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Now, contractor rewarded for delaying launch of power plant

Oct 8 (Island) Despite a delay in the launch of construction work on the Combined Cycle plant at Kerawalapitiya, the contractor, West Coast Power aka Yugadhanavi has received an additional Rs. 350 million from the debt-ridden CEB. A senior official told The Island yesterday that in keeping with the agreement between the CEB and the private firm work should have commenced by September 15. more..

Rehabilitation of LTTE child soldiers successful

Oct 8 (MoD) The government has already launched programmes to rehabilitate children conscripted by the LTTE terrorist organization. The rehabilitation programme is underway at Punthottam in Vavuniya and the children rehabilitated are being provided school education and vocational training. The rehabilitation process has been stepped up under "Uthuru Wasanthaya" development drive more..

‘Last chance’ politicians are no longer with the people: poll chief

Oct 8 (LG) The 'last chance' politicians are no longer with the public. Today candidates are chosen for their money, physical strength or personal beauty. They don't have any other qualifications. The party hierarchy too chooses persons who can take their party to victory. The whole political system must change, says Dayananda Dissanayake, Elections Commissioner. more..

“Every worker has a right to a safe return”

Oct 8 (LP) A national work shop was held yesterday (07) in Colombo to mark the National occupational safety and health week. Addressing the eager audience, the secretary to the Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Mahinda Madihahewa said that the workshop was held with participation of around 250 workers in Bogala Graphite mines to promote occupational safety and health among workers. more..

'UNP challenges Govt. to prove it can win elections lawfully by implementing 17th amendment'

Oct 8 (UNP) UNP M.P. Gayantha Karunatilleke challenged the Govt. which has been elected by the people lawfully to act lawfully and abide by the laws of the constitution and the country to show that it can win elections lawfully by implementing the 17th amendment which will permit the Elections Commissioner to exercise his powers duly, against the Govt. candidates who are openly violating the election laws more..

Security, welfare and development

Oct 8 (LNP) The UPFA Government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and with rapid progress achieved under the Mahinda Chinthana has today strengthened its power with the massive support from the people. It has been strengthened to such a degree there seems to be no opposition in the South now, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena says. more..

Sathyagraha’ by teachers demanding solutions to several issues

Oct 8 (LT) A large number of teachers engaged in a protest campaign and a ‘Sathyagraha’ opposite the Ministry of Education at Pelawatta at 10.00 a.m. yesterday (7th) protesting against the failure of the Minister of Education and his ministry to solve a large number of issues affecting more than 225,000 teachers in the country. The protest campaign and ‘Sathyagraha’ was organized by Lanka Teachers Service Union (LTSU). more..

War between President and General escalates

Oct 8 (LT) The contradiction between President Mahinda Rajapakse and Gen. Sarath Fonseka has deepened say reports reaching us. The issue became bitter at the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Army held at BMICH recently. Even the security personnel of Gen. Sarath Fonseka have not been allowed to come into the venue of the celebration nor had there been any reserved place to park Gen. Fonseka’s vehicle. more..

Special video cameras installed to confirm the security of Colombo city

Oct 8 (LS) To confirm the security measures of the City of Colombo, special video cameras would be installed and such project would be implemented from the forthcoming December 15th. Deputy Inspector General of Police Gamini Nawaratne who is in charge of this assignment of fixing cameras, informed the activities to install such video cameras to observe in the whole of Colombo City has already commenced. more..

Police officer arrested for acquiring bribe from women escaped from the camp

Oct 8 (LS) A police officer who had attempted to obtain bribe from two women who had escaped from the internment camps living in Vavuniya was arrested. The special police division offices arrested the said police officer who had threatened the two women and had attempted to obtain 2 hundred thousand rupees as bribe. Information stated the said police officer was on a assignment to Vavuniya from Mannar. more..

'Resettlement of IDPs is our main priority'

Oct 8 (LNP) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has assured UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International development Mike Foster that resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons in their homes and helping them to resume their livelihood were the main priority of the Government of Sri Lanka. Bogollagama met Foster in Colombo following his return from Vavuniya. more..

Tourist arrival increases with Peace

Oct 8 (MoD) The arrival of tourists has increased in a remarkable manner with peace having returned to the country, Sri Lanka Tourism sources revealed. The government has focused special attention to boost the tourism industry in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. With the peaceful environment in the country after defeating the LTTE terrorists, government has given attention to develop the infrastructure facilities including highways in these Provinces. more..

'Minister Siyambalapitiya should resign for misleading Parliament & people'

Oct 8 (LT) Minister of State Revenue and Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, who had clearly stated that a budget for 2010 that would give relief to masses and develop the country would be definitely presented to the Parliament , should take the responsibility of the decision by the government to present only a 'vote-on-account' and resign from his ministerial portfolio says UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. more..

Ananda Bodhi sapling offered to Red Bridge Buddhist Vihara

Oct 8 (IL) A sapling of sacred Ananda Bodhi of Jethawanaramaya, Sravasthi, India was offered recently to the Red Bridge Buddhist Vihara in Ilford, Essex by Dr M.B. Ranatunga and Mrs. Nawamalie (Nali) Ranatunga. Red Bridge Vihara conducted the religious services for many years without a Bodhi (Bo- Ficus religiosa) tree since the Temple was established. Ven Pethigamuwe Hemaratana Thero, the Head of the Vihara gladly accepted the Bodhi tree and more..

CCC, Norway program to help Sri Lankan industrialists

Oct 8 (LNP) Sri Lankan industrialists could benefit under industrial co-operation, a matchmaking program facilitated by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce between Sri Lanka and Norway. Six BOI establishments have been set up through the matchmaking program. Euronor, a 100 percent Norwegian company was set up with an investment of US $ 700,000 in September 2008 to manufacture kindergarten furniture, wooden toys and sports equipment. more..

Sri Lanka swimmer banned

Oct 8 (LNP) South Asian Games medal winning Sri Lankan swimmer Chetiya Wijeratne who tested positive for a banned substance at a recent national level event, has been banned from competition for six months. Sri Lanka Aquatic Sports Union (SLASU) Secretary Kiran Atapattu said that SLASU imposed the ban on the swimmer yesterday on the recommendations made by National Anti Doping Organisation of Sri Lanka (NADO) headed by Dr. Geethanjana Mendis following an inquiry. more..

India's envoy to Sri Lanka appointed as Deputy National Security Adviser

Oct 8 (PTI) Alok Prasad, a senior Indian Foreign Service officer and India’s envoy to Sri Lanka, has been appointed as the Deputy National Security Adviser. Mr. Prasad will hold the office for two years or until further orders, according to the decision of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. Prior to his posting in Colombo, the 1974-batch officer has served in various key positions including as India’s High Commissioner in Singapore and more..

SPC Elections Great Expectations?

Maruthamunai weavers: Bonding cultures

Oct 8 (DN) Maruthamunai is a village situated 2.3 km away from the north of Kalmunai at the 390 mile post in the administrative division of Kalmunai Divisional Secretariat. It belongs to the Ampara District of the Eastern Province. Maruthamunai has been known for its family-based and factory-based handloom weavers throughout the years. As a result of the tsunami disaster of December 26, 2004, 366 families lost their 768 handlooms and their inputs. more..

Kilinochchi to get Rs 85 m vocational training centre

Oct 8 (DN) The younger generation in Sri Lanka should be educated for the country to have a better future, said Vocational Training Authority Chairman, Admiral Daya Sandagiri. He was speaking at the launch of the project website “Light to life”. The project was initiated by Rotary International District 3320, JWT and the Vocational Training Authority to set up a full-fledged Vocational Training Centre in Kilinochchi. more..

'Child malnutrition down in IDP centres'

Oct 8 (MoD) Malnutrition in IDP children has decreased significantly during the past five months and severe acute malnutrition has gone down by 50 percent. This is a significant improvement in their nutrition condition, UNICEF Representative to Sri Lanka, Philippe Duamelle said. He said that according to a survey conducted last May, IDP children below the age of five suffered from acute malnutrition and another assessment was done on the condition last September. more..

High level Iranian military delegation due in Colombo

Oct 8 (Island) A high level Iranian military delegation is expected in Sri Lanka shortly. This was discussed during a meeting between visiting Iranian Defence Attache Brigadier Seyed Reza and Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya. Extending Iran’s warmest congratulations to Sri Lanka Army celebrating its 60th anniversary on October 10, the Iranian diplomat said that this year’s anniversary was significant due to their glorious victory over LTTE terrorism. more..

Detaining IDPs Violates Treaty: EU

Oct 8 (DM) A top European Union official has expressed concern over the failure by the government to permit freedom of movement to the more than 200,000 IDPs housed at welfare camps in the North saying the failure to do so is not in line with a United Nations treaty. Ms. Jean Lambert, President of the European Parliament (EP) delegation for relations with South Asia, in an e-mailed comment to more..

'Do not dictate terms affecting country’s sovereignty'

Oct 8 (Island) "Several International Non Governmental Organizations and Non Governmental Organizations work with the Government. But, some of them think they could do anything in our country by providing cash aid. Such attitudes should not be encouraged in Sri Lanka," Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said, at a ceremony to mark the 60th anniversary of the Department of Wildlife Conservation at the BMICH. more..

Tragic fate of TRO employees abducted by TMVP in January 2006

Oct 8 (DBS) It was in January 2006 that some employees of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) were abducted and later killed by members of the breakaway faction of the LTTE led by Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan alias Karuna. While the Karuna faction later became known as the TMVP Karuna himself along with a section of his loyalists has joined the SLFP and is now a vice-president of that party. more..

Fate of 40 LTTE suspects in A’pura prison

Oct 8 (DM) Discussions are currently underway to determine the future of 40 remanded suspected LTTE cadres in the Anuradhapura Prisons who went on a hunger strike, Prison’s Commission Spokesman Kenneth Fernando said yesterday. The Spokesman told the Daily Mirror that the suspected LTTE cadres stopped consuming their meals on September 28 in protest for the particular requests not being granted. more..

Clash between Fonseka and Gotabhaya intensifies

Oct 8 (LNW) A senior official at the Presidential Secretariat told Lanka News Web that Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka has rejected the additional appointment given to him as Sports Ministry Secretary by the President. The official said General Fonseka earlier rejected several requests made by the President for him to take over as secretary of either the Export Development Ministry or the Power and Energy Ministry. more..

Galle set for free, fair poll

Oct 8 (DN) All is set for a free and fair election on Saturday, facilitating 761,815 voters of 10 electorates in the Galle district at 670 polling stations to elect 23 councillors for the Southern Provincial Council, Galle District Returning Officer Asoka Jayasekara told the Daily News. A 10,000 workforce has been deployed for the proper and smooth functioning of the election. Special pools of officers have also been established at more..

D.M. believes he should be next PM

Oct 8 (DM) Senior Vice President of the SLFP and Minister D.M. Jayaratne is of the opinion that he is suitable to be the next Prime Minister but added that a final decision on the matter remains in the hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Speaking to the Daily Mirror the Minister said “I am the senior most member of the SLFP and I am suitable to hold the Prime Minister portfolio in the next government.” more..

'Polls void if cut-outs remain'

Oct 8 (DM) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday warned that he would be compelled to cancel the polls in two areas in the Hambantota District where none of the cut-outs or banners of some candidates are removed. Mr. Dissanayake told a news conference yesterday that the police have not heeded his repeated requests to remove those banners and cut-outs. However he said he cannot reveal the location of the two areas. more..

Pak team in Sri Lanka to probe Lahore attack on cricketers

Oct 8 (PTI) A Pakistani investigation team is in Sri Lanka to probe reports that elements in the island nation were linked to the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, interior minister Rehman Malik said today. The team is investigating whether there are any Sri Lankan links to the attack, Malik told reporters. It will also review the probe conducted by Sri Lankan authorities into the same incident, he added. more..

Hillary’s remark on Lanka not on recent phase of conflict: US

Oct 8 (ZN) The Obama administration on Wednesday asserted that recent remarks made by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, that rape was used as a weapon of war in Sri Lanka along with Burma and the Balkans, was not specific to the recent phase of conflict which ended early this year. US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, PJ Crowley, yesterday said the US Ambassador at Large on Women's issues, has written a letter to Sri Lankan government that more..

President won’t bow down to pressure

Oct 8 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa while noting that Sri Lanka’s friendly ties with the international community was strong as ever and would always work towards strengthening existing relations asserted that, however he was not prepared to betray the country’s honour and bow down to unreasonable conditions or pressure exerted by outside forces. more..

Amnesty Int'l wants war refugees freed

Oct 8 (AP) Amnesty International called Thursday for Sri Lanka to release hundreds of thousands of war refugees detained in military-run camps, saying monsoon rains could flood the centers and create a health crisis. Sri Lanka has come under intense pressure from human rights groups and foreign governments to free the nearly 300,000 minority Tamils who were forced into the camps after fleeing the final months of the government's war with the Tamil Tiger rebels earlier this year. more..

Govt. urged to secure fishermen's release

Oct 9 (BBC) Sri Lankan fishermen call upon the government to influence Indian authorities to release the fishermen detained in Andaman Island. 51 Sri Lankan fishermen have been held in Andaman Island for more than seven months. Calling for immediate action by the government to secure the release of fishermen, their families and fishing associations staged a protest in Colombo. “We plead the government to do something to bring them back, my son is among the detainees, and more..

Vanni doctors back at work

Oct 9 (BBC) All four doctors who served in the Tiger held territory in Vanni and Mullaitivu districts were reinstated in the government health service. “I am appointed as the additional provincial director for the North and this office deliver medical supplies to five districts” Dr T. Sathiyamoorty told BBC Sandeshaya. Dr T. Sathiyamoorty was the Killinochchi Regional Director of Health Services (RDSH) when the area was under the LTTE. more..

'Only JVP can drive away Mahinda Rajapakse government '

Oct 9 (LT) The undemocratic path of the Rajapakse government could be stopped only by the JVP says General Secretary of eh JVP Tilvin Silva. Speaking at the final rally for the Southern PC election held by the JVP at Tissamaharamaya Mr. Tilvin Silva said, “Mr. Mahinda Rajapaske is treading on a path to build up a dynasty. The scheme is to hold elections in one or two provincial councils, win them by using state power and state resources without allowing police to perform their duty and more..

Climate Change – Sri Lanka’s Perspective

Oct 9 (AT) The time for dilly-dallying over the question of climate change is over. Scientists from around the world have agreed that climate change is a reality. The Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change consisting of 4000 experts demonstrated in 2007 that human-induced factors are relentlessly driving the increase in the global temperature. In his address at the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change on 07th October, Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona, more..

Sri Lanka opens first Korean language school

Oct 9 (KT) A civic group based in Seoul said Thursday it will operate a Korean language school in cooperation with the government of Sri Lanka. The Global Sharing of Love, an NGO which has been initiating a movement to build schools in underdeveloped countries, will meet with Sri Lankan officials in November to further discuss the "Korea Wish School Project." The initiative includes the construction of a primary school, a Korean language school, more..

Displaced in Sri Lanka trapped between military and monsoon

Oct 9 (AT) A quarter of a million Sri Lankans being held in de facto detention camps are facing a humanitarian disaster as monsoon rains threaten to flood camps, said Amnesty International today. For months, the Sri Lankan government authorities have failed to deliver basic services to camps set up in the Vavuniya District in the north-east that were created following conflict in the area. more..

Challenges of peace, reconciliation and unity remain and must be surmounted

Oct 9 (TC) The country is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Sri Lankan Army, an anniversary made especially significant by the victory of the armed forces over the LTTE almost five months ago. The pivotal role of the forces in that victory was celebrated in its immediate aftermath by spontaneous rejoicing and relief over the defeat of the LTTE as well as through official ceremonies expressing the country’s gratitude and more..

JVP charges the UPFA candidates on using public resources

Oct 9 (AT) The ruling Freedom Alliance government has misused the government properties and human resources violating the election procedures, claimed by the JVP at a press briefing. JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that from the beginning of the Southern Provincial Council election campaign, the Freedom Alliance candidates used the government properties as well as public sector employees. more..

BTI application to control dengue

Oct 9 (AT) Dengue control is everybody’s problem. There are 16 centres in Sri Lanka which have the responsibility for controlling dengue, it is not one or two institutions or individuals problem or responsibility, said Dr. Firdos Mehta, WHO Representative to Sri Lanka at a press briefing held in the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition, yesterday. He added that public contribution is vital in fulfilling the main role of eradicating dengue and more..

Sri Lanka state utility to buy 50MW of wind power

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run power utility has given the nod for 50 MegaWatts of wind power to be developed by five parties in the north-western Puttalam area of the island, an official said. Two firms, Senok and Hayleys, have already signed standardized power purchase agreements (SPPA) for 10MW each and have started building, Ajith Fernando, deputy general manager in charge of energy purchase at Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said. more..

Sri Lanka suffers nationwide power failure

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's faced a nation-wide power outage in the early hours of Friday, and state-run Ceylon Electricity Board is working on restoring supply, officials said. The system was energized twice but it failed as lines tripped. CEB officials say a the utility was having difficulty bringing power from the Kotmale generation complex. Though power was routed through alternative lines, they also tripped, causing the system to fail again, more..

Sri Lanka withdraws bonus interest on forex deposits

Oct 9 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government has stopped paying bonus interest on the interest earned on foreign currency deposits in banks, the Sri Lanka Banks' Association said. The Central Bank has withdrawn the payment of bonus interest in rupees on interest paid to foreign currency accounts from October 1, the association said in a notice to all resident and non resident account holders. more..

Opposition intends to make election gains

Oct 9 (National) While the ruling party is expected to win tomorrow’s key provincial election in the south, the opposition is hoping to reduce its margin of victory and prove that the president, Mahinda Rajapaska, is not invincible, ahead of presidential and parliamentary polls due in the next six months. The ruling UPFA)is riding on a crest of popular support after it won a 26-year war with Tamil guerrillas in May. more..

Colombo extends Emergency

Oct 9 (Hindu) Close to five months after the military defeat of the LTTE, Sri Lankan Parliament on Thursday extended the state of Emergency in the country by another month. The motion to extend the Emergency was adopted by Parliament with a majority of 70 votes. While 82 parliamentarians voted for the motion, 12 voted against. The main opposition UNP abstained while members of the JVP were not present in House. more..

National Savings Bank exceeds deposit target

Oct 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned National Savings Bank (NSB) had exceeded its 2009 deposit mobilization target of 30 billion rupees by the end of the third quarter, a senior official said. "So far we have achieved 38 billion rupees and we expect it will exceed 40 billion rupees at year's end," H M Hennayake Bandara, NSB's additional general manager, finance told reporters at a media conference. more..

Tamil Nadu MPs to visit Lanka Tamil camps

Oct 9 (PTI) A parliamentary delegation of MPs from Tamil Nadu will leave for Sri Lanka on Saturday to assess the situation of Tamils in camps and the relief and rehabilitation works provided by the government there. Giving in to the demands of its ally, the Congress-led UPA government has decided to send nine MPs — four each from DMK and Congress including an MP from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi. more..