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What Next?

Sep 15 (LG) If what is to be done is a difficult question, what is to be done next is the most difficult question, though both questions require a clear understanding of “The Way Ahead.” The way ahead for Eelam Tamils is unpleasant, but it is clear that neither the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) nor the international community (IC) will care for resolving the Tamil National Question (NQ) to meet the aspirations of the Tamils and more..

Pitfalls of Sri Lanka going nuclear – Opening the public debate

Sep 15 (GV) Recently Sri Lanka has shown increased interest in using nuclear energy for future power generation. The Atomic Energy Authority (AEA) of Sri Lanka is in the process of seeking cabinet approval to initiate a programme for ‘Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Use’. Initial explorations in Sri Lanka have shown that some areas of the Southern and Western coastline have thorium deposits, which can be used as a nuclear fuel. more..

The spectre of war crunes accysatuibs and the mandate of peace organisations

Sep 15 (NPC) The issue of war crimes has been in the air since the final show down between the government and LTTE commenced in 2006. There was early evidence that this was going to be a fight to the finish in which the civilian population would be implicated. The LTTE goaded the newly elected government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to war by repeatedly ambushing dozens of soldiers in the north of the country and claiming that it was not they, but more..

Devananda provided gamut of service to the disabled in the IDPs’ camps

Sep 15 (LG) Under the instructions of Mr. Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare many assistive devices such as wheel chairs, crutches, elbows, tricycles, commode wheel chairs, plastic chairs, white canes, Braille slates, etc., have been distributed among the displaced persons with disabilities living in the welfare camps in Vavuniya. more..

Ranjan asks if Elections Commissioner has surrendered to Anarakali and Susantha

Sep 15 (LNW) Film and tele drama actor and Opposition Leader of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council, Ranjan Ramanayake has in writing inquired from the Elections Commissioner as to why steps have not been taken to temporarily stop the telecasting of tele dramas, films, advertisements and special publicity programmes featuring actresses Anarkali Akarsha and Susantha Chandramali, who are candidates in the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council elections. more..

ICRC example of INGO governance in Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (MoD) "Almost 80% of the donors' money, they spent on enjoying themselves," says a Sri Lankan ICRC employee about the expatriate management of the organization he works. In an email, addressed to team, this apparent employee of the ICRC Sri Lanka branch, expresses his grievances that seriously questions the governance and the integrity of the organization that has been formed to achieve highly righteous objectives. more..

Resettlement under Uthuru Vasanthaya accelerates

Sep 15 (MoD) The Presidential Special Task Force on Rehabilitation and Resettlement is taking measures under the Uthuru Vasanthaya program to resettle another 45,000 IDPs in Mannar and Jaffna districts as soon as possible, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Secretary A.L.M. Haldeen said. He said the IDPs in 22 locations were given all facilities they need and they were better off than most people in the country. more..

Labour disputes, Shylocks and Oliver Twists

Sep 15 (LNP) The bane of Sri Lanka`s labour movement is its over politicisation. Nothing could be devoid of power politics in this complex modern world, it may be argued, but politicians are like the proverbial camel that first thrust its head into an Arab`s tent. Workers have made the mistake of having reduced themselves to the palanquin bearers of wily politicians, as evident from the May Day rallies, more..

Why the drop in investment in higher education?

Sep 15 (LP) Chairman of the UGC, Professor Gamini Samaranayake said that 20270 students are to be admitted into 14 universities island wide this year. Of this number about 1000 are not registered for admission as it so happened that some of the places are not completely filled by the candidates. For example, about 100 places are ear- marked for veterinary science, but only about 70-75 seek admission. more..

Investigations on LTTE bank manager continues

Sep 15 (LP) Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Nishantha Hapuarachchi yesterday ordered a strong LTTE activist and the manager of LTTE Rural Bank of North Colins Ruban to be further remanded till the 28th of September. The Keselwatte Police arrested Colins while he tried to escape from the country. Later he was detained under the Emergency Regulations and produced yesterday before courts. more..

Govt. must bear responsibility for crimes committed after liquor- ‘Mathata thitha’ has increased its consumption

Sep 15 (UNP) Since the Mathata thitha program was launched by the Govt. against liquor consumption, it is an irony that liquor production and consumption have increased in SL. National Bhikku Front Chief Oranizer Ven. Kaluwelgala Chandaloka Thera stated this yesterday. The Govt. must bear the responsibility for crimes committed after consumption of liquor and illicit drugs. more..

First census in 30 years to cover the entire island

Sep 15 (LP) Measures to conduct an island wide census in 2011 are underway said the Director of the Department of Census and Statistics R Gunesekara. The first census in the country was held in the year 1871 and this will be the14th census conducted. Although a census was conducted in the year 2001, there were 18 districts out of the 25 districts in the island which were not covered. more..

Minister Basnayake sidelined at Compaq Cup awards ceremony

Sep 15 (CT) Non-cabinet minister of sports Bandula Basnayake has reportedly been sidelined at the awards presentation of Compaq Cup tri-nation one-day series final yesterday. Mr. Basnayake has attended the match at R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo as acting sports minister in the absence of Mr. Gamini Lokuge who is abroad. When it came to the awards presentation, Sri Lanka Central Bank’s governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal had been invited to present the awards, more..

'SL cricket Board also registers huge frauds, not scores'

Sep 15 (UNP) Western Provincial Council UNP member addressing a news conference yesterday said, the SL cricket Board too is now registering huge frauds rather than huge scores. Being himself a top flight cricketer in his heyday, he could explain how deep and far the frauds have traveled in SL’s cricketing arena. He blasted the Sports Minister and his cricketing officials for more..

Lanka turns heat on Eritrea

Sep 15 (EB) With the LTTE’s influential propaganda machinery overseas flexing its muscles menacingly, and the arrested LTTE leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP, throwing light on the group’s still active international arms procuring network, the Sri Lankan government has decided to go on a diplomatic offensive to smash the Tigers’ overseas structures. Lakbimanews quoted Sh­anaka Jayasekara, as saying that the LTTE had its presence in over 44 countries, with established structures in 12 of them. more..

Selling ‘Raigam’ products banned

Sep 15 (LT) Selling and distribution of ‘Raigam’ products have been banned due to not printing the date of expiry of products in the packages. This order was imposed on ‘Raigam Marketing Ltd’ by Anuradhapura Magistrates Court when a petition filed by PHI of Mihinthale Jaliya Jayathileke was taken up for inquiry yesterday (14th). The product license of the company too was cancelled. more..

CEB, CPC clash over inferior fuel to private power producers

Sep 15 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have locked horns over Independent Power Producers’ refusal to use oil supplied by the CPC on the grounds that it is of an inferior quality. The cost of the oil supplied was nine million US dollars. CPC Planning and Projects Deputy General Manager Ranjith Wickremasinghe told The Island yesterday that the CPC could not take back 20,000 tons of oil as more..

University of Moratuwa becomes World's Hot Spot

Sep 15 (DN) The University of Moratuwa recorded significant achievement when it was placed as the top University worldwide in terms of the number of awards received by students at the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) competitions from the inception in 2005 to 2009. UoM won the highest number of awards consecutively at the annual competitions in 2007, 2008 and 2009. In the five years of competition 1384 universities worldwide had received at least one award more..

LTTE funding lines intact, says NSA

Sep 15 (ET) The LTTE leadership may have been wiped out in a massive offensive by the Sri Lankan army, but the threat from the dreaded terror outfit is far from over. National Security Adviser MK Narayanan on Monday warned that with the Tamil diaspora, which was the main source of funding for LTTE, spread far and wide, the threat of the outfit raising its head once again could not be ruled out. more..

Errant motorists to pay victims' medical bills

Sep 15 (DN) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will formulate a system that enables the Ministry to charge the entire medical cost of road accident victims from those responsible for causing the relevant accident. The Ministry at present spends around Rs. 10 million to treat one road accident victim if he or she is being treated in the ICU for over one month, a Ministry spokesman said. more..

Channel 4 sounds Govt on IDP video

Sep 15 (DN) British Channel 4 which telecast the controversial torture video footage, has contacted the Government for its views before telecasting a second video on the situation of IDP camps, a gesture which the Government has welcomed. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said they welcome the gesture by British Channel 4 to contact Sri Lanka before telecasting this video following the unpleasant events that ensued with the airing of more..

Blockade on transport of tea to Colombo lifted

Sep 15 (Island) Plantation workers had ended a blockade on the transport of tea to the auctions after plantation companies agreed to increase the daily wage of workers to Rs. 405, General Secretary of the Planters Association Malin Goonetilleke said yesterday. Tea to the value of over Rs 700 million reached Colombo yesterday. He said that if the wage hike put forward by the Planters Association was acceptable to the other two unions LJEWU and JPTUC, more..

Moves to include fingerprints on passports

Sep 15 (DN) Inclusion of biometric data on passports is on the cards as authorities look to tighten screws on possible frauds. Immigration and Emigration Controller, P.B. Abeykoon said the number of passports applications containing fraudulent documents encountered by officers during processing average around ten daily. "We have appointed a panel of experts to conduct a study on the viability of the fingerprinting program and more..

Sri Lankans still paying ‘almost’ crisis level prices

Sep 15 (Island) A top official of the Department of Census and Statistics said Sri Lankan producers are enjoying relatively high prices for their produce with prices changing little in Sri Lanka since the peak of the global food crisis last year. Director Department of Census and Statistics, D. C. A. Gunawardena made these comments last afternoon in response to a question raised by a journalist when the department presented the national accounts for the second quarter of 2009. more..

Some plantation workers in quandary

Sep 15 (Island) A section of the plantation workers were in a quandary yesterday. They were wondering whether to halt their trade union action or not, after the CWC Trade Union decided that it would settle for a Rs 405 per day wage. The UNP affiliated LJEWU, Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre (JPTUC) and JVP Trade unions differed and were adamant that they would not settle for anything less than their justified demand of Rs 500, more..

Executive Presidency - to abolish or not?

'Sri Lanka state revenues reach last year's level in August'

Sep 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state revenues for August had reached last year's level in line with a recovery in import trade and domestic economic activities, and is expected to show a positive growth in this month, an official said. "In August we have reached break-even level and we are expecting revenues will continue to move up in the next few months," director general of fiscal policy in the Treasury, S R Attygalle said. more..

Sri Lanka caught off guard

Sep 15 (DM) Sri Lanka went from yesterday’s heroes to today’s zeroes as India made a precise demolition of their hosts who were caught off guard against a team determined to make amends with the right motives in the Tri-Nations cricket final at the Premadasa stadium yesterday. There was only one team that played with a plan in the first session that decided the contest and India had no match except for two fleeting moments when more..

NFF rails against USA

Sep 15 (DM) The National Freedom Front (NFF), a party of the ruling coalition, said yesterday that the western nations, led by the United States, had renewed their conspiracy against Sri Lanka in a revised form. NFF politburo member Jayantha Samaraweera MP said that the US government had designated Patricia A. Butenis as the new ambassador to Sri Lanka and that she had been at the centre of controversy during her previous postings in Iraq and Bangladesh. more..

PC members not knowledgeable: Minister

Sep 15 (DM) Minister Muralitharan (Karuna) yesterday said that the eastern provincial council members were incompetent and not knowledgeable. Addressing the North Eastern province government servants, the Minister made this comment with regard to the recent media reports that the provincial council members were insisting the President on the removal of the Governor of the Eastern Province Rear Admiral Mohan Wijewickrema. more..

How Sri Lanka governs through detentions

Sep 15 (GP) When the Sri Lankan government declared that the country's 25-year civil war was over in May, thousands of civilians took to the streets in celebration. The threat of the Tamil Tigers was gone for the first time in decades and the fears of violence that had held a nation in their clutch on a daily basis seemed to dissipate. But for many Sri Lankans things have only become worse since the war ended. more..

Ex-principal to be tried despite AG plea

Sep 15 (DM) The Colombo High Court yesterday refused a request by the Attorney General (AG) to withdraw an indictment against the former Ananda College Principal on sympathetic grounds. The charge relates to an incident involving the preparation of forged documents and misleading the CID in connection with an investigation into the admission of children to the school. High Court judge Sunil Rajapaksa having considered the said request and more..

Britain relaxes travel warning to Sri Lanka

Sep 15 (LBO) A travel advisory on Sri Lanka has been further relaxed with a reduced level of terrorist threat, in the island, the British High Commission in Colombo said. "We have relaxed our advice such that we are now informing travellers that there is now a general (as opposed to high) threat from terrorism which means that there is some level of known terrorist activity in-country," the High Commission quoted acting High Commissioner Mark Good as saying. more..

'Sri Lankan 2009-end inflation to be 6.0-pct'

Sep 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka's year-end consumer inflation measured by a revised Colombo Consumer Price Index is estimated to be 6.0 percent by December, and seasonally adjusted number even lower. "We estimate point to point inflation to be at 6.0 percent at December 2009," head of the price indices division at Sri Lanka's statistics office told reporters. "[Seasonally adjusted] inflation for 2009 will be at 4 percent," he said. more..

India, Sri Lanka to sign MOU next month for undersea power line

Sep 15 (TN) The Governments of India and Sri Lanka are to sign a MOU for the construction of an undersea power line between South India and Thalaimannaar in Sri Lanka next month. The construction work of the power line will start next year and the estimated project cost is $ 500 million, according to Power and Energy Ministry Spokesman. He said that the cost of the project will be shared by both countries, and more..

'Sri Lanka lose 155,000 industrial jobs'

Sep 15 (LBO) Sri Lanka has lost 155,000 industrial jobs in the second quarter of 2009 from a year earlier, the services sector lost 99,000 but agriculture sector generated 118,000 jobs, while total unemployment rose slightly, a government survey showed. The quarterly labour force survey by Sri Lanka's statistics office does not include the Northern province, which was wracked by a civil war till May. more..

Ministers want Rs.2.52 billion more

Sep 15 (LT) Twenty ministers who have overspent their budgetary allocations have asked for supplementary allocations of more than Rs 2.52 billion. Chief Government Whip, Dinesh Gunawardena submitted a paper seeking parliamentary approval for this amount last week. Among the proposals for which approval has been sought is Rs. 768,360,000.00 to purchase luxury vehicles forfeited by the Department of Customs. more..

Were PM’s & Port Minister’s tours to Japan for ‘Exposition of relics’ organized by racketeers to smuggle humans?

Sep 15 (LT) The "Exposition of Sacred Relics of Lord Buddha" said to have been held under the patronage of the Sri Lankan Government from 5th to 10th September at the Royal Grand Hall of Buddhism in Kobe has really been an exercise in human smuggling. Interested parties in Sri Lanka government got the mega-show organized by Nenbhitshushu Buddhist Sect in Kobe. more..

Sri Lanka's foreign reserves hit record high

Sep 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves have hit a historic high of four billion dollars, sufficient to cover over four months of imports, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka said Tuesday. "With the renewed investor confidence and the continuation of the steady increase in foreign exchange inflows, the country's external reserve position is expected to strengthen further in the coming months," the bank said. more..

Sri Lanka demands EU trade concessions without rights probe

Sep 15 (AFP) Sri Lanka will not submit to an investigation into its rights record to qualify for extended trade concessions from the European Union, a government minister said Tuesday. The deputy minister of state revenue, finance and planning, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, said Colombo wanted an extension of the EU generalised system of preferences (GSP Plus), but would agree to pre-conditions. more..

"Opening slot made me better batsman"

Sep 16 (ESPN) spoke exclusively to Sri Lankan opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, who spoke of his change of roles in the team. Q: What are your chances in the ICC Champions Trophy? Tillakratne Dilshan: We are playing well as a unit and we are pretty confident of doing better in a tournament like Champions Trophy. I know the conditions will be different. Wickets will not be easy to bat on but in one-dayers, you know, wickets will not be very bowler-friendly. more..

HERTZ enters Sri Lanka with three-pronged approach

Sep 16 (4H) The Hertz Corporation has entered Sri Lanka with a multi-faceted approach to offering car rental within the country. The Company has signed a licensee agreement with Andrew The Car Rental Company Pte Ltd., is working with Discover the World Marketing to handle international car rental reservations, and has joined forces with SriLankan Airlines’ FlySmiLes frequent flyer program. more..

Migrant attacked by 'gutless' thug

Sep 16 (AAP) A RECENT migrant viciously attacked with a bottle and robbed as he waited for a train in Melbourne, has pleaded for greater security on public transport. Francis, a 34-year-old IT worker, was waiting alone at Berwick station to catch the first train of the day to work at about 4.30am on Saturday. Video footage shows him sitting in the dark when a young bare-chested man approaches. more..

"We don't want development, we want our rights!"

Sep 16 (HP) The message shouted from an elder woman inside Zone 2's internment camps in Sri Lanka was clear as she angrily harassed a humanitarian worker attempting to install latrines that would signal a longer, more permanent, residence in unlivable internment camps. It's a message that is perhaps best directed at the United Nations and donor countries who, in the case of Sri Lanka, have chosen "access" to hundreds of internally displaced civilians over "advocacy" in their best interests. more..

Jilted by the west, Sri Lanka cozying up to new friends

Sep 16 (SLNN) Disappointed with the lack of support from the west at a crucial time in its fight against terrorism, Sri Lanka has successfully bonded with new friends. Vital support from a range of countries including Iran, China and Libya has helped Sri Lanka scoff at the big stick wielded by western countries. “Many European countries started cutting back on military assistance and development assistance to Sri Lanka,” more..

Terms and conditions of dual citizenship

Sep 16 (GDI) It has been decided to extend the facility of Dual Citizenship status for ex-Sri Lankans holding foreign citizenship who have invested/ are willing to invest in Government Treasury bonds subject to the following terms and conditions, the Public Dept. of the Central Bank said in a statement. Terms and Conditions: 1. The minimum investment amount of the Treasury bond, maturity period and fees to be charged on granting Dual Citizenship are as follows, more..

Four Police constables freed in Nipuna assault case

Sep 16 (LeN) Four police constables who were remanded over the abduction and assault case of Malambe IT student, were freed by the Kaduwela Magistrate today (15). The constables, Gamini Sarathchnadra, Dinesh Chamal Dayawansa, Priyantha Sanjeewa and Rangala Kelum Dahanayake were freed on the instructions of the Attorney general on the ground that they were not connected to the incident as revealed by the preliminary investigations. more..

Tying the hands of rulers to guarantee the security of the people

Sep 16 (LG) The very essence and goal of democracy is to tighten the hands of governments. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Power, therefore, needs to be bound. The wires that tie the rulers are called laws. That no one is above the law explicitly refers to the fact that that rulers are not above the law. Charles I argued that no one had the right to judge him because he was the king. more..

Legal action against employers of 2 dead girls

Sep 16 (CT) Police investigating the deaths of two Tamil girls whose bodies were found in a canal at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo have sued the persons who employed the two girls. Cinnamon Gardens Police have informed Colombo Chief Magistrate that the employers, Uduma Lebbe Mohammad Thaufeek and Abdul Wahab Mohammad Fazaal would be sued for employing two girls out of Colombo without notifying the police, which is an offence emergency laws. more..

Protestors attack CWC office as plantation wage issue continues

Sep 16 (CT) The still unresolved plantation wage issue created yet another scene in Bogawantalawa town today (Sept. 15), with protestors stoning the CWC office as well as the police station there. They had also reportedly prevented CWC leader minister Arumugam Thondaman from visiting the area, accusing him of betraying their struggle. Police had to fire teargas to dispel the demonstrators who raised black flags in the area as a mark of protest, reports said. more..