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UNHRC decision will be based on US resolution: FM

Aug 31 (Island) The Geneva-based UNHRC will decide future course of action on Sri Lanka on the basis of a US resolution scheduled to be moved at the 30th sessions next month. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Kolonne said that UNHRC would decide on the recommendations contained in a report submitted by the OHCHR through the passage of a resolution. Kolonne said: "This is not something new. more..

Commission under fire for rejecting public petitions targeting corruption

Aug 31 (Island) A Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating corruption has rejected several hundred complaints received from the public. The complaints which dealt with serious acts of fraud, corruption, as well as abuse of power, state resources and privileges during previous SLFP-led administrations had ended up in waste-paper basket, well informed sources said. Those who had complained to the Presidential Commission more..

Karuna claims Prabhakaran shot himself

Aug 31 (CT) LTTE leader V Prabhakaran committed suicide by shooting himself while his wife and daughter were killed in a shell attack revealed former Deputy Minister V Muralitharan aka Karuna Amman to an Indian television network. He revealed that even though he had left the terrorist outfit several years ago he still admires Prabhakran as a respectable leader and said he was a very close associate of his. more..

Three wheeler population tops one million

Aug 31 (EN) Sri Lanka's three wheeler population has topped one million in July 2015, the latest data shows with surge of imports driven by cheap credit and money printing by the Central Bank. Sri Lanka had 929,495 three wheelers registered by the end of 2014, according to data, with 79,038 vehicles being imported in that year. Up to July 2015, 73,805 three wheeler have been registered, data showed. more..

State, Sri Lanka join hands to study Blue Mormon butterfly

Aug 31 (MD) Though Blue Mormon was declared the state butterfly in June, very little information is available about the winged insect. To overcome this hurdle, forest minister Sudhir Mungatiwar announced that his department would be collaborating with the Sri Lankan government to study the species in detail. The decision was taken at a recent meet between Mungantiwar & Sri Lankan ambassador Saroja Sirisena. more..

Election of Speaker, ceremonial address by President among the highlights

Aug 31 (ST) The election of a new Speaker, a ceremonial address by President Maithripala Sirisena, the likely resignation of a newly appointed MP will be among the highlights of the first sitting of the Eighth Parliament of Sri Lanka on Tuesday. UNP MP Karu Jayasuriya is likely to be elected uncontested to the post of Speaker with his name proposed by the UNP and seconded by the SLFP, Parliament officials said. more..

US begins operation to defend Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (SL) US last week set in motion an operation to seek support for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva and the process will see heightened diplomatic activity as D-day nears for Sri Lanka at the Council. US Ambassador to Geneva Keith Harper informed UNHRC at its organisational meeting for the 30th session, that US, on behalf of a core group, plan to offer a resolution on SL to follow up on the new SL govt’s efforts to promote more..

A platform for young enthusiasts

Aug 31 (DM) The quest to recognise the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Sri Lanka has commenced, providing a platform for the youth to showcase expertise in their respective fields. Launch of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award (TOYP) 2015 was officially announced at a press briefing held recently and it is an initiative by the Junior Chamber International SL (JCI Sri Lanka) which was launched in 1980 to recognise the talents and achievements of the youth in the island. more..

Come September: It’s now or never

Aug 31 (DM) As we usher in a new month tomorrow, it will be a special September with a fully-fledged National Govt for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history -- hopefully laying the foundation for a new political culture and a homegrown democracy. Over the weekend, President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe – whom destiny has called upon to be the master builders of a new Sri Lanka – were finalising who should get what portfolio in the new National Govt. more..

Video: Ranil stops demolition of old buildings in City

Aug 31 (DM) PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has ordered UDA to stop demolishing old buildings in Colombo City. Speaking to media after touring Colombo City said he had done so as the policy of new govt was to preserve the old buildings in Colombo and repair them while keeping them as they were. However, he said, opportunities would be given to investors to open new hotels in the city -- in keeping with the policy of President Sirisena. more..

Mahayana Sutra copper plate unearthed in Anuradhapura

Aug 31 (Island) Archaeologists excavating the ancient Vijayarama site in Anuradhapura last week discovered a copper plate with a Mahayana Sutra inscribed thereon. Director in charge of Central Cultural Fund’s Anuradhapura project, Prof. T. G. Kulathunga told The Island that the Sutra had been inscribed using Sinhala script on the copper plate of 2.5 inches in length and 1.25 inches in width. The inscription had been sent to the laboratories for further studies, he said. more..

SLC to host u-19 one-day triangular with England, India

Aug 31 (NS) Sri Lanka Cricket has organized an under 19 one-day limited-over triangular with India and England in December in preparation for the ICC under 19 World Cup to be staged in Bangladesh from January 22 to February 14 next year. The tri-series starts on Dec 11 and ends with the final on Dec 21. The three teams will play each other twice in a round robin basis with the top two teams qualifying to play in the final. All the matches will be played in Colombo more..

Last ditch bid to reach consensus: President to meet UPFA constituents

Aug 31 (Island) President has called for a meeting with three UPFA constituents today to explore the possibility of reaching a consensus regarding their role before Parliament meets tomorrow. Presidential Secretariat has requested Ratnapura District MP-elect Vasudeva Nanayakkara (DLF), Colombo District MP-elect Dinesh Gunawardena (MEP) and Colombo District MP-elect Wimal Weerawansa (NFF) to meet President. more..

Karu tipped to be Speaker

Aug 31 (CT) The first session of the eighth Parliament will be inaugurated under the auspices of President Sirisena tomorrow where the govt's Manifesto will be presented. The first move in the Parliament tomorrow morning would be to appoint the Speaker of the House. Parliament Secretary Dammika Dassanayaka will read the President's instruction calling the inauguration of the Parliament. UNP sources revealed that Karu Jayasooriya is expected to be appointed as the Speaker. more..

Marathoner Niluka disappoints fans

Aug 31 (CT) Marathoner Niluka Rajasekara finished a disappointing 49th with a time of 2 hours 50:40 seconds in the women's marathon at the 15th IAAF World Championship concluded at the Bird's Nest, Beijing, yesterday. After much hype during recent times Niluka had clocked 2 hours 40:07 seconds to qualify for the World Championship, finished 10 minutes above that time, while 20 Asian athletes finished ahead of her. Niluka finished 5th in the last Asian Marathon C'ship in Hong Kong, more..

It's up to Mayadunne to decide: JVP

Aug 31 (DM) JVP said there was some doubt about former Auditor General Sarathchandra Mayadunne accepting his appointment to parliament from JVP national list after he expressed reservations about it. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said Mayadunne, though had not officially mentioned anything about it, appeared reluctant to work with those appointed to parliament by other political parties through their NLs. more..

48% reserves depreciation warrants rate hike

Aug 31 (CT) Inflation, growth, external sector developments and liquidity are the four variables that central banks look at in deciding a country's monetary policy outlook. In this context the local Central Bank (CB) is set to deliver this month's monetary policy outlook at 7.30 pm tonight. By now it would have had decided which route the island's monetary policy route should take. Nevertheless, with the possibility that the country's external reserves may have had been depreciated by more..

President's loyalists seek top portfolios

Aug 31 (CT) Sections of the SLFP have asked the President to give prominent ministerial portfolios to SLFP MPs who supported Sirisena during the presidential elections. In addition a number of MPs who supported Sirisena after the election were targeted by those supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa. Due to this, a number of SLFPers including Wijayamuni de Zoysa, S.B. Dissanayake, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya who supported Sirisena either lost the election more..

Thajudeen killing: 3 ex-PSD officers traced

Aug 31 (DN) Three ex-PSD officers - who have been identified by the CID as possible suspects of Wasim Thajudeen’s killing - will be arrested within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, a civilian, who is presently in London, has also been identified as a person who was aware of the conspiracy to kill Thajudeen. “There is no truth in the stories that the suspects have fled to Italy. Probably, they are referring to person who is presently in UK. more..

Hit and run vehicle kill leopardess in Yala

Aug 31 (DN) The carcass of a young female leopard was found inside the Yala National Park reportedly a victim of another hit and run tragedy. The authorities had received reports of several animals being killed by careless drivers transporting visitors on safari. Wild Life Department Director General H.D. Ratnayake said that the carcass of the three year-old leopardess was found yesterday with its spinal cord badly injured. He said the loss of a Leopardess would endanger the species more..

Daybreak in Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (TS) For the first time since independence in 1948 the people of Sri Lanka have voted for a national govt in Colombo as opposed to the traditional UNP or SLFP led govts and ushered in a new dawn on 17 August, raising hopes of finding a lasting solution to the intractable ethnic crisis. The just concluded parliamentary election failed to give a clear verdict in favour of either the UNP or the SFLP, the two major political parties, but preferred a national govt by the two. more..

Tamil parties turn down U.S. call for internal war crimes probe

Aug 31 (Hindu) Leaders representing three constituents of the TNA on Sunday rejected the stand of the U.S., which favoured a domestic investigation mechanism on alleged crimes during the final stages of the Eelam War. Leaders of TELO, EPRLF and PLOTE, who met for four hours in Colombo, felt that justice would be possible only through an international probe. M.K. Shivajilingam, TELO’s national organiser, said three parties more..

North-South SMEs to strengthen business and social links thro’ GIZ-CCC

Aug 31 (ST) GIZ SME Development Programme, together with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, will launch SME-ProLink: Unity Through Business, an initiative to link the Northern and Southern SMEs to strengthen business and social relationships and promote unity and harmony among communities. The programme will be held in Matara on September 29-30. The Deutsche Gesellschaft fÜr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the chamber firmly believe that this initiative will create more..

US resumes good relations with Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (Island) In 1984, less than an year after the July ’83 crime in Lanka, which received widespread deserved condemnation in the world and within the US itself, President Reagan invited President JR Jayewardene as a guest of the State and hosted a banquet in his honour; such was the state of relations between our countries at that time; much credit should go to  our then Ambassador Ernest Corea who  safeguarded our relationship in an exceptional manner. more..

Furore over Kuliyapitiya Volkswagen plant

Aug 31 (CT) A furore has erupted over the Ceylon Motor Traders' Association (CMTA) calling the govt for transparency and a revelation of all details regarding the manner in which the govt signed the agreement with global German based motoring giant Volkswagen to establish a manufacturing plant at Kuliyapitiya. CMTA, in a communiqué to Minister Kabir Hashim, has requested the govt to reveal comprehensive details about recently signed more..

Another bowling display of two halves

Aug 31 (CI) For all those who love cricket numerology, a special treat. Explain the co-relation between these figures: 108, 586; 123, 272; 154. A clue, then: these numbers belong to Wellington, Galle and Colombo. These numbers are from February 2014 onwards. In case you are interested, there are more of their kind going back several years, but this is the most recent lot. These happen to be the number of runs that India have conceded to their opposition's last five pairs, more..

Used hybrid cars gain market share in SL

Aug 31 (EN) Sri Lankan importers of new vehicles have been losing market share to used hybrids, the head of the Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association said, where import taxes are lower than for cars with conventional engines. The new administration hiked taxes on all hybrid cars and lowered taxes on conventional small cars. Gihan Pilapitiya, chairman of the CMTA, said last year had been a good year for new car importers in terms of volumes which rose to 38,780 in 2014 from 28,380 in 2013. more..

President receives Sannasa informing successful conclusion of Kandy Perahera

Aug 31 (GDI) The traditional ceremony to inform the Head of the State on the successful completion of the historic Esala Festival took place at the President's House in Kandy in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday. Sannasa on the successful conclusion of the Perahera was handed over to President Sirisena by the Actg. Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa Pradeep Nilanga Dela. more..

Part IV: Would reconciliation process work in post-war Sri Lanka?

Aug 31 (IL) The restorative framework worked fine within the South African context as the theories have suggested, but the Sri Lankan leadership has not used the same method, even though such theories have produced a great sense of hope that might make T & R a success in Sri Lanka. But three years after the end of the war, the Sri Lankan govt has not yet engaged the affected communities in dialogue. Rather, the idea of a unitary system of govt in a multi-ethnic country is also seen as critical, more..

Pursuing accountability & strengthening the rule of law

Aug 31 (CT) After the surprising victory of opposition candidate Sirisena in Presidential election, Minister Samaraweera said that SL will create a domestic mechanism within two months to probe allegations of rights violations and bring perpetrators to justice. He called for UN report to be held back saying the UN findings could then be referred to the domestic mechanism for necessary action. “Unlike the previous govt we are not in a state of denial, saying that such violations have not happened. more..

Sri Lanka shoot themselves by shaking batting line-up

Aug 31 (CI) In the last match, a skilful batsman took leave of SL side. In the first innings at SSC, SL's batsmen took leave of their skill. This flaccid innings, this deflating circus tent of a collapse, deserves reliving. It needs to be savoured as much as any rollicking ton or enthralling spell because it was not just bad, it was so bad it was good. For so long outsiders had suggested SL's batting would be lost without Sanga/Mahela. more..

SL milk firm caught by pincer state controls

Aug 31 (EN) Sri Lanka's milk powder distribution is caught between high import taxes and price controls, despite plunging world prices, Lanka Milk Foods, a dairy company has said, in line with pincer controls seen in several other sectors. Global milk powder prices reached high levels two year ago amid but most food commodities including oil and metals are now falling as the US Federal Reserve has stopped excessive money printing and the dollar is going up. more..

Of honouring Sanga and appointing envoys

Aug 31 (Island) Even before the heat of parliamentary elections have subsided and in less than a week of UNF for Good Governance being voted into office, we hear of the coveted position of our High Commissioner to the Court of St. James (UK) being first offered by the Prime Minister to Mrs Rosy Senanayake who did not make it to Parliament and then by the President to cricketing great Kumar Sangakkara who has just hung up his boots. At the outset, permit me to state I have nothing but more..

Will new Sri Lankan govt prioritize resettlement of war-displaced?

Aug 31 (IPS) New Sri Lankan govt that was voted in on Aug. 17 certainly didn’t inherit as much baggage as its predecessors did during the nearly 30 years of conflict that gripped this South Asian island nation. But six years into peacetime, the second parliament of President Sirisena will need to prioritize some of the most painful, unhealed wounds of war – among them, the fate of over 50,000 IDPs, some of whom more..

SLFP without minor parties is like rice without curry

Aug 31 (CT) There is a specific objective of introducing the National List in the Constitution of 1978. It is to get important people who are reluctant to contest elections involved in the policy formulation and law making process. Professionals, academics and leaders of insignificant communities such as Malays, Burghers, Vedda and disabled people belong to this category. It was never intended to be used as a shortcut or backchannel to bring defeated candidates to Parliament. more..

On straight lines that curve & don’t exist

Aug 31 (CT) I came across an interesting conversation on Facebook recently. Two friends, each as committed to his political preferences as the other, were debating on the election. More specifically, they were debating on its racial implications and this in a way which would have raised eyebrows of those reading that debate. Not surprisingly, there were remarks made and exchanged about the majority-minority relationship in the country. more..