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Govt berated over aid workers' deaths

Aug 4 (AFP) The Human Rights Watch on Tuesday pressed for an international probe into the killings in Sri Lanka of 17 local employees of a French charity three years ago. HRW marked the anniversary of the execution-style murders of the Action Against Hunger (ACF) workers in Muttur with a scathing attack on the country's leaders. "Since the ACF massacre, the Rajapakse government has put on an elaborate song and dance to bedazzle the international community into believing justice is being done," more..

Relief material sent for Tamil refugees in Lanka

Aug 5 (EB) Over 800 tonnes of relief materials, lying at Colombo harbour since July 9, will be cleared in a few days with customs procedures initiated from Tuesday. The materials are for the 280,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in various camps. Suren Peiris of the Sri Lankan Red Cross (SLRC) told Express here on Monday, that the Indian Red Cross (IRC), which had dispatched the cargo on behalf of Mercy Mission of the UK, had paid the Chennai-Colombo freight charge and more..

Pakistan cricket under fire after Sri Lanka slump

Aug 5 (AFP) Former players Tuesday called for a major shake-up in Pakistani cricket after the national side lost the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka 3-0. Sri Lanka, who won the preceding three-Test series 2-0 to post their first home series win against Pakistan, crushed Pakistan by six wickets on Monday to secure the limited-overs contest as well. more..

'Sri Lanka outperforms IMF reserve targets'

Aug 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's gross reserves have risen 71 percent to 2.1 billion US dollars by end-July from 1,272 million US dollars in March, which is higher than expected under an International Monetary Fund program, the Central Bank said. It was also helped by a 300 million dollar first tranche injection from the IMF, the Central Bank said. "On this basis, the current level of estimated reserves is well-above the level expected by end September 2009 under the Standby arrangement with the IMF," more..

Picking up the pieces in Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (BBC) It is an iconic image on cartons and boxes of tea in thousands of stores and supermarket. The smiling woman tea picker up country in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka. The reality is naturally different, as plantation managers readily agree. The life of the tea picker is hard. Their living conditions are poor and they are paid approximately £2 a day. One of the few advantages is working in a spectacularly beautiful part of the world. more..

Sri Lanka to test post-war popularity before major polls

Aug 5 (Reuters) Sri Lanka called an election in President Mahinda Rajapaksa's native province, officials said on Tuesday, taking one of the last steps needed before he can call nationwide polls to capitalise on his victory over Tamil Tiger rebels. The poll in the Southern Province will be the last provincial vote in the island nation excluding the Northern Province, totally captured by the military when it defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels and ended a 25-year war on May 18. more..

'Ban on obscene films not on adult movies'

Aug 5 (GDI) Film artists today (04) requested President Mahinda Rajapaksa that movies with obscene content which harm the social and cultural values of our society should be banned and steps be taken to prevent such movies being imported to Sri Lanka. In a discussion held at the Temple Trees, the artists also brought to the notice of the President that adult movies played a vital role in taking a society towards a higher social standard whereas, more..

Appeals Court doubles sentence

Aug 5 (BBC) The Appeals Court in Sri Lanka has doubled the sentence imposed on a soldier for abducting and disappearing people in late 80s. Corporal Siriwansa Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka army (SLA) has appealed against a six year prison sentence. He was sentenced by the Panadura High Court in 2001 for abducting two brothers on 15 September 1989 and making one of the brothers, Sunil Kariyapperuma, disappeared. more..

Human Rights Minister's coordinating secretary abducted

Aug 5 (LP) Shan Jayasinghe, a coordinating secretary of Sri Lanka Minister of Human Rights has been abducted by a an unknown group that came in a white van. The fate of the victim is yet to be known. The person is known as an underworld gang leader in his residential area, Mathugama in the Kaluthara district despite his being a coordinating secretary of the minister of Human Rights. more..

India requests SL Government to take over Cheddikulam Hospital

Aug 5 (GDI) India has requested the government to take over the Indian hospital at Cheddikulam, Vavuniya that was set up to meet the emergent needs of internally displaced arrivals at Menik Farms six months ago India has successfully completed the mission of treatment to the needy. Indian High Commissioner in Colombo, Alok Prasad, on behalf of the Indian government, in a letter addressed to Health Minister, more..

'Give immigrant status to Lankan Tamil refugees'

Aug 5 (IANS) Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday said that more than 100,000 Sri Lankan Tamils living as refugees in 112 camps in Tamil Nadu should be given immigrant status. Sri Lankan Tamils living in Europe and America have jobs and businesses, have a home and are well off, while those living in Tamil Nadu since 1983 are still languishing in the camps as refugees, he said. more..

Interview: Mahela Jayawardene

Aug 5 (AJ) Mahela Jayawardene is one of the world's finest batsmen. He has scored 8,418 Test runs for Sri Lanka, and as captain set a Sri Lankan innings record of 374 against South Africa in 2006 – beating the legendary Sanath Jayasuriya's previous best of 340. Jayawardene's last match as captain of his country was the second Test against Pakistan in Lahore in March 2009. He was wounded in the deadly armed attack on the team bus that cut short the tour on the morning of the third day. more..

Caritas boosts food aid in former war zone

Aug 5 (UCAN) Caritas Sri Lanka recently increased its food aid to war victims with supplies for another 10,000 displaced civilians confined to camps in the country's war-torn north. Officials of the Ministry of Disaster Relief Services had originally asked the Caritas team to boost food supply for 44,000 extra people. Although the Church's social action arm found it difficult to do so, it started its program of increasing food aid on Aug. 2. more..

At least 15 Sri Lankan envoys due to finish assignment soon

Aug 5 (AT) The government will announce at least 15 new appointments in its overseas missions when Sri Lankan Ambassadors and High Commissioners relinquish office after their terms of office are completed during the course of this year or early next year. The two most high profile appointments will be at the Sri Lanka Mission to the United Nations in New York and the UN Office in Geneva. more..

Media, KP and Sun God’s parents

Aug 5 (AT) Terrorists thrive on publicity. Over a decade ago a Western Journalist Terry Anderson who was held in captivity for nearly seven years by Lebanese terrorists said: “Publicity has been at once a primary goal and a weapon of those who use terror against innocent people to advance political causes or to simply cause of chaos” (Awake May 22, 2001). And this is exactly what sections of the Sri Lankan and foreign media have been continuing to do in the island all these years. more..

TN fishermen attacked again, fish catch seized

Aug 5 (AT) Yet another alleged attack by Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil Nadu fishermen near Katchatheevu on Sunday, is being reported. It is said the Lan­kan Navy attacked the fishermen for trespassing the International Maritime Bou­ndary Line and two fishermen were injured during the attack. About 600 mechanised boats had ventured into sea for fishing on Saturday. After their rich catch they were planning to return the next day. more..

Kannagipura | Kannagipuram Radio Drama

Sri Lanka - Myanmar bilateral co-operation

Aug 5 (LG) Your Excellency U Nyan Win, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Union of Myanmar,Members of the Myanmar and Sri Lanka Delegations to the Second Meeting of the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, It is my pleasure to extend friendly greetings and a very warm welcome to the delegation from Myanmar led by H.E. Nyan Win Minister of Foreign Affairs. I wish you a pleasant and fruitful stay in Sri Lanka. more..

IMF to keep Govt. on toes

Aug 5 (BL) First comes the money and what should follow is performance and reporting in a timely fashion for more funds to trickle in. This sums up the IMF’s Technical Memorandum of Understanding (TMU) with the Government for the formers’ US$ 2.6 billion 20-month Stand-By Arrangement for the country to immediately deal with the Balance of Payments problems. The TMU sets out the framework for evaluating the performance of the Government under the Programme apart more..

The India Factor- The new dimension

Aug 5 (BL) I think the first instance India interfered directly in Sri Lankan affairs in recent history occurred on July 19, 1983. On that afternoon Indian Additional Foreign Secretary Shankar Bajpai conveyed to Sri Lankan High Commissioner Bernard Tilakaratna India’s concern about the emergency regulation it imposed the previous day. The regulation gave the Police and the Armed Services the power to cremate or bury dead bodies without the usual judicial inquest. more..

Corruption free reconstruction, key to winning peace –TISL

Aug 5 (BL) As reconstruction in the North and the East is being planned by the officials at the top, the Transparency International Sri Lanka is calling for greater participation from the people to the rebuilding process. Transparency International Sri Lanka Executive Director J. C. Weliamuna said that it is the duty of everyone to ensure that a corruption free reconstruction of the North and East takes place. more..

Human Rights Ministry and Police on collision course

Aug 5 (BL) Police and Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe are on collision course following the arrest of a coordinating secretary for youth affairs employed at the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) yesterday morning. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe strongly criticised the police following the arrest of S.A Jayasinghe for not following due processes outlined in the law and in a code of conduct ratified by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

More on Vellalas

Aug 5 (LG) I am glad that Mr. Sivakumaran reads my articles and I am thankful to him for that. However, he has failed to understand me for a long time and it is certainly a welcome change that he is beginning to read me more attentively. For example I have always held that Dravidians, meaning those who speak a Dravidian language, and also non Dravidians have been assimilated into the Sinhala nation, but they are now Sinhala for all purposes as they have embraced the Sinhala culture. more..

Political violence in Sri Lanka - Part 2

Aug 5 (LG) Lack of appropriate political and economic development, equitable distribution of economic benefits, and lack of equitable opportunities provided the essential ingredients for the radicalisation of youth in Sri Lanka. Political violence in the island can be traced back to the feudal age, as manifested in regular invasions by South Indian rulers, wars to expand feudal territories, and more..

When law becomes comic – Part One

Aug 5 (LG) How much sterile and empty debate people can engage in is illustrated by Sri Lankan debates about the 17th Amendment and to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. Throughout long years of debate, the question as to whether there can be a constitutional amendment when constitutionalism itself doesn’t exist does not seem to have occurred to anybody. At least the 17th Amendment was an attempt to recreate constitutionalism by indirect means. more..

Recruitment of Tamil labor officers

Aug 5 (GDI) Minister of Labor, Athauda Seneviratne announced that the government has decided to recruit Tamil labor officers to the Labor Department. An examination to that effect will be held in Colombo in November to select prospective candidates suitable for those posts. The minister expects to recruit twenty Tamil labor officers initially through a competitive exam conducted in Tamil. more..

Randoli Perahera on final night today

Aug 5 (GDI) The grand cultural pageant of the historic Dalada Maligawa will come to an end tonight when the colorful Randoli Perahera will parade the street for the final tonight. This pageant is described as the most colorful,glamorous and grandeur event in Asia that has a long standing history of Buddhist value. The final event will be followed by the water cutting ceremony and the day perahera tomorrow. more..

Arrest and detention of Mr. Vethanayagan- GA Kilinochchi

Aug 5 (LG) I am really shocked and surprised at the news of the arrest of Mr. Nagalingam Vethanayagan Government Agent of Kilinochchi. Mr. Vethanayagan although not known to me very closely, had a very good reputation when he served as Divisional Secretary at various stations within the Jaffna District. He was a duty conscious officer and very hard working. more..

WFP aid increase for Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (GDI) The World Food Programme (WFP) has approved a budgetary increase of US dollars 17.09 million for the Protracted Relief and Recovery Operations(PRRO) for Sri Lanka. This increase brings the total PRRO budget to US $ 134.9 million for this year, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Rome headed by Ambassador, Hemantha Warnakulasuriya reported. These funds are meant to help disaster hit communities to restart livelihood, and, more..

Chartered and AAT accountancy institutes starts in jaffna

Aug 5 (GDI) The Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Association of Accounting Technicians opened two fresh branches in Jaffna today enabling students to pursue their higher studies in the field of Accountancy. The Institute of Chartered Accountants has granted 20 scholarships and 10 students eligible for the scholarship programme will receive Rs. 3000 as an incentive on monthly basis. more..

'Lawyers also need to come forward to safeguard the rule of law in the country'

Aug 5 (LNW) Attorney J.C. Weliamuna called on members of the legal profession to come forward to safeguard and establish the rule of law in the country at a media conference organized by the Platform for Freedom. He said the country’s Constitution has been violated by the non-implementation of the 17th amendment, adding that public officials from the executive to the grama niladhari are bound to act by it. more..

Curtain falls tonight on polls campaign

Aug 5 (GDI) The curtain will fall at midnight today to the current election campaign to the mini elections in Vavuniya and Jaffna and the Uva Provincial Council. The election to these bodies will be held on Saturday. The final rally of the UPFA will be held this afternoon in Badulla presided over by SLFP Leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. In contrast, the main opposition UNP wound up its final rally yesterday holding three main meetings in more..

IDPs return to their homes in the East

Aug 5 (GDI) Under the Government’s resettlement programme of civilians in the transitional centers in the North, 439 families that were temporarily housed in Vavuniya relief villages were sent to their places of origin in the East today. This includes 1094 persons who were living in the Eastern region in the districts of Trincomalee, Ampara and Batticaloa. These civilians had to flee their home towns due to the LTTE threats and intimidation, and more..

The revolt of the privileged Vellahlas

Aug 5 (LG) The dominant role played by the Vellahlas in post-independence politics has been either downplayed or brushed under the carpet by analysts and commentators in academia and NGOs because it undermined their thesis that only the Sinhala-Buddhists are responsible for the north-south crisis. If they accepted the body of evidence pointing a finger directly at the Vellahla forces that played the tempting tunes of communalism, more..

Lack of funds force Lake House to postpone VRS

Aug 5 (LNW) The deteriorating levels of funds at the Lake House has compelled Chairman Bandula Padmakumara to stop midway, a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), which was introduced by him to reduce the number of employees at the institution. The President it is learnt had turned down a request made by the Lake House chairman for the allocation of some funds from the Central Bank to carry out the VRS. more..

Nimal Siripala’s wife goes to court against suckling elephants being separated from mothers

Aug 5 (LNW) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva’s wife filed a petition in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday requesting for a Writ of Mandamus to be issued against the authorities who had separated two suckling elephants from their mothers in Pinnawela. Head of the Animal Welfare Trust, Irangani de Silva had requested in her petition to court to nullify the letter of authorization given by more..

CAASL Chairman who opposed SLAF move to charter commercial flights removed

Aug 5 (LNW) Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (CAASL) Chairman Lal Liyanarachchi, who opposed the move by the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) to charter commercial flights to transport civilians within the country, was removed from the post with immediate effect from Tuesday (4). Liyanarachchi, who earlier served as the CAASL Director General, is a veteran in the aviation field. more..

President assures safe custody of Raju and Sindu

Aug 5 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today handed over the guardianship to the two baby elephants- Raju and Sindu by way of a scroll in keeping with traditions, now housed at the Temple of Tooth Relic to Malwathu and Asgiri Chapters. President also instructed the Minister Gamini Lokuge to make necessary arrangements to keep the two baby elephants with the she-elephant until they are big enough to separate from the parents. more..

Ex-University Senior Assistant Registrar in alleged child porn web

Aug 5 (LP) The Colombo High Court fixed order for September 10th in a case against the Ex-Kelaniya University's Senior Assistant Registrar who was charged with distributing and publishing material relating to child phonography via e-mail, taken up before High Court judge. The accused Kamal Wimalaweera, who is indicted with distributing child pornographic material using his e-mail account and having such material in his possession. more..

'Minister, without accepting the challenge, talks rubbish'

Aug 5 (LT) Despite sending a letter to Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya accepting his challenge for a debate on the loan made available to the government by the IMF and the conditions that have been agreed by the government to get the loan, no response has been received from the minister says JVP MP Sunil Handunneththi. He said, “Without responding to my acceptance of his challenge Minister Siyambalapitiya is involved in different debates. more..

J-pura Hospital employees demand solutions for issues

Aug 5 (LT) A protest campaign against the failure of authorities to solve issues that obstruct smooth functioning of the Sri Jayewardene Hospital was held yesterday (4th) during the lunch hour by the employees of the hospital. The President of All Ceylon Health Services Union Gamini Kumarasinghe said as a result of the failure of the authorities to solve the issues the employees have been severely inconvenienced. more..

'Term tests blunders due to faulty provincial councils'

Aug 5 (LT) The main reason for the failure of school term tests in the south of the country is the inefficiency of the politicians of the provincial Councils including the relevant chief ministers says Minister of Education Susil Premajayanthe. He pointed out that the success of term tests in the north of the island was that there were no politicians or chief ministers in the area and the administration is carried out by a governor. more..

TNA outlines political formula

Aug 5 (TN) Based on Self-Determination, distinct and comprehensive autonomy to the historical homeland of Eelam Tamils is the political solution envisaged by the TNA to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, said TNA Parilamentary Group Leader R. Sampanthan. Mr. Sampanthan, who said that a draft proposal of the TNA will be released soon, was optimistic of India's support. more..

Indian government assists to Palaly Runway Rehabilitation Project

Aug 5 (MoD) Deepening and strengthening the long-standing bilateral relationship between Sri Lanka and India, the Indian government financially assisted for the Palaly Runway Rehabilitation project. Bank drafts worth of SLRs over 117 million, the second installment of the India's assistance for the project was officially handed over to the Secretary Defence Goatabaya Rajapaksa yesterday, 3rd August. more..

2 underworld gangsters killed in police shootings

Aug 5 (CT) Two men said to be members of the underworld were killed in separate incidents of police shooting in the early hours of this morning (Aug. 05). One of them, identified as ‘Army Roshan’ had been arrested by police a few days ago in Mathugama, police said. A police team had taken him to Madiwela area of Kotte to find hidden bombs, when he had tried to snatch a hand grenade, but was shot by police. more..

A free booze zone from Ministry of Tourism

Aug 5 (LT) The Ministry of Tourism had taken measures to allocate a special zone at Hikkaduwa for a beach festival where laws and regulations of the country were not cared for. The festival was named ‘Hikka-2009’ and arrangements had been made for participants to have maximum entertainment and enjoyment. The festival organized to attract tourists to the country was opened to local youths as well. more..

Media groups seek meeting with minister on Press Council reactivation

Aug 5 (CT) Eight local media rights groups have sought a meeting with media minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa to discuss the reactivation of the Press Council. In a letter to the minister, these media groups say they have also made written representations to president Mahinda Rajapaksa on the issue. Their letter refers to a statement by Mr. Yapa at a post-Cabinet news briefing that the Press Council had been reactivated to more..

'Ranil sabotaging rehab efforts'

Aug 5 (Island) SLFP General Secretary, Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, accused UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of planning to sabotage their rehabilitation efforts in the northern region by blocking overseas assistance. Addressing a press conference at the Mahaweli Centre, the Agriculture Minister said that Wickremesinghe was now working overtime to derail the rehabilitation programme. more..

Global outsourcing destinations for IT/BPO : Sri Lanka ranked among Top 20

Aug 5 (DN) The consulting giant, A.T. Kearney’s Global Services Location Index (GSLI) has identified the top 50 countries for outsourcing globally. The Global Services Location Index (GSLI), first established in 2004, analyzes and ranks the top 50 countries as the best destinations for providing outsourcing services, including IT services and support, contact centres, and back-office support. more..

Examinations chief ordered to appear before court

Aug 5 (CT) The examinations chief has been ordered to appear before the Supreme Court tomorrow to clarify alleged irregularities in university admissions. The SC order came in connection with a fundamental rights petition filed by W.K. Madhushika, who sat for the GCE A/L Examination in 2008. The petitioner claims she had been denied university admission due to the issue of the examination result in a haphazard manner. more..