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Golden Key repayments: Second round to begin next month

Sept 1 (Island) The second round of repayments of Rs. 100,000 each to Golden Key (GK) depositors with holdings between Rs. 1 and 2.5 million will begin next month, a member of the newly-constituted Board of Directors of the company said. Under the first phase, the resettlement of investments up to Rs. 1 million was completed, with the process of mailing cheques to depositors drawing to a close last Tuesday, more..

Democracy: Key to unlocking capitalism’s benefits

Sept 1 (Island) Vasudeva Nanayakkara is the minister of National languages and Social integration. One hour before he met the Head of the UNHRC he met with the Sunday island for a candid interview. Q: Can you explain to me what the aims of your ministry are? A: Well, the ministry has three subjects. National languages which means implementation of the language policy, ethnic affairs which is to promote ethnic relations more..

US envoy Sison, NMSJ’s Ven Sobitha Thera discuss abolishing executive presidency

Sept 1 (ST) The United States has shown interest in a four-month-old 10-point proposal by the National Movement for Social Justice (NMSJ) for reforms, including the abolition of the Executive Presidency. US Ambassador Michele J. Sison met with the movement’s convenor Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera for details during an hour-long discussion at the Sri Naga Vihare, Kotte, where the prelate is the Chief Incumbent Ven. Sobitha more..

Premier Dengue Centre facing crisis with staff shortage

Sept 1 (ST) The lack of junior doctors is likely to toll the death knell for the Dengue Centre at the Negombo General Hospital, from which a large number of critically-ill patients have been able to walk out after treatment, since its opening on June 16. Medical staffing has reached crisis level at Negombo’s ‘Centre for Clinical Management of Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever’ the Sunday Times understands, more..

Three casinos will lift arrivals by 40%

Sept 1 (NS) Amidst growing debate on whether or not Sri Lanka should allow the functioning of casinos due to both cultural and religious reasons, a recent report by a local brokerage firm has predicted that casinos could, in fact, help boost tourism arrivals into the country by around 40%, if a minimum of three global giants land in Sri Lanka. “With the addition of possibly three international casinos, we anticipate 2020 end more..

NZ, SL to pursue dairy cooperation deal

Sept 1 (TVNZ) The New Zealand and Sri Lankan governments have agreed to work toward a Dairy Sector Cooperation Agreement following a one-day visit to Colombo by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully. The visit followed serious difficulties Fonterra has experienced in that market over recent weeks and the temporary closure of its Sri Lankan operations. A Sri Lankan court last month imposed a 14-day ban on Fonterra more..

Sri Lanka Army to play bigger role in UN Peacekeeping efforts

Sept 1 (Island) The Sri Lanka Army has pledged to commit 5,000 troops towards UN peacekeeping operations, Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake said. "As a professional military, we are prepared to play a bigger role in peacekeeping missions to maintain a ‘secure and stable environment’ in overseas stations, as mandated by the UN", he said. Discussions are continuing to achieve the more..

Beggars an endangered species in Colombo, suburbs for CHOGM

Sept 1 (ST) Ahead of the CHOGM in Colombo in November, an operation to rid the City of beggars has got under way. By Friday, 128 beggars who were held at the Colombo Remand Prison, have been moved to the Detention Centre in Ridiyagama, Ambalantota, officials said. The recent transfer on court orders, of 128 beggars, including 26 females has raised concerns among sociologists. Prisons Spokesman Gamini Kulathunge more..

Punching the right buttons

Sep 1 (CT) Despite the highly charged prelude that included some serious head banging, verbiage and venting of spleen in some quarters, the weeklong visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, turned out to be pretty civilized affair, if one discounts the isolated protests, the overwhelming police presence and the asinine comment of the chief govt braggart. This cordiality didn’t go unnoticed by the Human Rights Chief, who at the wrap-up media briefing more..

Anna Hazare to visit Sri Lanka

Sep 1 (CG) Well known Indian social activist Anna Hazare is to visit Sri Lanka sometime this month. Hazare started an indefinite hunger strike on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the Indian govt to enact a stringent anti-corruption law, The Lokpal Bill, 2011 as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, for the institution of an ombudsman with the power to deal with corruption in public places. The fast led to nation-wide protests in support. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, a day after the govt accepted more..

UK reacts to Pillay’s concerns

Sep 1 (CG) The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has reacted to the concerns raised on Sri Lanka by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt tweeted saying her concerns confirms that it is vital that Sri Lanka meets the declared intentions on reconciliation and human rights. Pillay had said that there are a number of specific factors impeding normalization, which – if not quickly more..

Wigneswaran says 13A incomplete

Sep 1 (SL) TNA Chief Ministerial candidate for the Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran says the 13th Amendment to the constitution has its shortcomings yet it cannot be changed without consulting India. Wigneswaran said that the 13th Amendment came about as a solution to address issues faced by Tamils. “This is an international agreement. This came about following an agreement between India and Sri Lanka. But if it is going to be changed then India must be consulted,” he said. more..

In memory of my grandfather Sir Claude Corea

Sep 1 (CT) My paternal grandfather Sir George Claude Stanley Corea devoted his life in service to Sri Lanka. His inspiring career in diplomacy is remembered and respected. He was a humble and charismatic Christian gentleman who chose his words wisely and was a patient listener. Sir Claude was born on the 29th of January 1894 in Chilaw, a seaside town situated on the North Western coast of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). An old boy of Wesley College, he entered politics as a representative more..

'Sinhalese have no UN or world organizations to talk about their human rights'

Sep 1 (Island) The Sinhalese have no other country to go to. They have lived here for thousands of years. They have co-existed with the other communities. The Sinhalese have no United Nations, international community or so-called ‘world organizations’ to talk about their human rights – not even their basic fundamental right to live, Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana thera, Leader of the Janasetha Peramuna states in a petition more..

Sri Lanka: UN visit underscores disturbing human rights reality

Sep 1 (AI) Sri Lankan leaders must address the persistent climate of fear in the country, Amnesty International said as the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay concluded her visit to the island. Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, made her first official visit to Sri Lanka from 25-31 August. It comes just before the UN and Commonwealth review the country’s human rights situation in September. Pillay stressed that many who met or wanted to meet her during more..

Light a candle to support World Suicide Prevention Day

Sep 1 (Island) The number of people who say that they have been pulled back from the brink of suicide by speaking with Sri Lanka Sumithrayo (SLS) is a stark revelation of the extent of emotional distress in our society. People faced with an emotional crisis mostly require informal and confidential emotional support, Sri Lanka Sumithrayo said in statement issued in connection with World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10. "SLS volunteers/befrienders help callers by giving them a patient and more..

New Oluvil harbour opens today

Sep 1 (MoD) The Oluvil Harbour development project will be vested in the public by President Rajapaksa today. Under the “Nagenahira Navodaya”, priority was given to the Oluvil Development project focusing the economic and infrastructure development in the Eastern part of the country. Govt, in its plans to give impetus to its economic development under the five hub concept, had decided to develop the port in Oluvil more..

Capital punishment for child abuse vital

Sep 1 (SO) "Capital punishment should be imposed on those who abduct and rape underaged children in the country. New laws should be introduced to punish such criminals. National child Protection Authority Chairman, Mrs. Anoma Dissanayake has called upon the authorities to impose capital punishment of such human beasts", said the former Divisional Secretary for Bingiriya W.E. Jayathilake. He was addressing a meeting of school heads of the Kurunegala district to educate them on more..

TNA denies sidelining Anandi

Sep 1 (NS) The TNA said there were no internal issues within the party following allegations leveled by its candidate for the upcoming Northern Provincial Council polls, Anandi Sasitharan, that she was omitted from the delegation that met UN Human Rights Commissioner Navaneetham Pillay. TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran told The Nation that Sasitharan, wife of former LTTE Eastern Province Political Head Elilan, was never included in the delegation that met Pillay Friday morning. more..

Ready to probe Pilay’s claims

Sep 1 (CG) The govt says it is ready to investigate the allegations raised by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at a press briefing yesterday, where she had claimed that some people she met had been threatened. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella however said that Pillay’s office must provide evidence to prove the allegations in order to investigate it. He said that some groups may attempt to discredit the govt by more..

In Jaffna: Civil groups want disarming of persons with illegal weapons

Sep 1 (Island) Civil groups in the Jaffna yesterday called upon the President to disarm persons carrying illegal weapons, which has led to a tense situation in the peninsula in the run up to the September 21 PC poll. At a discussion convened by Executive Director of CAFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon in Jaffna, they complained of police inaction which has resulted in a breakdown of law and order. There is a sense of insecurity amongst the people in the Jaffna peninsula because of illegal weapons more..

Video: 'Indian spies selling saris in North'

Sep 1 (DM) The Army has expressed concern about Indian intelligence officials frequenting the North in the disguise of peddlers selling Indian saris. Vanni Security Forces Commander Boniface Perera told the media that a large number of foreigners had entered the North through the Omanthai military checkpoint in Vavuniya. He said foreign elements including foreign journalists were planning to tarnish the image of the country and that of the Govt. Maj. Gen. Perera stressed the need to more..

Kachchatheevu: Karunanidhi condemns Centre’s position

Sep 1 (PTI) Taking exception to Centre’s position in the Supreme Court over ceding of Kachchatheevu to Sri Lanka, DMK chief M. Karunanidhi said there was evidence that the islet belonged to and was under the administrative control of the King of Ramanathapuram. The Centre had on Friday submitted in the apex court that no Indian territory, including Kachchatheevu, was ceded to Sri Lanka, more..

Krrish chairman, CEO in hush-hush visit to Colombo

Sep 1 (ST) Top executives of Krrish, the multi-million dollar stalled project at Transwork House in Fort, made a secret visit to Sri Lanka last week, without even informing the local office that they were in Colombo. The failed project has run into funding issues and is embroiled in allegations that pay-offs were made to some influential parties including the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman. On Thursday, Opposition legislator Harsha de Silva re-iterated calls for the govt to cancel more..

Speaker graces the auspicious paddy rice harvesting ceremony at Battaramulla

Sep 1 (GDI) Hon. Chamal Rajapksa, Speaker of the Parliament graced the auspicious rich rice harvesting ceremony of the eco-friendly organic paddy farming field at Kimbulawela, Battaramulla as the chief guest yesterday. Secretary to the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was also present. Chief Guest and the Secretary Defence also joined the paddy rice harvesting in the threshing floor along with the farmers. The paddy field area of 76 acres more..

Dahal spills beans: Nepali Maoists had ties with LTTE

Sep 1 (HT) UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has revealed that his party had ties with LTTE, also known as Tamil Tigers, during the decade-long armed conflict in Nepal. In the startling revelation made on Friday, the Maoist leader, who later became the country's prime minister in 2008, admitted that the Nepali Maoists had sought the Sri Lankan rebel groups. Dahal, also called Prachanda in the party, was speaking more..

Sri Lanka can become Islamic Finance hub

Sep 1 (NS) Given the geographical location of Sri Lanka, the country has tremendous upside potential to attract Islamic flows from Middle East to Far East, and thereby emerge as a commercial hub in the region, CEO at Amana Bank Limited Faizal Salieh, indicated last week. Speaking at the Second Islamic Finance news Sri Lanka Roadshow organized by the REDmoney Group of Malaysia in collaboration with the Amăna Bank, he further said that the demand for Islamic Financial services more..

UCSC recruiting students for FIT Course

Sep 1 (Island) The University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC) has introduced an ICT Basics Course by the name Foundation in Information Technology (FIT) for students that have passed the G.C.E. A/L Exam and not had the opportunity of entering a university as an internal student and with an aptitude for the ICT sphere. Students successfully completing this course will be eligible to enrol for the Bachelor of Information Technology (BIT) Degree Programme of the UCSC. more..

More barking and biting comments on police dog wedding

Sep 1 (ST) The controversy over the police dog wedding in Kandy continues with the Cultural Affairs Minister insisting it was an insult to the Kandyan tradition while a senior DIG has gone there to probe the matter. Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne was assigned for the probe after IGP N.K. Illangakoon ordered the high-level probe on the mass canine wedding ceremony organized by the Police Kennel Division earlier this week more..

Public cooperation instrumental in solving organised crimes: Gampaha SSP

Sep 1 (ST) Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Gampaha, Vjitha Komasaru last week received an anonymous telephone call. The caller hurriedly said that he had information about one of the robbers in the Rs 2.3 million heist from a petrol shed on Monday. The caller provided accurate information about the suspect’s location. The police immediately responded and arrested the suspect hiding in a house in Avissawella. He was in possession of Rs 380,000. more..

DP (PLC) seeks co-operation of all parties to resume operations

Sep 1 (CT) As per the Court hearing, which was concluded a few days ago, the reports presented to the Gampaha Court so far have not shown any conclusive evidence to prove that the treated effluent from the latex glove manufacturing factory at Rathupaswala is responsible for the low pH in well water reported in the area. This has been the position maintained throughout by the factory, which has also been endorsed by a number of experts who have communicated their scientific more..

Bogus job agencies send ineligible housemaids on forged stamps, visas

Sep 1 (ST) On Friday a 48-year-old female from Mattakuliya, Dubai-bound as a housemaid, was arrested by the airport police at BIA, as her Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) registration number issued on completion of training, did not tally with the computerised data. She was produced at the Negombo Magistrates Court and released on bail. “The ‘middle man’ who is seconded by the job agency, coordinates with the housemaid more..

Public servants and govt pensioners in silent protest

Sep 2 (SL) We are fully convinced that Your Excellency is the only person who would be able to lead this country in this turbulent period. We consider it is our duty, therefore, to address this note to Your Excellency to keep you informed of our genuine feelings and the action we are compelled to take. At the same time, we are copying this to the print media because we would like the general public to be aware of the reasons for taking the proposed action, without inconveniencing more..

A chance to usher the young in Zimbabwe; Not so thinks Sanna

Sep 2 (SL) That a top National cricketer, a high-ranking administrator and a respected former Chief selector cum ex-Test cricketer should over the past week publicly comment on the country’s scarce exposure to Test cricket and the harmful consequences thereof, provide hopeful signs that the administrators’ perspective on the longer-game might become more prudent than it has been. Of late the authorities’ attitude to Test cricket has been flippant to say the least, more..

'India did not say they’re not coming'

Sep 2 (CT) Only a few weeks remain until Sri Lanka hosts the CHOGM and according to the govt all but one member State have confirmed their participation, Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour and traditional ally, India which is yet to confirm participation of its Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. CT spoke to monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, about the preparation for CHOGM and the possible reasons for delay more..

View from Ritigala by Mahasona

Sep 2 (NS) Barack Obama is wetting his pants. He can’t decide where to dump the Nobel Prize for Peace that he was given (for no reason at all), as he gets ready to bomb Syria into the middle ages. Maybe he will fix it on top of one of the bombs he plans to drop on Damascus. Maybe he’ll flush it down his toilet. Maybe he will bury it among all those reports about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Maybe he’ll give it to the closest relative of Hitler alive. more..

TISL sniffing for violation of election laws

Sep 2 (NS) Election monitors have raised concerns over increasing usage of State properties for campaigning purposes for the upcoming Provincial Council polls to be held next month. Transparency International of Sri Lanka (TISL) last week listed out several instances where State property was used for propaganda activities. It noted that instances continued to increase despite continuous calls to refrain from such activities. In addition, State vehicles that were given to several former more..

'Wedi thiyapan, wedi thiyapan'

Sep 2 (CT) In what appears to be a major twist in the trial on the killing of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others in Mulleriyawa on 8 October 2011, a witness in the case told Colombo Magistrate’s Court on Friday, that he heard Duminda Silva ordering his people to shoot. Witness, Hashan Amaradewa, an employee attached to the personal office of the deceased politician, read out a statement he had more..

The obsession with a Sri Lankan Identity

Sep 2 (CT) To say that reams of paper, or the equivalent in electronic publication, have been used in belabouring what is or is not our “national identity” would be to seriously understate what has been happening in this country, particularly since the end of the war with the LTTE. One of the greater absurdities was the “abolition of minorities” that the President proclaimed at one of the early triumphalist gatherings. One did not need to have anything resembling academic credentials in any more..

China’s ethnic minorities

Sep 2 (CT) China has been successful in smoothing over potential conflicts with all its 55 ethnic minorities but two – Tibetans and Uighurs. Interestingly these are two large, but not the largest, but they differ from the nation’s 92% Han Chinese in religion, race and language. The 18 million Zhuang are the largest of the 55 officially recognised minorities, but account for only 1.3% of the population. They are the ancient indigenous people of the southern Guangxi Province, but more..