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The evolution of the issue of IDPs

Nov 6 (MoD) The editorial column of today's Daily News Paper comes up with valuable opinions in which it discusses the issue of Sri Lankan IDPs and how and why they become IDPs and how the President and his government have been acted upon the issue. Sri Lanka's IDPs have earned much media publicity. Hardly a day passes without some reference to them in the international media is made. In actual fact, it is an issue overused. more..

Of those political 'three wheelers'

Nov 6 (LG) The realignment of political forces following the Southern Provincial Council election has taken an interesting turn. Almost all small parties have been attracted to either the UNP or the SLFP as pins to a magnet, the JVP and the TNA (which is also a collective of a few Tamil parties) being two glaring exceptions. Having burnt bridges after making a hasty exit from the UPFA in a huff in 2005, the JVP has no way of coalescing with the ruling party again. more..

'Why Govt. concealed Gota’s questioning by US? '

Nov 6 (LT) Recently, at a media meeting the leader of NFF had said that Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse had been questioned by US authorities said JVP MP S.K. Subasinghe and asked the government why that incident had been kept a secret from the country. He said, “We don’t suppose that Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse was asked regarding details about his family or what he had eaten or drunk. more..

Ceylinco Kathankudy branch owes Rs128 mn to depositors

Nov 6 (PSM) "The Ceylinco Profit Sharing Investment Company’s Kaathankudy branch alone has 1727 customers and a total of over Rs. 73 million in fixed deposits and over Rs. 55 million has been deposited in savings accounts." This was disclosed at a press conference held by disappointed depositors from Kattankudy by Quaazi Judge Mr. M.M.M. Mahroof Careem who is also a customer of Ceylinco Profit Sharing. more..

The killing of Balavarnam Sivakumar

Nov 6 (TC) Perhaps the most sickening TV news item seen by Sri Lankans in recent times was the cold-blooded murder of the mentally ill Balavarnam Sivakumar of Ratmalana. It is understood that a police constable named Dimuthu Somnas has been remanded in connection with this attack. A few of his fellow constables are also said to be likely to be taken into custody. These arrests will predictably divert attention away from those criminals who more..

Many private banks reduce interest for depositors only

Nov 6 (LT) Most of the private banks have reduced the interest paid to depositors instead of reducing interest rates complain customers of private banks. With the directive of the President to state banks to reduce interest rates for loans, all state and private banks have reduced the interests paid to depositors inconveniencing those who have deposited all their earnings in banks and depend on them for their daily living. more..

Ministers’ weighing maneuver at Pollonnaruwa

Nov 6 (LT) A process is followed at Polonnaruwa to weigh heavy vehicles and sue those that transport goods exceeding the recommended weight. However, this process is being carried out so that it would give an advantage to government ministers say people in the area. The weighing machine is being installed at the junction to Jumma Muslim Mosque at Gallalla and this would be a process to weigh only lorries that belong to the sand project at Minneriya. more..

'Police used least force on protesters'

Nov 6 (DN) Police used the least force against the graduates who staged a protest march at the High Security Zone in Colombo on Wednesday. Police officers on duty at the time did not carry batons with them but used water cannon and tear gas when the mob became unruly, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. "During the past four years, the Government has provided over 52,000 employment opportunities to graduates. more..

Rickshaw rookies: Sri Lanka tuk-tuk challenge

Nov 6 (Telegraph) LEG1 - Rickshaw rookies: Negombo to Sigiriya – 100 miles: I'm pleasantly surprised by the make-up of the group as we gather at the beachfront hotel in Negombo. Fears that it might be gap-year and bearded types with an overly relaxed attitude to personal hygiene prove unfounded. We hurry outside to get acquainted with our tuk-tuks, which have been "pimped" with maps and garish motifs. more..

Laxapana power station to be rahabilitated

Nov 6 (GDI) The Government has taken steps to rehabilitate the old Laxapana Hydro-power station. It is expected to enter into an Export Credit Facility of Euro 24,141,348 with Uni-Credit Bank Austria AG and to enter into a Loan Agreement of Euro3, 870,000 with the Hatton National Bank for this purpose. The old Laxapana Hydro Power Station is in operation more than 58 years and the proposed rehabilitation will include improved designs and more..

Non-devolutionary constitutional reform

President’s daily expenses: Presidential Secretariat denies JVP claim

Nov 6 (DN) The Presidential Secretariat has denied claims made by JVP MP Sunil Handunetti that the funds allocated to the President under the Vote on Account are Rs. 19 million, per day. The funds allocated under the President’s votes in the Vote on Account are not only for the Presidential Secretariat and President’s expenditure but for the expenditure for 21 departments as well as expenditure for former Presidents, more..

Sri Lanka to acquire satellite technology

Nov 6 (LNP) Sri Lanka will acquire satellite technology shortly with the setting up of the Sri Lanka Space Agency (SLASA), a regulatory body for new technology. Cabinet approval has been obtained to acquire satellite technology, which would be considered an investment for the future. The SLASA would act as a data processing centre to facilitate the new technology to be acquired from the Surrey University under the guidance of more..

‘Island’ paper is said to have violated Minister's privileges

Nov 6 (LT) ‘A news item in ‘Island’ stating that an answer given by Minister Bogollagama was wrong has violated his privileges’ said Minister Borollagama. He invited the Speaker’s attention in this regard. UNP MP Mr Ravi Karunanayake when the session of answering the questions anticipating answers was over in Parliament today said that an answer given by Minister Bogollagama with regard to the claimant of Andaman Islands is reported to be false in ‘The Island’ paper today. more..

Outbreak of AHINI: Schools closed in Kurunegala

Nov 6 (DN) The Education Ministry yesterday decided to close all schools within the purview of the Kurunegala city limits after two students were diagnosed with AHINI virus. Education authorities arrived at this decision after a series of discussions over the issue. Two students from leading schools in the city have been diagnosed with AHINI and the schools were closed as a measure to curb the outbreak of the epidemic. more..

UNA keeps its options open

Nov 6 (DM) Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday said the United National Alliance was ready to even accommodate a nominee proposed by opposition parties which have so far not joined the alliance, as the joint opposition candidate at the next presidential election. “It could be a representative of a party or an individual,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said speaking during a news conference of UNA partners more..

TNL Asst. news editor says he saw youth being assaulted

Nov 6 (DM) Giving evidence in the Magisterial inquiry into the alleged forced drowning of a youth at the Bambalapitiya beach, Assistant News Editor of the TNL television channel, Sisikelum Dahampriya Balage, yesterday informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate that he had viewed what happened on the beach below through the lens of a camera recorder from the seventh floor of a building located next to the Bambalapitiya railway station. more..

Lanka not informed of Sri Lankans beheading in Saudi Arabia

Nov 6 (DM) The beheading of a female and male Sri Lankan who were found guilty for committing theft and murder had been done in secret while five other Sri Lankans involved in the incident were sentenced to five years imprisonment by the Saudi government, Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka said yesterday. “Our appeals for them had failed and they were sentenced a year ago for a crime committed in 2006. more..

'Conspiracy by Maxists to bring me into disrepute'

Nov 6 (Island) Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva accused elements with close connections with the JVP of introducing glass pieces in to the phials containing fluid used for vaccines in the government hospitals. The Minister said there is a conspiracy launched by a Marxist party to bring his Ministry to disrepute. He said the "JVP would try everything under its belt to make me leave my portfolio but I will not yield to their dirty tactics." more..

Industrial zones go islandwide

Nov 6 (DN) The Ministry of Industrial Development has set up many industrial zones away from Colombo and Gampaha under the Gamata Karmantha program in different districts, Secretary, Ministry of Industrial Development, R.V.D. Piyathilaka told Daily News Business. The infrastructure facilities developed in any industrial zone attracts investors to invest in the particular industrial zone. more..

Permanent Aussie Police presence in Colombo

Nov 6 (Island) As part of a strategy to stem the flow of illicit immigration from Sri Lanka, the Australian government now maintains a permanent police presence in Colombo to coordinate with Sri Lankan officials. Australian High Commissioner Kathy Klugman told The Island: "We are working closely with Sri Lanka." A forthcoming visit by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Special Envoy John McCarthy was evidence of increased cooperation between the two countries. more..

Govt. fears Opp. bid to disrupt essential services next week

Nov 6 (Island) Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena on Wednesday (Nov. 4) warned of an Opposition attempt to cripple essential services next week to coincide with the SLFP Convention at which President Mahinda Rajapaksa was likely to reveal his position on future elections. Minister Abeywardena called for public support to defeat the JVP spearheaded Opposition action expected to be launched on Tuesday. more..

President cancels tender granted for project

Nov 6 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said that the issue of e-nic (Electroni National Identity Card) will be delayed for years as the government had cancelled a tender granted for project. In a special statement in Parliament, MP Dissanayake said that the tender had been cancelled by the President on his own without considering the consequences that it would delay the process of issuing the new identity cards for several more years. more..

Reconciliation through Film

Nishantha Muthuhettigama arrested

Nov 6 (CP) Police have arrested Southern Provincial Councilor Nishantha Muthuhettigama, following an arrest warrant issued by the Galle magistrate's court. The arrest was made at Yakkalamulla, Galle this afternoon, police said. Chief magistrate Thamara Tennakoon has issued the arrest warrant after Mr. Muthuhettigama failed to appear before the court in connection with separate cases over two incidents during polls for the provincial council around a month ago. more..

Appeals Court judge recuses from case

Nov 6 (DM) Justice Upali Abeyratne, citing personal grounds, withdrew from hearing the appeals filed by three teachers of D. S. Senanayake College who had been convicted of inhuman assault of an underage student. When the appeals were taken up before the bench, comprising Justices Sisira de Abrew and Upali Abeyratne, yesterday, Senior State Counsel Rohantha Abeysuriya, who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General, was to continue his submissions. more..

WPC spends Rs.200,000 to get President in shape

Nov 6 (LT) While Rs.2300 million has been allocated from the Vote on Account passed in Parliament yesterday for the maintenance of the President, the Sports Ministry of the Western PC has taken measures to make available a set of fitness equipment to him spending nearly Rs.200,000. The Western PC has allocated only Rs.11 million as capital expenditure for development of sports in all three districts of Colombo, Kalutara and Gampaha. more..

Rattle and roll on the Lanka Challenge tuk-tuk race

Nov 6 (Telegraph) Night had well and truly set in by the time we reached the village of Dambana, 150 miles east of the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. With just a single flickering beam from our tuk-tuk – a motorised rickshaw – to guide us, we could barely make out the potholed road ahead. But for a few gaslights hanging from the corrugated shacks clustered along the forest edge, the village was cloaked in darkness. more..

UNHCR demining machines to arrive

Nov 6 (UNHCR) Some 90,000 IDPs have returned to their villages in Sri Lanka's north and east over the past three months, under the ongoing return plan of the Sri Lankan government. The majority returned to the districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. Small numbers have also gone back to the Polonnaruwa district. During the last two weeks alone, some 39,000 people have returned as part of the government's efforts to accelerate the process. more..

Sri Lanka to explore nuclear energy option

Nov 6 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Thursday joined several other nations in its quest to explore nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. A Cabinet meeting chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa approved a policy to consider nuclear power as an option to meet future energy demands of the island nation. A Government statement on the proceedings of the Cabinet said the government is expected to solicit technical cooporation from the International Automatic Energy Agency (IAEA) more..

Gotabhaya's arrival triggers lawyer protest

Nov 6 (LNP) Attorneys due to appear at the Mount Lavinia courts yesterday staged a protest by keeping away from courts for the alleged police interference, which prevented them from parking their vehicles within the court premises as Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was expected at the premises. The police had allegedly prevented the vehicles of these Attorneys from entering the court premises as Defence Secretary was to arrive for the defamation case more..

Sri Lanka boat people leader 'a known trafficker'

Nov 6 (AFP) The leader of a boat of Sri Lankan asylum seekers held in Indonesia is a known people smuggler previously deported from Canada, the government said Friday, a charge he has strongly denied. Alex, who emerged as the spokesman for the 255 Sri Lankans whose boat was detained last month en route to Australia, is Kulaendrarajah Sanjeev, a 28-year-old who worked out of a base in India, more..

Lanka's displaced return home - time to honour funding pledges says World Vision

Nov 7 (AN) World Vision Lanka on Friday appealed for urgent funding from donors who had previously pledged to support the return and resettlement process of IDPs in northern Sri Lanka as the long awaited move gathered pace. "We have been advocating for returns to happen as soon as possible and now that it is finally taking place, it is time for those who pledged to support the return to honour those commitments," more..

Book to reveal Lanka’s bloody past

Nov 7 (EB) With a view to giving a comprehensive insight in to the alleged massacres committed by the Sri Lankan government against the ethnic Tamil population on the island nation since 1956, Chennaibased human rights trust Manitham will soon publish the details compiled by a local NGO in a book and release it in six languages. Agni Subramaniam, executive director of Manitham said, “NESoHR painstakingly compiled all the details with credible field verifications and more..

Under a bridge, migrant workers in Saudi Arabia wait to get arrested

Nov 7 (AFP) But after four years of working as a maid in Saudi Arabia, she lacks both her passport and the exit permit that would allow her to return to the Philippines. So for three months Delacruz has lived on the pavement under a massive elevated eight-lane highway in central Jeddah, hoping to be rounded up by immigration police, then given documents and a ticket home. Around her maybe 1,000 other Asian men and women sit in darkness under the flyover in the bustling Red sea port. more..

Minister instructs officials to improve sanitary conditions in refugee camps

Nov 7 (Hindu) State Minister for Food E.V. Velu has instructed officials to improve the sanitary, drinking water facilities in all the three refugee camps in Krishnagiri district. He gave these instructions after inspecting the camps and hearing the grievances of the refugees residing in Pampar River, Pochampalli and Kelevarapalli Dam camps on Thursday. After inspecting fourteen camps in Tiruvannamalai district on Wednesday, more..

Jacqueline prefers Aishwarya over Katrina!

Nov 7 (HT) The Sri Lankan beauty queen who made her Bollywood debut with Big B starrer Aladin is fed up of comparisons with Katrina and says that she wants to follow in the footsteps of Aishwarya Rai not Katrina Kaif. Says Fernandez, "I have grown up watching Aishwarya make it big. The way she has handled her career is appreciable. She is the face of Indian cinema and a successful name in international arena," more..

Sri Lankan broadband users getting less: study

Nov 7 (LBO) Despite improving quality, Sri Lankan fixed and mobile broadband internet users receive less bandwidth than 'advertised', while web hosting costs are also higher than developed countries, a telecom study has revealed. "It's very clear that broadband speeds advertised by providers were more than what they could offer," Chanuka Wattegama, senior research manager at LIRNEasia said in Chennai, releasing the results of a study on South Asian broadband usage. more..

Sri Lankan group pushes for resolution of Oceanic Viking stand off

Nov 7 (ABC) Chanaka Bandarage is a Canberra based barrister, and a leading figure in the Sri Lanka Support Group in Australia. He was the moderator at a recent forum in the Australian capital, titled 'Sri Lanka after the war - building of a new nation' attended by Australian MPs and the Sri Lankan High Commissioner. MCCARTHY: Is it fair to say your group is a strong supporter of the Sri Lankan government? more..

397 war-hit Lankan schools to reopen

Nov 7 (EB) The Sri Lankan government is to reopen 397 schools in the Tamil-speaking war-affected northern province. Out of the 1,011 schools in the province, serving a student population of over 80,000, only 614 were functioning because of war and terrorism, the Minister of Education, Susil Premajayanth, told Parliament on Wednesday. The government had decided to spend SL Rs 200 million on school education in the north and reopen 397 schools, he said. more..