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Translation unit set up for Court of Appeal

Sep 4 (FT) Under the aegis of the UNDP Access to Justice Project, a special Translators’ Unit has been set up at the Court of Appeal to expedite translations required from Tamil to English especially to address the issue of pre-trial detainees. The UNDP project is administered by the Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration. The unit was officially declared opened by Chief Justice Mohan Peiris. Minister of Justice Rauff Hakeem, President, Court of Appeal Justice S. Sriskandarajah more..

JVP protests training of graduate teachers

Sep 4 (Island) Graduates recruited to the teachers service in the Western Province recently would have to undergo a six-month primary teacher training programme disregarding their qualifications, Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU) claimed. General Secretary of the JVP affiliated CTSU Mahinda Jayasinghe said that the Western Province Education Ministry planned to train 396 graduates as primary teachers. The graduates batches, including 183, 113, 79, 14 and seven from more..

TNA manifesto backs UN

Sep 4 (CG) The election manifesto of the TNA which was released in Jaffna today backs the recommendations made by UN Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General and the Resolutions adopted at the UNHRC in March 2012 and March 2013. The TNA manifesto for the NPC elections also states that power sharing arrangements must be established in a unit of a merged Northern and Eastern Provinces more..

Statue of Goddess Badhrakali destroyed

Sep 4 (CT) It is reported that the statue of Goddess Sri Badhrakali has been destroyed by dashing it on a flat stone used for washing clothes, consequent to it being removed from the kovil at the Dambulla sacred area. It was also revealed the statue was destroyed in the vicinity of the 'lime well' located near the kovil. When devotees visited the kovil to venerate the Goddess yesterday, they had found that the statue was missing. After conducting a search in the premises, more..

FUTA says academics harassed

Sep 4 (CG) The FUTA says a group of academics who attended a conference overseas have been harassed after the military claimed that they had gone to attend an event in support of the LTTE. Recently the Chief of Defense Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya made a public statement claiming that some academics had attended a conference organised by the Transnational Govt of Tamil Ealam. Subsequently, the Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Dr Sunil Jayantha Navaratne more..

Video: West may want to change Sri Lanka’s destiny-Gota

Sep 4 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa today said that ‘there is a possibility that some western powers wish to have a Sri Lankan Govt that is closely aligned with their interests and may seek to influence country’s destiny. “There is a possibility that some western powers wish to have a Sri Lankan Govt that is closely aligned with their interests. They may seek to influence Sri Lanka’s destiny so that it cannot pursue the more..

Prevail upon Sri Lanka to enforce UNHRC resolution: CPI(M)

Sep 4 (Hindu) The State committee of the CPI(M) on Tuesday urged the Union government to prevail upon Sri Lanka to implement the resolution of the UNHRC urging the country to investigate alleged abuses during the final phase of war with Tamil rebels. A resolution adopted at the meeting said that in the last 50 years, the Sri Lankan government had not made any effort to find a political solution to the ethnic crisis and was now seeking to dilute the 13th amendment to its Constitution. more..

'Security threat' refugee freed after four years

Sep 4 (SMH) A refugee accused by ASIO of having links to Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tigers separatists and held for almost four years in Australian immigration detention has been released after the security agency rescinded its own assessment. The decision comes of the eve of a High Court challenge to the Rudd govt's policy of indefinite detention, centred on Tamil woman Ranjini, held indefinitely with her three children. The outcome could see the release of almost 50 refugees deemed a more..

Parliament shaken by $ 4 b Trinco project

Sep 4 (FT) Heated debates ensued in Parliament yesterday over another Govt move to pass another controversial project, this time in Trincomalee, under the Strategic Development Projects Act. Opposition Members demanded more information about the Rs. 520 billion project to develop infrastructure in Sampur in Trincomalee. DNA MP Sunil Handunnetti charged that a new company, Sri Lanka Gateway Ltd., has more..

The Sri Lanka mission in Warsaw promote Cricket in Poland

Sep 4 (AT) The Sri Lanka Embassy officials headed by the Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Poland Mr. D.S. de Silva had spearheaded a successful effort to formulate a team comprising of Sri Lanka expatriates to form a Cricket Team. Mr. D.S. de Silva, Deputy Ambassador at the Sri Lanka Mission in Warsaw banded together the Sinhalese & Tamil expatriates in Poland and ensured the participation in the annual T20 Polish Cup 2013 which was played from 15th - 18th Aug 2013. more..

Grade 5 Scholarship exam controversy: Bandula fires back at teachers’ unions

Sep 4 (Island) Minister Bandula Gunawardena denied that questions outside the syllabus had been included in the Grade 05 Scholarship Exam paper, on August 25, but teacher trade unions continue to level the allegation. He said that the specific question in the Arithmetic paper, cited as out of syllabus by teachers trade unionists, had been made according to what was on page 106 of the textbook. Minister said that some teacher trade unionists blamed the govt without studying matters more..

Police probing intruders’ phone calls – govt.

Sep 4 (Island) Minister Dinesh Gunwardena told Parliament yesterday that investigators were probing the telephone calls made by those who stormed the residence of Sunday Leader Associate Editor Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema. He said that the intruders had used their mobile phones during the robbery. He was responding to UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Full text of Minister’s statement: more..

Sri Lanka: Stop harassing victims, activists

Sep 4 (HRW) The Sri Lankan govt should promptly investigate allegations that security forces harassed people who met with the visiting UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, during her recent trip to the country, Human Rights Watch said. Pillay expressed concerns at the end of her week-long visit, that victims of abuses and their family members, activists, and journalists had received visits and other harassment and threats from the authorities after meeting with her and other UN officials. more..

Access Engineering to rehabilitate Labugama & Kalatuwawa water treatment plants

Sep 4 (Island) Access Engineering PLC, continues their prominent presence in the water sector and has commenced work on the rehabilitation of the Labugama and Kalatuwawa Water supply schemes in August of 2013 with completion planned within a period of 3 years. The project, which has a value of 34 Million Euros, is carried out for the National Water Supply & Drainage Board and is funded through a Tied Aid Loan from Hungary. Fovárosi Vízmuvek of Hungary is the main contractor more..

'Attacked Sunday Leader journalist was to expose Krrish deal'

Sep 4 (FT) The break-in and entry into the home of SL Journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema was aimed at preventing her from exposing details about a controversial construction deal and not a robbery, the Opposition Leader charged. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the forced entry was not an attempt to steal her gold jewellery and valuables when he addressed Parliament, querying into ongoing investigations more..

The milk of human co-operation

Sep 4 (DM) After weeks of controversy, confusion and contradictory statements over the use of the chemical DCD, whey protein and unethical or exaggerated promotion of powdered milk from New Zealand, the Govts of the two countries appear to have come to an agreement for the common good of all. We hope that instead of allegedly toxic milk or crying over spilt milk, it will be a case of milk and honey again. According to a statement from the Presidential Secretariat and reports from more..

Would the world be a just place without Theologians?

Sep 4 (DM) I had personally known Fr. Tissa Balasuriya, OMI since 1988 and for me it had been a friendship as well as an apprenticeship for 25 years. We had been involved in numerous conversations about diverse topics such as politics, religion, theology, Catholic social teachings, other theologians, ecology, ethnic problems, contemporary Sri Lankan situation, Buddhism, spirituality, contemplation, meditation, etc., which have tremendously contributed to my more..

Sri Lanka: Slaughter in the no fire zone

Sep 4 (Guardian) I have spent the best part of the last three years looking at some of the most terrible images I could have imagined. I've covered wars and seen some awful things, but few that could prepare me for the hours of video and mobile footage that emerged from the last 138 days of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war between the government and the Tamil Tiger secessionists; a war that ended four years ago – and whose more..

Sri Lanka Universities of international standards to attract foreign students

Sep 4 (ST) The University of Colombo, the top ranked State university in the country and eighth in South Asia, is preparing to enrol more foreign students, with a proposed international student centre to overlook their welfare, and hostels and cafeteria being developed for their board and lodging. Apart from govt scholarships, more foreign students are enrolling on a feepaying basis and there is an increase in more..

Australia: Why boat people risk it all

Sep 4 (BBC) Every month, thousands of migrants undertake a perilous journey across the Indian Ocean to try to reach Australia's shores. Many are fleeing troubles in countries like Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. They pay huge sums to people smugglers, who operate often unsafe boats out of Indonesia. The issue of asylum seekers has been prominent in the Australian general election campaign, with both main more..

Kurunegala farmers disgruntled

Sep 4 (SL) Right across the Kurunegala district farmers are contemplating on making painful decisions about whether they could continue to engage in farming, or give up farming altogether and engage in other avenues of income. While it may have once been one of the dominant rice producing districts in the country, the lack of concern of the govt and the agriculture officials have forced them into a situation where they seem to more..

'Replace Washington consensus with Colombo consensus'

Sep 4 (CT) Visiting Pakistan's Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, observed yesterday that the Washington Consensus had failed and that it was time for the emergence of a Colombo consensus. He was delivering the keynote address at the Inauguration of the Sixth South Asia Economic Summit themed, 'Towards a Stronger, Dynamic and Inclusive South Asia' at more..

Video: Won’t take advantage of Pillay’s statement: UNP

Sep 4 (DM) The UNP today said it was disappointed and displeased over the statement made by UN Human Right High Commissioner on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, but assured it would not use the statement for political advantage. “We have no reason to be happy or to gain political advantage from the statement made by UNHRC Chief Navi Pillay after her week-long visit to the country. We are disappointed and sad because more..

Twin international recognition for Minister Maithripala

Sep 4 (GDI) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena who was conferred the World Health Organization’s (WHO) ‘World No Tobacco Day Award - 2013’ for excellence in tobacco control, received the award from President Rajapaksa at a grand ceremony held at the BMICH on Tuesday. Minister Sirisena was also honoured with “Harvard Health Leader of the Year Award” in recognition of his contributions more..

SB wants hangman back to tackle grave crime

Sep 4 (Island) Minister S. B. Dissanayake yesterday called for the reactivation of the gallows to check the rising grave crime rate. He said that there was an urgent need to reintroduce capital punishment to check the runaway spread of hard drugs like heroin ruining the whole country and also the increase in violent crime. Dissanayake said he would soon take up with President Rajapaksa the need to reactivate the gallows. more..

Govt. increases supply of subsidised fertiliser for Maha by 15%

Sep 4 (Island) The govt had increased the supply of subsidised fertiliser to paddy farmers by 15% comparing to Yala season this year, Finance and Planning Ministry announced yesterday. According to the Ministry, under the instructions of Agriculture Department country’s 700,000 hectares of paddy lands, which would be cultivated for Maha season in this year, would receive subsidised fertiliser. more..

BoI approval given for British Uni. affiliated Uni. college with a 15-year tax holiday

Sep 4 (Island) The Board of Investment (BoI) has approved the setting up of a university college, affiliated to the Central Lancashire University of Britain, in Meerigama and granted a 15-year tax holiday, Parliament was told. The relevant gazette, with regard to granting permission to the affiliated university, was also presented to the Parliament. The gazette extraordinary, by Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, said that more..

Disregard for professionalism and decorum

Sep 4 (CT) When former captain Kumar Sangakkara, in a lengthy email addressed to Nishantha Ranatunga, Secretary of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board writes: "I would also like to state that I believe that your conduct in this matter both privately and publicly has been reprehensible and not at all befitting the position you hold as Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket," we are indeed witnessing an unusual kind of 'stroke-play' from one of Sri Lanka's best known cricketing ambassadors. more..

July 1983: Ranil followed Cyril Mathew

Sep 4 (CT) During that period several ministers seemed to be inspired by the rulers of Malaysia and in particular Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, who of course never set fire to his economy. Mathew strongly advocated Malaysia’s Bhumiputra policy. He cited in Parliament (4 Aug.83) Mahatir’s argument that the Chinese and Indians of Malaysia, if forced to leave, could find an alternative home, but not the Malays. Mahatir’s assertion that an indigenous race is one that is ‘truly identified’ with more..

Investment Promotion Minister rolls out red carpet for Korean PM

Sep 4 (Island) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has told visiting Korean PM Chung Hong-won that the BoI has structured more than 50 project proposals with a view to attracting much needed foreign investment. In a letter to the Korean PM he has called for potential Korean investments to Sri Lanka highlighting the significance of Investments from his country. He said that the structured project proposals would be more..

Gota’s statement on Muslim extremism is an ‘Important Victory’ – BBS

Sep 4 (CT) The Bodu Bala Sena Executive Committee that met yesterday hailed remarks made by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksaat a Defence Seminar about the threat to Sri Lanka from rising Muslim Extremism as a courageous statement from a national leader and said it was an ‘important victory’ for the BBS in its year long ideological battle. It is the Bodu Bala Sena movement’s view that the MOD Secretary’s revelation would effectively answer detractors more..

Sri Lanka Vietnam trade up 20% in first half

Sep 4 (LBO) Trade between Sri Lanka and Vietnam has risen 20% in the first half of 2013, Hanoi's envoy to Colombo Ton Sinh Thanh said. "Trade volume between the two countries in the first six months of the year reached 77 million US dollars, which is an increase of 20%," Ambassador Thanh said at an event marking the national day of Vietnam. "This is a quite high growth given the economic difficulties in the world." "We are also happy to see the steady expansion of relations between more..

Elephant registration fee upped to Rs. 01 mn

Sep 4 (Island) Those having unregistered elephants should pay one million rupees each and register them. Anyone can have an elephant provided that person could afford to maintain the animal. In the meantime the Department of the Wildlife Conservation, too, needed money to carry out its day to day activities, Minister Wijithamuni de Zoysa said. "Usually to register an elephant Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 500.000 has to be paid but more..

SL to revive cricketing ties with Pakistan

Sep 4 (IANS) Sri Lanka has decided to resume playing cricket in Pakistan after a four-year gap, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told Pakistani minister Ahsan Iqbal in Colombo on Tuesday, according to AAP. Rajapaksa said a Sri Lankan team will soon play in Pakistan. Sri Lanka stopped sending its cricket team to Pakistan after the March 2009 terror attack on its squad in Lahore that injured six of its players and left six Pakistani policemen and two civilians dead. more..

TNA MP quizzed by TID

Sep 4 (CG) TNA MP P. Aryanenthiran has been questioned by the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) over some alleged conversations he has had with political prisoners. Aryanenthiran had been quizzed for nearly 1 ½ hours by the TID after he was summoned to record a statement. He was asked about his conversations with Tamil political prisoners over the telephone in the recent past. The TID had asked him about one particular telephone call where he had spoken to a more..

Lanka reaches sexual assault crisis level

Sep 4 (Island) Tourism was fueling a crisis of sexual assault in Sri Lanka, with the number of reported rape cases increasing dramatically day by day, Child Development and Women’s Affairs Ministry Director said. Number of rape cases that stood at 542 in 1995 rose to 1,397 in 2007. There were 1,582 cases in 2008, 1,624 in 2009 and 1,854 in 2010. In 2011, 1,871 rape cases were recorded of which 1,463 related to rape of underage girls. more..

Northern fishermen ready for talks

Sep 4 (DN) Northern Province Fisheries Cooperative Society Confederation President Anthonipillay Amiliampillay yesterday said they are ready to hold discussions with Tamil Nadu fishermen at anytime though they can not agree to their proposal to allow them to fish in Sri Lankan territorial waters for 15 days a month. He said fishermen in the province were deprived of fishing in their own territory for 30 years due to terrorist activities. Amiliampillay added that when they resumed fishing activities in more..

Pakistani federal minister lauds Sri Lanka's economic development

Sep 4 (GDI) Visiting Pakistan Govt Federal Minister for planning and development Ahsan Iqbal said he was "highly impressed" with the development programmes of the Sri Lankan govt. "We have similar cultures, a common shared history and substantial developmental experience says Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal. He had said this when he made a courtesy call on Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa at the Ministry office on Tuesday September 3. more..

Visa-free travel in the offing for Lankan businessmen

Sep 4 (DM) Sri Lankan businessmen travelling to countries in the SAARC region will soon be able to travel without visa and the SAARC Secretariat has already taken measures to identify them as a separate category under its visa exemption scheme, according to a top official from the SAARC Secretariat. Economics, Trade and Finance Division Director at the secretariat, Amrit Lugun said when he met the more..

Illegal polls propaganda increases

Sep 4 (Island) With the elections to three provincial councils fast approaching, an increase in illegal election propaganda activities had been reported from the Gampola and Nawalapitiya areas, a local election monitoring organisation said yesterday. National Organiser of the CaFFE Ahmed Manas said that they had written to the Elections Commissioner regarding election propaganda material in front of Grama Niladari and post offices in Gampola and Nawalapitiya. more..