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SL should be condemned, not acclaimed

Nov 4 (Independent) As Sri Lanka prepares to host the CHOGM on 15 Nov, its govt is feeling rather pleased with itself. Since defeating the Tamil Tiger insurrectionary movement in 2009, it has been engaged in a sustained rebranding operation, helped by a team at the Bell Pottinger public relations agency, and the exercise is paying dividends. Earlier this year, Lonely Planet named the island as its top travel destination for 2013, because “the war is over and Sri Lanka’s looking up”. more..

SERVO Shops to up market stake for LIOC

Nov 4 (BOP) Lanka IOC PLC in its efforts to further increase its stake in the lubricant market re-conceptualised its retail channel with a unique new concept to showcase LIOC’s SERVO range of lubricants which is the preferred choice of Sri Lankans and is today the second largest selling brand in the country. The introduction of ‘SERVO Shops’ islandwide forms the basis of the new branded distribution channel. Whilst providing customers a one-stop shop for more..

D-Day for UNP

Nov 4 (CT) On the eve of the crucial UNP Working Committee meeting scheduled for today, party seniors, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, and the Maha Sangha led by Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera of the UBF, agreed on a formula that would be presented to the Working Committee as a way to resolve the internal crisis of the UNP. The decision was reached at a meeting held in Kurunegala yesterday. more..

Over 4.3m fly SriLankan this year

Nov 4 (DN) SriLankan Airlines has carried over 4.3 million passengers during the past year for the period ending October 2013, making the figure the airline's highest passenger volume per annum. At present, SriLankan operates to 65 destinations in 35 countries. Under the govt's mission to make it the most preferred airline in Asia, an airline sector development plan has been introduced by the airline while providing a reliable and pleasant travel experience for all passengers. more..

Spell-binding Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (Mirror) "Sri Lanka? Isn’t it just India designed by the Swiss?” asked my most travelled friend. He’s the sort who’s never happier than when snacking on aged yak butter while perched precariously mid-way up a mountain. Whereas I’m pretty happy lounging by a pool, especially if there’s a pleasing vista of palm trees and beach to gaze upon. Sri Lanka – shaped like a teardrop in the Indian Ocean – has a magical quality. Improbably lush (put a stick in the ground and it’ll probably take root), more..

As Indian trawlers charge ahead, these fishermen are all at sea

Nov 4 (Hindu) It is 6.30 p.m., already pitch dark along the shore in Analativu, a tiny island off Sri Lanka’s northernmost tip. Except for the silhouettes of palm trees and of the fisherfolk gathered there, nothing much else is visible under the star-studded night sky. The village is quiet — its silence only punctuated by the periodic splash of the waves against the shore and occasionally, by a lone pup barking shrilly. more..

EU hands over newly constructed building to people of Mullaitivu

Nov 4 (FT) Ambassador of the EU David Daly, during his first official visit to the north handed over a EU-funded multipurpose building to the community of Uppumaveli in Mullaitivu. Following a ribbon cutting ceremony, the building was declared open by Ambassador Daly and Mullaitivu GA N. Vethanayagam. Newly built multipurpose building, constructed on the request of the community will benefit over 300 families and will further strengthen their economic and social standards. more..

The Kingsbury voted Luxury City Hotel in Indian Ocean

Nov 4 (FT) Sri Lanka’s new brand The Kingsbury has been voted Indian Ocean’s Luxury City Hotel with the company receiving the coveted award on Friday at a glittering ceremony in Phuket Thailand. The accolade award was bestowed by the World Luxury Hotel Awards, positioned as the pinnacle of achievement for luxury hotels worldwide. Owned by Hayleys and managed by Amaya, The Kingsbury opened for business last year following a Rs. 3 billion modernisation and expansion. more..

Overdue of information on latest govt finances causes concern

Nov 4 (FT) An apparent delay in release of up-to-date govt finances has caused concerns among stakeholders. Central Bank latest release of monthly data for August, put out on Friday still carries govt finances details as of April only. Analysts said ideally by August the first half data for the year should be out. This was the case for several years until this year. Opposition parties which have been claiming that the Govt was bankrupt more..

SP chops off hair of suspects in public

Nov 4 (CT) An investigation has been launched into an incident, where a Superintendent of Police (SP) is alleged to have paraded, and had thereafter cut the hair of three suspects in public, the DIG in charge of the Anuradhapura Division, B.A.D. Padmasiri, said. The three suspects, who are alleged to have burgled a house in Rajangane, in the Thambutthegama Police Division, had been taken into custody by the Rajangane Police for stealing Rs 140,000 in cash as well as jewellery. more..

2 arrested over killing of filmmaker’s aunt

Nov 4 (DM) Two suspects in the killing of an aunt the late filmmaker Tissa Abeysekara in Welikada on Sept 28 were arrested today by the special investigation unit of the Western Province (South) DIG’s office. Margaret Fernando, an aunt of Tissa Abeysekara had been strangled and her house had been burgled by the two suspects – aged 26 and 27 years. The suspects are residents of Poddala in Galle. Three gold rings and a gold chain robbed from the house were recovered after more..

'Video will convince PM on Colombo CHOGM boycott'

Nov 4 (TOI) DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Sunday reiterated his call for boycott of the upcoming CHOGM in Sri Lanka saying at least after seeing the chilling video of the Tamil TV presenter Isai Priya's murder by Sri Lankan army, the UPA govt at the Centre must not participate in the summit. In a letter to his party cadres published in the DMK mouthpiece "Murasoli", Karunanidhi asked whether the PM Manmohan Singh, more..

Over 60 firms in fresh Sri Lanka Tourism push at WTM 2013, London

Nov 4 (FT) World Travel Market (WTM), the leading Travel and Tourism Trade event in the world is scheduled to kick off today at London’s Excel Exhibition Hall. Having foreseen the unique opportunity to promote Sri Lanka as a renowned destination across key tourism markets, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has decided to take part in the event, along with 60 tourism industry partners. During the event, SLTPB will take steps to conduct several more..

'Day to day activities in Colombo unhindered due to CHOGM'

Nov 4 (DN) Day to day activities in Colombo city would not be hindered due to the CHOGM from Nov 10-17, Mass Media and Information Ministry Secretary Dr. Charitha Herath said. The Secretary said that access to Colombo roads would not be closed down, adding that there would be a special traffic plan in operation where the smooth flow of traffic will not be hindered. He said prior announcements would be made to the public on the traffic arrangements. more..

UK minister turned GTF policy advisor in CHOGM sabotage bid

Nov 4 (Island) Former British Labour Party MP Joan Marie Ryan, on behalf of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), has thanked TN CM Jayalalithaa for backing its ongoing efforts to prevent Indian participation at the forthcoming CHOGM. She represented Enfield North between 1997 and 2010. Ryan, is a former minister as well as UK’s Special Envoy to Cyprus, has written to Jayalalithaa in her capacity as the GTF policy advisor. more..

Indian participation at the CHOGM

Nov 4 (CT) The indication that the PM of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is more likely to attend the CHOGM in Colombo comes as a relief to Sri Lanka, which is busy putting in the last minute touches to its roads and buildings in preparation for the high-level meeting to be held from 15-17 Nov. It will be the first such high-level meeting since the Non Aligned Summit of 1976. The indication of the Indian PM’s participation comes despite the heavy pressure brought on the Central Govt by TN. more..

A peek into Cuckoo Land

Nov 4 (DM) It is a sad facet of our public administrative system that most bureaucrats maintain a deafening silence when any member of the public sends them a letter of inquiry or complaint. Today with so many formats of political administration ranging from provincial councils, to municipal and urban, the same attitude is maintained by their public servants too. In fact the word public is fast becoming a misnomer for it appears that many of them from the lowest to more..

Whither the opposition, or a withered opposition?

Nov 4 (SL) It may be uncharitable yet true. And, the truth hurts. As always after a poll debacle, the Opposition UNP has started off internal discussions on retiring the old and revamping the self so as to take on the ruling SLFP-UPFA coalition whenever the next round of presidential and parliamentary elections are held. As always, the current efforts are also likely to be doomed as no one is talking about revamping more..

Jayalalithaa to have bigger role if Modi comes to power: Sri Lankan analyst

Nov 4 (ENS) Dr Dayan Jayatilleka, a leading Sri Lankan strategic analyst and a former ambassador, has warned that an Indian govt led by Narendra Modi will not bring any relief to Sri Lanka as Modi will not only be tougher than the present administration but will also give Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa a great role in national affairs, including foreign policy. “There must be no illusions that our problems will cease or abate with more..

'Some of the world’s best software created by local companies'

Nov 4 (DM) A product of the early stage development of Sri Lanka’s ICT Industry, Microsoft’s new Country Manager for Sri Lanka, Imran Vilcassim started his career with Microsoft a decade ago as a technology engineer. Vilcassim discussed the issues and challenges surrounding the development of the IT industry in Sri Lanka and Microsoft’s role in improving access to fresh opportunities for Sri Lankans through more..

Sri Lanka to establish centre of excellence on ocean sciences

Nov 4 (Island) Sri Lanka’s proposal for the establishment of a Centre of Excellence on Ocean Sciences and the Environment attracted keen interest at the Thirteenth Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) in Perth, Australia, over the weekend. This meeting took place ahead of Sri Lanka’s assumption of the leadership of the CHOGM to be held in two weeks’ time. more..

Matale mass grave case today

Nov 4 (Island) The Matale mass grave case will be taken up today before Matale Additional District Judge Sampath Gamage. More sworn affidavits, stating that the bones and skulls found in the mass grave on the grounds of the Matale District hospital, could be those of their relatives, who disappeared or were killed during the 1988/89 terror period, are expected to be presented to the Court today through their lawyers. more..

Remembering the Renaissance

Nov 4 (BP) Thailand and Sri Lanka, Siam and Ceylon, Ayutthaya and Kandy. The ties between these two sister nations go back 260 years. Last week Museum Siam, the National Discovery Museum Institute, in collaboration. "Beyond commemorating the 260th anniversary of the establishment of Siam Nikaya [Siam-Lanka Wongse] in Sri Lanka, the exhibition reveals the history between two nations that have aided more..

Can't conceal crimes through CHOGM - JVP

Nov 4 (SM) Crimes committed by the Rajapaksa regime cannot be concealed by holding the CHOGM, the JVP states. Especially 'crimes' including the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayaka, killing of around 11 journalists and the Rathupaswala shootout cannot be concealed by the CHOGM, the JVP adds. JVP MP Anura Dissanayake said that the govt is unable to whitewash white van threats that are more..

Vehicles registrations slow in September

Nov 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new vehicles registrations slowed across the board in September 2013 from a month earlier, though two wheelers showed growth, data showed. New motor car sales which have been climbing for four straight months from 1,887 in June to 2,559 in August fell to 2,066 units in September. Sports utility vehicles which rose from 386 units in June to 633 in August fell back to 467 in September. more..

106 Cabinet, Project, Deputy Ministers out of 161 UPFA MPs

Nov 4 (ST) With the recent appointment of 9 Deputy Ministers, the total number of Cabinet Ministers, Project Ministers and Deputy Ministers in Govt has reached 106, with only 55 remaining as MPs in the 161-member strong ruling UPFA. The latest set of nine MPs who were elevated to Deputy Ministers, were those who gained highest number of preferential votes at the last parliamentary elections, as well as some who had entered Parliament more..

Smoking to be banned in all govt. institutions

Nov 4 (Island) All govt institutions would have to form health committees tasked with preventing smoking. Minister Maithripala Sirisena said that the committees would be formed from Jan 2014. He pointed out that the principal aim of the govt was to establish no smoking zones in Sri Lanka to discourage smoking, because smoking-related diseases were on the rise. Approximately 40% of the patients at the Maharagama Cancer more..

Eden Lanka acquires Dickwella Resorts for Rs.1.5bn

Nov 4 (DM) Eden Hotel Lanka (Eden) said it is buying 99.9% of Dickwella Resorts (Dickwella), a 76-room luxury property for Rs.1.5 billion from LOLC Leisure Ltd. Both Eden and Dickwella were direct subsidiaries of LOLC Leisure with stakes of 46.21% and 100% respectively. LOLC Group has a 70% stake in LOLC Leisure. LOLC Group CFO Sanjeevani Kotakadeniya said the idea of Dickwella being pushed under Eden was a part of the restructuring of their leisure sector more..

Animal sacrifice, leather products, liquor and casinos

Nov 4 (CT) What instantly came to my mind when I read Shenali Waduge’s article on animal sacrifice was a scene from an old movie where we had the fascist Adolf Hitler furiously slamming his desk with his fist, his face as hideous contorted as you can imagine, saying ‘It is NOT right’. Those words happened to be the title of Waduge’s latest anti Islam tirade in the Daily News. Not surprisingly the article was timed to coincide with the Muslim festival of Eid ul Adha when Muslims sacrifice more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Rathupaswala: The river of tears

Nov 4 (DM) Thousands of families in the village of Rathupaswala are still facing a major crisis over their basic and life-saving need of drinking water – more than a month after the issue stormed into the national and international headlines following an attack on innocent people by an yet unidentified armed group. Last Tuesday a group of villagers were given an opportunity to tell their horrifying story on a TV programme, and what came out was a river of tears with conflicts within conflicts, more..

Calm returns to Kalmunai Zahira

Nov 4 (Island) Zahira College, Kalmunai which was not functioning since Tuesday due to the tense situation prevailing there on account of the fight between the deputy principal of the school A.A. Gaffoor and the deputy director of education A.L.M. Mukthar returned to normalcy on Friday with the intervention of parents, old boys, trustees of mosques and zonal director education M. Hashim. Yet the attendance of students was very poor, according to school sources. more..

WikiLeaks: 'LTTE stored weapons at hospitals'

Nov 4 (CT) “On the LTTE, de Maio said that it had tried to keep civilians in the middle of a permanent state of violence. It saw the civilian population as a ‘protective asset’ and kept its fighters embedded amongst them. De Maio said that the LTTE commanders, objective was to keep the distinction between civilian and military assets blurred. They would often respond positively when ICRC complained to the LTTE about stationing more..

CaFFE condemns expulsion of Australian journalists

Nov 4 (AD) The Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) today expressed “deep concern” over the expulsion of two Australian media rights activist by Sri Lankan authorities. “Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Centre for Human Rights and Research (CHR) Sri Lanka are deeply concerned about the expulsion of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Asia Pacific Director Jacqui Park and more..

Special licences for passenger transport drivers from 2014

Nov 4 (Island) Drivers of vehicles used for passenger transport on expressways are expected to obtain a Special Driving Licence, from the Motor Traffic Commissioner’s Department from next year. Commissioner General of Motor Traffic S.H. Harischandra said that his department would be issuing a special driving licence to the drivers of passenger transporting motor vehicles, such as buses, coaches and vans, including those used to transport school children, on expressways. more..

Free air travel for foreign scholarship students

Nov 4 (DM) In a bid to encourage more foreign student participation, the Higher Education Ministry has decided to offer free return air tickets to foreign students seeking enrolments in local state universities under the 100 scholarship programme, officials said. The decision has been taken since only 60% of the opportunities afforded to such students had been utilised so far. The govt has taken a policy decision to offer scholarships more..

Don’t skip CHOGM, but keep it low key

Nov 4 (DC) The exposé of another Sri Lankan war crime by UK’s Channel 4 changes very little except that it piles on even more pressure on the Indian govt on the stand it has to take at some point in the next 10 days or so ahead of the CHOGM meet in Colombo. War crimes on and forced disappearances of Sri Lanka’s ethnic minority Tamil citizens had been going on for years before the war against the Tamil Tigers ended in May 2009. In the guise of winning the battle against separatists more..

Sirisena attends 11 funerals in a week

Nov 4 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, coming out with some shocking statistics, said he had recently attended 11 funerals within a week, in his own electorate of Polonnaruwa. He said that seven of the deaths were due to cancer and the rest of infectious diseases. He said that the country lost two eminent personalities recently. Ven. Alutwewa Soratha of Kataragama Kirivehara and North-Central province Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayaka had died of cancer, which had more..

Sri Lanka hopes to attract foreign investment through CHOGM

Nov 4 (PTI) Sri Lanka plans to use this month's Commonwealth summit to achieve its social justice goals through economic development and hopes to attract an increased flow of foreign direct investment (FDI). "We set out to gain maximum benefit to the country from the historic event that is CHOGM," Minister G L Peiris told a gathering today in Kandy. The biennial conference is to be held here between Nov 15 and 17. more..

Cabinet mulls changes to Grade 5 scholarship exam

Nov 4 (Island) The Cabinet is expected to discuss effecting changes to the Grade 05 scholarship examination to prevent unnecessary mental stress caused to students. Minister Bandula Gunawardena told The Island that a comprehensive analysis report on Grade 5 scholarship exam results 2013 had been submitted to him by Exam Chief W.M.N.J. Pushpakumara and it was presented to the Cabinet at its last meeting held on October 30. Gunawardena said that the Cabinet would more..