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Presidential order?

Apr 14 (MM) For a body that willingly bends backwards to appease the powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Sri Lanka’s decision to call back its cricketers from the ongoing Indian Premier League more than meets the eye. After all, it was the same set up that had chosen to cancel a tour of England in 2009 to allow the players participate in the lucrative Twenty20 league. That it is singing a totally different tune to the one it crooned a couple of more..

Sri Lankan cricketers to leave IPL on May 5

Apr 14 (CI) The Sri Lankan cricketers playing in the 2011 IPL have been asked to report to Colombo by May 5 to prepare for the tour of England. The squad is due to depart for England on May 10 whereas the IPL goes on until May 28. "For the past two months or so they [the Sri Lankan players] have been playing one-day and T20 cricket and it is time they switched on to playing the longer game," said Duleep Mendis, who is the new chairman of selectors more..

Cities emptied as Sri Lanka celebrating New Year

Apr 14 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Sinhala majority and Tamil minority join together in celebrating the New Year, or " Aluth Avurudda," which falls on April 14 this year. During the most import holiday of Sri Lanka, cities are deserted as people return to their villages to celebrate the New Year. They carry gifts to family and friends and join in the revelry. The most remarkable feature of the "Aluth Avurudda" is the rituals performed at a specified time on the clock. more..

Over 200 hospitalized

Apr 14 (DM) More than 200 people were admitted to the National Hospital in Colombo on the Sinhala-Tamil New Year’s eve with most of them being victims of road accidents and fire crackers, hospital sources said. A spokesperson for the National Hospital confirmed that ending 7 am today, a total number 212 persons have been received treatment, while 82 of them still being received treatment. Two deaths caused by road accidents were also reported during yesterday, the spokesman said. more..

Sri Lanka could target inflation of 4-7 percent: IMF paper

Apr 14 (LBO) An International Monetary Fund policy paper has proposed a forecasting and policy analysis system (FPAS) to help start an inflation targeting regime for Sri Lanka which suggested a range of to 4-7 percent year as a target. "The model simulations suggest that an open-economy inflation targeting rule can reduce macroeconomic volatility and anchor inflationary expectations given the size and type of shocks faced by the economy," more..

Keep quiet and carry on

Apr 15 (Economist) Sri Lanka’s govt has got its retaliation in first. On April 12th a panel of experts delivered a report to the UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, assessing whether war crimes were committed when the nation’s army bloodily won a long-running civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels early in 2009. The report has not yet been made public, but the government is furious that an independent inquiry took place at all. The report, it says, is “fundamentally flawed” and biased. more..

'1,400 shops raided from april 1'

Apr 15 (NF) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) said that 1,400 shops had been raided during the period from April 1st until yesterday. Chairman of the Authority Rumi Marshook said that 700 outlets had been raided for selling goods above the government stipulated prices. “300 shops had been raided for selling expired goods while 400 outlets had been raided for falling to display prices. Special teams have been deployed around main towns to conduct raids. more..

Card Ranjith visits Tamil war victims

Apr 15 (AN) In the Northern Province, Tamil refugees and war victims spoke about their suffering and voiced their complaints to delegates from the Congress of Religions who came on a fact-finding mission (28-30 March) to evaluate the situation. Two years since the end of the ethnic conflict, “The enormity of the destruction of the last months of the war could be gauged from the destroyed and abandon vehicles and bombed out buildings on both sides of the road more..

Coming out of the unknown past/mystery

Apr 15 (LG) I had been reading the recent articles on Lankan history in the Sri Lankan news papers and websites. Even though history is a Social Science, none of these writers seem to be social scientists; some of them are natural science academics (mathematicians) and many others who write history are definitely not known to be attached to the discipline of history or had a formal training in historiography. The problem with natural scientists trying to write articles on more..

New beginnings

Apr 15 (FT) New Year is not just a time for celebration; it is also a time for new beginnings. The most important things in life are begun anew with blessings and love shared between family and friends. This is the integral message of the New Year; that whatever mistakes were made during the past year there is always space for a new start to life. For millions of Sri Lankans celebrating New Year, this can move beyond mere personal goals. As a nation, there are many things that must still be achieved. more..

Delving into the Lion’s den in Sarathchandra’s Sinhabahu

Apr 15 (Island) ‘A myth expresses an underlying truth about mankind: that all productions of the mind may have some meaning’—Carl Gustav Jung [1875-1961] The mythical tale of the origin of the Sinhala race was probably passed down through oral tradition [‘storytelling’] and was recorded in Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicle, by Mahanama Maha Thera [6th Century AD], the Buddhist monk credited for initiating a continuous record of our history. more..

Overreacting to Blake and Gandhi?

Apr 15 (ST) o recent references to Sri Lanka by high level representatives of foreign governments have caused concern in government circles. This is not surprising considering that the relationships with the US and India are among the most important in Sri Lanka’s foreign relations. One was the note on Sri Lanka by Robert O. Blake, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, in his Testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, more..

Local officials harass war widows in Batticaloa district

Apr 15 (TN) War widows with their children residing alone in the border villages of Batticaloa district are still being intimidated and harassed by some village level officers of the Sri Lanka’s government led by President Mahinda Rajapakse, according to local civil sources. Responsible local government officials and non-governmental organizations are turning blind eye to complaints made by affected war-widows, civil sources say. more..

Avurudu: Festival of Nature

Apr 15 (LG) Sinhala and Hindu New Year is a festival devoted to the observance of rituals connected with the worship of the Son God. The ancient Egyptians and Zoroastrians believed that the sun was the origin of all living beings and worshiped the sun. Even our ancestors believed in the creation of all living things by the four elements of Apo, Thejo, Vayo and Patavi. Our ancient system of Ayurveda was based on this belief. more..

SLA soldiers, para military attack local Tamil traders in Batticaloa

Apr 15 (TN) Local Tamil traders from Vadamunai, Pendugalseanai, Oothuchcheanai, Poththanai, Tharavai and Kudumpimalai areas in Chiththa'ndy division who had gone to collect milk from dairy farms in Paduwankarai area came under attack by soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and cadres of para military groups. SLA soldiers and para military cadres had attacked them asking them to show the hide outs of LTTE in the area, according to affected traders. more..

Businesses boosted by Cricket World Cup

Apr 15 (BL) No doubt, the 10th Cricket World Cup gave financial gains not only to the cricketers and those associated with it, but also to various in business sectors. Look how the CWC craze benefited everybody. Nowadays, in any sports, competition what comes running first is the betting business. That way one can imagine the bookies would have had a good time throughout the Cricket World Cup, and the best time in the final game between India and Sri Lanka. more..

British PM extends greetings on Tamil New Year

Apr 15 (TNN) New Year, the British Prime Minister and the Leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameroon, on Wednesday said he acknowledged the significant contribution the Tamil diaspora makes to many aspects of British society. Meanwhile, Thaksha Ravikulan from the British Tamil Conservatives (BTC), told TamilNet that many conservative MPs including Lee Scott, Andrew Rosindell, Robert Halfon, Theresa Villiers and Gavin Barwell were more..

New Year unites all religions

Apr 15 (UCAN) Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations bring an opportunity to foster inter-religious and cross-cultural harmony in Sri Lanka. Christians, along with the Buddhist majority and Tamil Hindu minority were holding the New Year celebrations yesterday and today. People from all religions lent a hand in organizing this year’s celebrations in villages and cities across Sri Lanka. “A fire is lit, milk is boiled and traditional dishes are prepared and served up by most households,” more..

Ramayana trail draws Indians

Apr 15 (DC) Sri Lanka has attracted more Indians after the mapping of the Ramayana trail. India has emerged as the top source of tourists for the island nation in the first quarter of 2011. Banking on tourism, the mainstay of the Sri Lankan economy, Colombo identified about 50 sites connected with the Indian epic Ramayana, depicting the tale of Hindu god Rama who rescues his wife Sita from the clutches of demon king Ravana. A 600-step climb, for instance, more..

Sri Lanka freight helps state railway cut losses

Apr 15 (LBO) Increased freight transport has helped Sri Lanka's state-owned railway department sharply reduce losses in 2010, according to the central bank. It said the performance of Sri Lanka Railways was mixed in 2010 with a drop in the number of people carried but an increase in goods transport. Passenger kilometreage of Sri Lanka Railways fell 4.7 percent mainly due to the closure of the coastal railway line between the southern towns of more..

UN's Lanka report timed to holidays ?

Apr 15 (HT) A team of Lankan diplomats are pouring over the United Nation (UN) document on human rights accountability in Sri Lanka, which was submitted to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon earlier this week. So far, the government has come out with only a brief statement on the bulky report, calling it "flawed " and "biased". While demands have already been made, it is not clear when the report would be made public, either by the UN or the Lankan government. more..

Lankan diplomats pore over UN report

Apr 15 (HT) A team of Lankan diplomats are pouring over the United Nation document on human rights accountability in Sri Lanka, which was submitted to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon earlier this week. So far, the government has come out with only a brief statement on the report, calling it “flawed’’ and “bias ed." While demands have already being made, it is not clear when the report would be made public either by UN or the Lankan government. more..

Murder convict seeks Presidential pardon

Apr 15 (LB) Anura Lal Weerawansa, a former assistant customs officer who was convicted of the murder of another former assistant customs officer Sujith Prasanna Perera is reported to be seeking a Presidential pardon, informed sources from the Customs Department told LAKBIMAnEWS. Weerawansa, who is held at the Welikada remand prison since October 1, 2002, having been convicted by Court, has forwarded a petition to the President seeking a general pardon. more..

Why pay for Bumpkins in opposition with public money?

Apr 15 (SL) A political expert contacted for an explanation on how the Bill to establish a private sector Employees’ Pension Scheme could go through parliament so urgently. He insisted no “Urgent Bill” could be brought up for debate in parliament without first being presented in the Supreme Courts. This insistence took our mind back to an anecdote quite popular among LSSP “old timers”. It goes that Comrade Colvin, approached by a party worker, to have his legal more..

The Sinhala and Tamil New Year just ended

Apr 15 (SL) Menika has been lying around coiled on her sofa, feeling far different from sexy Cleo; her coiling being python like and induced by her pigging on kavun and athiraha. She knew she’d feel this way but went ahead muttering damn to lethargy and shoot to cholesterol. The Sinhala and Tamil New Year comes but once an year so why not indulge in rasa kevili and a prolonged period of nonagathe – doing nothing but chewing the cud of remembrance. more..

Widow labelled terrorist ordered out of Canada

Apr 15 (TS) After her husband was assassinated during midnight mass at a church in Sri Lanka on Christmas Eve 2005, Canada welcomed Sugunanayake Joseph. Former foreign affairs minister Bill Graham spoke at a memorial service for her husband, Joseph Pararajasingham, a Sri Lankan MP, calling him a “man of peace.” Five years later, the Immigration and Refugee Board has ordered the 74-year-old Toronto grandmother deported, more..

UNP’s Constitution flouted by the leader

Apr 15 (LB) UNP MPs in the Sajith Premadasa camp were livid that the recent overhauling of the party’s Working Committee (WC) while ignoring the candidature of Moneragala district MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara for the post of national organizer, was unconstitutional. They not only disapproved vehemently of this move but also bitterly criticized the party leadership for having overlooked the Moneragala district MP. Speaking to this newspaper MP Madduma Bandara said that more..

Waiting for a New Year

Apr 15 (LB) As if “new year,” each year, has brought us anything new: watching seasonal advertising, eating (or being compelled to eat) what we, at other times of the year, would never consume; being compelled to be a part of “games” and “rites” and the like which we are told are reflective of our “Sinhala and Tamil heritage,” we run a drill and routine with which we can hardly empathize. We are told that on this “auspicious day” of the year a planetary transition of more..

'Lankan players to abide by SLC decision on IPL'

Apr 15 (PTI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said that his national team-mates in the Indian Premier League will have to abide by the decision taken by their Cricket Board regarding returning home midway into the Twenty20 league for a tour of England. "We have a tour of England happening by the en d of May. I think the Board (SLC) will start calling us back. I am not sure if if it is going to be May 5 or not (for the return home)," more..

Thonda’s on stage complaint to Basil

Apr 15 (SL) CWC Leader and Minister Arumugam Thondaman recently complained to Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa about the non-inclusion of a Tamil description in documents handed over by the government. Interestingly, Thondaman decided to express his displeasure when on stage before commencing his speech at a function organised by Rajapaksa’s Ministry. Rajapaksa visited the Nuwara Eliya District on March 30 to promote the Divi Neguma programme commenced by his Ministry. more..

Love of cricket alive in Hambantota

Apr 15 (GC) As the deadline for a decision on the 2018 Commonwealth Games edges closer, Sri Lanka's chances have begun firming up when compared with the Gold Coast's. Journalist Lucy Ardern and photographer Michael Ross have just returned after spending a week getting a first-hand look at the rival city as delegates begin to weigh up their votes. Today they look at the community's love of sport. He might be using a homemade bat to swing at a tennis ball in more..

Nelum Gamage

What is a society wedding in Sri Lanka like?

Apr 15 (BBC) Weddings come in all shapes and sizes - and some of the bigger and more glamorous ones can be found in Asia. In the Sri Lankan capital Colombo, Nadini, a well-known singer, and Madura, her businessman sweetheart, got married recently - and the event was quite a spectacle, involving traditional dancers and elaborate rituals. The BBC's Charles Haviland went along to find out what the day involved. more..

Five reasons to visit Colombo

Apr 15 (TIME) Sri Lanka is in business again. for years, parts of the country have been no-go areas — ravaged by the 2004 tsunami or by the island's protracted civil war. But with the defeat of Tamil separatists, and the financing of hundreds of post-tsunami reconstruction projects by foreign aid, the whole island is now accessible, safe and bustling with tourists. Colombo is the entry point for almost all of them and worth exploration. more..

US urges Sri Lanka to use in a Process of accountability the UN panel report

Apr 15 (ICP) On Sri Lanka, the Obama administration would like the Mahinda Rajapaksa government to “use” the Panel of Experts report on presumptive war crimes in the final stages of the conflict, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told Inner City Press on Thursday. Toner said the US has “encouraged the Sri Lankan government to engage in a process of accountability” and to “use the Panel of Experts and its expertise to address that.” Video here. more..

Card skim scams steal $170m

Apr 15 (DT) Credit and debit card fraud has tripled in just three years, with Australian consumers ripped off more than 657,000 times last year at a cost of $170 million. The multi-million-dollar profits have attracted organised crime, with Australia recently targeted by crime groups from Romania, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka. These gangs are involved in large-scale card skimming, the Australian Crime Commission revealed in a report released today. Organised crime groups have also more..

International School boots suspected paedophile

Apr 15 (SL) A teacher who was forced to resign from an international school in Colombo after having been accused of paedophile activities nevertheless continues to conduct tuition classes for children in Nugegoda. A highly placed source at the school, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the school had threatened to sack the teacher and call in the police if he did not resign. Both the principal and board of directors at the international school acted promptly more..

Sri Lanka’s directive to its cricketers marks the end of Nash Equilibrium

Apr 15 (MM) After a three-year balancing act, the applecart has finally been upset. The delicate equilibrium between the BCCI, other cricket boards, and players has been disturbed by the Sri Lankan sports ministry’s directive to its players to return from the IPL on May 5. This marks the end of the Nash Equilibrium masterminded by Lalit Modi when he had gotten all cricket boards to buy-in to the IPL. more..

The US googly and a govt canar

Apr 15 (SL) In a detailed report released by the US State Department on April 9, the issue of abductions and killings carried out in the last year is examined with the mention of several individuals who were victims of such actions. The report further goes on to examine the powers of the President, which enables him to ignore Sri Lanka’s legislative body. Hot on the heels of this report being released, a government MP, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha made an astounding claim to more..

US State Department’s VOA airs war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka

Apr 15 (AT) Solely funded by the U.S. Government, controlled by government appointed board of governors, the American government’s foreign affairs arm the State Department’s publicity unit Voice of America (VOA) offered its broadcasting facility to air war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka clearly making a mockery out of internationally accepted Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. In this case, under the Vienna Convention, the United States is the more..