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Ananda College, not above law

Sep 16 (DM) There’s no doubt about the pivotal role old Anandians played in Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism. It’s the educational institution to have the most number of past pupils among Sri Lanka’s military top brass. Besides it also enjoys the distinction of being the college to have the most number of its past pupils among the hierarchy in government institutions. However the fact remains that this is not an excuse for anybody to bail out the former principal of the college who more..

Minimum qualifications for candidates, urges Paffrel

Sep 16 (DM) The PAFFREL yesterday urged the Government to set out minimum qualifications for candidates to contest elections. PAFFREL Rohana Hettiaarachchi also urged the political parties to be more pragmatic and careful in selecting candidates to contest Presidential, General and Provincial Council and Local Government Elections in future as many candidates vying for the forthcoming Southern PC polls have not been selected on merit. more..

Sri Lanka sets minimum hotel rates

Sep 16 (AFP) With tourism booming in Sri Lanka following the end of decades of ethnic conflict, authorities have ordered hotels in the capital to increase room rates and curb an aggressive pricing war. Luxury hotels in Colombo will be forced to charge a minimum of 90 dollars a night, while stays in cheaper hotels are set to rise to 40 dollars from November, said M. Shanthikumar, president of the City Hotels' Association. more..

Cultural Affairs Secretary removed following President’s fall

Sep 16 (LNW) The President has ordered the immediate removal of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Ministry Secretary Wimaladasa Samarasinghe after he was blamed for the President’s fall at the State Literary Day held at the Presidential Secretariat. President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunge after holding an inquiry into the incident that placed the President in great difficulty has said it was due to the negligence of the Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary. more..

Denial and rage in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (Guardian) As the restaurant cleared, a Singhalese woman approached me. Her fury was palpable. She had read a piece I had written on Sri Lanka and was outraged by it. Why was I writing only about Sinhalese hatred and not about Tamil terrorism? How dare I take the side of those murderous Tamils who milked the media for all it was worth? Before I could speak, she began a tirade on the misrepresentation of the Sri Lankan government by the British press. more..

UK retailers urge EU caution over Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (RW) UK retailers are calling on the European Commission not to penalise Sri Lankan workers or British shoppers in a human rights row. The British Retail Consortium has warned a threat to remove special tax-free arrangements for cheap, good-quality clothes imported from Sri Lanka could hit flourishing businesses and jobs in the country and put up customer prices. Sri Lanka has until Thursday to deliver to Brussels its response to charges of human rights abuses more..

Top UN official to press Sri Lanka for rights probe

Sep 16 (AFP) A top UN official was expected in Sri Lanka Wednesday to press for a probe into possible rights abuses during the final stages of the military's victory over Tamil rebels. UN under secretary general for political affairs Lynn Pascoe was sent by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who has voiced concern over delays in releasing thousands of displaced Tamil civilians held in government-run camps. more..

“From Russia with Love”

Sep 17 (GDI) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Moscow on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka expressed gratitude towards the Russian Federation for its commendable step to think to offer the Sri Lankan President with an honorary doctorate. Minister Abeywardena during his recent visit to Russian Federation expressed his sincere appreciation of Sri Lanka to the Vice Chancellor of the Patrice Lumumba Peoples' Friendship University more..

Minister’s proposal to solve financial crisis at SLBC fails

Sep 17 (LNW) The failure of the plan to implement a voluntary retirement scheme to the employees of Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) similar to the one introduced to the staff of the Media Ministry has resulted in the Corporation’s administration facing a severe crisis. Sources say the financial crisis at SLBC has now made it difficult for the administration to pay the employees’ salaries. more..

Namal to get Visumpaya after ridding the place of evil spirits

Sep 17 (LNW) The President has decided to give Visumpaya to his eldest son, Namal Rajapakse and an alms giving for 15 Buddhist monks were given on the 10th in memory of the late Anura Bandaranaike and to rid the place of evil spirits. Ven. Galabada Cnanissara Thero and 15 monks have participated in the alms giving organized by Minister Mervyn Silva. Apart from Mervyn Silva and the President, Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena, Governor Alavi Moulana, more..

UNP is guilty of a massive ‘Secret Gold Deal’

Sep 17 (GDI) While rejecting the claims of the UNP that the Central Bank is planning to sell large quantities of gold from its reserves, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said that Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe’s party had covertly sold 200,000 troy ounce of Gold from the Central Bank when the UNP was in power. Minister Abeywardena noted that ‘secret deal’ had brought a net loss of USD 140 million to the Treasury due to the arbitrary behavior of the UNP regime. more..

Sri Lanka, India's NTPC to sign $500 mln coal deal

Sep 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka is to sign a commercial agreement with India's National Thermal Power Corporation to build a $500 million coal power plant in the former war zone, its Power and Energy Ministry said on Wednesday. The coal power plant, the largest with a capacity of 1,000 MW, will be located in the eastern port city of Trincomalee, a former rebel stronghold until the military captured it in mid 2007 more..

ADB $70M road loan to help Sri Lanka revitalize war-torn provinces

Sep 17 (ADB) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $70 million road rehabilitation loan to support Sri Lanka’s drive to revitalize its eastern and north central provinces which have suffered from years of civil conflict and economic neglect. The loan, from ADB’s concessional Asian Development Fund, will fund the upgrade of 370 kilometers of roads in the two provinces, as well as rebuild and replace bridges. more..

Dallas on conspiracy to overthrow the govt.

Sep 17 (LeN) Transport Minister Dallas Alahaperuma speaking to the media, said there was a conspiracy to save LTTE leader Prabhakaran during the last phase of the war and to assassinate the State leader. This conspiracy has surfaced again, but this time not to assassinate the leader but to overthrow the Govt. The individual behind this is a prominent UNPer who is vacillating from this side to that side, and more..

Ceylinco Sussex College under state merchant bank wing

Sep 17 (LBO) Ceylinco Sussex College, a unit of the troubled Ceylinco Group, is to be managed by Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka (MBSL), which has taken over or is overlooking several troubled firms. More than 5,700 students are at 20 Ceylinco Sussex College branches island-wide, studying for national exams in the English medium, making it the largest private school network in the country, more..

Sri Lanka port in talks with Emirates Shipping

Sep 17 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said it had held talks with a visiting delegation of senior officials from Emirates Shipping Line which plans to augment and enhance its services in the region. "The delegation had deliberations with SLPA top brass on how to strengthen the partnerships between SLPA and Emirates and explore hitherto untapped high potential business areas," it said in a statement. more..

Journalist Tissainayagam files appeal against jail sentence

Sep 17 (TN) Senior journalist S. Tissainayagam, through his lawyer, filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal Tuesday seeking to set aside the conviction and the sentence imposed on him by the Colombo High Court on August 31, 2009. Tissainayagam was convicted for blaming the Government of Sri Lanka, inciting racial hatred and for having monetary dealings with the LTTE, a terrorist organization prohibited by the State, more..

Vanni IDP detainees sent to Ampaa’rai detained again

Sep 17 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA), instructed by higher authorities, is constructing new detention centres to hold the Vanni IDPs sent to Ampaa’rai district recently from Vavuniyaa SLA detention camps while the IDPs are being detained in the SLA camp located on Poththuvil road in Akkaraippattu, sources in Ampaa’rai said. The efforts made by Aalayadiveampu Pratheasa Chapai Secretary to handover the said IDPs to their relatives failed as more..

Tissanayagam given minimum punishment - AG

Sep 17 (CT) Senior Tamil journalist J.S. Tissanayagam has been given the minimum punishment under the law, Attorney general Mohan Peiris has told the UN Human Rights Council. Mr. Peiris said yesterday (Sept. 15) that the journalist had been given all facilities to face his trial. The AG urged the world community to cooperate with Sri Lanka in a true sense of partnership. They should not indulge in a consistent and systematic scheme of criticism aimed at tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka.

Banadaranayakes have their origin in India’s Neelaperumas who are absolute Tamils –S.B.

Sep 17 (LeN) 10 books written by S.B. Dissanayake giving detailed analysis on SL politics, parties, politicians and political ideas will hit the stands on the 18th Sept. These books are to be put out for sale at the BMICH on that day. This day has special significance to S.B. Dissanayake as that is his Birthday too. The Book ‘Siragatha novu sithuvili kanda dekak’ written by S.B. Dissanayake when more..

Debrief News - 16.09.2009

"Grant amnesty" for political prisoners

Sep 17 (BBC) Relatives of war affected called upon the government to grant an amnesty for political prisoners. The request was made from the government following a public meeting held in Colombo organised by the Civil Monitoring Committee (CMC). The Sri Lankan government says that nearly 10,000 suspected Tamil Tigers are held in detention. CMC convener, Parliamentarian Mano Ganeshan recalled that senior Tamil Tigers George Master and Daya Master has already been released on bail. more..

Human rabies control – A challenge to public health in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (AT) A study done on effectiveness of rabies control strategies on reducing incidence of human rabies deaths in Sri Lanka by Dr. Vindya Kumarapeli of the Ministry of Health reveals that the rate of mass dog vaccination had increased from 3.2% to 49.3% during the period 1975 – 2007. However this coverage varies among districts. During the period from 1975 -2005 the rate of dog elimination was reported to be less than 10%. more..

The Drug Trade & Funding Terrorism

Sep 17 (AT) It is estimated that US$4 billion is funneled into worldwide terrorist networks each year. Who pays for training camps, recruitment, conventional and unconventional weapons, travel, safe houses, international propaganda and all that is needed to carry out international terrorism activity? Terrorism requires very large funds but what exactly feeds the umbilical cord that provides lifeline to terror? more..

Karunanidhi asks Centre to seek details from Lanka on Indian aid

Sep 17 (PTI) Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi today said the Sri Lankan Tamils "continued to be refugees" in their homeland and asked the Centre to seek details from that government on how it proposes to utilise Indian aid of Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of the displaced people. Karunanidhi said he took up the issue with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Chennai yesterday. more..

Nominations for ICC Awards 2009

Sep 17 (CI) Ashes-winning captain Andrew Strauss, Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson and Indian opener Gautam Gambhir have all been shortlisted for both the ICC Cricketer of the Year and the Test Player of the Year awards. MS Dhoni rounds out the Cricketer of the Year nominees and is also in line for retaining the ODI Player of the Year title. Indian batsmen dominated the race for best ODI player, with Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh also being nominated. more..

Bible exhibition highlights 'real' heroes and role models for kids

Sep 17 (UCAN) Brian Fernando, 10, and friends used to emulate their hero, Michael Jackson, by "moon walking" in the aisle of St Lucia's Cathedral after Sunday Mass. His mother grew tired of telling them to behave. "I like his dance moves, and I would love it if he was our neighbor," Brian would say. As recently as a month ago, he and other Sunday school students admitted that pop and movie stars were their heroes, and more..

'IMF impressed with Sri Lanka’s economic achievements'

Sep 17 (AT) Sri Lanka is expected to receive the second loan installment from the IMF before the end of this month, Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama revealed. He revealed that the government is presently conducting talks with an IMF delegation now in Sri Lanka and they are fully satisfied about the positive measures adopted by Sri Lanka government’s to strengthen the country’s economy. more..

'Why isn’t the list of IDPs under security forces published'

Sep 17 (LT) JVP MP Bimal Rathnayake has asked Minister of Justice and Law Reforms Milinda Moragoda on what grounds the government doesn’t publish the list of names of the IDPs who surrendered and also of those who were apprehended after the war. In his letter Mr. Rathanayake states At the consultative committee on Justice and Law Reforms held in July I inquired regarding IDPs who surrendered to the government and those who were apprehended after the war. more..

Foreign Minister urges Honorary Consuls to play a proactive role in promoting Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (AT) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, yesterday called on the Honorary Consuls in Sri Lanka to serve as “conduits” and “channels” in addressing issues concerning Sri Lanka with the countries of their representation, during an interaction with 31 Honorary Consuls in Colombo. The Foreign Minister outlined the importance of dispelling some misconceptions about Sri Lanka more..

A botched Tsunami early warning test – Lessons for the future

Sep 17 (GV) The following is an except from a letter I wrote about the recent Tsunami Early Warning Test last week. I hope the readers of Groundviews find it interesting. I have to preface this by saying I am a Westerner, one of the few, living in Batticaloa, where I have been since shortly after the 2004 tsunami. The excerpt: The second exciting and panic-inducing event was the botched Tsunami Early Warning Test last Thursday, the 10th. more..

The Internment – A Collective Punishment?

Sep 17 (GV) The widespread indifference to the continuing misery of 280,000 interned IDPs, most of them already unlawfully detained for about four months without any charges, is a sad reflection on the moral values of our society. The reported release of a few thousand is most welcome, but what of the remaining 270,000? Attempts made to justify the internment on the grounds that some of the areas from which they were displaced may yet be land-mined is patently false, more..

Northern Province receives a stadium at Chavakachcheri

Sep 17 (AT) After Northern Province was cleared from the LTTE clutches, the youths of the province no more see the guns and bullets but the balls and bats, said Northern Province Governor Major General (retired) G A. Chandrasiri while ceremonially opening the Chavakachcheri Urban Council Stadium in Chavakachcheri located Jaffna. Minister Douglas Devananda said that the thirty year long civil war has brought to an end by the more..

Tamil national aspirations, TNA and transnational governance

Sep 17 (TN) The TNA or any other political party claiming that they represent Tamils have no right to proclaim that they have moved away from the 1977 mandate for independence and sovereignty of the Eezham Tamil nation, to satisfy India, Mahinda Rajapaksa or any other power. They may negotiate but without dropping the fundamentals, until any acceptable formula is freshly mandated by all Tamils including those who are now in the diaspora. more..

SMH on a personal attack on ‘Aussie’ Kohona to vilify Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (AT) Although both Australia and Sri Lanka have inherited the age old British Westminster system of governance, at least one senior person in the prestigious Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) seems to have been ignorant about this or conveniently forgotten this. Referring to the Sri Lankan Government decision not to extend the resident visa of UNICEF official James Elder for supporting a terrorist organization, more..

UN political chief arrives in Sri Lanka for talks on displaced, reconciliation

Sep 17 (UN) The United Nations’ top political official arrived in Sri Lanka today to discuss resettlement, political reconciliation and accountability for alleged human rights violations in the island nation where Government forces defeated Tamil separatists in May after a decades-long conflict. Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe, who is scheduled to meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday, more..

Tamil medic describes camp conditions

Sep 17 (C4) British medic Damilvany Gnanakumar, detained for four months in one of Sri Lanka's Tamil internment camps, describes to Jonathan Miller the bleakness of the conditions she found there. A senior UN official has arrived in Sri Lanka to put pressure on the government over the detention of tens of thousands of Tamil refugees in camps. The Sri Lankan government says it need to weed out Tamil Tiger fighters at the camps before most of the inmates can be released. more..

SEP holds first meeting for Southern Provincial Council election

Sep 17 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) launched its campaign for the Southern Provincial Council election with a public meeting at the Fisheries Meeting Hall in the coastal town of Ambalangoda on September 10. The SEP, which is the only party offering a socialist alternative for working people in the October 10 ballot, is standing a slate of 26 candidates for the Galle district. more..

Colombo's paranoid secrecy

Sep 17 (TN) "Why must the military be in control of the camps, why not civilian agencies? Why can't visitors enter the camps? Why are journalists barred? Why are international agencies kept out? Why is it taking the courts so long to make a straightforward order to allow members of parliament to visit the camps?" and quoting Mangala Samaraweera, "I can walk into any prison at will and meet any criminal, but I am not allowed to meet these people held in detention for no reason," Prof Kumar David, more..

Jaffna youths disinterested in joining police force

Sep 17 (TN) Despite efforts made by Minister Douglas Devananda to recruit Tamil young men and women from Jaffna district to serve in the police stations in Jaffna district only a few of them have shown interest, sources in Jaffna said. The minister made a public request in the media again Wednesday calling the Tamil youths to join the police force. Meanwhile, TNA and civil society representatives in Jaffna expressed strong protest against this scheme pointing out that the government, more..

M K Narayanan declares war on Tamil diaspora

Sep 17 (TN) Addressing Director Generals and Inspector Generals of Police Monday, India’s National Security Advisor and one of the architects of Indian Establishment’s policy towards Eezham Tamils, M K Narayanan, told them of the need to keep watch against Tamil diaspora reviving the LTTE and cautioned them to be prepared for any eventuality. “The funding lines of the LTTE are still intact and there is always a possibility that disgruntled elements more..

Post internship appointments offered

Sep 17 (GDI) Nine hundred medical officers who completed the internship period received post internship appointments this morning. The ceremony to handover certificates was held at the National Youth Centre in Maharagama under the patronage of Health Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva. Addressing the gathering Minister De Silva stated that Sri Lanka was the only country which recruited all medical graduates into the government service. more..

Minister Devananda visits Jaffna technical college

Sep 17 (GDI) Douglas Devananda, Minister of Social Services and Social Welfare, and Secretary General of Eelam People’s Democratic Party paid a visit to Jaffna Technical College on a fact finding mission this week. Students of Jaffna Technical College have been boycotting lectures for the last whole month protesting against the malpractices of the Management of the College, calling for 17 demands to be met with in no loss of time. more..

Financial support for paddy purchases

Sep 17 (GDI) More financial allocations have been made to purchase paddy from the Polonnaruwa district. The allocation is 900 million rupees. It is planned to purchase 20,000 metric tons of the Yala paddy yield from the Polonnaruwa District. At present a kilo of the Nadu variety is purchased at 28 rupees. A kilo of Samba is purchased at 30 rupees. The Paddy Marketing Board has already purchased more than 3.2 million kilograms of paddy from 6600 farmers. more..

Hisbullah lashes out Minister Karuna

Sep 17 (PSM) Eastern Provincial Council Minister MLAM.Hisbullah has lashed out at Non Cabinet Minister V. Muralitharan (Karuna) over his remarks about EPC Chief Minister , Ministers and Members. Karuna is reported to have rediculed the EPC politicians at a ceremony held in Batticaloa recently and charged it is because of their inefficiency and illeteracy that the the EPC politicians are unable to perform in the EPC. more..

A sad but inspiring story of a widow

Sep 17 (LG) A gloomy background prevailed around the Catamaran Beach Hotel in Negombo. The sea behind the hotel was dark and rough, while rain was falling from time to time. The air-conditioned auditorium was decorated with purple and white orchid flowers, with a cloth banner displayed with a slogan “The North and South convention on Peace and Development” in a corner of the room. Four seats were arranged for the guest speakers with a microphone fixed to the table. more..

Alleged war crimes, HR violations Foreign hand in move to force regime change

Sep 17 (LNP) The government yesterday said a section of the Opposition was conspiring with the international community to destabilise the country to pave the way for a regime change. Top UPFA spokesman Minister Dallas Alahapperuma yesterday said that the enemy was seeking a regime change though the government had effectively neutralised the military challenge posed by the LTTE. more..

CBC Radio MP3: Sri Lanka UN Ambassador Palitha Kohona on expelling UN officials

Sep 17 (TC) Hello, you must be going. Sri Lanka's former Foreign Secretary Palitha kohona explains why his country keeps showing U.N. officials the door. CBC's Carol Off: One expulsion of a United Nations official from Sri Lanka might be an anomaly. A second U.N. official being threatened with expulsion might seem a coincidence. But now that a third is awaiting deportation, it just might have become a trend. more..

40th anniversary of Ayurvedic Co-operation tomorrow

Sep 17 (LP) The 40 year celebration ceremony of the Ayurvedic Co-operation will be held at tomorrow. Prime Minister will attend the function as the Chief Guest. The Co-operations will launch a website while a special commemorative magazine will also be issued. A commemorative token will be presented to the family members of late Philip Gunawardena who took the initiative in establishing the Ayurvedic Co-operation at the ceremony. more..

Donor funds used properly

Sep 17 (DN) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said the Government has ensured that the funds disbursed by the donor countries and lending agencies are properly utilised for the country’s development. He said the country has received over US$ 772 million up to September 15 and the Government is hopeful that this figure will rise to US$ 1,350 million by December. more..