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Editorial: COPE - Prevention needs to follow revelation

Oct 29 (DM) If money grows on trees, minor leaks and pockets with holes would not have troubled us much. Such waste would not have felt burdensome in the country’s development drive. Yet, the picture is not so rosy down here. From one hand, there is always a call for more and on the other hand, truckload of money is poured down the drain to satisfy the whims and nonsensicalities of those who guard the country’s coffers. In the face of more..

Two questions before the supreme court on the Divineguma Bill

Oct 29 (CT) The matter before the Supreme Court in Sri Lanka as the sole legal authority in interpreting the Constitution, and its democratic procedure, in respect of the Divineguma Bill, in my opinion, is: (1) Not only to determine whether, in the absence of an elected Provincial Council in the North, the Governor could fulfil the requirements specified in Article 154 G (3), (2) But also in the absence of such a Council, and in the absence of “views expressed” more..

Lanka set to face HR salvos in Geneva

Oct 29 (ST) A high-level Sri Lanka delegation is set to face questions from several countries when the UNHRC reviews Sri Lanka’s human rights record in Geneva on Thursday. This is under the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a mechanism where all 193 member countries of the UN are scrutinised by Working Groups every four or five years. Sri Lanka’s delegation to the event is led by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, more..

'Exec. presidency must go'

Oct 29 (Island) The Executive Presidency, introduced by J. R. Jayewardene was most unsuitable for Sri Lanka. JRJ had introduced the system taking advantage of the five-sixth majority he had in Parliament in 1977, observed Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, Chief incumbent of Sri Naga Vihare, Kotte. Sobitha Thera was addressing a meeting, organized by the Kandy branch of the National campaign for a just society. more..

'India should stop supporting TNA'

Oct 29 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka, while calling the Provincial Council system a complete flop and a waste of public money said, his party, the JHU will continue to lobby for the system to be scrapped. He charged that the TNA is hindering the reconciliation efforts in the country. He also claimed Sri Lanka cannot achieve complete peace until India stops backing a small number of people led by the TNA. more..

Drug baron gets caught in STF trap

Oct 29 (Island) Acting on information elicited from a heroin addict police commandos over the weekend arrested a notorious gangster working for a major heroin distribution network. A spokesman for the elite Special Task Force (STF) said that the arrest was made near a supermarket in the Kotikawatte police area at about 10.00 am on Saturday. "We established contact with the gang with the help of the heroin addict, who more..

CB invested in Greek Bonds despite credit risk – COPE

Oct 29 (LB) The COPE in its interim report for the year 2012 has highlighted glaring instances of irregularities in 32 state institutions. We reproduce excerpts from the interim report. The Central Bank had invested in Greek Govt Bonds which had a face value of EUR30,000,000 for EUR 22,163,500 (Rs3,472,576,045) on 05.04.2011 without considering the unfavourable market conditions more..

CPC to CEB: Pay up or face cut in fuel supplies

Oct 29 (ST) The cash-strapped Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has asked the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to pay up more than Rs. 50 billion in arrears or face reduction in fuel supplies for power generation. The CPC has conveyed to the CEB that it has run into problems in opening Letters of Credit (LCs) for the purchase of two types of diesel needed for thermal power production as the CEB has failed to honour more..

Australia to target Asia's skilled workforce

Oct 29 (PTI) Riding on an ambitious plan to tap Asian region, Australia is all set to woo highly skilled population from the region including in India in a bid to create an educated, productive work force to boost its economy. According to minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen, the govt in its 'Asian Century White Paper' released yesterday, has highlighted the opportunities for the nation's growth by more..

SLFP to watch over its LG members

Oct 29 (Island) The SLFP yesterday said it had decided to appoint a committee to monitor all its local government members and would also maintain a personal file on each such member elected under the new first-past-the-post system. SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that genuine candidates could not get elected under the previous system, because only candidates with bags of money were voted to power. more..

UPR sessions: Over 90 countries speak positively on SL

Oct 29 (DN) Out of a total of 99 countries that will speak on Sri Lanka's progress on human rights development at the UNHRC's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) sessions, more than 90 countries will speak positively on the county's HR performance and achievements, External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathilaka Amunugama said. He said Sri Lanka will not announce any voluntary pledges to the UNHRC at the forthcoming more..

Govt to import crude from Oman and Saudi Arabia

Oct 29 (GDI) There will be no shortage of fuel in the country due to the closure of the refinery as the government has taken measures to import oil from other sources, Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha said. Minister Premajayantha said letters of credit had been issued to import 215,000 metric tons of crude for the month of November and two ships with crude will be arriving in Colombo port next month. more..

Tamil party to resume talks with govt

Oct 29 (wsws) The TNA, the main bourgeois coalition of Tamil parties in Sri Lanka, has indicated its readiness to resume talks with the Colombo govt over “a political solution” to the island’s civil war that ended in May 2009. The TNA functioned as a parliamentary mouthpiece for the separatist LTTE prior to its defeat. Since 2009, the TNA has been seeking to integrate itself back into the Colombo establishment. It has appealed to India, the US and the European powers to pressure more..

Farmers advised to go for cash crops

Oct 29 (Island) Farmer leaders, numbering over 300, from agricultural areas countrywide met at the Mahaweli Centre in Colombo on Saturday to address issues in relation to water supply for agriculture. The meeting was chaired by Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. Ministry Secretary Ivan Silva, himself an Irrigation Engineer, said that the farmers should also not depend on irrigated water only, but also depend, to some extent, on rainwater when it came to the Maha season. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Kill the animals that destroy crops-Minister

Oct 29 (DM) In what appeared to be another controversial statement, Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said that animals such as monkeys, wild boar and crocodiles should be killed to protect crops and human lives. Addressing a function in Bandarawela, he said that the monkeys that destroyed cultivations in Tangalle had been caught and sent to the Yala National Park and released but that all had returned to the cultivated lands. At the meeting, the representatives of various more..

Sri Lanka Asia Pacific forum to explore trade boosting tools

Oct 29 (LBO) A trade forum in Sri Lanka with the participation of 30 countries in Asia and the Pacific starting will identify priority areas for integration, and new tools and services to increase the efficiency of cross-border transactions. The Asia Pacific Trade Facilitation Forum 2012 (APTFF) on the theme of "Enhancing public-private collaboration for trade facilitation, paperless trade and cross-border connectivity" will kick off on October 30 in more..

8000 IDPs disappeared – Gota to US

Oct 29 (CT) “Blake recalled that, as Ambassador, he told GSL officials that the U.S. would have difficulty funding the long-term presence of IDPs in camps; it would be perceived as supporting incarceration. Rajapaksa stressed that it had been only three months; in the East, the first batch of IDP returns did not take place for nine months. Blake pointed to the barbed wire around the camp as evidence that camp residents more..

Torrential rains pound Sri Lanka

Oct 29 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is facing heavy rains due to a depression in the Bay of Bengal that has killed one and threatens to expand into a cyclone in the northern part of the country, the Meteorological Department said here on Monday. The island, which has been facing a severe drought for the past five months, was relieved at the commencement of monsoon rains in September, but has had to face new challenges from the deluge. A 26-year-old woman was killed when an earth more..

Time & people will decide my access to politics – KP

Oct 29 (LT) He has no idea at present regarding being the chief minister of the Northern Provincial Council but the people will decide his access to politics and when it would happen says Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, former chief procurer of arms of the LTTE and proclaimed leader of the organization after the demise of Prabakaran. Speaking to journalists KP has said he is already involved in working for the people. When journalists questioned him regarding more..

Shooting down plane carrying 52 civilians integral part of LTTE strategy – military

Oct 29 (Island) Shooting down of a civilian aircraft over Iranativu Island in September 1998 was part of the LTTE’s overall strategy to isolate the Jaffna peninsula, military sources said. The LTTE shot down the aircraft killing 52 persons on the afternoon of Sept. 29, 1998 in the wake of the then govt’s abortive bid to re-open the Kandy-Jaffna A9 Main Supply Route (MSR). In the absence of overland route, civilians had no option but more..

Govt. threatens judiciary to move towards dictatorship – JVP

Oct 29 (LT) The govt ignores law, democracy and the Constitution and seeks refuge in the destructive constitutional dictatorship every time it feels that it is being challenged states the JVP. This was said by the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said the conflict between the govt and the Judiciary regarding the ‘Divineguma’ draft bill has intensified and as a result the govt is attempting to threaten the judiciary to get judgments in its favour. more..

'Sow fields free of charge to compensate for not fulfilling promises'

Oct 29 (LT) As the promises of paying compensation, postponing recovery loans and paying installments until the next harvesting season made by the President to farmers in the North Central Province who were distressed due to the drought were not fulfilled, at least the promise that their fields would be sowed free of charge should be fulfilled says the National Organizer of All Ceylon Farmers Federation former JVP MP Namal more..

Asia’s first age and disabled friendly cities in Sri Lanka

Oct 29 (NS) Plans are underway to set up Sri Lanka’s first Age Friendly and Disabled Friendly Cities , with technical support from the World Health Organization (WHO) in partnership with local government institutions, and the University of Moratuwa. The first of these cities will be at Wellawaya in the Uva province, Senarath Attanayake, a member of the Uva Provincial Council, in charge of the project said. more..

Resettled girl dies in blast

Oct 29 (Island) A ten-year-old girl was killed in a bomb blast at Pachchai Pulmottai in Anandakulam, Mulaitivu on Saturday. Another person was also injured in the attack. A brother of the victim girl had been clearing the undergrowth with a katty, which is believed to have struck a buried anti-personnel mine, causing it to explode. At the time she had been passing the place to fetch water. The police and army had rushed to the scene on hearing the blast and removed the injured to the Mancholai hospital in Mulaitivu, but more..

City fathers want Kandy Lake restoration done according to original plan

Oct 29 (Island) Plans for the development of the Kandy Lake and its surroundings were a welcome measure, but the developments should not harm the historical and archaeological value of the lake, said Deputy Mayor of Kandy Sena Dissanayaka at the general meeting of the Municipal Council chaired by Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte last Thursday 25. Deputy Mayor Dissanayake said that the lake should be protected against pollution and encroachment. The Lake that brought splendour more..

'They are shouldering the palanquin of Rajapaksa family'

Oct 29 (LT) A false hue and cry is being made regarding revoking the 13th amendment in order to get the ‘Divi Neguma’ bill passed in Parliament, the 13th amendment is used to divert the attention of the masses from issues that torment them and those who shout for the abolishing of the 13th amendment are shouldering the palanquin of Rajapaksas says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said this more..

Govt. bottle feeding KP: UNP

Oct 29 (DM) UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilka today charged that the govt had allowed Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP who was involved in the international arms racket to start a NGO with govt backing and going against the aspirations of the people and the armed forces. “Govt promised to take action against KP under criminal law when he was arrested by our army intelligence. But now the govt is not doing what it promised and what is expected by the people and the armed more..

Where has New Zealand's fight gone?

Oct 29 (CI) Over the years, New Zealand had endeared themselves to a legion of overseas fans with their attitude and style. Almost always the underdogs, in the past they have competed with the top teams by striking a unity of purpose that has elevated the collective beyond the sum of its parts. Bowlers would find a way to make runs where the batsmen could not, part-timers would crack partnerships and turn matches, and the team would scrap their way out of adversity, if not always more..

Attempt to block removal of last Sri Lankan 'pirate'

Oct 29 (TA) Refugee advocates have been trying to make contact with the last remaining Sri Lankan from a hijacked trawler intercepted near the Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the early hours of Friday, hoping they can block his removal from Australia on the grounds he faces serious danger in Sri Lanka. Fourteen of the 15 Sri Lankans from the Chejan multi-day fishing trawler allegedly taken by force on Oct 14 were flown back more..

War crimes in Sri Lanka have been ignored too long

Oct 29 (TA) ONE of the worst atrocity crime stories of recent decades has barely registered in the world's collective conscience. We remember and acknowledge the shame of Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. We agonise about the failure to halt the atrocities in Syria. But, at least until now, the world has paid almost no attention to war crimes and crimes against humanity comparable in their savagery to any of these: the killing fields of Sri Lanka in 2009. more..

ICC approves day/night Test with coloured balls

Oct 29 (PTI) The ICC on Monday gave its seal of approval to the day/night Test matches while leaving the member boards to decide on the type and colour of the ball to be used, as it announced new playing conditions for Tests, ODIs and T20 Internationals ahead of Sri Lanka-New Zealand series beginning on Tuesday. Some countries, including Australia and England, have been experimenting day/night Test matches for some time and with the ICC’s decision today, the longest format of the game more..

Cyclone warning issued for the North

Oct 29 (CG) The Department of Meteorology has issued a bad weather advisory saying a marginal cyclone (not severe) is expected over the northern parts of Sri Lanka tonight. The department said that the existing depression has intensified into a deep depression and was located about 200 km East of Mullaitivu at 0830 hours today. It is likely to move Westward causing heavy showers and strong winds over most parts of the country and surrounding sea areas more..

Options for procrastinating on 13th ammendment

Oct 30 (DBS) Hark, hark, dogs do bark; sleeping dogs – the procrastinators, warm stools in high places without attending to the imperatives after securing a 2/3 majority. Awake before it’s too late- this could be the last call on the 13th Amendment. The impact of the 13th amendment can be diminished or demolished, satisfactorily, if the legitimate grievances of Tamils, as identified in the LLRC report and accepted by the government in its Action Plan presented to Hillary Clinton, more..

Sordid unwarranted attacks on judiciary by govt in parliament

Oct 30 (DBS) An adjournment debate in Parliament on Thursday, moved by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka, on the attack on Judicial Services Commission (JSC) Secretary on October 7, turned sordid, with unwarranted attacks on senior officials of the judiciary, by Government members. The DNA MP’s motion centered on a question he had raised in Parliament two weeks ago, on the attack on JSC Secretary Manjula Thillkaratna, and House Leader Nimal Siripala De Silva’s reply. more..

NBRO stresses need to use safe construction methods

Oct 30 (SO) On the evening of Oct 22, Janaka Sampath of Hepanakanda in Alawala in the Gampaha district returned home with his son Sandun 8, to encounter the nightmare of his life. Hundreds of people were gathered around his home which had taken away his 2 1/2 year old daughter, forever. The land above their house, built on a risky slope, had slided on to the house collapsing it and severely injuring his wife, more..

Fooling Delhi and the Tamils for the umpteenth time

Oct 30 (CT) They say that if you are deceived once it’s the fault of the con artist, but if you are taken for a ride a second time you are an imbecile. What if you are lied to from day one till kingdom come and you nod and say “Oh yes, that’s great” every time? Surely it must mean that you are party to the deception. That’s Manmohan Singh and the mandarins in Delhi. And what if you arm twist the miserable, impotent, Lankan Tamil leaders, leaving them with no option but to squeal and more..

Devolution talk and devolution talkers

Oct 30 (CT) Are you for 13, 13-minus or 13-plus, someone asked me. Political circles are a-buzz with the 13th, i.e. the Amendment thrust down the Sri Lankan polity by India in 1987, defended ferociously by Indophiles and non-Tiger separatists and happily used by politicians of all color intent on furthering careers and making bucks. The pro-13th commentators have all come out of the woodworks, as have those who opposed it and oppose devolution to boot. Debate on the matter is more..

Moving both body and mind

Oct 30 (ST) The 12 women in Venuri Perera’s weekly movement class at the Halfway Home in Mulleriyawa are getting used to dancing without music. Diagnosed and treated for mental illnesses, they are in recovery from conditions that range from schizophrenia and depression to the milder learning disorders. Venuri is only a few classes in, but she knows what’s she’s working toward establishing – a space of more..

Potentially disastrous power kegs waiting to blow

Oct 30 (CT) Six months ago, Sri Lankans were unpleasantly galvanized by the spectacle of Budddhist monks led by the Chief Incumbent of the Rangiri Dambulla Vihare, Inamaluwe Sumangala Thero marching onto a mosque in Dambulla that they claimed was illegally constructed. Gentle remonstrations by Muslim villagers with the marching protestors that they had worshipped at the mosque for decades only invoked harsh language from the marchers and the issue spiraled more..