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Consider Botham for a State Award

Oct 27 (Island) No Ashes contest passes by without the memory of Sir Ian Botham. About to be sacked as captain in 1981, Botham stepped down as England skipper in humiliation after collecting a pair in the Lord’s Test, with England trailing 1-0. What happened afterwards is history as playing under Mike Brearly, Botham won England the Ashes singlehandedly 3-1. The Ashes hero will be in Sri Lanka next week walking from Mankulam to Seenigama on a nine-day journey more..

Geoff Marsh crash costs SLC Rs. 15 million

Oct 27 (ST) Sri Lanka Cricket may have severed all links with former national Coach Geoffrey Marsh – the former Australian opening batsman but it has come at a heavy price – it cost the Lankan cricket authorities a whopping Rs 15,714,336. Marsh replaced Trevor Bayliss as the Lankan national coach last year, but his tenure lasted only eight months, before Sri Lanka Cricket showed him the door, thus paving the way for South African Graham Ford to take over. more..

Mahinda Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka's saviour or war criminal?

Oct 27 (Guardian) Down in the deep south of Sri Lanka, where life usually moves at a leisurely pace, there is one small town that is less tranquil. Hambantota – population 20,000 – is expanding fast. There is a vast new deep-water port, built with $360m of borrowed Chinese cash; a new cricket stadium; a huge convention centre; and a $200m international airport. A broad-gauge railway is under construction. more..

Krrish square saga plods on

Oct 27 (ST) The govt is considering an option of handing over the land allocated to the delayed Krrish project in Fort to another investor, authoritative sources revealed. The process, being studied, would involve the new investor paying the rental upfront and that money being used to return the money Krrish has already paid as part of the lease rental. At least two big Chinese and Saudi Arabian foreign investors have approached the govt to take over the property by settling the lease payment, more..

SLC conducts Level 2 coaching course

Oct 27 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that the SLC ‘Coach Education Unit’ ‘with the assistance of Coaching Staff from the ‘National Coaching Department’ conducted their second Level 2 Coaching Course which was incidentally the first ever Course open to the Coaching fraternity of Sri Lanka. The inaugural Course of this nature was successfully conducted earlier this year for Premier Clubs SLC Provincial and the District Coaches. All tutors at this Course were our very own more..

US spying on allies: Sri Lanka raises privacy concerns

Oct 27 (NS) Concerns regarding privacy have been expressed in Sri Lanka following recent revelations of the US monitoring phone calls of its own allies. The Sri Lankan Govt meanwhile said the US was on its way to being isolated in the international arena due to its acts of spying on its own friends. Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara said that the acts of spying on other countries had earned the wrath of several countries such as more..

No official TNA demand to remove Chandrasiri – Gota

Oct 27 (CT) Despite NPC Chief Minister, C.V. Wigneswaran's repeated call for the removal of Northern Governor, retired Major General G.A. Chandrasiri, there has not been a formal request from the TNA to the govt on that regard. There has not been such a request despite all the rhetoric of the Chief Minister, over a period of time, Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. The appointment or removal of the Governor of the Northern Province lies with the President, more..

Lead in paint still goes unchecked - CEJ

Oct 27 (NS) The latest United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) report finds that the majority of paints tested in nine countries including Sri Lanka does not meet regulatory standards and, in some cases, contain astonishingly high and dangerous levels of lead. The Center for Environmental Justice reiterated that its recent research findings revealed alarming levels of lead in paints exceeding the limits established in Sri Lanka. This is also the International Week of Action on Prevention more..

Cost of Airport Expressway: Rs. 1.8 b per km

Oct 27 (ST) The 26-kilometre-long Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE) has cost the country US$ 14 million or Rs 1.8 billion a km — around double the cost-per-km of the completed 95-km stretch from Kottawa to Pinnaduwa on the Southern Expressway. The CKE cost US$ 350 million or Rs 45.7 billion. In contrast, the Kottawa to Pinnaduwa highway — which is 70 km longer — cost US$ 7.8 million or Rs 1 billion a km. more..

Indian HC summoned

Oct 27 (SL) Indian High Commissioner in Colombo Y.K. Sinha was summoned last week by the govt to raise concerns over the fishermen issue. The govt has decided to get tough over the issue of Indian fishermen straying into Sri Lankan waters and fishermen being arrested in Indian waters. Deputy Minister Sarath Gunaratne said the issue was discussed with the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo. separately Sri Lankan diplomats in India had raised the issue with TN Chief Minister more..

NIB gathers data from CHOGM zones

Oct 27 (SL) Intelligence agencies have begun gathering data on people living close to venues where the CHOGM will take place next month and where Commonwealth leaders will be visiting. Sources at the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) said that people living or working along the routes to be used by the world leaders after they arrive in Sri Lanka will also be screened. Special security arrangements will be in place in Kalutara, Gampaha, Colombo, Hambantota, Dambulla and Kandy. more..

IGP orders a tab on tourists

Oct 27 (SL) IGP N.K. Illangakoon has ordered the police to gather information on all foreigners living in Sri Lanka and ensure their security. The order follows the controversy that has arisen with the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh. Accordingly the police have also been instructed by the IGP to visit the locations where tourists live every Friday and keep a tab on their security. Last week the indictment documents on more..

Topless dance for CHOGM ?

Oct 27 (CT) Parents of students of a leading school in Kuliyapitiya are perturbed over an assignment given by the Ministry of Education to the students to welcome the delegation from Swaziland at the CHOGM in a peculiar way. Many of the parents said, most of the dances, according Swaziland culture, are performed by half naked damsels (virgins). General Secretary of the Ceylon Teachers' Union (CTU), Joseph Stalin, said the Ministry of Education has no right to use school students for more..

Colombo-Katunayake Expressway ceremonially opened today

Oct 27 (ST) Sri Lanka’s second expressway, the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE) will be ceremonially opened by President Rajapaksa today. Vehicles will be allowed to travel along the expressway from 6.00 pm today. Construction of the 25.8-km CKE, which commenced in 2009, was completed recently. Once opened, the four-lane highway with a designed speed of 100 kmph, will create a mobility link between BIA in Katunayake and Colombo. more..

'Ex-LTTEers demanding war cemeteries will be arrested'

Oct 27 (CT) Any living ex-LTTE cadres, who demand for the setting up of cemeteries to serve as memorials for their dead in the 30-year war, will be arrested, Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said. He was responding to a question from this newspaper as to what the reaction of the govt would be to the demand of the ex-LTTE cadres that such a war cemetery be erected to remember the LTTE cadres, who were killed in the war, more..

Concern over Afghan, Pakistani refugees

Oct 27 (ST) Increasing arrivals of Afghans and Pakistanis to register as refugees and asylum seekers at a United Nations agency in Colombo are causing concern to govt authorities. Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera said his officials and CID detectives were probing several instances where the asylum seekers were allegedly indulging in illegal activities. These included drug trafficking, human smuggling and business activities. Afghans and Pakistanis register themselves more..

New highway delights Lankan expats

Oct 27 (AN) Sri Lankans in the Kingdom expressed delight over the opening of the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (CKE), which would take them to the island’s capital in 20 minutes from Colombo airport instead of the regular two hours duration in the past. The high mobility link between Bandaranaike International Airport, Katunayake and the capital Colombo will be realized on Sunday with the opening of the CKE by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Race against time to dress up for CHOGM

Oct 27 (ST) From streets to cemeteries, historical forts to botanical gardens, the country’s places of interest are being spruced up for the upcoming CHOGM with workers hurriedly trying to keep to the deadline of end of the month. Colombo city, where most of the Commonwealth programmes will be held, is seeing a rapid transformation with road surfacing, paving, landscaping and street lighting. more..

'Attending CHOGM will cost Congress dear'

Oct 27 (Hindu) The DMK, a potential ally of the Congress in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, feels the national party will pay a heavy price if the UPA govt decides to participate in the CHOGM. “The whole of TN is against India taking part in the CHOGM and the Assembly adopted a resolution reflecting the sentiments of the people in the State. If India participates in the meeting, the Congress in the State will have to pay a heavy price,” said DMK deputy general secretary Duraimurugan. more..

Govt. Muslim MPs mum on Casino Bill

Oct 27 (CT) The controversial Casino Bill (Regulations under Strategic Development Projects Act), which has been withdrawn from Parliament Order Paper, has left the Muslim political circles divided. Central Provincial Councillor, Azath Salley, has lashed out at the Muslim political figures in the government, accusing them of turning their backs on their religion. "This Casino Bill, and all forms of gambling, goes against the teachings of our religion. On religious grounds we must all stand more..

Khurshid will attend CHOGM

Oct 27 (Hindu) External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will represent India at the CHOGM summit, though the TN Assembly unanimously passed a resolution urging boycott of the meeting because of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. Mr. Khurshid confirmed his participation in next month’s meeting; but there is still a question mark over who among the three VVIPs will attend the summit: President Pranab Mukherjee; more..

Stormy clouds over the North

Oct 27 (CT) The novelty value of the first ever Northern Provincial Council (NPC) may be beginning to wane, but the headache its creation caused is likely to evolve into a chronic migraine for the govt in the coming weeks and months, as its obduracy over the full implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution gets tested by an equally resolute Chief Minister. The Chief Minister has stuck to his guns by insisting that the NPC will secure police powers. more..

Sweet taste of federalism through good governance

Oct 27 (CT) The communal riots which began from 1958 in Sri Lanka demonstrated that the Unitary form of govt has proved to be a futile exercise in not complying with the legitimate aspirations of the Tamils. Ethnic conflicts had plagued Sri Lanka because successive govts have been in the practice of encouraging intolerance for minority Tamils, commencing from the passing of the Sinhala Only Act, Standardization, forcible colonization commencing from Kantalai-Minneriya, etc. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Oct 27 (ST) A distraught mother, carrying her infant in hand, approached UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake and parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake, when they were at the Matara courts last Monday. They were present to see party supporters, arrested for their involvement in clashes between two rival groups of the party in Matara. “Aney balanna Sir! Api kawadawakwath deshapalana kala aya nemei. more..

Legislation to license fishing in the high seas

Oct 27 (ST) Govt will shortly seek parliament approval for new legislation that would make it mandatory for those fishing in the high seas to obtain licences for their operations. The new laws are being enacted in keeping with Sri Lanka’s obligations under international agreements to prevent, deter and eliminate Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the High Seas. ‘High Seas’ means areas beyond Sri Lanka’s more..

'Ensure commercial viability when creating e-Content products'

Oct 27 (Island) The driving force in any product or service for its thriving or survival is the value perceived about it by the target group. The most intelligent may collectively produce objectively and rationally the most time-saving, money-saving, trouble-free, travel-free, arm chair, press-button, home operated e-Content method to replace an ordeal-studded traditional method. But, if the target group has other cherished values more..

Stranded Sri Lankan expats hope for a miracle

Oct 27 (AN) With eight days to go for the expiration of the Nov. 3 amnesty deadline, undocumented Sri Lankan expatriate workers in Jeddah are in a state of panic. Not only are they racing against time, but are also out of money. As a result, many of them are forced to beg on the streets for survival. Living in deplorable conditions under the Sharafiya bridge and near the deportation center in south Jeddah, they continue to do the more..

Judges to undergo expensive training

Oct 27 (SL) Local judges are to undergo an expensive training program overseas in order to prepare them to expedite cases as proposed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said that 80 judges will be sent overseas for the training program. The judges will be visiting India and Malaysia for the training which is extremely costly, the Chief Justice said. more..

Bill on match fixing soon

Oct 27 (CG) The govt says a bill on match fixing will be submitted to parliament within three months to crackdown on match fixing in Sri Lanka. Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said that match fixing has been reported in football, rugger and cricket in Sri Lanka. “There have been instances where in clubs, players have fixed matches for just Rs. 15,000. Last year at a National sports event a sportsman had taken money more..

Logistic company imports Benzes thru’ official agent

Oct 27 (ST) The Finance Ministry has granted a tax concession of Rs.757.75 million to import 54 Mercedes Benz vehicles of the latest S400 model to Sri Lanka for the use by heads of govt attending the Commonwealth summit here next month. The tax relief has been announced in the gazette notification issued and recommended by the Additional Director General of the Department of National Budget. more..

PM should announce India's boycott of CHOGM: DMK

Oct 27 (PTI) Describing as "extremely shocking and disappointing" Minister Salman Khurshid's reported remarks assuring his participation in the CHOGM in Sri Lanka, DMK on Sunday urged PM Manmohan Singh to categorically announce India's boycott of the 53-nation group's meet. Party Chief M Karunanidhi said Khurshid's remarks that "I can say I will be there," thus assuring his participation in CHOGM more..

Drug scam cripples Cancer Hospital

Oct 27 (NS) A major drug scam has sent shock waves through the administration of the National Cancer Institute in Maharagama where five pharmacists have been interdicted for their alleged involvement in misappropriations when purchasing essential drugs for cancer patients. Health Ministry Spokesman said that the ministry’s Medical Supplies Division (MSD) had paid for 32 vials of Oncaspar, an essential drug for more..

Hi-tech safety measures for CHOGM flights

Oct 27 (ST) State-of-the-art satellite navigation systems will closely monitor aircraft bringing foreign leaders to Colombo for the Commonwealth Summit, a senior official said. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), a surveillance technology for tracking aircraft and Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) using satellite navigation systems were among the new features to enhance surveillance. more..

NPC: Openings and democratisation

Oct 27 (Island) This article is based on a presentation made on 23rd Oct at the Uni of Peradeniya. The first time I spoke at the Faculty of Arts Seminar Series was in Jan 2008. It was at a very different moment, at the height of the civil war. My talk was titled "Third World Sovereignty, Conflicts and Democratisation" and was primarily a critique of law, particularly international law. At the time, I highlighted the importance of domestic political processes in seeking a viable political more..

Transparency: Private power suppliers shady

Oct 27 (NS) Transparency International (TISL) questioned the transparency of private power suppliers dispatch system of CEB and declared that the public should not be forced to bear the brunt of electricity bought at higher cost. TISL Senior Manager, Shan Wijethunge said that there are discrepancies in unit prices of thermal power purchased by the CEB from private electricity generating companies. “The CEB buys thermal power from some companies at Rs.18 and more..

Extension of service for lecturers

Oct 27 (SO) The Cabinet has approved the proposal to extend the retirement age of university lecturers to 70 years. Higher Education Ministry, Secretary, Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said. At present, the retirement age for university lecturers is 65. Lecturers whose services are considered essential by the university administration will be given five more years on a contract basis. As there is a dearth of lecturers, the decision to more..

John at the E03 opening

Oct 27 (DM) Chief Opposition Whip and UNP MP John Amaratunga who was the only UNP MP to attend the opening ceremony of the Colombo-Katunayaka Experssway (E03) today, said he participated in the event because it was something which was started by the UNP. “It was the UNP who initiated this project and I decided to participate as we did not want to give the full credit to the govt,” he said. Mr. Amratunga said one should accept the fact that a good share of the credit should be more..

CHOGM Sri Lanka: A victory for President, but at some price paid and counting

Oct 27 (Island) There is no question, the November Commonwealth summit is a victory for President Rajapaksa and his govt, internally and internationally. In collusion with the Commonwealth Secretariat, the govt has pushed back detractors and nay sayers, concerned about the human rights situation and the impeachment of CJ Shirani Bandaranayake and has managed to make sure that the Colombo summit goes ahead as planned. There could be distant and neighbourly PM-level more..

NPC fisheries minister berates TN poaching in Lankan waters

Oct 27 (ST) The Northern Province’s newly appointed Fisheries Minister Pathinadar Danister is planning to visit to the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to resolve the crisis of massive-scale poaching by Indian fishermen. Mr. Danister said he hoped to undertake the visit to hold discussions with the authorities there while he also called upon the Sri Lankan and Indian govts to find a ‘diplomatic solution’ to the poaching issue. more..

Fr. Yogeswaran and ex-LTTE cadres meeting - Smacks of suspicion regarding intention

Oct 27 (NS) Questions have been raised regarding a ‘meeting’ held in Trincomalee between Human Rights Campaigner Fr. V. Yogeswaran and rehabilitated members of the LTTE and their families. This ‘special’ meeting was held by Fr. Yogeswaran last Tuesday. Those attended included several rehabilitated former LTTE cadres and relatives of LTTE members either undergoing rehabilitation or serving prison sentences. When contacted, Fr. Yogeswaran denied any such more..