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'Socialism is the only solution for communalism'

Aug 19 (LT) The govt that is unable to give drinking water to the people could never defeat communalism says the General Secretary of eh JVP Tilvin Silva adding that only a socialist system would be able to eradicate communalism from the society. Speaking a a seminar held in Gampaha Tilvin Silva said the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim masses should struggle hard to defeat communalism completely. Hesaid, “The solutions capitalist class and imperialism have for communalism more..

'Some considered missing given new identities, living abroad'

Aug 19 (Island) Some of those categorised as missing during the conflict were living under new identities abroad, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He said that Canada had deported a person categorised as missing during the war. Responding to a query, he said that the mother of the deportee had earlier claimed that she wasn’t aware of her son’s whereabouts since the conclusion of the conflict. more..

Shifting the burden of proof on the people

Aug 19 (AHRC) The killings at Rathupaswela, Weliweriya have brought into sharp focus the crisis of the rule of law in Sri Lanka. The burden of proving the allegation of being killed or otherwise seriously injured by the actions of the military has now been shifted to the people. Meanwhile the people live in fear of reprisals due to being witnesses to these assaults by the military. It is one of the basic principles that all crimes are crimes against the state. Whether these are crimes by civilians more..

Member of killer duo caught by victim’s sons

Aug 19 (Island) Residents apprehended one of the two suspects involved in shooting and killing of a planter of Keranketiya, Lelwala on Saturday and handed him over to the Neluwa police. The deceased has been identified as B. L. Karunaratne (59), known in the area as a tea planter and money lender. The two suspects had arrived on motor bike at the house of the victim at around 7 p.m. on Saturday. They held Karunaratne’s wife and two sons at gun point and locked the two sons more..

AIADMK, DMK say PM should not attend CHOGM meet in Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (PTI) AIADMK and DMK today joined hands in Rajya Sabha to demand that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should not attend Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka in November. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, V Maitreyan (AIADMK) said his party chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha also wrote two letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard but no reply was given by the PMO. more..

Rs 47 M of Samurdhi lottery money still unclaimed

Aug 19 (CT) The Samurdhi Authority said that most of the unclaimed monies due to Samurdhi lottery winners have been distributed, and only a sum of Rs 47 million remains to be claimed. The report by the COPE for 2013 stated that according to the Auditor General’s report, a sum of money exceeding Rs 138 million has not been claimed since April 2012. Director General of the Samurdhi Authority, Bandula Thilakasiri saidthat the sum quoted in the COPE report of 2012 has come down, more..

India urges Sri Lanka for early return of Indian fishermen

Aug 19 (IANS) India Monday urged Sri Lanka for the early return of Indian fishermen and also stressed on the need for Colombo to stand by its commitment not to dilute the 13th Amendment on devolution of powers to provinces. This was emphasized during the meeting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with visiting External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris here. Peiris, who arrived here Sunday evening, handed over to the prime minister a letter of invitation for the CHOGM Summit to be held in Colombo more..

Video: Govt. attempting to frame JVP for Rathupaswala incident

Aug 19 (AD) The govt is attempting to heap the blame for the Rathupaswala incident on the JVP while hiding the truth, JVP Propaganda Secretary MP Vijitha Herath stated. He said that the govt had launched an unsuccessful bid to frame the JVP for the situation in Rathupaswala. He further demanded that the govt ensure justice for the people of Rathupaswala while adding that he cannot endorse the Army conducting more..

Tuk-tuk drivers up in arms against new regulations

Aug 19 (NS) Three wheeler unions are up in arms against the new regulations for three wheelers which necessitate them to adhere to a maximum speed limit and seating specifications for passengers. Federation of National Three-wheeler Service Providers (FNTSP) stressed that they could not accept new regulations, although they see some plus points in certain clauses. The Federation is a collective of a number of three wheeler unions, including the All Island Three-wheeler more..

Sri Lanka targets US$1 billion from gem and jewellery exports

Aug 19 (ST) Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exports are to be further boosted in European, Asian and the Middle Eastern countries with the establishment of new business contacts with leading gem traders through international gem and jewellery shows like FACETS, a top official of the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association said. “Our forecast is very positive for the next five years and beyond,” he said adding that the business partnership will only continue to grow, nurtured – in part at least more..

U.S. Embassy grants $40,120 to Department of Archeology

Aug 19 (USE) The U.S. Embassy, through its Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation program, is granting $40,120 for the conservation of archeological materials to the Department of Archeology in Colombo, today. This project will promote new and enhanced conservation standards by building physical and professional capabilities to preserve and manage public archaeological collections. more..

Karunanidhi wants Centre to connect 1974 agreement with 1984 accord

Aug 19 (PTI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi today drew the Centre's attention to a media report, which connected 1984 accord on 13th amendment with 1974 agreement for ceding of Kachchatheevu island to Sri Lanka and wanted the Centre and Congress leaders to think and act over it. He referred to 'Desiya Murasu' editor Gopanna's article, which wanted the Centre not to honour 1974 agreement on ceding of Kachchatheevu, if President Rajapaksa refused to honour 1984 Indo Lankan more..

Army denies intimidating witnesses

Aug 19 (ST) Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya denied that troops were intimidating witnesses, and said they issued summonses in the interests of a fair inquiry and to corroborate evidence gathered so far. Sri Lankan media rights group, the Free Media Movement (FMM) on Sunday accused the military of intimidating journalists who reported a deadly army crackdown on villagers protesting at contaminated water supplies. FMM said the army summoned reporters, photographers and more..

G.L briefs Manmohan

Aug 19 (CG) External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris briefed Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in New Delhi today on the post war developments in Sri Lanka, the External Affairs Ministry said. The discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Prof G.L. Peiris included a range of matters such as cooperation with regard to the economy, development and the rehabilitation process. more..

The Right Royal Strike

Aug 20 (NS) Minister Bandula Gunawardene at a public function said that her behavior cannot be accepted and unbecoming of a teacher. Minister further had stressed that her transfer to Isipathana Vidyalaya remained valid and a departmental disciplinary inquiry would continue. “It was a fair transfer. It is the duty of the Education Ministry to transfer a teacher who had served for more than eight years in one school. Since this teacher has violated the standard procedures more..

No, you can’t have jam yet prof. Sitrampalam!

Aug 20 (CT) Professor S.K Sitrampalam is the former professor of history in the University of Jaffna, a vice president of ITAK (euphemistically known as the Federal Party) and a specialist in South Asian history and Archaeology. He can be relied on… To take your breath away by bizarre displays of ignorance that is hard to explain away even with the excuse; ‘nationalist historian’. Unless ‘nationalist historian’ is a polite euphemism that really means ‘unsound operative’. more..

Today is Nikini Poya day

Aug 20 (DN) The Nikini Poya is connected with “Vas” - Rains Retreat or Monsoon season Retreat. It is the period of three months, in the monsoon season, during which monks (Bhikkus) and Nuns (Bhikkunis) are expected to reside one place in Indoors and devote themselves with their practice. The Mahayana Buddhist believe it as the end Rains Retreat coincides with Ullambana/Obon Festival (Festival of the Hungry Ghosts). more..

Right to Information – Mea Culpa

Aug 20 (NS) Sri Lanka Press Institute last week organized a panel discussion on right to information where Kevin M. Goldberg, a general counsel of the American Society of News Editors, gave the keynote address. The American journalist turned lawyer gave some insight into the importance of right to information and the manner in which the Sri Lankan media should pursue it. His patronizing speech should be analyzed in the light of the recent developments arising from the NSA and more..

Some serious questions about the ‘Gemunu Incident’ at Yala

Aug 20 (DBS) On the evening of August 17 news began to filter in that Gemunu, the iconic and infamous elephant of Yala National Park had been shot by someone, and was injured. Subsequent reports, confirmed by the DWC, said that a group of unknown persons carrying firearms , had come across Gemunu inside the park, and when the tusker had engaged in his ‘usual antics’, they had panicked and shot at him. Now Gemunu has earned quite a reputation of late, for raiding visitors’ more..

'Developing a joint strategy vital for the Forces'

Aug 20 (SO) Speaking elaborately for the first time to the media after being appointed as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Jagath Jayasuriya said that the next few months of the year will be crucial for the Security Forces. With the CHOGM coming up in November, Northern elections and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillai's visit, this is the time when many issues may crop up. more..

LTTE cadres who surrendered to the Army: Where are they?

Aug 20 (CT) The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its latest report has slammed the Sri Lankan government for failure to make real progress in holding accountable those responsible for the execution style slaying of 17 aid workers on August 4, 2006 despite renewed international calls for action. Seven years have elapsed but the perpetrators responsible for the death of 17 aid workers have not been brought to justice. And this in a country which boasts about 2,300 years old more..

Time to overhaul All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulama to restore its integrity and dignity

Aug 20 (DBS) Predominantly Muslim area of Kinniya is located in the north east coast of the island. Around 98 percent of the population there are Muslims. They belong to all walks of life from religious scholars, educationists, traders, farmers and fishermen to number of other professions. The entire atmosphere changes during the Holy Month of Ramadan with people getting deeply involved in fasting and night prayers. This is one area where the moon was sighted frequently on the basis of more..

Beyond Boston with Dharmasiri Bandaranayake

Weliweriya, part and parcel of life in Sri Lanka?

Aug 20 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs who also (to the eternal shame of his students) was a professor of law and a past Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University surpassed himself last week by his nonchalant announcement that the ‘Weliweriya incidents’ were ‘part and parcel of life’. This claim, which is as brazen as it is bizarre, deserves scrutiny as it sums up the entire thinking of the Rajapaksa administration which the Minister represents. It is not merely some off-the-cuff remark more..

Internal change is the best and maybe only hope

Aug 20 (Island) With a month remaining before Provincial Council elections to the Northwestern, Central and Northern provinces, the trends are clear. In the two ethnic majority Sinhalese provinces, the main battle appears to be within the govt alliance itself. Most if not nearly all of the incidents of election-related violence being reported by election monitors are intra-party ones. It appears that the govt candidates see each other as being the bigger threat to their personal victories more..

Govt. puts on best face ahead of CHOGM, Pillay visit

Aug 20 (CT) With two crucial events in its political calendar, the govt is trying to put on its best face to the world. It has vouched to retrain itself as it braces for more troubles. The two events are the forthcoming visit by the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, later this month and the CHOGM scheduled for November this year. A visit by Pillay, who has been vocal in her criticism of the govt’s human rights record, has been more..

Of that paper pyre

Aug 20 (Island) Several Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) officials are up the creek, having burnt a slew of files at, of all places, the Borella Cemetery. It is believed that they tried to wipe out the evidence of some rackets. Thankfully, some files were saved and Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil has promised a probe into the incident. Opinion is divided on the burning of CMC files. It is being claimed in some quarters that permission had been obtained to destroy some documents, but more..

North is not just for Tamils

Aug 20 (CT) On 10 August, a mob threw a few stones at a store in Grandpass, Colombo, temporarily used for prayers during the month of Ramazan. This incident created headlines in both local and foreign media. On the same night, another mob threw a grenade at a Buddhist Temple in Nawakkulam, Jaffna, intimidating the Sinhalese in the village to leave the North. Unfortunately, a grenade is not as dangerous as stones, to attract the attention of the media. more..

Political violence in Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (GV) Prosterman in 1976 estimated that some 68 million people have perished from all forms of deliberate human violence from 1820 to 1970. Zimmerman in 2013 found that if the victims of state violence suffering from pogroms, brutal repression, and other forms of state coercion were added, the figure would be more than double this. The discussion herein is limited to socio-structural conditions of political violence, more..

On no-balling the Day-Night Test match

Aug 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has shot down a suggestion by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to engage in the first ever Day-Night Test match when the teams meet in the UAE, for a three match series in December and January. SLC argues that Sri Lanka’s top cricketers aren’t in favour of playing a Day-Night Test match as they have not had any experience of playing with the pink or the orange ball. The players’ concerns are understood. They don’t want to take a Test match lightly more..

IFRS experts in Colombo to conduct CA Sri Lanka workshops

Aug 20 (Island) Two well-renowned International Financial Reporting Standard Experts (IFRS) arrived in Colombo to conduct a series of programmes on the invitation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka). Well versed foreign experts Darrel Scott, board member of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Chairman of the SME Implementation Group and Michael Wells, Director of the IFRS Education Initiative will conduct a more..

Economic imbalances building up in Sri Lanka -S&P

Aug 20 (Island) The economic imbalances are building up in Sri Lanka with the pickup of the private sector credit, which accelerated to 28% annually for 2 consecutive years though slowed down due to the central bank directive to lower it to below 20% was still higher than the nominal GDP growth, and was expected it to remain low in the current fiscal year, a senior analyst said. Standard and Poor’s Managing Director and more..

ASIO reverses adverse finding against Tamil refugee detained for four years

Aug 20 (CT) A Tamil refugee detained for more than four years in immigration detention as a security threat is now free. ASIO has unexpectedly withdrawn its secret assessment that the man - who lost one leg below the knee in a bomb blast during Sri Lanka's civil war - could pose a risk to Australia's national security. It is the second time this year ASIO has changed its assessment. The Rudd govt has used adverse ASIO assessments to keep almost 50 recognised refugees in more..

Lankan statement on fishermen signifies rising tension on maritime boundary

Aug 20 (TOI) In the two years up to the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, less than 400 Indian fishermen were arrested for breaching the maritime boundary line with India's island neighbour. In the four years since, more than 1200 fishermen have ended up in Lankan jails. That in a nutshell explains how sensitive the maritime boundary line between India and Sri Lanka has become. The announcement by minister G L Peiris that Colombo will detain and prosecute Indian fishermen, more..

Sri Lanka minister promises to prioritize Tamil repatriation in 2014

Aug 20 (IRIN) Sri Lanka says it will prioritize the repatriation of thousands of Tamil refugees in India next year, more than four years after the 1983-2009 civil war. “In 2014, the govt will introduce a repatriation programme because Sri Lankan refugees living in Tamil Nadu will be our next priority,” Minister of Resettlement Gunaratne Weerakoon told IRIN. There are more than 100,000 ethnic Tamil Sri Lankans in Tamil Nadu, more..

CTU cries foul over new Teacher Transfer Policy

Aug 20 (CT) A new draft for a National Teacher Transfer policy has been drawn up by the Education Ministry, disregarding the previous policy which had been overlooked in the last three years, teachers' unions alleged. According to the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU), the new draft makes concessions for all the transfer notices issued by the Education Ministry over the last few years. General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin, charged that the new Transfer Policy was made to smoothen over more..

'IT literacy rate has exceeded 42%'

Aug 20 (FT) IT literacy in the country, which was below 4% when President Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office in November 2005, has reached above 42% due to extensive measures taken by the President to develop an IT literate generation which can face any future challenge. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said that the President’s vision to bring information technology to the village has borne fruit and the country’s IT literacy has reached above 42%. more..

Court bans protest during Hindu festival

Aug 20 (KT) A Sri Lankan court has banned holding of protest demonstrations against the sacrificial ritual on Wednesday as part of the ongoing annual festival of a Hindu temple in Chilaw in northwest of the country. Thousands of Hindu devotees flock to Sri Badrakali Amman Kovil in Munneswaram every year and sacrifice hundreds of goats and thousands of chicken to appease the deity Kali. This ritual by the Hindu more..

Wildlife law enforcers locked out

Aug 20 (Island) Wildlife Conservation Department officials are puzzled over the delay in reopening its most important branch, Law and Enforcement Division, which was sealed following the loss of a register on tamed elephants last week. Official said that the Division would be reopened on Friday. Expressing concern over the delay, he said, it was only a CR book which had some six registrations. They had five record books in addition to the main registry - a massive book. more..

Sri Lanka Dockyard net down 73%

Aug 20 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard, a unit of Onomichi of Japan said profits fell 73% to 114 million rupees in the June 2013 quarter from a year earlier amid a drop in revenues. The group reported earnings of 1.61 per share. For the six months to June Dockyard reported earnings of 6.29 rupees per share on total profits of 453 million rupees which were down from 1.17 billion rupees. The group said revenues dropped 9% to 3.6 billion rupees and direct costs rose 6% to 3.2 billion rupees, more..