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SL loses two outstanding Tamil leaders

Oct 13 (ENS) Within the last two days, Tamils in Sri Lanka have lost two of their outstanding leaders, who had toiled for them tirelessly in a non-militant Gandhian way. Dr. S.A. David, a Gandhian social worker who was known as Gandhiyam David died in Kilinochchi on Sunday, aged 92. On Tuesday, the community lost K.Velayutham, a trade union leader and former Plantation Industries Minister, best known for getting for estate more..

Demo in France by former detainees: TNA

Oct 13 (DM) TNA said that last Friday's demonstration in France against a meeting between its MPs and TELO provincial councillors, was carried out by some of those who had been harassed while being detained in TELO camps in the 1990s. TNA MPs Selvam Adaikalanathan, A.K. Kodiswaran, Northern Provincial Councillor M.K. Sivajilingam and Eastern Provincial Councillor Kovinthan Karunakarum of TELO had attended the meeting held at a restaurant in La Chapelle, Paris. more..

Indian Ocean Region’s Senior Drug Enforcement Officials meet in Colombo

Oct 13 (GDI) The Meeting of Senior Drug Enforcement Officials of the Indian Ocean Region commenced under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena today at the Taj Samudra Hotel in Colombo. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) and the Ministry of Defence co-host the Meeting held from 13-15 Oct 2015. Over 60 delegates at the level of the head or deputy head from 21 countries in the Indian Ocean region more..

Video: Will continue to eradicate drug trafficking: Ruwan

Oct 13 (DM) State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene today said Sri Lanka would continue working with countries in the Indian Ocean Region and the Global Maritime Crimes Programme of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to eradicate drug trafficking and maritime crimes from the region. At a Colombo meeting organised by the UNODC and the Ministry of Defence and attended by Senior Drug Enforcement Officials of more..

NPC members stage fast backing Tamil prisoners

Oct 13 (CG) Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members staged a fast in Jaffna today backing the Tamil political prisoners who had launched a hunger strike yesterday. NPC Chairman CVK Sivagnanam as well as TNA and EPDP members of the NPC took part in the fast. Tamil political prisoners at key prisons around the country began a fast unto death on Monday, demanding their release. Prisons Department said that Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada prison were among those who more..

280 docs ignore PSC approved transfer orders

Oct 13 (Island) Govt Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday urged the doctors who had failed to take up their annual transfer orders to comply without further delay. Addressing the media at the OPA building, GMOA Secretary, Dr. Nalinda Herath said the number of doctors who had failed to accept their annual transfers had reached 280. They had been given transfers according to the Annual transfer lists (2012 to 2014) approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC). more..

Cairn India to exit Sri Lankan block

Oct 13 (PTI) Cairn India will by month end exit its Sri Lankan gas block after two discoveries it had made were found to be commercially unviable. Cairn, whose main asset are the oilfields in Barmer district of Rajasthan, will relinquish the 2,912 sq km block SL-2007-01-001 in the Mannar basin after expiry of exploration period at end of October, sources privy to the development said. Company has so far drilled four wells on the block more..

New traffic plan in Rajagiriya a success: DIG

Oct 13 (CT) The new traffic plan that was implemented in the areas surrounding Rajagiriya has proven to be a success according to DIG Amarasiri Senaratne of the Motor Traffic and Road Safety. Traffic DIG Senaratne said, while the new traffic plan around Rajagiriya was a success, the Police have yet to monitor the traffic area around Maharagama to gauge its success. However, the public feedback regarding the traffic in and around Maharagama is not positive. more..

Law entrance dispute: SC grants candidates’ petition special leave

Oct 13 (Island) Supreme Court recently granted special leave to a petition of appeal filed by twenty one students who sat the Law College entrance examination, hoping to enter Law College for the academic year 2014. They have appealed against a Court of Appeal Judgment which refused to issue notice on the Attorney General, the Incorporated Council for Legal Education and connected authorities. The petitioner students have complained that they scored 64 to 65 marks. more..

'Govt has agreed to set up hybrid court in all but name'

Oct 13 (Island) TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran has given an interview to the Virakesari, Sunday edition (Oct 11) in which he explains that the UN resolution co-sponsored and endorsed by the government will establish a hybrid court and nothing less. MP Sumanthiran has said: "The passed resolution calls for investigation by a hybrid court. There are recommendations in OHCHR report. One of them says it has no faith in more..

Daughter who kept father in dog cage arrested

Oct 13 (AD) A 42-year-old daughter has been arrested for allegedly locking her 72-year-old father in a dog cage in Balagolla, the police say. The woman was arrested after an officer attached to a police patrolling team had spotted the man was being held inside the cage. The father was living in a cramped cage made of bricks and metal bars, according to the police. Victim has been admitted to the Menikhinna Base hospital. Suspected daughter will be produced before Kandy Magistrate, more..

Hindu Federation condemns ‘extremist’ group for violating religious freedom

Oct 13 (Island) Hindu Federation of Sri Lanka (HINDFOS) yesterday alleged that Islamic extremism was growing rapidly in Sri Lanka and urged the govt to take immediate steps to neutralise it. Addressing a press conference in Colombo, HINDFOS, President N Arunkaanth said that a Hindu pooja had been banned in Kotahena recently by an extremist group. Arunkaanth said it was a violation of the people’s fundamental rights to impose such bans on religious ceremonies. more..

'78.4 sq kms of land in North still to be cleared of landmines'

Oct 13 (DM) There are 78.4 square kilo metres of land in the Northern Peninsula which is yet to be cleared of landmines, the Japansese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma, who was accompanied by mine clearing agent, HALO Trust Programme Manager, Damian Francis O' brien, said today. Duo came out with these details just after signing a grant contract under which Japan would provide a sum of US$ 801,311 more..

Court of Appeal extends stay order on full-face helmets

Oct 13 (AD) Court of Appeal on Tuesday further extended the stay order issued against the circular imposing a ban on full-face helmets. The stay order was extended until Nov 02 when the petition filed against the circular was taken up for hearing. A recent surge in crimes such as bank robberies and shootings committed by individuals wearing full-face helmets had led to the police department introducing the ban, which has been widely criticized by motorcyclists and politicians alike. more..

SL Vs WI: Rain threat looms over clash of middling teams

Oct 13 (CI) Their top orders are young, neither team has a bona fide head coach, and their boards are forever in some state of turmoil. A West Indies v Sri Lanka series pits against each other two sides that face somewhat uncertain futures. A series victory for Sri Lanka would help reassure the team's fans the future is not so dim. They have only lost all year. It has been 14 months since they won a trophy of any variety. A series victory for West Indies, meanwhile, would be cause for jubilation, more..

U.S. underwater demining assistance improves safety

Oct 13 (USE) US Navy recently concluded a two-week training session in Trincomalee to equip and support Sri Lanka’s underwater demining efforts. Working with scan sonars and robots donated by the US Navy, the SL Navy enhanced its ability to search, locate, and provide information on any unknown items underwater, including unexploded ordnance from the conflict in Trincomalee Harbor. more..

Court issues restraining order on DP

Oct 13 (Island) District Judge of Colombo, issued an enjoining order valid till Oct. 26, 2015, restraining the office bearers of the Democratic Party, from informing the Commissioner of Elections that plaintiff Rajitha Hapuarachchi, Member of the Western Provincial Council, has been expelled. The plaintiff said that a disciplinary inquiry had been held against him by the party officials over an allegation that he had supported the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the polls early this year. more..

Pope Francis appoints new bishop of Jaffna

Oct 13 (CG) Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Justin Bernard Gnanapragasam as the new bishop to the Diocese of Jaffna, Vatican Radio announced. Gnanapragasam, the Vicar General of the diocese is the new bishop of Jaffna. 67 year old priest takes over from Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam, who has stepped down having reached the retirement ager of 75 two years ago. Bishop Savundaranayagam who had been Bishop of Mannar since 1981, was transferred to Jaffna more..

Mathews backs Thirimanne to deliver at No. 3

Oct 13 (CI) A move to No. 3 may help end Lahiru Thirimanne's lean trot, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews has said ahead of the first Test against West Indies in Galle. Thirimanne has been groomed for that role over the past two years and is now free to come in at first drop, following the axing of Upul Tharanga from the Test squad, as well as the retirements of high-profile batsmen. He has continued to be effective in the limited-overs more..

Hangmen: 14 interviewed for two posts

Oct 13 (DM) Prisons Department said 14 applicants for the two vacant posts of Hangmen were interviewed by a three-member panel comprising officials of the Public Administration & Home Affairs Ministry, Justice Ministry and Prisons Department at the Prisons Head Office. Two applicants would be selected after the interviews were completed. Those who had studied up to grade eight and aged between 19 and 40 and physically and mentally fit would be considered for post. more..

Passenger transport licence mandatory for bus drivers soon

Oct 13 (Island) Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said that a special licence issued by the Department of Motor Traffic to drivers of passenger transport vehicles would be made mandatory for them once the department completed the process of issuing them. He said the department had first implemented the project in the Western Province covering the Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha Districts. Department of Motor Traffic had already conducted a two-day training course for more..

Bottlenecks to doing business with Japan will be removed: PM

Oct 13 (Island) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has assured Japan that all bottlenecks to doing business with Sri Lanka would be removed. He had given the assurance during talks with the Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, several Ministers and business leaders during his official visit to Japan last week. The two sides had agreed on holding an Economic Policy Dialogue at senior officials’ level in the first half of next year, to further enhance more..

Strengthen constructive engagement by faster changes on the ground

Oct 13 (Island) The co-sponsoring of the Geneva resolution by the govt as well as the support given to it by the TNA is a positive indication of the evolution of a spirit of partnership and joint problem-solving at the highest levels of national and international decision making that is necessary for promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in SL. However, this goodwill needs to be seen in practical terms at the ground level too in which people become the direct and immediate more..

Stocks mark 2-wk closing low; budget, corporate earnings eyed

Oct 13 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed at their lowest level in two weeks on Tuesday as investors waited for clues from govt budget and September-quarter corporate results, brokers said. The main stock index ended 0.3%, or 21.55 points, weaker at 7,078.45, its lowest closing since Sept. 30. "Selling of large-cap shares was absorbed with the anticipation of the market reviving after the budget," said Danushka Samarasinghe, research head at Softlogic stockbrokers. more..

Filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage speaks

Oct 13 (wsws) Filmmaker Prasanna Vithange recently spoke with the WSWS about With You, Without You (Oba Nethuwa Oba Ekka). 90-minute feature is the final instalment of his war trilogy, which deals with the human cost of SL govt’s 30-year civil war against the separatist LTTE. Death on a Full Moon Day (Purahanda Kaluwara [1997]) and August Sun (Ira Mediyama [2003]) were the first two films in the series. more..

Santner powers New Zealand A to 4-0 sweep

Oct 13 (CI) day after he was included in the Test squad for the tour of Australia as a replacement for the injured Corey Anderson, allrounder Mitchell Santner blitzed an unbeaten 70 off 43 balls to set up a match-winning total for New Zealand A against Sri Lanka A at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval. After Santner led his team to 299, the New Zealand A attack routed the visitors in 25.4 overs to sweep the series 4-0 with a 172-run victory. New Zealand A made a rapid start after choosing to bat, more..

Editorial: Bans no panacea

Oct 13 (Island) There has been a call for banning private tuition on Sundays so that students can attend Dhamma schools, as we reported yesterday. Such calls are made from time to time by religious dignitaries and prominent laypersons as a solution to the problem of growing indiscipline in society. Their contention is premised on the assumption that students attend private tuition classes against their will and they will make a beeline for Sunday schools if the aforesaid ban is imposed. more..

Ven. Gnanasara Thera surrenders to court

Oct 13 (AD) Fort Magistrate’s Court today recalled the warrant issued on General Secretary of BBS Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero. The warrant was recalled after the General Secretary and two other monks surrendered before the Fort Magistrate. Earlier, warrants were issued as the BBS General Secretary and the monks did not appear in the Court in connection with two cases filed against them. more..

Tamil prisoners on hunger strike demand release

Oct 13 (BBC) Tamil prisoners in SL, some held without charge since the 1990s, have gone on hunger strike to press for their release. Some 223 inmates have joined the fast in jails in Colombo, Anuradhapura, Jaffna and Kandy. Most have been imprisoned on suspicion of links with the defeated Tamil Tiger rebel group. Tamil politicians are calling on the authorities to either release them, grant them bail or put them on trial. more..

Foreign participation in ‘domestic mechanism’ confirmed

Oct 13 (Island) Attorney-at-law J.C. Weliamuna confirmed that there would be international participation in the proposed domestic court to inquire into accountability issues in Sri Lanka. He said that Parliament would have to make the required amendments to pave the way for international participation in the process. A hybrid court would have been much better where the addressing of the issues was concerned, but more..

JVP tells govt not to delay LG polls

Oct 13 (Island) JVP demanded that the govt hold the local govt elections without any further delay. JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the govt postponing LG polls citing various reasons could not be accepted because deferring elections would amount to depriving the people of their right to franchise. "The govt’s objective is self-serving. It is wrong to continue the local govt bodies under commissioners. more..

Rajapaksa Foundation misusing UDA lands

Oct 13 (SL) Following the expose on the two plots of lands granted for the Don Alwin Rajapaksa (D. A. Rajapaksa) Memorial Foundation by the UDA has been misused for personal purposes by Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa, his siblings and off spring, questions have been raised as to the action taken by the UDA against this foundation for violating the lease agreements. Director Lands, UDA, H.A. Dayananda more..

President to appoint national level Trade Union Advisory Committee

Oct 13 (PMD) President Maithripala Sirisena has given his consent to appoint a national level Trade Union Advisory Committee under his supervision. The Committee will be headed by the Secretary to the President and the relevant Ministers. The President gave his consent in this regard at a meeting with the representatives of Trade Union Federation for a Just Society, at the President’s Official Residence yesterday (12). more..

Sri Lanka Customs vehicle valuation perturbs motor traders, confuses buyers

Oct 13 (ST) Sri Lanka Customs has initiated a messy valuation system which has perturbed motor traders and confused prospective buyers on the eve of the 2016 budget, motor traders and customers complained. According to a gazette notification, customs authorities have been empowered to make the valuation of the imported vehicle without considering the declared imported value and it creates serious problems, more..

'Innovation vital to fast-track financial success'

Oct 13 (FT) State Enterprises Development Deputy Minister Eran Wickramaratne yesterday said that Sri Lanka needs a vision for innovation and added that is it vital to create a partnership between industry and academia. Noting that the operating environment highlights the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship he said: “Innovation is vital to fast-track the financial success of a country. more..

UK affirms need for foreign judges in Sri Lanka probe

Oct 13 (CG) The British Govt has affirmed the need for foreign judges in Sri Lanka’s domestic accountability process to ensure its credibility. UK Minister Hugo Swire, in a letter to a group of British MPs, said that the resolution adopted recently at the UNHRC notes the importance of the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges and defence lawyers in Sri Lanka’s judicial accountability process. more..