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UNP rebels stick to their guns

Oct 12 (DM) The ‘Jathika Pawra’ organisation which organised last Saturday’s protest march in Matara demanding a change in the United National Party (UNP) leadership, yesterday reiterated that the UNP leader should resign. “UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should follow the suggestions made by Eksath Bhikshu Peramuna and resign for the betterment of the party,” Southern Provincial Councillor and Jathika Pawra Co-Organiser Maithri Gunaratne told a news conference yesterday. more..

Dayasiri loses his first battle at Wayamba PC

Oct 12 (FT) The road ahead looks rocky in the ruling party for new North Western Province Chief Minister and UNP dissident Dayasiri Jayasekera after his preferred candidate for Chairman of the newly-elected provincial council was defeated by UPFA members in favour of the Opposition proposed candidate. Both nominations were for members from the ruling UPFA which has 34 seats in the NWPC elected on 21 September. However, Jayasekera made it clear that she was his choice when more..

Matara-Kataragama Railway Extension project commences October 28

Oct 12 (DN) Work on the Matara-Beliatta section of the Matara-Kataragama Railway Extension project will commence on Oct 28. Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa will launch construction work of the section at the auspicious time of 3 p.m. in Beliatta. The extension of the new railway line from Matara to Kataragama will be carried out in three phases - Phase I from Matara to Beliatta, Phase II from Beliatta to Hambantota and more..

Serene Pavilions CEO abducted and assaulted

Oct 12 (FT) In a strange twist to the controversy surrounding the Serene Pavilions hotel in Wadduwa, the property’s CEO Anura Lokuhetti was abducted and later dumped near a road in Bandaragama at dawn yesterday. Police said Lokuhetti had been admitted to hospital for treatment after allegedly being assaulted by his abductors. Police are questioning people in the area in connection with Lokuhetti’s abduction. The van used in the abduction is reportedly in Police custody. more..

Techno 2013 showcases best in class, links buyers

Oct 12 (DN) Techno 2013, Sri Lanka's leading Technology and Engineering exhibition, organized by the Institute of Engineers (IESL) in Sri Lanka commenced yesterday for the 28th consecutive year at BMICH. The three day exhibition will see the participation of exhibitors both home and abroad showcasing best in class products and services in the field of technology and engineering. Tilak De Silva, incumbent President of IESL speaking at the inauguration of Techno 2013 said more..

India undecided on PM’s participation in CHOGM

Oct 12 (TNS) India is in a dilemma on whether PM Manmohan Singh should attend the CHOGM in Colombo next month, given the vehement opposition to his participation from political parties in TN. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who recently visited Colombo, is learnt to have told his Sri Lankan interlocutors that India was seized of the issue and would soon take a final decision on the matter, more..

No stitch in time, but nine more to the patch

Oct 12 (DM) With Sri Lanka’s financial status wavering around bankruptcy and millions of families struggling for survival largely because of a soaring cost of living, the Daily Mirror in its Editorials has reiterated that a lasting solution needs to be found mainly in two ways - bringing about social justice and austerity. Austerity essentially means substantially reducing unnecessary or non-essential expenses and learning to manage with basic needs instead of wants and desires. more..

‘Personal stupidities have become national policies’

Oct 12 (DM) In a functioning bourgeois democracy, the system could to a certain extent auto-correct itself. In the past, before the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt took office, Sri Lanka had that capacity. Now without a substantial intervention of the working masses, the local establishment has all but lost it. In the absence of a functioning democracy and an informed and active citizenry, idiosyncrasies of individual leaders have become the national policy and determine the fate of the nation. more..

Elephant adoption procedure questioned

Oct 12 (CT) In an interesting turn of events, an investigation conducted by the Wildlife Resources Conservation Ministry into the missing Elephant Register has revealed that 12 baby elephants registered with the Wildlife Department are motherless. Advisor to the Minister, Prof Sarath Kotagama, said that between 2008 and 2009, 12 baby elephants were registered with the Department of Wildlife Conservation more..

Reconciliation underway

Oct 12 (SL) In spite of allegations levelled against the govt charging that there has been little or no progress made with regard to the LLRC recommendations, the govt has in fact assigned the Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge to monitor the implementation of the recommendations made in the Report of the Commission. Accordingly, a National Plan of Action (NPoA) was prepared to monitor the more..

Contempt charge against Minister fixed for December 6

Oct 12 (ST) The contempt of court charges against Minister Rishard Bathuideen for allegedly threatening the Mannar Magistrate in July last year has been fixed for inquiry by the Court of Appeal for Dec 6. The inquiry was fixed after the Supreme Court dismissed on Sept 17, an appeal by Minister Bathuideen against the Appeal Court decision to overrule his objections and to proceed with the contempt of court more..

A place apart: islands off Sri Lanka’s Jaffna Peninsula

Oct 12 (FT) All around me lay the remains of a tiny Irish empire: a mansion in ruins, some 60 wells and a sandy canal. Even the drystone walls were said to be an Irish idea, sprawling over the island. Strictly speaking, it was an empire within an empire, although its creator paid little regard to British niceties. Appointed “Superintendant” in 1811, for 13 years Lieutenant Edward Nolan ran the Sri Lankan island of Delft like his own little raj more..

Ministers not present to answer oral questions

Oct 12 (CT) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday brought it to the notice of President Rajapaksa that most ministers and deputy ministers are not present in Parliament during oral question time to answer questions listed in the Order for answering. Speaker Rajapaksa brought this to the notice of the President when the latter arrived in the House yesterday. Earlier, opposition members brought it to the notice of the Speaker that more..

Mangala insists Herman is a presidential advisor

Oct 12 (Island) Herman Gunaratne, one of the suspects arrested in connection with the shooting incident near the Matara Urban Council last Saturday, which left at least seven people injured, was an advisor to President Rajapaksa, the UNP said. However, President Rajapaksa has denied that Herman Gunaratne is one of his advisors. Mangala Samaraweera MP, said that Herman, who was the father of leading UNP ‘reformist’ more..

TNA rebels to stand together

Oct 12 (CG) A group of TNA members who boycotted the oaths taking ceremony of the NPC held yesterday said that they will continue to ensure the TNA election manifesto is implemented to the point. Speaking at a joint press briefing today the leaders of the EPRLF and PLOTE as well as TELO member M.K Shivajilingamý and EPRL member Sivashakthi Anand said their party members will not boycott the NPC. more..

TGTE to elect new members

Oct 12 (CG) The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam’s (TGTE) led by former LTTE peace negotiator V. Rudrakumaran, says it has completed accepting nominations for the second TGTE “Parliament” to elect Members of Parliament from twelve countries. The first parliament served its full three year term and was dissolved on October 1, 2013 and nominations were called for from various constituencies in twelve countries. more..

'Commonwealth nations should be leading the way'

Oct 12 (CG) Canada takes its membership in the Commonwealth very seriously. It is for this simple reason that we believe in upholding the basic principles it stands for: freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Without them, what does the Commonwealth stand for? Despite Canada’s efforts, the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), failed to utilize this summit as more..

Hopeful of tangible results on Lankan Tamils issue: Vasan

Oct 12 (PTI) Shipping Minister G K Vasan today said he expected tangible results from the recent dialogue between External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Sri Lankan President Rajapakse towards ensuring safety of Tamils in the island and also put an end to attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen. The talks Khurshid had with Rajapakse on Tamils issue was expected to yield results and lead to safety and restoration of the rights of more..

Housing Ministry warns of organised racket

Oct 12 (Island) Authorities have got wind of an organised racket to defraud people who seek houses in housing schemes under the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) and Urban Settlement Development Authority (USDA) in various parts of the country. The Ministry of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities (CESH&CA) has requested the public not to fall prey to the racketeers and inform the nearest police station immediately if more..

Travails in travelling with SL passport

Oct 12 (CT) The latest global rankings of countries, based on freedom of travel for their citizens, which has placed Sri Lanka among the bottom 10 countries, do not come as a surprise for the Sri Lankan passport holders. The Henley & Partners Visa Restrictions Index, which ranks countries according to travel freedom their citizens enjoy, has ranked Sri Lanka at sixth from the bottom along with Kosovo, Lebanon and Sudan. Sri Lankans can travel to 37 countries without visa, more..

WikiLeaks: US skeptical about Ranil’s claim that he has tremendous grassroots support

Oct 12 (CT) “In a Nov 22 meeting with the Ambassador, Wickremesinghe cited ‘tremendous grassroots pressure’ as preventing him from giving up the party leadership. We are a little skeptical of this claim.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. The related leaked cable is from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and discuses the UNP’s internal crisis after the 2005 Presidential elections. more..

The crisis of the opposition & the crisis of the state

Oct 12 (CT) It is no accident that the renovation and recovery of the British Labour Party during the long night of Thatcherism was intellectually spearheaded by three outstanding theoreticians of the Marxian Left, Eric Hobsbawm, Stuart Hall and Martin Jacques, all of whom drew on the political science of Antonio Gramsci to critically comprehend the success, national and cultural, of the Thatcher phenomenon of ‘authoritarian populism’ (Stuart Hall) and the ossification and obsolescence more..

The way of a Tamil formation: EPRLF and it’s Suresh Premachandran

Oct 12 (CT) Even as all Tamils approach the hour of destiny and look forward to the moment of awakening, comes a discordant note from the head of a constituent group of TNA, the EPRLF. The statement in TamilWin is now in the public domain from 10th evening, SL time. Little does Suresh realize that the attention of the world is upon us when the Council assumes its full form with the Ministers and the members taking their oath of office. At issue is not any principle, but more..

Revived GKCC makes third phase repayment to over 1200 depositors

Oct 12 (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..

TELO oaths taking at Mullivaikal

Oct 12 (CG) TELO members of the NPC will take oaths in Mullivaikal on Monday, TELO member and former MP M.K Shivajilingam said. A constituent member of the TNA, TELO was unhappy with the selection of Ministers for the Council and as a result Shivajilingam boycotted the official TNA oaths taking ceremony at the Weerasingham hall in Jaffna yesterday. Shivajilingam said that he and his party members have decided to take oaths in Mullivaikal where hundreds of civilians were believed to more..

TN fishermen attacked by Lankan fishermen

Oct 12 (PTI) Three fishermen from Vellapallam near were injured when a group of Sinhala fishermen from Sri Lanka allegedly attacked them in the sea off Kodiakarai in the district today. The fishermen were fishing in the area when their Sri Lankan counterparts attacked them with sickle and clubs, they said. The injured fishermen have been admitted to the govt hospital here. The fishermen told the officials that they were fishing in the Indian territorial waters when the attack took place.

Saudi to hire domestic workers from India

Oct 12 (E24|7) Saudi Arabia is planning to sign an agreement with India allowing the Gulf Kingdom to hire domestic workers from the Subcontinent following persistent disputes with its largest maid suppliers Indonesia and the Philippines. The two countries will sign the landmark pact within the next few months after India’s parliament approved Riyadh’s request to recruit domestic workers from the world’s second largest more..

'Jaffna next Silicon Valley, eventually'

Oct 12 (ST) Jaffna can eventually become the next Silicon Valley with all the physical and psychological transformation taking place over there, says IT industry leader Mano Sekaram, the CEO of locally-based 99X Technologies. He also notes that the talent pool in Jaffna was the future of Sri Lanka’s offering to the world. Mr. Sekaram’s comments were quoted in a statement issued by his company to highlight its recently concluded 2-day workshop for students at the University of Jaffna, more..

Unusual ants not new breed –MRI

Oct 12 (DM) The unusual species of ant found in and around Panadura has been identified as Monomorium Floricola by the Medical Research Institute (MRI), Director Dr. Anil Samaranayake said. He said the ant tribe has been identified as Solenopsidini and its sub-family as Myrmicinae. Dr. Samaranayake said this species was not a new breed of ant. They were one centimeter in length and dark brown in appearance. He said its bite may cause allergic symptoms depending on more..

Bus fares to be increased by 7% from Nov.

Oct 12 (AD) Private bus fares will be increased by 7% with effect from Nov 1, Minister of Private Transport Services C.B. Rathnayake said today. A statement issued by the ministry states that relevant cabinet paper submitted by the Minister has been granted approval. President of the Lanka Private Bus Owner’s Association (LPBOA), Gemunu Wijeratne, speaking regarding the bus fare hike, stated that they have not been informed of 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 government 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..

Judge’s son fakes abduction

Oct 12 (CT) Mount Lavinia Superintendant of Police, Ravindra Karawita, said the complaint lodged with the police about the alleged abduction of the son of Colombo Additional District Judge, L.A. Somasinghe, was fabricated by the son himself. According to the Additional District Judge’s son, he had been purportedly abducted on 28 September near the Rawatawatte Junction by a group of unidentified persons and then released in the Wadduwa, Molligoda area. more..

Bennet Cooray assumes duties as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Italy

Oct 12 (IL) Ambassador Nawalage Bennet Cooray officially assumed duties as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the Italian Republic at the Embassy of Sri Lanka on 9th Oct. He will present credentials to the President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinale- Presidential Palace in Rome in due course. Ambassador Cooray is the 17th Sri Lankan Ambassador to Italy. Ambassador Cooray will also be concurrently accredited as more..

Lanka's Bollywood starlet wants kids... even without marriage

Oct 12 (E24|7) Bollywood starlet and Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandez is the news again. This time over a ‘baby’ issue. She was quoted as saying that though “she does have doubts in the institution of marriage, she definitely wants to have kids...marriage or no marriage”. "Marriage or no marriage, I am definitely having babies!," she said. Jackie, who is born to a Sri Lankan father and a Malaysian mother also spoke on how it was growing up in a multiethnic household. more..

Sirisena wants parents educated on how to accept children’s exam results

Oct 12 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena urged education officials to conduct awareness programmes to prepare parents whose children are due to sit the Grade Five Scholarship examination to accept their results with equanimity. Minister requested the Provincial Ministers of Education and their officials to host the awareness programmes before the 2014 Grade Five Scholarship exam. The media had exposed incidents where children were chased away from their home and more..

Sharma shrugs off jibe by Canadian politician

Oct 12 (TI) One of India’s most distinguished international civil servants has shrugged off a ferocious personal attack from a Canadian politician who described him as a “shill” or stooge of the Sri Lankan govt. Earlier this week, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamlesh Sharma was accused by Canadian Senator Hugh Segal of acting as a shill for the Sri Lankan authorities “defending their every mistake.” more..

No direct impact from Cyclone

Oct 12 (CG) Sri Lanka will not be directly impacted by a super cyclone which is currently threatening parts of India. The Early Warning Center of the Department of Meteorology said that Cyclone Phailin is located about 1100km to the Northeast of Jaffna and moving towards India and is expected to enter the Indian East coast tonight. Though there is no direct effect to Sri-Lanka the winds over the island (particularly along the western slopes of the Centarl hills) and suburb sea areas can be more..

Sri Lanka CRIB reports to be available online

Oct 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's credit information office will give online access for individuals to check their own status and get reports. Credit Information Bureau (CRIB) collects information from customers of 95 institutions. The information is available to participating institutions. CRIB general manager Gamini Karunaratne said individuals who want to check their credit status would be able to open an account online and get the credit report after paying a fee of 250 rupees. more..

More deputy ministers coming up

Oct 12 (SM) Another group of Govt MPs will receive Deputy Ministerial Portfolios soon, reports say. A batch of 9 newly appointed Deputy Ministers were sworn in before the President the day before yesterday, and a few more are expected to follow in the near future, sources reveal. Currently more than 20 Ministries which are lacking Deputy Ministers have been identified, and 9 of the vacancies were filled on the 10th. Govt has decided to make more..

Grero quits Lyceum

Oct 12 (SM) The founder of the Lyceum International School, Deputy Minister of Education Mr. Mohan Lal Grero says that in order to perform the duties of his Ministerial portfolio more accurately and effectively, he resigned from all the positions and affairs of the Lyceum International School. He pointed out that he took this decision placing the 4 Million student population in Sri Lanka before the education of the 16,000 students studying in his school. more..