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Sri Lanka Army to celebrate Diamond Jubilee

Sep 28 (GDI) Sri Lanka Army is expected to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Diamond Jubilee next month in nearly a month-long mega event with a host of activities from October 02 - 23. According to the Army media, the celebrations will include a Grand Army Exhibition displaying the Army evolution, captured LTTE equipment, arms and ammunition, and disaster management work. more..

Parts of an LTTE Unmanned Air Vehicle unearthed

Sep 28 (LP) SL troops conducting search operations in Mullaittivu made a startling recovery yesterday (27) when they came across several parts of an Unmanned Air Vehicle (CI 307 UAV) which was kept buried by the LTTE in the Kappukulam area. Troops of the Task ForceVIII conducting search operations in the area unearthed part of an UAV engine, 03 parts of an UAV camera, 02 UAV wings, 02 front wheels, a small rear wheel, 08 training bombs, 03 dropping bombs, more..

Northern University development

Sep 28 (GDI) The Government has allocated 90 million rupees to upgrade the Jaffna University and the Vavuniya Campus in the North. According to the Chairman of the UGC Professor Gamini Samaranayake, 55 million rupees has been allocated to enhance IT education facilities and welfare of students in Vavuniya campus. 'In addition, the World Bank project will be launched to upgrade the facilities in the universities next year', he said. more..

‘Common opposition alliance’ is only a collection of buddies – Tilvin

Sep 28 (LT) The ‘common opposition alliance’ is not a novelty to the country, it is not a new organization or a front nor does it have a programme based on new policies but is a collection of buddies who jump from one side to the other says JVP MP Tilvin Silva. He said his party has not received any invitation to join such an ‘alliance’ nor would they be concerned regarding such an alliance. more..

Minister Milroy wants workers to be tipsy

Sep 28 (LT) He favoured ‘Mathata Thitha’ (Halt to intoxicants) concept but the government should make available low cost liquor to workers says Minister of Public Estate Management & Development Milroy Fernando. Interestingly, the minister made this statement addressing the 15th Annual sessions of the Association of Excise Inspectors. He said, “The ‘Mathata Thitha’ concept is relevant to eradication of drugs only. It is not relevant to liquor. more..

40% of revenue earned from tea used to maintain company heads

Sep 28 (LNW) Trade unions say estate workers could be given a two fold increase in their daily wage if the 40% currently charged by plantation companies from its estates for the maintenance of the head office is reduced to 25%. Sources from plantation companies also said that an additional Rs. 18-20 is charged from a kilo of rubber or tea by the plantation companies as management fees. more..

No control over food in parliament kitchen – Auditor General

Sep 28 (LNW) The Auditor General has shown that in 2007, the parliament kitchen had thrown away 2,000 meal portions and 1,5000 desert portions for a month. Such a situation has arisen due to the lack of a proper estimate of the number of people who would need to be catered by parliament each day and the inability of the administration to decide on the money to be spent on each meal. more..

Hudson loses his cool over damage in Bandaranaike recording

Sep 28 (LNW) SLBC Chairman, Hudson Samarasinghe had lost his cool and shouted at the technician who assisted his programme when a recording of the late S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike played during the programme to commemorate the 50th Bandaranaike death anniversary skipped due to a damage in the tape. Hudson had shouted out loud in filth at the technician, who had also shouted back at the Chairman. more..

Home Away from Home

Familiarity works to New Zealand's advantage

Sep 28 (CI) When New Zealand put up 300-plus batting first, they do not lose. Today's 315 was the 18th time they had done so and duly they came away with their 18th such win. After a disappointing start against South Africa, and indifferent recent form, their win in this most open tournament means a semi-final spot is in their own hands. Win against England and they will go through. Top-order contributions were the key, more..

Homosexuality, cabaret and GSP

Sep 28 (LNP) As the day on which the EU is expected to make a final decision on Sri Lanka`s GSP Plus draws nearer, the government has stepped up efforts to retain it, though it is not as desperate as it was a few months ago because Sri Lanka`s economy has improved to a considerable extent. The resilience of Sri Lanka`s export sector has been remarkable. Time was when the prime lending rate went up to 20 per cent inflation shot up to 28 per cent foreign reserves dwindled, more..

This Govt. is Sri Lanka’s ‘Robbing Hood’ – Kabeer Hashim

Sep 28 (UNP) UNP M.P. Kabeer Hashim addressing a Press briefing today at the UNP media unit said, the Govt. is unendingly robbing the people by way of taxes, tariffs and price hikes only to feed its largest Cabinet of Ministers, its white elephant Govt. sectors and to cover up the raging corruption in the country. In other words the people are the scapegoats for Govt.’s follies, corruption and wastages. more..

Under next Presidency: Rs 10,000 b for development

Sep 28 (DN) The Government's national development plan will disburse a minimum Rs. 10,000 billion in the next term of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in addition to the Rs. 2,000 billion spent in the last four years, especially in infrastructure, power, road development, ports and telecommunications, Media Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He said although the whole world was badly affected by the global economic downturn the Government, more..

Returning to the broken palmyrah

Sep 28 (Himal) In September, many will remember Rajani Thiranagama, the feminist, activist, Marxist, scholar, doctor and teacher who was assassinated 20 years ago, on 21 September 1989. Among the reasons for her assassination was the publication of The Broken Palmyrah, which she had co-authored with three other academics from Jaffna University. While Southasians commemorate the life and work of Rajani at a time when more..

Model school bag

Sep 28 (DN) After many experiments and analysis the Ministry of Education has introduced a model schoolbag for schoolchildren since certain experts have pointed out that a heavy back pack carried by schoolchildren could be harmful to their physical growth. The model schoolbag has been designed in line with the steps taken by the Education Ministry to minimize the weight of heavy schoolbag. Accordingly, the model bag which comes under the back-pack model along with waist band more..

‘Ranil as PM refused to resettle Muslims’

Sep 28 (DN) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has suddenly taken a liking for the displaced persons in the North, he wants them resettled immediately. This could be done if the areas are cleared of all landmines and battas, said former Minister of Muslim Affairs and Presidential Advisor A. H. M. Azwer. He said, the question that should be asked from him is why he failed to add a condition in that Peace agreement he signed with more..

'Sri Lankan exporters should capture Chinese market'

Sep 28 (DN) Sri Lankan exporters should capture the major market opportunity emerging in China through its growing middle class which is expected to reach 400 million by 2010, Institute of Policy Studies, Executive Director, Dr. Saman Kelegama said. He was speaking on “China Economic Relations - an overview” at the Sri Lanka China Business Forum organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, at Cinnamon Lakeside, on Friday. more..

Gut-wrenching urban waste pollutes a village

Sep 28 (Island) Solid waste dumped by the Seethawaka Urban Council on a rubber estate at Baduwatte, Puwakpitiya near the Nagawatte Bend has contaminated a stream known as Kalu Ela and made the area stink. Residents say they the waste matter was brought in a vehicle belonging to the Seethawaka UC about two weeks ago. Although most of the waste matter had been washed by recent rains into Kalu Ela, there could still be seen a massive heap of waste emanating an unbearable stench, more..

Ranil defines traitor as one who builds palaces out of people’s money, denies their rights, only to nourish himself and his family

Sep 28 (UNP) This GSP+ benefits is something that can be obtained on a platter by any country if it has protected human rights of the people and curbed corruption. The govt. after making a hash of the issue is looking for scapegoats to fasten the blame. No one, not even the President or Chakaraya can stop these benefits being received by SL if the Govt. has taken steps to avert more..

Mangala warns of 100s of Prabhakarans unless...

Sep 28 (Island) DPF leader Mano Ganeshan, MP yesterday said that almost 300,000 Tamils were being held in prisons camps in the northern Vavuniya region. Addressing a public gathering at the Viharamaha Devi open air theatre, he said that over 150,000 could vote at the coming presidential and parliamentary elections. The Rajapaksa government, he said was trying to deny them an opportunity to vote for the Opposition, thereby ensuring victory for the ruling coalition. more..

'Lankan Navy threatened to kill us'

Sep 28 (TN) In what is a shocking story from Tamil Nadu, twenty-two fishermen from the Nagercoil area of Tamil Nadu allege Sri Lankan Navy assaulted and humiliated them. The fishermen who were fishing in the Kanniyaakumari seas were reported to have been brutally assaulted and cast naked in high seas by Sri Lanka Navy soldiers. The incident occurred on Friday night. The soldiers beat the fishermen with ice blocks and threatened to open fire on them after more..

Arjuna comes out of retirement to play for Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (DM) Former national skippers Arjuna Ranatunga, Hashan Tillakaratne and Marvan Atapattu will be among the cricket legends to represent Sri Lanka at an international masters tournament to be held in the West Indies. Asanka Gurusinghe, Russel Arnold and Ravindra Pushpakumara have also been contracted to the Sri Lanka team by the organisers for the tournament to be played from November 27 to December 5 at the famous Kensington Oval in Barbados. more..

Acting principals to boycott Teachers’ Day

Sep 28 (DM) Some 3,500 acting school principals throughout the country have decided to boycott the October 6 Teachers’ Day celebrations as a mark of protest against the failure by the government to give them permanent appointments, a trade union said yesterday. The All Island Acting Principals’ Union said these principals sat for the required examination four years ago, but the government was yet to absorb them into the permanent cadre. more..

Lack of proficiency hinders language policy implementation

Sep 28 (DM) Constitutional Affairs and National Integration Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara lamented yesterday that there was a shortage of 300,000 officers in the public service with proficiency in a second language to implement the official language policy. In the public service - excluding the armed forces – the percentage proficient in a second language in the Central Government is on average 6 and the level of Provincial Councils and more..

Sri Lanka: After the war - Part 2

Sri Lanka: After the war - Part 1

Already Rs. 50 mn spent on Weerawila airport

Sep 28 (DM) The government has reportedly spent Rs. 50 million for the initial work of the Weerawila airport, and all these monies have become a sheer waste since the project was later shifted to the Mattala area in the Hambantota district. The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) discussed the matter last week, and some opposition members had questioned the officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry in this regard. more..

Probe team to quiz KP on role in Rajiv killing

Sep 28 (TOI) The Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is back under the spotlight. The Multi-disciplinary Monitoring Agency — constituted in 1998 to probe the conspiracy angle in the case, and which got a fresh lease of life with the nabbing of Selvarasa Pathmanathan or KP by the Sri Lankan government recently — is all set to despatch a team to Colombo to question the former chief arms procurer of LTTE, who tried to lead the remnants after the outfit’s fall in May. more..

Sri Lanka state revenues improve in July; budget gap still wide

Sep 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state revenues picked up in July, with taxes in the first seven months only 1.47 percent behind last year, but the budget gap continues to be wide, with current expenses growing 24.7 percent, the latest official data showed. The implied annualized overall deficit narrowed to 10.4 percent of gross domestic product from 12.0 percent in April, and 10.8 percent in June. more..

President orders to remove political cut-outs in the south

Sep 28 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the IGP Jayantha Wickramarathna to take prompt action to remove cut-outs that are put up in all the three districts of the southern region as a part of the political campaign of the respective contesters and their supporters. It has been brought to notice of the President that lots of posters and cut-outs have come up in prohibited areas violating election laws. more..

'Local entrepreneurs will be protected even without GSP+'

Sep 28 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa told in no uncertain terms, that the country s internal affairs would be run in a manner that honours peoples aspirations and not in accordance with the requests of outside forces. The President said that he would never betray the country and the faith and confidence the people had placed on him and would take all decisions in alignment with their wishes. more..

Ranil, Mangala: Let us get rid of brutal, corrupt Rajapaksa regime

Sep 28 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, MP and SLFP dissident Mangala Samaraweera, MP yesterday said that an absolute military victory over the LTTE last May had not brought in its wake any tangible change to the long suffering people of Sri Lanka. Addressing a public gathering at the Viharamaha Devi open air theatre in support of a grand opposition alliance in the making, they said the Rajapaksas had failed to honour their pledge to more..

Wimal makes case for skipping Nov. budget

Sep 28 (LNP) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP yesterday said the government should not present a budget in November as its term would end in March 2009. He said that it would not be ethical to go ahead with the presentation. Following media reports that the government would not present the budget in keeping with an agreement with the IMF, Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya assured that budget proposals would be presented in Parliament on November 07. more..

Sri Lanka plans to set up Special Tribunals to try LTTE cadres

Sep 28 (PTI) Sri Lanka plans to set up a Special Tribunal to try over 10,000 LTTE suspects who have been involved in various crimes and has even sought help from the U.S. and the U.K. in dealing with the former rebels. “Our aim is to settle the cases against the LTTE cadres speedily as it could otherwise take years in the normal legal system in courts,” a top government official told PTI. More than 10,000 LTTE cadres are being held in various centres across more..

Norway, Solheim helped establish LTTE-Eritrea links for arms deals

Sep 28 (Island) The Norwegian government helped the LTTE to establish relations with Eritrea, which allowed the group to purchase arms, ammunition and equipment from China on Eritrean end-user certificates and other documents needed to legally buy weapons, according to well informed sources. Sources said the tripartite understanding had been reached in Norway as far back as 2002-2003, when it facilitated negotiations purportedly aimed at ending Sri Lanka’s war. more..

P.B. Jayasundara reinstated as finance secretary

Sep 28 (CT) Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, who has been cleared by the Supreme Court to return to public office, has been reinstated as secretary of the finance ministry. His immediate reinstatement is among the three top level state appointments made by president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The SC allowed Dr. Jayasundara to accept state positions after considering a petition by him, seeking a reversal of an affidavit given by him. more..

Land Ho! Indian companies head to Lanka for share of realty pie

Sep 29 (ET) For nearly three decades, politicians from Norway to New Delhi were flying to Colombo to facilitate peace in Sri Lanka. Now corporate executives from Larsen & Toubro’s AM Naik to Omaxe’s Rohtas Goel may join author-investor Jim Rogers in flying to the once war-torn Indian Ocean island to share a pie of the future prosperity. L&T, Omaxe, Puravankara Projects are among those lining up to build projects anticipating an economic surge more..

Sri Lanka fined for slow over-rate

Sep 29 (CI) Sri Lanka have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their 38-run defeat to New Zealand at The Wanderers. The match referee Javagal Srinath imposed the fine after Sri Lanka were ruled two overs short of their target at the end of the match when time allowances were taken into consideration. According the ICC Code of Conduct concerning penalties for slow over-rates, players are fined 5% of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl more..

'Govt, placing a knife on the neck of the farmer, plunders his harvest'

Sep 29 (LT) The government places the knife on the neck of the farmer and plunders the paddy harvest the farmers have obtained with their sweat and labour said JVP Parliamentarian for Pollonnaruwa District S.K. Subasinghe. He said the government is engaged in a deplorable plunder of paddy harvest. Mr. Subasinghe said only 50% of the paddy fields have been cultivated during the ‘Yala’ season in 2009 and more..

One killed in stampede for food at Madamulana Wallawwa

Sep 29 (LT) A person has died in a stampede to get food at a ‘dansala’ given at Medamulana Walawwa for activists of the UPFA in Akuressa area. G. Arnolis, an 85 year old father of seven of No.12, Amalagoda, Akuressa died when activists stampeded when they were offered meals at Medamulana Walawwa on the 25th. Offering of meals at Madamulana Walawwa is taking place with the participation of the President as part of the campaign for the Southern PC election. more..

Champika cowed by PC withdraws employees in environmental authority

Sep 29 (LT) The Minister Champika Ranawaka has withdrawn all officials who were employed in Central Environmental Authority in the province as a result of the environmental charter the North Western Provincial Council has adopted. According to powers vested through the National Environmental Act No.44 of 1980, provincial councils have been bestowed with powers to issue environmental licenses for industries, more..

1000 Sri Lankans expelled from Kuwait

Sep 29 (LS) Kuwait media has published a news item, 17 thousand persons from 22 countries who had illegally migrated to Kuwait would be expelled was according to the Local Affairs Ministry of Kuwait. Air tickets would be provided to the persons according to the requests from the Department of deportees and the Central Agent Society would purchase the air tickets accordingly. According to the Local Affairs Ministry’s report, about thousand Sri Lankans had been expelled to Sri Lanka. more..

Ban again urges Sri Lanka to resettle hundreds of thousands displaced by war

Sep 29 (UN) Failure to rapidly resettle nearly 300,000 Sri Lankans displaced by the Government’s final onslaught against Tamil separatists and further suffering under harsh conditions in the camps could result in growing bitterness, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the island’s Prime Minister today. In talks with Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Mr. Ban stressed more..

Sri Lanka seeks higher Haj quota

Sep 29 (AN) Sri Lankan Minister for Transport and Haj A.H.M. Fowzie is here to meet with local authorities and plead for a raise in the number of pilgrims for this year’s Haj. The minister said the local authorities fixed varied pilgrim numbers for the island state in the last four years. In the past two years, 5,300 pilgrims performed Haj each year. “I am here to see that the local authorities raise the Sri Lankan number to 6,500 for the ensuing Haj,” Fowzie said. more..

Galle harbour police assaulted me: Muttuhettigama

Sep 29 (LG) “I have received death threats from the Galle Harbour Police,” said Nishantha Muthuhettigama making a special statement in Galle magistrate's court today. Making the statement with the permission of the Galle Chief Magistrate Thaamara Tennakoon, when the case against him was taken up for consideration, the UPFA candidate for the upcoming Southern Provincial Council elections said that he had no faith in the police and more..

On the ‘reasonable use of Tamil’

Sep 29 (LG) I am all for identity assertion. I do not think that submerging culture associated with language, custom, faith etc in an overall mishmash that is even more amorphous is necessarily good or better. Make no mistake, I am not against anyone wanting to be Sri Lankan and feeling that his/her overall national identity (Sri Lankan) overrides other identities (Sinhala, Tamil, Moor or Burgher; Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, Catholic); but more..

'Sudu Amma' - the German philanthropist

Sep 29 (LG) Amarapura Saddharma Yukthika (Matara) Maha Nikaya with the consent of its Karaka Sangha Sabha conferred the honorary title 'Sri Lanka Samaja Seva Shiromani' on Waltrand Katharina Klett, a German philanthropist recently at a ceremony held at Purvarama Viharaya, Purvarama Place, Colombo 12. This ceremony was chaired by the Ven. Agga Maha Panditha Davuldena Gananissara Maha Nayake thera of Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya. more..

No way mercenaries can be watchdogs

Sep 29 (LG) Society needs watchdogs, but the character and the bona fides of the watchdog is of crucial import! There is a reason NGO lapdogs cannot be effective watchdogs. To label this assertion as ‘sinister’ or ‘xenophobic’ is lame, as this type of postulation about NGOs needs to be met with facts and arguments, and not hysterical tearing of hair. Consider the following: We know that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) more..

Eelam Tamils after end of Eelam War IV

Sep 29 (LG) The defeat of LTTE on or around May 17, 2009, marked the end of Eelam War 4 and the complete domination of Eelam by the Singhalese dominated Sri Lanka government. Two and a half decades of Tamil armed resistance thus came to an end. The Tamils, before the armed rebellion started, had been subjected to repeated racial attacks by the Singhalese mobs and armed forces. It culminated in 1983, when around 3,000 Tamils were massacred throughout the country, more..

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