Election monitors become victims of violence

Apr 1 (CaFFE) A leading election monitoring group said yesterday it would take up with Elections Chief Dayananda Dissanayake and Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya the alleged attack on one of its officials by supporters of UPFA candidate. A CMEV spokesman alleged that the UPFA supporter had grabbed the official’s camera. The spokesman said the UPFA candidate had promised to look into the matter and take action against the supporter. more..

'Tillakaratne Dilshan led us to safety'

Apr 1 (MO) Paul Farbrace talks about the day he nearly lost his life in an almost unnervingly matter-of-fact fashion. 'I was sitting in the team bus when I heard this popping and banging noise,' said Kent's new head coach. 'I looked out of the window and saw this guy running with a gun, shooting. I thought something was going on ahead because I couldn't think why anyone would want to kill us. more..

.Election violence ahead of Sri Lankan poll

Apr 1 (wsws) Just one week from the April 8 general election in Sri Lanka, political violence is on the rise. Although the number of incidents reported so far is less than during the presidential poll in January, most have been directed against opposition parties and politicians. DIG Gamini Navarane, the officer in charge of the election, revealed on Tuesday that the police had received 220 complaints of election violence and made 174 arrests. more..

New bus service launched from Kilinochchi Bus Stand

Apr 1 (MoD) The government has launched a new bus service in the Kilinochchi district as a measure to improve the public transportation and to ease the transportation needs of Tamil civilians resettled in the district. The new bus service for Kawtharimunai, Murasumoddai, Akkarayan, and Oddusuddan areas from the Kilinochchi bus stand was launched recently at the Kilinochchi District Secretariat with the participation of Minister Duglas Devanada and more..

University entrance: More qualify from IDP centres

Apr 1 (MoD) Nearly 51 students who sat the Advanced Level examination last year while they were in the welfare centres in the North, have qualified for University entrance. Out of them nine students have succeeded in entering Medical Faculties which could be very encouraging for the efforts that the Government took to uplift the standard of the welfare camps, more..

Nagamu Purawara, a huge success

Apr 1 (GDI) Fifty eight projects launched under the "Nagamu Purawara" program initiated under President Mahinda Rajapaksa's direction had been successfully completed within five weeks at a cost of Rs 8,968,383, Colombo Chief City Administrator Omar Kamil said. The numbers of people benefited through the projects are 16,078. Around 1,500 under served settlements have been identified by the CMC within the Colombo City limits, he added. more..

SLFP candidate attacked in Jaffna

Apr 1 (TN) SLFP candidate Ramanathan Ankajan contesting Jaffna electorate and his supporters were attacked around Wednesday midnight between Aanaipanthi and Aariyaku’lam on Jaffna-Point Pedro road by a group of armed men alleged to be of EPDP, sources in Jaffna said. Three supporters of Ankajan are said to be abducted at gun point by the armed men who had set fire to one of the vehicles of Ankajan group. more..

President commissions Kekiriyobada Reservoir

Apr 1 (LP) The development expectations of people will bear fruit in the near future said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The war that was an obstacle for the development of the country is now over and the only objective of the government is the development and creating a moral society he stated. He made these statements after commissioning the newly constructed Kekiriyobada Reservoir at Kirama yesterday. more..

Minister Douglas intimidates Yarl Thinakural editor, manager in Jaffna

Apr 1 (TN) Minister Douglas Devananda publicly warned the editor of Yarl Thinakural K. Vamathevan and its administrative manager A. Nadarajah for having published front page news on the attack on SLFP candidate Ankajan contesting Jaffna electorate Thursday early morning, affecting election propaganda for his EPDP besides damaging his reputation, in a press meet he held for the local media in Jaffna Srithar Theatre Thursday morning. more..

Unscrupulous deals to lure MPs into the Govt. to acquire a 2/3 majority –Rs.100 million filthy lucre on offer!

Apr 1 (LeN) The Govt. which is by now certain that it cannot secure a two third majority at the forthcoming General election is now busy making arrangements to acquire that majority by luring Opposition party MPs into its fold by offering unscrupulous yet attractive terms, according toinformation reaching Lanka e news. The offer is Rs. 100 million! to an Opposition MP who pole vaults to the Govt. more..

Candidates on the campaign trail

Already one elephant kraaled!

Apr 1 (LT) UNP organizer for Hakmana Indike Jathunga crossed over to the UPFA yesterday. Jathunga contesting the general election from UNF to Matara District joined the UPFA at the UPFA election rally held at Matara presided by President Mahinda Rajapakse. Mr. Indike Jathunga said he was resigning from all posts he held in the UNP. However, UNP internal sources say despite getting nomination from the UNF to contest the general election, Jathunga would never be elected. more..

Vehicles without number plates in PM’s son’s campaign

Apr 1 (LT) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake’s son Vidura Wickremanayake is contesting the general election from the UPFA for Kalutara District and is using a fleet of vehicles without number plates in his election campaign. He has no worry from the police of any other forces despite these vehicles could be seen in all parts of the district with Vidura Wickremanayake’s photograph and preference number displayed. more..

Clash of the Titans at Gampola

Apr 1 (LT) A tense situation prevails in Gampola area as goons of S.B. Dissanayake and Minister Mahinda nanda Aluthgamage, both contesting from UPFA, are poised for a show down. Minister Aluthgamage has complained to Gampola Police that S.B. Dissanayake’s supporters attacked several of his campaign offices and assaulted several of his supporters. more..

The Sri Lankan media Mafia (Part 2)

Apr 1 (LG) The next example relating to the blowing up of things out of all proportion, that I wish to cite involves both Sanath Balasooriya and Poddala Jayantha. This incident will also help explain some unclear issues that have developed recently over General Fonseka.Both Sanath Balasooriya and Poddala Jayantha supported President Mahinda Rajapakse at the 2005 Presidential election. more..

Fertilizer subsidy Rs 65 b

Apr 1 (LNP) The Government has spent over Rs. 65 billion for farmers fertilizer subsidy between 2008 -2009 while also giving various tax relief measures to import agricultural implements and issue paddy seed free of charge, Agriculture and Agrarian Services Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. The Government spends nearly Rs. 7,500 for a 50 Kg bag of fertilizer given to farmers at Rs. 350 under the subsidized rate. more..

From personalities to policies

Apr 1 (DN) Minister Milinda Moragoda in an interview with the Daily News said after eliminating terrorism the country is on the threshold of a new political culture from personalities to policies. Q: How confident are you of winning the General Election? A: The decision should be taken by the voters. I, on behalf of the Sri Lanka National Congress have forwarded an agenda to influence the Government. more..

Lawbreakers seeking to be lawmakers

Apr 1 (LNP) Politicians flashing mega watt saccharine smiles lay bare their true faces when their interests are threatened. Nothing disturbs them more than the prospect of losing power. Hence, in jousting for power, they leave nothing to chance. When they contest elections, they have no friends there are only foes to be defeated by hook or by crook. With a few more days to go for the parliamentary polls, candidates of all hues have stepped up battles for preferential votes. more..

Accelerated development in South

Apr 1 (DN) The Southern Province has been brought under an accelerated development drive. The younger generation should be prepared to face development challenges in the future, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Suriyawewa Tuesday. “We have a responsibility to rebuild the country under a stable Government after terrorism was eradicated,” he said. President Rajapaksa was addressing SLFP activists in Bandagiriya at the Suriyawewa Town Hall. more..

Kalabalabindu Childrens Garden

'To make SL a better place and to see an end to people`s suffering - vote for UNF'

Apr 1 (UNP) Addressing a massive election rally at Matara in support of UNF candidates of Matara District, UNF and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, the people of this country never experienced this acute suffering and faced hardships in SL’s history of 60 years after independence as during the last five years of rule since this Govt. came to power. more..