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'PM's dinner for Rajapaksa hurt sentiments of Tamils'

Sept 22 (Hindu) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Friday came down heavily on the Union govt for its policy on Sri Lanka. “Irrespective of the ‘hand of deep friendship’ extended by the Indian govt, the Sri Lankan govt is not ready to appreciate it. Instead, the Sri Lankan govt has been taking steps to nourish its friendship with Pakistan and China, which have differences with India,” Mr Karunanidhi said, citing a couple of news articles published recently in The Hindu and ‘Dinamani.’ more..

Rajapaksa's visit triggers protest across region

Sept 22 (Hindu) A section of MDMK cadre were arrested after they set afire an effigy of President Rajapaksa at Manapparai on Friday condemning his visit to the country. MDMK cadre were led by the party State deputy organiser Manivendhan. Those arrested were later released. The Manapparai police have registered a case. Cadre of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and Communist Party of India staged an agitation against the arrival of the Sri Lankan President. more..

President Rajapaksa lays the foundation stone for the Sanchi Buddhist University

Sept 22 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa laid the foundation stone for the construction of the International University of Buddhist and Indic Studies in the ancient Buddhist city of Sanchi in the presence of dignitaries from Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan, Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal and India. Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigmy Thinlay graced the occasion as a special guest. Chief Minister of India’s Madhya Pradesh more..

Editorial: The warning of Bertrand Russell

Sept 22 (DM) The British Philosopher and Historian Bertrand Russell has said three factors come out prominently when a country is degenerating from democracy to dictatorship. These vices are violence or crime, rampant corruption and false propaganda. Tragically, Russell’s vipers are stinging Sri Lanka and raising questions whether we are becoming the model of Asia or plunging into the political terror of a dictatorship. Violence and crime have reached their worst levels. more..

Let us be clear on what we buried in Nandikadal lagoon

Sept 22 (CT) During the 90s, I was a boarder at the Royal College Hostel. We, the hostellers were supposed to shift dormitories annually. And once, I was in the dormitory called ‘Galoya – III’. (Yes, all our dormitories were given the names of these well-known water reservation projects – Victoria, Kotmale, etc. And I still don’t know why!). If my memory serves me right, ‘Prasad’ was the only Tamil who shared our humble abode, more..

'NCP CM dispute means SLFP in crisis'

Sept 22 (Island) UNP MP Harin Fernando yesterday said that a simmering dispute over the appointment of Chief Minister of the North Central Province (NCP) meant that the SLFP was in crisis. The UNPer said that those who had exploited differences among some members of the UNP to the advantage of the ruling SLFP-led coalition were silent. Responding to a query by The Island, the MP said that the SLFP was trying to cope with the unforeseen crisis, more..

'Law and order gone to the dogs'

Sept 22 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara yesterday said that the issue surrounding Malaka Silva and his alleged assault on an Army officer was a clear indication of “democracy and the rule of law in the country going to the dogs”. “From the time Minister Mervyn Silva tied up a man to a tree and the shootout involving Duminda Silva and Baratha Lakshman Premachandra, and now to the most recent assault on an Army Major allegedly by Malaka Silva have all resulted in the govt more..

Is ISI recruiting Lankan Tamils to spy on India?

Sept 22 (CI) Agents of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are actively attempting to recruit Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who have returned to the island nation after the end of the Eelam war, the Tamil Nadu state intelligence has informed the Centre’s Intelligence Bureau. Thamim Ansari, a Thanjavur man who was arrested recently for suspected links to the ISI, was in Sri Lanka when ISI operative Haji made contact with him. more..

'Sri Lanka’s export structure needs radical transformation'

Sept 22 (LB) Even though there is a major decline in export in Sri Lanka and in the South Asian region, Sri Lanka can perform well if they have the proper know-how, say several local importers and exporters. Former deputy governor Central Bank, Dr. Weerakoon Wijewardena commented that Sri Lanka’s export structure needs radical transformation from simple manufactured goods to complex manufactured goods so more..

Swindlers and extortionists target gold merchants once again

Sept 22 (ST) Gold merchants and jewellery shop owners in the country are once again falling prey to swindlers and extortionists. Two years ago when a similar situation arose the matter was taken up with the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and was quickly brought under control. The latest incident came to the spotlight a week ago when one of the gold traders in Colombo started getting threatening phone calls, warning that more..

IPU’s Trowell QC to observe court proceedings on Rishad

Sept 22 (DN) The Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians informed the Sri Lankan Parliament that the committee assigned Queen’s Counsel Mark Trowell to visit Sri Lanka and observe proceedings in cases instituted against Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, a release said yesterday. The assignment of Trowell, QC by the IPU follows representations to the IPU more..

Academics to boycott A/L evaluation meeting

Sept 22 (DM) In spite of Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena’s plan to initiate 2012 A/L evaluation this week, academics today said they will not be attending the evaluators’ meeting scheduled for Sept 24. FUTA President Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said all FUTA members have been instructed to boycott the 2012 A/L evaluation meeting scheduled for September 24 by the Examinations Department. The 2012 A/L answer script evaluations are facing an unprecedented delay due to more..

'Strengthen shattered diplomatic ties with India'

Sept 22 (CT) The Opposition charged that diplomatic relations between India and Sri Lanka is in jeopardy as the Sri Lankan Govt failed to keep its promises given to India over solving the ethnic issue. UNP MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara, moving the adjournment motion said, govt should take immediate steps to strengthen the now shattered diplomatic relations by providing a political solution to the ethnic problem. more..

UNP: Key LRRC recommendations not implemented

Sept 22 (Island) The govt had not implemented the key recommendations of its very own LLRC yet and was fighting shy of facing the UNHRC, the UNP said yesterday. It was the Rajapaksa regime that had asked the UNHRC for time to implement the LLRC recommendations such as the re-establishment of independent public, police, elections, judicial service and bribery and corruption commissions, but over a year after the more..

Sri Lanka boatpeople choose return over Australia asylum

Sept 22 (AFP) A group of Sri Lankans have chosen to return to their homeland rather than apply for asylum in Australia, where they faced being sent to a Pacific island for processing, the govt said Saturday. Canberra has begun sending boatpeople to the tiny state of Nauru, and intends to ship others to Papua New Guinea's Manus Island, as a disincentive to stem a record number of arrivals making the dangerous more..

Bringing back the Hangman – a failure of law-enforcement

Sept 22 (Island) Somebody in govt wants to bring back capital punishment. But, to his credit, the Minister of Justice Rauf Hakeem seems to have his reservations. He is quoted as having stated that judicial executions must only be re-introduced after a national referendum. Capital punishment for crimes is almost as old as history, both here and elsewhere. The ancient maxim, an eye for an eye, etc, was liberally interpreted. A person could be more..

A feather in the Public Service cap

Sept 22 (Island) Readers of The Island of the 17th instant, will be thankful to Somapala Gunadheera (a senior Public Servant who rendered yeoman service in his day), for highlighting an unusual act of courage and rectitude, where a Public Service ‘David’ had stood upto the wrath of a political ‘Goliath’ who had entered a polling booth in Kegalle without due legal authority. The concerned Assistant Commissioner of Elections, Mr. Namal Thalangama had acted strictly more..

Najeeb Abdul Majeed makes history as the first Muslim Chief minister

Sept 22 (DBS) Mohamed Najeeb Abdul Majeed made history when he was sworn in as the chief minister of the Eastern Provincial council before President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday September 18th 2012. After the swearing in ceremony at “Temple Trees”, Najib as he is generally known has become not only the first Muslim chief minister of the Eastern Province but also the first Chief minister of Muslim more..

YMCA launches tree planting programme

Sept 22 (DN) The YMCA Tree Planting Programme was launched by Bishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Ranjith Canagasabe on September 17 at the Cathedral compound, Bauddaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7 by planting a 'Diosphyros Ebenum' (Kaluwara) tree. The tree planting programme is conducted to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Council of the YMCA of Sri Lanka. Bishop Canagasabe said the YMCA has chosen an appropriate and relevant activity to more..

SC moved against parties ‘striving for Eelam’

Sept 22 (Island) A founder member of the Swarnahansa Padanama, Gallage Pannewardena of Battaramulla, has complained to the Supreme Court that the TNA, the TULF, the TELO and the EPRLF were all aimed at establishing a separate state within the territory of Sri Lanka. The petition says that the TNA and the other aforesaid Tamil parties have said, in their election manifesto, that the ‘Thimpu Principle’ means the establishment of a separate and sovereign Tamil state within more..

T20: South Africa clinically decimate Lanka

Sept 22 (CI) AB de Villiers gave the big crowd at Hambantota as much entertainment as he could as South Africa won a seven-over-a-side shootout against the hosts. The fixture was the most anticipated in Group C but a two-hour 45-minute rain delay meant the contest was curtailed and the result, another one-sided mis-match in a tournament crying out for proper competition. De Villiers' 30 off 13 balls and baseball style run out of Dilshan more..

Lankan held for running illegal ferry service, booked under NSA

Sept 22 (TOI) The coastal security group (CSG) police have detained a Sri Lankan Tamil under the National Security Act (NSA) for running an illegal ferry service between Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district in Tamil Nadu and Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. Suresh, 28, was caught when he came to Mandapam to drop two Sri Lankan Tamils and parked the boat, stolen from a Sri Lankan fisherman, on the sea shore. more..

Treasure hunting: Newer statistics surface

Sept 22 (NF) 608 individuals have been arrested so far this year in connection to incidents of treasure hunting and destroying archaeological locations. Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana stated that 241 raids have been conducted during this time. Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana stated that the most number of raids were carried out in the North Central Province and several such incidents are been reported from the Northwestern and Central Provinces. more..

5 killed in Sri Lankan boat tragedy

Sept 22 (Xinhua) Five people were killed when the boat they were travelling in capsized in Beruwala on Saturday. The boat was taking a local group to visit a lighthouse under overcast evening conditions when it was hit by a strong wave. The boat capsized at sea and it took time for people in the vicinity to reach the site using other boats. Of the 11 people who onboard when the boat capsized 5 had drowned, including 4 women, more..

Sirisena ready to assist Coolege of Ophthalmology

Sept 22 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena expressed willingness to assist in improving the activities of the College of Ophthalmology. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the 21st Annual Scientific Sessions College he said that the College of Ophthalmology had been going from strength to strength since its establishment long years ago. The govt’s major commitment to the society was let any human being have sight. more..

Another gold bottom detected at BIA

Sept 22 (Island) A 56-year-old Sri Lankan was arrested yesterday noon by the Customs attached to Bandaranaike International Airport as he was attempting to smuggle out seven gold biscuits worth Rs. 6.6 million, weighting 1.022 kilos, to India. Customs sources said that the suspect was about to board the SriLankan flight UL 133 to Trichy around 1.35 p.m. He had hidden the contraband in his person. The officers, Superintendent Yapa Piyasena, Deputy Superintendent more..

India confirms support for UNHRC on Lanka war crimes

Sept 22 (FI) India would definitely extend its support to the UNHRC when it would visit Sri Lanka to study the allegations of massive human rights violations during the final phase of the war against the LTTE in 2009, says Union Minister of State for PMO V Narayanasamy. “Not only in Sri Lanka, if war crimes and human rights violations are reported in any part of the world, India will not remain a mute spectator and will strongly oppose it,” more..

86 Australian-bound Persons arrested in Galle Seas

Sept 22 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy arrested 86 persons who had been illegally heading for Australia in a multi-day trawler in the seas 62 nautical miles off Galle on 21st September 2012. The over-crowded trawler, named "Laksiri", was intercepted by a Fast Naval Craft attached to the Southern Naval Command. Among the arrested are 59 Tamils, 18 Muslims and 09 Sinhalese. There are 76 men, 04 women and 06 children that include 04 boys and 02 girls, in the group. more..

Indian nabbed with heroin worth Rs. 6 mn

Sept 22 (Island) A 36-year-old Indian was nabbed at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday attempting to smuggle Rs. 6 million worth of heroin into the country. Customs Narcotics Control Unit sources said that the Indian had attempted to slip through the Green Channel but CNCU officers on duty had felt suspicious about his movements and checked his baggage. They found 720 grammes of heroin hidden in the false bottom of a travelling bag. The suspect, a frequent visitor to Sri Lanka, more..

Ongoing exercise ‘Cormorant Strike III’ enters final phase

Sept 22 (SLA) Exercise ‘Cormorant Strike III’, the three-week long joint military exercise, now underway in the East with the participation of 40 foreign military personnel, is reaching its final phase with several daring mock features. The third of this kind began on 10th Sept after a comprehensive briefing before all military personnel under training proceeded to Verugal and Batticaloa more..

Editorial: The gravity of the law

Sept 23 (NS) We have moved a fair distance from Newtonian Physics, but in the necessarily context-bound universes that we inhabit, what goes up still comes down. Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Gravitation is responsible for keeping the Earth and the other planets in more..

Editorial: Cool down simmering Tamil Nadu

Sept 23 (SL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to India last week drew the most virulent opposition in India to a visiting head of state of Sri Lanka in recent times. Whether it was an official visit or a private visit is not clear. He was invited by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chauhan, a BJP leader, to lay a foundation stone for the Centre of Buddhist Studies at Sanchi, a place of veneration by Buddhists the world over. He was also scheduled to more..

'Far-reaching plans for EP to foster communal harmony'

Sept 23 (SO) Najeeb A. Majeed was sworn in as Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council on Tuesday before President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees. He is the son of SLFP veteran Abdul Majeed who was Deputy Minister in the UPA Govt of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. CM Majeed entered politics as SLFP organiser for Muttur electorate in 1987 after the life of his father was snatched away in the more..

Editorial: Sri Lankan boat people and a losing PR war

Sept 23 (LB) A nother batch of 25 Sri Lankan asylum seekers deported from Britain arrived in the island last week, amidst fears that they could be arrested and tortured on their arrival. They were among 60 failed asylum seekers who were due to be deported by the UK Border Agency; however, many succeeded obtaining eleventh hour legal injunctions against their deportation, again, on the purported grounds that they faced risk of being tortured back home. more..

Editorial: National coexistence, the best proof

Sept 23 (SO) The ruling UPFA has amply proved national coexistence by appointing Chief Ministers from the minority communities consecutively for the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC). When the first ever EPC was set up, Sivanesathurei Chandrakanthan, a rehabilitated LTTE child soldier, was appointed the Chief Minister. Notwithstanding the fact that one-third of the Eastern population is Sinhalese, the Chief Ministerial post has now gone to a Muslim from the earlier Tamil. more..

Salley to put an end to the silence

Sept 23 (SL) At the recently ended elections SLMC contested separately. However after the elections ended they decided to support the govt. We spoke to Azath Salley on his opinion over the party’s decision after the elections. He also shared his views on the leadership of the party. Q: What was the basis of the SLMC decision to contest separately at the Eastern Provincial Council elections? What were the conditions or agreements with the govt? more..

Editorial: Grotesque burlesque

Sept 23 (Island) The Divaina, our sister paper, ran a catchy headline yesterday reading Malakata apa: Majorta nadu?, proclaiming that Malaka Silva (and his friend, Rehan Wijeratne) had been granted bail and speculating that there may be a case against the Military Intelligence Major who was beaten up. The whole business, stemming from a brawl at the JAIC Hilton, has been nothing short of burlesque with the public treated to a drama worthy of inclusion in Ripley’s "Believe it or not." more..

Editorial: Save us from the law of the jungle

Sept 23 (ST) The multi-million dollar pump-and-dump manipulations by a business mafia at the Colombo Stock Exchange and the mysterious happenings in the case involving Minister Mervyn Silva’s son, Malaka, are among the latest incidents which show the dangerous trend towards a breakdown in the rule of law – both at macroeconomic and at personal levels. On Friday, the Colombo Fort Magistrate, spoke out powerfully and prophetically against what he saw as more..

SL undone by 'home' conditions

Sept 23 (CI) Much of the reason Sri Lanka are deemed favourites for the World Twenty20 is because they have intimate knowledge of the conditions they will be playing in - or at least, they are supposed to. Often touring teams have been undone by Sri Lanka sides who have developed strengths that are amplified by the surfaces they play on, and opponents go home cursing conditions so foreign from their own. But on a soggy night in Hambantota, it was South Africa that more..

Another HRC offensive in the offing in New York

Sept 23 (LB) Before he set off on his three day Indian visit, which turned out to be a tumultuous affair overshadowed by the self immolation of a Tamil Nadu auto driver and effigy burning protestors in Tamil Nadu, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had been laying the groundwork. On Tuesday, he invited TNA leader R. Sampanthan to President’s House for a meeting. The president broke the ice, congratulating the TNA leader for winning the second highest number of seats in more..