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Tamils in Sri Lanka: Time to dream anew

Aug 14 (TC) Dreams are a prelude to progress. Dreams lay the framework for achievement. Dreams must precede groundwork and realization. Individuals and peoples who are incapable of dreaming will be struck at the lower rungs of society and the back waters of history. Dreams have to be lofty if they are to define individuals, societies and nations. The time has come for the Tamils in Sri Lanka to dream of their place in Sri Lanka in a different context. more..

Voting in the empty Tigers' lair

Aug 14 (Economist) After a resounding military victory over the Tamil Tigers, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, must have hoped for triumph in the first post-war polls in the scarred north. In the event, low turnout and the unexpected success of a pro-Tiger party jolted the government in the elections on August 8th to the Jaffna municipal and Vavuniya urban councils. Turnout was 22% in Jaffna (of an unrealistically inflated register) and 52% in Vavuniya. more..

Concentration camps or welfare centres?

Aug 14 (LMD) Now that the war is over we are getting very contradictory reports on the situation in Sri Lanka. On 8 August Amnesty International criticised the Sri Lanka government for forcibly confining IDPs in camps. Meanwhile the Centre for Policy Alternatives has presented a petition to the government saying that 300,000 civilians are being detained illegally. The former chief justice Sarath Silva fears that the continuing confinement of Tamils could cause a new war. more..

Boat carrying 77 Tamils intercepted

Aug 14 (TA) A boat carrying 77 suspected asylum-seekers has been intercepted by border protection authorities 21 nautical miles north of Christmas Island. The boat -- the 18th to arrive this year -- was intercepted early yesterday by the patrol boat HMAS Pirie after being spotted by an RAAF P-3 Orion. Those on board are thought to be Sri Lankan Tamils, sources told The Australian. They have been taken to Christmas Island, where they will be subject to health, character and security checks. more..

Is Sri Lanka "careering back to where it was" after election?

Aug 14 (AN) Sri Lanka's bloody 25-year conflict with the Tamil Tigers ended in May - but commentators reflecting on the country's first post-war elections last weekend expressed little optimism about a peaceful future for the Indian Ocean island. The ruling UPFA swept to victory in Sinhalese-dominated Uva province and scraped a win in Jaffna, while the TNA -- political allies of the defeated rebels -- won control of Vavuniya. more..

Sri Lankan parties worried over poll Bill

Aug 14 (Hindu) The SLMC and the pro-LTTE TNA on Wednesday petitioned the Supreme Court against the Parliamentary Elections (Amendment) Bill, The Island reported. The newspaper said the petitioners challenged, in particular, Section 6 (6) of the Bill which says a political party shall not be entitled to be treated as a recognised political party if, in the opinion of the Election Commissioner, it’s name signifies any religion or community. more..

Mirak Rahim on IDP issues

Police station attacked after murder of youth

Aug 14 (BBC) The officer in charge of the Angulana Police station, three constables and a driver of the Angulana police station have been taken in to custody for allegedly killing two youth in police custody. The bodies of Dinesh Tharanga Fernando and Dhanushaka Udaya Aponsu were found by the sea shore of Angulana on Thursday morning. The youths were arrested after a complaint made by a woman in the same locality. more..

The Vitharana proposal and the separatist paradigm

Aug 14 (LG) APRC center of gravity has now moved from husband and wife lawyers hands to a microbiology Marxist who is an appointed (not elected by people) politician. Just like his "parity of status" Marxist uncles of the 1935-1964 era, who blindly followed the international dogmas of Trotsky and Stalin, minister Vitharana is on a hurried mission to placate the IC, American ambassador and Tony Blair. more..

Three decade old problem cannot be solved overnight – Minister Tissa Vitharana

Aug 14 (AT) Minister of Science & Technology Prof.Tissa Vitharana emphasized that a problem which is existing for more than 3 decades cannot be solved overnight or within a short time. Minister made this comment at a Live Discussion, known as “Thesa sanjaram” at the Srilanka Broadcasting Corporation. He further said that 13 political parties have so far participated in APRC sittings. more..

Sri Lanka, Maldives trade shifting to services

Aug 14 (LBO) The Maldives is introducing laws to attract foreign investors such as those from Sri Lanka with whom the archipelago's trade is growing and shifting towards services, the Maldivian envoy to Colombo said. High commissioner Ali Hassen Didi said the two countries have had close trade links for decades and shared entrepreneurship, with Sri Lankan professionals and businessmen making a key contribution to the Maldivian economy. more..

'A roadmap for relief'-Concerned Citizens Forum of South Asia

Aug 14 (TC) A delegation of eminent citizens and representatives of civil rights organisations met Mr. S.M. Krishna, Union Minister of External Affairs here today, and urged the Government of India to ensure speedy rehabilitation of IDPs and other war-affected people in Sri Lanka. Under the banner of the Concerned Citizens Forum of South Asia, a new umbrella group that advocates human rights and humanitarian values in the region, more..

Buddha’s Savage Peace

Aug 14 (Atlantic) I had always wanted to go to Kandy, for no other reason than that I was in love with the name: so airy, fanciful, and obviously suggestive of sweet things. I first found Kandy on a map of what was then called Ceylon, decades ago as a young man. Little did I know that it would one day have urgent revelations for me, more dark and poignant than sweet. My journey began at Colombo’s crumbling train station, with its white facade like a cake about to melt. more..

'New LTTE chief told us about arms in Colombo'

Aug 14 (PTI) Detained LTTE chief Selvarasa Pathmanathan has revealed the presence of a large cache of arms and ammunition hidden by the outfit in Colombo for carrying out attacks. “KP has divulged information that there are a lot of hidden explosives in the city,” Prime Minister Wickremanayake said, adding that until all such explosives are cleared he cannot declare that the country is peaceful. more..

Dengue fever cases rise to 22,757 in Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (Xinhua) The number of Dengue cases has risen to 22,757 while 232 people have died of the disease in Sri Lanka so far, the Epidemiological Unit of the Health Ministry said on Thursday. The Epidemiological Unit said in its latest statistics that of the 22,757 cases, the highest number of patients were reported from June totaling 7,050. It is followed by July with 6,714 cases being reported. more..

Commercial Bank offers 365-day banking in Jaffna

Aug 14 (LBO) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon said it has started 365-day banking at its main branch in northern Jaffna as transactions were on the rise following the end of the ethnic war. Commercial Bank already offers ATM facilities and real time online banking in the northern peninsula. It said its main Jaffna branch, one of five Commercial Bank branches in the peninsula, will open for business every day of the year from August 16 onwards. more..

Cricket: Kiwis play it safe in Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (NZH) Gary Pappin surveys the scene from the nets tucked by the tree line at fine leg, a sweat-soaked towel and chilly bin within reach. But as New Zealand's cricketers wilt during their match against a Development 11 at the Nondescripts Cricket Club, he is not only on the lookout for bowlers in need of rehydration between overs. Keeping Jeetan Patel and Chris Martin refreshed is a relatively menial task for the Queenslander; more..

Heeding the voices of the North

Aug 14 (GV) The results of the elections to the Jaffna Municipality and Vavuniya Urban Council are an instructive measure of the distance to be traveled for peace, reconciliation and national unity. In both cases voter turn out was relatively low, though in the case of the Jaffna Municipality not as low as some commentators have made out. This is because the turn out figure has been calculated on the voter registry of some 104,000 electors, when more..

Illicit drug abuse in Sri Lanka shows clear signs of worsening

Aug 14 (GV) Banyan News Reporters learns that officials investigating wacky behaviour in a large number of Sri Lankans since May this year have uncovered disturbing evidence, indicating that a significant majority of the population have been acting under the influence of illicit drugs for many years. BNR spoke to Mr Upul Amarakoon, a community intervention officer working for the Alcohol and Drug Information Centre more..

In conversation with Tracy Holsinger

Aug 14 (GV) Tracy Holsinger is one of Sri Lanka’s most accomplished theatre personalities. That she comes from a family of musicians and dramatists is frankly incidental – Tracy’s significant theatrical talent is one honed through hard work, a commitment to professionalism and a demanding standard of acting and directing, evident in this interview. Many of my generation grew up listening to Tracy on TNL Radio, more..

Muslim covert to Christianity threatened

Abduction of KP shows state terrorism goes on unabated

Aug 14 (LG) The Sri Lankan government came out last week with its own military intelligence agents to Malaysia to kidnap the head of LTTE’s International Relations Department. They escorted him in a plane to Colombo and his whereabouts and his destiny are still unknown. Even though Selvarasa Pathmanathan, better known as KP, announced, after LTTE officially declared that they silenced their guns in May 2009, that he would more..

KP’s arrest – International law

Aug 14 (LG) KP Chief Financier and Chief Procurer of arms to the LTTE with a barrage of names and identities was arrested and brought back to Sri Lanka. He is the most wanted terrorist to the Interpol (International Police), Sri Lanka, India and many other countries. He had multiple passports of Sri Lankan, Indian, Swiss, Malaysian, Thai and Egyptian identities and was born on 6th April 1955 in Jaffna and educated in the Jaffna University. more..

"Problems of the N-E people can only be solved through a democratic course"

Aug 14 (LG) Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social welfare at a funcion held for celebration of the “Golden Jubilee” of the Jaffna Nurses Training School where he participated as the Chief Guest of Honour stated that the problems faced by North-East Tamil people could only be solved through a democratic course of action and not by resorting to an armed struggle. more..

When law becomes comic – Part Seven

Aug 14 (LG) Large crowds gathered around the Angulana police station as the news spread of two schoolboys killed due to police assault. The bodies of the two boys, Dinesh Tharanga Fernando and Danushka Udaya, were found near the railway tracks. They had been arrested on the previous day, allegedly for teasing a girl. The OIC of the Angulana police station and six other police officers attached to this police force are reported to have been arrested for causing the deaths of these boys. more..

Keep Lanka together

Aug 14 (LG) Sri lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s reminder to all Lankans that it was time they thought of themelves as Lankans, and not as Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims, is highly laudable. It should be emulated by every leader of the world, for peace and harmony. The attempt by christists to form a separate Eelam by ‘supporting’ the LTTE was successfully thwarted by the wonderful Sri Lankan Armed Forces, headed by General Fonseka. more..

PERC abolition welcomed by trade unions

Aug 14 (GDI) Several trade unions hailed the government’s decision to abolish the Public Enterprises Reform Commission also known as PERC. The state trade union Federation chairman W.H. Piyadasa said many public sector Trade Unions were against the establishment of PERC. General Secretary of the Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya Leslie Devendra described the annulment of PERC has a realization of the wishers of the working people. more..

Australia introduces a new technology on de-mining

Aug 14 (LP) Australia introduces to Sri Lanka a new technology for de-mining as a measure of support to the resettlement process in the North. The introduction of the new technology took place at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Operations chief of the International Organisation for Migration (IMO) Mohamed Abdikar officially handed over the new equipment kit to Head of the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” Basil Rajapaksa. more..

Army recovers suicide jackets, weapons & ammo

Aug 14 (GDI) ARMY troops engaged in search and clear operations recovered four T-56 weapons, thirty-nine claymore mines, four suicide jackets, 50 g of TNT explosives, 200 m long detonator code, 50 kg of C-4 explosives, four rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) ammunition, one RPG charger, three thousand three hundred and three rounds of T-56 ammunition, thirteen Multi Propose Machine Gun (MPMG) links, one hundred and five electric detonators, more..

Madhu Church goes glory tomorrow

Aug 14 (GDI) The annual festival of the Madhu Church will take place tomorrow. Deputy Minister Sarath Kumara Gunarathne claimed nearly 50 thousand devotees were expected to take part in the festival. All preparations have been made to conduct the festival and parade in a grand scale. The government has provided all necessary assistance for devotees. Lodging facilities have been provided in the premises of the Madhu Church for those attending the festival. more..

'Make Sri Lanka your next business stop'

Aug 14 (IL) The U.S. Government is encouraging U.S. companies and financiers to "make Sri Lanka Your Next Business Stop." The U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Commerce Department have announced an Oct. 13-14 conference in Colombo for U.S. investors interested in Sri Lanka. “This private-public conference will provide U.S. firms a unique opportunity to be among the first investors in the newly opened regions of Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provinces,” more..

Sajin to commence private airline company

Aug 14 (LNW) President’s confidential advisor on financial matters, Sajin Vass Gunawardena is currently making arrangements to commence a private domestic airline company. It is learnt that he has made a request from LOLC to release a sum of Rs. 65 million to purchase five Robinson R44 Raven helicopters to begin the company, which is to be a BoI approved venture. Sajin had made the request for money for the LOLC under the name S De VG more..

Japan helps IDPs in Vavuniya - Provides Rs.117 M to improve health facilities

Aug 14 (MoD) The Japanese government and the people of Japan were happy to provide of Rs. 117 million to be utilized to improve the sanitary and health conditions of the IDPs in Vavuniya and this special project was an important one not only domestically for Sri Lanka but also internationally, since the world community pays attention to the welfare of the IDPs in the North, Ambassador of Japan Kunio Takahashi said yesterday. more..

'Even as President talks of controlling underworld crimes , Police crimes soar with impunity'

Aug 14 (UNP) UNP M.P. Palitha Range Bandara speaking on the raging lawlessness in the country and the fast growing Police brutality blamed the Govt. for creating this unprecedented most ominous situation in the country. Even as the President talks of controlling the underworld , the crimes in the country are increasing due to his own Police force taking the law into their hands, he asserted. more..

'Govt. encouraging crimes against law abiding citizens by not implementing the 17th amendment'

Aug 14 (UNP) UNP Provincial Council member Srinath Perera, addressing the media said, the Govt. thinks that by delaying and deliberately avoiding the implementation of the 17th amendment it can ride on lawlessness to achieve its dastardly goals and ambitions. It is unfortunate that it is failing to realize that it can achieve such ambitions only at the expense of the people’s lives and country’ s peace. more..

Fruit and vegetable exports can net $ 1 b in 10 years

Aug 14 (LNP) The fruit and vegetable export industry should aim at becoming a billion-dollar industry within the next ten years as there will be a growing and continuous demand in the international market. The export quantum needs to be doubled and it will also increase employment opportunities and growth, said former Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera. He was addressing the 28th Annual General Meeting of more..

Of that broadside at 'King'

Aug 14 (LNP) Two undergraduates have landed themselves in the soup by scribbling graffiti on a city wall to the effect that `the king has messed up children`s examination` Maharajathumani, oba lamainge vibhagayata keliya. This slogan is of political significance. One of our alert readers discusses its linguistic aspects in a letter on the opposite page. The matter is now before Courts, as we reported yesterday, and we refrain from commenting on its legal aspects because more..

SB to commence Presidential election campaign with a book launch

Aug 14 (LNW) UNP National Organizer, S.B. Dissanayake, who is hoping on becoming the party’s candidate for the next Presidential election is to commence his campaign targeting the elections with a book launch on September 18. SB is planning on commencing his Presidential election campaign by launching a book on his birthday that falls on September 18. Sources also said that UNPers Lakshman Seneviratne, Dayasiri Jayasekera and Johnston Fernando have already agreed to support SB’s campaign. more..

'Let our people go home'

Aug 14 (DO) Mano Ganesan is the leader of the democratic people's front and global human rights award winner from Sri Lanka. He is well known for his moderate views of opposing the violent tactics of both LTTE and the Sri Lankan government. It is an irony that his opposition to violence has lead to death threats against him, that many say are linked to the Sri Lankan government. He is an MP from the South fluent in Tamil and Sinhalese and more..

Aspiring for a high powered job in the Majesty’s govt? Be a criminal

Aug 14 (LNW) If any sane person reads through the present day news items, it is obvious he or she will soon end up as an insane. Criminals are appointed as Ambassadors…….. Senior police officer supports his son to abduct a fellow student and assault him mercilessly at his own residence with the support of his wife, who sat on the face of the student while he being assaulted and some other police officers and more..

Leaders of the opposition alliance object to Sarath N Silva’s common candidacy

Aug 14 (LNW) Sources from the Opposition Leader’s Office say that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the other alliance leaders have decided not to appoint former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva as the common candidate of the opposition at the next Presidential election. The decision was arrived at a meeting attended by Wickremesinghe, Rauf Hakeem, Mangala Samaraweera and Mano Ganeshan. more..

News of KP’s arrest on a bus coming home

Aug 14 (GV) I settle into my seat for the ride from Kalmunai to Colombo. There is a fifty rupee premium for reserving it. I always want window seats, be it flying or riding along. In my head, I can hear Daniel Powter’s Bad Day, or She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5 being played when the scenery is just a blur. Ever since I first heard them, it’s always those two songs. Nothing else. This time, I’ve got an aisle seat. more..

Some Reflections on North-East Development in Sri Lanka

Aug 14 (GV) Recent developments, including the statements made by President Rajapakse and his brother Basil Rajapakse, on the need to return North to normalcy after the horrific civil conflict that brought suffering and dislocation to countless number of civilians, provide opportunities to revisit the past and look at the pre-conflict situation to determine current and future courses of action. more..

Police takes over underworld duties

Sri Lanka's ambassador meets key senate forign relations chairman

Aug 14 (IL) Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya met with Senator Robert Casey (D-PA), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, on Wednesday, August 5, 2009. Senator Casey and Ambassador Wickramasuriya discussed Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts and the conditions of the centers for civilians displaced by the conflict with the LTTE. more..

All polythene products must be labeled from tomorrow

Aug 14 (GDI) Director General of the Central Environment Authority (CEA), Pasan Gunasena said that consequent to a decision taken by the CEA all polythene products including lunch sheets and garbage bags will have to be labeled from August 15.The CEA, along with the Consumer Protection Authority will take legal action against those who will not label their products as required. more..

More parties challenge contraversial Election Bill

Aug 14 (PSM) More political parties have challenegd the contraversial amendment to Parliamentary Elections Act. The SLMC and the TNA have petitioned first to the Supreme Court against the Bill. The main opposition party, the UNP also has challenged on a different basis. The LSSP and Mangala Samaraweera of the SLFP (Mahajana Wing) had also a petitioned the Court on this issue. more..

Rates, liquidity hold back bourse surge

Aug 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's share market .CSE, one of Asia's best-performing bourses this year, is grappling to keep up its post-war surge due to high interest rates and low volume and liquidity, its chairman said on Friday. The bourse has been stalled since July 27 after surging by two-thirds this year. About half the surge has come since the military declared victory over Tamil Tiger rebels on May 18 following a 25-year civil war. more..

'US$ would rise to Rs.166 due to IMF conditions'

Aug 14 (LT) As a result of the conditions the government has agreed to get the loan of US$2.6 billion from the IMF, the value of the dollar in relation to the rupee would increase to Rs.166/- says President of Inter Company Employees Union (ICEU) Wasanthe Samarasinghe. Speaking at a seminar organized by the ICEU on the theme ‘The destiny of working people and economic crisis’ held at Public Library Auditorium in Colombo yesterday more..

The police on the move – ‘Lanka’ staff arrested

Aug 14 (LT) Two staff members of ‘Lanka Irida Sangrahaya,’ the Sinhalese Week end newspaper were arrested by Grandpass Police last night while putting up posters advertising the newspaper. The two staff members of the newspaper were arrested when posters containing headlines of two articles containing in the issue of this weekend were being put up. The weekend newspaper is issued to the readers every Friday. more..