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Ampaa'rai DCC meeting conducted in Sinhala only

Apr 29 (TN) The civil authority of the Ampaa'rai administrative district, where seventy five percent are Tamil speaking officers, is conducting the meeting of the District Coordinating Committee (DCC) only in Sinhala excluding Tamil language, complained district Parliamentarian Mr.P. Piyasena who has been supporting the Mahinda Rajapakse led UPFA. He was elected on the ticket of TNA at the last general election held in April 2010 from the Ampaa'rai electoral district. more..

SLFP urges workers to join President on May Day in denouncing Moon panel report

Apr 29 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena urged all Sri Lankans to join the May Day rally on Sunday to express solidarity with President Rajapaksa in denouncing the report of the advisory panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon. The report basically infringes the sovereign rights of Sri Lanka and contains fabricated and falsified material fed by pro-LTTE elements, he said. more..

Report, a waste of UN funds - Devananda

Apr 29 (DN) Minister Douglas Devananda said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has done the biggest damage to the country by preparing an unauthorized report through Darusman on Sri Lanka and releasing it by abusing the UN funds and facilities to satisfy his “masters” and to win his reappointment. In an interview with Asian Tribune, the minister said the controversial Darusman Report pandered to the Tigers, provided material support to the Tigers and attempted to blame the victims. more..

Old world charms

Apr 29 (KT) As the morning sun splashes its first bright hue across Sri Lanka’s southern coastline, a curious sight welcomes tourists and smiling locals alike — silhouettes of eight feet stilts pegged on the sea floor as far as the eye can see. Seated on flimsy planks placed at shaky right angles across the stilts are lanky, brown figures in coloured waist-clothes, a simple fishing rod in their hands, a small bowl on their lap — the famed stilt fishermen of Galle. more..

Container vessel docks at Magampura Harbour

Apr 29 (DM) A Vessel carrying 2850 containers had entered the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa International Port Yesterday, Minister Rohitha Abegunawardena revealed. Registered in Singapore this vessel ‘Vanhai 502’ is 269 metres in length. It had docked at the Magampura Harbour on its way to Colombo from Malaysia while two more ships were expected on April 30 and May 1. He said that with the arrival of this ship to the Magampura Harbour more..

UN Report a moral victory for terror- Champika

Apr 29 (DM) The Darusman report has given terrorist organizations and their activities a moral boost throughout the world, JHU Secretary General and Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said. The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban-Ki- moon appointed expert panel was set up by violating the UN Charter with the blessings of Western powers”, he said. “We advise the United States not to make us a country that will be a strategic centre that acts against the US. more..

Ban has not asked UN GA to act, Web shutdown ignored

Apr 29 (ICP) Three days after belatedly releasing the UN Panel of Experts report on Sri Lanka, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has not asked either the Security Council or the General Assembly to take any action to investigate the war crimes detailed in the report. Nor does he have any comment on the shutdown of an Internet publication critical of the Rajapaksa govt. ICP first asked outgoing Security Council president Nestor Osorio of Colombia if Ban had asked the Council to take the issue up. more..

Moon Report ‘is legally, morally and substantively flawed’

Apr 29 (Island) External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris says the controversial Darusman Report is the product of a personal initiative taken by UNSG Ban ki-Moon and the mandate of the Panel was purely advisory in nature, as stated in its Terms of Reference. Addressing the Colombo-based diplomatic corps at the External Affairs Ministry, Prof Peiris highlighted some of the fundamental deficiencies, inherent prejudices and malicious intentions that more..

FTZ workers to quit if Pension Bill passed?

Apr 29 (DM) Amidst rumours that the workers in the Free Trade Zones might resign en masse, several trade unions yesterday implored them not to do so. The Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) said that employees in the Free Trade Zones were preparing quit before the end of the month in order to collect their hard earned remuneration from the Employees Provident Fund as well as their gratuity as they stood to lose a portion of it, if the pension scheme was passed in parliament. more..

MOH offices supply Doxycicline free to prevent rat fever spread

Apr 29 (Island) Leptospirosis (rat fever) has raised its head again. From January to April 25, this year, 2,840 cases had been reported. Deaths due to the disease within four months have been recorded at 31, Health Ministry Media spokesman W. Wanninayaka said. He said that paddy farmers, chena cultivators and culvert cleaners were liable to contract leptospirosis and all MOH offices in the country had been provided with effective prophylaxes treatment to combat the disease. more..

Milk food importers warn of scarcity

Apr 29 (Island) Milk food importers yesterday warned there could be a shortage of their products as they were unable to place fresh orders due to the government preventing them from increasing prices in the local market. Nestle Lanka Assistant Vice President, Ambient Dairy, Asoka Bandara said the importing companies had been awaiting word from the Consumer Affairs Authority for the last ten months as more..

Govt. hospital OPDs now treat more patients

Apr 29 (Island) The number of patients taking treatment at the Out Patient Department has increased from 15 percent to 25 percent following the extension of the number of hours the OPD is open to the public. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that a majority of patients who visited OPDs in govt hospitals were public sector workers. In the past, OPDs in govt hospitals were open to the public from 8.00 a. m. to 4.00 p. m. more..

Biggest compensation for political violence awarded

Apr 29 (DM) Twenty eight defendants who pleaded guilty were ordered by the High Court Judge L.U.Jayasuriya to pay a compensation amounting to Rs.2.1 Million to the Complainant Vipula Gunarathne, the owner of Shelo Cosmetics of Naththandiya, and it was duly settled on Wednesday. In 2001, just a day before the Election Day, a perfume factory located in Ganewatte in Kurunegala had been set on fire by the defendants in the case who were later arrested after more..

Sri Lanka inflation accelerates to 9.8-pct in April

Apr 29 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo rose 9.8 percent in April from a year earlier, accelerating from 8.6 percent in March, data from the government's statistics office data showed. In the month of April food prices fell 1.7 percent but non-food items rose at a faster 2.0 percent, measured by the Colombo Consumer's Price Index. The index gained 0.1 percent in the month. more..

Media rights groups protest blockage of pro-opposition news website

Apr 29 (AP) International media rights groups are calling on Sri Lankan authorities to release a journalist arrested over an incorrect news report and to unblock his company's website. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday's court order to detain the reporter and block pro-opposition news website LankaeNews was just the latest attempt by authorities to "silence an independent news outlet." more..

E-waste management tackled by 14 firms

Apr 29 (Island) Currently, 14 private companies are involved in the national e-waste management programme carried out by the Central Environment Authority. CEA Chairman Charitha Herath said that the collection of ewaste was being carried out by companies accredited to the CEA. Major companies such as Abans, Holcim, Singer, Metropolitan, Dialog and Mobitel are involved in the project. The massive amounts of e-waste generated by the electronic goods more..

Wet weather, floods

Apr 29 (DM) The wet weather prevailing in many parts of the country had raised the water level of Kalu Ganga yesterday. The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said the there was no threat of severe floods although an alert had been issued by the Department of Irrigation yesterday. A spokesman from the DMC said the Irrigation Department’s alert had been a precautionary measure. more..

Govt to lobby strongly against Darusman Report

Apr 29 (DN) “The government will hold talks with all relevant local and foreign actors on the controversial Darusman report which has been rejected outright by Sri Lanka,” Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. “The government opposed the entire process, from the appointment of the panel, its functioning and now the report,” the minister told the weekly Cabinet press briefing. more..

'Tillakaratne's match-fixing claims baseless'

Apr 29 (TOI) After former Sri Lankan cricket skipper Hashan Tillakaratne alleged that match-fixing has been common in Sri Lanka's cricket, the national sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage spoke to TIMES NOW and rubbished these claims. The sports minister said, “It seems that all these claims are his personal views. We don't have anything to prove the same. If he believes that such thing exists then he should come out with proof and give it to me in writing. more..

'Sri Lanka involved in match-fixing since 1992'

Apr 29 (IANS) Former Sri Lankan captain Hashan Tillakaratne has made sensational claims that his country has been involved in match fixing since 1992, and said he will 'shortly reveal names of the people responsible'. Tillkaratne, who led the side between 2003 and 2004, alleged that the menace of match-fixing is not a new phenomenon and also raised questions on Sri Lanka making four changes against India in the 2011 World Cup final more..

Sri Lankan tea prices fall

Apr 30 (LBO) Larger crops following heavy rain and a drop in quality dragged down Sri Lankan tea prices at this week's Colombo auction although the biggest harvest has eliminated a crop deficit, brokers said. "There was fair general demand mostly at lower levels for Low Grown varieties at this week’s auction," Asia Siyaka Commodities said. Low growns make up more than half the tea crop and are cultivated mostly by small farmers. There was fair general demand at lower rates for more..

Pakistan super women complete series sweep in Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (Dawn) Pakistan women wrapped up a successful tour of Sri Lanka by winning the quadrangular one-day international (ODI) series in Colombo on Friday. Pakistan, who earlier won the quadrangular Twenty20 series, bagged the ODI series with a nine-wicket win over Ireland at the Thurstan College Ground. Ireland, who were sent in to bat by Pakistan captain Sana Mir, failed to post a reasonable total as only of their ten batters managed to get double-figure scores and more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 29.04.2011

Professor Bopearachchi highlights multicultural aspects of Sri Lanka at UNESCO

Apr 30 (LG) The Asia Pacific Group of UNESCO in association with UNESCO organized a round table on “The Role of the Silk Road in the Rapprochement of Cultures.” Geared towards enhancing the understanding and recognizing the contribution of the Silk Road in the rapprochement of cultures and the aspects that bind nations across a vast region from China to Iran, the round table brought together experts and scholars from the field. more..

The Opposition’s dilemma in handling the UN Panel issue

Apr 30 (DM) To challenge or to cooperate, what is the Government going to do with the report published by the panel appointed by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) to advise him on the accountability issues during the last stage of the war against the LTTE? Is it going to challenge any follow up moves by the UNSG or any other UN body or does it have any other means to defend itself? The rhetoric by the ministers at press conferences and public meetings does not seem to more..

Investigations invalidate erroneous media reports on Anusha’s murder

Apr 30 (Cimic) Murder of Selavaraja Anusha (27), a young lady teacher of the Jaffna Hindu College was, after preliminary investigations, proved beyond doubt to have been committed by a youth who had a love affair with her. Her dead body was found by relatives on 8th April hanging inside the house and a complaint was lodged in this effect by them to the Ilavalai Police. Investigations commenced by the Police when the post mortem confirmed that more..

Right the wrong

Apr 30 (LG) A UN report of a probe into the final stages of the war between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in 2009 has said that both sides violated international humanitarian and human rights laws in a way that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The report provides damning details of how government forces raped women, shot dead prisoners and shelled hospitals, UN centres and Red Cross ships. It also describes how the LTTE used civilians as human shields, more..

An open letter to TNA Leader: All we Tamils want is to live as equal citizens in peace

Apr 30 (DM) Mr. Sambanthan’s recent statements disturbed me hence this letter; he is once again stirring up trouble for us who have chosen to live here and in Colombo. Sambanthan has pitched the very same positions as before the war; my understanding is that the war was fought to win for the Tamil people a separate State as the Sinhala people had never conceded anything to us after they grabbed it all with the Sinhala Only Act of 1956. more..

May Day message of the JVP

Apr 30 (LG) The JVP while wishing victories for working people all over the world and all socialist and progressive anti-imperialist forces that struggle for their liberation also, on this 125th May Day commemoration, salutes all heroes and heroines who made various sacrifices including laying down their lives to win rights of working people. While extending its support to all peoples who struggle against imperialism and injustice and more..

Editorial: Numbers vs quality

Apr 30 (Island) The Health Ministry boasts, according to a news items we carried yesterday, that the number of persons seeking treatment at the state-run hospitals has increased since the OPD hours were extended on a presidential order. It says people now can visit OPDs without hassle unlike in the past when they were open only from 8.00 am to 4.00 pm. If people have benefited from the new scheme, then the Health Ministry is to be complimented. But, an increase in the number of visits is more..

Editorial: May Day: Some meditation for workers

Apr 30 (DM) The heights reached by great people, not only reached but reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight; but they while their colleagues slept were toiling upward in the night. The symbolism and the heights referred to in these words of wisdom by a poet are not the personal gain or glory, power popularity or prestige that party politicians especially desire, but high principles of living and noble values like selfless sacrificial service to people. more..

Culture across Palk Strait

Apr 30 (NS) Sri Lanka’s culture of handicrafts dates back to several millenniums and the ancient ties with India has a close relationship with our styles of handicrafts as well. The Handicrafts exhibition organised by the National Crafts Council displayed Indian and Sri Lankan handicrafts recalling the ancient cultural relationship the two countries possessed. Creativity and trained skills had produced exquisitely worked handicrafts, bright linens, neatly weaved more..

Legitimacy of the panel was questionable

Apr 30 (DM) The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka carefully and comprehensively examined the contents of the UNSG Report submitted to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki - moon on April 12 2011. At the outset, when the so-called Advisory Panel was appointed in June 2010, the Communist Party through its Political Resolution adopted at its 19th National Congress held in August, 2010 registered its opposition to the appointment of the said Panel. more..

Planters Association replies

Apr 30 (DM) Following is a statement sent by the Planters Association and Employers Federation in reply to the article ‘Family Based Wage System Deceives the Plantation Community,’ by Rev. Fr. S. Guy de Fontgalland, published in the Daily Mirror on April 08 and 09. The writer of the article says the family is the unit of wage determination in the estate sector. The Planters Association (PA) would like to clarify that this is no longer the case today. more..

Domestic document, Not a UN document

Apr 30 (DM) The Mahajana Eksath Peramuna is of the considered view that the so called advisory document of the so called expert panel comprising ‘of three persons is wholly substantially and entirely is a result of personal exercise on the part of Mr Ban Ki-moon -Secretary General of United Nations. This document which is otherwise known as the advice of aforesaid panel of experts is personal to Mr. Ban Ki-moon. more..

MOD organizes a blood donation campaign

Apr 30 (MoD) In parallel to the National Blood Donation and Heart Resuscitation, a blood donation campaign organized by the Ministry of Defence was held today (28) at the Ministry's main auditorium. Over 150 staff members of the Ministry of Defence have donated blood at the campaign and the blood collected will go to the National Blood Bank for use on needy patients. Coordinating officer of National Blood Donation campaign Mr. Dulan Chinthaka Senevirathna, Dr. (Mrs) Janake Gawarammana, more..

Woman strangled to death by her lover

Apr 30 (LB) Selvaraja Anusha was 27-years-old and she was a resident of Pandithirippu Santhei in the Jaffna peninsula, and was a sports instructor by profession. She served at Hindu College, Jaffna in that post. The judicial medical officer of the Jaffna hospital S Shivaruben, having done the post mortem, maintained that Anusha’s death was suspicious and that there was no way she could have committed suicide. When the Jaffna peninsula was under the clutches of more..

Towards a Malaria free Sri Lanka

Apr 30 (NS) Malaria is one of the world’s oldest diseases recorded during the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Yet despite the many advances of science and technology, and new drugs that have successfully eliminated most viral and bacterial diseases, Malaria continues to remain a global problem, affecting huge numbers of people worldwide. Global statistics reveal approximately 300 million clinical cases, mainly children emerging each year, more..

Square pegs in round holes Letter

Apr 30 (Island) The three sports ministers appointed by the UPFA Government could best be described as square pegs in round holes. Today, there is a great deal of controversy over the participation of Sri Lankan players in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). It was a former Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge, who started the rot. His knowledge of the game is as thin as ice. It was he who swallowed the bait of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, having excepted the offer of more..

Kennel Association Cat Burglar On The Run

Apr 30 (SL) Speculation is rife among Kennel Association of Sri Lanka (KASL) Committee Members that a ‘powerful’ hand behind the Rs. 1.8 mn fraud has now exerted pressure on the police to cover up the swindle. “We are paying special attention to this matter and are monitoring this closely to see whether the police would work towards a breakthrough or whether they would cover up the swindle, which is possible,” a highly placed KASL committee member told The Sunday Leader more..