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Yahapalanaya pulls Sri Lanka out of the hook at UNHRC

Sep 21 (CT) It is amply clear that Sri Lanka would have been under severe strain at the Session of the UNHRC if not for the successful rebuilding of the country's relations with the international community after the change of govt at the Presidential election held on 8 Jan 2015. As President Sirisena said the international community would have insisted on hard strictures and conditions on Sri Lanka in the Report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, if not for the change of govt. more..

Govt opposes first draft text of resolution

Sep 21 (CG) Govt today raised objections and concerns over the first draft text of the resolution on Sri Lanka which is to be tabled during the 30th session of UNHRC. In a statement made during an informal consultation on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka organized by the Permanent Mission of the US at the UN building in Geneva, SL’s Ambassador to Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha said that the text is reparative, judgmental and prescriptive and more..

Minor irrigation tanks renovation fast tracked

Sep 21 (DN) North Central Provincial Irrigation Department has embarked on an accelerated programme to renovate minor irrigation tanks damaged during the 2014 December floods. On the request of Provincial Irrigation Minister H.B. Semasinghe, the govt has allocated Rs. 300 million to renovate 65 minor irrigation tanks which were heavily damaged in the floods. These will be renovated before the 2015/ 2016 Maha season cultivation begins. more..

SL, Kuwait seek to enhance labor recruitment

Sep 21 (GDI) Sri Lanka and Kuwait discussed means of developing cooperation in the field of labor recruitment during Sri Lankan Minister Thalatha Athukorala's visit to Kuwait. SL Minister on Sunday held discussions with the Kuwaiti Minister of Social Affairs and Labor and State Minister for Planning and Development Hind Al-Sabeeh. During the reception Kuwaiti Minister Al-Sabeeh said the Sri Lankan manpower is well respected and valued at the Kuwaiti work market. more..

Sri Lanka panel Chief scales down war toll

Sep 21 (ENS) The death toll in the final phase of Eelam War IV was not 40,000, as was claimed in the 2011 report of the Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, but probably above 7,000, Justice Maxwell Paranagama, chairman of the SL Commission on Missing Persons and War Crimes, said. He said that while investigations by his panel could not come to any precise figure of deaths, more..

Sri Lanka's top textile firm begins Rs 1 bn expansion plan

Sep 21 (F2F) Sri Lankan's South Asia Textile Industries has begun investing in what will ultimately be over Rs.1 billion in total, in the latest 5th Generation hybrid nano technology used in state-of-art textile machinery in all its division, according to media reports in the island nation. These upgrades, comprising high-speed knitting machines from Santoni of Italy and Singapore's Unitex, will be capable of developing and producing new and innovative knitted fabrics. more..

TULF recommends both domestic and hybrid special courts

Sep 21 (AD) Secretary General of the TULF, V. Anandasangaree, says that his party recommends probing of war crimes by both Domestic and Hybrid special courts in parts. Issuing a statement he said, “It is very unfortunate that a matter of great importance to every one of us in this country and to many others from the diaspora, is being taken lightly. I am referring to the much awaited UNHRC’s recommendations to probe the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. more..

EU to grant GSP+, lift fish export ban

Sep 21 (DN) European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka David Daly said the new govt’s policies on improving human rights, good governance and strengthening democratic institutions is very encouraging to grant GSP plus and lift fish export ban to EU countries. “EU is seriously considering Sri Lanka’s request, as the EU has to go through a rigorous evaluation process before taking the final decision to grant both GSP plus and more..

Four bailed over stealing a duck

Sep 21 (DM) Four suspects were granted bail after being produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya on charges of stealing a duck kept for public viewing at the Vihara Maha Devi Park in Town Hall, Colombo. The suspects Ashraf Ali Mohamed, Abdul Rahim, Fahmy Mohamed and Ahamed Najibdeen were arrested by Sergeant Jayalath (24025) of the Cinnamon Gardens Police who was on sentry duty at the park. The sergeant saw the suspects standing near the pond more..

Environmental group to take legal action against Coca-cola company

Sep 21 (AM) Environment Conservation Trust Executive Director Sajeewa Chamikara stated that legal action would be taken with the courts and Human Rights Commission for allowing the Coca-cola beverage factory in Kadawatha to continue its operations without taking any action for polluting water in the Kelani River. Speaking to Asian Mirror Chamikara revealed that the alleged oil leakage in to the Kelani River had caused a loss of more than 160 million rupees to the govt. more..

Car dealers cash in on rupee free float windfall

Sep 21 (EN) Car dealers have sharply raised prices for existing fleets imported before the rupee fell 11.76% against the Japanese yen this month. There was a sudden rush to buy new and second-hand Japanese hybrid cars over the weekend with at least one advertiser warning potential buyers that they had only 60 days to beat a possible tariff hike in the November budget. Hybrid cars which had been imported when more..

Should the death penalty be revived?

Sep 22 (CT) The public seems to be alarmed by the crime wave now taking place in the country as seen by recent incidence of violent crimes such as the kidnapping and killing of children which seem to be more common now than earlier. The ordinary public is demanding the implementation of the death penalty which has been suspended. It may be true that there is no evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. But public perceptions do matter in a democracy and it is better to more..

Sri Lanka’s fake suicidal heroes

Sep 22 (SL) Phony and genuine suicidal attempts are characteristic of many of our politicians and calls for psychiatric investigations and study. Bandula Gunawardena who considered himself a godfather and an oracle to millions of school going kids when he was the Minister of Education, last week made a stunning announcement: He would disembowel himself with a razor (dali pihiya) on Galle Face Green if anyone proves that he had made a fast buck from Mahindodaya funds more..

CFD’s election debacle

Sep 22 (CT) Crusaders for Democracy (CFD) Media Spokesperson G Chandralingam alias Thulasi said the people in the North were not ready for a change in political culture and that led to the defeat of their party in the recent election. "It is very clear that people in the Jaffna District are not ready for a change and they do not care about their political standards, as they are financially strong when compared with people more..

Beyond belief… Even in Sri Lanka!

Sep 22 (SL) As I watched the seemingly endless line of those who could accurately be described as giving even Sri Lankan politics a bad name parading before the TV cameras of what appeared to be every TV station in Sri Lanka, it stretched, to its very extreme, the credibility of one who thought he had seen it all in the matter of political parody and downright corruption during a life that had spanned far closer to eight than seven decades. If you thought the excesses of Mugabe, Idi Amin more..

Long distance nationalism – Dangerous for Sri Lanka

Sep 22 (CT) For the purpose of this article, I refer to the Sri Lankan diaspora as those Sri Lankans who have migrated to a foreign country permanently and not those who are temporarily working or residing in foreign countries. Estimates suggest that the total Sri Lankan diaspora amounts to approximately 2 million, of which, it is estimated around 1.2 million are of Tamil ethnicity and 800,000 of Sinhalese ethnicity. A sizeable proportion of the Tamil diaspora migrated following the black July riots in 1983 more..

'The denial of minimum wage should be a cognizable offence'

Sep 22 (CT) Fulltime trade unionist of the Progressive Plantation Workers' Union and Executive Council Member of one of India's youngest national trade union federations, New Trade Union Initiative, Sushovan Dhar spoke about trade unions and workers rights. Q: What are the challenges facing trade unions? A: In India, at this point of time, biggest challenge is that there has been a wholesale casualization and informalization of labour. more..

Poisoned chalice

Sep 22 (FT) By the draft resolutions ye shall know them. While there are sentences introduced into draft resolutions as bargaining chips, a draft resolution is as clear an indication as possible of the real thinking of those who author and sponsor it. This makes it very easy to distinguish between a real friend, ally and partner, an occasional friend and a frenemy (friendly foe). The US draft resolution, or should I say the US-UK draft resolution, attempts to get Sri Lanka to agree to something that more..

Editorial: Of that highway protest

Sep 22 (Island) Two women were arrested the other day for protesting at a ceremony to mark the opening of the Kadawatha-Kaduwela section of the Outer Circular Highway (OCH). They allegedly cut a ribbon before the arrival of Minister Lakshman Kiriella for the grand opening. Minister Kiriella will never approve of such action against protesters, especially women. A man of peace, he did not want even the LTTE dealt with severely in spite of its mindless terror; he advocated negotiations. more..

'UNOHCHR Report calls for justice and accountability'

Sep 22 (SO) Special Spokesperson for the Office of the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, Ravina Shamdasani, said action against LTTE financiers and other international operatives will be an integral part of the criminal investigation that the High Commissioner had proposed through the recommended Special Hybrid Court. Shamdasani was in Colombo during the release of the Report of the High Commissioner on Sri Lanka and more..

From A Gentle Creature to With You, Without You

Sep 22 (FT) This is not a critique of a film but I would like to pen down my feelings after viewing With You, Without You, the one hour and 30 minute film directed by Prasanna Vithanage. Lead roles were played by Anjali Patil and Shyam Fernando. The script was adapted from a short story A Gentle Creature by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) one of the greatest novelists the world ever produced. This was adapted to films in several other occasions by renowned directors including more..

Does Sri Lanka need a Bridge link between India and Sri Lanka?

Sep 22 (Island) Sri Lanka does not need it but RAW-driven Delhi with its bold statements is using the present political hiatus in SL to drive and acquire as much mileage as possible; in the process Delhi is compelling SL to accept all that Delhi desires to control this island forever as a vassal state. A process that Delhi has developed single-minded for over 60 years for the region, while driving a totally closed economy, and is now willing to unleashits hegemony & desires on its neighbours. more..

Sri Lanka is the Cultural focus country at Italian travel fair TTG

Sep 22 (SLT) Sri Lanka Tourism is branding each global fair based in the platform An Island of thousand treasures so that we start developing a footprint globally said the Chairman SLTPB Dr Rohantha Athukorala. ATM in Dubai took the Sri Lankan Wildlife theme, ITB in Berlin took the theme Sri Lankan Beaches, KOTFA took the proposition Sri Lankan Festivals and Moscow Travel Fair was themed Sri Lankan Tea and Guinness Book more..

Hybrid mechanism not a first option with new govt

Sep 22 (Island) The long anticipated UN investigation report into alleged war crimes committed during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s war was released last week by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The investigation team has made strong indictments against both the govt and LTTE forces for war crimes. The most contentious aspect of the report is likely to be its recommendation that the govt should "adopt a specific legislation establishing more..

Celebrating the idea of democracy in a year of elections

Sep 22 (Island) In this talk, I want to celebrate the idea of democracy. In its popular meaning, democracy refers to the rule of the demos, demos being the Greek word for people. This year in Sri Lanka, we have had two crucial moments – one in January and the second just the other day (17th of Aug) – in which demos were called upon to provide both authority and legitimacy to their rulers to rule over them for a limited period of time. In the January moment, SL demos opted for change. more..

Achala Dias banned for 4 years

Sep 22 (CT) Senior national athlete Achala Dias has been banned for four years after testing positive for taking a banned substance during the national selection trials held on 10 May at Diyagama. The Anti Doping Agency (SLADA) set up a Disciplinary Committee to go into the matter, and based on their report a press briefing was held at National Institute of Sri Lanka yesterday to reveal details. more..

In SL, reconciliation will be tough to secure

Sep 22 (TN) When South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) convened for the first time in Cape Town in 1996, the country was well on the road to healing the scars left by the apartheid regime. Black South Africans were emboldened with their successful international campaign to isolate and ultimately dismantle the regime of racial segregation that had governed South Africa since 1948. Nelson Mandela had been elected as president with an overwhelming majority. more..

Showcasing Sri Lanka fish , Ceylon Tea and tourism in the Russian market

Sep 22 (Island) Embassy of Sri Lanka in the Russian Federation organized three major events during the period ofSeptember 14 – 18 2015. Russia, one of the largest markets in the world has now become an important destination for Sri Lankan exports, especially due to current ban imposed by the European Union on the Russian Federation for agricultural products including fish, milk products and meat products. It is also vital to note that the current ban on the Sri Lankan fish exports to more..

$ 450m investment planned for Colombo-Negombo electric train system; township

Sep 22 (FT) Airport Express Air and Rail Co. (AEARC) of Malaysia will start an electric train system between Negombo and Colombo whilst a mega township is also planned with a combined investment of $ 450 million. The company recently signed a contract with investors for the project. The contract was signed by Premiere Global Assets Ltd. President Dr. Shawana Khdir Ali, AEARC Managing Director Dr. Parimalan more..

Call to activate mobile paddy purchasing system

Sep 22 (DN) All 32 paddy purchasing centres of the Paddy Marketing Board in Anuradhapura district are closed. The PMB has purchased 30,760 mt of paddy from 17,563 farmers in the district. The farmers were paid Rs. 1,930 million for their paddy stocks. The farmer organizations, mainly in Rajangane, Padaviya, Wahalkada, Galenbindunuwewa areas, etc, have urged the authorities to either open purchasing centres in the areas where the Yala paddy cultivation started late due to more..

Ceylon Chamber and Beijing Chamber signs MoU

Sep 22 (DN) Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and the Beijing Chamber of International Commerce yesterday signed an MOU to work together to promote trade and commercial ties between the two countries. Mangala Yapa, CEO of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Yu Haibo, Deputy Director General of the Beijing Chamber of International Commerce signed the MoU on behalf of the respective parties. MoU will enable both parties to work together to promote trade and more..

Smarter lighting: Time of Use tariff for domestic users

Sep 22 (FT) The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has approved the time of use (TOU) tariff proposal submitted by the CEB. PUCSL said that this has been designed as an optional tariff for domestic users that consume a three-phase, 30A or above power supply. Commission said that TOU would be implemented with immediate effect and any domestic consumer interested in this can request this more..

Death penalty not the answer: Women’s rights group

Sep 22 (FT) Bringing back the death penalty to combat child abuse and sexual harassment is not a solution to the problem, a prominent women’s rights activist said yesterday. Executive Director of the Women and Media Collective Dr. Sepali Kottegoda strongly denounced ongoing calls for the implementation of the death penalty, adding that existing laws should be more than adequate to bring perpetrators to book, as long as the said laws were properly implemented. more..

A consensual healing of Lankan wounds

Sep 22 (DP) Sri Lanka’s national unity Govt, comprising the UNP and the SLFP faces its first major challenge in the UNHRC’s report on war crimes committed by both sides in the protracted war against the LTTE. With President Maithripala Sirisena’s and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s victories enabled by ethnic minority support, duly reciprocated by making TNA chief R Sampanthan Leader of Opposition, the time is ripe for consensual healing of the wounds of the past 3 decades. more..

'JVP allocated Rs.10mn for Wijeweera family'

Sep 22 (DM) Former JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said the party Central Committee had decided four years ago to allocate Rs. 10 million to provide a house for the family of its founder Rohana Wijeweera if they were evicted from the Naval quarters in Welisara. Commenting on the recent decision to evict Mr. Wijeweera’s family, he said this was the second occasion where an eviction letter had been issued. more..

Uva CM withdraws petition to remove his predecessor

Sep 22 (Island) Petitioner, Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, the new Chief Minister of the Uva Province and Susil Premjayanatha, the former General Secretary of the UPFA yesterday withdrew the Writ Application they had filed in the Court of Appeal, against the appointment of Harin Fernando as the Chief Minister of the Province. Dassanayake and Premjayantha, in their Writ Application, said that Shashindra Rajapaksa should be the Chief Minister of Uva. more..

Mangala and Wijeyadasa saved MR from electric chair: PM

Sep 22 (DN) Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe saved former President Mahinda Rajapaksa from the electric chair, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said. “Maybe because they too hail from the Southern Province, like Rajapaksa,” a jovial Prime Minister told the UNP Working Committee members who attended the second Working Committee meeting after the Parliamentary election. He said the outcome of the 30th session of the UNHRC was a victory for the SL govt as more..

DNA report soon on Thajudeen's body parts

Sep 22 (DM) Genetech Company's Senior Scientist Ruwan Illeperuma informed Colombo Additional Magistrate that his company was conducting DNA tests on the body parts of rugby player Waseem Thajudeen who died under suspicious circumstances. The company would file its report in court no sooner the tests were concluded. He said in his report filed in Court that the productions were sent to them by more..

A bridge will bring SL and India closer: Rajan

Sep 22 (Island) Deputy Minister of Social Empowerment and Welfare, Ranjan Ramanayake, defended the proposed bridge connecting Sri Lanka and India. He said bridges linking countries were not of recent origin. The proposed bridge would not pose any threat to Sri Lanka; instead it would help bring the two countries closer, he added. He was responding to views expressed by Parliamentarian and Pivithuru Hela Uramaya Leader Udaya Ganmanpila at a media briefing yesterday. more..

No increase in import tax on paper: Ravi

Sep 22 (DM) Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake denounced the claim that there is a move to increase the import taxes on paper and the taxes charged from the advertisements in electronic media. He said one must not waste time responding to these false statements. Consumer Rights Protection National Organisation made a statement that there is a move to increase the import taxes on paper and the taxes charged from advertisements in electronic media. more..