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Return public property used by former councilors – CaFFE

Jan 18 (LT) Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) states the the Western and Southern PCs have been dissolved and requests all former councilors to return the public property, including official vehicles, in their possession immediately. Issuing a public request to the former councilors, Executive Director of CaFFE Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon states that a large number of public properties of the two councils had been released to the former councilors and their staffs. more..

New IWMI information system to enhance water management in Sri Lanka

Jan 18 (DN) President Rajapaksa yesterday launched a new hi-tech information system developed by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), that promises to enhance water management in Sri Lanka. The new Sri Lanka Water Resources Information System, as the new initiative is called was launched by the President at the Institute's head office at Battaramulla. New system provides facts, figures and maps on more..

'Sharing of fishing rights not possible'

Jan 18 (ENS) Ahead of the talks with their Indian counterpart later this month, Sri Lankan fishermen said on Thursday that poaching by Indian fishermen in their territorial waters was non-negotiable. “We are willing to discuss all possibilities to resolve the fishermen issues, but at any time can’t accept Indian fishermen proposing for sharing the water rights. We believe both govt from its level will ensure that justice is delivered to the affected Lanka fishermen,” said president of SL’s umbrella federation more..

Hair and Beauty International 2014 in Feb

Jan 18 (CT) Hair and Beauty International 2014, the mega international competition and event held in celebration and recognition of the hair and beauty industry of Sri Lanka will be held on the 15, 16 and 17 of February, 2014 at the Galadari Hotel parallel to the 17th National Awards and Trade Exhibition. Organized by the Hair and Beauty Cluster in collaboration with the National Council for Economic Development (NCED) of the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the objective of this more..

SF meeting in Balapitiya disrupted by police

Jan 18 (DM) A tense situation arose at the Balapitiya town when police attempted to stop a Democratic Party meeting held with the participation of its leader and former army commander Sarath Fonseka. This meeting organised by Balapitiya Democratic Party co organizers Mathalee Jayasekera and Sagara De Silva, was held behind the Balapitiya public market on a makeshift platform when the police intervened and attempted to more..

Sri Lanka, India release more fishermen

Jan 18 (Hindu) The much-anticipated meeting in India between representatives of fishermen’s associations from India and Sri Lanka, scheduled for Jan 20, has now been postponed to Jan 27, according to Minister Rajitha Senaratne. According to sources in the Indian mission, the two countries wish to complete repatriation of all fishermen before the meeting is held, and want some time to complete the procedures. As many as 121 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan were released on Friday. more..

Another curb for media freedom: New laws to control photographers!

Jan 18 (LT) A new code of conduct, on the pretext of protecting people’s privacy, is to be introduced for media photographers that would drastically affect media freedom say reports. A renowned photographer representing the relevant council that is drafting the code of conduct has told media that any person whose photograph taken could take legal action stating his privacy had been violated. The govt that claims Sri Lanka is being targeted with fundamental rights accusations at more..

Mass grave fuels fear of thousands buried in Sri Lanka war zone

Jan 18 (Reuters) The discovery of a mass grave containing more than 30 skulls in northern Sri Lanka has fuelled speculation that there may be many more like it containing the remains of thousands who went missing during the three-decade war. Police have suggested that the Tamil Tiger rebels it defeated five years ago could be responsible for the burial, uncovered near a historic Hindu temple in Mannar. more..

A test for dynastic politics

Jan 18 (DM) India’s ruling Congress Party appears to be in a dilemma. It was announced that though Rahul Gandhi would lead the campaign for Congress in the national elections he would not be the Prime Ministerial candidate. Though the senior leaders of the party wish to push Rahul to the front, banking on the popularity of the Gandhi family name, at the same time they want to shield him from failure as opinion polls clearly suggest that Congress is likely to lose the Lok Sabha elections more..

‘Hirunika too knows which side her bread is buttered’

Jan 18 (DM) Many eyebrows were raised this week when Hirunika Premachandra, the daughter of slain SLFP organiser for Kolonnawa and former parliamentarian Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra accepted a post as the party’s organiser for the Colombo Central electorate. It came as a surprise because Premachandra had been at the forefront of criticising the ruling UPFA for her father’s death and claiming that judicial investigations in to the killing were not being expedited. more..

Anandhi Sasitharan the vibrant wife of senior Tiger leader Ezhilan

Jan 18 (DBS) Controversial Northern Provincial Councillor Anandhi Sasitharan is once again in the news. Sections of the media reported that the Defence ministry was pondering on the possibility of making the 42 year old wife of former senior tiger leader Ezhilan undergo a period of rehabilitation in order to “prevent her from propagating separatist sentiments”. Anandhi responded to the news reports by more..

Something is rotten in the state of Sri Lanka – our food

Jan 18 (ST) Another week of raids, and this time the Consumer Affairs Authority seized thousands of kilos of date expired sugar, Basmati rice and dried sprats valued at millions of rupees on sale to unsuspecting families, caterers and reputed firms serving locals and overseas visitors. Contaminated food can cause food poisoning and even cancers, Deputy Director General (Public Health) Dr. Sarath Amunugama warned. more..

Jaffna Muslims still in flux

Jan 18 (SL) Having grown up in Mannar, Ramsia was married in 1984 to her husband in Jaffna. “There were no problems before that time,” she said. Her husband worked at the post office. “The whole area around our house was occupied by Muslims. We were happy then because our relatives surrounded us. Now, they have sold off their land and moved away,” Ramsia said. Sonakateru and Moor Street were inhabited more..

In the land of Geoffrey Bawa

Jan 18 (Hindu) I arrive in Colombo, expecting, nay hoping, to see traditional slope-tiled rooftops, gardens, and beaming smiles. But time has reached Sri Lanka. Luxury hotels, flats and a few malls show that here too Asia is being invaded by tourists. Will plate glass, concrete and marble send vernacular architecture into a spin? Surely not in the land of Geoffrey Bawa? Then I meet feted architect Anjalendran, who more..

Thermal power plants running short of fuel

Jan 18 (Island) There is a shortage of fuel for the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) power plants, according to power and energy sector sources as the demand for fuel used by thermal power plants has gone up due to the breakdown of Norochcholai coal power plant. The CPC had low sulphur furnace oil stocks used by thermal power plants like Kerawalapitiya only for another five days, CEB officials said. more..

Floods hit Eastern and NC provinces

Jan 18 (Island) The Eastern and North Central Provinces have been hit by floods affecting thousands of acres of paddy and agricultural lands and displacing many people, according to DMC. DMC on Thursday said that the Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa areas were the worst affected. Many people in Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa had been evacuated and food and other necessities were being provided for them, more..

WHO selects Lanka to hold World Blood Donor Day

Jan 18 (DN) The Global celebration of the World Blood Donor Day 2014 organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be held in Sri Lanka. WHO had selected Sri Lanka as their venue to hold this global event due to some significant specialties of Sri Lanka. In previous years, the event had been taken place in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Dubai, South Africa, Spain, Argentina and Thailand. more..

Sajith included in NB to avoid being bombarded with calls - Kiriella

Jan 18 (Island) Lakshman Kiriella, a member of the UNP Leadership Council (LC), hit back at Sajith Premadasa, who has claimed he was appointed to the party nomination board against his wish at the latter’s behest. Kiriella said that prior to the last North Western and Central PC Polls, he had received hundreds of telephone calls and letters demanding to know why Sajith had not been appointed to the nomination board. more..

HR Chief’s report will give an assessment on SL-UK

Jan 18 (DM) While claiming that the UNHRC Chief’s report ahead of the HR Council will give an assessment of Sri Lanka’s progress, Britain has reiterated that if a credible domestic process has not begun properly by March it would use its seat on the UNHRC to call for an international investigation against Sri Lanka. Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire told in Britain’s Parliament on Thursday, more..

SL seeks more time; fishermen's association meet postponed

Jan 18 (PTI) With Sri Lanka seeking time to finalise the list of representatives for the much-anticipated fishermen's associations meeting aimed at resolving the vexed issue of fishing rights in the Palk Straits, TN govt said discussions would be held on Jan 27 and not on Monday as announced originally. Decision was taken based on a communication from the Centre that SL had sought time to finalise its list of representatives, more..

Nothing Newsworthy

Jan 18 (CT) As satellite television is now common in Sri Lankan households many of us enjoy the privilege of watching many international channels on news, sports, movies etc. I wish to make some interesting observations I noted in watching some of the Indian news channels and the stories carried by them; and despite how funny it may sound I feel that a comparison needs to be made with news reported in local media. The comparison shows to us different cultures of media reporting and also reflects more..

A world of intolerance

Jan 18 (CT) There was once a time when secularism and religious tolerance formed an integral part of Sri Lanka’s cultural ethos, much like the fabled hospitality of the smiling islanders here. So much had changed since then for a country once known for its diversity, both religious and cultural, and sadly, today it is referred to by a section of the world as a country that practices ‘a violent brand of Buddhism,’ a reference any Sri Lankan, particularly the Buddhists should be appalled by. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

The year 1988: The presidential election campaign

Jan 18 (CT) With Premadasa as presidential candidate and the party machine firmly under Ranjan Wijeratne, the UNP campaign got under way in earnest. The fortunes of party members too came to depend on the services they rendered Premadasa. In September the UNP’s position seemed weak. On looking back, the UNP’s was a well-co-ordinated campaign throwing in everything it had, both fair and foul. Chandraprema cites an incident just after the murdered more..

Sri Lanka Beat India 'A' By 11 Runs

Jan 18 (CW) Sri Lanka Women warmed up for their three-match One-Day International series in India by beating India 'A' by 11 runs in Visakhapatnam. Yasoda Mendis scored the only half-century of a low-scoring match as Sri Lanka defended their score of 185 all out by dismissing India 'A' for 174. Opening the batting, Mendis made 53 in 62 balls as she and Chamari Atapattu (30) put on 87 toghether. After that partnership was broken, none of the other Sri Lankans could convert starts more..

Day 3: Sri Lanka ahead despite Shehzad ton

Jan 18 (CI) Ahmed Shehzad scored his maiden Test hundred but Pakistan's progress on the third day in Sharjah, despite a century opening partnership and 122 runs in the final session, was not swift enough to weaken Sri Lanka's grip on their 1-0 lead in the series. At their current pace the best Pakistan can hope for is to draw a Test they need to win, but with their middle order falling away alarmingly, they were far from more..

Lankan mafia godmother: Breaks men, solicits, fights drug dealers

Jan 18 (E24|7) Police has busted an organised crime gang led by a woman, whose alleged practises will put to shame seasoned godfathers of the underworld. She has beaten out limbs of men, has been involved in territorial wars with drug peddlers, pimps and managed sex workers including men in Colombo. The gang was spread across the city and worked out of night clubs and casinos. In a sting operation, the protagonist along with her aides was arrest from a place in Marine Drive, more..

Disappearances commission holds public sittings in Kilinochchi

Jan 18 (CT) The Presidential Commission to probe Disappearances has commenced its field visits with the former LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi where Commissioners said late last year was from where the Commission had received more than 25% of complaints. The three-man Commission which extended its deadline for complaints several times, will visit each of the five districts of the Northern and Eastern Provinces to hold public sittings and invite complainants to come forward. more..

Blood on the factory floor: Industrial accidents soar

Jan 18 (ST) Carpenter P. Somasiri suffered horrendous injuries when he fell onto an industrial saw in the small carpentry workshop he works at in Hibutana, Mulleriyawa and had to undergo complicated reconstructive surgery to reattach his severed hands. A few months earlier he had suffered serious gashes while working and been rushed to hospital. Somasiri has returned to work at the carpentry shop after his operation more..

St. Joseph’s College Rector transferred to Aquinas

Jan 18 (ST) The Archdiocese of Colombo on Wednesday gave effect to the transfers of rectors, vice rectors and directors to Colleges and Parishes that it had unexpectedly suspended on Jan 3, 2014. The “rearranged” list was released by Rev. Fr. Jude Samantha Fernando, Secretary (Administration) of the Archdiocese. There were several changes. For instance, Rev. Fr. Bonnie Fernandopulle—who was earlier replaced as rector of St. Sebastian’s College by Rev. Fr. Camillus Fernando more..

Our batting's experience gives us edge over Sri Lanka: Mithali Raj

Jan 18 (PTI) Confident of getting the better of Sri Lanka in the upcoming limited-overs series, Indian women's cricket captain Mithali Raj on Saturday said the home side's experienced batting line-up would be its biggest strength in the matches starting here on Sunday. India and Sri Lanka will lock horns in a three-ODI and three-Twenty20 series. "Even though we lost the practice match, we are very confident of victory against the visiting team since we have a good batting line up," more..

DPF says banning hardline Buddhists groups no solution

Jan 18 (Island) The Democratic People’s Front( DPF) claimed it was both pragmatic and liberal in its politics and found extremists among both the Sinhala and Tamil communities, but the extremist Buddhist groups had no moral right to accuse Christian leaders and attack churches. Deputy Leader of DPF Dr. Kumar Guruparan said that banning of extremist Buddhist organizations was no solution to the problem, more..

Earls Regent Hotel opens in Peradeniya

Jan 18 (DN) Earls Regent Hotel opened on January 14 with an investment of Rs. 1.5 billion. Chairman of Earl's Regency Hotel, Earl Gunasekara said this is their second investment in Kandy. However the Earl's Regent Hotel is situated in Peradeniya. "The location for the new hotel was chosen mainly because of its proximity to the Botanical Gardens, and it is 2.5 km from the Kandy Railway Station. The hotel is also 5 km from the Kandy Lake and 6.3 km from the ancient Temple of Tooth Relics," more..

Continuous crop failure

Jan 18 (CT) Vegetable farmers in areas that come under the Hali Ela Divisional Secretariat have been facing widespread crop failure over a period of time. Crops change colour and many varieties of vegetables perish, they complained. Though the farmers had used pesticides to arrest the situation, the problems had persisted, and incurring heavy losses in the process. Those so affected are from Hali Ela, Neluwa, Pattiyagedera, Kirinda, Maliththa, Katugaha, Etempitiya, Pallegama, more..

Sri Lanka wants more trade with Pakistan

Jan 18 (AAP) Sri Lanka and Pakistan have very close relations but these can be further strengthened by increasing their bilateral trade. This was stated by newly appointed Sri Lankan Consul General, H.M.B. Herath at a media reception hosted at his residence, here on Saturday, said a release. The Sri Lankan envoy said the bilateral trade between Pakistan and Sri Lanka had increased by 13% in 2013 more..

Bank, non-bank lender merger path outlined

Jan 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's banks and well managed larger non-bank lenders will be encouraged to swallow up to three second tier firms with tax breaks and cheaper financing, a plan released by the banking regulator said. A presentation by Sri Lanka's Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal made to the financial industry has asked identified 19 non-bank lenders called finance companies as 'category A' which are compliant with regulations and has capital of more than a billion rupees more..

21 bags of seed onions detected at BIA

Jan 18 (Island) Customs at BIA yesterday took into custody 600 kg of big onion seeds worth Rs. 1.8 million and 60,000 cigarettes worth Rs. 600,000. Customs spokesman Leslie Gamini said that the 28-year-old resident of Colombo, had arrived from Bangalore, with the onion seeds concealed in 21 bags. Asked how a single passenger had been able to check in 21 bags as they exceeded the normal baggage weight allowance, he said it was being investigated. more..

'Sri Lanka ready to face UN rights body'

Jan 18 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it was ready to face another resolution against the country in the UN rights body over alleged war crimes during decades long civil war against the rebel Tamil Tigers. "We have a big challenge in March. We are ready to face any challenge," said Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe and country's human rights envoy. He said while facing the challenge in the UNHRC, SL would not let its troops down. more..

SF to HRC over Balapitiya incident

Jan 18 (CG) Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka says he will lodge a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka over the incident in Balapitiya yesterday. The police disrupted a public meeting at Balapitiya yesterday organised by the Democratic Party led by Fonseka saying permission had not been obtained to use loudspeakers. A truck used for the public event was later seized by the police and the driver was also arrested. Fonseka said he had not violated more..

Improve ties with SL: BJP to Congress

Jan 18 (DM) While slamming the Congress-led UPA government for what it said was its weak foreign policy, India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today called on the Indian Congress govt to improve its relationship with neighbouring nations including Sri Lanka, PTI news agency reported. Party president Rajnath Singh stressed that while his party favours cordial and friendly relations with other countries, it could not be at the expense of India's self-esteem. BJP called for improving relations with more..