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Mandate not for an Eelam

Oct 1 (NS) The much hyped Provincial Council Elections were held last week and hailed as historic because it was the first ever provincial poll in the North, but the results portend different challenges for the main political parties involved. The TNA won as expected in the North but its share of the vote – 78% - would have surprised even party supporters. This margin of victory sends a strong signal to the govt in Colombo and is not a factor to be taken lightly. This margin gives the lie to the TNA claim that more..

Tobacco Industry’s smokescreen uncovered

Oct 1 (NS) The writer has based this article on information extracted from an Advocacy Training Workshop on WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Article 5.3 held in Lucknow, India. The event was organized by Network for Accountability of Tobacco Transnational (NATT), Uttar Pradesh State and Lucknow District units of National Tobacco Control Program of India, Vote for Health Campaign, Citizen News Service – CNS, Health Justice Philippines, more..

'Historic SC judgment on land powers'

Oct 1 (SO) In a historic judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, it was ruled that in a unitary state, land powers are vested with the Central Govt and that Provincial Councils (PCs) can only administer, control and utilise state lands assigned to them. The judgment was delivered unanimously by a three-member bench, sealing that PCs cannot enjoy land powers since, in a unitary state, the Centre has not ceded more..

Some ethnic differences observed by Knox

Oct 1 (CT) My interests are of ‘ethnicity’ deriving from the discipline of political science and not ethnography or anthropology as such, since I don’t have any disciplinary background in them. Also my effort is not to argue that ethnic labels or characteristics are static or permanent but on the contrary to hypothesise that they are time bound and context specific. Some characteristics, however, might last for many centuries or millennia. What I relate here is what Robert Knox said more..

NPC election: Results in retrospect

Oct 1 (CT) The much anticipated NPC election is now over. People have different opinions about the results, looking at them from different perspectives. The most salient feature of the election results is the landslide victory recorded by the TNA. Some were dismayed by the results. However, The JHU correctly predicted, not only the massive victory of the TNA but also the contents of its manifesto, several months ago. We had several reasons for our prediction. First, the wounds in the minds of more..

Who goes there?

Oct 1 (ST) Midnight at Kanatte! As the brilliant half-moon glides behind a bank of clouds in the sky over Borella, we are walking deep into the ‘Land of the Dead’ where lie the mighty and the meek, the rich and the poor. Equal before that great leveller, Death, men, women and children, whatever race or religion — who went about their daily routines like all of us, who loved and hated, fought and made peace, — are now “dust to dust” more..

Name and shame those answerable for UNP’s debacle

Oct 1 (CT) Ranil Wickremesinghe’s culpability for the atrocious performance at the recently-concluded Provincial Council (PC) elections in the North, Central and North Western Provinces is beyond dispute. No sane person, politically-educated or not, would hold a brief for the pathetic leader of the UNP. But what is even more pathetic is Ranil’s ring of cohorts whose political savvy leaves much to be desired. Inability to read the electorate’s mind is a cardinal sin for any politician. more..

Sri Lankan Economy: Perspectives on growth and development

Oct 1 (CT) Sri Lanka in 1H2013 underwent a real economic growth of 6.5% outpacing most regional economies amidst a general slowdown in world economic activity and becoming one of the fastest growing economies in Asia. The post-war growth in real output since 2010 averaged 7.5% indicating the rapid pace of expansion in real activity levels. In this backdrop, Sri Lanka emerged as a haven for foreign investors providing investment prospects even during times of general global uncertainty. more..

Lions and tigers in Hambantota

Oct 1 (CT) A section of Sri Lanka’s first safari park is to open in Oct or Nov 2013 in Ridiyagama, Hambantota at a cost of Rs 1651 million. The safari park being built on a 500-acre land will consist of a number of zones for carnivorous and herbivorous animals. Funds for the construction have been released in stages from the Treasury. The constructing of the safari park commenced in 2008, under the direction more..

Kalu warns Sri Lanka ‘A’

Oct 1 (ST) Sri Lanka ‘A’ coach Romesh Kaluwitharana warns his players not to be over confident against the visiting Kiwis during the three match One Day series, starting at Pallekele International Stadium, today. Having won the two match un-official test series, 1-0, Sri Lanka ‘A’ strengthened its bowlingunit by adding two test fast bowlers, Suranga Lakmal and Shaminda Eranga, along with leg spinner Seekuge Prasanna. Romesh Kaluwitharana, who once turned the game of more..

Second Intake for CA Sri Lanka’s BSc. Degree in Applied Accounting commences

Oct 1 (ST) The second intake for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Accounting offered by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) commenced recently. The BSc. in Applied Accounting which has been approved by the UGC, is open for students with three passes (in any subject stream) at the GCE A/L exam. The degree is designed under two stages, namely the general degree programme which will be conducted over a period of three years covering more..

JKH shops for foreign funds for Beira casino-related project

Oct 1 (ST) John Keells Holdings (JKH) have held meetings with international fund managers over the past month in a bid to raise funds for its mega US$820 million integrated development project on the Beira waterfront bordering its former headquarters. The project undertaken by Waterfront Properties which includes a hotel, casino and other developments was approved by JKH shareholders at the EGM held in recently. more..

Dilshan beats odds to play for St. Servatius’ with one hand

Oct 1 (Island) Young Chanuka Dilshan, a cricketer from St. Servatius’ College, Matara met with a road accident on March 1st 2011. His right hand was smothered in the road mishap and his hopes of playing the first Big Match were shattered. The next three months, he spent in hospital. At the time of discharging from the hospital, he had a numb right hand and a very sensitive skin on the palm which nearly put his future as a cricketer in jeopardy. But this diehard youngster’s passion for more..

National reconciliation possible through goodwill and restraint

Oct 1 (Island) A highlight of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s visit to the United States to participate in the UN General Assembly was the photo opportunity he and his wife, Shiranthi, had with President Barack Obama and Mrs Obama. All four in the photograph looked extremely relaxed and happy. It was lovely photography, and the President’s media team recognised this, for they shared it with all of the national media which reproduced it on their front pages. more..

Call to annul Puttalam results

Oct 1 (CT) Leader of the Jana Setha Peramuna, Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera, filed a writ petition in the Court of Appeal, requesting to issue a Certiorari Mandamus to quash the final preferential vote results of the Puttalam District. The petitioner also requested the Court to issue a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Mandamus directing the first, second, third and fourth respondents to recount the preferential votes more..

Editorial: Promised walks in the buff

Oct 1 (Island) Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekera, at the centre of a controversy, has promised to walk without a stitch on through the Ratnapura town, if his detractors could prove their allegation that he abused his political power to acquire land. He sounds very confident. However, Jayasekera has not said whether he is ready to walk naked during the day. A wag says the deputy minister could always get the CEB, which is under his purview, to plunge the entire town into darkness and more..

Sri Lanka to host new IRB supported event

Oct 1 (IRB) The International Rugby Board has announced details of an exciting new competition hosted by Sri Lanka and featuring Madagascar and Poland. The IRB-supported competition will be played over three match days between Oct 26 and Nov 1 in rugby-mad Colombo. This furthers the profile of international competition in Asia as the region counts down six years to go until it hosts the Rugby World Cup for the first time. With all three Unions in close proximity within the top 50 more..

Duminda dumps Touchwood

Oct 1 (FT) Controversial MP Duminda Silva has submitted his resignation from the Board of Touchwood Investments PLC (TWOD) as a Non Executive Independent Director with immediate effect. His decision was conveyed to TWOD Directors and Company Secretaries as well as the SEC. In an apparent late yet welcome realisation, Duminda in his letter announcing the decision to step down has said the more..

Vipassana guru S N Goenka dies

Oct 1 (PTI) Renowned spiritual leader and Vipassana guru Satya Narayan Goenka died due to old age on Sundayt. He was 89. The funeral is scheduled for Tuesday. Born on Jan 30, 1924, in Burma (Myanmar), Goenka learnt Vipassana, a meditation technique, there from Sayagyi U Ba Khin, an acclaimed teacher and administrator. He later moved to India and made the technique popular worldwide through a non-sectarian movement. Goenka is survived by his wife Elaichidevi, more..

Year 5 scholarship exam results out today

Oct 1 (DN) The Examinations Department will release year 5 scholarship exam results today parallel to World Children’s Day which falls today. The Education Ministry has taken a policy decision to release year 5 exam results on World Children’s Day every year. Minister Bandula Gunawardena said this at a ceremony at Godagama Subharathi Primary School yesterday. The ceremony was held to vest the Subharathi Primary School with the students as a children friendly school. more..

CJ-43 issue blocked at C’wealth judges confab

Oct 1 (DM) In an apparent bid to safeguard the integrity of the country’s judiciary, Appeal Court President S. Sriskandarajah has objected to the impeachment of SL’s 43rd Chief Justice being raised at the start of the Commonwealth Judges’ Conference. The Commonwealth Judges’ Conference was held in Channel Island from Sept 23 to 26. 300 judges from 88 Commonwealth countries participated more..

Man accused of bomb hoax on plane was said to be 'unwell'

Oct 1 (CN) A passenger who allegedly threatened that there was a bomb on a flight which was diverted to Stansted Airport last Friday has appeared in court today (26). Alan Patey, 49, of no fixed address, has been charged with communicating false information to a crew member to induce a belief that “a thing liable to explode or ignite was present in the aircraft hold”. When he appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates Court this morning he did not enter a plea. Patey was remanded in custody for a preliminary more..

Sri J’pura u’grads to take legal action against VC

Oct 1 (Island) Undergraduates of the Sri J'pura University have decided to take legal action against the Vice Chancellor for suspending students without giving proper reasons. Former faculty board representative of the Management Faculty, Sanath Bandara, said that seven students had been suspended two weeks back due to organising a student union meeting without the VC’s prior approval. He said that according to the University Act, there was no need to obtain more..

GL slams UK, Canada for raising Lanka at C’wealth Ministers meet

Oct 1 (FT) Minister G.L. Peiris has slammed Canada and the United Kingdom for using the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last Thursday to criticise Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. Issuing a media release from New York, he said the action to inappropriately use the annual Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ Meeting (CFAMM) more..

Indian don seeks Lanka's help to restore Pali

Oct 1 (DN) The action taken by the Indian govt in removing the Pali language from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) exam has disheartened millions of Buddhists in India, Head of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies at Banares Hindu University in India, Prof Siddharth Singh said. This was disclosed at a press conference at the Sadaham Sevana International Buddhist Services and Research Institute, Colombo with the participation of Buddhist clergy recently. more..

Police probe abduction of judge’s son

Oct 1 (Island) Police have launched a special investigation into Saturday morning’s abduction of Colombo District Judge B. R. Somasinghe’s 15-year-old son Sithijeya. Police spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardana said that the police had already recorded statements from eye witnesses and were going through the footage recorded on a CCTV camera fixed to a shop near the bus stand at Rawattawatta, where the boy had been waiting for a bus to travel to his tuition class. more..

'No withdrawal of army from North'

Oct 1 (Hindu) A recent statement by President Rajapaksa that there will be no withdrawal of the army from the north has raised concerns about the Sri Lankan govt’s intention as regards its demilitarisation. Explaining his position, the President, in his interview to Al-Jazeera, asked: “Then, if the other Provincial Councils also asked me to withdraw their army camps all over the country where can I have the army?” more..

'Ranil on a mission to destroy Sajith, Karu'

Oct 1 (CT) The dissident UNP MP, Palitha Range Bandara, stressed that neither Sajith Premadasa nor Karu Jayasuriya, or any other person for that matter, will be able to win an election, as long as Ranil Wickremesinghe remains as the leader of the Party. Speaking to Ceylon Today, Range Bandara said, Wickremesinghe is on a mission to destroy the political careers of the UNPers such as Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuryia, who have become a challenge to Wickremesinghe. more..

Sri Lanka faces urban malaria threat

Oct 1 (SDN) Sri Lanka faces a resurgence of urban malaria, say researchers who have found the main mosquito vector Anopheles culicifacies breeding in polluted water bodies in the former war-affected areas in the north and east of the island. The results of the survey published last month in the Malaria Journal show that A. culicifacies and other potential malaria vectors are now breeding in drains containing waste water. So far, it was believed that polluted water in urban centres hindered more..

CJ-43 objects to Bribery Commission notice

Oct 1 (DM) Former CJ Shirani Bandaranaike in a motion filed in the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court objected to the notice served on her by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption stating it was erroneous. Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty PC appearing on behalf of Dr. Bandaranayake said the prosecution could not serve the notice on a suspect before serving him or her with charges. more..

Sanctions expression of naked power

Oct 1 (CG) Sri Lanka is of the view that imposing sanctions on a country is a flawed instrument of policy which is simply an expression of naked power, Minister G.L Peiris said. Minister Peiris said this when he met his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif in New York. Minister Zarif observed that economic sanctions imposed on Iran impacted on the wrong segment of the population, particularly as the country’s ability to purchase essential items such as medicines was affected. more..

Ban and Khurshid discuss Lanka

Oct 1 (CG) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid have discussed developments in Sri Lanka. The discussion took place when the two met at the UN in New York today. Ban discussed developments in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Myanmar, stressing the importance of dialogue, inclusiveness and reconciliation, as well as India’s regional role. He also thanked India for its significant contribution to UN peacekeeping operations more..

Sajith wants to lead UNP, run for President

Oct 1 (Island) Amidst moves to name him as the party’s Chief Ministerial candidate, at the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council polls, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa demands that he be made the leader of the party and its next presidential candidate. At the last presidential polls in January 2010, the UNP threw its weight behind former army commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka along with the JVP, the TNA, the SLMC and the CWC. more..

Canada mentions Sri Lanka at UN

Oct 1 (CG) Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird raised concerns of religious freedom in Sri Lanka, during his speech at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly. Baird said that since the last time the General Assembly met Sri Lanka has seen attacks on a mosque and on a Catholic church while Muslim politician Azad Sally had also been arrested. Canada has been on a virtual war footing against Sri Lanka ahead of the CHOGM with Baird last week pushing for human rights concerns more..

TNA swearing-in ceremony: President willing to visit Jaffna, if invited, but …

Oct 1 (Island) President Rajapaksa is willing to visit Jaffna if the TNA invites him to attend its provincial councillors’ swearing-in ceremony, but Chief Minister-elect C. V. Wigneswaran and other newly elected members will have to take oaths before Northern Governor Maj. Gen. (retd.) G. A. Chandrasiri. Asked whether the President would accept an invitation from the TNA to be in Jaffna for the swearing-in ceremony, a presidential aide who wished to remain anonymous answered more..

Cohabitation begins with Wiggie-Chandrasiri pow-wow

Oct 1 (FT) Northern Province Chief Minister Elect C.V. Wigneswaran and Provincial Governor Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri met in Jaffna yesterday, setting the stage for political cohabitation between the new council and the central Govt after the TNA swept the provincial polls on 21 September. The Governor would issue a letter appointing Justice Wigneswaran as Northern Chief Minister today, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told Daily FT. more..

Elders left to the mercy of circumstances

Oct 1 (DM) The bitter truth about the International Day of Elders or Older Persons which falls today with International Children’s Day is that while many authorities, NGOs and INGOs hold functions in view of it, thousands of elders are languishing and dying in hospitals and homes without the help of even their beloved sons and daughters, under unavoidable circumstances. Death is not an issue to complain about since it is inevitable for any creature; though it comes timely or untimely, but more..

A time to rise like a phoenix from the ashes

Oct 1 (DM) The NPC election is now over. The TNA comprising all sections of former militant groups (with the exception of Douglas Deva’s EPDP) as expected swept the board. This Provincial Council election was an important step in taking forward the democratic process in the North. After years of serfdom under the yolk of the LTTE and one or the other militant groups the people were provided with an opportunity to elect a new set of leaders under a new dispensation. more..

The clock starts ticking

Oct 1 (SL) The govt was put on notice last week by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay to either effectively address human rights related concerns by March 2014 or face an international investigation. In a 27-point oral update to the UNHRC, Pillay had detailed out the failures of the govt on various issues. The govt, however, was quick to reject her concerns, including her warning of a possible more..

Dubai explores Lanka’s tourism potential

Oct 1 (KT) Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has called upon Sri Lankan companies to share Dubai’s experience in the tourism sector which is one of the leading drivers of the emirate’s economic growth. In its drive to promote tourism, the island country can benefit from Dubai’s diversified economy which is working to support the tourism industry and drive new growth more..