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CB says no adverse impact on exports if GSP+ withdrawn

Oct 21 (BL) Central Bank yesterday expressed the view that Sri Lankan exports would not face an adverse impact in the event EU withdraws the GSP+ concessions. In its statement releasing latest external trade data yesterday, the Bank said it is expected that exports will continue to increase during the remaining months of 2009 and in 2010, notwithstanding the uncertainties on the continuation of GSP+ concessions. more..

AIADMK, MDMK shun Tamil conference

Oct 21 (Hindu) The AIADMK, the main Opposition party in Tamil Nadu, and its ally the MDMK, have announced separately that they would boycott the World Tamil Classical Conference to he held in Coimbatore from June 24 to 27, 2010. Rejecting Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s invitation extended to all parties, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said that in view of the fact that the conference was not in the series of more..

'Possible that war crimes were committed in final battle'

Oct 21 (LG) 'India’s primary interest lies in a stable, peaceful Sri Lanka free of foreign meddling. India has watched with dismay the growth of Chinese and Pakistani influence in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka should not become a theatre for big-power competition. That won’t be good for the people of Sri Lanka or for South Asia,' says Professor Brahma Chellaney of Strategic Studies at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi more..

Bloody coup d'état planned in the East

Oct 21 (LG) According to reliable sources, the government is getting ready to put up a show down in the east to overthrow the Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan. The government is said to be unhappy over Pillaiyan’s reluctance to follow the line of the government and his public utterances critical of his inability to fulfil his role as Chief Minister due to heavy interference and non-cooperation from Colombo. more..

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

Oct 21 (LG) We see in several poems of Basil Fernando the impurity of the murky crawl of time. The maddening standstill of history in the mud of orthodoxy, as the effect and result of the impure concepts in the conservative tradition and the growing autocratic tendencies of power in the modern states. The return to that space and time for Basil Fernando’s poems is imbued with several possibilities of interpretation: more..

The siege is over

Oct 21 (LG) Five months after the Security Forces recaptured the last square mile of territory and wiped out the entire leadership of the LTTE, Sri Lanka is behaving as though it is still at war. This may be understandable, after so many decades of fighting such a dangerous terrorist organisation, but that doesn’t make it clever. Nowhere is this clash between perception and reality more obvious than in the sphere of foreign policy. more..

On the ‘Gota Principle’ of retirement

Oct 21 (LG) Some years ago, Roshan Mahanama wrote a book, Retired, hurt. The reference was to the game he loved and excelled at, cricket. Sometimes one gets injured while batting and is forced to get back into the pavilion. That’s ‘retired hurt’. The word ‘hurt’ in this instance had other connotations. Mahanama clearly left the game early, i.e., while still in his prime. He was consistently putting his hand up and delivering for team and country when more..

Tigers and trade

Oct 21 (FT) Given the country’s wealth and status, standards in the clothing industry of Sri Lanka are pretty high. It is widely recognised, not least by Victoria’s Secret and other western brands that source there, that its factories are environmentally sensitive and relatively respectful of labour rights. Those standards helped Sri Lanka qualify for special trade access to the European Union four years ago, and have continued to improve. more..

Chinese PM hails SL development efforts

Oct 21 (GDI) Chinese Prime Minister Ven Jiabao has expressed appreciation on Sri Lanka’s development process to overcome diverse challenges. He also hailed governmental measures to enhance the living conditions of the people in the north and east. The Chinese premier expressed appreciation when he met visiting Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. The Chinese premier has assured that the Chinese government would continue to support Sri Lanka in its development activities. more..

New terminal to double capacity at airport

Oct 21 (GDI) A new terminal for export air cargo will open at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport in January 2010 to double capacity at the airport. SriLankan is the main handling agent for all airlines that operate to BIA, and is looking forward to a steady growth in its operations with the dawn of peace in the country. SriLankan is the main handling agent for all airlines that operate to BIA, and is looking forward to a steady growth in its operations with the dawn of peace in the country. more..

Sri Lankan to view latest Europe films

Oct 21 (GDI) Film fans here in of Sri Lanka will soon view latest films from Europe with the European Film Festival scheduled t from November 7 to 16 at the BMICH cinema hall. The film festival is a joint cultural program organized by the Alliance Française de Colombo and the Embassy of France, the Consulate of Belgium, embassies of Switzerland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, the Consulate of Spain, Consulate of the Slovak Republic, the British Council and more..

Janaka Perera killing: CID told to submit detailed report

Oct 21 (LG) Anuradhapura chief magistrate and additional district judge Darshika Wimalasiri ordered the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to submit a detailed report on the progress of investigations into the assassination of Major General Janaka Perera, on the 3rd of next month. This order was issued when the case was called up before the Anuradhapura Magistrate's court yesterday. more..

'We can draw a lot of inspiration from the western world'

Oct 21 (LG) First of all, I thank Allah the Beneficent and Merciful for enabling me to participate in this forum and thank the APRSL for inviting me here this evening. We are gathered here today as a Sri Lankan Diaspora to find a way forward to Peace and Reconciliation in our country after three decades of war. We all consider that peace and reconciliation is the need of the hour in our society. Before going further into my presentation, more..

Beruwala factional clash: AG's view sought

Oct 21 (PSM) Kalutara Chief Magistrate Kanishka Wijeratne has directed the police to consult the Attorney General over the failure of the Police to arrest the Chief Imam of the Buhari Mosque in connection with the recent factional clash in Beruwala. The Magistrate also warned that there would be a growing tendency of a conflict. Appearing on behalf of the aggrieved party, former Attorney General and President’s Counsel C.R. de Silva, informed court that more..

In fraud case, a deal that lost millions

Oct 21 (NYT) Raj Rajaratnam, the authorities say, masterminded one of the biggest insider-trading schemes in a generation. A close examination of the trades that led to his arrest last week reveals a startling fact: In all, Mr. Rajaratnam lost millions from what prosecutors characterize as illegal trading. One bad trade, in the shares of the chip maker Advanced Micro Devices, cost his hedge fund, more..

STC offers bicycle bonanza for state employees

Oct 21 (LP) Sri Lanka State Trading Corporation in collaboration with Bank of Ceylon and Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Limited offer bicycle bonanza for government employees with incredible bank and insurance facilities. In keeping with this programme, a Rs .10000 discount would be offered for every bicycle which is purchased by state employees. BOC will offer loan facilities at 9.5% interest rate repayable in 36 or 60 installments. more..

Japan Provides Rs.9.2 Million for the Dambana Hospital in the Badulla District

Oct 21 (LP) The Government of Japan has provided Rs. 9.2 million for “the Project for Establishment of a New Maternity and Dental Units at the Dambana Hospital, Badulla District” to be implemented by the Regional Director of Health Services Office, Badulla. The project supports to construct a new maternity and dental units and to provide dental equipments to the Dambana Hospital in the Badulla District. more..

Sri Lanka contributes towards South – South Cooperation

Oct 21 (LP) Sri Lanka has become a source of development assistance to the other developing countries. This has been highlighted by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in its report to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last week. Their statement was made to the 2nd Committee during the debate on South-South Cooperation at the 64th Session of the General Assembly on 14th October 09. more..

'STEPS' opened in Jaffna

Oct 21 (MoD) The Skills Through English for Public Servants (STEPS) Institute was opened in Jaffna on 19 October by Northern Province Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri with guests, Country Director GTZ Jutta Zinnel and Country Director British Council Sri Lanka Gill Westaway. "The Government has declared this year as the year of English and ICT. So we wanted to establish a training institute that would support teachers who work with English and ICT in the school system as well as more..

Canada tipped off to ship

Oct 21 (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..

More IDP's released to their relatives

Oct 21 (MoD) Under the accelerated resettlement programme launched by the government, another significant number of civilians at welfare villages in Vavuniya were released to their relatives yesterday, 20 October. According to statistical reports 785 civilians, 330 males and 455 females, of 298 families ware send to Batticaloa whilst 1035 civilians, 508 males and 525 females, of 306 families were send to Jaffna. more..

Attack on Petroleum Union Office in consequent of ‘work to rule’ announcement

Oct 21 (LT) A gang who broke into the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation at Kolonnawa has damaged the Union Office at the premises last night. The Convener of the Unions Mr D J Rajakaruna said a Van bearing Registration Noi. WPNA-6150 had entered the premises. He added that two individuals had been accompanied by an Executive Officer of the Security Division of the Corporation for this attack. more..

DIG (North – West Province) is summoned to the Parliament today

Oct 21 (LT) The Speaker Mr. W. J. M. Loku Bandara said yesterday (20) that the Deputy Inspector General (North –West province) is summoned to the Parliament today in order to allow the opposite parliamentarians to question regarding the investigations of arson of Mr. Range Bandara’s Home. Stating that the all members of the parliament should pay their attention to this arson of a parliamentarian more..

Defence Services defends the President Rajapaksa Thropy

Oct 21 (MoD) Defence Services team defeated the Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union side by 15 points to 6 crating a history in the inaugural match of the President Rajapaksa Trophy played at the Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club grounds in Welisara yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa graced the occasion at Welisara Navy grounds as the chief guest and presented the President Rajapaksa Trophy to the captain of more..

'Estate workers are in pressure due to increased conditions of new salary scales'

Oct 21 (LT) Issuing an announcement the Parliamentarian & the president of All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union Mr. Ramalingum Chandrasekhar stated, with the unfair collective agreement recently signed between certain estate trade unions and employers, estate workers have been distressed by the increase of the amount of work daily assigned. more..

Col. Duminda Amarasekara killed in accident

Oct 21 (LT) Colonel Duminda Amarasekara of the 611 Madhu brigade succumbed to injuries following a road accident that took place in Thorayaya early this morning. The Colonel had been traveling in an army cab in the direction of Dambulla when the accident had occurred. The accident had taken place when the army cab carrying the Colonel attempted to overtake a police truck that had been traveling in the same direction. more..

Trade union action in the offing

Oct 21 (LT) Essential utility services would be disrupted over the next few days as a series of trade union actions have been lined up in the semi government sector demanding salary increments and reduction of prices of essential commodities. Lanka Petroleum Corporation Combined Trade Union Alliance (CPCCTUA) issuing a statement states trade union action of work to rule will be followed from the 22nd October. more..

'EU trying to use GSP plus as weapon against Sri Lanka s sovereignty'

Oct 21 (LNP) The government yesterday, expressed its `deep disillusionment with several developments` it had encountered while lobbying to secure the continuity of GSP plus facility as some officials of the European Commission had attempted to use the facility as a `weapon` against Sri Lanka s sovereignty. Minister Prof. Peiris replying a special statement made by Chief Opposition Whip on September 24 on the GSP+ issue, said: more..

Rubella: Lanka`s dilemma

Oct 21 (LNP) In this country party politics has not spared anything. Not even a public convenience gets opened without a political ceremony. Ruling party politicians and their Opposition counterparts never miss an opportunity to kick up a row, to hell with the national interest. At present we are being treated to an obnoxious political battle over an issue of national import the Rubella vaccination. Following a schoolgirl`s death in Wariyapola recently due to an allergic condition resulting from Rubella vaccination, more..

News web sites to be banned?

Oct 21 (LT) The government has decided to publish advertisements in ‘national’ newspapers from today stating that news published in news web sites are fabricated, asking people not to accept them and be wary of such news publications says Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeyawardene. When a journalist asked the minister whether the intention was to directly or indirectly censor web sites the minister in response said the government took measures to first ban pornographic web sites and more..

Schoolchildren to get 'healthy' school bags

Oct 21 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will introduce a scientific and healthy school bag for school children with the coordination of the Education Ministry. Four million school bags will be produced under first phase, a Ministry spokesman said. Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva inspected samples of the new school bag yesterday. The spokesman said according to recent studies conducted by the ministry, more..

SriLankan to increase flights

Oct 21 (LNP) SriLankan Airlines will increase flights this winter season to a dozen cities throughout Europe, the Middle East, the Subcontinent, and the Far East, based on its projection that passenger numbers will definitely increase following the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka. Forward booking for the winter season is very encouraging and we are providing more flights to destinations where we experience high market growth. more..

'Special act is necessary to provide security to defense leaders'

Oct 21 (LT) Making a special statement in Parliament the leader of the JVP group of Parliamentarians Anura Dissanayake said an act should be brought to provide security to Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, former Commanders of the SL Army, Navy and present Commanders of the three Security Forces as long as they live. Mr. Dissanayake’s statement: more..

UNP MP gets funds from Rajaratnam?

Oct 21 (DN) Colombo District UNP parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake’s name is being mentioned about receiving funds from US based millionaire Raj Rajaratnam. He was arrested by the US Central Bureau of Investigations on allegations of defrauding the stock market, obtaining confidential information on corporate bodies illegally and also funding the LTTE front organization TRO to siphon off funds for the terrorist group before it was defeated in May. more..

Opportunities in the Russian Seafood Market

Oct 21 (DN) Russia has emerged as the 8th major market for Sri Lanka contributing to 148 six digit HS code product categories in 2008. During the last five years this market has progressively grown each year increasing from US$ 140.2 Mn in 2003 to US$ 220.8 Mn in 2008. In the face of increasing purchasing power of the population and a steady increase in consumer demand for a number of products Sri Lanka could exploit opportunities in the seafood sector in more..

President ceremonially opened Sri Lanka’s longest bridge

Oct 21 (MoD) Addressing massive jubilant and cheering crowds both in Sinhala and Tamil after declaring open Sri Lanka's longest bridge at Kinniya and Irakkandi Bridge President Mahinda Rajapaksa said racist politics in Sri Lanka has come to an end. "Hereafter in this country there is no room for racist politics," he said. The 396 meters long Kinniya Bridge built with Rupees 789 million granted by more..

Aravinda de Silva summoned to Court in F&G case

Oct 21 (DN) The Colombo Fort Magistrate and Additional District Judge Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday issued notice on former Sri Lankan cricketer Aravinda de Silva to appear before Court on November 3. The Judge Pilapitiya issued notice on Aravinda de Silva on an application by Deputy Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda. Kodagoda submitted to Court that de Silva had withdrawn more money than he had deposited in the F and G Real Estate. more..

JVP supports, Mano Ganeshan opposes Sarath Fonseka as opposition candidate

Oct 21 (CT) The JVP says it will support chief of defence staff Sarath Fonseka as the presidential candidate of the joint opposition. MP K.D. Lalkantha announced the party's support. He said Gen. Fonseka being a war veteran, it would be a mere game of cricket for him to contest a presidential poll. According to the JVP MP, the former Army chief would have a clear advantage over the ruling UPFA’s candidate. more..

CEB in quandary over order to complete rural electrification in three months

Oct 21 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board is in a quandary following a ministerial directive to accelerate and complete the remaining 15 per cent of rural electrification within three months at a cost between Rs. 5 and 6 billion. The CEB has also been instructed to use its own funds to complete the project. The Ministry directive was subsequent to a Cabinet memorandum submitted by Minister W. D. J. Seneviratne. more..

JVP to support common presidential candidate?

Oct 21 (Island) Will the Marxist JVP support a common opposition presidential candidate by not fielding a candidate of its own? Speculation is that the JVP leadership may go all out against the executive presidency, thereby supporting the candidate forwarded by the UNP-led opposition alliance which would promise to do away with the executive presidency within 180 days after coming to power. more..

Happy with the way Lanka is handling Tamils issue: Minister

Oct 21 (PTI) Electricity, sports and youth affairs minister of Yuva province in Sri Lanka, Senthil Thondaman, today said he was happy with the Lankan government's handling of the Tamils issue. "We are happy the way the issue (of Tamils in Lanka) is being handled by the Sri Lankan government," he said in response to a question on the problems of internally displaced Tamils in the island nation. more..

Weerawansa fights shy of answering questions on Southern PC polls results

Oct 21 (UNP) It is reported that NFF leader and M.P. Wimal Weerawansa has compelled Rivira newspaper to conduct an interview with him. He has told them that no questions should be asked about the Southern PC elections, and questions should be based only on the current political affairs. Weerawansa has made this request to many newspapers apart from the ‘Rivira’. Some newspapers have acceded to his request while some have declined. more..

Sittings disrupted over Bandara’s banner

Oct 21 (Island) Yesterday’s morning session of Parliament was disrupted and sittings were suspended twice in 25 minutes following a display of a banner by UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara inside the chambers. MP Bandara put up a banner which had a picture of his party office and house that had been burnt down by an unidentified group recently. The banner also carried a line which said: "Sri Lanka: Democracy at work!" more..

Migrant worker remittances buoy balance of payments but Data problems prolongs suffering

Oct 21 (Island) Sri Lanka’s migrant workers play an important role in the country’s economy with their remittances providing stability to the balance of payments and providing development finance but poor data collection is hampering the creation of policies aimed at improving their welfare, a new study of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) highlights. Last week the IPS launched the first country report on migration titled more..

SC dismisses petition without costs

Oct 21 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday (20) dismissed without costs the fundamental rights violation petition challenging the decision of the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) to suspend sale of teas through private treaty and the sale of tea as ‘out lots’. The Bench comprising Justices Shirani Bandaranayake, N.G. Amaratunga and Chandra Ekanayake dismissed the petition on the preliminary objections raised by the Respondents on more..

Recruitment drive for police women

Oct 21 (DM) A three-day long recruitment drive roping in 100 females to the Special Task Force (STF) kicked off yesterday at the Police Park, said Commandant of the STF, DIG K.M.L. Sarathchandra. He said physical fitness tests are currently being held and there was no decision as to when the final interviews would be conducted. “We have not yet decided where the new recruits will be deployed,” the STF Commandant said. more..

GSP loss; End of the world?

Oct 21 (DM) Sri Lanka certainly got herself into a vicious cycle of being eternally baby-sit ever since it got special concessions for garment industry while so many other nations have faired extremely well without any such bonuses. The country has got so used to the GSP plus benefit which was given mainly as a post-tsunami gift in 2005 that today the industry can’t think of a world without that. more..

'We are out if Sarath Fonseka is in'

Oct 21 (LeN) Democratic Peoples Front leader Mano Ganesan has told UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that his party will not be a party to the proposed United National Alliance if General Sarath Fonseka is considered and proposed as the common candidate in the event of a presidential elections. Tamil speaking people of this country do not have anything in common with General Fonseka for him to be our common candidate. more..

Severe drought in Moneragala affects 55,000 families

Oct 21 (DM) The main opposition UNP charged in Parliament yesterday that over 55,000 families in Moneragala were suffering without a drop of water due an ongoing severe drought in the area. UNP Monaragala District MP Ranjith Maddumabandara who moved an adjournment motion on the issue in the House yesterday said over 55,000 families were suffering without drinking water while their livelihood was lost as it was impossible to cultivate paddy in the prevailing dry weather. more..

Karunanidhi flays Jayalalithaa’s statement on Tamil conference

Oct 21 (PTI) Criticising the stand taken by the AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa regarding the proposed World Classical Tamil Conference, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Wednesday said there was no politics involved in the conduct of the conference as alleged by her. In a statement here, he said the decision to host the conference came only after consulting Tamil scholars. more..