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Ten Lankans held for illegal fishing

Sep 4 (ENS) Ten Sri Lankan fishermen, who were arrested by the Indian Coast Guard in two different incidents for allegedly entering Indians waters illegally and fishing last month, have been handed over to police. On August 31, Coast Guard ship ICGS Vishwast spotted a Lankan fishing boat with five Lankan fishermen on board around 4.20 pm, a Coast Guard release said today. The boat identified as 'Dhanuska Putha I' also had a fish catch of about 155-kg, it said. The Lankans were arrested more..

Student union to oppose re-introducing private universities bill

Sep 4 (LT) S.B. Dissanayake camel is trying to wriggle in its head into the tent to privatize education and his sense of urgency was so acute that 8 months ago a group of four including Prof. Ranjith Senaratna had gone to Malabe even before the gazette was issued and launched a report in the mode of the gazette letting the cat was out of the bag eight months earlier states Socialist Students Union (SSU). more..

Sri Lanka's Hemas Holdings in hotel with Thailand's Minor

Sep 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Hemans Holding said it is building a 40 million US dollar luxury hotel with Thailand's minor group. The 154 room 5-star rated hotel will be in Tangalle, on the South Coast. The hotel will also boast of 3 restaurants and a purpose-built spa. "The property will be operated under the Anantara brand, and will epitomise the very best in indigenous Sri Lankan design, and will be complemented with all the luxuries sought-after by the modern-day traveller," more..

34 TN fishermen’s remand extended

Sep 4 (Hindu) A court in Sri Lanka on Wednesday extended till September 11 the judicial remand of 34 fishermen from Nagapattinam District, arrested on July 30 for allegedly crossing into the island waters. President of local fishermen association, Emiret quoting information received from Indian High Commission official Mahalaingam in Jaffna said “the remand of the fishermen belonging to Akkaraipettai was extended till September 11.” Meanwhile, the Pamban Fishermen’s Association today more..

Audio: Dullas regrets Mervyn’s proposal

Sep 4 (CG) The govt today apologised to the public “marriage proposal” made by Minister Mervyn Silva to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that it was wrong for such a comment to be made and so h apologised on behalf of the govt. “Pillay’s age is just two years less than that of my mother. How do you think I will feel if someone makes a marriage proposal to my mother. more..

Holy Cross to host Fulbright Scholar from Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (HC) The College of the Holy Cross has been selected to host Gamini Keerawella, senior professor of history at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka, as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence for the 2013-2014 academic year. Keerawella, an expert in south Asian history and peace and conflict studies, earned his Ph. D in history from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. While on campus, Keerawella will be teaching one course per semester, advancing his research in more..

'Samurdhi officers used for propaganda work'

Sep 4 (Island) The Network for Election Monitoring by Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM IFHR) yesterday complained to Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya that the Samurdhi Director General was violating election laws by employing his officials in the UPFA campaign for the forthcoming provincial council elections. In the complaint, NEM IHR Chief Executive Dr. Uditha Gunasekera has said that they complained to the Assistant Elections Commissioner in Kurunegala, more..

SL Tamil party to call for federal powers

Sep 4 (AP) Sri Lanka's main ethnic Tamil political party says it will lobby for increased regional powers based on federalism, and an international investigation into alleged war crimes during the country's civil war if it wins power in upcoming provincial elections. The TNA, a front-runner in the Sept. 21 NPC elections, said in a policy statement that the current power-sharing arrangement with the provinces is flawed more..

Ban refers to Sri Lanka

Sep 4 (CG) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has made a reference to Sri Lanka in his annual report on the work of the UN. In his report released at the UN Headquarters, the UN Chief says the UN is looking at strengthening its capacity to respond to crisis situations by using a panel report on Sri Lanka as a guide. The panel report on Sri Lanka was compiled after the UN was accused of failing to immediately address the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka during the war. more..

Video: TNA has increased separatist rhetoric following Pillay’s visit - NFF

Sep 4 (AD) The separatist statements made by the TNA have increased noticeably following the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navineetham Pillay, Media Spokesman of the NFF, Mohammed Muzammil stated. He claimed that TNA candidate C. Vigneshwaram had stated that the LTTE was not a terrorist organization and that Prabhakaran was not a terrorist but a hero to him and the Tamil people. He questioned Vigneshwaram’s commitment to upholding more..

CJ 43 to boycott Bribery Commission hearings

Sep 4 (DM) Chief Justice 43 Shirani Bandaranayake informed the Bribery Commission today that she would not present herself before the Commission in the future, as she did not trust the integrity of the process and the Commissioners. During a hearing which lasted for an hour, CJ 43 Bandaranayake said the Commission was yet to respond to her objections of bias which she submitted during the past hearings. more..

A society’s struggle against abandoning homosexuality

Sep 5 (NS) Was it a new beginning for Sri Lanka? Does this hint at a degradation of social values? What will happen to the Sri Lankan culture? So many questions were raised when media revealed a homosexual marriage ceremony at Ratmalana last week. Sexuality and gender issues are still not a comfortable topic in public discussions in Sri Lanka. In fact homosexuality is still considered a taboo. Not speaking about homosexuality is not going to solve the issues. more..

How we can have a just peace: The postwar discourse in Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (GV) The last part of the background note prepared for the first session of the Marga Institute’s panel discussion on ‘Long War, Cold Peace’ contained the conceptual framework which Dr Jayatilleka uses for his assessment of what he describes as the post war crisis – “ the cold peace” on which he focuses in Chapters 3, 4 and 5 of his book. A war which he argues was fundamentally just for the reasons he has given is followed by a peace which is flawed by “the delay or inability more..

Surge of devotion reverberates the North

Sep 5 (SO) The temple of God Skanda, the ancient Maviddapuram Kovil in Kankesanthurai, today gleams with vibrant colours. Kankesanthurai, which was once blanketed and unreachable under the ‘high security’ condition, has changed drastically. People have moved back to their homes in the high security zone (HSZ) and life goes on while a gloomy past is vanishing in the sea of time. Ancient Hindu stories say that the more..

Elections woes of paper and paste

Sep 5 (NS) Seasons go and seasons come, every day is a new start they say, and yes, every new day brings about new events. When one ends another begins. As the enthusiasm of the Perahera, the drum beating and the whip cracking ends, when the decorated streets of Kandy are rearranged and normalcy returns, it’s that time again for another set of activities! No sooner the religious decorations came down, each lamp post, each parapet wall seems to be getting new wall papers of more..

The unknown fate of thousands in Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (CT) By the wayside: This wreath/ with no name attached /is for you/who has no grave/ As the place of earth/ which embraced you/ could not be found/this wreath was placed by the wayside/Forgive me/ for placing a memorial for you/ by the roadside; writes Basil Fernando about the memorial constructed by families of disappeared at Radoluwa Junction in Seeduwa, a town near the city of Negombo, Srilanka. When I visited the memorial with lingering faces of the disappeared, more..

Rape of the Giants

Sep 5 (GV) Do you remember what a large tree looked like? Once they were all around us, not just the forest giants like the Hora or Palu, but the fine old Mango and Jak trees that would have taken at least four or five men to girdle. The next time you leave the city on any road, look for those big trees and you will find that there are none. The only large trees that remain are the Rain trees planted for the comfort of the road users more..

Why is land a fundamental issue to the Tamils?

Sep 5 (CT) President Jayewardene did not like the word ‘colonisation’. Instead, he preferred the terms ‘land settlement’. But the Land Settlement Ordinance uses ‘settlement’ to mean a settlement on claims over ‘land’. Item 18 of the Provincial Councils List of the 13th Amendment, reads as follows: 18. Land, – Land, that is to say, rights in or over land, land tenure, transfer and alienation of land, land use, land settlement, and land improvement, to the extent set out in Appendix II. more..

Where does G.L. Peiris get his facts on militarisation in Sri Lanka?

Sep 5 (GV) “One of the biggest gaffes by an External Affairs Minister in post-independent Sri Lanka” is how the Sunday Times in April last year chose to describe a remark by Sri Lanka’s current Foreign Minister, G.L. Peiris. Far be it from us to accuse Minister Peiris of terminological inexactitude, but given a distinct tendency to confuse himself, our interest was piqued by public statements made in London after the visit of UN High Commission for Human Rights Navi Pillay to Sri Lanka. more..

Come on over, everything’s free in Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (Island) Foreign investors must imagine that this country is a vast, uninhabited wasteland. Because if they are willing to start a business here, they are literally deluged with gifts. They get a conveniently located piece of real estate, hooked up to all of the necessary services, for very little or sometimes nothing, while they are earnestly reassured that the Govt is working really hard to ensure that they can come and go smoothly more..

Editorial: Of those arboreal protesters

Sep 5 (Island) Male monkeys are going berserk, attacking humans and damaging property because they are without enough females in their troops and their habitat is rapidly shrinking, a wildlife official is reported to have said. (Who says males are at peace with themselves as well as the world when females are not around?) Most of the victims of monkey attacks are men according to media reports. It was reported a few moons ago that an angry monkey was mauling trishaw drivers. more..

'TNA reopens page on separatism/terrorism'

Sep 5 (DN) The TNA was trying to push a terrorist agenda in the Northern and Eastern Provinces using the platform of democratic franchise, which has given them an opportunity to introduce an election manifesto, Prof. Gamini Samaranayaka said. He said that the TNA's election manifesto, asking for fiscal powers and calling for a North-East merger etc., which was was presented to the public in the North as a platform for the elections to the NPC, is a discourse to fan the flames of separatism. more..

The fires within

Sep 5 (FT) Rajeswari Ganesan, mother of a 28-year-old Vavuniya prison inmate who died under suspicious circumstances in June last year, sobbed out her grief to visiting UN Human Rights Commissioner Navanethem Pillay in the North last Tuesday. This past year, Rajeswari’s grief over the death of her only son, who authorities claim died of a heart attack but she believes was killed in custody, has been a terrible thing to see. more..

Vasu expects TNA to work with the Govt.

Sep 5 (CT) Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara, expects the TNA to work with govt if the Alliance wins the upcoming NPC election. Referring to the TNA's manifesto, Nanayakkara said, any party would state its plans through its manifesto, but initially, the TNA would need to work with the government if it wished to develop the North. He added, though the TNA is of the view that the Northern and Eastern Provinces should be merged, the govt thinking in this regard is different. more..

99X Technology visits Uni. of Jaffna

Sep 5 (Island) With the aim of contributing towards national reconciliation and awakening the youth of North in the dawn of a new era, 99X Technology as part of its Uni-relations initiative successfully concluded a two-day workshop at the University of Jaffna on the 23rd and 24th of Aug. Proceeding from the first session held back in 2011, this year’s workshop titled ‘Life Skills Development’, visited by a team of 15 members with the CEO of 99X Technology Mano Sekaram, more..

Trouble up ahead: TNA’s election manifesto

Sep 5 (DBS) To go by its election manifesto the TNA seems completely unmindful of the massive effort that had to be made for the Provincial Council system to be set up in 1987-88, for the 13th amendment to be preserved in 2013 and the PC election in the North to be held under the existing amendment. In short it appears to be unconcerned about the fragility of the political space that has been prised open and the need to more..

State Music Awards Festival on Sept 12

Sep 5 (DN) The State Music Festival will get underway under the patronage of Minister T.B. Ekanayaka at the Maharagama Youth Theatre at 6 p.m. on Sept 12. The main intention of the State Music Festival is to recognize and felicitate the creative talents of musicians at state level to generate excellence in the field of music. The festival is jointly organized by the State Panel of Music of the Sri Lanka Arts Council and the Cultural Affairs Department on the direction of more..

Census on human and property damages due to conflict

Sep 5 (FT) The Task Force appointed for the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC and headed by the Secretary to the President has prepared a National Action Plan for which Cabinet approval has been granted on 26 July 2012. The responsibility to conduct a census to assess the human and property damages has been assigned to the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs and the Dept of Census and Statistics. This census, which has to be completed within more..

The Galle Face Hotel begins historical restoration project

Sep 5 (Island) The iconic Galle Face Hotel has embarked on a restoration project of its Classic Wing, originally built in 1864. The ambitious restoration project is designed to preserve the grandeur and romance of the magnificent property while upgrading and modernising the quality of guest facilities, amenities and services. The Classic Wing is scheduled to reopen to guests in late 2014 while the Regency Wing will continue to operate more..

Sri Lanka concerned over alleged chemical attack in Syria

Sep 5 (DM) The Sri Lankan govt said today it was deeply concerned about media reports on the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus in Syria. It was said to have resulted in a large number of civilian casualties. Issuing a statement the External Affairs Ministry said it was imperative to ensure an impartial and professional investigation in establishing the veracity of the use of chemical weapons. As a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention Sri Lanka abhors the production, more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge memorial lecture in Toronto

Sep 5 (LR) Lasantha Wickrematunge memorial lecture will take place in Toronto on September 21. Speakers will include Wickrematunge’s widow, journalist Sonali Samarasinghe who lives in exile in the United States and Sri Lankan scribe J.S. Tissainayagam who was arrested in 2008. They will be joined by Stewart Bell, Author and Senior Reporter, National Post Sanjana Hattotuwa, TED Fellow and Editor, for a panel discussion to examine press freedom and more..

Sri Lanka hits back at U.N. rights chief after visit

Sep 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's govt criticized the U.N.'s top human rights official on Wednesday for calling attention to accusations that police and soldiers had harassed people who met her during a visit to the country's former war zones. Navi Pillay, ending a mission to assess Sri Lanka's progress after a 26-year war between the govt and separatist Tamils, said on Saturday she had received reports that people she had met more..

Imports: Sri Lanka spends more on milk than drugs

Sep 5 (Island) Sri Lanka spends more foreign exchange on imported milk than on imported drugs. Rs. 40 bn is spent annually on milk foods which account for 0.58 of the GDP, according to bank reports. Milk is the second most consumed food item in the country. Rice ranks the first. It also ranks second on the country’s import bill. The GMOA said a myth was being propagated by some companies that cow’s milk was essential for children and adults to remain healthy. more..

NDB continues to empower local exporters

Sep 5 (Island) Placed amidst of wave of opportunity, today Sri Lanka is poised for sustainable economic development. In this context of emerging national prosperity, exports play a pivotal role in driving the much anticipated economic progress. NDB carries over 30 years’ heritage of commitment towards exports development in Sri Lanka. Having understood the significance of the exports industry and foreseen its limitless prospects, the Bank has extended its unwavering support to more..

Video: G.L takes another swipe at Pillay

Sep 5 (CG) Minister G.L Peiris today took another swipe at the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay over some of the remarks she had made at the press briefing in Colombo last Saturday. Minister Peiris, who had only two days ago, while speaking to the media in London, rejected some of the concerns raised by Pillay, today expressed “profound regret” and “deep sadness” at her views. more..

Agriculture contributes 11.1% to SL's GDP

Sep 5 (CT) Ceylon Linux, recently entered into an agreement with Agri Equipment Division of Hayleys Agriculture to provide its Sales Force Automation software, the most innovating system with GPS locations in a bid to enhance efficiency of its sales personnel as well as overall management of Hayleys Agri Equipment Division. The management of Hayleys Agriculture, with a view to changing from the existing method to a more innovative system seeks to simplify the task of the sales staff more..

Dutch corporates upbeat on Lanka

Sep 5 (CT) Dutch businesses are bullish on Sri Lanka's emergent prospects. "Sri Lanka's historic links with the Netherlands have entered a new era. This strong business and investment delegation is the latest sign" said an upbeat Buddhi Athauda, Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Netherlands. Ambassador Athauda was addressing the inaugural event of the visiting Netherlands business and trade delegation to Sri Lanka held at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel. The delegation, consisting of representatives more..

Only 30% declare assets

Sep 5 (CT) Even though election laws are being enforced strictly, a mere 30% of candidates contesting the upcoming Provincial Council elections have declared their assets and liabilities even though the Department of Elections has warned it will not gazette the polls results of those who do not submit declarations. Of the 3,785 candidates from the three provinces, approximately 1,100 candidates have declared assets and liabilities. more..

CMC workers picket making three demands

Sep 5 (Island) Over 2,000 municipal workers staged a protest opposite the CMC yesterday, making three demands, including the reintroduction of their former job titles and an investigation into the recent burning of vital documents. President of the Joint Trade Union Alliance (JTUA) said the number of CMC workers had been drastically reduced. He observed that the population in the city had increased but CMC reforms introduced early this year, had reduced the number of workers. more..

Teachers complain of blunder in A/L Chemistry paper

Sep 5 (Island) Teachers claimed that part (C) of the GCE A/L Chemistry second paper, of the new syllabus, was out of the syllabus. Speaking to The Island those teachers said the question was regarding the Ether synthesis process, which was removed from the syllabus in 1997. One teacher said "Nothing has been taught to the students on the Ether synthesis process, under the present syllabus." He added that it was very difficult question to answer as a considerable amount of more..