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Sri Lanka says no hope finding mudslide survivors

Oct 30 (AP) Hundreds of desperate Sri Lankan villagers dug with bare hands through the broken red earth of a deadly landslide Thursday, defying police orders after a top disaster official said there was no chance of finding more survivors at the high-elevation tea plantation. There were conflicting reports of how many people were missing in the slide, which struck Wednesday morning in the island nation's central hills after heavy rains. more..

United States extends condolences to Sri Lanka over landslide

Oct 30 (USE) The United States extends its deepest condolences to the Govt of Sri Lanka and the families affected by the recent landslides in Koslanda. We stand ready to assist the Government and victims as they mourn the loss of loved ones, treat the injured, and address the extensive losses and damage caused by this natural disaster. We commend the Govt of Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces for their rapid response and valiant search and rescue efforts.

Court dismisses legal action against tamil PC members seeking genocide probe

Oct 30 (AM) Court of Appeal today dismissed a writ application filed by a resident of Nugegoda who sought a writ of mandamus order directing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the attorney General (AG) to take legal action against 33 members of Northern Provincial Council (NPC) and Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) for urging former UN Human Rights High Commissioner Navanidan Pillai through a letter to determine if genocide has taken place in Sri Lanka. more..

'President did not meet LTTE supporters'

Oct 30 (CG) Govt today denied claims that President Rajapaksa had met LTTE supporters during his last visit to the United States. Minister G.L Peiris told Parliament that he was with the President during the US tour and he can guarantee that the President did not meet any pro-LTTE diaspora members. President had been in the US to attend UNGA meeting and he also had talks with world leaders on the sidelines of the meeting. more..

'Will cause further divisions in country'

Oct 30 (CT) Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) charged the approval process required for travel to the North as yet another inhuman and unjustified attack on the minorities. "This is an irritant and will cause a lot of national and international problems for the govt. When the task is to get these communities into the mainstream and integrate them, such moves will only create further divisions," BASL Standing Committee on Rule of Law Chairman & Lawyers for Democracy Convenor Lal Wijenayake said. more..

India ‘A’ beat Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (CI) Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey and Karn Sharma made the most of their opportunities for India A while the Sri Lankans didn't have much to gain from the warm-up one-dayer at the Brabourne Stadium. With Sri Lanka deciding to give all fifteen members of their squad a go, the match didn't have any statistical relevance. Still Rohit's innings showed that he has recovered from his injuries while Pandey's and Karn's efforts in the comprehensive 88-run victory will help push their case more..

Death penalty to fishermen in Lanka: Indian politicos appeal for govt. intervention

Oct 30 (ANI) The leaders of various political parties on Thursday took the Narendra Modi-led govt to task after a Sri Lankan Court awarded death penalty to five Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu. Expressing shock over the news, Communist Party of India leader K. Padmanabhan urged the govt to intervene immediately and ensure that the fishermen are released. "It's shocking news; I think Govt of India should intervene immediately more..

Faecal matter in bottled water

Oct 30 (CT) Two well-known water-bottling companies had faecal matter in their bottled water, tests carried out by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) revealed. One of the companies is part of a well known supermarket chain in the country. This was found during a routine check on the quality of water sold by these companies. The Maligakanda Magistrate's Court yesterday ordered that all bottled water sold by the two companies be withdrawn from the market. more..

Indian PM Modi condoles loss of lives in Sri Lanka landslide

Oct 30 (ANI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his deep condolences on the loss of lives due to the landslide in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Modi wished the injured a speedy recovery. The rescue work resumed earlier this morning at the landslide disaster site in Koslanda region of Badulla district in Sri Lanka. According to Sri Lanka's Disaster Management Centre, over one hundred persons are feared trapped under the rubble. The landslide had occurred yesterday morning more..

Ranil and UNP MPs to visit Koslanda

Oct 30 (AM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wiremesinghe along with several other UNP MPs will visit landslide-affected Koslanda tomorrow morning. Opposition Leader of Uva PC Harin Fernando, UNP MP Ruwan Wijeyawardena and a few other MPs will form the UNP delegation. Opposition Leader will monitor the progress of the ongoing rescue operations and look into the condition of the displaced people who are presently in camp. more..

74 yr old teacher killed and raped by her 17 yr old student

Oct 30 (CT) A 74 year old unmarried teacher of Kiribathkumbura, Pilapitiya, Peradeniya, was raped and killed by a 17 year old youth who had learnt the alphabet under her when he was a child. The tragedy took place when the deceased, Leelawthie Menike, questioned the youth over cash in the house that had gone missing, allegedly committed by a worker employed in the house for a long time, according to the police. The youth, who escaped after committing the crime on Monday, more..

India to appeal higher court in Lanka to seek return of five fishermen

Oct 30 (ANI) India on Thursday stated that it will contest a Sri Lankan court's decision pronouncing the death sentence on five fishermen from Tamil Nadu by appealing against the sentence in a higher court in that country. "This is a court case which has been delivered by a lower court against fishermen who were apprehended in 2011. Since then, the case has been going on through the Sri Lankan judicial process. Now that the lower court has given its judgement we intend, more..

UN Committee raises several concerns

Oct 30 (CG) The UNHRC, while taking note of some positive developments in Sri Lanka, also raised several concerns and proposed recommendations in its concluding observations made today on the fifth periodic report of Sri Lanka. The Committee considered the fifth periodic report submitted by Sri Lanka at its meetings held on 7 and 8 October and today made available its concluding observations. more..

Thief's fingers bitten during burglary

Oct 30 (Island) A burglar recently ran for his dear life when his fingers were bitten by a resident of Pamunuwa in Daulagala. The thief had entered the room of the owner of the house and touched the latter’s face accidentally while groping in the dark. The intruder’s hand got into the mouth of the house owner, a retired engineer, who bit it hard in his sleep, police said. The thief ran away screaming. Engineer later found that his gold ring worth Rs. 24,000 which had been on a table had more..

Sri Lanka rupee edges up on remittances, exporter dollar sales

Oct 30 (Reuters) Sri Lankan rupee traded a tad firmer on Thursday due to inflows from remittances and exporter dollar sales after the central bank prevented the local currency from falling below 131.00. The spot currency was quoted at 130.85/90 per dollar at 0828 GMT compared to Wednesday's close of 130.80/131.00. It was largely untraded last week on moral suasion by the central bank. Dealers said three-day forward or spot next was actively traded in the absence of spot trade. more..

TNA says will agree for conditional talks

Oct 30 (CG) The TNA says it is ready for conditional talks with President Rajapksa to reach a political solution to the Tamil issue. TNA leader R. Sampanthan told Parliament today that his party is ready to negotiate with the President based on three statements the President had made following the end of the war. The three statements include one made following a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when more..

'No restrictions on travellers to North'

Oct 30 (Island) Military Spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said foreign passport holders would not be prevented from travelling to the North if they were able to meet the requirements specified by the Defence Ministry. "The govt has imposed no restrictions on foreigners travelling to the north and some have been stopped from going there as they could not give valid reasons for their travel, he said. "There are certain elements who want to travel to the north for sinister purposes more..

Indians among eight sentenced to death

Oct 30 (CG) The Colombo High Court today issued the death sentence on eight people, including five Indians after they were found guilty for heroin smuggling. The three Sri Lankans and five Indians had posed as fishermen when they were arrested in 2011 by the navy near the Delft islands. During investigations, the GPS technology had been used to verify if the convicts were actually fishermen. Investigations had revealed that the convicts had smuggled heroin between India & SL. more..

Can he or can't he?

Oct 30 (CT) The biggest question on everyone's minds is, can he or can't he? Can President Rajapaksa contest a third term? Though, for some, the question is a foregone conclusion, many yet would like it to be debatable: there are two sides to adebate. Queensland University's Chair of Public Law Prof. Suri Ratnapala was asked for his legal opinion by President of BASL, Upul Jayasuriya in order to resolve the issue. more..

JVP: 28 liquor shops within 500 m of Dalada Maligawa

Oct 30 (Island) There are 28 liquor shops within 500 metre radius of the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy, according to a document tabled in Parliament. The document tabled by Chief Govt Whip in response to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that the licences for all those liquor outlets had been issued prior to December 31, 2005. The primary purpose of 24 of those outlets was not selling liquor but they operated as sports clubs, restaurants and hotels. more..

Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.4%

Oct 30 (LBO) Stocks closed 0.39% higher with index heavy John Keells Holdings gaining amid continued foreign buying. All Share Price Index closed 28.51 points higher at 7,294.41, up 0.39%. The S&P SL20 closed 21.99 points higher at 4,051.42, up 0.55%. Turnover was 2.20 billion rupees with 95 stocks closed positive against 103 negative. People’s Leasing and Finance closed 40 cents higher at 21.70 rupees with four off market transactions of 376.25 million rupees changing hands more..

Ada Cartoon

Unprepared for disaster

Oct 30 (CT) In a few weeks, Sri Lanka will mark the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Tsunami, the most terrible disaster that ever hit this island. During this decade, the world has made vast strides in disaster preparedness and mitigation. An example can be found in neighbouring India, where cyclones would typically kill thousands. But, when Cyclone Hudhud hit Andhra Pradesh two weeks ago, Indian authorities were so well prepared that they evacuated half a million people from more..

Imagining that third-term

Oct 30 (CT) The Rajapaksa-verdict has arrived. No one assaulted Chris Nonis. He drank too much and fell off a stool. Twenty eight fellow-guests have given written evidence to that effect. Perhaps Chris Nonis, physician, diplomat, businessman, now has an inkling of what it feels like to be Mohammad Irshad. Mohammad Irshad was the Samurdhi official who was tied to a tree by Mervyn Silva. That outrage was committed in public, in the presence of many witnesses including uniformed police officers. more..

Official death toll rises to 192: MR visits Koslanda

Oct 30 (AM) Official death toll of the massive landslide in Koslanda and Haldummulla has risen to 192. Badulla District Secretary Rohana Dissanayake has made an announcement disclosing a name-list of 192 people who died in the landslide incident which occurred early yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, accompanied by MP Namal Rajapaksa, has arrived at Koslanda a short while ago, President’s media unit said. more..

SLMC in underhand move to legitimize SAITM

Oct 30 (CT) The IUSF and MFSAC charged that the politicized Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), was going back on its former stance regarding the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), was now planning to legitimize it. Convenor of the IUSF Najith Indika and Convenor of the MFSAC Ryan Jayalath said, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, of the Kelaniya University Prof. Nilanthi Silva, more..

More than 500 soldiers rushed to Koslanda

Oct 30 (SLA) A contingent of more than 500 soldiers of the Army serving 11 Division of the Security Force Headquarters - Central (SFHQ-C), have been currently conducting rescue operations of the landslide-affected Koslandawatta-Meeriyabedda estate areas of Haldummulla Divisional Secretariat since Wednesday morning. SFHQ-C, on being informed of the catastrophic situation by nearby Army detachments under more..

US says Sri Lanka has not sought its help

Oct 30 (ANI) The United States has said that the Govt of Sri Lanka has not made any specific requests for assistance in search and rescue operations in the aftermath of Wednesday's landslide, which is believed to have buried about 300 people. Responding to a media query whether the U.S. Embassy in Colombo been in touch with the local authorities, Jen Psaki, Spokesperson of the State Department, said. more..

UNP pledges to remove legal barriers on Fonseka after next presidential election

Oct 30 (AM) UNP General Secretary Tissa Aththanayake has said that the UNP will do justice to former Army Commander and DP Leader Sarath Fonseka within 72 hours when a UNP president ascends to power. UNP General Secretary has made these remarks in a context where an understanding is building between the two parties where the next presidential election is concerned. "UNP will remove all legal bartiers more..

TNA and opposition in agreement to conserving land of last king of Jaffna

Oct 30 (Island) The Chief Minister (CM) of the Northern Province (NP) requested the EPDP Opposition Leader of the NPC S. Thavaraja to resubmit his resolution urging the Council to take steps to protect and preserve the land of last King of Jaffna Sangiliyan at the next sessions of the NPC on Wednesday. S. Thavaraja said that he had submitted the above resolution when the NPC met for the 18th time on Tuesday. more..

Parliament united in grief over Koslanda

Oct 30 (CG) Parliament today condoled over the deaths following the massive landslide at Koslanda in the Badulla district yesterday. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that all the relevant ministries have been instructed to take appropriate measures to assist in the rescue operations and help those affected. UNP MP John Amaratunga also expressed deep sorrow over the deaths saying it was the worst natural more..

'Don’t deal with pro-LTTE TNA'

Oct 30 (SL) Veerasingham Anandasangaree, Secretary General of the TULF, has written to Indian PM Narendra Modi and SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to say that they should talk to the TULF rather than the TNA, because the latter is nothing but a vestige of the separatist LTTE. He has pointed out that since the LTTE’s military decimation in May 2009, the TNA has been acting at the behest of dominant pro-LTTE more..

Infrared cameras soon on trains to prevent elephant deaths

Oct 30 (ST) New thermal cameras are to be installed on trains to detect elephants 1km away and prevent collisions, and the Railways Department is taking cognisance of driver suggestions during a pilot project to have an effective system running next year. The resumption of train services to the north has increased the risks of collision with elephants, said Locomotive Engineers’ Union General Secretary more..

Dissent and crosstalk among MPs in the run-up to snap polls

Oct 30 (DM) Govt’ s preparations for a snap presidential election are gathering momentum at the moment with the opening of election co-ordinating offices at each electorate and engaging its political allies to mobilise their fullest possible support. A number of the organisers of the UPFA have already opened offices in their respective electorates for the co-ordination activities of the election campaign once it is declared shortly more..

In India, life is one long holiday

Oct 30 (DM) Anyone visiting India at any time of the year could be forgiven for believing that we Indians hardly work. There is rarely a month without a single day or several when banks are shut, consumers crowd malls, gridlock chokes the streets and overall productivity takes a back seat. The worst thing is that one can’t even drown one’s sorrows on such days; the majority of public holidays are ‘dry days’ with liquor shops downing their shutters and restaurants closing their bars. more..

The politics of breastfeeding

Oct 30 (DM) About Rs.1.5 million from public funds is spent for a day when the devalued, undermined and often bypassed Parliament meets for debates. This devaluation, which seriously affected the sovereignty of the people began with the enforcement of executive presidential system in 1978. Today, after Rajapaksa Govt patched up a 2/3 majority by offering privileges to other parties and specially after enforcement of 18th Amendment, Parliament is like a rubber stamp. more..

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