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Disciplining students: Where do you draw the line?

Nov 15 (ST) On Thursday, a student who sustained injuries was hospitalised as a result of corporal punishment (caning) by the principal of a school. A group of grade 11 students of Minuwangoda Dewalapola Ananda Vidyalaya had allegedly made jokes and called the teacher names while they were in class. When the teacher complained to the principal he had punished the students by caning them. more..

CMC spends Rs. 1.5 bn on city beautification for CHOGM

Nov 15 (Island) Mayor of Colombo A. J. M. Muzammil said yesterday that the city beautification project for the CHOGM, which gets underway today (15) at Nelum Pokuna, cost the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) a staggering Rs. 1.5 billion. He said that the CMC was happy to be associated with the project together with the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development and that the investment would benefit the city ratepayers. more..

Clothes, suitcases on Sri Lanka beach recall war's bloody endgame

Nov 15 (Reuters) Scraps of clothes, rusting cooking pots and broken medicine bottles are scattered across Puthumathalan beach, the litter of 300,000 civilians who crowded into the hamlet in the final days of Sri Lanka's civil war. Ethnic minority Tamil rebels made their last stand on the beach in 2009, after 26 years of fighting to set up a separate Tamil state in Sri Lanka's north and east. With the rebels were more than more..

Commonwealth leaders meet, Sri Lanka human rights under scrutiny

Nov 15 (Reuters) Leaders of the Commonwealth of mostly former British colonies gathered in Colombo on Friday for a biennial summit that has brought with it intense scrutiny of Sri Lanka's human rights record four years after the civil war ended. President Rajapaksa had hoped the November 15-17 meeting, which two heads of state have boycotted, would prove an advertisement for progress and economic growth in the island more..

Defeat of Tamils haunts Sri Lanka Commonwealth talks

Nov 15 (AFP) British PM David Cameron urged Sri Lanka to hold "a proper inquiry" into the defeat of the Tamil Tiger insurgency following a Commonwealth summit in Colombo hosted by President Rajapakse, who oversaw the 2009 rout of the rebel group. Sri Lanka's president urged his peers Friday not to pass judgment over his country's past as he hosted a Commonwealth summit that threatens to be upstaged by a visit to the more..

Cameron upstages Commonwealth summit with Jaffna trip

Nov 15 (AFP) Britain's PM David Cameron made an historic visit Friday to Sri Lanka's former war-zone, stealing the spotlight from a Commonwealth summit after the host, President Rajapakse, warned against passing judgement on his country's past. Only hours after the summit opened in Colombo, Cameron flew into the northern Jaffna region where some 100,000 people lost their lives in fighting between Tamil rebels and more..

Abbot says ' justice tomorrow in Sri Lanka will be better than today'

Nov 15 (DM) Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Addressing the CHOGM said that the willingness of Sri Lanka to host CHOGM displayed the country’s commitment to democratic pluralism. He said that those present in the country today are both to praise Sri Lanka and make judgments “This Country has confronted many troubles. We are here to praise as much as to judge. Justice today is better than yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka had confronted great adversity in recent years- Prince Charles

Nov 15 (DM) Prince Charles said that Sri Lanka had confronted great adversity in recent years.“I am especially pleased to be back among the people of Sri Lanka who, in recent years, have confronted great adversity,” the Prince said. “We hope and trust the Commonwealth brings healing to our troubles” he said speaking at the opening ceremony of the a Commonwealth summit on behalf of the Queen, in Colombo this morning. more..

President tells Commonwealth to focus on challenges, not human rights issues

Nov 15 (Xinhua) President Rajapaksa delivered a strong message to Commonwealth members here on Friday insisting that common problems of the 53 country bloc should outshine the island's human rights record. Rajapaksa inaugurated the opening ceremony for the CHOGM with Prince Charles as the head of the Commonwealth in place of the Queen. Recalling the challenges faced by Sri Lanka in the last more..

I do not fear the bullets said Kadirgamar

Nov 15 (CT) Ladies and Gentleman: I am privileged to introduce a distinguished international lawyer and scholar Dr Francis Gurry to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture. Dr Gurry is Director General, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The author of numerous publications on intellectual property rights, he was formerly a practicing attorney in Australia with a law degree from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. more..

Sri Lanka at a moral crossroad

Nov 15 (CT) Two govt ministers have reportedly made contradicting statements on the legality of the casino industry in the country. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene has said that none of the casinos operating in Sri Lanka have licenses to conduct business. He is contradicting his Cabinet colleague Keheliya Rambukwella who previously said that all casinos operating in this country are legal entities. Nonetheless, the government is pushing ahead with plans to open more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.3%

Nov 15 (LBO) Stocks closed lower in a broad sell-off with consumer goods and diversified stocks losing ground, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed 18.08 points lower at 5,810.97, down 0.31%. The S&P SL20 closed 11.28 points lower at 3,174.68, down 0.35%. Turnover was 234.29 million rupees, down from 525.70 million rupees a day earlier, with stocks of 112 firms closing in the red against 52 gainers. Sampath Bank accounted for 29% of the total turnover today. more..

Visiting leaders could get horoscopes cast

Nov 15 (DM) Culture and the Arts Minister T.B. Ekanayake said yesterday the Heads of the Government visiting Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) could get their horoscopes cast free of charge at the ‘Nekath Gedara’ in the newly opened Janakala Kendraya in Battaramulla. The Minister said the National Nekath Committee would cast horoscopes upon requests of Heads of Government and other visitors to the Nekath Gedara. more..

Commonwealth secretary-general calls for respect for diversity

Nov 15 (Xinhua) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma called on the member states to respect each other's unique individual identities and value diversity. "We should see each other not through a reductionist lens, but through a prism, so that their unique individual identities with their full richness and complexity can be valued and respected and celebrated," he said at the opening of CHOGM. more..

Calls for travel and food freedoms at Commonwealth meet

Nov 15 (LBO) The Commonwealth was home to half the world's hungry and their pain can be eased by freeing access to food, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot said at a summit meeting in Sri Lanka, while a top official called for greater travel freedoms. The Commonwealth is made up of countries in the former British Empire is not a nationalist body but an internationalist gathering. "The Commonwealth is not a community of power wealth, geography religion or language. more..

'Thieves have been given the place now'

Nov 15 (LT) All higher positions have been given to thieves, those who maintain casinos and gambling dens have been given the place and all good things have been cast away says Parliamentarian Vidura Wickremenayaka. He said an illegal gambling den was raided by the police recently and it is said the gambling den is owned by wives of politicians. The UPFA Parliamentarian said the path taken by the govt could be seen from gamblers being invited to the country. more..

Sri Lanka wooing investors, tourists

Nov 15 (MT) The govt of Sri Lanka hosts an exposition on trade, tourism and investment parallel to the CHOGM on Nov 13 to 17. Some 800 exhibitors, business delegations, buyers, equipment and technology providers, and other stakeholders from member-states of CHOGM are in the country for a five-day conference and exhibition to showcase the true essence of Sri Lanka’s trade, tourism and investment. more..

Minister wants to go beyond cricket, athletics and rugby

Nov 15 (CT) Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday said that his ministry is committed to developing sports across the nation and will be focusing on all sports not restricting to popular brands like cricket, athletics and rugby. "This has provided ample opportunities for commercial organizations to be meaningful partners for the development of their favoured sports, through funds that go beyond sponsorships to propagation of the sports and the development of talent," more..

Prince Charles invokes Nehru in CHOGM speech

Nov 15 (IANS) Invoking India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech, Britain's Prince Charles appealed to the Commonwealth to intensify cooperation to resolve economic, social and environmental challenges at the grouping's summit here Friday. "Sri Lanka was one of the founding countries of the modern Commonwealth. Historians of this family of nations will recall that, in the circumstances of that time, the Commonwealth showed an exceptional spirit of more..

Cameron mobbed by Tamil protesters

Nov 15 (SKY) David Cameron has been mobbed by 250 Tamil protesters in north Sri Lanka, who claim their relatives have been murdered by the state. In chaotic scenes, the PM's convoy was surrounded by demonstrators all trying to show him their family pictures and tell their stories of suffering in the country's 26-year civil war. The protesters were the relatives of "the disappeared" - those who have just vanished more..

Hague: 'War crimes' inquiry is needed

Nov 15 (BBC) There should be an investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka "because there is a great deal of evidence", Foreign Secretary William Hague has told the Today programme. "That is why he have called for a thorough, independent, credible investigation... if there isn't then we will be in favour of an international investigation," he said. "But it's also important to work with people in this country (Sri Lanka) of all persuasions and backgrounds." David Cameron will visit the north of the more..

Official lethargy and inaction leaves farmers in despair

Nov 15 (CT) The Polpithigama Divisional Secretariat is one of the several rural divisional secretariats located within the Kurunegala District where the weather is arid for most part of the year, thus making it difficult for those engaging in agriculture to engage in their livelihood. Although statistically, a number of reservoirs and tanks are located in the region, due to poor planning and the lack of an adequate technology, the utilization of such resources are at a minimum. more..

'Those who do not listen to us today would do so tomorrow'

Nov 15 (LT) "The enemy tests us with conspiracies, betrayers and spies. The JVP has shown throughout its history it is capable of fighting against them to achieve victory. Some give up on the way as our path is difficult. Some betray us to the enemy. This state could be seen in various instances of the history of the party. However, history is not written by them. We do not think masses will join us en mass to go on this more..

Australia backs Sri Lanka at the CHOGM

Nov 15 (PT) The opening ceremony for the CHOGM was marked by subtle references to allegations against Sri Lanka’s weak human rights records. Australian PM Tony Abbott, expressing his support for the country, said “We are here as much as to praise as to judge.” He added it was important not to isolate countries emerging from conflict. Speaking in Colombo late Friday morning, Abbott said the Commonwealth represents nearly 30% of the world’s population, but contributes more..

23 govt head at CHOGM

Nov 15 (SM) The 22nd CHOGM was inaugurated this morning at Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre with the participation of 23 government heads. The number of Commonwealth countries are 53 including Sri Lanka and representatives from 49 countries have participated in the CHOGM held in Colombo. The govt heads of Cyprus, Vanuatu, South Africa, New Zealand, Bahamas, Saint Kitts, Namibia, Brunei, Tanzania, Samoa, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Malta, more..

Karunanidhi not optimistic about Khurshid's Lanka visit

Nov 15 (PTI) Indicating that earlier rounds of talks between India and Sri Lanka over a series of issues had not yielded desired results, DMK wondered if the latest visit by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to Colombo will bring about any change. Party chief M Karunanidhi, however, said that there were questions in the minds of Tamil people if Khurshid will raise some important issues including devolution of powers under more..

Participation in CHOGM to keep options open: Vasan

Nov 15 (Hindu) India is justified in participating in the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, because all options for engaging the island nation cannot be closed, Minister G.K. Vasan said. By deciding not to attend the meeting, PM Manmohan Singh has abided by the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu. By doing so, he delivered a tough message to Sri Lanka. But, Tamils in Sri Lanka could not be allowed to suffer. India needed a window to take efforts to get the 13th Amendment more..

Cameron, North CM hold talks

Nov 15 (CG) British Prime Minister David Cameron had talks with Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran and a TNA delegation in Jaffna today. Cameron was in Jaffna to gather information on the ground situation but the visit saw a tense situation develop as riot police prevented family members of the disappeared from getting close to him. Cameron also visited welfare camps in Jaffna and the Uthayan newspaper where he had a discussion with Tamil journalists. more..

Tissa writes to Kamalesh

Nov 15 (SM) In a letter to the Commonwealth Secretary Kamalesh Sharma, UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake informs that the UNP has been compelled to change their decision attend inaugural ceremony of the CHOGM today. In the letter sent yesterday, MP Attanayake stated that though it was initially stated that the UNP leader and other invitees from the party would attend the event, they had been more..

CHOGM: Can it 'shine light' on abuses at end of Sri Lanka civil war?

Nov 15 (CSM) British Prime Minister David Cameron appeared to be making good on his promise to "shine a light" on the "chilling events" at the end of Sri Lanka's civil war, as he visited the country's Tamil north in a detour designed to increase scrutiny of the Sri Lankan govt's human rights record. Mr. Cameron is in Sri Lanka for the three-day, 53-nation CHOGM in Colombo. Ahead of his visit, he came under pressure to boycott the summit over accusations that the Sri Lankan govt more..

No beds for cancer patients at Kandy Hospital

Nov 15 (CT) Wards 44 and 45 in Kandy Hospital for both female and male cancer patients respectively were demolished recently for building expansion, and female patients were relocated to Ward 49 and male patients were accommodated in the Hospital Director's official quarters which does not have the necessary basic facilities to cater to a large number of patients, members of the public lamented. Cancer patients from Central, Wayamba, North, North-East and Sabaragamuwa Provinces more..

Britain’s PM David Cameron goes to Sri Lanka to ‘shine light’ on abuses

Nov 15 (NP) Britain’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, defied the Sri Lankan president and traveled to the north of the country Friday to meet Tamil victims of the civil war after criticizing the “appalling” and “chilling” crimes allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan govet. Friday, Mr Cameron became the first foreign world leader to visit Jaffna, in the north of Sri Lanka, where he is expected to meet Tamil refugees. His actions are in contrast to more..

'Manmohan Singh boycotting CHOGM has sent a strong message to Sri Lanka'

Nov 15 (ANI) Chief Executive of Amnesty International India, G. Ananthapadmanabhan on Friday said that PM Manmohan Singh boycotting the CHOGM in Colombo, has sent a strong message to the Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa and his govt, but expressed disappointment over the fact that India has never taken a stand openly against the war crimes committed during the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war. "The fact that the Manmohan Singh has not gone to Sri Lanka more..

PM expected to unveil Sri Lanka boat deal

Nov 15 (AAP) Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to soon unveil a new deal with Sri Lanka on stopping asylum seeker boats. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is understood to have discussed the new strategy with her Sri Lankan counterpart when she was attending a meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers in Colombo this week. Mr Abbott is having other meetings while he is in Colombo for the CHOGM. The coalition took to the federal election a policy of intercepting all identified asylum more..

Audio: Sri Lanka under scrutiny

Nov 15 (CG) The Commonwealth Secretariat says by holding the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, the country has come under scrutiny. Spokesman of the Secretariet, Richard Uku told reporters today that CHOGM in Colombo will discuss the many issues that are being raised. He said that among the issues being discussed are those involving Commonwealth values, the rule of law and good governance. more..

Towards Reconciliation

Nov 16 (Island) Four years after the conclusion of conflict, Sri Lanka still has a long way to go to achieve Reconciliation. This is unfortunate, given the enormous efforts made by govt to improve facilities for the people most affected by war. But it is not surprising that, as indicated by the results of the last election held in the Northern Province, we have failed to win hearts and minds. That would not have been difficult had a concerted effort been made. But this requires planning, and unfortunately planning more..

Tamil Eelam returns to Tamil Nadu, India

Nov 16 (NS) The charade of setting up Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka has lasted long enough – 30 years to be precise. Tamil Nadu has been happy to watch from the balcony attempts to set up the foundation for Eelam in Sri Lanka as prescribed by Indian Govts. With the vanquishing of the LTTE that hijacked the Eelam idea thus bringing a lot of hounds to the region the scenario has become complicated. Too many players all out to get their own pound of flesh. Be that as it may, more..

From kitchen cackle to homely flavours

Nov 16 (ST) After only a short while in Peter Kuruvita’s company you lose count of the anecdotes you’ve heard about his erratic and atypically Sri Lankan side of the family. A hardbound copy of his book Serendip sits in front of us while he relates the story behind this book. “I rounded up all my female Sri Lankan relatives and put them together in a kitchen. I did attempt to record but it was impossible,” he throws his hands up in more..

Deepak’s deepest sympathies

Nov 16 (CT) The State of Tamil Nadu succeeded in preventing Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, from attending the CHOGM in Sri Lanka by pressurizing the Central Govt of India, particularly with a unanimous resolution passed at the State Assembly calling for the PM’s boycott of the international summit. Apart from the Tamil Nadu State Assembly resolution, several ministers, including Defence Minister A.K. Anthony, Finance Minister P. Chithamparam and Shipping more..