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Small boat operations: Now, UK wants to share Lanka’s experience

Aug 24 (Island) Against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s unparalleled military victory over LTTE terrorism, foreign powers are lining up to study Sri Lanka’s modus operandi in fighting the LTTE. Former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka, who spearheaded the war against the LTTE, declared on the Vellimullivaikkal beach that the international community would seek Sri Lanka’s expertise as it was the only success story against terrorism since the British campaign in Malaya in the 1950s. more..

Recognising leading social entrepreneurs

New boundary wall around Sri Maha Bodhi

Aug 24 (Island) The centuries old Boundary Wall of the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Image House which remained in a dilapidated condition was replaced with a beautifully hewn and masterly crafted granite wall consisting of five finely sculptured granite stairways at a cost of Rs. 40 million by the Anuradhapura Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi Development Fund with the concurrence of the Atamasthanadhipathy Nayake Thero. more..

170 police officers facing charges

Aug 24 (DM) In the wake of the mounting number of police brutalities, Police Chief Jayantha Wickramaratne said yesterday that at least 170 police officers were facing charges of misconduct. He told a state owned radio station that legal action had been taken against the errant police officers and reminded the public that such police misconduct or any other crime could be reported using fax number 0112 44 6174. more..

Launch of another airline: Is tourism industry prepared

Aug 24 (Island) Launch of Air Asia this week was fairly dripping with media hype. All well and good the launch was an event of glamour but there was one point at conjecture. The event started 45 minutes late. Questions were raised why the launch was delayed. Managing Director Setmil Aviation, Arjuna Hettiarachchi said that because Deputy Minister Hussain Bhaila was late, ‘protocol’ was that they had to await his arrival which in consequence delayed the launch. more..

'President’s rule will last two decades'

Aug 24 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapakse will continue as the head of State for twenty years, said Minister Bandula Gunawardana addressing a meeting at Menikhinna in Kundasale on Saturday 22. There was no one who could prevent President Rajapaksa from ruling the country for two decades. The Opposition could not pose any challenge to him because it was now like a dog without a tail, more..

Sri Lanka calls for more Tests in T20 era

Aug 24 (AFP) Sri Lanka's top stars, including the world's leading bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, want more Test matches to be played despite the growing popularity of Twenty20 cricket. The off-spinner, who has more Test (777) and one-day (511) wickets than any other bowler and will quit the five-day game at the end of 2010, said Test matches raised the stamina and skills of cricketers. "Tests are the ultimate challenge of cricket," more..

‘Small Miracle’ to have a miraculous change

Aug 24 (DM) The Tourism Ministry has, in newspaper advertisements appearing on Saturday, sought ideas and proposals from the public to replace the ‘Sri Lanka Small Miracle’ tag line which was used to promote the island as a tourist destination. Last week the Tourism Ministry had decided to replace the tag line, which had run into controversy as the President was not happy about it. A controversy grew over the ‘Sri Lanka Small Miracle’ tag from its inception. more..

'Another Waters Edge set to begin'

Aug 24 (DM) Another scandal in the same mould as the Waters Edge saga seems to be brewing as residents of Nagahamulla Road charged that a land situated on the road adjoining Parliament is to be handed over to the private sector, allegedly by the Urban Development Authority. The Nagahamulla Water Retention Land Protection Organization, which has been formed by area residents to protect the 50 acre block of land, more..

Buoyant Sri Lanka seek a Kiwi whitewash

Aug 24 (AFP) Kumar Sangakkara's Sri Lanka will have more than just a series win at stake when they take on New Zealand in the second and final cricket Test here from Wednesday. With Ashes losers Australia relegated from the number one spot for the first time since official Test rankings were introduced in 2003, the race has begun for second place, behind South Africa on a rating of 122. more..

Dealing With Diehards

Aug 24 (SP) Sri Lanka has a unique peacekeeping problem in their own country. Although the Sri Lankan military finally defeated the separatist LTTE Tamil rebels earlier this year, they know that many of the individual LTTE members have not given up the fight (to partition the island country). Most of those LTTE members are confined to refugee camps, where most civilians in the northern part of the country, where the final battles were fought, are now living. more..

Dengue fever cases rise to 24,001 in Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (Xinhua) The number of Dengue cases has risen to 24,001 while 240 people have died of the disease in Sri Lanka so far, the Epidemiological Unit of the Health Ministry said on Monday. The Epidemiological Unit said in its latest statistics that of the 24,001 cases, the highest number of patients were reported from June totaling 7,048. It is followed by July with 6,843 cases being reported. more..

'This is how I managed the war'

Aug 24 (DM) The Army’s strategy of acting like guerrilla organisation, the restructuring of the Army, ending corruption, increasing its strength, firepower and a direct chain of command that went from the top to grass root levels, forced the end of terrorism in the country. Chief of Defence Staff, General Sarath Fonseka, in his first public appearance nearly three months after the elimination of terrorism in the country, more..

Indian activists arrested while heading for Katchatheevu

Aug 24 (SL) Hindu Makkal Katchi State Secretary Annadurai and three others were arrested when they arrived here today en route to Katchatheevu to 'celebrate' the Vinayaga Chathurthi festival as part of their demand for retrieval of the island, ceded to Sri Lanka by India. Annadurai told newsmen that he and his supporters were on their way to Katchatheevu to celebrate the festival but police arrested them more..

Bishop sees little hope of missing priest being alive

Aug 24 (UCAN) The bishop of Jaffna believes the chance that a priest who disappeared three years ago might still be alive is "remote." Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam made this assessment in his message on the third anniversary of the disappearance of Father Thiruchelvam Nihal Jim Brown and layman Wenceslaus Vincent Vimalathas. The Tamil prelate's message was read at a gathering that included the parents of Father Jim Brown, as he is known, priests and more..

'We are not here for sightseeing'

Aug 24 (ESPN) Nothing succeeds like success. The power of a victory can be so galvanizing. The Sri Lankan football team is a glaring example. Poor cousins to their world champion cricket team, the island’s footballers have suddenly become the talking point in this year’s Nehru Cup tournament in Delhi. While it will be a challenge to hold on to their new status as giant-killers – Lanka clash with top seeds Syria Monday evening – the confidence is palpable. more..

Lankan bank opening in North to recruit only Tamil

Aug 24 (ZN) Putting behind the LTTE days, a Sri Lankan bank has announced its decision to open its first branch in the North and has decided to recruit the staff entirely from the Tamil speaking region. The Colombo ‘Sampath Bank’ is reaching out to the people of Jaffna by opening its first branch in the Northern Peninsula, the first banking house to do so since the end of the civil war. In accordance with the Government development scheme Uthuru Wasanthaya, the Bank decided to exclusively recruit qualified residents of Jaffna to more..

Warning over Sphere standards in IDP camps as monsoon looms

Aug 25 (IRIN) Sphere standards at internally displaced persons (IDO) camps in northern Sri Lanka are being undermined due to overcrowding, say aid workers. The Sphere Project, a collaboration of international NGOs and the Red Cross Movement to improve the quality of disaster response, outlines best practices in food aid, nutrition, health, water and sanitation and emergency shelter provision. more..

Dolphin van scare in Vavuniya camps

Aug 25 (BBC) Displaced Tamil people are being daily abducted from camps in Vavuniya by people who come in vans, a displaced person told the BBC. Speaking with BBC Sandeshaya from a camp for IDP in Vavuniya, the IDP said all the displaced try to hide in their tents as the 'Dolphin vans' arrive in the camps. "We do not know what exactly happens as everybody hides as soon as they see the vans. But I know that two to three people are disappearing daily," he said. more..

Openers hand Sri Lanka A convincing win

Aug 25 (CI) Twin centuries by the Sri Lanka A openers handed the hosts a much-needed win to stay afloat in the five-match series against Pakistan A. Upul Tharanga and Mahela Udawatte's mammoth 222-run stand after Sri Lanka A chose to bat was followed up by some disciplined bowling as they sealed their maiden win via the D/L method. Both batsmen looked firmly in control and scored at a brisk rate. more..

Syria blow Sri Lanka away

Aug 25 (ESPN) The Syrians did not have to try too hard to get the better of the Lankans, who had surprised all by beating Lebanon 4-3 on Saturday. With this victory at Ambedkar Stadium on Monday, Syria also consolidated their lead at the top of the table. They are now ahead of the pack with six points in their kitty and six goals to their name. Syria’s Mohamad Alzino drew first blood in the 27th minute. more..

Lanka second in Test rankings

Aug 25 (BBC) The Sri Lankan cricket team has reached the second top spot in ICC Test rankings after Australia were defeated by England in the Ashes series on Monday. It is the first time Sri Lanka achieved such a high rank in international Test rankings, Daily Mirror sports editor Channaka de Silva said. “This is a unique moment in Sri Lanka’s short history of Test cricket,” president of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), DS de Silva told more..

Tamil doctors released on bail

Aug 25 (BBC) A court in Colombo has ordered the release of four government doctors detained on suspicion on providing 'false information' to international media outlets. Colombo chief magistrate Nishantha Hapuarachchi made the order after the police Criminal Investigation Division (CID) said the police have no objections over releasing them on bail. more..

Sri Lanka foils suicide bomb plot: police

Aug 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka is hunting a team of Tamil Tiger suicide bombers alleged to have plotted the death of the president's brother, who is also the island's top defence official, police said on Monday. The State Intelligence Service (SIS) discovered a haul of explosives, a suicide jacket, ammunition and an automatic weapon that was to have been used against defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, police said in a statement. more..

An open letter to all MPs on the need to urgently deal with lawlessness in the Police

Aug 25 (AHRC) I am writing this on behalf of the Asian Human Rights Commission on a matter that is, I am sure that of great importance and urgency to all the members of parliament, whatever political party they might belong to. This is the issue of extreme lawlessness within the policing system which is causing shock, scandal and fear among the people. There is no doubt that you will agree on the seriousness of the problem and more..

Chamal’s gratitude to President is gift of reception hall built with Port Authority money

Aug 25 (LT) It has been reported that a reception hall is being built at ‘Temple Trees’ with the total contribution from Sri Lanka Ports Authority that comes under Chamal Rajapakse’s ministry. The hall is being built so that 5000 guests could be accommodated at any reception. The cost of the whole project is borne by the Ports Authority and construction is handled by the employees of the port. more..

Late rights activist hailed for civic, interreligious commitment

Aug 25 (UCAN) Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and civic groups mourning a rights activist say he struggled to bring peace and a just society to Sri Lanka. Kingsley Rodrigo, 55, a Buddhist, died Aug. 16 as a result of heart failure linked to other health problems including diabetes and high blood pressure. "It is a big loss to the interreligious movements and civic groups," Oblate Father Tissa Balasuriya said more..

Anura responds to Yapa on abolition of executive presidency

Aug 25 (LT) JVP MP Anura Dissanayake has sent a letter in response to statements made by Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene on the views expressed by the JVP on the need to abolish the executive presidency. In his letter Mr. Dissanayake states “At a media meeting held on the 19th of August you have made a statement regarding the views expressed by the JVP on the need to abolish the executive presidency. more..

Sri Lankan authorities request to hand over criminals to them

Aug 25 (SL) Three Sri Lankan Tamil youths, rescued by Coast Guard officials after they were found stranded in sea near here on July 31, were criminals wanted in several cases, including dacoity and burglary, by the Sri Lankan police. The Indian Coast Guard had received a request from Sri Lankan police that the youths Anushan, Sharadbabu and Tirukumarn be handed over to them as various crimnal cases were pending against them in Jaffna. more..

Cook helped attack on Lankan Army chief

Aug 25 (HT) It could have been the perfect recipe for disaster for former Sri Lankan army chief, General Sarath Fonseka, recently made the chief of defence staff (CDS). Trooper Siddiqui with the voluntary armoured corp was cooking for Fonseka since 2002 in Jaffna and was his main chef at his official residence in Colombo where he moved in 2004. But culinary skills was not Siddiqui’s only forte – he was a LTTE cadre given the job of more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka, National zoo celebrate Asian elephant day

Aug 25 (SLE) The Embassy of Sri Lanka and Washington National Zoo celebrated Asia Elephant Saturday, recognizing the zoo’s two elephants of Sri Lankan lineage and the wildlife conservation work of both Sri Lanka and the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington National Zoo. “This celebration highlights the Smithsonian Institution’s efforts in the field of wildlife conversation in Asia, with special emphasis on the protection of elephants,” more..

Sri Lanka: We Were Tired Against Syria

Aug 25 (Goal) At the post match conference Sri Lanka coach Sampatha Perera said that fatigue and the absence of key defender D. Heittiarachchi through suspension were the key factors the team's 4-0 loss to Syria. Sri Lanka were high on confidence coming into this game after defeating Lebanon but they were totally outclassed by Syria. Coach Perera feels that there was not enough rest for his team after the last game. more..

Political parties busy with nominations for SPC election

Aug 25 (AT) Sri Lanka’s political parties are busy with finalizing the nomination lists for another provincial council election. Sri Lanka’s Southern Provincial Council was dissolved on August 03 and the Elections Secretariat had announced that the nominations would be accepted during the period of August 21 to 28. The polls for the Southern Provincial Council are scheduled to be held in mid October and last election was held in 2004, more..

New roads to link N-E with South

Aug 25 (MoD) Two new roads, Trincomalee outer Circular Road and Seruwila-Somawathiya Road have been planned by the Road Development Authority (RDA) with the active participation of the Sri Lanka Army to improve connectivity between the Eastern and Northern Provinces with the rest of the country and facilitate an efficient road network for the economic development of the country. The Trincomalee outer circular road will provide access to new areas more..

Inspiring Sri Lankas Youth: TED Ex

Security concerns determine fate of Vanni IDPs

Aug 25 (LG) The humanitarian crisis in the north is once again taking centre stage in Sri Lanka’s international relations with the heavy rains that have flooded sections of the camps in which over a quarter of a million people are currently residing. These are the very people about whose fate the international human rights organizations and several foreign governments began to agitate during the last phase of the war. more..

Minister for Kajupuhulan Professor Dharmistha Fernando

Aug 25 (LG) One of the curious and even trivial aspects of the resplendent 2000 year old culture of this land is the usage Minister Professor (say) Fernando. We are not the only land in which university professors have been elected or appointed to ministerial office. Dr. Manmohan Singh in the land next door, was a distinguished Professor of Economics long before he became the Minister Of Finance in India and later Prime Minister. more..

Open Dalda Veediya to reduce air pollution in Kandy

Aug 25 (LG) An international web site giving information about Kandy to tourists had this to say in its concluding paragraph "the city is ugly and its air pollution unbearable". This is a serious matter since tourism in Kandy is affected by such adverse comments and furthermore, this situation greatly endangers the health of the citizens of Kandy, especially school children. Most of the city schools are situated along very busy roads. more..

South Indian tourists make beeline for Lanka after end of war

Aug 25 (TOI) K Palaniappan, an industrialist, had to shelve a business collaboration when the insurgency broke out in Sri Lanka in the latter part of the 70s. He had not had a chance to visit the island nation since then. This August, he grabbed the first opportunity he had to visit the country and travel to tourist spots popular long before the war. Tourist traffic to post-war Lanka has increased exponentially, more..

Playing Chinese Checkers

Aug 25 (LG) If reports that 101 members of the Western Provincial Council are going to China for education and training in China are true, it should mark a new beginning in bilateral relations. None should resent it, but instead welcome it in principle. It is another matter that the Chinese hosts had footed the bill for visits of the kind in the past but this time, it’s the Provincial Council that is meeting the expenses. more..

‘Adults only’ films banned on orders from the President – Minister Mahinda Yapa

Aug 25 (LT) The decision on the ban of ‘adults only’ films, which has been the subject of much controversy, was taken on the instructions of the President says Minister of Cultural Affairs Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene. The President made the order at the meeting held to discuss the subject and he merely issued the directive said Minister Abeywardene yesterday more..

Media 'responsible' for police abuses

Aug 25 (BBC) Victims of abuses and media activists have accused polarised media of partly responsible for the alleged serious abuses by the police and security forces. The public in the south have reacted very angrily after recent incidents of two young people dying while in police custody in Angulana, Moratuwa and a brutal assault on a student in Malabe. The wife and the son of the former director of Colombo Crime Division, and a group of police officers are accused of abducting and more..

All term tests at school level

Aug 25 (GDI) The Ministry of Education has decided to hand over all activities of term tests in future to school heads. This decision was taken according to the recent instructions to the Ministry given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Earlier, preparation, printing and distribution question papers for school term tests were done by provincial educational Departments and zonal education offices. more..

Coconut development in the North

Aug 25 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to install ten coconut oil milling plants in the North, in line withthe Uthuru Wasanthaya accelerated development drive. Rs.3 million has been invested for this project, Ministry of Plantation Industries sources said. The purpose of this project is to cover the export market and the coconut oil production capacity expected from the 10 milling plants is about 20 metric tons per day. more..

Three bridges completed in the East

Aug 25 (GDI) The construction of the Erakkandi, Puduwekattu and Yaan Oya bridges have been completed for the benefit of the public in the East. The work was carried out under the Trincomalee–Pulmoddai Road Development Programme. The public could now conveniently traverse the Yaan Oya. Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was killed in a terrorist attack, laid the foundation stones for these bridges in June 2007. more..

Co-op facilities widened

Aug 25 (GDI) The Ministry of Trade and Consumer Affairs has widened the number of cooperative outlets for the convenience of the public. This measure has greatly helped people to purchase commodities at cheaper rates from those outlets. Two more coop city outlets have been opened in this expansion project. They were opened centering the multi-services cooperative society of Madampe. more..

Rs. 35.9 m worth foreign fags seized

Aug 25 (GDI) A consignment of foreign cigarettes worth about Rs.35.9 million, illegally brought in disguised as passenger luggage, was seized by the Sri Lanka Customs yesterday. The stock of foreign cigarettes, allegedly declared as passenger luggage, had been flown in fraudulently using names and addresses of returnees form the Middle East. The loss of tax revenue to the government by this was approximately Rs.109, 000,000. more..

Northern Spring – gateway to northern education

Aug 25 (GDI) “Northern Spring” (Vadakku Vasantham), the 180 day accelerated development drive initiated by the Presidential Task Force under the guidance of Senior Presidential Advisor and parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa, is successfully achieving its set goals bringing relief to the people of Jaffna, Governor of the Northern Province, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said. more..

Commissioner of elections away – Election office hibernating

Aug 25 (LT) The work in the Office of the Commissioner of Elections has come to a complete halt as the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dishanayake has gone abroad say sources in the Election Secretariat. The sources say a situation has arisen that even a gazette notification cannot be issued and the Chairman and Members of Vavuniya UC who were elected recently could not be sworn in as more..

Everything ready for strike on 28th – CEB trade unions

Aug 25 (LT) All arrangements have been finalized for the one day token strike to be carried out by employees of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on the 28th of this month. The employees are carrying out the strike demanding a pay hike and regarding several other issues confronted by the employees. Speaking at a media meeting held yesterday Mr. Ranjan Jayalal, Member of the Steering Committee of the Combined CEB Unions said, more..