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VCK for arming fishermen

Nov 6 (Hindu) The Indian government should equip and train Tamil fishermen with arms to counter the attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy, said Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) president and Member of Parliament Thol Thirumavalavan on Wednesday. After holding discussions with 20 fishermen organisations across the State about the alleged kidnapping of Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, Mr. Thirumavalavan said the State government should more..

Sri Lanka hints at LTTE-Maoist links

Nov 6 (PTI) A top Sri Lankan official today said the rebel LTTE may have had links with the Maoists in India, days after Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said that the left wing extremists were acquiring arms from abroad. "Going by the way they (LTTE) operate and plan things it is possible that they can have links with any terrorist organisation like the al-Qaida and the Maoists," more..

Vote on Account Passed in Parliament with 47 Majority Votes

Nov 6 (AT) The Vote on Account, presented by UPFA government for the first quarter of the year 2010 was passed in the Parliament today with a majority 47 votes. The Government’s proposal received 125 votes and 78 voted against when voting took place after a three-day debate. The Vote on Account is adopted to finance the ongoing government expenditure for a period of four months, commencing from the first day of January 2010, more..

Hit on in a Sri Lankan tuk-tuk

Nov 6 (XW) “So, you like girls or boys?” my emaciated, five-foot-four tuk-tuk driver asks in an innocent tone with a hopeful glint in his eye. Normally, when travelling in unfamiliar countries, I wouldn’t blithely announce my sexual orientation to strangers (it avoids unnecessary hassle and inane questions). But I blurt out “boys.” I’m not sure why. This guy is the antithesis of my type (I like ‘em tall, broad and masculine) and I am not remotely attracted to him. more..

Youth Vocational Training centre in Batticaloa handed over

Nov 6 (RC) 05th November 2009: With the handing over of the Red Cross Vocational Training Centre in Batticaloa, the youth in Batticaloa district now have more avenues to undergo job oriented skills development training. Courses in subjects covering information technology, carpentry and garment manufacture among other sectors will commence in early 2010 with recruitment of 20 youth for each course. more..

Q+A - EU's GSP+ trade concession and Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's deadline to respond to a European Union rights probe report is Friday, if it wants to try to retain a lucrative trade concession from the bloc which helps Sri Lanka's top export, garments. Following are some questions and answers on the EU trade concession and the possible impact if it is lost. WHAT IS THE EU GENERALISED SYSTEM OF PREFERENCES PLUS (GSP+)? It is a special incentive scheme for sustainable development and good governance, more..

Debrief News - 05.11.2009

Sri Lanka turns " truly open economy", expects growth to pick up

Nov 6 (ET) With the days of political uncertaininity behind it, Sri Lanka is looking forward to enjoying a "truly open economy", Central Bank of Sri Lanka governor Ajith Nirvad Cabraal said. He was in the city for the silver jubilee celebrations of the India-Asean-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce, his first visit after the ethnic clashes in the country came to an end in May this year. "Sri Lanka has had an open economy policy for the last 32 years, but more..

More Indian relief for Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (Hindu) India on Thursday announced a package of relief material for the nearly 3 lakh war displaced in northern Sri Lanka. The Indian mission here said the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had been informed of a second consignment of 2,600 metric tonnes of galvanised corrugated sheets valued at $2.65 million to be used to build shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in various camps. India had delivered the first consignment in August, 2009. more..

Governor confiscates camera after claiming the journalist is a terrorist

Nov 6 (LNW) Northern Province Government Major General G.A. Chandrasiri had confiscated camera equipment worth Rs. 200,000 belonging to one Reuter’s journalist M. Subramaniam, also known as Subu and has failed to return it as yet. Subu had arrived in Vavuniya on May 14 to cover the former Chief Juustice Sarath N. Silva’s visit to the IDP camps in Vavuniya following an invitation extended to him by the Registrar of the Vavuniya courts. more..

An anxious wait for loved ones lost by Sri Lankan asylum-seekers

Nov 6 (TA) In Kalaru, a former Tamil Tiger stronghold on Sri Lanka's east coast, anxious villagers await news of friends and loved ones who set sail on the open sea for Australia and have not been heard from since their boat disappeared across the horizon. And in Indonesia yesterday, 78 Sri Lankans continued their standoff with Australian authorities, refusing to leave the Oceanic Viking to have their asylum claims more..

Australia rejects unskilled migrants plan with Lanka

Nov 6 (EA) Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans has rejected a proposal by Sri Lanka’s immigration chief to allow unskilled workers to immigrate to Australia in a bid to stop the exodus of boatloads of immigrants turning up in Australian waters. The Sir Lankan Commissioner P B Abeykoon told The Australian newspaper that his proposal would cut down the number of asylum seekers, more..

Central bank to relax exchange controls

Nov 6 (LBO) Central bank is planning to relax exchange controls allowing up to 500,000 US dollars to be taken out for investment purposes without approval of the central bank. Under Sri Lanka's tough exchange control laws, investments abroad has to be examined case by case by the Central Bank and approval also sought from the finance ministry. "The proposed measures would enable people to take upto 500,000 US dollars out of the country for investment purpose without obtaining the approval of the Central Bank," more..

Deepavali Dilemma: Reflections from the Diaspora

Nov 6 (GV) Every year, when Deepavali rolls around, I feel a twinge of sadness creeping up on me. I didn’t dwell on it because it seemed indulgent and pointless. It’s not like we celebrated Deepavali in a big way when I was growing up in Colombo. And my family, we were not a sentimental lot. We got on with it, and focused on what mattered – visas, educational degrees, jobs, marriages, family, and more family. more..

“India-Sri Lanka FTA has helped cross-border trade”

Nov 6 (Hindu) For the past nine years, the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement has helped free flow of trade across the borders and India’s look-east policy would add to expansion of trade and commerce in ASEAN countries and Sri Lanka, said Governor Surjit Singh Barnala on Thursday. Participating in the Indo-ASEAN-Sri Lanka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IASLCCI) silver jubilee, he said: “The trade between India and ASEAN is flourishing. more..

Sri Lankan official stresses resettlement

Nov 6 (Hindu) It will be difficult for the Sri Lankan government to engage in a constructive dialogue on a political solution until the resettlement issue has been dealt with, according to Ajith Nivard Cabraal, governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. “Otherwise, this becomes the only topic of discussion. Before you start talking about anything else, the first topic is, ‘How long will the resettlement take?,’” said Mr. Cabraal, more..

To which victor the spoils?

Nov 6 (Economist) Not even six months has elapsed since the protracted war with Tamil Tiger rebels ended in a bloody climax, leading to the Sri Lankan government’s triumph. But already the leaders of the military campaign are sparring ahead of an election due next year. For weeks the press has been speculating about friction between the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka, more..

FBI charge 14 over alleged Galleon insider trading

Nov 6 (Guardian) Criminal charges have been filed in the US against 14 individuals linked to the alleged insider dealing scheme involving billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, the Sri Lanka-born philanthropist who has been let out on $100m bail. Rajaratnam is facing 13 charges of fraud and conspiracy and is accused of making more than $20m through unlawful trades on inside information. more..

Nation-building cannot be done on fibs and distortions

Nov 6 (LG) Broadly speaking, the people who vent their opinions publicly can be divided into two categories: 1. those who know their subject and 2. those who think they know their subject. Let the readers decide into which category Lynn Ockersz, the Deputy Editor of The Island, belongs after reading this response to his punditry about “nation-building”. (See his latest comments on “nation-building” in The Island –November 5, 2009) more..

The duty to talk loudly about Police Reforms

Nov 6 (GV) Police Reform was the theme of a discussion organised by the Commonwealth Initiative in Delhi last week. Among the participants were senior police officers from South Asian countries including a few who are retired. Also present were many other persons interested in the issue. Throughout the discussion there was consensus that something has gone terribly wrong with the policing systems in South Asian countries and more..

61 protesting graduates arrested for asking for employment released

Nov 6 (LT) The unemployed graduates who were arrested by the police while engaged in a campaign against the failure of the government to find solutions for their issues including employment were released on bail. Among those who were arrested were 33 lady graduates, 27 male graduates and a graduate Bhikku. The convener of the Unemployed Graduates Union Sujith Kuruwita said the union and unemployed graduates are prepared to make any sacrifices to win their demands. more..

Sri Lankan Railway Trains

Road From Elephant Pass –another saga of the local film industry

Nov 6 (AT) After ten long years veteran film producer and Director Chandran Rutnam has re-entered the local cinema industry through his newest movie “Road From Elephant Pass” which is a saga of the thirty year war. Speaking to the media in Colombo, he said this film is one of his key productions of the local cinema industry. “This film is based late Nihal de Silva’s novel and it is now on local film halls, said Rutnam. more..

Displaced Muslims of the North to be resttled

Nov 6 (AT) The displaced Muslims of the North are to be soon resettled in their original places in the Northern Province. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa while addressing the internally displaced Muslim women assured that all Muslims who were driven out of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar in the Northern province would be resettled in their homes soon. more..

Human beings destroy human beings

Nov 6 (AT) It is not fair for the parents to claim the ownership of their off-springs, as they were given to the parents by God the almighty through sympathy and the parents are answerable to God to bring up children to be good and acceptable to God, said His Grace the Archbishop of Colombo, Most Rev Dr Malcolm Ranjith, making his first official visit to Don Bosco Salasians Technical Centre (DBTC), Eththukala, Negombo. more..

General Fonseka’s representative meets Mano Ganeshan

Nov 6 (LeN) Democratic Peoples Front leader Mano Ganeshan at a Press briefing at the Parliamentary complex today (5) said, a representative of General Sarath Fonseka met him on the Colombo. The M.P. stated this when answering a question posed by the media on his stance after signing the agreement of the UNF alliance viz a viz his statements made before in connection with Sarath Fonseka. more..

Air Force museum re-opens for public

Nov 6 (IL) Sri Lanka Air Force Museum ceremoniously re-launched by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa on 5th November at Ratmalana Air Force Base. It was originally established in 1993 with the intention of preserving SLAF history of aviation and also as a storage unit. Later it has been restructured as the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum. However it is the only museum dedicated to aviation and the history of Sri Lanka Air Force in the Island. more..

End the persecution of Sri Lankan Tamils

Nov 6 (wsws) The plight of Tamils living in intolerable conditions in Sri Lanka has been brought into sharp relief by the tragic drowning of 12 asylum seekers last Sunday after their small vessel sank in the Indian Ocean as they sought to reach Australia. The Australian government’s “Fortress Australia” immigration policies, which force asylum seekers to undertake increasingly hazardous journeys in small, unseaworthy boats, are directly responsible for the drownings. more..

National action plan for Haritha Lanka Programme

Nov 6 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has taken steps to implement the National Action Plan for Haritha Lanka Programme. The programme includes short, medium and long term targets spanning from 2009-2011 with performance indicators to monitor the progress effectively to mainstream the subject of 'Environment' into the national development planning process. more..

Sri Lanka becomes a member of the UN REDD

Nov 6 (LP) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announced this week that Sri Lanka has been admitted to the United Nations initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN REDD) Programme. Sri Lanka’s membership comes amid a call by Dr. Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN at the UN General Assembly’s Second Committee that more..

'Sale of cartridges news reports baseless'

Nov 6 (GDI) Military Spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara emphasised that media reports on the sale of cartridges of ammunition used by the troops are totally false. It had been reported that these cartridges were to be sold at a low price to a foreign company he added. Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said it had been reported that the Defence Ministry was attempting to sell 41,000 brass cartridges to Singapore at 150 rupees each, when more..

Amaradeva International Music Centre

Nov 6 (GDI) The W. D Amaradewa Foundation has taken steps to establish an International Center of Music. The main objective of establishing this Center is to continue the invaluable experience and knowledge gained by Pandith W.D Amaradewa to be passed on to the next generation, especially for the advancement of Sinhala music (Hele Kalawa) by securing the Sri Lankan identity. more..

Sudarshini Fernandopulle SLFP organizer for Katana

Nov 6 (GDI) The wife of late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Dr Mrs.Sudharshini Fernandopulle will take office as the ruling party's chief organizer for Katana electorate on November 9. Floral tributes will be offered to late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle's statue at Kanthi Playground in Weliweriya on this day. Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was killed in a suicide bomb attack on April 6, 2008. more..

e-Swabhimani award ceremony today

Nov 6 (GDI) “e-Swabhimani 2009” awards ceremony to select the best local (IT related contents on web) E- content is held today. The first ever National Best e-Content Award, e-Swabhimani 2009, attracted nearly 200 applications from all parts of the country while the winners will be selected by a panel of internationally and local experts in the IT field. The award ceremony will be held at 06.00pm at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo. more..

Bouquets for Basil in eloquent style from TNA

Nov 6 (GDI) In a dramatic turn of events in democracy, a rare but significant feature emerged in Parliament yesterday during the Vote on Account debate. After a long spell in the House, the once critical TNA came out in much eloquent praise and hailed the hardworking Parliamentarian from government benches, Basil Rajapaksa for his untiring efforts to resettle the displaced speedily and early. more..

Special allowance to military men

Nov 6 (GDI) The special allowance applicable so far for soldiers serving the North and East will be granted to all army personnel. This was disclosed by theArmy Commander, Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya. The Army Commander addressing army officials at the 61st Battalion headquarters in Wellamkullam said the President had approved the proposal to extend that allowance. He also appreciated the President’s visit to Tnunukkai recently to inquire the well being of army personnel. more..

'Hope Tamils rise in politics'

Nov 6 (AA) A visiting Sri Lankan official says that empowerment of Tamils will be a priority for President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government as it seeks to correct some historical wrongs such as discrimination of the Tamils on the basis of ethnicity or language in education and employment sectors. "We think we have dealt with LTTE and got rid of terrorism [but] clearly there is need for full integration of Tamil citizens in body politic," more..

The humane stamp on rabies eradication

Nov 6 (LP) The Postal Department has made history with its latest stamp issued yesterday (05) to mark the policy of using humane methods for rabies eradication and dog population control. This policy, which replaced the earlier practice of seizing and killing of dogs for rabies control, was established following a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in May 2006, that the killing of dogs be stopped, and more..

Royal College the most innovative school in Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (LP) Sri Lanka's premier public school Royal College was selected as one of the best innovative schools in the world by Microsoft. This can be described as an achievement not by the school itself but an achievement for the whole nation. It is also significant that this happened in 2009, the year of ICT and English as declared by the Government. A local competition was organized by Microsoft Sri Lanka more..

‘Office of Executive Presidency should stay’

Nov 6 (LP) UNP veteran K. N. Choksy PC yesterday (05) said President Mahinda Rajapaksa has benefitted the nation by wiping out terrorism and restoring economic progress. “There is one further important national task left to him, which I am confident he can achieve. That is to establish ethnic understanding and amity between the major communities,” he told Parliament, speaking on the Vote on Account debate. more..