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People too lost at the recent elections

Oct 8 (CT) This writer wrote a column under the heading ‘More sinned against than sinning…’ in July 2011, published on certain websites. The theme was the local govt election results in the North and how the TNA performed at those elections. Since then and after a lapse of almost two years, when the PC elections were held in the North, the results were once again, stunningly one-sided and the performance of the govt party was as dismal as or even worse this time than it was in 2011. more..

‘State TVs violating viewers rights’

Oct 8 (ST) Award winning teledrama director, former president of Tele Makers Guild and activist campaigning for quality teledrama industry, Sudath Rohana will release his newest tele-produciton, ‘Girikula’ starting from October 13 at 8.30 pm on Swarnavahini channel. Staring from the school stage, Sudath has become one of the leading teledrama directors in the country. Interested in the working behind the screen, Sudath entered more..

Activities of monks in the guise of protecting Buddhism

Oct 8 (CT) It is undisputed that the prime duty and responsibility of the Buddhist monk is to strive for the protection, promotion and enhancement of Buddhism or Buddhist dispensation (Buddha-Sasana). In this respect activism among Buddhist monks is inevitable for the reason that the Buddha established the Order of monks with the vision of the promoting Buddhism. Only if monks follow the code of conduct (Vinaya) and give instruction to the people with regard to the practice of more..

Why engaging in commercial businesses is taboo for Central Banks

Oct 8 (CT) The father of the Sri Lanka’s Central Bank, John Exter, was emphatic on one point when he drafted the Monetary Law Act or MLA, the legislation under which the Central Bank has been established. Going by the traditional central banking principles, in the General Section of the Exter Report, he prohibited the Central Bank to engage in commercial businesses. This prohibition has got into the MLA as Section 117 of the Act in the form of three separate sub sections more..

Boston Lanka with KK

Not by ourselves alone: A critique of (Tamil) self-determination

Oct 8 (GV) Twenty eight years, four months and some days ago, the LTTE killed more than one hundred and thirty Sinhala civilians in what has become known as the Anuradhapura massacre. I phrase it thus because I wonder whether, a year and a half or so from now, anybody from our liberal-left will deem it fit to commemorate its 13th anniversary. Sinhala nationalism, however, has not forgotten. Invoking the event in Kampala in May, President Rajapaksa contended that more..

Strategic thinking to sustain the devolution process

Oct 8 (Island) One of the first decisions that the TNA had to take after its victory at the NPC elections was before whom to take the oaths of office. The overwhelming electoral mandate received by the party would have induced them to make the most of the occasion in symbolic and political terms. The option they were unanimous in rejecting was to have their members take the oath of office before the Governor of the Northern Province. more..

Governor as change-agent

Oct 8 (Island) The NPC is likely to have a head start over the other councils due to its orientation, composition and support base. Its prime objective would be to recoup the North from its deprivations in the past and to maximise its productivity. It seems to have the manpower to do so, even without the direction of an effective governor. The Diaspora will associate itself with the venture and extend its unstinted support to it. more..

Questioning the role of finance and state authorities

Oct 8 (ST) The draft national housing policy presented by the Govt is a relatively short, under 40 pages, yet an important document. It discusses the need to diversify the housing market including promoting rental housing, expand loan facilities for low and middle income groups, and provide tax incentives for builders. The policy is available on the web at as part of the National Housing Development Authority’s consultation with the public, which expired on Sept 30th, 2013. more..

SLIC unions resort to strikes, protest to the President over irregularities

Oct 8 (ST) Union workers at the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) has said the SLIC has become a failed business entity with even the COPE accepting that there has been bad management at the organisation. Sarath Nandalal, President, Sri Lanka Insurance Employees Union told the Business Times that they met Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera to find solutions to the issues concerning the deteriorating conditions at SLIC. Dr. Jayasundera, according to Mr. Nandalal, more.. goes live

Oct 8 (Island) Sri Lanka’s regulatory and legal framework has become a hindrance to SME development. "SMEs are the cornerstone of our economy. But when certain SME enterprises want to commence and start up, they have to go through almost 29 state institutions in Sri Lanka and fill countless paper forms before they get the go ahead. This has become a hindrance to their development" said Minister Basil Rajapaksa, on 4 Oct. more..

'Herman is not my advisor': President

Oct 8 (Island) President Rajapaksa yesterday told UNP MP John Amaratunga, who attended Northern Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran’s oath taking ceremony, that Herman Gunaratne, arrested and remanded in connection with a shooting incident in Matara, was not a presidential advisor. UNP MP Daya Gamage told a news conference that Gunaratne, involved in a clash near the Matara police station where two factions of the UNP clashed, was a presidential advisor. more..

3 arrested for cheating Lankan refugees

Oct 8 (Hindu) Three persons were arrested on a charge of cheating Sri Lankan refugees to the tune of Rs.12 lakh here on Saturday. The arrested were Suganthan and Ramesh Kumar of Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district and Arun of Madurai. Police said Arun who got acquainted with Manoranjithan, a Sri Lankan refugee in Pudhupatti refugee camp near Batlagundu, told Mathiyazhagan, brother of Manoranjithan, that he would help him and other refugees go to Australia. more..

Caught between Indian and Chinese trawlers

Oct 8 (CT) For fishermen in the North, life is simply a never-ending struggle. Decades of war ravaged their livelihood and deprived them of their homes. Even though the war finally came to an end four years ago and subsequently the restrictions on fishing lifted, the fishermen continue to be battered by a number of issues. Chief among them is the constant threat posed by the invading Indian fishermen and the prowling Chinese more..

Sri Lanka mineral sands to be mined by Australia's Iluka Resources

Oct 8 (LBO) Iluka Resources Limited, an Australian based firms said it had bought a Sri Lankan company which has exploration rights to mineral sand in the island's north west. Iluka Resources said in an Australian stock exchange filing that it had bought PDK Resources, a Sri Lanka based firm, which owned an "exploration tenement" in Puttalam. "While subject to feasibility study work and all necessary Sri Lankan regulatory and Iluka approvals, it is expected that the deposit more..

New privilege card for apparel sector employees

Oct 8 (ST) Leading consumer brands and retailers came together recently to launch a programme focusing on employees’ welfare particularly for the apparel sector. Initiated by the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), this programme is to appreciate and reward the entire apparel industry workforce through a novel concept that will bring about economic relief and price advantage on a number of essential consumer goods and household commodities. more..

Matale Mass grave findings to China for Carbon dating

Oct 8 (Island) Samples of human skeletal remains unearthed from a Matale mass grave would be handed over to the CID to be sent to the Institute of Archaeology, Beijing, China for radiocarbon dating, JMO of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Dr. Ajith Jayasena said. Dr. Jayasena, who participated in the exhumation of skeletal remains, said that the bones had been dated preliminarily to the 1986-90 period more..

Editorial: Canada’s Commonwealth boycott won’t help Tamils

Oct 8 (TS) PM Stephen Harper’s distaste for Sri Lanka’s current leadership is one many Canadians share. Four years after winning a brutal civil war President Rajapaksa’s authoritarian govt has been fiercely criticized by the UN and human rights groups for failing to fully probe war crimes, to devolve any substantial power to the Tamil minority or to demilitarize its heartland. Canada’s large Tamil diaspora is painfully aware that friends and family remain second-class citizens more..

Editorial: On shaky ground

Oct 8 (Hindu) The timing of a judgment by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court recently on devolution of land powers — just two days after a historic election for the NPC — is of great significance. Inevitably, the focus has shifted to the TNA and how the party — and the Provincial Council it controls — would respond to the judgment. The political implications of the judgment are clear. The 13th Amendment was introduced pursuant to the settlement of an international treaty by India and Sri Lanka more..

Court orders release of 20 TN fishermen

Oct 8 (Hindu) In a significant development, the Mannar district court has ordered the release of 20 Rameswaram fishermen along with their four vessels. The district court after extending the remand of the fishermen to October 21 when they were produced before the court on Monday, ordered their release with the boats. The release followed a govt order, according to U. Arulanandham, president of the Alliance for more..

‘Katchatheevu will become a commercial centre’

Oct 8 (Hindu) Necessary steps will be taken to convert Katchatheevu into a commercial centre to enable the peoples of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka to exchange their produce, according to Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Sudarsana Natchiappan. He said the Centre had already taken steps to find an early solution to the problems faced by the fishermen. Negotiations were going on and an amicable solution to their problems would be found at the earliest, he noted. more..

Bhikkhu Peramuna to expose Ranil's double standards

Oct 8 (CT) National Organizer of the Eksath Bhikkhu Peramuna (EBP), Ven. Ulpane Sumangala Thera, warned that if Ranil Wickremesinghe does not act in conformity with the agreement he had made at the discussions with the Eksath Bhikkhu Peramuna on 4 October, when he had consented to resign as the Leader of the UNP, and appoint a Leadership Committee to elect a leader, the video recording related to the discussion will be released to the public. The Ven. Thera explained, more..

Split in TNA imminent

Oct 8 (CT) C.V. Wigneswaran was sworn-in as the new Chief Minister for the Northern Province by President Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday, despite prominent leaders of the TNA boycotting the ceremony. Several members of the TNA were allegedly against Wigneswaran being sworn-in by President, preferring a Justice of the Peace in Jaffna, to officiate at the ceremony. Sources from the TNA said the Alliance could more..

CWE Chairman surrenders to Court

Oct 8 (Island) Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage yesterday warned Cooperative Wholesale Establishment Chairman Priyantha Fernando for failing to attend Court, in the CWE headquarters building fire case and then released him. Earlier in the day, the Magistrate issued an arrest warrant against the Chairman, when the Police informed the Court that he had failed to provide closed circuit footage of the fire and was not present in Court. However, Fernando surrendered to the Court more..

Special police team conducts inquiry into Matara incident

Oct 8 (CT) On the directions of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), a special police team under a senior DIG has been dispatched to Matara to conduct an investigation into the manner in which the police had conducted themselves, when an attack was launched by a group led by UNP MP, Mangala Samaraweera, during the peaceful march that commenced from Devinuwara by a group of UNPers against Ranil Wickremesinghe, demanding his resignation as the Leader of the UNP. more..

Jayalalithaa lowers guard on fishermen's row with Lanka

Oct 8 (TOI) TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa has softened her stand on the fishermen's issue with Sri Lanka, which might smoothen frayed ties with India's southern neighbour. However, Indo-Lanka relationship is not out of the woods yet, and a big test looms in November: whether PM Manmohan Singh decides to travel to Colombo for the Commonwealth summit. Tamil Nadu govt has indicated that it would allow more..

'Canada achieves little by boycotting Sri Lanka summit'

Oct 8 (NP) Boycotts have questionable value as a diplomatic tool. The limited boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games in the Soviet Union had little impact on the Communist govt, other than to  inspire a revenge boycott of the LA Games four years later. The only real damage was to the athletes who missed a chance to compete. Sanctions, if broad enough, can be effective, as is evident from Iran eagerness to end those imposed by western govts upset at its nuclear aspirations. more..

Vacancies in the WP filled with political appointees – CTU

Oct 8 (CT) Over 70 vacancies in the Sri Lanka Education Administrative Services (SLEAS) in the Western Province Education Zone are being filled by political appointees, the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU), alleged. The CTU charged that the Western Province Education Ministry was filling the vacancies with people who are not qualified to serve as teachers, but whose ‘qualification’ is being politically affiliated to those at the help of affairs. There were 71 vacancies which had to be filled, and more..

Breakthrough on UNP Leadership Council

Oct 8 (FT) The much anticipated UNP Working Committee meeting concluded after heated debates late yesterday with a decision to appoint a leadership Council that will assume some powers of the Party Leader. The Working Committee decided that Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe will take a step back and allow the Council to chart the UNP’s future course, Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told the media after a meeting that lasted more..

'Stop attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen'

Oct 8 (TOI) The DMK on Monday urged PM Manmohan Singh to take "resolute" steps to stop atrocities against TN fishermen by Sri Lankan navy and retrieve the fishing trawlers that had been confiscated. The demand comes on the day external affairs minister Salman Khurshid began his two-day visit to Sri Lanka. Party chief M Karunanidhi, in a memorandum, which was submitted by his daughter Kanimozhi, said incidents of arrest of fishermen and detention of their boats more..

Rubber producing countries meet in Colombo today

Oct 8 (Island) The sixth annual Rubber Conference, of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC), will begin today in Colombo under the patronage of Minister Basil Rajapaksa. More than 119 representatives from eleven countries will participate. The ANRPC, an inter-governmental organisation comprises 11 countries — Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. more..

Canadian PM threatens to turn off funding tap over Sri Lanka abuses

Oct 8 (CP) PM Stephen Harper has used the platform of one international leaders' summit to fire a torpedo into the hull of another. Harper stepped to the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering on Monday to formally confirm he'll boycott next month's Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka. Perhaps more significantly, Harper threatened that Canada could cut the purse strings to the Commonwealth more..

This is maturity on the part of the TNA

Oct 8 (DM) The TNA, the main Tamil political party alliance has shown the maturity of the majority of its leaders, by its decision to have its newly-elected Chief Minister of the Northern Province C.V. Wigneswaran sworn in before President Rajapaksa. After all the first Chief Minister of the Northern Province has expressed his allegiance to the Republic and declared yesterday that he would uphold and defend the country’s Constitution and it is understandably appropriate for him as more..

PC elections and the opportunities

Oct 8 (DM) The Friday Forum keenly followed the three Provincial Council elections held on Sept 21. The encouraging turnout, with voters exercising their franchise in all three provinces, supported the claim that the elections were relatively free and fair. The Friday Forum expresses its appreciation of the role played by the Elections Commissioner, the Elections Department, all officials, staff and others as well as the local and foreign election monitors. The democratically - elected councillors in all more..

Lankadeepa Editor says he was not ...

Oct 8 (CT) The Editor-in-Chief of the Lankadeepa newspaper, Siri Ranasinghe, told Court he was not aware that the popular articles written by Upul Joseph Fernando, in a column titled Guruda Vigrahaya in the Lankadeepa newspaper was stopped because it criticized Ranil Wickremesinghe. Ranasinghe stated this, when the case filed in the Commercial Court, against journalist Upul Joseph by Wijaya Newspapers, was taken up. more..

Kukule turbine problem bigger than thought

Oct 8 (Island) It might take more than one year to complete repairs to one of the Kukule hydro power plant turbines which went out of order in June, this year, senior officials of the CEB said yesterday, quoting the Japanese manufacturer. Meanwhile, CEB Additional General Manager (Generation) M. C. Wickramasekera said that they were in the process of running the turbine after a temporary repair. more..

IDPs sink into debt while trying to build a home

Oct 8 (SL) Having been on the move and living in tin-roof shelters or tents for a greater part of their lives, the IDPs of Kilinochchi say their dream is to settle down in a beautiful house. It has been four years since the guns fell silent in the North, and some of the IDPs who laid claim to their ancestral land are attempting to build that dream house of theirs; a task that costs more than they can afford. Several organizations have stepped up to more..

Basil laments red tape hampering business activity

Oct 8 (Island) Minister Basil Rajapaksea recently yesterday called for a new regime to protect entrepreneurship and traditional businesses, while pointing out the schemes available in developed markets. A small and medium enterprise, according to the governmental procedure, required the approval of more than 27 authorities and a large number of forms had to be filled discouraging new entrepreneurs from more..

SLT partners with ICTA to host World Summit Award 2013

Oct 8 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), is partnering with the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) in hosting the World Summit Award (WSA) 2013. The WSA Global Congress 2013 will be held in Colombo from Oct 23 to 26th. Hosted by the ICTA, the global event will be a fast-paced three-day conference featuring 40 outstanding application developers, more than 60 high-profile speakers and attracting up to more..

Sri Lanka, India enter $500 million coal power deal

Oct 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka and India Monday announced a finalised $512-million joint venture coal-powered electricity plant in the island's former warzone, after years of delay. The venture will see the construction of two power generators of 250 megawatts each in Sri Lanka's north-eastern district of Trincomalee. The construction would begin within a year and the plant will be connected to the national grid by 2018, providing cheaper electricity. more..