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Cameron must speak up over Sri Lanka's human rights abuses

Oct 10 (NS) Next month, Sri Lanka is due to host the CHOGM in its capital Colombo. Hosting the summit is an honour that was rightly denied to the country two years ago because of the its fragile state after the civil war. But just how much progress has Sri Lanka made on human rights since 2011? Many, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, and Amnesty International have warned that Sri Lanka has not yet done enough. more..

Lankan elected to top post at UN General Assembly

Oct 10 (DM) The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, elected the Minister Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York, Waruna Sri Dhanapala, as Vice Chair of the Second Committee for its 68th Session. His candidature for the Bureau of the Second Committee had been unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific Group, the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York said in a statement. more..

Revived GKCC makes third phase repayment to over 1200 depositors

Oct 10 (ST) The defunct Golden Key Credit Card Company (GK) revived by the Central Bank (CB) on a Supreme Court order has made repayments as low as Rs 48 and high as Rs.100,000 under phase 3 to 1204 security deposit holders with security deposits up to Rs.1 million, an official said. According to the plan of action prepared by the CB, the repayment was based on 41% of the security deposit balance outstanding more..

RDH ruffles GMOA’s feathers

Oct 10 (Island) The GMOA accused Puttalam District Regional Director of Health (RDH) of ill-treating interns posted to the government hospital in his area. GOMA media spokesman Dr. Navin de Soysa said that about 20 post-intern doctors, who had been posted to Puttalam, had visited RDH Dr. Paul Ranjith’s office for their orientation course, prior to assuming duties, but the RDH was not available. Dr. Soysa added that the interns had waited for a long time and on finding that more..

Rat fever on the march

Oct 10 (Island) The incidence of Leptospirosis or rat fever is increasing with around 3,000 patients detected since the beginning of 2013. Of that number 54 have died. In 2008 around 7,400 people contracted leptospirosis and 200 died, according to the Health Ministry. Health Ministry Media Secretary D.M.W. Wanninayaka said that leptospirosis could be fatal if untreated. Medical experts were of the opinion that leptospirosis was caused by rats in paddy fields. more..

India seeks new deal with Sri Lanka on fishermen

Oct 10 (PTI) India is trying to establish a new mechanism which will enable early release of fishermen, especially those from Tamil Nadu who inadvertently enter Sri Lankan waters and are detained or arrested. “We are trying to do… create a mechanism… for those Indian fishermen who stray inadvertently into Sri Lankan waters,” Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said during the monthly press interaction of Home Minister more..

Govt. drafts policy on mental health of elderly

Oct 10 (Island) The Health Ministry said that the govt was formulating a policy to address the mental health issues of the growing elderly population in the country. Spokesman for the Ministry, Dharma Wanninayake, said the elderly accounted for about ten per cent of the country’s population. By 2020 it would increase to over 24%, he added. Two billion of the world population would be above 60 years by 2050. He said that today being the World Mental Health Day, the focus should be on more..

Govt. has not taken a decision on facebook ban

Oct 10 (AD) The govt has not taken any decision to ban social networking websites including Facebook despite several rumours regarding the issue, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena stated. When Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremasinghe asked the govt in parliament today whether it had taken a decision on the issue, Minister Gunawardena completely rejected the rumours surrounding the issue. However, President Rajapaksa claimed yesterday, while speaking at an event at more..

Video: Deputy Minister post a ‘pacifier’ to soothe crying MPs - JVP

Oct 10 (AD) The JVP today accused the govt of wasting large sums of taxpayer money on maintaining a “herd” of Ministers and deputies while claiming that the money spent on one of them can be used to maintain an entire state. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake pointed out that the world’s most populated country China, with a population of 1.35 billion, only has 27 Ministers while India has a population of 1.2 billion with only more..

'Sri Lanka targets 400 listed firms by 2016'

Oct 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka is targeting 400 companies to be listed by 2016 from the current 288 SEC Chairman Nalaka Godahewa said. He said he expected this year's foreign investment flow in the stock exchange to rise to total 30 billion rupees. Already 20 billion had flowed in. Foreign investors who sold out during a credit driven stock bubble which ended in 2011 has started to come back with more attractive valuations. Godahewa said investment meetings were planned with the more..

Brandix to launch innovation ‘incubator’

Oct 10 (ST) Sri Lanka-based apparel manufacturer Brandix plans to launch a ‘incubator’ in the near future, to facilitate and foster innovation, according to company director Udena Wickremesooriya. Mr. Wickremesooriya’s statement was made during the closing ceremony of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) organised Robofest 2013, where he was the Chief Guest, and his company was the main sponsor. The event saw the crowning of Mahinda College Galle in more..

'Move to opener changed my career'

Oct 10 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan said his decision to open the innings in Test cricket was the most important in his 14-year career, as he retired from Tests on Thursday. Dilshan began Tests as a middle-order batsman and had had a middling career until the promotion to the top of the order in 2009. The move paid immediate divdends, as he hit six hundreds and scored 1327 runs at an average of 64.52, in the year. more..

Sri Lankans reach Cocos Islands

Oct 10 (TA) Sri Lanka's once vibrant people-smuggling pipeline, which has long lain dormant, is again showing signs of life, with an asylum boat appearing off the coast of the Cocos Islands yesterday. The arrival of the boat presents an added complication for the Abbott government, whose attention has been trained north as it attempts to stem the Indonesian flow. At about 11.30am local time residents on the tiny islands noticed what appeared to be a Sri Lankan fishing boat off more..

Disaster rehearsals tomorrow

Oct 10 (DM) A disaster management rehearsal would be held tomorrow (11) covering in all the 25 Districts in the country in line with the International Disaster Reduction day, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said. The rehearsal programme is mainly focused on disasters like tsunami, landslide, and flood in the country, DMC said. Awareness programme on floods will be held between 11 p.m. and 12 in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Vavuniya, Moneragala and Kurunegala. more..

Fernando challenges FIFA life ban

Oct 10 (AAP) Sri Lanka's former football chief Manilal Fernando will challenge an "unfair and harsh" life ban imposed on him by FIFA for corruption, lawyers said Thursday. Fernando, a former member of the FIFA executive board, will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after seeing an earlier ban for eight years increased by the sport's world governing body on Wednesday after a failed appeal. more..

When the paint peels off

Oct 11 (NS) While the Centre for Environmental Justice has painted the town red with its revelations about excessive lead in paints used locally, the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) meanwhile has began its whitewashing campaign to paint over the new damning report. The CAA has been in the headlines for the past few days for its failure to ensure the implementation of the law pertaining to hazardous levels of lead content in paint. According to the gazette notificaition, more..

Unemployed youth, a plague?

Oct 11 (NS) Unemployment has become a burning issue in Sri Lanka with over 19% of youth unable to find employment. In a recent statement, Monitoring MP Mohan Lal Grero, said there is a 19% unemployment rate among youth in the country, as of now. Although there is a dramatic improvement in the economy subsequent to the termination of the civil conflict in 2009, the unemployment rate concerning youth has to be further brought down to a single digit, economists opine. more..

Konwewa villagers return to their homesteads with renewed hopes

Oct 11 (SO) Northern elections ended, people voted and went back home. Politicians won and many others commented and criticised on rights and freedom, yet no one spoke about a certain faction of people who are still struggling to make their living, trying to make the ends meet. Though many extremists air their voices on things that happened in the past those civilians, who lived and fought with the hard earth to more..

Status of Tamils, Women, and Homosexuals in Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (CT) Every “emotion-based reaction” is a complex; all fundamentalists and racists react to comments on religion, race, or ethnicity as if their religion, race, or ethnicity is their own mother. When you combine ethnicity and religion—e.g., Sinhala Buddhist—even the psychiatrists cannot figure out how to name such combined complexes. When I was ten-years old, I saw what this “mother complex” can do to a person. While my elder brother and I were playing, a teenager from our more..

Black July: Planned violence and its significance

Oct 11 (CT) In discussing the violence of July 1983, we have adduced four different kinds of testi- mony. The first kind are testimonies consistent with the violence having been planned by the Govt, but do not imply it, however tantalisingly close to doing so they may seem. That concerning Gunawanse’s role is of this kind. So are Jayewardene’s attitudes to declaring curfew, the Govt’s inaction regarding stopping the violence, Jayewardene’s call to the Sinhalese to lay down their arms and so on. more..

Poor mental health: National institute can’t cope with the demand

Oct 11 (ST) About a month ago, a 25-year-old youth killed his father, then walked into the nearest police station and informed that the body was lying in his house. He also told police that he was suffering from a mental illness for over 10 years. Following a court order he was later admitted to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Angoda, where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In another incident, a 42-year-old man stabbed more..

13 minus Sampur

Oct 11 (CT) The first foreign representative the Chief Minister of the NPC, C.V. Wigneswaran, met after he was sworn-in was Salman Khurshid, the Minister of External Affairs of India. He has come to Sri Lanka to assess the situation, ahead of the final decision on Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh's participation at the CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka next month. Although the Sri Lankan Govt held a free and fair election to elect members to the NPC as it had promised India, more..

India's role in Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (CT) All regional superpowers love the idea of playing 'Big Brother' with their neighbours. The United States likes to play the role of overseer when it comes to Latin America, whilst China adopts a similar role in relation to Indo-China. As India's military and economic might grows, so too does its role in the sub-continent. As poor relations continue to exist between Pakistan and India, Bangladesh and Nepal have avoided falling under the Indian sphere of influence. more..

Sanjeewa Pushpakumara on Film: Flying Fish

Regional countries to ply Pakistani ships for trade with Sri Lanka

Oct 11 (APP) Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Kamran Micheal has said that Sri Lankan government has promised that all regional countries, having ship trade with Sri Lanka, would use Pakistani ships, which will help boost our revenue and growth of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (PNSC). This he said while addressing as chief guest after inauguration of 3rd Logistic, Shipping and Supply Chain Conference and Exhibition at a hotel here on Thursday. more..

Designed for failure

Oct 11 (CT) It is Sri Lanka’s good fortune, one supposes, that it is blessed with an alternative govt – an Opposition—that is as blind to national realities as the regime is to international (and inter-mestic) ones. Or to amend it slightly, we have a regime that is myopic in relation to the international dimension of reality and an Opposition that is blind to its national dimension. Consider the compelling essay by the UNP’s communications chief, Mangala Samaraweera, entitled 'Yes Ranil Can more..

Turning to sex work in Sri Lanka’s north

Oct 11 (IRIN) With more women taking up as family breadwinners in Sri Lanka’s former war zone - the island’s north - the region is recording an increase in women turning to survival sex. According to estimates by local groups working with women to boost their incomes, the number of women engaged in sex work is said to be as many as 7,000, considered by some as a conservative estimate. more..

Editorial: Dragon lecturing Eagle

Oct 11 (Island) With the political deadlock between the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress entering the second week and the federal shutdown showing no signs of going away soon, fear is being expressed internationally that the crisis is likely to spill over into the rest of the world. Apparently panic-stricken, China has lectured the US on the need to honour its commitment to debt servicing and issued a dire warning that the failure on the part of Washington to more..

Tendulkar to retire after 200th Test

Oct 11 (CI) Sachin Tendulkar will bring an end to his glittering 24-year international career after he plays his 200th Test, which is scheduled to be during the home series against West Indies in November. Tendulkar announced his decision on Wednesday afternoon, via a BCCI statement, like he had done when he retired from ODIs in December 2012. "All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years," more..

Sri Lanka Army marked its 64th Anniversary

Oct 11 (SLA) Sri Lanka Army, the much-respected and admired saviour of the Nation and now, the most-sought service provider of the country, marked its 64th Anniversary and Army Day on Thursday, during a colourful parade at CR & FC ground, Colombo 7. The series of anniversary ceremonies that began in the final week of September, giving pride of place to religious observances at Sri Dalada Maligawa, more..

'Canadian Prime Minister a brave leader'

Oct 11 (FMT) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that he will not be attending the CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka. He is the first leader to have decided not to attend the meeting as he stated quite correctly that Mahinda Rajapakse and his government have to answer for human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Such true and brave leaders are hard to come by. India will not boycott the summit as it hopes to play off China. India fears that if it does not attend the summit, more..

Perera hits belligerent 150 as team folds

Oct 11 (CI) On the day Tillakaratne Dilshan officially announced his retirement, Kusal Perera made a play at his vacated opening position, slamming 150 from 142 balls on a rain-effected day three of the four-dayer at the P Sara Oval. Development XI could not offer much else with the bat though, as they finished the day on 299 for 9, in response to Board XI's 575. Offspinner Sachithra Senanayake took three wickets in the day, while medium-pace bowlers Nuwan Kulasekara and Suranga Lakmal more..

Ocean Princess cruises to Colombo

Oct 11 (FT) A plaque exchange ceremony was held on board the cruise ship MV Ocean Princess in celebration of its maiden call to Colombo with 672 passengers yesterday. The agency services for this cruise line is provided by Malship (Ceylon) Ltd., a company representing many international shipping lines in the conventional and container shipping business. Ocean Princess is currently on a 38-day Western Mediterranean more..

Sri Lanka's record on rights makes it unfit to lead Commonwealth

Oct 11 (Guardian) The Commonwealth is making a major mistake in holding CHOGM in Sri Lanka, when that country is in serious breach of the values set out in the Commonwealth charter, and has even failed to comply with the recommendations of its own LLRC. Many of us NGOs accredited to the Commonwealth who successfully persuaded the heads of govt four years ago not to hold their 2011 meeting in Sri Lanka insisted that the human rights situation there had not improved by 2013, more..

NCCSL reviews bilateral trade progress between Sri Lanka and Tianjin

Oct 11 (Island) A business delegation headed by Dong Li Bin, Vice Chairman of China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Tianjin Sub Council of the People’s Republic of China visited the Chamber on 8 Oct. Members of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka China Business Cooperation Council had a discussion with the visiting delegates at the Chamber auditorium. Dong Li Bin said CCPIT Tianjin promotes international trade more..

Colombo MP in bid to save Kudu Nuwan

Oct 11 (CT) A Colombo District MP is alleged to be interfering in the ongoing investigations into the clash between two groups of drug dealers in Dematagoda that left one person dead, in a bid to save Kudu Ruwan, a millionaire drug dealer wanted by the police in connection with the incident. The politician is alleged to have tried to impede the investigations through several high ranking police officers. The special police investigation team more..

Harper’s hypocrisy

Oct 11 (WS) Tell me if you find any irony or hypocrisy in this: Canadian PM Stephen Harper announced from Indonesia, where he was attending APEC, that he will be unable to attend the CHOGM in Sri Lanka next month, owing to that country’s “unacceptable human rights violations?” Put your hand up if you are aware of Indonesian history? No? Well, have you seen any good documentary films lately, such as, The Act of Killing, which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival ? more..

Prasad throws hat into the ring

Oct 11 (CI) Former India fast bowler, Venkatesh Prasad, has confirmed his application for the position of Sri Lanka head coach, which will be vacated by Graham Ford at the end of January. Prasad has coached since 2006, and has had a stint as India's bowling coach, as well as coach of India's under-19 team, and the Karnataka state side. He currently coaches Uttar Pradesh, and is among at least eight foreign coaches that have applied for the position. "Sri Lanka are an amazing team more..

Rathupaswala factory to be relocated

Oct 11 (CT) Following a lengthy discussion held at the office of the Superintendent of Police Gampaha, yesterday, Ven. Theripehe Siri Dhamma Thera, and the Chairman of Hayleys, Mohan Panditage, signed an agreement pertaining to the Venigross factory, Rathupaswala, Weliweriya, which was at the centre of a controversy. Under the agreement, the factory is to be shifted from Rathupaswala within six months, and until more..

On Sri Lanka, UN now tells ICP it may release report In days or weeks?

Oct 11 (ICP) Now that the UN's Sri Lanka report is completed, why isn't it being released? Has Sri Lanka been given some sort of veto over it? After being told that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would have something to say about in September and hearing only a brief reference in one of his speeches, at the Oct 10 noon briefing Inner City Press asked, video here and embedded below. ICP: yesterday, the Deputy Secretary-General spoke at the Council on Foreign Relations and more..