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CHOGM protest: 45 workers arrested in three places in TN

Nov 4 (PTI) As many 45 persons belonging to different pro-Tamil outfits were on Monday arrested for attempting to picket trains and bus-stand in nearby Tirupur and Udhagamandalam, demanding that India should not participate in the CHOGM scheduled in Sri Lanka. 12 workers of Adi Tamilar Katchi attempted to barge into the Tirupur Railway Station but were prevented by police, before they could reach the track, police said. Similarly 15 activists of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi more..

10,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers return on Saudi amnesty

Nov 4 (Xinhua) As many as 10,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers have returned home on an amnesty provided by the Saudi Arabian govt while efforts are being made to bring home some 6,000 others who failed to meet the deadline. The amnesty period offered by the Saudi Arabian govt for overstaying foreigners, mostly unskilled workers ended on Sunday. However, since an estimated 16,000 Sri Lankans registered to be returned more..

Rajapaksa Inc.

Nov 4 (MO) On May 5, an inter-club rugby sevens qualifying match between Police A team and Navy A team at the Havelock Grounds, Colombo, took a rough turn when a Navy A player, Rohitha, assaulted the referee. When the referee refused to resume the match, Navy A team captain Yoshitha intervened and slapped his younger brother, Rohitha, to put an end to the altercation. In a cricket-crazy and rugby-loving country like Sri Lanka, Rohitha could get away with assaulting a referee in public more..

UNP reformists adopt 3-point reform plan

Nov 4 (Island) UNP reformists yesterday decided that after the appointment of the proposed leadership council, the term ‘UNP Leader’ would be replaced in the party’s Constitution with ‘Leadership Council’ (LC). The UNP present leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, could appoint three members to the LC and Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa and Gampaha District MP Karu Jayasuriya should have powers to appoint the balance four to nine-member the Council, more..

Two more ministers want PM not to travel to Lanka for CHOGM

Nov 4 (PTI) Voices within the Cabinet grew lounder against PM Manmohan Singh visiting Sri Lanka with two more ministers saying today that he should not attend CHOGM in view of alleged atrocities against ethnic Tamils. Minister of State in the PMO V.Narayanasamy and Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan came out openly to oppose the Prime Minister's visit, joining their Cabinet colleague G.K.Vasan. more..

Sri Lanka Ports Authority container throughput up 8%

Nov 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has seen an 8% increase in containers handled up to October with volumes topping 2.0 million containers by October. SLPA owns and operates the Jaye container terminal in Colombo. SLPA operations director Upali Soyza said its terminal had handled 2,066,000 containers up to October, up 155,000 from a year earlier. "Leading global carriers such as Mediterranean Shipping Company and evergreen company are increasingly contracting more..

Dr. Gamani Corea’s remains will be cremated today

Nov 4 (CT) Dr. Gamani Corea passed away on Nov 3, 2013 after a brief illness, a day before his 88th birthday. His remains lie at his residence “Horton Lodge”, Horton Place, Colombo 7 for the paying of last respects, where a service will be held in the afternoon. His last mortal remains will be cremated at 4pm today, at the Borella (Kanatha) Cemetery. Although he was perhaps Sri Lanka’s most distinguished international civil servant and a renowned economist, more..

Sri Lanka media activists fear crackdown after arrests

Nov 4 (AFP) A media rights group Monday expressed fears for the safety of journalists in Sri Lanka after Colombo grilled two Australian activists and seized computer data before kicking them out. The Free Media Movement (FMM) said it expected a crackdown by the authorities following last week's questioning of the two International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) staffers in Colombo. "We have very serious doubts about our own safety and more..

Sharma refuses to back probe

Nov 4 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma refused to agree to calls for an international investigation on Sri Lanka over alleged human rights abuses. When asked about UN calls for an international investigation, Sharma said the Commonwealth does not have a position on something which he says is “not practical”. Sharma says the Commonwealth Secretariat is engaging with Sri Lanka on advancing human rights and he says the Secretariat has a lot to show for it. more..

How the United Nations failed Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (TS) The United Nations had a pretty clear idea of what was happening in the killing fields of Sri Lanka during the bloody climax of civil war. Yet it suppressed or diluted that information, utterly failing in its core mission of protecting civilians. Many highly respected human rights agencies have levelled that damning accusation at the organization. But the UN itself made the admission a year ago. On Sri Lanka, the UN was notoriously deaf, dumb and blind. It stood down, more preoccupied more..

Matale court rejects objections

Nov 4 (CG) The Matale Magistrate today rejected objections raised to send the skeletal remains found at the Matale mass grave to China for tests, lawyers who appeared in the case said. Appearing on behalf of the aggrieved party, the lawyers had raised objections to the Court granting approval to a request by the CID to send the skeletal remains to China on the basis that in the past Sri Lanka sought assistance from more..

Du Preez, Loubser hand SA series

Nov 4 (CI) Despite four wickets from Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardene, South Africa Women were able to wage on and complete their chase of 109 with 10 balls to spare, giving them a 2-1 series win. Sri Lanka batted first and were in some trouble as the top three batsmen perished with just 13 on the board in the fifth over. Siriwardene and Sripali Weerakkody put on an integral 21-run partnership, before Siriwardene batted on with Eshani Kaushalya to get Sri Lanka past 100. more..

Sri Lanka to export soya bean

Nov 4 (DN) For the first time in the SL agriculture history the country is set to export soya bean by the end of next year. Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardane said the country would reach self sufficiency early next year. SL imports around 150,000 metric tonnes of soya bean per year mainly used as animal feed. “This will result in a US$ 500,000 saving for SL.” Currently soya bean is grown in the North Central Province and over 30,000 metric tonnes have already been cultivated. more..

Krrish takes on media over report

Nov 4 (CG) The Krrish Group of India, which is involved in a mega apartment complex project in Colombo, has warned that false media reports are having a negative impact on the investment climate in the country. The local arm of the Indian company says it expects the Government authorities to take cognizance of such false reports and take “appropriate action” to clear the air and restore confidence of prospective investors. more..

Prying is right for US

Nov 5 (NS) The shameless shenanigans of the United States came to light last week when the ‘spy scandal’ implicated the country’s intelligence agency for tapping the phones of millions of people. However, it is the same country which lectures Sri Lanka regularly on human rights. Nearly forty years ago, the then President of the United States, Richard Nixon, resigned. That was following the Watergate scandal where it was revealed that he was aware of, and had agreed to, more..

Indian PM must come for CHOGM

Nov 5 (NS) PM Dr. Manmohan Singh of India has not yet officially indicated whether or not he will be attending the CHOGM in Colombo. Although the Oath of Office sworn by the PM and his ministers specifies that they should owe fealty only to the national - as distinct from party - interest, in reality decisions get taken that temporarily boost the fortunes of the ruling party while adversely impacting on public interest. This is the case with Dr. Manmohan Singh’s participation more..

'Benefits of CHOGM in Sri Lanka enormous'

Nov 5 (SO) The excitement over hosting the CHOGM in Sri Lanka is seen all over the country with the beautification of Colombo and other cities hosting the summit and its side events put on fast track by the Govt. Speculation over undisclosed expenditure, the number of heads of govts boycotting the summit and last minute development activities too have hit a new level for lately, everyone is talking about the CHOGM. more..

Lessons from a working democracy to SL

Nov 5 (CT) In the UK, Prime Minister, is the head of the Executive, leads the government with the support of the Cabinet of ministers and they all are collectively and severally responsible for their actions, successes and failures to the people who elected them to public office. In Sri Lanka the President, the head of the Executive, effectively control the legislature and also the Judiciary. The President is absolutely immune from any legal proceedings and no proceedings more..

Gota’s claim on appointing retired army officers to civil service

Nov 5 (CT) The Secretary Defence has pointed out that the demand for the replacement of the Governor Chandrasiri was not justified merely because he is a retired Army Officer. He has pointed out that Colin Powell a retired U.S Army General was appointed as the Secretary of State in USA. A better comparison is perhaps General Douglas Mac Arthur who commanded the Pacific Forces that defeated the Japanese. He was appointed as the Commander of the Military Occupation and carried out more..

Brigadier Thamizhselvan: Perpetually smiling political commissar of the LTTE

Nov 5 (DBS) Early in the morning on Nov 2, Suppiah Paramu Tamilselvan, the 40- year-old political division head of the LTTE, was killed in an air raid along with five other Tiger cadre. The fatal attack was carried out by two jet bombers, an Israeli K-fir and a Russian-built MiG-27; their target area was suburban Thiruvaiyaaru, about three kilometres from Kilinochchi town in the Wanni region, controlled by the Tigers. more..

The gods have left the Temple!

Nov 5 (CT) The four grey walls, as in the “green, green grass of home” fame, are crumbling; the dilapidated roof is leaking, the path to the entrance is overgrown with shrub and a foreboding shadow has descended upon the Temple. Inside the collapsing walls, the statues of deities are flaking and the constant downpours of raindrops are hastening the peeling off process. Agonized faces of paintings, half-rotten coconuts, extinguished incense sticks still standing like forgotten tribute to more..

President hints at general elections

Nov 5 (CT) The furore over government moves to grant permission to set up two luxury gambling resorts in the heart of Colombo, an issue that had been raging for several weeks in political circles, was expected to reach its fulcrum at last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting. The govt had decided to present the amended Bill relating to the two gambling resorts at this meeting and President Rajapaksa had earlier asked the ministers to come prepared to present their proposals on the Bill, more..

'Singh should attend CHOGM'

Nov 5 (CT) Maverick politician, academician and President of India’s Janatha Party, Dr. Subramanian Swamy, strongly urges Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, to attend the CHOGM and insists that Delhi should ignore ‘minor squabbles’ in Tamil Nadu, to play India’s due role as a regional power and honest neighbour to Sri Lanka. Swamy, a Harvard-educated economist who is a staunch supporter of the Sri Lankan Govt said, more..

Don’t legitimise fish theft!

Nov 5 (Island) Illegal fishing by Indians in Sri Lankan waters continues unabated. There have also been several instances of Sri Lankan fishers committing the same offence in Indian waters; 16 of them have recently been taken into custody. Everybody expresses concern about this seemingly intractable problem but nobody seems to be doing anything about it. The Indian Supreme Court has asked whether it is possible for the Tamil Nadu fishermen sailing in the Palk Straits to more..

Value of Indian and South African support to resolve problems

Nov 5 (Island) The invitation to PM Manmohan Singh to visit Sri Lanka that was issued by Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has shown the positive side of the current reconciliation process in the country. The first weeks of the new born provincial council have been marked by expressions of goodwill at the highest levels, most notably between President Rajapaksa and Chief Minister Wigneswaran. There was no better an example of goodwill at this time more..

Ansell Lanka crisis: FTZ & GSEU writes to US, Aussie diplomats

Nov 5 (Island) The Secretary of the Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZ & GSEU) Anton Marcus has written to both the US Ambassador Michele J. Sison and Australian High Commission Robyn Mudie drawing their attention for an urgent humanitarian and special intervention to the conflict raging at Ansell Lanka. Marcus said that the US and Australian diplomats in Sri Lanka have been requested to intervene in bringing more..

Hemasiri quits NOC chairmanship after 16 years

Nov 5 (NS) Veteran sports administrator Hemasiri Fernando has decided to call it a day and will not submit his nominations for the post of chairman at the annual general meeting of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) which will be held on Dec 27 in Colombo. The nominations for next year’s annual general meeting of the NOC will close on Nov 14 and Fernando has already revealed that he would quit from his role having served as chairman of the committee for 16 successive years. more..

Sri Lanka considers investments in foreign coal mines

Nov 5 (ST) Sri Lanka is exploring the possibility of investing in coal mines overseas to beat an anticipated price hike in foreign markets, official sources said. A high-powered committee headed by a top official at a govt development agency has been appointed to scout for potential deals in coal producing countries. The committee is currently focusing attention on Australia, China and Russia, looking at investing in a coal mine to supply coal to the Norochcholai coal power plant more..

Ganguly and Gavaskar join Botham in charity walk

Nov 5 (Island) Sir Ian Botham chats to former Indian captains Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly. Former Indian cricket captains Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar joined Sir Ian Botham on Beefy’s Big Sri Lanka Walk yesterday on the toughest day of the fundraising trek across Sri Lanka. Totalling 40 kilometres, yesterday’s leg of the walk was twice the distance completed the previous day, and the heat was approaching more..

Access Engineering initiates Dengue awareness programme

Nov 5 (Island) Sri Lanka experienced the largest epidemic of dengue fever with as many as 70,000 cases and almost 600 deaths during the years 2009 and 2010. The Health Ministry, undertook measures to contain the dengue epidemic by establishing the ‘Presidential Task Force for Dengue Control’ that ensured much needed collaboration and coordination. However, the dengue epidemic is on the rise again and Access Engineering together with the Colombo Municipal Council and more..

Six dead, 18 injured as bus skids off road

Nov 5 (DN) Six passengers died and 18 were injured when a SLCTB bus plying on the Bandarawela - Punagala Road skidded and went down a precipice at 6th Mile post yesterday evening. Bandarawela Police together with residents in the area were conducting a search operation to locate more passengers yesterday evening. They could not reach the spot where the the bus had skidded off the road for a few hours due to bad weather. A 16 year old girl is also among the dead. more..

Students to intensify stir on CHOGM issue

Nov 5 (Hindu) Student organisations, which were holding protests across the State demanding that India boycott the CHOGM, have planned to intensify their stir. Many students who tried to take out a rally to Thanjavur, where a ‘Mullivaikal Memorial’ is to be inaugurated on Nov 8, were arrested in different parts of the State. Arputhammal, mother of A.G. Perarivalan, a convict on death row in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, more..

CHOGM: Unprofessional media arrangements

Nov 5 (ST) Some days back, when the Business Times wanted pictures of foreign business leaders attending the CHOMG, a top official said he would try to get it from the Commonwealth Secretariat’s London headquarters but that it would take a couple of hours! No fault of his anyway. The problem lies squarely with the media authorities in the country who, as the media has bitterly learnt, has no clue on how to organise local and international coverage of an international conference of this magnitude. more..

That the Commonwealth summit is in Sri Lanka is a problem

Nov 5 (TT) Modern management -speak has developed the concept of a ‘wicked problem’, which is one that lacks a straightforward solution or possibly any solution at all. Politicians and diplomats should be best equipped to deal with its ambiguities and complexities. Sri Lanka, where the CHOGM in mid-November, has emerged as a wicked problem within international society, and it is worth reflecting on how the Commonwealth is navigating it, since international organizations more..

New chapter for Grand Old Party!

Nov 5 (FT) In a historic move, the UNP Working Committee transferred its powers to a nine-member Leadership Council to be headed by Karu Jayasuriya, but the new Council faced an early setback when the leading proponent for reform Sajith Premadasa refused to participate in the process. The new Leadership Council under the chairmanship of Jayasuriya will greet the press at 11 a.m. at Sirikotha today, Opposition Leader Ranil more..

35 schools closed for CHOGM

Nov 5 (DM) The govt has decided to close 29 schools in the Colombo city from Nov 6 to 19 in view of the upcoming CHOGM scheduled to be held in Colombo. Six more schools will also be closed from November 7, 8 and 9 during this period. Among the schools that will be closed in the Colombo district from November 6 to 19 are: Mahanama College, Colombo; Baron Jayathilaka College, Maligawatte; Rajasinghe College, Maligawatte; Ashoka Vidyalaya, Maradana; more..

Vishnupuram award for SL Tamil writer

Nov 5 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Tamil writer Thelivathai Joseph, whose writings captured the life and culture of the plantation Tamils, has been selected for this year’s Vishnupuram Elakkiya Vattam award. The award, instituted by the readers of writer Jeyamohan’s masterpiece Vishnupuram, carries Rs 1 lakh cash and a memento. Tamil writer Indira Parthasarathy will confer the award at a function in Coimbatore on Nov 22. A book on Joesph and his works will be released on the occasion. more..

Appropriation Bill gets SC nod

Nov 5 (FT) The Govt had already referred the 2014 Appropriation Bill to the Supreme Court and it has been deemed constitutional by a divisional bench, Chief Justice Mohan Peiris revealed yesterday. A five-judge divisional bench had dealt with all the matters raised in the petition challenging the Appropriation Bill by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said, when the case came up before court yesterday. more..

Pharmaceutical chamber distance itself from violators

Nov 5 (Island) Claiming that the recent scandal on the cancer drugs issue, reported aggressively by the media in the recent past was from a company not registered with the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI), and said that the member of the chamber strictly adhered to laid down ethics and guidelines. It's President said that while the Chamber represented over 85% of the Pharmaceutical Industry, the large majority of quality failures were from companies that were more..

Now, female UPFA PS member goes on rampage

Nov 5 (Island) The Police are hunting for UPFA Homagama Pradeshiya Sabha member Neelakanthi Samarawickreme for allegedly going on the rampage at Makumbura yesterday. The suspect had allegedly assaulted a contractor, his wife, and damaged his office and two cars parked in front of his office before fleeing the place. The victim lodged a complaint at the Homagama police after the incident stating that the suspect had assaulted him and wife when he refused to hand over the contract more..