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Election propaganda in the North low-key

Aug 27 (CT) Election campaigns in the North are carried out in sharp contrast to the other two provinces, also facing the hustings in the 21 September polls. In Vavuniya, Mullativu and Kilinochchi Districts, there is a notable absence of cut-outs and posters of candidates contesting the elections in the Northern Province, unlike the propaganda material that have inundated the North-Western and Central Provinces. more..

Local group promoting sexual violence on Facebook

Aug 27 (DM) Local users of the ‘Facebook’ were appalled when attempts made by them to report and block several pages and groups that promote sexual violence, were not accepted by Facebook administrators. The disturbing trend of ‘rape pages’ on Facebook came into light when several local Facebook users attempted to report and remove one such ‘closed’ group titled, ‘Kellanwa Rape karanna kamathi kollo’ (Boys who like to rape girls) more..

Another batch of Tamil women soldiers enlisted

Aug 27 (MoD) A batch comprised of 45 Tamil and 10 Sinhalese woman soldiers were enlisted into the regular force of Sri Lanka Army at a function held at the Security Forces Headquarters Wanni yesterday. Through a unique recruitment drive the woman soldiers were selected covering Batticoloa, Wanni, Mullithivu and Kandy. Despite the race the Sinhalese woman soldiers are also fluent in speaking Tamil language which would more..

Normality slowly returning to Noori Estate

Aug 27 (ST) A senior police officer in the Deraniyagala police division said a portion of the lands encroached by outsiders had been returned to the Noori Estate management this week. He said of the nearly 250 acres of land encroached, around 50 to 70 acres belonging to the estate had been voluntarily vacated by the encroachers. A survey is yet to be conducted to confirm the exact acreage of land vacated. “Some of the people who more..

Students urge centre to skip CHOGM

Aug 27 (ENS) While various political parties and pro-Tamil activists have been urging the Centre to boycott the Commonwealth Summit held in Sri Lanka, to protest against the island nation’s genocide against the Tamils living there, four law college students have started an indefinite hunger strike here on Monday urging the Central govt to boycott the Commonwealth meet. The third year students of Govt Law College were more..

Korean Prime Minister arrives in Sri Lanka tomorrow

Aug 27 (GDI) The South Korean Prime Minister Jung Hong-won will arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow on an official visit. It is after a lapse of 36 years that a Prime Minister of South Korea is visiting Sri Lanka. The Korean Embassy in Colombo informed that the South Korean Premier is undertaking this visit on an invitation extended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent visit to South Korea. more..

We no longer seek aid but trade: CB Governor

Aug 27 (DM) The Governor of the Central Bank said that Sri Lanka was no longer a country which seeks foreign aid but would only need trade with the international community. “We no longer seek aid. What we want is other countries to trade with us,” said Ajith Nivard Cabraal, addressing an Israeli business delegation now in town on a trade mission. However, economists have pointed out that Sri Lanka is no longer a ‘donor darling’ of the more..

Sri Lanka, Sudan discuss military cooperation

Aug 27 (ST) A Sudanese military delegation is visiting Sri Lanka to discuss joint military cooperation between the armed institutions of the two countries. The Sudanese delegation led by the former secretary general of defence ministry Gen. (Retd) Abdel- Rahman Mohamed Zein was received on Monday by Sri Lanka’s Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The two sides discussed more..

Jaffna to be linked to national grid on Sept. 15

Aug 27 (Island) The Northern Province will, after a lapse of 22 years, receive electricity direct from the national grid when President Rajapaksa inaugurates the linking of the newly built Chunnakam Sub Station to it on Sept 15. The Sub Station will add 63MW of power, though Jaffna’s need remains at some 40MW. The surplus could be passed on to areas nearby. Constructed at a cost of Rs. 1,800 million, the Sub Station would more..

Why Pillay should raise media freedom

Aug 27 (CT) The visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, who is in Sri Lanka on a week-long official tour, is expected to meet a motley group of people representing the govt, including the Head of the State, the opposition, civil society, Tamil political parties, media and so forth. Pillay's visit caused ripples within the govt, soon after her office in Geneva announced her official tour, some weeks back. Within days, the President appointed a special commission more..

Welikade Prison Massacres: Postscript

Aug 27 (CT) Many years have flown since that eventful month of July 1983. But it would be wrong to say that the dark secrets of Welikade prison lie buried in the sands of time. Their effects are still with us. Those who lived through it remain haunted by the experience. Many of the prisoners who survived went on to become militant leaders, who were dedicated to fighting the State. Some in turn became killers. Mr. and Mrs. Nithyananthan rejoined the LTTE in India and left in disillusionment more..

Video: Navi Pillay in Sri Lanka to serve Diaspora - NFF

Aug 27 (AD) The NFF today stated that it does not approve of the decision by the govt to invite the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay to Sri Lanka, on a fact-finding mission. The party’s media spokesman Mohammed Muzammil stated that the govt expects Navi Pillay to come and be impressed by the development achieved in the country and speak favorably towards Sri Lanka regarding allegations of more..

UN-ESCAP boss at South Asia econ summit in Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (LBO) Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP) will deliver the keynote address a regional economic forum in Sri Lanka. The 6th South Asia Economic Summit (SAES), will start in Colombo on Sept 2. The Institute of Policy Studies, a Sri Lanka-based think tank that is organizing the forum said Heyzer has positioned ESCAP to promoting regional co-operation among member Asia-Pacific states more..

Forest fires on the increase

Aug 27 (CT) Environmentalists express concern that the incidence of forest fires in the Central Hill region appear to be on the increase. They allege the fires are deliberate attempts to destroy forest lands, particularly in the Matale and Kandy Districts. This phenomenon accelerates the rate of loss of forest cover in the country and in turn will have a devastating effect on the water resources in the region, they warned. "One of the main reasons for the forest fires occurring in the region is the more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 9.5% in July

Aug 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 9.5% to 98,944 in July 2013 from a year earlier, helped by India, Germany and China, data from the state tourism promotion office said. In the seven months to July visitors were up 12.5% to 611,222. South Asian arrivals rose 24.6% to 20,974 with Indian visitors surging 30% to 15,032, bucking weak trend so far this year. Up to July visitors from India were up only 2.2 percent to 99,013. more..

Army refers Rathupaswala probe report to legal division

Aug 27 (Island) The Army said yesterday that it had referred Court of Inquiry probe report, on the Rathupaswala- Weliweriya shooting incidents, to its legal division for observations. Director Army Media, Brig. K. J. Jayaweera, in a media release said: "The Army-appointed Court of Inquiry (CoI) which inquired into the recent Rathupaswala-Weliweriya incidents, has recorded evidence from 72 witnesses, including clergy, Army and Police personnel, wounded victims, eye witnesses, etc. from Aug. 2-21. more..

Condemn cowardly attack carried out against Mandana’s journalism – NTUC

Aug 27 (LT) A group that was irritable regarding the media practice of Journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema broke into her residence, threatened her with death and terrorized her parents and her daughter and as trade unionists we condemn the act and say it is another malicious and cowardly act of the government states the President of National Trade Union Center (NTUC) Lal Kanthe. The announcement by Mr. Lal Kanthe states: “Journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema has won more..

Vass Gunawardena and 8 others further remanded

Aug 27 (AD) Nine suspects including interdicted DIG Vaas Gunawardena and his son Ravindu, who have been identified as suspects in the murder of businessman Mohamed Siyam, have been further remanded till September 10 by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. ASP Shani Abeysekara of the CID, filing a ‘B Repot’ to court today, stated that the investigations into the murder requires the searching of data contained in the more..

Perfusionists in 48-hour strike

Aug 27 (Island) About 27 perfusionists (heart-lung machine technicians) attached to the Colombo National Hospital, Karapitiya Teaching Hospital and Kandy Teaching Hospital have launched a 48-hour strike from 8.00 a.m. yesterday in protest against the Health Ministry’s failure to respond to three of their demands. All the routine heart surgeries in those hospitals have been postponed, but all emergency heart operations would be performed and perfusionists attached to the LRH more..

Cop who shot robbers tells his story

Aug 27 (Island) The Police Sergeant, who shot dead one of the five intruders, at the residence of The Sunday Leader Associate Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema, said that he had done so in self-defence. Narrating the horrible incident over the phone, Sergeant GP Jayapala said: "We were on a mobile patrol in the Bambalapitiya area during the early hours of last Saturday. A dispatch we received from police said that 119 emergency line had received a complaint of a house break-in more..

Relatives of Sri Lanka's missing vent grievances at U.N.

Aug 27 (Reuters) Protesters in Sri Lanka criticised the United Nations for a second day on Tuesday during a visit by U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay who is assessing rights in a country still divided by a 27-year war. Angry members of the majority Sinhalese community protested in Colombo, calling on Pillay to get out of the country and stop criticising its rights record. Pillay visited the northern town of Jaffna more..

SL group promoting violence against women removed

Aug 27 (CT) A locally operated ‘closed’ group on Facebook titled ‘Kellanwa Rape karanna kamathi kollo’ (Boys who like to rape girls) was repeatedly reported to Facebook Authorities during the last few days, stating that it promoted violence against women. It was reported that the repeated complaints on the group which had around 500+ members escalated yesterday and went viral on all social media networks. Even though, the issue was highlighted on various social media more..

HC extends status quo of deportation of Lankan Tamil refugee

Aug 27 (PTI) The Madras High Court today extended the status quo on deporting Sri Lankan Tamil refugee R Senthuran residing in Pammal at Chennai till September 3. A division bench, comprising Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice C T Selvam, extended the order passed by it on August 23. Senthuran, currently living in Chennai and working in a private firm, has challenged the govt order of August 19 to deport him and two others. The petitioner, who came to India more..

Video: UNP calls for Independent Police Commission

Aug 27 (DM) UNP said the Police Department could not be streamlined and depoliticized just by bringing it under the purview of a new ministry. The UNP said for this to happen it was essential to set up the Independent Police Commission. “We cannot expect the police department to act independently, just by brining it under a new ministry. Independent commissionsas laid down in the 17th Amendment should be set up if more..

BBS goes against RB

Aug 27 (SM) Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena organization ven. Galagoda aththe Gnanasara thero has heavily criticized the protest held by the "Ravana Balaya" organization yesterday against the UN Human rights high commissioner Navi Pillai. He said that by holding a small protest with 30-40 people in front of the UN just for the desire of one minister, at a time when a more effective broad protest could have been held, it gives the message to the international community that more..

'SL loan growth to pick up in second half'

Aug 27 (LBO) Nations Trust Bank expects loan growth to pick up towards the end of the year but the lender will be cautious and maintain liquidity, a top official said. "We estimate some revival in credit demand by fourth quarter of this year," NTB chief executive Renuka Fernando told an investor forum. "Whilst that will help us grow our assets book, one thing we are very conscious of and we have a prudent approach is liquidity. "We will maintain good liquidity levels, as there is strife going on more..

Video: Contaminated injection vials found

Aug 27 (DM) Pieces of glass have been discovered in an injection vial from the Ratnapura Hospital, while a dust-like substance has been discovered in another injection vial from the Padukka Hospital. The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) today revealed this, urging Health Ministry officials to immediately ban the stocks under the relevant batch number of these injection vials. The contaminated injection vial was discovered more..

'Pillai came with the report prepared'

Aug 27 (SM) Monitoring MP Manusha Nanayakkara emphasizes that Ms. Navi Pillai has come to Sri Lanka not to prepare a report on the situation in Sri Lanka as she has already made that report. Govt MPs and ministers express different views on the UN high commissioner's Sri Lankan visit. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that a character like the UN human rights high commissioner, must behave in an unbiased manner. Minister Wimal Weerawansha while speaking at a meeting, more..

Doctor lives in a mortuary

Aug 27 (CT) A doctor who is serving at the Perakumpura Village Hospital in the Giribawa Secretarial Division has been living in a building constructed to house the hospital mortuary for over a year, as he had not been provided with official quarters. Though there is an allocation for the hospital to provide quarters for two doctors, one of the earmarked houses needs to be completely renovated, areas residents said. "This building was supposed to have been constructed in 1973, more..

MP Azwer appointed as Monitory MP of the Ministry of Mass Media

Aug 27 (GDI) MP A.H.M. Azwer has been appointed as a Monitoring MP of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Azwer assumed duties today at the Ministry of Mass Media and Information in the presence of the Minister of Mass Media and Information Keheliya Rambukwella. Speaking at this function, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that he is very happy about appointing Azwer, more..

Negombo beach cries

Aug 28 (NS) Negombo’s prime asset is undoubtedly its beach. Since time immemorial, the beautiful coast which is situated along Lewis Place, away from the busy town of Little Rome, has been a favorite place of recreation to both local and foreign tourists. Beneficiaries of the beach are not the marine fishermen alone. From tour guides to street food vendors, and lovers to families, people utilize the beach in different ways, as mean of fulfilling their diverse necessities. more..

Paying a ‘price’ to be a Moor in Sri Lanka?

Aug 28 (NS) Many of those observing the happenings in Sri Lanka, both here and abroad, thought that post-war Sri Lanka will breed peace and harmony at all levels among all ethnic and religious groups. However, recent development against Moors [also known as Muslims] shattered the hope that Sri Lanka will be paradise for peace. Political science studies on post-war conditions suggest different reasons as to why peace is harder to gain in post war societies where there are more..

'Northern youth rehabilitation program, a huge success'

Aug 28 (SO) The end of nearly three-decades-long war in Sri Lanka with the completion of the humanitarian operation on May 19, 2009 opened a number of challenges to Sri Lanka. The development of the war-torn areas, resettlement of the displaced civilians, bringing back the law and order situation in the North East were among the big challenges the Govt had to face after the completion of the humanitarian operation which more..

Why is PM Singh afraid to commit?

Aug 28 (CT) The Indian Prime Minister's reluctance to make a commitment on his attending CHOGM has piqued the curiosity of many govt party politicians. Arguably, Singh could be seeking a prior commitment from Mahinda that he would not tamper with 13A, now or later. The govt was reported to have reiterated its position that it was firmly committed to making changes to 13A as a matter of policy. The JHU and Wimal Weerawansa's Party which steadfastly opposed elections more..

The Wigneswaran factor in the NPC polls

Aug 28 (CT) Thanks to the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting (CHOGM), which will take place in Colombo in November this year, the govt finally scheduled the much-anticipated election to the Northern Provincial Council (NCP) for 21 September 2013. Elections to the Central as well as the North-Western Provinces will also take place on the same day. If one goes by the recent electoral history, the govt will win the Central and North Western Provinces comfortably. more..

Back to Pera, where it all began

Aug 28 (ST) When well-known dramatist Jayalath Manorathna went to Peradeniya University to accept a Doctorate in Literature (D. Litt) that was conferred on him recently, he was returning to the institution where as an undergraduate, he honed his skills in the field of Sinhala theatre and took the first steps in a journey that has since spanned more than four decades. It was here that the village lad from Dehipe in Hanguranketha more..

Response to Dr. Godfrey Gunatilleke

Aug 28 (CT) With all deference to a man of letters reputed for integrity and objective analysis, I address this communication from a public Forum. The writer confined his critique to a thirty year frame from 1983. Prince Charles said quite correctly, that the most difficult thing for humans to do is to forget the past. Knowing full well that there is neither a picturesque outbreak nor a precise end, I wished that we turn a fresh leaf from 2009, at least when we express our thoughts and anxieties. more..

Whose rights are human rights?

Aug 28 (CT) Ravana Balakaya was on the streets protesting Navi Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka. One banner asked, “Hey Pillay, don’t you have better things to do?” The same tone was seen in the statements of the Govt, state media, and Bodu Bala Sena. When we are born to this World, some say we are born free. Well it is not true. We are born so dependent on many things. We first heavily depend on the care of parents. Parents depend on the care of a society and the care of a constitution of more..

Four-day cricket to the fore

Aug 28 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket has decided to bring the longer version of the game into focus once again from next year. According to senior SLC personnel, the decision has been taken with a view to making the Lankan cricketers adaptable to the longer duration of the game with the 2017 Test championships in England looming in the horizon. The longer version of the game — Provincial four-day tournament which was once heralded to more..

Pillay treading on others’ corns

Aug 28 (Island) Visiting UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay went on record as saying immediately after her arrival on Sunday that she was here not to criticise but to raise human rights concerns. But, the following day itself at a meeting with Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem, she expressed displeasure at the police coming under the newly created Law and Order Ministry, among other things, and went so far as to ask why the police could not be brought under the Ministry of Justice. more..