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Sri Lanka launches $100 million climate resilience effort

Oct 4 (TRF) Sri Lankan Govt has launched a $110 climate resilience programme that govt officials say will allow it better adapt to changing climate patterns. The four-year programme, funded through a World Bank loan, will invest $90 million to improve infrastructure in three areas – flood and drought management, transport and schools. It will also pay for a $13 million effort to analyze nine main river basins to develop better flood & drought more..

Noontide Toll by Romesh Gunesekera

Oct 4 (WSJ) ‘So much is kept off limits these days,” muses Vasantha, the brooding and keen-eyed driver who steers us through a Sri Lanka trying to build a new future after 30 years of civil war in Romesh Gunesekera’s beautiful and haunting set of connected stories. “There are things we don’t speak of, things we not only don’t remember but carefully forget, places we do not stray into, memories we bury or reshape.” Better not to wonder why that brisk hotel manager in a gray suit doesn’t seem to more..

US judge rejects Udugampola’s appeal

Oct 4 (CG) A US judge has rejected an appeal filed by the family of former DIG Premadasa Udugampola after he was refused a US visa and lost court cases filed over it on several occasions. Though the US has been inconsistent in its reasons for keeping the former Sri Lankan official from his family in the US, a federal judge found that he cannot review the case. Premadasa Udugampola’s relatives have twice filed federal complaints to get him a US visa. Officials rejected three different applications more..

Anandasangari writes to Indian Premier

Oct 4 (CG) TULF Secretary General V Aandasangaree has written to Indian PM Narendra Modi urging him to meet Tamil political parries, other than just the TNA to discuss the Tamil issue. Modi recently met the TNA in New Delhi and discussed their concerens and issues faced by the Tamils in Sri Lanka. “Dealing with the Tamil question is no more a monopoly of either TNA or ITAK. There are several serious blunders TNA had committed. more..

Rich tapestry of Buddhist travels

Oct 4 (TS) CHAN Kai Waey’s brush with Buddhist teachings happened during her first year at a local university. After hearing tales from her seniors about pilgrimage tours, she was inspired to embark on her own journey. That dream materialised late last year when the account executive went on a backpacking trip with a friend to some Buddhist destinations in India. “We went to places such as Bodhgaya, Nalanda and Sarnath. The visit to Bodhgaya was quite fun as we’re allowed to collect more..

Champika to unveil alternative economic policy on 7 October

Oct 4 (CT) A govt alliance partner is planning to unveil an alternative economic policy on 7 Oct. Under the programme 'Educated Society and Development Oriented Tomorrow' an alternative economic policy, prepared by JHU General Secretary, Minister Champika Ranawaka will be unveiled on 7 Oct and submitted to the govt. Ranawaka points out, "it has been almost 40 years since the open economy was introduced to the country, yet we have been unable to increase more..

Sri Lanka seeks help from the U.N. to resettle asylum seekers

Oct 4 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has asked the UNHCR, for help to resettle scores of mainly Pakistani asylum seekers in another country, saying many are economic migrants and a threat to the security and health of the Indian Ocean island. According to the UNHCR, at least 88 Pakistanis have been deported since Aug. 1 in what the agency said was a breach of international law. It has called for an end to the deportations and more..

Demining nearing completion

Oct 4 (MoD) The demining process is nearly 98% over and work to free the remaining land area from mine risk is progressing fast. There is only about 80 square kilometers remaining to be cleared in comparison to the 5000 square kilometers of land mass that was left at the end of the war. "Cleared areas were thoroughly inspected and assured by UNDP officials prior to the handing over of lands back to the civilians". More than 68% if the de-mined was carried out by the Security Forces more..

Pope's visit puts a nation in quandary

Oct 4 (AT) Popes visit to Sri Lanka is expected to provide a test of relations between the Catholic Church and the Sangha and Buddhist clergies following comments about Nirvana in his recently-published book. Buddhist clergy and laity of Sri Lanka believe it is due to the pioneering efforts of their late King Devanampiyatissa and his successors that Buddhism was able to spread in Southeast and far East Asia, and dont take kindly to adverse comments that threatens their religion. more..

Jaffna students joins World Children's Day celebrations

Oct 4 (MoD) A group of Jaffna students took part in the World Children's Day programme organized by the Jaffna Security Forces in Ranminithenna recently (1). The impressive journey was also included travel by air, visit to the Parliament and Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC). The visit was aimed to give Northern students a firsthand experience on the functions of such exclusive organizations. more..

13,998 candidates eligible to sit for Korean Language Proficiency Test

Oct 4 (DN) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) announced that 13,998 candidates are eligible to sit for the Korean Language Proficiency Test to be held on Oct 11 and 12. The test is held to determine the Korean language proficiency of those who are aspiring for jobs in South Korea. The exam is to be held on two days under four stages this year, according to SLBFE sources. The exam will be held at Gothami Balika Vidyalaya, Asoka Vidyalaya, more..

Snr. officers paid over Rs 6,000 a day

Oct 4 (CT) Due to the high allowance given to officials who engage in the one-day national ID facilitation service, the regular service has almost come to a standstill, said a senior official at the Department for Registration of Persons. He said a senior official involved in the one-day service is paid Rs 6,300 a day and they are no longer interested in participating in the regular ID card issuing process. "Senior officers involved in the one day service get paid Rs 18 per ID that they issue. more..

Govt of family and friends fighting each other

Oct 4 (CG) External Affairs Ministry Secretary Kshenuka Seniviratne has made a complaint against Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain Dr Chris Nonis. President Rajapaksa has ordered an investigation into the complaint as well as the alleged assault on Dr. Nonis. Earlier, External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena has denied assaulting Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Britain Dr Chris Nonis. more..

12 SL fishermen remanded in custody

Oct 4 (Hindu) Chief Judicial Magistrate court on Thursday remanded in judicial custody till October 16 the 12 Sri Lankan fishermen arrested on charges of fishing in the Indian waters off Kanyakumari. The fishermen, hailing from Puttalam district of Sri Lanka, were detained by the Tuticorin station of the Indian Coast Guard on September 30 and were later arrested by the Tharuvaikulam Marine Police, who also confiscated their two trawlers and seized about 3,000 kg of catch. more..

Ceremony to mark World Habitat Day

Oct 4 (DN) The national ceremony to mark the 28th World Habitat Day will be held on a grand scale on Oct 6 at 9 a.m. at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium under the patronage of President Rajapaksa. World Habitat Day has been observed every year on the first Monday of October since 1986. This year's World Habitat Day will be celebrated under the theme 'Voices from Slums'. Under the guidance of Minister Wimal Weerawansa, this theme has been recreated as Janawasa Handak-Janasewanin more..

Sajin Vaas denies assaulting Chris Nonis

Oct 4 (CG) Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena has denied assaulting SL High Commissioner to Britain Dr Chris Nonis. MTV/MBC announced through ‘News First’ that MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena had told the channel that he only had an argument with Dr Chris Nonis. Dr Chris Nonis had earlier told the channel that he had resigned from his post over an alleged assault incident but refused to comment further. more..

Leftists want presidential postponed

Oct 4 (CT) Some serious discussions are taking place among Parties within the govt and those in the Opposition regarding the Presidential poll, which is likely to be held next year. Leftist Party leaders in the govt, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, D.E.W. Gunasekara and Tissa Vitharana, had met the President and requested him to postpone the Presidential Election and focus on amending the Constitution. Meanwhile, CT learns that Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe had more..

Post-war, Jaffna Sees Revival of Interest in Gandhian Path

Oct 4 (NIE) Post-war Jaffna peninsula is witnessing a revival of interest in Mahatma Gandhi. While in his own native land people had ceased to put up Gandhi statues, Point Pedro in north Jaffna unveiled a brand new one at the centre of the town on October 2. Erected by Jaffna’s Gandhi Seva Sangam, the statue was unveiled by the Acting Indian Consul General S D Moorthy before a gathering, including Secretary of NPC, C V Sivagnamam. In Jaffna, Samgam released Gandhiam a monthly. more..

Controversial plastic surgeon allowed to practice

Oct 4 (DM) Dr. Nimal Gamage, who was on bail in connection with the death of a lady doctor during cosmetic surgery at his clinic was permitted re-open his cosmetic surgery and resume his practice from tomorrow. Colombo Additional Magistrate A.M. Shahabdeen also directed the Bambalapitiya Police to hand over the custody of the beauty clinic, located at an apartment on Vajira Road, to Dr. Gamage at 10.a.m. tomorrow. more..

Enact the Animal Welfare Bill

Oct 3 (DM) Today is World Animal Day. It commenced on October 4, 1931 in Florence, Italy at a convention of ecologists. World Animal Day has since expanded its focus from its original intent, which was to bring attention to endangered or threatened species, to a stage where there is a resounding call on humankind worldwide to reflect on all of the animals we share this world with, their continuing plight mostly due to man’s inhumanity, and to spur action to commemorate our more..

Are we as a nation heading in right direction?

Oct 3 (DM) Denizens of Paradise Isle are facing a multitude of issues concerning many facets of life today. The Uva Provincial elections shows that political violence has become an essential instrument of achieving selfish ends. The gravity of the situation was such that round-the-clock check points & road blocks manned by Police and Special Task Force personnel had to be set-up, as if in preparation for another round of LTTE terror. Sadly the ugly spectacle that transpired during more..

'Simple precautions can keep dengue at bay'

Oct 4 (ST) Get busy and make your own vaccine, urged Prof. Scott B. Halstead, considered the ‘Father’ nay ‘Grandfather’ of dengue research, giving an insight into the race for a vaccine in other parts of the world. Tackling the complex subject of ‘Dengue vaccines: Where are we now’ before members of the Ceylon College of Physicians at the SLMA auditorium, he pointed that there is a need to confront this pandemic. more..

DEW makes strong case against snap national polls

Oct 4 (Island) General Secretary of the Communist Party and senior minister, Dew Gunasekera is convinced that the ruling coalition should review its decision to go for a snap presidential election early next year, probably as early as January. Political veteran Gunasekera said that the SLFP-led coalition should closely examine several critical factors before advancing the next presidential election. more..

'AI report on Sri Lanka to UNHRC committee is no cause for concern'

Oct 4 (FT) A report submitted by the international human rights organisation, Amnesty International to a UNHRC is no cause for concern, a Sri Lankan human right official has said. Commissioner of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and Attorney-at-Law, Dr. Prathiba Mahanamahewa has stressed that there is nothing to be feared about the report the London-based organisation has submitted to the UNHRC. more..

Outrage prods broadening of Moneragala handout

Oct 4 (ST) Amid growing complaints from other districts over the distribution of Rs. 2,500 for families in Moneragala district during campaigning for the Uva provincial elections the government has earmarked Rs. 20 million in drought relief to people in eight districts. The severe hardship being suffered in some areas will continue until the end of the year, the Meterological Department said. more..

Video: Kanthilatha’s mother arrested by police and remanded

Oct 4 (DM) The counsel appearing for the 35-year old woman, who was allegedly assaulted by a policeman at the Ratnapura bus terminal, said today his clients’ 65-year-old mother had been arrested on Wednesday and remanded over false allegations of prostitution. “The victim- Kanthilatha’s mother was taken by the Police while she was visiting a shop in Ratnapura claiming they wanted to know a few details. more..

BBS sends open invitation to all political parties to embrace its policies

Oct 4 (AM) BBS General Secretary Galagodaaththe Gnanasara thera has said that they will send an open invitation to all political parties to embrace the policies adopted by the BBS at their general assembly. Gnansara thera said that the BBS would guarantee five million votes to the political parties in return. Addressing the recently held assembly of the BBS, thera said his organization had a guaranteed vote base of 5 million. more..

Indians dragging their feet on proposed joint venture power plant?

Oct 4 (Island) The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the proposed second coal-fired power plant in Trincomalee would be further delayed as the joint venture partner the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India was taking more time on the specifications. Central Environmental Authority, Chairman Dr. Saranaga Alahapperuma, said that they had done their part and the delay was with the CEB. more..

Sri Lankans trained in local dairy production

Oct 4 (KO) Five Sri Lankans, including two farmers, were the first foreigners to be trained in local dairy product processing in the country. They completed a two-week training, using traditional and improved methods of processing dairy products. A farmer, Maya Beddewela, said, “We use a lot of coconut milk in cooking, including dairy products, so what we learnt here, we could try it on a bigger scale back home.” more..

Anura claims Sajin is the de facto EAM

Oct 4 (CG) JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake claims External Affairs Ministry Monitoring MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena is running the operations at the Ministry and not External Affairs Minister (EAM) G.L Peiris. He said that as a whole Sri Lanka’s foreign service has been fully politicized with several unqualified officials being appointed as Ambassadors and High Commissioners to represent SL overseas. more..

Sajin sidelined?

Oct 4 (FT) There were reports that Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was sidelined in President Rajapaksa’s and the Sri Lankan delegation’s audience with the Pope yesterday. In the group picture of the event, Sajin was a conspicuous absentee though he was part of the official delegation. Reports alleged that the Catholic Church had protested against the inclusion of Sajin in audience with the Pope more..

Politicization, corruption & police brutality

Oct 4 (CT) Police brutality is a worldwide phenomenon.Recently, there was a fatal shooting of an Afro American in the USA, by a white policeman, which led to riots in that area.In Sri Lanka, one of the most recent reported cases of police brutality is that of a policeman assaulting a woman at Ratnapura. This incident, however, had been captured on video leading to the interdiction of the policeman in question. It's however not the objective of this editorial to condone police brutalism and more..

Visit to the Vatican by the President

Oct 4 (CT) The report that the President Rajapaksa soon after his return from New York has flown to the Vatican to extend an official invitation to the Pope Francis, astonished me. It was somewhere in July this year that a delegation from the Vatican arrived in Sri Lanka to see to the logistics of the papal visit schedules for January next year. Subsequently there was also a media conference and announcements were made by the Sri Lankan Church authorities with regard to the Pope’s two-day visit. more..

School-goers keep athletics flame burning

Oct 4 (Island) On a day Sri Lanka’s top notch track and field athletes concluded the Asian Games campaign without a single medal in Incheon, country’s school goers showed promise as usual with high jumper Roshan Dhammika Ranatunga of Kularatne MMV, Godakawela and middle distance runner Kupun Kushantha of Nalanda College topping a list of five meet records on day two of the National Schools Games more..

Is the govt behind the UNP’s unity?

Oct 4 (CT) According to recent news reports including the Colombo Telegraph Mr. Tiran Alles, MP and Mr. Kili Raja Mahendran, Chairman of Maharaja company have been instrumental in forging unity between Ranil and Sajith faction. Venerable Kirama Ananda Thera, Head of the Eksath Bhiksu Peramuna, a Front of Buddhist priests , affiliated to the UNP, accused that a big shot (a dignitary) of the govt was behind the whole exercise. more..

Sri Lanka needs more graduates - SB

Oct 4 (DN) Sri Lanka needs more educated personnel such as graduates for the country's progress, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. He was addressing the convocation ceremony of External Graduates of the Centre for Distance and Continuing Education of the Peradeniya University. Around 2,224 graduates were conferred degrees in Arts and Business Administration. "Our country, which has been placed on a rapid development track should be more..

'Election results put a damper on govt's plans'

Oct 4 (AM) JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi has said that the UPFA govt’s hopes of dominating political parties of the opposition were shattered after the Uva PC Election. He said that the govt was hoping to hold the presidential election soon after the Uva polls but the setback they received form Uva have left them shell-shocked. “The aftermath of the Uva PC election was a nightmare for the UPFA govt. more..

SPC to get new board after MR’s return

Oct 4 (Island) State Resources and Enterprise Development Ministry said that the new board of directors of the Sri Lanka State Plantation Corporation (SPC) would be appointed on the directions of President Rajapaksa, after his return from Rome. President is currently in Italy on a three day visit to meet Pope Francis. However, Ministry’s media unit quoted Minister Dayashritha Tissera, who too is currently in Rome, as having said that the new board of directors would be appointed more..

Lankan child at refugee camp molested

Oct 4 (ENS) A college student was arrested on Thursday for molesting a five-year-old girl at the Sri Lankan refugee camp in Chinnapallikuppam in Ambur. S Britten (18) was arrested after the victim complained to her mother about pain in her private parts. Dayanidhi enquired her daughter further who revealed the incident which had occurred on 1 October. Both families are residents of the camp. Britten, a private college student, was offering tuitions to children in the camp in evenings. more..

Massive gold detection by SLN: Suspects freed within hours by Customs

Oct 4 (Island) Two persons arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy on Wednesday at 7.30 pm along with the largest ever single gold recovery made by the ‘silent’ service have been released within hours after being handed over to the Customs Office in Jaffna, while the investigations were continuing. The suspects described as residents of Madagal, Jaffna were taken in with 45 kilos of gold during a routine check on a fibreglass dinghy more..