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Sri Lanka’s authoritarian drift and Pakistan’s shameful Lankan affair

Sept 13 (CT) In a meeting with Minister G L. Peiris last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed his admiration for Sri Lanka’s “unremitting endeavors for promoting economic independence, human dignity and social justice for the people of Sri Lanka.” He pledged Pakistan’s support for Sri Lanka’s ongoing struggle to evade accountability and justice in the UN, and warmly accepted President Rajapaksa’s invitation to attend the CHOGM, scheduled to take place in Colombo more..

Diyawanna Family Fair: A lifeline for SMEs

Sep 14 (FT) M.A. Ariyarathne is an entrepreneur with a successful story who met us at the Centre for Agribusiness Development (CAD), Diyawanna Family Fair at Diyatha Uyana in Battaramulla last Wednesday morning. His hard work and creative ideas have made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Matale. Hailing from Pahala Hapuvida of Matale, he is proud of what he has achieved today. more..

Interview with Vimukthi Sahan

Sept 13 (GV) This is an interview conducted by Janaka Samarakoon, the curator of, with the young artist Vimukthi Sahan on the occasion of his 2nd solo exhibition, now on at the Paradise Road Galleries, Colombo. The exhibition continues till 3rd of October 2013 and is open to the public from 10am to midnight daily. Q: To begin our dialogue, tell me how did all this start? A: I entered into the University of Visual and Performing Arts in 2005. But my academic carrier was more..

A rejoinder to “Disarming the juggernaut of religious intolerance in Sri Lanka”

Sept 13 (GV) I recently read this article “Disarming the juggernaut of religious intolerance in Sri Lanka” on Groundviews by Dynalogue – who consider themselves a non partisan, apolitical youth discussion group who have organised themselves to discuss political, social and economic issues burgeoning in our country. It is a welcome sight to see young people mobilising together in such a manner to comment and criticise policies and practices, and one can only hope that more..

අන්තර්ජාලයේ ජංජාලය...

Disarm politicians and their goons!

Sep 14 (Island) Nearly four and a half years have elapsed since the end of the war. The govt is boasting that terrorism is a thing of the past. President Rajapaksa tours the former war zone and addresses political rallies without fear of terror strikes. Time was when he used to grumble about being a prisoner at Temple Trees. Now, he enjoys the freedom to visit even the former stronghold of the LTTE! Whoever would have thought elections would be held in that part of the country more..

TNA’s election manifesto

Sep 14 (Island) On the issues of the national question and the sharing of powers of governance, the TNA Election Manifesto states: "The following salient features of power sharing are fundamental to achieving genuine reconciliation, lasting peace and development for all the Peoples of Sri Lanka." * The Tamils are a distinct People and from time immemorial have inhabited this island together with the Sinhalese People and others. * The contiguous predominantly Tamil speaking N&E provinces more..

'UPFA internal battles are family feuds'

Sep 14 (FT) The ongoing internecine conflicts within the UPFA’s list of electoral nominees are essentially family feuds, the UNP charged. UNP alleged that powerful sections of the Govt were seeking to consolidate power by promoting family members to obtain political office, increasing family bandyism. “Those in power retain power by promoting their own family members, so that outsiders have really very little opportunity to more..

Rugby: SL women tune-up against men

Sep 14 (CT) The Sri Lanka women’s Sevens rugby squad will leave for Bangkok, Thailand on Monday after been put through some vigorous training against the men’s team in preparation for the Asian Sevens on Sept 20 and 21. The main aim of the Sri Lankan women is to finish in the fifth slot. Thanuja Weerakkody has been retained as captain of the team for the first leg. 26 year old Weerakkody is a product of the Seethawaka Central College and first played for Kelani Valley girls’ team more..

Sri Lankan flag to wave at Spikes Asia Singapore

Sep 14 (FT) Metal Factor has teamed up with the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4A’s) to promote the Cannes of Asia, the Spikes Asia Festival which will be held in Singapore from 15 to 17 of Sept. Spikes Asia is a celebration of advertising in Asia Pacific. It is a three-day action packed program comprising seminars, workshops, academies, networking, awards and entertainment. This year Sri Lanka will have full representation at the festival with 10 plus entries more..

Cinnamon and SriLankan Airlines bring Miss France 2014 finalists on tour to Sri Lanka

Sep 14 (FT) While thousands of beautiful young French women are currently competing to win their way to the finals of the Miss France 2014 pageant, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts are preparing to host the 33 finalists to a pre-pageant tour of Sri Lanka, flown courtesy of SriLankan. The tour will be a part of the pageant’s official agenda, following regional selections that will culminate in the Grand Finale of the Miss France crowning pageant, more..

Teacher wants students to limit water intake

Sep 14 (CT) The wellbeing of primary school students is at risk as many teachers instruct their wards to refrain from using toilets during school hours. A leading expert in water and sanitation, Kusum Athukorala, revealed that a teacher attached to a popular boys’ school in Kandy had instructed her primary class students to refrain from drinking water as she would have to accompany them to the toilet whenever they wanted to relieve themselves. “Montessori to primary school children are more..

Sabaragamuwa Uni. further restrained

Sep 14 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday extended the interim order restraining the Sabaragamuwa University authorities from suspending four students. The university authorities had, on March 12, suspended the studentS for eight months on allegations that they had held a meeting within the university premises with the participation of outsiders, without obtaining permission from the university authorities. The university authorities had, however, later on permitted more..

CaFFE dismayed by Northern Governor's response

Sept 13 (CT) CaFFE is deeply concerned about the reactions by Former Major General GA Chandrasiri to criticism regarding his campaigning on behalf of the UPFA in Jaffna district. He has told media that he has a right to engage in politics after attending a UPFA rally. CaFFE in a statement said: We believes that the Northern Governor is a public servant and he does not have a moral right to appear on UPFA rallies and more..

AICON, an iconic lifestyle store with a difference

Sep 14 (Island) Arpico, Hyde Park Corner launched AICON, a lifestyle store with a difference, on September 10th. The launch was graced by many distinguished guests and comprised of a coffee evening that embodied the elegance and luxury of AICON perfectly. AICON, located on the 1st Floor of Arpico, Hyde Park Corner, is spread out in a spacious area with spaces dedicated for Iconic Gift Ideas, Living Spaces, Fine Dining and Garden. Earthy tones, such as brick red, brown, green more..

Stealing books meant for needy children: Galle MCs allowed bail

Sep 14 (Island) Six ex-members of the Galle Municipal Council were yesterday enlarged on personal bail in Rs. 50,000 each by the Galle Chief Magistrate. They had been charged with stealing a stock of books meant to be distributed among children of needy families. Some of the Councilors granted bail are members of the current Council too. They are Parakrama Dahanayake (UPFA), Jilith Nishantha (UNP), Fiasz Latiff (UNP) and Ex-members Gemunu Premalal (UPFA), more..

'PC polls: SF’s campaign on track, geared to meet any eventuality'

Sep 14 (Island) The Democratic Party (DP) yesterday said that in spite of the govt interfering in its propaganda campaign, in the run-up to Sept 21 provincial councils polls, people were rallying around the newest party led by former army commander General Sarath Fonseka. The DP said that its campaign was on track though the govt was targeting some of its key members in the provinces. more..

Kinniya Sarath amassed Rs 10 M in assets

Sep 14 (CT) Police investigations have revealed that a human smuggling racketeer known as Kinniya Sarath, who was arrested recently, owns assets to the tune of over Rs 10 million, earned through human smuggling. A senior police official, who is conducting the investigations into the case, said Kinniya Sarath owns a house worth Rs 10.5 million at the Millennium Housing scheme in Kurunegala, while he also owns a two-story house in Wewalduwa, Wattala. more..

Ex-NSB head to face charges on share deal

Sep 14 (ST) Charges would be filed on December 19 against former National Savings Bank (NSB) Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam on the alleged fraudulent share deal. Colombo Chief Magistrate overruling preliminary objections by senior counsel Saliya Pieris fixed the dates for December 19, to file the charges after the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry into the alleged The Finance Company share deal. The Chief Magistrate held that the Attorney General could prosecute more..

Two unregistered bottled water brands to be withdrawn

Sep 14 (DN) Health Services Director General has decided to remove unregistered bottled water brands 'Amaron' and 'Ceylon Water' from the market with immediate effect and take legal action against the manufacturers. Ministry warns the public of unregistered (to mislead the public) unhygienic bottled water brands. All shop owners should immediately withdraw the 'Amaron' and 'Ceylon Water' bottle brands from their shelves more..

Sri Lanka embassy receives prestigious award for tourism promotion in Japan

Sep 14 (AT) Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, Ambassador of Sri Lanka in Tokyo received the prestigious award for Sri Lanka Embassy for the Best Tourism Promotion Agency in Japan among 4 countries, of which the others were Malaysia, Hawaii and Guam at the JATA Travel Showcase, Tourism Awards yesterday. The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Japan, supported by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and ADEX Advertising Agency, was more..

Man killed by Kilinochchi’s trial train

Sep 14 (CT) An elderly person was killed when he was knocked down by a train on a trial run in Kilinochchi yesterday. The victim had died on the spot. The trial run on the Northern railway line had been carried out over the past several days from Omanthai and Kilinochchi as President Rajapaksa is expected to reinstate the train service today. The victim has been identified as Vairamuttu Thirunavukkarasu (78) a resident of Thondaman Nagar at the 55th mile post near the more..

Northerners optimistic says survey

Sep 14 (CG) With the elections for the Northern Provincial Councils coming up next week, most residents of the Northern Province remain optimistic that it will be a free and fair election. This was revealed in an opinion poll conducted by Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Aug 2013 in the run up to the NPC Elections. The poll did not intend to forecast the election results but rather to assess more..

Etisalat join hands with Nena Guna Thilina

Sep 14 (AT) Etisalat Lanka made donation towards the Presidential Book Project ‘Nena Guna Thilina’ at the Presidential Secretariat. On last Thursday, the checque worth Rs. 2 million was presented to the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga by Dumindra Ratnayake, Chief Executive Officer 0f Etisalat Lanka. ‘Nena Guna Thilina’ project is a concept of President Mahinda Rajapaksa functions as a Social Responsibility Project under Presidential Secretariat. more..

'People have suspicions regarding Gota'

Sep 14 (LT) People have suspicions regarding Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and his political moves go beyond that of a mere secretary says the Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara in an interview. Speaking further he has said the view is that Sinhalese hard line existed due to extremism. Muslims’ practices are conventional but they do not harm others. However, the Defense Secretary did not wait to find out those who began the anti-Muslim rhetoric and attacks were those who more..

Yal Devi set to resume services: President to inaugurate train service today

Sep 14 (ST) Residents here are anxiously awaiting the return of a train services which came to an abrupt halt 23 years ago. The Indian contractors backed by local workers go through the finishing touches at the Kilininochchi railway station. “The people are very interested to know when the train services will commence," says Works Engineer A.G.Sawar from New Delhi involved in the railway project. President Rajapaksa will inaugurate more..

Lankan corporates still suffering from HPPO syndrome: Google rep

Sep 14 (DM) Sri Lankan companies are still highly reliant on Highest Paid Person’s Opinions (HPPOs) and are less driven by data for their decision making, according to a top Google official. “No doubt, we still have the HPPO syndrome and not driven by data. People are taking decisions by the likings of their big bosses or because their bosses like a certain colour etc. without getting into real nuts and bolts,” said Sri Lanka Country Consultant, Google Asia Pacific Rohan Jayaweera. more..

Champika cautions against casinos

Sep 14 (CT) General Secretary of the JHU, Champika Ranawaka, yesterday asserted the legalization of casinos in the country would be a major factor in deciding the fate of future politics in Sri Lanka. He warned the Cabinet that gambling kingpins will be able to control and influence the country’s politicians, in the event that casinos are legalized. Minister pointed out that a network of prostitution can emerge, while the usage of small arms will also become common. more..

TNT heavier than WTC bomb found

Sep 14 (Island) 120 kilos of TNT had been found on Thursday, hidden in the chassis of a lorry parked near the Kotahena police for the past 17 years. The bomb that the LTTE exploded at the Galadari Car Park, targeting the World Trade Centre (WTC) in Colombo, was in comparison only 75 Kg in weight. OIC of the Kotahena police, said that the lorry had been taken into custody some 17 years back several bombs, attached to more..

Devilry of the deceit of depositors

Sep 14 (DM) For the past 25 years scores of dubious finance companies offering interest rates of 15 percent to 20 percent to pensioners and other depositors have collapsed and thousands of people, mainly senior citizens, have been left to languish as paupers. In recent years the two most notorious cases involved the Ceylinco Golden Key scandal and the Sakvithi Finance Company which defrauded hundreds of millions of rupees from depositors. In 2012 The Finance Company which was on more..

Sunila’s indelible human rights footprint

Sep 14 (DM) This week saw the death of Sunila Abeysekera, arguably Sri Lanka’s best known human rights activist. Abeysekera, 61, died at a private hospital in Colombo after a long battle with cancer. Growing up in Colombo, Sunila Abeysekera’s interest in human rights began four decades ago, when it was not fashionable to dabble in the subject. Then in her early twenties, she was inspired by the aftermath of the 1971 insurrection of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). more..

A deeper view of the motive behind UNHRC HC's visit to Sri Lanka

Sep 14 (DM) The Lady trudges looking like a tramp but holds a trump, being the High Commissioner of the UNHRC. Her roots beckon a South Indian origin; born to a South African family belonging to the Tamil Valhalla caste and responds to the name of Navaneetham Pillai. She should create no ripple being a South Indian Tamil if she is objective in her determination. True, the issue relates to Sri Lankan Tamils: but that more..

The hills are alive with the refrain of election promises

Sep 14 (ST) The cool climes of the Central Province are hotting up with less than two weeks to go before the elections to the CPC. Issues such as housing, infrastructure, education, health, unemployment and cost of living have become the main campaign calls of candidates contesting the polls on Sept 21. A total number of 1,859,557 voters, less 44,306 postal voters, will cast their votes at 1,571 polling stations more..

This is to announce the death of the telegram. Stop

Sep 14 (ST) After 155 years the good old telegram service in the country is to bid goodbye on October 31, giving way to new technology. Recently both Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Minister Jeewan Kumaratunge announced that the telegram service would be discontinued. After the first telegraph message was sent from Colombo to Galle in 1858, it turned out to be the most popular and essential mode more..

Sumanthiran responds to criticism of TNA’s election manifesto

Sept 14 (AD) The TNA today said it will not bow to the ‘staggering’ reactions towards the party’s controversial election manifesto, which has been termed as ‘extremist’ and ‘separatist’ by the govt and its coalition parties. “We are unwaveringly convinced of our stance and will not be bullied into distancing ourselves from statements that we have made,” TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said in a written response to the criticisms. more..

A craft in decline

Sep 14 (CT) Pottery as an industry existed in Sri Lanka, even before the arrival of King Vijaya in the 5th Century BC. Several years ago, archaeologists discovered evidence of a well-developed pottery industry in Anuradhapura, dating back to 200 years before Vijaya's arrival. Despite the close relationship the islanders had with pottery over millennia, the craftsmen engaged in the industry today are suffering untold hardships. more..

'Best team Sri Lanka have sent'

Sept 14 (CI) Sri Lanka's makeshift Twenty20 tournament was confirmed only two days before it began and was followed by the board's public spat with Kumar Sangakkara, but Kandurata Maroons captain Lahiru Thirimanne believes Sri Lanka now sends the strongest ever side to represent the country at the Champions League. Four members of Sri Lanka's frontline Twenty20 side, which has remained atop more..

Price gamble and missed opportunities

Sept 14 (DM) With the end of hostiles, a golden opportunity was missed by the Sri Lankan tourism sector by hiking prices of accommodation by 200-300%, forgetting the ordinary hotelier in the process. Today we see the impact on tourism as arrivals have gone down by 75% when all big hotels started throwing 50% off the rate to attract locals. It is very unfortunate for the top hotels as this was the norm during the more..

Plantations facing labour shortages

Sep 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's large plantations, especially those growing tea, are facing labour shortages, with young people moving out to cities in search of other jobs. "The shortage of workers to undertake regular agricultural operations and development programs especially in tea plantations has become a common trend in almost all tea growing districts in the country," Lalith Obeysekera, head of Planters' Association more..

Foreign observers arrive to monitor Provincial polls

Sept 14 (AD) Election observers representing India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan have arrived in the country to monitor the forthcoming Provincial Council polls. The foreign observers had arrived in the country last night to monitor the election in the Northern, North Western and Central provinces on Sept 21. The foreign observers are expected to meet Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya today more..