Front page

Lanka to provide counselling to kin of war missing

A Sri Lankan governmentappointed panel probing the cases of thousands of people gone missing during the nearly three-decade-long war with the LTTE will provide counselling to the kin of those disappeared, an official said today. H. W. Gunadasa,...

40 DIE IN ROAD ACCIDENTS; ELEVEN IN CLASHES

Forty people have died due to road accidents during the festive season. From the morning of April 10 to 6.00 am on April 15 there had been 417 road accidents country wide, of which 38 were fatal. These accidents had been reported from Aralaganwila,...

TO PREVENT LTTE RESURGENCE

The government is seeking a wider role from the Interpol in its attempt to hunt down Vinayagam and Nediyawan who are suspected of financing and reorganising the LTTE after steps were taken to issue a ‘Red Notice’ against them. Defence sources say that...

Canada suspends C’wealth funds over Sri Lanka chair

Canada will suspend funding to the Commonwealth while the chair of the secretariat is occupied by Sri Lanka because of human rights concerns, the BBC reported. Canada will instead direct its planned $20m (£12m) contribution toward other Commonwealth...

Three killed in head-on bus collision

At least three people were killed and 18 seriously injured in a headon collision between two buses in the Kalmunakudi area in Kalmunai, police said yesterday.

Bodies of killed LTTE cadres buried after Hindu religious rites

The bodies of three LTTE operatives killed recently in a shootout with the army during a search operation in the Padaviya Police Division were buried on Saturday at the Vijayapura cemetery, Anuradhapura in accordance with the Hindu religious rites and...

877 drunk drivers arrested during festive season

Police have arrested 877 drunk drivers during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year festive season following islandwide raids. The raids and checks started on April 10 and will continue till April 21, police headquarters said.

Buffaloes facing risk of extinction

Agricultural and Environmental organisations have noted a significant decline in the water buffalo population in the country largely due to slaughtering, and urged authorities to bring the situation under control.

Girl killed in tragic accident

A thirteen-year-old girl riding pillion was killed in a tragic accident when a van hit the rear of a motorcycle near CP Pura Vidyalaya in Minneriya on the Habarana-Polonnaruwa main road.

UNPstarts appraisalprocess

The main opposition UNP has already begun discussions with party organizers in areas where the recent provincial council elections were held, in a bid to evaluate their performances, party chairman and Leadership Council member Kabir Hashim said...

News

OHCHR to begin assessing evidence on SL

Britain has said that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will now begin the process of setting in motion an investigation and assessing the evidence on Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister William Hague told the British Parliament that as...

NATURAL DISASTERS

Natural Disasters last year has cost the Government Rs.559 million, this was revealed in the Annual Performance Report of the Ministry of Disaster Management presented to Parliament. According to the 2013 report, the Government has allocated Rs.203...

TN agrees for fishermen talks in SL next month

The Tamil Nadu Government yesterday gave its nod for Sri Lanka's proposal to hold the next round of fishermen-level talks in Colombo on May 12 and 13 on the contentious issue of fishing rights in the Palk Straits. State Animal Husbandry, Dairying and...

Two Chinese caught with invalid visas

Two Chinese were arrested at Pooneryn in Vavuniya on charges of having overstayed their visas. Police said that during their stay in the country they had been involved in selling imitation jewellery claiming they were made out of gold. The Vavuniya...

MODIWILL NEVER BETRAY THE TAMILS,SAYS VAIKO

MDMK General Secretary Vaiko said that Modi would never betray the Tamils and that he would continue to be the first person to safeguard the welfare of the minorities. He said a Modi-led Government at the Centre in India would not repeat the blunders...

Fifty parcels at Postal Dept. confiscated by customs

Fifty parcels received by the foreign parcels section of the postal department had been taken away by customs for contravening the rules and regulations of the department. Parcels received from Thailand, Hong Kong and China had been confiscated in...

CASE FILED IN INDIAN COURT ON INDIAN INVOLVEMENT IN SRI LANKA

Indian military personnel had been directly deployed in the final phase of the battle against the LTTE in 2009, a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court of India has claimed. “Indian military personnel took direct part in the war, and...

FOOTANDMOUTHNOW PREVALENT IN THE CENTRAL PROVINCE

Foot and Mouth, a disease that had been spreading rapidly in the North Central Province, had now spread to the Central Province, with infected animals being found in areas bordering the Kandy and Matale Districts. This fact was confirmed by the...

British MPs pull out of SL trip over UN inquiry

Two members included in a group of Labour and Tory MPs and their partners, who were due to fly out to Sri Lanka to meet senior Government ministers and officials, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is accused of being responsible for war...

Man, who concocted kidnap story, arrested

An individual, who lodged a bogus complaint, stating that an unidentified group in a white van had kidnapped him and stolen Rs 14,380 from him after assaulting him, had been arrested by the Kandy Police. He was to be charged before courts for...

Govt. underscores need to keep military on alert

Following Friday's confrontation between the security forces and LTTE operatives in Vavuniya, the government emphasized the need to maintain the presence of troops in the North.President Mahinda Rajapaksa's special envoy on human rights and Government...

Former Weligama PS member remanded

A former Weligama Pradeshiya Sabha member, alleged to have shot and wounded two men during a clash on New Years Day in the Kamburugamuwa Garaduwa area, was remanded till April 28 by Matara Acting Magistrate Upali Ranasinghe. This shooting had taken...

Biswal impressed by Solheim’s concern over SL

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, in a tweet, said that she was impressed more by Erik Solheim's “care and concern for all Sri Lankans than his knowledge of Sri Lanka”. Biswal's tweet, posted yesterday...

Two private buses in head-on collision in Hatton

Hospital sources revealed that some of the injured had later been transferred to the Nawalapitiya hospital for further treatment A private bus travelling from Upcot in Maskeliya to Hatton and another going in the opposite direction towards Maskeliya...

Five Chinese nationals nabbed with sea animals

These marine animals had been packed in a manner in which they could be dried and later sent for processing as food Five Chinese nationals and a local driver were nabbed by the Kollupitiya police at the Kollupitiya Police check point on Monday night...

Bowser transporting fuel caught fire in Suriyawewa

A bowser transporting 33,000 litres of aviation fuel from Kolonnawa to Mattala airport, instantly caught fire when it collided with an SLTB bus was parked by the roadside at Meegahajandura junction in Suriyawewa. The driver of the bowser and his...

Girl killed...

Contd. page 1 The victim was a grade eight student of Polonnaruwa Royal College and was on her way with her father and brother on a motorcycle to visit a relative when she met with the accident. Police said the driver of the van who had been under the...

PRIEST REMANDED OVER ALLEGED CHILD ABUSE

A pastor taken into custody for alleged child abuse was remanded by Minuwangoda Magistrate D.A.Ruwan Pathirana till April 22. Pastor Ranjith Nocholas Fernando (47) was remanded on March 27 following a dismissal of his application for an anticipatory...

Motorcyclist killed in Polonnaruwa

A motorcyclist was killed on the spot after being knocked down by a SLTB bus near Deepa Uyana on Polonnaruwa - Habarana road. The deceased Roshan Dilruk Siriwardene (27) was a garment factory worker from Jayanthipura in Thambalawewa area; was on his...

Chillie powder unfit for consumption, seized and trader arrested

A raid on a leading business establishment in Maradankadawala following information by the public led to the arrest of a trader who suspected to have mixed flour with chilie powder and attempting to distribute during the festive season. The consignment...

Fire cracker sets house ablaze

A house at Thalpotha in Polonnaruwa was gutted when it caught fire from fire cracker lit by a child when the parents were away from home. All household effects including electrical appliances were destroyed by fire. The owner of the house...

Arrested and released on bail for child abuse

A TV crew member of a popular TV channel was arrested and produced before the Mahara Additional Magistrate Mahinda Prabath Ranasinghe on the charge of child abuse. He was released on Rs. 5,000 bail and surety bail of Rs.100, 000 each by two...

Global warming

In the afterglow of a happy but the hottest ever National New Year we need to reflect deeply on the latest United Nations report which warns that just a few decades remain to halt global warming and head off its most catastrophic effects. The report...

Who will investigate their sordid crimes?

The godfathers of human rights have worked overtime, and have proudly presented their “magnum opus” against the only country in the world to have conquered terrorism. Ever since, little Lanka became the target of the international community, Geneva...

We mustn’t take things lightly

These days, we Sri Lankans are taking things so lightly and forgetting the bloody terrorist past we had for 30 years. Some people seem to play with the country for cheap political gains and for their own selfish interests. We all must get together...

Women’s participation in labour market is MORE IMPORTANT THAN OIL FOR NORWAY Grete Lochen

that this resolve was not made as a consequence of a national law or associated legal penalties but borne solely out of conviction. Today, five of the six major Norwegian political parties apply a quota system on a voluntary basis in the electoral...

Norwayhasbeenengagedinpeace efforts internationally.Sri Lanka is an example.What are your impressions of the role that Norway played in the Sri Lankan peace process?

Norway has always seen a well-organised world as being in our national interest. Therefore much of our international peace and security efforts are channelled through the UN system. As mentioned earlier, contributions to strengthening the role and...

Logic and Logistics

The world’s biggest carnival of democracy is in full flow. It’s a carnival in every sense of the word – in terms of sheer drama, spectacle and colour, along with all that hurly-burly and exuberant noise, the parliamentary elections in India have set...

What are Norway’s current interests in Sri Lanka at the level of peace and reconciliation and other engagements?

Sri Lanka has been a significant partner for Norwegian development cooperation since the 1970s. Over the years we have supported rural development in the South, peace-building activities, improvement of living standards in the plantation areas,...

Despite the resounding political participation and contribution to the nationaleconomyasdiscussedabovethe representation of women in corporate boardsintheNorwegianprivatesector corporations seem to be lagging behind. Whatisthereasonforthedichotomy?

You’re right. This used to be the case but it all changed in 2005 when Norway introduced a law which stated that 40% of board members in all limited liability companies must be women. The law has been so successful that it has been taken up as an...

TheNorwegianEmbassyinColombo recently celebrated Norway’s 100th year anniversary of women’s enfranchisement in politics at an event to coincide withInternationalWomen’sDay2014. Theroleofwomeninnationaldevelopmentandgrowthtogetherwitharemarkable representa

The Norwegian experience must be traced back to where we began. In the 1970s we had a very low participation of women in the labour force but today we have one of the highest - if not the highest - in Europe, amounting to 70% of women in between the...

NorwayandSriLankahaveacommondenominatorwhenitcomesto international relations - both being small-countries.In your opinion,has the approach to international relations by both countries been similar?

In an interlinked world, having a strong United Nations is not only important but extremely beneficial and useful to small countries. Therefore, Norway is one of the top donors to the UN system. In 2012 the total contribution amounted to USD 1.2...

The chief criticism that was levelled against Norway during the peace process in Sri Lanka was its conflicting role as both facilitator and monitor.Do youagree?

An external evaluation was commissioned by the Norwegian government following its role in Sri Lanka’s peace process to help with Norway’s future work in peace processes. The evaluation team was headed by Gunnar Sørbø from the Chr. Michelsen Institute...

Movingonfromtheaspectofwomen’s contribution to national developmentandtheeconomy,howhasthesignificant and meaningful participation of womeninpoliticsinNorwaybeen achieved,particularly the commendable 50percentrepresentationofwomenin theNorwegianCabinet?

The political movement came of age in Norway when it realised that excluding women from political parties was a weakness of the party, both in perception and reality. Hence, in the 1970s and 1980s all the major political parties themselves came to...

Whatdoessuchanachievementand statistics mean in practical terms?

QIn practical terms, it means that the contribution of women has been recognised and proven as paramount to economic growth and development. Research shows that if the labour participation of Norwegian women had been the same as the average...

Whatareyourimpressionsofthewomen’s movementinSriLanka?

From what I see, Sri Lanka has many strong women who operate effectively individually but organisationally there is fragmentation and probably lack of coordination. Thus the visibility as an organised movement is not forthcoming. Moreover, the movement...

Whatwouldyousayisthesecretof this success story which can be studied by other countries too?

It must be said that the Norwegian experience on women’s emancipation is not a unique one. It has been a fight and it continues to be a struggle. It has benefited from the modern women’s movement, affirmative policies and laws and intense lobbying and...

Opinion

INDIA TOP COURT RECOGNISES TRANSGENDERS AS 'THIRD GENDER'

NEW DELHI, April 15, 2014 (AFP) -India's highest court on Tuesday recognised a neutral gender that is neither male nor female, in a landmark ruling that paves the way for equal rights for several million transgenders and eunuchs. The Supreme Court...

Asia Undersea drone hunt for Malaysian plane may take two months

SYDNEY/PERTH, April 15, 2014 (Reuters) - A U.S. Navy underwater drone sent to search for a missing Malaysian jetliner on the floor of the Indian Ocean could take up to two months to scour a 600 sq km area where the plane is believed to have sunk, U.S....

BOY'S HEAD FOUND IN HOME OF PAKISTANI CANNIBALS

LAHORE, Pakistan, April 15, 2014 (Daily Mail, London) - A convicted cannibal has been rearrested in Pakistan after a young boy's head was discovered in his home. The gruesome discovery of a three-year-old's head was made in the house of Mohammad Arif,...

Nigeria capital beefs up security after deadly bombing

ABUJA, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - Nigeria police boosted security across Abuja on Tuesday after a bomb blast ripped through a packed bus station killing at least 72 people, the deadliest attack ever to hit the capital.The slaughter on the outskirts of...

Owner of collapsed Bangladesh factory faces murder charges

DHAKA, April 15, 2014 (AFP)- Bangladesh police said Tuesday they will press murder charges against the owner of a nine-storey building that collapsed and killed 1,135 garment workers last April, the worst industrial disaster in the country's...

Islamists abduct 'many' schoolgirls in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - Heavily armed Islamist gunmen kidnapped a group of girls from a secondary school in northeast Nigeria's Borno state and torched the surrounding town, a local official and a witness told AFP. “Many girls were abducted...

Five stabbed to death at Canada house party

OTTAWA, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - Five people died overnight in a stabbing rampage at a house party held to mark the end of university classes in the Canadian city of Calgary, local media said Tuesday. Police were reportedly called around 1:30 am to a...

Egypt court bans Brotherhood members from polls East

CAIRO, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - A court on Tuesday banned members of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement listed as a “terrorist group”, from running in Egypt's upcoming elections, a lawyer and state media said. Egypt's military-installed authorities are...

Iraq shuts infamous Abu Ghraib prison over security fears

BAGHDAD, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - Iraq has closed Abu Ghraib prison, made infamous by Saddam Hussein's regime and US forces, due to security concerns following a mass breakout last year, the justice ministry said Tuesday. The country is suffering a...

Militants killed after 22-hour gun battle

JAMMU, April 15, 2014 (The Hindu) - The Jammu and Kashmir police killed two militants of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in a 22-hour gun battle at Ahmadnagar on the northern outskirts of Srinagar. Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Abdul Gani Mir told The...

Afghan Deputy Minister Kidnapped

KABUL, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - A senior Afghan government official on his way to work in Kabul on Tuesday was kidnapped along with his driver, an interior ministry official said. Ahmad Shah Waheed, deputy minister for public works, was taken by gunmen...

Syria army launches assault on besieged Homs

DAMASCUS, April 15, 2014 (AFP) Syria's army launched a major ground assault on the central city of Homs on Tuesday, state television said, with troops entering rebel-held districts under government siege for nearly two years. “The Syrian army and the...

SECOND PAKISTANI ARRESTED FOR CANNIBALISM

LAHORE, Pakistan, April 15, 2014 (AFP) - Pakistani police Tuesday arrested a second man suspected along with his brother of eating a newborn baby whose head was found at their home, officials said. Farman Ali was detained a day after police arrested...