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Thalangama OIC, three others arrested

Nov 20 (DM) Thalangama Police OIC together with the Crime OIC, a sergeant and a police constable were arrested by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) over allegations that they had obtained a bribe of Rs.2 million to obliterate the evidence on the killing of a former police inspector two months ago. Police spokesman said the bribe was allegedly given by the victim’s wife, who is the prime suspect in the killing. The arrests were made after the bank deposit slip was found by the CCD. more..

Kin of Lankan fishermen in Indian custody seek early release

Nov 20 (PTI) Over 100 relatives of Sri Lankan fishermen, who are in Indian custody, today staged a sit-in here and demanded speedier action for their release. The fishermen's relatives held protests in front of the Ministry of Fisheries and met Minister Rajitha Senaratne. "They highlighted the difference of treatment meted out by the Lankan and Indian authorities," Narendra Sri Rajapaksha, the ministry spokesman, told PTI. more..

Budget Defeated in Peliyagoda Urban Council

Nov 20 (LT) Despite the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Secretary General of UPFA Susil Premajayantha instructing UPFA councilors on several occasions to take measures not to get the budgets presented by local councils ruled by the UPFA defeated, the budget for 2014 in Peliyagoda Urban Council was defeated yesterday (19th). The budget presented by the Chairman Nihal Ananda received 3 votes while 6 voted against it. Three members of the UPFA have voted against. more..

MR congratulates new Maldivian President

Nov 20 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in a message has congratulated the new Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. “This victory bears testimony to the confidence that the people of the Maldives place in your policies and your leadership,” President Rajapaksa wrote. “The relations between Sri Lanka and the Maldives are characterized by a long tradition of friendship, close cooperation and mutual respect,” President Rajapaksa said. more..

'Pay for SL job embarrassing'

Nov 20 (CI) Steve Rixon, Australia's assistant coach, has said the remuneration Sri Lanka Cricket offered when they approached him for the job of the national team's coach was "embarrassing", considering the position. Though he had not formally applied, Rixon was among the men the board approached after they were underwhelmed by the 11 applications they had received for the role. Rixon is highly rated internationally and within the more..

The ways of discontent

Nov 21 (NS) There are riders without horses and horses without riders. There are classrooms and students that are not visited by teachers. There are also teachers waiting for non-existent students. There are alumni associations of schools that have been closed down decades ago; yes, like the Commonwealth. There is an Opposition that does not oppose and an Opposition that gets dissolved because those who people it don’t have rallying points. There is opposition without leaders more..

The resounding Commonwealth

Nov 21 (NS) The Commonwealth of Nations is an organization which can facilitate cultural exchange and more people to people exchange, directly and indirectly. CHOGM is the best opportunity for such positive endeavors. The “Commonwealth Resounds!,” a group of musicians capable of thinking forward and thinking out of the box have made CHOGM their opportunity to encourage cultural exchange through music.“Commonwealth Resounds!” music group arrived in Sri Lanka more..

Commonwealth Youth Council set up

Nov 21 (SO) The newly laid tarmac motorways built to international standards gives an electrifying feeling to any visitor who has been to the area a couple of years ago and seeing the difference now. It’s not once or twice a first time traveller would lose the way in this maze of sophisticated highways and flyovers circling Magam Ruhunupura which could be seen only in ultra -developed countries. Colourful flags flutter to the surge of the warm but more..

Cameron, new Messiah of the Tamils

Nov 21 (CT) Professed saviours of Tamils in the country have a notable series of succession over the years. First, from the start of the war in 1983, it was Rajiv Gandhi; it ended with the LTTE assassinating him at a political rally in Tamil Nadu in 1993. Thereafter, the mantle of acting saviour fell to the lot of Norway, which did it through its role as peace negotiator and the guarantor of the ceasefire between Sri Lankan Govt and the LTTE. With the demise of Prabhakaran and more..

Deep reflections of a defeated generation...

Nov 21 (CT) Kadiresan looked through the little hole in the canvas that sheltered him from the scorching heat. The sun was beating down on the canvas, causing it to be dried up close to the point of burning. The Northern skies, they say, are more brutal than the ones over the rest of the country, not because the sun was more irate and fuming or its rays were more penetrative and piercing, but because the earth that it fell on is more arid and parched, the air more devoid of moisture more..

AAWAS helps those with lost limbs find hope

Nov 21 (NS) Thirty years of war and conflict left this nation with missing a limb or two. There was a time when a man missing a leg was stared at; society didn’t know how to treat such people. Is it sympathy you show? Or pity? However, today men, women and children, walking and sometimes limping along with the aid of prosthetic legs or crutches or moving around in wheelchairs, can be found in abundance. It is wrong though to assume that more..

CHOGM: A meeting of Genocidal Criminals, Terrorists, and Torturers

Nov 21 (CT) The CHOGM was held in Sri Lanka recently, between the 15th and 17th of Nov. This is at a time when the Sri Lankan State and the current Rajapaske Regime is being held accountable for ‘alleged’ war crimes and atrocities during the final phase of the civil war by the UNHRC in Geneva, led by the US and its coalition of partners. The US as the number one terrorist, genocidal State in the world and in history, which stands accused of the most horrendous and barbaric war crimes, more..

Co-operatives as a means to uplift war affected women in Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (GV) The end of the war saw many national plans by the govt to develop the war affected areas. But there is none for the women affected by the war who are the worst affected. An estimate shows that 90% of the households in the Wanni Districts are women-headed households. It appears that the Govt considers the plight of these women less important than the restructuring of the damaged infrastructure such as the roads, buildings and the military camps. As has been repeatedly stated in many fora more..

Hail, the emperor!

Nov 21 (FT) The posters and hoardings to celebrate President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ascension to the Chair of the Commonwealth, a grouping mostly made up of territories of the former British Empire, must have been ready weeks in advance. By happy coincidence, the President was also celebrating his 68th birthday and his eighth year in office this week. Locally, the Commonwealth summit, dogged by controversy over Sri Lanka’s human rights record and plagued by more..

Mixed fortunes for Sri Lanka at CHOGM 2013

Nov 21 (SL) Nothing that has happened in Sri Lanka leading up to the CHOGM 2013 has caught President Rajapaksa’s govt by surprise. The arrival in Sri Lanka of a media crew from Britain’s Channel 4 TV channel replete with arguably the most unpopular foreigner in Sri Lanka, Callum Macrae, caused enough of a hullabaloo but one which again was most anticipated. What was not anticipated was for Channel 4’s Correspondent, Jonathan Miller to ‘door step’ Mr Rajapaksa as he left a meeting in Colombo. more..

Curious case of UNP: Battling enemies within

Nov 21 (CT) It is impossible to believe that the newly appointed leadership council of the UNP will translate into a meaningful reform. Leader who spearheaded nearly 25 election defeat is still at the helm of the party and Karu Jayasuriya has been offered the top post of a council that is gravitated towards the party leader’s line of thinking. Technically, there isn’t any real change in the internal governing structure of the party and the membership at the bottom rung does not feel more..

Leadership curbing Chandimal's spirit

Nov 21 (CI) When Sri Lanka appointed Dilshan captain in 2011, he rushed back mid-IPL to accept the post. The man that appeared before the press shortly after was unlike any Dilshan that had been seen before. The designer beard had been replaced by a plain goatee, the earring had vanished, and he spoke and behaved in a manner he felt was fitting for an international captain. Yet, despite his efforts, there was something more..

Editorial: Of that Jumbo apology

Nov 21 (Island) The UNP has had the wisdom to apologise to some Buddhist monks belonging to the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation for last week’s incident at Sirikotha, where they were roughed up during a protest. Although it was the BBS protesters who provoked its members it has, with an apology, prevented a political issue being given a religious twist. The UNP has disappointed its opponents who sought to make political capital out of the Sirikotha incident. But for its timely action, more..

Rare clear forecast for SL-NZ finale

Nov 21 (CI) Fans who have followed this series so far may want to sit down before reading the following sentence: rain is not expected to affect the second Twenty20. By even Sri Lankan monsoon standards, New Zealand's tour has been a miserably soggy one. Fewer than half the scheduled overs have been played, and two of the four matches were washed out. Even the games that produced results did not avoid controversy. Sri Lanka were hampered by a wet ball in their loss in Hambantota, more..

Sri Lankan Dhammika Perera's Master Plan

Nov 21 (Forbes) Dhammika Perera didn’t become one of Sri Lanka’s richest people by luck. It was actually by design. Back in 1999, when he was 32, he developed a 20-year plan for his fledgling businesses with the help of a mentor. His audacious goal: Become the country’s leader in each of 12 sectors by 2019. He’s already succeeded in 9 of the sectors, building best-in-class companies in tourism, banking, apparel and other industries. more..

Suggestions made at the pre-Budget Forum

Nov 21 (FT) Agriculture: Boost food security and support agriculture inputs. Plantations: Extension of life span of lease agreements, removal of ambiguity in leasehold right, reinvesting tea cess in the industry. Dairy/Food: Supporting large scale farming with land and long term financing; artificial insemination to expand the quality of herd and discouraging imported milk powder. Apparel: Support to find new markets including FTAs and alternative energy, relief on NBT imposed more..

Hotels: Great rates but where’s the traffic?

Nov 21 (ST) Five-star hotels in Colombo charged over US$500 per night net for delegates attending the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, more than three times the standard room rate, but still ended on the losing side. One hotel lost as much as Rs.100 million due to occupancy being less than 20% compared to 70-80% during this period. Others had lower than that partly due to some delegations arriving with reduced numbers. Prescribed hotel rates decided by the govt for delegates attending the summit more..

$ 1 b int’l biz partnerships from ‘Reflection’

Nov 21 (FT) The biggest Lankan trade, tourism and investment exposition in history successfully concluded on 17 Nov, with $ 1 billion in international business partnerships. “The event appears to be a sell-out. There were more than 242,000 visitors, which included an unprecedented number of international buyers representing 66 countries, leading to 1,428 serious buyer visits and 101 promising B2B meetings,” more..

AMW diversifies into leisure boat building

Nov 21 (ST) The Associated Motorways Group (AMW) has plans to set up a marine building facility targeting the leisure boat building industry, officials said. “We will be setting up two leisure boat building facilities by next year,” Len Hunt, Group Director – Automotive of Dubai based Al Futtaim Group, the automotive, retail, electronics and financial services conglomerate based in Dubai and which is the owning company of AMW, said. Speaking on the sidelines of the CBF, more..

UNP: Sorry or not?

Nov 21 (FT) Sending mixed signals and indicating anarchic conditions within the party leadership structure, a group of UNP MPs apologised to the Bodu Bala Sena General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara for last week’s altercation at Sirikotha last week, while UNP National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe announced the move was completely unauthorised. The Bodu Bala Sena staged a demonstration in front of the UNP’s Pita Kotte Headquarters last morning, more..

Undergraduate protest causes traffic chaos

Nov 21 (Island) Protests by the Colombo University undergraduates for the second day running forced the closure of the Thurstan road from Thunmulla junction for two hours yesterday. It led to major traffic jams on surrounding roads. President of the Arts Faculty Students’ Union Wasantha Gunasundera said that they had started a protest march near the university’s main library and reached the College House, more..

Health Minister’s home garden a big draw

Nov 21 (DN) Minister Maithripala Sirisena who introduced the concept ‘Api Wawamu - Rata Nagamu’ (Let’s cultivate and upgrade the country) has an excellent home garden for himself at his official residence located at Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7. Minister’s home garden at his official residence is now full of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs etc. The entire home garden has been cultivated using organic fertilizers. Artificial fertilizers have never been used for any cultivation. more..

Woman prevented from meeting Charles

Nov 21 (CT) Colombo Chief Magistrate, Gihan Pilapitiya, yesterday ordered the Cinnamon Gardens Police to take steps to admit a woman who had come to Colombo, to meet Prince Charles during his visit to Sri Lanka for the CHOGM, as the representative of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11, to the National Mental Institute for a medical evaluation on her mental condition, as she had appeared to be of unsound mind. The woman, a resident of Pranepana, Udugannuduwa, more..

Baby elephants withdrawn from mini zoo

Nov 21 (DN) The newly opened mini zoo in Ape Gama premises in Battaramulla will be maintained as a tourist attraction while rectifying the identified shortcomings, Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation Ministry Secretary Dr. Willie Gamage said. Commenting on the criticisms from environmentalists about the lack of space and comfort for the animals, he said they took measures to withdraw the two baby elephants more..

Actor arrested with 500g of heroin

Nov 21 (CT) Moratuwa Police has arrested an actor for possessing 500g of heroin worth Rs Four million. A high ranking officer of the Moratuwa Police said that the actor had masqueraded under the guise of a university student and had been dealing with heroin from a room which he had rented in a house near the Emmanuel Church, Rawathawatta, Moratuwa. A person from Mount Lavinia had given the suspect the 500g of heroin, and he had intended to sell the drug in the Moratuwa and Ratmalana areas. more..

Vass case not special says Judge

Nov 21 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge, Lalith Jayasuriya, who examined the applications for bail filed on behalf of suspects, former DIG Vass Gunawardena and Ravindu Vass Gunawardena, said in Court yesterday, "This case is not special. This case is also being heard on the same lines as other cases. I have only one spoon in my hand. I don't have a teaspoon and a tablespoon." When a request was made for an earlier date to hear the petition, the Judge, rejecting the request said, more..

'Toe the line or lose University and temple'

Nov 21 (CT) Minister S.B. Dissanayake warned that, if student Buddhist monks withdrew from their temples, they will be removed from Buddha Shrawaka's Pali and Buddhist Universities, the following day. He made this statement while addressing a gathering at a training programme organized for novices of both universities. He said he took that decision as it was necessary to direct the Sangha to the temples in villages, more..

SL funeral for murdered pizza delivery man

Nov 21 (BBC) The funeral of a pizza delivery man who was killed in Sheffield as he worked his final shift has taken place. Thavisha Peiris, 25, was found stabbed in his car in Southey Crescent on the night of 27 October. He was completing the shift before starting a new job as an IT consultant. BBC correspondent Charles Haviland said more than 100 family and friends attended the funeral in Sri Lanka. Two people have been charged with his murder and are due in court in June. more..

Mihin Lanka’s inaugural flight to the Seychelles takes off

Nov 21 (GDI) Mihin Lanka’s inaugural flight to the Seychelles took off on 16th of Nov. The guests on the flight comprised of Mihin Lanka travelers and represents from Mihin Lanka management. The flight touched down in the Seychelles amongst celebrations and a traditional welcome. Traveller on inaugural flight, Ms. Li Chao & Ms. Ma Ya from China said: "This is the first flight from China to the Seychelles and we are very happy with the hospitality and comfortable travel experience. more..

Extended holiday for Jaffna u’grads to prevent protests

Nov 21 (Island) Security authorities are on alert following reports of pro-LTTE elements planning a large scale protest in Jaffna next week, to commemorate slain LTTE leader V Prabhakaran’s birthday, which falls on Nov 26. A security official said that an attempt was being made to involve undergraduates of the Jaffna University in the protest early next week. The official alleged that several university workers were involved more..

Police constable murder suspect’s house set on fire

Nov 21 (CT) A group has set fire to the house of ‘Katayam Chinthaka’ who has been identified as the chief suspect in the murder of a Police Constable and his wife in the Kamburupitiya area on 16 November. An unidentified group of persons had allegedly murdered a 32-year-old police Constable and his wife at their residence in Walasmulla, Kamburupitiya. Police Constable, Sunil Weligamaarachchi, an officer attached to the Matara Division Anti-vice Squad who recently more..

Lanka Sathosa to import 100 containers of big onions to control price rise

Nov 21 (DN) Lanka Sathosa will import 100 containers of big onions to control the rising price and overcome any shortage in the local market. Consumers will be able to buy big onions at a very reasonable retail price at Lanka Sathosa outlets islandwide. With the prevailing shortage of big onions in the open market, the wholesale and retail prices of local and imported big onions have increased. Minister Johnston Fernando has ordered Lanka Sathosa Chairman Nalin Fernando to more..

Cover-up of colleague’s murder: Four cops arresed, grilled

Nov 21 (Island) OIC of the Talangama police Inspector Upul Perera and three other policemen including the Crimes OIC were arrested by the CCD yesterday for allegedly taking a bribe to hush up an investigation into the abduction and killing of a former inspector attached to the elite STF, Thusitha Kumarasinghe. The Talangama OIC is suspected to have taken a bribe amounting to Rs. 2.5 million from the victim’s mistress, more..

Court considers petitions by Sabaragamuwa University students

Nov 21 (CT) Justice Anil Goonaratna of the Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Sabaragamuwa University, its Vice Chancellor, members of Senate and Deans of Faculties, returnable on 11 December. Court issued notice after considering 16 petitions filed by students, challenging the decision to suspend their studentship. Their petition stated that the Vice Chancellor and other respondents had taken this decision to suspend their studentship, more..

Galle Dialogue 2013 begins in Galle

Nov 21 (MoD) The International Maritime Security Conference, "Galle Dialogue 2013", organized by the Sri Lanka Navy under the aegis of the Ministry of Defence, gets underway in the port city of Galle on 25th Nov for the fourth consecutive year. Local and foreign scholars and experts in maritime and naval affairs representing 35 countries are expected to share their views at this two-day dialogue held under the theme, "Emerging Maritime Trends in the Indian Ocean", at the Lighthouse Hotel more..