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At the mercy of the hands that rock the UN

Sep 6 (DM) The UN Human Rights Commissioner came and went. Those who expected a dramatic exposure from her were disappointed. The war was a tragedy, not only for the Tamil people but also for the people in the South. It enhanced the path of enslavement to the global powers. It was an aggression and a conquest for those who believed in a Tamil homeland. Not only were the entire Vanni civilizations destroyed but also plunder of land, earth and other resources became the aim of more..

‘Torch of awareness’ for voters

Sep 6 (DM) A delegation of the Friday Forum met with Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya recently with a view to initiating a constructive exchange of views on measures taken by him to ensure free and fair provincial elections. At this meeting, he emphasised the responsibilities of the public and the voters in these elections to be vigilant and to make their own contribution to a free and fair electoral process. more..

Sri Lankan people-smuggling boss arrested

Sep 6 (ABC) Indonesian police have arrested a man who is understood to be a key people-smuggling boss, with suspected involvement in a fatal boat sinking. A senior Indonesian police source said that they have arrested a Sri Lankan man called Akram. The man, who is also known as Rosen, was arrested in Bogor, south of Jakarta, and police suspect he organised a boat which sank off Cidaun on the south-west coast of Java in July. more..

Supervisors, invigilators politically appointed misfits sans adequate knowledge, training

Sep 6 (ST) Failure to implement recommendations proposed by the Examination Advisory Committees and improper training for exam invigilators, have led to the increase in chaos at public exams, causing additional stress to students, trade unions have charged. Ceylon Teachers’ Union President Joseph Stalin said invigilators and supervisors are mostly political appointees who lack experience and knowledge. more..

'Sinhalese & Tamil leaders arouse communalism for power'

Sep 6 (LT) “While Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim masses are made to fight among themselves Mahinda, Thonda, Hakeem, Wimal and Champika have their hands around shoulders of each other saying ‘we’re friends, we’re friends’ and perch in the same cabinet. They raise their hands in unison to increase electricity tariffs, sell lands to multi-national companies and burden the masses of all communities. more..

Refugees: The hidden faces dominating Australia election

Sep 6 (AFP) The wounds from his torture were still bleeding when Sri Lankan asylum-seeker Sutha was picked up by the Australian navy from a sinking boat in the Indian Ocean. He had spent 16 days at sea on a leaky vessel with 48 other men, fearing with each sunset that he would not live to see the next day but grateful for the chance to die at sea, and not at the hands of his captors. "When I was going to jump into the boat, only one more..

'If tuition classes are stopped I will topple the govt'

Sep 6 (LcN) The famous and popular private tuition Master Upul Shantha Sannasgala had challenged that if law is brought in to prohibit private tuition classes on Sundays he will take steps to topple this government. He had quipped this while giving an interview to the ’Mawbima’ newspaper. He added that keeping the subject of parents sending their children to ‘daham paselas’ aside action would be taken to prevent offering alms to temples. more..

Allocation of forest land to private firms to be probed – Minister

Sep 6 (Island) The Wildlife Resources and Conservation Management Ministry will soon launch an investigation into how acres of forest land were being given to two private companies. The Minister in charge of the subject, Wijith Wijithamuni de Zoysa told The Island yesterday that he had ordered the probe into how acres of forest land had been allocated to Dole Lanka (Pvt.) and Nelna Agri Development (Pvt.) Ltd. more..

Lasantha murder suspect acquitted and released

Sep 6 (AD) The army intelligence officer arrested in connection with the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga has been acquitted from all charges and released by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court. Wickramatunga was shot at Attidiya by unidentified gunmen on motorcycles as he drove to work in January 2009. He died from head wounds after nearly three hours of surgery. more..

CMC to spend Rs 89 M on bus halts

Sep 6 (CT) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) plans to build 80 impressive bus halts within the Colombo Municipal limits at a whopping cost of Rs 89 million, ahead of the CHOGM. The Finance Committee of the CMC that met on 4 September to consider the uninvited bid proposal has gone into its pros and cons comprehensively following the observations made by Municipal Treasurer, K.D. Chithrapala. more..

SLC Vice President drops bombshell

Sep 6 (DM) SLC Vice President K. Mathiavanan resigned from his post in a shock move, that could create ripples in the cricketing fraternity after he was compelled to withdraw from a contest with SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranathunga for the Presidency of leading Cricket Club- Colts today. Mathiavanan said that unwarranted pressure and interference in the run up to the Colts CC elections had compelled him to resign. more..

Nimal promises to prosecute anyone who uses cultivable land for other purposes

Sep 6 (Island) The govt would not hesitate to institute legal action against anyone bent on constructing various trade complexes on arable land, Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said. About 60 farmers’ societies in Minipe had cultivated subsidiary food crops in 19,000 acres, which had provided high yields, he said. Minister de Silva said that in the past people had grown subsidiary food crops whenever there was a drought. more..

Events of 24th July: The eve of the Holocaust: Who wanted a military funeral?

Sep 6 (CT) The violence which erupted in Colombo on 25th July had already a trial run two months earlier at the University of Peradeniya and in Trincomalee the previous month. In the outlying areas of the latter district Tamils were attacked, killed and chased away from their homes by hoodlums with Government patronage. The notice for this had been implicit in the press items of 28th November 1982 cited in Sect. 8.2. In Trincomalee town itself, the security forces went more..

Bus fare revision taken to courts

Sep 6 (CT) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on Minister of Private Transport Services, C.B. Ratnayake, Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) and five others, returnable on 1 of October. The Bench comprising President of the Court of Appeal, Justice S. Sriskandarajah and Justice Malani Gunaratne, issued the notice after considering a Writ Application filed by two bus owners, Nilanga Jayasinghe more..

Chemical murders and Sri Lanka's silence

Sep 6 (CT) Is the world about to see another dictator taking his place in history among the mass murderers? On Wednesday, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, referred to the current despot of Syria, Bashar Al Assad, as a 'thug and mass murderer.' Sri Lankans know only too well the definitions of thugs and murderers. We have lived through a 30-year war and several uprisings. Kerry's branding of Assad comes two weeks after his govt was outraged by the Syrian President's alleged use of more..

Once upon a time this 7-year-old girl had a pretty face

Sep 6 (E24|7) Little Kaveesha was just seven years studying at Fergusson Balika Vidyalaya, Ratnapura when an unfortunate incident ruined her life. Her father, a motor mechanic, was repairing a vehicle in the garage adjacent to his house. Kaveesha, loved by everyone, was in the habit of wearing her mother’s sarees and walking in the garden with an umbrella in one hand a pile of books on the other imitating her school teacher she loved very much. Her mother who rushed to the scene, more..

JVP complains of backlog of teacher transfers

Sep 6 (Island) There has been a backlog of more than 25,000 teacher transfers due to the Education Ministry’s failure to set up teacher transfer boards, the JVP affiliated Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) claimed. CTSU General Secretary said even Provincial Education Ministries had not set up boards to transfer teachers and around 27,000 teachers would not be able to get their transfers at the beginning of 2014. more..

Sampur industrial zone to create 10,000 jobs

Sep 6 (Island) Parliament recently granted approval for the mega USD 4 billion Industrial Park project in Sampur, Trincomalee undertaken by Sri Lanka Gateway Industries. The govt believes that the establishment of a special zone for heavy industries at Sampur, in the Trincomalee district, can create as many as 10,000 employment opportunities. The Mitchell Consortium comprising the Mitchell Group of Australia (coat extraction and processing activities), Selva Corporation of Australia more..

A magical hideaway deep in Sri Lanka

Sep 6 (TM) Ruskin Island is possibly one of Sri Lanka’s best kept secrets, hidden away in plain sight, bordered by the sedentary waters of the Bolgoda Lake. Crossing the lake which happens to be the largest of its kind in the country is the only mode of access to the island, granting much to its tranquil atmosphere. A short ferry ride off Panadura is the most popular route to the island, trailing off into a beaten track of emerald tapestry and clay soil. The island itself is largely unchartered more..

Tamils in Sri Lanka are safe- Dr. Swamy

Sep 6 (MoD) "Post-Conflict Sri Lanka today is in a position to promote stability specifically in the SAARC region and more generally in the ASEAN area". said Dr. Subramanian Swamy, former Cabinet Minister of Commerce, Law & Justice and the Bharatiya Janatha Party (BJP) leader - India speaking at the final day of the Sri Lanka Army's third annual international conclave the 'Defence Seminar - 2013' at the Galadari more..

Missing cannon at Kingsbury car park

Sep 6 (CT) The historical cannon gun, which was removed from the premises of the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo during its renovation last year, now lies at its car park. The five-star hotel was refurbished at a cost of Rs 18 million and was reopened in January this year. However, the hotel management failed to reinstall the cannon that was removed during its construction work. Director General of the Department of Archaeology, Dr. Senarath Dissanayake, told Ceylon Today, more..

Lankan court extends remand of 41 Indian fishermen till Sep 20

Sep 6 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka today extended till September 20 the judicial remand of 41 Indian fishermen from here and Mandapam, arrested recently for allegedly crossing into the island waters. Mannar Judicial Magistrate passed the order extending the remand, local fishermen association leader S Emerit told reporters here quoting information received from Sri Lanka. Twenty one fishermen were arrested on July 5, while the others on August 30 by the Sri Lankan Naval more..

Tamil man self-immolates outside the UN office in Geneva

Sep 6 (CG) A Tamil man has succumbed to his injuries after he self-immolated himself outside the UN office in Geneva yesterday. The police found the man lying on the pavement with his body almost completely burned and a container of gasoline in his hand. He was still alive at the time but succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in Geneva. The police found the body near the picture of a soldier with symbols of the LTTE. more..

PSM threatens indefinite pull out from Monday

Sep 6 (Island) The Professions Supplementary to Medicine (PSM) yesterday warned they would withdraw indefinitely from training in all govt hospitals and PSM training schools, from Monday (09), if the Health Ministry failed to provide a solution to several issue affecting PSM education. PSM General Secretary Saman Jayasekara said that the decision would depend on the talks they were scheduled to hold today with Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayatilake. more..

'Happiness and Freedom' is the perfect theme for ruling coalition - Hiran

Sep 6 (AD) “Sathutai – Nidahasai” (Happiness and Freedom) is the perfect theme for the UPFA at the upcoming election, UNP MP Hiran Fernando stated today. The MP charged that those who killed innocent civilians in Rathupaswala were living in happiness and freedom as well as those who killed a youth named Anthony in a previous incident. Fernando stated this while speaking at the 67th anniversary of the UNP held at Sirikotha. He expressed that members of the UNP more..

Sri Lanka Muslim leader warns against extremism claims

Sep 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main Muslim political leader, who is also the justice minister, criticised his own govt Friday for blaming religious tensions in the mainly Buddhist nation on Islamic fundamentalism. Rauf Hakeem said he had been "disturbed" by recent comments from the country's defence minister, Gotabhaya Rajapakse which warned of efforts to "promote Muslim extremism" in Sri Lanka. more..

Monitors claim over 300, Govt. says only 91 reported to police

Sep 6 (Island) Election monitors claim that there have been more than 300 election related complaints, but the govt yesterday said only 91 complaints had been lodged with the police in the Northern, North-Western and Central Provinces. Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said most of them were about intra-party conflicts. Denying allegations that the govt was involved in violence against other parties in the run-up to the Sept. 21 elections, the minister said that the UNP, had lodged only more..

Commander of the Navy hands over 14 New Houses to Naval Personnel

Sep 6 (MoD) Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage handed over the keys of the fourteen houses built by the Navy to naval personnel at a ceremony held at the Admiral Somathilake Dissanayake Auditorium at SLNS Parakrama on 05th September 2013. Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera, Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe and senior naval officers were also present on the occasion. more..

Hong Kong energy plant bidder to pump billions into Sri Lankan LNG terminal

Sep 6 (JO) Hong Kong firm Energy World International, one of the bidders for the 360 megawatt energy plant project in Jamaica, has been granted approval to establish a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and power plant in Sri Lanka which may represent up to US$1.35 billion in investment. News reports out of Sri Lanka say Cabinet gave the approval last month for Energy World to establish the LNG Hub Terminal in the Southern Port. more..

'Water Board internal dispute leads to spread of canard on safety of water'

Sep 6 (Island) The Water Supply and Drainage Board (WS&DB) would under no circumstances provide drinking water which did not conform to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended standards. To make sure the right standards were adhered to, several tests were conducted at different levels, WS&DB Chairman Karunasena Hettiarachchi said. He said that some engineering assistants’ trade unions attached to the board was spreading rumors fearing that they would be more..

Naval officer arrested on human smuggling charges

Sep 6 (CT) A lieutenant commander of the Trincomalee Navy Camp and four foreign agents have been arrested by the Matara Police today over their alleged involvement in a large-scale human smuggling racket. A senior advisor to the Australian Federal Police, Christopher Wood, responsible for conducting the investigations regarding the scam visited the Matara Police to see the suspects. The Australian Police officer was involved in investigations in Bangladesh and Maldives more..

Pope's visit to Sri Lanka confirmed

Sep 6 (PL) Pope Francis will visit Sri Lanka at a yet to be determined date, announced the spokesman for the Archdiocese of Colombo, Benedict Joseph. "The Pope is very interested in visiting the country and we are making arrangements for that to happen. The Archdiocese will soon announce the dates of the tour," said the clergyman, quoted here by the national radio corporation. On August, President Rajapaksa more..

Gota’s comment upsets Rishad

Sep 6 (CG) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen said the he and his party, the ACMC, deplored the statement made by Defense Secretary Gotabaye Rajapaksha alleging Muslim extremism in the country. He said that the statement seemingly gives credentials to the false claim made by certain communal elements. The Minister said that the elements are hired by some invisible forces to discredit the govt in the international arena by whipping up communal hatred through cooked-up stories. more..

Don't sell warships to Sri Lanka, says Karunanidhi

Sep 6 (IANS) India's decision to build and supply two warships to Sri Lanka has proved that the central govt helps only the neighbouring govt and not Indian fishermen or Tamils in the island nation, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said. Referring to a news report that India will supply two warships to Sri Lanka, Karunanidhi said: "The news report proves the charge levied by some that the Indian govt helps only Sri Lanka and is not concerned about Indian fishermen or the Lankan Tamils." more..

Video: Next anniversary under UNP Govt: Ranil

Sep 6 (DM) The UNP which celebrated its 67th anniversary today said this would be the last anniversary celebrated as the opposition and that the party would be commemorating its 68th anniversary as the Sri Lankan Govt. “This is the last anniversary we are celebrating as the opposition. The UNP will pave the way for a general election to take place in 2014 and we will win it. We will celebrate our 68th more..

We need to remake Lanka

Sep 7 (NS) Here are some suggestions from a pedestrian’s point of view in regard to political administration hoping all communities living in Sri Lanka can look forward to a bright future. 1. Abolish the Presidential form of Govt and resort to Parliamentary Democracy. 2. As such a New Constitution should be framed to suit the changes in tune with the 21st Century thinking observed all over the world. 3. Legislators should have minimum status and qualifications to be a MP. more..

Negombo Fort exudes grandeur

Sep 7 (NS) Having been built originally by the Portuguese, it is said to have been completely destroyed by the Dutch in the wars erupted between the Portuguese and them during the change of hands of power in the island in 1644. The importance of having a strong outpost north of Colombo and the added facilities of collecting the valuable spices and goods from around the locality, made the Dutch realize that the Fort had to be rebuilt. Thus it is said in the year 1678 more..

Facebook opens sexually offensive chapter

Sep 7 (NS) Authorities this week urged Sri Lankan users of the popular social networking site ‘Facebook’ to report immediately any pages or groups they find that are posting content advocating sexual violence against women and children. This follows the furor created over the past several days regarding the refusal by the site’s administrators to remove a local Facebook group which advocated rape of women and girls. more..

Why Pillay should be taken seriously

Sep 7 (CT) Sadly though, the govt returned to its old habits soon after the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, left the country after her official tour. All the hard work the govt had done to put on its best face for Pillay were soon to be dwarfed by its usual paranoid outlook. That is sad, especially in the context of some salient initiatives that are embarked upon in order to address long-neglected human rights and governance concerns, ahead of the arrival of the UN Rights Chief. more..

Ms. Pillai, Don’t scroll down your website, Just know what you are not doing

Sep 7 (CT) The events that are taking place in Syria now show abundantly clearly that the world’s powers that be — and that includes the top civil servants of the U.N — do adopt double standards when it come to human rights issues, and that’s despite the denial by Ms. Navi Pillai the U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights at her closing press conference in Colombo, that there is no such thing as ‘oversight by favour.’ She said that if we’d scroll down on her Office’s website highlighting U.N’s more..