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Upcoming PC elections: Politicians’ kith and kin fish in troubled waters

Aug 11 (NS) American author and poet Maya Angelou once said “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” There are magazines and TV shows which look for the luckiest persons in different fields. President Rajapaksa is again and again proving that he is one of the luckiest politicians in the world. President Rajapaksa was fortunate to defeat one of the dangerous terrorist organizations militarily under his reign when the entire world formed an opinion that more..

Northerners should not fall prey to sinister forces

Aug 11 (SO) There was a time when almost the entire Northern Province was held by LTTE terrorists and not a single politician or official dared to visit the area. The LTTE not only held those areas forcibly but ran a virtual de facto state with its jungle law. The LTTE had its own Tiger courts, police force, administrative set up, currency and even an air wing with small fixed-wing aircraft under the direction of LTTE chief Prabhakaran, which even bombed strategic locations in the South. more..

NWPC candidates unveil plans

Aug 11 (SO) The Sunday Observer interviewed a candidate each from the UPFA, UNP and JVP contesting the North Western PC elections to find out their political backgrounds, what motivated them to run for the PC membership, views on the jurisdiction of the PC, plans/desires on servicing the local communities and the ultimate political objectives. Susantha Fernando, an up and coming politician contesting from Chilaw more..

How the govt destablises itself

Aug 11 (SL) The Weliweriya tragedy continues to produce a lot of froth, fume and fury that need not have been had those responsible for governance been able to resolve the basic problem, the pollution of ground water in and around the Dipped Products Factory of Hayleys PLC before it blew out of proportion. The basic issue was the allegation that this factory, which has been situated in Nedungamuwa, had been polluting the ground water in and around Rathupaswala area resulting more..

SriLankan’s travails

Aug 11 (Island) SriLankan Airlines hosted a breakfast meeting for the press at Colombo’s plush Kingsbury Hotel to explain the problems the airline is facing and 'the way forward' which necessarily entails very heavy govt expenditure to re-fleet and modernize. No doubt the national carrier was responding to what the parliamentary oversight committee on public enterprise had said in its recently published report about the loss-making airline although this was not explicitly mentioned. more..

'CHOGM will promote Sri Lanka’s image'

Aug 11 (SO) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said after the end of terrorism, the biggest challenge faced by Sri Lanka is to project its image globally. Therefore, the CHOGM would be the ideal forum to promote the country’s image globally and dispel misconceptions on Sri Lanka internationally. He said such wild propaganda has no effect on the country as the CHOGM will be held as decided by the govt. more..

Release the police from their political prison

Aug 11 (ST) Seers predict that in the future, like in the past, wars will be fought over water. For water is life. In ancient times, the Buddha had to engage in conflict resolution time and again between the many clans in northern India over water issues. Once, he told the Litcchavi clan how to settle a dispute by meeting peacefully, discussing peacefully, and dispersing peacefully. Last week’s tragic incident in the Gampaha district still reverberates throughout the country. more..

The Army we love

Aug 11 (ST) My Dear General Daya, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had just assumed office. I suppose congratulations are in order but I’m afraid that you haven’t had an auspicious start to your stint at the top because of everything that happened at Weliveriya last week. I know that it may be unfair to blame you for the shootings at Weliveriya because the ink had hardly dried on the papers you signed assuming office as the new Commander. more..

'Govt will never succumb to sinister moves'

Aug 11 (SL) Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna commenting on the Weliweriya protests that resulted in three deaths and many suffering injuries, says that the incident is being reviewed by the judiciary and there are also independent groups that have been appointed to investigate it. The govt most certainly did not condone that sort of incidents or action and would do everything in its power to prevent the recurrence of such more..


Aug 11 (NS) A judge cannot, or rather is not supposed to, sit in judgment on himself or herself. That’s called ‘conflict of interest’. Take any Annual Report of any large company or business entity that aspires to become a bigger player in the relevant field and you will find a section on ‘Corporate Governance’, where statements are made pertaining to compliance. These include disclosures by decision-makers about stakes in the company, either through ownership or association with more..

Weliveriya incident good fodder for Eelamists

Aug 11 (NS) Weliveriya, a town less than an hour’s drive away from Colombo erupted in fury last week as three of its residents were gunned down by the Army during a protest against the alleged contamination of drinking water in the area. The incident raised a hornet’s nest locally and has the potential to cause embarrassment to the govt internationally as it prepares to play host to the CHOGM later this year. Its timing could not have been worse, occurring on the eve of the more..

'Govt’s dictatorial actions will push country into grave danger'

Aug 11 (SL) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake says that given the recent attack on unarmed protestors in Weliweriya and the statements made by the govt afterwards indicate that even a small protest would be attacked and would end with murder. He observed that the govt is intoxicated by power and that it is this style of governance that has resulted in continuous attacks against people. more..

JKH summons EGM to get shareholder nod for mega project

Aug 11 (Island) John Keells Holdings which has summoned an extraordinary general meeting on August 23 to obtain shareholder approval for a mega transaction involving the investment of over half its assets has told shareholders that the project has been configured to de-risk exposure if there’s a change in the macro environment. "The flexibility incorporated in the configuration of the project as well as the options available in the financial restructuring of the project provide an more..

Weliweriya no more than a debate in the House

Aug 11 (ST) After the tragic events at Weliweriya, one would expect all hell to break loose in Parliament over the issue, but instead, what transpired in the House was a politically correct statement made by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on the incident, and an equally politically correct response from Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. The Opposition Leader in his statement on Tuesday, did raise some pertinent questions such as why the Army, rather than more..

Can we bet on Sanath’s last strand?

Aug 11 (ST) In hindsight it was a wise move by Sanath Jayasuriya to shave his head long before he arrived at the decision to take over as the chief cricket selector of Sri Lanka Cricket. Otherwise he would have been plucking his hair out strand by strand every time one of the young troopers took a bullet in the chest and fell dead. We had a mixed bag in the just concluded series against the strong Proteas. more..

Anatomy of a SL Spring in the making

Aug 11 (Island) If the events of the past few weeks centred around several villages in Rathupaswela in the Gampaha district is anything to go by, we may be seeing the beginnings of the Sri Lankan spring. We saw the snowballing of an issue that did not exist in June this year into an event that has shaken the nation to its very foundations - all in less than two weeks. Things happened so fast, that many people are still unclear as to what really occurred. One way to get our bearings would be more..

Havelock City tops-out two new residential towers

Aug 11 (Island) The largest residential development in Sri Lanka, Havelock City, reached a new milestone in the construction of its two new luxury residential towers, Layards and Davidson, as concrete was poured on the highest point to mark the completion of the structural work. The on-site topping-out ceremony was held in the presence of the Board of Directors and Management of Mireka Capital Land along with representatives from International Construction Consortium, more..

Govt’s arrogance places a nation under threat

Aug 11 (SL) The Weliweriya incident, from the protests that led to the date and afterwards, if nothing are a clear indication of the growing displeasure of the people towards an arrogant govt. The Rajapaksa govt’s decision to unleash the armed forces on unarmed civilians demanding for their basic right of drinking water has been met with much indignation across the country. The common feeling is that there is a more..

Rodney Widanapathirana launches Sri Lankan travel book in London

Aug 11 (Island) Rodney Widanapathirana’s book ‘Sri Lanka Travel Notes’ has become a hit among both the Sri Lankan expatriate community and the British in London. In this book, the author has touched on some of the most unusual, but interesting places to visit in Sri Lanka. With the end of the war, people can now travel freely across the country and there are scores of people visiting Colombo, Kandy, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Batticaloa, Passikuda, Galle, Matara, amongst more..

'Attempt to project wrong impression to the world'

Aug 11 (SO) Minister Johnston Fernando said there is some conspiracy behind the Weliveriya incident to embarrass the Govt and put the country into difficulty. Some extremist force behind this incident is attempting to capitalise on the Weliveriya incident to project a wrong impression to the world community. This Govt led by President Rajapaksa is democratic. Therefore, we call upon those who instigate people not to create such incidents with the intention of toppling the Govt and more..

Tax hike for special permit vehicle imports

Aug 11 (ST) In a desperate move to increase revenue, Sri Lanka’s cash strapped govt has increased the customs duty payable for the importation of vehicles under duty slashed permits issued to senior public sector officials. The Ministry of Finance has issued a new circular in terms of trade tariff and investment policy on the 2nd of August cancelling all previous circulars while completely revising the percentage of taxes more..

TNA blind to Northern fishermen’s problems

Aug 11 (SO) The TNA that is pontificating over the human rights of the Tamils, merely for political mileage, should accept responsibility for the current hardships and livelihood problems faced by the Northern fishermen due to poaching, Deputy Minister Sarath Gunaratne said. While political leaders across the Palk Straits continue to make a big hue and cry over the arrest and detention of poachers who have added to the depletion of fish resources in the North, more..

Sri Lanka dithers on National Drug Policy

Aug 11 (NS) Sri Lanka continues to lack a National Drug Policy, despite proposing the implementation of the Senaka Bibile national health policy to the Mahinda Chinthana committee, eight years ago, Minister of Scientific Affairs Prof. Tissa Vitharana said. Minister Vitharana pointed out that the proposal was thereafter included in the Mahinda Chinthana future vision. He alleged that the implementation of the Senaka Bibile national health policy was getting delayed because more..

Fonterra rubbishes SL's 'flawed' testing

Aug 11 (Stuff) Sri Lankan test results for agricultural chemical Dicyandiamide in Fonterra milk products were "off the charts" in comparison to other "extensive" testing according to New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Officials in Colombo have ordered a recall after they say DCD, a nitrate inhibitor used in fertiliser, was found in two batches of imported milk powder. Fonterra disputes DCD traces were present in the product in SL more..

Welikada riot report still delayed

Aug 11 (SL) The report on the Welikada prison riot last year has been further delayed, Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera said. He said that the committee preparing the report is not working full time and so the delay had to be expected. He said that the committee has now given an assurance that the report will be handed over by the end of this month. However the Minister asserted that the report into the November 2012 riot will not be tabled in Parliament. more..

Dilan ready to place a bet

Aug 11 (SL) Minister Dilan Perera says he is ready to place a bet that the UNP will not win the elections in the North, Central and North Western provinces. He that he is ready to make a financial bet on the elections with any UNP members or even the media. He says based on current indications the UNP will even lose some of the votes it received at the last elections. “I am ready to make the bet on the UNP’s performance at national, provincial and Pradeshiya Sabha level. more..

Army’s licence to kill dissent in cold blood

Aug 11 (ST) Family members of two schoolboys killed in the Weliweriya shooting incident, described at the magisterial inquiry on Friday, their nightlong futile search for their children. It was only the following day they were able to get any information, Gampaha Chief Magistrate heard from Priyangika Jayawardena, 35, mother of student Akila Dinesh (17). On hearing the sound of gunfire, she tried to go in search of her son, more..

Venigros was under siege, arson feared

Aug 11 (Island) Dipped Products’ latex glove manufacturing factory Venigros was under siege on the night of July 29 and company officials physically present in the facility feared that the factory would be attacked and possibly set on fire. "It was very, very scary," an executive who was there said. "A policeman who was on duty at the factory was hurt on his forehead and had to be treated in the medical room and kept overnight because he couldn’t get out." Company officials sought assistance more..

Basheer Faces Disciplinary Action

Aug 11 (SL) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is to conduct a disciplinary inquiry against the Minister of Productivity Promotion and Chairman of the SLMC Basheer Segu Dawood. SLMC General Secretary Hassen Ali said that the disciplinary inquiry was initiated as Segu Dawood had accepted a government Ministerial post without the consent of the party. The SLMC General Secretary said that no member of the party can accept a govt post without first discussing it with the party. more..

Tests show contamination

Aug 11 (SL) Tests carried out at Weliweriya near a gloves factory alleged to have released contaminated water, have confirmed that there is some sort of chemical substance in the water and soil. The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau said that soil samples were taken at two locations, one surrounding the gloves factory in Weliweriya and the other further away from the factory. 47 soil samples were taken from more..

Pillay alerted

Aug 11 (SL) The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Navi Pillay has been alerted over the violent incidents which took place in Weliweriya recently and is now in the process of gathering more information. Pillay’s spokesperson Cécile Pouilly said that OHCHR is concerned over the reported incidents in which three people were killed and many others sustained injuries. “We are concerned about reported incidents in the town of Weliweriya, where protesters asking for more..

Joint US, Sri Lanka Medical Camp in Jaffna

Aug 11 (CT) The US Air Force Medical Corps, along with Sri Lankan Tri Services personnel, conducted a Medical Camp in Jaffna yesterday. A total number of 27 US Air Force Medical Corps personnel, including four doctors and 23 nurses, along with a total number of 34 personnel from the Medical Corps of the Lankan Tri Services, including three doctors and 31 nurses, participated at the Medical Camp held at the Saivaprakasa Vidyalaya in Atchelu, Jaffna yesterday. more..

Curfew in Grandpass after attack on mosque

Aug 11 (NS) The tense situation in Grandpass which erupted following an alleged attempt by a group of persons to damage a Mosque, started to ease a little while ago after Police imposed a curfew in the area till 7 am tomorrow. Presence of the police, riot squad, and STF was visible in the area surrounding the Mosque down Swarna Chaithya Road, Grandpass. Residents claimed a group of outsiders had earlier attempted to more..

MV Logos Hope returns to Sri Lanka

Aug 11 (Island) Two years ago, MV Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair was opened to the public and welcomed over 96,000 visitors. Now Logos Hope is returning back to Colombo. Logos Hope follows its sister ship Doulos which visited Sri Lanka six times. This larger vessel allows for a wider book selection and more comfortable browsing. The book fair on board Logos Hope offers an expanded selection of over 5,000 books at affordable prices. They cover a range of subjects including more..

Fonterra still busy recalling products

Aug 11 (Island) The Anchor brand’s custodian, Fonterra, was still in the midst of recalling its products following a Health Ministry directive, a company official said yesterday. "We have recalled most of the products from the two batches : 107610163 and 0605C0883 and are continuing our efforts", said Dr. Sanath Mahavithanage, Associate Director Regulatory and Scientific Affairs of Fonterra here. On Thursday, Leon Clement, Managing Director Fonterra confirmed that more..

Weliweriya worsens govt.’s woes worldwide

Aug 11 (ST) It is ironic but true. The UPFA Govt, through default, is adding to its list of woes over newer rights issues. That it would draw the attention of the international community through next month’s sessions of the UNHRC and thereafter is in little doubt. The latest issues relate to both human rights and the right to worship, both guaranteed by Sri Lanka’s Constitution. The former, amidst other accusations, is the army firing in Weliweriya more..

Sri Lanka's HNB deep discount bond sale to open Aug 23

Aug 11 (LBO) The sale of up to three billion rupees in deep discount bonds by Sri Lanka's Hatton National Bank will open on Aug 23. The bank is offering to 20 million debentures at 100 rupees each, and will issue a further 10 million if more orders are received. The 10 year debt is sold at a discount of 67.715 cents on the rupee. The bonds are unsecured, but are senior debt, meaning they will rank above any subordinated debt. Fitch Ratings had give the proposed bond an expected more..

Foreigners running unlicensed hotels nabbed

Aug 11 (NS) A special investigation unit attached to the Immigration and Emigration Department has received information that an organized racket of running hotels, restaurants and lodging places without following the due registration process. A team of foreigners has engaged in the business in the areas where foreigners are mostly traversing hiring rented out hotels and restaurants. Immigration and Emigration Department officials have raided such a place in Arugam Bay and more..

Fishermen threaten to seek ‘asylum’ in SL

Aug 11 (Hindu) Frustrated by the frequent arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy and the delay in their release, fishermen here on Saturday said that they might have to seek ‘asylum’ in Sri Lanka if the govts at the State and Centre fail to secure the release of 65 fishermen currently in prison in the island nation. Members of the fishing community belonging to eight habitations of the Nagapattinam block, more..

Talk at the cafe Spectator

Aug 11 (ST) Before embarking on a her latest trip to London, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ruffled feathers at the highest levels of the UPFA Govt. She was the subject of concern among the leadership who wondered whether she was making a re-entry to politics. However, a source close to her said that was far from the truth. At a private party she hosted recently, she was asked this same question by more..