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Rising above stunts summersaults and acrobatics

Nov 16 (NS) As preparations are underway to welcome the CHOGM leaders, it must be noted that it is for the first time since the Non-Alignment Conference in 1976, that such a high profile Summit is being held in the country with the participation of heads of governments. Terrorism kept all apart from each other. Most leaders that attended the NAM Summit are no longer alive or have retired from active politics. The demeanor with which the then premier Sirimavo Bandaranaike, more..

'With no power sharing, ethnic groups could call for federalism'

Nov 16 (SL) With the conclusion of the NPC polls and the appointment of former SC Judge C.V. Wigneswaran as Chief Minister, there has also been a strong opposition, on the part of the govt, to the devolution of land and police powers to the provinces. In their election manifesto, the TNA used strong rhetoric, engaging the idea of ‘self-determination’ and even calling for a merger of the North and East provinces, provoking fears of more..

The Commonwealth: What is it for?

Nov 16 (Economist) The biggest achievement of the Commonwealth, its admirers say, is the fact of its unlikely existence. That so many former British colonies and dominions should be content to co-exist in a club which has the queen as its head is remarkable. However this is a low bar to set for the success of an organisation nominally committed to promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Quite how nominally will be evident in Colombo this weekend—at a gathering of more..

More wet weather likely for decider

Nov 16 (CI) In one of his most open public statements since taking over the captaincy in February, Angelo Mathews has admitted to the strategic mistakes that cleared NZ's path to an unexpected series lead in Hambantota. Not taking the weather into consideration during the wettest months of the year is a rookie mistake made by a rookie captain, and Sri Lanka will now rethink their plans, and their side ahead of the final match. The forecast for the match in Dambulla does not more..

Mathews fears for bowlers under new ODI rules

Nov 16 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has added his voice to the growing din of international players and captains who have questioned the new ODI rules. Last month, MS Dhoni suggested the current playing conditions reduced bowlers to little more than bowling machines, with team-mate Suresh Raina also expressing a similar sentiment. Last year, then captain Mahela Jayawardene had been critical of the rule more..

Sri Lankan Tamil Cinema and the Search for a Distinct Identity

Nov 16 (DBS) Tamil cinema in Sri Lanka, it may be argued, is yet to grow beyond its nascent stage. While thousands of Tamil films have been made in India and hundreds of Sinhala movies have been produced in Sri Lanka, the number of Sri Lankan Tamil films produced so far has not touched the three-digit mark. In qualitative terms also the genre is yet to make its mark. Nevertheless, the attempts made against the odds, by individuals concerned to forge a distinctive cinematic form and more..

NZ target Sangakkara and Dilshan

Nov 16 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara are the most serious obstacles on New Zealand's path to an elusive series win in Sri Lanka, allrounder James Neesham has said ahead of their third ODI in Dambulla. The visitors have not won an ODI trophy in Sri Lanka since their triumph in a tri-series involving Pakistan in 2003, but following Tuesday's thrilling victory, a depleted team is now one win away from securing the series 2-0. Sangakkara and Dilshan are the most prolific more..

‘FTA important for Lanka-China trade’

Nov 16 (Island) Sri Lanka – China trade continues to rise-with the forthcoming FTA playing the lead role. "The initiatives taken during the visit of HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa to China this year to expand bilateral trade through FTA is very important for China and Sri Lanka bilateral trade journey" Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said. He addressed the inauguration event of China Engineering and Technology Expo event more..

Editorial: Real enemies of reconciliation

Nov 16 (Island) Not all foreign leaders gathered in Colombo for CHOGM 2013 have read the situation here correctly. Some of them seem to believe that reconciliation could be attained overnight if Sri Lanka does as it is told by them. This country has been recovering from three decades of war and psychological wounds inflicted by the conflict are still fresh though more than four years have passed since its conclusion. The healing process cannot be accelerated. It takes time and haste needs more..

Britain, Commonwealth, Democracy

Nov 16 (Island) On the face of it, the Commonwealth seems to be a comic institution. Its core values are proclaimed to be democracy and human rights, but its CHOGM is this year being held in Sri Lanka which has a stinking record for violation of democratic principles and human rights. What is more, after CHOGM 2013 Sri Lanka will assume for two years the Chairmanship of the Commonwealth, in which position it will become the Commonwealth’s custodian of democracy and human rights. more..

Muzammil ignores UNP directive to boycott CHOGM inauguration

Nov 16 (Island) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil attended the inauguration of the 22nd edition of the CHOGM, at the Nelumpokuna Theatre, in spite of the UNP’s decision to boycott the event. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake declared that the party wouldn’t participate at the inauguration in the wake of the govt sponsored Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) making an attempt to storm UNP headquarters, Sirikotha. Attanayake said more..

Sharma, I wish you a pleasant stay in our beautiful but tortured island

Nov 16 (CT) Your Excellency, I saw pictures of you arriving in Sri Lanka, obviously a happy man, as your dream of holding the CHOGM will come true in a few days time and Sri Lanka will be entrusted with the task of implementing and nurturing the newly signed commonwealth Charter for the next two years. Like the proverbial father – over anxious to get his ageing daughter married at any cost – who hides certain details of the groom’s dubious past from the relatives, you too had to resort to more..

A solution to fishing rights conflict between Sri Lanka and India

Nov 16 (CT) Anybody can make a claim to the fish in the open sea. But, once caught, it becomes the property of one who caught it. However, the Law of the Sea 1982, provides the proprietary country the exclusive right to its natural resources, including fishery resource within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles (1 nautical mile =1.151 miles) from the shore, and legal rights in the territorial water, extending to 12 nautical miles from the shore. more..

Cameron’s visit boosts morale of war displaced Tamils

Nov 16 (Hindu) British PM David Cameron visited the Sabapathipillai Welfare Centre at Chunnakam, about 10 km from Jaffna town, on Friday. He walked into the narrow lanes with tiny homes adjacent to each other and talked to some residents. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran helped with translation. The welfare centre is essentially a camp for internally displaced persons, with very basic facilities, where nearly 300 families that were more..

Video: Tamils fear the military threaten to 'crowd them out'

Nov 16 (BBC) Since the victory over Tamil separatists, the SL military has achieved heroic status among those who saw the conflict as a war against terrorists. Four years after the end of the conflict, critics say the armed forces have too much power over civilian affairs. On Friday, more than 200 demonstrators surrounded David Cameron's motorcade in the north of the country at the start of the CHOGM to protest against the govt's alleged human rights abuses during the war. more..

Macrae explains reason for not paying van hire

Nov 16 (Island) Head of the Channel 4 media team Callum Macrae has said, on twitter, that they did not pay the driver, who brought them to Colombo on Thursday, as they were forced to return by the police. "Trouble is not usually a good idea to offer to pay when they order you into a van," his tweet said. He has also claimed that the protest was an orchestrated one and the Sri Lankan govt should worry more about the people who quietly shake their hands or give them the thumbs up. more..

CPF Outcome Document: SL members to boycott Foreign Ministers’ event

Nov 16 (Island) The final Outcome Document of the Commonwealth People’s Forum (CPF), which is to be presented to the organisations’ Foreign Ministers today, would be boycotted by the Sri Lankan members on the drafting panel. A member of the panel said that their decision followed adverse comments about Sri Lanka’s human rights situation and irrelevant to the discussion of the document "Commonwealth Perspective: Ideas for a more..

In Jaffna, Cameron speaks up for devolution

Nov 16 (Hindu) British PM David Cameron on Friday assured politicians and people of Jaffna that he would take up issues such as devolution, freedom of expression and alleged land-grab by the army with the Sri Lankan govt. Mr. Cameron’s visit to the town garnered considerable attention amid the buzz around the CHOGM, which was declared open in Colombo on Friday. “I’m the first PM or President to go to the north of SL since 1948. I want to shine a light on chilling events there first-hand,” more..

Depression may hit Lanka before landfall

Nov 16 (ENS) The depression over the southwestern Bay of Bengal is now expected to strike the northern tip of Sri Lanka before making landfall between Nagapattinam and Pamban. The system, which defied earlier predictions and moved in a southwesterly direction through Thursday, held its course through most of Friday. The intensity of rain forecast for Chennai has been downgraded in the latest bulletin released by the IMD, continuing a dry start to the storm season. more..

Charles to visit tea plantation

Nov 16 (BT) The Prince of Wales's tour of the Indian sub-continent draws to a close today with visits to a tea plantation, a major Buddhist shrine and a botanical garden. Charles and Camilla began their trip in India where they spent nine days travelling the length and breadth of the country visiting Dehradun, New Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi. The prince yesterday opened the CHOGM which has been overshadowed by accusations that more..

Special treatment unit for CHOGM delegates

Nov 16 (CT) The Ministry of Health has set up a special unit at the Colombo National Hospital for the delegates of the CHOGM, in case they fall sick during their stay in Sri Lanka. It is learnt that the Active Surveillance Unit of the ministry has made arrangements for the CHOGM delegates to be admitted to this special unit, in case of emergency sicknesses. Deputy Director of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Ananda Amarasinghe, said the ministry has been worried about the danger of more..

Angelo explains the curious case of Thisara Perera

Nov 16 (Island) Captain Angelo Mathews, who attended Friday’s media briefing ahead of the third and final ODI against New Zealand here at Dambulla, started on a lengthy explanation as to why promising all-rounder Thisara Perera was left out for the first two ODIs against New Zealand. The explanation is hardly convincing, but we at least know that the selectors aren’t off their minds. In Sri Lanka’s last ODI series – against South Africa – Thisara was the third highest run getter and more..

Mauritius will not host 2015 CHOGM

Nov 16 (SKY) Mauritius will not host the next Commonwealth summit in 2015 as planned because of its boycott of this weekend's meeting in Sri Lanka, PM Navin Chandra Ramgoolam said. He defended his decision not to attend the CHOGM in Colombo, saying on Friday there was 'total lack of accountability' about human rights abuses during the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. But he said a consequence of his boycott was more..

300 foreigners deported in10 months

Nov 16 (CT) More than 300 foreigners, who had overstayed their tourist visas, in violation of immigration and emigration regulations, have been blacklisted and deported in the last 10 months. Most of them were Indian and Pakistan nationals, the sources added. Consequent to the raids conducted by the Intelligence Unit of the Department, a number of foreign nationals, who had been employed in jewellery shops and restaurants, in violation of visa conditions, were also arrested. more..

SLT’s Tailor Made ‘Intelligent Solutions’ for CHOGM Business Forum

Nov 16 (Island) SLT’s Intelligent Solutions business communication portfolio is aimed at equipping investors and local businesses with the full range of ICT solutions to help them succeed globally. This sector-wise communication solution approaches 10 main economic sectors including; Tourism & Leisure, IT- BPO & Knowledge Services, Packaging & Branding Industry, Universities and Educational Institutes, Aviation Services, New Zones & Petroleum Refinery, Ports, Transport, more..

Tamils here lead better life than those in TN

Nov 16 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksa has urged TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to stop worrying about Sri Lankan Tamils who, he says, enjoy far better living conditions than those living in her state. He pointed out the absurdity in CM Jayalalithaa’s much repeated concerns as regards the Tamil speaking people here, whereas the vast majority of her people lived in abject poverty. The soft-spoken minister was reacting to a more..

'World is run by imperialists'

Nov 16 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, stressed although Sri Lanks is supposed to be a free country, it is imperialism that controls the power in the world. Addressing a gathering at Vipulananda Memorial Hall at Karaithivu, he said, we are now going through a time to rise up to face the imperialists patriotically. “However much we are free, we have to act according to the international relations we have. Now the imperialism has retreated to a certain extent. more..

Confused deer escape mini zoo

Nov 16 (CT) Sri Lanka Navy had to be called into rescue three deer drowning in the Diyawanna Oya, which had escaped from the mini zoo in Battaramulla and jumped into the Oya, a few days ago. The deer had been brought from the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala to the mini zoo a few days before its opening on 13 Nov. Zoo officials said the animals had crept through a mesh and entered the road that runs along the banks of the Diyawanna Oya and then fallen into the Oya. more..

'I wanted my PM to go there first'

Nov 16 (PTI) Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday expressed regret that PM Manmohan Singh could not visit Jaffna, a feat undertaken by his British counterpart David Cameron, who became the first head of government to visit the war-torn northern province since its independence in 1948. “Is it not sad? Who is to blame? I wanted my PM to go there first. I was the second Indian foreign minister to go there [after the war]. more..

Census on crisis victims begin on Nov 25

Nov 16 (CT) Department of Census and Statistics announced that they will carry out an islandwide survey to record the number of people who have perished, disappeared, been injured and property that was damaged due to crisis situations since 1982. Survey will start on 25 Nov, employ 18,000 govt workers at 14,022 Grama Niladari divisions and will continue for approximately 15 days. The programme has been planned due to a recommendation made by the LLRC to more..

Commonwealth leaders laud Sri Lanka’s progress

Nov 16 (Island) A number of visiting Commonwealth leaders have welcomed the progress Sri Lanka had made in the areas of infrastructure development, tourism promotion and food security among others since the end of the war. They appreciate the country’s economic development and the current political environment. Nigerian vice president Mohomad Namadi Sambo, Zambian vice president of Zambia Dr. Guy Scott, New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, Mozambique’s more..

Cameron in 'robust' talks over human rights

Nov 16 (BBC) David Cameron has clashed with the president of Sri Lanka as he pushed for action to protect the rights of its minority Tamil community. Downing Street said the PM "pressed his points very directly and robustly" in an hour-long meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa at a Commonwealth summit. Mr Cameron's convoy was earlier mobbed by demonstrators on a visit to the north of the country. Mr Rajapaksa says he has brought peace more..

Doctor, you cannot serve money and patients

Nov 16 (DM) We are in a tragic era where most of the private hospitals have become big businesses and trans-national pharmaceutical corporations are being allowed to run or manipulate the health sector in collaboration with some health officials and medical consultants. Therefore it is a healthy sign that the GMOA – comprising some 15,000 doctors and believed to be one of the biggest and most powerful trade unions in South Asia – has launched an annual programme to more..

Commonwealth: Make it an economic bloc

Nov 16 (DM) If politics is the art of the possible, then international politics is the art of deception. At least in democracies that have checks and balances, politicians who betray the trust which the people have vested in them are thrown out of office at elections. But international politics does not operate within a democratic set up. Even the UN has become a den of hypocrisy -- with the decision making Security Council being reduced to what democracy is not. more..

DIG washes his hands off C-4 van hire

Nov 16 (Island) Senior DIG for Anuradhapura, Ravi Wijegunawardene, denied that he was responsible for arranging a van to transport the Channel 4 media team back to Colombo after protesters prevented them from proceeding to Jaffna, at Anuradhapura, on Wednesday. As such the Police Department need not pay the sum of Rs. 30,000 to the van driver as hiring charges, he said. more..

Cameron meets Murali

Nov 16 (DM) Visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron met world famous Sri Lankan cricketer Muttiah Muralitharan in Colombo, the BBC reported. Spin bowler "Murali" backed the prime minister's decision to travel to Sri Lanka but said he had been misled about the situation in the country. Murali told journalists: "He must have been misled by other people. People speak without going and seeing the things there. I go on and off. more..

Skype complaints: Minister on overdrive, passengers apply brakes

Nov 16 (ST) A proposal by Minister C.B Rathnayake to introduce a system where bus commuters would be able to lodge complaints via Skype, appears to have hit a road block before getting off the ground. A cross section of commuters interviewed by the Sunday Times felt the proposal had limiting factors such as the non-availability of the facility to many and that a hotline 1955 already existed to make complaints. more..

Rajapakase seen as hero at home, despite foreign critics

Nov 16 (MG) Mahinda Rajapakse may be a pariah for some of his Commonwealth peers, but for many of his fellow Sri Lankans he is a national hero who ended four decades of bloodshed. The combative Sri Lankan president has long battled allegations that his troops killed some 40,000 civilians in the closing stages of the island's ethnic conflict which ended in May 2009. His refusal to countenance an international inquiry into more..

Presidential poll plan runs into a storm

Nov 16 (CT) The govt’s plan to hold a Presidential Election in 2014 has run into a storm of constitutional crisis as there is no provision in the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that allows an incumbent President to contest a presidential election before the end of his current presidential term. The govt is planning to seek the support of the Supreme Court, for an interpretation of the Constitution regarding the matter. more..

'We will resist any international inquiry'

Nov 16 (DM) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said today that Sri Lanka would resist any international inquiry as a policy of the govt because it believed that there was no need for an international inquiry within a short span of time now that the govt had done its best in the reconciliation process. “There is no agreement in all issues and they will continue to pressurize us. We are used to this pressure so the Sri Lankan govt will do more..