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'Krrish gets fifth commission induced extension on land lease rentals'

Sep 21 (Island) The UNP alleged that India’s Krrish Towers had been given a fifth extension on August 31, to settle the lease rental on the Fort land, it was to build on, because commissions running into hundreds of millions had been paid to influential persons. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake alleged that the Sri Lankan arm of Krrish had paid an official in the SEC, on behalf of certain big wigs in the govt, who were instrumental in more..

35% voter turnout recorded in Sri Lanka provincial council elections

Sep 21 (PTI) About 35 per cent of voter turnout was recorded in Sri Lanka’s Tamil majority Northern Province today for the first local polls in 25 years to elect a 36-member northern provincial council. The council will be for a five-year term to govern the former war zone, four years after the military defeated rebel LTTE. Voting at some 850 stations began on schedule at 7.00 am amid tight security to elect the first post-war provincial more..

Polling in Sri Lanka largely peaceful despite complaints of voter intimidation: monitors

Sep 21 (Xinhua) By midday polling in Sri Lanka's three provincial council elections were proceeding calmly for the most part despite 84 complaints on election violations, an official said here on Saturday. Of the 84 complaints 26 were from the crucial Northern Province where polls are being held for the first time in over 25 years. The elections are being intensely fought in the Northern Province with the main Tamil Party, the TNA pushing for more..

Is this brand of politics called Mahinda Modi ?

Sep 21 (CT) A much awaited and speculated decision was announced to the media in New Delhi on Friday 13th September, 2013, 06 months before the next Indian Lokh Sabha elections in 2014. With the decision made after much friction within the leadership, the controversial Narendra Modi got on stage in Rewari, Haryana, as the Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate, 2014. Former Indian army chief, General (Rtd.) V.K. Singh who was with the Hazare more..

Black July: Army prevented police from assisting prison victims under attack

Sep 21 (CT) In Chapter 8 we referred to the item in the Island of 12th June 1983 relating to proposed amendments to the PTA and the Criminal Procedure Code ‘in respect of terrorist suspects attempting to break jail or making a bid for freedom’. In the case of such a suspect being killed, a mere report to the AG’s department was to suffice. We argued that such a preoccupation, while Tamil suspects were being transferred from Panagoda army camp to Welikade prison, revealed, more..

NPC Election 2013: Communiqué No 8

Sep 21 (CT) CMEV has received complaints of a number of incidents on election day since polls opened at 7 am, including an assault, intimidation of voters, campaigning near polling stations and distribution of food items while canvassing. As of twelve noon there had been a moderate turnout in urban areas in Jaffna. However, CMEV has also received reports that there has been low turnout in other areas, including in more..

Let’s have a free and fair election

Sep 21 (CT) With three provinces set to go to the polls today, the fervent wish of every voter would be a violence free election process, which is also fair. But, given the recorded high incidents of election law violations and the accompanying violence, the latest of which was the attack on the residence of lone female candidate of the TNA in the North, this wish though reasonable, may well turn out to be just a fantasy. Sri Lanka obtained universal adult franchise in 1931 and since then there have been more..

An Australian son of Sri Lankan descent?

Sep 21 (CT) I first came to know about this story from a new friend, Sisira Weragoda, found through Colombo Telegraph. Then of course I read it. This is a fascinating story particularly for the Sri Lankans who grapple these days quite emotionally with the questions of identity. It is a true story written by the main protagonist, Gordon Matthews, but it could easily be read as a novel without unflinching interest. At the beginning it may be little tedious, but then until the end it is a fascinating story more..

21 demands from trade unions

Sep 21 (LT) Joint Trade Union Alliance has already submitted their demands through 21 proposals says its committee member Wasantha Samarasinghe adding that the proposals were submitted according to the invitation made by the Ministry of Finance requesting to submit proposals for the budget 2014. He said the proposals were presented on the base of critical economic situation faced by the public due to the frequent more..

Arundika and goons running amok in Wennappuwa - UNP

Sep 21 (AD) The UNP today accused UPFA MP Arundika Fernando of engaging in major acts of violence and intimidation within the Wennappuwa electoral division in Puttalam District on election day. As per information received, MP Arundika Fernando accompanied by gang of around 50 “armed thugs” is roaming throughout the electorate since 1.30am today, forcefully entering the residences of opposition activists, threatening them with guns and carrying out assaults, Tissa Attanayake said. more..

Kandy: Ancient capital of Sri Lanka, center for Buddhism

Sep 21 (CNTV) Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in 236 BC and soon became the national religion. For 2,500 years, Sri Lanka has been the Sukhavati, or an important center for Pure Land Buddhism. And the city of Kandy, the last royal capital of Sri Lanka, lies at its core.For more than 2,500 years, every day in Kandy has begun with Buddhist chanting at temples across the city. Every morning, noon and evening at The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, monks beat drums more..

70% turnout in Sri Lanka’s NPC polls

Sep 21 (DPA) The first local elections in 25 years closed in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province on Saturday with a high voter turnout, officials said. Voting at some 800 stations were completed on schedule to elect the first post-war provincial administration in the region dominated by the LTTE until their defeat in 2009. Over 70% of the voters in the northern province turned up for voting. More than 2,000 local and foreign observers more..

7000 kilos of coriander seized

Sep 21 (Island) The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) yesterday seized 7, 000 kilos of coriander unfit for human consumption from a warehouse in Grandpass. The condiment which had been imported from India had been discoloured and unfit for human consumption. However, it had been chemically treated with Sulfur dioxide and repacked. The stock had been prepared to be released to the market when the CAA raided the warehouse on a tip off received by the Ministry. more..

Foreign teams to study Kurugala prehistoric human remains

Sep 21 (DM) Bio-anthologists from the Oxford and Cambridge universities will arrive in Sri Lanka in November to enhance studies on the recently unearthed human skeletal remains from the Kuragala prehistoric site, the Archaeology Department said yesterday. Deputy Director of the department Dr. Nimal perera said a collaborative investigation would be carried out on the human remains with the support of scientists from the Oxford and Cambridge universities. more..

Arts Faculty Teachers to protest an unkind cut by VC

Sep 21 (Island) Colombo University Arts Faculty Teacher’s Union (AFTU) will protest to the Faculty Dean against the appointment of a junior lecturer as the head of the Demography Department, ignoring senior Prof. Lakshman Dissanayake’s application. Member of the AFTU and President of the FUTA Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that Prof. Dissanayake’s name was sent for the approval of the Vice Chancellor with more..

Gen. Fonseka calls on Malwatte prelate

Sep 21 (Island) Democratic Party (DP) Leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka on Thursday afternoon called on the Malwatte prelate and had a long discussion with him. While the discussion between Most Ven. Tibbatuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Mahanayake Thera and the Gereral was on, media personnel waited for the DP leader outside the Mahanayake Thera’s monastery. After the meeting with the prelate Gen. Fonseka met the media and said that he called on the prelate as more..

Humanitarian de-mining in Sri Lanka

Sep 21 (DoD) For approximately 30 years, Sri Lanka has been plagued with terrorism and civil unrest. Once habitable zones are now either wrought with devastation from the war, or littered with landmines. In the hopes to bring these locations to their former glory, the United States Armed Forces are training Sri Lanka soldiers in safely cleaning the countryside of landmines. This is perhaps one of the most interesting humanitarian efforts I have ever seen. Take a look. more..

Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority north votes in provincial polls

Sep 21 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Tamil-majority Northern Province and two other regions Saturday voted to elect three provincial councils, four years after the Tamil Tiger rebels were vanquished. Over four million people were eligible to vote in the Northern, North Western and Central provinces, the govt's news portal reported. Serpentine queues were seen in front of polling centres as hundreds of ethnic Tamils, young and old, cast their votes in more..

National Drug Policy finally ready to be approved by Parliament

Sep 21 (Island) The Attorney General had approved the National Drug Policy, which had been forwrded to him by the Legal Draftsman, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena revealed. Speaking at a ceremony to elevate the Galgamuwa district hospital to a Base hospital, he said he would hold a special and final discussion with the relevant authorities, on Sept 24, on the Policy before submitting it for Cabinet approval. He said that it took nearly two years to introduce the National Drug Policy. more..

CaFFE interim report on NPC election 2013

Sep 21 (ES) Establishing the NPC will be a historical landmark in Sri Lankan political history. Residents of the North go to vote on Sept 21, after the end of 30 years of war and nearly four years of post war reconciliation attempts. Noting that any election held in the Northern Province has a significant impact on establishing a civic administration in the highly militarised region, CaFFE has been campaigning for a free and fair election in the North since the end of the war in May 2009. more..

Cabinet Decisions

Sep 21 (DN) Diplomatic relations between Seychelles and Sri Lanka were established in 1988 and the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Pretoria is concurrently accredited to Seychelles. The President undertook a State visit to Seychelles in June and during the visit, the two leaders expressed their desire to broaden and deepen economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries. Some of the outcomes of the visit are - SriLankan more..

Kilali Lagoon Jetty opens for fishing

Sep 21 (DN) The Kilali Lagoon Jetty in the Kilinochchi High Security Zone was opened for fishing from September 18 on the direction of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. The Kilali lagoon jetty was closed for fishermen during the past three decades due to terrorist activities. It was opened for fishermen after discussions between Minister Senaratne and Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage. more..

Lankan nabbed in Kuwait

Sep 21 (DM) Hawalli patrolmen apprehended a Sri Lankan expatriate in Kuwait for possessing drug paraphernalia, reports Al-Seyassah daily. In line with directives from Hawalli Security Chief Brigadier Ghloum Habib, officers on patrol duty nabbed the suspect when he tried to escape on foot after securitymen asked him to show his civil ID. During arrest, the officers checked a black bag he was holding and found sensitive scale and drug substance wrapped in white paper. more..

Pay to enter Colombo city limits: CMC

Sep 21 (DM) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is gearing to charge a fee from those who visit the Colombo City from other places of the Country. The Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil told journalists that the council is looking toward to include this proposal in its next budget. However he said the proposal is still being discussed at the administrative level. Muzammil said the CMC will have to seek the support of more..

Young couple commits suicide

Sep 21 (Island) Two young lovers yesterday committed suicide by jumping into the sea from a bridge near the Pigeon Island in Matara. Deceased were identified as 19-year-old Mohamed Asram of Matara and Kanishka Dewanthi Wickrema Seneviratne of Galle. Police investigations revealed that Asram had jumped into the sea following an argument and Kanishka had followed him. The Matara police said that they had jumped into the sea at approximately 11.00 a. m. off the bridge more..

South Korea-Sri Lanka art exhibition promotes cultural, bilateral ties

Sep 21 (Island) An art exhibition aimed at promoting cultural and bilateral ties between the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka was held in Colombo recently. It was organized by the Korean National University of Arts and the University of Visual & Performing Arts, Sri Lanka. The exhibition held at the JDA Perera Gallery in Horton Place, Colombo 7, featured young Korean and Sri Lankan artists whose works highlighted the close cultural, historic and friendly ties between the two countries. more..

Three shooting incidents reported as polling ends in Sri Lanka

Sep 21 (Xinhua) Polling has ended in a tumultuous election in Sri Lanka that saw three shooting incidents and a total of 84 complaints reported to monitors, officials said here on Saturday. The largest share of election violence was reported from the Northern Province where elections are being held for the first time in 25 years after a brutal three-decade war ended in 2009. At least seven people were also injured when an unidentified group fired into more..

NPC must live up to its expectations

Sep 22 (SO) With yesterday's elections to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC), Sri Lanka has set up its ninth Provincial Council. Following the Supreme Court order to demerge the Northern and the Eastern Provinces, two separate Provincial Councils had been set up to replace the former North-Eastern Provincial Council which was established way back in 1987 after the then J.R. Jayewardene-led Government introduced the Provincial Council system in the country. more..

Fallout of Provincial Council elections

Sep 22 (SL) Whatever good or bad consequences elections result in, they often do result in deeply polarised electorates. Today, as voters in the three provinces reflect on the election results, the winners will feel triumphant and the losers will feel bitter. That is the feeling of the average Sri Lankan voter, like many in developing countries. In more advanced countries, that are invariably affluent, elections are not taken as seriously except by those who are deeply involved in the electoral process. more..

'Govt will not brook racism'

Sep 22 (SO) Minister Wimal Weerawansa said the majority of the people accept the fact that the country has moved forward rapidly after President Rajapaksa assumed office in 2005. He said there may be shortcomings and various requirements to be fulfilled, but the country has entered the path of progress. The people are confident despite any international pressure, that the President or more..

Towards better elections

Sep 22 (NS) When the first provincial council elections were held on April 28, 1988 hundreds were killed. The JVP in its Deshapremi Janatha Vyaparaya avatar decreed that the first to cast his or her vote in each and every polling station was ‘fair target’. Emerging from the fires that engulfed the country and its youth towards the end of the eighties and clothed with a democratic new-look, the JVP, in time, actually contested the PC elections. That’s another story, however. more..

A foregone conclusion?

Sep 22 (Island) The results would be trickling in or may already be declared when you read this and you will know whether the pundits were right – that the UPFA took the North Western and Central Provinces and the TNA won in the North. Be that as it may, we repeat what we have always held, that the Provincial Councils are a huge white elephant foisted on the people by President J.R. Jayewardene whose arm was twisted by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India to satisfy more..

'PC poll held amidst thuggery, intimidation'

Sep 22 (SL) While accusing the government for allowing the defence machinery to create a fear psychosis amongst the Tamils in the Northern Province, TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that his party will inform the international community as to how the NPC Election was held amidst thuggery and intimidation. In an interview prior to the elections, he said that he would not expect a free and fair more..

Finance Companies: The same old story

Sep 22 (ST) That this country has suffered several rounds of finance company collapses is a published fact. Each time one falls, and thousands of families are left in the lurch, the role of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), which purportedly regulates these institutions, comes under intense scrutiny. Industry experts have repeatedly highlighted the weaknesses of the non-banking financial sector, as it is called. Shortcomings in the CBSL’s regulatory function have been dissected, more..

Playing smart on all teams

Sep 22 (ST) My Dear KP, I am writing to you because I believe you must be the luckiest man alive and I would like to know the secret of your success. Why, just the other day, I saw a picture of you walking with Kings-rubbing shoulders with Mahinda maama, no less, while he was touring the North for the election campaign! I am also a bit confused by all this, KP and would like to know exactly what your status is. What we all know is that you are a terrorist. Some tell me that you are in ‘protective more..

'Large scale misuse of public property'

Sep 22 (SL) Despite having lost 27 successive elections, including three presidential elections and suffering severe setbacks in the UNP vote base, the UNP is positive of gaining on their vote percentage and even gaining victory in certain areas especially in the Central Province at the just concluded Provincial Council elections. In an interview regarding the overall election campaign, UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake more..

Tiger turned pussycat KP paints TNA black

Sep 22 (NS) All propaganda activities for the PC elections which concluded yesterday ended on Wednesday at midnight. The ruling party; the UPFA held its final election rally in Kandy on Wednesday under the patronage of President Rajapaksa while the UNP had its final rally in Wennappuwa under the patronage of Opposition and party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Over 4.35 million of voters had been registered to vote in the three provinces for which 126 political parties more..

From the Floor: Spotlight on private members’ motions

Sep 22 (NS) Copies of the latest Addendum to the Order Book of Parliament sent by its Secretary General have been delivered by Domestic Express Mail of the Postal Department to the addressees last week. The Addendum has listed 120 entries of Private Members’ motions.  There are 111 by the UNP; 57 by MP Buddhika Pathirana, 51 by MP Ravi Karunanayake, 3 by MP Ajith P. Perera while two National List UPFA members Ruwan Ranathunga and AHM Azwer having 2 and 7 respectively. more..

'People unable to vote in a free and fair manner'

Sep 22 (SL) The entire election structure is wrong as it does not allow the voter to cast his vote in a free and independent manner. The ruling party always utilises the state resources and personnel to their advantage and also to instill fear in the voters and gain advantage, says Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP. He says that today, although there are severe anti govt sentiments among the majority of the people, when it more..

C.V.Wigneswaran as an M.Tiruchelvam

Sep 22 (Island) By the time this column is read on Sunday morning, the results of the Northern, Wayamba and Central Provincial Council elections would have been declared. Nobody was expecting any surprises at this election. The TNA will win in the north and the UPFA will win in Wayamba and the Central province. The only thing of any interest to anybody will be whether Dayasiri Jayasekera or Johan Fernando gets the highest number of preference votes and the percentage wise more..