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It's Tamil deceit

Oct 19 (IL) As an Australian of Sri Lanka origin I can confidently state that the man and the young girl on the boat detained in Indonesia shown on TV on Thursday are not direct arrivals from Sri Lanka. They do not have a Tamil accent nor do their English and the manner of speech resemble the northerners of Sri Lanka. They are well fed, possibly Western-educated Tamil Tiger operatives. They certainly have well-rehearsed their act and more..

The great Sri Lankan democracy!

Oct 19 (LG) If the number of elections held is a measure of the practice of democracy in a country, then Sri Lanka should rank among the best in the world. Eight elections in 16 months and all won by one party led by one leader — President Mahinda Rajapakse. That should make ours not only the best democratic country but also have one of the best democratic leaders. Cynics, and traitors (i.e. those not with the UPFA government) may disagree. more..

The war of restoration

Oct 19 (LG) People seem to be taking for granted, the opposition’s innate inability to organize itself and mount a challenge to the governing party at elections that will inevitably happen next year. All the opposition seems to be able to do at the moment is to launch a pseudo-Gramscian challenge, by marshalling civil-society as an organizing force against the state. Antonio Gramsci the 19th century Italian Marxist ideologue stated that undermining capitalist hegemony can be done through more..

Fortress Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (LG) The war is over; the crisis continues. The endless search for enemies, the sprawling internment camps, the perilous economic conditions and the mounting international opprobrium are rendering normalcy as elusive as a distant dream. The idea of a conspiracy, nebulous, multi-dimensional and omni-present, seems to be bedevilling the thoughts, words and deeds of the regime. A Herculean endeavour to exterminate this hydra-headed conspiracy has more..

Do we actually have the right to protest?

Oct 19 (LG) Much has been said regarding the right to freedom of assembly and association in Sri Lanka. It has been maintained for example that these are rights that are recognized in the country. However, as much as these rights are legally recognised in our law, it is a matter for doubt as to whether they are allowed to be practically recognised. One example suffices out of a plethora of such instances in recent times. more..

Sri Lanka claims Rajaratnam funded Tamil Tigers

Oct 19 (FT) Raj Rajaratnam, the New York-based billionaire and hedge fund manager charged in an alleged insider trading scheme on Friday, was funding the LTTE, which is considered a terrorist group by the US, the Sri Lankan government claimed on Sunday. Spokesman for the Sri Lankan defence ministry, told the Financial Times that the government had been monitoring Mr Rajaratnam for several years. more..

UK Lanka deportations 'under review'

Oct 19 (BBC) A British court has called upon the authorities to consider accusations of human rights violations in Sri Lanka while reviewing deportation of failed asylum seekers to the island. High Court Judge Pelling, QC, has made the remarks after the British Home Office informed the court that the country’s policy is under review after the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lanka government announced the defeat of the Tamil Tigers on 18 May. more..

The return of the native: an appreciation of Basil Fernando’s poems –Part II

Oct 19 (LG) The origin of turbulence can be derived from the collapse of “Babels” in all critical junctions of history. Every age raises and demolishes the self-Babel. At the end of every generation, every era, we witness a collapse in communication. History is a broken narrative of the never-ending saga of generations engaged in the construction and deconstruction of a new Babel. more..

Etihad Airways resumes flights to Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (FTN) Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is to resume flights to Colombo in Sri Lanka, starting in January 2010. The airline will operate four flights per week from Abu Dhabi to Sri Lanka’s largest city and commercial capital, using an Airbus A320 aircraft. The resumption of flights follows the recent end to the civil conflict in Sri Lanka and the boost that this is likely to more..

Stop Sri Lanka, not its refugees

Oct 19 (ES) In 2007, then opposition leader Kevin Rudd outfoxed prime minister John Howard in a game of political one-upmanship that was dubbed 'me-tooism'. Copying popular government policies was arguably the decisive factor that took Labor to victory in the federal election. Once the election was over, Rudd moved on and proceeded to implement policies based on principle. We had the ratification of Kyoto, the apology to Indigenous Australians, and more. more..

Lanka under pressure on resettlement issue

Oct 19 (HT) The issue of clearing anti-personnel mines planted by the LTTE, the Sri Lankan army (SLA) and even the IPKF is fast becoming a diplomatic minefield for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa is under intense international pressure to hasten the process of resettlement of the displaced Tamils; the UN and US are pressurising it to send the refugees back home and the UK has called for a cut in international aid till resettlement picked up pace. more..

Sri Lankan in Kuwait celebrates Deepavali

Oct 19 (AT) In recognition of the beliefs and aspirations of Hindu devotees, the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait on 17th October organized a “Deepavali Festival” at the Embassy premises with the participation of the Embassy staff, their family members, well-wishers and over 50 inmates of the Embassy Suraksha Nivahana belonging to all faiths. This is first ever Deepavali festival to have been organized by the Embassy staff in Kuwait. more..

Sri lankan conservatory turtles

Sycophants vs General Fonseka

Oct 19 (AT) The reported friction between Sri Lanka’s Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka and Rajapaksa regime is undoubtedly an unwelcome turn of events – except perhaps to political opportunists including LTTE sympathisers. What is even more disturbing is that while Military Spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara has tried his best to downplay the negative publicity some government ministers are doing more..

I confessed under duress: Lankan maid

Oct 19 (AN) Rizana Nafeek, the Sri Lankan maid, who has been in jail for the past four years for allegedly killing a Saudi infant in 2005, told a court on Sunday that her first confession was made under duress and as a result of a physical assault. Nafeek made this statement before a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Abdullah Al-Rosaimi at a court in Dawadmi. Her statement in court was translated by Abdul Kareem, more..

Would-be migrants sent to Vancouver on B.C. ferry

Oct 19 (CP) Dozens of people who were aboard a mystery ship that was seized off Canada's West Coast and towed into Victoria over the weekend were loaded onto buses on Sunday and ferried to the Vancouver-area for further screening. The 76 males, possibly from Sri Lanka, were found when the RCMP boarded a vessel displaying the name Ocean Lady on Friday near Port Renfrew and took control of the ship. more..

Swine flu cases rise to 115

Oct 19 (GDI) The number of cases related to H1N1 Influenza have risen to 115 so far. Awareness programs are now being conducted in schools due to increasing numbers of Novel influenza A H1NI (Swine Flu) cases among school children in Sri Lanka, the Head of the Epidemiology Unit, Dr. Ms. Paba Phalihawadena told. She warned all school principals to be mindful of all school children and that the public do not need to panic on the outbreak of the disease. more..

Milk Super Centers for schools

Oct 19 (GDI) The Government has embarked on a flagship project of providing fresh milk and milk based products to school children in a bid to improve the nutritional levels. The School Principals in the Colombo urban and sub-urban areas who are keen to set up milk super centers in their respective schools now could seek assistance from the National Livestock Development Board to meet that requirement. more..

Action Plan on non- communicable diseases

Oct 19 (GDI) The Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition will shortly draw up a National Policy and Strategic Framework for Prevention and Control of Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases. The Ministry has identified Heart disease, Hypertension, Stroke, Diabetes and Cancer as leading causes to death and disability in the country. These aliments have resulted in the deterioration of public health while adding financial burdens on the health sector. more..

Abduction of Buddhist Monk SPC member ordered to appear in court today

Oct 19 (CaFFE) A Southern Provincial Councillor has been ordered to be present at the Galle Magistrate’s Courts today to face charges of threatening and pouring liquor on a bhikkhu as the latter had not cast his preferential vote for the councillor at the recently held SPC polls, according to the police. Police said they had received a complaint that the suspect UPFA PC member threatened and poured liquor on Ven. Kolitha Thera. more..

Sri Lankan stranded in Indonesia

Oct 19 (LG) On October 10th the Indonesian navy took in tow a dilapidated boat carrying 255 Sri Lankans, including women and children, found drifting in Indonesian territorial waters as reported in The Jakarta Post. However the Jakarta Globe reported the boat was intercepted in the Sunda Strait after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received a tip-off from Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. They claimed to be on their way to Australia. more..

Mahinda Chinthanaya is not Mantra

Oct 19 (LG) Momentum struck Sri Lanka in the international level when Sri Lankan born multi-billionaire Raj Rajaratnam was arrested by the Federal Police in the USA over insider share dealings. The government of Sri Lanka thought it can overcome the western pressure by engaging with questionable governments and characters but it is unfortunate, things are not rosy for the government. Having propped up the insider dealer to invest in the equity market in Sri Lanka, more..

Nishantha Muthuhettigama’s area organizer’s post snatched

Oct 19 (LS) Reports states, Nishantha Muthuhettigama who had achieved the most number of preferential votes and had come in the third place, at the recently held Southern Provincial election, on behalf of UPFA’s, his party Organizer’s post had been snatched. Nishantha publicly commented regarding the party and party leadership during the past is much noted. more..

GSP+ out for SL?- so will hundreds of thousands of workers

Oct 19 (UNP) SL’s fate and of hundreds of thousands of workers mainly in the Garment trade will depend on the decision to be taken on the GSP+ concessions which enters its final phase today (19). The European Union (EU) Council which accused the Govt. of violating the international HR laws, thereby denying itself the right to the GSP+ benefits, is scheduled to receive a set of recommendations today, from an experts committee. more..

'Health Minister toying with children and people’s lives'

Oct 19 (UNP) UNP M.P. Renuka Herath said the Health Minister must hold himself responsible for the tragedies following the administration of rubella vaccine in the State Hospitals. Already two children have died. But, the Minister has not taken any action to remedy the problem. The health Minister who is never short of excuses for the raging Health Minister bungles, is always short of solutions to the urgent health problems in the country. more..

Awareness programmes for school children on H1N1

Oct 19 (LP) Awareness programs are being conducted in schools due to increasing numbers of Novel influenza A H1NI (Swine Flu) cases among school children in Sri Lanka. It was reported that 08 students in an International School in Nugegoda were infected with H1N1 while the mother of one student and a worker at the school were also infected. They are now being treated at the IDH Hospital in Angoda. more..

No single or body of persons can claim credit for war victory against LTTE

Oct 19 (TC) The final defeat of the `killing might’ of the LTTE on the 18th May 2009 ushered in a new era to our tortured land – an era when People of all races, religions, genders, ages and walks of life could go about their normal avocations without fear of being torn to pieces by bombs exploded in or about crowded city centres, shops, buses and trains; when Tamil residents of the North and the East could rest assured that more..

Someone who bows to wealth and strength is not war hero – President

Oct 19 (LT) “War heroes should set example to safeguard the victory they achieved at war front. An individual who does not bow down to wealth or strength outside the war front can become an authentic hero”, said the President at a ceremony held at Matale yesterday to honour the war heroes. The President expressing his views stated that the Army chiefs just cannot fight merely with arms and an army of soldiers but more..

'Condom theory' of Sri Lanka's ruling regime extended beyond borders

Oct 19 (LP) Opposition critics have coined a new phrase called 'condom theory' to the political jargon to describe a political principle of the current President Mahinda Rajapakse. The President ranked by his four brothers is accused by opposition of using people for political gains and disposing them afterward like birth control condoms. Rajapakse's campaign manager of the 2005 Presidential, Mangala Samaraweera identifies himself as a victim of this ‘condom theory’. more..

If GSP plus is lost, 100,000 families be destitute: Ranil

Oct 19 (LG) If the GSP Plus is lost, another 100,000 families would be without a means of income, says Ranil Wickremasinghe, Leader of the Opposition. Addressing an interactive public meeting in Habarakada yesterday, the leader of the United National Party said that he too would take the economy forward in the same way presidents J. R. Jayewardene and R. Premadasa had done. more..

Denver balloon boy and floating democracy in Lanka

Oct 19 (DM) So the local police authorities are planning to slap criminal charges against the perpetrators of the case which saw a 6 year old boy sparking a frantic search by hiding in garage attic when the whole world thought he was up in the sky floating in a helim balloon. It would be interesting to know what action the police would take if they get it confirmed beyond doubt that it’s the boy who let off the balloon which more..

ODEL to go global soon

Oct 19 (LNP) Speaking to Daily News Business, and ODEL official said. `We have expanded our business to the international arena also. At present we have a franchise agent in the Maldives and we have a good market in the Maldives. In the future we hope to expand ODEL worldwide,` he said. ODEL opened its newest branch at Mount Lavinia last week. ODEL CEO Otara Gunawardena said, `Opening a branch at Mount Lavinia is a milestone for ODEL and this is our eighth branch. more..

Devadatta of Galle and govt.`s silence

Oct 19 (LNP) Some Buddhist monks are up in arms against the abduction and manhandling of a colleague in the fraternity in Galle recently after the conclusion of the Southern Provincial Council polls. The victim, Ven. Ratnapure Kolitha Thera of Sri Sumanaramaya, Naranowita, has told the police that a UPFA candidate abducted him and doused him with arrack. The politician, the monk says, was peeved at the low number of preferential votes he had polled. more..

St Joseph's take title

Oct 19 (CI) Thirty-six teams, 32 matches and three days of non-stop cricket action would be the best way to describe the 17th edition of the Glucofit Cricket Sixes organised by the Old Wesleyites Sports club. The final day started off with Lumbini Mv, Mahanama College Colombo, Jaffna Combined Schools and Ananda College Colombo already comfortably in the quarter-finals from their merits on day one and two. However none of them could capitalise on moving forward as they fell prey to seasoned campaigners. more..

Sri Lankan livelihoods on the line

Finally, disabled friendly buildings in Sri Lanka!

Oct 19 (GV) As reported in State media, on 14th October 2009, the Supreme Court ordered that public buildings to be constructed in the future should be easily accessible to disabled persons. The Court further ordered that such buildings should be facilitated with adequate sanitary facilities for such persons. Groundviews spoke with Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson of the Sunera Foundation, for her views of the judgement more..

Singaporean Investors due here on fact finding mission

Oct 19 (DN) The end of the conflict in Sri Lanka has opened a whole new chapter full of promise, visiting Singaporean envoy George Yeo said on Saturday, referring to the country’s potential and the efforts made by local authorities to develop the former conflict-affected areas in the North and East. He made these comments after visiting several areas in Jaffna, Mannar and Trincomalee, along with a team of Singaporean officials and more..

Home gardens contribution to ‘green revolution’

Oct 19 (DN) It is encouraging to note that the aftermath of the civil war has received good responses on the need for the development of food crops in the newly opened up land mass of the North. We understand that there are predictions of creating a possible ‘green revolution’ in those areas. A ‘green revolution’ devoid of a chemical agriculture revolution is undoubtedly encouraging in the context of the Country’s foreign exchange constraints more..

Sri Lanka Cricket turn to baseball for fielding training

Oct 19 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has asked Gavin Fingleson, a former Olympic baseball player, to help improve the fielding skills of the national. South African-born Fingleson played baseball for Australia and is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka to discuss with the board the nature of his work and the number of trips he has to make to carry out his duties. "I will try and utilise my baseball skills while working with the Lankans," more..

Minister Aluthgamage not involved in fisticuff

Oct 19 (DN) Power and Energy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday completely denied a report in a Sunday paper that he was involved in a fisticuff with UPFA Provincial Councillor Nishantha Muthuhettigama at the Royal Old Boys' dinner dance and called the incident a craftily stage managed one by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to gain political milage and cause embarrassment to the Government. more..

Sri Lanka tops the low producer club

Oct 19 (Island) The deficit equation widening there is no hope crop shortfall would be recouped. We commented on this aspect of the formal Tea sector last week. We also said the TRI was investigating why and how crop intakes were so low. TRI findings would be at hand within next few weeks but there would be no startling revelations other than those already indicated by us over past few months. Attributed reasons would necessarily include delayed fertilizer applications and the weather. more..

I am dreaming of retirement - Gota

Oct 19 (Island) Defence Secretary and much decorated former army officer Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says he is dying to retire as he feels he has done his part in defeating terrorism. In a brief interview with The Island yesterday, Rajapaksa said now that the war was over, he felt the urge to return to his roots more than ever. `I love my village and all I look forward to is to return there and lead a peaceful life,` he said. more..

New pension benefits for war widows

Oct 19 (DM) The Pensions Department has introduced amendments to the Widows and Orphans Pensions (W&OP) Act to enable war widows to draw the full salary of their late spouses even in case of remarriage. Minister Sarath Amunugama said this would be a great relief to families of war heroes who have made the supreme sacrifice for the motherland. As the Act stood previously a war widow lost the privilege of drawing the salary of her late spouse in case she remarried. more..

Test paper errors corrected: Susil

Oct 19 (DM) Many a defect in question papers has resulted from the lack of qualified educational administrative officers at provincial and zonal level but now with qualified officers being appointed the problem will be solved, the Education Minister said yesterday. The Minister made these comments at a ceremony held at Meepe Sampath centre to hand over appointments to the Grade III Educational Administrative Service. more..

Desire for more children down

Oct 19 (Island) According to the latest statistics released by the Department of Census and Statistics, the desire for additional children among married Sri Lankan women with two or more children has decreased sharply. More than half of married women, (64 percent), use contraceptives and almost 100 percent of married women are aware of at least a single family planning method, the Department said in its Performance Report for the year 2008, more..

Givantha Arthasad: more animations

Oct 19 (DN) With movies like ‘Ice Age’, ‘Madagascar’, ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘Wall-E’ breaking to the scene and taking over the top slot as massive crowd-pullers the past couple of years have proved that it is definitely animation movies which have ruled the box office. However a very few animation movies have made it to theatres from the local cinema industry. Givantha Arthasad is an undying name in this sector more..

In Sri Lanka: Hilton brawl at Royal Dinner

Oct 19 (DM) Controversial Southern Provincial Councillor Nishantha Muthuhettigama and Deputy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage were involved themselves in a noisy conversation at a Hilton Dinner last Friday night even trading blows. Mr. Muthuhettigama charged that he was attacked by the Deputy Minister and his security officials. However, Mr. Aluthgamage denied allegations that he had assaulted Mr. Muthuhettigama. more..

In Maldives: Cabinet meets underwater!

'Release' IDP students - Teachers

Oct 19 (BBC) A trade union representing teachers in Sri Lanka is urging authorities to release students in camps for the war displaced in Vavuniya. Lanka Teachers' Association (LTA) told BBC Sandeshaya that students among the IDP have the same right to get a proper education before sitting for national examinations. Joseph Stalin, president of the LTA, said the government should immediately release students eligible to sit the GCE (O/L) exams in December. more..

Sri Lanka still probing hedge fund aid to Tamil charity

Oct 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka is continuing investigations into financial support given to a Tamil charity with alleged terrorist links by a US hedge fund manager who was arrested for fraud, a senior official said. Sri Lankan Central Bank governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told LBO the banking regulator was still investigating contributions made by Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon hedge fund, to the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO). more..