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Wildfire Department joins the Cyber jungle

Sept 16 (NF) The Wildlife Department states that steps are being taken to introduce a system where those planning to visiting the country's national parks can purchase tickets online. Director General of the Wildlife Department H.D. Ratnayake stated that through initiative queues outside the parks for tickets will not be necessary. The Head of the Wildlife Department further noted that those visiting national parks would also be able to make reservations for accommodation as well in the future. more..

Judgement in Fonseka Writ case fixed for Dec 15

Sept 16 (AD) The verdict on Sarath Fonseka’s appeal against the second court martial sentencing will be given on December 15 by the Appeals Court. The second court martial handed Fonseka a 30 month sentencing which he subsequently appealed. The Attorney General pointed out that the sentencing had been approved by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and could not be contested in front of the law. more..

'Two-Test series unsatisfactory'

Sept 16 (CI) On the eve of his 100th Test, Kumar Sangakkara has called on the ICC to do away with two-Test series, describing such scheduling as "unsatisfying". The third Test against Australia at Colombo will offer Sangakkara and his team the chance to pull back a 1-0 deficit, but they have not always been so fortunate. As a stylish batsman, successful captain and articulate statesman for Sri Lankan cricket, Sangakkara said he had taken part in too many series where the narrative felt unduly clipped more..

Women in roof-top to protest the illegal handing out of shops

Sept 16 (ST) Three Sri Lankan women are carrying out a fast unto death on a roof top to protest the illegal handing out of shops to persons with political connections close to the Dambulla Temple premises. The women supported by some 50 others squatting on the ground are refusing to budge until this demand is met by the authorities. They are also demanding that the authorities re-start the development plans in the temple vicinity without further delay. more..

Lankan medical team arrives in Pak to combat dengue

Sept 16 (PTI) A team of Sri Lankan doctors and paramedical staff have arrived in this eastern city to help authorities combat the deadly dengue outbreak in Pakistan's Punjab province that has claimed five more lives. Five persons infected with the virus died in Lahore yesterday. According to the Punjab government, the death toll has now risen to 22 while the total number of dengue patients in Lahore alone has crossed 4,000. more..

Six Tiger suspects in migrant boat

Sept 16 (DM) Six suspected hardcore LTTE cadres were among the 44 illicit emigrants who attempted to migrate to Australia on Sunday from Kalmunai and were detained at the Boossa camp for further investigations, the TID told a Colombo Court today. The TID told Colombo Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli that among the 44 suspects there were women and infants. The illegal migrants were arrested at Kalmunai by the Navy when they were attempting to travel to Australia on the trawler Nethra Duwa. more..

Mervyn bans sale of beef in Gampaha

Sept 16 (SM) Minister Mervyn Silva has ordered a ban on the sale of beef in Gampaha district from next week. Explaining his decision, the minister has said that he wanted to give an example to the entire country in order to protect the livestock resources. Cattle are an asset to the local agriculture and it is a sin to consume their meat, he has said. Beef stall owners in the district have been informed about the ban, he has added.

'Ask the UK High Commissioner'

An innocent man and his brother are tortured by the Kosmodara Police

Sept 16 (LG) Mr. Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Chandana (29) of Kosmodara, Deniyaya was severely tortured by police officers attached to the Kosmodara Police Station. Despite being examined by a JMO at the Matara Teaching Hospital and registering a complaint with the Human Rights Commission no action has been taken to investigate the incident. According to the information that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) received Chandana was tortured by police officers attached to more..

All eyes on Colombo Municipal Council election

Sept 16 (LG) As the third round of local government elections approaches public attentions seems focused especially on the Colombo Municipal Council election. There are several reasons for this special interest. The CMC is the premier administrative body in the capital city; the govt’s concerted effort to elevate Colombo to be a leading city in Asia; this council is an institution that has continuously remained in the hands of the main opposition party, the UNP; more..

Petrol fiasco and CPC: Why is this happening?

Sept 16 (NS) This is a rejoinder to the answers given by Minister Susil Premajayantha to questions raised by a journalist, under the heading “None of the CPC officials are under my control: Susil”. The answer given by the Minister to one of the questions raised by your journalist, viz., “Why is this happening?” (referring to the malpractices at the CPC) is noteworthy. Minister’s answer had been “One main reason for this problem is the lack of proper management”. more..

Multilingualism, Multiculturalism and Sinhala Academia

Sept 16 (LG) ‘Celebrating multilingualism’ in Sri Lanka, and delivering a keynote address in a language award ceremony in Colombo in July, Professor of Sinhala K.N.O. Dharmadasa said that Tamil came to be introduced into the island at a later time, especially after the Polonnaruva period (c. 13th century AD). According to the Mahavamsa myth he was relying upon, culture of multilingualism in the island began when “a group of settlers led by Prince Vijaya, who would have been speaking a more..

Ban Ki-moon should reject the Panel report on Sri Lanka

Sept 16 (LG) An analysis of notices published by the UN Panel of Experts (POE) calling for submissions and email correspondence this writer has had with the Panel show that the Panel has effectively denied the citizens of Sri Lanka an opportunity to be heard by the Panel. The POE has surreptitiously given more time for detractors of the Govt of Sri Lanka by publishing on a notice calling for submissions which few were aware of. Even an emailed reply to those who enquired less than more..

Strike Force Command: They came, they saw, they conquered!

Sept 16 (SO) News broke that the Red Land forces were taking some top foreign officials and a few locals hostage. They were held hostage in a pavilion of a sports stadium, at a strategically important location. It was confirmed during the height of the operations that due to the setbacks suffered by Red Land, it was a do-or-die situation for them. In the wake of the new developments and the unfavourable situation they faced, the Red Land Forces with the help of the Scorpions more..

Manel by another name will not smell as sweet

Sept 16 (LG) We have often in this column referred to Sri Lanka as the Land of the Lotus Eaters. Not that we are any less patriotic than those fire breathing Hela Urumaya types who claim to be the sole agents of patriotism. But we find it hard to refrain from commenting on those who are quite happy with life in Sri Lanka, splitting hairs on esoteric issues while the flames are raging around us. The term Lotus Eaters refers in Greek mythology to an island of people drugged and indolent who are more..

I never asked any questions– Sunanda refuses false reports

Sept 16 (LG) "In the news bulletins of the government and pro-government media it was reported that Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed accused me of being a disgrace to the country in answering a question by me after the screening of the film in Geneva recently. I never asked any question and President Nasheed didn’t say anything like what the Colombo media reports," Mr. Sunanada Deshapriya says in a telephone conversation with the Sri Lanka Guardian from Geneva. more..

Money flows into Jaffna Peninsula from a million Tamil expats

Sept 16 (ST) The northern Jaffna peninsula is poised for a tremendous economic resurgence due to money flowing in from Sri Lankan expatriates and ably supported by the Indian Govt in the post-war era and this impending boom is reflected in the 20 banks including international banks being located within an area of half a kilometre, according to a trade leader of the area. more..

Editorial: Politicians and other animals

Sept 16 (Island) Minister Mervyn Silva is in the news again. Usually, he grabs headlines for the wrong reason. This time around, he has done the right thing––but the wrong way! He has stormed a place of worship in Chilaw and rescued some animals which were to be ritualistically slaughtered there. Saving animals from slaughter is a meritorious deed that deserves plaudits. But, the manner in which Minister Silva set about it has left many wondering whether the law has ceased to exist in this land. more..

Editorial: where to draw this Cricketing line

Sept 16 (DM) Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh has declared himself fit for the Champions League. The spinner played in the first two Tests against England and was then forced to return home with an abdominal muscle strain. India were thrashed 4-0 in the four-match series, while they also struggled in the limited-overs games. Harbajan Singh’s detractors though, will be quick to point out that he has not had much joy with the ball recently as he has picked up just 13 wickets at 43.53 in the five Tests more..

End to Hilton hotel hangover hovering?

Sept 16 (FT) In what is likely to be major breakthrough to the litigation-filled long-drawn-out impasse at Hilton Colombo-owning company Hotel Developers Plc (HDL), a proposal for an amicable win-win settlement has been presented to the Treasury. Sources said that as per the proposals with four options studied by Treasury, major shareholder Cornel Perera (owning 56% but held in trust by the State at present) and the Japanese investors (holding 27.5%) have expressed more..

‘The Cage:’ Optimism in post Gaddafi world

Sept 16 (LB) Gordon Weiss was United Nations Spokesman in Lanka for two years during the civil war; his recent book The Cage (The Bodley Head, London, 2011) was on the shelves for some weeks before the government had it taken off; so much for the fraud called lifting Emergency Regulations! The book is scathing in its expose of the Rajapaksas and military but also merciless in denouncing the Tigers. Weiss is not pro-Eelam; “I went to Sri Lanka as a supporter of the state’s essential more..

Crumbs from the table: Corruption in Sri Lanka

Sept 16 (SL) When I speak of “crumbs” in the context of corruption in this country, I need to qualify the term in two respects: one, that the “crumbs” vary in quantity and value depending on the individual and the enterprise and, two, that those “crumbs” can be in cash, tangible assets, intangibles such as prestige and social acceptance by the rulers and “goodies” such as foreign junkets, or protection from what, in other circumstances, would be the reach of the long arm of the law. more..

Pass laws to ban animal sacrifices: NBF to Govt.

Sept 16 (DM) The National Bhikku Front (NBF) advisor, Ven. Hedigalle Wimalasara Thera yesterday said that if Sri Lankans honestly want to put an end to the barbaric ritual of offering animal sacrifices, loopholes in the legal system should be mended instead of acting out dramas aiming to grab the limelight. “According to the existing laws animal sacrifices can be banned either by a court order or else by a Gazette Notification. more..

Death at children’s home: three remanded

Sept 16 (DN) Three suspects taken into custody after a child at Sadasarana Children’s Home at Thihariya was burnt to death were remanded till September 28. The 15-year-old son of the warden who is suspected of abusing four girls of the children’s home, is among the three suspects. The warden and her husband were also running another children’s home in Minuwangoda over a conflict with a monk, who was the owner the children’s home at Thihariya. The children’s home had been carried out without more..

CPC to supply low sulphur fuel to CEB

Sept 16 (DN) CPC will provide low sulphur fuel to the Kerawalapitiya Yugadanavi power plant as per request, Petroleum Industries Ministry acting Secretary Sandya Wijayabandara said. A Cabinet sub-committee was appointed under Senior Minister A.H.M. Fowzie and following lengthy discussions the CPC agreed to supply all fuel as demanded by the CEB to generate power. She further said the ministry will provide not only low sulphur fuel but also Naphtha and diesel to the CEB to produce power. more..

Milinda endorses Gota’s vision for Colombo

Sept 16 (Island) Around 35,000 houses would be built in the city of Colombo within three years for the benefit of slum and shanty dwellers, UPFA Mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda said. He said that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in keeping with his vision, had already done a remarkable service to make Colombo a clean and beautiful city. All Muslims and Tamils were fully satisfied with the govt’s development programme, Deputy Minister Faizer Musthapa, who was present, said. more..

'Wimal Weerawansa is a mental case'

Sept 16 (Island) Minister Wimal Weerawansa is a "mental case", the UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena said. He said that the Minister was deliberately spreading a false rumour that a "UNP Doctor MP" had gone to Geneva to attend the UN Human Rights Commission sessions. "The only UNP MP cum doctor is me", Jayawardena said adding that he had not left the country and was very much involved in the Local Govt Election campaign, as the UNP’s authorized agent for Negombo. more..

Chicken prices soar to Rs. 480

Sept 16 (Island) Consumers are up in arms over the unrealistic increase in the price of chicken (skinless) sold in the open market. A kilo has now reached Rs. 480 whereas the controlled price is Rs. 350 (with skin) which is mostly available in super market chains and govt-run outlets. Numerous consumers complained that the only solution was for the govt to amend the necessary Act and control the price of chicken at Rs. 350 (skin or skinless). They say that this was the only way to control the price of more..

Sri Lanka's stand-out performer overseas

Sept 16 (CI) In the third Test at the SSC, Kumar Sangakkara will become the fifth Sri Lanka player and the 51st cricketer overall to feature in 100 Tests. Ever since his debut in 2000, not only has Sangakkara been one of Sri Lanka's most successful batsmen in home Tests, but has also shown good consistency in away Tests, something very few Sri Lanka batsmen have managed over the years. Sangakkara, like most top batsmen, has a home average higher than his overall career average, more..

Milinda also plans model city

Sept 16 (DM) Colombo will be transformed into a model city with multiculturalism as the bedrock of a Sri Lankan identity, UPFA mayoral candidate Milinda Moragoda said. “I want Colombo to set the trend for the rest of the country in promoting multiculturalism,” Mr. Moragoda said. According to him the country is faced with an identity crisis which can be resolved by promoting a Sri Lankan identity. During a visit to the Mayurapathy Kovil in Colombo he said he was moved to see religious places of more..

'No schools, so students can’t sit A/L exam'

Sept 16 (DM) Minister Bandula Gunawardene said statistically the children in 72 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the country did not have the opportunity to take up the GCE A/L in Science, Arts or Commerce stream for want of schools and that there were 100 Divisional Secretariat Divisions with only one school for GCE A/L. He pointed out that that the schools in 172 out of 324 Divisional Secretariat Divisions did not have any school with classes for the science stream. more..

Kelani River water purity level diminishing

Sept 16 (DM) Recent tests carried out at the Kelani River have indicated that the purity level of the water is diminishing and therefore may not be appropriate for drinking purposes, an environmental NGO said. The Eco Friendly Volunteers (ECO-V) said it had carried out water purity tests with the support of a group of youth from around the country who travelled from the starting point of the Kelani River at Sri Pada to the point where the river meets the sea at Wattala. more..

Mu'l'likku'lam villagers left to languish, resettlement denied

Sept 16 (TN) Amid claims by the Sri Lankan government that all displaced persons in Mannaar district have been resettled in their own villages, uprooted residents of Mu'l'likku'lam in Musali DS division of the district, who were evicted from their homes in 2007, are still refused entry to their village by the Sri Lanka Navy, which has changed their village into a military cantonment. The uprooted Tamils of Mu'l'likku'lam agitated on Tuesday demanding resettlement. more..

Just judgments of Sri Lanka courts dying.!

Sept 16 (LeN) It is with deep regret it is be brought to the open that the sacrosanct Judiciary of Sri Lanka which maintained its highest hallowed traditions and standards hitherto is being trampled and degraded on an unprecedented scale by the shameless, unscrupulous and sordid politicians of the Rajapakse regime. The appointment of judges by the President currently according to his fancy disregarding the Independent Commission which ought to appoint them, has made justice a disgraceful mockery, more..

CEYPETCO calls for details from motorists

Sept 16 (DM) CEYPETCO, yesterday, wrote to motorists whose vehicles had been damaged after running on the sub standard petrol issued by CEYPETCO in July. CEYPETCO requested the motorists to send in all particulars relating to the damage within 14 days if they wished to receive compensation. The letters had been issued on the recommendations of the three member committee headed by M.M.C Ferdinando which was appointed to probe the fraud and the circumstances leading up to it, more..

Admitted insider handed 18-month prison term

Sept 16 (Reuters) A former account manager at a semiconductor company who pleaded guilty in the govt's campaign against insider trading was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday. Manosha Karunatilaka, 37, had previously pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to passing tips about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to Primary Global Research, a so-called "expert network" that provides information to investors and hedge funds. Karunatilaka, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Sri Lanka, more..

SLMC displeased with Blake

Sept 16 (SL) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has expressed its dissatisfaction over the failure of US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake to meet with any Muslim political leaders during his official visit to the country. The SLMC has said that Blake should have met the Muslim political representatives if the US was keen on discussing a solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue. SLMC Chairman Basheer Segudawood said that the Muslim community had also been severely affected by more..

Dead end for Sinharaja road

Sept 16 (DM) The construction of a controversial road cutting through a section of the Sinharaja Forest – a world heritage site and the only primary rain forest in Sri Lanka was suspended yesterday amid protests by environmental activists and forestry officials. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said the construction work on the roadway had been suspended because it disturbed the environmental and eco system balance of the pristine Sinharaja Forest which comes under the Forest Department. more..

Darusman report subterfuge : Sri Lanka briefs regional representatives

Sept 16 (DN) The Sri Lanka delegation to the 18th UN Human Rights Council sessions has held several rounds of talks with several regional representatives to the sessions and briefed them about subtle attempts to illegally sneak in the Darusman panel report to the sessions without formally including it in its agenda said leader of the Sri Lanka delegation, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday. He said the regional representatives were told that if such a thing happened it may be a more..

Sirisena to brief IOM on health of migrants

Sept 16 (Island) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to brief the International Organisation for Migrants, at a Seminar held by the IOM in Geneva, on steps taken by the Sri Lankan govt to ensure the health of migrant workers. The last year the number of resident visas issued in Sri Lanka was 42,488. A majority of them had arrived for State sector and BOI projects. The economic boom in the country, the development in aviation, shipping, energy, knowledge and commercial purposes had more..