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Italy to spearhead a damage-control act to urge EU to review the GSP + suspension

Nov 7 (AT) Italian Foreign Minister moved by the presentation made by the inter-religious delegation has come forward to initiate a damage control act to urge the European Union to review Lanka’s GSP + decision of suspension. ‘I will take the case of the GSP+ suspension to the other EU member states, provided you give us the information regarding the negative impact of the suspension on women, children and the IDPs in Sri Lanka’ more..

Alex is Kulaendrarajah Sanjeev belonged to 'Kannan Gang of Canada'

Nov 7 (AT) Alex - the spokesman of the suspected 255 illegal Sri Lankan migrants in Merak, Banten Province, Indonesia is none other than Kulaendrarajah Sanjeev, who once belonged to ‘Kannan Gang’ involved in street fights and was deported from Canada in 2003, after being arrested for trouble making. This information was revealed to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. more..

Young girl raped by unofficial magistrate

Nov 7 (LT) On a complaint received by Child Protection Authority its officers have taken into custody a former unofficial magistrate of Matara and lawyer Wilson Jayawardene for raping a 15 year old girl of a Tamil family employed in his estate. A complaint had also been received by Matara Police regarding this lawyer for an incident that had caused a furore but later swept under the carpet. Despite there was information of abuse of young girls by this person many feared to make any complaint as he was a lawyer. more..

Swimming pool in Sinharaja Forest!

Nov 7 (LT) A threat to the environment of the Sinaharaja Forest exists as a result of construction of a holiday resort with a swimming pool and a potatoes plantation in the area say reports. In constructing the holiday resort closer to Suriyakande – Rakwana road about half an acre of virgin forest has been cleared and the swimming pool has been already built say these reports. Several water ways have been blocked to get water to the swimming pool. more..

Army Commander cuts General’s security

Nov 7 (LT) The Army intelligence officers attached to Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s security have been withdrawn with immediate effect on the orders of Army Commander Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya. According to a reliable source this order has been made in writing by the Army Commander. According to reports the Army Commander has made the order to Intelligence chief Amal Karunaratne in writing today. more..

Choksy`s Words of wisdom

Nov 7 (LNP) It is rarely that politicians act according to their conscience. Most of them are in fact devoid of the voice of conscience. They allow themselves to be put in the straitjacket of party discipline and meekly choose to echo their leaders' voices for fear of reprisals in case of expressing dissent, which is usually mistaken for defiance and often severely dealt with. This kind of enforced uniformity of opinion has been gnawing away at the country's democracy and more..

Counter protest against striking unions

Nov 7 (DN) Representatives of some trade unions who met Western Province Governor and Trade Union Federation Convenor Alavi Mowlana at his office yesterday decided to stage a protest campaign against the proposed trade union action to be launched by anti-government elements. The protest campaign, organized under the theme 'Defeat all Conspiracies and March Forward with the President' will be held opposite the Colombo Fort Railway Station on Nov 10 more..

'Luxury bus services have collapsed'

Nov 7 (DM) Transport Minister Dulles Alahapperuma told parliament yesterday that the luxury or air conditioned bus services had collapsed today due to certain restrictions imposed on it. As a result, the Minister said the government decided to revoke the relevant regulation to relax these restrictions. “Earlier, only 40-seater buses were allowed to operate in the luxury service. We are now going to relax this restriction in the greater interest of these bus operators. more..

Importance of technology for development

Nov 7 (DN) I sincerely appreciate the pleasure to be the guest of honour at the convocation ceremony of SLIATE, the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education. I wish to thank institute Director General Kamal Pathmasiri, for his kind invitation, for me to be here and to address you at this convocation. Special thanks go to Higher Education Minister Professor Wiswa Warnapala, under whose guidance the activities of SLIATE are conducted. more..

SLIIT wins international competition

Nov 7 (DN) The Sri Lankan team from the Sri Lanka Institute of Technology (SLIIT), became the first runner up in the Asia Pacific NetRiders Skills Competition 2009 held recently beating 15 countries across the Asia Pacific region over Tele Presence and Webex. Sri Lanka competed with countries such as Australia, Hong Kong, China, India, Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore, to win this competition. more..

As war had ended, sell the armaments – UNP

Nov 7 (Island) The UNP yesterday demanded that the government sell off the armaments, including artillery pieces, and guns, multi barrel rocket launches, fighting craft like, MIG 275 and other military hardware, to a country where there is a war so that the government could earn some money. UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne, participating in the Emergency Debate, said that the military hardware was no longer of use to his country. more..

'Suspect had illicit affair with garment employee'

Nov 7 (DM) Colombo Additional Magistrate G. Prahasha S. Ranasinghe ordered the Colombo JMO to hold a post mortem examination into the foetus that was recovered from a bedside cupboard in ward 5 of the Castle Street Hospital for Women on November 1. The Magistrate made this order as a sequel to a request made by the Avissawella Magistrate after it was discovered that the recovered foetus was allegedly taken from a residence at Padukka after an abortion. more..

Govt. exceeds projected expenditure by Rs. 77 billion

Nov 7 (DM) The Government has gone above the projected state expenditure in the 2009 budget by more than Rs.77 billion by way of 23 supplementary estimates presented to the House in the first ten months of 2009. A document tabled in Parliament by minister Dinesh Gunawardena revealed that 23 supplementary estimates to the value of Rs. 77,006,003,938/= had been presented to the House as at 9th October this year. more..

'Govt. not scared of any common candidate'

Nov 7 (Island) The government will not fear any common candidate proposed by the opposition for the next presidential election, Minister of Power Mahindananda Aluthgamage told Parliament yesterday, during the emergency debate, Minister Aluthgamage said that no common candidate would be able to defeat President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka is a war hero who achieved government’s target of defeating the LTTE military and more..

Vimal mum on Nandana

Nov 7 (Island) NFF leader and former JVP firebrand Vimal Weerawansa yesterday refused to comment on the resignation of his colleague Tourism Minister Nandana Gunatillake. NFF Media Secretary Mohamed Muzamil said the party regretted Gunatillake’s leaving but wished him well in his future endeavours. "We are a democratic party and one has the right to leave the party or join and we will not squabble over matters such as this. Anyone can join us at any time," more..

Price slash on three essentials

Nov 7 (DN) The Government has taken action to reduce the prices of three main essential food items, dhal, sugar and canned fish, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. Accordingly prices of sugar was reduced by Rs. 20.50, red dhal by Rs. 50 per kilogram and canned fish by Rs. 81 per can. The present price of sugar is Rs. 89.50, dhal Rs. 180 and canned fish Rs. 149, he told a press conference at his Ministry yesterday. more..

Underworld leader shot dead by police in Kurunegala

Nov 7 (DM) An underworld leader, who was under police custody as a suspect for a dual murder in Kurunegala was shot dead by the police while he allegedly attempted to strangle the driver of a police vehicle he was being transported in, the police said. The suspect was being taken to identify several suspects in the Ganewatha area, when the suspect tried to strangle the police driver with his handcuffs, resulting in him being shot by the police to save the officer. more..

WPC erupts over body building equipment to PSD

Nov 7 (Island) The JVP and the UPFA yesterday clashed at the budget debate of the Western Provincial Council over allocation of funds to procure a set of body building equipment for Temple Trees. Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, JVP member of the WPC, said that of Rs.11 million allocated for development and promotion of sports in the entire province, Rs. 180,000 had been spent on body building equipment. more..

Sama stupa to be built at expense of artifacts – JVP

Nov 7 (Island) The JVP yesterday charged in Parliament that the Government is building a massive stupa in the sacred city of Anuradhapura digging up places of archaeological importance without giving any consideration that this would result in losing some of the artifacts forever. JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had laid a foundation stone for the construction of the first Sama Maha Chetiya several weeks ago in more..

Sarasota couple jailed in Sri Lanka asks for quick return to U.S.

Nov 7 (HT) Locked up in "the most filthy and unsafe conditions" alongside Sri Lankan "murderers and heroin dealers," former Sarasota hostess Marian Morgan still manages to keep up with her correspondence. Within the past two weeks, she wrote to a federal judge in Tampa explaining why she and husband, John Morgan, are not flight risks, though they did inadvertently leave the country just prior to a contempt of court hearing in July. more..

‘Gen Fonseka’s security not curtailed’

Nov 7 (DM) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake yesterday scotched speculation that the security contingent of Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka had been slashed by the government. Responding to a question by Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera the Premier said there were reports about the removal of Sinha Regiment soldiers from the security squad of Gen. Fonseka. more..

'Normal' in Sri Lanka is not good enough

Nov 7 (NP) Normal in Sri Lanka means journalists who dare to speak out about abuses by the Sri Lankan government are forced into exile or brutally murdered, like Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge. Normal are the death threats made against human rights defenders like Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, the executive director for the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a non-partisan public policy institute focusing on issues of democratic governance, human rights and peace. more..

Sri Lanka’s stamp for man’s best friend

Nov 7 (Hindu) The Postal Department of Sri Lanka made history in the issue of stamps, with its latest stamp issued on Thursday to mark the policy of using humane methods for rabies eradication and dog population control. The 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, more..

Sri Lankan accusations 'a joke' - Alex

Nov 7 (AAP) The spokesman for almost 250 Tamil asylum seekers refusing to leave their rickety boat in Indonesia says Sri Lankan government allegations that he is a people smuggler are "a joke". The bearded 27-year-old who Australians know as Alex says the accusations are a desperate attempt by the Sri Lankan government to deflect attention from the Tamils' plight. "That's a joke that the government is trying to play on me, to discredit me and make me look like a bad person," more..

Colombo’s diplomatic sparring games with EU, U.S.

Nov 7 (IPS) One thing that has set apart the current administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa from those of his predecessors is its diplomatic duals with international heavyweights. While battling the LTTE, the government took criticism of its conduct of the war and other rights violations by western nations in international fora head-on, and on more than one occasion came out a winner. It has successfully fended off scrutiny at United Nation bodies like the Security Council and the U.N. Human Rights Council more..

France asks Sri Lanka to end emergency, probe war crimes

Nov 8 (AFP) A top French envoy Saturday asked Sri Lanka to end its state of emergency and probe war crimes ahead of a key European Union ruling on trade concessions to the troubled island. Ambassador for Human Rights, Francois Zimeray, said he hoped Colombo will signal the ending of its war with Tamil rebels in May by withdrawing emergency laws which allowed the detention of suspects for long periods without trial. more..

Looming dark clouds

Nov 8 (LG) The conference held at Vihara Mahadevi Park was claimed to be a success. Large number of workplace leaders from CEB, petroleum, harbour, and railways attended the conference. Though dominated by the JVP shop stewards, work place leaders belonging to SLFP, LSSP, UNP and the Left attended with enthusiasm. According to Priyantha Wickremesinghe, CEB leader loyal to the Left Front and one of the speakers at the conference, nearly 1500 attended the meeting. more..

Lt.Gen Sarath Fonseka may resign his Chief of Defence Staff post

Nov 8 (TC) Lt.Gen Sarath Fonseka may resign his Chief of Defence Staff post on or after November 10th and declare intention to contest future elections. Meet the press: Sarath Fonseka whisked away in helicopter to Army grounds without being allowed to meet press when he arrived in KIA at 4.35 am on Nov 5th. Put on plane: Sarath Fonseka put on plane to Dubai by SL envoy to Washington Jaliya Wickramasuriya. more..

'Opposition cashing in on Fonseka’s popularity'

Nov 8 (Hindu) A Minister in the government told Parliament that though the government did not fear any common candidate proposed by the opposition for the next presidential election, it hoped that Chief of Defence Staff Sarath Fonseka would not fall into the opposition trap. It is for the first time that the government has talked so openly about the prospect of General Fonseka taking on President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the next presidential ballot. more..

Pillaiyan’s fate is in the hands of Defense Secretary

Nov 8 (LG) Sri Lanka Guardian recently brought to the attention of the public that a bloody ‘coup d'état’ is planned by the Defense Ministry to oust the present Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pilliyan from the Eastern Provincial Council and install his rival Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman in his place. Following this revelation ‘A civilian and two Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers were killed on 27 October 2009 in the Kurunegala district more..

Returning to Buddhagaya

Nov 8 (LG) When I got an urgent request from the Chief Priest of the Buddhagaya Vihare, Ven. P Seevali Thero, asking me to renovate the gold plated fence around the sacred Bo Tree, I immediately thought of a request I received from the man who built that gold plated fence - President Ranasinghe Premadasa. Going to India on pilgrimage once a year, has been a habit of mine for along time. In 1992 I was planning to ‘make this usual private visit when Mr. Premadasa rang me. more..

Fantasizing Indian Intervention

Nov 8 (AT) The SL Rumour Mill Consolidation, the common candidate of the LTTE, is close to packing up as its allies are no longer amongst the living. It didn’t prevent it from making its last burst, stinking or not, smelly enough to repulsive. It tried on successive Sundays to panic the citizens with craftily presented scenarios of an Indian intervention. It wasn’t many moons ago that India was its bete noire when the LTTE were gasping and more..

U.S. Moves to ‘stump’ Sri Lanka on human rights goes through Sarath Fonseka

Nov 8 (AT) If it were an ordinary, harmless interview why couldn’t Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka, who was on an official-personal visit to the United States, ignore the request of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and leave for Sri Lanka without getting Sri Lanka embassy in Washington to request the State Department to get clearance from Immigration and Custom Enforcement of the DHS? more..

Wanted: Experienced Gem Miners

Nov 8 (SL) Residents in the vicinity of Nuwara Eliya have discovered gems in the silt of of Lake Gregory and the Gem and Jewellery Authority has decided to cash in. On October 26 the Gem and Jewellery Authority ran an advertisement in the Divaina newspaper asking for private parties willing to mechanically dredge gems from Lake Gregory. Required qualifications include the possession of large-scale mining machines, the ability to start work immediately, more..

The Rajapaksa Saga

Nov 8 (SL) It is a great honour and privilege to write about a great man instrumental in changing the destiny of fellow citizens at a time when a change was badly needed for the nation. He laid the foundation of success for the nation slowly and steadily, setting an example to the children in the family for what they are today and brethren in the area to be patriotic, honest agriculturists on whom he believed that the nation should depend on for a better future and prosperity. more..

Hell hath no fury like an exposed Minister?

Nov 8 (LB) Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has wielded the whip against Trade Union leaders who exposed the shortcomings of the Minister as well as the existence of substandard and contaminated drugs in government hospitals. Vaccines with pieces of glasses, corroded surgery equipment, saline with hair are among the below par equipment and drugs found. more..

Game on

Nov 8 (LB) No doubt the country’s attention was briefly riveted last week to the moves by US Homeland Security to quiz Sarath Fonseka, Chief of Defence Staff, apparently over issues related to Sri Lanka’s successful war against the LTTE. As is now known, General Fonseka returned to Sri Lanka without subjecting himself to this so called “voluntary inquiry", and the government of Sri Lanka made it clear that it was the government that had arranged for him to get back. more..

Presidential nomination deadline strategic

Nov 8 (LB) With the possible announcement of Presidential election on November 15th by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the SLFP convention, leaders of political parties (opposition and the government) are in a tug o’ war to win members from respective opposing camps. Meanwhile, lengthy discussions have been held among top government rankers to call nominations for the presidential election in November (possibly November 19th) and more..

'Fonseka should have called me immediately'

Nov 8 (LB) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Washington Jaliya Wickramasuriya last week said in an e-mail interview that he wished General Fonseka had told him earlier about the Department of Homeland Security seeking to interview him. Excerpts: Q: Do you think Gen Sarath Fonseka should have informed you earlier about the Department of Homeland Security requesting a voluntary statement from him? more..

Even “media can be bought for arrack’’ Mangala can change

Nov 8 (LB) The Platform for Freedom - a movement comprising of media personalities, civil society leaders, trade unionists and political leaders, is promising to usher in an environment in which the masses right to life sans fear is ensured , whichever the government in power. In an interview with LAKBIMAnEWS, its co-convener, attorney-at-law Sudarshana Gunawardena, said that the Platform for Freedom is not a non-governmental organization but an independent movement, more..