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Ceylon Petroleum Corporation owed Rs61bn by state entities

Oct 6 (LBO) Government organisations owed the state-owned refiner, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), 61 billion rupees in unpaid bills for fuel supplies by September 2009, CPC chairman Asoka Thoradeniya said. The public power utility, Ceylon Electricity Board, alone had not paid 49 billion rupees to the CPC. Others in arrears on payment for fuel include the controversial state-owned Mihin Lanka budget airline that has been running at a loss, more..

Sri Lanka economic report out: IPS

Oct 6 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Institute of Policy Studies has released its annual analysis of the country's economy looking at the impact of a downturn in 2008 and policies needed for recovery, the think tank said. IPS's annual report, Sri Lanka: State of the Economy 2009, is themed on 'Global Economic Crisis: Issues, Impacts and Outlook'. It examines the path of the current global economic crisis, the impacts that have been visible in Sri Lanka, and more..

Riot police to deter villagers demanding water

Oct 6 (LT) A protest campaign has been launched by villagers in various areas in Ampara at Galmadu Junction demanding drinking water. About thousand villagers have taken part in the campaign. The channels and anicuts have dried up as the water level of Senanayake Samudhra has gone down due to the severe drought prevailing in the area. People in many areas of Ampara find it difficult to get drinking water. more..

One in five people is suffering from mental disorders

Oct 6 (AT) One in five people living in this world is suffering from some mental disorder, thus 450 million people are affected with mental disease. This is a major problem; said Dr. Firdosi Mehta, WHO Representative to Sri Lanka participating at a programme organized by the Mental Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health held in Colombo to mark the World Mental Health Day which is to be commemorated on the 10th of October 2009. more..

U.S’.s standing in proffering “war crimes” charges against others

Oct 6 (AT) The above proverb which might not appear to be very pleasant, speaks of a political reality capable of universal application to global situations even today though it may have been a down to earth observation made by an ancient community in the Orient based on their limited surroundings. It is more down to earth than Kautilya’s ‘Matsya Nyaya’ (the big fish devouring the small one) which he probably found in the Vedic texts as more..

'US clarification is welcome'

Oct 6 (GDI) Minister for Disaster Management and Human Rights, Mahinda Samarasinghe welcomed the clarification made with regard to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton's statement accusing Sri Lanka of using rape as a weapon of war. In a letter addressed to the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama by Melanne Verveer, Ambassador- at- Large for Global Women's Issues at the State Department says, more..

Sri Lanka seeks foreign cash for war-displaced

Oct 6 (AFP) Sri Lanka will tap foreign donors to raise more cash to look after over 250,000 people displaced by its offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels, a minister said Monday. "We are drawing up a fresh appeal to meet our running costs next year that will include funds for livelihood support and resettlement projects," Minister of Disaster Management Mahinda Samarasinghe told reporters in the capital Colombo. more..

'Political opponants burnt my house'- MP

Oct 6 (BBC) Opposition member of parliament blamed his political openents for burning down his residence. "Someone who is against UNP politics had set fire to my house", says Puttalam District UNP parliamentarian Palitha Ranga Bandara. The house and political office at Madampe, Chilaw belongs to the parliamentarian was set alight on Sunday night. MP Palitha Ranga Bandra said “the damage cost about ten million and this was an arson attack”. more..

'We can be the underdog that strikes'

Oct 6 (CI) Wayamba, Sri Lanka's domestic Twenty20 champions, are banking on their mix of youth and experience as they head to India to contest the inaugural Champions Twenty20 League starting October 8. "We have a well-balanced side and most of our opponents haven't seen us performing together. With our variety of combinations there is a strong chance of winning the championship," said the captain Jehan Mubarak, more..

Boatpeople facing expulsion over security concerns on former Tamil fighters

Oct 6 (TA) SECURITY officials may move to expel some of the Sri Lankan boat people detained at Christmas Island over concerns they are Tamil Tiger fighters and could pose a risk to the community. Some young men are believed to have raised suspicions because they have injuries consistent with warfare, such as shrapnel wounds. Officials are concerned they could be LTTE fighters trying to pass themselves off as asylum-seekers. more..

Debrief News - 05.10.09

Karuna for refugees back in Sri Lanka

Oct 6 (Hindu) Minister of National Integration Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias Karuna Amman has said there is no need for India to grant citizenship to Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu. “Colonel” Karuna, former LTTE commander, told Daily Mirror that there was no need for such a gesture as the situation in Sri Lanka had improved. “The situation in the country was now very good and it would be better to receive the Sri Lankan refugees back in the island,” more..

Australia overpower New Zealand to retain ICC Champions Trophy

Oct 6 (CI) For the first time since the 1996 World Cup, a team gave them a scare in a global final, but Australia still remain the team to beat on the big day. If Australia were typically aggressive and opportunistic in setting themselves just 201 to chase, they were made to play out of character in the chase against exceptional opening spells from Kyle Mills and Shane Bond, something Shane Watson and Cameron White did with smartness and with determination. more..

Sexual violence in the past by police and security forces agaianst Tamil women

Oct 6 (DBS) Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks while addressing the UN security council had an inaccurate reference about the Sri Lankan armed forces using rape as a tactic of war. This is the relevant quote from the US Secretary of State: “The resolution we passed today represents a step forward in our global efforts to end violence perpetrated against women and children in conflict zones, and it builds on two prior Security Council resolutions: more..

Advertising campaign to deter Sri Lankan boat arrivals

Oct 6 (ABC) The Australian Government is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising in Sri Lanka to try to deter boat arrivals. The poster and street theatre campaign will warn Sri Lankans about the dangers of using people smugglers to try to get to Australia. It will also educate them about how to migrate successfully. More asylum seekers have tried to reach Australia's shores so far this year, more..

Openness to engagement as defence to accusation

Oct 6 (LG) Hillary Clinton’s inclusion of Sri Lanka in the short list of countries that are alleged to have used rape as a tactic of war has caused fury and distress in the country. Understandably, the Sri Lankan government has called upon Ms Clinton to withdraw her remarks, which were extreme and provocative. As a result of these charges and counter charges, the possibility of constructive engagement that could cause problems to be dealt with in a problem solving manner and more..

Hundred days of terror under British

Oct 6 (LG) August 30 marked exactly 94 years after the end of a 100-day rule by the monstrous Martial Law which the British Colonial Government enforced to quell the communal riots of 1915. It was like using a sledge hammer to kill an insect. The violent incidents were a glaring example of divide-and-rule colonial policy the tragic consequences of which Sri Lankans are suffering to this day. more..

Karuna’s latest photograph widely circulating via IT network

Oct 6 (LG) The latest photograph of Deputy Leader of the SLFP Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan well known as Karuna Amman with his official partner in Colombo is widely circulating in the IT network within Tamil circle with an insinuating comment ‘Kohomada Karuna Ayyaaaa…. (In Sinhala) How are you Karuna brother’ Karuna Amman has just returned from Germany following some attempts being made by him to reconcile with his estranged wife in the United Kingdom. more..

Lanka’s current predicament

Oct 6 (LG) The terrorist war, which marked one of the most turbulent phases of our recent history when sinister forces both internal and external, imperilled our sovereignty, territorial integrity, democratic governance and peace, is indeed over. But does that also mean all of our grief and despair are behind us? Even a cursory glance at national and international events loosely associated with our country clearly suggest that we are still compelled to more..

They were admired and respected by all

Oct 6 (LG) It is with heavy hearts we reflect on the year since our beloved parents were taken from us, along with 29 other innocent civilians. Our sense of loss is overwhelming and although we miss them everyday, we gain strength in the knowledge that they are together and they are watching over us. We know both Ammi and Thaththi were deeply loved and respected by so many people in Sri Lanka. more..

The Arson attack and the abysmal lawlessness

Oct 6 (LG) The opposition politician Ranga Bandara's house was burned to cinders on the evening of the 4th October. Sometime earlier, the house of another opposition politician, John Pulle, was similarly raised to the ground. In any place where the rule of law exists, even to a basic level, this kind of action would be deemed incredible. However, in Sri Lanka the event is treated as yet another trivial event in the political 'samsara'. more..

Cassandras have a field day over GSP +

Oct 6 (LG) It is funny to see how many people assume that the GSP + facility would not be granted. It's even funnier to see how many people assume it's so important. Of course the possible withholding of the GSP+ would mean the loss of jobs and that would hurt the economy in some measure, but that's not the end of the world. And of course I know it would, to some, sound clichetic if we say it's better to die on our feet rather than live on our knees. more..

SL ranks in the lead in human development

Oct 6 (GDI) Sri Lanka has ranked above all neighbours in South Asia except Maldives on the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Index report released Monday (Oct. 5). Human Development Report 2009 placed Sri Lanka at the 102nd position in the medium human development category for the quality of life of its citizens. In the South Asian region only Maldives fared better than Sri Lanka at the 95th position. more..

Massive agriculture development

Oct 6 (GDI) The Government has launched an ambitious agricultural development and irrigation expansion program in Medirigiriya, under the Moragahakanda-Kalu Ganga Project, with plans to settle 3,000 farmer families in Bisopura Nava Nagaraya. It will bring 12,000 hectares under cultivation at a cost of Rs. 12 billion, official sources said. Plans were afoot to proceed up to Minneriya Wewa and construct irrigation channels up to more..

'Govt.’s power greed breeds vices, corruption and all the cardinal sins'

Oct 6 (UNP) Addressing a Deniyaya election rally, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the inordinate greed of the govt. for power is breeding all the cardinal sins which a Govt. ought not follow or practice. Referring to the backstreet politics, the political insidious machinations, the underhand negotiations with the LTTE and resorting to shady economic policie, more..

Security forces make more recoveries in Wanni clearing operations

Oct 6 (MoD) Security forces are uncovering more hidden LTTE military hardware in Wanni during extensive clearing operations, facilitating immediate resettlement of rescued civilians from terrorists. According to finalized military reports received on Monday (Oct 05), clearing operations were conducted in general areas at Visuamadu, Alankulama, Kappankulama, East and West of Puthukkudiyirippu. more..

First batch of soldiers trained at advance infantry training school in Kilinochchi passed out

Oct 6 (MoD) On a concept mooted by Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya with intension of uplifting professional standard of soldiers on par with expansion of the organization, has opened up an Advanced Infantry Training School in the 57 Division, Kilinochchi. The first batch of officers and soldiers who underwent advanced infantry training at this new training centre passed out on Saturday (03) at a smart parade with more..

CPC workers stage protest demanding pay hike

Oct 6 (DM) More than one thousand Ceylon Petroleum Corporation workers yesterday staged a protest demanding a pay hike and the interim allowance of Rs 5000 promised by the Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Minister A.H.M. Fowzie in front of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation at Kolonnawa. An activist of the Ekabaddha Podu Sevaka Sangamaya D. J. Rajakaruna said that institutions such as Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) andis more..

IDP centres ready for monsoon

Oct 6 (MoD) More than 80 percent of the construction of the drainage system has been completed at the Internally Displaced Centres to face the monsoon rain and avoid inconvenience and misery to the IDPs. Addressing the Media at the President Secretariat yesterday, Humans Rights and Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the process of resettling the IDPs in their homes has been satisfactory. more..

Eleven JVP offices in Hambantota destroyed

Oct 6 (LT) Eleven election offices of the JVP were destroyed by gangs of thugs at night on the 4th states the media unit of the JVP. Some of the election offices that have been attacked and destroyed were at Beliatta, Pahala Beligalla, Ambalantota Depot Junction, Mirijjawila Adasiya Road, the office at the residence of Mr. Kumudu Sanjeewa, JVP candidate for Southern PC election at Debarawewa, the office at Wekandawala polling station No.1, more..

Teachers to protest tomorrow demanding solutions for their issues

Oct 6 (LT) A protest campaign organized by Lanka Teachers Service Union (LTSU), demanding solutions for the issues in teachers’ service will be held opposite the Ministry of Education at Pelawatta tomorrow. The protest campaign would be held to protest against not taking any measures to remove anomalies in teachers’ salaries despite Rs.3000 million had been allocated from the last budget for that purpose, declining to pay distress and property loans and more..

'Govt. avoids presenting oppressive budget fearing impending elections'

Oct 6 (LT) The decision of the government not to present a budget for next year that would cut down subsidies and decline to give any jobs is to avoid being ransacked at the impending elections says JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. He said the government would not want to commit ‘hara-kiri- by presenting a budget that would reveal its intention of burdening the masses for the benefit of a few individuals. more..

Refugees seek dual citizenship

Oct 6 (DC) While Indian Tamil descendants of the island nation living in refugee camps here rejoice over the DMK’s proposal for permanent resident status, Sri Lankan Tamil refugees apprehensive over future demand dual citizenship. As a race we are wronged and hence remain stateless, is the refrain of refugees living inside and outside camps. But not a single soul wants to go back to the island Republic immediately given the “gross human rights violations” against Tamils there. more..

Teachers have vital role to play- President

Oct 6 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa called upon teachers to commit themselves to the task of upbringing a disciplined and cultured generation who would contribute to uplift the nation liberated from terrorism. In a message to mark the International Teachers Day,the President said the 200 thousand strong community of teachers had a vital role to play in that endeavor, since it is the teachers who bequeath a disciplined and cultured citizenry to the country. more..

No job vacancies - Athauda

Oct 6 (LNP) Employment opportunities in the public and private sectors have currently reached saturation point. The public sector alone has a workforce of 1.2 million, Minister Athauda Seneviratne said. During the UNP regime 6,000 were provided with government jobs while the present regime has provided employment for a further 6000, Seneviratne said. He was speaking at a ceremony in Kegalle where loans were granted to small and medium scale self-employed businessmen of the district. more..

Hillary`s Nelsonian Eye

Oct 6 (LNP) `The mother told me her baby`s name was Esther. Clasping her breasts, she said she had no milk. She did not tell me what operation she was waiting for. Perhaps her rapist(s) had caused a fistula, penetrating the wall between her rectum and vagina with penises, guns, or machetes. Hundreds of other injuries are possible. We had seen pictures of women who had been shot in the vagina, who had had salt rubbed in their eyes until they were blind more..

Govt says over 22,600 IDPs released from camps

Oct 6 (LNP) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said that the government had released 22,668 IDPs from the camps in the Wanni. Of them, 10,593 had been resettled. 12,075 were released on special grounds, including medical needs, over 60 years old, Court orders, possessing foreign passports, university students, persons who were willing to be hosted by families, pregnant mothers and religious leaders. more..

Lankan dancers mesmerize city

Oct 6 (TOI) The third day of the Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) 2009 belonged to the expression of Sinhala dance and Sri Lanka's modern dance form pioneered by Chitrasena. Besides showcasing the hardship of fisherfolk, it brought out issues of caste, religion, gender, love and identity along with a beautiful contrast of hope and despair. The 10-day festival organised in association with The Times of India more..

Refugee murdered in Kottapattu camp

Oct 6 (Hindu) A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee was murdered in the Kottapattu refugee camp in the city on Monday evening. The city police have secured Rajagopal, his two sons Rabinesan and Sasidaran and one Santhan – all four Lankan Tamil refugees residing at Kottapattu camp – on the charge of killing S. Sahayaseelan (35). Sahayaseelan who had been staying at the refugee camp at Vazhavanthankottai near Thuvakudi on more..

Competent Authority appeals to city dwellers: Pay up

Oct 6 (DN) CMC Competent Authority Omar Kamil appeals to the city dwellers and Government institutions who are receiving the Council’s services to make their payments to help the CMC in its effort to make the city a beautiful place. CMC has already started a 100-day program to make the Colombo city a better place. Garbage is cleared from households more efficiently and regularly under strict supervision. more..

Tracing footprints of a great historian

Oct 6 (DN) The 117th Birth Anniversary of Dr. R.L. Brohier was yesterday. His deep and abiding love for Sri Lanka is reflected in the incomparable legacy he has bequeathed to future generations. His valuable and unrivalled works on historical sites, ancient irrigation systems, Dutch influences to name a few, reveal to aspects of our country and heritage which if not for him we would never have known. more..

Local milk production increases

Oct 6 (DN) The local milk production has increased by 30 percent this year and it is a big boost to the local economy, said Livestock Development Ministry Secretary Sunimal Senaratne at the World School Milk Day celebrations held recently at Ananda Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo. “Under the Mahinda Chinthanaya policy we hope to increase local milk production by 50 percent before the year 2015. The Government policy is to increase local milk production. more..

Diseases threaten cinnamon plantations

Oct 6 (DN) Rough bark and white root, the two diseases affecting the cinnamon plantations in the Southern Province pose a grave threat to thousands of people who depend on the cinnamon industry. Sirisena an oil mill owner said, “We are in fear of losing our jobs. We do this as a self employment. We could obtain high profits from this. But now the situation has changed. The cinnamon leaves are infested by minute arthropods causing gall- like formations which more..

Lalith Kotelawala gets bail, but in remand

Oct 6 (DM) In a remarkable turn of events, the Fort Magistrate’s Court released Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala on bail yesterday when the case involving the alleged defrauding of Rs. 3.9 billion by the F&G Real Estate Company was taken up, but Mr. Kotelawala will continue to remain in remand prison over other Ceylinco related cases. Fort Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya made the order granting bail considering more..

Dallas to streamline commuter transport

Oct 6 (Island) Minister of Transport Dallas Alahapperuma has obtained representations from a cross section of civil society with a view to providing a better rail and bus service to the commuting public and has included them in the National Transport Policy which is to be presented to Parliament shortly, Chairman of the National Transport Commission (NTC) Prof Amal Kumarage said yesterday. more..

Health Minister asks Germany to revise travel advisory on

Oct 6 (Island) Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva urged Germany to positively revise its travel advisory on Sri Lanka. Speaking at the 19th National Independence Day Ceremony of the Federal Republic of Germany at the German High Commissioner’s Office, the Minister, who attended the ceremony as the chief guest said "This year has made significant strides in the security scenario in Sri Lanka. more..

MPs to study NDP for needed amendments

Oct 6 (Island) Copies of the National Drug Policy are to be distributed among parliamentarians on Thursday for necessary changes and amendments. Thereafter, it would be made valid for the next five years commencing 2010. Parliamentarians are entitled to make their suggestions for better implementation of the NDP, a Health Ministry spokesman said. He said that a clause in the policy required a renewal every five years. more..

Reveal secret talks with LTTE - Ranil tells govt.

Oct 6 (DM) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged that senior LTTE leaders such as Daya Master and George Master were spared because they had threatened to reveal the truth about a secret meeting between the government and the LTTE in the Wanni. Mr. Wickremesinghe made these allegations at a Deniyaya election rally where he urged the government to reveal details of these talks held in the Wanni between the LTTE and the Presidential Secretary. more..

UNP WC gives nod for Grand Opposition Alliance

Oct 6 (Island) The UNP Working Committee yesterday unanimously approved a proposal to form a joint opposition alliance which had on its list of priorities the abolition of the Executive Presidency, Party General Secretary Tissa Attanayake told The Island yesterday. He said the new alliance had been named ‘United National Alliance’ and it would be launched shortly. He said there were four political parties in the alliance: more..

AG assures Court - Polls violations will be stopped

Oct 6 (DM) The Attorney General told the Supreme Court yesterday steps were being taken to expeditiously remove the display of posters, cut-outs and banners which were illegally put up for Saturday’s Southern Provincial Council elections. Based on the submission by Senior State Counsel Nerin Pulle, the independent election monitoring group PAFFREL withdrew its fundamental rights application that more..