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Sri Lanka fiscal discipline key to economic growth: report

Nov 5 (LBO) Fiscal discipline by Sri Lanka's government will be critical to ensure economic recovery and sustained, high growth anticipated with the end of the ethnic war, RAM Ratings agency said. "Sri Lanka is now well poised to achieve high sustainable growth, as the end of the armed conflict provides the government with the opportunity to create a stable macroeconomic environment where industries and businesses can thrive," it said. more..

Tom Brake, UK MP stands up for the rights of Tamil community

Nov 5 (PUK) Last Wednesday in Parliament a debate took place on IDP camps in Sri Lanka. Speaking in the debate Tom Brake MP said, ‘I have been working closely on this issue with my Tamil community for a number of months, not because I am pro-Tamil or anti-Sinhalese, but because I am pro-human rights, and the human rights of the Tamil community are being grossly infringed and are under a sustained onslaught in Sri Lanka.’ more..

Tamils welcome US plan to question Sri Lanka general

Nov 5 (RNW) The Tamil diaspora in the United States has reacted positively to the news the White House wants to question a top commander in the Sri Lankan army. General Sarath Fonseka will allegedly be questioned by the Department of Homeland Security over the campaign to crush Tamil Tiger rebels at the beginning of the year. General Fonseka is visiting his daughters who live in the US and more..

Asylum seekers are genuine, says UN

Nov 5 (ABC) The United Nations Refugee Agency says some of the people on board an Australian customs ship off the Indonesian coast are genuine refugees. The 78 Sri Lankans are refusing to leave the Oceanic Viking because they do not want to be transferred to an Indonesian detention centre. The UN's regional representative, Richard Towle, says some of the group have already been recognised as needing refugee protection. more..

90 pc of US SL Tamils don't support LTTE:Ambassador

Nov 5 (PTI) Ninety per cent of the Sri Lankan Tamils living in the US, the first western country to ban the LTTE, do not support the Tiger rebels in their quest for Eelam, country's top diplomat in Washington has claimed. "I had to use facts and figures that clearly depicted the situation on the ground," the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickremasuriya said. He said out of about 2.5 lakh Sri Lankans in the US, the majority were Sinhalese. more..

November rain

Nov 5 (LG) Today I went for a run despite pouring rain. Being on a run while listening to tunes on my ‘shuffle’ with no real purpose can be healing – I find. With so much chaos and questions inside my head, running is providing me with some order and healing that I very much crave these past few months. Through the process of healing I am trying to let go of the whys around misery faced by my people: Why did the world ignore Tamils’ plight? more..

'Tamil Tigers look to regroup in Canada'

Nov 5 (CBC) The Tamil Tigers organization hopes to use Canada as a strategic base to continue the fight against the government of Sri Lanka, according to an authority on the alleged terrorist group. "I cannot think of any other country that is more important for the Tamil Tigers as Canada, to regroup and continue their campaign against Sri Lanka," said Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, more..

A new tradition of generosity

Nov 5 (TS) The holiday season is a time of celebration and tradition for millions of Canadians. For many recent immigrants, though, it is a cold, harsh reminder of the difficulties they face. For Puvana Thevan, her immigrant experience mirrors that of countless families that have been arriving in Toronto since the days of Joseph Atkinson. Atkinson, once Star publisher, was keenly aware that new immigrants are some of the most vulnerable citizens in more..

Sri Lanka film festival postponed

Nov 5 (THR) Sri Lanka's Galle Film Festival, which was to be held December 2-6, has been postponed to next year, organizers said Wednesday. "Financial constraints (among others) played a big part in the decision to not go ahead with the festival this year," Galle Film Festival media coordinator Menika van der Poorten told THR. The second Galle festival was to be presented in association with the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka and more..

Tamil actors to star in Indo-Lankan flick

Nov 5 (EB) Actors Surya and Simran would be in Sri Lanka next month to shoot for an Indo-Lankan co-production titled 'Devadasigal', the Sri Lankan director of the film, Suresh Kumarasinghe, told Express here on Tuesday. “Surya and Simran will join Sri Lankan stars Cletus Mendis, Rex Kodippily, Sandun Wijesiri, and Manjula Moragaha for the shooting in the picturesque Buddhist ruins of Polannaruwa and Sigiriya,” Kumarasinghe said. more..

Sri Lanka's asylum solution

Nov 5 (TA) Sri Lanka's immigration chief says Canberra and Colombo have talked about bringing unskilled migrant workers to Australia, apparently in an attempt to stop the exodus of boatpeople. Sri Lanka's Immigration Commissioner, P.B. Abeykoon, told The Australian yesterday he had raised the issue as a solution to breaking the asylum deadlock. But a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Evans played down the talks last night, more..

'Sri Lanka rebels got most arms from Ukraine'

Nov 5 (Koyodo) Tamil Tiger separatist rebels, defeated in May after decades of brutal fighting costing up to 100,000 lives, procured most of their arms from the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, best known as Col. Karuna Amman, told Kyodo News in a recent interview in his tightly guarded office in Colombo. "The LTTE purchased most of its weapons from Ukraine," the stocky Karuna said, more..

President speaks to troops & civilians in Mullaittivu

Nov 5 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, accompanied by a high level entourage including Mr. Lalith Weerathunga, President's Secretary, Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Army, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Gunathilaka, Commander of the Air Force and the new IGP Mahinda Balasuriya this morning (4) visited more..

Brutal police attack on unemployed graduates

Nov 5 (LT) The police baton charged and used the water cannon to disperse an agitation carried out by unemployed graduates in Colombo Fort today (4th) afternoon. More than two thousand unemployed graduates walked from Fort Railway Station to reach Presidential Secretariat to hand over a memorandum asking for solutions for issues confronting them. However, their path was blocked by the police at more..

Australia given 24 hours to remove Sri Lankan refugees

Nov 5 (DT) INDONESIA is threatening to enforce a deadline set for tomorrow for the removal of 78 Sri Lankans refusing to get off the Oceanic Viking as a diplomatic row with Australia looms. Australian officials will not budge from their insistence that the asylum seekers were picked up in Indonesian waters and therefore are Jakarta's responsibility. However, the Sri Lankans will not get off the Australian Customs boat now anchored off the Indonesian island of Bintan more..

Debrief News - 04.11.2009

"Sri Lanka: Notes from a war on terror"

Nov 5 (HP) As the Obama administration weighs its options in Afghanistan, the big question they are most certainly grappling with is: what does it take to defeat an insurgency? And as advisers pour through the history of successful counterinsurgency campaigns, they might be tempted to take a page from a very recent chapter. Though it didn't make much of a news splash here, in May the government of Sri Lanka finally claimed victory in more..

The silent demise of APRC of Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (LP) “APRC Chairman Minister Tissa Vitharana has handed over a document to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. I asked for a copy of this document but Prof. Vitharana declined to give it to me. In fact, he told me not to ask for it fearing he will get into trouble. What is there to hide?” says the leader of SLMC Rauf Hakeem. He says APRC was a mere charade and little or nothing had come out of its meetings, but his party had also made representations to it. more..

Saudi beheads Indian, two Sri Lankans

Nov 5 (AFP) Two Sri Lankans, one of them a woman, and an Indian were beheaded by the sword in the Red Sea city of Jeddah on Wednesday for theft and murder, the Saudi interior ministry said. Mohammed Barmil from India and Sri Lankan Bandar Nikar entered the home of Mariam Hussein, a Saudi woman, suffocated her and stole money and jewellery, official SPA news agency reported, quoting a ministry statement. more..

The Feminisation of The Migrant Labour Force in Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (NB) The world has almost forgotten the plight of Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan teenager who was sentenced to death for the alleged killing of her employer's infant during her three months' stay as a housemaid in a wealthy Saudi household in 2005. Rizana's story is not a pretty one. A Sri Lankan job agent changed her age from 15 to 17, four years ago, enabling her to go abroad as a housemaid. more..

'Govt. should judge GSP+ status'

Nov 5 (LG) Geoffrey Van Orden, a British member of the European Parliament, and the Chairman of “Friends of Sri Lanka” agreed to an interview with the Sri Lanka Guardian regarding the Reconstruction process and international criticisms being leveled at the Sri Lankan Government and military. He also explains the purpose of the organization he is the chairman for, and its importance to Sri Lankan interests, internationally. more..

Sri Lanka – ethnic polarities remain unaddressed

Nov 5 (LG) The newly-formed United National Alliance risks being ridiculed as persisting on a well worn political track by resurrecting the Executive Presidency Vs Parliamentary governance controversy all over again and by projecting the abolition of the Executive Presidency as its main election slogan. This is not only because the slogan has been bandied around to no avail by power aspirants mouthing the promise of a reversion to the Parliamentary system in the past, but more..

Policing system needs an autopsy

Nov 5 (LG) Many reactions to the killing of B Sivakumar by several policemen in an attempt to arrest him treat the issue as a matter of malice of society rather than an issue of extrajudicial killing by a group of policemen. If the matter is looked at from the point of view of extrajudicial killings by policemen, then the incident would not be treated as some sort of an exception at all, but rather as one of many such killings that are happening in Sri Lanka almost every day. more..

NP governor stresses need for developing the war-torn areas

Nov 5 (AT) The Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri says that the Government has spent a lot of money for the development process of the northern province and the recipients of those benefits have a responsibility to join in the development process. The Governor revealed that the University of Jaffna produces hundreds of doctors annually. “But, the pathetic situation is 95 per cent of them want to be employed in Colombo. more..

Kuchchaveli hotel projects - mixed reactions

Nov 5 (PSM) Kuchchavei, the densly populated Muslim majority DS division in Trincomalee district will soon have number of star class hotels. Residents express fear of reduced fishing activities and cultural invasion in the event although they welcome promotion of tourism in their coast. EP Chief Minister Chandrakanthan is also not happy with the project prepared by the UDA at the request of the Tourism Ministry as more..

Ambassador Kohona calls for “sufficient incentives" to preserve Sri Lanka’s rain forests

Nov 5 (AT) Sri Lanka should be given sufficient incentives to preserve its tropical rainforests for the benefit of all humanity, Ambassador Palitha Kohona told the world body. “From Sri Lankas perspective’s, the Island’ s Permanent Representative said, “tropical rainforests are a major carbon absorption mechanism.” more..

World Science Day on Friday

Nov 5 (GDI) The National Science Foundation is organizing the World Science Day 2009 – Schools Programme under the theme ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for National Development’. The objective of this programme is to popularize science amongst school children to cultivate an appreciation of the value of science, scientific method, technology and the integral role that science plays in modern society, more..

'Sri Lanka could expand mineral sand mining'

Nov 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka has a chance to expand the mining of mineral sands deposits especially in the north east of the island with the end of a three decade war, the island's geological survey office has said. From 2007 production of ilemenite, rutile and zircon has started in the north east coastal area of Pulmoddai by stater-run Lanka Mineral Sands Limited. In 1979 Sri Lanka's Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GMSB), then known as more..

Sinhalese and Muslims evicted from NP by LTTE want to return to their villages

Nov 5 (MoD) About 20,000 Sinhalese and Muslims who were evicted from the Northern Province by the LTTE 20 years ago and 300 Sri Lankan refugees living in Tamil Nadu, India are seeking to return to their villages in the North and East. The Ministry of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services has received applications from them. Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu had sent their applications through the UNHCR, more..

World Science Day on Friday

Nov 5 (GDI) The National Science Foundation is organizing the World Science Day 2009 – Schools Programme under the theme ‘Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for National Development’. The objective of this programme is to popularize science amongst school children to cultivate an appreciation of the value of science, scientific method, technology and the integral role that science plays in modern society, more..

Inter-Religious group on tour to win GSP+ for Sri Lanka

Nov 5 (AT) An inter-religious delegation from Sri Lanka is on a four-nation tour in a bid to win support to convince the European Union to change its stance on the awarding of GSP+ concessions to Sri Lanka, due to be taken up for consideration by the EU Council in Brussels. The delegation, arrived in Rome Tuesday, comprises the Ven. Bellanwila Wimalaratana Nayaka Thero, more..

Rs 200m allocated for Northern schools

Nov 5 (MoD) Education Minister Susil Premajayanth told Parliament yesterday that Rs. 200 million was allocated to reconstruct 397 schools in the Northern Province under the Uthuru Vasanthaya. The Minister was responding to a question by JVP MP Ranaweera Pathirana. Minister Premajayanth said the Educational Publications Department will provide all school textbooks 2010 to students in welfare centres for by December. more..

Australia to launch probe over Lankan boat tragedy

Nov 5 (ABC) The Federal Government says there will be an investigation into how a boat carrying Sri Lankan asylum seekers sank in the Indian Ocean four days ago. Of the 39 people who were on board, 27 have been rescued and three have been confirmed dead, but the bodies of two are yet to be recovered from the water. Nine people remain missing - two of which are 13 and 14 years old. The search and rescue mission was abandoned yesterday more..

Sri Lankan government resettle Tamil detainees in prison-like conditions

Nov 5 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government claimed last month that it had released some thousands of Tamil civilians held in the Manik Farm detention camps near Vavuniya and other northern towns to resettle in their home districts. These refugees have in fact been sent to areas under military occupation, with new prison-like conditions imposed on them. Facing criticism internationally and within the country, President Mahinda Rajapakse announced that more..

Western Media Gullibility Makes

Nov 5 (SLW) There is no doubt now that people fleeing so-called repressive regimes to seek asylum and greener pas¬tures in western democracies is good business for a consortium of people including people smugglers, human rights activist groups and lawyers, aided and abetted by gullible western journalists and media or¬ganisations who see the “Third World” as a chain of lib¬eration struggles against dictatorial regimes. more..

'Nothing new in the UNP Alliance'

Nov 5 (GDI) The Minister of Mass Media and Information, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that there was nothing new in the Opposition Alliance. Not a single party other than the parties which were with the UNP had newly joined the Alliance,he pointed out.Addressing the weekly cabinet briefing today (05), the Minister said the Alliance which was launched recently consists of 16 parties. more..

'JVP's Handunnetti misguiding and misleading the masses'

Nov 5 (GDI) Minister Priyadarshana Yapa today (rejected a claim by JVP parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi that the financial allocation of Rs, 2.3 billion was meant for the President alone and clarified that this allocation was for expenditure of 21 offices under the President. He made this statement while addressing the weekly cabinet briefing held at the Government Information Department. more..

'It is our duty to ensure the security of the Maritime Domain for our future'

Nov 5 (LP) Delivering the inaugural address at the "Indo - Sri Lanka Bilateral Seminar on Countering Maritime Threats Posed by Non-State Actors", Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinge emphasized that to counter non state actors from destabilizing the maritime global commons, it is our duty, it is our partnership, and it is our watch to ensure the security of the Maritime Domain for our future. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions

Nov 5 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance and Planning to enter in to the Implementation Agreements of the Health Sector Development Project with Provincial Councils and the Secretary to the Treasury to sign the Agreements on behalf of the Government. The Government has signed the Financing Agreement with the International Development Association (IDA) of World Bank to more..

“All Island School Inventors’ Competition” in Dec

Nov 5 (LP) “All Island School Inventors’ Competition” will be held from the 09th to the 10th of December 2009 at the Faculty of Science premises of the University of Kelaniya. The competition is organized by the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and will be held in concurrence with the 65th Annual Sessions of the SLAAS. more..