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Trinco coal power deal finalised

Sep 27 (NS) The long drawn out negotiations to hammer out a joint venture agreement between the National Thermal Power Corporation of India (NTPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board to build the country’s second coal power plant at Sampur, Trincomalee has finally come to fruition, but the deal will not be signed next week as claimed in a report. According to authoritative sources at least five different agreements pertaining to the two stage 1000 MW project runs to hundreds of pages and more..

Minister’s wanted son still missing

Sep 27 (NS) Rasika Ekanayake, UNP Member of the Anuradhapura-Central Nuwaragam Palatha Pradeshiya Sabha and son of Highways and Road Development Deputy Minister W.B Ekanayake, and a Police Constable (PC) attached to Mahawilachchiya Police wanted by the police for allegedly assaulting another PC, who was on duty at the Deputy Minister’s residence at Anuradhapura are still evading arrest. more..

German Police bars massive pro-ltte demos in Berlin

Sep 27 (NS) A major demonstration organised by pro LTTE elements in Germany is to be held in front of the state Parliament in Düsseldorf, the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) today, as the country holds its 17th federal election to elect the members of the Bundestag, the federal parliament has been cancelled at the last moment by police. However, the planned demonstration will take place within the course of next week and more..

No-confidence motion against Hisbullah tomorrow

Sep 27 (NS) Reacting to allegations made against him and the no-confidence motion mooted against him by the UNP being taken up tomorrow, Eastern Province Health Minister M.L.M Hisbullah says the claims are unfounded and created with the intention of defaming him. “The allegations are baseless and I have the evidence to prove that I did not tamper with the appointments of the volunteers for the health service from the Eastern Province,” he said. more..

MR ends ‘home and home’ fight in Galle

Sep 27 (NS) There is reportedly a marked increase in the incidents of violence with the election fever running high in the South. The Hambantota and Galle Districts account for the most election-related incidents reported so far. A number of incidents where UPFA supporters had attacked the UNP and JVP candidates and their supporters torn down their election offices have been reported from the Hambantota district. more..

'We are not thinking of a separate state'

Sep 27 (SLNN) The end of Sri Lanka’s long-running conflict in May this year has focused attention on the nearly 300,000 internally displaced persons and their rights. But for some Tamil politicians, it has marked the dawn of a new era of greater democratic space. Among them is T. Sritharan, general secretary of the EPRLF (Pathmanabha wing) who condemns the LTTE for brutally killing all Tamils opposed to it. more..

Sri Lanka’s largest bridge will open shortly

Sep 27 (GDI) Construction work on Sri Lanka’s longest bridge is now nearing completion. It will be vested in the public soon. Action on this bridge was initiated to link Trincomalee with Kinniya by building it under the Eastern Resurgence programme at the behest of the President, to overcome difficulties encountered by the people for a long period. It is the longest bridge that is under construction on the A-15 Highway. more..

Ayurveda Commissioner makes ‘damage control’ bid over hefty cess on herbal actives

Sep 27 (Island) With the herbal pharmaceuticals industry in a spin over the imposition of a hefty cess on imported products, the Ayurveda Commissioner has, in a bid aimed at "damage control", moved swiftly to issue a circular categorizing the medicines for taxation under different slabs. "Amendments under five schedules are being finalized to be presented before parliament to remedy this situation", more..

MPs flout entertainment rules in Parliament

Sep 27 (Island) A directive that only five guests could be entertained by an MP for lunch at the House would affect only a handful of ruling party members though it would restrict Opposition rankers, parliamentary sources said. They said that the House Committee recently decided that an MP could invite a maximum of five guests whereas ministers and deputy ministers could entertain up to 25. more..

A luxury holiday at N’ Eliya at Rs. 100 a day, anybody?

Sep 27 (Island) While people are being asked to tighten their belts, Members of the Parliament, irrespective of their political differences, can spend a day at General’s House in Nuwara Eliya, the luxurious MPs holiday bungalow, at a cost of just Rs. 100. Rooms are available at Rs. 90 and Rs. 80 too in this bungalow with 19 separate units, well informed sources said. Speaker W. J. M. Lokubandara recently requested all MPs using the facility to strictly adhere to the applicable rules and regulations more..

PBJ as Cabinet sec.

Sep 27 (ST) Former Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, who was cleared by the Supreme Court on Thursday to return to public office, is being considered for another position in government, and won't return to the Treasury as earlier expected, highly-placed government sources said. They said Treasury Secretary Sumith Abeysinghe had been given another one year extension while Dr. Jayasundera is likely to be appointed Cabinet Secretary, more..

Change of policy after Gota's visit to US

Sep 27 (ST) The triumphalism over the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas four months ago, still aglow, will blaze into full glory again in the next twelve days. This is when the Sri Lanka Army marks its 60th anniversary beginning October 10. Elaborate plans include a parade at Army Headquarters, an exhibition displaying captured enemy weaponry, a military tattoo and a book on how the war was won. more..

10,000 Tiger suspects: Govt. seeks US help

Sep 27 (ST) Sri Lanka is seeking help from the United States in its efforts to formulate procedures to cope with more than 10,000 Tiger guerrilla suspects now in custody. The aim is to study how the US handled terrorist suspects, particularly thousands from the outlawed al-Qaeda, after the 9/11 attacks in New York. Attorney General Mohan Peiris will arrive in Washington tomorrow for talks in this regard with officials in the US Attorney General’s Department. more..

Ensure law and order

Sep 27 (Island) The increasing acts of violence in the run-up to the October 10 Southern Provincial Council poll, serve as a reminder that maintaining law and order in Sri Lanka is continuing to be a tough proposition for the state. The race for prime place between the main political contenders has been hotting-up in the South over the past few weeks, but this is no reason why the law should be wantonly flouted by the hot heads among those who have hit the campaign trail. more..

Bti will cost Rs. 2 billion annually

Sep 27 (ST) The Health Ministry is to seek Cabinet approval to use Bti to control the dengue epidemic – a plan which is estimated to cost Rs. 2,000 milliion annually. A Health Ministry spokesman said the money would be required for ground spraying and aerial fogging. This would include fuel and flying charges. He said that to perform aerial fogging the ministry would have to provide the Air Force with the equipment and train Air Force personnel. more..

Reclaim Kachatheevu: DMK

Sep 27 (PTI) The DMK, a constituent of the UPA government, today demanded the Centre to take steps to retrieve Kachatheevu island from Sri Lanka as the island nation has 'failed' to respect the obligations binding on it. Katchatheevu, an islet in the Palk Straits, was ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974 under an agreement, which binds the latter to give access, right of worship and fishing facilities to Indian fishermen. more..

Twinning of Nuwara Eliya and Yongzhou city of China

Sep 27 (SO) At a glittering ceremony held at the Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya, the two cities Nuwara Eliya and the Chinese city of Yongzhou were twined as two sister cities in the distinguished presence of the Governor of the Central Province Tikiri Kobbekaduwa, and the Chief Minister, Central Provincial Council Sarath Ekanayake, and the Mayor of Nuwara Eliya Chandanalal Karunaratne. Speaking at the function, Governor Tikiri Kobbekaduwa recalled his visit to China and the city of Yongzhou, more..

'Apparel industry will face "very challenging times" if GSP Plus is denied'

Sep 27 (Island) The Sri Lankan apparel industry will have to face "very challenging times" if the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) Plus concessions are withdrawn by the European Union (EU), South Asia’s largest manufacturer of intimate apparel, warned last week. "This duty-free facility is extremely vital to Sri Lanka as the country benefits significantly from these concessions to remain competitive in markets in the EU", more..

Raj Rajaratnam Sets Example for Diaspora Members to Follow

Sep 27 (TC) The news last week that Raj Rajaratnam had pledged a million US dollars to help with the rehabilitation of former LTTE combatants would be welcomed in certain circles but would have raised the hackles among the hardliners in the Diaspora and he may be under sever pressure to change his mind. There would also be many in this country who would ask the question as to why we should accept money from any member of the Tamil Diaspora who has given money to the TRO. more..

Elite Tigers received Ukrainian expertise to boosat fighting skills

Sep 27 (Island) The military said that the LTTE had received expertise of Ukrainian specialists to strengthen the Sea Tigers, particularly in underwater fighting skills. Well informed sources told The Sunday Island that foreign specialists had shared their experience with elite LTTE cadres shortly after the signing of the CFA brokered by Norway in February, 2002. The Ukrainian group had visited the Vanni during the 2002-2003 period, sources said more..

Escape bid by war refugees thwarted: govt

Sep 27 (AFP) Sri Lankan troops opened fire to stop dozens of war-displaced Tamil civilians from escaping a government-run camp where they have been detained in the island's north, the military said Sunday. Internees at the Manik farm camp pelted soldiers with stones and tried to break free on Saturday night, military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said. "The army fired in self-defence," he said. "These people were throwing stones and were trying to escape." more..

Sri Lanka 2010 budget may be delayed: report

Sep 27 (LBO) The Sri Lanka government's budget for 2010 which is usually presented to parliament in November may be delayed till after elections expected in April, a media report said. The Sunday Times newspaper, reported deputy finance minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya as saying that spending permission for the first four months of 2010 will be sought from parliament through a 'vote-on-account'. more..

Post-war, India helps Sri Lanka rebuild Tamil areas

Sep 27 (IANS) From vocational training to mine clearing, India is providing sweeping help to Sri Lanka to rebuild vast areas after the end of a quarter-century-long Tamil separatist campaign. The process is expected to continue in the months to come. Already 2,600 tonnes of shelter material have gone to Sri Lanka, mainly to ensure that those displaced by fighting that ended in May 2009 get a roof over the head. more..

Sri Lanka seeks US lessons over rebel suspects

Sep 27 (AFP) The Sri Lankan government said on Sunday it would study the United States' treatment of suspected Islamic militants to learn how to deal with thousands of alleged former Tamil Tiger rebels. Sri Lanka's attorney general Mohan Peiris was set to arrive in Washington on Monday for talks with his US counterpart and with officials in the US defence establishment, justice ministry spokesman Gamini Godakanda said. more..

Resilient New Zealand score 315

Sep 27 (CI) New Zealand's car bolted out of the driveway, hit a few speed bumps, but got back on track to pull up at an excellent total - their highest against Sri Lanka in one-day internationals. The first 50 overs turned into a compelling contest due to the flow of momentum, with both sides tussling for the upper hand, and it was the final passage of the innings that could prove the most vital. more..

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (CI) New Zealand turned up at the Wanderers needing a win to stay alive in the ICC Champions Trophy, and at the end of an intriguing match it was Sri Lanka who found themselves on the verge of flying home in disappointment. Defending an impressive 315, which was set up by a century opening stand and a muscular finish, New Zealand were given a scare when Mahela Jayawardene took Sri Lanka to within striking range. more..

Sangakkara slams 'appalling' fielding

Sep 28 (CI) After such an ebullient start, Sri Lanka have somehow pushed themselves to the very brink of this tournament, with a little help from England and New Zealand. Their 38-run loss today to New Zealand to end their group phase now means their fate is in the hands of others; having kick-started the Champions Trophy with a wonderful opening-day win against the hosts South Africa, it is a fate not many expected to befall them. more..

Saraswathy pooja: Celebrating the Goddess of wisdom

Sep 28 (HA) Saraswathy Pooja was celebrated on September 27th 2009. Saraswathy is the Goddess of wisdom. Today is the ninth night of Navarathri festival. Navarathri literally means nine nights. The nine nights are divided into three nights each dedicated for Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathy. Navarathri began on September 19th 2009. Special poojas were held at the temples. Hindus celebrated Saraswathy Pooja at homes at dusk. more..

Return of the evil forces – The TNA

Sep 28 (AT) After the defeat of the LTTE, an all powerful voice of the Government of Sri Lanka openly declared that the TNA parliamentarians who took the oath in safeguarding the unity and integrity of Sri Lanka under the constitution is doing exactly the opposite - propagating the sentiments of separatism in and outside Sri Lanka. Therefore, they must be made to face the music for contradicting themselves; their parliament seats should be made void and more..

Tourism week inaugural ceremony at Marine Drive, Bambalapitiya

Sep 28 (AT) The World Tourism Day which was on 27 September, was celebrated with a host of activities at the Mt. Lavinia Beach and the Marine Drive, Bambalapitiya. The inaugural ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Tourism, Nandana Gunatillake with the participation of industry stakeholders including hoteliers, officials of the Ministry of Tourism, as well as tourists visiting the country. more..

Enlightened Prof. brings out giant English-Sinhala dictionary

Sep 28 (LG) The Sinhala -English dictionary was launched at the BMICH last Sunday. It was the brainchild of Professor Sucharitha Gamlath. At the inaugural ceremony, I too had the opportunity to join in the procession as a special guest, along with the Minister of Education and other political leaders to light the oil lamp. This finally ended up in the presidium. There was a huge crowd, mainly from Sinhala literature and art circles. more..

President: Please meet helpless depositors

Sep 28 (LG) Where does Sri Lankans, particularly those who earned their money through sweat and tears or got a lump sum through a pension scheme after years of hard work, put their money in? Is there a safe, easy, protected and structured way of making one’s money earn more bucks and bring in a reasonable return given today’s cost of living and monthly bills to pay? Since December 2008 after the Golden Key Credit Card Co collapsed throwing more..

Indictments and the equality principle

Sep 28 (LG) When journalists were repeatedly indicted by the Attorney General (AG) on charges of criminal defamation in the nineteen nineties and earlier, would the AG have been persuaded to withdraw indictment if citizens had written to him asking him to consider clemency on the basis that these journalists had rendered good service to the country? And what of other individuals, indicted both for good reason and for bad in recent times - more..

'India “continues to remain concerned” about Lankan IDP welfare'

Sep 28 (LG) India "continued to remain concerned about the welfare of the IDP" in Northern Sri Lanka, High Commissioner in Colombo Alok Prasad has said. His comments came during a visit a to Menik Farm IDP camps in Vavuniya, Saturday, a statement from the Indian High Commission said. Mr. Prasad was accompanied by a team of officers from the High Commission of India in Colombo to Menik Farm where more..

An enduring myopia

Sep 28 (LG) A news report published last week suggests a novel approach by the Sri Lankan government to thwart allegations of war crimes and is anchored to Damilvani Gnanakumar, a British Tamil present in the Wanni during the final bloody weeks of war, was subsequently interned in Menik Camp. Upon her release from Menik Camp, she left to the UK. Once safely at home, she recounted damning first hand accounts of government atrocities during war and appalling conditions in Menik Camp, more..

The fate of university teachers in Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (LG) As university students, we respected our teachers and we hoped that some day we would be as learned as they were. We looked up to particular lecturers not only because of their knowledge of the subject they taught us or their ability to teach, but sometimes because of their open-mindedness - how they discussed ideas or provoked us by getting us to think. For many different reasons, we had our favourites. We liked them when they were approachable and 'cool.' more..

Lanka David Vs World Goliath

Sep 28 (LG) It is heading for a David Vs Goliath confrontation — Sri Lanka Vs the United States of America and Europe or in short Sri Lanka Vs the Rest of the World. The US State Department is to present a report on ‘war crimes in Sri Lanka’ allegedly committed during the last phase against the war against terrorism. There is also a special report by European Union investigators on the extension of GSP Plus concessions to Sri Lanka (amounting to $ 3.3 billion) that more..

Wanni IDPs: The scam continues

Sep 28 (LG) It was a relief to hear that the government was at last responding to mounting domestic and international criticism, and had begun releasing the Wanni IDPs. Perhaps the shocking report in the Sunday Times on September 6 about human trafficking at the internment camps was partly responsible. An exemplary piece of investigative journalism, it revealed that up to 20,000 IDPs have been ransomed by desperate relatives. more..

‘President Rajapaksha can’t sweep everything under the carpet’ - Chandrahasan

Sep 28 (LG) “President Mahinda Rajapaksha can’t sweep everything under the carpet while using statements like ‘there are no minority any more and only two nations living here, one is people who love the country other one is people who do not love the country’. Even though the time has come for serious dialogue within communities to find a sustainable political solution that we could not find for the last few decades” more..

‘Gulag Island’ is a grotesque caricature of Sri Lankan reality

Sep 28 (LG) I am proud of my country, Sri Lanka, which has just been able to vanquish a formidable, ferocious and fascistic foe, despite its vast global network and in the face of considerable external pressure. I am proud that my country Sri Lanka has been able to restore its territorial unity and integrity and reassert its independence and sovereignty. I am proud of the Sri Lankan armed forces which have achieved that which more..

Hibiscus Beach Hotel

1999:New film on Tamil gang violence in Scarborough screens

Sep 28 (TC) The murder of Palasanthiran - one of several innocents killed by chance during the years the VVT and AK Kannans fought in Scarborough's streets - was not recreated for 1999, Lenin M. Sivam's film drama about Tamil youth gangs, but Sivam remembers Palasanthiran's funeral as a turning point. "He was such a bright student and didn't know these things were happening. The issue was bothering people," said the director, more..

India looks for bigger Sri Lanka role

Sep 28 (WPR) With the LTTE decimated in the northern provinces of Sri Lanka, India is now seeking greater involvement in the welfare of the Tamils in the island country. New Delhi is looking to supply electricity, rehabilitate and resettle displaced Tamils, and rebuild infrastructure in general. And this month, Rahul Gandhi, the general secretary of the ruling Congress party and son of the all-powerful Sonia Gandhi, emphasized that India will do everything in its power to protect the rights of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. more..

British, French FMs may tour Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (Xinhua) British and French foreign ministers may make a joint visit to Sri Lanka, officials from the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said here Sunday. The officials said that British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in a tripartite meeting with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama in New York had expressed their wish for a return visit to Sri Lanka. more..

SEP campaigns in southern rural villages

Sep 28 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Sri Lanka has intervened in the southern coastal town of Hikkaduwa and surrounding villages, including Udumulla, Thotagamuwa and Seenigama, as part of its campaign for the Southern Provincial Council elections on October 10. The SEP is running a slate of 26 candidates in the province’s Galle district. Udumulla is one of the poorest communities in the Hikkaduwa area. more..

Undermining the TNA?

Sep 28 (LG) The revived interest of the international community in the ‘IDPs issue’ in Sri Lanka should come as a relief to all those wanting them resettled early on. It helps keep the Sri Lankan Government to be on its toes in meeting the six-month deadline that it had set for itself. At the same time, there should be a method to these efforts lest it should end up undermining the TNA, which has commenced talks with the Government on precisely the same issue. more..

Sri Lanka: a Gulag Island – a response to Dayan Jayatilleka

Sep 28 (LG) Dayan Jayatilleka begins his article with the words, “I am proud of my country, Sri Lanka.” To demonstrate the differences in our points of view I would like to begin by stating that, while I am proud of some aspects of Sri Lanka I am also very ashamed of many other aspects of my country, Sri Lanka. I have publically stated that many times, over many years, beginning particularly from the cruel repression of the innocent in 1971 under more..

Sri Lanka seeks wider access to China under trade deal

Sep 28 (LBO) Sri Lankan exporters will get better access to the Chinese market in a new round of talks under a regional trade deal scheduled for completion in October, officials said. Sri Lanka will ask for more products to be covered in the fourth round of talks under the preferential trading arrangement, Asia-Pacific Trade Arrangement (APTA), previously called the Bangkok agreement. more..

Minister Rambukwella devours Rs.162 million from Foreign Employment Agency

Sep 28 (LT) Keheliya Rambukwelle, who crossed over from the UNP to the government feigning patriotism and was presented with the portfolio of foreign employment Promotion and welfare, has made Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Agency that had been making profits a failed institutions and has ‘mislaid’ Rs.162 million that was in the Agency says JVP MP Gamini Ratnayake. more..

Habitat Week commence today

Sep 28 (GDI) The Government has declared a Habitat Week to mark “World Habitat Day”. The Habitat Week will begin today and will continue till October 05. The Government will implement an islandwide development program with Negombo as a central town and its surrounding areas in view of ‘World Habitat Day’ on October 5. The theme is ‘Planning our Urban Future’. The main objective is to implement various development programs to benefit the more..