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Sri Lanka raised again at UNHRC

Sep 17 (CG) The situation on Sri Lanka was raised for a second week today at the at the 24th regular session of the UNHRC in Geneva. The United States (US) and Germany raised concerns on Sri Lanka when the topic on countries that require the attention of the Council was discussed. The US delegation said that the Sri Lankan govt must set visit dates and provide access for relevant Special Rapporteurs. more..

Canada to have new laws for Lankans

Sep 17 (CG) Canada is to introduce the biometrics requirements for several countries including Sri Lanka from the end of this year. Under the system, travellers must submit their fingerprints and photos when applying for a Canadian visitor, student or work visa. Starting Oct. 23, travellers from Albania, Algeria, Congo, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Tunisia must submit the biometrics information while from Dec 11 it will apply to SL and several other countries. more..

Rudra wants a separate state

Sep 17 (CG) A former member of the LTTE peace negotiating team and now self-proclaimed prime minister of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) Visvanathan Rudrakumaran says the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) must push for self-determination for the Tamils. He says it is clear that the TNA will become victorious at the forthcoming Northern Provincial Council (PC) elections and through it send a message to the world that Tamils wish to be ruled by themselves. more..

Attempts to interfere says G.L

Sep 17 (CG) The government today said that some countries are attempting to interfere in Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs by creating discord between the government and the public. Minister G.L. Peiris said that before a country interferes in another country, the background for that is created. He said that the main tool used to interfere is distancing the public from the leader and the govt of that country. more..

PNM files petition in SC

Sep 17 (CT) Founder of the Patriotic National Movement, Dr. Gunadasa Suriarachchi Amarasekera, yesterday filed a petition in the Supreme Court, seeking an Interim Order, that the Elections Commissioner suspends the Provincial Council election to elect members for the NPC, scheduled to be held on 21 Sept. Secretary of the ITAK and General Secretary of the TNA, Mavai Senathirajah, President of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, and the Commissioner of Elections, more..

No conditions from India-GL

Sep 17 (DM) While claiming that all Commonwealth member countries except Canada and India have confirmed the participation of their heads of government at the November CHOGM, Sri Lanka today dismissed as speculation the suggestion that India had made three conditions if it was to ensure the participation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “I can assure you that all member countries will participate at the CHOGM,” External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris said. more..

Govt. has no right to question UNP/TNA relations – UNP

Sep 17 (DM) The UNP today said, the Government had no right to question the UNP’s relationship with the TNA because the Govt was directly interacting with former LTTE personnel without taking legal action against them. “TNA is a political party in the Parliament and also represents the party collective of ‘Vipakshaya Virodaya’ with UNP. But the Govt is interacting with personnel from a banned terrorist group without taking more..

Pickup truck robbed six months ago used in campaign

Sep 17 (Island) A pickup truck robbed in the Halgampitiya area about six months ago was taken into custody by the Nittambuwa police on Sunday, while it was being used in its area once again. The vehicle was robbed on the Veyangoda-Kalagedihena Road on March 29. The owner reported the robbery to Veyangoda, Welikada, and Boralesgamuwa police stations, but there was no breakthrough till a relative of the owner spotted it again in the Nittambuwa area on Sunday more..

Pillay’s request to remove D.S. Senanayake statue was govt. lie - UNP

Sep 17 (AD) The UNP today claimed that the government had lied about UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay’s request to remove the statue of D.S. Senanayake from the Independence Square in Colombo. UNP denied the media reports of this request while stating that a Spokesperson for Pillay had confirmed that no such request had been made. UNP General Secretary MP Tissa Attanayake stated that the UNP os handling the statue of Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister placed at the more..

Prime Minister has issued letters to clear the drug container

Sep 17 (SM) The drug lords who tried to smuggle in 261 Kilos of Heroin from Pakistan concealed inside grease cans, had made a desperate attempt to get the container cleared from the Port of Colombo through PM D.M. Jayaratne, Mirror hears. The racketeers had even sent orders to Sri Lanka Customs, through secretaries, under official letterheads of the PM and his son. One such order has demanded to reduce the VAT more..

Long outlawed elsewhere, lead based paint still sold in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (NS) Center for Environmental Justice (CEJ) is expected to release a damning report on September 25 on how local traders have been flouting a gazette order limiting the amount of lead in paints. Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) published a Gazette order in September 2011 regulating permissible maximum lead content in paints and accessories. It was put into force this January however the CEJ revealed that the authority has shown callous indifference to uphold the law. more..

Thamil people want fundamental rights not development meant largely for the military

Sep 18 (CT) The Northern Provincial Council (NPC) election is only a few days away. The election to the NPC is being held after a period of 25 years. The previous election was in 1988. The Provincial Council (PS) system under 13th Amendment is in force from 1988. It was the by-product of the of the Indo-Ceylon Agreement singed between Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President J.R. Jayewardene in 1987. The key features in the Indo – Ceylon Accord are as follows: more..

'TNA tries to win LTTE demands'

Sep 18 (SO) Deputy Minister and NFF member Weerakumara Dissanayake in an interview referring to the TNA-UNP alliance said the UNP had singed pacts with even terrorist leaders during desperate times. He called on all moderates to realise the danger of the TNA's attempt to equate the Provincial Council (PC) polls to a referendum, seeking land, police powers and the merger of the North and the East to more..

What is an economic migrant?

Sep 18 (GV) The govts of Sri Lanka and Australia have recently reached an agreement over how to define the flow of undocumented migrants between these two countries. Both govts seem to agree on the benefits of using the category of “economic migrant” to refer to the thousands of young people who board small vessels to sail the long and dangerous journey to Australia in the hopes of reaching its shores safely. Sri Lanka would rather acknowledge the dearth of opportunities that more..

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka: Some significant issues

Sep 18 (EAR) Unless and until anyone can prove that ethnic animosities between the Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus had prevailed throughout Sri Lanka’s history there is no compelling need to use uncritically western concepts such as ‘reconciliation’. The Govt and people of Sri Lanka must be warned of embracing ideas that have had origin in western settler countries to meet contingencies that were peculiar to their societies and irrelevant to older countries with more..

MHM Ashraff: Demise of pioneering SLMC leader has created political vacuum

Sep 18 (DBS) The tragedy of Sept 16, 2000 involving an MI-17 helicopter of the SLAF above the Urakanda mountain range in the Aranayaka area in Kegalle district of Sabaragamuwa province resulted in the death of a dynamic political leader of the island – Cabinet Minister M.H.M. Ashraff. Along with him were killed 14 others including crew members, security personnel, personal staff and political supporters. more..

Has Sri Lanka gone off road to happiness?

Sep 18 (NS) Three Northern European countries taking top slots in the United Nation’s list of world’s Happiest Nations leaves Sri Lanka wondering why it is rated below par at 137th given that the island nation is one of the world’s most safest and terrorist free nations at present. The majority of Sri Lankans is Buddhist and its culture is deep-rooted in wholesome values. The Sri Lanka tourism market attracts foreigners who make a habit to revisit this island. more..

Politics – and life – in a familiocracy

Sep 18 (CT) What happens when arrogance weds ignorance? Last week the CT reproduced two entries from the Twitter account of Namal Rajapaksa. The First Son talks about electioneering in the North, in the company of brother Yoshitha. As a junior naval officer, Yoshitha Rajapaksa is barred from engaging in politics. Is Namal Rajapaksa ignorant of this? Or is it arrogance, because he knows that laws are irrelevant to him and his kind? On a scale of things, Yoshitha more..

How President Rajapaksa captivated the hearts of Tamil children at Sencholai

Sep 18 (DBS) September 14th 2013 was a red letter day for the people of Kilinochchi as the “Yarl Devi” Train streamed into Kilinochchi after many years on that Saturday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself was on board the train as a special passenger during the 35 minute journey of the “Yarl Devi” from Omanthai. He had earlier ceremonially declared open the new phase of the train from Omanthai to Kilinochchi. more..

Economic Development Ministry issues statement

Sep 18 (FT) In a statement the Economic Development Ministry said a propaganda campaign has been launched to tarnish the image of graduate trainees, Economic Development Officers and Officers employed under the Economic Development Ministry, Samurdhi Managers and Samurdhi Officers employed by the Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority affiliated to the Ministry, alleging that they are engaged in political campaigning thus violating election laws. more..

TNA manifesto is not secessionist but it unlocks the door for secessionism

Sep 18 (DBS) The TNA manifesto is not secessionist. It does however unlock the door and keep it ajar for secessionism. I do not know whether Mr Sumanthiran ever bowled spin for my father’s old school, Royal College, but he is certainly doing so for his party the TNA and the Tamil nationalist project. The TNA is not a secessionist party, but as the best informed and most authoritative commentator on Tamil politics DBS Jeyaraj has revealed, it has not broken with the more..

Sri Lanka holds policy rates, says lending rates easing

Sep 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank kept its policy rate band at 7% and 9% saying lower pressure from the state budget deficit is expected to bring down lending rates further. "Continued fiscal consolidation efforts by the govt and greater financial discipline of public corporations are expected to reduce the public sector's reliance on banks, thereby passing the benefit of monetary easing to the private sector," more..

EAP entertainment and media firms go for Rs. 1.5 b listed debenture issues

Sep 18 (FT) EAP Holdings entertainment and media companies are planning to raise Rs. 1.5 billion via separate listed debentures issues and have obtained good rating from RAM. RAM Ratings Lanka has assigned EAP Broadcasting Company (EAPB), formally known as EAP Networks, respective long- and short term corporate credit ratings of BBB and P3. Concurrently, a long-term rating of BBB has been assigned to EAPB’s proposed Rs. 1 billion Secured Redeemable Debentures more..

The Rs. 147 m. was deposited as security, Brewery company says

Sep 18 (ST) McCAllum Brewing Company which has been renamed as Adrastos Beverages has written to the newspaper in reference to the article titled “Liquor giants’ licences renewed despite tax default,” published last Sunday. They say that the article states that there is a sum of Rs.147 million in “arrears” due by them to the Excise Department and that their liquor licence had been renewed despite such sum being in default. The Company states that the sum of approximately more..

Krrish scandal sets stage for a major shake-up at SEC

Sep 18 (ST) The Colombo Krrish Square scandal over alleged kickbacks received by a prominent official to secure the legal rights to develop the Transworks property at Colombo Fort is to claim its first victim setting the stage for a major shake-up in the country’s capital market regulator. The govt has taken a decision to replace the current Chairman of the SEC Dr Nalaka Godahewa whose name has figured in secret payments allegedly more..

Bartleet Religare Securities says JKH’s casino entry a game changer

Sep 18 (FT) The entry of John Keells Holdings (JKH) into the casino business via its $ 850 million mega integrated resorts would be “a game changer” and re-rate top blue chip’s valuations, according to Bartleet Religare Securities (BRS). “The JKH’s entry into the gaming led- USD 850mn mixed development project would be a game changer for the company and the economy as a whole. However, the raising of equity and the ensuing dilution makes JKH a pricy short to medium more..

Colombo to start talking tolls

Sep 18 (CT) A headline report in the Sunday edition of this paper revealed that the govt was contemplating taxing vehicles entering the precincts of the city of Colombo. While there were no details on the quantum of tax that is to be imposed, the report highlighted the proposal had been submitted by the CMC with a two-pronged objective – address traffic congestion in the city and increase the CMC revenue – and that the proposed levy is to be incorporated in next year's budget proposals. more..

CLT20: Hyderabad beat Kandurata

Sep 18 (CI) A century-stand between Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel, both of whom scored effortless half-centuries, and a late cameo by Thisara Perera helped Sunrisers Hyderabad cruise to an eight-wicket win over Kandurata Maroons. Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne also scored aggressive half-centuries to set up a strong target, but Kandurata's bowling and fielding crumbled against persistent attack from more..

‘Miracle of Northern Spring is real'

Sep 18 (DN) “The entire health system of the Northern province was completely destroyed during the war. The Northern Province has the best teaching hospital in the country now with seven base hospitals, 57 divisional hospitals and 102 curative medical institutions in the North,” Northern Province Presidential Task Force on Resettlement, Development and Security Secretary S.B. Divaratne said. The govt has been able to provide all facilities such as housing, electricity, more..

Bishop predicts TNA victory

Sep 18 (CT) The Catholic Bishop of Jaffna, Rt. Rev. Thomas Savuntharanayagam, while appreciating efforts to conduct the NPC polls, predicted the victory of the TNA at Saturday's poll. He made this observation when the Ambassador for the Netherlands, Louis W.M. Peit, met him at the Bishop's House on Monday. The discussions at the meeting had been extensive. The Netherlands' Envoy had also met govt officials as well as members of some civil society organizations. more..

Web of debt looms for Indian housing scheme beneficiaries

Sep 18 (Hindu) Vasanthakumar Thiruchelvi does not, even for a second, take her eyes off her two children. Even as she summons her daughter who is jumping over sand and cement heaped around their soon-to-be home, her son threatens to lift the tiles stacked nearby. “Now come here, it might fall on your leg,” she tells her son. “Building a home is a lot of work,” she smiles as she picks up her daughter. more..

Sri Lanka popular the Korean market as a key tourist hotspot

Sep 18 (GDI) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Korea in association with the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau organized Sri Lanka’s pavilion at the 16th Busan International Travel Fair (BITF) from the 6th to 9th Sept. BITF is the largest travel exposition in Busan, the second largest city in Korea after Seoul. Additionally, it attracts international and national tourism organizations including 430 local and foreign exhibitors representing 43 foreign countries, 14 of which are Asian nations. more..

How Sri Lanka's IT industry will reach USD 2 bn by 2020

Sep 18 (IW) In just four years there has been a lot of development in Sri Lanka in terms of infrastructure. Apart from roads and public services, its port and airports have also seen rapid development, attracting investment from economies such as China. But with a pool of highly-skilled, certified, English speaking professionals, Sri Lanka is now becoming a major destination for BPO, KPO and IT Services -- notably for financial accounting & analysis, offshore legal services, more..

Monetary Board gives thumbs up for economy

Sep 18 (FT) The Monetary Board at its September policy review meeting appears to have given the thumbs up for the economy, amidst challenging conditions. It kept the policy rates unchanged and indicated economic growth in 2013 could reach the targeted level of 7.5%, a level over which many had expressed doubts. Post September review meeting, the Central Bank said the economy expanded by 6.8% in real terms in the 2Q of 2013 more..

Japanese Education Seminar 2013

Sep 18 (GDI) Japanese Education Seminar 2013 will be held at the Galadari Hotel, on Saturday 21st Sep, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. This is the third successive seminar organized by the Embassy of Japan together with the Japanese Graduates Alumni Association of Sri Lanka (JAGAAS) and the Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICE) in order to assist students interested in obtaining an excellent university education in Japan that will become a launching pad for a bright future career. more..

65% of candidates declare assets

Sep 18 (CT) The Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) revealed 65% of the candidates in the PC election race have submitted declarations of assets and liabilities. The 21 September election will see 3,785 candidates contesting elections in the Northern, North-Western and Central Provinces. All the candidates of the UPFA and the JVP have submitted their assets declarations, while 95% of the candidates of the UNP and the TNA have submitted their declarations. more..

Sri Lanka paid another installment for land by India's Krrish: minister

Sep 18 (LBO) India's Krrish group has paid another installment for state land given to their project including interest for delays minister Lakshman Abeywardene said. At the time they were given the last extension the firm had paid 4,254.5 million rupees and another 150.8 million had been made recently. "They now have to pay 595 million rupees," he said. "And that includes 12% interest for delays." Krrish had said they will complete more..

Sri Lanka bags biggest metal haul in Spikes Asia Festival history

Sep 18 (FT) Sri Lanka last night won its biggest metal haul at the popular Spikes Asia Festival 2013 held in Singapore. Leo Burnett won a Silver for the best of magazine/newspapers in the media category for the Daily FT’s sister Sinhala paper Ada’s Unity Paper pullout and the Bronze for the best use of integration of offline media such as print, outdoor, etc., in the Branded Content and Entertainment category. This was also for the Unity Paper of Daily FT’s sister paper Ada. more..

Pilgrims banned from bringing fruits from India

Sep 18 (CT) The Quarantine Branch of the Department of Agriculture, Katunayake Airport (QBDAKA) has banned Dambadiva pilgrims returning from India from bringing fruits into the country. Additional Director of QBDAKA, S.C. Wanigasooriya said the reason for the ban is to avoid spreading a special kind of flies in Sri Lanka that destroy fruits. “That type of flies is already spreading in India,” he further said. People who violate this law can be persecuted more..

Komas staff charged for No Fire Zone screening

Sep 18 (MSN) On July 3, Komas program officer Ms Lena Hendry, Executive Director Mr Arul Prakkash and one of the Board of Directors Ms Anna Har were arrested during the screening of the film “No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka”. The film screening was raided by the KDN (Home Ministry), the Police and the Immigration Department. They were questioned for more than 3 hours on the night of 3rd July and released more..