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'Herath no more just support for Murali'

Aug 31 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara has said the century stand between Daniel Vettori and Jacob Oram on the final day gave the home team a few scares and insisted that despite the 2-0 series win, the hosts were yet to reach their peak. Sri Lanka set New Zealand 494 to chase and began day five needing four wickets to win. However Oram and Vettori added 124 - the visitors' highest partnership of the series - and at end of their stand New Zealand needed another 194 to win. more..

Naive NZ struggle to find the plot

Aug 31 (CI) There is no sugar-coating the pill when a team gets beaten 2-0 and yes, New Zealand made a meal of this tour. Daniel Vettori's goal of keeping Sri Lanka to 0-0 didn't quite go to plan and he was left to almost single-handedly carry a flagging team. Vettori was New Zealand's highest wicket-taker and run-scorer in two Tests. The 2-0 defeat highlights the gulf between the two teams. more..

Vettori lauds last-ditch effort

Aug 31 (CI) There is a small hoarding for a cement company directly above the balconies of both teams that says: "For the unbreakable partnership." With the batting faltering for a significant part of five days, three New Zealanders showed tremendous fight on the final day to try and forge partnerships to take the team to glory. It didn't happen, and after a heroic, outstanding career-best 140 that gave Sri Lanka serious concerns on day five, more..

Journalist disappearances: Lanka 'among worst'

Aug 31 (BBC) Sri Lanka and Mexico are among the worst hit countries in the world in terms of disappearances of journalists, a press freedom watchdog said. In a statement issued to mark International Day of the Disappeared, Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says that at least two journalists have disappeared in Sri Lanka since 2000. The number is slightly less than that of in Mexico, where eight journalists have disappeared for nearly a decade. more..

TNA 'to help' president

Aug 31 (BBC) The most prominent Tamil parliamentary group in Sri Lanka says the party is prepared to help President Mahinda Rajapaksa to resolve the national issue. R Sambanthan, the leader of the TNA, stressed the importance of resettling nearly 300,000 displaced people as soon as possible. Visiting British parliamentarian Liam Fox and the TNA agreed on the importance of the issue, he told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

The steely hand behind demise of Tamil Tigers

Aug 31 (MT) The large posters signifying a tale of triumph against seemingly impossible odds can hardly be missed by anyone traveling the length and breadth of Sri Lanka, and that very much includes the battle scared north of the country which has equal reason to rejoice having been liberated from the evil grip of the bloodthirsty Tamil Tigers after three debilitating decades. Telling in narrative and touching in effect, the posters depict a gleeful President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Deeds for illegal residents of State lands

Aug 31 (PSM) Ministry of Lands has decided give title deeds for 4,000 families who are residing in state lands illegally. Land Reform Commission (LRC) stated that 2,000 families will get their permanent title deeds by middle of September. The other 2,000 will be given title deeds also as soon as possible, the LRC said. 8,000 identified families have been given title deeds already. more..

My friend Shanthi: A Personal tribute

Aug 31 (DBS) It is with a deep feeling of sadness that I write about my classmate and friend Shanthi who passed away peacefully on July 28th at her residence in Nallur,Jaffna. Shanthakumari Vignarajah nee Rajadurai, known as Shanthi to her relatives and friends, and I were GCE-Advanced level students at Jaffna College (JC), Vaddukkoddai from 1970-73. Our friendship continued after JC days and her marriage to Vignarajah who also became a good friend of mine. more..

Prison department to rehabilitate drug addicts

Aug 31 (LP) The Prison Department is to start a special programme to rehabilitate inmates who were identified as drug addicts. The first phase of the rehabilitation will begin tomorrow at the Pallekele open prison. According to the Prison Department 500 inmates have been earmarked for rehabilitation. They will be provided with necessary medicine and counselling facilities. They will also be given a vocational training. more..

Lankan rhapsody at Galle

Aug 31 (Hindu) Take a slice of Goa, add a hint of Mauritius, flavour it with Kerala and you get the splendid island of Sri Lanka. Coconut trees, beaches, temples, wildlife, forests, light houses, colonial buildings, as well as new age hotels and shopping — this country has something for everyone. In the mood for some sun, sand and sea, we decide to head to the southern town of Galle. I don’t know what to expect of the place. more..

Plan to slash SLT workforce by 50%

Aug 31 (LNW) A trade union activist at Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) told Lanka News Web that SLT CEO, Greg Young has proposed an introduction of a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) along with compensation payment to slash the institution’s workforce by 50%. This proposal has been made in addition to the VRS that has already been proposed. When a VRS was presented to the SLT workers along with a proposal to pay compensation a few months back, more..

SPC candidates get lucky numbers today

Aug 31 (LP) The candidates taking part in the upcoming Southern Provincial Council (SPC) elections will receive their preference numbers today (31) said the Elections Secretariat. The returning officers have been advised n this regard. The numbers will be given to the candidates according to the alphabetical order and the lists will be on display in the Divisional Secretariats from today onwards. more..

The bloody road from Vadukoddai to Nanthi Kadal---Part I

Aug 31 (LG) Of all the political documents that came out of Jaffna there is none to surpass the Vadukoddai Resolution passed at the Convention of TULF held in the electorate of Vadukoddai on May 14, 1976. It is the peak point where the diverse Jaffna-centric communal forces, lurching in all directions without a clear focal point (from 50-50 to “federalism”), came together as a decisive political expression of its ruing Vellahla caste/class. more..

No opposition alliance, only an understanding - SB

Aug 31 (CT) The main opposition will reach an understanding with other parties to contest elections, without forming an alliance with them, UNP national organizer S.B. Dissanayake has said. Giving an interview to ‘Lakbima’, he has said this understanding, similar to the United National Front formed in 2001 by SLFP breakaways, can unite even SLFP members who oppose the Rajapaksa regime. more..

Maldives and geo-politics of India and Sri Lanka

Aug 31 (LG) Maldives is encircled by the geo-political ambitions of various states that strive to bring the entire Indian Ocean rim under their control for their own economic, political and security gains. It’s time for Maldivians to realize the effect of these countries’ ambitions will have on their very survival. Maldives is a prime military and politically strategic location and, as such, more..

Lankan conflict: Has not ceased with elimination of the LTTE

Aug 31 (TC) The relative silence in some Lankan circles, which not so long ago championed the cause of ethnic peace, gives rise to the impression that all discourse on the National Question is considered inappropriate, superfluous and unnecessary, in these post-LTTE times. The implicit assumption in this silence, among particularly one-time local peace activist quarters, seems to be that the ‘Lankan conflict’ has ceased to exist with the elimination of the LTTE. more..

UNP’s sins and Chandrika’s mistakes

Aug 31 (LG) Despite a few things having gone radically wrong for the government during the past three months, many intellectuals are still very reluctant to criticise the President and his close colleagues with the hope that he or they would get it right soon. Police brutality and indiscipline, intolerance of dissent, arrogance and the dictatorial attitude of the government ministers and their colleagues, corruption and nepotism are some evils that more..

COPE investigation stuck with the Speaker

Aug 31 (LNW) The report of the Bribery and Corruption Commission on the complaint lodged by the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) on allegations of corruption at 26 state institutions has been handed over to Speaker W.J.M. Lokubandara. However, it is learnt that the Speaker had not at any point tabled the report in parliament. The commission has already submitted the report on the investigation held into the complaint made by the COPE and more..

Getting ready for the colourful Udappu parade

Aug 31 (HA) It was a Sunny Sunday, August 2nd 2009. As time ticked on turning into a scroching hot day, performers and the make-up artists began to make their way to Sri Veerapaththirakaali Amman temple, situated right near the ocean. Eleven Performing artists and four make-up artists gathered under one roof, to get ready for the elegant parade. more..

Passing Out Parade at NMA

Aug 31 (MoD) In a colourful commissioning and passing out parade held at the Main Parade Ground of the Naval and Maritime Academy in Trinomalee, 23rd KDU (Tech) Intake Midshipmen, Direct Entry (RNF) Intake 01/2008 Officers, Direct Entry (RNF) Intake 04/2008 Officers, Direct Entry Intake (RNF/VNF) 05/06/2008 Officers and Direct Entry (Electrical) Intake 02/2009 Officers passed out on the evening of the 29th of August 2009. more..

A new burden for artistes

Aug 31 (LT) The Public Performance Board has decided to charge a fee when issuing licenses to exhibit films and teledramas. The Board states the decision has been taken as the number of creations that have to be viewed is very large. The fees to be charged are as follows: Foreign film – Rs.15,000 Local film – Rs.5000 Dramas (more than 30 minutes) – Rs.1000 Short dramas – Rs.500 Outdoor shows – Rs.1000 Indoor performances – Rs.2000 Musical shows – Rs.25,000 Advertisements – Rs. 500 more..

Four Applications for the Post of Hangman

Aug 31 (LT) The Prisons Department said there would be a vacancy for another executioner, if the government decided to reintroduce capital punishment. There are two executioner’s positions in the Prisons Department. The son of a former executioner had been recruited for one position; the other has been vacant for several years. As executions had not been carried out since 1979, the department had not filled the vacant position. more..

Decision against use of Piyangala Quarry

Aug 31 (LT) JVP MP Wasantha Piyatissa has told the Daily Mirror that some government politicians of the Ampara district have objected to the controversial quarry at the site of the historic rock caves in Piyangala. He said that the government member of the Eastern Provincial Council, Chandrasena Galappaththi, moved the proposal against this project and he seconded it with a detailed presentation of its implications on the archaeological value of the site. more..

Doctors die in head-on collision

Aug 31 (LT) Two doctors travelling in a motor car towards Anuradhaprua along the Kurunegala-Anuradhapura main road died when their vehicle collided head-on with a lorry transporting fish on August 29. The accident had occurred at 8 - 10 p.m. at Kurundankulama in Galgamuwa Police area. The two doctors have been identified as Dr. Dharshana Peris attached to the Anuradhaprua teaching hospital as an intern doctor and Dr. Bandara serving at the Vavuniya IDP camp. more..

Uninterrupted healthcare for IDPs during rainy season

Aug 31 (MoD) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will make arrangements to protect the health of IDPs' health during North Eastern Monsoon due shortly. The Ministry will ensure an uninterrupted comprehensive healthcare service for all IDPs during the rainy season. Neither communicable diseases nor other health problems have been reported from the welfare villages so far, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. more..

'Will begin new political journey from the south'

Aug 31 (LNW) JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath said, “We will begin a new political journey that would take the country’s politics into a new direction from the South. We will fire the first salvo in bringing about a change in national politics together with the people from south at the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council election. The people in the south are ready for it. more..

Heil Solheim!

Aug 31 (MoD) Eric Solheim-you are as transparent as the Emperor in his New Clothes, parading on the streets of Oslo. You were the facilitator/negotiator between the Sri Lankan government and LTTE Tigers. Many alleged you were partial and prejudiced. Your most recent pronouncement to Aftenposten proves it beyond doubt. "Now he [Solheim] demands UN to investigate what happened in the last phase of the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka" quotes Aftenposten. more..

JVP opposes giving land, police and finance powers to Provincial Councils

Aug 31 (LNP) If land, police and finance power are given to the Eastern and the Northern Provincial Councils the foundation will be laid for a separate state or dividing this country. If any provincial council gets police powers the police in that province will not come under the IGP of the Central Government. 'The provincial police will only be responsible to the Chief Minister and the particular provincial council,' more..

Heading for rollercoaster in Southern Province

Aug 31 (LNP) The Southern Provincial Council elections will be held on October 10 with almost all major political parties in the fray. Out of the three districts in the Southern Province, Galle will have the highest number of polling stations - over 670, to cover 10 electorates, a total of 761,815 registered voters. In addition, 442 polling stations would be set up in the Matara District which has 578,858 registered voters and more..

LTTE had given weapons training for underworld

Aug 31 (CT) The military has found out that several underworld gangs operating in the south had had weapons training from the LTTE in the Wanni, 'Lakbima' reports. There is one woman, a resident of Nittambuwa, among the gangsters who had been trained by the outfit. The exposures has come following information given by LTTE suspects under interrogation at Vavuniya Technical College. After identifying these LTTE trained gangsters, a search is underway for their arrest. more..

War and Peace and Sri Lankan Cinema

Actress arrested for operating mobile brothel

Aug 31 (CT) A tele drama actress has been arrested on the charge of having operated a mobile brothel using top models. The actress, along with two models, were taken and produced before the Gangodawila Magistrate Courts. They were directed to remand custody until September 11. Police say that the actress charged customers sums ranging from Rs. 10.000 upwards. Three policemen, disguised as wealthy businessmen, had tricked the actress in to believing they were customers and netted them.

FR petition over 2 baby elephants withdrawn

Aug 31 (CT) An animal rights group has withdrawn a petition in connection with the removal of two baby elephants from their mother at Pinnawala elephant orphanage. A member of the group Sagarika Rajakarunanayake had filed the fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court. Noting that there has been some progress regarding the welfare of the two baby jumbos, she had asked that she be allowed to withdraw the petition. more..

'Even President Premadasa’s housing boon to people made a bane by this Govt.'

Aug 31 (UNP) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, said, it is even an universally accepted truth that Late President Premadasa was among the most successful Ministers ever having built 1.5 million houses towards relieving the common man’s housing burdens. His concern for the common man was so great, that even housing loans taken , and not paid by borrowers due to difficulties were waived by him in order to ensure that these borrowers do not lose their houses for non payment of loans. more..

Road development drive begins in South

Aug 31 (DN) The Government has embarked on a massive rural road development project in the South to improve the region’s link with the rest of the country. Highways and Road Development Minister T.B. Ekanayake told the Daily News that rural uplift and village reawakening was introduced to accelerate development of rural Sri Lanka by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2006 under the Mahinda Chintana policy. more..

Priority for economic development - Prof. G.L. Peiris

Aug 31 (DN) One of the significant achievements of the Government in the formulation and implementation of economic policy is the striking of a perceptive balance between the imperatives of economic development and the required focus on matters relating to the preservation of the environment, Export Development and International Trade Minister and Acting Minister of Posts and Telecommunication Prof. G.L. Peries said. more..

EPDP wants polls for all local councils in Jaffna

Aug 31 (DM) Minister and EPDP Leader Douglas Devananda said yesterday he would request President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take steps to conduct elections to the remaining local bodies in the Jaffna district before the end of this year. The Minister said that people in the Jaffna district should be given a chance to elect their representatives very soon. There are three other Urban Councils and 14 Pradeshiya Sabhas in the district. more..

Sri Lanka’s challenge in diplomatic frame

Aug 31 (DN) Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona is to take up the appointment as the Permanent Representative at the United Nations for Sri Lanka shortly. He returned from the UN to Sri Lanka on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and also served as the Head of the Peace Secretriat. The Daily News interviewed Dr.Kohona about his experience and challenges faced in his present position. more..

Minister says some cops are ‘ali horu’

Aug 31 (Island) Minister Mahinda Ratnathika, who is embroiled in a fight with the Kalthota police over the minister rescuing a person arrested by the police, yesterday told The Island that the government should investigate officers and men involved in nefarious activities. Referring to the recent detection of a three month old baby elephant kept at a house in the Balangoda area, the minister said at least three baby elephants had been brought there by the same gang with the help of the police. more..

Rs. 90mn spent on SPC governor and ministers but only Rs. 75mn on healthcare

Aug 31 (Island) JVP Propaganda Secretary and MP Vijitha Herath said the cost of maintaining the Southern Province Governor Kumari Balasuriya and provincial ministers including the Chief Minister was Rs. 90 million. But the Provincial Council had spent only Rs. 75 million on the hospitals under its purview. The personal staff of the Governor consisted of 32 members. She had four chefs. more..

SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem’s reply to Eastern Province Governor’s Statement

Aug 31 (Island) SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem MP wishes to clarify the true situation with regard to the resettlement of Muslim families in Upparu village, Verugal, Trincomalee district. The denial of the Governor is unfounded because eighty families were taken to and resettled in Upparu, Verugal on August 13 by Minister Najeeb A Majeed, the Divisional Secretary for Verugal in Eechchalampattu and a local Hindu priest. more..

Economists say comprehensive post-war economic plan needed

Aug 31 (Island) Economists said Sri Lanka should latch on to India and China and move away from over-relying on traditional export markets in Europe and the US. "We have paid far too much attention to the export markets in the US and now we need to move towards the Asian giants and India and China. We have had an over dependence in the US market for our exports for too long," Prof. A. D. V. De S. Indraratna, more..

'President only leader who can usher prosperity'

Aug 31 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the greatest Sri Lankan leader of this century. He could recreate a united and peaceful country by defeating the ruthless terrorism which straddled several decades. In the same manner he won the battle against terrorism, President Mahinda Rajapaksa would definitely win the battle against poverty in the country. more..

National Hospital Director refutes charge of medical negligence

Aug 31 (DM) Rejecting allegations about the cause of death of Mrs. Deepthi Wathsala, who died following a surgery at the National Hospital few weeks back, Director National Hospital, Dr. Hector Weerasinghe said that the death was not due to medical negligence. He confirmed that this surgery was done with her consent and it was not to reduce her weight. “She didn’t undergo a gastro bypass surgery, it was the Para umbilical hernia surgery done to more..

Sri Lanka lodges official protest with Norway over Solheim

Aug 31 (DM) The government has officially protested with Norway over the comments made regarding the Sri Lankan government to the media by Norwegian Minister for International Development and former peace facilitator Erik Solheim. The Outgoing Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona told Daily Mirror yesterday that he had raised the matter with the Charge d' Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy in Sri Lanka over the weekend. more..

WPC scoffs at Govt. tourism figures

Aug 31 (DM) The Western Provincial Council yesterday rejected Central Government claims of 450,000 tourist arrivals in the country since the end of the war in May, though the industry had picked up somewhat. Provincial Tourism Minister Nimal Lanza said the data published by the Tourist Board was not accurate as the number of tourists had been calculated using the disembarkation card given to both visitors and Sri Lankans. more..

Flood-resistant rice entices farmers back

Aug 31 (IRIN) Years ago, the loft above Kulasena Perera's bedroom was a storeroom for rice. Now, huge wicker baskets that once held the harvests are abandoned, testament to the years the fields have not been farmed. "All these baskets used to be full of husked rice," he said, "but I had to stop farming because the floods got worse." The flood-prone Bandaragama area in southwestern Kalutara Distict where Kulasena lives comprises more than 1,000ha in unused rice paddies. more..

Sri Lankans among 470 children under British immigration detention: report

Aug 31 (AFP) More than 400 children were being held in British immigration detention centres with their families, a report said Monday, citing official figures. The Guardian newspaper said 470 children, many from countries suffering poverty and conflict such as Zimbabwe, Sudan, Sri Lanka and Congo, were locked up after arriving in Britain. The figures from the Home Office were provided for a single day, on June 30 this year. more..

Inflation slows, providing room to cut interest rates

Aug 31 (BN) Sri Lanka’s inflation slowed in August, giving the central bank room to cut interest rates to stoke an economic revival after the end of the island’s three- decade civil war. Consumer prices in the capital, Colombo, rose 0.9 percent from a year earlier after gaining 1.1 percent in July. Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal, who predicts 2009 inflation at 5 percent, on Aug. 18 said there was still room to cut interest rates after three reductions earlier this year. more..

Sri Lankan journalist given 20 years in prison

Aug 31 (AP) A Sri Lankan reporter singled out by President Barack Obama as an example of persecuted journalists around the globe was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison on charges of violating the country's harsh anti-terror law. J.S. Tissainayagam's articles in the now-defunct Northeastern Monthly magazine in 2006 and 2007 criticized the conduct of the war against the Tamil Tiger rebels and more..