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China a ‘stakeholder’ in Sri Lanka’s development: Sri Lanka

Aug 22 (PTI) Describing China as a “major stakeholder” in Sri Lanka’s development, Colombo has said Beijing had offered financial support and had stood by the country in “crucial situations“. “China has extended its support to us... despite some international pressures on Sri Lanka in recent times,” senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa said, more..

Cars, hearts and kidneys – II

Aug 22 (Island) Like the Seven Ages of man, there are various stages of gratifying desires that an ordinary human being goes through in life. Some people live their lives to the fullest from the word go. Others either do not succumb to cupidity, covetousness, concupiscence etc as a matter of policy or unwillingly practise self-denial in keeping with their public image and religiosity. more..

New book reveals India’s ‘hidden hand’ in Sri Lanka war

Aug 22 (IANS) India played a critical, albeit covert, role in the success of Sri Lanka’s war against the Tamil Tigers, with the Indian Navy providing vital intelligence in locating and destroying at least a dozen LTTE rogue vessels laden with arms, says the first such detailed account of the operation. India’s covert support to Sri Lanka in the war against the LTTE assumed many forms, ranging from back-channel talks and more..

Judiciary in confidence building

Aug 23 (BBC) Civil courts are to be established in the recently liberated Killinochchi and Mullativu districts. The Deputy Minister of Justice, B.Putrasigamani told Sandeshaya that a decision has been taken to set up courts before resettlements take place in those areas. A high court and a magistrate court will be established in Killinochchi while Mullaitivu will have a magistrate court, he said. more..

Dilshan made the difference - Vettori

Aug 23 (CI) Daniel Vettori has singled out Tillakaratne Dilshan's ruthless performance with the bat as the key factor behind New Zealand's 202-run defeat in Galle. Dilshan, promoted to open the innings for the first time in Tests, raced to 92 off 72 balls in the first innings and followed it up with a century in the second which helped his team set New Zealand an improbable target. more..

Sangakkara salutes bowling unit

Aug 23 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has said the amount of pressure his bowlers built around New Zealand paid off and brought them victory on the final day of the first Test in Galle. "It wasn't an easy victory, I think we had to work very hard for it," Sangakkara said after Sri Lanka won by 202 runs. "It's the amount of pressure we built around the New Zealand batsmen that really paid off. more..

Sri Lanka upstage Lebanon 4-3 after Issadeen hat-trick

Aug 23 (Reuters) Mohamed Issadeen scored a hat-trick to power Sri Lanka to an upset 4-3 win over Lebanon in a league game of the five-nation Nehru Cup on Saturday. Issadeen put Sri Lanka ahead in the seventh minute but Lebanon, who beat hosts India 1-0 in the opening game, equalised two minutes later through Akram Moghrabi's header. Lebanon were reduced to 10 men in the 41st minute when Moghrabi was sent off for kicking an opponent, more..

President slashes Susil’s powers by appointing executive advisor

Aug 23 (LNW) An executive advisor has been appointed on a Presidential directive to the Education Ministry, who has the mandate to give orders to the Minisry Secretary and other officials, slashing Edcuation Minister Susil Premajayantha’s powers. Dr. Upali M. Sedara has been appointed as the Executive Director to the Edcuation Minister with effect from August 21, 2009. more..

Nehru Cup: This is one of our best results ever – Sri Lanka Coach

Aug 23 (Goal) Lebanon were expected to beat Sri Lanka because of the former’s superior FIFA ranking and also because of the fact that they had already beaten India. But the Lankans produced a brilliant second half performance to record a memorable victory. Coach Pereira was delighted with the result and praised his players for a wonderful performance. He said, “This is one of our best results ever. We played really well and deserved to win this match. more..

Govt to purchase farmers’ harvest

Aug 23 (AT) The government allocates a sum of Rs. Two billion through the Treasury, to purchase the harvested paddy in the Yala season directly from the paddy farmers. The move is to protect the paddy farmers by providing them a reasonable price for their product and also to keep stocks of rice. The Paddy Marketing Board, one arm of the paddy purchasing body said that they have already begun the process of purchasing paddy in Ampara, Hambantota, Kantalai and more..

US blasted for meeting diaspora

Aug 23 (LB) The government has lodged a strong protest with the US Department of State over Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake’s recent meeting with pro LTTE activists, sources said. Through the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, the Sri Lanka government has very effectively registered its anger with the US Department of State and Robert Blake’s role regarding Sri Lankan affairs. more..

Where were we when all this happened?

Aug 23 (LB) Suddenly, we’ve gone all sanctimonious on the police force. We are so incensed with policemen that we are beginning to box their ears when they come around to make an arrest. But what the devil are we riled up about? The rot set in decades ago - not last night. Sure, a boy got brutally beaten up in Malabe by some big police fellow’s son. Pardon the French but what else is new? The police then tried to fix the victim by claiming he had ‘connections with the underworld’. more..

Top brass made millionaires by LTTE

Aug 23 (LB) A high powered investigation to probe assets of senior defence and police officials who have become millionaires overnight is underway. This is to clarify and ascertain whether any of them had LTTE links. The need for investigations had arisen after a recent police probe had found that many senior defence and police officers had amassed wealth, working as LTTE spies. These suspect defence officials have been behind a number of suicide attacks targetting ministers and more..

UNP leans on ‘civil society’

Aug 23 (LB) At last the president seemed to acknowledge what only this newspaper exposed last week that Newton Fernando, the police OIC who allegedly was responsible for the murders of two innocent youth in Angulana, was first in Beliatta and then in Suriyaweva. We highlighted in this newspaper that this alleged killer-cop was flaunting VVVIP connections, and that he was boasting that he was the president’s man. more..

Bring the Tamils to the mainstream

Aug 23 (AT) If the Government of Sri Lanka has the vision and wisdom to bring the Tamils into the mainstream and make them believe that they are a part of the Sri Lankan society by developing the northern and eastern regions of the country, it will confirm that the mono ethnic concept created by Prabhakaran a myth, says Professor Rohan Gunaratne head of International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, more..

Central Bank warns public of pyramid schemes

Aug 23 (GDI) The Central Bank has again warned the public to refrain from participating in prohibited pyramid structures that dupe the people.It said that these fraudulent pyramid schemes frce upon the participants to make upfront payments in the promotion to join the scheme. These schemes call upon participants to pay money to purchase products or services when the participant sign up to join. more..

Crowd pulling education fair in Jaffna

Aug 23 (GDI) For the first time in three decades, the Jaffna peninsula will witness the biggest ever education fair combined with an exhibition. It will be held on September 15 and 16 at the popular Jaffna Central College with the participation of well known educationist in the peninsula. Already available space for stalls have been booked by interested parties and many are on a waiting list. more..

Techno 2009 exhibition in October

Aug 23 (GDI) The 'Techno 2009' exhibition, known and described as the prestigious implement of the engineering sector will get underway at the BMICH on October 9 and 10. Elaborate plans are mooted to make the event look more colorful this year with the participation of relevant sections connected to engineering. The Institute of Engineers in Sri Lanka (IESL) which spearheads this event will unleash multi-faceted disciplines, talents, skills and more..

Will Tamils be driven to another insurrection?

Aug 23 (LG) The government blamed UN agencies for floods in IDP camps in Vavuniya saying they had taken the responsibility to construct drainage systems and flood preventive measures at the sites. “The UN agencies involved in the IDP camps had taken the responsibility of constructing the drainage systems and flood preventive measures. So the Government cannot be blamed for the poor condition of the drainage systems which burst and failed,” more..

The shame of Menik Farm

Aug 23 (LG) The floods that affected significant swathes of the expansive Menik Farm a week ago generated interesting responses from government. One of the most revealing was the deafening silence of the usually loquacious Rajiva Wijesinha, and the lack of any statement over the flooding by the Disaster Management and Human Rights Minister, Mahinda Samarasinghe. more..

What is the point in having courts of law?

Aug 23 (LG) Where exactly does one begin to express one’s outrage regarding the state of policing in Sri Lanka? One incident after another has captured the headlines these past weeks. The most problematic of these incidents include the attack on a student, Nipuna Ramanayake allegedly by a gang of police officers led by the son of the Director of the Colombo Crimes Division SSP Vaas Gunewardene and the killing of two young boys over a more..

Criteria to measure human rights improvements

Aug 23 (LG) As some claims have been made about improvements of human rights in Sri Lanka, it may be useful to consider some basic criteria in judging human rights improvements. There are many factors that determine the possibility of improvement of respect for human rights within a particular country. These factors are 1) Constitutional matters, 2) Other legislative matters, 3) Institutional matters, more..

President prepares to cakewalk whilst UNP ponders

Aug 23 (SL) There’s something not quite right about some of the UNP rebels. They are after all representing and are members of, a party that espouses the cause of democracy in its full sense. Yes, there is a problem with inner party democracy but the problem of inner-party democracy is not the sole preserve of the leader. In fact, it is time that the so called rebels, having tried to change the leader and having failed, embrace the principles of democracy and more..

Abolishing the Executive Presidency

Aug 23 (SL) Pressure is being brought on President Mahinda Rajapakse to abolish the Executive Presidency, as pledged by him during the last presidential election campaign, at the end of his first term. The opposition political parties recognise the Executive Presidency as the fountain of all ills that have plagued the country and as a threat to democracy. The indications from government ranks of the possibility of holding an early presidential election, more..

LMS: JKH strikes back?

Aug 23 (SL) Lanka Marine Service, the bunkering operation at the Colombo Port was long a vital but obscure facility tucked away in the depths of Bloemendhal. The high profile privatisation of LMS under the Public Enterprise Reform Committee (PERC) in 2002 however threw the vast and hugely profitable bunkering facility into the public eye. In a process supervised and sanctioned by PERC in 2002, 90% of the shares in LMS were sold to John Keells Holdings (JKH) for approximately Rs. 1.2 billion. more..

Today they are laughing at the way they were….

Aug 23 (SL) The bard had said it for he knew humanity only too well. Teenagers are teenagers whether they are Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or Burghers, or Buddhists, Hindus or Christians. They have their own guarded problems — often they get into a mess and knowing not what to do, take drastic decisions — sometimes causing death. I have been a teacher for 50 long years and after retiring I now teach school children in the various stages of growing up. more..

UPFA on strong footing

Aug 23 (SO) UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayanth and General Secretary of the SLFP Maithripala Sirisena expressed tremendous confidence in the UPFA gaining landslide victories in the Presidential and Parliamentary polls. They also added that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has the prerogative to call for a Presidential Poll after the completion of four-years in November this year of his six-year tenure. more..

A/L question papers bungled at Kotikawatta centre

Aug 23 (LT) It is reported that the distribution of the two sections of the English question paper at the G.C.E. A/L examination scheduled for yesterday had been muddled at the examination centre at Rajasinghe MV at Kotikawatta in Colombo. The section to be given between 8.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. had been paper I. However candidates at hall number 2 of the centre had been given paper II during this period. more..

Construction work in the Medirigiriya new development zone begins today

Aug 23 (AT) Construction in the Medirigiriya new development zone planned under the Moragahakanda Kalu Ganga development project commenced today under the patronage of Minsiter Maithripala Sirisena. Around 3240 families who lost their original houses due to construction of Moragahakanda reservoir will be settled in the new zone. 2000 hectares of new lands will also be given to them for paddy cultivation. more..

Sri Lanka’s ‘Untermenschen’

Aug 23 (AT) The rains are falling, washing away whatever residual belief Tamils may have had in a Sri Lankan future. The influx of monsoon rains is exposing much more than the abhorrent character of the Northern internment camps. It is revealing the unwillingness of the Lankan state and the Sinhala society to treat Tamils as human beings, let alone citizens with equal rights. It is revealing that we, the Sinhalese, are willing to countenance to countenance collective punishment for the Tamils, even without the excuse of a war. more..

UPFA bandwagon of kinsmen, siblings of ministers and actresses on 25th

Aug 23 (LT) The nomination lists of the UPFA for the forthcoming Southern PC election will be completed by Tuesday says UPFA Secretary General Minister Susil Premajayanthe. According to information the list of the UPFA would include former DIG in charge of Southern Province D.W. Prathapasinghe, President’s coordinating secretary for foreign affairs Sajin de Vas Gunawardene, Minister Piyasena Gamage’s son Chandima Gamage, Chandima Rasaputhra, more..

Eco-friendly Customs

Aug 23 (SO) Although the original duties of the Customs were to impose taxes, in the 21st Century Sri Lanka Customs has moved beyond its stereotypical duties to become one of the most elite forces. The Biodiversity Protection Unit of Sri Lanka, the first of its kind, is the pride of Sri Lanka Customs. However, in spite of all precautionary measures taken by Sri Lanka Customs, smugglers take the maximum advantage of loopholes in regulations. more..

IDPs settlement accelerated in Mannar

Aug 23 (SO) In the second phase of the resettlement process the Government has resettled 442 families numbering 1,898 persons in Musali Divisional Secretariat Division in Mannar District last Friday. Accordingly 94 Tamil fishing families numbering 347 persons displaced during 2007 from Kokkupadayan were resettled in their own places while 348 Muslim families numbering 1,551 persons who were forcibly evicted by the LTTE in 1990 from Pandaraweli, Weppankulam, Poonarachchikulam, more..

'Don't send children as domestics'

Aug 23 (SO) Vice President of the Ceylon Workers' Alliance S. Kanapathiraja alerted estate workers not to send their children as domestic servants and let them become victims of all sorts of abuses and violence. Kanapathiraja was speaking at the funerals of the two young girls whose bodies were found in a canal at Baudhaloka Mawatha, Colombo. The two victims who were from Maskeliya were working as domestic servants at a house in Colombo. more..

Focus on the precious liquid

Aug 23 (SO) The World Water Week organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute ended yesterday, where various significant topics were discussed such as the wise use of land and water resources, balancing competing claims for water, food and energy, rainfall variability and climate change, water and sanitation, improving access to water supply in small towns, water governance, etc... many of which were also applicable in the Sri Lankan setting. more..

Morris Minor Heritage

Aug 23 (NS) In today’s world of modern cars, only one vintage car has won the hearts of many an automobile fan and collectors alike and is still used even 60 years after manufacture, like no other- Morris Minor. This vehicle, which is still the most widely used vintage car, was first manufactured in the United Kingdom (UK) in1948, and although it went out of production in 1964, is still popular not only in Sri Lanka, but more..

Opposition Alliance yet to be finalised – Hassan Ali

Aug 23 (NS) With the three-decade-old bloody civil war ending last May, along with the two main ethnic groups - Sinhalese and Tamils, Sri Lanka’s third largest community, the Muslims too, are hopeful that their grievances would be resolved. M.T. Hassan Ali, General Secretary of the SLMC, the largest Muslim political party in the country, said that the grievances of the Muslims have yet to be addressed. more..

Speaker unable to cope

Aug 23 (NS) The first Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) report, of the fourth session of the sixth Parliament was the centre of attention above all other issues being discussed in Parliament, as several opposition MPs, who are also members of the COPE, opposed the report presented in the House, for its veracity. The report exposed multimillion rupee frauds of 20 public enterprises for the period July 8, 2008-December 31, 2008, during which the COPE had met on 20 occasions. more..

Commuters galore on A9

Aug 23 (NS) Hundreds of passengers are now daily commuting between the north and south using road and rail transport with the limited air transport being prohibitively expensive. According to Jaffna Government Agent K. Ganesh since about the beginning of the month seven CTB buses are daily plying between Jaffna and Vavuniya/Medawachchiya leaving Jaffna each morning early enough to catch the afternoon Colombo bound train from Vavuniya. more..

Questionable financial operations of Shriram

Aug 23 (SL) Much has been reported about certain Ceylinco Group subsidiaries that have begun to crumble due to their questionable financial operations and the strain on the duped depositors, with at least one depositor attempting to commit suicide. While the drama that followed with the Golden Key Credit Card Company and Finance & Guarantee Company Ltd. brought to the fore the agony of depositors, it is not wrong to say that often, more..

Kotelawala taken to Central Bank to examine list of his assets

Aug 23 (Island) Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala was taken to the Central Bank under heavy security escort to be shown the list of his assets identified and valued for disposal to repay depositors of the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Company. He was led by prison officers to the Central Bank’s Golden Key Secretariat, where he spent time examining the list of assets earmarked to go under the hammer, more..

Politikkas blue and green

Aug 23 (Island) Political observers are fond of citing an oft-repeated quote, frequently attributed to a rumbustuous southern politician who acknowledged his own weaknesses in an election poster proclaiming "ooth balla, mooth balla, apita hondai gamey balla." While the pithy flavour of the original Sinhala is not adequately translatable, what it says is that while both candidates are canines, the voter would prefer the village dog! Such voter attitudes seem to be the logic that many of our politicians live by. more..

Open letter to the President of Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (Island) I am a well educated senior citizen of Sri Lanka. I have been a committed socialist since my early youth. I have supported and voted for the candidates of the SLFP or its alliance left-wing parties at every election since I became a registered voter, i.e. for the past 45 years. I am strongly in support of your policies of strengthening the State Sector and your commitment to maintain the backbone of Sri Lanka's economy and more..

“My resignation will force leadership to find solutions to party issues”

Aug 23 (NS) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara says the party leadership has failed to implement decisions taken, and he won’t return to the UNP Working Committee unless these issues are resolved. Q: You resigned from the working committee of the party on August 12. Has the leadership accepted your letter of resignation? A: No. Ranil Wickremesinghe told me that he will not accept my letter, and he told me that he is not even willing to read it. more..

Culture and Natural Beauty: Find the best of both in Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (JP) The sun has just faded on the Port of Colombo, as lights from the ships docking in the harbor shimmer through the dusk, brightening the surrounding areas and my view through from the 16th story of the Hilton Hotel reveals the landscape of the shiny port. After an enjoyable four-hour plane ride from Jakarta, via Singapore, our group of Indonesian journalist, guests of Sri Lanka Airlines and Jetwing Tours, already convinced us we’d be busy exploring what we saw before us. more..

UNP’s efforts to forge a broad coalition run into snags

Aug 23 (Island) UNP efforts to form a broad coalition against President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government appears to have run into a storm with an influential section of the main Opposition party openly undermining Mangala Samaraweera, MP, a key player in the opposition grouping. Political sources said that disruption of a meeting called by the group at the auditorium of the Kurunegala Young Men Buddhist Association last week highlighted trouble brewing. more..

Impaled man survives to tell his tale

Aug 23 (ST) 52-year-old D.M. Gunarathne, who is now recovering at the National Hospital after an amazing operation, fell victim to a freak accident at a construction site, where three 16 mm iron rods 20’ long, pierced his body. Kumudini Hettiarachchi pieces together the incredible events that unfolded after the accident on that fateful day of August 6. He was in agony but fully conscious and even held the three iron rods tightly while they were being sawed to a shorter length, more..

A spoke in the police wheel

Aug 23 (ST) That the image of the Police Department, one of the main instruments that extend the Government's writ countrywide, had hit a new low was cause for serious public concern this week. It was of even bigger concern to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was incensed that it came as a bad reflection on his Government. It had only three months ago militarily defeated the Tiger guerrillas. more..

Suicide bomb kits found near Sri Lanka IDP town

Aug 23 (Xinhua) Police have found some 4 suicide bomb kits used by the Tamil Tiger rebels, police said on Sunday. Senior deputy inspector general Nimal Mediwaka, the police spokesman told reporters here that they were found Saturday evening at Nelukkulam in the northern Vavuniya district. Vavuniya is the home for nearly 300,000 civilians displaced by the last stages of conflict between the LTTE rebels and the military. more..

Public funds continue to be wasted in state sector

Aug 23 (ST) Public funds continue to go waste in many state institutions due to operating inefficiencies and noncompliance with rules and regulations, according to the latest Auditor General’s report. Among the 25 state institutions that came under the Auditor General’s scrutiny was parliament where his report said the internal audit mechanism was not satisfactory. It noted that palriament’s Internal Audit Unit (IAU) which should be independent of those entrusted with more..