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Meeting to discuss problems of Tamils lodged in camps in TN

Nov 2 (PTI) Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi today said he has convened a meeting of ministers and government officials here tomorrow to discuss the status of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees lodged in camps in the state. In a statement, he said an article published in a leading weekly with photographic evidence had brought to his notice the plight of Lankan Tamil refugees living in the state. more..

ACTU to call for Tamils to be brought to Christmas Island

Nov 2 (TA) The union movement will today demand Kevin Rudd adopt a softer approach to asylum-seekers and allow 78 people in limbo on board the Oceanic Viking to enter Australia for processing. Unions that contribute millions of dollars to the ALP's election war chest through membership fees will urge Mr Rudd to end the standoff by ordering the Customs vessel to head for Christmas Island to process the asylum-seekers' claims. more..

Sri Lanka speeds refugees’ return

Nov 2 (FT) Sri Lanka has dramatically accelerated the pace of resettlement of Tamil civilians displaced in its recent civil war amid threats from the European Union to withdraw trading privileges for the island over its human rights record, according to western diplomats and officials. After months of criticism over the lack of access to and conditions in the camps, the government says it has resettled about 79,000, or almost a quarter, of the estimated 280,000 Tamils being held. more..

'Sri Lanka needs rulers who respect law and order'

Nov 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector should support lawmakers who respect law and order to bring about a free, fair and just society, which is the basis of democracy, a senior private sector executive has said. "We need to improve the quality of the people's representation," Rienzie T Wijetilleke, chairman of Hatton National Bank said. "We have to tell the people don't give such people the votes." more..

Hotel Ceylon Continental for sale

Nov 2 (LBO) Hotel Ceylon Continental controlled by business magnate Nahil Wijesuriya is up for sale and the deal may be closed within two months, a media report said. "I am aggressively seeking to sell the property and hope to exit with a capital gain in about two months," Wijesuriya was quoted as saying in The Sunday Island newspaper. The report said Wijesuriya was hard hit by rule to sell rooms at a minimum state mandated price. more..

Jaffna railway station that reads the story of the history of ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka

Nov 2 (LP) These photos depict the present situation of the Jaffna railway station in the Tamil dominated Northern Province Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka. The rulers now say that they will reconstruct the northern railway line from Vavuniya to Kankesanthurai and public donations are also sought in this purpose. Now, almost all the TV channels telecast an advertisement stating that more..

Youth arrested over web comments on the President

Nov 2 (LT) A resident of Alauwa was arrested by the CID over allegations of making offensive comments regarding the President and the Secretary of Defense on the web. The suspect remanded till the 6th of November by the Matale Magistrate. Political analyst said this move is a major threat to the freedom of expression. Government decided to publish advertisements in ‘national’ newspapers stating that news published in news web sites are fabricated, more..

A secret tapping service to listen to phone calls of Ministers, Opposition leaders and media personnel

Nov 2 (LeN) Lanka e news is reliably informed that a secret service is now in existence to garner information on calls and exchanges of internal communication among ‘some’ Ministers and others, who are allegedly engaged in Throat slitting, backbiting and political backstabbing. It is reported that this service is having the patronage and support of the most high echelons of the Govt. aimed at gathering information and more..

'US has no right to question Gen. Fonseka'

Nov 2 (LT) The JVP would take all measures against any attempt by the USA if it goes out of its limits to take measures against Gen. Sarath Fonseka says the Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe. Gen. Fonseka being subjected to normal questioning that is carried out for persons who apply for citizenship in the USA is not an issue says Mr. Amarasinghe and adds that the USA has no right to question him regarding defeating terrorism. more..

Abysmal 90% fail rate of internee Tamil children in Year-5 exam

Nov 2 (TN) Sri Lanka's Tamil cultural destruction continues at unabated speed with the latest results of the year-5 exams released by the Department of Examinations, after a 30-day unexplained delay, revealed that only 507 students out of 5413 children who sat the Year 5 examination-2009 from the internment camps located in Vavuniyaa have passed. The Department released the results of Year 5 examination for other provinces on October 2. more..

Lessons in Leadership

Nov 2 (GV) Thank you very much for inviting me as Chief Guest. This is a new experience. Nobody has invited me to such a wonderful event before. There are four reasons why I have chosen to speak in English today. First, I have never spoken in Tamil from a stage. When you don’t have that experience, it can be very dangerous to try. I recall the story of Badiuddin Mohammed, the Minister for Education in Sirimavo’s government. more..

Ballooning Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s strategic and economic policies: Walk the talk?

Nov 2 (LBO) One of the grave dangers of the Great Recession and the Jobless Recoveries in various countries is the resurgence of protectionism and withdrawal into Fortress NAFTA, Fortress Europe, and so on. It happened in the 1930s and it can happen again. Asian leaders and thinkers (in some countries at least) are not oblivious to this danger. ASEAN invited six major economies in the region (Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand) to more..

Chinese men sighted with Lankan Navy

Nov 2 (EB) If reports given by fishermen, that Chinese men in Lankan fatigues are jointly patrolling the seas with the Lankan navy are true, then India’s security seems to be at threat. According to the fishermen from Ramanathapuram district, who have been attacked by the Lankan navy at mid sea, the Sinhalese are being accompanied by men who have Chinese features and who talk in a different language. more..

UNP backed 'Grand Alliance' a distant dream!

Nov 2 (GDI) The planned 'grand alliance' of the UNP has run into stormy seas with partners proposed to join the alliance now attempting to distance themselves, well informed political sources disclosed. The UNP itself, these sources said were divided over the plan by the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe over an alliance that has SLFP discard Mangala Samaraweera. The SLMC of Rauff Hakeem has not given a definite assurance to join the planned alliance. more..

Asylum seekers stuck in Indonesia-Australia standoff

Nov 2 (Time) On Oct. 18, a rickety boat emitted signals of distress from the Sunda Strait, a body of water sandwiched between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. Local authorities had no vessels in the area, and called on Australia for assistance. When the HMAS Armidale, an Australian naval ship, approached the troubled craft, they found 78 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers heading for Australia. more..

Insurance boss’s telephone pow-wow costs tax payer Rs.100,000!

Nov 2 (LT) The telephone bill of the present Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance corporation that has been taken over by the government on an order from the Supreme Court is reported to exceed Rs.100,000. Employees of the Corporation have revealed several instances where Chairman Godahewa, during the short time he has been the Chairman of this institution, had carried out projects to waste public money and more..

Beruwala clash:135 suspects in remand for 5 months

Nov 2 (PSM) The 135 suspects who were arrested in connection with the Beruwala inter community clash were further remanded till November 16. This is judicial record in one incident 135 suspects are remanded for months without bail. Meanwhile, the Attorney General has submitted a report to the Kalutara Chief Magistrate that the Sheikh of the Buhary Mosque had no involvement in the sectarian violence that occurred in July this year. more..

In Pictures: 25th Anniversary of Women and Media Collective

Nov 2 (HA) The history of women’s activism in Sri Lanka is yet to be told. Male bias and male domination have silenced and erased women from the “official” histories in the same way as it has been done all over the world. But the memory of women’s activism remains in the stories that our grandmothers and other elders share with us and in the sub-texts of the official narratives of men and power. more..

'Jaffna Fish Stall' to open in Colombo

Nov 2 (MoD) "Jaffna Fish Stall", especially established to market excess fish in the North will be opened in Colombo shortly, Fisheries Ministry sources said. "After restrictions on fishing in the Northern sea were lifted, fishermen of these areas had been continuously engaged in fishing and their fish harvest had rapidly increased", Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Felix Perera said speaking to English daily. more..

TMVP to support Mahinda Rajpaksha in presidential poll

Nov 2 (LG) The TMVP will support the President in the event of a presidential election and would contest alone in a general election, says Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, Chief Minister of the Eastern Province. Addressing a function on Saturday in Pethalai, Kalkudah, he said that they had to act carefully at the forthcoming elections. “Our party has decided to support the current president at the upcoming elections. more..

Muttuhettigama takes oaths before astrologer

Nov 2 (Island) Nishantha Muttuhettigama, elected to the Southern Provincial Council on the UPFA ticket has taken oaths as a member of the SP council before Justice of Peace and astrologer Sumanadasa Abeygunawardena. Muttuhettigama did not take oaths at the Presidential Secretariat before President Mahinda Rajapaksa along with others elected to the council last week. more..

Leave Sri Lanka alone!

Nov 2 (SLW) A comment by the Editors of Sri Lanka Watch to the editorial published on the 28th Oct. Washington Times under the Title “Undermining Sri Lanka”. Well said, Washington Times! a lot more sense in those words than one can expect from all the sanctimonious justice seekers, who are stomping on Sri Lanka for crushing terrorism, on it’s own soil. Human Rights are being used as a weapon to castigate countries that go against the wishes of the powerful West. more..

'The US cannot question General Fonseka who is a diplomatic passport a holder'

Nov 2 (LP) Speaking to Lankapuvath over the United States questioning Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka on the defeat of terrorism in the country, Minister Keheliya Rambukkwella said this is nothing but a despicable plot being hatched at the expense of the entire country. The Minister also said that US Government has no right to question General Sarath Fonseka over the war in Sri Lanka or related matters since more..

Senior DIG Mahinda Balasuriya new Police Chief

Nov 2 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Senior DIG Mahinda Balasuriya as the new Inspector General of Police this morning. DIG Mahinda Balasuriya succeeds IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne who retired from office today. He will take office as the 32nd IGP tomorrow. The new IGP Balasuriya is a senior most high ranking police officer of repute who has a long service in the department. more..

Kumpuruppidi to be a top tourist resort

Nov 2 (LP) Actions are underway to develop Kumpuruppidi, the longest coastal belt in Trincomalee District, to be one of the prime integrated tourist resorts by the Tourism Ministry. The project objectives are to plan and coordinate the implementation of tourism, properly provide with basic infrastructure, social and recreational facilities and sufficient economic opportunities. It also promotes eco-tourism while preserving the natural recourses and the cultural heritage more..

Sri Lanka - Pakistan target $1bn trade

Nov 2 (LP) Sri Lanka and Pakistan are to make mutually gainful endeavours to further increase bilateral trade between the two countries, taking the figure to $1 billion per annum. According to the Consul General of Sri Lanka in Pakistan, on a visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) recently, said that Sri Lanka and Pakistan signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Feb 2005. Ever since, the two countries have seen a 70 per cent growth in business. more..

'Accidents cost more than Samurdhi allocation'

Nov 2 (GDI) Minister of Transport Dulles Allahapperuma has said that the expenditure incurred on road accidents was higher than the grants given to Samurdhi recipients. The Minister opined that 30,000 road accidents occur annually. More than 2.000 lives are lost. Over 30.000 are disabled. He said that 10 Billion rupees of the national income was spent on these incidents. Only 8 to 9 Billion rupees is spent on the Samurdhi. more..

'Present Govt. has no philosophy or a policy'

Nov 2 (LT) The present UPFA government does not have any political philosophy or policy says Parliamentarian of the UPFA Wijedasa Rajapakse. He said this participating in an interview with ‘Lakbima’ weekend Sinhalese newspaper. Speaking further Mr. Rajapakse has said, “Any party should have its own policies. However, the policies followed by the present UPFA government are not the ones we formulated as ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya.’ more..

'End of civil war will boost Sri Lankan film industry'

Nov 2 (SZ) Noted Sri Lankan film maker Vimukti Jayasundara feels that end of the 30-year-old civil war in his country is likely to boost the local film industry. "Funding of Sri Lankan cinema in the last 10-15 years had almost stopped from the Government`s side because their priorities lay elsewhere. There were some credit schemes, no interest loan given to filmmakers but that was not enough," more..

Why General Fonseka decide to meet U.S. authorities without the knowledge and consent of Sri Lanka Government?

Nov 2 (AT) When Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka received a call from an officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security for a ‘voluntary interview’ and was told that the intension of the ‘interview’ was to discuss alleged human rights violations committed by Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa instead calling his government for advise, more..

Patients used as guinea-pigs?

Nov 2 (LT) Biotech Ltd, an antibiotic, has been admitted to Intensive Care Unit of the Ratnapura Hospital say hospital sources. The 31 year old patient, who was being treated at the 15th ward (Orthopedic Unit) of the Ratnapura Hospital after an accident, had been treated with this medicine on the third day after admission. Immediately after he was treated with Ceftazidim his condition had deteriorated and had to be admitted to ICU say these sources. more..

‘King of the Streets’ bids adieu!

Nov 2 (LT) People’s artiste, the father of Sri Lankan street drama, Gamini Haththetuwegama, popularly known as ‘Hatha’ or the ‘King of the Streets’ said adieu to his followers, admirers, devotees and progressive masses who were grieved by his death. Mr. Haththetuwegama passed away last Friday after being ill for some time. He was engaged in the drama sector from 1974 and was responsible for introducing ‘street drama’ to Sri Lanka. more..

Tea, rubber, coconut earnings top US$ 200b

Nov 2 (DN) Export earnings from the three main crops, Tea, Rubber and Coconut exceeded US$ 200 billion providing employment for over 1.5 million people in the recent past, Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne said. Unlike other export earnings, plantation crops provide the maximum net export earnings in view of the low component of inputs, he added. He was speaking at the Program Evaluation Workshop of more..

Smooth journey on the road to development

Nov 2 (DN) Infrastructure development is regarded a key factor of the overall development in a country. Recently, a media team representing all media institutions on the invitation of the Information Department toured the Central Province. During the tour, media persons visited several places in and around the ancient Kandy city to see the development activities and infrastructure development programs in the Province. more..

New resettlement Mannar District

UNP pledges to set up Constituent Assembly

Nov 2 (DM) UNP pledged yesterday to set up a constituent assembly, if it won the next election, to change the constitution and to replace the presidency with the post of an elected Head of State responsible to parliament. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya who was the chief guest at a ceremony held at the Jayawardene Centre to mark the 13th death anniversary of President J. R. Jayewardene said the party would scrap the executive presidency within 180 days. more..

‘Sri Lanka can face the GSP+ risk’

Nov 2 (DN) With proper focus and preparation Sri Lanka can face the GSP+ risk and the Government has already taken necessary steps to manage this risk, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said at a media briefing on “ GSP+ Scheme and Sri Lanka from a risk management perspective” at the Central Bank yesterday. He said that it is certainly good if the GSP+ is continued, but like with the abolition of MFA, the country is prepared to move ahead even without GSP+. more..

67 more ex-LTTE child soldiers leaves for Colombo school

Nov 2 (MoD) The second phase of the rehabilitation program of ex-LTTE child soldiers began last Saturday, 31st October, in Vavuniya with 67 of them leaving for Colombo to receive a fully fledged education. Accordingly, 44 boys and 23 girls from Punthottem Rehabilitation Centre will receive their education in Colombo. Under the first phase of the program, 81 boys and 63 girls were brought to Colombo and more..

Why battle corruption at provincial level when...

Nov 2 (Island) Parliament has received World Bank assistance to improve transparency in UPFA-run provincial councils by way of workshops though the House itself is under flak for turning a blind eye to rapidly deteriorating financial discipline in the public sector. Sources said that several politicians, including UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, UPFA MP Wijedasa Rajapaksa and JVP frontliner Lal Kantha, MP had blamed Parliament for failing in its duty. more..