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‘There are pro-LTTE elements in international orgs holding high ranking posts’

Aug 28 (CT) “Defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella asserted that certain international organizations have been “infiltrated by the LTTE” and are helping to spread disinformation. In discussing the widely-publicized statement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanetham (“Navi”) Pillay noting 2,800 civilian deaths and 7,000 injuries, the spokesman claimed: “There are certain pro-LTTE elements in international more..

Lands Minister given time to file objections

Aug 28 (Island) The Court of Appeal, yesterday, gave time till Nov. 7, 2013 to the Minister of Lands Janaka Banadara Tennekoon, the Land Acquiring Officer and Land Surveying Officer both of the Jaffna District, to file objections if any, to the writ application filed by Thomas Saundranayagam, the Bishop of Jaffna and 4,674 other petitioners, against an attempt to acquire 6,381 acres of land in the Jaffna District. The Court re-issued notice on the same respondents, in respect of more..

'Canine weddings: First job of new ministry'

Aug 28 (DM) UNP MP P. Harrison said today the first duty performed by the police, after it was brought under the purview of a new ministry, was to hold a wedding ceremony for dogs. He said this was an example of Govt attempts to make Sri Lanka a miracle of Asia. “Soon after the news of Navi Pillay’s visit to Sri Lanka, the Police Department was brought under the purview of a new Ministry. The first duty performed by the police was to have a wedding ceremony for the canines and more..

Facebook rejects attempts to block offensive group

Aug 28 (CT) Attempts made by several perturbed local users of the popular networking site, Facebook, to block and report certain closed groups that promote sexual violence, had not been accepted by the Facebook administrators. Such unhealthy trends came to light when certain local users involuntarily became members of a particular closed group named Kellanwa rape karanna kamathi kollo (Boys who like to rape girls), more..

Happy birthday, Lasith Malinga: Fast bowler who made sling in turns a year older

Aug 28 (DNA) Lasith Malinga, born on August 28, 1983, is an enigmatic Sri Lankan fast bowler with one of the most unusual bowling actions ever seen. Jaideep Vaidya goes through the career of the man with the slingshot action, popularly known as 'Slinga' Malinga. The batsman takes guard and waits for him to begin his run-up. He sets off: his run-up smoothly transforming from a jog into a sprint, his curly golden-streaked locks swirling in the wind, and by the time he crosses the umpire, more..

Private bus fare hike suspended

Aug 28 (Island) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) yesterday said it was unable to effect the upward bus fare revision from Sept. 01 as planned due to the Cabinet sub-committee blocking its implementation. LPBOA president Gemunu Wijeratne said that though they had threatened to increase fares from Sept. 01, they were now unable to do so as the Minister of Private Bus Transport Services, C. B. Ratnayaka, had not complied. Wijeratne added that the bus fare revision more..

South Korean PM kicks off visit in Sri Lanka to deepen ties

Aug 28 (Xinhua) South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won arrived in Sri Lanka today for an official visit aimed at boosting relations and investment, a statement from the embassy said. The three-day official visit from Aug. 28 to 30 will also see the prime minister visiting new areas on development in the island including a visit to the freshly expanded Colombo port, which is now the deepest harbor in South Asia. more..

Stupid govt deceives masses using pseudo-patriotism – Bimal

Aug 28 (LT) The stupid and secretive govt that deceives people by talking about pseudo patriotism has allowed imperialists to enter the country hiding behind the cloak of Navaneetham Pillai says the Member of the Central Committee of the JVP and the National Organizer of Socialist Youth Union Bimal Rathnayaka. He states despite showing opposition to imperialism on the surface, all undemocratic moves that are carried out by the govt take place with the sanction of imperialists. more..

Attempt at smuggling Viagra, abortion pills thwarted

Aug 28 (Island) The Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) yesterday thwarted an attempt by a 45-year-old man to smuggle into the country through the BIA, approximately 21,000 abortion pills and 1,000 Viagra tablets worth Rs. 2 million. The abortion pills were of different varieties and the smuggler, who posed off as a doctor, had arrived in the country from Mumbai. Customs spokesman said that the smuggler from Ratnapura was carrying a bogus identity card with the Sri Lanka Medical Council logo. more..

Sri Lanka assures transparency with human rights chief

Aug 28 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan govt on Wednesday assured full transparency during the ongoing visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said Pillay was given all that she asked for during her visit and the govt hopes the visit will be an eye opener for her. Pillay arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday and on Tuesday she visited the war-torn north of the country and had discussions more..

Fresh complaints against children’s home under probe

Aug 28 (Island) Fresh complaints have been sent to the National Child Protection Authority, (NCPA) accusing a children’s home, at Bogaspelessa, Tissamaharama, of once again using its inmates to slaughter animals. The NPCA said that it had already deployed officers to investigate the complaints. On a complaint in March this year, the NCPA raided the home on a Court order. It has now got information that nine out of the 90 children it took into its custody in that more..

Eunuchs in UNP disturbs me - Sajith

Aug 28 (SM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa says that there are few Eunuchs in the party who always try to disturb him and when he was preparing to bring a consignment of gifts to be distributed among the people in Kurunegala, those eunuchs stopped it. However, he said that he would never leave his party even if he does not get any position or Responsibility, as he always get stronger, the more he gets attacked. The MP made this comment at a public meeting held at Mavathagama more..

Australia deports 48 Lankans

Aug 28 (CG) A further 48 Sri Lankan unauthorised maritime arrivals (UMAs) returned to Colombo today from Australia after failing to meet Australia’s international obligations, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said. The group, which consisted of 35 single adult males and 13 people in family groups including seven children, departed Christmas Island at 1pm AEST today to be flown back to Colombo. more..

IFS warns against unregulated import of bio-fertilisers

Aug 28 (Island) Harmful Invasive microorganisms could be smuggled into the country through unregulated bio-fertilizer imports by the private sector, the Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) warned yesterday. IFS’s Head of Microbial Biotechnology Prof. Gamini Seneviratne said that some foreign countries were aiming to pollute Sri Lanka’s soil to destroy the country’s agriculture sector. Therefore there was a huge threat of harmful invasive microorganisms being more..

Sri Lanka says six ultradeepwater blocks available

Aug 28 (OGJ) Six ultradeepwater blocks around Sri Lanka’s coastline are available, the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat said on Aug. 27. The blocks range from 18,000 to 26,000 sq km and will be awarded outside the current offshore bid round. Awards will be based on “the experience and capability of the applicant” and the proposed work commitment. The basic framework for the agreement is 2 years for data acquisition, processing, and interpretation, followed by 1 year for more..

Tamil version of 'Madras Cafe' pulled from Canadian theatres

Aug 28 (IANS) Less than a week after its release, the Tamil version of controversial political thriller "Madras Cafe" was pulled from two theatres here due to protests and poor ratings. The movie, which was released across the world Friday, is based on the Sri Lankan civil war and also shows the 1991 assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. Actor John Abraham, who has co-produced the film, also features as an Indian Army intelligence more..

Polls will show people don’t want capitalist parties - Pavithra

Aug 28 (Island) The forthcoming provincial council elections would show that people would not cast their votes to elect a capitalist party, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said on Saturday. She was addressing the Wayamba province Sri Lanka Freedom Party Women’s Association meeting at Hettipola, Kurunegala. The minister said that no one could reverse the forward march of the government and the President would never allow terrorism to raise its head ever again. more..

Sinhalese groups brief Pillay

Aug 28 (CG) Sinhalese civil organizations had talks with the UN High Commissioner for human Right Navi Pillay in Trincomalee today. The Eastern Province Sinhalese Civil Organization met Pillay as part of the scheduled meetings Pillay had in Trincomalee this morning. A source at the Civil Organization said that they had briefed her on some of the atrocities committed by the LTTE during the war. hey also advised her to consider what people living in Sri Lanka say and not what more..

'Govt for media freedom'

Aug 28 (CG) The govt says it has ensured immediate action over some “isolated incidents” to protect media freedom in the country. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella was quoted by his Ministry as saying that the opposition was attempting to highlight isolated incidents as threats to media freedom. He also said that the govt has ensured the smooth functioning of law and order in the country. Meanwhile the Minister also said that certain elements among more..

Radiation level in fish from Japan, Thailand shows increase

Aug 28 (Island) Sri Lanka has not reached the radiation level danger zone but it is time all relevant stakeholders had a thorough knowledge on imported products and investigations were conducted to ascertain the varying radiation levels in the country, a leading scientist says. Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) Sectional Head Wijeya A. Waduge, addressing the first national symposium on Marine Environment yesterday, said the radiation levels, particularly in seafood items more..

MPC polls, opportunity for Tamils to fight for rights

Aug 28 (CT) The TNA Chief Ministerial candidate, C.V. Wigneswaran, speaking at the TNA's first election meeting at Veerasingham Hall, Jaffna, on Monday, said that, the NPC election has created a good opportunity for the Tamils to fight for their political rights with the help of the international community. TNA Leader, R. Sampanthan, presided. From the time nominations had been filed, the TNA had held pocket meetings in Jaffna while also engaging in door-to-door campaigns. more..

Elephants stroll past temples on once-forbidden Sri Lankan coast

Aug 28 (BN) “You’re going to Jaffna? Don’t worry!” My tuk-tuk driver in Colombo, upon hearing that I plan to visit the northern capital of Jaffna, feels compelled to offer reassurance. Jaffna, a former stronghold of the rebel Tamil Tigers, was off-limits during long stretches of the country’s brutal civil war. My driver says he recently made the trip himself, on a freshly paved highway, and that the city and its surroundings are indeed, at long last, safe. more..

A reply to ‘Rising Muslim Militancy’

Aug 29 (NS) It is regrettable that your Newspaper has published an unsigned article with the above caption with racist overtones and malice against the Muslim Community of Sri Lanka. In the absence of a name of the writer, the editor has to assume full responsibility for the article. Your newspaper has become party to the hate mongering and racism manifested by a small group of Sinhala extremist elements that have targeted the Muslim and Christian community in Sri Lanka. more..

SL not a launch pad for Lashkar-e-Taiba

Aug 29 (NS) Recently, some Indian media reports, based on intelligence reports, suggested that the Pakistani based terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is planning to use Sri Lanka as a launch pad to attack Tamil Nadu. The Sri Lankan military immediately rejected these claims which were said to be based on Indian intelligence reports. Sri Lankan Army announced that the entire island was secure and that no armed group could launch any such attack. more..

Imported milk powder still a contentious issue

Aug 29 (SO) As Fonterra Lanka Pvt continues to vigorously refute claims its milk powder was contaminated, in the latest development to the milk powder issue in Sri Lanka, a leading news agency Saturday, has said the New Zealand dairy giant had suspended operations in Sri Lanka temporarily, citing product bans, court cases and angry demonstrations over the milk product. Fonterra CEO, Theo Spierings has been more..

Time for the TNA to step in

Aug 29 (DBS) One of the reasons people dismiss the support of Tamil Nadu politicians for Tamils in Sri Lanka is their complete lack of concern for the immediate welfare of the community. Where they are going to get their next meal doesn’t matter. Unless their problems can be used to blame the Govt, they are ignored. Last week, I said that Karunanidhi was right to focus on the need for a political solution and the full implementation of the 13th Amendment in recent protests aimed at more..

The Right to Life: Is it a fundamental human right?

Aug 29 (GV) “We don’t want the right to vote, just the right to live” the villager said, holding his dying child in his arms. This is the simple truth that seems to elude most development work. The right to life is more intrinsic to humanity than democracy or suffrage. The more we look to science to validate modern society, the more evident becomes the conclusion that humans share the same evolutionary heritage as all other life on this planet: sustaining genetic information through more..

Ananthy meets Pillay as part of the Mannar Citizens Committee delegation

Aug 29 (DBS) Ananthy Sasitharan the wife of “missing” Senior Tiger Leader Sinnathurai Sasitharan alias Ezhilan met visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanethan Pillay in person at Jaffna on Tuesday and spoke to her briefly for five minutes. During the course of this short meeting the 42 year old mother of three children explained briefly the circumstances under which her husband and several other senior more..

What is this about Dicyandiamide?

Aug 29 (GV) Is this is a legitimate problem or it is a problem created by the nationalists who want to get a competitor out of the way? I am confident it is the latter – let me tell you why. First, let me put some thoughts forward, if we are interested in our kids health. 1.Heavy metals, Phthalates and Azo dyes in children’s’ products are banned and very low amount of maximum residue limits are allowed in test reports when these are exported to the US and the EU. But, if we pick up some samples of more..

UNHRC used against countries like Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (Island) The President Rajapaksa, according to newspaper reports, has condemned the practice of certain countries for using the UNHRC against countries like Sri Lanka and Belarus, during his visit to Belarus. This is an important statement by a President of a non western country and the President’s recent attempts to have good relationships with non western countries in Asia, Africa, Europe should be welcomed. The President could play an important role in organizing more..

Boston Lanka: August 29, 2013

The Impeachment: What I said was edited out by Ceylon Today

Aug 29 (CT) Ceylon Today asked several questions with regard to the impeachment. Though its assumption that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was going to meet Shirani Bandaranayaka may have been misplaced, it seemed necessary to answer the questions and also to reproduce the full answers since some of what I said was edited out. 1. Reports indicate that the High Commissioner is going to meet deposed CJ Shirani Bandaranayake during her visit. more..

Mandana, and a contract gone awry

Aug 29 (CT) Why did five men attempt a robbery at Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema‘s house at Dickmans Road, Bambalapitiya on the 24th morning of August? A cursory glance at Mandana’s residence by any sane person could raise many interesting questions. The Ismail Abeywickrema residence, is in fact the last house any would be robber would enter, on Dickmans Road, if they wanted to carry away the biggest booty. It is also the most austere residence along this road. more..

Learning the rules of engagement

Aug 29 (FT) The small strip of coast beside the emerald waters of the Indian Ocean, in the Mullaitivu, was a rapidly shrinking space between Feb-May 2009. The 12-km beach strip that would become a lasting legacy of Sri Lanka’s protracted conflict lies on the left bank of a large lagoon known as Nandikadal. Four years after the end of the war, the thick jungles, waterways and blue-green seas of the Wanni remains largely unexplored more..

Coach backs young Sri Lankan openers

Aug 29 (Island) The ambitions of Sri Lanka Under-23 players to reach the finals of the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup would have gone wrong following their shock defeat in the tournament semi-final, played against Pakistan, in Singapore last week. But coach Sumithra Warnakulasuriya believes the level of competition there will help the young participants in the long run. The eight-nation tournament involved the Under-23 teams of the four Test playing nations of the Asian region while more..

Reimagining higher education in Sri Lanka

Aug 29 (LBO) The following was written as a framing document for the 49th LBO-LBR CEO Forum, held on 27th August 2013. How would you reimagine higher education? Is it centrally planned by the Ministry and the University Grants Commission, or is it a result of decentralized initiative? Imagination is unlimited. But to be of any use, there must be practical methods of getting from where we are now to where we want to be. Multiple imaginings are possible. Here is mine. more..

A car is on offer, but not for the best athlete

Aug 29 (Island) A car is on offer for the athlete who will be breaking a national record (in track and field) at the National Sports Festival, which will be held from September 1-3 at the Jayathilaka Stadium, Nawalapitiya. But the criteria adopted by the officials to offer this attractive prize is likely to become a bone of contention, as there is the possibility of the best athlete of the meet not being considered for the award. more..

Bishop Rayappu to meet Pillay

Aug 29 (CT) The Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, will meet the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navanethem Pillay, at the UN Office in Colombo today. Mannar Bishop has been invited by the UNHR Chief for a meeting to get the details on the humanitarian problems in the Wanni and in the Mannar region. According to sources, the Mannar Bishop is expected to brief Pillay on the humanitarian problems in the post-war scenario including the issues pertaining to more..

EWIS PC manufacturing plant set to offer new wave of ICT jobs in Hambantota

Aug 29 (FT) The EWIS PC manufacturing plant is set to offer new wave of ICT jobs in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota. Member of Parliament Namal Rajapaksa Recently handed out the factory’s first set of appointment orders to 50 local youth. Speaking at the event MP Rajapaksa outlined the country’s ICT vision for 2015, wherein the Government aimed at growing the IT literacy rate from 35% in 2012 to 75% and increase broadband access from 12% in 2012 to 60% by 2015. more..

UNP MP Harsha says falling rupee no aberration

Aug 29 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said the falling rupee is no aberration as described by the CBSL but rather the result of both local and global dynamics. Locally, the currency is coming under severe pressure due to foreign currency payments that need to be made on account of massive loan repayments both by the Govt and loss-making SOEs and globally given the receding tide of money that came in to emerging markets more..