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Mixed hopes amid unpredictable weather shifts

Oct 1 (IPS) As the world awaits with bated breath the much-anticipated outcome of the upcoming Copenhagen Climate Change Summit in December, the impact of which will reverberate across the globe, Sri Lanka, like many other countries, has been reeling under sharply contrasting weather conditions. That is, parts of the island have been experiencing high rainfall, especially on the western side, while others, towards the southeast, more..

Concerns growing over pace of IDP resettlement

Oct 1 (IRIN) The international community is increasingly worried about the pace of resettling more than 260,000 IDPs from closed camps in Sri Lanka, a senior UN representative warns. "There is a growing concern from the international community that the pace of progress is simply too slow," Walter Kaelin, Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, told IRIN. more..

Jehan Perera and the agonies of ‘Pamperditis’

Oct 1 (LG) I believe that there are things in this world that warrant the registration of strong objection. And I believe there are things which, although arguably irritating, are too trivial to Tear one’s hair over. There is a difference, in other words, between legitimate complain and insufferable whine. There is a time to refer that interesting adage about complaining that one didn’t have shoes until one sees a cripple and then there are times when the reference to the worse-case is not a legitimate response. more..

Unncessary excitement over 'historic' Sri Lankan announcement

Oct 1 (LG) A message of 'unity' to bring communities together through a TV commercial showing the Yal Devi (train to Jaffna) was the focus of what the government termed as a 'historic announcement' on Wednesday night. In a commercial shown on all TV channels, the Yal Devi was shown with people from the two main communities joining the train together. The South-North train to Jaffna has been off the track for many years and is yet to resume its services. more..

Sri Lanka plantations say productivity link to future wages

Oct 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's plantations industry has said new wage models are being considered in talks with labour unions after managing to link worker productivity to wages in recent negotiations. Dhamitha Perera, chairman of the Planters' Association of Ceylon (PA), said the recent near 40 percent wage hike, raising a worker's daily wage to 405 rupees from 290, would have a sharp impact on company cash flows. more..

Debrief News - 30.09.2009

Bank of Ceylon buys Seylan Bank stake

Oct 1 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned Bank of Ceylon said it has bought a 10 percent stake in Seylan Bank, once part of the troubled Ceylinco group. Bank of Ceylon said in a stock exchange filing that it bought 13 million Seylan shares at 35 rupees a share, amounting to an investment of 455 million rupees, under Central Bank directions. It was part of an effort by Seylan Bank to raise fresh capital to recapitalize the bank and more..

Lankan private sector ready to hire ex-LTTE

Oct 1 (EB) The Sri Lankan private sector is enthusiastic about giving jobs to reformed or rehabilitated cadre of the LTTE, says Major General Daya Ratnayake, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. “The response from the business community to our programme is encouraging and positive. Some large companies, especially in the agriculture sector, have shown interest to recruit some of these ex-cadre after they are rehabilitated,” more..

Extension of GSP Plus status to be decided next month

Oct 1 (F2F) The European Commission will convene on October 15, to discuss the matter of extending the GSP Plus status to Sri Lanka. As per GSP Plus, exports from Sri Lanka do not attract any import duties in its exports to the countries of the European Union. GSP Plus gives Sri Lanka the right to export more than 7,200 products duty-free to the EU, which last year accounted for 36 percent of Sri Lanka's US $8.1 billion in total exports. more..

Army raising funds for a 'Wellness resort for disabled soldiers'

Oct 1 (SLA) A media conference to enlighten the local and foreign media on the proposed “Wellness Resort for totally disabled War Heroes”, new project initiated by the Seva Vanitha Army Branch (SVAB) in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Army was held at the Regency Hall at Mt. Lavinia Hotel Tuesday (29) evening with attendance of a host of journalists representing both electronic and print media. more..

Sri Lanka’s war-displaced Muslims want to return home

Oct 1 (AN) Syed Mohammed, 56, was driven out of his northern Sri Lanka home when the LTTE started ethnic cleansing in 1989, killing scores of Muslims, looting their homes, taking over their farmlands and attacking places of worship. He was a prosperous businessman, with an average daily income of 50,000 Sri Lankan rupees (approximately $435) from his Hotel Taj Mahal and his guests included UN officials. more..

A political dynasty rises in Sri Lanka

Oct 1 (National) With Sri Lanka heading for a prolonged bout of elections in the next six to eight months, a new political dynasty is in the making with more members of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s extended family taking to politics. Parliamentary polls are due before April and the government has said it would call a presidential poll by the end of December or early next year. Some local council elections are also on the cards. more..

President Mahinda Rajapaksa visits Anuradhapura

Oct 1 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Anuradhapura to inspect the land in Mahamevna Uyana where a new Dagaba is to be built as a monument to the country's victory over brutal terrorism. President also visited 'Atamasthana' and paid homage to the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi on 30th September. President was there with his delegation to inspect the land under the programme of 09 Dagabas to be build in the 09 provinces more..

Combating pro-LTTE separatist professionals’

Oct 1 (AT) Are there moves to globally revive the separatist LTTE and has the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora living in Western and European Union nations a fertile ground to revive the Eelam agenda overseas? What propaganda has been used by the remnants of the LTTE in the West to discredit Sri Lanka to gain grounds among the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora to get the Western nations to bring pressure on Sri Lanka as a move to de-rail the post-war reconstruction of this South Asian nation? more..

Kuwait: A large gathering of Sri Lankans attend Ramadan & Ifthar celebrations

Oct 1 (AT) Recently, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Kuwait together with Sri Lanka Manpower Association hosted Ramadan & Iftar celebrations at the Embassy premises. The celebrations which began in the evening of 11th September continued till 4.00 a.m. the next morning with the participation of over 2000 Sri Lankans and foreign nationals belonging to different ethnic and religious denominations. more..

Justice and law reforms minister meets his Dutch counterpart

Oct 1 (AT) Milinda Moragoda Minister of Justice and Law Reforms of Sri Lanka met with Minister of Justice of The Netherlands, E.M.H. Hirsch Ballin at the Ministry of Justice in The Hague. This meeting was part of an initiative to establish close cooperation between the two countries in the spheres of justice and the judiciary and to develop a medium and long-term strategy in this regard. more..

Do we need pesticides?

Oct 1 (AT) Cutting 50% of pesticide use today would cause no decrease in crop production and pesticide ban during the last two decades had caused no decrease in crop production, says Sumith Jayakody of the office of the Registrar of Pesticides. Addressing a media awareness programme organized by the Health Education Bureau in Colombo today on Safe Use of Pesticides, Jayakody added that no one would talk about getting rid of all pesticides tomorrow morning; more..

How do people 'escape' from the refugee camps in Sri Lanka unless they are internment camps?

Oct 1 (LP) Wording in some of the statements of the state officials reveal the true nature of the status of the refugee camps in Northern Province of Sri Lanka where around 300,000 internally displaced, mostly Tamil civilians are held. JVP MP Vijitha Herath pointed out today at a press conference held in Colombo that these places are not detention camps for people to 'escape'. more..

Two testimonies from families released from Menik Camp

Oct 1 (GV) Testimony #1: Around 50-52 IDP families from Zone 5, Menik Farm were brought outside the camp with their belongings and asked to leave without any assistance. No transport provided. No proper documentation was given to prove the release. The military brought our belongings in a tractor until the entrance of the camp and then handed over to us. We walked till the entrance. Once our belongings arrived, we were asked to go home. more..

Anglican bishop appeals for urgent resettlement of refugees

Oct 1 (UCAN) The head of the Anglican Church in Colombo has called on the government to resettle refugees held in camps in the north of the country, allow media access and speed up reconstruction and mine clearance. "Expedite the process of resettlement of these people back in their home areas," Bishop c said in a press release issued on Sept. 28. more..

SEP holds public meeting in plantations

Oct 1 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka held an important public meeting last Sunday in the town of Hatton in the plantation district in the centre of the island. Attended by local workers, youth and housewives, the meeting was entitled “The World Economic Crisis and the Plantation Workers’ Struggle” and was organised in the midst of widespread outrage by estate workers over the recent wage sell-out imposed by the plantation trade unions. more..

Aust-Tamils urge Australia to help IDPs rehabilitation

Oct 1 (LG) The situation in Sri Lanka has been hitting the world headlines ever since the defeat of the LTTE and the subsequent unification of the country. The bloody chapter in Sri Lankan history is over but much in the form of socio economic development remains to be done. Thousands of IDPs from the former regions held by the LTTE need to be rehabilitated. The Sri Lanka government has promised to do the same recently. more..

To win hearts and mind, we must have a heart and mind

Oct 1 (LG) Sri Lanka had a problem that no one thought it could handle. Terrorism. The problem was so monumental that many said ‘sue for peace’, meaning ‘surrender’. Sri Lanka fought the world’s most ruthless terrorist outfit to a finish. Sri Lanka suffered a terrible tragedy in the form of a tsunami but came away unbowed. Sri Lanka suffered two bloody insurrections but still managed to sustain its democratic structures (imperfect though they may be). No, we didn’t do it alone. more..

127 million working children in Asia Pacific

Oct 1 (PSM) It is estimated in today's International Children day that the largest number of working children are found in Asia Pacific region. They number- 127 million and are between the age of 14. It is also esteimated that every year, 22,000 children die in work related accidents all over the world. Sri lanka is not exempted. Picture shows a child labourer in Pattah, the busiest business hub in Colombo. more..

World Children and Elders Day today

Oct 1 (GDI) Today is the World Children’s and Elder’ Day. The theme of this year is “Let us build the nation for children which was won”. The ceremony in connection with the World Children’s day will be held at the Kularathne Hall of Ananda College this morning under the patronage of Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickremanayake. The declaration for the disabled children will be announced at the ceremony. more..

Special classes for O/L students in welfare camps

Oct 1 (GDI) Much focus is made on students in welfare camps who sit the GCE O/L exam this year. Minister Susil Premajayanth said all measures were in place to conduct special classes for the students in the welfare villages in the north who are sitting for the G.C.E. Ordinary Level Examination. 5,693 students in welfare villages sit the exam this year. 1,800 teachers have been assigned to conduct these special classes.

Students have a free day at the Zoo today

Oct 1 (GDI) More than 20,000 children under the age of 12 are allowed a free visit to the Dehiwala Zoo today in view of the Universal Children’s Day National Zoological Gardens Assistant Director, Renuka Bandaranayake told today. It was the first time in the Zoo history that such a number of children are being invited to visit the Zoo free of charge. They will also be provided with breakfast, snacks and entertainment. more..

Sathosa outlets to turn into a super market chain

Oct 1 (GDI) The Sathosa network will be transformed into a massive supermarket chain in Sri Lanka with over 150 trade stalls by the end of this year. Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operatives and Consumer Services Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that consumers were satisfied over the Government's effort and the consumer purchasing power has increased at these outlets. more..

Work on Southern Expressway in progress

Oct 1 (GDI) The Expressway has four lanes. Local as well as foreign financial assistance is being utilized to build the Expressway which is being successfully carried in two main stages. One stage is being launched from Kottawa to Kurundugaha-Hetekkma. The second stage is from Kurundugaha-Hetakkma to Matara. About 75 percent of the work on the first stage has already been completed. Construction on the other stage is being successfully mooted. more..

Navy rescues a stranded multi-day fishing vessel in deep seas

Oct 1 (MoD) A Sri Lankan multi-day fishing vessel stranded in deep seas 160 nautical miles East of Point Pedro was rescued and towed back to shore by Sri Lanka Naval Ship Sayura on the 30th September, at around 3.30a.m. According to the crew, two multi-day fishing vessels named 'Chejana' and 'Jeevana Rekha' had left Trincomalee harbor on 01st September 2009 to fish in deep seas. During the following days they had come across rough weather and more..

Steps to eradicate illegal fishing methods

Oct 1 (GDI) The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has decided to implement a special programme to eradicate illegal fishing methods and these steps will be taken with the assistance of the fishing community, the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said. According to the sources, 167 fishermen had been arrested in the recent past for violating the law. Legal action had been initiated against them. more..

SLBC starts broadcasting under digital and satellite technology

Oct 1 (SLBC) Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation starts its broadcasting via digital and satellite technology. It was launched this morning at the Temple Trees under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse. Speaking at the event, the President said that the SLBC the oldest radio network of Asia can be compared to a sleeping giant in the region. Now that the giant has awakened to thrive towards the 21st century with the implementation of modern technology in broadcasting. more..

'Nation knows who ‘patriots’ and ‘traitors’ are- but Ranil is blind to both'

Oct 1 (GDI) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has come up with a narrow definition to the term ‘patriotism’ by uttering nonsense in public, claimed Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa. Minister Yapa noted that the UNP headed by Wickramasinghe did not have a moral obligation to talk about ‘patriotism’ as they betrayed the nation by entering into a ceasefire agreement with more..

Ask what you have to give your country and not what the country has to give to give you” –President

Oct 1 (LP) President reminded to everyone these famous lines addressing the Assembly of 103rd session of the Sri Lanka Engineering Institute this morning. He mentioned that at no time in recent history had there been a resurgence of national feeling as today. This feeling that this is our motherland has to be borne in mind not only by the common people but also by those who have attained professionalism through more..

Ceremonies to commemorate electric fence system

Oct 1 (LP) One of the most effective measures to minister the elephant human conflict while protecting the elephants is to stop their entrance to villages by erecting electric fences. Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon points out that the elephant human conflict has become a serious issue in this country since the territories of these animals has been encroached by the people and therefore the number of elephants killed by the people is increasing yearly. more..

Landmines Nothern Situation

'Prof. Senaka Bibile’s drug policy was a giant step against imperialism'

Oct 1 (LT) “Prof. Senaka Bibile, as a Marxist and a Socialist, acted as a leader of the anti-imperialist struggle. The drug policy introduced by Prof. Senaka Bibile was a giant step in this struggle. However, his struggle was not limited to his introduction of the drug policy,” said Organizing Secretary of the Patriotic National Centre (PNC) MP Samanthe Vidyaratne. Making the keynote address at the 32nd commemoration of Prof. Senaka Bibile held at more..

Nurses campaign for their rights

Oct 1 (LT) A protest campaign against the failure of the government to solve eight issues confronted by nurses including the failure to remove salary anomalies, halting recruitment of new students, closing down of nurses training colleges and demanding that they should be solved immediately was held opposite the Ministry of Health yesterday. Despite several nurses’ trade unions publishing statements against the campaign to sabotage it, more..

Shall begin fast if jobs are not given – graduates in the South

Oct 1 (LT) The Unemployed Graduates Union in the South will commence a ‘protest fast’ in Matara town from tomorrow (2nd) protesting against several issues including failure to find employment to graduates said the spokesman for the union Dhammike Munasinghe. Speaking to the media Mr. Munasinghe said, “The UPFA government has not given any employment to graduates since 2004. They said they would give employment to 10,000 graduates from the 2005 budget. more..

“Didulana Hakmana,’ the kingly humbug that declared open ‘opened’ projects

Oct 1 (LT) It has been revealed that the ‘Didulana Hakmana’ project that was declared open by the President on the 24th was another ‘media pageant’ by the government. According to reports several of these projects had been ‘declared open’ earlier. The post office opened by the President under the “Didulana Hakmana” had been declared open in 1969. The Pradeshiya Sabha building had been ‘opened’ in 1995. more..

All expenses paid trip for CJ to visit daughter and son in law in the Netherlands

Oct 1 (LNW) The President has cancelled an official tour to the Netherlands by several senior members of the Attorney General’s Department to study the international laws related to terrorism in order to establish a separate court to hear cases against LTTE suspects and has asked Chief Justice (CJ) Asoka Silva to travel to the Netherlands instead, Justice Ministry sources said. more..

Maga Neguma Chairman’s room rent per month is Rs. six million

Oct 1 (UNP) The Maga neguma coming under the purview of the President, has been the subject of severe criticism of the Opposition parties for alleged swindles and corruption especially in connection with the Deniyaya Palace construction for which several millions of rupees of the Maganeguma funds have been diverted illegally. The room rent of the Chairman of this controversial Maga Neguma, Jaliya Kulasekera is Rs. 200,000/ per day. more..

'Govt's claim that all IDPs in East have been resettled is a lie'

Oct 1 (LT) “There is a news item in a today’s newspaper that all those who were in IDP camps in the Eastern Province have been resettled. This is false. We say this news item should be corrected immediately. People who were in large IDP camps have been settled in various areas in private lands at Trincomalee in batches of 50 or 100. They have been put into small camps. This could never be called ‘re-settlement,’ more..

Mathata Thitha misunderstood says Minister

Oct 1 (Island) Minister Milroy S. Fernando, yesterday said that he unequivocally appreciated President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s ‘Mathata Thitha’ campaign, but it wouldn’t be reasonable to deny the Sri Lankans a chance to enjoy at least an occasional drink. He said that many had misunderstood the President’s concept as a campaign to bring down the licensed liquor manufacturers and thereby cause the collapse of the local liquor market. more..

JVP candidates petition SC against RDA

Oct 1 (LNP) Fifteen candidates of the JVP yesterday complained to the Supreme Court that the Road Development Authority (RDA) had complained to the Tangalle police that the JVP drew Bell symbols and crosses on the roads in Hambantota District, and thereby impaired the maintenance of the public highway. But the RDA had failed to complain to the police about the betel leaf symbols and the crosses painted on the roads in the same area, in favour of the UPFA Candidates, more..

Crack the whip

Oct 1 (DM) One of the by-products of a service oriented economy is the deterioration of the general standards of intelligence and also the discipline of candidates contesting elections and entering national and regional assemblies. Sri Lanka, especially during the last decade or so saw a plethora of entertainers, not real artistes, making it to politics. More often than not their presence especially their behaviour went on to create a dent in the informed voters’ confidence in the political system. more..

Hirdaramani Group to launch another green factory in Sri Lanka

Oct 1 (LNP) The Hirdaramani Group will open its latest green factory CKT Apparel (Pvt) Ltd., tomorrow at Agalawatte, Yatiyana. Hirdaramani Group Director, Arjuna Kuruppu said it is evident that man s action has resulted in global warming and consequently the ecological system has been destroyed and fresh water levels have depleted. Our team at CKT Apparel took this into consideration and achieved something completely different for a better tomorrow. more..

Steering a new era of development

Oct 1 (DN) The economic outlook of the future of Sri Lanka was predicted to become positive by the Central Bank and senior Government Ministers since the war against terrorism was over and even while the war was on an average macro economic growth rate of over four percent was recorded for the first and second quarters of the current year. The Daily News interviewed State Revenue Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya more..

Lanka's cost-effective war on terror

Oct 1 (LNP) Many an aspect of Sri Lanka`s successful war has been discussed. Its proponents are jubilant over military victory over terrorism and the resultant freedom from fear and obviation of threats to national security, while its opponents stay focused on the external costs of the conflagration including displacement which the government is struggling to tackle at present. But, what was the real cost of Sri Lanka`s war on terror in monetary terms? more..

Sri Lankan dishes spotlighted at Spicy Leaves

Oct 1 (SFG) Rather than focus on north Indian cuisine, like most of its ilk in America, or southern India's chaat, like many eateries in the South Bay, Spicy Leaves casts its net across the entire subcontinent. Chef Rajesh Selvarathnam, who trained in India, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Europe before coming to the United States, may cover South Asia, but he places a special emphasis on his home island of Sri Lanka. more..