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Ministries of Justice and Defence on Joint Crime Prevention

July 9 (LP) A special Crime Prevention Task Force is to be set up by the Ministry of Justice and Law Reform in conjunction with the Defence Ministry with the aim of ushering in a peaceful environment for the public to lead a life free of fear and tension, with the end of the three decades long war, a release from the Justice and Law Reform Ministry states. The Task force will comprise all Heads of Departments of the two Ministries. more..

'Smart driving licence cards progressing well'

July 9 (DN) The issuance of the smart driving licence cards is progressing well and the Department of Motor Traffic entertains 650 applications per day. The processing includes renewals, attribute change extensions and new driving licences, said Commissioner of Motor Traffic B. Wijayaratne. The Department of Motor Traffic became the first paperless office in Sri Lanka. “This electronic filing system will be introduced at vehicle registration and vehicle owner transfer registration, he said. more..

SLFP more attractive to Easterners - Minister Muralitharan

July 9 (DN) National Integration Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said yesterday he was committed to rebuild the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the North and East while party offices have already been established in the Eastern Province to attract more people to the SLFP. He said the SLFP was the leading political party in the Eastern region before the seeds of terrorism were sown in the country and more..

New system to identify dengue patients

July 9 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has taken a decision to formulate a new system to identify dengue patients who require hospitalization, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. He said a special discussion was held at the Epidemiology Unit yesterday. Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, Senior Paediatricians and Physicians from Lady Ridgway Hospital, Peradeniya, Kandy, Kegalle, Ragama and Kalubowila Teaching Hospitals participated. more..

President to Muslims: Join hands in nation building

July 9 (DN) The Government has provided maximum security and protection to the Muslim Community while helping them to win over their rights. Since the Government has fulfilled all its responsibilities by the Muslim Community it is now up to them to join hands with the Government to rebuild the nation, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President made these observations addressing a delegation of the All Ceylon Muslim Scholars Association more..

Sri Lanka bars tea promotion board from talking to media

July 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's Tea Board, responsible for promoting the nation's trademark export worldwide, on Thursday said the government had barred its officials from speaking to the media. The Tea Board seems among the least likely institutions to fall under a government campaign to control the free flow of information, which increased at the Defence Ministry's direction during the final years of a 25-year civil war that ended in May. more..

Finance minister threatend after price hike of liquor

July 9 (Island) Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told parliament that he receives threatening letters from general public against the increasing of prices of alcohol and tobacco. "Some of these letters plead that their prices be dropped. Some other warn of dire consequences. In one such letter a person says that a minister cannot understand the relief, satisfaction and high a common man gets by consuming a quarter bottle of arrack after hard days’ work. more..

Another bonanza for MPs: A mega housing scheme

July 9 (Island) While seeking overseas grants and loan facilities to prop up the economy faced with the challenging task of rebuilding the war ravaged areas, the government is going ahead with a mega housing project for MPs. Well informed sources said that the House Committee had recommended 150 houses for MPs and two additional houses for the Deputy Speaker and for the Deputy Chairman of Committees as well as three official quarters for more..

Marine Drive to have track for cycling, jogging

July 9 (Island) The Marine Drive Project phase 2, currently underway along the costal belt will be provided with a 4 Km track for cycling and jogging Jayantha Guruge, Superintendent of Traffic told ‘The Island’. This is the first project in the island to be equipped with such facilities, he explained. He revealed that security concerns have been addressed in the implementation phase as the Marine Drive passes amongst others behind both the US embassy and the Traffic Police barracks. more..

70% of the population don’t use banks in SL

July 9 (DM) At a time when Sri Lanka is gearing to be a developed country under new found peace and tranquility, one of the country’s senior bankers specialising in micro finance said that of the total population of Sri Lanka, over 70% do not make use of banks and their facilities. The Chairman of Lanka Financial Services for Underserved Settlements (LFSUS) and Deputy General Manager, Marketing and Retail Banking, Hatton National Bank (HNB), more..

Dengue outbreak claims 168 lives

July 9 (IRIN) Health authorities are battling to contain one of the worst dengue outbreaks in years - more than 15,500 cases and 168 deaths have been reported since January. June was the worst month, with 6,600 cases of the mosquito-borne infection. In 2004, the last major outbreak, 88 people died out of 15,000 reported infections. Health officials were first alerted to a possible outbreak when the number of reported cases spiked between January and April, more..

Umayangana calls for govt. crackdown on local porn

July 9 (Island) Versatile tele-drama star Mrs. Umayangana Wickremesinghe yesterday called for punitive action against an organised gang dealing in pornographic material after she was inundated with inquiries as to whether she had acted in a blue movie. An angry Umayangana, who plays the lead role in Ithin Ita Passe, told The Island that a pornographic CD had been released with a girl who looked like her baring it all. more..

'Cigarette output has declined'

July 9 (DM) Cigarette manufacturing had declined by six percent in 2008 due to the price hike imposed by the Government, Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said yesterday. Mr. Siyambalapitiya told Parliament that the cigarette is a product having an unchanged demand despite price hikes. However, this theory seems to have changed now. Compared to 2007, the production has declined by six percent. It is a new trend. We are happy about it,” he said. more..

TNA calls for solution before presidential poll

July 9 (DM) The Tamil National Alliance said in Parliament yesterday that all the democratic forces should initiate a dialogue to evolve a political solution without waiting for the outcome of the next Presidential election. TNA MP for Jaffna district N. Sri Kantha was referring to President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s interview with the Hindu newspaper where he said that he would put forward a political solution after the next Presidential election. more..

Govt expenditure soars, revenue drops

July 9 (ANN) The government treasury recorded a net cash outflow of Rs117.4 billion (US$1.022 billion) for the first five months of the year against an estimated outflow of Rs5.4 billion. "The recessionary pressure in the world economy and related slowing down of the domestic economic activities negatively affected the government’s revenue collection," the Mid Year Fiscal Position Report 2009 of the Ministry of Finance and Planning said. more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up in June

July 9 (LBO) Tourist arrivals in to Sri Lanka rose in June 2009, just one month after the ethnic war ended and the first monthly growth in over a year, the tourism promotion office said. The number of visitors to the island went up 8.1 percent in June 2009 to 30,234 from a year ago, according to figures released by the tourism office. However, analysts said the growth may look exaggerated as June arrivals in 2008 were the lowest since June 2002. more..

P. B. wants to return

July 9 (DM) The former treasury secretary Mr. P. B. Jayasundara, who was made to resign his posts in the government, has filed a fresh motion in the Supreme Court seeking an order to annul his own undertaking that he would not to take up government posts. In his motion filed yesterday, Mr. Jayasundara asked to Court declare null and void the undertaking given by him in connection with more..

Sri Lanka orders Red Cross to 'scale down' operations

July 9 (AFP) The International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday it had been ordered by Sri Lanka to scale down relief operations in the island where it has been helping civilian war victims. As a result, the ICRC said it was withdrawing expatriate staff from the battle-scarred northeast which was the focus of the final government offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels that ended in outright victory in May. more..

Supreme law, supreme court, public interest litigation, public trust doctrine, and citizen litigant

July 10 (LG) Supreme Court set up under Article 105(1) of the Sri Lankan Constitution is the highest court and the institution established for the administration of Justice in the country which protests, vindicates, and enforces the rights of the people. Source of the supreme law is the Parliament and the Supreme interprets and administers justice “According to the Law” in the implementation of the “Due Process”. more..

"Govt. undid all the benefits UNP conferred on the Farmers"

July 10 (LG) Sajith Premadasa UNP M.P., highlighted the injustice the PA Government and the Mahinda Chintana had perpetrated on the farmers of this country. Though SL is an essentially agricultural country and its economy depends on the farmers ; since 2000 , the PA Govts. have meted out step -motherly treatment to them ,he lamented. During the period of the UNP regimes the farmers were given their due place. more..

Sri Lanka grapple with 'keeper quandary'

July 10 (CI) Sri Lanka's training session on Thursday was the setting for the return to action of the world's best pure wicketkeeper. Prasanna Jayawardene, who is out of the Test squad with a finger injury, trained with the team and didn't look in any obvious discomfort. We don't know if he is fully fit yet but the chances are that, even if he is, he could have to sit out the second Test - such is the balance of the team in the likely absence of Muttiah Muralitharan. more..

Crisis in Sri Lanka: Caritas impact so far

July 10 (Caritas) Caritas has delivered vital aid for over 70,000 people in Sri Lanka who had fled their homes in the recent fighting. In early 2009, up to quarter of a million people were trapped between government security forces and the Tamil Tiger rebels. As fighting intensified and pressure grew for a temporary humanitarian ceasefire, tens of thousands of civilians escaped to government-held areas in April. more..

Ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka

July 10 (IRR) It's difficult to talk dispassionately about what is going on in my country, when the horror of what the government is doing to a civilian Tamil population - already shelled and burned out of their existence and now herded into concentration camps and starved of food and medicine - revisits me to the pogrom of 1958 when my parents' house was attacked by a Sinhalese mob, my nephew had petrol thrown on him and burnt alive, and friends and relatives disappeared into refugee camps. more..

Indian envoy holds talks with Tamil leaders

July 10 (EB) Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Alok Prasad on Tuesday began a two-day visit to Jaffna by holding meetings with key officials, Tamil political leaders and the Roman Catholic Bishop. Sources in Jaffna told The New Indian Express that during his visit to the Jaffna Hospital, Prasad promised to get Indian help to reconstruct parts of the hospital. more..

Replacing paramount law with a paramount personae

July 10 (LG) “Let us be frank. Do you think that we can persuade people to work for the government and hold high office, if they are to be told that they have account for every cent they spend, that they would have keep books and be audited; that they can’t use their official position to help their family or friends and the like?” This is a discussion among several imaginary characters. These imaginary characters do not represent any living persons. more..

Last days of Prabhakaran – a humiliated Tiger on the run (Part II)

July 10 (LG) The last and the unbearable thrust that eroded the power of Prabhakaran was when the Tamil people fled through every nook and cranny, running, crawling on their bellies, dodging Tiger bullets sniping at them, to escape his Pol Potist grip straight into the arms of the Sri Lankan forces waiting to receive them. The world gazed in disbelief at 300,000 Tamils running away from the man who claimed to be their protector and saviour. more..

Signs, Symbols And Arguments

July 10 (CC) The Tamil struggle for freedom, equality, dignified and decent living is not something that requires re-kindling. The agonising voice of the Tamils in IDP camps is a living witness of suffering. Some one in Sri Lanka who had been working with the suffering people said over a telephone conversation to me that there are those who have lost limbs and arms were pleading passers by to scratch their bodies. Many have heat pimples and mosquito bites. more..

Tamil death toll ‘is 1,400 a week’ at Manik Farm camp in Sri Lanka

July 10 (Times) About 1,400 people are dying every week at the giant Manik Farm internment camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the nation’s bloody civil war, senior international aid sources have told The Times. The death toll will add to concerns that the Sri Lankan Government has failed to halt a humanitarian catastrophe after announcing victory over the Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation in May. more..

Krishna: Sri Lanka has new opportunity

July 10 (Hindu) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Sri Lanka assured India that it would soon start an inclusive political process of dialogue and devolution with Tamils in the island nation. He said India would continue to help Sri Lanka in the rehabilitation of people displaced by war. Mr. Krishna said, “We have been assured by the Sri Lankan government of its intention to pursue a political process that envisages a broader dialogue with all parties, more..

UN and LTTE Child Soldiers

July 10 (AT) The UN in a statement this week has asked the government to ensure that children released by armed groups have access to care, protection and re-integration programmes. It had also stressed that the government should, “… ensure the identification, release and rehabilitation…. in accordance with international standards…’ In fact, these child combatants were never released by armed groups (LTTE). more..

Sri Lanka Food

Doctors’ orders

July 10 (Times) There is something despicable about forcing doctors to lie about war crimes. By their calling, doctors are committed to relieving human suffering, to helping the sick and preventing disease. It is therefore particularly disturbing to see the five doctors who remained with the besieged Tamil civilians as the Sri Lankan Army closed in being paraded before journalists to deny their earlier casualty reports. more..

Where wait for water, medicine lasts days

July 10 (TOI) As day breaks over Cheddikulam near Vavuniya in northern Sri Lanka, life stirs in rows of white and blue tents dotting the landscape — once a dense jungle, the area has been cleared hurriedly to accommodate thousands of Tamils who have borne the brunt of final Eelam war IV. For camp inmates, the routine usually begins with a scramble in the queues for water. more..

Pancha Pandava physicians open the Pandora Box

July 10 (SLW) Five Tamil doctors who danced to the Tiger tunes have placed various international organizations, media and other interests on the dock charged with false representations, fraudulent claims and even seedy, squalid and sordid support for Tiger terrorism. In view of this development, the role of the Catholic Church as having been partners with the LTTE from the days its leader conducted armed robberies in the 1970s is now more..

The 13th Amendment is a bad idea

July 10 (LG) There can be a military victory over a military challenge but there cannot be a purely military victory over a political challenge. An enemy army can and must be defeated, an armed opponent can be killed, but a political challenge requires a political response and an idea can be defeated only by another idea. – Dayan Jayatilleka. This is old. I would say it is basic to political science. However, like all things that stand the test of time, it is profound. more..

Post-War Sri Lanka- Concerns and Reservations

July 10 (LG) President Rajapaksa and the armed forces of Sri Lanka are justifiably happy and proud of having “eliminated” (in mid-May 2009) the capabilities of LTTE to mount conventional military operations. I would, however, sound a note of caution that, while the militant leaders of a major terrorist group have been neutralized, terrorism as such cannot be eliminated till the basic grievances and deprivations of the Tamils are addressed and resolved. more..

Lessons Sri Lanka can learn from the Iranian elections

July 10 (LG) Imperialist powers which were compelled to grant independence, have never given up their penchant to dominate their former colonies in order to extract their natural resources, obtain geo-strategic advantages and subjugate their religions and cultures. The greedy imperialists are hell-bent in obtaining markets and promoting a consumerists and materialist society devoid of spiritual values. more..

Colombo – Jaffna luxury bus service to be launched soon

July 10 (LP) Government has drawn a plan to implement a Colombo – Jaffna luxury bus service along the A9 road soon. Transport Minister Dallas Alahapperuma expressed these views in Parliament yesterday. He said that in addition to that Central Bus stand in Jaffna is expected to develop as a model bus stand which was adjudged the third best Bus stand in the country. more..

President on future of students in sports

July 10 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday said that the children who were forced to carry arms by terrorists will be afforded the opportunity to enlighten their talents and skills before the local and international community. He said the northern children who suffered at the hands of terrorism would be encouraged under a steady plan to excel in sports as education and sports went parallel of students. more..

'Development on right track'

July 10 (GDI) The government's development projects launched from 2006 have proved successful with projects like "Maga Neguma" and "Gama Neguma" gathering momentum in the urban outskirts, rural and remote areas of the country. experts monitoring these projects and activities claim that all projects have truly reached the people in those areas, a segment of the population that has suffered for long without proper roads and village level development. more..

State ventures in the North to re-commence

July 10 (GDI) The government will take steps to recommence important state ventures destroyed by LTTE terrorism or closed down on LTTE threats in the northern theatre of activity. The main factories considered are the cement factory in Kankesanthurai, the saltern in elephant pass and the factory to manufacture fishing equipment in Jaffna and the Paranthan Chemicals. more..

'Mahaweli Authority leased for Rs.575/- an acre from its farm to private company'

July 10 (LT) The ‘Malwanegama farm’ at Thalawa belonging to Mahaweli Authority with an extent of 175 acres has been leased to a private company at the rate of Rs.575/- an acre says JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. he said leasing fertile paddy lands of the farms should be reconsidered stating in addition to lands the machinery and buildings too have been handed over to the company for a pittance. more..

Peace brings more fish...

July 10 (GDI) The fish catch in Mannar and Trincomalee has doubled or more after restrictions were lefted on fishing after the conclusion of the terrorist war,reports said. According to reports recieved by the Sri Lanka Navy , 225% growth in fish harvest and 150% growth in number fishing boats were out in the sea over the past fortnight. Sri Lanka Navy lifted all fishing restrictions imposed on the Island's coastal waters in June after terrorism was defeated. more..

Minister unable to protect assets of the CGR – Employees

July 10 (LT) Whatever the Minister of transport says regarding the state of transport in the country, he has no programme to protect at least the lands owned by the Department of Transport say employees of the Transport Ministry. According to trade unions in the Ministry of Transport 6 houses of a housing scheme and a portion of the land belonging to CGR have been handed over on 29.09.2008 to more..

Inter University Students’ Federation conducts A/L seminars in the East

July 10 (LT) The Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) has made arrangements with Students’ Union of University of Sabaragamuwa to hold a series of seminars in Tamil medium for students in the Eastern Province who are sitting the G.C.E. A/L examination in August. The seminars will be held at Al Fira MV at Kanthankudy, Al-Arfa MV at Eravur and Ottamadad MV at Valachechena on the 10th, 11th and 12th of this month. more..

'Milinda & Piyasiri given portfolios as allegations against them have not been proved in Court yet'

July 10 (LT) There is no problem in handing over portfolios to Minister of Justice Milinda Moragoda and Minister of Cultural Affairs Piyasiri Wijenayake as allegations against them have not been proved in a Court yet said Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene. He said in spite of they have been accused of fraud and murder the allegations have not been proved and they have not been found guilty. more..

More medical staff to IDP welfare camps

July 10 (GDI) The Ministry of Health will deploy more medical staff comprising doctors, nurses and other staff to attend to health needs of the internally displaced, official sources disclosed. They said the government was committed towards the welfare of those innocent civilians till they were re-settled and all measures would be taken to ensure their good health conditions. more..

De-militarizing democracy and governance in Sri Lanka

July 10 (GV) Sri Lanka was once a ‘model democracy’ with a welfare state and social indicators that were the envy of the developing world. Hence, there was great optimism that life would return to normal, the barriers and check-points come down, tourists and foreign investments flow back, and the economy finally take off in an environment of peace and security once the LTTE were defeated. more..

APRC to finalise report after six marathon sessions

July 10 (PSM) APRC (All Party Representative Committee) is to have marathon session for six days for next three weeks and to wind up its deliberations, disclosed the APRC sources. This decision was taken at its 122nd meeting held early this week and this has become necessary since SCOPP - the convenor of the APRC has also been asked by the govt. to wind up its operations by the end of July. more..

Sri Lanka s FLAG cable links grow from 66 to 87 in one year

July 10 (LNP) In one year since it was extended to Sri Lanka, FLAG (Fiber-optic Link Around the Globe), the only terabit private undersea fibre-optic cable linking the country to the world, has grown from 66 to 87 points of presence (PoPs), and its 88th PoP is to be linked shortly, the cable s local capacity rights owner Lanka Bell announced this week. The company said the rapid expansion of the FLAG network has opened up new markets and more..