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Features of a Gulag – The loss of the meaning of legal and illegal

Sep 30 (LG) The concept of the gulag, first used by Aleksandr Solzhenisyn it in the Gulag Archipelago 1918 – 1956, has come to mean a particular system of repression imposed on a whole country, and which has some definite characteristics. In an earlier article, I described these characteristics as: The loss of the meaning of legality within a particular country; A predominant position played by the security apparatus; more..

What is needed to be an ‘Activist’?’

Sep 30 (LG) Both printed and electronic media are full of news items carrying the activities, statements and articles of so-called ‘activists’, especially those who pretend to be the guardian of human rights, free media rights and peace. Apart from the lucrative jobs, these millionaire ‘activists’ are receiving free attractive titles, wide publicity, and free foreign trips and so forth, perhaps, not second to any other job in existence. more..

105 elephant deaths this year

Sep 30 (CT) As many as 105 elephants had died in the country due to various reasons in the first seven months of this year, records of the Wildlife Conservation Department show. In the previous year, the figure stood at 224. During the same period, 21 people had been killed in elephant attacks, the department said. The highest number of elephant deaths had been reported from northwestern wildlife range, and 60 of the deaths were due to gunshot wounds.

Foreigners own 10,000 acres of land in Sri Lanka

Sep 30 (CT) Foreign nationals who are not citizens of Sri Lanka had bought around 10,000 acres of land in the past two decades, including private land close to the historic Dutch Fort in Galle, said Land Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga. They had taken ownership of the land in violation of laws and without paying the taxes due to the state, he said. The large scale purchasing of land in main towns by foreigners poses a serious threat to national security, said the minister. more..

Hisbullah survives no confidence motion today

Sep 30 (PSM) The much expected no confidence motion in the Eastern Proincial Council against health Minister MLAM. Hisbullah was not taken up in the Council today. Since it as not agreed between party leaders in adavnce, the motion is postponed for another future day, the EPC sources disclosed. The sources also dismissed the report that the chairman of the Council AMM. Faiz decided against taking up the motion. more..

Pledge to herald work of Sri Lanka women media professionals reiterated

Sep 30 (HA) A meeting of SAWM (South Asian Women in Media) Sri Lanka Chapter was held at Hotel Renuka on September 29th 2009. Formalisation of the Constitution and electing of the new office bearers have taken place during the meeting. SAWM was officially launched in Colombo on May 19th 2009. The members of the Sri Lanka Chapter of the South Asian Free Media Association have taken initiative to form the Sri Lanka Chapter of the SAWM, more..

US - 2011 Diversity Visa Lottery Program Registration

Sep 30 (AT) The US State Department has anounced the opening of the registration period for the DV-2011 Diversity Visa lottery. Entries for the DV-2011 Diversity Visa lottery have to be be submitted electronically between October 2, to November 30, 2009. According to a release by the US Department of State - Applicants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form (E-DV) at during the registration period. more..

Cardiovascular diseases have caused an increase of hospital admissions and deaths

Sep 30 (AT) Over the last 6 years there is a 20% increase of government hospital admissions and 18% increase of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases. Half of the people died due to chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) are less than 70 years. NCDs cause 400 deaths per day which is fairly more than the deaths caused by Dengue. Therefore the future life expectancy gains could be achieved mainly through NCD prevention and control, more..

Govt. sure of GSP+ deal but UNP wary

Sep 30 (BL) The Government is confidently stepping up its lobbying for the extension of GSP+ whilst the main Opposition UNP yesterday reiterated its reservations. The securing of GSP+ concessions is gathering heat as the European Commission (EC) prepares to determine the verdict on October 15 to be communicated to the 27 member European Council for further deliberation. Sources at the European Commission explained that the council will determine within two months whether to accept the decision or more..

Example set by our leaders

Sep 30 (BL) I think I am the only journalist still alive, who reported the events connected with the shooting of former Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, and the lengthy trial and magisterial inquiry to the Supreme Court appeal that followed. I was then a young reporter who covered Parliamentary proceedings for Thinakaran, the Lake House Tamil paper. As I entered Parliament about 9.45 am on September 25, 1959, a Parliamentary staff told me about the shooting. more..

CMC says 450,000 in the city don’t pay taxes

Sep 30 (BL) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) is struggling to finance itself as 450 000 people within the Colombo city limits fail to pay their taxes according to Former Mayor Omar Kamil. CMC Chief City Administrator Omar Kamil pointed out that out of the total of 650,000 residents living in Colombo, 450,000 do not pay tax to the CMC which makes it harder for the development of the city. He also noted that there is Rs.3 billion of outstanding tax which is more..

'Govt. must pass on fuel saving to masses'

Sep 30 (BL) UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said that the country had saved Rs. 110 billion in its oil import bill so far this year but the masses haven’t been given the desired corresponding benefit by way of a meaningful price reduction. He said that total expenditure on petroleum imports in the first half of 2009 had declined by 52.6% or US$ 959 million to US$ 866 million from US$ 1.82 billion in the first half of last year. more..

Elections are not a significant event today: JVP

Sep 30 (CaFFE) JVP MP parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake said the voters in the country today do not take elections as a significant event as in the past when the general election held every five years was the only countrywide election. Addressing a propaganda rally at Getamanna in Beliatta he pointed out that incessant elections held at a colossal expenditure would only undermine the democratic process and further burden the people who are facing hardships caused by the burning problems of the country. more..

My contributions to Communication Scholarship

Sep 30 (LG) As I asserted at the start of this series, I was born to be a journalist. I became a prolific and challenging scholar only during the final decade before my retirement. I will leave it up to a younger researcher to sort and analyze all of my journalistic and scholarly output. I have referred to only a sample in this series. I still find it exciting to see my name in print. Now that I am almost at the end of my journey as a journalist and scholar, more..

Healer who lit the way for the poor

Sep 30 (LG) A medical professor “par excellence” Senaka W. Bibile passed away 32 years ago in remote Guyana in the West Indies apparently of a heart attack on September 29, 1977. Other than being a renowned professor of pharmacology, socialist, humanitarian, he was the founder chairman of the State Pharmaceutical Corporation. He was a popular teacher in the faculties of medicine in Colombo and Peradeniya. more..

All Sri Lankan communities participated in the Ramadan Iftar in London

Sep 30 (LG) Sri Lankans of all communities participated in the Ramadan Iftar hosted by the Sri Lanka Islamic Forum UK (SLIF-UK) held on the 07th September 2009 Monday at the London Muslim Centre, Whitechapel, London. This year’s lftar was sponsored by world Islamic call society and facilitated by UK Arab society. The event started with with a recitation from the Holy Quran by Qaari As Sheikh Shamila from World Islamic Call Society. more..

At UN, Ban cannot stop Sri Lanka's shooting, Blake's visit, Report mid-Octber

Sep 30 (LG) In the wake of the Sri Lankan Army shooting at least two children on the margins of the Manik Farm "Internally Displaced Persons" camp in Vavuniya, Inner City Press on Tuesday asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon if, in his September 28 meeting with three Sri Lankan ministers, he sought or gained any commitment for non-use of lethal weapons on unarmed IDPs. Mr. Ban proffered a more than 150 word answer, but did not mention any such commitment, more..

Pavena Parandel of western sciences and technologies

Sep 30 (LG) Before I get back to culture knowledge problem (which came first) I would like to give more examples for Prof. Amaratunga’s economic determinism before he "discovered" the twin like relationship between culture and economics after he was criticized. The Professor as I mentioned last week is very good at somersaulting and there was nothing on this twins in his article on Tamil Problem and World Power Polarization that appeared on 19th July. more..

Security matters

Sep 30 (LG) Security is a controversial word. None of us wants to be blown up in a suicide attack, but neither would we care to be incarcerated for months on end on mere suspicion of involvement in such a crime or even just sympathy for a terrorist’s cause. There is a balance to be struck. We generally accept this need for compromise, but what it should be and how we should go about reaching it isn’t always so obvious. more..

Statue of Gamini Fonseka at Elphinston Theatre

Sep 30 (GDI) A life size statue of Sri Lanka's film legend,Gamini Fonseka will be unveiled today at the Elphinston Theatre precincts to mark the late actor's fifth death anniversary. Gamini Fonseka, the actor turned politician held the public office of Deputy Speaker of Parliament (1989-94) and Governor of the then merged North East Province. He was known as the doyen of the Silver Screen more..

Sri Lankan Community Centre in London

Sep 30 (GDI) The Inaugural Ceremony of first registered Sri Lankan Community Centre was unveiled in London Borough of Hounslow recently. The event was the first of its kind in its own right to bring all those apart for long time under one banner as Sri Lankans. The event was participated by Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in London and as far as from County Dhrham was an encouragement for the management committee, more..

Press Council refutes Ranil's allegations

Sep 30 (GDI) The Chairman of the Sri Lanka Press Council, Prof. Somaratne Balasooriya has refuted allegations by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe that the government violated media freedom by effecting the Sri Lanka Press Council laws. Wickremesinghe had also stated that persons curb media freedom were traitors. In response to this statement, Prof. Somarathne Balasooriya said that the Sri Lanka Press Council has not taken any legal action against media personnel since 1973. more..

ETV Debrief News - 28.09.2009

Rs.3.5 Bn for Vavuniya development projects

Sep 30 (GDI) Under the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” 180-day Accelerated Development Programme, 3500 million rupees has been allocated for projects in the Vavuniya District. The projects are being launched on the instructions of the President and the guidance of Chief of the “Uthuru Wasanthaya” Task Force Basil Rajapaksa. Infrastructure of villages in which the civilians are being resettled will be developed through these projects. more..

Journalist threatened by Sinhala gang

Sep 30 (LS) Journalist Dileesha Abeysundera Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Borella Police that she was threatened by a group of unidentified persons around 11.45 p.m. on Monday night, according media reports in Colombo. Ms. Abeysundera works for Irudina, a sister newspaper of the Sunday leader. She is also the Deputy Secretary of the Free Media Movement (FMM), a media watchdog, and Secretary of the National Forum for Journalists (NFFJ). more..

Isn’t it time for at least the contours of a political solution to be known?

Sep 30 (AT) It appears that Sri Lanka has been sending mixed messages about a political solution to address the political conflict the country has experienced for decades. It is the after taste that is arising from mixed signals that is worrying those who genuinely feel there should be a political solution, while at the same time providing fuel to the not so genuine who wish to keep the flame of Tamil aspirations and more..

Ramadoss also for citizenship for Lankan refugees

Sep 30 (AT) PMK's founder S Ramadoss on Wednesday supported the ruling DMK's demand for Indian citizenship to one lakh Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in Tamil Nadu for several years, but was skeptical of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's ability to make the Centre act. In a statement, he said the Chief Minister’s announcement that he would take up the issue with the Centre should be welcomed by all. more..

Last “Tapir” at Dehiwala Zoo dies

Sep 30 (LP) The last “Tapir” at the Dehiwala Zoo had an unfortunate death. Tapir is a large browsing mammal, roughly pig-like in shape, with a short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The size of the creature varies between types, but most tapirs are about 2 meters long, stand about a meter high at the shoulder, and weigh between 150 and 300 kg. more..

Law of the jungle already rages in SL; why another draconian Press Council Act too ?

Sep 30 (UNP) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing journalists, civil society activists, political party members, religious leaders and civic minded citizens who gathered in large numbers yesterday at the Jayawardena center in Colombo, said the Govt.’s attempt to implement the Press Council Act is an unpatriotic step, as it is not only stifling the media freedom and rights, but also the readers’ rights to true information. more..

The new Secondary School for Ameer Ali Village in Ampara

Sep 30 (AT) The new Secondary School for Ameer Ali Village in Ampara constructed by the European Union at the cost of LKR24, 2Billion will be declared open tomorrow. The European Union provides a new secondary school building for 300 children and 13 teachers of Ameer Ali village, in Ampara, eastern Sri Lanka. Prior to the new school building, students and teachers conducted classes in a temporary shed. more..

'M.R. Govt. has most number of bullet proof cars in Asia'

Sep 30 (UNP) SLFP (M), leader Mangala Samaraweera said, the Secretaries of Ministries, the Chairmen of Corporations and stooges in order to display their power and ‘ boru show’ are using the security details as a status symbol. The President alone is having over a thousand staff in his security detail while the largest Cabinet in the world of 112 Ministers also are having massive security fleets, he added. more..

“Wildlife Exhibition” to be held from tomorrow

Sep 30 (LP) “Wildlife Exhibition” to mark the 60 years of Department of Wildlife Conservation will commence tomorrow at BMICH. The exhibition would continue till October 3. Organizers state that the exhibition would open for the public from 9 am to 6.30 pm. Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanyake and Minister of Environmental and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawake will participate in the opening ceremony.

UNP insists on budget for 2010

Sep 30 (LT) UNP yesterday threatened to take legal action against the government if it did not present the budget for 2010. UNP MP Sagala Ratnayake said Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya had in a recent statement guaranteed the House that the government would present the budget for 2010. “According to conditions under which the government opted for the IMF loan, it’s essential to present the 2010 budget. more..

Last batch of Kokuvil camp IDPs return home

Sep 30 (MoD) The last batch of Internally Displaced Persons, living in a Kokuvil welfare camp in Batticaloa, was yesterday sent back to their villages in Trincomalee. There were 321 persons from 91 families. The number people displaced in Trincomalee and Batticaloa stood at 41,000 and 150,000 respectively. They had been housed in 112 welfare camps. Meanwhile, 2,500 persons belonging to 745 families, whose resettlement in their villages in more..

Defending the defenders of Sri Lanka

Sep 30 (LNP) While a sinister campaign is on overseas to press war crime charges against Sri Lanka, one of our columnists, Durand Appuhamy, has made a valuable suggestion in an article on this page yesterday. Since former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert Blake has sent a report to the US Congress on Sri Lanka presumably in a bid to make a case for the prosecution of the Sri Lankan armed forces for war crimes, Durand asks what prevents more..

'IDPs given freedom to move out with day pass'

Sep 30 (MoD) Countering attempts by various groups to identify the IDP centers in the North as 'internment camps', Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the IDPs, despite strict security measures, have the freedom to move out for a short period of time through a day pass system, "This is not typical of the treatment of persons in so-called internment camps," he argued. more..

Russian Military Attaché Calls on Commander

Sep 30 (LP) Air and Naval Attaché to the Embassy of Russian Federation Colonel Vladimir K. Chernenko called on the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya in his office at Army Headquarters Colombo yesterday (29). The Russian diplomat during this first official visit to the Army Headquarters conveyed his greetings and best wishes to the Commander on his appointment as the new Commander. more..

Bridge between Trincomalee, Kinniya: Boost to economic activity of eastern region people

Sep 30 (MoD) The completion of Sri Lanka's longest bridge of 396 meters linking Trincomalee with Kinniya in mid October, would go a long way in boosting the economic activity among the people of the Eastern region, residents said yesterday. The majority of Kinniya residents, who are Muslims expressed their thanks to President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Trincomalee District MP and Minister of Cooperatives Najeeb A. Majjed for more..

Colombo Port records highest cargo throughput in 2008

Sep 30 (LNP) The Colombo Port recorded the highest ever annual cargo throughput in its history during 2008. According to the Performance Report 2008 of the Ports and Aviation Ministry, the total cargo tonnage handled at the Colombo Port during 2008 was 30,923,831 tons (including containerised cargo), an increase of 6.7 percent compared to 28,984,807 tons of total cargo tonnage handled in 2007. more..

Migration to foreign lands: New laws ensure best practices

Sep 30 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is to be given wider powers, including permission to arrest without warrant any errant job agent or individual violating established protocol in a bid to ensure and enforce best ethical practices in labour migration. The proposed new regulation by way of amendments to the SLBFE Act which was originally introduced in 1985 was passed in Parliament by a majority vote on Thursday. more..

Huge potential to set up manufacturing factories in UAE

Sep 30 (DN) Sri Lankan entrepreneurs can take their companies beyond Sri Lanka’s shores since there is a huge potential to set up new manufacturing factories and branches in the UAE. Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have to meet the required standards and maintain the quality of their products. Hence, the Gulf region is a gateway to many Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who are determined to set up their business in the Gulf and it will in return bring foreign exchange to Sri Lanka, more..

CMC yet to collect Rs 3 billion as defaulted rates, taxes

Sep 30 (DN) Nearly three billion rupees are due as defaulted rates and taxes to the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) during the past decade. Only around 200,000 people pay the CMC rates but 400,000 shanty dwellers enjoy the benefits of services provided by the CMC while another 500,000 people who come to the city daily for work use the facilities of the CMC, Competent Authority Omar Kamil said at a press conference yesterday. more..

Debrief News - 29.09.2009

Five held for double murder

Sep 30 (DN) Police arrested yesterday five suspects in connection with a double murder in Kondavil, Jaffna on July 28. The jewelleries robbed from the victims were recovered from the suspects. Weerasingham Sureshkumar (37) and Suwadeepa Sureshkumar (26) were killed by unidentified men in Aladi road, Kondavil on July 28 night. A special police team deployed under Kopai OIC CI Ashoka Kumara arrested five suspects in Kondavil area on Monday around 7.00pm. more..

Nearly 20,000 escape from IDP centres: Most believed to be LTTE cadres

Sep 30 (Island) At least 20,000 of the nearly 300,000 IDPs in the Vavuniya camps had escaped, SSP for Kandy Ranjith Kasturiratna said at the Kandy District coordinating committee meeting, chaired by Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, on Monday. SSP Kasturiratne said special police teams from Kandy had been dispatched to the IDP camps in the North to conduct investigations. more..

CPC to sue Singapore oil supplier Low quality oil supplied to CEB

Sep 30 (Island) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has decided to take legal action against the Singapore based Company, Vital Asia Private Limited, for supplying low quality oil to the Ceylon Electricity Board’s private power producers. The CPC plans to seek USD 10 million in damages. Following a Board approval for legal action, the institution had consulted the Attorney General’s Department and suspended supplies by Vital Asia Private Limited. more..

Lanka 92nd in Corruption Perceptions Index

Sep 30 (Island) Sri Lanka has improved marginally in the global Corruption Perceptions Index and ranked 92 of 180 countries from 94 the previous year. The index is compiled by Transparency International after surveying business people and analysts both in and out of each country.While Sri Lanka’s ranking has improved from 2007 to 2008(the latest edition) the score remains the same at 3.2. Scores range from 10 (highly clean) down to 0 (highly corrupt). more..

Gamini Fonseka: “Maharajaneni” of Sinhala moviedom

Sep 30 (DBS) Gamini Fonseka, the uncrowned “Maharajaneni” or monarch of Sinhala moviedom passed away peacefully on September 30th in 2004. Though Gamini is no more most of his fans like this writer have not forgotten him. This article coinciding with Gamini's fifth death anniversary today is a humble tribute to to the memory of a man who lives in the hearts of many. more..

Minister seeks permission to use unclaimed funds in northern banks

Sep 30 (LS) Minister Douglas Devananda said that he had sought permission from President Mahinda Rajapakse to use the funds in the form of cash and gold jewellery worth around 3000 million rupees lying unclaimed in the banks in the north for the development of the north, sources in Jaffna said. Around 1000 million rupees and gold jewellery worth 2000 million rupees stagnate in government and private banks in the north, more..

Nine ‘bridges’ on Southern Expressway to be demolished

Sep 30 (Island) The Government had decided to demolish nine of the 73 bridges on the 126-kilometre-long Southern Expressway currently under construction, sources said yesterday. Director of the Southern Expressway Project S. Meihandan said that the structures to be demolished were nine metal arch water drainage structures and not bridges used by people and vehicles on the Southern Expressway. more..