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Sri Lankan refugee goes on indefinite fast

Oct 14 (ENS) A 34-year old Sri Lankan Tamil farmer, belonging to the region of Mullavaikal, has been appealing to revenue officials and the Q branch police for the past two weeks, to secure the release of his wife from Mandapam Camp prison in Rameswaram. The spouse has allegedly begun an indefinite fast in the camp. When Q Branch Police were contacted, they gave an assurance that his wife would be released in a day or two and are awaiting official communication. more..

Detainees under PTA disapprove of Vigneswaran’s proposal

Oct 14 (DN) The prisoners who have been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) have expressed their disapproval to Northern Province CM C.V. Vigneswaran’s proposal to categorize them according to their offences. It is reported that these prisoners who started a fast unto death have expressed their disapproval to Vigneswaran’s proposal to President Sirisena, to categorize the prisoners more..

Masked robber flees with Rs 797,000 from bank

Oct 14 (Island) A daring bank robbery was staged in Dambulla yesterday by a masked man armed with a hand grenade; he made off with Rs. 797,000 cash after taking one of its employees hostage according to ASP Ruwan Gunasekara. Incident had occurred around 9.50 a.m. and the robber had removed the money from just one counter of the private bank in the Dambulla town. Then, the robber had got into a passing trishaw with the hostage after removing the mask he used during the robbery. more..

Prince Charles invited to open WTM Sri Lanka Stand

Oct 14 (DN) Sri Lanka Tourism has invited Prince Charles to attend the opening ceremony of the Sri Lanka Stand at the World Tourism Market (WTM) exhibition beginning November 2, 10 a.m. in Excel House London. An official from Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau said that this is being currently coordinated by a former Ambassador to United Kingdom from Sri Lanka. He said that the 2015 WTM has also created a unique record where 67 travel companies are participating. more..

'War crimes: Robert Blake and his colleagues can strengthen Sri Lanka’s defence'

Oct 14 (Island) Report of UNSG Ban ki-moon’s Panel of Experts (PoE) on Accountability in Sri Lanka accused the then Sri Lankan govt of five major human rights violations, committed during eelam war IV (Aug. 2006 to May 2009). Three dealt with the conduct of the Sri Lankan political and military leaderships during the war, while the two remaining allegations dealt with violations committed after the conclusion of the Vanni offensive. more..

Drug prices to be drastically reduced soon

Oct 14 (DM) With the private medical sector to a large extent turning into a big profit-making business, Minister Rajitha Senaratne has assured that prices of essential medicinal drugs would be significantly reduced in the coming weeks and months. Addressing an event in his home base of Kalutara, he made the shocking claim that some trans-national and other pharmaceutical companies here were selling drugs here at staggering profits ranging from 200% to a crippling 2000%. more..

Why I find myself at variance

Oct 14 (DM) As a boy, I grew up reading a column in the Ceylon Observer called Off My Beat by The Outsider. The writer was my father Mervyn de Silva and his choice of pen-name, the English translation of the title of the famous book by Albert Camus, was quite deliberate (the French original was L’Entranger, The Stranger). My new fortnightly column exclusive to this newspaper is entitled At Variance. While it was my choice of title, it wasn’t my choice of phrase. more..

Forming the New Constitution

Oct 14 (DM) Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has been the constitution of our country since its original promulgation in 1978. It is Sri Lanka’s second republican constitution and its third since the country’s independence in 1948. The first constitution that provided a parliamentary form to Sri Lanka was the Soulbury Constitution in 1947. It introduced a bicameral legislature (Two-house Parliament) which more..

Alleged misappropriation of TRC funds

Oct 14 (SL) Former Chairman TRC, Lalith Weeratunge, and its former Director General, Anusha Pelpita, were granted bail by the High Court Judge Colombo last Wednesday. Lalith Weeratunga, who was also the Secretary to the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the Director General, Anusha Pelpita, are accused of misusing public money to distribute ‘gift’ to the devotees as part of Mahinda Rajapaksa election campaign more..

Video: Pillayan detained till Nov 4

Oct 14 (DM) Colombo Chief Magistrate today extended the detention of former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province S Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan till November 4. He was taken into custody by the CID officers for allegedly being involved in the killing of former Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham on the Christmas Eve of 2005. Chandrakanthan was produced before Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya by the CID and more..

Sri Lanka prints over 200 billion rupees, generating BOP pressure

Oct 14 (EN) Sri Lanka has printed 200 billion rupees in the past four months to Oct 2015, to finance a budget deficit, accommodate debt repayments, resist market interest rate rises and contraction in the monetary base and credit, official data show. At last week's Treasuries auction, Central Bank rejected bids for maturing bills, and bought them with printed money, allowing the previous holders to generate excess demand more..

NCPA calls for overall strategy to protect families

Oct 14 (Island) National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) said that society must move towards an intelligent discourse on how the family could be safeguarded in the context of globalisation and urbanisation. NCPA Chairperson Natasha Balendra said that the recent spate of abuses and murders of especially younger children had raised two key challenges. According to Balendra, the challenges included the understanding of more..

Japan, Sri Lanka call for denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula

Oct 14 (Island) Pledging to cooperate in the international arena, Japan and Sri Lanka have called for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. PM Ranil Wickremeinghe and his Japanese Counterpart Shinzo Abe during their summit meeting in Tokyo last week, resolved to strengthen cooperation in the area of nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy in order to realize more..

Yala opens amidst tension after shooting of poacher

Oct 14 (ST) The Yala National Park that was closed for a month during the drought, re-opened on Oct 7, as scheduled. However, tension prevailed following the death of a poacher during a shootout with wildlife rangers. The family and close allies of the poacher have reportedly threatened the wildlife officers resulting in the deployment of STF personnel at the park. Shooting incident on the evening of Friday, occurred near a waterhole more..

FCID questions five former SL envoys

Oct 14 (DM) Four former security forces’ commanders and a retired Major General who were appointed to Sri Lankan missions overseas were questioned by The FCID over their involvement in politics. ASP Ruwan Gunasekera said the FCID is currently conducting an investigation into diplomats who had been involved in politics and the questioning of the former security forces personnel was a part of the investigations. more..

DNA matches that of Kondaya’s brother

Oct 14 (CG) DNA of the brother of Dunesh Priyashantha alias Kondaya matches with the DNA test conducted on Seya Sedawmini. Minuwangoda Magistrate made the revelation after being presented with the DNA report on the test conducted on Kondaya’s brother Saman Jayalath. Dinesh Priyashantha had earlier confessed to the murder and was being investigated when his brother who was arrested later claimed more..

Video: Wele Suda sentenced to death

Oct 14 (DM) The Colombo High Court today awarded death sentence to Samantha Kumara Vithanage alias Wele Sudha for the charges of possession of 7.05 grams of heroin. The judgment was delivered when the case was taken up for hearing before High Court Judge Preethi Surasena. However, Wele Suda has been prosecuted in connection with two other cases before the Colombo High Court and more..

Police traffic plan drives people mad

Oct 14 (CT) Author H.P. Lovecraft once wrote, "The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents." However, we doubt that the general public would be merciful if they ever get their hands on whoever introduced the unsuccessful Traffic Master Plan that was initiated in Colombo and suburb roads last Monday. Police experimented last Saturday and Sunday a new traffic plan which intended to resolve the matters of heavy traffic along Sri J'pura Road, more..

Beyond the political spinning of the Geneva resolution

Oct 14 (CT) The UNHRC Resolution is certainly providing political spin doctors with plenty of material. Largely, the spin has taken on predictably partisan directions. Pro-govt groups are portraying this as a major foreign relations coup while anti-govt groups are describing the UNHRC resolution as one of the greatest betrayals of the country. While the anti-govt spin is predictable and to be expected, the pro-govt spin is actually far more worrying. Signs of the directions in which govt groups more..

Ilakkaya Sirasa TV

Arjuna gives evidence in case against using his World Cup victory picture

Oct 14 (Island) Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, the World Cup Winning Cricket Captain of Sri Lanka, yesterday gave evidence in the District Court of Colombo, in respect of the plaint he has filed, complaining against Barthi Airtel Lanka of having telecast in a commercial advertisement, the image of 1996, when he received the Wills World Cup for Cricket victory. The plaintiff Ranatunga has complained that he never used his cricket victories for commercial advertisements. more..

NTUC to take legal action against police jackboots for arresting trade unionists

Oct 14 (Island) National Trade Union Centre condemned the unlawful arrest of two trade unionists by the Kadawatha police while they were pasting posters to pressure the govt to increase the salaries of state, private and plantation sector employees and to rectify their salary anomalies. The convenor of the NTUC Samantha Koralearachchi said the trade unionists had been exercising a fundamental right of theirs and the police had no reason to obstruct thier propaganda work more..

A little light administrative duty for Sri Lanka's new hangmen

Oct 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it has hired two new executioners to replace the previous hangman, who quit soon after seeing the gallows for the first time, even though capital punishment has not been carried out there for almost 40 years. No one has been executed in the tropical South Asian nation since 1976 and the role of executioner is described as light administrative work only, even though more..

Germany's Friedrich Naumann Foundation resume work in Sri Lanka

Oct 14 (EN) Germany's Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) said it will return to SL from early 2016 following, after change in political developments. Charity quoted director Manfred Richter has saying that decision to resume projects was made after encouraging political developments in SL. "We are delighted to resume our work with our many SL friends and partners and assist in strengthening liberal democracy, human rights and the market economy", more..

MIA warehouses will soon be handed back

Oct 14 (DM) The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) said today the Mattala International Airport warehouse complex would be released soon because tenders were being called from rice millers countrywide for the sale of paddy stocks including those at Mattala. PMB Chairman M.B. Dissanayake said that the paddy stocks currently in government storage facilities including warehouse complex of the Mattala International Airport would be sold to private rice mills through tenders. more..

NFF welcomes Russian intervention in Syria

Oct 14 (Island) NFF has welcomed the Russian military intervention in Syria. NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa, released a copy of following letter sent to Alexander Karchava, Ambassador of Russia by his party: "We are pleased to hear that Russian military intervention in Syria is continuing unabated destroying the ruthless ISIS/ISIL terrorist strongholds in Syria. We are also very pleased to hear about military capabilities more..

Sri Lanka stocks fall to 3-month low

Oct 14 (EN) Stocks fell to a three-month low Wednesday despite a fall in interest rates with investors concerned about the economy ahead of the government’s budget next month. All Share Price Index lost 38.13 points or 0.54 percent to close at 7,040.32 while the S&P SL 20 index, which tracks the top 20 largest and most liquid stocks, lost 30.04 points (0.79%) to close at 3,781.17. Daily market turnover was 726 million rupees, with only a single crossing or off-the-floor negotiated deal more..

New CPC Chairman assumes duties

Oct 14 (Island) Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) would be turned around to contribute to the national economic development, the newly Appointed Chairman T.G Jayasinghe said on Monday. Addressing the media at the CPC head office at Dematagoda, Jayasinghe said the country’s only oil refinery at Sapugaskanda would be upgraded soon and the oil pipeline renovated. He also said the new petroleum products would be introduced through CPC in the future. more..

WI v SL: Karunaratne ton steers Sri Lanka

Oct 14 (CI) An unbeaten century from Dimuth Karunaratne ensured Sri Lanka negotiated the opening day of the series with a sense of calm and lost only two wickets on a slow Galle pitch. Sri Lanka grew increasingly dominant as the day progressed. The final session produced over 43% of the runs they scored on the day, and ended with a punchy Karunaratne straight drive that took the score from 246 to 250. more..

'New traffic plan has added to the chaos'

Oct 14 (DN) The new traffic plan in Colombo introduced by the Police is a total failure since it has actually created more traffic congestion, Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association Chairman Gemunu Wijeratne said. He said the govt should introduce a long term plan to tackle this problem without diverting traffic here and there. “You cannot stop people from buying new vehicles and when these too are added, road traffic deviation will not work,” he added. more..

TULF notes pathetic plight of fasting prisoners

Oct 14 (CG) In a letter to President Sirisena, TULF Secretary General V. Anandasangaree raised concerns over the plight of about 250 prisoners detained in various prisons all over the country who were engaged in a fast since Monday. “It is very unfortunate, Your Excellency, that I have no status to speak on their behalf except that I am a Human being, a senior citizen of 82 years old, a lawyer with 50 years of seniority, although not in practice now, 17 years in Parliament, deprived of more..

Tamil Tiger in Toronto ordered to deport for terrorism

Oct 14 (NP) A member of the Tamil Tigers who was allegedly sent to Toronto to run SL guerrilla group’s Canadian front organization has been ordered deported for terrorism, according to documents filed in the Federal Court. Govt has been trying to deport Manickavasagam Suresh since 1995, when he was first arrested in Toronto. Case was thought to have languished but last week the case reappeared on the court docket. more..

Only 10% of smuggled drugs seized

Oct 14 (CT) Statistics show that authorities are only capable of apprehending 10% of the drugs smuggled into a country, said Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral, Ravindra Wijegunaratne yesterday at the Meeting of Senior Drug Enforcement Officials of the Indian Ocean Region. The conference which will have the participation of 21 States and seven organizations is to deal with the issue of maritime drug trafficking in the Indian Ocean region. more..

Term of 23 LG bodies extended till Nov 31

Oct 14 (AD) The term of 21 Local Govt bodies which was set to end tomorrow and two LG bodies to end term on Oct 31 have been extended till Nov 31, Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, Faiszer Musthapha said. Local govt election is scheduled to be held in March next year. There are 335 local govt authorities in Sri Lanka which includes 23 Municipal Councils, 41 Urban Councils and 271 Pradeshiya Sabhas. Tenure of a majority of these local govt authorities are already over. more..

Activists demand release of Tamil detainees

Oct 14 (AP) Relatives and civil rights activists demanded Wednesday that SL govt release hundreds of ethnic Tamils detained without charges for years on suspicion of links to the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. They staged a silent protest in front of the main railroad station in Colombo, demanding the immediate release of their family members still detained under anti-terrorism laws even though civil war ended six years ago. more..

SL navy arrests nine more Indian fishermen

Oct 14 (TOI) The Sri Lankan navy on Wednesday apprehended nine Tamil Nadu fishermen and their boat on charges of trespassing into the territorial waters of the island nation, marine police sources at Mandapam said. The fishermen, who set sail from Nagapattinam, were taken to Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka and handed over to the fisheries department. They would be produced before a court, said U Arulanandam of the Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen. more..

New traffic plan in Rajagiriya area suspended

Oct 14 (DM) The new traffic plan along Sri J'pura Road from parliament and Battaramulla towards Colombo, that was implemented since last Monday, has been suspended, police said. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said that the decision has been taken due to the increase of traffic in the Bauddhaloka Mawatha and the nearby areas as a result of the new traffic plan in the Rajagiriya area. Earlier, DIG Traffic Amarasiri Senaratne said the new traffic plan in Maharagama on the High Level Road more..

'VVIP son has millions in a Dubai account'

Oct 14 (CG) The son of former President Rajapaksa has an offshore account in Dubai with millions of US dollars, a Minister has claimed. Minister Rajith Senaratne said that information with regards to the account had been passed onto the Govt by some officials of the bank. “We were informed by the Sri Lankans working at the bank about the account,” he said. AG’s dept had been notified in order to take legal action more..

Chinese military delegation discuss training

Oct 14 (SLA) General Li Zuocheng, Commander of Chengdu Military area of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) China, accompanied by five more senior officers, is in Sri Lanka now on a goodwill visit with the aim of learning and sharing experiences of both Sri Lanka Army and the PLA. The delegation, minutes after paying a courtesy call on the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke today at the Office of the CDS arrived at the Army Headquarters more..

Govt and TUs lock in stalemate

Oct 14 (CT) Wage increases for plantation workers hang in the balance as Trade Unions have opposed the govt's proposal to increase the basic wage by a mere Rs 50. A collective agreement for the wages of plantation sector workers was proposed in March this year. The structure of the wage increase however has caused disagreement between the Government and the Unions. Ceylon Workers Red Flag Union, General Secretary, Menaka Kandaswamy, said the pay hike more..