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Fruits and vegetables net over Rs 3,000 b annually

Nov 23 (DN) The export of fruits and vegetables has become the fourth largest revenue earner for the country after tea, rubber and coconut. The fruit and vegetable industry has been earning over Rs.3,000 billion annually with a 96 percent local added value, said IFCO, Chairman, Sarath de Silva at a seminar at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. more..

Aerial spray to combat Dengue

Nov 23 (DN) Cabinet approval has been granted for a memorandum submitted by Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva to spend Rs 200 million on aerial spray of BTI bacteria to control dengue mosquito density, a Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry spokesman said. BTI bacteria will be sprayed from air using aircraft covering Akurana, Kandy and Gampola areas which have been identified as areas badly affected by Dengue. more..

What US travel advisory signifies

Nov 23 (LNP) The US and its allies made a hullabaloo over what they termed the internment of the northern IDPs and brought enormous pressure to bear on the Sri Lankan government to expedite their resettlement. Although it was pointed out that the Vanni was heavily mined and demining had to be completed before the area was declared safe for civilians to return, there was no let-up in the US-led campaign for resettlement. more..

HINI threat: CP schools closed for a week

Nov 23 (Island) The temporary closure of schools of the Central Province for fear of spread of swine fever Influenza H1N1 will be effective till Friday (27) from Monday (23) today. Any extension of the closure of schools will be announced following the report of the Special Committee appointed to investigate the swine fever situation of the Central Province, Chief Minister CP, Sarath Ekanayake said yesterday (22). more..

Concentration camps for animals

Nov 23 (GV) Some of the recent deaths of animals in captivity in our zoological gardens, had been blamed on the visitors. The real blame should be accepted by the authorities who manage these prisons. Who collect innocent animals from around the country, and from around the world and who keep these animals in small cages for life. The only escape for the animals is through death. Death would be a really welcome relief for them. more..

President Rajapaksa graces the prize giving ceremony

Nov 23 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the Annual Prize Giving Ceremony at Swarnapali Balika Vidyalaya in Anuradhapura on Sunday. Swarnapali Balika Vidyalaya held its prize giving with students for their excellence and progress in many subjects and extra curricular activities. President Rajapaksa participated the ceremony organised by this rural school as the chief guest and surprised the gathering. more..

Sri Lanka tea industry eyes NZ dairy success

Nov 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea industry needs to work together more closely like New Zealand's dairy industry which dominates a big share of the world's dairy trade, an industry official said. Kumar Jayasuriya, chairman of James Finlay, Colombo, a big plantations company whose ultimate parent is Britain's Swire group, said the industry was too fragmented with key sections having conflicting interests. more..

'Govt. villainy against a war Hero par excellence'

Nov 23 (UNP) UNP MP, Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena asked the Govt. to explain why the IGP and the Forces chiefs did not attend the Farewell ceremony of a celebrated war Hero, former Chief of defense staff General Sarath Fonseka who spearheaded the liberation of the country from 30 years of LTTE terrorism. If the Govt. has not been behind this, it is the duty of the Govt. to inquire as to why they did not attend a ceremony accorded to more..

Telephone call that changed Dilshan’s destiny

Nov 23 (DM) Telephone is the world's best innovation, according to legendary science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. Sri Lankan opener Tillekaratne Dilshan is someone who would agree. It all happened due to a one crucial call from Dilshan to his former skipper Mahela Jayawardane. At the time, Jayasuriya was Sri Lanka's number one opener in both forms of the game. more..

Sri Lanka's road to serfdom

Nov 23 (LBO) A political regime, having totalitarian aspirations, ideologically based on centralized government, government control of business, repression of criticism or opposition, a leader cult and exalting the state and/or religion above individual rights. That is a definition found in "A philosophy or system of government that is marked by stringent social and economic control, a strong, centralized government usually headed by a dictator, and more..

Teams back to square one

Nov 23 (CI) Sri Lanka started brilliantly in the first Test but were thwarted first by Rahul Dravid and then the pitch in Ahmedabad. Momentum is an over-rated word, though, and both teams will start afresh in Kanpur. Experts reckoned that both captains were a little too defensive in the first Test and allowed the batsmen to dictate terms with easy singles. The main reason for that was perhaps the docile pitch but both teams will know that they must up their game if more..

Employing Bhikkhus should be stopped: Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter

Nov 23 (DM) Mahanayake Thera of the Asgiriya Chapter, the Most Venerable Udugama Buddharakkitha Thera said that employment oriented Bhikkhus were instrumental in the deterioration of Buddhism in the country. “Every government that ruled the country should be held responsible for this situation. Prompt steps should be taken to arrest this situation”, the Mahanayake Thera said. more..

Cooray turned away from SLFP meeting

Nov 23 (DM) Western provincial councillor Reginald Cooray was turned back by the police as government supporters raised strong objections when he arrived at the Wadduwa Vijaya Kumaratunga Auditorium to participate at a meeting. The Saturday’s meeting was organized and presided by Tourist Minister Nandana Gunatillake to keep SLFP supporters informed of a possible presidential election followed by a general election to be held early next year. more..

'JVP will only talk to Fonseka'

Nov 23 (DM) The JVP said it would not talk to other opposition political parties on the possibility of fielding a common candidate at the next presidential election, but would only talk to the common candidate identified by the party for this purpose. JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said his party would within the next few days hold talks with former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka as a possible common candidate. more..

INGOs advise ministers, MPs on presidential, parliamentary polls

Nov 23 (Island) With President Mahinda Rajapaksa deciding to call an early presidential election ahead of parliamentary polls, a section of the ‘international community’ is pushing for an unprecedented agreement among Tamil speaking politicians, both in and out of Parliament to undermine the incumbent President’s campaign. Government sources told The Island that a three-day seminar recently concluded in Switzerland was nothing but more..

Malaysia sees Sri Lanka's conflict as internal problem

Nov 23 (Bernama) Malaysia sees the Sri Lanka's crisis as an internal problem in line with the country's foreign policy, Deputy Foreign Minister Senator A.Kohilan Pillay told the Dewan Rakyat Monday. He said Sri Lanka had assured United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, who visited Sri Lanka's refugee camps after the conflict ended in May last year, that it would work closely with human rights groups to address the welfare and safety of refugees. more..

Fonseka willing to negotiate with Mano

Nov 23 (Island) Former Army Chief General Sarath Fonseka yesterday said that he was ready to negotiate with Opposition political parties regarding any conditions for nominating him as the common presidential candidate. Fonseka said that there was nothing wrong in discussing conditions though some may find fault with such a strategy. He said that in keeping with his policy, he could discuss with WPF leader Mano Ganeshan, MP his conditions to facilitate an agreement. more..

Sri Lanka to hold Presidential election on Jan. 23

Nov 23 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday afternoon signed a proclamation setting January 23 as the date for Presidential election. “President Mahinda Rajapaksa today decided to hold the next Presidential Election and issued instructions to his Secretary, Lalith Weerathunga with regard to gazetting the Presidential proclamation to enable the Commissioner of Elections to conduct the poll”, a report on the Government web site said. more..

Without “IDP Camps" Politics

Nov 24 (SLW) With the announcement of the government that the movement restrictions on the camps to be removed from the first of December and its adamant aim to resettle the rest of the people by the end of January, government has smashed out one issue of the opposition in the coming election. By the time election campaign comes in to full swing, the issue of IDPs in Camps will a dead coin. Six months after the defeat of the Tigers the displaced in the North East found themselves with many unsolved issues. more..

Sack security men who failed to protect Sri Lankan team, PCB told

Nov 24 (IANS) A parliamentary committee on sports Monday asked Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to file a case against security officials who showed negligence while protecting the Sri Lankan cricket team during a tour in March this year. The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Sports in a meeting at the Parliament House in Islamabad asked the PCB to make sure that the officials who were entrusted with the security of the visiting cricketers are sacked. more..

SL refugees offered free degrees by Chennai Uni

Nov 24 (SLW) University of Madras has offered the facility of free higher education for all Lankan Tamil refugees residing in India with a higher preference for candidates who are in Tamilnadu. The undergraduate and postgraduate level study will be permitted for the students of Lankan destiny who are keen on pursuing higher education. The University will also hold a reservation program for the eligible candidates that might prove worthy for more..

Agencies raise concerns over IDP care once resettled

Nov 24 (IRIN) The release of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from camps in Sri Lanka's north is welcome, but the government must now ensure they are properly cared for, the UN and NGOs say. The Sri Lankan government, under international pressure for months over camp conditions and the pace of resettlement, last week announced that more than half the IDPs had been released. more..

'Special team' to assess Oceanic Viking Sri Lankan asylum-seekers

Nov 24 (TA) A TEAM of five Australian immigration officers has been assembled from posts around the region to process the claims of the 78 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers rescued by the Oceanic Viking, fuelling claims of a special deal. As conflicting reports emerged about the circumstances surrounding Saturday's brawl at Christmas Island detention centre, Kevin Rudd said those involved risked criminal charges and possible deportation if they were found guilty of an offence. more..

Refugees pay $40,000 to come by plane

Nov 24 (TA) ASYLUM-seekers are arriving in Australia by air in numbers that dwarf boat arrivals, after paying people-smugglers up to $US40,000, for a package that includes airfares, false passports and forged Australian visas. The racket has been revealed by a Sri Lankan refugee who was granted a protection visa after arriving in Australia in April on false travel documents supplied by a professional people-smuggler in Malaysia. more..

Sri Lanka: Why this lush, lovely island will suit you to a tea..

Nov 24 (Mirror) If you're looking for a long-haul trip with a difference then Sri Lanka - a teardrop-shaped island off the coast of India - is the place to find it. My 10-day trip started in the centre of the island, which at the time of travel was the furthest north tourists were advised to travel. But now the island's civil war is over there's a lot more to see. more..

Spin conundrum for both teams

Nov 24 (CI) After batting practice at the Motera, what awaits these two teams at Green Park, where the last two Test matches have seen two extremes? In 2004, India and South Africa fought out a desperately dull draw, enlivened only by a double-century partnership for the first wicket between Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Then, 19 months ago, with the first season of the IPL just days away, the same sides needed just three days to finish off a game, more..

Another amnesty for army deserters

Nov 24 (GDI) The Government has offered a fresh amnesty to Army deserters to turn in and get themselves honourably discharged. The new moratorium will be available from December 7 to 31, Military Spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. He pointed out that they expected more than 5,000 to utilise the offer so that they will be free from their obligation to the Army. Explaining further, the inconveniences they could face as a result of not heeding the amnesty, more..

Sri Lankan shippers face higher transport costs

Nov 24 (LBO) Sri Lankan shippers are confronted with an increase in transportation costs to and from their markets with loss-making global carriers raising freight rates or announcing rate hikes from next year to restore profitability. Some lines have also withdrawn vessels and services to and from the region and introduced 'slow steaming' in an effort to reduce over-capacity in the container trades and to cut fuel costs. more..

JVP student leader admits war silence

Nov 24 (BBC) The leading student body in Sri Lanka has admitted that it did not protest when human rights violations were committed against Tamil students during the long conflict between the security forces and the LTTE. The pro JVP Convenor of the Inter University Student Union (IUSF) told journalist KS Udayakumar that the biggest student union in Sri Lanka had to "keep quite" while students were abducted and killed in a period of war against "separatist terrorism". more..

Debrief News - 23. 11. 2009

Small-scale fishermen call on govt to stop trampling their rights and the environment

Nov 24 (AN) More than 1,200 small-scale fishermen met in the town hall in Tangalle, southern Sri Lanka, to demand that their rights be respected and illegal fishing be stopped. The gathering was sponsored by the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO) and took place on Saturday, World Fisheries Day. The theme was “Towards sustainable fisheries in Sri Lanka, through ensuring the people's victories while protecting rule of Law”. more..

Sri Lanka offers help to Pak in terror fight

Nov 24 (SANA) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has offered help, assistance and expertise to Pakistan for eliminating terrorism. He was speaking here at the inaugural session of the Third Saarc Business Leaders Conclave under the theme “Regional Cooperation: A Catalyst for Socioeconomic Growth in South Asia” on Sunday. The two-day meeting is being organised by Saarc Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Saarc CCI) more..

Sri Lanka website 'hacked'

Nov 24 (BBC) Lanka News Web, a popular trilingual Sri Lanka related news website accuses authorities of hacking its Sinhala language site. The editor of the website, who wished to remain anonymous, told BBC Sinhala service that Sri Lanka authorities are doing 'everything possible' to prevent users accessing the site. The site is one of two known news websites, including Tamilnet, that are barred in Sri Lanka. more..

UNP’s official announcement on common candidate by Friday – Tissa

Nov 24 (AD) UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake this evening said that his party would officially announce the common candidate by Friday. He added that the party had reached a consensus on the candidate and the name would be announced after consultations with the other constituent parties of the United National Front. This follows some contradictions within UNP ranks this morning when UNP Deputy General Secretary Lakshman Seneviratne confirmed more..

UNP calls for free and fair elections

Nov 24 (LG) The UNP today called the government to ensure that free and fair elections are held without using its what it called “its now usual tactics of winning at any cost”. UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya in a statement said the party was compelled to demand free and fair elections and wants the government to keep the high standards expected of a democratic nation. The full statement follows; more..

French court jails Tamil Tigers for extortion

Nov 24 (AFP) A French court on Monday jailed 21 Tamil Tiger militants convicted of extorting millions of euros from the Tamil diaspora in France to fund their armed campaign in Sri Lanka. The toughest sentence of seven years in was given to Nadaraja Matinthiran, whom the court heard was the leader of the LTTE in France. Matinthiran was accused of extorting some five million euros (7.4 million dollars) from France's 75,000-strong Tamil community, many of them refugees from more..

A group of IDPs in Vavuniyaa camp to be taken to Ki’linochchi

Nov 24 (TN) A batch of IDPs from Ki’linochchi district is to be taken from Vavvuniyaa camp to Ki’linochchi Maha Viththiyaalayam on 30th November in the first stage of resettling Vanni IDPs in their own places, sources in Vavuniyaa said. The IDPs who are to be resettled in nine Village Officers divisions located east of A9 road in Ki’linochchi will be first lodged in the Maha Viththiyalam, the sources added. more..

Church struggles to pick up pieces for returning refugees

Nov 24 (UCAN) The government program to resettle Tamils displaced in the 26-year civil war is descending into chaos as thousands of people are dumped in a Jaffna sports stadium without adequate resources, Church workers say. Caritas Jaffna is struggling to pick up the pieces, providing temporary shelter, food, water and sanitation. The government has been under intense international pressure to speed up the rehousing of about 260,000 displaced people who more..

Sri Lanka poised for big economic development

Nov 24 (BT) SRI Lanka is at a major crossroads in its economic and social development. It has secured a US$2.6 billion loan from the IMF, and the Asian Development Bank is looking at a US$300 million loan. Colombo has also raised US$500 million through a sovereign bond issue, which was subscribed 13 times, and it has been out on a roadshow in various parts of the world, including Singapore and Japan, to entice fund managers to invest in its capital markets. more..

Rajapaksa has good chance, feel aides

Nov 24 (Hindu) An early presidential poll in Sri Lanka is premised on the assumption that besides giving Mahinda Rajapaksa a firmer grip over his party, he could help the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) secure a clear majority in the parliamentary polls due by April. Followers of Mr. Rajapaksa believe that having militarily defeated the LTTE, he has very good chances of securing a second term. more..