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Why is Gota, JVP, JHU & Bogollagama in panic about US quizzing Sarath Fonseka ?

Nov 4 (TC) Options: Sarath F has 4 options.1.refuse to meet US officials. 2.Meet &refuse to tell truth. reveal truth. 4.create a "patriotic" fuss & return. Play ball: By publicising Sarath's scheduled interview with US officials the govt is pressuring the Lt.Gen to play ball with the Rajapaksa regime. Renounce: Looks like Gotabhaya & Sarath may have to soon renounce US citizenship & more..

Fiji bars NZ and Australia envoys

Nov 4 (BBC) Fiji has ordered the envoys of New Zealand and Australia, its two biggest neighbours, to leave within 24 hours. The country's military ruler, Commodore Frank Bainimarama, has accused the two countries of interfering in Fiji's internal affairs. The row stems from his attempt to hire Sri Lankan judges to replace the local judiciary he sacked in April. more..

Be firm and clear: no access by boat

Nov 4 (Age) There is no easy solution to deal with the fleet of boats carrying asylum seekers to Australia. If they are admitted to Christmas Island and the passengers are successful in their claims to enter the country, the number of boats and the number of passengers will only increase. There is no end of people prepared to take their chance of getting into Australia by boat. And there is an ample supply of smugglers happy to take their money and arrange the voyage. more..

Fund of troubles

Nov 4 (FL) A Sri Lankan business tycoon in the United States, Raja Rajaratnam, has become a textbook case of Murphy’s Law “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong”, and his country of origin is experiencing the collateral damage. The 52-year-old mogul, with assets worth $3.7 billion, was arrested on October 16 by agents of the FBI on charges of vast insider trading. He was among six persons arrested on charges of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. more..

Sri Lanka gears up for first ever Design Festival

Nov 4 (JS) Sri Lanka is gearing up to hold its first annual Design Festival at the end of this month in a bid to put the country on the map as a source of design as well as a manufacturing destination. The event, which has been organised by the Academy of Design in association with Sri Lanka Apparel, the Export Development Board of Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Industrial Development, and Brandix, will include fashion shows, more..

South Africa to receive a donation of five corneas from Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (ISRIA) The Department of International Relations and Cooperation will, in partnership with the High Commission of Sri Lanka and the Pretoria Eye Institute, participate in a ceremony to officially hand over five donated corneas by Mr Muhammed Cassim, Medical Director of the Sri Lankan Eye Donation Society on 04 November 2009 at the Pretoria Eye Institute in Pretoria. more..

Sri Lanka dockyard eyes heavy engineering work

Nov 4 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard, a Sri Lankan shipbuilder, said it was eying more work for its heavy engineering division in the island as well as the south Asian region. The company said in a statement its subsidiary, Dockyard General Engineering Services (DGES), had changed its logo as it seeks to emerge as a big player in the fields of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. Its services range from designing to commissioning for more..

Sri Lanka tables interim budget

Nov 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka has presented an interim plan to parliament ahead of polls expected in the first quarter of 2010 seeking permission from lawmakers to spend up to a third of last year's budget. A 'vote on account' presented to parliament by deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama sought permission to spend 356.4 billion rupees until a formal budget was presented. A further 6.2 billion rupees was sought as 'advances'. more..

CM reiterates permanent resident status to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees

Nov 4 (Hindu) Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday reiterated his party’s demand to accord permanent resident status to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in the State. In a statement, he recalled his party’s resolution adopted at the Kancheepuram conference in September and his letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh immediately thereafter. Quoting a portion of his letter, Mr. Karunanidhi wanted the Prime Minister to take action that would more..

Debrief News - 03.11.2009

Coconut industry in serious trouble: UNP

Nov 4 (FP) The main opposition UNP yesterday charged that the coconut industry in the country was in serious trouble with 60 percent of coconut mills in the North Western province alone having been closed down. Opposition Leader of the North Western Province Shamal Senarath told a news conference yesterday that the government had not taken meaningful measures to revive the coconut industry despite more..

Iranian Parliamentary delegation calls on Foreign Minister

Nov 4 (ISRIA) A six member Iranian Parliamentary delegation is currently visiting Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by Hon. W.J.M. Lokubandara, Speaker of Parliament of Sri Lanka. The delegation is led by Hon. (Dr.) Anoushiravan Mohseni, MP and Head of the Iran – Sri Lanka Parliamentary Friendship Group. The Parliamentary delegation called on Foreign Minister. more..

Sri Lanka court acquits Tamil MPs

Nov 4 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has acquitted four Tamil MPs charged under anti-terror laws with making statements against the government and security forces. They were accused of making statements in Australia and Europe at Tamil cultural events, during a ceasefire between the rebels and the government. It was alleged that the events were organised by Tamil Tiger rebels - a charge they denied. Police said that there was no evidence to prove the accusations. more..

S'porean faces US trial over Tamil Tigers arms case

Nov 4 (AFP) A Singaporean opposition party member will be extradited to the United States and tried for allegedly trying to supply arms to Sri Lanka's defeated Tamil Tiger rebels, officials here said Tuesday. Businessman Balldev Naidu, 47, is facing six charges including conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation and possession of a firearm in 2006, a court official told AFP. more..

Muttiah Muralitharan calls for leaders to prioritise poverty

Nov 4 (CC) Muttiah ‘Murali’ Muralitharan is the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket history and Sri Lanka’s greatest player of all time. He is also a dedicated humanitarian and philanthropist, serving as a trustee of the Foundation of Goodness, which seeks to help Sri Lanka’s rural poor. In this exclusive interview for the Commonwealth Conversation, he talks about the power of sport to unite people more..

Treat Lankan Tamil refugees like Tibetans: Ramadoss

Nov 4 (AT) Pattali Makkal Katchi founder S. Ramadoss has called on the Tamil Nadu Government to extend to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees all the facilities available to Tibetans living in the State. In a statement, he has said the Sri Lankan Tamils are living in miserable conditions in Tamil Nadu whereas Tibetans are settled all over the country. In a camp in Thalavadi in Erode district, they live in independent houses. more..

Three bridges of Southern highway to be rebuilt by contractor

Nov 4 (BL) Parliament was yesterday told that three bridges on the Southern Highway would be rebuilt with expenses borne by the contractor Kumagai Gumi as they were sub-standard. However, it was unclear what action would be taken regarding the other bridges that were found to be unsound by the Committee appointed to investigate the collapse of a metal arch bridge earlier this year. Highways Ministry Committee concluding preliminary investigations into more..

For UNP it is “Twelve” to Tango

Nov 4 (BL) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday pledged to stage a sweeping economic revolution in Sri Lanka as he signed the 12 party Alliance launched in parliament. Hoever the government remains unperturbed by the development. Opposition leader and leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremasinghe, SLFP Mahajana Wing leader Mangala Samaraweera, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, DPF leader Mano Ganeshan, were among 12 other parties and representatives that signed the agreement. more..

Mahinda promises pay hike from Jan

Nov 4 (BL) As a combined strike from the key public sector looms President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday have assurances that a salary hike will be given from January next year. Speaking at the seventh annual meeting of the Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya at Temple Trees last morning President Rajapaksa noted that it was unnecessary for workers to strike given that he has always been available to discuss and address their needs. more..

Massive resettlement drive to reduce IDPs to 150 000 by tomorrow

Nov 4 (BL) With over 10000 IDPs returning to their homes in the last two days, the Disaster Management and Resettlement Ministry are confident that the total number remaining in the camps in the North would be brought down to 150000 by Thursday. “We have over 100 buses in operation, taking the IDPs from the camps to their homes in the north,” Resettlement Minister Rishad Bathiudeen told The Bottom Line. more..

KP tortured

Nov 4 (LG) According to a reliable Defence Ministry source LTTE’s former International head Selvarasa Pathmanathan, well known as KP is said to have undergone severe torturing in the hands of the intelligence operatives to extract information from him. The source said KP is held in the Panagoda army camp in the outskirts of Colombo. Uncooperative KP was severely tortured by the Sri Lanka Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) for maintaining silence. more..

This is what we have become

Nov 4 (LG) On the 29th of October 2009 a man was throwing stones at trains and vehicles passing by in Bambalapitiya Colombo 4. Angry crowed reported this incident to the police and a Police constable from Bamabalapitya police station came to the seen immediately. Instead of using his intellect and Police skills the constable started beating him and the feared man jumped in to the sea. The constable took a wooden pole and with the help of another two men started assaulting the victim. more..

Testing time ahead for the President

Nov 4 (LG) The President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Percy Rajapakse said recently that ‘he is ready to go to any court in the world to defend his soldiers who carried out orders to wipe out terrorism’. He is right! Due to constitutional safeguards enjoyed as President of the country, any attempt to defend the soldiers in the local courts only will be seen a façade as even if true local justice is forthcoming, he will be exempt from punishment constitutionally. more..

The plot thickens!

Nov 4 (LG) The US government remains tight-lipped on an 'interview' the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sought with Chief of Defence Staff and former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who is currently in the US. The State Department (SD) has claimed it has no knowledge of the DHS move. One is intrigued! If the SD is unaware of a vital decision another US government agency across the street has taken in respect of a UN member State, how come it claims to more..

Canada ties Sri Lanka migrant ship to Tiger rebels

Nov 4 (AFP) Several of a group of 76 Sri Lankan asylum seekers picked up off the Canadian coast last month have ties to the Tamil Tiger rebels and could pose a security risk, officials said Tuesday. The Canadian government told an immigration hearing that the "Ocean Lady" freighter used to transport the migrants has been linked to the LTTE, panel spokeswoman Paula Faber told AFP. more..

Tamil refugees sent home, but villages are worse than refugee camps

Nov 4 (AN) Refugees in Welighakandiya and Kudumbimalai, near Batticaloa, went back to their villages of origin after years as war refugees, but now “they seem to have returned to a refugee camp or an open air prison,” said Raajan Francis, coordinator for the Praja Abhilasha network, an organisation that helps settle land disputes. In 2007, about 700 Tamil families left Welighakandiya fled the war and found refuge in Mailanbawali. more..

18 fishermen with 5 boats arrested by Lankan Navy

Nov 4 (AT) Fresh incidence of fishermen arrest by the Lankan Navy is being reported, causing tension among the fisherfolk again. Eighteen fishermen who ventured into sea by five boats from the coastal village Jegadapattinam, about 75 km Pudukottai on Monday, were reported to have been arrested late last night by the Sri Lankan Naval personnel. Their boats have also been seized, it is said. more..

Hold the Presidential election first - Trade union resolved unanimously

Nov 4 (AT) Hold the Presidential election first instead of the Parliamentary general elections. This was resolved unanimously. At the seventh National Convention of the SLFP oriented Sri Lanka Nidahas Sevaka Sangamaya, it was unanimously resolved to recommend holding first the Presidential election. They have also urged that the Parliamentary General Election should follow, after holding the presidential election. more..

What does it look like to win a war on terror?

Nov 4 (Slate) As I almost dozed off admiring the verdant landscape—a lush tableau of thick jungle and terraced paddy fields that calls to mind Raiders of the Lost Ark—a soldier rapped his knuckles against the car window and ordered us to pull over. After a quick search, we were back on our way. Three or four military checkpoints later, we arrived at the port city of Trincomalee. Buddha statues and bell-shaped stupas gave way to gas stations displaying the visages of Vishnu and Jesus. more..

New Sri Lankan railways museum

The quest for evidence

Nov 4 (SLW) A further disgusting attempt to tarnish Sri Lanka’s image in the International territory, US’s move of interrogating General Sarath Fonseka for alleged war crimes against Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa depicts the fact that more such crude regards to the matter would arise. The mere incident in the persuasion for questioning the former Chief Defense Staff indicates the desperation of US to gather a shred of proof against more..

Another chance to East Muslim paramilitary forces

Nov 4 (SLW) Eastern province DIG Mr. Edson Gunatilake said that the defence sections have once again extended the common amnesty period given to Muslim paramilitary forces in the east to hand over their weapons. Investigations in to these groups will continue and it is learnt that although these groups have a lot of arms what they have handed over so far is just a small percentage. more..

Kaluganga and Moragahakanda on schedule

Nov 4 (GDI) The completion of the Government’s massive Kaluganga and Moragahakanda irrigation projects, scheduled for early 2014, will benefit thousands of dry zone farmer families, the Mahaweli Authority sources said. An extra 82,000 hectares of land embracing Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa and Matale will be irrigated both in the Yala and Maha seasons and supply water for drinking as well as Industrial purposes. more..

Slave Island shanty dwellers to get better houses

Nov 4 (GDI) The Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development sources said that the construction activities of the housing complex containing 320 housing units at Dematagoda meant for slum dwellers who had lost their houses in Slave Island have been completed. The expenditure for the whole project is Rs. 640 million. The ownership will be granted to them before November 19 ,the day the President completes the fourth year in office. more..

'Bright prospects for aerospace business in Sri Lanka'

Nov 4 (LNP) The investment opportunities offered by the Board of Investment (BOI) is impressive and the support for investors from banks is encouraging. The capabilities of Sri Lankan engineers are commendable and the workforce is loyal and competent and this is one of the main reasons to invest in Sri Lanka. There is a demand for sensors for board aircraft, created by the increased factors of safety, reliability and efficiency, more..

Laksala handicraft exhibition on Nov 6

Nov 4 (GDI) Laksala completes it’s 45th year on November 6th. A Handicraft Exhibition to mark this event will be held on November 6,7 and 8 at BMICH. This exhibition will be inaugurated under the patronage of Minister of Rural Industry and Self-employment Promotion, S.B.Navinna at 9.00a.m on the 6th of November 2009. This exhibition is open from 10.00a.m to 10.00p.m. 300 handicraftsmen are expected to display their products at this exhibition. more..

IT as a subject for GCE AL

Nov 4 (GDI) Information Technology (IT) will be included for the G.C.E. Advanced Level as a subject from this year to enhance the knowledge in softaware of students. This follows a decision of Education Minister Susil Premajayantha. Nearly 50,000 IT teachers have been trained by the Education Ministry and moves are afoot to increase the number up to 100,000. more..

War Hero parents receive house in tribute

Nov 4 (MoD) The Ministry of Defence Seva Vanitha Unit, Chaired by Mrs. Ioma Rakjapaksa has honored yet another war hero for his supreme sacrifice made during the historic humanitarian operation in Wanni. Lance Corporal S.G Wijesiri made his supreme sacrifice in the battle for Olumadu at Mankulam on 08th December, 2008. The MOD Seva Vanitha Unit in its outreach programme to assist 'Rana Viru' families identified the urgency to assist late L/Cpl Wijesiri's parents, more..

'Opposition UNP alliance like mole emerged out of a mountain'

Nov 4 (GDI) Referring to the opposition alliance formed yesterday by the UNP, Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene described that effort as a mole that came out of a mountain. He was addressing the media at the Ministry of Information this morning and added that the grandest alliance was the one headed by the government. He further said the UPFA had 18 main parties in its fold directly while the total number of parties that supported the UPFA stood at 33. more..

'Sri Lanka has an excellent work force'

Nov 4 (GDI) "Sri Lankan workers constitute an excellent workforce, which can be trained and are noted for the high quality of their work. German investors will also be able to enjoy the benefits accorded under international agreements such as the GSP+, which provides access to Sri Lankan made products in the EU", the Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said while addressing the visiting German delegation yesterday. more..