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Eastern Province election: The big lie about shared power in Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (GV) A week gone by and the claim by President Rajapaksa – that his leadership paved for ten successive victories for the UPFA which by itself is a historic feat – is being severely challenged in the East. People are strangling the conscience of the SLMC leadership and the SLMC shopping list is being ignored by President Rajapaksa. To begin with, the PC elections were NOT free and fair in any way. After many violent clashes, two murders more..

Google Earth and remembering the dead in Nandikadal

Sept 19 (GV) The end of war in Sri Lanka, captured for posterity by Google Earth published last week by Groundviews was the first look at the end of the war in Sri Lanka through historical satellite imagery freely accessible via Google Earth. The article was an open invitation for those using Google Earth to scan for and alert others over areas and artefacts of interest, that in turn could strengthen discussions around the hellish final weeks of war in more..

'Pakistan to tap Lankan experience for a vibrant democracy'

Sept 19 (SO) Dr. Nafisa Shah is the Vice Chairperson of the Executive Committee of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). She is a Member of Pakistan National Assembly, Chair of the National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), General Secretary of the Women's Parliamentary Caucus and a member of parliamentary standing committees on Finance, Minorities, Economic Affairs and Statistics. more..

Editorial: Sons and fathers

Sept 19 (Island) Minister Mervyn Silva’s son, Malaka and several others have been remanded over a recent incident where they allegedly assaulted two army intelligence officers. The police have sought to justify their failure to arrest the suspects until the latter turned themselves in. The matter is now before Court and it is best left to the learned judge. Minister Silva has gone on record as having said he feels sorry for his son. We feel sorry for both of them! We know how a father feels when his son gets into trouble and ends up in a remand prison. more..


Sept 19 (CT) Malaka Silva, son of the Minister of Public Relations and Public Affairs, Mervin Silva, did not attack, hit or injure Major Chandana Pradeep at the JAIC-Hilton, Colombo, along with his friend Rehan and a bunch of others, some of whom were (not) armed. Since there was no assault, it was not captured on CCTV. Malaka Silva is therefore the victim of a monumental and pernicious media drive to vilify him (and his father). And we were all born yesterday. more..

Connections | September 17, 2012

Ceylinco shares manipulated?

Sept 19 (Island) A well informed market source writing to The Island has charged that an individual was manipulating the share price of Ceylinco Insurance. We reproduce the letter withholding the names of both the accused and the accuser, so that authorities maybe able to get to the bottom of this. "It is an unfortunate turn of affairs that an individual shareholder via his investment front maintains a hold on a large cache of Ceylinco Insurance shares, over a long period of time for personal gain. more..

China’s ZTE and Sri Lanka’s Mobitel sign US$ 50mn deal

Sept 19 (Island) Shenzhen, China ZTE Corporation, a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, announced it signed a strategic cooperation agreement worth $50 million with Mobitel of Sri Lanka. The agreement was signed in the presence of China’s Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Wu Bangguo and President Mahinda Rajapakse more..

The monsoon of our discontent

Sept 19 (Island) Like the low black monsoon clouds heavy with unshed rain ominously raising a dark fearful mood is the state of mind of the normal, good and decent citizens of Sri Lanka who are depressed and infected with discontent, discouragement and the frustration of helplessness with the disgusting situation in the country. Everything is wrong and simple decency has vanished from the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. more..

Stray dog breeding, rabies down by 50%

Sept 19 (DN) The breeding rate of dogs together with incidents of rabies has gone down by 50 per cent this year when compared to previous year. Only 28 patients had died due to rabies this year (during the past eight months) and this is a 50 per cent decline. The Health Ministry requests the public to practise responsible pet ownership and take care of their dogs. The government has taken a policy decision not to kill dogs to control the stray dog population. more..

Over 70 Lankan refugees arrive from India

Sept 19 (DN) A group of over 70 asylum seekers from the North and East who fled to India during the war period returned to Sri lanka yesterday. The UNHCR facilitated the arrival of the Sri Lankan asylum seekers. The UNHCR offered Rs. 14.500 for an elder and 11.500 for a minor on arrival at the BIA. The accounts were opened under the names of the chief households of the family at the Bank of Ceylon. For the convenience of the returnees, the UNHCR has set up a special office at more..

All’s well with the economy!

Sept 19 (Island) The Central Bank issuing its monthly monetary policy statement says corrective measures taken to contain a balance of payments problem were bearing fruit with the economy growing 7.2% for the first six months of this year. The bank ignored signs of a balance of payments crisis, ostracizing economists who raised red flags since June 2011, only to adopt a policy u-turn since February. This resulted in the more..

Korean technology to develop squid, cuttlefish and octopus resources

Sept 19 (Island) Korean industry leaders have pledged to provide technology to support sustainable development of squid, cuttlefish and octopus resources in the country. As a follow up to the discussions held by Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne with a Korean trade delegation and possible investment partners in fisheries, during his recent visit to Korea, to deliver the keynote address at Yeosu EXPO 2012, several industry more..

Face Book love leads to Major’s suicide

Sept 19 (Island) A 37-year-old Major who fell in love with a 17-year-old girl in Matara through Face Book, committed suicide inside his cab, at Thihagoda in Matara, yesterday morning after meeting the girl and her father. The deceased was married with two children. Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya told The Island that the army officer, a resident of Kurunegala, had been on leave from September 17 to 20. He had gone to Matara in a private vehicle on private matter, more..

Where were the patriotic university teachers, asks Peradeniya FUTA

Sept 19 (Island) The university teachers launched their trade union action two and a half months ago, but where were the so-called Patriotic University Teachers’ Alliance and its convenor? the Peradeniya Federation of University Teachers Association asked. This question was raised by the PFUTA at a media conference held to brief the media on the public meeting organised by FUTA in Kandy on Thursday. The meeting, more..

Import taxes on potatoes, canned fish increased

Sept 19 (Island) The govt yesterday increased import taxes on potatoes and canned fish. The tax of Rs. 30.00 per kilogram of imported potatoes has been increased to Rs. 50.00 and the tax of Rs. 50.00 per kilogram of imported canned fish up to Rs. 75.00. "As the harvest of local potatoes of the Yala season 2012 has been reaching the market from mid August, the special commodity levy charged on imported potatoes has been increased with effect from 18.09.2012 in order to more..

No NPC elections in February

Sept 19 (CT) The govt said yesterday it is not ready to hold elections in the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) as and when the international community wants it to be held. Leader of the House, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, said the govt will hold the election when the Election Commissioner decides it and when a conducive environment is created to hold elections in the area. Minister de Silva was replying to an adjournment motion moved by UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella, more..

The mysterious career of Ajantha Mendis

Sept 19 (CI) Ajantha Mendis' international career has been almost as vexing as his variations themselves. Hyped as the next Muttiah Muralitharan while Murali was still playing, Mendis painted a target on his back with a phenomenal first 18 months at the top level. When he was a debutant in Port of Spain, West Indies batsmen wondered whether they would ever decipher him, given they couldn't even pick more..

Opportunities slip through Zimbabwe's fingers

Sept 19 (CI) It has been a cliché among weaker teams that though they could not compete with the heavyweights in the batting or bowling, at least their effort in the field did not lack. Few will expect these sides to fire in direct hits from the edge of the circle on a regular basis, or to make too many stunning stops in the covers or point, but as long as mistakes are omitted the minnows can retain some credibility; at least they competed as equals in one more..

'Conservation plays key role'

Sept 19 (DN) Environment conservation plays a key role in a country's Sustainable Development, said Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary and Central Environment Authority Chairman Dr Charitha Herath. "It is not practical to force people to practise for environment conservation by implementing rules and regulations. "So environment friendly attitudinal change is the most productive way to direct people towards environment conservation. It is necessary to enhance knowledge about the environment to more..

Sack us if you can – Nirmal

Sept 19 (LT) The Commissioner of Labour has again written to them regarding an arbitration process, they would never agree to such a process and they challenge authorities to sack them from service if possible said the President of FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Devasiri. He said the issue has not been resolved not due to the university teachers but due to two views that exist within the govt regarding a solution. more..

UNP PS member assaulted in Habaraduwa

Sept 19 (CT) A group claiming to be part of the STF have assaulted UNP Habaraduwa Pradeshiya Sabha member, Sameera Senaka de Silva, on Monday night. Following the attack, de Silva was admitted to the Karapitiya Hospital, Galle. De Silva said the incident took place when he was at a restaurant owned by his cousin. According to a statement given to the police, he said the gang was beating an unidentified man – a drug addict at the time. He said when he was asked for a more..

Basil assures agitators establishment of Divineguma Department

Sept 19 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa yesterday assured hundreds of agitators that the proposed Divineguma Department would be established under an Act of Parliament irrespective of whatever the constraints were. The Minister gave this assurance to the protesters on the Parliament Drive. The agitators comprised the employees of the Samurdhi Authority, the Southern Development Authority, the Upcountry Development Authority, the Upcountry Peasantry Rehabilitation Department and more..

Britain is returning Tamil refugees to be tortured in Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (Independent) Malar Rajendran is living proof that Britain has sent people to Sri Lanka to be tortured. Today at 3:30pm, a specially chartered Border Agency flight using the call sign PVT030 will take off from an undisclosed London airport and head east towards Colombo. Those on board will include visa over-stayers, a handful of convicted criminals and dozens of terrified, predominantly Tamil refugees who more..

Karannagoda calls on Japan’s Navy Chief Admiral Kawano

Sept 19 (FT) Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Japan, Admiral (Rtd.) Wasantha Karannagoda, called on Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force Chief of Staff Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano, at the Ministry of Defence. Admiral Kawano is the highest ranking Navy official of the Maritime Self Defence Force, which is equivalent to the Navy of Japan. The two dignitaries discussed and broached issues of importance, relevance and interest with regard to maritime issues of the two countries more..

Bharatha Lakshman Murder: Photo evidence submitted to AG’s Dept

Sept 19 (CT) A Compact Disk (CD), containing photo evidence taken at the scene where former Presidential Advisor, Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was assassinated, was handed over to the Attorney General’s (AG) Department, the CID, informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, yesterday. ASP Shani Abeysekara of the CID made the observation, when a Court inquiry into the case was taken up for hearing before Colombo Additional Magistrate, Prasanna Alwis. more..

Govt. seeks Rs. 900 mn to pay new recruits

Sept 19 (Island) The govt yesterday submitted a supplementary estimate for Rs. 900 million to pay salaries and allowances of the newly recruited graduate trainees in the public sector. The supplementary estimate for the Ministry of Finance, submitted to Parliament by Minister nimal Siripala De Silva, sought the allocation of Rs. 900 million for 18 District Secretariats. Accordingly, Rs. 70 million has more..

University degree a must for UAE tourist visas: report

Sept 19 (CNA) Tourists from South Asian countries that export labour to the UAE will require a university degree to get a visa as the rich Gulf state fights an illegal influx, a newspaper reported on Tuesday. Electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors and cleaners from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are now banned from obtaining a tourist visa. The new measure sets a university degree as a more..

TNA EPC members threatened – Sampanthan

Sept 19 (CT) Leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, complained to President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding the alleged threats received by several TNA members elected to the Eastern Provincial Council. The TNA Leader met with the President in the presence of Ministers, G.L. Peiris and Maithripala Sirisena, at Temple Trees. During the discussion, Sampanthan said, if the Eastern polls had taken place in a free and fair manner the TNA would have gained more seats. He also brought to the notice of the President that certain more..

Sri Lanka pushes up food prices to increase farmer profits

Sept 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka has pushed up food prices of the people to provide greater profits to the farming lobby, while another tax on canned fish has also been raised, a notice published by the finance ministry said. The finance ministry said a tax on potatoes has been raised by 30 rupees to 50 rupees a kilogram ahead of an upcoming harvest of paddy. In addition to taxing rice imports, Sri Lanka also taxes alternative carbohydrates more..

Editorial: Whither governance and rule of law?

Sept 19 (DM) The ‘Malaka Silva’ affair has been ‘the’ incident during the last few days with media taking great pains not to miss a wee bit of the drama unfolded—which even Malaka’s father, Minister Mervyn Silva said that led to the sale of unsalable newspapers in the country. But did anybody express his or her surprise at how the events unfolded? How the police had to good-naturedly wait for the surrender of Malaka instead of going after more..

Sensitive reconciliation of the communities

Sept 19 (DM) The State must not lose sight of the need to allay the fears and anxieties of the Sinhalese who, though a majority, have their own share of concerns, both real and imagined. Many actions that discriminated against minorities sprang initially from a widespread perception amongst the Sinhalese that they had been discriminated against by the British. Assertion of the need for the Govt to function in the language of the majority, positive discrimination to compensate for real and more..

‘Victorious’ govt and the defeated masses…

Sept 19 (DM) Abortion is legally banned in Sri Lanka. Despite the ban, it is common knowledge that these illegal activities prevail in the country, under cover. While some say that killing a child about to be born is a crime, others may argue that abortion is a woman’s right. Most of these abortions take place without the intervention of the govt. However, there is a process of abortion that the govt carries out with its direct intervention. This is widely implemented in the sector of provincial more..

Overhead spraying of BTI to cost a staggering sum

Sept 19 (LB) The Health Ministry has decided to spend a sum of Rs 1230 million in order to spray the Cuban made BTI bacteria in all dengue infested areas commencing late October this year. However, many unions are up in arms as they see this exercise as a total waste of money since the dengue mosquito breeds in yoghurt cups, empty bottles and in other water retaining receptacles that are thrown around, so more..

Desperate farmers seek help

Sept 19 (ST) The crippling drought that has ruined thousands of cultivated acres across the country has driven more than 230,000 farmers to seek compensation from the Govt. Scientists warn that extreme weather could become a pattern and that agriculture could be a repeat victim. The Agrarian Services Department has been approached by farmers in 13 districts, including Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, more..

Pathetic plight of kidney patients

Sept 19 (SL) It is a Wednesday morning, a clinic day for the kidney patients at Room No. 34 at the Colombo National Hospital (CNH). The corridor leading to the consulting room is packed with patients. The smell of kerosene from the eating houses in the rear of the ward permeating the air. Patients oblivious to the smell keep walking into the ward. They flock at the entrance patiently waiting to get a token number, their license to more..

China's top sports official to visit Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (Xinhua) A delegation led by China's top sports official Liu Peng is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka later this week. The Sri Lankan Sports Ministry expects to work with China to develop sports activities in the country. The visit is expected to kick off on Sept. 23. "Since China is a fast moving nation in the field of sports in the world, it is expected to discuss the possible ways of cooperation with the Ministry to obtain the knowledge and experience, more..

Complaint withdrawn under duress-SF

Sept 19 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka charged that it was clear that the Army major who had complained that he had been assaulted by Malaka Silva withdrew his complaint under duress. “This is another classic example of the situation prevailing in this country. The whole country, including the Army, know that this major was assaulted by these thugs. Now if it has come to a stage where the major has given an affidavit. more..

Vaiko flays Centre, state govt for inviting Lankan Prez Rajapakasa

Sept 19 (PTI) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Wednesday criticised the Centre as well as Bharatiya Janat Party (BJP) led Madhya Pradesh govt for inviting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a function in Sanchi, Bhopal. "Despite knowing that Rajapaksa is solely responsible for the genocide of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan govt in Madhya Pradesh has invited him and the Centre endorsed his visit," more..

'Newspapers are being sold these days thanks to me and my son'

Sept 19 (AD) Minister Mervyn Silva mentioned that newspapers are being sold these days thanks to him and his son. The minister also stated that the insults thrown at him continuously by ‘kala patthara’ and petty gossip sites does not scare him and asked what is wrong in attacking someone if his son has not impregnated women or misbehaved. The minister also explained that it is natural for young men to be aggressive and more..