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Charcoal factory on way

Sep 5 (DN) Top level Chinese businessmen have decided to establish a factory to make coconut related products in the island under the direction of the Chinese Government. According to the Plantation Industries Ministry media sources, the businessmen have made a number of proposals on the matter to the Plantation Industries Minister D.M. Jayaratne at the Ministry on last Tuesday. more..

Bus passengers clash with crew

Sep 5 (DN) A passenger was arrested by police following a dispute between bus crew and passengers at the Bastian bus stand in Colombo on Thursday night. Police spokesman Senior DIG Nimal Mediwake said a crowd gathered to travel to a holiday destination taking account of the long weekend had a dispute with bus crew at the Bastian bus stand. The huge crowd gathered to travel to the same destination had quarrelled with the bus crew, more..

India to share nuke know-how with Lanka

Sep 5 (DM) India is likely to share its nuclear technology with Sri Lanka for power generation using Thorium as the main source of energy, Science and Technology Minister Tissa Vitharana said yesterday. Professor Vitharana said he had invited Indian nuclear scientists to conduct a feasibility study on the use of Thorium deposits – found in abundance along our southern costal belt – as a source of nuclear energy for power generation more..

Planters say Tea factories may close down

Sep 5 (DM) Planters Association of Ceylon yesterday warned that plantation companies would be compelled to discontinue operations in estates and factories because of work in tea estates being continuously disrupted due to the crisis in the estate sector. The Association charged that the disruptions were being used by estate workers to apply pressure on the on-going wage talks. more..

Foreign reserves borrowed at high interest rates: UNP

Sep 5 (DM) The main opposition UNP charged yesterday that 90 percent of the country’s foreign reserves consisted of funds obtained from foreign donor agencies at high interest rates. UNP front-liner Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves comprise US$ 875 million borrowed from the Templeton Fund in the United States at an interest rate of 13 percent. more..

Eighteen Nepalis stranded in Lanka as broker dies

Sep 5 (DM) Eighteen Nepali workers bound for South Africa have been stranded in Sri Lanka, after the broker accompanying them died drowning in the sea near Colombo. The Nepali embassy in Colombo informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on August 17 that the workers were stranded after their job broker Lok Bahadur Dahal of Panchankanya VDC of Sunsari died on August 13. more..

Weerawansa on why he defected

Sep 5 (DM) Leader of the National Freedom Front (NFF) Wimal Weerawansa MP revealed the secret plan of the JVP to bring down the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government during the 2007 Budget which led him and some other MPs to leave the party and to vote with the Government. "We succeeded in saving the Government that defeated LTTE terrorism and terrorist leader Prabhakaran". more..

175,000 mosquito breeding places unreachable

Sep 5 (Island) The Health Ministry said yesterday 175,000 mosquito breeding places which cannot be reached for manual spraying of BTi bacteria have been identified in Colombo, Gampaha and Kandy districts. Aerial spraying would be the only solution and it is estimated will cost the Air Force US Dollars 3.6 million. The report by the Cuban specialists for fighting the dengue menace and other mosquito borne diseases would be more..

Apparel exporters pin hopes on government

Sep 5 (Island) Sri Lanka’s biggest exporter, the apparel sector, is confident the government would do all it can to secure European Union GSP Plus concessions. Earlier this week a top official of the Ministry of Export Development and International Trade had been quoted in media saying a preliminary report on Sri Lanka’s human rights environment was adverse and that an extension of the GSP Plus facilities would be unlikely. more..

‘C – 4 video dubbed, gunshot sounds added’

Sep 5 (Island) Siri Hewawitharana, a Sri Lankan IT expert, who recently exposed Channel 4 execution video as a fake, further points out that it was dubbed to give the effect of gunshot sounds. He rules out that the video was originally done by a mobile phone camera and insists that a high quality video camera was used for that purpose. It has later been transferred to a mobile phone, he says. more..

Incarceration of Tissainayagam appalling: SAMC

Sep 5 (Hindu) The South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) on Friday expressed profound shock at a court verdict in Sri Lanka that has sent veteran Sri Lankan journalist and columnist J.S. Tissainayagam to 20 years rigorous imprisonment under the country’s draconian anti-terror law. “The incarceration and prosecution by the state and the court’s judgment have the effect of intimidating reporters and editors who question the government’s anti-terror campaign and more..

'Sri Lanka, China are tested friends'

Sep 5 (Xinhua) President Mahinda Rajapakse said Friday that Sri Lanka and China are tested friends and his country is gratitude on China's assistance to Sri Lanka in its economic and social development. Rajapakse made the remarks when he met the visiting delegation of the Communist Party of China (CPC), led by a member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and Party chief of China's Tianjin municipality Zhang Gaoli. more..

NTPC team to visit Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (Hindu) A top delegation of officials from the NTPC is arriving here on Sunday to hold discussions on setting up of a 500- MW coal-based thermal plant in Sampur/Muttur East in Trincomalee district. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the government had in December 2006 signed an agreement for the construction of the plant. However, there was no forward movement due to delay in identification of site. more..

Protect Nepali workers

Sep 5 (MR) Some Nepali workers bound for work abroad have yet again been stranded in a foreign location. This time, the news story – carried in the front page of Friday’s edition of Republica – seemed almost surreal. Eighteen Nepalis, headed for South Africa, were bizarrely stuck in Sri Lanka after their broker drowned in the sea near Colombo. News of the sorry state of Nepali workers in foreign locations is all too common, more..

Sri Lanka strengthens navy to deter overseas threats

Sep 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's navy commissioned 90 officers and an offshore patrol vessel last weekend as it continues to expand, having defeated the powerful Tamil Tiger naval wing. Senior defence officials said the navy's future focus will be on protecting the island's ocean resources and patrolling the surrounding seas to ensure terrorism, which was sustained by overseas supplies, does not recur. more..

Sri Lanka ex-combatant rehabilitation gets UK backing

Sep 5 (LBO) The United Kingdom is giving 17 million rupees to support the rehabilitation of ex-combatants in Sri Lanka conflict by the island's ministry of justic, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) said. Justice minister Milinda Moragoda has welcomed the support given for the rehabilitation efforts led by his ministry and Sri Lanka's commissioner general of rehabilitation, the IOM said. more..

Lessons from Sri Lanka

Sep 5 (SN) A human rights group recently released footage of what appeared to be summary executions carried out by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) during the endgame of the country’s 26-year civil war. In the video, naked men, blindfolded and with arms tied behind their backs, are kicked to the ground and shot in the head at close range by a man in military uniform. As the bodies fall, other corpses can be seen nearby, with pools of blood issuing from head wounds. more..

Sri Lanka Tamils fear UK deportation

Sep 5 (BBC) Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers in the UK have accused the British government of double standards - trying to send them back to Sri Lanka on the one hand while accusing the island's authorities of human rights violations on the other. Nadarajah, a former Tamil Tiger rebel, says the British government tried to deport him to Sri Lanka before the High Court granted him permission to apply for a judicial review against the decision to remove him. more..

Sri Lanka imports machines to clear mines

Sep 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka has imported equipment to speed up mine clearing in the former war zone in the island's north, the defence ministry said Saturday. The mine-clearing machines imported from Slovakia would be used to accelerate resettlement of people driven out of the area during the height of fighting, the ministry said in a statement. Sri Lanka's army and eight other organisations were involved in removing thousands of mines, but more..

27 politicos got money from LTTE: Swamy

Sep 5 (NT) Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy today claimed he had ‘official evidences’ that 27 political leaders belonging to various parties in Tamilnadu received money from the LTTE. Speaking to reporters here, he said he would go to the court with the evidences if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to take action against ‘those leaders’. more..

Working for a TB free Sri Lanka

Sep 6 (AT) Sri Lanka has achieved remarkable results in controlling tuberculosis through the efforts of the Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition made in collaboration with the National Programme for Tuberculosis Control and Chest Diseases in providing medical care services through their well developed infrastructure, both in preventive and curative sectors. The overall medium term goal for TB control is to reduce morbidity, mortality and transmission of TB until more..

Discriminatory and Nepotistic Governance

Sep 6 (AT) The EU, in a confidential report on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka, called it, quite rightly, a ‘novel form of unacknowledged detention’. As long as the Rajapakse administration continues to incarcerate more than three quarter of a million of Sri Lankan citizens behind barbed wire fences, without even the lame excuse of an ongoing war, normalcy will not return to the island nation. more..

Pakistan wants to play WC matches in Sri Lanka if not in India

Sep 6 (PTI) Pakistan would prefer to play their 2011 World Cup matches in Sri Lanka if their team is not allowed to play in India due to strained relations between the sub-continental neighbours. Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ejaz Butt had indicated it to the ICC President David Morgan in their recent meeting in Dubai. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the three joint hosts of the World Cup as ICC and PCB have resolved their dispute over hosting of matches in Pakistan. more..

MUJ seeks release of Sri Lankan journalist

Sep 6 (TOI) A delegation of the Madras Union of Journalists (MUJ) on Friday met the Sri Lankan Deputy Higher Commissioner for South India Vadivel Krishnamurthy and submitted a memorandum addressed to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking the immediate release of ethnic Tamil journalist J S Tissainayagam, who was recently sentenced to 20 years by a court in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri-Lankan American writes disobedient girl reflecting life down to its smallest details

Sep 6 (HP) In a beautiful country where fate, religion and sorrow are like living beings, five year old Latha is brought into the Vithanage home as a servant girl and companion to Thara, the daughter of the house and a girl her own age. Though their girlhood is spent together in intimate friendship, Latha grows up yearning constantly for the things that are denied to her: the fragrance of roses, glass bangles, sandals and the love of a boy. more..

Cultural lessons to be part of Sri Lanka ex-rebel rehabilitation process

Sep 6 (Xinhua) Lessons on culture and traditions of the minority Tamil community are to be part of the curriculum on the rehabilitation process of the ex-Tamil Tigers. "We will make them understand the rich cultural traditions of the Tamil community during our rehabilitation program", Maj Gen Daya Ratnayake, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, said Saturday. more..

PM made to give finger prints at airport in Japan

Sep 6 (LT) Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake who began a special tour to Japan today (5th) had to give his finger prints to authorities before he left the airport. The Prime Minister who has gone to Japan on an official tour had to give his finger prints to authorities at the airport. Making the Prime Minister to give his finger prints while he was at the VIP lounge has become an issue by now. more..

Tuk Tuk rally in Sri Lanka

Sep 6 (BBC) A highly unusual rally of Tuk-Tuks, or auto-rickshaws, is starting in Sri Lanka. The ten-day event brings together eccentric novice drivers from countries ranging from New Zealand to India to Switzerland to Colombia. Twenty-three brightly coloured tuk-tuks are now rallying in a coastal resort, with 47 people squeezed into them for the Great Sri Lankan Tuk-Tuk Challenge. more..

Govt. decision via police

Sep 6 (LT) Minister of Labour Mervin Silva making a statement from his residence for news telecast over ‘Rupavahini’ channel yesterday (4th) afternoon regarding the arrest of three journalists of ‘Lanka Irida’ stated that the three journalists were arrested regarding a conspiracy to assassinate the President. The Police media spokesman Nimal Madiwaka making an announcement today (5th) states the three journalists were detained on special orders under more..

Training in ethics for working journalists

Sep 6 (HA) As per Joseph Joubert-French Moralist and Essayist’s quote “To teach is to learn twice”, it was another new and energising experience for me to train a bunch of budding journalists from the Eastern part of Sri Lanka. I was motivated as the demand was high, and I had to deliver. There were 15 journalists including two females. They were from Batticaloa and Ampara districts. It was encouraging to see that all of them were keen to learn, more..

Unity not unitary will safeguard the future

Sep 6 (TC) The protracted bloody war for the division of Sri Lanka into two separate autonomous states ended with the declaration by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the military had completely crushed the LTTE. The top Tiger leaders were also killed in the final stage of Eelam war IV which ended on May 19. The war against the LTTE was declared as allied to the ‘war on terror’ waged by the powerful countries elsewhere. more..

'Govt need to intervene before the Plantation worker agitation goes out of hand'

Sep 6 (TC) Government should not leave the plantation wage crisis totally to the hands of trade unions and plantation employers though the collective agreement is signed between the unions and the employers. It is high time now for the government to intervene to find a balance between the interests of plantation workers and the economy of the nation. more..

Mervyn de Silva’s 80th birth anniversary

Sep 6 (TC) I reflect possibly for the last time for a few years to come, let’s say five, on Mervyn de Silva, former editor of the Daily News and Sunday Observer, former editor-in-chief of the Lake House and the Times groups of newspapers, founder editor of the Lanka Guardian magazine, founder-president of the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka — and my father — on his 80th birth anniversary, having returned home to a country of victory in war and more..

Grand Alliance finalised as unp remains unsure of Pres. Poll

Sep 6 (SL) The Grand Alliance – the all party composition designed to provide an unified opposition – is all but completed. All that remains is for the various parties to actually sign on the dotted line. However this is an alliance designed to provide unified opposition to any parliamentary election and significantly not for a presidential election. The understanding reached is that at the appropriate time – political speak, more..

Defrauded of millions

Sep 6 (SL) Keheliya Rambukwella is amongst the most prominent and powerful of the country’s overabundance of ministers. As Defence Spokesman he is the face of the military establishment and was throughout the final days of the war the liaison between a media eager for information and an army determined to prevent any journalistic intrusion into the business of war. For successfully managing both international and domestic media coverage of the war and more..

Corruption and party cronyism in the port

Sep 6 (SL) Despite continuous allegations leveled against the government for permitting its own party supporters to get involved in public transactions, startling revelations have come to the fore from the country’s main import and export center, the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), where, for the first time in the country’s trade union history, the ruling party trade union affiliated to the SLPA has been allowed to register as a company under the company registration ordinance. more..

Two articles and a confession: 20 yrs RI

Sep 6 (SL) 1. Between the 1st of June 2006 and the 1st of June 2007 you have with persons unknown to the prosecution, with intent to commit a crime with a common intention with or without premeditation by word, sign, or visual representation have caused to wit arousing communal feelings by editing, printing or distributing the magazine called North Eastern Monthly, you have conspired and committed the offence punishable under more..

The Time of the Thugs

Sep 6 (SL) In the last fortnight I personally and directly experienced the more vicious and thuggish expressions of the politics of hate and harm and hurt. In the space of two weeks I received an anonymous death threat in the post and in common parlance, was detained at the airport on the instructions of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID). These two incidents are clearly unrelated and therefore merely coincidental in the span of a fortnight more..

Giving top-most priority to IDPs healthcare

Sep 6 (AT) "After liberated from the LTTE’s control, the internally displaced persons (IDPs) needed immediate health care attention, for they were either forcefully confined and not able to reach hospitals, or some of them shot and wounded in the crossfire or while trying to escape to the government-controlled area. My Ministry swung into swift action and gave top-most priority to their needs," more..

UPFA insiders howl at “parachute ‘kelli’’

Sep 6 (LB) Key SLFP activists are making things difficult for Anarkalli Akarssha to carry out her election campaign for the Southern Provincial Council and they have openly vowed to defeat her. Meanwhile, SLFP seniors left from Colombo on August 26 to hold a meeting at the Galle Provincial council auditorium to introduce 20 candidates to SLFP activists in the Galle district, with a view to seeking their support for their campaigns. more..

Rights cry won't necessarily bring government down

Sep 6 (LB) Is the UNP suddenly infused with some kind of idea that it's in some way, by some miracle and by some luck or by chance, on the comeback trail? Well it does seem the UNP rank and file ---- and some quarters in the leadership ---- are indeed entertaining that idea. They seem to be in the somewhat fond hope that now that the war is over, the Rajapaksas are messing up. more..

Here is the GSP + report: You be the judge

Sep 6 (LB) A bitingly critical report by a European Union-commissioned panel of experts has concluded that Sri Lanka has failed to effectively implement three crucial international human rights covenants - a criterion that is mandatory for an extension of the GSP+. The three-member panel appointed to probe ‘The Implementation of certain Human Rights Conventions in Sri Lanka’ finalised its 119-page interim report on 19 August 2009. more..

SP Governor or Her Royal Highness?

Sep 6 (LB) It’s revealed that nearly Rs 90 million is spent annually on Kumari Balasuriya, the Governor of the Southern Province and the ministers of the SPC --- while a mere Rs 70.5 million has been allotted for health services of the entire province. The JVP chief ministerial candidate for the Southern PC, NK Sisira Kumara, showing us documents pertaining to the facilities granted to the governor, said that she enjoys the services of 32 personal staff while more..

Campaign to tarnish image: Sri Lanka

Sep 6 (LB) Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe on Saturday said the unverified video telecast by Britain’s Channel 4 on August 25 of an alleged extra judicial killing in January was part of a campaign to tarnish the country and shift attention from recovery back to the conflict period. “The highly suspicious Channel 4 said they could not be given any authenticity to a video allegedly shot back in January this year and broadcast eight months later,” more..

Is MR doing a JR ?

Sep 6 (LB) Pictures from Tripoli tell all: a new camaraderie is in the making. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is seen standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, receiving a Libyan military guard of honour on the 40th Anniversary of the Libyan Revolution. Gadaffi ruled Libya for the entirety of those four decades since he ousted King Idiris in a bloodless coup. He is one of the longest ruling autocrats in the Arab world, more..

Plan to permit only journalists supportive of Rajapakses to cover President’s meetings

Sep 6 (LNW) The Presidential Media Unit has decided not to permit any journalist who has a relative in the opposition or has worked against the Rajapakses to cover any of the President’s meetings. The Media Unit has sent a special form to gather information to every media institution to be filled by the respective journalists who will be covering the President’s meetings and the National Intelligence Bureau is to help the Media Unit more..

A general amnesty for Tamil political prisoners

Sep 6 (LG) Many who defend democracy are appalled by the unfair and unjust 20-year jail sentence which a Colombo high court judge passed on journalist J.S. Tissainayagam on charges of supporting terrorism and inciting racial hatred in his articles. By this decision anybody who speaks for Tamil liberation could be jailed for supporting terrorism. Of course no democrat supports terror action against innocent people, especially against women and children. more..

Phase of Oz: Orientalism and Eurocentrism

Sep 6 (LG) I landed in Sydney as an immigrant on May 1, 1976, to settle down in tropical Queensland. We (my spouse and I) decided that Australia, not Sri Lanka, would be the better place for an inter-racial couple to raise a family. Had we chosen Sri Lanka, both money and language problems would have degenerated our existence to prolong our dukkha in the wheel of becoming. Besides, Australia offered me my first tenure-track job as a Grade 1 lecturer. more..

Symbol of subversion of law

Sep 6 (LG) It was a week dominated by the unprecedented sentencing of senior journalist JS Tissainayagam to twenty years hard labour under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) No 48 of 1979 (as amended) and prevalent Emergency Regulations for the writing of two articles in a journal some years back. A third charge related to the obtaining of funds to run that journal, thereby constituting the collection of monies for the furtherance of terrorist acts. more..

Provide an amnesty; end the Tiger hunt

Sep 6 (LG) Minister Milinda Moragoda presenting passports and other travel documents to a group of former LTTE cadres who are to be rehabilitated in Malaysia was a refreshing report among the plethora of claims of rehabilitation of the victims of the three decades of the terrorist conflict. Some are bound to consider this Moragoda gesture as one of ‘tokenism.’ To avoid that charge such efforts would have to be repeated many folds for a considerable period of time. more..