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Cameron was using SL visit to win UK Tamil concerns-MR

Nov 16 (DM) President Rajapaksa has ‘suggested’ that visiting UK Prime Minister David Cameron was using the visit to win favour with the Tamil community in the UK. Downing Street sources conceded that Cameron made little headway with Rajapaksa during an hour-long meeting on Friday evening. They described the exchange as robust and animated, with Rajapaksa acknowledging problems in his country but more..

Sri Lanka, Australia finalising strategy to stop boat people

Nov 16 (IANS) Sri Lanka and Australia are in talks to finalise a policy on boat people on the sidelines of the Commonwealth leaders' summit, an official said here Saturday. In response to questions, Sri Lanka's Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella acknowledged that the issue was being discussed and an agreement will centre on the navies of the two countries working together to stem illegal migration to Australia. more..

Sri Lanka rejects Cameron call for human rights inquiry

Nov 16 (BBC) Sri Lanka's govt has rejected UK PM David Cameron's call for an international probe into alleged human rights abuses following the civil war. Mr Cameron urged President Mahinda Rajapaksa to ensure an independent inquiry, or face a UN investigation. But senior minister Basil Rajapaksa said such a probe would "definitely" not be allowed to take place. The abuses are alleged to have been committed mainly more..

Video: Cameron warns Sri Lanka of UN action over War Crimes allegations

Nov 16 (IL) Britain's David Cameron put Sri Lanka on notice Saturday to address allegations of war crimes within months or else he would lead a push for action at the United Nations. Speaking at a troubled Commonwealth summit in Colombo, the British premier warned his hosts that pressure over alleged abuses at the end of Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict was not about to go away. He also told of how he had "frank" exchanges with more..

The legacy of the CHOGM

Nov 16 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa would now assume the chairmanship of the Commonwealth for the next two years. His elevation to the pinnacle of the 54-member organization is a proud moment in the Sri Lankan history. Earlier, his mentor and former Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike, became the Head of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), after Sri Lanka hosted the NAM Summit in Colombo in 1976. NAM was a talk shop of a motley group of world leaders, more..

India’s CHOGM Faux Pas!

Nov 16 (CT) India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is being flogged mercilessly by the Indian Media – a symbol of how tall democracy stands in that country – over what is being dubbed as India’s ‘CHOGM Blunder’. The Indian PM’s decision not to attend the summit in Colombo is being viewed as giving into the bullying tactics of Jayalalithaa’s Petticoat govt. Just days before, Singh while addressing The Annual Conclave of Indian Ambassadors/High Commissioners abroad more..

Bad light gives SL win, series squared

Nov 16 (CI) Fading light cut New Zealand's feisty middle-order short in Dambulla, as they pursued an unlikely 90 runs from the last eight overs with four wickets in hand. Their top order had earlier been bundled up by Rangana Herath and Sachithra Senanayake, who were finally given the chance to expose the visitors' weakness against quality slow bowling. New Zealand were chasing 216 in 33 overs, and though Nathan McCullum more..

People in glass houses do throw stones

Nov 16 (CT) Varying shades of opinion were expressed leading up to CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka. Many countries voiced their opinions through the media and independent media outlets raised the question of the propriety of Sri Lanka hosting this event given the accusations of human rights abuses, suppression of media freedom, torture in custody and lack of reconciliation during the last five years. The final consensus amongst the Commonwealth partners was to hold this event in SL but more..

PM Cameron meets CM Wigneswaran in Jaffna

Nov 16 (CT) Knowing full well that a very productive meeting will take place between two stalwarts in a face to face engagement, I spoke to Chief Minister on 15th night. He was happy to speak quite precisely about the path breaking discussion he had with Prime Minister Cameron. Uppermost in the Chief Minister’ mind was the effective functioning of the Northern Provincial Council. Towards this end, he requested support from the Prime Minister and also his assistance. more..

PM Lee meets Sri Lanka president, Vanuatu PM on sidelines of CHOGM

Nov 16 (CNA) Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong met President Rajapaksa on Saturday on the sidelines of the CHOGM in Colombo. He congratulated Mr Rajapaksa on hosting a successful and well-organised summit. Both leaders exchanged views on developments in Sri Lanka and the region. Separately, Mr Lee also met his counterpart from Vanuatu, Moana Kalosil. They affirmed the good bilateral relations and more..

Sehwag to Herath in one ball

Nov 16 (CI) Virender Sehwag may be finding it tough to find a place in the India side, but Sehwagologists the world over may be glad to know some still keep the faith. When James Neesham pitched one fractionally short and wide in the penultimate over, a flat-footed Herath transferred his weight back and half-drove, half-cut the ball powerfully in between two point fielders for four, in perfect left-hand imitation of the India opener. Next ball, though, he aimed a huge heave across the line off a short ball more..

Over a dozen delegates sick

Nov 16 (Island) More than fifteen foreign delegates in Sri Lanka for the various meetings connected to the CHOGM, had sought treatment at the special units set up by the National Hospital for different illnesses, the National Hospital said yesterday. National Hospital Director Dr. Anil Jasinghe said that minor cases had been treated and sent back. However, one of them had been admitted to a paying ward at the NHSL and discharged yesterday morning. There was another incident where more..

N’chcholai Phase 2: Biggest stumbling block cleared, but technical worries remain

Nov 16 (Island) A major stumbling block in the path of the Norochcvholai’s Second Phase has been cleared, but there still remain some problems a senior CEB engineer warned. He said the biggest stumbling block had been overcome through the intervention of Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando. Earlier, some 3,000 fisher families opposed the construction of high tension more..

Sri Lankan president underscores sports in promoting social integration

Nov 16 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapaksa emphasized Saturday the importance of sports in creating social integration and amity among different communities in the country. Stressing that "sports have played a unique role in the country 's resurgence," the president said Sri Lanka has absorbed the values of fitness, fair play, teamwork and the pursuit of excellence in the arena of sports, which has carved a successful path for reconciliation and building communal harmony. more..

Health Minister asks IGP to raid intoxicant selling outlets near schools

Nov 16 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday warned all parents of school children to look after their children with extra care as most of the wayside boutiques situated near schools were selling intoxicants like Babul, Beeda, Panparage and Wawa to the students. He would ask IGP N. K. Ellangakoon to take action against such business establishments, which were attracting students to use different kinds of narcotics and were engaged in nefarious activities, Minister Sirisena said more..

Jaffna University Teachers question closure of universities

Nov 16 (CT) “If the closure was to do with the anniversary on 27th November, the University has the machinery to communicate with the students and seek assurances from them. The day was already taken care of by the mid-semester vacation. 27th November, the Mullivaykkal debacle of 18th May, the Anuradhapura massacre of 14th May and the Kattankudy Mosque massacre of 3rd August are all etched in our history. more..

Shifting of Sirikotha high on UNP agenda

Nov 16 (Island) When the UNP Leadership Council meets next, the first topic on the agenda will be to pass a resolution to shift Sirikotha. Ex-chairman of the party Gamini Jayawickrema Perera asked for his views about rumours that all malefic effects that the party had been suffering were mainly due to laying the foundation stone for its present headquarters disregarding astrology, he replied in the affirmative. He confirmed that foundation stone for Sirikotha was laid on the birthday of late President JR more..

'Nothing can be achieved by boycotting SL'

Nov 16 (AD) President of Seychelles James Alix Michel says that nothing could be achieved by boycotting or criticizing Sri Lanka and urged other nations to provide assistance instead. He stated that there was a need to modernize the international institutions so that all the nations are represented in a fairer way than it is today. He added to this that the institutions were based on post-world war II ideas and that globalisation had changed the world since then. more..

Mills slams tour scheduling

Nov 16 (CI) New Zealand acting captain Kyle Mills has slammed scheduling of his team's tour to Sri Lanka. He took particular aim at the decision to schedule play till 6pm in the deciding ODI in Dambulla, which he said lacked common sense. New Zealand needed 90 to win from eight overs, but had a belligerent pair at the crease, when the umpires ended play for bad light. Play had originally been scheduled to end at 5:45, more..

2nd Intl Confab on Social Sciences

Nov 16 (Island) The Research Centre for Social Sciences (RCSS) of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya plans to hold its 2nd International Conference on Social Sciences on Nov 22-23, 2013 at the Faculty premises, a press release issued by the RCSS said yesterday. It said: "Social sciences being a meeting place for a wide variety of disciplines, the conference will provide a forum for academics, researchers, policy makers and practitioners and other interested more..

Camilla supports Sri Lanka women and children's groups

nov 16 (ITV) The Duchess of Cornwall has spent the final day of the eleven-day royal tour visiting charities that help women and children in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Duchess of Cornwall has spent the final day of the eleven-day royal tour visiting charities that help women and children in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Charles and Camilla began their trip in India, before visiting Sri Lanka, where the prince yesterday opened the CHOGM, which has been overshadowed by accusations that the host nation's regime more..

Problem of illegal fishing continues despite greater enforcement of law

Nov 16 (Island) Illegal fishing methods continue despite the laws being strictly implemented, according to the Fisheries Minister. Despite increased awareness and greater law enforcement in curbing harmful methods of fishing, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry had filed a total of 318 cases against fishermen using illegal fishing methods so far this year. Although there were noticeable more..

MR keen on Truth Commission

Nov 16 (CG) The Sri Lankan govt has shown interest in learning more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa and its process and the outcome. The interest was shown when President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, who is now in Colombo to attend the CHOGM 2013 met with President Rajapaksa, the President’s office said. President Zuma while thanking Sri Lanka and President Rajapaksa for organizing CHOGM 2013 so well conveyed South Africa’s willingness to more..

I’m not ‘Hula’ – Lakshman Hulugalle

Nov 16 (LT) There were reports in the media that a person known as ‘Hula’ connected with national security was responsible for the disbanding of Colombo Organized Crimes Division that raided an illegal gambling den near Colombo Town Hall on 4th Nov and the Director-General of the Media Centre for National Security Lakshman Hulugalle, when a newspaper inquired regarding this, has said he is not the ‘Hula’ the media was talking about. When asked whether he was responsible for more..

Prince of Wales rounds off Sri Lanka tour with a cup of tea and the Hokey Cokey

Nov 16 (Telegraph) He rarely needs to be asked twice to show off his dancing skills, so there was no stopping the Prince of Wales when he walked into a classroom of children doing the Hokey-Cokey in Sri Lanka. The Prince joined hands with children in a music class at a school for physically and mentally handicapped children in Nuwara Eliya, and went through several verses of the song before finally admitting defeat when more..

Now, decayed trees to be felled

Nov 16 (Island) Despite the agitations, State Resources and Enterprise Development Minister Dayashritha Tissera signed an agreement with the State Timber Corporation (STC) to fell and sell decayed trees in addition to the earlier proposed 67,132 trees on government owned plantations. The Ministry said that they had decided to cut down and sell commercially valuable decayed trees, distributed in SL State Plantation Cooperation (SLSPC), Janatha Estate Development Board more..

Muzzamil apologises

Nov 16 (SM) Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzzammil has apologised for inconvenience caused by him attending the CHOGM inauguration despite the UNP leadership's decision to boycott the event. Issuing a special statement this afternoon, Muzzamil has said that he had obtained approval from the party leadership to attend the event in his capacity as Colombo Mayor and at that time, even after the UNP had decided to attend the the CHOGM inauguration. However, following the series of unpleasant more..

VIP, VVIP tags out from windscreens

Nov 16 (CT) IGP has ordered officers to strictly implement the law against the vehicles bearing VIP and VVIP tags on the front glass. These tags are illegal and the IGP has issued written orders to act against the bearers under Section 237 of the Motor Traffic Ordinance and the Order No. 12 A of the Govt Gazette No. 1132/18. According to the law, only the revenue licence and the vehicle registration sticker can be stuck on the windscreen. more..

The true spirit of the Commonwealth

Nov 17 (SO) It is deplorable that certain elements are exploiting the CHOGM 2013 as a platform to discredit Sri Lanka. While violating the Commonwealth's norms and principles, certain organisations with vested interests have made innumerable attempts to sully Sri Lanka's image in the eyes of the international community by taking advantage of the focus Sri Lanka has received as the host nation of CHOGM 2013. However, Australian PM Tony Abbott's bold statement that more..

The Commonwealth Summit and after

Nov 17 (SL) CHOGM has not ended as these comments are being written but much of the froth and fume, hosannas and panegyrics and predictions of a glorious fallout from the conference are coming to an end. The Sri Lankan govt will view it as an outstanding success. The proposal to hold the conference in Sri Lanka ran into heavy fire of Western nations from the very beginning. Canada led the appeals for a boycott of the Summit which failed to find respondents other than India more..

The Common Wealth of Music

Nov 17 (NS) Dr. James Ross is a well known British conductor and author. He studied at Harrow School and later at Christ Church, Oxford, where he received his MA in modern history. He has a Master of Studies (MSt) in Music and a DPhil in French opera. He has conducted concerts in countries across the world, including Western and Eastern Europe, North America and Asia. He is currently in Sri Lanka, visiting the island to more..

CHOGM and post-CHOGM

Nov 17 (NS) Once the final CHOGM document is released we will be in post-CHOGM Sri Lanka. The Commonwealth hasn’t changed much since it was formed and given realities it is unlikely that the Colombo Summit would see change in color, tone or substance. That’s no fault of the host or the participants; it is, as a wit put it, akin to an Alumni Association meeting up several decades after the particular school ceased to exist. It has been, is and will likely be a platform for moral posturing more..

CHOGM and the diaspora

Nov 17 (Island) There is no escaping the fact that the Tamil diaspora had an undue influence on Colombo hosting the Commonwealth Summit which ends today with two countries, Canada and the United Kingdom, introducing exaggerated bilateral issues into Commonwealth discussions. This was particularly true of Canada which together with the UK appears to have been listening to small articulate factions of the diaspora who are now citizen of their countries. more..

'International community are not fools'

Nov 17 (SL) Critics of the present administration have expressed concern that the Rajapaksa regime would use the CHOGM to legitimize its current operations. Recently, a delegation of Australian Greens and NZ Green party members were deported by the govt. TNA President Suresh Premachandran claimed “the govt got scared that they will reveal the truth about what they had found during their fact finding mission, and more..

CHOGM, Channel 4 and SL Editors’ Guild

Nov 17 (Island) Despite all the calls for a boycott, CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka was a roaring success in terms of attendance (and obviously other criteria as well). Not only did the member countries turn up in force, they were also represented at levels not substantially different to the 2011 CHOGM held in Perth Australia. South Africa, Guyana, Nauru, Cyprus, Tanzania, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, and SL itself was represented by their Presidents while Brunei was represented by more..

A truly ‘CHOGASMIC’ week

Nov 17 (NS) If last week has a name it is CHOGM. A wit quipped, ‘CHOGASM’, and that would be an appropriate descriptive, for multiple reasons and multiple forces including those at odds with one another. The side events took center stage in the early parts of the week. There was much pomp and pageantry, heart-warming speeches, deliberation and ‘final documents’. The Youth Forum was inspiring, the Business Forum was as expected pragmatic with little concern about more..

'Positive environment for investors in SL'

Nov 17 (SO) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Govt would make use of the opportunity of hosting CHOGM to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) worth US$ 3 billion within the next three to four years. As the host country for CHOGM, the prime objective of the Govt of organising this event was to realise this goal. He said investment in countries where CHOGM has been hosted have significantly increased more..

The Commonwealth’s raison d’etre

Nov 17 (ST) As the 23rd CHOGM concludes today in the host city of Colombo, the future of Britain and its former colonies as a united body must surely be on everybody’s mind. The presence of the Prince of Wales representing his mother, Queen Elizabeth II as the head of the Commonwealth was a significant aspect by itself. The Queen is the titular head of the Commonwealth and the one golden thread that binds the 54 member-states together. No succession plan seems to be yet in place; more..

Let all hypocrisy melt for nation’s common health

Nov 17 (ST) My Dear CHOGM leaders, When you read this, most of you will be packing your bags to return to your respective countries, having enjoyed Sri Lankan hospitality for the past few days-and also heard a lot about various allegations being leveled against our country, which is why I thought I must write to you. It is almost as if CHOGM was not about the Commonwealth-and it is all about what Sri Lanka did when it defeated the Tigers. There were many who were here pushing more..

Will CHOGM expenditure outweigh benefit?

Nov 17 (SL) While the relevance of the CHOGM in today’s world is still to be questioned, the decision of the govt to host the event at a heavy cost had drawn severe criticism. Some hold the view that President is engrossed with the idea of being the Chair of Commonwealth that he risked spending a large some of public money on something ‘futile’ whereas there are many pressing issues that need addressing in the post war dilemma. more..