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Taking reconciliation process forward after co-sponsored resolution in Geneva

Sep 29 (Island) The govt took a major step forward in rejoining the international community on equal terms when it reached agreement with the US and other Western countries in the UNHRC to co-sponsor the resolution on the future its post-war accountability process. For the past six years Sri Lanka was on the defensive internationally for its conduct of the last phase of the war. From 2012 onwards it was at the receiving end of increasingly adverse resolutions by the UNHRC. more..

Editorial: It’s Constitution, stupid!

Sep 29 (Island) Most Sri Lankans have a very bad habit. They, to put it very euphemistically, fault one’s mother when one does something offensive. Likewise, it is the Constitution which is blamed when politicians do anything wrong. Political leaders who should take the blame for their failure to discipline their party members pull the wool over the eyes of the public by making the Constitution out to be the mother of all evils. When greedy social undesirables clash at elections, resorting as they do to more..

Kaushal's doosra found to be illegal

Sep 29 (CI) Offspinner Tharindu Kaushal has been banned from bowling the doosra in international cricket due to an illegal action. However his stock delivery, the offbreak, has been found to be legal in tests conducted by ICC at Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai. While his offbreaks were delivered without more than the permitted 15 degrees of flex, elbow flexed beyond 15 degrees when he sent down doosras. more..

Sri Lanka reiterates continued commitment to UN peacekeeping

Sep 29 (PMD) The world today is a safer place because of the brace UN peacekeepers. On this occasion, let us remember and pay tribute to the hundreds of peacekeepers and staff who have sacrificed their lives in the line of duty over the years. Let us also recognize and commend their achievements, said President Maithripala Sirisena at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at the United Nations, today (28). more..

Foreign ministry in deliberate attempt to mislead the public

Sep 29 (Island) The foreign ministry has posted on their official website the English language text of the US sponsored draft resolution on Sri Lanka which has been tabled before the UNHRC along with a Sinhala translation thereof. The Sinhala reading public will obviously be dependent on the Sinhala translation to form an opinion about this draft resolution. Sinhala translation provided by the foreign ministry will also be made use of by more..

US for process in Sri Lanka with UN support

Sep 29 (CG) US Secretary of State John Kerry says the US will support a domestic process led and owned by the Sri Lankan people and conducted in cooperation with the UN and with international support. US Embassy in Colombo said that Kerry had expressed this view when he met President Maithripala Sirisena in New York. The Secretary commended the bold steps taken by the new Sri Lankan govt to restore democratic more..

SL trade deficit narrows by 32% in July

Sep 29 (EN) Trade deficit narrowed 31% to US$ 601 million in July 2015, partly due to a higher base last year, with imports falling 16.9%, while the country's currency remained under pressure amid monetization of debt. Exports fell 2.6% to US$ 932.1 million with textiles and garments falling 0.3% to US$ 413.1 million, rubber products down 9.9% to US$ 71.8 million. Some of the export values were down also due to falling commodity prices. more..

Weerawansa alleges LTTE defeat exploited to achieve Eelam project

Sep 29 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, asserted that the LTTE’s battlefield defeat was the basis for the proposed division of the country on ethnic lines, hence Sri Lanka on the Geneva agenda. He alleged that the Geneva resolution co-sponsored by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt reflected their strategy. He was addressing the inaugural meeting of a seminar series meant to highlight what he called more..

Has VW been polluting our environment too, with its not-so-clean software?

Sep 29 (ST) Sri Lanka is concerned whether embattled German carmaker Volkswagen’s diesel vehicles sold in Sri Lanka had misled local emission tests, similar to the manner in the United States where a probe is on which could result in possible fines of over US$18 billion for cheating, officials said. The Motor Traffic Department (MTD) will consult the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) and Environmental Ministry to assess more..

'Ranil trying to pull wool over the eyes of public'

Sep 29 (Island) General Secretary of LSSP Prof. Tissa Vitarane said that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the public by denying that govt was against the UN resolution against Sri Lanka. He said, "US is working towards establishing its bases in Trincomalee as it is a strategic location’ for its seventh fleet. US was trying to have the country divided by causing SL military to vacate more..

Domestic mechanism guarantees Sri Lanka's sovereignty: PM

Sep 29 (DN) Sri Lanka's sovereignty is guaranteed again by formulating a domestic mechanism to find out the truth about the war, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, said PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said the LTTE and its leader Prabhakaran are responsible for this conflict and if they were alive, cases would have be filed against them, but most of them are dead. The prime concern should be reconciliation and not filing cases. more..

Flip side of the US-Sri Lanka resolution

Sep 29 (DM) It’s a mere change of venue - instead of Geneva or New York; the US-Sri Lanka joint resolution shifts the backdrop to Colombo to cast a false sense of domestication. Circus moves on with foreign actors in starring roles. The Big Top would be erected in the halls of the BMICH, would space the domestic mechanism in courtrooms, cloakrooms and washrooms for inquiries on war crimes. more..

Assault of the disabled: Police and HR or lack of it

Sep 29 (DM) Many issues that contributed to our gory human rights record stemmed from barefaced denials by the successive govts and subordinate authorities of alleged incidents of abuses and rights violations blamed on the security and law enforcement apparatus of the State. Some abuses were deliberate and fostered by a culture of impunity; some committed under the pressure of hazardous conditions, in which the Service Personnel and Police work, and some could more..

And then there was clarity….

Sep 29 (DM) After much intrigue, which naturally made for speculation that ranged from intelligent to insane, finally the Govt has produced a cogent and clear articulation of position with respect to the US sponsored UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka. At a press meeting, PM Ranil Wickremesinghe outlined for the first time Sri Lanka’s approach to the vexed issue of possible censure at the UNHRC, over allegations of war crimes and other violations during the final stages of the war. more..

Ravi to make special statement on country’s financial situation

Sep 29 (DN) Minister Ravi Karunanayake said he will make a special statement about the financial situation of the country within the next two days. It will also reveal the manner in which world economic trends influenced Sri Lanka. Their main responsibility is to strengthen the country’s economy notwithstanding the world financial situation. They were presently discussing these (situations) with economic experts and more..

Sri Lanka asked to lure American tourists visiting India

Sep 29 (EN) Sri Lanka should target American travellers coming to India and make the United States its next source market, official from a market research firm has said. “A leading source market for India is the US,” said EuroMonitor’s Shabori Das. “Sri Lanka should be targeting American tourists coming to India.” Travellers coming to India usually also visit Hong Kong, Malaysia & Singapore, she told Future of Tourism summit organised by Cinnamon group of hotels. more..

Govt mulling EPF, ETF merger

Sep 29 (CT) The govt is mulling the merger of the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees' Trust Fund (ETF) Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran said yesterday. Addressing the press Conference he said that this merger procedures have to be decided by the govt. "Both funds are managing more than One Trillion worth of private sector retirement money .So, consolation of both funds may bring efficient and transparency to those funds", he remarked. more..

Kotakethana killing Spree continues

Sep 29 (CT) Police commenced immediate investigations into an incident in which a woman was stabbed to death, in Kotakethana area yesterday around 1:30 p.m. The body of the woman was found in a tea estate in Opatha, Kahawatte. The mutilated body of the female had several severe laceration wounds according to the police. The deceased has been identified as Nadan Paabu, a 48-year-old plantation worker more..

India mulls Lankan model to keep jumbos off

Sep 29 (ENS) India is now exploring the Sri Lankan model of palmyra tree fencing around human habitations to check the increasing cases of human-elephant conflict which, on an average, results in 400 human deaths annually. The Environment Ministry will be interacting with Sri Lankan authorities to see if the tree fence model can be replicated in India, following its success in the island nation. According to a senior official in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, more..

Edu. Ministry to decide on tuition classes

Sep 29 (CG) Ministry of Education will decide in future if it will allow tuition classes to operate during school hours. Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said that it has become a norm now by teachers and private institutions to have tuition classes during school hours. He said that discussions will be held with the relevant officials soon to decide on the future of tuition classes which operate during school hours. “We will decide if tuition classes can operate from 7.30am to 1.30pm,” minister said. more..

CB Chief denies divisional heads shuffle allegations

Sep 29 (FT) CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran denied all allegations made over the shuffle of divisional heads, pointing out that it was a common practice of the bank. “I categorically deny it. It is a normal routine that the bank practices in the medium term. Bank has done it many times in the past as well,” he said. He went on to say that although he wanted to implement it, due to General Election he could not implement it. more..

A series of programmes in connection with the World Habitat Day

Sep 29 (SLBC) Minister Sajith Premadasa says that housing programmes have been planned until December of this year in connection with the world habitat day which falls on the 5th of next month. The work includes to complete construction of 10,000 houses selected from each of the 25 districts. The houses of low income families will be chosen. The govt has set aside a sum of 50 million rupees in this regard. He further said that a habitat week has been declared from the 5th to the 12th of Oct. more..

Fresh battle between Harry J and Zaki Alif goes to Court

Sep 29 (FT) Commercial High Court Judge Amendra Seneviratne last week issued an interim injunction after inquiry, restraining Osh Holdings Ltd. from using the packages and cartons used by Stassen Exports and Stassen International. Commercial High Court Case 10/2015/IP was filed by Stassen International. and Stassen Exports against Osh Holdings for the unauthorised and unlawful use and disclosure of secret, confidential, and undisclosed information belonging to the Stassen Group more..

Actress faces court drama over double acting

Sep 29 (EN) Actress-turned-politician Geetha Kumarasinghe was noticed to appear in court in response to allegations that she holds dual citizenship that would prevent her from remaining a MP. Court of Appeal asked Kumarasinghe, 60, to be in court on Oct 19 following a challenge to her election in violation of the 19th amendment to the constitution which prohibits dual nationals from holding any elected office. more..

Two Lankans missing in Hajj stampede

Sep 29 (DN) Two Sri Lankan pilgrims were reported missing following the stampede in the Holy city of Mena, Saudi Arabia which killed over 700 pilgrims last week. A couple residing in Wellawatte who were on a pilgrimage to the Holy city have been reported missing and they were identified as Abdul Aziz, 55 and Roshan Hara Abdul Aziz of Wellawatte. The Foriegn Ministry is seeking information about them with the assistance of Sri Lanka Consul General Office in Jeddah. more..

Cabinet memo to regulate Int'l Schools

Sep 29 (DN) A Cabinet Memorandum to regulate international schools will be forwarded soon, Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said. He pointed out that an opportunity would be presented to maintain the standards of the international schools. "The ministry is not trying to promote international schools but to improve the country's educational standards. However, measures will be taken to bring to book those international schools that are trying to make profits rather more..

UN resolution could advance justice

Sep 29 (HRW) UNHRC should adopt a resolution ensuring a robust international role in Sri Lanka’s justice mechanism for abuses during country’s brutal civil war, Human Rights Watch said. The resolution, expected to be adopted on Oct 1, 2015, contains a number of strong provisions but will need to be thoroughly implemented for victims to obtain genuine justice. “This resolution makes it clear the time has more..

SL welcomes Nepal’s new Constitution

Sep 29 (CG) Govt has welcomed the promulgation of the new Constitution of Nepal. Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka join hands with the International Community to welcome the promulgation of the new Constitution of Nepal which is a key step in its journey towards national reconciliation, political stability and development. As a sincere friend of Nepal, the Foreign Ministry said that Sri Lanka will continue its partnership in Nepal’s development and work towards further enhancing more..

Tamils oppose Kalmunai dev. project

Sep 29 (CT) Security of traditional Tamil homeland of Tamil people in Kalmunai is questionable under the present circumstances due to proposed new development project of Kalmunai town, said TNA MP A.K. Kodeeswaran in a memorandum sent to President Sirisena, PM Wickremesinghe and Leader of Opposition R Sampanthan. He said that justice should be meted to Tamils in the area, in seeing that Tamil people living in the area and their traditional history is not affected. more..

Nepotism charge: Daham Sirisena responds

Sep 29 (CT) Daham Sirisena, son of President Sirisena, who came in for a lot of flak for accompanying his father to the UN General Assembly although he had no official representative status has posted a rebuttal on his Facebook page (where he describes himself as a public figure). The following is the full note posted by the young Sirisena; Dear friends, What is nepotism? Real meaning behind it is the abuse of power with influence favoring more..

'Mid-priced hotels being squeezed out'

Sep 29 (EN) Mid-priced hotels are being squeezed out with tourists either going for luxury properties or budget travel, an official from market research firm EuroMonitor said. Market research showed that in 2014 the concept of luxury and budget accommodation witnessed the strongest growth, said EuroMonitor’s Shabori Das. Mid priced hotels are still popular in the United States, Germany and the UK but not so much in India and China where budget hotels had more demand. more..

Man killed in fracas

Sep 29 (CT) An individual was beaten to death and another was injured in the Chilaw Police Division on Sunday evening. SSP Priyantha Jayakody said the death and injury was a result of a heated argument between two groups. Accordingly, the victim was beaten to death in his front garden and another was injured during the clash. The police mentioned that the critically injured victim was rushed to Anawilundawa Hospital, where he was pronounced DOA (Dead on Admission). more..

ADB to triple lending on education

Sep 29 (FT) In order to support the Yahapalanaya Govt’s aim to gradually raise expenditure on education to 6% of the GDP, Asian Development Bank Vice President Wenchai Zheng said that lending on education would be tripled to target $ 1 b over the next five years. Educational development will focus on secondary and tertiary education with an emphasis on enhancing research & development in academic institutions. more..

Pottuvil Base Hospital to get more resources

Sep 29 (CT) Deputy Minister Faizal Cassim who visited the Pottuvil Base Hospital promised to allocate a sum of Rs 25 million to fulfil the immediate needs of the hospital including allocating a dental chair, which has been a long felt need of the hospital. Deputy Minister, accompanied by a team of high ranking officials of the ministry, headed by ministry's Director General Dr. Palitha Mahipala and the Regional Director of Health Services Dr. A.L. Alavudeen visited wards, dental units, ICU more..

Underworld gangster injured in shooting

Sep 29 (DM) An underworld gangster was today seriously injured in a shooting incident at the Ambagahawatta Junction on the Minuwangoda road. Police said he was transferred to the Colombo National Hospital from the Gampaha Base Hospital. SSP Priyantha Jayakody said Lasantha Wijethunga who had been charged with several killings and the possession of a shotgun was driving a car at the time he was shot and injured. Two unidentified motorcyclists who had trailed the gangster more..