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As Gillard is asked of ICC & Australian Sri Lanka Citizen Kohona, UN still in denial

Mar 10 (ICP) Joint Australian - Sri Lankan citizen Palitha Kohona is the subject of a filing with the International Criminal Court for his role in presumptive war crimes in the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka. When contacted by the press, Kohona has refused to “dignify” the case. On March 9, Inner City Press asked Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard about this filing against Kohona, more..

South Korea jobs ‘under-utilised’

Mar 10 (DM) Sri Lanka had been unable to utilize two thirds of the job quotas given by South Korea during the last five years. South Korea had offered 48,800 job opportunities during the period, but only 16,501 persons had left for that country for employment. According to an answer tabled in the House by the government, 7300 job openings had been given in 2010, but only 3,583 persons had left for that country. more..

IT to be taught from Grade 6

Mar 10 (DM) Information Technology (IT) would be introduced to the school curriculum for students above Grade 6 from next year, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. “It was pointed out by education experts that five aspects in the local education sector including IT, English, sports, mathematics and science and foreign languages and aesthetics should be further improved and updated. more..

U.S. Govt gives $4 Million more in emergency food aid

Mar 10 (USE) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the development agency of the U.S. Government, is pleased to announce a new donation of $4,200,000 (462 million Rupees) of food aid to support the return of IDPs in Northern Sri Lanka. Consisting of wheat flour, lentils, and vegetable oil, USAID’s second shipment of food aid this year will be distributed by more..

HR Minister defends relationship with KP, Daya Master et al

Mar 10 (Island) Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the government wouldn’t hesitate to work even with those who were in control of LTTE operations. He says a decision to accommodate ‘KP’ and the likes of George Master and Daya Master was in line with their policy to obtain the support of one and all regardless of their involvement with the LTTE. Malaysia handed over ‘KP’ to Sri Lankan intelligence in Aug. 2009. more..

Tamil migrant pursues living in Canada despite deportation order

Mar 10 (CI) An MV Sun Sea passenger who admitted he was a member of the Tamil Tigers isn’t giving up on his dream of living in Canada even though he’s been ordered deported, the man’s lawyer said Wednesday. Robin Bajer said his client – who can’t be identified because of a publication ban – is still considering his options after the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled earlier this week that he was inadmissible to Canada. more..

'Tax reduction legislation before parliament shortly'

Mar 10 (Island) Amendments to finance, tax and investment related legislation, aimed at reducing taxes and simplifying the system, would be presented to parliament shortly, the govt said. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said that the proposed amendments, in keeping with the budget proposals, when enacted, would result in a reduction in the number of taxes payable by a person and simplify and improve the effectiveness of tax administration. more..

LTTE has camps in Tamil Nadu, says Jayaratne

Mar 10 (Hindu) Camps exist in Tamil Nadu where the LTTE cadre are being trained, Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said in Parliament on Wednesday. The Daily Mirror online quoted the Prime Minister as saying that there are three such LTTE secret training centres. In one of the camps, cadres are given exclusive training on VIP assassinations. more..

Dilshan and Tharanga set up huge total

Mar 10 (CI) When Elton Chigumbura chose to bowl in Pallekele, to avoid his spinners having to struggle with a dew-soaked ball, little did he think his team would fail to take a wicket for 44.3 overs. But Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga batted forever, notching up the first double-century opening partnership in World Cup history, and their hundreds steered Sri Lanka to a formidable total in pursuit of a victory that will make their place in the quarterfinals more..

Dpty Ministers clash

Mar 11 (NN) Two Deputy Ministers were involved in a heated argument during a rally in Matale this evening with one Deputy Minister being subsequently assaulted. Deputy Minister of Higher Education Nandimithra Ekanayake, said that he was assaulted on stage at a UPFA rally by supporters of Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Dissanayake following an altercation between the two. Ekanayake said that he was asked to attend the rally by the Presidential Secretariat as MP Namal Rajapaksa was also to attend. more..

Tense situation at Kelaniya Uni

Mar 11 (DM) A fight broke out at the Kelaniya University between two student factions injuring a few students with one being admitted to hospital, Inter University Students Union (IUSF) convener Sanjeewa Bandara said today. “A student who was bleeding was rushed to the hospital while a few received minor injuries,” Mr. Bandara said. According to him a heated argument broke out between a few students of rival groups and it led to a fight. more..

'Pass information on LTTE camps to Delhi'

Mar 11 (NN) The UNP is calling on the government to reveal the source from where they got information regarding claims that the LTTE was being trained in Tamil Nadu and if the information was not from the Indian government then the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka should be summoned and the details shared with him. UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera told reporters that this information regarding the LTTE being trained in Tamil Nadu seems to have been shared with more..

Tamil Sri Lankan gangs in Paris clash

Mar 11 (NN) Two Tamil Sri Lankan gangs clashed sometime between Sunday night and Monday early morning in La Courneuve, Paris killing one and injuring another, sources in France quoted the French media as saying. Two swords were recovered at the scene of the incident on Monday with the hands of the dead man cut off. Report said the dead Sri Lankan man had wounds on his head as well while another Tamil who was injured, was found lying on the floor in the same area. more..

CEB earns profits

Mar 11 (LBO) Ceylon Electricity Board, the island's state-run power utility ended 2010 in profits and is also cash positive being able to settle is payments on time, power minister Patali Ranawaka said. The CEB had sold 121.86 billion rupees of power including 2.6 billion rupees worth energy for street lighting which has to be paid by the Treasury. With other income it had total revenues of 125.4 billion rupees. It had expenses of 120.4 billion rupees more..

Street children out

Mar 11 (NN) The government is keen to completely remove children off the streets and legal measures have been put in place to deter the exploitation of children for economic benefits to their guardians. A statement presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva yesterday by Sri Lanka said that the problem of street children in Sri Lanka is minimal and is being addressed with a holistic approach taking into account both the root causes and prevailing conditions. more..

Hilton says will discuss with Govt.

Mar 11 (SL) Hilton Hotels and Resorts has today (10) stated that it would continue with its normal business operations while discussing the change in ownership with the Sri Lankan government. The Hilton released a statement that read, “Hilton Hotels & Resorts (Hilton) has a management agreement to operate Hilton Colombo on behalf of Hotel Developers (Lanka) PLC, since more than 20 years ago and this management agreement currently remains in place. more..

Election malpractices: Worst incident from Ampara

Mar 11 (NF) Election observers say that the election malpractices have been reported from many areas and the most serious violation was reported from the Ampara district. The Executive Director of the CAFFE Keerthi Tennakoon, an election monitoring body said that persons were arrested in relation to such incidents in certain areas well. “Fourteen such incident were reported over this period and that the most serious violation was reported from the Ampara district. more..

Lankan govt's claim on LTTE camps in TN baseless: India

Mar 11 (HT) Tamil Nadu Police refuted the Sri Lankan government's reported claim about the presence of LTTE camps in the state, saying it was "baseless and devoid of any reality". "The alleged training camps of US-based V Rudrakumaran, Norway-based Nediyavan and Vinayagam are denied and there is no evidence suggesting that they have established a base in Tamil Nadu to create civil war in Sri Lanka and kill Indian leaders," more..

Sampath Bank expands branches

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Sampath Bank said it plans to set up 40 branches this year, including some in the former north-east war zone, hire more staff and look for mergers as margins get thinner. Sampath Bank chairman I W Senanayake said they opened 40 new branches in 2010 alone, adding to the 19 set up the previous year, and at least 40 more branches are planned for 2011. Many of the new branches will be in the north and east which are recovering after the end of more..

Heavy rain cut Sri Lanka's Jan tea output by 23 pct

Mar 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea production in January fell 23 percent from a year earlier due to heavy rains, the state-run tea board said on Thursday. Tea output in January fell 23 percent to 20.7 million kg against 26.9 million in the same month last year. "Heavy rain and earth slips have affected the production and reduced the number of plucking days," H.D. Hemarathne, director general of the Sri Lanka Tea Board, said more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 10.03.2011

CEB denies outstanding debt with CPC

Mar 11 (AD) Following the statement that it has earned profits of Rs. 5 billion in the year 2010, the CEB clarified that it has done so while not exerting any burden on another organization. The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) stated earlier today that around 80% of its losses were due to providing the CEB with fuel at a subsidized rate. However, the CEB clarified with Ada Derana that the Treasury had taken over the amount of Rs. 52 billion owed to the CPC by the CEB more..

Sri Lanka sees more people pawning products

Mar 11 (N360) There has been high demand from the Sri Lankan public for pawning products during the year 2010 thus helping the local banks to increase its lending through pawning advances. Central Bank says the local banks also displayed a preference for lending through pawning advances during the last year. The Bank said this was evident with the number of new pawning products introduced by banks. Accordingly, the share of pawning advances in total loans of the banking industry more..

Dilshan show takes SL to quarters

Mar 11 (CI) Brendan Taylor and Regis Chakabva emulated the feat of Sri Lanka's openers and added a century stand for Zimbabwe's first wicket, setting the stage for an improbable shot at the target of 328. Taylor was at the forefront of the pursuit, combining orthodoxy and innovation during an aggressive half-century, while Chakabva held firm at the other end, until Muttiah Muralitharan's doosra fooled his defences. more..

A man was brutally tortured by Anamaduwa Police on mistaken identity

Mar 11 (LG) Mr. Koronchige Nihal De Silva (28) of 'Ashoka Niwasa', Parawakandagama, Anamaduwa in Puttalam district was illegally arrested and severely tortured by police officers attached to the Anamaduwa Police Station on 2 January 2011. He was hung on the beam and beaten with poles by four police officers for 40 minutes. While he was being tortured the police demanded that he confess to stealing Rs. 85,000.00. The victim refused the allegation and pleaded innocent. more..

Some comments on the U.S. Senate resolution

Mar 11 (LG) The paucity of comments on the U.S. Senate’s unanimous Resolution on Sri Lanka so far except for the official response of the Ministry of External Affairs and a very brief comment in the Editorial in the Sunday Island March 3, 2011.and an equally brief reference in The Sunday Times Political Column of the same day, makes me wonder if this is an indication that the Senate Resolution is not being taken too seriously over here since it is a non-binding one, more..

'Tamils only want Chelvanayagam’s demands met- not Prabakaran’s'

Mar 11 (TC) Q: The attack on Jaffna district TNA MP Sridharan in Nochchiyagama has raised serious concerns on the security of politicians. How concerned are you as a fellow Tamil MP from the North? A: We can’t understand why it took place in an area like Anuradhapura. The government must take responsibility and explain why and who was behind it. We are still in the dark about the attack. more..

Civil unrest and role of migrant workers

Mar 11 (LG) What started on December 17, 2010 with an act of self immolation by Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old man trying to support his family by selling fruits and vegetables in the central town of Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia, led to massive protests in the country, resulting in the overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the country’s President on January 14, 2011. On January 25, 2011 protests, at least partly inspired by the toppling of the authoritarian government in Tunisia, more..

Mentally retarded person tortured by Thalawakele Police

Mar 11 (LG) Mr. Alagumail Mohan (25) of Line-10, Thalawakele Estate, Thalawakele in the Nuwara Eliya District who was diagnosed as being mentally retarded was tortured whilst under treatment. Mohan was illegally arrested and severely tortured by police officers attached to the Thalawakele Police Station on 15 February 2011. When Mohan was brought to the police station he was beaten and kicked, humiliated with obscene language and knocked about his head. more..

'Mutual respect, goodwill - the need of the hour'

Mar 11 (SO) The world is shrinking into a `global village'. Therefore race, religion, caste and creed become immaterial in a highly globalised system. What is important is the ability to interact not on the basis of ethnicity but on the basis of matual respect, character, merit and goodwill. That is what matters in a country of multi ethnicity, says President of the Federation of Malaysian Sri Lanka Organisations (FOMSO) Dato S. Kulasegaran, more..

Foundation stone for Kanagarayankulam cultural & vocational training centres laid

Mar 11 (MoD) The foundation-laying ceremony for the proposed cultural and vocational training centre at Kanagarayankulam area under 56 Division took place recently. A charity organization from Germany has offered its sponsorship for the construction and commencement of the ceremony began after the traditional oil lamp was lit. Religious rites and rituals blessed the project. Ms Usula Bayer, a representative from the German organization, more..

Are you a true diplomat Dr. Dayan?

Mar 11 (LG) There is much talk about ‘Accountability’ and ‘War Crimes’ in regards to Sri Lankan war issue at the global level. There are credits and debits of Accountability being attributed as per the side taken. What does the Balance Sheet say? How is this activity geared ? Is it through Onwership Capital, Loans or short term credits? This Balance Sheet is our history. A Balance Sheet needs to present a ‘True & Fair View’ of the state of affairs of an organization. more..

Mattala int'l airport to breathe new life for Hambantota

Mar 11 (SO) Lack of water for drinking and irrigation was one of the biggest problems the Hambantota area faced. Even the former Government Agent and legendary writer Sir Leonard Woolf had mentioned this in his books as well as in his reports. There were a few lakes which had all turned green with weeds and polluted water while the adjoining land was barren and seemed like a desert. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said that one of the first things the population in the area wanted from them was a more..

The desecration of graves in Jaffna: Path to reconciliation?

Mar 11 (GV) The following article was published in the Uthayan newspaper on 5 March 2011. The translation to English is based on a Sinhala translation published in Vikalpa. Not a single Sinhala newspaper to date has published a similar account, though many reported on the opening of the new Army Headquarters in Jaffna. Of the English media, only the Daily Mirror quotes a BBC report on the desecration of the graves. As well-known blogger Guruparan more..

Uprooted Tamils from Puthukkudiyiruppu still strive for resettlement

Mar 11 (TN) Large number of Tamil families from Mullaiththeevu district of Vanni, forcibly displaced and still held behind barbed wire camps in Menik Farm and other places, are yet to be allowed into their native villages in Puthukkudiyiruppu. The occupying Sri Lankan military has only allowed civilians to enter 6 of 19 Village Officer (GS) divisions in Puthukkudiyiruppu. So far, Only 68,846 persons from 23,050 families have been resettled in 65 out of 92 Village Officer more..

'No security guarantee for Tamil MPs'

Mar 11 (TN) Over the attack on his vehicle at Nochchiyagama on Monday, TNA Ki'linochchi district MP S. Sreetharan said in Parliament on Wednesday, “It is clear that there is no security guarantee for MPs in this country. How can a Tamil here expect security from the state?” He further stated that while he was passing Medawachchiya on Monday at 5:30 p.m., a white colored van without a number plate overtook their vehicle. more..

Editorial: World cup on a war footing

Mar 11 (DM) Sri Lanka, it must be said, practices two cultures -- one outdoors and the other indoors. The Cricket World Cup has emphasized this point beyond doubt and we Sri Lankans don’t need any further proof of it. Quoting a cricket fan, the Daily Mirror reported on Monday that it was appalling in this time of peace to see armed commandos popping out of jeeps, police pilot cars blazing their sirens in perfect harmony with accompanying ambulances and fire engines, more..

We will peak from next game - Dilshan

Mar 11 (DM) Tillakaratne Dilshan has sent out a warning to other teams that Sri Lanka will start playing their best cricket from their game against New Zealand on March 18 onwards, and keep improving as the tournament reaches its knockout stages. Dilshan's all-round performance on Thursday - he scored a century and took four wickets - helped Sri Lanka qualify for the quarter-finals with a win over Zimbabwe, but he said it was from now on that they had to be on the top of their game. more..

Coming soon: New buses, routes for city commuters

Mar 11 (FT) Ministry of Transport is busy rolling out a newly structured city commuting route deploying modern buses raising convenience and comfort levels for public. As per the fresh initiative the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will launch five services encompassing some of the most patronised routes within Colombo. Modern and spacious buses which are commonly used in Southeast Asia will be deployed. more..

Cricket: Hands up for Sri Lanka's sport of national pride

Mar 11 (NZH) Sri Lanka may have looked slightly out of sorts at the World Cup so far but it has not detracted from the enthusiasm the people have for cricket - and life in general. There are not many sports where Sri Lanka can claim to have been world champions. This is a nation that has never won an Olympic gold medal, so beyond cricketers there are few sporting heroes. When Arjuna Ranatunga's side triumphed in 1996 over Australia in the World Cup final in more..