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Sri Lanka - Serbia appreciates Sri Lankan support on Kosovo issue

July 16 (Isria) Serbia was very appreciative of Sri Lanka’s firm position against the setting up of Kosovo as a separate state, which move was a threat to the principles of national sovereignty said President Boris Tadic of Serbia in discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday. The two leaders of Serbia and Si Lanka had bi-lateral discussions at Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, where both are present to attend the 15th NAM Summit. more..

The first safari park in Sri Lanka will be set up in Ridiyagama

July 16 (SLBC) The first safari park in Sri Lanka will be set up in Ridiyagama in the Hambantota district. A land of 500 acres has been identified for this purpose. The government’s Engineering Corporation has undertaken the planning and construction of this safari park. The estimated cost of this project is around 1.6 billion rupees. Financial provisions required for this construction will be included in the 2010 budgetary estimation. more..

President drunk with victory - JVP

July 16 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa tries to pocket the entire credit for the military victory over separatist terrorism, but would never be successful in his attempt, JVP Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe said yesterday. "President Rajapaksa’s pocket is not large enough to hold all these honours and credit. Soon, this country will notice that most of cherished glories will spill over," more..

SLC to ignore stalwarts at felicitation tomorrow

July 16 (DM) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the International Cricket Council (ICC) will felicitate 50 officials who have served SLC in an honourary capacity at a ceremony at a Colombo hotel tomorrow, but a few glaring omissions of some of the most conspicuous servers of the game in the country have raised a few eye brows. The difficult task of naming the 50 members to receive the awards was handled by a four member panel more..

Central Govt. takes over Moneragala Base Hospital

July 16 (DM) The Moneragala Base Hospital was taken over by the central government under the Mahinda Chinthana policy where President Rajapaksa had pledged that one hospital in each district would be under the central government. They also stated that this policy would help the people living in the district to have access to the latest medical equipment. The government funding of Rs. 2400 million has already been allocated to the Anuradhapura Base Hospital more..

Musali – the small village with a big story

July 16 (DM) It is true that the name Musali fails to ring a bell to an overwhelming majority of Sri Lankans. The only Muslim majority division in the entire Northern Province for some reason had been out of the limelight for nearly two decades despite having a big story to tell. By the time the LTTE evicted the Muslims in this DS division in Mannar in 1990 Muslims formed almost 90% of the population in the area. more..

Satellites can spot tsunamis: study

July 16 (Reuters) Satellites can spot the leading edge of a tsunami, U.S. government researchers said on Wednesday in a study that might lead to better ways of detecting the giant waves and get people out of their way. They went back and looked at satellite images in the Indian Ocean as the December 2004 tsunami raced across to destroy coastlines in Thailand, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. They found clear patterns in the water. more..

Sri Lanka sees clamour for bus permits to North

July 16 (LBO) Private bus operators in Sri Lanka are clamouring for permits to ply the northern Jaffna route with the end of a drawn out civil conflict, Amal Kumarage, chairman of the National Transport Commission said. "The NTC is inundated with requests by private bus operators to be given permits to run to Jaffna," he said. He said that although there was a belief that open trade had resumed between Jaffna and the south, at the moment even the road was not yet open to regular commercial traffic. more..

Prison cells bursting with deserters in Sri Lanka

July 16 (Xinhua) The high number of Army deserters has become a major burden to Sri Lankan prisons as the government arrests those who deserted their services, the local English newspaper Island said on Thursday. The newspaper quoted Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms Suhada Gamlath as saying that there were around 65,000army deserters at large while 2,000 were in prison. more..

Sri Lanka calls for debt relief, non-aligned emergency lender

July 16 (LBO) Developing countries need debt relief to overcome a global economic slump, and a non-aligned emergency bailout fund, Sri Lanka's president Mahinda Rajapaksa has said. "The world is today confronted by a crisis that is essentially the creation of the financial markets of certain developed countries," President Rajapaksa said in the published text of a speech for the Non Aligned Movement's summit. more..

Christian aid groups alleviate suffering in Sri Lanka

July 17 (CT) It is a concerted effort by major Christian aid groups that is generously and extensively aiding tens of thousands of displaced people in war-torn Sri Lanka. Two months after the successful war against LTTE in northern Sri Lanka, Christian aid groups continue to vigorously work to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of internally displaced people from one of Asia's longest modern wars. more..

SL Red Cross creates hurdles

July 17 (EB) Fate of the 27 container loads of essential humanitarian relief items, sent by Tamils living in Europe for the three lakh Lankan Tamil civilians in the Vanni area of Northern Sri Lanka, hangs in balance as the Sri Lankan Red Cross Society demanded SL Rs 76 lakhs for the entire distribution process. These containers of relief materials landed at Colombo Port on last Thursday, but are still lying uncleared there. Uncertainty looms large over distribution to the needy Tamil civilians, more..

International call to end impunity

July 17 (BBC) In an open letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday, the International Press Freedom Mission to Sri Lanka stated that they were "extremely concerned over the ongoing spate of violent attacks against the media". The International Mission proposed an 11-point plan encompassing judicial and security issues, to redress what they call the dangerous press freedom environment in the country. more..

UNP launches campaign for Jaffna polls

July 17 (CT) The UNP today (July 16) launched its campaign for the upcoming polls for Jaffna municipal council. The party’s general secretary Tissa Attanayake and assistant secretary Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena are leading two days of electioneering. They will have meetings with the clergy, university lecturers and students, the business community, media personnel and representatives of voluntary organizations. more..

Palitha Range Bandara is UNP chief organizer for Chilaw

July 17 (CT) The UNP has appointed MP Palitha Range Bandara as the party’s chief organizer for Chilaw electorate. Mr. Range Bandara, also president of the party’s Puttalam district organization, was previously chief organizer for Anamaduwa electorate. It was under his leadership that the UNP, at the 2001 election, won this electorate, which it failed to secure even at the 1977 landslide win. more..

Two detained UN workers file FR petition

July 17 (CT) Two local workers of the United Nations, presently being detained by authorities, filed a fundamental rights petition in the Supreme Court today (July 16) against their detention. The petitioners seek equal protection of the law, and cite Borella Police and several others as respondents. A bench headed by chief justice Asoka N. Silva considered the petition. more..

Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline catches Bollywood filmmakers' eye

July 17 (IANS) Even before her first film 'Aladin' releases this Diwali, debutant actress Jacqueline Fernandez has caught the fancy of prominent directors like Siddharth Anand and Tarun Mansukhani, who are seriously considering signing the former Miss Sri Lanka for their future projects. 'Yes, Jacqueline indeed has great potential, something that I could make out the moment I saw a couple of songs that she has done in the film. more..

Acid attack accused is refused bail

July 17 (SMH) A man arrested two weeks ago over an acid attack during Sri Lankan factional clashes in May was linked to the assault because there was DNA evidence and his registration number had been taken at the scene, Parramatta Local Court was told yesterday. Andrew Macdonald, for the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, said Amala Theepan Srikanthajah had been linked from evidence taken from broken glass outside a house in Alexandria Avenue, Westmead, where the attack occurred. more..

Sri Lanka on road show to stir up debt buyers

July 17 (LBO) Investors who met a Sri Lanka government team who are on a road show ahead of a possible debt deal are bullish on the country's prospects after the end of a 30-year war, a top official said. "Many investors are interested in the Sri Lanka situation and are quite bullish in their assessment of the country," Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal told LBO from Hong Kong, one of the stops in the road show. more..

Sri Lanka perspectives

July 17 (LG) After the “final victory” over the LTTE culminating in the death of its leader Prabhakaran in May, during the month of June the focus of Sri Lanka shifted to prevent the resurgence of Tamil insurgents, rather than restoring normalcy in the north. Nearly 300,000 people of Vanni area displaced by the war continue to be held in camps run by the army, ostensibly to complete the process of screening them for LTTE elements as well as clearance of landmines in the region. more..

Rajapaksa: committed to reconciliation

July 17 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that his government remains committed to the resettling and rehabilitating the nearly three lakh war displaced in the north of the country in the shortest possible time. The issue of the war displaced, conditions in the relief centres and the need for reconciliation among all communities were discussed at the bilateral meeting between Mr. Rajapaksa and Mr. Ban on the sidelines of the 15th NAM Summit more..

Japan provides Rs. 11 million for election monitoring activities

July 17 (RW) The Government of Japan has provided Rs. 11 million under Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) for "The Project for Election Monitoring Process to Contribute to the Enhancement of Democratic Process", which covers elections to be held in the fiscal year of 2009, including the municipal election in Jaffna, the local elections in Vavuniya, Jaffna and Vanni, the provincial council elections in Uva and Southern provinces. more..

What really happened in Sri Lanka?

July 17 (Guardian) The Moscow Trial Was Fair wrote the British lawyer and MP Dennis Pritt, who was subsequently awarded the International Stalin Peace prize, having been expelled from the Labour party in the interim for backing the Soviet invasion of Finland. The government of Sri Lanka must be hoping for a similarly credulous reaction to its decision last week to parade the five doctors who witnessed the bloody climax of the country's civil war in May and more..

Bill Gates on Sri Lanka

Retraining Tiger cubs

July 17 (Economist) Fairness cream; scented hair oil; talcum powder: these are things that female ex-combatants of the Tamil Tiger rebels, many forcibly recruited as children, hesitantly ask for when placed in rehabilitation. Thousands of exhausted rebels surrendered in the weeks before the government declared its victory over the LTTE in May. The army says more than 9,000 are now in custody. Some face prosecution; more are being absorbed into the army; more..

Elections arouse little enthusiasm in northern Sri Lanka

July 17 (National) Sri Lanka’s northern region, finally cleared of Tamil guerrillas, goes to the polls next month for the first election to local councils in 11 years, but the contest has failed to excite remaining residents not displaced by the fighting. “The people aren’t interested. They have too many problems on their hands,” said a lawyer by telephone from the northern town of Jaffna, nearly 400km from the country’s capital, Colombo. more..

Ambassador outlines Sri Lanka's plan for lasting peace

July 17 (IL) Sri Lanka will ensure peace after 25 years of conflict by holding local elections that will give the Tamil population a voice in its future, Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the U.S., told a group of young Asian leaders here this week. “We have to bring displaced Sri Lankans into the political process,” Ambassador Wickramasuriya said. “That’s something they have not experienced for a long time. more..

Reserved land of CGR at Hingurakgoda encroached by govt. stalwart

July 17 (LT) The reserved land around Hingurakgoda Railway Station has been encroached by a supporter of the government complains Organization to protect rights of Railway employees and assets of CGR.’ The convener of the organization issuing a press release states the 40 perch land belonging to CGR at the rail crossing next to the Railway station where a children’s park was maintained has been encroached by the president of the Hingurakgoda Pradeshiya Sabha. more..

IUSF presents 6 demands on behalf of students in IDP camps

July 17 (LT) Instead of fulfilling the urgent and vital needs of the students who are living in IDP camps in the North the government is talking about federal proposals states Inter University Students’ Federation. At a media meeting held under the theme ‘Life instead of federalism’ IUSF put forward six demands on behalf of Tamil students. They are: 1. Confirm the right of the Tamil students for education (School children and university students) in IDP camps more..

Mahinda takes Tamils on merry go round for the world to see

July 17 (IL) In the aftermath of the LTTE's military defeat, some of the Tamil-speaking people in the northern parts of Sri Lanka rush to the polls to elect representatives to their local councils. This election is a ruse, Sri Lanka's false face of democracy to the world. Even if we were to concede that government elections are an aspect of democracy, it is a tiny part devoid of free media and freedom of speech, with the ratio of one military officer for every ten Tamil persons. more..

Singh and Mahinda meet on sidelines of NAM summit

July 17 (AT) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Mahinda Rajapaksa met on the sidelines of NAM summit on Thursday. Their meeting took place at Maritim Jolie Ville Golf Hotel in Shame El Sheikh shortly after the Singh-Gilani bilateral. While there is no official word as such on what the two leaders had discussed, informed sources said the conversation mainly focused on the more..

Sri Lanka IMF loan; IC views to be taken up at executive board

July 17 (LBO) A recent IMF mission to Sri Lanka had "good discussions" with the authorities, but the views of the international community on a possible would still be considered at an executive board meeting, an official said. A 'staff level' deal also had to be reached. "Because the first thing that happens is a staff-level agreement, then an Executive Board meeting would be where all of the international community’s views would be considered," more..

Sri Lanka navy seeks to expand fleet

July 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka's new navy commander said he wants to expand the fleet and increase troop strength to better protect the island from maritime threats and ensure the Tamil Tiger insurgency does not recur. Thisara Samarasinghe said that although the Tigers were defeated in May, winning the war did not mean the navy's strength would be reduced. "The navy needs to remain strong, expand and modernise to prevent future terrorist threats and protect our maritime resources," more..

Nation demands an inspirational pursuit for peaceful coexistence

July 17 (LG) 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..

Avuncular Fonseka betrays his “nephews” – Dayan and Malinda

July 17 (LG) What prompted me to step into this debate between Dayan Jayatilleke and Malinda Seneviratne is the intervention of Prof. Carlo Fonseka whose lumpen-Marxist genes have suddenly energized him to regurgitate the myths of post-independence politics expounded so passionately by his gurus in the failed Trotskyite movement. My intention is not to confront either of the two heavyweights clashing head-on but to more..

Of that hurried prison clean-up

July 17 (LNP) An attempt is being made in some quarters to make Sri Lanka out to be a failed State. That is plain hyperbolic rhetoric of enemies of this country looking for the slightest opportunity to destroy it. However, there is no gainsaying that it has developed symptoms of failure, the most noticeable being the collapse of systems. The education sector is an utter mess. Never mind imparting education and preparing the country`s children for future challenges more..

Sri Lankan politics - from primary school to kindergarten

July 17 (LG) It can be said that the beginning of the twentieth century was a period of primary schooling in Sri Lankan politics. Particularly since 1931 with the introduction of adult franchise some people emerged from within Sri Lankan society who aspired to play roles of leadership in the political life of the country. None of them were prepared for the role as the country had been ruled by foreign powers for a long period. more..

New role, familiar tasks for Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri

July 17 (LG) Major General G.A. Chandrasiri was sworn in as the Governor, Northern Province with effect July 15 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The post is unique since he will be in charge of the only province that is yet to have a fully fledged, i.e. elected, Provincial Council. Whereas the post of Governor, in the general, is largely ceremonial, in this instance, Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri will ‘enjoy’ full powers since he will be operating in a province without a council and more..

Cuban support for Sri Lanka appreciated

July 17 (LG) Cuba’s decisive support for Sri Lanka at the recent special session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was highly appreciated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he met the Cuban leader President Raul Castro at Sharm El Sheik yesterday. The two national leaders met on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Summit. President Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka was grateful for the strong support extended by Cuba at the HRC, more..

Stop the War on Journalists in Sri Lanka

July 17 (TC) The following is a joint open letter of the International Federation of Journalists and other press freedom organisations addressed to President Mahinda Rajapaska of Sri Lanka over the situation of journalists in the country. The International Press Freedom Mission to Sri Lanka, which is comprised of representatives from the world's media community, is extremely concerned over the ongoing spate of violent attacks against the media. more..

Strong winds and heavy rains

July 17 (GDI) The weather pattern in the country took a turn towards adsversity from Wednesday night with strong winds and heavy rains lashing several parts in the island. Strong winds are being experienced in the nights with heavy rain pouring in the wee hours of the day with a bright sun shine witnessed towards the morning.Towards afternoon humidity level rises in the capital Colombo and suburbs. more..

Vietnam assures strong support for reconstruction and development

July 17 (GDI) Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam, Pham Gia Khiem, remarked that “ Sri Lanka’s achievement in bringing an end to terrorism was commendable, and it was time that the country took forward the reconciliation process with confidence and resolve” when Foreign Minister Bogollagama met him at Sharm El Sheikh,Egypt He made these remarks on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Ministerial Meeting, more..

Polls discussion tomorrow

July 17 (GDI) A special discussion pertaining to the Uva Provincial Council Election chaired by Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake will take place in Colombo tomorrow(18). Official poll cards for the election are now being prepared and will be handed over to the postal department next Tuesday for distribution. The distribution of official poll cards will commence on July 26 and conclude on July 31. more..

Passenger transport for Kandy Perahera

July 17 (GDI) The Passenger Transport Authority of the Central Province will strengthen the transport serviceis during the Kandy Esala Perahera season,.Chairman of the Authority R.M.D.B. Rathnayake said. A well supported 300 special passenger buses will be deployed from the 27th of this month, the day of the first Kumbal Perahera, the historic segment of the Esala Perahera, Kandy. more..

UNDP support for de-mining

July 17 (GDI) The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will support the de-mining programme now underway in Sri Lanka. The Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services noted as an assurance subsequent to a meeting held between Jordan Ryan, Assistant Administrator of the UNDP, who is on a tour of the island, and Minister Risath Bathiyutheen. The ministry noted that Jordan has assured the organisation's fullest support towards more..

Basil's 21 day power plan to the North

July 17 (GDI) Through commitment, dedication and speedy action initiated by MP, Basil Rajapaksa, many parts of the North are to be lighted with power within 21 days, a surprise to the community living there. Accordingly, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Oddusudan, Nedunkerni, Omanthai, Puliyankulam, Kurakkalkulam, Pawattiyakulam, Kanagaragayankulam and Mankulam areas will be given electricity. more..

Keheliya works out Libyan jobs

July 17 (GDI) Sri Lankans keen to work overseas will be benefited by efforts of Foreign Employment Promotion Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella in seeking a massive thirty thousand job market in Libya in early next year. Minister Rambukwella has made use of all his official overseas visits to attract employment for Lankan workers. The new jobs secured in Libya will attract Lankan workers in the fields of Health, Tourism, Construction and Industrial sectors. more..

'LTTE did maximum damage to Tamil community'

July 17 (GDI) The LTTE did maximum damage to the Tamil community. President Mahinda Rajapaksa rescued the Vanni Tamils from the clutches of the LTTE and they enjoy true freedom today, Minister of National Integration Muralidaran MP said at the opening of a new Shrine Room at Elakaka MV, Haburugala, Bentota recently. In the final days of the battle over 200,000 more..

Madhu Church Feast arrangements

July 17 (GDI) The Catholic community in the country have expressed their gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Government, Armed Forces and Senior Presidential Adviser and MP, Basil Rajapaksa for the untiring efforts towards elaborate arrangements that are set in motion to create the atmosphere to hold the solemn annual Madhu Feast on a high religous note next month. more..

Sri Lanka ICT Industry signs up for “UK speed meetings” at TechnologyWorld 09

July 17 (GDI) Over twenty of Sri Lanka’s top ICT companies were invited to attend a TechnologyWorld09 briefing and reception at the British High Commission on Thursday 16th July. The invitation only event had the objective of explaining how UKTI, the British High Commission’s commercial arm, are able to support Sri Lankan ICT companies with free places at TechnologyWorld09. more..