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Northern fishermen protest in Jaffna against Indians

Sep 23 (CG) Northern fishermen staged a protest in Jaffna today against Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen staged a protest walk in the Jaffna town and later handed over a petition to the Deputy Indian High Commission in Jaffna. Fishermen in the North last weekend rejected a proposal to meet Indian fishermen to discuss a solution to the fishing issue and decided to stage a protest today. more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rejection of UN report

Sep 23 (CT) Former defeated president, and now a Kurunegala MP, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has issued a statement saying, “I think it would be appropriate to make known to the public my observations on the recently released report on Sri Lanka by the OHCHR.” Of course it is appropriate, but he has not made much observations on the substance of the report going rambling on other matters. He says that My govt did not cooperate with this investigation for many reasons, foremost of which was that more..

Rationalising the irrational

Sep 23 (NS) JR Jayewardene’s victory in 1977 signalled a change of face in the UNP. It began a complete reversal of the policies which the defeated SLFP had embraced and introduced to the country in 1956, and went beyond just rejecting them. To say that the 1978 Constitution sought to facilitate this reversal would be putting things mildly. In all honesty, what Jayewardene envisioned was nothing less than the second biggest social, economic, and political revolution here after Bandaranaike. more..

Beautiful SL smeared by perversion of some

Sep 23 (CT) "It was Friday, and a very calm and quiet night. I had to stay late at work because I wanted to finish my work so that I don't have to take it home for the weekend. The bus I should have taken had already left some time ago and there were no tuk tuks in sight. Since my house was only a few kilometres away, I decided to take a night time stroll. But I should've known not to do that. I was a girl and it was 11 p.m." In Feb, Saranya Selvarasa more..

The apprasanna story of ribbon cutting

Sep 23 (CT) MP Prasanna Ranatunga who was earlier the Chief Minister of the Western Province is known to be a controversial politician. His conduct is contrary to the political traditions practiced by the Ranatunga family. His father, late Reggie Ranatunga whom I knew for over 30 years faced the worst of UNP intimidation and violence in 1977 when the Ranatunga boys were little children. Reggie was a soft spoken, quiet, unassuming decent politician who never sensationalized the suffering more..

History selected the path of democracy

Sep 23 (CT) Some political pundits, particularly those who supported the reactionary regime of Mahinda, predict that the Unity Govt of Maithri and Ranil cannot last long. According to them a National Govt, predominantly stuffed with members of the UNP and SLFP, which appear stable and strong, mathematically and theoretically cannot last long. During the bondage of two years – no major issue will be discussed. Because of ideological differences, those will be avoided as more..

Artfelt need

Sep 23 (ST) If you stand in a certain spot, it looks as though the man is teetering dangerously close to a precipice, which drops into a dark abyss. No one is concerned by this. A toddler cheerfully rides her tricycle while her mother keeps a watchful eye and close by, a group of teenagers huddle together for a selfie. Man stands even closer to the precipice, tilting forward precariously and feigns an expression of surprise for camera. more..

Hybrid judicial mechanism; should we not accept it?

Sep 23 (CT) The UN report on human rights in Sri Lanka has been published. A news report says that the release of UN Report on alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka’s war is an important step in the country’s transition to good governance and ethnic reconciliation. The UN Report goes on to say that it will require the Sri Lankan govt and people to give their attention to the unhealed wounds of the past that continue to fester in the body politic without any action being more..

Let’s make an enlightened electorate committed to democracy

Sep 23 (NS) When we look around and brood over the situation in every corner of SL, we do not find it difficult to conclude that in the restoration of Democracy, Good Governance and Rule-of-Law, educational reforms must occupy the very first place. Of the numerous problems of education, that of voter education is the most pressing one. Demagogy and deception by ruling elements, over the years, have become a part and parcel of our political culture, much to dismay of civic conscious more..

Eid-al-Adha: The ritual and the rejoicing

Sep 23 (SO) Eid-al-Adha or Haj Festival as it is popularly known, is considered the Festival of the Sacrifice. It is also known as the Greater Eid, Eid e Qurban and is the second most significant religious holiday in the Islamic calendar, celebrated with great spirituality by Muslims all over the world. Haj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the five pillars of Islam and is hence a once in a lifetime obligation for Muslims who are more..

Speak the truth to report the truth

Sep 23 (ST) The other day I read rather curious remarks made by the Minister for Parliamentary Reforms and Media Gayantha Karunathilaka in an interview with a state-run newspaper. Minister Karunathilaka is understandably effusive that the president and prime minister have reposed great faith in him by giving him back the portfolio he held during the government of a “100 days” that intended to usher in an era of yahapalanaya but has slipped and stumbled by the wayside. more..

Gains from lower fuel prices frittered away by increased imports

Sep 23 (ST) The trade deficit expanding by 15.6% to US$ 4 billion in the first half of the year has brought about a balance of payments crisis and the depreciation of the Rupee. The Rupee depreciated from about Rs. 135 to the US dollar a month ago to Rs. 142 this week: an inevitable outcome of this increasing trade deficit. The irony of this year’s external trade performance is that the steep decline in fuel prices was frittered away by higher imports of motor vehicles, transport equipment more..

I assumed duties as Minister for Nothing to Do

Sep 23 (Island) First of all let me thank each and everyone who congratulated me from all over the world after I was sworn in as the Minister for Nothing to Do in the Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka. I am very sorry I cannot thank all of you individually. I received several emails through the Minister for Emails and Text Messages young Harin Fernando. This is a mass thank you to the masses who made it more..

Editorial: Geneva blowback

Sep 23 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said, at the UNP’s 66th Anniversary celebrations early this month, that he and President Maithripala Sirisena were cruising along a highway in a hybrid vehicle. He may not have expected something hybrid to cause him trouble within a few weeks. We warned, in these columns, that the President and the PM were headed for a treacherous mountainous terrain where the danger of politico-economic rock falls, mud slides and earth slips was lurking. more..

St.John's, Nugegoda celebrates centenary

Sep 23 (Island) One of the distinguished old boys of St.John’s College, Nugegogda, Jagath Savanadasa has published a book about the history of the school titled St. John’s College, Nugegoda – 100 years of excellence- 1915-2015. The book will be launched at the Olympic House at Independence Avenue, Colombo -7 on Thursday September 24 at 4.30 pm. Chief guest will be Minister Susil Premajayantha, who himself is an old Johnian. The author who studied in the school from 1948-58 more..

Wijeweera’s widow breaks 26-year silence

Sep 23 (FT) Q: For how long you have you and your children been living in the Navy camp? A: From 1989 to 1992 we lived in the Ganemulla Army camp. Later, the then Govt transferred us to the Tissa Navy camp in Trincomalee. We stayed there for nearly seven years. Since 1999, we have been living in the Gemunu Navy camp in Welisara. Q: Why didn’t you try to go abroad? A: Yes, we could have more..

Cricket umpire MM Mendis dies at 69

Sep 23 (NS) Former cricket umpire M M Mendis has passed away after a brief illness at the age of 69. Mendis was a first-class cricket umpire for nearly two decades. He was promoted to the Sri Lanka Cricket ‘A’ panel in 1990 and officiated several matches played by visiting teams including matches of the domestic Premier league and limited-over. Mendis who was affectionately known by his initials as Mickey Mouse was a secretary to the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and also served in more..

Holcim signs MoU with SLIA

Sep 23 (CT) Holcim Lanka recently signed a MoU with the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects (SLIA) at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. As a result of the MoU, Holcim will be supporting SLIA by sponsoring their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) events. The forthcoming event for 2015/2016 will be organized by the CPD committee, headed by Architect Dr. Nishan Wijetunga under the auspices of Chairman, Professional Affairs Board Archt. Janaka Dharmasena and Board members. more..

Video: Rs.100mn worth of red sandal seized

Sep 23 (DM) The Customs today seized 4.5 metric tons of red sandalwood valued at Rs.100 million in a 20-foot container destined to Malaysia, Customs Director General Leslie Gamini said. Consignment had been declared as pillows, cushions and padding, and as to be exported to China through Malaysia. There were 532 logs weighing 4.5 metric tons valued at Rs. 100 mn. One log is estimated to be 200 years old. more..

Insights into SL’s re-based GDP estimates

Sep 23 (IPS) Sri Lanka’s re-based GDP estimates suggest that the economy has grown by 5.5% in the first half of 2015. The figures rely on the re-basing of the country’s national accounts compilation undertaken by the Department of Census and Statistics (DCS). The most current approximations were based on 2002 production and consumption patterns. Over time, this one-year snapshot of the economy becomes less accurate and can lead to overestimation of traditionally dominant more..

Asian Rugby 7s second leg: Four changes

Sep 23 (CT) Sri Lanka made four changes for the upcoming Asian Rugby Sevens Series second leg which will be staged this weekend in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Skipper Fazil Marija has returned after recovering from his injury. National Selectors have also decided to add two experienced players, Nigel Ratwatte and Dinusha Chathuranga, to the squad. Trio replaces Hirantha Perera, Dulaj Perera and Lavanga Perera. They also included forward Jason Dissanayake for winger Sandun Herath. more..

Ranil briefs Parliament on Indian visit

Sep 23 (FT) Further strengthening economic corporation between India and Sri Lanka, an agreement will be inked before the end of June 2016. This agreement was one of the key matters in PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent discussions held with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi who is to visit Sri Lanka to sign the agreement. Briefing Parliament on his State visit to India, Wickremesinghe summarised more..

Fund managers told to aim at urban Rich

Sep 23 (EN) Sri Lankan fund managers trying to drum up business would do better to focus on the cities where wealth is concentrated rather than rural areas, a senior analyst at a stock brokerage said. Murtaza Jafferjee, Managing Director of JB Securities, said it was laudable for capital market regulators and intermediaries to seek to encourage more investors from rural areas where they hold road shows. But the financial wealth is concentrated in very narrow pockets of wealth in the cities, more..

Sri Lanka apparel industry eyes value adding hub position

Sep 23 (EN) Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is looking at becoming the hub for South Asia, buying semi-finished garments from other countries in the region and doing value addition with the aim of increasing export earnings, an official said. South Asia will be one of the main global apparel sourcing regions in the next 15-20 years, said Hasitha Premaratne, Director of Brandix Ltd., a top apparel exporter. The region is one of the largest cotton producers and has a large textile manufacturing base, more..

SLFP prefers LG polls under former electoral system

Sep 23 (DN) SLFP’s stance is to conduct Local Govt Elections under former electoral system giving people an opportunity to elect a responsible representative from their division, Minister Faizer Mustapha said. Related proposals have been forwarded but the final decision will be taken by the President and the PM. A Cabinet Sub Committee has been appointed to look into the issues with regard to implementing the former more..

Sanga registers another century for Surrey

Sep 23 (PTI) Former Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara hit his fifth County Championship ton of the summer to keep his dream run going. Sangakkara's ton keeps Surrey on course for the Division Two title at the Oval. The left-hander made 101 against Northamptonshire on day 2 as the match was washed out on the first day of the four-day Test match. This was Sangakkara's third ton this month after having previously scored 166 against Nottinghamshire and 118 against Lancashire. more..

Japan to increase FDIs after 10 years

Sep 23 (DN) Japan now intends increase foreign direct investments in Sri Lanka, Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma said. Japanese foreign direct investments to the country have been stagnant for more than a decade. Japan is now impressed with the govt's economic policies, the envoy said. "Sri Lanka needs a clear, consistent and transparent economic policy to promote foreign direct investments into the country. Therefore, several top end high-tech Japanese more..

US draft resolution to be tabled today

Sep 23 (FT) The US sponsored draft resolution on Sri Lanka is scheduled to be tabled at the UNHRC’s 30th Session in Geneva today, after several days of extensive negotiations on the text and strength of its recommendations for the Sri Lankan Govt’s judicial mechanism to address allegations of war crimes and human rights violations. The Sri Lankan Govt at the second informal session on the draft resolution, more..

Hajj messages - 2015

Sep 23 (DN) The festival of Hajj is the most important annual event of the Muslims in the world, in which they pray to emphasize the importance of sacrifices in the name of Allah, President Maithripala Sirisena said in a Haj message. "Hajj symbolises the spirit of unity when millions of Muslims living in different continents, speaking different languages and belonging to different nationalities and cultures offer a common prayer to Allah. "The govt provides required facilities to Muslims of Sri Lanka to more..

Video: Crawling saltwater crocodile in Colpetty dead

Sep 23 (DM) The saltwater crocodile which was crawling in the sea off Colpetty, about 15ft away from the shore, had been found dead today, Wildlife Conservation Department spokesperson Hasini Sarathchandra said. She said the crocodile was in the area for more than a week. “The reason for its death was yet to be known, but the attempts by the area’s residents to rescue it may have caused its death,” Ms. Hasini said. SL saltwater crocodile is the largest carnivorous reptile in the world and more..

UPFA rebels throw House into turmoil and stage walkout

Sep 23 (Island) Opposition MPs of the UPFA walked out of Parliament yesterday, protesting against the govt’s move to take up financial orders for debate disregarding parliamentary traditions and suspending Standing Orders. When a motion was moved for the debate by Minister Ravi Karunanayake, UPFA MP Chandrasiri Gajadeera raising a point of order said that the resolutions listed in the motion were very important and more..

Budget 2016 on 20 Nov

Sep 23 (CT) Maiden budget of the National Govt and the Eighth Parliament is due on 20 November 2015. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake hinted that the country will witness an unprecedented budget in 50 days, while participating in the debate on a resolution moved seeking the approval of Parliament under Appropriation Act for six financial Bills. "We will present an unprecedented budget which would definitely be a surprise to all," Minister Karunanayake said. more..

Two brothers arrested over Seya’s killing

Sep 23 (Island) Police investigating the recent killing of five-year-old Seya Sadewmi have arrested two brothers on suspicion. The police alleged that the suspects had been previously involved in alleged abduction and rape of a girl and digging up of a young woman’s body. The police said that the suspects had been staying with their sister living at Badalgama closer to Seya’s home. Police said that one of the suspects had been arrested at his sister’s Badalgama home closer to Seya’s home. more..

'We neither reject nor accept Geneva report'

Sep 23 (Island) Ministers S.B. Dissanayake and Dilan Perera said SLFP neither rejected nor accepted the UNHRC report on alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Addressing the media, SLFP Treasurer the two ministers said it was stupid to reject the report but that should not mean that it was acceptable. UNHRC report against Sri Lanka was based on evidence given by people who supported LTTE though they were not named, more..

Sajin Vass released on bail

Sep 23 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge yesterday ordered former MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, remanded for over four months on charges of misusing 23 vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat, to be released on bail with severe conditions imposed. One count of cash bail worth Rs 1 million and two counts of surety bail worth Rs 20 million each were imposed as bail. Gunawardena has been ordered by Court to report to the CID on every last Sunday of each month. more..

Video: Police assault disabled motorcyclist

Sep 23 (DM) A disabled person who was riding a motor bike through Kahatagasdigiliya Town was severely and inhumanly assaulted by two Traffic Police officers attached to the Kahatagasdigiliya Police, according to the people in the town. The disabled person who, had lost one of his legs, was riding past when he was ordered to stop by the two police officers. As he didn’t obey the order, he was stopped by the policemen. They had then assault him near the main bus stand. more..

'US resolution at UNHRC will be favourable'

Sep 23 (Island) The govt said that despite various views being expressed the Accountability Resolution on Sri Lanka that the US would be moving later this month, at the ongoing 30th Sessions of the UNHRC, would be favourable to the country. The US having considered the realistic approach of the the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration to the war crimes allegations, without repeating the Rajapaksa’s claim that more..

A point to ponder

Sep 24 (DM) There’s a lot between-the-lines of the UNHRC Report on Sri Lanka, interestingly titled Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has correctly pointed out that this is one of several reports on matters that may amount to human rights violations during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s battle against terrorism. However as a document that proceeds from a UNHRC Resolution on SL, however problematic that resolution may have been, more..

UNHRC resolutions: How far is too far?

Sep 24 (DM) The 261-page-report on Sri Lanka presented to the UNHRC is not a pleasant reading. Understandably so, because, it refers to the rot that set in this country for too long. It offers a catalogue of allegations of grotesque abuses and potential war crimes that took place between 2001-2009. It says Sri Lankan institutions are not yet ready for holding a credible internal investigation and recommends a hybrid court which involves foreign judges and investigators to probe allegations of more..

From Puthumathalan to Geneva

Sep 24 (DM) The latest Geneva Report on Sri Lanka, or the Report of the UNHRC on Sri Lanka, was released on Sept 16 in Geneva during its currently ongoing 30th session. Ironically, this is happening at a time when the very heat of the current struggle of the European Union (which, incidentally was a major force behind the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka) in its bid to cope with the massive influx of Syrian refugees, more..