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Arson attack on wildlife office: Maithripala’s brother remanded

Oct 17 (Island) Priyantha Sirisena, brother of Minister, Maithripala Sirisena, was remanded yesterday till Oct 30 by the Polonnaruwa Magistrate for an alleged arson attack on the Jalagalum Nimna Wildlife Office at Manampitiya. According to sources Priyantha allegedly stormed the Wildlife Office on Oct 5 with a group of supporters and after threatening the officers there, opened its safe and set fire to some files. more..

Newly married couple found dead

Oct 17 (Island) Mahawa police on Monday evening recovered bodies of a newly married couple, husband (21) and wife (18), inside a house at Udagama, Mahawa. The Police said that the stench from the decomposing bodies had alarmed the people living in the neighbourhood to alert the police who believed the deaths to have taken place a few days before. They were identified as, W.A.M. Gihan Madusanka and Madushika Kumari and had been living in a rented house, more..

UNP accuses SF

Oct 17 (DM) The UNP today accused former Army Commander Sarath Fonskea and the organisers of the joint opposition rally on October 18 of attempting to divide the opposition. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the organisers including Mr. Fonseka were carrying out a govt contract to break-up the opposition. He said Mr. Fonseka had turned down a UNP invitation to join the Vipashaye Virodaya a joint opposition group some time back but instead was attempting to more..

'Asia not a playground of others'

Oct 17 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking at the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit held in Kuwait said that the Asian continent should not be considered as a play ground of other forces, "who seek our wealth, our assets of nature and human resources". "We are seeing the dawn of the Age of Asia. We must together see it bring new light to a troubled world dominated by the grave errors of other Continents," the President said. more..

Starved children sent to homes

Oct 17 (DM) The 4 children who had been starving for days at a line-room in Uduwara Estate in Haliela were produced before the Badulla Magistrate today by police and handed over to the Probation and Child Care Officers for protection. The 2 male older children, 9 year old Anandaraj Washikumar and 7 year old Anandaraj Arul were handed over to the Badulla Kathan Harvest Children’s Home while the two girls, 3 year old Anandaraj Kaushalya and 10-month old Anandaraj Vinod were directed to the Sujatha Children’s Home in Bandarawela. more..

Leadership training for new undergrads from Nov.15

Oct 17 (Island) The leadership training programme for the next batch of university students will begin on Nov 15 in three batches, according to a decision of the Higher Education Ministry. The Ministry plans to accommodate 9000 students in each batch to be trained at tri-forces and police camps. In order to avoid any future problems over the training programme, it had decided to obtain the opinion of the Attorney General’s Department prior to embarking on the latest exercise, more..

'Duminda a medical marvel'

Oct 17 (Island) When the case pertaining the Baratha Lakshman Premachandra killing came up for mention before the Colombo Magistate Prasanna Alwis, ASP Shani Abeysekera informed the Court that during discussions he had with Senior State Counsel Madawa Tennakoon, he received instructions to submit certain forensic evidence to the appriopriate authorities and obtain the necessary clarifications. The Court issued notice on the DNA specailists to submit to Court without more..

Executive Presidency must go - UNP

Oct 17 (Island) The UNP said yesterday that its decision not to attend tomorrow’s rally, to relaunch the political career of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, should not be construed as an abdication of its determination to abolish the executive presidency. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that certain disgruntled members were trying to distort last Friday’s Working Committee decision to ban UNPers from attending the Fonseka rally to mean that the party more..

A Visva miles away in Lanka

Oct 17 (TI) The college has a Patha Bhavan and Kala Bhavan, but it’s not in Santiniketan. In the Sri Lankan town of Horana, 33km from Colombo, is Sri Palee College, the foundation of which was laid by Rabindranath Tagore 78 years ago. According to Visva-Bharati officials, such was the influence of the poet’s vision on education that the college started open-air classes and named its departments on the lines of Visva-Bharati. A team of 42 students led by Visva-Bharati vice-chancellor Sushanta more..

Skipper of seized craft collaborated with attackers

Oct 17 (Island) An armed gang, in the early hours of yesterday, seized a trawler, Thejan Putha, off the southern coast after throwing 4 out of the 5-man fishing crew overboard. 3 of them are believed to have been drowned, while the other was rescued by a foreign ship and handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy Vessel Jayasagara about 50 nautical miles south east of Sri Lanka. All four thrown overboard had their hands tied by some more..

Bathiudeen appeals to SC

Oct 17 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday filed a special leave to appeal application in the Supreme Court against a Court of Appeal show cause order, dated Sept 5, 2012 issued to him. The Court of Appeal ordered Bathiudeen to show cause why should not be punished for contempt of Court for having abused the Magistrate of Mannar, Anthony Judeson by telephoning him in connection with a judicial order. Geoffrey Alagaratnam PC and a group of lawyers had moved the Court of Appeal to punish Bathiudeen for contempt of Court for more..

'Tamil Nadu cops can’t ensure safety'

Oct 17 (TOI) Minister Douglas Devananda has expressed doubts about police's ability to ensure his safety if he appears for trial in a murder case in Chennai. Tamil Nadu police were equal to the Scotland Yard in investigation, but when it comes to security they are not as efficient, as was evident from the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, his counsel told a sessions court, which is hearing the minister's petition seeking recall of the pending non-bailable warrant against him and permission to face the trial through video-conferencing. more..

Ban calls for speedy political solution to factors behind Sri Lanka’s civil war

Oct 17 (UN) In a meeting with a senior Sri Lanka Govt official, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today emphasized the need for to find a speedy political solution to the underlying factors behind the country’s civil war that ended three years ago with a Govt victory over Tamil separatist rebels, according to his spokesperson. In a meeting at UN Headquarters in New York with the Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, more..

Editorial: Shameless corruption and nepotism

Oct 17 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunge, who ruled Sri Lanka for 11 years, has lashed out at what she sees as the naked demonstration of the abuse of power, the shameless indulgence in corruption and nepotism, the violation of human rights and the rule of law in Sri Lanka today. Speaking at a crisis period when the cold war between the Govt and the Judiciary has reached volatile proportions, Ms. Kumaratunge said the right to freedom was composed of the right to more..

Onion farmers in a quandary

Oct 17 (DM) Karunawathi and her daughters are seated under the shade of a tree, chopping the green ends of onions. They had only cleaned half the mound of uprooted onions. A warm, dry breeze sweeps past, stirring the dust and clouding their eyes. “Most of the onions are rotting and the others are bearing shoots. So now we cut off the shoots and dry them in the sun to preserve them. But this is temporary. If this lot cannot be sold within the coming week, we would have to throw them away,” Karunawathi says, pointing to the pile of more..

An unending tragedy

Oct 17 (DM) On August 5 the US boasted to the world about ‘Curiosity’, NASA’s most advanced planetary rover on the surface of Mars. Of course, US had reasons for its bravado. The govt too called on a major media pageant on September 25 to announce that all those who had been displaced by the war have been resettled: This was not second to the show put on by the world giant. At the state ceremony held three years after end of war, the President said no other more..

DWC accused of double standards

Oct 17 (SL) The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) has been accused of adopting a double standard over encroachers at the Kahalla-Pallakelle sanctuary. Kahalla-Pallakelle was declared as a sanctuary through gazette notification No. 566/ 5 on July 1, 1989 and is 21,690 hectares in extent spanning through Kurunegala and Anuradhapura districts. According to Section 7 of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (amended) No. 22 of 2009, it is an offence to destroy more..

Fags up; more take to ganja; Arrack up; more to kasippu

Oct 17 (LB) The government on that ill-fated T20 World Cup final night craftily increased the prices of liquor and cigarettes, products of vice, both nationally and internationally. But every increase in the price of cigarettes and liquor involves counter moves by those who consume them. At the bottom economic end of cigarette smokers – some change over to smoking the less expensive and more harmful beedi. Others turn into ganja more..

Squash racket

Oct 17 (ST) In an unprecedented move in the 176-year history of a premier national school, an official of the Education Ministry has written to the principal asking that a student dropped from the team for indiscipline during a squash game be put back in the team for a forthcoming inter-school tournament. The official, Acting Education Director (National Schools) M. Kamani Perera sent a formal letter to the principal on behalf of a player, who is the son of former deputy principal of the more..

National Action Plan on Consumer Welfare on drawing boards

Oct 17 (Island) The government has taken steps to formulate a national policy framework and action plan on consumer welfare. Consumer Welfare Senior Minister S.B. Nawinna, who is preparing the policy, says the Sri Lankan consumer protection activism remains weak because of a lack of awareness which often leaves consumers vulnerable to the lobbying power of big business and utilities. In the run-up to the formulation of the national policy, a meeting was held yesterday more..

Sri Lanka to go ahead with IAEA stipulations over Kudankulam

Oct 17 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it will go ahead with the implementation of a disaster management action plan despite the proposed move to sign a MoU with India on the convention on early notification of nuclear accidents. "Under article 9 we proposed the signing of an agreement or MoU with India", Champika Ranawaka the minister of power and energy told reporters here today. He was commenting on the first round of talks between India and Sri Lanka on more..

MR holds talks with Pakistani PM

Oct 17 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held bilateral talks with the Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on the sidelines of Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit in Kuwait yesterday. Prime Minister Ashraf has told the President that Pakistan desires to further deepen economic ties between the two countries and wishes to cooperate with Sri Lanka in all spheres including trade, education, health and culture. The Pakistani PM has also expressed the hope that the more..

Sri Lankans protest outside UN office on World Food Day

Oct 17 (Xinhua) Over a hundred people protested outside the United Nations (UN) office on Tuesday demanding compensation from the UN for kidney disease that they allege was caused by using UN approved fertilizer, an official said here. The Swarna Hansa Foundation (SHF) staged the protest on World Food Day to call attention to what it alleged was the UN misleading farmers to believe that a toxic fertilizer was in fact safe. more..

Sri Lanka’s Mali suffers in Manila’s stinking zoo

Oct 17 (AFP) An elderly elephant named Mali is the star at Manila's zoo but also the focus of a campaign alleging animal cruelty that has united the country's powerful bishops, global pop stars and a Nobel laureate. Mali, who is 38, spends her days picking peanuts from children's hands and being squirted with water in a concrete-floored enclosure that animal rights groups say is far too small for any elephant to enjoy living in. more..

'No case against KP'

Oct 17 (CG) The govt says legal action has not been filed against former LTTE chief arms procurer Kumaran Padmanathan alias KP. Defence Ministry spokesman Lakshman Hullugalle, speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today, said that KP has also not been detained. He said KP is involved in humanitarian work in the north and the government has given the necessary clearance for him to carry out that work. Hullugalle said this in response to a questioned more..

Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka eye growth of bilateral cooperation

Oct 17 (KI) In Colombo, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Dulat Kuanyshev met with Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris, the Kazakh MFA's press service reports. The meeting mainly concentrated on the preparation of the upcoming visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to Kazakhstan this year. The sides noted growth of the bilateral cooperation mostly affected by a meeting between Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his Sri Lankan counterpart Rajapaksa in 2011. more..

19 SLNG organizes a medical camp Veththalaikerny civilians

Oct 17 (GDI) The 553 Brigade of Vethathalaikerny, in one of its community welfare projects, organized a medical clinic for the civilians on Sunday at Veththalaikerny Parameswara Maha Vidyalaya. Over 300 civilians attended the medical and eye clinic to get treatments and medical advice from the Medical Officer of the 55 Division and doctors from Point Pedro govt hospital. An optician from “Thusha Optical and Dental Works” joined the medical staff to check vision of people present at the more..

WikiLeaks: US was following Lt. Col. Keppetiwalana case involving the disappearance of 25 villagers from Jaffna

Oct 17 (CT) “There are, however, similar cases from the mid-1990s now working their way through the courts involving officials who have since been promoted and are now in key positions in MoD. We are following a case dating from 1996 involving the disappearance of 25 villagers from the Jaffna peninsula in which Lt. Col. Duminda Keppetiwalana, now the executive assistant of Army more..

SriLankan Airlines Golf Classic returns

Oct 17 (GDI) Today marks the return of the prestigious, signature corporate sports event of SriLankan Airlines –the SriLankan Airlines Golf Classic. The Golf Classic presents three days of exciting golf for international and local players, who stand to bag grand prizes including air tickets to destinations around the world. Winners will be determined through points allocated over two rounds in categories Gents’ and Ladies’ Gross and Nett Stableford Scores; Junior Division; more..

Fielding SF was a mistake: UNP

Oct 17 (DM) The decision to field former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka as the common candidate in the 2010 presidential election was a mistake, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake speaking to the Daily Mirror said. “We fielded a common candidate during the 2010 Presidential election with the hope of victory and we expected that the candidate fielded would secure more votes than Ranil Wickremesinghe received in the 2005 Presidential election. Unfortunately more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief -17.10.2012

Card. Ranjith: Year of the Faith, the responsibilities of Catholics in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (AN) "The year of faith is an opportunity to find in deep what is our responsibility in this society we as Catholics and see how we should do our responsibility to make the society a better place". This was the message of Card. Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, during a special Mass opening the Year of Faith, celebrated in the Kotahena Cathedral. During the celebration, the Cardinal urged priests, nuns, religious and lay Catholics to "strengthen their faith", more..

UN in post-war ‘food security’ drive in Sri Lanka

Oct 17 (Island) Since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009, the UN has been able to enhance its operations in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) playing a critical role in the post-war recovery process. The FAO’s ongoing activity, in the two provinces, as well as in other parts of the country, is an integral part of Sri Lanka’s challenging task of enhancing food production to meet the growing demand. more..

'Decision makers of UNP should be ashamed'

Oct 17 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, who referred to remarks made by UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake that fielding Fonseka at the presidential election as a common candidate was a mistake, said the UNP should feel ashamed about its political decision making. “They must be ashamed at its political decision making. If at a crucial election it goes round the country telling people to vote for somebody and three years later more..

Stocks closed down 0.39 pct

Oct 17 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.39% Wednesday recording the lowest turnover in two months. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,586.40 down 21.73 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 19.61 points lower at 3,017.33 down 0.65%. Turnover was 372 million rupees, the lowest in two months. Colombo Dockyard led the day's turnover with 30 million rupees, Lanka IOC with 27 million rupees and Commercial Bank with 21 million rupees. Colombo Dockyard recorded 137,000 shares in volume more..

Sri Lankans warned of visa agents, bogus documents by UK

Oct 17 (LBO) The United Kingdom has not endorsed any agent in Sri Lanka to help with visa applications and applicants who submit false documents will face a 10-year travel ban and action by domestic authorities, the UK High Commission in Colombo has said. "We welcome genuine visitors, students and workers to the UK and are committed to ensuring the quality and availability of visa services for genuine applicants," UK Border Agency’s regional director, Thomas Greig said more..

Govt, UNP-run CMC in joint operation

Oct 17 (Island) The govt and the UNP-run Colombo Municipal Council have reached agreement on an interim plan to address the grievances of 163 families displaced due to their houses, situated adjacent to the Pothuvilkumbura garbage mountain, in the Kolonnawa electorate, sinking. The site is spread over 12 acres. The number of displaced could go up further as altogether about 500 families lived in the vulnerable area encompassing Meethotamulla, more..

Cuban Solidarity Conference in Colombo on 20th & 21st

Oct 17 (LT) The 6th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the Cuban Solidarity Movement will be held in Colombo says the JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. He said, “The 6th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the Cuban Solidarity Movement will be held at the Centre for Banking Studies in Rajagiriya, Colombo on the 20th and 21st of this month. Also, a public function will be held at Yahalakale Estate where Comrade Che more..

Doctors' strike spreads

Oct 17 (NF) Doctors at eleven hospitals that come under the purview of the Western Provincial Council have commenced a strike action. Secretary of the Government Medical Officers' Association, Haritha Aluthge said that the strike had been launched due to a nurse assaulting the District Medical Officer of the Lunawa Hospital. Eleven hospitals including the Maligawatte, Piliyandala, Moratuwa, Wethara, Nawagamuwa and Aturugiriya hospitals have commenced the strike action. more..

'People forced to lead ‘sachet’ lives'

Oct 17 (LT) The masses have to adjust their lives to the proportion of sachet packets to meet the cost of living and packets of essential items are now sold not in weights of 500 gram or 1 kg packets but in 50 – 100 gram sachet packets says the Information Secretary of the JVP Vijitha Herath. He said, “In the past prices of goods were amended and proposals regarding the tax policy of the government was declared by the budget. more..