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Audio: TNA against Commonwealth

Oct 14 (DM) TNA MP M.A Sumanthiran said that the coalition is against the staging of the CHOGM in Sri Lanka. “The Sri Lankan govt has violated the norms of the Commonwealth and that is why we are against it. The ousting of the country’s Chief Justice is one of the instances where the government had violated the basic foundations of the Commonwealth” he said speaking to reporters in Jaffna. more..

Court orders arrest of Mangala Samaraweera

Oct 14 (AD) The Matara Magistrate Court ordered police to arrest UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera and ten others in connection with the recent incident in Matara. The protest against UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, led by Provincial Councilors Maithri Gunaratne and Shiral Lakthilaka - who were both sacked from the party, commenced from Devinuwara on Oct 5 while another demonstration led by MP Mangala Samaraweera more..

Ranil's obstinacy is destroying the UNP

Oct 14 (CT) It is a pity that the Grand Old Party, the UNP, should suffer the ignominy of being led by a person under whose watch it has lost more than 25 elections. Worse still, the Leader has no intention of stepping down, despite promising younger Party members quitting in disgust over his intransigence. The current impasse in the Party shows no signs of resolution, although there have been many times when it had come close to a settlement. However, all efforts have been thwarted by the Leader more..

Lankan court extends remand of TN fishermen till October 28

Oct 14 (PTI) A court in Sri Lanka on Monday extended till October 28 the judicial remand of 23 Indian fishermen from Kottaipattinam and Rameswaram arrested for allegedly crossing into the island waters. Oorkavalthurai Judicial Magistrate Mahindhira Raja passed the order extending their remand, President of Nesakarangal Charitable Trust and Pamban Fishermen Organisation S Armstrong Fernand told reporters here quoting information received from Sri Lanka. more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Coming to term with new environment

Oct 14 (CT) It would be facile to describe the swearing in of CV Wigneswaran as the chief minister of the NPC at the ‘Temple Trees’ in the presence of President Rajapaksa on Oct 7, as a breakthrough in the troubled relationship between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. Both the communities have many more miles to go before they can forge a new relationship. After all the pre-election rhetoric, a chief minister of the TNA – a party described till yesterday as LTTE proxies more..

Bank of Ceylon offers up to 10-year bonds

Oct 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Bank of Ceylon is offering listed debentures of up to 10 years paying tax free interest up to 13.75%, its offer document said. For 5-year debentures, a fixed annual coupon of 13%, 12.6% every six months or floating rate 100 basis points above the 6-month Treasury bill yield is offered. For 8-year bonds, a 13.25% annual fixed rate or a floating rate of 100 basis points above the weighted average 6-month Treasury bill yield is offered. more..

WikiLeaks: Two main challenges to Ranil’s leadership – 2004 US Ambassador

Oct 14 (CT) “The UNP has been roiled by internal dissension since the party lost the April parliamentary election. The dissent is a bit unfocused, but its main aim is to clip the wings of Ranil Wickremesinghe, the UNP and Opposition Leader, and/or remove him as party leader. (Wickremesinghe was PM from Dec 2001 until the UNP’s defeat in the April election.)” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington. more..

Defence Ministry dismisses ‘execution’ video as propaganda lie

Oct 14 (Island) The Defence Ministry alleges that those propagating unsubstantiated allegations to justify war crimes investigations against Sri Lanka wouldn’t dare question the circumstances under which al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in May two years ago. A senior spokesperson told The Island that top US officials had issued contradictory statements as regards the heli-borne operation leading to the killing of the unarmed bin Laden. more..

Bid to blackmail beautician foiled

Oct 14 (Island) A person who got friendly with a beautician via Facebook and persuaded her to come nude on Skype and later demanded Rs. 250,000 if he was not to release the pictures was arrested by the CID on a complaint lodged by the victim. The complainant is a resident of Kandana. The police said that the suspect had sent the victim a DVD containing her nude photographs and demanded the money if they were not to be posted on the Internet. The suspect was produced before more..

Greater investment needed in SL's North

Oct 14 (IRIN) Policy changes that encourage and provide incentives to create jobs in Sri Lanka’s northern former war zone are necessary to ease the impact of dwindling aid there, experts say. Since 2010 three successive appeals for reconstruction work under the Joint Plan of Assistance to the Northern Province issued by the UN and Sri Lanka government have been underfunded by US$430 million. more..

Bulathsinhala PS Chairman threatens police

Oct 14 (CT) The Matugama Magistrate last week released on bail, 10 persons including four employees of the Bulathsinhala Pradeshiya Sabha (PS), after they were produced before the Court for allegedly engaging in illegal sand mining in Bulathsinhala. They were arrested by the Bulathsinhala Police and were produced before the Matugama Acting Magistrate, Channa Munasinghe. The police arrested the four men while they were engaged in sand mining at more..

Kieran Powell in SL to unearth rural talents

Oct 14 (N360) West Indies Cricketer Kieran Powell is currently in Sri Lanka to unearth rural cricketing talents in collaboration with the ‘Foundation of Goodness’, a charity founded by spin legend Muttiah Muralithran. The talent search which was launched on Monday in Colombo, will enable 10 promising youngsters to grab scholarships to train at the Seenigama Cricket Academy, run by the ‘Foundation of Goodness’. The week-long search will be conducted at the Seenigama more..

TNA member Sivajilingam breaks away, takes oaths at Mullivaikkal

Oct 14 (ENS) M.K. Sivajilingam, who was elected to the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) as a member of the TNA, broke away from the rest of the TNA councilors and got sworn-in separately on Monday at Mullivaikkal, the scene of the infamous carnage in the last phase of Eelam War IV in May 2009. Nine TNA dissidents, including Sivajilingam, were planning to get sworn-in at a beach side Hindu temple in Mullaitivu on Monday. more..

Sri Lanka mulls listing for foreign-invested start-ups

Oct 14 (LBO) Sri Lanka's equity market may soon have a separate board where start-ups with foreign investment may list, officials said. "We are trying to get a new board for BOI companies," SEC Chairman Nalaka Godahewa said. Sri Lanka's stock exchange already has a main board for larger companies, and a 'diri savi' second board for newer companies with a shorter track record. The new board will allow start-ups with foreign investments to be listed following a request from the BOI. more..

CB seen keeping rates steady on Tuesday

Oct 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's central bank is expected to keep its key monetary policy rates steady on Tuesday, a Reuters poll showed, after lowering them by 75 basis points since December. The central bank reduced commercial banks' statutory reserve ratio by two percentage points from July 1, and cut its main policy interest rates by 50 basis points (bps) in May and 25 bps in December. The island nation's central bank governor has said the monetary policy stance more..

Ford to take over at Surrey in February

Oct 14 (CI) Graham Ford has agreed to become head coach at Surrey after his contract with SL expires in January. He has signed a three-year contract with the county. Ford had been linked to the vacant position at The Oval since July when Chris Adams was sacked. He had been informally approached by Surrey while coaching Sri Lanka at the Champions Trophy, but Ford said the deal had only firmed up in the past few weeks. more..

Grero proposes Grade 8 Scholarship Exam

Oct 14 (Island) Deputy Minister Education Mohanlal Grero yesterday said that he had proposed to the govt that Grade Eight scholarship should be re-introduced instead of the present Grade Five scholarship exam. He said that students siting the Grade Five scholarship have to exert themselves both mentally and physically and it was too much of a burden on them. Due to those factors there was the possibility of the Grade Five scholarship being done away with, he added. more..

Hospitals ordered to serve only fresh milk

Oct 14 (Island) Circulars ordering the use of fresh milk instead of powdered milk would be sent to all state-run hospitals by Health Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka with immediate effect along with circulars to all the organisations under the Health ministry to use fresh milk at all their functions such as workshops, media conferences and seminars. Health Secretary had appointed two steering committees headed by Deputy Director General Dr. Sarath Amunugama and more..

Trinco suspects given bail

Oct 14 (CG) The Trincomalee High Court today granted bail to 12 police STF personnel in the high profile case involving the murder of 5 students in 2006. High Court Judge Amal Ranarajah freed the suspects on Rs. 5000 bail and Rs. 500,000 personal bail when they were produced. The suspects were also ordered to appear before the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) every week and not intimidate any of the witnesses appearing in the case. more..

Five things to know about Sri Lanka

Oct 14 (Metro) Despite being 70% Buddhist, Sri Lanka has a healthy Christian minority – in part due to its previous incarnations as both a British and a Dutch colony and also because of its active expatriate community – and Christmas is a joyous affair. Ex-pats and clued-up tourists head to Wijaya Beach restaurant ( during holiday season and it’s perfect for those wanting a fun yet upmarket Christmas Day – oysters and Dom Pérignon are its speciality. more..

'Labour, next major challenge for apparel'

Oct 14 (DM) Labour shortages as a result of Sri Lanka’s anticipated transition into a middle-income country status will be the next major challenge for the country’s apparel and manufacturing sectors, according to Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal. “Within the next 2-3 years, Sri Lanka will reach the US$ 4,000 per capita income and also a US$ 100 billion economy and then things will change. I must warn you that when these changes occur it will not be business as usual. more..

Weliweriya monk puts CHOGM first

Oct 14 (CG) The monk who spearheaded the fight for clean drinking water in Weliweriya says he had decided to suspend his campaign in light of the upcoming CHOGM to be held in Sri Lanka. The venerable Theripehe Siridhamma Thera said that he is not ready to leave room for the international community to point fingers at Sri Lanka during the summit by staging protests in Weliweriya. more..

Sri Lanka A quicks prosper on first day

Oct 14 (CI) Sri Lanka A's fast bowlers enjoyed a fine day at Sinhalese Sports Club, sharing eight wickets to dismiss Development XI to 265, on day one of the second four-dayer of the tri-series. Captain Lahiru Thirimanne held the Development XI innings together with an unbeaten 95, before the Sri Lanka A openers survived the four remaining overs until stumps. Nuwan Pradeep suffered an injury scare during the day, but was cleared soon after, and ended the innings with 3 for 61 more..

Halal war in a new phase

Oct 14 (SM) The people’s fight against Halal which is yet unfinished will be restarted from October 22, says the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organization. National organizer of the BBS Ven. Witharandeniye Nanda thero stated that on the 22nd, they are planning to restart this process by going to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic from the BBS HQ in Kirulapone at 8 a.m. in a motor car parade and holding a special “Adhishtana Puja” before the Sacred Tooth Relic. more..

Tamils get some symbolic power

Oct 14 (IPS) True democracy at last or a toothless tiger propped up to appease unfavourable international opinion? As Sri Lanka’s Northern Province got its first council after an election last month, many were mulling this conundrum. For Tamil people long demanding a say in their affairs and emerging from a bitter and bloody 26-year war where the rebel LTTE fought the govt, the victory of the TNA is an encouraging start. more..

Late Rizana's Shattered Aspirations Fulfilled

Oct 14 (GDI) Reflecting deep sense of thoughtfulness, goodwill, sensitivities and harmonious existence, both Sri J'pura University Students and Staff as well as Army troops, serving the 22 Division of the Security Force Headquarters-East on Sunday, accomplished the national obligation of constructing a new spacious three-bed room house to the family of slain teenager, Rizana Nafeeq who flew to Saudi Arabia to get that dream fulfilled before her tragic fate on Jan 9, 2013. more..

HNB and Allianz Lanka introduces cashless payment solutions

Oct 14 (Island) Allianz Lanka, the fully owned subsidiary of the global insurance giant Allianz S.E introduced cashless payment solutions powered by HNB’s state of the art cash management solutions to its growing customer base. The world renowned Allianz became the latest organization to sign up for the HNB MOMO mobile POS applications and also joined the HNB E banking platform as a payee partner. Allianz has a reputation for consumer centric approach and more..

Ganesan Nimalaruban death: Sri Lanka rights case dismissed

Oct 14 (BBC) The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has dismissed a case in which the parents of a dead Tamil prisoner were suing the state for violation of his rights. Sri Lanka's de facto chief justice has denied leave to proceed in the case of Ganesan Nimalaruban. He was one of two inmates who died in mysterious circumstances after prison authorities broke up a siege in northern Sri Lanka last year. Both inmates died after being more..

Wigneswaran’s double-speak and dilemmas

Oct 15 (NS) Things are not easy for the newly sworn-in Chief Minister for the North, C.V. Wigneswaran. During the campaign itself, the ex-judge had to compromise on principles to the point of raising serious questions on his judgment. The man had to play the communalist card, sounding more like an R Sampanthan during the heyday of the LTTE. Post-election, he had to drop rhetoric for pragmatism with respect to acknowledging the reality of the Governor. more..

Ranil remains un-marketable now

Oct 15 (NS) The post-election shenanigans of the UNP would have been comic if it wasn’t tragic. The UNP is now hemorrhaging quite literally - its supporters clashed violently in Matara last week and much blood was spilt. Thankfully, no lives were lost. That was when a ‘protest march’ organized by UNP dissidents demanding the ouster of party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was set upon by a rival faction of the party. There are conflicting accounts of the event and a Police inquiry, more..

Drug busting in crucial areas brought to a halt

Oct 15 (SO) Controversy surrounds over the recent directive made by the Excise Department hierarchy to cease all detections pertaining to heroin and other dangerous narcotics within the Colombo City limits in favour of a petition filed by a group of Excise Inspectors. The decision had led to a serious situation where not only a large number of minor Excise officers were agitated and disheartened but the drug menace in the more..

Get TNA Councillors to take the anti-separatist oath

Oct 15 (CT) A section of the emotional Sinhala nationalists are jubilant, while the Tamil separatist elements are furious, over the same incident. That is the Chief Minister of the Northern Province taking two oaths before the President. Both sides claimed President Rajapaksa, had tamed C.V Wigneswaran, the rising star and the biggest hope of Tamil separatism. The Sinhalese felt Wigneswaran demonstrated his willingness to share power with the Centre in an undivided country. more..

Baby steps in the fight against Corruption

Oct 15 (CT) The news was a breath of fresh air: A group of Sri Lankan parliamentarians has set up the local chapter of the Global Parliamentarians Against Corruption. In an environment where we often lament over the inactions or inadequacies of our elected members to counter corruption, the new initiative brings hope and spark for a brighter future in the integrity landscape of the country. The Global Parliamentarians Against Corruption, the popularly known as GOPAC, is a collection of more..

Living in the city is a costly affair

Oct 15 (CT) City life is expensive business, at least that’s what the latest statistics released by Capital Alliance (CAL) indicate. It records Sri Lanka’s Urban Inflation (UI) to be 9.7% for the period, Sept 2012 to Sept 2013, far higher than the national inflation, which for 2013 stands at 6.20%. CAL also records Urban Price Index (UPI), which indicates the price levels in urban areas, as having decreased by 1.8% during the month of Sept. more..

Sinhala people have no other land: What and which zone of agreement?

Oct 15 (CT) Between getting branded as a Tamil traitor (even GG Ponnambalam was once called a Tamil traitor) or a Sinhala Vessantara/Siri Sangabo, Wigneswaran and MahindaR, respectively, could find the zone of agreement that Dayan Jayatilleka is talking about, if both of them act honestly and reasonably. Beyond the picture-taking oath ceremony, and the prohibited word “unitary” (Dayan talks of a united not unitary), there are serious but simple questions one could ask. more..

Philip Baldaeus didn’t see a big ethnic difference in Ceylon

Oct 15 (CT) Both Robert Knox and Philip Baldaeus are important in studying and understanding the history, people and culture of Ceylon in the 17th century, with possible insights for today, but the scholars have so far given less attention to Baldaeus than to Knox for various reasons. Baldaeus was a Protestant Priest who came to the country as a missionary when the Dutch were taking over the Maritime Provinces from the Portuguese. He probably came to Ceylon in 1657 and left more..

J.C. Weliamuna

Desire to engage by those who cannot sing national anthem

Oct 15 (Island) There is an invigoration of civil society in the North after the holding of the NPC elections. For the first time ever since the end of the colonial period there is the sense of having a govt that is their own. There are doubts expressed by some sections in the rest of the country that this political empowerment could lead to the strengthening of separatist sentiment. Sections within the govt itself have expressed their concerns. However, when I visited Mannar last week, more..

Editorial: The COPE drama

Oct 15 (Island) The best description of last week’s parliamentary debate on the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) report came from the JVP, which likened it to a grand funeral. Its Colombo MP Sunil Handunnetti dubbed his speech a eulogy to the document. The Opposition said in no uncertain terms that it had lost faith in COPE whose recommendations and suggestions were not heeded by the govt. A UNP MP went to the extent of tearing the COPE report to pieces in the House. more..