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More Lankans arrive from Libya

Mar 2 (NN) Twenty two Sri Lankans who escaped the deadly protests in Libya arrived in the country today after being stranded for days in Malta, the Foreign Employment Bureau (FEB) said. Deputy General Manager of the FEB, L.K. Ruhunuge told News that the 22 Sri Lankan nationals had fled Libya and reached Malta on a ship where arrangements were made to have them flown back home. more..

BOI chief Bandaranayake not resigning

Mar 2 (ST) The Board of Investment (BOI) on Wednesday denied reports and dismissed speculation that Chairman/Director General Jayampathi Bandaranayake was resigning over ‘discontent in the BOI”. “The Chairman has clarified that he had assumed duties at the BOI with specific understanding as to the tenure of office, the details of which cannot be disclosed given its sensitive nature. more..

'UNP turns LG polls campaign into Ranil, Sajith battle'

Mar 2 (Island) SLFP Treasurer Minister Dallas Alahapperuma says the main Opposition UNP has turned its LG polls campaign into a contest between the Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa factions. The Minister of Youth Affairs and Vocational Training alleges that the UNP factions are flexing their muscles before the April 12 deadline for a possible change in the party leadership. more..

Mangala owes millions to SLRC: Dallas

Mar 2 (DM) SLFP member and Youth Affairs Minister, Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday said UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera owed the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) Rs.18, 796,967 for air time related election propaganda. Last week UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella lashed out at the Government for abusing state resources and stated that the Government owed the SLRC Rs.42 million for air time. more..

'Hold postponed LG polls before May end'

Mar 2 (Island) The UNP yesterday called on the government to hold elections to the Local Councils, that have been postponed, before the end of May, to ensure that the accepted nominations do not lapse. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, said that according to the law, polls to 60 of the 301 local bodies, that have been delayed, should be held before the end of May, otherwise fresh nominations would have to be called, leading to further complications. more..

Sri Lanka Air Force celebrates 60th anniversary today

Mar 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) today celebrates its 60th anniversar falls on March 02, 2011. The main anniversary celebration was held at its Ratmalana Air Base with Commander in Chief, President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest. The Sri Lanka Air Force which was initiated by the British 60 years ago has turned out to be a highly professional Force true to its name by adopting the latest techniques. more..

The ghost of Tamil Tigers

Mar 3 (SG) Amidst the ho-ha of Sri Lanka losing a vital game against Pakistan on home turf Saturday during the ongoing World Cup cricket tournament, two significant developments escaped the attention of Sri Lankans interested in politics and human rights. The first event was an almost casual press conference where the former revolutionary Marxist group, the People’s Liberation Front known by the acronym JVP decided to call it quits to coalition or alliance politics and go it alone. more..

Strain in Nepal-Sri Lanka relation

Mar 3 (TN) Nepal’s each and every sector is experiencing a slide never recorded in the past. Be it in the domain of social, economy, education, health, and more so the politics, this dangerous slide could be well noticed albeit only those can observe this phenomenal slide who don’t have any cataract problem. We mean it because the meaning lay underneath. Nepali politics has been made a child’s play which is not only entertaining the particular child having the more..

'Govt should tender an apology to the Cricketers'

Mar 3 (LT) With regard to the remarks made by a Presidential Advisor via a state media on Cricketers of the National Team viz. Mahela Jayawardena and Thilan Samaraweera alleging them for match fixing, the leaders of the Govt including the Sports Minister should apologize to the cricketers, said JVP MP Vijitha Herath. He further said, “He is an Advisor to the President. This is a very serious statement. What is the evidence for such an allegation? more..

Australia wary of Malinga threat

Mar 3 (ES) The reigning champions are back in the business. After a tumultuous 18 months, Ricky Ponting's men, who are gunning for their fourth consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup title, will look to bury their demons and make a strong statement when they play co-hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo on Saturday. Two wins out of two in their latest ICC CWC campaign has sent out a strong signal to those seeking to snatch the crown from the Baggy Greens, but ahead of the crucial Group B clash, more..

Monthly telephone bill of the Commissioner of Examination Rs 150,000/-

Mar 3 (LT) The Education Ministry the monthly telephone bill of the Commissioner of Examinations usually exceeds Rs 150,000/-. The bill for the period 2010.10.16 to 2010.11.15 indicates a total of Rs 162,936.65. According to the employees of the Ministry of Education this is a substantial increase compared to the bill of an officer of the same grade. Hence they request immediate attention of the relevant authorities with regard to this matter. more..

Pakistan to gift 10 rare animals to Sri Lanka

Mar 3 (ET) Of the 63 rare animals sold off at an auction by Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, 10 were to be gifted to the Sri Lankan government by President Asif Zardari as a goodwill gesture. This was revealed as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ordered a high-level inquiry against top officials of Parc for being part of the scam. Meanwhile, a group of parliamentarian raised hue and cry in the National Assembly on Tuesday against the auction more..

Maha Shivarathri: President calls for stronger unity

Mar 3 (AD) May every lamp lit by Hindus to Lord Shiva on this Maha Shivarathri help dispel the darkness of ignorance and bring the light of stronger unity among all our peoples, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his message for Maha Shivarathri. Message: I am pleased to send my good wishes to Hindus in Sri Lanka who observe Maha Shivarathri, the festival in honour of Lord Shiva, which seeks to dispel all evil and enhance good in society. more..

Canada warns Lankans to beware of visa fraud

Mar 3 (AD) The Canadian High Commission warned Sri Lankans travelling to Canada to beware of unscrupulous individuals and institutions engaging in false or misleading advertising while many have already lost large sums of money only to find that they have failed to qualify for a visa. “We feel badly that people are victimized in this way. We want them to know that they should be very wary of giving money to anyone who seems to be offering assurances that a Canadian visa will be issued”, more..

Democracy in Sri Lanka: 'Green and red flags do not belong in Kelaniya'

Mar 3 (AD) Minister Mervyn Silva said that he had brought down all the red and green flags in the Kelaniya District and sent them to their designated places in respect of the religions they represent. He stated that blue was the colour of the God Vishnu before it became the colour of the SLFP and because Vishnu was at work in Kelaniya it was suitable for the blue flags to be hung. more..

Over 100 ex-Tigers set free

Mar 3 (NN) Over 100 former LTTE cadres were released to their families after undergoing rehabilitation to mark Mahasivarathri which is celebrated by Hindu’s worldwide today. At a function to mark the Mahasivarathri Day held in Vavuniya today, In total, 106 ex LTTE cadres were released to their families. This includes 104 males and two females. 26 rehabilitated former LTTE cadres were also issued certificates today after they successfully completed a Montessori training programme more..

Anger over Merv

Mar 3 (NN) The UNP and the JVP expressed outrage today over comments made by Minister Mervyn Silva that he will not allow the UNP and JVP to erect their flags in the Kelaniya electorate. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said that no one can impose restrictions other than the Elections Commissioner when it comes to election propaganda in any district. Minister Mervyn Silva was quoted in the media today as saying that he will not permit the UNP of JVP to erect their flags in the Kelaniya electorate. more..

Colombo-Tuticorin passenger ferry service postponed

Mar 3 (PTI) The much awaited Colombo-Tuticorin passenger ferry service that was scheduled to begin Wednesday was postponed indefinitely after India deployed the vessel for evacuation of its citizens from Libya. “The delay was due to India deploying the vessel earmarked for the service to evacuate the Indian workers from Libya”, Shantha Weerakoon, a ports ministry official said. The three voyage per week service was expected to provide service to more..

President is not afraid of foes whether amongst the living or not - Wimal

Mar 3 (AD) The President spent billions to repair and upgrade the R. Premadasa Stadium without changing its name or spending a little more and creating a new international stadium because he is not scared of the foes that are amongst the living let alone the foes who are not, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said. This statement was made in reply to an accusation made by UNP MP Sajith Premedasa who claimed that funds had not been set aside for the construction of homes and more..

School Uniforms in dissimilar colours this time!

Mar 3 (LT) It is reported that the Govt has failed to supply school uniforms in several districts of the country so far. According to Mr Kasun Malinda, Media Secretary of the students’ organization for safeguarding schools, unmatched uniforms in different colours have been supplied to some schools. Mr Kasun Malinda further stated, although two months have lapsed in the new school term, the Government has failed to supply the uniforms to the students. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 02.03.2011

NERDO’s role in Rehabilitation and Development

Mar 3 (LG) Canadian Tamils for Peace and Democracy (CaTpad) demands the Srilankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to come out with truth and to be transparent about North East Rehabilitation and Development Organization with is controlled by the former Head of LTTE International Operations and arms smuggler Kumaran Pathmanaban alias K.P. We strongly argue the present ruling government under President Mahinda Rajapakse has broken all the promises made to the people of Srilanka and more..

Going to the Boutique is not Kade Yaama

Mar 3 (LG) Sri Lankans know as much as any others around the block about how to further an international conspiracy. By itself this signifies tremendous progress, and I am proud of it. If you are conjuring visions in your brain about shocking Egypt and Libya style protests on the Sri Lankan streets, perish the thought. I’m going on here about much simpler things — such as boutique hotels for example. Boutique hotels? Yes, that is right, the biggest thing since more..

Army donates cows to Jaffna milk farmers on Maha Shiva Rathri Day

Mar 3 (Cimic) Commander Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe stated that Army has been able to get the support of donor organizations and individuals from the south in the Army’s effort to improve living standard of needy families in Jaffna. Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe expressed these ideas on Wednesday attending another CIMIC (Civil Military Coordination) project to hand over cows to poor milk farmers in the peninsula. more..

Diplomacy is key to meeting post-war challenges

Mar 3 (DM) The Post Conflict Foreign Policy Challenges for Sri Lanka, The J.E. Jayasuriya memorial lecture delivered by former Foreign Secretary Ambassador Palihakkara on the 14th of February is the best analysis of this important subject. It was a thought provoking, unambiguous recognition of realities and failures of our leaders and policy makers. The Former Secretary was brutally objective when he observed “The first contributor is a consistent pattern of more..

Lanka marches into HD muddle

Mar 3 (DM) My dear Mahinda ayya, Ayubowan, vanukkum, assalam allaikum and best wishes as Sri Lanka moves into March with some form of ides on the horizon. Powerful sections of the international community are reportedly planning to launch a multi-faceted political attack on alleged human rights abuses by the government and the LTTE during the final months of the war in 2009. The controversial experts panel appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban ki Moon to more..

Angampora crash course for Tony Greig

Mar 3 (FT) Sri Lanka’s new tourism ambassador on Monday got a crash course in learning ancient martial arts including movements to hold, grip, lock, knuckle, elbow, strike vital points on opponents’ bodies. Tony Greig, former English cricketer and international commentator, was rooted to his seat, as a bevy of shirtless martial arts men demonstrated how to inflict 107 pressure points and 12 death points on opponents. more..

Who led Egypt’s revolution?

Mar 3 (LB) The implications of the answer to this question for Sri Lanka are hypothetical because I think it is unlikely that an Egypt type uprising will break out here, at least not in the short term. I will explain my reasons a little later; nevertheless the answer to the ‘who led the revolution’ question is, hypothetically, of interest to Sri Lanka. The Egyptian Revolution (ER) has been called spontaneous; well that’s true in the sense that it was not planned more..

Perspectives on increasing foreign debt burden

Mar 3 (ST) The large increase in the country’s foreign debt in recent years is a serious concern. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt has increased considerably in recent years owing to expenditure on large infrastructure development projects, the financing of imports and loan repayments. Consequently by the end of 2009 the foreign debt had more than doubled what it was in 2000 to reach a massive US$ 18 billion. As much as 19 per cent of export earnings in that year were more..

Consul General in Los Angeles axed

Mar 3 (LG) Consul General Jeff Goonewardena has been recalled with immediate effect on the instructions of President Rajapaksa. The Sri Lanka Guardian has learned that the State Department will be notified tomorrow of the termination and that Ambassador Jaliya Wickremasuriya will be in Los Angeles shortly to assess the consulate’s future. Ironically, the axe fell even as the latest issue of the consul general’s publicity organ, more..

Editorial: Presidents and ejection seats

Mar 3 (Island) Yesterday, we carried a front page picture of President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspecting what remained of the ejection seats of two ill-fated SLAF fighter jets. That photograph was quite symbolic, in our book. For, ejection becomes the last resort when power goes out of control, be it in flying or politicking. The executive presidency, we think, is comparable to a supersonic fighter jet which is capable of awesome feats if properly manoeuvred or more..

Editorial: Who’s wall is it?

Mar 3 (DM) The Elections Department on Tuesday revoked its earlier decision to lift the ban on the use of posters by political parties and independent candidates. Well done Elections Commissioner! The department ordered the police to remove all posters, cut outs and banners related to the elections. The Elections Commissioner informed at a meeting of the party leaders that he decided to remove the ban on the use of posters as otherwise candidates had no means to more..

Uma Oya assesment cut and paste job: Was it deliberate?

Mar 3 (LB) EIA carried out for the Uma Oya project is full of false data, faulty analysis and had not followed the fundamentals of an EIA as defined by the National Environment Act, claim environmentalists. Despite the glaring flaws and gross inconsistencies the EIA which was carried out by the University of Sri Jayawardhanapura with the participation of 19 ‘researchers’ costing over 14 million rupees, was one of the highest costing EIAs of recent times. more..

Moving Tamil dissent politics beyond anti-LTTEism

Mar 3 (GV) To be able to engage in dissent politics one needs enormous courage. Not only in terms of the threats and dangers that come your way as a result of your decision to dissent (I remember Kethesh Loganathan once mentioning that when you dissent you risk bullets from multiple sides unlike when you take sides, when you have some cover) , but also whether you are convinced whether you are doing the right thing. Particularly, when you are faced with a situation where more..

Don’t stump the Stumpies of Hambantota

Mar 3 (ST) Last Sunday, World Cup cricket fever officially embraced Sri Lanka with the inaugural match witnessed by a packed crowd in the new 35,000 seat Hambantota Cricket Stadium. Dressed in blue, the mascot of the tournament - Stumpy the little jumbo was seen walking in the grounds waving a bat, while the TV footage captured its real life counterpart, a wild elephant at the boundary of the stadium in the background of surrounding scrub jungle. more..

Two years on, Sri Lankan nightmare won't go away

Mar 3 (HS) The sounds and images will stay with Sri Lanka's cricketers and their Australian coach, Trevor Bayliss, for the rest of their lives. Opening bat Tharanga Paranavitana with blood splattered across his chest; the ear-splitting "pop-pop-pop" of terrorists' AK-47s; star batsman Thilan Samaraweera slumped in agony, fighting for his life on the floor of the team bus after a bullet tore through his leg. They will never forget the fear of death. more..

WC 2011: Ireland beat England by 3 wickets

Mar 3 (CI) Kevin O'Brien stunned England with the fastest hundred in World Cup history as Ireland secured their greatest victory with a monumental three-wicket triumph in Bangalore. O'Brien clubbed a magnificent 113 off 63 deliveries as Ireland earned the highest World Cup run-chase with four balls to spare. After he'd added a match-changing 162 with Alex Cusack, John Mooney joined him to play the innings of his life and help write another famous chapter in Irish sport. more..

Govt. servants breaking law to contest

Mar 3 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayke said he had received complaints that some candidates contesting the local government elections who are govt servants had not either resigned or taken no-pay leave as required by election laws. The Elections Commissioner had instructed the Heads of Govt Establishments through a circular to take strict disciplinary action against those govt servants who are said to have violate the law to contest the election. more..

State banking giant BOC net profits up 106.4%

Mar 3 (Island) State-owned banking giant Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has recorded a net profit of Rs. 6.4 billion, during the financial year ending December 31, 2010, a 106.4 percent increase from the previous year. Profit before tax for the year crossed the Rs. 10 billion mark, to Rs 10.1billion - a 138.9 percent growth over the 2009. This is the highest ever profit on record at BOC, the bank said in a statement releasing its financial results. more..

Lt. Colonel complains of inhuman torture

Mar 3 (DM) A Lieutenant Colonel from Sri Lanka Army complained to the Supreme Court that he was arrested by the police and inhumanly tortured for nearly five months causing him life threatening injuries. Following the fundamental rights action filed by Lieutenant Colonel W.A.R.C. Perera, on the direction of the Supreme Court, the Chief Consultant Judicial Medical Officer, Colombo had issued a Medico-Legal report on the alleged assault which concluded that more..