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Dr. Palitha Kohona is new Permanent Representative of SL to UN

Aug 14 (LG) Dr. Palitha Kohona, will shortly assumed duties as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, New York. Dr. Kohona before assuming the current position he was the Foreign Secretary, Special Advisor on the Peace Process and Secretary-General of the SCOPP and was a member of the Government delegation which participated in the Peace Talks more..

7000 untrained teachers to be trained

Aug 14 (LP) Ministry of Education has taken a decision to provide necessary training to 7000 untrained teachers now serving at government schools. Training will be provided in all three languages Sinhala , Tamil and English. Dead line for submission of applications is September 03, 2009. National Institute of Education (NIE) is organized this training course and this would be conducted as a weekend course. more..

Wheels take 2,312 lives

Aug 14 (DN) Private buses, lorries and motorcyclists are responsible for most of the fatal accidents that had been reported in 2008. Out of a total number of 30,420 accidents reported in 2008 2,157 were fatal and of them 674,349 and 232 fatal accidents were caused by motorcycles, lorries and private buses respectively. The traffic police stated that the majority of deaths were caused to pedestrians in 2008. Over 625 pedestrians were killed out of a total of 2,312 last year. more..

Giving life to clay

Aug 14 (DN) Matilda Yasawathi is a craftswoman in Biyagama, decorating red clay vessels. She is no ordinary decorator as year after year for several years, she has won the silver award in all island competitions. Not only her, but the troupe of ten elderly craftspeople working for the Government pottery workshop of the Department of Industries in Western Province, located in Bandarawatte, Biyagama, more..

Journalists of Ananda

Aug 14 (DN) He asked the student wishing to leave to bring his parents for an intimate chat. In most instances he was able to persuade the parents to let their offspring stay and continue studies. Nihal was an exception, he left and joined Lake House and became a reporter in the Observer. My surmise is that Nihal would not have been happy in any other vocation; he dreamed about writing and wanted very avidly to become a journalist. more..

'UNP getting downsized'

Aug 14 (DN) The United National Party (UNP) is becoming a minor regional political party gradually and systemically. There is a significant change taking place in the political arena in Sri Lanka and the public is rallying round the Government, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said that all previous elections have given a clear picture of the results of future elections and more..

KP bears his assets

Aug 14 (LP) Kumaran Pathmanathan allias KP who is in custody revealed of his assets said Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella. Kumaran Pathmanathan during interrogations revealed of the funds and assets of the LTTE. He is being grilled on these assets found in various countries. It includes LTTE funds to the tune of billions of Dollars. Part of it had been secured through rackets and the collection of ransoms. more..

Chinese Bhikkus to participate in Norochcholai ceremony

Aug 14 (LP) A traditional Buddhist religious ceremony with the participation of Shaolin Buddhist monks from China will be held on August 20 marking the erection of the roof over the main building housing generators of the Norochcholai Coal fired power plant, a Power and Energy Ministry official said. The Chief Prelates of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters and Ramannya Nikaya will also participate in the religious ceremonies, more..

Police attack cricket fans including children at K’rama

Aug 14 (Island) The police brutally assaulted hundreds of cricket fans with valid tickets to view the T-20 International between Sri Lanka and Pakistan on Wednesday at R. Premadasa (Kettarama) stadium. Unprecedented security checks conducted without prior notice caused a protracted delay and thousands of spectators were denied entry even after the match commenced. Unable to control the seething crowd, more..

Nurses union threatens SPC health authorities

Aug 14 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association urged the Southern Provincial health authorities to immediately suspend training of nursing assistants. They warned they would resort to trade union action if this erroneous practice by the Health Ministry of the Southern Provincial Council is not stopped. Chairman of the GNOA Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that the present job descriptions were adequate to carry out the necessary services. more..

'Govt. needs private sector to realise development goals'

Aug 14 (Island) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said Sri Lanka will learn from its own mistakes when formulating policies with regard to much needed Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), as the government is unable to finance the massive infrastructure development programme on its own. "Experiences of other countries have shown that PPPs carried out hurriedly and in a shady manner have resulted in conflict against public interest. more..

LTTE operative from Japan carried passport obtained through Thamilselvam

Aug 14 (Island) The police revealed yesterday that an LTTE operative, now in their custody, had obtained a passport and national identity card from the then UNF government during the CFA. The one time LTTE Political Wing leader S. P. Thamilselvam helped him to obtain them, he had confessed. The man who had been taken into custody at the BIA recently when he arrived from Japan, could be one of the recipients of a Sri Lankan passport, more..

The Udappuwa Festival

SSP’s son Ravindu to be arrested

Aug 14 (DM) Kaduwela Magistrate Manilal Prasanna De Silva, yesterday, ordered police to immediately arrest Ravindu Gunawardena, the son of SSP Vas Gunawardena, the head of the CCD and impounded Ravindu’s passport. Ravindu Gunawardena, the main suspect, is alleged to have abducted and assaulted Nipuna Ramanayake, a fellow student of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), Malambe, last week. more..

Dayasiri pledges loyalty to UNP

Aug 14 (DM) Despite his resignation from the UNP Working Committee, Kurunegala district Parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara said he would remain loyal to the party and work hard for it in the run up to the Southern Provincial Council Election. Mr. Jayasekara said he took this decision in principle due to the failure on the part of the Working Committee to implement certain polices adopted by the party. more..

Proposed NGO laws run into snag

Aug 14 (DM) The process of introducing new laws and regulations to monitor activities of NGOs and INGOs has hit a snag as some political parties have objected to a provision in the draft Bill empowering secretaries of the local government bodies to register voluntary organizations operating in their respective areas. The government has not been able to present the Bill in Parliament under these circumstances. more..

Muslim parents deny threatening daughter with honor killing over Christianity

Aug 14 (ABC) The Muslim parents of an Ohio teenager who fled to Florida fearing an "honor killing" for converting to Christianity today blamed their daughter's fears on the husband and wife pastors who took their daughter in and didn't report her presence for more than two weeks. "Neither Mr. or Mrs. Bary have ever threatened the life of their daughter, and patiently await their daughter's safe return," more..

'Rs. 900 M in examination fees unaccounted'

Aug 14 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged yesterday that Rs 900 million collected from school children as exam fees recently had not been accounted for. Mr. Wickremesinghe made this disclosure when he met representatives of the UNP led National Educational Services Union. He said examination fees had been charged by several provincial councils while no one knew how these funds were spent. more..

Sri Lanka, China sign $350 mln oil, highway deals

Aug 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and China's Exim Bank signed deals worth more than $350 million to build a highway and an oil bunkering facility near one of the world's biggest shipping lanes, Sri Lanka's Foreign Ministry said on Friday. The bunker terminals will be built at the Hambantota port on Sri Lanka's southern coast, where the state-run Exim Bank has already pledged $360 million to the initial construction phase being carried out by Chinese firms. more..

Lakshman Hulugalle and Willy Gamage - Advisors to the Sabaragamuwa PC

Aug 15 (LP) A fair number of the twenty companies which were close to bankruptcy and taken over by the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) have now become profitable ones stated Mr. Willy Gamage the chairman of SEMA. He expressed his ideas at a ceremony held at the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council yesterday (13). The ceremony was held to present the letters of appointments as Advisors to more..

Re-cultivation of 20,000 acres of Cashew in North

Aug 15 (GDI) Re-cultivation of 20,000 acres of land in the northern region has been initiated under the Northern Spring (Vadakku Vasantham) expedited development programme. These areas were traditionally utilized for Cashew cultivation prior to the LTTE domination and with the invasion of terrorists a land extent of over 6000 acres in Mannar alone were abandoned, Deputy Director said. more..

Patrolling along coast intensified

Aug 15 (Hindu) Patrolling has been tightened along the coastal districts, particularly Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai, which are close to the Sri Lankan coast, in the wake of a general intelligence alert on possible terrorist strikes on the eve of Independence Day. The focus is on preventing possible infiltration from Sri Lanka. The Navy, which has a number of detachments from Rameswaram to Nagapattinam, has put its men and material on high alert. more..

Sri Lanka A jolted on rain-hit day

Aug 15 (CI) The bowlers had their say on a rain-hit second day at the Premadasa Stadium as Pakistan A regained control by reducing Sri Lanka A to 155 for 6. The Sri Lankans were on top early on when they inflicted a collapse to bowl out Pakistan for 342, but their batsmen lost the plot after a sound start. Pakistan failed to consolidate their strong overnight position of 293 for 4 when they lost their well-set pair of Faisal Iqbal and Fahad Iqbal in quick succession. more..

Tourists get batting practice in drawn game

Aug 15 (CI) New Zealand's batsmen managed to get their eye in on the final day of the tour game, which ended in a draw as expected. All of them barring Craig Cumming got starts though only Ross Taylor - who impressed yet again, after making 75 in the first innings - scored a half-century. SLC Development XI resumed on 324 for 9 and lasted just 15 deliveries. Their bowlers then made consistent inroads into the tourists' innings, more..


Attacks on free media put displaced civilians at risk

Aug 15 (AI) Attacks on journalists, relentless intimidation, and government-imposed restrictions on reporting threaten freedom of expression in Sri Lanka and jeopardize the safety and dignity of civilians displaced by war. The Sri Lankan government actively obstructed reporting on the last stages of the recently concluded armed conflict with the LTTE. Civilians were subjected to artillery attacks and both sides were accused of committing war crimes. more..

Sri Lanka fearing loss of World Cup games

Aug 15 (CN) Nervous Sri Lanka Cricket officials have called an urgent meeting with security personnel now handling cricket tours of the island as the fallout from Wednesday night's security incident at Premadasa Stadium was headlined in local media. A police baton charge of spectators outside the gates and the reaction of valid ticket holders has left SLC worried about this impact on the International Cricket Council and the hosting of World Cup matches in 2011. more..

IOM works with Govt to develop new database of local government officials

Aug 15 (IOM) IOM and the Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs (MPA&HA) have developed a national database of all Grama Niladharis (GN) – local government officers at village level. The GNs are responsible for issuing a variety of documents that are subsequently used for issuing important identity documents, including National Identity Cards and passports. more..

Unknown teenage spinner assists New Zealand

Aug 15 (CI) After hiring the inventor of the doosra coach them, New Zealand have drafted in a teenage bowler, Maurice Holmes, to help them prepare for the Tests against Sri Lanka. Holmes isn't a familiar name in international cricket - even the staff at Kent, where he plies his trade, had to double check whether he was on their roster for the current season. He's played just five games for Kent's second XI this summer, more..

Spence plans new hotels, marine services as war ends

Aug 15 (BN) Aitken Spence Plc., Sri Lanka’s biggest operator of resorts, plans to expand its hotel and shipping businesses as the end of a 26-year-old civil war heralds an economic revival in the island nation. Spence, which runs 27 properties in Sri Lanka and overseas, is “looking at” building a hotel on the northeastern coast, Deputy Chairman J.M.S. Brito said in a telephone interview from his Colombo headquarters. more..

Rain cause IDP life difficult

Aug 15 (BBC) Heavy rains have caused difficulties to the IDPs in the Manik Farm camp in Vavuniya. Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian for Wanni district, Sivasakthi Ananthan told Sandesaya that displaced people called him in desperation and requested them to be moved to better shelter. “They don’t have facilities to cook and living in tents has become impossible as the area is flooded”, said Ananadan. more..

'India in talks with Lanka over prisoner exchange'

Aug 15 (IANS) India is in talks with Sri Lanka to bring back Indians languishing in jails there, Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor said Friday. But Tharoor underlined that any exchange of prisoners would take time. "On Indians in Sri Lankan jails, we are talking to Sri Lanka about a possible agreement to exchange prisoners. Will take time," Tharoor tweeted Friday. more..

Large crowds at Madhu Church

Aug 15 (BBC) For the first time, after the military defeat of LTTE, over two hundred thousand devotees from various parts of the country participated at the Vespers Service at the Church of Our Lady of Madhu on Friday. The mass was conducted by the former Archbishop, Fr. Oswald Gomis. Farther Damien Fernando speaking from Madhu Church said the atmosphere there was peaceful and serene. “People were keen, very confident and supportive”, he said. more..

A response to Gomin Dayasiri’s “Return of the Colombians”

Aug 15 (GV) Friends, Colombians and Countrymen, a few weeks ago the commercial capital of our country; Colombo was attacked. This was not a conventional armed attack and nor was it a terrorist attack, but yet it was an attack, an attack upon the social, political and cultural complexity of Colombo. I refer to the article titled ‘Return of the Colombians’. Firstly, this elitist analysis of Colombo’s population ignores the more..

When law becomes comic – Part Eight

Aug 15 (LG) "That gentleman [OIC] can't stand the sight of young boys. He arrests them and takes them to the police station and assaults them. Parents go to the police station and pay money to get the boys released. He arrests the boys in order to make money. We also went to the police station when we heard about the arrest of our son, and we took money to give him. But we were not shown the boy and more..

Revisiting India's Sri Lanka policy options

Aug 15 (LG) The Sri Lanka’s security forces’ remarkable success in inflicting a crushing defeat on the Tamil separatist insurgents of the LTTE in the Eelam War IV in May 2009 has wide implications not only for the struggle of minority Tamil population for autonomy but also in the context of India – Sri Lanka relations. In the course of their three years of war, the security forces have regained control of nearly 16,000 square km of territory which was dominated by the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka allows pilgrims at Catholic shrine

Aug 15 (AP) Sri Lanka has lifted a blockade on the island's holiest Roman Catholic shrine and will allow pilgrims to hold their annual feast there Saturday as a sign that the north was returning to normal after the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels. But while thousands gathered in northwestern Sri Lanka for the annual feast of Our Lady of Madhu, the nearby villages stood empty, their residents stuck in displacement camps more..

Priests conduct Marian celebrations in camps

Aug 15 (UCAN) Unable to travel to the popular Madhu Marian shrine to mark the feast of the Assumption, priests, Church workers and laypeople detained in camps in the north are conducting their own Masses and prayers. With the decades-long civil war with Tamil Tiger separatists now over, about 500,000 pilgrims are expected to venture north and descend on the island's most popular Catholic shrine for the Marian feast on Aug. 15. more..

Dayan offer to be appointed as Sri Lankan Ambassador to Cuba

Aug 15 (LG) Not even less than one week for Mr. Dayan Jayathilleka, a Permanent Representative of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at Geneva and other International Organizations,(he is also the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Switzerland) to be say good bye to his posts in Geneva, the Government is contemplating on appointing him as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Cuba, more..

Cong MP blames DMK for ‘betraying’ Lankan Tamils

Aug 15 (TS) The DMK, which claims to espouse the cause of Tamils worldwide, has failed to serve the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka and missed a great opportunity to secure them a homeland in the island republic, according to Congress member of the Rajya Sabha, Dr EM Surdarsana Natchiappan. Dr Natchiappan heads the Standing Committee on Law and Justice that went into the question of giving 33 per cent reservation of seats to women in parliament and state legislatures. more..

General Nalin Seneviratne VSV 1931- 2009

Aug 15 (AT) General Nalin Seneviratne VSV the 10th Commander of the SL Army died on 12 August 2009 aged 78 years. He joins in Valhalla those who were in the thin red line of defenders of the nation who predeceased him. History will record that he was the first army commander who defeated the LTTE in 1987, resisting abortive attempts by the faint hearted to abort the epic Vadamarachchi battle in its first hour. more..

Sri Lanka Asian shippers meet mounts liner challenge

Aug 15 (LBO) Asian shippers meeting in Colombo said they would lobby governments in the region to reform laws to prevent price fixing by shipping lines acting like cartels which they said hurts export-based economies. Sri Lanka Shippers' Council chairman Randolph Perera said the island lacked the laws to prevent anti-competitive practices by shipping liner cartels, unlike Europe which recently introduced new rules to protect shippers. more..

Sri Lankans celebrate Madhu festival in grand scale after years’ lapse

Aug 15 (AT) Devotees who gathered from all over the Sri Lanka are ready to hold the annual festival of the most sacred Madhu Church in Mannar from (today) August 15 to 20 as the government has made all necessary arrangements to hold the event in grand scale. For the first time in four years a large number of Catholic devotees from the South and the North with non-Catholics participated at the first Novena service on August 6. more..

A view from behind the barbed wire

Aug 15 (RW) Interview with our Canadian colleague Denise Otis, a UNHCR Canada legal officer who just returned from serving on UNHCR's Emergency Response Team in Sri Lanka. The interview is published by Embassy Magazine, Canada's influential foreign policy newspaper which has a weekly readership of over 60,000 and has become a must-read among politicians, top bureaucrats, political staffers, diplomats and academics. more..

Agriculture promotion with Israel

Aug 15 (GDI) The government plans to enter into an agricultural pact with Israel,Agriculture Ministry sources revealed. Israeli Agricuture Minister Shalon Simon is due in Sri Lanka in December to meet his Colombo counterpart D.M.Jayaratne for extensive talks on the pact. Simon is expected to be in Colombo for four days to visit the agricultural district in the country, ministry sources said. more..

President will unfold future plans-SLFP Gen.Sec.

Aug 15 (GDI) The SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena yesterday said that the country could expect President Mahinda Rajapaksa to unfold his future plans before the Southern Provincial Council. Addressing a press conference at the Mahaweli Centre this week, Sirisena said the President would make a far reaching policy statement on September 1 to coincide with the 19th Convention of the SLFP. more..

Garbage clearing given top priority

Aug 15 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has given priority to ensure that garbage is collected on time to avoid unwarranted diseases being spread causing harm to health conditions of the public. The ministry will work in close collaboration with local government institutions and would even assist local bodies financially to clear garbage and take them recycling plants. more..

Sri Lanka kidnaps LTTE leader

Aug 15 (wsws) Sri Lankan military intelligence operatives last week seized the newly appointed leader of the separatist LTTE, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, in South East Asia and flew him back to Colombo. While the details remain unclear, this secretive operation breached basic democratic rights and flouted international and local law. Pathmanathan, also known as KP, was for many years the LTTE’s alleged principal fundraiser and procurer of arms. more..

Parent-Children dialogue urged

Aug 15 (GDI) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has urged a constant dialogue and cordial understanding between parents and teenaged children to avoid unfortunate incidents that result in fatal destinies. A study conducted by the NCPA revealed that in families where both parents were employed, the children had no time to place their grievances before the father and mother.' They seek advised from friends or outsiders and at times they are misled', more..

Sri Lankan economy after the War

Aug 15 (LG) It is a great honour and a pleasure to be the Chief Guest at this the 10th Annual General Meeting of the Tea Exporters Association, the premier organization representing tea export companies, a group that makes an invaluable contribution to this country’s economy. The end of the war has been a catalyst for optimism, hope and change in our Motherland: * The Colombo All-Share Index has gained 33 percent in the past three months, more..