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CBK causes ripples in SLFP

Oct 6 (CT) The SLFP is in jitters over former President Chandrika Kumaratunga's reported overtures to form a new youth organization. This follows reports reaching the govt that the former President has had several meetings with several SLFP MPs in Kandy. Last week, Minister Duminda Dissanayake, the son of the former North-Central Province Chief Minister, Berty Premalal Dissanayake, caused a storm within the SLFP, after he devoted a significant part of his speech more..

Jumbo jumble turns Matara into battlefield

Oct 6 (NS) Long simmering tensions within the UNP spilled out onto the streets and exploded into violence yesterday, as clashes between pro and anti Ranil Wickeremesinghe factions in the heart of Matara town left at least seven persons in hospital and one in police custody. Several shots were fired during the incident, with at least five persons, including Southern Provincial Councilor Krishantha Pushpakumara, more..

Pakistan firm gets huge city contract

Oct 6 (ST) A Pakistani company has secured a multi-million rupee development project including a hotel, apartments and two housing complexes in Colombo, officials said yesterday. A six-acre land in Kompanna Veediya has been allocated to the Pakistani company, Imperial, under a 99-year lease agreement. The company will construct apartments for Railway Department employees and for low-income groups who will be moved out for development projects in Colombo. more..

Five die, three missing in double boat tragedy at Mannar sea

Oct 6 (ST) Five people – four from one family — were drowned and three reported missing in two boat tragedies off the Mannar coast yesterday afternoon amid choppy seas and gusty winds. One of the boats transporting 18 people going on a picnic capsized in Musali while a smaller fishing vessel sank off Mullikulam in the Mannar area. 13 of the people travelling in the picnic boat were rescued. The drowned were a Navy sailor’s wife Champika Shiromini, 36, their 4-year-old daughter more..

After the polls, Rajapaksa consolidates his position

Oct 6 (ST) It has been trouble shooting for President Rajapaksa since he returned to Sri Lanka after a visit to the United States. The official segment was to address the UN General Assembly. After a private engagement thereafter, he flew from New York to Berlin where he later boarded a waiting charter flight — Sri Lankan Airlines A-340 operating as UL 1538. Instead of Katunayake, the flight diverted to the MRIA, more..

Karu emerges as unifier

Oct 6 (NS) Key players in the warring factions within the UNP are proposing that Karu Jayasuriya be elected as the Party Leader, party insiders disclosed to The Nation. This emerging consensus follows exacerbation of the party’s leadership crisis caused by defeat at the recently held provincial council elections, sources said. Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hold on the party now depends entirely on the Working Committee which he has packed with loyalists, but even his more..

Speculation over blasting other bunker

Oct 6 (ENS) After the Sri Lanka army blasted the last bunker used by Velupillai Prabhakaran, the slain LTTE chief, there is speculation that the other bunker at Viswamadu would also be destroyed. While the Pudukudiyiruppu bunker was stark with nothing in any of its four floors, the one at Viswamadu had a bed with a mosquito net and a refrigerator. Both looked like ordinary houses from the outside, but staircases led to four to six floors underground. more..

Relations with Oman have no boundaries

Oct 6 (TOO) Sri Lanka's relations with the Middle East (ME) region have shown a robust growth during the last few decades. There are many reasons for such a strong relationship with the countries in this region. Sri Lanka's manpower sector is showing an upward trend every year and it plays a key role in strengthening our relations with the ME countries. Other sectors such as trade, education, hospitality industry, more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 6 (ST) External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris appears to have taken the pursuit of the country’s foreign policy fast forward to new millennia. He perceives that perhaps sooner than later Sri Lanka will emerge as a producer of offensive weapons. That is after Sri Lankan troops have victoriously ended a two and half decade separatist war and the Govt has embarked on a course of reconciliation in this century. more..

Police hunt for two suspects, finger prints at crime scene

Oct 6 (ST) Police are searching for two suspects involved in the killing of the mother-in-law of film director and script writer, late Tissa Abeysekara at her residence in Rajagiriya. Police say according to initial investigations the suspects had entered the premises by scaling a wall and had spent nearly four hours before making a get away through the same route. The victim, Eda Margret Fernando, 87 died of suffocation after the suspects more..

More than 25 bottled water companies flout the law

Oct 6 (NS) Health officials said they had found 25-30 bottled water companies have not renewed their registration with the Ministry of Health, in contravention of the law. The revelation comes after Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Mahipala instructed all Provincial and Divisional Health Services Directors to investigate and submit reports within two weeks on all companies that distribute bottled water. more..

Lack of cricket frustrate national cricketers

Oct 6 (Island) There has been a sharp decline on how the game of cricket has been administered in the country. There are serious allegations of corruption against men who hold key positions at SLC while some men have conflict of interests as they do business with the organization whom they represent in a honorary capacity. The men who genuinely love the game and want to get involved in administration get sidelined by some of these corrupt more..

'People are afraid to speak out'

Oct 6 (IC) Q: Prominent international players, such as Rahul Dravid of India, have said that match-fixing should be declared a crime so that offenders can be prosecuted by law-enforcement, do you agree with that? A: Yes, I agree. It's a significant crime too. It was once requested from the sports minister to introduce such a law, which will allow law enforcement officials to prosecute players who get caught up in such things. more..

More disturbing revelations: GK’s foreign currency transfers come to light

Oct 6 (Island) More shocking revelations of foreign currency transfers to alleged "front companies" overseas have been unearthed by the Golden Key (GK) Task Force probing the siphoning of billions of rupees to foreign bank accounts and dubious projects by the management of this Ceylinco subsidiary, which crashed in December 2008. "This is just the tip of the iceberg", officials warned last week, more..

Former Navy commander summoned to Court

Oct 6 (SM) Colombo Magistrate Court has issued notices to the former Commander of Navy, Wasantha Karannagoda to appear before the Court in order to give evidence regarding a disappearing incident of 5 Tamil youth. The former Navy Commander has been summoned to the Court in order to give evidence in an inquiry going on regarding the disappearance of 5 Tamil youngsters who were residing in Kotahena area, in 2008. more..

North appointments cancelled

Oct 6 (CG) Several public service appointments made in the North, most of which were on a contract basis, have been cancelled following the NPC elections. Over 600 people were given appointments in the public service in the North a few months ahead of the elections, including in the Jaffna and Kilinochchi Districts. In July letters of appointment were handed over to 645 people at an event held under the patronage of more..

Ranil refuses to quit

Oct 6 (CT) A defiant Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, vowed he would not quit his post, despite losing a record 27 elections from the time he took over the Party leadership in 1994, barring the 2001 parliamentary polls, which saw him forming the short-lived UNF Govt. “I will not quit. There is no truth in any of that. You can even ask my media team,” a recalcitrant Wickremesinghe said, by telephone yesterday afternoon. more..

Is Colombo ready for CHOGM?

Oct 6 (CT) It’s almost all systems go for the 23rd CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka from 15 to 17 Nov 2013. For the last one and half years or so, the govt has been making elaborate preparations for this ‘showpiece-event’, sparing no effort or money to make the event a grand success, with no room for any hiccups, even a traffic block. Success is a subjective definition and the govt may view winning the opportunity to hold an international event of Commonwealth stature, to be a success more..

Lok Sabha elections and Sri Lanka

Oct 6 (CT) The current Lok Sabha is the 15th and the constitutional term of office expires on May 31, 2014. Before this date it will be dissolved and elections held for 543 seats. In the complex tangle that has come about since 2009, the next election is of much significance to India and even more to Sri Lanka. India’s normal international relations apart, are the involvements of Sri Lanka which cause concern for India. What are the constituents of this complexity and how are three principal more..

Sri Lanka dictates what Nepal should watch

Oct 6 (CT) An ongoing regional film festival showcasing documentaries focusing on South Asia suffered a severe setback on Thursday, when organizers announced that the Sri Lankan Govt had pressured Nepali authorities to ban the screening of three films on Sri Lanka. But the organizers have responded with lightening speed, making quick arrangements to have a private screening of the three movies on Sri Lanka, more..

NHSL Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon who played truant under probe

Oct 6 (Island) A Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon who had played truant by failing to report for duty on Wednesdays and Fridays at the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) since 2011 is expected to be the subject of an inquiry by the Health Ministry, medical officials said last week. This follows written representations made a group of orthopedic physicians to Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Health Secretary, Dr. Nihal Jayatilleka and the Public Service Commission (PSC), they said. more..

‘We have issues with both TNA and Govt’

Oct 6 (NS) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), which secured only one seat at the recently concluded North Provincial Council Election, has decided to continue as an independent party and mulled agreements with the TNA. “We haven’t decided on an agreement to work with the TNA since the issues discussed will serve as the directive,” said SLMC General Secretary Hassan Ali. “There are several issues that need to be ironed out, not only with the TNA but the govt too.” more..

Mangala explains why he supports Ranil

Oct 6 (AD) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera today said that Sri Lanka needs a leader who is not tainted with corruption, who can rally the international community behind the country’s development and that the only leader who fits the bill is Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramesinghe. “While many people would agree with me that Ranil would make a good if not an excellent leader for our country, some question his ability to win more..

Events lined up to mark 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka-German diplomatic ties

Oct 6 (Island) German Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Dr. Juergen Morhard said last week that continuous friendship between the two nations is now in its 60th year, and a hallmark events have been lined up to mark the epic celebrations. Close partnership between Sri Lankan and German companies had sustained relationships over the past many years and irrespective of such trade enterprises, building confidence between both countries is the cornerstone for sustained interaction. more..

Chefs Guild of Lanka shows long term loyalty towards Fonterra products

Oct 6 (Island) The Chefs Guild of Lanka (CGL) expressed its long term loyalty towards Fonterra products at a recently held executive committee meeting where an unusual endorsement was offered in the context of the recent problems of the brand. In a statement issued following the committee meeting, Chef Gerard Mendis, Chairman of the Chef’s Guild said "Since the formation of the CGL in 1988, its main objective has been to uplift the image of Sri Lankan chefs globally. more..

Temples, tranquility and trunks as Sri Lanka recovers from civil war

Oct 6 (DM) Night falls in the Sri Lankan hill kingdom of Kandy, but the intense heat of the day still radiates from the pavement as we shuffle barefoot behind chanting monks and pilgrims into the most holy Temple of the Tooth. Above us, bats flit across the sky and on the horizon a vast statue of Buddha glows in the light of the full moon, in a scene played out across the centuries. But far from being stuck in a peaceful time-warp, more..

Convention against Doping in Sport Bill in House on Tuesday

Oct 6 (ST) Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage will present to Parliament on Tuesday the Convention against Doping in Sport Bill, which will, among others, make provision for the establishment of the Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency, as well as specify the applicable domestic legal mechanism to combat doping in Sport, within the framework of the Convention. Under the terms of the Convention, State parties, either by way of legislation, or regulation policies, or more..

CCD records Colombo Mayor’s statement on burning of CMC files

Oct 6 (ST) The Colombo Crime Division (CCD) this week recorded Colombo Mayor, A.J.M. Muzammil’s statement over the burning of Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) files, a senior CCD official said. He said that the Mayor’s statement was recorded after he lodged a complaint with the IGP and called for an investigation into the incident which took place last month. Files belonging to the CMC were secretly set on fire at the Borella Cemetery on Aug 17 by Council workers. more..

Sri Lanka's first elected Tamil CM to be sworn in tomorrow

Oct 6 (PTI) Sri Lanka's first elected Tamil Chief Minister C V Wigneswaran will be sworn in by the President tomorrow after his party secured an emphatic victory in the historic provincial polls in the former LTTE stronghold last month. Wigneswaran, 73, will take the oath of office at the residence of Mahinda Rajapaksa here, despite the pressure from his TNA to boycott the ceremony. Many TNA members and supporters of more..

DIG Pujith returns to East

Oct 6 (DM) Senior DIG Pujith Jayasundera has been transferred back to the Eastern Province which he headed prior to being temporarily transferred to Colombo, the Police Spokesman’s office said. They said the Senior DIG who was temporarily transferred to Colombo pending an inquiry and was working at the Police Headquarters, had been re-transferred to his original station. An inquiry was earlier initiated by the police after newspaper reports said Jayasundera had made over a 100 officers of more..

Gayantha denies crossover reports

Oct 6 (ST) It seemed much ado about nothing — speculation that UNP’s Gayantha Karunatilleke was touted to join the UPFA to be its Chief Ministerial candidate at the SPC election. At the funeral of Berty Premalal Dissanayake, former Chief Minister of the North Central Province, several politicians were talking about the possible emergence of Karunatilleke as a candidate. The SLFP’s Bentara-Elpitiya, organiser, actress turned politician Geetha Kumarasinghe, said she was willing to offer more..

Dark secrets of a black beauty

Oct 6 (ST) Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ refers to a black panther, Bagheera. This was really a black leopard and even though Badheera was fictitious, black leopards do exist. But are their days numbered in Sri Lanka, is the question that many wildlife enthusiasts pose. Another black leopard faced a brutal death in Deniyaya a few days back. Its decomposing body was recovered from a forest patch close to Handford Estate, more..

Failed finance firm directors face indictment

Oct 6 (ST) The Supreme Court this week directed the Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Viraj Dayaratne to consider the filing of indictment against the directors of failed finance company Okanda Finance. The three-member Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Justices C. Ekanayake and Priyasath Dep directed the DSG to consider the action “if appropriate having regard to the material that is available as submitted for the Attorney General’s consideration.” more..

Dead child’s parents to sue hospital for negligence

Oct 6 (ST) Legal action would be taken soon against those who were responsible for the death of five-year-old Buddhini Kaushalya who died while being treated at the Nawaloka Hospital, the lawyers for the dead child’s parents said. “We will file action after studying the evidence given at the magistrate’s court inquiry into the child’s death,” lawyer Raveendranath Dabare who was watching the interests of the child’s parents said. After the inquiry, the Colombo Fort Magistrate held that Buddhini’s death was more..

India, Sri Lanka to ink agreement on 500 MW power project

Oct 6 (Hindu) Resolving all the outstanding issues, India and Sri Lanka will on Monday ink an agreement for the execution of the 500 MW thermal power project at Sampur in Trincomalee at a cost of Rs. 4,000 crore. State-run NTPC and CEB had signed an agreement in 2011 to set up a coal-based power project which had got delayed due to various reasons. About two years after the agreement was signed, the initiative more..

MP’s brother among suspects nabbed for robbery

Oct 6 (DM) The brother of a Galle district parliamentarian and three others were arrested by the Habaraduwa police for their alleged involvement in a series of robberies in the south. A soldier and two army deserters were the others in the gang. Police said the gang was responsible for robberies in the Ambalangoda, Ahangama, Akmeemana, Weligama, Poddala , Habaraduwa and Galle areas. During investigations police recovered 21 gold chains allegedly robbed by them. more..

Son allegedly burnt with iron rod by father for failing exam

Oct 6 (ST) A 38-year-old man was arrested after he is alleged to have branded his child with a heated iron rod after the 10-year-old boy failed to pass the Year Five Scholarship Exam held recently. They said the alleged incident took place at a line room in a tea estate in Bogawantalawa while the boy’s mother was out washing the family laundry at a nearby stream. The suspect was taken into custody after teaching staff at the village school in which the boy attended had brought the matter up more..

'Emerging pacers lack killer instinct'

Oct 6 (CI) Sri Lanka's fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas has criticised the emerging group of seamers in the country's pace academy for being "soft" and wanting in drive for self-improvement. Having begun his coaching term in February, Vaas, said the bowlers coming through had a long way to go before they can compete at an international standard. "They don't know how to plan their future," Vaas said of SL's young more..

Galle town spruce-up projects fail

Oct 6 (NS) Two projects undertaken by the Galle Municipal Council (GMC) to beautify the town and help residents and visitors have ended up being a damp squib. According to residents of Galle, not only have these projects wasted valuable taxpayers’ money, but their failure has left an ugly mark on the town itself. The first project includes planting a large number of trees along various sections of the town as part of a ‘Green City’ project. However, many of these trees have since withered and died more..

24 arrested in connection to UNP clash

Oct 6 (CT) The fire-arms used during the shoot-out at a protest march yesterday calling for the resignation of Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in the Matara area have not been discovered as yet, while a magazine with 13 bullets and 3 empty bullets have been recovered so far, Police Media Spokesperson SP Siriwardena said. A peaceful protest march calling for the resignation of Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe, descended into violence as marauding more..