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Indian official to visit Sri Lanka next month

Aug 19 (Hindu) A senior official of the Union government will visit conflict-ridden areas of Sri Lanka early next month to assess development needs of the areas, Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary, said on Wednesday. Emerging from a 45-minute-long meeting with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence, Ms. Rao told reporters that “beyond rehabilitation, we have to look at development, more..

Sri Lanka: Dragon fruit, new cash crop

Aug 19 (FP) Watawala Plantations has become the first regional plantation company to initiate commercial dragon fruit cultivation in Sri Lanka, said the Planters’ Association of Ceylon in a press release. The dragon fruit venture is located at Homadola estate, Galle. The estate has adopted multi-cropping as an alternative to traditional plantation cultivation style and dragon fruit is the latest addition to the estate’s crop varieties list. more..

Sri Lankan university wins MTI start-up venture contest

Aug 19 (LBO) Sri Lanka's University of Kelaniya management students won the inaugural MTI Start-UP Venture Competition, beating more fancied private sector professionals in the final. Students from the state-run Kelaniya University hit gold in the final for their KPO venture that offers back-office legal services for clients from the western hemisphere. John Keells Capital with a diagnostic health centre venture were the first runners-up and more..

Office non functional

Aug 19 (DM) The operations of the office of the Deputy Minister of Highways is still non functional as a new or acting deputy minister of highways is yet to be appointed following the removal of the former Deputy Minister Meryn Silva. Sources from the Highways Ministry told Daily Mirror online that the areas looked into by the Deputy Minister had come to a complete standstill and it would remain that way till a new Deputy Minister was appointed. more..

Sri Lankan music directors to debut in Kollywood

Aug 19 (EB) Probably for the first time in the history of Kollywood, two music directors from Sri Lanka are going to make their debut in Tamil. The duo will compose music for ‘18 Vayasu’. Aaryan Dinesh and Charles Bosco have already gained international recognition for their musical albums. Aaryan Dinesh has already been a part of chart topper hits like Vijay Antony’s ‘Aathichudi’, D. Imman’s ‘Odi Polama’ and Paul Jacobs’ ‘Rajathi Raja’ and ‘Kattradhu Kalavu’. more..

Sri Lanka working towards being free from threat of land mines

Aug 19 (TC) A Technical Working Group (TWG) on Mine Risk Education (MRE), Victim Assistance and Advocacy, was held on 10th and 11th of August in Ampara with the participation of the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Services, Sri Lanka Army Humanitarian De-Mining Unit (HDU), Social Departments of North and East Provincial Councils, partner NGOs and with the facilitation from the UNICEF. more..

KP and the new Tamil politics

Aug 19 (LG) The politics of English educated and Anglicised Tamil elite is over for good and with it the formulations and solutions of westerners who sponsored, abetted and encouraged Tamil elite politics are to be discarded. In fact, it was the English who cultivated this elite class of Tamils and used them against first the Sinhala Christian elite and then in general against all the Sinhalas, and especially the Sinhala Buddhists. more..

Losers and Winners

Aug 19 (LG) Who are the real losers and winners in Sri Lanka? Why, after crushing the LTTE in May, 2009, does the tear drop shaped country remain in a state of pathetic instability? The insurgent group waged a war against the government of Sri Lanka for almost three decades demanding a separate state which would have been one-third of the country and two thirds of a maritime area called Eelam. The war against the LTTE was not a victory or the creation of any one person. more..

Jaffna to get three Vidatha Resource Centres

Aug 19 (MoD) The Technology and Research Ministry said three new Vidatha Resource Centres (VRC) will be opened in Jaffna Peninsula by the end of this year. Eight VRCs have been established in Jaffna Peninsula. Over 1,000 youth have obtained computer knowledge through the Resource Centres and the Ministry hopes to double the beneficiaries within this year. The objective of the VRCs is to transfer Computer Technology to rural villages and more..

Wanni Narratives - Part One

Aug 19 (LG) From January to May, 2009, a population of 300,000 in the Vanni, northern Sri Lanka underwent multiple displacements, deaths, injuries, deprivation of water, food, medical care and other basic needs caught between the shelling and bombings of the state forces and the LTTE which forcefully recruited men, women and children to fight on the frontlines and held the rest hostage. more..

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

Aug 19 (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 more..

Global Politics and the Sri Lankan Trajectory

Aug 19 (LG) It would be wise to situate the future direction of Sri Lanka within the context of the movements and changes in the global political –economic-strategic order. Every country, state and nation must adapt to, or overcome, its global environment, if it is to survive. The imperatives and the options of the Sri Lankan regime have to be identified within the logic of motion of the global political- economic-strategic order. more..

Is there Racism in our Society

'Innocence of childhood must be protected'

Aug 19 (DM) Minister of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Tissa Karalliyadda spoke to the Daily Mirror about addressing the needs of children and women in the country. The Minister emphasized the need for sensitive and systematic programmes backed by psychological and legal assessments to be enacted in the caring for women and children. Q: The Minister of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment is quite an unusual post to be given to a man. more..

From Cashiering to Conciliation?

Aug 19 (DM) It may have been a coincidence that the cashiering decision against Sarath Fonseka came about on the very eve of the European Unions formal withdrawal of the GSP-Plus trade facility for Sri Lanka. It did divert much of the media coverage and consequent national attention, yes, but then GSP-Plus had been in the news for nearly three years now. Even the 15 August deadline for discontinuance of the facility was known to the nation for long. more..

'Majority of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees reluctant to go back'

Aug 19 (Hindu) A majority of the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who have been in India for a decade or more, are reluctant to go back to their nation, according to M. Mutia Kalaivanan, Director of Rehabilitation. Talking to The Hindu here on the sidelines of a national seminar on ‘Refugee situation in India today,' he said that many of the refugees had become part of the local community and some even married locals. more..

KP’s exposure and Malaysian PM’s contradiction

Aug 19 (DM) How can the SL intelligence officers come to Malaysia and arrest KP without the knowledge of the Malaysian Authorities. Doesn’t that constitute an abduction in that case? He questioned. What is significant is, though the Malaysian Govt. vehemently denied the reports that KP was arrested in Malaysia, it did not initiate an investigation in this connection. Now, KP speaking to the Media discloses that he was arrested by the Malaysian Authorities. more..

Roofing sheets given to Sri Lanka

Aug 19 (Hindu) High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ashok K. Kantha on Wednesday handed over the first lot of the third consignment of galvanised corrugated roofing sheets to Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development. The third consignment consists of 2600 MT of sheets valued at approximately $2.65 million and is meant to construct shelters for the IDPs in the North. Mr. Kantha reiterated India's deep commitment to contributing to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the North. more..

U.S., Sri Lankan engineers begin repairing dilapidated school

Aug 19 (13AF) A team of more than 20 U.S., Sri Lankan, and Mongolian civil engineers started repairing a dilapidated school here Aug. 16, as part of Operation Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka. The engineers dug trenches, laid water lines to the outdoor restroom facilities, and built classrooms at the Semandaluma Kanishta Vidyalaya school. As the mission continues, the team will also paint the buildings, repair and more..

A new set of proposals for Education

Aug 19 (DM) The free Education and free health services have resulted in outstanding performance by Sri Lanka in the key social indicators – literacy and life expectancy. In fact the comparative figures of level of education and life expectancy among Sri Lankan women place us among those in the first world. Currently, we are witnessing a spate of political debates both meaningful and meaningless about these two fields. more..

Migrant kids colour and play while parents go to refugee hearings

Aug 19 (TS) Some of the kids excitedly splash each other with water to beat the British Columbia heat, while others are more than happy to hang in the shade with their crayons. But this is far from the average Vancouver-area playground — it’s a youth detention centre that’s currently home to more than 40 children who arrived in Canada via cargo ship last week. 44 minors are at the Burnaby centre in all, more..

Among the Tamils of Toronto, a tense wait for news

Aug 19 (G&M) Anton Philip Sinnarasa sits with a phone in each hand. In front of him, a dozen sheets of white paper lined with black, handwritten notes bear the news that dozens of Tamil families in Toronto are desperate to hear. He is the keeper of the names, and he will be the one to break the news, good or bad. Two men sit across from him, their arms folded, worry written across their faces. One has come direct from his job at more..

Tamil Congress 'concerned' by Ottawa's tone

Aug 19 (NP) The Canadian Tamil Congress is “deeply concerned” that Ottawa’s rhetoric about the arrival of migrants aboard a suspected people-smuggling ship could “undermine” ongoing investigations and spur “more than a backlash of words” against the Canadian Tamil community. A spokesperson for the congress said it is calling on the federal government — particularly Public Safety Minister Vic Toews — to “exercise some caution” and more..

Sriyantha Mendis & Kusum Renu

Sri Lankan governance in the true Dutugemunu style

Aug 19 (LG) During an era when management styles, principles and practices are being perfected and refined by the day, with a myriad of them put out by researchers and experts in civilized and democratic societies on the subject, we have the spectacle of the most barbaric form of management practiced by a minister in the Sri Lankan government. He puts to shame whatever studies have been made on the subject over the years. more..

The struggle for survival of a sovereign, unitary and independent nation

Aug 19 (LG) At one point of time the country now identified as Sri Lanka was known as Heladiva or Sivhela as there were four clans living in this country. They were the Devas, the Yakkas, the Rakshas and the Nagas. Prince Vijaya and his Sinha clan that migrated to this country from north India integrated with the above mentioned four indigenous Hela clans and were together identified henceforth as Sinhalese and their country was known as Sinhale. more..

'Some undesirables with money, power are in parliament'

Aug 19 (NF) Some undesirable people, just because they have money and power, have been able to get into parliament, says Minister Professor Tissa Vitharana. He expressed these views addressing the Dr. N. M. Perera memorial lecture and seminar held in Colombo Tuesday to mark the 31st death anniversary of the leftist leader, where a public lecture was held on the theme, 'The need for a new constitution for a united Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka interested in forging closer academic links with foreign Universities

Aug 19 (LP) Sri Lanka was very much interested in forging closer Academic links with foreign Universities which would help save considerable foreign exchange that was spent by Sri Lankan students seeking higher educational opportunities in foreign countries. Minister of Public Management Reform, Rathnasiri Wickramanayaka made this observation to a visiting academic Delegation from Scotland, UK. more..

Central Bank defends EPF equity investment moves

Aug 19 (N360) Central Bank says the Employers Provident Fund has the authority to invest in the share market including the banking and financial sectors. The Bank said in contrary to a claim made by an opposition spokesman, the EPF can invest to buy banking and financial sector counters in the CSE. According to the Bank, the move by the EPF to invest in the Banking and Financial sector has been heavily aimed at generating good returns to its members. more..

'The court advocate Aluvihare had lied and misdirected the military court'

Aug 19 (LeN) Ranil Wickremesinghe told in Parliament that the Court advocate Aluvihare by uttering a profusion of lies had misled the military Court. The Opposition leader who was participating in the debate regarding the draft of the provisions of the Civil procedure Court (amended), while making these above comments, asked how Fonseka was convicted without the wrongs he allegedly committed being read out. more..

'With dedication nothing is impossible'

Aug 19 (MoD) National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) conducted its 26th Diploma Award Ceremony at BMICH yesterday. Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, delivered the keynote address as the special guest of honour of the Awards Ceremony. Addressing the audience he stressed the importance of positive attitude and dedication that everyone should be acquired in the present context of education achieving one's own goals. more..

Excavation on Fa-Hien cave continues

Aug 19 (LP) Archeologists were able to uncover more tools used by the ancient people who occupied the Fa-Hien cave area. Fa-Hien cave, the largest known cave in Sri Lanka, is situated at 80Ÿ 12’ 55” E by 6Ÿ 38’ 55” N in Yatagampitiya village near Bulathsinhala in Kalutara District. It is popularly known as Fa Hien cave because of the popular belief that the famous Chinese Buddhist monk Fa Hien had stayed in the cave for a while on his pilgrimage to Adam’s Peak more..

12 patients from wasp attack in critical condition

Aug 19 (LP) 12 of the 200 patients admitted to Haputale Base Hospital following a wasp attack on Tuesday is in critical condition, Haputale District Medical Officer B H M S Herath said. It is also reported that 3 of the 12 patients have gone into anaphylactic shock. The incident took place on Tuesday when estate workers and their families came under a wasp attack while on their way to the Thangamalai Kovil to take part in a religious observance known as “Puse Festival”. more..

Interview III - Prof. Sumanasiri Liyanage

Editorial: Sparks

Aug 19 (DM) Three weeks ago a Jaffna bound bus from Colombo was pelted with stones when it was passing through Anuradhapura. On Monday a furniture seller and his team from Moratuwa were attacked in Jaffna allegedly by a Jaffna based furniture trader and his employees. These are incidents that many a responsible citizen would like to play down, given their sensitivity. However that does not mean that one should sweep them under carpet without more..

'Those sent to prison become drug addicts within two weeks'

Aug 19 (NF) The country's prisons are facing a grave problem as approximately 40 to 50 per cent of prison inmates are addicted to drugs and a person sent to prison becomes a drug addict within two weeks, says D. E. W. Gunesekara, Minister of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reform. The minister made this revelation in parliament yesterday on passing legislation against the use of drugs and rehabilitating those who were already addicted to drugs. more..

'Laws being formulated to set up private universities'

Aug 19 (NF) Laws are being formulated expeditiously to set up private universities in the country, says S.B. Dissanayake, Minister of Higher Education. He was responding to a question by UNP member Dayasiri Jayasekera whether there were moves to establish institutions affiliated to foreign universities. Minister Dissanayake noted that at present there was not a single registered private university in the country. more..

Steps taken to arrest the marauding elephant menace

Aug 19 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment has taken several steps to address the perennial problem of damages being caused to cultivation and sometimes resulting in deaths by marauding wild elephants. The programme “Gajamithuro” is aimed to minimize Human-elephant conflict prevailing in the country and transform it to human-elephant co-existence through community participatory approach by involving villages in operation and more..

National Drug policy recommendations: SL Cabinet nod for special committee

Aug 19 (LNP) Cabinet approval has been granted to a memorandum submitted by Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a special committee to make recommendations to implement the National Drug Policy, a Health Ministry spokesman said. According to the spokesman, Minister Sirisena appointed the committee yesterday under the chairmanship of Health Ministry Secretary Dr. Ravindra Ruberu. more..

Tigers targeted CCHA to thwart relief operations

Aug 19 (Island) Former Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe says the international community had an opportunity to maintain a regular dialogue with the government and the top military leadership through the Consultative Committee on Humanitarian Assistance (CCHA) during the eelam war IV. In a brief interview with The Island in the wake of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s presentation to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission on Tuesday, more..

Dengue nosedives in Jaffna

Aug 19 (DN) The number of dengue cases in the Jaffna district has dropped from 649 to 30 due to the concerted effort of the health officials and the public. The district has dropped to fourth place in terms of dengue prevalence ratio by the end of July. The number of dengue cases in the district are on the decrease and only 30 confirmed cases were reported from the Jaffna district upto August 13 and more..

Editorial: Make seeds affordable!

Aug 19 (LNP) The JVP has lashed out at the government for the soaring vegetable prices, which it attributes to high prices of seeds more than anything else. Time was when in calculating cost of production, the seed prices were taken for granted. For, the State involvement in producing seeds ensured that quality seeds were available to farmers at affordable prices. But, the State has stopped doing so and the farmers are now at the mercy of a few private companies bent on more..

CWE to enter vegetable trade

Aug 19 (DN) Co-operative and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando has directed his officials to formulate a proposal to purchase vegetables directly from field farmers through the CWE, a Ministry official told the Daily News yesterday. Accordingly, Minister Fernando had given these instructions during a discussion he had with his Ministry officials Tuesday about the problems faced by vegetable farmers during the harvest season. more..

Now ex-Defence Secy slams CFA

Aug 19 (Island) Former Defence Secretary Austin Fernando claims there had not been proper consultations with the military before the then Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government signed the CFA with the LTTE. Testifying before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission headed by former Attorney General C.R. de Silva, Fernando said that he had had absolutely no authority to intervene though the CFA extensively dealt with national security issues. more..

More hotels to boost tourism

Aug 19 (DN) Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene told Parliament yesterday that 16 new tourist hotels registered under the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority are being built in various places including the North and East. Around 418 new rooms are under construction under these hotel projects which are located in Wadduwa, Panadura, Rekawa, Tissamaharama, Matara, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Kandy, Kurunegala, more..

Assault on Deputy Inland Revenue Commissioner Hewage Denzil

Aug 19 (Island) Work at the Matara Regional Inland Revenue Office at Pallimulla came to a standstill yesterday following a sick note campaign launched by all employees in protest against the failure of the Police to arrest the suspects, who last week assaulted a Deputy Inland Revenue Commissioner Hewage Denzil. The victim was assaulted by a gang of four men with knuckledusters while he was returning home to Hikkaduwa by bus. more..

UNP yet to take a stand on crossover provision

Aug 19 (Island) The UNP, in spite of its complaints that it has suffered the most due to the crossover provision being abused by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has yet to take a specific stand on the matter. The UNP’s Media spokesman Gayantha Karunathillake, when asked by The Island what his party’s position on the crossover provision was, said that the UNP could respond once the government had replied to its proposals on more..

Attack on Inland Revenue Officer: 'Bring suspects to book'

Aug 19 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed IGP Mahinda Balasuriya to bring the suspects involved in the attack on Inland Revenue Department Deputy Commissioner, Matara Divisional Office HM Denzil to book. In addition the President directed the IGP to have a rapport with the Commissioner General of Inland Revenue Department to find ways and means to ensure the safety of more..

Sri Lanka ranked 66th in world's best countries

Aug 19 (NF) According to a study carried out by Newsweek magazine Sri Lanka has been ranked 66th in the world's best countries. The study was conducted by the internationally acclaimed magazine on 100 of the world's best countries. The study focused on five main aspects which included health, quality of life and the political environment. Finland was ranked No. 1 in the study while Switzerland, Sweden, Australia and more..

Government thanks the UN

Aug 19 (SL) Minister Basil Rajapaksa today thanked the assistance provided by the UN and said the country could not have achieved what it has at the moment without the help of all humanitarian workers and the UN organization. Rajapaksa made this statement during his address at an event held at the UN Compound today. He thanked the UN country office, its country director and all the donors who have asited Sri Lanka. more..