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Phoney Indian concern about Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka

Oct 19 (wsws) A delegation of parliamentarians from the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu arrived in Sri Lanka on October 10 to visit the country’s detention camps, where more than 250,000 Tamil civilians have been incarcerated since the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in May. The trip was a cynical public relations exercise on both sides. For the Sri Lankan government, it was an opportunity to enlist the support of Indian politicians to cover up its gross abuse of democratic rights. more..

Philanthropists help quench thirst of rural school children

Oct 19 (Island) Last week, a welfare society in the village of Kandegedera, in Galigamuwa, solved the drinking water problem a school was faced with by constructing a water tank and installing a water pump. "The school is atop a hillock and the students had to fetch water with great difficulty from the foot of the hill every day," a member of the society said. Students used to bring water with them in bottles and more..

We will decide fearlessly- President

Oct 19 (MoD) Even though terrorism had been defeated certain forces which preached separatism and who tried to divide the country were still at large. "We are closely monitoring the situation and to defeat this and in the struggles ahead to build a new country we shall not fear to take necessary decisions in the face of any dangers that we may face," said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka shares fall on US insider trading case

Oct 19 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's stock market had its largest intraday drop in five years on Monday after the U.S. arrest of a Sri Lankan-born hedge fund manager on insider trading charges, before recovering at the close. The Colombo Stock Exchange fell as much as 3.8 percent on panic selling after billionaire Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam was charged in the largest hedge fund insider-trading scheme ever in the United States. more..

Sri Lanka to Review Rajaratnam’s Colombo Stock Trades

Oct 19 (BN) Sri Lanka’s securities regulator said it will review transactions by billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, who was charged by U.S. prosecutors for insider trading after they used wiretaps to build their case. The regulator will review “significant” transactions carried out by Rajaratnam, Channa De Silva, director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka, said in an interview today. more..

Tamil Canadians to offer seized migrants legal help

Oct 19 (AFP) The Canadian Tamil Congress said its lawyers will represent dozens of illegal migrants arrested on a ship seized off Canada's West Coast. Detention hearings will begin early this week for as many as 76 migrants from a freighter seized Friday by Canadian military, police and other agencies. The migrants were transported Sunday to a jail in Vancouver "where the Canadian Border Services Agency will continue to examine their admissibility to more..

Sri Lanka faces loss of EU trade perks over rights

Oct 19 (Reuters) A European Union investigation has found Sri Lanka in breach of international human rights laws and EU sources said the country is likely to lose concessions worth more than $100 million for its top exports to Europe. The EU on Monday published the findings of the investigation it launched a year ago into allegations of human rights violations and torture in the 25-year war between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

'US fund manager cleared of funding terrorism'

Oct 19 (AFP) Sri Lankan-born hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam was investigated for allegedly funding Tamil Tiger rebels, but there was no evidence against him, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said Monday. US authorities on Friday charged Rajaratnam, 52, with fraud after saying they had uncovered the biggest ever case of insider-trading by a hedge fund. more..

Colleagues Finger Billionaire

Oct 20 (WSJ) Galleon Group, the hedge-fund firm at the center of the biggest insider-trading case in decades, pushed its traders so hard to get market-moving information that those who failed were frequently berated or pushed out, former employees and people familiar with Galleon said. Co-founded by Raj Rajaratnam, Galleon is among Wall Street's biggest traders and has a web of contacts among technology and health-care executives, some of whom have been investors in the firm's hedge funds. more..

Did Rajaratnam's money find way to Tamil Tigers?

Oct 20 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan-born billionaire's arrest in the largest U.S. hedge fund insider trading case triggered new scrutiny on Monday in his native country over the possibility his money found its way to the Tamil Tiger rebels. U.S. authorities on Friday charged Raj Rajaratnam, the 52-year-old founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, and others with making up to $20 million in illegal profits through a network of secret informants. more..

'Thousands more' Tamils to come

Oct 20 (Age) People-sumggling networks are moving to bring out thousands more Tamils from war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka, according to the leader of 254 Tamil asylum seekers who have refused to leave their boat moored at an Indonesian port for eight days. "Alex" said the networks, operating in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Britain and Switzerland, were targeting camps in northern Sri Lanka, where 250,000 Tamils were trapped by fighting earlier this year. more..

'No problem with the Rubella vaccine'

Oct 20 (ITN) Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva has emphasised that the national immunisation programme will not be halted whatever obstacles surfaced as nothing was wrong with the Rubella vaccine. He attributed the death of a recipient of the vaccine to allergy. The Minister said the Serum Institute of India had provided the Rubella vaccine to many countries for a number of years. Therefore, when the company was being registered, Professors and the teams of experts did not entertain any suspicion about this vaccine. more..

Boat people sinking in despair as RI officials sit on fence

Oct 20 (JP) A dilapidated wooden boat tucked away in the port of Merak, Banten, remains a floating shelter for 255 Sri Lankan migrants caught by the Navy on Oct. 10 drifting in Indonesian waters while trying to sail to Australia. Some of the boat people, mostly children and women, have left the boat to eat meals or walk on the dockside — in circumstances different from those of last week when they refused to get off the boat, and staged a hunger strike. more..

President launches the project of building Nnine Stupas

Oct 20 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inaugurated the project of building Nine Stupas in the Nine Provincials today (19 Oct) at Anuradapura. The President has pledged to mark the triumph over terror which had gripped the country for almost Three decades by building Nine Stupas in the Nine Provinces. The Secretary of Defence, Heads of the Three Forces and several Ministers also participated at the occasion. more..

Debrief News - 19.10.2009

A Strong Debut for Sri Lanka Sovereign Bond

Oct 20 (BW) Two years after its debut offering, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka returned to the international bond markets with its second-ever sovereign dollar bond, and met with overwhelming demand. The $500 million deal comes after the civil war that has plagued the country for 26 years finally ended in May. The country needs capital to pay for massive reconstruction needed in the wake of a quarter century of armed conflict, but more..

Electoral dynamics in Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (LG) The recent Provincial Council Elections, especially the latest Provincial Council Election in the South, demonstrated that President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has emerged the ruler imperative of Sri Lanka, because of the following main changes taking place in the electoralism in Sri Lanka. His style of leadership and his populist approach shows that he is displaying the characteristics of such great leaders as Nehru of India and Jhon F. Kennedy of U.S.A., more..

Hobson’s Choice for ethnic minorities

Oct 20 (LG) With the ending of the war more than five months ago, Sri Lankans have had the great relief of not seeing daily reports of casualties due to fighting between the armed forces and LTTE cadre. Nor have there been bomb attacks that cause mayhem and loss of innocent civilian life. These constitute major improvements that have uplifted the quality of life for all people without exception. more..

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

Oct 20 (LG) I think this is the entry point of Basil Fernando’s poems into the history of culture. Basil asks himself in his poem on the rivers originating in childhood and school texts: What am I? What is my motherland? We are tempted to go for the various meanings and suggestions of nature, of the rivers, lives, and mountains. We know that these are questions with the knowledge of time’s sadness in a poet’s heart, more than doubts about self-estrangement or angst or skepticism. more..

Environmental Ministry has been issuing ‘Licenses to Kill’

Oct 20 (LG) 25th January 2005 was an ordinary day in the Kandyan hills, considering the time of the year. The monsoon was at its tail end. The sky, a slate gray overcast, suspended over the low horizon. The unpaved muddy lanes, after weeks of inundation, were quite grueling to negotiate. The time, just a couple of hours past high noon. A slight drizzle was dousing Palle Gededra Premathilaka’s hair as he made his way forward gingerly. more..

Abuses may hit EU-Sri Lanka ties

Oct 20 (BBC) Sri Lanka could lose special trading rights with the bloc because of a failure to improve its human rights record, the European Union has warned. A year-long inquiry by the EU has revelaed "significant shortcomings" in Sri Lanka's human rights efforts. The European Commission now says it will ask the 27 EU member states if it should suspend trade privileges. Deals with the EU worth more than $100m are linked to Sri Lanka's human rights record. more..

Govt breaks promises that displaced can go home

Oct 20 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government's recent statements that it aims to return only 100,000 of the original 273,000 displaced civilians confined to camps by the end of 2009 breaks a promise to camp residents and the international community, Human Rights Watch said today. In May, the government announced that 80 percent of the displaced people would be able to return home by the end of the year. more..

'We did not work President Mahinda Rajapakse ; we worked for Mahinda aiya the good hearted man'

Oct 20 (LeN) ‘Richard Pathirane’s days are over. This is Muthuhettigama’s days of collecting votes. I am the one who got the most number of votes even this time. A 68 % victory in the electorate. If, for any reason I am sacked. I will take a decision against him who did it’. These comments were made by Nishantha Muthuhettigame,the UPFA MP for South, who during the run up to the Southern PC elections had created controversies, more..

Colombo to ‘closely study’ EC report

Oct 20 (Hindu) Sri Lanka on Monday night said it would ‘closely study’ the European Commission (EC) report on a proposal for temporary withdrawal of an estimated $100-million concession on exports from garment and apparel industry of the island nation on the ground that Colombo had breached human rights laws. Leader of the Opposition Ranil Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying at a public function here that if the EU concessions were lost, 1,00,000 families would be without a means of income. more..

Prospects For Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (VoA) Political reconciliation in Sri Lanka and freedom of movement of its Internally Displaced Persons, or IDPs, is of vital importance to that country's future, said Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake. Assistant Secretary Blake met in Washington, D.C., October 9 with 16 representatives of the Sri Lankan community in the United States from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds to more..

Sri Lanka post-war rebuilding to get ADB help

Oct 20 (LBO) A senior Asian Development Bank (ADB) has visited Sri Lanka to discuss support for post-war reconstruction in the island, the bank said in a statement. ADB Director General South Asia Department Kunio Senga visited Sri Lanka during October 13 -15 for talks on ADB support to Sri Lanka, especially for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-ravaged north and east. more..

At UN, Delayed Read-out of Ban's Meeting with Sri Lankan Minister, NGO Deadline for Internment, Cammaert Postponed?

Oct 20 (ICP) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met last week with Sri Lanka's Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe. Inner City Press learned of the meeting on October 16, and on October 19 asked Ban's spokesperson Michele Montas to confirm and summarize the meeting, and why it had seemingly not been on Ban's public schedule. Video here, from Minute 19:56. more..

Will Sri Lanka stand for 'Asian non-permanent' seat at Security Council?

Oct 20 (AT) Sri Lanka may stand for the ‘non-permanent’ seat on the Security Council from the Asian Group, though officially it is said that no decision has yet been taken. Presently, Japan occupies the seat and its term ends in December 2010. Sri Lanka was elected to the highest UN forum only once in the sixties for a two-year term. Japan and India, the two Asian biggies, dominate the Asian group. more..

Raj Rajaratnam Became Billionaire Demanding Edge

Oct 20 (BN) Every weekday at 8:35 a.m., Galleon Group’s 70 analysts, portfolio managers and traders pack into a conference room on the 34th floor of the IBM Building, a gray- green polished granite skyscraper on New York’s Madison Avenue. Tardy arrivals are fined $25. At the head of the table, Chief Executive Officer Raj Rajaratnam fires off questions to the staff of more..

EC investigation report faults Lanka’s poor adherence to 3 UN conventions

Oct 20 (AT) The European Commission’s final investigation report released today faulted Lanka’s poor compliance with 3 key UN conventions, and member states are now considering whether to suspend the GSP plus trade benefits temporarily or not. The investigation identifies significant shortcomings in respect of three UN human rights conventions – the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention against Torture (CAT) and more..

Seventeen and still going strong

Oct 20 (CI) The alarming drop in attendances at cricket matches, both domestic and international, has forced tournament organisers in Sri Lanka to devise new ways of attracting spectators. The 17th Invitation Schools Cricket Sixes, organized by the Old Wesleyites Sports Club and sponsored by Munchee Glucofit, was a success in that regard. The introduction of an arts exhibition where students of Wesley College - immediate, seniors, junior and primary - more..

Minister Milinda Moragoda assured to develop Prison and Court complex in Jaffna

Oct 20 (AT) Minister of Justice and Law Reforms, Milinda Moragoda accompanied by Secretary Suhada Gamlath and Commissioner General of Prisons Major General V.R. Silva joined the inspection tour of Jaffna Prison recently. Jaffna Superintendent of Prisons, S. Indrekumar pointed out that over 500 prisoners have been detained at present in the prison while the approved number was lass then that. more..

Practice games key to Under-19 success - Wikramanayke

Oct 20 (CI) Sri Lanka Under-19's one-day series victory over Australia Under-19 has been lauded by the chairman of Sri Lanka's junior cricket selection committee, Sunil Wikramanayake. "Going by their overall performance of the team they have performed well to win the five-match series 3-2," he said. Wikramanayake attributed the success to the number of practice games the squad played in Sri Lanka. more..

Illegal migrants paid US$45,000 to enter Canada: report

Oct 20 (NP) The 76 illegal migrants who were intercepted on a rusting ship off the west coast of Vancouver paid up to US$45,000 each for a new life in Canada, one of their compatriots has claimed. The suspected asylum seekers, who are being held in a Vancouver jail pending refugee claims, are believed to be one of four groups of Sri Lankans in four ships operated by human smugglers. more..

APRSL parliamentary meeting discuss diverse issues affecting Sri Lanka

Oct 20 (LG) The parliamentary campaign meeting organised by the Alliance for Peace and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka (APRSL) held on 19 October 2009 in the committee room of the House of Lords discussed wide ranging issues affecting Sri Lanka. The meeting was chaired by Andy Love MP and he was assisted by the Vice Chair of APRSL M Marzook. The APRC chairman Prof Tisse Vitharane was the surprise speaker at the meeting and more..

Sri Lankan dreams or boating nightmares?

Oct 20 (LG) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono should be focusing on his Presidential inauguration after resounding election victories placed him firmly as captain of the ship of state for a second five years. Instead he and his close ally Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd have to figure out what to do with 255 Sri Lankans stuck on a dirty little boat in the port of Merak, near the historic volcano of Krakatoa. more..

Analytical anthology

Oct 20 (LG) Michael Roberts’s latest book assembles thirteen of his recent academic essays on the cultural and ideological roots of the majority Sinhala and minority Tamil nationalisms in Sri Lanka. It includes a study of the pogrom against the Muslims in 1915 and a remarkably detailed analysis of the projects of Anagârika Dharmapâla (1864-1933), a staunch Sinhala Buddhist who launched a full-throated campaign against British rule and Christian missionaries. more..

'Irresponsible web sites to be black listed'

Oct 20 (GDI) Irresponsible web sites which resort to distoet facts to create a rift between the government and 'other' parties would be black listed and publicised through the provisions available through the state media, said Media Minister, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene. A false propaganda campaign is underway on web sites throughout the country claiming there is a rift between the Government and other parties. more..

Next local govt. polls under a new electoral system

Oct 20 (GDI) The next local government election will be held under a new electoral system, Provincial Councils and Local Government Minister, Janaka Bandara Tennakoon said. Therefore, the current local government election act will be amended. The new mechanism will comprise the old electorate system and proportional vote system as a mixture. It will provide the opportunity for the public to appoint their representatives by electoral divisional level. more..

Tractors for farmers at concessionary rates

Oct 20 (GDI) The Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board recently entered into an agreement with Brown & Company to provide local agriculture farmers ‘farm tractors’ at a concessionary rate. Accordingly, the farmers who purchase a four wheel ‘farm tractor’ are privileged to enjoy a price reduction of Rs. 50, 000 and a two wheel ‘farm tractor’ is Rs. 30,000 lower than the standard market price under this newly introduced scheme. more..

Landmark Kinniya and Irakkandi bridges opened

Oct 20 (GDI) The longest bridge has been built across a lagoon in Kinniya. The Irakkandi Bridge was another dream of the Eastern polity. These two bridges were declared opened by President Mahinda Rajapakse a short while ago. The new Kinniya Bridge was a long felt need of the people of the Eastern Province. It is the longest bridge to be built across a Lagoon. It links Horoi-Adi and Kinniya in Trincomalee. more..

Food self sufficiency can halt importation by 2011

Oct 20 (GDI) With the successful implementation of the Government’s food production drive to address the growing demand for crop products in the country on par with the development programmes, progress of the local agricultural sector will contribute towards making a self sufficient country in all locally cultivable crops by the year 2011, more..

Sri Lanka as potential commercial hub for AT&T

Oct 20 (AT) Emerging markets such as Sri Lanka has pressed ahead with extensive plans and tax holidays to attract foreign investors Dr. Palitha Kohona, The meeting was held at Rockefeller Center, New York. The main purpose of the meeting being to explore the possibility of setting up businesses in Sri Lanka. AT&T Inc with its revolutionary iPhone 3GS to the next-generation TV services has been a remarkable success and more..

President launches the project of building Nnine Stupas

Oct 20 (LP) The construction of the first Adhisthana Chaitya in the sacred city of Anuradhapura was inaugurated yesterday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Nine such Chaityas are being erected to commemorate the Nation’s triumph over terrorism and the first Chaitya is named Hela Jaya Maha Seya. The commemorative stupa in Anuradhapura is to be erected between the Sacred Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi and the Ruwanmeli Seya, in the premises of the Maha Mewna Uyana. more..

29 Tamil youths arrested in Katunayake in two incidents

Oct 20 (TN) Twenty nine Tamil youths were taken into custody by the State Intelligence Unit of the Sri Lanka Police at Katunayake International Airport in two separate incidents Thursday and Friday, sources in Colombo said. The arrested youths are now detained in the Katunayake Police and are being interrogated. In the first incident Thursday early morning eleven Tamil youths took a flight to Singapore. more..

Mine explosion injures fisherman in Jaffna lagoon

Oct 20 (TN) A mine in Jaffna lagoon in Kaakkaitheevu exploded Sunday seriously injuring a fisherman fishing in Kannatheevu, a place where Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities have allowed fishing. Fellow fishermen rescued the victim who is now under treatment in the Intensive Care Unit in Jaffna Teaching Hospital, sources from Jaffna said. The injured fisherman is Rasiah Chanthiran, 22, a resident of Kurunakar in Jaffna. more..

President appoints high powered team: Accelerated development in Jaffna

Oct 20 (MoD) An 11 member high powered team comprising Ministers and Parliamentarians has been appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to accelerate the development and resettlement process in the Jaffna district. They will be directly in charge of the supervision of development and resettlement work in 15 Divisional Secretariat Divisions in the District. more..

A piece of glass inside immunization bottle

Oct 20 (LT) Doctors of Ratnapura General Hospital has found a piece of glass inside an immunization bottle when they were preparing to give a medicine by the name cefuroxine. The doctors noticed a piece of glass inside the bottle of 750 m. g. medicine when they were about to use it on a patient who was ready to undergo surgery. This medicine which is in powder form has to be mixed with 10 ml water when the doctor noticed the piece of glass while shaking the bottle. more..

Here's a big lie in trying to create a new history by Rev.Ellawala Medhanda Thero

Oct 20 (LeN) Who is promoted in the media as Sri Lanka's most versatile and erudite pundit on archaeology, with the prefix "Pura vidya Chakravarthy". On 06 October Tuesday night, on a programme aired by the State owned ITN, moderated by one amateurish Gayan, Rev E. Medhananda and Mendis Rohanadeera discussed the "glorious" past of Ruhuna. Remember, this was just 04 days before the 10th Oct SPC elections. more..

Sri Lanka pays for contempt of human rights alleging they are Western Christian concepts

Oct 20 (LP) Areas of concern identified by the EU's ‘Committee investigating the effective implementation of Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ are mainly related not to the government's 'war against terror' as said in most cases but to the overall human rights and democratic situation of the island. As reported by media EU sources had told the report showed evidence of police violence, torture and breach of labor laws, notably the use of underage children. more..