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Sri Lanka, China consortium sole bidder for Colombo container terminal

July 9 (LBO) A consortium made up of Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence and China Merchant Holdings are the sole bidders to design and build a new container terminal in Colombo port, officials said. "We are the only bidder, there is no competition," a spokesperson for Aitken Spence said soon after bids closed Wednesday. "Our technical qualifications will have to now be checked, which will take a few weeks." more..

Murali doubtful for second Test

July 9 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan is unlikely to be available for the second Test against Pakistan in Colombo starting this weekend as he has not fully recovered from a minor knee injury. "I have not yet recovered from the injury," Murali told DNA. "I don't think it will happen before the second Test, so I won't be available. Murali was ruled out of the series opener in Galle after he hurt his patella tendon while training on the eve of the game and advised rest. more..

India awaits confirmation of Prabhakaran's death

July 9 (IANS) India Wednesday said it is still waiting for a formal response from Sri Lanka confirming the death of Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran and promised continued assistance to Colombo to rehabilitate Tamils displaced by the conflict. "In connection with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, a formal request for an official confirmation of the deaths of Prabhakaran and more..

Sri Lankan doctors say they exaggerated war deaths

July 9 (AP) A group of Sri Lankan doctors who have been in police custody for nearly two months were brought before the media Wednesday to recant their reports of mass civilian casualties during the final days of the civil war. The men, who looked well-fed but nervous, denied they were withdrawing their statements under pressure from the government, even as they expressed hopes they might now be released. more..

India ’honest’ in helping Sri Lanka: Minister

July 9 (PTI) India has been “honest” in helping Sri Lanka’s war victims and there was no reason to doubt New Delhi’s role in helping Colombo rehabilitate the displaced people, a senior minister said today responding to India allocating Rs 500 crore for the refugees. Agriculture minister Maithripala Sirisena said New Delhi had extended assistance on the basis of excellent bilateral relations and warned that “misconception and rumours” could harm those ties. more..

German support for Yal-Devi to get back on tracks

July 9 (SLW) “All Nations Day”, which is an annual event, was celebrated in Berlin on 04th July. This event is held under the patronage of the Berlin Senate and all the diplomatic missions in Berlin become part of this colorful occasion. Berliners get an excellent opportunity to experience the various cultural aspects of these different countries and also to purchase or just discover the many authentic products of these countries. more..

Paramount Law and Gyges’ Ring

July 9 (LG) Let’s take us. Our fellows regularly kill bad criminals. No paramount law will allow that. It is against all the principles we were educated on. But what if we do not do this? This is a discussion among several imaginary characters. These imaginary characters do not represent any living persons. The Characters: A journalist, conducting the interview; A senior police officer who has agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity; more..

Customs chief collude with cheats to steal informant’s financial reward in million

July 9 (LG) The Customs Department comes under the direct supervision of the President, Mahinda Rajapakse. Yet, it appears that the President is unaware or ignorant of high level of corruption in the Customs Administration under the present Customs Chief, Sarath Jayathilake, since 2002. What is exposed here is only aspect of embezzlement of government revenue by defrauding of informant’s share of financial rewards. more..

Canada offers to partner Sri Lanka in Post Conflict Development

July 9 (LG) Acknowledging that Sri Lanka had gone through an extremely difficult period of grappling with terrorism for nearly three decades, Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada pledged that Canada will be partners in this country’s post conflict development, when he met Rohitha Bogollagama, Minister of Foreign Affairs yesterday (7th July 2009). more..

The Business of Peace

Two Sri Lankan Tamils sentenced in England for rape

July 9 (AT) Two Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers used to live in South England have been sentenced to eight and a half years in jail over the rape of a 21 year old British girl. Judge Graham White also recommended that both men, who come from Sri Lanka as refugees, should be deported when they are released from prison. But the final decision on whether they should be returned to Sri Lanka will be made by the Home Office. more..

America never threatened to block the IMF Loan facility to Sri Lanka

July 9 (AT) In a sudden turn of event regarding Sri Lanka’s Loan application with the International Monetary Fund, United States clarified that it has in no occasion, either publicly or privately, threatened to block the IMF loan to Sri Lanka on political grounds. Earlier this year, Sri Lanka applied for a loan of US$ 1.9 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). more..

New Primary School For Valahapitty Children

July 9 (AT) The European Commission (EC), through its Implementing partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) provides a new primary school for the children of Valathapitty, Sammathurai, in Ampara, eastern Sri Lanka. The primary school will serve 175 Tamil children from two villages – Puthiya Valathapitty and Palaveligramam – where ninety percent of the population is engaged in day labour work. more..

Exim Bank assures assistance in the Reconstruction Phase

July 9 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, held discussions with the President of the Export- Import (EXIM) Bank of China, Li Ruogu recently in Beijing during his official visit to China. Emphasizing the importance of his discussion with Mr. Li Ruogu, the Minister at the very outset expressed his appreciation to the EXIM bank for the continued generosity and goodwill towards Sri Lanka by way of assistance extended to various Development Projects. more..

Saudi relief supplies arrive in Lanka

July 9 (AN) On the instructions of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, relief supplies from Saudi Arabia arrived at Colombo airport on Wednesday for distribution among refugees of the recent fighting in Sri Lanka. Some 300,000 Sri Lankans have been displaced by the war to recapture rebel-held territories in north and east of the island. Abdul Rahman Al-Jammaz, the Saudi ambassador in Colombo, and Riyad Al-Kheneini, more..

Romesh Jayasinghe on “Post-conflict Sri Lanka and India’s Role”

July 9 (AT) Here is the full text of the keynote address by Mr. C. Romesh Jayasinghe, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka at a Seminar on “Post-Conflict Sri Lanka and India’s Role”at Stella Maris college, Chennai on Tuesday. As a news it has been reported in our columns by our Correspondent S. Murari in Chennai. Mahatma Gandhi said “It is, at least it should be impossible for India and Ceylon to quarrel. We are the nearest neighbours. more..

Lasantha Wickrematunge: The man who changed Sri Lankan journalism

July 9 (DBS) It is six months since the fearless editor of “The Sunday Leader” was brutally assassinated in broad daylight.Lasantha Manilal Wickrematunge was murdered in cold blood at Ratmalana by a killer squad of eight riding four motor cycles. He was driving alone to work on that fateful January 8th. Six months have passed and the Police are yet to progress in their so called investigation into the killing. more..

Top security afforded to Alok Prasad in Jaffna

July 9 (TN) Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Alok Prasad, who is on a two day visit to Jaffna peninsula with his retinue to study the situation in the peninsula spent his second day in worship and participating in religious events, sources in Jaffna said. The visiting Indian High Commissioner was afforded top security during the visits he made to Nalloor and Point Pedro in Vadamaraadchi during the day, the sources added. more..

Sri Lankan all-party forum joins hands with Rajapakse regime

July 9 (wsws) All the Sri Lankan parliamentary parties last week attended a meeting called by President Mahinda Rajapakse to form an “All Party Committee on Development and Reconciliation”. Their participation signifies the complicity of the entire political establishment with the Rajapakse regime’s war crimes and mass detention of nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians. more..

Roemer praises India's role in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka

July 9 (PTI) The Obama administration's top diplomatic nominee for India has praised the country's role in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. "I would like to say with respect to the Indians and Afghanistan that they have provided a very helpful role to the United States and to Afghanistan and to the region," Tim Roemer, the nominated US Ambassador to India, told lawmakers at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. more..

Church targets disease more deadly than swine flu

July 9 (UCAN) Swine flu is making headlines around the world, but the Church here is worried about a more common disease with a lower profile, dengue, which has killed more than 150 people in Sri Lanka this year. Church workers have been setting out armed with shovels, rakes and chemicals to fight a menace that has killed at least 157 people, most during the last couple of months, the rainy season. more..

Free detained Tamils for Marian feast, bishop urges

July 9 (UCAN) The bishop of Mannar in the country’s Northern Province has called for displaced Tamils to be allowed to leave government camps to celebrate the feast of the Assumption at the revered Madhu Marian shrine. “Allow all to the shrine, including refugees detained in camps,” Bishop Rayappu Joseph demanded on July 2, speaking to reporters in Mannar more..

Refugees in their own land

July 9 (TOI) On the night of June 25, a small group of Tamil youths gathered furtively inside Arunachalam camp in Cheddikulam, Sri Lanka. As heavily-armed guards patrolled the camps perimeter, one of the men climbed a tree and tied a red cloth to the topmost branch. The next day, as soldiers changed shifts and camp inmates dragged themselves out of their tents, a red flag with a tiger emblazoned on it was fluttering in the morning breeze. more..

‘Prabhakaran will start the fifth war of independence’

July 9 (TS) A few days after Tamil Nadu chief minister, Mr M Karunanidhi told the state Assembly of a story of a “hero's escape on a horseback with none in the know of his whereabouts” inferred here to mean LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, a close associate of the elusive LTTE leader who has known him for decades, Mr P Nedumaran, today said that Prabhakaran was alive. “The government of Sri Lanka announced that Mr Prabhakaran was killed. more..

Concern for older people in Sri Lanka camps

July 9 (HA) HelpAge International is providing urgently needed emergency healthcare for thousands of people who were displaced by fighting in Sri Lanka in recent months. There are currently over 260,000 people living in overcrowded IDP camps in the Vavuniya area in the northeast of the island. The Ministry of Health and Nutrition and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimates there are about 14,000 older people in the camps. more..

Concerned Tamils, but what about the rest?

July 9 (GV) I read with interest the concerns of a group of Tamils on the situation of IDPs and their suggestions for a speedy recovery of a human tragedy. However, I am a little concerned and in fact unhappy why only a group of Tamils should be concerned? Aren’t the Sinhalese, Muslims, Malays and Burghers not concerned about the plight of the IDPs. Why this separatism on an issue of humanitarian recovery? more..

Flag hoisting, non-violence and triumphalism in Sri Lanka

July 9 (GV) Our country is at a historical juncture with many controversies and contradictions. The resultant complex scenario leads to many questions but answers are not that easy to come by Jubliant triumphalism with deep and down to earth egoism on one hand and on the other human sufferings at its worst – worst of its kind that our history has recorded. Amidst a lot of sadness at the loss of human beings, more..

Rare moment of co-operation in Sri Lanka over different languages

July 9 (National) For Sri Lankan politicians, like the rest of their colleagues in South Asia, criticising one another and rarely agreeing on any issue is a way of life, but that changed last week at a public forum where MPs gave a ray of hope to a public that treats them and their rhetoric with distaste. When Sunil Handunetti, an MP from JVP, told a Colombo audience that his party was backing a two-language policy in Sri Lanka to more..

Central bank chief rules out directed lending

July 9 (LBO) In a far sighted move that puts the country firmly on a higher growth path Sri Lanka's central bank Governor Nivard Cabraal has ruled out state directed bank lending as a long term policy. "As a policy we have resisted that (directed lending) because we think that the bank should have the space to decide on their own risk mix," Governor Cabraal told a forum more..

Tamil parties participate in sham local elections

July 9 (wsws) Tamil parties are participating in the Rajapakse government’s sham local government elections in the war-ravaged Northern Province on August 8, thus helping the regime provide a democratic façade for the ongoing military occupation of the island’s north and east. The election campaign for the Jaffna and Vavuniya municipal councils has featured the various parties representing the Tamil business elite, more..

Why cannot Sri Lanka make race hate speeches and utterances a principal offence?

July 9 (TC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is on record that he has cautioned sections of his ruling coalition against stoking communal disharmony and this position would, no doubt, be widely welcomed by the ‘moral majority’ in Sri Lanka whose hearts are in a future that would be shared among Sri Lanka’s communities. We have had no ominous indications, so far, of communal friction of any kind erupting in the wake of some already hotly debated ‘post-war issues’, more..

How Prabhakaran went down in Nanthi Kadal – the last battleground (Part 01)

July 9 (LG) Right opposite the rusting and cannibalized hull of Farah 3, the Egyptian ship pirated by the Tamil Tigers, a monument is rising now from the sandy beach in Vellamullivaikkal to mark the historic event of May 16, 2009 – the day when the two divisions, 58 and 59, that advanced from the south and the north met, clearing the entire northern and eastern coastline of the last vestiges of Tiger threats to the territorial integrity and national sovereignty. more..

The 13th Amendment and the international system

July 9 (LG) My young friend and critic Malinda Seneviratne just has to be kidding. He writes in The Nation of July 5th 09, that "Dayan not only thinks the 13th is great, but trusts the President to deliver his (Dayan’s) Utopia". Now that’s wrong on all three counts. I don’t think the 13th amendment is "great". It is not the President I "trust" to deliver on it. And the present Sri Lanka with an activated 13th amendment is a far cry from any notion of Utopia I might have. more..

Hambantota Port to start operations by end 2010

July 9 (LG) Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is planning to start operating its upcoming Port in Hambantota by November 2010, said Ports Authority Chairman, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrema. The construction work of the Port in the Deep South is “5 months ahead of the scheduled completion date” and will see the completion of the 1st phase construction by 2009 October, he said. more..

Novel hotel trade scheme for eastern youth

July 9 (GDI) A novel training scheme in the hotel trade has been launched in the Eastern Province by the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management with the Eastern Provincial Council. It is designed as a measure for the youth in the East, interested in the hotel trade as a profession. Initially 90 youth in the province have been selected for the training course. A one month English language training program is included and more..

'Financial development designed to suit people and nation'

July 9 (GDI) MP Basil Rajapaksa claimed the government’s financial development policy and program has been designed to suit the people’s will. He expressed confidence that such a program would certainly meet the needs of the people. He made these observations at the launching ceremony of the strategic approach to bring economic prosperity to the country liberated from the grip of terrorism by the heroic security forces. more..

BOI to open an office in Jaffna

July 9 (GDI) In keeping with the policies and development effort to re-awaken the Northern Province, BOI has taken to priority to open up a branch office in the Jaffna Peninsula. The presence of a BOI office in Jaffna will enhance and help to expedite the development plan envisaged by the BOI. BOI has identified in the provinces with the Government Agent of Jaffna the potential land for various development projects. more..

Full implementation of thirteenth amendment is not ultimate solution

July 9 (TC) The defeat of the LTTE as a military force has not made the ethnic question in Sri Lanka go away. If anything, the need for a political solution has become ever more urgent. The euphoria over the military victory must not allow the debate on power sharing and devolution to die. While these discussions take place, it is useful to go back to power-sharing arrangements already in place, and examine where they fall short. more..

Road leading to Parliament opens

July 9 (GDI) The roads in the vicinity of Parliament will not hereafter be kept closed when proceedings are in progress. The main road leading to Parliament had to be closed, due to LTTE threats on Ministers, Parliamentarians and other dignitaries,Police Media Spokesman SSP Ranjith Gunasekera said. He pointed out that the road had to be kept closed from time to time in the past and the public were greatly inconvenienced. more..

Coast Guard Dept. bill passed

July 9 (GDI) The government's move to set up a Coast Guard Department in the country was approved in Parliament today when the said bill was presented to the House. The bill was passed with amendments and the House agreed to set up such a department that would enhance national security. The Coast Guard Department will strenghten security in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka and would combat all illegal activities in Sri Lankan waters. more..

Summary of cabinet decisions

July 9 (GDI) Providing concessions facilities to Pirivens: Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education Susil Premajayantya to provide facilities such as making available the affiliated service of Pirivena teachers, bursary, textbooks and uniforms (robes) etc. under the pirivena Education Act No.64 of 1979, for the Pivivenas functioned with the authority of Sri Lankan Bikkhus in India and Nepal. more..

President loses his cool at Samurdhi officers’ meeting

July 9 (LNW) A Samurdhi officer on the basis of anonymity told Lanka News Web that the President lost his cool and lashed out in filth at the Samurdhi officers’ meeting at Temple Trees on yesterday (7). During the meeting, a Samurdhi officer had said they had raised an issue on the non receipt of a file bag promised by the Samurdhi Commissioner General. The President had then called upon the Samurdhi Commissioner General to give an explanation. more..

'Muslims depend on security of govt. forces'

July 9 (PSM) Eastern Provincial Minister MLAM. Hisbullah denied media reports of the Muslims youths functioning as organizations or groups as reported in some newspapers. "Some individuals had weapons in their possessions for self defence and the security forces asked them to surrender these weapons. There is no LTTE threat now and the Muslims have now surrendered their weapons and we believe that the security forces would provide adequate security to all", more..

T.N. MPs raise issue of fishermen arrest

July 9 (Hindu) The arrest of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy was on Wednesday raised in both Houses of Parliament by MPs belonging to the DMK, AIADMK and PMK with all of them urging the government to take up the matter with Colombo immediately. Cutting across party lines, the MPs said the issue was hurting the fishermen who have gone on strike in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu after arrest of 20 of their fellow-folk by the Sri Lankan Navy recently. more..

Serious defects in evaluation process of A/L answer scripts

July 9 (LT) There have been serious defects in the evaluation process of the answer scripts of the A/L examination held last year (2008). This has been revealed when students had applied for re-scrutinizing of their answer scripts after the results were out. A large number of students have applied for re-scrutinizing this time which is more than tenfold of such applications in previous examinations and more..

Rs.1040 million for repairs to Inland Revenue building damaged by LTTE attack

July 9 (LT) A supplementary estimate for Rs.10,40,12,70,000 was presented to the Parliament yesterday for the repairs and restoration of the Inland Revenue building at Chiththampalam Gardiner Mawatha in Colombo which was damaged in an aerial attack on it by the LTTE. Also, another supplementary estimate for Rs.30,80,10,000 was presented to rehabilitate the building belonging to Department of Inland Revenue at Navam Mawatha. more..

Minister pledges to pay back extra money charged at school admittance

July 9 (LT) Minister of Education said he would order the principals of schools who have charged money for school admittance to pay it back to parents. He said money collected as facilities fees and for school development funds would be allowed. The Minister said this when answering a question posed by JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake said certain principals charge parents for various funds when children are admitted to schools more..

Declare war on corporate bandits

July 9 (LNP) The private sector has become a fetish of sorts in this country. An oft-suggested remedy for public sector ills, which are many, is privatisation. Big brains of the corporate sector project themselves as paragons of virtue and undertake messianic missions. Claiming the moral high ground, these worthies have also offered to coach politicians in good governance. In fact, some of them have been eminences grises under successive governments by virtue of being financiers of the two main political parties. more..

Fatal death for lioness at Dehiwala zoo

July 9 (LP) A lioness at the Dehiwala Zoological Gardens met with a fatal death yesterday. The lioness that was of an African origin died due to an unsuccessful operation. The operation was conducted to remove the womb of the lioness said sources. The lioness did not regain consciousness after the operation and passed away. The operation was conducted by a group of five veterinarians at about 11.00 am yesterday in the cage of the lioness itself. more..

Prof. Anuradha Seneviratna passes away

July 9 (GDI) Prof. Anuradha Seneviratna (70) Senior Professor in the Department of Sinhala, University of Peradeniya passed away last night after brief illness at the General Hospital in Kandy. Prof. Anuradha Seneviratna earlier has served in the University of Colombo and the Institute of Aesthetic Studies as its Director. He wrote and published nearly seventy books in Sinhala and English on various aspects of Sri Lanka’s culture and civilization. more..