Friday, April 29, 2011

Sai Baba laid to rest with state honours

Sai Baba laid to rest with state honours

As the government declared a state funeral, Baba's casket was draped in the tricolour. Besides, the Kurnool Battalion of Andhra Pradesh Special Police presented a 21-gun salute as a mark of respect

The last rites of Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi was conducted with state honours and his casket was draped in the tricolour. The police gave him a 21-gun salute and his body was laid to rest amidst Vedic chants by nine priests.

Although it was a closed-door affair exclusively for and by Baba's family members many VVIPs and prominent figures close to Sathya Sai Baba flew in to attend the ceremony.

Galaxy of VVIPs

Amongst the family members who conducted the last rites were Baba's nephew R J Rathnakar, and his son Shantiram.

Also, senior BJP leader L K Advani, Punjab Governor Shivraj Patil, Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, Venkaiah Naidu and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu were present.

The ceremony started at 9 am and was telecast live on many local TV news channels for lakhs of devotees who couldn't come down to pay their last respects. It was also telecast live on big screens for thousands of devotees gathered outside the ashram.

Prominent leaders of every religions were also present for the ceremony. According to the Hindu rituals mentioned in the Vedas, a holy cow was brought in for the ceremony before the Samadhi was built.

9, the pious number

Also, nine different kinds of flowers and food grains were offered along with water flown in from nine different holy rivers. Nine precious stones symbolising the nine planets were offered at the mantle.
Post the rituals, Baba's body was taken out of the glass casket and moved to the Samadhi. The drapes came down as the family wished to conduct this part of the ceremony privately.

After the body was laid in the Samadhi, nine priests conducted the managala aarti as a concluding ritual.

The miracle

While devotees outside the ashram witnessed the whole ceremony on the big screens, a miracle strengthened their faith in the godman who had left his mortal body on Sunday.

The huge crowd stood up in joy as they saw the moon shown brightly in the sky, amidst the powerful rays of the sun. The crowds cheered and sang praises to Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.

see more  pictures:

Sai Baba, spiritual guru to millions, dies at 85

The death of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the age of 85 from heart and breathing problems has prompted scenes of mass grief across India – where his distinctive frizzy hair, trademark saffron robes, controversial miracles and simple message of ecumenical spiritualism had made him a new-age icon.

But though revered by millions around the world as a living god, he was a controversial figure, criticised by some as a fraud protected by political influence. His later years were dogged by allegations of sexual abuse.

The government of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where Sai Baba was born, declared four days of mourning. Hundreds of police were deployed in his hometown of Puttaparthi, to maintain order among the thousands of devotees who had gathered over recent days.

In the city of Bangalore, followers walked through the streets carrying portraits of the dead spiritual leader and chanting "Baba is not with us physically. But he remains with us forever."

In Delhi, worshippers gathered to pray at temples across the city. Many refused to accept that the guru was dead.

"Sai has not gone anywhere. Wait 48 hours. He will be back," Vandana Bhalla, a 38-year-old housewife in the Indian capital's middle-class Ashok Vihar neighbourhood told the Guardian.

Among Sai Baba's estimated six million followers are hundreds of top Indian politicians, industrialists, tycoons, Bollywood stars and sportsmen such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Overseas, they include Goldie Hawn and Isaac Tigrett, the founder of Hard Rock café. Sarah Ferguson has visited one of his ashrams.

Since Sai Baba founded his first permanent meditation centre more than 60 years ago, a vast construction programme funded by donations has converted the remote village where he was born into a thriving small city with dozens of temples, its own 220-bed specialised hospital offering free treatment, a university and an airport where charter planes bringing devotees from around the world arrive every day.

Volunteers working with Sai Baba's NGOs have effectively delivered disaster relief and undertaken large-scale developmental works that have brought water or sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people.

There are thought to be more than 1,200 centres of his Sathya Sai organisation in over a hundred countries around the world.

Sai Baba did not appoint any successor to run his sprawling spiritual and temporal empire, currently run by a trust, after his death. The local Economic Times newspaper estimated its worth at up to £5bn though admitted no accurate valuation was possible. There are now fears of a clash between Sai Baba's family and the trust, which could also provide an excuse for the local state government to step in.

"If the government has to take over the affairs of Sai Baba's mission that could spell its end," devotee Shivanand Shetty told the Sunday Guardian newspaper in Puttaparthi.

In Delhi, devotees said the spirit of the dead guru would maintain peace.

"His trust is run very professionally and … it will be Sai who will be guiding them," said Dr Amala Venugopal, a general medical practitioner.

Born without wealth or advantage as Sathyanarayana Raju, Sai Baba declared himself the reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, a 19th century guru, when he was 14. Followers claim that, after being stung by a scorpion, the teenager began singing devotional chants in the ancient language of Sanskrit, which he neither spoke nor read.

The young religious leader, who accepted devotees from all faiths, quickly won fame for supposed mystical powers including the ability to conjure objects including gold watches out of thin air and to heal. Critics said his miracles were simple magic tricks.

Sai Baba was also the subject of a series of allegations of sexual abuse of young male followers. Participants in a 2004 BBC documentary, The Secret Swami, accused him of massaging their testicles with oil and coercing them into oral sex.

Former devotee Barry Pittard told the Guardian Sai Baba was a dangerous confidence trickster who should not have been allowed to have anything to do with children. "For the worst victims of his depredations … their sufferings have been very great," he said.

Sai Baba was never been charged with any offence over the sex abuse allegations and had denied all the charges against him, claiming they were part of a campaign to defame him.

"Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba. I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day," the guru told followers in 2000.

In 1993, six people died violently in the spiritual leader's private rooms. The incident has never been fully explained. One possibility is a dispute between followers over money.

Sai Baba, spiritual guru to millions, dies at 85

India's prime minister Manmohan Singh said Sai Baba's death was "an irreparable loss" to all: "He was a spiritual leader who inspired millions to lead a moral and meaningful life even as they followed the religion of their choice."

Sai Baba had predicted his own death in 2019 but said that, having been reborn as the second reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi, he would be reborn as the holy man's third and final reincarnation in 2023 in a small village in the state of Karnataka. His followers claim that, as he has died earlier than foreseen, he could return as early as next year.

State funeral for Sai Baba, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi attend

India: State funeral for Sai Baba, Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi attend

After a multi-faith ceremony in which Muslims, Christians and Sikhs read from their sacred texts, hundreds of thousands of people followed the body to its burial ground. The guru was not cremated but laid to rest in the public hall of his ashram in Andhra Pradesh, an honour reserved only to those ...

Puttaparthi – Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the funeral of Sai Baba, who was buried rather than cremated, a privilege reserved only for those Hindus consider saints. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi attended the ceremony.

Sai Baba was buried with full state honours inside the public hall in the ashram in Puttaparthi. Huge crowds followed the ceremony, singing and praying.

A multi-faith ceremony preceded the actual funeral. Muslim, Christian and Sikh clerics read from their scriptures before orange-robed Hindu priests took over. The service included a gun salute.

Sai Baba created a large movement with followers around the world.

In Kathmandu, about 30,000 followers met in the heart of the capital, singing hymns and saying prayers in front of a picture of the guru.

Hundreds of Nepalis left for India, but many of those who could not travel organised a parallel ceremony in the Kathmandu. “Come back, our dear almighty; we are all waiting for you! Sai! Our dear Sai”, the faithful sang. Some said they expect Sai Baba to rise again.

As popular as he was, Sai Baba was not free from controversies. He was accused of “organising” some of the miracles attributed to him. Some of his followers also accused him of sexual abuse, something he steadfastly denied.

Conversely, others see his work in a more positive light. “He did a lot of good in the poorest districts, opening schools and hospitals,” Bishop Moses D. Prakasam of Nellore told AsiaNews. “Through his compassion, he built water systems, provided water to the villages in Anantpur district, as well as irrigation. What he did is worthy of respect.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dilshan new captain

Dilshan named captain

The Selection Committee headed by Duleep Mendis has named T.M. Dilshan as the Captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team pending the approval of the Sports Minister, Mendis told Ada Derana a short while ago. Secretary SLC Nishantha Ranathunga speaking to Ada Derana stated that Dilshan has been appointed captain for the upcoming English tour.

Eastern university will be reopened

Eastern university will  be reopened
Ministry of higher Education announces that Eastern university will  be reopened  tomorrow (20th April 2011) fro which student council also agrees.

Sri Lanka Treasury bill yields up

Sri Lanka Treasury bill yields up
Sri Lanka's 3-month Treasury bill yields edged up three basis points to 7.03 percent a week after the Central Bank raised reserve ratios draining 15 billion rupees in excess liquidity from the banking system to contain inflation and credit.

The government's debt office said the 6-month yield rose 02 basis points to 7.11 percent and the 12-month yield rose 03 basis points to 7.33 percent. The debt office, which is a unit of the Central Bank said only 7.0 billion rupees of bids from real buyers were accepted in a sale where 10 billion rupees of Treasury bills were maturing.
The debt office did not say the balance bills were retired. The terminology is usually indicative that the balance 3.0 billion holders had been repaid with printed money.

Bilateral talks between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh commence

 Bilateral talks between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh commence.

President Mahinda Rajapakse, who is currently engaged in a three day official tour in Bangladesh, met Prime Minister Sheikh Hashina Wajid last evening.  The Sri Lankan President was warmly received by Mrs. Wajid at the Prime Minister’s office.
Bilateral official talks between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh commenced at this occasion.  Both leaders focussed attention on the religious and cultural relations between the two countries since ancient past.
President Mahinda Rajapakse commended the progress in diplomatic relations between the two countries commenced in the year 1972.  The Sri Lanka and Bangladesh leaders also discussed on the propagation of air travel, exchange of cultural and education programmes.  The President also praised the Bangladeshi government for acting as a friendly neighbour especially during the humanitarian operation to eliminate terrorism and also keeping away from the  process  of  building opinion against Sri Lanka. He further appreciated the assistance extended by Bangladesh in regional security issues.

President Rajapakse also requested to take measures to bring the sacred hair relics of Lord Buddha at the Chittagong Buddhist Vihara to Sri Lanka.

Both leaders also discussed ways of enhancing economic development between the two countries by developing facilities at the Ports in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  They also pointed out on how the two countries should strive to  become middle income countries by the year 2016 and also on bilateral investment securities.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh entered into four agreements of mutual understanding and also signed an exchange programme agreement.  Minister Professor G.L. Peiris signed on behalf of Sri Lanka to this agreement.  They included agreements on cooperation in the fields of tertiary and vocational education and solidarity in fishing.  In addition two mutual understanding agreements on the agricultural sector and trade promotions were also signed.  The two countries also entered into exchange programme agreement in cultural, educational and scientific sectors.
Bangladeshi foreign minister Dr. Dipu moning called on at the hotel where President Mahinda Rajapakse was staying last evening.  The Bangladeshi foreign minister has conducted talks with the President on

historical relationship as well as on the strengthening of air travel and international relations between the two countries. 

Stop building nuclear plants

 Stop building nuclear plants

Mothers wearing yellow scarves swear to conserve energy during an anti-nuclear power plant rally in central Seoul April 19, 2011. The mothers gathered to promise to conserve energy at home and to demand a stop to the building of additional nuclear plants in their country after serious radiation leakages at the earthquake and tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. REUTERS

Saturday, April 9, 2011

US does not support separatism — Blake

US does not support separatism — Blake

Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Robert O. Blake says in a letter to The Island in response to our recent reports on his meetings with members of the Global Tamil Forum etc that the US does not support separatism and he has never met individuals or organisations that espouse terror or violence.

Full text of the letter:

I would like to clear up some misinformation and inaccuracies reported in The Island over the past week concerning the meeting I held with Sri Lankans abroad and my plans to visit Sri Lanka.

First, regarding my meeting with representatives from the Global Tamil Forum, I meet regularly with Sri Lankan and diaspora groups whose members represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds and viewpoints. Likewise, I meet with diaspora representatives from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and other South and Central Asian nations. I also meet regularly with a variety of non-governmental organizations to hear their perspectives on a range of issues. And, of course, I communicate frequently with government officials from all countries in the region. U.S. policy is not crafted in a vacuum. I and my colleagues at the State Department and at U.S. Embassies listen to a variety of perspectives to gain a better understanding of issues in order to best determine our policy interests and positions. At the same time, we use these meetings as an opportunity to explain U.S. policy priorities.

Read more:

The High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. Seema Ilahi Baloch met with Rohana Dissanayake Deputy Minister of Transport

The High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. Seema Ilahi Baloch met with Rohana Dissanayake Deputy Minister of Transport

The High Commissioner of Pakistan H.E. Seema Ilahi Baloch met with Honourable Rohana Dissanayake (M.P.), Deputy Minister of Transport of Sri Lanka today (April 6, 2011). During the meeting various issues of importance in context of bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Sri Lanka were discussed.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1948, the two countries have consistently maintained close, cordial and mutually supportive relationship.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka being located in the South Asian region and being members of various regional and international bodies like UN, commonwealth, NAM and SAARC are mutually important for each others. The relationship between Pakistan and Srilanka is based on mutual trust and commonality of interest in maintaining regional peace, security and stability. Pakistan has always supported the unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Sri Lanka. Both countries have shared common perceptions on almost all regional and international issue and are working together on all these forums for shared values and interests.

Pakistan is the 2nd largest trading partner of Sri Lanka within the South Asian region. The level of bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka increased as a result of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Trade between the two countries increased from US$ 150 million to over US$ 300 million during the last three years, as it doubled within a short period of time with the positive support gained from the FTA.

The civilizational links between Pakistan and Sri Lanka date back to the dawn of Buddhism. The archaeological sites in Taxila, adjacent to Pakistan’s capital city Islamabad, are a living testimony to this fact. Ghandara trail was a part of the silk route and many Buddhist pilgrims from different countries used to visit these sites on this historical route.

3rd Meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries

3rd Meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries

The 3rd Meeting of the India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group on Fisheries was held in New Delhi on March 28-29, 2011. The Sri Lanka delegation was led by Mr. Ranjith Uyangoda, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Indian delegation by Shri T.S. Tirumurti, Joint Secretary (BSM), Ministry of External Affairs of India. The leader of the Sri Lankan delegation called on the Foreign Secretary of India, Smt. Nirupama Rao on 29th March 2011.

Both sides welcomed the convening of the Joint Working Group on Fisheries, the last meeting of which was held in January 2006 in Colombo. The two sides reviewed developments since 2006.

Both sides reiterated the high priority given by their respective Governments to issues of fishermen and their livelihood. They stressed the need for all fishermen to be treated in a humane manner. To ensure the safety and security of fishermen, both sides agreed that the use of force cannot be justified under any circumstances. The need to respect the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) when fishing was stressed by the Sri Lankan side.
The Sri Lankan side informed that the recent violent incidents in January 2011, which resulted in the death of two Indian fishermen, are being further investigated. In this context, the two sides noted that the Joint Statement on Fishing Arrangements of 26th October 2008 had led to a decrease in violent incidents in 2009-2010. They welcomed the Joint Statement issued during the visit of the Foreign Secretary of India to Sri Lanka in January 2011.

The two sides noted that given the socio-economic and livelihood dimensions to the issue, there was need for enhancing cooperation by building on the agreements reached earlier. They agreed on the need to discuss arrangements based on the current situation so as to further strengthen the safety, security and livelihood of the fishermen.

Both sides welcomed the visit of a group of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka between 20-23 March 2011. They had called on the Hon’ble Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of Sri Lanka and had also meetings with Hon’ble Minister of Small and Traditional Industries of Sri Lanka and their counterparts from the Northern Province. Recalling the initiatives taken earlier in August 2010 by the fishermen of both countries, where a Sri Lankan fishermen delegation visited India, both sides agreed on the need to foster greater understanding between their respective fishermen and fishermen associations. Noting the invitation extended by the Indian fishermen to their Sri Lankan counterparts, the two sides agreed that a return visit to India would be important to take this process forward.

Both sides discussed the various regulatory measures being put in place to manage the fishery resources in their respective waters. They noted the growing importance of fisheries to the livelihood of the coastal communities in Northern Sri Lanka. The two sides agreed that a road map needs to be put in place to ensure resource sustainability, livelihood, safety and security of the fishermen of both countries. Both sides also discussed measures to expedite the release of bonafide detained fishermen from both countries.

The draft Memorandum of Understanding on Development and Cooperation in the field of Fisheries was also discussed and it was decided to continue discussion on the draft. The Indian side offered to continue its assistance to the fisheries sector in Sri Lanka, which was welcomed by the Sri Lankan side.

The Indian delegation also thanked the Sri Lankan authorities for facilitating the visit of Indian fishermen and pilgrims to Kachchativu for the festival of St. Anthony earlier this month.

Sri Lanka at ‘Destination Nature Fair’ in Paris

Sri Lanka at ‘Destination Nature Fair’ in Paris

The annual ‘Destination Nature Fair’ was held in Paris from 25th to 27th March 2011 with the participation of more than 200 companies, including companies from Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s participation, which was facilitated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, saw the participation of Exotic Global Holidays (Pvt.) Ltd., NKAR Travels and Tours (Pvt.) Ltd. as well as Eco Team (Pvt.) Ltd.

Held for the 27th consecutive year the Fair focused on outdoor activities linked to gastronomy, romance, fauna and flora, culture, urban well being, greenery, attitude, solidarity, festivity and luxury. Attracting more than 52, 000 visitors, this specialized consumer fair was divided into four key categories, namely, France area, foreign destinations, sports equipment and bloggers.
A special Tea Tasting event was also conducted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in association with the Sri Lanka Tea Board through out the duration of the fair.

Several visitors to the Sri Lanka Pavilion expressed a keen interest in visiting Sri Lanka especially since there were a large number of outdoor activities available in the country through out year round. From wildlife and nature sanctuaries, to kayaking, canoeing and white water rafting, snorkeling and scuba diving, and whale and dolphin watching, among a myriad other activities in varying terrain from the golden beaches to the tea capped mountains and from lush forests to ecologically friendly environments, Sri Lanka has much to offer the adventurous traveller


How Japan is Acting to Ensure Safety of Farm Produce Exports

How Japan is Acting to Ensure Safety of Farm Produce Exports

Providing Accurate Information; No Need for Curbs on Travel to Japan
In response to global concerns about the safety of Japanese products triggered by damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the Government of Japan has taken every possible measure to make sure no contaminated farm product will be sold at home or abroad.

However, an increasing number of countries and regions are moving to screen imports from Japan by introducing tests related to radiation levels. “We take it seriously,” Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama said during a press briefing on March 31 following a meeting at the State Secretary level called to discuss steps to be taken towards import restrictions. “We will keep a close watch on import curbs and take necessary action in liaison with this meeting,” he added.

Measures Taken by MOFA

Reiterating these remarks, Minister for Foreign Affairs Takeaki Matsumoto told a press conference on April 1 that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has been gathering information through diplomatic missions abroad while providing foreign embassies and international organizations in Tokyo with information and explanations. “We are approaching countries that seem to be taking excessive measures for corrective actions,” he added. Upon the request of the European Union, Japan is preparing to issue certificate of origin as one of the measures to ease its concerns, Minister Matsumoto said, citing remarks at the State Secretary-level meeting. “MOFA will continue providing each country with sufficient information on the latest state of the nuclear power plant, and will work in close cooperation with the ministries and agencies concerned in order to prevent excessive reaction or unreasonable import bans overseas,” he said.

Japan has requested countries and regions concerned not to overreact to the nuclear incident by imposing unjustifiable import regulations and restrictions. According to MOFA Press Secretary Satoru Satoh, the move is an effort to avoid unfounded rumors and ensure smooth economic activities, including foreign trade. As part of the effort, a Japanese envoy called on World Trade Organization (WTO) members to abide by the WTO rule that bans trade restrictions not based on scientific grounds. At the informal sessions of the WTO Trade Negotiations Committee on March 29 and SPS (Sanitary and Phytosanitary) Committee on March 30, Ambassador Yoichi Otabe at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva said Japan will “continue to try to provide accurate information for the international community as quickly as possible with a view to ensuring maximum transparency.” He requested WTO members “not to overreact by implementing unjustifiable import regulations and restrictions.”

ICAO: “No Restrictions on Travel to Japan”

During his March 31 briefing, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuyama cited a report from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism(MLIT) showing there are no international restrictions on travel to Japan. The report is based on a statement issued on March 18 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other U.N. agencies. “International flight and maritime operations can continue normally into and out of Japan’s major airports and seaports, excluding those damaged by the tsunami,” according to the statement shared with the World Health Organization(WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA), the World Meteorological Organization(WMO) and the International Maritime Organization(IMO).

“No Need for Radiation Tests on Passengers from Japan”

ICAO and IMO also posted the following information on April 1 stating that there is no need for radiation screening tests on passengers arriving from Japan.

“Radioactive material from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is gradually spreading outside Japan into the global atmosphere but at extremely low concentrations that do not present health or transportation safety hazards, according to the U.N. organizations closely monitoring the situation”.

“Japanese authorities confirm that all airports in the country, with the exception of Sendai which was affected by the tsunami of March 11, continue to operate normally for both international and domestic operations. Continuous monitoring around these airports confirms that radiation levels are well within safe limits from a health perspective”.

“Japanese authorities also confirm that all international seaports not damaged by the earthquake and tsunami are operating normally and that no health risk has been detected around the ports, based on the results of measurements of radiation levels by local governments”.

“Screening for radiation of passengers arriving from Japan is currently considered unnecessary at airports around the world.”

Daily Government Briefing

To help convey accurate information globally, the Government of Japan is conducting a daily briefing for foreign media in Tokyo. Officials from MOFA and other ministries and agencies concerned participate in the briefing conducted at the Prime Minister’s Office each evening to provide detailed information such as radiation levels measured daily at selected points in areas surrounding the Fukushima plant, the outcome of work dedicated to ensuring the safety of the plant and the condition of each reactor.

Foriegn minister Prof. Peiris Discusses Trade Opportunities with Lord Green,British Minister of State for Trade and Investment

Foriegn minister Prof. Peiris Discusses Trade Opportunities with Lord Green,

 British Minister of State for Trade and Investment

Minister Peiris outlined the recent expansion of opportunities in Sri Lanka for broadening business and trade links between the two countries following the end of the conflict. He explained that Sri Lanka was engaged in a major programme of infrastructure development while other sectors such as tourism and services have also expanded considerably in recent months. Furthermore, arrangements such as the India-Sri Lanka and the India-Pakistan Free Trade Agreements offered major incentives for foreign companies including from the UK using Sri Lanka as an investment base for export into the vast South Asian markets. Against the background of strong bilateral links and the mutual familiarity of each others administrative, financial and legal structures, it was an opportune moment for strengthening interactions in the trade and business sectors.

Lord Green responded that British businesses are keen to strengthen engagement with Sri Lanka. In addition to the significant number of British companies already active in the country, the UK side could encourage in particular the British SME’s which are the back-bone of the British business sector. Minister Peiris invited Lord Green to lead a business delegation to Sri Lanka.

Minister Peiris also met with Alistair Burt, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. The meeting was a follow-up to their meeting in Colombo in February, where avenues for further strengthening bilateral relations were discussed.

Prof. Peiris addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Professionals of Sri Lanka in the United Kingdom. He commended the exceedingly useful work which was being done by the Association which consists of more than 400 professionals drawn from a variety of disciplines.

The Minister briefed the Sri Lankan professionals about current developments in the country and, in particular, the significant progress achieved by the government in respect of the economy, infrastructure development and reconciliation. He said that the professionals should look upon themselves as ambassadors of goodwill who have a vital role to play in conveying to British professionals and civil society the fullest information regarding the progress in all these fields.

Friday, April 8, 2011

India won world cup 2011

India  won world cup 2011

Sri Lanka cricket team finished No.2 in the  world  after losing to India by  six wickets in the  final of  the ICC World  cup tournament concluded in Mumbai   2nd  April 2011.

Electing to bat  first, Sri \lanka made  a challanging 274 for  6 in  50 overs with  Vice captain Mahela jayawardene making  a bblistering century.Sri |lanka  was in full command when  paceman  Lasith |malinga  removed both  the  Indian openers Virendra sehwag  and sachin tendulkar cheaply  with only 31 runs on the  board in  the  seventh over.

Gautham Gambhir played a brave innings and resurrected the Indian innings,scoring 97 runs off 122 balls before he was bowled by Thisara perera.
This  was  the  first time  that  two  Asian cricketing nations featured  in the  final  in the  tournment's 36years history. Both countries had  won  the  Cricket World cup once in 1983 and Srilanka in 1996.