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Ambassador Butenis

Sep 18 (AT) This probably is your first appointment to a Buddhist country. It would therefore be in your interest to know what sort of people the Buddhists are. Buddhists do not have a religion because the two basic pillars on which all religions stand are the belief in a God that created everything in the infinity of space and a soul that he has given to every human being. Buddhists do not recognize the existence of a God and the existence of a soul in each person created by the God. more..

Ravana International Chess Tournament in Colombo

Sep 18 (AT) The Blue and Gold Chess Club, an affiliate of the Chess Federation, is organizing the biggest Ravana International Chess Tournament 2009, a chess tournament ever held in Sri Lanka. is schedule to take place from the 12th to the 20th of September. This Ravana International Chess Tournament 2009 is poised to be on par with the most competitive open tournaments in the Asian circuit. more..

Vakarai Maha Vidyalayam in the East, constructed with the EU's grant

Sep 18 (AT) Vakarai Maha Vidyalayam, the newly constructed education facility will be the "pride of the East" as the most modern and technically advanced school complex in the Batticaloa District. Over 700 students from grades 1 – 13 will benefit from this largest primary and secondary school, which comprises of a fully equipped library, science, computer, vocational and technology laboratories, more..

Lanka woos investors from Kerala

Sep 18 (Hindu) The Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka, Mr Vadivel Krishnamoorthy, has called upon entrepreneurs in Kerala to invest individually or jointly in Sri Lanka. During a visit to the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry office here, he said the atmosphere in Sri Lanka is favourable for investment after the return of peace to the island-nation. The eastern part of Sri Lanka has remained unexploited during these years due to the calamity, more..

Losing the peace in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (Examiner) After Germany surrendered to the Allies in May 1945, Winston Churchill was promptly voted out of the prime ministry two months later. It was said of Churchill that he had "won the war but lost the peace." The same might be said of the government of Sri Lanka, which won a 26-year-long civil war in May against rebels from the Tamil minority, but is now apparently treating Tamil civilians displaced during the war as virtual prisoners, more..

Channel 4 fake video footage: At last the original has emerged

Sep 18 (AT) ‘Original’ of Channel 4 fake has just appeared on an internet portal. This video footage punctures all claims to originality, clearly, categorically. It establishes that footage has come from a video camera and not from a mobile phone camera, as it was initially presumed. No Sinhala words were spoken by the gunmen seen in the video. Sinhala was heard in the background though. more..

Sri Lanka to respond to EU Brussels next week; Defends GSP+ tax concessions

Sep 18 (AT) Hell-bent on retaining GSP+ tax relief, the Government will submit a report to the European Union in Brussels next week responding to its initial investigations. “The report prepared by the four member ministerial committee is ready to be submitted to Brussels EU office next week,” Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion Minister Sarath Amunugama told Asian Tribune today. more..

Indian agriculture team visiting Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (Hindu) A six-member Indian agriculture expert team led by S.P. Tiwari, Deputy Director General of Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), is on a four-day visit to the island nation. Its mission is to help the renewal of agriculture in Northern Sri Lanka as part of the Rs. 500 crore package announced by India for relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the three-lakh war displaced. more..

Withholding Water as Punishment on the East Coast?

Sep 18 (GV) If you look at Batticaloa District on a map, you’ll see that in a sense there are two Districts. The first is the coastal strip, where you find Batti, Kattankudy, Valachchenai, and other towns and villages. I’m only guessing, but it seems to me that some 90% of the Districts’ population lives in this narrow band of land. As you will see on your map, a long sinuous lagoon separates most of the coastal strip from the interior, which makes up the bulk of the District. more..

Delusions of (power) devolution: Searching post–Prapa possibilities

Sep 18 (GV) The elite based political debate in Sri Lanka once again appears to gravitate around the primordial issue of deciding the best mode of power-sharing between the centre and the periphery, primarily between the dominant majoritarian Sinhalas and the battle shamed minority Thamils. In a rather apolitical interventionist manner CPA has released an 800 page volume, a collection of related documents on the theme since 1926. more..

Lankan director plans Bollywood film with 'saleable' stars

Sep 18 (PTI) If things go according to his plan, maverick filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara may become the first Sri Lankan to direct a Bollywood movie. "I am exploring a mainstream Indian film that will have saleable stars and other commercial elements but will be made completely in my own style," says the Camera d'Or winner in Cannes for his debut film "A Forsaken Land" in 2005. "The screenplay is currently being developed and talks are on with a production company," more..

Unrule of law and manipulations by the Attorney General's Department

Sep 18 (AHRC) The Attorney General shocked the nation by making a request to the High Court of Colombo to withdraw an indictment against an accused charged with preparation of forged documents and misleading the CID. The court refused the application as there was no basis justifiable in law to grant this request. The accused, B.A. Abeyratne, the principal of a well known Colombo school was indicted in 2008. more..

Debrief News - 17.09.2009

SL embassy host traditional Ifthar

Sep 18 (SLE) Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya and the Embassy of Sri Lanka staff celebrated the traditional Ifthar (breaking of the fast) ceremony with the Muslim community recently. Ambassador, in brief remarks, said the Muslim community had a rich heritage of noble service and contributions to Sri Lanka. He underscored its important role in the past and future of Sri Lanka, describing the Muslim community as peacemakers in a diverse country. more..

'Fab' five batsmen to watch out for at Champions Trophy

Sep 18 (AFP) Tillakaratne Dilshan may not be a batting superstar in Sri Lanka's team like Sanath Jayasuriya or Kumar Sangakkara, but is one of most valuable players in all forms of the game. Sri Lanka's search for an explosive opening partner for Jayasuriya ended with the successful run of Dilshan, a middle-order batsman performing the new role remarkably well in Test, one-day and Twenty20 cricket this year. more..

Sri Lankans attend mass Iftar

Sep 18 (TP) Around 1,000 Sri Lankan Muslims in Qatar attended a mass Iftar yesterday at the Al Arabi Sports Club as part of Ramadan activities jointly hosted by the Ministry of Interior and the Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani Foundation. The event, organized by Sri Lankan Majlis-Qatar (SLMQ) mostly drew construction workers from several companies that responded to SLMQ’s invitation for the mass Iftar. more..

Champions Trophy team profile - Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (C365) The Sri Lankan ODI outfit has come a long way since their humble introduction into the limited-overs arena in 1975, and now boast one of the most all-round teams in world cricket today. Gone are the days when they relied too heavily on the performances of Arjuna Ranatunga and Aravinda de Silva, as is the period when Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas were the be all and end all of the bowling attack. more..

'War refugees impatient to leave camps'

Sep 18 (BN) Sri Lankan refugees held in camps since the defeat of Tamil Tiger rebels in May are “impatient” to return to their homes, Lynn Pascoe, the United Nations political chief, said after visiting centers in the north. “I saw some efforts under way to make areas suitable for resettlement,” Pascoe said, according to the UN. “I also met with people in the camps who want to leave and return to their homes, but cannot do so, and more..

Inscriptions of ancient and medieval Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (DN) The rock and stone inscriptions of Sri Lanka are contemporary records of events that took place long ago. The inscriptions date from 3rd century BC to 16th century AD. There is a continuous stream of them and they number in thousands. They are found all over Sri Lanka except Jaffna. Nearly 2000 inscriptions have been found for the period 100 AD - 400 AD alone. These provide valuable information on the history and society of the ancient and medieval period. more..

Mihin Lanka succeed hitting targets

Sep 18 (GDI) Mihin Lanka had succeeded in becoming a viable venture bringing its income to meet expenditure. Minister of Ports and Aviation Chamal Rajapaksa pointed out that the Government had been able to respond to charges made by political parties and groups that Mihin Lanka was continuously running at a loss. The Ministry of Ports and Aviation Services is confident that it would become a leading viable company in the future. more..

Secretary of Media Ministry, W.B. Ganegala assume duties

Sep 18 (GDI) W.B. Ganegala assumed duties as the new Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information at an official ceremony. President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 15th of this month appointed WB Ganegala as the Secretary to the Ministry of Media and Information. Prior to his new appointment back to the Media Ministry, Ganegala served as Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development. more..

Matara-Beliatta rail track to commence shortly

Sep 18 (GDI) The construction work of the first phase of the Matara-Kataragama railway line from Matara to Beliatta will commence shortly. The Chinese government will fund this project. The length of the stretch from Matara to Beliatta is 27 km, while the estimated cost for the first phase is Rs. 6,000 million, the Ministry of Transport revealed. Feasibility studies including geological investigation work have already been completed and more..

SLTB night services begin

Sep 18 (GDI) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) commenced its night service operations yesterday to benefit commuters at late hours. This service was intiated on a directive by President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the convenience of late night passengers. The official launching took place with the participation of Minister Dulles Alahapperuma 22 buses left for various destinations from the Central Bus Stand in Pettah at 10 pm on Wednesday. more..

Time for Parliament to defend the nation

Sep 18 (LG) In alerting the Parliament to oppose moves by western nations to harass Sri Lankan VIPs the Speaker, W.J.M. Lokubandara, has given leadership to a cause that has been without a voice for too long. His voice should be a warning to the foreign interventionists that Sri Lanka is not going to roll over and fawn at the feet of the Western bullies. His clarion call, should make the Big Brothers in the West aware that there are limits to stand over tactics. more..

A saline production plant with French funds

Sep 18 (GDI) A saline production plant is to be established in Sri Lanka with the objective of fulfilling the local requirements. France will extend financial aid amounting to 6.4 million euros. The proposed plant will help to save around 2.5 million US dollars, spent annually to import saline. The government of France has also agreed to provide concessionary credit of 9.5 million euros for an oxygen concentrator project. more..

More IDP children sit O/Ls

Sep 18 (MoD) Nearly 10,000 Vanni IDP children including 160 ex-child soldiers will sit for the GCE Ordinary Level examination in December, marking a significant increase in the number of candidates sitting this examination after clearing the area of LTTE rule. Last year there were only 6,671 candidates from the Vanni (Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts) the former stronghold of LTTE where most underage recruits were conscripted by the LTTE. more..

Plantation unions sign sell-out pay deal

Sep 18 (wsws) The Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), the Lanka Jathika Estate Workers Union (LJEWU) and the Joint Plantation Trade Union Committee (JPTUC) signed a sell-out pay deal on Wednesday with the Ceylon Employers Federation (CEF) that binds 500,000 tea, rubber and coconut plantation workers to a poverty-level wage of 405 rupees ($US3.50) for another two years. Having initially demanded a daily wage of 750 rupees, the CWC rapidly backed down. more..

'May an Olympic star be created from the North'

Sep 18 (MoD) It is with much pleasure that this message is issued at the opening ceremony of the Northern Province Sports Festival 2009 today (18) at the Duraiappah stadium, Jaffna which would be held for the next three days. This event is seen as the coming together of about 600 Sport Organizations representatives the Sinhala, the Tamil and the Muslim population in the Sporting arena. more..

UNHCR promises further assistance to Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (MoD) Antonio Gutteres, head of the United Nation's Refugee Agency promised Sri Lanka that the agency would further help the island nation in the process of caring and resettling the Internally Displaced Tamil civilians in the North. The United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees did this pledge when Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe met him for discussions in Geneva, Samarasinghe said. more..

Govt responds to Prof Philip Alston on Channel 4 video

Sep 18 (MoD) The Government welcomes the media statement issued on Thursday by Prof. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, in which he now acknowledges that the report which was shared with him by the Government leads him to the conclusion that "the views expressed do indeed raise several issues which warrant further investigation before it could reasonably be concluded that the video is authentic". more..

Sri Lanka - Personal Documents

'23 ministers hostile to President identified'

Sep 18 (LT) 23 ministers who have contradictory standpoint to that of the President have been identified by a survey secretly carried out by a group of prominent activists of NGOs who have links with the government through various programmes. Strangely, most of them are senior leaders of the SLFP, the main party of the UPFA government. It is speculated that most of them would join the opposition at a general or presidential election held in the future. more..

Porn stars to appear in public!

Sep 18 (LT) Colombo Additional Magistrate Ayesha Abdeen has ordered that photographs of persons who had appeared in a pornographic CD to be published in newspapers to seek public assistance to recognize them. Police Children and Women’s Bureau had submitted a report to court that they had identified several males and females willingly appearing in the pornographic CD and wanted their photographs published in news papers. more..

Prison guards assault hunger striking detainees in Colombo

Sep 18 (TN) At least 36 Tamil political prisoners who were part of a fast unto death hunger strike at the central jail in Welikada Colombo are alleged to have been severely assaulted by guards and jailers on early Friday, informed sources told TamilNet. 32 of the political prisoners who were being held in Cell Block G were transferred to the Block M, and some of them had sustained injuries in the episode, according to the sources. more..

New episode of ‘Karuna against Pilleyan’

Sep 18 (LT) Residents in Thirukovil have launched a ‘Harthal’ and a ‘death fast’ demanding the immediate removal of the newly established political office of the Chief Minister for Eastern PC Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pilleyan). The civilian life in the area was hindered by protestors getting shops, schools and government offices closed down in Thirukovil town yesterday. More than hundred people participated in the ‘death fast’ begun at 6.00 a.m. yesterday. more..

‘Telecom’ loses Rs.324 million in tender racket

Sep 18 (LT) Sri Lanka Telecom has incurred a huge loss of Rs.324 million due to an illegal tender racket when obtaining IP TV (Internet Protocol Television) communication technology. The tender relevant to this transaction has been awarded to GIT Ltd which is not a communication institution but a broker/agency company. As a result of the fraud in preparing receipt by the company for the relevant deal Customs has seized the equipment sent by the company. more..

Showers due to depression in atmosphere

Sep 18 (LP) The Department of Meteorology says that the reason for the rainy weather condition prevailing in the country is due to a depression in the lower atmosphere. Speaking to Lankapuvath Meteorologist D A Jayasinghaarachchi said that the rainy condition will continue in the Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces and Galle and Matara. He also said that some districts may experience thunder lighting and heavy showers. more..

Anarkali abandoned by those who gave false promises

Sep 18 (LNW) Actress and UPFA candidate at the Southern Provincial Council election, Anarkali Akarsha has said the promises made by the President, the First lady and Namal Rajapakse when she agreed to contest the election have not been honored and that she wa snow receiving death threats from President’s close aides. Anarkali, who is constantly facing death threats from fellow UPFA candidate and more..

Grapes cultivation in the North boosted under “Uthuru Wasanthaya”

Sep 18 (LP) The attention towards the grapes cultivation in the North is given priority under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya”. Grapes were destroyed during the LTTE era as the cultivators could not sell their stock but now cultivation of grapes is taking place in the North on a major scale. With the opening of A-9 road, a prosperous era has dawned for the farmers. The yields are now released to markets in the South. more..

This country is haunted by a Dracula Govt.- Mangala

Sep 18 (LeN) SLFP (M) leader and M.P. Mangala Samaraweera addressing the media said, this country is now ruled by a Dracula Govt. which is nourishing and flourishing on blood. Speaking at length on the Govt.’s resuming of the death sentence, he stated, this will never be implemented against the Govt. sponsored murderers. The govt. is trying to revive the death sentence While the country is raging with crimes in the country, more..

'UNP’s Exec. Presidency was a boon under its Presidents : now it is a monster’s affair'

Sep 18 (UNP) UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara said, the Late President J.R. Jaywardena introduced the Executive Presidency to be of benefit to the people and the country, and not for himself and his kith and kin to exploit it to build castles and palaces. The Executive Presidency under the UNP leaders brought progress and prosperity for the country. Now , these wide powers under it are being abused for selfish gains on people’s pains. more..

'Even peeping into the ‘King’ s Deniyaya palace built on people’s sweat, tears and toils is an offence'

Sep 18 (UNP) UNP Organizer for Baddegana and candidate for the forthcoming Southern provincial Council elections, Anada Lanerolle speaking to the media said, there is a Palace being built in Deniyaya at a colossal cost of Rs. 3000 lakhs, for a so called ‘King’, but anybody who dares to learn moreabout this ‘King’ s illicit construction in the public interest can run the risk of being arrested . more..

'JR was a President par excellence working only for country ; if a leader benefits his family not country he is a betrayer'

Sep 18 (UNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who was the chief guest at a ceremony organized by the UNP to mark the 103rd Birth anniversary of Late JR Jayawardena, the first Executive President of SL, extolled him for the benefits he conferred on the people and the country working unselfishly and untiringly for country’s progress and prosperity. more..

Leisure boat service at Beira Lake

Sep 18 (MoD) On directions of the Ministry of Defence, PD FLY Marine Institute has initiated a boat service providing general public with an opportunity of a boat ride at the Bere Lake. Chairperson of the Ministry of Defence SVU, Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest present at the occasion. The boat service was officially launched with the issue of the 1st ticket by Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa. 67.5 % revenue from sales of each ticket will be credited to the Api Wenuven Api Fund. more..

Dayasiri back to Working Committee

Sep 18 (LNP) The UNP MP for the Kurunegala district has decided to participate in the Party s Working Committee (WC) meetings hereafter withdrawing his resignation from it over some internal issues. Mr. Dayasiri Jayasekara told Daily Mirror yesterday that he had decided to participate in the WC meetings after the party leadership requested him not to resign from it. I will attend the next meeting and work for the good of the party, he said. more..

Mangy against death sentence

Sep 18 (LNP) SLFP (Mahajana Wing) leader Mangala Samaraweera, MP, yesterday said his party was strongly opposed to the re-implementation of the death sentence. Most countries in the world had done away with the death sentence since they refused to be convinced that it could appropriately deal with underworld crimes, he said. 'If it is reintroduced, the Government would use it to hang those who raise their voice against it,' Samaraweera said. more..

Deccan Aviation Lanka to invest $1m on new aircraft

Sep 18 (LNP) Deccan Aviation Lanka will invest one million US Dollars on a new aircraft to transport domestic travellers, corporate clients and foreign tourists. The new aircraft is due in Sri Lanka by the end of this year with all related infrastructure. It will be the lowest in the company s price list meeting the Government s requirement for a low cost domestic air transport operation. more..

Anagarika Dharmapala an excellent example of Asian Buddhist modernist

Sep 18 (DN) Dharmapala was born to a rich aristocratic family of Southern Sri Lanka on September 17, 1864. His parents were Mudliyar Don Carolis Hewavitharana and Mallika Dharmagunawardhana. Sri Lanka was then a British colony known as Ceylon, so Hewavitarana’s state education was an English one: he attended Christian College, Kotte and the Colombo Academy, now known as Royal College. more..

The sad plight of the child domestic worker

Sep 18 (DN) There is a serious shortage of in-depth research about the children in domestic work in Sri Lanka. A number of reasons could be attributed for this situation. First, almost every child domestic worker is employed in a dependent capacity in different households. As a group, they are invisible and difficult to reach and to count. Secondly, job arrangements are informal and are made between the child's parents, or an intermediary, and the employer. more..

'Possibility of settlement through apology'

Sep 18 (DM) When the rights violation petitions filed by Ms. Rosy Senanayake and Anuradhapura Parliamentarian Ms. Chandrani Bandara against the Bambalapitiya Police Officer in Charge Upul Seneviratne came up before the Supreme Court yesterday, Counsel of both parties informed court that there was a possibility of settlement by way of tendering apology to the Petitioners. The Bench listed the matter for hearing on November 27. more..