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Can government keep down this ‘image thing’?

Aug 30 (LB) The UPFA believe it or not, is on damage control mode. The president is aware that his government is running the risk of acquiring a Marcos like image, if his MPs and ministers act with scant regard for public opinion. Last week the president in his address to customs officers said that ‘the entire government has to take the blame for what some errant MPs do.’ That was soon after Mahinda Rathnatilleke, Ratnapura district UNP MP, more..

To what extent is srilankan tied to mihin?

Aug 30 (LB) The National carrier SriLankan is to launch a new staff uniform in blue on September 1, at a mega show, as a part of its new marketing drive —- despite a thumping operational loss of Rs.10bn, sources revealed. The new outfit is to be modelled by actress Anarkalli at the show and the new Sri Lankan costume will be worn by the staff from December onwards. Lakbimanews learns that the name tag of employees will have an imprint of a lotus, similar to the Mihin Lanka logo. more..

Remembering Upali Cooray

Aug 30 (TC) On Tuesday, August 25, I saw the email subject in the inbox: Upali Cooray – Funeral Arrangements. There is no dearth of death news in a given week, but this one – I was not expecting. I have not seen Upali in more than twenty years, but I can still picture the tall, robust frame that was Upali, remember his disciplined and healthy life style, and cannot come to terms that he could not have lived for at least 20 years past the biblical life span. more..

Enraged by the Leader

Aug 30 (SL) Last week The Sunday Leader reported that JKH was very seriously considering revisiting the hugely controversial LMS case which saw the Supreme Court rule against the conglomerate and compel JKH to hand over the eight acre land occupied by the LMS facility in Bloemendhal to the Ports Authority. Rather unsurprisingly the article “LMS: JKH strikes back” elicited a considerable response both from the general public and from parties with legal/ financial interests in the LMS case. more..

Your tax rupees at work:How the VAT fraudsters live it up

Aug 30 (SL) As Sri Lanka continues to pay huge amounts in interest due to having to borrow money for its development work, the chief culprit in the massive VAT scam Kamil Kuthubdeen and his consort, Hamza, are living it up in Dubai, the glittering Gulf emirate. This is the man on the run from Sri Lanka in connection with the VAT fraud. His consort is none other than Hamza, the one time private secretary to Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, former Minister more..

Conditions in IDP camps not as bad as made out to be

Aug 30 (SL) Our recent visit to Sri Lanka (July 2009) was intended to see the developments in the IDP camps subsequent to our last visit (March 2009) and evaluate the situation in the country following the defeat of the LTTE. We met with senior government ministers and officials, Buddhist prelates, the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province and United Nations officials. The government provided us the opportunity to visit the IDP camps in Chettikulam, more..

“I have not failed” – Ranil

Aug 30 (SL) In a candid interview with The Sunday Leader, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe reiterated his position on the need for a political solution to settle Sri Lanka’s long standing ethnic problem. He also admitted that the Executive Presidency introduced by J. R. Jayewardene needs changing and the model replaced, whereby the president would and could be held accountable to parliament. more..

People's Bank claims Rs. 1.4 bn from SLIC

Aug 30 (SL) The People's Bank has made a substantial claim on fellow state owned Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation. The claim for a staggering Rs 1.4 billion is for monies that have been reported "lost" from their branches in the northern areas. It is not clear how much of the premium was passed on to re-insurers and the percentage that Sri Lanka Insurance has kept "in-house"- but nevertheless this is a claim for a substantial and significant loss. more..

The white Van syndrome rages on unchecked –another journalist Prageeth abducted

Aug 30 (LeN) Independent correspondent and Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was abducted on 27th August by a group which accosted him having arrived in a white Van. He was forcibly bundled into the Van blindfolded ,handcuffed and taken away. According to Ekneligoda , on the 27th night at about 12.30 a.m. ,when he was on his way walking to his home down Mekandura Road , a white Van had suddenly pulled up alongside him. more..

Houses for the downtrodden

Aug 30 (GDI) The Ministry of Urban Development Sacred Cities Development has taken steps to launch a programme to provide houses for the poor people in the country. The projected housing scheme is now in progress under the Mahinda Chinthana policy and already 4,460 houses have been completed last month, Ministry sources revealed. According to these sources, a programme named Urban Poor Housing Arunodaya is now underway in this regard. more..

Literary Arts Festival in Polonnaruwa begin Sept. 3

Aug 30 (GDI) The Ministry of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage has organized the National Literary Arts Festival from September 3 to 6 at the Royal Central College, Polonnaruwa. The festival include many cultural events and discussions, educational sessions on national heritage and traditional event of entertainment. A ceremony to award Deshanethru and Pulasthipuraabhimani honours will be held on September 4, more..

Implement the 13th Amendment, abolish the presidency

Aug 30 (LG) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna has taken the campaign to abolish the executive presidency as the most important political task of today. Everywhere, the walls are full of anti executive presidency posters, in dashing colours. Top ranking leaders of the JVP are scheduled to address meetings, to explain the terrible situation created by this black hole in the constitution. more..


Aug 30 (LG) The next cycle of the ‘Tamil problem’ has commenced unseen and unheeded, in the rain clogged internment camps up North. The timing of the monsoon season was no secret, and yet hardly a thought was given by the authorities to its all too predictable consequences. The monsoons have barely begun and already most of the camps are deluged by rain water, placing every basic facility, from cooking to sanitation, beyond the reach of their wretched inmates. more..

Northern PC Headquarters in Mankulam

Aug 30 (GDI) The Northern Provincial Council Headquarters will be located at Mankulam at a cost of Rs.900 million. Cabinet approved this proposal by Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon this week to proceed with this necessity. The required money would be allocated under the budgetary vote for 2010 when the next budget is presented to parliament. more..

Callous politicisation of the pain of victims

Aug 30 (LG) This week's conviction and sentencing of former SSP Douglas Pieris and four other policemen to five years rigorous imprisonment by the Gampaha High Court for the abduction of two schoolboys during the eighties and their confinement in the Batalanda torture chamber may seem immediately euphoric to some. However, the significance of this case goes beyond the individual culpability of Peiris, and others. more..

Uva Provincial Council polls results

Aug 30 (LG) The results of the Uva Provincial Council election are of interest and importance, from several points of view. The natural trend is for governments to decline in popularity with the passage of time. The principal feature of interest with regard to the recent election is that, quite contrary to the regular pattern, the government has dramatically increased the level of its popularity during the four years since the Presidential election. more..

IDPs: The new front of an old war in Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (LG) Since the defeat of the LTTE on 18th May'2009 at Nandikadal, the issue of the 300,000 IDPs has become the new front to fight an old war. People who have not been to the IDP camps in Chettikulam have been very vociferous in condemning the conditions and the very existence of these camps. Objective reports based on contextual realities by those who have visited these camps and talked to a cross section of the IDPs are dismissed as propaganda on behalf of the government. more..

Danger: Rajapakse government running out of enemies!

Aug 30 (LG) Venetian writer, Michael Dibdin in his novel, Dead Lagoon says: ‘There can be no true friends without true enemies. Unless we hate what we are not, we cannot be what we are. These are the old truths we are painfully rediscovering after a century of and more of sentimental cant. Those who deny them, deny their family, heritage, their culture, their birthright, their very selves. They will not easily be forgiven.’ more..

Focus on development insists Liam Fox in Jaffna

Aug 30 (SO) The Shadow Defence Secretary of the United Kingdom Dr. Liam Fox, the first key foreign political figure to visit Jaffna since the collapse of LTTE terrorism, met the representatives of the People’s Council for Peace and Goodwill in Jaffna and insisted on the need for focusing more on developing the region economically. more..

Explosive corruption and fraud in SL Embassy in Korea

Aug 30 (LeN) Who is the Minister who appointed a local without a visa in Korea after six months illicit stay and was to be deported by the Korean Immigration and emigration Dept., as a welfare officer in the SL Embassy? This individual who was to be deported for this wrongdoing with a five year ban disallowing him entry to the country was appointed as a welfare officer on forged identity card and passport. more..

Rtd. War Heroes to cultivate herbs

Aug 30 (MoD) On the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Indigenous Medicine Ministry has embarked on a program of herbs cultivation for the welfare and the benefit of retired War Heroes at district level. Under this project plants, saplings, training and extension services along with infrastructural facilities would be provided by Ministry. The herbs harvest will be purchased at a reasonable price by the Ayurvedic Drugs Corporation. more..

Wildlife picks up with end of war

Aug 30 (SO) Sri Lanka which is trying to rise from the debris of a decade long war, is seeking to flaunt her world famous natural beauty adorned with flora and fauna. In the aftermath of the successful battle against terrorism, the Government has focused its attention to promote the beaches and wildlife parks among local and foreign tourists. With improved facilities, the 20 wildlife parks have how opened the gates to attract more local and foreign tourists. more..

Trinco sailing comes alive

Aug 30 (SO) One of the best tourist attractions in Sri Lanka, Trincomalee was out of bounds to tourists and even local visitors for almost two decades due to LTTE activities. The city suffered a further blow when some European countries also clamped adverse travel advisories requesting their citizens not to visit one of Sri Lanka’s foremost tourist destinations. However, after the liberation of the East and subsequent provincial council elections, normalcy was fast returning to Trincomalee. more..

A dramatist like no other

Aug 30 (NS) Professor Ediriweera Sarachchandra’s quest for an authentically ‘local idiom’ gave birth to theatrical marvels which have stood the test of time. A literary genius who revived Sinhala literature and whose footprints across the local stage have guided many along the paths of wisdom, Prof. Sarachchandra’s legacy is astounding. more..

Jaffna back to prosperity

Aug 30 (SO) People always entertain hopes for a bright and prosperous future, a smoother life experiencing the least possible ups and downs! To anyone, when hopes become a reality it would be the happiest day in life. And for those who lost almost everything and saved only their lives, when what they have been hoping for a long time becomes true, no words can express their contentment. more..

Mangala backs Karu

Aug 30 (NS) Renegade former SLFP strongman Mangala Samaraweera spearheading moves to oust incumbent Rajapaksa administration is now said to be making an all-out effort behind the scene to announce the candidature of Karu Jayasuriya as the opposition common candidate as early as possible with a view to weaken the government ahead of any election by attracting back UNP rebels, political sources said. more..

A/L paper marking in Jaffna after 12 years

Aug 30 (NS) The 2009 A/L examination papers will be evaluated in Jaffna for the first time after 12 years, a top Examinations Department official said yesterday. The A/L paper marking sessions will commence today and is due to continue until September 10, 2009 consisting of two stages. “We have chosen some 12,000 evaluators altogether and the number of assessors in Jaffna alone would be 200,” more..

Estate unions demand wage increase

Aug 30 (SO) Three major plantation trade unions - the Ceylon Workers’ Congress (CWC), the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union (LJEWU) and the Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC) - are to meet the Ceylon Employers’ Federation (CEF), representing 22 Regional Plantation Companies, tomorrow (Monday) for negotiations on a wage increase for the plantation workers and signing of a fresh Collective Agreement. more..

Vavuniya GA’s survey reveals 10,000 escaped from camps

Aug 30 (NS) The survey conducted by the Government Agent (GA) of Vavuniya on the issue pertaining to missing IDPs, has revealed at least 10,000 IDPs have escaped from the camps there and an investigation has been launched. “From the survey we were able to ascertain that a considerable number of IDPs have gone missing. The results of the survey has been forwarded to the Security Forces stationed in Vavuniya to conduct an investigation into the matter,” more..

The forerunner down south

Aug 30 (NS) A necessary pre-condition for achieving a two-thirds majority at a general election is that presidential elections would have to be held first. Constitutionally, President Rajapaksa is entitled to call for a presidential election any time after November 2009 - four years after he assumed office - and the current thinking is that this is precisely what he would do. This is because a victory at a presidential election generally tends to more..

Tigers still taking cover among IDP’s says IGP

Aug 30 (Island) The police said that there was irrefutable evidence that many LTTE cadres, including hardcore operatives, continued to take refuge among civilians accommodated at welfare centres in the Vavuniya region. The police top brass Friday said that interrogation of suspects taken from welfare camps had led to a spate of recent detections in areas formerly under LTTE control. more..

No formal agreement yet with UNP, but a Mangala nominee elected to Uva PC

Aug 30 (Island) SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera, MP said last week that though his party had not reached a formal electoral agreement with the UNP, one of his nominees contested the recently concluded elections to the Uva Provincial Council on the green ticket. Responding to queries last Thursday, the Matara District MP said that Tissa Kuttiarachchi had been successful in the Moneragala District. more..

Mystery girl helped to travel to UK wihout passport ?

Aug 30 (Island) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollgma has summoned British High Commissioner Peter Hayes to the foreign ministry after a British diplomat based in Colombo was caught helping a Sri Lankan passport holder (name withheld) to leave for the UK without a valid visa. Bogollagama has sought an explanation from Dr.. Hayes last Friday (August 28) while the government ordered high level investigation. more..

European Racists Close In

Aug 30 (SP) The government believes the LTTE has been crippled, with the capture of their new leader, Selvarajah Pathmanathan. This was because Pathmanathan, as leader of the LTTE gunrunning operation, kept many operational details and contacts to himself. Any successor will have to rebuild much of the organization without that knowledge. Pathmanathan also controlled a lot of the money collected from expatriate Tamils, and now those contributions have dried up more..

Govt. destroying professional diplomatic corps says UNP

Aug 30 (Island) The UNP last week accused the Foreign Ministry of ill treating its officials slamming what its Deputy Leader, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, called "the blatant attempt made by this administration to destroy the professional diplomatic corps of this country." Cost cutting measures were being enforced at overseas missions while wasteful junketing with friends and relatives in tow and patently unsuitable appointments guzzling funds continued to be made to plum diplomatic positions. more..

Kotelawela bows out of Ceylinco - Seylan Developments board

Aug 30 (Island) Mr. Lalith Kotelawala is not offering himself for re-election to the Board of Directors of Ceylinco Seylan Developments PLC, the owners of the up-market commercial/residential building on Galle Road, Kollupitiya where Seylan Bank’s Millennium Branch is located. The recently issued annual report of the company stated that more..

Rise of ruins from ravages of war

Aug 30 (ST) They are remains of dilapidated edifices with bullet-riddled walls, overgrown with trees, abandoned and neglected- some centuries old. Many are the monuments and sites of archaeological importance in Jaffna that still stand, though battered and broken, mute testimony to the impact of the country’s three decades-long bitter war. However, as a new chapter in the history of Sri Lanka begins with the dawn of peace, more..

Opposition guns for Executive Presidency

Aug 30 (ST) Whoever said that there are no permanent enemies in politics but only permanent interests is not altogether right. True, politicians make strange bedfellows. There are those who bitterly oppose their rivals, sometimes to the point of trying to make them extinct. Occasions change. Then they not only hug each other in warm embrace like long lost lovers. The formidable make sure their new love is fawned and feathered. more..

Faji: From football to underworld

Aug 30 (ST) The killing of Colombo’s most dreaded underworld godfather, Sheikh Fareed Mohammed Fazil better known as Faji, in a shootout with Special Task Force commandos on Friday at Maligawatte, has sounded the death knell for what police believe to be the last remaining criminal syndicate that terrorized the city. Faji, 33, was killed along with two of his loyal companions, identified as Mohamed Ziyath alias Army Toji and Mohammed Sadeek, more..

Double murder: Victims were whipped before being killed

Aug 30 (ST) At the court inquiry into the deaths of two youths whose bullet-riddled bodies were found in Angulana two weeks ago, court heard that the two young men had been taken into police custody before they were killed, that the police officers accused of killing the youths had been under the influence of liquor on the night of the murders, and that the Angulana police had tampered with the Crime Information Book (CIB) the day after the murders. more..

Herath five-for hands Sri Lanka clean sweep

Aug 30 (CI) Sri Lanka were expected to wrap up victory early on the final day, but had to wait until the 68th over of the day to seal a 2-0 sweep and cement their place at No. 2 in the ICC Test rankings. They had New Zealand six wickets down for 182 at stumps on day four, but were thoroughly frustrated by a century stand between Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram in a cracking morning session. more..

Scandal-hit Trinco land deals halted

Aug 30 (ST) Trincomalee’s Government Agent Ranjith Silva, a retired Major General, has ordered the immediate suspension of all new registration of land. The move is intended to prevent illegal transactions of land until a full probe is conducted. This is whilst two different top level inquiries have got under way into last week’s Sunday Times disclosure that local politicians were selling prime beach land at Uppuveli in Trincomalee. CID detectives have been sent to Trincomalee, more..

MDMA to seek replies from ‘KP’ in Rajiv Gandhi case

Aug 30 (PTI) The MDMA, which is investigating the conspiracy angle in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is preparing a questionnaire for LTTE financier Selvarasa Pathmanathan. MDMA, which comprises experts from CBI and other agencies and has been granted another extension by the government despite noting for closure of this unit, has begun the work of preparing questions on the basis of its decade-old findings. more..

Who is the donkey who wants to kill this dunce?

Aug 31 (LG) Why anybody would want to mess physically with that utterly discredited Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, beats me. Jehan Perera, Kumar Rupesinghe, Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, these people belong to yesterday. At least two of them, Jehan and Paikiasothy, called for a ceasefire when the Tamil Tigers were well on their way to a military rout. Basically, Jehan does not have a job anymore because the National Peace Council is irrelevant. more..

Jim Rogers was here!

Aug 31 (LG) It came as a pleasant surprise and will certainly stimulate Colombo’s stockmarket which is yet to take off after the LTTE was defeated in May, ending over 25 years of fighting. Unknown to many, Jim Rogers, a 67 year-old entrepreneur who first started business as a 5 year-old selling peanuts and then went on to co-found the mega Quantum Fund with billionaire George Soros, visited Sri Lanka last week in a trip that would have raised a lot of interest if those, more..

Let’s get serious about the death penalty

Aug 31 (LG) One of these days, the state will execute a person currently on death row, as per the current thinking regarding capital punishment in powerful circles. It will be the first legal execution in over 30 years. I am not sure if the instrument of death will be an electric chair, a rope or a lethal injection. I am not sure if it will happen in Bogambara or Welikada. But if the state decides to go ahead and execute, then I have my preferences. more..

Rape of Victoria resoviour areas by the corrupt agents of Environmental Ministry

Aug 31 (LG) Greater Teldeniya villages such as Udispatuwa, Ranmulla, Rankanda, Udawela, Pahurugolla, etc., have blood on its plains and mountains. The environment of these villages the last four years has been battered and its landscape systematically turned into a veritable desert. Indeed thousands of acres of its magnificent bio-diverse vegetative canopy, exotic animals and plants, natural aquifers and more..

Experts In Human Rights

Aug 31 (LG) Human rights today have become such a complicated subject that it seems only experts are competent to talk on the subject. I refer to the report on the subject in the front page of the Sunday Island of 30th August 2009 where a human rights expert Professor Philip Alston has called for the immediate establishment of an independent inquiry into the authenticity of a video which purportedly depicts the extrajudicial execution of two naked and more..

Tamil-speaking Muslims demands Deputy Mayorship of Jaffna

Aug 31 (AT) The All Ceylon Muslim Congres (ACMC) which contested the last Jaffna Municipal election, as one of the constituent parties of the ruling UPFA, demands the Deputy Mayor slot to one of their candidates. Jaffna Municipal election, UPFA won 13 seats and out of those, 4 seats belong to ACMC. Y.L.S. Hameed , Secretary General of the ACMC said as Tamil speaking Muslims, the Deputy Mayor position has to be allotted to us. more..

'Convert military victories & political changes for a meaningful freedom'

Aug 31 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on the Muslim community to place trust in him as he is their friend and relative said while addressing a highly attended National Congress Party meeting which was held in Akkaraipattu. President Rajapaksa stressed that the East is cleared from the LTTE and a Provincial Council for the province was set up for easy administration process and now, more..