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Wayamba flooded with unmarked vehicles

Sep 16 (CT) Election monitoring groups have brought to the notice of the Commissioner of Elections, that a number of unregistered vehicles are being driven in the North-Western Province, which they alleged, are being used to unleash violence in the area, posing a threat to law and order. The CaFFE and PAFFREL, had brought to the notice of Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, when the latter had met political more..

Testing time for young seniors against NZ

Sep 16 (ST) The lack of international matches till November is in a way a blessing in disguise to the Lankan cricket selectors. According to Selection Committee Chairman Sanath Jayasuriya, he and his team are expecting to make maximum use of this opportunity during the NZ ‘A’ team’s current tour of Sri Lanka. They will make it an opportunity to have a look at some of the young promising players and also give exposure to the set of young seniors to get some much needed match practice. more..

'We are poised to regain our ancient glory'

Sep 16 (Island) Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa’s speech at the recent ‘Invest Sri Lanka 2013’ forum in Hong Kong. During the last couple of years, the interest of global fund managers has started shifting towards emerging and frontier markets. Of course, recently, there have been certain changes that are happening, but these are ups and downs. We have to make use of these opportunities. One of the problems that more..

Storm in a teacup: TNA’s Election ‘Manifesto’

Sep 16 (Island) The NPC Election Campaign took a new turn last week with the govt and many of its hard line allies protesting against the TNA Election ‘Manifesto’ released in Jaffna on 3rd Sept. This is a new trend that commenced with the govt’s disapproval of the TNA’s Chief Ministerial choice. It is interesting that the govt arrogates to itself the right to approve or disapprove of other political parties’ choices and decisions. more..

Auckland zoo still working on elephant deal

Sep 16 (RNZ) Auckland Zoo says the new elephants it wants to bring to New Zealand will definitely spend three months in quarantine on Niue first. The zoo’s head of marketing Ben Hutton says work is continuing to import two elephants from an orphanage in Sri Lanka and if the deal is successful the earliest they will arrive by plane on Niue is late November. He says if the Sri Lanka arrangement falls through elephants will come from another country and arrive later. more..

Kama fiasco referred to mediation board

Sep 16 (DM) In a case where a businessman and two bouncers, who were alleged to have been involved in assaulting a 21-year -old youth at the Kama-Colombo nightclub was referred to the Mediation Board by a Colombo Court. When the case came up before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage both parties were ordered to appear before the mediation board. The businessman and two bouncers of the Kama-Colombo Club were arrested by the Kollupitiya police for more..

Undergrads occupy Kelaniya Uni. sports pavilion

Sep 16 (Island) A group of undergraduates went into occupation of the Kelaniya University sport pavilion yesterday. They said they would not vacate it till the authorities ensured their security at the Polhena hostel following Saturday’s attack on them by an unidentified gang. The Polhena hostel, which accommodates the first, second and third-year undergraduates, of the Arts and Commerce more..

Divine music but mixed messages in conflict zones

Sep 16 (NST) ON Saturday, Sept 7, a "Divine Ecstasy" concert in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, matched "Ehsas-e-Kashmir" (the feel of Kashmir) at the northern end of the subcontinent. It is rare that on a single evening, music sought to sooth nerves frayed by long years of violence in places located more than 2,000km apart. Both have been conflict zones having witnessed blood being spilt -- of the militants, the military in jackboots and, worse, of the innocent populace. In both places, life has taken more..

'TNA insults Tamils by having Southerner as CM candidate'

Sep 16 (DN) The TNA which has continuously rejected to have a southern administration in the North, has insulted the Northern Tamils, by having a person from the South as the chief ministerial candidate for the NPC election, President Rajapaksa said while addressing an election meeting held in Jaffna yesterday. He said the TNA has made the biggest blunder in politics and also against their policies by having a person from the South as their Chief Ministerial candidate for the NPC. more..

Gotabhaya pushes for global action against extremism

Sep 16 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says a cohesive strategy is needed to fight extremism at regional as well as global level. In spite of Sri Lanka’s battlefield victory, over the LTTE, in May four years ago, the country remains vulnerable to extremism, the Defence Secretary alleges. The failure on the part of the international community to take tangible measures to neutralize the growing threat could destabilize many countries, more..

Ousted CJ to appear in Court today

Sep 16 (Island) Ousted Chief Justice Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake has been noticed to appear in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court today in relation to three cases filed against her, by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, over her alleged failure to divulge details of two bank accounts in her asset declaration, in three consecutive years. She is alleged to have failed to provide the details of two accounts at the National Development Bank in her declarations of more..

TNA spreading racism and separatism-Basil

Sep 16 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the TNA is attempting to push Tamils in the North to vote for the by spreading racism and separatism. Addressing a public meeting at Madurankuliya in Puttalam District, he said that it is crystal clear with the TNA manifesto that the former Tiger-proxy party is playing the racist card to win the NPC election. He said that the pledges made by the TNA in their election manifesto could not be fulfilled through a Provincial Council administration. more..

China eyes Sri Lankan free-trade deal

Sep 16 (SCMP) Fashion brands from Hong Kong, Europe and the United States could gain from a possible free-trade agreement between Sri Lanka and mainland China that would remove all tariffs on goods from the island nation. Sri Lanka, whose earnings from garments account for half of its entire industrial output, has long been a manufacturing hub for upmarket lingerie, T-shirts and blouses. Country is the largest supplier more..

President to attend UN General Assembly

Sep 16 (SLBC) The Ministry of External Affairs informed that President Mahinda Rajapakse will participate in the General Assembly Sessions of the United Nations which will start during the weekend in New York. They said that the G-15 Group countries will also attend the General Assembly Sessions. A special group of representatives including the Minister of External Affairs Professor G L Peiris, the Sri Lanka Permanent Representative in the UN will also attend the Sessions. more..

'No complaints against TNA from UPFA'

Sep 16 (Island) Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that he hadn’t received any specific complaint from the UPFA, as regards the TNA campaign, its manifesto or various statements attributed to its CM candidate, C. V. Vigneswaran, in the run-up to the Sept. 21 NPC polls. The polls chief said that he had so far received a petition from ‘Ravana Balaya’ targeting the TNA. The ‘Ravana Balaya’ had alleged that the TNA manifesto was a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. more..

Dhammika gears up for gaming kingship

Sep 16 (FT) Having shot to business leader status from the origins of gaming industry, Dhammika Perera is now gearing to take his empire to a new level, a move that is likely to re-profile the country’s leisure and entertainment scene for the better. Dhammika has already submitted his application to the BoI to set up what will be his flagship business venture to date – the $ 350 million Queensbury Integrated Resort and Casino. more..

Restorative Justice: Love in action

Sep 16 (DM) Sri Lanka marked National Prisoners’ Day on September 12 with a Presidential pardon being given to some 2000 prisoners who were in jail for minor offences or were more than 70 years of age. This came amid a crisis of severe overcrowding in prisons where in some instances as many as seven prisoners are packed into a cell made for one. This has caused severe anxiety if not mental problems and various infectious ailments such as skin diseases. more..

A Great Buddhist Missionary of Our Times

Sep 16 (DM) A human being destined to be a great Buddhist missionary was born on December 29, 1928, in the small village of Kurunegoda, in the Kegalle district, Sri Lanka. At the age of 13 he was ordained into a religion that taught “there is a cause for everything that has ever come into existence or will come into existence and must cease to exist when the cause ceases to be.” That religion is Buddhism and that great human being is the chief incumbent monk of the New York Buddhist more..

'Athletics diluted by politics and money'

Sep 16 (NS) Athletic icon ASM Khan is saddened that athletics in Sri Lanka is riddled with politics and ruined by money.“First and foremost politics should not come into sports. Duncan White broke the Olympic hurdles record when he won the silver medal and at the Empire Games he won the gold medal who helped him, nobody,” said Khan. “He had the guts to do it and he did it. At that time there was no such thing as the more..

Sri Lanka rupee firmer on exporter sales

Sep 16 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded tad firmer on Monday led by exporter dollar sales, while the broader market was waiting for cues from the U.S. Federal Reserve's policy meeting later in the week, dealers said. The Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide when and by how much to scale back its asset purchases from the current pace of $85 billion a month. Dealers said any reduction may prompt foreign investors more..

Forgotten people in the northern province

Sep 16 (SL) Hardly any visible signs of political campaigning were noticed in the Northern Province particularly in the Jaffna and Killinochchi towns except an isolated poster or two and the campaign posters and banners. The people in the area too do not have much faith in the Tamil political parties. These people believe that the parties only visit their areas during the election, but thereafter the people, especially those in the village areas, are more..

Sri Lanka fears regrouping of 4K LTTE cadre

Sep 16 (ENS) The Commander of the Sri Lankan army in the Jaffna peninsula, Maj Gen Mahinda Hathurusinghe, said, with the TNA glorifying the slain Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in its campaign for the NPC elections, there was a possibility of reactivating about 4,000 former Tiger combatants, who are still at large. “There are about 4,000 former cadre of the LTTE who have not undergone rehabilitation. more..

Warawewa's vehicles attacked by thugs

Sep 16 (SM) An armed gang of thugs have attacked the motorcade of UPFA Central provincial council election candidate, former Appeal Court judge Mr. Warawewa at Mahaiyawa yesterday around 10.00 pm. Mr. Warawewa has said that it was UPFA MP Lohan Ratwatte who led the attackers of his motorcade and that the thugs had come in Defender Jeeps belonging to the PSD. Mr. Warawera has said that while they were more..

SL officials welcome first group of Hajis

Sep 16 (AN) The first Haj flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims was welcomed by Sri Lankan Ambassador Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, Consul General Adambawa Uthumalebbe and other Haj officials on Friday at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah. This year a total of 2,240 Sri Lankan pilgrims will perform Haj. On Saturday 175 pilgrims have arrived, 200 arrived on Sunday and the rest will arrive by Oct. 9 on flights by Sri Lankan more..

PC polls campaigns in full swing while violations abound

Sep 16 (ST) Over 4.3 million voters in the Central, North-Western and the Northern provinces will go to the polls on September 21 to elect representatives to their respective Provincial Councils (PCs). Of these, around 1.8 million are registered voters from the Central Province (CP), around 1.7 million from the North-Western Province (NWP) and around 714,000 from the Northern Province (NP). more..

CTSU renews call for 6% of GDP for education

Sep 16 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) urged the govt to allocate more funds to education from the upcoming budget, in order to enhance facilities in the rural schools. General Secretary of the CTSU, Mahinda Jayasinghe, presenting nine suggestions to enhance the education system in Sri Lanka, requested the govt to allocate 6% from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the education sector. more..

Report sought on soldiers who searched explosive packed LTTE truck

Sep 16 (Island) The Defence Ministry has called for a full report on the three soldiers who searched the lorry parked near the Kotahena police since 1996, after the detection of 120 kilos of TNT explosives secreted in its chassis last week. During the search of the vehicle 17 years ago, with the help of the army, 75.5 kilos of TNT were detected. The lorry had been parked close to the police station since February 1996. more..

Police officers replacing Dayasiri’s posters with Johan’s - CaFFE

Sep 16 (AD) The CaFFE says it has observed certain Kurunegala Police officers removing a certain UPFA candidate’s election posters and replacing them with the posters of another UPFA candidate. The election monitoring group says it has submitted a complaint to the Elections Commissioner regarding the incidents with photographic evidence. CaFFE says the photographs show police officers in uniform more..

Futility of dated economic categories

Sep 16 (CT) LSSP leader Tissa Vitarana has since the IMF began to underwrite economic policy described it as a trend to neoliberalism. More recently he has taken a harder stance: the PBJ-Basil-Amunugama-Mahinda economic model, drafted in consultation with the IMF, is a substantial, if not wholesale capitulation to neoliberalism. I can’t recall public domain pronouncements by Tissa, but it is no secret that he has argued this position forcefully in the LSSP Central Committee more..

Black July: Ranil Wickremesinghe, Gonalwela Sunil and The Kelaniya University

Sep 16 (CT) What follows is an account of an early combined use of the JSS and private thugs in a prolonged and systematic use of intimidation and violence. The UNP had been building up the JSS as a violent arm from about two years before the 1977 elections. Non-party persons employed at its HQ Sri Kotha in Colpetty knew that something sinister was going on. They were not allowed to look into the backyard of the HQ. However, they came to know that outsiders were being more..

WikiLeaks: ‘Gota uses my name to threatening people’

Sep 16 (CT) “Although the GSL has consistently denied supporting Karuna, on April 16 the AP’ South Asia Bureau Chief Matthew Rosenberg (strictly protect) allowed PolOff to listen to tapes of his interview with Gothabaya. The Defense Secretary was effusive in his praise for Karuna and the benefits the GSL has obtained from Karuna’s rise.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The Colombo Telegraph found more..

Nearly 2000 cop transfers on the cards

Sep 16 (Island) A senior police officer said that by next January around 2,000 policemen, serving in different police stations, would receive transfers irrespective of their rank. He said the transfers were due to there being indiscipline among officers who had served at a particular police station for a long period. Some of them had either directly or indirectly engaged in illegal activity such as organised crime, bribery and some were alleged to have been involved in killing of people as well, he said. more..

Wheat flour price can be reduced

Sep 16 (CT) Colombo Wholesale Traders’ Association (CWTA) has revealed that a kilo of wheat flour can be sold at Rs 85, which is Rs 19 less than the current market price. Addressing a media conference held yesterday, President of the CWTA, K. Palaniyanam, pointed out the price of wheat flour has gone down in the world market, but Sri Lankan consumers have not received the benefit. At present, the market price of a kilo of wheat flour is Rs 104. He noted the price of more..

Video: Pillay’s comments on DS statue must be taken up in Geneva: UNP

Sep 16 (DM) The UNP said the Sri Lankan Govt should express its views on the statement made by the UNHRC Chief on the statue of late Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake and the Buddhist flag, which are at the Independence Square, during the ongoing UNHRC sessions in Geneva. “Govt has done little or nothing to condemn what UNHRC Chief said about the statue of late Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake and the Buddhist flag. more..

Sri Lankan-Born Student Wins HR Award Defending Israel

Sep 16 (INN) Media watchdog group Honest Reporting, which monitors biased reporting on Israel, has announced the winner of this year’s $2000 Blankfeld Award for Media Critique: Sri Lankan-born Timon Dias, who grew up in the Netherlands and is a Clinical Psychology Masters degree student at Leiden University. His winning articles were all published in the Jerusalem Post and impressed the staff of Honest Reporting above all of the other candidates. more..

Sinhalese Buddhist radicals attack Protestant church

Sep 16 (AN) Tensions are rising in Sri Lanka because of the violence perpetrated by some radical Sinhalese Buddhists groups against Christian communities, whom they accuse of engaging in "forced conversions" and of trying to "destroy" Buddhist culture. The latest incident occurred on 8 September when a group of fundamentalists attacked the Pentecostal Church of the Living Water in Meegoda, a village near Colombo. "The attack was unmotivated," more..

Election monitor accuses TNA of violating laws

Sep 16 (Island) Local elections monitoring organisation, the CaFFE, yesterday accused the TNA, too, of using property, including vehicles, of TNA controlled local government bodies in the Northern Province for the party’s election campaign. CaFFE Executive Director Keerthi Tennakoon said that using State property for campaigning was a violation of election laws but it was a common occurrence in every provinces. more..

'TNA racist, now casteist'

Sep 16 (DN) A majority of TNA supporters are being marginalised by the TNA leadership for being ‘low caste’ and they have started leaving the party in droves, many leaders of local government bodies controlled by the TNA stated yesterday. These local government leaders said the TNA has allocated only two seats for so called ‘low castes’ in the nomination list for the NPC election, although they (‘low castes’) constitute over 50% of the population in the peninsula. more..

LPBOA questions NTC’s authority

Sep 16 (CT) The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) is planning to file a petition in the Court of Appeal this week, challenging the authority of the National Transport Commission (NTC) to decide on bus fare increases. President of the LPBOA, Gemunu Wijeratne, said if the NTC has the sole authority to increase the bus fares, it will have to prove that before the Court. However, Chairman of the NTC, Roshan Gunawardena, earlier said the AG’s Department more..

Govt. keen to build roads to collect commissions – Ranil

Sep 16 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the govt showed an unusual enthusiasm to build or repair road network in the country not to develop infrastructure but to pocket commissions. Addressing a UNP propaganda rally, at Kuliyapitiya, the he said: "We have nothing against constructing roads. Why is the govt over exploiting the masses with these development projects? more..