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Sri Lanka Cricket doles out Rs15m to 233 employees monthly!

Aug 9 (LB) Sri Lanka Cricket incurs in excess of Rs15 million as monthly salaries as the number of employees at the Maitland place headquarters has sky-rocketed to 233 with eighteen new staffers being recruited during the last six months, LAKBIMAnEWS learns. Sources said the massive sum is minus various allowances paid to employees which amount to another few hundred thousand rupees. more..

Mervyn, the ‘blessed’ and ‘useful’ being

Aug 9 (LB) For the longest time ever, a disreputable knot of drug dealers and addicts down our road has been hunting for Mervyn Silva. Seems they want a ride to the airport and had heard that Silva runs a shuttle service for riffraff and vermin. One cannot help feeling sorry for this bunch because it is not likely that Mervyn Silva will chaperone them anywhere. Not only do they smell, they are dirty and unkempt. more..

Ceylinco-duped journo commits suicide

Aug 9 (LB) All who knew popular freelance journalist R Manamendra (48) are shocked to learn of his untimely death. The coroner had returned an open verdict. Manamendra had died a few days earlier in his home in Wellawatte where he lived by himself, and his body was found by a neighbour. His body lay on his bed and nearby was a bottle with tablets for the treatment of blood pressure. Manamendra’s coffin was sealed for obvious reasons. more..

KP sings about DPL, VIP links

Aug 9 (NS) Despite him being an internationally wanted fugitive, LTTE’s self-proclaimed leader since the killing of Velupillai Prabhakaran, Selvarasa Pathmanathan has revealed shocking details about his continuing links with top officials of international organisations and ambassadors of leading Western nations serving in Colombo. Since he was whisked to Colombo from Malaysia via Bangkok on Thursday night after a daring seize at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday afternoon, more..

Cultivating mental health

Aug 9 (NS) The mission of the Half Way Home, Mulleriyawa (former Mulleriyawa Mental Hospital Unit 2) “re-integration to society through rehabilitation,” proved to be a reality when we walked into the lush vegetation compound of it. The residents of the Home busily engaged in tending the crops together with an enthusiastic band of school boys, was an inspiring sight. Miris, kathurumurunga, bandakka, tomatoes and much more, seemed to be in abundance, more..

Lanka’s Intelligence finally gets its prize catch

Aug 9 (NS) The sensational news of the arrest of LTTE’s self-appointed leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan, by a team of INTERPOL sleuths at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday, nipped in the bud the much publicised attempt by a section of the pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora to revive the movement. more..

Norochcholai to herald new power era

Aug 9 (NS) With Sri Lanka’s exponential growth and anticipated GDP growth comes the exponential need for energy. Demand for electricity has far outstripped supply, and now a new era will dawn in Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector with the Norochcholai Coal Power Project coming into operation by mid 2010 heralding the Coal Power Era. The Nation team visited Norochcholai Power Plant last week, and was able to see that nearly 70 percent of its civil construction was over and more..

Another dengue outbreak in two months

Aug 9 (NS) The Heath Ministry warned another possible outbreak of dengue in two months, with the start of North-Eastern Monsoon, thus, urging the public to remain alert. Health Ministry Spokesman W.M.D. Wanninayake speaking to The Nation yesterday said the number of dengue cases being reported has declined recently. “This reduction is due to the warm, dry weather and the successful dengue prevention campaigns. more..

Millions spent to maintain two defunct commissions

Aug 9 (LNW) Over Rs. 248 lakhs has been spent during the last four months to pay the wages and house rents of those attached to the now defunct independent Public Services Commission and the National Police Commission, reliable sources said. When inquired about the matter from Public Services Commission Secretary Lakshmi Gunawardena, she said that while 140 employees were attached to the Public Services Commission, more..

'Attempt to keep Sarath Fonseka in powerless position continues'

Aug 9 (LNW) The Sunday Lanka newspaper has reported that attempts to appoint Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse to parliament through the national list and to appoint a former Navy Chief to the top post in the defence establishment has created a conflict among the security forces. The Lanka newspaper has also said that the attempt to reduce the powers vested with Fonseka’s new post, the Chief of Defence Staff, has also attributed to the present conflict. more..

Secrecy was the name of the game leading to KP’s arrest

Aug 9 (Island) Kumaran Pathmanathan alias as KP, now in Sri Lankan government custody has claimed that his attempts to convince his predecessor Velupillai Prabhakaran to lay down arms and come to a negotiated settlement with the Rajapaksa government hadn’t been successful. Disassociating himself from Prabhakaran-led military campaign, Pathmanathan has said that he told the LTTE leader there would be no "military solution" in the Tigers’ favour. more..

Polling hit new low at Jaffna Municipal Council election with 18.27% voter turnout

Aug 9 (Island) Polling at yesterday’s local elections to the Jaffna Municipal Council hit a new low with a pathetic 18.27% voter turnout, while the Vavuniya district generated relatively more enthusiasm amongst voters with a 49.4% turnout when polling closed at 4 pm. The voting pattern of 6000 displaced votes spread over 15 Polling Stations outside Jaffna was not immediately known, but more..

'Let pilgrimage to Madhu Feast be a symbol of absolute spiritual orientation'

Aug 9 (Island) Bishop of Mannar, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph yesterday requested pilgrims who will be attending the Feast of Our Lady of Madhu to consider the journey as a symbol of absolute spiritual orientation. "They must have the spiritual attitude to pray for peace in the country and resettlement of the 300,000 or more displaced people living in the vicinity of the church", more..

Only 98 domesticated elephants now in Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (Island) The Forum of the Basnayake Nialmes (BN) of Sri Lanka revealed that there are only 98 domesticated elephants now in Sri Lanka following the death of the she elephant at Kadugannawa on Friday. The number of tamed elephants dwindled fast during the part few years as they died due to old age. There were more than 120 of them a few years and the number decreased as 60 per cent of them were over 70 years, the Forum said. more..

Yet another incident related to the infamous Divaina journalist

Aug 9 (LNW) Two journalists attached to the Divaina newspaper, Hemantha Randunu and Nilantha Madurawala, who tarvelled to Canada to cover a media assignment, was turned back from the Canada Airport following a telephone call giving misleading information made by another journalist attached to the same newspaper to the Canadian embassy in Colombo, Lanka News Web reliable learns. more..

Objections from Rajapakse family prevent Sajin’s chances of becoming Chief Ministerial candidate

Aug 9 (LNW) President Mahinda Rajapakse had been forced to revise his decision on appointing Sajin Vass Gunawardena as the Chief Ministerial candidate at the Southern Provincial Council election following objections raised by the Rajapakse family. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapakse had firmly objected to the President’s decision to appoint Sajin as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the Southern Provincial Council. more..

Phenomenal increase in white-collar crimes in Sri Lanka

Aug 9 (Island) There is a phenomenal increase in white-collar crimes in Sri Lanka, says Gamini Nawarathna, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) – Central Province and Elections. "Cheque frauds, forged deeds, fraudulent job agencies and vehicle rental companies, ‘doubling money’ rackets and bigamy are some of the major white-collar crimes now on the increase in the country, he warned. more..

Racial, religious parties to be banned

Aug 9 (ST) Legislation to outlaw political parties bearing the identity of a religion or a race will be introduced in Parliament later this month, a senior minister said yesterday. Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, who chaired a parliamentary select Committee on Electrical Reforms, told the Sunday Times the new draft laws would also for the first time give powers to the Elections Commissioner to de-recognise political parties if they fail to conform to the new law. more..

Pension plus EPF for private sector workers

Aug 9 (ST) Private Sector employees will receive a pension in addition to their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in terms of a new law, a senior government official said yesterday. Labour Ministry Secretary Mahinda Madihahewa told Sunday Times that amendments would be introduced this month to the existing EPF (amended) Act of 1975 whereby private sector employers will be requested to introduce a pension scheme for their employees. more..

Veteran Namel still active: Revives Nattukkari

Aug 9 (ST) At least one survivor of the old brigade is still in action! Dramatist Namel Weeramuni continues to write scripts, direct plays and act as well. He has been busy in the past few weeks reviving one of his earliest productions ‘Nattukkari’. The play is a translation of leading French dramatist Jean Anouilh’s ‘Colombe’, acclaimed as a ‘pieces brillantes’ among his productions. The new production will go on the boards at the Namel-Malini Punchi Theatre from August 14 – 16. more..

Cloud over crackdown on underworld criminals

Aug 9 (ST) A story doing the rounds in Colombo's legal fraternity speaks about the rapid increase in sweep ticket sellers in the city. Whether a joke or otherwise, that is where criminal elements or those suspected of such activity have found a new vocation to avoid the Police. The most notorious among them are falling dead, one after another, as a major drive to crack down on crime has been launched. more..

Sri Lanka's first post-war polls show mixed results

Aug 9 (Reuters) The political allies of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels won the most seats at local elections in a northern town, while the ruling coalition sailed to victory at local and provincial polls, results showed on Sunday. Saturday's polls, one each for local councillors in the northern towns of Jaffna and Vavuniya and one to elect councillors for the southern Uva Province, were the first since the government crushed the Tigers' 25-year insurrection in May. more..

President’s UN list has more than 50 names

Aug 9 (ST) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will lead a high-powered delegation of more than 50, mostly politicians, for the United Nations General Assembly sessions in New York beginning september 23. The list, currently under circulation, is expected to change with some subtractions and more additions. As befits tradition, the delegates will be housed at the ritzy Ritz Carlton Hotel in mid-town Manhattan. more..

Pakistan end on high after easy win

Aug 10 (CI) A hostile Mohammad Aamer and an inconsistent-but-smart Naved-ul-Hasan meant Sri Lanka narrowly avoided their worst-ever ODI defeat at home. Naved earlier gave Pakistan's total a boost with hefty hitting in the final overs, after Pakistan had threatened to let half-centuries from Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq go to waste. Sri Lanka however, took the series having already won the first three matches. more..

Govt. denies 'election malpractices'

Aug 10 (BBC) The opposition political parties in Sri Lanka have accused the ruling colaition of widespread election malpractices during the local elections concluded on Saturday. The government has denied the accusations. The main Tamil party that contested the elections, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has secured a majority of seats in Vavuniya Urban Council (VUC). The ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) came third in the VUC winning only two seats. more..

Jaffna and Vavuniya poll results open new chapter in history of Tamil politics

Aug 10 (TC) The history of Tamil politics is the history of a struggle between two tendencies. This was so well before Prabhakaran and continued during the Tamil Eelam wars in the form of the Tigers. The first elections after the defeat and military destruction of the LTTE reveals that Tamil politics remain dominated by the struggle between these two tendencies, but that the balance of strengths between these tendencies has changed, more..

Jaffna, Vavuniya results show that govt. has long way to go in winning over Tamils

Aug 10 (TC) I had serious reservations about the decision to hold local government elections in Jaffna and Vavuniya cities, within months of the LTTE being defeated and before the tragedy involving 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) was resolved. I considered these elections premature and expected them to produce results, which would not reflect the will of the majority of Tamils in these locations. more..

Was KP arrested or did he willingly surrender?

Aug 10 (LNW) Serious doubts have been cast on KP’s arrest locally and internationally. The question is whether the new Leader of the LTTE and its international wing head, Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP was arrested by the international security units and handed over to Sri Lankan authorities or whether he willingly surrendered following an agreement reached with the Sri Lankan authorities. Some of the main reasons that have raised suspicion over the arrest are the fact that more..

When law becomes comic – Part Four

Aug 10 (LG) The kidnapping and assault of Nipuna Ramanayake, allegedly by several police officers and the family members of CCD director Vaas Gunawardene, took a new turn when about fifty persons brought from outside the area demonstrated with slogans that the young student Ramanayake was in fact a leader of a criminal gang. Obviously the demonstration was orchestrated to diffuse the public support for investigations into the kidnapping and torture charges. more..

'Election was a fight that one fighter used whole power while the other was tied up'

Aug 10 (LT) Uva Provincial Council election was a fight that one fighter used whole power, while the other was tied up. JVP MP Mr. Anura Dissanayaka said. However JVP has won a seat at Uva Provincial Council and JVP will use this seat strongly for the people against corruption and despoil of public property, he further said. more..

My feel sorry for Tamils

Aug 10 (LG) It is no secret that after the elimination of the LTTE and its leader Velupillei Prabhakaran inclusive of his family members on May 17 -18 at the Nadikandal lagoon of Mullaitive District, the political stalemate has not nor will see the end and the polarised politics of the races of Sri Lankan nation will continue as before. In this article, I do not wish to talk about the Sinhala leadership or its policy towards creating a so-called new Sri Lanka set out in the President’s Mahinda Chinthanaya. more..

Hear ye what real truth-telling is

Aug 10 (LG) Quaintly, this notion prevails that only those who toady upto the government in power are sycophants. Unless they have given new dictionary meaning to the word, those who toady upto the opposition in general or the opposition UNP, or those who toady upto international big powers or ambassadors and high commissioners and other potentates in Colombo are sycophants too - - and it’s time somebody put his foot down and said, out — out all ye sycophants, out of that closet. more..

Great are the collective and individual uses of amnesia

Aug 10 (LG) At the risk of being called a ‘traitor’ my thoughts once again go back to the trite observation of that serial killer Velupillai Pirapaharan. I have quoted him earlier in this column on it: Sinhalese have very short memories that last only about two weeks. This collective amnesia of our people came to our mind again when we met a retired Archaeological Commissioner, Dr. Raja de Silva last week. more..

Minorities within minorities

Aug 10 (LG) If we were to trust the President’s recent remark that there are no so-called Minorities then there is hope that most of the problems faced by the minorities would gradually be resolved. I think we should be optimistic because there is a possibility that the ideal of the Head of State is translated into action. And further, having made a public statement which hit international headlines, the president cannot retract his statement. more..

Abduction of two elephant calves

Aug 10 (LG) The Mahanayakas, Diyawadana Nilame and the minister are trying to cover up their nakedness with transparent clothes on the baby elephant abduction issue. These people cannot fool the intelligent public any more. This much acclaimed Buddhist country, preaching bana from every street corner all the time, now has a new monarchial type leader and cabinet that has committed this sin and in the process broken two precepts; more..

Those challenging Sri Lanka’s sovereignty to be dealt seriously

Aug 10 (AT) As Kumaran Pathmanathn, the ‘new generation’ LTTE chief began singing in the ‘lock up’, Sri Lanka sleuths are into a celebration mood for the breakthrough in breaking the back of the Tiger remnants. While how the cross-border Tigers’ arms smuggler based in South-east Asia was trapped remains to be told another day, it is generally acknowledged that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa made very meticulous planning to track down the overseas remnants. more..

'King of Eelam, claiming asylum in Canada'

Aug 10 (AT) Although the fatal defeat of the LTTE has crushed the slogans for Tamil Eelam, there were numerous ways for the Tiger-controlled Tamil Diaspora to keep their luxurious living style as same as ever before by keeping the flow of income in place permanently. One of the cleverest tactics that was announced by them was the so-called Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam that would more..

Tamil voters nullify SL Government’s expectation - TNA

Aug 10 (TN) “TNA winning Vavuniyaa Urban Council (VUC) election and Tamils refraining from voting in large numbers in Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) election prove that Sri Lanka Government was not able to achieve the success it planned for and expected. We wish to thank the Tamils for voting for Ilankai Thamizh Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) even amidst intimidation and frustration and despair caused by the war,” more..

Wanted : LTTE Suicide "bomber" Abdul Shalam Fatima Yasmin

Aug 10 (MoD) The Sri Lanka Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) urgently calls on the public to provide any information to help arrest the above named suicide bomber who according to information frequents the area of Old Moor Street, Colombo 12 to the telephone numbers given below or to an Officer of the Security Forces or Police, or the nearest Police station. The particulars are given below. more..

'Viru Dana Gee Sara' blooms at BMICH

Aug 10 (MoD) 'Viru Dana Gee Sara' musical show organized by the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence to raise funds for the projects initiated for welfare of the war heroes and their families took stage yesterday (Aug 8) evening at the BMICH main hall. The event sparkled with performances of renowned artists from the Sri Lankan music industry including Amarasiri Pieris, Anesly Malevana, Mariezelle Gunatilaka, Pradeepa Dharmasa, more..

Chennai firm hired to enhance surveillance in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (TOI) The long war with the LTTE may be over and most of the outfit's leaders eliminated, but the Sri Lankan government is apparently not willing to take any chances and has hired a Chennai-based firm to strengthen its surveillance network. Barnas International Private Limited, which has bagged a 30 million Sri Lankan rupee contract to provide surveillance solutions in the Sri Lankan capital, will also take up similar projects in the island's northern regions more..

'Prabhakaran had plans beyond Lanka'

Aug 10 (PTI) Slain LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran had ambitions beyond Sri Lanka and he wanted to become the “King of Tamil Eelam” with support from some elements in South India, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said. Rajapaksa said the huge accumulation of lethal weapons by the Tamil Tiger chief suggested that Prabhakaran was looking beyond the island country to run his own nation. “He (Prabhakaran) had a larger dream. more..

Second SriLankan daily flight via KL-Colombo route soon

Aug 10 (TS) SriLankan Airlines plans to introduce a second daily flight on the Kuala Lumpur-Colombo route by end October in anticipation of higher traffic volumes despite the move by AirAsia X to ply that route at the end of this week. “We do not see them (AirAsia) as a threat but a boost to awareness. We will take this as a good challenge, given the changing economic environment but you cannot make an apple-to-apple comparison as we are a full-service carrier and they are low-cost. more..

Sri Lankan beach party for festival lovers

Aug 10 (TB) Tired of sloping around at Glastonbury year after year? Travelbite''s Laura Holt suggests travelling to the Hikkaduwa Beach festival in Sri Lanka, for a new cultural experience – entirely free from mud. “The whole ocean moved right back” our guide recalls, “and the local people all ran to the beach to see what was happening”. He’s remembering Boxing Day, 2004 – the day the Asian tsunami struck the town of Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka more..

Resolute SLC Development XI hold on for draw

Aug 10 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI held on for a draw as the New Zealanders failed to break through a determined batting performance from the hosts on the third and final day of the tour game in Colombo. Resuming on 437 for 7, the New Zealanders were bowled out for 493 with captain Daniel Vettori reaching his hundred in the company of Jeetan Patel. Patel hit two fours and two sixes during his 46-ball 39 to extend the first innings lead to 334. more..

Maid arrested for stealing around Dh500,000

Aug 10 (x4m) A Sri Lankan housemaid, in her 30s, has been arrested after stealing cash and jewellery worth around Dh500,000 from different families across Dubai, police said. The woman was earlier convicted in 2008 on theft charges and deported after spending her jail term, but had returned six months later using a fake passport. Last month, police received more than ten reports from expatriates saying that they were robbed by their maid whom they hired after posting an advertisement in the newspaper. more..

Expats healing war-torn home

Aug 10 (TA) They left the military and moved to New Zealand but these men remain proud to serve the country of their birth. The Sri Lanka Returned Services Association of New Zealand has collected a container-load of medical supplies to help those whose lives have been torn apart by decades of civil war between that country's government and Tamils. Nalin Wickremashinge and Mangala Rathnayake were both in the Sri Lankan military. more..

Ajith Samaranayake’s 55th birth anniversary

Aug 10 (TC) Among those who traversed the halls of fame was Ajith Samaranayake whose memories go down over three decades since we became acquainted in the corridors of Lake House as young men starting a career in journalism. The memories are sweet and sour. For, his departure suddenly at the age of 51 years turned everything sour. It reminds one of the famous lines of the English Poet Sir Walter Scott. more..

Election day report: Uva PC,Jaffna MC & Vavuniya UC elections

Aug 10 (TC) 8th August 07:00pm, Polling in the elections to the Jaffna Municipality, Vavuniya Urban Council and Uva Provincial Council was relatively incident free with voter turnout figures of 20%, 49% and 62% in the three areas respectively. Of the areas polled, attention focused on the Jaffna Municipality, on account of it being the first post war poll in a predominantly Tamil area. more..

New Commander calls on Asgiriya Prelate

Aug 10 (GDI) Upholding age-old traditions, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya paid a visit to the Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero, Maha Nayaka of Asgiriya Chapter in Kandy and later on distributed fifty wheel chairs and two-hundred crutches during a brief ceremony at the historic Mangul Maduwa. Lieutenant General Jayasuriya visited the monastery and offered Atapirikara to the Maha Nayaka Thero in accordance with historic traditions. more..