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521 election complaints received, drawback for free & fair election – NEM IHR

Sep 16 (LT) It is doubtful whether a free and just election for the three provincial councils could be held when considering the incidents that have taken place in the post election period says the Executive Member of the ‘Network for Election Monitoring’ of the Intellectuals for Human Rights-Sri Lanka (NEM IHR) Senior Lecturer Upali Pannilage. Mr. Pannilage said a large number of complaints regarding the illegal use of state assets and state power were recorded in a pro-election study more..

Anti-piracy ops: SL ready to play a bigger role

Sep 16 (Island) Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) completed the first ever anti-piracy training module, conducted for personnel involved in performing onboard security duties, attached to the Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Ltd (RALL), last Friday. An SLCG spokesman said: "On identifying the importance of improving the professionalism of personnel involved in providing onboard security for merchant vessels, a specially designed training programme was conducted for 47 newly recruited personnel more..

Video: TNA politicians fixated on putting cyanide capsule around future generation

Sep 16 (AD) The TNA is fixated on ensuring that the future Tamil generation will also wear a cyanide capsule around their necks and head to the grave, Minister Wimal Weerawansa stated. Speaking at a press conference held today, he said that the old Tamil politicians are adamant on mobilizing the youth in the North through another Prabhakaran. He claimed that TNA Chief Ministerial candidate C.V. Vigneshwaran had studied, more..

Lankan refugees turning to South Korea

Sep 16 (DM) Sri Lankans have been identified as one of the three main nationalities who have sought refugee status in South Korea in 2012, the YaleGlobal reported. “Between 1994 and 2003, South Korea received only 251 refugee applications from non-North Koreans. That number jumped to 1,143 in 2012 -- with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal being the three most common countries of origin,” it said. It also said that, as South Korea becomes more developed and better-known, more..

SL fish exporter starts EU marketing unit

Sep 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka-based Tess Agro Plc, an exporter of sea fish said it had set up a marketing unit in Belgium to gain direct access to the European Union and better prices. The key markets of the firm are the EU, US and Japan. "The company has opened a branch in Belgium to expand its presence in the EU," chairperson S F Fernando told shareholders in the annual report. "The European Branch will open the door to new opportunities to improve the margins and stabilize prices more..

Sacked Sri Lanka chief justice in court for graft charge

Sep 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka Monday brought criminal charges of corruption against former chief justice Shirani Bandaranayake whose sacking earlier this year was internationally criticised as a blow to judicial independence. Bandaranayake, the country's first female head of the judiciary and the first judge to be impeached, was brought before a Colombo magistrate who impounded her passport and scheduled a more..

Woman rescued from a Saudi home after 16 yrs

Sep 16 (E24|7) The Sri Lankan Embassy in Saudi Arabia had taken steps to rescue a woman, who had been in detention at a Saudi home for 16 years, after arriving in the country for employment. Her employer in Saudi had alleged to have kept her in detention after she left the island nation 16 years ago for employment. Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau’s Deputy General Manager Mangala Randeniya said that a special investigation would be initiated about the incident. more..

Plantation industry in fresh land ownership battle

Sep 16 (DM) Sri Lanka’s troubled plantation industry is facing fresh threats in the form of eroding land ownership rights, according to the outgoing Planters Association Chairman, Lalith Obeysekera. Speaking at the 159th Annual General Meeting of the association, Obeysekera alleged that plantation companies were losing ownership of property rightfully belonging to them by way of false deeds and documents subsequently ratified by Sri Lankan courts. “Returning land which rightfully more..

'Govt. makes more false promises to people that suffered for 30 years'

Sep 16 (LT) Making false promises to the people who suffered for thirty years due to the war is a regretful situation says JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. Speaking to media in Vavuniya today. He said, “We commenced our election campaign requesting people in the North to bring victory to the JVP to establish national unity. At this moment the election campaigns are coming to an end you would realize that this request is very justifiable. more..

GTF throws its weight behind TNA

Sep 16 (Island) The UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has urged the Tamil electorate to throw its full weight behind the TNA to ensure its victory at the forthcoming Northern PC polls. Pointing out that the GoSL agreed for the Sept 21 polls under heavy international pressure, the GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran told The Island yesterday that Tamils the world over would work for the TNA’s victory. The following is the full text of a statement issued by Surendiran on behalf of the GTF: more..

NPC election violence: CMEV update

Sep 16 (CT) The Center for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV) has noted five incidents of polls related violence in the Northern Province, between Sept 13 and Sept 15. The Polls monitors report that TNA supporters had been questioned by the CID and at least four arrested for distributing leaflets. Another report states that in Chavakachcheri an unidentified group had accosted a group of TNA supporters and beaten them with polls. The monitors also report that agricultural cultivations more..

Dredging allows Oluvil port to dock bigger ships

Sep 16 (DT) President Rajapaksa said development goals cannot be achieved by opening old wounds or by digging for dirt. The President was addressing the gathering after commissioning the newly constructed Oluvil commercial port and fisheries harbour and ice manufacturing plant yesterday. The harbour project was constructed at a cost of Rs.7,000 million. He further added that the newly constructed Oluvil harbour is the more..

CJ’s passport was impounded, hundreds of lawyers were seen in tears

Sep 16 (CT) Over 300 lawyers gathered outside the Chief Magistrate Court today to welcome the De Jure Chief Justice, when she came to the court answering summons. The Bribery Commission had instituted action against her on the basis that she had not disclosed two bank accounts in her asset declarations. Counsel for the Chief Justice pointed out that those two accounts didnot have any funds and therefore were not assets. It was also pointed out that the CJ, who was controversially more..

'Separate state idea is dead'

Sep 16 (CG) TNA Chief Ministerial Candidate C.V. Wigneswaran says the idea of a separate state had died with end of the LTTE. He says the TNA never stood for a separate state and even now the party is targeting a solution within a united Sri Lanka. “The LTTE said to divide the country and have a solution. We are saying within one country to have a solution but where the provincial councils has power over its area. We never spoke of separation. That is what the LTTE said and the LTTE is now dead more..

Japan to assist Sri Lanka's tourism industry

Sep 16 (MEA) Japan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi has assured that steps will be taken to further strengthen Japan-Sri Lanka bilateral relations which have been continuing with great success for a long time. He appreciated the progress Sri Lanka has achieved with Japan’s assistance in the areas of agriculture, industries, information technology and mass communications, power and water resources more..

Ode to a crusader, humanist and nightingale

Sep 17 (CT) Death is the greatest equalizer that ever paraded among mankind. With its enormous power and in the most unpredictable way it visits upon every human being with no prejudice or partiality. Its final blow extinguishes the most promising flames; it could be the most eloquent of orators, the forward-march of an expectant people; a nation’s hopes and dreams… When death’s mysterious ways are hastened by the accompaniment of an inauspicious more..

Confrontations in store after polls

Sep 17 (NS) The Provincial Council (elections scheduled for next Saturday has already attracted wide interest and will be watched closely both locally and internationally. The poll will be a critical indicator of public sentiment, but for different reasons in the North and the South. About one third of the country or 4.4 million voters will go to the polls in the Northern, North Western (Wayamba) and Central provinces. It will also be the first ever provincial elections held in the North, more..

'Get onto the right track in politics'

Sep 17 (SO) The UPFA CPC candidate Anuradha Jayaratne is a dynamic youth contesting the upcoming PC polls in the Kandy district. Hailing from a political family as the son of an experienced politician and the current PM, D.M. Jayaratne, he is equipped with a series of fresh ideas to develop the Province. In an interview with the Sunday Observer, he said the Govt will not only obtain a majority in the Central Province more..

A Post-mortem on Navi Pillay’s visit

Sep 17 (CT) The JHU warned about the adverse impacts of Navi Pillay’s visit very much before her arrival. We challenged her credibility exposing her controversial past, citing authentic sources. A diplomat told me that if we had made our exposures about her past before her appointment as the High Commissioner for Human Rights, she would have most probably lost this prestigious post. Our criticism was not limited to Navi Pillay. It was directed at the UNHRC as well. more..

Sunila Abeysekera and the prerogatives of the displaced

Sep 17 (NS) Sunila Abeysekera, 61, passed away a few days ago. As in the case of all deaths, she is mourned by those who knew her best, friends and family. But Sunila was not just ‘friend’ and ‘family’. She was a political personality. This is why Human Rights Watch posted a short note acknowledging her ‘work’ and expressing sorrow. This is why those who stood with Sunila or found ‘comrade’ in Sunila for sharing views or sharing common enemy speak of her passing with sorrow. more..

TNA manifesto: Kumbam broken before Kumbaabishekam

Sep 17 (DBS) When Justice Wigneswaran was selected to be the Chief Ministerial Candidate for the North, I breathed a sigh of relief. Here was a man with so much in common with the two communities and personally known to me as an independent, impartial and intrepid judge, selected for a post that could have helped to integrate the nation much earlier, had the rulers been farsighted and agile. I believed that we were about to more..

Where ever in this miracle land, democrats should demand removal of NP governor

Sep 17 (CT) The present Governor of Northern Province, Major General (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri, a battle hardened high officer in the State security service was opposed in his capacity as Governor, not for his conduct, but because the high office of Governor should be held by a civilian, for civil administration to function as civil as it has to be. That opposition was on a principle democratic assumption and it applied to the Eastern Province Governor, Rear Admiral (Rtd.) Mohan more..

Assessing local governance in the northern province

Sep 17 (GV) In April 2013 Home for Human Rights (HHR) undertook a survey in the Northern Province. HHR hoped to accurately capture the opinions that the people have about the performance of their local govt bodies and locally elected officials. The survey looked at a range of topics including public services, projects, development and public participation. Sixteen local govt bodies were randomly selected to participate in this survey. In addition, the survey has been used to inform the public of their rights, more..

'Sri Lankan victory hard to replicate'

Sep 17 (SO) Sri Lanka militarily defeating a ruthless terrorist organisation is something that will be hard to replicate in the future, said Major General (Rtd) Ashok K. Mehta. “Because this was a very rare case where the international Forces, the regional Forces and the domestic Forces in another words Sri Lanka itself, were all on the same page,” he said. According to him, this concurrence of environment, capacities to defeat terrorism is more..

Media monitoring of Navi Pillay’s visit to SL

Sep 17 (GV) At the invitation of the Sri Lankan Govt, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Sri Lanka at the end of August in what was, in her words, “the longest official visit I have ever made to a single country”. Groundviews requested Selvaraj Rajasegar, a colleague at the Media Unit at the Centre for Policy Alternatives to, without going into too much of detail, assess the reportage around her visit and mission. This was done to test a hunch that more..

Dr. Gunaratne’s advice on conflict is more mythical than to reality

Sept 17 (CT) I got an opportunity to watch an interview of Dr. Rohan Gunaratne, an expert on international terrorism, telecast over Sri Lanka Rupavahini on 8th September 2013. I have seen him before when he disseminated his experiences and views. Strategical studies on conflict resolutions, especially on war ridden countries as well as regions have triggered this subject to be important subject in the world. This is now being taught as a subject in certain universities too. more..

Daily Mirror Video: Skit that shook SLC

Kelaniya: Act fast, avert crisis

Sep 17 (Island) Saturday’s goon attack on a student hostel of the Kelaniya University must be condemned by one and all. A gang armed with iron rods stormed the dormitory, located away from the campus, and damaged a section thereof and some vehicles parked in front of it before fleeing the scene. Thankfully, there was no bloodshed as the male undergrads did not react. But, they lost no time in forcibly occupying the sports pavilion of their university, as first thing the following day, more..

Sidestepping the issue that Navi Pillay raised

Sep 17 (Island) The country is heading towards provincial council elections in which the govt is the strong favourite in two of the three provinces where elections are to be held. The victory in war enables the govt leadership to have a strong hold over the larger number of voters in the country, who continue to be grateful that the govt succeeded in what once seemed impossible. But unfortunately, the govt has been unable to broad-base its political support to extend to the ethnic more..

Magistrate questions CB’s role in CIFL

Sep 17 (FT) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday questioned the Central Bank as to how CIFL finance company reached a position of dishonouring depositors if the Central Bank had supervised the activities of the finance company. Magistrate posed this question to the Acting Director of the Non Bank Finance Institutions of the Central Bank, when he informed Court that the Central Bank had continuously supervised the activities of more..

Kalhara, Nilani produce day’s best feats

Sep 17 (Island) Sailor Kasun Seneviratne and Sri Lanka Army athlete Nilani Ratnayake topped days performances in the men’s and women’s categories respectively while school athlete Amanthi Silva’s impressive feat in the women’s discus throw and return of men’s discus throw record holder Gayan Jayawardena were the other highlights on day one of the 91st National Athletics Championships at the Sugathadasa Stadium, in Colombo yesterday. The men’s 400 metres specialist more..

Microsoft Sri Lanka creates new opportunities for partners

Sep 17 (Island) Friday the 13th this month was a night of triumph for key players in the IT industry, who gathered at the Cinnamon Lakeside, Colombo to participate in Microsoft’s annual partner awards. Partners from both Sri Lanka and the Maldives were present at the event. For Microsoft Sri Lanka, it was an evening of celebrating longstanding relationships and strengthening ties with their wide reaching partner network. The Partner Awards was attended by Microsoft dignitaries more..

Uni of Colombo introduces diploma in shipping, transport & logistics management

Sep 17 (Island) Institute of Human Resource Advancement (IHRA) of the Uni of Colombo in partnership with the Shipping and Aviation Information Research Institute (SAIRI) and the Shippers’ Academy Colombo (SAC) for the first time has introduced a diploma in shipping, transport & logistics management for students who have completed A/L and for the industry professionals who possess experience in the field. more..

Accidents kill 6, injure 18

Sep 17 (CT) A father and daughter were among the six killed in three different road accidents that occurred early morning yesterday (16) at Nochchiyagama and Dambulla. Eighteen others also sustained injuries. According to the police, around 3:15 a.m., a lorry transporting ice had rammed into a private bus parked on the road near Galyaya, in Nochchiyagama. The bus had been on its way from Colombo to Jaffna, and the driver had parked the bus in order to take a break. more..

Paid sex not paid massage

Sep 17 (DM) Police arrested 18 women and a man during raids made on alleged brothel houses that were being run under the guise massage clinics in Thalangama, Pelawata , Thalawatugoda and Battaramulla areas. Thalangama police carried out the raid on complaints received from the public. The suspect women were produced before Kaduwela Magistrate and Addl District Judge Wasantha Jinadasa and released on personal bail of Rs.100, 000 each and the other suspect remanded. more..

PC Elections: Even rapists given nominations by UPFA - Eran

Sep 17 (Island) It was ironic that the govt had asked for the people’s votes once again, after many of its local level politicians had been accused or convicted of raping children and women, UNP MP Eran Wickremeratne said. He said that many UPFA Pradeshiya Sabha members and Chairmen had been either accused, charged in courts, or convicted of rape and in some instances of killing children and women, but some of them had been more..

Three CIFL Directors get bail on repayment assurance

Sep 17 (FT) Three Directors of the CIFL finance company who were summoned before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court for allegedly defrauding depositors by issuing dud cheques were released on bail after undertaking to pay back the depositors’ money. Three Company Directors – Don Joseph Douglas Jayatilleka, Ajith Prabath Samarasinghe and Premasiri Vithana – had been named as the suspects in three separate cases filed by the Slave Island Police, alleging that more..

PwC, SLAEA hold FSFE forum to aid sourcing strategies

Sep 17 (FT) PricewaterhouseCoopers Sri Lanka recently held a forum on ‘First Sale for Exporters’ in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association (SLAEA), targeted at CEOs and CFOs of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry. The forum aimed to provide the regulatory and transactional knowledge on the FSFE scheme. This included valuations, in order to enable exporters to relate its applicability to the Sri Lankan context. The forum also instructed and guided the participants as to more..

Harsha wants MR regime to come clean on casinos

Sep 17 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva urged the Govt to come clean on its overall stand on the casino industry, given the massive plans by private sector. “A well-regulated, licensed and taxed casino industry is recommended if the Govt wishes to promote casinos despite assurances to create a just and values-driven society. However, at present we have unregulated, unlicensed and untaxed casino operations,” he claimed. more..

Surti saris a hit at fabric expo in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (TOI) Surat's fabrics, including saris and dress materials, have received an overwhelming response from international buyers at the three-day India International Fabric Expo-2013 held at Colombo in Sri Lanka on September 8. For the first time, the Southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SG had set up a separate pavilion named 'Discover Surat' to display textile fabrics and designs from the city, including embroidery. Around 22 textile exhibitors from the city had more..