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Sri Lanka's post war climb monitored by two giants

Sep 20 (NS) The new era that Sri Lankan polity yearned for after the end of the civil strife, to the dismay of many, has not yet dawned. Sri Lanka is placed on a threshold, if crossed, depending on its own chosen governing path, would lead to either danger or success. But what is apparent today is that it is following a path of economic prosperity sans inclusive growth. After the war, in a true sense, what the country needed was not mere negative peace, but a dividend of peace that more..

TNA’s road of digression and Divakalala factor

Sep 20 (NS) Elections, in this part of the world, create ‘needs’, just like various advertising campaigns we come across on a daily basis. Sri Lanka has a long history of elections where ‘needs’ were created according to the whims and fancies of politicians and voters, by and large, were hoodwinked by the process. The NPC election, which is taking place after a long electoral hiatus in the North, is no exception! The TNA a political coalition that thinks the NPC election is a more..

A place where bookworms gather

Sep 20 (CT) The Colombo International Book Fair 2013 has drawn thousands of people from numerous areas of the country in its first few days. This annual event has now become one of the largest attractions in the city, with a literature hungry population converging on the fair all week long. With book stalls and food outlets set up all over the BMICH premises, a carnival atmosphere radiates attracting people of all age groups. more..

Judiciary apologizes for failing to safeguard basic human rights

Sep 20 (GV) No, not in Sri Lanka, as readers may have hoped, but in Chile. In Chile, last week, on the fortieth anniversary of the military coup by General Pinochet which overthrew the democratically elected govt of Salvador Allende, the Chilean Judges Association issued an anticipated but unprecedented apology for the failure of the judiciary to act as a check and balance against the executive and protect the fundamental rights of its citizens, including their right to life. more..

State facilitated colonization of the North

Sep 20 (GV) On 25th Sept 2012, the Menik Farm camp in Vavuniya, which at its peak, housed close to 300,000 internally displaced persons, was officially closed down when the Govt of Sri Lanka relocated the last batch of IDPs. This formally marked the closure of all post-2009 IDP camps in the North of Sri Lanka. Termed ‘welfare villages’ or ‘relief villages’ by the Govt but widely viewed as internment camps, the camps initially dotted the districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and more..

Jaffna’s Dutch heritage

Sep 20 (CT) Among the most historic monuments found in Jaffna is a ravaged fortress with pockmarks, still standing as living evidence of Dutch rule and its influence in the North. Initially built as a small garrison by the Portuguese after they invaded the North in 1618, the Dutch captured it in 1658 and expanded it, giving it a clear Dutch architectural identity. In 1795, it fell into the hands of the British and so remained until independence. more..

'I want to serve my people because I feel their pain'

Sep 20 (DBS) Gnansakthy Sritharan is a former politician and an ex cadre of EPRLF (Pathmanabha Wing), and is currently contesting in Jaffna District under the UPFA banner in the forthcoming Provincial Council Elections in the North of Sri Lanka. I met passionate politician to be Gnanasakthy Sritharan amidst her hectic schedule durng the last week of the election campaign, at one of the worst affected villages in Jaffna District, known as “Koovil”. more..

'I will continue to raise my voice against human rights violations'

Sep 20 (DBS) Ananthy Sasitharan is the wife of Ezhilan (Sinnaththurai Sasitharan), former Trincomalee District’s Political Wing Leader of the LiTTE. He surrendered along with many other senior combatants of the LTTE during the last phase of the war. A well known Catholic Priest Reverend Father Francis Joseph too has been in the same group which has surrendered to the Sri Lanka security forces on the 18th of May 2009 in Selvapuram. She is the witness to the surrender, more..

South Asian Cultural Fest in New York

The perverse domestic arrangements of Colombo Wigneswaran

Sep 20 (CT) Tamil women, nay Eelam Tamil Women have reached the zenith in their professions and business the world over, and, particularly in the West! Many have taken silk, summited the heights of academia; there are tens of thousands of surgeons, physicians, and, of course multi-millionaire entrepreneurs. Their children attend schools such as Eton College (England, whose alumni include several hundred royal princes), Geelong Grammar (Australia, Rupert Murdoch, Kerry Packer), more..

Setting the record straight: Response to Sanjana on Sunila

Sep 20 (CT) A touching appreciation of Sunila Abeysekera (‘A Lone Unifier’ Ceylon Today, Sept 13th 2013, p 6) by my young friend Sanjana Hattotuwa is slightly marred by an inaccurate and misleading reference to me (albeit by former designation rather than name). He writes: “I wondered why just a few years ago, the then Sri Lankan Ambassador at the UN in Geneva blocked Sunila’s representation on the grounds that she lacked adequate academic qualifications.” more..

SLT connects over 350,000 households with optical fiber based broadband access

Sep 20 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), the nation’s no. 1 telecommunication services provider is proud to announce that the company has set the benchmark for high quality and reliable broadband experience in the country by connecting over 350,000 households and businesses with fixed broadband enabling nearly 1.5 users to access its network. Strengthening its technology leadership in the country’s more..

Starting Point

Sept 20 (TT) Given the hum generated by the Sri Lankan govt around the northern provincial elections, there is no doubt that it has vested significant care and attention in the holding of the polls. This is not unexpected. The start of a democratic process in the Tamil-majority area, which had been under the Tamil Tigers till the war of 2009, is the surest way to reconciliation with a disaffected minority population apart from a means to placate the international community. more..

Editorial: A credibility test

Sep 20 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa set the cat among the pigeons the other day by telling a newspaper that UNHRC chief Navi Pillay had, at a recent meeting with President Rajapaksa, wanted the statue of Sri Lanka’s first PM D. S. Senanayake and the Buddhist flag removed from the Independence Square. An irate UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe lost no time in writing to Pillay, and rightly so, asking whether she had actually said what had been attributed to her. more..

'US Fed move will boost Rupee, Bourse'

Sep 20 (FT) The US Federal Reserve’s surprise move to maintain its stimulus to the world’s biggest economy will help emerging markets including Sri Lanka, analysts said. Currencies as well as stock markets of emerging economies had feared US Fed would reduce its stimulus and this saw major exodus. The Fed was to decide when and by how much it would scale back its cash injection of $ 85 billion a month. more..

Ceylinco Life Fund tops Rs. 50 b milestone

Sep 20 (FT) Ceylinco Life said its Life Fund has exceeded Rs. 50 billion in August, taking the market leader past another milestone. In a stock market disclosure, the insurer said the company transferred Rs. 5.439 billion to its Life Fund in the first eight months of 2013, swelling the fund to Rs. 50.549 billion at the end of August. During this period Gross Written Premium income grew by more than 9% to Rs. 7.372 billion and investment and other income improved by 45.5% to Rs. 4.088 billion, more..

Nimal assumes Chairmanship of Lanka Ceramic

Sep 20 (FT) Nimal Perera has assumed chairmanship of Lanka Ceramic, succeeding Anthony Page. Lanka Ceramic is the owning company of Lanka Walltiles, Lanka Floortiles, Horana Plantations, Swisstek and Uni-Dil Packaging. Nimal has also assumed duties of the four listed companies last week. Deputy Chairman of those is Dhammika Perera. The change follows Royal Ceramics acquiring the controlling stake of Lanka Ceramics from CT Holdings in May more..

Final decision on National Drug Policy on 24 Sept

Sep 20 (CT) Minister Maithripala Sirisena, said the final decision on the National Drug Policy, which had been in abeyance for a long period of time, will be taken on 24 Sept, when a meeting will be held among the relevant officials. "The draft of the drug policy is almost completed," he said. He charged that the retired legal draftsman intentionally misplaced the draft of the Drug Policy, so that private drug companies would more..

Cachopa, Kusal set up close final day

Sep 20 (CI) An explosive surge from Kusal Perera gave Sri Lanka A a slender advantage against New Zealand A on day three in Pallekele after Carl Cachopa's 104 had earlier taken the visitors to 299 for 9, earning them a 47-run lead. However, Kusal's brisk fifty means that the hosts also stand a chance of winning the match on the final day as Sri Lanka lead by 88 runs at stumps, with seven wickets in hand. Cachopa, who resumed his innings at 14 in the morning, added 49 and more..

Reviews (DRS) to be reset after 80 overs

Sep 20 (CI) The number of reviews available for a team in a Test innings will be topped-up to two after 80 overs in an innings. The system will be trialed from October 1, 2013 in all Tests where the Decision Review System (DRS) is available, the ICC announced on Wednesday in Dubai after its Chief Executives' Meeting (CEC). Currently, a team is allowed up to two unsuccessful reviews for the entire duration of the innings. Under the new system, it will have two reviews - irrespective of how many more..

Public servants at election duty: Behave or else

Sep 20 (CT) The Human Rights Commission (HRC) of Sri Lanka, which has warned of stern action against public servants found to be involved in election malpractices, has dispatched 13 teams of HRC officials to the three Provinces as observers. The HRC teams will be deployed in the North, Central and Wayamba Provinces where elections will be held tomorrow, to specifically check on public servants who are designated to more..

'CHOGM will accelerate country's Miracle of Asia goal'

Sept 20 (DN) The CHOGM in 2013 would expedite progress in various fields in SL, including health, education, culture, economy etc,. making the govt's task that much easier in Sri Lanka attaining hub status in five key sectors in the South Asian region, said UPFA MP Shantha Bandara. He said when the host country is selected, the details of various aspects of the host country are studied by the other Commonwealth countries and those countries decide to support the host country to develop. more..

'CHOGM will boost higher education sector'

Sep 20 (DN) The CHOGM scheduled to be held in Sri Lanka in November will be a great blessing for the higher education sector aiming at ‘International Hub of Excellence in Higher Education’ by 2020, Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne said. He said the historic opportunity to host a global event like CHOGM will allow Sri Lanka to showcase its real strengths and capabilities. He said the large number of Heads of State, dignitaries, leading business more..

TNA seeks 2/3 majority to advance struggle

Sept 20 (Island) The TNA is aiming at a two-thirds majority at the first Northern Provincial Council polls, with the pro-LTTE Diaspora urging the electorate to exercise their franchise in support of the grouping. UK based Suren Surendiran, of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), told The Island that in spite of intimidation, of TNA candidates as well as supporters, by the govt, the TNA could comfortably secure the NPC at tomorrow’s polls. more..

300 Chinese travel agents to visit Lanka

Sep 20 (FT) China has promised to send 300 tour operators to Sri Lanka on a familiarisation tour, Sri Lanka Tourism said yesterday. It said this assurance was given by Song Yu, the Vice Chairman of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, when he held a meeting with the Sri Lanka Tourism Chairman Bhashwara Gunarathna in Beijing recently. The duo met recently when Gunarathna was in China to attend the ‘Sri Lanka Shines in Beijing’ joint mega promotional campaign more..

Pastor beaten unconscious by mob

Sept 20 (CT) A mob destroyed a Christian group's musical instruments and beat their pastor unconscious during a raid on a prayer meeting – one of several recent attacks on Sri Lankan churches. Three Buddhist monks led about 30 people in the assault on Jeevana Diya Church in Meegoda, Colombo district, on Sept 8, demanding that they stop meeting in ‘this Buddhist village'. The pastor and his mother, attacked as she tried to defend her son, had to be hospitalised. more..

President has muddied water, claims Ranil

Sept 20 (Island) Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe accused the govt of trying to distort its allegation that the UNHRC Chief Navaneethem Pillay, had wanted the D. S. Senanayake statue and the Buddhist flag removed from Independence Square. Wickremesinghe, responding to questions by some Buddhist monks during a meeting held at Sedawatta Weheragoda Temple, said that Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa had stated more..

‘Release fishermen and their boats’

Sept 20 (Hindu) Fishermen in Rameswaram island staged a protest demonstration at Pamban on Thursday demanding the immediate release of all arrested fishermen with their boats and a lasting solution to their problem. More than 20 Fishermen associations in Rameswaram, Pamban and Mandapam came under one umbrella and staged the demonstration, demanding the release of 41 fishermen from Rameswaram and 35 from Pamban lodged in SL prisons for more than a month. more..

National web portal to promote Sri Lanka's rich cultural heritage

Sept 20 (CT) ICT Agency of Sri Lanka is developing a multilingual web portal bringing under one roof websites of historical and cultural significance. Thereby giving easy access to scattered and largely unseen historical and cultural content over the web. The main objectives of this assignment are to develop a multi lingual web portal for historical and cultural content over the web and give a face lift to 20 selected websites' enhancement and improved presentation. more..

Sri Lanka asks detractors at HRC not to discredit the NPC election process

Sep 20 (IL) Exercising a 'right of reply' with regard to references made to Sri Lanka by Germany, the US and Ireland under Agenda Item 4 - General Debate at the ongoing 24th Session of the UNHRC, the Sri Lanka delegation on Thursday said, it seemed ironic that at a time when for the first time since the introduction of the Provincial Council system in 1987 elections to the NPC are to be held later this week, more..

Transparent ballot boxes for some districts

Sept 20 (DM) The Department of Elections will use transparent ballot boxes in five districts at tomorrow’s provincial council elections. Deputy Polls Chief R.A.M. Ratnayake said the boxes are part of a pilot project being launched by the Elections Commission to test the feasibility of the new type of ballot box. Made of plastic and semi-transparent, the ballot boxes will be deployed in the Kandy, Matale, Kurunegala, Jaffna and Puttlam Districts, the Deputy Commissioner said. more..

Atomic Energy Act to be amended

Sep 20 (Island) The Country’s 43-year-old Atomic Energy Act is to be amended to establish two new independent organisations, Atomic Energy Board (AEB) and Atomic Energy Regulatory Council (AERC). This was revealed by Minister Champika Ranawaka at the 57th annual sessions of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria recently. He added that AEB would facilitate Civil Nuclear Applications for the development of the country and to enhance more..

Sampur power project: Treasury to sort out issues with NTPC

Sep 20 (Island) Treasury officials will hold crucial discussions with the officials of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India in Colombo next week, to iron out the financial disparities in the forthcoming 500 MW Sampur Power Project in Trincomalee. CEB DGM Senajith Dasanayake said that according to the Sampur Project Manager, by next month all issues would have been sorted out. more..

Raise interest rate on NRFC accounts instead of borrowing

Sep 20 (FT) Economist R.M.B. Senanayake is urging the Govt to raise interest rate on NRFC deposits instead of borrowing via expensive bonds abroad. Commenting on the NSB recent borrowing of $ 750 million from the international market at 8.75%, he claimed the savings giant did not need to borrow in foreign currency but it was acting as a proxy for the Govt, which is reluctant to go for a Sovereign Bond this year to roll-over the foreign debt falling due for repayment. more..

Pakistani Envoy wraps up visit to the Northern Province

Sep 20 (AT) The High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj Gen Qasim Qureshi visited the Northern Province of Sri Lanka from Sept 16th to 18th. The aim of the visit was to understand the ground situation and explore opportunities to expand the economic, cultural and people-to-people links between Pakistan and the Northern Province. The High Commissioner also reviewed the progress of the development projects being sponsored by the Govt of Pakistan in the Northern Province. more..

Wigneswaran wants India to take part in CHOGM

Sep 20 (TOI) While leaders of political parties in Tamil Nadu have been strident in their demand that India boycott of the CHOGM in Colombo in November, former Sri Lankan Supreme Court judge C V Wigneswaran, chief ministerial candidate of one of the key parties in the fray in the Northern Province council elections, has called for the country's participation. "I am not for this business of boycotting," Wigneswaran told TOI more..

A fire at one end, a fool at the other

Sep 20 (DM) Substantial medical evidence is available today that whatever delusions may have been promoted in the past - such as smoking being a sign of masculinity – a smoker is a clear case of a fire at one end and a fool at the other. Last year the World Health Organisation (WHO) which has launched an all-out campaign against tobacco smoking and marks the World No Tobacco Day on May 31 had an important theme – “Stop industry interference”. This is the main problem more..

‘Govt. has all reasons to embrace TNA manifesto’

Sep 20 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa speaking on behalf the govt said that the TNA was attempting to push Tamils in the North to spread racism and separatism. According to him, the appeal to vote for the new manifesto amounted to that and nothing less. He further said that it was crystal clear with the new election manifesto that the TNA was playing the racist card to win the Northern Provincial Council election. The pledges made by the TNA in their election manifesto could not not be fulfilled more..

Sri Lanka's poor unmoved by Australia's new boat people policy

Sep 20 (AFP) As Australia's new govt launches tough measures to halt asylum seekers arriving on boats, some dirt-poor fishermen and their families half a world away in Sri Lanka seem undeterred. Australia has struggled to manage the stream of asylum-seekers, including from Sri Lanka, arriving on rickety, overloaded fishing boats, with hundreds dying on the risky journey in recent years. Australia's Tony Abbott said he would act more..

Sri Lanka rupee firmer on dlr sales by banks, exporters

Sep 20 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan rupee traded firmer on Friday as dollar sales by banks and exporters helped to ease pressure on the currency after the Federal Reserve's surprise decision to stick to its stimulus programme. The rupee spot traded at 132.10/20 by 0809 GMT, compared with Wednesday's close of 132.20. Sri Lankan markets were closed on Thursday. Dealers said the three-day forward, or spot-next, more..