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British TV crew behind war-crime film face Sri Lanka demo

Nov 11 (AFP) Pro-govt activists demonstrated outside Sri Lanka's main international airport on Monday denouncing a visit by Britain's Channel 4 which produced an award-winning documentary on alleged war crimes during the island's ethnic war. Activists shouted slogans against a crew from the network as they arrived to cover a meeting of Commonwealth countries in Colombo on Friday. more..

Walk out by North PC members

Nov 11 (CG) Three Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members boycotted the speech by Northern Province Governor Major General G.A Chandrasiri when the Council convened in Jaffna today. NPC member Anandi Sasitharan said that she and two other TNA members objected to the Governor making the speech. She said that the three members wanted to send a clear message that the Tamils in the North had suffered when Chandrasiri was the Commander of the North. more..

GMOA wants common forum on kidney disease

Nov 11 (Island) The GMOA yesterday said it would call for a Common Forum of all Research Groups on the Chronic Kidney Disease to arrive at a final conclusion. For, conclusions by various research teams were contradictory and unscientific, it said. GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said his association wished to ask the government whether there was a National Policy on Chronic Kidney Disease, endemic in the North-Central province and some other provinces. more..

Video: 'Political henchman' behind transfer of 23 Police officers- JVP

Nov 11 (DM) The JVP urged the govt to divulge the ‘political henchmen’ who engineered the transfer of 23 police officers attached to the Organised Crimes Investigation Unit. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said these policemen were transferred to remote areas as a result of doing their services by the law.“The investigation of the police officers has revealed that politicians were involved in operating the gambling den. more..

More traffic restrictions for CHOGM

Nov 11 (CG) Vehicular movements will be restricted along several roads in and around Colombo when the main events related to the CHOGM takes place. Police headquarters said that traffic regulations will be in place on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the opening ceremony of the main summit, the retreat and departure of world leaders. The traffic plan : Heads of Government (HOG) Arrivals and Departures BIA to Colombo – Colombo to BIA Dates :Arrivals : 09.11.2013, more..

Sharma assures CHOGM success

Nov 11 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma today assured President Rajapaksa the success of the CHOGM. He gave the assurance when he met the President at the Presidential Secretariat this morning. “We are here to make your CHOGM a great success,” Sharma told President Rajapaksa. The delegations from the Commonwealth Secretariat and Sri Lanka that joined the Secretary-General and the President for the meeting discussed the final arrangements more..

Sri Lankan party seeks arrest of Australian tycoon for 'illegal' casino

Nov 11 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Monday demanded that police arrest Australian gambling tycoon James Packer, who is due attend a Commonwealth forum this week, saying his plan to build a $400 million casino in Colombo has no proper license. Mounting opposition by Buddhist religious leaders and some political parties has already led the Sri Lankan govt to delay approval for Packer's Crown Ltd more..

Tamil Nadu assembly meets Tuesday to discuss CHOGM

Nov 11 (IANS) A session of the Tamil Nadu assembly has been called Tuesday evening, assembly secretary A.M.P. Jamaludeen announced Monday. A DMDK legislator said the session would discuss India's participation in the Nov 15-17 CHOGM in Colombo. While PM Manmohan Singh has decided to stay away from the meet, the central govt has decided to depute a delegation led by Minister Salman Khurshid. The central govt's decision to send a delegation to CHOGM more..

'Under Rajapakse, militarisation of Sri Lanka taking place'

Nov 11 (Rediff) 'The Tamils in military occupied areas are being denied the Right to Livelihood and Right to Life.' 'How can India allow the Sri Lankan govt to forget that there are over 80,000 war widows? Many of them are maimed, living in inhuman conditions and unable to earn a living. What concerns Tamils in Sri Lanka concerns the Tamils in India,' says Dr Gabriele Dietrich, a grassroot activist and a naturalised Indian citizen. From Nov 15 to 17, the CHOGM, will be held in Sri Lanka. more..

Australian foreign minister urges leaders to attend talks

Nov 11 (SMH) Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has vowed to "engage" rather than "isolate" Sri Lanka over claims of human rights abuses, bucking a growing international trend to boycott this week's Commonwealth meeting in the country. Ms Bishop urged all member countries to attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka this week despite heavyweight India's dramatic announcement it was boycotting the talks. Indian PM Manmohan Singh announced more..

SL editors criticise UK press reforms

Nov 11 (Guardian) Sri Lankan editors have written to David Cameron urging him to put a stop to the royal charter on newspaper regulation, claiming it will serve as a blueprint for those who want to control the press around the world. The group appealed to the prime minister to protect Britain's reputation as a "shining example to be followed" before his attendance at the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, which has been accused of intimidating journalists and restricting freedom of speech. more..

JVP slams Govt vehicle imports

Nov 11 (CT) JVP today claimed that the government imported luxury vehicles not for the Commonwealth leaders, but for the ministers and their henchmen. Addressing the media JVP parliamentarian Sunil Hadunnetti said, ministers have started clashes regarding distributing luxury vehicles among them after the summit. “These luxury vehicles were imported without import duties. Nearly Rs.910 million tax exemptions were granted for importing Benz cars. more..

Sri Lanka war legacy overshadows Commonwealth summit

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka had hoped this week's Commonwealth summit would showcase its post-war revival but the event is turning into PR disaster with the leaders of Canada and India deciding to boycott over human rights concerns. CHOGM opens in Colombo on Friday, hoping to tackle a range of economic, social and diplomatic issues affecting the 53-member bloc. Prince Charles will represent the organisation's ageing titular more..

Indian minister explains Sri Lanka summit snub

Nov 11 (F24) Indian FM Salman Khurshid has acknowledged that domestic politics played a role in Indian PM Manmohan Singh’s decision to boycott this week’s controversial Commonwealth conference in Sri Lanka. “There’s a lot happening at home right now,” said Khurshid. While careful to note that Singh had important economic issues on his agenda and a general election coming up next year, Khurshid added that, “There were points of view of our colleagues and other parties from TN. more..

Govt. still clings to hope regarding Indian PM attending CHOGM

Nov 11 (AD) The govt still believes that Indian PM Manmohan Singh may attend the CHOGM at the last minute, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella stated. He said that like the Canadian PM, the Indian PM too was sending a delegation for CHOGM in his place. He added that it was regrettable that some dignitaries were unable to attend the meeting but claimed that 37 leaders had now committed to attending CHOGM and that those who cannot attend will not obstruct the progress of the meeting. more..

Video: President has to follow the CW values as the Chair: UNP

Nov 11 (DM) The UNP said once the Sri Lankan President becomes the Chairperson of Commonwealth, he would have to implement Commonwealth values exactly without ignoring them unlike now. “President Rajapaksa will have to follow the 16 values of the Commonwealth as its Chairperson and shouldn’t act as Medamulana Mahinda anymore,” UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said. He said the procedure that more..

Dissension deepens in UNP

Nov 12 (NS) The tragically comic trajectory of the UNP this week hurtled further downwards, with the formation of a ‘Leadership Council’ creating further divisions within the party instead of unifying its ranks and file under a stable leader. The aim of the Leadership Council, proposed by the dissidents in the party, who have been unable to oust Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, was to clip the party leader’s wings and take control over most of the decision making powers he enjoyed. more..

No more tough-talk or talk-down

Nov 12 (NS) H.L.D. Mahindapala, in an article titled ‘Exact nuance of CHOGM’s success’ points out that under normal circumstances ‘a loose, scattered and wobbly institution like the Commonwealth should have withered and died shortly after its birth. It has survived for 64 years without any tangible benefits to the collective or individual members. Perhaps it indicates the strength of an abiding colonial mentality. Perhaps this is also why PM David Cameron feels empowered to talk the more..

'CHOGM will be a resounding success'

Nov 12 (SO) Minister G.L. Peiris said that despite ‘irresistible domestic political pressure’ on Member States, the CHOGM in Sri Lanka will be a resounding success. He said assuming the Chair of the Commonwealth will not be an unnecessary burden as pessimists would believe, since Sri Lanka was not afraid of media spotlight and attention. “We are certainly happy to meet criticism on a rational plain.” more..

India's dilemma

Nov 12 (CT) The USA is the solitary super power in the world. Hence, its President is considered to be the most powerful person on Earth. The President of the USA, Barack Obama, recently confessed that he is in fear of his wife. Most of the powerful men fear the lady called wife and it is of course a norm. However, Indian Prime Minister's tale is different. He is afraid not of his wife but of another lady. She is Jayalalithaa Jeyaram, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. more..

The biological death of Gamani Corea

Nov 12 (CT) Dr Gamani Corea “A gentleman par excellence”, as mentioned in the funeral oration by Dr Tissa Vitarana, and a son of the soil who rose to one of the highest international positions ever held by any Lankan is now ashes and dust. A trickle of people gathered for the last service for him, on strangely his Birthday. I am sure those of us who gathered there annually for a Birthday service and refreshments to share his gentle smile and few comments, felt a tug at the heart strings. more..

Gay rights at CHOGM

Nov 12 (CT) Sherman de Rose, a leading gay and lesbian rights activist says the local gay rights activists are calling on the British PM to 'set the record straight' on an archaic law that criminalized homosexuality in Sri Lanka in 1892. "We urge Britain to take the lead and our President as the Chair of the Commonwealth to take the matter seriously," he said in an interview. He said the gay rights groups would be meeting a number of more..

China, Pakistan deepen Sri Lanka ties at India’s expense

Nov 12 (ET) PM Manmohan Singh's decision to skip the CHOGM in Colombo due to intense domestic political pressure is likely to give China and Pakistan an opportunity to deepen their relations with Sri Lanka at India's expense. Both China and Pakistan have expanded their footprints in the war-ravaged island nation in recent years, a development that strategic experts say does not bode well for India. "Sri Lanka's strategic location in the Indian Ocean region is eyed by several countries. more..

Sri Lanka's flawed foreign policy and its consequences

Nov 12 (CT) If there is one area in human endeavor in which duplicity in a narrowly defined context is justified, it is in the sphere of foreign policy of a newly 'freed' country. Given the context of the developed world, it is free to make its own choices in making whom a friend and whom a foe for they, especially Western Europe had not been colonized by greater powers than themselves. Asia and Africa stood out as emerging powers in the fifties and sixties. Having broken the colonial shackles, more..

Live telecast of robotic surgery a first at joint sessions of UK-Lanka urologists

Nov 12 (ST) Robotic surgery in Sri Lanka, not in an operating theatre of a local hospital, but streamed-in live from England to a distinguished gathering. This surgery known as ‘going beyond human hands’, is being telecast live from Essex, the time there being 10 a.m. and in Sri Lanka 3.30 p.m. on Monday (4). “It’s like playing video games, we joke, because there has to be good eye-hand coordination,” says Consultant Urological more..

SL v NZ 2st ODI Preview: Cricket at weather's mercy again

Nov 12 (CI) New Zealand may have mixed feelings about the soggy finish to the first match, but for the hosts, the disappointment of not completing that game is double. With an inexperienced opposition at 13 for 1 chasing a tall score, Sri Lanka will feel they were strong favourites to win the match. Their plans for developing young players have now been complicated. Chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya had suggested that he would like to rest at least one of the senior batsmen in match two if more..

Kadirgamar Memorial Oration 2013

nov 12 (Island) I first met Lakshman in 1984 in Sydney, when he interviewed me for a position at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) where he was, at the time, the Director of the Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. I worked for Lakshman for three years, from 1985 until he returned to Sri Lanka in 1988, and had the opportunity to travel with him on a number of occasions to his beloved Asia, to which he was so profoundly attached and which he incarnated more..

Washout forces rethink on young players

Nov 12 (CI) Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka captain, admitted a washed-out first match will likely force the hosts to field their best XI again on Tuesday, altering earlier plans to make player development the focus of the last two games of the series against NZ. Before the tour, Mathews had said Sri Lanka would seek a series victory before entertaining thoughts of blooding new talent, but chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya suggested more..

Editorial: A diplomatic parippu drop

nov 12 (Island) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, her arch-enemy M. Karunanidhi and others of their ilk must be painting the town red. They have scored another impressive win against Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Manmohan Sigh has capitulated to their call for skipping CHOGM in Colombo. Prime Minister Singh need not have dilly-dallied for weeks; he could have announced his decision much earlier. Not many Sri Lankans expected him to come here anyway. more..

Gotabhaya graces TISSL Conference

Nov 12 (CT) It gives me great pleasure to address you this evening at the Inaugural International Conference of the Heads of Schools, organised by The International Schools in Sri Lanka. I understand that this is the first international conference for Heads of Schools being organised in Sri Lanka, and that representatives from Govt schools as well as private schools are attending this event, which is organised under the theme “Leadership to Inspire Learning”. This theme is an especially more..

A Guide to Colombo for CHOGM 2013

Nov 12 (GV) Your Excellency, Distinguished Delegate, Dear Visitor, Ayubowan! Vanakkam! Welcome to Colombo! You may have heard of how General Potemkin primed Crimea for the pleasure of Catherine the Great and her foreign ambassadors on their southern trip in 1787. Likewise, our own Potemkin, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse, presidential sibling and Secretary Defence and Urban Development, has more..

Going down in WB doing business ranking

Nov 12 (Island) It has been widely reported that Sri Lanka has come down in the latest World Bank Doing Business Index (DBI) from the position of 81 to 85 among 189 countries in the world. The ranking two years ago was 79. The process of improving Sri Lanka’s business climate to be within the top 30 countries was launched with a big bang. The Central Bank, Board of Investment and the Ministry of Economic Development were initially in the forefront launching a major campaign to more..

CB gives thumbs-up for economy ahead of CHOGM

Nov 12 (FT) The Central Bank yesterday showed an apparent thumbs-up for the economy by retaining policy rates, as they are indicating previous measures taken are being helpful thus far. “As expected, the measures on monetary policy easing adopted by the Central Bank with the aim of further stimulating economic growth have continued to yield the desired positive effects on key variables,” the Central Bank said, following the November monetary policy review meeting. more..

CEB woes end with commissioning of two more 300 MW plants

Nov 12 (Island) With the completion of the Phase Two (300 MWx2) of the first coal fired power plant at Norochcholai, thermal contribution to the national grid would increase to between 30 and 40%. The first of its 300MW generation will be commissioned next month and the other 300 MW generation linked to the national grid in May 2014. In 2012, coal power contribution was some 11% of the total supply, while generation through costly more..

Cases against 318 for illegal fishing

Nov 12 (DN) A Fisheries Ministry spokesman said they have filed 318 cases against fishermen using illegal fishing vessels, equipment and prohibited fishing vessels during the last 10 months of this year. All cases have been filed for violating the Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Act, the spokesman said. He said according to the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act, fishing with dynamite, spot light fishing, using non-permitted chemicals, purse nets and tank boats are prohibited more..

Thalatha says LC should comprise only 3

Nov 12 (Island) UNP MP Thalatha Athukorale, who decided not to accept membership in the Party’s newly formed Leadership Council, was of the opinion that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa should meet together and thrash out all differences. Thalatha, the sister of former UNP General Secretary, the late Gamini Athukorale, said that the differences should be settled by the trio before another national election is announced by the Govt. more..

Jaffna protest organizers receive death threats

Nov 12 (CT) Chairman of the Valikamam North Pradeshiya Sabha, Somasundaram Sugirthan, and the Vice President of the Valikamam North Resettlement Committee, Shanmugalingam Sujeevan, lodged a complaint with the Chunnakam Police, stating they received threats via the telephone as well as SMS, asking them to stop the protest campaign they plan to hold during the Brithish PM's visit. more..

PM missing CHOGM will be a signal of foreign policy paralysis

Nov 12 (TOI) With the Congress red-flagging PM Manmohan Singh's participation at the upcoming CHOGM in Colombo out of populist electoral considerations, the country's foreign policy has hit an all-time low. Under pressure from the DMK as well as ministers within the government, a divided Congress core group has impressed upon the PM not to visit Sri Lanka. This utter capitulation to domestic political sentiment - months before the general elections - exemplifies an infirm govt more..

800 Ansell Lanka workers protest outside Labour Ministry

Nov 12 (ST) At least 800 workers of Ansell Lanka at Biyagama Export Processing Zone on Monday protested outside the Labour Ministry in Narahenpita urging the authorities to settle a labour dispute at the surgical gloves production factory. The workers are on strike for 25 days demanding the management to reinstate 11 employees, including the trade union president and other office bearers sacked by the management for staging protests against exploitation of workers. more..

Brits being sold illegal kidneys for surgery in Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (Telegraph) British patients waiting for organ transplants are being offered surgery using illegally trafficked kidneys at a Govt-controlled hospital in Sri Lanka, it has been claimed. The claims emerged just one day before David Cameron and the Prince of Wales were due to join world leaders for the CHOGM in the country. Organs are on sale for tens of thousands of pounds with promises to arrange surgery at the hospital in Colombo, more..