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The LTTE Swiss network

Oct 14 (SL) The widow of Ponniah Selvanayagam Kajeepan (alias Gobi), Kajeepan Sarmila, was detained at the BIA, Katunayake, last Sunday (5), when she was about to leave for Switzerland, even though she had a valid visa to enter that country. She had told the authorities at the BIA that she was heading to Switzerland to attend a wedding of a relative. However, the Sri Lankan authorities had prevented her from leaving more..

A simple filter to strain out kidney disease ‘culprits’

Oct 14 (ST) It is a humble red-clay filter compared to the new-fangled and more sophisticated ones available in the market, but it may very well turn out to be a boon to the beleaguered people of the North Central Province (NCP) who are being felled by a mysterious kidney disease. To be launched early next month during ‘Science Week’, this home-grown red-clay filter not only removes bacterial contamination from water it purifies more..

Sabaragamuwa undergrads cry foul over failure of police to arrest attackers

Oct 14 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sabaragamuwa University claimed that police had not yet arrested anyone in connection with Friday’s attack on their Satyagraha though they had provided all necessary information regarding the suspects. Police said the suspects were absconding. President of the Sabaragamuwa University Students’ Collective, Ransindu Jayasinghe said that one of their colleagues who suffered more..

Universities to 'protest'

Oct 14 (CT) two-day protest will be held in all universities of the country, beginning tomorrow, to show solidarity with the Sabaragamuwa Uni undergraduates, who were brutally attacked by govt sponsored goons on Friday. The attack led to the hospitalization of over 25 students and the burning of their satyagraha stage. IUSF Convenor Najith Indika said between 12 midnight and 1 a.m. on Sunday, police had visited the homes of more..

Chinese help to face cyber threats

Oct 14 (DM) In a move to boost cyber security, Sri Lanka reached an agreement with China to cooperate closely to face serious cyber threats and to share information on such threats in the future. A MoU was signed between China’s National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team Coordination Centre and SL’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team (a subsidiary of the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka [ICTA]). more..

'NO 13 plus'

Oct 14 (CT) A future UNP Govt will not go beyond the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in finding a solution to the ethnic crisis, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, announced yesterday. He said the UNP, in the near future, would talk to other political parties, religious leaders and civic organizations in the effort to agree on a common candidate from the UNP. These observations were made by Wickremesinghe, more..

No Fire Zone gets an Emmy nomination

Oct 14 (CG) The highly controversial Channel 4 film ‘No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka’ has been nominated for the top television awards in the US. The Channel 4 film ‘No Fire Zone’ was today included among the non-fiction nominees for the 2014 International Emmy Awards. The nominees, unveiled today (13), span 10 categories. Winners will be announced at a black-tie ceremony on Nov 24 at Hilton New York Hotel. more..

Timid umpires allowed chucking to flourish, says Hair

Oct 14 (Reuters) Timid officiating has allowed a generation of 'chuckers' to flourish in international cricket and the current crackdown on bowlers with illegal actions has arrived two decades late, according to former test umpire Darrell Hair. Pakistani's Saeed Ajmal is the highest profile of a string of spinners who have been suspended by the ICC recently for bending their elbows beyond the 15 degrees allowed while bowling the ball. more..

Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka

Oct 14 (EU) In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has today proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing. The move comes after four years of intense dialogue with the country after which it could not demonstrate that it sufficiently addressed illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. more..

Petition launched against monk Ill-treating elephants

Oct 14 (CT) Animal rights activists have launched an online petition urging the PM and the Wildlife Department to take immediate action to save Saama – a 27 year-old elephant in desperate need of vertirinary care, that is currently owned by popular monk Uduwe Dhammaloka. The elephant is presently being held at the Alan Mathiniyarama temple where the Dhammaloka – a Rajapaksa henchman resides. This animal was gifted to the temple three years ago by the Pinnawala more..

Citizens must be the vibrant, independent and capable opposition

Oct 14 (CT) The role of an opposition is usually seen only from the perspective of the body of elected representatives, their respective political parties and the collective actions they take in and out of the legislature. The opposition should stand ready to act as the alternate govt, if the current set in governance fails to maintain public confidence, resigns or are replaced at a future election. It is contended that a Govt has to remain answerable to the public at all times. more..

City of Colombo

Oct 14 (CT) Is it heterogeneous urban development that's taking place (or being foisted – depends on whom one speaks to) in Sri Lanka, an aping of the cultural vacuum of the new West and calling it ours? What will happen to the City of Colombo, that wet dream of town planners and contracted constructors, that archaic arcadia of architects, and we as the denizens of its dregs, its disgruntled and largely apathetic heirs, more..

Focus on rising teen suicide levels

Oct 14 (CT) Suicide is a tragic form of death. It devastates the family, friends and loved ones. Those who may survive a suicide attempt at times end up with a severe disability or other injuries. Some try suicide a second time to succeed. In the face of such extreme consequences, why would anyone make the ultimate decision to choose death over life? When a person is in a suicidal state, he or she closes all options. And suicide becomes the only solution. more..

Sri Lankan shares rebound from near 4-wk low; financial stocks lead

Oct 14 (Reuters) Stocks recovered on Tuesday from a near four-week closing low hit in the previous session, led by shares of financial companies and stockbrokers expect the gaining trend to continue, interspersed by profit-taking from time to time. The main stock index gained 0.3%, or 21.25 points, at 7,205.47, recovering from its lowest close since Sept 17. It hit a near 3-1/2 year closing high on Oct. 3. "The market is still on a gaining momentum due to lower interest rates, more..

Video: UNP for new body to regulate private universities

Oct 14 (DM) A future UNP govt will set up a special institution similar to the UGC to regulate the private universities, UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said today. He told a news briefing that all private universities which are currently functioning under the BOI Act would be brought under this new institution and that new university would have be established would have to be registered under this institution. more..

SL envoy calls on Pakistan NA speaker

Oct 14 (DT) National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has said that Pakistan and Sri Lanka are historically bonded in a relationship of trust, mutual respect and deep friendship which is manifested at all phases of their histories. The speaker was talking to High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Jayalath Weerakkody who called on him in the Parliament House here on Tuesday. The speaker said that Pakistan was committed to further deepen the relations through enhancing parliamentary and more..

Gem rush on Kantalai tank bed cause friction

Oct 14 (Island) Director of Lands, Mining and Environment of the Gem and Jewellery Authority G.W. Amarasiri said they had taken steps to hold talks with the senior Irrigation officials, after police prevented those who were mining gems illegally on the dried up Kantalai tank bed and barred people from going there. Kantalai Police said that over 20 persons involved in large scale gem mining on the reservation of the Kantalai tank bund had been arrested and produced in court more..

Indonesia, Sri Lanka agree to boost economic partnership

Oct 14 (JP) Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and his Sri Lankan counterpart, G.L. Peiris, agreed to boost economic cooperation between the two countries in a joint commission meeting in Jakarta on Monday. “This meeting is a concrete realization of good political relations between Indonesia and Sri Lanka and what we need to carry this out is to implement concrete economic partnership,” Marty said. more..

Mahayana Buddha image discovered from A’pura

Oct 14 (Island) A Mahayana Buddha image of Indian origin has been discovered from the Ashokarama Vihara archaeological reserve in Anuradhapura. The image carved on an oval shaped clay tablet was 5 cm in height, 4.4 cm in width and 2.1 cm in thickness, Director General of Archaeology Dr. Senarath Dissanayake told The Island. The image had been referred to Prof. Chandra Wickremagamage, who determined that it belonged to the 6-7 century AD, Dr. Dissanayake said. more..

Air Lanka flight develops technical snag during landing

Oct 14 (PTI) An Air Lanka flight from Colombo developed a technical snag while landing at the international airport here, but the pilot brought it down safely with no harm to the 122 passengers on board, airport sources said. The aircraft landed here around 9.30 AM, they said. As many as 244 passengers, who were to board the flight on its return journey to Colombo were put up in hotels in Chennai since the snag was not rectified before the scheduled departure time of 12.30 PM.

Australian legal expert's opinion sought on legality of President Rajapaksa's third term

Oct 14 (AM) SL Bar Association has sought legal opinion from foreign constitutional expert Prof. Suri Ratnapala - an Australian academic - over the applicability of 18th amendment and on the legitimacy of President Rajapaksa's third term presidency. Debate about President third term presidency has gained ground in the political claims with some sectioning, including JVP, questioning the legitimacy of the matter. more..

Snr. DIG Anura Senanayake launches CD

Oct 14 (Island) Senior DIG Anura Senanayake said the proceeds from the sale of his maiden CD ‘Mage Kirillee’ would be used for constructing houses for families of policemen who had lost their lives or been disabled during the war. He said that the CD would be launched at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre on Oct. 18 at 6.30 pm. The Chief Guest on the occasion would be President Rajapaksa. Nearly 3,000 policemen had died in the 30- year-long war and thousands of others had been disabled. more..

Kaluwitharana's condition not critical

Oct 14 (AM) Former Sri Lankan wicketkeeper batsman and the current ‘Sri Lanka A’ coach Romesh Kaluwitharana has been admitted to hospital due to a cardiac issue. Kaluwitharana was admitted to Hambanthota Hospital last night and was then airlifted to Colombo for further treatment. Doctors treating Kaluwitharana said that his condition was not critical. The former Sri Lankan cricketer had undergone an ECG test after he was transferred to Colombo. more..

Audio: Will not cross over: Navin

Oct 14 (AM) Public Management Reforms Minister Navin Dissanayake yesterday rejected the claims that he would crossover to the UNP leaving the UPFA Govt. He said he would rather practise as a lawyer if he lost the portfolio which he is holding. Addressing an event at the Nuwara Eliya District Secretariat to distribute seed potatoes among the farmers, Minister said he would never cross over from one party to another again. more..

Athuraliye issues ultimatum to Mahinda

Oct 14 (CG) JHU MP Athuraliye Rathana Thero today issued an ultimatum to President Mahinda Rajapaksa saying if Presidential elections are held before constitutional changes are made then he will do all he can to ensure the President loses the election. The JHU monk said that several Govt members had raised concerns with him over media reports that he will take Government Ministers and leave the Government if the President fails to make the changes before an election. more..

'Mahinda Kahandagamage has collected Rs.1.8 million without proper accounts'

Oct 14 (AM) It was transpired in court that the Self Employed Federation-a trade organization operating in the Colombo city was collecting a sum of Rs.1.8 million monthly from the members without maintaining proper account reports. Counsel who appeared for two plaintiff made this revelation today before Colombo District Court where SEF president Mahinda Kahandagamage sought a court order to revoke the enjoining which prevented the SEF from collecting money from fellow members. more..

'Northern Railway a milestone in India, Sri Lanka partnership'

Oct 14 (PTI) The reconstruction of the Jaffna-Colombo railway line represents a milestone in historic partnership between India and Sri Lanka and would enhance connectivity between the two nations, Indian High Commission here has said. "As Sri Lanka s closest neighbour and long-standing partner, India is prepared to extend its fullest support to SL in fulfilling its aspirations for peace, harmony, national reconciliation & development," more..

Prasanna, Dimuth star in thumping SL A win

Oct 14 (CI) Sri Lanka A bowlers took only 7.3 overs on the fourth morning to wrap up the West Indies A innings and their openers then zipped pass the target of 33 in quick time. The 10-wicket win gave the home side a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. West Indies' eighth-wicket pair of Shane Shillingford and Nikita Miller had avoided an innings defeat by lifting the team past Sri Lanka's score yesterday, but the team could only add 18 further runs on the fourth morning. more..

Damitha, Semini settle their dispute

Oct 14 (DM) Two popular film and tele-drama actresses, who had sued each other for millions in damages over allegations that they had insulted each other, withdrew their civil suits filed before Colombo District Judge Yvonne Fernando today after they resolved the matter amicably. Initially actress Semini Iddamalgoda sued actress Damintha Abeyratne for Rs 50 million having allegedly defamed her during an interview she had with a private radio channel on Jan 13 last year more..

Pope’s visit in January as planned

Oct 14 (DM) Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka as planned because the Sri Lankan Govt has not made any official announcement that it would hold a snap presidential election in January, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka said yesterday. This official stand of the church has been communicated by the Apostolic Nuncio (Vatican representative in Sri Lanka) Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Tot who met representatives of more..

'Presidency is not a key issue for Tamils'

Oct 14 (CG) The Democratic National Front says abolishing the Executive Presidency will not be the one and only priority for Tamils in the North and East but a real and respectable political settlement. Dr. N. Kumarguruparan, the leader of the Democratic National Front and former Western Provincial Councilor had said this during a meeting with the leader of the People’s Movement for a Just Society the Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha thero. In an emailed statement, Dr. Kumarguruparan said more..

Sri Lanka to lock horns with South Africa in ICC Women’s Championship

Oct 14 (ICC) Sri Lanka will host South Africa in the final series of the opening round of the ICC Women’s Championship with the three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) to be played in Colombo this week. The historic Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) will be the venue of the first two ODIs to be played on 15 and 17 October, before the final match of the ICC Women’s Championship is played at Nondescripts Cricket Ground, which will also stage the fourth and final ODI of the tour on 21 October. more..

Video: Both the presidential election & candidate are illegal

Oct 14 (LT) The President, despite having two more years to remain in his position, is preparing to call for a sudden presidential election. Not only this presidential election is illegal but also President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidature for the election is illegal as well as not ethical said the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said this speaking at a media conference held at the head office of eh JVP at Pelawatta yesterday. more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Seven Dwarfs

Oct 14 (CT) Mahinda Samarasinghe was asked to chair an Inter-Ministerial Committee to implement the Human Rights Action Plan, and as usual I had to do much of the work through convening a Task Force to expedite implementation. I resigned however in 2013 when I found that, though there was much goodwill from many Ministries, and we got a few things done, no formal coordination of activities and initiatives was possible. I realized that it was impossible without proper authority to more..

A Presidency under threat

Oct 14 (CT) There has been much exultation in some quarters in Sri Lanka about the conviction of Jayalalithaa, but I was glad to see that at least some articles also noted the need for stringent measures in Sri Lanka too, to combat corruption. One article however missed the point, in citing as an example of what needed to be dealt with firmly the Ceylinco case. The failure to deal with that swiftly, and provide compensation to the victims of the scam, is indeed appalling. more..

Moving into better living conditions

Oct 14 (SO) Urbanisation has hit the townships in Sri Lanka on a large scale particularly in the city of Colombo. Families living in dire situations in temporary shelters which they called home, made out of chip board, metal sheets and wooden planks - these 'houses' hardly had the basic requirements for decent living. no toilets, clean drinking water not even a clean place to sleep at the end of a long tiring day. more..

Letter to Nonis the Chris

Oct 14 (GV) Dearest Mr. Nonis, who is doctor also, It is with the greatest sadness that we are hearing about the assault upon your person by the person who is supposed to be monitoring persons in the ministry of the foreign affairs. It is coming to me like the shock deep in the night. While I am in coma-like sleep I am hearing the massive smack and waking up in cold sweat to be finding my wife also up and fully and completely awake. I am asking, my dear, what is that thundering noise? more..

Are the Jumbos Doomed?

Oct 14 (SL) Last week the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos took place in 136 cities and towns across six continents to pressure governments to stop poaching that is driving elephants and rhinos to the brink of extinction. In Sri Lanka the Federation of Environmental Organisations (FEO), an environmental protection agency wrote to President Mahinda Rajapaksa appreciating his support to the Elephant Action Network of the Clinton Global Initiative. more..

Story of the Northern Railway line

Oct 15 (NS) The latest section of the reconstructed railway line from Colombo to Jaffna is to be ceremonially opened on Oct 13 with the opening of the section from Pallai to Jaffna. The time is appropriate to recall the history of this railway line. This railway line known as the Northern Extension or the Northern Line was completed in 1905. The first train from Colombo reached Jaffna on 1 Aug 1905, soon after the completion of more..

The politics of moral objection

Oct 15 (NS) The revelations by the Colombo Telegraph pointing to fraud and deceit by the Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA) in an article titled ‘Exposé: CPA defrauded and hoodwinked donors,’ are serious and damaging to say the least. Obtaining funds from multiple donors for a single project, submitting invoices for workshops never held, double-billing and entering non-project related expenses in ‘safe columns’ and wholesale cover up of fraud make a sordid story. more..