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Solitude in Jaffna and the silence of a city

Sept 15 (GV) “This summer, after 23 long years, I drove to Jaffna from Galle with my eldest daughter. We travelled through the heart of Sri Lanka on the A9 road, passing Kandy, Matale, Dambulla and Kekirawa. We drove past areas where I had worked in 1986 as a member of the Vikalpa Kandayama (Alternative Group), laying down an underground political structure. At the time, I had left my academic job in the university to do fulltime political work and was confronted by more..

Editorial: Keheliya's skewed logic

Sept 15 (Island) A team of scientists from the Oxford University revealed in January that the brain could be stimulated with mild electric shocks to improve a person's academic performance. Shock and brain injury are also reported to have enhanced the language skills of some people. One may wonder whether Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has similarly benefited from his nasty fall from an upper floor of a hotel down under a few moons ago though he suffered injuries; there has been a more..

Provincial Council Elections: Victors or Vanquished?

Sept 15 (Island) The Provincial Council Elections to the three Provinces have been held and the results announced. President Mahinda Rajapakse lost no time in boasting that the the results ‘will be written in the annals of Sri Lankan election history as the tenth election won by the UPFA government under my leadership.’ He also stated that this election was a national referendum that clarified the standpoint of the Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil communities. more..

European Union injects Euro 60 m into Sri Lanka

Sept 15 (FT) The European Union has injected Euro 60 million (around Rs. 10 billion) in a four-year Support to District Development Program (SDDP) that was initiated in June this year, to support four war affected districts of the country. EU Sri Lanka Delegation Head of Operations Willy Vandenberge said that the program hopes to boost economic and social development in Ampara, Vavuniya, Mannar and Batticaloa Districts. more..

Sanga and Malinga in ICC ODI Team of the Year

Sept 15 (Reuters) Singh Dhoni and Sri Lanka's wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara were selected in the ICC's one-day team of the year on Friday. Dhoni, who was included in the team for a fifth year in succession, was named captain. India's Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir, Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga, Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal and all rounder Shahid Afridi were also named in the team. England captain Alastair Cook and paceman Steven Finn, more..

1,200 volunteers, high tech tickets in US$ 30m worth ICC T20 World Cup

Sept 15 (Island) There will be a new ticketing system for major part of the spectators at the ICC T20 World Cup, the biggest international cricket event ever held in an Asian country in terms of the number of teams (20) taking part in it, said Ms. Upeka Nell, Tournament Directress yesterday as the tournament organisers announced the event’s traffic plan to the media. The ICC T20 World Cup, for both men’s and women’s segments, is starting next Tuesday, more..

SLC is not corrupt – minister

Sept 15 (DM) Sports and politics in Sri Lanka have long run in an uncanny parallel, as a hot-bed for allegations of corruption which are often cast a blind eye upon, creating the sentiment that you don't need to be the best to represent the country. Every major sport – cricket, rugby, football, athletics – have been dogged by one allegation or the other, ranging from mismanagement to the use of influence to get into office or into a team, more..

KDU signs MOU with Masse University

Sept 15 (DN) The Kotelawala Defence University recently signed a MOU with New Zealand's Masse University to commence several new disciplines at the KDU. The new disciplines will centre around educational strategies in the fields of Medicine, Engineering, Social Sciences, Maritime and Disaster Management and Research Development. The MOU stresses the importance of maintaining close relationships with both universities and also contains provision for mutual exchange of more..

Govt, TNA talks must resume - Blake

Sept 15 (DN) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian region and former US ambassador to Colombo Robert O Blake yesterday stressed the importance of early resumption of talks between the govt and the TNA to agree on power to be devolved to the provinces. He emphasised the need to have an accelerated process to implement the LLRC recommendations and its action plan. Blake also urged the govt to hold the Northern Provincial Council election soon. more..

New US Ambassador presents credentials

Sept 15 (FT) The new US Ambassador Michele J. Sison presented her credentials as Ambassador to Sri Lanka yesterday to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ambassador Sison is a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor. Michele J. Sison, a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 29, 2012 as the next U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives. more..

CP Health Minister plastered with rotten eggs

Sept 15 (LT) The Health Minister of Central Provincial Council Sunil K. Amaratunga who had come to declare open the Immature Infant Unit (IIU) of the Denzil Kobbekaduwa Hospital in Dambulla has been attacked with rotten eggs. The IIU that was declared open by the doctors and staff of the hospital two weeks ago was declared opened for the second time today (14). However, no doctors or nurses of the hospital have participated in today’s ‘opening.’ Today the Central Provincial Minister of Health ‘opened’ the hospital and while more..

'SL has developed home-grown transitional justice process'

Sept 15 (DN) Sri Lanka developed its home-grown transitional justice process with the establishment of the LLRC, based on the principle of restorative justice, to advise on the measures which may be required to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity, Senior Advisor to the Cabinet Mohan Peiris said. In formulating the LLRC, Sri Lanka reflected on comparative transitional justice experiences in other countries, he said intervening in the interactive dialogue on the report of the more..

Mangala boos Bourse’s rebound, new Head at SEC

Sept 15 (FT) MP Mangala Samaraweera has jeered the recent rebound in the Colombo stock market as well as the appointment of the new Chairman at the SEC, in addition to being highly critical of the so-called mafia of investors. Following is the full text of Samaraweera’s statement: In an incongruous turn of events, the CSE has become the third best performing stock market in the world, over the last month, more..

MasterCard to promote Indian tourists to Sri Lanka

Sept 15 (FT) MasterCard Worldwide and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau yesterday signed an agreement to facilitate the development of cross border tourism, with a specific focus on attracting Indian tourists. The five-year agreement aims to promote Sri Lanka as a premier tourist destination for Indian travellers and deliver great travel experiences for MasterCard and Maestro cardholders through special offers and benefits. SLTB Managing Director Rumy Jauffer more..

Fundamental change required in university system - SB

Sept 15 (DN) A fundamental change should be brought about in the university system to transform children passing out from them into a group of people with a high international demand, said Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake. The minister said so addressing the gathering at the launching of the ministry’s official newspaper at the ministry on Wednesday. The minister said they have had to think anew about universities and higher education since higher education and more..

'Five demands of strikers met'

Sept 15 (DN) Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr Sunil Jayantha Nawaratna, said five core demands of the striking academics have been met already and the ministry is planning to deal with the rest of their demands to reach an amicable solution to the problem. Asked why the FUTA must stubbornly continue with their trade union action while the government has indicated its commitment to resolve their issues, more..

Errant milk powder traders face the music

Sept 15 (DN) Legal action has been taken against 66 errant traders and one milk powder importer who sold infant milk powder at higher prices than the stipulated controlled price. Minister Johnston Fernando instructed Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) chairman Rumi Marzook to intensify raids to arrest those who violate laws. A CAA spokesman said Minister also ordered the CAA chairman to take action against any trader who charges higher prices for infant milk powder. more..

Sri Lankans bid to bring more skill to the UAE

Sept 15 (National) Sri Lankan officials have visited the UAE in an effort to persuade employers to hire their countrymen. On Thursday, the mission organised a seminar for recruitment agencies. Senaka Abeygoonasekera, chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Agency, told the meeting that his country was making great efforts to train its people for skilled jobs in the Middle East, setting up 50 vocational training centres. more..

Top cops get lightning transfers

Sept 15 (Island) CID Head, DIG Jayantha Kulatillake, an officer with an unblemished record, was among 3 DIGs and 4 SSPs transferred with immediate effect by the Police Headquarters yesterday. DIG Kulatillake, an efficient crime buster, has however been moved as the Head of the Crimes Division at Police Headquarters. The reason for the sudden transfers was not divulged, but the Headquarters said they were routine more..

Suspect claims cannot remember what he did

Sept 15 (Island) The 29-year-old Danish woman, who was admitted to the National Hospital on Thursday night with a cut injury on her neck, was discharged and admitted to Lanka Hospitals last morning. NHSL Director, Dr. Anil Jasinghe said yesterday that surgery had been performed on the victim the same night. She was discharged and admitted to the Lanka Hospitals as her husband wanted to be with her. However, Lanka Hospitals, when contacted, said they were unable to more..

University entrants allowed to reapply for new courses

Sept 15 (DN) The UGC has allowed university entrants to change the order of preferences marked by them for various courses of study, and apply for new courses. The candidates, who had already submitted applications for university admission based on their AL Exam result of 2011, can now reapply for new courses for the academic year 2011/2012. Also, the UGC will issue applications for the students to be eligible for undergraduate courses under new Z-score, but who have not yet more..

'I will not allow animal sacrifice'

Sept 15 (CT) Minister Mervyn Silva, said he will not allow the ritual animal sacrifice scheduled for tomorrow at the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil, in Munneswaram, and warned that he would ‘take care of the Kovil’ if they go ahead with the ritual. Addressing a press conference, he said he will not obstruct any religious poojas on that day, but warned if they continue with the animal sacrifice, things would get out of hand. more..

Sri Lanka August vehicle sales plunge

Sept 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's vehicle registrations had fallen 39.5 percent to 27,185 in August 2012, from a year earlier, though there was marginal pick up from a low of around 24,000 hit in June, an analysis by an equities research house has showed. Preliminary data from Sri Lanka's motor registration office analyzed by J B Stockbrokers shows, that new registrations of brand new cars fell to 699 in August 2012 from 2,431 a year earlier. Reconditioned cars fell from 1,866 to 510. more..

Govt. in dilemma over NCP CM post

Sept 15 (Island) The government is in a dilemma over the appointment of the head of the newly elected North-Central Province as former Chief Minister came second at last Saturday’s PC polls. S. M. Ranjith (UPFA) polled a staggering 105,232 preferential votes overtaking former CM Berty Premalal Dissanayaka, who obtained 95,027 votes. Rajith, the brother of Minister S.M. Chandrasena, said that even if he was not appointed Chief Minister he would not desert the UPFA. more..

Fonseka lashes out at Army hierarchy

Sept 15 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka lashed out at those in command in the Army for the alleged inaction to arrest the culprits involved in the assault on an Army intelligence officer. “We heard that the military is trying to take action against this officer who was an innocent man assaulted by the thugs. The Generals in command are showing their cowardice by trying to take action against the army officer before more..

Post-mortem of provincial elections

Sept 15 (EAR) The Rajapakse govt called early elections to three provincial councils (PC) as a tactical build up to early parliamentary elections (possibly after another round of PC elections) and early presidential elections. If president and parliament serve out their full term, elections are not due till early-mid 2016. The alleged reason for early elections is that the govt wants to go to the polls before its falling popularity declines too much, and early PC elections which the govt hopes to more..

Troubled waters

Sept 15 (BS) When Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa sweeps out of her Poes Garden residence in her cavalcade these days, she is greeted by hoarding after hastily erected hoarding: one proclaims her a Joan of Arc, another, a “Hardinger [sic] of Hope”. No mixed emotions here — it’s pure sycophancy, in return for her recent munificence in raising financial aid for advocates who die from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5.25 lakh, irrespective of the duration of service. more..

Crying foul over spilt milk

Sept 15 (ST) Was a state-owned milk processing company throwing away tens of thousands of litres of milk every week? And if so why? The answer will be known tomorrow (10) when a three-member committee hands over its report to Minister Arumugam Thondaman. The minister said he appointed the three-member probe committee comprising an additional secretary and advisors, following allegations that the state-owned more..

T20 WC warm-up: India beat Sri Lanka

Sept 15 (CI) A 78-run recovery stand and a belligerent finish from MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma paved the way for India's 26-run win over Sri Lanka in a warm up match on a P Sara surface with plenty of bounce. Sri Lanka's seamers reduced India to 51 for 4 after 8.3 overs, with Gautam Gambhir having retired hurt, but Dhoni and Rohit first steadied the innings, before reaping 62 runs from the last four wayward overs to reach 146 for 5. more..

UK: Halt deportation flight to Sri Lanka

Sept 15 (HRW) The United Kingdom should immediately suspend deportations to Sri Lanka of ethnic Tamils with real or imputed links to the LTTE or who have engaged in activities the Sri Lankan authorities might view as anti-govet, Human Rights Watch said today. The next scheduled deportation of Tamils from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka is due to take place on September 19, 2012. more..

Radiation in consignment from India

Sept 15 (CG) The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) is investigating a consignment of stainless steel products imported from India which have been found to have radiation. AEA chairman Dr. Ranjith Wijeywardena said that the container with the items from India had arrived in Sri Lanka on a vessel on Thursday. The container had gone through tests at the port and radiation levels had been detected during that test, more..

Manipulation to make CSE best performing market soon - Harsha

Sept 15 (DM) Market manipulation would make the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) the number one performing stock market in the world soon, UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva said. He made this statement referring to reports where statistics have showed CSE as the third best sock market in the world. The statistics by Bloomberg showed that the CSE had become the third best performing index in the world during more..

JHU opposed to visit by UNHRC officials

Sept 15 (DM) The JHU, which is an ally of the UPFA govt, said yesterday it was highly unwise on the part of the govt to have permitted officials of the UNHRC to visit Sri Lanka. Expressing its concern, JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera asked the govt why it granted permission to the UN officials to visit Sri Lanka when the govt was opposed to the US-backed resolution, which was adopted at the March sessions of the UNHRC. The Thera said though the JHU was in a coalition more..

SL seeking support of friendly congressmen to defeat US resolution

Sept 15 (DM) Sri Lanka is lobbying the support of friendly US congressmen to defeat a resolution tabled in the House of Representatives by seven congressmen demanding an international inquiry into alleged violations of the international humanitarian law during the war in Sri Lanka, officials said. In this resolution tabled on September 7, the congressmen urged the United Nations to establish an independent more..

Navi Pillay’s officials query witness protection

Sept 15 (DM) The two officials from the office of United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay inquired from the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (SLHRC) about complaints regarding witness protection and disappearances in Sri Lanka, officials said. The two officials Hanny Megally and Oscar Solera met the SLHRC officials yesterday morning. According to Dr. Pratiba Mahanama, a commissioner of more..

Jayalalithaa wants SC to take up Katchatheevu

Sept 15 (PTI) Tamil Nadu will petition the Supreme Court to immediately take up its case against the gifting of Katchatheevu island by India to Sri Lanka, according to Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. An official statement Saturday said the Chief Minister conveyed the decision to her officials late Friday. "It was decided to petition the Supreme Court to take up the case challenging the gifting of Katchatheevu immediately. more..

Sri Lanka briefs UN delegation on war displaced

Sept 15 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka briefed a visiting team from the UN human rights office on the resettlement of thousands of war-displaced people, the government said on Saturday. Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who is also a senior advisor to the president, told the delegation that the human rights of the displaced and resettled people in the north and east of the country will be protected, the minister's office said in a statement. more..

Jaffna Holy Family Convent Celebrates sesquicentennial in October

Sept 15 (DBS) Jaffna Holy Family Convent alumni from around the world are on their way to Sri Lanka to celebrate their alma mater’s sesquicentennial in October this year. Starting with a dinner in Colombo on the 21st of Oct, hosted by the Colombo Branch of the School’s Past Pupils Association the celebrations will move to the School’s home town, Jaffna, where the School will celebrate the 150th Anniversary on the 25th of October, followed by the Global Union of more..

Sri Lanka, A diminished democracy

Sept 15 (CT) The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) is an association of Parliamentarians who are bound by their shared interests, respect for the rule of law and individual rights and freedoms, and the pursuit of the positive ideals of parliamentary democracy. The Association’s mission is to promote the advancement of parliamentary democracy by enhancing knowledge and understanding of democratic governance. The CPA consists of the Parliamentarians of more..

The not so curious case of Hirunika Premachandra

Sept 15 (GV) Hirunika Premachandra is either one confused woman or one shrewd woman. One moment she is unleashing her wrath on MP Duminda Silva, the chief suspect in the fatal shooting which led to the death of her father Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. The next moment she is on an election platform of the ruling UPFA asking voters to “strengthen the hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa” by voting for more..