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'Senator Tiruchelvam stood for the unity of the country'

Nov 8 (CT) The 106th birth anniversary of Senator Murugeysen Tiruchelvam QC, former Cabinet Minister and Solicitor-General takes place this month. Mr. Tiruchelvam was the only member of the Federal Party to become a Cabinet Minister. He served in the UNP-led coalition govt from 1965 to 1968. This remains the last instance of the main party of the Sri Lankan Tamils being represented in the Cabinet. We reproduce excerpts of a speech delivered on 1st February, 2008 by more..

Rs 250,000 for a Grade 1 admission

Nov 8 (CT) Admission to schools for the year 2014 is in progress, and many schools have begun to conduct interviews for admission. However, as many of us know, the process of admission is a thankless one for most parents because they know through word-of-mouth and/or prior experience that it is not a straightforward process in SL. The process is not simple because when one admits a child to a school, more..

India cannot think like Western nations

Nov 8 (CT) Every recent Sri Lankan expatriate conversation has been on the CHOGM – why the UK, Australia and New Zealand are fully behind Sri Lanka, whether India's Manmohan Singh would, or whether he should go. Naturally, the Channel 4 Broadcast on 3 November has added to the anxiety of those on all sides. Many have asked me what I think. As a Sri Lankan I want a Sri Lankan State that is multicultural and respectful of the rule of law. All the evidence I have seen points to terrible more..

What happens when a Central Bank issues more money than necessary?

Nov 8 (CT) A reader of ‘My View’ in the previous week has informed this writer by email that it is not imprudent for a central bank to issue money in large volumes when a country needed that money to push its growth rate up. His argument, referring to Sri Lanka’s current situation, has been that when the country is faced with the challenge of economic rebuilding after a costly war, there is no alternative but to use the power of printing money by the govt and consequential credit creation more..

‘The absence of the Indian PM would subtract from its space in Sri Lanka’

Nov 8 (IE) Dayan Jayatilleka is a former Sri Lankan ambassador to Geneva and Paris, an academic, former political activist, and former minister in the short-lived North-East Provincial Council. He is the author, most recently, of 'Long War, Cold Peace', written after the military victory. He was in the capital recently for an IDSA conference on South Asia and spoke to Seema Guha. Q: How important is the CHOGM for President more..

Will Sonia favour Rajapaksa over TN?

Nov 8 (CT) Under normal circumstances Indian policy on Sri Lanka is decided by a combination of several factors based on information and intelligence made available to the govt by its foreign policy think tanks, Foreign Ministry assessment reports, intelligence service findings and the information gathered by the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka. Indisputably, however, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's attendance or non-attendance at the CHOGM will be decided at Janpath more..

Editorial: A welcome move

Nov 8 (Island) A Channel Four team including Callum Macrae of ‘No Fire Zone’ fame, newscaster Jon Snow and Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller has been granted visas to enter Sri Lanka to cover the forthcoming CHOGM, according to a news item we published. Channel Four is doing its damnedest to have Sri Lanka’s political and military leaders hauled up before an international war crimes tribunal as is common knowledge. There is also reason to believe that C-4 representatives more..

Sri Lanka is losing the Peace

Nov 8 (WSJ) Sri Lanka will be in the spotlight later this month when leaders of Commonwealth countries gather there for their biennial summit. Colombo will be keen to show off the democratic and civil-society gains it says it has made since the bloody military defeat of violent separatists in 2009. Yet a clear-eyed view of their surroundings will show foreign leaders that their host country is in the process of losing the peace. more..

Bonanza to James Packer from casinos

Nov 8 (DM) Casinos are not the playgrounds for the rich and the dashing anymore. The era when it was gentlemen in black tie and ladies in evening dress and glistening jewels is over. It is neither super-sophistication - great numbers from all walks of life play the wheel - nor is it Westernisation. Casinos have sprung up in Asia – the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, India and at one time in numbers in SL. Attire is of little consequence but the green backs collectively are. more..

A people left stranded: Jaffna Muslims mark 23 years of expulsion

Nov 8 (NS) The Muslim populated areas of Jaffna were once some of its richer neighborhoods. More than 20 years after they were expunged from the peninsula in 1990 by the LTTE, many Muslims have found their way back ‘home.’ But home is now the slums.“This is our land. We wanted to come home” was the oft repeated phrase they cited for coming back to Jaffna. But their neighborhood is one of squalor and poverty. Having received some assistance in Puttalam and the various other more..

Luxury vehicle registration fee records revenue of over Rs. 1 billion

Nov 8 (ST) Sri Lanka’s super and semi luxury vehicle registration fee is annually bringing revenue of over Rs. 1 billion into state coffers, a top official said. The income from the registration of these vehicles has recorded a new high of Rs. 1.25 billion last year while in the first nine months of this year the revenue from super luxury and semi luxury vehicles has exceeded Rs. 886 million, Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra said. more..

Colombo Tea Auction brews highest-ever average in rupee and dollar terms

Nov 8 (FT) The cup that cheers is toasting best news much to the delight of the tea industry as October has produced highest-ever prices on average, according to two brokers – Ceylon Tea Brokers and Asia Siyaka Commodities. The Colombo Tea Auction has brewed an average of Rs. 494.88 per kilo in October vis-à-vis Rs. 408.17 in 2012, reflecting a Rs. 86.71 increase. “This is the highest-ever monthly auction average recorded at the Colombo Tea Auction,” more..

SLPA records highest-ever daily container volume

Nov 8 (FT) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has recorded its highest-ever daily container volume of 9,884 TEUs on 2 Nov 2013. The previous highest volume of 9,659 TEUs was reported by the SLPA on 24 June 2013. By the end of 31 Oct, SLPA had handled a cumulative throughput of 2,080,253 TEUs for the period up by 7.5% compared to the total container throughput of 1,936,394 TEUs for the same period last year. The container throughput of transhipment by SLPA by end Oct 2013 more..

SL will be self-sufficient in eggs by 2014

Nov 8 (MED) The Divi Neguma National Programme to make Sri Lanka self-sufficient in chicken eggs by 2014 is now nearing success and the govt will take steps to stop chicken egg imports by the end of next year. Under Divi Neguma 330 million eggs are added every year to the diet of the people since doctors have recommended that a person needs to consume a minimum of three eggs a week. These facts were revealed at more..

Manmohan Singh’s Sri Lanka Dilemma

Nov 8 (NYT) On Nov. 15, the presidents and the prime ministers of an array of countries once ruled by the British Empire will assemble in Colombo, for the annual meeting of the CHOGM. Four years after the brutal and controversial end to the Tamil insurgency, Sri Lanka is hoping to use the event to attract foreign investment and find greater acceptance in the international community. The Sri Lankan got has come under intense criticism for its abuse of the minority Tamil citizens more..

SL on heightened alert for cyber attacks

Nov 8 (Island) The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team | Coordination Centre (SLCERT|CC) has been put on heightened alert for cyber attacks after a rise in such attacks on many computer networks both, here and abroad, by hackers. Targeted countries include Sri Lanka, Singapore, Mexico, Australia, United States, Egypt, Syria and many more. SLCERT Media Spokesman Roshan Chandragupta said that they had sent guidelines for web developers on how to more..

SL should withdraw from C'wealth: JVP

Nov 8 (DM) JVP said that Sri Lanka should withdraw from the Commonwealth because the objective of the organisation, which had not changed in the course of history, was to maintain their colonial masters’ status. “It is not appropriate for us to be a member of the Commonwealth anymore. We are a sovereign country. To remain a member of the Commonwealth and giving so much prominence to CHOGM more..

PBOA commends ban of mobile phones for drivers

Nov 8 (DM) Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) President Gamunu Wijeratne said today they would fully agree with the initiatives taken to ban the use of mobile phones by Private bus drivers. “Even now the law is implemented against the drivers who use mobile phones while at the wheel. However, we are agreed with the initiatives taken to implement the law against the errant drivers,” he said. Minister Kumara Welgama said that bus drivers would be banned from using mobile phones while more..

India should indicate that it values its ties with Sri Lanka

Nov 8 (TT) Popular interest in history and even contemporary politics is invariably enhanced by posing the vexed what-if question. To those terribly agitated over the Indian PM's participation in the Commonwealth heads of govt meeting in Colombo later this month, there is a counterfactual question that is worth posing. Had the LTTE succeeded in their bid to carve an independent eelam out of the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka, would its supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, more..

Kandy gets US$ 45 Mn mixed development project

Nov 8 (Island) The BoI has recently approved a US$ 45 million mixed development project in Kandy under its priority development programme which was launched yesterday by GVR Lanka, and the company would develop two acres of ‘freehold land’. The US$ 45 million project which was approved by the BoI has been granted a 12 year tax concession. However the BOI Director Media could not be reached after BOI Chairman more..

Famous MD products now on shelves of UK’s Tesco supermarkets

Nov 8 (ST) Lanka Canneries has entered into an agreement with Tesco UK, one of the world’s leading retail chains to make its products available at Tesco supermarkets in the UK. The premier Sri Lankan company manufactures, distributes and exports natural fruit juices, jams, sauces, cordials and other products marketed under the MD brand, the company said. Tesco is one of the largest retailers in the world with operations in 12 countries. Among the MD products that are available at more..

ACTWU demands withdraw cell phone ban

Nov 8 (Island) All Ceylon Transport Workers Union (ACTWU) urged the govt to withdraw the decision, taken by SLTB, to prohibit all SLTB bus drivers and conductors from keeping mobile phones while on duty. ACTWU Secretary Sepala Liyanage said that the decision taken by the SLTB was unfair and a violation of human rights of all SLTB bus drivers and conductors. Effective from yesterday, the SLTB had prohibited all its bus drivers and conductors from keeping mobile phones while on duty. more..

Lankan’s body found in water tank in Dubai

Nov 8 (KT) Residents of the building, designated for executive bachelors, are shocked and disgusted after realising the reason for the stink in their tap water for the past few days. Dubai Police, who fished out the body, identified the man as a 34-year-old Sri Lankan cook who had been missing for a week as per a complaint lodged by his friends. Police suspect that the man, said to be an alcoholic, had committed suicide after being more..

'A slap in the face for govt'

Nov 8 (CT) The Western People's Front (WPF) said the decision made by some Heads of State to visit the Northern Province at the conclusion of the CHOGM will be a slap in the face for the Sri Lankan Government. WPF Leader, Mano Ganeshan, said the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and Indian Prime Minister, Manamohan Singh, have indicated their intention to go to the North during their visit to Sri Lanka for CHOGM, and if they do, it will be a 'bad signal' for the govt. more..

Abercrombie & Kent expands into Sri Lanka

Nov 8 (TDN) Abercrombie & Kent has recently established an office in Colombo. This latest addition to the A&K worldwide network will ensure that the impeccable standards of on-the-ground service and local insight will be maintained and that the travellers will be assured of the hallmark A&K care that has made them one of the world’s leading tour operators. Jaffna and the northern reaches of Sri Lanka constitute one of the few remaining frontiers for the travel cognoscenti. more..

23 police officers transferred after raiding a Casino

Nov 8 (CT) Following the arrest of 45 suspects at a massive gambling den near the Town Hall, Colombo, recently, by the CID of the Police Headquarters, measures are being taken to immediately transfer 23 police officers of the Division except its Director, sources revealed. SSP Ajith Rohana, answering queries in this regard said, transfers are being made because these police officers have served in the same station for a more..

LTSU demands solutions for education issues in the North

Nov 8 (LT) Many issues regarding education in the North have not been solved despite four years have passed since the end of the separatist war states Lanka Teacher Services Union (LTSU) pointing out students, teachers and education officials in the area are distressed by lack of physical amenities such as buildings, electricity, water, furniture, laboratories, libraries, play grounds as well as an acute shortage of teachers. The LTSU demands the govt to solve these issues immediately more..

I didn’t believe Sri Lanka torture stories: I do now – Tamil victim

Nov 8 (C4) A Tamil man, who was tortured this year on his return from the UK to Sri Lanka on holiday has told Channel 4 News of his frustration and sense of powerlessness as world leaders prepare to travel to the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka. PM David Cameron and Foreign Secretary, William Hague, will head the British delegation. The Prince of Wales will also attend in place of the Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth. The man, who cannot be identified for reasons of safety, more..

David Cameron presses for Sri Lanka war crimes inquiry

Nov 8 (Guardian) David Cameron has said an international inquiry into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka may be needed, as he prepares to attend a Commonwealth summit there. The prime minister has previously said Sri Lanka's controversial govt needs to hold an independent investigation, but has now turned up the rhetoric by calling for an inquiry with international oversight if the country does not order its own review. more..

Health unions threaten major strike

Nov 8 (Island) Over 15 health sector trade unions warned that they would stage yet another countrywide strike, on Nov. 27 and 28 in protest against the Health Ministry’s continuing failure to amend several allowances in proportion to those paid to doctors. Joint Council of Nursing, Professions Supplementary to Medicine and Paramedics (JC-NPSMP) convener Saman Jayasekara said the demands include a proportional increase in Disturbance Availability and more..

Sapugaskanda Refinery grinds to a halt

Nov 8 (CT) Operations at the crisis-ridden Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, was expected to come to a grinding halt by this morning, after the stock of crude oil at the refinery had been depleted. The refinery, which had been functioning below its capacity for over three weeks, would be forced to shut down operations due to the shortage of crude oil. "The refinery has been operating below its capacity for three weeks. We were running at 3,500 metric tons a day for three weeks though more..

CHOGM 2013: Low level Canadian delegation expected to visit Jaffna

Nov 8 (Island) Speculation is rife that a low level Canadian delegation, arriving here for the CHOGM in Colombo next week, too, would seek to visit the Jaffna peninsula. The military brought the peninsula under govt control in early 1996. External Affairs Ministry sources said that Commonwealth countries with large population of Tamils, of Sri Lankan origin, were likely to send their delegations to Jaffna. The govt was ready to facilitate more..

Indian Coast Guard apprehends 4 more Lankan fishers

Nov 8 (TOI) Indian Coast Guard apprehended four Sri Lankan fishermen and their fishing vessel off Kanyakumari coast on Wednesday night. Within a period of two months, the Coast Guard have detained 59 Sri Lankan fishermen. Though the arrested Lankan fishers claimed that they lost their way and was stranded in Indian waters, the fishermen sources here say that their counterparts from the Island nation is after tuna much like them, who are after prawns and squids. more..

President wants politicians to be of exemplary character

Nov 8 (DN) President Rajapaksa urged politicians to render a dedicated public service putting aside the traditional ways of thinking, while being of exemplary character. The President made these remarks at a ceremony in Weeraketiya on Wednesday to open the new office complex of the Weeraketiya Pradeshiya Sabha. He said politicians should get the best outcome from the govt allocations for the betterment of the people. "Politicians as well as govt officials are duty bound to render the best more..

Manmohan, Sonia to take final call on CHOGM

Nov 8 (Hindu) A final call on Manmohan Singh’s trip to Colombo to attend the CHOGM will be taken by the PM himself, the Ministry of External Affairs, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, even as opinion was divided in the Union Cabinet and the Congress Core Group. The decision will be taken, after weighing the conflicting views of the people of Tamil Nadu, reflected in stands taken by Congress and DMK leaders, more..

Political power-play at the PGIM

Nov 8 (DM) The Daily Mirror, in its Editorial yesterday, focused on Sri Lanka’s unprecedented crime wave largely because of the politicisation of crime and the criminalisation of polities – compounded by a breakdown in law and order or a crisis where laws are not being implemented. Today we wish to put the spotlight on the party politicisation of medical education and the deadly effects it is having on the medical profession and the well-being of the people. more..

Development must include human welfare

Nov 8 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaka recently said people should be on the alert, as various elements were attempting to shut down industries and cripple the economy. After declaring open the auditorium of the Rubber Research Institute at Agalawatta, he said such attempts were intended to buckle the country’s development. At the same time he praised the people of this country for their ability to identify the sincere servants of the masses. He added that therefore the people were more..

South African support is best in the circumstances

Nov 8 (SL) By conducting the provincial council election in the North and establishing the Northern Provincial Council, the Sri Lankan government took a decisive step forward in energizing the reconciliation process. The first weeks of the new born provincial council have been marked by expressions of goodwill at the highest levels, most notably between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran. more..

PHIs’ fruitful Food Safety Week as errant vendors fall foul

Nov 8 (ST) Public Health Inspectors (PHI) cracked down on 4,887 food outlets and food processing centres found to be unhygienic, during Food Safety Week, said PHIs Association President, Upul Rohana. The PHIs inspected 38,291 food outlets islandwide where food was processed and distributed in an unhygienic manner. “Through the raids, we were able to grade 18,456 food outlets which did not go through the process before,” more..

Casinos are sugar coated poison

Nov 8 (DM) Is Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena just another pawn in the Govt’s casino gamble? He has been widely criticised in the recent past as a result of the casino circus. First the government declared that it had granted a partial 10-year tax holiday for the two casino projects -- one owned by the Australian casino mogul James Packer and the other by the Sri Lankan blue chip company John Keells Holdings. more..