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  • Mahinda-Rajapaksa_4

    BBS-Rishad clash over ‘Wilpattu squatters’ President to meet warring parties separately, set up new police unit to tackle conflicts

    Having acknowledged that ongoing religious tensions could destabilise the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday announced the setting up of a special law enforcement unit to tackle the situation. The president was responding to a query at a meeting with editors of national newspapers and representatives of the print and electronic media at Temple Trees yesterday. Turning towards IGP N.K. Illangakoon, President Rajapaksa said that the decision had been taken following a discussion he had with the police chief the previous day. The media raised the issue of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) storming the Ministry of Industry and Commerce premises at 73/1, Galle Road, Colombo 3, on Wednesday in the wake of a simmering dispute…

  • bangura

    UN names 21 countries with rape in conflict

    A new U.N. report names 21 countries where rape and other sexual violence has been committed in current and recent conflicts, from Afghanistan and Central African Republic to Myanmar and Syria. Related Stories Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report, launched Thursday, says there is now unprecedented political momentum globally to end conflict-related sexual violence, but more action is needed regionally and nationally to respond to these crimes. “Covering 21 countries of concern in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, the report shows that this truly is a global crime,” Zainab Hawa Bangura, the secretary-general’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, told a news conference, The report identifies 34 armed groups — including militias,…

  • ravi

    UNP rejects President’s assurance of ‘no more casinos’ as ‘mere rhetoric’

    The UNP yesterday rejected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance that the Draft Strategic Development Project Bill which would not provide for Casino’s as ‘mere rhetoric’. The party went ahead with its planned protest demanding that the Bill which it described as nothing more than a camouflaged ‘Buruwa Panatha’ (Gambling Bill) be ditched.The demonstration began opposite the Regal Theatre, Fort at the entrance to D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha, where the Australian gaming tycoon James Packers proposed Hotel cum Casino project is scheduled to be located. Ravi Karunanayake MP, one of the chief organisers of the protest said that Rajapaksa had timed his announcement with the UNP’s decision to take to the streets.”We will not be swayed nor…

  • matara

    Man throws his two little children into Nilvala River

    Soldiers attached to the Matara 3rd Gemunu Watch today rescued two little children who were thrown 30 feet down the crocodile-infested Nilwala River from the Mahanama Bridge by their father. A four-year-old girl and her two-year-old sister were thrown into the Nilwala River by their father around 11.00 am today. The army personnel on duty at a nearby security post rushed to the scene after hearing people shouting. The suspect by then had fled the place. The Army said the people had shouted but no one had volunteered to jump into the river and rescue the two children. Then the soldiers had jumped into the river and managed to rescue the children. The children were…

  • sarath fonceka

    SF seeks UN assistance for regime change

    If the government and its leadership continue to be corrupt and keep oppressing the people, the opposition will have to seek the assistance of the United Nations (UN) to change the leadership, Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka said today. He said he had discussed this issue with UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya on Wednesday. “There is no relief for the people of this country and there is no way out of the misery they are engulfed in. This is why we may have to seek the help of the UN and international community to change the people unfriendly situation here. I informed Mr. Jayasuriya on the issue and he agreed with me,” he told…

Mahinda-Rajapaksa_4

BBS-Rishad clash over ‘Wilpattu squatters’ President to meet warring parties separately, set up new police unit to tackle conflicts

Having acknowledged that ongoing religious tensions could destabilise the country, President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday announced the setting up of a special law enforcement unit to tackle the situation. The president was responding to a query at a meeting with editors of national newspapers and representatives of the print and electronic media at Temple Trees yesterday. Turning towards IGP N.K. Illangakoon, President Rajapaksa said that the decision had been taken following a discussion he had with the police chief the previous day. The media raised the issue of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) storming the Ministry of Industry and Commerce premises at 73/1, Galle Road, Colombo 3, on Wednesday in the wake of a simmering dispute…

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bangura

UN names 21 countries with rape in conflict

A new U.N. report names 21 countries where rape and other sexual violence has been committed in current and recent conflicts, from Afghanistan and Central African Republic to Myanmar and Syria. Related Stories Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report, launched Thursday, says there is now unprecedented political momentum globally to end conflict-related sexual violence, but more action is needed regionally and nationally to respond to these crimes. “Covering 21 countries of concern in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, the report shows that this truly is a global crime,” Zainab Hawa Bangura, the secretary-general’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, told a news conference, The report identifies 34 armed groups — including militias,…

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ravi

UNP rejects President’s assurance of ‘no more casinos’ as ‘mere rhetoric’

The UNP yesterday rejected President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assurance that the Draft Strategic Development Project Bill which would not provide for Casino’s as ‘mere rhetoric’. The party went ahead with its planned protest demanding that the Bill which it described as nothing more than a camouflaged ‘Buruwa Panatha’ (Gambling Bill) be ditched.The demonstration began opposite the Regal Theatre, Fort at the entrance to D. R. Wijewardena Mawatha, where the Australian gaming tycoon James Packers proposed Hotel cum Casino project is scheduled to be located. Ravi Karunanayake MP, one of the chief organisers of the protest said that Rajapaksa had timed his announcement with the UNP’s decision to take to the streets.”We will not be swayed nor…

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matara

Man throws his two little children into Nilvala River

Soldiers attached to the Matara 3rd Gemunu Watch today rescued two little children who were thrown 30 feet down the crocodile-infested Nilwala River from the Mahanama Bridge by their father. A four-year-old girl and her two-year-old sister were thrown into the Nilwala River by their father around 11.00 am today. The army personnel on duty at a nearby security post rushed to the scene after hearing people shouting. The suspect by then had fled the place. The Army said the people had shouted but no one had volunteered to jump into the river and rescue the two children. Then the soldiers had jumped into the river and managed to rescue the children. The children were…

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sarath fonceka

SF seeks UN assistance for regime change

If the government and its leadership continue to be corrupt and keep oppressing the people, the opposition will have to seek the assistance of the United Nations (UN) to change the leadership, Democratic Party Leader Sarath Fonseka said today. He said he had discussed this issue with UNP Leadership Council Chairman Karu Jayasuriya on Wednesday. “There is no relief for the people of this country and there is no way out of the misery they are engulfed in. This is why we may have to seek the help of the UN and international community to change the people unfriendly situation here. I informed Mr. Jayasuriya on the issue and he agreed with me,” he told…

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kidney

Lanka ready to assist kidney probe

The police say they are ready to assist India to investigate an alleged kidney racket said to involve Sri Lanka but so far a formal request for assistance has not been made. Police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said that while there are reports that the Indian police are considering sending a team to Sri Lanka to investigate the alleged racket, the Sri Lankan police have not been approached for assistance. “The Sri Lankan police is ready to offer its fullest corporation,” the police spokesman said. He also said that while anyone can donate a kidney to another person if someone is duped into selling a kidney then legal action can be taken under local laws….

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norvey

Oslo to discuss Nediyawan warrant

The Norwegian Government is to discuss the INTERPOL warrant issued for the arrest of Perinpanayagam Sivaparan known by his nom de guerre Nediyawan, a former LTTE member who the Government says is involved in attempts to revive the LTTE in Sri Lanka. Norway’s NRK broadcaster reported that the State Secretary in Norway’s Foreign Ministry Morten Høglund had said Norway will discuss the issue with Sri Lankan officials. He said the Norwegian Foreign Ministry is expected to have discussions with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Norway on the INTERPOL warrant after he and his Norwegian NGO were banned by the Sri Lankan Government recently. Meanwhile The Local.no recalled how Norway briefly arrested Sivaparan in Oslo in 2011,…

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fort-passenger

Police to probe police over assault

A police investigation has been launched into the assault on an innocent passenger by the police during a protest at the Fort railway station yesterday. The police said that the investigation is being led by a senior police officer and action will be taken if any policeman is found guilty. A passenger, who was caught in the middle when the police attempted to disperse railway workers during a protest at the Fort railway station yesterday, was assaulted by riot police. The man from Gampaha had said he was not a railway worker and that he was among hundreds of stranded passengers when the protesters blocked trains along the track. The passenger who suffered head injuries…

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neal chanmugam

Former Lankan spinner Neil Chanmugam dies at 73

One of Sri Lanka’s foremost off-spinners of the pre-Test era Neil Chanmugam passed away on Tuesday at the age of 73 having lost his battle with cancer which affected him for the past four years. Chanmugam formed an integral part of the Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was known then) cricket team that created history by beating Pakistan and India for first time in unofficial tests in the sixties. Two years after breaking into the limelight as an off-spinner when he scalped five Englishmen for 43 runs to dismiss Ted Dexter’s MCC team for 159 while representing Ceylon Cricket Association, he was making the headlines locally when he helped his country secure their maiden test victory…

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boththa

UK warns visitors on Buddha tattoos

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office today warned British nationals visiting Sri Lanka not to have visible tattoos of the Lord Buddha. The warning in an updated travel advice on Sri Lanka comes after British national Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport and ordered deported for having a tattoo of the Lord Buddha on her arm. The updated travel advice notes that the mistreatment of Buddhist images and artefacts is a serious offence and tourists have been convicted for this. “British nationals have been refused entry to Sri Lanka or faced deportation for having visible tattoos of Buddha. Don’t pose for photographs by standing in front of a statue of…

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risath  pathiutheen

BBS mob storms Rishad’s Ministry

A mob led by the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) stormed Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce saying they were looking for the venerable Watarekke Vijitha thero. Ministry officials said that after staging a protest outside the building some of the protesters led by a monk went inside and searched the rooms. The General Secretary of the BBS, the venerable Galagodatte Gnanasara thero did not take part in the protest at the time and Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was also not in his Ministry. Deputy Minister Lakshman Wasantha Perera who was at the Ministry at the time, assured the BBS that the the venerable Watarekke Vijitha thero was not in the building. The mob eventually…

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kili-dc-meeting

EPDP, TNA, UNP join hands against land acquisition in Jaffna- The Island

In a rare show of unity all elected members from the EPDP, TNA and the UNP from the Jaffna District have come together to unanimously pass a resolution at the District Coordinating Committee meeting on Monday, calling upon the government to withdraw all notices issued under the Land Acquisition Act in the Jaffna District and to release those lands to the displaced people, enabling them to return to their own lands immediately. The District Secretary of Jaffna Sundaram Arumainayagam was also present at the meeting. EPDP, TNA, UNP… Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian)Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran proposed the resolution which was seconded by EPDP Parliamentarian and Deputy Chairman of Committees Murugesu Chandrakumar at the DCC…

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north

Northern Expressway negotiations begin with Chinese firm

The Secretary to the Ministry of Highways, Ports and Shipping Ranjith Pemasiri said that negations were underway with a Chinese company to Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) the first phase of the Northern Expressway (NE) up to Dambulla. The Expressway would commence from the Enderamulla exit point of the Colombo Outer circular road and proceed via Gampaha, Veyangoda, Mirigama, Kurunegala to Dambulla. There would be four lanes initially, which would be extended to six lanes subsequently. At Dambulla the expressway would branch out to lead to Trincomalee with the other branch from Dambulla going towards the North.

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hydarabad

Kidney racketeers sent 21 victims to SL

The city police has found that the kidney racketeers, who had sent deceased victim Dinesh Maroo to Sri Lanka, had sent as many as 21 people from different parts of AP to Colombo for kidney surgeries in the last few months. Two of the three arrested accused, D.S. Pavan Srinivas, an MBA student, and N. Venkatesham, were working for the racket led by a Lankan doctor, who would give them huge commissions for every case. Srinivas, 25, who is a resident of BN Reddynagar of Vanasthalipuram, had already sold his organ to the same Lankan doctor, known as “Monik”, several months ago. “He came back to the country and started working for the doctor. He…

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Dew

Tamil parties should not take their issues to India

There is no point in Tamil political parties and groups complaining about their issues to India and the UN, Minister (Senior) for Human Resources, D.E.W. Gunasekera, told Ceylon Today. Although there has been no semblance of national unity in the country since Independence in 1948, there has however been over 10 Tamil political parties and groups founded along with… …a whole host of Muslim parties and groups since, he added. Gunasekera reiterated that although there had been several governments during the 60-year period since Independence, the lack of national unity has been detrimental to the country’s economy. This has resulted in many problems on a national level and also in the international sphere, he added….

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scott-morrison

Australia for stronger ties with Lanka

Australia says its relationship with Sri Lanka can be more broader as a result of the efforts taken by both countries to fight people smuggling. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that both countries must apply the same focus and co-operation that they have achieved on people-smuggling to the broader challenge of transnational crime, The Australian newspaper reported. The number of Sri Lankans who became Australian citizens jumped 74 per cent to 3456 last year, while there were 4987 Sri Lankans who came to Australia legally with visas for work and for family reunions. Morrison said the rising trends of legal migration were “a guide to what you would continue to expect” as he guaranteed 4000…

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boththa

UK following case of tattoo woman

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office says it is dealing with the case involving a British woman ordered to be deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of the Lord Buddha on her arm, Independent.co.uk reported. The British tourist in Sri Lanka is currently being held in a detention centre ahead of deportation. The police said Naomi Michelle Coleman, 37, was arrested at Bandaranaike International Airport in the capital, Colombo, after she arrived from India. A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed they were dealing with the case of a detained British national. She said: “We are aware of the detention of a British national in Sri Lanka on April 21. We…

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Khuram-Shaikh

Khuram murder: Police distorted statement, says Manageress

In a startling revelation one of the main witnesses in the murder of British aid worker Khuram Shaikh, the Hotel Manageress said that the Tangalle Police had distorted what she had said in her First Information Report to the Police on December 24, 2011. Manageress Tharanga Peries said today in court that the Police had both added and subtracted in their recording what she had said told the Police initally. She was cross-examined today by the lawyer for the 1st accused, Jayantha Weerasinghe PC. “I don’t know the make of a gun and therefore I did not identify the gun as a pistol or a T-56,” she said. Giving evidence on an earlier date, the…

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NSC

Don’t make Colombo a Chicago or a Bangkok: NSC

National Sangha Council (NSC) while protesting against the new casino bill which was to be presented in Parliament this week today urged the Government not to make Colombo a Chicago or a Bangkok city. The NSC Financial Secretary Wattegedara Vijitha Thera said if President Mahinda Rajapaksa was a true Buddhist who loved Buddhism, he must take steps to stop these activities which were detrimental to the country. “If the president is a true Buddhist who loves Buddhism, he must take steps to stop these activities. We strongly object to these activities. Do not make this a Chicago or a Bangkok city. This is not anyone’s private property,” the Thera said. Ven. Vijitha Thera asked the…

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anandasangari 3

Anandasangaree appeals to Canada

Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) V. Ananadasangaree yesterday urged the Prime Minister of Canada to reconsider the decision to suspend contributions to the Commonwealth fund. Anandasangaree, in his letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, said, “this decision will certainly directly or indirectly have adverse effect on the very same people with whom the Canadian Government sympathizes with and those who had undergone untold hardships during the war that lasted more than a quarter of a century. Of the eight districts in the North and the East, in the districts of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu people lost almost all their possessions and in the rest of the other six districts, too, people lost…

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