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Let the dogs get married!

Sep 12 (DM) From the time the Police Kennels came into existence over 75 years ago, the Kennels Division of the Police has been able to put on shows highlighting the proficiency of trained dogs. These shows have not only educated the public on the capabilities of dogs in the all important police functions of criminal investigation, narcotics control and public order but also provided rare feats of entertainment such as climbing walls, jumping over hurdles or sailing through rings of fire. more..

Speaker’s satire, TNA’s squabbles and UNP’s link with China

Sep 12 (DM) Referring to the decline in the standards of lawmakers’ conduct in parliament, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa made an interesting suggestion to Senior Minister Athauda Seneviratne while the two of them were taking part in a religious ceremony in Kegalle last Sunday. The Speaker was at a function to mark the opening of a Dana Sala (a hall where alms are offered to Buddhist monks) at the Molagoda Mangalagama Viharaya more..

Higher education institutes to face stiff hurdles soon under new laws

Sep 12 (ST) Institutions providing higher education including universities and private academies will soon be required to conform to a new law that will stipulate operational standards. Under the Quality Assurance Accreditation Qualification Framework draft criteria necessary for a course of study are the academic competency of the staff conducting the course of study, the conditions of the learning environment more..

C4 steps up Sri Lanka campaign

Sep 12 (BN) Channel 4 News and documentary maker Callum Macrae are to travel to Sri Lanka to cover the CHOGM as they continue to highlight war crimes committed against the country’s minority Tamil population. Macrae’s feature-length documentary No Fire Zone recounts the 138 days of brutal violence carried out by the Singhelese majority govt against Sri Lanka’s minority Tamil population in 2009, in which thousands died. more..

Declare TNA manifesto illegal

Sep 12 (CT) The Buddhist clergy representing the Ravana Balaya, have requested the Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya, to declare as illegal the TNA manifesto, which they say violates the Constitution of Sri Lanka and threatens the sovereignty of the country. They have also requested the Elections Commissioner to take measures to conduct the Northern Province elections, lawfully. more..

AG needs time to consider action against DIG Vass

Sep 12 (Island) The Attorney General yesterday told the Court of Appeal hat he needed time to consider what steps should be taken regarding the complaint by Nipuna Ramanayake and his mother G. Ramanayake against interdicted DIG Vass Gunawardene. The mother and son have filed a Writ Application in the Court of Appeal alleging that Nipuna was abducted on August 11, 2011 by a group of police officers and taken to the more..

Colombo International Book Fair opens on September 14

Sep 12 (DN) The 15th Colombo International Book Fair opens on Saturday, September 14 at 9.00 a.m. at the BMICH premises. In addition to a record number of Sri Lankan publishers, 50 foreign publishers are also participating this year. These range from Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Penguin, Scholastic, JAICO, Periplus (Singapore), Berlitz (Germany), IRH Press Japan and APA Insight, Harper Collins more..

JVP: Why rig polls and use violence when the elected can be bought?

Sep 12 (Island) The JVP said that the election process was now relatively peaceful as the SLFP-led ruling coalition had the wherewithal to engineer crossovers at the conclusion of parliamentary or provincial polls. The govt no longer had to resort to violence and malpractices, such as organised impersonation and switching ballot boxes as in the past, but could effect crossovers at a time favorable to the ruling coalition. more..

DNA tests incriminate former Tangalle PS chairman, two others

Sep 12 (DM) The CID yesterday informed the Tangalle Magistrate that the DNA samples found at the crime scene in the Tangalle tourist resort where British Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh was murdered and his girlfriend gang raped on the Christmas Eve 2011, tallied with three leading suspects including Sampath Vidanapathirana, the former chairman of the UPFA led Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

'Don’t delay anti-tobacco gazette'

Sep 12 (DM) The four Mahanayake Theras of the Tri-Nikayas have come together to push for the govt and other concerned parties to have the gazette advocating tobacco companies to place anti-tobacco warnings over 80% of cigarette packets, issued without further delay. The Theras pointed out that the multi-nationals had resorted to various strategies to delay the process leading to the release of the gazette. more..

UK refuses to boycott CHOGM

Sep 12 (CG) The British government has rejected calls to boycott the CHOGM in Sri Lanka in November. At the House of Commons yesterday (11) several parliamentarians called for the boycott during a debate on human rights in the Commonwealth. However the British Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire however said that attending the summit is the right thing to do. more..

A better deal for domestic workers

Sep 12 (CT) Sri Lanka it appears is finally putting its foot down and demanding due justice for its women employed as domestic workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at least in terms of higher wages. According to media reports, the deputy-general manager of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, had said Sri Lanka is no longer interested in sending more housemaids to West Asian countries, specifically Saudi Arabia, unless these countries come out with an attractive more..

Ranjan, let’s settle the matter amicably..

Sep 12 (LT) A massive protest campaign would be carried out if the administration of the CEB doesn’t take any action against a coordinating secretary of the Prime Minister who had threatened with death a caretaker of a holiday home of the CEB says the General Secretary of Lanka Electricity Board Employees’ Union Ranjan Jayalal. Amila Priyasanha, a driver of the Prime Minister and U.L. Ranaweera, the coordinating Secretary of the PM had come to the holiday home more..

Ban on under 13 sports a big blunder – UNP

Sep 12 (Island) The UNP is up in arms over an Education Department circular directing schools to stop sports for students under 13 years of age. WPC UNP member Niroshan Padukke, said that the circular would retard the progress of sports in the country and affect its chances even at international level. Citing an example, he noted that most of the cricketers in the 1996 World Cup winning team, had started their careers when more..

Sri Lanka rupee edges up on dlr sales by banks, exporters

Sep 12 (Reuters) The rupee ended a tad firmer on Thursday as dollar sales by banks and exporters offset early importer dollar demand, with the recent strong selling pressure on the local currency continuing to ease. The rupee spot, which had been inactive for several weeks, was actively traded on Thursday for the second straight session and closed at 132.20/30 per dollar, firmer from Wednesday's close of 132.25/35. Earlier in the session, the rupee edged down slightly on importer dollar more..

Black July: Further evidence of advance planning

Sep 12 (CT) It was not as though the UNP on the 25th morning taking a cue from Cyril Mathew, picked up electoral lists from party offices and went about attacking Tamil homes. In the context of Jayewardene not taking advice from the Police to declare curfew, the methodical attacks with lists had started in Anderson Flats, Narahepita, by 5.00 A.M. (see T. Sabaratnam, CDN 27.7.99). Mobs entered Tamil flats identified from lists, smashed property and threw refrigerators over the balcony, more..

Vasan against selling warship to Sri Lanka

Sep 12 (PTI) Voicing opposition to Centre’s proposal to supply two naval warships to Sri Lanka, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan has said he would urge PM Manmohan Singh not to sell the vessels. “I am against the selling of warships to Sri Lanka. I will meet the Prime Minister soon and represent him not to sell the warships,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a private function here last night. Mr. Vasan said he would also more..

ADB says no study published

Sep 12 (Island) With reference to our September 10 news report titled ‘CEB Blocks Clean Energy Generation’, the Asia Development Bank says no study or report has recently been published by ADB with respect to renewable energy in Sri Lanka. The ADB states: "Two studies are underway at this moment and are expected to be released in April 2014. One study is looking into the power grid stability issues with respect to renewable energy development and examining possible more..

Bank of Ceylon to sell Rs8.0bn debt

Sep 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Bank of Ceylon will sell 8.0 billion rupees of junior debt to boost regulatory capital. Fitch Ratings said it had given the debt an 'AA(lka)' expected rating. The bond is rated one notch below Bank of Ceylon's national rating of 'AA+(lka)' because as regulatory Tier II debt the funds will be used to pay off senior debt like depositors in the event of a liquidation. The full statement is reproduced below. Fitch Ratings Lanka has assigned Bank of Ceylon's more..

Hotel Galadari to sue Carrom Federation

Sep 12 (ST) Hotel Galadari, the hosting venue of 5th World Carrom Championship held in Colombo in November 2012, is in line of suing the Carrom Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL). The CFSL still owes Hotel Galadari a sum of Rs. 700,000 after using the venue and its facilities. Hotel Galadari officials have constantly sent reminders to CFSL officials to settle the debt, but since the credit period lapsed by many months, more..

Wilpattu’s new entrance re-opened

Sep 12 (Island) Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Vijith Vijthamuni Zoysa yesterday ordered Wildlife Department officials to keep the new entrance to the Wilpattu National Park open from today. The minister who was on an inspection tour of the park, accompanied by Director General of Wildlife Conservation H. D. Ratnayake, visited the new entrance which was built three years ago. "The gate shouldn’t have remained closed so long," Zoysa said, adding that he had asked more..

Sri Lanka frees 736 convicts on prison day

Sep 12 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Thursday released 736 convicts after they were given a presidential pardon to mark the country's prisoner day, officials said. Convicts serving time for minor offences were granted the amnesty and walked free from 22 jails across the country, prisons department spokesman said. "The president granted the special pardon to mark prisoner day," he said. "Those who benefited were convicts serving short jail terms for minor offences like non-payment of fines." more..

Ex-LTTE cadres speak on stage for govt.

Sep 12 (DN) Several former LTTE leaders accompanied by a large number of rehabilitated members of the now defunct terrorist organization, got on stage during a UPFA election rally in Mannar yesterday, to show their appreciation and support to the President and govt for their efforts to develop and rebuild the former conflict battered North. Former LTTE Political head for the Mannar district, Eranbamoorthi more..

Pillay incurs Sri Lanka’s wrath

Sep 12 (IOL) Concluding her recent fact-finding trip to Sri Lanka, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay warned that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government was “heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction… despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant, all-embracing state”. Pillay’s statement cited a long and growing list of serious human rights problems, including “persistent impunity and the failure of rule of law”. more..

Sajith breathes fire at TNA for rekindling separatist ideology

Sep 12 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa accuses the TNA of promoting confrontational politics in a bid to win the NPC polls. Premadasa, addressing a public rally at Ranmuduwewa Viharaya in Sooriyawewa, condemned the TNA’s conduct while campaigning for the Sept. 21 election. The North and the East had remained merged temporarily and the Supreme Court had ordered that they be demerged, he said, questioning the TNA’s right to campaign for a remerger. more..

Sri Lanka clears whey protein imports after international botulism scare

Sep 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's health ministry has released stocks of imported whey protein tested negative for botulism, a few weeks after a similar scare stopped sales in China and Russia. Following dairy giant Fonterra's admission to having stocks sent to several countries including China and Russia tested positive for botulism, the local Health Ministry also conducted tests on 104 samples obtained from imported stocks. more..

TISL reports election law violations in North

Sep 12 (Island) Instances of gross violation of election laws by public officials relating to the use of the public property during the upcoming provincial election in the Northern Province have been reported to the Elections Commissioner by Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) with documentary proof including photographs in the possession of the Programme to Protect Public Resources (PPPR). These include an incident of the Governor of the Northern Province more..

SLR refutes reports of a fare increase

Sep 12 (CT) Superintendant of Operations, Sri Lanka Railways (SLR), L.A.M. Ratnayake, said that SLR has had no discussions regarding increasing train fares and they have no intention of increasing the fares, either. While strongly denying media reports which stated that train fares would increase, he gave an assurance that the fare will not be increased. Media reports stated that train fares are very likely to increase within the next month by 25% as the govt is facing a financial crisis. more..

Sri Lanka's cabinet approves Aussie casino mogul's 350 million project

Sep 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's cabinet approved a 350 million U.S. dollar project by Australian gambling mogul James Packer to build giant a casino in Colombo. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the project, which has been given significant concessions by the govt, would now go ahead. "The Finance Ministry and Excise department has issued gaming licenses and the casino section of the integrated projects will be taxed," more..

Minister’s amnesty to jumbo thieves irks environmentalists

Sep 12 (Island) The Coalition of Environmental groups condemned a recent amnesty announced by Wildlife Resources and Conservation Management Minister Wijithamuni de Zoysa to facilitate the registration of the illegally kept elephants. Environmentalist, Nayanaka Ranwella, said that the Minister in charge had no legal powers under the Fauna and Flora Ordinance to give amnesty to those who had kept elephants illegally terming it as similar to giving an amnesty to rapists. more..

JVP tells West in no uncertain terms: hands off Syria

Sep 12 (Island) The JVP condemned US led NATO and Zionist alliance for planning an attack on Syria and called upon the progressive and peace-loving people of the world to build anti-imperialist mass organisations to fight against imperialism. JVP politburo in a statement said: "The ugly alliance of US led NATO and Zionism is threatening to attack Syria, not only Syria but the whole Arab world. "The US invaded Iraq in search of Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2003. more..

Sri Lanka markets its beauty to Chinese travelers

Sep 12 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is stepping up its campaign for attracting Chinese tourists by engaging with travel agents and participating in Chinese travel fairs, the External Affairs Ministry said. The Consulate of Sri Lanka in Chengdu promoted Sri Lanka tourism at 17th International Travel Fair which was held in Chongqing. Chongqing is one of the four municipalities under the direct more..

Probe ordered on magazine

Sep 12 (CG) The External Affairs Ministry has been instructed to look into a magazine circulating at some airports in Arab countries with stories damaging towards Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa had informed Tamil media heads today that the magazine carries a story claiming that Buddhist groups had attacked Muslim women in Sri Lanka. “The President had a copy of the magazine in his hand. He said that the magazine was circulating at several airports in Arab countries. more..

Why Wigneswaran asks MR

Sep 12 (CG) President Rajapaksa today questioned the nomination of former Supreme Court Judge C.V. Wigneswaran as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the TNA. The President said that Wigneswaran was not familiar with the ground situation in the North as he was from Colombo. At a meeting with Tamil media heads today, the President said that TNA MPs Suresh Premachandran or Mavai Senathirajah would have been better candidates than Wigneswaran, R.Sivaraja, the President’s more..

Ford will not renew Sri Lanka contract

Sep 12 (CI) Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford has told SLC he does not wish to renew his contract when it expires in January. Ford came aboard for two years after Geoff Marsh was sacked in January 2012, and unless SLC convince him to stay, Sri Lanka's tour in the UAE from December will be his last with the team. "Mr. Graham Ford has intimated that he would like to be released from his duties at the end of his more..

Thol Thirumavalavan, VCP activists arrested

Sep 12 (ENS) Dalit-based outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaaigal Katchi leader Thol Thirumavalavan, MP, and around 200 party supporters were arrested Thursday for trying to stage a protest pressing for various demands including retrieval of Katchatheevu. They were arrested since permission had not been granted for the protest, police said. Thirumavalavan insisted that India should boycott the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka in November since the Rajapaksa regime more..

Northampton to host only first-class warm-up of Sri Lanka tour

Sep 12 (CI) Sri Lanka can only play one warm-up first-class match ahead of their Test series in England next year, thanks largely to a condensed tour schedule. The four-day match that has been scheduled will be against Northamptonshire in Northampton, with two 50-over tour matches to be played in Chelmsford and Canterbury before the limited-overs series. A Twenty20 tour match will also be played, in Hove. Sri Lanka had played two first-class warm-up matches in their last tour more..

Karunanidhi bats for referendum in Sri Lanka to end woes of Tamils

Sep 12 (PTI) A referendum under the aegis of the UN alone would give a fresh lease of life to "beleaguered" Tamils in Sri Lanka, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said. "Tamils all over the world earnestly expect that the UN would come forward for such a permanent solution (referendum) after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay tables report based on her recent tour of Sri Lanka to study the plight of Tamils," more..

Pillay is gone; but the haunting continues

Sep 13 (CT) The regime has made a very serious error; an error in judgment, governance and in politics too. This is a regime known to be well-versed in politics where it excels, even at the expense of good governance and far-sighted policy-making, in manipulating local politics to the extent that the Opposition and its leading partner, the UNP, must be questioning its own rationale as to why it invited Navi Pillay at all. The body language of the Minister of External Affairs is pathetic; more..

The story of an alternative manifesto

Sep 13 (CT) We can feel the hot air. I don’t mean the extended summer heat wave in the United Kingdom, but the political air is heating up as the elections to the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka approaches. The main political party, the TNA caused much excitement among analysts by successfully inviting former justice Wigneswaran (hereinafter referred to by the pet name Wiggles) to be their lead candidate. There was hot air during the run-up to his nomination. more..