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Thousands protest against govt in Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (AP) Thousands of protesters from opposition parties, human rights groups, trade unions and media groups marched Tuesday in Colombo in a rare show of dissent against the govt. They held separate marches in Colombo, shouting slogans which accused authorities of corruption and mismanagement, and later came together for joint rally. Tissa Attanayake, an opposition lawmaker, said law and order has broken down more..

Private bus operators declare neutrality at upcoming polls

Jan 28 (Island) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) President Gemunu Wijeratne announced that his association would not support the govt at the forthcoming PC elections as it was an apolitical association. He said the LPBOA wanted the govt to implement the pre-paid card system for private buses from 2014 July. If the govt introduced the pre-paid card system, the LPBOA would be ready to reduce the bus fares as under the existing set up their conductors were more..

Leadership council split 3-3 on giving nomination to Maithri, Shiral

Jan 28 (Island) Three members of the UNP Leadership Council (LC) are totally opposed to nominating Maithri Gunaratne (Southern PC) and Shiral Lakthilaka (Western PC) to contest the Southern and Western Provincial Council polls in March. Sources close to the LC said that Colombo District Parliamentarian Ravi Karunanyake, Party’s General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and even National Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe were against nominating Gunaratne and Lakthilaka. more..

Uganda seeks army training

Jan 28 (CG) Uganda has sought training from the Sri Lanka army special forces. A foreign delegation from the Ministry of State for Defence of Uganda, headed by the Minister of State for Defence of Uganda General (Rtd) Odongo Jeje, had discussion with the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake at the Army Headquarters today. During the meeting both General (Rtd) Odongo Jeje, Minister of more..

Doing business in SL: A cautionary tale

Jan 28 (FT) A leading British hotelier in SL faces deportation after hanging the Sri Lankan flag upside down. Should foreign businessmen on the island beware? Bizarre turn of events began shortly before the CHOGM, held in SL in Nov. Geoffrey Dobbs, a British and Australian citizen who owns four boutique hotels in and around Galle, noticed that at least four commonwealth flags – including Australia’s – had been hung upside down or manufactured back to front. more..

China to look at Norochcholai

Jan 28 (CG) China has said it will look at the issues and concerns raised over the Norochcholai coal power plant. The Govt information department said that Chinese Embassy officials had given an assurance that China will provide the experts and equipment to ensure the smooth functioning of the power plant. The power plant has been facing technical issues since the time it was commissioned. The Norocholai power plant began construction in 2006 using a loan from a Chinese bank more..

Biswal to arrive on Friday

Jan 28 (CG) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal will arrive in Sri Lanka on Friday and will remain in the country till Feb 2, the US State Department said today. Assistant Secretary Biswal will meet with Sri Lankan officials to discuss a range of bilateral issues, including post-conflict reconciliation, justice and accountability issues. During her visit Biswal will also travel to Jaffna, more..

Social media: A possible threat to national security in Sri Lanka

Jan 29 (NS) The balance between estate military and electronic/cyber power has become a questionable and valuable fact on national security. Thanks to ethical hackers and cyber security experts who has taken this topic to the market, so that we are aware of the situation where cyber security is also a critical element in national security. Since war has ended and the country is moving towards its development, many organizations and groups have taken steps to prevent the country from more..

International pressure is a mixture of ‘Power Politics’ and genuine concerns

Jan 29 (CT) It is quite unlikely that the US will back down without proposing a resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, irrespective of the Sri Lankan govt making some last minute ‘defence overtures’ and the Minister of Foreign Affairs arguing that ‘repeated resolutions are counterproductive and will further polarize the country.’ What is not yet clear, however, is whether such a resolution would directly call for a high profile ‘international’ investigation on war crimes or not. more..

'Where have all our lost ones gone?'

Jan 29 (SO) 'I feel my child is living somewhere and she may come home one day', Ponniah 54, from Mulankavil said. He was among the 804 people who lined up at the Harmony Centre in Kilinochchi to participate in a mobile camp that was organised by the State to help missing persons' families. Families who lost children and dear ones to the LTTE. Ponniah is still searching for his missing daughter who was abducted by the LTTE at more..

SL should have rolled red carpet to Rathika

Jan 29 (CT) Sri Lanka like Don Quixote has gained notoriety in fighting imaginary enemies. Tilting at windmills is an English idiom which means attacking imaginary enemies. The phrase is sometimes used to describe confrontations where adversaries are incorrectly perceived, or to courses of action that are based on misinterpreted or misapplied heroic, romantic, or idealistic justifications. It may also connote an importune, unfounded and vain effort against confabulated adversaries for more..

A new beginning in the New Year

Jan 29 (NS) The New Year should bring new hope and new visions to all in Sri Lanka. It is in keeping with human nature to renew oneself and even begin life anew, at certain decisive points. With the New Year, and the sad divisive war well behind us, a newness of life must brighten the faces of all Sri Lankans and genuine reconciliation, fraternity and peace should get firmly rooted at a deep level and restored in all parts of this Island and all should live as one people. more..

No home to call their own!

Jan 29 (CT) The people of Vavuniya have lived through a brutal civil war, and had harboured hopes that they would be able to enhance their standard of living after the conclusion of the war. However, nearly five years post-war, the people live in extreme poverty with little hope for better standards in the immediate future. The inhabitants of an area in Vavuniya claim that even though they were resettled and have been living in a more..

Bradman’s for the ages!

Jan 29 (CT) Bradman Weerakoon, the legendary former Civil Servant has written a letter to the President. Approximately in about 1,250 words, the former bureaucrat who had the rarest of rare privilege of serving three Presidents and seven Prime Ministers in the highest capacity in the bureaucracy may have reserved his best-ever performance for a Ruler he did not serve! The author of Rendering unto Caesar, most unfortunately for the current President and even more so more..

Theatre of governance !

Jan 29 (CT) In a country where elections are used as an affirmation for popularity beyond its democratic means, citizens are hardly excited anymore. However, interestingly, the lost excitement is creeping in. Maybe for the wrong reasons! The recent calls for nominations for the Western and Southern PCs are making headlines for the wrong reasons – stardom and coveted glamour seem to take the lead over issues, principles and policies in the Provinces at focus. more..

Life of Sri Lankans in Australia

Jan 29 (Island) As many Sri Lankans have migrated and domiciled in Australia during the last five decades, primarily in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, it is useful to dwell upon the lifestyle and identity issues they face as the generation of migrants give way to the second generation, i.e. their children. Many of the immigrants from Sri Lanka who started to come in the 70s and 80s now have grown up children more..

Buddhist extremism & Chinthana Parshadaya

Jan 29 (Island) Mr. Rajan Philips in his article on "The fall of the Tiger, the rise of the Sinhala Roar (Ravaya), and Geneva anxieties" in The Sunday Island of 26th January states: "A much broader broadside came in last week’s Sunday Island Political Column under the headline: "The Mad Monk Phenomenon." Curiously, the Minister of Education and the Sunday Island (SI) columnist are shy of naming names. The Minister laments about the "activities of some Buddhist monks", and more..

Post-war economic recovery: Need for boosting manufacturing sector

Jan 29 (Island) Australia-based entrepreneur of Sri Lankan origin, Claude Selvaratnam, called for a cohesive effort to enhance the manufacturing sector in accordance with an overall strategy geared to exploit the post-war stability. Selvaratnam, Managing Director of Perth-headquartered Vista Bay International, emphasized that expanding of the manufacturing sector would be the key to Sri Lanka’s success. Both public and private sectors should focus on the manufacturing field, more..

Maiden ton caps off Silva's arduous comeback

Jan 29 (CI) When Kaushal Silva whipped a long-hop behind square on the leg-side to move into triple figures, he whooped and gesticulated with all the ecstasy a maiden Test hundred often inspires. Almost as soon as the shot was hit, there were celebrations at the other end, too. Kumar Sangakkara held his own arm and bat aloft, not just out of joy for a cricketer who had had the most demanding climb to Test level of all SL's more..

Al-Amin left to rue bad luck

Jan 29 (CI) Four missed opportunities took the sting out of the Bangladesh bowlers' workmanlike effort on the second day of the Test in Mirpur. Al-Amin Hossain suffered the most, though his efforts were notable, as the Bangladesh bowlers continued their struggle at the Shere Bangla National Stadium. Shakib Al Hasan's three wickets at the end of the day brought relief to a bowling attack that looked flat for long patches. Al-Amin's only wicket, of Kumar Sangakkara, came with the second new ball, more..

Can GOSL solely depend on LLRC?

Jan 29 (Island) Having brought the LTTE to its knees on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon on the morning of May 2009, the govt is still struggling on the diplomatic front. For want of a cohesive post-war strategy, the govt is now on the defensive in the run-up to the forthcoming UNHRC session in Geneva. Those responsible for meeting the Geneva challenge in March, 2014 are yet to adopt remedial measures, in spite of the rapidly deteriorating situation. The country faces a third more..

TNA targets NP chief secretary R. Wijiyaludchumi demanding her removal

Jan 29 (DBS) The TNA is now directing its anger towards NPC Chief Secretary Ms.Wijiyaludchumi Ramesh instead of Northern Governor GA Chandrasiri as it did earlier. The TNA despite winning 30 of the 38 seats of the NPC seats at elections has been unable to ensure the smooth functioning of the new provincial administration so far. The TNA which earlier blamed Chandrasiri –described as a “military governor by it- for this situation more..

Brandix funded MIT-Global Startup Labs-Sri Lanka kicks off

Jan 29 (Island) 73 young Sri Lankans, identified as prospects for the country’s next generation of top entrepreneurs, began their accelerated journey to entrepreneurship in January with the kick-off of the Brandix funded MIT Global Startup Labs’ (MIT-GSL) SL programme. Chosen from over 350 candidates from five participating Sri Lankan universities and other higher educational institutions, these undergraduates and recent graduates will undergo seven months of intense start-up incubation more..

Editorial: Electing rogues

Jan 29 (Island) Elections Commissioner (EC) Mahinda Deshapriya has promised to get tough with candidates contesting the upcoming PC polls, according to a recent news item in this newspaper. He has reportedly warned that unless candidates submit their asset declaration together with nomination lists, they will not get their officials identity cards without which they cannot, inter alia, enter counting centres. The EC finds himself in an unenviable position. more..

Who will be the next JVP Leader?

Jan 29 (CT) General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva, said yesterday that the Party will appoint a new leader on 2 February, but added, it will not be him. Silva said the new Party leader will be elected at the JVP's Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on 2 February. "JVP Leader, Somawansa Amarasinghe, at the last Central Committee meeting, had suggested that the Party should consider having a new leadership. more..

Man tries to enter President’s official residence in Kandy

Jan 29 (DM) A person was arrested by the guards at the President’s official residence in Kandy, for trying to enter it by force this evening, police said. The police said the suspect from the Katugastota area was trying to enter the President’s house to meet the President to make an inquiry about his child not being admitted to a school. The suspect was admitted to the mental patients’ ward at the Kandy Hospital and would be produced before the Kandy magistrate after obtaining more..

With peace this is the era for young entrepreneurs: President

Jan 29 (FT) President Rajapaksa on Monday said young entrepreneurs should make the most of the country’s peaceful atmosphere. “Young entrepreneurs should use these most favourable opportunities to expand their horizons by going that extra mile,” the President said in his address at the gathering to mark the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce (HDCC) in Hambantota. President added that this is the era for entrepreneurs, who can help build more..

CBK says will not contest

Jan 29 (CG) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga says she was approached by some political parties to contest as a common candidate for the next Presidential elections but so far she has decided not to accepted the invitation. Responding to a question posed to her at an event, she said that while things can change as far as her decision on contesting is concerned, at this moment it is very unlikely. more..

SLIS presents five new standards

Jan 29 (DN) Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLIS) has presented five new draft national standards for public views and ideas before finalising them. The five new draft standards relate to infant cream and lotions, adults cream and lotions, ground rock phosphate (fertiliser grade), dolomite (fertiliser grade) and good procedures for children’s homes (Child Development Centres). A press release said the draft standard for cream and lotions include their health safety in production more..

Reconciliation must for peace in Sri Lanka

Jan 29 (ENS) The resolution passed by Northern Provincial Council (NPC) asking for an international probe into the war crimes, allegedly committed by the security forces during the final weeks of the ethnic conflict, exposes the lack of reconciliation between the state and the Tamil minority. Nearly 40,000 Tamils were allegedly killed during the final phase of the conflict. There is photographic evidence of such crimes like the killing of slain LTTE chief Prabhakaran’s teenaged son. more..

SL clergy blame police for rising hate attacks

Jan 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Buddhist hierarchy and other religious leaders accused police Tuesday of failing to prosecute those behind a recent wave of attacks on Christians and Muslims. A multi-religious group led by Buddhist monks said the country had failed to grasp the threat posed by hate speech and attacks because local media reports had not been "impartial or factual". "There is at present a public perception that more..

Lankan Hussain wins Grammy

Jan 29 (FT) Bassist Hussain Jiffry has become the first Sri Lankan born to win the prestigious Grammy award. The honor was bestowed upon Jiffry, who is a part of bass legend Herb Alpert and wife Lani Hall’s quintet, when the group won the Best Pop Instrumental Album Award for their album ‘Steppin’ Out’ at this year’s Grammy Awards, which concluded on Monday morning. Jiffry is known for his work with well-known names in the international music scene such as Whitney Houston, more..

Sri Lankan farmers resist new seed law

Jan 29 (NI) Grassroots farmers’ organizations in Sri Lanka have joined forces with environmental activists, scientists and other concerned citizens to mobilize against a new Seed Act which they say will undermine farmers’ rights and threaten biodiversity. The draft ‘Seed and Planting Material Act’ under consideration by the government will, campaigners say, benefit the seed industry, controlled by big transnational corporations, at the expense of the country’s small-scale farmers more..

Govt. is killing our hopes: Wigneswaran

Jan 29 (FT) Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran says emotions are running high in the NPC with members losing faith in the Central Govt because it continues to blockade the work of the newly elected body. Speaking to Daily FT following the adoption of a controversial resolution calling for an international war crimes probe in the NPC, Wigneswaran said President Rajapaksa was “killing the hopes” of the more..

'Nice to be invited home' - Rosa

Jan 29 (Island) Legendary long distance runner and Sri Lanka marathon record holder S.L.B. Rosa said that he was take up when he was invited by the Sports Ministry to be felicitated by President Rajapaksa at the occasion of the opening of the new building of the Sports Ministry, scheduled for today. "It’s nice to be invited like this. The ministry is paying for the airfare and this is the only time that I am being invited in such a way," said Rosa in a telephone interview with ‘The Island’ more..

LPBOA might soon be dissolved

Jan 29 (CT) Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) said they might dissolve the organization, unless transport authorities provide solutions to the numerous issues in the private transport sector. LPBOA President, Gemunu Wijeratne said, the Association has been highlighting the issues of the transport sector for more than a decade, but transport authorities do not listen to them. “We have been demanding the implementation of combine timetables for many years. more..

GL to meet Khurshid over UNHRC resolution

Jan 29 (ENS) Sri Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris will be meeting external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday with the agenda to take forward the talks to resolve the fishermen issue and to also discuss the forthcoming UNHRC session where US is expected to again bring a resolution. Peiris arrived in Delhi on Tuesday for a three-day visit, during which he will meet Khurshid on Wednesday. more..

We ready to support Sri Lanka-UK

Jan 29 (DM) Britain on Monday said that if the Sri Lankan govt has begun a genuine and credible domestic process in to the alleged war crimes claims, properly by March 2014, it would give it its full support to the Sri Lankan govt. Speaking in UK Parliament Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire stated, “We have also highlighted that any domestic process should be credible, independent and transparent to be accepted by the international community. more..

CJ assures judicial reforms

Jan 29 (CG) Chief Justice Mohan Peiris today assured that judicial reforms will take place soon in order to ensure an efficient and sensitive judicial system and one that will give expeditious disposal to cases before it. Speaking at a seminar in Kandy, the Chief Justice said that the program aimed at ensuring judicial reforms will be implemented this year. He said that as part of the series of events to introduce judicial reforms will be case management. Speaking at the seminar for judges more..

Sri Lanka military denies using illegal weapons against LTTE

Jan 29 (PTI) Sri Lankan military denied accusations that it used illegal weapons in combating the LTTE during the decisive phase of the civil war in 2009. "Never at anytime during Sri Lanka Army's 25 years of counter terrorism operations has it resorted to the use of illegal weapons," military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said. He was responding to accusations levelled by Tamil groups that more..