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Silence of the graveyard

Nov 7 (DM) Philosopher Edmund Burke has said all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good and sincere people to say or do nothing. The legendary American civil rights activist Martin Luther King often lamented that what hurt more was not the sword of the enemy but the silence of the friend. Sri Lanka is going through a crucial period in its history, with the Supreme Court reflecting on a vital constitutional issue. The Court will give its opinion on Monday on whether President Rajapaksa has the right to more..

The balance sheet of China’s new Asian bank

Nov 7 (DM) Two years after the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference where 44 Allied nations gathered to form the World Bank, governors of these nations met at Savannah, Georgia in the US. The Bank had not agreed on a president and there had been many disagreements between the European governments and the United States, the key financier of the post-World War II reconstruction programme in Europe. Though it was a meeting of allies, there was mutual suspicion about each other’s intentions. more..

Is SLR service sidelined in rail projects?

Nov 7 (SL) Following our last week’s expose on how Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) continues to give railway track reconstruction tenders to foreign companies for a higher price when SLR workers have the potential and the expert knowledge to construct the same work for less than half the price of the foreign contractor, questions have been raised why the Govt of Sri Lanka does not want to obtain SLR service for railway projects. more..

Mannar Bishop meets Defence Secy: Mullikulam displaced to be resettled soon

Nov 7 (CT) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, at a special meeting with Mannar Bishop, Rt. Rev. Rayappu Joseph, has agreed to expedite the resettlement of fisher folk in Mullikulam in the Mannar District. The meeting was held at Defence Secretary's office in Colombo on Wednesday. Bishop Joseph said, the Naval presence in Mullikulam was not yet removed, and the fisher folk numbering 232 families from more..

Nearly 3,000 NIC forms of O/L students incomplete

Nov 7 (CT) Department of Registration of Persons reprimanded the principals of schools for sending in incorrectly filled ID application forms for students to sit the O/L exams in December. "We have so far received nearly 3,000 incomplete or incorrectly filled forms, which are stacking up. If correct applications are not forwarded, the students are the ones who would face great difficulties," said Commissioner more..

3,000 SL illegal immigrants missing in UK

Nov 7 (ST) At least 3,000 Sri Lankans are among 50,000 illegal immigrants whom the British Immigration authorities have lost track of. The shambles in the British Border Agency, which was brought directly under the Home Office after a series of scandals rocked the institution, were exposed last week in a report by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons. Figure of 3,000 Sri Lankans is speculative as more..

Sajin rejects allegations over his assets

Nov 7 (CG) Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena today rejected allegations raised over his assets and told Parliament that the opposition can inspect them if they so wish to. The MP said this after the opposition had raised allegations over the assets of the MP including a private helicopter in his possession. He said that the assets in his possession had been acquired over a period of time and not overnight. more..

Indian foreign ministry pooh-poohs Karuna’s allegations

Nov 7 (AM) The Indian External Affairs Ministry on Thursday refused to take cognizance of a Sri Lankan minister V Muralitharan’s (Karuna) allegation that Indian Peace Keeping Force raped Tamil women during the civil war, stating that there was no official complaint from the Sri Lankan govt. “Sri Lankan government has not raised this with us. We can only respond to govts, clearly and lucidly, but not voices in wilderness,” more..

India's Assistant HC says Landslide survivors need long-term solutions

Nov 7 (CT) Assistant High Commissioner of India, A. Natarajan, who visited the landslide hit Meeriyabedda village yesterday said, the survivors of the tragedy need long-term solutions. Indian diplomat visited the affected areas to assess the assistance required by those affected by landslides. He said that he was informed by District Secretary (DS), Rohana Dissanayake, govt is looking for alternative land in Haldummulla more..

Fresh moves by CBK

Nov 7 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who recently returned to the country from an overseas stay, is playing a ‘pivotal role’ in working out a common agenda to bring forward a candidate acceptable to all the parties in the opposition. However, it was not clear whether she would contest proposed snap presidential election as the common candidate or not. Parties in the opposition are busy with preparations for more..

Indian railways denies claims on Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (CG) IRCON International, an Indian public sector company, which has been constructing railway tracks and signaling systems in Sri Lanka for nearly a billion US dollars, has trashed criticism by some Lankans that it has inflated the cost of its projects. S P Vithanage, Secretary, All Ceylon Railway Employees General Union, and Dr T Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, economist and former Secretary, Transport Ministry, had contended more..

Communist party’s ‘Aththa’ office sealed

Nov 7 (DM) ‘Aththa’ newspaper, a publication of the Communist Party of SL has been withdrawn from circulation (read the censored newspaper) and its newspaper office sealed early this morning on the orders of the Party high command. Newspaper, edited by Peradeniya University’s former Dept of Fine Arts Head Dr. Michael Fernando, had carried articles critical of the decision which is expected to be taken by more..

Corporal punishment in schools

Nov 7 (CT) A principal of a school in Matara was taken into custody by the police recently, allegedly for causing injury to a student by caning. The injured student, a 10-year-old boy had been hospitalized due to the injury following the punishment imposed, which came as a shock to parents of school-going children in the country. The incident had also provoked a protest by some parents against the principal. This unpleasant incident is connected with the imposition of corporal punishment, more..

The two bizarre constitutional questions!

Nov 7 (CT) It may appear that Mahinda Rajapaksa has preempted Sarath N Silva. But you never know. The atter may appear before the Supreme Court before the verdict on the 10th. An intriguing constitutional situation has arisen in this serendipity (does it mean strange?) Sri Lanka with two bizarre questions being referred to the Supreme Court by the former in his apparent capacity as the incumbent President. They were buddies few moons ago. Two questions are ordered alphabetically more..

When Tigers came for Colombo Talks in 1991

Nov 7 (CT) In a moment of silent reflection, my mind explored events of the tragic past of my country which was embraced by the blight of brutal terrorism. Came to mind, the journey I made to the thick jungles of Mullaitivu at the risk of my life when the LTTE was in full military power with Anton Balasingham his wife Adele now reported to be living in a luxurious house in Surrey. Adele was addressed as 'Aunty' by those child soldiers more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.8%

Nov 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed 0.78% higher with tobacco and diversified stocks gaining amid strong foreign purchases, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed 57.69 points higher at 7,416.15, up 0.78%. The S&P SL20 closed 26.19 points higher at 4,128.30, up 0.64%. Turnover was 2.52 billion rupees, up from 2.10 billion rupees last Wednesday with 113 stocks closed positive against 86 negative. The aggregate value of all off-the-floor deals represented 16% of the daily turnover. more..

GMOA to teach new docs communication skills

Nov 7 (Island) GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Nalinda Herath said that an orientation course for interns would commence from mid November before they joined the hospitals to undergo internship training for one year. GMOA would train all the interns in effective communication skills, Dr. Hearth said, noting that the programme would impart both vertical and horizontal communication skills. There had been numerous instances where patients complained against doctors due to the latter’s more..

'21st Maritime Silk Route has synergies with Sri Lanka gov't policies'

Nov 7 (Xinhua) China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Route (MSR) policy has strong resonance with the Sri Lankan govt's economic plans with clear synergies. China's MSR has strong connections to the SL President Rajapaksa's economic policy framework that outlines aims to establish a maritime, commercial, knowledge and energy hub, Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Ajith Nivaard Cabraal said. more..

Koslanda tragedy: Bahu questions govt's relocation plan

Nov 7 (CT) How can a government, which, despite repeated pleas from the Koslanda landslide victims to be relocated, made years before the tragedy, now suddenly find alternative land to relocate them after the disaster? NSSP Leader Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne questioned. "These alternative lands offered are lands owned by the govt, which they have not given to plantation companies. The people in these areas have been pleading for alternative lands since 2005. more..

Regulations against taking ID overseas

Nov 7 (CG) Department for Registration of Persons is to implement regulations on Sri Lankan nationals taking the National Identity Card (ID) with them when going on long trips overseas. Commissioner of the Department, R.M.S. Sarath Kumara said that since the National ID card is in Sinhalese and Tamil it will not serve any purposes overseas. He said that strict regulations will be introduced on where an ID can be kept if an individual is travelling overseas either on a long holiday or for employment. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 13.6% in Oct

Nov 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 13.6% to 121,576 in October 2014 from a year earlier, driven by India, UK and China. In the nine months of 2014 arrivals were up 21.5% to 1,228,754. South Asian visitors were down 10.7% to 35,718 compared to the same month last year with arrivals from India, Sri Lanka’s top market, up 19.8% to 26,148. Visitors from Maldives were down 0.04% to 6,460 & Pakistan was down 33% to 1,725. more..

GMOF calls for referral system

Nov 7 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Forum (GMOF) urged the Health Ministry to establish a sound referral system before formulating a Specialist Registry. GMOF President, Dr. Rukshan Bellana said in countries like the UK a patient was referred to a specialist by a General Practitioner (GP). However, in Sri Lanka such a system was conspicuous by its absence. Only the patients who visited govt hospitals were referred to medical specialists by other doctors while others more..

Initial TNA-SLMC talks successful

Nov 7 (CT) TNA and the SLMC have reached an agreement to solve 'minor' issues cropping up between Tamils and Muslims in the Northern Province, through discussions. Consensus was reached at a meeting held between the two parties at SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem's official residence on Wednesday. Two parties had discussed the political situation prevailing in the country. Pertaining to similar talks taking place between the two parties in the future, TNA MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, more..

Sri Lanka external trade expands in Sept

Nov 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports rose 0.5%, to US$ 903 million in September 2014 from a year earlier with largest contribution from textiles and garments followed by coconut and printing industry products, official data showed. Apparel exports grew 4.4% to US$ 403.8 million in September 2014. Exports of machinery and mechanical items had risen 17.6% to US$ 32.1 million and rubber products had risen 6.1% more..

SF snubbed at Koslanda welfare centres

Nov 7 (Island) Officials of the Disaster Management Centre providing relief to people affected by Koslanda landslide turned down relief material donated by DP Leader Retd Gen. Sarath Fonseka and his supporters yesterday. As the authorities did not accept the dry rations and other food items, Gen. Fonseka ordered his supporters to dump them opposite the entrance to Sri Ganesha Vidyalaya in Koslanda. Gen. Fonseka and his supporters had met the affected people and spoken to them. more..

Massive security for India-Sri Lanka ODI

Nov 7 (TOI) Nearly 1,500 police personnel will be deployed for the upcoming one-day international cricket match between India and Sri Lanka at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal on Sunday. Cyberabad police said 56 cameras would be installed in and around the stadium and a command control room will also be set up to monitor all the CCTV footage. "Spectators will not be allowed to carry bags, banners, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, match boxes, lights, helmets, more..

UN slams Govt over war probe

Nov 7 (CG) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday criticized the continuing attacks by the Sri Lankan Govt on the integrity of the UN Human Rights Office’s ongoing investigation into alleged grave human rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka, and condemned the intimidation of human rights defenders and individuals who may wish to cooperate with the investigation. more..

‘One in 95 SL children suffering from autism’

Nov 7 (Island) It has been revealed that one in 95 Sri Lankan children had autism, said, Chandima Rajapatirana, Co-founder, E.A.S.E. Foundation. Speaking at a ceremony in Colombo on Tuesday, she said: "Our support group enables parents to befriend similar families. Since many parents come to us scared, depressed and discouraged we also provide counseling sessions. We do all this because their child needs a stable, strong, positive and knowledgeable family base to progress. more..

DMK for special session on Sri Lanka

Nov 7 (CG) India’s DMK party has urged TN Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to convene a session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly to discuss important issues, including the death sentence awarded to five fishermen in Sri Lanka, the hike in milk prices and the proposal to hike power tariff. DMK party treasurer and the party’s Legislature party leader M.K. Stalin said as Tamil Nadu was witnessing one crisis after another, there was a need to discuss these issues in the Assembly. more..

UNP misses Sobitha thera's common opposition meeting

Nov 7 (AM) The UNP will not be taking part in the meeting which is scheduled at Naga Viharaya Kotte, this evening which is aimed at finalizing a decision with regard to the opposition’s common candidate. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayakes said the UNP would be making a decision on the matter based on the outcome of today’s meeting. The movement for a Just Society, led by Maduuwawe Sobhitha Thera, has already more..

BIA wildcat strike: Disciplinary inquiry against SLFP trade union

Nov 7 (Island) Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said that a disciplinary inquiry would be held immediately against the SLFP trade unionists at the BIA for having resorted to trade union action without giving the authorities prior notice. Measures would be taken immediately to gazette the BIA as a compulsory service so that its operations would not be crippled. He said he had instructed the Secretary to the Ministry to submit a comprehensive report on Wednesday’s incident with special emphasis more..

President declares open Museum in memory of DA Rajapaksa

Nov 7 (GDI) A museum comprised with a collection of items used by both late D.A Rajapaksa and his wife in Medamulana was declared open by President Rajapaksa at a function held in Medamulana on Thursday. The museum was declared open parallel to the 47th Commemorative activities of late D.A. Rajapaksa. Personal belongings of late D.A. Rajapaksa and his wife and several letters written in his hand writing together with a collection of rare photographs of more..

'Opinion of SC cannot be sought regarding an individual’s disqualification'

Nov 7 (LT) “There is no ‘public importance’ in the issue raised by the President. Mahinda Rajapaksa is disqualified to go for a third term. It is an issue of the individual called Mahinda Rajapaksa. When he was elected by the people on 27th January, 2010 for the position of president he automatically gets disqualified to contest for a third term. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s disqualification has not been removed from 18th amendment either. more..

3 orphans to be looked after by next of kin

Nov 7 (DM) Three children who lost both of their parents in the Meeriyabedda landslide were handed over to their closest relatives on an order obtained from the Bandarawela Magistrate’s Court, the National child Protection Authority (NCPA) said today. Their situation will be regularly monitored by the NCPA under the directive of its Chairperson Anoma Dissanayake. Child Development and Women’s Affairs Ministry in collaboration with the NCPA had made arrangements to uplift more..

Sri Lanka PM offers prayers at Tirumala

Nov 7 (Hindu) SL Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne on Friday offered prayers at the famous hill temple of Lord Venkateswara. Mr. Jayaratne, who was accompanied by his family members and other officials, was accorded a warm reception on his arrival at the posh Padmavathi guest house where he made a brief halt before proceeding towards the main temple complex. Mr. Jayaratne was received with traditional honours by the temple priests and top echelons of the TTD management, more..

Karu backed to be common candidate

Nov 7 (CG) Several political parties and individuals have today extended support to UNP LC chairman Karu Jayasuriya as the common opposition candidate at the next Presidential elections. The agreement was reached following talks held today with the venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha thera. The UNP leadership has also reportedly agreed to back Jayasuriya for President at the elections expected to be held next year. more..

Bar wants hearing on presidential terms

Nov 7 (AP) Bar Association on Friday asked the Supreme Court to hold an oral hearing on whether President Rajapaksa could seek a third term in office. Rajapaksa on Thursday sought the court’s opinion if he could contest an election two years before his second term ends. The constitution has been changed to allow a third term, but there is debate over whether the change applies to Rajapaksa. The president wants the court to rule by Monday, and court gave Bar Association more..

JHU at crossroads: Final talks scheduled over the weekend

Nov 7 (AM) JHU, a key constituent party of the ruling coalition, is to make the final decision on its support to the govt over the weekend. The final round of discussions between the govt and the JHU is to take place during the weekend at Temple Trees. The discussion will be attended by Minister Basil Rajapaksa and several other seniors of the UPFA. A spokesman of JHU said that the party was not satisfied with the manner in which the govt greeted the proposals presented by the JHU. more..

JVP on the presidential election

How to pick the common candidate

Nov 8 (CT) A common opposition candidate is commonly regarded as a good idea but on second glance isn’t necessarily so. It can be a good idea but only in one set of circumstances. That is if the common candidate is capable of securing the largest number of votes against the incumbent, thereby ensuring a real race for the presidency, which can restore some balance to the political system also by acting as a springboard for an opposition victory at the parliamentary election or a referendum. more..