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Sri Lankan Tamil activist hospitalized after attack by assailants

Oct 9 (UCAN) A Tamil human rights advocate says he was attacked and beaten with iron rods following a meeting with other activists in Vavuniya. Krishnapillai Thevarasa, president of the Vavuniya Citizens Committee, says he was beaten Wednesday evening after planning a demonstration with other rights activists. “On my way home … while I was riding my motorcycle, I was assaulted by four men with iron rods,” Thevarasa said by telephone from a hospital more..

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.13%

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's stocks closed lower with tobacco and diversified stocks losing ground amid thin foreign participation. All Share Price Index closed 9.93 points lower at 7,386.08, down 0.13%. The S&P SL20 closed 0.71 points higher at 4,151.35, up 0.02%. Turnover was 1.46 billion rupees, down from 1.74 billion rupees last Tuesday with 82 stocks closed positive against 124 negative. Hemas Holdings closed 10 cents higher at 61.70 rupees with an off-market transaction of more..

CEB Electrocuted!

Oct 9 (CT) The Treasury has slashed the CEB's allocation by 99% in the upcoming Budget 2015. Though the Power and Energy Ministry has requested for a sum of Rs 25 billion as capital expenditure for 2015 in the 'Budget 2015', the Treasury has allocated only Rs 240 million. CEB Chairman W. B. Ganegala has been further informed by Treasury Secretary, Dr. P. B. Jayasundera that the CEB will have to meet more..

England-Sri Lanka ODI rescheduled

Oct 9 (CI) Fourth ODI in England's tour of Sri Lanka has been shifted from Dec 6 to 7 to accommodate for a Buddhist holiday. The series, beginning on Nov 26, has seven matches - four in Colombo, two in Pallekele and one in Hambantota. Reshuffle allows for a reserve day for the third ODI on Dec 3. With the north-east monsoon in mind, five matches have reserve days. Only the fourth and seventh ODIs do not have that provision. Both teams are coming off a break from international cricket. more..

Enemies of the President’s promise: sleepy II

Oct 9 (CT) GL’s appointment as Minister of External Affairs in 2010 was generally welcomed. Bogollagama had lost the election, which made the President’s task easier since, given his complaisant approach to those who supported him, he would have found it awkward to replace Bogollagama. The only other serious candidate was Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. Sri Lankan Ambassador in Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleka, who had done a fantastic job in staving off moves against SL at the UNHRC, more..

Sri Lanka’s LP gas prices to be reduced

Oct 9 (LBO) President Rajapaksa has instructed to reduce the price of a domestic gas cylinder by 250 rupees. The price reduction comes into effect from Oct 10th Friday 2014. The reduction was annouced at funtion held in Kelaniya recently. President Rajapaksa reduced electricity tariffs by 25% and reduced prices of Kerosene oil by 20 rupees last month. Petrol prices were also reduced by five rupees while Diesel prices reduced by more..

PSM pressing for balance demands

Oct 9 (Island) Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) urged the govt to meet the remaining three demands including the recruitment of the Allied Health  Science graduates instead of PSM diploma holders. General Convenor PSM, Saman Jayasekera, said however that the Cabinet had given its nod on Sept 19, for the much delayed Grade One promotions on a twelve-year seniority basis. PSM and nurses who had completed 12 years of service would be eligible for promotions. more..

'Stranded Lankan fishermen safe'

Oct 9 (DM) The Sri Lankan fishermen who were stranded due in their boats to strong winds in the Myanmar waters were safe, the Ministry of Fisheries has said. Speaking to Daily Mirror the Director General of the Department Nimal Hettiarachchi said the Myanmar authority had permitted the fishermen to be anchored in their waters until weather conditions settled. He said the Fisheries Department had informed the Myanmar govt to provide whatever assistance to the fishermen. more..

President Rajapaksa appoints Tamil leader as deputy minister

Oct 9 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today appointed senior Tamil MP V S Radhakrishnan as a Deputy Minister, a move aimed at wining the support of the community ahead of his third re-election bid. The President's office announced the swearing-in of Radhakrishnan, a member of the Upcountry People's Front (UPF), as the Deputy Minister of Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation. more..

Sobitha thera and BBS founding leader engage in verbal battle

Oct 9 (AM) An argument had occurred between Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera and BBS Founding Leader Kirama Wimalajothi Thera over the former's role as the Convener of the Movement for a Just Society. Argument had occurred on the sidelines of funeral ceremony of the late Bellana Gnanawimala Thera which took place early this week. When Sobitha Thera arrived at the event, Wimalajothi Thera, who is the junior monk of the two, had stood from his seat as a sign of respect. more..

Modi is coming but not so soon

Oct 9 (Island) Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be visiting Sri Lanka but not soon Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Y.K. Sinha said yesterday. Asked if PM Modi would be in Colombo shortly close on the heels of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit, Sinha replied, "Mr. Modi intends to come, but not as quickly as being speculated in certain circles and by some media institutions. If he is due in the near future, I as the High Commissioner should know, right?" more..

Senanayake returns with reworked action

Oct 9 (CI) Sachithra Senanayake marked a return to competitive cricket by bowling 22 overs over three matches in Sri Lanka's Mercantile Cricket tournament. Bowling with a reworked action, for the first time since being banned in July this year, Senanayake registered with figures of 0 for 35, 2 for 22 and 3 for 16. Senanayake was given permission to play in the tournament as per the ICC guidelines after more..

Govt. housing programme not a patch on Gam Udawa – Sajith

Oct 9 (Island) The govt had started the practice of painting the houses built by the late President R Premadasa under Gam Udawa programme and putting up plaques claiming the credit for its Jana Sevana project, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said. Addressing a ceremony at Udadeniya in Okewela to provide financial assistance to Kalanchigoda Arunalu Association, MP Premadasa said the Gam Udawa Programme had been converted to Jana Udawa programme by the incumbent govt but more..

Ragala Estate murder: All nine accused acquitted and discharged

Oct 9 (Island) All nine accused in the Ragala Estate murder case were acquitted and discharged by High Court Judge of Nuwara Eliya Lalith Ekanayaka due to non-collaborative evidence. The nine accused had been indicted for the murder of Palaniyakkam Moorthi while being members of an unlawful assembly on June 17 of 2000 at the Ragala Estate. The accused were Singer Ganesh, M. Navasivayam, S. Arumugam, Veerappan Ganeshan, Gopal Kishnan, Veerappan Rajendran, more..

UK group says it has torture evidence

Oct 9 (CG) Freedom from Torture, only organisation in UK dedicated solely to the treatment and rehabilitation of survivors of torture, says there is evidence to back allegations of torture in Sri Lanka. Dr Juliet Cohen, Freedom from Torture’s Head of Doctors who addressed the UNHRC in Geneva during the review on SL, said that Sri Lanka’s continued refusal to seriously engage with UNHRC on extensive evidence more..

Mubarak named in Sri Lanka A squad

Oct 9 (CI) Jehan Mubarak has been named in the Sri Lanka A squad for the first four-day match against West Indies A, starting October 11 in Hambantota. The squad of 15 will be led by Upul Tharanga. Mubarak, who last played a Test in 2007 and ODI in 2013, featured in eight T20s for Southern Express recently, five in Sri Lanka and three in the Champions League T20 qualifiers in India. He last played a first-class match in April this year. SL's next assignment is against England in November. more..

Prisons Commissioner takes charge

Oct 9 (CT) The administration of three main prisons in Colombo has been placed under Prisons Commissioner, Gamini Jayasinghe, with immediate effect. Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera said, this move was taken after the three superintendents of the Welikada, Magazine and Colombo Remand Prisons, respectively failed to thwart the trade union (TU) action taken by prison guards on Tuesday. Accordingly, Jayasinghe will supervise and monitor all administrative affairs of these prisons. more..

Video: Vote from abroad: Ethara Api

Oct 9 (DM) JVP affiliate Ethera Api organisation announced today it was planning to initiate discussions with the Elections Commissioner to implement a system enabling Sri Lankan expatriates to cast votes at future elections. Ethera Api Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Hadunnetti stated that the aim was to facilitate more than one million Sri Lankans living abroad, the opportunity to cast votes at future elections. more..

Cape Weligama opens on SL's South Coast

Oct 9 (IT) Yesterday marked an exciting new chapter for Sri Lanka’s tourism industry as the country welcomes its newest and most glamorous beach resort, Cape Weligama. The second hotel venture for Resplendent Ceylon, owned by the Fernando family of Dilmah Tea, Cape Weligama follows the success of iconic sister hotel Ceylon Tea Trails to offer the perfect complement of ‘Tea and Sea’. Perched on a spectacular cliff-top site, just south of Galle Fort on SL’s south coast, more..

Train talks to continue tomorrow

Oct 9 (DM) The talks between the Professional Railway Trade Union Alliance (PRTUA) and the Railway Authorities had ended in without a resolution. Officials said however the discussions would continue tomorrow. The train service arrangement for today is applicable for tomorrow as well, Railways Superintendent L.A.R Rathnayake said. “Forty trains have arrived at the Colombo Fort Railway Station and could be able to provide a better service for the commuters,” more..

'No election goodies to be included in budget'

Oct 9 (PTI) President Rajapaksa's 2015 budget will not offer any election goodies, a top treasury official said today amid reports that he may call a snap poll to win a third consecutive term. "Although there was reference made in the weekend media that the 2015 budget will be a bag full of election goodies, I can assure you that it will be a development oriented budget". P B Jayasundera, the Secretary to the Treasury said. more..

Video: Excise probes into Kelaniya licence issue

Oct 9 (DM) The Excise Department has launched an investigation to look into Minister Mervyn Silva’s claim on issuing a liquor license to a hotel in Kelaniya despite the objections of him and Buddhist monks. “Commissioner General D.G.M.V. Hapuarachchi has instructed the department to initiate an investigation into the issue. We will look into whether the licence was given within a legal framework, with the help of the Divisional Secretariat,” Excise Spokesman said. more..

Alleged human smugglers from Sri Lanka take cases to Canadian Supreme Court

Oct 9 (VS) The Supreme Court is set to examine the country's human smuggling laws. The top court will hear a series of appeals brought by people accused of being smugglers over the last few years. Among them are the cases of several people charged in connection with the arrival of Sri Lankan migrants off the coast of B.C. in 2009 and 2010. The Crown charged crew members on both ships with human smuggling offences but appeals were launched on a number of grounds. more..

British High Commissioner hopes Sri Lanka will abolish death penalty

Oct 9 (CG) British Govt says it hopes Sri Lanka will back a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin said that in January last year, Sri Lanka was shocked and saddened by the execution of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudia Arabia. With others, the UK had called for clemency, not least because Rizana was a minor at the time of the alleged murder. more..

Challenges and attacks against civil society

Oct 10 (CT) This is a joint statement by IMADR and FORUM-ASIA together with civil society organisations in Sri Lanka. Current situation in SL contradicts the ICCPR. Incidences of torture, disappearances, extra-judicial killings and custodial deaths have neither been effectively investigated no compensated. Human rights defenders and civil society organisations working on such issues are often targeted with impunity and subjected to intimidation, harassment and reprisals. more..

Experimenting federalism in Sri Lanka

Oct 10 (CT) Though it is five years after the LTTE was defeated, Mahinda Rajapaksa-led govt failed to place a meaningful solution to the satisfaction of the Tamils as well as of the international community. On the contrary, Mahinda Rajapaksa & his siblings have achieved a systematic and calculated murder of innocent Tamils, which demonstrates genocide on different pretexts. Murdering innocent citizens is discouraged in religious teachings to defeat an enemy. more..

Revamped Mullaitivu bustling with life

Oct 10 (SO) Five years and five months after the elimination of terrorism in the final battle at their doorstep, the people of Mullaitivu, mostly fishermen and farmers, who faced unimaginable horror showed no traces of their bitter memories, thanks to the prevalent atmosphere of peace and the govt's far-reaching development programs that can be observed everywhere in the district. more..

Why did Mahinda say US had changed?

Oct 10 (CT) Diplomatic circles focused attention on President Rajapaksa's recent view that, following his talks with United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, he (Rajapaksa) felt that the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka. It is not known that Mahinda took such a view due to the cordiality of Kerry or what was prompted to him by Monitoring MP, Sajin Vass Gunawardena, who spearheads the effort to change the US stand on Sri Lanka through a PR firm employed by Colombo at a heavy cost. more..

What of the rational Tamil voice?

Oct 10 (NS) A development will be meaningful when it is done within a peaceful atmosphere. The previous govts never had an opportunity of initiating massive development drives in a post – war era, because those govts could not end the war. The present govt had that opportunity to carry out massive development projects in a real post- war period. The Rajapaksa Govt is the one and only Govt which saw the post war era of Sri Lanka. This is an historical period in this country. more..

The cool and not so cool of this land

Oct 10 (ST) We are on the expressway to Matara. I have a close friend with me from the USA who is in Sri Lanka after perhaps six years. His wish is to visit the South to see the emerging townships and upcoming infra-structure as well as travel off-the-beaten track, possibly to dig at childhood nostalgia for he has been away now for over thirty years with only infrequent short visits in-between. This is his third day and he thinks more..

Robust and Independent Judiciary behind Jayalalithaa conviction

Oct 10 (DM) Extremists of both corners of the political spectrum, in India as well as in Sri Lanka, must still be celebrating the conviction of former TN Chief Minister. While in power, Jayalalithaa Jeyaram managed to rouse the base instincts of both Tamils in India and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. But moderates in the two neighbouring nations must be equally enamoured by the sheer audacity of a robust, vigorous and independent Judiciary without which no country, especially a democratic republic, more..

Che the uncompromising and unrepentant revolutionary

Oct 10 (DM) Ernesto Che Guevara was assassinated on October 9, 1967. He was captured in a military ambush in the small village of La Higuera in Bolivia. The Bolivian Army rangers trained by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America carried out the capture. They questioned him to verify and establish his identity, then cleaned him, trimmed his hair and beard, dressed him in new clothes and shot him taking care not to mark his face. more..

Living with HIV/AIDS

Oct 10 (CT) Temple Road, Maradana is your typical Colombo street; a tuk tuk is parked randomly on the side of the road waiting for its next hire, a group of neighbours stand engaged in a loud, animated conversation across the road and a mother drags her distracted toddler by hand on their way back home from grocery shopping. There, in the midst of the normalcy of this neighbourhood, stands a tiny home whose inhabitants live lives more..

Will the curtains remain lowered for Amma?

Oct 10 (NS) What does Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s arrest mean to Tamil Nadu? She has been found guilty of amassing wealth illegally, but in the process, she has also amassed the love and support of thousands of people who look up to her as a demi-god in TN politics. Sixteen people had died by either committing suicide or due to heart attacks following her arrest. TN film fraternity got together in support of ‘Amma’ as she is popularly known and indulged in a hunger strike last Tuesday (30). more..

Top Lankan entrepreneurs discuss secrets to success at COYLE forum

Oct 10 (FT) The Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE), together with Sampath Bank, hosted its Entrepreneurial Forum 2014 under the theme ‘Dare to be Different’ last week. The event, which was held at The Kingsbury Hotel, featured a panel of renowned local entrepreneurs who shared their success stories as well as insights into being a successful entrepreneur in Sri Lanka. Kicking off the forum, LAUGFS Holdings CEO W.K.H. Wegapitiya touched on more..

Are women reaping the fruits of their education?

Oct 10 (DM) Economic research and theory is quite clear on the ‘returns to education’: education is generally positively correlated with jobs and income levels. But in Sri Lanka, that relationship seems to be dysfunctional – at least for women. The country has educated its women well, but translating education into employment has proved challenging. Female labour force participation has declined and a particularly severe gap exists more..

The plight of bus commuters

Oct 10 (CT) So much has been said about taming discourteous private bus drivers and conductors who are a law unto themselves and fleece commuters by charging excessive amounts, not returning the balance money and being rude to them. The commuters suffer these indignities on a daily basis as they have no other way, but depend on private buses to go about; the working population having to depend on them to commute between home and office. As buses operated by the SLTB are more..

Orange revolution

Oct 10 (CT) Orange Electric claims it has the capacity to meet over 20% of the country's copper demand and save the country nearly US$ 16 million each year in foreign exchange. "The estimated amount of copper that is available for recycling in the country is 200 metric tonnes every month and Kushan Kodituwakku, managing director of Orange Electric says that their recycling systems have the capacity to process the scrap, into 99.98% pure high grade copper. more..

Susanthika faults administrators

Oct 10 (DM) Country’s most celebrated sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe launched a scathing attack on sports administrators for a succession of lacklustre results in athletics on the international stage. Sri Lanka has won 16 medals, including five gold, since the Beijing Asian Games in 1990 but its performance had taken a severe beating in recent years-to the extent that it seems impossible to turn the tide. more..

99X Technology wins gold at NCE Awards

Oct 10 (DM) 99X Technology was lauded for its notable contribution to the Sri Lankan economy through the export of high quality software product engineering services, when it cinched a Gold Award in the Export of Business and Professional Services Sector (large category) at the 22ndNational Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka's Export Awards for 2013. It was a tribute to the company’s journey of excellence in the delivery of value added software products to its predominantly European more..