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'Mega-development projects launched for country's future generation'

Aug 8 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said the Government initiated a number of mega- development projects such as Norochcholai and Kerawalapitiya Power stations amidst various obstacles to create a better future for posterity. He said Sri Lanka inherits a great history , tradition and national heritage and the country will earn a special place in the word in the future. more..

Indo- Lanka Accord will be fully implemented - Indian PM to ENDLF leaders

Aug 8 (LG) “An Eelam National Democratic Liberation Front (ENDLF) delegation led by ENDLF President G.Gnanasekaran accompanied by R. Anbarasu Ex MP, Ex Secretary Congress Parliamentary Party, met the Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh at the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi on yesterday afternoon,” S. Vaseekaran, deputy Secretary of the ENDLF said in a press statement. more..

Baby tuskers won’t be sent back to Pinnawela – Lokuge

Aug 8 (Island) Baby tuskers Sindhu and Raju would not be sent back to the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, but their mothers would be taken to the Dalada Maligawa, Tourism and Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge told The Island. This follows instructions to Lokuge by President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the babies have to be with their mothers. However, Minister Lokuge said that he was awaiting the recommendation of University of Peradeniya Veterinary Department’s more..

Sri Lanka official says economic crisis generates debate on role of central banks

Aug 8 (LBO) The current economic crisis has created a debate about the core role of a central bank, a senior Sri Lankan monetary official said, while the practice of central banking itself is under heavy fire in the United States. Some central banks in relatively stable economies now only have one core objective of generating a low level of inflation (inflation targeting), though many still regulate the banking system and also have growth objectives. more..

UN Envoys bid farewell to Lankan Ambassador

Aug 8 (Island) The Ambassadors of Russia and China to the Conference on Disarmament (CD) were prominent among those who bade a warm farewell to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka’s outgoing ambassador/permanent representative to the UN in Geneva as Dr. Jayatilleka made his valedictory remarks at the CD plenary on Tuesday August 4th, a press release from the Lankan Mission in Geneva said yesterday. more..

UPFA media advertisements violated election laws - UNP

Aug 8 (Island) The UNP said that UPFA advertisements placed in certain media yesterday was a clear violation of the deadline set for the Uva Provincial Council Election. UNP General Secretary of the Tissa Attanayake told a news conference that the government was masquerading as a sinless new born baby, but was flouting every possible law in the country. "Take for example the UPFA election advertisements placed in certain media yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka: Asia's new Israel?

Aug 8 (DM) Tropical Malaysia could easily be Argentina. The man who was hiding in Argentina posed off as Ricardo Klement while the one caught in Malaysia had dozens and dozens of names. The modus operandi of the operation to bring the much wanted man home was more or less the same. Bundle him up into a vehicle, then transfer him to a commercial or chartered flight and bring him home. The only difference is in the time frame. more..

BTI to be made available to the public within a month

Aug 8 (DM) The locally developed Bacillus Thurigiensis Israelensis (BTI) which is designed to fight diseases spread through mosquitoes such as dengue will be available in Sri Lanka within a month. The Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) Senior Research officer, Dr. Radhika Samarasekera told the Daily Mirror yesterday that production of BTI is currently being carried out and that the product will be marketed to the public after it is approved by the Registrar of Pesticides. more..

1,380 compaints against Police

Aug 8 (DM) The National Police Commission has received as many as 1,380 public complaints against the police last year with 448 of them being related to police inaction. The report which was tabled in parliament revealed that there were six complaints of deaths in custody, 92 complaints of assault, 35 of torture and 318 on the misuse of power. Eleven complaints had been made against police of harassment of women and children and of child abuse while more..

Teachers want mobile phone circular disconnected

Aug 8 (DM) A teacher trade union yesterday voiced their protest against an Education Ministry circular asking teachers not to use mobile phones during school hours. The Ceylon Teachers Union said the Ministry could only ask teachers to use hand phones during working hours in a manner that would not disrupt the teaching process. Union President C. Jayatunga said the rights of teachers had been violated by this circular issued by more..

K.P. knew of Rajiv assassination plot

Aug 8 (AA) The new chief of the Tamil Tigers who is now in Sri Lankan custody was one of the rare few outside the group’s intelligence set-up who knew months earlier that former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was to be assassinated. Without taking Gandhi’s name, Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP told a Sri Lankan Tamil in Tamil Nadu in November 1990 that the LTTE would soon target the "Indian leadership". more..

Japan crushes Sri Lanka by 103 points at FIBA Asian Championships

Aug 8 (Xinhua) Japan put their names on the historical book here as their men's team humiliated Sri Lanka 148-45 in one of Saturday's matches at the FIBA Asian Championships. The 103-deficit is one of the most lop-sided matches in the tournament history. China had the record of the most one-sided game in the Asian history as they hammered Indonesia 138-31 at the version of 1985. more..

Beware of job cheats - Keheliya

Aug 8 (Island) Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion, Keheliya Rambukwella warned prospective foreign employees against confidence tricksters who took money from them on the pretext of assisting them to obtain employment abroad. "There are those who claim to know a top ranker in the Ministry – including myself and very cunningly extracted lakhs of rupees promising jobs abroad", Rambukwella said more..

Dinner in aid of civil war victims

Aug 8 (TS) IT all started with a conversation at a wedding, when two friends, Shaline Gnanalingam and Abethan Kanthasamy, decided to host a charity dinner in aid of poor children in Sri Lanka. Shaline and Abethan were moved to do something after the recent civil war left many people in despair. The initiative is aimed at raising awareness of the country and how people can help by being more supportive of the needs of the people there. more..

First post-war polls in Sri Lanka

Aug 8 (BBC) The first elections in Sri Lanka since the civil war ended in May are being held in the Tamil-dominated north. The government has described the votes in Jaffna and Vavuniya, as well as in the southern province of Uva, as a step towards normality in the country. However, journalists from independent media have been banned from going to the northern towns to cover the voting. more..

Crushing the Phantom Menace

Aug 8 (SP) The LTTE terrorist organization is trying to reform itself inside Sri Lanka. This is becoming clear as investigators identify and interrogate more LTTE operatives and leaders in the refugee camps. One interrogation leads to more identifications and so on. Many of the LTTE members are dispirited by their defeat, and respond to government promises of economic assistance. The government has an incentive to come through with these promises, because more..

Tigers in fear after leader's capture: report

Aug 8 (AFP) Senior Tiger cadres in military custody feared for their lives after the new head of the defeated guerrilla group was arrested in Malaysia, a pro-rebel website said Saturday. The website said Wednesday's dramatic capture of Selvarasa Pathmanathan, better known as K.P., in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur raised "serious concerns about the world outlook to political justice." more..

Infighting may have done KP in

Aug 8 (TOI) The LTTE's eternal mystery man, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, was being interrogated in Colombo on Friday even as the Tamil diaspora speculated whether he was 'betrayed' by a rival faction or was cornered in Kuala Lumpur on a tip-off from Indian intelligence. The dramatic arrest of the LTTE's putative new leader 'Kumaran' Pathmanathan or 'KP' in Kuala Lumpur and his quick deportation to Colombo stunned sections of the overseas Sri Lankan Tamil community, more..

Sri Lanka holds first post-war polls in north

Aug 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Saturday held the first elections in 11 years in two towns at the edge of the area formerly ruled by the Tamil Tiger rebels, who were crushed when the government won a 25-year civil war in May. Turnout was mixed for the polls to elect local councillors in Jaffna and Vavuniya, where campaigning took place without violence -- which has been a rarity at polls in northern and eastern Sri Lanka during the Tigers' long rebellion. more..

Pakistan aim to restore pride

Aug 9 (CI) The spark has rather disappeared from a tour that during the Test portion delivered a few non-fatal surprises for Sri Lanka, such as Fawad Alam's maiden century, Danish Kaneria's five, and Umar Gul's bursts of reverse. Sri Lanka were utterly dominant in the first three ODIs and their series win has been totally justified. There was no resistance from Pakistan until the fourth game, a dead rubber, in which Umar Akmal treated spectators to a most effortless maiden century and more..

Sri Lanka 'A' hold advantage despite Amin century

Aug 9 (CI) Umar Amin scored an unbeaten century but Sri Lanka 'A' still held the advantage against Pakistan 'A' at the end of the second day of the first unofficial Test at Dambulla. Sri Lanka added 46 runs for the last three wickets to finish on a challenging 417 from their overnight score of 371 for 7. In reply, Pakistan got off to an excellent start through openers Khurram Manzoor and Amin. more..

S A Raja held while ‘fleeing’ to Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (EB) S A Raja, Chairman of Raja’s Educational Trust, who was sentenced to double life in the sensational Aladi Aruna murder case, was stopped in his alleged attempt to ‘escape’ to Sri Lanka, at the airport here on Saturday. According to sources, on Saturday morning, the Office of the Superintendent of Police received a call to the effect that Raja was trying to flee to Sri Lanka, and from there to Malaysia, through the Tiruchy Airport. more..

When law becomes comic – Part Three

Aug 9 (LG) It is common in all cases of a sensitive nature for the police in Sri Lanka to claim that inquiries are still being conducted and that no arrests have been made. Such claims can be made even after months and years. In fact, no such inquiry is being carried out, or otherwise it is a misinquiry that is being done. The shamelessness with which such claims are made is evident in the statements of official spokesman for the police, Ranjith Gunasekara. more..

On the folly of ‘underworldism’ in tackling the underworld

Aug 9 (LG) The LTTE has been crushed. I have argued for years that it should be eliminated and moreover that it can be eliminated. I have also argued that the elimination of the LTTE will not transform Sri Lanka into a perfect nation, that there are other serious issues that need to be addressed. I have argued that we don’t have the institutional structures necessary to combat bribery and corruption, abuse of power, to obtain transparency, accountability and more..

UPFA sweeps Badulla District

Aug 9 (GDI) The United People’s freedom alliance (UPFA) has cruised through in the Badulla district by obtaining a total number of 259,069 votes (67.79%) while the UNP is placed second, gaining 98,635 votes (25.81%). In 2004, UPFA gained 169,197 votes in the Badulla district, while the UNP obtained 119,171 votes. In 2009, the UPFA has been able to significantly increase its vote base by gaining almost 90,000 additional votes, more..

Record victory for UPFA in Monaragala District

Aug 9 (GDI) The UPFA won 9 of the 11 seats on offer in the Moneragala District, receiving 159,837 votes (81.32%). The UNP has taken the remaining 2 seats, with 30,509 votes (15.52%). Analysts point out that this is a resounding victory for the UPFA, when compared with the 2004-election results, in which the UPFA gained 97,878 votes (66.24%). It has been pointed out also, very clearly, that the UNP has suffered another sever set-back in 2009, more..

UPFA bags Jaffna Municipal Council

Aug 9 (GDI) The UPFA scored a resounding victory in the Jaffna Municipal Council, securing 10,602 votes (50.67%) and 13 of the 23 seats. The Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi polled 8,008 votes (38.28%), winning 8 seats, while Independent Group 1 and the Tamil United Liberation Front got one seat each. Out of a total of 100,417 registered voters, there were only 22,280 votes, according to the detailed results released by the Election Commissioner. more..

The dawn of democracy?

Aug 9 (SL) Jaffna with its almost mythical landscape of sparkling lagoons and palmyrah fringed flats punctuated by towering kovils lies at the extreme northern edge of the island, but for three decades the city and the peninsula as a whole have been at the centre of this nation’s turmoil. While much of the last decade saw war waged in the Wanni the cause has always been Jaffna and the peninsula’s rich red earth, more..

Head to Head

Aug 9 (SL) The Sunday Leader caught up with EPDP Leader, Minister Douglas Devananda at his quarters in Jaffna for an interview on the Jaffna Municipal Council elections. Excerpts: Q: How difficult was the decision to campaign under the betel symbol rather than EPDP’s traditional veena? A: Actually – very difficult; for years we have been represented by the veena ­— that is our party symbol. more..

Sri Lanka’s health sector is ailing

Aug 9 (SL) There is no denying that we lack doctors, nurses, beds and equipment. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has often commended Sri Lanka as a shining example of ‘good health,’ and Healthcare and Nutrition Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva has been appointed Chairman of its Executive Board. While it is indeed good to be lauded for good health indicators, it is altogether a different story when corruption, controversy and bad administration collectively cripple a vital sector. more..

Tuskers ill-treated at Dalada Maligawa

Aug 9 (SL) Controversy regarding the two baby tuskers forcibly taken from the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage by Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Dela has taken a new turn, with environmentalists accusing him of ill-treating not only Raju and Sindu but also the tuskers at the Dalada Maligawa. Environmentalists now argue that apart from the serious cruelty imposed on Raju and Sindu by Dela they will have to undergo further suffering and cruelty like the present tuskers and elephants at the Maligawa. more..

'KP should face a trial like the Nürnberg Nazi Trial in Germany'

Aug 9 (SLW) Sri Lankan born Prof. Dr. Rohan Gunaratna is a distinguished expert on terrorism. He has written a large number of books on this subject. Two bestsellers written by him are “Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror” and “Sri Lanka – A lost Revolution” (A detailed account of the JVP). Prof. Gunaratna heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, more..

Tiger leader aspirants know Tamils easy bait for a ride

Aug 9 (SLW) On the heels of the arrest of Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP, the self-proclaimed leader of the entire Tiger smuggler empire, much vacuum has been created. The most gaping emptiness is the political leadership of the Tigers call it LTTE for its adherence to political liberation of the terrorist kind. On the heels of the arrest of Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP, much vacuum has been created. more..

India may seek details of interrogation of LTTE leader KP

Aug 9 (TOI) India, which needs LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP in connection with the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case probe, may take time to formally ask Sri Lanka for extradition of the Tamil Tiger but it, through a letter rogatory (LR), will soon seek from Colombo the details of his interrogation. Responding to the course of action to be taken by India in the wake of KP's arrest, sources here said though the extradition request did not seem imminent at this juncture more..

Straight talk with Lankan president; Part 3

Straight talk with Lankan president; Part 2

Straight talk with Lankan president; Part 1

Government and pro-rebel party win local elections

Aug 9 (AP) Sri Lanka's ruling coalition and an ethnic Tamil party seen as a front for the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels have won the first postwar elections, held near the island's former battlefields. According to state television, President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling coalition has captured Jaffna town council, securing 13 of the 23 seats, while the pro-rebel Tamil National Alliance came second with eight seats in the election held Saturday. more..

Unrest looming large

Aug 9 (LG) The king is found to be without clothes, once again. All Kevattayas, including Siyambalapitiya and Cabraal, were spinning fairy tales about the state of the economy, non conditional gifts that would come from the IMF and money bags given by Christmas papas from the west and east. But the truth is out. All we have to do is to look at the IMF website to see Rajano shivering in the cold without even a loin cloth, the traditional dress of the Lions - the descendants of Sinhabahu. more..

The illegal abduction of Selvarasa Pathmanathan in Malaysia

Aug 9 (LG) It is reported in the Sri Lankan and international media that Mr. Selvarasa Pathmanathan of the LTTE has been earrestedf in Thailand and brought to Colombo, citing Sri Lankan officials. Mr. Pathmanathan has been leading the new politico]diplomatic path of the LTTE in recent months. The Government of Thailand, however, has denied that any such arrest has been made in the territory of Thailand. more..

Do we really need 225 Members of Parliament?

Aug 9 (LG) Compared to the neighbouring countries, the Sri Lankan Legislature is massively over represented. Sri Lanka with a population of around 20 million people have 225 members in Parliament, whereas our immediate neighbour India with a population over 1,100 million has only 543 members, the proportion of representation being 1 to 2 million people and the corresponding proportion in Sri Lanka is 1 to 90,000 people. more..

Elections: Resounding victory for Sri Lanka’s Ruling UPFA

Aug 9 (AT) Sri Lanka’s ruling United People’s Freedom Alliance scored handsome victories in the two local-body elections in the Northern Province and in the Uva Provincial Council election. In the elections held just after defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, UPFA acquired a convincing majority in the Jaffna Municipal Council election bagging 13 out of the total of 23 seats. more..

Announcement by Commissioner of Elections

Aug 9 (GDI) Elections Commissioner, Dayananda Dissanayake issuing a statement noted that the Uva Provincial Council, Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban Council on the whole conducted in a peaceful atmosphere noting that the special feature was the holding of the Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban Council polls after a period of over 10 years. more..

Ensuring the future of indigenous people

Aug 9 (SO) As Chief Seattle said we, being humans, did not weave the web of life, we are only a mere thread in it. The sad part is that most of these threads - such as the Mayans - have already dissolved into oblivion. Although there are many cultural groups living in interaction in the world, few communities in existence today have the right to be referred to as indigenous. Indigenous people live in every region in the world, ranging from the arctic to the Amazon. more..

Devotees flock to Madhu Shrine

Aug 9 (SO) For the first time in four years a large number of Catholic devotees from the South along with the devotees from the North participated at the first Novena service at the Church of Our Lady of Madhu on Thursday. The administrator of the Madhu Shrine Rev. Fr. Desmond Kulas declared officially the commencement of the 2009 annual feast of the Madhu Shrine followed by the Novena. more..

Challenges faced after humanitarian operation

Aug 9 (SO) It is a great pleasure and privilege for me to deliver the 12th Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Oration. I sincerely thank the members of the late Professor Kodagoda’s family, the trustees of the Nandadasa Kodagoda Memorial Trust and the Board of Management for this signal honour which they have bestowed upon me by their kind invitation. more..

Street lights for Mannar and Vavuniya

Aug 9 (SO) Street lamps have been installed in Vavuniya and Mannar towns to light up roads and thoroughfares that were plunged into darkness during the separatists war. A sum of Rs. 9 million was spent to repair the damaged street lighting under Uthuru Wasanthaya program, the Ceylon Electricity Board Project Manager for the Northern Province Gratian Muthukudaarachchi told the Sunday Observer. more..

Dancing your cares away with Chandana

Aug 9 (SO) Mesmerized by the wonderful peacock moves, one can’t help but wonder where the inspiration of these stunning dances with brilliant choreography comes from. “I just sit and brainstorm about how I can portray my surroundings and experiences with colourful dances”, said one of the most renowned dancers in Sri Lanka. Being humble and down-to-earth in one’s character is rather rare for a person like Chandana Wickramasinghe who is internationally sought after for his unique and creative dances. more..

Jaffna voting insignificant

Aug 9 (LB) People in Jaffna responded to yesterday’s local polls with mild enthusiasm as the voter turnout from the area recorded a moderate 20%. Around 100, 000 voters in the Jaffna municipal area were eligible to vote in the mini polls. Twenty percent voter turnout meant that only around 20, 000 people opted to exercise their right to franchise in an election that was viewed as a significant step toward restoring democracy in the formerly violence-ridden region. more..

Another baby elephant ‘kidnapped’

Aug 9 (LB) A three-months-old baby elephant that had been forcibly taken from its mother was detected by wildlife authorities yesterday inside a property belonging to the deputy chairman of the Balangoda urban council. Three men were arrested and remanded by the Balangoda magistrate after a sting operation by the department of wildlife conservation at 5 am yesterday. The elephant — a male 32 inches in height — was taken into protective custody. more..