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'NIC mandatory for voting'

Sep 23 (GDI) Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dishayanaye has reiterated the need to consolidate the identity of the voters at the Southern polls. He said that all voters should prove their identity in exercising the franchise on the 10th of next month. An identity issued by the Department for the Registration of Persons, a valid passport, a driving license, a pensioner’s ID, an elders ID or more..

Thunder showers to continue

Sep 23 (GDI) The Meteorology Department predicted showers and thunder showers from time to time in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, Central and North Western provinces and in Galle and Matara Districts. The showers would develop at several places elsewhere during the afternoon or evening. It also warned of localized strong winds accompanied with thunder showers and the public were requested to take adequate precautions to minimize the damage caused by lightning. more..

Sudden visit by Navy Commander to Anuradhapura Housing Schemes

Sep 23 (LP) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe made a sudden visit to SLNS Pandukabhaya in Medawachchiya on the 20th of September in order to inspect the security arrangements and base facilities. He held discussions with the base officials and looked into the welfare measures being implemented for the benefit of the Naval personnel attached to the Naval base. more..

'More privileges for public servants'

Sep 23 (LP) Minister Dr.Sarath Amunugama said necessary measures have been taken through the circular 2006/6 to grant the privileges of the public servants. Replying to a query raised by member Anura Kumara Dissanayake in parliament today, the minister further said that solutions will be found to the problems of the state employees through constant dialogue with the trade unions. more..

Northern Province sports festival concludes

Sep 23 (MoD) "Northern Province Sports Festival is only a start. We are expected to organize this event next year in a grand level. After about15 years, with the elimination of terrorism under the leadership of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the sports loving people of Jaffna, especially the athletes are able to show their prowess in athletics. The new move is to enable the youth population to enhance their sport capabilities", more..

Japanese help for welfare centres

Sep 23 (LP) The Japanese Government will provide assistance for the provision of drinking water supply equipment and a septet treatment plant to welfare centres for IDPs in the Northern Province. Japanese Ambassador Kunio Takahashi handed over the Note Verbal to Minister A.L.M. Athaullah. The Project which has materialized consequent to a request made by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board to the Japanese Embassy on more..

No quick, clean end to Sri Lanka's war

Sep 23 (UPI) Sri Lanka’s final face-to-face war with the LTTE ended more than four months ago in the north of the country. The decimation of the LTTE leadership led to expectations that a new era of freedom of movement and respect for human rights would dawn. But the reality is otherwise, as government leaders fear that the remaining LTTE cadres may launch terror attacks. This apprehension has been repeatedly stated by defense spokespersons, and more..

Chief Ministers resolve to go to courts

Sep 23 (PSM) Chief Ministers have decided to go to courts when powers devolved under the 13th amendment are not granted to the provincial councils or if any interference is made when implementing the devolved powers by anybody. This was disclosed by the Chief Minister of the Central Province Mr. Sarath Ekanayaka at a meeting held at the Provincial Council Auditorium in Pallekelle, Kandy. more..

Police training vital - IGP

Sep 23 (LNP) The training course for Police personnel in respect of conducting proceedings before courts is of paramount importance to trace the suspects who had committed crimes and evading arrest, said IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne. IGP Jayantha Wickremaratne distributed certificates to over 35 police personnel from the Western Province who had successfully completed the Prosecution Certificate Course more..

India Again

Sep 23 (AT) After a brief lull Sonia Gandhi has decided to continue the Indira Gandhi dynasty through her son who cannot even speak properly in public but had the audacity to give us orders. He was given a full dose of what he deserves by patriot Stanley Perera. We cannot forget the fact that it was Indira Gandhi who created the LTTE by training them and equipping them in India to make use of them to annex Sri Lanka. It all misfired. more..

Sacked Lake House workers dash coconuts cursing the Chairman outside the institution

Sep 23 (LNW) Seven Lake House employees from the transport division, who were sacked by Chairman, Bandula Padmakumara for their involvement in trade union activities on Tuesday dashed coconuts outside the institution cursing the chairman. Police officers had to remove the seven employees who managed to create quite a stir inside and outside Lake House. Employees of the transport division started to protest against more..

President takes over Anura Yapa’s powers after re-appointing Ganegala as Media Secretary

Sep 23 (LNW) Media Ministry sources say the President’s move to re-appoint W.B. Ganegala as the Media Ministry Secretary after removing him when Anura Priyadarshana Yapa took over as Media Minister, is to take over the remaining powers vested with Anura Yapa. The decision to appoint Ganegala to the post after removing former secretary, A. Dissanayake, who is also a close friend of Anura Yapa, was taken without informing the Media Minister. more..

Lanka’s post war economic outlook improved, but ‘remains fraught’ –ADB

Sep 23 (AT) The end of the quarter century war helped improve Sri Lanka’s economy. But the current economic condition ‘remains fraught’ due to external trade imbalances and large post-conflict reconstruction costs, according to a review by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Thursday. ADB made these observations in a major new report Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2009 released Thursday 22. more..

Budget on schedule - Govt.

Sep 23 (LNP) Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya yesterday told Parliament that the Government was preparing to present the Budget in Parliament on schedule. The Appropriation Bill would be presented before the Houses in October and the second reading of the budget will take place in November and the dates too had been fixed, he said. However, the Minister did not confirm or deny media reports that more..

I know how to respect leaders – Anarkali

Sep 23 (LT) She knew how to respect senior members of the party and she would always depend on their advice and guidance says Anarkali Akarsha, UPFA candidate for the Southern PC election from Galle District. Speaking to a daily newspaper Anarkali had said as a young person who had entered politics it would be difficult for her to go on a long journey without the assistance of the seniors. more..

IMF to open office in Colombo

Sep 23 (LT) IMF will re-open its office in Colombo in October to keep a close watch on its lending programme said head of the IMF mission to Sri Lanka, Brian Aitken at a media meeting held on the 21st. The IMF is re-opening its office after it shut down its office in January 2007 when there was no lending to the island. However, the head of IMF mission warned Sri Lanka against building foreign currency reserves by borrowing from foreign investors. more..

Two LTTE women cadres arrested – One commits suicide

Sep 23 (LT) Two women suspected cadres of the LTTE have been arrested in an operation jointly carried out by a special unit from Galle Police and Vavuniya Police. The two women are suspected of being LTTE suicide cadres and it has been revealed that they are members of an NGO active in Sri Lanka. One of the women committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule soon after she was arrested yesterday. more..

Supreme court grants leave to proceed

Sep 23 (LNP) The Supreme Court yesterday granted leave to proceed with the rights violation petition filed by Nipuna Ramanayake a Malabe SLIIT undergraduate against the Colombo Crimes Division officers, its former Director Vas Gunawardena, his wife and son. The Bench granted leave to proceed on the alleged infringement of the fundamental right to the freedom from torture, the freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention of Nipuna Ramanayake. more..

'Even Ministers startled over ‘Maga neguma’ swindles under President'

Sep 23 (UNP) UNP M.P. Dayasiri Jayasekara speaking to the media today (23), at the UNP media unit, said the ‘Maga neguma’ project to which Directors and Chairman are appointed by the President and is part of the Highways development authority has created a record for its frauds by not paying VAT, non payment of EPF and ETF to staff and annual payments due to Central Bank. more..

Bring down unjustifiably increased bus fares - JVP

Sep 23 (LT) The JVP has called upon the government to take immediate measures to lower the bus fares as the ratio of the increase is more than what the government had announced and stating it was an unjustifiable increase for the masses who are already burdened by the excessive taxes. This is stated in a press statement issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP. Bring down immediately bus fares increased unjustifiably! more..

Threats from headless Tigers

Sep 23 (LNP) The government is in an unenviable position. It is under international pressure to do away with anti-terror laws and extraordinary security arrangements in the post-war period. At the same time, the peace lobby claims the LTTE threat is not yet over and devolution is the only way to bring about a lasting solution. Some members of the government are also complacent about the security situation. They seem to think that the war is over and everything hunky-dory. more..

A comprehensive action plan for Uva province

Sep 23 (DN) There is a possibility to bestow a physically and mentally healthy generation to the country by assuring a high quality service that would result from a health sector armed in physical and human resources. Several problems related to the health sector have been solved by now. In general, matters regarding primary healthcare are still prevalent. We should take immediate action to reduce further spread of diseases in the province. more..

First review of IMF Stand-By Arrangement

Sep 23 (DN) The economic performance has improved since July. There is a steady inflow to the bond market and foreign investments to the country. Sri Lanka’s economy is showing signs of bottoming off. We are positive about the outlook and performance, said Head of IMF Mission Dr. Brian Aitken. The Government and the IMF have agreed on milestones and achieving targets. Recent economic developments have been stronger than expected. more..

Rampaging Muthuhettigama further remanded, referred to psychiatrist

Sep 23 (Island) The UPFA Galle district candidate for the Southern Provincial Council elections and SLFP Akmeemana Organiser Nishantha Muthuhettigama was further remanded yesterday till September 28 when produced before Galle Chief Magistrate. The Magistrate also directed the prison authorities to produce him before a psychiatrist through the prisons medical officer and submit a report to Court on his mental condition. more..

Heavy tax for imported wheat flour - Minister

Sep 23 (DN) Minister Bandula Gunawardane told Parliament yesterday the quantity of wheat flour required for the annual consumption of the country is 850,000 metric tonnes. According to the data available in 2008, 99 per cent of wheat has been imported as grain. Therefore, it is obvious that almost the total flour requirement is produced locally, he said. The Minister said taxes are levied for flour that is imported to this country. more..

Alcohol consumption, production decrease

Sep 23 (DN) The consumption and production of alcohol had decreased by 9.5 percent and 9.42 percent respectively compared to 2007 and it was a clear indication that the Mathata Thitha policy program of the Mahinda Chinthana was in progress not only by increasing the direct taxes but also other disincentives contributing to the reduction in the consumption and production, State Revenue Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said more..

Former CJ sued for Rs. 10 million

Sep 23 (DM) A civil suit was filed in the District Court of Colombo yesterday against former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, complaining that he had abused his powers and worked off a personal grudge in his capacity as Chief Justice. Citing Sarath N. Silva of Gregory’s Road, Colombo 7 as the defendant, plaintiff B. K. A. Pathmasiri Balasuriya of Bahirawakanda, Kandy filed this action. more..

Postscript on IMF Loan

Sep 23 (Island) Was the IMF loan really necessary? There is no doubt that when the IMF loan discussions were initiated in the fourth quarter of 2008, the economy, on the face of it, seemed to be in a terrible shape. The Government (and the country) had caught a strain of the American disease of living beyond the means available and piling up huge local and foreign debt. The distress was compounded by the onset of the global economic crisis. more..

Sarath Amunugama at CPS AGM: Talk to us we will listen

Sep 23 (Island) Newer technology has taken over from our traditional agriculture based economy. Tourism, telecommunications, and other service sector applications have now overshot our agriculture based economy which was in existence. Contemporary trends overtook agriculture and reversed benefits that existed at that time. Said minister of Finance, and Public Administration and home Affairs, Dr. Sarath Amunugama. more..

Ceylinco Shriram to pay investors within 45 months

Sep 23 (Island) Ceylinco Shriram intends to pay the full amount outstanding to each client within a period of three and a half years to 45 months, financial sources said yesterday. In principle, the Central Bank has agreed to the payment plan as indicated at the last hearing but had few queries to clear certain doubts for which they have fixed a meeting with the company officials for September 24, more..

Prabhakaran’s ghost haunts India

Sep 23 (DM) Indian Prime Minister’s defense advisor M.K. Narayanan had declared at the Indian DGP – IGP Police conference last week that there are signs that the Tamil Tigers are re-grouping themselves. He said, “Chances are yet for the Tamil Tigers to regroup and rearm.’ He went on to add,‘…the funding lines of the LTTE are still intact, and there is always a possibility that disgruntled elements in the Tamil Diaspora across the Globe could more..

Survivor Assistance - Daniel

Dilshan thrilled with opening role

Sep 23 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has credited his move to the top order as the spark for his outstanding run of form this year, which continued with his match-winning 106 against South Africa. Dilshan closed out 2008 batting at No. 6 in the ODI side but began this year as one of Sri Lanka's preferred openers. The switch has inspired a purple patch for Dilshan, who had only opened three times in his previous 152 one-day internationals. more..

Journalist to settle dispute with minister

Sep 23 (DM) When the fundamental rights petition filed by The Sunday Leader journalist Arthur Wamanan Sornalingam was taken up for inquiry yesterday, the Court was told that the two parties concerned were agreeable to a mutually negotiated settlement. Mr. Wamanan in his petition said he was arbitrarily arrested and detained by the CID on a complaint made by Minister Mano Wijeratne. The Bench listed the matter to be taken up on November 9. more..

'Loans not part of foreign reserves'

Sep 23 (DM) The country’s foreign reserves are US $ 1.9 billion, and not US $ 4 billion, as claimed by Government, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said in parliament yesterday. Mr. Wickremesinghe said the Government figure of US $ 4 billion was inaccurate as it included funds collected through loans, which is unacceptable even by International Monetary Fund (IMF) standards. more..

'IMF document suppressed by government decision'

Sep 23 (LBO) Detailed IMF documents showing the underlying basis for a stand-by loan to Sri Lanka have not been released by a decision of the island's government, an official said. Sri Lanka at first only released the memorandum of economic policies governing a 2.6 billion US dollar standby loan to the island. Later a technical memorandum of understanding was also released. But the staff report which gives the rationale for the loan was not released. more..

3,300 year old site found in southern Sri Lanka

Sep 23 (PTI) In a landmark discovery, an archaeological site believed to be over 3,330 years old, has been found in southern Sri Lanka's Embilipitiya region by a group of local archaeologists. The discovery, perhaps the first over three century old site ever found in Sri Lanka, has been uncovered by Professor Raj Somadeva and his team while excavating an area belonging to the Sri Jayabodharama temple in Udaranchamadama. more..

India, Sri Lanka discuss resettlement of Tamils

Sep 23 (IANS) India has pressed for quicker rehabilitation and resettlement of some 300,000 Tamils displaced in Sri Lanka. External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday met his Sri Lankan counterpart Rohitha Bogollagama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly here and discussed the resettlement of Tamil civilians displaced during the military rout of LTTE rebels by Lankan troops in May. more..

Rights groups urge Sri Lanka over war refugees

Sep 23 (AFP) Human rights groups urged world leaders Wednesday to pressure Sri Lanka over the immediate resettlement of quarter of a million war-displaced civilians held in state-run camps. New York-based Human Rights Watch said the upcoming UN general assembly as well as the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh should address the plight of an estimated 260,000 people confined to camps in the island's north more..

A bright future for Vakarai

Sep 23 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his second visit to Vakarai since its liberation yesterday assured the people who had undergone many challenges and hardships due to terrorism, that they had a bright future ahead. The President who received a rousing welcome from the people of the area during his visit, declared open the new Vakarai Maha Vidyalayam built on the rubble of its former tsunami/terrorist devastated structures. more..

'Nation Building Minister’s BIL exploits IDPs'

Sep 24 (LT) Brother-in-law of Minister Abdul Risath Bathiyutheen, one of the seven ministers of Nation Building, is exploiting the miserable lives of the refugees in the IDP camps in Vavuniya by having shops near the camps,selling food and other items at exorbitant rates and charging money from IDPs for fixing tents for them said UNP Parliamentarian Range Palitha Bandara in parliament yesterday (22nd). more..

A continuation of war by other means?

Sep 24 (GV) The war it seems is not over. The international conspiracies to save Prabhakaran and the LTTE are now said to have morphed into a conspiracy to destabilize the government, initiate regime change and charge its leading lights and war heroes with war crimes. The opposition and civil society activists are said to be key figures in this decidedly and dangerously unpatriotic exercise. more..

"Sigiriya Rally Cross" on Sep 27

Sep 24 (GDI) Sri Lanka Air Force which has been showing prowess flying above has come out with a new dimension to attract masses for ground activity by setting up a motor racing track at Sigiriya. Sigiriya is a place where people visited to see the fortress and its frescoes. The track will get its baptism on September 27 when they conduct the Sigiriya Rally Cross on this new track. Sigiriya Rally Cross race scheduled to be held on September 27 in Sigiriya. more..

Beware ! This is not MUKUNUWENNA

Sep 24 (GDI) A wild plant that looks much like the edible local Mukunuwenna has been found growing wild on farms and sold in the market. The plant, popularly known as “Southern American Alligator Weed”, has been detected growing on land dedicated to Mukunuwenna cultivation. Cause for concern is the fact that the plant is believed to be harmful to animals and possibly humans, the Director General to the Department of Agriculture Jeenadari de Soysa told. more..

Hakmana – reaching the zenith of development

Sep 24 (GDI) Hakmana town upgraded in accordance with a structured ‘modern city’ concept will be officially vested in the people of the area at a ceremony graced by President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow (24), Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. The people of Hakmana are privileged to become the inhabitants of a city that has all the upgraded facilities essential for modern living. more..

Relaxing of travel advisories

Sep 24 (GDI) The British Government last week worked towards relaxing the travel advisories with regard to Sri Lanka. Minister of Tourism Promotion, Faizer Mustapha thank the British Government regarding this matter. Recently, Minister of Tourism Promotion Faizer Mustapha met British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Peter Heyers to further discuss the relaxing of the travel advisories to Sri Lanka. more..

Where is the “Northern Spring” in Sri Lanka?

Sep 24 (IPCS) The Sri Lankan government’s socio-economic and political plans for the island’s north are called “Northern Spring.” It has two broad aspects: ‘Triple R’ and elections. Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction are the major components of ‘Triple R’. For this, the Rajapakse government had announced in June 2009 a “180 plan” to resettle the displaced, who number about 300,000. more..

LTTE : The Jihadi Connection

Sep 24 (IPCS) In an article for the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in March 2008, Shanaka Jayasekara analyzed the LTTE links with Islamic militant groups in South Asia and beyond. Jayasekara stated that as the LTTE benefited from its worldwide “influence within the informal arms market [it has such] attracted collaborative arrangements with other terrorist groups.” The Taliban and some Al Qaeda affiliates would have enjoyed limited but real contacts with Velupillai Prabhakaran’s organization. more..

India to bring key tourist groups to Sri Lanka

Sep 24 (AT) Sri Lanka Tourism on a major destination drive in India. Three city road shows in Bangalore, Ahmadabad and Delhi Sri Lankan. Fashion Show to showcase the island’s strong heritage in creative industries. Sri Lanka has been experiencing an increased influx of India tourists, post conflict this year. Last month alone saw a 51 percent increase in Indian tourists to the island when compared to the same period last year. more..

Sri Lanka: Work with Heart

Sep 24 (AT) Dr. P.G. Maheepala, Deputy Director General of Public Health Services of the Ministry of Health revealed that 35 million people in the world are suffering from non-communicable diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and stroke; 60% of them are from developing countries such as China, India, and Soviet Union. This problem is associated mostly with urbanization, lifestyle change, less intake of food with fiber and less exercise and more stress. more..