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Development: At what cost?

Nov 16 (CT) Unplanned development activities in the Hambantota District are intensifying the human-elephant conflict, environmentalists claim. In the last few months, 10 elephants have been killed while attempting to maraud farm lands of poor farmers, while seven farmers have been killed and two others disabled due to elephant attacks. "Unfortunately, this is not the fault of the elephants or the poor farmers more..

Was BBC correspondent bribed?

Nov 16 (CT) UNP Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa, strongly condemned and refuted a report by the BBC Sandeshaya, which claimed that Premadasa would extend his support to even Chandrika Kumaratunga or Karu Jayasuriya as common candidate at a future Presidential Election. BBC claimed Premadasa had made that statement during an interview with Saroj Pathirana. Premadasa said that he never made such a statement to the BBC, and maintained that UNP has already more..

Lankan refugees at Indian camp fast

Nov 16 (CG) Twenty-six, including 25 Sri Lankan refugees, who have been quarantined at a special camp at the Central Prison in Tiruchi, launched a fast yesterday, demanding the early completion of the cases against them, The Hindu newspaper reported. They are facing charges, including illegal entry and suspected association with the LTTE. Many of them were recently transferred to the special camp here from different camps in the State. A Malaysian citizen is among them. more..

Video: Entire city under CCTV for Pope

Nov 16 (DM) A special security plan is to be implemented before the arrival of Pope Francis. The new security plan includes the installation of CCTV cameras along Baseline Road in Dematagoda, Orugodawatta and in front of the Magazine Prison. Existing CCTV systems from old Parliament Circle to Gale Face Green Circle were to be upgraded. The installation of new CCTV cameras and upgrade of existing cameras would allow more..

Kuwait offers humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka

Nov 16 (KUNA) Vice President of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) Anwar Al-Hasawi stressed here on Sunday that Kuwait has strengthened its role in the international community through its humanitarian and relief efforts in countries that are exposed to natural or man-made disasters. A press statement quoted Al-Hasawi as saying during his recent visit to Sri Lanka and his inspection of an Opthalmology Hospital that the KRCS plays an important role in that country through more..

Health sector official on the mat

Nov 16 (Island) A health sector official has been sent on compulsory leave as a top-level probe continues into alleged financial misappropriation at a key govt institution in the country. The Health Ministry’s investigations unit has already questioned several individuals and recorded their statements during the ongoing investigation into the alleged misuse of public funds, senior officials said last week. It was based on the preliminary findings that Senior Manager (Human Resources & Legal) more..

Death of Dr. Seevali Ratwatte

Nov 16 (Island) Dr. Seevali Ratwatte, Chairman of the Upali Group of Companies, died yesterday at a private hospital in Colombo. He was 91. Born on Nov 24, 1923, he was the son of Balangoda Barnes Ratwatte and Rosman Mahawalatenna. He was the fifth in a family of 4 brothers and 3 sisters. The world’s first woman Prime Minister, the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the elder sister of Dr. Ratwatte. more..

Roshita & Lakmali are women’s carrom champs

Nov 16 (ST) Sri Lanka slicers Joseph Roshita partnered by Chalani Lakmali emerged winners of the Women’s Doubles at the 12th Rangers Open Ranking Carrom Tournament organised and conducted by the Carrom Federation of SL worked off at the Federation Headquarters, Maharagama. In the Men’s Singles again the Sri Lanka players dominated with Chamil Cooray, Anas Ahmed, M.T.M. Hilmy and Nishantha Fernando making their way to the semi-finals. more..

Don’t throw away those crumbling land records!

Nov 16 (Island) "Just because a document related to land rights is dust-gathered or old, you cannot afford to dispose of it," said Dr. Saroja Wettasinghe, Director, National Archives, encapsulated the significance of the archives protecting land rights at the launch of the 35th edition of the National Archives Week last Monday. This year’s theme was ‘Archives Protecting Land Rights.’ The National Archives Week which is coming to a close today, was aligned with the objectives more..

More cracks visible around Koslanda

Nov 16 (CT) "Many people think this is the end but this is the beginning." Many of us did not understand that. He was talking about the landslide in Meeriyabedda in Koslanda in which scores of hapless people were buried alive without last respects. But this is a story about living people. We must learn a lesson from Meeriyabedda and provide relief to these people. "What are you saying?" "Do you mean another Meeriyabedda is coming more..

Dave and I wondered why hotel was empty

Nov 16 (NS) I was with my plus one and our youngest daughters in Sri Lanka. Dave is great to go away with. In her real life, she is high powered and super organised. But give her a pina colada and a ray of sunshine and she won’t move for weeks. Dave can lie by a pool reading the entire Booker longlist while I mostly tweet and say things like: “The novel is so over.” Sri Lanka was not for me because it was like India but a slightly Center Parcs version of it. I fell in love with Tamil Nadu more..

A chat-compartment in Yal Devi

Nov 16 (Island) It is my belief that one of the main reasons for the frictions between the North and the South is the lack of opportunity for the two sides to meet face to face. As the first Chairman of the Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority of the North, I organized tours for groups from the North to come down South and meet their countrymen in 1998. The first to come was a group of school children who had topped the AL exam. When the participants arrived by boat at Trincomalee, more..

'Rajapaksa lies about me'

Nov 16 (DM) Former Norwegian Special Peace Envoy Erick Solheim today charged President Mahinda Rajapaksa for telling lies about him. Solheim in a Twitter message said, “President Rajapaksa tells lies about me as election approaches. I will set the truth straight tomorrow (Monday)”. He was responding to claims by President Rajapaksa, who accused him (Solheim) for covertly funding the Tamil Tigers. more..

Green light for BCAS, but with conditions

Nov 16 (NS) Graduates and Final Year students of British College of Applied Studies (BCAS), which offers LL.B degrees from the University of Wolverhampton have been required to follow the entire course of studies for three years at Sri Lanka Law College after a decision was taken to admit them again. When contacted, Principal of Sri Lanka Law College, Dr. Jayatissa de Costa, confirmed that the institute had been deregistered by the Council of Legal Education but it was later decided to more..

Kandy town’s public facilities get a new look

Nov 16 (ST) President Rajapaksa yesterday declared open, among other public facilities, a pedestrian walk in Kandy town, enabling the public to avoid walking on the main road. The pedestrian lane extends from the clock tower to the goods shed bus stand. The opening of the multimillion rupee facilities started with a new shelter at the clock tower bus stand, the pedestrian lane and a shopping complex for vendors who were displaced from the strip of land adjoining the railroad. more..

In Luxemburg 18 Chefs from Sri Lanka will vie for gold at Expoghast

Nov 16 (Island) Expoghast, the bi-annual Chef’s competition held in Luxemburg, was an open event which attracted entries from 61 countries world-wide. The Chef’s competition spread over a period of about one week will have international participation with Luxemburg being the center for culinary excellence. Chairman, Sri Lanka Chef’s Guild, Gerard Mendis assured that all preparations are in place and team is ready more..

Foreign monitors will be invited

Nov 16 (SL) Foreign election monitors will be invited to observe the next presidential election in the country, Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. Commonwealth Secretariat had said recently that Commonwealth monitors will be sent to Sri Lanka for the Presidential election. “It has been the general practice in the recent past to invite foreign election monitors for a general election or a presidential election. Accordingly, if there is a presidential election more..

Pay traffic fines via mobile phones: New system from 2015

Nov 16 (AD) Sri Lanka Police has decided to make traffic fines payable via mobile phones and credit cards. Police media spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana stated that as the first step of this initiative, a system will be introduced for motorists to pay respective fines for traffic offense s using any mobile phone. He stated that the new system will be put into action from the end of the year and that it will be available through all mobile service providers in the country. Decision to implement the new system was more..

Multi million rupee welfare assistance for Ranawiru families

Nov 16 (MoD) Brand new three wheelers, educational scholarships, housing loans were among the welfare incentives presented to War Heroes during a ceremony held today (14). The ceremony was held at the ministry premises under the patronage of Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa. It had been organized by the Ranawiru Seva Authority to coincide with the birthday and the anniversary of the second term in office of more..

Signing of opposition parties MoU postponed

Nov 16 (DM) Signing of the MoU, which is to be held tomorrow between Opposition political parties to come to an agreement on the policies to be adhered to by the Common Opposition Candidate, has been postponed due to the illness of Ven. Sobhitha Thera, sources said. Earlier it was decided the convener of the People’s Movement for a Just Society, Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera, the convener of Pivithuru Hetak, Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thera, former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, more..

India to take part in Defence Chiefs’ Dialogue

Nov 16 (AD) India will join seven other SAARC and ten ASEAN member nations at the inaugural South and Southeast Asian Nations (SASEAN) Defense Chiefs’ Dialogue- 2014 from November 27 to 29 in Colombo. The conference will be held at the Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and at the Water’s Edge Hotel in Battaramulla. Defence chiefs of these 18 nations will attend the event. Senior defense officials from China and Russia are also expected to participate as observers. more..

Sri Lanka raises the tax stakes on James Packer's casino proposal

Nov 16 (Age) James Packer's Crown group faces a new set of hurdles in his quest to open a $US400 million casino in Sri Lanka after threats by the country's president that new gaming levies will be imposed should he win the upcoming January elections. President Rajapaksa, who is set to seek an unprecedented third six-year term, announced new funding measures in his latest budget. This includes a $100 entrance fee and a 10% more..

UDA undertakes Kurunegala lake beautification project

Nov 16 (GDI) The UDA has already undertaken the beautification of Kurunegala Lake surroundings as one of the priority projects with a view to enhance the aesthetic condition of the town. The Lake beautification project include 3.5 km length jogging track with cycle lane, planting of trees, providing vehicular parking bases, trimming of existing trees, lighting of project area, street furniture, rest rooms, gymnasium etc. The UDA has prepared a plan including above features and more..

UNP awaits the formal announcement

Nov 16 (CG) The UNP says it is awaiting a formal announcement from President Rajapaksa saying Presidential elections will be held next year, in order for the party to take the next step. UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said that once the formal announcement is made by the President the UNP will announce who it will back for President at the polls and will then begin campaigning. He said that since President Mahinda Rajapaksa still has a couple of years for his term to end more..

India complete Sri Lanka whitewash

Nov 16 (CI) A sublime Virat Kohli hunted down Sri Lanka's 286 to complete India's absolute domination in this series, while checking off the only conspicuous individual milestone that had been missing from the tour thus far - a Kohli hundred. Five India batsmen have hit centuries in the series, but for poise and execution, Kohli's cannot be beaten. He arrived with India in slight trouble, watched on aghast as his middle order more..

Beyond “Bizarre!”

Nov 17 (CT) With a presidential election very obviously in the cards in the near future, there has been a flurry of activity – at least in the media – connected with the expected event. What should fascinate anyone observing the Sri Lankan scene are the various scenarios being predicted, all based, seemingly, on the fiction that elementary standards of democratic practice will prevail during this event. To describe such an expectation as “bizarre” would be to understate the case when more..

Elections, Mahinda and the Tiger

Nov 17 (CT) Mahinda Rajapaksa is willing to abolish the executive presidency in his third term. Mahinda Rajapaksa wants to send every Muslim on Haj. It is the season for fantastical lies and unreal promises. Soon the President may pledge to send all Buddhists to Dambadiva, all Christians to the Holy Land and all Hindus to whatever shrine in India they wish to visit. Mahinda Rajapaksa is not quite sanguine about the upcoming elections, probably because he is aware of growing discontent more..

'I can defeat Karu'

Nov 17 (CT) UNP MP, Upeksha Swarnamali, said she was confident of her victory at the 2010 General Election despite who she was contesting with or against. "I was aware from the beginning that Karu Jayasuriya was not so popular in the district, although he was the Deputy Leader of the party at the time," she said. Q: Do you regret the decision to cross over to the govt from UNP? A: Never. I think it was a very good decision. more..

An appeal to Lanka’s conscience

Nov 17 (ST) In a impassioned KG Kannabiran memorial lecture delivered at Chennai last Sunday, Northern Chief Minister and former Supreme Court Justice CV Wigneswaran drew an unequivocal link between the subjugation of Sri Lanka’s judicial institution, (along with that often misunderstood, if not scoffed at term, the Rule of Law) and the plight of ‘Tamil-speaking peoples’ in the country. Featured prominently in the Indian media, this was perhaps one of the most highly visible more..

Making India and China vie for her favors

Nov 17 (NS) India seemed really disturbed this time for it got TNA to criticise Lanka’s rapidly growing relations with China in Parliament on Friday. TNA parliamentary group Leader R Sampanthan made use of the time given to his party - 30 minutes and obtained five additional minutes from the UNP, during the committee stage debate on budget 2015 under the expenditure heads of the Ministry of External Affairs, to find fault with Government for increasing the Chinese presence in Lanka. more..

'SC judgment binding in every sense'

Nov 17 (SO) Minister Peiris has pointed out that the legal effect of a determination by the Supreme Court under Article 129 (1) of the Constitution is a settled matter, in view of a conclusive ruling by the Supreme Court. Article 129 (1) provides that: “If at any time it appears to the President of the Republic that a question of law or fact has arisen or is likely to arise which is of such nature and of such public importance that it is more..

Dr. Seevali Ratwatte: A long and distinguished life

Nov 17 (Island) Death occurred on Saturday of Chairman of the Upali Group of Companies, Dr. Seevali Hansasaara Ratwatte. He was a son of Barnes Ratwatte and Mahawalatenne Kumarihamy. A younger brother of world’s first woman PM, Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Dr. Ratwatte once served as her private secretary. He held several key government positions and became the Chairman of Export Development Secretariat. Dr. Ratwatte later took over the Upali Group as its Chairman more..

Executive Presidency: Genuine pressure point or slogan-mine for regime change?

Nov 17 (NS) Issues related to President Rajapaksa running for a third term of office was settled this week when the Supreme Court decided he could do so, even as former Chief Justice Sarath Silva lamented that, with the decision of the country’s highest court now known, ‘nothing more could be done’.   The opposition is still engaged in its search for the ‘common’ candidate but the rallying point for this is not so much a campaign against Mahinda Rajapaksa, but a different demand: more..

Rohana Wijeweera's last hours

Nov 17 (CT) Former Lance Corporal of Sri Lanka Military Police, Indrananda de Silva, reveals the last moments of JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera before he was killed after interrogation. Q: What is your name? A: Indrananda de Silva. Q: Do you remember November 1989? A: The most unfortunate incident of my life took place in that month. Q: What were you then? A: I was a Lance Corporal of Sri Lanka Military Police. more..

Editorial: An unsung hero

Nov 17 (Island) Chairman of Upali Group of Companies, Dr. Seevali Hansasara Ratwatte, has gone the way of all flesh at the age of 91. Anyone’s death diminishes us, but the demise of good men like him leaves us diminished beyond measure. Dr. Ratwatte was a multi-faceted personality and much is known to most Sri Lankans about his family background, medical career and involvement in business. What really made us adore him was his yeoman service to Sri Lankan media. more..

MR on his mark, gets set to go

Nov 17 (ST) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said it best when he told Parliament, “The Supreme Court has given an excellent judgment.” Now with the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling, a vehement 'yes' resounded ten times round the table for added comfort, the sibilant squeaks of moribund dodos that peeped out of the deadwood to hold otherwise have been silenced; and the way has been cleared of lingering nettles, for President Rajapaksa to contest for a third consecutive term more..

'India series a bad dream for Sri Lanka'

Nov 17 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya, SL's chief selector, has said that the side's ODI series loss in India is "a bad dream" and he expects the side to bounce back in the forthcoming matches against England. Sri Lanka will host England for a 7-match ODI series, which starts in Colombo from Nov 26. Jayasuriya admitted that a second-string bowling attack and inability of the top order to score big runs were the main factors behind heavy defeats more..

Contrite Kohli, apoplectic Kohli, and a Dhoni impersonator

Nov 17 (CI) Both Ambati Rayudu and Virat Kohli have been involved in run-outs stemming from miscommunication this series, and together they contrived perhaps the worst mix up of the series, when both batsmen had looked set to make big scores. Kohli bottom-edged a ball from Shaminda Eranga in the 28th over, and though it seemed headed toward third man, Dinesh Chandimal made a good diving stop from behind the stumps. Rayudu had already committed to the run though, and more..

Death of former Silumina Chief Editor Karunadasa Sooriaarachchi

Nov 17 (DN) Former Chief Editor of Silumina newspaper and veteran journalist Karunadasa Sooriaarachchi better known as Kasuri passed away at the Colombo National Hospital yesterday. Kasuri was serving as a Consultant Editor of the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (Lake House). He started his career as a teacher and joined the Divaina newspaper of the Upali Newspapers Company and subsequently was appointed Deputy Editor of the Divaina. more..

Only 2 out of 50 CHOGM projects attract investors

Nov 17 (CT) Though one year has passed since the Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting held in Sri Lanka, the country's investment promotion agency has failed to attract investors to 48 out of 50 project proposals submitted. Aiming for US$ 10 billion worth of foreign direct investment from CHOGM, the Ministry of Investment Promotion and the Board of Investment submitted 50 planned projects to the CHOGM business forum. more..