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President Rajapaksa arrives in Kazakhstan on a state visit

Nov 20 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived in Astana, Capital of Kazakhstan this afternoon on 19 November for a three day visit. He was invited by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for a state visit to the country. President accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was warmly welcomed by the Kazakhstan Minister Yerbolat Dosayev at the Astana International Airport. Sri Lankan Ambassador for Russia, more..

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Sri Lanka and Suriname

Nov 20 (AT) Sri Lanka and the Latin American country Suriname has decided to establish diplomatic relarions. Subsequent to Signing of Agreement by Dr Palitha T. B. Kohona, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and Mr. Henry Leonard Mac-Donald, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Suriname to the United Nations on 16th November, 2012 in New York, the Govt of Sri Lanka and the Government of Suriname has decided to more..

Keheliya to Australia to appear in case filed against Melbourne hotel

Nov 20 (DN) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella was due to leave for Australia yesterday to appear in a case he has filed in the Victoria District Court against a hotel in Melbourne seeking compensation for an accident he suffered during his last visit to Australia. He suffered leg injuries after falling from the balcony of a room in Cormone Hotel after the room door closed due to some malfunction, shutting him out in the balcony. As the minister tried to find his way into the room through a devious more..

'All signatories to impeachment motion must declare assets'

Nov 20 (Island) All MPs, who had signed the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and members of the PSC appointed to probe the charges levelled against her, should first declare their assets, Convener of the National Movement for Social Justice Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha thera said. He said Dr. Bandaranayake had shown a clear record on her financial transactions through her lawyers, more..

Editorial: Killer dengue rides again - Try alternative cure

Nov 20 (DM) Our editorial last Saturday made a plea to the Ministry of Health to promote the use of alternate medicine such as the manioc cure for cancer. We hope this plea such as those we made in the past will not be put under some sick bed. One of the pleas we made is for the ministry and the medical profession to consider the homoeopathic remedy Eupatorium Perfoliatum to curb dengue which is raging again after the recent heavy rain. This remedy is used extensively in hospitals more..

It is imperative to get rid of 13th Amendment

Nov 20 (DM) The recent political developments in the country have triggered a debate among the people on the potential adverse consequences of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka is a sequel to the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord signed in July 1987. It was a genuine effort on the part of India to bring about a cessation of hostilities between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE terrorist group. more..

Adding substance to SAARC: India-Sri Lanka experience

Nov 20 (SL) India and Sri Lanka have always enjoyed a special relationship not only due to their close geographical proximity but because of their cultural, religious and ethnic affinities and shared history. Sri Lanka President Rajapaksa has aptly described India-Sri Lanka relations as “family”. Of course even such a sibling relationship has had its ups and downs. There are three national and “national” concerns that more..

Tusks sawn off carcass of Mahakanadarawa Tusker

Nov 20 (ST) The famous blind elephant known as the “Mahakanadarawa Tusker” is dead. Its badly decomposed carcass minus the tusks was discovered last week on the banks of a reservoir in Medawachchiya. The tusks had been sawn off. It is not clear whether the animal died from natural causes or whether it was killed. Police are investigating. Veterinary surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe, who conducted the post-mortem, more..

A gag order on PSC proceedings?

Nov 20 (LB) Should the proceedings of the Parliamentary SelectCommittee (PSC) which was mandated to investigate the allegations levelled against the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, in pursuance of an impeachment motion be an official secret? That, ironically though, had been the topic for deliberation of the PSC in its second sitting on Friday. That was after the govt members of the committee complained about more..

Bribe taking cops remanded

Nov 20 (Island) Two police officers were remanded, till Nov. 30 by the Colombo Chief Magistrate on Saturday on charges of bribery. The accused officers, Pettah police Drimes Division OIC Tikiri Banda Wijeratne and Sergeant Upul Wasantha Kumara were nabbed, last Friday by sleuths from the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 100,000, at the station from more..

Taxation laws: ‘Conditions leave room for corruption’

Nov 20 (Island) Some of the taxation proposals included in the budget 2013, being debated in Parliament, strengthened niche market laws which led to corruption, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. "We generally follow special rules that all taxation should, as far as possible, be general. You can increase taxation and you can reduce taxation. Those are political issues that we will debate in this House. more..

'UN has disclosed the civilian killings and UN failure'

Nov 20 (CT) UN has at last disclosed the fact that the Sri Lankan govt succeeded in defeating the LTTE, only by killing over 40,000 innocent civilians and making almost that many to disappear says the Leader of Democratic People’s Front and Convener of Civil Monitoring Commission Mano Ganesan. ‘The Charles Petrie report tells all. UN has failed in fulfilling its responsibility and preventing the mass murder. more..

Appropriation Bill unconstitutional - Eran

Nov 20 (Island) The second reading of the Appropriation Bill, which was passed by Parliament on Saturday, was unconstitutional, the UNP said. UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne said that Clauses 2(1)b and 7 (b), which dealt with Public Finance, had been deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court and it was the duty of the govt to explain to MPs on what basis they had been called upon to vote for the Budget. more..

'Ranil most expensive Opposition Leader'

Nov 20 (Island) DNA MP Tiran Alles yesterday told Parliament that the incumbent Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was the one who had cost the highest amount of public funds for his stay in office as the Leader of the Opposition. Participating in the third reading stage of the budget debate, under the heading of the allocation made to the office of the Leader of the Opposition, the MP said that Rs. 86 million more..

Sri Lanka apparel export revenue declines

Nov 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka's earnings from apparel exports has seen an over 4% decline during the first quarter of the current year, according to data. In 2000, the apparel exports accounted for 49% of the island's total exports and by 2011 the share dropped to 38%, data showed. Industry analysts, commenting on the figures, said the loss of exports to European Union (EU) under the GSP+ tariff concessions have contributed largely to more..

Kazakh and Lankan Presidents have talks

Nov 20 (Trend) Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his Sri Lanka's counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa have discussed the issues of trade-economic cooperation in Astana, the Kazakh presidential press-service reported on Tuesday. "During the meeting, the parties have discussed the issues of political cooperation and the intensification of trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural-humanitarian partnership," more..

Never again says the UN, yet again

Nov 20 (CT) I wrote in the UK Guardian on 30 May 2009, eleven days after the tragic end of the war titled ‘The ÚN has failed the Tamils’ where I referred to and identified many of the failings and weaknesses now being acknowledged after an internal inquiry within the UN, three and half years later. If I had known all of these then and during the war, it begs the question why an international body which was formed fundamentally to protect humanity didn’t know or did it know and failed to act? more..

Legalize Prostitution-Provincial Councillor

Nov 20 (DM) The Member of the Southern Provincial Council (UPFA) Ajith Prasanna has proposed to legalize prostitution to boost tourism in the country. He made this proposal to the Ministry of Economic Development through the Southern Provincial Council. He had said steps should be taken to bring down women from other countries if adequate people were not available in Sri Lanka. He pointed out that more than 40,000 women were now engaged in the prostitution trade in Sri Lanka. more..

The Rajapaksa position in the party is strengthened at the Bandaranaikes’ expense

Nov 20 (CT) “Nirupama Rajapakse, a cousin of the PM and former SLFP MP, told poloff that relations between the President and Prime Minister have always been “very bitter,” but are worse than ever now. The President has long regarded the Rajapakse family, which has had SLFP MPs for as long as the Bandaranaike clan, as the only real rival to her family’s dynastic grip on the party, Rajapakse said. Kumaratunga thus sees the PM’s more..

Sri Lanka is becoming the new Myammar of Asia

Nov 20 (CT) Mr. Speaker, Nearly four years ago, when the LTTE was conclusively defeated, many Sri Lankans, even those who did not agree with the government on the way the war was conducted in the final stages, were optimistic and hopeful that our country could, at last achieve the economic prosperity which has eluded our people since independence. A window of opportunity presented itself to our war ravaged nation to leave the mistakes of the past behind us and move forward to more..

Toyota Lanka new Showroom and Service Complex opens

Nov 20 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksha declared opened the Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited Colombo South (Rathmalana) Showroom and Service Complex on Friday. Nobuhito Hobo Ambassador of Japan and Y. Kato, Managing Director of Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited were also present at this occasion. Toyota Lanka was established in 1995 as a subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Japan, to be the sole distributor for brand new Toyota vehicles and Genuine Spare Parts in more..

Haroon Lorgat recommends end to political interference in Sri Lanka Cricket

Nov 20 (PTI) Haroon Lorgat, the former ICC Chief Executive, has recommended action to review "laws that create potential for government interference" in Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). Lorgat was employed by SLC to recommend ways to induce more professionalism into the governing body. SLC obtained Lorgat's services as a special advisor in its bid to revamp the administration with emphasis on financial management. more..

Rs.2.3m worth Ganja nabbed at airport

Nov 20 (DM) A Sri Lankan Youth who attempted to smuggle 15 kgs of Kerala Ganja worth Rs. 2.3 million from India was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport by the customs this morning. The suspect had attempted to smuggle this large haul of Ganja by hiding among cloths. The customs at the airport said that this is the largest amount of Ganja nabbed at the airport recently. The investigations revealed that he is an apparel trader in Matale area, who had flown to India more..

Editorial: Govt. does not lack incompetence

Nov 20 (CT) Trade Union action in the education sector looks to be taking a decisive turn with the Joint Trade Union Committee of Teachers and Principals confirming a previous decision to commence trade union action on 4 December. The Joint Committee has cited the failure of the Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardene, to respond to their demands positively. Among the issues that the so-called guardians of the secondary level education in Sri Lanka are agitating for, more..

Anusha bags Gold in Tunisia

Nov 20 (DM) Anusha Kodituwakku grabbed her second International Gold medal at the International Women Boxing Tournament concluded at Tunis City, Tunisia, on Saturday. Kodithuwakku, from Slimline Boxing Club, won the Gold by beating her opponent, Loikkanen Lotta from Finland on a RSC decision in the first round in an impressive display. In what was termed as her last match on international stage, Anusha put up more..

Handicapped man killers arrested

Nov 20 (Island) The Boralesgamuwa police early yesterday arrested four suspects over Sinday night’s killing of the mentally handicapped brother of a three wheeler driver at Divlapitiya Temple Road in Boralesgamuwa. The suspects would be produced before the Gangodawila Magistrate today, police said. The suspects, residing in Boresgamuwa, were arrested with the knife they used to kill the victim, Delappuli Don Chanaka Amila. who had been sleeping at the time of the attack. more..

Sri Lanka fishing vessel captured inside Maldives EEZ

Nov 20 (Haveeru) Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) has captured a Sri Lankan fishing boat in Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). MNDF lieutenant Abdulla Ali revealed that on a tip off from some locals coast guard had captured the fishing boat 180 miles east of Meemu Atoll. He did not reveal the number of people in the boat or the reasons behind the boat’s presence inside the Maldivian EEZ. “Now the boat is under the control of coast guard,” Abdulla said. more..

UNP asks govt to declare stance on UN internal report

Nov 20 (AD) The govt remaining silent and avoiding making a statement on the report of the internal probe by the UN, which has blamed its own Mission in Colombo for failing in its duty to protect civilians during the final stages of the war, will only prove the allegations against the country, says the UNP. The internal inquiry, commissioned by the Secretary-General, concluded that the UN’s own conduct during the final months of more..

Lankan dengue specialists invited to present research findings in Singapore

Nov 20 (Island) Three Sri Lankan scientists, Prof. Ranjan Premaratne of the Faculty of Medicine Ragama, Dr. Neelika Malavige of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenapura and Dr. Kapila de Alwis of the Gampola Base Hospital, have been invited to present their research findings at the forthcoming dengue and emerging infections conference in Singapore from November 21 to 23. Prof. Premaratne and Dr. Kapila de Alwis are due more..

Pictorial warnings on cigarette packs compulsory from March

Nov 20 (DN) Pictorial warnings on all cigarette packets will be made compulsory by March, next year. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena took this decision to protect people from cancer, especially oral cancer. The new law will make it compulsory to cover 80% of the cigarette cartons with the pictorial warning which will educate the public on the negative effects of smoking. A gazette related to this was issued some time back but cigarette manufacturing companies filed a case more..

Mahela to lead Sri Lanka in Australia

Nov 20 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene will lead a 16-man Sri Lanka Test squad for the tour of Australia next month. The squad included five fast bowlers in Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad, Nuwan Pradeep and Chanaka Welegedara. Dimuth Karunaratne, who made his Test debut against New Zealand in Galle last week, has been included as the third opener in the squad, along side Tillakaratne Dilshan more..

Kazakhstan invited Sri Lanka to CICA

Nov 20 (TN) Kazakhstan invited Sri Lanka to the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The invitation was made by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev during his meeting with President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa. "We have agreed to cooperate under thr SCO and other organizations. I have asked Sri Lanka to be an acting member of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)," more..

Disciplinary Committees in state health institutions to tackle sexual harassment

Nov 20 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the establishment of Disciplinary Committees, in all government health institutions, to take action against sexual harassment. Health Ministry sources said yesterday that Disciplinary Committees would investigate such complaints and should they ascertain any evidence against a health worker, the police would be called in to take action. Sources said that Minister received over eight to ten complaints of sexual harassment a week. more..

24 students from two schools hospitalised over allergic reactions

Nov 20 (AD) Around 24 students from two different schools in Balangoda and Dematagoda have been hospitalized due to allergic reactions today. It was reported that 17 students from Balangoda Udagama Maha Vidyalaya were admitted to hospital for allergic reactions while seven students from a school in Dematagoda were admitted to the Ridgeway hospital for similar reasons. Director of the hospital, more..

Media slams ‘awful’ Black Caps

Nov 20 (AFP) New Zealand media on Tuesday labelled the Black Caps “clueless” and “awful” after they crashed to a 10-wicket defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the first Test in Galle. “Black Caps self-destruct again”, said the headline in the Dominion Post after New Zealand entered the third day with hopes of a win only to be mesmerised by spinner Rangana Herath and bowled out for just 118. “It's one of the unexplained mysteries of New Zealand cricket that when the Test side gets a more..

Kalkudah Bay gets boutique villas

Nov 20 (LBO) A 500 million rupee a 30 villa boutique hotel with French investment will be built in Kalkudah Bay, in Sri Lanka's eastern coast. Sri Lanka's Board of Investment said 12 luxury bungalows comprising the Karpaha Kalkudah resort will be built among 300 coconut, kohomba and palmyra trees. Karpaha is a reference to the palmyra tree. The property will have a private plunge pool and will face 280 metres of beach frontage with a fringe of coconut trees giving privacy. more..

EPF share deals revealed in Parliament

Nov 20 (DM) The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has bought 3,937 shares and sold 1,453 shares through the CSE during the few years, Parliament was informed today. Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama revealed these details in response to a question by UNP MP and economist Harsha de Silva. The question posed by Dr. de Silva has been in the Parliament Order Book for more than a year and on five occasions more..

Ban Ki-moon must apply U.N.'s Sri Lanka lessons to Syria

Nov 20 (WPR) For a man who regularly receives disturbing reports from war zones, last week was a particularly bad one for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. As fighting escalated in Gaza and rebel forces launched new offensives in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo -- where U.N. peacekeepers are on the front line -- Ban also had to manage the fallout from an internal report on the U.N.’s performance during the final phase of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009. more..

Editorial: The UN failed Sri Lanka’s Tamils, and innocents paid the price

Nov 20 (TS) By the time the Israel-Gaza conflict had claimed 10 lives last week the United Nations Security Council had scrambled into an emergency session to discuss the crisis. Yet when as many as 40,000 Tamils were killed during the final months of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, the UN didn’t hold a single formal meeting. Not at the Security Council. Not at the General Assembly. Not at the Human Rights Council. That’s just one chilling observation in a damning report more..

Tamil politics and the quest for a political solution

Nov 20 (ICG) The Sri Lankan govt’s refusal to negotiate seriously with Tamil leaders or otherwise address legitimate Tamil and Muslim grievances is increasing ethnic tensions and damaging prospects for lasting peace. The administration, led by the SLFP of Mahinda Rajapaksa, has refused to honour agreements with the TNA, broken promises to world leaders and not implemented constitutional provisions for minimal devolution of power to more..