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UN slams boat returns as possible rights breach

Oct 11 (Age) The United Nations has slammed as a possible breach of the Refugee Convention the Abbott govt's plans to speedily send a group of Sri Lankan asylum seekers home. The boatload of asylum seekers believed to be from Sri Lanka arrived at the far-flung Australian territory of Cocos Islands on Thursday - the first such group for months. At his weekly border protection briefing on Friday, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison more..

UNP reformists vow to continue fight against RW

Oct 11 (Island) The UNP reformists organization ‘Jathika Paura’, in a press release issued yesterday, vowed that the fight was not over, despite the October 05 violent break up of their peaceful march, demanding the removal of the party leader at Matara, but it had only passed a significant landmark. The statement issued by leading reformists, Southern Provincial Council member Maithri Gunaratne and Western Provincial Council member Shiral Lakthilake said: more..

Chlorine leak puts over 300 in hospital

Oct 11 (Island) About three hundred residents were overwhelmed by chlorine gas on Wednesday (09) night when a cylinder, at the Penrithwatte, Puwakpitiya Water purification plant in Avissawella, sprung a leak A spokesman for the Avissawella Base Hospital said yesterday that more than 300 people had been brought to the hospital as a result of inhaling the gas. Some had received treatment and returned home. However, more were discharged by yesterday. more..

UNICEF notes progress in Lanka

Oct 11 (CG) The UN Children’s agency UNICEF says Sri Lanka has made great strides in realizing the rights of children and continues to build on its successes to reach the most vulnerable. The new Representative for UNICEF in Sri Lanka, Una McCauley said that UNICEF remains committed to Sri Lanka, to help ensure that the needs of children and, especially those who are most disadvantaged and excluded, are not forgotten. more..

'British left 65 years ago, we’re left with wattle & daub houses beside carpeted roads'

Oct 11 (LT) “Youths tour for freedom” organized by the Socialist Youth Union (SYU) on the occasion of the 46th Che Guevara commemoration carrying the message of peace for youth was greeted at Wellawaya and Badulla on its way from Mahiyanganaya to Kandy yesterday. Several welcome ceremonies were held and street dramas and campaigns to distribute leaflets were carried out. The National Organizer of Socialist Youth Union Bimal Rathnayaka addressed more..

Indian Court orders remand of Sri Lankan fishermen till Oct 25

Oct 11 (PTI) A local here today remanded the 26 Sri Lankan fishermen, arrested by Indian Coast Guard along with their four boats for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line off Tuticorin coast, till Oct 25. The fishermen, arrested yesterday, had been ordered to be lodged at Palayamkottai Central Prison here. Meanwhile the remand of another five Sri Lankan fishermen, arrested on Sept 17 on the same charges, had also been extended till Oct 25 by the court. more..

Who will replace Dilshan?

Oct 11 (CI) In a year in which regeneration has already been Sri Lanka's focus, Tillakaratne Dilshan's Test retirement clears the way for yet another young batsman to try his hand at the top level. Sri Lanka begin a sequence of 10 away Tests in December, and Dilshan's timely exit will allow his replacement the opportunity to cut his teeth against Pakistan and Bangladesh, before the team travels to the UK in the next English summer. more..

'Education Minister making arbitrary decision'

Oct 11 (CT) The Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) demanded today that some form of action should be taken against Minister of Education, Bandula Gunawardena, for making arbitrary decisions on behalf of the whole education sector without consulting other educationalists. CTU General Secretary, Joseph Stalin, said it became apparent during a meeting with a Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), where numerous heads of institutions convened to more..

Development XI succumb meekly to Senanayake

Oct 11 (CI) Development XI collapsed for the second time in as many days to hand Board XI an innings victory in the four-day match at the P Sara Oval. Following on after having conceded a 276-run first-innings lead, Development XI continued to lose wickets in short intervals, and could only last 41.3 overs in their second innings. Sachithra Senanayake was the best of Board XI's bowlers again, taking 4 for 65, to finish with match figures of 7 for 147. Sachithra Serasinghe was the only batsman more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 26.2-pct in September

Oct 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tourist arrivals rose 26.2% to 89,761 in September 2013 from a year earlier with visitors up 15.5% to 693,772 in first nine months. Arrivals from India, Sri Lanka's top generating market, surged 30% to 18,048, up sharply for the second month in a row, helping South Asian visitors grow 31% to 26,399. A weak Indian rupee which has made other destinations more expensive may be making Sri Lanka more more..

When rights of a girl child are compromised

Oct 12 (NS) Sri Lanka joined hands with the international community to celebrate World Children’s Day on October 1. The Government of Sri Lanka as a signatory to the Child Rights Convention and through ratification has pledged to safeguard the children of this country. It is all nice on paper, but in reality Sri Lanka’s child protection framework has not been able to successfully accommodate and address concerns of girl children belonging to the Moor- Islamic minority. more..

Streets without the Arts

Oct 12 (NS) Street Art, in Sri Lanka, has been restricted to a few ‘seasonal’ discourses, such as the art exhibitions along the Green Path or the even scarcer drama and improve for which the street and public spaces are used. Till very recent times, the urban and suburban locales were not too infrequently used by street-theatre groups, be them those influenced by the likes of Gamini Hattotuwegama and his ilk, or university dramatic troops. But, within the last five years or so, more..

Extended Southern Expressway to Matara will boost development

Oct 12 (SO) Time is money and experienced businessmen make it a point to plan their daily schedules, thus saving time, which is money. For perfect time management, people need to be in specific places at the scheduled time. For this, a smooth transport network is a must. Sri Lanka was notorious for bad roads filled with potholes, but today this negative aspect has been completely reversed. Though Sri Lanka had achieved more..

Why Ranil should learn from the Tories and quit

Oct 12 (CT) Both, the United National Party and the British Conservative Party, the senior partner of the coalition government with the Lib Dems, are members of the International Democratic Union, an umbrella organization of centre right, conservative Christian democratic political parties, which have come together in virtue of their common beliefs and shared ideals of civil liberties, press freedom, human rights, non violent dissent and so forth. However, many Third World members of the IDU more..

Singapore, 1505 and how we go

Oct 12 (CT) For a Sri Lankan to fly to Singapore is to become aware of human possibilities. However unhopeful the circumstances; in space, resources and even cultural attributes, a people can still rise to world standards. This small island with just 5.4 million people is an economy of US $ 281 Billion while the visitor’s much larger island, with its 21 million on board, has barely reached a modest US $ 68 Billion economy. Possibilities that stand before a Singaporean today are good as more..

'I am not a sex worker'

Oct 12 (CT) A foreign employment agency in Maradana, that assured employment to Vadivel Sivajothi (38), a resident at Veeoya Estate, Yatiyantota, as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia, is reported to have sent her instead to a brothel in Saudi Arabia. Vadiveil who is said to have sustained severe injuries after being tortured by her employer because of her refusal to be a sex worker, has returned empty handed after being treated more..

A book that tells the story of human tragedy

Oct 12 (AHRC) Basil Fernando's well researched book documents state perpetrated torture reaching back to 1998 and tells a harrowing narrative of the willingness of state machinery to resort to the most egregious violations of personal security and dignity within remit of the criminal justice system. A large number of cases paint a gruesome picture of dismembered bodies, widespread sexual assault, forced starvation and a repeated denial of medical attention. more..

Any justification for Chinese phobia in SL?

Oct 12 (CT) It was indeed so sweet of Senior Colonel, Prof. Xu Hui, of China to lend us his ears and tell us that there is no need to have any China phobia. If you think that he made the observation in the context of global politics and the scare the Americans and the Indians have been creating of a resurgent Dragon, well, you are not wide off the mark. He looked at the big picture, no doubt, but brought the bilateral context also into focus as the venue for his observations was more..

Sirima Bandaranaike: The grand old lady of Sri Lankan politics

Oct 12 (DBS) Today Oct 10th is the 13th death anniversary of the world’s first woman prime minister Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike. I am therefore reproducing on my blog an article written about her by me thirteen years ago. It was published in the Indian news-magazine “Frontline” of Aug 19th – Sep 1st 2000 under the heading “Exit of an Elder Stateswoman”. I wrote the article after Mrs. Bandaranaike resigned as Prime minister on more..

Black July: Planned violence and its significance

Oct 12 (CT) In discussing the violence of July 1983, we have adduced four different kinds of testimony. 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..

SLIIT Computing commences enrollment for BSc. in Information Technology

Oct 12 (Island) Paving the way for students to keep their knowledge up-to-date in this fast-moving field of Information Technology, SLIIT Computing, in association with SLIIT has commenced enrollment for the Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology (IT). SLIIT Computing has been conducting the BSc in IT programme for the past ten years. This popular industry-oriented three year Degree Programme, is awarded by SLIIT and approved by the UGC. more..

Top IFRC officials Meet Minister Minister Rajapaksa

Oct 12 (MED) High ranked officials from the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement met minister Basil Rajapaksa on Oct 10th. Jagan Chapagain, Director of IFRC Asia Pacific Zone, Igor Dmitryuk, Head of IFRC Delegation in Sri Lanka and Tissa Abeywickrama, Director General of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society met with minister Rajapaksa and other officials to discuss about the upcoming IFRC General Assembly and more..

Trade union calls for radical change in taxation policy in 2014 budget

Oct 12 (ST) As a prelude to preparing the budget for 2014, the govt has called for proposals from the public and the trade unions being an organised segment of our society, have responded by listing their demands, a key trade union said. Whilst the Ceylon Federation of Labour (CFL) associates itself and supports the position of the unions it wishes to highlight the urgent need for trade unions to call for a radical change in the govts taxation policy in the interests of the working people, the poor more..

John Keells - World Vision collaborate in developing Mullaitivu

Oct 12 (Island) John Keells Foundation and World Vision Lanka recently launched a collaboration to uplift and rehabilitate the livelihoods of communities in Northern Sri Lanka. Through this collaboration, several development interventions such as livelihoods assistance programmes including enhancement of women entrepreneurship opportunities, infrastructure and skills development for the benefit of school children and youth and provision of water and sanitation facilities for more..

This is National Reading Month: Colombo Public Library Digitally handicapped

Oct 12 (NS) Most discoveries are made by accident, they say. Apparently this is how Colombo Public Library users discover books, by accident. Since library resources are yet to be digitized, its users are forced to stumble over shelves to select books the old fashioned way. Despite the service rendered by the library staff, the desolateness and the gloominess of atmosphere in the Colombo Public Library is irrefutable. more..

Biggest Japanese biz delegation in town tomorrow

Oct 12 (FT) high-powered Japanese biz and investment delegation is arriving in Colombo tomorrow. The 30-member strong delegation is led by none other than Hiroyuki Ishige, Chairman of the powerful Japanese trade and investment arm, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO). “We warmly welcome the biggest Japanese delegation to visit Sri Lanka. While we thank them for their efforts and praise JETRO’s initiatives, we are also encouraged by their unprecedented interest expressed more..

Budget debate on 25 days

Oct 12 (Island) Arrangements have been made to hold this years’ budget debate on 25 days, parliament sources said yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to present the Budget proposals 2014 to Parliament in the evening of Nov. 21. The debate is scheduled to commence the following day (Nov 22). The budget debate is scheduled to be held from 9.30 a.m to 6.30 p.m. From Nov. 22 to Nov. 28, the Second Reading of the Budget proposals would take place and more..

Ban the money launderers

Oct 12 (LMD) Money laundering is what criminals do in backstreet alleys around the world, to transfer illicit funds. According to recent legislation enacted around the world, these shady backroom deals by the dregs of society must be reported to the authorities by accountants and lawyers, as well as banks. These funds may be used for funding drug cartels and terrorism by criminals who endanger the very fabric of the civilised more..

Towards a parliament of ministers

Oct 12 (Island) The government has a two-thirds majority in Parliament and, now, two-thirds of its parliamentarians are either ministers or deputy ministers! The Opposition has lashed out at the ruling UPFA for the appointment of nine more deputy ministers. The JVP has pointed out that even China, Russia and India have smaller Cabinets than Sri Lanka. Yes, we have become the laughing stock of the world with so many ministers and deputies. The govt, however, is not without politicians more..

Pavithra off to address World Energy Council

Oct 12 (Island) Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi flew to South Korea yesterday to attend the World Energy Council (WEC), where more than 100 representatives of different governments will speak on energy issues. Wanniarachchi is expected to make a presentation on Sri Lanka’s success in power generation and its plan to provide electricity to all by 2014. A ministry official said that the future of the shale gas revolution and concerns over fuel price recovery were among the cornerstone more..

Mangala’s speech in Parliament ‘censored’

Oct 12 (FT) The Acting Secretary General of Parliament has agreed to investigate into how references to the Presidential Security Division were censored in the tape of his speech to the House on Thursday, Opposition MP Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday. He said that during his speech during the adjournment motion on the COPE report, he had tabled details of the Matara march led by UNP dissidents Maithri Guneratne and more..

'Party first, positions later'

Oct 12 (CT) Hambantota District UNP MP, Sajith Premadasa, stressed that at a time when the Party is clamouring for a complete change of direction, the members should forget about positions and titles and apply themselves energetically and single-mindedly to make the Party victorious. He stressed that he was not interested in any titles and that his only wish was for complete overhaul of the Party, to convert it into an election winning force. “I am committed to attain this goal,” he said, more..

Counsel queries remanding of businessman

Oct 12 (Island) Following the Peace Accord of 22- 02-2002 signed by then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, with LTTE leader Prabakaran, everyone in the South had resumed business with the North. Even the then govt did business with the LTTE. Therefore how Nawinna Kottage, a businessman from Kelaniya, could be kept in remand under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for hiring out three vehicles to an NGO from Killinochi, President’s Counsel M.M. Zuhair asked more..

JHU wants Wigneswaran’s motives probed

Oct 12 (CT) The JHU has questioned the motive behind the non-hoisting the national flag during a meeting between Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, and External Affairs Minister of India, Salman Khurshid, where only the regional flag and the Indian national flag were on display. Terming the blunder as a sign of non-recognition of the territorial integrity of the country by the Northern administration, more..

CA Sri Lanka grants 250 associate memberships

Oct 12 (FT) The accounting profession in Sri Lanka received a renewed boost today with 250 new chartered accountants being granted associate membership by the country’s national accounting body, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka), at the annual convocation held at the Water’s Edge last week. The convocation was held under the patronage of the Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando and Associated Motorways Ltd. . more..

Yellow soft-shelled terrapin found in Nochchiyagama

Oct 12 (CT) A yellow tortoise found by villagers from the Adampane Lake in Nochchiyagama was handed over to the Anuradhapura ofice of the Department of wild life and later released to the Wilpattu National Park. The rare adult yellow soft-shelled terrapin was found recently and given to the North-Western Wildlife Region and Anuradhapura Wayamba veterinary surgeon, Dr. Jayasinghe said, the yellow terrapin was around 10 inches long and about six inches wide. more..

CIABOC failed to probe COPE findings

Oct 12 (CT) The UNP yesterday took the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to task for failing to adhere to the directives of Parliament and ignoring investigations into corruption charges amounting approximately to Rs 300 billion forwarded by the COPE. Former Chairman of COPE and UNP MP, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, during the debate on the latest COPE report in Parliament said, more..

President visits Parliament

Oct 12 (DN) President Rajapaksa yesterday paid a visit to Parliament. He entered the House around 1.50 p.m. and remained seated for about 15 minutes listening to the debate. The Adjournment Motion on the COPE report moved by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga was taken up and UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya was speaking at the time the President arrived. The absence of relevant Ministers and Deputy Ministers during the time allocated for Oral Questions was brought to the President's more..

Docs complain to SC about exam irregularities

Oct 12 (Island) A group of medical professionals who had sat the MD (Family Medicine) exam in 2013 has complained to the Supreme Court about serious exam irregularities. They have requested the Court to direct the Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University and the Directors of the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine to dissolve the present Board of Study and appoint a new Board excluding the members of the present Board of Study for the re-scheduled MD (Family Medicine) exam. more..

Mannar Bishop to take up poaching crisis with TN

Oct 12 (DM) Mannar Bishop the Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph said he intended making representation to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram and DMK Leader Muthuvel Karunanidhi with regard to poaching by Indian fishermen and that he would demand immediate action be taken against them. “This has nothing to do with politics. It is a humanitarian issue which needs to be resolved. Indian boats come as close as 500 more..