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CEJ sounds alarm over skin whitening creams

Sept 29 (Island) The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) has warned the public against the use of some skin whitening products which contain mercury. CEJ Executive Director Hemantha Withanage said: "A lot of people, especially women, use skin whitening cosmetic products to get rid of spots or freckles. Such products are available in the local market and many of them come from China and the Philippine." A study by the CEJ more..

‘DIG’s son’ arrested for assault

Sept 29 (Island) The police arrested a man who had assaulted a shop employee in the Kurunegala town yesterday. The suspect had told the trade centre that he was the son of a DIG. The police also arrested another suspect, who had accompanied the assailants. The suspect had gone to the shop with his wife to buy some items. An employee from another shop, who was there at that time, had accidentally knocked against the wife. That had caused the suspect to fly into a rage more..

LTTE in fresh ‘offensive’ ahead of Geneva confab

Sept 29 (Island) A fresh LTTE initiative is underway ahead of Sri Lanka’s forthcoming Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UNHRC in Geneva to press for an international war crimes inquiry. The UPR was created through the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006 by resolution 60/251, which established the UNHRC itself. The UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) is spearheading the campaign with the TNA, more..

Alcoholic prisoner hangs himself

Sept 29 (CT) A Mahara Prison inmate has committed suicide by hanging from an iron window frame, in a special prison ward in the prison hospital, using the waistband of his jumper. Deceased, 47-year-old Atula Rohana, was a convicted felon serving a prison term for possession of illicit liquor, as he was unable to pay the fine imposed on him by the Court. It is reported that he was heavily addicted to alcohol and that in recent times he had suffered from mental derangement and therefore, he had been transferred to a special ward in the more..

Buddhist marvels yet to be declared World Heritage

Sept 29 (TOI) The main objective of the three-day International Buddhist Conclave, which will see the participation of delegates from several countries, people associated with tourism, and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials is to promote Buddhist Circuit in India. It therefore goes without saying that proper conservation and development of ancient sites of Buddhist importance in will be the integral part of the promotion of Buddhist Circuit. Sarnath and Kushinagar in more..

Smugglers use Sri Lanka as transit point to pump in gold

Sept 29 (TOI) Sri Lanka seems to have become a transit point for smugglers bringing gold here from places like Dubai and Singapore. In the past month, bureau of immigration officials at Chennai airport arrested 13 people, including several Sri Lankan Tamils, and seized 3.5kg of gold. At least 30kg of gold has been recovered at Chennai airport from smugglers so far this year. A senior immigration officer confirmed the new route. more..

Now that was a Cricket Match

Sept 29 (WSJ) Say what you like, Test cricket purists, against the brash young upstart that is Twenty20 cricket, but I dare you to argue that the first round of the Super Eights stage at the ICC World T20 wasn’t an absolute thriller. The first match, between host Sri Lanka and New Zealand, was a particular gem. It was so close that it had to be decided in a “super over” as the scores were tied at 174 from the allotted 20 overs – only the second draw in World T20 history after the one more..

Five years RI for throwing excreta in court

Sept 29 (Island) Chilaw Provincial High Court Judge Malini Gunaratne on Thursday sentenced a man to five years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of Court. The accused, Jayasuriya Kuranage Sudath Nishantha, of Bodhiyapura Dankoktuwa, Bujampala Bodhiyapura pleaded guilty to the charge. He had thrown a parcel of excreta towards the High Court Judge when he was brought to Court for a hearing on a molestation charge on August 22. He was fined Rs. 50,000 and given a further more..

Cheerleaders? More like cats on a hot tin roof

Sept 29 (HT) Twenty20 is a format envisaged as a meeting point of the best popular attractions in the game - slam-bang cricket, loud music in the background and beauties in skimpy dresses to lead the cheering squad. The cheerleaders have proved to be huge crowd-pullers and have usually been found too hot to handle in all the editions of the World Twenty20, from the South African beauties in 2007 to the Caribbean bomb-shells more..

Singaporean project to boost SL construction sector

Sept 29 (NS) The BoI of Sri Lanka signed an agreement with Fonda Global Engineering Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (FGEL), a leading engineering and construction company from Singapore aimed at boosting Sri Lanka’s construction skills and productivity. Accordingly, FGEL is to set up a training and testing center that will create in Sri Lanka, a pool of technically qualified workers, whose skills will not only meet pressing requirements of the local industry, but thanks to their obtaining more..

Sampath in Rs. 1.5bn debt issue

Sept 29 (Island) Sampath Bank is launching a five year debenture worth Rs. 1.5 billion with an option to increase it by a further rupees one billion if the issue is oversubscribed. The issue will open on October 4th. The debentures have been rated A + (lka) by Fitch Rating (Lanka) Limited and will be listed on the main board of the CSE. This debenture issue is an attractive investment opportunity for investors and general public as it offers three interest rate optionsto choose from as follows; * Fixed interest rate of 15.00% p.a. payable monthly more..

‘FUTA protest politicized’

Sept 29 (DN) The University Academics’ Association to Protect the Rights of Children yesterday condemning the FUTA action said this could lead to the destruction of the university education system. Addressing the media, university academics said the university lectures’ protest is fully politicized and their demands impracticable. Open University lecturer Nimsiri Jayasinghe said the demand for allocating 6% of the GDP to education is also not reasonable. more..

PEOI: Optimism picks up in August

Sept 29 (FT) The Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI) picked up a bit in August after its steep fall in July to one of its lowest values in the last 12 months. Index compiler the Foundation for Economic Freedom in Sri Lanka (FEFSL) said it was significant that the PEOI is still languishing in the ‘relatively pessimistic’ territory at 1.72 unable to move up to the ‘relatively optimistic’ territory of above 2.0 since its inception in July 2011. "In fact the current level of optimism about more..

Arjuna inspires Sri Lankan women

Sept 29 (Island) World Cup winning Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga yesterday made a surprise visit to Galle to see Sri Lanka’s women’s cricket team play West Indies and his presence inspired the ladies to pull off a stunning five run win over the strong West Indies side. Ranatunga during his tenure as SLC Chairman in 2008 had put in place several measures to help school cricket and women’s cricket and out of curiosity he had made the visit to see how Sashikala Siriwardene’s more..

T20 SL v WI: Spin-heavy teams meet with semi-final implications

Sept 29 (CI) Sri Lanka and West Indies have hardly had highlight moments when playing each other. Their most talked-about match is actually one that didn't happen, when West Indies refused to tour during the 1996 World Cup. There is Viv Richards' 181 not out, there is Brian Lara's 169 and his superlative Test tour of Sri Lanka in 2001, there are Muttiah Muralitharan's exploits and Shivnarine Chanderpaul's finish more..

Australia sends 31 Lankan illegal’s to Nauru

Sept 29 (Island) 31 Sri Lankan men were among the fifth group of illegal immigrants trying to enter Australia, transferred to Nauru from the mainland, Darwin yesterday. The group left Darwin on Thursday on a chartered aircraft escorted by the Australian Federal Police, Department of Immigration and Citizenship staff, interpreters and medical personnel. They arrived in Nauru yesterday. Asylum seekers who arrived after the August 13 changes are subject to new regional processing arrangements, more..

We will fight to the end - SF

Sept 29 (DM) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who participated at the rally organised by University lecturers vowed to continue the struggle for the benefit of the future generations in Sri Lanka. He said the education sector was now facing a severe crisis. “All of us have gathered here under one banner to ensure that the govt allocates 6% GDP on education. The politicians of this country have continued to think only about the future of their children often neglecting the needs of the rest of the children of this country. more..

Venerable Intervention?

Sept 29 (CT) The chief incumbents of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters have requested the Higher Education Ministry and the FUTA, to arrive at a solution, taking into account the future of the country’s youth, while adding; the incumbents’ willingness to act as mediators. The request was part of a letter sent to both parties concerned by the most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera of the Malwatte Chapter and Udugama Sri Buddharkkhita of the Asgiriya Chapter. more..

Editorial: Hands off the Judiciary

Sept 29 (DM) Despite periodic misjudgments and some party politicisation, the judiciary after the 1978 constitution for the executive presidency has been the last bastion of democracy. The first executive president J.R. Jayewardene for the first time appointed a private lawyer Neville Samarakoon as the Chief Justice. Though it was unprecedented there was little opposition to the appointment of Mr. Samarakoon as he was one of the best lawyers. What happened after that more..

A lullaby for Alan Keenan

Sept 29 (CT) Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka Project Director at the International Crisis Group, is doing his job. Good on him. The man has penned some thoughts: ‘Sri Lanka: time for action, not action plans’. It’s all about the Sri Lankan Govt not doing what Keenan thinks it ought to do. This is not the first time that I’ve written about the man. A year ago I referred to him in an article titled ’Towards a post-complicit moment for those in pre-slumber slumber’ as part of a series on self-appointed Grand more..

Are father and son above the law?

Sept 29 (LB) Many now believe that Minister Mervyn Silva and his son Malaka Silva are above the law and law enforcement authorities which on the other had seem ever too keen on implementing the law in its strictest form when it concerns ordinary citizens and opposition party politicians. Malaka Silva and his gang had handed themselves over to the Slave Island police on Sept 17, before being imprisoned after having being produced before the chief magistrate court of Colombo. more..

Prisoner rights violated, charge HR lawyers

Sept 29 (ST) Imposition of unlawful sentences by some magistrates and procedural anomalies in the criminal justice system, are violating the rights of accused, claimed human rights (HR) lawyers. Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution guarantee Sri Lankans equal protection of the law and freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention, punishment and prohibition of retroactive penal legislation. However, HR lawyers point out flagrant violations of fundamental rights by the more..

Shifting Of Buddhist Affairs Department Opposed

Sept 29 (SL) Questions have been raised on the shifting of the Regional Buddhist Affairs Department in Kandy. In a letter dated September 19, 2012 to Deputy Commissioner Buddhist Affairs Regional Office Kandy, Commissioner General Buddhist Affairs Chandraprema Gamage has stated that the building in which the Buddhist Affairs Regional Office Kandy is housed is to be handed over to the Police Department. more..

UNP tries to woo JVP But JVP does not favour alliance

Sept 29 (DM) The Supreme Court ruled recently that the ‘Divi Neguma Bill’ should be referred to the provincial councils for approval before being enacted in Parliament. The Court’s ruling was communicated to Parliament by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa last week. The Bill was the brainchild of Minister Basil Rajapaksa who, according to the critiques of the Bill, sought to centralize powers already devolved to local govt bodies and more..

Jail term for operating buses without bilingual destination boards

Sept 29 (Island) The Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration said that it had issued instructions to the Police to take legal action against bus operators who failed to display the destination boards in Sinhala and Tamil. The Ministry had repeatedly instructed the Private Bus Operators’ Association, Passenger Transport Authority and the Sri Lanka Transport Board to instruct all bus operators including the SLTB more..

Measured State Intervention for Economic Development — GL

Sept 29 (Island) For a country to enjoy the fruits of economic development to the fullest, there is a need for measured intervention by a Govt to ensure that benefits are not restricted to urban areas but also reach the rural hinterland, said Minister G.L. Peiris. Addressing the World Leadership Forum of the US Foreign Policy Association, a think tank established in 1918, in New York yesterday Professor Peiris, referring to more..

JSC secretary says danger to their security

Sept 29 (DM) Judicial Service Commission (JSC) Secretary Manjula Tillekaratne said yesterday there was a danger to the security of all of them and their families beginning from the person holding the highest position in the judicial system. “A situation has arisen where there is a danger to the security of all of us and our families beginning from the person holding the highest position in the judicial system,” Mr. Tillekaratne said. more..

Second asylum boat returns to Sri Lanka

Sept 29 (Age) A second group of Sri Lankan men left Christmas Island this morning haven chosen to return to Colombo rather than be sent to Nauru while their claims for asylum were processed. “Regular transfers to Nauru and more Sri Lankans returning home is further proof that people smugglers only sell lies and make false promises about what awaits people in Australia," the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, said. more..

India to discuss Kudankulam safety with Sri Lanka

Sept 29 (TOI) Taken aback by what it describes as "propaganda'' in Sri Lanka against the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, India has offered to discuss the safety aspect of the pressurized water reactors with Lankan authorities. The dialogue mechanism between the two nations for cooperation on nuclear issues will include talks on Kudankulam safety when a Sri Lankan committee visits India later this year. more..

LTTE continues to be a threat: India

Sept 29 (Hindu) Justifying the continuation of the ban on the LTTE, the Union govt on Friday asserted that the banned organisation continued to be a threat to the country’s sovereignty and integrity. Immediately after the assassination of the former PM, Rajiv Gandhi in May 1991, the Union govt, which had imposed the ban on the LTTE for the first time in May 1992, had been extending it every two years under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Act. more..

Playing democracy in paradise

Sept 29 (CT) The middle class in Sri Lanka has shrunk to “an all-time low” while the income of the wealthiest continues to climb. There do not seem to be credible statistics on the poverty rate, with genuine and business-oriented urban beggars swept off their feet and dumped in distant places out of sight and therefore out of mind. The Gini Index, a measure of income inequality, would possibly be at record levels since statistics had been kept, with perhaps a bigger annual increase each more..

Midweek politics: Locked horns, pitched battles and marches of discontent

Sept 29 (CT) The academics are marching. The students are marching. The Muslims are marching. Every day hundreds images of throngs of people shouting slogans and demonstrating blare across television screens, newspapers and of course, the internet. SMS news alerts about road closures and barricades abound as popular discontent rises to the surface through trade union agitation and ethno-religious outrage. In fact, with the opposition more..

Education; learning through the crisis

Sept 29 (DM) Two repeatedly used words in formal and informal conversations in several parts of the country today are education and the acronym, FUTA. Where people gather with seriousness; clarification, explanation and interpretation of the current educational crisis takes place. The media have kept the debate alive with extensive coverage. The good thing about the three-month long FUTA action is that it is educating the people on education. more..

Akuressa PS ex-chairman’s Writ application for support in Appeal Court on Oct. 4

Sept 29 (Island) A Writ Application, filed in the Court of Appeal, by former chairman of the Akuressa Pradeshiya Sabha, Suruwe Liyanage Sunil, will be supported in Court on October 4, 2012. The petitioner had sought a certiorari to quash the gazette notification dated September 15, 2012, issued by the Elections Commissioner, stating that Sunil was unseated from the Pradeshiya Sabha membership and chairman, consequent to the being dismissed from the UPFA. more..

Sri Lankan woman arrested attempting to bribe Kuwaiti cops

Sept 29 (AN) A Sri Lankan woman was arrested recently in Fintas for attempting to bribe police officers for the release of three of her compatriots against whom missing cases were registered, reports Alam Alyawm daily. Reportedly, the woman tried to use ‘wasta’ and other methods for the release of the prisoners but when she failed, she resorted to bribery of KD 300 per prisoner. She was arrested when she gave the amount to the officer after he agreed to accept the bribe. more..

'Democracy has gone to the dogs'

Sept 29 (DM) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara who was recently in the middle of a major controversy speaks about his allegiance, political future, the issue surrounding the alleged assault of an Army officer, the reason behind the lack of political alternatives to the people and much more. Q: What were the positions offered to you by the govt? A: To be honest the President didn’t offer me anything. There was never a discussion between us, but there were certain people who have more..

FUTA strike action: A pessimist’s point of view

Sept 29 (CT) The University Teachers are on strike. Who has heard of such a thing? Probably many since the academics are campaigning actively in the print media. Now they are going from town to town collecting signatures for their allocation of 6% of the GDP for education stance. The common man is being educated on the streets instead of the usual lecture halls. The youtube is filled with little clips explaining the various demands made by the academics and why these are justified. more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo promotes Capital Market

Sept 29 (GDI) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo organized a highly select Seminar mostly consisting of Institutional investors and Ultra High Networth Individuals from the Japan based Bensei Securities as well as other foreign investors. The three hour Seminar, including that of several addresses and speeches, was held at the Conference Hall of the Embassy. The Bensei Securities of Japan has been to Sri Lanka on several occasions and has a firm commitment to invest SLRs. 15 billion more..

IMF – Govt talks over a further loan

Sept 29 (DM) The IMF has offered Sri Lanka another loan package in the wake of the successful completion of the US$2.6 billion Stand-by Arrangement, Central Bank Deputy Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe said yesterday. “A five-member IMF delegation is in Sri Lanka for a routine check on how the country is progressing on development issues and on the utilisation of the SBA. The IMF has offered another package and it is now up to Sri Lanka to decide on the amount more..

Sri Lanka in Bloom held at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris

Sept 29 (GDI) On September 28th, 2012, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Paris held “Sri Lanka in Bloom”, an international photographic exhibition arranged by Sudath Silva, Media Director to the President. The exhibition depicted Sri Lanka’s experience in combating terrorism, as well as the ongoing development activities in the North and East and the beauty of the island. Following the lighting of the traditional oil lamp, Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka delivered a speech in more..