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Look here, Mr. Sirisena

Oct 1 (CT) I’ve had a fantastic time reading all that’s being written about Daham Sirisena. The Big D, as I now think of him, is a fantastic creature. I mean, who wouldn’t want a walking, talking, Facebook-ing PR nightmare for a son, am I right? Let’s assume for a moment that Maithripala Sirisena actually reads this blog (hah! Fat chance). Mr Sirisena, here’s a question for you: Are you stupid? Look at him. Just look at him. This is Daham Sirisena, Public Figure. His crowning achievements in life? more..

What would be the next step?

Oct 1 (SL) With the tabling of the Resolution at the sessions of the UNHRC in respect to the govt of Sri Lanka, a new concept of Hybrid Court Mechanism has come to light, which has become the latest addition to the legal jargon of the country. After the Resolution was made available in the public domain, nationalist hardliners have started their usual campaign of alleged international interference and the Western intimidation to the sovereignty and the independence of the country. more..

'Govt cannot dance to the tune of foreigners'

Oct 1 (SO) The Sri Lankan forces should not be penalised for liberating thousands of people from the grip of the LTTE. War crimes allegations should have been investigated soon after 2009 to prevent white nations waging a witch-hunt, said famed legal luminary Gomin Dayasri adding "This is where the former govt missed the bus". He said, "The litmus test for the govt is the wording in the American backed Resolution at the UNHRC." more..

Govt is more wary of domestic implications

Oct 1 (NS) The eventual outcome at the ongoing sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva will be critical for Sri Lanka in terms of international implications and for its image as a progressive democracy but there is also likely to be a domestic political fallout as a result. Colombo’s emissaries are currently engaged in frantic bouts of diplomacy in Geneva, hoping to dilute a US sponsored resolution on alleged war crimes that was expected to be favorable to Sri Lanka but turned out to be quite contentious more..

Good governance and its challenges

Oct 1 (NS) As Sobitha thero correctly pointed out the present government failed to convince the common man when the time came to handover cabinet portfolios. The jumbo Cabinet will lead the way to wasting of public funds. It will not help the common masses in any way. Creating new positions also makes the situation worse in wasting public funds. The political leadership of today which is termed Good Governance (Yahapalanaya) should understand one thing very clearly. more..

'Not easy to get SLTB back on track'

Oct 1 (CT) Deputy Minister of Transport, Ashok Abeysinghe is all out to reform the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB). His first job in office is to cut down on the incredibly overstaffed SLTB of 36,700 employees. 36,700 cadre are supposed to keep a mere 6,500 buses running. Q: This is the first time that you are in charge of a ministry having been in the opposition for the last 5 years. How has your perception on issues changed? more..

Challenges to re-establishment of law & order

Oct 1 (SL) Shooting in Kaduwela courts of a remand prisoner by an unidentified gunman, who got away and was later apprehended by police, will bring fear and cause much concern among ordinary citizens. It brings into question whether govt authorities are capable of protecting even those who are entrusted to their custody even inside a court of law. Prisoner Damith Udayanga, who is a suspect in three murder cases, was brought to the Kaduwela courts by prison officials to face charges against him. more..

Prairie Awards for Lankan journalism: Focus on Manik De Silva

Oct 1 (CT) Because newspapers in Sri Lanka hide names of their editors and publishers from the general public while they clamor for legislation necessary for open government, I decided to mull over the dispositions/intentional actions (samkhara) aggregate of a few journalists/ publishers who have dedicated their lives for the sake of the Fourth Estate because of their love for journalism rather than for pecuniary benefits or fame. I continue to reap the benefits of their dedication more..

Deniyaya stirs following leopard trekking ad

Oct 1 (NS) With the recent deaths of two leopards in two different incidents in the Udawalawa National Park and Labukelle peeking public interest once again on protection of the Sri Lankan Leopard, the general public especially on social media sites have lately taken issue with a eco tourism hotel in Deniyaya by the name of Rainforest Eco Lodge allegedly promoting Leopard trekking night time safaris on their social media page. more..

SL Juniors leave to Bangladesh

Oct 1 (CT) Sri Lanka Junior U-19 and U-16 teams left for Bangladesh yesterday to participate in the AFC U-19 qualifier Boys Championship 2015 that will start on 2 Oct in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The U-19 championship will kick off 2 Oct and go on till 6 Oct while U-16 will be from 7 – 16 Oct. All matches are to be held at Bangabandu Stadium in Dhaka. Sri Lanka is in Group 'A' with host Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Bhutan. SL will be led by Danushka Madushanka from Hewavitharana MV Kotte. more..

LG polls to test UNP

Oct 1 (CT) Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that local govt (LG) elections will be held in another six months' time in March. The LG polls will be a test case for the Wickremesinghe Govt, more so the UNP, the party he leads, which was elected to power hardly two months ago on 17 Aug 2015. Two things will hinge on the UNP's popularity. They are yesterday's UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka supported by the Govt of Sri Lanka itself and the cost of living (CoL). more..

The long road from Geneva

Oct 1 (FT) For two weeks, Sri Lanka has been a hot topic at the 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva, after a report by the OHCHR found evidence of probable war crimes committed in the island during the last years of the conflict. The report implicates both the LTTE and Govt troops in what investigators called systematic killings, extra-judicial executions, the recruitment of children as soldiers and enforced disappearances. more..

SLPA Chairman Panagoda steps down

Oct 1 (ST) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Lakdas Panagoda submitted his resignation a few weeks back. Additional Secretary at the Ports Ministry Ms. Kanthi Perera has been appointed as acting Chairman of the SLPA. Dr. Panagoda said that he had stepped down in order for the Prime Minister to take a decision on the appointment of a chairman. Dr. Panagoda was a Sri Lankan expatriate in the UK when he was appointed SLPA Chairman early this year soon after more..

EDB to push hi-tech exports, R&D

Oct 1 (CT) As Sri Lanka's ranking surged in the latest Global Innovation Index, two apex Lankan State institutions are joining forces for the first time to boost country's hi-tech and innovation exports to the next level-and first ever hi-tech R&D and Innovation Forum for Lankan CEOs is now on the cards, as revealed on 30 September in Colombo. "We welcome COSTI's collaborative interest to partner with EDB. It is time we join forces to help our hi-tech exports to the next level" more..

Judicial mechanism needs meaningful international role: HRW

Oct 1 (HRW) High Commissioner's investigative report on Sri Lanka marks a significant step towards justice and accountability for the victims of international crimes and the family members of Sri Lanka’s dead and “disappeared.” The international investigative team extensively documented alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, including torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. more..

Galle Fort takes center stage with Colombo Fashion Week Resort

Oct 1 (NS) HSBC Colombo Fashion Week Resort, in its fourth edition, aims to push resort-wear forward as a high growth category in the region whilst enabling more Sri Lankan designers to tap into the growing demand for resort and destination wear. CFW Resort 2016 will take place in Galle, with the iconic Galle Fort serving as the centre for a series of fashion-themed activities, which commenced on Sept 27 scheduled until Oct 4. CFW Resort 2016 will kick-off its programme on 1st Oct more..

Cinnamon’s city hotels readies for Chinese guests

Oct 1 (ST) With the Chinese inbound market to Sri Lanka making giant strides, many local companies are scrambling to get a slice of the action. However, one of the biggest problems is the lack of sufficient Chinese-language speakers/guides plus made-to-measure hotel facilities apart from other drawbacks. This is where Cinnamon’s city hotels – Cinnamon Grand, Cinnamon Lakeside and Cinnamon Red – have come in with a special China strategy campaign to be officially launched today (27). more..

OHCHR requires $ 337,800 to implement Sri Lanka resolution

Oct 1 (FT) The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will request the UN to pass a supplementary budget allocation to the tune of $ 337,800 in order to conduct its review and assessment of Sri Lanka’s progress, as mandated by the US-sponsored resolution to be adopted in Geneva today. Before the resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, entitled Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in SL, more..

Pakistan to take part in Sri Lanka exhibition

Oct 1 (ET) Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) will organise a single-country exhibition in Sri Lanka from January 15-17, 2016, aimed at promoting the country’s products and showcase its potential to increase bilateral trade volume. The event will be organised at the BMICH, in Colombo, and is expected to attract a large number of exhibitors and participants. The High Commission of Pakistan in Sri Lanka is making efforts to make this event a success, added the TDAP release. more..

Minister Harin Fernando visits to SLT

Oct 1 (CT) Minister Harin Fernando visited Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) Head Office on 29 Sept, which was the Minister's first visit to SLT, after his assumption of duties as the Minister of Telecommunication and Digital Infrastructure. Minister was warmly welcomed to SLT by the Chairman, Board of Directors, Group CEO as well as members of senior management of SLT. During the visit, he took time to address the senior management of SLT to discuss the future plans of the company. more..

Resolution a crucial step towards credible justice process: EU

Oct 1 (AD) European Union (EU) said that it will continue to support Sri Lanka as it looks to work in partnership with the international community to implement its commitments as it moves forward on the path of reconciliation, justice and progress on human rights. The following comments were made by the EU representative at the UNHRC in Geneva during the general debate on the report of the OHCHR on Sri Lanka: more..

Magnitude of impending HR problem of Sri Lanka Tourism

Oct 1 (Island) There is no doubt that the tourism industry in Sri Lanka is developing in leaps and bounds, with arrivals already passing the 1 million mark in July this year. Hotel development is taking place rapidly, with many new entrants to the industry. The latest information from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) indicates that as at May 2015, there are 195 new hotel projects that have been approved, and are in the pipeline. more..

IZP, Central Bank of Sri Lanka to build financial settlement center

Oct 1 (CD) Luo Feng, IZP group chairman, met with Arjuna Mahendran, head of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on Sept 25 after giving a speech on Big data + dock at the Colombo International Maritime Conference the day before. Luo and Mahendran reached consensus on developing a China-Sri Lanka cross-border settlement system. As a very important connection point for South–South cooperation, SL is the gateway for China to the least developed countries in South Asia and Africa. more..

Wigneswaran expresses concerns over resolution

Oct 1 (Hindu) Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, on Wednesday expressed concerns over some of the serious weaknesses in a draft resolution on Sri Lanka, which is likely to be adopted by the UNHRC on Thursday. In a statement, Mr. Wigneswaran, a former judge of the Supreme Court, said any attempt to entrust the responsibility of prosecution with any local prosecutor can never bring justice to victims. more..

Sri Lanka BOP troubles from wage hikes; no rampant monetization: Central Bank

Oct 1 (EN) Central bank denied it was monetizing debt as large volumes of Treasury bills were taken in to its balance sheet to keep interest rates down and said the current balance of payments troubles came from a public sector wage hike. "I don’t think there is any rampant monetization going on," CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran said. "I see these comments in the press. As far as I am concerned we have been able to raise rupee liquidity from domestic savings on a largely non-inflationary basis more..

Sangakkara joins UTAS to boost international student numbers

Oct 1 (AN) One of the world’s greatest cricketers has gone into bat to boost the profile of Tasmania. Under a sponsorship arrangement with the University of Tasmania, Sri Lankan master cricketer Kumar Sangakkara is set to boost the state’s international student numbers. The deal, which is the result of a partnership between the Hobart Hurricanes and UTAS, is also expected to boost Tasmania’s image among cricket worshippers across the globe. The international superstar, more..

President Maithripala Sirisena at the UN

West Indies fail to qualify for 2017 Champions Trophy

Oct 1 (Reuters) Declining fortunes of West Indies cricket hit a new low when the Caribbean team failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. Restricted to the world's top eight-ranked sides, West Indies missed out on the lucrative event after slumping to ninth place on Wednesday's cut-off date. Their failure to qualify marks the first time the West Indies will be missing from any of cricket's three big limited-overs events - 50-overs WC, Champions Trophy and Twenty20 WC. more..

28 students hospitalized Inhaling chemical fertilizer fumes

Oct 1 (CT) Over 20 students from a school in Rahanwatte were hospitalized due to breathing difficulties following a chemical exposure yesterday. 28 students aged between 12 and 15 studying at the Lindula Rahanwatta School were hospitalized after being exposed to the fumes of a chemical fertilizer sprayed on a capsicum plantation located next to the school. Furthermore, the Police added that the students had complained of breathing difficulties resulting in their hospitalization. more..

Assassination attempt on CBK: Accused sentenced

Oct 1 (CT) Colombo High Court Judge Padmini Ranawaka Gunatilleke sentenced two defendants who were found guilty of causing serious injury in attempting to kill former President Chandrika Kumaratunga by using an LTTE suicide bomber during the final propaganda rally of the 1999 Presidential Election held at the Colombo Municipality grounds, to 570 years rigorous imprisonment. more..

Lawlessness victimizing the public: Namal

Oct 1 (DM) Hambantota district MP Namal Rajapaka said that criminal activities in the country had drastically increased in recent months while the underworld had risen once again. “Just this year, we have seen an unusual number of rapes, murders and shooting incidents,” he said. Posting a comment on his blog, Mr. Rajapaksa said while all societies have to deal with some criminal activity, the incidents of recent months have gone to show that our law enforcement does not appear to be more..

Children's Day & Elders' Day messages

Oct 1 (DN) A nation or a community of people will receive high recognition in the world through the love and care given by its people or society to children. The foremost value of human civilization is the tenderness and love for children. Hence, the saying, 'Best things in the world belong to children, President Sirisena said in an International Children's Day message. Message: "The child must receive protection first from the parents, then from teachers and thirdly from elders and the society. more..

'Disband Missing Persons Commission'

Oct 1 (ENS) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid, has recommended that the Sri Lankan Commission to Investigate Cases of Forced Disappearances should he disbanded because its credibility has been seriously questioned by the families of the victims and other observers. In his report to the UNHRC in Geneva on Wednesday, Zeid said that task assigned to the missing persons’ commission (headed by former Justice more..

Gota at the PRECIFAC again today

Oct 1 (FT) Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and other top officials who served at the Govt-owned security provider Rakna Araksha Lanka (RALL) during the previous regime will testify again at the public hearing of the PRECIFAC today. They will appear before PRECIFAC Commissioners – High Court Judges Padman Surasena, Amendra Seneviratna, Vikum Kaluarachchi and Gihan Kulatunga and former Auditor General B.A. Premathilake – at the fourth public hearing, more..

Japan to send top international judge to SL

Oct 1 (DM) Representative of the Japanese Delegation stated at UNHRC that Motoo Noguchi, a top international prosecutor will be visiting Sri Lanka in October. During the country statement made following High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s remarks on the OISL report, the Japanese Delegation representative, while stating that true reconciliation requires cooperation between SL and the international community, noted that Noguchi, who was serving as an international judge more..

'We cannot let the country be destroyed'

Oct 1 (CT) Leader of Opposition R. Sampanthan addressing a star-studded line up of politicians, including Chandrika Kumartunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe noted that the country’s politicians always should give priority to Democracy. TNA leader, who has been in the limelight lately said the erosion of democracy will lead to the destruction of the country. “SL should always be a vibrant democracy. more..

Making space for all

Oct 1 (DM) To make space for others is one of the noble principles in the vision of deep unity in diversity where we not only protect and promote diversity but also celebrate it. Thankfully this is also a part of the foundation of the new National Govt, whatever the sectarian critics or cynics may say. Govt headed by President Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe has repeatedly pledged its commitment to build a new SL based on multi-religious, multi-racial, multi-cultural traditions. more..

Child labour in the tea plantations in SL

Oct 1 (DM) Children employed in the tea plantations in Sri Lanka fall into a special category of plantation labour due to certain factors, peculiar only to tea plantations. One such factor is ethnicity. Plantation labour was composed of Tamils from South India. The estates on which they worked were located in the central hill regions of Sri Lanka, but the structure of the plantation system residence within the estate, the provision of education and medical facilities, no matter how meagre, more..

'State revenue needs urgent attention'

Oct 1 (DM) Dailymirror met Sri Lanka’s Communist Party General Secretary and ex-minister DEW Gunasekara to discuss the country’s political and economic situation. Q: What are your observations on the post-election political developments in the country? A: After 20 years, there was a change in the presidency and in the parliamentary composition. Political power has shifted from the SLFP to the UNP while more..

Seya’s killing: The endgame

Oct 1 (ST) A tip-off from a villager in Bemmulla, Gampaha, eventually gave the CID the breakthrough in a crime that had shocked the nation. A senior police officer said the tip-off followed by a statement from the suspect’s brother led to the arrest of the man wanted in connection with the rape and murder of four-year-old Seya from Akarangaha, Badalgama, which is about 20 kilometres away from the suspect’s village. more..