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UPFA candidates anarchic as SPC election nears

Sep 20 (LB) Anarkalli, as a fresh politician received her first doses of mud-slinging and political attack pronto. The actress, now a UPFA candidate in the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council had to face the ‘warring’ UPFA fellow SPC contestant from the Galle district, Nishantha Muthuhettigama, who was arrested last week, by the Galle police, over an alleged death threat on the actress, and was later released on bail by the Galle magistrate. more..

Women workers to face brunt of EU GSP loss

Sep 20 (LBO) Women workers would be hardest hit if the European Union withdraws duty free market access to Sri Lankan exports, given to country's that meets a governance and a rights threshold set by the trade bloc. The potential loss of the GSP Plus duty concession could lead to job losses if Sri Lankan factories lose orders from European buyers reluctant to pay import duty on the island's products. more..

Blue Oceanic Hotel

Grade one admission temporary lists out

Sep 20 (GDI) Parents have been given the opportunity to raise objections and forward appeals with regard to admissions to Grade One, the Department of Education revealed. Sri Lal Nonis, Director National Schools said that temporary lists of those selected were being displayed in schools after the first interview. Parents could go through the lists and forward their objections and appeals, if any. more..

3000 more IDPs to go home

Sep 20 (GDI) All arrangements are in place for the resettlement of another group of civilians in the next few days as demining looked completed in their resettlement areas. The Uthuru Wasanthaya Task Force revealed that plans have been drawn up to resettle another 3000 civilians in 32 villages in Vavuniya. The resettlement will be carried out on the President’s instructions. Guidance is provided by Uthuru Wasanthaya Chief Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Jaffna, fast recovering from calamity

Sep 20 (SO) It is now the spring time in Jaffna. The start of better times and a time for high growth, revival and new life! It is fast recovering like the phoenix that rose from the ashes. In the war that existed for nearly thirty years Jaffna suffered most for being the birthplace of Prabhakaran's terrorism. For the people of the Northern peninsula, ahead of them lies only difficult tasks, not the impossible. more..

No ‘torch carrying’ for LTTE in UN system

Sep 20 (SO) The United Nations Under-Secretary General for political Affairs Lynn Pascoe told Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama that there was ‘no torch carrying’ for the LTTE in the UN system and the UN was keen to continue its engagement with Sri Lanka. The meeting between the UN Under Secretary and Foreign Minister Bogollagama took place at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. The Foreign Minister outlined the progress made so far and more..

Sri Lanka to submit a report to the EU

Sep 20 (LP) Responding to the initial investigation of the European Union (EU), the Sri Lanka Government will submit a report to the EU in Brussels next week, determining to retain GSP+ tax relief. The report is prepared by a four member ministerial committee revealed Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs and Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Sarath Amunugama. more..

Historical survey of Sri Lankan traditional dance

Sep 20 (SO) Source material written by foreign and local scholars is full of misinterpretations and misinformation, thus making it a formidable task to elaborate upon a historical survey of Sri Lankan traditional dances. According to literary sources it is said that the first reference of dance in Sri Lanka is associated with the episode of Kuveni and Vijaya, the symbolic representation of the indigenous people of Sri Lanka and the first Aryan settler. more..

Fasting - symbol of brotherhood

Sep 20 (SO) Islam is a way of unity and strongly stresses the brotherhood between Muslims and the followers of other religions. It treats all equally without any race, caste, colour and religious differences and also stresses the necessity of co-existence. Islam says that even though it is as small as the size of a gingelly to divide it into seven pieces and to eat sharing with others. more..

Sorrows of neglected rural children

Sep 20 (SO) "A child, more than all other gifts; That earth can offer to declining man; Brings hope with it, and forward looking thoughts." Above are the much quoted lines from Wordsworth's Pastoral Poem "Michael" which underlines the extent to which a child is valued by parents. Needless to say the long and the short of it is that parents naturally consider it a pleasant responsibility to love and protect their child and more..

Grand alliance runs into snag

Sep 20 (NS) The grand opposition alliance mooted by the former SLFP strongman Mangala Samaraweera might not get off the ground as scheduled on September 27, political sources said. They said it might have to wait till the conclusion of the Southern Provincial Council election because of intense opposition within the UNP, the lead partner, to drop its elephant symbol in favour of an alternative acceptable to the other partners. more..

Blundered by fate, saved by humans

Sep 20 (NS) Arogya parama laba- ‘Health is the supreme gift’, preached Lord Buddha. The universal truth of His noble words seemed to echo in every corner of Victoria Home for the Incurables at Rajagiriya, sheltering nearly 200 residents, physically incurable, some mentally challenged. Those of us blessed with the gift of ‘mobility’ will say a silent prayer of thanks realising that fate had been ‘kinder’ to us and pondering why it had been so cruel to some, more..

Rs. 500 fare hike on AC buses hit Jaffna-Colombo commuters

Sep 20 (NS) Commuters are crying foul against a sudden fare hike on the Jaffna - Colombo AC bus service from Rs. 1900 to Rs. 2400, an increase of 500 rupees. “From Jaffna to Colombo there is an arrangement to carry passengers however there is no such arrangement to carry passengers from Colombo to Jaffna direct, therefore between Colombo and Vavuniya the buses ply empty. However, the Vavuniya to Jaffna route is permitted to carry passengers” more..

India mum on memorial

Sep 20 (NS) Mystery surrounds the failure of India to declare open the War Memorial built by the Sri Lanka Government at Pelawatte, Battaramulla in memory of Indian troops killed here fighting the LTTE, even though now more than an year has passed since its completion. The memorial constructed in close proximity to Sri Lanka Army’s War Memorial was completed for it to be declared open by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during last year’s 15 SAARC summit held in Colombo. more..

“Tigers forfeited many an opportunity for peace”

Sep 20 (NS) Though they outwardly deny being coerced by the LTTE in the past, now in the absence of the Tiger terror machine the Tamil National Alliance is increasingly behaving like a responsible and reasonable Tamil democratic party. The previous week for the first time they held direct talks with President Rakapaksa on outstanding issues, unlike in the past when they insisted that any talks should be with the LTTE. more..

GSP+ extension and Bogol’s blunders

Sep 20 (NS) Whether the European Union will further extend the GSP+ concession granted to Sri Lanka, has become a moot point of discussion in political circles today. Sri Lanka earns an annual income of US $ 3.3 billion from exports of its locally made garments and porcelainware to EU countries under duty free concessions. This income while accounting for a significant contribution to the country’s overall national revenue, goes a long way in strengthening its foreign exchange reserves. more..

Powder keg in East over Karuna – Pilleyan ‘war’

Sep 20 (Island) Political sources said that the government had caused an explosive situation in the East by supporting Minister Karuna Amman against his former colleague Pilleyan, now Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. Sources said that though Karuna had publicly denied campaigning against Pilleyan, the former LTTE leader turned SLFP politician was making a bid to stall expansion of the TMVP. more..

Editorial: Tamils in Lanka

Sep 20 (AN) Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised the UN that by the yearend, the 300,000 Tamil refugees currently held in government camps under tight security will have returned to their homes. It would be a fine thing to believe him. Unfortunately the general attitude displayed by the authorities toward the Tamil minority still gives cause for concern. There is a clear current of triumphalism in the way the vanquished Tamils are being treated, more..

17th Amendment implementation will protect country from global flak: Karu

Sep 20 (Island) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya last week once again raised the issue of the non-implementation of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution saying much of the international flak the country now faces can be avoided by activating the Constitutional Council and appointing independent Police, Elections and Public Service Commissions. "What the democratic world is asking of us is the restoration of democratic rights in Sri Lanka. more..

Changing Fasc of Battaramulla

Sep 20 (Island) New outlets of "Cotton Collection" and "The Coffee Bean" are the latest additions to the many shops and restaurants that have come up recently in Pelawatte, undoubtedly the fastest developing section of Battaramulla. The Cotton Collection is located on the main Battaramulla – Pannipitiya Road near the busy Pelawatte Junction while The Coffee Bean is strategically placed almost at the top of Kandawatte Road where I now live. more..

Turning the lamp inwards

Sep 20 (Island) Sri Lankans, regardless of politics, could not have relished Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake’s unfortunate experience at the Narita International Airport while on a recent unofficial visit to Japan. It is the expectation, if not the assumption, of all Lankans that the prime minister of their country, however small, will receive basic courtesies from any foreign country he visits. That was not the case in this instance and more..

The ‘relic’ racket

Sep 20 (ST) The news that the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was fingerprinted on arrival at the Tokyo airport a fortnight ago was the talk of the day, but given the visa complexities inherent in today's foreign travel, the incident was overshadowed by a different episode; a questionable temple function he attended in the city of Kobe. From all accounts, not only was the Prime Minister taken for an unholy ride, but the entire despicable episode opened a can of worms into more..

UPFA has progressively increased its strength over last 9 months

Sep 20 (Island) Arrangements for the conduct of the UPFA Hambantota district campaign were comprehensively discussed at the inaugural meeting of the Organizing Committee held in Tangalle, recently. Chamal Rajapaksa, presided. Ministers G. L. Peiris and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa distributed the letters of appointment. In the discussion, it was emphasized that the target would be a margin of victory higher than that achieved in any of the Provincial Council elections held so far. more..

Disprove analysis on Channel 4 video clip, says expert

Sep 20 (MoD) The Australia based world renowned expert in video cording Siri Hewawitharana has challenged the UN to disprove his analysis into the fake video clip of Channel 4. Mr. Hewawitharana made this comment following the remarks made by the Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions Prof. Philip Alston, who claimed that the response of the Government on the issue was prompt but `not impartial' as military officials are involved in the findings. more..

Govt. sees global conspiracy

Sep 20 (ST) This week saw the Government, which continues to maintain a high level of military preparedness, waging a political war on several fronts, both in Sri Lanka and abroad. It leaders sounded a warning that a foreign-backed conspiracy was afoot to destabilise Sri Lanka. Enemies of the State, Minister Dallas Alahapperuma told a news conference on Wednesday, were building a case for purported war crimes and human rights violations. more..

'Freedom won by sacrificing 26,000 lives will never be betrayed'

Sep 20 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said no soldier who heeded his orders as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces of Sri Lanka to liberate the Northern and Eastern Province needs to worry as he was prepared to take the full responsibility of those orders and appear before any judiciary on their behalf. The President was addressing state bank officials and youth representatives of the Galle District in the Temple Trees premises in Colombo, more..

IDPs: India pressurizes Govt.

Sep 20 (ST) Serious concerns expressed by the Government of India over the continued holding of IDPs in camps prompted the Government to carry out a review of the ongoing process. New Delhi’s concerns, the Sunday Times learns, were conveyed through two different channels to the Government. India’s High Commissioner Alok Prasad met President Mahinda Rajapaksa early this week. more..

Nude pics to embarrass Lanka: CID

Sep 20 (ST) Three employees of a local NGO were taken into custody yesterday in connection with the posting of obscene pictures purported to have been taken at the recent Government-sponsored ‘Beach Carnival’ in Hikkaduwa, police and officials said. The three suspects working for the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre (ADIC) were picked up by the CID after months of investigations following a complaint by the Ceylon Tourist Board authorities. more..

New laws urged to save sacrificial animals

Sep 20 (ST) Animal rights activists and religious leaders are advocating the introduction of legislation to prohibit religious sacrifice of animals, in the aftermath of the Sunday Times exposure of the ritual at a place of religious worship. Two weeks ago more than 200 goats were slaughtered in public at the Munneshwaram kovil in Chilaw, as police officers looked on. Although the slaughter of animals in public was prohibited by the Butchers’ Ordinance Act there were no laws prohibiting the slaughter of animals as religious sacrifice. more..

Untangling a turtle tragedy

Sep 20 (ST) Travelling to Colombo last Monday morning, the crowded office train was slowing down at the Wellawatta station, when I noticed a turtle on the beach. The turtle was surrounded by puzzled morning joggers who wanted to have a closer look at this unusual visitor. Thinking it was still alive, I notified the Aquatic Group members of the Young Zoologists’ Association who conduct marine studies in this area. more..

India eyeing Sri Lanka for projects

Sep 20 (PTI) A host of Indian companies are planning to develop projects across sectors in the island nation of Sri Lanka. The companies have already identified the land and besides, have also received approval from the Sri Lankan Government for their projects. "Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is constructing a commercial complex here and the total cost of the project will be USD 50-million," Sri Lanka Board of Investment's Director, C Ignatius, told PTI here. more..

'Sri Lanka should encourage fee levying universities'

Sep 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tertiary education policy should change to encourage fee-based universities of international standard to be set up, which will prevent students going abroad for degrees, a senior academic has said. "We have in the government circles discussed the possibilities of setting up an international university of Sri Lanka next year," Gunapala Nanayakkara, former chairman of the UGC said. more..

Sri Lanka raises 23 mln dollars for ex-combatants

Sep 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka is seeking foreign money for an ambitious plan to rehabilitate tens of thousands of former Tamil Tiger rebels and has already collected 23 million dollars, officials said Sunday. Britain, Japan, the United States have already given money through the International Organisation for Migration. Already 3,000 ex-rebels are being trained in plumbing, masonry, carpentry and electrical work at three centres. more..

Raj Rajaratnam pledges $ 1 mln. to help rehabilitate ex-LTTEers

Sep 20 (Island) Raj Rajaratnam, Sri Lankan born US-based investor with significant stakes in several companies here both on his own account and through the Galleon Funds he controls would support Sri Lanka’s efforts to rehabilitate ex-LTTE cadres and had pledged USD 1 million for this cause. Rajaratnam was a supporter and funder of the TRO, widely critiqued as a pro-LTTE organization, more..

Jayawardene steers Sri Lanka to victory

Sep 21 (CI) A brace of three-wicket hauls from Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis, along with a half-century from Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka to a comfortable five-wicket victory in their warm-up match against West Indies in Pretoria. After conceding 306 runs against Pakistan on Friday, Sri Lanka's bowlers were more effective against a weak West Indies. Dale Richards and Devon Smith scored half-centuries but, apart from Darren Sammy, no one else got to double figures. more..

De-militarising lankan society must begin with removal of security for minor politicians

Sep 21 (TC) It was not so in the past. Nor was it two and a half decades ago. My story was in early 1980's. I was once in the morning train that comes on the coast line from Galle. Its a very popular train, the “Ruhunu Kumari” which carries commuters from the South to the metropolitan Colombo every day. There was one old and lanky gentleman in a typical white cotton “national dress” in the compartment that I got into and had to travel standing. more..

Like Malaysia Ceylonese economy relied on its productive minorities and not majority ethnic group

Sep 21 (TC) To most outsiders Sri Lanka is a far-away tourist destination, a tropical paradise that has fallen into a vicious cycle of ethnic conflict. To me it is closer to home. It is where I grew up; and Colombo, the capital city, is my hometown. I think of Sri Lanka as a heaven-and-hell country, consumed by its own extremes and contradictions. These play out at today’s crossroads, with the seeming end of a 26-year military conflict. more..

Central government urged to ensure rehabilitation of Tamils

Sep 21 (Hindu) The traffic in NH47 was affected for more than two hours from Kalliyancadu to Collectorate after people belonging to Kottar, Thuckalay and Marthandam Roman Catholic Diocese took out a massive procession and held demonstration in front of the Collectorate on Saturday to urge the Government to ensure the rehabilitation of the internally displaced Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lankan Army controlled areas. more..

Tissanayagam, Daya Master and the Return of the Hangman

Sep 21 (AT) The government is planning to revive capital punishment. Its proffered excuse for this anachronistic decision is the high incidence of violent crime. The effectiveness of capital punishment as a method of crime fighting and whether ‘an eye for an eye’ thinking which premises capital punishment has a place in the 21st Century are matters of fierce contention the world over. more..

Another batch of 5320 IDPs resettled in their original places

Sep 21 (AT) Sri Lankan government has resettled another batch of 5320 persons from 1000 families,. The function to mark the resettlement of Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil civilians who left to their original places took place yesterday (September 20) at the Vavuniya Cultural Centre. The selected 1000 families were resettled in 28 villages in Vavuniya where the de-mining process was completed. more..

Future Chief Minister Muthuhettigama wants to kiss actress candidate Anarkali

Sep 21 (TC) Galle District UPFA candidate Nishantha Muthuhettigama who ran into trouble with fellow candidate film star Anarkali Akarsha last week said that when he saw Anarkali’s face he felt like grabbing and kissing her rather than throwing a bomb. “Anarkali took me to court. She does not know about the discipline in the party.” more..

Analysis: Mockery in the run up to Southern polls

Sep 21 (AT) A raging battle is now on between the ruling UPFA candidates Nisthantha Muthuhettige and Anarkali Akarsha over allegations of death threats. In this backdrop, the former is already threatening police and talk of becoming Chief Minister by “hook or by crook” whilst the latter is making naïve comments that don’t seem to gel well with serious politics other than the tinsel world of cinema she belongs to. more..

Beating Sri Lanka with IDP stick

Sep 21 (AT) Apparently India is back at her old game. According to the Sept. 20 Sunday Times, Colombo, Delhi is pressuring Sri Lanka on the IDP issue. The report quoted Indian media as saying that Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had told the Sri Lankan Government “in no uncertain terms” that “immediate measures” should be taken to resettle the displaced people. It further says that Indian National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan had sent a more..

Brows raised as Rajapaksa sends Premier to New York

Sep 21 (Hindu) The decision of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to skip the 64th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York commencing on Monday has raised brows in the diplomatic and political circles here. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake is leading the delegation. Observers here feel that his absence at the Summit of heads of state in New York would be highly conspicuous as more..

Parents of US teen convert brace for tough fight

Sep 21 (AN) Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17, who created one of the most controversial national news stories in the United States by converting to Christianity, continues to make ripples in the media. Her parents, who were ordinary people, suddenly became famous. Their faces are plastered on all the news channels. Normal life, as they knew it, has come to a complete halt. They are tense when answering phone calls, more..

Do Sri Lankan road rules broadly operate within the domain of karma?

Sep 21 (IL) Of late Sri Lankan Police has been able to dominate the news headlines on various issues of complaints ranging from Negligence, Assault, Abuse of Power, Prejudice , Illegal Arrests and Detention, and Bribery and Corruption, etc. As a consequence, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had to intervene and summon the IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne with Senior DIG’s at Temple Trees on 17 August 09 to give a pep talk on police responsibilities and also to remind more..

Ex-Chief Justice to be grilled by bribery investigators

Sep 21 (LP) For the first time in history, a group of concerned citizens of Sri Lanka have lodged a complaint against an ex-chief justice. The complaint was recorded on September 17 before the Bribery or Corruption Investigation Commission against former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva. Silva, under whose authority the country's judiciary took a new turn, was publicly blamed by 'Ravaya' newspaper editor-in-chief Victor Ivan in his book more..

Hotel Ceysands

Fish prices to come down

Sep 21 (GDI) Fish prices are very likely to come down in the coming days with prices already on the decrease at wholesale markets with the Northern fishing going over production. Fisheries Ministry sources said the vendors were jacking up prices in door to door sales despite the fact that fish prices have come down at St.John's Fish Market, Colombo. The excess northern catch is being gradually transported to Colombo to meet the demand in the South. more..