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Badulla water supply scheme inaugurated

Aug 5 (DN) The renovation activities of the Badulla water supply scheme under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and at the request of Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was inaugurated by the Minister of Water Supply and Drainage A.L.M. Athaulla recently. This project will cost Rs. 21 million and nearly 2,000 families in Galkande, Oliyamandiya, Rideepana, Pitapola, Gurupura, Upland, more..

Road construction to be expedited

Aug 5 (DN) The first stage of the Colombo Outer Circular Highway project starting from Kottawa to Kaduwela will begin soon with the land acquisition process being entered into the final phase. This road which is 28Km in length is to be constructed from Kottawa to Kerawalapitiya under three stages. The procurement process for the second stage from Kaduwela to Kadawatha is going on and more..

'No political interference, term tests in Jaffna trouble free'

Aug 5 (Island) Education Minister Susil Premjayanth yesterday attributed having crisis-free mid-term tests in the Jaffna peninsula to the absence of political interference at provincial level and interest taken by officials in charge of the subject. Minister asserted that the absence of a Chief Minister had contributed to their success whereas the situation in areas outside the North and East had been entirely different. more..

‘President’s House in Kandy a dansela’

Aug 5 (Island) The UNP and JVP said that the ruling SLFP-led coalition had turned President’s House in Kandy into a dansala during the campaign for the Uva PC polls on August 8. UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara said had the UPFA been confident of a comfortable victory at Uva, it wouldn’t have had to bribe supporters of opposition parties. Had they spent their own funds to feed people of the entire Uva province no one would have objected, more..

Thirty-four hotels to go green

Aug 5 (DN) The Greening Sri Lanka Hotels program will commence this week with 34 hotels in various districts. The program will be implemented to reduce energy, water and waste in the hotel sector, said chairman, Responsible Tourism Partnership, Hiran Cooray at the launch of the Greening Sri Lanka Hotels program at the Cinnamon Grand yesterday. The program initiated by the Responsible Tourism Partnership (RTP) was funded by Travel Foundation UK. more..

Rekindling our ties with Sri Lanka

Aug 5 (NP) Sri Lanka and Canada boast a long-standing friendship. The road leading from the only international airport in Sri Lanka is known as Sri Lanka/Canada Friendship Road. Canada and Canadians have helped Sri Lanka immensely after the tsunami, and a model village down south has a swimming pool named after Canadian singer Bryan Adams. The coach of the Canadian national cricket team is a Sri Lankan. These are tributes to our friendship. more..

K.P. to change the stripes of ‘Tigers’

Aug 5 (DM) K.P. who is appointed as the Leader of the Tamil Tiger Organization, today, sees bringing together the International interest to coincide with the Tamil Tiger interest as his primary task before him. K.P. is of the view that, though Prabhakaran nursed great hopes of International intervention during the period of the war, those did not realize because the International interests and the Tamil Tiger interests were not brought on a par. more..

A Nikini Poya thought

Aug 5 (Island) While a campaign to turn this blessed republic into a kingdom is on, we have some political potentates emulating legendary bovine King Kekille, who always saw to it that justice was stood on its head and the wrong party hanged in a trial. It looks as if King Kekille were being cloned on an industrial scale in this land. more..

Top cricket umpires disgusted with SLC

Aug 5 (DM) Sri Lanka’s top cricket umpires who are disgusted with Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) about the way they have been treated are about to take their grievances to the President Mahinda Rajapakse as they feel that they have been subjected to injustice by the SLC Umpires committee. The volcano exploded, when the SLC completely ignored the local umpire ratings as they handpicked three umpires to be nominated for the ICC panel. more..

Misappropriation alleged at F&G Real Estate

Aug 5 (DM) Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Yasantha Kodagoda complained to the Fort Magistrate yesterday that another member of the Ceylinco Group of Companies had been involved in acts amounting to criminal misappropriation of the monies of its depositors and thereby cheated its depositors. The DSG submitted that the company F&G Real Estate Limited had regularly accepted deposits, assuring the depositors that the monies would be deposited in certain ventures. more..

Controversial bill slipped through WPC

Aug 5 (DM) The controversial Local Authorities Elections Bill which led to a crisis in the Eastern Provincial Council some months ago was approved by the Western Provincial Council by a majority of 45 votes yesterday amid protests by the opposition that the Bill was presented without prior notice. The Bill was approved with 48 members voting for and three JVPers voting against while the 15 UNP members abstained. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils angry with China, India

Aug 5 (IANS) More than two months after the Tamil Tigers were decimated, Sri Lankan Tamils living abroad remain bitter about the support China and India extended to Colombo during the war. The Tamil Diaspora is livid that Beijing provided tonnes of arms and ammunition to Sri Lankan security forces battling the LTTE. The anger against India is rooted mainly in New Delhi's diplomatic backing to Colombo when it came under Western fire over human rights abuses. more..

'Set aside political, communal differences Actively rebuild the Nation'

Aug 5 (MoD) The people irrespective of their political or communal differences should actively be involved in rebuilding the country after it was liberated from the clutches of terrorism, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said the Security Forces without having an inch of land of their own made the supreme sacrifice for the liberation of one third of the country's land area more..

Sri Lanka begins resettling war displaced

Aug 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Wednesday allowed 1,100 people displaced during the recently-ended ethnic conflict with the Tamil Tigers to return home, in the first phrase of an ambitious relocation plan. At a colourful ceremony, senior presidential advisor Basil Rajapakse presented gift packs of food to the group and pledged to resettle more people in the coming weeks. Men, women and children, clutching their few belongings in canvas bags, more..

Sri Lanka through Geoffrey Bawa’s eyes

Aug 6 (TB) Geoffrey Bawa spent nearly 50 years stamping his mark on Sri Lanka's landscape and at the same time created his own idyllic refuge. Laura Holt stays at the famous Sri Lankan architects’ sublime country estate for “The only feeling we experienced” writes one visitor, “was that of time standing still”. One of many expressions of total satisfaction scribbled in the guest book of the country home of Sri Lanka’s most preeminent architect, Geoffrey Bawa. more..

Anti-measles drive targets 36,000 IDP children

Aug 6 (IRIN) The Sri Lankan government and agencies are spearheading the vaccination of thousands of children living in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the north against measles. The programme, expected to conclude on 6 August, will vaccinate more than 36,000 children under five among the 280,000 IDPs who fled the last phase of fighting between government forces and the defeated LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka activated carbon maker June net up 58-pct

Aug 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Haycarb said net profit for the June 2009 quarter grew 58 percent to 102.4 million rupees from a year ago as prices of activated carbon improved along with raw material supply. The coconut shell-based activated carbon maker, a unit of the Hayleys group, said in a stock exchange filing that sales grew 17 percent to 1.2 billion rupees. "Local manufacturing had also benefited by better energy prices and a somewhat more favourable exchange rate," more..

Will Sri Lankan voters choose stability?

Aug 6 (UPI) Elections to the Jaffna and Vavuniya town councils in Sri Lanka will be held on Saturday. Although local, and limited to a small population, the elections are important from a larger political perspective, as they will enable the government to respond to international pressures to follow up its military victory with a political solution to the ethnic situation. The government has pledged to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, more..

Italy to contribute more towards “Uthuru Wasanthaya”

Aug 6 (LP) Following the UNHCR “Global Appeal 2009 Update” in favour of the 280,000 refugees in Vavuniya and with the aim of contributing to the international efforts to assist the Government of Sri Lanka in alleviating the conditions of the refugees of the recent conflict, the Italian Government has decided to allocate UNHCR a further contribution of Euros 300,000 (48 million Rupees). more..

Resettlement of Vavuniya IDPs commences

Aug 6 (GDI) Under the Government’s resettlement programme of internally displaced civilians in the transitional centers in the North, 439 families temporarily housed in Vavuniya relief villages were sent to their places of origin in the East today. This is the first phase of the resettlement scheme of the displaced housed in Vavuniya temporary camps. more..

Sri Lanka to track down fleeing war displaced civilians

Aug 6 (Xinhua) The police said Wednesday that they will conduct a census in the camps for the IDP in the north to track down fleeing refugees. A senior police official said the purpose of the measure is to ascertain the number of IDPs who had escaped camps through surreptitious means. Nearly 300,000 Tamil minority civilians displaced by the final battles are now being housed in scores of refugee camps in the northern Vavuniya and Jaffna districts. more..

Sri Lanka goes ahead with baby elephant separation

Aug 6 (AFP) President brushed aside protests from animal rights activists Wednesday when he formally gifted two baby elephants separated from their mothers to a Buddhist temple. President Mahinda Rajapakse presented the "guardianship" of the two calves to top Buddhist monks at a ceremony in the central town of Kandy, his office said. Animal lovers had petitioned the Supreme Court as well as more..

Indians involved in match-fixing in Lanka

Aug 6 (TOI) Match-fixing has returned to haunt the game of cricket and this time it is the Pakistani cricketers who are facing the heat after a disastrous tour of Sri Lanka. Former Pakistan chief selector Abdul Qadir made startling allegations, saying Pakistani players are linked to Indian bookies. It came to light during the tour of Sri Lanka with stories of Pakistani players being approached by suspicious Indians, as reported by manager Saeed Yawar. more..

Indian funds for Palaly runway project

Aug 6 (Hindu) India on Monday handed over bank drafts worth Sri Lanka Rs. 117 million to Sri Lanka for Palaly military-cum civilian runway rehabilitation project in the Jaffna peninsula, Sri Lanka Defence Ministry announced here on Wednesday. ($1 fetches Sri Lanka Rs. 114). Attempts to elicit information from the Indian mission on the quantum of the first instalment for the project and remaining phases if any were not successful. more..

Time to stand up against state terror and militarisation of society

Aug 6 (TC) “From Sharmila” a young ordinary woman from Manipur came to my ambit of reading while I was in the company of a pioneering social activist from India, who has very many contacts in the troubled Indian North - East provinces. She is still in an unending fast, moving into its 09th consecutive year, demanding that the Indian State remove the “Armed Forces Special Provisions Act” (AFSPA) enforced in her homeland. more..

At the sight of white Skin

Aug 6 (LG) There is talk now to raise hotel room charges on assumption that the influx of Western tourists to Sri Lanka would increase since the war has ended. How wise is this move when most of the tourist infrastructure is absent in Sri Lanka and some of the East Asian countries are more attractive in many ways to the tourist! India has a very poor tourist industry to draw lessons from. more..

The Welikande Experience

Dutch Buddhist urges Perahera Boycott

Aug 6 (LG) The news of the cruel and inhumane treatment of two baby elephants and their mothers have reached the Netherlands as well. A notable number of Dutch men and women have embraced Theravada Buddhists. There are two vihares here which are severed by Dutch monks who received their training and ordination in Sri Lanka. The first and best known Dutch monks is the Rev. Olanda Ananda who serves in Sri Lanka and teaches Dharma in fluent Sinhalese. more..

Make the elections free and fair: V. Anandasangaree

Aug 6 (LG) It is with deep regret that I wish to bring to your notice, the most disgraceful manner in which all democratic norms are violated to favour candidates of the Governing Alliance, at an election to a local body. The Cabinet Ministers have made themselves very cheap with various promises, including jobs. It is a pity to see these things happening in a country where you are the Head of the State. more..

The IDPs in Wanni

Aug 6 (LG) 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..

Revisiting Judge Weeramantry’s ‘A call for National Reawakening’

Aug 6 (LG) It was in 2005 that Judge CG Weeramantry, former Vice-President of the International Court of Justice and one of the most respected international jurists in the world, published a gem of a book titled ‘A Call for National Reawakening’. Revisiting the contents of the book soon after the defeat of the LTTE, I was reminded of the fact that Judge Weeramantry had set out therein the quintessence of what is necessarily a ‘principled solution’ more..

The Role of a Foreign Minister

Aug 6 (LG) Peace and development remain the objectives of our era. Economic globalization is developing in depth, and science and technology are advancing by leaps and bounds. These developments have brought about new opportunities for all countries to develop their economies and improve the living standard of their people. The world is not yet a tranquil place. Terrorism continues to threaten the world despite global efforts to eliminate it. more..

H1N1-death man may have spread infection

Aug 6 (SG) The death of Sri Lankan national Mohammed Mafaz Mohammed Saleem in a hotel room here Monday, confirmed as resulting from swine flu by the Ministry of Health, has raised concerns over whether he could have spread the infection during his week-long attempts to find treatment in at least four medical centers. Saleem, a resident of Dubai, arrived in Riyadh on July 25 on a business trip and, more..

Elephants and festivals in Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (TB) Only a country as diverse as Sri Lanka could pack elephant riding and watching Asia’s largest Buddhist festival into a single perfect day, writes Laura Holt for Waking up at 5a.m for anything other than what I have planned today would normally be entirely out of the question. But I’m in Sri Lanka visiting the central Kegalle district to coincide with the Asia’s largest Buddhist festival, more..

Flu shots now mandatory for Haj pilgrims

Aug 6 (AN) Restricting Haj pilgrims to those between the ages of 12 and 65 will soon be a definite condition for the forthcoming Haj season, Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said in a statement on Wednesday. Al-Rabeeah said the proposal had been sent to the Cabinet for formal approval and would be forwarded to Saudi missions for action concerning the issuance of Haj visas. more..

Resettlement in record time: Over 40,000 resettled in 44 days

Aug 6 (MoD) Addressing a public meeting at the Vavuniya Urban Council grounds yesterday on the occasion of sending off several thousand IDPs back to their original places of residence, Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP appealed to them to set aside ethnic and religious differences and rally round President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring peace and prosperity to the country. more..

Sri Lankan judges to attend training seminars at UQ

Aug 6 (UQ) Twelve judges of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka will take part in a program of educational and training seminars at the University of Queensland during August 11-17. Organised by the TC Beirne School of Law Centre for Public, International and Comparative Law (CPICL), the aim of the program is to enhance knowledge in emerging areas of law, such as information technology, intellectual property, and banking and finance. more..

Sri Lanka: Small miracle or big miracle?

Aug 6 (LBO) So after much effort we decided to get rid of the inane "Land Like No Other" tagline and launch the new brand "Small Miracle." Now the former JVP presidential candidate and present tourism minister wants to replace it by consulting "leading scholars" in a few days. Throw away years of systematic work by experts in brand positioning and replace it in days with the opinions of people of the Honorable Minister’s choosing. more..

Dutch and the Tamil Homeland

Aug 6 (LG) Many of the contemporary journalistic, academic and judicial contributions on the Kandyan Kingdom exhibit a great deal of misunderstanding and incomprehension about the political and social institutions of the Kandyan state. It is taken for granted that it was a centralised state with an almost homogeneous Sinhalese population. The belief that the Kandyan monarch was the custodian exclusively of Buddhism and more..

‘Gama Neguma’ - a bonanza for a few

Aug 6 (LT) It is reported that Rs.1900000 has been spent to supply mobile phones to senior officials of ‘Gama Neguma’ project implemented under the Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infra Structure Development. Colombo District Secretary has spent this money on instructions from a very high politician of the government to buy 20 mobile phones which cost Rs.95,000 each. It has been revealed that 13 of these phones have been distributed among close associates of more..

'Sri Lanka to close central bank swap with China'

Aug 6 (LBO) Central bank is expecting to close a "token" swap contract with China though the monetary authority is no longer in urgent need of dollars after an International Monetary Fund loan came through, Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We are going ahead with a token 25 million US dollar swap with China to build up relations," Cabraal said. "After the IMF loan we are very comfortable." more..

Dalada pageant end today

Aug 6 (GDI) The water cutting ceremony of the Kandy Esala Perahera took place at Gatambe this morning. The day procession will be held today with the Kandy Dalada Perahera coming to a conclusion. The Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa and other Nilames will handover scroll to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President’s House in Kandy today conveying the successful conclusion of the Perahera. more..

Madhu Feast begins on grand scale today

Aug 6 (GDI) The grand Madhu Festival will begin today on a solemn holy note.It is expected that a large number of devotees from all parts of the country would pay homage as this would be the first Madhu festival after the end of terrorism. The Madhu festival will continue till the 16th of this month. The first prayer service will be conducted at 11.00 am today. Another prayer service is scheduled to be held at 4.30 pm. more..

Massive crack down on the under world

Aug 6 (GDI) After crushing the ruthless LTTE terrorism, the law enforcement authorities are now successfully engaged in eliminating the criminal under world gangs, Police sources said. Over the past few week a number of dangerous under world gang leaders were killed in confrontation with the police. Police have, on the instructions of the Defense Ministry, launched a massive operation to apprehend under world gangsters who threaten the public and politicians to collect ransom. more..

435 IDP families from East resettled

Aug 6 (PSM) 439 IDP families from East temporarily housed in Vavuniya relief villages were sent to their places of origin in the East today. This is the first phase of the resettlement scheme of the displaced housed in Vavuniya temporary camps. In addition, the government took steps to resettle 3112 persons of 1051 families who temporary occupied various places in Vavuniya but were residents of Jaffna back in their homes in the peninsula. more..

Political violence in Sri Lanka - Part 3

Aug 6 (LG) Lack of appropriate political and economic development, equitable distribution of economic benefits, and equitable opportunities provided the essential ingredients for young peoples' radicalisation. The universal franchise and the lowering of the voting age allowed young people to take part in active electoral politics. Free education was introduced in 1945, and the medium of instruction was changed to local languages, which more..

Sri Lanka: Third worst country for journalists

Aug 6 (LG) Sri Lanka is the world's 3rd worst country for journalists to live in after Iraq and Afghanistan, says the Asia Media Report 2009. The report also reveals details on various Sri Lankan journalists who had been killed, assaulted, abducted and also those who had fled the island since 2006. The Sri Lankan chapter of the report was compiled by senior journalist Dilrukshi Handunnetti. more..

When law becomes comic – Part Two

Aug 6 (LG) The killing of alleged criminals is being considered as a cheaper method of dealing with them, rather than going through due process in courts. It is also considered to be quicker, and less risky to the officers who carry out the operations. In fact, the police, military or anyone acting under such agencies, who may themselves be underground elements, could assure themselves of complete impunity because of the secretive process of abductions more..

'Uva PC elections: Govt. makes sure promise to build castles in the air'

Aug 6 (UNP) Addressing UNP propaganda rallies for the upcoming Uva provincial council (PC) elections, Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said, the Govt. which is bankrupt of true and honest election pledges, is making grandiose promises to build castles in the air for the people. He urged the Govt. to be honest and promise what it can instead of deceiving the masses. more..

Why US and EU must be thankful to SL

Aug 6 (LNP) When Sri Lanka took on the LTTE, many a western nation went all out to scuttle her war effort. Some of them even sought to dislodge the present government by supporting the Opposition at elections. We reported that a powerful ambassador had once taken a tuk-tuk ride to an Opposition politician`s residence, where a plot was being hatched to engineer defections from the government on the eve of a budget vote. more..