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Sri Lanka Guardian : Weekend Review

Oct 25 (LG) What the people in Sri Lanka see and hear and what they will read in their Sunday newspapers are far apart. This weekend newspapers’ news and editorials were no different. The utter lawlessness that the people in the country witness in all the police stations around the island was not deemed worthy of notice by any of the newspapers. Horrendous crimes that are heard from various parts of the country did not find a place in any of the commentaries. more..

Second SLMA convocation honours fallen officers & awards diplomas to serving officers

Oct 25 (MoD) The second convocation for award of Diplomas to 43 serving officers at the country's most prestigious Sri Lanka Military Academy (SLMA) at Diyatalawa, now earmarked to be recognized as a full-fledged University, took place Saturday (23) morning with the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, gracing the occasion as Chief Guest. more..

Why are the AI, HRW and ICG reluctant to appear before Sri Lanka's LLRC?

Oct 25 (TC) The past record of Sri Lanka’s commissions of inquiry has been so poor that ‘failure’ seems to be the predominant ‘home-grown’ quality of those commissions. Hence, there is naturally a great degree of skepticism shown when a government announces the establishment of a new commission (‘yet another commission’), even the establishment of the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC). more..

Payment to Bell Pottinger = Allocation of funds for Jaffna Development by Basil Rajapakse

Oct 25 (LG) In the hurriedly held meeting of the Government Agent of Jaffna, attended by the Minister Basil Rajapakse three weeks ago, a sum of approximately Rupees 500 million (£2,85 million) was allocated for the development projects presented by the GA. The allocation was not outright. The Minister made immediate allocation for the half the cost and promised to scrape through the budgets of other departments to fund the balance. more..

Torture of suspects in police custody fourishes in Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (TC) "I was taken to the upstairs, where there were four police officers. I was ordered to strip naked. I felt shamed. I looked around. Then a cop shouted at me to strip or else will be beaten. I undressed out of fear... An officer tied my hands together and another tied my legs... My hands were placed on the knees and an officer sent a metal pipe between my hands and legs. They fixed the two ends of the metal pole to two beds. more..

Three Amendments to Local Government Election Bill

Oct 25 (LG) The notion of constructive criticism and positive and creative intervention is not on the agenda of oppositional politics in Sri Lanka. This criticism applies not only to the oppositional political parties but also to oppositional civil society in Colombo. This has been clearly demonstrated by the responses of the opposition to The Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill 2010. It seems that the UNP and the TNA will vote against the bill in Parliament. more..

Parallel Governments - Living between terror and counter terror in northern Lanka (1982-2009)

Oct 25 (LG) This paper is a naturalistic and ecological ethnography of the period between 1980 and 2009 in northern Lanka, using participant observation, in-depth interviewing, focus groups, key informants, literature survey and critical inquiry techniques. The Lankan and Indian states and various Tamil militant groups vied for the control, loyalty, obedience and subservience of the civilian Tamil population through terror, counter-terror; the media, more..

Kataragama To KKS – (South To North)

Oct 25 (SL) During our school holidays, we travelled extensively to all parts of Sri Lanka, making maximum use of my father’s first class railway warrant. We flew by then Air Ceylon between Palaly, Ratmalana and China Bay in Trincomalee. Comparing the present to those good old days, there are no words to express my grief. I can see how politicians in Ceylon and then Sri Lanka have become a dominant power within the last few decades. more..

'End of LTTE has not finished the problems of the minority Tamils'

Oct 25 (LG) “End of LTTE has not finished the problems of the minority Tamils. As I said they require full rehabilitation with equal rights,” said Mr. Maloy Krishna Dhar, the former joint director, Intelligence Bureau of India, in an exclusive interview to Sri Lanka Guardian at his residence in New Delhi. M K Dhar’s career with the Intelligence Bureau spanned for nearly three decades, during which he witnessed innumerable counter-terrorism, more..

Securing media freedom in national security states

Oct 25 (GV) As Sri Lanka transforms from a welfare into a “national security state,” we are witnessing the worst suppression of media freedom since the time of our independence. Nearly thirty journalists have been forced to abandon their work in the face of unrelenting harassment, or imprisoned, tortured, exiled, or killed. Those media personnel who, in the face of this attack, have responded by inventing creative ways to maintain the freedom of the press, more..

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith : Simple and sincere Archbishop gets Red Hat

Oct 25 (SO) Sri Lanka’s Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith whom Pope Benedict XVI appointed a Cardinal on October 20 has had a fast rise in the Church ranks. He was ordained a Priest at 27 by Pope Paul VI in Rome, consecrated a Bishop at 43 by Pope John Paul II, elevated an Archbishop at 53 by Pope John Paul II and now made a Cardinal at 62 by Pope Benedict XVI. more..

Nugegoda pavement hawkers’ mall ready for business

Oct 25 (SO) The first stage of the Nugegoda shopping complex for pavement hawkers will be opened in the second week of November. The complex was built in a record 15 days. The complex located near the bus station adjoining the Super Market can accommodate 186 shops which was designed and constructed by the Central Engineering Consultation Bureau (CECB). The client for the project is Ministry of Economic Development. more..

Special Facilities for Disabled passengers in Railway stations Island wide

Oct 25 (LP) Special facilities for the interest of disabled passengers will be implemented in Train Stations Island wide say the Department of Railways. At the same time sanitary facilities of the disabled passengers is also to be improved added the Railway Department. This programme is implemented jointly with the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Social Services. At present there are over 297 railway stations in the island and more..

Even Royalty stopped at Kadjugama in days gone by

Oct 25 (SO) The Sunday Observer last week had the opportunity to meet cashew sellers at Kadjugama in Bataleeya. This picturesque village famous for the cashew industry for the past several decades is located 48 kms away from the city of Colombo. Seventy-three-year-old J.P. Gnanawathi, the oldest cashew seller at Bataleeya said the Government’s intervention is needed to expand this traditional business. more..

Editorial: 'Habouring snakes and raising hell'

Oct 25 (Island) Canada is adopting tough measures to battle human smuggling. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's anti-human smuggling Bill to 'prevent human smugglers from abusing Canada's immigration system', if passed, is sure to give a turbo boost to his country' campaign to hold human smugglers at bay. However, some of its provisions considered draconian have come under criticism and more..

Editorial: Awareness on war residue

Oct 25 (DM) Saturday’s accident in Mutur that killed an eight year old child and injured four others is certainly not the first incident of that kind reported in post-war Sri Lanka. While the end of war brought the biggest relief for people in three decades the sporadic explosions due to leftovers of war hardware, often injuring and killing innocent children, have become a cause for concern. Immediately after the war one saw a government campaign to educate more..

'Hidden agendas of HR groups should be exposed'

Oct 25 (SO) The former Human Rights Minister and a former Chair of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the so-called international rights groups which resorted to extreme measures to salvage the LTTE during the final phase of the war were at it again and are trying to disrupt the national process of reconciliation. more..

Unruly Sinhala tourists storm into Jaffna Public Library

Oct 25 (TN) A group of Sinhala visitors from South on Saturday stormed into Jaffna Library while the All Ceylon Medical Association sessions were in progress. The group was from the Sinhala tourists who arrived Saturday in more than 30 buses at the main entrance of Jaffna Public Library. Despite a sign board in three languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English on display that no visitors will be allowed during the usual visiting hours (4:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m) more..

'Give us back our money, no Ceylinco company'

Oct 25 (LB) President of the Golden Key Depositors Society Anusha Emmert says that they have not given their consent to anyone to form a company with Ceylinco assets, that will issue shares to all depositors. “We never agreed to such a move as going to the stock market will be another blunder for us. But some people in the government spread the news that depositors have agreed to form a new company with Ceylinco assets -- a diabolical lie”, she said. more..

Business, Drinks and Leisure

Oct 25 (Island) It is extremely rare to be able to talk to the Chairman of DCSL; Knight of the Order of Dannebrog and celebrated entrepreneur Deshamanya Harry Jayawardena, one-on-one at leisure about business, the economy and specifically about the flagship DCSL Group. Following are his thoughts about his wish-list for Sri Lanka’s economic future, challenges facing the country and the future of DCSL. more..

SLTB and private buses to join hands

Oct 25 (DM) Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and Private Bus Owners Association are to set up joint bus companies from next year. Private Bus Owners Association President Gemunu Wijeratne said that they had decided to request the government to include this in the budget proposals for 2011 as the Cabinet had approved it already. He explained that the private bus owners would be involved in administration as well in addition to joint plying according to merged time tables. more..

Triplets die

Oct 25 (DM) The triplets delivered by a young mother residing at “Sisiliya Estate” at Pallegema, Deniyaya have died. Varun Mary (24) an employee of the estate had delivered triplets -all girls- one had died the same day evening and the other two had died on Saturday (24), hospital sources said. She had been admitted for her second childbirth to Deniyaya hospital and had been later transferred to the Mathara General Hospital. more..

Kumar Rupesinghe warns that a small terrorist group can cause havoc post-LTTE

Oct 25 (Island) Kumar Rupesinghe says a small group of terrorists can cause havoc, though the LTTE has lost its conventional military capability. Regarded as a one-time favourite of the Norwegian peace facilitators, Rupasinghe told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission on Wednesday that the terrorist attack on Mumbai in November 2008 is a case in point. more..

SJGH on The Island report

Oct 25 (Island) Apropos our front-page news items, More irregularities at Sri J’pura hospital (Oct 15) and Now, Inland Revenue swoops on SJH docs (Oct 18), N.W. Wijewantha, Chairman of Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital has sent us the following clarification: "In this connection, I must make it very clear that private practice at SJGH was allowed right from the inception of this hospital in 1981 and consultants were allowed to make their own fee by the Board of the SJGH. more..

Taking with left hand what’s given with the right hand

Oct 25 (LB) The Local Government Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill which was presented to parliament last Thursday, will effectively further the elected representative from the people by centralizing all power with the party leadership and prevent minor parties/independent groups and concerned individuals from successfully contesting local council elections. The present international trend is to encourage concerned more..

Knuckles bush fire probed

Oct 25 (Island) The police and the Forest Department are conducting separate investigations into Friday’s bush fire which destroyed vast tracts of lush forest in the Knuckles range in Hunnasgiriya. The fire was doused on Saturday by the police and villagers. The Air Force assistance could not be obtained due to a thick mist which the mountains were enveloped in. A patch of jungle had to be cleared across the path of the fire to prevent more..

Police hunt for 2 more kidnappers

Oct 25 (ST) Police are hunting for two more soldiers, part of a five-member gang, who abducted a wealthy Tamil businessman and demanded a ransom of Rs 50 million for his release, Director- Colombo Crimes Division, SP D.R.L. Ranaweera said. He confirmed that Police were able to recover the Rs. 20 million ransom paid. Among those arrested is a Lance Corporal from the Special Forces attached to the Seeduwa Camp, not a Major, as reported in the Sunday Times last week, more..

Some are more equal than others!

Oct 25 (ST) Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratna has utopian ideals of how the judiciary works in this country. He told Parliament on Wednesday that “everyone is equal before the law” as the Constitution states, and hence people should place their faith in the system, and not take to the streets to challenge a court ruling with which they disagree. “How can we build a civilized society by challenging a court ruling, when it is these same courts you turn to when aggrieved?” more..

Sex book in controversy

Oct 25 (ST) A sex education controversy over a booklet containing explicit material and being circulated among year six students at a leading international school in Colombo is being probed by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA). NCPA Chairman Anoma Dissanayake said the booklet--’Introducing Moral Issues’ by Joe Jenkins-- explained details of sexual acts, the use of contraceptives, abortion and the methods of making love more..

Refugees still going home for holidays

Oct 25 (TS) Tamils who have claimed refugee status in Canada continue to present their refugee papers in order to get travel documents that will let them head back to their native Sri Lanka. QMI Agency reported in August that an internal government sampling of Sri Lankan nationals found that 70% of those that had successfully claimed refugee status in Canada had travelled back to the country they claimed was persecuting them. more..

Lanka strain tells on DMK alliance

Oct 25 (TT) The Congress and another DMK ally, Viduthalai Siruthaigal Katchi (VCK), are locked in a war of words which resulted in a statue of Rajiv Gandhi being garlanded with chappals in Chennai on Friday night. Agitated Congressmen blocked traffic in the city yesterday and today, demanding the arrest of VCK activists who they blamed for the mischief. The ruling DMK attempted a desperate balancing act to mollify the only electoral allies it has at present. more..

Religious leaders urge govt. to release Fonseka

Oct 25 (DM) A group of religious leaders said yesterday that there was a miscarriage of justice with regard to the case of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, and therefore made fresh appeals to President Rajapaksa to correct it by releasing him from prison. Ven. Kolamunne Sumanawansa Thera said that Mr. Fonseka brought peace to the country by leading the military to the defeat of terrorism that plagued the country for over 30 years. more..

Kandy gets night bazaar

Oct 25 (ST) A night bazaar is to be opened on Kotugodella Veediya (former Castle Hill Street), Kandy on October 30 to coincide with the National Sports Festival to be held in Kandy. Kotugodella Veediya is to be closed from 6 p.m. till midnight for traffic and the bazaar is to be held in the middle section of the road. The holding of the bazaar has been approved by the Kandy Municipal Council. The organisers have called upon all business establishments on this road to more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 25 (ST) Last week's reference in these columns about Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Dissanayake has had its sequel. His spokesperson Harsha Hiyarapitiya claims, "A simple incident has been sensationalized by using words such as "outburst" and "top gear" which are having tarnishing effects on his good image". "The actual facts relating to the incident are very clear. The Deputy Minister, as he does usually, acceded to the request of a group of residents affected by more..

Central Bank says it will not guarantee the safety of deposits

Oct 25 (N360) Central Bank on Sunday notified to the public that it will not guarantee the safety of their money deposited in Central Bank authorized institutions. Publishing an advertisement announcing the 67 Licensed Commercial Banks, Specialized Banks and Registered Finance Companies, the Bank said “The Central Bank does not guarantee the safety of your deposits”. more..

Bhikku undergrads attacked university officials – J’pura VC

Oct 25 (Island) Tension prevails at the Sri Jayewardenepura University following an incident where a group of Buddhist monks allegedly attacked some university officials accompanying Vice Chancellor Dr. N.L.A. Karunaratne at the Bhikku hostel last night. Dr. Karunaratne said that there had been complaints from the residents of the area that their children preparing for the GCE (O/L) examination next December could not concentrate on more..

DPF welcomes President’s moves

Oct 25 (DM) Democratic People’s Front (DPF) yesterday said they were prepared to have discussions with other Tamil Parties to push for a political solution to the national issue. The party made this point in response to a report carried by a Tamil weekly yesterday quoting TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah that the party was prepared for a joint effort of all Tamil parties to push for a political solution to the national issue. more..

JVP attacks UPFA on rising cost of living

Oct 25 (Island) The JVP says people are struggling to make ends meet, though the government promised to uplift economic conditions at the end of the 30-year war in May last year. The JVP says people are experiencing untold hardship due to rising cost of living, while the foreign debt is rapidly moving up. JVP MP Vijitha Herath alleged that the government had failed to address the problems experienced by the masses. more..

Rajarata Uni to hold first ever All Faculty Research Sessions

Oct 25 (Island) The Rajarata University will hold its first ever All Faculty Research Sessions on Thursday. The University held earlier Research sessions at the faculty level. Research papers were limited in number and the audiences small. The research sessions will be held at the faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences will the attendance of scientists, academics and researchers from more..

Service Minute row: Nurses threaten walk out

Oct 25 (Island) Nurses of government hospitals will withdraw from their services for three hours today (25) in protest against the government’s decision to amend the Nurses’ Service Minute without the consent of the nursing unions. President of the Government Nursing Officers Association (GNOA) Saman Rathnapriya said they would walk out at 8.00am and more..

More UNP MPs visit SF in cell

Oct 25 (Island) DNA leader Sarath Fonseka is trying to adjust himself to prison conditions at Welikada where he has been sentenced for 30 months after being found guilty by a Court Martial of violating tender procedure in procuring armaments. UNP Ratnapura District MP Thalatha Athukorale, Moneragala MP Ranjith Maddumabandara and Colombo District MP Sujeewa Senasinghe visited Fonseka in jail on Saturday more..

President orders Health Secretary : Open OPDs 24 hours

Oct 25 (DN) In a directive issued yesterday President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Health Ministry Secretary to take measures to open the Out Patient Departments (OPDs) of all State hospitals throughout 24 hours. The objective of this measure is to ease congestion in OPDs of Government hospitals and to facilitate needy treatment, advice and laboratory tests. more..

117-year RI as child

Oct 25 (DM) In a shocking revelation, a Fundamental Rights application revealed that a person is serving a 117-year of Rigorous Imprisonment for offences he was said to have committed as a child. The petitioner, who has already served 24 years in jail since he was 16, said that many of the offences had not been committed by him. He claimed that he was forced to undergo the sorrowful plight due to the injustices caused by more..

LG Bill: UNP says deposits too high

Oct 25 (DM) The main opposition UNP said yesterday it would submit a proposal to reduce the amount of the cash deposit that has to be paid by political parties and independent candidates contesting the local council elections under the proposed Local Authorities Elections (Amendment) Bill. The new Bill was presented in parliament on Thursday by senior Minister and House Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva. more..

JHU to MR: Implement Drug Policy and reactivate NATA

Oct 25 (DM) The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), together with Buddhist organisations in the country, handed over a letter to Presidential Secretary Lalith Weeratunga, at Independence Square yesterday urging the president to implement the National Drug Policy and also to reactivate the National Authority for Tobacco and Alcohol (NATA). The JHU established a Shadow Authority for more..

Mega Star: ‘SMS battle’ between two UNP MPs

Oct 25 (Island) The stage is set for an all out ‘SMS battle’ between UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera and UNP rebel MP Upeksha Swarnamalini aka Pabha at the ‘Mega Star’ singing contest on Oct. 30 at the newly refurbished Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium. The two UNP MPs are among four contestants chosen for the contest. Suresh Gamage and Ajith Weerasinghe survived the competition, which began with the participation of 36 persons. more..

18 A: Parliamentary Council waits for President’s move

Oct 25 (Island) Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Kitulegoda says President Mahinda Rajapaksa will now have to propose members to the Election Commission, the Public Service Commission, the National Police Commission, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the Permanent Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, the Finance Commission and the Delimitation Commission. more..

Rizana's death sentence confirmed

Oct 25 (AN) The Supreme Court in Riyadh has endorsed the death sentence given to a Sri Lankan maid who murdered a Saudi infant in 2005, sources from Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry said. A three-member panel of judges from the Dawadami High Court headed by Chief Justice Abdullah Al-Rosaimi found Rizana Nafeek guilty of murdering the four-month-old son of Naif Jiziyan Khalaf Al-Otaibi and sentenced her to death on June 16, 2007. more..

Sri Lanka take away boxer's gold

Oct 25 (AFP) Sri Lankan sports chiefs on Monday confiscated the gold medal won by boxer Manju Wanniarachchi at this month's Commonwealth Games and gave him two weeks to answer doping charges. Wanniarachchi, 30, Sri Lanka's only gold winner at the Games, tested positive for the performance-enhancing steroid nandrolone, according to a report sent to Colombo over the weekend by organisers of the New Delhi Games. more..

UNP to propose amendments to LG electoral reforms

Oct 26 (SL) The UNP is to propose amendments to the bill presented to parliament by the government last week on local government electoral reforms. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathileka told the media that the party will submit amendments to the Local Government Bill. He says the UNP would propose a multiple seat system for the local governments. Several opposition political parties have opposed the government’s amendments to the local government electoral system. more..