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The Geneva stakes and the politics of global geo-political rivalry

Apr 9 (CT) Geneva stakes center around the 3rd US resolution presented to the UNHRC against Rajapaksa Regime that was adopted by 23 countries voting in favor, 12 abstaining and 12 voting against. Resolution established an international mechanism for investigating violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including war crimes, to be supervised by Commissioner of the UNHRC. For the US, the so-called Western bloc, and including Japan and more..

Harvard and Ranil: Worlds apart

Apr 9 (CT) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is reportedly on a study tour at the MIT to learn the art of toppling govts. After his stint at the MIT, the Opposition Leader will head to Harvard University, one of the finest places of academic and research excellence, on a lecturing tour. That is at least what his acolytes at the UNP say. If that is all true, both Harvard and MIT have much to learn from Wickremesinghe, particularly from his consistent failure as a politician. more..

Sri Lanka's central bank in record loss

Apr 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank lost 24.2 billion rupees in 2013, down from profits of 66.2 billion rupees, but the bank had transferred 25 billion rupees in profits to the state budget, its annual accounts showed. Other than interest income from its forex assets, a central bank primarily makes profits from inflation, either through currency depreciation or interest from 'domestic assets'. Domestic assets are govt securities, which more..

Australia notes ‘disturbing events’

Apr 9 (CG) The Australian Govt says there were many “disturbing events” that took place during the war in Sri Lanka, including during the final stages of the conflict. In an opinion article written for the Newcastle Herald, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that in meetings with Sri Lanka’s political leadership, she had urged them to progress reconciliation as quickly as possible. “This has included the need for the SL govt to more..

Rebel suspects' families detained

Apr 9 (AP) A Sri Lankan women's rights group says the govt is arresting innocent female relatives of males it suspects are trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group. Women's Action Network described the cases of six women it says were arrested because authorities suspect their male associates or family members have rebel links. The group's statement said the CID has detained some women who are elderly or more..

President Rajapaksa felicitates World T20 Cricket Champions

Apr 9 (IL) President Rajapaksa felicitated the ICC WorldT20 Cricket Cup winning Sri Lankan national team at the Temple Trees on Tuesday night. Congratulating the members of the team the President thanked them for bringing honour, glory and fame to the motherland. President also told the team that he was proud of all of them and that he and all cricket lovers in the country were happy with the great performance more..

Stop playing China against India: UNP tells Govt.

Apr 9 (Island) UNP appealed to the govt to get its act together and stop playing China against India, which if pursued would only complicate the precarious situation the country was in. Senior UNP’er Gamini Jayawickrema Perera MP, said that the Rajapaksa regime was in deep trouble on all fronts, though it continued to make heroic statements to impress the local electorate. A developing country such as SL needed both more..

War crimes probe: EU too, won’t call for review of 20-year UN confidentiality clause

Apr 9 (Island) The European Union sees no reason to call for an immediate review of UN confidentiality clause pertaining to sources/eyewitnesses to facilitate a war crimes investigation undertaken by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. A senior EU spokesperson said: "The EU encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate with and to consider technical support from the Office of more..

President tells companies to ready for China

Apr 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's private sector should ready themselves to tap into new markets including China said President Rajapaksa assuring a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is nearing finalization with the fastest growing economy in the world. Speaking to top rung private and public sector officials President Rajapaksa in an upbeat mood called for the private sector to equip themselves for challenges posed by new markets, more..

Rudrakumaran and the LTTE rump

Apr 9 (SL) Future stability and security of Sri Lanka depends on dismantling the LTTE infrastructure that legitimized separatism and supported violence. Although the LTTE was dismantled in Sri Lanka, the LTTE international network has reorganized and wants to revive the fight. As such, it is paramount for the Govt of Sri Lanka to bring to justice those who supported the violence and those who legitimized the LTTE. more..

Police begin tally of helmet robberies

Apr 9 (ST) Police stations throughout the country have been instructed to gather information on robberies of banks and financial institutions and other crimes by bandits wearing full-face helmets weeks after a police attempt to ban helmets was defeated by merchants and motorcyclists. Acting DIG (Crimes), Gamini Dissanayaka said the directive, which includes crimes such as chain-snatching, went out following more..

Aiming for a mine-free Sri Lanka

Apr 9 (DM) In his speech on April 4 for the International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed on the importance of involving women in the global drive to ‘clear landmines and protect against their indiscriminate effects’. He highlighted on the importance of overcoming gender barriers not only with concern to clearing landmines but also on educating people on more..

Today’s society cannot do without IT

Apr 9 (DM) It is a fact that the sun and the moon periodically illuminate the world. Nobody can permanently prevent or restrict light emanating from the sun and the moon. Although the suppressed truth can someday be unfolded, ripple effects created by such suppression cannot be reversed. There was a time when western countries obtained the services of WikiLeaks and internet hackers to ridicule African leaders who they thought were dictators. more..

Palk Strait fishing issue in dire straits

Apr 9 (DM) The talks between the representatives of the fishing communities in Sri Lanka and India are being continuously put off due to the intransigence of Jayalalithaa Jeyaram, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She wants the Sri Lankan authorities to release all Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the navy for poaching in Sri Lankan waters before talks are held, while fishermen from her state continue to be arrested for the same offence. What she conveniently forgets or conceals is more..

Development SL style: Massive supplementary allocation for VVIP vehicles

Apr 9 (Island) The Presidential Secretariat has sought the approval of parliament for a Rs. 206,464,210 supplementary allocation to purchase bullet proof vehicles for security purposes of VVIPs. The supplementary estimate was presented to Parliament by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. Approval was also sought for a further supplementary estimate of Rs. 524,000,000 to meet the shortfall of provisions for paying interest more..

UPFA candidates who lost in recent elections to receive govt appointments

Apr 9 (CT) It is reported that plans are afoot to appoint a group of UPFA candidates who lost in the recent PC elections to posts of chairpersons, directors and advisors in ministries, govt corporations and other establishments. A member of the SLFP said that a group of defeated candidates had requested President to consider the possibility of making these appointments. Source went on to say that these candidates have pointed out to the President that they have worked for the SLFP more..

Sri Lanka’s ‘Father of Internet’ inducted into Internet Hall of Fame

Apr 9 (CT) Professor Abhaya Induruwa, who is known as the 'Father of Internet' in Sri Lanka was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame yesterday in Hong Kong for his pioneering academic and research networking to establish Internet in Sri Lanka. Professor Induruwa has been named as a 'Global Connector', a category which recognizes and celebrates individuals from around the world, who have made major contributions to the growth, connectivity, and use of the Internet, more..

HR probe: Govt. won’t cooperate, but wants secret UN report released

Apr 9 (Island) Now that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has received a mandate to inquire into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, it would be imperative that a confidential war time dossier prepared by the UN mission in Colombo was made public, an authoritative security official said. Official emphasized that there couldn’t be a better ‘source’ than the UN report that dealt with fighting on more..

House to fete Lankan Lions

Apr 9 (DM) Parliament will felicitate the Sri Lanka Cricket Team today, according to a decision taken by party leaders today. The cricket team that won the T-20 World Cup arrived in the country yesterday. The party leaders who met in the parliamentary complex decided to cancel today’s programme, and instead decided to devote that time to felicitate the team for bringing glory to the country. Accordingly, the team will arrive in the parliamentary complex today. Earlier, govt had scheduled a debate more..

'Mannar mass grave an ordinary cemetery'

Apr 9 (DM) The skeletons unearthed at Thiruketheeswaram in Mannar were reportedly of bodies buried since the 1930’s, further it is not a mass grave site as earlier believed, but an ordinary cemetery, the Archeological Department Director General said. The remains were first discovered on Dec 20 by some workers digging a trench to lay a pipeline, 2013. Mannar Magistrate had instructed the Archeological Department to investigate and report on the findings. more..

UNP wants govt. to cooperate with UN probe

Apr 9 (Island) UNP warned the govt not to shun UN human rights probe. Govt would have to face dire consequences unless it faced the proposed investigation, UNP MP Lakshman Kirielle told Parliament. He said that the govt should cooperate with the proposed international investigation and should prove that the charges against it were baseless. MP said that the govt’s decision not to cooperate with the investigation more..

Textured Jersey MoU with Moratuwa Uni.

Apr 9 (LBT) Textured Jersey, Sri Lanka’s largest and most innovative manufacturer of knitted fabric, has entered into a MoU with the University of Moratuwa to create the framework for a long-term collaborative relationship. The milestone agreement paves the way for a close interaction between the two organisations for the development of opportunities for employment generation and collaboration on strengthening research, design and technical capabilities and product development on more..

'Attempt to assassinate principal is a govt job'

Apr 9 (LT) The attempt to assassinate the Principal of Ananda Vidyalaya at Puttalam has been carried out with the sanction of the government says the General Secretary of Lanka Teacher Services Union Mahinda Jayasinghe. He said there wouldn’t have been any possibility of armed thugs wandering as there was high security in the area due to Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s scheduled arrival at Puttalam and added it is possible that the govt was behind the attempt. more..

Prosperity on course, President tells private sector plug in

Apr 9 (FT) Emphasising that the govt has delivered by both policy and enabling environment, President Rajapaksa yesterday called for a bigger private sector role to usher in greater socio-economic prosperity in the long term. Speaking at the launch of the Central Bank’s 2013 Annual Report, the President said it was the duty of all, including the private sector, to “protect” the rapid socio-economic progress of past 8 years, more..

'JTA-TNA hindering business in Jaffna'

Apr 9 (CT) Jaffna District UNP Organizer, T. Thuwarakeswaran, alleged that three persons who head the Jaffna Traders' Association (JTA) and share a close relationship with the TNA are causing hindrance by stopping traders from other provinces from doing business in Jaffna. "What right do they have?" he asked. "Tamils have shops in the South. If we go on disapproving little things, there will be no harmony among the communities," he said. Thuwarakeswaran, brother of former UNP more..

4 in hospital after clash over Korean exam

Apr 9 (DM) Four people were severely injured when two families clashed over the results of the Korean Language exam held recently. Police said investigations had revealed that a son of one family had passed the exam and qualified for a foreign job while the son of the other family had failed. They said the two friends had studied together and sat the Korean Language exam but only one had passed the exam and qualified for the foreign job. Two brothers injured in the clash were admitted to more..

Stars greeted by Colombo revelry

Apr 9 (CI) There was first a false alarm for the tens of thousands who thronged the Galle Face roundabout in Colombo for the second time in three days. Someone let off a vine of firecrackers, sparking an enormous wave of cheers and the flailing of a sea of Sri Lankan flags. Soon, the crowd realised they had awarded their heroes' welcome to the 430 from Mathugama. As the public bus pushed its way through crush of bodies, more..

NPC member challenges his removal

Apr 9 (Island) Kandasamy Kamalendran of Kayts, a member of the EPDP, who had contested, and got elected to the NPC, on the UPFA ticket, had requested the Court of Appeal, to prohibit the Elections Commissioner from taking steps to remove him from the NPC. The writ application had said that, the Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajanth had written to the General Secretary of the EPDP, requesting the latter to expel the petitioner from the EPDP, which had allied with the UPFA. more..

Congress says it worked for Tamils

Apr 9 (CG) India’s ruling Congress party says it worked hard for the Tamils in Sri Lanka and also stood by the decision to abstain from voting for the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. On India abstaining on the vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, party spokesman Abishek Singhvi said it was “neither an agreement or disagreement,” adding no regime had done as much for the welfare of Lankan Tamils like the ruling UPA alliance Govt. His comments came after India’s DMK more..

G.L. declines to speculate on speculation

Apr 9 (Island) Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has said that India’s abstention at the vote on US-led resolution at the recently concluded UNHRC session in Geneva had strengthened avenues for dialogue. "If you go on supporting resolutions against Sri Lanka then a dialogue becomes more difficult because of the coercive nature of the means that are required… it [India’s abstention] is certainly helpful and we appreciate it," more..

Central Bank reports Rs 24B loss

Apr 9 (CT) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka released its Annual Report for the year ended 31 December 2013 yesterday, which discloses a loss of Rs 24, 264 million, as against a gain of Rs 66,208 million in the previous period. In carrying out the audit of the Central Bank's accounts, the Auditor General required the services of a firm of Chartered Accountants in public practice, mainly to examine the compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards. more..

The Interdependence of Security and Votes

Apr 9 (Island) The issue of the vote at the UNHRC in Geneva became the main political issue during the PC elections. Govt’s decision to conduct those elections in the same week as the UNHRC resolution was being voted upon was likely to have been prompted by political considerations. It reflected the govt’s continuing belief in the domestic electoral process, and obtaining a renewed mandate, as providing it with the legitimacy to rule regardless of other considerations. more..

Fiscal numbers off target: Revenue, expenditure and debt numbers deviate

Apr 9 (CT) Low revenue generation in 2013 forced the govt to cut expenditure, and the budget deficit deviated slightly from the 5.8% of GDP target to 5.9%, the Central Bank 2013 Annual Report showed, as domestic borrowings exceeded budgeted limits. Total outstanding govt debt reached Rs 6.8 trillion in 2013, up from Rs 6 trillion a year ago. Domestic debt amounted to Rs 3.8 trillion, up from Rs 3.2 trillion a year ago. more..

HC allows Lankan Detenu's wife to see him at hospital

Apr 9 (PTI) Madras High Court today permitted the wife of a Sri Lankan detenu to see him in hospital. Chenduran, a Sri Lankan national, was in detention under the Foreigners Act at a refugee camp on March 4. When he staged a fast on March 7, demanding withdrawal of the detention orders, he was arrested and lodged in Vellore Central Prison. As he continued his fast, he fell unconscious and was admitted to the Vellore Govt Hospital there. His wife, Mangayarkarasi, and her daughter more..

Colombo Port gets advanced vehicle traffic management system

Apr 9 (ST) Colombo Port has received the latest Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS) from Queens Group, pioneers in the field of Marine Electronics since 1956. This specialised VTMS is the first and only one of its kind in the country from Signalis of France an Airbus Defence & Space company; owners of Airbus Industries of France & Cassidian Oy Finland. “This state-of- the- art radar and AIS based system with digitisers will enable Sri Lanka Ports Authority to manage and monitor more..

John bemoans failures in housing loans scheme via banks for public servants

Apr 9 (FT) UNP MP John Amaratunga yesterday exposed in Parliament various failures as well as difficulties in the housing loans scheme for public servants via banks as opposed to respective departments. Disapproving the Govt’s violation of privileges for public servants to receive a property loan granted only once throughout their careers, in order to buy a house or a piece of land Amaratunga said: “In granting this loan more..