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Sri Lanka and India Navy conduct joint naval training exercise

Oct 6 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy and India navy conduct a joint naval training exercise from the 06th to the 08th of October 2009 in the Western seas of Sri Lanka. INS 'Shardul' of the Indian Navy and INCGS 'Varuna' of the Indian Coast Guard with Indian Cadets on board and SLNS 'Sayura', SLNS 'Samudura' and 'A 521' of the Sri Lanka Navy participate in the exercise Code-named 'Cadex 2009'. more..

Sri Lanka pledge on refugee camps

Oct 6 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government says it is taking measures to ensure that the camps housing refugees will cope with the onset of monsoon rains. UN agencies have expressed concern that the camps will flood, and the thousands of people in them will have no access to clean water. In August, sudden storms flooded many of the vast camps, submerging toilets and contaminating water. Thousands of makeshift homes were also damaged in the rainfall. more..

British minister in Sri Lanka to assess refugee resettlement plans

Oct 6 (DPA) A British cabinet minister began a two-day visit to Sri Lanka Tuesday to assess the government's resettlement plans for an estimated 250,000 people displaced by the country's civil war, officials said. Mike Foster, British Parliamentary under secretary, was scheduled to visit refugee camps in the north, a British-funded child soldier rehabilitation centre in Vavuniya and a demining programme also backed by Britain. more..

Jayalalithaa flays TN CM for demanding citizenship for Tamil refugees

Oct 6 (PTI) Accusing Chief Minister M Karunanidhi of ‘trivialising’ the Tamils’ struggle in Sri Lanka, the AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa flayed his demand to grant permanent citizenship to the Tamil refugees, saying displaced people only preferred to be rehabilitated in their own land. “Any displaced community, living as refugees in another country, would prefer to be rehabilitated in their own land, amongst their own kith and kin,” more..

Authorities fail to provide suitable site to place statue of Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera

Oct 7 (LT) The authorities have failed to make available a suitable place to place the statue of the Great War hero Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera who was murdered by tiger terrorists. Mr. Jayanthe Koliyawansa, the sculpture assigned to create his statue said the parties that are sponsoring the creation of Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera’s statue have asked for a small piece of land to erect the statue but more..

Deported Sri Lankan on smuggling charge

Oct 7 (Age) A Sri Lankan asylum seeker deported at the weekend has been arrested and charged with people smuggling in Colombo. Indika Mendis, 28, was among nine men flagged for forced deportation last week as the Government began returning people from Christmas Island to countries of origin against their will. He failed to meet criteria for protection in Australia. Yesterday, the Immigration Department confirmed the arrest and more..

Hillary's claim withdrawn

Oct 7 (BBC) The United State says it has no recent evidence of women being raped while in Sri Lankan government custody. Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said that the US State Department has issued a clarification on this issue. The State Department said in a letter that there were no sexual abuse by the Sri Lanka Army during 2006 and 2009 as had happened in other conflict areas, he said. "The State Department has clarified its position and it is over", more..

Britain demands freedom for Sri Lanka war victims

Oct 7 (AFP) Britain on Tuesday expressed disappointment with Sri Lanka's handling of war-displaced civilians and demanded that they be given the freedom to leave state-run camps. "Freedom of movement is critical if a humanitarian crisis is to be averted," visiting British Development Minister Mike Foster said after touring the camps, where over 250,000 civilians are being detained. more..

PM pays surprise visit to Stock Exchange

Oct 7 (GDI) Sri Lanka's economy management speed was endorsed today for the first time in the history when the stock market hit a record Trillion rupees, Prime Minister Rathnasiri Wickramanayake said during a surprise visit to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) at the World Trade Center today. He pointed out that the main reason for the stock values topping a Trillion rupees was the political stability in the country and the peaceful surrounding. more..

UK to cut Sri Lanka refugee aid

Oct 7 (BBC) The UK says it will soon withdraw all but emergency funding for the camps where about 250,000 displaced Tamils are confined in northern Sri Lanka. The announcement came after the UK Development Minister Mike Foster visited the biggest camp at Menik Farm. He said 70% of people should be able to leave and stay with host families. Refugees say conditions are poor, with inadequate drinking water and drains, and illness due to the hot conditions. more..

Debrief News - 06.10.2009

Gift of statues to Marian shrine a ‘symbol of unity’

Oct 7 (UCAN) Catholics in Colombo have sent 43 life-size statues of the Way of the Cross to the war-damaged Our Lady of Madhu shrine in northern Sri Lanka. The fiberglass figures, costing a million rupees (US$8,700) and donated by a group of Catholics, arrived at the shrine on Oct. 2, after making a five-day journey through cities and villages. “It is refreshing to see help from the south,” said Father Anthony Victor Sosai, more..

Lanka’s double tragedy

Oct 7 (EB) If war-scarred Sri Lanka is to re-emerge as a tropical paradise, it has to build enduring peace through genuine inter-ethnic equality and by making the transition from being a unitary state to being a federation that grants local autonomy. Yet even in victory, the Lankan government seems unable to define peace or outline a political solution to the long-standing grievances of the Tamil minority. more..

A Comprehensive Website for Sri Lanka Tourism

Oct 7 (AT) The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has recently revamped their website in keeping with the latest trends in tourism development and the new, post-war image the country is geared in projecting on the World Wide Web. The website, giving current and up to date information, caters primarily to industry stakeholders, potential investors, and the general public who requires information on tourism related matter. more..

Ceylinco crisis a factor to hit the construction industry

Oct 7 (AT) Ceylinco crisis and the global recession has hit the construction industry, specially in the selling of housing units as the prospective buyers have lost confidence on the whole business of housing units, said Surath Wickramasinghe, President, Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka. He said this in Colombo this week, while announcing the holding of the Construction Exhibition – Excon 2009 more..

Negative emotions to positive ones

Oct 7 (AT) The inauguration of a four day regional workshop organized by WHO on Promotion of Mental Well-being took place yesterday in Colombo. This workshop was attended by over 100 participants from a diverse range of disciplines including anthropology, health promotion, education and national planning. It is scheduled to discuss various aspects of promotion of mental well-being and more..

JVP moves towards ‘Socialist Market Economy’ with proper planning

Oct 7 (AT) For any country to achieve economic victories, it would be necessarily for it to have proper planning and should strictly act according to that plan, said Vijitha Herath, MP and Propaganda Secretary, JVP speaking as President, China Sri Lanka Friendship Foundation at the Sri Lanka-China Business Forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, held at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel Colombo. more..

IDP safety and resettlement is Sri Lanka’s top priority

Oct 7 (Hindu) The newly appointed Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner in Southern India, Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, said his objective was to strengthen the “excellent relations” of his country with southern India, especially with Tamil Nadu. Speaking to The Hindu on a range of issues, Mr. Krishnamoorthy, a Tamil of recent Indian origin, said the two countries shared political, economic and cultural ties. more..

Triumphant trillion

Oct 7 (BL) Investors in Sri Lanka’s tiny bourse are getting richer by the hour as the market capitalisation yesterday topped the mystical figure of Rs. 1 trillion (nearly US$ 9 billion) hot on the heels of hitting global headlines as the world’s best performing on Monday. Within seconds after its opening at 9.30 a.m, the Colombo stock market saw its value cross the Rs. 1 trillion mark, up by over Rs. 7 billion from Monday’s close of Rs. 994.5 billion. more..

Two developments among minority communities

Oct 7 (BL) The two developments occurring among the Tamil speaking people of Sri Lanka need watching. The first is the realisation that the Tamil and Muslim political parties should unite to safeguard the basic needs of their people. The second, the consequence of the first, is the shift in their stand about the Executive Presidency. These developments are the outcome of the process of consolidation that had happened among the Sinhala people following the war victory. more..

Sri Lanka slips even in Human Development Index ranking

Oct 7 (BL) In what could be an eye opener, Sri Lanka has even slipped in the latest global Human Development Index (HDI) ranking released this week apart from the dip in global competitiveness strength and rise in corruption perception index as reported recently by The Bottom Line. In the UNDP annual rankings, Sri Lanka was placed 102nd in the 2009 list whilst in the 2007/8 report, the country was placed higher at 99. more..

Mahinda to flag off $76 m Chinese funded oil tank farm project at Hambantota

Oct 7 (BL) The foundation laying of the Tank Farm Project and Administrative Building at Hambantota Port Site will be ceremonially held today with the initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the participation of Minister of Port, Aviation, Irrigation and Water Management Chamal Rajapaksa and Minister of Port Development Dilan Perera on 07th October 2009 at Hambantota Port Project Site. more..

A second internship in motherland: Last fling at Lake House

Oct 7 (LG) My last fling with Lake House (June 4-Aug. 16, 1991) did not work out as well as I expected because ANCL failed to honor the terms of a paid internship as stipulated by the ASNE. Observer editor H. L. D. Mahindapala expected “donated” labor at his disposal and presumed that the ASNE support was adequate. This easygoing attitude toward a formal internship and the unwillingness of Lake House management to pay a regular stipend more..

'US Army raped a large number of women during Vietnam war'

Oct 7 (LP) Udaya Gammanpila, a federal Minister of Sri Lanka government, accused that the US Army raped a large number of women during Vietnam war. He recalled that rape took place right inside the White House as Bill Clinton, the husband of US State Secretary Hilary Clinton was the President. Western Provincial Council Minister Udaya Gammanpila made these comments to state-owned Dinamina Sinhala daily participating a petition campaign against US in Colombo. more..

Women's Co-op: Celebrating 20 years

Remembering H.L. de Silva: A daughter's tribute

Oct 7 (TC) It is six months since my father more popularly known as HL passed away. In the weeks that followed his passing many paid homage to thathi’s achievements, but I would like to share with you some of his qualities which influenced my life. From my very young days I remember Thathi as someone who always stood up and spoke out for what he believed in. Whether such views were controversial or unpopular he would always voice his opinion fearlessly. more..

Who was "Father" of free education in Sri Lanka?: C.W.W. Kannangara or A. Ratnayake?

Oct 7 (TC) I have been invited to give the Dr C.W.W. Kannangara Memorial Lecture for 2009. He was a great and good man. In order to prepare the lecture, I have been reading avidly whatever I could access easily about him. So it was with great interest that I read WTA Leslie Fernando’s tribute to him titled Dr CWW Kannangara, Father of Free Education in Sri Lanka published in The Island of 24 September 2009. more..

Six-year-old daughter of ASP dies in accident

Oct 7 (LT) A six-year-old student of Grade-01 at the Prajapathi Gothami School, Tharani Dhananjana Perera, died after she was hit by a Prado vehicle of Pradeshiya Sabha Member, at Kosgoda, police said. She is a daughter of Assistant Superintendent of Police, Rajani Perera of Police Training College at Kalutara. A member of the Opposition in the Western Provincial Council had been also in the vehicle. more..

Threatening to sue the UN over plight of IDP's in Wanni

Oct 7 (TC) Imagine this scenario: A man engages in excessive drinking of expensive alcohol and squanders the long overdue school fees for his children, without which they have been told they cannot return to school the next day. His friends respond to the emergency and gather the money to make the payment. The man asks them to pay for the whole year, but they offer to pay only for a term. more..

No progress under "Awakening of the East" - EPC member

Oct 7 (PSM) “No developments other than celebrations or ‘thamasas’ are taking place in the Eastern Province by the government and it is only the non-governmental and voluntary organizations that are active in development programmes”, said Mr. A. Masilamanie, Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) Member. He also added that only Rs. 200 million has been granted to the Council so far out of the Rs. 1.4 billion allocated for this year. more..

Voting back to Westminster style?

Oct 7 (GDI) A bill has been been prepared to change the existing PR system of elections and revert to the previous electoral system under the Westminster pattern. Minister Janaka Bandara Tennekoon told SLFP stalwarts in Akuressa that a Bill would be presented for parliamentary approval shortly to revert to the Westminster system of elections where each electorate will have a representative in Parliament. more..

Universities geared for development

Oct 7 (GDI) The Government has allocated a staggering 90 million rupees to upgrade the Jaffna University and the Vavuniya Campus in the North. According to the Chairman of the UGC Professor Gamini Samaranayake, 55 million rupees has been allocated to enhance IT education facilities and welfare of students in Vavuniya campus. 'In addition, a World Bank project will be launched to upgrade the facilities in the universities next year', he said. more..

Implementation of "Consumer Electricity Act" from October 08

Oct 7 (GDI) Steps have been taken to implement the Consumer Electricity Act form October 08, in order to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity. This Act will be introduced by the Public Utility Commission on Electricity Consumers, Chairman of Public Utility Commission Jayatissa De Costa said. He pointed out that a person must obtain a license or an exemption from the commission in order to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity form this Act. more..

SPC campaign ends tonight

Oct 7 (GDI) The propaganda campaign for the southern provincial council poll will end midnight today. The poll will be held on Saturday. According to the election secretariat over 1.761 million persons are eligible to vote at the poll. 494 candidates from Galle district 357 candidates from Matara district and 240 candidates from Hambanthota district will contest the election. 55 councillors will be elected to the southern province. more..

Landmine explosion cost limbs- India to help

Oct 7 (LP) The Government of India will distribute artificial limbs at a month-long free medical camp in Jaffna in December. As a pilot project, 600 people who lost their limbs in mine blasts and other war-related incidents will be given artificial limbs at a cost of Indian Rs 1,500,000. Jaipur-based Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) will provide the limbs at an average cost of Rs 2,000. more..

Mangala goes to prison and meets jailed journalist and student leader

Oct 7 (TC) Mangala Samaraweera the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party- Mahajana Wing, made a visit to the Welikada prison this afternoon (2009-10-06) to check on the wellbeing of the journalist J.S Tissanayagam and students of the inter university Sarasavi student Organization. After the meeting Mr. Mangala Samaraweera addressed the media and a short extract of his comments are below. more..

More gather at Army exhibition site

Oct 7 (LP) It is the 05th day of the Army Exhibition currently being held at the BMICH concurrently to the 60th anniversary of the SL Army. Record crowds visited the BMICH premises to view the Exhibition on all five days. There were a crowd of about 200,000 by noon yesterday. The exhibition also showcases the Army’s strategies and humanitarian efforts in capturing the North from Mawilaru to the Nandikadal lagoon. more..

Applicants in South issued ID cards

Oct 7 (LP) Commissioner General of Department for Registration of Persons, A.G. Dharmadasa stated that Identity cards have been issued for more than one lakh applicants in the Southern province. Accordingly, over 100 ID cards have been sent by registered post today for the applicants who have requested to get ID cards. He added that some applications with lack of information and defects have been sent back to Provincial Secretariat in relevant areas. more..

Demand the release of Tamil detainees in Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka and the World Socialist Web Site are launching an international campaign to demand the immediate and unconditional release of more than 250,000 Tamil civilians who have been detained in huge internment camps since the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May. The government falsely describes these squalid prison camps as “welfare villages.” more..

Iran's Diplomat calls on Army Chief

Oct 7 (MoD) Defence Attachè for Iran Brigadier Seyed Reza Asghary Nekah called on Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya on Tuesday morning and extended his warmest congratulations on commemoration of the Army 60th Anniversary. The visiting diplomat further told the Commander that this Anniversary turns more important and outstanding due to the glorious victory the Army and more..

'Want to show people who and what I am'

Oct 7 (ESPN) caught up with Sri Lanka's legendary fast bowler Chaminda Vaas for an exclusive chat. Q: How tough was it for you when you call it quits from Test cricket? A: It was very tough but everyone has to retire at the end. So I thought it was the right time for me to call it a day from Test cricket. I shall be playing one-dayers and T20s as and when I get chance. I have played for more than 15 years. more..

Intelligence agencies hunt for key LTTE arms dealers cum front activists

Oct 7 (MoD) Intelligence agencies are now on a hunt for several high profile LTTE front agents cum arms dealers alleged for transnational terrorist activities including drug trafficking and human smuggling, informed sources said citing latest reports received. The agencies have tracked the LTTE terrorist agents who are alleged to have links with many militia and terrorist organisations. more..

Daya Master and George become ‘patriots’ because they threatened to expose Govt.’s illicit transaction with LTTE

Oct 7 (UNP) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing the media, made a shocking exposure that the Govt. had to release Daya Master and George Master, two LTTE front liners because they have threatened to expose the illicit transactions and negotiations the President and his Govt. had with the LTTE in the run up to the last Presidential elections and thereafter. more..

Govt. talks like a ‘Chandiya’ to people but goes after EU like a ‘nondiya’

Oct 7 (UNP) The Govt. has got so accustomed to backstreet politics and deceitful tactics that it is unable to get over those habits even when it wishes to. The President who thinks he is successful because he wins elections more by foul than fair means, and by making speeches which appeal only to the gallery, had stated in public with much gesticulation that he does not care whether or not the country gets the GSP + benefits. more..

Election Violence Increased by 85%- NEM

Oct 7 (LT) Network of Election Monitoring (NEM-IHR) says, by the end of the pre-election process of the Southern PC election, the election violence has been increased to a significantly high level as 85% increase compared to the Uva PC election. They said it in a press conference held today in Colombo. This is the report issued to the media by NEM-IHR. "Violations of election regulations, specially, election violence, abuse of state power, misuse of state properties and more..

Funds from Ruhunu Development Bank to fulfill President’s vow!

Oct 7 (LT) A meritorious offering was held in Matara on the 4th with the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapakse where 600 Bhiikus from temples around the area were invited to participate. Those who visited the Bhikkus in temples to invite them had told that the meritorious act is conducted to fulfill a vow the President had made. They have added that the President hoped to offer Rs.1000 and a robe and other requisites for every Bhikku who would attend the offering. more..

Sri Lanka’s largest International Conference Hall will open in 2010

Oct 7 (LP) Construction work on the country’s largest international conference hall similar to BMICH is in progress in the Hambantota District with Korean assistance. This International Conference Hall will be a massive support for the proposed Commercial Urban Complex in Hambantota, due to be initiated today. The conference hall which is of international standard will have all modern facilities including lodging facilities for both local as well as foreign delegations. more..

SC dismisses Vasu's FR case against TRC

Oct 7 (LNP) The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed a fundamental rights violation application, filed by Vasudeva Nanayakkara and two other petitioners against the TRC and four other respondents, requesting a rectification of flaws by the TRC and its Director General through a public hearing, in terms of the Telecommunication Act, on the Sri Lanka Telecom tariff, expeditiously within a definite time frame. more..

Govt. ministers participated in tigers’ ‘Pongu Thamil’ celebrations

Oct 7 (LT) In Chief Magistrates Court in Colombo yesterday it was revealed that certain cabinet ministers participated in ‘Pongu Thamil’ celebrations held in previous years to support the LTTE but no inquiries had been held against them for violating the Constitution by participating in events organized by a terrorist group bent on dividing the country. This was revealed by Mr. K.D. Nawarasa, Counsel for several TNA MPs, more..

Hillary`s Nelsonian Eye II

Oct 7 (LNP) So, in the end the US State Department had egg on its face because of Hillary Rodham Clinton`s blunder. It is hoped that she will do her homework at least hereafter before displaying her oratorical skills at international fora without letting her prejudices get the better of her. However, although Hillary got her facts wrong about Sri Lanka, where, she claimed, rape was used as a weapon of war, she deserves the fullest cooperation of one and more..