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'Take advantage of amnesty in Kuwait'

Apr 23 (DN) The Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) has requested Lankans who had illegally entered Kuwait to take advantage of the extended amnesty offered by the Kuwaiti government to leave the country. About 1,600 illegal Lankan migrants in Kuwait have left during the two-month amnesty period granted by the govt. The extended amnesty, which will be from May 1 to June 30, allows the illegal immigrants to legalize their residential status or more..

SL occupation of hospitals, schools harm resettlement in Vanni - TNA MP

Apr 23 (TN) TNA MP from Vanni, S. Sritharan, has blamed the occupying Sri Lanka Army in Vanni for continuing to occupy public buildings, including primary hospitals and schools, causing severe hardships to resettling civilians. The accusation by the TNA MP comes following District Development Committee (DDC) meeting held in Jaffna on Tuesday, when Medical Officers brought to the notice of the DDC that if the Poonakari primary hospital, now occupied by the Sri Lanka Army, more..

Rajapaksa uses SL military to distribute Indian aid

Apr 23 (TN) Much controversy arose at the Jaffna District Development Committee (DDC) meeting held on Tuesday over the selection of the beneficiaries for the houses to be built by the Indians and the way the SL authorities were handling the distribution of tractors gifted by India. The SL Presidential Secretariat has instructed the Divisional Secretaries to send ‘recommendations’ through the area Brigade Officers of the SLA. The SL Government Agent, Imelda Sugumar, more..

Malinga retired hurt?

Apr 23 (PM) Test cricket was left poorer last afternoon when Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, at 27 years and 237 days, decided to retire from the five-day format. The bowler, caught in the raging club-versus-country debate said his goodbyes through a statement issued yesterday. Malinga’s call to make himself unavailable for the Sri Lankan team’s Test tour of England citing injury and then continuing to bowl his toe crushers for more..

Buddha’s Hair Relics exposition from May 7 to 15

Apr 23 (DN) An exposition of the Buddha’s hair relics will be held at the Hunupitiya Gangarama Temple from May 7 to 15 to commemorate the 2600th Sambuddhathva Jayanthi, a spokesman for the temple said. This will be followed by an exposition of the Buddha’s Hair Relics at the Kalutara Bodhi for three days, the spokesman said. Presidential Coordinating Secretary of Religious Affairs Ven Getamanne Gunnananda Thera said that the Buddha’s Hair Relics presented to Sri Lanka by more..

Lankans celebrate New Year in Qatar

Apr 23 (GT) Around 8,000 members of Qatar’s Sri Lankan community had a lot of fun yesterday at a get-together held at the Al Sadd Sports Club, to celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year ‘Bakmaha Ulela,’ which began on April 14. The day-long event, organised by the Sri Lankan embassy in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Co-ordinating Committee (SLCC) Qatar, had the embassy’s charge d’affaires A Tharmakulasingham as the chief guest. The events of the day started more..

Four apparel companies ready to establish factories in the North

Apr 23 (FT) After many months of negotiations with the BOI, four apparel companies are readying to establish factories in the north of the country. Industry sources revealed that Brandix, MAS, Omega Line and Orit Lanka are ready to ink agreements that will see them moving to the north under a special investment package given by the Government. Even though initial negotiations are reported to have started during the latter part of last year, more..

SL per capita income would double by 2015 - Basil

Apr 23 (Island) The Govt yesterday expressed hope that its key development projects undertaken throughout the country will help double the per ca pita income well ahead of schedule. Sri Lanka expects its current per capita income of US$ 2000 to double by the year 2015. The Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa said that a notable growth in Sri Lanka’s per capita income would be achieved in the near future. He was optimistic that it would surpass more..

Maharoof slams century on county debut

Apr 23 (Island) Farveez Maharoof couldn’t have dreamt of a better county debut. The tall Sri Lankan all-rounder smashed a 134-ball century (13 fours and a six) in Lancashire's first innings in the division one county cricket match between Lancashire and Somerset, which ended today in Liverpool. The 26-year-old, who had previously stated that his primary goal was to excel for his county Lancashire in order to get back into the Sri Lankan team, sent a strong message more..

Voyagers land in Trinco

Apr 23 (DM) The three deck ship with 700 rooms has accommodation for 1400 passengers. A group of tourists arrived in Trincomalee last morning by sea. Resident Manager of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority J.A.Chandraratne said the tourists are on a voyage around the world on aboard a luxury cruise liner. The three deck ship with 700 rooms has accommodation for 1400 passengers. The tourists will visit several locations in Sri Lanka including more..

Canned fish scanned for radiation

Apr 23 (DM) Samples of canned fish imports would be tested for radiation continuously, the Sri Lanka Atomic Energy Authority said yesterday. Sri Lanka imports canned fish mainly from countries like Korea, China, Chile and Thailand. Authority’s Chairman Prof. Wimaladharma Abeywickrama told the Daily Mirror that contaminated water had been released from the Fukushima Nuclear Power plant to the Pacific Ocean after it was hit by the recent earthquake. more..

Cyber crimes up by 93% in 2010, says CERT

Apr 23 (DM) Online attacks during the past year had increased by 93% locally, Computer Emergency Response Team (SLCERT) said. The global trend also remained alike; CERT said citing the Symantec Security Report. The Symantec Internet Security Threat Report 2010 released on April 5, reveals the sophistication and number of web-based attacks during the period of 2009 up to 2010. The reasons behind the increased online attacks was the proliferation of web attack toolkits more..

The See-Saw battle between the UN SG and the SL Govt

Apr 23 (DBS) A diplomatic tussle is going on at present between the United Nations Secretary –General (UNSG) and the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the release of the report compiled by the three-member advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki moon. This is not a fresh development but only an extension of the “cold war” that has been continuing ever since Ban Ki moon visited Sri Lanka in May 2009 after the war against the LTTE was concluded. more..

UN report on ‘war crimes' in Sri Lanka: Karunanidhi hopeful of action by Centre

Apr 23 (Hindu) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president and Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday expressed hope that the Centre would take appropriate steps without any delay after the United Nations report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is officially released on April 25. In a statement here, he rejected AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa's charge that his fast in April 2009, seeking a halt to military operations in Sri Lanka, was mere eyewash. more..

On Sri Lanka, after Russia bashes UN report, Ban withholds it

Apr 23 (ICP) Shortly after reneging on his Spokesperson's Office repeated commitments that the UN Panel of Experts' report on Sri Lanka war crimes would be released “this week,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev, "I'd like to really count on your strong support, leadership and guidance in continuing my work as secretary-general.” In Colombo, Russia's Ambassador Valdimir P.Mikhaylov had the previous day appeared at more..

Report release put on hold pending discussions

Apr 23 (DBS) A one to one discussion has been scheduled for Saturday April 23rd between United Nations Secretary – General Ban Ki moon and minister Prof. G.L Peiris. It is learnt that the release of the report on Sri Lanka by the three member advisory panel appointed by Ban Ki moon has been put on hold pending the outcome of the pow –wow between the UNSG and Prof. Peiris. Earlier the report was to be formally released on April 21st. It has now been delayed. more..

Sri Lanka financial professional writes to president to stop 'pension bill'

Apr 23 (LBO) A much respected retired Sri Lankan business executive, financial professional, Chandra Jayaratne, has written President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stop state plans to build a controversial pension fund by dipping its hands into the salaries of private sector workers. Jayarante has been actively campaigning to improve the liberties of all the people of Sri Lanka and rule of law in general. The 'pension plan' comes at as time when more..

Good Friday indicates any sacrifice for justice & fair play is not in vain- JVP

Apr 23 (LT) Good Friday which falls today (21nd) is a symbol that indicates any sacrifice made for justice and fair play is not in vain states a Good Friday’ message issued by the Leader of eh JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe on behalf of the JVP. Christians all over the world commemorate ‘Good Friday’ as eh day Jesus Christ, who preached a doctrine to fashion human thinking to a higher level for a just society, was crucified. The full text of the message: more..

Pvt. sector workers to discuss pension scheme

Apr 23 (SL) Private sector trade union wing of the JVP, the Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) has decided to discuss the action to be taken against the government’s proposed pension scheme for the private sector. ICEU head Wasantha Samarasinghe said that the union has organized a meeting on Monday (25) morning at the Nippon Hotel in Colombo to discuss the proposed pension scheme with representatives of private sector more..

STF crime busters transferred

Apr 23 (DM) Top officers, including the Superintendent of Police, Assistant Superintendent of Police and OIC of the Intelligence Unit of the Special Task Force have reportedly been transferred with effect from Monday on a directive of the IGP. The unit was tasked to crackdown on the underworld gangsters on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa sometime back. more..

Investors to start work in May at H’tota Imdustrial Zone

Apr 23 (Island) Two or three foreign investments will start functioning at the industrial zone of the Hambantota port before the end of May, 2011, Chief Engineer, Hambantota Port Agil Hewageegana says. "Negotiations have been already completed with 11 investors and we will have talks with more investors shortly," Hewageegana said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority has selected 15 investment proposals out of a short list of 23. more..

CAA turns down Laugfs request for price increase

Apr 23 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has turned down a request from Laugfs Gas to increase the price of a 12.5 kg cylinder by Rs. 10 to Rs. 20. The price of a Laugfs and Litro gas cylinder was increased by Rs. 238 on April 2 and is now priced at Rs. 1,890.A spokesman for the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade told The Island that Laugfs had been permitted an increase of Rs. 96 earlier and more..

A Time conspiracy

Apr 23 (NN) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has raised suspicion of a “conspiracy” behind the decision by the Editors of the Time magazine not to select President Mahinda Rajapaksa as among the 100 most influential people in the world for 2011 despite being voted to the top 10 in the online poll. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe told News that the prestigious magazine should explain as to why the President was not selected. more..

LLRC writing first draft of final report

Apr 23 (SL) The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) has said it was unaware of the measures the govt would take in response to the report by the experts panel on Sri Lanka appointed by the UN Secretary General, but was in the process of preparing its final report. LLRC Media Spokesperson lakshman Wickremasinghe said that the LLRC has commenced work on the report to be presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Govt.-TNA to discuss political solution on the 29th

Apr 23 (SL) Representatives of the government and the TNA are to hold a discussion on a political solution to the ethnic issue on Friday (29). TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has told the media that although the previous rounds of discussions were on the immediate issues faced by the Tamil community and a political solution, the discussion on the 29th will be based only on finding a political solution to the ethnic issue. more..

UN should reach out to Sri Lanka – Govt.

Apr 23 (Island) The government says that the UN should reach out to Sri Lanka at a time it was trying to leave behind decades of conflict, bitterness and pain. Addressing the local and international media in Colombo on Thursday, External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said that the UN should lend a helping hand to Sri Lanka, which was emerging from the darkest period of its history. more..

Indian Bank to sell $1 billion of debt, boost Sri Lanka lending

Apr 24 (BN) Indian Bank, a state-owned lender, plans to raise as much as $1 billion selling medium-term notes and use the proceeds to boost loans in Sri Lanka and Singapore. The bank will sell the 5 1/2-year debt overseas in two phases, Executive Director V. Rama Gopal said in Chennai, where the company is based. The sale may start after three months, he said. The 103-year-old bank is betting the fastest pace of growth in more than three decades in Sri Lanka will boost demand for loans. more..

Sri Lanka UN panel report: Rajapaksa cornered but defiant

Apr 24 (ER) Since day one the Rajapaksa regime has successfully manipulated the whole UN establishment including its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his chief of staff Nambiar and the UN Human Rights Council, and has in the process not only made a mockery of the UN system but made Ban him self look weak and not in control. The regime has used every tactic in the book before, during and after its brutal war with the LTTE to cleverly out-maneuver the UN and more..

First Lady visits handicapped children's institute in Dhaka

Apr 24 (IL) Sri Lankan First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa visited 'Proyash' a school for handicapped children in the Cantonment area in the Dhaka city during her visit to Bangladesh early in the week. The First Lady visited different classrooms and academic programmes of the institute, an army-backed institute for children with special needs which has special facilities for autism victims. Inmates of the Proyash Handicapped Children's Institute more..

Hall: Vaas can decorate trophy cabinet

Apr 24 (ECB) Andrew Hall wants Northamptonshire to fulfil their potential in the Clydesdale Bank 40 this season and believes Chaminda Vaas can help them do so. Vaas, the former Sri Lanka seam bowling all-rounder who played Twenty20 cricket and a couple of championship games for Northants last summer, is available in all competitions this season. As such, the 37-year-old is set to feature in the Steelbacks’ CB40 campaign which begins at home to Leicestershire tomorrow. more..

Gritty Sri Lanka held to a draw by UAE at A5N

Apr 24 (ST) The inaugural Top League rugby match of the Asian5Nations between Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates ended in a thrilling 13-all draw at the CR & FC ground in Colombo today. Sri Lanka could have walked home as worthy winner not a disallowed and two missed penalties after the game reached to a 13-all stalemate after the 70th minute of the encounter. The match which was marred by damp conditions due to continuous downpours went scoreless at the end of the first half. more..

Rehabilitated cadres to assist NE development

Apr 24 (DM) The govt said this morning that the rehabilitated former LTTE Cadres will be used in the development process currently underway in the North and Eastern Provinces. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said that a special loan scheme with low interest rates will be given to the former cadres in the near future. He was speaking at a function where 483 former LTTE cadres were handed back to their family members after a successful rehabilitation process. more..

The Sri Lanka Govt's two-tongued response to the UN and the West

Apr 24 (LG) In the wake of Moon’s report (not against Sri Lanka and its people but only against the war criminals on both sides), the Rajapakse regime’s cardboard patriots and ‘Sinhalese heroes’ have also woken up and started wearing their hypocritical masks. Meanwhile those aspiring to be the opposition’s future leaders are also making a din, opening their mouths which remained ‘closed shut’ so long. In this critical situation and climate, we think it is best we more..

Diplomatic Engagement -not street demos

Apr 24 (LG) About two weeks ago, the Citizens’ Movement for Good Governance (CIMOGG) released a publication containing nearly one hundred statements that CIMOGG had released over the last five years. These statements have been issued under the signature of its President Dr. A. C. Visvalingam, who was also the principal author of them. Since its founding in early 2002, CIMOGG’s primary objective has been to act as a catalyst in mobilising the people of Sri Lanka more..

Serious flaws in Ban Ki-moon panel report

Apr 24 (LG) The key allegation in the Ban Ki-moon panel report on Sri Lanka is the shelling of civilian targets and hospitals during the last phases of the war. Of paramount importance is the methodology used by the panel in collating their information. An account given on pages 20 and 25 of this report states very clearly that the UN and other INGOs had left the LTTE held areas by the end of September 2008 and from that moment on there were no more..

Editorial: Moon's stand unbecoming

Apr 24 (SO) LTTE sympathisers in some countries, various international organisations and a section of the Tamil diaspora made several subtle attempts to project a gloomy picture about Sri Lanka during its 2006-2009 battle against terrorism. These organisations and sympathisers are again banding together to 'punish' Sri Lanka solely for the 'sin' it had committed by becoming the first country to eradicate terrorism. The so-called human rights violations seem to more..

Editorial: A conscienceless Nation

Apr 24 (SL) We can more than understand the emotions that bedevil Mahinda Rajapaksa following the advisory report on possible war crimes in Sri Lanka which was handed over to the UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon. But we must at this juncture point out a few salient facts to Sri Lanka’s moonstruck public – poised to raise a show of hands when ordered to do — all in the name of patriotism. Let us be more explicit. Even as Sri Lankans cry foul and engage in a finger-pointing more..

'Diplomatic service to be strengthened'

Apr 24 (SO) Deputy External Affairs Minister Neomal Perera told the Sunday Observer in an interview that his Ministry is working round-the-clock in coordinating with the President's office, the Defence Ministry and other relevant ministries to keep our foreign missions informed of decisions taken in Colombo and to prove them with guidelines on how they should react to specific situations. The country already has very competent people in more..

Editorial: Much ado - nothing in the end

Apr 24 (LB) The sheer volume of newspaper comment and observation on the UN Secretary-General’s panel on Sri Lanka probably is record-breaking. Never before have so much passion been aroused over a single issue, at least never in recent memory. This newspaper in this issue carries a sampling of opinion across the board, containing contesting viewpoints. That being what it is, the overwhelming negative reaction in the country about the panel report is so obvious more..

Editorial: Sacrificing patriotism for politics

Apr 24 (NS) Around this time of the year two years ago, Sri Lanka’s armed forces were battling the ruthless LTTE and the entire nation - maybe barring a few disgruntled political parties - steadfastly supported them. The rest is history: The war was won. Today, a different kind of battle is being waged against those who led the war effort on the political and military fronts. Egged on by the LTTE rump, the United States, Britain and some western nations, the United Nations (UN) is more..