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Army will not occupy civilians' property

Sept 19 (DM) Clarifying doubts of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) officials on the Army’s occupation of civilians’ property, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said the Army had already handed back the majority of them and owners of other houses are paid rental until they are released in future. “As speculated and exaggerated by some interested parties, we have no plan of acquiring civilians’ lands to establish more..

Sri Lankan president kicks off Indian tour amidst tensions

Sept 19 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa will kick off a visit to India on Wednesday, the President's office said here, amidst strained relations with Tamil Nadu. Rajapaksa is scheduled to meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday to discuss relations between the two countries. This will be the first meeting between the two parties after India voted in favor of a U.S. backed resolution on more..

Navy Chief retires

Sept 19 (Island) Navy Chief, Vice Admiral D.W.A.S. Dissanayake will retire next Wednesday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa promoted the former Chief of Staff to 3-Star rank of Vice Admiral. Dissanayake assumed duties on Jan 15, 2011 at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo. Dissanayake is the 17th Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. In July 2009, he received the appointment as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy in recognition of his invaluable contribution towards eliminating terrorism. more..

Ranil commends successful organizing of CPA conference

Sept 19 (DN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe commended the successful organizing of the 58th CPA conference in Colombo and said it was of the best CPA conferences ever held. He made this observation in Parliament thanking those who were committed and dedicated in organizing the conference under the leadership of the CPA President and Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. He also stated that since the day it was more..

Chandrasena resigns, Ranjith to be CM

Sept 19 (DM) Minister of Agrarian Services and Wildlife S.M.Chandrasena tendered his resignation to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this afternoon after he was assured that his brother S.M.Ranjith would be appointed as Chief Minister of the North-Central Province. Minister said that he sacrificed his ministerial portfolio on behalf of his brother after the Executive Committee of the UPFA told him that two persons in more..

Austrian media promotes Ceylon Tea and tourism

Sept 19 (GDI) Radio Vienna, an Austrian media network channel, ran a two-hour live broadcast on Sri Lanka on Sunday as part of its most popular primetime breakfast event. The programme had several components including an introduction on Sri Lanka, a Sri Lanka Quiz and comments from specialists on tea, travel and leisure. Most questions related to Sri Lanka’s heritage sites, nature parks, beaches, food and culture. more..

Maithree withdraws case against leadership

Sept 19 (DM) UNP Provincial Councillor Maithree Gunaratne has withdrawn the case filed in the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s court after UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s lawyers informed court that the decision to extend the term of leadership for six years was only a proposal and there was no amendment to the constitution to that effect. Mr. Gunaratne said the lawyers had categorically told in court that the proposal would be submitted at the next party convention. more..

Sri Lankan Muslims protest anti-Islam film

Sept 19 (AP) Hundreds of Muslims in Sri Lanka's capital protested Wednesday against an anti-Islam film produced in the United States, burning effigies of President Barack Obama. About 300 protesters marched in Colombo, carrying signs and banners that read, "Ban anti-Islamic film all over the world. U.S. should apologize to Muslims." They chanted, "Hang the producer and director of the film." The protesters blocked more..

5th National Conference on Reconciliation

Sept 19 (GDI) The fifth National Conference on Reconciliation was held under the patronage of Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge at the auditorium of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) in Colombo Tuesday evening. Organized by the LKIIRSS under the topic of the role of Information Communications Technology in Reconciliation the event was attended by more..

Oh, Sri Lanka, That was rude

Sept 19 (WSJ) Hey, Sri Lanka, did nobody ever warn you about being a bad host? Especially you, Ajantha Mendis, you naughty man. This ICC World Twenty20 was meant to show that even the smaller cricketing nations like Zimbabwe had a fighting chance against the big boys, yet you smash that theory – and your guests — to bits on the very first night of the tournament. In pulverizing Zimbabwe on your home turf, all you did, Sri Lanka, was reassert the fact that cricket is dominated by more..

Police arrest IUSF convener Sanjeewa

Sept 19 (SM) Police a short while ago arrested Sanjeewa Bandara, convener of the university students union, IUSF, in Colombo. Plainclothesmen took him away in a jeep marked ‘Slave Island Police’ at Colombo Town Hall as he had been on his way from Fort to Sri Jayewardenepura University. However, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana said the student activist was arrested by the CCD. The IUSF had organized a protest in more..

Major assaulted at JAIC Hilton permitted to leave hospital

Sept 19 (SM) Major Chandana Pradeep Surasena of the Army intelligence, injured in an assault at JAIC Hilton in Colombo and being treated at Army Hospital, has sought permission from hospital authorities to leave, claiming that his condition has now returned to normal. According to reports reaching Mirror, he has been given permission to leave the hospital. Maj. Surasena is due to be taken to the Panagoda Army camp to obtain a statement, said the reports. more..

Athaullah and Rishard disappointed

Sept 19 (SM) Ministers Athaullah and Rishard are said to be disappointed regarding decisions taken to assign Minister posts in the Eastern Provincial Council, according to reports. Athaullah’s National Congress, and Rishard’s All Ceylon Muslim Congress contested the Eastern PC elections under the UPFA umbrella. However, the two ministers are said to be displeased on the allocation of two minister posts to the SLMC, conducted their campaign expressing views against the govt. more..

Private buses workers on strike

Sept 19 (SM) Private bus employees on eight routes in the Western Province have commenced a strike. The strike action was launched by the Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association claiming that the authorities had issued a route permit in an irregular manner. The Chairman of the Lanka Private Bus Owners' Association, Gemunu Wijeyratne said the strike action is in effect in the Ratnapura - Panadura, Padukka – more..

T20: Australia thrash Ireland

Sept 19 (CI) A commanding performance from Shane Watson delivered a handsome opening World Twenty20 victory for Australia over Ireland, as George Bailey's team showed aggressive intent to pursue the one trophy missing from the national team's display cabinet. Ireland had fancied their chances of upsetting Australia, but were left with their odds of progression diminished and their ears ringing from a few verbal barbs delivered by opponents in no mood to be accommodating more..

Sri Lankan Army proud of Mendis

Sept 19 (GN) Ajantha Mendis’ deadly spell against Zimbabwe on Tuesday night, when he took six wickets for eight runs at Hambantota — the best ever figures in international Twenty20 cricket — made the Sri Lankan Army very happy. “Mendis is our man and he has made us proud,” remarked an army officer, who identified this reporter through the media accreditation tag hanging around his neck. He also remarked that he had worked with Mendis in the army. “It was the Sri Lankan Army that more..

Sri Lanka raids fake ICC T20 clothing stores

Sept 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's police raided a factory turning out counterfeit ICC World Twenty20 T-shirts and seized stocks of spurious merchandise, a senior officer said on Wednesday. Deputy Inspector-General Anura Senanayake said they carried out the crackdown on fake World Twenty20 merchandise following a complaint from the ICC over trade mark infringements. We have arrested a person who produced fake T-shirts and more..

Stocks close one percent lower

Sept 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks extended losses closing 1.04 percent lower Wednesday, as investors took profits from steep recent gains, while a newly listed finance company stock hit a new high, brokers said. The Colombo All Share Index closed at 5,849.14 down 61.67 points and the S & P SL 20 Index closed 36 points lower at 3,141.64 down 1.14 percent. Turnover was 1.2 billion rupees. George Steuart Finance, which was listed under a process known as 'introduction' to comply more..

UAE denies ban on low-income Asian tourists

Sept 19 (CNA) A top UAE official denied on Wednesday reports that tourists from South Asian countries that export labour to the Gulf state will require a university degree to get a visa. General Nasser al-Menhali, assistant undersecretary for Nationality and Residency at the interior ministry, said no changes have been made to the existing law for visas, WAM state news agency reported. "Any amendments or measures would be more..

Vaiko, MDMK Protesters Stopped on MP-Maharashtra Border

Sept 19 (OI) MDMK General Secretary Vaiko and over 1,000 party workers today staged a sit-in at Badhchicholi, a village in Madhya Pradesh near the Maharashtra border, after they were stopped from proceeding to Sanchi to protest the scheduled visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. After police stopped the MDMK convoy of 40 buses, Vaiko met Chhindwara more..

Tissa lashes out at UPFA

Sept 19 (Island) The UPFA govt had unethically grabbed control of the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) without considering the wishes of a majority of the people in the Province, the UNP said yesterday. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the conduct of the Rajapaksa regime was a continuation of its policy of paying lip service to democracy, while distorting the voters’ choice. The UPFA had got only about 200,000 votes at the September 8 election to the EPC, more..

Recent polls aggravated racism - JVP

Sept 19 (AD) Despite the conclusion of the Eastern Provincial Council Election racism continues to thrive, the JVP alleged today. At a press conference in Colombo JVP politburo member Anura Kumara Dissanayaka added that the Government and the SLMC are involved in playing race politics for the sake of getting votes. The Eastern Province comprises a good balance of different races and the Elections were the perfect setting to set an example for the rest of the country, he added. more..

Central Bank issues direction on foreign exchange trading activities

Sept 19 (4T) The Central Bank, with the view tofurther improve the standard of business conduct and good market practices for the effective and efficient functioning of the foreign exchange trading activities in Sri Lanka, has issued the Banking Act Direction No. 1 of 2012 on foreign exchange trading activities of licensed commercial banks. The Direction has been prepared more..

Displaced BMICH canines return home

Sept 19 (Island) More than a dozen canines, which were re-located from the BMICH premises to the dog pound in Borella, about a week ago, had been taken to their original habitat yesterday morning with the assistance of members of Blue Paw Trust, said Dr. Dinethra Subasinghe, Co-ordinator of the Trust, an animal welfare organisation. Animal Rights Activist Sagarika Rajakarunayake told The Island that the dogs had been taken away from the BMICH premises as more..

Ganesan happy with two seats won in Sabaragamuwa

Sept 19 (Island) The leader of the Democratic People’s Front Mano Ganesan says that his party is content with securing two seats at the recently concluded provincial council elections, ensuring Tamil representation in the Sabaragamuwa province. "The DPF contested not to defeat the government, therefore we are happy to have won two seats from Ratnapura and Kegalle districts in order to represent the small Tamil population scattered in the province," he said. more..

Health Ministry to regulate Opticians

Sept 19 (Island) The work of opticians in the country will be regulated by Health Ministry laboratory services personnel to ensure the safety of their vision impaired customers. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that majority opticians were keen on earning than providing their customers with a proper service. The spokesman said that a majority of opticians fleeced their customers by quoting exorbitant prices for frames and lenses. more..

Dismay as opposition again undone at elections

Sept 20 (NS) Polls in the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern provinces last week handed the UPFA a ringing endorsement although it may have to cobble together a coalition with the SLMC to govern the Eastern Province. In both the Sabaragamuwa and the North Central provinces its share of the vote was about 60%, a commendable achievement considering that the UPFA has been in office for 15 of the past 18 years and given the the recent barrage of adverse domestic events. more..

“Kalai Vathi” Kaleel : A versatile Muslim Writer from Mannar

Sept 19 (DBS) Writers in Tamil in Lanka include Tamils, Muslims, and Malays. They are from different parts of the island. One such place is Mannar in the Northern Province. Almost an icon in the area and a widely known writer, poet, journalist and critic is Kalai Vaathi Kaleel. He hails from a traditional family of artistes and artists. His grand father was a poet. His mother was a folk-singer. Among his brothers were scholar M A Rahuman, the cinematographer and more..

An exciting pace in Northern development ...

Sept 19 (DM) South Africa’s National Council of Provinces Chairman Miniwa Johannes Mahlangu was in Colombo last week for the 58th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Conference at which he was elected as the new President of the CPA. He spoke to Daily Mirror about the development activities he witnessed in the North, the reconciliation process and the international pressure faced by Sri Lanka. Q: Coming from South African and having more..

Post conflict Sri Lanka: Rebuilding of society and roadblocks to ethnic reconciliation

Sept 19 (DBS) Sri Lanka army ended 25 years of Tamil separatist insurgency on May 19, 2009 when it defeated the LTTE. But the victory in what the government called the Humanitarian War (an oxymoron as no war is humanitarian) came at a colossal cost. Three lakhs of people became destitute in the war torn Northern Province. Infrastructure and public services totally destroyed during the war are yet to be fully restored. The trauma of war is very much there in more..

It is only a matter of time before Mahinda Rajapaksa starts to fear elections

Sept 19 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa must really love elections. Since he came to power, at least some part of the country has gone to the polls almost every year, sometimes more than once. We had local and provincial council elections in both 2008 and 2009, parliamentary and presidential elections in 2010, more local elections in 2011 and now more provincial council elections in 2012. No prizes for guessing that in 2013 somebody somewhere in Sri Lanka will be voting. more..

Alleged assault by Malaka and Rehan: An elder brother says 'He is not Proud'

Sept 19 (DBS) First of all I must say that I was indeed surprised when I read the Sunday papers early this morning. I was expecting a bloodbath to say the least. Instead, what I read was both thought provoking and humbling and this is why I believe I should write this. I have given this matter a bit of thought and I thought I might contribute towards the debate in constructive manner. During the next few paragraphs I will be wearing more..

The comic Paradox of Sri Lankan democracy

Sept 19 (SL) The proverbial dust has settled over the electoral battlefields and mercifully the war drums of the victors have been much more muffled than in earlier occasions, post election violence markedly reduced and the kiribath gobbling ceremonies seem to have gone off the agenda. A reason for this deviation from the traditional post elections high jinks could be the arrival of some 220 delegates for the sessions of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. more..

Editorial: Futility of suicide

Sept 20 (Island) In Tamil Nadu, a man who attempted to burn himself to death in protest against President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Sanchi visit has died in hospital. President Rajapaksa was in India to lay the foundation stone for a Buddhist university while this comment was being written. So, the unfortunate youth has died in vain. In spite of their sabre-rattling and histrionics, Vaiko et al have been careful not to expose themselves even to a candle flame let alone attempt more..

Ex-Tigress speaks to The Island: ‘Nothing is worth killing for’

Sept 19 (Island) "We had lost our footwear in previous skirmishes; but we still had our ‘kuppies’, the cyanide capsules we wore around our necks. We were better prepared for death than for life." This is what a 17-year-old child soldier holding the AK-47 thought to herself while moving forward to escape soldiers in an ambush. After 25 years, this child soldier gives the world a fine insight into the early stages of Tamil militancy and more..

‘Divi Neguma’ Dept: Development catalyst, dependency creator or just a white elephant?

Sept 20 (DBS) The Govt has gazetted a Bill, on 27 July 2012, to set up a Divi Neguma Department, which will take over the existing Samurdhi Authority, the Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority (successor to the Kandyan Peasantry Commission). The Bill will also set up a Divi Neguma Community Based Organisation, Divi Neguma Community Based Banks and Banking Societies. It is significant that what is being established is a more..

Mendis recounts tough days

Sept 20 (Island) Last 15 months have been tough for Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis. He was part of Sri Lanka’s squad for the tour of England and after featuring in the first Test in Cardiff he was left out of the next two games at Lord’s and Rose Bowl. Many expected him to feature in the opening Test against Australia at home in Galle last year, but Suraj Randiv was preferred over him. Mendis was to play the second Test at Pallekele, but he complained of a back pain on the morning of the game and was left out again. more..

සබැඳියාව | Connections – September 18, 2012

Learning from Sri Lanka

Sept 20 (TNI) The world has a lot to learn from Sri Lanka. This island nation, south of India, was torn by a vicious civil war for twenty-six years, which ended in 2009 with a clear victory for government forces over the LTTE. Since then, the ruling authorities have done a remarkable job forging reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation with the Tamil minority. This is truly an example of how military victory needs to be followed up by forgiveness and peacemaking. more..

EPF tangles unanswered

Sept 20 (FT) The Opposition charged in Parliament that the Govt was deliberately evading questions on the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) due to “shady investments” after the issue was postponed for a fifth time. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said that he took a “very strong position” in Parliament on the need for the Govt to answer queries on EPF. “What happened was that my question on EPF investments was postponed for the fifth time by another two months and I protested to the Speaker. more..