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Sri Lanka foreign reserves US$1,556mn in June

Aug 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's official foreign reserves without an advance to local banks were 1,556 million US dollars in June, up from 1,291 in May, with 270million US dollars flowing in to rupee Treasuries, the Central Bank said. With a 62 million US dollar advance to local banks, gross official reserves, which include fiscal balances, were at 1,618 million US dollars, up from 1,436 million US dollars in May. more..

Pakistan look to sign off in style

Aug 12 (CI) Sri Lanka's famously unorthodox outfit were unstoppable at the World Twenty20 in June until they ran into a fired-up Pakistan in the final. Since then, Kumar Sangakkara's men have shown their superiority over Pakistan in the Tests and one-dayers. So a win in the Wednesday's Twenty20 will be revenge as well as icing on the cake. Both sides are missing key players from their World Twenty20 campaigns: Tillakaratne Dilshan, the most inventive and more..

Fit Murali returns to Test squad

Aug 12 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan has returned to Sri Lanka's Test squad for the series against New Zealand after recovering from injury. However the selectors have retained his replacement left-arm spinner Rangana Herath as well as Ajantha Mendis. Wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene, who also missed the series against Pakistan because of injury, and his replacement Tillakaratne Dilshan were named in the 15-man squad. more..

Jayantha rejects Dinamina allegations

Aug 12 (BBC) A leading journalist who was assaulted and still being treated has categorically denied state media reports that investigations into the assault are being halted as he has failed to appear before a special commission. In a report published on Tuesday, Dinamina newspaper says that Poddala Jayantha has failed to appear before the presidential commission despite repeated requests to do so. more..

Church center trains young for difficult job market

Aug 12 (UCAN) Amid national economic woes, a group of unemployed youths say they are grateful for vocational training provided by a Church center. Unemployment is a problem in Sri Lanka, which has suffered economically due to decades of civil war and a global economic downturn. This has prompted Lasallian Community Education Services (LCES), a Church charitable organization of the De La Salle Brothers in Mutwal, Colombo, to lend a helping hand in more..

Muslims in transit

Handunnethti – Siyambalapitiya debate ton IMF loan tonight on ‘Rathu Ira’

Aug 12 (LT) Speaking regarding the US$2.6 billion loan from IMF Minister of State Revenue and Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya recently said it would not harm the country and he was prepared to have a debate with anybody who would oppose this view. The JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi writing a letter to Minister Siyambalapitiya accepted the challenge stating, “We accept your challenge to have a debate on the loan obtained by the government from the IMF and more..

'Govt. utters patriotism in Sinhalese but has signed unpatriotic letters in English'

Aug 12 (LT) “They say this is a patriotic government. On stages at Monaragala, Wellawaya, Buttala areas they say they are not scared. They don’t accept any conditions. they get loans without any conditions. This is excellent. But telling these only in Sinhalese is not sufficient. What they say in Sinhalese should exist in letters they sign in English. However, letters they sign in English don’t contain those patriotic views they express in Sinhalese. more..

'Govt. holds elections hoping there wont be voting – has found a novel way to win'

Aug 12 (UNP) Of what purpose is an election and an election victory where there is only 18% voting? asked Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena speaking to the media today (11Jul). Referring to the Govt.’s election victory in Jaffna after spending colossal sums of public funds, there was only 18% polling. Even in Vavuniya there was only 40% polling. The govt. was fully aware that this was not the time for elections as more..

Sri Lanka Navy assists identification of Tamil Nadu fishermen

Aug 12 (SLN) Relatives of the missing Indian fishermen whose bodies were found by Sri Lanka Navy last month arrived in Sri Lanka to identify the bodies of their missing relatives on 08th August. They left with the ashes of their kin after cremating their bodies in keeping with their religious traditions. Sri Lanka Navy provided logistical support for the eight Indian nationals to arrive at the Island in coordination with Indian Authorities. more..

Colombo happy over Bonds

Aug 12 (Hindu) The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) on Tuesday announced that the $150-million Development Bonds (SLDBs) it floated to eligible foreign and local commercial banks has been oversubscribed 1.3 times. In a statement here, the CBSL said the total bids received amounted to $195.5 million and the government had accepted $190 million of two-year SLDBs. The Bank said the offer was opened on August 6 with the settlement on August 18. more..

All Lankan-powered nanotechnology revolution begins today

Aug 12 (BL) Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) will officially commence scientific work on their nanotechnology projects today, a move that is likely to usher in a silent revolution if plans go right. The institute located in the Export Promotion Zone Biyagama was established in 2008, as a Rs. 450 million joint venture between the government through the Science Foundation and five major corporates, Brandix, MAS Holdings, Loadstar, Dialog and Hayleys. more..

Govt. condemns AI call to free displaced

Aug 12 (BL) The government yesterday condemned the recent appeal made by Amnesty International as “unfair” and insisted that it was made without considering the prevailing ground situation. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe noted that Amnesty International was continuing its campaign to blacken the reputation of Sri Lanka and was issuing statements without considering the consequences of their appeals. more..

MPs must be allowed to visit IDPs

Aug 12 (BL) The main opposition yesterday called on the Government to provide all Members of Parliament access to visit the IDPs in the North. Speaking at a press conference UNP MP Jayalath Jayewardene pointed out that Members of Parliament have a legal right to visit and meet convicted criminals in jail, but they haven’t been given the opportunity to visit the IDPs in the North, who are legal citizens of the country. more..

Inside story of Operation KP

Aug 12 (BL) “The way I operated 25 years under cover, I never thought that I will be caught. But I was. During the final stages of the battle in the north of Sri Lanka, Prabhakaran wanted me to approach the international community on behalf of the LTTE leadership to force the Sri Lankan government to agree to a ceasefire. Therefore V. Prabhakaran has appointed me International Relations Head. more..

Comeback of TNA – A slap in the face of the ruling UPFA

Aug 12 (AT) The civic poll victories - eight seats gained in the Jaffna Municipal Council also obtaining another five seats and winning the Vavuniya Urban Council chairmanship in the in the civic polls held in the North, by the TNA, a proxy of the LTTE, amounts to a slap in the face of the ruling UPFA. These results are a clear indication that the people of North are unhappy with the way the Government handles the Tamil issue. more..

Thamil culture of Jaffna

Aug 12 (LG) Soon after the article on "More on Vellalas" appeared in "The Island" I received an e mail drawing my attention to an interesting saying among the Vanni Thamils according to Prof. Sivathamby as given in his book "Sri Lankan Tamil Society and Politics". It goes as "Kallar Maravar Kanatta Akampatiyar mella mellap pallarkalum vellalar anarkal, (Not only) the Kallar the Maravar and the weighty Akampatiyar even the Pallar gradually became Vellalar." more..

Coding horror: The wrong level of abstraction

Aug 12 (LG) The Sri Lankan Government has once again exposed its arrogance as a ‘democratic state’ apparently unbound by international law and order, extending their practice of illegal abductions, kidnap, disappearances and violations of human rights with impunity, this time across international borders. The military establishment’s disrespect and disregard to international law and order in Sri Lanka is now being permitted internationally, it seems. more..

KP apprehension: Blow to LTTE revival?

Aug 12 (LG) The revival of the LTTE suffered a sharp blow with the apprehension of Mr Kumaran Pathmanathan popularly known as KP in Kuala Lumpur in what is likely to have been a joint operation between the intelligence agencies of Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India, though Indian role remains in the background given the sensitivity of Tamil sentiment. KP had been nominated as the secretary general of the post Prabhakaran LTTE and more..

Sri Lanka's Tamil families torn by war

Keeping your spirits up

Aug 12 (LG) Alas, I was never much of a drinker. When I think back fondly to my barman days, there was always a hardened drinker or two at the bar, flush with cash, who must have felt guilty to be drinking alone. “Oh, go on,” they would slur, “have one on me!” Now the facts of life of a barman are very simple. You’re half-starved at the best of times, you’re as poor as a church mouse. Why else would you be doing such a bum job, more..

Massive abstention in Sri Lankan local elections

Aug 12 (wsws) The outcome of two local elections last Saturday in the northern Sri Lankan towns of Jaffna and Vavuniya reflected the profound alienation of the island’s Tamil minority not only from the government, but also from the various Tamil parties, including the TNA. Voter turnout in Jaffna—the capital of the northern province—was just 22 percent despite the government’s efforts to present the ballot as the restoration of democracy following more..

Street children to be rehabilitated

Aug 12 (GDI) Street children will be rehabilitated at child care centres to ensure their welfare, police said. A special programme will commence today to take street children to hand them over to child care centres. “By loitering around the streets, the future of these children is threatened and this could lead to various health and social problems,” said police. Recent surveys have revealed that the parents of such children ignored the dangers posed to them. more..

Aussie HC calls on Army Commander

Aug 12 (GDI) AUSTRALIAN High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Ms. Kathy Klugman yesterday paid a courtesy call on the Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya at the latter's office in Army Headquarters, Colombo. During their meeting,the Army Commander briefed the Australian High Commissioner on the current security concerns in the country after the defeat of LTTE terrorism. more..

Army Commander visits Kovil

Aug 12 (GDI) COMMANDER of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, in keeping with traditions, received the blessings of Hindu deities yesterday during a special pooja held at the Captain’s Garden Hindu Kovil in Maradana. This is the first time, the newly appointed Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya made offerings to the Hindu Shrine upon assuming of duties as 19th Commander of the Army. more..

A roadmap to liberation

Aug 12 (TN) What is currently seen as the biggest threat of destabilisation by Colombo and by some powers is not the militancy of Tamils. Militancy of a small nation can be crushed by ganging up and by fabricating all excuses, as has already been witnessed by us. But what exactly threatens the establishments is the effort of Tamils organising themselves politically. What they expect is the ‘defeated’ Tamils to play political stooges. more..

Lakshman Kadirgamar, a statesman par excellence

Aug 12 (LG) Lakshman Kadirgamar was an exemplary, brilliant national leader who was respected by all communities in our country. He was gunned down four years ago on August 12 night, 2005 by the terrorist LTTE that considered him a political foe because he advocated a peaceful transformation of the Tamil community in accordance with democracy. more..

Media Minister spells out polls plans

Aug 12 (GDI) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told the media yesterday that the elections to the Southern Provincial Council would be concluded before October 15 and the Presidential and General election will be held before next April. He thanked the voters of Uva for the landslide victory for the UPFA and having faith in government policies. Expressing his opinion on the TNA victory in Vaviuniya, more..

Japan provides Rs.35 Mn for Trinco children

Aug 12 (LG) The Government of Japan has provided US$ 302, 648 (approximately Rs.35 Million) for the “Early Childhood Care and Development Project in Trincomalee District” to be implemented by the Save the Children Japan (SCJ), a Japanese humanitarian NGO, under the Japan-NGO Cooperation Grant Scheme. The project will include the construction and renovation of pre-schools and sanitary facilities, more..

When law becomes comic – Part Six

Aug 12 (LG) At one time there existed a department called the Attorney General's department. Its functions were to provide legal advice to the government on all matters of public interest, and to be the prosecuting agency in Sri Lanka. This agency still exists in name. However, substantially it has lost its place as the government's legal adviser and prosecuting agency. Judging by the way the government's acts now, more..

Northern LG elections: An eye-opener

Aug 12 (LG) The results of the Northern local government elections appear to be an eye-opener. It was the general impression before the elections that the TNA was defunct with the end of the war. They were supposed to be the proxies of the LTTE to which they owed their power and survival. The supposition was apparently true. But how does one account for the resurgence of the TNA at the election? more..

Douglas and the dilemma of the unit of devolution

Aug 12 (LG) Dayan Jayatilleka has written a detailed article on Douglas. These thought are in addition to it. What most people forget about this able politician is that his achievements are numerous. Essentially his achievements are the achievements of the Tamil people in the North. He has built more schools, hospitals, roads, community centres, recreation and library facilities than more..

Does cricket have a citizenship?

Aug 12 (GV) My family like many Sri Lankan families is cricket mad. I am the exception. When Sri Lanka played Pakistan a few days ago, my family lived and breathed cricket and it seemed like the end of the world when Sri Lanka lost. Imagine my surprise when I read the editorial of a daily newspaper that revealed that most Muslims of Sri Lanka celebrated the Pakistani win! But then again was I that surprised? more..

After KP, what?

Aug 12 (LG) By whisking away post-Prabhakaran LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias ‘KP’, the Sri Lankan Government may have served notice not only on peripheral militancy but also on the moderates – to choose the ‘right path’ to a political solution. Yet, the political capital accruing to President Mahinda Rajapaksa may have been blunted a little already by the ‘mixed results’ that his ruling UPFA received in the municipal polls in the North. more..

Sri Lanka – The best humanitarian crisis business destination

Aug 12 (GV) It will not be long before areas in the north and east will be declared Industrial Zones or BOI areas, opening up opportunities for development. But wait; business is already going on there at full swing! The world’s best Humanitarian niche markets are now available in Sri Lanka and people are rushing in to supply the demand. Of course business could be done both ethically and otherwise. more..

Forgive us, Kadir!

Aug 12 (LNP) On this day sixty years ago a host of plenipotentiaries of governments at the Diplomatic Conference in Geneva agreed to the Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Today also marks the fourth death anniversary of a great Sri Lankan assassinated by a terrorist outfit under the cover of a ceasefire forced on this country by a group of nations extolling the Geneva Conventions, democracy and human rights. Lakshman Kadirgamar was his name. more..

Ambepitiya will lead Sri Lanka s challenge in Berlin

Aug 12 (LNP) Commonwealth Youth Games triple gold medallist Shehan Ambepitiya will lead Sri Lanka s challenge at the 12th IAAF World Championships which is due to begin in Berlin, Germany on Saturday. Ticket sales for the nine-day competition have gone up as athletic fans across the globe showing a keen interest to witness the cream of world class athletes in action. The IAAF announced today that the ticket sales have exceeded 300,000 mark as more..

Udul accused of acting against ‘king’ released on bail – Police reprimanded

Aug 12 (LT) Colombo Magistrates Court ordered the immediate release of convener of Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne and President of Students Union of Arts Faculty of the University of the Visual & Performing Arts Gihan Seneviratne who had been arrested by police while putting up posters against the crises in the educational sector and the government’s repressive policy and were remanded. more..

'Blake can’t speak for the Tamils'

Aug 12 (DM) The government, today, questioned the right of Mr. Robert Blake, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, to speak on behalf of the displaced Tamils in the North, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Tamils were happy and that the people handling the subject knew this -- not those speaking from outside the area of activity. more..

Opportunity for school children to get married

Aug 12 (LT) The Government will bring amendments to the existing marriage laws by reducing the marriageable age to 16 years from the existing 18 says Additional Solicitor General, Palitha Fernando. However marriage of those above 16 years could be done only with the consent of their parents. According to the existing law those over 16 could indulge in sex but could get legally married only when they are over 18 years of age pointed out the Additional Solicitor General. more..

Report on term test question paper errors to minister today

Aug 12 (LT) The report of the scholars committee appointed to study the errors in question papers given for the second term tests in schools and make recommendations would be handed over to Minister of Education Susil Premajayanthe today. The committee headed by Director General of National Educational Institute Prof. Lal Perera would include proposals regarding holding of school term tests in its report. more..

Southern Provincial Council election may be postponed after nominations

Aug 12 (LNW) A senior UNP parliamentarian told Lanka News Web that the President was considering the postponement of the Southern Provincial Council elections after receiving nominations in order to prevent the new opposition alliance from receiving approval for registration. In such an event, the President is contemplating on holding the Southern Provincial Council elections after the conclusion of the Presidential election. more..

Anarkali to enter politics from Matara on Namal’s invitation

Aug 12 (LNW) Sources from the SLFP headquarters says that popular actress Anarkali Akarsha is to contest the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council elections from the Matara District as a UPFA candidate following an invitation extended to her by the President’s eldest son, Namal Rajapakse. The President had told the party’s Matara District organizers that he has decided to field Anarkali to contest against Mangala Samaraweera in the Matara District more..

Oil exploration in Mannar Basin: Govt to lease more blocks

Aug 12 (DN) The Government is in the process of leasing nine oil blocks in the Mannar Basin to several countries to fast track oil exploration Petroleum Minister A.H.M Fowzie said. “Therefore, a decision will be made shortly by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Cabinet to call for international tenders to give those blocks to highest bidders for exploration activities," more..

Special bus, train services for Madhu pilgrims

Aug 12 (MoD) The Transport Ministry has introduced special bus and train services to cater to pilgrims visiting the Sacred Madhu Church for the annual feast this season. The services launched on the initiative of Ministers Dullas Alahapperuma and Lasantha Alagiyawanna under the co-ordination of Aviation Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunaratne will start with trains from Colombo Fort to Medawachchiya and back from today. more..

Madhu church access road opens on Aug 14

Aug 12 (MoD) The access road to the Madhu Shrine which was liberated from the LTTE terrorists after 30 years will be commissioned on August 14 on instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The annual Madhu Church festival will be held on August 14 and 15, for the first time after eliminating completely terrorism in the North. Therefore, this opportunity would benefit thousands of pilgrims attending the feast from various parts of the country, more..

Govt. to stop issuing visas at BIA

Aug 12 (CT) The government is considering a Defence Ministry proposal to stop to issuance of visas to foreigners on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, reports say. The ministry, instead, has suggested that visas be issued through Sri Lankan diplomatic missions abroad. The proposal has been made after considering the likelihood of terrorists entering the island, disguised as tourists. more..

More buses for Jaffna, Point Pedro and Karainagar depots

Aug 12 (MoD) The Government has taken necessary actions to expand transport facilities for people of the Northern Province. Accordingly, Buses and spare parts were provided for the depots in Jaffna, Point Pedro and Karainagar recently. "We are thankful to the Government for expanding the transport facilities in the Northern province and it would be a great help for the people who live in these areas and it will make their day-to-day life easy," more..

The Hartal in 1953

Aug 12 (DN) The Hartal organized by the Leftists on August 12, 1953 was one of the most significant events in the history of Sri Lanka. It was the first occasion that the people rose in protest and some with violence to show their anger against a Government. The Hartal in August 1953 had far - reaching effects on the political history in Sri Lanka. In 1953, the balance of payments in Sri Lanka received a set back as the prices of the exports decreased and that of the imports increased. more..

BTI bacteria from Lanka and Cuba to combat dengue

Aug 12 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry which said that both BTI bacteria produced locally and imported from Cuba would be used as a subsidiary strategy to destroy dengue mosquito larvae, called upon the public to vigorously continue the eradication of mosquito breeding places warning that dengue which has been on the wane recently is likely to raise its head once again with the onset of the North East monsoon in mid-October. more..