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'Will KP’s money snap up Sri Lanka’s largest bond issue'

Aug 21 (Island) The UNP yesterday asked if the money in about 1,500 odd bank accounts of LTTE’s former Chief arms procurer Kumaran Pathamanathan would be used to snap up Sri Lanka’s largest ever bond issue of one billion US dollars to be floated next month. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said it was pertinent to query who the investors in the country’s largest bond issue would be, in the light of the government having more..

STF busts major fuel racket

Aug 21 (DM) A major oil racket involving some 25 bowsers and several hidden storage points were busted by the Special Task Force (STF) yesterday. They said the STF also seized 15,000 litres of diesel, 137,000 litres of waste oil and 25 bowsers used to transport the fuel to various locations. The suspects are alleged to have operated this major racket by distributing diesel mixed with waste oil disposed by ships and with the addition of chemicals. more..

Locally manufactured BTI to be used from next week

Aug 21 (DN) The locally manufacture BTI bacteria will be used from next week to combat dengue mosquito larvae. The Health Ministry has taken this decision on a directive issued by Minister Maithripala Sirisena. This was disclosed at a special meeting on the dengue eradication program held at the Health Ministry chaired by Acting Health Minister Mahinda Amaraweera and Ministry Additional Secretary Dr. Palitha Maheepala, more..

How Prabhakaran met his death: KP speaks out – 3

Aug 21 (DBS) Question: What happened finally to your plan of rescuing Prabhakaran and his family by helicopter? Why did the plan not take off? Answer: It’s a very sad story. After Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony asked me to rescue his family members by air I devised a plan and made preliminary arrangements. I arranged for a ship to be kept waiting at a far –off port beyond the reach of the Sri Lanka navy. more..

Govt. seeks Rs. 60 mn for new vehicles for Ministers

Aug 21 (Island) The government yesterday submitted nine supplementary estimates seeking approval for Rs. 60 million to purchase 12 new motor vehicles for the ruling party members. Among the beneficiaries are the Minister and Deputy Minister of Posts and Telecommunication, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, Deputy Minister of Plantations, Minister of Livestock and Rural Community Development, more..

Wanni Narratives - Part Four

Aug 22 (LG) We were originally from Alaveddy in Jaffna. My father was transferred as the post master to Anuradhapura in 1948. We settled in at the post office quarters in new town Anuradhapura. My four younger sisters, one younger brother and myself were born in Anuradhpura. My mother was a good entrepreneur. Through her efforts we saved on our expenses, invested in land, cattle and paddy fields. We built a big house behind St. Joseph's Church and I studied at the Convent in Sinhalese. more..

The people and cultures of prehistoric Sri Lanka - Part Three

Aug 22 (LG) The Early Historic period is marked by the appearance of an epigraph with decipherable script indicating the presence of a ruler or chieftain. Pottery continues to be of the Black and Red Ware as well as the Early Red ware types. Brahmi alphabets are making their appearance in potsherds, the most commonly found symbol being the Tamil Brahmi letter ‘ma’. There were also various kinds of beads made of glass, ivory, chank, carnelian and marble. more..

Sangakkara cleared of offence after collision

Aug 22 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara was found not guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct after colliding with offspinner Nathan McCullum during the abandoned ODI against New Zealand in Dambulla. He had been initially charged with breaking clause 2.2.4 which deals with "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between Players in the course of play during an International Match". more..

Ancestors offer Bees honey to the sacred tooth relic of lord Buddha

Aug 22 (LP) The so believed Sri Lanka’s forefathers “the Vaddas” paid homage to the Sacred tooth Relic at Sri Dalada Maligawa Kandy. Uruwarige Wanniyala Attho accompanied by 100 of his country men and women from Dambana offered fresh Bees honey (Mee Panee Poojawa) to the Tooth Relic. This ritual is carried out as an annual event of the tribe. On arrival the tribal leader and the group was welcomed by Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela who more..

China to aid in reconstruction of hospitals in Northeast

Aug 22 (LP) The Chinese Government has agreed to provide assistance in the construction, maintaining and the supplying of medical equipment to all hospitals in the Northeast. A leading Government company in China named CECT has agreed to provide Rs. 5410 million for these projects, and Secretary of the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka Dr. Ravindra Ruberu and the Chairman of the CECT signed the agreement for the necessary aids. more..

Prison escape attempt ends in death

Aug 22 (SL) One detainee died, shot by prison officials, when he made an attempt to escape from the Bogambara prison in Kandy with another this morning. “The one who died was an Army deserter, who had committed various crimes, while the other has been captured,” said the Commissioner General of Prisons, Major General V. R. De Silva. Investigations have revealed that the pair, who had been in remand custody, more..

Navy assist repatriation of Lankan fishermen

Aug 22 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of twenty six (26) Sri Lankan fishermen, who were released from the Indian custody, on Wednesday. The fishermen were handed over to SLN officials by an Indian Coast Guard vessel at the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the seas North West of Thalaimannar. They were brought to the Thalaimannar Naval Base by Sri Lanka Naval Ship 'Ranawickrama' attached to more..

SLFP disciplinary committee on MP Mervyn Silva meets

Aug 22 (NF) The disciplinary committee appointed by the SLFP on parliamentarian Mervyn Silva met for the first time yesterday. Administrative Secretary of the SLFP S. H. Ariyasena speaking to Newsfirst said that the disciplinary committee met at the SLFP headquarters at 10 this morning. He noted that MP Mervyn Silva had appeared before the committee when it convened and the committee had considered facts for over two hours. more..

Sri Lanka-India ferry deal draft ready: envoy

Aug 22 (LBO) India and Sri Lanka have prepared the draft of an agreement to resume ferry services across the narrow strip of water separating the two countries, the Indian envoy in Colombo said. "We've finalised the draft of the agreement," Indian high commissioner Ashok Kantha said. "The two countries have in principle agreed on starting the ferry services." more..

Two tales of Sri Lankans

Aug 22 (TC) A ship arrived in B.C. and tempers flared around dinner tables in suburban Ottawa. Spurred by radio talk show hosts, many Canadians shed their benevolent skins and began bellowing that the 492 Tamil men, women and children who arrived on the smuggler-operated ship MV Sun Sea should be sent packing, back to sea. Naturally, at the end of a global recession, Canadians worry that boatloads of refugees will take away from them valuable jobs, more..

Sri Lanka stock market manipulation rife: senior officials

Aug 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tiny 1.6 trillion rupee stock exchange is prone to speculative attacks as it is illiquid and a recent price band will only reduce manipulation and not protect investors 100 percent, senior officials said. "This (Colombo Stock Exchange) is an illiquid market and there is a lot of manipulation," Surekha Sellahewa, chief executive of the Colombo Stock Exchange said. Sri Lankan stocks have risen over 50 percent so far this year, more..

Customs detain this week's issue of 'The Economist' magazine

Aug 22 (NF) The Sri Lankan distributor of The Economist magazine says that the Sri Lanka Customs had detained this week's issue of the magazine. According to the distributors of The Economist magazine, this week's issue carries an article on Sri Lanka titled, 'Sri Lanka's Post War Recovery: Rebuilding at a Cost'. The Chairman of the Vijitha Yapa Associates, the exclusive distributor of the magazine in Sri Lanka, expressed these views more..

Sri Lanka readies itself for Rs 619 million write-off

Aug 22 (SL) In spite of valliant efforts by senior members of Sri Lanka’s Customs department led by respected civil servant, Mrs. Suddharma Karunarathna, it appears that Sri Lanka will lose out on a Rs 619 Million fraud. The Sunday Leader has highlighted this case a number of times, and some of our copy managed to stave off action from the higher echelons of power at Customs. Further to our expose two weeks ago, the Director General more..

Maids return to Lanka

Aug 22 (DM) Several maids who made use of the amnesty period offered by Lebanon returned to the country today. These maids are among the Sri Lankans working in Lebanon without valid visas. The Sri Lankan Ambassador to Lebanon M. Maharoof told Daily Mirror online that several Sri Lankans who made use of the amnesty period left for Sri Lanka yesterday after obtaining the required clearance from Sri Lankan Embassy in Lebanon. more..

'Choose hope over fear, unity of purpose over discord'

Aug 22 (CT) Deputy leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya has called upon his friends and colleagues in both the opposition and the government ranks to "choose hope over fear, unity of purpose over discord." "If we do this, the people of Sri Lanka will trust us to lead them to a better day," he said in a statement. He has issued his call to Somawansa Amarasinghe, Sarath Fonseka, R. Sampanthan, Rauff Hakeem, Mano Ganeshan and Dr. Vickramabahu Karunatne by mentioning them by name. more..

En Route to the World’s best Surfing spot

Aug 22 (LP) It was indeed a pleasant journey towards the East of Sri Lanka after many years as we proceeded along to our destination; Batticaloa the capital of Eastern Sri Lanka. The road stretched endlessly and except for a few repairs and expansion here there the journey was smooth and comfortable. We reached our destination past mid-day and were welcomed with glasses of fresh sweet cucumber juice. That was the beginning of our tour. more..

Army intelligence officer cries foul

Aug 22 (SL) A former army intelligence officer Friday filed a Fundamental Rights application citing Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a respondent for ordering his detention in connection with the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge – Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Leader. Wickrematunge was brutally assassinated on January 8, last year as he drove himself to work. Kandegedara Priyawansa of Karuwana, Nuwara Eliya in his petition has charged that more..

Sri Lanka face must-win battle

Aug 22 (CI) Rain and the lack of a bonus point have left Sri Lanka facing the possibility of an early exit from a multi-team tournament at home for only the second time. They have made the finals of every competition involving three or more teams in Sri Lanka, barring the Bank Alfalah Cup in 2003, a topsy-turvy tri-series in Dambulla which bears plenty of resemblance to the current tournament. more..

Bishop receives hero’s welcome in hometown

Aug 22 (UCAN) A Sri Lankan clergyman, who was ordained the first bishop of Quetta in Pakistan last month, received a rousing welcome when he returned home for a visit recently. Parishioners of Jaffna’s St. Anthony’s church decorated the streets to receive Oblate Bishop Victor Gnanapragasam on Aug. 18 and brought him to the church accompanied by traditional music and dance. Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam of Jaffna, together with thousands of people of various faiths, more..

Aspiring journalists get top class coaching

Aug 22 (UCAN) Renowned photographer Michael Coyne was among the teachers at a workshop on reporting and photography in Colombo on Aug. 17-18. Journalism and Photography 2010 was held at the city’s Center for Religion and Society and attended by a group of 25 established and aspiring reporters. Michael Coyne offered advice on how to compose a photo for media insertion and how to use photography to effectively illustrate a news story. more..

Cosmetic Changes At UNP

Aug 22 (SL) The UNP’s Leadership crisis and Reforms appears to have been resolved. After 4 days of intense meetings the Seniors at the UNP have come up with a consensus on how best to move forward. The latest proposals which will be confirmed early next week, will see beleaguered UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe retain his post as party leader and Leader of the Opposition, Karu Jayasuriya is promoted to Senior Deputy Leader and more..

Zombies intercept Tamil migrant support rally

Aug 22 (VS) Nearly a hundred people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery Saturday to voice their anger at the Canadian government's treatment of the 492 Tamil migrants who arrived in B.C. more than a week ago aboard the Sun Sea cargo ship. The would-be refugee claimants are now awaiting immigration processing at B.C. jails. Protest organizers distributed tissue-paper flowers and had unkind words for Canadian immigration and citizenship minister Jason Kenney. more..

President calls for report on damage to frescoes

Aug 22 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has called for an immediate report into the recent damage caused to the frescoes of Sigiriya damsels. At a meeting today, the president has inquired from Cultural Affairs Ministry officials regarding the threat to the world famous wall paintings. He gave instructions to obtain services of local experts for the restoration of the frescoes. White spots have appeared on about six paintings of damsels, more..

These migrants want to call Canada home

Aug 22 (VS) When a shipload of Tamils landed on Vancouver Island last week, many British Columbians drew comparisons with a similar maritime journey undertaken by hundreds of Chinese migrants 11 years ago. In both cases, the men and women travelled in squalid boats. Some carried identification; others did not. All intended to file refugee claims in Canada. On the surface, the scenarios seem similar, but more..

Warning of AH1N1 re-emerging

Aug 22 (SL) The spreading of the AH1N1 virus in neighboring India had resulted in the Epidemiology Unit of the Health Ministry warning of a re-emergence of the virus in Sri Lanka. Local authorities have however said that precautionary steps have been taken to prevent the virus from spreading in the country. Senior Epidemiologist of the Health Ministry, Dr. Sudath Peiris has told the media that the previous 400,000 vaccine stocks for the AH1N1 virus which more..

Editorial: No justice, just us Rajapaksas

Aug 22 (SL) If Mahinda’s shawl could speak it would say – “There’s no justice, it’s just us.” The legendary descendants of DA Rajapaksa are the custodians of the nation and, though the enemies may shift, whatever their enemy is at the time is the enemy of the nation. Once it was KP, battled by General Fonseka. Then it was candidate Fonseka, tormented by Mervyn Silva. Now it’s Mervyn Silva, ridiculed by Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa. more..

Storm over China's Sri Lanka port

The real opposition

Aug 22 (SL) Sarath Fonseka is facing jail time. Ranil got a new car. Who’s the real leader? DNA members were arrested at a protest in Galle. The UNP is meeting itself in Colombo. Who’s the real opposition? While Sarath Fonseka and his family are losing everything, Ranil continues meeting with Mahinda and getting a replacement car while his mother gets Presidential visits in hospital. While Ranil’s CFA is taking a beating in the Lessons Learnt And Reconciliation Commission he’s not defending himself, more..

The gods of small things or how to stifle dissent

Aug 22 (SL) Every time one is faced with the need to discuss the never-ending soap opera which is Dr. Mervyn Silva’s career in Sri Lankan politics or the seemingly never-ending instances of the rule of law being observed in the breach or the venality of politicians that is the commonest topic of discussion in Sri Lanka every day, one cannot but be struck by the fact that many of these are “small things” within the larger picture. more..

BOI incentive program falling short?

Aug 22 (SL) I am a Sri Lankan expatriate living in the USA and was surprised to find recently that the much publicised Sri Lanka Board of Investments (BOI) Incentive Program is well out of reach for many small investors. Five hundred thousand US dollars is what was quoted by the BOI. The much publicised BOI incentives would not kick in below that dollar minimum. Very few will have this upfront amount to invest, more..

Fate of GKCC depositors in the balance?

Aug 22 (LG) Over 8,000 depositors trusted the honorable Kotelawala name with their live’s savings( over Rs.26 billion) were given a life-line when the government intervened on their behalf and assured early relief. The efforts of the people concerned forming into an effective body brought some results. Depositors fell into different categories. (1) The very rich – sharks, if you like, who had their black-money stashed here. Amounts in some cases going over several Rs.200 million. more..

Three examination invigilators removed from grade 5 scholarship exam

Aug 22 (NF) Three examination invigilators have been removed from the Grade 5 scholarship examination centers, after the department of examinations received several complaints of malpractices. A total of 13,450 students are sitting for the examination at 2744 centers across the island. According to the department of examinations, students can obtain information or provide information of a possible sabotage or irregularities on 0112 78 42 08. more..

Vaporising Gen. Fonseka; asphyxiating democracy

Aug 22 (LG) The government is not the state; the Rajapakses are not the nation. Equating one with the other is false and contrary to democratic norms. Condoning, with words or with silence, the persecution of Gen. Sarath Fonseka is tantamount to equating the Ruling Family with the country and democratic dissent with treachery. This is a deadly development, which will asphyxiate democracy and endanger all opponents of Rajapakse Rule. more..

Anuruddha Ratwatte to head SL mission in Malaysia

Aug 22 (SL) General Anuruddha Ratwatte is tipped to be appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Malaysia. External Affairs Ministry Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe when contacted by The Sunday Leader did not deny Ratwatte’s appointment, but said appointments of high commissioners and ambassadors to Sri Lankan mission overseas was the prerogative of the President. more..

Editorial: Probe for the people’s sake...

Aug 22 (LB) Hardly anybody except regular government apologists would deny that the issue of police impartiality is right back in the crosshairs after successive incidents in which the impartiality of the force were seriously thrown into question. The latest of this series of police failures barely merits special mention, as it has been the topic that has already occupied the front-burner in public discourse. more..

Sad plight of maids in Saudi transit shelters

Aug 22 (LB) Hundreds of Sri Lankan housemaids are still living in a transit shelter without basic facilities, waiting to return to Sri Lanka. But authorities have shown the least interest to send them back, few housemaids who returned to country last week said. The Sri Lankan women, who came from the Oleiah transit shelter in Saudi Arabia, cursed the Sri Lankan officials and the agency owners for putting them in trouble. more..

Legal action on Knuckles constructions mere eyewash

Aug 22 (LB) Despite the hype created by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) and Ministry of Lands and Land Development by claiming that they will take legal action against Air Force Commander Roshan Goonetileke for his luxury chalet built in the Knuckles Forest Conservation, environmentalists claim that its a superficial cry to pacify the general public. more..

Fonseka approaching second Court Martial bombshell

Aug 22 (LB) The second court martial against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka is likely to wrap up its proceedings this week, reliable military sources claim. This claim is strengthened by the appearance of a witness who has not been previously mentioned in yesterday’s second court martial. The fourth witness who is an official of the treasury has not been previously mentioned in the list of witnesses to be presented at the court martial, and Fonseka’s lawyers objected to his appearance. more..

We've been duped by the Tamils: editorial

Aug 22 (CN) The time is now - not next week, not next month - for the Harper government to find the lightning in its bottle to deal with the Tamil “refugee” charade. The facts are in. We’re being played for patsies. A secret government report, its contents outlined today by QMI Agency’s Brian Lilley, shows just how seriously we have been duped by Tamils already granted refugee status here - with a sample survey conducted by immigration bureaucrats showing some 71% of these claimants have already returned to Sri Lanka, more..

UN says Sri Lanka situation improving

Aug 22 (CN) As Canadians are being asked to accept 492 Tamils as refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is in the process of returning thousands of refugees to Sri Lanka and winding down some operations in that country. Citing improving conditions since the end of the civil war in May 2009, the UNHCR announced last week that it had helped 852 Tamil refugees return to Sri Lanka from India in the first six months of 2010. more..

'NIB officer posing as myself has fulfilled a duplicitous political contract'

Aug 22 (LeN) Matara District UNP M P Buddhika Pathirane said, the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) run by the Matara police, Akuressa is engaged in a duplicitous contract sowing seeds of discord and dissension within the UNP using Pathirane’s name by talking to the householders of Rienzie Algama who committed suicide recently by self immolation near the Sri Kotha. The officer of the NIB had spoken to the householders of Algama posing as Pathirane on the telephone No. 041 2284499. more..

Training for officials in combating dengue

Aug 22 (SO) Health sector officials have been trained on the technical aspects of eradicating the dengue epidemic, according to Health Ministry sources. Health Ministry, Additional Secretary Dr. Palitha Maheepala told the Sunday Observer that although the Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF) has claimed several lives during the past eight months of this year, the Government has taken every possible measure to control the dengue menace. more..

Report on Sigiriya frescoes handed over to President

Aug 22 (SO) A comprehensive report on the current state of the frescoes at the Sigiriya rock fortress, a world heritage site was handed over to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for further evaluation on Friday. The President said that he would visit the Sigiriya Fortress in the near future to assess the current situation, Director General of the Archaeological Department Prof. Senerath Dissanayake told the Sunday Observer. more..

Shangri-La Asia supports hotels project in Sri Lanka

Aug 22 (SO) A top level delegation headed by the Chairman/CEO of the Shangri-La Asia, Ean Khoon Kouk has offered to invest in the prospective hotel projects in Sri Lanka. The delegation met External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris at his Ministry and held discussions recently. The Chairman and CEO of the Shangri-La Asia Ean Khoon Kouk during his discussion with Minister Peiris said that in keeping with the vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to promote Sri Lanka as more..

Editorial: Do Police need orders to act?

Aug 22 (NS) In a move which - if memory serves us right - is unprecedented, officers of the Inland Revenue Department kept away from work this week, protesting against an attack on the Deputy Tax Commissioner for Matara who was brutally assaulted in a bus while on his way home after work. As a sequel to that, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was to order the Inspector General of Police to expedite investigations and apprehend those responsible. more..