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Sri Lanka alerts India over missing sailors

Apr 1 (PTI) Seeking India's assistance to track down its four missing sailors, Sri Lankan Navy today said it has alerted the Indian High Commission in Colombo, the Indian Navy and the coast guards over the incident. The Naval spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said the four sailors patrolling off Mullaitivu seas have gone missing since yesterday. Their boat was found with no signs of any damage. Mullaitivu for years served as the military base of the LTTE.

Two Sri Lankan fishermen who were released by Somali pirates return

Apr 1 (NN) Two Sri Lankan fishermen who were released by Somali pirates this week returned to the island today, the Fisheries Ministry said. The two fishermen reached Beruwala this morning and were reunited with their families. The two fishermen were abducted by Somali pirates last November after they had gone out to sea from Beruwala. They were forced to work onboard a ship hijacked from Dubai by the pirates, the Fisheries Ministry said. more..

Patil, Rajapaksa to watch World Cup final in Mumbai

Apr 1 (Hindu) After the high octane India-Pakistan match in Mohali, the World Cup cricket final in Mumbai on April 2 is also going to be a high-profile event with President Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa set to watch the encounter. Ms. Patil will be flying to Mumbai for the keenly awaited match after India entered the final by thrashing Pakistan at Mohali on Wednesday, Rashtrapati Bhawan sources said. more..

Eastern University closed down indefinitely

Apr 1 (TN) While the Tamil Youth Organisation in UK was engaged in an awareness campaign for boycotting genocidal Sri Lanka in international sports, a cricket-related euphoria of the Sinhala students in the Eastern University of Sri Lanka in Batticaloa resulted in attack on Tamil students and indefinite closure of the university. Inebriated by euphoria of Sri Lanka’s victory in the cricket semi finals that took place in Colombo, the Sinhala students of the Batticaloa University entered into more..

International condemnation of journalist arrest

Apr 1 (BBC) International rights organisations have called for the immediate release of an editor of a website critical of the Sri Lankan govt. Bennett Rupasinghe, News Editor of LankaeNews was remanded by courts following his arrest by the Wellampitiya police on Monday. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said that he should be released immediately. RSF research coordinator Gilles Lordet said, "this can be seen as part of ongoing harassment against the LankaeNews". more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief -31.03.2011

Train rams into bus in Ragama

Apr 1 (NN) A train rammed into a passenger bus at a level crossing in Ragama a short while ago injuring at least 4 people of which one is serious, the Ragama police said. The bus was dragged several feet away after it was hit by the train and the railway department said that train services along the track have been suspended. According to the railway department the train was travelling between Matara to Vavuniya while the passenger was was plying between Ragama and Kandana. more..

Honorary Title for Minister Keheliya

Apr 1 (GDI) The Karaka Maha Sangha Sabha including the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter has decided to confer the Honorary Title “Deshamamaka Janaprasadana Lankaputra” on the Minister. The conferring of the title will take place on the 3rd of next month. The Asgiriya Maha Vihara Chapter Sangha Sabaha headed by the Maha Nayake Thera has decided to confer the Honorary Yitle 'Deshamamaka Janaprasadana Lanka Putra' on Media Minister Dr Keheliya Rambukwella. more..

Murali will play even with discomfort - Bayliss

Apr 1 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss insists Muttiah Muralitharan will play in the World Cup final despite continued worries over his fitness. Muralitharan, who turns 39 next month, skipped practice on Thursday at the Wankhede stadium and has struggled with niggles through the course of the tournament, including a hamstring injury, a side strain, a troublesome knee and a groin issue. more..

Cabinet Decisions - 30.03.2011

Apr 1 (GDI) US$ 500 million Loan facility from China to Finance for Priority Road Projects: Projects to improve and rehabilitate priority Roads Island wide connecting all electorates are under way now. China Development Bank Corporation (CDB) has agreed to provide US$ 500 million to finance this project. This will contribute to lower transportation cost and improved the integration of all parts of the country, thus increasing the economic activities and productivity and more..

India well prepared for pressure games - Dhoni

Apr 1 (CI) One of the most important benefits from India's scrappy World Cup semi-final victory over Pakistan - apart from the sound and sight of a hundred firecrackers going out around the PCA stadium on a Mohali night and the adoration of millions - is their team's sense of being in what captain MS Dhoni equated to a good spell. Dhoni said the format of the World Cup had helped the Indians get to a stage just before the final where off-field distractions and more..

Court warns Pabha

Apr 1 (NN) The Gangodawilla magistrate today warned politician and actress Upeksha Swarnamalie (Pabha) not to divulge the proceedings of her case in court to the media. The lawyer appearing on behalf of her husband informed court that the actress was giving out false information to the media regarding her case. The case involves an alleged incident where phabhas husband had assaulted her resulting in she need to be hospitalized with facial injuries. more..

Taufel and Dar to umpire World Cup final

Apr 1 (CI) Simon Taufel and Aleem Dar have been named as the on-field Umpires for the World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka on Saturday. Ian Gould and Steve Davis will be third and fourth umpires, respectively, while Jeff Crowe will perform match referee duties for the game. The DRS has played a strong role in this World Cup - sometimes controversially - but both Taufel and Dar have had largely flawless tournaments, while Gould and Davis have also been generally accurate in their decisions. more..

UAE expats gear up for Indo-Lanka showdown

Apr 1 (E24/7) Cricket fans in the UAE are gearing up for the most important date which comes just once every four years as India and Sri Lanka go to battle in the first all-Asian World Cup in Mumbai on Saturday. The large expatriate population from the sub-continent will have less than 72 hours to recover from the ultimate showdown between arch rivals India and Pakistan in the semifinals which would have emotionally drained the fans of these two Asian giants. more..

'Lanka confident ahead of summit clash'

Apr 1 (TOI) Sri Lanka are confident ahead of the World Cup final against India and the win over New Zealand in the last-four stage was an ideal tune-up for Saturday's summit clash at the Wankhede Stadium, according to middle-order batsman Mahela Jayawardene. "We are very confident going into the game on Saturday. The guys are really excited. We batted brilliantly and were positive in our approach (in the semifinal), but we had wobbled in a couple of overs where more..

Reverse the Brain Drain and Get

Apr 1 (LG) I refer to the ‘Reverse the Brain Drain’ interview given by Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole to Sunday Observer reporter Ananth Palakidnar. The Sunday Observer introduces Dr. Hoole as follows: ‘Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole was recently appointed as the Coordinator for the University of Jaffna’s Engineering Faculty by the University Grants Commission. Prof. Hoole who had to leave the country due to the threats he received from the LTTE is now back in more..

LG elections sullied but outcome important

Apr 1 (LG) Comments and assessments on the first stage of local government elections concluded last week are many and varied. They vary from those inspired by party affiliations and prejudices to objective assessments by politically neutral persons. While ruling party enthusiasts gloat over their success, the vanquished opposition parties find solace in augmented vote banks. What is conspicuously absent is the custom in mature democracies of complimenting the victors. more..

Inter religious leaders visit Jaffna

Apr 1 (Cimic) His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and most Ven. Dr. Ittapane Dhammalankara Anunayaka Thero with host of priests from Inter religion Committee visited the Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) Office in Jaffna and had a timely discussion with Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe the Commander Security Forces (Jaffna) at 11.00 am on 30th March 2011. Security Forces Commander - Jaffna (SF Comd) enlightened the Delegation of more..

Cricket, Lankan Muslims and Pakistan

Apr 1 (LG) In his present lengthy piece (Mar 30) Izzeth Hussain takes far too much than he can chew. As to my earlier intervention, I took exception to his baseless charge Tamils here back India when the National team takes them on Cricket. I also pointed out to his earlier aberrations on the Tamil issue where he uncharitably proposed that the Tamils in the North be starved - meaning the food the government was sending from the South should be stopped - to break the backbone of more..

Persecuting of NGOs under the pretext of prosecutions

Apr 1 (LG) These days there is considerable discussion about investigations into some NGOs in Sri Lanka. The president himself is talking in public about this issue and already implying that there is some kind of wrong doing on the part of some NGOs. This has also been followed by several media channels. Therefore some simple reflections on the issue are in order. There is a vast difference between prosecution and persecution. This difference may not be quite so clear in Sri Lanka anymore. more..

Department of Civil Security holds New Year Fair

Apr 1 (MoD) The second annual "New Year Fair" organized by the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Department of Civil Security opened today (30 Mar) with the participation of Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa, the Chairperson of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit. The "New Year Fair" will be held from 10 a.m to 6 p.m, until Thursday, March 31 at public car park beside the Headquarters of Department of Civil Security, Station Road Bambalapitya. more..

Efficiency, a luxury in our Education System?

Apr 1 (DM) Being a ‘developing’ nation with a literacy rate we can boast of, it is no surprise that more and more Sri Lankans are interested in gaining higher education experience and foreign exposure. In such a world, it is imperative that our education system maintains a higher standard not only in the quality of education but also the quality of administration. It is time these standards are examined closely so they are on par with the rest of the world. more..

The World Cup and Sandcastles

Apr 1 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam and asalamu alaikum, as millions of Sri Lankans put party politics, the high cost of living and corruption aside and unite in heart and mind with hope and prayer for Sri Lanka’s success in the cricket World Cup final tomorrow. Like most things in Sir Lanka today, cricket also has been highly politicized mainly by the politicians with some former cricketers and Sri Lanka Cricket officials also contributing towards the politicization more..

Rat Fever running wild

Apr 1 (NS) At first, the numbers were relatively small, with 230 cases of Leptispirosis (Rat Fever) recorded officially by the Government Epidemiology Unit (GEU) at the end of January 2011. Then like a gathering storm, they doubled to 5,676 in February end and by March 22, tripled to 1883, leaving twenty dead. The victims were mainly farmers (over 80%) and mostly males (over 90%). While Rat Fever as it is better known, is an annual occurrence, more..

Towards reducing losses in public enterprises

Apr 1 (NS) Losses in public corporations have been a serious strain on the public finances of the country. In 2009, losses of public enterprises amounted to Rs. 116 billion. These losses have contributed significantly to public expenditure and have been one of the main contributory factors for the persistent fiscal deficits. The large amount of borrowing by corporations from state banks has also resulted in crowding out the private sector from bank finance. more..

Veterinary Investigation Center Opened at Thampalahamam

Apr 1 (MoD) With the rapid development of livestock sector in the Eastern Province, the Central Department of Animal Production and Health opened its 17th Veterinary Investigation Center at Thampalahamam at a cost of Rupees 10 Million. Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development Arumugan Thondaman declared open the Center on 25th March. The people of Trincomalee District are mainly involved in cattle rearing and livestock related activities. more..

World’s largest floating book fair Logos Hope in Colombo

Apr 1 (NS) Of all book fairs that have been held in Sri Lanka, nothing would amount to the experience of going to one atop a ship. Logos Hope is the world’s largest floating book fair, replacing the previous ship Logos II. This is a much larger ship, designed to give its visitors from around the world a truly memorable and one of a kind experience. Operated by GBA Ships e.V., an international, charitable organization registered in Germany, more..

Dr. Harsha de Silva challenges Central Bank on EPF’s investments

Apr 1 (FT) In response to yesterday’s issue of Daily FT publishing the Central Bank’s August 2010 statement on EPF investing in the stock market, UNP MP and Consultant Economist Dr. Harsha de Silva fired a fresh challenge against the Central Bank on the same. In support of his stand, Dr. de Silva issued the following statement yesterday: The Central Bank (EPF Department) is attempting to defend its trading of shares of listed commercial banks in the more..

Rishad invites US firms to benefit from Sri Lanka’s strong post-war growth potential

Apr 1 (FT) Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday urged US companies to invest in Sri Lanka to benefit from the strong post-war growth potential. “I strongly believe that post war Sri Lanka packs considerable untapped potential in trade collaboration between the two countries,” Minister Bathiudeen said hosting a top-level visiting US business delegation for lunch in Colombo. He said that high level delegation comprising more..

Protect Sri Lanka’s tradition of selecting Administrators objectively by competitive examination

Apr 1 (TC) It is with some nervousness that I venture to address today’s audience of experts in foreign affairs and their students as I have absolutely no knowledge of this subject, having spent most of my career as an officer in District Kachcheries. However, I concluded that you may pick up something useful about how our country – our "outstations" as they were snobbishly called – were administered not so many years ago. more..

Editorial: When hypocrisy kills

Apr 1 (Island) British Minister and Chairman of the Conservative Party Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, in an article published in this newspaper yesterday, sought to justify her unstinted support for military action in Libya in spite of having vehemently opposed the Iraqi war. One of the reasons she has given for her volte-face is that the military campaign in Libya is legal. She says: "It's legal. Unlike Iraq, this time we got that UN resolution for military action. more..

Editorial: Some wisdom for April fools day

Apr 1 (DM) While we crack jokes and laugh about fools and fool’s paradises on this April Fools’ Day or tell the April Fool to go to school and call his teacher a damn fool, it might also be wise to do some serious reflection today on the root causes of foolishness. First and foremost, we need to remember that doctorates and degrees, diplomas and distinctions alone are not enough because there is a big gap between knowledge and wisdom. Mahatma Gandhi, widely respected as more..

Top physicist says Lanka should have read riot act to India long ago

Apr 1 (LB) One year ago, in an article that seemed hardly relevant at the time, this newspaper raised a question: What is Colombo doing to protect national interest should a nuclear accident happen in neighbouring India? Precious little, came the answer. The crisis at Japan’s quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi complex has fuelled anew an impassioned debate about nuclear energy. The world wasn’t completely sold on nuclear power to begin with. more..

Trinco to get more power

Apr 1 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry will implement 127 power supply projects in the Trincomalee District to increase electricity supply in the Eastern Province to 100 percent by the end of 2012. Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka's attention is drawn towards implementing 374 power supply projects that include 1,865 electricity supply extensions in the Eastern Province in line with the concept of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Vidulamu Lanka to illuminate the entire country more..

A Home for Books

Apr 1 (GV) For as long as I can remember we have had books in the house. To my child’s eye it seemed that every room was spilling over with books. Books in bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and even bathroom. Most of the books belonged to my father – his study held his law books and his other books were distributed among the other rooms – Dictionaries (the love of his life), classics, spirituality, fiction, art etc. They were housed in various book cupboards, more..

Sri Lankan girl shot in UK

Apr 1 (BBC) A youth thought to have been targeted by the gang who shot a five-year-old girl and a man in south London has contacted police. Thusha Kamaleswaran and the man, 35, were hit in the chest and face respectively at the Stockwell Food and Wine shop, Stockwell Road, on Tuesday. A £50,000 reward has been offered for information. It happened as three youths on bikes chased two others. Now Det Ch Insp Tony Boughton said one of those targeted had contacted them. more..

Who did what to Sajith?

Apr 1 (LB) The news had many people stunned. Sajith Premadasa had consented to be the deputy leader of the UNP. This was at the party convention where a stand-off was expected, and Premadasa was expected by many to be elected the new leader of the UNP under the party’s recently enacted reforms. But those who had got ready to celebrate, including some of the UNP MPs who had thrown in their lot with Premadasa, were in for a rude shock — or at least a colossal disappointment. more..

Vavuniya DS awaits claims for 120 recovered vehicles

Apr 1 (Island) Steps have been taken by the Vavuniya District Secretariat to return the vehicles hijacked and later abandoned by the LTTE,Vavuniya District Secretary Mrs. P. S. M. Charles said. The Vavuniya District Secretariat has received 120 abandoned vehicles and is waiting for their owners to make claims, she said. The vehicles found abandoned throughout the districts had been handed over to the District Secretaries by the armed forces. more..

Dilshan playing the Jayasuriya role

Apr 1 (CI) A placard often seen during Sri Lanka games in Sri Lanka says, "Arjuna 1996, Sanga 2011." They may as well draw another one along similar lines: "Sana 1996, Dilshan 2011." There is one game to go still, but if comparisons were to be drawn with Sri Lanka's great triumph 15 years ago, it would be no disrespect to Sanath Jayasuriya if it were said that Tillakaratne Dilshan, playing some of the most mature cricket of his career, is matching him deed for deed. more..

SIGNIS Sri Lanka introduces new awards

Apr 1 (UCAN) The SIGNIS Awards for films and television will be bigger and better this year with the introduction of three new award categories. “We’ve introduced three new awards for best single TV episode, short film and best TV documentary for the 2011 competition,” said Father Benedict Joseph, director of the Sri Lankan branch of the World Catholic Association for Communication in Colombo. It is hoped the introduction of the new awards will help more..