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Editorial: Revisiting the Wellassa Holocaust

Mar 14 (Island) The Sri Lankan government has decided to nullify retrospectively the British Governor Robert Brownrigg's proclamation condemning all those involved in the Wellassa Rebellion against the British in 1818 as traitors. We think the government is going to do what the British imperialists should have done themselves before leaving the then Ceylon. Cynics, critics of the government and ardent anglophiles may pooh-pooh the proposed revocation of the draconian more..

Indo-Sri Lankan fishing problem; Part 2

PLOTE displeased with the government attitude

Mar 14 (LG) The Canadian based members of the Peoples Liberation Organisation Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) met the Deputy High Commissioner of the Sri Lanka Mission Karunaratne Paranawitharane on 6 March 2011 and discussed several issues affecting the Tamil people in Sri Lanka. In the three hours of meeting, PLOTE members expressed their strong displeasure on the issue of container loads of materials deliberately held at the Colombo port sent by their members to the victims of the war. more..

Another war hero gets new house from Seva Vanitha Unit of MoD

Mar 14 (MoD) Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence handed over a newly built house to another disabled war hero today (12 March) morning. Chairperson of the Seva Vanitha Unit Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa ceremonially handed over the keys of this newly built house to Sgt. Kolonnage of Commando Regiment. Sergeant Kolonnage KAWN of Commando Regiment had fought many fierce battles against the LTTE terrorists and unfortunately during the last humanitarian operation he lost his leg and became a disabled. more..

Call to boycott Colombo defence seminar

Mar 14 (BBC) An international human rights watchdog has called on over 50 invited countries to boycott a conference aimed at sharing Sri Lanka's war experience. The Sri Lankan government has invited militaries of 54 countries for the "Defeating Terrorism Sri Lankan Experience” to be held from 31 May to 02 June in Colombo. But Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it "understands" that some of the key invitees have already decided not to take part. more..

Waste water management in Colombo and Kandy

Mar 14 (Island) The govt had launched several projects to develop drainage facilities throughout the country. The Colombo Southern Catchment Rehabilitation Project had been completed last year at a cost of Rs.2, 222 million and nearly 180,000 persons were benefiting from this project, the government said. Another mega project currently being implemented is the Phase I Waste Water Disposal Project for Ratmalana, Moratuwa, Ja-Ela and Ekala areas. more..

WC 2011: Australia beat Kenya by 60 runs

Mar 14 (CI) Australia's World Cup campaign resumed with an ultimately comfortable 60-run victory against Kenya, although Collins Obuya's unbeaten 98 meant the Associate nation took pride out of the contest. An upset was never on the cards but Kenya put in their best performance of the tournament with the highlight being the 115-run stand between Obuya and Tanmay Mishra. The imposing run chase had been set up by a 114-run partnership between Michael Clarke and more..

Bad light thwart Thomian victory bid

Mar 14 (SO) The 132nd Battle of the Blues cricket encounter between Royal College and S. Thomas' College ended in an exciting draw at SSC grounds yesterday. S.Thomas' chasing Royal's challenging victory target of 268 in 54 overs, made a bold reply scoring 234 for 4 when bad light stopped play after 41 overs on the third and final day of their annual cricket encounter which had a nail-biting finish. Resuming the final day at their overnight second innings total of 99 for one more..

Let’s put it across with the indelible cross

Mar 14 (ST) My dear voter, I thought I must write to you because most of you will be called upon to vote yet again on Thursday despite doing your democratic duties several times in the last two years in provincial, presidential and general elections. I know you may not be really keen on voting this time around; after all, there is a World Cup going on and most of you are more interested in the number of runs Mahela makes or Malinga’s hairstyle rather than being bothered about more..

Karuna alleges Pillaiyan TMVP corrupt

Mar 14 (TN) "The TMVP led by the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan is a political party full of corruption and deceit. Pilliayan has no support from the government," said Resettlement Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan alias Karuna. "Pilliayan became the Chief Minister due to votes of Tamils. He is now hanging on the government to show Tamils that he has the support of the govt. He cannot act alone," said Karuna more..

Indo-Sri Lankan fishing problem; Part 1

Parental neglect leads to rape

Mar 14 (LB) The Children’s and Women’s Protection Bureau attached to the Mirihana police has begun an investigation in the alleged rape of a 15-year-old school girl studying in Grade 10 at a leading girls’ school in Nugegoda, recently. It has been revealed that the girl’s mother had married for the second time, and has as a result, neglected her daughter’s education and well-being. The girl is said to have left her home on February 28 dressed in the school uniform more..

Junket for provincial councillors at tax payers’ expense

Mar 14 (NS) Of the 55 members forming the Southern Provincial Council from Galle, Matara and Hambantota Districts, 45 members both from the UPFA and UNP are in agreement to embark on a foreign tour. This trip covers China and Thailand over a period of six days. The JVP would go to courts to stop it, the party’s Galle District councillor Nalin Hewage announced. The three JVP councillors along with UPFA councillors Ven Baddegama Samitha Thera and Minister UGD Ariyathileka have opposed the tour. more..

Govt attacks NGO funding again

Mar 14 (LB) The govt should address its unwillingness to fund policy making institutes and its subsequent dependence on funds disbursed by NGOs and other donors before it makes sporadic allegations against NGOs said former Chairman, Select Committee of Parliament to Investigate the Operations of NGOs and their Impact, MP Vijitha Herath. In the recent weeks the government has taken up once again its attacks on NGOs, their funding sources, activities and accountability. more..

Some Lankans affected by Japanese tsunami – relatives

Mar 14 (Island) Several Sri Lankans living in the Port city of Hitachi, North of Tokyo have been affected by Friday’s earthquakes and the attendant tsunami, sources told The Island. Some of them received injuries which were not serious. Families of those working in Japan told The Island that the victims had managed to call them. Sources said that there were about 15,000 to 20,000 Sri Lankans working in Japan. The majority of them are in Chiba and Tokyo. more..

'Take a leaf out of Indian Opposition's book'

Mar 14 (Hindu) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa wants the opposition political parties in the country to emulate the behaviour of the main Indian Opposition parties when national pride was at stake. Addressing a meeting at Matara, the President said that however much divided the Opposition parties were in India, once they stepped out, their national pride took over. They not only refrained from criticising the conduct of their government when in foreign soil; more..

Food outlet favourite leaves a bad taste

Mar 14 (ST) It was a ‘surprise visit’ and as men, women and children were tucking into their favourite menu option at the Colombo outlet of a popular food chain, a team from the Public Health Department of the Colombo Municipal Council walked into the kitchen last morning and took samples of the food for testing. The three-member team headed by the Medical Officer of Health and comprising a Food Inspector and a Public Health Inspector from more..

Veteran banker cautions over slow FDI inflows

Mar 14 (BL) One of Sri Lanka’s veteran bankers, Commercial Bank Plc Chairman, Mahendra Amarasuriya, cautioned the govt over slow inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs). “While economic activity has increased, the inflow of FDI has been slow. Therefore, the onus is on the government to instill confidence in the minds of prospective foreign investors,” Amarasuriya said in the bank’s Annual Report 2010/11 released this week. “Inflation continues to be a worry. more..

SEC to rent three BOI floors; life back to normal at BOI

Mar 14 (ST) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is to rent three floors of the Board of investment’s (BOI) four vacant floors at the World Trade Centre (WTC), according to BOI and SEC sources. “The balance floor has been rented out early this month to Muthu Sivalingam, Deputy Minister Economic Development,” a BOI source said. The restructuring has now come to a stop at the 24th floor and the source said that relocation of the other departments at the country’s more..

Global Energy eyeing refinery deal in H’tota

Mar 14 (BL) World renowned Global Energy has signed a MoU to set up a 150,000 bpd (Barrels Per Day) refinery in the emerging port city of Hambantota. The refinery estimated to cost between US $ 1.5 to 2bn (Rs.166.5 to 222bn), is said to be thrice the size of the current state-run Sapugaskanda Refinery and will mainly refine crude oil for the export market, with Hambantota poised to become a mega global hub in energy, shipping and aviation. more..

Life size cut-out of President destroyed

Mar 14 (NS) A life size cut-out of President Mahinda Rajapaksa was burned down completely in the wee hours at Ambalantota yesterday (12). The cut out was erected by Ambalantota Pradeshiya Sabha UPFA candidate Munasir Casim. The cut out has been set on fire at around 2.30 am. The huge cut out has been set up at the entrance to the Bolana colony in Ambalantota. The Bolana colony, a predominantly Muslim settlement, was established by Justice M. T. Akbar during the British period. more..

‘Attack’ on TNA MP S. Sridharan lacks credibility - DIG

Mar 14 (LB) The government and security circles are expressing doubts on the genuineness of the report on the recent alleged attack on TNA MP S. Sridharan where his convoy came under fire at the Ulukkulama junction on the Anuradhapura-Puttalam road. They suspect that this latest alleged attack is part of a story that the TNA is planning to present before the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, shortly, to seek redress for their so-called grievances. more..

Japan fights to avert nuclear meltdown after quake

Mar 14 (Reuters) Japan battled on Monday to prevent a nuclear catastrophe and to care for millions of people without power or water in its worst crisis since World War Two, after a massive earthquake and tsunami that are feared to have killed more than 10,000 people. A badly wounded nation has seen whole villages and towns wiped off the map by a wall of water, leaving in its wake an international humanitarian effort of epic proportions. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 14.8-pct in Feb

Mar 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 14.8 percent to 65,797 in February 2011 from a year earlier, though visitors from key generating markets in the United Kingdom and Germany dropped. February arrivals were also lower than the January peak of 74,197 as the Western European winter season drew to a close. In 2010 tourist arrivals rose 46 percent to 654,476 from low base in 2009 when a 30-year war ended with arrivals growth 30 to 40 percent a month. more..

Candidates unaware of rules

Mar 14 (DM) There were instances in the Vanni District where even candidates were ignorant about the fact that a voter could mark his or her three preferential votes for the same candidate at local government elections, election monitors said yesterday. For the first time in the post war period, the local government elections will be held in Vanni on March 17. Executive Director of the PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchi said after a voter education programme in the Vanni more..

JVP proposes new strategies

A Sri Lankan outpost

Mar 14 (WSJ) The bright lights and restaurant hawkers of the East Village's Curry Row tend to overshadow Sigiri, the lone Sri Lankan restaurant among the many Indian eateries. But the five-year-old establishment—named after the famed Lion Rock fortress in central Sri Lanka—holds its own, attracting a predominantly South Indian and Sri Lankan clientele. Sigiri's weekday lunch special of rice, three vegetable curries, a lentil curry, and a choice of chicken, beef, pork, fish or prawns more..

Army inaugurates Air-ticketing office for public

Mar 14 (MoD) The first-ever Army-managed ticketing agency, 'Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd', hitherto temporarily housed at the Army Headquarters complex, moved into its new location, No 31, Kew Road, Colombo-02 on Monday, enabling the public also to reserve their own overseas tickets. Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the invitation of the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, declared open the new 'Air Travel Services (Pvt) Ltd' as Chief Guest more..

CB asks OECD to raise Lanka’s ranking

Mar 14 (DM) The Central Bank has lobbied the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) headquartered in Brussels to reflect Sri Lanka’s improved debt servicing capacity, among other things, in its ranking of countries, so that future borrowings could be made at a lower interest rate. The OECD is an international economic organisation of 34 countries founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. more..

'The greatest achievement for Sri Lanka is lasting peace'

Mar 14 (SLE) A group of Washington professionals met with Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya at a March 10 reception to gain a better understanding of current developments in Sri Lanka. The Washington Intergovernmental Professional Group, whose members meet with embassies and U.S. government officials, joined the ambassador to discuss Sri Lanka’s economy, trade opportunities and relations with the U.S. more..

UNP to move no confidence motion against DM over claim of LTTE camps in TN

Mar 14 (Island) The UNP has decided to bring in a no confidence motion against Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, who recently said in Parliament that there were three LTTE training camps in South India. UNP party spokesman said that Prime Minister Jayaratne had claimed during the last Emergency debate that LTTE cadres were being trained in camps in India. The Premier had misled the legislature and he should step down immediately, more..

Rubber prices witness sharp drop

Mar 14 (DM) A sharp drop was evident in Rubber prices due to depressed international markets. Latex crepe 1X came down to Rs.545 whilst RSS1 was down to Rs 525 at the latest Colombo rubber auction. A veteran Bangkok-based trader said rubber prices aren’t expected to stabilize for another few weeks, although they may regain momentum to test new highs thereafter due to the low-production season. more..

Indians among top tourists to Lanka

Mar 14 (ET) Emerging from the shadows of militancy, Sri Lanka's booming tourism industry recorded another 30 per cent jump for the first two months of this year, with Indians topping the list of holiday makers in the island. The total number of foreign tourists visiting the island jumped to 139,994 in January and February, up from 108,057 for the corresponding period last year, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism statistics released today. more..

Tourist zones affiliated to fisheries harbours soon

Mar 14 (DN) The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry will set up Tourist Zones affiliated to fisheries harbours islandwide, said Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne. The Ministry will take action to convert Beruwela to an economic zone. “This will help attract tourists to Sri Lanka and develop those areas,” he added. He was addressing a meeting at the Beruwela fisheries harbour recently. more..

Supreme court reinstates SSP Kudahetti

Mar 14 (DM) Senior Superintendent of Police Chandana Kudahetti, who was on compulsory leave, has been re-instated on the direction given by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had also observed that if the Defence Secretary had been properly informed by the IGP, the Defence Secretary might not have taken the decision to send SSP Kudahetti on the compulsory leave in the absence of cogent evidence. more..

Australia mulling helping Sri Lankans to return

Mar 14 (Island) Australia is looking at the possibility of funding the return of some of the large number of Sri Lankans now in detention in Thailand. Currently there are around 190 Sri Lankans, mainly Tamils, detained in Bangkok for violating Thai immigration laws by either overstaying their visas or illegally entering the country. Some of them came here hoping to get asylum in a third country by taking the legal route via more..

Must monitor food imported from Japan

Mar 14 (NN) Food imported or brought to Sri Lanka from parts of Japan where radiation may have spread from a damaged nuclear power plant, may have to be tested for contamination, the Atomic Energy Authority in Sri Lanka said. Its chairman Professor W. Abeywickrama said that there is no immediate threat to Sri Lanka from the reported nuclear leak in Japan as, according to Japanese officials, only a 10-20km area had been sealed off. more..

Overseas Tigers shaken by debilitating split

Mar 14 (Island) A section of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) has revolted against V. Rudrakumaran, the self-appointed Prime Minister of the organisation causing chaos among various Diaspora factions. The rebel group consists of 34 self-styled MPs based in Australia(3), Canada(6), France(3), Germany(7), Italy(1), Denmark(3), Norway(3), Sweden(1) and UK(7). The TGTE comprised 102 ‘MPs’ based in various parts of the world. more..

WC 2011: Bangladesh beat Netherland by six wickets

Mar 15 (CI) The ball didn't turn much on a slow pitch in Chittagong but Netherlands' batsmen didn't have the skill to handle the nagging line and length from the battery of Bangladesh's left-arm spinners. They stabbed, plodded and meandered to 160 and Bangladesh wrapped up a six-wicket victory in a virtual must-win match. Shafiul Islam was luckless in a probing opening spell that read 6-3-7-0 but he was instrumental in strangling the Netherlands batsmen before more..

Sri Lanka land prices seen rising

Mar 15 (LBO) Land prices in Sri Lanka are set to rise with interest rates seen "benign" this year and remittances from migrant workers who send money back to build homes staying strong, the central bank said. Residential land prices, which declined sharply after reaching a peak in 2007, have started to rise again since June 2009, the bank said. Industrial land prices also peaked in 2007 and have begun to increase since June 2009 in the Colombo municipal area. more..