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A second chance to confront war crimes in Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (APR) In early 2009, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa faced an opportunity, and possibly a moral quandary. Since 1976, the country's Sinhalese majority had weathered a brutal campaign at the hands of one of the deadliest terrorist groups in modern history: the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, an ethnic Tamil separatist group that occupied parts of the country's northeast. For the previous two years, Rajapaksa's government had stepped up its fight against the Tigers, more..

UN report slammed by top Sri Lankan entrepreneur

Apr 29 (ST) The controversial war crimes report on Sri Lanka by the advisory panel appointed by the UN Secretary General has been slammed by a top entrepreneur saying it “clearly stands in the way of national reconciliation and inevitable economic development of the country in the aftermath of the war.” W.K.H. Wegapitiya, Chairman - Laugfs Holdings Ltd and an immediate past president of the Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE) said the report is full of factual inaccuracies, more..

Lankan authorities probe Maldivian cigarette smuggling racket

Apr 29 (HNS) Sri Lankan officials have launched a probe into the smuggling of cigarettes, from the Maldives, into Sri Lanka through several local and Maldivian channels. This move comes in the light of recent detections made by the Sri Lankan police, which conducted raids on several locations that had stored imported cigarettes in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, and its suburbs. The police detectives uncovered that the majority of illegal cigarettes more..

Jaffna GA refutes JVP allegations

Apr 29 (DN) Jaffna GA Imelda Sukumar refutes an allegation by JVP MP Vijitha Herath that Jaffna district is under Army rule. Sukumar said that this is a false, unwanted allegation and that there is no truth in the MP’s remarks. Sukumar said that the public service in the Jaffna district is functioning independently without any interference or hindrance from the security forces or the Police. The security forces help the civil administration whenever any request is made by more..

Cabinet Decisions -27. 04. 2011

Apr 29 (GDI) As the Mahinda Chinthana policy recognizes the importance of connecting villages as part of its rural economy improvement initiatives the Cabinet of Ministers on a proposal made by Minister of Economic Development has decided to construct 210 permanent bridges in the rural areas. Under the Maga Neguma project 9400 km of rural access roads have been modernized. But, due to absence of rural bridges over perennial water bodies these more..

G.L says no protests

Apr 29 (NN) The Government’s has no intention to create any “mass protests” and agitation relating to the Darusman Report, Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris told the diplomatic community in Colombo today. “We are not instigating hysteria nor violence or embarrassment to the UN community and to foreign Missions. Such allegations have been levelled by those with political agendas to blacken the image of the country at this sensitive moment,” more..

UN report:India should exert diplomatic pressure on Lanka:CPIM

Apr 29 (PTI) The CPI(M) state unit today urged the Indian government to exert 'diplomatic pressure' on Sri Lanka to ensure punishment for those responsible for alleged war crimes, as indicted by a UN panel. "The report had pinpointed both Sri Lankan army as well as rebel LTTE for alleged war crimes, with the latter especially using civilians as human shields and forcibly recruiting child soldiers. However, it had said that the brutal attack by more..

Alert on earthquakes within 5 minutes .

Apr 29 (GDI) Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has said that people should not have an unwanted apprehension about a tsunami, as the Ministry of Disaster Management has a streamline mechanism to inform the people if there is any such danger. He has said that the Disaster Management Centre and the Met Department are in readiness round the clock to inform about such situations. More than 50 tsunami warning towers have been erected throughout the country. more..

Government may use KP

Apr 29 (NN) The govt says it is ready to use former LTTE chief arms procurer Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP to counter the UN panel report on Sri Lanka. Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella, responding to a questioned posed by a journalist, said that KP will be used if the need arises. Padmanathan was arrested after the war came to an end in May 2009 and since then he has been working with the government to bridge the gap with the Tamil Diaspora. more..

Veteran Cinema Artistes to be felicitated

Apr 29 (GDI) A ceremony to pay tribute to cinema artistes who sacrificed their entire live for local cinema and now living in retirement will take place at the Cinema Hall of the National Film Corporation tomorrow. 50 artistes who were responsible for the creation of the National Film Corporation will be felicitated at this occasion. The organizers of the event also hope to present awards and prices to 19 artistes in the cinema field and the evaluation for selecting more..

Sri Lanka slams 'fictional' UN war crimes report

Apr 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's foreign minister on Thursday denounced a UN-commissioned report on war crimes allegations as biased, malicious and tending towards sensationalist "fiction". The report released Monday had highlighted "credible allegations" that both the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels had been involved in violations that could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. The allegations referred to the final months of the government's ultimately more..

Peace, informal sector to boost Sri Lanka '11 tourism 20 pct

Apr 29 (Reuters) Tourist arrivals into Sri Lanka are expected to grow by 20 percent to a record of more than 780,000 this year, thanks to growing homestays and apartment rentals to accommodate a post-war influx of visitors after the end of a 25-year civil war. The Indian Ocean island, once referred as one of the more dangerous tourist destinations due to occasional bomb blasts during its conflict with the separatist Tamil Tigers, more..

The UN is Now an International Joke

Apr 29 (LG) The Preamble to the United Nations Charter expresses the very highest ideals that countries might live by as guidelines for achieving world peace: tolerance for others, universal human rights, economic and social advancement for all. The Preamble set the intention for all countries to rise together in harmony as the world recovered from the devastation of two World Wars. The current Secretary General of the UN has turned this esteemed organization into more..

Victim of assault denied justice due to powerful politician

Apr 29 (LG) Ms. Thushanthi Pujani Perera (19) a school girl of 'Haksala', Dulmura, Talathuoya in the district of Kandy was assaulted by a influential family as she refused to marry a man they had introduced to her. She suffered several injuries due to assault and was admitted to the Thalathuoya Government Hospital. However, they discharged her without proper treatment. Then she was admitted to the Kandy Teaching Hospital where she was treated till 4 March. more..

People enjoy Chava New Year Festival

Apr 29 (Cimic) A New Year festival to mark the most significant annual cultural festival common to both Hindus and Buddhists was organized by the 523 Brigade in association with Chavakachcheri Trade Association at Chavakachcheri town on 24th April. A large numbers of civilians took part in a number of sports and events. Special events had been organized for elderly people, women and children. Special events had been organized for elderly people, women and children. more..

Editorial: Screw the brain

Apr 29 (LG) From the day the panel appointed to advice the UN secretary general on the possible areas of human rights violations in the last phase of the war in Sri Lanka handed over their advisory report, a swirl of political arguments has started to sweep across Sri Lanka. At the epicentre of this swirl is a friction between two interpretations of reconciliation. The view held by the Govt of Sri Lanka is that reconciliation is about forgetting the past and moving forward. more..

Constructing the moat to halt a foreign crossing into Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (DM) Sri Lanka can crush the Ban Kin moon-ies (includes Tamil Diaspora, International NGO community, remnants of the UN system, ‘white’ western nations and Sri Lanka’s elite civil society) comfortably but not by living in isolation like a Robinson Crusoe on an island. We need a helping hand from friendly countries, as on the last occasion when an effort to stricture was made before the Human Rights Council during the war. This time too, the action station could be more..

Who are they?

Apr 29 (LG) In the wake of grossly misleading reports in the national media as to who the members of the Advisory Panel of the United Nations, appointed by United Nations Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon are, based on their uncritical acceptance of abuse by government politicians, the Sri Lanka Guardian publishes an authoritative sketch of their backgrounds. We do this in the interests of encouraging balanced commentary on more..

Multi-partisan approach to address UN panel report is desirable

Apr 29 (LG) The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has released to the public the report of the Expert Panel he appointed to advise him on human rights issues in relation to the last phase of Sri Lanka's war. The panel of experts has called on the UN Secretary General to immediately set up an independent international mechanism to investigate credible allegations that both the Sri Lankan government and LTTE committed serious human rights violations, including more..

'Violations of Int'l Law is failure as Govt'

Apr 29 (LG) This morning’s mail brought communication from the UN with the heading ‘SRI LANKA: UN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES FURTHER INVESTIGATIONS INTO REPORTS OF WAR CRIMES’ Last night, I heard young Australian Tamil Dr. Sambavi Parimalanathan (of Australian Tamil Congress) say on SBS TV that action should be taken against both sides. Both of the above spokespersons are of Tamil origins – living largely in Western work environments. As per my assessment more..

'No UN panel in Iraq where over a million had died'

Apr 29 (DM) Q: The UN claims the panel of experts set up to advise Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on accountability issues with respect to the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka has found ‘credible reports of war crimes’ committed by both the Govt and Tamil rebels. How valid are these assertions in your opinion? A: The Sri Lankan govt should respond, not react, to the panel report. This should be viewed as an opportunity for Sri Lanka to more..

Sense and sensibility

Apr 29 (ST) Since winning the World Cup way back in 1996, Sri Lanka’s cricket, undoubtedly, has been on the ascendancy. Yes, our cricketers did have the technique and the other wherewithal even before that, but what they lacked up to that was the mental toughness and the link of getting used to winning ways. Once they mixed those ingredients in their day-to-day game plan, they turned out to be an above-average garrison that always played positive cricket and were in the reckoning for more..

The Darusman Report: Reflections on the real challenges ahead for Sri Lanka

Apr 29 (GV) In less than two weeks since the Darusman Report (hereinafter referred to as the Report) was handed over to the United Nations Secretary General (hereinafter referred to as UNSG), a large number of articles have been written about the report, its motivations and on its impact on Sri Lanka. Except in several exceptions, the majority of these renderings seem to have lost the plot, in their failure to provide adequate attention to several more..

May Day and the Sri Lankan woman worker

Apr 29 (DM) Toiling away their day, producing goods for the export market, the free trade zones in the country, it is the workers in these areas who bring in the largest foreign currency to the country. Though many say that we as a country could boast about the local labour laws that are established under international conventions, a question arises as to whether we can actually boast about the benefits the workers in these areas receive. more..

Editorial: Guns silent; reports as weapons

Apr 29 (Island) One's opposition to the Moon Panel report should not be misconstrued as one's disregard for the suffering of civilians during the war. For, those who are supporting that document to the hilt are the very ones who backed and defended the LTTE thus enabling it to scuttle several peace processes, plunge the country back into war, use human shields, recruit child combatants and kill civilians in their thousands. If they are genuinely interested in having crimes against civilians probed, more..

Editorial: The real cry not heard in the Bang, Bang on Ban

Apr 29 (DM) Those who visited their kith and kin during the recent New Year holidays in the North on their return to Colombo said people in Jaffna were hurting and wounded. These words have to be seen in the context of today’s Sri Lanka. From the urban poor we hear that in places like Wanathamulla even recently constructed houses have been destroyed. Those working with the urban poor say that Urban Development is unfortunately connected with Defence and therefore the more..

Amidst howling winds on undulating plains

Apr 29 (ST) Most often my sojourns into the wild life parks of Sri Lanka are centred around elephants, my pet subject. Recently, however, I decided to give wild elephants a break and took time off to visit Horton Plains after a lapse of about 10 years. I also planned to spend time out in the plains themselves, rather than join the mass excursion, trekking to see the much over-visited World’s End and Bakers Fall. more..

Good People and Bad Politicians

Apr 29 (Island) Forging ahead with nation-building while defeating the anti-national forces that are being launched to push the country back to chaos wouldn’t be such a daunting task if our politicians were guided by the aspirations of the mature, liberal, and progressive Sri Lankan national community. Could it be always true that, in a democracy, people get the politicians they deserve, I wonder? Four recent events that grabbed our attention as citizens, more..

Banks asked to channel VAT, Corporate Tax cut benefits to long-term lending

Apr 29 (FT) All commercial banks have been asked to set aside funds saved via the benefit of lower VAT and Corporate Tax under the 2011 Budget to support long-term lending. The Central Bank has directed all banks to open Investment Fund Accounts to which savings from the lower taxation must be transferred to. The Inland Revenue Department will also send directives to commercial banks today. Under the Investment Fund Accounts, all banks will be required to extend more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 28.04.2011

Sri Lanka gets Korean loan for solid waste disposal

Apr 29 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to get a loan equivalent to 33,536 million US dollars (41,886 million rupees) from South Korea to build four facilities for disposal of solid waste which is a growing problem in the island. The Korea Economic Development Fund of the Export - Import Bank of Korea is to provide the loan in Korean won. The funds will be used to build sanitary landfill facilities in four places - east Nuwaragampalatha and Udunuwara in the central hills, and more..

'Increased paedophile arrests shows NCPA dynamism'

Apr 29 (DN) "The increase in reports on paedophile arrests shows the dynamism of the National Child Protection Authority," said the Legal Aid Commission (LAC) Chairman SS Wijeratne. He said that the extent of child abuse is not correctly reported even in more affluent countries. "This country was a world's pioneer to enact Children and Young Persons Ordinance in 1938 even before it became independent. This law still governs the child protection regime in Sri Lanka. more..

CB relaxes net positions, sending the dollar down against the rupee

Apr 29 (Island) The rupee strengthened 40 cents against the dollar yesterday (28) reaching Rs. 109.60 against the greenback on strong foreign currency inflows and heavy selling by commercial banks as the Central Bank relaxed the amount of dollars commercial banks could hold overnight, dealers said. The long overdue relaxation of overnight net open positions (allowing banks to hold a wider positive or negative dollar position predefined by more..

Over 2,840 rat fever cases in four months

Apr 29 (DN) The Health Ministry warns the public on the rapidly increasing numbers of Rat Fever (Leptospirosis) cases in the country. Around 2840 Rat Fever patients had been reported from all parts of the country while 31 patients (most of them farmers) had died from the disease during past four months. The Ministry requests persons in high risk groups such as farmers, labourers who clean drains, miners, persons who work in marshy lands, canals and persons who swim or play in more..

Lady Doctor assaulted: Local politico involved?

Apr 29 (DM) Government Medical Officers yesterday warned tough trade union action if authorities failed to take action against a Public Health Field Assistant, who had allegedly assaulted a Lady Doctor attached to the Ampara Lahugala Medical Centre on Wednesday. The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) said that the medical officer had been assaulted by a Field Assistant working in the same institute; and the doctor had been admitted to the Ampara General Hospital. more..

Sri Lanka’s Constitution needs radical changes: TNA

Apr 29 (DM) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has said the present Constitution with all its amendments needed to undergo radical changes if it was to provide the Tamil people full and equal access to governance as an expression of their citizenship. In his key-note address at the 34th S.J.V. Chelvanayagam commemoration on he said the pseudo devolution of powers found in the present Constitution did more to exacerbate the conflict than address its causes. more..

Russia should help Lanka heal, DPF

Apr 29 (DM) Democratic People’s Front (DPF) led by Mano Ganesan yesterday said Russia could play a role in helping Sri Lanka in to come up with an acceptable political solution to the national issue bringing about reconciliation in Sri Lanka. “Russia which is powerful within UN must play an over all role along with other interested countries. All must understand the sacrifice of thousands of innocent lives,” DPF General Secretary A. N. Kumarguruparan said yesterday. more..

Female thief with many names re-remanded

Apr 29 (Island) A woman with many aliases, produced from remand before Mt. Lavinia Additional Magistrate Ruchira Welliwatte on Wednesday (27), in connection with the theft of Rs. 460,000 in cash and a collection of ancient jewellery, from a house in the Bambalapitiya area, was re-remanded till May 4. PS 248 Wasantha, prosecuting, said that the middle aged suspect, known as Kalpage Somawathi alias Samarakoon Sitha alias Ramany Perera, more..

Hambantota 2018 gets boost from Sri Lankan Commonwealth medallists

Apr 29 (SF) The Hambantota 2018 Commonwealth Games bid gained more support from four Sri Lankan medallists to ensure that the campaign is targeted to be the “Athletes' Games”. They have joined the Athletes' Commission working with the bid plan to focus on the needs of the athletes. The athletes were: Pushpamali Ramanayake (Shooting), Commonwealth Games gold, Edinburgh 1994; Sriyani Kulawansa (Hurdles), more..

'Builders must consider disabled persons'

Apr 29 (DN) The Supreme Court held that those who did not comply with the Court order earlier, should be punished in the future and directed the building construction authorities to issue a certificate of conformity when approving construction plans of public buildings enacting provision for disabled persons. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and Justice K Sripavan made this order on an application by Dr Ajith C Perera, more..