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PAFFREL wants clarifications

May 1 (NS) The People’s Action for Free and Fair Election (PAFFREL) has requested for clarification from the Speaker regarding the establishment of the Delimitation Commission. In its proposals submitted to the Speaker, the PAFFREL has stated that the local authority minister should announce the criteria for selecting and removing members to the national commission and district committees and there should be provisions to select representatives from minority groups. more..

Govt. will respond to Ban’s report

May 1 (ST) The Government will respond to the United Nations Panel report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka next week. A note to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon signed by External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris will be sent through Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission at the United Nations in New York. It will set out the official position of Sri Lanka. A more comprehensive response which addresses the contents of the Panel report will follow later. more..

Double murder, and the suspect’s body found in a canal

May 1 (LB) Even before the excitement of the Sinhala and Hindu New Year could die down the country was gripped by the news of a gruesome murder of a mother and son in Biyagama. The murder of 36-year-old Lathika Hemaseeli and her eight-year-old son Ravindu Umesh happened at their home at Boralugala, Peragas Junction, Biyagama. Police had discovered the two bodies on April 18, after being informed by the Govt Agent Lalith Rupasena who was appraised of more..

Online visas for visitors to Lanka

May 1 (ST) Cabinet approval has been sought to activate the on-line visa facility for foreign visitors that will be tagged along with an administration fee. Immigration and Emigration Chief Chulananda Perera said any person intending to visit Sri Lanka could download a landing visa from his or her home computer and the guidelines regarding this would be sent to the travel trade and diplomatic missions. He said he could not say when the online facility would come into force, but more..

Govt. digging in for battle with UN

May 1 (ST) As the saga of the United Nations Panel report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is playing out in world capitals, the unfolding drama in Colombo has become a tragic-comedy in most aspects. This is whilst the govt, which chose to ignore the report, decided at the last minute to respond to the UN Secretary General. That is not all. It has also initiated important measures to rectify issues highlighted in the three-member UN Panel report. more..

Blake to keep his message ‘private’

May 1 (NS) Making his first visit to Sri Lanka since the release of a UN panel’s report on alleged human rights violations there, the Obama administration’s pointman for South and Central Asia Robert Blake has said the US wants to take forward its ties with Colombo. Blake, who left on a five-day trip to Sri Lanka and Maldives on Friday, said he would keep his message to the Government in Colombo “private” till he actually delivers it. more..

Envoy says Russia will protect Lanka at UN

May 1 (ST) Russia will oppose any move against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Security Council or the UN Human Rights Council following an experts' panel's report to the UN Secretary General on war crimes alleged to have taken place during the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka. Russian Ambassador Vladimir Mikhaylov assured that if some forces tried to push forward moves to punish or shame Sri Lanka, Russia would oppose them. more..

President to canvass Security Council

May 1 (NS) In a bid to ease the prevailing tension that has arisen following the publication of the controversial Darusman advisory panel report on Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is personally expected to write to all the 15 member states of the UN Security Council explaining the government’s position. President Rajapaksa is also likely to write personally to the five Super Powers with veto powers further explaining and pointing out more..

Kinpin Mervyn as King Dutugemunu

May 1 (ST) Minister Mervyn Silva was busy acting in a Sinhala film this week. The minister has been selected to act as King Dutugemunu in the film 'Surangana Lovin Awilla' produced by Suneth Malinga Lokuhewa. The shooting of the film took place in the Sigiriya area this week. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed ministers not to write letters to Colombo-based diplomatic missions recommending visas for any one. more..

Govt. stalls TNA request for power-sharing

May 1 (ST) The TNA met a team of government delegates on Friday to reiterate its request that the Concurrent List in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution be dropped. The five-member TNA delegation said the Concurrent List would reduce powers enjoyed by the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment carries three lists reflecting power-sharing between the Central Government and the Provincial Councils: more..

BJP wants Centre to ensure safety of fishermen venturing into high seas

May 1 (Hindu) Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, on Saturday urged the Centre to send a strong message to Sri Lanka that it would not compromise on the safety of fishermen venturing into the high seas. Addressing a meeting of fisherfolk from the West Coast, Ms. Swaraj said hundreds of fishermen were languishing in the jails of other countries, with as many as 287 in Pakistan. more..

'New university admission requirements a must'

May 1 (ST) “Those eligible for University admission and failing to attend leadership training under the military, which is compulsory, will not be accepted into the universities,” Secretary- Ministry of Higher Education, Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne said. Leadership training at the army camps will be held for three weeks starting May 23, after which, courses in English and IT and soft skills will be conducted District basis for three months. more..

Private sector employees can work till 60

May 1 (SO) The retirement age of private sector employees will be extended to 57 from the present 55, said Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya (SLNSS) Secretary General Leslie Devendra. Private sector employees too could continue till 60 at the discretion of the management, according to a Government decision recently. Devendra said that the extension of the retirement age till 57, as in the case of public servants was eagerly looked forward to by private sector employees. more..

Blake to visit Kilinochchi

May 1 (Hindu) A top U.S. State department official landed in The Maldives on Saturday, the second such official visit in four months, against the backdrop of increasing radicalisation of its youth. Mr. Blake Jr. will arrive in Sri Lanka on May 3. He is slated to visit USAID-supported programmes and meet local leaders in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu. He was U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lankan between 2006 and 2009. more..

Post mortem on the war in upcoming military seminar

May 1 (Island) With the Govt of Sri Lanka increasingly coming under international pressure over the conduct of its political and military leaderships during the latter part of Vanni campaign (Mar 2007 to May 2009), a three-day international conference organized by the military later this month would give an opportunity for Sri Lanka to respond to constant allegations of excesses. more..

Govt. will continue talks with TNA: Vasudeva

May 2 (NS) The government has assured that it is committed in its efforts to find a political settlement to the ethnic question and that it would continue to hold discussions with the TNA in achieving it. Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara told The Nation that the prevailing scenario in the country after the publication of the UN report would not hamper the government’s efforts in bringing a solution to the ethic question. more..

Hopsital, housing project for PIOs in Sri Lanka

May 2 (Hindu) Construction of a 150-bed hospital has commenced in Dickoya to offer specialised medical services in the hill areas of Sri Lanka, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha said on Saturday. “The work commenced last month. We are confident that the project will be completed in 22 months,” he told a gathering of Sri Lankan affiliate of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) at its 10th anniversary celebrations in Colombo. more..

Tourism Zones in the North and East

May 2 (SL) The govt has identified several new tourism zones to be developed in the North and East. The areas that have been identified are Vaharai, Silavathurai and Pulmudai. Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that the govt is in the process of identifying land for two tourism zones in Silavathurai and Pulmudai. “Once the land acquisition is completed we will commence the infrastructure development in the area before calling for bids,” more..

Prawn farms face threat

May 2 (NN) Several prawn farms have been damaged or destroyed as a result of sea erosion in Chilaw, officials said today. According to officials Chilaw is the hub for prawn farms in the country and over 15 have so far been destroyed by sea erosion. The industry is now facing a serious threat with sea erosion affecting other parts of the country as well, officials involved in the industry warned. The estimated total area presently developed for prawn farming is more..

JVP supporters arrested

May 2 (NN) The police arrested four JVP supporters and also seized a vehicle float which was to be used at the JVP May Day rally today. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that the police had made the arrest early this morning in Moratuwa while the JVP supporters were preparing the float. He said that the police had claimed the arrest was over allegations the JVP supporters were attempting to defame President Mahinda Rajapaksa using the float. However the JVP MP rejected the allegations. more..

Latif backs Tillakaratne on match-fixing claims

May 2 (IANS) Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif has backed Hashan Tillakaratne after the ex-Sri Lanka skipper came under fire for claiming that Sri Lanka have been involved in match-fixing for almost two decades. Latif, who was a whistleblower in the match-fixing scandal involving Pakistan in the 90s, said on Sunday that Tillakaratne knows a lot about the world of match-fixing, adding that he is hoping that a lot of big names would be exposed more..

Sri Lanka hotel profit margins on the rise: report

May 2 (LBO) Profit margins of Sri Lanka's tourist hotels are widening with an influx of arrivals and rising room rates after the end of its 30-year ethnic war, a report said. Given the rather "anaemic" demand prior to 2009, when the war ended, most hotel operators had been compelled to compete on price, RAM Ratings (Lanka) said in a report on the island's hotel sector. "Price undercutting had been evident among most city hotels and those in the southern region, more..

Sri Lanka to stage IPL-style tournament

May 2 (E24/7) Pakistan’s dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi and former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori have been named to lead two provincial sides in Sri Lanka’s Premier League Twenty20 competition (SLPL). Afridi will lead Nagenahira while left arm spinner Vettori has been chosen to captain Uthuru, representing the North Eastern provinces which were isolated from the sport because of the three-decade old war. Vettori is captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore more..

Sri Lanka's May Day rallies reject UN war report

May 2 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government used May Day rallies on Sunday to reject a United Nations report that alleged the military may have been guilty of atrocities during the island's civil war. The UN report released last Monday highlighted "credible allegations" that both the Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger rebels had been involved in violations that could amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. more..

Ten cops arrested for misbehaviour

May 2 (DM) Ten policemen attached to several police stations in the Nuwara Eliya area were taken into custody by the Agarapathana Police this morning, for allegedly causing disturbance to the public who were coming to attend May Day rallies in Nuwara Eliya, police said. The arrests were made after people complained to the Police that these policemen, who were on duty in view of the May Day rallies in Nuwara Eliya, had behaved in an annoying manner. more..

Mahela challenges Hashan to prove allegations

May 2 (E24/7) Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena has challenged his one-time teammate Hashan Tillakaratne to come out with proof that match-fixing has been prevalent in cricket since 1992. “People can say whatever they want. You need to prove the allegations,” Jayawardena told reporters. Tillakaratne claimed that match fixing has been a widespread practice in Sri Lankan cricket since 1992 and questioned the changes made for the World Cup final against India. more..

Smuggling baby elephants

May 2 (DM) Investigations are being carried out on several incidents of alleged smuggling of baby elephants from national parks and reserves around the country, the Wildlife Conservation Department Director General Dr. Chandrawansa Pathiraja told Daily Mirror online. Authoritative sources told Daily Mirror that during the past year alone at least 10 baby elephants have been smuggled out of national parks and reserves by a group of racketeers. more..

Will protect security forces -UNP

May 2 (DM) Addressing a special ceremony held to mark the 18th death anniversary of late President R. Premadas, Mr. Jayasuriya said the UNP which brought independence to this country would protect all security forces personnel including jailed former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. He said the UNP was also committed to safeguard democracy in this country as it was done by late President Premadasa. “The best tribute one can pay the late President is by safeguarding his principles.“ more..

Sri Lanka to hold Int'l export show in 2012

May 2 (GDI) Sri Lanka has announced the holding of a mega export exhibition for international buyers to be held in 2012 in Colombo. “Sri Lanka Export Development Board will be launching the most anticipated event by all our exporters –that is the “Sri Lanka Expo 2012” to be held in March 2012” declared Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce. He said “Sri Lanka Expo 2012 milestone exhibition will showcase Sri Lanka’s new export capabilities to international buyers.” more..

'Scrap IMF agreement, increase salaries'

May 2 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesighe today charged that the govt is not increasing the salaries and wages of workers since it has an agreement with the IMF. Addressing the party’s May Day rally in Bandarawela he said the public would not be able to enjoy any benefits due to the agreement that the govt has with the IMF. “The people have a right to receive benefits with the ending of the war. But the govt continues to abide by the IMF Agreement. more..

Isolate TNA until they denounce Vaddukoddai resolution

May 2 (LG) It was on the 14th May of 1976, at Vaddukoddai, the TULF under the Chairmanship of S.J.V.Chelvanayakam Q.C, M.P (K.K.S) adopted the Vaddukoddai Resolution, which radicalized the entire Tamil population of the North and east, which also played a greater role in militarizing the Tamil youths and diminished the political role of the Tamil community. Since this day, the former TULF and the present TNA has never participated or practiced a constructive politics but more..

Best answer to our critics is to empower the Tamil people so they can sit at the head table

May 2 (TC) Ban Ki-moon has not done himself any credit and lost the confidence of the people of our country by becoming an instrument of the ‘new colonials’ who, in this instance, are seeking to please the Tamil diaspora. Ban has used his office and position to further his career by appointing three persons who were known to be hostile towards our country to a Panel (calling them ‘experts’ – experts in what may I ask?) to prepare a report to be used against this country. more..

West wants regime change in Sri Lanka by ousting Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

May 2 (TC) The Moon report is the first short step of the West before taking a giant leap towards maneuvering a regime-change. The US ambassador invited the local NGO’s hostile to the government for a discussion along with other diplomats whose thinking could probably be supportive of the Moon report, before the ‘prime hater of Sri Lanka’ advocate Robert Blake arrives to place the blue print of project “Exit Rajapakse” into operation. more..

Editorial: The beginning of another war

May 2 (Island) Hundreds of thousands of anti-terror activists and government supporters marched along the streets of Colombo yesterday and assembled at the Town Hall ground in a mammoth show of solidarity with President Mahinda Rajapaksa vis-à-vis a war crimes witchhunt against his govt and the Sri Lankan military. The official release of the Moon Panel report turned theUPFA’s May Day demonstration into a gigantic show of strength, from which a great deal of more..

Editorial: Over the moon

May 2 (DM) The International Workers' Day is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries. It is also celebrated unofficially in many other countries. International Workers' Day is the commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when, more..

Protracted war has changed traditional roles played by men and women in Jaffna

May 2 (TC) Saraswathy Thanabalasingham sells garlands and basic costume jewellery in close proximity to the fabled Nallur temple in Jaffna. Her husband is a landmine victim and she is unable to sell her wares regularly. “People call it a mobile service. I am out there during the festivals and also when I can. The recent Jaffna Music Festival brought over 100,000 people to the city. I had great sales”, she beams. more..

Anti-Darusman patriotic yathra advances domestic political agenda of Rajapaksa siblings

May 2 (TC) Gopalaswami Mahendraraja alias Mahattaya was a Tiger leader and a Tamil hero, until Vellupillai Pirapaharan decided that he was an arch-traitor. Once the Leader branded his erstwhile deputy a betrayer, the Tamils were expected to fall in line, disregarding Mahattaya’s sterling record of service to the Eelam cause. The ‘fall of Mahattaya’ was symbolic of the Tiger’s metamorphosis into a political-religion, based on Leader-veneration. more..

USA, India and Britain are the actors in the Ban-Ki-moon conspiracy drama

May 2 (TC) Normally the use of the term “conspiracy” denotes that a writer has a penchant for the sensational and that he cannot be taken without reservations as a serious political analyst. But the plain truth is that conspiracies abound in the world of politics, and they certainly feature in international relations as well. The Ban Ki-Moon affair is pre-eminently one of which we can scarcely make sense except on the hypothesis of a conspiracy. more..

'The main challenge our working community experienced was terrorism'

May 2 (TC) May Day Message of the President: I remind you with pride of Sri Lanka’s higher recognition among the South Asian countries as a country which enforced the conventions of the International Labour Organisation very successfully. First and foremost I extend my gratitude for the Sri Lankan labour community for contributing fruitfully to increase the country’s economic development growth rate to eight percent.” more..

‘National security’ in post-war Sri Lanka: Women’s (In) security in the North

May 2 (GV) ‘The world should appreciate our successful anti-terrorist effort. But today we are being hounded by those who turned a blind eye to LTTE atrocities over the years, particularly its widespread use of child combatants in war against the security forces. Children are no longer at the risk of being abducted on their way to school or back. Girls are no longer forced to wear suicide jackets and throw themselves at military and civilian targets.’- President more..