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'We want Sobhitha thera'

Oct 7 (CT) As the UNP can't win the coming Presidential election on its own, it should consider changing the name and the symbol of the party for at least six months, Eksath Bhikku Peramuna (EBP) said. Anunayake of Ramanna Chapter, Girambe Ananda Thera and Chief Incumbent of Nalandarama, Nugegoda, Tiniyawala Palitha Thera, made this statement when they met Convener of NMSJ, Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera more..

Religion: To kill or die for?

Oct 7 (SL) The ‘Great Sangha Council’ organised by the BBS with the participation of Buddhist religious leaders of the South Asian region including Ven. Ashin Wirathu Thero who is known as the leader of the 969 anti-Muslim Movement in Myanmar, created great agitation among the religious minorities in Sri Lanka. Considering the previous incidents where religious minorities in SL & their places of worship came under attack more..

World Habitat Day: ‘Many social issues stem from lack of adequate housing'

Oct 7 (DM) The World Habitat Day is celebrated globally on the first Monday of October every year and this year it falls today (6). Its purpose is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and on the basic right of all people to have adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by more..

Blatant threats and attacks prompt media protests

Oct 7 (ST) Media organisations backed by rights groups and political parties this week staged a string of protests in Colombo and in outstations against attacks on journalists and the incidents of suppression of the media. In separate protests, the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Provincial Journalists, backed by about 10 organisations, held demonstrations opposite the Fort Railway Station on Thursday and Friday. more..

Uva: Heavy lobbying for ministerial stakes

Oct 7 (Island) Amidst heavy lobbying for the handful of plum Ministerial positions at the newly elected sixth UVA PC, the appointment of its Board of Ministers has been delayed further for President Rajapaksa to make the final decision. Meanwhile, Governor of the Uva Province Nanda Mathew said that the inaugural sessions of the council would commence on Thursday at 9.30am. Uva PC will elect its new Chairman and more..

'Decrease in vote base of the govt visible'

Oct 7 (AM) Minister C.B. Ratnayake has stated that there is a decrease in the overall vote base of the govt and no one is in a position to deny the decline. “We may have committed mistakes. Perhaps there are some errors on our part. It is our responsibility to rectify our mistakes. This is my personal opinion and this does not reflect the viewpoint of the govt,” the minister said in an interview with a vernacular newspaper today. more..

Non-Tamil minorities playing crucial role in reviving North Lanka’s economy

Oct 7 (ENS) While the Tamil Diaspora and indigenous Sri Lankan entrepreneurs appear to be indifferent to the dire economic needs of the war-battered, Tamil-majority Northern Province, the island’s non-Tamil minorities are setting up factories to provide much needed employment there. MAS Holdings, Hirdaramanis, Timex-Fergasam, and Omega-Line have set up garment factories in four of the five districts of more..

Sri Lanka: UN review highlights empty rights promises

Oct 7 (AI) Sri Lanka must stop making empty promises to the international community and the Sri Lankan people on improving the country’s still desperate human rights situation, Amnesty International said, ahead of a UN review of country’s rights record. UNHRC will on 7 and 8 Oct, be reviewing Sri Lanka’s respect for rights enshrined in key human rights treaty: International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR). more..

Fears for refugees as Sri Lanka rejects bid to halt deportations

Oct 7 (UCAN) Rights groups voiced fears on Monday that a recent decision by Sri Lanka’s top court will mean another surge in the deportation of Pakistani asylum seekers. Six human rights advocates had filed a petition to the Supreme Court claiming that recent deportation orders were illegal and will put asylum seekers — frequently Christians or members of the minority Ahmadiya Muslim sect — in danger if returned to their more..

JVP, ex-CJ join forces to oppose third term for MR

Oct 7 (Island) The JVP had decided to conduct a series of seminars throughout the country to oppose President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking a third term in violation of the Constitution, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said yesterday. The countrywide seminars would be Co-Chaired by JVP Leader and MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake and former Chief Justice (CJ) Sarath Nanda Silva, MP Herath said. more..

Preventing child sexual abuse

Oct 7 (CT) A seventeen-year-old school girl studying in a girl's school in Kandy was caught in a sex act last Wednesday with a school van driver inside the van in Ampitiya, Kandy. The suspect driver was a father of two children. This sexual episode had been going on for some time until it was detected by a resident living in close proximity to where the school van was parked. Police moved in swiftly to see the shocking adventure in the rear seat of the van. The incident is an eye opener to all parents more..

Book Review: Social history of Malaria in SL

Oct 7 (CT) This is about a book by Professor Kalinga Tudor Silva titled “Decolonization, Development and Disease: A Social History of Malaria in Sri Lanka.” If I put it suggestively, this book can be called a study of ‘socio-malariology.’ It is not malariology proper as far as we know its parameters, but its social or sociological side. Tudor Silva is Senior Professor in Sociology at the University of Peradeniya and this book might take international attention in a context where more..

Ada Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.14%

Oct 7 (LBO) Stocks closed with losses due to negative price movements in index heavy John Keells. All Share Price Index closed 10.59 points lower at 7,396.01, down 0.14%. The S&P SL20 closed 9.67 points lower at 4,150.64, down 0.23%. Turnover was 1.74 billion rupees, down from 4.39 billion rupees last Friday with 86 stocks closed positive against 111 negative. Ceylon Tobacco Company closed 1.50 rupees higher at 1,160.00 rupees with three off-market transactions of more..

Sri Lankan rupee ends tad weaker on importer dlr demand

Oct 7 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee ended a tad weaker on Tuesday due to dollar demand from importers and banks. The spot currency ended at 130.32/36 per dollar compared with Friday's close of 130.30/35. Both the stock and foreign exchange markets were closed on Monday for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The spot rupee was not quoted for two sessions through Thursday after the central bank limited the spot currency range to between 130.40 and 130.50, to prevent any more..

Buddhist hardliners reject federal solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic issues

Oct 7 (Xinhua) An organization of Buddhist hardliners in Sri Lanka has rejected a federal solution to the country's long running ethnic problems, insisting it is " unsuitable," an official said. The Bodu Bala Sena or Buddhist Task Force dismissed the 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka's Constitution that India along with the Tamil minority in the county believe is the starting point of devolving power to minorities. more..

Sri Lankan fishermen detained in Myanmar

Oct 7 (IANS) A group of Sri Lankan fishermen and their three trawlers have been reportedly detained for having illegally ventured into Myanmarese waters, an official said here Tuesday. It was earlier reported that a group of Sri Lankan fishermen, who departed from the southern coastal area, were left stranded due to a storm. Around 30 fishing vessels were caught in the storm, Lal De Silva, assistant director of the Department of Fisheries, Sri Lanka, told reporters. more..

Budget 2015 to be presented on Oct 24

Oct 7 (AD) The govt has decided to present the Budget proposal for the year 2015 in Parliament on Oct 24, according to sources within the Ministry of Finance and Planning. It is said that the Budget is being presented to Parliament early this year due to the govt’s decision to hold the Presidential Election in January 2015. However, the Appropriation Bill for the service of the financial year 2015 was presented in Parliament by the PM D.M. Jayaratne on Sept 26. Expected govt expenditure for the year 2015 more..

Video: Mervyn wants liquor license cancelled

Oct 7 (DM) Minister Mervyn Silva today alleged that a liquor license has been granted to a hotel in Kelaniya despite opposition from him and Buddhist Monks, and threatened that the issue was important enough for him to leave the govt. “Minister Dullas Alahapperuma and I were invited to go for an opening of a hotel in Nahena. Thereafter they continued to request for a liquor license, but I refused to give it to them. more..

Tamil diaspora and Britain to have talks

Oct 7 (CG) The Tamil diaspora are to have talks with the British Govt today regarding issues related to Sri Lanka, a leading diaspora organisation said. The UK based Global Tamil Forum (GTF) said it, together with some other Tamil groups, will be meeting British Foreign Office Minister of State Hugo Swire today (7). This is not the first time that the British Govt has had talks with the GTF, a very influential Tamil organisation led by Father S.J. Emmanuel. GTF had expressed backing for an undivided SL more..

Police wants statement from videographer

Oct 7 (DM) Police said today they had asked the man who videoed a woman being beaten by a policeman in Ratnapura to give a statement as he is wanted as a witness. However, the Police said any individual had the right to video any incident. Victim has still not made a statement to the police. Police had asked the woman who was assaulted by a policeman at the Ratnapura Bus Terminus to report at the police station to record here statement so that she could be referred to a medical checkup. more..

Depression could develop into cyclone

Oct 7 (DM) Sri Lanka may be affected by adverse weather conditions with a possibility of a cyclone developing over the Bay of Bengal in the next few days. Met Department said that a low pressure area in South-East of the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression and it could develop itself into a cyclone within the next two or three days. Prevailing depression is expected to affect the weather over the seas off Eastern more..

Jailers launch strike

Oct 7 (Island) Around 600 jailers at the Welikada, Magazine and Colombo Remand prisons would resort to trade union action today. A spokesman for the prison officers’ union said they would refrain from carrying out their duties from 6 am today to pressure the govt to meet their 18 demands and in protest against the provision of special benefits and privileges to the newly set up Prison Intelligence Units and the dictatorial manner in which the prisons were administered. more..

Navy rescues four Indian fishermen

Oct 7 (DM) Four Indian fishermen were rescued by the Sri Lankan Navy in the Sri Lankan waters off the Delft Island yesterday while their boat had developed an engine trouble, Navy Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said. He said that Navy boats had detected the stranded boat and acted to rescue the fishermen. The boat and the fishermen would be handed over to the Delft police, he said. However, Indian media had reported that fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan navy more..

Ranil for a UNPer as common candidate

Oct 7 (CG) UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has said that the common opposition candidate for the next Presidential elections should be from the UNP. Wickramasinghe had said this when he met the UNP-UK branch and National Youth Front-UK branch in London recently, an emailed statement from the UNP UK branch said. Media statement also said that the members of the UNP-UK branch and National Youth Front-UK more..

BBS wants Sri Lanka named Sinhale

Oct 7 (DM) The BBS, revealing details of its policy framework, said today the name Sri Lanka should be changed to ‘Sinhale’ and the state flag should be the one used prior to 1815. It also proposes that the executive presidency and the provincial council system be abolished; the name of the parliament changed and the number of parliamentarians reduced to 100. “The country should have a post of ‘Sangaraja’ as the spiritual leader and he should also be the leader of the state. more..

Rare Black Rhinoceros Calf born in Dehiwala Zoo

Oct 7 (GDI) A rare black Rhinoceros calf was born in the Dehiwela zoo this morning. The black rhinoceros tops the world’s list of critically endangered species, according to the Red Data List. The calf's parents were received from Japan under an animal exchange programe in 2007 for which Sri Lanka presented two elephants. Due to its critically endangered status Rhinos are rarely exchanged by countries and rigid rules and regulations are imposed. more..

BBS wants ties with RSS to form 'peace zone' in South Asia

Oct 7 (PTI) A controversial Sri Lankan Buddhist nationalist group, accused of fanning communal tensions here, today claimed it is in talks with the RSS to create a "Buddhist-Hindu peace zone" in South Asia to counter Islamic extremism in the region. "Discussions are at a high level with the RSS. We are having a dialogue with the RSS as well as Buddhist organisations in India," BBS chief Galagodaatte Gnanasara thero told reporters. more..

UNPer challenges BBS to debate

Oct 7 (CT) UNP Western Provincial Councillor, Mujibar Rahuman has challenged the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) to a debate over the comments the BBS made during their recent convention. In a letter to the BBS General Secretary, Ven. Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera, Rahuman noted that most of the statements made by Gnanasara Thera, about Islam, were incorrect. He thus challenged the BBS to an open debate to get at the truth, about the statements made on Islam. more..

Hands off Northern schools

Oct 7 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) yesterday demanded that the security forces in the North stop interfering with the activities of schools in the province. The CTU yesterday launched a protest to mark the International Teachers Day opposite the Jaffna Central Bus Deport making 15 demands. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin stressed that teachers should be given proper promotions and principals should not be appointed by politicians. He added that Palaly Teachers Training College, more..

ACMOA, GMOA and TUs to protest against SAITM

Oct 7 (CT) Condemning the activities of the private medical university in Malabe and the support given to it by the govt, the All Ceylon Medical Officers' Association (ACMOA) and health sector trade unions will launch a series of protests from Monday (13) onwards. With the support of trade unions, like the GMOA, the ACMOA will on Monday conduct a protest march from opposite the National Hospital, Colombo to more..

Sri Lanka August trade deficit widens 31.8% y/y to $733.2 mln

Oct 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's trade deficit in August widened 31.8 percent to $733.2 million from a year earlier, mainly due to higher imports of fuel and vehicles, central bank data showed on Tuesday. August exports rose 7.9 percent from a year earlier to $991.3 million, while imports rose 16.9 percent to $1.72 billion. For the first eight months of 2014, the trade deficit narrowed 7.1 percent to $5.17 billion from $5.57 billion a year earlier.

Concerns over threats to NGOs in Lanka

Oct 7 (CG) Concerns were raised today with the UNHRC over the alleged threats, intimidation and attacks on human rights defenders in Sri Lanka. NGOs and civil society met the UNHRC in Geneva for a private meeting before the committee began to review Sri Lanka. Sir Nigel Rodley. Chairperson of the UNHRC, speaking in response to concerns raised on Sri Lanka, said that attacks and intimidation of human rights defenders cooperating with the UNHRC will not be tolerated. more..

UNHRC reviews Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (CG) The UNHRC, which began reviewing Sri Lanka’s respect for rights enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), questioned the Govt on the steps it has taken to address several concerns. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ravinatha Aryasinha, in his opening statement said that Sri Lanka has utmost respect for human rights. He said that terrorism remains more..

Wel Lakshe Wedi Handa

Oct 8 (CT) Many moons ago, ‘Wel Lakshe Wedi Handa’ was a very popular Sinhala drama, about a revolution brooding in the Uva Wellassa region, of South East Sri Lanka. At one time in our history, the area which is now described as Lower Uva, parts of the Badulla, Moneragala, and Hambantota Districts, were depicted as a fertile rice bowl to parallel the Raja Rata. Thousands of cascades of small irrigation tanks in the plains and in the mountainous regions, small and medium anicuts were more..

Tamils – Don’t fall for the unity lie

Oct 8 (CT) Unity makes us stronger. But not always. All those fighting for their rights must choose their alliances wisely or risk swapping one oppressor for another. The old adage of by your friends shall you be known is sometimes useful. Recently at the UN, Rajapaksa’s SL regime managed to mobilise some of the most undemocratic countries to its support. 21 nations, including North Korea, Iran, etc, who supported SL, have consistently opposed western govts on almost all issues in the past. more..

'SL-India relations will reach new heights'

Oct 8 (SO) Senior BJP leader Dr. Subramanian Swamy in an exclusive interview spoke on the landmark judgment against former TN Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, his overwhelming goodwill towards Sri Lanka and future Sri Lanka-India relations. The 75-year-old former Harvard Economics Professor, known for his outspokenness and daring comments, said he felt proud of India and vindicated when heard the judgment in more..

The Nation stands by its story

Oct 8 (NS) The Sri Lanka Press Council has ordered ‘The Nation’ to publish in full a document sent to us, which we do as per our moral obligations to this institution. The following is the document with mild comments within brackets inserted solely for the edification of our readers and by way of alerting the readers to comments that are to follow. Whereas a complaint made by Dr. W.D Rodrigo P.C that the Respondent the Nation News Paper (sic) published a News Paper statement dated 10/11/2013 more..

The TNA’s ‘foreignness’

Oct 8 (NS) TNA has demonstrated an obsession with calls for interventions via foreign observers, international probes, advice by foreign experts, foreign trips courtesy foreign funds, running for protests in foreign countries (Geneva, NY) and clandestinely routed INGO sponsorships, all of which indicate political immaturity. This specific political hiccup has made them dependent on a remote controlled Diaspora’s separatist agenda, still ‘foreign’ and aloof from the ground realities more..

'TNA painting wrong picture to outside world'

Oct 8 (NS) Former MP and leader of the TULF, V. Anandasangaree rules out future collaboration with the TNA until they completely denounce the LTTE and its activities. Anandasangaree alleged that the alliance should be held responsible for the atrocities committed by the LTTE since its 2004 election manifesto accepted the ideologies of the organization and acknowledged Prabhakaran as the leader. He also spoke of his moves towards more..