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Rajapaksa govt lied to the world: Sajith

Oct 12 (Island) Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa has said that previous govt’s foreign policy was lying to every nation on earth thinking that it was smart enough to dupe them. Addressing a public meeting at Uduwila in Tissamaharama on Friday as a part of a series being held by the Minister to thank the electors who voted for the UNP, the Minister said: "The then govt’s foreign policy was not consistent; it was changed almost on a daily basis to suit its agenda. more..

Warrant issued on Ven. Gnanasara Thera

Oct 12 (AD) Warrants have been issued for the arrest of General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero and two others for not appearing in the Court, this morning. The warrrant was issued by Fort Magistrate as the BBS General Secretary and the other monks did not appear in the Court in connection with two cases filed against them. One case has been filed for allegedly obstructing a media briefing more..

A viper enters Parliament

Oct 12 (CT) A viper has been found lurking inside the Parliamentary complex at Sri Jayewardenepura last Friday at around 8:30 a.m. The serpent was found coiled inside a flowerpot between the parliament library and the main lift used by MPs. The viper was detected by STF officers who were carrying out an inspection. The 45 cm viper was then removed. Serpents have been found on two occasions at the Parliament complex in recent times. A python was found at the ground floor and more..

Marlon Samuels up for Sri Lanka examination

Oct 12 (VO) Middle order batsman Marlon Samuels says he is anxious to put bat to ball when the Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka begins. Samuels, a senior member of the regional side, says he is also eager to step-up to leading roles for his team in their two match test series against the Sri Lankans. Both sides are showcasing a number of young players who will play in the first test at the Galle International Stadium (Oct 14-18) in the coastal town of Galle; and more..

Wigneswaran writes to Sirisena on Tamil prisoners

Oct 12 (CG) Northern Province Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran, in a letter to President Sirisena, raised concerns over the safety of the Tamil prisoners staging a fast to register their protest at their prolonged imprisonment. He said that there is a concern that the fast may be violently dealt with by prison officers, as has happened in the past. “The problem is a human issue that should be dealt with both passion and empathy, given more..

SriLankan Airlines launches drive to return to profitability

Oct 12 (EN) Loss-making national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, said it has launched an initiative to encourage staff to give ideas on how to make it profitable again. The airline, which has lost over 100 billion rupees in the past five years, has launched a company-wide interactive campaign titled Red to Black. Under the initiative, senior management has invited staff to share their “innovative ideas and thoughts on initiatives that can be taken to reduce losses and optimize cost as the airline seeks more..

After dodging war crimes probe, Lanka focuses on truth, reconciliation

Oct 12 (AT) Sri Lanka’s nine-month old President Maithripala Sirisena seems to be playing his cards just right. Sirisena and incumbent PM Ranil Wickremesinghe appear to be making friends across the world, including with the all-powerful United States, which has helped them dodge an international war crimes probe. Within just months after taking over office, they have been able to finally thwart repeated attempts for an international probe. Instead, they have convinced more..

Namal Rajapaksa refutes allegations on foreign bank accounts

Oct 12 (AM) UPFA Hambantota MP Namal Rajapaksa refuted allegations that there were foreign bank accounts in his name. Speaking to BBC on recent allegations that a son of a VVIP had a bank account in Dubai, Rajapaksa said neither he nor his brothers had any such account. He added that even his parents do not have a foreign account. Namal Rajapaksa is the eldest of former President Rajapaksa's three sons. more..

Trial-at-bar into Bharatha murder begins

Oct 12 (CG) The trial-at-bar into the murder of former Presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, began at the Colombo High Court today. Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s daughter and Hirunika Premachandra, former MP Duminda Silva and several others attended the hearing. Colombo High Court in August fixed for today, the date to hear the case by a special trial-at-bar. A request was earlier made to consider the case as special and appoint a trial-at-bar. more..

Undergraduates give up hunger strike

Oct 12 (CT) A three day hunger strike launched by the unemployed graduates at Gandhi Park in Batticaloa on Wednesday was called off on Friday evening following the assurance given by the Chief Minister Eastern Province Habees Nazir Ahamed stating that he would grant appointments before 31 March next year. Thereafter, the unemployed graduates called off the hunger strike with a warning that they would recommence their fasting if the Chief Minister fails to keep his assurance; more..

A familiar hoodoo for West Indies in SL

Oct 12 (CI) On their four previous tours of Sri Lanka, West Indies have been blighted by one setback or another. Solitary Test in 1993, first between the teams, a dozen years after Sri Lanka's elevation to the status, was restricted by a swampy outfield in Moratuwa to less than 12 hours play; only one of the three ODIs ran its course. In 2010, SL's heaviest and most widespread rainfall in 18 years caused floods and landslides that displaced more..

Tamil political prisoners go on hunger strike

Oct 12 (PTI) Tamil political prisoners lodged in several jails in Sri Lanka, many of them without trial since 2009 when the civil war ended, on Monday began a hunger strike, demanding their release. The prisoners are calling for a Presidential pardon and said that they will not suspend their fast unto death till they get an acceptable solution. The prisoners at the Welikada prison are among those who are taking part in the fast, the Prisons Department officials were quoted as saying by Colombo Gazette. more..

Fisherworkers forum urges PM Modi to find permanent solution to fishermen issue

Oct 12 (ENS) National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) has requested PM Narendra Modi to use diplomatic channels to hold dialogue with neighbouring countries, who arrest, attack and incarcerate Indian fishermen. NFF chairperson, M Ilango and general secretary, Narendra R Patil, in a letter, have urged the PM to pay attention to the issue that affects the livelihood of fisher communities and bring a permanent solution with a human touch. They also wanted the PM to hold consultation with more..

Assistance of private sector is vital for strengthening national unity: President

Oct 12 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has stated that the assistance of the private sector is also expected in the new govt’s national unity process which is being implemented to build trust and brotherhood among all communities in the country. “The govt alone cannot build the mutual understanding and trust among the people, which has deteriorated due to the three-decade long war,” the President said, adding that more..

What’s a job worth in this atomised world?

Oct 13 (GV) Speaking at a discussion forum on Tuesday (6) at the Mahaweli Centre on a recently authored book by Siritunge Jayasuriya titled 80 July Strike: Analytical Report (literally translated to English) Professor Sumanasiri Liyanage said, “In a neo liberal economy in countries like ours, there is little space for workers’ struggles. Therefore, if the strike in July 1980 was not organised with that militancy at that early period, there may have not been any strike later.” more..

The Geneva resolution and politics

Oct 13 (GV) Recent UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka is a remarkable document. Crafted in the immediate aftermath of the devastating OISL Report on SL whose central recommendation was that a special hybrid court be established in SL, and despite some hiccups during negotiations, a resolution eventually acceptable to a wide range of parties found uncontested passage through the Council. The govt’s eventual co-sponsorship of the resolution signaled their full acceptance of its language. more..

Health Ministry comes up with a novel idea to make accidental deaths meaningful

Oct 13 (SO) Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne's rather unusual step to propose to the Motor Traffic Department, to introduce a new clause in driving licences enabling holders to donate their unharmed organs in the event they die in a road accident, is undoubtedly a forward leap towards promoting organ transplant in this country. In the wake of an alarming wave of road traffic accidents, where many drivers more..

A hybrid court on war crimes and crimes against humanity?

Oct 13 (SL) I forget who, but someone said, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Anybody in their right mind who thinks Sri Lanka is an exception to that rule has only to take a look at the farce that is unfolding before our very eyes consequent on the UNHRC unanimously-adopted resolution in Geneva recently. We have village idiots parading as political savants mouthing the same stupid platitude: “We will let no harm come to our war heroes from any inquiry.” more..

Warmongers keep Peacemongers going

Oct 13 (SL) With the tail end of the monsoons confining us to the haansiputuwa, our thoughts went out to War and Peace. Not the Russian novel by that name but to war and peace in this Resplendent Isle, Pearl of the Orient or The Hub of so many things as the Rajapaksa regime claimed it to be. There has been no war – military conflict – for almost six years. But the Peacemongers say there has been no peace which should be the ultimate objective of war. Not only Peacemongers but even the Chinese more..

'Rajapaksa also used foreign experts'

Oct 13 (SL) Former President Rajapaksa issued a communiqué recently slamming the UNHRC resolution that was passed unanimously at the Council sessions in Geneva. According to Mahinda, resolution is not a victory, and it does not protect the interests of the war heroes. In the contrary, SLFP praised the resolution. SLFP Minister S.B Dissanayake said that former President Rajapaksa should take the blame more..

Restore the dignity of the police service

Oct 13 (NS) The Police Service has been from ancient times a much respected service in our country. However, in recent days, it appears to have sadly lost its standing in our society. The Police must be upgraded and made a special service like the old Civil Service. Only the best suitable for the profession must be attracted to join this department at all levels. This is because we boast of the highest level of literacy in the developing world. Since the catchment area is available let us more..

Political murders must be probed

Oct 13 (CT) Arrest of Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan also known as Pillaiyan last Monday, though belated by a decade is undeniably positive progress. People responsible for political assassinations and crimes of all sorts, although it may not be all, are being apprehended. During the past decade or so these alleged criminals were turned politicians by successive governments and baptized ceremoniously into the mainstream of politics in the country. more..

'War crimes and sexual offences Lack of evidence, main bugbear'

Oct 13 (CT) The TULF leader V Anandasangaree said any charges relating to war crimes on sexual abuse, rape or murder cannot be proved as there was hardly any evidence since most of the crimes were not visible to the people. Also affected victims are mostly women who will rarely be in a situation to give evidence of sexual abuse and rape. "There are certain things from which you cannot escape, as there is more..

March polls likely to make cohabitation uneasy

Oct 13 (NS) UNHRC in Geneva, battle lines between the two major parties, the UNP and the SLFP are emerging prior to local govt polls. They are due around March next year and would, in the usual course of events, be of little significance since both the presidential and general elections have been held. The current political landscape though, with a national govt and a divided SLFP, adds a new dimension to the polls. At the presidential elections, the SLFP was a strong political entity, more..

Mockery of the Constitutional Council

Oct 13 (CT) When the Constitutional Council (CC) was established by the 17th Amendment and modified by the 19th Amendment, it had a noble cause. It was to ensure the independence of the commissions such as Judicial service, audit services, bribery or corruption investigation and procurement. However, it is near impossible to achieve the stated objective of the independent commissions with the newly appointed CC. CC is the apex body of independent commissions. more..

Roshan, Rumeshika best athletes

Oct 13 (CT) High Jumper Roshan Ranathunga and sprinter Rumeshika Rathnayake were adjudged best male and female athletes of the All Island School Games concluded at Diyagama yesterday. Ranathunga from Godakawela Maha Vidyalaya already had two Silver medals - Asian Youth Championship and Commonwealth Youth - under his belt coming into this championship, and cleared 2:13m to win the Gold medal more..

Shyam killing: Verdict on Nov. 27

Oct 13 (DM) Colombo High Court will announce on Nov 27, the verdict in the trial of former DIG Vass Gunawardena, his son and four others accused of killing Bambalapitiya millionaire businessman Mohamed Shyam. The announcement was made when the case was taken up for hearing today. The special Trial-at-Bar was appointed by Attorney General Palitha Fernando, when the then Chief Justice Mohan Peries requested to do so after considering judicial significance of the case. more..

Juniors to step in for Sevens

Oct 13 (CT) National Selection Committee Chairman Michael Jayasekara revealed that some of the under-20 rugby players could be included in the Sri Lankan squad for the upcoming Asian Olympic Qualifiers which is scheduled to be held in Hong Kong next month. "We have some players (in the current squad) who could only play for another one or two years, so we have to make sure that our juniors are in line to replace them. Only way we can do that is by giving them enough exposure, more..

Wet October casts shadow over teams in flux

Oct 13 (CI) In October, the northeast monsoon begins to creep in from the Bay of Bengal and turns Sri Lanka into a vast network of closely-spaced puddles. This is excellent for the nation's paddy farmers, whose fields are made fit for replanting. It is less good for cricketers, whose fields are made fit for marine exploration. Spectators are advised to take umbrellas to any match in Sri Lanka, but going by the history of series more..

ILO launches fruit cultivation projects

Oct 13 (CT) With the sole idea of improving the living conditions of the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable in the villages of the Ampara District, International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with Eco Wave Travels assisted by the respective departments has been implementing various projects through Local Economical Development through tourism projects. Under the scheme, 50 acres have been selected for the cultivation of fruits in various villages in more..

Western Region Megapolis Project: Concept and scope in Sri Lankan context

Oct 13 (Island) The new govt, elected to govern the country for the next five years, has vowed to implement its flagship Megapolis project which was included in its election manifesto. It was reported that the conceptual plan was initially mooted in 1991 by the then young Sri Lankan Minister of Industries, Science and Technology, Ranil Wickremesinghe, when he made a presentation in the presence of the visiting Japanese PM, Toshiki Kaifu. The objective of the presentation was to seek more..

Video: Wildlife Dept. accused of worsening human-elephant conflict

Oct 13 (DM) Wildlife Department and several NGOs are worsening the human-elephant conflict instead of seeking solutions, alleged an organisation calling itself the National Movement for the Protection of Domesticated Elephants (NMPDE). Staging a protest outside Wildlife Resources Conservation Ministry in Battaramulla, the organisation said domesticated elephants had become targets. more..

French Lancôme Beauty Care in Lanka

Oct 13 (DM) Lancome, the French iconic brand, a product which is been sold every five seconds in the world, introduced a new line of skincare and makeup products to the Sri Lankan market recently. The skincare range features products such as the toner, cleanser and serum while the makeup collection includes Mascara, eye shadow, liners for the eye makeup, blushes, concealers, compact powders which is made to suit all skin types and lipstick, gloss, lipliner were among more..

SL, Pak share series after another stalemate

Oct 13 (CI) Sri Lanka U-19 and Pakistan U-19 had to settle for a draw for the second game in a row, meaning that the two-match series ended 0-0. Sri Lanka, having been inserted, made the early running in the game, as a century from their captain Charith Asalanka powered the hosts to 305. Asalanka, who had scored a double-century in the first Test, struck 15 fours during his 124. Sixteen-year-old medium-pacer Sameen Gul was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 3 for 56, while more..

Vehicle importers at sea!

Oct 13 (FT) Motor importers said that they were now planning to re-auction the vehicles from Japan rather than shipping them into Sri Lanka due to the unreasonable tax structure imposed by the Govt. “Despite the loss that we have to put up with, re-auctioning the vehicles on Japanese shores is a better option than bringing them here under absurd duty hikes,” Vehicle Importers Association of Lanka (VIAL) more..

CICT to invest US$ 40 m for Green Port

Oct 13 (DN) Colombo International Container Terminal Limited (CICT) will invest US$ 40 million to convert it to be the first Green container terminal in the region. CICT CEO, Nelson Liu said this will be completed in less than two years. “No doubt this development will send a signal to all stakeholders the importance of paying attention to this critical factor and we believe in working towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and care for the environment”. more..

Thomson to launch Sri Lanka next year

Oct 13 (TM) Thomson is introducing Sri Lanka for winter 2016 and is eyeing up other long haul destinations in Asia and the Caribbean. Weekly, direct flights to Sri Lanka will operate from London Gatwick on the operator's 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with various stay and tour options. Managing director Nick Longman said prices have not yet been decided internally but would be released next month. The destination could become year-round, depending the success of winter programme. more..

HRC summons JMO over contradictory reports

Oct 13 (DM) Negombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) who inspected the schoolboy and the other suspect who were previously arrested in connection with the killing of Seya Sadewmi has been summoned to the Human Rights Commission. Commissioner Priyantha Perera had recommended Negombo JMO to report to HRC after the commission identified that the two reports compiled by the JMO during investigations regarding more..

Is fitness that's causing bad fielding?

Oct 13 (CT) The ICC T20 Cricket World Cup 2016 is looming around the corner. Cup holder's Sri Lanka is still in a stunned state with the departure of Sangakkara. Their batting line-up is in disarray with no proper answer in sight. In the bowling department they have been saddled with key prospect Kaushal being technically knocked out for straightening his arm bowling the Doosra. The newly appointed interim coach Jerome Jayaratne is not happy with the fielding. more..

Private pension schemes seen misleading

Oct 13 (EN) Private pensions schemes promoted as old age security for Sri Lankans are misleading as most offer payment only for limited time periods and not till death, a forum was told last week. The use of the term pension is not regulated in the island, said Nishan de Mel, Executive Director and Head of Research at Verité Research, a think-tank. "It can be called a pension only if it offers payment till death,” he told the National Pensioners Day Symposium organised by the Department of Pensions. more..