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Mangala blasts govt. for inviting ruthless military leader Shwe

Nov 13 (DM) SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera criticized the government for arranging a visit by Myanmar junta leader Than Shwe and described him as one of the most ruthless anti democratic leaders scorned by the world community. He said that since 1989 Mr. Shwe had stifled democratic governance in Myanmar by depriving the popularly elected opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi of being involved in the country’s politics and continuing to keep her under house arrest. more..

wijedasa sues Silumina for Rs. 500 million

Nov 13 (DM) Parliamentarian Wijedasa Rajapaksa who also served as a former Managing Director of Lake House, yesterday filed a defamation case against the State-run Sunday Silumina and its editor claiming Rs.500 millions as damages. Mr. Rajapakse cited the ANCL and Silumina Editor Karunadasa Suriyarachchi as respondents and said the newspaper had published on November 18, 2007 an article which defamed and damaged his reputation and goodwill. more..

'Sri Lanka says can achieve 7 pct IMF deficit target'

Nov 13 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will be able to achieve the budget deficit target of 7 percent set by IMF due to savings from declining interest rates and growth in revenue, the central bank governor said on Friday. The IMF on Monday cautioned about risks over Sri Lanka's high budget deficit due to stagnant revenue and increased government spending, after it approved a $329.4 million second tranche of a $2.6 billion loan on Friday. more..

Untangling the knotty issue of human smuggling

Nov 13 (IPS) It is a story that spans three islands, across the breadth of the Indian Ocean. That is, of hundreds of boat people sailing the rough seas in unseaworthy vessels, risking life and limb in their desperate attempt at a new lease of life. Their journey begins from Sri Lanka, only to switch boats in Indonesia and use the South-east Asian country as staging point to their target final destination—Australia. more..

Myanmar junta leader suffers stomach bug in Sri Lanka: doctor

Nov 13 (AFP) MYANMAR junta leader General Than Shwe was treated for a mild stomach bug hours after his arrival in Sri Lanka, a doctor from the hospital that treated him said Friday. The reclusive junta leader complained of discomfort after his entourage had checked into a deluxe hotel in the central Buddhist pilgrim city of Kandy on Thursday, the doctor from the state-run Kandy Hospital said. more..

Numbed: An exhibition by Bandu Manamperi

Sri Lanka ‘yet to win the peace’: Sarath Fonseka

Nov 13 (Hindu) Among the 16 reasons cited by Sri Lanka Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka in his letter, seeking pre-mature retirement from the military with effect from December 1, to President Mahinda Rajapaksa include Government loss of faith in him and request by Colombo to New Delhi on October 15 to place its troops on alert to counter a possible coup by a section of the military. more..

Read Fonseka’s resignation letter

Nov 13 (LG) Here full text of the resignation letter from the General Sarath Fonseka: 1. I, General G S C Fonseka RWP RSP VSV USP rcds psc presently serving as the Chief of Defence Staff, was enlisted to the Ceylon Army on 05th Feb 1970 and was commissioned on the 01st June 1971. On the 6th Dec 2005 due to the trust and confident placed on me, Your Excellency was kind enough to promote me to the rank of Lieutenant General and appoint me as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army in an era when more..

Coup fears led to crisis: Sri Lanka's top general

Nov 13 (AFP) Sri Lanka's government sidelined top general Sarath Fonseka because of fears he would launch a coup, he wrote in a bitter resignation letter ahead of an expected election battle with the president. The letter, seen by AFP on Friday, criticises the government for a host of failings, including its inability to "win the peace" after the end of a 37-year separatist war here in May. more..

Political settlement 'very important' in Sri Lanka: Minister

Nov 14 (IANS) Now that the Tamil Tigers have been defeated, it is 'very important' to have a political settlement to end Tamil grievances, a senior Sri Lankan minister said here. Home Affairs and Public Administration Minister Sarath Amunagama also said in an interview that Sri Lanka considered itself 'closest to India' despite the huge support extended by Pakistan and China to the war against the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka hospital ends deal with India's Apollo

Nov 14 (LBO) The Lanka Hospitals Corporation, which owns Apollo hospital, said it will end its deal with India's Apollo Hospitals Enterprises next week. The company said in a stock exchange filing that its licensing and support services agreement with Apollo Hospitals Enterprises expires on November 16. The hospital will stop using the Apollo brand name and logo and will be renamed Lanka Hospitals, the statement said. more..

Sri Lanka IP laws seen too weak for agricultural innovation

Nov 14 (LBO) Intellectual property protection in Sri Lanka is still to weak to encourage companies to do research and develop new crop varieties with better yields, an agri-business company official said. "IP rights laws do not have provision to register agricultural innovations," said Samantha Ranatunga, chief executive of the listed Chemical Industries (Colombo). "This needs to be rectified on a priority basis because more..

Pull factors are a potent drawcard

Nov 14 (TA) Their claims of oppression do not sound convincing. For one, it would have been much more expedient to cross the 35km of sea to India if they were really fleeing oppression in Sri Lanka, as many did in the 1980s, yet they chose to travel thousands of kilometres to Australia and even further to Canada. On the way they avoided other possible lands of refuge such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore. They insist on disembarking in Australia. One must wonder why. more..

Sri Lanka fetes Myanmar junta leader

Nov 14 (AFP) Dozens of dancers, drummers and three elephants greeted Myanmar's reclusive junta leader as the elderly general began a pilgrimage in Sri Lanka Friday on a rare foreign outing. Schoolchildren cheered and waved paper flags of both countries and passers-by took pictures as the visiting leader's motorcade slowly drove through the narrow streets of the central Buddhist pilgrimage city of Kandy. more..

Indian forces were put on high alert on Lanka's fear of army coup

Nov 14 (HT) The Indian armed forces were put on high alert in the middle of October after a worried Colombo fearing a coup by the Sri Lankan army contacted New Delhi and requested the Indian government to prevent a military takeover. On the night of October 15, top Lankan politicians and bureaucrats got in touch with New Delhi through the Indian High Commission in Colombo and conveyed their apprehensions and request for help. more..

Sri Lanka refugees leave Australian ship

Nov 14 (Reuters) A group of 22 Sri Lankan asylum seekers left an Australian customs ship to come ashore in Indonesia Friday, police said, partially easing a standoff which began last month. The group, who were among a total of 78 ethnic Tamils on the Oceanic Viking anchored off Bintan island near Singapore, left by ferry for immigration detention, local police intelligence chief Zainal Arifin told AFP. more..

A testing time for Tamil refugees

Nov 14 (SMH) Sri Lanka is in the middle of an ambitious social experiment that began as its 26-year civil war ended in May. As the resistance of the Tamil Tiger rebels crumbled, Tamil civilians caught up in the war crossed into Government-held territory in vast numbers. The military moved most of them to a camp at Manik Farm, near Vavuniya, in the north. By the time the conflict reached its bloody conclusion about 280,000 people had been taken to Manik Farm. more..

Why Lankan war hero Fonseka and Rajapaksa broke up

Nov 14 (Rediff) Sri Lankans now know why their highly-respected war hero wants to quit his top military post and serve the people in some other capacity, possibly as their next President. According to a leaked version of what is said to be General Sarath Fonseka's retirement letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, it all boils down to the government's fears of a military coup and its mistrust of Sri Lanka's first and only serving four-star general. more..

Lanka manager rues missed practice match due to Mumbai rains

Nov 14 (PTI) The visiting Sri Lanka cricket team, robbed of precious two days' match practice against the Board President's XI due to inclement weather, are not keen to play the third-day tomorrow as a one-dayer before going into the Test series commencing from November 16. "We are going into a Test series. The frame of mind is different for the two forms. One-dayers are not ideal preparation before Tests," more..

No terror threats for Lankan team in Ahmedabad

Nov 14 (PTI) Gujarat police said there is no specific threat of a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team which will be coming here tomorrow to play the first Test of a three-match series against India starting November 16. "There is no intelligence input of terrorist a threat to Sri Lankan team in Ahmedabad," the district Range Inspector General Ashish Bhatia said. Joint Commissioner of Police Satish Sharma reiterated the findings. more..

UN 'perplexed' by Lanka reluctance

Nov 14 (BBC) A top UN envoy says he is "perplexed" by Sri Lankan government's reluctant to allow him for a fact finding mission despite unofficially agreeing for the visit months ago. Frank La Rue, the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression told the BBC that he has been making the request unofficially since March this year and sent an official letter seeking permission to visit Sri Lanka in August or September. more..

Pranab to leave for Lanka via Chennai

Nov 14 (NT) The beginning of 2009 saw the visit of Pranab Mukherjee to Sri Lanka when the ethnic war in the island nation was at a fever pitch. Tomorrow he is set to leave for the neighbouring country again, on a two-day visit. This 10-month gap has witnessed a sea of change both in the geography of Sri Lanka and the history of Pranab, as the war in the island has come to an end and the seasoned politician has been made the Union Finance Minister after the Lok Sabha elections. more..

Dictators and death threats in Sri Lanka

Nov 14 (UPI) This week, Burma’s head of state and military dictator Senior General Than Shwe visited Sri Lanka. He is an unwelcome visitor to many parts of the world due to the complete destruction of democracy in his country, but his welcome by the Rajapakse regime comes as no surprise. Politically speaking, the closest that the Sri Lankan model of governance is coming to is Burma. At one time, Sri Lankans would have been proud to claim Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s longstanding political prisoner fighting for her country’s democracy, as their own. more..

Brandix among Lankan companies lauded at international forum

Nov 14 (F2F) Top apparel exporter Brandix was among Sri Lankan companies cited as examples of good CSR practice and compliance with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) at a prestigious international forum earlier this month, at which Sri Lanka was conferred with an important accolade. The company’s Green Factory at Seeduwa, an international benchmark for eco-friendly manufacture, was more..

Highland milk owder prices slashed

Nov 14 (GDI) Prices of ‘Highland’ milk powder hves been reduced with effect from midnight today (13), Minister of Livestock, C.B. Ratnayake announced at a media briefing held in Colombo today. Accordingly the new retail price of a 400g full cream milk power packet will be Rs. 210. The earlier price of the same was Rs. 230. The revised price of a 400g Non-Fat milk poweder packet will be Rs. 250 which was Rs. 275 earlier. more..

Sri Lanka protest at Burma visit

Nov 14 (BBC) There has been a demonstration in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, against the visit of the Burmese head of state, General Than Shwe. Burmese monks living in Sri Lanka have also protested against the visit. The general is on his first overseas trip for five years, and this is the first visit to the island by a Burmese leader for more than 40 years. Sri Lanka and Burma have religious and cultural ties going back centuries. Many Burmese monks study in Sri Lanka. more..

Debrief News - 13.11.2009

India and Sri Lanka to collaborate to create environment for productive employment

Nov 14 (AT) The right time for us to learn from a globally recognized labour institute has come, especially an institute in the region. Most of the labour issues between Sri Lanka and India have similarities. Since Sri Lanka labour institute is in an infant stage, it could gain in many ways and enhance its capacities to support formulation and implementation of labour policies in the country, said Minister of more..

Sri Lanka is a tiny bit of paradise

Nov 14 (CW) "Serendip," Arab traders called Sri Lanka ages ago, the "Island of Gems." From this our word "serendipity" is derived, the gift of finding unexpected but beautiful things. This often happened to us in Sri Lanka, for it was once aptly named "The Island of the Blessed," the earthly paradise given to Adam and Eve after they were turfed out of Eden because of that unfortunate affair with the apple. more..

Q&A: Sri Lanka's top general mulls presidential bid

Nov 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's president Friday accepted General Sarath Fonseka's resignation, which frees up the veteran soldier to run for president after playing a decisive role in defeating the Tamil Tigers in May. Here are some questions and answers about Fonseka: WHO IS SARATH FONSEKA? A soldier since 1970, Fonseka was the army commander who spearheaded victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels, a group he had fought for most of his career as an infantryman. more..

Attack to UNF Motorcade at Horagolla

Nov 14 (LT) The motorcade organized by the United National Front left for Kandy this morning from Colombo. The leaders and the supporters of UNP, SLMC and SLFP (M) were in this motorcade. At Bandaranayake Samadhi in Horagolla, some persons had created a disturbance and hurled stones at the participants. Three persons including Hiru FM media personnel Chanuka Karunaratne were injured by this attack. more..

Sri Lanka opens IDP camps to media

Half of war displaced civilians resettled

Nov 14 (Xinhua) The government said that about one half of the 280,000 civilians displaced by the final battles between the government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels early this year have been resettled. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters that 143,161 Internally Displaced Civilians still remain in camps. He said 132,748 IDPs are being accommodated at welfare camps in the northern Vavuniya district, 3,373 in Jaffna, 970 in Mannar, 2,970 in Trincomallee and 3,100 in hospitals. more..

Provide NGO access to areas of new resettlement

Nov 14 (NPC) In response to strong pressures, both internationally and from within, the Government of Sri Lanka is currently relocating large numbers of the civilians who were until recently being detained in camps. At least 280,000 persons who were displaced during the last stages of the war, were confined to welfare centres from which they were not permitted to leave. The speeding up of resettlement is a welcome move since more..

Sri Lanka’s latest conflict: A clash of the Titans, or is it?

Nov 14 (AT) General Sarath Fonseka has finally set in motion his ambition to contest the Presidency of Sri Lanka. His announcement will most likely come after the 1st of December when he formally retires from service and hands over his uniform. Things to come were evident when he was seen in national attire when he visited the Kelaniya Rajamahaviharaya. General Fonseka’s resignation letter and his 16 conditions for retirement are now public knowledge as more..

Significant new sandakadapahana recovered from Anuradhapura

Nov 14 (LP) A new sandakadapahana or moonstone has been recovered from the ancient Anuradhapura city. Sandakadapahana is a unique stepping stone with artistic carvings on it and it was widely used at the entrances of the shrines in Anuradhapura era that spans up to 10the century AD. However, the recovery had been made spontaneously as a base pit was dug to build a shrine near the ancient Sri Maha Bodhiya, more..

President attends D.A. Rajapakse commemoration oration at BMICH

Nov 14 (IL) The four sons - including President Mahinda Rajapaksa- of late Parliamentarian attended the 42nd D.A. Rajapakse commemoration oration which was held at BMICH on Wedensday (evening) 11th of November. The key note speech was delivered by Dr. Karu Hangawatta, who is a Professor of the Department of Criminal Justice of the Nevada University of Las Wages in the USA. more..

How Sri Lanka's World Cup venues were chosen

Nov 14 (CI) When the schedule for the 2011 World Cup was announced last Monday, eyebrows were raised about two of the venues in Sri Lanka that were allotted matches. The venues in question were Hambantota in the South and Pallakele in the Central Province. The third venue was, as expected, the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. How did the two new venues get the nod ahead of such renowned stadiums as Galle, Asgiriya, Dambulla and SSC? more..

Indian fishermen seek meeting with counterparts in Sri Lanka

Nov 14 (Hindu) Fishermen of seven coastal districts have asked the State, Centre and Sri Lankan government to facilitate a meeting of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and the island nation to discuss and decide on their fishing rights in Palk Strait, Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Mannar. Coming together under the banner of Joint Action Council (JAC) against Violations of Fishermen’s Rights, the fishermen have organised a public hearing on their sufferings, more..

General Fonseka resigns: What next?

Nov 14 (LG) Yesterday it was reported, a group of people organized by Marvin Silva had blocked the gate of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara and and shouted on a international trap while Gen. Fonseka was engaged in religious ceremony at the temple. Marvin Silvas’ people had tried to create a clash with the security personnel of Gen. Fonseka when he was about to leave. It is un-dispute fact that Marvin Silva voluntarily not committed with such but provoked by one of Rajapakshas. more..