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Post-war Sri Lanka: Sarah Botham saddened by negative coverage

Nov 18 (Island) Legendary English cricketer, Sir Ian Botham’s daughter, Sarah, expressed shock and surprise at the unprecedented negative media coverage Sri Lanka was receiving in spite of rapid post-war recovery process. She said: "I am really, really sad about the media coverage. I have seen much progress on the ground though nothing is reported." Sarah declined to comment on British Premier David Cameron’s threat to haul Sri Lanka up before the UNHRC in Geneva next March more..

Lankan court adjourns hearing on fishermen to Feb 6

Nov 18 (PTI) A Sri Lankan court today adjourned to Feb 6 the hearing in the case relating to release of four Indian fishing boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy. 35 fishermen with four boats were arrested by Lankan Navy on August 26 when they were fishing near Katchateevu. A Lankan court released the fishermen on Sept 23 but the boats were not released. To attend the hearing today, seven persons, including owners of the boats and Pamban Fishermen and Nesakarankal organization more..

Sri Lanka to share expertise with Ghana in maritime security

Nov 18 (GBN) Vice President Kwesi Arthur has reiterated the determination of the Govt of Ghana to protect its waters from invasion and piracy especially in the wake of Ghana’s oil find. He said the Govt had already established Police Marine Unit to patrol the nation’s coasts and waters, and is further seeking the support of other countries which have the expertise in checking piracy to assist Ghana in dealing with sea brigands. more..

After the shambles of Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth needs a relaunch

Nov 18 (Telegraph) First, the good news: David Cameron kept his promise to “shine a light” on Sri Lanka’s human rights record when he visited the country for the Commonwealth summit. If President Rajapaksa thought this occasion was going to be a chance to showcase his regime, then he will have been sorely disappointed. In particular, Cameron’s tumultuous visit to Jaffna did a great deal of good. The world’s media took the opportunity to bring to the fore the plight of Sri Lanka’s disappeared more..

Sinhala story on Frances Harrison’s BBC documentary in question removed

Nov 18 (CT) The BBC has removed it’s Sinhala Service programme on the investigative report by former BBC correspondent in Colombo Frances Harrison. Writing to Colombo Telegraph the BBC said; “There was a serious editorial lapse in a programme on the BBC Sinhala Service on Friday. Responding to Colombo Telegraph story BBC Sinhala Head suspended: Non Sinhala bosses appointed, Liyanage’s reports on Frances Harison’s documentary removed from BBC Web, more..

Rajapaksa mulls over South African-style Truth Commission

Nov 18 (ENS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had told the South African President Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of CHOGM, that he would like to know more about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which South Africa had set up in 1995 following the end of the Apartheid regime to deepen ethnic understanding. Rajapaksa wanted to learn about the process adopted by the TRC and the outcome of the exercise. more..

Vietnam Business Forum in Colombo

Nov 18 (GDI) A 15-member business delegation from Vietnam will visit the National Chamber of Sri Lanka for a business forum and business to business meetings tomorrow (18) at 3.00 p.m. at the Chamber auditorium, D R Wijewardene Mawatha, Colombo-10. It has been organised by the Vietnam Embassy in Sri Lanka, the Industry and Trade Ministry of the Republic of Vietnam and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka. The delegates will meet officials of companies dealing with more..

BBS to surround Sirikotha tomorrow

Nov 18 (SM) BBS says it is planning to send hundreds of its monks to stage a major peaceful demonstration in front of Sirikotha tomorrow to protest against the attack on some of their members who had gone to the UNP headquarters to view the human rights exhibition organized by Samagi Balawegaya. Meanwhile, UNP southern provincial councillor Ashoka Dhanawansa said BBS should have gone in front of Temple Trees to protest for allowing the Channel-4 journalists into SL, more..

Gandys brothers return to Sri Lanka for first time since losing parents in tsunami

Nov 18 (Metro) It was a question filled with hope, asked by an abandoned child at an orphanage in Sri Lanka, that once translated into English silenced the grown-ups in the room. But Rob Forkan answered without hesitation. ‘We took small steps, asked for help when we needed it, and eventually we got there. And you can all do that too,’ he smiled. The room full of children lifted. Before long, together with Sri Lankan-born more..

‘Establishing foreign university branch is like building cemetery for free education’

Nov 18 (Island) Socialist Students’ Union (SSU) affiliated to the JVP yesterday said the establishing of a branch of the University of Central Lancashire, in Sri Lanka was like building a cemetery for free education. SSC National Organiser Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa said that Prince Charles was earlier scheduled to lay the foundation stone for the new campus, but it had been cancelled due to protests by undergraduates, university lecturers and student associations. more..

Police officers on duty for CHOGM to be given 3 days leave

Nov 18 (NF) Police Headquarters says that Police Officers who were on duty during the CHOGM and parallel events, will be granted three days of leave. Police Headquarters said that chief inspectors, inspectors, sub-inspectors, sergeants and constables who were on duty during this period will receive this special leave allowance. Meanwhile, Police Media Spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana says that a number of roads in Colombo will be closed intermittently today due to the departure of more..

No political influence in transfer of 23 Police officers: Ministry

Nov 18 (DM) The Law and Order Ministry said the branch handling police transfers was not aware of the raid carried out on a Colombo 7 Casino Den and insisted that the recent transfer of the 23 police personnel attached to the Organised Crime Division was not based on political influence. “The division effecting transfers was unaware that the personnel had planned to conduct a raid on the Casino. The transfers were decided before the raid was more..

Something about gunboats

Nov 18 (Age) The Abbott Govt announced today it had offered the Taliban a squadron of helicopter gunships to interdict the movement of Hazara refugees out of Afghanistan. Bouyed by the Sri Lankan govt’s enthusiastic receipt of two gunboats to prosecute anti people smuggling operations, PM Abbott promised to cut off the ‘evil trade’ at its source. “We know most of the Afghans attempting to get here by boat are fleeing Taliban controlled areas, which tells us that Taliban aren’t more..

HRC to begin domestic probe

Nov 18 (CG) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRC) is to begin a domestic probe into torture, Commissioner at the HRC Prathiba Mahanamahewa said. He said that the Commonwealth Secretariat is to give advice and assistance to the human rights commission on conducting the investigations. He said that a delegation from the Secretariat is due in Sri Lanka in December to discuss the operational technicalities of the investigations. more..

Immigration officials warned C-4 crew prior to departure

Nov 18 (DM) Immigration and Emigration Department Chief Chulananda Perera today admitted that he ordered six officials of the department to visit the hotel where the Channel 4 crew were staying and warn them against acting beyond the conditions laid down in their visas. “I ordered the officials to do so because I had received information that the crew were planning to enter Temple Trees. The officials discussed this more..

OVL seeks MEA’s nod to bid for gas blocks in Sri Lanka

Nov 18 (Hindu) Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Limited (OVL) has sought approval from the Ministry of External Affairs to take part in the second round of bidding for oil and gas blocks in Sri Lanka. Officials in the Petroleum Ministry said that in view of the sensitivity of the issue, it would be better to seek requisite clearance to take part in the auction process of 13 offshore oil and gas blocks in Sri Lanka, bids for which close on Nov 29. “We have approached the MEA for clearance more..

Audio: UNP suspicious on deal

Nov 18 (CG) The UNP today raised suspicion on the agreement signed by Sri Lanka together with other Commonwealth leaders at the end of the Commonwealth summit. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the agreement would see Sri Lanka agree to a possible international investigation on human rights. He said that the agreement involves 98 points most of which refers to economic and development issues. However he noted that from point number 33 the more..

Bob Carr backs Coalition on SL strategy

Nov 18 (TA) Former foreign minister Bob Carr has described a decision by the Abbott govt to give the Sri Lankan navy two patrol boats as "sound policy" and revealed that Labor contemplated doing the same thing. Mr Carr, who as foreign minister did much to smooth Australia's relationship with Sri Lanka at a time when Colombo's co-operation was being sought to stem people-smuggling, dismissed suggestions the boats more..

CHOGM flying high against all odds

Nov 19 (NS) It is all systems go for the CHOGM that Sri Lanka is staging but playing the hospitable host and receiving the chairmanship of the Commonwealth is coming at a heavy price, with the country’s reputation coming under intense scrutiny.For some countries such as Canada, Britain and India - the Commonwealth has taken a back seat: they have been focussed on Sri Lanka, the manner in which the country defeated the LTTE and allegations of so-called ‘war crimes’. more..

David Cameron and his media

Nov 19 (NS) Poor David Cameron. He is fighting his own battles at home; fighting the Scots’ demand for separation, trying to isolate, yes, the European Union so that his ‘little nation of shopkeepers’ (as Napoleon referred to it) could display its greatness. Most galling no doubt is the specter of being thrown out of office at the next elections. Wracked though he is at home by his clumsy attempts to shut the door against the public and blackout the possibility of even a like-minded press revealing more..

Commonwealth makes significant contribution for development

Nov 19 (SO) Parallel to the CHOGM in Colombo, held under the theme 'Growth with Equity; Inclusive Development', many side events took place to fine tune collective policies and initiatives that will be agreed upon by the Heads of State to steer the Commonwealth in the coming two years. In addition to the two key forerunners; the Commonwealth Youth Forum and the People's Forum, senior officials and Foreign Ministers more..

Govt. set for snap Presidential poll in the afterglow of CHOGM

Nov 19 (CT) When the govt held the elections to the three Provincial Councils (PCs), Northern, North Western and Central, on 21 September, many political observers thought that the Rajapaksa Govt had begun unfolding their election map and these polls were the forerunner not only to elections in three other PCs but also to General, Parliamentary, and Presidential elections as well, in that order. They expected the elections to the Western, Uva and Southern PCs to follow immediately, more..

Nalin Vs Nirmal: Envisioning real

Nov 19 (SL) A few months ago Nirmal Dewasiri, the FUTA Convenor, history don and former X-Group was pulling out his hair at the International Centre for Ethic Studies (ICES). He was trying, rather unsuccessfully, to understand why he, the X-Group and the progressive Left in general failed to beat Nalin De Silva’s racist and regressive ideas in the battle for public opinion. He couldn’t have picked a better question to soul search on. The failure to discredit and demolish Jathika Chinthanaya more..

SL and the Commonwealth: After the circus

Nov 19 (Economist) “Has the circus left town? Can I please return to Colombo now?” asked a Twitter user, the morning after leaders of the Commonwealth ended their meeting in the Sri Lankan capital. The circus is gone. The police chief has given hundreds of policemen three days off to recuperate. Advertisements touting the summit as a “victory”—hosted in defiance of demands that the venue be changed because of the country’s more..

British PM and TNA leaders shun families of disappeared in Jaffna

Nov 19 (GV) Tamil families of the disappeared, primarily from the North, gathered in front of the area between the Public Library and Duriappa Stadium by 2pm, on 15th Nov, as they thought the visiting British PM would land at the Duriappa Stadium. They were accompanied by some Christian clergy and activists from Colombo. The British authorities had been very reluctant to provide information about Mr. Cameron’s movements, including when I and friends of mine sought information in London. more..

Patriotism and Nationalism are not the same

Nov 19 (CT) The authorities have issued a statement pointing out that the actions of individuals and civic organizations in our country will be judged by whether they are patriotic or loyal to the country. But there are other more fundamental values like truth and justice which rank above patriotism. When an individual is faced with a situation where one value is in conflict with another the individual’s duty is to uphold truth and justice. This is the preaching of religions. more..

CHOGM 2013: A lie well told

Nov 19 (GV) I imagine that beneath the cordial smiles and exchange of pleasantries there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth taking place at Temple Trees these days. The façade that was CHOGM 2013 seems to have crumbled, at least in the eyes of the world, although certainly not in most parts of Sri Lanka’s mainstream media. Images of women and relatives of the disappeared throwing themselves on David Cameron’s convoy in Jaffna dominate more..

Demolition of Prabakaran memorial in TN

Nov 19 (CT) The demolition of the Prabakaran-related memorial by the Indian government was an interesting news item on domestic Indian politics. The Mullivaaikal Memorial was opened by P. Nedumaran, the President of the Ulaga Tamizhar Peramaippu (World Tamils Federation) at Vilar, village in Tanjore on 6th Nov after permission was granted by a judge of the Madras High Court. Separatist Tamils wish to have a Tamil country expanding from Sri Lanka to Tamil Nadu and more..

Editorial: Stone throwing from glasshouses

Nov 19 (Island) Friday’s meeting between President Rajapaksa and British PM David Cameron, who came here vowing to beard the lion in his den, is said to have ended quite ill-humouredly. That outcome came as no surprise as the two leaders had been at daggers drawn for weeks, if not months. One is reminded of British Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s meeting with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in 2009, which, too, led to bad blood between him and the Rajapaksas. more..

'Sri Lanka on track for World Twenty20'

Nov 19 (CI) Having been bridesmaids in two of the last three World Twenty20s, Sri Lanka have already set their sights on the next world tournament in Bangladesh, in March. Coach Graham Ford will no longer be with the team when that tournament arrives, but he said Sri Lanka has begun down the path to success, ahead of the first Twenty20 against NZ. The match in Pallekele is the first of six scheduled Twenty20s for Sri Lanka more..

Channel 4 and that fictitious and libelous production

Nov 19 (Island) I was shocked, surprised and disappointed with the authorities that they let two men who have done unbelievable and irreparable damage to our country, no doubt at the instance of the Tamil Diaspora and without doubt for a huge pay off, have been allowed to enter the country and at this particular time; these men must in fact be arrested and charged for what they have done. Macrae and Miller produced two one hour long programs titled "Sri Lanka’s killing fields" more..

Teams look to consolidate towards World T20

Nov 19 (CI) It should perhaps go without saying at this stage in the tour, but once again, rain shapes to be the defining influence of the match. The past two days in Pallekele have been hot and humid, before rain has arrived after dusk, around the time the match is scheduled to begin. Tuesday's forecast is for more of the same. But if the weather relents long enough to allow a result, both teams have concrete goals for the series. Sri Lanka's first task will be to protect their No. 1 ranking, more..

Katunayaka and Mattala to get two mixed development projects

Nov 19 (Island) China Harbour Engineering Corporation has entered into a MoU with the state owned Airport and Aviation Services Ltd to put up two mixed development projects at the BIA and Mattala. The two companies would submit both project proposals next week valued at US$ 540 to 650 million. With the Ministry for Investment Promotions anticipating more than US$ 10 billion investment to be generated through CPF, more..

Budget 2014: Get the bigger picture at Daily FT-Colombo Uni. MBAA forum

Nov 19 (FT) The bigger picture of the Govt’s 2014 Budget will be in the spotlight at the Daily FT-Colombo University MBA Alumni Association jointly organised Forum on Monday 25 Nov from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at The Kingsbury. Held for the fourth consecutive year and a first-of-its-kind initiative by a national daily, the popular annual forum will bring top officials and business leaders under one platform for what is likely to be the most critical dissection of 2014 Budget, which will be presented by more..

Confidence in economic opportunity among general public not picking up

Nov 19 (FT) After a slight increase in optimism in September, the Perceived Economic Opportunity Index (PEOI) fell once again ending up around the lowest level since the index was developed in July 2011 when the promise of growth was significantly higher than at present. Most people are just managing to meet their household expenses but are worried about rising prices into the future, according to the Index compiler. An area of continued worry is the number of people who believe more..

First half govt. revenue down 8.6%; expenditure up 3.5%

Nov 19 (FT) Management of finance remains challenging for the Govt with first half performance reflecting mixed results whilst the country’s debt has topped the Rs. 6.5 trillion mark. With latest data up to June being released by the Central Bank on Friday, after a delay of many months, the total revenue and grants of the Govt amounted to Rs. 484.1 billion in the first half ended in June, down 8.6% from Rs. 529.4 billion a year earlier. more..

NZ bank on familiarity with Pallekele

Nov 19 (CI) NZ acting captain Kyle Mills has banked on his side's batting form, and their experience in Pallekele ahead of New Zealand's first T20 against Sri Lanka. NZ have been the most frequent international visitors to the venue, having played four ODIs and six T20s there since the stadium debuted in 2010. They have never beaten Sri Lanka in any format in Pallekele, but Mills suggested the ground held few surprises for his side, particularly after they had played here at a similar time last year. more..

Video: 'Assault on democracy' in Sri Lanka

Nov 19 (CNN) As many as 70,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka's war and in its final stage, which lasted from September 2008 to May 2009, the Sri Lankan army advanced into an area of the north where about 330,000 people were trapped by fighting. A UN report in 2011 said the govt used "large-scale and widespread shelling" that left a large number of civilians dead. The number of civilian deaths and injuries are unknown to this day, and U.N. figures greatly differ from those in reports from more..

'Probe Tory donor Lycamobile's links to president Rajapaksa'

Nov 19 (HP) David Cameron has been urged to investigate why the Tory Party took over £420,000 from the telecoms group Lycamobile, which has close links to Sri Lanka's controversial President Rajapaksa. Labour MP Tom Blenkinsop said: "The Prime Minister knows his party has received over £420k from a company closely associated with the Sri Lankan regime. He was obviously so concerned that his own MPs more..

'Mangala, Wigneswaran toeing the same line'

Nov 19 (CT) General Secretary of the Ravana Balakaya Organization, Ven. Ittekande Saddhatissa Thera, said Mangala Samaraweera is toeing the same line in the South, which the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, is toeing in the North. "The TNA, instead of getting down to work after gaining power in the North, is engaging in a programme of the world. This is most contemptible and reprehensible, the Ven. Thera noted. "Mangala and Wigneswaran including more..