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Three Sri Lankan Tamils arrive at Rameswaram

Aug 1 (Hindu) Three Sri Lankan Tamils, who reportedly lived in a camp in Vavuniya, arrived at Rameswaram on Friday. Sources said on information that an unknown boat had arrived on Narikuzhi shore, a team of marine policemen reached there and seized it with an engine. All three were taken to the marine police station. They were identified as S. Anushan (19), his younger brother Sarath Babu (18) and his relative Thirukumaran. more..

Sri Lanka Microsoft unit sees growth with rising computer literacy

Aug 1 (LBO) Software giant Microsoft’s Sri Lanka unit, in the news because of widespread piracy here and its high product prices, is focused on spreading computer literacy to grow its business at double digit rates, officials said. The proprietary software maker, whose operating systems run 90 percent of computers worldwide, only has a small foothold on the Sri Lankan market where piracy is rampant. more..

Sri Lanka appoints matchmaker for investors in former war zone

Aug 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's investment promotion ministry has set up a help desk to promote investments in the island's former war zone in the north and east, investment promotion minister Anura Yapa said. The unit will help promote business links between the northern and eastern regions and the rest of the country, he told a news conference. "This is meant to help entrepreneurs who are interested in investing in the north and east." more..

'UNP had obtained loans detrimental to Lanka’s dignity and sovereignty'

Aug 1 (DM) Though the UNP took every effort to prevent the US$ 2.6 billion Stand –By Arrangement being granted to Sri Lanka, the previous UNP regime has obtained two loans in 2003 under conditions heavily detrimental to Sri Lanka’s dignity and sovereignty, Cabinet spokesman, Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. more..

Relief to Lanka stuck at Chennai port

Aug 1 (EB) More than 100 containers of relief materials for the IDPs of Sri Lanka that were sent in the fourth phase by the State government, are stuck at a yard at the Chennai port as the recipient nation has not agreed to accept it. According to sources, the containers, loaded with items like dress materials for children, men and women, groceries, and life saving medicines, meant for an estimated 80,000 families, are lying at the container yard for two weeks. more..

S'pore Sri Lanka's model

Aug 1 (ST) SRI Lanka is looking to take a leaf from Singapore on developing its tourism sector, especially the niche in business events. A delegation of tourism officials from the South Asian island - freshly out of over two decades of civil war - have met major tourism players here this week, intent on using industry practices here as benchmarks. "Singapore is dynamic and progressive, and we thought it would be a good thing to learn from the industry leader in the region." more..

Pakistan says bookies' case reported to ICC

Aug 1 (AFP) Pakistan's cricket board said Saturday it had made a report to the sport's governing body about bookmakers trying to approach players during its ongoing tour in Sri Lanka. The move followed a report in Pakistan's leading Urdu daily "Express" earlier this week alleging bookmakers were seen trying to make contact with Pakistani players in their Colombo hotel during the second Test against Sri Lanka. more..

‘Lanka expats jailed for no fault of theirs’

Aug 1 (AN) Foreign workers should not be punished for the blunders of their sponsors, the visiting head of a Sri Lankan labor team said on Friday. "It is sad to note that some Sri Lankan workers are languishing in jail for not possessing resident certificates that are expected to be obtained for them by the sponsors," Kingsley Ranawake, chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE), told Arab News more..

Kapugedera pilots Sri Lanka to 2-0 lead

Aug 1 (CI) Pakistan got rid of Sri Lanka's batting luminaries without too much trouble, but found Chamara Kapugedera and Thilan Samaraweera impossible to dislodge as the home side eased to a comfortable six-wicket victory and a 2-0 lead in the series. The bowlers had done the hard work earlier, dismissing Pakistan in just 47 overs, and Kapugedera's sixth ODI half-century offered a gentle reminder that there's more to Sri Lanka's batting than the big three in the top order. more..

Baby jumbos to be reunited with mothers in Kandy

Aug 1 (Island) Sports inister Gamini Lokuge told a news conference at Sri Dalada Maligawa yesterday that the two baby elephants would definitely be gifted to the Mahanayake Theras of Malwatte and Asgiriya as planned. They would be gifted to the Mahanayakes by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on August 6, he said. If the baby elephants were in need of mothers’ milk, steps would be taken to hand over their mothers, too, to the Dalada Maligawa, more..

In search of a “home grown” Lion

Aug 2 (TC) Mahinda talks of “home grown” solutions. Nivard, soon after taking office at the Central bank wanted “Sinhala kavili” instead of “patties” and “cutlets” to be offered to visitors to the Bank. There have been recent press reports that Mahinda had asked Champika to resubmit a document in Sinhalese, rather than English etc. These days we are also telling the “whites” where to get off. more..

‘Devolution’ has joined the rank of words to be wished away - like ‘federalism’

Aug 2 (TC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said it was going to war against the LTTE with the battle cry of freedom. It spoke of a vision of a Sri Lanka where peoples lives would not be determined by the language they spoke. However, after the war is over, with a great deal of sacrifice of men and material resources, the emerging socio-political environment does not indicate the vision coming true; it may well remain what it was – just a vision. more..

In Pictures: Kannagipura/ Kannagipuram Radio Drama inaugural

Aug 2 (TC) Kannagipura/ Kannagipuram Radio Drama was launched on July 28th 2009 at Young Asia Television. The drama is produced by Young Asia Television. It is the first time such a drama series are produced in both languages- Sinhala and Tamil. Eight script writers were chosen from Akkaraipattu, Akurassa, Batticaloa, Galle, Kandy and Kurunegala. Young Asia Television breaks new ground with the launch of a radio drama series on 5th August 2009 more..

President inspects Homagama sports complex

Aug 2 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa made an unannounced visit to the ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium’ in Homagama this morning (01) to assess the progress of the ongoing construction work of the stadium. After completion, this sports complex will be the only international stadium in Sri Lanka equipped with all modern technological facilities with international standards. more..

Sri Lanka’s intervention prevented Fiji being suspended from the Commonwealth

Aug 2 (LG) Rohitha Bogollagama, MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs led the Sri Lanka delegation to the Extraordinary Meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) held in London today 31 July 2009 at the Commonwealth Secretariat to discuss the recent political developments in the Fiji Islands. The meeting was chaired by the Foreign Minister of Malaysia and was attended by the Foreign Ministers of more..

‘We love a challenge’

Aug 2 (SL) As the election campaign in the Moneragala and Uva areas gets going, Faraz Shauketaly followed Sashi Rajapakse on his campaign trail. The campaign could hardly be described as provincial. The intensity with which it was being carried out demonstrated the importance and seriousness the participants from all parties were giving these elections — acknowledging, indeed, that these elections are a precursor of others more..

Sangakkara hails 'very special player'

Aug 2 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara praised his fast bowlers and singled out the unbeaten 95-run partnership between Thilan Samaraweera and Chamara Kapugedera as the key factor in the team's victory over Pakistan in the second ODI at Dambulla. "It did not go as we hoped it would, but I will give credit to the bowlers for doing a wonderful job with the new ball. They did exactly what we wanted them to do on a fresh wicket," Sangakkara said. more..

President starts campaign as opposition plays catch-up

Aug 2 (SL) The wave of popularity that came with the ending of the war has been sustained and easily converted into political gain by the politician that is Mahinda Rajapakse. The President has helped to sustain that popularity by calling various elections. By involving not only himself but also political heavyweights including various allies, the President has all but kicked off not only the Presidential campaign but the parliamentary elections too. more..

Hedging & the National Interest: The twin shackles

Aug 2 (SL) Affidavits filed by Kirmali Fernando in the hedging case and Nihal Sri Ameresekere in the objections to P. B. Jayasundera’s attempt to return to public service, have again, turned the spotlight on the twin shackles that threaten to conspire the progress this country can make in the important post-war period. It is especially significant in the wake of the trying time the government had in securing a US$ 2.5 billion stand-by facility from the IMF. more..

Debate over who is and is not a good Muslim tearing the Muslim community apart

Aug 2 (SL) At the Rahuman Masjid Mosque in Beruwala devotees were celebrating the annual Buhari feast/alms giving as they had done for over 130 years. Dozens of salvers of celebratory food including meat and vegetable dishes were to be distributed among the community. Shortly after the festivities began however men armed with knives and axes stormed the mosque and attacked those within. more..

Baby jumbos, Buddhism and baloney

Aug 2 (AT) Do Sri Lanka’s Buddhists today have a moral leadership? This question has to be raised in the wake of humbugs calling themselves Buddhists trying to cover their naked immorality with a legal fig leaf. If ever there is contest in obfuscation Kandy’s Diyawadana Nilame Nilanga Daela Bandara, Sports Minister Gamini Lokuge and the Mahanayakes of Malwatte and Asgiriya will be the top prize winners. more..

Towards an Anti-Democracy?

Aug 2 (AT) Lankan democracy survived a quarter of a century of war and the threat of the LTTE. Post-war, it may face a greater peril from patriots who dream of eternal rule and dynastic projects. At what price the victory over the LTTE has been won, whether this is another case of exchanging ginger for chillies (that classic Lankan proclivity), only time can reveal. Terrorists are not born; they are made and they make themselves. more..

You pay for this loss

Aug 2 (LB) A ‘white elephant’ is defined as “a burdensome possession; creating more trouble than it is worth." It was revealed recently that there are 11 liquidated government organizations and 140 Commercial Enterprises existing for purposes of “exhibition" in Sri Lanka, being public money-gobbling machines that are completely dependent on the National Treasury for salary payments and maintenance. more..

Tamil parties in IDP racket

Aug 2 (LB) The IGP has alerted police chiefs in Vavuniya about a racket involving smuggling out IDPs from camps by operatives of several Tamil political parties. In a confidential report sent to the DIG, Vavuniya, the IGP has implicated activists of Tamil political parties who laid down arms to join mainstream politics with smuggling civilians for exorbitant fees. The claim has been confirmed by Vavuniya District TNA MP, S Kishor, more..

Lanka didn’t concern UN, West -- Chomsky

Aug 2 (LB) Slamming the United Nations for its indifference toward less powerful countries, world renowned intellectual Professor Noam Chomsky who recently made reference to the Sri Lankan conflict at a UN general assembly told this newspaper last week that “unless some issue is of concern to the great powers, particularly the US, it rarely gets anywhere, despite the lofty rhetoric that resounds in those chambers (of the UN)”. more..

Sri Lankan diplomats out in the cold!

Aug 2 (LB) Many Sri Lankan diplomats will be out in the cold soon and some missions will struggle to function as sharp funding cuts by the Treasury have begun to take effect. This disturbing news of the growing nervousness and uncertainty in most of the country’s 55 diplomatic missions abroad has come at an unfortunate time. As the defeated Tamil Tigers prepare to launch an anti- Sri Lanka political and diplomatic campaign abroad to keep their vision aflame with more..

Delhi – Colombo U.S. Embassies, Robert Blake to decide

Aug 2 (AT) The United States diplomatic mission in New Delhi will soon endeavor to bring “sense” to the political establishment in India, reluctant so far to intervene in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka, the importance of bringing pressure on Sri Lanka to devolve power under the Thirteenth Amendment. In Washington at the State Department assistant secretary Robert Blake will use his clout to convince policymakers of both Obama and Clinton, and more..

‘We will become a power centre’

Aug 2 (Tehelka) The LTTE is trying to regroup following its military defeat by the Sri Lankan army in May 2009. Though routed militarily, the LTTE claims its international network remains intact. Selvarasa Pathmanathan, a former arms procurer for the LTTE chief, operating from an undisclosed location, has vowed to take forward the struggle for Eelam through democratic methods. By roping in various legal experts, the LTTE has formed a team under US-based Tamil legal adviser more..

Prospect for peace and progress in post-war Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (TC) Since the end of the damaging and futile war and the annihilation of the LTTE leadership mid-May this year, many Sri Lankans have expressed conflicting views on the way forward towards lasting peace and development. Some Sinhalese believe there is no need for changing the present centralised governing system; not even the implementation of the 13th Amendment (13A) as the internal conflict has been settled following the successful military campaign. more..

Jaffna-Colombo bus service commences

Aug 2 (GDI) The public transportation services in Jaffna commenced today with 175 passengers boarding four buses from Jaffna to Medawachchiya this morning, Governor of the Northern Province, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said. The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) has initially deployed four buses with more buses to be added to the fleet shortly. A price of a one way ticket has been set at Rs. 475. more..

'Rid Tiger proxies by ballot'

Aug 2 (SO) TULF leader and lead candidate of the Democratic Tamil National Alliance (DTNA) for the Jaffna Municipal Council V. Anandasangaree in his campaign trail in Jaffna said that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) - the LTTE proxies should be got rid of by the ballot similar to how the ruthless LTTE was got rid of by bullets. With the Local Government polls campaigns gathering momentum in Jaffna and Vavuniya more..

Survey on teenage patterns by NCPA

Aug 2 (GDI) In a bid plan out measures to build a strong and disciplined youth generation in the country,the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) is now conducting a survey islandwide to ascertain teenage patterns,attitudes and behavioral methods from various sections of the society. The NCPA has already found out that there is a communication gap between adults and teenagers and advised elders to have a constant dialogue with teenagers as more..

Immunization of displaced children in Wanni

Aug 2 (GDI) A programme to immunize over forty thousand children in welfare camps in Wanni will commence tomorrow (3). The Health Ministry has deployed over 150 medical assistants will necessary drugs being transported to the venue. Apart from the immunization programme, those children would be given vaccines on Polio, Tetanus, Japanese Encephalitis and Rubella with worm treatment. more..

Kataragama fire walking tonight

Aug 2 (GDI) Local pilgrims and foreigners are expected to flock in large numbers to Kataragama tonight to view the attractive fire walking of the historic Kataragama Devale. A special feature will be that over one hundred devotees bare bodied will express their faith the God of Kataragama by walking on fire. Security has been enhanced with additional policemen deployed to ensure the smooth functioning of the perahera and devala activities of the annual ritual. more..

Civil Security Force partner development

Aug 2 (GDI) The country's development projects now being iniated and implemented after crushing terrorism will have the support of over 40,000 members from the Civil Security Force (CSF), according to the Director, CSF, Rear Admiral, Sarath Weerasekere. The CSF will partner development and construction work of the nation in addition to the responsibility of sharing the task of security with the law enforcement authorities. more..

Northern Governor inspects Madhu arrangements

Aug 2 (GDI) Governor of the Northern Province, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri visited the Madu church yesterday (01) in order to assess the progress of the ongoing reconstruction and renovation process prior to its annual festival scheduled to commence on the 6th of August. The Governor held a special discussion with the catholic clergy in charge of the Madu Church and other Government officials to iron out more..

British Government cautions visitors to Sri Lanka

Aug 2 (LG) Following the defeat of the LTTE, the British government has fully revised its advice to visitors. The advice emphasize new menacing phenomenon of Sinhala extremism which has overtly taken over the terrorism of the LTTE that ruled the country for twenty five years. The advise states: ‘Travellers should note that the end of the military conflict has seen an upsurge of nationalism in Sri Lanka. more..

Law of the Jungle - Mysterious culture of shot gun and summary justice

Aug 2 (LG) Citizens run to peace officers and the judiciary for Justice and fair play as the last resort to resolve disputes and security of life, property, members of the family and the future. When they find the institutions are either inefficient incapable or corrupt the resulting position is disastrous. This environment is an ideal breeding ground for Mafia to thrive and to spread as a cancer. more..

Journey of a Journalist (Part 4A)

Aug 2 (LG) In the ‘60s, few colleges or universities outside the United States awarded graduate programs in journalism or mass communication. It would have been unthinkable for the Oxbridge-modeled University of Ceylon to think of journalism or mass communication as a worthy field of study either in the arts or the social sciences. Thus, the renowned journalists who graced our newsrooms some 50 years ago—D. B. Dhanapala, Tarzi Vittachi, more..

The Second Coming ?

Aug 2 (LG) ‘Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K, he knew he had done nothing wrong but, one morning, he was arrested’, so begins Kafka’s The Trial. Joseph K’s unexpected and incomprehensible plight is presaged not by the grand and the ominous, but a sudden absence of normalcy - the non-appearance of breakfast, a curious look on the face of an old neighbour. more..

Jaffna comes alive

Aug 2 (SO) Jaffna, which was a sleepy town under the siege of terrorism for the past three decades, is now repositioning itself to be one of the busiest and most developed cities outside Colombo. Jaffna was a self-sufficient and a well-developed city before terrorism took away its glory and also the self-respect of the people. But today after the ending of the war, rapid development is taking place that has put a fresh leaf of hope among the people. more..

Nanny governments won’t do

Aug 2 (LG) Holy smokes! The Rajapakse government in a seizure of morality — against booze, tobacco and sex — last week announced measures to ‘wipe out the menace of alcohol and tobacco,’ pornography on TV, screening of ‘adults only films’ throughout the country, subjected all commercial telecasts on local TV to be approved by government before telecasting, as well as advertisements on radio and newspapers to be approved by the Public Performances Board. more..

'Baby tuskers would not be sent back to orphanage'

Aug 2 (LT) The two baby tuskers removed from Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage would be definitely offered to prelates of Asgiriya and Malwatta and they would not be sent back to the orphanage says Minister of Sports and Public Recreation Gamini Lokuge. Making a statement at the Temple of the Tooth yesterday (31st) Minister Lokuge said he was prepared to bring the two mother elephants to the Temple of the Tooth if the two calves needed milk. more..

Forthright in defence of human rights

Aug 2 (LG) There is general criticism aimed at those who defend minority national rights stating that such defenders are oblivious to what the Tamil rebels have done to ordinary people and the people who were taken as prisoners. Of course, this is incorrect. We have always opposed attacks on ordinary people, especially on women and children who are oppressed by the war. Attacks on other fighters, simply because they bear a different view on Tamil liberation, have to be condemned as it means our own survival. more..

Itipahan: Analysis of political history through personal odyssey

Aug 2 (SO) As a special segment of Montage, dedicated to promoting and propagating Sinhala literature among the English readership and introducing Sinhala literature to an international audience, Sunday Observer serialises the English translation of the celebrated Sinhala novel 'Itipahan' by veteran Sinhalese novelist Sumithra Rahubadde. More than ten editions of Itipahan have been published and it was also converted into a teledrama. more..

Gamya: A fitting example to modern womanhood

Aug 2 (SO) Gamya Wijayadasa is definitely one of those rare Miss Sri Lanka beauties who never went by her pretty face to bag the prestigious title. Whole heartedly deserving the crown, Gamya is not one of those stereotype beauties whose sole purpose was to win the recently concluded Derana Veet Miss Sri Lanka for Miss World 2009. Studying at Musaeus College until Grade 6, more..

Beyond the call of duty

Aug 2 (SO) The image of public servants in general and Grama Niladaris in particular is usually not very impressive. Most of them normally do not fall into the genre of people who render a commendable service or maintain a pleasant office environment; dingy, poorly maintained premises with hardly any provisions for the public to even make themselves comfortable while they tarry, is the norm when it comes to Grama Niladari offices. more..

'South Africa could cooperate with India in resolving Lanka crisis'

Aug 2 (PTI) The South African government could cooperate with India in resolving the humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim has said. Ebrahim was the chief guest at a fund-raising dinner organised by the Tamil Federation of Gauteng in Johannesburg on Saturday to send humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of Tamils currently housed in camps more..

Namal to contest general election

Aug 2 (NS) Denying rumours that the President’s eldest son, Namal Rajapaksa will contest as the Chief Ministerial candidate in the upcoming Southern Provincial Council UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayanth claimed that Namal Rajapaksa will most probably contest in the next Parliamentary election from Hambantota. “The President’s son will not compete in the upcoming Southern PC election because there is no point in doing so. more..

Nipped in the bud

Aug 2 (NS) Suicide, although not a favourable topic of discussion, is noted today as one of the leading causes of death among teenagers and adults under 35. The World Health Organisation reported that over one million people commit suicide every year, and some 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides are reported worldwide annually. Last week, a student from Musaeus College, a leading girls’ school, committed suicide, while another student attempted suicide, and is in danger of losing hers. more..