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Sri Lanka’s propaganda finds a home in Washington

Sept 30 (AC) Sri Lanka’s powerful defense secretary and brother of the president, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, has recently published a lengthy article in a policy-oriented journal called PRISM. The publication of this article, particularly at a time when the Sri Lankan govt has been under the microscope for alleged war crimes and ongoing human rights abuses, raises a number of questions. But let’s first take a closer look at the publication itself. more..

U.S. State announces Diversity Visa Program

Sept 30 (USDS) The 2016 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2016) will open Oct 1, 2014, and will close Nov 3, 2014. Applicants must submit entries electronically during this registration period using the electronic DV entry form (E-DV) at Paper entries will not be accepted. All entrants must print and retain their online confirmation page after completing their DV entries so that they will be able to check more..

Govt rides on India, Polls backing

Sept 30 (SL) Tamil Nadu made a lot of noise on Sri Lanka ahead of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the UNHRC, but it seemed Sri Lanka had the last laugh. Last week was a crucial week for Sri Lanka both at the UNGA and the UNHRC. A day after President Rajapaksa explained his position on the UNHRC during his speech at the UNGA, the OHCHR explained its position on the investigation on Sri Lanka. more..

Uva has spoken: Who and what tipped the scales?

Sept 30 (ST) Uva PC elections are now over, but the aftershocks still remain in some areas. Residents in several areas are still recovering from the cut-throat polls campaign and the post election violence that took place during the last few weeks. The atmosphere in the Hali Ela area in Badulla was thick with tension following a clash between the two main party supporters after the election results were announced. more..

Pharma Mafia sabotages National Medicinal Drugs Policy

Sept 30 (DM) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, who initially made a genuine effort to introduce the NMDP in line with WHO ratified Professor Senaka Bibile’s proposals, recently presented a draft bill in a total deviation from the Bibile proposals. The World Health Assembly at its sittings in Geneva in May 1982, acknowledged Prof Bibile’s contribution widely and they seriously discussed the possibility of using the formula as a model in rationalizing the supplying systems in developing countries. more..

India metes out Justice irrespective of post or status

Sept 30 (DM) TN Chief Minister and former South Indian actress Jayalalitha Jayaram has been handed over a four-year simple prison term with an Indian rupee one billion fine for her role in a high-profile corruption case that went on for almost two decades. A Bangalore Court found Jayalalithaa guilty of “disproportionately” amassing 530 million Indian rupees outside of her known income sources. Along with Jayalilitha, four of her close associates were also jailed and fined. more..

BASL seeks expert opinion on MR’s third term

Sept 30 (DM) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has sought legal opinion from foreign constitutional experts on whether the Constitution allows President Rajapaksa to contest for a third term. BASL President Upul Jayasuriya said expert legal opinion was extremely vital if anyone was going to challenge the declaration of a presidential election by Elections Commissioner in the wake of President deciding to call a presidential more..

Tears flow freely as Jayalalithaa loyalist Panneerselvam steps into her shoes

Sept 30 (ENS) Jayalalithaa loyalist O Panneerselvam was on Monday sworn-in as Chief Minister of TN, succeeding his party supremo two days after her conviction in an illegal assets case. Two days after J Jayalalithaa was convicted, a tearful O Panneerselvam, a loyalist of the former TN chief minister, was sworn-in as her successor at Raj Bhavan on Monday. Panneerselvam was unanimously elected as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party Sunday. more..

MR to discuss snap poll

Sept 30 (DM) With speculation rife about a snap presidential election early next year, President Mahinda Rajapaksa will hold a discussion with the leaders of the constituent parties of the UPFA after today’s Cabinet meeting, Daily Mirror learns. The President, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly session, arrived in the country yesterday morning. It is speculated in political circles that he would discuss matters pertaining to a forthcoming election. more..

‘Sri Lanka’s PTA should be repealed’

Sept 30 (Hindu) Civil society members and politicians came together at a campaign in Colombo, seeking the release of Balendran Jeyakumari, who was arrested by Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) in March this year. They demanded that the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) — under which Ms. Jeyakumari was detained — be repealed immediately. It has been nearly 200 days since the TID arrested Ms. Jeyakumari more..

Jayalalithaa moves HC seeking bail, challenging conviction

Sept 30 (PTI) Seeking immediate bail, jailed AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa today moved the Karnataka High Court challenging her conviction in the disproportionate assets case which cost her the chief minister's job and disqualified her from being an MLA. Noted Supreme Court lawyer Ram Jethmalani is believed to have been drafted by Jayalalitha's legal team for arguing the bail and stay application that is likely to come up for hearing by a vacation bench tomorrow. more..

Day 2 in prison: Jayalalithaa begins day with morning walk; not allowed to meet visitors

Sept 30 (PTI) Spending her second day in prison, J Jayalalithaa, convicted and sent to prison for four years by a special court here in a disproportionate assets case, began her day early on Sunday with a morning walk. Jayalalithaa, who is now prisoner number 7402 at the Parappana Agrahara central prison here, began her day around 5:30 am, and took a stroll within the premises of the jail. 66-year-old three-time chief minister read 3 Tamil and 2 English newspapers more..

Jayalalithaa Verdict: How the case unfolded

Sept 30 (ET) Looking back at the years between 1991 and 1996, the political scene in Tamil Nadu could best be described as crude. There was no social media for govts to disseminate information. There were only a few regional television channels for relaying information. Journalists would routinely wait on the footpath outside the fortressed walls of the posh Poes Garden residence in Madras of the new CM more..

Lokuarachchi's ban reduced by six months

Sept 30 (IC) Kaushal Lokuarachchi's 18-month sentence for his role in the BPL match-fixing scandal was reduced to one year by an appeals panel appointed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). Lokuarachchi, BCB's anti-corruption tribunal announced earlier in February, had pleaded guilty for failing to inform authorities when he was approached to fix a match during the BPL in 2013. "There was one charge against him, and that is his failure to report a corrupted approach," more..

Botswana opens doors to Sri Lanka

Sept 30 (DN) Botswana govt and Botswana Foreign Ministry recently appointed Jayasiri Silva as their honorary consul for SL. Appointment received the blessings of President Rajapaksa and the SL govt. Appointment of the Honorary Consul and the inauguration of the Consulate were celebrated on a grand scale at a leading hotel. Reception was attended by Botswana's High Commissioner to New Delhi, Lesego Ethel Motsumi, diplomatic staff based in New Delhi and other guests. more..

'Form team to probe SL disappearances'

Sept 30 (NIE) Presidential Commission on Disappearances and War Crimes (DWC) has asked President Rajapaksa to establish an Investigating Team to help it pursue cases of alleged involuntary disappearance in the country. The panel chairman, Justice Maxwell Paranagama, said that the charge that persons had disappeared after they had surrendered to the army or after crossing army-held territory, needs to be investigated by more..

Land issues preventing Diaspora from investing in Sri Lanka

Sept 30 (CT) Many expatriates who are already in Sri Lanka raised land issues claiming that the diaspora who was interested to invest in the country looked away due to being unable to purchase land. A businessman, an expatriate, who has invested in a hotel project in Jaffna, said that there were land right issues in the country which did not allow the diaspora to purchase land due to the decision taken in 2010. Highlighting the opportunities available for SL to capture the US$ 35 billion diaspora, more..

LOLC Leisure rebranded as Browns Hotels and Resorts

Sept 30 (AD) Browns Investments PLC (BI) today, announced the re-branding of LOLC Leisure to Browns Hotels and Resorts. In March this year, Browns Investments acquired sole shareholder status of LOLC Leisure. BI previously held a minority interest of 30% in LOLC Leisure; the investment into the hotel sector was made jointly along with BI’s parent company, LOLC. As part of its consolidation efforts, LOLC divested its direct exposure in leisure to BI, giving the Company the opportunity to more..

Govt guzzles domestic credit

Sept 30 (CT) New loans from the domestic banking system to the govt surged by Rs 35.7 billion during the month of July while the private sector got only Rs 4 billion, new data released by the Central Bank showed. During the first seven months of this year, the govt has raised Rs 31 billion on a net basis from the domestic banking sector, while the private sector was a net settler of loans amounting to Rs 57.4 billion, data showed. more..

Gold smugglers held, Rs. 50 lakh seized

Sept 30 (Hindu) Police arrested a three-member gold smuggling gang and seized Rs.50 lakh from their houses here. Acting on specific inputs, a police team raided the houses of N. Senthilvelan (37), M. Gajendran (37) and R. Raja (52) and seized the money concealed at different places. The police said Senthilvelan, the main accused in the case, used to receive gold biscuits smuggled from Sri Lanka and handed them over to his contacts in Chennai on a commission basis. more..

Ceylon Chamber welcomes Monetary Board measures

Sept 30 (FT) The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in a statement yesterday said it was pleased to note that the indicators highlighted in the Monetary Policy Review released by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka show continuous improvement in the macro economic performance of the country. “GDP growth data for the second quarter of 2014 at 7.8% shows an improvement over the 6.8% for the second quarter of last year with higher growth in agriculture and manufacturing. more..

U.S. Trade Show 2014 offers new opportunities for American, SL partnerships

Sept 30 (USE) Top American companies from a wide variety of sectors showcased their products, technologies, and services at U.S. Trade Show 2014 today (29) at the Hilton Residences. This year, the U.S. Trade Show focused on expanding the variety of American goods and services for local businesses and consumers. Along with hundreds of visitors, U.S. Ambassador Michele J. Sison attended the one-day event, more..

Scoring points Internationally must be supplemented by national approach

Sept 30 (Island) The lack of unanimity within the UNHRC on the issue of the investigation into Sri Lanka continues. The govt has continued to stick to its position that it will cooperate with the UN in general but not with the investigation into war crimes. The Indian govt's representative has queried how the investigation can go ahead without the cooperation of the Sri Lankan govt. He has urged transparency in the investigation process noting that "Composition of the OHCHR investigation more..

dsl Bonîkka wins Silver Award in U.K at Independent Toy Awards 2014

Sept 30 (Island) The inspiration to create their own brand had been a long anticipated desire of dsl lanka; a manufacturer of soft toys for the international market, being in the industry for over 20 years. Thus in the course of time dsl’s very own trademarked brand of dolls; "Bonîkka" was launched at the International Toy Fair in Nurnberg, Germany in January 2014. Following the release of Bonîkka, the brand has shown tremendous potential within the short span of time. more..

Four ship wrecks located near Passekudah

Sept 30 (Island) Archaeologists attached to Maritime Archaeology Unit of Galle (MAU) have found four ship wrecks in the sea near Passekudah during their recent explorations. Three of the ships were lying less than 100m from each other while the fourth was 500m away from the rest. Density of wrecks found in Passekudah was much higher than in any other ship wreck locations in the seas around the country. more..

Sri Lanka 400m men’s relay team in final

Sept 30 (DM) The Sri Lanka Men’s 400m relay team, finished their heat in 3:10.30 secs to qualify for the final at the XVII Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea yesterday. The quartet was placed fifth in their heat. There were two heats in this event out of which the first three teams in each heat, and two fastest losers, qualified for the final. Therefore, Oman (3:10.01 secs) and Sri Lanka qualified as the seventh and the eighth teams. Hong Kong, despite finishing fourth (3:11.28 secs) more..

Microsoft strengthens ties with ICTA

Sept 30 (Island) ‘Microsoft Sri Lanka recently signed a MoU with the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) to facilitate a number of projects and activities involving information infrastructure systems and software research. The MoU would not only strengthen relations between ICTA and Microsoft, but will also result in constructive action through knowledge sharing and bringing together the considerable synergies of the two entities. more..

Sunil Narine reported for suspect action

Sept 30 (CI) Kolkata Knight Riders offspinner Sunil Narine has been reported for a suspected illegal bowling action following his side's 36-run win over Dolphins in the Champions League Twenty20 Group A match on Monday. The charge was laid by on-field umpires Anil Chaudhary and Chettihody Shamshuddin along with third umpire Kumar Dharmasena and specifically relates to Narine's quicker ball. more..

Sri Lanka U-19 record 23 run win

Sept 30 (Island) Sri Lanka under-19 recorded a 23 run win over Australia under-19 in third Youth ODI at P. Sara Oval yesterday to go one up in the six match series. The first two games failed to produce a result due to bad weather. Sri Lanka posted 240 for nine in their 50 overs and defended the score bowling out the tourists for 217 with 11 deliveries to spare. Australia Under-19 were well placed having reached 203 for five, but collapsed losing the last five wickets for 14 runs. more..

Editorial: Paper weapons

Sept 30 (Island) Time was when powerful countries depended on warfare, sanctions and blockades to make the economies of their enemies scream. But, today, there is apparently no need for such coercive measures. Some nations are said to have adopted a seemingly simple method to achieve that objective. They are reportedly using forged currency to wreak economic havoc on their rivals. The problem of dud money is not of recent origin. It is as old as the hills though there is no evidence that more..

The nightmare of returning to Sri Lanka

Sept 30 (WT) The Abbott govt has all but claimed victory in stopping asylum seeker boats. Offshore processing and turning around boats at sea have been important elements in achieving this goal. Also important has been its efforts at returning asylum seekers, especially Sri Lankans. In October 2012, the Labor govt introduced a new "enhanced screening" process in order to return Sri Lankans arriving by boat within days. more..

Sarath: A tireless fighter for farmers’ rights

Sept 30 (ST) To many it would seem that the death of Sarath Fernando, former convenor of MONLAR (Movement for National Land and Agricultural Reform) earlier this month dealt a blow to the struggle of farmers and to the farmers’ rights movement in Sri Lanka. But in all likelihood Sarath, who gave 25 years of his life to that organisation he founded, would not have seen it that way. Shortly before his death he wrote: “I have now come close to the end of my journey but more..

Harin’s triumph in defeat lifts UNP sky-high

Sept 30 (ST) Greater love has no politician than one who willingly sacrifices his parliamentary seat for the sake of his floundering party; and, having cast his fate to fortune’s winds, takes up for his party’s good, the unnerving challenge to fight the un-fightable foe on uneven ground, on unequal terms only to lose as predicted. But fortune favours the brave; and Harin Fernando, having forsaken his parliamentary seat and forfeited his Uva chief minister post hopes, has won for himself the mantle of the charismatic more..

Polls call for a change in atabola game

Sept 30 (NS) I really thought that our political leadership had lost its marbles. I am aware that they, for several years now, were running the nation as a larger than life ‘atabola’ game. Certainly not a appropriate way to run a democracy, although it is an amusing leisure activity that also helps provide a good deal of diversionary excuses for its proponents. Until last week, in the run-up to the Uva Election, I actually thought that they were more..

Now... it's Sinhala Diaspora!

Sept 30 (CT) JHU's Champika Ranawaka, recently embarked upon a new strategy to garner votes at the next presidential polls for his party. That was to attract the Sinhala Diaspora overseas. Champika plans to attract one million votes from the overseas Sinhala Diaspora. He visited Australia recently to launch the Diaspora campaign. Champika claims the response was good. Everybody says Champika's appeal would get a strong response. So, one million eligible to vote will have to come here at more..

Marvan should take a balanced approach

Sept 30 (CT) The good news besides winning in cricket is that sanity is returning to SLC. It was only a few days ago that the Minister of Sports took the bull by the horns and instructed the two warring factions i.e. the President and the Secretary of the SLC to work together. Stemming from that decision the SLC seem to be moving forward once again similar to a well oiled machine without too much of a fuss. The first thing the Excodid was to reward the hard working stakeholders who more..