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Sri Lankan team attack: LHC extends detention of suspect by a month

Aug 31 (PT) A review board of the Lahore High Court on Friday extended the detention of Zubair alias Nek Muhammad, one of the accused in the attack on Sri Lankan cricket team, for one month. The three-member board headed by Justice Nasir Saeed Sheikh heard arguments of the Home Department and lawyers for Zubair. The order was announced after security personnel had taken the suspect away. Counsel for the accused said the police did not have any proof of Zubair’s more..

Kachchatheevu was not ceded to Sri Lanka, Centre tells court

Aug 31 (Hindu) The Union govt on Friday informed the Supreme Court that the question of retrieval of Kachchatheevu from Sri Lanka did not arise as no territory belonging to India was ceded to Sri Lanka. Taking on record the Centre’s response to a writ petition filed by Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa seeking retrieval of Kachchatheevu from Sri Lanka, a Bench posted the matter for final hearing after three weeks to enable more..

'Criticizing Pillay is a disgrace to the country'

Aug 31 (DM) The UNP said the country had been disgraced in the face of the world for criticizing the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navaneethan Pillay after inviting her to the country. “It was not ethical to make someone uncomfortable after inviting them to our country. It is our country that being insulted from these actions,” UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference. He said it was President Mahinda Rajapaksa who introduced the UNHRC to the country. more..

Duminda ordered his men to shoot

Aug 31 (CT) In what appears to be a major twist in the trial on the killing of former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others in Mulleriyawa, a witness in the case yesterday told the Colombo Magistrate’s Court, that he heard Duminda Silva ordering his people to shoot. Witness, U.K. Hashan Amaradewa, an employee attached to the personal office of the deceased politician, read out a statement he recorded with the police during the initial inquiries into the shooting more..

Hundreds march with candles demanding information on missing family members

Aug 31 (AP) Hundreds of people held candles and photographs of loved ones as they marched in Colombo on Friday demanding that authorities provide information about relatives who were reported missing during the country’s civil war. The vigil, marking International Day of the Disappeared, coincided with a visit by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to assess the govt’s progress in investing more..

Sri Lanka- Sudan relations to be strengthened

Aug 31 (AT) Sri Lanka and Sudan explore the possibility of further enhancing cooperation in the fields of defence and security, trade and industries. Views in this regard were exchanged when a visiting Sudanese delegation called on President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees last evening (29). Former Defence Secretary General of Sudan Gen. (Retd.) Abdel Mohamad Zein led the delegation. The visit by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in August last year laid the foundation for more..

Respecting foreign dignitaries Sri Lankan Style: Mervyn’s marriage proposal

Aug 31 (Island) Visiting UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay has reacted angrily to a recent statement attributed to Minister Mervyn Silva that he was willing to marry her. Well informed sources said that an irritated Pillay had expressed displeasure when the video footage of the minister’s statement was brought to her attention. Having received a complaint in this regard, the govt on Thursday expressed regret over Minister Silva’s statement. more..

TNA-Pillay meeting: Need for implementing MR-Moon post-war agreement stressed

Aug 31 (Island) The TNA told visiting UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay that the post-war agreement, between President Rajapaksa and UNSG Ban Ki-moon, should be implemented in full. The TNA asserted that it was the responsibility on the part of the UN to ensure that the govt adhered to the agreement. Having led the TNA delegation for talks with Pillay, MP Sampanthan said that they more..

Let us open our ears, learn to listen

Aug 31 (DM) Despite or possibly because of the marvels of modern technology and the hectic pace of life, suicides in Sri Lanka are about 12 a day with more than 100 attempting to end their lives every day. Shocking and staggering indeed. Worldwide, suicide is now one of the three leading causes of death among those aged between 15 and 45. Many may be the reasons for this, but most psychologists and sociologists believe one of the main causes is the intense and cutthroat competitiveness of more..

Challenging assignment for Pillay

Aug 31 (DM) The much-hyped visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is taking place this week and hers has been the most controversial visit by a foreign dignitary since Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited the country twenty six years ago to sign the Indo-Lanka Accord. Pillay is here on a tour to observe first-hand the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, following two US sponsored resolutions passed against the country by the UNHRC in the past two years. more..

'Outstanding leadership, excellent future'

Aug 31 (DN) Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea Jung Hong-won said that he was deeply impressed by the outstanding leadership and vision of political leaders such as President Rajapaksa and PM D.M.Jayaratne. "I have full confidence that Sri Lanka will have a bright future with such prominent leadership and diligent people," he said. He added that Sri Lanka and Korea could cooperate in various fields. more..

Provincial Council Elections 2013

Aug 31 (SL) In the run up to the North Western (Wayamba) Provincial Council elections next month, people in both Kurunegala and Puttalam districts are yet to show any interest in elections. This was clearly evident when travelling in both districts last week. For them canvassing for a party or for a candidate is not an important feature in their lives as they are battling hard to survive due to the sky rocketing cost of living. more..

Fishermen out of their depth as the catch goes abegging

Aug 31 (ST) An estimated 20 tons of fish caught daily in the Negombo region, are dumped back into the lagoon, for want of a proper market, say fisherman. The catch includes fish such as salayo and yaksalayo. Sebastian Fernando (51) says that, once the nets are cast, with this being the season for salayo, they are found in plenty, rather than other types of fish. According to local fisherman Caniute Kuruwitarachige (50) who has more..

Pillay wishes her discussions with Gotabhaya were longer

Aug 31 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday explained measures taken by the govt to address grievances of the Tamil speaking people, when visiting UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay met him at the Defence Ministry at 9.30 a.m. Earlier in the day, Pillay met a TNA delegation. The Defence Secretary and the UN Commissioner discussed a range of contentious issues. more..

Factory workers trapped inside

Aug 31 (AD) Employees of the gloves factory at Weliweriya were prevented from leaving the premises since last evening, one employee said. Villagers who had protested outside the factory yesterday refused to allow some 250 employees to leave. The employee said that glass bottles had been thrown towards the factory staff when they had attempted to leave the premises. Fresh tensions had been reported from Rathupaswala, more..

Prabarkaran was a ‘psychopath’ - President

Aug 31 (AD) Sri Lanka is no longer a story of conflict, it is now a story of development, says President Rajapaksa, in an interview with The Australian at his office in Colombo. “I must admit we lost the propaganda battle,” Rajapaksa acknowledges ruefully, referring to the propaganda dimension of the 30-year civil war that Sri Lanka waged against the LTTE. “I must admit we lost that very badly.”The war ended in 2009 with more..

Sri Lankans think U.N. is biased, president tells rights chief

Aug 31 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the UN human rights chief on Friday that his people believe the U.N. is a biased organization, and a report she is due to release next month has already prejudged the country. Rajapaksa met U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay near the end of her week-long visit to Sri Lanka, where the govt fought separatist Tamil guerrillas in a 26-year more..

'Signs of Sri Lanka moving towards authoritarianism'

Aug 31 (DM) UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanetham Pillay while stating that the Sri Lankan Govt stuck to its commitment of allowing her to visit any part of the country, said there were signs of Sri Lanka becoming an authoritarian state. “I am deeply concerned that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new, vibrant, all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in more..

Why military strikes on Syria counterproductive

Aug 31 (CT) There is a day of reckoning, even for the worst dictators who rule their hapless populace with an iron fist. The developments leading to that moment unfold so fast that despots are generally left with little time to make amends of their misdeeds. Libya’s Gaddafi, who clung to power forcefully for over three decades, died a humiliating death, hours after he was captured by the rebels, who allegedly sodomized him on camera, before shooting him dead. Another, Egypt’s Mubarak was moved more..

Tasks ahead in the Northern Province

Aug 31 (CT) To move away from the visible marks of war, there have been options. Bland restitution was one. But veering from it and embarking on reconstruction to meet heavier needs of the future became the preferred choice. Such policy is manifest in the North for highways. Quite conspicuous in visibility is the redevelopment of some of the important highways. But were the corollaries thought of and planned for or are they being met? If the Provincial and Central govt more..

UNP champions 17A during Pillay talks

Aug 31 (FT) The UNP yesterday called for the re-enactment of the historic 17th Amendment to the Constitution, and pointed to the de-politicisation legislation as a clear way out of the current governance and rule of law quagmire facing Sri Lanka during a meeting with a visiting UN Envoy. Discussions between UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay and the UNP had focused essentially on post-war erosion more..

A tribute to Prof Jeyaratnam Wilson

Aug 31 (CT) This tribute is not only from me but also from a friend of mine who had associated Professor Alfred Jeyaratnam Wilson, even more than me, for over two and a half decades very closely even living in his home in Fredericton, Canada, for few years. I am writing this not only as a tribute to this great man and an undisputed silent humanist, Wilson, but also to show how some of the hidden stories of Sinhala Tamil relations could bring certain sanity to the otherwise poisoned atmosphere in SL more..

Prevent misuse of public property

Aug 31 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL), in a letter to the Commissioner of Elections has submitted more than 12 incidents of misuse of public property, by numerous candidates, with evidence. TISL has received over 40 complaints relating to the misuse of public property by numerous candidates and political parties for election propaganda work of the Provincial Elections. The incidents they have submitted to the Elections Commissioner were investigated more..

TUs to unite in demanding power tariff revision

Aug 31 (Island) Nearly 30 trade unions, backed by the National Movement of Electricity Consumers, will commence a campaign soon after the forthcoming PC elections, urging the CEB to revise electricity prices to benefit the consumer. National Movement of Electricity Consumers Advisor Bandula Chandrasekara said that their countrywide campaign would be aimed at the budget in November and the Public Utilities more..

Forest fires a burning issue as dry weather continues

Aug 31 (ST) More than 150 forest fires have been reported from different parts of the country due to the prevailing drought. The latest fire was reported from Buttala Rahathangala, Lal Sarath Kumara Deputy Director Media, Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. Last week, it was reported that nearly 600 acres of grassland of the Nonpareil Estate Reserve in Horton Plains had caught fire. In addition to a couple of major fires in Mihintale, Wadinagala forest reserve in more..

July 1983: Planned by the State or spontaneous mob action?

Aug 31 (CT) The original claim that the violence was highly planned came from none other than the Minister of State, Mr. Anandatisa de Alwis, barely 48 hours after the violence had erupted. This was even before other ministers had thought about how they were going to explain this to the outside world. de Alwis addressed the Press after the weekly cabinet meeting on the morning of 27th July. Here is what he said from the leading report in the 28th July, titled, “There is a Pattern in the Havoc” more..

Methods to the madness that is Education in Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (ST) The Govt has unveiled an ambitious set of policies and proposals for general education in the country, which seeks to get more budgetary allocation for the sector, make school education mandatory for children from 5-16, as well as plans to reduce reliance on private tuition. The report, based on proposals presented to the Special Parliamentary Advisory Committee of Education, was presented to Parliament by more..

The Cattle Trust: Transit home for cattle freed from illicit abattoirs

Aug 31 (ST) The Maligakanda Magistrate’s court has ordered that 50 head of cattle and over one hundred goats and sheep rescued from an allegedly illicit slaughterhouse operating in the guise of a ‘Charity Farm’ at Orugodawatta in Colombo central, be handed over to a Cattle Protection Trust, for protective custody until the case is concluded. The Cattle Trust, which is a volunteer citizens organisation headed by former Attorney General C.R. de Silva P.C. and comprising of more..

34,705 Northerners issued with NICs before polls

Aug 31 (CT) Around 34,705 Northerners have been issued with documents such as the National Identity Cards (NICs) and birth certificates through the mobile service centres, jointly conducted by Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) and the Department for Registration of Persons, within just 41 days. As the election approaches, the number of people seeking the services of these centres have increased dramatically, field officers claim. more..

Agrochemicals: Hidden poison in vegetable

Aug 31 (ST) Reports of dicyandiamide (DCD) and whey protein allegedly found in milk powder have sparked widespread panic among consumers, but little do they know that vegetables they consume are equally if not more contaminated, according to a recent study on the use of agrochemicals by farmers. The report based on an extensive survey in the upcountry says that although it has been advised that farmers more..

Weliweriya protest ends

Aug 31 (CG) The protest which was launched in Weliweriya yesterday has come to an end with the authorities agreeing to discuss the concerns of the villagers. This morning employees of the gloves factory at Weliweriya were prevented from leaving the premises, one employee said. Villagers who had protested outside the factory yesterday refused to allow some 250 employees to leave. The employee said that glass bottles had been thrown towards the factory staff when they had attempted more..

Outliving their shelf-life

Aug 31 (ST) Health authorities have commenced an island-wide search for expired goods being sold in supermarkets and grocery stores. The inspections are being carried out at a provincial level with food, beverages as well as pharmaceuticals checked for expiry dates and other labelling requirements. Several city and suburban supermarkets are selling date expired consumer products, in some instances brazenly ignoring the shelf life data posted on them, a Sunday Times investigation has revealed. more..

Indian experts left in a huff after?

Aug 31 (Island) Two senior officials of India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), who held discussions with the CEB’s Sampur Project officials on Thursday evening, left the country yesterday saying that they would spell out their suggestions only after taking it up with their top management. The discussion was not cordial as local engineers were trying to take the upper hand as it was essentially a local project, though it would more..

Floating freight container carrying 'rubber blocks'

Aug 31 (CT) The solitary freight container which was spotted floating in the sea near the coast of Uduppuwa, a village north of Chilaw, is reported to contain 'rubber blocks.' Navy Media Spokesman, Kosala Warnakulasuriya, told Ceylon Today, the 20 ft container, which was hauled to the shore, had been placed under the custody of the police. The Police Media Spokesman said they are awaiting a Court order to decide on the course of action they could take in this regard.

Gem & jewellery and tourism go hand-in-hand: Amunugama

Aug 31 (DM) Sri Lanka needs to develop its gem and jewellery industry with the country’s tourism sector in mind, and the government is devising plans to expand the two industries simultaneously, a senior minister told a forum yesterday. “We are doubling the number of tourists visiting this country every year and there are so many who can invest in gem and jewellery,” Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Sarath Amunugama said. more..

Pillay slams offensive remarks

Aug 31 (CG) The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay today slammed what she termed was “deeply offensive” comments made about her just before and during her visit Sri Lanka. Addressing the media at the end of her weeklong visit to Sri Lanka today, Pillay said that some media, ministers, bloggers and various propagandists in Sri Lanka have, for several years now, on the basis of her Indian Tamil more..

Jaffna UPFA candidate’s father remanded

Aug 31 (Island) Father of Jaffna District SLFP organiser Angajan Ramanathen, Ambalavaner Ramanathen, was remand till Sept. 12 by Chavakachcheri Magistrate, when he was produced in the Court yesterday over alleged shooting incident. Ambalavaner Ramanathen has been charged with the shooting of UPFA Jaffna District candidate at the NPC election Kumar Sarvanandan’s supporters. Angajan Ramanathen is also a UPFA Jaffna District candidate. more..

UN HR Commissioner Pillay meets Basil

Aug 31 (GDI) UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanetham Pillay met Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office on Friday August 30. At the meeting Minister Rajapaksa briefed Commissioner Pillay on the development programs launched in the North during and after the war. During the hour-long discussion he explained to her the development activities taking place in the province with the assistance of the international community, international NGOs and the UNO. more..

TNA will ensure full implementation of 13A

Aug 31 (CT) The chief ministerial candidate of the TNA, C.V. Wigneswaran, emphasized the TNA will ensure that all powers vested to the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, will be devolved properly to the NPC. Wigneswaran was addressing a election rally in Mullaitivu on Wednesday attended by thousands of people. It was the first time that an election rally of such grand scale more..

GNOA wants training of new nurses commenced

Aug 31 (Island) The GNOA yesterday urged the Health Ministry to take immediate action to commence training of over 2,400 trainee nurses, recruited over ten months ago. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said on the basis of a Health Ministry gazette notification, calling for applications to recruit trainee nurses, issued in October last year, more than 2,400 had qualified to undergo training. Since then, however, nothing had been done to commence their training. more..