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Mahinda making overtures to Modi

Sep 27 (CT) Last week, media hounds got whiff of a bit of news that somewhat off the familiar pattern. An Air Force helicopter carrying some Indian personnel made an emergency landing at some place near Dompe, due to a technical failure. What piqued the curiosity of those in the media who received this information was the anonymity of the Indian passengers. When they tried to coax out at least a tiny bit of information from various Air Force sources they were stone-walled. more..

Arjuna still batting for Sri Lanka

Sep 27 (ST) Arjuna Ranatunga was a Colossus. The only captain to lift the World Cup for Sri Lanka, his reputation and aura grows every time the national side fails in the task to emulate the Class of ’96. Ranatunga was also more than just an astute captain, the original Captain Cool. If not for him Sri Lanka would never have in its proud possession the world’s highest wicket-taker in Tests. Muttiah Muralitharan, I’m sure, must pray more..

Sri Lankan men and rape: What the Sri Lankan media missed

Sep 27 (GV) I read with great interest this article in the Guardian about nearly quarter of men in Asia-Pacific admitting to committing rape according to a new UN study. As Sri Lanka was one of the countries that were a part of the study I looked around a little more and came across a few articles in the local media that had run with the title “14% of Sri Lankan men admit to rape”. It seemed that most mainstream print media, including Daily Mirror and Ceylon Today had taken the article more..

Plots and Plants that fascinate the milk powder industry

Sep 27 (NS) About a month ago, one of the many scurrilous gossip-mongering websites that pretends to be posting news published a story about a conspiracy. The claim was that there was a conspiracy to attack the milk powder brand Anchor in order to better position another brand in the market. That conspiracy or ‘plot’, it was claimed, was masterminded by Namal Rajapaksa, with the prominent stock market investor Dilith Jayaweera and this writer (among others) being part of more..

Sharma, CMAG and Shirani impeachment

Sep 27 (FT) Nine months after the Sri Lankan Govt ousted CJ Shirani Bandaranayake from office, her sacking has caused unprecedented problems in a most unlikely place – Marlborough House London, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma who promised Sri Lanka would put plans in place to change its legislative procedures to remove senior judges more..

A view from somewhere near Kilinochchi

Sep 27 (CT) Campaigning for the NPC was so miserable that I decided to spend election day as far away from politicians as possible. Both the UPFA and the TNA disappointed. Two months ago, I wrote a piece saying how bright the future would be if the totally useless discourse of patriots versus traitors could be done away with, as seemed to be happening with the TNA having nominated Wigneswaran as its CM candidate and the UPFA talking of putting forward Daya Master. more..

The Northern Spring….

Sep 27 (CT) Sri Lanka is at a turning point. The people of the North have spoken, clearly, unambiguously, democratically. Will the Rajapaksas have the sense to accept the popular verdict, to mend their policies and attitudes towards the minorities in general and the Tamils in particular? Or will they beat the racist-tom tom with increased vigour, under cover of anti-separatism? The TNA won the Northern Province overwhelmingly, despite concerted efforts by the regime to more..

Touchwood tales!

Sep 27 (FT) Sans big guns, the troubled Touchwood Investments Plc (TWOD) survived a heated Annual General Meeting yesterday with various assurances, but shareholder concerns remained despite the stock price shooting up on speculation. Amidst allegations they were absconding, Chairman and CEO Mr. and Mrs. Roscoe Maloney weren’t present at the AGM as they remain overseas but they addressed the shareholders more..

'My supporters under constant attack'

Sep 27 (CT) Dayasiri Jayasekera, who polled the highest number of preferential votes at the NWPC election, has complained to the Defence Secretary and the IGP, about the escalating violence against his supporters by the political activists of his own Party, post election. He said, "I did not allow my supporters to consume alcohol. I did not even permit anyone to light fire crackers to celebrate my victory. A few days ago, several persons travelling in 20 vehicles, had gone to Nikaweratiya more..

Editorial: Votes in bags

Sep 27 (Island) Mass protests triggered by the recent discovery of three bags containing marked ballot papers at a school in Puttalam are far from over. Elections Commissioner has pledged a high level probe and the matter is now before courts. Defeated candidates are demanding a re-poll but the Polls Chief has said such action would be possible only on a court order. So be it! There has been a serious lapse on the part of the Elections Department staff who handled counting at more..

Fresh boost for Lanka-Sino ties with strongest biz team in town

Sep 27 (FT) Booming Sino-Lanka ties have got a fresh impetus with the presence of the strongest-ever business delegation in town from China exploring new opportunities for investment and trade. A 36-member delegation led by Jia Guoyong, the Vice Director General of Chinese Trade Development Bureau (TDB), yesterday participated in a forum involving around 90 Lankan companies. Primary objective of the forum more..

Jailers take Moratuwa Deputy Mayor to council meeting

Sep 27 (Island) Moratuwa deputy mayor Sujith Pushpakumara, who is a suspect in the murder of the chief incumbent of the Moratuwa Egodauyana Sunandopananda temple, is reported to have participated in the monthly session of the Moratuwa municipal council yesterday. He is said to have also participated in a debate while being seated in the chambers. It is reported that had been taken to the meeting by prison guards. However, on an earlier occasion, in April, he was denied the more..

August Ceylon tea production up 2.8%

Sep 27 (Island) The Tea crop of 26.6Mkgs recorded for August, 2013 shows an increase of 2.8% when compared with the corresponding month of last year. This increase was mainly attributed to the improved Low Grown tea output coupled with favourable weather conditions during the month. During the period January to August, 2013 a total of 223.5Mkgs has been harvested which is a gain of 8.4Mkgs over last year, driven largely by the increase in Low Grown production. more..

SLC will be firm with IPL players – Sanath

Sep 27 (Island) Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya promised to field a full strength side during the ODI and T-20 series in England next year. With ECB advancing the ODIs before the Test Matches for Sri Lanka’s tour of that country next year, there are fears that several players will be unavailable for the series as they have lucrative IPL contracts. The IPL schedule is not out yet, but in recent years, India’s domestic more..

Power cuts this week

Sep 27 (DM) Due to the ongoing excavations on the outer circular road of the Southern Expressway for the purpose of laying 200 watt transmission lines between Pannipitiya and Biyagama, the CEB says it had intended to impose two hour power cuts each day from September 12 to 24 -- in certain areas. But the rains and the floods had delayed the laying of the power lines. Therefore the CEB has now decided to impose the power cuts from Sept 24 to 29. The areas affected will be more..

Some using Johaan as a weapon

Sep 27 (CT) Minister Johnston Fernando, charged that some politicians thrive by riding on the popularity of other politicians. "When they cannot defeat us, they launch attacks on our voters and our vehicles, and blame all that on us. Today, Nikaweratiya has become hell on earth due to the activities of these people. They are misleading the people," the minister charged. He made these comments while addressing a media briefing in Nikaweratiya. more..

Straying Indian vessels to be confiscated

Sep 27 (DN) Indian fishing vessels which cross the IMBL of SL and Indian vessels fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters illegally are to be confiscated, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said. "All arrangements are in place to take strict measures against Indian vessels poaching in Sri Lankan seas. Accordingly, fishermen who come in these vessels will be released and the vessels which they use to cross the IMBL to Sri Lanka will be confiscated," more..

'CHOGM, slap in the face for separatist lobby'

Sep 27 (DN) The CHOGM is being held in Sri Lanka at precisely the right time, for this will discourage those pursuing a separatist agenda, Attorney-at-Law Bandula Wellala said. He said one of the greatest benefits for Sri Lanka by hosting CHOGM proves that the entire world accepts Sri Lanka is a unitary state that enjoys peace and harmony. He said that one of the benefits that has a historical value is that CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka indicates that the entire world accepts more..

'Engineers, main architects in development process'

Sep 27 (DN) The engineers' role has become significant with national development. The demand for engineering inputs has increased and the govt has also recognised the contribution by engineers in development by providing a special allowance for state employed engineers, Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. She was addressing Engineering Institute members at a ceremony in Colombo on Tuesday to felicitate and present awards to those who excelled in engineering. more..

SriLankan ready to welcome the attendees of CHOGM 2013

Sep 27 (Island) When Sri Lanka is anticipating to welcome the heads of the Commonwealth states for CHOGM 2013 to be held in Colombo, SriLankan Airlines, the national carrier will be taking "Sri Lanka to the world" with a fleet bearing the CHOGM 2013 logo promoting the event at its online destinations. SriLankan Airlines’ entire fleet of aircraft will proudly display the Commonwealth insignia to the world more..

'Peace in SL only after de-militarisation'

Sep 27 (Hindu) India will help create a conducive situation for the Sri Lankan army to withdraw from the island’s Northern Province as there can be peace only after demilitarisation, Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said here on Thursday. He told presspersons here that Sri Lanka went ahead with the conduct of the Northern Provincial Council election as scheduled only due to the Union government’s pressure. “Now, the newly elected Chief Minister of the NPC, more..

NPC polls ‘largely peaceful’ - Japan

Sep 27 (Island) Japan has praised Sri Lanka for conducting the first election, to the NPC, in a largely peaceful manner. The following is the full text of a statement issued by Japanese Foreign Affairs Ministry: "Japan welcomes that, on Sept 21, the first election for the NPC in Sri Lanka was conducted in a largely peaceful manner. This is a significant step forward in the national reconciliation process after many years of conflict. Japan hopes that Sri Lanka will make steady progress toward more..

'Commonwealth giving Sri Lanka carte blanche for human rights abuses'

Sep 27 (AI) Sri Lanka’s disturbing human rights record means it should be barred from hosting a key Commonwealth summit or chairing the organization, Amnesty International said ahead of a key meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers today. The CMAG - made up of foreign ministers and Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, who gather to address violations of the Commonwealth’s fundamental values, more..

Harsha fires salvo against CB reference to economic hitmen

Sep 27 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday hit back at the Central Bank’s reference to economic hitmen in apparent reference to the main Opposition in its recent public notice on issues concerning finance companies. Following is the statement issued by UNP MP de Silva: The UNP finds the accusations levelled against unnamed politicians in the recent public notice issued by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on the crisis in some registered finance companies not in keeping with more..

CID questions Met. Dept. Director

Sep 27 (CT) The CID has summoned Director of the Department of Meteorology, S.H. Kariyawasam, who was in charge of the counting centre in Puttalam, and another senior lady officer attached to the same centre, where two bags of marked ballet papers were discovered a day after the election. The CID recorded their statements after more than two hours of questioning, a senior police source revealed. A preliminary report on the findings will be submitted to the IGP today. more..

Karu back in WC, pledges to work for unity

Sep 27 (Island) After a lapse of more than one and a half years, MP Karu Jayasuriya, the UNP’s former deputy leader, has been re-admitted to the party’s Working Committee. Jayasuriya confirmed to The Island that he had received the letter appointing him to the WC on Wednesday. "I did not canvass or apply for the position," the MP said, adding that he would be happy to serve the UNP in any position. more..

Sri Lanka to mark World Tourism Day 2013 In Down South

Sep 27 (GDI) Today is the World Tourism Day (WTD). While the day (27) will be celebrated worldwide this year as well, under the theme Tourism & Water: Protecting our Common Future, the Maldives will be the host country of this year’s official celebrations. Centered on the theme ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’, World Tourism Day 2013 will underline tourism´s responsibility and needed commitment to preserving the world´s vital water resources. more..

Saudi buyers, sellers invited to trade exhibition in Sri Lanka

Sep 27 (AN) The Sri Lankan Embassy has invited buyers and sellers to participate in an exhibition to be held concurrently with the CHOGM 2013, scheduled to be held in Colombo from Nov. 13. Anil Sirimanne, commercial counselor at the Sri Lankan Embassy, told Arab News that the event, which will discuss Sri Lanka’s trade, tourism and investment, will also coincide with the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF), which will also be held in Colombo during the same period. more..

Key expected to discuss Fonterra with Sri Lanka's President

Sep 27 (NZH) Prime Minister John Key was expected to discuss Fonterra with Sri Lanka's President this morning - the second damage control meeting he has had relating to Fonterra while on his Europe and USA trip. Mr Key said Sri Lanka had requested the meeting with him while he was at the UN General Assembly in NY. "I wouldn't be surprised if Fonterra came up. It's been a topic of conversation, FM [Murray McCully] has more..

Brazil Blasts US on spying and Sri Lanka on 'policing the world'

Sep 27 (AT) A member of the BRIC Group, the emerging economic power in the world Brazil was candid, open and direct when it blast the United States during the world leaders gathering at United Nations. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff addressing the UN Session on 24 Sept. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the opening speaker at the U.N. General Assembly accused the US of violating human rights and international law through espionage that included spying on her email. more..

Fishers upset after Lankan court orders confiscation of boats

Sep 27 (TOI) Rameswaram fishermen could not celebrate the homecoming of their 41 counterparts who were released by the Lankan court on Wednesday as the Paruthithurai court in Jaffna which heard the case of Nagapattinam and Karaikal fishermen announced that their five boats were legally confiscated and turned them into the property of the govt. 34 fishermen were released by the court on Sept 4 and they returned to the shore on Sept 23, though the case was to be heard on Sept 26. more..

Supreme Court rules land powers are vested in govt, not PCs

Sep 27 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday, ruled that land powers were vested in the government and not in the Provincial Councils. In its judgment, the Court explained that the Provincial Councils would have legislative competence to make statutes to administer state lands only if those lands were made available to the Provincial Councils by the government. It added that the President’s powers to make grants remained unfettered. more..

Lawyers, here’s your vision and mission

Sep 27 (DM) In this explosive era where the rule of law is breaking down with lawlessness if not anarchy raging on a rampant scale, thousands of lawyers in Sri Lanka have been told by an internationally-eminent jurist that they must become aware of the need to go beyond their law books or court cases and get proactively involved in the crusade for peace, social justice good governance and even go beyond our borders to work out a new international order based on equality. more..

Polarisation and ‘infrastructure invasion’

Sep 27 (DM) The TNA swept all five districts in the NPC in the polls. The Tamil nationalist party scored a landslide victory in the disputed “autonomous” council elections in the North even though the elections were held under military rule. Though all democratic forces criticised the election procedures, the TNA bagged 30 out of a total of 38 seats in the election held under the system of proportional representation. Though the official results claimed that the TNA secured 78% of the vote, more..

Emergence of the ‘Third Force’ in politics

Sep 27 (DM) ‘Old soldiers never die, they just fade away,’ goes the cliché - but former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka refuses to even fade away. As the dust settles on PC elections concluded last Saturday, Fonseka has become a focus of attention. Most of the results of the poll were a foregone conclusion. The TNA emerged victorious in the North as expected, as did the ruling UPFA in the Central and North Western provinces. more..

Sri Lanka’s Tamils: Harder lines

Sep 27 (Economist) “Now win the peace”, is common advice to victors of a civil war. President Rajapaksa, ended a nearly three-decade long conflict in 2009, but his efforts to produce stability look badly skewed. He, along with Tamil leaders, are storing up troubles ahead. Tour the north, where secessionist Tamil Tiger rebels once ruled, and signs of material progress abound. Since the war’s end splendid roads have spread, more..

Sharma accused of being bias

Sep 27 (CG) Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has been accused of ignoring human rights issues in Sri Lanka and even shielding the country from criticism. The New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that Sharma has stated that the Commonwealth is active in promoting its values in Sri Lanka, such as respect for human rights and free speech. “Ahead of an April CMAG meeting, Sharma more..

PSM loses patience, threatens strike if ...

Sep 27 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) warned they would resort to trade union action, within two weeks, if the Cabinet Subcommittee, appointed to look into their overdue promotions, failed to solve their problems. PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekera said that PSM promotions had been suspended since 2006. PSM personnel were promoted after 12 years of service. more..

'Sri Lanka needs support of traditional and new development partners'

Sep 27 (CT) Middle income countries, including Sri Lanka, need technical and financial cooperation of traditional and new development partners for sustenance, without which, each developing country’s successes could collapse and lead to economic imbalances, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. Addressing the First Session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development at the UN more..

After 10 years US’ luxurious Dawn Princess with 2,660 onboard calls at Colombo Port

Sep 27 (FT) The Dawn Princess, belonging to Princess Cruises of USA, one of the best-known names in cruising in the world, called at the Colombo Port yesterday. This vessel marks the first call in Colombo after 10 years. The Dawn Princess carried 1,839 passengers and 821 crew members on board to Colombo. A total of 1,210 passengers to Colombo on board the Dawn Princess had booked excursions to various tourist destinations more..