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Only 200 teachers reported out of 954 new appointments

Jun 11 (DM) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha told Parliament yesterday that out of a total of 954 appointments given during the first week of June, only 200 graduate teachers had reported for duty so far. The Minister said that all these graduates were recruited to the teachers service based on the schools where the vacancies existed. He warned that their appointments would be cancelled unless they reported for duty within 14 days. more..

Swaminathan presents roadmap for reviving agriculture in Sri Lanka

Jun 11 (PTI) M S Swaminathan, father of India's Green Revolution, has come up with a roadmap for revival of agriculture in northern Sri Lanka, devastated by the war with the LTTE and warned that any failure to address this issue will delay the task of resettlement of Tamils in Wanni. "If agriculture revival does not take place in the north in a speedy manner, then the whole question of revival will take a long time," more..

Rs. 16.7m worth Sri Lankan tea imported mysteriously says JVP

Jun 11 (DM) The JVP said yesterday that a quantity of exported Sri Lankan tea worth Rs. 16.7 million has been imported to the country in a mysterious way. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti told Parliament that there were records in the customs in this regard, and the matter was taken up at the parliamentary consultative committee last week. “It was reported that this bulk of tea had been rejected by the foreign buyer. more..

'Sri Lanka gem expo attracts top buyers'

Jun 11 (LBO) Representatives from the world's most active gemstone buying countries will participate at an annual international gem and jewellery exhibition in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo in which more foreign exhibitors also taking part this year, organizers said. The 'FACETS' exhibition is being held in Colombo this September for the 19th year. "Buyers from China, Russia, Thailand, India and Hong Kong and exhibitors from India and Myanmar have already confirmed their more..

Sri Lanka ruling party popularity could help budget: S&P

Jun 11 (LBO) The electoral popularity of President Mahinda Rajapaksa could help improve Sri Lanka's budget by reducing the clout of smaller extremist parties, Standard & Poor's rating agency has said. S & P said in an Asia-Pacific rating report that the defeat of the Tamil Tigers represented a "landmark achievement, which should provide an impetus to growth through reconstruction spending and increased investor confidence." more..

UN concern over Sri Lanka camps

Jun 11 (BBC) Most of Sri Lanka's displaced people could still be kept in government-run camps in one year's time, a UN official has told the BBC quoting army sources. But the government rejected the suggestion, saying that it aimed to resettle most by the end of this year. About 250,000 people fled the final bloody phase of the civil war between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels. Meanwhile, a human rights group accused the government of failing to probe rights abuses during the conflict. more..

Bob Rae's Sri Lanka nightmare

Jun 11 (Star) Bob Rae says he was asked to sign a document disavowing comments the Sri Lankan government deemed sympathetic to the Tamil Tigers shortly before he was ejected from the war-ravaged country. A foreign affairs department spokesperson said the federal government has expressed its "dismay and displeasure" to Sri Lankan officials over the expulsion, adding that "it is absurd to suggest that Mr. Rae represents a threat to Sri Lankan national security." more..

Amnesty says Sri Lanka fails to probe war abuses

Jun 11 (AP) The Sri Lankan government has never seriously investigated reports of human rights abuses during 25 years of civil war and needs to rapidly overhaul its justice system to bring peace to the country, Amnesty International said Thursday. The London-based rights group said the problem is even more urgent in the wake of the government's defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last month in a bloody offensive that left more than 7,000 civilians dead, according to the United Nations. more..

Major post-war aid to Sri Lanka will take time-Japan

Jun 11 (Reuters) Japan said on Thursday Sri Lanka needs to wait until "the dust of the war" settles before donors take a closer look at the massive development aid needed to rebuild after a 25-year war with Tamil Tigers. Japan's special envoy to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi, also said there had been "tangible progress" in the care given to nearly 280,000 refugees displaced by the war, but more..

Australia urged to do more for human rights in Sri Lanka

Jun 12 (ABC) PETER CAVE: The Australian Medical Association wants the Government here to find out what happened to three Sri Lankan doctors reportedly detained by government troops for speaking to journalists about civilian casualties during the final days of the war, and 15 prominent Australians have written to the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd asking him to push the Sri Lankan Government to allow access to refugee camps. more..

Mathews' fielding effort legal, says MCC

Jun 12 (CI) Angelo Mathews' acrobatic fielding effort in Sri Lanka's match against West Indies at Trent Bridge on Wednesday conformed to the Laws of Cricket, the MCC has said. Such "brilliant and quick-thinking" acts, it said, are good for the game and should not be deemed illegal. Mathews was stationed on the wide long-on boundary when, in the 17th over of the chase, Ramnaresh Sarwan lofted Ajantha Mendis in his direction. more..

Sri Lanka's Tamil party seeks demilitarisation of northern parts

Jun 12 (PTI) With the LTTE having been defeated, a prominent Tamil party of Sri Lanka on Thursday demanded speedy rehabilitation and demilitarisation of northern parts of the country and asked New Delhi to press Colombo to do so. A four-member delegation of TNA), which met External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon here, said a committee should be set up to monitor utilisation of Indian funds by Sri Lanka and that the panel should include a TNA representative. more..

Prabhakaran did not have cyanide capsule when captured

Jun 12 (PTI) He made every fighter of his guerrilla outfit wear a cyanide capsule to be swallowed in the event of getting captured, but Vellupillai Prabhakaran himself did not carry one when he was killed by the Sri Lankan troops in the last phase of the 30-year-old bloody civil war. Sri Lankan troops did not find any cyanide capsule on the LTTE leader's body after he was killed during the final phase of the 30-year-old civil war, more..

Summary of cabinet decisions

Jun 12 (GDI) Cabinet approved a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Higher Education W.A. Wishwa Warnapala to construct a building for the Department of quantity surveying university of Moratuwa to the total cost estimate of Rs. 75 million and to construct the student center building for the faculty of engineering university of Peradeniya to the total cost estimate of Rs. 36 million. more..

Sri Lankan bank to light-up Uganda

Jun 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Commercial Bank of Ceylon is planning to finance renewable power plants in Africa with the help of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), an official said. Gamini Dharmasiri, head of corporate banking at Commercial Bank, says the bank is looking at projects in Africa similar to the kind of renewable energy projects funded in Sri Lanka. more..

Jayasuriya has Sri Lanka backing

Jun 12 (BBC) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has told Sanath Jayasuriya to continue his return to form against Pakistan in their Super Eight game on Friday. Jayasuriya struck 81 off 47 balls in the win over West Indies on Wednesday. "As a side, we have never had questions over what he can do," said Sangakkara. "We were just waiting till he made his way into the tournament. more..

President Obama asked to intervene in Rizana Nafeek's case

Jun 12 (AHRC) As President Obama is to visit the Saudi Arabian authorities tomorrow the Asian Human Rights Commission has issued an appeal for him to intervene on behalf of Rizana Nafeek whose appeal against the death sentence has been pending for several months now. Rizana Nafeek who was a 17-year-old girl from Sri Lanka was sentenced to death, allegedly for killing an infant whose death was, in fact, caused by choking during bottle feeding. more..

A local criminal disables a man and police fail to act

Jun 12 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that police and the Sri Lankan Human Rights Commission have failed to investigate case in which a man was attacked and disabled by thugs allegedly working for a local criminal. The case highlights a relationship of convenience between criminal informers and the police in Moragahahena, and unwillingness on the part of the SLHRC. more..

‘Ashokan Persona’ and the ‘Rooster Coop’

Jun 12 (LG) Michael Roberts’ article, Some Pillars for Lanka’s Future, is a useful reference in discussing some of the more important contemporary issues in Sri Lanka. His concept of ‘Ashokan Persona’ meaning: ‘the Big Man (invariably male) has to control every fiddling little thing. My theory therefore highlights a deeply-rooted cultural tendency towards the over-concentration of power at the head of organisations and more..

Letter from an Uncle to a nephew

Jun 12 (LG) Dear Grand nephew, I have omitted your name, because the purpose of this letter is not to embarrass or humiliate you. However, my attention has been drawn to the triumphalist and jingoist remarks that you have posted on Facebook. I do not intend to repeat them here but it is obvious that you have been swept by the chauvinist fever following the military defeat of the LTTE. more..

MP thrown out for improper garb

Jun 12 (LT) TNA Parliamentarian Thangeshwari Kadirgamar who had come to Parliament wearing a garment that is not proper to worn to the Parliament was removed from the chambers. A spokesman said the female Parliamentarian was removed from the chambers as she was wearing a Panjabi suit which was not a proper garment to be worn in the Parliament.

8,000 of the 10,000 principals failed examination

Jun 12 (LeN) “The entire education of Sri Lanka has been politicized and collapsed. Eighty percent of the education officers are political appointees. Eight thousand of the 10,000 principals are politically chosen persons who have failed the recruitment examination. After 2005, no proper selection of principals has taken place. Although the authorities say that the 2006 gazette will be followed for the principal appointments, more..

"Too many people" at huge IDP camp - UN

Jun 12 (IRIN) Conditions at a huge government-run camp for IDPs in Sri Lanka are still unsatisfactory, the UN’s top official in the country told IRIN, despite some improvements. “The fundamental issue is that there are too many people in too small a place,” said Neil Buhne, the UN resident coordinator in Sri Lanka, adding: “We think it is the largest IDP camp in the world.” more..

Ambassador Gunaratna lauds Myanmar for being a "friend indeed"

Jun 12 (GDI) While receiving the donation of US$ 50.000 of the Union Government of Myanmar to Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Ambassador to Myanmar, Newton Gunaratna said that the friendship between the two nations grows day by day. The Government Union of Myanmar donated US$ 50,000 to Sri Lanka as humanitarian assistance today (11) which will be utilized for the welfare activities of the IDPs in the North. more..

Sri Lanka ship builder delivers last tug for India's Greatship

Jun 12 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard said it had delivered the last of four anchor handling supply tugs built for the Indian firm Greatship in a deal worth 66 million US dollars. The owners' representatives as well as those representing the financiers participated in the handover ceremony Wednesday. The 'Greatship Aditi' and the other three vessels in the series was based on a design developed by MOSS Maritime AS of Norway and more..

Victory's rotten fruits

Jun 12 (Economist) The defeat of the LTTE by the Sri Lankan army should be cause for almost universal celebration—whatever its manner. The foreign governments that had banned the Tigers as terrorists and from whose Tamil minorities some of the Tigers’ funds had been extorted are glad to see them beaten. So too are Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese majority, after a 26-year civil war. But Sri Lankan Tamils should also rejoice. more..

Sri Lanka ‘ideal getaway’

Jun 12 (TA) Sri Lanka is an ideal getaway for regional travellers being only three and a half hours flying time away from the Gulf, says a regional director of a tourism promotion bureau. “The island nation is one of the most exciting places to visit this summer with peace finally prevailing,” said Heba Al Ghais Al Mansoori, Middle East Director of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau. This summer Sri Lanka offers the adventurous holiday maker an exciting array of options. more..

Letters: Sri Lankan Ambassador clarifies

Jun 12 (JP) I wish to refer to the article which appeared in The Jakarta Post of June 6 titled "IOM takes over case of Afghan and Pakistani immigrants". The article quoted embassy official Kapila Ubeysekera saying that "Kapila said there was no guarantee of their safety when they returned home, despite the country's victory over the Tamil rebel forces." The embassy official categorically denies the above statement was made by him. more..

India’s seabed claim may lead to dispute with Sri Lanka

Jun 12 (LM) Even as the general election was on in May, India quietly staked claim to nearly half a million sq. km of seabed that contains potentially large reserves of oil, minerals, metals and gas hydrates. In the next few weeks, it’s likely to vie for another half a million sq. km, some of which may conflict with a similar claim by Sri Lanka on the unmarked seabed. “There could be some dispute with Sri Lanka,” said a top government official involved in preparing India’s claim, more..

Students 'Living in fear' after attacks

The untamed Tiger

Jun 12 (IE) On May 18, 2009, the Sri Lanka Armed Forces (SLAF) overran the last defences of the LTTE and, in the process, killed its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and most of his closest aides. This, in turn, has presented Sri Lanka with a golden opportunity to heal wounds and usher in peace. Prabhakaran raised the LTTE in 1972 with just 10 other students, dropouts like him, and first came to public notice at the age of 18, when he assassinated the Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Doriappa. more..

Sri Lankan Ambassador in Italy tries to bag entire credit of Api Wenuwen Api

Jun 12 (LeN) Api Wenuwen Api programme in Italy was one of the most successful events in terms of participation and collection of funds. It has also become one of the most controversial events. Around 18,000 people have participated in the event simply because they wanted to contribute to a worthy project. According to a budget released by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome, the entire collection after deducting the cost is Euro 276,989. more..

The Wanni IDPs-The path to reconciliation and reintegration

Jun 12 (TC) Today we are told that there are 300,000 internally displaced persons from what is called the Vanni regions of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, who are in camps which are surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. The Government has stated that they will be kept in these camps and resettled in their original towns and villages after a period of six months and that security concerns i. e. screening and registration, more..

Is the Sri Lankan Tamil nation moving towards extinction?

Jun 12 (IL) Although many countries around the world urge the Sri Lankan government to fulfill the political demands of Tamils through peaceful means, these countries have shown little interest to jump into the conflict to make a deal between the warring Tamils and Sinhalese. All question the legitimacy of the global governments who once said that Sri Lanka should be brought to court of justice, but then changed their tone saying that Sri Lanka should embrace the Tamils, more..

'LSSP did not promote separatism'

Jun 12 (DBS) The thoughtful letter on the rise of triumphalism in Sri Lanka written by “podi seeya” Upali Cooray to his grand nephew was posted on this blog under the heading “Chauvinist fever following military defeat of LTTE”. The piece was well-received and evoked a wide range of responses. Most of them if not all appreciated the analytical advice proffered by Upali Cooray a veteran leftist with a Trotskyite background. more..

Estate workers fight against to eliminate use of alcohol

Jun 12 (AT) Forty Five year old married estate woman A.Logamma who was addicted to alcohol since her 19 yrs says alcohol is a dangerous family burner. Logamma who resides at Sirinivasa Watta in Kosgama said she spent Rs.150.00 [over 1 US$] per day for alcohol. "I have friends in nearby villages. They asked me to enjoy alcohol. One day I used alcohol with them," she said. more..

Media right groups protest

Colombo’s plea to Co-Chairs

Jun 12 (Hindu) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday announced it was ready to help in facilitating the surrender of remaining LTTE cadre even as Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama urged the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs (U.S., EU, Japan and Norway) to “revise” their role in the post-conflict scenario. The Minister told visiting Japanese Special Envoy Yashushi Akashi, that the Co-Chairs needed to broaden their agenda and shift focus to development. more..

Sri Lanka favourites against rusty Pakistan

Jun 12 (CI) Is there a team more fascinating to watch than Sri Lanka? Of all the teams that have come into the Super Eights undefeated, none has done it as beautifully as Sri Lanka. South Africa have been too efficient to love, India too imposing (and under-tested) to admire. But Sri Lanka? They have made art in comprehensively defeating Australia and West Indies in the group of death. more..

End of mission for French field hospital in Sri Lanka

Jun 12 (AFP) The French field hospital treating Sri Lanka's war wounded closed down after caring for nearly 2,500 civilians, a diplomat said Thursday. The 100-bed hospital in the northern town of Cheddikulam, 90 kilometres southwest of the final battle, carried out 250 surgeries before ending its work on Wednesday. "The aim of the mission was to provide a temporary help for the treatment of IDPs during the end of the conflict," he said. more..

Okinawa soldiers ready Sri Lanka aid

Jun 12 (S&S) The Army garrison here has responded to cries for help from Sri Lanka, which has been torn apart by a bloody civil war. In response to reports that some hospitals in the island nation were destroyed in recent fighting, soldiers with the 87th Quartermaster Detachment joined with Japanese warehouse workers from the garrison to load 26 containers of health care, nutritional supplies and vehicles for shipment to Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka private sector, UNHCR pave the way for returning refugees

Jun 12 (LBO) A United Nations agency is getting private sector support to help re-settle a part of the 660,000 refugees in the country who are starting to return to their former homes, officials said. Sri Lanka defeated Tamil Tiger separatists in a two and a half year campaign with first the East, then the Northwest and finally the Northeast areas under Tiger control being re-taken. "In Sri Lanka now we have 660,000 displaced persons," more..

Sri Lanka begins painful reconciliation

Jun 12 (WSJ) Sinnathamby Raja, once a cog in this country's brutal war, is now trying to be part of its shaky peace. When he was 26 years old and already a 13-year veteran of violence with the Tamil Tiger rebels, Mr. Raja led a hit squad that detonated a bomb inside the office of a political party allied with the government. Then he gunned down those who survived the blast. Soon after the 2006 attack, which he says killed 10 people, he tossed out his cyanide tablet more..

A new programme to issue land Ownership Certificates

Jun 12 (GDI) The Ministry of Land is to implement a programme to issue Ownership Certificates for all property in the country to diminish the prevailing complexity of land deeds under the Bim Saviya. Bim Saviya is a program launched under “Mahinda Chintana” by the Ministry of Land and Land Development in order to strengthen the ownership of land and to make land strength to the nation. more..

Discreet concern of concerned Tamils for expelled Northern Muslims

Jun 12 (PSM) Recent statement of Group of Concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka has indirectly recognized the forcible expulsion of the Muslims from the North in 1990 by the LTTE. The statement which has names of some selected members of the Tamil community both in Sri Lanka and abroad has not specifically mentioned the ethnic cleansing of the Muslims by the LTTE in 1990. "It has carefully avoided any direct reference to the war crime, the vicitms and the perpetrators. more..

In search of a formula for national reconciliation

Jun 12 (LG) Once upon a time when the Attanagalu Oya was in spate, a Sinhalese and a Muslim were crossing it in a boat. The boat capsized half way through and the Sinhalese true to tradition, started praying to God Kataragama for his salvation. He was making a vow that he would offer seven pots of milk rice, seven fruits and a statue to the God if he was saved. The Muslim who was clinging on to the other end of the boat took a cue from his friend, although he had no faith in Kataragama. more..

The President is presiding over skulduggery

Jun 12 (LG) Intoxicated with unquestionable authority, the President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapakse is presiding over the country with unfair and dishonest practices engineered to trick the people and the international community. The post-outright military victory against the LTTE has not seen any major political move towards reconciliation and initiation of peace in the country. Instead, the government is engaged in a distasteful wangling to thwart dealing more..

Tigers reduced to kittens!

Jun 12 (LG) Three decades of terrorist war waged against the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka by the LTTE came to an end on May 18, 2009 when the Sri Lankan security forces managed to crush the terrorist menace by eliminating the LTTE (Tiger) leader, Megalomaniac murderer, Velupillai Prabhakaran and all his henchmen. This laudable deed thus created a new world record registering Sri Lanka in the Guinness Book of Records as the more..

Hambantota & Gwadar - An Update

Jun 12 (LG) The foundation for the construction of a modern port with Chinese assistance at Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka was formally laid in October,2007. The construction actually started in January,2008. It is a 15-year project to be completed in stages. The entire project is estimated to cost US $ one billion. The present Chinese commitment is for the construction of the first stage only, which is estimated to cost US $ 360 million. more..

Strategic thinking and renouncing of violence

Jun 12 (CC) The Tamil Diaspora could be an eloquent voice for the suffering people in the Tamil territories. But the Tamils who live through the daily post-war trauma must be given the choice and the will to elect their leaders from among themselves. To achieve this end the Diaspora must fight not usurp. This indeed is a fundamental democratic principle. The Tamils who live in the island have had enough of this cut-throat conflict. more..