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Tamils: What Price the moral high ground?

Apr 21 (TC) Christians all over the world are observing holy week of the lent season. The holy season will end with the Good Friday and Easter Celebrations. One of the more famous stories in the Holy Bible relates to the woman who had been caught in adultery. The Scribes and the Pharisees brought the woman and made her stand before Jesus Christ. They said to him, 'Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. more..

Japanese Ambassador calls on Secretary Defence

Apr 21 (MoD) Japanese Ambassador Kunio Takahashi paid a curtsey call to Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (19) at his office. Ambassador Takahashi accompanied the officials of two Japanese Naval ships namely, Yudachi and Kirisame belongs to Japan Maritime Self Defence Force, which arrived today morning on a goodwill visit to Sri Lanka while its return passage to Japan. The ships were utilized to avert piracy off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. more..

Duleep questions Malinga’s commitment

Apr 21 (Island) Fast bowler Lasith Malinga’s commitment to Sri Lankan cricket was questioned by Chairman of Cricket Selectors Duleep Mendis yesterday when the latter said it was ‘awkward’ for a player to say he’s unfit to represent Sri Lanka, but continue to play in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Malinga had informed the board not to consider him for the Test series against England; however, he continues to represent Mumbai Indians more..

N-E archaeological places to be declared world heritage sites

Apr 21 (MoD) Important ancient archaeological sites in the Northern and Eastern Provinces will be declared World Heritage Sites in the near future on the initiative of National Heritage Minister Dr Jagath Balasuriya and with the support of the German government. Ancient harbours which had been important ports along the trade route between China and Rome, Kurundugoda temple in Jaffna which belongs to the pre historic period and ancient settlements Jaffna Fort, more..

'Love the police', Minister SB

Apr 21 (BBC) Minister S.B.Dissanayaka has told university students to get closer to the police. Minister Dissanayka who visited the eastern University on Wednesday met with the university lecturers, students and other staff. In a lengthy talk, he said that in no circumstances, the police post set up in the university would be withdrawn. "If continued with further protests police unit will be replaced by army, then by the navy and finally by a Special Task Force Unit." more..

Predicting earthquakes or triggering mass hysteria?

Apr 21 (GV) DON’T PANIC was timeless advice that writer Douglas Adams deeply etched into the minds of all who read his famous novel, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur C Clarke once called it ‘the best possible advice for the human race’. But panic we do, regularly, as individuals, communities and sometimes as a whole country. The latest was on 15 April 2011, when confusion and panic were reported from more..

Uva Wellassa University :The Centre of Excellence for Value Addition to the National Resources Base

Apr 21 (LG) There was a derogatory statement regarding the Uva Wellassa University and its Vice Chancellor published in Sri Lanka Guardian on the web under the caption ‘another island wide strike’ during Mar 2011. Whilst I strongly believe in the freedom of expression of the author as a fundamental right, I respectfully request my reply also to be given an equal opportunity. more..

'South Eastern University making great strides'

Apr 21 (DN) The South Eastern University of Sri Lanka is now not only heading towards an era of development but also progressing in the field of Education suited to the IT world. The International Symposium that is being organized here bears testimony to this, said South Eastern University of Sri Lanka Chancellor Prof. Achi Mohamed Ishak. Prof. Ishak who was the Chief Guest at the inaugural day of the three day International Symposium organized by more..

Legislation on water consumption soon

Apr 21 (Island) The government is planning to present a new Bill in parliament on water consumption. It is aimed at saving water resources. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the country could no longer afford to ignore the need to conserve water. "We need to manage our water resources and new legislation is required," he said. He warned that the country might face a serious crisis unless tangible action was taken to save water resources. more..

Sri Lanka: evidence of ongoing repression and abuse

Apr 21 (C4) Channel 4 News obtains exclusive footage from the "closed off"corner of northern Sri Lanka, showing evidence of camps, repression and abuse, ahead of the publication of the UN's report on war crimes. Two years on from the end of the devastating 26-year civil war that ripped Sri Lanka apart, Channel 4 News has obtained rare footage from inside the country's northern corner, formerly the Tamil stronghold. This area has remained largely inaccessible since more..

Sri Lanka: High Commission statement

Apr 21 (C4) The Sri Lankan High Commission has issued the following statement in response to Channel 4 News' report of 20th April on the current situation in northern Sri Lanka. The news programme by Channel 4, like in a number of previous instances, is full of allegations which lack credibility, transparency and verifiability. The broadcaster takes no responsibility for the contents. It only quotes certain allegations made by, what the Channel 4 claims to have obtained from more..

'Only I can save war heros from war crime charges, not the cardboard patriots'

Apr 21 (NF) The case pertaining to the white flag incident which has been filed against the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka was called up before the Colombo High Court today. Submitting evidence for the defence was due to commence today. However, counsel for the defence, Nalin Laduwahetti requested the three judge bench to postpone the case. Laduwahetti made this request as the statement of the defence must be prepared according to more..

Welikada Prison attack: Five suspects sentenced

Apr 21 (DM) Five inmates of the Welikada Prison pleaded guilty to the charge of having assaulted the police who were carrying out a search operation on November 7 last year. The prisoners were sentenced to seven months rigorous imprisonment. The CID informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Prharsha Ranasinghe that 47 prisoners were produced at the inquiry by prison authorities. Dumida Galappathy, Shantha Fernando, Jayaratna Hettige, Sanjeewa Kumara and more..

Ministry vehicle kills woman at Borella

Apr 21 (DM) The death of an 83-year-old woman killed – near the traffic lights opposite the Borella Devi Balika Vidayalaya on April 11 – in a head-on collision between a trishaw and a double cab belonging to a ministry, is being investigated by the police. They said D.D.V. Weerakoon formerly a teacher at the Agamathi Vidiyalaya in Kalutara died on admission to the Colombo National Hospital. She was the wife of H.K. Rupasinghe a former Deputy Director General of Education. more..

New university entrants to undergo leadership training at military camps

Apr 21 (Island) Students who qualify for university education will have to undergo leadership training at a military establishment, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayaratne said. The new scheme would come into effect from May 23 for the next academic year and it would be compulsory for all students, he said. The training programme would be conducted by the military under the supervision of university authorities. more..

CP Council united in call for unified stand against Moon panel

Apr 21 (Island) The Opposition (UNP) in the Central Provincial Council on Tuesday (19) joined hands with the ruling UPFA to condemn a controversial report by a three-member UN Panel critical of Sri Lankan forces’ conduct during eelam war IV. The UNP and the UPFA alleged that the anti-Sri Lanka report had been based on unsubstantiated allegations made by the LTTE and its agents. The Opposition led by K. K. Piyadasa supported a Resolution tabled by more..

Red Cross commences assistance to A’pura flood victims

Apr 21 (Island) Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) commenced the first leg of its Post Flood Recovery Assistance Programme in Anuradhapura recently. Ten farmers’ associations were given hand tractors and agricultural equipment at the SLRCS store in Talawa, by SLRCS Chairman Jagath Abeysinghe, to inaugurate the project. Anuradhapura, Matale, Trincomalee, Ampara, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa and Moneragala districts are covered by the SLRCS Post Flood Recovery Assistance Programme. more..

'Final days in Vanni: Tigers killed 600 Tamils'

Apr 21 (DN) Over 600 innocent Tamil civilians were shot and killed like stray dogs from October 1, 2008 to May 18, 2009 in the Vanni region by the LTTE, said former TNA MP S. Kanagaratnam. Not a single innocent civilian was killed by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in the hostility campaign against the LTTE, he said. Kanagaratnam said that he was with the people throughout in the Vanni. He said he represented the Vanni electoral district and more..

PMG insists done no wrong, lashes out at critics

Apr 21 (Island) Post Master General M.K.B. Dissanayake said that drug dealers, underworld kingpins, bookies and some of his own staff were conspiring against him. An irate Dissanayake said he was being targeted by unscrupulous elements, hell-bent on taking control of the institution. He said that he didn’t want to discuss the issue at length at the moment, though he wouldn’t remain silent for long. Responding to a query, the official said that more..

Sri Lanka to become knowledge hub

Apr 21 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has a vision to make Sri Lanka the Wonder of Asia. Under this vision, converting the country as a knowledge hub is one of the goals. Developing human capital to create and sustain the knowledge hub is the vision of the Higher Education Ministry,said Minister S B Dissanayake. "The country has to achieve 12 goals. Reducing regional education disparity is one of them. Modern technology should be used to achieve this goal",he said. more..

President Rajapaksa meets his countrymen in Bangladesh

Apr 21 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is on a three day official visit to Bangladesh met with his countrymen at the Sri Lanka High Commission in Dhaka. A large number of Sri Lankans those who are working and residing in Bangladesh gathered at the High Commission premises to meet the President. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, External affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunga, Sri Lankan High Commissioner for more..

On Sri Lanka, in lull before report, Kohona on UN incompetence and due process

Apr 21 (ICP) With the UN unwilling to comment on its own Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka, which the UN gave to Sri Lankan Deputy Permanent Representative Shavendra Silva a week ago, Inner City Press has sought comments from Silva, Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona and the UK Mission to the UN, among others. At April 19 at his residence, Inner City Press asked Kohona why the UN had not yet released the Panel of Expert report. more..

President to inaugurate Sambuddhatva Jayanthi year

Apr 21 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the 2600th Sambuddhatva Jayanthi year on May 14 at the historic Jaya Shri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura in all its grandeur and pristine splendour heralding the Sambuddhatva Jayanthi year that will be commemorated leading to the Vesak Poya in 2011. Already a series of programmes and events are continuing apace islandwide to mark the occasion in a fitting manner including renovation of 2600 temples, more..

Development Diaries

Samurdhi officer moves SC against interdiction

Apr 21 (Island) A Samurdhi Development officer has moved the Supreme Court against his interdiction. The petitioner Chamara Maddumage, a member of the JVP has claimed that the Director General of the Samurdhi Authority unseasonably interdicted him on March 23, 2011. In his petition, he claimed that he had not been paid any allowance from the date of the interdiction. The petitioner said that he had come forward to contest elections to the Kesbewa Pradeshiya Sabha, more..

Legal action on private pensions

Apr 21 (DM) Some political parties, together with trade unions, were contemplating legal action against the proposed Bill to introduce a pension scheme for private sector employees, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said yesterday. The Bill was presented in Parliament early this month, and it is expected to be debated on April 27, 2011. Mr. Karunanayake told Daily Mirror yesterday the government had tried to hoodwink 7.5 million private sector employees through this move. more..

SL has all the right to protect people - Envoy

Apr 21 (DN) When Sri Lanka is healing its wounds after the 30 decade conflict, the United Nation may render its assistance, if needed and not to complicate the reconciliation process, Russian Federation Ambassador to Sri Lanka Vladimir P Mikhaylov said. The ambassador addressing the media in Colombo yesterday regarding the report of the panel of experts established by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, said more..

'Upper Kotmale hydro power project can save Rs.8 bn annually'

Apr 21 (Island) Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka says the CEB could save about Rs. 8 bn annually beginning next year by commissioning the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power project. Minister Ranawaka says the project would add 150 MW to the national grid, thereby increasing the hydro power component to 409 GW hours. Sri Lanka depends heavily on thermal power generation at the moment. more..

Moon panel report: SLFP expresses disapproval

Apr 21 (Island) SLFP expressed its disapproval on the allegations made against the Government in the three-member experts panel report of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on civilian casualties during the last stages of the humanitarian offensive against the LTTE. SLFP General Secretary Minister Susil Premajayantha rejected the findings of the expert panel report saying it was biased. more..

Sri Lanka want Lasith Malinga to return back from IPL

Apr 21 (BBC) Sri Lanka have told Lasith Malinga to return home from the Indian Premier League after the bowler made himself unavailable for the tour of England. Malinga ruled himself out of the three Tests due to a knee complaint, despite still playing for the Mumbai Indians. Chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis said the new committee has written a letter to Malinga asking him to begin a new rehabilitation plan in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka's decision to recall players from IPL inappropriate: BCCI

Apr 21 (PTI) The BCCI described Sri Lanka Cricket's decision to recall its players early from the ongoing IPL as "inappropriate" and said it is in talks with the SLC to sort out the crisis. "According to us, the Sri Lankan players are here to stay till May 21 as they have promised and the franchises are also under the same impression. But now they want to go early and it is not appropriate," more..

'UN Secretariat warned us of report leak'

Apr 21 (PTI) The Sri Lankan govt was warned by UN about the possibility of leakage of its report, which accuses Lanka of committing war crimes during the final offensive against LTTE, a top official has said. "The UN Secretariat told the government that it was concerned that the report might be leaked because everything leaks from the Secretariat," Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's envoy to the UN, told PTI. The UN, however, refuted the claim. more..

Govt. should trust us; says Harsha

Apr 21 (DM) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, during a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, had expressed that his party was ready to co-operate with the government in finding solutions to numerous issues confronting the country provided that the government placed its trust in them. Dr. de Silva who is also an economist is currently in Washington DC, held talks with Mr. Blake on more..

Charges in Moon report against SL exaggerated – UNP

Apr 21 (Island) The Moon Panel report which alleges war crimes against the Sri Lankan political and military leadership should be repudiated through an internal inquiry, the UNP said yesterday. Senior Vice President of the UNP Laksman Kiriella said that the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime had made a big mistake by refusing to participate in the probe, conducted by a three-member panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, more..

Sri Lanka collects one million signatures against Moon’s report

Apr 21 (GDI) Sri Lanka commenced collecting signatures for a public petition against the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Panel Report on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka intends to collect one million signatures from its citizens and signature collection programme was moved from the Metropolis Public Bus Terminal near the Colombo Pettah Bus Stand. Minister Mr. Keheliya Rambukwella speaking at the inauguration of more..

'Panel gone beyond mandate'

Apr 21 (NN) The Sri Lankan government says the UN advisory panel on Sri Lanka has gone beyond its mandate by investigating alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Minister G.L Pieris told reporters this afternoon that the mandate of the UN panel was to only advice the UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon regarding Sri Lanka. “The UN panel has overstepped its mandate (by investigating war crimes) when they have no authority to do so,” more..

Javeria steers Pakistan women to two-wicket win over Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (Dawn) Javeria Khan’s unbeaten half-century guided Pakistan Women’s two-wicket win in the one-day international against Sri Lankan Women on Thursday. The one-off ODI, being played at Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club, was a low-scoring encounter, as Sri Lanka were dismissed for 153 runs with Sadaf Yousuf and Qanita Jalil taking three wickets each. Javeria carried the bat and held the Pakistan chase together as wickets fell around her at regular intervals. more..

Bogus job agent arrested

Apr 22 (NN) A bogus job agent, who had duped at least 6 people promising them employment and lodging in Malaysia, was arrested in Chilaw today. The arrest was made following a complaint lodged with the Foreign Employment Bureau and the suspect is a resident of Bangadeniya, Chilaw. According to the Foreign Employment Bureau the suspect had obtained three lacks each from six people promising them employment in Malaysia. He had also promised to provide the visas more..

Sri Lanka asks UN not to publish war crimes report

Apr 22 (AFP) Sri Lanka asked the United Nations on Thursday not to publish a forthcoming report on alleged war crimes during the island's ethnic war, saying it could set back reconciliation efforts. Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris warned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about releasing the study compiled by a panel of experts who looked into alleged rights abuses and crimes against humanity during the war which ended in 2009. more..

To Cinema once again

Apr 22 (GDI) Chairman of the National Film Corporation Kumar Abeysinghe said that a new programme is to be initiated to attract more spectators to Cinema Halls. The programme titled “To Cinema Once Again” will commence from Monday, May 2nd. The Chairman at a media briefing in Colombo said that the aim of the programme is to restore the era of the 1960/70 decades, when the whole family went to Cinema Halls and enjoyed watching family movies. more..