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Sri Lanka war crimes report to be handed to Ban Ki-moon on April 12

Apr 12 (ICP) The UN's long delayed report on accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka is now slated to be handed to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on April 12, sources tell Inner City Press. The report will not be made public at that time, they say, and perhaps it never will. Inner City Press has repeatedly asked Ban's spokespeople to explain Ban's statements in December and January that his panel could travel to Sri Lanka. more..

Villagers protest against proposed windmill project

Apr 13 (NN) Villagers in parts of Puttalam staged a protest today against moves to erect wind power towers on land occupied by people in the area. The villagers of Daluwa charged that while towers were earlier erected closer to the sea, moves are now afoot to erect more towers inland where people live. Angry villagers staged a protest against the move by holding up placards and black flags and burning tyres. A private company involved in constructing the wind power towers is more..

Sri Lanka port gets new cranes

Apr 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has taken delivery of new cranes to replace old ones at its main container terminal in Colombo port that will help improve productivity, officials said. A Chinese ship that brought the new cranes began unloading them at the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) Tuesday. The cranes are from China's Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Company (ZMPC) whose equipment is used in container ports in almost 100 countries, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 12.04.2011

Sri Lanka orders its players back from IPL

Apr 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's sports authorities on Tuesday ordered its cricketers playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League to return home for training ahead of next month's tour of England. Sports Minister Mahinadananda Althugamage said he wanted team members to prioritise the national side over the IPL, which is financially lucrative for players. "In future, national cricket players can participate in foreign tournaments only in a manner that more..

Sri Lanka to mark Gagarin`s flight anniversary in late Apr

Apr 13 (Ruvr) The General Post Office of Sri Lanka will issue a souvenir stamp in late April to mark the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight. A new stamp will feature the first man in space Yuri Gagarin, his Vostok 1 capsule and national flags of Russia and Sri Lanka. Festivities to mark ‘Space Flight Day’ were postponed in Sri Lanka to the end of the month due to ongoing New Year celebrations. Russian spaceman Vladimir Lyakhov is expected to more..

Central bank raises reserve ratio to counter inflation

Apr 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank raised its reserve ratio, the amount of deposits that banks must hold at the monetary bank by 100 basis points to 8.0 percent to draw in excess liquidity and contain inflation. Sri Lanka's inflation accelerated to 8.6 percent in March, the highest in two years amid excess liquidity and also transient supply tightness. Excess liquidity which was hovering around 80 to 90 billion rupees in February and more..

Inauspicious start for Sri Lanka timekeeping site

Apr 13 (AFP) An official Sri Lankan timekeeping website aimed at synchronising watches and helping locals to obey astrological instructions crashed on its first day thanks to unexpected stormy weather. The website,, was launched Monday by President Mahinda Rajapakse as a resource to help align clocks, watches and computers with Sri Lankan Standard Time, which is five and a half hours ahead of GMT. more..

More buses, trains during the festive season

Apr 13 (NN) Transport Minster Kumara Welgama has instructed his officials to have additional State buses and trains both today and tomorrow as people go back to their villages to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. The Minister said this after visiting the main bus stand in Pettah as well as the Fort railway station to inspect the arrangements made for the public during the festive season. Already special train and bus services are in operation for the public more..

India to help Sri Lanka in ensuring quality of pharmaceutical imports

Apr 13 (Hindu) India will work with Sri Lanka to set up a mechanism to prevent spurious drug companies from operating in Sri Lanka. Recently, The Sri Lankan Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena had ordered the suspension of tenders awarded to 10 Indian drug companies for supplying sub-standard drugs, not adhering to tender procedures, and delaying deliveries. The Indian offer was made when its High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ashok Kantha, met more..

Travel Information – the Front Office of Tourism

Apr 13 (DM) Tourism is certainly on the rise in Sri Lanka, and very good too. This is my second visit to this lovely country in the past three years, first during the tragic war that saw a mere trickle of foreign visitors and now almost two years after peace was achieved, giving a major boost to tourism. The statistics of arrivals are impressive, and the government and tourism industry must be concerned about serving this steady increase in arrivals, with the lack of tourist infrastructure. more..

Dousing the fires of hatred

Apr 13 (DM) On the fourteenth of April at the auspicious hour the national new year’s celebrations will begin as is customary. This year ofcourse the actual celebrations of preparing for the festival season earlier, making sweetmeats, purchasing gifts for the family, buying of new clothes and in certain instances even repainting of the house may be reflected with the escalating costs of living. Essentially however looking back to the traditional value systems that more..

Small Jerad who showed colours at scholarship exam awarded

Apr 13 (Cimic) A grade 5 student who brought honour to his school scoring higher marks at the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination 2010, was awarded by the 512 Brigade of Ariyalai at a ceremony organized at his school on Thursday. Jerad Nilakshan of St. Rod School, Gurunagar, who lost the affection of his farther sometimes back, got 164 marks at the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination held in August 2010. more..

The transition from terrorism to peace

Apr 13 (DM) Nothing, it seems, hurts the United States (US) than being ignored. No longer the economic super power it deemed itself to be, the US needs to remain relevant. More importantly, Washington needs to divert attention away from its own economy which is in shambles. Or, the grave it is digging itself in Libya-- especially when it is yet to move out of Afghanistan. Barak Obama’s dwindling popularity is another serious concern. more..

The long walk to ending animal cruelty

Apr 13 (DM) With the cruelty towards animals increasing in leaps and bounds, the outraged cry of animal rights activists are to be heard, condemning acts of cruelty and demanding that the ill-used law be brought forth and action be taken. Many suggestions and requests have been made with petitions now being signed to ban the slaughter of animals, but the government is yet to make a move towards updating laws activists say have been enacted during the British rule that are now redundant. more..

So much to look back on

Apr 13 (ST) Sri Lanka's master filmmaker Lester James Peries was introduced as 'The Formidable Genius' when he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Govt of India in 2000. D.C. Ranatunga met him on his 92nd birthday on April 5. There was a stream of callers from morning, April 5. Calm and composed as always, the 'birthday boy' was ready for visitors at his Dickman's Road (now Dr. Lester James Peries Mawatha) home, as he turned 92. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims in America

Apr 13 (LG) American-Sri Lankan Muslims maintain loosely maintained organizations such as the Association of Sri Lankan Muslims in North America. Sri Lankan Muslims have less interest in organizations run by Sri Lankan non-Muslims because of their disinterest in connecting with those who do not share their faith. The Muslims of Sri Lanka are the second largest minority after the Tamils and by demographic trends due to the ethnic conflict may soon form the largest minority. more..

Appeal to media on critiques about NGOs

Apr 13 (LG) In recent months there has been a systematic campaign in sections of the media to bring a few NGOs that work in the areas of human rights, governance, peace and reconciliation into public disrepute. At the core of these charges is the allegation that NGOs are accountable to no one but to themselves, do not have independent audits of their accounts and are not registered with the government. The National Peace Council (NPC) is one of the NGOs that have been more..

Avurudu shopping :Flurry of activity

Apr 13 (SO) The Sinhala and Hindu New Year shopping spirit has caught up with everyone in the country as crowds are pouring in to make their last minute bargains at various shopping venues all over Colombo. Two years have passed since the country was liberated from the grip of terrorism and the people are preparing to welcome this year’s Sinhala and Hindu New Year in grand style on April 13 and 14. The colourful shopping fairs in Pettah, more..

Corruption in construction industry highlighted

Apr 13 (LG) As a politician with a reputation for being down-to-earth, Minister of Youth Affairs and skills Development Dalles Alahapperuma has drawn attention to a matter that has caused much public concern. He has said it is regrettable and a matter of shame that the development of the construction industry has been stunted owing to corruption and quality failure. Speaking at a ceremony held after laying the foundation stone to start work on the construction of more..

Biomedical Science course in Sri Lanka

Apr 13 (BL) British College of Applied Studies (BCAS) is the first institution in Sri Lanka that gives practical meaning to its name “Applied Studies”. Let’s see how? The students are able to apply what they are equipped for by BCAS in the job they secure and that too at quickest possible time. Offering market relevant courses and training programmes has been the vision of British College Applied Studies ever since it was established in 1999. more..

First post-conflict census to be conducted

Apr 13 (SO) Having the correct impression about the country’s population and basic information about it is vital for a country, whether it be development purposes or for any other purpose. Although the registration of births and deaths enables us to get a rough idea about the population count this is not enough to get the current information regarding each and every citizen in the country. As a country which is moving fast on the road to development, more..

Dignity in defeat: Sri Lanka in the final of the World Cup

Apr 13 (SL) Watching the final of the 2011 World Cup of Cricket played in Mumbai and subsequent events, I could not but view it as a metaphor for other, more important, matters on the national scene. For me there were many different emotions that surfaced in the context of a government (and some parts of the opposition) seeking to connect this battle with that which saw the final annihilation of the LTTE: an attempt at renewal of triumphalism for the sake of myopic political gain. more..

Proud to be Sri Lankan

Apr 13 (SL) Just as Menika was deciding between throwing herself in the broiling sea off romantic Mt Lavinia or boiling some niyangala yams and eating it with katta sambole, our cricketers lost the World Cup match in Mumbai and brought Sri Lanker great honour. They did not carry a Cup home but they came loaded with praise, international admiration and mercifully, to congratulations from our own people. (Not like in some neighbouring countries where a losing team is meat more..

'Appointment through discussion is best'

Apr 13 (NS) Q: In addition to Ranjith Madduma Bandara’s name being proposed and seconded for the post of National Organiser at the working committee meeting, he has publicly declared that he is ready to face a contest in the event it cannot be given to him by consensus, but Ravi Karunanayake has not staked any such claim for the post in public. A: For the post of National Organiser the name of Ranjith Madduma Bandara has been more..

Sinhala colonization threatens coastal areas of Mannaar

Apr 13 (TN) Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapakse led UPFA government has been implementing a planned scheme to settle Sinhalese persons in the southern coastal areas of Mu'l'lik-ku'lam, Thampapa'l'li in Ko'ndaichchi and areas along Madu road in the Mannaar district. Lands belonging to Tamil villagers in these areas are being grabbed to settle Sinhalese from the south, said Mr.Selvam Adaikalanathan, TNA Vanni district MP in a statement to media. more..

Reformulating Kooththu theatre for Eezham Tamils

Apr 13 (TN) Contemporary humans alienated from their own environment by an education system are isolated even within their families by the electronic media. Reformulating the Kooththu theatre of Eezham Tamils is not to show it to somebody else or to carry it to somewhere else, but to effectively make the owners of the form of art to gather and enjoy it for themselves in the open air. The reformulation aims at reinstating the Kooththu theatre as a social institution, by giving more..

'My decision may have been selfish but it was right'

Apr 13 (CI) Q: Your coach, Trevor Bayliss, said: "They [Sanga and Mahela] probably had enough of putting up with distractions. These days a captain has to deal with issues that sometimes have got nothing to do with cricket." A: In modern-day cricket you get it. In the subcontinent you get a bit more. As a team we have tried to keep ourselves away from everything but cricket. Sometimes you can't. Unfortunately it can affect relations between more..

Editorial: Needed: A double dose

Apr 13 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena's medicine has evidently had its desired effect on those responsible for many ills hospitals are afflicted with. The recent suspension of tenders awarded to ten Indian suppliers of drugs and medical equipment has jolted the Indian government into a diplomatic intervention. Minister Sirisena is to be commended for having put his foot down and told the errant suppliers where to get off albeit belatedly. more..

Editorial: National New Year the heart of unity in diversity

Apr 13 (DM) While Sri Lanka’s traditional external beauty as a tropical paradise or the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is being gradually restored after almost three decades of a devastating ethnic war we need to focus more today—the eve of the National New Year on the potential for the more important and lasting inner beauty in multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural unity in diversity. The National New Year today is the heart and the highlight of unity in diversity and more..

May all citizens live in happiness – Karu J

Apr 13 (Island) Acting Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya says the wish of his party is that Sinhala and Tamil New Year will bring prosperity to all citizens of Sri Lanka so that they will be able to lead a life full of happiness, fulfilling their wishes and needs, without carrying the heavy burden of cost of living, which they experience at present. He says in his message: "we hope that all will be able to live in a just society in which more..

Mangala must apologise to Hindu community - Kurukkal

Apr 13 (DN) The International Hindu Religious Federation has condemned the statement made by Mangala Samaraweera MP referring to “Indian” gods in remarks made in connection with the Lankan cricket team. A statement issued by Hindu Religious Affairs Coordinator to the President Ramachandra Kurkkal Babusharma, who is also the Secretary of the IHRF observed that recently Mangala Samaraweera MP told the media that Indian gods did not heed President more..

Thunder, lightning, heat to continue

Apr 13 (Island) Thunder and lightning will continue in the afternoon and evening hours till the end of April, says Meteorology Department, Meteorologist in Charge B. A. Jayasinghearachchi. He said that with the inter monsoon conditions thunder and lightning was common during this period. "It is advisable to unplug electrical items when experiencing thunder and lightning," he added. He said that the public should avoid travelling in open vehicles like tractors etc. and loitering in open areas. more..

Renewal in spirit, new expectations

Apr 13 (DN) From ancient days the great cultural festival of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year has brought satisfaction and joy to the vast majority of our people. It is a festival that pays homage to the sun for the strength given to the land and people and is also the annual harvest festival that echoes the achievements of the rural people, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a New Year message. The message: “We celebrate this New Year at a time when more..

SL wants direct trading with Iraq

Apr 13 (FT) Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen believes that direct trading with Iraq will increase Lankan exports and prevent transit adulteration. With this in mind he reiterated his keenness on the proposed Iraq-Sri Lanka trading centre in Baghdad. Bathiudeen expressed his interest when he met Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Sri Lanka and Maldives Kahtan Taha Khalaf on Tuesday at the Ministry offices located at Colombo 3, more..

‘Colombo’s ‘genocide’ of Tamil even in the nomenclature of New Year’

Apr 13 (TN) The traditionally known nomenclature, Tamil-Sinhala New Year or Sinhala-Tamil New Year, for the festival that falls on 14 April, has been in recent years twisted in a scheming way as Sinhala-Hindu New Year by genocidal Colombo and by chauvinistic sections of Sinhalese, to get rid of the word Tamil even in the secular festival of New Year, says a Tamil academic in Colombo. A festival has to be recognized in the way the people celebrate call it. Otherwise it is an insult. more..

Development Diaries

All Ceylon Hindu Congress: ‘Let the New Year bring prosperity to all'

Apr 13 (Island) The Tamil people, while welcoming this New Year with various expectations and hopes, dream that soon they will be able to start their lives with independence and self respect, the All Ceylon Hindu Congress said in its message to mark the Sinhala and Hindu New Year. The message said: Tamil people welcome this New Year with various expectations and hopes. It is difficult for them to forget the unfortunate experiences which they had in the past. more..

UN report on Sri Lanka conflict must be made public

Apr 13 (AI) A UN report on accountability for war crimes committed in the Sri Lankan armed conflict must be made public, Amnesty International said today as a panel of experts submit their findings to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Sri Lankans must be allowed to see the panel's findings. The report concerns a critical period in their recent history and they deserve to read it in full,â?? said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific Director. more..

Ex-Naval officer arrested for supplying arms to underworld

Apr 13 (Island) The police have arrested a retired Sri Lanka Navy officer for supplying weapons to the underworld and some businessmen. A raid conducted by the Kotahena police on information received from the Army intelligence, on a house in Wellampitiya yesterday led to the arrest of an ex-SLN officer with six weapons, 5,000 rounds of ammunition of different types, one hand grenade, two ’ knives, two swords and two sets of camouflage uniforms. more..