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TNA MP hits out at opportunistic leaders

July 27 (EB) Sri Lankan Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M K Sivajilingam has alleged that a few leaders from Tamil Nadu, both at the Centre and State are simply ignoring the massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Addressing a gathering at the inauguration of Tamilar Thanmana Pasarai at Red Hills near here on Sunday, he said that the most shocking thing was the projection of those leaders as the saviors of suffering Tamils in the island nation. more..

Sri Lanka's Jaffna University connected to stock market

July 27 (LBO) Management and finance students of Jaffna University will get easy access to Colombo Stock Exchange data, market regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said. The SEC said the Jaffna University would get a fully equipped capital market information centre (CMIC) and supporting reading material for students to use for their academic studies and research work related to capital markets. more..

Sri Lanka rail fare hike needed: experts

July 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's railway needs to raise fares and train travellers must be prepared to pay more to reduce losses and make the state-owned service viable, experts said. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, former general manager of Sri Lanka Railways, said the trains transport a large number of office workers to the capital Colombo and back during peak hours but that fares remain low. The railway transports 200,000 office workers into Colombo daily and more..

President concerned

July 27 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa raising concern about the contents of television advertisements and their impact on school children yesterday said that he had conveyed the matter to the Cultural Affairs Minister. Addressing a gathering at the President’s House in Kandy President Rajapaksa said that mothers had complained to him that their young sons and daughters were affected by advertisements telecast over various television stations. more..

Sri Lanka IMF supported budget implies tight second half

July 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's IMF supported budget for 2009 implies a more credible revenue target, maintaining nominal capital expenditure at previous year's levels in an economy that is inflating less, initial analysis shows. Sri Lanka's runaway budgets were the underlying reason for the balance of payments crisis last year. IMF said short term foreign money that was used to fill the budget deficit fled late last year more..

After the war in Sri Lanka , what next ?

TNA to meet Tamil parties after polls

July 27 (DM) Vavuniya district TNA Parliamentarian Sivanathan Kishore said yesterday that the TNA will hold talks with all other Tamil political parties soon after the elections for the Jaffna and Vavuniya local bodies, to find a political solution to the ethnic problem of country. MP Kishore also told the Daily Mirror that the TNA Politburo has decided to negotiate with the Tamil political party leaders to create a common platform to deal with this issue and more..

Why earn notoriety for human smuggling?

July 27 (DM) One might give dozens and dozens of reasons as to why over ambitious Sri Lankan youth leave the country looking for greener pastures. However that is certainly not an excuse for authorities here to let Sri Lanka be black listed as one of the most notorious countries for human smuggling. The latest story comes from Sumatra where 19 Sri Lankans - who had escaped from UNHRC camp for illegal immigrants, in East Indonesia - had been caught while roaming around in Sumatra, more..

Baby elephants spark fighting in Sri Lanka

July 27 (Xinhua) Two baby elephants under five years old were taken away from their mothers, sparking anger in a world-renown elephant orphanage in central Sri Lanka, a local English newspaper said on Monday. The Island said the two baby tuskers were forcibly separated from their mothers by the Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, the chief custodian of the Temple of the Tooth, on Saturday night at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, more..

Sri Lanka keeps back IMF technical MOU

July 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka has not released the technical memorandum of understanding between the government and the International Monetary Fund, taking a step back from the level of transparency established earlier. Sri Lanka's central bank has published a letter of intent (LOI) and a memorandum of economic and financial policies (MEFP) relating to a 2.6 billion US dollar stand by arrangement with the IMF but not the technical memorandum of understanding (TMU). more..

IGP directs three pronged attack on crime

July 27 (MoD) Inspector General of Police Jayantha Wickremaratne at a special conference at his chambers on Friday assigned three Deputy Inspectors General of Police to combat three major crimes in the country. They are - gang operated organised crimes, illicit liquor and hard drug trafficking. The three DIGs were directed to report to the IGP on weekly basis on their progress. more..

Sri Lanka to focus 2010 budget on rebuilding after civil war

July 27 (BN) Sri Lanka plans to focus spending in the government’s 2010 budget on rebuilding areas liberated from Tamil Tiger rebels after the end of 26 years of civil war. “Improving living conditions and restoration of economic activities through accelerated resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction programs” will be given priority, the Ministry of Finance said in its budget circular to ministries and other state institutions. more..

Cash crunch hits Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies

July 28 (CI) Cricinfo has learned that the Pakistan Cricket Board, Sri Lanka Cricket and the West Indies Cricket Board are late in filing their audited accounts and so risk delays in receiving funding of around US$2.8m from the ICC due from the recent ICC World Twenty20. Under the ICC's rules, any member who is late filing accounts is ineligible for their share of income from ICC events. more..

Beleaguered Tigers name new chief

July 28 (AT) The LTTE have a new chief. Its former head of arms procurement, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, has been named as successor to the slain Velupillai Prabhakaran, according to a statement issued by its Executive Committee. Fifty-four-year old Pathmanathan, aka Kumaran Pathmanathan or "KP", was serving as the LTTE's chief of international relations before rising to the top post. The Executive Committee has said he will lead the LTTE into the "next steps of the freedom struggle". more..

Hikkaduwa Beach Fest 09

July 28 (Hindu) The “Hikkaduwa Beach Fest 09” will be held from July 30 to August 2 in Sri Lanka. The fest had seen participation by more than 10,000 people last year. Organised by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, it is Sri Lanka’s biggest beach festival, with top international artistes and DJs flown in for the event. Dileep Mudadeniya, Managing Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau says: “The event has helped enhance economic development of the region. more..

G-15 Chairmanship to Sri Lanka

July 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka has accepted the Chairmanship of the Group of Fifteen, a coalition of 18 developing countries established to develop what Member countries perceived as the considerable potential for greater and mutually beneficial cooperation among developing countries, especially in the areas of investment, trade and technology. Sri Lanka was invited by her predecessor, Iran, to take over the helm at a critical time in the global economic and financial environment. more..

TNA MP thanks President

July 28 (GDI) TNA parliamentarian N. Srikantha expresses gratitude towards President Mahinda Rajapaksa for giving the opportunity to his party to participate at the all party committee for development and reconciliation. A rapid development is now in progress in the island following the defeat of LTTE terrorism. The parliamentarian said his party decided to represent the all party committee for development and reconciliation. more..

A statue of film legend Gamini Fonseka

July 28 (GDI) This monument does not come from the film industry,the platform this man raised to dignity and honor. On September 30 this year, five years have silently passed away as he silently passed away in his morning sleep on that day in 2004. As his son Dammith Fonseka said at the occasion at Galadari Hotel,Colombo a few days ago, when his father died there were many in the film world who promised many things to more..

Restrictions "making fishermen jobless"

July 28 (BBC) Government of Sri Lanka says that it is not allowing fishermen to use boats with engines over 25 horse power (hp) in Mannar while fishermen say that even 25 hp boats are banned. The navy has imposed a ban on using 25 horse power boats for fishing. Fishermen organisations in Mannar say that the restriction has resulted in ninety percent of the fishermen in Mannar been made jobless. more..

Sri Lankan Air Force's peacetime pursuit: tourism

July 28 (PTI) Busy till a few months ago in pounding LTTE targets in the then rebel-held areas, the Sri Lankan Air Force on Monday launched its tourist service with the inaugural flight taking off from here for high-security Palaly Airbase in the northern Jaffna peninsula. Domestic flights for the convenience of passengers will also be launched for Eastern Trincomalee and the Central city of Sigiriya shortly, the Air Force said. more..

Press Council cost Rs. 24.2 m despite deactivation

July 28 (CT) The Sri Lanka Press Council had cost Rs. 24.2 million as staff salaries and building rental charges during the past five years of its deactivation. This is stated in a report submitted to Parliament by Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. The Press Council ceased to exist from 2004, but its staff salaries and the building rental continued to be paid. Rs. 20.9 m had been spent for the payment of salaries, while Rs. 3.2 m had been paid as building rental charges. more..

President orders inquiry into obscene content in media

July 28 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the minister of cultural affairs to inquire into obscene contents in television, radio and on the internet. The president has taken the step on a complaint by a group of parents. Speaking at a public meeting at President’s House, he commented on the matter. Mr. Rajapaksa noted that the country could not be rebuilt as expected if society is corrupt and unpatriotic, even if economic development is achieved. more..

Tough calls pay off

July 28 (CI) When we won the second Test, and with that the series, I was at the non-striker's end. Thilan Samaraweera hit the winning runs, and I punched the air, not suppressing my happiness. It was jubilation because I knew we hadn't beaten Pakistan in a home Test series before. We all knew we hadn't. In a statement before the series I said that we were extra focused to get this feather in our cap. more..

IMF defends Sri Lanka loan amid human rights worries

July 28 (Reuters) The International Monetary Fund defended a $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka on Monday saying it is aware of human rights concerns by donors but the funding is needed to prevent a devastating balance of payments crisis. The loan was approved by the IMF board on Friday with opposition from several countries including the United States, Britain, Germany, France and Argentina, which expressed concern at human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. more..

'Swift measures to bring down Cost of Living in Jaffna'

July 28 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed all Government officials involved in the Uthuru Wasanthaya (Vadakku Vasantham) Development Programme to take immediate steps to bring down the cost of living in Jaffna, the Governor of the Northern Province, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri said at a special meeting held in Colombo today (27). Governor Chandrasiri emphasized that more..

Indo-Sri Lankan economic cooperation: Contemporary scenario

July 28 (MW) With the end of civil war in Sri Lanka and the defeat of the LTTE, a frictional chapter in Indo- Sri Lankan history has come to an end. It is time for India and Sri Lanka to start a new chapter with renewed vigour and vitality by rigorous cooperation especially in the economic realm. At a time when the whole world is reeling under economic recession Sri Lanka is no exception. more..

US concerned over Sri Lankan camps

July 28 (MW) The United States on Monday expressed concern over hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans displaced by war who are currently confined to military-run camps and pledged funds to help their resettlement. Eric P. Schwartz, the U.S assistant secretary of state for refugees, on Monday announced $8 million to help hasten the resettlement and recovery process of some 280,000 people living in camps. more..

Sri Lanka A prevail in high-scorer despite Umar heroics

July 28 (CI) It was a day of big hundreds as Mahela Udawatte and Chamara Kapugedera lifted Sri Lanka A to a huge total batting first, before another supreme knock from Umar Akmal drew the Pakistanis close. The visitors narrowly missed out in the high-scorer at the Welagedera Stadium, which would have been a big confidence booster ahead of the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka which gets underway on Thursday. more..

Lanka developing SEZs, invites investments

July 28 (BL) The Sri Lankan Government is developing special economic zones at Triconamalee in the Eastern province and Killinochchi in the Northern province. Disclosing this, the Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in Chennai, Mr P.M. Amza, invited the trade and industrial community in the South to invest in the country. He said, “While the Government has already identified the area in Triconamalee, it is in the process of selecting the right place at Killinochchi.” more..

Kandy Esala Perahara

Gay community takes heart in Indian court ruling

July 28 (IPS) This month, Sri Lanka’s gay and lesbian community, long struggling for acceptance and respect in a conservative, majority-Buddhist country, cheered a landmark court ruling in neighbouring India. On July 2, the New Delhi High Court knocked down a colonial-era law to decriminalise consensual homosexual sex. It was a historic ruling on gay rights. "It was a fantastic order," exclaimed Sherman de Rose, more..

Court frees insolvent Lanka driver

July 28 (AN) A Sri Lankan driver who has been in jail for four years for not paying the compensation in a traffic accident was released by a court in Qatif on the grounds he is insolvent. The Ministry of Finance will pay the sum owed to the victims in the accident. R.M. Wimalaratne, 43, has been imprisoned since 2005 after his truck collided with a vehicle driven by Abdul Rahman Ali Asiri, who died on the spot in Qatif. more..

“Sri Lanka keen on investments from India in key sectors”

July 28 (Hindu) Sri Lanka is looking at investments from India into key sectors to help hasten the ambitious rebuilding programme initiated by the Government, said P.M.Amza, Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in South India on Monday. Addressing a felicitation function to mark the conclusion of his three-year tenure in Chennai, Mr.Amza said that the Sri Lankan Government had identified investment areas such as infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and fisheries. more..

U.S. hails efforts for war displaced

July 28 (Hindu) Welcoming Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s unequivocal commitment to the resettlement process of the nearly 3 lakh war displaced, visiting Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration of the U.S. State Department Eric Schwartz, pledged U.S. support to the process. Mr. Schwartz, who is the first high level official from the Obama Administration to visit Sri Lanka, on Monday held discussions here with more..

Camellian Sisters to tend old destitute people

July 28 (AT) First Camellian Convent – Home for the Aged was blessed and declared open by His Grace Most Rev.Dr. Oswald Gomis, Archbishop of Colombo in Nayakakanda, Wattala. His Grace Gomis thanked the Nayakakanda Parishioners in accommodating the Camellian Sisters help setting up the Convent and this Home will accommodate old destitute people in the Diocese. He said that the duty of the Faithful to help such good work of the Church. more..

Eliminate poverty with Information and Communication Technology

July 28 (AT) Only the knowledge based technology (ICT) could help eradicate poverty from this country and though some time ago English was considered as a language of imperialists, today they all have to accept that it has become world language and the best mode of communication among the countries and within countries and which would assist to share the knowledge based technology, said Prof Tissa Vitharana, Minister of Science and Technology, more..

Education Minister on question paper issue

July 28 (GDI) The provincial authorities should assume the responsibility of supervising the question papers and Chief Ministers have been informed to immediately focus attention to investigate the issue of question papers and institute action against the responsible officials, Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth said more..

Electricity island wide by 2015

July 28 (GDI) The Ministry of Power and Energy has taken steps to provide electricity for all by the year 2015. 92 % of this requirement will be filled using the national grid and the remaining amount will be supplied through other sources, the Ministry revealed. According to ministry sources, the present power generation capacity is at 550 megawatts and 150 megawatts will be added after the completion of the Upper Kothmale Hydro-Power Plant. more..

Resettlement in Welioya to be completed next month

July 28 (GDI) The resettlement of civilians in the Welioya area will be completed by the end of next month and the resettlement will be undertaken in the Kalyanipura, Morawewa and Gajabapura areas within the Welioya Divisional Secretariat Division, MP Basil Rajapaksa said at the Welioya development and “Uthuru Wasanthaya” progress review meeting held at Mahaweli Community Training Centre in Welioya. more..

Commander visits recuperating War Heroes

July 28 (GDI) COMMANDER OF THE ARMY Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya accompanied by his wife, Mrs Manjulika Jayasuriya, President Seva Vanitha Army Branch (SVAB), and several senior members of the SVAB visited War Heroes who were injured during the victorious humanitarian operations, but still under medical treatment at Military Hospital, Colombo. This is the first visit of Lieutenant General Jayasuriya to the Military Hospital after more..

Mobile phone ban in schools

July 28 (GDI) In a bid to establish a disciplined student population in the country, the Education Ministry will issue a special circular to prevent students from bringing mobile phones inside school premises. Educational Directors islandwide have already been directed to maintain a high standard of discipline in schools under their command. This directive comes in the wake of a horrifying incident which brought death to one student in a leading school in Colombo. more..

Heshan new record in swimming

July 28 (GDI) Swimming champion Heshan Unamboowe set a new national record at the final World Swimming Championships in Rome yesterday. Heshan achieved this feat in the 100 metres backstroke event. Heshan, a student of the Trinity College, Kandy, participated in the World Swimming Championships as the captain of the Sri Lankan contingent. Clocking a time of 59.47 seconds in the 100 metres backstroke, Heshan bettered the previous national record more..

Former Japanese PM arrives

July 28 (GDI) On an invitation extended by the Sri Lankan government, former Japanese Prime Minister, Yasuo Fakuda arrived in the island last night (27). Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama welcomed the visiting dignitary at the airport. Fukuda will attend the opening ceremony of a new museum in Sigiriya today. Japan is a strong friend os Sri Lanka for many decades and has been funding many projects here. more..

Nepal - Lanka to boost cooperation in key areas

July 28 (LG) Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona, Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently undertaking an Official visit to Nepal. He paid courtesy calls on Rt. Hon. Madhav Kumar Nepal, Prime Minister of Nepal and Hon. Sujata Koirala, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal on 27th July, 2009. Dr. Kohona also held detailed discussions with Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, his counterpart on more..

Carlo, Malinda & Dayan

July 28 (LG) Carlo Fonseka and I have had occasion to exchange views through these columns on a number of matters, particularly those related to ‘socialism’ as practiced by some of its advocates in this country. In the course of such exchanges I have demonstrated, hopefully to him as well, that he has a penchant for wandering onto slippery ground. Maybe he has a masochistic bent or has simply lost his marbles. more..

Tamils and the Left: Fact and fiction

July 28 (LG) The great Palestinian theorist Edward Said reminded intellectuals that their duty was to "Speak truth to power". A necessary corollary is that when the masses believe in false gods it is the duty of intellectuals to exorcise these demons, to speak truth to the masses. A heavy burden today is to exorcise Sinhala racism and chauvinist triumphalism. However, another burden is to disabuse the Tamil mind of myths it has taken refuge in. more..

Return of the IMF

July 28 (LG) After months of political wrangling, verbal exchanges between the US and Sri Lanka and an anxious wait by administrators, the Central Bank is finally getting the IMF standby facility (loan) of $2.5 billion. It was due to be approved by the fund’s Executive Board on Friday. The loan request has been dogged by controversy after the United States and some of its western allies brought politics via human rights issues into the framework and more..

The deadly silence of the Editors’ Guild

July 28 (LG) The silence maintained by Sri Lanka’s ‘warriors of freedom of expression’ at their annual show at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel on those journalists who had paid the supreme sacrifice for free expression in the media was deadly. The show was by the Editors’ Guild, their bosses the Newspaper Publishers Association and the newly formed Press Institute. While the reassuring comforts of old Governor Barnes’ mansion with more..

Immediate IDP concerns in Sri Lanka

SL Muslims in Kuwait help Vanni IDPs

July 28 (PSM) Sri Lankan expatriate Muslims working in Kuwait has donated Rs304,654/= for the welfare of Vanni IDPs through their welfare society named Islamic IQRA Committee". This amount was handed over to Sri Lankan Ambassador to Kuwait, Mr. Sarath Dissanayke by Iqra President MRM. Munas. Thedonationof has been sent to the Ministry of Finance for the purpose of providing welfare and supporting the daily needs of IDPs and more..