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From Here to Hanoi

Nov 8 (GV) Vietnam was the first country to be informed by Sri Lanka of its victory over the Tigers. It was from the on the record remarks of a top Vietnamese leader that I learned that. In their separate speeches of welcome, the President, Prime Minister and Secretary General of the ruling Communist party of Vietnam all congratulated the Sri Lankan President for “the country’s historic victory over the LTTE” and more..

Gotabhaya receives US query on violation of Human Rights

Nov 8 (TC) as a US citizen: Gotabhaya receives letter from US querying whether he as a US citizen was/is involved in any violation of Human Rights in any other country. Basil Rajapakse: US letter sent to Basil Rajapakse querying whether he as a US citizen was/is involved in any violation of Human Rights in any other country. Milinda Moragoda: US letter sent to Milinda Moragoda querying whether he as a US citizen was/is involved in any violation of Human Rights in any other country. more..

Send Oceanic Viking to Sri Lanka: Joyce

Nov 8 (AAP) An Australian customs ship holding 78 asylum seekers off Indonesia should be sent to Sri Lanka, where its passengers are from, Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce says. Australia has been trying for two weeks to persuade the group of ethnic Tamils to voluntarily disembark the Oceanic Viking and enter the Tanjung Pinang Detention Centre on the Indonesian island of Bintan. more..

Smith to go to Sri Lanka for asylum seeker talks

Nov 8 (AAP) Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith will visit Sri Lanka on Monday to discuss people smuggling. Mr Smith told reporters in Perth on Sunday that it would be the first official visit to Sri Lanka by an Australian foreign minister since 2003. He will arrive in Colombo on Monday. Two separate boatloads of Sri Lankan asylum seekers are refusing to disembark in Indonesia, and are instead insisting on being sent to Australia. more..

Sri Lankans using civil war as excuse to seek asylum, says envoy

Nov 8 (AAP) SRI Lankans are using civil war as an excuse to seek asylum abroad, the country's high commissioner to Australia says. Senaka Walgampaya said many Sri Lankan asylum seekers were actually "economic refugees" wanting a better life in Australia. "As far as we can see, all the people who are seeking asylum in Australia are seeking to come here for a better life," he told Channel 10. more..

Call for Anti-Conversion Bill renewed

Nov 8 (PSM) JHU this week requested Speaker to place the proposed Anti Convention Bill on the Parliamentary order paper soon. The JHU parliamentary group leader the Ven. Aturaliye Ratana Thera made this request in the House, consequent to death of two born Buddhists at a healing service conducted by a non Buddhist religious body at Viharamahadevi Park. The JHU said in Parliament yesterday that the faith healing services conducted by a certain religious sect would create problems with regard to religious harmony in the country. more..

Amaraweera reveals Basil’s conspiracy to sabotage united trade union action

Nov 8 (LT) The discussion held between Minister of Water Supply Mahinda Amaraweera and representatives of several pro-government trade unions at the ministry at Sethsiripaya on the 6th at 1.30 p.m. has not been successful say a reliable sources. The trade unions had opposed the decision of the minister to call only pro-government trade unions for the discussion saying it would create unrest among workers. more..

Action against importers of sub-standard drugs

Nov 8 (GDI) The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition will initiate stern action against importers of substandard drugs. Addressing the media recently, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said action has been taken to recover the cost of the discarded medicinal drugs following tests conducted at the quality control lab due to the complaints received. The costs will be recovered from the relevant companies so that the Government will not incur any losses. more..

School uniforms will now reach students

Nov 8 (GDI) The distribution of school uniforms for next year has commenced. The official ceremony at the Education Ministry was presided over by the Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth. School uniforms for students of all Government schools and Government assisted schools as well as robes for student monks of state approved Pirivenas are given annually by the Education Ministry. more..

DA Rjapaksa commemeration in Tangalle

Nov 8 (GDI) A function was held at the Tangalle Town Hall under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to mark the 42nd commemeration of late DA Rajapaksa yesterday. The President offered floral tributes to the D.A. Rajapaksa Statue located at the Tangalle town. First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Minister Chamal Rajapaksa, Ministers and other dignitaries were amongst those who offered floral tributes. more..

Premjayanth claims many educational issues resolved

Nov 8 (GDI) The Minister of Education Susil Premajayanth said the issues that prevailed in the educational administrative service have been solved. The Minister opined this at the presentation of appointment letters to the grade one officers of the educational administrative service. The Minister said that it is after the year 2000, promotions are being given for grade one in their administrative service. more..

'IMF pleased with SL development targets'

Nov 8 (GDI) Minister of Finance and State Revenue Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said that the acting President of the IMF has clearly stated that Sri Lanka has successfully exceeded the expected targets. It is the UNP which obtained credit facilities from the IMF in the nearest past in 2003 agreed to a large number of conditions although only the first installment of 70 million dollars could be obtained , he recalled. more..

President to address Expatriate Forum

Nov 8 (LP) The first post-war Sri Lankan Expatriate Forum under the theme “The first of many opportunities to stay connected with the Motherland” will be inaugurated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 14 at the Presidential Secretariat. Sri Lankan expatriates of all races from various parts of the world for the first time will participate in the forum which will focus on the extensive involvement of expatriate Sri Lankans in the post-war development activities in the island. more..

India to support Southern Railway project

Nov 8 (LP) The Government of India offers a supplementary line of credit of US$ 67.4 million for the rehabilitation of the Southern Colombo-Matara Railway Line. The line of credit had been requested by the Government of Sri Lanka to finance the second phase of work related to the rehabilitation of the Southern Railway Line. India had earlier provided a US$ 100 million line of credit to finance the first phase of rehabilitation work on the Southern Railway Line. more..

From the Himalayas to your doorstep

Nov 8 (ST) Suranga had just finished his morning workload when he heard the raucous cawing of a flock of crows. He looked to see what the commotion was all about. For a moment, he thought a rainbow had fallen from the sky. But it was only a multi-coloured bird which, fluttering weakly, landed near him. Gathering all its remaining strength, it tried to fly but ended up getting stuck in the nearby AC. more..

From the darkness of war to the light of education

Nov 8 (MoD) The fragrance of talcum powder enveloped the dusty, hot morning air. With big black 'pottus' small girls and boys, clad in clean uniforms and holding each other's hands were coming to school - a temporary school- with huts and tents. Rain or shine, they all attend school. 'Children of war', who cried and hid in fear and saw only sights of blood and flesh a few months ago, are slowly erasing their bitter memories. more..

Attracting tourists to Paradise Isle - Taking a lesson from Cyprus

Nov 8 (LP) Tourism takes pride of place in the income generating group in Sri Lanka, By nature, with abundant gifts of warm sea and beach round the island, lush green vegetation, green all year around, cool hilly slopes and plains, adequate rain and plenty of sunshine, and cool moonlit romantic nights, beautiful plants and flowers, fresh green vegetables, juicy sun kissed fruits of many varieties from the famous world’s best pineapples, more..

Lessons from Military strategies

Nov 8 (MoD) The word "Strategy" is a military term derives from the Greek word "stratagem" which means "art of the general". Being strategic means, one must know where he presently stands, and next one must know where he wants to be, and finally one must find ways how to get there. President & Commander in Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa and his team of defence officials headed by Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, provide a perfect example of being more..

We don’t support UNF – Tilvin Silva

Nov 8 (LT) The JVP has no connection with the United National Front (UNF) formed by the UNP and the JVP would not support this front in any manner said General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at a media briefing held today Mr. Silva said, “Anyone could create fronts. This is not a new front. It is a front of the UNP built on policies of the UNP. It does not agree with our policies. Hence, we don’t have any connection with the ‘United National Front.’ more..

Await political summersaults

Nov 8 (LT) Several representatives from the government and the opposition are to cross over to the other side in the near future say political sources. According to these sources the cross over would take place immediately after the forthcoming election is announced. Several ministers from the government are expected to cross over to the opposition. According to these sources among those who are to cross over from the government are more..

Hold presidential election if executive presidency cannot be abolished – JVP challenges President

Nov 8 (LT) The JVP has challenged the President to hold the presidential election immediately if he has no intention of abolishing executive presidency according to mandate he received at the last presidential election. The General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva made this challenge at a media meeting held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta today. more..

Jaffna still an open prison camp even 6 months after the war.

Nov 8 (LeN) Even after nearly six months since the war ended, the Jaffna peninsular which was liberated 16 years ago is till an open prison camp , according to the residents there. This was disclosed by the residents when the 25 Journalists visited the area after the war’s end. Their main grouse is that though the war has ended they have no freedom of travel. Regulations had been introduced whereby those who come to Jaffna by plane must go back to Colombo by plane. more..

'The so called ‘Royal' family has three Palaces'

Nov 8 (LeN) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesighe disclosed that, the Rajapkse Royal family is buiiding three Places at Deniyaya, Seeduwa Gampaha and Kirulapone, Colombo. The Rajapakses are striving hard to create a Rajapakse generation and nourish and enrich only themselves. The Rajapakses are claiming that they found Sri Lanka, they introduced Buddhism to the country, they defeated the ELaara King, they erected most number of Chaityas and they alone defeated Prabhakaran. more..

'West trying to sabotage sri Lanka's efforts'

Nov 8 (LNP) Education Minister Susil Premajayantha said Western countries resorted to various tactics and the Tamil Nadu state had launched massive protests and satyagraha movements to sabotage the Sri Lankan government s endeavour to find solutions to the national problem. He claimed the Western countries had not yet given up their attempt to interfere with the affairs of another country. more..

A Highway Stinking To High Heaven

Nov 8 (SL) Whether it is rehabilitating the local drain or for that matter building a six-lane superhighway a cry that more often than not accompanies such work in this country is that of corruption. It is indeed a sad indictment on the bribery authorities that when cries of corruption have reached fever pitch there is not even a whimper from the only authority tasked with probing such matters — the Bribery Commission. more..

Democracy Expended By Opposition?

Nov 8 (SL) By any standards – either in a democracy or within fascism even – 61 years is a long time to get things right. 61 years is how long Sri Lanka’s politicians have had to practise democracy, fine tuning things as they go along. The UNP is the party with the most experience – being the oldest political party on this island. One would safely expect then, that the politicians of this nation would know a thing or two about practising democratic values. more..

'Fonseka does not need to be a US citizen'

Nov 8 (SL) JVP MP K.D. Lalkantha says there are clear indications to show General Sarath Fonseka’s intention of entering politics. He rubbished the war crimes charges leveled against Sri Lanka by the US claiming them to be accusations leveled by the US for political benefit. Q: The JVP has spoken about presenting a war hero at the next presidential election raising speculation about the party backing General Fonseka. more..

From the frying pan into the fire?

Nov 8 (SL) The word on the street is that the dark horse of the island’srumour mill — Gen. Sarath Fonseka will indeed serve as the joint opposition’s candidate in the imminent but unannounced presidential election. Rumours of his candidacy seem to congeal out of the very ether of Colombo’s tropical nights and seep out the rain that has recently been soaking our capital. His travel plans are splashed on the front pages of every newspaper, and more..

CEB engineers not happy with proposed 25% pay hike

Nov 8 (LNP) A 25% salary increase to all categories of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) employees will be granted from January next year, Chairman E. A. S. K. Edirisinghe said. He said that CEB s engineers will also be entitled to this pay revision, but a decision on any possible upward adjustments to the Engineers Scale (known as the E-scale) will have to wait until the first quarter of 2010 as the government is not in a position to give anything more due to the economic situation. more..

When love and hate collide

Nov 8 (SL) Before November 1, it could be surmised that Gayan Rajapakse lived a fairly innocuous life — at least, one that did not necessitate his being thrust into the public eye. However when the youth was remanded by the Matale Magistrate’s Court that fateful day, a flurry of questions arose. The first, and most obvious, was “why?” Conflicting reports alternatively said Rajapakse was remanded for making offensive comments, or threatening the President and Secretary of Defence via the internet. more..

Government dismisses LTTE ‘poll’ attempt

Nov 8 (SO) Sri Lanka snubbed moves by LTTE remnants to hold a ‘poll’ in April next year to elect members to its so-called transitional Government, saying this was another futile attempt to revive the terror organisation. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama told the Sunday Observer that their declared government-in-exile was a myth and so is the move to hold a poll as announced on Thursday by the US based LTTE proxy Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran. more..

'Sri Lanka needs outside help'

Nov 8 (LNP) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama explains Sri Lanka's position on the boat people issue and the need for international cooperation to counter human trafficking. Q: Until recently Sri Lanka had been relatively quiet over the issue of Boat People reaching Australia and Canada? A: Sri Lankan nationals have to be identified initially in order to extend consular services. more..

Tax relief for those investing in North and East

Nov 8 (SO) Moves are in place to establish two Independent Trade Zones (ITZ) in Trincomalee and Kilinochchi Districts, Mass Media, Telecommunication and Investment Promotion Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said. He said the Government will grant tax relief for 15 years to those who invest in the North and East. After the ITZs are opened and the recruitment process launched, priority will be given to the residents of the Northern and Eastern Provinces. more..

Narrating a tale through the lens

Nov 8 (NS) The 37th Annual Photographic Exhibition of the National Photographic Art Society of Sri Lanka was showcased recently at the National Art Gallery. Founded in 1950 by the eminent photographer Wilson Hegoda, the Society had been rendering a yeoman service to the field of photography in Sri Lanka over half-a-century. The Nation salutes this charitable institution, committed to a national cause. more..

'Alimankada' (Road from Elephant Pass): Arduous road to realisation of humanity

Nov 8 (SO) After ten years of silence, veteran film producer and Director Chandran Rutnam has re-emerged with his latest movie Alimankada (Road From Elephant Pass) depicting a saga of the thirty year war. This film now shown at Regal cinema portrays a story of the nation breathing fresh air after the ending of a bloody war that ravaged the country. more..

Analog Forestry to preserve natural habitats

Nov 8 (SO) After the wake-up call of climate change sweeping across the world like a tsunami-hit fever, people are now realizing the consequences of their actions. No more cutting down trees or polluting the environment since they can bring deadly natural disasters directly triggered off by our own actions. There might not even be a tomorrow for our children if this pattern continues. more..

Massive Iranian credits begin to flow

Nov 8 (NS) Iran has proved once again, like a handful of other countries mostly in the East, in being a true friend in need of Sri Lanka by agreeing to several amended funding schemes this week to get a number of urgently needed projects here off the ground. Power and Energy Ministry Secretary M.M.C. Ferdinando who led a three-member delegation to Teheran last Sunday returned with the good news on Tuesday unknown to most Sri Lankans. more..

Eastern CM drops opposition to Trinco tourism zone

Nov 8 (NS) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesaturai Chandrakanthan, who had earlier protested over the central government alienating lands in Trincomalee for a new tourism zone, had been more welcome of the project on Friday when top officials, including Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael apprised him of the entire scheme expected to pump in billions to the region. more..

All for one and one for all

Nov 8 (NS) This week saw the ‘birth’ of the UNA, a coalition of opposition political parties, brought together by the necessity of challenging the ruling UPFA at the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. The UNA has been some time in the making, mooted by its chief proponent Mangala Samaraweera, leader of the SLFP ‘Mahajana’ faction who has soldiered on with this concept of an alliance even in the face of considerable opposition from stalwarts of the UNP itself. more..

Charismatic and visionary leader from Ruhuna

Nov 8 (SO) It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I write this commemorative article on the late D.A. Rajapaksa, one of the greatest sons of Ruhunu-Giruwa-Magam Pattuwa, coinciding with his 42nd death anniversary that was memorialised on 7th November 2009. I consider, I am uniquely eligible to write about this gentleman politician for many reasons. Firstly, I too was born and bred in Ruhunu-Giruwa-Magam Pattuwa, more..