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Helping TNA to help Tamils

Oct 25 (SL) Post-poll squabbles within the ruling TNA in the Northern Province may have nothing to do with the Centre. If and when they become unmanageable, the latter would be blamed for trying to split the ‘only credible Tamil political formation’ remaining in the country. Pre-poll, too, such rumours were in circulation. Then, it was the case of one or the other Tamil politician having ‘sold out’ to the govt side. more..

Rathupaswala water crisis and new moves to dam it

Oct 25 (ST) Almost three months after the Rathupaswala’s people power protest in demand of clean drinking water was crushed by the Army shooting in which three people died, uncertainty and intrigue still loom large — with the official test reports yet to be made public. Although the tense situation has somewhat subsided, the affected residents are still awaiting a solution from the govt to the water crisis. more..

Concern about Lankans not qualifying for Saudi amnesty

Oct 25 (CT) The amnesty offered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for illegal migrant workers to leave the country is drawing to a close, and the authorities want all illegal migrant workers to leave the country before the deadline, which is 4 Nov. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE) is doing its best to bring down all migrant workers before the amnesty expires; however, the SLBFE is now facing a more..

Ranil ignoring UBF proposals?

Oct 25 (CT) UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, is yet to act on either the list of proposals submitted by the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF) or the agreements reached in the subsequent round of discussions held with Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa, to formulate a mechanism to propel the Party along the road to victory. Disgruntled Party members says no tangible headway has been made so far, more..

Opposition backs Jayalalithaa's resolution

Oct 25 (Hindu) In a show of solidarity, political parties in Tamil Nadu Assembly and outside supported Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s resolution against India’s participation in the CHOGM in Sri Lanka. Even the Congress, which is heading the UPA at the Centre, spoke in favour of the resolution. “We welcome the resolution. But we should take care to ensure that our stand in no way affect the Sri Lankan Tamils,” said more..

Murali Cup unearths talent from Sri Lanka's battle-scarred north

Oct 25 (IC) Speaking at the media launch for the second edition of the Murali Harmony Cup, a 20-team reconciliation schools cricket tournament to promote community-building and friendship in post-war Sri Lanka, Mahela Jayawardene told the gathering at the Cinnamon Grand hotel last evening that the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2012 helped unearth "three exceptional cricketers from the north." more..

Australia returns 79 Sri Lankan asylum seekers

Oct 25 (Xinhua) Australia has send back 79 Sri Lankans who attempted to illegally migrate by boat pushing the number of returned to nearly 1400 since August 2012, the Australian embassy said in a statement here on Thursday. Their return takes the number of Sri Lankans sent home to nearly 1400 - more than 1100 of them involuntarily - since August last year. "When people arrive in Australia without a valid visa, any claims they more..

Jumbo Cabinet: Eran calls for e-scoreboard in Parliament

Oct 25 (Island) An Opposition MP called for the installation of an electronic scoreboard in Parliament to keep track of the 106 ministerial portfolios since it was difficult to remember who was in charge of what. Eran Wickremeratne MP, said that the Rajapaksa regime was already in the Guinness Book of World records, with 59 Cabinet Ministers and 47 Deputy Ministers. There was strong speculation that more were to be appointed, more..

Sri Lanka's northern region needs Tamil policemen: Wigneswaran

Oct 25 (PTI) Sri Lanka's Tamil-dominated northern region needs Tamil-speaking policemen to serve the people, newly elected Chief Minister CV Wigneswaran said today. "Policemen serving in the north with no Tamil language skills and cultural understanding was an annoyance for a long time," Wigneswaran said while speaking at the historic first session of the northern provincial council in Jaffna. more..

Casino hypocrisy and Wimal's duplicity

Oct 25 (CT) Wimal Weerawansa, the onetime firebrand speaker of the JVP, by now must have made everyone realize what a master of political duplicity he is. His latest circus comes in the so-called casino debate, where some people merely oppose it as a cursory gesture because someone else is also opposing it. Weerawansa is a crafty politician. He had the cunning to jump ship when he realized he was merely entertaining the people with his street drama acts and pavement talk more..

What’s wrong with Packer and his Casino ?

Oct 25 (CT) This land of Gauthama Buddha, as the saffron clad owners of Buddhist “religion” claim, is not without organised and legal gambling. Last August, the National Lotteries Board celebrated 50 years of State organised gambling with the launch of a new lottery they call, “Mega Fifty”. Fifty years after, there are over a dozen State owned lotteries in the streets every where, sold especially to the poor. There was much resentment in then Ceylon too, when the first State owned lottery was more..

Daily Mirror Cartoon

Sri Lanka hopes to sign sea reclamation deal with China next month

Oct 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state ports agency is expecting to sign a deal a 1.4 billion US dollar sea reclamation deal which will with a Chinese firm next month, an official said. Sri Lanka Port Authority has already chosen China Communications Construction Company to reclaim 230 hectares bordering Colombo port. "We are trying our utmost to sign the agreement with China Communications Construction Company next month," SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrema said. more..

Champika decries education system

Oct 25 (CT) Minister Champika Ranawaka, said the present education system in the country is such that it has destroyed the creativity of students. He made this observation at a discussion on the theme, 'Future Development Affairs in the field of Technology and Research. "I'll take steps to develop the knowledge of students in Science and Technology through state institutions that come under the purview of the Ministry of Scientific Affairs and Technology," he said. more..

President thanks China for development assistance

Oct 25 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapaksa praised China's generosity and engagement with the island nation during the opening of the venue for the upcoming CHOGM on Thursday. The BMICH, which was initially donated by China decades ago, was renovated with funding from the same source. The facelift, which cost around 2 billion rupees, was done with funding assistance from China for the BMICH to be the venue more..

SL to host ground-breaking Tri-Nations

Oct 25 (IRB) Sri Lankan rugby takes a giant step forward this weekend with the hosting of the Dialog Serendib International Cup, a triangular tournament featuring Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Poland. Supported by the International Rugby Board, the event will be played over three match days between 26 October and 1 November and is an opportunity to showcase the country’s newly-constructed Racecourse National Stadium, where the matches will be played under lights. more..

Gambia to miss the CHOGM in Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (Xinhua) Gambia will not attend the 23rd Commonwealth summit to be held in Colombo, due its withdrawal from the organization, official sources disclosed on Friday. The West African nation withdrew from the organization of 54 former British colonies this month. The govt said it had "decided that the West African nation will never be a member of any neo-colonial institution and will never be a party to any institution that represents an extension of colonialism." more..

JVP blasts NCP Edu. Ministry lottery

Oct 25 (Island) The JVP-led Ceylon Teachers’ Service Union (CTSU) yesterday claimed that the North Central Province Education Ministry had collected money from school-children by introducing a lottery for students above Grade 4. CTSU General Secretary Mahinda Jayasinghe told The Island that Provincial Education Ministry had printed a lottery called ‘Igenuma’ and every student had to sell ten tickets priced at Rs. 20 each. more..

SL's tropical beaches: A development trap?

Oct 25 (AJ) After over 25 years of internal conflict ended in Sri Lanka in May 2009, the country finally seemed poised to capitalise on its beautiful beaches and tropical landscapes. Named as the New York Times top tourist destination in 2010, and receiving similar accolades from the Lonely Planet in 2013, the country has experienced a tourist boom. Unfortunately the govt has embarked on an aggressive, top-down tourism development campaign, allocating valuable coastal land more..

More than 1,000 eateries found selling food not fit for human consumption

Oct 25 (Island) The Health Ministry has detected more than 1,000 eateries which sold food unfit for human consumption during the National Food Safety Week that began on Oct. 21. Director General of Health Services Dr. Palitha Maheepala said that during the last two days, teams of Public Health Inspectors deployed by the Medical Officers of Health countrywide had raided around 15,000 food outlets and of them 1,047 did not conform to the required standards. more..

SC notice to Centre, TN govt on pleas to protect fishermen

Oct 25 (PTI) Voicing concern over TN fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan Navy, the Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and the state govt on petitions filed by DMK and AIADMK MPs for release of those languishing in jails there. A bench sought to know from the govts on how to resolve the issue through diplomatic and political channels, while expressing happiness that both the rival political parties more..

Demining support was critical to Sri Lanka's rapid resettlement

Oct 25 (GDI) Sri Lanka Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya recently expressed his gratitude to the U.S. based non-profit Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) for its meaningful humanitarian assistance to support clearing landmines in Sri Lanka. Addressing nearly 300 distinguished guests gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel, Washington DC recently, Ambassador Wickramasuriya underscored that MLI's efforts have played an important role in more..

Bottled water again under microscope following a spate of complaints

Oct 25 (Island) The Health Ministry said they would recommence inspecting bottled water sources within the next few weeks. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that the number of complaints received regarding the quality of bottled drinking water during the last few months had prompted the Ministry to gather all bottled water manufacturers to create awareness on the necessity of maintaining standards. There was no better time than during the Food Week. more..

British PM to visit Lanka's former warzone, to talk tough

Oct 25 (PTI) British PM David Cameron has promised to have "very tough" conversations with the Sri Lankan govt on human rights during next month's Commonwealth summit here when he will also visit the Tamil- dominated war-torn north in a landmark trip. Cameron will become the first foreign head of govt to visit Sri Lanka's former warzone Tamil heartland. "My decision is the right thing for us to do is to go to the CHOGM more..

Casinos illegal, but operate officially and unofficially

Oct 25 (Island) No licences were issued by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) for Casinos, although licences for clubs were granted earlier. That was stopped during the tenure of President R Premadasa by a gazette notification. Singaporean Casino magnate Joe Sim, who operated a couple of casinos in Colombo, was arrested at a leading five-star hotel and given marching orders. Questions were raised by opposition MP’s in Parliament about Joe Sim’s operations. more..

Postal Dept. becoming self-financing institution

Oct 25 (Island) The Postal Department could cover Rs. 2.1 billion of its expenditure this year through its own funds and additional activities though it was entitled to a budgetary allocation of Rs. 3.1 billion from the Treasury, Postmaster General Rohana Abeyaratne said. He said that next year the department would be in a position to raise Rs. 3.1 billion on its own. The Postmaster General said that they had been able to reach the target this year through increased income from more..

New Chief Minister of Northern Sri Lanka calls for army withdrawal

Oct 25 (Xinhua) The new CM of the Tamil-dominated Northern Province on Friday called for the withdrawal of the military from the area. Speaking at the inaugural session of the NPC in the Northern Jaffna town, C.V. Wigneswaran said that the army must be confined to its barracks in the post war environment. The North have been battered by 30 years of war between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels in which thousands were killed. more..

20 chic retreats in Sri Lanka

Oct 25 (Times) What is your favourite country? It’s the question I’m asked most when people find out what I do for a living, and my answer has been the same for more than a decade — Sri Lanka. Nowhere else can you get a bite-size “light” version of India or find such an exotic mix of stunning secluded beaches and hill plantations, coupled with interesting cultural sights: the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polunnawara; the magnificent rock fortress of Sigiriya; more..

UBF to confer with the Mahanayakes

Oct 25 (CI) The Apex Council of the United Bhikkhu Front (UBF) is expected to meet the Mahanayakes (the Chief Incumbents) of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters, today (25). The meeting with the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter, Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sumangalahidhana Thera, is scheduled for 3.00 p.m. at his temple, while the meeting with the Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera, is expected to take place at 4.00 p.m. more..

Video: Govt. not disclosing CHOGM expenditure: UNP

Oct 25 (DM) UNP MP Harin Fernando accused the Govt of not revealing the funds allocated for the CHOGM and urged the govt to reveal this to the people. “We have asked the govt on several occasions about the expenditure for CHOGM. But the govt has remained silent. We request the govt to reveal how much and who provided the funds or whether these expenses are to be charged on the people. more..

Sri Lanka's Keells says rights issue oversubscribed

Oct 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's top conglomerate, John Keells Holdings, said on Friday a rights issue to raise 23.1 billion rupees is substantially oversubscribed. The company said in August it wanted to raise 39.83 billion rupees selling shares and warrants to help fund an $850 million resort project that include hotels, shops and apartments. The company said in a statement that the rights issue, which closed on Friday, was substantially oversubscribed. more..

Karunaratne hits hundred as match fizzles to draw

Oct 25 (CI) The final day of the Sri Lanka Cricket's four-day tri-series served as little more than centre-wicket batting practice, as the match between Board XI and Sri Lanka A meandered to a draw. Dimuth Karunaratne completed a century in the first session, as Board XI extended their lead to 581, before his team declared at lunch. Board XI's Kaushal Silva and Sri Lanka A's Mahela Udawatte and Kithuruwan Vithanage also made fifties in the day. Having secured first-innings points by 367 runs, more..

Video: Lessons to be learnt from SA on reconciliation: GL

Oct 25 (DM) At the South Africa-Sri Lanka joint dialogue on reconciliation, Minister G.L Peiris said lessons on reconciliation could be learnt from South Africa because the country successfully went through a transition beyond apartheid. He said these lessons could be applied in Sri Lanka for future policies and practices. The minister said no one could copy what has been done in another country because each country more..

Govt. should make Packer pay taxes and let him have his casino

Oct 26 (CT) Sri Lanka is standing in the way of casinos for the wrong reasons. The govt early this week decided to withdraw two Gazette notifications on the two proposed casinos, after the proposed Bill caused an uproar at the Govt Party Leaders meeting, the most vocal critics of the Bill being the JHU and NFF, the two parties that hinge on fringe Sinhala nationalist votes. The Bill, which was presented under the Strategic Development Project Act, was initially expected to be debated on more..

Diaspora Diaries: Exploring connections and interactions with Sri Lanka

Oct 26 (GV) In recent years, the prevailing image of the Sri Lankan diaspora in the media has been dominated by Tamil community activists’ human rights campaign, calling for investigations into the Sri Lankan Govt’s actions in 2009 during the last phases of the 26 year war with the LTTE. However, with estimates of hundreds of thousands of people of Sri Lankan heritage living in the UK, and a worldwide diaspora population in the millions, it is clear that, while this is evidently more..

Latest smuggling racket bared

Oct 26 (SO) Sri Lanka Customs at the Bandaranaike International Airport detect many illegal items being smuggled out of the country by individuals or groups on a daily basis. From large sums of undeclared money to valuables like gold and precious stones, narcotics, antiques and special plants and animals which are a variety of items that were detected by officials from time to time. Adding something new to the list is the smuggling of more..

Nagaichuvai Mannan Nagesh: The Comedy King of Tamil Cinema

Oct 26 (DBS) “Naghaichchuvai Mannan” (King of Comedy) Nagesh who passed away in Chennai on Jan 31st 2009 would have become an Octogenarian this year had he been among the living.. He was born on September 27th 1933. Nagesh was the undisputed king of comedians in Tamil cinema from the early sixties to mid-seventies of the previous century. After a “lull” the versatile actor re-entered Tamil cinema in a new “avatar” playing character and villain roles. more..

'Unfortunately, many of our talented professionals leave the country'

Oct 26 (MoD) It gives me great pleasure to deliver the keynote address at the inaugural National Engineering Conference, organised by the Institution of Engineers in Sri Lanka. The theme chosen for this conference-"Engineering Sri Lanka's Future"-is a very timely and appropriate one. The present era will in many ways be a decisive one for the future of this country. Having emerged from a three decades long terrorist conflict less than five years ago, Sri Lanka today is one of the more..

SLC membership unhappy with disbursement of funds

Oct 26 (NS) A certain section of Sri Lanka Cricket’s (SLC) membership are questioning the manner in which the SLC Executive Committee had disbursed funds to member clubs for infrastructure development and development of cricket.These member clubs are of the view that the distribution of funds has not been done fairly and that clubs where SLC elected officials are members, have been favoured and given the maximum amount. more..

Anyone but Ranil: A three step comeback for the UNP

Oct 26 (CT) Most commentaries on the crisis of UNP omit the chasm-like disconnect between that party and the national electorate. That yawning gap is best evidenced by the case of Dayasiri Jayasekara. He lost his bid to be elected the National Organizer of the UNP at its Convention of 2011, and went on to win a whopping three hundred thousand preference votes at the Provincial Council election a mere two years later. What that shows is just how far out of touch the UNP is with more..