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'Our efforts are in the name of sincere citizens'

Sept 16 (ST) The head of the Global Tamil Forum, Fr S.J, Emmanuel feels the diaspora are doing good for the country by raising the human rights issue with the international community. Q: The govt is now bringing in a witness protection bill. In your view will this give Tamils in Sri Lanka confidence in the system? A: That the SLG has no good will to execute even the existing laws of protection and that it employs state-forces more..

Acknowledging our ‘politically precarious’ plight

Sept 16 (ST) ‘Focus on Rights’ column on the Uva provincial polls being more of a battlefield than an election (Aug 31) has been responded to by former IGP, Frank de Silva in a manner that raises several interesting issues. A central point in this response is the unequivocal acknowledgement that police officers on duty in ‘politically precarious situations’ are themselves appointed by and function under the administrative authority and control of a political appointee, the Secretary, Defence. more..

'Incumbent President has legal right to contest a third term'

Sept 16 (SO) Senior Lawyer and political analyst Gomin Dayasiri in an interview with the Sunday Observer said those who seek to abolish the executive presidency were pseudo patriots who wish to weaken the Govt and allow anti Sri Lanka forces to take the upper hand. “The importance of this provision is not visible at present where a single party is ruling with strength, but in the future the situation could be different with a weak govt in office,” he said. more..

'Tamil leadership can’t express their political aspirations fully'

Sept 16 (SL) Transnational Govt of Tamil Eelam (TGTE), a Tamil diaspora group active in the US, feels the international community, particularly foreign leaders visiting Sri Lanka, are using ‘code words’ through the messages being communicated to the SL govt. TGTE leader Visvanathan Rudrakumaran speaks to Sunday Leader. Q: In the attempt to ensure the protection of witnesses, the govt has introduced a more..

Political vacuum of leadership that needs to be filled

Sept 16 (SL) It has become routine to say that today Sri Lanka is more polarised than ever before. The incidents of violence that are reported in the media about the election campaign taking place in the Uva province are one indication of this polarisation. The election commissioner has even said that he is considering holding the election over two days to reduce the violence. For the past two years there has been anxiety within the Muslim community about anti Muslim propaganda more..

Puzzles and paradoxes of the SL economy

Sept 16 (ST) Many aspects of the Sri Lankan economy are confusing even to economists. Unravelling these puzzles and paradoxes of economic statistics is more interesting than enlightening. Are there new paradigms to explain the inconsistencies and contradictions between the real world of everyday living and economic statistics? In no other area of the economy is it more difficult to understand the divergence than between the figures of the cost of living index and the more..

New chapter unfolds in Kilinochchi

Sept 16 (SO) January 5, 2009, the day the govt forces captured Kilinochchi from the grip of the LTTE terrorists and hoisted the national flag marked the dawn of a new chapter in the life of the people of the district who had borne the brunt of terrorism for three decades. The LTTE had based its administrative hub, kangaroo court, de facto headoffice and an exploitive tax system entangling the people in its tyrannical web. more..

China reaches out

Sept 16 (CT) President Xi of China is scheduled to visit India and Sri Lanka. The Middle Kingdom of ancient times is asserting itself on the world stage. The current leaders of China are driven by a ‘manifest destiny’, a strategic view that China is destined to play a dominant role in their region and the world. Historically, from the time of the Emperors, China has considered the rest of the world, including its neighbours, especially those untouched by Chinese culture, as inferiors. more..

On Chinese president’s visit to Sri Lanka

Sept 16 (CT) The UNP welcomes the visit of President of China and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Xi Jinping to Colombo this week. China is a long time friend of Sri Lanka and our two countries share a deep cultural, economic and political relationship. Together, our two nations have weathered many storms and collaborated effectively for the mutual benefit of our peoples. During World War II, China fought alongside Europe and Asia against fascist more..

Vithanage placed on probation for a year

Sept 15 (CI) Kithuruwan Vithanage has been docked his full match fee and been placed on probation for one year, after he had left the team hotel overnight during the recent Test in Galle against Pakistan, SLC has said. A board inquiry confirmed details of his exit from the team hotel at around 7pm of the third day of the Test, and his return at around 6.30am the following morning. Those details had originally been passed on by team manager. more..

Sri Lanka denies ill-treating Nigerian family

Sept 15 (NS) Officials at the Airport and Aviation Services Sri Lanka denied claims that a Nigerian family had been ill treated at the BIA recently. It was reported in media that a Nigerian family was ill treated at the airport while being quarantined for the Ebola Virus Disease. Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs of Nigeria Abike Dabiri-Erewa was quoted as saying that family members were quarantined in the airport lobby for approximately 18 hours with more..

Govt claims UNP is falling apart

Sept 15 (CG) Govt says the main opposition UNP is falling apart just as the Uva PC election is set to take place. UPFA General Secretary Dullas Alahapperuma said that UNP members have filed petitions against the UNP leadership when the party is trying to focus on the Uva polls. He also found it amusing that the General Secretary of the party, Tissa Attanayake, had reportedly claimed that he was mediating between UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and MP Sajith Premadasa. more..

PS member banned from leaving country

Sept 15 (DM) The Puttalam Acting Magistrate yesterday directed the Police and the Immigration and Emigration Department to prevent Wanathawilluwa PS UPFA member M.S.S. Marikkar from leaving the country. Police said the suspect is in hiding after he was alleged to have sexually abused seven male students, of a school at Karathivu in Wanathawilluwa, while they were on an educational tour. Sources revealed that more..

Sri Lanka donates tea to earthquake victims in China

Sept 15 (GDI) The Govt of Sri Lanka has donated a consignment of Ceylon black tea to the victims of the recent earthquake in Yunnan Province, China. It may be recalled that President Rajapaksa sent a condolence message to Chinese President Xi Jinping in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. The consignment of tea was handed over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing recently by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China, Ranjith Uyangoda to be distributed among more..

Sri Lanka's economy grows 7.8% in second quarter of 2014

Sept 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's economy grew 7.8% in the second quarter of 2014 from the same period a year earlier, accelerating from 7.6% in the previous three months, data showed on Monday. The industrial sector grew 12.2% year-on-year and the service sector by 5.8%. The agricultural sector expanded 6.5%, the data showed. The central bank estimates the economy will expand at 7.8% this year with an inflation target of between 4-6%, from a 7.3% growth last year. more..

PAFFREL files motion on drought relief

Sept 15 (CG) The election monitoring group, Peoples Action For Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL), filed a motion at the Supreme Court today over the drought relief program of the Govt in the Monaragala District, ahead of Uva elections. PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachi said that the motion did not disrespect the Supreme Court ruling already given over the drought relief program and the right of more..

Vendors demand business space

Sept 15 (DM) A large number of street vendors gathered before a shopping complex at the Bodhiraja Mawatha in Pettah this morning urging the authorities to grant them permission to set up their businesses there. The vendors claimed that the shopping complex had been left unused for than two and half years. The protesting vendors forcibly entered the building and set up their businesses. “The shopping complex has enough space for 468 shops but it had not been handed over to more..

All propaganda activities should end after midnight 17 Sept - EC

Sept 15 (AD) All propaganda activities in connection with the forthcoming Uva PC election should cease after midnight of 17 Sept. Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said. Approved Elections Offices which have already been established on the basis of polling district can function till the midnight of 18 Sept. Similarly, in the notified central election offices or in any office which is permitted to be established in the district for a candidate or in the residence of the candidate display more..

Champika alarms the country on possible Chinese takeover of Norochcholai plant

Sept 15 (AM) If the govt is planning to handover the Norochcholai coal power plant to China, that would create far-reaching problems in the power and energy sector of Sri Lanka, Minister Champika Ranawaka, said yesterday. Minister, who was previously the Power and Energy Minister, made this remark just twp days ahead of the Chinese President’s visit to Sri Lanka. It was widely speculated that Ranawaka was pulled out of more..

Farmers file FR against drought relief only for Monaragala

Sept 15 (AD) All-Island Farmers Federation (AIFF) today filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking an order to pressure the authorities to provide Rs 2,500 as relief for drought affected people in the island, which is currently being suggested to provide only for the Monaragala district. Petitioners argued that the Fundamental Rights (FR) of the drought affected people have been violated with the authorities have allocated money exclusively for the Monaragala district. more..

Explosive device thrown into mosque in Dambulla

Sept 15 (AM) A small explosive device has been thrown into Hairiya Jumap Masjid mosque in Dambulla by an unidentified person last night. However, no no injuries or damage reported due to the incident, Police sources confirmed. Police have still not arrested any suspect in connection with the incident. Khaira mosque in Dambulla was at the centre of a controvesy two years ago with several Buddhist groups calling for its demolition. The Buddhist groups claimed that more..

Nigerian family harassed at airport in SL

Sept 15 (AD) A Nigerian politician has accused Sri Lankan authorities of “highly discriminatory” behavior towards a Nigerian family, who were allegedly quarantined at the BIA for around 18 hours due to an Ebola scare. The Chairman of the Nigeria House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa decried the rising spate of stigmatisation of Nigerians in the Diaspora due to outbreaks more..

Three Lankans arrested over Italy clash

Sept 15 (CG) Police in San Giovanni la Punta, in the Province of Catania in the Italian region of Sicily, have arrested three Sri Lankans over a brawl which took place last night. The Italian media reported that a 36-year old, a 30 year old and a 24 year old, all originating from Sri Lanka, were arrested over the brawl. A clash had erupted following a heated argument involving the three Sri Lankan men. The heated argument eventually turned into a brawl and passer-by had then more..

South Asia to get new drought monitoring tool

Sept 15 (Island) South Asia is set to get a new drought monitoring tool next year, which policymakers hope will help a region increasingly buffeted by extreme weather, according to a report. The report said: "The tool, which will incorporate satellite photos of vegetation and forests, meteorological data, details of ground moisture measurements and crop-yield data, should be available for use by next April, the experts developing it said. more..

'Sri Lanka needs anti-graft campaign like China'

Sept 15 (AD) Sri Lanka should embark on an anti-corruption campaign, similar to China, to ensures that elected representatives and govt figures are accountable to the people for every cent, borrowed and spent, UNP leader said. Welcoming the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Colombo this week, Ranil Wickramasinghe pointed out that, under him, China has undertaken an effective anti-graft drive, aimed at more..

Abductor visited girl’s house previous day to scout – mother

Sept 15 (Island) Man who allegedly abducted four-year-old Keshani Bandara at Nikadalupotha, Ambakolawewa last Tuesday had visited the child’s house the previous morning and had inquired from her mother whether there was a cadjan thatched house in the area. Suspect is known as ‘Grease Gamini’ in his area. Mother Nishanthi Herath said she thought he had come there to scout before the abduction. Mother had just told the suspect she knew of no cadjan thatched house there. more..

Sri Lanka rupee firmer on exporter dollar sales, remittances

Sept 15 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee traded firmer on Monday, recovering from the previous session's near-7-week low as remittances and dollar sales by exporters helped boost the local currency amid a lack of importer demand for the greenback, dealers said. The rupee was traded at 130.26/30 per dollar at 0615 GMT, compared to Friday's close of 130.29/31, its lowest close since July 21. "The (importer) demand which we have seen last few days is not there," said a currency dealer, more..

Video: President violates election laws: JVP

Sept 15 (DM) JVP today accused President Rajapaksa of indulging in the most numberof election-law violations in the election campaign being carried out by the UPFA in the Uva Province. “The President is in the lead where election-law violations are concerned. He is engaged in the campaign like this is a presidential election.There are numerous opening ceremonies even for unwanted and useless projects with the more..

Don't get greedy Sri Lanka

Sept 15 (CI) In AMC's seminal drama Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston plays the role of Walter White - a cancer-diagnosed high-school chemistry teacher who decides to produce methamphetamine on the side to leave some money for his family before he moves on from life. He partners with Gustavo Fring, a drug distribution kingpin, who offers him a lab full of the best equipment to cook batch after batch of the perfect stimulant. White starts raking in money by the million. more..

Did Tamils always paint themselves into a corner?

Sept 15 (CT) If the answer is yes, for how long have we done so? For as long as eight decades and more, some would say. When did the painting start? With elections to the State Council in 1931 and the Jaffna Boycott. The initiative and organization were by the Youth Congress of Jaffna. The mindset which originated then evolved subsequently and has permeated Tamil consciousness ever since. Deriving greater strength through surgical intervention to remove this malignant growth more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka stocks close down 0.61-pct

Sept 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's bourse closed in red mainly due to counters Commercial Bank and Carson Cumberbatch. All Share Price Index closed 43.71 points lower at 7,174.97, down 0.61%. The S&P SL20 closed 41.21 points lower at 3,974.42, down 1.03%. Turnover was 1.57 billion rupees, down from 1.83 billion rupees last Friday with 68 stocks closed positive against 128 negative. People’s Leasing and Finance closed 20 cents higher at 19.20 rupees with more..

The need for a new Constitution

Sept 15 (CT) There is much demand to scrap the executive presidential system of governance. There is also a demand to retain it with diluted powers. All these demands come from political parties. Looking back to the political history of 42 years, both the 1972 republican Constitution and the 1978 presidential system of governance Constitution was the work of two people; Dr. Colvin R. De Silva and J.R. Jayewardene. All the time it is the political leaders who aspired to more..

Interim Committee for cricket administration until the end of 2015 WC?

Sept 15 (AM) Sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage is likely to appoint an interim committee for the country’s cricket administration until the end of the 2015 Cricket World Cup, if SLC President Jayantha Dharmadasa and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga do not arrive at a settlement. Ongoing controversy between the SLC President and Secretary has made a crippling impact on the country’s cricket administration. more..

Norochcholai: Never ending problems in pipeline

Sept 15 (ST) The first unit of the Chinese-built coal power plant in Norochcholai started malfunctioning a few weeks after it was commissioned in March 2011. There have been nearly 30 breakdowns since then, sometimes resulting in the plant remaining idle for many days. One of the main issues with Unit I was that its condenser, containing 16,000 narrow pipes, kept springing leaks. The problem with this defect more..

Govt restricts import of fertiliser containing heavy metals

Sept 15 (Island) The govt on the recommendation of the CKD Research Team will cut down on 24% of the Rs. 20 billion annual imports of Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) which contains heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, uranium, lead and arsenic. Sri Lanka has been importing 100,000 MT of TSP per annum at a cost of USD 600 per one MT. National Project for the Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease more..