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Why PM must attend CHOGM meet

Nov 1 (FP) PM Manmohan Singh will be travelling to Sri Lanka to attend the 23rd CHOGM in Colombo. In a rarity, he may also be visiting Jaffna, the once-upon-in-a-time capital of the LTTE and the focal point of a fierce war between the LTTE and SL govt troops in 2009 but now home to first provincial govt by TNA. It is a matter of days when the official confirmation is made by New Delhi for the PM’s visit to Colombo, though one has to more..

Rathupaswala reignites

Nov 1 (SL) Rathupaswala, Weliweriya was up in arms last week, not just over the water issue but also over the monk who had campaigned on the water issue but later turned tables and spoke in support of a controversial gloves factory in the area. The monk, Venerable Theripaha Siridhamma Thero, who according to some villagers was in hiding allegedly after signing a contract with the factory, returned to Rathupaswala last Monday more..

Many local politicians a law unto themselves

Nov 1 (ST) This week a local council member accused of sexually abusing a child was jailed, another member was issued a suspended sentence for dismantling a fence and a warrant was issued on another local councillor for indecent behaviour in public. The incidents were among a string of many involving local politicians reported from various parts of the country this week as the number of cases involving local politicians more..

SC says 500 Slave Island families must vacate their houses by Dec. 1

Nov 1 (ST) The Supreme Court last Monday gave some 500 families in the Slave Island area, a final date (Dec 1) to vacate a seven acre prime block of land in Colombo 2, giving the free holding of the land to the Indian company for a mixed development project. The Court asked the residents some of whom petitioned the Court against the acquisition, to hand over the possession of their lands to the UDA by that date. more..

Bangladeshi PM may attend CHOGM

Nov 1 (DT) Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka from November 15 to 17. “The prime minister is very likely to attend the Commonwealth summit for one day as Sri Lanka requested her to join the event several times,” a foreign ministry official said. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and Secretary Md Shahidul Haque will attend the event. Bangladesh will push for its priority issues in the meeting, more..

Govt. reviewing foreign policy - GL

Nov 1 (Island) External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris, presiding over the annual Graduation Ceremony, of the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI) on Tuesday, stated that Sri Lanka was at the threshold of hosting the CHOGM, the first major international conference since the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit of 1976. He said the CHOGM was being held in Asia after nearly three decades. more..

Fuel adjustment charge going, going but not gone

Nov 1 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa was expected to remove the much discussed Fuel Adjustment Charge (FAC) during the upcoming budget later this month. The CEB imposed FAC in February last year, claiming there was no other way to recover losses due to fuel price increases in the world market. With the generation of hydro-electricity going up owing to good rains experienced since early this year, more..

Fake Rs.2,000 notes circulates around country - Police

Nov 1 (AD) Police today urged the public to be extra cautious regarding the serial number when exchanging Rs 2,000 currency notes, following the recent discovery of a large haul of counterfeit money. The Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana stated that they have received information that fake two thousand rupee notes, similar to those found at a press in Malabe, are circulating around the island. more..

The story of Olive and Palm trees across the fence

Nov 1 (CT) In 1984, in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven, my drinking partner, the Sri Lankan Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram, met a Palestinian guy — the very first Palestinian Thevaram has ever met. Their host in The Netherlands was the electronics company Phillips, well known for having invented the digital compact disc. The two men were at a welcome reception by a director of the company. Phillips, he claimed, was the largest manufacturer of light bulbs more..

The new war zone in Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (CT) The war is over, and has been so for over four years. But it seems another kind of war is being waged on the highways and byways of Sri Lanka, reaping a gory harvest of death and injuries on a daily basis. Just how dangerous our roads have become was revealed by the Police Media Spokesman who claimed six to seven people die every day in the nearly 150 motor accidents that occur across the country. The daily toll computes to 2,000 fatalities in 30,000 accidents since more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Don't succumb

Nov 1 (DH) The CHOGM do not usually attract much interest. Some people even question the relevance of the Commonwealth in the present day world. But next month’s scheduled Colombo summit has gained attention because of the demand from Tamil Nadu’s political parties for India to boycott it to protest against the Sri Lankan govt’s human rights violations. PM Manmohan Singh is expected to attend the summit. The state Assembly has passed a unanimous resolution for a total boycott more..

Sri Lanka stocks close flat

Nov 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka stocks closed flat with a trade in a tile firm pushing turnover above a billion rupees, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed just 0.26 points lower at 5,954.36. The S&P SL20 closed 1.74 points lower at 3,280.33, down 0.05%, after reaching an intraday high of 3,285.11. Turnover was 1.09 billion rupees, up from 632.86 million a day earlier, with stocks of 89 firms closing in the red against 109 gainers. Lanka Floor Tiles had twelve off market deals pushing more..

Harsha tells Lakshman Yapa to stop ‘hiding’ and come debate

Nov 1 (AD) The UNP today alleged that the govt is not attempting to pass a bill in Parliament to legalize casinos but to provides tax breaks for James Packer’s “illegal casino”. A false conception has been created in the country that the govt is attempting to pass a casino bill in Parliament. The govt is currently attempting no such thing, UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said. He stated that the casino bill was passed in Parliament more..

Students, teachers protest against assault on Dy Principal of Zahira College, Kalmunai

Nov 1 (Island) Kalmunai Zahira College students took to the streets on Wednesday morning protesting against Zonal Education Officer of the Kalmunai Education Zone A.L.M. Mukthar on Tuesday for an alleged attack on the Deputy Principal of their school, A. A. Gaffoor. The protesting students also demanded the arrest of two teachers who are brothers of the education officer. The students staged a protest march up to the Ashraff Memorial Hospital carrying placards. more..

Bentota PS Chairman arrested

Nov 1 (CG) The chairman of the Bentota Pradeshiya Sabha (PS) Gayan Sirimanne was arrested today over a brawl which has taken place on Monday. The police said that Sirimanne was arrested while he was receiving treatment at a private hospital in Narahenpita. He was arrested on the charge that he had assaulted the Deputy Chairman of the Pradeshiya Sabha Ranjith Wickremesinghe. The assault had taken place during a Committee meeting held at the Bentota PS on Monday.

'Poaching: Indian Navy helpless'

Nov 1 (DM) Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage said though the Sri Lankan and Indian Navies maintain a vibrant relationship, the Indian Navy and Coastguard units are often helpless when it comes to poaching by Indian fishermen. “We have an excellent working relationship and the bulk of the training comes from the Indian Navy. But I would say that the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are helpless. more..

CHOGM website fraud revealed

Nov 1 (SM) It was recently revealed by media that the government had spent a colossal sum of Rs. 15 million to create the official website of CHOGM 2013. Meanwhile, a blogsite named 'Galle Road Journal' ( has published a special report with regard to this issue. The article title questions as to who embezzled Rs. 15 million after obtaining a template for a price of US$ 45 (Rs.5000). The blog estimates the costs incurred with regard to the website as more..

Bogus law enforcement officers arrested

Nov 1 (Island) Acting on a tip-off, the Minuwangoda police recently nabbed two persons who had robbed passers by claiming that they were from the police and Excise department. The OIC Minuwangoda police Chief Inspector T. Ludowyke had received information that two persons in civvies were checking vehicles at Godamulla on the Colombo-Minuwangoda road having arrived on a stolen motorcycle from Ja-Ela. Following their arrest, the police recovered from their possession eight more..

Sri Lanka to take up student’s killing with Cameron

Nov 1 (DM) The Govt is expected to check on the progress with regard to the investigations into the killing of a SL student in Britain when PM David Cameron visits Sri Lanka for the CHOGM, a top official said. Meanwhile External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunathlike Amunugama said the govt was concerned about the investigations and had urged British authorities to expedite the investigative process and arrest the suspects. more..

38,052 drunk drivers nabbed up to September

Nov 1 (CT) Over 38,052 drivers have been arrested for drunk driving from January to September this year, SSP Ajith Rohana, said. This is a steady increase from the number apprehended in 2012, which was 35,502, for driving under the influence of liquor. “This increase is due to a greater number of cases being detected rather than an increase in the number of people choosing to drink and drive,” he said. A person arrested for drunk driving can face penalties ranging from a minimum fine of more..

Film Fesrtival to coincide with CHOGM begins November 05

Nov 1 (GDI) Sub-committee on Social Programmes has made arrangements to conduct an International Film Festival from 05th to 12th Nov, to coincide with the CHOGM to be held from 10th to 17th November, 2013. Fourteen films from 17 Commonwealth countries inluding Australia, Lesotho, Malaysia, Maldives, Singapore, Pakistan, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania and the United Kingdom will also be screened during the festival. The film festival will open on 05th Nov with the screening of more..

Australian unionists head home after being held in Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (ABC) Two Australian unionists are on their way back home from Sri Lanka after authorities questioned them at length for attending a press freedom workshop there. Two Australian unionists are on their way back home from Sri Lanka after authorities questioned them at length for attending a press freedom workshop there. Jacqui Park and Jane Worthington from the International Federation of Journalists went to a FMM in Colombo more..

One law for casino tycoon, another for IFJ journos - UNP

Nov 1 (SM) The UNP states it is impossible to approve the detaining of IFJ activists for attending a workshop while in the country on tourist visa, while the govt has readily welcomed James Packer for talks on building a casino empire in the country, despite him being in the country on similar visa. The UNP has said thus in a media release. The media release is issued as a mark of protest against the arrest and questioning of IFJ Asia Pacific Director - Jacqueline Park and and IFJ researcher more..

Better Air Quality 2014 conference will be held in Sri Lanka

Nov 1 (GDI) The 8th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia, the Better Air Quality 2014 will be held in Colombo next year. This was announced by the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Energy Mr. Susil Premjayantha at a function held at the Samudra Hotel yesterday. The function was jointly organized by the Air Resources Management and International Cooperation Unit of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Energy and the Clean Air Asia Institution. more..

Central Bank sees 2014 inflation slowing to 4-6% if no shocks

Nov 1 (Reuters) SL's inflation rate next year should slow to between 4% and 6% unless there is a major supply shock. For this year, it is expected that inflation will be around 7%. In October, the annual pace rose to a four-month high of 6.7%, though core inflation, which excludes food and energy, hit a record low 2.6%. Central bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that headline inflation "next year should be in the mid-single digits", more..

Mother, son electrocuted in their paddy field

Nov 1 (Island) A 58-year-old mother and her 21-year-old son were found dead from electrocution in their paddy field in the Passara police area. SSP Ajith Rohana said the victims were identified as Roshan Malinda and Kusumawathi of Palagolla, Sapurodha. According to investigations, the tragedy would have happened between Wednesday 6.00 p.m. and yesterday midnight. Police investigations have revealed that the son, a farmer had put up an electric wire round the paddy field to prevent more..

Karu may head UNP board

Nov 1 (CG) UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya is likely to head the UNP leadership council, UNP sources said. Jayasuriya, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and MP Sajith Premadasa met this evening to further discuss the leadership issue in the party. At the meeting the UNP trio discussed the legal aspect of giving the proposed leadership council all the main powers. It was decided that further discussions will be held on Monday morning and the proposals will then be sent to the UNP Working Committee more..

Sri Lanka’s protracted IDPs - what next?

Nov 1 (IRIN) Years after fighting ended in Sri Lanka - up to more than 20 years for some - tens of thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes, a situation researchers say is unlikely to change soon. A recent report by the Colombo-based advocacy body Centre for Policy Alternatives in 2013 estimated that at least 94,400 “protracted” IDPs who come mostly from minority Tamil and Muslim communities displaced by conflict, more..

Popular singer fined For harbouring mosquito breeding sites

Nov 1 (CT) Based on a charge sheet filed by the Boralesgamuwa Public Health Inspector, the Nugegoda Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge, Ajith Masinghe, ordered popular singer, Deepika Priyadarshani Peiris, to pay a fine of Rs 1,500 for having mosquito breeding sites in her house. She was fined for maintaining a pool in a manner conducive to breed mosquitoes at her house in Boralesgamuwa. An open warrant had been issued on Peiris earlier, for failing to more..

BBS goes to SLHRC against governor Alavi Moulana

Nov 1 (SM) Citing western province governor Alavi Moulana as the main respondent, Bodu Bala Sena organization filed a complaint with the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission this afternoon. CEO of the BBS headquarters, lecturer Dilanthe Withanage, lodged the complaint, which alleges the president’s representative in the province, governor Moulana, had insulted Buddhism by writing to state officials to organize ‘a meritorious cattle slaughter.’ This act by the governor amounts to a violation of the more..

Fans cheer Botham at start of Sri Lanka charity trek

Nov 1 (AFP) Cricket legend Ian Botham was cheered on by hundreds of Sri Lankans Friday as he began a 100-mile trek from the island's war-ravaged north to its tsunami-battered southern coast. The Englishman promised to combat the sapping heat with plenty of night-time "rehydration" before he set off from Kilinochchi, a key battleground in SL's 37-year ethnic war. Botham has completed 14 previous charity treks in more..

Chidambaram against PM accepting invite to Colombo, say sources

Nov 1 (NDTV) The Prime Minister may have been advised by his office to attend a Commonwealth summit in Colombo on November 15, but senior ministers in his govt who are from Tamil Nadu want him to skip the session. Sources close to Finance Minister P Chidambaram say that he is among them. Mr Chidambaram allegedly feels that while the government can send a representative to the conference of leaders of Commonwealth nations, Dr Manmohan Singh should not travel there. more..

Eranga omitted for first two NZ ODIs

Nov 1 (CI) Shaminda Eranga, the Sri Lanka fast bowler, has been left out of the squad for the first two ODIs against New Zealand later this month. Newcomer Ashan Priyanjan, the 24-year-old middle-order batsman, and oppener Dimuth Karunaratne, who played the last of his two ODIs in 2011, have both been included in the 16-man squad. Eranga has had moderate success in ODIs so far, averaging 27.93 in 13 matches, and his results in 2013, and in the recent first-class tournament, more..

Aussie reporter's data 'erased' in Colombo

Nov 1 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities wiped all the data from the computer of an Australian media rights activist as she and a colleague were kicked out of the country, a local rights group says. Jacqui Park and fellow Australian Jean Worthington were packed onto a plane that flew out of Colombo airport a day after authorities ordered their expulsion for "anti-govt" activities. But, according to members of the local Free Media Movement (FMM), more..

A view from abroad

Nov 2 (NS) On Sept 19, 2013 the TNA swept the provincial election with 30 of the 38 seats in the Northern Province. From reports we have heard here in the US it appears that the election was fair and properly conducted. There have been no reports from the foreign observers, who were permitted, adverse to this view. I think this is a victory to the people of Jaffna as well as a victory to President Rajapaksa. Against a chorus of opposition from inside his power base he stood firm in holding this election more..

46th death anniversary of L.H. Mettananda

Nov 2 (NS) He was branded a religious fanatic because of what he stood for. Nov 1 marks the 46th Death Anniversary Lokusathu Hewa Mettananda - better known as L.H. Mettananda – the indefatigable fighter for the rights of Sinhala Buddhists. In the words of veteran journalist, the late D.B. Dhanapala “Anybody who dare talk of Buddhist rights in a Buddhist country is bound to be called a fanatic on disturbing the peace and rousing up religious feelings” (Among Those Present). more..

God Devol, god of vengeance, benevolence and prosperity

Nov 2 (SO) The legendary narratives woven around the arrival of God Devol against the wishes of Goddess Pattini at the ancient port of Seenigama on the south coast possess the features of an epic journey depicted in Greek literature. Before the deportation due to misbehaviour and numerous crimes committed by him in his homeland and in the voyage reaching his final destination at the ancient port of Seenigama, God Devol more..

Commonwealth must honour its own commitments

Nov 2 (GV) The choice of Sri Lanka as a venue for CHOGM 2013 has always remained controversial. But now that most member countries have agreed to go ahead and participate in the high-profile summit happening in Colombo, the moment has arrived for the Commonwealth to reassess its commitment towards its own values. Two weeks from now, the Heads of Govt of 53 Commonwealth countries will congregate in Colombo’s BMICH to discuss, among other things, the Commonwealth’s more..

Callum Macrae wakes up…

Nov 2 (CT) I am Callum Macrae. I am an award-winning film maker, writer and journalist. The ‘journalist’ part is important because it allows me to fictionalize the truth and paint fiction as fact. If you want me to explain, consider ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’. That should do. I don’t sleep much because the horrors of the world keep me awake. The downside of this is that I can’t be woken up; no, not because I am awake, but when I pretend to sleep I cannot be woken up. more..