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JHU decides not to participate in future sittings of PSC on national question

Sep 9 (AD) The JHU has decided not to participate at future sittings of the Special Parliamentary Select Committee to resolve the national question, Minister Champika Ranawaka stated. The reason for its withdrawal from the PSC was that the govt had failed to revise the 13th constitutional amendment before the upcoming elections, he said. Minister said that the TNA election manifesto had effectively acquitted the LTTE. more..

Two polls related shooting incidents: Police trying to nab culprits

Sep 9 (Island) Police are combing the Kandy and Peradeniya areas to apprehend the culprits responsible for shooting a young supporter of the Kandy district UPFA candidates Jagath Chandraratne at his residence at Edanduwawa in Peradeniya at dawn on Saturday. Harshana (26) sustained gunshot injuries and was admitted to the Kandy General Hospital where he underwent an operation. This incident is believed to be the first firearm attack during the current CPC more..

Video: UNP advises public to use votes against ‘corrupt’ govt

Sep 9 (AD) Govt sector workers have been the most burdened and misled group in Sri Lanka especially during the elections as they are the worst affected by the rise of cost of living with no increases in their salaries, UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake stated. Attanayake believes that govt servants will not be fooled by the promises made by the govt and will use their postal votes independently. He accused the govt of using state property for election work more..

Peiris briefs envoys on Pillay

Sep 9 (CG) Minister G.L. Peiris, at a meeting today with Ambassadors and High Commissioners accredited to Colombo, made a point by point rebuttal to some the criticisms by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the conclusion of her visit. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga also presented to the Ambassadors and High Commissioners an overall survey of the current implementation of more..

Deputy Mayor Seneviratne further remanded

Sep 9 (CT) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) yesterday presented three more children before the Court who had been allegedly abused by the Deputy Mayor of Nuwara Eliya, Tissa Seneviratne, when the case was once again taken up for hearing. The suspect was also in Court. The Deputy Mayor is in remand for having allegedly sexually abused several male children, and another 19-year-old youth who had been molested some time ago, and who it is reported, is also more..

Underage girl confined in house for over a month

Sep 9 (N24|7) Police on Sunday found a 14-year-old girl who had been confined to a house for about one and a half months, the ‘Divaina’ newspaper reported. A 17-year-old boy, who had fallen in love with the girl, had brought her to his house and hid her there. The boy is from Ambadandegama, Bandarawela and the girl from Peliyagoda. Suspicious neighbours had tipped off the judicial medical officer of a local hospital about the presence of an underage girl in the house. more..

U.S. helps youth make a difference with youth empowerment grants

Sep 9 (USE) U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Michele Sison awarded $173,481 to 18 Youth Empowerment Grant winners whose projects will help enhance their local communities. Chosen from an extremely competitive pool of proposals, the 18 winning recipients were awarded for creative ideas that will benefit local communities and make a difference through youth leadership. “We are supporting groups by empowering youth to more..

Mano urges northerners to vote for TNA

Sep 9 (CT) Former MP and Leader of the Democratic People’s Front (DPF), Mano Ganesan, appealed to the voters in the North to cast their votes to candidates contesting under the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) banner without any reservations. He was addressing an election rally in the Northern Province, held at the TNA’s Kilinochchi office in Arivakam on Friday. Ganesan, in his address, said Kilinochchi was a popular destination among the international community. more..

Interpol Red Notice on Pak mastermind

Sep 9 (CT) The mastermind of South Asia’s largest known heroin smuggling racket, a Pakistani underworld kingpin known as Sardari Bawan, had visited Sri Lanka on 8 August, and had met local operatives, police investigations have revealed. SSP Ajith Rohana, said the Sri Lanka Police have sought an Interpol Red Notice to arrest the suspect, who is believed to be operating from Pakistan. The Police Narcotic Bureau has already obtained Court approval in order to seek an Interpol more..

Human rights activist Sunila Abeysekera dies

Sep 9 (CG) Leading human rights activist Sunila Abeysekera passed away today after suffering from a prolonged illness. She passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo. Sunila Abeysekera has worked on women’s rights and human rights issues in Sri Lanka and in the South Asia region for over 20 years as an activist and scholar. In 1994 she received an M.A. in Women and Development from more..

Nearly 40 elephants kept illegally by owners

Sep 9 (DN) Environmentalists expressed their deep concern over the proposed amnesty period of the Wildlife Conservation Ministry to register wild elephants kept illegally by various individuals, groups or institutions. It is reported nearly 40 elephants stolen from the wilds are being kept illegally by various parties. There were rising complaints from environmentalists on ill-treatment and harassment of these animals. The ministry has proposed to allow a grace period to register more..

SriLankan commends progressive work of agents in USA & Canada

Sep 9 (GDI) Commending the services of its agents in the USA and Canada, SriLankan Airlines held an Agents’ Awards Night at the Toronto Hilton recently. The event was organized to recognize the progressive performance of the airline’s agents for the financial year 2012/2013. Speaking at length, enlightening the large travel trade gathering on the Airlines’ product enhancements, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines Nishantha Wickremasinghe spoke about the plans for aircraft acquisition more..

Indian observers in Sri Lanka's northern provincial polls

Sep 9 (PTI) Five Indians will be among other foreign observers for a crucial provincial polls in Tamil-dominated north scheduled for Sept 21 after a gap of 25 years. There will be five Indian observers, including N Gopalaswami, a former Indian elections commissioner, at the NPC elections. In addition, there will be five from Pakistan, three from Bangladesh, two each from Nepal and Maldives and one each from Afghanistan and Bhutan. more..

Pillay’s utterances expose her prejudice

Sep 10 (NS) Navi Pillay came, she saw, but she did not concur. In fact, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights made a scathing statement against Sri Lanka at a media conference in Colombo before she left our shores. Pillay is expected to provide an update to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in September and a full report to the UNHRC in March next year when it reviews Sri Lanka’s ‘progress’ on the United States sponsored resolution passed against it in March. more..

The glorification of the inglorious

Sep 10 (NS) The High Commissioner of the UNHRC Navi Pillay came and went. She brought words with her, gathered some words during her visit, and generated some words before she left. She is not done yet, since she has to ‘word’ sessions of the UNHRC in New York in a few days and in Geneva early next year. Minister G.L. Peiris, in statements made in London and Colombo, has taken issue with some of these words. All in all, Pillay has violated the principle of proportions, more..

Provincial leaders outline their objectives

Sep 10 (NS) With the PC polls scheduled to be held later this month at the Northern, North Western and Central Provinces, political parties have launched their campaigns and propaganda activities, which are gaining momentum as the polling date closes in. The Nation spoke to some of the main candidates of the major political parties; UPFA, UNP, JVP, DP and TNA on the main focus of their campaigns and the issues that more..

Why it is important to replace Ranil

Sep 10 (CT) Never was there a time like this in Sri Lanka’s post-independence history. There was never a time when hypocrisy on the part of politicians has been so rampant, from the ruling party to the Opposition and from Cabinet Minister to the Pradeshiya Sabha member. From top to bottom, hypocrisy is the common denominator, of course, among other atrocious features, such as corruption, nepotism, bribery, insensitivity and above all plain stupidity. Yet, ever since 1994, whenever more..

Dismantling dictatorship is Sri Lanka’s national question

Sep 10 (ST) Even after years of persistent inability on the part of the UN agencies to assess the exact nature and extent of the ‘national crisis’, it is profoundly encouraging to see UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay articulating her concerns at the concluding press conference last week to the effect that Sri Lanka is ‘showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.’ This is perhaps one of the most powerful statements made by a more..

'Gaining victory through peace and happiness'

Sep 10 (SL) The Sunday Leader spoke with Thilina Bandara Tennakoon – UPFA candidate at the PC elections in the Central Province. He admits that there issues regarding the road network in the province, as well as problems faced by the farming community and the estate sector in the province. He believes that with effective policy changes a more efficient Provincial Council that will better serve the people will prevail. more..

The Authoritarian impulse

Sep 10 (CT) The ancient Greeks were the first to draw distinctions between types of regimes. The three basic types were democracy, oligarchy and tyranny. Aristotle also introduced the concept of mixed regimes. Thus Sri Lanka could be said to be an admixture of democracy and oligarchy. Following in the footsteps of the political philosophers of Ancient Greece, the modern political thinker Hannah Arendt drew the clear distinction between authoritarianism and totalitarianism. more..

Deconstructing the Pillay visit and report

Sep 10 (DBS) I noted earlier that the visit of Navanethem Pillay should be seen as an opportunity by the Sri Lankan govt, and the way the visit went, as well as the statement she made, confirms this view. Of course we had to contend with the fact that not all the advice she received was constructive, but the manner in which she reversed her earlier intention to lay flowers at Mullivaikkal indicates that she herself wanted to be positive. Though she argued that she had placed flowers elsewhere, more..

අලි පරදී ද?... (දෙවන කොටස)

Causes of “Boat Migration” to Australia from Sri Lanka

Sep 10 (GV) The “Special Article” on illicit migration to Australia by boats from Sri Lanka by Emily Howie (2013) in the Economic and Political Weekly (Aug 31) appears to be based largely on lot of conjectures. An article written by an Australian refugee advocate based on 20-30 personal interviews throughout Sri Lanka and citations from Australian (and limited Sri Lankan) newspaper articles is hardly convincing or credible. The article appears to be based on subjective and more..

The Sinhalese kings and foreign assistance: What shall we do about Syria?

Sep 10 (CT) First let me lay down my locus standi in addressing this topic. Those of us outside Syria, who seek to intervene physically, intellectually or as demonstrators on the streets, are entitled to do so as citizens of the world; we are our brother’s keepers, when Jesus said otherwise he blundered. I reject the notion of national sovereignty, fundamentally; it’s a deception used by rulers to crush people under a jackboot while thwarting outside intervention. more..

Largest heroin haul ever in South Asia detected

Sep 10 (SO) 53-year-old Kashif met Mohammed Kamil in Kuwait some five years ago. They were expatriate workers looking for greener pastures in the oil rich State. A friendship developed between Kashif an engineer from Pakistan and Mohammed from Sri Lanka who then worked as a driver for a wealthy Kuwaiti family. Mohammed's wife too was employed as a housemaid in the same house. After some years the friends parted ways. more..

Lee Hedges seeks nod for land sale to China’s Avic

Sep 10 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Lee Hedges is seeking shareholder nod to sell land worth 1.24 billion rupees to a Chinese led mixed development project. Lee Hedges said it is selling 181 perches of land to Avic International Hotels Lanka, promoted by Chinese defence contractor Avic. The firm was seeking shareholder nod at a meeting on September 26, as it was a major transaction, requiring their approval. Lee Hedges had on July 2013 also taken on a 99 year lease another 53.92 perches more..

Govt. denials will not make problems posed by Pillay go away

Sep 10 (Island) The govt has rejected the public statement issued by the UN Human Rights Commissioner, Navanethem Pillay on her departure. This rejection has been accompanied by a demonstration of anger. This is evident in the statements issued by responsible govt ministers. The President is reported to have reacted angrily to the UN statement. Minister G L Peiris, whose intellectual powers are second to none in the world, made a point by point rebuttal of more..

'Puppets running Sri Lankan cricket'

Sep 10 (Island) World Cup winning cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga has blamed Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for the national cricket team’s curtailed tour of England next year. Since Ranatunga masterminded Sri Lanka’s first ever win on English soil, the country has been granted three Tests in England, but the next year’s schedule announced by English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) includes only two Test Matches. more..

Editorial: Prabhakaran’s wisdom

Sep 10 (Island) Former Army Commander and DP Leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka is quite adept at attracting media attention—too much of it, at times. He has said something interesting at a recent propaganda rally in Jaffna; if Prabhakaran had surrendered, he would have been with the govt by now, contesting the PC polls on the UPFA ticket. Gen. Fonseka’s statement reminds us of Prabhakaran’s reaction to an offer made by President Kumaratunga way back in 1994. more..

Director of Archives questions CMC Commissioner

Sep 10 (CT) In a new twist to the incident where a large number of Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), documents were destroyed by burning them, the Department of National Archives (DNA), has entered the fray, calling upon the Municipal Commissioner to clarify certain issues with regard to the incident. The Department believed the 'action' to have exceeded the boundaries of authority of the Commissioner. Director of the DNA, Dr. Saroja Wettasinghe, has written to the Municipal Commissioner, more..

Cinnamon Grand’s Nuga Gama certified as Asia’s first CarbonNeutral venue

Sep 10 (FT) Another first has been notched by Cinnamon Grand. Nuga Gama, the restaurant that brought the concept of the Sri Lankan rural village right into the heart of the city, has been certified as Asia’s very first CarbonNeutral venue. This ‘Village in the City’ which has from its inception in 2009 striven to imbue an eco-friendly milieu into its overarching concept, continued to introduce pioneering sustainable green initiatives that more..

Sampath in fact-finding mission to Myanmar to start branch

Sep 10 (ST) Sampath Bank is currently undertaking a fact finding exercise in Myanmar to start a branch there, according to officials. “We have been doing these studies for about two months. There’s still no final decision, but we’d like to have a presence in Myanmar,” Aravinda Perera, Managing Director, Sampath Bank told the Business Times. This has come on the back of Commercial Bank aiming to expand into new markets and applying for a banking licence in Myanmar. more..

Sri Lanka shines in Beijing through ‘out of the box’ thinking

Sep 10 (ST) Chinese travellers spend more on international tourism than any other country and Sri Lanka is cashing in by implementing a mega promotional campaign to cater to their growing appetite for travel. China is the world’s largest and fastest growing outbound tourism market and its travellers spent a record US$102 billion last year, up 37 per cent from 2011, according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Chinese travellers made 83 million outbound trips last year, more..

SEC gets tougher on Touchwood

Sep 10 (FT) The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday took a tougher stance on Touchwood Investments Plc, (TWOD) imposing a freeze on its non-current assets, a first-of-its-kind move on a listed company. The capital markets regulator also issued two other tough directives in addition to extending the suspension on the trading of TWOD shares by a further three days from 10 September, bringing the total to six. more..

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

Sep 10 (DN) Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Last year, 3,500 Sri Lankans had committed suicide. This is a significant decrease when considering the number of Sri Lankans who had committed suicide in 1995, which was 8,500, Health Services Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala said. The number of Sri Lankans who had committed suicide between 1985 and 2000 were 106,000. Only half (53,000) of this number of people were killed due to war during the same period (15 years). more..

Sack Minister Thondaman and MILCO Chairman

Sep 10 (CT) Minister of Livestock, Arumugam Thondaman, must be removed from his portfolio, as he and his accomplices have destroyed Sri Lanka's dairy industry, the Tangaraya Organization charged. Tangaraya, an organization claiming to stand against corruption, claimed that Minister and the Chairman of the Milco Company, Sunil Wickramage, should be held responsible for the downfall of the local dairy industry, which it alleged engages in corrupt activities. more..

Sri Lanka sees stable Rupee in contrast to India volatility

Sep 10 (BN) Sri Lanka’s central bank governor hailed the island nation’s ability to contain inflation and keep the currency stable as he sought to convince investors its economy is avoiding the pitfalls affecting neighboring India. Stable interest rates and prices would help Sri Lanka’s rupee trade with less volatility than many other countries in Asia, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said today in an interview with more..

Sri Lanka Promotional Seminar in Tokyo

Sep 10 (AT) A Travel Agent and Media seminar was held at the Ga Joen Hotel in Tokyo on Thursday (29), for a large gathering of travel agents, media personnel and travel writers in Tokyo. The seminar was organized by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Tokyo in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. Over 75 travel agents, media personnel and travel writers participated at the seminar at which presentations were conducted on Sri Lanka being one of the safest destinations more..

‘Different types of atrocity in Lanka’

Sep 10 (Hindu) A different types of atrocity continue in Sri Lanka, said Seeniththambi Yogeswaran of ITAK, a member of Sri Lankan Parliament for Batticaloa district, here on Monday. The Sri Lankan Tamil MP, who came here to participate in the Vinayaka Chathurti celebrations along with Arjun Sampath, president of Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK), said that one lakh Sri Lankan army men had been camping in the northern part of the island nation where Tamils live in large numbers. more..

Positive response for ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ forum in Hong Kong

Sep 10 (FT) The Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) successfully held their ‘Invest Sri Lanka’ Investor Forum at the Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong, showcasing the economic growth prospects and investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s capital market. The forum attracted over 100 participants, including institutional and high net worth investors and fund managers. more..