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Nurses union demands ITI test report be released

Sep 7 (Island) The chief of the Public Service United Nurses Union (PSUNU) yesterday called upon the Health Ministry to rectify its mistake by releasing the second report which had been submitted by the Industrial Technological Institute (ITI) on imported milk powder, which allegedly contained dicyandiamide (DCD). Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda thera said that the ITI had submitted its first report, in July this year, stating that more..

Problem is not with the messenger

Sep 7 (SL) She is highly educated with a refined intellect and a former judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa. When I met her, along with a small group of civil society activists, she did not come across as arrogant or one to hold grudges, but sober and thoughtful. However, the visiting UN High Comissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay has come under scathing criticism from sections within the govt. more..

Young must take over says Ranil

Sep 7 (FT) The country’s Grand Old Party celebrated its 67th anniversary, paying tribute to its glorious past, while asserting that the future lies with the young generation within the party. Under the theme ‘67 – Victory is Near,’ the UNP’s youth wing organised the celebration at Sirikotha yesterday. Addressing the future leaders of the party, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said at 67 years, the party had to look more..

Manifesto for the Northern Provincial Council

Sep 7 (CT) The Northern Provincial Council will hold as sacred and inviolable, the rights and entitlements of all ethnicities in the Province. This enduring principle shall guide and direct the Council’s policies and approaches. The ideal, that the people of the Northern Province shall have no less freedom than the rest of the country, will be deemed the fount for national harmony. The Council shall strive to foster it. Sovereignty lies with you the people and we seek your mandate for the governance we more..

Persecution of the CJ 43

Sep 7 (CT) The impeached Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, has decided to stand her ground this time, not that she didn’t do so at the very beginning of an unethical process, which impeached her and removed her from that exalted position of Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. The apparent witch-hunt that was engineered by the govt has now reached the portals of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC). Yet, the strength of character of the former CJ more..

Over 90% UPFA candidates declare assets, liabilities

Sep 7 (Island) More than 90% of the UPFA candidates, at the forthcoming elections to the North-Western and Central Provincial Councils have submitted their assets and liability declarations, a senior Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) official said. "This should be commended and we believe other party candidates will follow suit and submit their declarations without delay," more..

Two interesting comments heard, with a 'punch'

Sep 7 (CT) “Lord Buddha travelled a vast country, preaching his philosophy in villages, to the poor, to the kings and the nobility. Everywhere Lord Buddha visited and preached, he had a great following and some turned into disciples of his philosophy, Buddhism. It is said Lord Buddha visited ancient Lanka three times, but in Lanka, there were no following and no disciples. It was only after Arahath Mahinda dropped Buddhism here, the Lankans picked it up.” more..

NCPA to hold awareness programme in Ampara

Sep 7 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority yesterday said it would create awareness among health workers in the Ampara MOH area on child protection. NCPA Chairman, Anoma Dissanayake said that over hundred public health inspectors (PHIs) and family health workers had been enrolled in the awareness programme, which was to be held on Monday. Dissanayake said that the programme would include creating awareness about the NCPA and its functions and more..

More development projects for the Central Province

Sep 7 (MoD) Secretary Defence and Urban Development Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a visit to Pussallawa and Gampola towns in central province upon an invitation extended by Prime Minister DM Jayaratne yesterday. Secretary to the President Lalith Weerathunaga also accompanied Mr. Rajapaksa during the visit. Secretary Defence placed a foundation stone for the proposed Bus Stand and the Commercial more..

MR to attend UN meet

Sep 7 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to attend the high level meeting of the UN General Assembly later this month, Presidential spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said. However he said the final schedule of the President’s visit to the US for the meeting is still not confirmed. The High level meetings at the UN in New York will be held from Sept 23 to Oct 4. The General debate of the 68th session takes place from September 24. Last year External Affairs Minister more..

Former Mannar Sea Tiger leader joins SLFP

Sep 7 (CT) Former Mannar Sea Tiger Leader of the LTTE, Balasuresh, received the membership of the SLFP from Minister Susil Premajayantha and Deputy Minister, Sarath Kumara Gunaratne, yesterday. Obtaining party membership, the former LTTE activist said, he is living a good life today as a result of the development activities carried out by the govt. He also said due to the mistakes in the past, many people senselessly died and many properties were damaged, adding that he joined more..

About 50,000 foreign representatives will arrive for the CHOGM 2013

Sep 7 (SLBC) The Ministry of External Affairs says about 50,000 foreign representatives will arrive in the island to participate in the CHOGM. Govt is bound to provide facilities under state patronage to the heads of the govt, foreign ministers and foreign secretaries. Additional secretary to the Ministry Rodney Perera said that rest of the foreign representatives should have accommodation and other facilities at their own expense. more..

Australian gambling tycoon Packer splits from wife

Sep 7 (AFP) Australian billionaire James Packer and his second wife Erica Baxter have announced their separation after six years of marriage. The casino mogul married the singer in a 2007 French Riviera ceremony reported to have cost US$5.5 million, attended by Hollywood and sporting stars including actor Tom Cruise and cricketer Shane Warne. "It is with great sadness that Erica and James Packer announce their separation," said a statement released late Friday. more..

TISL-PPPR to sue poll law violators

Sep 7 (CT) Transparency International Sri Lanka’s-Programme to Protect Pubic Resources (TISL-PPPR) says it is seriously considering taking legal action against those who continue to violate election laws, despite warnings from the Commissioner of Elections. Senior Manager, Advocacy and Public Relations, Shan Wijethunge, said candidates for the forthcoming Provincial Council elections are disregarding the warnings issued by the Elections Commissioner and are continuing more..

DMK asks PM to call off SL CHOGM visit

Sep 7 (PTI) DMK party leader Kanimozhi Karunanidhi asked PM Manmohan Singh to boycott the forthcoming CHOGM in Colombo in wake of alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan govt. DMK women members organised a protest march in Chennai, demanding Singh to cancel his visit to the meeting. "India has to rethink its relationship with Sri Lanka and not to empower it to turn against our own people there. more..

New all-time high for low grown teas

Sep 7 (DM) At the tea auctions held on Sept 3, 2013, an invoice of New J.S.P. BOPF achieved an all-time record price of Rs.760 per kg for the low grown category. The teas were actively pursued by many leading buyers in view of the useful quality of the leaf appearance and liquors and the ultimate buyer of this invoice was Imperial Teas, a leading buyer of low grown teas for the Middle East as well as Russia. The teas were sold through the catalogue of Lanka Commodity Brokers Ltd. more..

BOC employees stage protest

Sep 7 (ST) Thousands of employees of state banks, led by the Bank of Ceylon, staged a demonstration and procession in Colombo yesterday demanding that the govt approves a pension scheme for them. The protest was organized by the Ceylon Bank Employees’ Union (CBEU) Bank of Ceylon branch. However, employees of the People’s Bank, the State Mortgage and Investment Bank, the Sanasa Development Bank and others also participated in a show of solidarity. more..

Muslim Council satisfied with reply

Sep 7 (CG) The Sri Lanka Muslim Council, has in a letter to Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said it was satisfied with the response he gave after concerns were raised over a statement he had made on Muslim extremists. The Muslim Council said it appreciates his clarification confirming that he did not in any way insinuate that the Muslim Community in Sri Lanka endorsed the actions of external extremist more..

'Will fight for the rights of Tamil People'

Sep 7 (SM) Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that he is not going to give up his fight till the Tamil people in the North get the satisfactory powers in Governance towards national unity. Minister made these comments at public meetings held in Mulliwelliwaikkal, Silwaththenui, Amabiyal, Ottuchuttai and Pudukudiruppu organized in support of the UPFA candidates who are contesting for the NPC polls from Mullaitivu district. He further said that it were the racist leaders on more..

Central bank liquidity facility for finance companies

Sep 7 (LBO) Central bank said it will provide liquidity to troubled finance company, to boost confidence on conditions including cutting costs, shareholders agreeing to bring capital and converting deposits to shares. The liquidity facility would come via the Sri Lanka Deposit Insurance Fund, after assessing the each licensed finance company. The Central Bank said it may shareholders to infuse capital, or invite a strategic investor to and in certain instances, direct the depositors to convert a part of their more..

Prof. Krause criticizes NGOs influencing Western govts

Sep 7 (GDI) “It is no surprise that political actions of the EU as well as by respective national govts were shaped by opinions and activities coming from the UN and NGOs, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group which have taken aim at Sri Lanka and conclusions drawn by said NGOs are totally out of proportions, but many European govts are listening to what is being said in more..

RAW behind Pillay - Divaina

Sep 7 (SM) Divaina Sunday Newspaper emphasizes that information has been received by Sri Lankan military intelligence units about Indian RAW activities conducted inside Sri Lanka during the time of UN human rights high commissioner Ms. Navi Pillay's Sri Lankan visit. The report further says that these agents of the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has come to Sri Lanka to check on statements she made and persons whom she met in Sri Lanka. Divaina says that the RAW had more..

Democracy or Dictatorship?

Sep 7 (CT) The President has said he is no dictator since he is holding so many elections. But elections alone even if they are free and fair (which they are not when State resources are used to garner votes and there is no level playing field for the Opposition) do not mean the system is a liberal democracy. Elections have also ceased to be meaningful since those elected from the Opposition are inveigled to join the ranks of the ruling party. Do these MPs have a mandate from their more..

GTF pushes for boycott

Sep 7 (CG) The Global Tamil Forum (GTF), a powerful Tamil diaspora lobby group, is continuing to push for a boycott of the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo. Rev. Dr S.J. Emmanuel, the President of GTF, in a letter addressed to the Commonwealth heads of governments, says the 2013 CHOGM summit will seriously weaken the Commonwealth’s commitments to core principles of human rights and democracy. more..

Audio: Attempts to create an uprising

Sep 7 (CG) President Rajapaksa has warned of attempts to create an uprising and destabilise the country by creating discord between communities on racial and religious grounds. He recalled that in the Middle East govts were overthrown by sending out SMS messages, staging street protests, instigating the youth and creating clashes among Muslims. Speaking at an election rally today, the President said that those claims and allegations in Middle East were merely created to overthrow govts. more..

Israel mulls using SL’s FTAs to penetrate Asian markets

Sep 7 (DM) A visiting Israeli business delegation has expressed interest in harnessing Sri Lanka’s free trade agreements (FTAs) to carry out trade with the countries in the Asian region, a statement issued by the BoI said. Sri Lanka has two free trade agreements with India and Pakistan. It is expected that the country would soon enter into a new free trade agreement with China. “Since Sri Lanka has recently introduced entrepot trade, which will allow the storage of goods at the Hambantota port, more..

Sri Lanka - Rundreise

Western agenda comes into sharp focus

Sep 8 (SO) The Western agenda came into sharp focus with the controversial remarks by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navaneetham Pillay at the end of her week-long tour of Sri Lanka last weekend. Though she made a desperate attempt to prove that her conduct as the UNHRC chief is neutral and transparent by claiming that she began her tour of Sri Lanka with an open mind without prejudice, the cat was out of the bag during her final news conference. more..

Police should share information

Sep 8 (SL) The recent forcible entry, in the early hours 17th of Aug, into the house of our Associate Editor, Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema by five men wielding sharp weapons, has taken centre stage in media reports recently. The Sunday Leader and its employees have been at the receiving end over the years and it appears that this was another such attack. We urge the Police to complete their investigations fully and fairly and reveal their findings as soon as possible. more..

'I have a clear political vision'

Sep 8 (SO) The Provincial Council system was introduced during J.R. Jayawardene's Presidency in 1987 under the 13th Amendment amidst objections from various parties including some of his own party stalwarts. The main purpose of setting up PCs was to find a solution to the North East problem which had been dragging on for years. It is doubtful whether the purpose was served by the then merged North-East Provincial Council more..

The TNA’s ‘hard-line’ manifesto

Sep 8 (NS) There is a time-tested formula to obtain the optimum in any engagement. It was proposed first by the All-Knowing and All-Seeing, the Buddha Siddhartha Gauthama. The doctrine is contained in two ideas: compassion and wisdom. Applicable to all, this formula offers the best instruments to dissect and respond to the manifesto recently put out by the TNA. Promising sun, moon, stars and everything underneath is part and parcel of manifestos. If, as Lee Kwan Yew once said, more..

Rajiva’s repair job

Sep 8 (Island) Newspaper readers would not have been altogether surprised at UPFA National List MP Rajiva Wijesinha’s somewhat kindly way of looking at the Navanetham Pillay visit to Sri Lanka and the statement she issued at the conclusion of her mission. Perhaps Wijesinha’s liberal credentials demanded that he uses a softer approach to what Pillay said and did than the many bloggers and commentators who have been having a two-fisted go at her, stopping short of only more..

'Pillay's remarks deplorable'

Sep 8 (SO) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the final remarks by the UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay on her departure from Sri Lanka are regrettable. In fact, the Govt invited her to visit Sri Lanka in all good faith and see for herself the significant developments that had taken place. He said they expected a person of her calibre to be unbiased and experience realistic situations with an open mind. more..

Pillorying Pillay

Sep 8 (ST) The bombshell that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights left behind last week on the eve of her departure after a week-long tour ought not really to have been a great shock. That the Govt made a mess of her visit, not entirely, but in part is even admitted by the highest in the land. The inappropriate comments of some Cabinet Ministers only added insult to injury. Yet for all, as one Minister aptly put it, there were several plus points to her visit, not least more..

5th Column: Playing for keeps

Sep 8 (ST) I thought I must write to you when I heard that you were having difficulties with your employer, Sri Lanka Cricket, with letters between you and your employer being distributed to the media. Certainly, it provided more entertainment than some of our recent cricket matches! I heard that Sri Lanka Cricket — or at least its Secretary — was querying your loyalty to your country because you had been in two minds about whether to play for a team from Sri Lanka or for your team more..

'A voice in PCs essential for people’s struggles'

Sep 8 (SL) A voice in the administrative mechanism is essential in our struggle for the rights of the people, says Gamagedara Dissanayake, candidate of the JVP for the forthcoming provincial polls. In Nuwara Eliya, there is the issue of deplorable living standards in the estate sector. In other areas of these provinces too there are many issues, especially the suffering forced on poor farmers who are in a miserable situation. more..

Sri Lanka anxious as battered Pillay prepares report on island visit

Sep 8 (NS) The last week was one of the most important weeks for the major parties; The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United National Party (UNP) as both celebrated their anniversaries concurrently with the propaganda campaigns for the upcoming Provincial Councils (PC) elections. At the same time, United Nations High Commissioner for human rights Navi Pillay who just finished her Sri Lankan visit had also left many issues on political round tables. more..

From the Floor: Waiting for Godot

Sep 8 (NS) Parliament met for two days last week. On Tuesday the House debated Regulations under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act and an Order under Strategic Development Projects Act. Wednesday’s time was fully allotted for an adjournment debate on matters relating to public servants. The House was moved for the debate by the Opposition. It was not a promising day for good debate given that all key speakers of both sides were busy out there in the provinces either more..

Was the Colts issue a non-starter?

Sep 8 (ST) Well known cricket administrator K. Mathivanan who resigned from the post of Vice President of Sri Lanka cricket and also withdrew from the race to the presidency of Colombo Colts Cricket Club says that he is done with the game of cricket and will never return. A disappointed Mathivanan said, “I am a man who likes to work and in the past it is I who handled matters pertaining to cricket at the SLC. more..

‘TNA manifesto contains Prabhakaran's policies’

Sep 8 (SO) It is an open secret that the TNA had been the unofficial political wing of the LTTE when the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit was at its best. The TNA leaders had no option, but to surrender meekly to LTTE leader V Prabhakaran due to fear. Since then, Prabhakaran remote-controlled the TNA leadership through his jungle hideout in Wanni until the terror outfit was military crushed in May, 2009. Prabhakaran informed his decisions to the LTTE’s political wing leader more..