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Anandasangaree’s plea to Commonwealth leaders

Nov 12 (AD) TULF leader V. Anandasangaree today stated that those who seriously desire for peace and tranquility to return to Sri Lanka, are “duty bound” to persuade India and Canada to attend the Commonwealth summit. He stated that merely because the Conference is going to be presided over by President Rajapaksa, does not mean that all countries should or will endorse all what he says. “If anybody seriously wants peace and tranquility to return to this country, they are duty bound more..

High powered Sri Lanka-China biz meet on sidelines of top Commonwealth summit

Nov 12 (Xinhua) A high powered Chinese business delegation met with their Sri Lankan counterparts here on Tuesday on the sidelines of a top Commonwealth business summit. A high powered 21 member trade delegation from China met business conglomerates at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), which is SL's premier private sector umbrella organization. The CCC in association with the Embassy of Sri Lanka more..

Trinidad Foreign Minister leads delegation to Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (CJ) Trinidad and Tobago Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran is leading a delegation this week to Sri Lanka for the CHOGM. Dookeran is joining 52 heads of govt in Colombo to discuss the theme of “Growth with Equity: Inclusive Development.” The world leaders will also focus on the problems of “increasing poverty and marginalization.” According to a statement from the Foreign Ministry, of “extreme importance” to Trinidad and the members of CARICOM in particular is the issue more..

Indo-Lanka ties shouldn't be held hostage to PM skipping CHOGM

Nov 12 (PTI) Defending the PM's decision to skip CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said he has taken a "considered" call on the visit, against which sentiments were also expressed by his ministers, and the ties between the two countries should not be held hostage to this decision. "The position we've taken is not a boycott if I'm going. The Prime Minister has taken a considered call. As you can see, he's factored in a lot of issues more..

Video: Govt ‘drowning’ due to CHOGM expenses – Ranil

Nov 12 (AD) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe says Sri Lanka is wasting money for the Commonwealth meet like no other country which has hosted it so far and that the govt, which was “nose deep in water” before CHOGM is now “drowning”. The UNP leader said that he had visited several Commonwealth summits in the past and that none of those countries had wasted as much funds as Sri Lanka has done so far. more..

Video: MR invites C4 men for a cuppa

Nov 12 (DM) In what appeared to be a consolidation of the charm that President Mahinda Rajapaksa is renowned for, while dismissing questions posed by Channel-4 journalist when he was about to board the car after the opening of the Commonwealth Business Forum, invited them “for a cup of tea”. During a brief rendezvous with the journalist who is currently in Sri Lanka to cover the CHOGM, Rajapaksa said that he was not concerned about alleged war crimes in the country. more..

'Casinos are legal'

Nov 12 (CT) "Casinos are legal in Sri Lanka," Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, said at the Cabinet media briefing. However, the minister could not explain the exact circumstances under which a licence would be issued or who would be in charge of issuing such a licence. The Betting and Gaming Levy (Amendment) Act No. 14 of 2006 and the Casino Business (Regulation) Act, are the most recent legislation that deal with Gaming Centres in the country but it does not state which more..

'Expansion of growth in an economy is vital, if poverty is to be reduced'

Nov 12 (GDI) "Today, we still have to reluctantly admit that the world has not yet been able to find durable solutions to the vexed problem of poverty as highlighted in the past CHOGM Declarations. If at all, the situation seems to have become even more challenging, in the light of the tremendous stresses that the world economy is experiencing", said President Rajapaksa. "Interestingly, the only instances where more..

Tony Abbott, Julie Bishop must not look the other way on SL's human rights situation

Nov 12 (SMH) When Sri Lankan authorities detained Australian Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon for publicly criticising their human rights record, it reinforced why Sri Lanka is a poor choice of host for the CHOGM. The gathering of heads of state from 53 nations, which begins on Friday, aims to promote 'common values' including equitable growth, democracy, accountability, rule of law, and human rights. The principles of human rights are enshrined in the Commonwealth's Harare Declaration more..

Sri Lanka: Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting

Nov 12 (IPF) The 23rd CHOGM is being held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from the 15th–17th of Nov 2013. The last CHOGM was held in 2011 in Perth, Australia and the first ever CHOGM was held in 1971 in Singapore. The Commonwealth is an organisation consisting of former colonies of the British Empire with the Queen as the head. The CHOGM is the biennial summit meeting of the heads of govt from all Commonwealth nations. It is held every two years in different member states. more..

Sri Lankan official criticizes 'judgmental' Commonwealth countries

Nov 12 (AP) A Sri Lankan official said Tuesday that no Commonwealth country has the right to judge others, in an apparent reference to the boycott of an upcoming summit in Sri Lanka by the leaders of Canada and India. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said that "within the Commonwealth, there is no room for judgmental positions for some countries to sit in judgment over other countries." more..

True wealth lies in the business forum

Nov 13 (NS) The fact that Sri Lanka was under the jackboot of colonial subjugation does not invite any celebration. The country’s economy was plundered by the British over a period of 133 years and socio-cultural dimensions were distorted. The divide and rule policy adopted by the British – primarily on Sinhalese and Tamil ethnicities resulted in a three decade long bloodshed that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Sinhalese and Tamils. Like Sri Lanka, almost all the countries more..

Re-dressing Queen Victoria

Nov 13 (NS) Statue of Queen Victoria was among the topics discussed by some circles recently. The issue was the action taken by museum authorities to turn the statue to face Nelum Pokuna Mawatha. The statue was moved from the Gordon Gardens premises adjoining President’s House at Fort and was temporary dumped at Viharamahadevi Park in May 2006. Later it was moved to the museum premises and re-fixed. The sudden ‘facelift’ is attributed by some to CHOGM. more..

Passionate search for marginalised victim

Nov 13 (Island) The harsh realities of our world and our communion in the God of Life urge us to endorse our Assembly theme as a timely prophetic petition. It presses our parent-protector to arrest the terrible trends of human degradation and to bring speedy relief to all who groan. In light of those who promote the ways of aggressive greed, it is a defiant call for repentance and visible change, now. For the restless faithful within the more..

Editorial: Sirikotha jinx

Nov 13 (Island) Some UNP heavyweights are of the view that they have been going through a sticky patch all these years owing to some malefic effects of the land on which their party headquarters stands. If astrologers had been consulted when Sirikotha was built, this problem could have been avoided, they have told this newspaper, suggesting that it be relocated at least now. Superstition is said to be the religion of feeble minds. The UNP has been out of power for a long time and a mood of more..

Singh – Dropping out to save the Congress

Nov 13 (CT) A month ago, Salman Khurshid, India's External Affairs Minister, arrived in Colombo, bearing both good and bad news. The positives included the formalizing of a contract to jointly construct a power plant in Sampur and the pledging of continued support for post war recovery. At the same time, Khurshid was tasked to break the bad news to Colombo about Indian Premier Manmohan Singh's inability to attend the CHOGM, which will get underway on 15 November. more..

Gamani Corea: Champion of Global South

Nov 13 (GV) Robert S McNamara, who was US Secretary of Defence under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, then served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. Despite his contentious legacy in the US govt, he is credited to have shifted the Bank’s focus to population and poverty issues. McNamara, whom I once interviewed when in retirement, had a razor sharp mind and a wit to match. more..

Tamils, Trincomalee and scope for peace

Nov 13 (CT) I was in Trincomalee for a few days after a long time. The trip was fantastic. But, fun aside, the trip was also a harrowing experience as a Tamil. The speed at which the history and heritage of the town has been reversed by the hegemonic state is remarkable. For example, a huge statue of Buddha (annexed) has been erected right below the famous Koneswaram temple. While I have little clue as to how the hot water springs of Kanniya came about, I know for a fact that the official version more..

The Woodpecker and the Banana trunk

Nov 13 (CT) There is a Sinhala proverb that says: “the woodpecker happily pecks away at trunk after trunk, but the day it pecks at the banana trunk it’s beak is stuck”. The reference is to the copiously threaded nature of the trunk of the banana that can entangle any object that pierces it, potentially suffocating the intruder, in this case the woodpecker. It increasingly appears that in wangling the hosting of the CHOGM, the Rajapaksa regime has been pecking at a banana trunk. more..

Boston Lanka: November 13, 2013

Buddhist heritage of Tamil Nadu and its links with Lanka

Nov 13 (Island) The cultural affinities between Tamil Nadu our closest neighbour and Sri Lanka are many but little is known of the religious ties which bound the two countries between the early years of the Christian era and the 14th century AD, during which time Buddhism was prevalent in South India. Buddhism came to South India before the 3rd Sangam period in the 2nd century BC. Pandit Hisselle Dharmaratana mahathera, in his Buddhism in South India states that there is evidence more..

The man called Ian Botham!

Nov 13 (CT) The cricket world has its own battles to look after! Be it on the field or off it! Its news and sometimes great news! For example the retirement of Tendulkar after a long and a highly distinguished career has to be the biggest of them all happening currently. However, one particular act by a cricketing personality that may not have attracted the attention of the cricket world in the manner it should have been is the walk undertaken by the legend Sir Ian Botham. Called Beefy's big SL Walk 2013, more..

CYF: Opportunity for international youth integration

Nov 13 (SO) The ninth Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) which begins today (10) at Magampura Convention Centre will conclude on Nov 14. Various problems faced by the youth worldwide will be discussed indepth during the forum. There are so many problems, the youth face today and the forum will be a gateway to identify them and address them immediately. The youth must be prepared to face contemporary challenges. more..

Lightning stops play in Hambantota

Nov 13 (CI) Rain proved not to be the tropical monsoon's only disciple in its ongoing war against cricket in Sri Lanka, as a less mundane meteorological phenomenon stopped play and prompted the players' exit in Hambantota. Dark clouds had gathered over the venue before the match had begun, but around the 20th over, lightning began to strike the forest to the east, about 1.5km from the venue. Spotting a particularly menacing fork, the umpires conferred and led the players more..

SLIIT ‘CodeFest 2013’ attracts 73 Teams

Nov 13 (Island) CodeFest 2013, an event hosted by the Faculty of Computing of SLIIT is a unique initiative to provide a stage for the zealous programmers to frame their best code. This nationwide software competition which aims to harness student talent has emerged as the biggest coding event among School and University students in SL. The competitive battle among the participants made the competition intense and appealing. Along with the software competition more..

Minister bemoans UNP attempt to discredit CBF delegate Packer

Nov 13 (FT) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena expressed regret over the UNP’s action of filing a complaint with the Police over CBF delegate and speaker James Packer, who is also the Chairman of Crown Resorts of Australia. Full text: UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva filed a complaint at Police Headquarters Colombo that James Packer was in Sri Lanka to promote a casino project in the country where casinos are illegal. more..

Sri Lanka win 10 golds at SA Junior Athletics Championships

Nov 13 (Island) Team captain Supun Randeniya of Ranabima Royal College, Gannoruwa produced the best performance of the day, clocking 13.64 seconds to win the boys’ 110 metres hurdles gold, as Sri Lanka dominated the day, winning eight golds to conclude their campaign at the second South Asian Junior Athletics Championships in style in Ranchi, India, on Tuesday. Prince College Ratnapura sprinter Udaya Kumara won the silver. In other individual events, more..

SLT Group PBT up by 13% to Rs. 5.3 Bn

Nov 13 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the national integrated telecommunication service provider and the ICT Solutions Provider for the CHOGM released its financial statements for the 1st nine months of 2013 today. SLT group comprises the holding company SLT and seven other subsidiaries including the group mobile arm Mobitel. The group revenue has increased by 5% to Rs. 44.6 billion. during the 1st nine months of this year compared to Rs. 42.3 billion of the more..

'All casinos in Sri Lanka are illegal'

Nov 13 (FT) UNP MP Harsha de Silva issued a statement yesterday noting that although Minister Keheliya Rambukwella has said casinos are legal in Sri Lanka because they pay an annual levy to the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue, that is “completely wrong”. According to the MP, the Casino Business (Regulation) Act, No. 17 of 2010 certified on 7 Dec 2010 specifically states that no person shall, from and after 1 Jan 2012, more..

A database on private buses

Nov 13 (CT) The Ministry of Private Transport Services is planning to create a database of information on private bus operators, in a bid to enhance the quality of public transport. Secretary to the Ministry of Private Transport Services, Padmasiri Jayamanna said, initial discussions regarding implementing the system were held with the academics of the University of Moratuwa and a feasibility study will be carried out by the university. "Through setting up information systems more..

'National MP praised Sri Lankan govt'

Nov 13 (Voxy) It beggars belief that National MP Kanwaljit Bakshi praised the SL govt’s approach to the Tamil crisis as "impressive" despite worldwide condemnation of its human rights record, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. "It appears John Key’s softly approach on Sri Lanka and human rights has infected his caucus. "During a trip to Sri Lanka last year, Bakshi commended the govt on its resettlement work and development in the former war zone. more..

Gambling den raid: JHU questions govt

Nov 13 (DM) The JHU questioned the govt as to what happened to the 45 people who were arrested for gambling during a raid at a gambling den near the Eye Hospital and under whose instructions the 23 officials of the Police Crime Division who were in the squad that organised the raid were transferred soon after the raid. JHU Spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that it is a surprising that within 48 hours, 23 officials who were in the squad more..

'UNP statement lacked any legal validity'

Nov 13 (FT) Deputy Minister Faiszer Mustapha also responding to UNP action claimed that unfortunately the Opposition party’s statement lacked any legal validity or any rational sense. “One would be liable in law for running a casino if one does not have the required regulatory approval before commencing the same. Thus it is unfortunate that a statement of this nature should be issued at a time SL is hosting the Commonwealth Business Summit,” Faiszer said. “I would like to remind Dr. Harsha De Silva and more..

'Madras Cafe not an honest film'

Nov 13 (DNA) Noting that his country's films are taking a hit from the more popular Bollywood productions, noted Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage alleged that "Madras Cafe" was not an "honest" movie. He also lamented the dearth of market for Sri Lankan films in India. "The problem is (Madras Cafe)... doesn't touch the characters... It has caricatures ... those are not people. To me it's not an honest film. You cannot make a film when it doesn't come from the heart," more..

Latham, Ronchi power incredible NZ chase

Nov 13 (CI) Before this match, 21-year-old Tom Latham had boasted that even this depleted NZ side backed themselves to chase tall scores against Sri Lanka. Striking a scintillating career-best 86 off 68 deliveries, Latham proved that threat was not just bluster, as he carried the visitors most of the distance of their 8.6-an-over, rain-shortened chase before an ebullient Nathan McCullum pulled the match from the brink more..

No private air travel to Jaffna for CHOGM

Nov 13 (CT) FITS Aviation Ground Handling Officer, Siriwansa, told Ceylon Today that the Civil Air Services Authority had informed them (FITS) to suspend all air travel to Jaffna from 10-18 Nov in view of the CHOGM. He added that FITS has been informed of this through a fax (cord system). FITS tours normally operate one trip daily, from Monday to Saturday, from Ratmalana to Palaly and back. However, an officer of Heli Tours stated that the govt has not banned air travel to Jaffna. more..

N'Eliya deputy mayor cannot be dismissed

Nov 13 (CT) According to the Elections Commissioner, the post of Deputy Mayor of the Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council is still filled by Tissa Seneviratne, although Mayor Mahinda Dodampagamage had stated that Seneviratne was dismissed under the Provincial Administration Act because he did not attend three consecutive sessions of the Council. The Mayor, at the Council’s General Meeting held on 5 Nov, said that Tissa Seneviratne (who was also present more..

PM Harper’s rep lays flowers for Tigers

Nov 13 (Island) Canadian MP Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Human Rights, yesterday laid flowers at the Elephant Pass cemetery on his way back from Jaffna. A govt official alleged the flowers had been for those who died fighting for the LTTE, a proscribed organisation in Canada. Obhrai is in Sri Lanka for the CHOGM scheduled to begin on Friday. more..

Callum Macrae creeps into 'Sirikotha'

Nov 13 (CT) Controversial Channel 4 Film Director, Callum Macrae, who defamed Sri Lanka, attended a press conference organized by UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, yesterday. Macrae produced four films for Channel 4 pertaining to alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan Security Forces during the final phase of the war, and inviting him to the media briefing held by MP Mangala Samaraweera at Sirikotha, was bitterly opposed by UNP MPs and other members of the Party. more..

Pakistan PM to arrive tomorrow

Nov 13 (BR) PM Nawaz Sharif will arrive in Sri Lanka on Nov 14 to represent Pakistan at the 53-member CHOGM. Besides attending the Inaugural, Executive and Retreat Sessions of the summit, the PM will meet several world leaders on the sidelines of the four-day moot, says a press release by Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka received here on Tuesday. The PM's interaction with the heads of govts of Sri Lanka, Australia and New Zealand has also been scheduled. more..