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A new waste water treatment plant for Hikkaduwa

Aug 10 (GDI) A new waste water treatment plant has been constructed in Hikkaduwa as part of the Hikkaduwa Coastal Zone Waste Management Project. The project has set in place a sustainable framework for addressing the issues such as unplanned and uncontrolled tourism development, polluted storm water runoff, and poorly treated sewage and disposal of garbage adjacent to watercourses. It is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. more..

'Government will not increase diesel price again this year'

Aug 10 (GDI) “Government will not increase diesel prices again this year and we are currently looking towards ways and means to decrease the prices if there is a drop in the international oil price,” said the Minister of petroleum and Petroleum Resources, A.H.M.Fowzie. According to the Minister Fowzie, the recent fuel price hike was induced under unavoidable circumstances. There were no options due to price fluctuations in the world market and the need for withdrawal of fuel subsidy. more..

Sri Lanka is a great location for Indian films

Aug 10 (GDI) Sri Lanka is a very attractive film location for the Indian film industry because of breathtaking scenery and close geographical access. Stating this Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai P. M. Amza invited Tamil film makers to use Sri Lanka as a preferred location for their future projects. He was speaking as the inauguration of the Sri Lankan film festival at the South Indian Film Chamber Theatre, Chennai on Wednesday. more..

Sri Lanka board threatens to ban players joining ICL

Aug 10 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has threatened to ban any national player who signs up for the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Sri Lankan players participating in any "tournament or league other than Sri Lanka Cricket-approved events shall not be eligible for selection to represent Sri Lanka," an SLC statement said. Kangadaran Mathivanan, the board secretary, said those who played in the ICL would also not be associated with any official cricket activity in Sri Lanka. more..

Military administration imposed in eastern Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (wsws) The Sri Lankan military has quickly demonstrated its intentions regarding the capture of the island’s eastern province from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Far from “liberating” the people of the East, the security forces are establishing a military occupation over the entire area in preparation for stamping out any opposition to the government and its continuing communal war. more..

Govt. assures peace and stability during North and East polls

Aug 10 (LNP) The government will ensure peace and stability is restored in the east before the upcoming local government polls by enforcing the writ of the government in the province, Information and Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said yesterday. He said the Commissioner of Elections has held peaceful elections in the east in the recent past despite the presence of armed groups in the province. more..

Gypsies to get special village in Vakarai

Aug 10 (LNP) Social Services and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri has made arrangements to provide permanent homes for Vakarai`s gypsy community, Ministry sources said. The sources said the Deputy Minister took this decision following discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and some members of the gypsy community living in Moratuwa. During discussions, President Rajapaksa had pointed out that the term `under-privileged social classes` should be totally eradicated. more..

Parliament approves extension of emergency

Aug 10 (LNP) All parties supporting the government and the JVP voted in favour of the emergency extension. Expressing views while moving the resolution in the House, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said the government will not hesitate to take all measures to rout the LTTE from the North. The Prime Minister said the troops have discharged a heroic task liberating the East from the terrorists. The entire nation should salute the armed forces, the police and the STF. more..

Not smiles but tears!

Aug 10 (LNP) `Enna sinasenna? negenahiru dekaganna ?` goes the sweet melody repeated regularly over the state media that invite people to smile and come to view the liberated East! However, it is not smiles that would come to any one`s lips on seeing the conditions prevailing there, but tears to their eyes. The report this newspaper carried on Monday Under the heading ` `Liberation` and the human tragedy of the East` is sufficient proof that the hapless people in that area, far from being liberated and their normal life restored, they seem condemned to languish longer under trying conditions. more..

Anti-Corruption chief calls for ‘whistle blowers’

Aug 10 (PISL) The Secretary to the Ministry of Public administration and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Anti-Corruption Programme Dharmasena Dissanayake yesterday requested the general public to inform him on phone No-2681577 of any shortcomings in the implementation of the ‘Citizens Charter’ by any Divisional Secretary or District secretary, anywhere in the country. He urged any member of the general public, who was aware of any act of corruption, to submit a complaint to any of the following agencies: more..

Lankan woman found dead in hotel room

Aug 10 (NIP) A 38-yearold Sri Lankan woman was found dead in a hotel room at G N Chetty Road here on Thursday. The postmortem report indicated that she was strangulated, police said. Vasanthi and her husband Thangaraj came to the city on August 4 and were staying in a hotel on G N Chetty Road. According to Thangaraj, she complained of breathlessness on Wednesday before going to bed but went to sleep without much trouble. more..

Special Commissioner for Colombo MC?

Aug 10 (SAMN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected to suspend the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC)today and to appoint former Colombo mayor Omar Kamil as special commissioner, according to a senior government official close to the President. The leader of the ruling “Spectacle” Group in the CMC, S. Rajendran, said he would welcome the impending suspension of the council, and agreedthe council should be suspended as corruption was rampant within it. more..

New vistas to Lanka's arts culture

Aug 10 (SAMN) The Bodighara, near Hettigama river bank is accessible by road and rail, a distance of approximately six km left from Madadombe Church eight km right from Galgamuwa station and Ehetuwewa road 160 km from Wariyapola Ella road via the Colombo-Kurunegala-Puttlam road. This Bodhigaraya consists of a two storeyed building. Walls are completely built with stones. The outer part of the building is 34 feet square. more..

Lanka no failed state yet

Aug 10 (SAMN) Business confidence has – perhaps, not surprisingly – been nose-diving this year, observed a recent edition of business programme BENCHMARK. “Rising inflation, high interest rates, an escalation of hostilities in the east (with the north said to be next)… and still no sign of a political approach to conflict resolution. But by some convoluted logic, could the government’s recent recapturing of the east be the turning point more..

CB, Treasury tussle over bank merger

Aug 10 (SAMN) The tussle between the Treasury and the Central Bank on the merger of SME Bank and the Lankaputhra Bank has taken on a new phase. This was evident in the recent move by a key Finance Ministry official to appoint Lanka Puthra Bank Chairman Vaas Gunawardene as the Chairman of SME Bank as well which has come in for opposition by the Central Bank. It has been pointed out that this contravenes the regulations under the Banking Act. more..

Purported threat against editor a fabrication - Govt

Aug 10 (DN) Among the many unconfirmed and unsubstantiated allegations made in the latest report by Human Rights Watch on Sri Lanka, published on August 06, 2007, the item about President Mahinda Rajapaksa losing his temper and shouting at a Tamil newspaper editor has been found to be false and baseless. Human Rights Watch has neither had the courtesy nor the ethical consideration to inquire about the accuracy of this alleged incident from the Office of the President, more..

UNP(D) reiterates support to President

Aug 10 (DN) The United National Party (Democratic Group) yesterday reiterated its unstinted support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Government declaring that at no time would it leave room for an ouster of the present regime. Addressing the media at Seth Sevana, Enterprise Development Minister Mano Wijeratne said the UNP Democratic Group MPs led by Minister Karu Jayasuriya would never join horse trading and abetting to topple the Government to grab power. more..

Communication equipment carrier a former NGO activist

Aug 10 (DM) A Tiger Intelligence operative who was taken into custody in Chilaw along with communication equipment disclosed that he had served as human rights activist in a NGO after the tsunami in 2004. He was taken into custody while he was in possession of one hundred and six walkie-talkies and 72 Global Positioning System instruments. The suspect, who was born in 1979 had after passing the GCE (A/L) examination joined the LTTE Makkal Padai. more..

Ministers should keep away from COPE investigations: Kiriella

Aug 10 (DM) UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said in parliament yesterday that COPE members who are ministers should not participate in its meetings when investigations into corruption issues related to their respective ministries are conducted. Mr.Kiriella who is also a COPE member said that ministry officials feel uncomfortable in answering COPE inquiries in the presence of their ministers. “Officials cannot answer our questions freely. more..

Sri Lankans exit stock market due high rates, war

Aug 10 (Reuters) They helped push Sri Lanka's stock market to life highs earlier this year, but small investors like retired bank worker K. Jayaratne are now selling their holdings because of high interest rates and renewed civil war. Sri Lanka's stock market, which was among the world's best performers in 2006 when it rose 42 percent, has fallen around 20 percent since peaking in mid-February, after official interest rates rose to their highest levels since 2002. more..

Foreign agencies warned against ‘quiet diplomacy’

Aug 10 (ANN) Human Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday warned against foreign agencies indulging in ‘quiet diplomacy’ and said in future all those agencies should keep the government informed about the abductions and disappearances of those working for them. He was addressing a joint Press conference called by the UN and the Government at the Cinnamon Grand yesterday. more..

Kadirgamar – the graceful diplomat; a gentlemen in politics

Aug 11 (GDI) An Alms giving will be held on the 12 August, to commemorate the second death anniversary of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies. It is organized on the instructions of Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, with the participation of the Board of Directors of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. more..

Sri Lanka apparel industry urged to focus on consumer concerns

Aug 11 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporters have been advised to focus attention on the industry's impact on the environment or 'footprint' and the chemical composition of its products in response to rising European consumer demands. The industry's decision to specialise in the manufacture of intimate wear, lingerie and underwear is paying off and its markets share in Europe increasing, said Michael Scheffer, a European Union consultant. more..

We do not defend the government but we protect the government; JVP

Aug 11 (LeN) JVP Gampaha district parliamentarian Vijitha Herath said that his party would not defend the government every time regardless all its faults. The MP was addressing the debate for the extension of the emergency regulations yesterday (09) in the parliament. Criticizing the state head and the government subtly, Herath asked the state head not to be a joker like King Kekille giving simple answers to the national questions. more..

Veteran campaigner bids farewell

Aug 11 (BBC) Wesley Muttiah, a pioneer in Sri Lanka's socialist struggle relentlessly worked until his last moments, his former comrades said. The veteran campaigner for socialist cause bid farewell in London on Friday. Hector Abeywardene, a founding member of Lanka Samasamaja Party (LSSP), said Muttiah specialised in publishing books on history of Sri Lanka's left movement. "Not only he published the books but also travelled around to sell them to comrades and supporters," more..

Portrait of courage

Aug 11 (INE) Beatrice Fernando is a woman of many paradoxes. Her happiest moment in her life, she says, was lying in a hospital bed, learning from the doctor that she was paralyzed from the waist down. Just days earlier, she had voluntarily jumped from the fourth floor balcony of her employer’s house, in a last ditch effort to save, not give up, her life. more..

Feeding the Tiger - how Sri Lankan insurgents fund their war

Aug 11 (Janes) The ethnic separatist LTTE is the only known insurgent organisation with its own army, navy and now even a rudimentary air force. With the group having undertaken three air strikes since March this year, the LTTE has shown that it has access to financial resources and weapons that not only prolong its campaign, but also give it the luxury of introducing bold, new dimensions to the conflict. more..

Sri Lanka A end tour in style

Aug 11 (CI) Sri Lanka A ended their tour with a 154-run win against Durham after bowling them out for 217 on the final day. Chanaka Welegedara claimed four wickets as Durham collapsed following a fourth-wicket stand of 93 between Gordon Muchall and Gary Park. After batting on for a further 50 runs, Sri Lanka set the home side 372 for victory but they never threatened to get close. more..

Sri Lankan Theater Group Leaves An Impression

Aug 11 (GP) Three strangely normal plays about life in Sri Lanka particularly in the context of the ongoing war between the Tamil ethnic minority and the Sinhala majority were staged at the Chennai’s Music Academy on Sunday August 5, 2007. Stages Theatre Group, Colombo, performed these plays as part of the theater festival organized by ‘Metro Plus’ of The Hindu newspaper from August 2-12, 2007. more..

SC notice to Centre on Setusamudram project

Aug 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Centre on a petition opposing the ongoing Setusamudram project, proposed to be implemented by "destroying" 'Rama Setu', a mythical barrier situated south east of Rameshwaram, connecting Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka. Bench sought Centre's response within four weeks on the petition which contended that the century old bridge was man-made and needs to be protected under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act. more..

Paradise Gained and Lost: The Indo-Lanka Accord and Tamils

Aug 11 (FI) Twenty years have passed since the signing of the Indo - Lanka accord by Rajiv Gandhi and Junius Richard Jayewardena on July 29th 1987. It was hailed as a great breakthrough when it was signed. Much was expected of it then. Today it remains “valid” only on paper and seems destined for the dustbin of history unless New Delhi makes a determined effort to re-activate and enforce it vigorously. more..

UNP and LTTE plots to weaken and defeat the govt, says Maithree

Aug 11 (LeN) Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena says that UNP is implementing a plot to defeat the government through LTTE. Minister Sirisena addressing a press briefing held in Sri Lanka Foundation Institute today said that the actions of these forces would reveal if the plot were handled by either the UNP or the LTTE with the connivance of the other party. more..

Basil and Gotabhaya purchased two US $ 14 million houses from California, says Rathnathilaka

Aug 11 (LeN) United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian Mahinda Rathnathilaka revealed today (10) that the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and Presidential Adviser Basil Rajapakse, both are brothers of President Mahinda Rajapakse, had purchased two luxury houses in California and 14 million US dollars were paid for the two houses. more..

Cultural orthodoxy and popular Sinhala music

Aug 11 (TC) The creative act, if it is to be genuine, could never be part of a cultural agenda. A work of art is never born out of a desire to enrich culture. This may happen in time to come after the product comes into existence, but not by any conscious design at the moment of its origin. Culture is an evolutionary process, and in that evolution, which is a ceaseless progression, there is integration and rejection. more..

Clash of Generations in Sinhala Music World

Aug 11 (TC) ‘The old’ most of the time create displeasure among the new and ‘the new’ bring uneasiness among the old. W. D. Amaradeva would have been a stranger to the pre-independence Ceylonese musicians and decades later the rise of someone like Rukantha Gunathilleka with his bambarapahasa eclipsed the Amaradeva-led tradition in stutters. The period from late 1980s to mid ’90s saw drastic economic changes taking place in Sri Lanka setting the stage for a wide rift between the old and the new generations. more..

Targeting a Balance between U.S. and Sri Lanka Interests in Defeating Tamil Tiger Terrorism

Aug 11 (AT) Sri Lanka is definitely not internationally isolated in her struggle against Tamil Tiger terrorism very correctly stated by this South Asia nation’s foreign minister Rohitha Bogallagama in parliament on August 9 explaining what the Rajapaksa administration has undertaken working toward a dual politico-military solution. more..

Will Saudi summer holidays rescue housemaid Rizana from the sword?

Aug 11 (AT) The summer holidays in Saudi Kingdom that began recently has brought a much needed respite to the life of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek, who is condemned to be beheaded by Saudi authorities for 'murder of a Saudi infant.' As a result of residents in Riyadh leaving their homes with the onset of summer holidays, most offices and even the Appeal Courts have shut down in the city. more..

Venerable Ellawela Medhananda tells Parliament who is a Vasalaya or an outcast

Aug 11 (AT) On Thursday it was the turn of the archeologist Buddhist monk and leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya Venerable Ellawela Medhananda Thero to hit back. He was simply preaching from the Discourse on the Outcast or Vasala Sutta in the Sutta Nipata in the Khuddaka Nikaya. In an obvious reference he was describing who a Vasalaya or an outcast is in the parliament in Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte. more..

Top ministerial delegation in Libya

Aug 11 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development, A.H.M.Fowzie left for Tripoli yesterday. The Sri Lankan delegation that also includes senior officials of the two ministries and a nine members from the business community is on a three-day official visit to Libya. Ministers Bogollagama and Fowzie expected to meet with the Libyan Leader, Colonel Muammar al–Qadhafi more..

Tamil masses suffer under LTTE tyranny, says escaped family

Aug 11 (GDI) Tamil people living in the LTTE controlled Wanni suffer untold miseries due to autocratic rule by the terror movement. Stating this, members of a Tamil family who managed to escape to the cleared areas in the North urged the Government to take early steps to clear the North too to ensure safety of the civilian population. The Family of five has stated that clearing the North as well as East is essential for a lasting peace in the island nation more..

Parliamentary Select Committees to probe COPE allegations

Aug 11 (GDI) Parliamentary Select Committees will be appointed to probe in to the each allegations and issues made in the report of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE). According to the Minister of Health, the Government has taken this decision yesterday in response to the demands made by the UNP in Parliament. A total of 24 Parliamentary Select Committees will be appointed to probe the 24 cases mentioned in the report. more..

'Damaging Contradictions in Under Secretary General Holmes’ statements'

Aug 11 (GDI) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a media release issued today stated that there are damaging contradictions in statements attributed to Sir John Holmes, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs. The press release stated that the Ministry has noted with regret and disappointment a comment relating to Sri Lanka attributed to Sir John Holmes in a Reuters report released on Thursday 9 August 2007, more..

Kethesh - A true internationalist

Aug 11 (GDI) Ketheshwaran Loganathan, Deputy Secretary General of the Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP) was gunned down at his home on one year ago on August 12, 2006. This is a tribute by Dayan Jayetilleka, which first appeared in the Asian Tribune. REMEMBERED: 1956, half a century ago, the year I was born, was a strangely seminal year: it was the year that Fidel and Che landed on the shores of Cuba, the year of the Suez crisis, more..

Sri Lanka's HSBC tackles credit card fraud

Aug 11 (LBO) HSBC, Sri Lanka's largest credit card issuer has announced new technology to combat fraud but said its local local acquiring network would be upgraded only in the first quarter of next year. In addition to the standard magnet strip, the new 'smart' cards issued from this month would have an embedded micro-processor containing encrypted information. The plastic is not 'swiped' across a card reader but 'dipped' into a slot in the credit card reader. more..

Action will be taken against Govt.’s loan mania - Ranil

Aug 11 (LD) Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday (August 10th) vowed that his party would never allow the government to implement its ‘Randora’ Project that has been proposed to be funded through loans to the tune of Rs. 56 billion, that will be obtained from private banks. Addressing the ‘Janarala’ protest rally organized by the UNP and the SLFP Mahajana Wing at the Uyanwatte Stadium in Matara, he said, more..

Mulliaththeevu Fishing woes

Aug 11 (TN) Thanapalasingham Suman, 22 and his brother Manoharan, 27, were wounded in A'lampil seas in Mullaiththeevu on 28 July this year when SLN Dvora gunboats fired at their fishing boat. The brothers are currently recovering at the Mullaiththeevu District hospital. In an interview with TamilNet this week, Suman said many fishermen in his area have to risk their lives against frequent attacks by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) to feed their family, and often to support ageing parents. more..

8 SLFP local councilors to declare support to People's Faction

Aug 11 (LT) A group of 8 SLFP local and municipal councilors from Matara joined the newly formed SLFP (People's Faction) yesterday(10). They joined the party lead by Matara politician Mangala Samaraweera at the Public Rally jointly organized with UNP as People's Congress. The protest rally was organized to urge the government to stop corruption, terror and relieve masses from the unbearable cost of living. more..

Govt. does the role of the donkey while the opposition does that of a jackal! - Wimal Weerawansa

Aug 11 (LT) What the government is performing today is the role of he donkey while the UNP does the role of the jackal says General Secretary of the Patriotic National Movement (PNM) Wimal Weerawansa. Mr. Weerawansa said this at a media briefing held by the PNM to protest against a statement made by John Holms, Asst. Secretary on Human Rights of the UNO. more..

Sri Lanka to Revamp Missions in Kingdom

Aug 11 (AN) Sri Lanka will send an interim charge d’affaires to its embassy in the Kingdom this week. He will replace the outgoing ambassador A.M.J. Sadiq who is slated to leave the Kingdom soon. “The interim ambassador will work as part of a stop-gap arrangement for three months,” Hussein Bhaila, deputy minister of foreign affairs, told Arab News here. He said a permanent ambassador would be named later. more..

Lanka mulls minimum wages for housemaids

Aug 11 (KT) Close on the heels of reports that the Indian government may set a minimum wages for housemaids who work abroad, the Sri Lankan mission in Dubai has echoed similar views. The Sri Lankan consulate in Dubai is contemplating of setting a minimum wage of around $250 (Dh912) against the current $150 (Dh550). “We are thinking of setting a minimum wage of about $250. more..