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Kiwis to play two Tests here

Aug 6 (LNP) They will begin their tour of Sri Lanka with a three day warm up match against a Board XI at Colts grounds from August 7 to 9 followed by another warm up game against a Board XI at the NCC grounds from August 12 to 14. The first Test between Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be played at Galle Stadium from August 18 to 22 followed by the second Test at SSC grounds from August 26 to 30. more..

Transport Minister moves to purchase train carriages without President’s approval

Aug 6 (LNW) Sources from Temple Trees say that Transport Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has submitted a suspicious cabinet paper for approval to purchase 12 train engines and 100 train carriages from China. Sources also said Alahapperuma’s keen interest to get the relevant cabinet paper approved at a meeting the President would not be chairing has raised even his suspicion as well. more..

This is very interesting

Aug 6 (LNW) For the first time, the govt says there had been IDPs in Vavuniya camps from as far away as Ampara and Batticoloa in the Eastern Province. The news report produced below also says these are "civilians who had to flee their home towns due to the LTTE threats and intimidation, and they later escaped to the Government controlled areas in the latter stage of the humanitarian operation." more..

Dr. Malcolm Ranjith is new Colombo Archbishop

Aug 6 (LT) Rt. Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith was installed as the ninth Archbishop of Colombo in a colourful ceremony held at St. Lucia’s Cathedral, Kotahena yesterday. Several Buddhist prelates, Hindu priests, and heads of other Christian denominations participated in the ceremony. Ven. Kumburugamuwe Vajire Thero, Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero and Ven. Muruththetuwe Ananda Thero cahned ‘Pirith’ and blessed the new Archbishop. more..

Son wields police father’s powers to assault fellow student

Aug 6 (LT) Son of Colombo Crime Division SSP Vas Gunewardena has broken into SLIIT, abducted a student at gun point and assaulted him for several hours. The victim, Nipuna Ramanayake, a 21 year old third year student of SLIIT has been admitted to Colombo National Hospital due to serious injuries sustained in the assault. A gang of four that had arrived in a jeep bearing Reg. No. GD-0343 and abducted the student at about 12.20 p.m. on Tuesday. more..

Convener of IUSF remanded for protesting against term test fiasco

Aug 6 (LT) Convener of the Inter Universities Students Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne who was arrested by the police last night (5th) for putting up posters against the manner school term tests were held was produced before the court today and was remanded till the 12th. Student leaders and many others say the move to arrest and remand Mr. Premaratne was a manipulation by the government. more..

'No nominations for criminals for Southern PC election'

Aug 6 (LT) Minister Susil Premjayanthe, UPFA General Secretary said anyone found guilty of a criminal offense or facing charges due to criminal offenses committed by them would not be selected as candidates for the forthcoming Southern PC elections. He said interviews for the selection of prospective candidates had been held but no final decision has been taken so far. more..

Liquor Business at Sri Lanka Embassy in Kuwait

Aug 6 (LeN) Staff members of Sri Lankan Missions abroad are famous for various types of businesses. They have been selling various commodities. For example, a famous cloth businessman is now serving as an Ambassador in a western country. Another political Ambassador was found selling run-away maids to brothels. Hopefully, these types of businesses will be increased after the proposed allowance and sally cut will be implemented. more..

LTTE’s Gold and cash emerge from Mullaittivu

Aug 6 (LP) Troops and Police conducting search operations in several areas of Mullaittivu yesterday (05) recovered cash and gold hidden by the LTTE. According to the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) Police recovered 02 Gold rings, 02 Gold earrings, a Gold bangle, a Gold chain and a cash worth Rs. 1.5 million from the Narakamulla area in Mullaittivu. Meanwhile SL troops also recovered 14 T-56 Weapons, more..

President declares open Uva-Wellassa University

Aug 6 (LP) The Uva-Wellassa University was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. The University which is the 19th University of the country is located close to Badulla town. It was established with the intention of giving equal higher educational opportunities to the students of the country. There are three faculties that would offer eleven different degrees and has the capacity to accommodate 1300 students. more..

'Sri Lankan Tamils have suffered untold misery'

Aug 6 (AT) Bhishma Narain Singh is one of the very few surviving Indian politicians belonging to the Nehru-Gandhi era. A staunch Nehru-Gandhi family loyalist, Singh had served in the Indira Gandhi cabinet. He was later governor of Tamil Nadu in the early 1990’s at the height of LTTE activities in the state. However, Singh does not want to talk much about LTTE, saying, more..

Jaffna – a city with a new life – Northern Spring brings joy and entertainment

Aug 6 (AT) It is not the same Jaffna I have seen 6 years ago. It has changed a lot.The life has become fast and interesting in this part of the country. When I went to jaffna last Saturday (1st August 2009), I saw many changes in jaffna people’s day to day life. After the standard checking at Palali airport, we went to Jaffna through the Jaffna-Palali main road. There were a few check points. We saw many students moving fast to get a seat in the weekend classes. more..

The Fate of Velupillai Snr and the Porously Feeble Moral Excuse of Age

Aug 6 (AT) Velupillai Snr, the retired government servant, and his beloved wife, Parvathi, who together brought an enviable product into this world by the name Prabhakaran, now languish in protective custody of the Sri Lankan armed forces in the hope of getting the deed of freedom on a plate. It is ironic that the very security force personnel that their son so violently fought against, have to look after the aged pair round the clock, more..

All foreigners to be photographed

Aug 6 (CT) The government has decided to photograph all foreigners arriving at Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake and at the island’s ports after several persons who entered as tourists have posed a threat to national security, 'Divaina' reports. The most immediate reason for this measure is the arrival of an extremist Muslim cleric Ayub, who had disappeared after the recent clash between Muslim groups in Beruwala. more..

Coal power will ensure no black-outs

Aug 6 (DN) The Government has taken a firm decision to reinforce the coal power supply generation to eliminate the off and on poor feeding of unpredictable hydro power supply due to unhealthy weather changes. "During the past we have been chiefly depending on hydro power supply which caused interruptions to the national consumption and especially disrupting the economy. The decision to strengthen the coal power generation will be a solution to the short supply of hydro power due more..

Question paper fiasco: Minister to crack the whip

Aug 6 (DN) The Education Ministry will take tough action against those responsible for the recent question papers fiasco, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. The Ministry is inquiring into the issues of question paper errors reported from most parts of the country. It was revealed that there were numerous mistakes in question papers while on some occasions even obscene words were found in the question papers. more..

Battle against dengue fever: science or artefact?

Aug 6 (DN) There is a huge public outcry over the widespread prevalence of the dengue epidemic which is in the spree of claiming public lives, and the allegations are directed towards the Health Ministry for their failure to contain the plague which is vectored by a species of mosquito scientifically identified as Aedes aegypti. In an attempt to overcome the disease epidemic, the Health Ministry has gone to the extent of obtaining expertise from Cuba where the epidemic is said to have been wiped out. more..

'Religion should unite society'

Aug 6 (DN) A religion should be able to unite human society and not to divide it, the Ninth Archbishop of Colombo Most Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith said. He added that the church will support President Mahinda Rajapaksa's effort to banish all differences from society. "If we are divided and separated we will always be unsuccessful", he stressed. Archbishop Dr. Malcolm Ranjith was addressing the gathering after his canonical installation as more..

Dehiwela Zoo chief pulled up over Pinnawela jumbo issue

Aug 6 (Island) The Wildlife Conservation Department had called for explanation from National Zoological Gardens Director Duminda Jayaratne as to why the baby tuskers were released from the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, without its consent. Department’s Deputy Director, Upali Padmasiri told The Island yesterday that to date, the National Zoological Gardens had not responded to their queries. more..

Strike looms over overtime payment

Aug 6 (Island) The clerical and minor staff of the Health Ministry warned that they would resort to strike action if the Health Secretary did not withdraw a circular which cancelled their over time. A majority of the health services carried out in the internally displaced camps of the Vanni had to be handled by the minor and clerical staff of the Ministry during their off days. more..

Manager robs gold & silver worth millions of rupees

Aug 6 (Island) A former manager of the Gem and Jewellery Research and Training Institute had stolen a stock of gold and silver with an estimated value of Rs 2,395, 749 in the first half of 2007, the Auditor General Department said. Although the AG’s department had revealed the waste, corruption and irregularities at public enterprises and even the Parliament, direct charges of fraud levelled against heads of institutes were rare. more..

Karuna invites Hakeem to join SLFP

Aug 6 (DM) National Integration and Reconciliation Minister Vinayaghamoorthy Muralitharan has invited all the Tamil and Muslim minority political parties, including the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, to join the ruling SLFP. “During the conflict situation it was not possible due to the formation of political parties based on religion, ethnicity and language. The present situation is different. We have to unite to develop the country,” he said. more..

Term test papers issue in Parliament

UK supports mine clearance in Sri Lanka

Aug 6 (NDS) The UK today announced new support to clear northern Sri Lanka of thousands of mines and unexploded bombs left over from decades of fighting. The Department for International Development will give the Mines Advisory Group a £500,000 grant to help survey minefields and pinpoint unexploded ordinance so they can be safely disposed of. Mines were widely used during the conflict and are scattered across many areas in the North and East of the country. more..

‘Political appointments cause present crisis’

Aug 6 (DM) Former Education Minister Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku said yesterday that the appointment of unqualified persons to various positions in the education sector had led to the present crisis in the field. He told a news conference that there were enough qualified persons in the education sector, but they had been sidelined in a adhoc manner due to political reasons. more..

‘Govt. suppresses media to win elections’

Aug 6 (DM) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya charged on Tuesday that the government was trying to win elections through suppression of media. Addressing a rally in Vavuniya on Tuesday Mr. Jayasuriya said the government was responsible for the harassment of the media. “The government is responsible for the assault and killing of journalists in the past,” he said. more..

Sri Lanka insurance regulator suspends Ceylinco Takaful

Aug 6 (LBO) Insurance Board of Sri Lanka, has suspended the registration of Ceylinco Takaful for general insurance for three weeks, the government information department website said. It quoted the IBSL director general as saying that under the suspension, effective from Wednesday, Ceylinco Takaful is prohibited from issuing new general insurance policies until the suspension is removed. more..

120 villagers killed in wild elephants attacks

Aug 6 (Bernama) Some 120 villagers were crushed to death this year, when wild elephants attacked villagers in Sri Lanka, China's Xinhua news agency reported. Quoting the Island newspaper, the Managing Trustee of the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust Jayantha Jayewardene said that on average 65 humans and 125 elephants were killed each year, due to the human-elephant conflict in many parts of the country. more..

Two different versions on polls incidents

Aug 6 (DM) Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE) and Network for Monitoring Elections (NEM IHR) yesterday gave two different pictures on the Uva Provincial Council election and the Local government election in the North with the former painting a more grave picture and the latter giving somewhat a positive picture. According to CaFFE there have been 59 major incidents while NEM IHR said there were only 45 major incidents. more..

Don't be deceived by terrorists again, Sri Lanka tells Tamils

Aug 6 (PTI) Sri Lankan government has asked the Tamil civilians in Wanni not to be "deceived" again by the militant groups such as the LTTE, and assured the quick rehabilitation of internally displaced persons in the country. Rehabilitation and Disaster Relief Minister Rishard Bathiudeen asked people of the north and east not to be deceived by the "terrorists again as some elements were attempting to make political mileage out of the people's problems." more..

As fighting stops, Sri Lanka hopes to woo back tourists

Aug 6 (IPS) Hope has once again returned to Sri Lanka’s resplendent beaches. Everyone, including hoteliers, boat operators, and beach boys, are hopeful that the end of a three decade old civil war will herald better fortunes. For years, tourism in Sri Lanka was held hostage to war. Related businesses slumped as ethnic strife flared up in the early 1980s, driving away tourists who frequented the island. more..

Mother asks IGP to probe abduction and assault of her son

Aug 6 (Island) Quick action by Gnanalatha Ranasinghe Ramanayake, mother of a 22-year-old youth abducted by an unidentified group of persons including policemen at Malabe on Tuesday afternoon, and swift intervention by Textile Industries Development Minister Mahinda Ratnathilake saved her son’s life. She has called for the intervention of President and Defence Secretary to ensure a thorough inquiry into the incident. more..

Sri Lanka arrests 32 migrants heading for New Zealand

Aug 6 (AFP) Sri Lankan police arrested 32 men who were illegally trying to leave for New Zealand by boat, an official said Thursday. The men were taken into custody late Wednesday on the island's western coast of Seeduwa from where they planned to set off for New Zealand in a fishing trawler, senior police superintendant Ranjith Gunasekara said. The men had each paid 300,000 rupees (2,600 dollars) to an agent for the trip, he said, more..

'LTTE trying to regroup under new leader'

Aug 6 (PTI) Warning that the LTTE was trying to regroup under a new leader, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said any plot to create law and order problems in the country will be dealt firmly. Without naming LTTE's new leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan directly, Mr. Wickremanayake told the Parliament that "another person was trying to mobilise the LTTE cadres to regroup" and that it would be dealt firmly. more..

Rights group protests media ban of Sri Lanka poll

Aug 6 (AP) An international media rights group has expressed outrage at the Sri Lanka's decision to ban journalists from covering the first local elections in the north since the military defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels. The government has touted the polls scheduled for Saturday in the cities of Vavuniya and Jaffna as the first sign of democracy taking root in an area ravaged by the 25-year civil war that ended in May. more..

Unprecedented! Saudi women as ‘housemaids’

Aug 7 (MEO) Hit hard by poverty, thirty Saudi women between 20 and 45 years old broke the wall of shame by agreeing to work as domestic workers, an unprecedented news in the oil superpower kingdom, which houses nearly 1.5 million domestic workers, mostly women, from countries of the Indian subcontinent. Thirty women, none of whom has got a certificate of primary education, have agreed to work as "cleaning agents", more..

Lankan fishermen yearn to go home

Aug 7 (Hindu) It is turning out to be an excruciatingly long wait to get back home, for the five Sri Lankan fishermen, who accidentally reached the Indian shores at Sangameswaram in Krishna district last month when their mechanised fishing trawler developed a technical snag. Three of them – captain Rohan Chaminda, 34, Loku Greeganage Padmalal, 37 and Kodikara Saman Priyantha, 29 – are from Mirissa village of Matara district located at the southern tip of the island nation, more..

Three lakh IDPs pose a challenge to Lanka

Aug 7 (DH) President Mahinda Rajapakse has appointed Major Gen Daya Ratnayake, a seasoned Sri Lanka Army officer as the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. The appointment was made as part of Rajapakse’s 180-day resettlement plan for the 3,00,000 IDPs from the recently concluded civil war. A brilliant strategist, General Ratnayake was once the commander of the 223 brigade at Welikanda, Polonnaruwa during more..

Sri Lanka seasonal teas fetch high prices

Aug 7 (LBO) Prices of Sri Lankan teas grown in the central highlands that showed the 'Uva' seasonal flavour shot up sharply at this week's Colombo auctions, brokers said. Teas grown in the Uva and Udapussellawa regions of the island's central hills are much sort after by overseas buyers during the quality season usually in August and September. Brokers Asia Siyaka Commodities said buyers for Japan, the European continent and the UK were active for more..

Sri Lanka specific wiki spreads wings on the net

Aug 7 (LBO) Lankapedia, a newly launched Sri Lanka specific site styled on the popular Wikipedia portal, is setting the stage to make user generated content about the island more popular, officials said. "I think user generated content is the future," says Rohan Samarajiva, head of LirneAsia. "If you look at face book and what's going on in the internet and mobiles today, huge amount of information is being generated by users." more..

Behind the Rajapaksa brothers' smiles

Aug 7 (Economist) AFTER human excrement was dumped outside his house two years ago, M.A. Sumanthiran, a Sri Lankan human-rights lawyer, put up security cameras. He had won a ruling to stop the eviction of hundreds of Tamil migrants from Colombo and the enemies he made then have not gone away. In January, after Lasantha Wickrematunge, a journalist investigating high-level corruption and other abuses, was gunned down more..

RP opens with a bang vs. Sri Lanka

Aug 7 (MT) Team Pilipinas started with a big bang when it massacred lowly Sri Lanka, 115-31 in the opening on Thursday of the 25th FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship at the Tianjin gym in Tianjin, China. Jared Dillinger fired 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to highlight the nationals’ auspicious start in the biennial competition, which will select the top three teams to play in the 2010 World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. more..

LTTE women leader further detained

Aug 7 (BBC) A court in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, has allowed the police to further detain and question the leader of Tamil Tiger women’s political wing. Colombo Chief Magisstrate Nishantha Hapuaarachchi who visited the headquarters of police CID on Wedneday has granted permission for police request to further detain Subramanium Sivagami, widely known as Tamilini. The magistrate has visited the detainee on his powers under emergency regulations. more..

MSF ready to help fill huge gaps in medical services

Aug 7 (MSF) Any health system would have difficulties responding to the needs of over 260,000 people who recently came out of a war zone. Facilities in the Sri Lankan camps for IDPs are overstretched. People sometimes wait days before they can see a doctor for treatment. At night, non-medical people decide who gets referred to a hospital and who doesn’t. Although the war has ended, suffering for Sri Lankans continues. more..

Campaigns end ahead of Sri Lanka's first post-war polls

Aug 7 (Reuters) Campaigning for Sri Lanka's first post-war polls ended on Thursday, and the government resettled more than 3,000 who people who fled the final offensive against the Tamil Tigers. Sri Lanka on Saturday will hold a vote in Uva province, and two polls in the towns of Jaffna and Vavuniya to elect local councillors. The latter are the first in 11 years in the towns on the periphery of the area formerly controlled by the separatist Tamil Tigers. more..

Sri Lanka logistics sector to form lobby group

Aug 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's transport and logistics professionals are to form a 'logistics directors' forum' that aims to get industry leaders together to work for common objectives, a senior official said. The first logistics directors' forum is to be organised next month by the Sri Lanka branch of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT) which groups professionals in the industry. more..

Govt destroys books worth Rs.250 million

Aug 7 (LT) Grade 8 text books printed by Educational Publications Department for year 2008 are being transported in 50 lorries to Valachchena Paper factory to be recycled and produce paper say reports. Knowing that the syllabus was to be changed in 2010 printing such a large number of text books had been carried out to get more commissions say sources. According to internal sources of the Ministry of Education the total cost of the books to be recycled is Ra.250 million. more..

'Let us build together peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka'

Aug 7 (AN) During the ceremony of installation as 9th archbishop of the diocese of Colombo, Mgr Malcom Ranjit urged Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, political leaders and ordinary people to remain united to build together “true peace and reconciliation in the country”. The solemn ceremony, which took place yesterday, saw the presence of thousands of faithful, representatives of the diocese’s various parishes more..

New innings for Sri Lanka's children

Aug 7 (BBC) The British brought cricket to Sri Lanka and established its first club, the Colombo Cricket Club, in 1863. Astonishingly, membership was not opened to so-called 'natives' until 1961, around 13 years after the country gained its independence. Now the game is regarded as much more than a mere sport and is considered almost a fourth religion by the island's Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. more..

Doctoring the evidence

Aug 7 (LG) Colombo’s recent detention of and apparently coerced recantation by several Tamil doctors who had reported high civilian casualties is a potent example of the Colombo government’s determination to rewrite the final days of the war. The question of the Sri Lankan government’s treatment of the detained ethnic-Tamil doctors, who served in the war zone in the north until almost the very end, has gone far beyond the fact of the doctors themselves, of their individual actions or sympathies. more..