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Uva polls: NGO offers legal cover to ‘intimidated’ election staff

Sept 19 (Island) Transparency International Sri Lanka has offered legal assistance to election staff in the event of any one of them being victimised in the run-up to the election or on the polling day itself. TI’s Communications Manager Shan Wijethunge said that their legal arm, Shelter for Integrity was ready to provide legal assistance to anyone victimised for being impartial. Shelter for Integrity could be contacted on 0112513313 more..

Court of Appeal acquits accused in heroin case, regrets delay

Sept 19 (Island) The Court of Appeal on August 26, 2014 acquitted an accused appellant who had been charged in the High Court of Colombo, for the possession of 45.3 grammes of heroin, on Dec 17, 1998. The accused was convicted by the High Court of Colombo on June 9, 2005 and sentenced to life imprisonment. The accused appealed against the sentence, thereafter, a Divisional Bench of the Court of Appeal, comprising Justice A.W.A. Salam, the President of the Court of Appeal and Justices more..

Four women Malaysia bound with forged documents nabbed at BIA

Sept 19 (DN) Four women who attempted to migrate to Malaysia for employment producing forged documents were nabbed by Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) sleuths at the Bandaranaike International Airport. "With the detection of the four women who were trying to go to Malaysia for employment with visit visas and forged documents, we were able to uncover a racket of sending women abroad for employment using such methods," a SLBFE spokesman said. more..

Chinese doctors restore sight of 500 Sri Lankans

Sept 19 (DN) Three years ago, a cornea from Sri Lanka restored Xu Pengfei's sight in his right eye, and on Wednesday the 10-year-old was able to express his thanks by helping someone in Sri Lanka see again. On Wednesday, Xu and a Chinese doctor together removed the bandages on the eyes of Sudarma Karunaratna, a 74-year-old English teacher, after she had cataract surgery on her right eye at a hospital in Colombo. more..

Lankan who went to India for Spanish Visa missing

Sept 19 (DM) Francis Fernando, a 60-year-old Sri Lankan had gone missing while he was in New, Delhi, India to acquire a Spanish Visa, a family member said. His daughter–in-law, who had been with Fernando in New Delhi at the time that he went missing, explained that he had gone out by himself for a while on September 5, and had not returned. “We have informed the Sri Lankan High Commission in India as well as the Indian Police about my father-in-law’s disappearance. more..

Hakeem and Iranian Justice Minister meet on AALCO sidelines

Sept 19 (FT) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem met with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Pourmohammadi on the sidelines of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organisation (AALCO) sessions, which were held in Tehran on 16 Sept. Hakeem thanked Iran for its assistance in local developmental activities such as irrigation projects and rural electrification. He told the Iranian Minister that Sri Lanka was grateful for his country’s continued support when UNHRC resolutions more..

Pakistani spy averse to returning to SL

Sept 19 (DC) NIA investigators, questioning Pakistani spy Arun Selvarajan, 28, from Sri Lanka, on Thursday found him averse to returning home. He was running an event management firm in Chennai. “He is not telling us why he doesn’t want to go back home to Colombo,” NIA sources said, adding that their suspicion about Arun’s possible links with the LTTE could be true. Over the next few days, more..

Kuthubdeen recommences business in SL

Sept 19 (CT) Mohommad Kamil Kuthubdeen, the main suspect in the Rs 3,980 million VAT fraud, has recommenced his business ventures in Sri Lanka, intelligence agencies have uncovered. Kuthubdeen fled the country when the VAT fraud case was taken up. However he has rebuilt his connections with his local affiliates and is operating his businesses. He has made several large investments through his associates and generously funded several high class brothels, large hotel projects more..

Union Bank gets shareholder support for TPG investment

Sept 19 (FT) Union Bank of Colombo (UBC) held its Extraordinary General Meeting on 17 Sept, facilitating shareholder approval for the conclusion of its landmark investment agreement of $ 117 m with TPG, a leading global investment firm. Union Bank Chairman Alex Lovell stated that the bank received an overwhelming endorsement from shareholders for the TPG investment. As per the circular to shareholders issued by UBC, the resolutions passed in summery included more..

'Bandarawela fatal accident: Conspiracy to kill Thondaman'

Sept 19 (CT) The fatal accident, which occurred on Wednesday, at Bandarawela, is being viewed as a conspiracy to kill Senthil Thondaman, charged Minister Arumugam Thondaman. One person was killed, while UPFA candidate Senthil Thondaman and 27 others were injured. Former Provincial Minister Senthil Thondaman, who is a UPFA candidate in Saturday's PC polls in Uva, was brought to more..

Tissa says no deepening rift in the UNP

Sept 19 (CG) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake today insisted that there is not rift in the party over the proposal to make MP Sajith Premadasa the deputy leader of the UNP. Attanayake said that, on the contrary, there seems to be a rift in the ruling party with Minister Basil Rajapaksa and MP Namal Rajapaksa not going on stage with UPFA Uva PC candidate Shasheendra Rajapaksa. “During the Uva election campaign all our leaders stood together. more..

‘Too many things had gone wrong on SL’

Sept 19 (Hindu) Some events in history remain in the realms of the unknown and hence a matter of much speculation. At an event organised by Rupa Publications and Madras Book Club here on Thursday, veteran politician K. Natwar Singh, author of One Life is Not Enough, talked of how Prime Ministers took some tough decisions. He was in conversation with N. Ram, Chairman, Kasturi and Sons Ltd. Asked if the mess in Sri Lanka could have been avoided, Mr. Singh said: more..

SL contributes 1 million surgical gloves to WHO in global fight against Ebola outbreak

Sept 19 (IL) President Rajapaksa handed over one million surgical gloves to the WHO this evening (18) at Temple Trees as Sri Lanka's contribution toward the global effort in combating the worsening Ebola outbreak in Africa. President is seen here handing over the contribution to the Country Representative of WHO in Sri Lanka Dr. Firdosi Mehta. Hayleys Group of Companies facilitated the contribution. more..

Island of a Thousand Mirrors, Nayomi Munaweera: review

Sept 19 (SFG) Perhaps the only way left to attempt to understand war — and love — is through children. With their direct gaze, lack of nostalgia, and overwhelming instinct for surviving the impossible, they may be our last hope for making sense of the senseless or explaining the unexplainable. In her debut novel — already a prizewinner abroad — Oakland writer Nayomi Munaweera uses the child’s point of view to devastating effect in describing life during the seemingly endless more..

'Electricity tariff to be further reduced'

Sept 19 (DN) The govt opts to further reduce the electricity tariff in the near future, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said addition of Sampur Coal Power Plant and the expiration of agreements signed with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) would enable the government to reduce the electricity tariff further. The CEB had to purchase a power unit at exorbitant prices such as Rs 42-60 per unit from the private sector due to long term agreements signed with the IPPs. more..

Packer's project a 'go'

Sept 19 (CT) Australian billionaire gaming tycoon James Packer's US$ 400 million resort project in Colombo is still on the cards with the govt in the process of finalizing the agreement. Packer's project was said to have been put on hold after the govt released a Gazette notification on the project, which left out the setting up of gaming facilities. Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that despite some legal issues that more..

Fighting dengue: Doctor to the fore

Sept 19 (Island) The eDoctor team held a workshop on dengue prevention at the National school of business management (NSBM), Nugegoda recently with the participation of over 200 undergraduates in business administration and IT along with their Lecturers. Founder of eDoctor, Dr. Harsha Jayakody said that their attention was focused on the importance of being vigilant about factors which promoted the spread of dengue, early identification of suspect dengue patients and their more..

Cabinet Decisions

Sept 19 (DN) Establishment of a Human Heart Valve Bank: It is estimated that 2,500 to3,000 children are born with congenital heart defects in Sri Lanka annually and around 2,000 of them need corrective surgery. The current practice in Sri Lanka is to use imported bovine grafts (Tissue valves) which cost about Rs. 300,000 per graft which is borne by the govt. With the rapid advancement in healthcare offered to children with heart diseases in Sri Lanka, establishment of a Human Heart Valve Bank more..

Multiple deals with China major boost for Sri Lanka: HSBC

Sept 19 (FT) Global giant HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives CEO Patrick Gallagher yesterday said the record 27 agreements signed with China during President Xi Jinping’s visit would be a major boost for Sri Lanka. Noting that the historic visit, first by a Chinese leader in 28 years, places bilateral ties on an incredibly strong footing, Gallagher said HSBC was highly impressed by the developments. “It is great to see the level and depth of more..

Calamander to bring in another F&B franchise by 1Q next year

Sept 19 (ST) The Calamander Group, a Singapore based investment holding company which recently announced expansion plans for its Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise in Sri Lanka is poised to introduce another ‘brand name’ franchise, Roman Scott, its Founder and Chairman says. “We had discussions with the management of this new chain and by first quarter next year we plan to launch this,” he said. He said that the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise is now in Bangladesh as well. more..

Responsible tourism rewards families who discover the real Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (HP) The world is waking up to Sri Lanka. Evocatively described in Paul Theroux's 1975 travel journal, "The Great Railway Bazaar", it is once again captivating the imaginations of wanderers around the globe. Emerging from a 26 year civil war and the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, it is now an island idyll for wildlife watchers and beach lovers, history buffs and honeymooners. For families however, outside the non-descript southwest coastal resorts which could be anywhere on earth, more..

China Merchants signs two agreements with the govt of Sri Lanka

Sept 19 (HP) Following discussions between Xi Jinping, the President of China, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, a series of bilateral cooperation agreements were entered into between China and Sri Lanka on 16 Sept, which were followed by the signing of two agreements, under the witness of both Mr. Xi and Mr. Rajapaksa, between China Merchants (Holdings) International (CMHI) and the govt of Sri Lanka, more..

China FTA must not distract

Sept 19 (CT) While signing an FTA with China, Sri Lanka must not lose sight of opportunities arising from regional economic partnerships, work hard to improve existing FTAs with India and Pakistan and improve the competitiveness of Lankan firms, a marketing professional said. The Country Head for Turner Investments for Sri Lanka and Asia Pacific Rohantha Athukorala told a recent forum that progress was unsatisfactory under the FTAs with India and Pakistan. more..

Sri Lanka's first CSR conference in October

Sept 19 (CT) CSR Lanka, an organization formed under the alliance of six pioneering partners to propagate streamlined islandwide CSR activities, will be hosting the country's first ever CSR Conference next month. Featuring several expert international speakers, and a host of renowned local speakers the event will work towards uniting the numerous CSR efforts made by local companies under one umbrella. The conference will be held on 3 Oct 2014 at the Cinnamon Lakeside. more..

Spotlight on electronic commerce law and secured transactions in Colombo

Sept 19 (FT) The UN Commission on International Trade Law Regional Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNCITRAL-RCAP) began its two-day South Asia seminar on ‘Electronic Commerce Law and Secured Transactions regime’ at the Colombo Hilton yesterday. Chief Guest was CJ Mohan Pieris whilst the Guest of Honour was Solicitor General Y. Wijeyatilake. Held in association with the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) and more..

What Sri Lanka should know about China’s new economic dynamism

Sept 19 (Island) "China is still a developing country. We must give top priority to economic development. Only development will deliver progress. Ultimately, only development will resolve all the problems in China". These were Premier Li Keqiang’s words at the start of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions (AMNC) 2014 held in Tianjin, China, last week, and would no doubt resonate well with the current policy orientation of the Sri Lankan govt as well. more..

Editorial: Of that Scottish caber toss

Sept 19 (Island) The Neverendum happened yesterday and the Scots had the opportunity to decide on the future of their 300-year-old union with the UK. They were still voting at the time of writing and political observers described the vote as being on a knife-edge. The unprecedented groundswell of support for Scottish independence as well as stiff resistance thereto from others albeit democratically is sure to strain relations between London and Glasgow whatever outcome of referendum more..

Unruly bhikkus and the media

Sept 19 (Island) Lanka Jathika Sangha Sabhawa was set up recently under the leadership of several high ranking bhikkus including Ven. Medagama Dhammananda, member of the Karaka Sangha Sabha of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi, Ven. Balangoda Sobitha the head of the Maligakanda Vidyodaya Pirivena, Ven Tirikunamalaye Ananda Mahanayake of Amarapura Nikaya, head of Shanthi more..

‘Remove war crime charges, revisit IHL’

Sept 19 (ST) An NGO submission to the OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) presented in Geneva on Monday has demanded that war crimes charges relating to indiscriminate artillery fire, driving civilians into No Fire Zones and causing a large number of casualties tantamount to genocide be removed from the slate of allegations against the Sri Lanka Army (SLA). It also asked for a revisiting of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), which in its present form does not adequately more..

Cry wolf and raise Uva polls alarm

Sept 19 (ST) As the countdown begins for the provincial polls to be held in Uva, doubts mount whether the alleged rising toll of violence will incline the election commissioner to make good his threat and order the postponement of the entire election or hold it in stages. Next Sunday, whether the nation will be able to have a fair idea as to how the weathercock of public opinion has turned or whether the people’s right to exercise their franchise has been put on ice, none can say today. more..

Child Soldiers: A stolen innocence

Sept 19 (GV) When I’m gone, release me. Let me go. I have so many things to see and do.” – Excerpt from ‘Butterfly’. Even today too little is been said about them. Yet, they lived as fighters and died as children in a war they knew nothing about, in a war they had nothing to do with in the first place. Vishnu Vasu’s documentary poem, Butterfly, is a remarkable tribute to those thousands of child soldiers who died in vain, as well as more..

INFOGRAPHIC: Military presence in the North

Sept 19 (GV) Five years since the end of the war, a significant military presence still remains in the Northern Province. This despite repeated assurances by the Govt of Sri Lanka (GoSL) that the military presence is, and will be phased out in order to pave way for post-war reconciliation efforts. In a context of increased militarization, the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) highlights the numerous statements made by Govt officials regarding the varying numbers pertaining to more..

INFOGRAPHIC: Views from Uva

Sept 19 (GV) With the Uva PC elections taking place tomorrow, Social Indicator, the survey research unit of the Centre for Policy Alternatives has analysed data from field work conducted in May and June 2014 to get a sense of the issues and priorities of the people of Uva as they go to vote. The current state of the economy has had an impact on the lives of the people in the Uva Province, especially at the household level. 43.4% of people say that the financial situation in their household more..

An ethical code helps to lead a fruitful life

Sept 19 (SO) Suppose you run a building construction company. You receive a bid from a sub-contractor, which you find to be 25% lower when compared with the lowest bidder of the lot. You realise it is a mistake that could put the sub-contractor out of business within months. But accepting it will improve your chance of winning the contract for a big apartment block project. What would you do? You are a property developer. more..

The energy trap

Sept 19 (CT) In Sri Lanka, Around December 20th 1979, an official communiqué was issued by the Govt and displayed in the nation’s newspapers stating, “No oil means no development, and less oil, less development. It is oil that keeps the wheels of development moving”. This defines with clarity what is to be considered development by the policy makers of that Nation. Here was a fundamental and fateful decision that cast a deadly policy framework for the nation. more..

Rajani and the Tamil national struggle

Sept 19 (CT) Dr. Rajani Thiranagama was killed 25 years ago on 21st Sept 1989. Every death, as Rajani said, is a monumental tragedy that needs to be accounted for and the moment we lose that human empathy and become apathetic or indifferent, we are, as a people, doomed. While death and loss was not confined to one community, we Tamils believed in the liberation struggle, lost a great deal, sheltered behind apathy while many of our best were killed as traitors and children of more..