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Editorial: Democracy given a bath of paint

Oct 15 (Island) It was with shock and dismay that the civilised world received the news of Monday’s paint attack on a peacenik in Mumbai. A group of Shiv Sena extremists gave Sudheendra Klukarni a bath of black paint near his house for having invited a former Pakistani foreign minister to a book launch. One should not hasten to tar all Indians with the same brush as the lunatic fringe responsible for that dastardly act of extremism. But, sadly, incident has blackened India’s reputation internationally more..

Go green, Sri Lanka

Oct 15 (DM) The National Govt has repeatedly pledged it is building a new Sri Lanka based on consensus and consultation, inter-religious, inter-racial and inter-cultural unity in diversity so that there will be sustainable eco-friendly development. When Singapore’s founder-Premier Lee Kwan Yew visited Sri Lanka, he said he would like to build Singapore based on a Sri Lankan model. The roles have now been reversed and we need to rebuild Sri Lanka on a Singapore model. more..

Death penalty not the solution

Oct 15 (SL) Capital Punishment is something that is known to everyone in society. Despite being silenced over the last three decades, once again the talk of re-introducing the gallows has been spoken about. The main reason for the widespread public support in favour of capital punishment may have resulted from the horrific and disgusting memories of recent crimes. However, the final power and authority to attest imposing more..

Comprehensive report on landslide prone areas along proposed Central Expressway

Oct 15 (Island) A comprehensive report on the identified landslide prone areas along the proposed Central Expressway from Colombo-Kandy would be sent to the NBRO next week, the Road Development Authority (RDA) said. RDA, Central Highway Project Officer said that the authority had conducted a reconnaissance survey of the entire stretch to identify landslide prone areas along the proposed highway trace. more..

Legal Aid: A citizen’s right or poor man’s only hope

Oct 15 (ST) In January 2010, a company in Kantale, Trincomalee, told its permanent workers to sign a document agreeing to be hired on contract, renewable every six months. The firm had changed hands the previous year without notice to employees. Many of them were pushed into accepting the papers. But some in its security division resisted. Among them was Kumara Dayaratne, a father-of-two who is now 36. more..

Garbage site: Puttalam’s villagers are up in arms

Oct 15 (CT) Tensions have arisen in Puttalam over the govt's plan to solve the garbage crisis in Colombo by having it transported to Puttalam. The Colombo Municipal Council had planned to transport the garbage from Colombo to a private limestone quarry site in Puttalam, close to the Wilpattu National Park buffer zone. Villagers in Puttalam however have voiced their objections against this move & have threatened to derail more..

President discusses about alternatives for asbestos

Oct 15 (PMD) A discussion on regulating the use of alternatives for asbestos, chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena was held today (14). The govt’s attention is paid on the alternatives for asbestos, after the decision taken by President to ban the use of asbestos from 2018. The discussion was based on creating and developing of standard alternatives for affordable prices, and encouraging of people to use those alternatives. more..

Sri Lanka has cooked its own goose: CP

Oct 15 (Island) The Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CP) issuing a statement on the Geneva issue noted that Sri Lanka by becoming a co-sponsor of the UNHRC resolution had helped the US with the latter’s subtle moves. The CP said it could not subscribe to the need for foreign elements and that the country’s sovereignty should not be compromised in any manner. Following is the text of statement signed by party General Secretary more..

Less religious tensions in Sri Lanka says US

Oct 15 (CG) After years of growing religious tensions and violence in Sri Lanka generated by hardline ethnic Buddhist groups, a new Govt has taken office and staked out a much more tolerant view of religious diversity, David Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the US State Department said. He said that since the new Govt too office some of these tensions have noticeably eased. more..

Video: Danuna Tilakaratne acquitted in Hicorp case

Oct 15 (DM) The Colombo High Court today acquitted Danuna Tilakaratne from the Hicorp fraud case. Thilakaratne, former son-in-law of ex-Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, had surrendered to Colombo High Court in December last year and was released on bail. Sarath Fonseka, his then son-in-law Danuna Tilakaratne and Director of HiCorp Pvt. Ltd. Wellington De Hoedt were accused of more..

Video: Govt promises justice to PTA prisoners

Oct 15 (DM) The Govt would mete out justice to those who were held in prison for offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) before the end of the year, Minister of Justice Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe told media briefing a while ago. He gave the assurance to prisoners, who are on a death fast in prisons country wide. Some have accepted the assurance, while others are continuing with the hunger strike. more..

Commission sittings suspended as MR cries foul

Oct 15 (CG) The sittings of the PRECIFAC were suspended today after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa objected to the composition of the Commission. Rajapaksa appeared before the Commission today to make a statement over the failure to pay State owned ITN for the advertisements promoting him ahead of the Jan 8 Presidential election. However when Commission met, Rajapaksa’s lawyers objected to more..

Prisoners of PTA: An appeal to the President

Oct 15 (CT) Your Excellency, You already know the plight of the Tamil prisoners arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) held in prisons for many years. They may have had hope that end of war would pave the way for them to be with their families soon. Since then they have made several kind requests for compassionate consideration of their plight. When all their hopes were in vain for last six years as last resort they are now on fast unto death-sathyagraha and praying that more..

Underworld figure injured in shooting dies in hospital

Oct 15 (DN) Muththusami Perumal (47) alias Chandra, an underworld gangster who was seriously injured in a shooting incident in Wellampitiya, died on Tuesday night on admission to the Colombo National Hospital. Police said that the mobile service of Wellampitiya Police found an injured man fallen by the road side, on a tip-off received from a person at about 11 pm. The Police had then brought the injured man to the National Hospital where he died after 50 minutes. more..

Asian Provocateur

Stocks close down 0.1%: Three month low

Oct 15 (LBO) Stocks closed down on Thursday for a third consecutive day with economic and budget concerns keeping investors away, brokers said. All Share Price Index closed down 9.87 points at 7,030.45 down 0.14%. S&P SL20 closed 1.96 points lower at 3,783.13 lower 0.05%. Lack of policy direction and economic concerns are keeping investors away. Turnover was 825 million rupees, up from 725 million on Wednesday with 48 stocks closing positive against 101 negative. more..

Sri Lanka & The politics of justice

Oct 15 (CT) Truth and reconciliation is a project that inevitably needs to balance short-term politics against long-term justice. There are signs that Sri Lanka’s new govt understands the challenges involved. For Sri Lanka it’s been something of a roller-coaster start to the autumn. First, mid-August parliamentary elections handed former president Rajapaksa his second defeat of the year at the polls, confirming that the new political era heralded by Maithripala Sirisena’s surprise victory more..

Three customs officials nabbed while accepting largest ever bribe of Rs. 125m

Oct 15 (AD) Three customs officials were arrested a short while ago while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 125 million, the Director General of the Bribery Commission confirmed. This is the largest ever recorded bribe nabbed by the Commission to Investigate Allegation of Bribery or Corruption. Customs Superintendent Sujeewa Parakrama Jinadasa, Deputy Customs Superintendent Jagath Gunathilake and more..

Police sergeants complain to SC of unfair promotions

Oct 15 (Island) One hundred police sergeants have complained to the Supreme Court by way of a fundamental rights violation petition that the recent promotions of 478 Police sergeants to the rank of Sub Inspector, was in violation of their right to equality and right to be free from discrimination. They have said that the decision taken by the IGP and the Secretary to the Ministry of law and order is unreasonable and should be quashed by the Supreme Court and more..

Video: Homicide accused sentenced to death

Oct 15 (DM) Colombo High Court today sentenced to death an accused who was found guilty for the killing a person at Ratmalana in December 6.1998. High Court Judge Padmini Gunathilaka sentenced to death the accused Bastian Nishantha after finding that the prosecution had proved the case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The convict was indicted in the High Court by the Attorney General for committing the death of the victim at Ratmalana by sword cut injuries. more..

Day 2: Herath restores Sri Lanka dominance

Oct 15 (CI) Rangana Herath bowled Sri Lanka back into the dominant position achieved by Dimuth Karunaratne and Dinesh Chandimal's double-century stand and squandered somewhat by a collapse that cost them their last seven wickets for 59 runs. At the end of an action-packed second day, West Indies were 66 for 2, trailing Sri Lanka by 418 runs. The quick demolition of SL's lower order raised West Indies' spirits when more..

NTUC place demands before President

Oct 15 (CT) National Trade Union Centre (NTUC) met with President Maithripala Sirisena yesterday to discuss several key issues faced by govt servants, the private sector and those in the estate sector. Convenor of the NTUC, Samantha Koralearachchi said that their demands were sevenfold. At the discussion which was also attended by President of the NTUC, K.D. Lal Kantha and President of the Inter-Company Employees' Union Wasantha Samarasinghe along with more..

STDs: 10,899 new cases last year alone

Oct 14 (Island) The national Sexually Transmitted Diseases/AIDS Control Programme (STD/AIDS CP) has revealed that 22,055 patients were treated at the STD clinic under its purview last year. There were 10,899 new patients last year–5,153 men and 5,746 women. A total of 1,185 cases were diagnosed with late syphilis and 255 with infectious syphilis last year. About 460 patients had gonorrhoea. Those detected with genital herpes numbered more than 1,000 last year. more..

Diaspora festival in Colombo postponed

Oct 14 (CG) Govt has postponed the diaspora festival which was to take place in December. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the festival is now likely to take place next year. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had told Parliament in June that in order to encourage diaspora members to engage and contribute to efforts in Sri Lanka, Foreign Ministry is keen to organize a diaspora festival later this year. more..

Prime Minister to visit Singapore today

Oct 15 (AD) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe will leave for Singapore today on a two day official tour. PM Wickremesinghe is accompanied by International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema for this tour. PM will have high level bilateral discussion with Prime Minister of Singapore and few of its other major ministers. The purpose of this visit is to obtain support and funding in Singapore for the proposed massive development program to be implemented in Sri Lanka. more..

Housing issues rampant in Badowita: PVO

Oct 15 (CT) The People's Voice Organization (PVO) representing the people of Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia has launched a special programme to provide legal help to problems faced by them, which at present mainly involves the enrolment of children to schools and housing issues. PVO Convenor, Attorney-at-Law Buddhika Edirisinghe said that there were injustices faced by people at the hands of govt servants, employees issues, human rights issues, drug related problems, more..

No one can arrest me: Karuna

Oct 15 (CT) Former militant and national list MP of UPFA V Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman says he does not fear arrest by the govt, following the arrest of former Chief Minister of Eastern Province S Chandrakanthan, popularly known as Pillaiyan, because he has not committed any wrong or crime and there are no allegations against him. Karuna also accused the govt for arresting Pillaiyan more..

New fuel pricing formula with Finance Ministry: Champika

Oct 15 (LBO) Minister of Megapolis and Western Province Development Champika Ranawaka says that a cabinet approved pricing formula for fuel has been handed over to the Finance Ministry. He said “I have already done this.” We got cabinet approval for it when I was Minister of Power and Energy, he said. “Now it is with the Finance Ministry and it is up to them to implement it.” It is a cost reflective transparent pricing formula and based on international market prices, he added. more..

Dairy farmers bring goodness of local milk in premium Anchor UHT pack

Oct 15 (Island) A group of SL dairy farmers, who supply their daily collection of milk to Fonterra Brands Sri Lanka, proudly launched their collection of milk in a new Ultra-high temperature processing (UHT), or ultra-heat treatment pack on Tuesday at Fonterra's Milk Chilling Centre in Gampaha. Made with milk sourced from Sri Lankan dairy farmers, Anchor Liquid Milk comes in a convenient one litre UHT pack and can be stored unrefrigerated and unopened for up to four months. more..

Video: Peacekeeping forces boosting SL image: Brigadier

Oct 15 (DM) Sri Lanka has deployed nearly 3,000 Army, Navy and Air Force personnel in several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Oceania under the UN’s Peace Keeping Operation and that has led to create an extremely positive impression among the global community, particularly among UN member countries on Sri Lanka’s armed forces, Army Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera said. more..

Several Lankan migrants used India to reach Australia

Oct 15 (CG) Even as migrants from poor and war-torn countries continue their risky journey to European countries for a better life, the data available with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australia, reveals that 171 Sri Lankan illegal migrants, including nine females and nine children, managed to reach Australian coast over the years. The data further stated that many of those migrants used the Indian sub-continent as their springboard to reach the Antipodean. more..

Geneva conspiracists to hold rally At Viharamahadevi Amphitheatre on 19th

Oct 15 (CT) Nine political parties which identify as the joint Opposition will be staging a rally at the Viharamahadevi Amphitheatre on Monday to educate the general public on the adverse impact of the Geneva resolution said General Secretary of PHU Udaya Gammanpila. The joint Opposition comprises the MEP, NFF, CP, DLF, LSSP, SLMP, DJP, PHU and the opposition faction of SLFP. Rally will commence at 3 p.m. and feature speeches by leaders of all political parties in attendance. more..

Video: Counselling could have prevented cases like Kondaya's: SB

Oct 15 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that if good counselling had been more prevalent, a case like that of Kondaya, who was suspected for Seya Sadewmi’s murder, could have been prevented. Speaking at the National Counselling Day celebration, minister requested for a more science-based counselling to be taught to village elders such as Buddhist monks and parish priests so they could provide relief at village level. more..

Pilot new CEO of SriLankan Airlines

Oct 15 (EN) Suren Ratwatte, an airline pilot, has been appointed CEO of SriLankan Airlines. Ratwatte, who took over from the outgoing temporary chief executive Rakhita Jayawardena, has over 30 years of experience in the field. His first appointment was with SriLankan’s predecessor, Air Lanka in 1984 and he then joined Emirates in 1989, where he held several positions, a statement said. “With over 18,000 flying hours in a number of different types of aircraft, more..

MP Sanath Nishantha remanded

Oct 15 (DM) Puttalam District UPFA MP Sanath Nishantha was remanded till tomorrow for not appearing in court in connection with an ongoing case at the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court. ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said there was a case at the Chilaw Magistrate’s Court against the MP in connection with allegedly bombing several police officers in Dec 20, 1999. He said the case was taken up in court for hearing on September 25 and the MP had not reported to the Court and therefore, more..

Japan not concerned about mechanism to investigate war crimes allegations

Oct 15 (Island) Admitting that ascertaining the truth about allegations pertaining to the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka would be a difficult process, Japan says it would assist in the process regardless of the mechanism to be adopted. Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma, addressing a news conference in Colombo, to announce further financial assistance of USD 801,311 for mine clearance operations more..

Sri Lanka business chamber calls for rule of law, open trade

Oct 15 (EN) SL’s main business grouping has called on the new govt to enforce the rule of law, ensure good governance and transparency and maintain policy consistency to attract investments needed to accelerate economic growth. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a statement it has proposed a set of 10 principles to guide its approach in influencing the trajectory of the private sector and the country’s economy. It noted that in the past tax incentives were the primary tool for attracting FDI. more..

Treasury allocates Rs.544 million for Golden Key depositors

Oct 15 (AD) The repayment schedule prepared by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) for resolving the difficulties confronted by the deposit holders of the Golden Key Credit Card Company Limited (GKCCCL) has already been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. As its first step the General Treasury has granted an advance of Rs. 544.3 million for the repayment to deposit holders who have deposits worth less than Rs. 2 million. The proposal made by Ravi Karunanyake, more..

Economic Diplomacy kicks off with inter Agency collaboration

Oct 15 (MEA) In line with the govt’s policy to enhance the economic development of the country, under the guidance of Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Ministry of Foreign Affairs is geared to intensify the promotion of trade, investment and all economic endeavors through economic diplomacy. As a first step in that direction, an inter-agency task force was established and the first meeting was held today in the Ministry with more..

A – Izeth of Hussein’s haram politics

Oct 16 (CT) One should be rather wary of taking on Mr. Izeth Hussein because he claims to be one the five great diplomats of the world. With such self-proclaimed credentials – he has yet to name the other four greats which will indicate the true measure of his greatness! – one expects his justification for Siri-Wicky regime’s co-sponsorship of the latest UNHRC Resolution, (see Colombo Telegraph – 10/10), to be a solid counterweight to silence the rising opposition to it. more..