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Sri Lanka tea auction sees return of Libya

Apr 22 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices were firm at this week's auction with brokers saying Libya had resumed buying and global prices seen staying high this year owing to lower production and growing demand. Despite the large volume of teas from plantation company estates on offer and "somewhat lower" quality prices were "fairly stable" when the Colombo auction resumed after last week's break for new year holidays, brokers John Keells said. more..

Sri Lanka: War Crimes

Train services from Galle to Kalutara suspended from July

Apr 22 (AD) Due to the upgrading of the coastal railway line the Railway Department has decided to temporarily suspend train services from Galle to Kalutara North with effect from July 1. The Planning Director of the Railway Department Wijaya Samarasingha stated that no trains will be in operation for seven months starting from July 1 on the Galle- Kalutara route. He added that plans are under way to operate a combined bus- train service during this period. more..

Sri Lanka industrial productivity up 10.9-pct in 2010

Apr 22 (LBO) Labour productivity in Sri Lanka's industry rose 10.6 percent in 2010 racing ahead of economy-wide gains which were dragged down slower increases in agriculture and services, according to official data. Overall labour productivity in all three sectors rose 6.6 percent from a year earlier to 343,000 rupees. Labour productivity is measured as gross domestic product per worker in constant 2002 prices. Sri Lanka's industry is largely private sector driven and more..

Lankan govt hints at compromise for players' extended IPL stay

Apr 22 (PTI) A major standoff between the powerful BCCI and Sri Lanka Cricket was today averted with the island nation extending the deadline for its players' return from the IPL till May 18, a compromise which put an end to the uncertainty over their availability. Under pressure from the BCCI to extend the original May 5 deadline, SLC relented after a meeting with country's Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and more..

Parts of ancient vessels discovered in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's National Archaeological Department has discovered the parts of 20 ancient vessels in the south of the country, an archaeologist said. Sanath Karunarathne, an archaeologist with the National Archaeological Department said the ancient vessel parts were discovered as they were conducting a marine archaeological survey in the southern coastal belt. Karunaratne said they have also been able to locate wreckage of a very ancient ship close to more..

Doctors, nurses clash over room

Apr 22 (Island) Doctors and nurses of the Polonnaruwa District General Hospital are at loggerheads over the allocation of a room in the recently opened hospital building. Hospital sources say the doctors claimed the room as a rest room, while the matrons and hospital nurses wanted it for the Chief Matron. Sources said that Sri Lanka had received Rs. 240 mn from the Canadian Red Cross to construct the new buildings following the tsunami in Dec 2004. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 21.04.2011

UN Panel Report on final battle in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (LG) In the light of the UN Panel of Expert’s report, with a view to moving forward with its recommendations, a convergence of opinions from the international community, in support of an international independent mechanism, leading to prosecution of those responsible is critical. The acid test for the UN and for the international community is to act – act fast and decisively; this is the time for the international community to restore its lost credibility and more..

The three stooges of Ban-Ki-moon and character certificate by the TNA

Apr 22 (TC) IF Mahinda Rajapaksa had heeded the ‘demands’ (couched as requests) made by Moon, Clinton, Miliband and Kouchner etc and declared a ceasefire while we were on the point of victory, the terrorist Prabhakaran would still have been alive and terrorism would have thrived in the country. IF Mahinda Rajapaksa had heeded those demands:- i. civilians of all races, ages and genders would have continued to be dismembered by bombs and explosive devices placed in more..

Army Headquarters marks Sinhala-Hindu new year

Apr 22 (MoD) Festival atmosphere in the country on account of the Sinhala-Hindu New Year prevailed in the Moors grounds throughout Tuesday (19) morning when officers and soldiers serving at Army Headquarters got together to mark the occasion by holding a fun-making New Year festival. Commander of the Army Lieutinant General Jagath Jayasuriya took time off to attend the festival as Chief Guest. more..

The leaked-UNSG’s advisory panel report on Sri Lanka - Part 2

Apr 22 (LG) The terms of reference dated 10 October 2010, given to the expert panel in fact stated very clearly, that the panel was only to advise the Secretary General and that it was not an investigative or even a fact finding body. As will be discussed, the Panel’s Report (Recommendation No.4) that the independent mechanism recommended should collect and safeguard ‘for appropriate future use’ the information provided to it including information gathered by the panel and more..

The leaked-UNSG’s advisory panel report on Sri Lanka - Part 1

Apr 22 (LG) “…..In the 18th and early 19th centuries, European writings assigned to Asia ‘the role of the “devil” in a morality play in which the good side was represented by the democratic republic or constitutional monarchy and private property of feudal lords and merchants.’ Even Marx inherited this line of thinking when in his younger years he wrote of Asian despotism, irrigation as a necessary function of the State, the absence of private property in land, and more..

Traditional Passion shows: A spiritual and religious exercise

Apr 22 (SO) The events connected with the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ have been enacted and dramatised all over the Christian world. It is said that events in Easter gave birth to Christian drama. In Sri Lanka too we have a popular form of drama on the Death and Resurrection of Christ known in Sinhala as Pasku. On Good Friday, in many Catholic churches in the Western coastal belt in our country, Passion shows known as Pasku are performed. more..

Easter and its traditions

Apr 22 (TC) An egg painted red given at the end of a Sunday school session was my first ever memory of Easter Sunday. I was highly excited and vividly remember taking extreme care of this possession on the half -hour walk back home. I don’t remember how I cooked the egg, but I remember to this day when my mother told me that the egg represents new life and hope for Christians indicating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. My mother also mentioned the western custom of more..

Hypocrisy and duplicity reigning supreme

Apr 22 (LG) The practice of hypocrisy, double standards and duplicity, individually and collectively, by people in most fields of activity seems to be one of the main causes of conflict, confusion and turmoil occurring, nationally and internationally. This, of course, is not a phenomenon of recent origin, but today, it appears to have reached intolerable proportions. Hypocrisy simply means pretension of persons to be better than what they really are. more..

Slave Island and Us

Apr 22 (GV) Going into Slave Island at first, we were told to expect animosity and suspicion. Two women venturing into the depths of the residential settlements, taking pictures and asking questions to boot – we didn’t expect to be taken to very kindly. We found ourselves a guide from the area to introduce us so that those we talked to had a reference point of trust; but a few weeks in, we realized that this wasn’t really necessary. more..

Extracts from the Ban-Ki-moon panel report (Part 1)

Apr 22 (Island) Following upon the exclusive reportage of the The Island on the Ban Ki Moon expert panel report last Saturday, we begin serializing today, verbatim excerpts from the panel report in relation to the various allegations made against Sri Lanka. Moon’s expert panel has made five major allegations against Sri Lanka, the first being civilian casualties. In the first installment of this serialization, we deal with the question of the number of civilians more..

Extracts from the Ban Ki Moon panel report (Part 2)

Apr 22 (Island) We continue today, the serialization of verbatim extracts from the main body of the Ban Ki Moon expert panel report in relation to the various allegations made against Sri Lanka. Moon’s expert panel had made five major allegations against Sri Lanka, the first of them being the high incidence of civilian casualties. In the first installment of this serialization, published yesterday, we dealt with the question of the number of civilians killed according more..

A lost cause for Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (National) For want of a nail, a kingdom was lost. So says the old proverb. Years from now, Sri Lankan cricket may look back on this week and wonder if the actions of those entrusted with running the game caused similar long-term damage. By taking on the Indian board, Sri Lanka has bitten the hand that feeds it, and knowing Big Brother's vindictive nature, a ruthless backlash is not far away. It started, as these things invariably do, with piqued egos. more..

Good Friday: The path to lasting peace and Justice

Apr 22 (DM) More than one billion people all over the world today commemorate Christianity’s holiest day – Good Friday, the day the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified at Calvary. While taking part in solemn ceremonies, the Christians will also deeply reflect on why Jesus died and the eternal significance of it. Theologians and scripture scholars tell us that from the beginning of time God spoke of his unending, unfailing, ever merciful gracious and more..

Moon Panel charges: Exaggerated or baseless?

Apr 22 (Island) UNP spokesman Lakshman Kiriella, MP has said the war crimes charges the Moon Panel has levelled against Sri Lanka are exaggerated. It should be noted that he has not called them baseless. Reading between the lines, one may see that he thinks there is some truth in the allegations made by the Moon Panel, though they have been blown out of proportion. That is why he wants the government to conduct an internal investigation to repudiate those allegations. more..

Private pension pains go to President

Apr 22 (FT) Given the serious implications the private sector via the Joint Business Forum (JBIZ) has fired a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa ahead of a tripartite meeting next week on serious concerns over the proposed new Pension scheme. Comprising all leading chambers of commerce and industry, trade associations as well as the Employers Federation of Ceylon, the JBIZ’s letter containing concerns as well as suggestions over shortcomings had been despatched to more..

Extracts from the Ban Ki Moon panel report (part 3)

Apr 22 (Island) We continue today, the serialization of verbatim extracts from the main body of the Ban Ki Moon expert panel report in relation to the various allegations made against Sri Lanka. Moon’s expert panel had made five major allegations against Sri Lanka, the first of them being the high incidence of civilian casualties. In the first installment of this serialization, we dealt with the question of the number of civilians killed according to the calculations of Moon’s panel. more..

Extracts from the Ban Ki Moon panel report (Part 4)

Apr 22 (Island) We continue today, the serialization of verbatim extracts from the main body of the Ban Ki Moon expert panel report in relation to the various allegations made against Sri Lanka. Moon’s expert panel had made five major allegations against Sri Lanka, the first of them being the high incidence of civilian casualties. In the first installment of this serialization, we dealt with the question of the number of civilians killed according to the calculations of more..

Bakery owners increase price of bread by Rs. 2

Apr 22 (Island) The Bakery Owners Association has increased the price of a 450- gram loaf of bread by Rs 2. with effect from 12 midnight yesterday as both Serendib Ltd and Prima have increased their price of flour arbitrarily. The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) plans to take legal action against the two wheat flour importing companies as the price hike was effected without its approval. Serendib increased the price of flour by Rs. 4.12 from April 18 and more..

Extracts from the Ban Ki Moon panel report (Part 5)

Apr 22 (Island) F. Credible allegations relating to events outside the conflict zone and in the aftermath. 138. The plight of civilians who had survived the conflict in the Vanni did not end when they entered Government-controlled areas. In spite of Govt pronouncements that it was ready to receive a mass exodus of civilians from the Vanni as early as January 2009, the Government failed to prepare adequately for the time when large numbers did emerge and more..

UAE target a flying start to campaign in Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (National) The executive management of the Rugby Association are confident the team can justify their decision to remain in the top tier of Asian rugby by winning their inaugural game tomorrow. When the UAE were formed after the Arabian Gulf was disbanded, the Rugby Association was given the option of assuming the place of the Arabian Gulf in the Top Five competition or starting from the bottom rung of the Asian rugby ladder in Division Five. more..

India to set up two vocational training centers in Batticaloa

Apr 22 (IHC) 1. The High Commissioner of India, Mr. Ashok K. Kantha and Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Youth Affairs and Skills Development today signed a MoU for setting up facilities at two Vocational Training Centres in Batticaloa District. 2. The project for setting up of the facilities will be undertaken at District Vocational Training Centre, Vantharamoolai and Rural Vocational Training Centre, Onthachchimadam in Batticaloa District. more..

Cricket crucified

Apr 22 (Island) The govt of Sri Lanka and the Cricket Interim Committee crucified Sri Lankan cricket a day prior to Good Friday when they made a complete u turn to their earlier decision to recall national cricketers from the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament by the 5th of May to prepare for Sri Lanka’s tour of England. After pressure from the Board of Control for Cricket in India, SLC and the Sports Ministry had to give in and agree to let the players continue to play the IPL till the 18th. more..

Jaffna Technical College upgraded

Apr 22 (Island) The Jaffna Technical College has been upgraded to the status of a Technology College by the Vocational and Technical Training Institute. The government of the Republic of Korea and the Korean International Cooperation Academy (KOICA) provided the technical and financial assistance to improve the facilities available at the college. Prior to this, eight technology colleges were set up at Galle, Maradana, Kurunegala, Kandy (Aruppola), more..

Sri Lanka to eliminate malaria by 2014

Apr 22 (DN) No malaria deaths were reported in 2010 or 2009 while only one death was reported in 2008 and 2007, Anti Malaria Campaign Director Dr S L Deniyage said. Sri Lanka will eliminate malaria by late 2014. The main threat to Sri Lanka is from persons travelling abroad. The Health Ministry request the public to take drugs issued free before travelling abroad. Persons travelling abroad and fall sick should get blood tested free of charge. more..

No inquiry on last year’s Hajj committee - Alavi

Apr 22 (DM) Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana yesterday rejected reports that a three member committee had been appointed by the Religious Affairs Ministry to look into allegations of shortcomings of the Hajj committee appointed last year. The Governor addressing a media briefing held at the Governor’s Office said that he was the Co-Chairman of the Hajj Committee for the year 2011 and was also the head of the three-member Hajj Committee last year, that more..

Ruhunu Uni students call for exam postponement

Apr 22 (DM) Students of the Science Faculty of the Ruhunu University yesterday staged a protest on the Matara- Kataragama road demanding study leave prior to the bi-annual term test. They also urged university administration to postpone the test on April 27 by a week. They pointed out that they were entitled to a week’s study leave in the previous years. A representative of the Student Union Nishanahta Ariyadasa said one of the students who requested for study leave had been suspended and more..

Mervyn’s ex-Secy. remanded for fraud

Apr 22 (Island) Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered Public Relations Minister Mervyn Silva’s former Coordinating Secretary J. M. Buddhika Jayasinghe remanded till May 04. Jayasinghe is charged defrauding Rs 9,850,000 from a bank account of a US businessman who arrived in Sri Lanka to commence an agri product and hotel project. The businessman had arrived in Sri Lanka in 2005 and when he had left the country in June the same year more..

At least one person gets AIDS daily: Minister

Apr 22 (DM) Addressing a UN programme by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said there were more than 3,000 people suspected of being HIV/AIDS positive in Sri Lanka of which only 1,250 had been identified.The UN development programme Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria provides financial support to low and middle income countries to fight the three diseases. more..

Over 70,000 kgs of vegetables go waste

Apr 22 (DM) A large stock of vegetables weighing over 70,000 Kilos, brought to the Dambulla Economic Centre by farmers which remained unsold was dumped in a pit yesterday. A stock of Kekiri, Cucumber, Large Beans, Brinjals, Pumpkin, Okra and Cabbage were removed by labourers, and as they could not cope up with the load several Dozers had to be used for the task. The stocks removed from the centre were dumped into a recently dug, unused sewerage pit in the compound. more..

Minister revokes support for Tory candidate who praised terrorists

Apr 22 (G&M) In a rare act of dissent in the midst of an election campaign, Conservative cabinet minister Peter Kent has criticized his own party for allowing a man who hosted a tribute to the Tamil Tigers to run as a candidate. “It is certainly a reflection on the party’s lack of due diligence,” Mr. Kent told The Globe and Mail on Thursday, referring to the candidacy of Gavan Paranchothy, a Tamil broadcaster running in Toronto’s Scarborough-Southwest riding. more..

Report of the Expert Panel of the UN Secretary General angers Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (WL) Will a UN report lie? Will an Expert Panel specially set up by the UN Secretary General to examine allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity be biased, partisan, project half truths and deliberately malign a state? The questions may be startling to many of us; but to the Govt of Sri Lanka, the UN is their current enemy. Just the talk of any of the UN agencies examining allegations of military excesses or war crimes committed by more..

UN heads for rights confrontation with Sri Lanka

Apr 22 (SMH) The United Nations hurtled toward a high-profile confrontation with the Sri Lankan government over international action on alleged war crimes during a military offensive against Tamil separatists. Rejecting a Sri Lankan demand to keep a report by a panel of experts secret, the United Nations on Friday said the report would soon be published in full without changes, and accompanied by recommendations on the next steps to be taken. more..