National Freedom Front yesterday warned that TNA’s presence at the UNHRC sessions would damage the national reconciliation process and said that welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils depended on the goodwill of the Sinhalese, Sudar Oli reported. Resolutions against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC cannot be accepted Virakesari quoted Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella in the lead. The one hundred year old Gaffoor building, a popular landmark in Colombo Fort was vested with the government, Maubima reported. In a bid to win over voters UNP has formed an organization called nonviolent guerilla movement that would function island wide at every polling booth, Lakbima said in a front page story. According to Lankadeepa nine of the thirteen youths including Minister Maithripala Sirisena’s son suspected to have assaulted Batticaloa DIG’s son at Pasekudah beach, on Sunday, were law students. In another story it said the South Asian chapter of WHO commended the government’s decision to have pictorial warnings depicting the ill effects of smoking on packets of cigarettes. Minister Maithripala Sirisena did not exert any pressure on Police in the Pasekudah beach incident to get the suspects released on bail, Divaina quoted Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Over an incident involving his son and a DIG’s son at the Pasekudah beach last week Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena was very critical of the reportage in the Rivira, the paper reported in the top spread. Minister Champika Ranawaka called for stern action against Tamil National Alliance for sending a delegation to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, Virakesari quoted him. Solution to the Tamil Problem is in the hands of the international community Sudar Oli quoted the TNA. Sri Lanka’s democracy is on reverse gear, Maubima quoted US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake. Construction of the longest overhead highway bridge a distance of 3.8 km from Athurugiriya to Kaduwela was nearing completion, Lankadeepa carried a picture in front page. Sri Lanka would implement the LLRC recommendations and it needs no interference or persuasion from any quarters to do so, Divaina quoted Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe’s address at the UNHRC sessions at Geneva yesterday.
Friday, March 1
United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navaneetham Pillai rejected Sri Lanka’s request and permitted the screening of controversial channel-4 video “killing fields” at the UN today, Sudar Oli reported in the lead. There is a last minute possibility of India shifting its present stance and support Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions, Virakesari quoted Media Minister Kheliya Rambukwella. Doctors attached to the National Hospital plan to stage a day’s token strike from 8 am today over their annual transfer issue, Rivira reported. According to Lankadeepa a Mosque in Kegalle was pelted with stones in the early hours yesterday. Government rejected an offer by Jamaiyauthul Ulama to take over Halal certification, Lakbima reported in the lead. Acid attack on Anuradhapura Ayurveda Commissioner was carried out for a fee of Rupees 75,000 suspects arrested have confessed, Lankadeepa reported in the lead. Australia commenced a campaign titled “Don’t Feel Sorry” headed by Sri Lankan cricketers Muthiah Muralidaran and Lasith Malinga to discourage Lankans illegal attempt to reach Australia by taking treacherous sea routes in fishing vessels, Maubima reported.
Saturday, March 2
At the screening of Channel-4 Sri Lanka Killing Fields at the UNHRC yesterday TNA sought support of the UN for an international investigation against Sri Lanka, Virakesari reported in the lead. Government cannot prevent a UN team visiting Sri Lanka to investigate human right issues, Sudar Oli quoted JVP. Suspect who tipped off the robbers in the recent Rupees 10 million robbery in Slave Island, has left for London using a forged passport while the original travel document was with the Police, Rivira reported in the lead. Two recently recruited hangmen, by the Prisons Department, vacated posts by not reporting for work after going on leave, Lankadeepa reported. UNHRC has told Sri Lanka that it has not officially recognized the Channel-4 video on Sri Lankan killing fields, Lakbima reported in the lead. Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga called for a national government while addressing a meeting in Kandy, Divaina reported. Colombo High Court yesterday issued an interim injunction on the committee appointed by Western Province Chief Minister to inquire into Minister Mervyn Silva’s activities vis-à-vis Kelaniya Pradeshya Sabha, Maubima reported.