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Sri Lanka rupee pressured, liquidity tightens

Sept 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka rupee continued to come under pressure in forex markets with the spot dollar held at 110.10 rupees with dollar sales by authorities Tuesday, dealers said while liquidity tightened despite fresh injections. Excess liquidity in the interbank market fell to 27.6 billion rupees Tuesday from 31.4 billion rupees a day earlier, despite the central bank's T-bill stock climbing to 23.6 billion rupees from 19.8 billion rupees a day earlier. more..

Sri Lanka: Propaganda Wars

Sept 14 (NDTV) In Sri Lanka, the civil war of the last 20 years finally came to a brutal end in 2009, when the Sri Lankan Army defeated the LTTE. Though the military war is over, the propaganda war refuses to die out. The government claims it is rebuilding lives and trust, but persistent charges of war crimes, and denial of rights to its Tamil population continue to plague the regime. In any conflict, or post-conflict environment, newsgathering is a complex process. more..

Sri Lanka recalls diplomat accused of war crimes

Sept 14 (SI) The Sri Lankan govt has recalled its second most senior diplomat to Switzerland and Germany in response to accusations he was involved in war crimes. Former general Jaghat Dias led the 57th division of the Sri Lankan army. He is accused of ordering his troops to fire upon civilian and hospital targets during the army’s final offensive against the rebel Tamil Tigers in 2009. A report by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights also more..

30 killed by lightning in Sri Lanka this year

Sept 14 (Xinhua) Lightning strikes had killed 30 people in Sri Lanka this year, the Sri Lankan govt said based on data released on Tuesday. The Minister in charge of disaster management Mahinda Amaraweera said that the Sri Lankan authorities are now trying to raise awareness among the public to stay clear from lightning prone areas. He said that statistics over the last two years had shown that a large number of people in Sri Lanka had got caught to lightning strikes. more..

Sri Lanka doctors 'complicit in torture'

Sept 14 (BBC) Doctors in five countries including Sri Lanka are complicit in torture by failing to report torture when they treat torture victims, says the British Medical Journal (BMJ). In a detailed report, the BMJ says medical professionals in UK, US, Italy, Israel and Sri Lanka are complicit in torture by failing to blow the whistle. The report by Medact, a UK based health charity stress the importantance of training doctors on what constitutes torture and more..

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe at the HRC

Sri Lanka: Human Rights Council must act on report

Sept 14 (AI) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has officially transmitted the findings of his expert panel’s report to the Human Rights Council. The report, made public in April, finds “credible allegations” of war crimes and crimes against humanity by all sides to the Sri Lankan conflict. Amnesty welcomed the move today, and called on the Council to immediately begin the process of implementing the report's conclusions. Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s more..

Prepaid ticketing system in mess

Sept 14 (DM) A move by the Private Bus Owners Association (PBOA) to introduce a prepaid card system for private buses on September 24 has hit a snag after another bus association today vowed to stop the new system stating that it was illegal and did not have the approval of the government authorities. The PBOA intends to begin a pilot project for about a period of one month on the Gampaha-Colombo and Mattegoda-Pitakotte routes. The project has been approved by the Central Bank and more..

Campaigners urge UN rights council to probe Sri Lanka

Sept 14 (AFP) Rights campaigners on Tuesday urged the UN Human Rights Council to order a probe into the final months of Sri Lanka's armed conflict, after a report detailing serious violations was transferred to the council. On Monday, United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon sent a UN report accusing Sri Lankan troops of killing tens of thousands of civilians in its final offensive against Tamil Tiger separatists to the UN's rights body. more..

Sri Lanka solid waste power plant by Malaysian firm

Sept 14 (LBO) Malaysia's Octagon Consolidated said it close to finalizing a 40MegaWatt municipal waste burning power plant in the Western Province Sri Lanka where the island's capital is located. Sri Lanka's state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has given a letter of intent to its subsidiary Orizon Renewable Energy (Private) Limited on September 06, the firm said in a filing on Malaysia's stock exchange. Octagon Consolidated said it is now working on a power purchase more..

'Campaign against corruption at CMC'

Sept 14 (SL) The JVP says its campaign for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) elections would be based rallying against the corruption in the council and the govt’s move to evict persons from the city. JVP mayoral candidate Sunil Watagala has said the party’s campaign would be a voice for the people and that the election manifesto would be launched shortly. He has added that awareness would also be made among the people in the city about the high level of corruption at the CMC. more..

Canada seeks Sri Lanka boycott at Commonwealth meeting

Sept 14 (TA) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set the scene for a strained Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth next month, vowing to push for a boycott of a 2013 summit in Sri Lanka unless it improves its human rights record. Mr Harper backed an independent investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan army in the final phase of the 26-year civil war with the Tamil Tiger guerillas. more..

Unifying tasks for a future Northern Provincial Council

Sept 14 (LG) The govt media gave headline prominence to the fact that Sri Lanka had made an impressive jump of 10 places to 52nd from 62nd in the rankings of the latest Global Competitiveness Report (2011-2012) issued by the World Economic Forum (WEF). This is a further improvement from the 2009-2010 report which ranked the country at 79th position while last year’s report placed Sri Lanka in the 62nd spot. Sri Lanka shows improvements on 80% of indicators - 80-90 of the more..

Our Hero, Anagarika Dharmapala

Sept 14 (LG) Hundred forty-seven years ago Anagarika Dharmapala was born into a wealthy and influential family in Sri Lanka. At the age of twenty he chose not to enter the family business renouncing the life of a householder and dedicating his life to the revival and dissemination of the Buddha’s Teaching. Two thousand six hundred years ago while sitting beneath the Bodhi Tree, after six years of strenuous practice to discover the path that leads to the end of more..

Speed limit for the Southern Highway

Sept 14 (Island) The construction of the Southern Highway has made a significant change to our road network system. We never dreamt of having a dual carriage highway in Sri Lanka at least for the next decade. However, with the change in the government along with the resulting end to the ongoing conflict, a vast development programme has taken place with the prominent Southern Highway project taking pride of place. more..

Matara NHRC protects torture perpetrators

Sept 14 (LG) Nalani Nagahawatta is a 60 years old mother of three children. Sisira Kumara Dissanayaka is her eldest son of 27 years old. Nalaka Bandara Disanayaka, 24 years old, is her second son and Tharidu Lasantha Disanayaka is the youngest who is 23 years old. They reside in Katagoda closer to Udugama junction,Galle. On 17.06.2011, Udugama police arrested Nalani’s three sons to satisfy a home guard named Ms. Deepani Jayasekara. In the police station, all three sons were more..

Some food for thought for power

Sept 14 (DM) Just a few months ago, in my village in Deniyaya, we started to encounter regular power failures. With reports of the reservoir levels dropping, I immediately suspected load shedding. Load shedding is an unannounced power cut when there is a lack of generation capacity at peak demand times. A few days later, I could hear the Minister of Power and Energy over the radio vehemently denying these power cuts or a power crisis (the attached Generation more..

CID nets land scammers

Sept 14 (DM) The number of land scams or frauds and the sale of land using forged deeds have seen an increase in the recent past. Worse, however is the fact that some of the victims of these deals are afraid to come forward and lodge complaints due to intimidation and threats by various persons. According to the Police complaints of fraudulent sale of lands that are amounted in the millions are handled by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID). more..

Are we cooking our own goose to feed the hostile?

Sept 14 (DM) Are we laying Sri Lanka as a tasty dish before the humanitarian lobby to devour? While we sleep soundly without attending to basic necessities, those faulting us for eliminating terrorism, are manufacturing overtime- lies, lies and more lies to discredit. Postponing the day of reckoning is in the grip of our national past-time of procrastination. Add to it: wistful thinking that problems with time will blow away to the realm of the forgotten and more..

Osama, Prabhakaran and Me

Sept 14 (GV) I have a bone to pick with these two. In fact maybe an entire rib cage. One of them caused me to question my nationalism and my identity as a Sri-Lankan and the other caused me to have to answer countless questions about my religious beliefs. In essence all my adult life, my religion and my country have been under attack; and yet how did I turn out to be such a pacifist? Shouldn’t I theoretically have bombs in my make-up case and hidden amongst my more..

Ranil Wickremesinghe should be ‘put through a leadership course’

Sept 14 (SL) Former Hatton National Bank Chairman, Rienzie Wijetilleke, has urged the public to not vote for the UNP in the upcoming local election. Wijetilleke said ‘that as long as Ranil Wickremesinghe is leader of the UNP the people should refrain from voting for the party’. Q: The UNP is facing the prospect of losing the CMC. How do you feel, as a voter, that the opposition party is coming into an election without any real chance of victory? more..

Editorial: Diplomatic terror

Sept 14 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Human Rights Special Envoy, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, presented Sri Lanka's case at the UNHRC session very eloquently on Monday. Giving a very lucid account of this country's reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts and progress thereof, he pointed out that UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay had overstepped her diplomatic limits to back an anti-Sri Lankan campaign carried out by the LTTE rump and faulted her for a surreptitious move to more..

Editorial: More than preaching, take a broom and start sweeping

Sept 14 (DM) Preaching or political speeches are often from the mind and not based on experience and are seldom backed by action. Therefore they are virtually dead speeches and have little or no impact on the people. Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Theresa had an answer for this. Based on her experience, where she did so much good for millions of people all over the world, she advised political, religious and other leaders to do less preaching and instead take a broom and start sweeping. more..

Harsha wants securities fraud fine increased from Rs. 10 m to Rs. 100 m

Sept 14 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday called for an increase in SEC fines on securities fraud by 10 times to Rs. 100 million. This suggestion was part of his response to the SEC’s recent action against Environmental Resources Investments (ERI) over non disclosure of related party transactions. Here is the full statement: In a country where even a poor jay walker can be fined Rs 1,000 what is the justification of fining a more..

Commonwealth tax administrators meet in Colombo for annual confab

Sept 14 (Island) Sri Lanka will host the 32nd Annual Technical Conference of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) which is scheduled to be held from 18th to 23rd September 2011 in Colombo. The Department of Inland Revenue is the main organiser of the Conference under the patronage and guidance of the Commonwealth Secretariat. The 31st Annual Technical Conference of CATA was held in Abuja of Nigeria in October 2010. This conference is an avenue for more..

Bouquets from Budget!

Sept 14 (FT) With the Budget on the horizon, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) yesterday dropped hints that there would be more relief to local investors come 15 November. IRD Commissioner General K.M.S Kandegedara acknowledged that the department was currently meeting with various associations and organisations to formulate proposals for Budget 2012. He was speaking at the press conference held to announce the 32nd annual Commonwealth Association of Tax Administration (CATA) Conference, more..

Sri Lanka: Post-War progress report

Sept 14 (ICG) More than two years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, the political situation in the country remains deeply worrying. The unique opportunity the govt has to build a lasting and just peace after the defeat of the LTTE is being lost. The govt has not taken credible steps to ensure accountability for the grave allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity identified in the April 2011 report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka. more..

Puttalam UC member remanded over cop’s death

Sept 14 (Island) The Puttalam Additional District Judge and Magistrate Dhammika Illangasinghe yesterday remanded UNP member of the Puttalam Urban Council Abdul Majoor Ali Khan till September 21. He was a suspect in the murder of a police sergeant in the Puttalam town on August 21 and had been evading arrest. He was arrested by Anamaduwa police while in hiding and handed over to the CID. A CID officer, submitting the B- report to the Court said that there was evidence that the suspect was at the scene of more..

PMC grads must sit exam for foreign qualified docs

Sept 14 (Island) Minister S. B. Dissanayake yesterday said that students who would qualify from the Malabe Private Medical College at present will have to pass the examination (E.R.M.P), which all foreign medical degree holders have to sit in order to practice here. He said the Private Medical College has been given 18 months to correct its shortcomings and bring itself to the standard of State medical faculties and thereafter the students qualifying from PMC need not sit the ERMP. more..

Wimal warns of US move to meddle with SL universities

Sept 14 (Island) National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, alleged that the US was now making an effort to influence the student community as part of its overall strategy to undermine post-war Sri Lanka. Minister Weerawansa warned of political instability unless the govt took effective measures to counter the US initiative. Weerawansa said student grievances could be exploited by interested parties to cause chaos. more..

Mystery over death of ex-detective’s wife

Sept 14 (DM) A Colombo Court yesterday ordered the police to exhume the body of the wife of former National Intelligence Bureau Inspector Mitila Sanjaya Rajaratna. The police in their report to court said according to her husband the cause of death was the result of a food allergy but the coroner had given an open verdict. The wife’s relatives alleged that on the day she had died the couple’s housemaid had given birth and there had been arguments between the husband and wife over this incident. more..

'Candidate displays cut-out of his father'

Sept 14 (DM) Thirteen election-related incidents of violence have been reported up to yesterday from 23 local council areas where elections will be held on October 8, a leading election monitoring group said. PAFFREL executive director Rohana Hettiarachchi said most of the incidents were of a minor nature and mainly from intra-party rivalry between candidates vying for preferential votes. He said a novel form of impersonation was a phenomenon in the run up to the elections where for instance more..

Probe into Eye Donation Society sought

Sept 14 (Island) N.H. Silva, brother of the late Hudson Silva in a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for an urgent probe on the Eye Donation Society. N.H. Silva, accompanied by Victor Silva, another long standing member of the society, walked in to The Island editorial recently with a copy of a petition sent to President Rajapaksa. For want of scrutiny on the part of the govt, the Eye Donation Society, like many other NGOs, had been conducting more..

Ind. Group challenges rejection of nominations to contest CMC polls

Sept 14 (Island) The leader of an Independent Group has filed a Writ Application, in the Court of Appeal, against the rejection of their nomination paper to contest the Municipal Council poll in Colombo on October 8, 2011. The petitioner, Annamalai Muththappan Chettiar of Hetti Veediya, Colombo 12, had said that their nomination paper was rejected by the Returning Officer for Colombo, on the allegation that the two youth candidates had not submitted their respective birth certificates nor more..

Sri Lanka regret missing series win against Aussies

Sept 14 (Island) Tillakaratne Dilshan says he regrets not being able to win the Test series against Australia. After years of domination by successive Australian teams, the on-going series was seen as a fine opportunity for the Sri Lankans to settle old scores with the tourists having several new faces in their side. Of the 22 Tests played between the countries, Sri Lanka have managed just one Test compared to Australia’s 14. Former batting great Aravinda de Silva had called the more..

Mumps vaccine also introduced

Sept 14 (DM) A new Mumps vaccine was yesterday introduced to the National Immunization programme by the Govt Epidemiology Unit with the assistance of the WHO. Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Mrs. Paba Palihawadana said the Epidemiology Unit was introducing it after 3 years and stressed the new Mumps vaccine would further strengthen the National Immunization programme which was re-positioned in January this year with a more robust theme and a comprehensive awareness campaign. more..

'Congress cannot forgive Rajiv's killers'

Sept 14 (Hindu) Coming down heavily on political parties and organisations demanding clemency for the three convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, Union Minister of State for Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy said here on Tuesday that those favouring such a decision should also think about the tragic death of Rajiv Gandhi and nearly 15 Tamilians in the terrorist attack. He said the Congress and its workers cannot forgive those behind the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. more..

Catholic Fishermen in Mannar complain that India is devastating ecosystem

Sept 14 (AN) “Why is our govt denying us the legitimate right to fish in our waters whilst allowing Indian fishermen catch fish undisturbed?” ask Catholic fishermen in the northern district of Mannar. They accuse the Defence and Fisheries Ministries of not taking any action to stop the constant violation of Sri Lankan territorial waters by Indian trawlers. They pledge “strong action” if the govt does not find a solution to the problem. Sri Lankan fishermen have been calling on more..

Sri Lanka investments being mulled by Korea

Sept 14 (LBO) South Korean firms like Hyundai and LG are interested in exploring investements in shipbuilding and electronics in Sri Lanka, the island's ministry of industry and commerce said. The interest of Korean companies was revealed by South Korean ambassador Jongmoon Choi during a courtesy call on the industry and commerce minister Rishad Bathiudeen, said in a statement. Other Korean firms too are keen on a variety of projects in Sri Lanka, ambassador Jongmoon Choi said. more..

Deadly blow for undertaker

Sept 14 (DM) A leading Keselwatta funeral service employee is alleged to have been clubbed to death with an iron bar by a colleague following an argument after they had finished embalming a body that was brought there, police said. They said the victim T.D. Asanka Pushpakumara (22) was a resident of Pannala while the suspect is from Bandaragama. Inquiries revealed they had consumed liquor after they had completed their work and this might have led the fatal altercation between the two. more..