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Sri Lanka has world’s highest married population

Nov 23 (SLNN) Lanka’s 72 percent married population, the highest in the world, has helped the country rank the highest ever, at 17, in “social capital” in the 2009 Legatum Prosperity Index, ahead of countries such as Germany, Japan, France, China, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among many others. The annual report, which is the world’s only global assessment of wealth and wellbeing, says Sri Lanka’s strong social capital index highlights the importance of the country’s familial support network. more..

The Tamils and equal rights or self-determination

Nov 23 (LG) “At independence, in 1948, the new political elite, in its rush for power, cultivated ethnic support in a society whose real imperative should have been the eradication of poverty. Language became the spark,” journalist-documentary filmmaker John Pilger recently wrote. (12) The Tamil people in Sri Lanka had expectations that they would achieve equal rights and power with the Sinhalese once independence was won from the British colonialists. more..

Some of Sri Lanka's disabled children find a home

Nov 23 (GP) When aid workers found Mahinda, he was living in a drainage ditch in a government-run institution for the mentally ill. Abandoned by his parents, the child, about 5 years old, was malnourished, wore only a dog collar and growled when anyone came close. "He was like a wild, wild animal," said Chris Stubbs, one of the volunteers who found Mahinda. "He would growl and bite, eat food off the floor." more..

Sri Lankan Celebrity: TV Presenter Nadie - a novelist, poets and actress

Nov 23 (AT) A Little girl, an avaricious reader, even when she can’t understand what is in those books, but she continues to read Maxim Gorky, Leo Tolstoy, Federico Garcia Lorca and Simone de Beauvoir, Desmond Morris and numerous writers even she can’t pronounce their names. Though she does not know what she was reading, she had the urge to read more. She is multitalented personality - an actress, a radio and TV presenter. more..

President presents Ranajayapura to the War heroes

Nov 23 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapksa today handed over Ranajayapura mega housing scheme to the war heroes. At a ceremony held at Ipalogma, the President handed over keys of 100 houses to their owners. Ranajayapura is a concept made reality under the Mahinda Chinthana program, the President's vision for the country's future. more..

The series needs a sporting wicket at Green Park

Nov 23 (Hindu) After the run riot at Motera, the series faces a challenge at the Green Park Stadium here. The bowlers need to be in with a chance for the match to keep the spectators engaged. This said, the surface here for the Test against South Africa in 2008 was rather heavily loaded in favour of the spinners. India needed to square the series and an under-prepared pitch that turned square from day one suited the home team’s purpose. more..

Afghans and Sri Lankans in riot

Nov 23 (TA) Tensions at the crammed Christmas Island detention centre have erupted in a bloody fight between 150 Sri Lankan and Afghan asylum-seekers, who attacked each other with broom handles, pool cues and tree branches. Three people were last night flown to hospital in Perth with serious injuries. They were among 37 asylum-seekers who needed medical treatment, including 10 who were sent to the island's hospital. more..

Lanka down with Fonsekitis and Karapinchitis

Nov 23 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa played pandu at the Premadasa Stadium on Tuesday. The President entertained his faithful in the jam packed stands to a delightful display of pol adi all round the wicket. It was in cricketing parlance of the environs of the stadium: Lanuwa Udin Ara, Lanuwa Yatin Ara. None could blame the President. It was his party convention and what else could you do at such conventions other than to keep walloping the opposition. more..

Yank and a Hanuman to battle it out

Nov 23 (LG) In the letter General Sarath had sent to the president he said “With pain of mind it was noted that the Army which gained victory for the Nation was suspected of planning a coup and thereby alerting the Government of India once again on the 15th of October 2009, unnecessarily placing Indian troops on high alert. This action did tarnish the image and reputation gained by the Sri Lanka Army as a competent and professional organization more..

Tamils risk all to flee Sri Lanka

Will General Sarath Fonseka become a National Leader?

Nov 23 (LG) In Colombo, two key level officers who advocated the elimination of the Tamil Tiger rebels, have been punished as a result of President Rajapaksha’s ungrateful attitude. One time they were President’s real friends. One served as Sri Lanka representative to the UN in Geneva. What befell on Dayan Jayathillake recently when he was recalled from his UN mission in Geneva is now faced by the former Chief of Army, General Sarath Fonseka. more..

International support for Sri Lanka racist discrimination

Nov 23 (LG) The Geneva Declaration on Terrorism, passed May 29, 1987 by the UN general assembly, points out that the main perpetrators of terrorism are governments striving to keep down parts of their populations or other peoples. In this document, at that time, the main culprits are the United States, Israel, South Africa and the many dictatorships in Latin America at that time. more..

Muralitharan finds support all round

Nov 23 (National) Mahendra Singh Dhoni has defended the performance of Muttiah Muralitharan in last week’s first Test. A flat wicket saw the 37-year-old spinner, Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker, claim just three wickets in 63.5 overs in the high-scoring draw in Ahmedabad. “If you see Muralitharan was in the opposition side, he is the greatest we will see, even he didn’t get the bounce or turn he is known for,” more..

3 killed, 14 injured in accident in Batticaloa

Nov 23 (TN) A lorry loaded with fertilizer bags on its way to Ooththuuchcheanai in Vadamunai from Vazhaichcheanai in Batticaloa district Friday slipped off the road into a culvert on Velikkanthai main road killing three farmers and seriously injuring fourteen more, sources in Batticaloa said. The condition of Ooththuchcheanai-Vadamunai road, filled with pock marks and pot-holes due to persisting rains, was the cause of the accident, more..

Mahela world's best Test batsman

Nov 23 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s former Test cricket captain Mahela Jayawardena has replaced his own captain Kumar Sangakkara as the world’s best Test batsman. It is the first time in his career Jayawardena achieved the number-one ranking in the ICC Player Rankings for Test batsmen for the first time in his career. Jayawardena achieved the best ranking after scoring 275 in the drawn first Test against India at Ahmedabad earlier this week. more..

Media, Civil Society and Social Mobilisation

Nov 23 (GV) Think to that place that this country has now come to, – the chaos of impunity, the failure to protect human rights and the hysteria of nationalism; It is a moment, we must understand in which we pause and reflect. Something has ended, it must be grieved well and then what must be created after must indeed be a result of deliberate and well planned progression, not of fractured regimes. more..

Colombo mission an island of secrecy

Nov 23 (EB) In a foreign country, your own mission is an island of familiarity. In Colombo, the Indian High Commission is an island all right, it’s just that no one, not even the Indian media, is welcome. It was reasonably transparent in its dealings with resident Indian correspondents till the advent of Gopal Gandhi, more so under Nirupama Rao. Under Shivshankar Menon, there was hardly any restriction, though often anonymity was requested. more..

President Rajapaksa worships Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya and Ruwanweli Stupa

Nov 23 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa worshiped Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya in the early hours of Sunday the 22nd November. Sangha, led by Ven. Pallegama Sirinivasabhidana Nayaka Thero, Atamasthanadhipathi and Chief Sangha He was blessed at the upper layer (Udamaluwa) of this sacred place by members of the Maha Nayake for North Central Province. more..

Counter-national conspiracy against Tamils comes to light

Nov 23 (TN) LTTE members either in custody or operating units in the island have become the most vulnerable to counter-Tamilnational conspiracies of Colombo government, well informed sources in Colombo indicate. The Colombo government’s focus now is to get the section of the LTTE in its trap to denounce Tamil Eelam and efforts are intensified to make use of the Heroes’ Day to test the conspiracy. Colombo is as usual abetted by certain powers in this exercise, more..

SEP/Balmoral Action Committee hold plantation workers meeting

Nov 23 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the Balmoral Estate Action Committee held an important open-air meeting at Agarapathana in Sri Lanka’s central plantation district on November 15 to discuss the lessons of the recent plantation workers’ struggle. The action committee was formed in late September with the SEP’s political assistance by tea workers from the Balmoral Estate who opposed the sell-out being prepared by the trade unions. more..

New IT Computer training centre for open university college in Puttalam

Nov 23 (IL) A new IT Computer Training Centre was declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the Open University College in Puttalam on Sunday afternoon, 22nd November. President Rajapaksa personally checked the facilities provided at the new IT Training Centre and signed the guests’ book. Later The President addressed the large gathering crowds including more..

SLA in Jaffna refuses entry to 1500 Vanni IDPs

Nov 23 (TN) 1500 IDPs from Vavuniyaa camps brought to Jaffna Friday claiming that they are from Jaffna peninsula are now being held in the abandoned Raamaavil camp in Kodikaamam as Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities in Jaffna refuse them permission to be settled in Jaffna. Most of these IDPs are not from Jaffna but residents of Mullaiththeevu and Ki’linochchi districts in Vanni and it appears that they will be held permanently in Raamaavil camp, more..

Sky Network to provide latest Wimax wireless broadband services

Nov 23 (GDI) The BoI of Sri Lanka granted investment approval for Sky Network to provide latest Wimax - wireless broadband services. Dhammika Perera, Chairman signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to SLT Chairperson Leisha De Silva Chandrasena. Sky Network is an investment of US $ 12.8 million for the first 2 phases. more..

President explains the importance of mother and woman

Nov 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stressed that an environment has been created where the women could lead respectable lives. He said the service provided by the women cannot be measured although it is not written in the books. Women are making a large contribution to the Gross National Product of the country. On one side, they are providing a service that cannot be measured in monitory terms. more..

Regional cooperation vital - Prime Minister

Nov 23 (GDI) The Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake said that regional cooperation has much importance in today’s context. He made this observation at a meeting of the business leaders in the SAARC region currently underway in Colombo. It will end today. Speaking further, the he said that being under foreign rule at one time was common to all these countries. Our countries are saddled with the problem of development and raising the standard of living of the people, he noted. more..

"Fashion Show" to raise funds for wellness resort a success

Nov 23 (GDI) The Seva Vanitha Army Branch's newest welfare project, "Wellness Resort for Dependant Disable War Heroes" received a further boost on Sunday when the country's most elegant dress designers showcased their latest fashions on stage in support of the soldiers who sacrificed their hands and limbs for the sake of the country. The SVAB organized Fashion Show at Mount Lavinia Hotel drew a huge crowd of enthusiasts including the First Lady Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa more..

'Executive system helped make bold decisions'

Nov 23 (GDI) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abewardena said at a media briefing today to educate the media on National Development said the executive presidential system enabled to make bold decisions with regard to development, security and welfare of the country. He said the security forces and the valiant services command were recognized by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and that was why the war was fought to an end. more..

Rajitha critical of UNP-JVP stance on presidency

Nov 23 (GDI) Minister Dr. Rajitha Senarathne said abolition of the executive presidential system was no longer a valid political slogan in the country. The general public now do not focus attention on this issue,he said. The Minister participating in a discussion programme at the SLBC this morning further said the UNP and the JVP at present have selected this slogan due to the bankruptcy faced by the two parties. more..

Ravi Jayawardena to enter politics

Nov 23 (LG) Attorney Ravi Jayawardena will enter politics form the Kaluthara District. The UNP has appointed him as the chief organizer for the Horana II. He is a graduate from the Colombo University Law Faculty and currently practices law. He has worked at the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Constitutional Affairs, and the Ministry of Industrial Development. He also served as the Commissioner for the Department of Corrections as the youngest official to hold the post. more..

Green Belt at Periyaneelavani Ampara

India and China to assist reconstruction Northern rail track

Nov 23 (LP) An Indian company has expressed its willingness to assist Sri Lanka to reconstruct the Northern rail track from Omanthai to Pallai in the Jaffna peninsula. Meanwhile a Chinese company has agreed to assist the Railway Department to construct the rail track from Pallai to Kankasanthurai. The reconstruction of the Northern rail track, known as Yal Devi track is to be carried out in two stages. more..

Marathon runner brings message of peace to Jaffna

Nov 23 (MoD) A marathon runner who ran from Polonnaruwa to Jaffna consecutively for 03 days successfully completed his journey on the 20th of this month. This feat was accomplished by 46 year old V.A.H.G Simon a resident of Polonnaruwa, Damminna who represents the Polonnaruwa District Sports club. The "Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu" concept by the Minister Maithreepala Sirisena was the theme by which this great runner accomplished this journey. more..

Garment industry hopes for win-win situation

Nov 23 (Island) Sri Lanka’s largest export industry—the apparels and ready-made garments industry—is hoping the government and the European Commission would come up with a win-win situation with regards to an extension of the GSP Plus facility for duty concessions of exports to Europe, as a loss of the trade facility would be a big blow as European retailers constantly demand for lower prices, more..

The Travelling Circus: A different take on IDPs

Nov 23 (GV) Groundviews recently spoke to Tracy Holsinger of Mind Adventures and Mike Masilamani about their upcoming production ‘The Travelling Circus’, which has been devised and adapted from Mike’s short story, “The Boy Who Spoke in Numbers’. The production itself deals with the political and social problems in Sri Lanka at present and also ventures, comprehensively, in to the subject of IDPs. more..

A number of Army officers who worked under Gen Fonseka transferred to remote areas

Nov 23 (LeN) The present Army Commander has taken steps to transfer a majority of the high ranking Army officers who worked under the Chief of defense staff Sarath Fonseka from Colombo to distant places following his retirement. Consequently, Director General war strategy and training Brigadier Maithri Dias has been transferred as Brigadier, Base command of the Wanni Headquarters; Brigadier Wimal Dias who functioned as more..

Mayor of Colombo says ready to contest future election

Nov 23 (LNP) Mayor of Colombo Mohamed U. Imtiyas said he was still the City father and was ready to contest a future national election if President Mahinda Rajapaksa allowed him to do so. Mr. Imtiyas said that he would also back President Rajapaksa in the coming presidential election. He said he was still working for the city dwellers as their city father and that was the reason he was still occupying the Mayor's Bungalow and receiving other perks. more..

Sri Lanka gears for value-added economic growth

Nov 23 (LNP) Sri Lanka s goal is to develop another 10 sectors to diversify and manifest its potential towards value added economic growth which will open up new vistas for the local business community to interact with their Asian business counterparts, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) Chairman, Kosala Wickramanayake said. He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Third SAARC Business Leaders Conclave in Colombo yesterday. more..

Academia hails Government’s economic achievements

Nov 23 (DN) Members of the academia at an intellectual forum on Friday hailed the Government’s sound economic strategy and its achievements in the midst of global financial downturn and fight against terrorism. The country managed to maintain an overall economic growth rate of 1.8 percent for the first 6 months of 2009 and aims to achieve over 3.05 by December 31. more..

Sri Lanka Sevens team out to give of their best

Nov 23 (LNP) Sri Lanka despite fielding an inexperienced side is determined to give of their best at the Carlton Sri Lanka Rugby Sevens 2009 which will be worked off at the Sugathadasa Stadium from November 27 to 29, 2009. The Lankan Sevens squad has been training hard for the last five days at the Royal Sports Complex and I am confident that they will perform well as they will be playing in front of their home crowd, said Coach Imthisham Marikar. more..

Shell claims Rs 1.7 b from Govt

Nov 23 (DN) Shell Gas Company has made an application to the Arbitral Tribunal under the Price Revising Formula Agreement claiming over Rs1.7 billion from the Government for the loss they have experienced by selling LP gas for the price decided according to the formula. The Consumer Affairs Authority has been informed to contact the Attorney General to obtain instructions in connection with this issue, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said. more..