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We should not provide ammunition for "Eelamists"

Oct 31 (SLW) Dr. Kumar Rupasinghe is an academic actively involved in social issues like Human Rights, Globalization, Conflict Resolution, Peace Building and Peaceful Co-habitation among all ethnic groups in Sri Lanka. Dr Rupasinghe is a controversial personality in the political arena of Sri Lanka and his views are challenged by many. Sri Lanka Watch pubshes the English translation of more..

UNP will confront the JVP at next poll - Rajitha Senaratne

Oct 31 (GDI) The UNP and the JVP will confront each other at future elections as both parties today were not competitors to the strong UPFA, observed Minister Rajitha Senaratne. Joining in the “Thulawa” programme telecast over ITN last night, he said the problem the JVP confronts was the lack of a candidate for elections, including the General Election. The UNP is proposing various names without any base, he noted. more..

New Housing Scheme in Mannar

Oct 31 (LP) A new Housing Scheme which was launched under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” Housing Development Programme have been built new houses in Mannar. Work on a Housing Scheme at Pallimunai in Mannar has been completed within 100 days. These houses will be given over to 50 fisher families who have taken shelter in temporary houses. The Housing Development Authority launched the Scheme with the contribution of the “Jana Sevana” housing assistance programme. more..

Late Minister Fernandopulle’s wife to enter politics

Oct 31 (LP) On an invitation extended by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, wife of Late Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle Dr Sudharshini Fernandopulle will enter in to politics. Speaking to Lankapuvath, Dr Sudharshini Fernandopulle said that she resigned from her profession as a Doctor on the 30th of October. She was the head of the Children’s Health programme under the Health Ministry. more..

Railway Department upgraded with IT

Oct 31 (LP) The internal operating system of the Sri Lanka Railways Department is to be upgraded with the support of Information Technology. The technology will be used to find solutions in emergency situations said the General Manager Operations G R P Chandrathilake. The new system will also assist in the railway transportation as well he said. A total of over 300,000 passengers travel daily by train and there are a total of 310 trains operating in the island. more..

US makes cynical overture to Sri Lanka over war crimes

Oct 31 (wsws) The US State Department last week issued a 68-page report providing details of the Sri Lankan army’s atrocities during the final months of the war against the separatist LTTE. Its purpose, however, is not to bring war criminals to justice, but to boost US influence in Colombo and strengthen relations with the Sri Lankan government. While guarded in its conclusions and driven by Washington’s political agenda, the report is nevertheless a more..

Businessmen invited to invest in the N&E

Oct 31 (GDI) At a seminar held at the BMICH yesterday the business community were invited to invest in the liberated areas under the ‘Vadakkin Vasantham’ in the north and ‘Eastern Dawn’ in the east programmes. Speeches ‘Development in the North’ was made by the Governor Northern Province Maj. Gen. G. A. Chandrasiri and ‘Present situation in the East’ was made by Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan as chief guests at this seminar. more..

JVP mourns death of ‘King of the Streets’

Oct 31 (LT) The JVP has expressed its condolence regarding the passing away of ‘King of the Streets’ Gamini Haththetuwagama, known in literary circles as ‘Hatha.’ A condolence message by the JVP with the signature of its Leader Somawansa Amarasinghe states that one of the most important qualities that should be mentioned regarding Mr. Haththotuwegama is the responsibility with which he made his creations. more..

The SLAF flies higher

Oct 31 (LP) A total of 917 recruits from the 139th Regular and 97th Volunteer Course and 58 trainees from the 20th Regular Airwomen courses passed out yesterday after completing 17 weeks of challenging training. The passing out ceremony was held at the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF). The training focused on drill, weapon training, tactics, field craft, map reading, fire fighting, handling explosives, Humanitarian Law, Air Force Law and Combat First Aid. more..

'Slight increase in Laugfs Gas price, No change in Shell Gas price'

Oct 31 (GDI) The Price of a Domestic Laugf Gas Cylinder has been increased by Rs. 5 with effect from midnight today, Minister Bandula Gunawardena told Accordingly the revised price of a 12.5 Kg Laugfs Cylinder is Rs. 1481. The Price of Shell gas has not been revised although the Shell Gas Company had made an appeal to the Consumer Affairs Authority for a price increase of Rs. 285. more..

Bulgarian President arrives in Sri Lanka today

Oct 31 (LP) Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov will arrive in Sri Lanka today on a two day state tour. He is expected to hold discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow. The two leaders will discuss on several issues related to the bilateral ties of the two countries. The Bulgarian President is accompanied by his wife Zorka, and several Ministers more..

Who is tarnishing the Image of the Country?

Oct 31 (LG) Hundreds of people were gathered around the beach whilst the violent act was perpetrated on Thursday against this innocent and mentally disabled man. Police officers pursued the man who was seen stoning buses and trains on the beach side road. He was chased by the police towards the sea and the victim went as far as into the sea. The police men did not find ways to get him out of the see, but went on to charge him with the batons. more..

Bambalapitya incident: Government is responsible for the police brutalities

Oct 31 (LG) The incident at Bambalapitiya regarding the pursuit of a young man by the police to the sea and allowing him to die there is another cruel incident that demonstrates the type of policing that exists in Sri Lanka. Police hounding people like dogs is a demonstration of the way that arrests are done. The only exception in this case is that the way that this was done has come to knowledge of the public due to the presence of some persons and more..

My son will be organizer for Kelaniya after me – Dr. Mervin

Oct 31 (LT) His son Malaka would be made the UPFA organizer for Kelaniya after him says Labour Minister Mervin Silva. Speaking at a ceremony held to open a pandal erected at Thorana Junction at Kelaniya Minister Mervin Silva said, “ King Dutugamunu passed away looking at Ruwanwelisaya. I’m proud that Kelaniya has got my maximum service. When I die I would die by having my eyes on sacred Kelaniya. more..

We, The Spectator State

Oct 31 (GV) A young boy was drowned in broad daylight this week. Though not a single newspaper carried it, I’m told B. Sivakumaran was his name. He was “believed” to be mentally retarded and known for throwing stones at passing vehicles and trains. Approximately 100 people watched him die. One even managed to capture on film the final five minutes of his life. That five minutes of footage could have been of a possible rescue by one of the 100 or so spectators. more..

Resettlement and rehabilitation of IDPS will remain top priority

Oct 31 (AT) The Nepalese leaders congratulated President Rajapaksa on the defeat of the LTTE and elimination of terrorism in Sri Lanka and re-affirmed their solidarity with the Government and People of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa undertook a 3 day Official Visit to Nepal from 29th – 31st, October 2009 at the invitation of his Nepalese counterpart Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. more..

I have received invitations to be the common candidate – SB

Oct 31 (LT) He too had received invitations to be the common candidate for the presidential election says Leader of the Opposition of the UNP in Central PC S.B. Dissanayake. He said, the party has not decided who is going to be the common candidate. Discussions are going on. In several weeks time all these issues would be settled. We have taken a decision not to reveal who our common candidate is till then. The government is already engaged in an election racket. more..

Rates reduced due to CB strategy: Catalyst for rapid growth

Oct 31 (DN) The decision to lower the rates of lending interests of public sector banks was made consequent to the inflation rate coming down from 28 percent in June 2008 to one percent now due to the strategies of the Central Bank and the Treasury, Finance and State Revenue Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told a press conference yesterday. “About 70 percent of the people patronize the public sector banks. more..

Terror promotion by humanitarian means

Oct 31 (LNP) Time was when the so-called Tokyo Co-Chairs considered it their burden to control the destiny of this country. They used the carrot of aid pledges as well as the stick of veiled threats to make Sri Lanka pander to their whims and fancies. It was they who decided how terrorism should be tackled and their remedy only worsened the malady. Today, Australia and Indonesia are acting as if Sri Lanka were not existent. more..

'Ministers have become a bunch of jokers'

Oct 31 (UNP) Referring to the Health Ministry’s threat to stop advertisements being given to the media if the latter expose the health Ministry fatal blunders, Sisira Vithanage, President of the National forum of Journalists (NFJ) said, “we are disappointed that this Govt.’s Ministers have become a bunch of jokers”, adding that, it was rudely embarrassing to see Ministers respond laughingly claiming such things do happen, pertaining to serious health issues where children are dying allegedly due to Health Ministry lapses. more..

'Return to country to foster nation building '

Oct 31 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Thursday requested all Sri Lankans abroad to return to the motherland and contribute towards the nation building effort. The President made this appeal when he addressed the Sri Lankan community in Kathmandu, Nepal. A large number of Sri Lankan businessmen, professionals and university students attended the meeting. The President who is on a two-day official visit to Nepal said Sri Lanka has been fully liberated from more..

Commander of the Navy visits Northern Naval Area

Oct 31 (MoD) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe visited the Northern Naval Area on the 29th of October 2009. He inspected the Naval bases and deployments under the Northern Naval Command and reviewed the security and administrative arrangements under implementation in the respective Naval establishments. Commander of the Navy, addressing both officers and sailors, praised them for the role they played in 2008 and more..

'I am ‘helpless’ when elections guidelines are not followed'

Oct 31 (Island) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake said yesterday that he was "helpless", when his guidelines aimed at ensuring the conduct of free and fair polls were not followed. "What can I do when my directives are ignored. I am helpless and powerless", an exasperated Dissanayake, had told an Opposition delegation that met him, at his Rajagiriya office yesterday, more..

Visa overstayers face tough action

Oct 31 (DN) In a major crackdown, sleuths of the Immigration and Emigration Department arrested over 100 foreigners within the last 45 days, who have violated Sri Lankan visa regulations. This includes 80 textile vendors arrested in Kalmunai and Akkaraipattu last month, who were doing illegal business after entering the country on visit visa’s. The latest detections have come from Colombo-suburbs where two Indians and a Pakistani were arrested for more..

Reforming education: Finishing the unfinished task

Oct 31 (DN) The free education system inaugurated by Dr. Kannangara has been in operation now for over half a century and there is no question that it has made higher education and the economic and social advantages which accrue from higher education, accessible to very many people educated exclusively in swabasha. I believe that any fall in ‘standards’ has been more than compensated for by the concomitant increase in perceived distributive social justice. more..

President opens Sri Lanka Maha Vihara in Lumbini

Oct 31 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremonially opened the Sri Lanka Maha Vihara, a monastery constructed by the Sri Lankan Government in Lumbini, Nepal, the birth place of the Buddha as the Prince Siddhartha Gautama yesterday morning. The President is on a three-day official visit to Nepal. He held meetings with Nepalese President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala and other political leaders, sources at the President’s office said. more..

Polls Chief agreed to foreign, local monitors – Karu J

Oct 31 (Island) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, has informed the Opposition, that he will obtain the services of foreign and local monitors for the Presidential and Parliamentary Polls, expected to be held early next year. Deputy Leader of the UNP, Karu Jayasuriya MP, told The Island that the assurance was given, when an Opposition delegation headed by him, called on Dissanayake yesterday to make representations with regard to the conduct of free and fair elections. more..

US Tamil Tycoon Rajaratnam fights tough legal battle

Oct 31 (DBS) Members of the extended family were inundated with messages of sympathy, solidarity and support from relatives,friends and well-wishers when New York based Hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist Raj Rajaratnam was arrested and produced in a Manhattan court on Friday October 16th. The beleaguered billionaire whose net worth was estimated by “Forbes” to be US$ 1.3 billion faced four charges of more..

British MPs seek to help lift ban LTTE

Oct 31 (Island) Some British MPs have backed a fresh bid by the overseas LTTE activists to seek a review of the British Anti-Terrorism Act of 2000 under which the then Labour Government proscribed the LTTE. Government sources told The Island that the Diaspora move was gaining momentum in a post-LTTE era not only in the UK but also in several other EU member states. Sources said MPs, Siobhain McDonagh and Joan Ryan had joined a public meeting with more..

'Finance ministry issue directive on interest rates'

Oct 31 (LBO) Finance ministry would issue a circular directing state banks to cut lending rates and there was a possibility of private banks being also directed to cut lending rates through the island's monetary authority, a government minister said. Sri Lanka's powerful president Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered state bank to cut lending rates by 700 basis points to between 8.0 and 12.0 percent last week. more..

Defence Secretary speaks out on General Fonseka issue

Oct 31 (MoD) Responding to criticism of an alleged attempt to sideline Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka and to deny the war veteran the credit he deserves for spearheading the war against the LTTE, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says a group of bankrupt politicians are now working overtime to destabilise the country. more..

No change to deposit rates: State banks

Oct 31 (DM) Sri Lanka’s state banks have assured the public that they would not cut deposit rates to bring them in line with the recent lending rate cut although the People’s Bank said they would have to introduce a slight deposit rate reduction for those customers who get high interest rates for their deposits. The heads of the island’s state bank gave this assurance at a joint press conference held with the Minister of Finance yesterday. more..

Lankan scribes refused visa for Indian workshop

Oct 31 (DM) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed “deep concern” over the denial of visas to journalists from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to participate in a workshop on environmental journalism in Tuticorin. Basing its reaction on information given by its partner organisations, the IFJ said four journalists from both countries had to cancel their participation in the workshop at the last minute after being told that they would not be granted visas. more..

TN politician among Lankan HC attackers

Oct 31 (DM) A top political leader of a party in Tamil Nadu was in the group that attacked the Sri Lankan High Commission in New Delhi earlier this month, Sri Lankan government sources told Daily Mirror. Official sources revealed that video footage showed the general secretary of the Puthiya Tamilagam party among the mob that broke into the premises of the High Commission on October 2. According to sources 14 others had been identified via the video footage captured by media personnel at the time of the attack. more..

Killing of deranged Youth shocks nation

Oct 31 (DM) A police constable attached to the Bambalapitiya police station wanted in connection with Thursday’s forced drowning of a youth at the Bambalapitiya beach was taken into custody by the Colombo Crime Division last evening after he surrendered himself to police yesterday afternoon, police said. Police and Army personnel who had allegedly assaulted the 26 year old youth in the shallow sea near the Bambalapitiya Railway Station and more..

'IDPs will be resettled by Jan. 31'

Oct 31 (Island) The Government will resettle all internally displaced people by January 31, next year, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said. "The Government has consistently maintained that IDPs will be screened and released in a structured and well managed manner. We are hopeful of achieving our target of resettling a majority of IDPs by 31 January next year," more..