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Violence and National Elections...

Oct 22 (CT) Sri Lanka is a vibrant democracy as proudly claimed by all politicians. If so, the true meaning of democracy has to be put into practice. Democracy in its true meaning defines a political system that marks institutional arrangements to permit change of rulers and governments without fraud and polls violence. Elections that are conducted with armed groups roaming the country leads suspicion to the authenticity of a free and fair election. more..

CaFFE and CHR condemn the attack on university students

Oct 22 (AM) Campaign for Free and Fair Election (CaFFE) and Center for Human Rights and Research (CHR) strongly condemn the attack on university students near the Parliamentary Complex yesterday. “The right to protest is a universally accepted right and CaFFE and CHR do not believe that the voice of dissenting students could be suppressed with tear gas and water cannons. With elections drawing near the govt is attempting to silence opposition activists are increasingly more..

Sri Lankan begins process to ensure EU maintains ban on rebels

Oct 22 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan govt said Wednesday that it has already commenced the process of providing information to the relevant parties in relation to a court order in the EU against sanctions imposed on Tamil Tiger rebels. Ministry of External Affairs said it was surprised at some of the recent statements on the outcome of the case filed by the rebels in 2011 at the General Court of the European Union in which the Council of the EU more..

Supreme Court reserves order in appeal filed by interdicted DIG, others

Oct 22 (Island) A Five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court yesterday reserved the order for Oct. 29, 2014 in respect of the application of appeal filed by interdicted DIG of Police, Vass Gunewardena, his son Ravindu and six other police officers indicted in a High Court Trial-at-Bar, for the abduction and murder of businessman named Shyam. Counsel Anil Silva, PC appearing for the accused told the court that there had been a basic abuse of the prescribed procedure and the investigations more..

Mangala says govt henchmen benefit from EU lifting ban on LTTE

Oct 22 (AM) UNP LC member Mangala Samaraweera has accused that the lifting of the EU ban on LTTE benefits those in the govt. He made these comments at a press briefing to discuss the issue in Colombo. Samaraweera argued that after the death of LTTE Supremo V Prabhakaran, the only legitimate claim to its funds can be put forward by his successor Kumaran Pathmanathan, or KP. However, KP is now “sitting on the lap of the Rajapaksa regime” Samaraweera argued. more..

Rajapaksa 'politically vulnerable' ahead of early Sri Lanka polls

Oct 22 (DW) Nearly two years ahead of schedule, Sri Lanka will go to the polls in January, with Mahinda Rajapaksa set to run for a third term; a move likely triggered by the President's fading popularity, says analyst Alan Keenan. "There will be presidential elections in January," Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said on Oct 20, failing to name an exact date. The move is seen as an attempt by President Rajapaksa to seek a fresh 6-year more..

‘Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the earth’

Oct 22 (Island) This year the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation and WFP (World Food Programme) marked the World Food Day in Sri Lanka on October16 in Kilinochchi and on October 17 in Kandy. The commemoration held at the Kilinochchi co-operative hall was under the patronage of Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Services, Animal Husbandry, Irrigation and Environment, Northern Province Ponnuthurai Ayngaranesan and the officials of the more..

N’cholai breakdowns cost Rs. 18 bn

Oct 22 (Island) Rs. 9.8 million had been spent on repairs to the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant which had broken down 24 times since its inception, Parliament was told yesterday. Minister Power and Energy, Pavithra Wanniarachchi revealed this in answer to a question posed by the Opposition. Out of the 24 breakdowns, 16 had been covered by the two-year warranty. The other breakdowns had cost the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Rs. 9,751,717, she said. more..

UNP feels G.L is protecting Kshenuka

Oct 22 (CG) UNP accused Minister G L Peiris, of protecting the Secretary to the Ministry, Kshenuka Senewiratne, over allegations raised against her. UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said that the Minister should resign from his post instead of attempting to mislead the public and protect Senewiratne. Peiris had yesterday strongly rejected “malicious news reports” appearing in certain sections of the media recently, more..

Sajith suggests bi-partisan motion to urge EU to re-list LTTE as terrorist organisation

Oct 22 (Island) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said in Parliament that his party was ready to extend support to the govt to pass a resolution to demand the European Union to re-list the LTTE as a terrorist organisation. He raising a point of order at the commencement of public duties in Parliament said that his party was ready to support such a resolution and demanded to know whether the government was ready to bring about one. "The lifting by the EU of the LTTE ban is a threat to more..

Attack on Pakistani refugees in Negombo injures nine

Oct 22 (NS) Nine Pakistani refugees have been injured and admitted to hospital after they were attacked by a group in Wella Veediya, Negombo this evening. One Pakistani youth among the refugees had got into an argument with a local youth at a nearby beach. This had later escalated to a fight. Afterwards, a group of individuals had arrived and attacked the Pakistanis who were being housed at a Christian Church in the area. The attackers had also caused damage to church property more..

Video: 'Govt to increase salaries by Rs.5000'

Oct 22 (DM) The UNP today revealed that through the forthcoming Budget, which is to be presented in Parliament on Friday, the government is reportedly expected to increase the salaries of public servants by Rs. 5000. Addressing a media conference in Colombo, Party Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake said the govt is going to give more concessions to the public through the forthcoming budget, targeting the Presidential election. more..

Agrochemical importers not even registered

Oct 22 (Island) Govt had not been able to blacklist any agro-chemical company for importing banned pesticides to the country, Parliament was told. Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, responding to a question raised by UNP MP P. Harrison, said there were 32 companies importing agrochemicals, but none of them had been registered for the said purpose and, therefore, govt had asked those companies to get registered within six months starting from July, this year. more..

Kidnapped child found in Dambulla 10-months after

Oct 22 (AD) A two-year-old child who had been allegedly abducted by a beggar in Ambalangoda was found 10-months after from the Dambulla town, as a result of an intensive search mission launched by child’s grandmother, this morning (22). The beggar (42) who said to have kidnapped the child at the Ambalangoda bus station has been taken into police custody. According to the police, the suspect had drugged the grandmother and later kidnapped the child, in December, 2013. more..

Sri Lanka include Sangakkara, uncapped Gamage in ODI squad for India

Oct 22 (CI) Sri Lanka have left out Lahiru Thirimanne, vice-captain in their previous ODI series against Pakistan in August, from their squad for the first three games of the five-ODI series in India in November. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal, spinner Rangana Herath, and he injured fast bowler Lasith Malinga were the others omitted. Uncapped fast bowler Lahiru Gamage, wicketkeeper-batsmen Kusal Perera and more..

Colombo Process to get a better deal for migrant workers

Oct 22 (Island) Colombo Process member countries had agreed to protect the rights of workers, promote cheaper, faster and safer transfer of remittances and create a database on the economic trends of destination countries, the current Chair of the Organisation, Minister Dilan Perera said. Second Senior Officials Meeting of the Colombo Process and the third Asia-EU dialogue, two key intra and inter-regional processes on facilitating managed and legal international labour migration ended more..

Video: ‘No third term for Mahinda: No illegal presidential elections!’

Oct 22 (LT) A leaflet campaign under the theme ‘No third term for Mahinda’, No illegal presidential elections organized by the JVP commenced from Fort Railway Station yesterday. The campaign would be carried out throughout the island states the media unit of the JVP. JVP’s campaign states that Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa cannot contest the forthcoming presidential election and if he contests the presidential election would be illegal. The leaflet: “No third term for Mahinda – more..

TNA says genocide acts did take place

Oct 22 (CG) The TNA, in a special statement today, has noted that acts specified in article 2 of the Genocide Convention of 1948 have undeniably been perpetrated on the Tamil people by functionaries of the Sri Lankan state over several decades. TNA however said it would be improper and inappropriate for the Northern Provincial Council or any other political body to make pronouncements in the form of resolutions or otherwise on more..

Belarus' MPs to pay official visit to Sri Lanka

Oct 22 (BelTA) Senior officials of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus will pay an official visit to Sri Lanka and Czechia in November. The Belarusian parliamentary delegation led by Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko will be on the official visit to Sri Lanka on 17-21 November. The official visit to Czechia is scheduled for 23-26 November. The Belarusian delegation in Czechia is to be led by Deputy Chairman of the House more..

De Lange learning from Malinga

Oct 22 (SS) Marchant de Lange has been learning trade secrets from the enigmatic and brilliant Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga and is now striving to execute Yorkers more consistently while combining it with his ultimate goal – bowling at 160 kilometres per hour. De Lange (24) was arguably the best bowler for South Africa A in their eight-wicket win against Australia A at Townsville in Australia in 2014. He impressed analysts with his speed during the first two Momentum One Day more..

Tamil Nadu slams Admiral Perera’s visit

Oct 22 (CG) Regional leaders in India’s southern Tamil Nadu state slammed the visit of Sri Lankan navy chief, Vice Admiral Jayantha Perera, to the country. India is eyeing to build its defense ties with Sri Lanka to counter China’s inroads in Indian Ocean. Perera, who will commence his Indian visit Oct 23, will also boost military ties and India will seek assistance in training and equipment supply. However, a regional party, more..

Buddhism, The lack of it and abuses by its flag bearers

Oct 23 (CT) Historians of Buddhism in Sri Lanka may or may not have interpreted historical scriptures based on facts or opinions… but none of it matter anymore since Buddhism has lost its value and its importance thanks largely to its ineffectiveness in matters concerning governance, rule of law and social justice. Bitter it may be to some to swallow, but Sri Lanka was never a Buddhist country. The need to look for alternative and effective sources of guidance in leading more..

Thirteen-Plus: Good for all of Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans

Oct 23 (CT) The recent pre- and post- Uva election violence saw the police being mere spectators to horrific violence. Neither the police watching nor the cameras whirring, both in front of police stations in the presence of policemen, was a deterrent. Sinhalese are shocked. CT reported that “Senior legal professionals have condemned the attack on journalist Chandana Kuruppuarachchi that occurred a few days ago while expressing their regret over the law being made redundant.” more..

Losing your mobile phone, no joke

Oct 23 (SO) Until last week I did not realise how disastrous it was to lose a mobile phone. Not merely being a handy portable instrument that you can make calls with but the smartphones that exists today acts like your personal assistant, handling almost everything. Losing this 'personal assistant' that you have relied on, with personal details, sensitive security data as well as pictorial proof of fond memories could be nothing short of more..

It could happen in India but not in Lanka

Oct 23 (CT) Jayalalithaa's corruption sentence landed her in jail for four years with a massive fine to boot. Two lines from Gypsies Sunil Perera's popular song, 'It could happen in India but not in Lanka' went viral on electronic media since Jayalalithaa went to prison convicted of corruption charges. Anything even remotely like it could not happen in our own Sri Lanka. Walter Talgodapitiya Commission appointed in 1958 found four Ministers in the Bandaranaike Govt guilty of bribery. more..

There is no room for truth in the world of sound bites...

Oct 23 (CT) I was most dismayed to read an article by my friend and colleague, Sulochana Ramiah Mohan, on the front page of Ceylon Today on Wednesday (15). Sulochana reported that Channel 4's No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka is one of four documentaries nominated for the International Emmy Awards 2014. This news comes at a time when I am considering making a submission to Sandra Beidas, at OHCHR. Her remit is "to coordinate work and activities and more..

ISIS expansion in South Asia poses danger: Prof. Robert B. Lloyd

Oct 23 (CT) Q: What is the ISIS strategy at the moment in fighting the US and its Allies? A: The Islamic State seeks to seize territory, consolidate its control over this territory and its people, and then extend its control to new areas. Local and international opposition has affected the tactics of the Islamic State on this, but has not changed its objectives. Q: US President Barack Obama's envoys to Syria have said repeatedly, the collapse of more..

Sri Lanka Insurance shines at World Finance Awards

Oct 23 (FT) Sri Lanka Insurance once again shone at the recently-held World Finance Awards, when the company bagged the most prestigious coveted award as the Best Insurance Company in the General Insurance Sector competing with the best in the insurance industry. The World Finance Awards is organized by World Finance Magazine, a leading financial magazine, published by World News Media operating from its Headquarters in London, which reports on capital markets, more..

'Post-war development should'nt bear imprint of conflict’

Oct 23 (Island) The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA)’s 2014 Symposium on Post-War Development in Asia and Africa brought together a diverse group of scholars, researchers, activists and policy makers from Sri Lanka and abroad to engage in a dialogue about the key issues resulting from war and conflict. Each session was focused on analyzing a range of post-war development initiatives and concerns, It attempted to challenge dominant ways of thinking, address issues often ignored, more..

Incumbent edge

Oct 23 (FT) Battle lines will be drawn this week when President Rajapaksa moves to present his Govt’s Budget for 2015, setting the stage for his re-election campaign, expected to kick off officially about six weeks from now. It is the country’s worst kept secret that the Budget presentation has been advanced by several weeks in order to facilitate President Rajapaksa’s preferred dates to announce a presidential election more..

Cast tax net on 'show-off society'

Oct 23 (CT) The govt needs to drag in high income earners to the tax earners and the informal coporate sector in order to balance the budget and create a fiscal regime conducive to sustainable growth, an economist said. "The share of income of top income earners has increased over the years, reflecting that there is a small segment in the society who earn a lot, and whose income grows at a faster rate, compared to others in society. So, this will lead to a conspicuous consumption that more..

Demutualization definitely delayed

Oct 23 (CT) The demutualization process of the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) will be further delayed by at least another three to six months with the 15 member broking community demanding time to study core structural issues. This was unanimously decided at a meeting last Friday where the 15 stock brokers were present at an Extra Ordinary General Meeting with the CSE where Chairman Vajira Kulatilleke and DG Rajeewa Bandaranayake were both in attendance. more..

War ends, love flourishes

Oct 23 (SL) In this day and age when everything is so superficial, rarely do we come across true love, but in spite of being disabled, Mahinda Premalal is one of the fortunate soldiers who found true love. Having met each other in 2006, Mahinda and Harshini’s love grew and it is strong enough to withstand every adversity, and reached the poruwa on the 15th of Oct consolidating their love. Young Mahinda joined the army on more..

SL, vice chair, UNESCAP’s ICT committee

Oct 23 (Island) Sri Lanka was selected as a vice chair of the UNESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) Information and Communication Technology Committee last week. The bearer of this great honour for Sri Lanka is the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) CEO Reshan Dewapura. Dewapura was unanimously selected by ESCAP as one of the two vice chairs of its ICT Committee. Dewapura’s selection for the next two years occurred at more..

Banning killer chemicals

Oct 23 (Island) There are different schools of thought as regards the causes of the killer kidney disease that snuffs out at least a dozen lives daily in the North Central Province and some other parts of the country. Experts stick to their hypotheses and theories like limpets, refusing to budge, and it is not likely that they will ever see eye to eye and adopt a consensual approach. However, their concern about the poor patients and dedication to their research regardless of their conclusions more..

'SLC ruining our chances in World Cup'

Oct 23 (Island) World Cup winning former SL captain Arjuna Ranatunga has questioned the scheduling of the five match ODI series against India next month. Sri Lanka agreed to fill the void created by West Indies pulling out of Indian tour and Ranatunga fears the series could burn out the players. With the India series scheduled out of the blues, Sri Lanka will now play 19 ODIs ahead of the World Cup, which is 4 months away. more..

Dumith-led consortium upbeat over Asia Securities buy

Oct 23 (FT) The former Credit Suisse Asia Pacific Managing Director and COO Dumith Fernando-led consortium is upbeat over the opportunity to lead Asia Securities Ltd. to the next level and finds exciting times ahead in Sri Lanka as a frontier market. Dumith, who will own 75% stake in Asia Securities along with three others, last week signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Asia Capital to acquire control of one of the top stock-broking firms in the country. more..

Opportunities await Thai investors in SL

Oct 23 (BP) Since the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, the govt has been steadily rebuilding, with infrastructure development across the island from expressways to road and rail networks and deep-sea port expansion. As well, tourists are returning in large numbers and this has spurred demand for hotels including many new luxury properties. Another highly significant event took place last week when the rail link between Colombo and the battle-scarred northern city of Jaffna reopened for more..

Sri Lankan visas to Omanis up by 72%

Oct 23 (TOO) There has been about 72% growth in the number of Sri Lankan visas issued to Omanis from January 1 to September this year, said an official of the Sri Lankan embassy in Muscat. "In 2013, the number of Omanis who visited Sri Lanka was 7,643. This year till September the figure reached 10,772. Sri Lanka is becoming the most sought after destination for Omani tourists," N.L.A. Haleem, the charge d'affaires at more..

SLASSPA holds first-ever Private Security CEO forum

Oct 23 (FT) The Sri Lanka Security Service Providers Association (SLASSPA), together with representatives of around 200 private security firms, held its first-ever CEO forum on Tuesday to discuss several key issues pertaining to the security sector. Bren Security Country CEO and President of SLASSPA Major A.U.T. Aluvihare, in his opening address, stated that the forum was organised in order to build a unity amongst the private security firms in the country so that more..