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UNP Working-Co:Aiiyo, Ranil 10, Sajith zero

Aug 17 (LB) A few rebel UNP MPs charge that the recent decision taken by the Working Committee to overhaul the party constitution and to introduce a new constitution, did not receive the backing of the majority of the UNP Working Committee. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake speaking to the media soon after the party Working Committee meeting last Wednesday said that there had been a consensus within to appoint a committee to look into the thorny issue of the party constitution. more..

Reversing lessons learnt and reconciliation

Aug 17 (LG) It is ironic that at the same time as the government-appointed Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation has begun its public hearings, its reverse has taken the centre stage in the country. The lessons of the past were ignored and reconciliation for the future that embraces the entirety of the country suffered a major setback. A military tribunal recommended that former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka be stripped of all his military ranks, honours and pension. more..

Indian hospital chains to re-look at Sri Lanka?

Aug 17 (BL) With two of the top hospital chains in India eying overseas expansion, local analysts are excited about the possibility of either one or both of them investing in the healthcare business in Sri Lanka. According to Indian media, Apollo Hospitals, India’s industry leader is looking for contracts to manage hospitals abroad, while Fortis Healthcare is aggressively looking for acquisitions as an expansion strategy. more..

One word can trigger lethal conflict, Amma says

Aug 17 (LR) Watch your tongue since a single word may cause a lethal ripple effect around the world, says Mata Amritanandamayi, “Amma”, at a Darshan held in Richmond Hill, Ontario, during her eighth visit to Canada recently. For Amma, also known as the ‘Hugging Saint’ for the loving embrace she gives everybody who attends her ‘Darshans’, the world is like a net, when shaken in one place, the vibration is felt throughout. more..

Sri Lanka Vocational Training Authority marks 15 th Anniversary

Aug 17 (LP) “The establishment of Sri Lanka Vocational Training Authority is a great decision taken by the President in his 40 years of political career” said the Minister of Youth Affairs Dalles Alahapperuma addressing the function held at “Nipunatha Piyasa” to mark the 15 th anniversary of Sri Lanka vocational Training Authority yesterday. The Minister further stated that 67,000 students follow Vocational and technical training annually and more..

SLC apologises to Sehwag for no-ball incident

Aug 17 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket has apologised to Virender Sehwag for denying him a one-day century after a deliberate no-ball from offspinner Suraj Randiv ended the match and left the India opener stranded on 99, despite him hitting the delivery for six. Sehwag went on to criticize Randiv's actions in the post match press conference, which eventually led to an apology from SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga. more..

Navy escorts SL fisherman safely home

Aug 17 (LP) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of 16 Sri Lankan fishermen, who were released from Indian custody, yesterday. The fishermen were handed over to SLN officials by the Indian Coast Guard Ship "Habbankhasun" at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line in the seas north of Kankasanthurei. They were brought to the KKS Harbour last night by SLN Ship "Ranawicrama” attached to the Northern Naval Command and more..

Asian countries can help SL in Public Management Reforms

Aug 17 (LP) It was extremely necessary to eliminate corruption if a country is to achieve rapid economic development while not completely discarding old administrative practices. It was also necessary to introduce innovate reforms in the public sector management to realize the goal of development said Dr K Govindan, Deputy Director General of the Economic Planning Unit of the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office when more..

Sri Lanka's young entrepreneurs get ready for contest final

Aug 17 (LBO) Business opportunities which would be normally snapped up in most other countries go begging in Sri Lankan due to lack of entrepreneurial spirit in corporate culture, a management consultancy chief said. "Lot of companies are waiting for the boom to happen. What's important is you have create the waves rather than waiting to ride them," Hilmy Cader, chief executive of MTI Consultancy told LBO in an interview. more..

Garment workers torn apart as GSP Plus is withdrawn

Aug 17 (ST) The loss of the European Union’s GSP Plus benefits has caused widespread panic amongst garment sector workers who fear they may lose their jobs as factory owners look for ways to cut costs. Only 15 Asian countries enjoy the GSP Plus benefits for trade with EU countries and Sri Lankan exporters feel they will lose their position in the market. more..

BTI bacteria on its way

Aug 17 (LP) The Cuban Embassy has informed to Anti Malaria Campaign that the Cuban produced BTI Bacteria has been shipped yesterday, stated Campaign Director Dr. Sarath Deniyayage. Accordingly, 10,000 litres of the bacteria will be brought to Sri Lanka under Phase One, and the Health Ministry will pay Rs. 30 million to the company that produced the bacteria, through the Cuban Embassy in Sri Lanka. more..

Vakarai - Panichchankerni fishermen enlightened on modern techniques

Aug 17 (MoD) Army troops, intending to help fishermen with provision of technical know-how that would match with most modern techniques of fishing, slated to increase their fish harvest, recently conducted a special workshop for local fishermen in Vakarai area under 233 Brigade. Use of old and traditional fishing methods and equipment continuously by fishermen has deprived them of bigger catches and more profits since they do not have any access to new knowledge on modern technology. more..

PC ministers seek better perks

Aug 17 (DM) Provincial Council Ministers have requested the Chief Ministers to enhance facilities and privileges provided to them and place them on par with those in the central government, as Deputy Ministers in the Central Government enjoy similar facilities as enjoyed by the Ministers in terms of personal staff and privileges. Cabinet Ministers are entitled to a fifteen member personal staff and a few months ago the facilities enjoyed by Deputy Ministers of more..

'Hambantota Port will not be used for war operations'

Aug 17 (LeN) Foreign Minister Dr. G L Peiris has announced in Beijing that the Hambantota harbor will not be used for war/ military operations and will be exclusively used for commercial purposes. Dr. Peiris who is on a tour of China made these comments when answering questions posed by an Indian Journalist in Beijing. Sri Lanka is the only country which has built an internal Harbor in Asia. more..

Tamil Nadu fishermen safe after LTTE's defeat

Aug 17 (MoD) The killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen has stopped in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Sri Lanka after the LTTE's defeat, Tamil Nadu Fishermens' Federation (TFF) President R. Anbazhagan said. Over 450 Tamil Nadu fishermen engaged in fishing near the Sri Lanka's Maritime Boundaries, had died due to LTTE attacks, he said. "But we do not have that problem anymore since peace has been established in Sri Lanka by the President of Sri Lanka," he added. more..

War Commission: Moonasinghe Indicts Confrontational Politics

Aug 17 (SL) Former MP and High Commissioner to India and UK Mangala Moonasinghe testified today at the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. His testimony largely focused on the cost of confrontational politics with a special criticism of the UNP. He cited the UNP’s disenfranchisement of up-country Tamils after Independence, their protests against the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam pact (stepping back the formers Sinhala only policy) and more..

Decorated businessman in town

Aug 17 (Island) Top businessman and Harvard graduate, Anand G. Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd, the flagship company of the US $ 7.1 billion Mahindra Group, which is among the top ten industrial houses in India, arrives in Sri Lanka today for talks with a view to expanding their business interests here. Having graduated from Harvard College, Cambridge, Magna Cum Laude, more..

Editorial: Chinese vs English

Aug 17 (DM) One may say that Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena is quite forward thinking. He insists that Chinese language be made part of school curriculum in view of its ever growing importance. Minister Gunawardana has revealed that already his ministry has started teaching the language at Lumbini Vidyalaya, Colombo with the assistance of the Chinese government and plans are underway to start Chinese language in other schools as well. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 17 (ST) The UNP's Kandy District parliamentarian, Abdul Cader, has become a staunch supporter of the UPFA government. So much so, speculation is rife he will soon join its ranks. Just two weeks ago, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa was in Kandy, Mr. Cader was one of the visitors to call on him at the 'President's House' there. He did not go there empty handed. Mr. Cader took with him ten Savans of home-cooked biriyani. more..

The UNP’s leadership crisis

Aug 17 (GV) The current crisis in the UNP has thrown its grassroots supporters into a sense of hopelessness and disappointment about the future of the party. No political party can afford to let itself disintegrate and disappear from the political stage. If the present crisis is not resolved, it leaves behind a power vacuum and renders whole section of society unrepresented. more..

Alleged war crimes in Lanka: Penang DCM wants probe on Indian leaders

Aug 17 (DM) Malaysia’s Penang State Deputy Chief Minister Palanisamy Ramasamy said yesterday the United Nations should also investigate whether Indian political leaders were also responsible for alleged war crimes against Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. Prof. Ramaswamy, who is the leader of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP) said that Indian leaders such as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Party Leader Sonia Gandhi, more..

'Govt. to take over land adjoining Knuckles and Sinharaja reserves'

Aug 17 (CT) The government is will take over lands adjoining the reserved forest areas of Sinharaja and Knuckles, Minister Janaka Bandara Tennakoon says. Speaking to media, the minister said that the measure has been taken to ensure the protection of the forest reserves, which have been named as world heritage sites. The decision follows complaints that businessmen who had procured land bordering these forest reserves are constructing buildings and more..

Interview III - Rohan Edrisinha

Editorial: Development, politics and power in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (LNP) The inland basin of the Hambantota Port is being flooded and the preliminary work on the next phase of the project has already begun. The first ship is expected to reach the new port in a few months. President Mahinda Rajapaksa spelt out the development goals of his government in his address at the port opening ceremony on Sunday. The next few years will see either the commencement or the opening of several large scale development projects more..

Egg a day to Jaffna children

Aug 17 (DN) A project to ensure at least an egg to a child of families in Jaffna affected by malnutrition will be implemented, Kumudu Wadugedara of the Civil Affairs and Public Relations office of the Jaffna peninsula said yesterday. He said malnutrition among the students in the peninsula is acute. He added that the Government has given complete access to the people in the Peninsula to have contact with the outside world. State and private telecom companies are operating in the Jaffna district. more..

British HC visits Mannar with travel restrictions lifted

Aug 17 (MoD) The British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Dr. Peter Hayes made an official tour to Mannar district recently; his first visit since the UK lifted all travel restrictions to Sri Lanka on 29 July. "I was very pleased to visit to the Mannar district. Historically, the area has earned a place of importance because of its natural harbour, more..

Korea to develop mono rail system in Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (LNP) A leading Korean bluechip company is to invest in Sri Lanka on developing several railway lines in Greater Colombo. This railway system is known as Mono Rail Transport (MRT). The US $ 500 million project will commence work in two stages. The first stage includes construction of a railway line from Colombo Fort to Mount Lavinia. The second phase will include construction of a railway line connecting Colpetty and Battaramulla via Rajagiriya. more..

Birth, death, marriage certificates: E-registration in progress

Aug 17 (DN) A program to upload birth, death and marriage certificates to the Internet is in progress as a pilot scale project in the Colombo District, Deputy Registrar General Sathasiva Iyer said. He was addressing a residential workshop for media on "Equal Access to Justice" at Villa Ocean View Hotel, Wadduwa last week. "Under this e-registration program, the birth, death and marriage certificates are scanned, and stored in the Lanka Government Network. more..

Young more dengue prone

Aug 17 (DN) About 72 percent of dengue patients from the Colombo district are below the age of 20. The number of persons who died from dengue througout the country upto August 13 is 186 while 25,880 dengue cases were reported during the same period, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The most number of deaths (45) and cases (4,262) had been reported from the Colombo district while the number of deaths reported from Gampaha district is 25. more..

CFA: Created by LTTE, presented by Solheim, accepted by UNF

Aug 17 (Island) Now that former Peace Secretariat Chief, Ambassador Bernard Gunatilleke has said that the LTTE was directly involved in the drafting of the Norwegian-arranged CFA, the Lessons Learnt Commission, headed by former Attorney General C. R. de Silva, could make an attempt to ascertain the extent of the LTTE’s involvement, sources close to the failed peace process said. Sources said that it would reveal the collusion on the part of the Norwegian facilitators, more..

Boat tragedy in Kirinda

Aug 17 (DM) A Navy Sub-Lieutenant and a child drowned while three others including two children went missing after a navy boat, in which they were travelling capsized at the Kirinda harbour yesterday around 4 pm, Navy spokesman Captain Athula Senarath said. Sources said the group had gone to watch whales in the sea at the time of the tragedy. Search operations were underway by Navy divers to find the three missing persons, Captain Senarath said. more..

'Even a child can understand how a war hero is being treated'

Aug 17 (NF) The UNP will not hesitate to reveal to the country the government's double standard conduct, says Gayantha Karunathilake, UNP's media spokesperson. He made this observation while commenting on the measures taken by the police to disperse a protest carried out by the JVP recently. “We saw how the police allowed demonstrations to be carried out opposite the UN head office under the labels of patriotism and more..

‘Ranil is using Mahinda’s Jaguar’

Aug 17 (Island) The official car assigned to Opposition and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was the one used by President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was the opposition leader, the UNP said. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake told a news conference in Colombo that Wickremesinghe was being criticised by certain persons in the government for using a "Jaguar", but they obviously did not know that it was the same vehicle that it was the same vehicle that had been imported for more..

New garbage disposal system to be introduced

Aug 17 (Island) Environment Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa yesterday said that a new system will be introduced for garbage disposal under every Provincial and Municipal Council in the country. The Minister made this statement at the inauguration event of the National Dengue Prevention Week held at the Colombo Municipal Council premises. He also said that the innocent lives lost due to the dengue epidemic are not only a loss for those respective families but more..

'Sri Lanka may not tap IMF funds immediately on reserves'

Aug 17 (BN) Sri Lanka may not tap loans from the IMF immediately as foreign-exchange reserves have climbed to a record, Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said. “We don’t want to draw down at this stage and accumulate unnecessary debt, even at concessionary terms,” Amunugama said in a telephone interview today from the capital, Colombo. “We have enough foreign exchange now.” more..

UK visitor figures to Sri Lanka up by 51%

Aug 17 (TD) 2011 looks set to live up to its name as "Visit Sri Lanka Year" from early on, as tourism to the country continues to grow in the second half of 2010. A change in FCO advice, lifting all travel restrictions and UNESCO's decision to add an eighth Sri Lankan property to its list of World Heritage Sites means that more people are making Sri Lanka their holiday destination of choice. more..

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s testimony to the war commission

Aug 17 (SL) Most people have forgotten that the government has defeated the most ruthless terrorist organization ever. That’s the history. Specifically I want to inform you of the magnitude of the military strength they have acquired over the years. In 2005 when I took over as Secretary of Defence. Specially the whole of Wanni area and part of the Eastern province were under their complete control. more..

The railway track from Medawachchiya to Talaimannar is to be reconstructed

Aug 17 (SLBC) The railway track from Medawachchiya to Talaimannar is to be re-erected. The Ircon company of India is in charge of construction. Minister Kumara Welgama and the Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Ashok K. Khanth signed the relevant agreement. The railway line is to be constructed under two stages from Medawachchiya to Madhu and from Madhu to Talaimannar at a cost of 26.57 billion rupees. more..

Canada should follow the Australian example says Lanka

Aug 17 (Island) Contrary to reports, none of the Sri Lankan Tamils who paid $ 40,000 to $ 50,000 each for passage to Canada are ex-LTTE combatants involved in Eelam war IV. Authoritative military officials say the LTTEers had no way of escaping the advancing army on the Vanni (east) front early last year by taking a boat due to heavy naval presence backed by 24-hour monitoring by the SLAF and navy technical sources. more..

Sri Lanka wildlife vets go on strike

Aug 17 (BBC) Sri Lanka's wildlife veterinary surgeons have gone on strike in protest at what they say is the government's failure to manage a serious conflict between wild elephants and humans. The wild elephant population has shrunk to about 4,000 as humans take over land used by the animals as corridors. About 50 people also died last year, as elephants turned violent. The vets' union said a major problem was that cattle were encroaching on elephants' food and water supplies. more..

SLC launches probe into no-ball incident

Aug 17 (PTI) Embarrassed by Suraj Randiv’s no-ball that denied Indian opener Virender Sehwag a century in an ODI tri-series game, Sri Lanka Cricket on Tuesday initiated an inquiry into the incident even as the bowler and top SLC officials offered apologies to calm the furore. A day after the incident threatened to snowball into a major controversy, SLC initiated an internal inquiry into the deliberate no-ball by off-spinner Randiv. more..

Migrants claim mass murders forced them to flee Sri Lanka

Aug 17 (VS) Tamil migrants who arrived in British Columbia aboard a human-smuggling ship last week say they were fleeing mass murders, disappearances and extortion in their native Sri Lanka. The Canadian Tamil Congress, an advocacy group for Canadian Tamils, released two letters to The Vancouver Sun and other media Monday allegedly penned by some of the 490 men, women and children detained in an immigration lockup facility in Maple Ridge. more..

IRD to fall sick tomorrow

Aug 18 (SL) The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) officials are to carry out a sick note campaign tomorrow (18) to protest last week’s attack on Deputy Commissioner and head of the Department’s Matara office. Deputy Commissioner H.M. Denzil was attacked last week by an unidentified group of men while he was on his way home after work. Trade unions affiliated IRD said a sick note campaign will be carried out tomorrow (18). more..

Court releases 'LTTE suspects'

Aug 18 (BBC) A court in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, has ordered the authorities to acquit and release seven Tamil suspects who have been in detention for over two years. The suspects were arrested in 2008 in a search operation after a claymore bomb was found in a suburb of Colombo. The seven suspects, who were residing in a temporary residence nearby, have been detained under Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the emergency regulations. more..

Ranil blamed on GSP

Aug 18 (DM) The government says Sri Lanka lost the GSP+ facility not because of alleged violations of labour rights but due to the disinformation campaign carried out by UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mangala Samaraweera and a section of the Tamil Diaspora. Government Minister Dallus Alahapperuma said the EU granted GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka after the tsunami in 2005 and it continued for 5 years. more..

Sri Lanka defends war conduct, slams rebel 'human shields'

Aug 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka said Tuesday the army did all it could to avoid civilian casualties during the war with Tamil rebels and blamed the United Nations for failing to halt the rebels' use of civilians as human shields. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who led the army to victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) last year, justified the troops' conduct in the final days of the fighting. more..

Opposition protest disrupts proceedings

Aug 18 (SL) Opposition protests in the well oh the House resulted in parliament being adjourned for a few minutes today (17). Parliamentarians from the JVP and UNP protested against the court martial ruling on DNA MP Sarath Fonseka. The first court martial ordered Fonseka to be granted a dishonorable discharge from the Army for being engaged in political work while in active service. President Mahinda Rajapakse on Saturday authorized the verdict of the first court martial. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 17. 08. 2010

Computer game based on war in Sri Lanka

Aug 18 (LT) A new computer game has been created based on the war carried out by SL Army against the LTTE. The game named “Ghost Recon Predator” has been created by Ubisoft Entertainment, a French company. The software will be available in November. The video trailer of the game has been already issued by Ubisoft Entertainment which shows the players in the jungles of Sri Lanka going behind the LTTE. more..

Generosity on the part of Sinhalese and pragmatism on the part of Tamils is now required

Aug 18 (TC) History tells us that ports are not only a driver of rapid development but a multiplier of modernization, and the Deep South, which after centuries of neglect has generated and benefited from a provincial power shift, will never be marginalised again. The quiet pride, hope and gratitude that most Sri Lankan citizens feel with regard to the Hambantota port and our long standing friend China, must be set alongside another lesson about our friends that more..