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White patches on Sigiriya frescoes

Aug 19 (DM) The world famous Sigiriya frescoes are now facing a new threat as white patches had developed on the paintings after they were chemically treated to prevent the original hues from fading away, Archaeological Department sources said yesterday. They said archaeological conservation officers had administered the chemical treatment last Friday according to strict internationally recognized standards after more..

Meeting for Mervyn

Aug 19 (DM) A section of the Buddhist clergy from Gampaha are preparing to hold a convention in Colombo to urge the government to reinstate former Deputy Minister of Highways Mervyn Silva to his government post. Accordingly, the conference will be held on Friday and the clergy are preparing to submit a signed petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa following the conference, sources close to the former Deputy Minister told more..

Undercurrents of power purchase

Aug 19 (DM) The CEB pays Rs. 15 billion annually as Capacity Charges to nine Private power producers whether or not the CEB purchases power from them, a top Power Ministry official said. Agreements signed between The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Independent Power Producers (IPP) during Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe regimes had made CEB legally bound to pay a staggering Rs. 15 billion annually as more..

Sri Lanka gets visit by ADB vice president

Aug 19 (LBO) Asian Development Bank (ADB) said its Vice President Xiaoyu Zhao will visit Sri Lanka from 19-21 August for talks with the government and to visit ADB funded projects especially in the former northern war zone. The bank said in a statement Zhao will review ADB support for the reconstruction and development of post-conflict Sri Lanka as well as other ADB development programs. Sri Lanka is recovering from the effects of a 30-year ethnic war which ended in May 2009. more..

Sri Lanka to get new Mahindra vehicles, electric car

Aug 19 (LBO) India's Mahindra group said it is studying the possibility of introducing its electric vehicle, Mahindra Reva, to the Sri Lankan market and launching new models soon after their launch in India. Vice chairman Anand Mahindra told a news conference the company was targeting vehicle sales of 10,000 by the 2013 financial year. The group plans to introduce new models in Sri Lanka soon after they are launched in the Indian market. more..

'They have already planned to jail me before the next Parliament Sessions'

Aug 19 (LeN) The first military court appointed by the President on the instructions of Army Commander Jagath Jayasooriya found the former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka as guilty on the three charges filed against him. Accordingly, the President Mahinda Rajapkse ratified the decision of the court to strip Gen. Fonseka of all his official posts. Lanka e news succeeded in conducting an interview with Fonseka, more..

Ex-army chief calls Sri Lanka a 'dictatorship'

Aug 20 (AP) Sri Lanka's ex-army chief called the government a "total dictatorship" and said Thursday that he will appeal his recent conviction by a military court, which he described as a political vendetta. Former Gen. Sarath Fonseka said the inquiry on charges he was involved in politics while still in the military was launched to persecute him for daring to challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the presidential election earlier this year. more..

Heavy rains wash match out, reserve day to be used

Aug 20 (CI) The fourth match of the tri-series, between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, became the first-ever ODI in Dambulla to be abandoned because of rain. It wasn't abandoned in the true sense of the word: there was a reserve day assigned for every match of the tournament, and both teams were to have the toss again on Friday. Heavy rain hit Dambulla soon after New Zealand won the toss today and elected to bat. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 19.08.2010

No rest in peace for veddhas

Aug 20 (BBC) Sri Lanka's indigenous people, Veddha community, have been protesting against the attempts to grab their traditional burial ground reportedly to build a new hotel. Suda Vannilaeththo is the leader of the Vedddha community in Rathugala, Ampara district. "We have nowhere to live; nothing to eat. Now we are deprived of this cemetery," he told journalist Wasantha ChandrApala. He urged President Rajapaksa and the authorities to release the land where more..

Wanni Narratives - Part Two

Aug 20 (LG) The hoary beginnings of the people of the Vanni (Vanniar) ruled over by chieftains called Vannians [33,34] has not been clearly established but settlements have been dated back 2000 years[35]. There is mention in the Konesar culvet and old vya song of sixty Vanniar coming from Madurai in South India accompanying the royal bride for the king at Anuradhapura in the first century BC [36]. more..

Hedging deals with CPC resulted in challenging times for Standard Chartered

Aug 20 (Island) Fitch Ratings Lanka has affirmed Standard Chartered Bank, Sri Lanka Branch’s (SCBSL) National Long-term rating at ‘AAA(lka)’with a stable outlook. "SCBSL’s rating reflects Standard Chartered Bank PLC’s (SCB) financial strength, of which SCBSL is a branch and part of the same legal entity. SCB is rated ‘A+’/Stable, which is higher than the sovereign’s foreign currency Issuer Default Rating of ‘B+’/Stable. more..

Money scammers played many for a sucker

Aug 20 (NS) With the hype that was created around the arrest of alleged fraudster Sakvithi Ranasighe, the nation took a look at the types of financial frauds that were identified in Sri Lanka. We believe that it is our duty to bring these fraudulent acts to the limelight so that the public could be more vigilant and avoid falling into another ‘Sakvithi trap.’ The Director of the Fraud Investigations Bureau (FIB), SSP Maxi Proctor, warned that more..

Let’s talk about ‘revolution’ then

Aug 20 (LB) In his response to an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago Rajpal Abeynayake says that there’s a cultural revolution happening which is masquerading as a ‘Sinhala Buddhist revolution of sorts’ (see ‘No, I do not see a Buddhist revolution’, Lakbima News of August 8, 2010). He offers what he believes is a lot of evidence of what is at best a very cosmetic (read ‘thin’) Sinhala Buddhist cover over certain acts or policy articulations, more..

Team from Sri Lanka meets fishermen in Nagapattinam

Aug 20 (Hindu) A 21-member delegation of fisherfolk, primarily from the war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka, held a consultative meeting with fishermen of the district at Keechankuppam on Thursday. Use of trawler vessels and dual-filament nets by fishermen in Tamil Nadu, and their impact on the small fishermen of northern Sri Lanka figured at the two-hour long meeting. more..

The Govt is forming a militray volunteer force under K.P.?

Aug 20 (LG) The government of Sri Lankan is forming a volunteer military force under the former LTTE arm's smuggler Kumaran Pathmathan aka KP using the former LTTE cadets who surrendered to the Sri Lankan Army, according to the Lanka News web website. The government is planning to make K.P a Colonel in charge of this military force. Officers from the Sri Lankan armed forces are completely against this plan by Mahinda Rajapaksa's Government. more..

Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts

Aug 20 (AN) The island nation’s economy is badly affected by the war etc. Providing housing and livelihood to people who lost everything in the war, resettling over 300,000 people and developing infrastructure are never going to be easy. Although a small percentage of the displaced people are still in camps and are yet to be resettled in their own homes, one should realize that clearing land mines on every inch of the vast area formerly occupied by more..

Sri Lanka to extend crude oil deal with Iran

Aug 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to extend a deal with Iran to buy two million metric tonnes of crude oil a year with a 120-day interest free credit facility, a government spokesman said. Media minister Keheliya Rambukkwelle said Sri Lanka buys most of its crude oil from Iran and the government's agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company which amounts to supplying 40,000 barrels a day expires on August 31, 2010. more..

Exceptional collapse in the policing system of Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (LG) It is an alarming eye opener but yet just another incident experienced by many Sri Lankans in their day to day life that shows the reality of the practice of policing in Sri Lanka. While three members of parliament (MPs) and a Provincial Council member went to make a complaint at the Headquarters Police Station of Galle two of the MPs were assaulted and put into a cell. The police then filed fabricated cases against them. more..

Sri Lanka rural finance market eyed by India's Mahindra

Aug 20 (LBO) India's Mahindra and Mahindra group plans to enter Sri Lanka's financial sector, especially the rural areas, officials said. There were "imminent opportunities in financial services', said Ramesh Iyer, managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services. "Capital is not a constraint in terms of wanting to grow in Sri Lanka. We want to start quickly by getting into financing Mahindra vehicles and tractors." more..

The constitution and the rights of women

Ex Snr. cop aided Sakvithi bolt

Aug 20 (NS) Master fraudster Sakvithi Ranasinghe had received the help of a retired high ranking Police officer to flee the country via the Bandaranaike International Airport, after swindling more than Rs.1 billion of investor money, the latest investigations reveal. Sakvithi Ranasinghe had used his real name, Ranasinghe Mudiyanselage Chandana Weerakumara when leaving the country. It has also been revealed that the high ranking Police officer had deposited a large sum of money, more..

Lanka’s swift action worth emulating

Aug 20 (DH) To a few, the internal enquiry established in the wake of Suraj Randiv’s no-ball, and the subsequent sanctions announced by SLC, might appear an over-reaction. SLC, and skipper Kumar Sangakkara, however, have always advocated playing the game in the right spirit; through its actions of the last two days, SLC has shown that its commitment to adhering to the spirit of the game is no empty boast. more..

PMB has no room to store surplus paddy

Aug 20 (LB) Rice cultivators are facing a dilemma as the government has not implemented a proper plan to purchase surplus paddy after the Yala harvest. As a result a farmer was forced to burn his produce last week. Meanwhile, in another incident there was an attempt by a farmer in the Ampara district to set a sack of paddy on fire while simultaneously setting himself on fire. more..

Sri Lankan choir sings message of unity

Aug 20 (UCAN) An Anglican-run gospel choir says it is looking to break down social barriers and unite divided communities in Sri Lanka through song. But what makes the Colombo-based Voices in Praise special is that its 25 members include Hindu, Buddhist and Christian youths. The entire group sings in Sinhalese, Tamil, English and Latin in a choral style with the twin objectives to praise God and emphasise on ethnic harmony. more..

Post-conflict connection: Canadian youth in Sri Lanka

Aug 20 (MN) Tyler Morden didn't think he'd have much in common with a former Sri Lankan child soldier. But sitting in the shade of a palm tree in a small town on the country’s eastern coast, the 22-year-old Manitoba native found that there are some things all youth can relate to — school, sports, and planning for the future. “We can connect on a different level,” said Morden. “I realized instantly that it was going to be a very positive experience.” more..

Who speaks for small farmers, earthworms and cow dung?

Aug 20 (GV) Dr Philip Revatha (Ray) Wijewardene, who passed away on August 18 aged 86, spent a lifetime being unpigeonholeable – which won him many admirers and a few detractors. Despite being an accomplished engineer, aviator, inventor and Olympian, he chose to introduce himself as a farmer and mechanic ‘who still got his hands dirty’. Unpretentious and always enthusiastic, he was one man who somehow managed to more..

Cabinet decisions

Aug 20 (GDI) On the recommendation of Minister of Petroleum Industry Susil Premajayantha Cabinet granted approval to enter in to an agreement with National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to extend the existing term contract to procure 2 million MTs of Iranian Light Crude Oil from 1st September 2010 to 31st August 2011 with 120 days interest free credit facilities. And to procure 135,000 MTs of Arabian Light Crude Oil from Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi Arabia, more..

Plenty at stake in rain replay

Aug 20 (CI) Anyone looking to predict how the second half of the tri-series will pan out will have a hard time finding a pattern from the first set of league matches. Consistency has eluded all three teams, each of whom have had one comfortable victory and one big defeat so far. The reserve day for all matches in this tournament means nothing much has changed due to Thursday's washout; whoever loses the replay on Friday will still be left staring at a must-win situation in their final league match. more..

Private medical institutions under fire

Aug 20 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena has decided to amend the Private Medical Institutions Registration Act, No.21 of 2006 immediately. The Minister took the decision after considering the rapid increase of public complaints against private hospitals, a Health Ministry spokesman said. The Private Medical Institutions Regulatory Council set up under the Private Medical Institutions Registration Act is toothless and more..

Reconciling the Diaspora, IDPs and the Tamil political elite

Aug 20 (DM) Reconciliation is a process. One that would necessarily entail how we are Sri Lankans perceive our future to be. It would be naďve to assume that a policy or a set of proposals can and would help reconcile the much marginalized communities back together. They would certainly be a start, but the reality would much remain in the manner in which we as a nation adopt its finer points. That is not to say the certain steps taken by the government are not valid. more..

'We aim at poverty-free country'

Aug 20 (DM) As the sun rises over the Unnichchai tank in the Batticaloa district, Mathivathan Anton and his wife wake-up to yet another day of financial worries. Also troubling them are the educational needs of their two children - a girl and boy. Anton cultivates and, and survives on a meagre income from it. Like him, most people in Unnichchai lack the basic requirements to lead a decent life. They face poverty at its harshest. more..

California Nalanda old boys support 'Ranaviru dudaru scholaship'

Aug 20 (IL) The Nalanda College Old Boys Association of America (NCOBAA) donated a sum of US$ 6,156 (Rs. 700,000) to "Ranaviru Dudaru Scholarship" to educate the children of Sri Lanka War Veterans. This donation was made at a private meeting held at the Official Residence of the Sri Lanka Consul General to the Western States of USA based in Los Angeles, California on August 1st, 2010. The donation will be utilized to support more..

Sri Lanka A dominate drawn game

Aug 20 (CI) Jeevan Mendis gave South Africa A a scare on the final day, picking up five wickets as the spectre of an innings defeat loomed over the visitors, but Heino Kuhn and Vernon Philander batted out the closing overs to ensure the game ended in a draw at the SSC in Colombo. Dean Elgar and Stephen Cook had begun well, both hitting half-centuries in an opening stand of 128. The match looked to be heading towards a draw but Cook, who had made 52 with seven fours, was trapped leg before by Mendis. more..

Why the lessons learnt and reconciliation commission must deliver

Aug 20 (DM) Chitta Ranjan De Silva PC, eminent lawyer and former attorney general, better known as CR De Silva, heads the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, the body tasked by the president among other things to ensure that Sri Lanka is not forced to relieve its bitter, polarized and strife torn history of the past three decades. It was Ambassador Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke who coined the phrase “post, post 9/11”, to indicate a global policy shift away more..

Reproductive health and sexuality individual rights

Eastern awakening?

Aug 20 (DM) With recent attention shifting to the Sri Lankan north, the east has remained excluded from post-war revival. As my train sped into Batticaloa district in the wee hours of the morning, past towns that had seen great violence in the past, the beauty of the region came alive. Both the district and town of Batticaloa are dominated by water; the landscape is marked by the sea, lagoons, rivers and canals, and dotted with bridges and fishing boats. more..

Wanni Narratives - Part Three

Aug 20 (LG) This paper is mainly a qualitative inquiry [73-76] into the psychosocial situation of the Vanni IDP's and their ethnography using narratives and observations obtained through participant observation; in depth interviews; key informant, family and extended family interviews; and focus groups using a prescribed, semi structured open ended questionnaire. Ethical clearance for the study was sought from the Ethical Review Committee of the University of Jaffna. more..

Editorial: Randiv, the misguided goldern boy

Aug 20 (DM) Suraj Randiv, the much-adored rising star in Sri Lankan cricket certainly does not have a competition from veteran Indian batsman Virender Sehwag. Sehwag, who was voted Wisden Leading Cricketer of the Year for two consecutive years, 2008 and 2009, is way ahead of the budding star in many ways. The one who actually had an issue with Sehwag’s star status is Thilakaratne Dilshan, the batting machine of Sri Lanka. more..

Police warn public to be cautious of unscrupulous elements during Kandy Perahera

Aug 20 (GDI) Police warn the public who visit Dalada Perahera in Kandy to be cautious of unscrupulous elements. Large crowd of over 250,000 people including foreigners and a large number of children were present to view the first day of the Kumbal Perahera which had a longer route than in previous years. Central Province Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne has warned tourists and the general public to beware of unscrupulous elements trying to cash-in during more..

Sri Lanka Ambassador in U.S. refutes Amnesty International Claims

Aug 20 (CD) On Aug. 9, 2010 the Washington Post published a letter from James McDonald of Amnesty International suggesting that a shipload of Sri Lankans arriving illegally in Canada should be given asylum because they faced persecution if they returned to Sri Lanka. I am compelled to respond to this letter because Mr. McDonald misstates so many facts and makes so many blind allegations that he must be corrected. more..

Sri Lanka gets Japan, ADB help to restore livelihoods of families affected by war

Aug 20 (LBO) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan are providing financial aid to help Sri Lanka restore infrastructure and provide livelihood training for thousands of people displaced by war, a statement said. The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction, administered by ADB, is extending a 2.5 million US dollar grant for a project that will provide cash-for-work and skills training for at least 2,500 families in five conflicted-affected districts in the north of the country. more..

Editorial: Humpty Dumpty, scribes et al

Aug 20 (LNP) Former Defence Secretary Austin Fernando, who happened to preside over the initial politico-military tribulations brought about by an ill-conceived, lopsided CFA, in the drafting of which neither he nor his political bosses had any say, has told the Lessons Learnt Commission that the pact was seriously flawed. He has also said, inter alia, that a section of the media undermined the peace process under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe through more..

Did the Sri Lankan migrants 'jump the queue'?

Aug 20 (CTV) An overwhelming majority of Canadians -- 83 per cent -- believes that the passengers of the MV Sun Sea budged in line for immigration to Canada, cutting ahead of would-be immigrants who've spent years filling out paperwork. Are they correct? The answer is an emphatic "No," according to immigration lawyer Richard Kurland. "They are not retarding the process in any way, making it longer or more difficult in any way for anyone else," more..

Aftermath of N-E war: LRC clears disputed land titles

Aug 20 (DN) The Government has taken steps to legalize the land ownership of families who were displaced from their original native places during the war in the North and East. Initially, the Land Reform Commission (LRC) has targeted awarding deeds to 10,000 families before the end of November for them to settle down in their original native places with proper land demarcation. Ownership of such lands of 50 families in more..

Equal media coverage for national events

Aug 20 (DN) There should be a common agreement hereafter when it comes to covering National events by media, especially the electronic media. An open discussion with the participation of both state and private media will be organized to come to an agreement, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. He said that state and private media can telecast any program such as reality shows, live shows or anything but when it comes to covering National events, more..

'We have become the laughing stock of the cricketing world! '

Aug 20 (NM) Sri Lanka has become the laughing stock of the cricketing world, says former cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga. Commenting on the recent No-Ball fiasco, he said that our Cricket Board, instead of letting the match referee to take a decision on the issue, had jumped the gun and had apologised to the Indian Cricket Board. Following the recent No-Ball controversy, cricketer Suraj Randiv was suspended from more..

Work on coastal railway line at Pelena: Minister promises smooth train service

Aug 20 (DN) An efficient train service in keeping with people's hopes and aspirations will be provided soon creating a new dawn in the transport sector, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama said. He was speaking after inaugurating rehabilitation work on the coastal railway line at a ceremony at Pelena, Weligama yesterday. The Minister said the duty of the trains control was to ensure the running of trains according to a set time table. more..

Sri Lanka gives more money to promote rice over wheat flour

Aug 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's government is to spend 2.5 billion rupees over the next three years to extend a programme to encourage rice cultivation and consumption and reduce wheat flour consumption, a spokesman said. Media minister Keheliya Rambukkwelle said the government's local food production programme had been successful in increasing paddy production and discouraging wheat flour consumption. more..

Rebuilding, but at a cost

Aug 20 (Economist) Wearing a crisp blue shirt, Kumaraswamy Nageswaran gestures dejectedly to a towering fence that keeps him from his village and his three acres of farmland on the Trincomalee coast. Five years ago, as Tamil Tiger rebels fought desperately with the Sri Lankan army, thousands of families fled Sampur and adjoining villages. They returned in the six months to January this year, only to find themselves victims of post-war development plans. more..