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What is a Solution?

Sep 8 (LG) A solution to Sri Lanka problem or consequences of inaction cannot be derived from an outsider like Robert Blake without knowing the true history of Sri Lanka. Western double standard and bully the small neighbor mentality in India have culminated mistrust and resistance to foreign influence in SL over the years. American diplomatic and political preachers have no bearings either when you look at how they violate human rights for their own gains in other countries. more..

Kohona makes the right decision

Sep 8 (LG) The news report by the Press Trust of India quoting APF – Colombo, Sept. 7th., of Sri Lanka’s stand in not denting to the pressure of UNICEF officials in Colombo today on the decision already made to expel Mr. James Elder’s – Communication Chief for UNICEF in Colombo is a communication metaphor to the International community that Sri Lanka will stand firm on all its decisions made regarding the defence of its integrity and sovereignty. more..

A philosophical question raised by Rajpal Abeynayake

Sep 8 (LG) Rajpal Abeynayake in his article “Channel (4) your energies someplace else ...” raises the following question: if someone says that Kumar David is a fool, should we investigate? This is a profound philosophical question. In fairness to Kumar David, I would like to rephrase the question: If someone was to say that Kumar David or Rajpal Abeynayake is a fool, should we investigate it? more..

On Sri Lanka’s accession to the ICCPR Optional Protocol

Sep 8 (LG) Terrorism poses a significant challenge to the promotion and protection of human rights. Many countries have faced problems, and many others continue to face problems, when trying to strike that balance which helps them fight terrorism effectively whilst also protecting the human rights of its citizens. Countries such as the US, the UK, come to mind. Their anti-terror laws, and the passage that led to the drafting of such laws, more..

Sri Lanka and friends

Sep 8 (LG) Who are Sri Lanka's friends? Which countries shifted the balance of power between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan military in 2001? What follows is a simple evaluation of equipment introduced by the Sri Lankan military during the “ceasefire” period between 2001 and 2006. Of course, economic and diplomatic assistance played an equal role in the grand strategy; that shall be explored in a later article. more..

Conviction of Tissainayagam

Sep 8 (LG) The sentencing of J.S.Tissanayagam, editor of the NorthEastern Monthly ezine, to 20 years hard labour by a Sinhala judge after being convicted for using racially divisive language under the country’s tough anti-terrorism laws, comes as little or no surprise to us. Tissanayagam was further charged with having taken money from the LTTE to operate a website providing the Thamil version of facts about the civil war. more..

'12 Sri Lankans commit suicide daily'

Sep 8 (LT) According to police statistics 12 Sri Lankans commit suicide and more than 120 attempt suicide daily states Sri Lanka Sumithrayo. In spite of the rate of suicides going down in the country, the tendency for young women to attempt suicide has gone up points out ‘Sumithrayo.’ The President of Colombo branch of Sri Lanka Sumithrayo Jomo Uduman said despite the common belief that a person who attempts suicide once would not repeat such action, more..

UPFA thugs attack JVP supporters

Sep 8 (LT) A group of JVP supporters has been attacked by UPFA thugs at Thawalama Junction in Hiniduma electorate in Galle District states media unit of the JVP. According to the JVP media unit six members of the group of thugs have been identified as supporters of Sachin Vas Gunawardene who is contesting the Southern PC election as a candidate from the UPFA for Galle District. The thugs who attacked the JVP supporters had come in a blue coloured double cab bearing Reg. No. WP IB 9045. more..

Employers reject Rs.500 daily wage – Go slow by workers to continue

Sep 8 (LT) The discussion held between trade unions of estate sector employees and estate employers association yesterday has failed and employees have decided to continue their trade union action that was launched on the 1st of this month. The representatives of the employers union proposed an increase of Rs.70 for the daily wage of Rs.290 for the worker which was rejected by the employee’s trade unions. more..

Basil removed from post of presidential advisor!

Sep 8 (LT) It was revealed in Parliament today that President’s brother MP Basil Rajapakse has been removed from the post of senior Presidential advisor. This was revealed when Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake responded to a question posed by JVP MP for Anuradhapura District Ranaweera Pathirana. MP Ranaweera Pathirana asked Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake how many presidential advisors have been appointed by the President. more..

Parliamentary Election Bill inconsistent with Constitution

Sep 8 (PSM) The Supreme Court has ruled that the Parliamentary Elections amendment bill is inconsistent with the Constitution, Speaker W.J.M Lokubandara told Parliament today. He also said that a 2/3 majority is required in Parliament to pass the bill. This bill was challenged by political parties in the Supreme Court and the supreme court in terms of the constitution has communicated its decision to the Speaker. more..

TNA speaks for expelled Northern Muslims

Sep 8 (PSM) The TNA has taken up for the first time the issues of Tamil IDPs and forcibly eveicted Muslim refugees from North by the LTTE 19 years ago. Ther TNA sources said that the meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa progressed satisfactorily and addressed serious issues in a friendly atmosphere. TNA Jaffna District parliamentarian N. Sri Kantha who participated in the talks told that his party raised issues related to the displaced persons. more..

Sri Lanka: Free journalist, protect human rights

Sep 8 (BG) Journalists rarely set out to become like the proverbial canary in a coal mine. But in certain places, at certain times, they can’t help themselves. If they insist on doing their jobs and a government doesn’t like what they publish, they may be thrown in prison or killed by an assassin who goes unpunished. And usually, where reporters and editors are treated this way, a greater humanitarian catastrophe is at hand. more..

CID finds 30 claymore mines in Thoppigala

Sep 8 (LNP) The CID in a special operation yesterday at Narakamulla in Thoppigala recovered a large stock of explosives including 30 claymore mines while the military recovered a bundle of maps believed to have been used by the LTTE in Mullaitivu. The explosives included 31 powerful claymore mines weighing 15kgs and 10kgs, 40 rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenades as well as cash amounting to Rs.500, 000 and a stock of jewellery. more..

Civil Defence Committee members: Source of strength to police

Sep 8 (LNP) When two children were playing they had seen a parcel hidden in a dilapidated toilet and they informed their parents. The father, a natami (a loader) immediately informed the police and a large stock of C 4 explosives was recovered. When the police offered a cash reward of Rs. 500,000 to him and his two children the man hailing from Jaffna refused to accept it saying he wanted peace in this country and not a red cent as reward, Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka said more..

Gem and jewellery hub Buyers impressed by range and quality at Facets 2009

Sep 8 (LNP) Many first time buyers were impressed by the range and quality of the gem and jewellery products at the FACETS 2009. They acknowledged that Sri Lanka is on par with other major gem trading centres in the region such as Hong Kong, Bangkok, Jaipur, Mumbai and Dubai, said Chairman, FACETS Organizing Committee Chanaka Ellawala. `The potential for the gem and jewellery industry in Sri Lanka is huge. We have high quality gemstones that are not found elsewhere. more..

Uplifting health sector in Sri Lanka

Sep 8 (LNP) The announcement made by Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva that the Health budget would be increased three fold next year no doubt would be received with relief all round. According to the Minister this is with a view to uplift the existing health facilities in the country. Treasury approval has already been granted for the increase. This means the country s health budget would reach a staggering Rs. 267,000 million. more..

National interest Vs National security

Sep 8 (LNP) The three journalists from the pro-JVP newspaper Lanka who were arrested last week under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) are surely on a bad wicket. Firstly they had reportedly entered a private property in Deniyaya providing false information about their identity. The police maintain that the place is frequented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and claim it has doubts as to whether the journalists were on a mission to assassinate the VIPs! more..

A training centre of Botany and flora

Sep 8 (DN) As everyone is aware Hambantota is in the dry zone which is said to experience a poor rainfall compared with the rest of the country. When it comes to a botanical garden one may think that it is ridiculous to convert an ordinary land into a botanical garden in such a dry area. Owing to this climatic condition establishing a botanical garden in dry areas like Hambantota is really a challenge. more..

Rise and fall of the MEP in Peradeniya Campus

Sep 8 (DN) With the entry of the 1959 batch to the Peradeniya Campus a significant phenomenon that was evinced at the Peradeniya University Campus was the emergence of the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP). Earlier, the politics in the campus was dominated by the Trotskyites and the Communists. A United National Party (UNP) organization too had been set up just few months before. more..

Decks cleared for ferry service between Kochi-Colombo

Sep 8 (DN) A journey to Colombo from Kochi through the sea route will soon become a reality. The Cochin Port Trust is awaiting an official communication from the Centre in this regard. The proposal to start a ferry service between Sri Lanka and Kochi, mooted at the SAARC Transport Ministers’ meet in Sri Lanka, gained momentum after the Union Ministry of Shipping gave green signal for the project. more..

Lobby for GSP+ facility

Sep 8 (DN) The business community should take the initiative to lobby for the GSP+ facility as its withdrawal would affect potential industrialists planning to set up garment factories in the North and the East, said Vice President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and immediate past President of the Federation of Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka Nawaz Rajabdeen. “It is unfair to withdraw the facility at this juncture when we have overcome a three-decade war. more..

SPC Polls : UPFA turf war in South leaves offices smashed

Sep 8 (Island) The police yesterday moved in swiftly after a major clash erupted at Udugama between two UPFA candidates contesting the Galle District. The police said that it was the first major clash since parties handed over nominations two weeks ago. Additional police personnel were called in after supporters of Sajin Vas Gunawardene and Nishantha Muthuhettigama clashed causing extensive damage to their political offices. more..

Unsettled question

Sep 8 (FL) MORE than three months after the Sri Lankan forces militarily decimated the LTTE and killed its leader Velupillai Prabakaran, the 2.6 lakh people internally displaced by Eelam War IV, now housed in government-run transitional welfare camps, find themselves in a state of siege from within and from outside. Tempers are running high as the promised efforts towards reconciliation and reconstruction have come only in a small measure. more..

Wild Life Dept. to the rescue of Sanctuary animals

Sep 8 (Island) The Wild Life Department has come to the rescue of drought stricken wild animals in the Sanctuaries, especially Yala and Kumana by pumping water from the Menik Ganga and using bowsers to fill man made water ponds in the Park. The post mortem report had revealed that there were no gun shot injuries and that the tragic death in a tank in the Yala of a tusker named Kublai Khan, which was popular among the visitors. more..

Corrupt public servants will suffer in hell – Sab. Governor

Sep 8 (Island) Sabaragamuwa Governor Janaka Priyantha Bandara said that those who robbed public funds would be reborn as perethayo (unholy spirits). Addressing a gathering of officials at Yodagama in Embiliptiya, the former Public Trustee said corrupt public servants would experience the horrors of hell. He warned that he would regularly visit worksites managed by the provincial engineering service to ensure transparency. more..

Copper industry has died a natural death: NFF

Sep 8 (DM) The National Freedom Front (NFF) charged yesterday that the copper industry which had been a highly localised sector that existed even during the time of Sinhalese kings have died a natural death due to lack of attention by the authorities and a scandal carried out by the powerful people in the Industries Development Ministry indulging into large scale export of scrap metal illegally. more..

Resettled people face land related issues

Sep 8 (DM) People resettled in the Eastern Province now grapple with land related issues and lack of governmental support to resume their livelihoods, residents complain. The villagers resettled in the Namalwatte area of the Morawewa Divisional Secretariat told Daily Mirror that they fled the area in 1985 due to LTTE threats and returned to the area only last year. They pointed out that some of their paddy lands had been grabbed or encroached by some persons in more..

Lanka not failure but showpiece: President

Sep 8 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday nobody had the right to brand Sri Lanka as a failed state any longer as our heroic soldiers had shown the entire world how terrorism could be defeated with the ending of the humanitarian operation in Pudumatalan in May. President Rajapaksa made these comments at a felicitation ceremony held at Temple Trees where awards were presented to the four districts of Kandy, Galle, Matara and Kurunegala after more..

TNA-President meeting cordial

Sep 8 (DM) The TNA said yesterday its meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa progressed satisfactorily and addressed serious issues in a friendly atmosphere. TNA Jaffna District parliamentarian N. Sri Kantha who participated in the talks told the Daily Mirror that his party raised issues related to the displaced persons. Mr. Sri Kantha said the TNA put forward its proposals and suggestions to address welfare issues of IDPs and to resettle them. more..

Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne on IDP concerns

Bursting economic bubble may averted greater disaster ahead

Sep 8 (LBO) The bursting of a global economic bubble in 2007-2008 may have averted greater disaster ahead, but the global financial community must implement a new framework to prevent recurrences, Sri Lanka's central bank chief has said. "[I]in a strange and a paradoxical sort of a way, it is somewhat 'fortunate' that the current financial crisis shocked the worlds financial system, at the present stage of evolution of the worldwide financial landscape," more..

Sri Lanka construction industry eyes regional business

Sep 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s construction industry aims to export its skills to the region to overcome a slump in business in the home market by giving its annual construction fair an international flavour with overseas participants. The Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI) said its Excon 2009 exhibition will be billed as an international event this year, both to draw foreign interest and promote exporting construction skills available in the island. more..

Sampur IDPs 'still in camps'

Sep 8 (BBC) Over 6000 IDPs from the east are still in camps, a latest study reveals. Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) which carried out the study says these families are still living in transit camps in Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts. The government announced capturing all areas held by the LTTE in the east in July 2007. Meanwhile, a site in Sampur, Muttur east, is selected by the government for a coal power plant. more..

Water shortages grip southeast

Sep 8 (IRIN) A new cottage industry has emerged in Sri Lanka's southeastern Ampara District - mobile water sellers, plying their trade on bicycles with large water barrels tied to their backs. With the end of this year's seasonal rains in May, Ampara, about 350km southeast of the capital, Colombo, is in the grip of a serious water shortage likely to last until November, affecting lives and livelihoods - not just in Ampara, but in surrounding communities as well. more..

Sri Lanka stock market set for first post-war IPO

Sep 8 (AFP) Sri Lanka's stock exchange is set for its first public share offering since the end of a war here in May, cashing in on interest that has seen the market surge in recent months. Hemas Power, a subsidiary of the family-controlled listed conglomerate Hemas Holdings, said Tuesday it planned to raise up to 625 rupees (5.5 million dollars), by issuing 31.3 million shares priced at between 17 rupees to 19 rupees. more..

Foreigners devour cats and dogs

Sep 8 (Island) Residents of the Paragastota, Totupitiyawatta village in Horana have alleged that a section of foreign workers engaged in a construction project are making meals of their cats and dogs. They said that several dogs had disappeared in the recent past. Although people initially believed that animals had lost their way there was evidence to suggest foreign workers had consumed the animal flesh. more..

UNICEF upset at Sri Lanka's expulsion of official

Sep 8 (AP) The United Nation's agency for children expressed concern Tuesday about Sri Lanka's decision to expel its spokesman, and rejected allegations that it was biased against the government during the recently ended 25-year civil war. The government announced Sunday it had revoked the residency visa of UNICEF spokesman James Elder. more..

Sri Lanka through the eyes of filmmaker Poongkothai Chandrahasan

Sep 9 (NB) Peace is the dividend Harvard-trained filmmaker Poongkothai Chandrahasan, 28, seeks after 25 years of the conflict between the separatist LTTE and the Sri Lankan government which recently came to a gory end in her homeland. Poongkothai, who hails from an illustrious family of lawyers and peace activists, is a woman with a vision for her war-torn nation. more..

Doctors at center of human rights row

Sep 9 (GP) “Dear Friends, Nice to contact after 100 days.” So began an email sent at the end of August from a Sri Lankan government doctor after three months of detainment by the country’s Terrorist Investigation Division. The author, Dr. T. Sathiyamoorthy, along with four of his medical colleagues, had been arrested and accused of giving false information to the international community during the last months of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war, more..

Aussie James Elder the second to face expulsion from Sri Lanka

Sep 9 (TA) An Australian aid worker facing expulsion from Sri Lanka is the second Australian this year to be threatened with deportation from the ethnically divided nation for speaking out against human rights violations and war casualties. Unicef spokesman James Elder has been ordered to leave Colombo by September 21 by the Sri Lankan government, which claims statements he made highlighting the suffering of children during the war and more..

Govt overreaction harms national interest

Sep 9 (LG) The arrival section of the international airport in one’s home country is not the place that the regular traveler expects to be confronted with the power of the state to detain people without a valid reason being given. I had just landed at the International Airport at Katunayake after five days in the United States along with the head of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu. more..

Sri Lanka Perspectives – August 2009

Sep 9 (LG) The month saw the first move towards normalcy in the war torn Northern Province with conduct of largely trouble free elections for the Jaffna Municipality and the Vavuniya Urban Council on August 8. Though these elections were only local, they were an indicator of post war Tamil perceptions. The success of the elections proved that remnants of the LTTE had neither the will nor the capacity to interfere with the process. more..

The greatest Country on Earth, agree Simpleman?

Sep 9 (LG) The questioning of Rajpal Abenayaka’s suitability to question others by a simple but poignant analysis of a simple but intelligent Simpleman inspired me to write these few words. I read some of the articles of Rajpal Abeynayaka in relation to Basil Fernando’s debate with him for the undermining of another journalist. Rajpal’s responses appeared to me as coming from a very cynical and arrogant person who more..

New Zealand crumble to Sri Lankan pace

Sep 9 (CI) A batting masterpiece and a fast-bowling barrage. It isn't often that a team can combine both of those forces in one night, but Sri Lanka had all of that, and more, going for them. Thilan Samaraweera compiled a superlative maiden one-day century and Lasith Malinga ripped New Zealand's middle order to shreds as the hosts launched the series with a thumping win, bonus point included. more..

Sri Lanka: Access denied

Sep 9 (Guardian) The Sri Lankan government is hugely dependent on outside aid in its efforts to deal with the human consequences of the war which the island had to endure for more than a quarter of a century. High military spending, collapsed tourism revenues, disrupted agriculture, reduced trade, and, to make matters worse, natural disaster in the shape of the tsunami have all undermined the economy. more..

BOI creates new opportunities in Eastern Province

Sep 9 (AT) A new BOI factory of Tri-Star Apparel Exports was opened at Thambalagamuwa, Trincomalee in the Eastern part of the country last week. The factory, located just 10 kilometers from Trincomalee on five acres land represents an investment of US$ 2 million. It will be manufacturing readymade garments such as baby wear and clothes for children to export mainly to the United Kingdom, to companies such as Debenhams, Marks and Spencers and Mothercare. more..

'New terrorist groups?' questions Ranil

Sep 9 (BBC) The leader of opposition in Sri Lanka has requested the government to verify whether new terrorist groups are operating in Sri Lanka. Ranil Wickramasinghe, MP, was speaking in parliament on Tuesday after his party raised a question over the recent arrests of journalists in Sri Lanka. Journalists of Lanka Irida newspaper, Daya Nettasinghe, Ravindra Pushpakumara and Shalika Wimalasena were arrested by the police in the southern town of Deniyaya on 02 September. more..

Campaign to abolish exe. presidency

Sep 9 (BBC) An opposition political party in Sri Lanka has launched a campaign to abolish the executive presidency. The JVP urges President Mahinda Rajapaksa to honour a pledge given to the party in 2005 and not to call for another presidential election. Mr. Rajapaksa, then the prime minister, signed a 12-point agreement with the JVP in September 2005. “The Executive Presidential System being most destructive and harmful to the democracy of Sri Lanka and more..

Moles demands consistency

Sep 9 (CI) Andy Moles, New Zealand's coach, has called his side "a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team" after they let Sri Lanka off the hook, allowing the home side to recover from 69 for 5 to 216. They were to reach an even lower ebb 36.1 overs later when they were bowled out for 119. Batting under lights at the R Premadasa Stadium is usually a disadvantage, but it seemed as if the New Zealand batsmen had never seen a white ball swing and seam before. more..