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Madusha, second runner-up at Miss International pageant

Oct 22 (DN) Sri Lanka’s Madusha Mayadunne was selected as the second runner-up at the 52nd Miss International 2012 pageant held in Okinawa, Japan yesterday. Miss Japan won the title while Finland was the first runner-up and Dominican Republic the third runner-up. Miss friendship was won by Mauritius, Miss Performance by Russia, Miss National Costume by Honduras and Miss Photogenic by Japan. Mayadunne was more..

President Rajapaksa visits Dubai to participate World Energy Forum

Oct 22 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Dubai to attend the World Energy Forum-2012 which will be held at International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Dubai, in the UAE from 22 to 24 Oct. The World Energy Forum was formed in 2008 to use energy for sustainable development without causing environmental damage. So far two conferences of this more..

Pay hike demand protests from today

Oct 22 (Island) Public sector trade unions would start countrywide demonstrations from tomorrow demanding a pay hike, the National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) said. NTUC convener Samantha Koralearachchi said that they would demonstrate in Colombo, Ampara, Matara, Anuradhapura, Kolonnawa, Chillaw, Kurunegala, Rajagiriya, Kalubowila, Ratmalana, and Embilipitiya during two weeks starting with the protest in Ampara. "Out struggle is to win a pay hike of Rs 13,442.50 more..

World Trade Centre turns 15

Oct 22 (FT) The World Trade Centre, (WTC) Colombo celebrated 15 successful years of serving the business community of Sri Lanka. To mark this milestone, Overseas Realty, the developer, owner and manager of the WTC, hosted a gala reception at the WTC lobby for their valued tenants and stakeholders. The event was graced by Chief Guest Minister Basil Rajapaksa and heads of key corporate giants in Sri Lanka. The WTC was a monumental investment made by the visionary entrepreneur Shing Pee Tao, a citizen of Singapore of more..

Near site of LTTE’s last stand, a victory memorial that Tamils don’t visit

Oct 22 (Hindu) In the heart of northern Sri Lanka, near the place where thousands of Tamil civilians are believed to have been killed during the military’s last successful push against the LTTE, stands a powerful assertion of that victory. On a sandy patch of land that saw the most fighting in the final stages of the war in 2009, a victory memorial has come up: rising from a base of large granite rocks, a jubilant soldier, in one hand more..

Editorial: Innocent by default

Oct 22 (DM) The citizens of this country are no aliens to the magnitude of the atrocities committed by the LTTE during the darkest thirty years in history. They remember the Tiger heads who led the terror behind the curtains, here and abroad; they even remember whether they are dead or alive. On Wednesday, the government shocked its citizenry with the announcement that there were no charges against Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP to conduct legal proceedings against him. more..

The Myth of Free Education

Oct 22 (DM) The FUTA and the IUSF in Sri Lanka have been on a long campaign to “protect free education”. I will be dealing with both the semantics and substance of “free education” in Sri Lanka in this think piece. The fundamental truth is that NOTHING IS FREE IN THE WORLD of human beings. Every single citizen of Sri Lanka pays several taxes to the government for the provision of public goods (for e.g. infrastructure) and services (for e.g. education, health). more..

More broken promises to farmers

Oct 22 (SL) Drought stricken farmers in the dry zone lament that the government has failed to honor its promise and that they have been sent letters by banks seeking installment payments for loans taken by them to cultivate the Yala harvest that has failed due to the water shortage. “At that time we asked the President to give us this promise in writing. Because we knew that at election time they give false promises. more..

Rebuilding lives shattered in Sri Lanka’s conflict

Oct 22 (ILO) Conscripted by the Tamil Tigers at 20, Vadivel Kesavapillai lost his right arm in Sri Lanka’s civil war. Now, he owns a small restaurant thanks to training and funds from a UN programme for victims of the conflict. And he recently got married, something he says he could not afford before he opened his restaurant near the town of Batticaloa, in the Eastern Province, more..

Mohan Pieris on Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Oct 22 (AT) On 2008 May, Sri Lanka Govt voluntarily submitted proposals to the Universal Periodic Review of the UNHRC and the submission is coming up for review on 1st November this year before a tripartite review group – India, Benin and Spain. It is important to note that these three countries appointed to review Sri Lanka’s submissions earlier voted against Sri Lanka in the US sponsored resolution in March this year, more..

High tax on vehicles drives away business in style

Oct 22 (LB) The high duty on imported vehicles has decreased the number of units of imports from 3500 to 100 per month. Nearly 60% of the vehicle importers have shut down leaving employees without employment. Vehicle importers have also decided to re-export more than 5000 unsold cars to Myanmar if the govt reimburses the tax paid. Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera had suggested last week more..

Whale-watching guidelines

Oct 22 (ST) Parliament will on Tuesday debate regulations promulgated under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance that will impose strict guidelines for those engaged in operating whale and dolphin watching expeditions. The regulations cited as Sea Mammals (Observation, Regulation and Control) Regulations have been made by the Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife and will apply to owners and operators of such tour vessels, the crew as more..

Sri Lanka Carrom short of cash to stage World Cup

Oct 22 (ST) Exactly 23 days after staging the extravaganza ICC Twenty20 World Championship, Sri Lanka will host the 6th World Carrom Championship in Colombo but under gloomy conditions. The Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka officials have less than ten days to go before hosting 17 countries at the ultimate competition in any sport, but are far behind from their expected budget requirement. The budgeted amount for more..

Film producer held for cheating Lankan after promising job abroad

Oct 22 (TOI) A Tamil film producer was arrested in Virugambakkam on Sunday for allegedly duping a Sri Lankan refugee by promising him to get visa for migrating to Australia for a job. Tamil Nadu 'Q' branch police arrested Choodamani, 31, after a complaint was filed by Vasantha Kumar, an inmate of a Sri Lankan refugee camp in Ramanathapuram. In his complaint, Kumar more..

CPC assures uninterrupted fuel supplies

Oct 22 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) yesterday assured that there would not be any shortage of fuel supplies despite the possibility of the Sapugaskanda refinery having to face a temporary closure. "We have enough petrol and diesel supplies to last for the next 45 days and we have finished products coming in vessels almost every other day and there is absolutely no cause for panic at all," more..

INTERPOL warrants for Tangalle suspects

Oct 22 (CG) Warrants are to be issued through the international police, INTERPOL, to arrest 14 suspects over the October 14 incident in Tangalle where five fishermen were attacked and thrown overboard. The police media unit said that the warrants were issued by the Tangalle District court based on information provided by the police. Five fishermen who went out to sea were attacked and thrown overboard more..

Govt claim of no criminal charges against KP, laughable- UNP

Oct 22 (Island) UP Deputy General Secretary Dr Jayalath Jayawardhana said that the recent claim made by the Director General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle that there were no criminal charges against former LTTE Chief Arms Procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP would raise a laugh. He was addressing a joint news conference with NLF Leader more..

Sri Lankan military forcibly “resettles” Tamil detainees

Oct 22 (wsws) The Sri Lankan govt last month announced a “remarkable achievement”—the resettlement of the last of nearly 300,000 Tamil war detainees. This was an outright lie. The govt ordered the military to remove the remaining 1,200 refugees from detention camps erected after the end of the country’s civil war in May 2009, only to dump them in a roughly cleared area in thick jungle without basic facilities. With the defeat of the LTTE, more..

Whose problem is Sri Lanka to Solve: Sri Lankan Tamils or all Tamils

Oct 22 (EAR) A country of 20m people, a majority of close to 15m people (the Sinhalese) is into its 3rd year having militarily eliminated 30 years of LTTE terrorism. What has confused matters is the manner in which elected Tamil leaders have claimed that the LTTE terrorist demands and those of the Tamil people are one and the same on the grounds that the LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamil people – something that the Tamil people more..

WikiLeaks: Influencing Rajapaksa ‘requires psychology’ Akashi emphasised

Oct 22 (CT) “Since Norway preferred not to deliver the private messages to the Sri Lankan govt to preserve its facilitator role, participants accepted that ambassadors in Colombo should meet with Rajapaksa separately. Participants rejected an EU suggestion for high-level visits by Co-Chair officials from capitals. German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Weerth raised concern that these visits more..

'Court has no jurisdiction to make Parliament Impotent'

Oct 22 (GDI) The petition against the Divi Neguma Bill was taken up for hearing by a 3 member panel of judges headed by the Chief Justice Mrs. Shirani Bandaranaike. The other two judges were Nimal Gamini Ameratunge and K.Sri Pavan. Lawyers representing the petitioners argued that the bill has numerous uncertainties and there are no clear indication in the bill about the transparency on the management of funds by the Samurdhi Bank more..

Seychelles & Sri Lanka to strengthen economic cooperation

Oct 22 (GDI) Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, Gamini Wickramasinghe said that the Govt of Sri Lanka would extend a credit line to the Seychelles for trade and commercial transactions with Sri Lanka particularly in boat building ventures. Wickremasinghe said so when he met Seychelles President James Mechel at State House in Seychelles. It was also agreed that Seychelles and Sri Lanka will share expertise and experience in the fisheries sector. The meeting follows more..

Three years of peace but no sign of prosperity

Oct 22 (IPS) Mamaduwa, a remote village in Sri Lanka’s northern Vavuniya district where scorching winds blow across parched earth, is trying to forget the past. Comprised of 130 families, Mamaduwa lies on the southern border of Sri Lanka’s former war zone, popularly known as the Vanni. The village is almost entirely Sinhalese, the island’s majority ethnicity. When ethnic tensions gave way to full-blown civil war in 1983, this more..

Suneetha gets Fide Master title after 20 years

Oct 22 (DM) Suneetha Wijesuriya has been awarded the Women FIDE Master title for her performance at the Chess Olympiad in Manila 1992. This was revealed in a statement from Luxman Wijesuriya, the Secretary of Chess Federation of Sri Lanka, on Sunday. In the Chess Olympiad, in 1992, Suneetha Wijesuriya won the Gold medal, claiming 6.5 points out of 8 points possible. The courageous lady received a golden prize for her untiring work towards the success of Chess in Sri Lanka. more..

Stocks at 6 week low; rupee down

Oct 22 (Reuters) Stocks slumped on Monday to their lowest level in six weeks with turnover skidding to a two-month low on retail selling on margin calls ahead of the central bank's board meeting on rate policy later in the day. The Colombo Stock Exchange's main index fell 1.69 percent, or 95.64 points, to 5,553.89, its lowest close since Sept. 7. "There is selling pressure as some brokers forced retailers to settle debts and they had to come down and sell at lower prices," more..

'The sovereignty of the people is non-existent'

Oct 22 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva speaks to the Daily Mirror on the apparent rift between the executive and the judiciary. To hear his comments on the attack on the Judicial Services Commission Secretary. Q: There is a perceived rift between the executive and the judiciary; this is being portrayed in the most negative light. However it could be said that the three more..

Missing Sri Lanka cartoonist’s spouse seeks answers

Oct 22 (TS) The wife of missing Sri Lankan political cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda marked 1,000 days since his disappearance with an appeal to UN chief Ban Ki-moon to intervene. Sandhya Eknelygoda led a group of rights activists and staged a demonstration outside the United Nations offices in Colombo urging the world body to pressure Sri Lanka for information about her husband, AFP reports. The cartoonist who contributed to more..

Che commemorated at Yaahalakele

Oct 22 (LT) The 6th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the Cuban Solidarity Movement was held on the 20th and 21st. The conference that commenced at the Centre for Banking Studies in Rajagiriya, Colombo today on the 20th continued successfully with eh participation of foreign delegates and leaders of several political parties. A special commemoration ceremony was held with the participation of all foreign delegates at the Mahogany tree planted by Che Guevara at more..

'Parliament has little control over finances'

Oct 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's parliament has no real control over public finances with the arm of the govt not even having a budget committee, though the country's constitution says otherwise, a legislator said. "When I first went into parliament, I was surprised that there was no budget committee in parliament," Eran Wickremaratne, an appointed legislator representing the country's opposition told the annual sessions of the Sri Lanka more..

Editorial: The wheels begin to come off

Oct 22 (IC) When I posed a question to an official at the cricket board recently, I was told my question was "unethical". I had wanted to know how much the inaugural Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) T20 tournament would cost the board. It came as no surprise to me that Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) had officials within in it who found questions that would require them to be financially accountable and transparent to be unethical. Kumar Sangakkara did say in his Spirit of Cricket more..

Corex-D syrup sold mixed with hooch

Oct 22 (CT) Several establishments in Colombo were found to be selling the banned Corex-D syrup mixed with illicit liquor.The detection follows the deaths of several persons who had consumed the prescription medication mixed with alcohol. Health Ministry spokesman W.A.D. Wanninayake said although Corex-D was banned from being sold in pharmacies pending investigations, the ministry has received information that communication centres and small restaurants and hotels in more..

GTF says no talks with the govt

Oct 22 (CG) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a leading Tamil Diaspora organization, says it is not in talks with the Sri Lankan govt on the national issue. GTF spokesman Suren Surendiren said that if the Rajapaksa govt is keen to address the Tamil issue it should first negotiate with the TNA. “As far as we know there is no credible Diaspora organisation that is currently in any talks with the Govt of Sri Lanka. more..

Security breach at Gota’s event

Oct 22 (DM) Two policemen of the Cinnamon Gardens Police were interdicted today over a security lapse at the opening ceremony of the refurbished racecourse mini pavilion on Saturday. Police said a motorcycle passed through the road which was closed to the public alongside the racecourse, while Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa were on stage. The guests were seated on the main stage which was set up in front of the mini more..

'Sri Lanka sees no need to adjust policy rates'

Oct 22 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank sees no need to change its policy rates in the near future and it has reduced credit growth to the desired level, Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. "Our overall policies are working in the way we had projected and wanted it to work," Cabraal said on Monday. "So I think there is no need for us to make any further adjustments in the near future." Cabraal was speaking ahead of the Monetary Board's more..

Ceypetco may close refinery on supply delay

Oct 22 (Reuters) Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) may be forced to shut Sri Lanka's sole 50,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery from Thursday for up to two weeks if efforts to secure alternative supplies to Iranian crude fail. The Sri Lankan refinery is configured to run solely on Iranian crude. Authorities have been trying to adjust it to run on other crude varieties since the United States imposed sanctions on Iranian exports. more..

Stunt rates fall

Oct 22 (CT) The number of children being stunted in Sri Lanka had come down to some 14% from the previous 19% during last year’s assessment, according to the Head, Medical Research Institute and Consultant Medical Nutritionist Dr. Renuka Jayatissa. Stunting originates during the critical 1,000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday, she said. Other disturbing trends include 0.4 million or one in five children being underweight and 0.024 million suffering from obesity. more..

Sri Lanka grants loans to former LTTE cadres

Oct 22 (PTI) The Sri Lankan govt Monday provided low interest loans to former LTTE cadres to start their livelihood. The ministry of rehabilitation said that a maximum of 250,000 rupees payable in 10 years with low interest rate of 4 per cent per annum are being made available to them. The handing over ceremony took place under the patronage of minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera today at Mullaithivu, the former military capital of the LTTE and the scene of the final battle in May 2009. more..

Lonely Planet names Sri Lanka as best to visit in 2013

Oct 22 (DM) World’s most renowned and largest travel guide book and digital media publisher –“The Lonely Planet” has named Sri Lanka as number one destination in the world to visit in year 2013. The travel experts and the voters have predicted that Sri Lanka will be on the top of the hottest new holiday destinations for the travelers in year 2013. Under the title ‘Serenity returns more..

Reports on imposing a tax on wells refuted

Oct 22 (GDI) The Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management refutes news reports claiming that the government is to impose a tax on wells. Explaining further the Minister says that it is the govt’s responsibility to protect the underground water deposits of the country and ensure that these resources are available for the future generation. Since it has been realized that the over-utilizing of these underground water resources in an indiscriminate and improperly manner could more..

'Fight against injustice and inequality, wipe out imperialism from the Earth'

Oct 22 (LT) This is an era the world needs millions of youths with qualities Che had. Imperialism and capitalism are more vicious and barbaric now than during the time Che lived. Neo-liberal globalization has become the main enemy of mankind and the environment. Imperialist Globalization has thrown millions of workers out of jobs. Unemployment among young men and women in the world has reached 50% in some countries in Europe. more..