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Young Girl student of Nuwara Eliya is missing and police refuse to act

Sept 11 (LG) Shanathi was a student of Gamini Maha Vidyalaya, Nuwara Eliya. She was the elderst of the family and had two younger sisters and one younger brother. Her father was working at the Nuwara-Eliya municipality. Shanathi was doing her university entrance exam (Advance Level) in science. She was an intelligent student and followed tuition classes during the weekend in Kandy. When Shanathi came to Kandy during the weekend, she used to stay with her aunt in more..

Pre-judgment of LLRC outcome is unacceptable and unwarranted

Sept 11 (TC) Claims by Amnesty International (AI) that they have analyzed the work of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) is questionable when the final report of the LLRC is due only on 15 November 2011. It is recalled that AI in a demonstration of bad faith, refused an invitation from the LLRC in October 2010, to testify before the Commission. This would have provided an opportunity to AI to obtain first hand knowledge of the workings of the LLRC. more..

Slaughter on the beaches of Sri Lanka, viewed by many as a successful chapter in the “War on Terror”

Sept 11 (TC) The first political decade of the new millennium began in the fall of 2001 on American soil and ended in the spring of 2011 in North Africa and the Middle East. In the course of that decade, the rich world became increasingly afraid – first of terrorism, then of financial insecurity – while the poor, countries and people, became increasingly assertive and hopeful. This is, of course, a broad generalization. more..

Editorial: LLRC will not cow down to intimidation

Sept 11 (SO) The 18th regular sessions of the UNHRC are due to commence in Geneva tomorrow and will continue till September 30. Surprisingly, during the past five years, an identical and well-orchestrated drama leads up to every UNHRC session. This time around too, there is no exception and the same action plan has been set in motion to discredit Sri Lanka and exert pressure on the Govt. The cat was out of the bag when a few days before the latest UNHRC sessions, more..

Editorial: Do you want a conductor on this train or no

Sept 11 (SL) It looks like Ranil Wickremesinghe will go down like Gaddafi, hiding behind paving equipment in Sirikotha. Like any dictator, other people must suffer before him, preferably everybody. The UNP has lost election after election, voter after voter, MP after MP. More importantly, they have lost chance after chance to improve people’s lives and seemingly even the desire to do so. Now it looks as if they may lose Colombo. They would deserve it and for once, more..

Judge me on my past record - Muzammil

Sept 11 (SO) The last of the Local Government elections in 2011 will be held on October 8 and all major parties are actively involved in their campaigns to capture power in the 23 remaining local bodies. The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is the cynosure of all eyes as it is the topmost local body in the island and reflects the political atmosphere, stability of the ruling party and the socio-economic standard of the nation irrespective of any differences. more..

Editorial: Subterfuge of protecting ‘free education’

Sept 11 (NS) The news that the main trade union of doctors in the country, the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) is demanding that the university status granted to a private medical college in Malabe be withdrawn, is both shocking and unprofessional. There is an eerie sense of déjà vu in this. In the early eighties, when the North Colombo Medical College (NCMC) was set up in Ragama under the auspices of the J. R. Jayewardene regime too, the GMOA howled in protest. more..

Editorial: Certainly, you would have been terrorized recently

Sept 11 (LB) The terror attack on the High Court in New Delhi would no doubt send a chill down the spine of Indians who thought that terrorism was over with the Bombay attacks, the Sri Lankan cricket team attack in Lahore, and the end of the LTTE in 2009. Terrorism it’s now clear, is far from over in the region which should give food for thought to those who want to mollycoddle those openly LTTE-loving politicians of the Tamilnadu state. The only thing that should make us want to more..

All-Party Select Committee: devil may not be dark as assumed

Sept 11 (LB) Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharana says that he is content with the All-Party Select Committee concept that has been mooted by the UPFA govt to discuss and arrive at a political settlement to the North-East issue. In an interview Prof. Vitharana said that it is unfair to brand the steps taken by the govt to opt for an All-Party Select Committee as a delaying tactic by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime in finding a solution to the vexed issue. more..

Editorial: Changing street names

Sept 11 (Island) Sri Lankans, most so residents of Colombo, have lived with the changing of street names far too frequently for most of their lives. Some residents of Bagatelle Road, variously called Bagatalle Road among others, have recently taken issue over a proposed name change now in the official pipeline. They have canvassed their point of view through the newspapers and other media and whether Bagatelle Road will be re-named Dr. Wijayananda Dahanayaka Mawatha or not remains an open question. more..

Editorial: US must turn its searchlight inward

Sept 11 (ST) The 10th anniversary of what to the Americans is only second to the attack on Pearl Harbour during World War II falls today. The parallels are somewhat similar in that the nation was caught napping despite early warning signals, and then its leaders reacted with a sledge-hammer on the perceived perpetrators of the heinous crime inflicted on them. The then US Administration assembled a 'coalition of the willing' (because there were so many unwilling) to wage what more..

Elephants: Let the show go on!

Sept 11 (NS) Major tour operators can play a key role in maintaining the discipline of personnel, especially drivers, guides and trackers in the wildlife areas and parks in sustaining the country’s unique nature and wild life for future generations. Some concerted and urgent effort is therefore necessary, otherwise the disruption and stress caused to the elephants would soon result in them seeking ‘greener pastures’ and we could ‘kill the goose that more..

More hurdles for govt in global arena

Sept 11 (NS) The UPFA govt and President Mahinda Rajapaksa maybe still popular with the masses of Sri Lanka - as evidenced by recent election results - but they will face several hurdles in the international arena in the coming weeks. That is because the sessions of the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations (UN) is due to begin in Geneva shortly and Sri Lanka is expected to figure prominently, with the government being called upon to answer charges of alleged more..

Blake’s visit creates ripples

Sept 11 (NS) US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake is expected to visit Sri Lanka on Monday. Blake is no stranger to Sri Lanka having served his stint as the US Ambassador here and paid visits to this country several times earlier. However, the US Assistant Secretary’s visit this time round has created an unprecedented stir in political circles here with political observers attaching much significance to it given several international events more..

Vehicle imports through Hambantota next year

Sept 11 (ST) The Government is going ahead with plans to commence vehicle imports from the Hambantota port from next March despite strong opposition from importers, who made their concerns known at a meeting on Monday with the state. Authorities state that currently they are negotiating with at least one operator for transshipment to be carried out from the Hambantota port. This vessel will be carrying vehicles shipped from Japan, China, India, and Korea more..

Watch out for the swing vote

Sept 11 (Island) With canvassing for the local govt elections in full swing, the one thought on everybody’s minds is whether the UNP is going to pull through or not. This election is being fought largely on the UNP’s traditional home turf – the urban areas. The litmus test will be how the UNP fares in the big three municipal councils, Colombo, Kandy and Mt Lavinia. One thing that one cannot help but note is that depending on whether the UNP is in power or not at the level of the central govt, there are wild fluctuations in more..

Happy journey to the land of peace

Sept 11 (ST) My dear Robert O’ Blake, I thought I must write to you because you are supposed to be visiting our shores this week and I’m told you were delayed in making the trip because of Hurricane Irene. It’s good that you survived the storm but then, I’m not sure whether everyone here would see it that way! We are told, Robert, that you are visiting us because you are ‘concerned’ about what is happening in our country after the end of the war. Now, that is indeed funny because every word more..

‘Road rage’ led to triple murder?

Sept 11 (LB) The bodies of three persons who had been stabbed to death with a sharp object at Elliot Avenue, Dolekade, were found by the Homagama police, and the bodies were identified last morning. The deceased have been identified as Anura Elvitigala, his wife, M. Darshani and her brother, Nilantha Rathnaweera. The Homagama police conducting inquiries into this triple murder is of the view that the suspects after having climbed the more..

Haiti says Lankan troops raped even minors

Sept 11 (SL) Officials in Haiti have said that UN peacekeeping soldiers from Sri Lanka who had been accused of sex-crimes in 2007 had even raped children as young as 7 years old. The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network said that most of the 114 Sri Lankan soldiers deported to Sri Lanka from Haiti in 2007 for sexual abuse and rape were not punished. However army spokesman Brigadier H. A. Nihal Hapuarachchi said that the soldiers who were found guilty in the case have been prosecuted. more..

Negombo Kite Festival from September 17 – 19

Sept 11 (NS) The Negombo Kite Festival 2011 titled ‘Nil Ahase Wasanthaya’ will be held from September 17 to 19 in Negombo. Organised for the 4th consecutive year by ‘The Kite Sri Lanka Association’, it will take place on the Negombo Beach and later extended throughout the island as mini events. The event is expected to create harmony amongst all ethnic groups who are expected to take part irrespective of age and is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face that day. more..

Tea industry urges Govt. to check CWC

Sept 11 (ST) Two leading plantation associations have urged the government to prevent Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) politicians from disrupting the plantation sector by initiating worker unrest. The move came after CWC Provincial Minister Senthil Thondaman prompted the workers to stage a ‘go-slow’ campaign in the Central and Uva regions disrupting tea production during the week. The Ceylon Planters Society and the Planters Association of more..

TNA abandons Jaffna fast after talks with President

Sept 11 (ST) The Tamil National Alliance called off its one-day token fast in Jaffna yesterday after President Mahinda Rajapaksa assured that charges would be dropped against 102 people who staged a protest outside the Army Camp at Nawanthurai.The charges included attacking an army camp and engaging in terror activities. Some 104 people were arrested after a protest outside the army camp in Nawanthurai, during which they are alleged to have thrown stones at army personnel. more..

Colombo: People centred development

Sept 11 (Island) Colombo is the main city of the country. It belongs to its residents and in a sense to the country as a whole. In administering the city, those who govern need to pay heed to the city’s citizens and also to the needs of the many commuters to the city. The city has over four hundred thousand voters and nearly twice as many residents. About half the population live in poor housing and in areas with low quality infrastructure. A livable environment for everybody could be more..

Petrol sheds no longer for favourites

Sept 11 (Island) The widespread practice of powerful politicians of both the SLFP and UNP `gifting’ Petroleum Corporation owned filling stations to their kith and kin will soon come to an end. These filling stations, some in prime locations in Colombo, were given lock stock and barrel to favourites without charging a cent even though everything down to supervision, spares, maintenance and replacement of broken equipment were taken care of by the CPC. more..

Arrack made with artificial toddy booms in North & East

Sept 11 (Island) Non-invoiced arrack made out of artificial toddy and illegally imported spirits is being sold in the North and East of the country depriving the state of a revenue, Mr. Harry Jayawardena, Chairman/CEO of the Distilleries Company of Sri Lanka has charged in the company’s annual report. He accused the Department of Excise of aiding and abetting such sales. "When the war ended, all the licenses that were suspended during the war were re-opened and the business that more..

Milinda campaigns in Colombo North

Sept 11 (Island) CMC UPFA candidate Milinda Moragoda visited 15 neighbourhoods of Colombo North and he interacted with a variety of residents from all communities, including a fishing community in Mutwalla. He visited several community centres which were badly dilapidated and left abandoned. Some of these were only half finished and had never been completed. And also he visited several playing fields which were in ruins. Many of the residents in the area told him that more..

Northern education in major gridlock

Sept 11 (ST) Teachers and students in areas affected by the conflict in the north are facing administrative problems as most of their documents have been destroyed, an educational organisation has pointed out. According to a report by the Educationist Organisation of Tamils (EOT) the schools affected are those located in Kilinochchi, Thunukkai, Madhu, Northern Vavuniya and the Vadamarachchi zones where almost all documentation was lost during the final stages of the conflict in 2009. more..

Ten year old raped by a deserter in Tellijjawila

Sept 11 (LB) The Matara Magistrate last week remanded five suspects involved in the alcohol fuelled rape of a ten-year-old school girl in Tellijjawila. Four suspects were released on surety bail of Rs.100,000 each. According to a medical report compiled by the Akuressa District Hospital, out of the nine suspects who were taken into custody, four had been under the influence of alcohol. As the story unfolds, work at the examination centre was expected to be completed on Sept 3. more..

Questions on lost carpets and antiques from estate bungalow

Sept 11 (Island) Questions are being raised about the disappearance from a once British owned upcountry plantation residence of carpets and antique furniture now seen in the palatial London home of a Sri Lankan. A political VIP, after a stay in the estate bungalow, had allegedly instructed the caretaker to send 23 carpets from the premises to Colombo "for cleaning" and the antique furniture for "restoration." This had been done through an unsigned and undated letter to more..

Rantembe Reservoir drain cost CEB whopping Rs. 700 mn

Sept 11 (Island) In a sudden move, the CEB drained the Rantembe Reservoir last Friday (2) ostensibly for "maintenance", which shocked engineers described as "unbelievable" as the generation of 15 million units of electricity was lost. At a critical juncture when Sri Lanka is heading for a power crisis due to the drastic drop in hydro reservoir levels, the release of the water from the bottom outlets of the reservoir, meant a loss of Rs. 700 million to the CEB more..

Sri Lanka to help Punjab to fight Dengue

Sept 11 (Dawn) Sri Lankan govt has pledged cooperation with Punjab govt in its fight against dengue virus after Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in a diplomatic contact requested for the country`s help that had combated the viral disease in the past successfully. The Punjab chief minister thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa for announcing cooperation of his govt for eradication of dengue virus from the province, a handout said. The chief minister said the govt and people of Punjab were thankful to the Sri Lankan govt. more..

President to participate in the sixty-six session of UN General Assembly

Sept 11 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will be visiting New York to participate in the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. According to the schedule, he will be addressing the General Assembly on the 23rd of this month. The 65th session of the General Assembly will be officially closed tomorrow and the sixty-six session will commence on 13th September. An experienced Qatari diplomat who has served as his country’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations more..

Resettlement Ministry to be scrapped

Sept 11 (ST) The govt is to wind up the Ministry of Resettlement from next year and vest the remaining responsibility in the hands of the respective Govt Agents. The decision has been made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Like the withdrawal of the State of Emergency, he feels there is no need now for a Ministry of Resettlement since most of the task has been completed. Such a move will see new functions being given to the current Minister, Gunaratne Weerakoon, and more..

Buddhist monk takes up cause of 12 Lankan fishermen

Sept 11 (ST) A group of Sri Lankan fishermen languishing in an Indian jail for over one and a half years has asked the State to intervene to get them released. A Buddhist monk heading a campaign on behalf of the fishermen from Puttalam has launched a fast seeking their release. Ven. Bendiwala Diyasena Thera, chief incumbent of the Samudrasanna Vihara in Kandakuliya who visited the men last month said that the fishermen who had left the shores of Kalpitiya on Feb 28 last year, more..

Grease devils: 12-hour police patrols in Jaffna

Sept 11 (NS) Following several reports of grease men striking in the night, Police have decided to increase night patrols in suspected areas in the peninsula for 12 hours commencing 6 pm daily, Jaffna based Police sources said. This was announced at a press conference held in Jaffna Police headquarters. At this press briefing HQI Jaffna, CI Saman Sigera said that armed policemen would be deployed on motor cycles and push cycles right through the night. more..

Alleged war crimes: Lanka launches major diplomatic offensive

Sept 11 (ST) This week began with the continuing focus on issues related to the aftermath of the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas. All of them appeared to be a scene setter for tomorrow's 18th sessions of the UNHCR in Geneva. Though there is no formal resolution against Sri Lanka and no indications of such a move have emerged, the govt is taking no chances. In fact, the information the govt has received, through its diplomatic channels, is that there more..

Piped water for dried up tanks within Yala

Sept 11 (ST) In a move to prevent animals in Yala National Park straying into villages in search of water during a drought, pipes would be set up to fill up the tanks in the park, Minister S.M. Chandrasena said. Speaking at the reopening of the Katagamuwa entrance to the Park, after four years, he said that Yala was only second to the national parks in Africa, and he hoped to develop it to international standards, so that it would attract more local and foreign tourists. more..

PCCSL to consider third party complaints

Sept 11 (Island) The Board of Directors of the Commission (PCCSL), the self-regulatory mechanism representing the newspaper industry, made this announcement at the conclusion of the first National Conference on ‘Self-Regulation in the Media’ last week at the Sri Lanka Press Institute auditorium. While the Rules and Procedures of the PCCSL permitted third party complaints on a ‘case by case’ basis, the Commission was reluctant to accept third party complaints fearing more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Sept 11 (ST) At a Temple Trees meeting, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was speaking on the virtues of polls campaigns. Present were Ministers, MPs and candidates in the Kandy District. After telling them to work as a team, he said no purpose was served simply distributing leaflets. He cited an example of how some campaigns failed. During the presidential election in 2005, where he contested, some of his supporters had gone to the house of his Secretary Lalith Weeratunga. more..

Fonseka has not said how Leader Editor distorted his statement:DSG

Sept 11 (ST) Deputy Solicitor General Buwaneka Aluvihare (DSG) on Friday told the High Court Trial-at-Bar on the 'White Flag' case that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka during his dock statement to Court had failed to explain as to how The Sunday Leader Editor Frederica Jansz had distorted his statement given during an interview to the newspaper. Opening submissions on behalf of the prosecution, Mr. Aluvihare said that when more..