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Tamil exiles to form 'government'

Sep 16 (BBC) Exiled political activists of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels say they will form an international government to pursue their political demands. They plan to hold elections across the Tamil diaspora within six months to form an international government. In a statement the activists claim this government would campaign for a homeland based on self-determination. It is the first major statement from the rebel group since the capture of their leader, Selvarasa Pathmanathan. more..

A revolt is brewing in the tea gardens

Sep 16 (BL) The plantation sector was in turmoil at the time this column was written. Clashes had erupted between the members of the Ceylon Workers Congress and other trade unions. Confusion reigned among the three trade unions negotiating with the plantation companies about wage increase for the plantation workers. At Hatton two trade unions aligned to the government, The CWC led by Minister Arumugam Thondaman and the UPF led by Minister Periyasamy Chandrasekaran clashed on Sunday. more..

London Stock Exchange to buy Lanka’s MillenniumIT in Rs. 10 b deal

Sep 16 (BL) In what could be the biggest boost to Sri Lanka’s attractiveness for business ideas and skill, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is to buy MillenniumIT, a homegrown trading technology software company promoted by IT entrepreneur Tony Weerasinghe. The deal is expected to be finalized by today at a speculated price of UK Sterling Pounds 50 million or approximately Rs. 10 billion and more..

Fresh boost for peace process

Sep 16 (BL) With war over, the crucial peace process appears to be back on track as several recent key developments giving a fresh boost to a permanent solution to multi-decade old conflict. UN Under Secretary General for Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe will be arriving in Sri Lanka today on a three day visit and is expected to meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa for discussions regarding a political solution and resettlement of internally displaced people, more..

Vasu petitions for Customs to be paid Rs.520 million

Sep 16 (BL) Presidential Adviser Vasudeva Nanayakkara in a bid to obtain Rs.520 million which is due to Sri Lanka Customs from Colombo Dockyard, filed an Intervenient Petition (IP) before Supreme Court to intervene the appeal against the said company. Nanayakkara in his Intervenient Petition stated that Colombo Dockyard Ltd. and the Board of Investment (BOI) entered into an agreement to produce Marine Crafts. more..

Focus on social order: Colombo

Sep 16 (Hindu) Even as Sri Lanka outlined its vision for restoration of democracy and rights of minorities including the Tamils before the Human Rights Council at Geneva on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced he was despatching his political head to Sri Lanka to step up the process of resettlement of the nearly three lakh war displaced in the north. On the inaugural day of the council’s meet, Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe reiterated more..

Debrief News - 15.09.2009

Dirty Harry in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (LMD) Sri Lankans found it hard to celebrate the 143rd anniversary of the police force established by Ceylon’s British rulers (established on 3 September 1866). One incident (among many) has highlighted the danger of people’s frustration at police impunity turning into mob outrage and vigilante “justice”. It happened at a police post at Angulana, a working class area not far from the coastal Colombo suburb and tourist haunt of Mount Lavinia. more..

Fears for human rights in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (FT) The UN sent a senior envoy to Sri Lanka on Tuesday amid international concern over alleged human rights violations on the island in spite of the end of its 26-year civil war. Lynn Pascoe, the UN’s senior political official and head of its political affairs department, was sent to Colombo after a telephone conversation this week between Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, and Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president. more..

President urges SLFP Paris Branch to work for communal amity

Sep 16 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa advised the SLFP Paris Branch to work in harmony with the members of all Sri Lankan expatriate communities and to work together to assist development activities in Sri Lanka. He said this at a luncheon discussion with SLFP (Paris Branch) Treasurer Ananda Dodangoda at the Temple Trees in Colombo. President said that the Sinhalese leaders of expatriate community should work together with Tamil and Muslim community leaders and more..

Bogollagama requests India for the early release of Sri Lankan fishermen

Sep 16 (LG) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama requested the Indian Government for the assistance in the early release of 51 Sri Lankan fishermen who are under the custody of the Andaman and Nicobar island authorities along with nine fishing vessels, during a meeting held with the Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Alok Prasad at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 14th September 2009. more..

Lessons for India to learn from Lanka triumph

Sep 16 (TOI) After the Indian team's triumph in Sri Lanka, Dhoni and his boys should be one of the favourites for the Champions Trophy. But not if they field and bowl like they did in the final. While any tournament victory is good news for a team starved of success in multi-nation tourneys, India's Tri-series victory in Sri Lanka on Monday should be heartening. The win is all the more welcome as it comes just eight days before the start of the prestigious Champions Trophy, more..

Tea workers’ demand for higher wages hits a snag

Sep 16 (IPS) Tea lovers around the globe may soon have to pay more for every cup of their favorite beverage. That is, assuming tea plantation workers in one of the world’s major tea-producing countries get their demand for a significant increase in their daily wages. Employers, however, refused to accede to the workers’ demand in their latest face-off — part of a series of negotiations that have dragged on for months and failed to end conclusively on Sep. 14. more..

‘Freedom curbed in Sri Lanka’

Sep 16 (Hindu) The former President of Sri Lanka Chandrika Kumaratunga has decried lack of basic freedom in her country. The former president, who is on a visit to Kerala, was speaking to the media after calling on Chief Minister V. S. Achuthanandan at the Secretariat on Tuesday. Ms. Kumaratunga said that there was an overall feeling of fear in Sri Lanka. “I fear for my life, if I speak freely, though my party is in power (as part of a coalition),” she said. more..

'As the shells fell, we tried to save lives with no blood or medicine'

Sep 16 (Guardian) The young mother was standing by the side of the road, clutching her baby. The baby was dead. Damilvany Gnanakumar watched as she tried to make a decision. Around them, thousands of people were picking their way between bodies strewn across the road, desperate to escape the fighting all around them. "The mother couldn't bring the dead body and she doesn't want to leave it as well. She was standing … holding the baby. more..

Farewell Farbrace

Sep 16 (CI) Rare is the occasion that an assistant coach accompanies a captain to a post-match press conference, but the occasion called for it. Paul Farbrace, who worked with Sri Lanka for two years, had just completed his last assignment. At the presentation ceremony, Farbrace had been given a parting gift and a special mention. He received a loud cheer from spectators and players and got a firm handshake from Kumar Sangakkara and Percy Abeysekara, more..

The close relationship of Maldives and Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (HT) Sri Lanka and Maldives are culturally, socially and politically connected closely. For centuries, big and small ships used to ferry people and goods between the two countries. Now, a flight from Colombo to Male takes little more than an hour and is usually full of Sri Lankans doing business or working in one of the inhabited islands of Madlives. The perception is that geographically too Sri Lanka is closest to Maldives more..

Plantation workers oppose wage sell-out

Sep 16 (wsws) Tens of thousands of plantation workers are defying the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and continuing their go-slow actions in protest at the sell-out wage deal struck by the union and employers on Saturday. The new collective agreement with the Ceylon Employers Federation (CEF), due to be signed today, will tie 500,000 tea, rubber and coconut workers to poverty-level wages for another two years. more..

National Ozone Day celebration today

Sep 16 (GDI) In order to mark the day for the preservation of the ozone layer, the UN general Assembly on 23rd January 1995 adopted a resolution 49/114 which proclaims 16th September as the International Ozone Day, to commemorate the signing of the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. This year's National Ozone Day commemoration will be held at the Public Library Auditorium under the theme of 'Universal Participation: Ozone Protection unifies the World'. more..

Chief Ministers meet at Habarana

Sep 16 (GDI) The twenty sixth annual meeting of all Chief Ministers of provinces will be held at Habarana Chaya Village, Habarana on Thursday (18). This year's annual event is being organised by the North Central Province Chief Minister, Berty Premalal Dissanayake. However, the Chief Minister of the Southern Provincial Council will be an absentee as the Council stands dissolved for fresh election on October 10. more..

Karuna to upgrade Kalmunai Tamil DS dvsn

Sep 16 (PSM) "Tamil division of Kalmunai divisional secretariat is to be up graded with all powers vested on it”, said the National Integration Minister Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan. The Kalmunai Tamil secretariat division is functioning under the Kalmunai Muslim DS division at present. The minister speaking at a discussion held to develop the Periyakallaru village in the Batticaloa district recently said that more..

Aussie police seek public help over assault on Lankan

Sep 16 (DM) The Australian police have sought public assistance to track down a man who assaulted a Sri Lankan migrant at a Melbourne train station over the weekend. The incident which was caught on security cameras shows the suspect smash a bottle on the migrant and run away with his laptop. Francis, a married father of two and recent migrant from Sri Lanka who did not want his surname used, said he had five stitches in a deep cut above his left eye, more..

‘Peace vendors’ and ‘sustainable peace’

Sep 16 (LG) As per a news item reported in The Sunday Island dated 13th September 2009, the government has reasons to believe that the US was rapidly making a case of war crimes against Sri Lanka on the basis of the conduct of her armed forces, police as well as the political leadership during the recently concluded war. According to this report, former Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Robert Blake, now based at the State Department was behind the move. more..

Golden Voice of Dhampal

Sep 16 (GDI) The 'Golden Voice of Dampal' organization have organized a series of programmes to mark 145th Birth Anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala scheduled on 17th of September,tomorrow. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to pay floral tributes at the Dharmapala statue at Temple Trees at 1.30 p.m. Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera will deliver a sermon at the Colombo Municipal Grounds at 2.00 p.m. more..

Dengue rises silently...death toll at 253

Sep 16 (GDI) The spread of dengue though slow after preventive action seems to rise silently with the death making a rise. The current death figure stands at 253, a rise of 28 from the figure 225 recorded three week ago. The Health Ministry has once again alerted the public to exercise caution to prevent mosquito breeding grounds. They said the pattern of scattered thunder sjowers lasting a few minutes could lead the way for water to accumulate in places where implements are thrown by people. more..

Leader Ashraff is commemorated

Sep 16 (PSM) 9th death anniversary of late MHM. Ashraff, founder leader of SLMC & NUA and senior minister is commemorated today all over the island. Mr. Ashraff was killed in a helicopter crash along with 12 others on this fateful day in 2000. Mr. Ashraff’s air crash was almost identical to recent air crash of Andra Pradesh Chief Minister Reddy in India on 2nd of this month. more..

More intern doctors to be appointed for North and East

Sep 16 (MoD) The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will appoint 900 intern doctors today, 16 Sep, to government hospitals giving priority to the North and East. According to ministry sources, 325 intern doctors will be posted to hospitals in North and East including welfare villages established to house IDPs in Vavuniya. The Healthcare and Nutrition Ministry will appoint 900 post intern doctors to State hospitals today. more..

UNHRC head welcomes investigations by Sri Lanka into the Channel 4 video

Sep 16 (MoD) Navaneetham Pillai, head of the United Nation's Human Rights Commission told Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe in Geneva, Switzerland yesterday that she welcomed the investigations done by the Sri Lankan government regarding UK's Channel 4 doctored video alleging human rights violations against the country. Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe met Pillai to brief her regarding the controversial tapes. more..

More international support is being received for the effort to remove landmines in the North

Sep 16 (MoD) The International Organisation for Migration donated de-mining equipment yesterday. Its handing over to Chief of the "Uthuru Wasanthaya" Task Force and Senior Presidential Advisor and Parliamentarian Basil Rajapaksa took place at the Presidential Secretariat. Speaking at the event, Mr. Rajapaksa thanked the Australian High Commission, the High Commissioner, the Australian Government and the people for the donation. more..

Naval troops uncover more Gelignite and diving equipment

Sep 16 (LP) Naval troops in search operations conducted in Trincomalee, recovered several Gelignite Sticks yesterday (15). According to SL Navy, troops attached to SLNS Wijayaba recovered attached to SLNS Wijayaba recovered 05 Gelignite Sticks in the Erakkandi beach area in Nilaweli. The recovered Gelignite Sticks weighed 400g. The sticks were found with a box of matches hidden in a scrub. more..

Army chief briefs new Archbishop on IDP resettlement

Sep 16 (LP) Commander of the SL Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya called on the newly-appointed Archbishop Rt. Reverend Ranjith Malcom at his residence on Monday (14) evening and extended his greetings on the new appointment. Commander during his interaction with the holy dignitary gave him an update on security developments in the north and east in the aftermath of eradication of LTTE terrorism. more..

Brokers arrive in Colombo to participate in Central Bank’s gold sale

Sep 16 (LNW) Several foreign brokers have arrived in Sri Lanka following news that the Central Bank was planning to sell gold from its reserves. One Ruwan Pathirana, who is the owner of SATCO Constructions, has brought down these brokers to the country. Ruwan Pathirana is a close confidante of the President and it was SATCO Construction that built the secret bunker at the President’s House. more..

Keeping memories alive 20th anniversary of Rajani’s assassination

Sep 16 (LG) One night in 1983, soon after midnight Rajani woke me up and whispered to me that she had been asked to treat an injured boy from the Iyakkam (movement). For her, this was an act of compassion by a doctor towards her patient. For me it was a political act. I was frozen. I turned back and slept. I was caught up in the agony of belonging to the oppressor and the woman I dearly and unconditionally loved trying to more..

JVP rallies masses to protect democracy

Sep 16 (LT) The JVP held a protest campaign at the Lipton Circus yesterday urging the government to abolish the executive presidency, protect media freedom and fulfill the promises given to the people. It also urged the state to implement the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and repeal the 13th Amendment to restore democracy in the country. JVP General Secretary TiIvin Silva said that the extreme abuse of the executive presidency had tarnished the democracy that more..

'Utilization of land for tourism projects: Govt. should vest full powers to PC'

Sep 16 (LNP) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Cnandrakanthan, on Saturday, said the government should vest full powers in the Provincial Council in the utilisation of the lands for development of tourism projects in the East Coast. Addressing the members of the Sri Lanka Inbound Tour Operators Association (SLITO), at their Annual General Meeting held in Trincomalee, where he was Chief Guest, Chandrakanthan said more..

'Ranil issuing false statements for political gain'

Sep 16 (LNP) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said it is regrettable to note Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe issuing false statements regarding the country s economy for the sake of petty political gain. Yapa in a statement said the Government has no need to earn money through the sale of gold reserves held by the Central Bank. No decision to that effect has been taken either by the Government or the Central Bank. more..

Gold and the family silver

Sep 16 (LNP) The Greens are screaming blue murder about an alleged move by the Blues to dispose of a haul of gold in the custody of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The Blues have seen red! They are venting their spleen on Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has levelled that allegation. He claims the government is planning to sell about 38 metric tons (38,000 kg) of gold which belongs to the State to settle some loans. more..

'Govt.’s eternal debt cycle is plunging people into eternal poverty'

Sep 16 (UNP) UNP MP Kabir Hashim said, the total borrowings of this Govt. for just three years, 2007 to 2009 is Rs 1504 billion. This amount exceeds the total borrowings made during the period of 56 years since SL got independence, that is from 1948 to 2004. In other words, the President Rajapakse Govt. in three years of its existence has indebted the country to a greater extent than all the Govts. in 56 years. more..

Confident Lankans leave for South Africa

Sep 16 (LNP) Sri Lanka will be looking for a consistent performance from their top players as they leave for South Africa today in preparation for the sixth edition of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy limited overs cricket tournament which will be staged from September 22 to October 5. All matches will be split between two venues Centurion and The Wanderers with the top two from each pool progressing to the semi-final stage. more..

Beacon to a darkened landscape

Sep 16 (DN) Don Bosco Vocational Training Centres are located in all parts of Sri Lanka. There are no less than 10 such training centres approved by the Board of Investment alone and they scattered from North to the South and East to the West. What business is a vocational training centre having with the Board of Investment? That seems a very legitimate question. The very purpose of the Board of Investment, since its inception as Greater Colombo Economic Commission in 1977, is to attract foreign investment, more..

Continue GSP + facility - Ceramics Council

Sep 16 (DN) The Sri Lanka Ceramics Council will appeal to the EU not to destroy the livelihood of those in the creramics industry. This is the worst time to withdraw the GSP+ facility. The denial of the facility will result in us being unable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We are working closely with the Government which is sympathetic towards the situation and has realized the repercussions, more..

Call for Children's Magistrate's Court

Sep 16 (DN) The high percentage of children's cases reported in the Juvenile Courts, Bambalapitiya and Colombo Magistrate's Courts is an endorsement of the need for a "Children's Magistrate's Court" to be established in the Judicial Zone of Colombo, said Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms Secretary Suhada Gamlath at a conference held recently in Colombo. The proposed Children's Magistrate's Court is to be financed by the USAID. more..

‘Ranil playing a dirty game’

Sep 16 (DN) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has deviated from his role as the Opposition Leader by betraying the country before the international community. The Opposition Leader instead of working to make the people’s aspirations a reality is engaged in a dirty game of persuading the international community to stop assisting the country, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President was addressing the Hambantota district SLFP activists more..

‘Staggered polls beneficial to Govt.’

Sep 16 (Island) Addressing an election rally in support of the Muslim Congress candidates, contesting the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council elections, President of the SLMC, Rauff Hakeem said staggered elections were beneficial to the government and it could not achieve the same results at a countrywide election. Hakeem said an increase of minority votes for the Government could help change the attitude of the international community towards Sri Lanka. more..

Attorney-General appeals to International Community to cooperate with Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (LP) Addressing the President and the distinguished members of the Human Rights Council, at the 12th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on 15th of September 2009, Geneva , Hon. Mohan Peiris, P.C, Attorney-General congratulated Madam High Commissioner on her 1st anniversary of office, and thanked the Council and the High Commissioner for the valuable guidance and support in the last year more..

‘Concerned Tamils’ disappointed at arrests

Sep 16 (Island) The organization calling itself, "Concerned Tamils of Sri Lanka" in the fifth statement issued on Monday said that it was disappointed at the arrest and detention of public servants including a senior administrative officer who had served as GA Kilinochchi when those areas were under LTTE control. "We are unaware of the political orientation of these officers, but we do know that defying that organization was not an option available to anyone more..

'More divisions and factions in UPFA than in UNP'

Sep 16 (Island) "The UPFA government is more divided than the UNP. The government speakers revel in talking what is happening in the UNP. We are now better organised and united after the 17 dissidents from our party joined the government" said the Kurunegala District MP, Dayasiri Jayasekara addressing a special seminar on the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council elections. The seminar was held at Hill Top Hotel in Akuressa, more..

US$ 41 mn raised through SLDB issue

Sep 16 (Island) The three year US$ 50 million Sri Lanka Development Bond (SLDB) issue was oversubscribed by 1.3 times the offer attracting about US$ 63 million, of which, US$ 41 million was accepted to settle maturing bonds amounting to US$ 35 million. The issue was handled by the debt managers to the government, the Central Bank, and the bids were accepted at the six-month London Inter Bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) which was 0.6775 last Monday more..

Nipuna attack 10 suspects further remanded

Sep 16 (DM) The mobile phone communications during the relevant period of the alleged assault of the Malabe IT student, had originated from the telecommunication tower at Nedimala, Dehiwala. The tower is located in close proximity to SSP Vas Gunawardena’s residence, DIG Anura Senanayake told Kaduwela Additional District Judge. He also submitted that there was uncertainty as to whether the abducted victim Nipuna Ramanayake was taken to the CCD or to some other location. more..

'More than 300,000 employed in State sector '

Sep 16 (LP) The allegations made by the opposition leader Ranil Wickrmasingha are false said Deputy Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. The Minister mentioned that on the 31st of July 2004, the Government had recruited 305, 060 to the State sector, These include 205,349 persons recruited up to 2009 and filling of 99,711 vacancies that existed from 2004 to 2009. more..