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Sri Lanka's vote: A new chapter?

UK maintains travel advisory

Sep 22 (SL) The British Foreign Office has maintained a travel advisory on Sri Lanka warning British tourists of organised and armed gangs operating in Sri Lanka who have been responsible for targetted kidnappings and violence. The travel advice section which had been updated on Sept 12 has included information on the Commonwealth Summit to be held in Sri Lanka in November. However, a May 30 update has been retained in the travel advisory despite previous objections by more..

Sri Lanka navy arrests 20 TN fishermen

Sep 22 (PTI) 20 fishermen from this coastal town were arrested by Sri Lankan naval personnel when they were fishing in the Palk Straits early this morning. Assistant director of fisheries Gopinath said it was not immediately clear whether the fishermen were in Indian waters or had crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line when they were arrested. He said they had been lodged in the army camp in Mannar and were likely to be produced in court there tomorrow. more..

US wants independent probe on election violence

Sep 22 (CG) The US Embassy in Colombo called for a transparent and independent investigation into the various attacks during the NPC polls and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice swiftly. “We congratulate the people of Sri Lanka on their historic Provincial Council elections on Sept 21. The high turn-out and participation in all three of the provinces holding elections is a victory for the democratic process,” more..

'Nenasalas prove President wants all to benefit from ICT'

Sep 22 (Island) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says that President Rajapaksa is very keen that the benefits of ICT accrue to all. Speaking after inaugurating 21 new Nenasalas in the North recently, he said that the President wishes that every child develops his /her talents to the utmost. The Nenasalas set up island-wide, including the 21 in the North, are eloquent proof of this. "Every child irrespective of his place of birth, language spoken, religion practiced or any other such factor, more..

Northern comfort

Sep 22 (Economist) Firecracers at dawn and a few weary smiles. As Jaffna’s palm trees swayed in the wind, northern Tamils in Sri Lanka were celebrating cautiously on Sept 22nd. Their favoured party all but swept the board in provincial elections the day before. The TNA scooped up 30 of 36 contested seats. Municipal and other local elections have been held here since 2009, when Sri Lanka’s three-decade long civil war ended. But this was the biggest poll, a test of northern Tamils’ more..

New rules to protect Sri Lankan maids

Sep 22 (TOO) In an effort to ensure protection for its maids, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Muscat has said that they will be hired only if they get a no-objection certificate from their husbands or their relatives. The conduct of the husband, the number of infants and children, protection and education of children after their mother's arrival in Oman besides the age and health of the woman would be considered when issuing permission to go more..

Prof. Kotagama on places of interest off the beaten track

Sep 22 (LBT) The well-known specialist on Sri Lankan fauna and flora, Prof. Sarath Kotagama, is scheduled to present an insight into ‘Places Of Interest Off The Beaten Track In Sri Lanka’, during the ‘Hard Talk’ event organized by Bren Security, the Sri Lankan partner of the worldwide Securitas AB group on Thursday, at 8 Degrees On The Lake, Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event and it will be held under the patronage of Kris Van den Briel, more..

Wigneswaran’s sister asked not to vote for TNA

Sep 22 (CT) A group of men, who had visited the residence of the sister of TNA chief ministerial candidate, C.V. Wigneswaran, without being aware of her family connections, had cautioned her against voting for the TNA and Wigneswaran. A letter sent by Wigneswaran to Commissioner of Elections, Mahinda Deshapriya, stated that his own sister had been advised not to vote for the TNA by a group of men. The letter stated, “A group of men went to my sister’s house at Aanakottai in Jaffna more..

TNA victory in SL 'a verdict against Rajapaksa govt': D Raja

Sep 22 (PTI) Hailing the TNA's victory in provincial council polls in Sri Lanka as being "significant" one, CPI Leader D Raja today said "it is a verdict against the Rajapaksa govt". "It is a significant verdict given by Tamil people in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Primarily, it is a verdict against the Rajapaksa govt", Raja told PTI. "Now the Rajapaksa govt should own accountability for all it did to Tamil people," Raja added. more..

Pediatricians and Nutritionists mum over sponsorship issue

Sep 22 (NS) President, Sri Lanka College of Pediatricians, Dr. Srilal De Silva told The Nation that a complaint has been lodged with the Sri Lanka Press Council regarding The Nation’s lead story of September 8 (PediaPro purchases pediatricians). Dr. De Silva was initially not available for comment when The Nation sought his views prior to publication of our lead story (on sponsorship from Fonterra Brands Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., for the Annual Scientific Congress of the College). more..

Mahinda to meet Ban in US

Sep 22 (CG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who left this morning on a five-day visit to New Yorkalks with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the President’s office said. The President will also address the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), taking place at the UN headquarters in New York City. President Rajapaksa will participate in the general debate of the UNGA and is scheduled to speak on Tuesday. This is the sixth time the President is attending the UNGA. more..

'Ready to work with the State'

Sep 22 (CG) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Chief Minister elect C.V. Wigneswaran says he is ready to work with the govt to address Tamil issues. Speaking at a press briefing in Jaffna after the TNA won a landslide victory in the NPC polls, Wigneswaran said that in some areas the new council will need to work with the govt. “We are ready to work with the govt. That does not mean we are going to join the govt,” he said. more..

Karunanidhi hails TNA’s victory in Northern Province polls

Sep 22 (PTI) DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday hailed the victory of the TNA in the provincial council polls held after a gap of 25 years in the former Tamil Tigers-ruled Northern Province in Sri Lanka. “I welcome this victory. I hope the new government and its members will work hard for implementation of the 13th amendment to the Sri Lankan constitution as expected by the Tamils the world over,” Mr. Karunanidhi said. The TNA trounced the ruling UPFA coalition more..

Only SLAS officers eligible to be MC, complain councillors

Sep 22 (ST) Councillors of the Colombo Municipal Council charge that there is a move to appoint only Sri Lanka Administrative Service Officers for the post of Municipal Commissioner (MC). Councillor Mahendra de Silva said that previously the MC’s post was open for qualified persons and not limited to the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. “Former Municipal Commissioner Dr. Jayantha Liyanage was a medical doctor and V.A.Jayasinghe and Marasinghe Perera were qualified more..

Video: UNP didn’t lose election, the people did – Harin

Sep 22 (AD) The UNP stated that the voters had failed in their “responsibility” to send a strong message to the govt through the PC election, and that it was the people who suffered a loss and not the UNP. MP Harin Fernando stated that the in a way the public has failed in their “responsibility” to send a message to the govt and that at the same time the govt has once again managed to “deceive” the people during this election. more..

19% unemployment among 18-30 years age group including graduates

Sep 22 (ST) Unemployment is at 19% among youth between 18-30 years, said the Monitoring MP Mohan Lal Grero. He said that this is what the Govt has been focused on, as it indicates the country’s growth. “The reason for unemployability among youth is because we have failed to produce persons who are job ready. We have a large number of Arts graduates with only a very few able to secure jobs, because only a small number of them are required here,” Mr Grero said. more..

Severe water shortage looms in Jaffna

Sep 22 (ST) The first elections in Jaffna since the war ended was held yesterday with many political promises. However, experts point out a water shortage silently looming in Jaffna, that will affect the people beyond these political promises. The fact that Jaffna will face a severe water shortage in the future, if water extraction is not managed, has been revealed by a study done by Jaffna University’s Department of Agricultural Engineering. No river flows across the Jaffna peninsula. more..

One candidate costs Rs 10.5 M

Sep 22 (CT) The Department of Elections, though yet to finalize the total cost of the Provincial Council election, concluded, that electing 142 candidates for the Provincial Councils, would cost the govt a whopping Rs 1,500 million. Accordingly, the govt is spending approximately Rs 10.5 million to elect one candidate. Commissioner of Elections, said on an earlier occasion that costs for the PC elections would see an increase more..

Get Mahela and Kumar into administration

Sep 23 (SL) News last week that lightweight Zimbabwe had turned the tables on Pakistan in a Test and that recently retired England captain, Andrew Strauss, is favoured to be the next chief of the ECB must arouse both fear and envy among those with interest in Sri Lanka cricket at heart. First let’s look at what future implications the minnow’s achievement might have on our cricket. Beset by trouble and strife since the turn of this century, including its 2005-2111 banishment from more..

Casteeism at elections and ‘Jillmarts’

Sep 23 (SL) In the final stages of the election campaign for the NPC the state propaganda machines were throttling up on an issue that is usually not taken up, caste – at least openly. Heavy artillery was trained on the leadership of the TNA last week. This leadership, it was alleged, comprised entrenched ‘casteist and upper crust Tamil ‘Vellalas’ who were not representative of the ordinary people of the north. This election, it was hoped, would provide an opportunity for the overthrow more..

Kilinochchi agri business flourishes

Sep 23 (SO) Kilinochchi is where the most crucial battles took place during the war against terrorism. This was the most important ground for the LTTE. The LTTE leadership knew losing Kilinochchi would mean the first step towards its defeat. Liberating kilinochchi was a giant step by the army towards victory. Despite the gruelling battle then, there remains no physical scars of a battle against terrorism today. more..

The TNA Tsunami: Re-balancing the equation

Sep 23 (GV) The TNA victory has shown that Sri Lanka remains a functioning democracy; that it functions when there is competition; and that with or without the 17th amendment and even under the tightest military supervision, the govt can be electorally defeated. Having won the war, the Govt has lost the peace in the North (and earlier, parts of the East), while it continues to lead impressively in post-war politics in the more populous two- thirds of the island. more..

Living with ‘military’, Working with ‘military’ governor

Sep 23 (DBS) The much-awaited Northern Provincial Council (NPC) polls have come and gone. Much was said, over-said and unsaid when the Province was on campaign-mode. It is thus time that the Government at the Centre and the TNA revived the relative congeniality and mutual comfort that had marked their forgotten post-war negotiations. The latter’s relevance has increased, not decreased, since. Power-devolution and political solution have assumed more relevance. more..

Cinnamon Grand launches the Delicious Waste Chefs Competition

Sep 23 (Island) In a ground-breaking initiative, the Cinnamon Grand launched The ‘Delicious Waste Chefs’ Competition 2013’, a pioneering initiative in minimising food waste and encouraging creativity amongst Chefs, launched for the first time in Sri Lanka. As Colombo’s largest five star property, with 501 rooms and 13 restaurants, this was yet another example of Cinnamon Grand’s commitment to minimising food waste, more..

The Rajapaksas in the age of Kali

Sep 22 (CT) 2% in Sri Lankan politics isn’t many votes. That innocuous figure made Sri Lankan history – especially if you were Mahinda Rajapaksa back in 2005. So today we have President Rajapaksa and not President Wickremasinghe. Turn your time capsules back to 2005: here we have a Rajapske gingerly pieicing a coalition together – delicately keeping the Marxist JVP, the fascist JHU and UNP crossovers all purring contently in power. So demure was young President Rajapaksa more..

FDI essential for growth

Sep 23 (ST) The importance of foreign investment for the country’s economic development can hardly be over emphasised. This is particularly so as domestic savings are low. Foreign direct investments (FDI) are especially important as they have multiplier benefits for economic development. Higher amounts of FDI in manufacturing could make a vital difference to the country’s sustained economic growth and development as they are a means of increasing exports, employment more..

3D-169-Kerbi de Lanarol

Black July: Justice of Peace Gonawela Sunil and the killings in prison

Sep 22 (CT) If the prison murders were planned as we have argued they were, there would have been a need to identify and take into confidence a group of strategically placed prisoners, who would charge the rest with emotion and lead them forward when the signal was given. Rogers Jayasekere with the help of jail guards close to him could have identified prisoners. But RJ was not conspicuous for his power and influence. He was essentially a behind-the-scenes man. more..

Infatuation leads to death

Sep 23 (SO) She was in a yellow polka-dotted dress with her two braids of hair hanging on either side of her shoulders. Dayani was peering at the bookshelves filled with books. Books being her first love she loved to read and spend every spare moment reading. Dayani was a comely lass with sharp features. She was beautiful Her almond-shaped eyes were prominent because of the beauty spot on the tip of her chin. Dayani was moving from shelf to shelf glancing through the books more..

Vote for party, vote for family

Sep 23 (CT) The election for the three PCs made history as the election where the highest number of relatives of politicians contested. 18 close relatives of powerful politicians representing a number of parties were in the fray, to win a coveted position at the Councils, which may well be a stepping stone for greater things to come. JVP and the TNA were the only recognized parties that did not field relatives of serving politicians. more..

Editorial: Winners and losers

Sep 23 (Island) The PC polls have ended without surprises. The UPFA has won comfortably in the Northwestern and Central Provinces and the TNA has swept the polls in the Northern Province. The UNP and the JVP have lost as usual and Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s newly formed Democratic Party has got something to crow about. The Elections Commissioner says the polls were free and fair in spite of several incidents. The TNA has naturally become the centre of attention. more..

Welcoming the verdict of the Tamil people

Sep 23 (GV) The TNA has swept the polls in the North. More importantly, the Tamil people have voted courageously, convincingly, and clearly. It was an expected outcome, but as President Rajapaksa took off to New York, he would have known that numbers and statistics on paper, more than just mind-made presumptions, can have a very coruscating impact, that the numbers in this case do not lie; not in the ‘South’, and never in the ‘North’. The election to the NPC was not just a more..

NPC Citizens Peace Award to Weliamuna

Sep 23 (CT) The Citizens Peace Award was established in 2010 by the National Peace Council (NPC) to honour those Sri Lankan individuals in civil society who are resident in Sri Lanka and have stood up for the protection of and enforcement of human rights and fundamental rights when such rights are under threat and such action requires unusual courage and self-sacrifice to do so. Another criterion considers outstanding efforts to more..

Khazanah in fresh buying of JKH

Sep 23 (FT) Largest foreign shareholder Khazanah was seen picking up JKH shares on Friday. Via Broga Hill Investments, an arm of Malaysia’s sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional, it had bought around 400,000 JKH shares for Rs. 90 million. On Friday 1.37 million JKH shares traded for Rs. 296 million with the share price closing at Rs. 218, up by Rs. 6 from Wednesday’s closing. Last week 8.5 million JKH shares traded for Rs. 1.8 billion. It closed the week with a gain of Rs. 8.30. more..

Sri Lanka ‘TOC’ launched

Sep 23 (Island) Symbolizing a new era in the maritime, aviation & logistics industry in Sri Lanka, the Shippers’ Academy Colombo, a pioneering academic institution that conducts prestigious quizzes as part of its academic calendar, launched the Terminal Operators’ Cup (TOC) for the international trade, logistics & transport challenge quiz, to mark the opening of the South port of Colombo and the other new infrastructure that has been built to support the international trading more..

UNP on a character assassination campaign

Sep 23 (CT) The head of a website is alleged to have been offered Rs 3 million to tarnish the image of Dayasiri Jayasekara, the former UNP MP, who joined the UPFA and contested the just concluded NWPC polls. The trashing of Jayasekara’s reputation in a number of websites in the run up to the polls is attributed to this mudslinging endeavour. However, sources point out the websites have reversed course and more..

Coast Guard detains two Lankan boats

Sep 23 (TOI) The Coast Guard apprehended two Sri Lankan fishing boats which were fishing 163 nautical miles off Chennai. Around 12 Sri Lankan nationals who were on the boats have been detained. A statement from the Coast Guard said that the boats Chejana 11 and Chejana 9 with 750kg catch onboard were escorted to Kakinada and the fishermen were handed over to the local police on Sunday. The Coast Guard had apprehended six Sri Lankan fishing boats with 32 crew members more..

156 election related arrests till yesterday

Sep 23 (Island) 156 persons had been arrested between the day elections were announced and yesterday in the Central, Northwestern and Northern Provinces. SSP Buddhika Siriwardena said the respective police stations in the three provinces had received 224 complaints with the highest number from the Central Province. There were 69 complaints in the North and 44 in the Northwestern Provinces and most were over threatening people and pasting posters. more..

Govt. should work with TNA -Hakeem

Sep 23 (FT) Following is the statement issued by SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem MP thanking voters for their support at the provincial council elections. I take this opportunity to congratulate the TNA for the decisive endorsement they received from the people of the Northern Province and the UPFA in the other provinces. On behalf of the SLMC, I thank all voters of the North, North-Western and Central Provinces for helping our party to more..