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Video: Sri Lanka sees new threats of terrorism, Muslim extremism

Sep 3 (AD) Voicing concern over the possible attempts to promote Muslim extremism in Sri Lanka, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated that the emergence of hard line groups within the majority community is a consequence of the increasing insularity amongst minority ethnic groups. Delivering the keynote address at the ‘Defence Seminar – 2013’ in Colombo today, he stated that more..

Brain behind Rs.15 mn Gem robbery netted

Sep 3 (Island) The man who masterminded the robbery of gems and jewellery, valued at Rs. 15 million, from multi-millionaire businessman at Laggala, was captured by the police yesterday from his hideout in the Hemmathagama area of Kandy. The suspect, Mohammed Fariz, was produced before the Naula Magistrate, who ordered that he be remanded pending an identification parade. He had been evading arrest since the robbery on June 13, 2013. At the time of his arrest police more..

Sri Lanka shares down on telcos, banks

Sep 3 (Reuters) Stocks fell for a second straight session, closing at a near one-week low on Tuesday, led by telecom and banking shares while investor concern over the rupee's volatility also weighed on the bourse. The main share index ended down 0.53%, or 30.36 points, at 5,752.36. It hit a four-month low during trade, but recovered to end at its lowest close since Aug. 28. Shares in Hatton National Bank fell 3.08% to 147.80 rupees, while those of Sri Lanka Telecom dropped 5.31% more..

Sri Lanka cornered over human rights

Sep 3 (IPS) That it would be a visit fraught with diplomatic tension was undoubted. Navanetham ‘Navi’ Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was into the third day of her week-long visit from Aug. 25 to Aug. 31 to Sri Lanka when her entourage broke into animated discussion. They were in the heart of Mullaittivu district in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, where some of the bloodiest battles in the last chapter of the war more..

Two policemen, civilian killed in crash

Sep 3 (Island) Two police constables and a civilian were killed in an accident at Morayaya, Minipe, where a three wheeler and a sand loaded truck, collided on Monday morning. Investigations by Hasalaka police have revealed that one of the constables, who succumbed to his injuries, was attached to Mahiyangana police station while the other was serving in the Jaffna police station. He was returning for duty in Jaffna after leave, inquiries revealed. The driver of the sand-loaded truck more..

Why monkeys misbehave?

Sep 3 (DM) A dearth of female monkeys, environmental damage and the shrinkage of their natural habitat have caused male monkeys to misbehave, said Dr Suhada Jayawardene, a veterinary surgeon attached to the Wildlife Conservation Department. This has caused them to attack and bite human beings and also damage property, as exemplified by three monkeys that had behaved boisterously in Nugegoda, Matara and Weligama, and been caught and brought to more..

Gemunu stumped

Sep 3 (CT) Delivering a major blow to Gemunu Wijeratne and the private bus operators, who have been threatening to increase bus fares, the AG's Department has stated that only the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) have the authority to increase bus fares. It has stressed no trade union can do so. The NTC yesterday asserted that bus fares would not be hiked according to the more..

Israel attracted to investments in Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (MED) More countries should become aware of the ‘new chapter’ enjoyed by Sri Lanka since the end of the war to increase investment, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said, calling on embassies to spread the word. Making the address to the largest-ever Israel business delegation to Sri Lanka, he spoke of the “new brand” being forged for Sri Lanka and its gradual spread to the rest of the world. Minister made this observation when he met a largest- ever business delegation from the Israel more..

Ranil questions police probe

Sep 3 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has questioned the credibility of the police investigations into the break-in at the house of journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema. Speaking in parliament today, Wickremesinghe asked as to why an identification parade was yet to be held on the suspects arrested in connection with the incident. He alleged that the men who had forced their way into the Bambalapitiya residence of the journalist were after documents she had on the Krrish deal. more..

Fishermen issue straining otherwise sound Indo-Lanka ties: Gotabhaya

Sep 3 (Hindu) Certain bilateral issues – such as the increasing incidence of illegal fishing by TN fishermen in Sri Lankan waters – occasionally strain the otherwise sound relationship between India and Sri Lanka, said Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary, here on Tuesday. Speaking at ‘Defence Seminar 2013’, he said the country faced certain significant issues due to its geographic positioning in South Asia. more..

Sri Lanka strategically located but fisheries far behind

Sep 3 (Island) Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector was far behind that of Thailand, though it was strategically located on the main East-West sea route, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. Addressing the inauguration of the Second Joint Fishery Working Group Meeting, at the Galle Face Hotel last Thursday, Dr. Senaratne said that the Thailand’s fish exports were worth around USD 6 billion and it was 30 times higher than Sri Lanka’s fish exports. more..

JHU questions rationale behind Premachandran's statement

Sep 3 (CT) The JHU questioned the govt's stand, vis-à-vis the statement made by the TNA MP, Suresh Premachandran, that if they wield weapons, a solution that can go even beyond the Federal system, could be secured. Leader of the JHU, Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thera said, the statement made by the MP is against the Constitution, unlawful and anti-govt. "Barely four years after the Tigers were defeated and the war was won, the MPs of the TNA who functioned as the Tigers political front more..

Video: Dictatorship can’t be measured by elections - UNP

Sep 3 (DM) The UNP today said holding elections regularly did not mean that a country’s ruler was not a dictator. “There are dictators who hold elections regularly. It is the manner, in which they hold elections that determine whether they are dictators,” UNP MP Harin Fernando told a news conference. He was referring to a statement made by President Rajapaksa at the 62nd convention of the SLFP in Kurunegala last Monday. more..

Nat. Hospital Cardio Thoracic unit nearly paralysed

Sep 3 (Island) The Cardio Thoracic Unit (CTU) of the Colombo National Hospital (NHSL) is faced with yet another crisis following the transfer of six anaesthetists. Informed sources at the NHSL yesterday said that the situation had led to the closure of one of the four theatres in the Unit. They said that the NHSL CTU had 30 anaesthetists and the transfers had resulted in surgeons having to cut down on the number of operations. There should be at least eight anaesthetists, more..

Pakistan delegation attends defence seminar in Sri Lanka

Sep 3 (APP) A high level delegation is representing Pakistan at a defence seminar being held in Sri Lanka Tuesday. The seminar is being organized by the Sri Lankan Army under the theme of “Post Conflict Sri Lanka : Challenges and Regional Stability” from September 3 to September 5. The Pakistani delegation includes ambassador (retired) Sohail Amin, President Islamabad Policy Research Institute (IPRI) lieutenant general (retired) Muhammad Masood Aslam while more..

Pakistan Minister meets President Rajapaksa

Sep 3 (PHC) Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Govt of Pakistan, called on the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa today at the Temple Trees in Colombo. This is the first ministerial level visit to Sri Lanka since the taking over of the new Govt in Pakistan in June 2013. Conveying the greetings from Prime Minister of Pakistan, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, to the leadership more..

Gotabhaya criticises Navi Pillay visit

Sep 3 (PTI) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday claimed that UN human rights chief Navi Pillay’s visit to the island nation was influenced by propaganda from elements of the LTTE that was defeated in a civil war in 2009. Mr. Rajapaksa, the powerful brother of President Rajapaksa, said the “re-emergence of terrorism is still a threat” despite the end of the country’s nearly three-decade ethnic war. Elements of the Tamil Tigers and their supporters are working to more..

UK to put pressure on Lanka

Sep 3 (CG) British Foreign Minister William Hague told the House of Commons today that Britain will use the CHOGM in November to draw attention to human rights concerns in Sri Lanka. Responding to a question raised on Sri Lanka, Hague said that Britain is concerned about human rights in Sri Lanka, including media freedom. “We raise those issues regularly with the Sri Lankan Government. The Prime Minister and I have decided to attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka. more..

Police question BBC Tamil reporter

Sep 3 (BBC) Security officials in Sri Lanka have questioned a BBC Tamil reporter over phone conversations he had with two Tamil prisoners. Anti-terrorist police summoned Ponnaiah Manikavasagam for questioning in Colombo on Monday, without disclosing the reason until he arrived. He was not allowed to have a lawyer present during the interview. It comes days after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay lambasted more..

Validity of Prasanga’s premise on Liyanage Amarakeerthi

Sep 4 (NS) One of Isuru Prasanga’s recent articles on Liyanage Amarakeerthi and what Prasanga calls the “Alternative Tribe” is now being serialized by The Nation. As the editor informs me this will be run in four editions out of which two have already being printed in translation. The essay is titled “Amarakeerthi and the Bankruptcy of Romantic Criticism – the Self-Gratifying ‘Alternative Tribe’ ” It has been initiated in translation by The Nation on Aug 11 and this series will have more..

Paying the price for neglecting vaastu shastra

Sep 4 (NS) Planning the construction of a house and attempting to save the natural world are two things which vaastu shastra expert Asoka Nanayakkara finds similarities in. According to Asoka, if you breach accepted laws when engaged in any one of the mentioned endeavors you are bound to get punished very hard. Asoka said that if a person’s shadow doesn’t fall fully on the ground when he gets into a squatting position on the land that is a potential site to construct a house, more..

Police station looks for space in Mullaitivu

Sep 4 (SO) The role of the police in any developed society or city is significant in maintaining law and order. It is vital when the area is cleared from the captivity of terrorists after a long period of time. The Mullaitivu district was the last area to be freed from the clutches of the LTTE following the final battle against terrorism. And it was the last area to commence development activities and resettlement. When the LTTE was in control more..

Who added conspiracy to our milk?

Sep 4 (CT) After nearly a month of confusion and panic, the govt now says the stakeholders ‘probably overreacted’ in its response to stories of contamination in milk powder imported from New Zealand. “There was a debate that built up in the country over the issue, Media Minister, Keheliya Rambukwelle, told reporters on 30 August, adding, “I personally think our response was beyond the actual need. There was an overreaction when thinking in technical terms.” more..

Prediction of Sri Lanka’s statement to the 24th session of the UNHRC

Sep 4 (CT) With more than two decades of experience in observing and listening to Sri Lanka’s statements in the UN Human Rights Forums, I would like to predict the content of their forthcoming statement to the 24th session of the UN Human Rights Council – HRC. Every written document/statement produced by the Sri Lankan government is designed to brainwash or misinform the international community rather than achieve anything in reality or in practical terms. more..

Foul mouthed Mervyn Silva in hot water after falling foul of ruling Rajapaksa family

Sep 4 (DBS) Minister Hewa Koparage Mervyn Silva is reportedly in “deep shit” at present as relations between him and the ruling Rajapaksa family has soured. The self–styled descendant of “Dutu Gemunu” notorious for his foul mouth and violent actions is currently in a precarious position and is quite fearful about his future say informed sources. Though Mervyn Silva functions overtly as a running dog of the Rajapaksas and has even been more..

Who will decide on fighting corruption?

Sep 4 (CT) Among the many strategies and programmes, some seek to address systemic issues while others create a deterrent effect through naming and shaming, investigations and punitive measures. There are many vehicles to achieve this end result. In 1990, we witnessed how walls of public toilets, bus stands and public buildings became walls of ‘information sharing’ with the general public. Eventually, mobile phones proved to be a strong tool in communicating more..

Editorial: Pillay’s Parthian Shot

Sep 4 (Island) The govt may have thought UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay was beating a retreat vis-à-vis its propaganda onslaught. But, shortly before her departure on Sunday she caught the govt unawares; she turned back like an ancient Parthian archer on horseback and started shooting poison-tipped arrows at the govt leaders. By the time the govt figured out what had hit it, Pillay was gone, having brilliantly executed a well planned human rights surgical strike more..

අලි පරදීද?

13A and NPC elections: Extreme Sinhalese and Tamil disaffections

Sep 4 (CT) Disaffection has two different, not necessarily opposite, meanings: hostility and disillusionment. 13A and the NPC elections have provoked both hostility and disillusionment. Those who are hostile insist that 13A was imposed on a weak Sri Lankan President, is an infringement of and a threat to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, and is not acceptable to the Sinhalese. On the other hand, those who are disillusioned claim that the Tamils never accepted 13A as a fair basis for a more..

German envoy welcomes use of certified compostable waste bags

Sep 4 (ST) The Germany Embassy in Colombo has welcomed the use of certified compostable bags made with BASF’s ecovio to efficiently and effectively divert organic and biodegradable waste from landfills. Ambassador Dr. Juergen Morhard said that “good waste management practices are a worldwide imperative, but particularly here in Sri Lanka, which is trying to identify clean and effective methods of disposing garbage.” He said these certified compostable waste bags made with more..

Manjula, Chandrika best athletes; Anoma wins car

Sep 4 (Island) High jumper Manjula Kumara’s 2.18 m feat, on day 2, and sprinter Chandrika Subashini’s impressive 54.52 seconds performance in the women’s 400 m on the final day won them the best athlete titles as the athletics championship of the 39th National Sports Festival ended with a few notable performances, on a grass track, at Nawalapitiya yesterday. Just two meet records and a single national record more..

Cricket Lovely, Officials Lousy!

Sep 4 (Island) Sri Lanka is a cricket-loving nation and crowds gather round TV sets in tea boutiques or in closed showrooms after office hours to watch live telecasts, especially when Sri Lanka is playing. Cricket has always been close to our hearts. We cannot forget the Muralitheran episode, when Arjuna tamed the arrogant Aussie umpires. A few weeks ago, we beat South Africa comfortably. However today, we witness a different scenario amongst our own. It’s not umpiring arrogance, but more..

The self appointed viceroy with many vices

Sep 4 (Island) She came, she was blind and she could not conquer. Ms Navaneethan arrogance could be seen from what she did and spoke while she was in Sri Lanka. Of course one’s judgment of Ms. Pillay would depend on one’s political and other alliances but unfortunately most of what is being circulated is that of anti Sinhala Buddhists, anti government lobby and many people who read some of the newspapers, log into the websites, listen to and watch electronic media would more..

Accused pleads guilty in Sri Lanka’s first SMS harassment case

Sep 4 (ST) Sri Lanka’s first SMS harassment case concluded after a lengthy hearing of almost seven years at the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court after the accused Suresh Marcellus, former Managing Director of Trans World Movers, pleaded guilty recently. When the case was taken up for hearing on the August 22, the accused had pleaded guilty before the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court and was ordered to pay more..

Plantation workers squander money on alcohol

Sep 4 (CT) With the proliferation of illicit arrack sales centres in the plantations, the families of the estate population are in despair as the males are reportedly in a state of inebriation every evening, having spent their hard-earned money on the illicit brew while their families are left to fend for themselves. The sale of arrack has risen in leaps and bounds in the Hatton, Maskeliya, Bogowantalawa, Watawala, Dickoya and Norwood Divisions. Women in the plantations claim that because of this more..

Rs 25 M worth cannabis seized in Thanamalwila

Sep 4 (CT) Thanamalwila Police have seized 500 kg of dried cannabis worth Rs 25 million, from a house at Arawekama, Thanamalwila. A senior Police Officer of the Division said the police were able to detect the stock of cannabis at the time it was being readied to be dispatched to Colombo. When the police had interrogated the suspect, it had come to light that the stock of cannabis belongs to a person who engages in the cultivation of the illegal drug in the Moneragala District. more..

Refugee Ranjini fights indefinite detention in Australia's High Court

Sep 4 (CNN) A refugee and mother of three young boys who is being held in indefinite detention in Australia has two days to convince the country's highest court why she should be freed. It's her last shot at overturning a govt policy which was recently condemned by a UNHRC report as "cruel, inhuman and degrading." Failure will mean that Ranjini, a 34-year-old Sri Lankan refugee, will continue to be held without trial for the more..

Six more cases filed against CIFL

Sep 4 (FT) In the backdrop of constantly receiving complaints against finance companies, the Colombo Fraud Investigations Bureau (CFIB) yesterday filed six other cases in Court against Central Investments & Finance Ltd. (CIFL), alleging that the finance company is alleged to have cheated Rs. 9.8 million belonging to six depositors. Lodging complaints with the CFIB, the six depositors who invested their money in CIFL stated that they trusted the finance company concerned since more..

Rape on the rise and endemic

Sep 4 (Island) Despite the stern warnings and action taken by the govt to reduce rape and sexual assaults on women and children, the number of cases continues to escalate at an alarming rate. The following figures show the total number of women and under-aged children who were either raped or sexually assaulted from 2009 to 2012. Although there is a negligible decrease in 2012, the total number of victims for the four years has been 7,002 of which 5,542 were under-aged children. more..

SLFP: 62 Not Out

Sep 4 (IL) The 62nd anniversary of the SLFP was held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kurunegala on 02 September. The 62nd Anniversary commemoration rally has been organized in parallel to support the North, Central and Wayamba provincial council elections at the Maligapitiya ground. It was also the commencement of the maiden election rallies of the UPFA for the upcoming PC polls. more..