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China to set up coconut product factory in Sri Lanka

Sep 7 (GDI) China will shortly set up a factory in Sri Lanka to produce coconut related products, the Ministry of Plantation Industries said. Already top level Chinese businessmen have held talks with Plantation Industries Minister, DM Jayaratne in this regard.Among them were Ms.Lillie Exu and Ms. Linda Wang of Ureshian Suppliers Company located in Shanghai,China. The first factory will deal with the production of coconut shell charcoal, more..

'LTTE financial apparatus, propaganda network being dismantled'

Sep 7 (GDI) Even after the military defeat of the LTTE in Sri Lanka and the destruction of its leadership, the global network of the terrorist organization continued to be used vigorously against Sri Lanka, and this was especially evident in the intensity of the propaganda campaign that was waged against the country, Export Development and International Trade Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said in London last week. more..

Crackdown on narco-criminalism

Sep 7 (GDI) While the police are on the hunt for under world killers and gangsters, the Police Narcotics Bureau has intensified operations to combat the menace of drugs and narcotics linked to the under world. The use of drugs and narcotics have increased in the Colombo district while it has now spread to major towns like Kandy, Galle, Matara, Kalutara and Gamapaha, a Police Narcotics Bureau spokesman said. more..

Financial grants for farming and home cultivation

Sep 7 (GDI) The Agriculture and Agrarian Services Ministry will to provide a financial grant of Rs. 5,000 to each farmer family to be resettled in Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mannar, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi districts for home gardening, Ministry sources said. According to these sources, Steps also have been taken to grant Rs. 17,500 per hectare to these displaced families in these districts to bring the fallow lands back into paddy cultivation. more..

Political parties on a peaceful campaign in Hambantota

Sep 7 (GDI) Leaders of the main political party groups contesting the Southern Provincial elections have agreed to a peaceful election campaign in the Hambantota District. A meeting presided by DIG of the Southern Province Jayantha Kulatilake was held at the Tangalla Town Hall to brief the Hambantota District candidates about the election. Party representatives pledged to reject confrontational politics. more..

'Could support Mahinda again only if he pledges not to go beyond the 13th amendment'

Sep 7 (LNW) JHU Theoretician, Champika Ranawaka has proposed to senior JHU members that before pledging support for President Mahinda Rajapakse at the next Presidential election, a new memorandum of understanding should be signed between him and the JHU that would suit the present and future. In 2005, the JHU signed a memorandum of understanding with then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse before supporting his Presidential election campaign. more..

UNP wants pay hike for public servants, estate workers

Sep 7 (LNP) The main opposition UNP called for an immediate pay hike for all public servants and the estate sector workers stating that prices of goods have increased even after the war. UNP MP Gayantha Karunatilleke told a news conference yesterday that the prices of essential goods have increased even after the war. He said one Kg of sugar cost only Rs 62 during the height of the war when the LTTE leader was killed, but today it costs Rs 92. more..

Country needs strong Police Department

Sep 7 (LNP) It is only if the Police Department is strengthened that the security of the country can be guaranteed and the underworld eradicated from this soil, said Senior DIG and Police Media Spokesperson Nimal Mediweka. It is unfair on the part of public to misjudge the whole Police Department just because of the misbehaviour of few Police officers, he said. Speaking as chief guest at the distribution ceremony of clutches and wheel-chairs to disabled soldiers, more..

'Will rethink supporting emergency if government does not stop hounding journalists'

Sep 7 (LNW) JVP parliamentary group leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake says, “Emergency regulations were approved because the laws against terrorism were inadequate. If these additional laws are being used to suppress the media, students and to arrest political activists opposing the government, we have to take a decision about it. The JVP has seriously focused its attention on the matter. more..

'Division on political lines can retard development '

Sep 7 (LNP) Being divided on political lines on every issue can only retard the country`s development, Mahanayake of the Asgiriya Chapter the Most Venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thera said. While the country should have a strong Opposition to ensure success in its forward march and to strengthen democracy it is not the function of the Opposition to criticise the Government at every turn. more..

A correct approach

Sep 7 (LNP) Teaching English has always been problematic in Sri Lanka. It has never passed the stage of experimentation with each successive government trying to undo what its predecessor did. Besides, the language has never been considered for its utility value. During the colonial era and even up to the cultural renaissance of 1956, English was considered an elitist language, the competency and fluency in which language bestowed an apparent superiority complex to the user. more..

Why bribe voters with poll promises

Sep 7 (LNP) Bribing voters is a negation of democracy. However this is exactly what politicians all over the world have been doing ever since the birth of electoral democracy. Bribing voters with promises has been an essential feature of election campaigns and it is only the degree to which each party or candidate stoops down that makes one different from the other. It goes without saying that Sri Lanka along with her South Asian neighbours and a few African nations form more..

President requests Sri Lankan Graduates to serve their motherland

Sep 7 (LP) There was an abundance of learning opportunities in ancient Sri Lanka with many seats of education, which had international fame. Scholars like Fa-Hien arrived in Lanka not as tourists but for education. The old chronicles say that the head of the Nalanda University in India, Fiong San, had commented that Lankans were efficient and insatiate for education, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Searching sources to enjoy aesthetic cinema

Sep 7 (DN) In Lanka we see only Sinhala, Thamil and English films in the theatres but even if films from other countries are shown in public theatres or private showings many do not go to see them if they are not subtitled in English. Yet then, who knows English these days! Some of my friends ask me why I should write about films that they cannot see in Lanka and that too in a sort of 'telegraphic language'. more..

Expansion of education in Sri Lanka

Sep 7 (DN) Many scholars wrote on the subject of colonial education system in Ceylon, pointing out the structure of education under colonial vision.It is well-known that the system of schools was introduced to Ceylon on the recommendation of the Colebrooke Commission which set up by the British Administration in 1829-32, to investigate colonial Government in Ceylon, and also to make recommendations on other areas of development such as more..

GSP+ decision won’t affect economy - NCE President

Sep 7 (DN) The GSP+ uncertainty will not affect the economy of Sri Lanka and its impact on the apparel sector will be minimal. The industry needs to move forward under brand names where the country will be in a better position to compete with other countries, said President, National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) Rohan Fernando. “We have the strength to take Sri Lanka’s apparel sector to new heights. more..

Municipal Councils Ordinance to be amended

Sep 7 (DN) The Municipal Councils Ordinance is to be amended to allow local bodies to enter into business partnerships with private sector and NGOs, Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry sources said. The main objective of the amendment is to involve local government institutions in socio-economic development activities at grass roots level. Commenting on the proposal amendment, more..

Pakistani heroin gang busted

Sep 7 (Island) Two Pakistanis, recently arrested by the Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) in Colombo on a charge of heroin smuggling had visited Colombo 17 times since November last year. They have come through the Bandaranaike International Airport without being detected though their frequent visits should have alerted authorities. The two Pakistanis had arrived in Colombo for the first time on September 2, 2009. more..

NGO moved Tigers to Colombo – ex-employee

Sep 7 (Island) A former employee of a Sri Lankan NGO has brought to the notice of the Defence Secretary the alleged involvement of the group in smuggling LTTE operatives to Colombo over a period of time. According to him, LTTE suspects held at welfare centres in the Vavuniya district, too, have reached Colombo with the help of the NGO. He said that a key LTTE operative had functioned as their Anuradhapura-based chief representative in charge of the North Central Province. more..

'Lanka won’t change expulsion order on UNICEF official'

Sep 7 (Island) The government yesterday reiterated that it would not reverse an earlier decision to expel UNICEF spokesman James Elder for being hostile towards the government of Sri Lanka, though the UN agency had disputed its claim. Authoritative sources told The Island though the government had given the Australian passport holder time till September 21 after the agency appealed against the expulsion order effective today, the decision was not negotiable. more..

'Container loads of vital drugs wasted'

Sep 7 (Island) The Prof. Senaka Bibile Commemorative Association alleges that the Health Ministry has fifteen 20-foot containers full of sub-standard and date-expired drugs worth of Rs.500 million kept at a location in Rathmalana. The Health Ministry is alleged to pay Rs.4,000 for the site acquired at a monthly rent of Rs. 4,000. The Health Ministry had placed orders for those medical and surgical consignments a few months before the expiry date marked on their contents, more..

The continuing IDP crisis

Jayasuriya fails in second grade team

Sep 7 (DM) Veteran Sanath Jayasuriya failed to make use of the opportunity given to him by the national cricket selectors ahead of the forthcoming home Tri-Series, when he was dismissed cheaply yesterday in a warm up game against New Zealand at the SSC grounds Colombo. Jayasuriya faced eleven deliveries and scored just two runs before being caught behind by Gareth Hopkins off paceman Darrell Tuffey with the total of Sri Lanka “A” team reading just seven. more..

'Farmers need assistance, not subsidies'

Sep 7 (DM) Agriculture Development Minister Hemakumara Nanayakkara said that what the farmers needed were not subsidies but assistance to improve their crops and develop agriculture in the country. Mr. Nanayakkara was speaking at the "Agriculture Extension Conference 2009" held at the Plant Genetic Resources Centre (PGIA), Gannoruwa. The conference was organised by the Department of Agriculture Extension of the University of Peradeniya and more..

Wind power to illuminate Colombo

Sep 7 (DM) The Western Provincial Council (WPC) is planning to use wind power to illuminate Colombo city in association with Concurrent (India) Infrastructure Ltd an Indian based private company, while there is another plan in the pipeline to use wind power for the streetlamps islandwide. A pilot project was launched in the Negombo beach on Friday and it is to be implemented in other parts of the province if it proves a success. more..

Lanka wants action on US Tiger

Sep 7 (DM) The Sri Lankan government wants the US to take action against the US based LTTE operative V. Rudrakumar, who is possibly the top most remaining active LTTE member following the recent arrest of the chief Tiger arms procurer K. Pathmanathan also known as KP. Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona, speaking to Daily Mirror online, said that the US government should ensure a member of a proscribed terrorist organization who espouses terrorism is made to face the full force of the law. more..

Is Sri Lanka safe?

Sep 7 (Times) We are due to travel to Pune in India mid-February for a family wedding and would like to travel on to Sri Lanka to visit the historic and colonial sites, but we cannot tolerate heat above about 28C. Have you any suggestions about joining a group that would provide travel home and a different route out? What is the political situation now in Sri Lanka? The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website is still very offputting. more..

Sri Lanka's 'legal' persecution

Sep 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's jailing, this week, of a journalist for 20 years, which provoked instant condemnation from the United States and many other nations, has only tightened the muzzle on the media in a country where unofficial censorship has persisted for years. The foreign ministry dismissed the widespread international condemnation as an attempt at "undermining the independence of the judiciary" and rejected calls to reverse the court ruling saying a presidential pardon would be premature. more..

Sri Lanka gives Pakistan clues to cricketers attack

Sep 7 (Reuters) Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the Sri Lankan president told him an attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore six months ago may have been financed from Sri Lanka. Seven Pakistanis, including six policemen and the driver of a Sri Lankan team bus, were killed when gunmen ambushed them on the way to a stadium for a match in the eastern city of Lahore in March. more..

UNICEF defends spokesman after expulsion order

Sep 7 (IRIN) The UNICEF has defended its spokesman in Sri Lanka, saying the official did nothing wrong after the government ordered his expulsion from the country. The Sri Lankan government said over the weekend that it had ordered James Elder to leave because of comments he made about the civil war against the LTTE. more..

Sri Lanka 'reviewing' expulsion of UN official

Sep 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka is reviewing a move to expel a senior United Nations official over comments he made during the final weeks of the country's decades long ethnic war, a senior official said Monday. James Elder, communications chief for the UNICEF, was ordered out of the country for allegedly being biased towards the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. "Mr. Elder's case is under review," Sri Lanka's foreign secretary Palitha Kohona told AFP. more..

Families of Affected Sri Lankans in Abroad Compensated

Sep 8 (AT) Awarding of compensation and other dues to the legal heirs of affected Sri Lankans in abroad took place yesterday at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, Colombo. The Foreign Affairs Minister Rohitha Bogollagama addressing the closest family members of victims said that the Government is very keen on keeping the general public’s lifestyle easy going and more..

Dr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksha: The man who tamed the Tigers

Sep 8 (LG) He is both a historical figure and a legend—and it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. For the first time in the history of this country we have an efficient, meticulous, brilliant Secretary of Defence. As Sri Lankans we should be proud of this Patriot. As a Tamil and as a Citizen of Sri Lanka who owes allegiance to the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the President, I consider it my duty to pay tribute to a worthy gentleman and hero of our times. more..

Sri Lanka shippers eye smaller lines to avoid rate hikes

Sep 8 (LBO) Sri Lankan shippers say they will resist efforts by international shipping lines to raise freight rates this month at a time of over-capacity by switching to smaller lines if necessary. Global lines led by Maersk, the world's biggest container carrier, have announced rate hikes from September 1. CMA CMG and Evergreen have also announced rate hikes which are expected to be followed by other loss-making lines, desperate to end their losses. more..

Sri Lanka Telecom cuts rates

Sep 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka Telecom, the island's dominant fixed line operator, said it was offering lower rates and discounts in new subscriber packages amid intensifying competition among phone companies. In its new post-paid tariff plans called 'V talk', call rates to fixed and mobile phones have been reduced up to 35 percent and monthly rental reduced up to 48 percent, the company said in a statement. more..

LTTE threat still alive - IGP

Sep 8 (BBC) The threat of Tamil Tigers is still alive in Sri Lanka, the island's police chief said. Addressing a meeting in Minneriya, Polonnaruwa, IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne urged the public to be vigilant on 'secret activities' of the remnants of the LTTE. The IGP declared open a new police post in Minneriya, an area adjacent to eastern province, where the government declared the defeat of the LTTE nearly two years ago. more..

Lanka tolerates no self-styled ‘Kings’ – UNP hopes to make all Sri Lankans Kings

Sep 8 (UNP) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said , neither UNP nor Sri Lankans tolerate those seeking to be self styled ‘Kings’. On the contrary, it is UNP ‘s hope to make every Sri Lankan a ‘King’. There are machinations from within and without the party to break it up. But, the party which won independence for SL has been growing ever stronger though there had been political upheavals. more..

Seylan cuts costs, tightens loan recoveries: officials

Sep 8 (LBO) Seylan Bank is cutting costs and focusing on recoveries to put the bank back on a stronger financial footing, members of an interim board appointed by the regulator said. Seylan Bank is selling 54 million shares to the public at 35 ruppees to raise 1.9 billion rupees to boost its capital. It faced a run in late 2008, when it was controlled by Sri Lanka's Ceylinco group, after a member of the business group collapsed with unpaid debts. more..

Estate workers 'to continue protest'

Sep 8 (BBC) Trade unions representing Sri Lanka's estate workers have decided to continue their non -cooperation protest as employers have rejected their demands. K Velayudan, General Secretary of Lanka National Estate Workers' Union (LNEWU), said after the talks that the employers offered to pay Rs. 360 per day. The trade unions are demanding to increase the daily wages, currently about Rs. 260, to Rs. 500. "We pointed out the offer is too small in view of current cost of living and rejected the offer," more..

Findings of professional analysis pertaining to Channel 4 video footage

Sep 8 (GDI) The findings of independent professional analysis into the alleged video footage aired on British Channel 4 news service has clarified that the footage was concocted with a hidden objective. Following details extracted from a publication issued by the Media Center for National Security elaborates the outcome of the analysis. Four independent professionals did a thorough and comprehensive analysis on the validity of the video clip. more..

New Zealand seek to replicate Twenty20 form

Sep 8 (CI) Sri Lanka, after consecutive Twenty20 defeats, and New Zealand, after a 50-over warm-up defeat to Sri Lanka A on Sunday, will attempt to kick-start the Compaq Cup on Tuesday, though the weather threatens to be a dampener. Scattered thunderstorms are predicted for each of the days this week and a short four-game tournament, already being criticised for its duration and practicality, needs to be competitive throughout to more..

Teams look to iron out one-day glitches

Sep 8 (CI) With only 15 days until the Champions Trophy you'd think the teams' preparations would be ready for the final polish. But Sri Lanka and New Zealand still have a few experiments to complete and players to evaluate in their last chance before the bigger competition. A four-game tournament is hardly ideal preparation but it's all these teams have. Some sections of the local and foreign media are querying the value of this series, more..

Sri Lanka plantations wage talks fail, unions say

Sep 8 (LBO) Talks between Sri Lanka regional plantations companies (RPCs) and estate labour unions on a wage hike have failed, resulting in uncertainty about production and exports, officials said. “The talks did not succeed,” said O A Ramiah, Secretary General of the Joint Plantation Trade Union Centre, one of the unions negotiation with the RPCs which are represented by the Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC). more..

Sri Lanka's displaced Tamils

Sep 8 (NYT) Now that the war is over we are getting contradictory reports on the situation in Sri Lanka. Last month, Amnesty International criticized the Sri Lanka government for forcibly confining IDPs in camps. Meanwhile, the Center for Policy Alternatives has presented a petition to the government saying that 300,000 civilians are being detained illegally. more..

Sri Lanka celebrates Mother Teresa, an example for Buddhists and Christians

Sep 8 (AN) On the 12th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa the Church of Sri Lanka also paid tribute to the blessed of Calcutta. On September 5, the NGO Christian Alliance for Social Action (CASA) promoted a celebration in the auditorium of Caritas-Sri Lanka, Colombo, attended by priests and religious of the island together with many lay people involved in the Churches charity work. more..

Jayasuriya under pressure as runs dry up

Sep 8 (NZH) Has the oldest swinger in town lost his mojo? That's the leading question New Zealand's cricketers were dead batting as speculation mounts over the future of Sri Lanka's original master blaster, Sanath Jayasuriya. Now on the wrong side of 40, Jayasuriya has been unable to get to double figures in three innings against New Zealand, his latest failure for Sri Lanka A on Sunday made back page headlines - not the attention one of the island's sporting icons is accustomed to. more..

Police detain three JVP journalists

Sep 8 (wsws) Police have arrested three journalists from Lanka, a Sinhala weekly published by the JVP, under the country’s draconian emergency laws. The journalists are being held by the Terrorist Investigation Division, which is notorious for the use of torture to extract confessions. The detention took place on September 2, just two days after the Sri Lankan High Court sentenced a Tamil journalist, J.S. Tissanayagam, to 20 years hard labour. more..

'The Govt has no plan to curb media freedom'

Sep 8 (GDI) The Government does not intend to restrict media freedom. The Government has not taken any undemocratic measure that would help to restrict media freedom, Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa told parliament today. Responding to a query raised by UNP member Joseph Michael Perera in parliament this morning, he further said that three persons who illegally entered a private plantation in Deniyaya were arrested after a police investigation conducted on a complaint. more..

International Literacy Day falls today

Sep 8 (GDI) International Literacy Day falls today. Today is hailed as the International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17 in 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy in individuals, communities and societies. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. more..

Secretary Defence visits PNS Sulfiquar

Sep 8 (MoD) Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited the Pakitani Naval Ship Sulfiquar yesterday (Sep 07). PNS Sulfiquar called on the port of Colombo on 05th September on a goodwill visit to Sri Lanka. Commander of the SL Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe along with Commanding Officer of the Ship Captain Zahid Ilyas put in plain words about the ship to the Secretary Defence to get acquaint himself with the ship. more..