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Video: 'Elections behind Cameron’s HR allegations'

Nov 29 (DM) Sri Lanka said British Prime Minister David Cameron had probably highlighted alleged human right violations in Sri Lanka in anticipation of the British elections in 2015. "Why did he raise these issues on a public platform? because he has domestic political considerations as he is in a coalition government and elections are due in 2015. There is also a significant diaspora in Britain,” SL’s High Commissioner Dr. Chris Nonis said more..

Actor and poet Jayapalan is an innocent man

Nov 26 (CT) All V.I.S Jayapalan wanted was to visit his mother’s grave since he could not visist her when died in 2008 due to the then prevailing conditions of military offensive against the LTTE. I met him in Oslo in a Tamil shop in October 2004 and he carried a satchel bag. Little did I know he had acted in Indian films and wrote scores of poetry. It was T. Manivannan, the Head of BBC Tamil Service, who enlightened me on this person’s achievements in the world cinema and poetry. more..

SLFP overhaul needs to be meaningful

Nov 26 (CT) Earlier in the week, this paper carried a news report about plans to overhaul the governing SLFP, ahead of the Provincial Council elections scheduled for early next year. That the Party founded by the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in 1951, needs some serious spring cleaning is a given, but the question is, just how meaningful would the changes be? The origins of the SLFP could be traced back to the 1934/35 period in which the Sinhala Maha Sabha was formed by Bandaranaike, more..

Don’t make it worse says TNA

Nov 26 (CG) The TNA told parliament today it was bewildered at the reaction of the government on a speech made by TNA MP S. Sridharan in pariment this week and a separate speech made by TNA leader R. Sampanthan. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said that while govt MPs allowed Sridharan to continue with a speech which the government later termed as supporting extremism, govt members obstructed Sampanthan when he made a more moderate speech yesterday. more..

Govt will not harm Ranil

Nov 26 (CG) The Govt says it has no need to harm UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that there were claims made by some opposition members that the Government was behind the snake found recently in the Parliament office of the opposition leader. He said that there were also reports that the UNP was suspecting those fighting for the leadership post in the party. “I saw in the media that UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake had written to more..

Two army officers present at courts to give evidence on Rathupaswala incident

Nov 26 (AD) Two army officers presented themselves at courts to give evidence on the case regarding the Rathupaswala protest and shooting which resulted in the death of three persons. The case was taken up by the Gampaha Magistrate Court today. The Gampaha Chief Magistrate Tikiri Jayatilleke questioned the Colombo Crimes Division in court on the reason the army officers were present in court to which the CCD replied that they were present to give evidence. more..

Sri Lanka competes with EU for Indian Ocean fish with Chinese help

Nov 26 (Island) Fisheries Ministry said that with the support of China’s big vessels, it was ready to compete with Europe in harvesting the Indian Ocean’s fish resources. Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said that currently European countries, especially, France and Spain caught about 48 percent of the fish in the Indian Ocean. As the Europeans were doing so with the help of large deep-sea trawlers, the tuna population in the Ocean had reduced dramatically, more..

P.B lose, Senarath win and Shah quit

Nov 26 (SM) The Chairman of MBSL Insurance M.R Shah has tendered his resignation letter to the director board of the company.ž He had to thus resign as the director board did not comply with his decisions. The director board of the company has gathered yesterday (28) at Sri Lanka Foundation and the directors including Sydney Gajanayake , who was placed on compulsory leave, has suggested the Director Sashika Senarath to the post of Chairman. more..

Ashoka re-appointed UNP K’gala Organiser on condition he behaves

Nov 26 (Island) The UNP Leadership Council (LC) re-appointed Ashoka Abeysinghe as the party Organiser for Kurunegala on Wednesday, after he had given an undertaking to abide by the party’s code of conduct and expend his time and energy in increasing the party’s vote base. The LC’s spokesman Kabir Hashim MP said that discipline would be applied strictly across the board, even if it involved anyone in the LC itself. Unless a code of conduct was maintained and members abided by it more..

Video: Prices are being increased while Finance Minister tells fairy tales - UNP

Nov 26 (AD) The prices of goods are increasing while the Finance Minister is telling fairy tales to the public, UNP MP Eran Wickremaratne stated in relation to the 2014 budget proposals. He said that the govt has not only tapped into the people’s current income but also into their income in the future. He cited the recent news that two suspects in the murder of a police officer were killed by the police while allegedly attempting to flee custody more..

Speaker offers to sell his paddy to PMB if it pays Rs.37 per kilo

Nov 26 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said in Parliament yesterday that he, too, could sell his paddy to the Paddy Marketing Board if it was offering Rs. 37 per kilo. The Speaker said so when Trade Minister Johnston Fernando told Parliament, in answering a question raised by UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, that the got purchased paddy from farmers at Rs. 37 a kilo. MP Premadasa said that though the govt boasted that it bought paddy from farmers paying Rs. 30 to 35 a kilo, more..

Sri Lanka rupee steady at 7-week low amid pressure

Nov 26 (Reuters) The rupee ended near a seven-week low on Friday despite pressure due to year-end importer demand as the currency was supported by state banks, dealers said. The spot rupee ended at 131.20/30 per dollar, hovering around its lowest since Oct. 10. It was weaker than Thursday's close of 131.20/25. Three dealers said the spot rupee was not actively traded as it was not allowed to go beyond 131.20 per dollar with state banks selling dollars for selected banks at that level. more..

Sri Lanka set to unveil its first cricket memorabilia museum

Nov 26 (FE) Wills Realtors, a company established by the champions of the 1996 World cup winning Sri Lankan squad has planned to launch Sri Lanka's first cricket museum. This one of a kind museum is proposed to be a Sri Lankan cricket team memorabilia museum, which would display the 1996 World Cups' precious memories. The reason to build this proposed museum is to revive the glory of the island's cricketing excellence. more..

'India is struggling with bowling'

Nov 26 (PTI) Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels India might find it difficult to defend their World Cup title in 2015, scheduled in Australia and New Zealand, due to the team's weak bowling resources. "India look very strong in their batting, but I don't know whether their bowling is good enough to win a World Cup," he said on the sidelines of the 'Wills Realtors' event in Mumbai last night. The 1996 World Cup winning captain said young Indian batsmen have more..

Norway appreciates government's efforts to restore normalcy in the North

Nov 26 (MoD) The Ambassador of Norway to Sri Lanka Ms. Grete Lochen paid a courtesy call on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President's House in Colombo this morning. During the friendly discussion, the President and Ms. Lochen exchanged views on current developments in Sri Lanka. Norwegian Ambassador expressed satisfaction over the measures taken by the govt under the leadership of President Rajapaksa to restore normalcy in the North after the end of the war. more..

India to train Sri Lankan navy

Nov 26 (CG) The Indian navy has offered to train Sri Lankan Navy officers, the President’s office said today. The offer was made when the Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy Admiral D.K. Joshi called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s Office this morning. During the meeting, the President, Admiral Joshi and the two delegations discussed several maritime topics of particular significance in the Indian Ocean region. more..

Police probe threat to priest

Nov 26 (CG) The Trincomalee police are investigating threats levelled at a Catholic priest by an unidentified group two days ago. The Parish priest of Our Lady of Guadulupe in Trincomalee, Reverend Father S.S. Johnpillai said that he had lodged a complaint with the police after some men had gone to his church and threatened him at gunpoint. On Tuesday two men had gone to the church saying they were from the intelligence unit and attempted to grill him in a rude tone. more..

'Accounts of conflict deaths not authentic'

Nov 26 (DN) Although there are numerous reports about people who have died, disappeared or have gone missing and property damaged due to conflicts, these reports do not contain any scientific evidence to prove these statistics, Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry Secretary P.B. Abeykoon said. Addressing the media yesterday, the Secretary said there are numerous reports based on these statistics created by various groups based on their personal agendas. more..

TN fishermen arrested for violating maritime boundary: Lanka

Nov 26 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said its navy had arrested Indian fishermen for allegedly violating the international maritime boundary, a thorny issue in bilateral ties. Reacting to comments by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on the arrest of Indian fishermen across the Palk Straits, Sri Lanka's fisheries minister Rajitha Senaratne claimed that 154 Sri Lankan fishermen and 29 trawlers were currently being held by India. more..

Stocks gain on financials; earnings woes weigh

Nov 26 (Reuters) Stocks rose in thin trade on Friday, led by banking shares, but worries over December quarter earnings outlook dented investor sentiment after the previous quarter earnings pointed to a sluggish earning growth. The main stock index rose for a second straight session, gaining 0.40%, or 22.89 points, to 5,775.09, its highest close since Nov.25. The market hit a 10-week low on Wednesday. "Many investors are awaiting to see the direction, and low turnover was more..

CMC surplus budget tabled

Nov 26 (Island) The Colombo Municipal Council’s surplus draft Budget for 2014 including revenue estimates and proposed expenditure prepared according to Section 211 of Chapter 252 of the Municipal Council Ordinance was submitted to the Council at Tuesday’s meeting at the Town Hall. The budget is scheduled for December 12. The total recurrent income has been estimated at Rs. 7,971,081,000 while the projected recurrent expenditure is Rs. 6,999,005,100. more..

Sri Lanka inflation at 5.6% in November

Nov 26 (LBO) Consumer prices in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo rose 5.6% in the 12-months to December from a year earlier, slowing from 6.7% a month earlier, with the index climbing 0.2% during the month. The so-called annual average inflation, a lagging indicator which is averaged across two years slowed to 7.3% from 7.6%. The Colombo Consumer Price Index gained 0.4 points to 176.5 points during the month, but is still at the same level as in June 2013. more..

Sinhalese settlers: Heroes or victims?

Nov 30 (CT) After this, the profile of the Mahaveli Authority was on the wane. In the East security worsened and in 1984 its work was slowed down by a delay in the Saudi government signing a loan agreement. Covert land settlement activity came under the JOSSOP. About June 1984 Arthur Herath, SP Vavuniya, chased away the Tamils from Kent and Dollar Farms. The first move towards demographic transformation of the Mullaitivu District, was made by turning the farms into more..

Celebrating 27 November, Gandhian way

Nov 30 (CT) The Northern Province was put under heavy security for the past one week, until 27 November, to prevent any untoward incident with regard to now defunct LTTE’s Martyrs’ Day commemorations. It was when the outfit was in control of the areas in the North and East, the LTTE cadres who were killed in action were commemorated in the final week of November, which also coincided with the birthday of the outfit’s leader, V. Prabhakaran. more..

New highway code for Expressways

Nov 30 (SO) Motorways, highways or flyovers and serpentine exit routes are advanced features in the modern road networks of developed countries that we are finally privileged to experience in our own country. Fine tarmac carpeted roads with multiple lanes give not only the sheer driving pleasure with ample space but also the ability to reach the expected destination with a pre-targeted time without fail. With all these advance more..

Sri Lanka’s love-hate foreign policy

Nov 30 (CT) Sri Lanka has for the past several years boasted a love-hate foreign policy with the West and our Big Brother to the North, India. With two US sponsored resolutions being passed at the United Nations, TN’s continued assault on the govt over allegations of war crimes and Canada’s Prime Minister’s, Stephen Harper, decision to boycott the CHOGM 2013 appears to justify the hate section of our foreign relations. Of course a declaration by the Australian PM, Tony Abbott, more..

Mangala Samaraweera and media freedom – worlds apart

Nov 30 (CT) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, on Monday filed a petition, seeking a writ against Capital Maharaja Organization, preventing all TV Channels under the Group from telecasting news pertaining to the UNP. The order was sought under Section 81 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The respondent owns Sirasa, Shakthi and MTV Television channels, as well as radio channels, each of which has a sizeable viewership/listenership in their respective audiences. more..

'Medical tourism has great potential in Sri Lanka'

Nov 30 (Island) Among the niche tourism markets that Seychelles have identified in Sri Lanka is medical tourism and this segment has a great potential said CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board Sherin Naiken in an interview with "The Traveller" in Mahe. "The Seychellois would find the prices very attractive with best medical treatment combined with different holiday packages," she said. The young CEO said that Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities more..

Budget blues, anger too

Nov 30 (CT) So the 2014 aya weya document is out, read by the President himself accompanied by much banging on tables. Maybe TV viewers gnashed their teeth. We, the people, are now completely blasé about these budgets in contrast to how it was, say eight years ago and beyond. It must be said that even during the younger Madam’s time, budgets did not matter very much. What were more important were the Gazettes that followed, especially the extraordinaire ones that delivered more..

Buddha, Bonobos, Lincoln, and Sri Lankans

Nov 30 (CT) Scientists, philosophers, theologians, and moralists have been arguing whether human morality is imposed from above or evoked innately. When scientists say that moral behavior is a product of evolution, theologians would vehemently disagree. What is the origin of morality and equality? Most people think that morality and equality come from the Buddha, God, Jesus, Prophets, religion, or from some transcendent wisdom. It is not in concordance with what evolution shows us; more..

CKDu: When Scientists Disagree

Nov 30 (Island) The deadly disease known as Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Aetiology (CKDu), aka Chronic Renal Failure (CRF), is progressively ravaging many poor rural communities in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is now being detected in other areas of the Dry Zone such as the Eastern and Uva Provinces as well. It has resulted in the deaths of a large number of people, variously estimated at between more..

Editorial: Taxing the hungry

Nov 30 (Island) Most parliamentarians currently taking part in the committee stage budget debate digress from the main subject and wax eloquent on CHOGM and other unrelated issues. This is how they are carrying out their fiduciary duties! Their venomous outpouring is of little use as regards a vital discussion on the national budget. People deserve the dullards they elect! However, luckily, on both sides of the House there are still some lawmakers capable of analysing more..

After CHOGM 2013 – (2)

Nov 30 (Island) I have been wondering for some time why it is that we Sri Lankans in general seem to have difficulty in perceiving the world as it is. It is an important question because that difficulty can lead our Govts to make serious blunders resulting in very troubled periods in Sri Lanka’s foreign relations. In my view that has happened twice: from 1977 to 1994, and at present as shown by the negative developments that took place during the recently concluded CHOGM, more..

The gypsy who stayed

Nov 30 (Island) It was an old two storey building and the approach to the Land Branch was by way of a creaking wooden stairway. I was beginning to get a hang of my files as well as the people and problems that lurked within each pasteboard docket neatly titled in the copper plate script of veteran clerks. These gentlemen were my faithful trackers through the thickets of Rajarata villages and customs unfamiliar to the more..

Samarajeewa disqualified, Wijekoon reinstated as champion

Nov 30 (Island) National record holder Chaminda Wijekoon has been awarded the gold medal in the men’s 1,500 metres at the SL Army Athletics championships, after Lional Samarajeewa who finished first ahead of him to win, was disqualified for running outside the lane on the final day of the championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium. Samarajeewa stunned many when he finished metres ahead of Wijekoon to win the men’s 1,500 metres in 3 minutes and 52 seconds. more..

World’s first plug-in hybrid drive in the luxury class

Nov 30 (FT) Eurocars Ltd., the official Porsche importer in Sri Lanka, launched the new Porsche Panamera SE-Hybrid on 28 November 2013 at Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Porsche Panamera SE-Hybrid is the world’s first plug-in hybrid in the luxury class and is equipped with 416 hp of system power. The Panamera SE-Hybrid underscores its exceptional positioning with an even more expressive design language in style of the new sports car generations that are marked by more..

Ranga Bandara sheds ‘dissident tag’, pledges to maintain discipline

Nov 30 (Island) MP Ranga Bandara, yesterday shed his dissident tag, by pledging to work with the UNP Leadership Council (LC). Appearing before the LC at Sirikotha to answer a charge of violating party discipline, Bandara had said that some of the comments attributed to him in the media earlier this week, regarding the UNP’s National Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, had been made some time back. He had also agreed to more..

'Budgeting to zero in Indo–Lanka helps turn things in our favour'

Nov 30 (Island) Removal of ten items from the negative trade list is a positive outcome from ISFTA journey-and helps boom Indo-Lanka trade that already crossed US$ 4 billion mark. "As the Minister in charge of exports, I commend many measures to enhance our exports even with the difficult economic situation in the key developed markets. The first among them is the proposal to remove certain items from negative list of Sri Lanka for the strategic development of trade" more..

NTB to issue Rs. 2 bn debt

Nov 30 (Island) Nations Trust Bank intends to raise a sum of Rs. 2 Billion via a listed, rated, unsecured, subordinated, redeemable Debenture issue with a tenor of 5 years with an option of issuing up to a further Rs. 1 Billion in the event of an oversubscription. Accordingly, the Bank will issue 20 Million Debentures, with the ability to extend to a further 10 Million debentures in the event of an oversubscription at a par value of Rs 100 each and will be listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange more..

Draft Seed Act irks Wimal

Nov 30 (Island) Ruling UPFA constituent, the National Freedom Front (NFF), yesterday claimed that the draft Seed Act was worse than the Bill prepared under the ‘Regaining Sri Lanka’ programme, by the 2001 – 2004 UNF govt, led by then Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. NFF leader and Minister Wimal Weerawansa told The Island that the govt had decided to introduce a new Seed Act to replace the current Act No. 22 of 2003. more..