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MR upbraids Nimal Siripala

Apr 6 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have pulled up Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva at Thursday’s Cabinet meeting over a statement made by him to the media saying that mega development projects would not suffice to win votes. It is learnt that the President expressed his anger over such remarks by a senior member of the Cabinet and said that Mr. de Silva should not have made such remarks. However, Mr. de Silva had said his remarks had been misinterpreted.

Food festival promotes Bangla – Lanka cultural cooperation

Apr 6 (Island) Bangladesh says there was tremendous scope for cooperation with Sri Lanka in all sectors including culture given their common approaches to peace and development and special bond of friendship between the two peoples. High Commissioner Sufiur Rahman, speaking at the first ever Bangladeshi food festival to be held in Sri Lanka which commenced at the Taj Samudra Hotel on Wednesday, said that the two countries were pursuing "increasing engagement and exploring newer vistas more..

Health Minister calls for cancellation of nominations for proposed SLMC election

Apr 6 (Island) In an unprecedented development, the process now underway to elect a member to fill an existing vacancy in the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has hit rough weather with Health Minister, Maithripala Sirisena calling for the cancellation of nominations saying "moves are afoot to regulate a transparent election procedure". Minister has officially intimated to Prof. Carlo Fonseka, the president of this apex body of more..

The new rampage

Apr 6 (CT) The mass proscription of Tamil Diaspora organisations has been followed by the blacklisting of 424 Tamils of Lankan origin as ‘Tigers’. Unsurprisingly Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, the hand-picked successor of V Pirapaharan and the man once described as an ‘Interpol wanted terrorist’ by the Defence Ministry website is not on the terrorist-list. The Rajapaksas are on a new rampage, which is likely to push Sri Lanka into the biggest quagmire of her conflict-ridden history. more..

Proscription of pro-LTTE Tamil fronts abroad

Apr 6 (CT) An event organized by a Tamil group in Canada a few days ago, with the participation of popular South Indian actress Trisha Krishnan, has come under criticism and according to informed sources the organizers have even been threatened by another Tamil organization for maintaining links with the Rajapaksa Govt through EPDP Leader and Minister Douglas Devananda. It was last week the govt proscribed 16 Tamil organizations including the Transnational Govet of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), more..

Mullaitivu documents lead to listing of pro-LTTE groups

Apr 6 (ST) Intelligence authorities used information extracted from sheaves of Tamil Tiger documents recovered from the battlefield in Mullaitivu to compile a 39-page list of designated persons, groups and entities “suspected of financing terrorism”, a senior official said. He said that while the listing of these groups and individuals could not currently be treated as a prohibition, the Govt had the option of banning or proscribing them more..

Norochcholai under Chinese control for three years

Apr 6 (CT) The govt has taken steps to handover all operations of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant (NCPP) to China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for three years, a CEB source said. The Cabinet paper regarding the handing over of the power plant to the Chinese received Cabinet approval on 27 March. An engineer attached to the power plant, who did not wish to disclose his name said, although more..

As drought continues, CEB switches to 88.4% thermal

Apr 6 (ST) Percentage of expensive thermal power generated by CEB is rising daily as the Govt sticks to its “electricity at any cost” policy despite drought in hydro-catchment areas. On Friday, a massive 88.4% of the country’s energy requirement was met with thermal power, statistics show. Only 11.3% of hydroelectricity was generated. This is an increase from a week ago when 84% of power was generated by thermal power stations while more..

Google doodle inspired by ICC Cricket T20 final between

Apr 6 (NDTV) The ICC World Twenty20 final has inspired Google to feature the World T20 doodle on the day of the final. The doodle is comprised of a number of colours such as blue, yellow, red and green. It shows a bowler coming in to bowl, an image of the crowd cheering, a batsman playing a pull shot, wickets being disturbed by a delivery, a bowler appealing and a hand holding a ball. It sums up all the ingredients of a final of a more..

Rajarata students to seek more support

Apr 6 (SL) Rajarata University students are to seek the support of lecturers of all the universities in Sri Lanka to help them find a solution to their problems. Convener of the Inter University Students Unions said that the union will seek the support of lecturers of all the universities in the country within the next week by making them aware of the injustice done to the Rajarata university students. more..

Govt insists Tangalle safe

Apr 6 (SL) While complaints have been made that female tourists are unsafe in Tangalle, SL Tourism Development Authority insisted that Southern town is safe for female tourists. Recently SL published an article with interviews with women who had been allegedly sexually harassed and abused at a notorious beach front restaurant in Tangalle. “We strongly deny that such a situation prevails in Tangalle. more..

NCI given green light to directly procure its own drugs

Apr 6 (Island) The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been given the green light to directly procure oncology drugs as the continuing tug-of-war between some importers has led to a critical dearth of certain life-saving pharmaceutical products, a senior health administrative official said. "With the go-ahead, we have developed a new methodology to purchase all the vital cancer-related drugs required for patients under treatment" more..

Sri Lanka govt ally doubts Indian motives on UNHRC vote

Apr 6 (PTI) The NFF, a key ally of President Rajapaksa expressed doubts over India's motives in abstaining at the UNHRC vote against Sri Lanka. "We have to closely examine why India abstained," Mohamed Muzammil, NFF spokesman told reporters. "India not only voted in favour of the resolution in 2012 and 2013, they played a leading role in getting votes in favour of the US resolutions each year," he stressed. more..

LTTE rump wants travel ban on Lankan MPs

Apr 6 (Island) After securing a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva last month, pro-LTTE Tamil organizations in the UK are vigorously campaigning for the imposition of a ‘travel ban’ on Sri Lankan MPs. Sunday Island reliably learns that the ultimate goal of these pro-LTTE Tamils is to push for a ‘travel ban’, ‘trade ban’ and freeze assets of Sri Lankan MPs. However, their short term target is to stop President more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Apr 6 (ST) UNP’s one time deputy leader Sajith Premadasa was in a buoyant mood when the party’s Working Committee met last Thursday. Perhaps he had good reason to be in that mood. He had performed well for his party during last week’s Southern Provincial Council elections. During the polls campaign, Mr. Premadasa told the Committee, he had received a directive from the leadership. He was asked not to involve in more..

Bernard, Doric, MD Banda Centenaries and Wigneswaran’s Commemoration Speech

Apr 6 (Island) The best manifestation of Sri Lankan progressivism these days is limited to the occasions of memorial lectures and birth centenary commemorations of the leaders of the old Left Parties who dominated the island’s politics during the middle two quarters of the twentieth century. There have been two centenary celebrations so far this year, first for Doric de Souza and more recently for Bernard Soysa. We must also add to the list the birth centenary of the UNP stalwart, more..

Govt. cannot replace West with new friends

Apr 6 (CT) Latest UNHRC resolution, which was adopted in Geneva two weeks back, has put the govt in Colombo at loggerheads with the democracies in the West, that is, the EU and Northern European countries such as Norway. A bitter confrontation is looming between Colombo and the West as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) embarks on an inquiry into alleged violations of human rights and international humanitarian law during the last phase of the more..

Rajapaksa govt. taken aback by PC results

Apr 6 (ST) Concerns for the UPFA Govt last week outweighed all others in its decade-long existence. Outcome of the PCelections, just after the adoption of the UNHRC resolution, reverberated in the dovecotes of power. This is the first time since the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas (in 2009) that the UPFA’s vote base has slid from 60% to just more than 50%. It lost 17 seats in both councils in the Western and Southern PCs. more..

Panel, not nations, to probe Sri Lanka?

Apr 6 (ENS) The international mechanism to investigate charges of war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the period 2002-2009, as stipulated by the UNHRC resolution passed last month, is likely to be set up in mid-May. It will be a Committee of Experts rather than nations, an informed official source told Express here on Saturday. Things will move fast as the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) will have to present an oral update at more..

There still lingers the drive to finish with one big prize

Apr 6 (Hindu) Few would have guessed, when T20 cricket made its advent, that Mahela Jayawardene would walk into his final international game in the format as his country’s heaviest run-scorer. Sri Lanka has produced flashier batsmen and stronger hitters, all seemingly better equipped to clear boundaries and thrill crowds. Expecting Jayawardene to biff his way around colourful 20-over cricket should have been like hoping for a Rolls Royce Phantom to win the Monaco GP. more..

KP excluded from banned list-424 natural persons

Apr 6 (CT) Despite the govt banning 16 Tamil Diaspora organizations including the LTTE together with 424 individuals, the person identified as the successor to the slain LTTE Leader V Prabhakaran – Kumaran Pathmanathan alias Selvarasa Pathmanathan is however excluded from the list. Hot on the heels of a UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka calling for accountability and reconciliation – Govt last week banned 16 organizations more..

Over 400 banned

Apr 6 (SL) The Gazette notification printed on Friday by the Govt Printer, containing the order issued by the Govt to proscribe groups operating overseas with alleged LTTE links, has listed 424 individuals and Diaspora organisations. Govt had last week announced that 16 groups had been listed under a UNSC resolution but the Gazette notification seen by Sunday Leader shows a list of over 400 people including individuals living in countries like Denmark, Germany, Finland, etc. more..

Top diplomatic posts to be filled soon

Apr 6 (ST) Several new appointments of high commissioners and ambassadors are due to be considered by the Parliamentary Committee on High Posts this month. They include senior career service diplomats Prasad Kariyawasam as ambassador designate to the US and Karunathilaka Amunugama as ambassador designate to Germany. Among the others are Sarath Kongahage to South Africa and Sudharshan Seneviratne to India. Mr. Kariyawasam has just completed his term as more..

Minister obtains direct donation from Pakistan

Apr 6 (ST) The Govt of Pakistan has responded to a direct call for funding from Minister Rishard Bathiudeen by pledging to give him US$ 1 million or Rs. 130 million outside of established rules and procedures. The contribution was made bypassing the Ministry of Finance and sets a precedent for ministers to independently canvass foreign govts and other entities for international aid. Political observers pointed out that, more..

‘Constitutional hiccup’ stalls annual transfer to three key positions

Apr 6 (Island) The annual transfers to three top government health sector positions remain stalled for the past two months following what, senior medical officials described, as a "Constitutional hiccup" relating to provincial administrative appointments. In terms of the transfers listed on Feb 1, 2014 with immediate effect, Dr. Hemantha Beneragama, Director, Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Regulatory Authority (CDDRA) was moved to head the Family Health Bureau (FHB), more..

Pope Francis personally responds to Sri Lankan Francis Bennett Peiris’ letter

Apr 6 (Island) His Holiness Pope Francis has personally responded to a letter sent by a Sri Lankan, Francis Bennett Peiris of Sindhthrimatha Church, Waikkal Parish in the Diocese of Chilaw. On Sept 15, 2013, an article was published in the weekly Catholic Messenger that the Pope was informed of Anna Romero a 35-year-old woman from Central Italy who had become pregnant from an irresponsible runaway man. In her distress and frustration, she had phoned the Pope and more..

Research reveals-95% Colombo residents carry dengue virus

Apr 6 (CT) Recent research has revealed that 95% of the population living within the Colombo Municipal area is inflicted with dengue virus, giving rise to doubts about the effectiveness of the dengue prevention programmes carried out by the health authorities. Chief Medical Officer of the CMC, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, said this had been revealed after tests being conducted on a group of people living in the Wanathamulla area. more..

UNHRC resolution and the question of the social contract

Apr 6 (NS) Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe came up with a strange, important and revealing statement in the run up to the PC Elections. He said that if he is elected to power (in a presidential election, obviously, and complemented by a victory in a general election), there will be no threat to Sri Lanka from the international community. He was referring to the machinations in Geneva at the UNHRC which had the govt in what could be called its Annual March Dither. more..

Communist Party CC appoints Weerasumana SPC Minister

Apr 6 (Island) At a meeting of its Central Committee, the Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL) yesterday unanimously decided to nominate Weerasumana Weerasinghe from the Matara district for a ministerial portfolio in the Southern Provincial Council (SPC), party sources said. This nomination will be handed over to Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to the President, for the swearing in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa on a fresh date before the ceremonial inauguration of the SPC. more..

This time for Sri Lanka?

Apr 6 (CI) If indeed it's true that third time is lucky, then Sri Lanka are due to win a World T20 final. In fact there's a good case for arguing that Sri Lanka have been the best international T20 side over the five world tournaments played so far. They have made four semi-finals, equal best with Pakistan, and this is their third final, more than any other side. However, they haven't yet won a final and India will be desperate to make sure more..

EU-Sri Lanka trade talks after 5 years

Apr 6 (ST) The European Union (EU) has kick-started discussions with Sri Lanka five years after the former withdrew key trade concessions and now wants a “strong reconciliation process” in place. The EU Delegation head in Colombo David Daly remarked on Wednesday that the discussions between the two sides kicked off in December last year after a lapse of five years. The ambassador was speaking at the briefing held for the EU Sri Lanka Business Coucil with its visiting more..

TNA to brief Zuma’s envoy

Apr 6 (SL) A delegation from the TNA will be heading to South Africa this week to have discussions with the special envoy on Sri Lanka of South African President Jacob Zuma. The meeting comes as South Africans continue dialogue with Sri Lanka on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process. However, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran said the TNA delegation is not going to discuss the TRC process with South Africa. “We are going not for any TRC process but to meet more..

'We have the winning feeling'

Apr 6 (CI) Given how the tour of Bangladesh has gone for Sri Lanka from February, a fitting end would be clinching the World T20. Their poor track record in tournament finals has been discussed at length, but this "winning feeling", as described by their captain Lasith Malinga, has the ability to alter history when they take on India in the final on Sunday. They have repeatedly said that they would do anything to win, particularly after more..

GK in efforts to raise Rs.530 million amidst growing frustration

Apr 6 (ST) As the Golden Key Credit Card (GK) depositors frustration grew by the day, the GK Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is now in the process of raising its cash flow by around Rs.530 million by selling five major assets within the next two months, GK SPV Officials said. These assets are the property and half built structure at Kirimandala Mawatha, Narahenpita; a GK property at Puttalam; a house owned by Ms. P.K. Karunanayake, former director of company more..

Ceylon Tobacco grows profits despite dip in cigarette sales

Apr 6 (Island) Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC), the monopoly manufacturer of legal cigarettes in Sri Lanka and the largest contributor to govt revenue, has seen its attributable profit grow to Rs.9.14 billion in the year ended Dec 31, 2013 from Rs.8.43 billion the previous year despite a 6% volume drop in sales. Company’s Chairman, Mr. Susantha Ratnayake, attributed this to "weaker consumer sentiment due to pricing and the twin shocks of drought and flood in various parts more..

History of heartbreak between finalists

Apr 6 (CI) Romesh Kaluwitharana caught at third man. Sanath Jayasuriya caught at third man too. Asanka Gurusinha is out soon. Eden Gardens has erupted. Aravinda de Silva comes out and silences them, and the spinners bury them. Heartbreak. Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara and Thisara Perera take 54 in the last four overs. Lasith Malinga follows it up with early wickets of Sehwag and Tendulkar. more..