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Summary of Cabinet decisions

Oct 30 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Highways and Road Development to award the balance work of the construction of Four Lane Expressway from Pinnaduwa to Godagama to Messrs. CNTIC of China. This Expressway is constructed utilizing the money granted by the EXIM Bank of China, at the total negotiated contract price of US$ 88.4 million more..

Jayasuriya's future under scrutiny

Oct 30 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has been told by Sri Lanka's selectors that his performances on the tour of India will be close evaluated with an eye on the 2011 World Cup. Jayasuriya, 40, has been picked in the one-day squad as an allrounder who could bat down the order and bowl left-arm spin and the heat has been turned on him by Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors. more..

Power talks fail as minister says no to pay hike call

Oct 30 (CT) Trade unions of the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Power Minister failed to reach agreement on a demand for the salary increase due for workers this year. Yesterday's (Oct. 28) discussion followed an agitation by the CEB Trade Unions Alliance to press for its demand. The minister, the deputy minister and the CEB chairman as well as representatives of CEB trade unions attended the talks. more..

Expectant mother consumes poison at paramour's home

Oct 30 (CT) A mother of two, expecting a third, has died after consuming poison over an extramarital affair, Galle Police said. The 35-year-old had had an affair with a married man 15 years her senior. A few days ago, the woman had visited her paramour at his home, followed by her husband who had wanted her to return. After a heated exchange of words, the woman had consumed pesticide and died days later in hospital. more..

Govt. cannot accuse others over GSP Plus - JVP

Oct 30 (CT) The government is entirely to blame for the doubtful situation over the GSP Plus export concession and it cannot accuse others as the situation is of its own making, said the JVP. The government has failed to safeguard democratic principles, a prerequisite for the facility from the European Union, and was now trying to level the finger at others, party MP Sunil Handunnetti told the media today (Oct. 29). more..

IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne retires today

Oct 30 (CT) IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne, the 31st head of the Sri Lanka Police, retires today after a 35 year service. Police Department will hold a farewell parade in his honour at the Field Force Headquarters in Colombo. Born on 03 November 1949, he joined the police as a trainee ASP on 01 August, 1974. His retirement, upon completion of 60 years of age, is due on November 02, but he has decided to retire a few days ahead. more..

Thondaman briefs Karunanidhi on IDPs

Oct 30 (AT) Sri Lankan Minister Arumugham Thondaman on Thursday called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at his residence here and briefed him about the progress in the resettlement of over two lakh Tamils uprooted from LTTE-controlled districts in the north in the final stages of the Eelam war. Mr Thondaman said he updated Mr Karunanidhi on the IDP situation since more..

President flying to Lumbini on friday morning, meets maoist chairman Dahal

Oct 30 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived in Kathmandu on Thursday afternoon, is set to fly to Lumbini, the birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha, on Friday morning. President Rajapaksa is scheduled to offer religious prayers to Lord Buddha according to Buddhist tradition. A special Nepal Army helicopter has been arranged to take the President Rajapaksa and the First Lady to Lumbini. more..

Laws of wars: War crimes and its applicability

Oct 30 (LG) Current topic today in world politics is war crimes which is not a novel scenario at the end of any successful victory of a long battle. The victory of war that engulfed the terrorism arena worldwide and Sri Lanka for three decades considered to be unwinnable was watched by the world with amazement and disbelief by disproving the theory that terrorism can not be crushed militarily. more..

Marg enters Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (BS) Chennai-based infrastructure and real estate development company Marg Ltd has entered the Sri Lankan market as part of its international foray. Speaking to Business Standard, GRK Reddy, chairman and managing director, Marg Ltd, said the company had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Urban Development and Sacred Area Development of Sri Lanka for constructing affordable dwelling units in Colombo. more..

Rajapaksa holds talks with Prachanda

Oct 30 (TOI) In an unusual turn of events, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, whose government this year crushed a nearly three-decade-old Tamil insurgency, arrived in Nepal on Thursday and held a 30-minute-long discussion with Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, whose guerrilla army led a successful 10-year-old civil war in the Himalayan nation. After the meeting in the tightly guarded Soaltee Crowne Plaza hotel in Kathmandu, more..

SOS! refugee from Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, Pakistan target $1bn trade

Oct 30 (NI) Sri Lanka and Pakistan will make mutually gainful endeavours to further increase bilateral trade between the two countries, taking the figure to $1 billion per annum.This was said by VS Sidath Kumar, Consul General of Sri Lanka, on a visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday. Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in Feb 2005, ever since the two countries have seen a 70 per cent growth in business. more..

Original and Duplicate

Oct 30 (LG) Now Rajapaksha regime is not only forgetting the armed forces and their heroic leaders but is now conspiring against them, Rajapaksha company is now in dirty political game, allege these veterans who were once heroes, now be crowned as traitors. This is a not only story about“Dutu Gemunu ” , “Kudu Gemunu” and original Gamunu, but a exact reminiscent of real history. Recently one Gamunu of aforesaid remarked, "Now certain commanders of security forces think the war was won because of them. more..

Tamil people and the forthcoming elections

Oct 30 (LG) The forthcoming elections gives a golden opportunity for the Tamil people to reorient and re-engage with the Sinhala nation to resolve the ethnic problem in a way the past mistakes that brought so much suffering to the Tamil people can be put behind and solution can be arrived at through fresh negotiations. The southern politicians continue to remain wedded to the chauvinist agenda and obsessed with the issue of how to turn the military victory over the LTTE into political capital to remain in power. more..

Executive Presidency as a curse

Oct 30 (LG) Principles in politics are like snow in hell. The JVP did their damnedest to prevent Mahinda Rajapaksa being appointed Prime Minister in 2004. The latter had gone all out to scuttle an alliance between the JVP and the SLFP the same year. But the following year, the JVP worked itself into the ground to ensure Rajapaksa's election as President. Today, the JVP is threatening to campaign against President Rajapaksa at the next presidential election! more..

The Geo-Politics of the Sri Lankan Civil War

Oct 30 (GR) The support and positions of various foreign governments in regards to the diabolic fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military, which cost the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, says a great deal about the geo-strategic interests of these foreign governments. The position of the governments of India and a group of states that can collectively be called the Periphery, such as the U.S. and Australia, more..

Elephants damage houses and destroy plantation in Kalmunai

Oct 30 (MG) Severe prolonged drought experienced in the Ampara district this year has caused large number of tanks to dry-out and the plantations dry-up. Deadly mammals like the crocodiles and the elephants that had their habitats as water tanks and forests have now started to move out encroaching areas where the people have their habitats. Crocodiles were caught in three places in Natpiddimunai, Manatchenai and Maruthamunai within the Kalmunai Municipal areas recently. more..

Sri Lanka gets time on garment export threat

Oct 30 (FT) Colombo still has time to try to persuade the European Union not to suspend Sri Lanka’s trading privileges, a move that would damage its crucial garment export industry, a senior EU official said. Citing human rights violations, the EU is expected to suspend Sri Lanka’s access to Europe’s “generalised system of preferences plus” trading scheme by the end of this year but the measure may not take effect until June 2010, giving Colombo time to act. more..

US billionaire 'no flight risk' says lawyer

Oct 30 (AP) A billionaire hedge fund manager charged in an insider trading case asked that his bail be reduced from $100 million to $25 million, noting that even Bernard Madoff's bail was only $10 million after he confessed to a multibillion-dollar fraud. Attorney John Dowd said Sri Lanka-born Raj Rajaratnam, one of the richest men in America, was subjected to "onerous conditions" of bail even though he faces no more than 10 years in prison if he is convicted. more..

Film festival casts tourism spotlight on Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (eTN) Sri Lanka Tourism and the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka will be presenting the second Galle Film Festival from December 2-6, 2009 in the historic coastal town of Galle. The festival will open with Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundera’s "Ahasin Wetei," which was in competition at this year's Venice Film Festival. In addition to promoting tourism and film opportunities in the country, the festival’s main focus will be more..

UNP divided over Ranil's call to end executive presidency

Oct 30 (GDI) UNP and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe's JVP backed call to end the executive presidential system has caused dissension within the rank and file of the party, well informed UNP sources disclosed. Several party stalwarts who prior to the 1977 general election supported late JR Jayewardene to introduce the system after the UNP won in 1977 are opposed to the UNP leader's call fully backed by the JVP. more..

Media can never give the full truth- Prof P N Balji

Oct 30 (LG) “I empathize with the journalists in your country. It is a difficult terrain they have to walk. “If I have one recommendation to make, it will be this: Focus on the future by tackling the fundamental issues Sri Lanka are likely to face”, Professor P N Balji of Asia Journalism Fellowship at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore exclaimed in an exclusive interview with the Sri Lanka Guardian. more..

A psychiatric patient beaten to drown in Colombo as police observes the crime

Oct 30 (LP) Colombo Crime Division is investigating an incident of police or any other group assaulting a psychiatric patient compelling the latter to jump to sea and to drown. The ill-fated man reportedly threw stones at trains running along the coastal railway in Colombo city off Babbalapitiya railway station. Two persons suspected to be the members of either police or the security forces beat him to drown in sea in the attempt to escape from attacks. more..

Defence Ministry's SVU distributes 20 sewing machines among war hero families

Oct 30 (MoD) Defence Ministry's Seva Vanitha Unit distributed 20 sewing machines donated by Pakistan High Commission, among the families of war heroes who made there utmost sacrifices for defending the motherland. The function was held at the Defence Ministry Premises under the patronage of secretary HE Pakisthani ambassador of Sri Lanka Shaheen A Gilani and Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa. more..

Secretary Defence visits "Ranaviru Nikethanaya" welfare project

Oct 30 (MoD) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the newly constructing "Ranaviru Nikethanaya" at Aththidiya this morning, 29 October. "Ranaviru Nikethanaya" is yet another welfare project of the Ministry of Defence for the disabled security forces personnel. The "Ranaviru Nikethanaya" will provide shelter for permanently disabled war heroes. Each disabled war hero will be provided with an air-conditioned room, internet facilities, more..

The unsubstantial Medical Examinations

Oct 30 (SLW) A number of varieties presently being vaccinated as Injections and used as medical Instruments had been defined as unsuitable for human use by the National Health Department earlier this week. Certain brands of Rubella Vaccination which caused havoc during past couple of weeks when one girl died and a number of other children fell ill due to the use of sub quality medication had been a threatening medical offence in the recent history of the health sector. more..

Commander gives patient hearing to ORs & addresses issues

Oct 30 (MoD) Sri Lanka army is to re-introduce its free transport facilities to soldiers as before, since the LTTE terrorism has now been defeated and its threat diminished. This was disclosed by Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya this morning (29) when he spoke to a cross-section of Other Ranks serving the Colombo Army Headquarters for the first time after he took over as Commander of the Army. more..

Re-constructed Nebada Tank ready for cultivation

Oct 30 (LP) The Nebada Tank in the East of Sri Lanka was reconstructed by Sri Lanka Troops in order to enable the farming community of the area to restore their livelihood. With the reconstruction of the tank a wide area of paddy land would be provided with water. The tank was abandoned for more than 15 years due to the LTTE terrorist activities in the area. The tank which dates back to the era of the ancient Kings more..

3 district secretaries in East asked to report on loss of Tamil Muslim lands

Oct 30 (PSM) Presidential Secretariat has written to the district secretaries of Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara to investigate into the complaints of encroachments of lands owned by Tamils and Muslims in the Eastern province. Additional Secretary to the President Mr. Anton Perera has written to the three distirct secretaries in this regard. Last week, TNA leader R. Sampanthan moved an adjournment debate in Parliament in this regard. more..

Paddy lands in Jaffna HSZ to resume cultivation

Oct 30 (PSM) Nearly 1,600 acres of abandoned paddy fields around the Palaly High Security Zone (HSZ) in Jaffna would be handed back to farmers to resume cultivation along with millions of rupees as subsidies. Besides, cash crops like cowpea, onions, green gram and chillies would be cultivated in 2000 acres in Karaveddy, Meesalai and Mirusuvil areas that remained uncultivated during the last two decades. more..

Five more demining machines imported from Slovakia

Oct 30 (GDI) Adding more vigor to the demining efforts to in order to accelerate the resettlement of the internally displaced civilians in the Northern Province, the Government has imported five more demining machines at a cost of Rs. 250 million from Slovakia. Governor of the Northern Province, Major General G.A. Chandrasiri after receiving these machines at the Airport handed over them to more..

'Low-grade minister brings substandard medicine'

Oct 30 (LT) The role played throughout by the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition in bringing down substandard medicine is suspicious says Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Member of Western PC. He said the Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition has brought in to the country more than 60 substandard medicines during one year. He said, “More than 60 different substandard medicines had to be rejected during the year from October, 2008 to September, 2009. more..

After- math of a meritorious act

Oct 30 (LT) The Chairman of Ruhuna Development Bank has been sacked due to a letter that has been placed in the ‘Pirikara’ (requisites) offered to Bhikkus who had participated at the alms giving held at President Mahinda Rajapakse’s mother’s residence. The letter had stated the expenses for the robes included in the offering were from Ruhunu Development Bank. 600 Bhikkus had participated at the alms giving held at Palatuwa area in Matara District. more..

Who is responsible?

Gas prices up thanks to price formula

Oct 30 (LT) Shell and Laugfs companies have asked permission from Consumer Affairs Authority to increase the price of gas by Rs.100 from the 1st of next month. The gas companies say the increase in gas prices have been requested due to the increase in prices in the world market and also the revision of gas prices due every two months according to the price formula. Meanwhile, a senior official of the Consumer Affairs Authority said a revision of gas prices is due on the 1st November more..

No vacancies in ports – Ministry of Ports & Aviation

Oct 30 (LT) One of the main promises made during the Southern PC election by the President, the ministers and all those who participated in the UPFA campaign was to provide employment in harbours including in the Hambantota harbour. They stated thousands of jobs would be created when the construction work in Hambantota harbour would be completed soon. As Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapakse is the elder brother of the President and more..

Cancer surgical theatre closed at Karapitiya Hospital

Oct 30 (CT) The cancer surgical theatre at Karapitiya Hospital has been closed for three weeks now due to malfunctioning air conditioners. As a result, cancer patients seeking surgery are severely inconvenienced, reports said. This surgical theatre is the largest of its kind in southern province. A hospital spokesman said the machinery needed for the repairs have to be imported. more..

Controversy surrounds Australia-Indonesia pact on bogus SL asylum seekers

Oct 30 (LNP) Controversy surrounds Australia s decision to keep Sri Lanka out of negotiations over Sri Lankan Tamils now held in Indonesia and Australia. Australia recently reached a bilateral agreement with Indonesia to confine the Sri Lankans in Indonesia at Australia s expense. Well informed sources told The Island that Australia had so far not sought Sri Lanka s advice in that regard, though a section of the Australian Opposition had taken a different position. more..

Graduates in state service to support struggle of unemployed graduates

Oct 30 (LT) The Graduate Employees’ Union (GEU) reiterated they would extend their cooperation fully to the continuous fast and protest carried out by unemployed graduates’ unions for the last 22 days as the government was avoiding taking measures to find solutions and the struggle carried out by unemployed graduates of Indigenous Medicine. more..

JHU appoints committee for party reforms ahead of polls

Oct 30 (CT) The JHU has appointed a steering committee to carry out reforms to prepare the party for upcoming parliamentary elections. Its members are Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Udaya Gammanpila, Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe, Anuruddha Pradeep, Boseth Kalahepathirana and Anura Weerasekara. Reforms will focus on the party structure in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, Kurunegala and Galle districts, said the party. more..

In Defense of Buddhism

Oct 30 (GV) I feel that there is a pressing need to rise to the defense of Buddhism. This is because Buddhism is being degraded and exploited as a reactionary political ideology by a grade of low class politicians. Their impact is severe and decisive. Their politicized version of Buddhism is being incessantly drilled into the social consciousness of a particular chauvinist political base, with full state patronage, and more fundamentally, as the core program and agenda of the state and the regime. more..

Free transport for soldiers again

Oct 30 (LNP) The Army is to re-introduce its free transport facilities to soldiers as earlier, since LTTE terrorism has now been defeated and its threat diminished, said Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya yesterday morning. He was addressing a cross-section of other ranks serving the Colombo Army Headquarters for the first time after he took over as the Commander. more..

'Government carried out conspiracy to prevent Sri Lanka getting GSP+'

Oct 30 (LT) “The government is responsible for the situation which had been made it necessary to reconsider regarding allowing GSP+ to Sri Lanka. Hence, there is no use stating there were conspiracies and pointing fingers at others. It is the government that has carried out a conspiracy to create a situation by not protecting democracy so that the GSP+ relief would be denied to Sri Lanka,” said JVP Parliamentarian Sunil Handunneththi. more..

No recognition for Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium's artificial track

Oct 30 (CT) The artificial running track at Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium in Diyagama is yet to receive international recognition due to its substandard construction, reports said. The second of its kind in Sri Lanka has been constructed at a cost of more than Rs. 50 million. It is usual practice to obtain international certification for an artificial running track within two months of its construction, by the builder itself. more..

Central Schools system - a gift to poor children

Oct 30 (DN) In May 1944, Dr. Kannangara presented to the State Council the recommendations of a Special Committee on education which had been appointed in 1940 and had published its report in late 1943. In concluding his speech which he later reminisced was the greatest speech of his long career, he declared: "... Sir, you will realize that it will not be an easy task to bring these reforms or a substantial portion of them into operation all at once. more..

New research on ancient Sri Lanka

Oct 30 (DN) Bricks from different section of the Jetavanaramaya were tested. The brick paving below the stupa dated to 3rd century BC. The accepted date for Jetavana was approximately 290 AD. Thermo luminescence test dated it to 250 AD (plus or minus 125.) Thermo luminescent testing of Sigiriya potsherds indicted that Sigiriya continued to function as a city long after Kasyapa. According to the dating, the brick walls were built after Kasyapa. more..

Dr. Farzana Haniffa on North Muslims

Confusing signals on Presidential and Parliamentary polls

Oct 30 (Island) The government continues to give confusing signals on the conduct of Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, with Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, taking a non-committal stand. In stark contrast to last week’s comments by non-Cabinet Media Minister Lakshman Yapa, that there was a likelihood of both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections being held together, Priyadharshana Yapa simply told the Cabinet press briefing more..

Revision possible after six months - CB Governor

Oct 30 (DN) In the event that the European Council decides not to extend the GSP plus facility to Sri Lanka a revision can take place within a six month period, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal told a media briefing at the Central Bank yesterday. He said Sri Lanka submitted an application for renewal of this facility in September 2008 and the EU decided to extend this facility to Sri Lanka for a three year period from January 2009 subject to review. more..