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Vakarai 'best school' in the east

Aug 10 (BBC) The eastern Sri Lanka seems to be gradually getting back to normalcy after the devastating tsunami and the decades of civil war between the government forces and the Tamil Tigers. Vakarai Maha Vidyalaya, in Batticaloa district is one such example. The school was completely destroyed by the Asian tsunami in December 2004. The reconstruction work has been hampered by the civil war after the tsunami. more..

In A Nutshell

Aug 10 (SL) Ah! So our beloved Merv the Perv is at it again. Now his latest thing, as everyone and his uncle would know, is to tie the Samurdhi types to trees. Look like we’ve found a new disciplinary method. What need for a naughty corner, no? Anyway, Merv the Perv was no doubt very satisfied with himself. That is, until one from the president’s clan called him into his office and gave him a jolly good tongue-lashing. Poor Merv was so upset, he was looking all over for a rope to tie himself to the nearest parliamentary tree! more..

Editorial: Needed: An all out war

Aug 10 (LNP) The bane of this country is partisan politics, which takes precedence over everything else. Our preoccupation with politicians and politics has cost the country dear. Even after winning a seemingly `unwinnable` war, the protraction of which was mainly due to dirty politics successive governments and Oppositions played with national security, the country is still not free from political games. more..

Fonseka rejects UNP

Aug 10 (LNP) DNA Leader General Sarath Fonseka has rejected an offer to join the UNP after an invitation was extended to him by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya last week, DNA MP Vijitha Herath told Daily Mirror online. Herath said that the General who was not even considering the invitation had not even been approached by any UNP members so far. The only invitation which was extended was by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuirya. more..

SF without counsel at Court Martial

Aug 10 (DM) The first General Court Martial against Gen. Sarath Fonseka – a case relating to his alleged involvement in political work while in active service -was heard yesterday without defence counsel. The Tribunal decided to continue without defence counsel when the Gen. informed it that he could not answer any questions without instructions from his lawyers. However Gen. Fonseka said during the last hearing, his senior lawyer had informed more..

Over 4,000 policemen on perahera duty

Aug 10 (DN) Over 4,000 policemen will be on duty at the Kandy Esala Perahera which will commence on August 15 with the first Kumbal Perahera, Central Province West DG of Police Pujith Jayasundera said. A large crowd is expected to witness the perahera with the end of the war, DIG Jayasundera said. “Security checks will be conducted at all entry points to the city of Kandy. This is necessary as we cannot take any chances and the safety of the people is foremost,” more..

IV administered drug for serious dengue patients

Aug 10 (DN) Dextran 40, a plasma expander – Intra Venus drug that expand plasma in dengue patients was brought to Sri Lanka from Thailand Sunday and has been distributed among tertiary care hospitals. The drugs saves lives of dengue patients who are serious, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman WHO provided 300 units of the IV free of charge responding to a request by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. more..

Golden Key case: Repayment scheme taking shape

Aug 10 (DN) Attorney-at-law V K Choksy, Senior Counsel for some of the high end depositors said that the Golden Key case is progressing well and the modus operandi for the repayment to the depositors is beginning to take shape. Choksy explained at length that some of the assets of the Golden Key Credit Card Company had been identified by the Central Bank committee headed by Lakshman Watawala. Wealth Management Associates has now been appointed by the Supreme Court to more..

UNP may crack down on dissidents

Aug 10 (DM) The UNP Working Committee, which is due to meet tomorrow is expected to discuss the matter of taking disciplinary action against party members who publicly speak against the UNP leadership, a senior UNPer told Daily Mirror online yesterday. He said this had often happened at public events attended by some UNP parliamentarians who have even spoken of themselves as candidates suitable to take over the party leadership. more..

Govt keen on CEPA

Aug 10 (Island) A government official said the government was keen to enter into a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with India as long as it was beneficial to Sri Lanka, but businessmen opposing the deal said CEPA was nothing but trouble and criticised the government for ignoring their concerns. Sri Lanka entered into a Free Trade Agreement with India ten years ago, and while there are benefits, the negative aspects of more..

Court orders closure of garment factory breeding mossies

Aug 10 (Island) Tambuttegama Magistrate R. A.T. Gamage on Sunday ordered the closure of a garment factory at the 27th Mile Post in Rajanganaya after it was found that 18 tanks where industrial effluence collected had become mosquito breeding grounds. The Magistrate released an executive of the company, under whose purview the responsibility of keeping the premises clean fell, on bail with two sureties of Rs 50,000 each. more..

Sri Lanka shares rebound

Aug 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark share index .CSE jumped more than 5 percent on Tuesday, clawing back early losses, as investors hunted for bargains after heavy selling in recent sessions sparked by regulatory curbs on how much share prices can move. The index .CSE ended 4.7 percent higher at 5,092.94 points, off the day's highs, after slumping more than 2 percent in early trade. Asia's top performing stock market this year had slumped nearly 7 percent since more..

Demining in Jaffna Peninsula will end next month

Aug 10 (MoD) Demining in the Jaffna peninsula has been accelerated to make the peninsula a mine-free zone by next month. Jaffna Commanding Officer Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe said that the demining and removal of unexploded devices in many areas of Jaffna including Nannankalappu had been stepped up, and a major portion of the peninsula had already been de-mined. more..

Bumper paddy harvest: PMB gets ready

Aug 10 (DN) The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) will expedite the paddy purchasing process in consultation with the District Secretaries and farmer societies soon. PMB officials will discuss on how this process could be streamlined with the Puttalam District Secretary and farmer society representatives tomorrow and they expect to meet District Secretaries and farmer societies in other districts in the days to come. more..

DNA denies Fonseka in talks to join UNP

Aug 10 (Island) The DNA yesterday scotched rumours that its leader, former Army Commander and CDS General (retd) Sarath Fonseka was planning to join the UNP. DNA Chairman Tiran Alles, MP said that neither Gen. Fonseka nor any of his representatives had met UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss any such move. "A section of the media reported that a representative of Gen. Fonseka had met Wickremesinghe, but it was totally incorrect. more..

Basil to meet Samurdhi officers over Mervyn issue

Aug 10 (DM) Minister Basil Rajapaksa has invited Samurdhi officers for talks tomorrow with the aim of resolving the dispute resulting from the actions of Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva. Samurdhi joint trade union co-convener Nishantha Udawatta told Daily Mirror online yesterday that several government ministers were expected to attend the talks but he was not sure whether Mr. Silva would do so. more..

Now, UNP says it won’t withdraw from constitutional reform talks

Aug 10 (Island) The UNP said yesterday that despite the government once again inducing two opposition MPs to cross over to its ranks, in violation of the people’s mandate, it would not withdraw from the on-going bilateral talks on constitutional reforms. Gayantha Karunathillake MP, said that the UNP was a responsible party and in the national interest would not back out, even though the government was repeatedly acting in an unethical manner, more..

UNP’s Seneviratne testifies at Fonseka’s court martial

Aug 10 (SL) UNP parliamentarian Lakshman Seneviratne today went before the first Court Martial against former Army Commander Retired General Sarath Fonseka nad gave evidence in the case. Seneviratne is the third witness in the first Court Martial against the General for his alleged involvement in politics while being in the active service. The Court martial proceeded without the defence counsel for the second consecutive day. more..

Ranil meets President Rajapaksa?

Aug 10 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe have met once again at the President’s House this morning on 10 August. The President and the Opposition leader met each other previously and agreed to continue with the talks on proposed constitutional amendments and electoral reforms. President Media Unit could not specify the details of the today’s meeting. more..

Is suspected migrant ship carrying terrorists or refugees?

Aug 10 (TS) Weeks after it was turned away from Australia, a Thai cargo ship believed to be carrying about 200 illegal migrants from Sri Lanka is now expected to reach Canada any day. The question is: Are those aboard terrorists or genuine refugees? That’s the same question that was raised in October when a ship with 76 migrants on board arrived off Vancouver Island. Most of them are now living in Toronto. more..

SRI LANKA: Forced into fighting and still missing

Aug 11 (IRIN) Parvathi Kumar has no idea whether her son is in detention, or worse. He was abducted by the Tamil Tigers in January 2009, and she has not heard from him in more than a year. "We really do not have any information about him," said the 59-year-old from Mullaitivu, a small town on the northeastern coast of Sri Lanka. "I suffer every day thinking about my son. Please bring him back to me." more..

Sri Lanka seeks Moody's debt rating before $1 billion sovereign bond sale

Aug 11 (BN) Sri Lanka is seeking a rating of its sovereign debt from Moody’s Investors Service ahead of a planned $1 billion overseas bond sale, central bank Assistant Governor C.J.P. Siriwardena said. The South Asian nation last month announced plans to sell the bonds, with maturities of as much as 10 years, by the end of 2010 to help refinance expensive loans. Moody’s doesn’t have a credit rating for Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief- 10. 08. 2010

Two Sri Lankan opposition MPs cross over to govt

Aug 16 (wsws) President Mahinda Rajapakse took a step toward his goal of achieving a two-thirds parliamentary majority, and the ability to amend the constitution, when two opposition parliamentarians joined his ruling coalition on August 5. The constitutional amendments being prepared are designed to further entrench Rajapakse in power and legitimise his anti-democratic methods of rule. more..

If leadership change remains deadlocked the UNP will decay at its centre and disintegrate at its base

Aug 16 (TC) He who says A, must say B”. Those who, with good reason, lament the prospect of a new constitution reflective of the dominant ideology and power relations, must also admit and criticise the factor that makes this possible. No government is able to change the basic law, if it does not enjoy a two thirds majority in the house. Such a majority is possible to obtain, only in highly specific circumstances, which is why such constitutions are termed ‘rigid’. more..

Smugglers may have made more than $20-million from Tamil ship

Aug 16 (NP) The human smugglers behind the MV Sun Sea may have pocketed more than $20-million for ferrying a shipload of Sri Lankan migrants to the British Columbia coast last week. The passengers each paid $40,000 to $50,000 for the three-month journey from Thailand, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told the National Post in an interview this weekend. more..

Apart from punishing Sarath Fonseka, Rajapakses want to humilate him to the maximum

Aug 16 (TC) Some months ago, Defence Secretary and Presidential sibling Gotabhaya Rajapakse threatened to send the former Army Commander, Gen. Sarath Fonseka, to the gallows. When BBC’s Stephen Sackur asked about the possibility of Gen. Fonseka testifying about possible war crimes, Mr. Rajapakse went into what can only be termed a fit of apoplexy: “He can’t do that. He was the commander. That’s a treason. more..

Ethnic identity in Sri Lanka’s pre-capitalist past: Shanie, Darshanie and Roberts

Aug 16 (LG) When Darshanie Ratnawalli penned a blog comment on one of the articles reproduced in the thuppahi site, I jumped to the erroneous conclusion that it was a response to one of my articles on myth and history.[1] In fact it was a critical note directed at an essay in Shanie’s Notebook of a Nobody series in the Island, one entitled “Writing history and myth,” which I had borrowed for my own web site. more..

Development comes slowly to Sri Lanka's former war zone

Aug 16 (Time) They are everywhere and more are coming: huge billboards advertising everything from formula to mobile phones dominate most vantage points in Sri Lanka's former war zone. Where artillery and shells shrieked overhead a little over 15 months back, there are now gigantic, smiling women holding tubes of skin-whitening cream. In Kilinochchi, the former political and administrative nerve center of the Tamil Tigers, more..

Defence ministry fights Dengue by clearing out the slums

Aug 16 (SL) Since the Defence Ministry has taken over Urban Development, they are aggressively taking on the urban causes of dengue. Namely, the people. “One of the main problems contributing to dengue is simply the people, who try to extend their territory into the water. At present, there are 70,000 relocated unauthorised dwellers on someone else’s land,” said Chairman, Land Reclamation and Development Board, Harshan de Silva. more..

Sri Lankan Ambassador to Kuwait presents credentials in Bahrain

Aug 16 (IL) Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the State of Kuwait Sarath Dissanayake, who is concurrently accredited to the Kingdom of Bahrain presented his Letter of Credence to His Majesty Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, the King of the Kingdom of Bahrain on 3rd August at Al - Sakhir Palace in Manama, Bahrain. On arrival at the Al - Sakhir Palace for the presentation ceremony, more..

Stock exchange to set up surveillance system

Aug 16 (LB) There would be a major market crash if the share manipulations or market distortion continues, leading market analysts warned. It is revealed that some investors will not recover their money and the effects will trickle down to the economy as in Sakvithi’s or Golden Key cases, they opined. LAKBIMAnEWS spoke to many stock market analysts and they warn that authorities should keep an eye on the market manipulations as more..

Govt. loses out on Billions of rupees in revenue

Aug 16 (SL) The lack of a proper mechanism to issue route permits to buses operating on the Jaffna-Colombo sector has resulted in the government incurring billion rupee losses in revenue. The government has lost out on almost Rs.10 billion to its coffers due to the non-regulation of the transport sector, especially in relation to the issuance of route permits. The issue related to buses operating without route permits has more..

Confident hosts face under-pressure India

Aug 16 (CI) The recent contests between Sri Lanka and India have had an interesting subplot: Kumar Sangakkara v MS Dhoni. The Indian captain made his views clear about the floodlights in Dambulla, the poor practice pitches, the toss factor, and the difficulty of chasing a target. Sangakkara, on the other hand, said, "If you can't win batting under lights, you are not a good team". more..

Win-win solution for producer and consumer

Aug 16 (LNP) It was reported last week that the Government has taken a decision to stock the paddy harvest of the North, East and North Central provinces in the Gampaha district. This is a wise move. The harvest could be transported in bulk to Gampaha and milled with the assistance of small and medium size millers there. There is an ideal centre at Maradagahamula to locate these facilities. It was also found that there are enough unutilized storage facilities in the Gampaha district. more..

A scam within a scam!

Aug 16 (LB) Members of the Lakshman R.Watawala committee appointed to look into grievances of aggrieved depositors of the Golden Key Credit card company were being paid astounding salaries, while nothing concrete has been done as far as depositors were concerned. Chairperson of the Golden Key Depositors Society Anusha Emmert charged that the three-member committee headed by Lakshman R Watawala established to provide redress to scores of harassed and depressed depositors of more..

Executive Presidency to stay

Aug 16 (ST) The Government is likely to continue with the existing Executive Presidential system instead of creating a new office of Executive Prime Minister. The change in thinking is the result of advice to President Mahinda Rajapaksa by Attorney General Mohan Peiris. He is of the opinion that a change from executive presidency to an executive prime minister would require a national referendum. more..

Where were the General’s Counsel?

Aug 16 (LB) President Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, as the convening officer of the first court martial, signed the confirmation of the ruling of the first general court martial that General Gardihewa Sarath Chandralal Fonseka, the first four star general of the Sri Lankan military be stripped of his rank. A gazette notification to this effect is expected forthwith. Gen. Fonseka was charged on one count under Section (124) of the Army Act and two counts under section (102) for: more..

New Bill in House: Major change in property cases

Aug 16 (DM) Parliament will take up for debate tomorrow the Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide for people to go for testamentary cases with regard to inheritance rights on movable and immovable property only if they were worth more than one million rupees. As the law now stands, such cases for inheritance rights have to be filed even for property worth more than Rs.500,000. more..

'Haro Haraa' Echoes the air around Nallur again

Aug 16 (MoD) Thousands of Hindus paid homage to God Skandha by way of offering flowers, burning incenses and breaking coconuts amidst continuous recital of "Haro Haraa" on Sunday morning when the famous Nallur Kandaswami Hindu temple in Jaffna commenced its annual festival with participation of a large crowd of devotees. Nallur festival, the biggest religious event in the Jaffna peninsula will last for 25 days and more..

Environment-friendly lamps for the fishing industry in the East

Aug 16 (MoD) The use of alternate lamps for night-time fishing replacing the traditional Petromax lamp was demonstrated to over 100 fishermen in Vakarai and Panichchankerny in the Vakarai DS division in the district of Batticaloa recently. The demonstration was conducted by Nagenahiru Foundation in collaboration with the 233 brigade of Vakarai and was held at Panichchankerny. As part of a post tsunami environmental management project this alternate lamp was more..

Manhunt for HIV+ Pros’ clients

Aug 16 (NS) Seven female sex workers who recently tested positive for the HIV virus are yet plying their trade in the Colombo suburbs, with authorities yet to trace any of their clients who may have contracted the deadly virus from them. Health Ministry sources revealed that there could be many more sex workers who have contracted the disease, as these seven detections were made by just one NGO working with the National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (NSTD) & HIV/AIDS Prevention Programme. more..

Vijitha Herath and four released on bails

Aug 16 (LT) Galle Magistrate Mr. Tennakoon has released Propaganda Secretary of JVP, General Secretary of DNA Parliamentarian Mr. Vijitha Herath and four other persons on sureties' bails. Accordingly MPs Mr Vijitha Herath, Ajith Kumara and PC member Mr. Nalin Hewage and two other persons have been released on Rs.200000 sureties' bails each short while ago. These two MPs and PC were taken to custody when they visited Galle Police Station to lodge a complaint against more..

Pathulhatha electrocution tragedy : Third victim also dies

Aug 16 (DN) Fifteen-year-old Piyumi Sandanmali Atygalle became the third victim in the electrocution tragedy in Ratnapura when she died at the Ratnapura General Hospital in the wee hours of yesterday. On Saturday, her brother Madhuka Saranga Atygalle and cousin Sandhuni Upeksha Atygalle both aged 10, were electrocuted while plucking rambutan from a tree near their home in Pathulhatha, Ratnapura. They are the children of two brothers. more..

'No crisis in UNP'

Aug 16 (LNP) UNP Ratnapura district MP Thalatha Athukorala made her entry into serious politics after the sudden demise of her elder brother, former Minister and UNP stalwart Gamini Athukorala, in January 2002. Although she was never a political novice per se, her only political foray then had been helping the campaign of her brother. On a range of issues including the UNP`s internal crisis, the proposed changes to the UNP constitution and more..

GSP concessions suspended

Aug 16 (BBC) The European Union suspension of GSP+ trade concessions on Sri Lanka comes to effect on Sunday while the government says it’s policy has not changed. The EU was particularly critical of alleged human rights abuses during the last stage of the war. The suspension comes after the government failed to make a written promise of progress on three human rights conventions, which deal with torture, more..

Johnny to solve problems of MPCS in Jaffna

Aug 16 (Island) Minister Johnston Fernando who toured Jaffna on Thursday promised to look into and solve problems facing employees of Multi Purpose Cooperative Societies numbering 25 in the district. He held discussions with the employees and promised to reconstruct the cooperative buildings damaged due to war. The Minister had promised that essential goods would be made available to the consumers in Jaffna without shortage and more..

Editorial: Hellholes behind tall walls

Aug 16 (Island) Perhaps, nothing has contributed to the proliferation of crime and the attendant lawlessness in this country, more than our flawed justice system. We are trying to contain the ever increasing crime rate exactly the way we are battling the dengue menace. Having done precious little to eliminate mosquito breeding places and created ubiquitous dengue farms, as it were, we are now going hell for leather to import plasma expander and BTI bacteria, more..

IMF Review Mission In Colombo

Aug 16 (SL) An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is currently in Sri Lanka to evaluate the IMF facilities provided to the country. The delegates of the IMF Review Mission are in the process of consulting local authorities. The visiting delegates and the IMF Resident Representative in Sri Lanka Dr. Koshy Mathai met Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama yesterday to evaluate the IMF facilities to the country. more..

Govt strips Fonseka's General rank maliciously and not a single complaint against KP-JVP

Aug 16 (LT) The government which has not taken measures to lodge a single complaint against Kumaran Pathmanadan who was a powerful terrorist leader of separatism has taken steps in a surprising hurry to penalize Mr. Sarath Fonseka who had given leadership to security forces to save the country from terrorism Peoples Liberation Front announced. This Front stated that while releasing a communiqué in regard with the decision which more..