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Sri Lanka wants Malaysians to invest in its tourism sector

Oct 29 (Star) The Sri Lanka government is seeking to attract Malaysian investors to its tourism sector as it targets 2.5 million tourist arrivals in 2016. Sri Lanka tourism development authority director general S. Kalaiselvam said with the resolution of the civil conflict, tourist arrivals into the country had increased sharply and the number was expected to move beyond the average 500,000 visitors annually now. more..

'School students set example for undergrads'

Oct 29 (GDI) School children are setting an example to the entire country while certain university students behave in an unruly manner. Students of D.S. Senanayake College in Colombo have come forward to contribute to the “Uthuru Mithuru” Fund launched for the building of the Omanthai Railway Station. Arrangements are finalised to hold an Arts Competition and an Exhibition at the Art Gallery on the 3rd and 4th of next month with the aim of collecting funds. more..

'Robust peacekeeping should not be taken for peace enforcement'

Oct 29 (LP) Robust peacekeeping should not be taken for peace enforcement. Civilian protection mandates, where applicable, should be carried out without prejudice to the primary responsibility of the host country to protect its own civilians, stressed Dr. Palitha Kohona to the United Nations during a UN General Assembly on the issue of United Nations’ efforts to keep pace with peacekeeping demands. more..

Cabinet Sub Committee to meet drought needs

Oct 29 (GDI) The government has appointed a cabinet sub committee to meet the needs of the people affected by the current drought in many areas, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the weekly cabinet briefing today. President Mahinda Rajapaksa who chaired the cabinet meeting had evaluated the areas affected by the drought and had decided to appoint a high powered ministerial cabinet sub committee to more..

Rice to be imported as reserve stock

Oct 29 (GDI) Fifty thousand metric tons of rice will be imported as a reserve to meet any emergency created artificially in the market, Media and Information Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told the weekly cabinet briefing at the Government Information Department today. He however noted that there would be no scarcity of rice in the future but the government would be importing this quantum as a reserve stock. more..

'President reducing interest prior to elections: President’s comic relief to a drowning nation'

Oct 29 (UNP) UNP M.P. Ravi Karunanayake said, since of late the President is engaging in comedy acts, as the Govt. has exhausted all avenues of providing solutions to people’s monumental problems. His latest clownish act is his announcing a reduction in the rates of Bank interest to 8% per annum suddenly and immediately. This is a comic relief from the President to the people whom he has driven into dire economic sufferings owing to Govt.’s fiscal bungling. more..

Sri Lanka - The new great game

Oct 29 (LG) Sri Lanka’s foreign policy tilt away from the West has taken on a new dimension in recent years, especially since President Mahinda Rajapakse’s coalition government was elected to office in November 2005. When full-scale hostilities with the LTTE commenced in July 2006, Western pressure on Sri Lanka -- specifically from the European Union and the United States -- increased markedly, with substantial reductions in aid coming amidst more..

Omanthai railway station reconstruction complete by December 31

Oct 29 (MoD) The reconstruction work of the Omanthai railway station which was jointly undertaken by the Social Services and Social Welfare Ministry and the people in the Galle district will be completed by December 31, Minister Linoel Premasiri said. He added that the station has access and the commuting facilities for the visually impaired and those with other disabilities while providing facilities to senior citizens and pregnant mothers. more..

Mahawadduwa fields receive life

Oct 29 (LP) Paddy lands so far neglected will be re-ploughed and sown, in various parts of the country in keeing with “Mahinda Chinthanaya” of President Mahinda Rajapakshe, said Minister of Tourism Nandana Gunatilake. Accordingly 50 acres in Mahawadduwa in Kaluthara district, was brought under cultivation with the patronage of Minister Nandana Gunatilake. The reconstruction of Suriya Welyaya and the renovation of Depa Ela also is a part of this project. more..

Meeting terror with terror

Oct 29 (LP) "We have 92 dead bodies and have registered 217 injured people. Nineteen of the dead are women and 11 are children. All the dead are civilians," Doctor Zafar Iqbal sadi at Peshawar's main Lady Reading Hospital. Doctors at Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital said most of the dead were women and children. The bomb had been detonated in a crowded street in the Meena Bazaar of Peshawar, one of the most crowded parts of the volatile northwest city, more..

UNHCR in Sri Lanka to work towards promoting Children’s future

Oct 29 (AT) The new UNHCR representative to Sri Lanka assured to work towards promoting the welfare of the children. Mr. Michael James Zwack who recently assumed duties as the Representative for the UNHCR in Colombo called on Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 28th October 2009 and presented his letter of appointment. During the call on Minister Bogollagama, Mr. Zwack reiterated the commitment of the UNHCR to more..

Rs 25 billion spent on Sigiri Museum in vain

Oct 29 (LT) The museum at Sigiriya which was built with a cost more than 250 lakhs and opened by President Rajapaksa recently is facing a threat of damage by now. The malfunction of the air-conditioning machine installed inside has caused this situation. As there is no opening to penetrate air from outside the unbearable warmth exists inside which causes inconvenience to the local and foreign visitors at the museum. This situation has become worse with the existing hot climate in the area. more..

EU tells Sri Lanka it wants action and not just words

Oct 29 (LNP) The European Union (EU) has continued to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to address several concerns being raised over alleged human rights allegations including media suppression and has insisted that Sri Lanka must respond through actions and not words. Mrs Jean Lambert, Chair of the European Parliament (EP) Delegation for Relations with South Asia said that more..

Students participating in agitation videoed

Oct 29 (LT) The students who participated at the agitation held yesterday in Colombo against unlawfully detaining the convener of Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne and against privatization of education had been videoed while they were on their way say reports. Students from the University of Sri Jayawardenepura on their way to the agitation in Colombo were checked at two police check points. more..

'Students’ Union is comprised of dedicated persons and not with who work for a lunch packet'

Oct 29 (LT) The people who are ready to any malicious act should understand that the members of Student Union do not for a packet of lunch. This was stated to ‘Lankatruth’ by the Convener of the Students’ Union. Mr Sanjeeva Bandara stated this when he was asked to comment on the news item regarding the protest by the Students’ Union which appeared in the front page of ‘Dinamina’ yesterday. more..

Dayan Jayatilleka on post-war politics

Oct 29 (GV) I spoke with Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka recently on his take on post-war politics, his interpretation of the Southern Provincial Council elections, the issue of war crimes and the extension of GSP+, the challenges of peacebuilding (with peace seen as more than the absence of war) and the purported entry of the former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka to mainstream party politics. more..

Employee of CPC on duty arrested – Trade unions say act to repress trade unions

Oct 29 (LT) An employee of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation on security duty at Kolonnawa complex was arrested by Wellampitiya Police yesterday at about 3.00 p.m. The OIC of crimes section of the police has made the arrest and the police had not made any charges against the employee. They had merely said the arrest was made on instructions from above. A trade union spokesman told ‘Lankatruth’ that more..

Minister Amunugama averse to going behind buffaloes

Oct 29 (LNP) There are more serious issues to be tackled in the agriculture sector than going behind the buffalos at Wap Magul ceremonies, Minister of Public Administration and Home Affairs Dr. Sarath Amunugama told The Island yesterday. He said it was more important to ensure that the farmer got a reasonable price for his produce and that subsidised fertilisers were used for actual paddy production instead of being leaked to the black market. more..

Health Ministry bars certain medicines in hospitals

Oct 29 (LNP) The Health Ministry has issued withhold notices to hospitals regarding certain medicine following recent issues such as finding glass particles in medicine vials. An extensive examination is being carried out to make sure if the particular medicine is of good quality by an Experts Committee. Following the committee report, the medicine will be used again or a withdrawal notice will be issued by the Health Ministry. more..

Sri Lanka in sixteenth place

Oct 29 (LNP) Sri Lanka has reached the 16th position out of 134 countries in the Gender Gap Index 2009. The country has recorded a population growth of 0.62 percent with a total population of 20.01 million, while overall population sex ratio recorded 0.96 percent. Sri Lanka and the Phillipines remained distinctive for being the only Asian countries among the top 20 for the fourth consecutive year. The country is among the top twenty countries in the Gender Gap Population Index 2009. more..

Now, Vanni Tigers follow Karuna

Oct 29 (LNP) In an operation similar to the one conducted in the East with the support of breakaway LTTE cadres headed by Karuna, the government is now using Vanni Tiger cadres to quell a fresh attempt to revive the LTTE. Although the circumstances under which the Vanni cadres are deployed are very much different from the eastern operation, the on-going police work has produced positive results. more..

Unemployed graduates on the warpath

Oct 29 (LNP) This is a peculiar country with a queer notion of welfare some people expect everything from the State free of charge from womb to tomb. They get and forget. They seem to think that the State is a huge soup kitchen. Worse, they do not care a damn about their duties and responsibilities as citizens, having benefited from free education, free health care etc. The country has come to such a pass that university graduates demand jobs in the State sector as of right. more..

Economists hail bank rate reduction

Oct 29 (DN) The Government decision to lower the interests by State banks aims to channel the credit liquidity to the private sector enterprises and to stimulate the private sector, economists told the Daily News yesterday. Senior economist Professor Buddhadasa Hewavitharana told the Daily News that the lower interest rates would encourage the private sector for further investment to enhance economic growth. more..

Province Council members take oaths

Oct 29 (IL) The newly elected members of the Southern Provincial Council took their oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a ceremony held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning on 29th October. Former Chief Minister of the Province, Shan Wijayalal De Silva was sworn in once again as the Chief Minister. He is also functioning as the Minister of Finance and Planning, Justice and Law, more..

AIDS afflicted 1,161 since 1986

Oct 29 (DN) According to statistics of the AIDS Foundation of Lanka (AFL), since 1986 1,161 HIV/AIDS cases have been officially reported in Sri Lanka. Speaking at a seminar for media personnel Tuesday, Senior Consultant Venereologist NSACP Dr. Sujatha Samarakoon said “Of the total number of HIV cases reported from 1986, 94.8 percent were sexually transmitted, 4.4 percent from mother to child and through blood transfusion. Only one case of HIV has been due to intravenous drug use.” more..

Reforming education: Finishing the unfinished task

Oct 29 (DN) By 1947, all the educational reforms that Dr. Kannangara had initiated were being implemented to a greater or lesser degree. In March 1947, in an address to the Inter-Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi, he presented an analysis of the socio-economic situation in Sri Lanka that prevailed in the first half of the 20th Century which necessitated the reforms he initiated. “In Ceylon, education in the Christian schools was the passport to office and material prosperity. more..

Mere pooh-poohing will not absolve culpability

Oct 29 (LG) The Defence Ministry website in its news titled ‘Defence Authorities Poo-Pooh concocted web stories and email campaign’ vaguely repudiated the claim of this column that LTTE leader V Pirabakaran was tortured and killed by the army. In its usual intimidating and threatening tone, the Defence Ministtry website said the authorities ‘are planning prosecution against those publishers in accordance with legal provisions that have already been published’. more..

Champika blames industrialised countries for adverse climatic effects

Oct 29 (Island) Industrialised nations, while talking about the situation of the internally displaced persons in Sri Lanka, should have the courage to speak about the plight of nearly seven million people in the Monaragala and Ampara districts, affected by the adverse climatic changes caused by the industrialized nations, Environment and Natural Resources Minister Champika Ranawaka said. more..

Birthday bail for Kotelawala

Oct 29 (DM) In a coincidental turn of events, Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala who was in remand for the last nine months was released on bail to celebrate his 71st birthday which falls today. Mr. Kotelawala who was remanded on February 26 this year, following the alleged misappropriation of the deposits of Golden Key Credit Card Company was granted bail with heavy conditions imposed by the Supreme Court on Friday. more..

Interest rate cuts for Economic activity not consumption

Oct 29 (Island) The interest rate cuts imposed on state banks by the government is applicable only for loans taken for economic activities and not for consumption, and while lending rates are down, deposit rates would remain as they are, a senior official of a state bank says. "The eight percent interest rate would be applied to loans granted for those sectors creating economic activity such as agriculture, fisheries and SMEs other than consumption," more..

Presidential system facilitated destrution of Tigers - Minister

Oct 29 (Island) Some elements are all out to destroy the executive presidential system within the framework of which the country was liberated from LTTE terrorism, Minister Lionel Premasiri said at a press conference at the Information Department yesterday. A fresh attempt was being made to involve students in protests directed at the executive presidency. He said that this was nothing but a despicable attempt to destabilise the country. more..

Seven steel bridges on Trinco Outer Circular Road boost economic activity

Oct 29 (Island) The completion of seven steel bridges by the Road Development Authority on the new Outer Circular Road in the Trincomalee District would go a long way to boost economic activity in the Eastern Province, residents of Trincomalee said yesterday. The project, costing Rs 900 million, is now nearing completion under the supervision of Minister of Nation Building Susantha Punchinilame under the Nagenahira Navodaya Programme. more..

Firm action soon to win demands: unions

Oct 29 (DM) All major trade union leaders reaffirmed yesterday that an indefinite trade union action is in the offing if the Government continues to ignore their demands. The JVP affiliated Trade Union Centre (NTUC) that represents 367 trade unions in the state, semi-government, private and estate sector together with the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) affiliated trade unions told the Daily Mirror that discussions so far held were highly successful and more..

'Ministers , civil societies and others to switch allegiance to UNP’s grand Alliance'

Oct 29 (UNP) UNP M.P. Tissa Attanayake said, a team of Govt. Ministers, civil society groups and some other parties are to switch allegiance and join the prospective new Alliance headed by the UNP. Already, the SLMC, the DPF, SLFP (M) have agreed to be signatories to the Alliance while others are to follow. The new Alliance will be termed the United National Front and more..

‘Be open to devolution’

Oct 29 (DM) The National Peace Council organized a public forum on Non-devolutionary Constitutional Reforms at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute where guest speakers representing various political parties and civic groups aired their views on the subject and its relativity in Sri Lanka’s context. Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Deputy Secretary General Nizam Kariappar raised questions about the relevancy of the topic at the forum. more..

Missing car exposes SLC lethargy further

Oct 29 (DM) The lethargy and incompetence of officials manning crucial positions at Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was exposed blatantly as the image of the country’s richest sporting body received an embarrassing blow, leaving the top men red faced last week, as a prominent leasing company seized one of the cars used by a leading SLC employee for the non payment of lease installments by SLC.“It is a case of sheer negligence on the part of SLC officials. more..

Sri Lanka orders probe into journalist death threats

Oct 29 (AFP) Sri Lanka's president ordered police to probe death threats against journalists of a newspaper whose founding editor was murdered earlier this year, a spokesman said Thursday. President Mahinda Rajapakse asked the police to carry out a "very thorough investigation" into the death threats against two senior members of the Sunday Leader newspaper, a spokesman for the president's office said. more..

TNA members boycott initial ceremonies of first JMC session

Oct 29 (TN) TNA members of Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) who kept away from the initial ceremonies which preceded the inauguration of the first session of JMC Wednesday said that the vain ceremonies held by the ruling UPFA and allied political parties as propaganda is deplorable while the Vanni IDPs are suffering in the internment camps. “We will not allow exploitation of JMC and its activities for propaganda purposes of political parties, more..

President Rajapaksa visits Nepal

Oct 29 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Nepal for two day official tour today on 29th October. President and Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa were warmly welcomed by Ms.Sunetra Koirala Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal at the Tribuwan International Airport. Welcome banners were displayed at Kathmandu City and people flocked to gether along the road to welcome Sri Lankan President. more..

Bourse slides to one-month on retail sell-off

Oct 30 (Reuters) Stock market fell to a one-month low close on Thursday, led by retail selling of blue chips amid a growing threat of labour strikes and in spite of a lending rate cut by state banks. The All-Share Price Index of the Colombo Stock Exchange fell 28.56 points to 2977.16, its lowest close since Sept. 30. "Investors are increasingly becoming cautious with some strikes and road protests which could hamper future economic activities and corporate profits," more..

'UNP's call to abolish Presidency like a bitter pill covered with chocolate'

Oct 30 (GDI) The call to abolish the Executive Presidency by the UNP and other interested political parties was an attempt to destabilize the country." such attempts are like a bitter pill covered by tasty ingredients of chocolates", cracked the Minister of Media and Information ,Anura Priyadharshana Yapa at question and answer time after disclosing the official decisions at the weekly cabinet briefing more..

40 Tamill fishermen beaten by Lankan navy

Oct 30 (TN) In yet another case of shocking atrocities allegedly committed by the Lankan Navy, 40 fishermen from Rameswaram were beaten up and their equipment damaged by the Lankan navy. The fishermen claim that one of their boats was completely damaged in the assault and their goods were their thrown back into the sea. The fishermen after swimming in the rough seas for several hours were spotted by local fishermen on the coast and rescued. more..

General Fonseka’s entry into politics: Is it the end of democracy in Sri Lanka?

Oct 30 (AT) I am ready to remove my uniform and work for the people to bring the country back on the right path if it continues to go on the wrong path even after defeating terrorism – General Sarath Fonseka in Washington. Many countries have had former and current military commanders taking over the reigns of power. Some have done it in democratic ways and others have not. Some countries have continued with traditions and norms of democracy after more..

Rudd to asylum seekers: we'll wait as long as it takes

Oct 30 (SMH) Kevin Rudd has warned the asylum seekers holding out aboard the Oceanic Viking that the Government will wait for as long as it takes for them to disembark in Indonesia because there is no prospect of the ship being redirected to the Australian territory of Christmas Island. With the stand-off now in its 12th day, the Prime Minister echoed the sentiment of the Indonesian Government, telling Parliament that more..

Local textile industry bags school uniforms order

Oct 30 (F2F) A preferential treatment would be offered to the local textile industries in 2010, for supplying textile materials required for producing school uniforms, informed the Ministry of Textile. It has been estimated that for school uniforms the country requires a total of 8 million meters of white material, 2.5 million meters of White and Blue Trouser Materials and 0.27 million meters of materials for robes. more..

' A candidate without party affiliation needed to change this obnoxious unruly despotic system'

Oct 30 (LeN) JVP M.P. said, if Presidential elections is to be held in the future, the country needs a common candidate in the circumstances to change this plundering, obnoxious despotic Presidency system. A method must be devised to achieve this, he added. The common candidate must not of the JVP, UNP or SLFP, but capable of changing this obnoxious system of plunderers of the country’s resources, financial and others, and more..

Debrief News - 29.10.2009

Post war economic prospects

Oct 30 (ML) Peace has generated expectations of moving the economy into a higher trajectory of growth. The end of nearly three decades of war and terrorism could usher in a new era of economic development. The pace of the economic acceleration would depend on the policies of the government, the response of private enterprise and the participation of people. Peace alone will not bring in the expectation of prosperity. more..

Sigiriya – Escaping the prison of history

Oct 30 (ML) One thousand five hundred years after King Kasyapa was said to have engaged his rival and half brother Mogalana in open war for the Anuradhapura Kingdom under the shadow of Sigiriya’s mighty rock, battle continues to rage around the ancient ruins at Sigiriya. While today’s skirmishes are fought not with swords and spears but with letters, books, and articles — feelings run equally high. Reputations are at stake as the proponents of various competing theories regarding more..

Sri Lanka 2009 end inflation to be 3.5-pct: CB Governor

Oct 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's inflation would be 3.5 percent by end-2009 setting the stage for lower interest rates and higher growth as investor confidence in the economy was rising, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We are having inflation of one percent and we intend to keep it that way," Cabraal told reporter Thursday. "Inflation would be about 3.5 percent at the end of the year." more..