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Sri Lanka feels mixed emotions over Rajaratnam

Oct 27 (FT) Behind the tropical beaches of Hikkaduwa, southern Sri Lanka, stands a monument linking the Asian tsunami that devastated this area in 2004 to another kind of tsunami now sweeping the hedge fund industry in New York. The granite plaque in the village of Monrovia tells how 100 homes here were constructed for tsunami victims by the “Galleon Housing Scheme”, a charity funded by Raj Rajaratnam, more..

Sri Lankan Tamil scholar to attend meet

Oct 27 (Hindu) K. Sivathamby, Tamil scholar from Sri Lanka, has conveyed to the State government that he would come to Tamil Nadu well in advance to participate in the World Classical Tamil Conference to be held in Coimbatore in June next, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said on Monday. In a statement, Mr Karunanidhi said that Prof. Sivathamby had suggested topics including the concept of Classical Languages and the World Classical Languages other than Tamil. more..

Ranil–Sarath special meeting in Singapore

Oct 27 (LeN) According to our Singapore correspondent, Chief of Defense staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka who left SL on the 24th on a tour of America and other countries has met UNP and opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Singapore yesterday night (25). The meeting has taken place at the Crown Plaza Hotel in the vicinity of the Singapore Airport, the report further stated. While Gen. Fonseka’s name is hitting news headlines as a prospective candidate for the next Presidential election, more..

'Be a great person through your acts', says President at Nalanda College prize giving

Oct 27 (IL) The annual 2008 Prize Giving Ceremony of Nalanda College, Colombo was held on the College premises on 26th October. This time the ceremony was a very special one because the President of Sri Lanka, an old boy of Nalanda College participated as the chief guest and made the occasion more colourful. At the welcome ceremony the President was given 'guard of honour' by the school Cadet Team. more..

Village level electricity to the North

Oct 27 (GDI) The Minister of Power and Energy W.D.J. Senevirathne claimed that a speedy programme was now in motion to provide electricity to the villages other than the cities in the Northern Province that are starved of power supply. The power supply is to be given to 25 such villages within the next few months. A sum of 250 million rupees will be spent for those projects. more..

Swift steps to provide relief to drought victims

Oct 27 (GDI) The Government made an emergency appeal for water bowsers, tanks and plastic cans and food items to provide relief to thousands of people affected by the drought in Hambantota and Monaragala, District Secretaries to the Hambantota and Monaragala M.D.B Meegasmulla and W.A. Rathnasiri told today. Due to lack of rainfall in two harvest seasons, a large number of families have been affected by the drought, more..

Number of inmates in welfare camp reduce

Oct 27 (GDI) The number of civilians who have taken shelter in welfare villages has now reduced to 197,255. The war heroes succeeded in liberating 267,774 civilians from the grip of LTTE terrorists. Of the liberated civilians, 70,492 were resettled in their places of origin by yesterday. The group included the clergy, expectant mothers and University students. They were resettled in several Districts. more..

Sri Lankan business delegation in Jeddah

Oct 27 (GDI) A twenty eight member Sri Lankan business delegation headed by the Sri Lankan Export Development Board has embarked on a visit to Jeddah on 24.10.2009, organized by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Jeddah. The business delegation from various sectors will explore the market potentials for further enhancing the export of Sri Lankan products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. more..

Visiting Indian Military Officers pay courtesy call on Secretary Defence

Oct 27 (MoD) A visiting delegation of Indian military officers who are currently following Army Higher Command Course in India paid a courtesy call on Secretary Defence last evening. The delegation headed by Brigadier Moni Chandi comprised fourteen more officers representing Indian Army and Air Force. In a discussion held Secretary Defence stated the security measures and strategies taken to eradicate three decades long LTTE terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

Making professionals for the Tri-Services

Oct 27 (DN) The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence Academy was established in 1981 and elevated to a University in 1986. More than 1,600 undergraduate and 140 postgraduate degrees have been awarded by General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) during the past 28 years. KDU offers nine undergraduate degree programs in Defence Studies and related Post Graduate Degrees. Among them, five degree programs lead to Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Engineering, more..

The Role of the Opposition

An African connection: Kaffir culture in Sri Lanka

Oct 27 (GV) Historians say that the Kaffirs of Sri Lanka started arriving from the eastern shores of Africa in the 1500s with the Portuguese, and later in more waves with the different colonizers of Sri Lanka. ‘Kaffir culture’ is a video portrait of one such community of Kaffirs and their struggle to keep their culture alive in the face of falling numbers. Written and produced by Kannan Arunasalam. more..

A Presidential Election in 2010?

Oct 27 (GV) Media reports suggest that President Mahinda Rajapaksa might decide to hold an early Presidential Election in 2010. It is therefore interesting to look into some of the issues relating to the matter. Some of them are the following: i) the rationale behind the introduction of the 3rd Amendment, ii) interpretation of Article 31(3A)(d)(i) of the Constitution, and iii) the Supreme Court’s interpretation of that provision more..

25 years on, women still struggle for their rights

Oct 27 (IPS) When Thamalini, leader of the women’s wing of Sri Lankan Tamil Tiger guerrillas, entertained guests at the women’s political wing office in northern areas once controlled by the rebels, the visitors were served tea and other refreshments by male aides. "It’s a rare sight in [Tamil-dominated] areas and that society to see men working for women," more..

Employees in petrol, electricity, water & port for joint action to win rights

Oct 27 (LT) Stern trade union action is to be taken by employees of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation jointly with trade unions of Ceylon Electricity Board, Port Authority and National Water Supply and Drainage Board to win over the salary increment due to them this year states the Alliance of Petroleum Trade Unions. The Media Secretary of the Alliance of Petroleum Trade Unions D.J. Rajakaruna said despite more..

Students take to the streets!

Oct 27 (LT) The IUSF has decided to hold a massive protest march and a campaign to protest against repressive rule of the government, privatization of education, repressive action taken against student activists including steps taken to remand university students including the converter of IUSF Udul Premaratne. According to acting convener of IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara students from all universities in the island would participate in this campaign. more..

LTTE strategies for growth and war

Oct 27 (LG) Thanks to the three revolutions – knowledge, technology, and communication – during the last three decades new global paradigms are emerging with far reaching effects on the lives of nations and peoples. Positive effects include economic liberalisation, improved global networking of peoples, emergence of information technology as change agent, and increasing global awareness among people. more..

Saudi Arabia keen to invest in Sri Lanka

Oct 27 (LNP) Saudi Arabia is keen to invest in Sri Lanka s agro-based industries with a holistic approach to develop the sector. The investors would not only focus on improving production, but also have plans to buy back the produce facilitating market access for the farmer community, International Agriculture and Food Investment Co. Developer Council Member Riyadh H. Al Zamil told Daily News Business. more..

'Presidential and General Elections on same day'

Oct 27 (GDI) The Government is now examining the possibility to conduct the presidential and general elections on the same day, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abewardena announced. Minister Abewardena noted that at the annual SLFP convention due on November 15 an official announcement to this effect was likely to be made after a party decision. more..

Political IDPs strike back

Oct 27 (LNP) The country is burdened with two kinds of IDPs: the war displaced consisting of innocent men, women and children, in the Vanni, dreaming of rebuilding their lives and the politically displaced, in other areas, hell bent on unleashing anarchy. The JVP has threatened to cripple energy, power and water supplies with the help of its trade union arm which specialises in disruptive activities. The CPC go-slow came a cropper as its organisers buckled under pressure. more..

Petroleum unions call off work-to-rule bans

Oct 27 (wsws) Unions called off a four-day, work-to-rule campaign by workers at the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Company (CPSTC) in the expectation of talks yesterday with President Mahinda Rajapakse over wages. The president, however, rejected outright any pay rise before next year. Workers are angry at the failure of the government to implement average increases of about 15,000 rupees ($US135) to their monthly wage, more..

Migrant worker rights: UN lauds Government

Oct 27 (DN) UN experts have welcomed several recent initiatives adopted by the Government to strengthen migrant worker rights, protection and welfare facilities. The UN Committee on Migrant Workers at their recently concluded sessions in Geneva endorsed changes such as setting up of a separate Ministry for the subject, adoption of a National Labour Migration Policy and the amendments to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) Act, as steps in the right direction. more..

Back home again!

Oct 27 (DN) They used to hide when they hear the drone of a helicopter or an aircraft just a few months back. But today they come out in the open and keep waving at an aircraft or even vehicles on the road. These children born in an era of an armed conflict, had witnessed the cruelty of the terrorist regime that robbed the people of the North and East of their most valuable wealth – children - to carry guns instead of pens, pencils and books. more..

'Trade union platform could be used for international conspiracies'

Oct 27 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has warned that trade union actions could be a platform for hidden international conspiracies. Therefore, he has urged all trade union representatives to remain vigilant. "The working class has their own rights. It is the responsibility of a democratic government to provide justifiable solutions for them" stressed the President. more..

Nearly 80 TU leaders pledge support to Govt

Oct 27 (DN) Leaders of nearly 80 trade unions covering a wide range of sectors including education, health, agriculture and petroleum yesterday pledged their support to strengthen the Government’s hands and defeat the conspiracies hatched by certain quarters to belittle the war victory and embarrass the Government. They made this pledge when they met President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees to discuss certain outstanding issues. more..

2 more vaccines withdrawn from hospitals

Oct 27 (CP) The Health Ministry has suspended the use of two more vaccines - antivenin serum and acyclovir - following the detection of discoloured vaccine vials at Anuradhapura General Hospital. They are six vials each of the two vaccines used in the treatment of snake bites and chickenpox, said the Medical Supplies Division. At Embilipitiya General Hospital, a piece of plastic has been found from a saline bottle.

Head of 'Non Violent Peace Force' ordered out of Sri Lanka

Oct 27 (CT) The government has ordered the head of a foreign NGO 'Non Violent Peace Force' to immediately leave the country, after it had been found out that he had sent out false reports against Sri Lanka, 'Divaina' reports. The extension of his visa has also been stopped forthwith. The government has come to know that head of the NGO's Japanese branch, identified as Sudaka Dhanata, and another person Nirupa Ando had written to the Japanese foreign minister against Sri Lanka. more..

3 dead in road mishap involving Pillayan's security backup jeep

Oct 27 (CT) Three people were killed in a road mishap involving a security backup jeep of east chief minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan early today (Oct. 27). The speeding vehicle crashed into a tree in Kurunegala around 12.45 am, police said. Among the dead are two soldiers. Another person has been admitted to hospital with injuries. more..

Tamil parties to form alliance to pressure Govt

Oct 27 (Island) Tamil speaking political parties SLMC, TNA, DPLF, EPRLF (Naba Wing), Democratic Peoples Front and the TULF will meet today to work out a common programme form an Alliance and pressure the UPFA Government to solve the issues Tamil people are faced with. Sources said the Tamil parties had decided to form a broader alliance after their meeting with the Tamil Nadu based Viduthalai Siruthai Puligal party leader Thirumalavalavan, who stressed the need for more..

Report on Muslim education to National Education Commission

Oct 27 (CT) For the first time in 60 years, a report on Muslim education would be handed over to the National Education Commission for the formulatin of relevant policy decisions, Minister of Education, Susil Premajayantha said. He was speaking after receiving the report yesterday at a ceremony held at his Ministry. The minister added that the report was made on the recommendation by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Kotelawala, others refused bail

Oct 27 (Island) Fort Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday refused bail to the ten suspects, including the Chairman of Ceylinco Consolidated Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala now in remand in connection with the seven-billion-rupee Ceylinco Shiram criminal misappropriation case and re-remanded them till November 8. However, the Magistrate observed that the bail applications of the suspects could be considered if more..

UNP warns of street protests demanding establishment of ICs

Oct 27 (Island) The UNP warned that it would have no option, but to take its campaign for the establishment of independent commissions to the streets, since the Rajapaksa government did not have any respect for the law. The UNP’s Western Provincial Councillor Ajith C. Perera said that the government was not setting up the Police, Public Service, Elections, Judicial Service, Bribery and Corruption and Media Commissions, because more..

Fonseka affair: UPFA ministers blamed for deteriorating relationship

Oct 27 (Island) The JVP, under fire for causing a rift between the UPFA government and Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka, said on Sunday that Government Ministers were responsible for adverse remarks regarding the military over the past few weeks. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, JVP MP said that ministers, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dilan Perera, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Mervin Silva and Hemakumara Nanayakkara had been severely critical of the military. more..

Unhygienic eateries breed communicable diseases: Survey

Oct 27 (DM) A survey conducted by the Public Health Unit of the Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry has revealed that over 90% of the restaurants, cafeterias, snack bars and other eateries were highly unhygienic and could be considered as breeding places of communicable diseases. Surprisingly, those so-called five star hotels did not meet the expected standards of food processing and preparing procedurs, the survey further revealed. more..

Military denies helping escapees

Oct 27 (DM) The military has denied that its security personnel have been aiding Tamils in the IDP camp to escape. Secretary to the Australasian Federation of Tamil Associations, Dr. Victor Rajakulendran speaking to an Australian news website said: “There are stories that people are getting out of the detention camps by paying money to the security forces.” In response to these claims the acting-spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said that more..

'Vote on account to pass Rs. 19 million per day expenditure for President alone'

Oct 27 (UNP) UNP M.P. Dayasiri Jayasekera said the controversial vote on account which the Govt. is presenting this year instead of the Budget, is allocating Rs. 2.3 billion towards President Rajapakse’s expenditure. In other words his, daily expenditure is Rs. 19 million!. This President whose love professedly for the people oozes at every pore over the media and on platforms has become the most vicious parasite on the people, more..

Non-recognition of trade unions: Cause of industrial disputes

Oct 27 (DM) One of the main causes for major industrial disputes in Sri Lanka is non-recognition of trade unions by the authorities, Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower Athauda Seneviratne said yesterday. Addressing a tripartite meeting on negotiating for decent work in the age of globalization in South Asia and China the minister said that the changes in productive processes and the transformation of the employment relationship made it more..

Fight against on-going public property plunder: Mangala

Oct 27 (DM) Leader of the SLFP (People’s Wing) MP Mangala Samaraweera said people must join hands and rise against the on-going plunder of public property by the Mahinda Rajapaksa government. Addressing a gathering at the Matara Rest House garden during his visit to inspect the ongoing re-construction work of the Rest House which was damaged by the tsunami waves, he said he had planned to construct a new rest house building complex, more..

JVP will commit political suicide

Oct 27 (LNP) The day the JVP will commit political suicide by supporting a common candidate put forward by the UNP at the next Presidential Election is not too far, said Minister Maithripala Sirisena when addressing a convention of the Bandaragama SLFP Central Organization. The Minister said the JVP was able to secure 40 odd seats at the last General Election due to the sympathetic votes obtained from the supporters of the SLFP more..

Human rights record could cost textile concession

Oct 27 (IRIN) Thousands of jobs in Sri Lanka's crucial textile industry are under threat following a European Union (EU) report over alleged human rights abuses including the and failure to implement human rights conventions in the country. As a result, a key trade concession worth more than US$100 million could be withdrawn, EU officials suggest. “It’s like foreign aid. It was there to help people like us get better pay,” more..

Indonesian Youths reject Sri Lanka asylum seekers' arrival

Oct 27 (Bernama) More than ten youths claiming to represent Kijang young people, here on Tuesday, staged a rally rejecting the arrival of Sri Lankan asylum seekers. They carried posters with texts reading "Reject Sri Lanka immigrants. Riau Island is not an accommodation centre." La Ode Abdul Mukmin, coordinator of the rally, said the government must turn down the Sri Lanka immigrants because more..

90,000 displaced Tamils resettled in Lanka

Oct 27 (PTI) Nearly 90,000 out of the 2.88 lakh Tamils displaced during the ethnic conflict in northern Sri Lanka have been sent back home under the government's resettlement initiatives, an official report said today. The number of displaced civilians in the relief camps in the North has now reduced to 197,255 from 2.88 lakh when the war with LTTE ended in May this year. Of the released civilians, 70,492 were being resettled in their places of origin by yesterday, more..

United States hails Sri Lanka decision to probe war crime report allegations

Oct 27 (AT) The news that Sri Lanka has taken an official decision to appoint a commission to probe in to the US allegation of war atrocities was hailed by the US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly at the daily press briefing Monday, 26 October in Washington saying “this is exactly what we would expect Sri Lanka would do would be to look into these very serious allegations of human rights abuses. more..

Sexual harassment at govt. school shocks Sabaragamuwa PC

Oct 27 (LNP) Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath yesterday (26) assured an impartial investigation after a UNP councillor brought to his notice several cases of sexual harassment by a principal of a government school in the Kolonna Educational Division. Herath said that allegations would be investigated and if the principal was found guilty, he would be dealt with appropriately. more..

Sri Lankan asylum-seekers plead for release from detention

Oct 27 (VS) Handcuffed and shackled in leg chains, more Sri Lankan asylum-seekers were back before immigration officials in Vancouver on Monday, pleading for release from detention. But proving their identities continued to be a significant impediment for most of the men, who were among a group of 76 ethnic Tamils apprehended on a mysterious ship off Vancouver Island earlier this month. Several of the men arrived with no authentic documents to prove who they are. more..

'Will continue to serve the country even after retiring from the military'

Oct 27 (LNW) Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka has told several Sri Lankans who had attended a special ceremony held at the Buddhist temple in Washington, USA on Sunday that he was ready to continue to serve the country in the manner in which he served the nation as a military officer for decades even after retiring from the force. Ven. Maharagama Dharmasiri Thero of the Washington temple had organized a ceremony to more..

President orders state bank lending cuts

Oct 27 (Reuters) President on Tuesday ordered state banks to slash lending rates by almost half, after repeated cuts by the central bank failed to bring down commercial lending rates, the president's office said. The decision by President in his capacity as finance minister takes effect from Wednesday. State banks have been charging 15-22 percent for commercial lending. "President Mahinda Rajapaksa had ordered state banks to reduce lending rates in between 8-12 percent," more..

Kandamby, Kaushal Silva get Test call-ups

Oct 28 (CI) Two uncapped players, left-hand middle-order batsman Thilina Kandamby and wicketkeeper-batsman Kaushal Silva, have been named in Sri Lanka's Test squad for the tour of India starting next month. Another major change in the 16-man line-up for the three-Test series was a recall for left-arm fast bowler Chanaka Welegedera after a two-year absence from the senior side. The notable absentees are opener Malinda Warnapura and middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera. more..

Sri Lanka behind closed doors

Oct 28 (HPN) In early July 2009, following on from the closing weeks of fighting between the Sri Lankan army and LTTE, a Times journalist raised the alarm on the mortality rate in the internment camps, opened by the Sri Lankan government. The article reported 1,400 deaths a week in Manik Farm camp, which then held around 280,000 people. Presenting no methodology or basis for this figure, and without naming any names, the journalist cited “a humanitarian source” [1]. more..

EU presses Sri Lanka over human rights

Oct 28 (Reuters) The European Union urged Sri Lanka's government on Tuesday to end impunity over human rights violations and to do more to help people displaced by the 25-year war with the Tamil Tigers. But the 27-country bloc said it also wanted to work with Sri Lanka to improve the situation and did not say whether it would remove trade concessions after an investigation found the Indian Ocean island in breach of international human rights laws. more..