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Missing persons commission to meet in Jaffna

Oct 18 (SL) Despite the talks to abolish the Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints regarding Missing Persons, the Commission has scheduled its next public hearing session for the second week of next month in Jaffna. According to the Commission, the government has not communicated any decision pertaining to abolishing the Commission, and it is continuing its usual work. Chairman of the Commission Maxwell Paranagama said that despite govt’s claims more..

Tale of a Port City and a potential proxy war on Sri Lanka’s turf

Oct 18 (Island) The people of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and Yemen continue to pay a heavy price for allowing their countries to be used for proxy wars by a few powerful countries to protect their national interests. Millions of civilians are killed, and billions of dollars are spent on arms, in a deadly contest for power by a few world powers. U.N. Charter and international laws are violated while the world referee, the UN Secy. General, instead of raising the red flag against the bullies more..

FCID to probe Dulles?

Oct 18 (SL) Former Minister Dulles Alahapperuma is accused of carrying out a skilled sector development project in Matara last year which is alleged to have targeted the 2015 presidential election spending a colossal amount of public money. Although it was the practice to hold the skilled sector examination throughout the year in every district to evaluate their skills and give away the certificates, the decision taken by more..

Shankar takes final breath on Prabha’s lap

Oct 18 (CT) Even those events happened one by one Prabhakaran did not either forget Uma Maheshwaran or forgive him. Even though not much time elapsed since the battle scenes in Madras took place, the battle scene methods in Jaffna were taking place once again. It was presumed that the murders were carried out by supporters of Uma. When Prabhakaran heard this he got so angry, similar to a cobra who had been hit by a pole. The Tiger Leader said he would take revenge. more..

Bill to protect children in custody and child victims

Oct 18 (ST) Children taken into custody and victims of child abuse will have additional protection, according to a Bill to be presented soon in Parliament. The Children Judicial Protection Bill, to be presented by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, will spell out mechanisms to protect children during detention, ensuring their security and protecting their identity. He said the main objective of the Bill was to “maintain the dignity of the children arrested or detained”. more..

New Bill on mental health will give patients more access to treatment islandwide

Oct 18 (ST) Patients with acute mental illnesses (involuntary patients) will be entitled to seek treatment from all govt hospitals including base and teaching hospitals nearest to them, according to a new Mental Health Bill that has been proposed. The draft bill is pending approval by the Justice Ministry. Health Ministry Mental Health Director Dr. Rasanjali Hettiarachchi said that the bill would help involuntary patients seek more..

Missing billboard frames: 7 soldiers arrested

Oct 18 (ST) Seven soldiers were arrested at Kaithady in Chavakachcheri while they were allegedly removing iron frames supporting billboards on the A9 road, police said yesterday. Deputy Inspector General G.K. Perera told the Sunday Times that the soldiers were in civvies when they were arrested on Friday night by Chavakachcheri policemen on night patrol. He said the Police had received complaints that iron frames from large advertising hoardings had gone missing more..

What happened to Ananda Wijeweera?

Oct 18 (CT) Many who know about Rohana Wijeweera do not know about Ananda Wijeweera. Even though Ananda Wijeweera was Rohana Wijeweera's younger brother he was not a powerful activist of the JVP or a leader. However, because he was Wijeweera's brother, Ananda too became a victim of terror. Ananda was the second son of Patabendige Don Andiris Wijeweera and Massi Nona Wickrema Kalutota. The elder son Andiris Wijeweera was born in 1943 and second son more..

Vipers and Pythons at home in Parliament

Oct 18 (CT) Strange stories emanate now and then from the House on the Diyawannawa. The latest is about snakes. They are not the two legged type but the real reptiles which crawled into the parliament premises at a time when there was nothing big by way of news in the wake of the last general election. One wondered whether they came to that particular den because they perhaps found it a most congenial breeding ground! more..

Next Independence Day in the afternoon

Oct 18 (GDI) The govt has decided to hold the 68th Independence Day next year (2016), in the afternoon. This decision has been taken following a discussion between PM Ranil Wickremasinghe and Minister Vajira Abeywardena. Issuing a communique, the Home Affairs Ministry states that President Maithrepala Sirisena has given his consent to this decision. The communique also states that PM has paid his attention to provide state employment to all graduates. more..

Sri Lankan missing in Australia

Oct 18 (Island) Search operation for missing Sri Lankan man Rajah Thangarajah of Eastlakes has been launched after the father-of-two mysteriously vanished in Australia over a week ago. The 62-year-old was last seen at his home at about 9.30pm on Thursday, by his daughter Kayathri. "We’ve looked everywhere we could think of," she said. "He doesn’t have his credit card, he didn’t take any money or his phone, and it’s hard to think where he has been for a week without any of it." more..

Concerns remain on Uma Oya

Oct 18 (SL) The next hearing of the fundamental rights violation case filed by the affected villagers of the Uma Oya Project and the Centre for Environmental Justice is to be taken up in Supreme Court on 23rd of this month. Attorney-at-Law Ravindranath Dabare who is appearing on behalf of the petitioners said that the last hearing of the case was on the 14th of this month and the next hearing is scheduled for 23rd of this month. more..

Report on Yoshitha swept under the carpet

Oct 18 (SL) A report compiled by the Navy on Yoshitha Rajapaksa, the second son of former President Rajapaksa, has reportedly been swept under the carpet by Ministry of Defence. Compiled by a committee headed by Rear Admiral D.W.B Wettawa, report notes that Yoshitha Rajapaksa had allegedly violated Navy regulations when he was in the Navy. Report also notes that Yoshitha Rajapaksa had served as a security officer of former President Rajapaksa when he was President. more..

Tuskers of Kalawewa now have a sanctuary

Oct 18 (ST) Adding another national park to SL’s protected areas, the govt declared the wilderness around Kalawewa and Balaluwewa a sanctuary. Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera declared open the national park yesterday. Environmentalists welcome the move saying the protection was long overdue. Kalawewa reservoir was built by King Dhatusena who ruled the country in the fifth century. He also built the Balaluwewa and linked them to make a very large tank to be used for more..

Sri Lankans living longer than other South Asians, retiring prematurely

Oct 18 (EN) Sri Lanka has a compelling case for raising its retirement age as they are living longer and retiring earlier than in other South Asian countries, population experts say. The island’s relatively good healthcare and education services has led to longer life expectancies, they say. “In Sri Lanka, people are retiring prematurely,” says Indralal de Silva, a professor and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Uni of Colombo. more..

Landslide warning in eight districts

Oct 18 (DM) National Building Research Organization (NBRO) warned of landslides in eight districts if rains continue in the coming days. Accordingly, people residing in the districts of Hambantota, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Kegalle, Kandy, Kalutara, Ratnapura and Matara Districts were requested to be alert for landslides. Meanwhile, the Department of Meteorology predicted rainfall figures which may go up to 100mm in the Northwestern, Central, Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Western and more..

CID seals containers with weapons on ship

Oct 18 (CG) CID has sealed containers with weapons on the Avant Garde ship. CID is investigating the weapons on the ship at the Galle harbor after the navy had filed a police complaint. Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd last week slammed what it termed as a “downright betrayal” following allegations raised over its ship which docked at the Galle harbor recently. The company said that the Ministry of Defence (MOD) had given the approval for the ship to dock in Galle but more..

Minister wants paddy removed from MRIA

Oct 18 (CG) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva wants paddy stored at the MRIA removed and the airport maintained at international standards. Speaking to reporters after visiting the airport, he said that the environment at the airport had been damaged as a result of paddy being stored at the airport premises. He said that birds had begun to flock around the airport after paddy was brought to be stored in one of the stores in the airport more..

Govt sure of getting GSP plus next year

Oct 18 (CG) The Government is certain it will receive the GSP plus trade concession from the European Union (EU) next year. Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the EU and the Sri Lankan Govt are working together to regain the key trade concession. “We are working together with mutual respect to get this done by mid next year since we have now established a govt of good governance with respect for human rights,” he said. Dr. Harsha de Silva was speaking at an event more..

Grease and kerosene in plastic water bottles

Oct 18 (SO) There are traces of grease and kerosene in most of the plastic water bottles, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has warned. "These foreign substances were detected from the plastic bottles and not the water," Chairman, CAA, Dr R.U.K. Ratnayaka, said. He said, this discovery was made following an independent study carried out by the CAA on water quality in plastic containers. The CAA initiated the study following complaints of pollutants - including bacteria and chemicals more..

SL to allow Chinese submarines to visit: PM

Oct 18 (ST) Sri Lanka will allow future submarine visits by China provided they are not too frequent, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, touching on a hot-button issue with India that may have contributed to a govt change in Colombo early this year. "We have put out the criterion for visits by naval ships. Under that, ships including submarines from all countries can visit Sri Lanka. As far as we are concerned if it is a friendly visit more..

TNA will stage fast if President makes u-turn

Oct 18 (CG) TNA has warned that it will stage a fast if President Sirisena makes a u-turn on his assurance to the Tamil political prisoners. Tamil political prisoners had suspended their fast unto death yesterday after the President assured a solution to their concerns. The assurance was conveyed to the prisoners by the TNA, including opposition and TNA leader R. Sampanthan. TNA however said that if the President fails to meet his commitments by Nov 7 the prisoners will more..

Lankan navy men attack TN fishermen; four injured: Police

Oct 18 (PTI) Four Tamil Nadu fishermen were today injured when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval men with stones while fishing near Katchatheevu island. Police said Rameswaram fishermen, who had ventured into the sea in 641 boats, were stopped and attacked near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits allegedly by Lankan naval personnel who came in patrol boats and sea bikes. Police said Rameswaram fishermen, who had ventured into the sea in 641 boats, more..

Indo-Lankan fishermen’s team seeks meeting with Jayalalithaa

Oct 18 (ENS) An Indo-Sri Lankan team of fishermen is seeking a meeting with the TN Chief Minister, J.Jayalalithaa, to resolve the long standing and irksome issue of fishing in the Palk Strait. S.P. Anthonymuthu, Advisor to the Indo-Lanka Fishermen’s Welfare Forum said, that he, along with N. Devadas of Rameswaram Fishermen’s Association, will be writing to TN Chief Secretary, seeking an early appointment with CM. more..

Education should be reformed to create creative capital & not mere human capital

Oct 19 (CT) Sujata Gamage, columnist, writer and campaigner for education, had responded to Part 4 of the article under this series titled Universities and research institutions as catalysts of an innovation economy in a communication titled The role of universities and research institutes in an innovation economy. She disagreed with the view expressed by this writer that universities should get into research in a big way in order to provide the seeds for an innovation economy, namely, more..

Hang him not jail him for life: Where would YOU put the comma?

Oct 19 (ST) The nation can already hear the sound of nails being driven into the scaffolding by the prison governor to hang the man who raped and killed little Seya following President Sirisena’s announcement last month that the death penalty would be carried out next year if Parliament is of the same opinion as he is. In anticipation of the sudden work load that may fall down upon his department soon, the Prison Commissioner has also hired two new promising hangmen to more..

'A solution acceptable to all communities must be in place'

Oct 19 (SO) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said whether the issue was the 13th Amendment or 13 plus it had to be thrashed out after extensive discussions with all sections of the country. He said that those who make a big hue and cry about the 13th Amendment and devolution of power have no proper understanding of the subject. They have what is known as the island mentality. They don’t know what is happening outside the more..

Our profound failures have resulted in national shame

Oct 19 (ST) In its September 2015 report on Sri Lanka, Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) quotes immensely interesting asides from the (yet unpublished) report of the Udalagama Commission of Inquiry (2006). We have been promised by the PM that the Udalagama report will be tabled in Parliament next week. Informally however, the report has been in circulation for some time. But let us revert to the OHCHR’s quotation of the Udalagama report. more..

The story of the occasional cinemagoer

Oct 19 (CT) It was unbelievable. My friend and regular drinking partner — SL Tamil fellow Sivapuranam Thevaram — has been to see a film on Saturday! The man travelled from Bridgetown to London and sat through the full two hours or so of a Tamil film in the Odeon cinema in Leicester Square yesterday. Why should this surprise me? The last occasion Thevaram watched a full length Tamil movie in a cinema was forty year ago – yes, forty! That was the film Vasantha Maalikai, more..

'UNHRC resolution A concocted story'

Oct 19 (SL) While the govt allies of the SLFP have extended their full support to implement the UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by the Sri Lankan govt, the SLFP MPs sitting in the opposition have expressed different opinions on the matter. SLFP MP Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said that the UNHRC resolution is a concocted story fabricated to allow the international community to have their grip on Sri Lanka. He, however, added that more..

Why teachers are a frustrated lot

Oct 19 (NS) There is a popular saying that education depends on the teacher. When we brood over the deceitful manner in which World Teacher’s Day was celebrated on Oct 6th, it would be dishonest not to admit that as a race teachers are not a popular section of the community. It is a grave injustice to ignore such a profession whose member are performing a social function that is second to none in its importance & who in the lives of our own children, exert an influence which we cannot belittle. more..

What’s wrong with the Railway?

Oct 19 (NS) I take the train to work. Like a lot of people, I wake up every morning and cast a bleary eye on the clock. There’s a train at 8:10. Good. I can reach the station at 7:50 am, enough time to buy a ticket and realize that there’s nowhere for me to sit. All is normal. Sri Lankan trains are divided into express and slow variants. The difference is that the express trains only stop at designated major stations, like Gampaha, Ragama, Dematagoda, Maradana and Colombo Fort. more..

'Rajapaksa govt put country in a mess'

Oct 19 (SL) JVP is of the view that the latest UNHRC resolution is an opening for the US to intervene in the country’s internal affairs and the govt should therefore not give them the opportunity to do so by agreeing to their proposals on their terms. During the last parliamentary sessions, JVP also directed heavy criticism at the judiciary of the country and AG’s Department for its continued inefficiency and lack of independence more..

Road accidents: Worse than terrorism

Oct 19 (CT) Recently Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told a news briefing that 2,549 deaths caused by road accidents were reported within the first nine months of this year. Quoting statistics of the previous year, he said that 36, 050 road accidents were reported with 2, 440 deaths. That is an increase of 349 deaths over the same period of last year and only nine months of this year have passed as of yet. Minister did not forget to mention that the increase in the numbers calls for more..

Myth and Truth of Geneva resolution

Oct 19 (CT) Ehelepola was Maha Adhikaram (PM) of Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe who was the last king of SL. His 7-year-old son Madduma Bandara, is considered a child hero. He never risked his life in defence of the nation. At least, he has not helped a needy person risking his life. Although liberation struggles of 1818 and 1848 have produced a lot of child heroes, none of them is known as heroes. Madduma Bandara who asked the executioner to cut his head off due to lack of understanding more..

Smart city dreams

Oct 19 (SO) A megapolis (megalapolis) plan is underway to develop the Western Province into a Smart city in keeping with the idea of going smart. Once the megapolis plan gets off the ground it is expected to solve many of the issues affecting the city- from transport to sewerage to environmental pollution, in addition to the city being less of a burden to State coffers. The Western Province, is the highest populated province more..

US$ 1.5B natural gas venture in doldrums

Oct 19 (SL) SL’s ambitious goal of becoming a mega global hub in energy is in jeopardy with a vital US$ 1.5 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project mulled by US-based energy project developer left in limbo with relevant authorities passing the buck. Although in one hand the government announced that it would hold fresh international bidding round for the commercial exploitation of natural gas deposits found in the Mannar Basin, on the other hand it has failed to give greenlight to more..

New export zone in Trinco to employ 40,000

Oct 19 (DN) The govt plans to set up an export zone in Trincomalee with Korean investment generating over 40,000 employment opportunities, said Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe. Under the new govt’s economic development program over 5,000 industries will be started in 45 export development Zones island wide he said. He made these remarks during an inspection tour in the Koggala Export Procession Zone on Thursday. The govt has also paid attention in setting up separate zones for more..

Tourism Authority starts certification scheme on eating places

Oct 19 (FT) Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority has initiated a program to certify eating places in the tourist zones in the country named Tourist Friendly Eating Places and the objective of this program is to upgrade the basic standards of those places with facilities, hygiene conditions and service standards. Arrangements have been made to launch the certification scheme for the eating places, in collaboration with more..

Pros, cons of tomorrow's monetary policy decision

Oct 19 (CT) Tomorrow, the Monetary Board (MB) will reveal to the public, the future direction of interest rates, at least till its next monetary policy review will be made known, which will be as early as next month, coinciding with the announcement of Budget 2016 proposals which will be made known on 20 Nov, 2015. Currently, Central Bank of Sri Lanka's benchmark standing deposit facility rate (SDFR) and standing lending facility rate (SLFR) are at 7.5% and 6% respectively. more..