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Summary of Cabinet Decisions - 20th August 2009

Aug 21 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minister of Education, Susil Premajayantha for the setting up of national action plans for enhancing education for peace and sustainable development. Accordingly the Ministry of Education and the Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO as its coordinator will undertake the following tasks 01. Assist planning and implementing national action plans on more..

CNN latest report on Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka July tea crop down 11-pct

Aug 21 (LBO) Production of Sri Lanka's main export commodity, tea, remain well below last year's level with the July output at 25.1 million kilos being 11 percent lower than the same month a year ago, brokers said. The outlook for August is also not much better and the supply shortfall is likely to continue, they said. "Sri Lanka’s cumulative shortfall for the year therefore is a massive 42.56 million kilos," more..

Sri Lankan motor company sales slow sharply

Aug 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's United Motors Lanka (UMLL) made a 132 million-rupee loss in the June 2009 quarter as sales almost halved owing to weak orders from government ministries and the private sector. UMLL's June quarter revenues plummeted 45.1 percent to almost 990 million rupees, while cost of sales dropped 50 percent from the corresponding quarter of 2008. Gross profits were down 32.4 percent to 322.7 million rupees. more..

Christian girl begs state: Don't let them kill me!

Aug 21 (WND) A young Christian runaway in foster care awaits her hearing tomorrow when Florida authorities will decide whether she will be forced to return to her Muslim parents – whom she says will kill her for converting to Christianity. Fathima Rifqa Bary, 17, an honor student and cheerleader, was raised in a Muslim family in Columbus, Ohio. She became a Christian four years ago as a result of her interactions with children at school. more..

Sri Lanka Army to open school for anti-terrorism training

Aug 21 (CT) The Sri Lanka Army will establish a school dedicated to anti-terrorism training upon receiving many inquiries from overseas after its troops eliminated terrorism from the island, said Army commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya. The Pakistani Army has already sought a training opportunity on Sri Lanka’s strategies and actions that had proved to be a success against terrorism, he has told the media. more..

Public interest litigation- Used or Misused

Aug 21 (LG) This concept was originated in India and USA as litigation for the protection of public interest, and group rights in the United States. Litigation for Group Rights is rare in Sri Lanka, though in abundance in India USA and UK. It was Justice J.N. Bagwathie and V.R.Kshrina Ayar who initiated the trend in India which gave a ripple effect in Sri Lanka. Deatmtiows on “Taking Stats to Courts” led to the threat of contempt of court, and more..

Some Muslims have forgotten the heart and soul of Islam

Aug 21 (LG) The Muslim world is in confusion and crisis world –wide and in Sri Lanka too. After a series of set-backs since the fall of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924 the worse is now happening viz. sectarian clashes. The incidents in the eastern province and in Beruwela recently have alarmed Muslims of our fair island who earlier lived in harmony and peace among themselves and with the other communities. more..

FACETS Sri Lanka to attract more buyers

Aug 21 (GDI) Facets Sri Lanka,the gem and jewelery exhibition at international grade is expected to attract a large number of foreign buyers next month. The exhibition will commence on September 3 has already attracted over 200 leading buyers at international level. The exhibition will have on display a wide range of gem and jewellery items that would attract the buyers. more..

Song For Peace

First ‘Lobster’ fishery survey in progress

Aug 21 (GDI) The National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) is conducting a management oriented assessment on the number of Lobsters breathing within the coastal seas of Sri Lanka. This is the first survey done in Sri Lanka to reckon the Lobsters species, Section Head of the Marine Biological Resources Division of NARA, Sirira Saputhanthri told more..

Executive Presidency cause for collapse of discipline: Mangala

Aug 21 (DM) SLFP Mahajana wing leader Mangala Samaraweera said yesterday that the Executive Presidency is the cause for the collapse of discipline and escalation of violence in the country and therefore needs to be abolished immediately. Mr. Samaraweera at the press briefing said in the past 31 years in which the Executive Presidency had existed there had been a break down of the socio-economic structure of the country. more..

Special leave for Ramzan festive period

Aug 21 (LP) Special leave facility will be offered to the Muslim employees during the Ramzan period announced the Ministry of Labour Relation and Manpower. Accordingly State sector employees will be entitled for special leave to attend to religious observances during the Ramzan period from 21st of August to the 21st of September. Minister of Labour, Athauda Senivirathne issuing a communiqué requested the Private sector employers to grant leave to the Private sector Muslim employees too. more..

Sri Lanka to train Pakistan army in Tamil land

Aug 21 (TN) “We received a request from Pakistan to train their officers on our small team operations, so we have decided to open several new training schools in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya to train local and foreign military officers,” said new Army Chief Jagath Jayasuriya, reported, Daily Mirror, Friday. The newspaper further quoted the military chief saying that there was a big demand from foreign countries to have their forces trained by Sri Lanka. more..

'What crime did the IDPs commit and under what law are they ‘incarcerated’ by the Govt.?'

Aug 21 (LeN) UNP M.P. Lakshman Kiriella questioned the Govt. on what legal basis the Govt. is holding back the IDPs and for what crimes they committed? These IDPs are ‘incarcerated’ without any valid grounds, he added. These nearly three hundred thousand IDPs being virtually imprisoned by the Govt. without valid legal grounds only goes to prove to the world that there is no law in this country. more..

More ammo and claymores unearthed from Mullaittivu

Aug 21 (LP) Troops conducting search operations in Mullaittivu recovered a large haul of war items from the area yesterday. Troops of the 57 division recovered an RPG bomb and a hand grenade from the Iranamadu at around 1.00pm yesterday. Troops of the same division recovered 723 9mm Pistol ammunition, 43 Anti-personnel mines, 06 Booby traps and 03 Hand Grenades from the Vishwadu area the same day. more..

Commander visits SLAF Iranamadu and SLAF Mulaitivu

Aug 21 (MoD) Yesterday the 20th of August 2009, the Commander of the Air Force carried out an inspection tour of SLAF Iranamadu and SLAF Muliativu the two newest Air Force deployments. Incidentally both these locations were utilized by the now destroyed LTTE to carry out their clandestine air activity. Both locations have runways built by the LTTE to operate light aircraft. more..

US$ 2,014 rise in per capita production

Aug 21 (DN) Finance and State Revenue Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament yesterday that the country’s per capita production has gone up to US$ 2,014 making Sri Lanka the only South Asian country to record the achievement. “Sri Lanka’s economy is growing fast today as a result of a number of projects in the Mahinda Chinthana being implemented”, he said. more..

'Sri Lanka 82 out of 140 countries'

Aug 21 (LNP) Sri Lanka s future in the global knowledge economy of the twenty-first century depends critically on the country s intellectual and human capital. Sri Lanka has been ranked 82 out of 140 countries on the Knowledge Economy Index (KEI), said Country Director, World Bank for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Naoko Ishii. She was speaking on Innovations in Education at a seminar on Wednesday at the Galle Face hotel. more..

Crocs weeping for IDPs II

Aug 21 (LNP) Western governments and some human rights groups seem to think that Sri Lanka`s war displaced are being kept in welfare villages by way of punitive action. While fighting was on, they levelled allegations of genocidal violence against the Sri Lankan military and after the war they tried to press war crime charges against those responsible for wiping out the LTTE leadership. more..

Ports Authority Chairman’s bogus doctorate revealed before parliamentary committee

Aug 21 (LNW) The parliamentary Committee on High Posts on Thursday (20) decided not to confirm Dr. P.B. Wickrema as Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) due to doubts over the veracity of the educational qualifications presented by him following the revelation of his bogus doctorate. The Committee on High Posts met in parliament on Thursday morning under the patronage of Parliamentary Affairs Minister M.H. Mohomad and more..

Overcoming Barriers

Evicted families to return to Musali today

Aug 21 (PSM) Arrangements have been made by the Ministry of Rehabilitation & Resettlement for 270 Muslim families from Puttalam to be taken back to their villages in Musali, Mannar. Minister Rishard Badiudeen stated that 20 buses had been booked to take the 270 families who were ethnically cleansed from Musali by the LTTE in 1990. According to the minister they are taken there to inspect their places of residence in Musali before they were chased out by the LTTE. more..

A progress report:: Taking care of IDPs

Aug 21 (DN) Text of Statement by Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe MP, on the occasion of the adjournment debate on the situation in Internally Displaced Persons’ Welfare Centres in Vavuniya at Parliament on August 19. Sri Lanka has emerged into the light after more than 25 years of battling terrorism. The decisive victory gained on the battlefield has thrown up new challenges. more..

President envisions: Subsidy free country

Aug 21 (DN) “The people in my country will no longer depend on subsidies and the local Government institutions should not be offices from which these subsidies are disbursed,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Village development will become fruitless if it does not comply with the expectations and conviction of the people. Local Government institutions should show more commitment and dedication towards the public service winning their hearts and souls, said President Rajapaksa. more..

Mother denies aiding son hide away

Aug 21 (Gulf) The mother of a murder suspect has rejected the charge of aiding her son and helping him hide from the police, a court heard Thursday. "I am not guilty. My 23-year-old son asked me to book for him to fly to our homeland. I didn't know about the premeditated murder," argued the 41-year-old Sri Lankan mother when she defended herself before the Dubai Court of First Instance Thursday. more..

India ready to help reconstruct North

Aug 21 (MoD) Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila told Parliament yesterday the Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, expressed India's readiness to participate in the reconstruction of Northern Sri Lanka so as to overcome the ravages of armed conflict and also lay the economic and political foundation for a sustainable peace in which all communities in Sri Lanka feel comfortable. more..

'Death of suspect in murder attempt of Sarath Fonseka is suspicious'

Aug 21 (LT) The death of an Army Corporal while being detained at terrorist investigations unit on suspicion of aiding in the murder attempt of former Army Commander and present Chief of Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka could be the result of an attempt to sabotage the process of investigations suspect security sections. It had been revealed that the female suicide bomber who blasted the bomb targeting more..

Three police officers willing to show places where youths were shot at

Aug 21 (LT) The CID was given permission by Mt. Lavinia Magistrate yesterday to detain and question two police constables and a town guard who had said they could show the places where the two youths who were arrested by Angulana Police and later found murdered at two different places were shot at. The Magistrate who accepted the request by the CID to question the trio to find out cartridges and parts used in the killing informed that more..

Why aren’t Parliamentarian allowed to go beyond Medawachchiya? Anura

Aug 21 (LT) When all others are allowed to travel beyond Medawachchiya why aren’t parliamentarians of the opposition not allowed to do so asked JVP Parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake in Parliament yesterday. He said JVP Parliamentarian for Anuradhapura District who had to attend a funeral had to ride a motorbike and mix with civilians to go beyond the check point at Medawachchiya. more..

Sri Lanka accountants promote transparency in financial reporting

Aug 21 (LBO) The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) said its annual reports awards to be held in November will be aimed at promoting greater transparency in financial reporting. It said in a statement that 22 awards will be given at the awards ceremony to be held on November 25. "The concern for the sustainability of a company is no longer limited to its shareholders but to all its stakeholders," more..

Plan to resettle IDPs in the midst of Army and Sinhala settlements

Aug 21 (LNW) A source close to the President said that the release of IDPs has been postponed indefinitely with the government focusing on a plan to resettle them along with the new Sinhala and military settlements that are to be set up in the north. The source further noted that the plan is to resettle people in areas in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, below Mannar and above Vavuniya , where there are currently no people. more..

‘SL crushed terrorism without British arms’

Aug 21 (Island) Army Chief Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya yesterday dismissed British press reports that weapons of British origin had been used against the LTTE in the Eelam war IV. Sri Lanka’s largest ever combined forces offensive, spearheaded by former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka brought the LTTE to its knees, first in the East and then in the Vanni in two years and 10 months. Major combat operations came to an end on May 19 this year. more..

People approved our policies - President

Aug 21 (DN) Our continuous election victories have shown that the public approved the policies and programs of the Government which fulfils the promises given to them, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at the swearing-in ceremony of the Provincial Council members elected to the Uva Provincial Council held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. more..

Patients suffer as 18 of 29 dialysis machines out of order

Aug 21 (Island) Around 15,000 kidney patients in the North Central Province are in dire straits as 18 of the 29 dialysis machines in the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital are out of order. Of 40 patients with serious kidney damage needing daily dialysis, only 12 are accommodated. In the North Central Province, especially in Padaviya, Medawachiya, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, there are 1,500 patients with serious kidney damage who need dialysis thrice a week but more..

'Govt. not acting against the concept of devolution'

Aug 21 (Island) The government denied that it was acting against Provincial Council laws and the concept of devolution by taking over certain regional hospitals. Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, when asked, if the government’s decision to take over the functioning of the Batticaloa and Ampara hospitals, militates against the concept of devolution, as envisaged in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, said that it had been done with the Eastern Provincial Council’s permission. more..

Each Lankan in debt to the tune of about Rs. 200,000

Aug 21 (Island) Each Sri Lankan was in debt to the tune of Rs. 196,914 this year, Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament yesterday. The total debt of Sri Lanka stood at the Rs. 4,020,780 million, Minister Siyambalapitiya said. The Minister was answering a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Sri Lanka’s labour force stood at 8,160,000 in the first quarter of 2009, he said. more..

No proof of LTTE funding films

Aug 21 (TOI) The allegation by Sri Lankan Minister for Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen, that LTTE funded Rajnikanth's films has once again turned the deco lights on funding of films. The minister reportedly told Asian Tribune, "The money was not directly sent. Millions of US dollars were given to a London-based Tamilian. He was asked to produce Tamil films in Chennai with top stars like Rajnikanth," more..

'More than 59,000 displaced families resettled'

Aug 21 (LP) A number of 59,608 displaced families in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara , Mannar and Jaffna have been resettled in their original habitats , said Minister Rishad Bathiudeen in parliament yesterday. Government was able to re-settle 35, 766 families in Batticaloa. 22,068 families and 669 families have been sheltered in Trincomalee DS division and Mannar respectively. more..

A/H1N1 flu cases increase to 75 in Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan health authorities said Friday that 75 A/H1N1 flu cases have been confirmed in the country, but most of them only have minor symptoms and have been discharged from the hospital. Officials from the Epidemiological Unit of the Ministry of Health said about 90 percent of the patients contracted the disease abroad, while 10 percent of them contracted in Sri Lanka. The first confirmed case of A/H1N1 flu in Sri Lanka was reported on June 16. more..

Don’t hurl baseless allegations against ministers : Speaker

Aug 21 (DM) Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara yesterday asked MPs not to raise supplementary questions and use that as an excuse to hurl allegations against ministers without proper evidence. The Speaker made these observations when referring to JVP member Lakshman Nipunarachchi’s allegations that the railway department had spent Rs.600,000 to paint Jak trees only to be destroyed later. more..

Stomach bug hits Kiwis in Sri Lanka

Aug 21 (AFP) A stomach bug has laid low two star New Zealand cricketers during the ongoing first Test against Sri Lanka, an official said on Friday. Batsman Jesse Ryder and wicket-keeper Brendon McCullum woke up sick on Friday morning and were confined to their hotel rooms as the fourth day's play began at the Galle International Stadium. "They are very sick and I am not sure if, and at what stage, they will take part in this Test," more..

Now a racist question in A/L paper: UNP

Aug 21 (DM) In the continuing scandal of test paper errors, the main opposition UNP charged yesterday that this year’s A’ Level Sinhala test paper had a question that was racist in nature. UNP member Akila Viraj Kariyawasam said a topic for an essay carrying 25 marks had referred to weapons captured from the LTTE in military operations and LTTE’s motives in seeking a solution that went beyond Eelam. more..

Former CCD chief’s wife remanded

Aug 21 (DM) The wife of former chief of the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) Vas Gunawardene was, yesterday, remanded till August 31 following questioning by CCD detectives in the controversial case of the abduction and assault of a student of the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology in Malabe. The remand order was made by the Kaduwela Magistrate Mahanil Prasantha de Silva, yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka set New Zealand 413 to win

Aug 21 (CI) There was no case of second-time-unlucky for Tillakaratne Dilshan, and a blazing century pushed a tummy-bug-hit New Zealand to the brink as the Galle Test entered its climactic phase. Having taken a 153-run lead, with Muttiah Muralitharan taking his 100th wicket at Galle, Sri Lanka piled on the misery either side of lunch, with stroke-filled cameos from Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene and Thilan Samaraweera buttressing Dilshan's stunning effort. more..

Monsoon Floods and IDP Camps

Probe sought over Tamil death

Aug 22 (BBC) Parents of two teenage Tamil girls found dead in Colombo have sought judicial intervention to investigate the cause of their death. Bodies of two Tamil girls from estate sector, Lakshmanan Sumadhi, 13, and Madhuraweeran Jayarani, 16, were found in a canal near Torrington Place, Colombo on 15 August. Police have informed the court that the two Tamil girls of Indian origin, who have been working as domestic workers in Colombo, have committed suicide. more..

Sri Lanka Air Force 'The Best Air Force in the World'

Aug 22 (MoD) Addressing the newly commissioned officers and passed out airmen at the SLAF Base China Bay today (Aug 21), Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa stated that the Sri Lanka Air Force compared to the rest of the world, could be rated as the best Air Force in operation. "With limited resources and hi-tech machines, the Sri Lanka Air Force defeated the LTTE, purely using their knowledge, skills, and experience. more..

President meets parents of 2 youth who died in police custody

Aug 22 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has met with parents of the two youths who died while in the custody of Angulana Police in Moratuwa. The meeting took place at Temple Trees today (Aug. 21). Mr. Rajapaksa observed the grief and emotion of the relatives and promised stern action against those responsible for the killings, reported. The lost lives were priceless, the president has observed, more..

Minister Wijenayake to file action against UNP MP Jayasekara

Aug 22 (CT) Cultural affairs minister Piyasiri Wijenayake has said that he would be filing legal action against UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara for having leveled a false allegation against him over his official vehicle. The parliamentarian told the House yesterday (Aug. 20) that Mitsubishi Montero of minister Wijenayake was costing more than Rs. 390,000 per month as rental and fuel charges. more..