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SL regime, Tamil nationalists reject ex-LTTE members’ poisoning allegations

Oct 1 (wsws) TNA's handling of former LTTE fighters’ allegations of poisoning nearly two months ago illustrates their close collaboration with the US-backed regime of President Sirisena. Former LTTE members have accused the SL military of poisoning them during their captivity in detention centres after the end of the civil war in 2009. Last month, a number of them testified to the state-appointed SCRM inquiry, more..

Devolution of power hits snag in President and Govt vs PCs

Oct 1 (NS) A Presidential directive highlighting the State’s national policy with regard to the need for obtaining Treasury approval for future overseas travel of Provincial Councillors has caused a conflict between the Provincial Councils and the Central Govt. Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Govt, Faiszer Musthapha has already declared that Provincial Councils should adhere to the directive. more..

Accidents kill about 2,600 children a year

Oct 1 (Island) Community Medicine Specialist of the Sri Lanka Family Health Bureau Dr. Kapila Jayaratne yesterday said that around 270,000 children below 16 years were hospitalised due to accidents annually and of them 2,600 succumbed to their injuries. Addressing the media, Dr. Jayaratne said the majority of little victims were pronounced dead before admission to hospital and only 150 died in hospital. more..

No increase in the rate of crime: IGP

Oct 1 (DN) There has been no increase in country’s crime, IGP Poojitha Jayasundara said. Although the rate of crime had not increased, existing crimes have been highlighted than before and it was the reason for the change of opinion in the minds of the people. He made these observations in response to a query made by a media personnel, stating that there had been no change in Police Service as expected more..

Vandalising Buddist Shrine at K'kulam: CJ steps down from Bench

Oct 1 (DM) Chief Justice K. Sripavan yesterday declined to be a member of the Bench hearing the fundamental rights petition on the vandalisation of a Buddhist Shrine at Kanagarayankulam in Mankulam. The Bench comprising the Chief Justice, Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara and K.T. Chitrasiri directed the petitioner to re-issue notice on the respondents indicating the date for support on Oct 24 for granting of leave to proceed. more..

Kilinochchi conflagration sparks interest in fire-fighting services

Oct 1 (ST) Municipal Councils and other local bodies that depend on neighbouring local bodies to provide fire fighting services in case of a major fire are inconvenienced due to the lack of a fire fighting service of their own. This matter was highlighted after last week’s fire at the Kilinochchi market that razed it to the ground with the loss estimated at around Rs.222 million. Kilinochchi PS does not have a fire fighting service of its own more..

Sri Lanka cleaning up its record on human rights abuses: PM

Oct 1 (ZB) The PM of Sri Lanka says the country is cleaning up its act when it comes to human rights abuses. Ranil Wickremesinghe is on a three-day visit to New Zealand. He and PM John Key had formal talks at Govt House in Auckland today. Amnesty International had pressured Key to discuss human rights with Wickremesinghe during the talks, pointing out that SL security forces have been implicated in more..

HPC to scrutinise eligibility of 54 Heads of Govt Institutions

Oct 1 (DM) Parliament High Posts Committee (HPC) will scrutinise the eligibility of 54 officials appointed as Heads of Govt Institutions. They said Peoples Bank Chairman Hemasiri Fernando and Bank of Ceylon Chairman Ronland Perera were among the 54 heads of State Institutions. Mr. Fernando and Mr. Perera were appointed to their posts in 2015. There have been issues pertaining to some of these 54 appointees. more..

Handling talent with care

Oct 1 (CT) The under fifteen inter-provincial cricket tournament was played over two days and can be heralded as a filling of a long-standing vacuum. It is something that should have taken place as soon as SL began their Test cricket in 1982. Without this most needed training since 1982 for SL schools to have kept on producing such talent is highly incredible. It is only playing a two-day game that gives the schoolboys the opening to think on their feet instead of getting wins on points. more..

AIDS deaths increasing

Oct 1 (ST) More than 4,500 HIV cases and 24 AIDS deaths were reported in Sri Lanka in the first six months of this year, with victims increasing. In the first quarter of 2016, approximately 2,377 cases of HIV were reported, with nine AIDS deaths, and in the second quarter more than 2,400 HIV cases were reported, with 14 deaths reported. The number of AIDS patients was increasing, the National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) said. Most HIV patients are aged between 25 - 45 yrs, more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Seeman, Ameer appear before court over comments on Sri Lanka

Oct 1 (Hindu) Naam Tamilar Katchi leader Seeman and noted film director Ameer, facing trial after they were slapped with sedition charges for making inflammatory speeches in support of Sri Lankan Tamils, appeared before the Additional District Sessions Court here on Friday. The two, who had appeared before the court on Sept 8 in response to non-bailable warrants and got them recalled, appeared for the second time in the month and were present till their counsel M. Somasundaram more..

It was wrong to label the LTTE as a terrorist organization

Oct 1 (CT) The historical use of the word terrorist clearly indicates that the word is a political tool and is never used in its intended sense. According to political intellectual Noam Chomsky, if we apply the terrorism laws espoused by US against their own policies, we will find that US is the world’s leading terrorist state. US has overthrown democratically elected govts in Latin America; destroyed Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War; destabilized the Middle East; conducts drone operations more..

Minister Sumedha Jayasena sold her duty free permit Jeep

Oct 1 (CT) Information has come to light how Minister Sumedha Jayasena is alleged to have abused her privileges as a MP by selling her duty free vehicle permit, and subsequently using a member of Ministerial Security Division (MSD) to intimidate the buyer of her duty free vehicle, who had evaded payment. According to a police complaint lodged to the OIC of the Monaragala Special Investigation Unit, Jayasena had said more..

PM’s message for World Children’s Day 2016

Oct 1 (GDI) Children are our greatest asset; as a nation, the responsibility is ours to ensure the creation of an environment in which children can grow up to become confident, caring adults, conscious of their social responsibilities. Let us join hands to protect the world of children is a theme that resounds with hope and fervor for a challenging but an inspirational message on this International Children's Day. Today is not only the day the world celebrates children but more..

Prez’s message for World Children’s Day

Oct 1 (PMD) Every child born into this world is gifted with the amazement in their eyes and with the joy of inquisitiveness about wonderful creations of nature. Their world is filled with beauty and diversity. Children see the glorious colours of the rainbow and hear the melodious tunes in every bird's song. They feel the softness of the petals. Divisions based on race, religion or territorial boundaries have not yet corrupted their minds, as one great poet said Give them love. more..

President emphasized the need for speedy plans to solve drinking water related issues

Oct 1 (GDI) President Sirisena emphasized the necessity of implementing a comprehensive program covering all the drought victims when executing swift measures for the shortage of drinking water due to dry weather conditions which prevailed in the country. President gave these instructions during a special meeting held yesterday at Presidential Secretariat, to discuss ways to provide solutions for the issues that more..

Kilinochchi Fire: Compensation for business owners

Oct 1 (DN) Owners of business establishments affected by the recent fire at the Kilinochchi Public Market will be paid Rs. 25,000 each as compensation, Northern Province Governor Reginald Cooray said. He was addressing a meeting attended by proprietors of damaged business enterprises at the Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Auditorium. Governor also visited the gutted market complex to assess the damage, and promised to build a new market complex soon.  more..

Thalatha insists JO in cahoots with Wigneswaran

Oct 1 (Island) Minister Thalatha Athukorala alleged there was information that a top leader of Joint Opposition (JO) was behind the recent racist comments made by Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran. She said that the State Intelligence Service (SIS) would investigate and provide information to govt in the near future. Condemning the remarks made by CM Wigneswaran, she said that govt would never let CM Wigneswaran work according to his own agendas. more..

PM visits Auckland Zoo amid international elephant stoush

Oct 1 (ZB) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe paid his first visit to New Zealand today and made a trip to Auckland Zoo amid an int'l stoush over an elephant. While PM was hosted by Sir Don McKinnon at the zoo, animal advocacy organisation SAFE urged NZ PM John Key to reject the promised gift of an elephant from SL govt. Auckland Zoo currently house elderly elephant Burma, plus another elephant from SL, more..

SL: PM's visit signals it's open for business

Oct 1 (NBR) The visit of Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Zealand this weekend will reinforce the close connection between the two countries and promote further trade opportunities. PM John Key visited Sri Lanka in February and has said that, under Mr Wickremesinghe’s leadership, country has entered a new phase in post-civil war development – with “an increasing number of New Zealand businesses recognising the exciting opportunities it offers.” more..

Two Japanese held

Oct 1 (CT) Two Japanese nationals were arrested by Kandy Police Thursday when they were taking photographs and videotaping the Dalada Maligawa and its environs using an automatic drone near the Kandy Lake when Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy, Air Force Commander visited the Dalada Maligawa, Kandy. Police have launched an investigation to determine how the equipment was brought into the country violating immigration regulations. Two Japanese nationals have been operating more..

Probe into alleged fraud by top RRISL officials in lab equipment purchase

Oct 1 (ST) Plantations Ministry has launched an inquiry into allegations of fraud in the procurement of laboratory equipment for the Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka (RRISL). The alleged fraud revolves around the purchase of a piece of equipment for the RRISL’s laboratory in Ratmalana. It has been alleged that the RRISL Director and several Deputy Directors had allegedly tried to mislead the Ministry by purchasing a different more..

Himalaya Airlines direct flights to boost Nepal Sri Lanka economic links

Oct 1 (EN) The start of direct flights by Himalaya Airlines to Colombo from Nepal will boost economic links and tourism, SL's embassy in Kathmandu said. "Sri Lanka is the fourth largest tourist source market for Nepal after India, China and USA," embassy said. "The operation of direct flights between Kathmandu and Colombo is a great encouragement for tourism entrepreneurs to increase number of tourists. "…[D]irect air links would boost trade relations between the two countries, more..

KOICA to assist capacity building and science and technology pilot project

Oct 1 (DN) The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will help launch a pilot project for remediation of marine sediments in fisheries harbours with the financial assistance of $ 575,000. The main objectives of the project are to build capacity of marine science and technology and to do pilot project for remediation of marine sediments. The project will be carried out by the National Aquatic Resources & Development Agency (NARA), Lanka Fisheries Harbour Corporation more..

A new huna emerges from unprotected Salgala forest

Oct 1 (ST) Herpetologist Mendis Wickramasinghe who revealed a brightly-coloured new tree snake from the Sinharaja forest last week has now announced the discovery of a new endemic gecko, found in the Salgala forest in Kegalle district. The gecko (huna), is a familiar creature: most of our houses are inhabited by a family of house geckos that mostly come out at dusk. The new gecko is different, being mostly active during daytime. more..

JO to register two TUs

Oct 1 (CT) The Joint Opposition (JO) has decided to register two trade unions in the next few weeks, which would serve as a springboard in their quest to form a broad political party. When contacted, head of the organizing committee former Minister Basil Rajapaksa said they have decided to register the two trade unions to address issues in the State as well as the private sectors. He said, already they have begun obtaining signatures from those who are in favour of the creation of more..

US Embassy launches new website

Oct 1 (CT) Embassy of the United States in Sri Lanka launched its new website ( yesterday, featuring a more mobile-friendly layout, with easy-to-access and more locally-relevant news and information. The new homepage will allow users to quickly find answers to visa questions, US citizen services, job opportunities, and business opportunities, as well as latest Embassy-related news and speeches. Over the next few days, existing links to the old website more..

Trains plying through elephant territory

Oct 1 (CT) There are no early records, in Sri Lanka, of elephants being killed by trains. From the 1950s onwards, however, there has been a steady increase in the frequency of these killings, as the rail lines run through lands that were once jungle, and technology has outpaced the sedate process of evolution, to leave nature vulnerable to the insatiable desires of human development. Stately steam engines, puffing more..

Fragmented state of Tamil politics!

Oct 1 (CT) The Arise Tamil rally led by Northern Province CM C.V. Wigneswaran with the backing of the Tamil People's Council (TPC) in Jaffna and with the participation of certain members of the constituent parties of TNA and Leader of Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam had brought the Jaffna Peninsula to a standstill last Saturday. The mass rally was considered as the biggest to be held in the North since the civil war came to an end in 2009. more..

NPC Deputy Chairman dies after suffering a suspected heart attack

Oct 1 (AD) The Deputy Chairman of the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) Antony Jeganathan has died following an accident in the Mulliyaweli area this morning. It is reported that the accident occurred when his motorcycle toppled while traveling on the main road.  He was rushed to the Mullaitivu Hospital, however was pronounced dead on admission. Police is conducting an investigation into the incident. Meanwhile the relatives of the NPC Deputy Chairman said that more..

Sri Lanka's debt crisis is so bad the govt doesn't even know how much money it owes

Oct 1 (Forbes) Trying to develop its infrastructure to increase its economic potential has plunged Sri Lanka deep into a pit of debt, pushing the country to the brink of bankruptcy and prompting an IMF bailout. Official estimate of what SL currently owes its financiers is $64.9 billion — $8 billion of which is owned by China. Country’s debt-to-GDP currently stands around 75% and 95.4% of all govt revenue is currently going towards debt repayment. more..

Sounds of anger or, paper lions and tigers?

Oct 2 (SO) The North of Sri Lanka, or at least Jaffna, last week reverberated to the cries of demonstrating political activists and their followers articulating, firstly, the frustration over the slow progress of post-war recovery and, secondly, the yearning for the presumed dignity of self-rule - of greater autonomy, if not independence. Within days, the South heard angry voices protesting the perceived reawakening of secessionism in the North. The anger was clear in their harsh expressions of hostility to minority more..

Racial reconciliation: Hound scoundrels out!

Oct 2 (SL) It is over seven years since the horrendous terrorist conflict that went on for a near three decades ended and the Tamil community that faced the ravages of the war – death of those near and dear, destruction of their property including the roofs over their heads and all their possessions – have been remarkably quiescent in their suffering in the post conflict period. Last week they came out en masse under the slogan Eluga Thamil in a rally organized by Tamil Peoples’ Council (TPC), more..

Teen violence at play: When it's no more a game

Oct 2 (SO) Nalindu,14, may not have meant to kill his friend, Malinga, 15. He was only trying to drive his point home, his teammates said. Malinga Lakshan, batting at a cricket match one humid evening, in an abandoned paddy field in Welipanne last Sunday, was bowled out, but refused to budge. What ensued was a verbal argument between the two boys, as to who was right, and whether Malinga should continue to play. more..

Criminal law amendments need to be reviewed

Oct 2 (ST) A proposed amendment to Sri Lanka’s criminal law has caused a furore among human rights activists and lawyers. The amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code, affords legal assistance to a suspect detained by the police, but then it seems, only after the suspect’s statement is recorded. The objection to this giving a concession with one hand and taking away with the other has come from those working with detainees — and the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, no less. more..

Revenue and expenditure

Oct 2 (Island) Lankan people are too well aware that govt revenues are woefully inadequate to meet govt expenditure. This situation which gets worse with every passing year is dinned into any and everybody by political leaders who harp on their predecessors’ profligacy while doing precious little to correct the situation. They are more than willing to do the grand themselves at public expense while ensconced in office. The political class has progressively fattened itself from state coffers as well as pita vaasi more..

March of Majesty

Oct 2 (SO) Safeguarding the territorial sovereignty of a nation is an important task. The Officers and Soldiers of the SL Army can look back with pride on their long march to success. They have encountered three decades of bloody conflict successfully defeating terrorism and remain a dependable and formidable team. Ancient Ceylon with its proximity to India had faced many invasion attempts which were repulsed. more..

Big guns up next?

Oct 2 (SL) A spate of arrests over the past few weeks of several opposition politicians and those linked to them, has given rise to speculation that the big guns of the former regime will be next. The arrest or summons issued on the likes of Basil Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, etc. is part of the govt’s reported crackdown on corruption allegedly committed by the former regime. However, it is also seen as an attempt to prevent the opposition from more..

ETCA takes centre stage again

Oct 2 (Island) The discussion held last Tuesday between the govt and the Customs unions has borne fruit and the problems that could have blown up into a major confrontation and destabilised the entire country have been resolved to a large extent. The govt has at the request of the Customs unions, agreed to firstly, scrap the draft of the proposed new Customs Act and to terminate the proceedings of the committee that the govt had appointed to draft the new law. more..