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Corruption eruption at Treasury! customers duped -Rs.780 million fraud unearthed!

Sep 17 (LeN) 20,000 metric tons of inferior quality crude oil of the standard 1500 imported by the Treasury is tainted with fraud and corruption. Now, to cover up this exposure, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is engaging in another corrupt deal, it is alleged. By selling this poor quality oil to small Industries, a national disaster is being courted. The price of this poor standard 1500 oil is US $ 52/- . more..

Meeting with bank employees to gain votes

Sep 17 (LNW) Arrangement shave been made to organize a meeting at Temple Trees on the 19th between employees of state banks in the South and the President in order to receive their support at the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council election. The letter sent to the bank employees inviting them to the meeting states the President plans to speak to them on developing the Southern Province and the financial crisis faced by the country. more..

Students demanding take over of unused outdoor section attacked & arrested

Sep 17 (LT) The demonstration carried out by students of Rajagiriya Institute of Indigenous Medicine opposite the Ministry at Nawinna demanding the take over of the out door patients section of Rajagiriya Institute of Indigenous Medicine that had been declared opened by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake last year but has not been used, has been attacked by police and dispersed. more..

Govt. decision denies salary increase to teachers

Sep 17 (LT) It has not been possible to implement the circular to increase the salaries of teachers that has been prepared by the Ministry of Education after a decision by the Supreme Court. This is due to the decision of the government not to increase salaries of state employees. This is in spite of the Treasury already allocating Rs.3000 million to increase the salaries of teachers after the judgment of the SC. more..

UN presses Sri Lanka to release IDPs

Disgruntled with 3 daughters, woman throws youngest into a fire

Sep 17 (CT) A woman, disgruntled with having three daughters in the family, had thrown the youngest, a three month old, to a fire and killed her. The incident has been reported from Pilapitiya in Peradeniya. The dead infant’s grandmother has told police that she had heard a crying from the back of the house and on inquiring, found it burning in a fire. The woman had thrown herself at the fire and more..

'Barbara Lochbihler had sent false report to EU'

Sep 17 (CT) It was European MP Barbara Lochbihler who had sent a false report to EU authorities in a conspiracy to stop the GSP Plus concession to Sri Lanka, ‘Divaina’ reports. Channel 4 of Britain too, had the same motive in broadcasting a fake video about Sri Lanka, said the newspaper in a report. Barbara and her husband, Sri Lankan Ranjith Hennayake, had grouped with pro-LTTE JDS and orchestrated the video. more..

SB not against common symbol for opposition alliance

Sep 17 (CT) Registering the proposed opposition alliance as a separate political party and using a common symbol would not be a problem if the opposition alliance is broadened further, National organizer of the UNP, S.B. Dissanayake said. Mr. Dissanayake was speaking at a press briefing at Nalandarama Temple, Nugegoda yesterday (Sep. 16) regarding 10 books written by him that will be launched on his birthday tomorrow. more..

Biriani, Arrack and Kassipu for Journalists

Sep 17 (LG) “Go to any police station in the evening. You will find several journalists there. They come on their way home, to have a drink of kassipu, from the stash that the police have collected from raids that day”, says Raju (a fictitious name adopted for security reasons), a life time civil society activist. They get not only kassipu, but also their news from the police. Let me give you an example. Two people are killed at a police station. more..

'Judiciary bar to foreign investments'

Sep 17 (Island) Leading businessman Harry Jayawardene yesterday said overseas investors would not be keen to invest in Sri Lanka due to the impact the judiciary could have on what he called business related matters. Jayawardene, the Honorary Counsel of Denmark, made this observation at a meeting called by Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama to discuss ways and means 31 Honorary Counsels could promote Sri Lanka. more..

Rahul Gandhi avoided land travelling during his southern India trip due to LTTE threat

Sep 17 (MoD) One reason All India Congress Committee Secretary Rahul Gandhi conducted his Southern India trip recently by costly air trips was the threat posed by the LTTE assassins, the Indian intelligence services have indicated. The Hindu newspaper said that the heir to the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty avoided land travelling and flew helicopters and fixed wing aircraft costing the party ten million Rupees was due to more..

Building bridges and healing wounds

Sep 17 (DN) We have emerged from the scourge of terrorism, and as we know, the other countries in the region too have had their share of similar problems. We have completed a very successful humanitarian operation to liberate certain parts of our country from the clutches of the terrorists and are faced with another major humanitarian problem. Today, we have a large number of internally displaced people. more..

CMC invites cooperation of school principals

Sep 17 (DN) In the effort to prevent infectious or vectorborne diseases like dengue, public awareness and consciousness of preventing mosquito breeding in the environment around homes and schools is vital. The spread of such diseases is caused by the carelessness of certain sections of society, but all should get together to eradicate the menace, Colombo Municipal Council Competent Authority Omar Kamil said yesterday. more..

Overseas employment: Less females migrate

Sep 17 (DN) A sharp drop in females migrating for employment as domestic workers abroad has been recorded, according to labour migration figures for the current year. Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Acting Addl. General Manager L. K. Ruhunage, said the number of females migrating abroad for employment as domestic aides had dropped to 47 per cent, according to available figures until the end of August. more..

'Curbing public sector corruption won’t be easy'

Sep 17 (Island) Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya on Tuesday told a press conference that the Rajapaksa government was trying to curb waste, corruption and irregularities in the public sector. The Kegalle District MP said that fighting corruption in the growing public sector was not an easy task. He was responding to The Island query whether damning findings made by two parliamentary watchdog committees, more..

Saving Dr. Saravanamuttu

Sep 17 (Island) Some 'concerned citizens and members of civil society organisations' have published an advertisement condemning 'death threats' to Dr. P. Saravanamuttu. They say, inter alia, "On August 20, 2009, he received a letter threatening him with death for allegedly passing information to the European Union which, the letter claims, will result in the GSP + plus facility being denied to Sri Lanka." more..

Ranil deplores Mahinda’s glaring incapacity to practice what he preaches

Sep 17 (UNP) It is a pity that President who should set an example in practicing what is preached by him, is on the contrary proving every step of the way that he is possessed of a deep rooted incapacity to practice what he preaches, said the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe when addressing a Gathering organized by the Civil Monitoring Commission (CMC) more..

'No patriot undermines his country at this moment '

Sep 17 (Island) "We are a nation making an attempt to recover after a destructive thirty-year war. No patriot at this moment will attempt to undermine the reputation or the economy of the country when the nation is trying to rejuvenate its economy under very difficult circumstances," Deputy Minister of Finance and Planning Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said at the opening of the new branch of the National Savings Bank in Kandy last week. more..

Person hired from private firm to Engineering Corporation for Rs.160,000 a month

Sep 17 (LT) A person has been employed on a monthly basis to the post of Deputy General Manager of the Engineering Corporation on a monthly salary of Rs.160,000. As a result of this appointing a person permanently for the post has been blocked. The corporation has hired this person, a personal friend of a senior official of the Engineering Corporation, from a private firm. more..

'West has no right to meddle in Sri Lanka'

Sep 17 (AD) The Western has no moral right to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, said Environment Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. These rich Western countries owe Sri Lanka for the damage they have already caused to the world’s environment, Minister Ranawaka added while addressing a gathering to mark International Ozone Day which fell yesterday (Sept. 16). more..

Chandrika and media freedom

Sep 17 (DM) One certainly runs a risk of receiving a big applause from the present regime and obliterating its encroachments on democracy if one ventures out to talk about democracy, especially media freedom under Chandrika Kumaratunga. However considering the remarks the former President made to Indian media during her recent visit to Kerala one is certainly tempted to make a few comments. more..

TNA turns to National Anthem

Sep 17 (DM) In a surprising development, the TNA has for the first time in its history played the National Anthem at the swearing-in ceremony of its members elected to the Vavuniya Urban Council. The TNA members were seen standing to attention and humming the National Anthem. Party leader R. Sampanthan administered the oaths to five TNA members including the chairman and the vice chairman, and the solitary SLMC member who pledged his support to the TNA and more..

Plea to protect Indian fishermen

Sep 17 (Hindu) Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to take immediate steps to protect fishermen from Tamil Nadu from the ‘on slaught’ of Sri Lankan Navy during the fishing operations. Mr. Thangkabalu said despite the Prime Minister brining it to the notice of Sri Lankan President in June last about the attack on the fishermen by the Lankan Navy, it had been continuing. more..

Butenis sworn in as new U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (USE) U.S. Ambassador Patricia Butenis presented her credentials as Ambassador to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka today to His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Patricia A. Butenis was nominated by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Ambassador to ri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives on May 27, 2009. She was confirmed by the Senate on August 4, 2009 and sworn in on August 19, 2009. more..

Diplomatic double dealing, thud and blunders

Sep 17 (DM) My dear Mahinda Ayya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes as the war glory – like all personal glory – fades away and Sri Lanka finds itself at a gory diplomatic dead-end with the international community’s most powerful sections including the United States and the European Union. The diplomatic mess and muddle is multi faceted – ranging from a vital economic issue like the extension of the GSP+ facility by the EU to the religious farce and more..

Donington school's friend murdered in Sri Lanka

Sep 17 (ST) Friends of a Sri Lankan man who inspired a legacy in Donington have spoken of their shock at his brutal murder. According to Sri Lankan news agencies, English tutor Harsha Lankajith was violently stabbed to death by a gang of four men posing as CID officers in Kurunegala last Tuesday while he conducted an English class at his home. Harsha had fostered strong links and made lifelong friends in Donington when more..

Resettling IDPs: keeping up the momentum

Let's help Sri Lanka win the peace

Sep 17 (G&M) It is now nearly four months since Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared the country “liberated” from the Tamil Tiger rebels after a 26-year war. He said then that he wanted to settle most of the displaced Tamil civilians within 180 days but, today, with 60 days to go, nearly 280,000 are still being – in the words of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights – “effectively detained under conditions of internment.” more..

Conflicting orders from AG’s department

Sep 17 (DM) Probably for the first time in the history of the much respected Attorney General’s Department, two contradictory orders by officers under one roof have created much confusion. The conflicting orders were with regard to an arrest and subsequent release of four directors of Ceylinco Shriram Ltd., against whom a magisterial inquiry is being conducted over an alleged cheating of Rs. 7 billion of depositors’ funds. more..

Sri Lanka expecting USD 100-mn FDI from India by end-December

Sep 17 (ET) Sri Lanka is expecting a foreign direct investment (FDI) from India to the tune of USD 100-million by end-December, a senior Lankan Government official said on Thursday. "We are targeting FDI worth USD 1,000-million by the end of this year (2009) and India's contribution this year is expected to be around USD 100-million," Sri Lanka's Minister of Investment Promotion, Navin Dissanayake, said here. more..

Sri Lanka happy to be Champions Trophy underdogs

Sep 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka are happy not to be among the favourites to win the Champions Trophy, their captain Kumar Sangakkara said on Thursday. Sri Lanka face South Africa, New Zealand and England in Group B, with only the hosts ranked above them in the ICC standings. But South Africa, India and Australia have been installed as favourites to win the second most important 50-over tournament on the cricket calendar. more..

'India committed to welfare of displaced Tamils in Lanka'

Sep 17 (PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said India is committed to working on a 'priority basis' for the relief and rehabilitation of internally displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka and New Delhi has conveyed its concerns on the issue to the island government in "no uncertain terms." "We fully share your concern for the welfare and well-being of the displaced Tamil population more..

UN official visits Sri Lanka refugee camps

Sep 17 (AFP) A top UN official toured camps holding thousands of war-displaced civilians in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, amid international concern over delays in resettling the refugees. UN under secretary general for political affairs Lynn Pascoe, who arrived here late Wednesday, travelled to the northwestern district of Mannar and was to visit the main internment camps in the adjoining district of Vavuniya. more..

Legitimate Tamil national grievances & Tamil homeland?

Sep 18 (LG) Within the Island Country identified as Sri Lanka the rhetoric about “Tamil grievances”, “Tamil homeland struggle”, “Tamil aspirations”, “Tamil language”, “Tamil rights”, “political solution for Tamils”, “Tamil devolution”, “Tamil national citizenship”, “13th Amendment for Tamil nationality”, are about total Tamilization. This heap of words are justifications of a Tamil country. Hence, is SL the Tamil national country? more..

Sri Lanka shipyard says war's end helps win new business

Sep 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Colombo Dockyard said it has won repair orders from an Indian tanker owner with the end of the 30-year ethnic war helping to attract new business. The listed shipbuilder said in a statement that Pratibha Shipping Co had sent two tankers for dry-docking repairs in mid-June and early July, soon after government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels in May. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions

Sep 18 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minister Maithripala Sirisena to sell 15,000 MT of Nadu variety of paddy belonged to the 'Maha' season of 2008/ 2009 now lying at Paddy Marketing Board stores and to fix selling price at Rs.33 per 1 Kg of paddy and effect the selling in the open market. Nearly 44,000 MT of paddy - Samba and Nadu purchased by the PMB during Maha season of 2008/2009 and Yala Season of 2009 have been stored as more..

Only country with school exams for IDP kids

Sep 18 (PRIU) Sri Lanka must be the only country in the world that conducted a public examination, the ‘O’ Levels, having provided teaching for this in preceding months even in the midst of conflict, and parents made sure that many children took the exam despite efforts by the LTTE to promote a boycott, said Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights Prof Rajiva Wijesinha. more..

'Resettlement is a systematic process'

Sep 18 (GDI) Clarifying the wide spread speculations that the Government is having a politically motivated objective to have civilians kept in the transitional centers in Vavuniya for an extended period of time, Minister Anura Yapa said that they were the people who came to the Government controlled areas seeking protection at the latter stages of the terrorist conflict and therefore such accusations were baseless. more..

Minister rejects Chandrika's claim of a 'Fear Psychosis'

Sep 18 (GDI) Media and Information Minister, Anura Priyadharshana Yapa today outrightly dismissed a claim by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga that a fear psychosis prevailed in Sri Lanka due to lack of freedom and that she felt insecure. Minister Yapa outlined in detail the security provided to the former President and added that she enjoyed a security contingent of over 80 security personnel. more..

'UNP is repeating the same lie over and again as Joseph Goebbels'

Sep 18 (GDI) Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said the UNP was engaged in a propaganda mission to discredit the country with the support of Mangala Samaraweera and Mano Ganeshan. He said, such conduct were not apparent character features of ‘statesmen’ adding that the parochial manner of the UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and so called other ‘leaders of the party’ has resulted in dragging the party into a political impediment and more..

State rice stock pile to be sold

Sep 18 (LBO) A lower grade government rice stock pile would be sold at 33 rupees a kilo, a government minister said, at time when the island's staple food is near last year's 'food crisis' level. "We have built up a 44,000 tonnes of buffer stocks, we are only selling 15,000 tonnes," minister Anura Yapa said. Though the price of rice and other foods has fallen in steeply over the past year in many countries Sri Lanka's rice prices more..

Canadian stuck in 'limbo' of Sri Lankan terror law

Sep 18 (NP) A Canadian has been detained in Sri Lanka for almost five months under the country's controversial anti-terrorism measures, the Canadian Tamil Congress said today. Ratnarajah Thusiyanthan, 35, was working as an IT consultant for a World Bank funded project in Colombo when he was arrested outside his office on April 29, the group said. Mr. Thusiyanthan, who immigrated from Sri Lanka in 1989 and returned there in 2002, more..

'Sri Lanka video needs impartial probe'

Sep 18 (AP) A U.N. rights expert called Thursday for an "independent and impartial investigation" into a video that purports to show Sri Lankan troops killing naked, blindfolded men during the recently ended civil war. Sri Lanka's government says four separate studies have concluded that the footage — released last month by a German-based group and shown on British television — was doctored. It denies government forces carried out extrajudicial killings during the war with the Tamil Tiger rebels. more..

'Sri Lanka re-detains released refugees'

Sep 18 (AP) Hundreds of Tamil war refugees the Sri Lankan government said it had released from military-run camps last week were simply moved to other detention centers, a lawmaker said Thursday. Mavai Senathiraja, a parliamentarian from the Tamil National Alliance, an opposition party representing ethnic Tamils, also alleged that thousands of others who were promised freedom remain in the camps. more..

Released refugees moved to new camps

Sep 18 (Reuters) At least half the 10,000 war refugees the Sri Lankan government said it sent home last week are still being held in transfer camps in their home districts, refugees and the government said on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the U.N.'s top political official toured several camps including Menik Farm, the largest in Sri Lanka. Most of the 265,000 people who fled fighting at the end of Sri Lanka's quarter-century civil war are being held there. more..

'21 Indian fishermen taken into custody by Lankan navy'

Sep 18 (PTI) Sri Lankan navalmen today took into custody 21 fishermen along with their five mechanised boats when they were fishing in the Palk Straits, a group of local fishermen here alleged today. The fishermen, who were part of a large group which put out to sea from here yesterday, complained to fisheries department officials that the Lankan naval personnel fired at their boats, causing panic. more..

Tamil political prisoners in Colombo on hunger strike

Sep 18 (TN) Tamil political prisoners arrested on suspicion under Emergency Regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act, languishing in Magazine Prison and Colombo Remand Prison for many years without being produced in the courts, launched a hunger strike from 6:00 a.m Thursday as their requests placed in previous hunger strikes had not been taken into consideration despite promises by legal authorities that their cases will be taken for trial in two months time, more..

Priests, youths look to combat suicide

Sep 18 (UCAN) Suicide is a problem in Sri Lanka, especially among young people, who raised money for as well as attended a recent program the cathedral parish in Colombo ran to address the issue. About 60 parishioners aged between 17 and 30 took part in the event, which youth counselors conducted at the cathedral's St. John Paul Centre. It included meditation and prayers as well as talks. Youths had raised 26,000 rupees (US$260) for the program by washing cars. more..

Sri Lanka expect top order to fire

Sep 18 (AFP) Sri Lanka will be looking forward to impressive contributions from top-order batsmen to make a big impact on the Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the tournament's last edition in India in 2006 and look keen to turn around things this time with an improved performance. Consistency is Sri Lanka's main problem. They were always considered unbeatable at home but more..

Is child malnutrition a challenge in Sri Lanka?

Sep 18 (AT) Malnutrition arises either from deficiencies or excesses of specific nutrients or from undiversified diets (wrong kinds or proportions of foods). Under nutrient is the outcome of insufficient food. It is caused primarily by an inadequate intake of dietary or food energy, says Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle of the Family Health Bureau. Of the total number of child mortality, 54% is associated with underweight. more..