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Sri Lankan expatriates raise fund for disabled soldiers in homeland

July 16 (TP) Sri Lankan professionals working in the oil and gas industry in collaboration with Sri Lankan Embassy in Qatar has generated SL Rs1m as initial fund to help their physically disabled countrymen in the security forces. As the first step of the project, the group agreed to buy 10 above the knee and 55 below the knee artificial limbs for the beneficiaries. The SL Rs1m check in favour of Ranaviru Sevana was handed over to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. more..

Sri Lanka anchor currency inflation -1.4-pct in June

July 16 (LBO) Inflation of Sri Lanka's anchor currency, the US dollar, measured by the all urban consumer (CPI-U) index fell 1.4 percent in June from a year earlier, the Bureau of Labour Statistics said. In the month of June alone, the index rose 0.9 percent. The increase came largely from the gasoline index which rose 17.3 percent, the BLS said. Over the past year the energy index has fallen 25.5 percent. more..

Karannagoda to be made Highways Ministry Secretary

July 16 (LNW) Due to continuous requests made by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapakse, former Navy Chief Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda is to be made the Highways Ministry Secretary, sources from Temple Trees said. Karannagoda’s wife, Ashoka Karannagoda is a close friend of Shiranthi Rajapakse. The Defence Secretary had promised the post of Chief of Defence Staff to Karannagoda in the event the post was not accepted by Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka. more..

Sri Lanka's army chief vows to re-focus military

July 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's new army chief took up his post Wednesday vowing to "re-motivate" his 200,000-strong force and build a peacetime military following the crushing of Tamil Tiger rebels. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, 50, said his first priority would be the military's new role in supporting a massive reconstruction effort in areas once held by Tiger separatists. more..

Fleeing Jaffna Tamil writer rescued off Rameswaram

July 16 (AT) A popular Tamil writer from Jaffna in Sri Lanka, K. Thirunavukkarasu (56) alias Arunachalam alias Udayan and two other refugees were rescued by the Tamil Nadu police on Monday after they were abandoned by a boat man off the Rameswaram coast. Additional Director-General of Police, K Radhakrishnan said that on receipt of information that the three were seen struggling in the sea, special teams of the Coastal Security Group were formed to rescue them. more..

Chinese aid for Housing Scheme

July 16 (ITN) Work on a mega Housing Scheme will begin in September with a massive loan which Sri Lanka had hitherto not received from another country. Minister Rajitha Senaratne said the sponsor is Aero Finance Organisation in the US. They have taken over the project and held discussions with Shin Hang Banking Corporation in China. It is initially expected to build 100,000 houses. But now they expect to build 130,000 houses. more..

Tamil diaspora urged to reject Provisional Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam

July 16 (AT) Canadian Tamils for Peace and Democracy calls on the Tamil Diaspora throughout the world to reject and oppose the idea of a Provisional Transnational Government proposed by the underground K.P’s wing of the LTTE. While Tamils have been killed, wounded or displaced, the K.P’s wing of LTTE is eager to form a government in exile to support and prepare for another civil war. more..

US Diplomats meet Sri Lankan delegates to 2009 Future World Leaders Summit

July 16 (AT) Acting US Ambassador James Moore and Acting Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy in Colombo Glen Davis held a briefing session for the Sri Lankan delegates leaving to Washington D. C at the end of this week for the 2009 Future World Leaders Summit. Since the year 2000, over 500 next generation Sri Lankan corporate leaders have experienced this compelling week at Georgetown University in Washington. D.C. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom to provide free broadband connectivity to Vidatha Resource Centres

July 16 (AT) An agreement was signed between the Sri Lanka Telecom and the Ministry of Science & Technology on Wednesday at the Ministry office to provide communication facilities free of charge to the Ministry and other institutions working under its purview and the island-wide Vidatha Resource Centres. “This moment marks a milestone step to take forward science and technology in this country. more..

Update on ACT assistance to conflict IDPs

July 16 (ACT) The Government of Sri Lanka has asked aid agencies to scale down operations as the island nation's "challenges are now different" with the end of a 25-year war, the minister of disaster management and human rights said on July 9th. The move comes amid increasing pressure from the international community to relax restrictions on aid agencies' access to camps which have housed nearly 300,000 internally displaced people from one of Asia's longest modern wars. more..

Maithripala Senanayake: Illustrious leader of Lanka

July 16 (DN) Maithripala Senanayake was born on July 17, 1916 and had his education at St. Joseph’s College Anuradhapura, St. Johns College Jaffna, and Nalanda College Colombo, and joined the Public Service in the Agricultural sector. In 1947, he resigned from the public service appointment and contested for the Medawachchiya Seat. He was duly elected as a member of the United National Party. more..

‘Pelaviya’ - A rare gem in Singhalese literature

July 16 (LG) The purpose of this article is to express the sincere feelings of an ordinary reader of a Singhalese novel entitled ‘Pelaviya’. This is not in anyway meant as a literary critique. Pelaviya (denotes darkness), a novel written by Sumana Aloka Bandara came to my hand as a surprise, consequential of an accidental meeting with its author at a funeral of the mother of a mutual friend. I had not read a Singhalese novel for at least 30 years. more..

Cultural promotion in Berlin

July 16 (LG) The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin, for the ninth consecutive year, participated in the 'ALL NATIONS FESTIVAL' held in Berlin on 4th July 2009 in the Chancery premises. The German Public and the Sri Lankan expatriate community had an opportunity to experience a glimpse of the country. The Open Day in summer is one of the regular calendar events of the Embassy's promotional activities. more..

Court stays Rajitha Senaratne suspension from UNP

July 16 (CT) The Colombo High Court today (July 15) stayed the suspension of minister Rajitha Senaratne from membership of the UNP and from his parliamentary seat. The court issued the order after considering a petition filed by the minister. It cites the UNP, its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, general secretary Tissa Attanayake and several others as respondents. The petitioner says suspension of his party membership without more..

IBA 'alarmed' by MoD article

July 16 (BBC) An international lawyers' rights organisation says it is alarmed by an article posted on the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry's website. The International Bar Association says the article implies that lawyers defending the Sunday Leader newspaper in defamation and contempt of court cases brought by the ministry are unpatriotic and traitors to the nation. The Sri Lanka ministry website has also published photographs of the lawyers. more..

5 Sri Lankan fishermen held

July 16 (Hindu) The Coast Guard on Tuesday apprehended five Sri Lankan fishermen with a mechanised boat, from the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Indian waters off Nagapattinam. The boat and the crew were brought to the Coast Guard station at Mandapam. After joint interrogation by security and intelligence agencies, the fishermen were handed over to the Mandapam police for investigation and follow-up. more..

India to send 500 soldiers to Sri lanka

July 16 (HT) Sri Lanka’s first ever chief of defence staff Sarath Fonseka’s first day at work on Wednesday could leave China and Pakistan frowning for two reasons. India was getting ready to send 500 soldiers to Sri Lanka — its largest contingent since the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in 1987 — to help de-mine north and north-east Lanka, Fonseka announced. “India was sending 500 de-miners to clear areas formally under the control of LTTE in the north,” more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa's speech at the 15th NAM Summit

July 16 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed in the NAM Summit where nearly 118 Head of States participated, to combine their substantial collective resources to establish an Emergency Financing Facility which could be accessed in situations of the current sort. “For far too long, global financial institutions have been dominated by traditional economies, he pointed out. more..

Building a new society in Sri Lanka based on equality and justice

July 16 (DBS) Hello Friends, Last month I posted on this Blog a letter written by a grand uncle to his grand nephew. The grand uncle was none other than the well-known trade unionist and human rights activist Upali Cooray. This former stalwart of the Ceylon Mercantile Union was an active member of the Lanka Sama Samaaja Party (LSSP) who later broke away from it. Upali Cooray a lawyer is now resident in Britain. more..

JVP proposes practical initiative to minimize issues of Tamil masses

July 16 (LT) A practical programme to minimize the issues and difficulties confronted by the Tamils in Sri Lanka and to build national unity was presented to the government by the JVP. The programme was presented to the media by the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. The media meeting was also attended by General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva, Parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake and Deputy Chairman of Committees of Parliament Ramalingam Chandrasekar. more..

Wanni under the Tigers was a horrendous concentration camp

July 16 (SLW) Pro-LTTE Diaspora, certain neo-colonialist interests in the West and some international organizations seem unable, rather unwilling, to understand that the LTTE operated one of the worst and indeed the largest concentration camp known anywhere in the world. It grew into such by intent and custom to cause chaos and anarchy in Sri Lanka, a base to target the destabilization of South Asia; a manic obsession of the neo-colonialist interests. more..

Nation demands an inspirational pursuit for peaceful coexistence

July 16 (SLW) In a cordial conversation on several matters of grave concerns in the current circumstances in Sri Lanka, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah, Bishop in Jaffna of Church of South India Friday July 12, 2009 at Temple Trees discussed core issues which can meet the demands of the nation to pursue the inspirational path for peaceful coexistence. more..

Northern mini poll gathers momentum

July 16 (GDI) Propaganda activities of the upcoming Jaffna Municipal Council and Vavuniya Urban Council Poll are in a hectic mood with political parties and independent groups campaigning peacefully. There is great interest and enthusiasm among political parties and independent groups who are competing each other. Minister Douglas Devananda said the UPFA was conducting its propaganda campaign in an organised manner. more..

Adam's Peak (Samanala Kandha)

New Army Commander takes command - pay tribute to all soldiers

July 16 (GDI) Army’s 19th Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya USP ndu psc, took office last morning amidst religious blessings and formal military honours. Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya was warmly received at the gateway to the Commander’s Secretariat for inspection of the Guard Turn-out, to be followed by a Guard of Honour, offered by Commander’s own Regiment, Sri Lanka Armoured Corps. more..

Junior Inventor of the Year (JIY) Competition 2009

July 16 (GDI) The Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka (IESL) has called for applications from prospective contestants, for the Junior Inventor of the Year (JIY) Competition 2009. The preliminary competitions which envisage to promote creativity and innovation among the school-going fraternity islandwide, will be held at provincial level, similar to last year. The preliminary competitions have already been concluded in more..

SAARC Ambassadors Club in Myanmar

July 16 (GDI) At a meeting, convened on 13th August 2009 by Sri Lankan Ambassador to Myanmar, Mr. Newton Gunaratna at the Ambassador’s Residence, SAARC Ambassador’s Club was inaugurated in keeping with the SAARC tradition. It has been the practice that the Ambassador/ High Commissioners of the SAARC Chair convene the SAARC Ambassador’s Club in their respective countries of accreditation. more..

Summary of cabinet decisions

July 16 (GDI) Cabinet approved a Memorandum submitted by the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva, to appoint a Negotiation Committee (CANC) and a Project Committee (PC) to evaluate the proposal in terms of the Government Procurement Procedures as instructed by External Resources Department and to provided funds under consolidated budget 2010 to absorb its financing of infrastructure local taxes, duties and staff remuneration and more..

Chandrika - common candidate for next presidential election?

July 16 (LT) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has decided to contest the next presidential election as the common candidate of the opposition from a common alliance confirm reliable sources. These sources say several rounds of talks regarding this have been already held and the alliance is to be built by the UNP and other minority political parties of the opposition. more..

Special train and bus service to Katharagama Esela Siri

July 16 (LP) Special bus and train services will be operated from July 22 to August 06, for devotees participating the annual ‘Esela Siri 2009' festival in Kataragama. Extra trains will be operated on the coastal railway line from Maradana to Matara .Special train services from Colombo Fort to Bandarawela through Haputale will also be conducted. SLTB has taken measures to operate special bus services to transport devotees from Matara to Kataragama. more..

The 13th Amendment as a political solution

July 16 (GV) Dr Dayan Jayatilleke has forcefully stated the diplomatic case for implementing the 13th Amendment which is already part of the law, in reply to Mr Malinda Seneviratne. The President has told the Indian Government that he would implement the 13th Amendment fully. But there are many voices among the Sinhala nationalists against the implementation of this Law. The Tamil politicians have always wanted more powers than the 13th Amendment provides for. more..

Only qualified technicians to get the OK

July 16 (LP) It was decided by the Minister of Transport Dallas Alahapperuma to regularise the recruitment procedure of permanent technicians to the Sri Lanka Railways. The decision was taken following a discussion the Minister had with a delegation of the Sri Lanka Railways Technicians Union. Candidates with the required educational qualifications completed a full time three year training course in a recognised technical institute will be recruited as technicians. more..

BOI employees protest handing over of duties to customs

July 16 (LT) Employees of BOI engaged in a protest campaign opposite Lake House Roundabout in Colombo Fort yesterday against failure by the authorities to consider their just demands, failure to provide salary increments, handing over duties of BOI to customs and demanding a salary increase. The protestors say the government is attempting to remove the import – export procedures that is with the BOI at present and hand over it to Sri Lanka Customs. more..

Sri Lankan safe bottle lamp to light in World Challenge 09 final

July 16 (LP) Sri Lankan lamp venture, Safe Bottle Lamps, has been selected as a finalist in World Challenge 09, the worldwide competition seeking to identify and reward projects and businesses which bring economic, social and environmental benefits to local communities through grassroots solutions. Safe Bottle Lamps is the brain child of a Sri Lankan surgeon, who designed a simple safe lamp using recycled glass, that can be easily mass produced at low cost. more..

Tamil Diaspora Peak ploughs the depths

July 16 (PISL) The Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations (AFTA), which describes itself as the peak body representing the Tamil Diaspora living in Australia and New Zealand, has expressed deep concern over five Tamil doctors recanting the statistics they were ‘dispatching to the outside world during the last stages of the war.’ The AFTA pronouncement, in throwing doubt on the statements of the doctors now made in public, privileges earlier reports of what they said when under the control of the LTTE. more..

Wimal advises the President to fight the underworld

July 16 (LNW) Reports have now surfaced that the government’s newly launched operation to wipe out the underworld is in fact aimed at eliminating members of the underworld associated with the UNP. It is learnt that the operations has been launched with the initiation of National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader, Wimal Weerawansa, who recently joined the government. more..

It was Ranil who fired the first shot which started the LTTE disintegration – S.B.

July 16 (LNW) Mr. S. B. Dissanayake, leader of the opposition of the Central Provincial Council addressing a meeting of the United Professionals Group in Colombo recently, said, the first shot that set in motion the disintegration of the LTTE was fired by Ranil Wickremesinghe when he was Prime Minister. It was the Cease Fire Agreement entered into by Ranil with the LTTE in February 2002 that marked the beginning of the end of the LTTE. more..

The Times mirrors the Tigers

July 16 (PISL) The international community was horrified by news reports in the Times of London on July 9th 2009 that over 1,400 people were dying each week in Welfare Centres in Sri Lanka. The Times continues to conceal its sources. This time the allegation is attributed to ‘Senior international aid figures’, though the figure was decried as ‘Ridiculous’ by the UN Resident Coordinator in Colombo. more..

New Justice Minister to reintroduce death penalty

July 16 (CT) As a measure to curb serious crimes in Sri Lanka, the new Minister of Justice and Judicial Reforms, Milinda Moragoda has decided to reintroduce the death penalty, ministry secretary Suhada Gamlath says. The Minister is to have discussions on the issue immediately after President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns from Egypt, he adds. Convicts of serious crimes, including drug dealers, sentenced to death, are planning more crimes from their prison cells using mobile phones, Mr. Gamlath says.

Man badly beats up 18 month old child of paramour

July 16 (CT) Police in Anuradhapura have arrested a man for having badly beaten up the 18 month old child of his paramour. The suspect had reportedly beaten up the infant, broken his hands and burnt his genitals with a cigarette. On a complaint by the mother, police arrested him on July 13. The infant is being treated at Anuradhapura Hospital in serious condition.

Minister issues an environmental warning

July 16 (DN) Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka yesterday cautioned against an increased trend of ground water, air and environment pollution in limited lands as manifesting due to overuse of earth's resources. He said global warming may spread diseases and there may be increase in mosquitoes, cockroaches, flies and bugs as a result. more..

'Russia supported Sri Lanka without hidden agenda'

July 16 (CT) Russia's top diplomat in Colombo says that his country had openly and without any hidden agendas supported Sri Lanka in its fight against terrorism. Ambassador Vladimir P. Mikhaylov says that Moscow respects and supports legitimate governments, and is against terrorism and terrorist organizations. The top diplomat said that with its own experience in Chechnya, Russia clearly understands the problems and difficulties in similar situations. more..

UNP adopts policies for rebuilding Sri Lanka

July 16 (CT) The UNP has adopted a set of policies aimed at rebuilding Sri Lanka, said party spokesman Gayantha Karunatilake. The proposals have been formulated by a committee headed by party chairman Gamini Jayawickrama Perera. A statement by Mr. Karunatilake said the party’s politburo and working committee adopted these proposals. These policies centre on the devolution of powers, changing the executive presidency and the electoral system, more..

'Health rights must in the Constitution'

July 16 (DN) The Permission granted to government medical practitioners to indulge in private practice may be the only cause or the deterioration of the health services. As a consequence, government quarters of all doctors turned out to be private dispensaries overnight, said Sirimal Peires, Convener of the National People's Health Forum (NPHF) addressing the inaugural session of the establishment of Badulla chapter of NPHF. more..

SLMC ignores official language policy

July 16 (DN) Dr. Michael Fernando, former Director of the National Integration Program Unit (NIPU) has sent us the following story on how the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) is implementing the National Language Policy: Yesterday, July 14, 2009 a young doctor son of an Emeritus Professor, University of Jaffna has submitted his Marriage Certificate to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) for the purpose of getting his wife's name on the document of the Council and of the Department of Health. more..

Christian Council official further remanded

July 16 (CT) Executive secretary of the National Christian Council Shantha Nihal Fernando was further remanded yesterday (July 15) by Colombo Additional Magistrate Praharsha Ranasinghe under emergency regulations. The cleric was arrested for attempting to smuggle out CDs containing false facts to portray a large scale massacre of innocent Tamil civilians by the government during the military offensives in the North. more..

Four arrested within minutes of biggest ever robbery in SL

July 16 (Island) A group of alert security guards helped police arrest four robbers within minutes of committing the biggest ever robbery in recent history on Tuesday night. Posing as policemen manning a check point on the Kurunegala-Minuwangoda main Road, robbers signalled a security van, which was carrying over Rs. 90 million in cash from two private banks in the Kurunegala region to Colombo, to stop. more..

Zero Faith in Governance

July 16 (LG) “Lasantha from the Leader paper went overboard. I took care of him. Poddala agitated and his leg was broken. Now a fellow in my electorate is trying to stand against me. I now tell him in his own hometown, I will give him only seven more days. If he does not resign as chairman of the Kelaniya Pradeshiya Sabha, don’t blame me later on. You’ll don’t find fault with me. If this fellow goes against what I say, I will send him to the place where I sent Lasantha,” more..

JVP condemns recent ministerial appointments

July 16 (Island) The JVP yesterday condemned the recent appointment of National Freedom Front (NFF) parliamentarian and JVP dissident Piyasiri Wijenayake as Cultural Affairs Minister on grounds that he was the first accused in a murder case. JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva addressing a news conference at the JVP Headquarters in Battaramulla took exception to the way President Mahinda Rajapaksa kept ‘granting portfolios to one and all’ more..

Prisons to get phone jammers

July 16 (Island) High-tech equipment will be imported to jam mobile phones in prisons. An investigation by Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms has revealed that murders and robberies are committed with the use of mobile phones in prisoners’ hands and dangerous criminals kept in high security enclosures instruct their accomplices living outside to carry out criminal activities on their behalf. Recently a narcotics dealer in prison called the Deputy Minister of Justice V. Puthrasigamoney asking why his release was delayed. more..