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Editorial: A Trojan horse

Sep 18 (Island) UNHRC report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka is being interpreted in different ways. Its authors have apparently avoided the mistakes UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s expert panel made in the Darusman report. They have refrained from plucking civilian casualty figures out of the air and sought to give the report a semblance of balance. Perhaps, the demolition by Sir Desmond de Silva, QC et al of the arguments and claims in the Darusman report riddled with flaws may have more..

Sri Lanka: Light at the end of the tunnel

Sep 18 (Island) Those who advocated change, for the sake of good governance, overlooked one vital fact; most politicians nowadays, unlike in the past when service was the motto of politicians, look after their interests first, not that of the country or the people. They will make use of one and all, make promises they do not intend to keep, get power and will use it to their advantage and the come up with the most fanciful excuses to justify their misdeeds. Present govt has followed the traditions of more..

A celebration in praise of God Skanda

Sep 18 (NS) Nallur Festival, Sri Lanka’s longest festival, is not just pomp and pageantry; it symbolizes the precepts of the Saiva doctrine. Fasting, meditation, prayer, singing of devotional hymns and acts of self-mortification are supposed to wean the devotee from worldly pleasures and direct him towards God. They are also held in honor of the war god Skanda. Nallur Festival commences on the sixth day of the Aadi Amavasai, sixth day of more..

A reckoning on Sri Lanka war crimes

Sep 18 (NYT) UNHRC released its report on possible war crimes committed during the last years of SL civil war. As many as 40,000 Tamils were killed by the military during the final months of the conflict, which ended in 2009. Citing a horrific level of violations and abuses in its report, council concluded that a “purely domestic court procedure will have no chance of overcoming widespread and justifiable suspicions fueled by decades of violations, malpractice & broken promises.” more..

Moving towards accountability

Sep 18 (Hindu) Accountability for past excesses is not easily achieved in post-conflict societies, but its need and relevance cannot be brushed aside. Fostering peace and reconciliation among formerly feuding sections of society, and finding constitutional solutions to core political issues are often the final objectives. However, transformative and substantive justice requires establishing the truth about past crimes perpetrated as part of a deliberate policy. Human rights investigation report on SL, more..

Why Chandimal's innings was rare & freakish

Sep 18 (CI) They couldn't out Dinesh Chandimal at all. He scored 162 of Sri Lanka's 367 in the second innings in Galle. That's 162 of the 275 scored since his arrival at the wicket, and 51 of the 65 the last three wickets added. He scored 50 more than the whole Indian side could manage in the chase, and did so at a strike rate of 96 despite having to turn down singles in the end on a low-scoring pitch where his side was at one time more..

Sri Lanka at the UNHRC: What now?

Sep 18 (TD) The long-awaited OHCHR report that deals largely with wartime abuses in Sri Lanka has finally been made public. It’s a big moment for the island nation and OHCHR has come out with a strong report. This is a detailed, lengthy document that covers a range of disturbing topics, including extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, disappearances, torture, and attacks on civilians. Importantly, the report also includes violations which have occurred since the end of the war. more..

Wickremesinghe’s India visit could check Chinese influence in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (FP) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s just-concluded India visit — before he had completed his first month in office — could help in keeping the Chinese dragon’s influence in the island nation under check. His talks with PM Narendra Modi have helped bilateral relations, with discussions on sensitive issues like the devolution of more powers to Tamil-dominated regions in Sri Lanka and the issue of Indian fishermen being detained detentions by Sri Lankan authorities. more..

Take immediate action to problems faced by people in Mahaweli Zones: President

Sep 18 (PSL) President Sirisena instructed officials to find immediate solutions to the problems faced by people live in Mahaweli zones. Today, people who live in these areas faced many difficulties when fulfilling their basic needs and has many issues related to health and education fields too. resident also instructed the relevant officials to implement a special program to develop the infrastructure facilities of the Mahaweli zones. more..

Money printing passes 300% mark

Sep 18 (CT) The ratio of money printing to excess liquidity passed the 300% barrier to 312.94%, as Central Bank (CB) continued to meet the Govt's foreign debt servicing commitments from its foreign reserves at yesterday's trading, CB's Open Market Operations data showed. An increase in the money printing ratio also translates to the fact that there is a dearth of inflows in to the foreign exchange (FX) market. As a result, the country's foreign reserves were poorer by US$ 110.40 million more..

30 countries in Colombo Marathon

Sep 18 (CT) 15th Edition of the Lanka Sportsreizen Colombo Marathon, which adds Sri Lanka's name to global recognition in the marathon calendar, flags off near the Ministry of Sports on 4 October at 6.00am. Over 7500 athletes including around 175 foreigners from 30 countries are expected to run in this year's Colombo Marathon and among them will be last year's winners in both men/ Women - Open Marathon. Last year's marathon saw Geethani Rajasekara renew the Lankan record for more..

Sri Lanka’s Technology Park to invest US$ 70mn to expand capacity

Sep 18 (LBO) SL’s technological park, Orion City, is to add one million square feet to its current facility with an investment of nearly US$ 70 million. Park, which was once a factory, is spread over 16 acres and currently has 550,000 square feet of developed space, where 29 international companies are based. Company’s overall plan is a 3 million square foot facility. “We feel that there will be a strong demand for IT & BPO sector. more..

Sri Lanka war crimes: Rajapaksa is left alone to take the blame

Sep 18 (HT) The blame has been divided. But now, how will the punishment – if it ever comes down to that in the years to come – be divided between those responsible for the deaths of the thousands who died in the SL civil war of nearly three decades? Delayed UNHCR report – from the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights Investigation in SL (OSIL) -- has expectedly blamed both former president Rajapaksa’s govt and the Tamil rebels for allegedly carrying out war crimes. more..

Record number of Maldivian Eid holiday goers head to Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (Haveeru) A record number of Maldivians are set to visit neighbouring Sri Lanka during the upcoming Eid holidays, Sri Lankan Airlines said on Thursday. Eid al-Adha, one of two important religious holidays observed by Muslims around the world, would fall on next Thursday. Friday and Saturday being the weekend, the government had declared the period from Sunday to Wednesday and Sept 27 as public holidays as well in order to ensure the continuity of the holiday period. more..

Cabinet approves Certificate of Absentee for missing

Sep 18 (CG) The cabinet has approved a proposal to issue a Certificate of Absentee for people reported missing and in the event the relatives refuse to accept a death certificate for such a person. By the regulations of Act No. 17 of 1951 covering the registration of Births and Deaths, the Registrar General’s Department has been empowered with the task of registering deaths. However this does not cover more..

Schoolboy buried alive

Sep 18 (Island) A nine-year-old schoolboy died when a parapet wall collapsed near his home while returning from school on Wednesday afternoon in the Nawalapitya police area. SSP Priyantha Jayakody said that Thiruchandran Govikan of Bawwagama had been buried under stones, when a parapet wall of the victim's house collapsed on him. There had been rain the whole day. "Mother of the victim had been at a meeting in the village, when the mishap occurred. more..

Nipuna, Wasana & Rheanna set new records

Sep 18 (CT) Nipuna Perera of St. Mary's College Chilaw set a new meet record in the boys' under-14 Discus Throw with an impressive throw of 39.89m at the 46th Sir John Tarbet junior athletics championship continued at Anuradhapura yesterday. Perera, a son from a fishing family in Chilaw beat odds to erase the record set by Balachandran Ananth of Hartley College Jaffna last year. Nathan Praweenan of Hartley College Jaffna finished second with a throw of 34.81m, while more..

Buddha path in foreign policy: India gears for 150th birth anniversary of revivalist

Sep 18 (TOI) Continuing its focus on promoting Buddhism as part of its foreign policy, India will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala, credited with reviving Buddhism in India. For this, Maithripala Sirisena, president of SL will travel to India on Oct 8, accompanied by 150 top Sri Lankan Buddhist monks. High profile event in Delhi will kick off with Sirisena opening the commemorative event, more..

Muralidaran’s Biscuit Company Clinches Much-coveted International Awards

Sep 18 (GDI) Sri Lanka's world famous cricket spin wizard- Muttiah Muralidaran’s biscuit manufacturing company – Sunrich Confectionery Private Limited bagged a hallmark achievement in the global food and beverage industry by winning two much-coveted International Taste and Quality Institute (ITQI) Awards in Belgium recently. Sunrich Confectionery turned a new chapter with two of its flagship products - Chocolate Cream and Power Crunch Biscuits grabbing the awards. more..

CB to study CIFL restructuring plan

Sep 18 (CT) Failed Central Investment and Finance Limted (CIFL) controversial former Group Chairman Deepthi Perera had submitted his restructuring plan for CIFL to the Colombo Magistrate Court. "The Court has instructed us to study his proposal in consultation with all stakeholders, but the future cash flow status he has submitted, is doubtful," he said. According to Deepthi Perera's restructuring plan, the promoters whose names are unknown, will invest Rs 100 million initially, more..

Sri Lanka cabinet warned of early downfall

Sep 18 (EN) Minister Rajitha Senaratne warned PM Ranil Wickremesinghe of an imminent danger to the new govt unless it immediately sacked corrupt officials who stayed back from the former regime. Senaratne lambasted AG Yuwanjana Wanasundera over his failure to prosecute Avant Garde (Pvt) Ltd whose floating armoury was the subject of a prolonged CID inquiry. Minister vowed he will not allow the case to be hushed up more..

Complaint against DN Nilanga Dela

Sep 18 (Island) A person named Piyal Raja Sri Wickrema representing an organisation which calls itself Budunu Sahana Sansada Arakshaka Kamituwa handed over a petition to the Deputy Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs in Kandy urging him to investigate some offences Pradeep Nilanga Dela in his capacity as the Diyawadana Nilame of Sri Dalada Maligawa had committed between 2005 & 2015. Petition also urged the Commissioner to investigate irregularities in re-election of Dela. more..

Killing of 5-year-old Seya: No breakthrough

Sep 18 (Island) CID sleuths and police teams, who probed the brutal killing of five year-old Seya Bakmeedeniya have failed to arrest any suspect thus far. IGP N.K. Illangakoon said that he had ordered the CID to take over the case on Wednesday and it might take a day or two to arrest the suspect or suspects. Asked whether any vital evidence regarding the suspect had surfaced, IGP said that he had not been informed of the yesterday’s development until last night. more..

Ex-Army Chief welcomes UN probe

Sep 18 (FT) Former Army Chief Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, welcoming the new report released by the UN Human Rights Commissioner and its recommendation to set up a special court to investigate alleged human rights violations, said that he would fully support the investigation process to ensure justice. Fonseka, who commanded the final military operations to eliminate LTTE and end 30-year-old conflict more..

No hidden agenda: Chinese official

Sep 18 (DM) Senior Colonel Li Chenglin, the Military, Naval and Air Attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka said that there was no hidden agenda behind the military training taking place between the two nations. He made these remarks when he paid a courtesy call on State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene at the Defense Ministry yesterday. The Senior Colonel explained that about 200 Lankan army officers were receiving military training in China per annum and more..

ADB funds $ 150 m for Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program

Sep 18 (FT) Govt is planning to transfer Mahaweli Water to North western, North Central and Northern Provinces under the Mahaweli Water Security Investment Program with the aim of maximising the productivity of Mahaweli River Basin water resources. Total investment cost of this program is around Rs. 90 billion ($ 675 million) and Govt of SL has entered in to two loan agreements to obtain financial assistance for tranche of above program. ADB has agreed to provide $ 453 million more..

'Hybrid court, a ruse to set up full-fledged international war crimes probe'

Sep 18 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa alleged that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition would make an attempt to bring in far reaching changes to the country’s legal framework to pave the way for a hybrid special court to try to hear war crime accusations. He said that the UNP-SLFP marriage of convenience was meant to provide the required two-thirds majority in Parliament for amending the legal framework. more..

Let’s book a place in the world

Sep 18 (DM) A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. Those who do not read live only one, according to well-known author George R. R. Martin. The popular American children’s author Dr. Seuss has said the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you will go, literally and otherwise. With a new National Govt taking office and many analysts describing it as a new chapter in SL’s history books, Colombo International Book Fair more..

Sins of war: the ball is in Sri Lanka’s court

Sep 18 (DM) At a meeting on Wednesday in Myanmar’s new capital Nay Pyi Taw with the country’s Minister of Information U Ye Htut, who had been a friend of mine for the past several years, inquired after the developments in Sri Lanka. In our discussion on Geneva and the OHCHR report, the minister made an interesting remark: “You are trying to correct mistakes of ten years, but we are trying to correct those of fifty years. Imagine our plight and the challenge.” more..

Killing the Kelani River

Sep 18 (ST) The Kelani River has silently endured contamination, soil erosion and illegal sandmining over the past years, turning from a clear, sparkling river into a heavily-browned and polluted body of water. Now, attention is being focused on the ruination of the Kelani and its status as the source of drinking water to a greater part of Colombo, with the CEA checking the compliance of 80 high-polluting industries bordering more..

UNHRC: Stringent vetting process targets Sri Lankan military

Sep 18 (Island) Many an eyebrow has been raised over OHCHR call for stringent vetting procedures to prevent those who had been suspected of having committed war time atrocities from taking part in overseas military assignments. The recommendation has been made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid in accordance with an inquiry conducted by a team headed by Sandra Beidas, formerly of the AI. more..

Tamil diaspora group calls for Internationalised Special Court

Sep 18 (Island) Global Tamil Forum (GTF) has urged the UNHRC to accommodate all recommendations made by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid. GTF spokesperson Suren Surendiran said that the grouping expected the establishment of the internationalised Special Court for criminal prosecution. Surendiran stressed that they wouldn’t compromise under any circumstances, and therefore expected full more..

Next budget to focus on macro policies

Sep 18 (SL) The next Budget of Sri Lanka will focus on capitalising on the Macro-policies, Minister Ravi Karunanayake said. He said that with the interim budget delivering the goods as promised in the election manifesto of then Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the budget will focus the spotlight on achieving the targeted economic growth through harnessing the macro-policies and implementing solid policy reforms. more..

Another girl raped and murdered

Sep 18 (CT) Demuni de Soyza, an eight year old girl, has been sexually assaulted and murdered in Janabala Village, Akmeemana. She was a student of Sri Sumangala Vidyalaya, Kurunduwatte, Akmeemana. Police suspect that she was murdered on 16 Sept. Police and residents of the area found her body in a tea plantation near her house. There was blood on the child's clothes and there was a chord around her neck. more..

Do not misinterpret Geneva report: PM

Sep 18 (DN) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday requested all to refrain from misinterpreting the Geneva report. Wickremesinghe said the UNHRC report has pursued that inquiries be made for determining whether war crimes have been perpetrated in Sri Lanka. "I earnestly ask from the media and other parties to desist from giving false accounts or misleading allusions about the report's content," he said. more..

US, SL to establish partnership dialogue

Sep 18 (CG) Sri Lanka is looking to have more robust engagement with the US, including through a Partnership Dialogue between the two countries that envisages to encompass all issues of mutual concern and benefit, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Prasad Kariyawasam said. He said this when he was hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a premier Washington-based think tank, to speak on more..

Sri Lanka hopes hybrid court international component will be omitted

Sep 18 (DN) The future steps with regard to the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka will be decided after analyzing the US sponsored resolution, Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. The resolution will be adopted on Sept 24. He said the government was hopeful that the US sponsored resolution to be submitted at the UNHRC would take a pro-SL stance, and would probably propose to move to a domestic inquiry more..

Video: Capital punishment if Parliament approves: President

Sep 18 (AD) President Sirisena says that he expects to implement capital punishment in Sri Lanka next year, if the Parliament gives consent. He stated that although parliament approval it is not required to implement capital punishment he intends to seek the opinion of the country’s legislators. President’s comments, at an event in Galle today, comes amidst calls for the re-implementation of the death penalty in the wake of a five-year-old more..

UN secretary welcomes UNHRC report on SL

Sep 18 (TOI) Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, on Thursday, welcomed the Report of the OHCHR on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. In a statement, the Secretaty-General's spokesperson said: "He hopes that its important recommendations will help support the effort of the people and the Govt of Sri Lanka to carve a durable path toward long-lasting peace and stability more..


Sep 18 (CT) UNHRC at its meeting at Geneva on Wednesday on the Sri Lankan issue of alleged war crimes committed in its prosecution of the LTTE war recommended a hybrid legal system to investigate such abuse. UNHRC has proposed the setting-up of special Courts also comprising international Judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators to delve into such alleged war crimes. "Such a mechanism will be essential to give confidence to all Sri Lankans, in particular the victims, of the independence more..