PCB agree to host Australia in Sri Lanka

Pakistan’s home limited-overs series against Australia this August is likely to be played in Sri Lanka, with SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga and PCB director Intikhab Alam both saying they had agreed in principle to the arrangement. Cricket Australia’s stand has not been made public but it is understood to be aware of the plan. The Memorandum of Understanding has not yet been signed and Alam will travel to Sri Lanka next week to finalise arrangements.

“Sri Lanka Cricket had expressed the desire to host the series to the PCB a month ago and both boards have no problems with it. I do not know about the stand of the other cricket board [CA] yet,” Ranatunga told ESPNcricinfo.

Alam revealed that South Africa and Australia itself were the other two nations being considered as venues for the series, but Sri Lanka was selected for commercial and cricketing reasons.

Pakistan and Australia will play five ODIs and three Twenty20 internationals against each other. The original plan was to play just one Twenty20, but with the World T20 immediately after the series, the countries’ boards have agreed to play two extra matches.

Pakistan have had to play their home series in neutral venues since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009. While the UAE has been their location of choice recently, the scheduling of the Australia series just before the World Twenty20, which will be played in Sri Lanka, may have influenced the decision on where to play the five ODIs and one Twenty20 international.

Pakistan have hosted a Test against Australia in Sri Lanka before, in Colombo in 2002. Their last home series against Australia was played in England, in the summer of 2010, after which they have hosted all their home series, including one against Sri Lanka, in the UAE. (Cricinfo)

Kid of teen mom dies

The child of a 13 year old mother died at a children’s home in Bandarawela after falling sick, the police media unit said today.

According to the police the child was placed at the Sujatha children’s home while a court case was pending over the teen’s pregnancy.

The 3 month old child fell sick and had died on admission to hospital on Friday, the police said.

A magisterial inquiry was conducted yesterday and it was found that the child had suffered from breathing difficulties.

The Bandarawela police are conducting further investigations. (Colombo Gazette) 

Japan backs Sri Lanka

The Japanese government feels a government which has been elected by the people of the country holds the right to take forward initiatives and implement suitable action and the processes and courses of action should be left in the hands of the respective country and respective people.

This message was conveyed to Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa by Yasushi Akashi, Japan’s Special Representative to Sri Lanka, when they had formal discussions in Tokyo, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Japan said today.

Rajapaksa, who is on an official visit to Tokyo, met senior ministers, Japanese parliamentarians and dignitaries and held discussions on the current development activities and financial and technical assistance extended by Japan.

Discussions were also held on the initiatives taken by the Sri Lankan Government on reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction, following the end of a 30 year conflict with the LTTE and the dawn of peace and development in the country.

At a dinner hosted by Akashi, Rajapaksa said that government is taking steps to reduce the military presence in the North and Eastern areas where initiatives have been taken to recruit 1600 Tamil nationals to the Police Force.

Akashi said that the government of Japan very sincerely appreciates the close and friendly relations shared by both nations and believes that the government of Sri Lanka is making a positive initiative towards development in the North East and commitment to the people of the region.

He stressed that a government which has been elected by the people of the country holds the right to take forward initiatives and implement suitable action and the processes and courses of action should be left in the hands of the respective country and respective people.

Japan also believes that Sri Lanka should continue in its efforts in the implementation of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

Skzin set to rock Colombo

Dr. Milinda Salpitikorala is set to launch an exhibition of his latest drawings, and his new t-shirt line – set to literally rock Cololmbo.

Salpitikorala’s Skzin (pronounced skin) designer label, keeps alive the grungy glamour of rock, its designs drawing influence from rock and metal, genres of music the ‘Doc’ has held close to his heart and has been involved in locally, supporting the metal industry as a band manager for melodic death metal outfit Fallen Grace.

The launch of H2 Men’s Wear and Skzin Designs 2012 Collection will take place on 1 April from 9a.m onwards at the Liberty Plaza Lobby.

The tees, some of which have been described as ‘darkly iridescent’, are comfortable and soft, made well with each graphic crafted by Salpitikorala himself, and aligned to perfection.

What’s more, you can barely feel the ink, making it light and perfect for island weather. The tee is 100 per cent cotton fabric, the best in the market according to Salpitikorala and set at a good length, holds up great in the wash.

Salpitikorala states that Skzin is his best work of art to date, “I’m excited about the new designs coming out this year, the material and the type of print I’m using far exceeds any other in the market now.

The name stands for being as comfortable as your second skin. I don’t consider it a T-shirt, its art on fabric. Each design narrates a story, not just a few funny words or a splash of coloured paint that look cool.”

The different categories of the tees include cranial and spawn as well as the new line Omega Cen (stands for the Omega Centaury) with designs are dedicated to the paranormal, like crop circles and crystal skulls.

The tees will be available online at www.skzin.com and will soon be available at leading fashion outlets. (Colombo Gazette)

Manmohan writes to MR

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday sought to mollify Sri Lanka’s hurt over India’s joining US and other nations to censure the island republic for human rights violations, by stressing that Indian diplomats had actually helped temper down the criticism at UN’s Human Rights Council.

In a letter to Sri Lankan President Mahnda Rajapaksa, Singh said “Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution”. As part of the damage control move, Prime Minister also said that he had instructed Indian delegation to at the UNHRC to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts “in an attempt to find a positive way forward”.

India had voted in favour of the resolution criticizing Sri Lanka even as other neighbouring countries like China, Pakistan and Bangladesh voted against it.

Taking credit for the dilution of the US-initiated resolution, Singh said, “ “I wish to assure Your Excellency that, going forward, we will continue our engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka rel Singh’s letter comes against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s displeasure over India’s vote. Its foreign minister G L Peiris had earlier called S M Krishna to request India to not vote against it in light of the strong ties between the 2 countries.

Singh’s letter also reveals that Rajapaksa too had written to him before the voting. ations can continue to grow from strength to strength,” he added.

As part of the placatory exercise, Singh recalled that India’s support for Sri Lanka “in its struggle against terrorism” , and distanced itself from the criticism of the way Rajapaksa regime stamped out the challenge of LTTE insurgency. “The end in may 2009 of a long and tragic conflict that had claimed numerous lives,l in Sri Lanka and in India, was something that we regarded as providing, at long last, an opportunity for genuine national reconciliation end for addressing the urgent needs of development and reconstruction of all citizens of Sri Lanka”.

Singh also expressed India’s wish for a continuing partnership with Sri Lanka to achieve a “political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation”.

However, while seeking to assuage Rajapaksa over India becoming a party to US-sponsored criticism, Singh also reminded Rajapaksa of India’s grouse that the Sri Lanka had not done enough for giving autonomy to Tamil -dominated northern and eastern regions of the country.

“It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect,” Singh said.

Singh told Rajapaksa that he was happy to learn about his intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.

“Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka,” he said. (TNN)

Sri Lanka cautions India

The government warned that India may face repercussions over its decision to vote in favor of a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Government spokesman and acting Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told a gathering at a public event that some countries or groups may use the vote on Sri Lanka as a precedence to bring a resolution on India over the dispute in Kashmir.

However the minister said Sri Lanka was mindful that the Indian government was forced to vote in support of the resolution as a result of immense pressure from Tamil political parties in southern India.

India was among 24 countries which voted in support of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday while 15 countries voted against it and eight abstained.

Sri Lanka had earlier expected India to vote against the resolution but the Indian government later said it had to support the resolution in the best interest of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Meanwhile the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said the passing of the UN resolution on Sri Lanka was crucial first step towards accountability and justice for victims on the island.

GTF also thanked India for having made a significant vote in favour of addressing human rights abuses and the importance that accountability plays in facilitating just peace.

In addition to the lobbying efforts of the Tamil Diaspora, Tamils in Tamil Nadu and Malaysia, many international parliamentarians, media organisations, non-government bodies and some progressive human rights activists from the South of Sri Lanka have all contributed towards the success of this Resolution, GTF said.

GTF also encouraged all Tamil political parties in Sri Lanka to convey to the Tamil population the significance of this passing of the resolution as a constructive move towards accountability and sustainable reconciliation. (Colombo Gazette)

Ranil’s bodyguard dies

A bodyguard of opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe died this morning after suffering a heart attack.

The police said that the bodyguard, a policeman, had died while taking part in a training exercise with several other officers.

He had gone on a morning jog with the rest of the team during the training session but minutes later suffered a chest pain and died on admission to hospital.

The bodyguard was said to have been with the opposition leader for some 10 years and was one of the best in the squad.

Sri Lanka warns of a world dictator

Sri Lanka has warned that there is an attempt by one country to dictate to the world through which arises the threat of pressure or even military aggression.

A statement by Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council on the closing day of its 19th session yesterday (Friday) also notes that pressure and various other methods were used to obtain support for the U.S sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka.

The statement said that Sri Lanka rejects all form of unilateralism, threats, sanctions, blockades, conditionality and an orchestrated disinformation campaign on the country.

“Today one country deems itself the depository of a mission to dictate to the rest of the world its vision of democracy, of human rights, of development. Is any of us safe from becoming the next target, the object of pressure, even of military aggression, the detriment of our peoples and their right to life?” the statement said.

However the government delegation did not name the country it sees as a dictator although it was apparent Sri Lanka was referring to the U.S which pushed for the resolution on Sri Lanka and which was subsequently adopted.

Sri Lanka called for unity in the common struggle to defend its sovereignty, independence, and the free choice of the people to shape their own society and destiny.

The government delegation in Geneva said Sri Lanka will continue its policy of peace and reconciliation ad will also continue to defend the independence and the prerogatives of the Human Rights Council.

Meanwhile the delegation also said it has sought a clarification on the allegations that members of the government delegation had threatened and intimidated human rights defenders.

However the delegation says so far it has not received any clarification. (Colombo Gazette)   

Police to probe Mervyn’s threat

The police are to investigate the statement made by Minister Mervyn Silva in Kiribathgoda yesterday where he had threatened to break the bones of some human rights activists and journalists.

Silva had also claimed that former convener of the Free Media Movement (FMM) Podala Jayantha, had to flee the country because of him.

Police spokesman Ajith Rohana, when contacted by Colombo Gazette, said that the purported statement made by the Minister will be investigated.

He however said that there was no move to record a statement from the Minister himself at the moment.

In 2009 Podala Jayantha was abducted in broad daylight near the Embuldeniya junction in Nugegoda.

A badly battered Jayantha was later dumped into a muddy pit by the roadside near the IDH hospital.

Meanwhile the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said threats from Silva, a former labor minister, have to be taken seriously.

On December 27, 2007, accompanied by a large group of men, he stormed the state-run television station Sri Lanka Rupavahini Cooperation and assaulted the news director, T.M.G. Chandrasekara.

The station’s staff held the minister and his supporters while police were summoned, and videotaped the minister’s apology for his actions. Silva was apparently angry because a speech he had delivered the previous day was not fully reported by the station.

CPJ says given the anti-media atmosphere being pumped up by the government, Silva will not have to apologize if his threat of violence should ever materialize. (Colombo Gazette)

Lanka rejects technical assistance

The government has refused to accept technical assistance from outside when addressing allegations on the violation of international humanitarian law despite the adoption of a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council.

Acting External Affairs Minister D.E.W Gunasekara, in a special statement to parliament today, said that the government will also not leave room for any outside intervention in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs.

The resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council yesterday called on the government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;

It also requested the government to present, as expeditiously as possible, a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps that the Government has taken and will take to implement the recommendations made in the Commission’s report, and also to address alleged violations of international law;

The resolution encourages the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with, and with the concurrence of, the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present a report on the provision of such assistance to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session.

The part in the resolution on technical assistance had initially called on the Human Rights Council to provide the assistance but it was later amended and said that such assistance should be provided only if Sri Lanka accepts it.  (Colombo Gazette)

I will break your bones says Mervyn

Minister Mervyn Silva warned today that he is ready to “break the bones” of human rights activists Sunanda Deshapriya, Nimalka Fernando and Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu.

Silva also claimed that it was he who forced the former convener of the Free Media Movement Podala Jayantha to leave the country.

Podala Jayantha left the country fearing for his life after he was brutally attacked and he is now believed to be living in the United States.

Silva accused the local human rights activists of campaigning against the government during the just concluded human rights council session in Geneva.

The Minister told a gathering today that he will resign from his Ministerial post only if the people vote against him.

If not he will remain in politics till 2016. Reporters Without Borders meanwhile strongly condemned the statement made by Silva.

(Colombo Gazette)

Pillay warns Sri Lanka

The High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today warned that there must be no reprisals against Sri Lankan human rights defenders in the aftermath of yesterday’s adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution on Sri Lanka.

During this Human Rights Council session, there has been an unprecedented and totally unacceptable level of threats, harassment and intimidation directed at Sri Lankan activists who had travelled to Geneva to engage in the debate, including by members of the 71-member official Sri Lankan government delegation. Intimidation and harassment of Sri Lankan civil society activists have also been reported in other locations around Geneva, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said today.

it also said that newspapers, news websites and TV and radio stations in Sri Lanka have since January been running a continuous campaign of vilification, including naming and in many cases picturing activists, describing them as an “NGO gang” and repeatedly accusing them of treason, mercenary activities and association with terrorism. Some of these reports have contained barely veiled incitement and threats of retaliation. At least two comments posted by readers of articles of this type have called for burning down of the houses of the civil society activists named in the articles, and at least one such comment called openly for them to be killed.

The High Commissioner has noted that some of the attacks on human rights defenders were carried in Sri Lankan state media and Government websites or were filed by journalists who had been officially accredited to the Human Rights Council session by the Sri Lankan permanent mission. She is calling on the Government to ensure the protection of human rights defenders, to publicly disassociate itself from such statements, and to clearly uphold the right of Sri Lankan citizens to freely engage in international debate of this kind.

The High Commissioner has also noted that Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, in its report published in December, made extensive and positive references to the role civil society can play in reconciliation and rehabilitation efforts, and stressed this would require greater tolerance towards differing views within Sri Lankan civil society and the protection of Sri Lankan human rights defenders. (Colombo Gazette)

Tamara receives threatening letter

The Sri Lankan ambassador in Geneva Tamara Kunanayakam has received an anonymous threatening letter which is being followed up by the police and UN security, the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said today.

Tamara Kunanayakam took over as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva in August 2011.

Kunanayakam earlier served as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Cuba and also served as Minister Counsellor at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Brasília.

Prior to her assignment at Sri Lankan Missions abroad, the Ambassador served as the Secretary to the Working Group on the Right to Development, the Working Group on structural adjustment programmes and economic, social and cultural rights, and also that on enforced and involuntary disappearances, at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). H.E. Ms. Kunanayakam was also attached to the ILO and UNDP. (Colombo Gazette)

Eight arrested for raising funds

The Chilaw police arrested eight people who claimed they were raising funds for a patient but did not have the proper authorization.

According to the police media unit, anyone who collects funds from the public on the streets need to obtain approval from the relevant authorities.

The suspects who were arrested, which included four men and four women, had not obtained approval from the relevant authorities.

The police said that the suspects were arrested while they were collecting money from the public near a Church in the area.

The suspects were residents of Kaduwela, Athurugiriya, Malwana and Passara. The driver of the van used in the fundraising had fled before he could be arrested.

The police seized Rs. 5760 from the suspects as well as tickets sold to the public on the streets to obtain the funds.

The suspects were produced in court on Friday. (Colombo Gazette) 

Randiv, Prasanna in Sri Lankan squad

Off-spinner Suraj Randiv forced his way back into the Sri Lankan team for the upcoming two-match Test series against England, scheduled to commence from March 26 in the southern port town of Galle.

The other cricketer to make a return to the squad is wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who was forced out of action against South Africa late last year due to an injury.

27-year-old Randiv, who was dropped from the team following an inconsistent run, has pegged his way back into the national team on the back of some strong performances in the domestic circuit.

In five first-class matches this domestic season, the tweaker picked up 37 wickets for his club.

The offie will pair with Rangana Herath to shoulder Sri Lanka`s spin department, which is going to be a key against the No 1 Test nation on the traditionally slow wickets.

Mahela Jayawardene will lead Sri Lanka for the first time in a Test series since his return to the helm after taking over from Tillakaratne Dilshan earlier this year.

Angelo Mathews has been named his deputy.

However, the middle-order batsman Chamara Silva, who scored 163 runs against England in the warm-up game, has been left out.

The mystery bowler, Ajantha Mendis has also been left out of the 14-member squad.

Apart from Mendis, the other players who could not retain their place in the team include Thisara Perera, Dilhara Fernando, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kaushal Silva, Kanishka Alvitigala and Nuwan Pradeep. All of them were part of the visiting Sri Lankan team to South Africa last year.

Medium pacer Suranga Lakmal also made a return to the national side after missing out against South Africa due to an ankle injury.

Squad: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad, Chanaka Welegedera, Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath.  (PTI)

TNA calls for genuine reconciliation

The Tamil National Alliance on Friday called on the government to take tangible action to advance genuine reconciliation in the country.

In a statement on the outcome of a vote on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Tamil National Alliance said that vote will benefit all Sri Lankans, regardless of ethnicity.

A majority of the UNHRC members including India voted in favor of a U.S sponsored resolution on Thursday which called for the implementation of recommendations of a war commission appointed by the Sri Lankan President and to also address accountability issues on the final stages of the war between the military and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The Tamil National Alliance said it hopes that the resolution and the clear collective will of the Council will encourage the government to face the future with fortitude and move decisively to protect human rights and take tangible action to advance genuine reconciliation.

“The need for substantial progress in human rights protection, genuine and meaningful reconciliation and accountability are deep-felt needs of all citizens of the country. We therefore urge the government to avail itself of the opportunity provided by the Resolution of the Human Rights Council and dedicate itself to serving these urgent needs as provided for in the resolution,” the Tamil National Alliance said.

Following the end of the war in May 2009 with the defeat of the rebels the Tamil National Alliance was engaged with the government in talks to reach a political solution for the Tamil people.

The talks however stalled after the government insisted that a final solution can only be reached with the backing of parliament and other Tamil political parties.

The Tamil National Alliance, in its statement on Friday, said it strongly believes that the resolution adopted at the UNHRC is a first step in the pursuit of justice and accountability.

The Tamil National Alliance said it will, on behalf of the Tamil people, work with commitment and dedication towards the advancement of these goals.

Manmohan justifies vote

Justifying India’s decision to vote in favor of the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said it was done to express concerns over the Tamil issue.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Padma Awards ceremony last evening Manmohan Singh said, “We don’t want to infringe on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty but our concerns should be expressed so Tamils get justice and dignity.”

Meanwhile Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK took credit for India’s vote in favour of the US-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka for war crimes at the UN Human Rights Council ( UNHRC) in Geneva.

AIADMK supremo and chief minister J Jayalalithaa in a statement claimed that her continuous efforts in pressing the Centre over the issue yielded the desired result.

DMK chief M Karunanidhi thanked PM Manmohan Singh and UPA chief Sonia Gandhi for India’s vote against Sri Lanka.

He, however, added, “I have written to the PM indicating that there is apprehension among Lankan Tamils about possible attacks on them. Request him to kindly prevent such undesirable developments.”

In TN, there was jubilation among both the Dravida parties as well as other smaller nationalist parties over the outcome of the vote coming as a shot in the arm for them in political terms. (Agencies)

Nasheed in Sri Lanka

Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka yesterday, Haveeru online reported. This is the first time Nasheed has travelled abroad since his resignation on the 7th of last month.

Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) stated that the former President has been accompanied by some of the cabinet members of his administration, MDP Chairperson Moosa “Reeko” Moosa Manik, MDP Parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Mohamed “Ibu” Solih and MP Mohamed Aslam.

The visit which had been scheduled last Tuesday, was to meet with the various members of the international community based in Colombo.

PM to address parliament

Prime Minister D.M Jayaratne is to address parliament tomorrow (Friday) on the repercussions of the UN Human Rights Council vote on Sri Lanka, government sources told Colombo Gazette.

In his address to parliament, the Premier is expected to spell out steps the government will take as a result of the vote going against Sri Lanka.

He is also expected to seek the support of the opposition to prevent any moves by the international community to interfere in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs.

Meanwhile Amnesty International said that the UN Human Rights Council resolution calling on Sri Lanka to end longstanding impunity for human rights abuses is a vital step forward for the country and for international justice.

The resolution was adopted today in Geneva, with 24 nations voting in favour, 15 against, and 8 abstaining.

“This is a positive step forward for Sri Lankans, and an opportunity to end the longstanding impunity for human rights violations that have marked the country for decades,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.

“The Sri Lankan government’s failure to provide justice and protect human rights, even after it defeated the LTTE, has forced the international community to act by offering assistance to improve the dire situation in the country.

In the run up to the vote there were numerous reports of threatening behaviour against Sri Lankan human rights defenders. Amnesty International called on the government of Sri Lanka to stop fostering hostility against the UN and publicly condemn the sustained attacks on human rights advocates.  (Colombo Gazette)

Shaggy back in Colombo next month

Mr. Boombastic, Shaggy, will be performing in Colombo next month, his second tour to the country.

Presented by the popular online store Anything.lk, Shaggy will perform with Ravon at the CR & FC Grounds on April 28 and judging by his last gig in Colombo in 2001 even this one is bound to be a sellout performance,

Bathiya & Santhush, Natasha Rathnayake and Azlan & The Sherifs will open for the Shaggy concert next month, the event organizers said.

Born October 22, 1968 in Kingston, Orville Richard Burrell, better known by his stage name Shaggy, is a Jamaican-American reggae singer and rapper.

He is perhaps best known for his 1995 single “Boombastic” and the 2000 single “It Wasn’t Me”. He has been noted as having a baritone-range singing voice and is easily identifiable by his trademark slurred way of rapping and singing.

Last year Shaggy released the official videos of For Your Eyez only along with hit singles Sweet Jamaica Ft Mr.Vegas and Josie Wales and Girlz Dem Luv We ft Mavado.

In 2011, it was announced that Shaggy would release his first new album in four years. Preceded by the single “Champagne”, featuring Sahara, the album was released digitally on January 19, 2011. Entitled Shaggy & Friends, the album features many collaborations, including songs with his long-time collaborators Rik Rok and Rayvon.

This year Shaggy and Egyptian star Tamer Hosny recorded a song together titled Smile. The music video was filmed in New York City and was released on January 7, 2012.

Also Shaggy has re-released Summer In Kingston in the form of Summer In Kingston (Lava Edition) which is available in both digital and physical outlets. Shaggy is also working on a new album where all tracks will be produced by Sly and Robbie. (Colombo Gazette)