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'The dropping of Thilan Samaraweera came as a surprise'

Sept 26 (CC) Winning the last Test against Australia was our only chance at securing a face-saving draw in the Test series. While we did give ourselves a chance to do so in the third Test, not being able to achieve this meant a very disappointing series loss at home. The previous visit by Australia was way back in 2004, so we really wanted to be at our best. Sadly we weren’t. After poor starts in the first two Tests which saw us having to play catch-up cricket for the most part, more..

Appeal for critically ill Tamil prisoner

Sept 26 (BBC) Family members of a Tamil political prisoner, who is critically ill, have appealed for an early release and medical assistance. Rasaratnam Jegatheeswaran, 33, is now being treated at the ICU of the National Hospital in Colombo. Doctors have revealed to his wife that her husbund’s kidneys have failed to function and he is under dialysis treatment. Transplantation of kidneys should be done within three months time. The doctors have told her as intensive medical care is needed during post transplantation period and more..

199 suspects arrested during a major operation

Sept 26 (DM) The Police arrested 199 suspects during a major operation carried out in the Colombo, Colombo Central and Colombo North police divisions during the last few days. The operation was carried out under the directions of the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) involving 220 policemen. The police was able to arrest four men wanted in connection with a number of robberies, 59 for possessing ganja, heroin and kasippu, 16 men who were wanted on more..

Rare artifacts emerge…

Sept 26 (LP) A rare artifact believed to be from the 2nd or 3rd century period was discovered from the Nilagiri excavation site, Director General Archeology Prof, Senerath Dissnayake said. The artifact, a clay pot with carving which are not clear was found buried in the excavation site. It was brought to Colombo for further investigation and the soil in it was removed in the presence of Archeologists, several state officials and several other parties interested more..

Plans underway to fix gates at railway crossings, island wide

Sept 26 (LB) There are a total of 1019 railway lines running across roads countrywide – of which around 716 are unprotected – with no gates to protect man and vehicles that cross these lines, said the Railways Department General Manager, B.A.P. Ariyarathna. He said because of these unprotected railway crossings there had been 184 accidents between the years 2008 to 2010, with 48 persons being killed while 136 sustained injuries, some of them grievous. more..

JVP vows to expel dissidents

Sept 26 (DM) The JVP today vowed to expel the dissidents from the party on the grounds that their recent actions did not condone with the party’s policies, discipline, political culture and organisational structure. The simmering crisis in the party surfaced during the past week with a section of the membership led by Kumar Gunaratnam openly revolting against the party leadership. The rebel group also included central committee members more..

Two Tamils - Two perspectives ( 3)

Sept 26 (LG) It is apparent the thoughts of both Dr. Rajasingham Narendran (RN) and mine, largely in so far as the future of Sri Lankan Tamils is concerned, find convergence. Where we differ is the path we take to gain that objective. It is best explained in the old village folk expression it matters little who and how you cook the rice so long it is well and ready to be served on the table (or the banana leaf) I know RN, is far more competent than I in Tamil literature, more..

Caste, Politics and the Northern Problem

Sept 26 (LG) Wars usually settle nagging national issues. They bring to a close any on-going conflict among parties and with the victor claiming superiority over the vanquished, both parties striving to resolve their outstanding concerns amicably or otherwise. More often than not - history bears testimony to it- what usually happens is the total domination of the losing party by the winner and if the winner has sufficient amounts of capital both military and otherwise, it begins a more..

Staying safe on the road

Sept 26 (SO) Each year, globally, nearly 1.3 million people die as a result of traffic accidents on the road; more than half this number are not travelling in a motor vehicle. If we focus on Sri Lanka, we find that over 100 road accidents occur daily of which around 45 are fatal. Statistics reveal that last year, over 2,600 persons died and property valued at Rs. 15 billion destroyed due to these accidents. Therefore, it is obvious that road traffic accidents lead to more..

Grease devils VS Joe Abeywickrema’s Baddegama

Sept 26 (LG) That veteran actor Joe Abeywickrema, our national treasure, passed away leaving an indelible mark and a gaping void on the silver screen and stage. His stellar performance as Silindu can hardly be matched by any standards of the present day actors. But Baddegama and grease devils live on in the 21st century which Leonard Woolf, the colonial British government agent, brought to life in his immortal novel The Village in the Jungle. The Law of the jungle prevails and more..

'Equality for all sovereign nations'

Sept 26 (LG) Justice and fair play is of paramount importance to all members of the World Family consisting of 193 nations expecting justice and fair play equally. It is the principle on which the United Nations Organization was established in place of less effective League of Nations in order to settle differences among Nations based on “Dialogue, Deliberation and Consensus”. It is agreed by all the mighty and small nations during deliberations Conventions and more..

Sri Lankans are resilient - Australian HC

Sept 26 (SO) Sri Lanka’s beauty, warmth and politics have brought Kathy Klugman back to Sri Lanka. Happy to be in the country during 2009 to witness the end of the conflict, she said. Sri Lankans are strong minded and resilient, thus they would have a bright future. The Australian High Commissioner Kathy Klugman said the post conflict era was an incredible opportunity for the country to develop and it was not impossible under the strong leadership of more..

Authoritative ethical realist reads Rajapaksa’s role

Sept 26 (TC) Though my political approval of and personal liking for Mahinda Rajapaksa, (certainly in relation to his competitors and immediate predecessors) are shared by nine out of ten Sri Lankan citizens (according to the Gallup poll), it is not nice to be alone in one’s analysis and evaluation, among one’s own social stratum, the intelligentsia, especially the English-speaking and writing urban intelligentsia. Therefore it is a good feeling when you discover that your views more..

In todays Sri Lanka only a Rajapaksa acolyte can be a patriot

Sept 26 (TC) For the LTTE peace was merely an interregnum, a brief time between the previous war and the next one. Creating optimal conditions for winning the next war was the main use the Tiger had for a peace process. Consequently, dismantling High Security Zones was a key Tiger demand during the 2002 Appeasement Process. The Tigers, as ever, wrapped their military demand in civilian linen. They called the dismantling of HSZz ‘de-escalation’ and ‘normalisation’. more..

‘Unwarranted political interference hampers police’

Sept 26 (LB) Attorney General (AG) Eva Wanasundera told Christy Mahesh de Silva that expanding the current judicial system was imperative if cases are not to drag on forever and said she did not see the need for changing the law as it is writ today. Below are excerpts from the interview. Q: There is a steep rise in crimes being committed against women and children. What measures do you intend to take with a view to combating this? more..

Editorial: Abuse of law as a tool of terror

Sept 26 (Island) Vathsala Devi, a former LTTE combatant and widow of notorious LTTE killer, 'Colonel' Thambirajah Ramesh, has filed law two suits in the US against President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sri Lanka's Deputy UN Permanent Representative, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva for killing her husband during Eelam War IV. It is reported that among the charges against Maj. Gen. Silva is torture. The case against the President is handled by Attorney-at-Law Vishvanathan Rudrakumaran, more..

Editorial: Taking books seriously

Sept 26 (DM) At the conclusion of another Colombo International Book Fair, the crowds that flocked the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall premises will no doubt give the impression that Sri Lankans are a nation of readers. For someone who cannot afford to board an aeroplane to explore the world, books are the best option. They bring the world to your bedside. Even in the era of the internet and Facebook, the ability of books to stand tall amidst the high tide is quite amazing. more..

Wonder Sri Lanka: Travel and Trade Show 2011

Sept 26 (Island) This is the first ever Sri Lankan Tourism, Trade & Cultural event organized in North America and the show will present a glimpse of the rich and diverse cultural traditions and the beauty of the Indian Ocean Island, Sri Lanka. This includes a travel extravaganza, trade exhibition, investment forum, and breath-taking live performance by the Channa Upuli Dance Troupe. The grand live show evening will also to be used as a platform in more..

Sri Lanka bag ‘Bowl’ at Borneo Sevens

Sept 26 (Island) Sri Lanka’s sevens rugby team led by Yoshitha Rajapakse won the Bowl Championship at the Borneo Sevens in Borneo Island yesterday. According to the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union, Sri Lanka had done well on the second day of the tournament to beat Thailand in the semi-finals and Kazakhstan in the finals. Sri Lanka beat Thailand 26-19 and Kazakhstan 26-17. It was a remarkable comeback by Sri Lanka on the second day of the tournament after having more..

'Chandrika responsible for UNP downfall'

Sept 26 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was mainly responsible for the present state of the UNP, MP Buddhika Pathirana said. Addressing a meeting in support of the UNP candidates, the UNP MP said Ms. Kumaratunga as a political destitute was today shamelessly sympathising with the UNP. However, if one reviews the reasons for the present state of the UNP one would find that it was Ms. Kumaratunga who was instrumental for the downfall of the UNP, he said. more..

SL has lowest education investment in middle income countries: WB

Sept 26 (FT) Sri Lanka needs to allocate more funds to develop its education, the latest report from the World Bank states, pointing out that currently it stands at only 1.9% of GDP, making it one of the lowest in the region. Bank’s latest publication on the country’s education sector, which presents an in-depth analysis of the sector, points out that the Govt’s contribution to the field is well below the share of investment for middle income countries as a whole. more..

Pitfalls in CB's bid to sustain exchange rate stability

Sept 26 (ST) Despite pressures on the Sri Lankan rupee, the Central Bank has continued to maintain the exchange rate at a fairly stable level of around Rs. 110 to a US dollar. However, there has been a depreciation of the rupee in relation to several other significant international currencies, such as the Euro and British pound. The Central Bank has also continued to keep policy interest rate unchanged at 7 percent. These are a continuation of the policies discussed in more..

IMF impressed by SL economic growth

Sept 26 (FT) The IMF yesterday stated that in the face of the global downturn, the performance of the Sri Lankan economy has been impressive. “The Sri Lankan economy suffered a lot during the conflict days and now things are different. Foreign capital is coming to Sri Lanka after a long period of conflict,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara sid. Commenting on foreign investments to Sri Lanka, Shinohara said that the level of foreign capital coming to the country more..

Colombo is Colombo

Sept 26 (ST) "Colombo is Colombo - you should be proud of the city," a Singaporean remarked at a meeting that I had summoned as Prime Minister in 2003 to discuss plans for developing the city of Colombo. The Singaporean was a member of the team sent by the Govt of Singapore to study the 'Colombo Metropolitan Regional Structure Plan 1998' developed by the Kumaratunga government in the late nineties. The team was to collaborate with the Sri Lankan team in more..

Record funds for district development

Sept 26 (Island) The Economic Development Ministry has allocated Rs 65,000 million for development activities in 20 districts this year. This is the biggest allocation made for district development in recent history. The allocation made district-wise is - Colombo Rs 3,290.1 million, Kalutara Rs 3,078.3 million, Gampaha Rs 4,915.2 million, Ratnapura Rs 3,791 million, Kegalle Rs 4,079.5 million, Kurunegala Rs 5,239.5 million, Puttalam Rs 2,985.5 million, Galle Rs 4,365.6 million, more..

'Time to elect a UPFA administration to get the city’s work done by the govt'

Sept 26 (Island) Since independence in 1948 the UNP has been ruling the Colombo Municipal Council but nothing of significance has been done to develop the city. The UPFA government enjoys a 2/3 majority in Parliament and also controls a majority of local bodies and this is the chance to get things done for the city by electing the governing party to run its administration, declared UPFA deputy mayoral candidate, Azath Sallay Saturday night. more..

STF ASP, CI die in shooting incident in Maha Oya

Sept 26 (DM) In a tragic turn of events, STF Maha Oya Commander Sarath Kumara (45) was shot dead by an STF chief inspector attached to the same camp in Ampara after a heated argument broke out between the two. Subsequently, the chief inspector had also committed suicide by shooting himself. The incident took place at 9.45 am. yesterday. After the shooting incident, Mr. Kumara was taken to the Maha Oya hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. more..

Pradeshiya sabha property sealed

Sept 26 (DM) The Anuradhapura District Court ordered the sealing of the property of the Galenbindunuwewa Pradeshiya Sabha for the non- payment of Rs. 10 million owed by it to a businessman for the hiring of machinery and equipment from him for the construction of ponds in the Galebindunuwewa in 1999. Anuradhapura District Judge Lakmali Hewawasam ordered the court registrar A.A.V. Pathirane to take action in this regard. The pradeshiya sabha had earlier been ordered by more..

GCE A/L Chemistry set differently: Parents

Sept 26 (NS) Parents of students who sat for the GCE Advanced Level Chemistry examination alleged that injustice had been caused to those who sat for the tests according to the old syllabus. The parents claim that the paper of the said subject had been set differently for those sitting according to the new syllabus. The parents claimed that the manner in which the examination papers were set was not fair by the students who sat for the paper according to the old syllabus. more..

Colombo voters to get longest ballot paper

Sept 26 (DM) The longest ballot paper which exceeds two-feet will be issued for the Colombo Municipal Council at the upcoming local government elections on October 8. An Elections Department said it would exceed two feet even without the names ofcandidates as 19 groups including nine political parties and ten independent groups were contesting the council this time. He also said there were difficulties in attaching the list of candidates contesting more..

Tree Planting Record For MR Ignored

Sept 26 (SL) An attempt to set a world record last year by planting over 1 million trees to mark the swearing-in ceremony of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for a second term in office, has not yet been recognised by the Guinness World records committee. The government had planted over 1.1 million trees last November at public institutions including schools, banks, provincial and local government offices as well as a large number of private sector entities. more..

Sri Lankan family moments were special for Copeland

Sept 26 (WA) Among a host of highlights from his month-long tour of Sri Lanka, Trent Copeland pointed to two moments in particular which he won’t forget in a hurry. Aside from picking up his first Test wicket for Australia at Galle, the Bathurst quick said that the experience of his younger brother Ryan Peacock is something which is etched in his memory. “Ryan actually came into the change rooms with me at Pallekelle during the second Test,” Copeland said. more..

Politicians, professionals hail President’s UN speech

Sept 26 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s stirring speech to the UN General Assembly, in which (among other matters), he called on the international community to drop pre-conceived notions and help the country achieve sustained development and peace, is being hailed by both politicians and professionals alike as a resounding success and a speech in which the President had put the record straight fearlessly. more..

Middle Eastern tea demand still low

Sept 26 (FT) Demand from Middle Eastern markets, which accounts for 55% of tea exports, is still low, according to a report released by a broker recently. The Lanka Commodity Brokers tea market report noted that demand from Middle Eastern countries for Colombo Tea Auction offerings has eroded, particularly from strife-torn markets like Libya and Syria, which are both large markets for Low Grown teas, and there have been hardly any purchases from the former at recent auctions. more..

Busload of schoool girls saved by cops

Sept 26 (Island) Timely action by the Kollupitiya Traffic Police helped avert disaster when two approaching trains were stopped just metres away from a CTB bus loaded with school girls stalled on the railway track, police said. The incident occurred on (19) near the Rhineland Place in Kollupitiya. The bus was carrying a group of pupils and teachers of Methodis College. The bus travelling at high speed had veered off the newly built Marine Drive running parallel to more..

'Wathsala should compensate Tamils'

Sept 26 (DM) Major General Shavendra Silva - the Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka at the UN said the wife of former LTTE Eastern leader Ramesh should pay compensation to the Tamils who suffered and lost their loved ones on behalf of her husband and her brother Soosai, who was the leader of the Sea Tigers. “The court case filed in the United Sates by Ramesh’s wife is a good opportunity for the rest of the people in the US to know how more..

Gopallawa left out as portraits of ex-presidents and PMs are unveiled

Sept 26 (ST) Organisers of a ceremony to unveil portraits of Heads of Govt and Heads of State of Independent Sri Lanka, at the CMC, defended their decision not to include the portrait of the country’s first President William Gopalawa, as only Heads of State elected after 1978 qualify. Special Commissioner- CMC, Omar Kamil who sent out the invitations for the ceremony to be held tomorrow evening at the Town Hall, said that only elected Heads of State and Govt, more..

Two Indian nationals taken in

Sept 26 (DM) Two Indian nationals were taken into custody while engaged in allegedly selling textiles in Kalawanchikudi by possessing two tourist visas. The men were in alleged possession of 36 sarees and 15 shalwars at the time of the arrest. They also found mobile phones, three travelling bags and the motorbike used by them to sell textiles. They were taken into custody in the Porathivu area by a patrol team from the Special Task Force (STF). The commanding officer in Batticaloa more..

Return seized gold to rightful owners – TULF

Sept 26 (DM) The TULF led by V. Anandasangari resolved at the party’s convention that all the gold items seized by the army during the war belonged to the people, and urged the govt to return it to them. The resolution said that some persons had pawned their jewellery with the LTTE. Apart from this each household had had to give a specific quantity of gold to the LTTE’s Save the Soil Fund for which receipts had been given. The TULF urged the govt to give back to the people the gold that more..

Premadasa housing schemes to be demolished

Sept 26 (SL) The govt is to demolish housing schemes constructed by former President R. Premadasa. An official of the UDA said that most of these housing schemes are in a depleted condition and so they will be demolished. Meanwhile the official also said that 68,812 houses within the Colombo city limits are also to be demolished to make way for development. He said that the families removed from their homes will be relocated within a kilometer from their original homes in Colombo. more..