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Unsporty accounts of Sri lanka Cricket

Jan 22 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket and four other institutions that come under the purview of the Sports Ministry had not submitted their account details to Parliament for years though it was required to do so under the Sports Ordinance and the Sports Amendment Act, the House was informed yesterday. These institutions are required to maintain Income and Expenditure Statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. more..

Hope Lanka will punish those behind war crimes: US

Jan 22 (PTI) The US has expressed hope that Sri Lanka would continue to make efforts to bring to book those who violated the international humanitarian law during the LTTE war, saying that accountability for alleged crimes is an essential component of national reconciliation in that country. "We have made strong public statements and are supporting what Sri Lanka is doing. It's a process that is still ongoing," more..

Ranil, Amaraweera clash over floods

Jan 23 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in parliament yesterday charged that the government had failed to implement a national disaster management plan even after the recent floods which had affected five percent of the country’s population. Raising a question in the House with regard to the recent floods, Mr. Wickremesinghe said nearly 1.2 million people had been affected by the disaster. He said this could have been avoided had the government considered the warning more..

Pamuk did not pull out due to pressure from RSF: Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat has said that writer Orhan Pamuk’s absence at the Galle Literary Festival (GLF) had no link to freedom of expression issues in Sri Lanka. The Turkish Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk had informed the organisers in early January 2011 that he will be unable to participate in the festival, due to what he considered to be Indian visa restrictions, said Lucien Rajakarunanayake, Director, Policy Research & more..

Sri Lanka IOC unit asks for price increase to cut losses

Jan 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Indian Oil Corporation unit says it is losing 9 rupees a liter on petrol and 21 rupees a liter on diesel by selling fuel at government controlled prices as world commodity prices continued to rise. LIOC managing director Suresh Kumar said that the firm sold 16 million litres of petrol a month and 27 million litres of diesel. more..

'Opposition making malicious statements about floods'

Jan 23 (DN) Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday stated that the UNP wanted the Government to declare a national disaster situation regarding the flood havoc with the malicious intention that such a declaration would affect the tourism industry. This would in turn affect the national economy directly. He made this observation in response to a special statement made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. more..

Attack on TN fishermen: Vaiko says Sri Lanka should be warned

Jan 23 (PTI) India should "seriously" take up with Sri Lanka the frequent attacks by its navy on Tamil Nadu fishermen and give it a stern warning, MDMK leader Vaiko said. During a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the MDMK leader voiced serious concern over such attacks and alleged that the Indian Navy and Coast Guard remained "idle spectators" and have made no attempt to protect the fishermen from the state. "Is it not the duty of the Govt of India to more..

India clarifies on visa re-entry issues for Galle Literary Festival

Jan 23 (Hindu) India waived its visa re-entry restrictions on writers Orhan Pamuk, Kiran Desai and others, so that they could participate in the Galle Literary Festival, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka said. “Every conceivable problem related to re-entry into India of foreign writers was discussed at length and sorted out,” an official said and added that it was unfortunate that the Galle Literary Festival chose to blame India on more..

Call for religious peace

Jan 23 (NN) Prime Minister D.M Jayaratna today called for inter-religious peace building in Sri Lanka and emphasized on the role that can be played by religious leaders and communities to achieve this goal. The Premier was speaking at the first National assembly of the Sri Lanka Council of Religions for Peace (SLCRP) held at the BMICH in Colombo today. More than 200 religious leaders from Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities attended the assembly today more..

Groups funding attempt

Jan 23 (NN) The military today alleged that some Canadian extremist Tamil groups are funding attempts to give an impression that there is instability in Jaffna. Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe speaking to News, said that the military has obtained information that extremist Tamil groups have already given money to some elements to spread false reports regarding the security situation in Jaffna. more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka marks Thai Pongal

Jan 23 (SLE) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington, D.C. recognized the Hindu harvest festival of Thai Pongal last week with a ceremony at the Embassy attended by a large number of Sri Lankans living in the Greater Washington area. Thai Pongal is a major festival in Sri Lanka, marking the harvest, the gifts of the earth and sun and the renewal of the seasons. People are encouraged to let go of the past and to focus on growth and the promise of the future. more..

'Govt. that promised a bright future charges for education'

Jan 23 (LT) The government that came to power promising a ‘Bright Future’ for the children of the land has commenced charging for admitting children to schools says the General Secretary of the Lanka Teacher Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe. Mr. Jayasinghe said this at a media conference held by the Union against charging for admission, construction and development of physical resources through ‘school development societies.’ more..

LLRC prepares to conclude sittings

Jan 23 (DM) The LLRC was due to conclude its public sittings after the completion of sittings in the Ampara District in mid February and would then be expected to prepare its final report that would be submitted to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in May, LLRC Media Consultant Lakshman Wikramarachchi said. He said that the reviewing and analyzing of evidence together with the papers submitted to the Commission would take place before preparing the final report. more..

Tamil war widows must have justice

Jan 23 (AN) The government must recognize all the war widows as a group in need of special attention, because civil society can not escape responsibility towards them. Otherwise, "their stories remain buried in the sands of history, blown away by the winds of time." These are the demands of Fr. Oswald B. Firth, president of the Association for Peace and Development (papd), in a meeting with the LLRC held on 20 January in Colombo. more..

Advertising industry wary of new CAA ruling

Jan 23 (FT) The country’s advertising industry is wary about the practicality of the new rule issued by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) that all advertisements should carry prices of products and services. Some of the business and advertising leaders mentioned to the Daily FT that they are currently having discussions on how to address this issue and whether fresh representations should be made to the Ministry under whose purview comes the CAA. more..

Australian Naval Ship HMAS Melbourne arrives on goodwill visit

Jan 23 (SLN) The Australian Naval Ship HMAS “Melbourne” arrived in the port of Colombo on 22nd January 2011 on a goodwill visit. It was ceremonially welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. HMAS Melbourne is one of the Royal Australian Navy's four Adelaide Class guided missile frigates (FFG). The ship is a long-range escort capable of area air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. more..

UN belatedly re-confirms Ban panel blocked by Sri Lanka

Jan 23 (ICP) The UN, after moving to refuse to answer any Press questions about Sri Lanka, has decided to publicly re-confirm that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Accountability Panel is no longer slated to travel to Sri Lanka. As Inner City Press repored on January 18, this is contrary to Ban's December 17 praise of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's "flexibility" in allowing the visit, and to Ban's January 14 answer to Inner City Press. more..


Jan 23 (SL) Reporters Sans Frontiers are calling for free speech by asking people not to speak in Sri Lanka. It’s just mean and counter-productive. The RSF should be ashamed for tabling such a motion, Arundathi Roy should be ashamed of supporting it, and Kiran Desai and Orhan Pamuk should be ashamed that they were so easily silenced, and to so little good. The way to promote free speech is to practice it. The Galle Literary Festival is not political, but it is a chance for people to speak and read. more..

Mahinda’s bad omens and mixed signals

Jan 23 (SL) It is widely known that Mahinda Rajapaksa took a sudden trip to America just after winning the presidential election in January 2010. Since then there have been no official or unofficial visits to the US by him, except to attend the UN annual General Assembly sessions and that, too, for the very first time. He left to the US after the Supreme Court had decided on a future date to declare whether Courts Martial are part and parcel of the judiciary more..

CBK proposes interim leadership for UNP

Jan 23 (SL) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga last week expressed her sentiments about the leadership battle in the UNP. Attending the wedding of the grand daughter of former UNP minister Indradasa Hettiarachchi last Monday at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Kumaratunga had a chance to chat with several UNP members. UNP members Bodhi Ranasinghe and MP Dr. Harsha de Silva were also seated at the same table as Kumaratunga. more..

Editorial: Be wary of Opposition bait

Jan 23 (SO) It was a historic and memorable occasion when President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in the Thai Pongal national ceremony at the Duraiappa Stadium in Jaffna last Monday, 20 months after the Security Forces liberated the country from the clutches of the LTTE under his inspiring political leadership. The Government's prime objective was to unite Sri Lanka under the Lion Flag as one nation, abandoning divisions for petty political objectives. more..

Editorial: Losing the peace

Jan 23 (SL) Having comprehensively won the war President Mahinda Rajapaksa is equally comprehensively fast losing the peace. How is he doing this? Though his own willful self-delusion in which he defies credibility in terms of human rights violations and assaults on the press, freedom of expression and a right to information. Having won an immeasurably bloody war Rajapaksa continues to insist, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, more..

The romance of the coconut

Jan 23 (SO) The price of coconuts contributes significantly to the cost of living which is everyone's concern today. Specially people of the lesser income groups find that buying coconuts for daily consumption is tough. While the coconut is indispensable in the daily cooking of all Sri Lankan households the average Sri Lankan household finds it difficult to prepare the traditional pol sambol because the price of coconuts is high. more..

Editorial: Much ado about nothing?

Jan 23 (LB) If there is one thing that this government cannot be accused of, it is the fact that it never cease to stir the pot, or to make some waves. Quite often however the making of waves has generated much noise and created pages upon pages of newspaper hype without necessarily contributing to general community life or the public good. Certainly, the newspapers may not be complaining. News editors would probably tell you that there is no such thing as a more..

Editorial: Prevention better than cure

Jan 23 (NS) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has announced that the government will shortly introduce measures to compel those who use state sector health services for alcohol-related health problems, to pay for those services. The good Minister’s argument is simple: alcohol-related disorders are not naturally occurring maladies. Instead, they are essentially self-inflicted because they arise as a result of years of alcohol abuse. Therefore, there is no reason why more..

'Govt will not leave room for a rice crisis'

Jan 23 (LB) Deputy Minister of Disaster Management Duleep Wijesekera says that the government has taken adequate measures to provide the multitude of people who were affected by the recent incessant rains and floods in the North-East of the country. Wijesekera failed to state the exact damage caused to people and property as estimated by the government because he does not have the figures at hand, but insisted that experts have placed the figure at $500 million. more..

Charming the voters

Jan 23 (NS) The local government elections have been announced already and this is what most political parties are bracing for in the New Year. The polls may not have a great impact in terms of national governance but it would be a reliable political barometer nevertheless. The well-oiled machinery of the ruling UPFA is already at work. Candidates were interviewed last week and there were long queues seeking nomination - an indication of the public perception more..

President cements Jaffna links with Thai Pongal visit

Jan 23 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was on a visit to Jaffna on January 16 and 17 to commission the new Sangupiddy Bridge spanning the Kilaly lagoon and to attend the Thai Pongal festival as the chief guest at the Alfred Duraippah stadium. Associated with President Rajapaksa on this visit were Ministers Basil Rajapaksa and Douglas Devenanda, and President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga. There was a massive gathering at the ceremony held to mark the commissioning of more..

Gotabhaya spells out winning strategies

Jan 23 (NS) Firm leadership, commitment and discipline of each individual are essentials in achieving success in the development process, said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa while noting that having a clear vision about the task and the ability to remain firm from beginning to the end without any ambiguity would make the path for development smooth. He made these remarks as he delivered the Felix R Dias Bandaranaike memorial oration more..

Premadasa: So near, yet so far

Jan 23 (LB) The president has left for the United States, and we are told it’s for a private visit — a medical checkup. That the hounds are at it again, is not surprising. Amnesty International has ‘reminded’ the US about war crimes and culpability on that score, referring to the Sri Lankan president’s visit as if the US has not been guilty of any war crimes in the first place. The US has been guilty of plenty, going by the same sources — Wikileaks — more..

Cruel treatment causes death of elephant

Jan 23 (LB) In order to control not only Neelagiri but several other elephants these mahouts could be seen deliberately hitting them with iron poles. Having witnessed these misdoings the officials of the Pinnawela orphanage and the Dehiwela Zoo continued to turn a blind eye to these offences and resort to cure the elephants on the sly using the vets at their disposal. Recently Neelagiribegan to behave in a rather unruly fashion. It was later discovered that more..

'Pakistan was always there for Sri Lanka'

Jan 23 (ST) Pakistan stood by Sri Lanka at a time of crisis and that will be the foundation of a new friendship and it will be etched in the memories of the people of the two nations, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army said. Addressing the student officers of Defence Services Command and Staff College, he said be it weapons or training for military personnel, Pakistan always came forward to help Sri Lanka. more..

Two divided houses at one another

Jan 23 (Island) It was just a matter of several days ago that the two warring factions in the UNP declared a truce for the local elections. Sajith Premadasa was particularly keen not to rock the boat during an election. Just before he called for a truce at the working committee meeting held on the 13th January, an understanding was reached in the local government elections committee headed by Karu Jayasuriya on several outstanding matters of concern to the UNP reformists. more..

'Imports paralyze poultry industry'

Jan 23 (LB) Imports of eggs and chicken paralyze the local poultry industry and rob the country of vital foreign exchange D J Mawawala the island’s king pin of egg distribution lashed out. The much publicized egg imports have had no impact on its distribution, was Madawala’s attitude. The importation of eggs came early January, while local demand went up early December for the Christmas and New Year. It proves, government has no understanding of the market, more..

WikiLeaks to reveal Swiss Bank A/Cs of SL politicians

Jan 23 (SL) In a startling revelation Reuters and the BBC have announced that they will reveal information unearthed by WikiLeaks of secret bank accounts held in Swiss banks operated by prominent politicians and business magnates from across the world. Though unconfirmed by the Swiss banks, it is reported through findings of WikiLeaks that amongst those who have such accounts, names of some prominent Sri Lankan politicians too appear. more..

All major Tamil and Muslim parties to contest under UPFA

Jan 23 (SO) All major Tamil and Muslim constituents of the UPFA who represent the North, East and the Central hill country are contesting the forthcoming LG polls under the ‘Betel’ symbol in all Tamil and Muslim areas other than areas where slots have to be allotted to SLFP’s former standing members on a priority basis, informed sources said. The CWC led by Minister Arumugan Thondaman, the SLMC led by Minister Rauff Hakeem, UPF led by Shanthinidevi Chandrasekaran, more..

Chillies at Rs. 700 leads vegetable price boom

Jan 23 (ST) Green chillies shot up to an unprecedented price of Rs. 700 a kilogram in certain areas in Colombo and the suburbs while prices of other vegetables also dramatically rose over the week.Traders at the Dambulla Economic Centre said there was a severe shortage of supplies of green chillies after heavy rains destroyed the cultivation. They said the shortage may continue for a month or two. At Colombo’s Manning market where wholesale dealers bring more..

Vaiko meets Manmohan, takes up attacks on fishermen

Jan 23 (Hindu) It was a meeting with a difference for MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Saturday. He met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence here on Saturday, after nearly 30 years. According to Mr. Vaiko, Dr. Singh received him at the entrance and hugged him. The MDMK leader's immediate response was: “I love and respect Dr. Manmohanji. At the same time, I strongly criticise the Prime Minister of India.” more..

Represantations to LLRC i: Grievances

Jan 23 (Island) My representations are framed by my understanding of the teaching of Siddhartha Gauthama, in particular the Charter on Free Inquiry, the Kalama Sutra. As such I would hope that my submissions privilege reason over emotion and moreover call for the same privileging in the matter of learning lessons and imagining and implementing measures of reconciliation subject to the caveat that conclusions drawn are regularly verified in practice and more..

The caste factor in the Tamil nationalist uprising

Jan 23 (TC) The opportunity to pose this question in writing came my way when Charles Ponnuthurai Sarvan’s book, "Public Writings on Sri Lanka" arrived on my desk about three months ago with an invitation to review it. Without denying the familiar "The Sinhala majority oppressing the Tamil minority" narrative, which I concede remains central and true, I am offering a complementary narrative, a different set of spectacles through which to look at the ethnic conflict. more..