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Three sentenced to death for murder

Oct 4 (Island) Kalmunai High Court Judge P. Suwarnaraj handed down the death sentence to three accused found guilty of murdering Mohammed Musthafa Thaskhan, of Kalmunai. A fourth suspect was acquitted. The suspects sentenced to death are M. Y. Sizad, M. M. Riyad and S. M. Alimudeen of Kalmunai. They had been charged with abducting Mohammed Musthafa Thaskhan and beating him to death on Sept. 8, 2006. The judge found the accused guilty based on seven eyewitness more..

Sanga set to ‘captain’ again

Oct 4 (Island) Despite criticism and scrutiny, Sri Lanka are likely to retain Kumar Sangakkara as the official captain for today’s ICC World T-20 semi-final clash against Pakistan to safeguard their regular skipper Mahela Jayawardene, who has made a slow over rate offence and a repeat of that could jeopardize his chances of playing in Sunday’s final, if Sri Lanka is to qualify. Jayawardene was fined 20 percent of his match fee for maintaining a slow over rate during Saturday’s clash more..

UNHCR: Sri Lanka remains ready to share its experience

Oct 4 (CT) At the outset Mr.Chairman, Sri Lanka wishes to congratulate you for your able leadership, and welcomes the new members of the Executive Committee. We also extend our sincere appreciation to the High Commissioner for the Opening Statement which provided a detailed overview of the work undertaken and the challenges faced by the UNHCR over the past year. We also acknowledge the insightful remarks made by the more..

Stalin, Baalu to hand over TESO resolutions to UN

Oct 4 (Hindu) The Centre has granted permission to DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin and the its parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu to visit New York and Geneva to hand over resolutions passed at a recent conference of the Tamil Eelam Supporters’ Organisation (TESO) to the UN Secretary-General and the UNHRC, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said. Talking to reporters here after a meeting of TESO at the party headquarters, he said that while it was easy for an ordinary citizen to more..

'Security threat remains across Palk Strait'

Oct 4 (Hindu) Security concerns remain across the Palk Strait even after the defeat of the LTTE, though with an altered mandate, Chief of Staff-designate, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral B.K. Verma, said on Wednesday. On a tour of the Eastern Naval units, the Rear Admiral, who visited the Naval detachment here, mapped the significance of the security apparatus to a query on the current relevance of naval detachments as security outposts in a changed security scenario. more..

'Only MR can solve FUTA problem'

Oct 4 (DM) FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri yesterday said the trade union struggle launched three months ago by the FUTA had come to a position that only President Mahinda Rajapaksa could resolve it. Addressing the media at the Ceylon Mercantile UNION (CMU) office after accepting a donation of Rs. 500,000 from the CMU, he said the FUTA was awaiting a positive response from the Presidential Secretariat to start a more..

Toss key in spin-heavy contest

Oct 4 (CI) In a tournament where no team has managed to stay unbeaten, the first semi-final will be contested between two of the most consistent teams in the history of the World Twenty20. Pakistan, who qualified for the semi-finals on the basis of a better net run rate than India, have defied the unpredictable nature of the format by making the last four in each of the four tournaments. Only Michael Hussey's remarkable 60 ended their hopes of making a third consecutive final in more..

Mendis v Ajmal

Oct 4 (NST) FORMER champions Pakistan and hosts Sri Lanka clash in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 in Colombo today, banking on the quality spinners in the two camps. The pre-match focus revolved around Sri Lanka's unorthodox spinner Ajantha Mendis and Pakistan's prolific Saeed Ajmal, both of whom have been the highest wicket-takers for their respective teams in the competition. While Mendis has taken nine wickets, Ajmal has eight. Mendis achieved the best more..

T20 Semi Final: Sri Lanka and Pakistan in familiar territory

Oct 4 (CI) Pakistan didn't know until late on Tuesday night whether they'd have to keep their hotel reservations in Colombo for a few more days. But when South Africa's Robin Peterson gloved a ball for a single to take the score to 122 against India, a roar went around the Premadasa. It sounded as though Sri Lanka were playing, but the noise was from a legion of Pakistan fans who were celebrating their team's progress to the more..

President ready to talks to FUTA if strike is called off, SB tells prelates

Oct 4 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayaka, calling on the Most Venerable Mahanayaka, of the Ramangna Mahanikaye, Napana Pemasiri Thera, residing at Menikhinna, disclosed that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was ready to hold talks with the FUTA if the university teachers called off their strike. The Minister paid similar visits to the Anunayaka Thera of Asgiriya and the Nayaka Thera of Getambe Rajopawanaramaya yesterday. Explaining the university crisis due to the strike more..

Govt. spreading ‘Diaspora’ like fever- Jagoda

Oct 4 (CT) The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) charged the govt media is spreading rumours about their party and Politburo Member Kumara Gunaratnam, for being involved with the Tamil Diaspora and imperialists. FSP Politburo Member, Pubudu Jagoda, said certain State media organizations have shown a negative side of their party. He said since the FUTA, carried on their strike they had been giving their full support to them. Following the end of the FUTA march more..

Crucial meet today to end Dons’ strike

Oct 4 (DN) In a bid to resolve the ongoing university Dons’ strike, a crucial meeting is to be held between the officials of the FUTA and the govt today. According to Minister S. B. Dissanayake, FUTA officials have shown interest in meeting Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Finance Ministry officials with a view to resolving their issues. Minister Dissanayake said the Chief Prelates of Malwatte, Asgiriya and Ramannya Nikayas have more..

Editorial: Pouring venom down the future

Oct 4 (DM) For the last few decades, the country has witnessed enough and more incidents of violence against children which, in spite of various preventive measures taken by the authorities, continue to be rampant. And then there are occasional stories of violent children who are not necessarily those of the powerful. The pandemonium that broke out at the Vidyaloka College, Galle was one such incident that exposed the extent of violence the students were capable of unleashing—of course under the guidance of more..

Unpredictable Pakistan become regular semi-finalists

Oct 4 (CI) The Premadasa Stadium, in its refurbished avatar, shimmers in the Colombo afternoon heat, its near-vertical stands staring coldly at the tattered outfield, large patches of brown spread like a rash on the green. Last evening Pakistan's fielders, faced with a win-or-depart situation, threw themselves around on it, without a care for their bodies. Their spinners squeezed all the power and fight out of Australia's batsmen. The reward was a sixth successive semi-final more..

Anura Rohana bemoans lack of support

Oct 4 (TOI) Fresh from his victory in August at the Prestige Golfshire Club in Bangalore, Anura Rohana is seeking to end his 10-year wait for an Asian Tour crown in the upcoming Hero Indian Open two weeks later. Rohana is one of only two Sri Lankans who have crossed the Indian Ocean to sustain a golfing career on the ever progressing PGTI circuit due to lack of sponsors back home. The 39-year-old, who picked a club at the age of more..

Parched Polonnaruwa cries for water

Oct 4 (ST) W. Wijeratna (60) says be cannot recall a worse drought in close to three decades, as he stands in the shade of his tea kiosk in the village of Pelatiyawa, awaiting for the water bower to come along the dry, dusty road. “It hasn’t rained since April. I have lived here since 1984, but not seen our wells and tanks dry up like this before,” he says. Wijeratna says be cannot recall a worse drought is close to three decades, more..

In dire straits: the impending plight of the ‘boat people’

Oct 4 (LB) Many Sri Lankans may not have heard about the tiny, oval-shaped island of Nauru in the North Eastern Pacific Ocean. Judging by their decision to return home voluntarily from Australia, 16 of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers seem to have heard about Nauru. It is more important however, that those planning to undertake the rather expensive, risky asylum seeking boat trip to Australia get to know about it. more..

Move to remove preferential voting

Oct 4 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week announced that a draft amendment will be presented to Parliament on October 10, to remove the preferential voting system for local govt polls. The amendment is expected to remove the preferential voting system, and establish a constituency structure for local govts, to be implemented for future elections. The Sunday Leader spoke to representatives from various political parties to see their views. more..

Weerawansa confident India won’t allow Tigers to make a comeback

Oct 4 (Island) The NFF leader, Wimal Weerawansa, MP, on Tuesday said that India wouldn’t want to see the LTTE raising its head again in Sri Lanka or India again. Once a strong critic of Indian intervention in Sri Lanka, the former JVP firebrand said that as India, too, had suffered at the hands of the LTTE, it wouldn’t encourage the group in anyway. He was speaking at the launch of the second phase of the Indian Housing project for construction and more..

'SLMC betrayed its voters by voting for Divi Neguma Bill'

Oct 4 (Island) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which claimed it was for devolution, had done the exact opposite by voting for the Divi Neguma Bill, which sought to centralise powers, when it was presented to the Eastern Provincial Council on Tuesday, the UNP said yesterday. The Divi Neguma Bill has proposed the establishment of a Department which will take over the Samurdhi, Southern Development and Upcountry Development Authorities. more..

'Decision on TN travel advisory soon'

Oct 4 (Island) The Sri Lankan government has not yet decided whether to lift the travel ban advisory on Tamil Nadu, imposed in the first week of September, consequent to a series of attacks on Sri Lankans visiting the South Indian State. Foreign Secretary Karunathilake Amunugama yesterday said that a decision would be taken once External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris returns from the 67th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). more..

Ranil calls for Rs.10,000 salary increase, threatens protests

Oct 4 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday warned the govt that he would lead the joint Opposition and the workers on to the streets, if it did not increase salaries by Rs.10,000 from the forthcoming budget. The prices of essential goods and services were being increased with monotonous regularity, but salaries had remained static, the Opposition Leaders said. Incomes had to rise for people to make ends meet, more..

Elections Dept. and PAFFREL unhappy

Oct 4 (DM) The Elections Department and the PAFFREL have faulted the proposed Bill for a new electoral system, officials said yesterday. They said the Bill, which among others, also sought to vest the subject minister with powers to decide on the appointment of delimitation committees to demarcate boundaries of wards. The govt has decided to enact two legislations in Parliament next week to introduce a mix of the first-past-the-post system and the proportional representation more..

Mission mum on Malaka’s visa

Oct 4 (DM) The US embassy yesterday declined to comment the basis on which Malaka Silva the son of Minister Mervyn Silva is to be granted a visa to the United States. A spokesman for the embassy said that they could not comment on individual Visa issues. “We can’t discuss individual visa cases. All visa cases are confidential under the immigration and nationality act” he said. When the Daily Mirror questioned as to if the embassy would provide Visas to individuals who more..

SC orders immediate release of prisoner

Oct 4 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the Bogambara Prisons Commissioner to immediately release from remand custody a prisoner who had overstayed his duration in prison for nearly one year. The prisoner, T. Ramesh Kumar, was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Activity law in connection with a Kandy Magistrate’s Court case. Later, he was indicted in the High Court of Kandy, in case No. 45/11. On October 18, 2011, the High Court completed more..

Metals, pesticides contaminating seas

Oct 4 (Island) The contamination of seas around the country was increasing mainly because of metals and pesticides used in agriculture, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) General Manager, S.R. Samarathunga said. In Sri Lanka, land based activity contributes 90% and marine based activity only 10% towards polluting the marine environment. For, more than 70% of the organised industries are in coastal areas while more than 65% of the population lives in the coastal zone more..

India agrees to receive TNA delegation

Oct 4 (Island) India has agreed to receive a delegation of TNA parliamentarians, The Island understands from authoritative diplomatic sources here. The TNA delegation is likely to visit New Delhi on October 10. India has kept Sri Lanka informed about the impending visit. The upcoming visit of the TNA MPs to the Indian capital assumes significance because it will take place within three three weeks after President Mahinda Rajapaksa met more..

Stocks closed down 0.5%

Oct 4 (LBO) Stocks closed down 0.5% Thursday continuing a three day losing streak. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,861.35 down 29.34 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 12.06 points lower at 3,177.88 down 12.06%. Turnover was 565 million rupees. Top contributors to turnover were LOLC with Rs.131.3 million, Commercial Bank with Rs.30.4 million and Peoples Leasing with Rs.28.4 million. Most active counters for the day were LOLC, Swarnamahal Financial Services and E-Channeling. more..

'What Deputy Minister gave was not a bribe'

Oct 4 (LT) Giving money to the police by the Deputy Minister Duleep Wijesekera when his driver was handed over a spot fine is not bribing police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana has told the media. However, Deputy Minister of Disaster Management Duleep Wijesekera has admitted that he had given Rs.1500 to the police officer who had tried to give a spot fine when the driver of his vehicle had exceeded speed limits. Deputy Minister Duleep Wijesekera has told a daily newspaper that he offered Rs.1500 to a police officer at more..

Upsurge in illegal drug seizures

Oct 4 (IRIN) Law enforcement officials in Sri Lanka have documented an increase in illegal drug seizures since the end of a decades-long civil war in 2009, with activists pointing to lax law enforcement and political patronage as factors contributing to the apparently growing drugs trade. Heroin and cannabis were the most common drugs seized nationwide, according to the govt’s National Dangerous Drugs Control Board (NDDCB). Some 19,000 suspects were arrested by more..

Govt assures to curtail extremist acts

Oct 4 (GDI) The govt welcomes the condemnation of violence against Buddhists in Bangladesh by the Muslim Organizations, Muslim Groups and Muslim politicians in Sri Lanka, and the steps taken by the Bangladesh govt in respect of these violence acts. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the govt has received information about certain extremist groups planning to take undue advantage on the Bangladesh situation and create unwanted violence in Sri Lanka. He said that the govt is more..

Drought dries up tea company cash flows

Oct 4 (LBO) A severe drought has damaged tea plants in key Sri Lankan growing regions causing crop losses and cash flow problems for some plantations companies already grappling with high production costs. A statement from the Planters' Association, which represents listed plantation companies, said some factories had been forced to close owing to low leaf intake, depriving workers of work. The Planters’ Association said the drought is the worst the country has faced since 1992. more..

Expeditious solution to prevent Forest Fires

Oct 4 (GDI) Increasing forest fires are likely to have a negative impact on the catchments areas where reservoirs are located and also on the supply of drinking water.They also could reduce the forest cover which may cause soil erosion and landslides. Soon it would be a threat in many ways. Therefore the govt taking note of the threat the forest fires would cause to the country in many ways, appointed an Officials' Committee to more..

Pakistan struggles with smuggled Buddhist relics

Oct 4 (AP) Lacking the necessary cash and manpower, Pakistan is struggling to stem the flow of millions of dollars in ancient Buddhist artifacts that looters dig up in the country's northwest and smuggle to collectors around the world. The black market trade in smuggled antiquities is a global problem that some experts estimate is worth billions of dollars per year. The main targets are poor countries like Pakistan that possess a rich more..

Vettori doubtful for Sri Lanka tour

Oct 4 (CI) Daniel Vettori has said that his participation in New Zealand's tour of Sri Lanka in November is in doubt after the recurrence of his Achilles problem during the World Twenty20. Vettori's availability status will be confirmed on Friday after he sees a specialist. "I think it will be a little bit of a break," Vettori said. "I don't think I'll make the Sri Lanka tour. It's a bit of a chronic injury that flared up during the tournament [World T20]. I'm seeing the specialist tomorrow. I'll have more more..

Lanka fans riot to buy World T20 semifinal tickets

Oct 4 (E24|7) Angry Sri Lankan cricket fans caused a near riot-like situation at a ticket counter in Colombo in a desperate bid to buy tickets for the first World Twenty semi-final between Pakistan and the host team. Ever since the ICC announced that 3,500 extra tickets for Thursday's match at R. Premadasa Stadium were available, thousans of people queued up from as early as more..

Navy rescues an Injured Fisherman in Eastern Deep Seas

Oct 4 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy rescued an injured fisherman in the eastern deep seas in the early hours of Oct 1. He was brought to the Trincomalee Naval Hospital for medical treatment. The fisherman had been among the 08-member crew of a multi-day fishing trawler named "Lakshitha", which had left for fishing from Devinuwara Fisheries Harbour on Sept 25. He had been injured when their trawler accidently collided with a ship at deep sea more..

Herath, Tanvir in; Sri Lanka bat

Oct 4 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene and Sri Lanka put an end to the captaincy switch, even though they had a possible final left, and Jayawardene made a comeback to spinning the coin with immediate effect. It was an important toss: he chose to bat on a powdery surface. This was Sri Lanka's second world tournament semi-final at the Premadasa Stadium in two years: they beat New Zealand there in the 50-over version in 2011. However, they had a record to correct: they have lost all four T20 more..

Hundreds in Sri Lanka protest Buddhist attacks in Bangladesh

Oct 4 (Xinhua) Over 1,000 people including Buddhist priests from Myanmar, Thailand and Bangladesh staged a protest march here Thursday, urging the Bangladesh govt to stop oppression of Buddhist people in that country, an activist said here. Protesters marched to the Bangladesh High Commission and handed over a petition calling for the govt to protect Buddhists in the more..

Rs.2bn approved for Military uniforms

Oct 4 (DM) The cabinet has approved 2 Billion rupees for the purchase of uniform material required for the military. The approval was granted after a proposal was made to this effect by the President as the Minister of Defense and urban Development, to the cabinet, cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said. The Uniforms are to be purchased for the Tri service personnel, Police, STF, Department of Civil Security and the National cadet Corps personnel. more..