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Sri Lanka rejects new 'war crimes' documentary

June 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka has dismissed as fake a new documentary to be shown on British television on Tuesday, alleging atrocities were committed in the final weeks of the island's war with Tamil rebels. The defence ministry in Colombo said the videos, to be broadcast publicly for the first time on Channel 4, were a fabrication and cited a forensic video analyst on its web site as saying that they were extensively edited. more..

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, Channel 4

June 15 (Independent) This film contains very disturbing images," warned Jon Snow at the beginning of Sri Lanka's Killing Fields. It would, he continued, depict "death, injury, execution and evidence of sexual abuse and murder". He was right too, though when the final credits rolled you couldn't help but feel that the worst lay somewhere off screen, less in the atrocities shown than in the moral debasement that had led to them being filmed in the first place, and more..

'Some SLTB employees wheeler dealing'

June 15 (DM) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama yesterday alleged that some SLTB depot managers sold travel turns to private bus operators despite efforts by a majority of employees to transform the state transport sector into a profit making venture. “The behaviour of certain SLTB employees has hampered the progress of the SLTB. There are a few who are keen to earn an extra buck by illegal means. I have been able to put an end to many irregularities at SLTB depots by more..

Bus fares to rise; await details

June 15 (DM) Revised bus fare will be announced to the public by the Private Transport Ministry in two weeks time, the ministry said yesterday. At a meeting held yesterday between the ministry, the SLTB and four private bus unions a unanimous decision had been taken to adhere to the conditions of the transport policy and to revise bus fares in keeping with that policy, said Victor Samaraweera, secretary of the Private Transport Ministry, yesterday. more..

Madhu where the LTTE began its retreat

June 15 (Island) Except for isolated security points situated along the Medawachchiya-Mannar road, there is hardly any evidence to suggest once heavy military presence to meet LTTE threat on this vital road link. The LTTE operated in both sides of the jungles targeting both military and civilian targets. Now those travelling to Madhu shrine are unlikely to be stopped by troops until they reached the turn off to the 12 km long newly more..

4 arrested in human smuggling ring in Toronto

June 15 (VS) Four people suspected of organizing a human smuggling ship that brought dozens of Sri Lankan migrants to Canada's West Coast in 2009 were arrested by RCMP officers in Toronto on Tuesday. The captains, chief engineer and assistant engineer of the MV Ocean Lady were charged with "organizing entry into Canada" and will be transported back to Vancouver this week to appear before a judge. more..

No full disclosure on military corruption

June 15 (LB) The govt on last tuesday turned down an opposition request to table the report of the presidential commission, which probed allegations of corruption and irregularities in the procurement of high value military supplies for the security forces. Minister Dinesh Gunawardene told the House that the report of the presidential commission, which was appointed in 2006, could not be made public due to “national security concerns.” more..

Jayalalithaa seeks curbs on Lanka for 'war crimes'

June 15 (TOI) Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa utilized her meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to roll out demands worth about Rs 1.80 lakh crore and play a positioning game on the Sri Lankan Tamil issue, terming Colombo's actions as "war crimes" and demanding economic sanctions. Her wish list of projects and welfare schemes are part of political exercises that regional leaders engage in with UP chief minister Mayawati more..

Free CFL bulbs for needy

June 15 (Island) The Power and Energy Ministry will go ahead with the newly launched programme to provide CFL bulbs free of charge to needy families and Smaurdhi beneficiaries. However, a senior Ministry official yesterday said that though they had identified people in many parts of the country, they needed people to sponsor the programme. Last week Samurdhi beneficiaries of the Kesbawa area received CFLs under under the patronage of Power and Energy Minister more..

UK deputy HC Gooding on fact-finding tour in Jaffna

June 15 (Island) The Govt of Sri Lanka believes that the UK wouldn’t throw its weight behind those seeking to undermine post-war stability to avenge the LTTE’s defeat in May last year. Authoritative sources say that UK had become the centre of LTTE operations following the conclusion of the conflict. Sources expressed confidence that the UK High Commission in Colombo would help the British govt realize the actual situation in more..

Govt. to revisit Ch. 4 video with foreign experts

June 15 (DM) The Govt will check on the documentary titled “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” aired by Britain’s Channel 4 on Tuesday night. “We will revisit this documentary carefully and have our own forensic experts and foreign experts to look at the footage and respond accordingly,” Minister Kheliya Rambukwella said. He said it was premature to comment on the contents of the video or how the government would respond. more..

Ministers no ball 2 bn. grant to SLC

June 15 (DM) A proposal to pump in Rs. 2 billion to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) from the govt coffers has come under criticism by ministers at cabinet meeting. A cabinet memo submitted by Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage requesting a grant of Rs. 2 billion from the consolidated fund for the SLC came under heavy criticism by ministers. “They refused to even discuss the memo saying there were other priorities for the govt to attend than using public funds to give adrenaline to the corrupt and inefficient SLC,” more..

Sri Lanka to take action if war crimes claims true

June 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Wednesday denied it targeted civilians while crushing Tamil Tiger rebels but said action would be taken if war crimes allegations contained in a new British documentary were true. The Sri Lankan High Commission in London said images shown on Channel 4 on Tuesday night had not been verified as genuine and the disturbing footage could incite hatred among Sri Lankan communities. However, it added that a local panel known as the LLRC more..

Sri Lanka: Evidence that won't be buried

June 16 (Guardian) The footage screened by Channel 4 last night ranks among the most horrific yet shown on British television. Naked prisoners shot in the head; the dead bodies of women who had been raped, dumped on a truck; the immediate aftermath of a shell landing on a hospital – images caught on mobile phones of the atrocities committed by government soldiers in the final months of Sri Lanka's brutal civil war. The story of what happened two years ago when more..

SLC hard disc theft 'inside job'

June 16 (BBC) The theft of two hard discs belonging to Sri Lanka Cricket was an inside job says the cricket officials. Documents pertaining to the World Cup 2011, including some audit documents were among the material in the hard disks found to be missing on Monday, Suraj Dandeniya the tournament Director of World Cup 2011 told BBC Sandeshaya. "There is no way an outsider could break in to the office. This is without a doubt is an inside job," says Dandeniya. more..

Bringing healing in Sri Lanka

June 16 (ACN) The leader of Catholics in Sri Lanka has said that the Church has a crucial role to play in helping to bring healing after the country's bloody civil war. In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo said that, although Catholics are only a minority on the island, they are in a unique position to help promote reconciliation between Sri Lanka’s two ethnic groups. more..

24 Sri Lankan refugees' bid to escape to Australia foiled

June 16 (Hindu) An attempt by a group of 24 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to escape to Australia clandestinely from here by a ferry has been foiled by the police. The police have secured Nagalingam, Krishnaraj and Robin, the inmates of the Vriddhachalam camp, and booked them under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Nithy of Tiruchi, who masterminded the move, is absconding. The refugees, including six women, nine children, were promised safe passage to Australia. more..

New unit to deal with sudden disasters or accidents

June 16 (NN) The Health Ministry has established a new unit to deal with sudden disasters or accidents. As the initial stage 100 youth have been trained in life saving techniques and were deployed to selected areas today including Pollonaruwa and Anuradhapura. Under the next stage more youth will undergo similar training and will be deployed in every district. 100 youth will be part of the special unit in each district once they complete the mandatory training. more..

Sri Lankan faces 1,516 charges of fraud in Namabia

June 16 (Namabian) One of the men facing a massive 1 516 criminal charges over the alleged cloning of bank cards in Windhoek during 2007 launched a renewed bail application yesterday. With his trial scheduled to continue in the High Court in Windhoek from December 1, Sri Lankan national Anthony Suresh Kumar Stanis (34) is now asking for bail. Stanis has been kept in custody since his arrest on September 26 2007. more..

Tamil MP wants probe into alleged Sri Lankan war crimes

June 16 (CN) Canada's first elected Tamil MP wants an to see an independent inquiry into war crimes allegedly committed in her home country. Rathika Sitsabaiesan - the newly elected NDP MP for the riding of Scarborough Rouge River - says the international community needs to support an investigation into claims of human rights violations during the final weeks of Sri Lanka's civil war. Conflict between the Sri Lankan govt and the militant Tamil Tigers lasted 25 years more..

Ban on vehicles with high emission output

June 16 (NN) The Environment Ministry has launched a program which will lead to a ban on vehicles with high emission output. Under the program, vehicles with high emissions will be photographed with the number plate by officers on the streets of Colombo and the suburbs. The photographs will then be dispatched to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to see if the said vehicle had obtained a vehicle emission certificate, officials at the Environment Ministry said. more..

Reluctant Sangakkara admits captaincy headache

June 16 (CI) If his two-year stint as Sri Lanka's captain was anything like as stressful as it appears from the outside to have been, Kumar Sangakkara is currently 33 going on 40. "Captaining Sri Lanka is a job that ages you very quickly," he admitted at the Rose Bowl on the eve of the third Test against England, as he prepared to step back into a role he relinquished, with evident relief, at the end of the World Cup final in Mumbai two months ago. more..

'We will miss Dilshan'

June 16 (CI) Our preparations for the third Test have suffered a setback with the news that Tillakaratne Dilshan's broken thumb hasn't recovered in time for the match. We gave him a chance to get back to full fitness, but he's still not 100%, and since he has been struck on the thumb three times already, the doctors felt he would be risking a long-term injury if he was hit there again in this match. They've decided it would be better to give him time to recover, and hopefully he will more..

Sri Lanka bids for Games glory

June 16 (AP) SRI Lanka is drawing inspiration from Malaysia's successful Commonwealth Games in believing it can beat sole rival Australia in the 2018 bid race. Hambantota is up against Australian favourite Gold Coast, and Sri Lanka sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage thinks the port town can emulate Kuala Lumpur by heading off a glamorous opponent. Kuala Lumpur won a vote with Adelaide to become the first Asian city to host the Games in 1998. more..

Preview: England v Sri Lanka 3rd Test

June 16 (CI) It's been a strange Test series in many ways. Frequent interruptions by the weather and two matches that have drifted for large periods (except, of course, the stunning final session in Cardiff which gave England their 1-0 lead) means the contest hasn't really bubbled up. Now, at the final Test, Sri Lanka cling to the prospect of pulling off a drawn series while England have their sights set on establishing a clear margin between the teams. more..

Krishan Balendra to lead Colombo Stock exchange

June 16 (AT) Sri Lanka today elected Krishan Balendra, as a new chairman of the country’s one and only Colombo Stock exchange (CSE). He is a director of John Keells Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd, head of Corporate Finance / Executive Vice President of John Keells Holdings PLC and a director of Union Assurance and Nations Trust Bank. He started his professional career at UBS Warburg, Hong Kong, in investment banking, focusing primarily on equity capital markets. more..

Channel 4 Sri Lanka Killing Fields: is a trial at The Hague the answer?

June 16 (IBT) Following the renewed international interest regarding the Sri Lankan civil war after the broadcast of "Sri Lanka Killing Field" on Channel 4, Ban Ki-Moon has suggested that he can only establish an international investigation if the Sri Lankan govt consents, which seems highly unlikely. As the documentary demonstrated, those who first bore the disastrous consequences of the civil war were the civilians, as perhaps as many as 40,000 - of them were killed in more..

UK Sri Lanka Tamils fear forced deportation

June 16 (BBC) About 20 Tamil asylum seekers facing the prospect of being deported from Britain to Sri Lanka have told the BBC that their lives are in danger. They will be deported from the UK on a chartered flight due to leave London on Thursday. The UK Foreign Office pressed Sri Lanka on Wednesday to investigate alleged atrocities during its civil war against Tamil rebels. Britain's Channel 4 showed what it said were extrajudicial killings of Tamils. more..

FUTA and JTUA : Never the Twain Shall Meet?

June 16 (LG) FUTA stands for the Federation of University Teachers Associations. JTUA stands for the Joint Trade Unions Alliance—the Alliance which organized the protests against the proposed pension scheme in the Free Trade Zone. These days both Unions are attracting public attention because they have embarked on trade union actions. FUTA has a series of demands, the principal among which is higher salaries for university academics, which would, in the long-run, more..

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa must visit Sri Lanka

June 16 (LG) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa must undertake a fact finding mission to Sri Lanka with the blessing of the Central government to meet the war ravaged Tamil people who are yearning for justice and freedom from oppression of the military state of Sri Lanka. Her visit will be a record breaking event as no Tamil Nadu Chief Ministers have visited Sri Lanka post independence of India. Her visit must be independent from the state military/ more..

Devivaru, Arsenic and Science

June 16 (LG) The ITI that first refused to test for Arsenic in samples of water from Rajarata wells supplied by the University of Kelaniya has apparently carried out tests to find out whether Arsenic is present in samples of pesticides either collected by them or provided by some other government authority. According to the tests supposed to have been carried out at the ITI, Arsenic is present in two brands of pesticides out of about ten. more..

Thanksgiving to NGO culture and Brickbat to Our Man at UNO

June 16 (DM) Local NGOs’ heavily funded by foreign currency, express worthy textbook homilies on transparency, accountability, humanitarian concerns and good governance, aspects that require genuine attention in a country where there is a need for an urgent revisit for a revision on the present revulsion against such infirmities. The need is for genuine watchdogs and not pretentious lap dogs that bark for juicy bones on offer by their foreign master-sirs. more..

The vision of the Mahinda Chintana and the people’s expectations

June 16 (DM) Today almost every minister or government politician quotes the Mahinda Chintana and it appears to be a mantra for their actions. In fact even bureaucrats seem to emulate them and justify their various acts, even if they are contrary to the expectations of the people, stating that they are working according to the Chintana. One really tends to wonder whether they really understand the actual idealism and the vision incorporated in the Chintana. more..

Climate Change: It’s time to find remedies!

June 16 (NS) Except for war, which is directly generated because of man’s hatred, the second worst thing which affects planet earth on a mass scale is climate change. The consequences of climate change affect our very existence on earth, but we turn a blind eye to these consequences till the next major natural disaster strikes somewhere in the world. Year by year the consequences of climate change affect us more frequently and in bigger magnitudes but more..

After Poson, Sri Lanka faces moment of truth

June 16 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vannakam, assalamu alliakum and best wishes for all the blessings of Poson as the government is dragged deeper into an international diplomatic battle over alleged atrocities during the final stages of the war. Poson today marks the advent of Buddhism to Sri Lanka when Arahath Mahinda Thera brought the Buddha’s message of love, mercy and non-violence. His first words to King Devanampiyatissa who was on a deer hunt were, more..

Mahindagamanaya and the endowments of social behaviour and cultural values

June 16 (DM) Buddhism did not come all alone to Sri Lanka. Religious piety, social behaviour and the cultural values are the important endowments associated with the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Gauthama Buddha visited Sri Lanka on three occasions and preached Dharma to the rulers In the Northern and Western regions and the central hills. However, Buddhism had not been established firmly in this country as in the case of North India and Nepal presumably because more..

Multi million rupee loss at Trinity College

June 16 (SL) In an astounding revelation Trinity College principal Brigadier Udaya Ariyaratne said that stupendous mismanagement of college funds have resulted in a loss of an astronomical amount of monies exceeding two hundred million rupees, at this prestigious college. Gamini Dullewe, former administration manager, states that according to the audited reports there is a deficit of Rs. 202,000,000 in the college funds from the period 2000 to 2008. more..

Editorial: Why should the corrupt panic unnecessarily?

June 16 (Island) Differently spelt as the words, 'Sri Lanka Cricket' and 'corruption' are, they, more or less, have the same thing. Last year, the then Sports Minister C.B. Ratnayake got it wrong when he claimed that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was the third most corrupt institution in the country. He thought the first and second places went to the education establishment and the police respectively. He denied the SLC its due place, we reckon. It has remained unbeaten in more..

Editorial: Dr. Sigh's visit to boost Indo-Lanka ties

June 16 (DM) The announcement by the Indian center to ‘strengthen’ relations between Sri Lanka and India by way of a visit to the country by the Indian Premier Manmohan Singh, must come as a welcome shift in Indian diplomacy often seen taking uncalled for dips. India is the friend and neighbour we can ill afford to have on a wrong footing, especially at this stage. Coming in the wake of the recent adoption of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to seek redress on the allegations more..

National dog sanctuary: Whoof or Goof?

June 16 (LB) The Ministry of Heath plans to set up a National Dog Sanctuary in Anuradhapura to find a lasting solution to the spread of rabies and cut down on millions of rupees spent to buy rabies vaccines. The Ministry had also understood the importance of combating the threat posed to the public by stray dogs as a sum of 250 million rupees is spent annually for this purpose. Besides, the Ministry also annually incurs another more..