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South PC Election: UNP 'Ranaviru' candidate assaulted

Oct 7 (LeN) The UNP candidate contesting the Southern Provincial Council election from the Matara District Retd. Captain of the Sri Lanka Army Udaya Dissanayake came under attack by an unidentified gang that came in two vehicles in the early hours of yesterday. Mr. Dissanayake was on his way to a relative’s house at Wellathota by three wheel when the gang waylaid and assaulted him near Dalugoda bridge. more..

Indian fishermen stage demonstration

Oct 7 (Hindu) Fishermen from Nagapattinam, supported by their colleagues from Karaikal, staged a demonstration here on Tuesday to condemn the alleged attacks on fishermen by Sri Lankan navy personnel last week and the Centre’s silence on the issue. Addressing the demonstrators, Kuppusamy, president, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Nagapattinam Chapter, supported their cause. more..

'On What basis do you make allegations against the Army'

Oct 7 (AT) Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya has categorically denied the allegation of US Secretary Hillary Clinton that ‘rape’ was used as a ‘weapon’ in the Eelam War against the Tamil Tigers. In an exclusive interview, Jayasuriya asked on what basis these allegation was hurled at the Sri Lankan army, which; he said; is ‘the most disciplined’ in the sub-continent. more..

Southern Development Authority, a white elephant - Dullas

Oct 7 (CT) An absence of proper coordination with other state institutions has made the Southern Development Authority a white elephant, alleged Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. He made the allegation at a recent meeting to review development work in Kamburupitiya divisional secretariat division area. Most projects under 'Gama Neguma' exercise should have been completed by June 30, which is not the case, more..

Elections chief cancels transfer of Weligama Police OIC

Oct 7 (CT) The elections chief has ordered the cancellation of the transfer given to the OIC of Weligama Police. Elections commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake wrote to IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne in this regard yesterday (Oct. 07). Mr. Dissanayake said he has received information that the transfer had been made after the OIC had acted against an incident of election law violation in the area. more..

Truth alone can change Sri Lanka's image

Oct 7 (UPI) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's inclusion of Sri Lanka in the shortlist 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 Clinton to withdraw her remarks, which were extreme and provocative. As a result of these charges and countercharges, the possibility of constructive engagement between more..

Two new cinnamon varieties yielding bumper harvest found

Oct 7 (DN) The Cinnamon Research Institute has found two cinnamon varieties which could yield a bumper harvest. The two named Sri Wijaya and Sri Gemunu were developed following research conducted by the Cinnamon Research Institute. Palopitiya Cinnamon Research Institute, Research Officer in Charge, Gamini Wijesinghe said these two varieties belong to the Peni Miris group of plants. “Among these two, Sri Gemunu yields a bumper harvest. more..

New laws on pesticide use

Oct 7 (DN) New regulations on the use of pesticide will be gazetted this year to ensure the safe use of pesticides, said senior research officer of the Peradeniya Registrar of Pesticides, Sumith Jayakody. Addressing a media awareness program, he said new regulations will be applied to pest control services, labelling information, training of pesticides applicators and penalty structure. “The fine for the misuse of pesticides will be increased to Rs. 500,000 from Rs. 10,000. more..

Displaced children will return to ancestral villages

Oct 7 (DN) Children in welfare villages will be re-settled in their ancestral villages along with their parents as soon as demining operations are completed, said Nation Building Minister S. M. Chandrasena at a ceremony to mark Universal Children’s Day held at the Vavuniya Sumathipura welfare village recently. He said they should understand that they were in such a predicament due to the activities of barbaric LTTE terrorists. more..

'Education should mould a patriotic citizen'

Oct 7 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday observed that the strenuous efforts undertaken by the present regime in every sphere were directed at creating a disciplined and cultured generation which could build a united and prosperous future. “If we cannot achieve this objective and create a country in which all could live in harmony, our efforts at defeating terrorism and developing the country would be in vain,” more..

UNP selected decent, capable candidates for Southern polls - Gayantha

Oct 7 (Island) "UNP and UPFA candidates nominated in the Galle District lists to contest the Southern polls are poles apart. While we have selected decent and capable candidates, including three former MPs, the UPFA has nominated a set of people who are fighting amongst themselves to get more ‘manapes’ over the others," said Galle District MP and UNP media spokesman Gayantha Karunatillake. more..

Matale Mayor says he bought the valuable gem

Oct 7 (DM) Filing objection in a civil suit relating to an alleged transaction of a valuable gem, the Mayor of Matale informed the Colombo District Court that he bought the said gem paying US$ 4.4 million together with some rubies. The Mayor of Matale, Mohamed Hilmi filed his objection against the civil suit filed by A.K. Rahaman, a Bangladeshi national living in Bangkok, Thailand. more..

Five political risks to watch in Sri Lanka

Oct 7 (Reuters) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling coalition looks set to win polls in his native Southern Province on Saturday, seen as the last political step he wants to clear before calling an early presidential election. Following is a summary of five key risks in Sri Lanka, which won a 25-year war against the Tamil Tigers in May: * Government Effectiveness: Saying that Rajapaksa will win re-election to a second six-year term is one of the safest political bets in the world now. more..

Six Gateway Int’l School students released on bail

Oct 7 (DM) Six students from Gateway International School, Borella were arrested, produced in courts and released on Rs.25,000 personnel bail each, police media spokesman DIG Nimal Mediwaka said. They were allegedly involved in assaulting a fellow student last week. Thirty students had been involved in the assault on the student. A complaint was lodged by Rohan Bandaranayake the father of the student who was injured following the assault. more..

'Amassing wealth is the aim of present day people’s representatives'

Oct 7 (Island) "In the past, people’s representatives dedicated themselves to the service of the people. Today’s representatives of both leading political parties in our country do not have that quality. What they want is to amass wealth for generations to come," said JVP politburo member and MP for Anuradhapura District K. D. Lalkantha. He was addressing a JVP rally at Kosgahagoda, Beliatta recently more..

PC polls and five-star brawls

Oct 7 (DM) At the final UPFA mass rally held in Galle on Monday, Nisthantha Mutuhettigama had refused to come forward when his preferential number was announced. While the other candidates walked up to the special stage erected for the candidates, his seat remained vacant. President Mahinda Rajapaksa flanked by his ministers had been on another podium. Wimal Weerawansa too had taken his place among the ministers a few seats away from the President. more..

Politics won’t hinder Indo-Lanka naval cooperation

Oct 7 (Island) A three-day Indo-Lanka naval exercise (CADEX 09) began yesterday off Colombo against the backdrop of Indian accusations that the Sri Lankan Navy had repeatedly attacked Indian fishing vessels poaching in Lankan waters in the Gulf of Mannar. A section of the Indian press last month said that the SLN had killed at least 50 Indian fishermen in a fortnight. The exercise involved INS Shardul and Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Varuna and more..

From war zone to double deckers, hope returns to orphans

Oct 7 (IPS) The two double-decker buses were a rarity on the Avissawella-Colombo road. One usually does not see slow-moving old English buses on the highway. If the buses were a rarity, their bubbly travellers – children and youth ages two to 20 – waving and straining their necks out of the top decks were even more rare. Not anymore. These children of war had witnessed the most horrible effects of a seemingly endless strife. more..

'Budget only after next parliamentary polls'

Oct 7 (Island) The government yesterday said that a vote on account would be presented in Parliament this year instead of the customary budget in November. Government sources last night told The Island that the Cabinet of Ministers at a special meeting held at Embilipitiya decided not to present the budget this year in view of the forthcoming parliamentary elections early next year. Sources said that the budget would be presented after the elections scheduled to be held before April. more..

'Clinton has forgotten the Monica episode'

Oct 7 (DM) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to have forgotten the Monica (Lewinsky) episode and should focus on her own backyard instead of making allegations of women being abused in other countries. The US Secretary of State, who had stirred controversy last week after making a statement saying women had been raped in war countries that more..

LNG power plant push is outside the law: officials

Oct 8 (LBO) Attempts to connect a private liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant to Sri Lanka's state-run power utility outside a competitive bidding process is not legal under a new public utility regulatory law, officials said. Sri Lanka's power sector came under the regulation of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUC) this April. Under the regulatory law, all large plants have to face a competitive bidding process and more..

A sign of early poll in Sri Lanka?

Oct 8 (Hindu) In a clear sign that a presidential poll followed by a general election is in the offing, the Cabinet presided over by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday decided to present a Vote-on-Account to Parliament instead of a budget for 2010. In an interview to The Hindu (published on July 6, 7 and 8), Mr. Rajapaksa had declared that he would seek re-election before the parliamentary polls. more..

HQI refused to be cowed by UPFA candidate transferred at 3.00 a.m.

Oct 8 (LT) The HQI of Weligama who had not given permission to hold a musical show after 10.00 p.m. has been transferred at 3.00 a.m. the following day. The musical show was performed after a meeting of the UPFA at Beach Road at Weligama in support of a candidate of the UPFA. Despite police taking measures to halt the musical show at 10.00 p.m. due to orders from above that the candidate should be allowed to continue with the show they had to give in. more..

What’s behind the decision not to present a budget this year!

Oct 8 (LT) The cabinet has decided not to present a budget for 2010 said Minister of State Revenue and Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya speaking to the media yesterday (6th) night. The budget will be presented after the general elections due in April and permission for the spending for the first four months of 2010 will be sought from parliament through a 'vote-on-account' said Minister Siyambalapitiya. more..

Sri Lanka minus GSP+

Oct 8 (LG) If the EU goes by the adverse report Sri Lanka on its conformity with EU norms, the country is unlikely to get the extension of GSP+ tariff concessions for a further period from 2009 to 11. The EU report had condemned Sri Lanka armed forces for “perverting the evidence and silencing witnesses, rather than conducting any real investigations” on human rights issues. Unless there is some political horsetrading the chances of its extension appear bleak. more..

"Lanka’s stand of non-cooperation is not helpful"

Oct 8 (AT) Despite a sense of euphoria over Lanka’s chances of obtaining the GSP plus concessions, EU Ambassador here reiterated yesterday that the “country’s stand of non-cooperation is not helpful.” “I reiterate my position that Sri Lanka’s stand of non-cooperation is not going to be helpful,” EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka Bernard Savage told Asian Tribune. His comments follow a sense of confidence settling in the country over more..

Debrief News - 07.10. 2009

IT education pioneer SLIIT notches 10 years successfully

Oct 8 (AT) Over 10,000 IT Graduates and professionals and academic of Sri Lanka’s leading IT Degree awarding Institute, the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT) is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year. Those graduated from SLIIT comprise around one third of Sri Lanka’s It professional workforce. SLIIT was created to educate and train ICT professionals, scientists and engineers with the aim of more..

One state sector to extend a massive service to the nation!

Oct 8 (AT) Today the challenge before us after ending the war is to expedite the development process of this country and promote productivity. In this context I appreciate the role played by the National Productivity Secretariat of the Ministry of Labour Relations and Manpower, said Athauda Seneviratne, Minister of Labour Relations and Manpower who participated as the Chief Guest at the National Productivity Awards ceremony 2009 more..

Hunt on for LTTE agents

Oct 8 (Hindu) The Defence Ministry on Wednesday said 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. “The agencies have tracked the LTTE terrorist agents who are alleged to have links with many militia and terrorist organisations. These agents had worked clandestinely, based in foreign shores more..

Displaced to be resettled in Mahaweli System L

Oct 8 (GDI) The Ministry of Nation Building has taken steps to resettle 265 sinhala families immediately by developing agriculture and livestock breeding to uplift the living standards of these families in Mahaweli System L. Minister S.M Chandrasena inspected this area and decided to facilitate the development of the Mahaweli system L. It is decided to add another system under the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka in resettling families more..

Neither Sri Lanka nor Israel should have impunity in their 'wars on terror'

Oct 8 (DS) Israel’s war against the Gazan people in December and January devastated the tiny Strip, killing over 1,400 people, a majority of whom were civilians. The Western powers, including America, England and Australia, backed Israel’s battle against Hamas and shared its belief that destruction of the Islamist group would benefit their interests. More than six months later, however, the political realities in the region remain virtually unchanged, more..

Sri Lanka is ducking human rights issues

Oct 8 (Times) Sir, Since your report on Sept 15 (“EU sanctions on Sri Lanka to hit ‘cheap’ clothing over human rights abuses”), diplomats in Colombo have been quoted (Reuters, Sept 29) as saying that the EU is likely to let Sri Lanka keep its “GSP Plus” concession, while recommending it be revoked if the country does not improve its human rights record. Meanwhile, on Oct 1, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador told the Human Rights Sub-Committee of more..

'Colombo has plans to colonize North with Buddhist Sinhalese'

Oct 8 (TN) The government is actively engaged in colonizing Ki’linochchi, Mullaiththeevu and Jaffna district with Sinhalese Buddhists in order to crush the demand for Eelam in the traditional homelands of the Tamils in the North, Suresh Premachandran, TNA Jaffna MP, said in a press meet. He further accused the government for not accepting help from International Community in de-mining Vanni as more..

International Teachers Day - Sri Lanka and Chinese approach

Oct 8 (AT) On the 6th of October, Sri Lanka along with many other countries celebrated the International Teachers Day. It's unusual that some countries such as New Zealand and Australia still do not observe this. The Teachers Day is not so popular like the Fathers Day, Mothers Day or the Valentines Day because there is no brisk business in giving gifts, flowers, dinners etc. As there is no such commercialism the Teachers Day go unnoticed. more..

With early polls on way, Sri Lanka's budget to wait

Oct 8 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's government said on Wednesday it would not present a full 2010 budget this year, and instead put forward an interim expenditure plan to coincide with the end of the present parliament's term in April. The opposition accused the ruling coalition of postponing more stringent measures it will need to take to meet the terms of a $2.6 billion IMF loan, which could cost it votes at presidential and parliamentary elections. more..

Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji in Sri Lanka

Oct 8 (AT) Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, Founder of the Art of Living, is in Sri Lanka past two days, blessing the cross-section of people, as part of a mega event titled ‘Uniting Hearts and Minds’. Over 10,000 Sri Lan¬kans from all walks of life and from across the country, including Christian priests, Islamic scholars, Buddhist monks and Hindu Swamis, sought the blessings of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living, in Colombo on Monday, more..

UK boosts Sri Lanka's popularity with 16.9% arrivals increase

Oct 8 (ETN) The Indian Ocean island welcomed the highest number of British tourists in 2009 during the month of August, representing an increase of more than 1,000 visitors over August last year. Sri Lanka recorded a 16.9 percent increase in UK arrivals and a 32 percent increase in arrivals for the month across all destinations. Forward bookings indicate a strong finish to the year helped by the end of the conflict in the country and more..

Asylum deportee held in Sri Lanka

Oct 8 (TA) A SRI Lankan boatperson who was among the first batch of failed asylum-seekers to be forcibly deported by the Rudd government has been arrested by Sri Lankan authorities. Australian Immigration Department officials confirmed yesterday that two brothers deported from Perth on Sunday were detained by Sri Lankan police when they arrived at Colombo. A spokesman for the department, Sandi Logan, said one was charged with people-smuggling. more..

Sri Lanka private sector seen 'strangled' by regulations

Oct 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's private sector is being strangled by a plethora of regulations and corrupt and inefficient bureaucrats and politicians that stifle entrepreneurship, a top company executive has said. Sri Lanka is largely a private sector owned economy with the private sector having almost complete freedom to do what it wants as very few sectors are reserved exclusively for the public sector, more..

The Lighthouse Hotel

Sri Lankan Tamils’ plea rejected

Oct 8 (Hindu) The State government has turned down the plea of 10 Sri Lankan Tamils seeking permission to stay in the country. They were earlier accused of having links with banned outfits but allowed to leave the country after they were cleared of all charges. A press release from the State police said that 45 more persons, including elderly people, were relieved from special camps on health grounds and permitted to stay in open camps. more..

SEP holds final election meeting in Galle

Oct 8 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party held the final meeting in its campaign for the Southern Provincial Council election on October 10 last Sunday in Galle town hall. The party is standing a slate of 26 candidates for the Galle district. Prior to the meeting, the SEP and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) campaigned in the Galle municipal area and suburbs. The city of around 100,000 people, situated about 110 kilometres south of Colombo, more..

Green month to be celebrated

Oct 8 (GDI) The Department of Railways and Department of Wildlife Conservation will celebrate Green Month with a series of programs to protect the environment. The Green month will commenced on October 15 and continue till November 15. In the past, the Green Month was celebrated by encouraging the public to grow trees. "At this year’s Green month celebrations hopes to create an awareness among the public to protect and preserve the environment. more..

FM on resettlement plans to British Minister

Oct 8 (GDI) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama said the government has given priority to resettle the displaced people in their own villages and to uplift their living conditions. The Minister made this observation when he met British Minister for International Development Mick Foster yesterday. Minister Bogollagama pointed out that the government has taken necessary steps to upgrade facilities at the welfare villages to face the on coming monsoon rains. more..

ADB assists in renovation of A-26 Road

Oct 8 (LP) Measures have been taken by the Government to renovate the stretch of road from Udathenna to Mahiyanganaya widening the 18 hair-pin bends on the Kandy-Mahiyanganaya main road (A-26) at a cost of Rs.4.7 billion for the smooth flow of traffic on the road. The length of the road which is being renovated with financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank, is 40.90km said Ministry Sources. more..

Eastern students to participate in ADYAPANA 2009

Oct 8 (MoD) The fourth edition of ADYAPANA - Education and Career Exhibition, which is to take place from October 17 to 19 2009, at the SBECC, Colombo, will dedicate the second day, to students from the East, Director, Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services, Imran Hassan said. "The Eastern Provincial Council, will facilitate a large delegation of Advanced Level Students led by its Chief Minister S. Chandrakanthan. more..

Defence Secretary spells out benefits for soldiers

Oct 8 (GDI) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said the government has implemented a substantial amount of activities for the welfare of soldiers. The Treasury has provided 3.5 billion rupees for the construction of a fully fledged Ranaviru village at Ipologama. He further added a sum of 700 million rupees received for the “Api Venuwen Api” fund will be used to construct 700 houses for the heroic soldiers. more..

Defence Secretary speaks of the now legalised LTTE ships

Oct 8 (LP) There is information regarding ships belonging to the LTTE which are now being used legally for other purposes said Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The LTTE had their network not only in Sri Lanka but also internationally over the last 03 decades. The Secretary stated that Kumaran Pathamanathan alias “KP” who is now in custody revealed important details about countries involved with the LTTE terrorists. more..

'UNP will form government after next general elections'

Oct 8 (Island) After the next general election the UNP would form a government without fail, the Deputy Leader of the UNP and Gampaha district MP, Karu Jayasuriya said at a SPC polls propaganda meeting at the Fisheries Complex, Ambalangoda, on Oct. 6. The meeting was held in support of the UNP candidates, Anagarika Ryter Thilakasekera and Upali Sirisumana. The UNP was the only party that could build the country properly. more..