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Gays ready to remove their ‘masks’

Sept 27 (NS) Gone are the days when sexuality was taboo. In fact even homosexuality is no longer unaccepted and seen as offensive. It has now transformed from taboo to established organizations where homosexuals speak of their rights claiming equality for their community. “We are just as human as everybody else, therefore our rights should not be any different from others”, Gay Rights Activist, Rossana Flamer-Caldera more..

Hector Abhayavardhana: The Internationalist

Sept 27 (DBS) Last month the LSSP, the country’s oldest political movement, celebrated its 70th anniversary. The founding generation of Sama Samajists encountered a world that was vastly different from our’s. It was a world rigidly stratified by social class and caste hierarchy. It was a world in which it was seditious to question the legitimacy of European colonial rule. It was a world that was so steeped in tradition and conservatism that it was revolutionary to even contemplate change. more..

Will the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress run into an Eastern storm?

Sept 27 (DBS) SLMC’s going with the government in the East is not a surprise. This order was written by the higher ups. Present day SLMC is a party where cadres and leaders think differently. While the former is prepared to shed blood for the party the latter is accused of looking for a cushy political life at the cost of policy and dignity, but in the name of development. Whose development is a question? After the demise of the founder Ashraf, the party had little discipline with elected members who more..

'The UNP my father died for, is no more'

Sept 27 (DM) Minister Navin Dissanayake, spoke to the Daily Mirror on his father’s legacy, the public administration system of the country and the weaknesses of the UNP. Q: What changes do you intend to make as the Minister of State Management reforms? A: It is a very difficult position, because the public service has been heading towards a single trajectory and we have to reorient it, make it less corrupt and more people-friendly. more..

Sinhala, Tamil and Zero sum game

Sept 27 (CT) The official language refers to the language in which records are maintained in official records. British colonial rulers used English as the Official Language, and Court proceedings were recorded in English even when witnesses spoke in Sinhala and Tamil. Lawyers too spoke in English. It was the same in government offices – both at headquarters and in district and field offices. Government employees knew English and were able to record their views in the form of minutes. more..

Mahinda attempts to trample on the independence of the judiciary

Sept 27 (CT) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is not surprised by the government’s confrontation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the courts, as it is part of a consistent pattern that has been going on ever since the executive presidential system was established in 1978. The constitution was established in order to undermine the independence of the judiciary. The recent call by President Rajapaksa on more..

Lives of animals at risk -Zoo authorities

Sept 27 (SO) The National Zoological Garden in Dehiwala has been a favourite spot for both local and foreign visitors. It carries memories of everyone's childhood and each one of us will be sure to have a story to tell of some incident during a visit. It is such an attractive place that a school trip to Colombo is not complete without the visit to the zoo and later becomes a famous topic for the school essay. Since its start in the more..

Editorial: Ruining chances of reconciliation

Sept 27 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) strike has entered the third month and universities remain crippled, though open. Striking dons are staging protest marches and student unions have joined forces with them apparently in a bid to settle old scores with the govt and gain some mileage. The govt remains intransigent and there is no end in sight to the worsening university crisis. The striking dons' resentment knows no bounds. more..

Sri Lanka look for different combination for Super Eights

Sept 27 (Island) Sri Lankans know what it takes to beat New Zealand in crunch games. In both the 2007 and 2011 ICC World Cups, their opponents in the semi-finals were the Kiwis and they won both games without much fuss. They will go into today’s first Super Eight game of the ICC World T-20 with full of confidence, but one grouse seems to be that the Kiwis have played their first round games at Pallekele, the venue for today’s match, while Sri Lankans haven’t even more..

Sri Lanka: Playing host to India and China

Sept 27 (ST) When India’s Commerce Minister Anand Sharma visited Sri Lanka in early August heading a powerful official and business delegation, the ‘talk’ in Colombo was that the Indians were putting pressure on a delayed trade agreement. Later in the month, when China’s Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie’s visited Sri Lanka, the first-ever visit by a Chinese Defence Minister, discussion in the ‘cocktail circuit’ centred on China’s growing role in more..

Ambitious $ 460 m 4-towers Krrish Square at Fort to start selling units from today

Sept 27 (FT) What is tipped to be the biggest single largest sole foreign investor project the $ 460 million Krrish Square at Transworks House in Fort will start selling luxury condominium units from today, the Indian promoters disclosed last night. Launching to media and corporates separately, the Krrish Square on the four-acre land area is a mixed development project comprising four towers, three of which will have luxurious residential units and more..

Securities trades, competition drag down NSB profits

Sept 27 (Island) State run banking giant National Savings Bank’s (NSB) profits plunged 66.6% to Rs. 1.2 billion during the first six months of this year from Rs. 3.59 billion a year earlier largely due to losses on trading in securities and stiff competition for deposits. According to interim financial results for the six months ending June 30, 2012, NSB reported a Rs. 1.51 billion loss on trading in securities. Group-wise, profits fell 85.9% to Rs. 897.8 million more..

Sri Lanka has big potential to be a viable regional hub – ADB VP

Sept 27 (FT) Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Xiaoyu Zhao has declared that Sri Lanka has big potential than any other country in Asia to become the most viable and attractive regional economic hub. “Strategic location, post conflict infrastructure development initiatives, peace and stability, high economic growth and able leadership are the main factors behind these potential,” he has said during a meeting with more..

Striking academics pawns of bankrupt parties - student body

Sept 27 (DN) The National Movement for Educational Reforms yesterday said that Sri Lankan education systems needs a National Education Policy which will not change with ministers. “The present education policy is changing from time to time with the education ministers. But it is not good for the country’s free education. It is due to the temporary change in education policy that certain groups are trying to create conflict situations in the education sector”, National Movement for more..

Monaragala to get multipurpose building with Japanese grant

Sept 27 (DN) Japan has provided a 45,551 US dollar grant aid for a rural infrastructure development project in Monaragala district under its Grant Assistance for Grass roots Human Security Projects (GGP). The project is for constructing a multipurpose building which would consist of a community hall, library, preschool, children’s park, health clinic centre and offices for Public Health Inspector and Grama Niladari. The project will be implemented by the Dimuthu Community more..

T20 SL v NZ: The fight for the semi-finals begins

Sept 27 (CI) The teams that made it through an all-too-predictable first round are now in a more demanding environment. By design and chance, the sides that topped each of the four groups are in one Super Eights pool, while those that finished second are in the other; the grouping gives these games a context the earlier ones lacked. The first Super Eights game is between the hosts Sri Lanka and New Zealand, two teams that more..

PC polls disproved myth of UNP losing Sinhala voter base - Eran

Sept 27 (Island) The theory of the UNP fast losing its Sinhala voter base had been disproved at the recently concluded elections to the North Central, Sabaragamuwa and Eastern Provincial Councils, Eran Wickremeratne MP, said. He said that the UNP in comparison to the 2010 Presidential election had increased its votes from around 28% to a maximum of 39%. "For example in Polonnaruwa, we obtained 39% of the votes cast, while in Ampara it was 35% in our favour, from a low of 28%", more..

Top JSS members threaten UNP protectors with death

Sept 27 (Island) Three active members of the Movement to Protect the UNP and its Trade Unions are seeking legal advice on lodging a complaint with IGP N. K. Illangakoon about death threats they received from two prominent members of the UNP affiliated Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS). The Movements Secretary Lal Perera said that JSS’s Secretary Srinal De Mel and accountant Basil Silva had been under the influence of liquor when they visited the JSS office on more..

Sri Lanka says no decision on Tamil Nadu travel advice

Sept 27 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has still not taken a decision to lift the travel advice on Tamil Nadu, the External Affairs Ministry said. Ministry Secretary Karunatillake Amunugama said that Sri Lanka is still monitoring the situation in Tamil Nadu over three weeks after the travel advice was first issued. "We are watching and monitoring the situation. There is no decision on lifting the travel advice as yet," more..

Amanresorts-fame Adrian Zecha bullish on post-war rebound in tourism

Sept 27 (FT) World-famous Amanresorts Chairman Adrian Zecha has expressed his bullishness in post-war rebound in Sri Lanka’s tourism, which has encouraged him to explore fresh opportunities for expansion. “The post-conflict economic development process is visible everywhere in Sri Lanka. Our resorts in Sri Lanka were not economically viable during the pre-conflict period. But thanks to the peace, we are making money with our hospitality trade in Sri Lanka,” more..

This is Eight, rise 'n' shine

Sept 27 (HT) It's been almost 10 days but the tournament proper begins today. The wheat has been separated from the chaff and the stage is set for the Super Eights in the World Twenty20. Hosts Sri Lanka and defending champions England are in Group 1 with New Zealand and West Indies, but it is Group 2 which will be the main attraction of the event. Past champions India and Pakistan are lined up along side Australia and South Africa. These are the four of the best teams in the fray, more..

Aerial survey for minerals next year

Sept 27 (Island) Sri Lanka would begin an aerial survey of its mineral resources next year, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. This would be the first aerial survey to be carried out since the 1950s. The geological survey planned for 1995 could not be carried out due to the war. He revealed that his Ministry had taken steps to introduce the ‘airborne survey’, which was being used in only a few countries, to find out the country’s more..

Four Sri Lankans held

Sept 27 (Hindu) Four Sri Lankan nationals were arrested last weekend at the airport when they tried to smuggle in gold weighing 1.82 kg. The seized gold was valued at Rs. 56.8 lakh. Officials intercepted and arrested Mohammadu Ammanudeen Makbul (43) on suspicion last Friday. In his checked-in baggage they found crude gold coated in white and black in the form of four strips, concealed in the grooves of the bag’s metallic frame. The passenger attempted to smuggle 560 grams of gold, which was valued at Rs. 17.8 lakh. more..

Bus driver attempts suicide after accidentally killing daughter

Sept 27 (Island) A bus driver attempted to commit suicide yesterday after accidentally running over and killing his two-year-old daughter, in front of his house, at Thabbowa. The father, a driver, had stopped the Puttalam bound bus near his house, at Church Junction, Thabbowa, in the Kaluwaragaswewa police area, to get a bottle of water from his wife at around 9.00 a.m. The child had gone near the bus unnoticed, while her mother had gone to the driver’s side with the bottle more..

JVP wants Rs.13,442 more for public sector employees

Sept 27 (DM) The JVP affiliated National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) today warned that it would soon launch a massive trade union campaign, which would cripple the country, if the govt failed to grant a Rs.13,442 salary increase to all public sector employees. NTUC leader K.D. Lalkantha said that if the govt attempted to use the police to suppress their trade union protest campaigns the Union would ask the protesters to retaliate more..

President participates in religious observances in memory of SLFP stalwarts

Sept 27 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa participated in special religious observances at the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and Ruwanweli Seya in Anuradhapura yesterday in memory of Prime Ministers SWRD Bandaranaike and Sirimavo Bandaranaike and other former SLFP stalwarts including Ministers Maithripala Senanayake and K B Ratnayake. The religious observances were conducted by Atamasthanadhipathi Ven Pallegama Siriniwasa Nayake Thera and more..

Three SLTB depots strike over delay in salaries

Sept 27 (Island) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) employees of Koggala, Hakmana and Mahiyangana are currently on a strike due to a delay in the payment of their July and August salaries. More depots are expected to join the strike shortly. General Secretary of the All Ceylon Transport Workers’ Union (ACTWU) Sepala Liyanage said that depot management could not pay salaries as the funds had been delayed by the Treasury. He said that employees of the Badulla and more..

TNA to take up HSZ issue with India

Sept 27 (Island) The TNA plans to take up the Jaffna High Security Zone issue with Indian leaders and request them to urge the Lankan govt to dismantle the HSZs in the North. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said yesterday that his party had been invited to meetings with Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna and the issues to be taken up with New Delhi had not been decided on, but certainly the HSZs would be discussed. more..

Galle docs strike today over Mayor’s conduct

Sept 27 (Island) All govt doctors in the Galle District will go on a 24-hour strike from 8.00 a.m. today in protest against the failure of the police to arrest Galle Mayor Methsiri de Silva. The Mayor is alleged to have obstructed and abused a Medical Officer of Health. Assistant Secretary of the GMOA, Dr. Nalin Ariyaratne said that they had warned of this action and expected the police to implement the law. "It seems that the police are not taking any action and we have to demand justice," more..

Sakvithi charged with bigamy

Sept 27 (Island) The Attorney General yesterday indicted Sakwithi Ranasinghe with bigamy. The indictment, filed in the Colombo High Court, alleged that while being married to Subashini de Silva Ariyaratne of Wellampitiya, Sakvithi had married Kumari Anuradhini, thereby contracting multiple marriages. Sakvithi, who is currently serving a prison term over financial misappropriation, was brought to the Court by the prison authorities. The charge sheet was read out to the accused Sakvithi more..

Kohli's flair finds a new admirer in Sri Lanka

Sept 27 (MO) Lionel Mendis's hand shakes a little as he turns through his scrapbook to see the yellowed newspaper clippings about cricketers he has produced. The list is long – in a personal capacity. He has virtually raised two of the strongest pillars of Sri Lankan cricket, Arjuna Ranatunga and Mahela Jayawardene, while as coach of the NCC's Academy, he has overseen the making of such superstars as more..

Hotel room trespasser apprehended

Sept 27 (DM) A Sri Lankan man who had allegedly trespassed into a room at Cinnamon Grand Hotel where the Australian cricket team, participating in ICC World T20 2012, was staying had been arrested by police and probes are underway to determine whether he came there for a match-fixing deal or to cause harm. In a complaint to the police, a security supervisor of the hotel had told that the Australian cricketers who are participating in ICC World T20 were staying in two rooms at the more..

President ready to accept PSC collective decision - Yapa

Sept 27 (DN) The govt is always ready to negotiate. This is why President Mahinda Rajapaksa displayed his sincerity by saying he is prepared to accept any collective decision taken by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) in connection with the ethnic issue, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. He said unfortunately the TNA and other political parties are still dithering. “I think that in a situation like this, the President’s proposal is the best, because in the PSC, respective political parties can more..

Politician’s gang murdered all six women in Kahawatte

Sept 27 (Island) Police investigations have revealed that the killing of six women in the Kahawatte area was masterminded by a group led by a local govt politician from the Ratnapura area. Investigators refused to reveal names. They only said the main suspect and several others were in remand over the killing of a woman and her daughter allegedly in retaliation for providing information to the police about drug dealers more..

Editorial: Pretty faces in petty politics

Sept 27 (DM) In Sri Lanka anyone who has a grin that can be stretched out of proportion to fill an election poster, is a politician. Though nothing could have been blamed for their appointment to the helm other than the sheer political ignorance of the voters, it does not justify their continued existence or inexplicable reappointment. Sixty three years of nominal parliamentary democracy bears witness to the plight of the voters and the voted. Then there is the national list. more..

India-Sri Lanka ties hostage to Tamil parties

Sept 27 (IDN) India's neighbours are not necessarily its friends. They can hardly be called India's allies. In regional and international forums, more often than not, they are ranged against one another. History, geography, religion, geopolitics, uneven development, competing ambitions and much else account for this state of affairs. As a result, bilateral relations have their ups and downs and can be warm or chilly, euphoric or troubling. Even so, over the decades, the South Asian countries more..

Hanging around for new hangmen

Sept 27 (LB) A mong the 178 people that applied for the post of hangman was a one-eyed man who was turned away due to reasons of physical disability, Prisons Department officials said last week. Also expressing interest were three-wheeler drivers, retired military personnel, labourers, a university student and a few men who had no idea what they were applying for. Some of them came before the interview board and asked, “Sir, what is this job?” more..

Pets can bite too and it can be deadly

Sept 27 (ST) Pet dogs are causing more bites than strays with over 2,000 victims a day, a senior health official warned yesterday. Public Health and Veterinary services Director Dr. P.A.L. Harischandra said existing by- laws will be amended to deal with pet owners. His remarks came as reports of an increase in rabies formed the subject of discussion at Cabinet level recently. He said the 1958 amendment to Rabies Ordinance and Registration Ordinance vested powers in more..

Drought leaves farmers struggling

Sept 27 (SL) As the rains continue to evade Sri Lanka and the ongoing drought worsens, the country’s farming community is left on the brink of desperation. A lack of crops, a halt in their income and no assistance from the government has resulted in many of them seeking alternative work. With the harvest for big onions expected to take place in the upcoming weeks, farmers have warned that there could be a low yield. more..

Chocolate blade excreted

Sept 27 (DM) The piece of blade which an employee of the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) swallowed together with a bite of chocolate had passed out with his stools, a CAA spokesman said yesterday. The blade was inside a slab of chocolate the victim had consumed last week. One piece had been stuck in his palate while he accidentally swallowed the second. The third piece remained with the rest of the chocolate. more..