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India, Sri Lanka to boost anti-terrorism, maritime security ties

Sep 15 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka agreed to boost cooperation in combating terrorism and work together for security and stability in the maritime neighbourhood as PM Narendra Modi held talks here with his SL counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe. Both sides inked four agreements, including renewal of an MoU for Indian grant assistance for implementation of Small Development Projects and one for the more..

Ranil​’s agenda in New Delhi

Sep 16 (CT) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe is neither a stranger to the inner circle of New Delhi polity nor an unfamiliar personality in the North Block. However, during the last one year his profile has undergone a welcome make over. The fortunes of this seasoned political leader, known more for his failures than successes in his repeated forays for power, pulled a political coup of sorts. In league with Maithripala Sirisena, another political veteran though from the opposition, he thwarted former president more..

Who wants another Singapore?

Sep 16 (SL) There is a Sri Lankan fixation about Singapore: Very many of them want this country to be another Singapore, particularly after a change of govt. We keep telling these Singapore lovers that this country can never be another Singapore. We have a population of 20 million people who can hardly be restrained by those civic hygienic laws and there are around 5.5 million Singaporeans disciplined, work oriented and absolutely law abiding people. Our land area is 65,610 Sq Km, more..

Is the water really safe?

Sep 16 (SO) The Coca Cola water contamination saga continues with conflicting theories on the exact nature of the contaminants confusing the public. Local medical experts from the Poison Prevention Centre have, however, enlightened the public about the adverse outcome of ingesting water-borne contaminants. Tests carried out by the Central Environment Authority point to furnace oil as being the main contaminant of Kelani River more..

Jumbo Cabinet with less real Jumbos

Sep 16 (SO) Oh my goodness! What has been done to the likes of Dr Harsha de Silva (super economist/financier), Eran Wickramaratna (brimming with ideas for the development of the city and nation too), Sujeewa Senasinghe (hard hittingly outspoken and clever), Ranjan Ramanayake (spoke so vociferously for good governance and against corruption)? They have been lumped together with a whole gaggle (or herd if you like, even gang or gallery) of SLFPers. more..

Will india allow port city project?

Sep 16 (CT) During the previous regime when countries like the United States, Britain and other European nations imposed travel advisories on their tourists visiting Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa administration was perturbed. Rajapaksa govt knew it was indirect threat on the economy of this country. Hence, the Rajapaksa administration took much effort to get the travel advisories lifted, while the then Opposition here capitalized on that issue. When Sri Lankan pilgrims visiting India were harassed, more..

'Even in prison it matters who you are'

Sep 16 (CT) Chairman of the Committee for Protecting the Rights of Prisoners, Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera, spoke about grave injustices, gross human rights abuses and astonishing violations faced by prisoners in Prisons. Q: Why did you start the Committee? A: There was no centre or movement to speak up for the rights of the over 30,000 prisoners and detainees in the 28 prisons around the country. more..

Public anger mounts on Yahapalanaya bad deeds

Sep 16 (CT) Ending weeks of suspense and speculation, the Govt of Unity or the National Govt by composition finally appointed the Cabinet of Ministers, Deputy Ministers and State Ministers last week. While the appointees by the UNP looked above board, there's much anger by the public over certain appointments made by the SLFP-oriented UPFA. Such anger is perceived as some of those appointed by the UPFA are facing charges of corruption. more..

Recollections of my political association with comrade Indika Gunawardena

Sep 16 (CT) It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing away of comrade Indika Gunawardena this afternoon. He had been gravely ill, when we saw him last year. Comrade Indika and I had a broad consensus on many socio-economic and political issues. Of course, we also had our differences of opinion. It was our consensus that prevailed in working together for the purpose of building a fairer world. We will remember him for his contribution towards achieving human and more..

'Govt has failed to fulfil people’s mandate'

Sep 16 (FT) Speaking out strongly against the massive Cabinet and National Govt, JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged that the Govt had failed to fulfil the people’s mandate. “If the UPFA had said it would ally with the UNP, people would have acted in a different manner. In January, during the presidential election they said the Cabinet of ministers would not exceed 30. Now thanks to the national govt they have increased it to 48. more..

Editorial: Geneva Report

Sep 16 (Island) The much-awaited UNHRC probe report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is scheduled to be released today in Geneva. UNHRC Chief Zeid Al Hussein has said its findings are of serious nature. One is not surprised. It can’t be different from the Darusman report prepared by a panel of experts appointed by UNSG Ban Ki-moon on SL’s accountability issues. The delayed release of the report which was scheduled to be presented last March was politically motivated. more..

Mahela, Collingwood join England set-up

Sep 16 (CI) England have bolstered their specialist coaching staff for the Test and limited-overs series against Pakistan and the World T20, with the appointments of Mahela Jayawardene and Paul Collingwood. Jayawardene, who had been in discussions with the ECB during this season, will work with the Test side during the warm-up period in the UAE and the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi which starts on Oct 13. He will resume his close ties with England head coach more..

Enter Jerome: Travails of an interim coach

Sep 16 (ST) Only a few people get an opportunity to prove their capability on par with their qualifications, especially at a time when they are not really looking out for it. Though one of the most qualified cricket coaches in the country, Jerome Jayaratne was quite satisfied with his position as Head of Coaching – Sri Lanka Cricket. But, the sudden resignation of National Coach Marvan Atapattu has prompted the authorities to seek more..

Singer continues to sponsor school cricket

Sep 16 (DN) Singer Sri Lanka will extend their support to schools cricket for the third successive season. With this Singer will sponsor all the tournaments organized by SLSCA under 15, 17 and 19 categories. This was revealed at a media briefing held at Sri Lanka Cricket yesterday. There will be a 1150 league matches with 222 schools taking part in the league stage while the Limited Over Tourney will showcase 110 matches with a total of 4400 players taking part in the tournament. more..

'Bigger problems underlie vehicle import bill'

Sep 16 (LBO) A rash of credit-fueled vehicle imports is affecting Sri Lanka’s balance of payments at the moment. But the bigger problem is not addressing fundamental monetary and fiscal policy issues, says Murtaza Jafferjee, the CEO at Colombo-based JB Securities. “The primary factor fueling the demand for vehicles is credit. When the larger banks started offering leases at interest rates ranging from nine to ten percent, demand skyrocketed,” he said. Brand new car registrations rose to 4,990 in Aug, more..

Tea Exporters’ Association implores Plantations Minister

Sep 16 (CT) A 16-Member delegation from the Tea Exporters' Association (TEA) yesterday implored new Plantation Industries Minister Navin Dissanayake to liberalize the country's tea industry in order to make the US$ 5 billion tea export target a reality. Association led by Chairman Rohan Fernando, at its maiden meeting with Minister Dissanayake, stressed the need for the liberalization of the industry, while ensuring that more..

The advent of Ra-Mo Sethu and the next Indo-Lanka impasse

Sep 16 (Island) Indian news reports cited in local newspapers state that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) is likely to finalise the terms of the much debated Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India as well as the controversial overland bridge linking India and Sri Lanka during his visit to New Delhi this month. It is on this second matter that I wish to offer my thoughts in this article. Any Sri Lankan who has travelled in India and had the chance to more..

Pakistani delegation visits Biyagama Export Processing Zone

Sep 16 (Island) Board of Investment of Sri Lanka hosted a delegation from The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry which included some of the leading industrialists in Pakistan and briefed them on the opportunities Sri Lanka offers investors as well as the country’s rapidly improving business environment and thrust sectors for investment. Pakistan delegation led by Imran Khalil Naseerthe, chairman of the Pakistan - Sri Lanka Business Council was on an official visit to SL more..

Can India and Sri Lanka build bridges over troubled waters?

Sep 16 (IE) In Sri Lanka, it is known as doing puja to New Delhi, but that notwithstanding, newly elected Sri Lankan leaders have a tradition of making the Indian capital their first port of call. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s arrival in New Delhi on Sept 14 is in that sense customary. The visits acquired an added importance after former President Rajapakse played India vs. China in Sri Lanka. What gives Wickremesinghe’s first visit even more more..

CEPA should be renegotiated: Dr. Coomaraswamy

Sep 16 (CT) Sri Lanka should go ahead with the plans of Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India, but should be negotiated further in favour of the country, renowned economist, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said. "India had already said that they were willing to further negotiations regarding the agreement. Therefore, further Sri Lankan govt should further negations with the Indian govt making sure that Sri Lanka benefit through the CEPA," Dr. Coomaraswamy said. more..

Sri Lanka Tourism takes Guinness Record quest in Russia

Sep 16 (DN) The Sri Lanka Tourism will be taking the countries Guinness Book of World Record quest of the largest tea party in the world by launching project globally with the initial roll out starting from Moscow, Russia at the Leisure and Tourism Fair 2015 which will be staged from September 15-18, 2015, said Chairman Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, Dr. Rohantha Athukorala. The world record set in India was broken when the 32,682nd and 32,683rd cups of tea was consumed by more..

Esala Perahera to be showcased in Japan

Sep 16 (CT) Sri Lanka will showcase the 1706th Esala Perahera at JATA Tourism EXPO 2015 Japan, billed to take off in Tokyo on 25 Sept. JATA Tourism EXPO, internationally recognized as one of the largest travel events in the world which presents Japan as a tourism nation to the world that not only attracts the leisure sector but also other industries will take place. Sri Lanka as a country which has highest number of celebrations in a country more..

Sri Lanka: Front and Center at the UNHRC

Sep 16 (TD) On Monday at the UNHRC, foreign minister, Mangala Samaraweera, laid out the broad contours of the govt’s plan regarding reconciliation, truth and justice. The govt’s agenda includes a truth and reconciliation commission; an office on missing persons; a judicial mechanism; and an office for reparations. Samaraweera emphasized the importance of finding a political solution to the ethnic conflict and mentioned the govt’s intention to create a new constitution. more..

Mihin Lanka introduces flights to Muscat

Sep 16 (DN) Mihin Lanka will commence flight operations to Muscat, the capital city of Oman, from Oct 25, onwards. A total of four weekly flights will be introduced and will operate every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from BIA. The frequencies will increase to five weekly flights from Nov 11, and the additional flight will operate on Wednesdays. The four-hour direct flight will provide passengers with an affordable, convenient and comfortable travel option to Muscat. more..

Committee to be set up to develop sports

Sep 16 (DN) A committee at national level and other committees at provincial and district levels will be set up to develop sports in Sri Lanka, said Sports Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara. “There is an urgent need to have a collective dialog with district and provincial sports officers and coachers to bring out good results , and to link the Sports Ministry and Provincial sports ministry to work in unison” he said. Addressing a gathering of media and more..

Truth and reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (BG) No country that emerges from civil war can truly heal until the dead have been accounted for and steps toward reconciliation have been made. Sri Lanka is no exception. Nearly three decades of civil war ended in 2009, when the Sri Lankan military launched a final offensive against rebels known as the Tamil Tigers, who ruled a separatist enclave for years. Today, the war is over but the peace has yet to begin. More than 146,000 people remain unaccounted for. more..

Fresh initiatives in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (Hindu) Sri Lankan govt’s revelation in the current session of the UNHRC that it is committed to the setting up of a Constituent Assembly of Parliament that will adopt a new Constitution, besides a truth and reconciliation commission, is a laudable step forward six years after the end of the horrific civil war. It reflects the dramatic change in the political context in the country. The setting up of a govt of national unity with the two largest political parties, the UNP and the SLFP, more..

Tamil protesters call for President Sirisena to be tried for war crimes

Sep 16 (Independent) “I’m looking for my daughter, my daughter-in law and two little grandchildren who disappeared during the war,” says Sivaneswari, rubbing her arthritic legs as she rests after a five-day protest march across the northern tip of Sri Lanka. “I have faith they are still alive.” Like Sivaneswari, 63, most of the bedraggled Tamil protesters from Sri Lanka’s biggest ethnic minority community, holding up photographs of their more..

Without trust, Sri Lanka cannot investigate its own war crimes

Sep 16 (Guardian) Sri Lankan war crimes will be laid bare in a harrowing UN report to be published on Wednesday. The Sri Lankan govt has already launched its latest charm offensive to convince the world it can deal with these issues, but the international community must stay strong to ensure a proper justice process that wins the confidence of survivors and enables the country to heal. Ever since the civil war ended in May 2009, Sri Lanka has invested vast amounts of diplomatic capital more..

Hang child abusers: Sajith

Sep 16 (DN) Capital punishment should be imposed on those found guilty of child abuse, Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa said yesterday. The death penalty should be implemented not only on killers but also on child molesters, as child abuse has increased in the country, the minister said. The minister expressed these views while participating in a ceremony at the Women's and Child Affairs Ministry organized to welcome new Minister Chandrani Bandara. more..

'14-A contains provision that was not passed'

Sep 16 (Island) Communist Party maintained that the 14th Amendment was different to what they passed in Parliament in 1988. CP leader D.E.W. Gunasekera said that the 14th Amendment regarding the national lists of the parties in general elections had been passed in Parliament as an urgent bill on May 4, 1988. According to the bill, there had been no provisions to include defeated candidates after contesting on a district basis, more..

Laksman S. for Chamara D.

Sep 16 (DM) Former Badulla District MP Laksman Seneviratne will be sworn in as a MP filling the vacancy created by MP Chamara Sampath who was sworn in as Uva Province chief minister, SLFP General Secretary Duminda Dissanayake said. “Mr. Seneviratne is the next in line in Badulla District UPFA list,” he said. Mr. Sampath was elected to parliament from the Badulla District on UPFA ticket and secured 64,418 preferential votes coming second in the list. more..

Ranil tells ministers not to rock the boat

Sep 16 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has recently told all Cabinet Ministers that they should express their opinions in such a way that the forward march of the government won’t be affected. He had said they could have conflicting opinions on govt decisions, but taking different stands on on some issue could impede the progress of work being done. Hence the Ministers should refrain from embarrassing the govt by taking different stands, the Prime Minister said. more..

Gammanpila wants Indemnity Act to protect soldiers from war crimes allegations

Sep 16 (DN) An Act seeking indemnity will be presented in Parliament to protect soldiers if allegations are raised at the United Nations against the soldiers indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed, PHU General Secretary MP Udaya Gammanpila said. He said it was the soldiers who brought sustainable peace to the country and they should be protected from international threats. more..

Lalith, PBJ & Keheliya before Presidential Commission today

Sep 16 (Island) PRECIFAC has summoned former Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle, ex-Treasury chief Dr P.B. Jayasundera and former presidential secretary Lalith Weeratunga today. Secretary to the Commission Lacille De Silva said that they would be questioned on the state-owned ITN’s failure to recover Rs. 115 mn owed by the then President Rajapaksa for advertisements during the last presidential campaign. De Silva said that the commission was also inquiring into more..

US backs call for credible process in SL

Sep 16 (CG) The United States today noted the need for credible justice processes when addressing incidents related to the war. Responding to comments made at the 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva today by the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence, Pablo de Greiff, the US said that it is in the govt’s interest to establish justice processes that have the confidence of the international community. more..

Patience is a virtue: UN on Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (DM) The UN remained tight lipped on the contents of the report on war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka and on the UN stance on the mechanism to be adopted in addressing the issues. Responding to a question posed by a journalist at the UN Hq in New York, Secretary General's Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric asked for patience. “The report will be out on Wednesday. We will have more to say on that day,” more..

Dharmapala chintanaya for Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (DM) Launching week-long ceremonies to mark revivalist Anagarika Dharmapala’s 151st birth anniversary, President Maithripala Sirisena said on Monday he believed Sri Lanka needed to revive and re-live the Dharmapala chinthanaya. The President, addressing thousands of students, teachers and parents at Dharmapala Vidyalaya in Pannipitiya, said the core and centre of the Dharmapala chinthanaya was to revive our Sri Lankan identity, to be Sri Lankan and buy Sri Lankan. more..

Deregulation of Cosmetics: implications and dangers

Sep 16 (DM) The introduction of the National Medicines Regulatory Authority Act No. 05 of 2015 (Now referred to as the NMRA Act), aimed at protecting consumers from being exposed to spurious medicinal products in the market, would in effect open floodgates for counterfeit products in the Sri Lankan market in so far as such products relate to Cosmetics. A plain reading of Section 146 of the NRMA Act brings out the factual position of the cover provided through this section more..

Killing of little Seya: Is it a wake up call?

Sep 16 (DM) Child abductions, cases of child abuse, exploitation, harassment and child labour have become breaking news over the recent past much to the disappointment of the people. Their upbringing is shaped by many intrinsic and extrinsic factors yet only parents, teachers and loved ones give attention only to a handful of them. Poverty is just one of many issues that have gone beyond the control of those in power and more..