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Mother Lanka, what is happening to thee?

Nov 7 (DM) In the aftermath of the horrible 30-year war, Sri Lanka appears to be plunging deeper into a post-conflict traumatic syndrome which has been aggravated by a breakdown in the rule of law and the serious damage caused to the independence of the judicial service and the police. Among the serious consequences is the unprecedented increase in violence though for centuries all our religions and the realities of life have shown us that violence only begets violence and anger bitterness and more..


Nov 7 (DM) The term ‘Accountability’ is one which we have heard often, indeed too often from interfering foreigners and NGOs, particularly during and after the latter part of the armed conflict with the LTTE. This is a term which we are going to hear with increasing frequency in the days to come when the CHOGM is held and a number of interfering foreigners will be in our Country telling us what is wrong with us and how we should run our affairs. There is in fact nothing offensive about the more..

Political bickering amidst Beefy’s Big Sri Lanka Walk

Nov 7 (DM) The Working Committee members of the UNP gathered at the party headquarters, Sirikotha’ on Monday. Top on the agenda of the meeting was the item to discuss proposed structural changes, mooted by the party’s Bhikkhu wing United Bhikkhu Front, to revive the party both at national and grassroots level for future electoral success. At the commencement of the meeting, leader Ranil Wickremesinghe announced more..

President wants speedy completion of Chinese funded highway

Nov 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's president has toured a Chinese funded highway in the southern part of the country and urged for its speedy completion, President's Office said in a statement on Wednesday. President Rajapaksa on Tuesday made an observation tour to inspect the progress on the extension of Southern Expressway from southern city of Galle to Matara. Observing the ongoing work on the expressway, more..

White elephant project causing harm to man and beast!

Nov 7 (SL) Environmentalists are up in arms against the construction of an elephant holding ground in Horowpothana in Anuradhapura district by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) which has caused enormous destruction to the wildlife. Despite the fact that there were agitations against the construction of the elephant holding grounds and Heritage of Wetlands, an organization, coming forward to safeguard more..

LC is like old wine in new bottle - Maithri

Nov 7 (Island) A leading UNP reformist and Southern Provincial Councillor Maithri Gunaratne said that the UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had promoted himself as a National Leader, Party Leader and what was left was only to call himself Supreme Leader who is unable to become the country’s leader. Guneratne said that RW had again appointed his cronies who had no popularity with the people, to the Leadership Council (LC) and it was more..

Mega mining mystery

Nov 7 (ST) A Canadian mining firm has entered into an agreement with a Sri Lankan company to acquire the local outfit’s exclusive exploration licences for a reported 113 graphite mining grids in the country. But a lack of transparency surrounding the deal highlights an urgent need to examine procedures followed in Sri Lanka’s lucrative mining industry. Torch River Resources Ltd, a public quoted company, said in a statement earlier this more..

Dwindling aid slows Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (IPS) When the first trains in almost two and a half decades started running through this war-ravaged town in Sri Lanka in mid-Sept, Sinngamuththu Jesudasan could not resist the temptation to go and have a look – repeatedly. The last time the 62-year-old had seen a train on the track in Kilinochchi was somewhere in the late 1980s. “They suddenly stopped,” Jesudasan told IPS, staring motionlessly at the blue train more..

Saudi amnesty: 15,000 illegal Lankan workers return home

Nov 7 (KT) Around 15,000 illegal workers returned to Sri Lanka on an amnesty provided by the Saudi Arabian govt. “Majority of the Sri Lankans qualified as illegal workers have been sent back,” the SLFEB spokesman Mangala Randeniya said. “There are a few workers who have been left behind as they do not qualify under the criteria set out by the Saudi authorities, but we are working with Saudi officials to bring them back,” more..

Drug smuggling ‘diplomat’ handed over to PNB

Nov 7 (Island) The Police Narcotic Bureau (PNB) was investigating how the Liberian ‘diplomat’ collected such a large quantity of ‘brown sugar’ (heroin) from Sri Lanka to smuggle out to Uganda, via Dubai. The narcotic was found in his ‘diplomatic’ baggage and the PNB was probing how he held such a passport and other credentials, police spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana told The Island yesterday. more..

LLRC chairman passes away

Nov 7 (CG) The chairman of the LLRC and former Attorney General C.R. de Silva passed away today. He was receiving treatment at a private hospital where he was pronounced dead this morning. C.R. de Silva was educated at Royal College Colombo where he Captained Royal College at Rugby Football in 1968, most notably at the Bradby Shield Encounter. That year he captained the Ceylon Schools Rugby Football team as well. more..

Over 2300 reported missing in the North

Nov 7 (CG) Over 2300 people have been reported missing in the North, according to data handed over to the Presidential commission investigating alleged disappearances. A civil society organisation in Mannar handed over to the data to the commission after conducting research on those reported missing in the North. The report states that in the Jaffna District 904 people are still missing while in Kilinochchi the number of missing more..

Falling into the trash can on food-hygiene

Nov 7 (CT) Sri Lanka is experiencing, especially in its urban and suburban sectors, a disproportionate swelling of restaurants, eateries and even wayside vendors, compared to other businesses. But their very proliferation has also increased concerns about the quality of the food being served and the hygienic conditions under which it is prepared. This has become a serious issue, given the incidents of large-scale food poisoning reported in the media on a regular basis. more..

Marilyn Monroe and the ‘Wigneswaran marriage’

Nov 7 (CT) After reading the Asiantribune editor’s 27 October report on the NPC inaugural speech by Wigneswaran(W), what came to my mind was what the American playwright Arthur Miller once told about his [failed] marriage to the American sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. He said, married to Marilyn was like living next to a live electric wire. Miller by the way divorced his first wife of long years to get hooked up with Marilyn. With his decision to hold NPC elections MahindaR is now more..

WikiLeaks: Disappearances not under order from central authorities

Nov 7 (CT) “Regarding disappearances, he said that there has been a long tradition of arrests and disappearances in Sri Lanka by people in civilian clothing. While ICRC has knowledge about a certain number of cases, most appear to be people abducted/arrested by either Tamil auxiliary forces or local authorities, not under order from central authorities, but connected to local political circumstances. more..

Prison overrun by rats, while authorities watch helplessly

Nov 7 (Island) The Prisons Department is in a dilemma as the Welikada prison is being overrun by swarms of rats and authorities are unable to use traditional methods to eradicate the vermin. Prisons Commissioner General C. Pallegama told ‘The Island’ that their numbers were increasing daily, but the department could not use poison to destroy than as there was the possibility of prisoners who are disgusted with life swallowing it to commit suicide. Even traps could not be used to catch rats more..

Sri Lanka rupee at 4-week low; downward pressure remains

Nov 7 (Reuters) The rupee ended steady on Thursday hovering around a one-month closing low as year-end seasonal importer demand was offset by exporter dollar conversions. Dealers said they expect the currency to be under downward pressure due to continued importer dollar demand ahead of the December festive season. The spot rupee ended at 131.10/15 per dollar, its lowest close since Oct. 8. It had closed at 131.07/15 on Wednesday. Dealers said there were moral suasion by more..

Three Lankan Tea Board researchers forced to leave TN

Nov 7 (PTI) Three Sri Lankan researchers were forced to leave Coonoor near here in the early hours of today following pro-Tamil outfits' plans to stage demonstrations, police said. The three researchers in Tea Board of Sri Lanka, were part of an eight-member foreign delegation to attend a three-month International training programme on tea manufacturing and quality maintenance and were staying in a hotel for more..

Sampanthan wants probe on Issaipriya's death

Nov 7 (CT) Leader of the TNA and Trincomalee District MP, R. Sampanthan, called on the govt to conduct an investigation into the death of the LTTE's former television newscaster, Issaipriya. "The Sri Lankan Govt must investigate thoroughly the latest revelation on the alleged sexual assault and the killing of Issaipriya by Channel 4. The investigation into the video documentary will help the Lankan Govt to prevent its image being tarnished," Sampanthan said. Issaipriya hailed from the Delft and more..

Cement past shelf life seized

Nov 7 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) flying squad on Tuesday raided a warehouse in Peliyagoda and seized 150,000 Kgs of cement which was found to have exceeded its shelf life. Nipun Ekanayake, Media Secretary to the Minister Johnston Fernando, said that the warehouse, on Nuge Road, Peliyagoda was raided on information received that 300 bags of cement, valued at more than Rs. 03 million, which was unsuitable for sale, had been stored there for disposal. more..

Sri Lanka: The Kings of Spin

Nov 7 (AI) There are just some issues that get under your skin. If you watched No Fire Zone on Channel Four this week you’ll understand why I’ve got the bit between my teeth about Sri Lanka. 40,000 civilians (or more) were killed at the end of the conflict in 2009. There are credible allegations that the Sri Lankan military and Tamil Tigers armed group committed war crimes and crimes against humanity. more..

Army deserter killer acted alone

Nov 7 (Island) Police investigations into the killing of five persons, at Vihara Halmillakulama, in the Anuradhapura district, revealed that the killer was an army deserter and he had acted alone. After the gruesome deed he had fled to the Anuradhapura town in the morning on a bicycle belonging to an inmate of the house. The suspect, a friend of one of the victims, had accompanied the friend and his mother to the relative’s house at Vihara Halmillakulama from Mahiyanganaya. more..

Sri Lanka exporters look for growth

Nov 7 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters will have to be closer to global supply chains and develop more innovative products, but local rules were also hindering exports, economists and industry officials said. "To sustain the export competitiveness, the country has to develop a comparative advantage by improving productivity and innovation," Saman Kelegama, head of the IPS, a think tank said. He was speaking at forum organized by the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka. more..

IBAHRI delegation refused visa

Nov 7 (CG) Entry to Sri Lanka has been denied to participants of an International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) high-level delegation which includes the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Gabriela Knaul, and the first UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Param Cumaraswamy. The International Bar Association said that the group has more..

UNP expects polls by March

Nov 7 (CG) The UNP says it feels the govt will have a Presidential or General election by March next year. UNP MP Managala Samaraweera said that the UNP has received inside information of preparations underway for a Presidential election next year. He said that the UNP is going to be ready for such an election and not focus on a provincial council election. “Our main goal is to face such an election and be victorious. Although they (govt) are talking about a provincial council election more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.6%

Nov 7 (LBO) Stocks fell for the fourth straight day with diversified stocks losing ground. The Colombo benchmark All Share Price Index closed 35.71 points lower at 5,870.47, down 0.60%. The S&P SL20 closed 11.18 points lower at 3,243.71, down 0.34%. Turnover was 688.03 million rupees, up from 571.79 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 113 firms closing in the red against 47 gainers. Foreigners brought 459 million rupees worth shares while selling 456 million rupees of shares. more..

Sharma clarifies Lanka role

Nov 7 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma says his office has intensified its role in Sri Lanka to seek progress “jointly” in a number of areas including on human rights. A statement by Sharma said that his role is to work closely with member states, particularly during times when the Commonwealth’s shared political values and commitments are under stress. He says through his ‘Good Offices’ – as more..

Ranjith Aluwihare appointed Central PC Opposition leader

Nov 7 (Island) Matale district Central Provincial Council member Ranjith Aluwihare (UNP) was on Tuesday appointed as the leader of the Opposition by the Council’s Chairman Mahinda Abeykoon (UPFA). The announcement of the appointment was put off till yesterday’s meeting, due to a controversy over the appointment following a letter with signatures of 12 UNP Provincial Councillors being handed over to Chairman requesting him to appoint Lucky Jayawardana of the UNP, to the post. more..

No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka + Director Q&A

Nov 7 (FC) On 5 Nov, No Fire Zone was shown at Riverside Studios as part of a series of Between the Lines follow up events hosted by Frontline Club and DocHouse. This documentary chronicles the last 138 days of the civil war in Sri Lanka, revealing the brutal tactics employed by the Sri Lankan army and govt against the Tamil population. The screeninng was followed by a lively Q&A with director, Callum Macrae, who introduced the film as evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, more..

United against Casinos

Nov 7 (DM) Leading members of the Buddhist clergy and a cross section of political and civil representatives came onto a single platform for the first time yesterday, to denounce the government’s proposal to open two mega casinos in Colombo. Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera (the chairman of the PMSJ), the Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera (the leader of the JHU), the Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera (the general secretary of the BBS), more..

SL A steal tight win despite Mahela 96

Nov 7 (CI) Mahela Jayawardene confirmed his fine touch ahead of New Zealand's limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka, but could not prevent a tense win for Sri Lanka A, over the Board XI, at the Sinhalese Sports Club. Jayawardene struck 96 from 88, after he had hit 84 in the first practice match, but it was Upul Tharanga's 96 and Seekkuge Prasanna's 41 not out from 30 late in Sri Lanka A's innings, that proved to be the definitive batting contributions of the match. Neither, however, are in the Sri Lanka squad more..

Gang ejects National Hospital doctor from Battaramulla quarters

Nov 7 (Island) A doctor attached to the Colombo National Hospital, who was living in govt quarters, at Jayawardenagama, in Battaramulla, had been ejected from her quarters by a gang on Nov. 4 evening, stating that it was a Court Order. The doctor’s parents, who were retired govt servants, with a service of about 40 years, were living in the quarters. Only the mother was living with doctor Madumenike Sirinatha at the time of ejection. "As the quarters complex, is now under more..

Video: Katunayake highway the most expensive in the world: UNP

Nov 7 (DM) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera said today his party would write to the Guinness Book of Records requesting it to include the Katunayake Expressway as the most expensive expressway in the world. “The govt has spent Rs.45.7 billion for the construction of the 25.8 km-long Katunayake Expressway at a cost of Rs.1.8 billion per kilometre. This is the only expressway in the world to have spent such a massive more..

No decision on private schools

Nov 7 (CT) The Ministry of Education said that many schools in Colombo will continue to function despite the roads being closed during various times, when the CHOGM kicks-off on 15 November. Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Hemantha Prematilake, said no decision has been taken as yet whether private schools in Colombo should be closed in the run up to and during CHOGM. "We have not received any intimation from the Committee overseeing arrangements for CHOGM more..

Largest intake of nursing recruits

Nov 7 (Island) The Health Ministry said it would take all necessary steps to strengthen the nursing service in order to meet increasing demand for nurses. Ministry spokesman Dharma Wanninayake said that 6,025 nursing recruits were to be given letters of recruitment, for training, by the President on Dec 10. It would be the Health Ministry’s largest intake. Another 3,500 nursing recruits, who had completed training, would be given their letters of appointment on the same day. more..

Working masses rally to win ‘21 demands’

Nov 7 (LT) The Convention of trade union representatives to rally working masses to win from the govt the 21 demands put forward by the Coordinating Center of Trade Unions was held at the Public Library auditorium on the 5th. The convention held with the participation of representatives of a large number of trade unions in the country was addressed by the President of National Trade Union Center K.D. Lal Kantha, President of Inter more..

Sri Lanka awaits Charles’s visit

Nov 7 (CG) Sri Lanka says it is looking forward to the visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to Sri Lanka next week, Sri Lanka’s High Commission to Britain said. He said this at a reception hosted by Prince Charles at St James’s Palace for members of Britain’s Sri Lankan and Indian communities to mark the royal couple’s tour of India and Sri Lanka. Dr Chris Nonis, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to the UK, was joined by India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK, more..

BJP worried about SL Tamils, non-committal on CHOGM

Nov 7 (OI) The BJP today expressed concern over the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils but remained non-committal on whether PM Manmohan Singh should attend the CHOGM Summit in Colombo. BJP chief Rajnath Singh held detailed deliberations on the issue with party leaders from Tamil Nadu. They said Singh gave a patient hearing to BJP Tamil Nadu chief Pon Radhakrishnan and leaders Ganeshan and Lakshmanan on the issue. These leaders demanded that the party should put pressure on the govt more..

Boycotting Commonwealth summit may help Sri Lankan Tamils - Tutu

Nov 7 (Reuters) A boycott of a meeting of Commonwealth leaders in Sri Lanka could help pressure Colombo to address alleged war crimes against minority Tamils, South African peace campaigner and Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said. The Sri Lankan govt, which defeated separatist Tiger rebels in 2009, is under increasing pressure from the international community to try those responsible for rights more..

Neinage Soodhuwa In an Age of Casino Kings

Nov 8 (NS) The Muslim as a “comic other” is a long-established and widely acknowledged stereotype in both classical and popular Sinhala narratives. The linguistic and cultural “otherness” of the Muslim is no less substantiated in the Sinhala folk traditions, popular film, theater, cartoon strips, novels, short stories as it is represented in a dense corpus of anecdotes and stock jokes. The “thambi jokes” – a branch of its own within the Sinhala anecdotal discourse – have been popular more..