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Whisky racket in Colombo port exposed

Sep 26 (Island) A chance check on a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation at an exit/entry point of the Colombo Port on Thursday revealed a major racket in selling duty free liquor in the open market. Well informed sources told The Island that the Customs had detained one person with three dozen bottles of duty-free liquor while two others escaped. Sources said that the suspect had been released after recording his statement though the vehicle remained in the custody of the Customs. more..

Buddhika’s car attacked in Matara

Sep 26 (UNP) UNP Matara District group leader and former PC member Buddhika Pathirane’s vehicle was attacked by an unidentified group in the wee hours of the morning yesterday. Fortunately , Buddhika was not at home where the vehicle was parked . He had gone to address election rallies. Buddhika complained to the Matara police that a gang which had arrived in three vehicles with propaganda posters of Chandima Rasaputram, more..

'Soldiers forced to pay for Army Day celebrations'

Sep 26 (Island) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake yesterday said in Parliament that Rs. 1,800 had been deducted from the monthly salary of all soldiers to meet the expenses of the 60th Army Day celebrations. He said that it was unfair that soldiers had been forced to pay for Army Day celebrations. Nothing could be as absurd as the army being asked to pay for "Ranaviru’ celebrations, he said. more..

CID investigating Daya Master’s and George’s activities

Sep 26 (DM) The CID filing a report before the Colombo Chief Magistrate yesterday informed court that they were carrying out investigations to ascertain whether the LTTE suspects Daya Master and George had been involved in any provocative activities against the government. When the matter was taken up for magisterial inquiry, the suspects Velayudhan Dayanithi alias Daya Master and Kumaran Pancharatnam alias George were present in court. more..

Nishantha vows to work in harmony

Sep 26 (DM) UPFA candidate Nishantha Muthuhettigama who was embroiled in a clash with fellow candidates Sajin Vas Gunawardane and Anarkalli Aakarssha, yesterday said he would co-operate with both of them in the run up to the Southern Provincial Council Election. Addressing a hurriedly summoned news conference at a leading Colombo hotel, Mr. Muthuhettigama said he would act for the establishment of the most brilliant provincial council in the south. more..

Police find revolver but not the politico's son

Sep 26 (DM) Police found a revolver belonging to the son of Deputy Minister W.B. Ekanayake in Tisawewa, Anuradhapura during a search of the deputy minister’s son’s house, in connection with threats to and assault of a policeman. However, the police have still been unable to arrest the suspect. “Police searched the house on a search warrant and the revolver of the minister’s son, Pradeshiya Sabha member Rasika Ekanayake, was recovered by the police,” more..

Rameswaram fishermen return home

Sep 26 (Hindu) Twenty-one Rameswaram fishermen who were held by the Sri Lankan navy for allegedly straying into Sri Lankan waters returned home on Friday. They were taken back from the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) by the Indian Coast Guard. Five boats, with 21 fishermen, were taken away by the Sri Lankan navy while fishing between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar on September 17. They were produced before a Mannar court and detained at the Anuradhapuram prison, more..

Keeping abduction of workers under wraps: Wimal calls for probing UN top man in Colombo

Sep 26 (Island) National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP yesterday said that had the UN been genuinely concerned about the Vanni population, it would not have turned a blind eye to the plight of two UN employees detained by the LTTE for helping civilians flee the terrorist controlled region. more..

A 'patriotic' loan

Sep 26 (Himal) After several months of prevarication, on 24 July the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board approved its largest single line of credit ever offered to Sri Lanka. The staggering USD 2.6 billion loan is significantly higher than the initial request of USD 1.9 billion, and its magnitude is best appreciated through comparison with the island’s total foreign debt of USD 12.5 billion, as of the end of 2008. more..

Toronto Eelam

Sep 26 (Himal) In Toronto’s east end, Scarborough, what some call the ‘real capital of Eelam’, a few expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils continue to attach LTTE flags to their cars as others would a local ice-hockey team’s pennant. The LTTE was listed as a terrorist organisation in Canada in 2006, but flying its flag is not considered a criminal offence. “There is a fundamental difference between expressing freedom of speech under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and more..

Ranil denies GSP+ allegations

Sep 26 (BBC) UNP says that it did not make any complaints against the government with regard to GSP + concession to the European Commission (EU) Opposition Leader Ranil Wicremasinghe told parliament that UNP has requested the EU to lay down conditions on Sri Lanka to respect human rights and extend its assistance to Sri Lanka. “UNP has not made any complaints to EU but even if it did there was nothing wrong in that”, Wickremasinghe told parliament. more..

Lankan citizenship to IDP children born in India during war

Sep 26 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Government has decided to issue citizenship certificates to over 400 children of IDPs born during their displacement in India at the time of the country's civil war which ended four months ago. Two programmes will be held in Vavuniya and Mannar next week to provide citizenship to over 400 IDP children who were born in India and do not possess Sri Lankan citizenship, more..

UN representative Kaelin applauds Govt efforts for welfare centers

Sep 26 (GDI) Visiting representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin said the efforts taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill the needs of the IDPs and to ensure their (IDPs) Human Rights are at a commendable level. UN envoy made these observations during his visit to the transitional centers in Vavuniya more..

Major initiatives to flourish tourism

Sep 27 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse targets to achieve 2.5 million tourists arriving in Sri Lanka by 2016 to boost Sri Lanka’s economy, after completing 30 years’ battle, said K.A.D. George Michael, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism at a press conference held on Friday, the 25th of September at the Monara Restaurant of Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism Hotel Management, Colombo in regard to World Tourism Day celebration to take place on Sunday, the 27th more..

Of Conspiracies and Kings

Sep 27 (AT) Nations too have characters, self made and mutable. The Sinhala Only of 1956 changed the character of Ceylon by turning it into a Sinhala supremacist country. That seminal change created widespread Tamil discontent and paved the way for a string of avoidable tragedies culminating in a 25 year war. What we are witnessing today, in the immediate aftermath of that war, is nothing less than the shaping of the character of post-war Sri Lanka. more..

Unrest in Menik Farm Camp

Sep 27 (BBC) Army says two people were injured in an incident in the Menik Farm Camp on Saturday. Wanni district member of parliament, Sivasakthi Anandan told BBC that according to information he received the incident had happened when some IDPs were trying to move from one camp to another. In response to a question posed by BBC Tamil Service why inmates had moved out desregarding instructions not to move from one camp to other, he said the inmates had gone to fetch firewood. more..

Zero Status of Citizens: Dayan’s problem

Sep 27 (LG) There are several video clips of Dayan Jayatilaka, a former ambassador to Geneva, talking about his removal from his post. He talks about the removal as a virtual dismissal. Further, he points out that the manner in which it was done was irrational. Why should he find an act of irrationality in the treatment of people in Sri Lanka a matter of surprise? In fact, everyone is treated irrationally all the time. more..

India’s inspiration: Sri Lanka now turns its weapon against Diaspora Tamils

Sep 27 (LG) After keeping hundreds of thousands of Tamils incarcerated in Nazi-style camps in Vavuniya, after killing nearly 30,000 Tamils in Vanni earlier this year, after wounding tens of thousands of Tamils, Sri Lanka has now turned its fullest dictatorship attitude weapon against Diasporic Tamils. Sri Lankan agents continue issuing threats to Tamil Diaspora organizations and individuals in almost all the western countries where Tamils live in large numbers. more..

Sri Lanka: War against terrorism

Sep 27 (LG) I am pleased that we are here today at this meeting, the convening of which remained in doubt for some time, despite the fact that our Heads of Government in Kampala had welcomed a Ministerial Meeting on Terrorism. Although it is unfortunate that some members are not quite keen to pursue, perhaps one of the most important challenges faced globally, it is encouraging that the Commonwealth has finally agreed to deliberate on the issue, at least in a forum of this nature. more..

Green Electricity for Sri Lanka

Govt dishing out large sums and positions to strengthen its international campaign

Sep 27 (LG) According to Foreign Office source, it has been decided to strengthen the international propaganda network to confront the adverse opinion about the Sri Lankan government internationally. Removal of Dr Palitha Kohana as Foreign Secretary has paved the way for the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollogama to consolidate his authority in his ministry. Both were said to be at loggerhead and Dr Kohana was said be an obstacle for the Foreign Minister as more..

Prevention of Terrorism Act must be Repealed Immediately

Sep 27 (TC) At the General Election held in 1977, the UNP led by J R Jayawardene won a landslide victory, winning 140 seats and reducing the SLFP to a rump of 8. But Jayawardene knew that the results were a distortion of the mood of the electorate. The UNP had obtained just over 50% of the popular vote but took 83% of the seats whereas the SLFP winning nearly 30% of the popular vote had only 5% of the parliamentary seats. more..

An absence of actuality at Rajini memorial meeting at BMICH

Sep 27 (TC) The evening was good but perhaps Rajani deserved a bit better. She always told it like it was, named things by their name, confronted reality frontally. That quintessential spirit of Rajani, her courageous, critical, ‘concreteness’, was by and large absent in the 20th anniversary commemoration held at the BMICH on September 25th. It was only in the keynote speaker from India, our old friend Nandita Haksar, that one recognized a spiritual sister of Rajani Thiranagama. more..

Is this the end of SriLankan Airlines?

Sep 27 (SL) SriLankan Airlines’ 2009 Annual Report contains a query from the company’s auditors regarding the viability of the airline. In the face of what is effectively a Rs. 10 billion loss Ernst & Young have expressed “doubts that the company (SriLankan Airlines) will be able to continue as a going concern.” Figures in the 2009 Annual Report reveal that the company’s liabilities now exceed its assets by an extraordinary Rs. 8,159 million (Rs. 8.1 billion). more..

US war crimes report on Sri Lanka deferred

Sep 27 (SL) A crucial report on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes, which was to be released on September 21, by the US Department of State, has been deferred owing to the non-finalisation of the document and is now likely to be released next month, it is learnt. Meanwhile US Embassy Spokesman in Colombo Jeff Anderson told The Sunday Leader that the State Department was still working on the document and the US Congress has extended the submission date. more..

The decline of Lanka’s political assets

Sep 27 (SL) There was a time in this country not so long ago when a politician made a speech people would make a beeline to the closest TV or radio to catch what was being said. They would hang on to every word trying to decipher the ‘deeper message’ and invariably there was one. Today it is the same – people would run to the TV or radio broadcasting the politician’s speech, but no, not to listen to every word but to turn the thing off or to change the channel. more..

No miracle

Sep 27 (SL) Minister of Tourism Nandana Gunatilleke is to re-establish the Sri Lanka Tourist Board and repeal the Tourism Act of 2005 enacted during the tenure of former Minister Milinda Moragoda. Minister Gunatilleke talking to The Sunday Leader said that he would not be swayed from the programmes he has for his Ministry. Refuting allegations levelled against him by certain ‘big wigs’ in the hospitality industry more..

Back to Batticaloa

Sep 27 (SL) You hurtle at speed along a road so flat and smooth it resembles polished dark glass. In the darkness villages, towns and houses flash by in a blur of fluorescent light, and neon. Kilometre posts appear and disappear in seconds — even the darkness is accelerated. Is this the rush of an unlit autobahn at night or lonely highway cleaving its way through the American Midwest? No. Its the A-11 between Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa, perhaps the finest stretch of rolled tar in the country. more..

Maga Neguma or Gahuma?

Sep 27 (LB) An in-depth investigation carried out by LAKBIMAnEWS into widespread corruption taking place at the Maga Neguma institute has revealed some startling details of its directors earning millions as salaries through shady tenders. Our investigation shed light on corruption of a massive scale taking place --- with 300 million rupees worth of tar being provided to Maga Neguma on a rental basis, aside from a further 300 million rupees which had been allegedly loaned to it by the Lankaputhra Bank for more..

“JVP rags’’ to be stopped by Act --Minister

Sep 27 (LB) The Prevention of Ragging Act introduced in 2005 will be implemented to reduce ragging in universities, the Minister of Higher Education, Prof.Vishwa Warnapala told LAKBIMAnEWS. The minister pointed out that JVP students turned the communicative, intellectual university culture in to a rebellious political culture —- use ragging as their major tool for their political campaigns. more..

Rant against Bogols, can't act against Bogols?

Sep 27 (LB) Last week's newspapers were fairly inundated by reports of the president ridiculing foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama over his non-performance. The president had more pep-talk to do this week. It is reported that he was livid about Nishantha Muthuhettigma, who is engaged in an unseemly preference vote war with actress Anarkalee Aakarsha, who, as everybody knows, is a candidate who has the blessings of the presidential household. more..

Nihal Sri files motion seeking to block PBJ again

Sep 27 (LB) The government is likely to appoint P.B.Jayasundere as the Secretary to the Cabinet and allow Sumith Abeysinghe to continue as Secretary Treasury, sources said. Meanwhile, Public interest activist Nihal Sri Ameresekere had filed a fresh motion this week in the Supreme Court on the matter of P. B. Jayasundara’s affidavit filed by him in the court, in order to enable him to resume office of the Treasury Secretary. more..

Hikka Beach Fest website pix: Was it another conspiracy?

Sep 27 (LB) For weeks, Sri Lanka Tourism was haunted by a couple of snapshots of naked exotic young women purportedly taken at the Hikkaduwa Beach Fest, a major promotional event of Sri Lanka tourism. That, in fact, was a great loss of face for the self righteous government which has whipped up a puritanical cultural upheaval -- a throw back to the glory of the Sinhalese Kingdom --- as a means of political legitimization among the rural Sinhala populace. more..

Sri Lanka economists' forum debates currency board systems

Sep 27 (LBO) The virtues of a currency board system were hotly debated at an annual confab of top economists in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, as the island emerged from its latest balance of payments crisis caused by an unstable peg. Sri Lanka was exposed to balance of payments crises after 1950 when then finance minister J R Jayewardene created a pegged exchange rate central bank with money printing powers, abolishing a currency board arrangement. more..

Industrial production up 2.2-pct in June

Sep 27 (LBO) Private sector industrial production rose 2.2 percent in in June 2009, from a year earlier, with food, wood products showing an upturn and apparels bottoming out, official data showed. In May private sector industrial production fell 2.5 percent and in April 5.6 percent. A private sector industrial production index released by central bank showed that apparel production volumes fell 1.2 percent in June more..

The Lankan boys

Sep 27 (BS) The youth in Sri Lanka have much to say about the politics of war and censorship in their country and they are saying it through music. They have lived through a long-standing civil war and now they are singing about it. Paranoid Earthling, one of Sri Lanka’s popular rock bands, are almost rebel-like in their musical avatar, if you would care to listen. On a sultry Delhi afternoon, the band of four, twenty-something boys, and their charming lady manager are sipping beer at Hard Rock Cafe, more..

Sri Lanka vows anew to resettle displaced Tamils quickly

Sep 27 (AFP) Prime minister vowed anew here Saturday that Colombo would quickly resettle civilians still in state-run camps after being displaced by the government rout of Tamil separatists. Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka told the UN General Assembly that a key priority for his government was to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the roughly 290,000 Tamil civilians who "were liberated from the decades-long hold" of the separatist LTTE. more..

Last chance saloon for New Zealand

Sep 27 (CI) Outplayed in their first match, New Zealand have a mountain to climb to stay alive in the tournament. Their competitors in Group B - England, Sri Lanka and South Africa - have two points each while New Zealand are yet to get on board. Sri Lanka, who already have one win, against South Africa, but lost to England, can't breathe too easy even if they win. In that sense, the manner in which results have unfolded has meant that this tournament has virtual quarterfinals, more..

50th Bandaranaike Commemoration

Sep 27 (GDI) Founder of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Late Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike is commemorated yesterday. Many programmes were launched to mark the 50th commemoration. The main event was held near the Bandaranaike Samadhi in Horagolla. Western Province Governor Alauvi Moulana and many Parliamentarians were present. Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike and Sunethra Bandaranaike were also present. more..

Visiting Indian delegation meet Northern Governor

Sep 27 (GDI) The Governor of Northern Province Major General G.A Chandrasiri held discussions with the visiting delegation from India's National Defence Council, on Friday at the Governor's Secretariat, Varothayanagar in Trincomalee. The discussion focused on expediting the development programme in order to achieve the Government's goals. They discussed efforts made by the Government and the Provincial Council for more..

Bright prospects for Northern fishermen

Sep 27 (GDI) Prospects are bright for the fisher fraternity in Jaffna where peace prevails as a result of efforts of the valiant soldiers. The fishermen have begun to reap maximum benefits from the freedom achieved for them by the valiant soldiers. They venture into the sea from the Gurunagar Jetty, our special correspondent Chaminda Upul reports. He pointed out that, they were now afforded the opportunity of going into the deep sea with powerful boat engines, more..

Profiles of more than 10,000 ex-LTTE cadres concluded

Sep 27 (LP) Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Maj. Gen. Daya Ratnayake stated that profiles of over 10,000 ex-LTTE cadres who are under Government care for rehabilitation have been completed. These profiles include ex-LTTE cadres’ personal information, educational background, association with the LTTE and the skills they want to pursue. The ex-LTTEers are to be categorized for rehabilitation process considering their information in the profiles. more..

500 acres in Kuchchaveli for promoting tourism

Sep 27 (PSM) Approximately 500 acres beach area in Kuchchaveli in Trincomalee district have been earmarked for promotion of tourism. Kuchchaveli is a densly populated Muslim Pradeshya Saba division north of Trinco district. The land earmarked for projects borders the beach and is situated north of the popular Nilaveli beach. A Conceptual Zoning Plan is currently being prepared for the area by more..

Crusading for a just world

Sep 27 (ST) When it’s time to autograph his latest book, Judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry is besieged. Admirers crowd around the venerable judge with copies of ‘Tread Lightly on the Earth: Religion, the Environment and the Human Future’. Silver-haired and smiling, he finds time to exchange a word with everyone. The judge who will be turning 83 in November this year, more..

Overwhelming response: Over 6,500 applications for PCs in North

Sep 27 (LP) An overwhelming response with 6,500 applications to recruit Police Constables(PCs) in the North has been received in Jaffna, Superintendent of Police Jaffna, G. H. Marapana said. "Applicants were called for interviews to recruit 500 Police Constables in the North recently. There were over 6,500 applicants including 400 women have forwarded their application", more..

MTF to set up full-fledged university

Sep 27 (SO) The Mahapola Trust Fund (MTF) has decided to set up a full fledged university in Sri Lanka. The MTF met last week under the chairmanship of Chief Justice Asoka De Silva and took several decisions for the benefit of the students and the country’s education sector. The MTF was inaugurated by the late Lalith Atulathmudali with far - reaching objectives to improve the educational standards in the country and to help needy students more..

Better late than never

Sep 27 (SO) One thing is for sure Sri Lankans still love reading. This is never more obvious that in the literacy month when the islands biggest book exhibition takes place - the Colombo International Book Fair at the BMICH. If you still have not been to the BMICH, you better hurry today the final day. But no guarantees you could cover all 420 stalls in one day. With favourable security conditions, in spite of somewhat unfavourable weather conditions people have been swarming into the BMICH more..

IDP villages ready for all contingencies

Sep 27 (SO) Even though the Health Ministry has already provided comprehensive healthcare facilities to IDPs at the Vavuniya and Chettikulam welfare villages, arrangements are also being made to enhance the facilities in preparedness for contingencies during the monsoonal rains, expected in mid-October, said Dr. Eeshara Kottegoda Vithana, National Coordinator of the Ministry's Disaster Preparedness and Response Division (DPRD). more..

Anoja's Story

Leftists in Negombo after their shattering defeat at 1952 elections

Sep 27 (SO) Dr. Hector Fernando losing the Negombo seat at the 1952 general election with an overwhelming majority was a challenge to the LSSPers in the area. At the 1947 elections the LSSP candidate for Negombo was Santiago Fernando. Dr. Hector Fernando unlike Santiago Fernando was a rich and powerful personality. His election campaign was far more well organised. In Dr. Fernando's election platform, prominent and leading figures in the area like more..