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Editorial: Cheating voters by crossovers

Sep 26 (ST) There may be important happenings in the country, as our Political Editor points out in his column, but often we seem to get embroiled in the week's developments missing out on issues that keep lingering without resolution for years. One of the aberrations of the country's electoral system is the ability for elected representatives of the people, be they Members of Parliament or local council members, to obtain their vote from one political party and more..

Political war over war hero

Sep 26 (ST) Around noon Thursday, Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya received a telephone call. It was Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe wanting to know why Sarath Fonseka, MP was not escorted to Parliament sittings that day. He was not in Parliament on Friday too. He replied that it was against military law and hence legally not possible. Army sources told the Sunday Times their Commander was acting under Court Martial Regulations. more..

Mervyn Silva named in AGA liquor licence complaint

Sep 26 (ST) Persons claiming to be supporters of Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva are using intimidatory tactics to force officials to grant a liquor licence for a recently opened hotel in Vakarai, Batticaloa, according to a senior government officer in the Eastern Province. Rasanayagam Rahulanayaki, Divisional Secretary of the Assistant Government Agent (AGA), has lodged a complaint about threats to the Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, more..

One 5 Star hotel fails ‘Crowns’ test for food hygiene

Sep 26 (ST) It was “crowning” glory when three giants in the hotel industry and three in the fast food service in the city of Colombo were recognized for their food hygiene last Wednesday. Five gold crowns were awarded to each of the five-star Cinnamon Grand, Hilton and Galadari hotels and also Dinemore Restaurants, Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pizza Hut) and Abans Restaurant System Ltd (McDonalds) at a ceremony held at the Cinnamon Grand. more..

The 70 million-rupee question: Why did vehicle take lonely route?

Sep 26 (ST) Five teams – each headed by an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) were investigating the Friday-dawn robbery, one of the biggest in recent years, at Wanawasala, in the Peliyagoda Police area. The 22-year-old driver and four others who were in the vehicle are being grilled by police to ascertain possible inside involvement in the daring robbery of approximately Rs. 70 million which was being transported to replenish ATMs. more..

More powers for Basil and Wimal

Sep 26 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has re-allocated functions of two key ministries, giving them new responsibilities. Main among them is the Ministry of Economic Development which is under Basil Rajapaksa. It has been given the added responsibility of Foreign Direct Investment development, Development of infrastructure facilities for the rural and plantation sectors and Investment Development in the private sector. more..

Rs 2.5 million reward

Sep 27 (DM) Rs 2.5 million reward has been put in place for any person who gives information that leads to the arrests of the armed gang that robbed a vehicle carrying Rs. 70 million to a private bank when the vehicle was passing through Peliyagoda, police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody told Daily Mirror online. Any information regarding the robbery can be notified to the police through special telephone numbers – 011-2662311, 011-2662323, 011-2685151 more..

Sri Lanka should use low-yielding cows instead of importing: official

Sep 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka should make better use of existing stocks of low yielding milch cows in larger privately owned herds rather than importing high-yielding stocks at great cost from abroad, a top official said. The secretary of Sri Lanka's livestock ministry, H A Gamage, said there were larger herds of about 200 cows owned by some dairymen which were not properly milked to get the best results. more..

Experts warn of more explosions in Sri Lanka

Sep 27 (ZN) Explosives kept at 80 per cent of the police stations across Sri Lanka are not securely stored thus posing a grave threat typical of the Karadiyanaru explosion, that had killed 27, experts have warned. "Given this serious situation, the authorities have decided to transfer the high powered explosives as well as chargers used to detonate bombs now haphazardly kept in Police stations in more..

UNP works on 1 million march

Sep 27 (NS) The UNP is going ahead with a plan to bring one million people to protest in Colombo on December 8, the third month of passing the controversial 18th amendment. Former SLFP strongman Mangala Samaraweera, who officially joined the UNP recently, said they would have a delegates conference on Wednesday at the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union building, Parliament Drive, Rajagiriya, to work out some of the modalities. more..

RW slams the media

Sep 27 (SL) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has today (26) said the media was only involved in slinging mud at him and the UNP and publishing cartoons seven days of the week. He has called on the media to spend at least one day on behalf of former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka. Wickremesinghe addressing a meeting of party members in Kelaniya has said it was only a leading Buddhist monk and himself, who are left to stand by former Army Commander and more..

'Focus on Sri Lanka' US businesses urged

Sep 27 (BBC) The Sri Lankan president has urged business leaders in the US to focus on Sri Lanka as a new investment opportunity. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has met the business leaders in New York while attending the UN General Assembly, the government's official website said. "Executives from the Coca Cola Co., the Boeing Co., Google, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts were among the nearly 100 Business Leaders, Analysts, more..

Do we have to live for ever with the ruinous 18th amendment?

Sep 27 (LG) One hundred and sixty-one Members of Parliament, in their understandable admiration of President Rajapaksa’s leadership in eliminating the LTTE, appear to have taken up the position, by voting for the 18th Amendment ("18A"), that he can consequently be trusted unreservedly with whatever powers he wants to have and that he will not misuse them, for however long he is entrusted with such powers. more..

Stealthy authoritarianism and lofty promises

Sep 27 (LG) Loudly (if somewhat unbecomingly) praised by some editorialists and cautiously commended by others in Sri Lanka’s private media, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s address to the United Nations General Assembly a few days back had all the hallmarks of the definitively Janus-faced policy that characterizes this administration. This prefacing observation need not necessarily be regarded in a purely pejorative manner. more..

Sri Lanka holds tight to China

Sep 27 (GP) When the voters of war-torn Sri Lanka cast their ballots in last January’s presidential election, little did they realize that the winner, incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa, would take such an expansive view of his victory. Eight months into his second term, Rajapaksa is engaged in an unprecedented power grab that is marginalizing religious and ethnic groups and endangering the island’s fragile democracy. more..

What will Obama have for Sri Lanka?

Sep 27 (LG) Sri Lanka is under siege after the introduction of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution which dissolved term limits of the President who, by an earlier constitution, is above the law and can now dispense with the independence commissions for free & fair elections, corruption control, police and government services which was introduced by the 17th Amendment. The President has acted more like a rapist. more..

Post LTTE Tamil Diaspora

Sep 27 (LG) With the end of the arms struggle of the LTTE in May 2009, the Tamil Diaspora is going though rapid transformation. Fear of reprisals from the LTTE has disappeared from the mindset of the Tamil people. Irrespective of their political believes, people are talking sensibly and the authoritarian dictates of those loyal to the LTTE is fast disappearing. Intolerant comments of branding those critical of the LTTE as traitors and more..

As Sri Lanka quotes UN Ban undermining his panel on war crimes, UN questioned

Sep 27 (ICP) Shortly after the spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a “read out” of Ban's September 24 meeting with Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa which did not mention the UN panel on war crimes in Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa issued a statement that Ban told him the UN panel is “in no way empowered to investigate charges against Sri Lanka.” Three obvious questions at least arise. more..

Sri Lanka Central Bank, retrospect 1950 to 2010

Sep 27 (LBO) In the modern era, the best recorders of history, as and when the important events occur, are the newspapers. But it is seldom that one attempts at unearthing history by tapping this source. Perhaps the enormous labour which one has to shed in perusing voluminous newspaper articles and the time taken for copying the same would have prompted the historians to shun it. Yet, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, as one leg of its multi – faceted diamond jubilee celebrations, more..

Whatever critics may say the 18th Amendement does not augur well for any President

Sep 27 (TC) The 18th Amendment is like a see saw that swings up and down. It could bring shame or fame to a President. The verdict will come two years into the operation when the people can determine whether the commissions are functioning smoothly or otherwise. Living under the 18th Amendment will not be worth, if known servile sycophants are appointed. Under the previous Amendment, the Constitutional Council members were accountable to none - or more..

'Only Maduluwawe Sobitha thera and I are left to speak on behalf of Sarath Fonseka'

Sep 27 (NF) Today only the venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and he were the only two persons left to speak on behalf of the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, said Ranil Wickremasinghe, the leader of the UNP. “Now who is there to speak on behalf of Sarath Fonseka? The venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and Ranil Wickremasinghe, the so-called traitor, who signed the peace accord. more..

The need to implement Tamil as an official language

Sep 27 (TC) Ensuring facilities to members of the public to use their own language in official transactions with government departments, especially the ability to make statements to the police in one’s own language” was one among many other recommendation made by the members of the LLRC in an interim communication to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a meeting they had with the President at the Temple Trees in mid September. more..

In concentrating power in his own hands Mahinda Rajapaksa resembles the ruthless Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran

Sep 27 (TC) Arriving in Sri Lanka during the Eid public holiday, as usual I spotted statues of the Buddha, Hindu deities and Jesus. But I was struck by the numerous, sometimes huge, images of the president. In towns and villages across the south, Mahinda Rajapaksa's moustached face smiled down on passersby. Perhaps this was an aftereffect of this year's presidential election campaigning, or euphoria in 2009 in more..

Could Banda have played MR’s role?

Sep 27 (SL) This North Carolina song was a crazy hit in the ‘50s even in Ceylon. It went… “Hang down your head Tom Dooley – Hang down your head in shame……” Then it turned out as a local hit at Colombo partying, hoarsely sung as “Hang down your head Somarama….” The twist on the song came after Bikkhu Talduwe Somarama was found guilty of assassinating Prime Minister Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike on September 25, 1959. more..

'Capitalist class loses faith in UNP'

Sep 27 (SO) The capitalist class has lost faith in the UNP. They are also working very closely with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government. More entrepreneurs are keen to build the nation with their funds and are being attracted towards the President, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. "It is now too late and nothing can be done to salvage the party. The UNP is having a class crisis", the Minister told the Sunday Observer. more..

Rice for wheat: Benefits trade, farmers and nutrition

Sep 27 (ST) The increase in wheat prices would reduce consumption and imports of wheat, be a boost to paddy farming and improve the nutrition of people. The government has hailed the rise in prices of wheat as a favourable development for the country. The rise in international prices of wheat has been passed on to consumers resulting in a continuous increase in prices of wheat flour, bread and confectionary items. more..

North PC polls in early 2011

Sep 27 (MoD) The Government is looking forward to hold Provincial Council elections in the Northern Province early next year as over 98 percent of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the province have been already resettled in their own villages and the small number remaining will be resettled in the coming weeks, Government spokesperson Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told the Sunday Observer. more..

Cricketing heroes run loose

Sep 27 (DM) Sports of all types unify the world they say. And, sportsmen and sportswomen in international competition become eternal national heroes. These men and women bask not only in their own successes but also in the honour and glory they bring to their country of their birth or adoption. This scene can be considered as describing the international norm decades ago. In the present day however, while fans remain fairly consistent in their loyalty to their heroes, more..

Police report report

Sep 27 (SL) I parked my car in Colpetty of all places and someone stole the side mirrors. I often wish that these thieves would simply kidnap things, and leave a note. I would rather deal with them than the police. The police motto is ‘For A People Friendly, Professional, Prestigious Police Service’. This hangs in most cop sheds and is quite fitting. It is indeed what one wishes for. Cop sheds are basically none of the above. more..

UNP rejects federal solution

Sep 27 (BBC) There is no need for a federal political solution in Sri Lanka, the country's main opposition has said. The UNP, that has agreed for a federal solution with the Tamil Tigers, said it is no longer necessary to devolve the centralised power into regions as there are no longer 'armed militants'. In the Oslo statement agreed by the UNP-led government and the LTTE it was stated that "both parties have decided to explore a political solution founded on more..

UNP united over SF, but split over to vote or not to vote for Emergency

Sep 27 (ST) The plight of DNA parliamentarian Sarath Fonseka figured prominently among opposition members in Parliament once again last week diminishing to some extent the widening rift within the UNP. Even though a group of UNP members had been threatening to sit as independent members in the House owing to their dissatisfaction over the delay in the non-implementation of Party reforms, the issue did not surface in Parliament and more..

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Breaking the Myth and Bringing the Truth

Sep 27 (GV) The platform for an “genuine reconciliation” should be rooted via the democratic exercises, rights and participation of all citizens throughout a country. But, if people are under fear to express their grievances and aspirations, including opposition political parties, dissident voices, independent media and even some ruling party government ministers how can a national minority discriminated and oppressed for more..

Get lost media

Sep 27 (LB) It is true that Sri Lanka has rarely been a model of transparency. Still, what conceivable reason could there have been for preventing foreign media from covering public hearings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission held earlier this month in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu? If the long-suffering Tamils that gave evidence before the LLRC at these two venues are to be deprived of having their story heard by those who want to hear it, more..

Editorial: Don't be over the moon

Sep 27 (Island) Real diplomats are those who are capable of telling someone to go to hell in such a way that he will really look forward to the trip, it is said. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is blessed with such diplomatic finesse as evident from his conduct at a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday in New York. He told the visiting Head of State and his delegation that the controversial panel he had appointed would not probe any allegations against more..

Editorial: Enter red Ed

Sep 27 (DM) Not a single leading newspaper in Britain endorsed Ed Miliband’s candidacy for Labour leadership. His slogans during the campaign directly clashed with those of the 2010 Labour election manifesto which Ed himself drafted. Never a front runner, he was always considered a weakling during his tenure as Secretary of Energy and Climate Change and was better known as a speech writer. more..

Colombo bans explosives to Batticaloa

Sep 27 (TN) Amidst suspicions arising about circumstances leading to dynamite blast at Karadiyan-aa’ru police station that killed around 62 and injured more than a hundred, the Colombo government has banned explosives reaching Batticaloa district for blasting rocks for road construction, reports from Batticaloa said. Meanwhile, eyewitness accounts confirm that a big number of dead bodies were taken away by more..

Sri Lanka plans dlr bond at around 6.5 pct

Sep 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to price later in the day a benchmark-sized 10-year sovereign dollar bond issue at around 6.5 percent, a source close to the deal said on Monday. This will be the island nation's third global debt issue since its maiden $500 million, five-year bond in 2007. The government also sold $500 million of five-year debt in 2009. The issue comes more than a week after Standard & Poor's raised the country's sovereign credit rating by more..

Smuggling ancient religious statues from North to South escalates

Sep 27 (TN) The people of Vadamaraadchi on finding ancient statues of Saiva temples hidden under a bridge in Vadamaraadchi informed the police and handed over the man who had stolen them from the Saiva temples in Vadamaraadchi East occupied by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) Saturday, sources in Vadamaraadchi said. The man admitted that he had stolen the statues but information on where they were stolen from is yet not known. more..

Interview III - Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Sep 27 (ST) It is not only the UNP that is inflicted with communication problems. This week saw a glaring instance in the UPFA too. Minister Douglas Devananda was to have been a member of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's entourage to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. However, at the last minute he decided not to go and instead flew to Jaffna. In Colombo, Prime Minister, D.M. Jayaratne swore in Weerakumara Dissanayake as acting Minister of Traditional Industries. more..

Another suspect dies in police custody

Sep 27 (Island) The police are investigating the circumstances which led to the death of a person taken into custody by the Moratuwa police on Friday (Sept 24). The police claim he committed suicide the following day by slashing his stomach with a shard of glass. The police identified the dead suspect as Nayanajith. The police say Nayanajith and one of his accomplices wanted in connection with a spate of robberies were taken in to custody. more..

Local govt amendment act will be presented in parliament next month

Sep 27 (DM) If a local government body failed to pass its annual budget its Chairman should resign according to the proposed Local Government Amendment Act, minister Dinesh Goonewardena told Daily Mirror. The Local Government Amendment Act will be presented in parliament next month. The existing local government electoral system states that the Mayor or the Chairman of a Municipality, Urban Council or a Pradeshiya Sabha need not more..

RW has one more week to nominate name

Sep 27 (SL) The Speaker has given the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader another week to send the names of their nominees to the Parliamentary Council. Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulgoda has told the media today (27) that the two leaders have been ganted one more week to submit their nominations. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa last week wrote to Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe tasking him o nominate another name to more..

Riots in Trinco prison

Sep 27 (DM) Authorities had to deploy police and the naval fire brigade in the Trincomalee prison yesterday after some prisoners began to behave violently burning their canvas mats, bed sheets and clothes in protest of search of their cells by the prison officials. During the search operation authorities have recovered several unauthorized items including mobile phones, money and pocket radios and some prisoners have reacted to the action by the authorities violently, more..

GL’s no confidence motion on Oct. 7

Sep 27 (DM) The no confidence motion against External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris is to be taken up in the House on October 7. The no confidence motion against the Minister was put forward by the UNP. Chief Government Whip and Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told the media that the motion will be taken up on October 7 and voting on the no confidence motion will also take place on the same day. more..

Sri Lankan govt to abolish Colombo Municipal Council

Sep 27 (wsws) In another anti-democratic move, the Sri Lankan government is planning to abolish the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)—a longstanding, elected body—and replace it with an appointed authority set up by the defence ministry. The new authority, which will not be even remotely accountable to residents, will open the door for the national government and the military to dictate policy, including for planning and building, in Colombo city. more..

Vehicle imports up, motor cycles top the list

Sep 27 (Island) For the first seven months of this year ,the Motor Traffic Department has registered 185,595 new vehicles compared to 204,075 vehicles for the whole of last year . Motor cycles topped the list with 113,953 registrations. According to him, 45,044 three wheelers were registered during this period. The number of tractors accounted for 7,037, followed by lorries (6985), cars (4069), single cabs (2889), trailers (1277) and coaches (1101). more..

'No justification for extending ban on LTTE'

Sep 27 (Hindu) The Centre had no justification for extending the ban on LTTE, alleged MDMK general secretary Vaiko here on Sunday. The ban was being used as “a shield to suppress freedom of expression and to stifle the voice of the Opposition,” he charged. Mr. Vaiko was talking to reporters after visiting an exhibition of paintings of artist Pugazhenthi titled “Por Mugankal” showing the sufferings of the Eelam Tamils and their struggle. more..

UNP youth front to field candidates at next parliamentary polls

Sep 27 (Island) Jathika Yovun Peramuna, the youth organ of the UNP is preparing to contest the next Parliamentary election. UNP MP Ruwan Wijewardene said in Kandy that the youth front would at least field two candidates per district at the next general election. Youth front branches were being re-organised at the electorate level and the district ‘Balamandala’ would be set up in the near future. more..

Govt. steps up lubricant imports to oil wheels of development

Sep 27 (Island) Ministry of Petroleum Industries is planning to step up lubricant imports to cater to the needs of the massive industrial projects such as the ongoing port and aviation projects, Minister Susil Premajayantha says. He said that at present, 45,000 kiloliters of lubricant oil were used in Sri Lanka annually. There were massive development projects including the Hambantota port which is to commence operations in December this year and more..