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No response from EU yet to Govt's request to outlaw LTTE front organizations

Aug 29 (SL) The European Union (EU) is yet to respond to a request from Sri Lanka to list LTTE front organizations operating in Europe as terrorist entities. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the EU Ravinatha Aryasinha said that Sri Lanka is trying to maintain the spotlight on the activities of LTTE front groups still operating overseas. He said that while the EU has yet to respond to a request made last month to list such organizations as terrorist entities, more..

Baby elephants’ under continued threat

Aug 29 (LB) Fourteen baby elephants have been snatched from their habitats within the space of a year. Informed sources from the Wildlife Conservation Department told LAKBIMAnEWS that certain department officials, either wittingly or unwittingly, had allowed 14 baby elephants to be taken away with the intention of taming them. These sources said that this exercise had taken place during the latter part of 2010 and during the first few months of this year. more..

Elder Health Care to enter Lankan market soon

Aug 29 (Hindu) Elder Health Care today said that it will enter the Sri Lankan market by next month with the launch of branded personal care products and is scouting for acquisitions in Europe as part of global expansion plans. The Mumbai-based firm, which mainly sells in-licensed products, also plans to boost its own brands and will introduce about five to six products in the Indian market. “Entering Sri Lanka is part of a global expansion strategy... The company has partnered more..

Puttalam town: Where fear and suspicion still reign

Aug 29 (ST) It has been two days since the emergency law was lifted, but Puttalam town on Friday looked like a war zone with security forces deployed and army tanks parked around the town. The “grease yaka” appears to have the island in its grip, as more attacks are reported and people struggle to get back to their routine lives. “The situation is not getting any better, it is only becoming worse,” kurukkal (kovil priest) Venkata Sundarasharma in Puttalam said. more..

Broad dialogue between political parties, Commissioner

Aug 29 (SO) The first meeting of political party secretaries with IGP N.K. Illangakoon will be held on September 1 at the Elections Secretariat, after nominations are handed over Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshappriya said. He said that issues relating to the forthcoming Local Government elections on October 8, will be discussed at the meeting. The discussion between political parties and the Elections Department will assure a free and fair election. more..

No return to Test cricket for Lasith Malinga

Aug 29 (IC) Despite a recent report on The Sunday Times newspaper in Sri Lanka, Island Cricket learns that Lasith Malinga will not be reversing his decision to retire from Test cricket. “We have made a request from Malinga to consider coming out of retirement and be a part of the line-up for the second Test [against Australia] at Pallekelle and he still has not responded to our request, but he was not unfavourable to it either,” an unnamed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) official more..

Sri Lanka seeks allies' support ahead of U.N. rights meet

Aug 29 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's foreign minister left on Sunday on a two-week mission to shore up diplomatic support ahead of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting, where the Indian Ocean nation is expecting to face a fight over Western-led pressure for a war crimes probe. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris is scheduled to meet leaders from Singapore, Jordan, the Non-Aligned Movement and crucially, South Korea, the home country of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, more..

Three Lankan Buddhist pilgrims missing in India

Aug 29 (LP) The Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi today reported that three members of a group of pilgrims on a pilgrimage to visit Buddhist sacred places have gone missing. The members of the group have claimed they were unaware at which point the three persons went missing during the pilgrimage. The Hihg Commission has alerted all police station in India with the assistance of the Indian Govt. The missing persons are said to be residents of Deniyaya, Yatiyantota and Elpitiya.

Sri Lanka "cricket club sale" controversy

Aug 29 (BBC) The interim committee that controls Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) says that it will try to settle a dispute over the alleged sale of a Sri Lankan cricket club. Ervin Fernando who insists he is still the president of the Chilaw Marians Cricket Club (CMCC) says that the club has been sold without his knowledge. However, CMCC general secretary Godfrey Dabarera said that no such sale ever took place. “Ervin Fernando is not the president of the club. He was a more..

Irene stops Blake visit to Colombo

Aug 29 (BBC) US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake's visit to Sri Lanka has been postponed due to Hurricane Irene, the US embassy in Colombo said. Mr Blake was due to arrive in Colombo on Monday. During his stay in the island until 31 August, he was scheduled to meet senior Sri Lanka leaders. "He will meet with govt officials, civil society representatives, university students and political leaders while in Sri Lanka," the embassy earlier said more..

Fishermen in North to gather to prevent Indian trawlers

Aug 29 (AD) Fishermen’s trade unions have decided to gather fisherfolk in the Northern area once again on September 10 in Mannar to discuss methods to prevent Indian fishing trawlers from entering Mannar and Thalaimannar waters. Officials of fishermen’s trade unions in the North claim that previously around 100 Indian trawlers crossed the maritime boundary around three days a week, however now the situation has aggravated with almost 2000 trawlers entering Lankan waters illegally. more..

4 ministers & 1 MP for HRC sessions

Aug 29 (LT) A team of five to represent Sri Lanka has been named to participate at the next sessions of the Human Rights Council to be held in Geneva in September. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the team consists of four ministers and a Parliamentarian. The ministers included in the team are Messrs. G.L. Peiris, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. The only Parliamentarian in the team is Sajin Vas Gunawardene. more..

Fonseka given permission to attend funeral of niece

Aug 29 (LT) Today the country needs politicians who are educated, intelligent and love the country and those who could dedicate themselves on behalf of the country and the people says former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonseka. He said this addressing journalists and the public assembled at a private nursing home in Colombo when Gen. Fonseka was brought there for physiotherapy treatment. more..

Once friends, now strangers

Aug 29 (ST) I thought I must write to you even if you may not have left a forwarding address when you fled from Tripoli. That is because you seem to be in the news these days for all the wrong reasons and your country is in a chaos. Then, there is also another reason why we ought to write to you. Our first memories of you are as a dashing young leader who visited our country during the Non-Aligned Summit here in 1976. You were a handsome young man then and most of our ladies had a crush on you! more..

The Air Defence Identification Zone - A Necessary Precaution

Aug 29 (LG) An Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) is an area in airspace over land or water which may not be over the sovereign territory of a State in which ready identification, location and control of all aircraft is required in the interest of national security. ADIZ must not be confused with Flight Information Regions (FIRs) which are areas established for the facilitation of airspace and air traffic management. FIRs generally involve a subjacent State which has undertaken more..

Double vision: a Canadian citizen, Michael Ondaatje is still ‘profoundly Sri Lankan’

Aug 29 (TC) The eyes of Michael Ondaatje, prize-winning author of The English Patient, are a baffling window on the inner man: the brilliant, pale sapphires of a witty Dutch burgher set in a 68-year-old Tamil frame. As he says of himself and his work, “I am a mongrel of place. Of race. Of cultures. Of many genres.” An interview with Ondaatje is a playful compendium of anecdote, on-the-hoof cultural criticism and crafty conversational shape-shifting. more..

The Doctrine of Necessity for the State of Emergency

Aug 29 (LG) The term Doctrine of Necessity is a term used to describe the basis on which extra-legal actions by state actors, which are designed to restore order, are found to be constitutional. The maxim on which the doctrine is based originated in the writings of the medieval jurist Henry de Bracton and similar justifications for this kind of extra-legal action have been advanced by more recent legal authorities, including William Blackstone. Bracton's maxim, 'that which is otherwise more..

India’s Role in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (LG) I write on the basis of excerpts from statement by the Hon S.M. Krishna, Indian Minister for External Affairs on ‘the steps taken by Government of India, for relief and resettlement of Tamils in Sri Lanka’ in Indian Parliament on 26 August 2011, published by Sri Lanka Guardian. To most Tamils of Sri Lankan origin, India is a cultural leader due to Tamil Nadu. But with all its claims of political strength, India did not prevent the death of Tamil lives in May 2009. This confirms further, more..

A Captivating Fiction with a Political Slant?

Aug 29 (LG) I began reading de Soyza’s Tamil Tigress in a relaxed moment while at tennis and was captivated by its readability and the author’s capacity to create atmosphere. I was fascinated by its casting, that is, her skill in crafting the work. De Soysa begins with a striking incident where she is introduced to the world as a neophyte fighter in an incident marked as “Ambush” – where she is lucky to survive even while ten comrades, including platoon leader Muralie, perished. more..

How can society protect vulnerable women from post war atrocities?

Aug 29 (GV) I just viewed a documentary produced recently by Al Jazeera titled ‘Civil war leaves Sri Lankan women vulnerable’. The film has left me deeply disturbed, shocked and ashamed particularly because as a woman, I am not doing my duty in protesting vociferously against such atrocities. Some sections of the documentary appear to have been deliberately blocked for apparent reasons. We cannot continue to turn a blind eye against the neglect of vulnerable women who are struggling to more..

'Repressive laws remain despite end to state of emergency in Sri Lanka'

Aug 29 (TC) The Sri Lankan govt must follow up its repeal of the state of emergency by removing repressive legislation such as the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), Amnesty International said. Earlier this week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa promised to remove the state of emergency that has been in place in the country for nearly three decades. “Sri Lankan civil society and Amnesty International have long called for the lifting of emergency laws, so we welcome the govt’s commitment to repeal them,” more..

'Sri Lanka can overcome any challenge successfully'

Aug 29 (SO) Plantation Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe who also oversees the subject of human rights, says the lifting of the Emergency is a commitment the Government has fulfilled to ensure that the right conditions exist on the ground for national reconciliation. “There are certain points of view now being expressed that we are totally relaxing the Emergency due to international pressure. This could not be further from the truth. As early as May 2010, more..

The recent phenomena of public violence

Aug 29 (DM) The last few weeks have seen a sudden eruption of public violence against the police; it appears to be a spontaneous reaction and does not appear to be orchestrated. Furthermore, while the grease devils appeared to be an immediate cause this antagonism of the public against the police seems to have been existing for quite some time. In fact it appears to have been a kind of latent festering anger that now has suddenly burst into the open.It seems to be rather widespread and not more..

Pandian in action with notorious underworld thugs to recover the money invested in LTTE proxies

Aug 29 (LG) It is a common fact that most of the funds collected for the LTTE in the Western countries were invested in the name of the Proxies of Tamil Tigers. When tiger leadership appeared to be crumbling a group of LTTE proxies fled the scene knowing it was a losing battle they were in and soon after another set of LTTE proxies left to safer locations confiscating LTTE funds just as the leadership was annihilated. This is a truth that everyone is aware of says more..

Crowning shame

Aug 29 (ST) Fifty years ago, in the morning of September 19, 1961, the assistant curator of the Kandy museum opened the doors and to his amazement found the crown of King Rajasinghe II missing from its usual display. He also noticed an opening in the wooden ceiling of the centre gallery of the museum and that the door of the glass show case had been forced open. The police visited the scene of the crime but no information was forthcoming on any potential suspects. more..

Editorial: Giving Blake some food for thought

Aug 29 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, within a little over two years of the decimation of the LTTE's military muscle announced in Parliament last Thursday that his government would not extend Emergency laws, though, as is obvious, the LTTE rump is still active overseas and its threat to Sri Lanka's national security is far from over. The US State Department has, in its Country Report on Terrorism 2010, stated that 'despite its military defeat at the hands of the Sri Lankan govt in 2009, more..

Editorial: No link between liberative spirituality and racism

Aug 29 (DM) A writer in a recent edition of a Washington based paper critiqued racism. The writer coming from a Jewish background has known the suffering of the Jews. Today because of 9/11 there is a strong anti-Islam feeling which sadly former President George W. Bush used as an excuse to wage a war against terrorism and perhaps laid the foundation for his dubious victory in the 2004 Presidential election. Recently at a seminar at the Neelan Tiruchelvam Centre it was said that President Barack Obama more..

UNP in balancing act over mayoral tussle

Aug 29 (Island) The UNP was yesterday trying to do a delicate balancing act vis-a-vis its Ratmalana and Dehiwala heavyweights following a threat issued by its Ratmalana organiser, Mohanlal Grero, on Saturday that he would quit his organisership if the Dehiwala-Mt. Lavinia mayoral slot was not kept open. The UNP announced last week that former Minister and incumbent Mayoress Sunethra Ranasighe would be reappointed in the event of its victory. more..

European travellers cruise into Colombo

Aug 29 (ST) The ferry between Tuticorin and Colombo has begun to attract European travellers to India in the wake of which an international marketing campaign is being initiated. The campaign will target travellers from Europe and the Middle East to use the services of the luxury cruise liner that will take them between Colombo and Tuticorin, the liner’s Passenger Service Agent (PSA) Arugambay Travels Managing Director A.M. Jaufer told the Business Times during an interview at his Colombo office. more..

Cartelised and restrictive transport options at BIA come under fire

Aug 29 (FT) UNP MP and its Chief Spokesman on the economy Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday deplored the overall transport facilities available for tourists and incoming local passengers at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). He said that Sri Lanka was perhaps the only place in the world where incoming air passengers don’t have a freely available and comfortable taxi service. “Even Chennai is better,” he added. He alleged that the current cartelised-type operations powered by a mafia and more..

Sri Lanka Navy expands presence along coast

Aug 29 (LBO) Navy is setting up new bases along the north western and eastern coasts to bridge security gaps that existed during the separatist Tamil Tiger insurgency. “According to the new security plan, naval bases are being established in areas that did not have our presence during the insurgency," Navy chief Somathilaka Dissanayaka said. “Navy bases are being established in Panama, Mullikulam and Mullaithivu and naval detachments will be set up along the coast.” more..

Businessman sans licence runs over roadside vendor, killing her

Aug 29 (ST) A speed fiend without a licence mowed through a wayside sherbet kiosk, killing its owner on the spot, and then tried to substitute a licence holder as the man at the wheel at the time. Both the unlicensed driver and his accomplice are now in remand custody. Police declined to reveal their names since an identification parade was due to be held. The businessman who fled the scene later attempted to introduce one of his friends as the driver, but failed, as a thambili vendor had witnessed the accident. more..

Vehicle noise pollution to be curbed

Aug 29 (DN) New regulations have been drafted to be introduced to the National Environment Act to control noise pollution caused by the tooting of vehicle horns, Central Environmental Authority chairman Charitha Herath said. He said that according to the new regulations, the maximum level for a vehicle tooting within a two metre open air space will be 105 decibels while this will be 93 decibels within seven metres. He said that sound measuring equipment will be placed on roads soon after more..

SLPA counters criticisms of H’tota port

Aug 29 (Island) The SLPA is a statement issued recently made an attempt to counter the criticisms around one of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s pet projects, the Hambantota Port, which is named after him and is financed by loans courtesy the Chinese. The statement titled ‘Story behind the allegation on Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port’ is carried in full below: "In the recent past, there have been several allegations on Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port. more..

Raids on illegal pharmacies

Aug 29 (DN) The Health Ministry has begun raiding private pharmacies which are not registered with the Cosmetic Devices and Drug Regulatory Authority. As estimated, there are about 3,000 private pharmacies in the country and all should be registered annually with the CD & DRA. “Certain private pharmacies have not yet registered for this year while some have failed to register for several years. “Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena directed CD & DRA last week to inspect and take legal action against more..

Inferior ceramicware a health hazard!

Aug 29 (NS) While the food you consume is safe, the plate you eat from could be carrying health endangering chemicals! This warning comes from the Chairman, Dankotuwa Porcelain, Sunil Wijesinha who claimed that today, most government departments opt for inferior low quality imported ceramics thereby carrying a health risk. This was because there was the danger of such products releasing harmful chemicals, warned Wijesinha. He said so while appealing to the government to address this issue. more..

Interview with Milinda Moragoda

Aug 29 (ST) The two key contenders for the mayoral post in the Colombo Municipal Council have opened their campaign. Here UPFA candidate – Milinda Moragoda speaks about his plans. Q: Why do you think you have been selected as the Mayoral candidate? A: I was not selected as a mayoral candidate. The President invited me just before the election was declared to take on this challenge. I had to give it a lot of thought, because it is not something that I have thought of doing. more..

Kadirgamar’s cousin Seelan contests for DMMC

Aug 29 (DM) Seelan Kadirgamar - a cousin of late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar - is to contest the upcoming Dehiwala Mount Lavinia Municipal Council election on the Democratic People’s Front (DPF) ticket. Mr. Kadirgamar said that he decided to contest on the DPF ticket as it was an alliance of members from all three communities and had promised a programme to bring about unity among all communities in the country. He said the two main political parties did not have such a programme more..

JHU 8th Party Convention

Aug 29 (DM) Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) General Secretary and Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that certain forces are engaged in activities challenging national security. He said that the rumours of grease devils were spread to tarnish the image and the respect gained by the armed forces by defeating terrorism. “Some want to take away camps of law enforcement agencies from the North and Eastern Provinces,” he said at the 8th party convention of the JHU which was held today. more..

‘Recent cross-overs won’t prevent UNP victory’

Aug 29 (Island) UNP will win the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) election on October 8 and send a strong message to the UPFA govt. We are very hopeful of a UNP victory and also people living in the metropolis will not elect a UNP defector. UNP’s Mayoral candidate for the CMC A. J. M. Muzammil in an interview said that the UPFA Mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda received over 100,000 votes as a UNP candidate, but could not garner more than 20,000 on the UPFA ticket. more..