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Imagining Peace: Colombo Art Biennale

Grand Alliance for presidential polls

Sep 22 (LNP) As part of the on-going efforts to form a grand alliance of Opposition parties to contest the next Presidential election, SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem has commenced separate discussions with TNA leader R. Sampanthan. He also invited the leader of the Democratic People s Front, Mano Ganeshan MP for talks. According to UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, already nine rounds of talks have been held on forming a grand alliance. more..

Colombo Book Fair best in 11 years

Sep 22 (LNP) The response to the Colombo International Book Fair 2009 is fantastic and this is the best year in its 11-year history. There were over 250,000 visitors to the Fair in the first two days, said Vijitha Yapa, General Manager Lakshman Siriwardhana. Over 80-90 percent of the visitors at the Fair were buyers and the crowds patronized every single stall at the Fair. There were 400 stalls, he said. more..

Beauty and the beast (A story from Galle)

Sep 22 (LNP) Among the monsters the 1978 Constitution has created are the executive presidency and the preferential vote or manape. The latter is the mother of all battles at general, provincial and local government elections which are usually turned into dogfights by candidates jousting for manape. The only political party that is free from the manape dogfight is the JVP, whose candidates do not promote themselves. more..

Controlling errant job agencies: More strict laws soon

Sep 22 (DN) In a bid to curb illegal acts perpetrated by both legal and rogue overseas job agents, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is seeking sweeping powers including permission to arrest without warrant any person violating regulations. These powers are sought under the proposed amendments to the SLBFE Act, which are to be presented in Parliament shortly. more..

I did not do anything to offend the government- Dayan

Sep 22 (LG) Former Ambassador/ Permanent Representative to Geneva, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka spoke to the Daily Mirror about the controversial removal from his post, the allegations of violations of human rights levelled against Sri Lanka, the country’s foreign relations and winning what he calls the “legitimacy war.” Excerpts from the interview: more..

The future of Vanniyaletto community

Sep 22 (DN) The ongoing social change cannot be reversed. It also cannot be stopped. But this change should not be a cultural and ethical invasion in disguise. The vanniyaletto community is experiencing a drastic social change. The speed of this drastic social, economic, and cultural change has intensified the threat that the vanniyaletto community being chased away from their native Vanniyaletto leading a life bound with nature. more..

Rice flour bread soon

Sep 22 (DN) Bread made out of wheat flour will be replaced soon by popularizing bread made out of rice to save foreign exchange and take the country forward, Chairman Maubima Lanka Foundation, Ariyaseela Wickramanayake told Daily News Business. He said that a Japanese team will arrive in Sri Lanka on September 25 and demonstrate how to make better quality bread out of rice flour using new technology which could be sold at a lower price. more..

SPC polls will results will strengthen President’s hand – Susil

Sep 22 (Island) Commenting on the forthcoming Southern Provincial Council elections, Minister Susil Premjayanth said that election results would send a strong message to all those who conspire with foreign elements to destabilize the Government. The Southern voters, he said, would further strengthen the hands of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He also said the fact that more and more UNP and JVP supporters pledging their support to the UPFA was more..

Lawyer, wife allowed bail in student assault case

Sep 22 (Island) Balapitiya Magistrate Ajith Masinghe released a lawyer and his wife on personnel bail of Rs. 15,000 each, when the couple surrendered to the Court through their lawyer Samantha Abrew. It was alleged that the attorney-at-Law, who resides in Ambalangoda, had assaulted a Grade 12 student of Devananda MV after taking him to his (lawyer’s) house. He had later dropped the student at Randobe. more..

Suspension on leasing out state lands lifted

Sep 22 (Island) Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga said the leasing of State land which had been suspended for the past few months was lifted following a directive from President. "The President has instructed now that the whole country has been liberated it was time to carry out a complete survey of the country under the Bim Saviya Programme including the North and the East to ensure that every inch of land was made use of productively more..

Provincial imbalance and inclusive development

Sep 22 (Island) Each country strives to acquire an improved level of development overseen by its governments, whether elected democratically or otherwise. The pursuance of public policy has been to promote higher rates of economic growth as the means of facilitating the goals of development. In this regard, Sri Lanka has been no exception. Its outcome has been the rates of growth as shown in Figure 1. more..

'President alleges Int. conspiracy but fears to face UN and debate on it'

Sep 22 (UNP) The President and his moribund Govt. have a lame excuse for each season to defend their incompetence and misdeeds, said UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella. During the war, anyone who exposed Govt. corruption and maladministration was labeled as a terrorist. Now, when exposures of the obnoxious actions of the Govt. are made, it calls the Opposition as hatching a conspiracy or it is part of an international conspiracy. more..

The Art of Politics and the Galle saga

Sep 22 (DM) Given a chance, half of the people in any nation would say that they want to be the president of their respective countries. However, an overwhelming majority branch out to other fields half way through their lives due to a variety of reasons. Many start loathing politics, while quite a few others develop insecurity complexes and think they are incompetent to be leaders. more..

New criteria for appointment of JPs

Sep 22 (DM) The Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms has prepared a new criteria on appointing island wide Justices of Peace (JP) to prevent persons with unsound character and criminal background from being appointed to the posts. Deputy Minister of Justice and Law Reforms V. Puthirasigamony told Daily Mirror that the new criteria would be implemented from November 1 aiming to provide an honest and effective service from the JPs. more..

Mano against amnesty for senior LTTE cadres

Sep 22 (DM) DPF Leader Mano Ganeshan MP, yesterday, criticised the granting of amnesty to senior LTTE cadres while suspected LTTE cadres were still being held in detention camps despite many years of incarceration. He was referring to the release of Daya Master and George Master by the government recently. “Discriminatory policies of the government in providing amnesty and judicial bail to a selected few is not acceptable as more..

Rajiv Gandhi assassins continue protest fast

Sep 22 (IANS) S. Nalini and Robert Payas, in prison for the 1991 killing of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Tuesday continued their fast demanding their immediate release. While Nalini began her protest at the Vellore jail Monday, Payas has been on hunger strike since Sep 17. Vellore is 130 km from Chennai. Both Indians are undergoing life imprisonment for Gandhi's assassination and more..

A New Home for the Old

CID probes bogus Hikka Festival photos

Sep 22 (LNP) The Criminal Investigation Department conducting investigations into the dispatch of a false e-mail discrediting the tourism promotion program in Hikkaduwa, has arrested four suspects connected to this false e-mail campaign, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Nimal Mediwaka said yesterday. A CID team led by IP Senaratne under the supervision of DIG Nandana Munasinghe commenced investigations into the incident more..

Send MPs to study Sri Lanka refugee crisis, PM and Sonia told

Sep 22 (IANS) A group of cabinet ministers and MPs from Tamil Nadu Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to send a team to Sri Lanka where they said the military was 'mistreating' Tamils displaced by the war and interned in camps. A group of cabinet ministers and MPs from Tamil Nadu Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to send a team to Sri Lanka where more..

IMF warns Sri Lanka over borrowing

Sep 22 (AFP) The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday warned Sri Lanka against building foreign currency reserves by borrowing from foreign investors. Sri Lanka's central bank announced this month that foreign reserves hit a historic high of four billion dollars, sufficient to cover over four months of imports. "We don't want Sri Lanka to borrow its way to build reserves," head of the IMF mission to Sri Lanka, Brian Aitken told reporters more..

Sri Lanka economic revival better than expected: IMF

Sep 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's economic revival is better than originally expected when the International Monetary Fund approved a stand by loan, and tax revenues are improving, a review mission said in Colombo. The IMF was originally expecting 3.0 percent growth for the island for 2009 but has revised it up to 3.5 percent. "Things are on the upside, the economy is bottoming out," IMF mission chief Brian Aitken said. more..

Archbishop appeals to EU to continue trade privileges

Sep 22 (UCAN) The archbishop of Colombo has urged the European Union (EU) to continue giving special trade concessions to Sri Lanka. "I appeal to our friends in the European Community to help us bring about true peace and justice to all our citizens by continuing to accord the GSP Plus facility and all other possible assistance to the country," Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith said in a press statement. more..

Sri Lankan Tamils suffer silently in refugee camps

Sep 23 (Hindu) Sri Lankan Tamils living in a refugee camp at Koodal Nagar here seem to be silently suffering because of lack of basic amenities. The height of their woes is their dilemma of whether they could demand those facilities or not. Though living in a condition that calls for immediate intervention of district administration, the families seem to be afraid of coming out in the open to ask the authorities for providing the amenities. more..

The HOPE in Sri Lanka after war

Sep 23 (GV) “Where is the hope?” is a question that the writer encountered quite a few times when she asked people to pose with the HOPE board. The culture of impunity prevalent in post-war Sri Lanka paints a rather depressing picture of a country that has lost the ability to hope. Human rights continue to be violated, there is an upsurge in criminal activity, media freedom is severely restricted and more..

'Sri Lanka lawmakers fiscally clueless'

Sep 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka's parliament lacked a permanent fiscal affairs committee paving the way for "mythical" budgets and lawmakers lacked capacity and research to constructively probe public spending and bodies, a legal activist has said. Senior lawyer J C Weliamuna said Sri Lanka's "mythical" budgets which go wide off the mark, are being tolerated due to lack of proper oversight. more..

President opens Vakarai Maha Vidyalaya

Sep 23 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday declared open the reconstructed Vakarai Maha Vidyalaya in Batticaloa district which has all the modern facilities. The school was destroyed in the 2004 tsunami. The school was reconstructed at a cost of Rs. 300 million which was funded by the European Union granting its financial aid through International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. more..

13th Amendment Revisited

Sep 23 (LG) On 25 August 2009 I attended the launch of Prof. Lakshman Marasinghe’s latest book titled ‘Provincial Governor – Rights and Duties under the 13th Amendment’. On that occasion, an assessment of the 13th Amendment was made by Mr. V. Anandasangaree, Hon. Rauff Hakeem, Mr. Manohara de Silva PC and my erstwhile university colleague and friend Rohan Edirisinghe. They are all experts in the field and more..

Dilshan and Jayawardene lead SL to 319

Sep 23 (CI) Graeme Smith's decision to field in the Champions Trophy opener backfired and the world was again witness to why South Africa's ability in major tournaments has long been questioned. A promising start by Dale Steyn swiftly dissipated into a run-fest in Centurion as Tillakaratne Dilshan set the tone with an exceptional century and Mahela Jayawardene ensured Sri Lanka didn't lose steam after a double blow. more..

Debrief News - 22.09.2009

Is occupational stress a risk?

Sep 23 (AT) Occupational stress constitutes a large proportion of the overall stress response, since over 75% of non-sleeping time in adults is devoted to job activities, a cross sectional survey done by 3 doctors, in the Colombo District in Sri Lanka, among 366 middle level managers between 20-59 years with one or more years of service as middle level managers serving in domestic commercial banks by using two indices i.e. high job strain and iso-strain more..

Indoor particulate matter levels in all measured locations were higher

Sep 23 (AT) The indoor particulate matter levels of secondhand smoke in Sri Lanka have found to be higher in all measured locations or were more than or equal to values reported in other countries, Dr. Y.L.S. Nandasena of the National Institute of Health Sciences, revealed through a study done to determine the particulate matter concentrations to evaluate secondhand smoke levels at public places. more..

Has Britain being sponsoring terror too?

Sep 23 (AT) Natural resources & energy in particular are reasons why superpower nations are in competition for ownership. Unfortunately, these natural resources are found in countries where presently plenty of strife exists in different forms largely created by impregnated strife to facilitate the entry of these superpower nations under missions that are referred to as “humanitarian”. more..

UPFA minister abducts two JVP supporters

Sep 23 (LT) Two supporters of the JVP engaged in propaganda campaign for the Southern PC election have been abducted by a gang of thugs of a powerful minister of the UPFA states the media unit of the JVP. Manjula and Devapriya, the two supporters of the JVP who had been pasting posters announcing an election meeting to be held tomorrow (23rd), were abducted by the minister’s gang at the Katuwewa bridge near Hambantota town. more..

"IDPs can't wait " - Indian MPs

Sep 23 (BBC) Internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sri Lanka can not wait over non-availability of resources, says a group of Congress Party MPs in India. The IDPS have to be resettled in their homes before the coming monsoon; they told the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when they met him on Tuesday. They discussed the IDPs issue in Sri Lanka as well as Indian fishermen who are in the custody of Sri Lanka authorities. more..

Sri Lanka denies firing at Indian fishermen

Sep 23 (Hindu) The Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) on Tuesday refuted charges by Indian fisherman that its personnel had opened fire on at least four Indian boats off the Kottaipattinam coast in India early on Tuesday morning. “We have no involvement in this as the area falls within the territorial waters of India. The SLN only patrols within the waters of Sri Lanka and we have received no reports of this matter,” SLN spokesperson D.K.P Dassanayake said. more..

Sri Lanka drub South Africa in Trophy opener

Sep 23 (CI) Led by a blazing century from Tillakaratne Dilshan and a brace of cameos, the world's No. 5 team started their Champions Trophy campaign in fine style by beating the top-ranked side. Graeme Smith's decision to field was based on the amount of dew around, but bar Dale Steyn none of the bowlers made an impression in the afternoon. more..

Are we witnessing the local version of George Orwell's "1984"?

Sep 23 (LNW) In 1949, the English author, George Orwell published “1984”, a novel destined to become the classic dystopian novel of the 20th centaury. The story set in a future England, was according to the author “intended as a show- up of the perversions which have already been partly realized in Communism and Fascism” as experienced in Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. more..

Issue of IDPs remain under spotlight

Sep 23 (BL) I wish to return to the topic of resettlement of the IDP in Vanni camps because it has become an issue with the Sri Lankan Tamils, the international community and India. The issues and reactions thereto, are kaleidoscopic. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had sent his Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe to assess the situation in the camps, and India has requested the resettlement process be expedited. more..

Gold reserve issue goes to Parliament

Sep 23 (BL) Parliament yesterday decided that a full day debate would be held on the gold reserve issue. The UNP raised questions regarding the alleged sale of gold reserves and requested parliament to hold a day long debate on the matter. UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe made the request following a denial by Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya on the incident and insisted that the full matter be disclosed to Parliament. more..

Relief at last for GK depositors

Sep 23 (BL) The Supreme Court yesterday accepted a repayment plan for depositors of the Golden Key Company which collapsed last year. The decision which comes after months of discussions where several proposals were brought forward and discarded will provide 75% of the money to 3863 depositors within three months and the rest in various time frames. The repayment plan will be effective from October 13. more..

'New wage will cost Rs. 6 b for RPCs'

Sep 23 (BL) The Planters Association is estimating that the new wage in the estate sector will cost private sector a staggering Rs. 6 billion. Speaking of the hot topic of wage negotiations at the Annual General Meeting of The Planters’ Association last Friday, its Chairman, Dhamitha Perera highlighted that the new wage structure would mean an additional cost of Rs. 6 billion for the Regional Plantation Companies. more..

Peep into the democracy of Sri Lanka through Southern Provincial Council election

Sep 23 (LP) The Southern Provincial Council election is providing the world a panoramic window to peep into the state of the democracy in Sri Lanka. These days, a candidate of the ruling SLFP led by President Mahinda Rajapakse is hitting headlines. The candidate, Nishantha Muthuhettigama is seeking representation from Galle district vowing to be the next Chief Minister of the Provincial Council by hook or by crook. more..

Hotel Dolphin

Global downturn hampers Sri Lanka's peace dividend

Sep 23 (AP) The end to Sri Lanka's quarter century civil war brought hope that prosperity might soon take root on this nearly bankrupt island nation. Now the global economic downturn is threatening Sri Lanka's recovery, which analysts say is a crucial part of securing a lasting peace. While investor interest has grown since May, when government troops quashed the Tamil Tigers' separatist rebellion, actual investment has not. more..

Political motive behind bringing Vavuniyaa IDPs to the islets of Jaffna

Sep 23 (TN) Sri Lanka government has political motives in detaining afresh the IDPs held in the internment camps in Vavuniyaa, in the islets of Jaffna in new camps under the control of Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), so that these IDPs could be made to vote for it in the general election next year, civil society sources in Jaffna said. Already around 1500 IDPs have been brought to the SLN camps in the islets of Jaffna in two stages and more..

Record Maha harvest of paddy

Sep 23 (GDI) A record harvest of paddy exceeding 42.25 million tons the highest ever reaped from any part of the country, was harvested during the last Maha season from the Mahaweli Zones, Director of Agriculture of the Mahaweli Authority M. S. Dayaratne said. Accordingly this highest ever harvest was attributed to the modern technologies used in cultivation and knowledge imparted to farmers. more..

Dengue Control Week active

Sep 23 (GDI) The Dengue Control Week commenced yesterday (22). The Health Ministry launched several educational programmes iparallel to mark this event. Minister of Health and Nutrition, Nimal Siripala De Silva said the private sector and the ordinary citizens should display more interest in eradicating this menace. He urged the public to study the dangers posed by dengue fever where over 250 lives were claimed within a short period of nine months this year. more..

More crowds at Colombo International Book Fair

Sep 23 (GDI) The road leading to the historic BMICH in Colombo looks crowded with people from all ages flocking to purchase books from the ongoing Colombo International Book on till September 27. Secretary the Book Publishers Association, Upali Wanigasuriya, hilself an author of many popular books claimed record 400,000 visitors have flocked the venue from day one which began on Saturday. more..

Jumbo move to promote ‘Sri Lanka Tourism’ at international level

Sep 23 (GDI) As a part of its effort to consolidate a strong growth in tourist arrivals from countries like Russia, China, Middle Eastern countries and India, Ministry of Tourism has put up fresh plans to promote Sri Lanka as a grand tourist destination at the internal level. Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, A.D. George said that the Government will spend Rs. 700 million for this mega promotional campaign. more..