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Controversy over firearms issued to RALL

Oct 1 (SL) After the revelation that the controversial Rakna Arakshka Lanka Limited (RALL) – a government owned security company, a brain child of the former Defence Secretary Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – had obtained firearms without following related legal process, questions have been raised as to who had given the orders to purchase the weapons and the purposes of such orders. Former Additional Secretary of Ministry of Defence more..

UNICEF puts focus on children in SL’s war

Oct 1 (CG) The UN agency on children, UNICEF, said that children bore the brunt of the war in Sri Lanka and of the atrocities committed by both sides. It said that children, and people who were children at the time of atrocities and violations, should be given ample voice in all processes proposed by the report on Sri Lanka by the UN and be supported in those processes as witnesses or claimants as if they were still children. more..

More rains today

Oct 1 (Island) The weather situation is likely to get worse in Western, Southern, Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces today with rainfall accompanied by strong winds. Meteorology Department forecast heavy rains at some places, while temporary localised strong winds during thundershowers today at several places in the Western, Southern, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces. more..

Jayalalithaa writes to Modi on saving fishermen from Sri Lanka's dubious actions

Oct 1 (PTI) Taking exception to the continued arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, TN govt has told the Centre that Colombo’s dubious actions has resulted in the situation at sea remaining precarious. Referring to the latest instance of arrest of fishermen who set out from Tuticorin district on Sept 26, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa told PM Narendra Modi that this was the third such incident within a span of a week. more..

'China to always stand together with Sri Lanka to enhance bilateral ties'

Oct 1 (Xinhua) China will always stand together with Sri Lanka to strive for a more brilliant future for the bilateral relations as well as the well being of the people of the two nations, Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang has said. Addressing an event, he said that China and Sri Lanka are neighbors who enjoy centuries of friendship based on mutual benefits and win-win results without political preconditions. more..

Docs endorse Rajitha’s call for jacking up taxes on Sugar, Oil

Oct 1 (Island) The GMOA, responding to Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s call to increase tax on sugar, salt and coconut oil said such action would help cut down on the consumption of those products. Responding to a question however a spokesman for the union said that he could not say whether the Minister had been unaware of the contribution of sugar, salt and oil to the high incidence of non communicable diseases until now. more..

Kotadeniyawa child murder: first two suspects released

Oct 1 (AD) Minuwangoda Magistrate today released the two suspects who had been arrested in the first place in connection with rape and murder of the five-year-old child in Kotadeniyawa. The order was issued after the CID informed the Magistrate that DNA found on the child does not match with these suspects. The CID on 23 Sept however arrested an individual known as Kondaya who is said to be the main suspect in the case. more..

Sri Lanka A open tour in style

Oct 1 (Stuff) A superb all-round performance by Shehan Jayasuriya ensured Sri Lanka A made a successful start to their tour of New Zealand by crushing the NZC winter training squad by 82 runs in a one-day clash in Christchurch on Thursday. Jayasuriya initially maintained the Sri Lankan's momentum with 58 from 51 balls batting in the middle order before he retired, but his offspin then ruined training squad's optimistic quest more..

Editorial: Casting judiciary in bad light

Oct 1 (Island) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has made an interesting observation. It is Sri Lanka’s judiciary and not the military that the international community is concerned about as evident from the UNHRC report on the country, he has said. Yes, its focus is on the judiciary, but that is because at this stage it wants to enable foreign judges, prosecutors and lawyers to secure a foothold here. Thereafter, they concentrate on the military. more..

Stocks up 0.4%: Record foreign inflow

Oct 1 (LBO) Stocks closed up 0.42% on Thursday with foreign investors activity rose to record the highest foreign participation after 17 months. All Share Price Index closed up 29.61 points at 7,080.48 higher 0.42%. S&P SL20 closed 10.18 points higher at 3,836.33 up 0.27%. Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees, up 1.3 million rupees Wednesday with 106 stocks closing positive against 34 negative. “Turnover was supported by crossings which accounted for 71%,” Lanka Securities said. more..

Kondaya's rape drama

Oct 1 (CT) The CID has now arrested the real suspect of the murder of Baby Seya Sadewmi of Kotadeniyawa. Before this, the police arrested a schoolboy and another man under suspicion for the murder and remanded them. Police had no real evidence against them. Police cannot rid themselves of the serious error they committed by simply saying that they have recovered pornography in the laptop of the student. more..

2 aggrieved announcers of SLBC petition SC

Oct 1 (Island) Two announcers Abdul Kareem and Nazar Khan of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation have petitioned the Supreme Court that they had not yet been made permanent even after ten years of service. They have complained in their petition that subsequent to interviews made on Mar 29, 2015 and May 18, 2015 nineteen other persons who are less qualified than the petitioners were selected for permanent announcer posts, while the petitioners are still working in the temporary cadre. more..

Underworld figure dies in hospital

Oct 1 (Island) A 42-year-old Dewaka Lasantha Wijetunga, an underworld figure, who was shot and injured on Sep 28 afternoon by unidentified gunmen at Ambagahahandiya, Minuwangoda died on Tuesday while being treated at the Gampaha hospital, Police said. A police officer attached to the unit said Wijetunga had been shot while he was travelling in a car with another. Police have not yet been able to identify the gunmen who arrived on a motorcycle and carried out the attack. more..

Resolution on SL adopted without a vote

Oct 1 (CG) The resolution on Sri Lanka presented to the UNHRC, was adopted without a vote during the 30th session of the Council in Geneva today. Titled Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka the resolution was passed after no country sought a vote on the text. The US delegation presented the resolution to the Council today and some of the co-sponsors made comments on the text. more..

Video: PC member remanded for FB pics

Oct 1 (DM) Southern Provincial Council’s Vice Chairman Sampath Atukorale was today remanded till Oct 5 by Colombo Magistrate on a complaint of allegedly uploading pictures of President Maithripala Sirisena to his Facebook page and Facebook pages of others as well. The CID filing the report said that the offense was committed during December 2014 just before the Presidential Election, when Maithripala Sirisena was the Minister of Health. They said the suspect had connived with more..

Kandy MC passes resolution calling for immediate resumption of judicial executions

Oct 1 (Island) Kandy Municipal Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the resumption of judicial executions. Rapits and murderers must be hanged, the resolution tabled by the Deputy Mayor Sena Dissanayake stated. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Mayor Dissanayake in the absence of Mayor Mahindra Ratwatte. Deputy Mayor said the country had come to be plagued by murders and rapes. Even innocent little children were not spared. more..

Chairman of the Lankan missing persons' panel rebuts Zeid

Oct 1 (ENS) Responding to the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Zeid’s call to disband SL Missing Persons’ Commission and assign its work to a more credible body, the chairman of the panel, Justice Maxwell Paranagama, contended that nobody else can do the job better. “We have been very transparent in our functioning. There were no armed forces or police personnel in the room where people testified. more..

Minister for Nothing to save Lanka from major crisis

Oct 1 (Island) The country is facing a major crisis. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is busy issuing statements on Geneva. He is behaving like his uncle Yankee Dickie and was in tow with Uncle Sam. What would happen to us even God might not know! President Sirisena has gone to New York. His office, in a release said he wanted to see the UN and meet its Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, if the latter had time to meet the small islander who uses only Korean products like Samsung. more..

Buddhist Affairs Ministry has come to a standstill

Oct 1 (CT) Work at the Ministry of Buddhist Affairs has come to a standstill as the Minister is currently abroad on official duties while the Deputy Minister, who was appointed on 10 Sept, is yet to assume duties. The National Bhikkhu Front (NBF), in a letter to Minister of Buddhist Affairs, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, has requested an urgent meeting to resolve several issues faced by the monks in the country. The NBF, in its letter, states that the Bhikkhus who are considered more..

'Zeid’s demands Unwarranted & Intolerable'

Oct 1 (ENS) The demand by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, that Sri Lanka should scrap the Commission on Missing Persons and assign its work to a credible body, is unwarranted and intolerable says former Minister and an acclaimed legal expert Prof. G.L. Peiris. “Zeid’s asking for the scrapping of Missing Persons’ commission and for changing Lankan legal system, go way beyond the mandate of more..

High chemical residues threaten fruit exports

Oct 1 (EN) Heavy use of chemicals by Sri Lankan farmers to ripen or protect fruits and vegetables could damage exports, with a few shipments being detected and rejected by authorities in Europe. “Excessive use of chemicals like weedicide is reducing the quality of fruits and vegetables,” said Annes Junaid, chairman of the Lanka Fruit & Vegetable Producers, Processors and Exporters Association. He said high chemical residue levels in exported fruits and vegetables was more..

UPFA coalition parties disappointed over govt’s decision to co-sponor resolution

Oct 1 (DN) The coalition parties of the UPFA voiced disappointment over the govt’s decision to co-sponor the resolution on Sri Lanka at the 30th session of the UNHRC. UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena said it was the biggest betrayal in the country’s recent history, urging the government to re-consider its decision at least at the eleventh hour. Gunawardena said the independence of the country’s security forces would be betrayed as a result of the resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka. more..

UN war crimes resolution marks a turning point for victims: AI

Oct 1 (AI) A crucial resolution adopted at the UNHRC today offers the victims of Sri Lanka’s armed conflict the prospect of finally getting the truth and justice they deserve, Amnesty International said. The resolution was adopted without a vote today at the UNHRC in Geneva, following the publication earlier this month of a UN report into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights by all sides during SL’s armed conflict. more..

'We all should nurture humanity in us'

Oct 1 (GDI) We always should be self-effacing and must not forget the past. Similarly we should cultivate humanity in us, said Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Eng. Karunasena Hettiarachchi yesterday (30th Sep). Taking the life of late Hon. CWW Kannangara as an example he pointed out that, he was instrumental in introducing extensive reforms to the country's education system and such a life story is an ideal illustration for contemporary political leaders. more..

Families seek release of fishermen in SL

Oct 1 (CG) Aggrieved over the detention of seven fishermen of Threspuram in India by the Sri Lankan Navy, their families and relatives thronged the Collectorate in Tuticorin yesterday demanding the intervention of the district administration for their early and safe release. They were detained for alleged cross border fishing at mid sea and a country boat, in which they sailed, was also seized. The seven fishermen set out to sea on September 26. The Sri Lanka Navy assisted more..

SL core inflation rise to 4.2%, a 2-year high

Oct 1 (EN) Sri Lanka's core inflation rose to a 26-month of 4.2% in September 2015, up from 3.9% in August, as headlines inflation remained muted with commodity prices falling amid a stronger US dollar. SL's core inflation is now the highest since 4.3% hit in June 2013. SL's core and headline inflation rose sharply over 2012 and early 2013 as the price structure in the island altered in the wake of a currency collapse in 2012. more..

Ranil upbeat on GSP Plus

Oct 1 (DM) Sri Lanka would officially request the European Union to restore the GSP plus Status today as the human rights issue, which the country had been facing for the past few years had come to an end, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. Mr. Wickremesinghe told trade unionists that he met last afternoon had said Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera would make a request from the European Union in writing today as all issues pertaining to UNHRC had come to an end. more..

Portsmouth psychology students over in SL

Oct 1 (TB) The two students travelled almost 3,500 miles to provide care for mental health patients in Sri Lanka. Anastasia Finch and Matthew Siu Chang worked for five weeks in psychiatric hospitals in the island nation, where mental health care is still in its infancy. They hope the experience will help them gain places on a Clinical Psychology doctorate course, for which competition is fierce. As part of their placement – organised by the SL Volunteers organisation – they shared more..

US, UK hail adoption of historic resolution

Oct 1 (CG) The US and Britain hailed the adoption of the historic resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC today. The US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper said that the consensus resolution expresses international support for Sri Lanka as it takes courageous steps to strengthen democracy and restore civil liberties. “We have witnessed important changes in Sri Lanka since January, which have made today’s more..

I robbed bank for my education

Oct 1 (DM) The suspect taken into custody in connection with a failed robbery at a private bank in the Panadura town, had stated that he was a medical student at the Moscow University and that he resorted to robbery to find money for his fees, the Police said. The 35-year-old suspect, who entered bank had allegedly handed to the lady cashier at the counter a bank slip written on its back that he was in possession of a revolver and that he would shoot if she raised cries or activated the alarm more..

CB to ramp up quasi-fiscal activities

Oct 1 (EN) Central bank is planning to ratchet up quasi-fiscal activities which were in a bid to push rural growth, a practice which has played a key role in the island's high inflationary past for worsening poverty through currency depreciation and inflation. "I want to pump credit to the region," CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran told reporters this week. "In the next month we are going to come up with a credit plan, talk to every bank and finance company in each of those provinces and more..

UNHRC session on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s east, north better for tourism investment: IFC expert

Oct 1 (EN) Fresh opportunities for investing in tourism projects lie in Sri Lanka’s east and north as the traditional south-west region is crowded but access issues will need to be sorted out, a senior official from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said. The IFC, part of the World Bank group, has been investing mostly in business hotels in national capitals and secondary cities, said Shaun Mann, Innovation and Future Technology Specialist at IFC. more..

Mahinda hopes ties with China remains strong

Oct 1 (CG) Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he hopes the links between China and Sri Lanka remain strong in the years to come. In a statement released today to mark China’s founding day, Rajapaksa recalled that Sri Lanka and China have shared strong and extremely friendly relations for many centuries. He said that China’s contributions to Sri Lanka’s development have been evident throughout time adding that not only recent projects but older ones such as more..

Sri Lanka agrees to judicial mechanism with foreign judges

Oct 1 (ENS) Sri Lanka has agreed to set up a Special Judicial Mechanism with the participation of Commonwealth and foreign judges, defense lawyers, prosecutors and investigators to try cases of war crimes and other human rights violations in the period between 2002 and 2011. This was implicit when the Lankan govt co-sponsored a US-led resolution on SL which pressed for foreign participation in the proposed more..

Seyas case is perfect example against death penalty

Oct 2 (CT) As the government takes attempts to redress the claims of the previous regime in terms of Human Rights concerns at the international Council, our general public have been wreaking havoc trying to bring justice to Seya by re-introducing the death penalty. Even more interesting is that the strongest advocates for it are the very religious groups of Buddhists. I wonder if anyone saw the irony in seeing the girls in lama saree at the petitions. On the one hand the nation gives more..

OHCHR report & Catch-22 situation of the Sinhalese Liberals

Oct 2 (CT) There is no doubt reading through OHCHR report with its detailed findings on human rights violations and violations of international law, would make even the staunchest Sinhala Buddhist nationalist with conscience, to reflect and to be introspective, which was perhaps the reason for somewhat mellowing overtones of that hardcore nationalist, Udaya Gammanpila, as evinced by his interview with Ravaya newspaper last week. But what about Sinhalese moderates, by which more..

Dharmasena: From player to umpire

Oct 2 (CT) Q: Tell us about your family? A: My family has 4 members, me, sister, mother and father. Father was a civil servant of the govt, mother was a housewife. I have 4 children, one boy and 3 girls. My wife is Dushanthi Dharmasena. My son is Kavishka Dharmasena who is schooling at Royal College and sitting for the O/L exam this year. Eldest girl is Ashlya Dharmasena. She is schooling at Vishaka College. more..

AGs and interference with Judiciary

Oct 2 (NS) President Sirisena reiterated many times over that the guiding principles of his national govt would be restoration of the Rule-of-Law, a corruption-free administration and good governance. A recent news item that received wide attention stated, on the advice tendered by the Attorney General, Avant Garde and Kumaran Pathmanathan’s cases were withdrawn. Further, in a remarkable coincidence, the cases filed by the then govt and the then Opposition against more..

Swiss Model?

Oct 2 (NS) A new buzz-phrase is buzzing through federalist halls in Sri Lanka: The Swiss Model. The argument goes that Switzerland is a federal republic and that therefore Sri Lanka should be one, too. Unfortunately, the advocates of the Swiss solution do not appear to have studied the Swiss system, beyond that magnificent ‘F’ word. The problem with federalists is that they do not perceive the progression of democratic bodies as part of a historical process. more..