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Call for 'No Fishing Zone' in Palk Straits

Aug 22 (SO) Fishermen in the North have called for a “No Fishing Zone” in the Palk Straits and Gulf of Mannar to help preserve marine wealth and avoid conflicts between Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen. The fishermen from several fisheries associations in the North, made this proposal during a series of meetings now under way with fishermen’s societies in Tamil Nadu. more..

Winning the waiting game

Aug 22 (NS) Party politics has taken a back seat in the past few weeks although the ruling UPFA and the main opposition party, the UNP, were engaged in radically different pursuits over the past few days. The UNP has more than its fair share of problems. It has lost more than a dozen elections in a row, its grassroots vote base has shrunken to an all-time low and the leadership crisis which was simmering for years has now erupted into a rather ugly, public brawl. more..

Sajith now seeks deputy leader's post

Aug 22 (ST) It was past 8 p.m. last Tuesday when four persons walked into the apartment within Navy Headquarters in Fort where former General Sarath Fonseka is held in custody. There, Colonel Channa Etipola, Staff Officer attached to the Army Provost Marshal's Directorate, handed over to Fonseka a letter. It specified the findings of a General Court Martial (GCM) on August 13 holding him guilty of dabbling in politics whilst in active service, more..

Facebook love leads to suicide

Aug 22 (NS) A 16-year-old student committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan at home in Hendala, Wattala with her mother’s saree early this week. The girl, a grade 11 student of a Tamil school in Wellawatte, had been scorned by a male she met on the Facebook which led to her taking her own life tragically. The girl who operated a Facebook profile had befriended a 19-year-old male hailing from Jaffna and now living in London. more..

SLMC boycotts ‘Lessons Learnt’ panel

Aug 22 (NS) The chances of the leading Muslim political party, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress making any submissions before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission are in doubt with it sounding serious reservations about the LLRC’s mandate. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) cannot be considered as a platform to discuss the issues faced by the Muslims in the past due to the ethnic conflict, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said yesterday. more..

Vociferous demonstration in Los Angeles condemns military tribunal against Fonseka

Aug 22 (TTC) A vociferous demonstration picketed the Los Angeles office of the Sri Lanka Consul General, condemning the military tribunal who gave a “blatantly partial verdict” against the former head of the island nation’s army as a “kangaroo court” of the government and demanded his freedom immediately. General Sarath Fonseka had been stripped of his ranks and medals by a military court, obviously operating under the former General's political enemies who more..

Is SLC trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?

Aug 22 (NS) By terminating the services of former Sri Lanka cricketer Chandika Hathurusingha as shadow coach of the Sri Lanka team, Sri Lanka Cricket officials have more or less thrown the country’s chances of winning another cricket World Cup out of the window. Hathurusingha’s services The Nation understands was terminated from August 10 and prior to the decision being taken by the interim committee of SLC, more..

Editorial: Economic refugees

Aug 22 (Island) Despite public opinion in Canada, by and large, supporting the point of view that the Sri Lankan boat people who docked in that country on board a Thai-flagged cargo freighter, MV Sun Sea, be sent packing regardless of whether any of the ship’s nearly 500 passenger had legitimate asylum claims or not, a section of the Canadian public and press has been sympathetic to these boat people. more..

Freedom of Information Bill soon in order book

Aug 22 (Island) The UNP’s deputy leader, Mr. Karu Jayasuriya, has given notice of a Private Member’s motion to present a Bill providing Freedom of Access to Official Information which will be in Parliament’s order book by next week, officials confirmed yesterday. "The Bill has been sent for gazetting and the proofs would be returned to Parliament for checking. Once that is done this week, it will be in the Order Book seven days thereafter," he said. more..

'Couldn’t afford a push bike three years ago' Fuel racketeers now bowser fleet owners

Aug 22 (Island) Police investigating the massive oil adulteration scam busted last week have discovered that suspects who didn’t own even a push bicycle three years ago now owned fleets of 10 to 20 bowsers each. The CID has now been called to investigate whether the members of the organised crime ring involved in the multi-million rupee fuel adulteration racket had the support of CPC employees. more..

North-bound travel not totally free

Aug 22 (Island) Travelling to the North via the key Colombo-Jaffna highway still remains taboo for all foreign passport holders, including tourists and journalists. All foreigners are permitted to travel to Jaffna peninsula only by air, Military Liaison Officer to the Ministry of Defence, Maj. Gen. Palitha Fernando said. "They are not allowed to use the land route without prior clearance from the Defence Ministry", more..

Norwegian facilitation: JJ throws ball back to govt. court

Aug 22 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena says ruling SLFP-led coalition has conveniently forgotten that President Mahinda Rajapaksa too accepted Norwegian facilitated peace negotiations at an overseas venue. President Rajapaksa would not have agreed for talks in Geneva had he not believed in a negotiated settlement under the auspices of Norwegian facilitators, Jayawardena said yesterday. more..

JVP launches diplomatic offensive against Govt.

Aug 22 (ST) The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) will seek meetings with heads of western diplomatic missions to brief them on “the breakdown in the law and order situation” in Sri Lanka, its leader said yesterday. Somawansa Amerasinghe told the Sunday Times the move followed the alleged assault of two JVP MPs and a Provincial Councillor by the Galle Police. more..

Editorial: The humiliation of a hero

Aug 22 (ST) One of our readers' letters which we publish today in our Features section (Plus) somewhat sums up what the general public might think of last week's seemingly choreographed exercise to cashier former Army Commander Retired General Sarath Fonseka and strip him of his medals. The medals he wore, no doubt, were earned by him; even though they also included those he recommended for himself. more..

Animal sacrifice to go ahead

Aug 22 (NS) The animal sacrifice of the Chilaw Munneswaram Pathirakaliyamman Kovil will take place on Tuesday despite protests from religious organisations. The temple’s chief priest, Kalimuthu Sivapatha Suntharam Kurukkal, told The Nation that the sacrifice had been taking place for generations and would continue to be held this year. He claimed that people brought animals to the temple to be ‘sacrificed’ to the ‘Pathirakaliyamman’ Goddess. more..

IGP joins 100 cops to probe Matara attack

Aug 22 (ST) One hundred police officers headed by Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya were in Matara yesterday to conduct the probe on the assault of the Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue Department (IRD) in the district. In an unprecedented move, Police Chief Balasuriya himself was at the Matara Police Station briefing investigation teams and hearing feedbacks from those engaged in the probe. more..

At 59th Annual SLFP Convention, Proposed Constitutional Reforms among key issues to be discussed

Aug 22 (Island) The proposed Constitutional Reforms and many other crucial resolutions are expected to be taken up for discussion at the 59th Annual Convention of the SLFP to be held at Temple Trees on September 2 commencing at 9.30 am , the Presidential Secretariat said yesterday. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the head of the SLFP — the main constituent party of the UPFA — will preside. more..

Perera five-for takes Sri Lanka to final

Aug 22 (CI) Sri Lanka came into the game needing to win to stay alive in the tournament. Their captain had made some prickly comments - "We don't try and hide behind the press or hide behind our board" - on the eve of the game. One of their players was coming back from a ban and another had lost his match fee the previous time these two teams faced. One expected this game to be spicy. One anticipated some heat in the middle. One thought there would be a great fight. more..

The quick dying of democracy in Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (LG) Last week, we had a retired judge advising the media, in the pages of this newspaper, not to cringe before authority. Eminently valuable as this advice may be (and one is not being irrepressibly sarcastic in this regard), this same exhortation should be directed towards judges and retired judges themselves as well as law enforcement officers and those serving in academia. For whatever it is worth, journalists have been beaten up, killed without compunction and threatened in many other ways. more..

'Sri Lanka has become my home' - Gill Westaway, Director, British Council

Aug 23 (TC) Country Director, The British Council, Gill Westaway is an unavoidable adjunct to the British Council. Alternatively The British Council and Gill Westaway seemingly are synonymous entities and its image was, since she assumed her functions, projected a strong profile that most young people have come to depend on its institutional character for self development. Self development in many fields of endeavour. more..

Sri Lankans don’t learn and can’t remember

Aug 23 (LG) Whoever called it the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ (LLRC) before which the nation’s ‘learned’ are queuing up to give evidence, has apparently not given a thought to Sri Lankan thinking. Two reasons could be adduced for this lapse. One is that Sri Lankan leaders, particularly politicians and opinion makers, think that there are none to teach them; they are the cat’s whiskers. more..

Facilitating global capitalism

Aug 23 (LG) A daily paper of 16 August reported in its front page “Sri Lanka has stepped into an industrial economy from the long existing agricultural economy with the construction of the Hambantota harbour which paves the way to an industrial revolution in the country,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. He made these comments at the water filling ceremony of the new Hambantota International Harbour. President Rajapaksa said the new era of economic progress under more..

Image and ideology women in the media

A9 kappang highway of the LTTE has turned into military kappang highway

Aug 23 (LG) The LTTE had its fair share of the criticism for holding the travellers on the A9 highway for ransom when commuters travel between the A9 road to Jaffna it controlled. During the peace time since 2001, A9 road from Omanthai to Elephant pass was a major income earner for the LTTE. In addition to its check points, Tamils visiting from overseas were taken to its special reception points in Omanthai and Killinochchi and large sums were extracted from them. more..

The people and cultures of prehistoric Sri Lanka - Part Four

Aug 23 (LG) In their archaeological surveys of the Northern province of Ceylon, J.P.Lewis in 1916 and Paul E. Pieris in 1917-1919 identified Kantarodai and Vallipuram in Jaffna as two pre-historic sites. In a major archaeological survey of the entire Jaffna peninsula undertaken during the years 1980-1983, Dr.Ragupathy of the University of Jaffna has identified three sites namely Kantarodai, Anaikoddai and Karainagar which showed evidence of a Megalithic Culture; and more..

Bob Marley inspired Sri Lankan man for world record dreadlocks

Aug 23 (LR) Sudesh Muthu was awarded the record for “longest male dreadlocks” by Guinness World Records. The dreadlocks measured at 1.91 meters (6 feet 3 inches) long at the World Record office in the United Kingdom. The resident of Thornhill, Ontario migrated to Canada from Sri Lanka in 1995 follows the Rastafarian movement. The father of three says he started growing his hair 23 years-ago when he was captivated by more..

Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims remember Fr Jim Brown, who disappeared during the war

Aug 23 (TC) Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims together to remember Fr Nihal Jim Brown, an ethnic Tamil Catholic priest, who disappeared on Aug. 20, 2006. The group of people, and relatives of the priest, met yesterday at the Centre for Society and Religion in Colombo, "because the memory of Fr Jim Brown and his assistant can not be erased from our hearts". The church of the diocese of Jaffna entrusted to Fr Brown was immersed in the war zone between army troops and Tamil rebels. more..

25 Ayurvedic doctors for Eastern hospitals

Aug 23 (MoD) Twenty five Ayurvedic doctors will be appointed to fill the vacancies prevailing in the Ayurveda hospitals in the Eastern Province, Health Minister for the Eastern Province M.S. Subair said. According to Subair, no appointments for Ayurvedic doctors have been made in Eastern Province hospitals for the past five years. The new appointments will fulfill the long-felt need of the people in the Province for Ayurvedic doctors. more..

Wildlife in flight!

Aug 23 (ST) Heads but no bodies, skins and scales strewn around while in the backdrop massive forest fires are visible that usually Sri Lankans see only on television. This is not happening in some far off foreign land but amidst an area which has been in the spotlight for several weeks now, for its showpiece harbour and proposed second international airport. What is taking place at Mattala in Hambantota as 800 hectares are cleared under the first stage of the airport project? more..

The Randiv-Sehwag affair: Mistaking the wood for the trees

Aug 23 (GV) Professor Michael Roberts, in a letter to the editor of The Island, has raised a matter of moral philosophy with regard to the controversy over Suraj Randiv’s deliberate no ball at Dambulla this week in an attempt to denude Virender Sehwag of his century, and the role of Tillekeratne Dilshan in it. Which is worse, he asks, denying a batsman his century by deliberately bowling a no ball, or the widespread practice of making cynically false appeals? more..

Move to cut number of testamentary cases

Aug 23 (ST) Amendments to the Civil Procedure Code seeking to raise the value of an administrable estate, from Rs. 500,000 to Rs. 1,000,000, were debated in Parliament on Tuesday but the Bill was referred back to a committee prior to approval at the request of Opposition legislators on the grounds that it needs further discussion. Justice Minister Athauda Seneviratne who introduced the amendments said that testamentary cases are clogging up the courts, more..

2,800 liquor licences last year

Aug 23 (ST) The Excise Department issued more than 2,800 foreign and local liquor licences last year -- a majority in the Colombo and Gampaha districts. The highest number of 1,073 licences were issued for retail sales of foreign liquor, 579 to hotels, 508 to restaurants and another 380 as special licences, according to the Administrative report of the Commissioner General of Excise. more..

Government revenues picking up

Aug 23 (N360) Sri Lankan Government has earned Rs. 361.5 billion as revenues during the first half of this year. This is an increase of 22.7% compared to Rs. 304.9 billion earned during the first 6 months of 2009. The tax revenues too has gone up to stand at a sum of Rs. 309 billion during the first half of this year compared to Rs. 266.5 billion earned during the same period of 2009. The earnings from non tax revenues stands at Rs. 46.4 billion compared to Rs. 23.3 billion more..

Wanni Narratives - Part Five

Aug 23 (LG) Eighteen year old Thevan was a student. His native land is Paranthan. His childhood had been happy. He had aadipaadi (played, literally sing and dance) joyfully with his companions. He was studying at high school with a goal of becoming an engineer. All his dreams were shattered by the war. Horrible shelling, artillery fire and bombings had thihil adaya (create turmoil) among appavi (innocent) folks. Thevan sought safety in many places carrying only a few belongings. more..

Thisara Perera spices up selection race

Aug 23 (CI) When usually talking about a match-winning Sri Lankan bowling performance, it's all about the unconventional. Unorthodox actions, mystery bowling, doosras. On Sunday, though, it was old-fashioned line-and-length bowling with hardly any frills that undid India. The sturdily-built allrounder Thisara Perera, playing his first game of the tournament, made sure his name remains in the selection more..

Good news and bad as per everything Sri Lankan!

Aug 23 (SL) Menika feels so like the cat which got at the cream. She’s purring and licking her lips in delight while gloriously savouring her G&T as she kittenishly laps it in. This euphoria has lasted for the last two weeks, ever since the President stripped Mervyn Silva, oops sorry, Dr Mervyn Silva, self proclaimed pretender to Dutugemunu kinship, from his deputy ministership. Could this be true? Did the Prez actually remove his pet lap animal from positions of power? more..

Rajapaksa – All’s fine but nothing’s right

Aug 23 (SL) Last week saw the issue of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka hitting international headlines, despite the Sri Lankan government’s effort in answering them with its own “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” (LLRC) that sat down to hear major actors interpret the 30 year war. Two heavy weights in Bernard Goonetilleke and Austin Fernando, before and after the powerful Defence Secretary of this Rajapaksa regime hit headlines in a more..

'If there is no justice I will act independently in parliament'

Aug 23 (NF) In the event that there is no justice meted out to him by the UNP on the assault against him, he would be compelled to act independently in parliament in future, says MP Palitha Range Bandara. “If the party is unable to take a justifiable decision on the incident where I was attacked by thugs on April 10, it will be impossible to work with the United National Party,” more..

Sri Lanka central bank-run fund's investment debate

Aug 23 (LBO) An interesting public debate has sprung between the Central Bank and an opposition parliamentarian on the suitability of Bank’s investing EPF moneys in the shares of commercial banks. While the Central Bank is defending its action tooth and nail the opposition is charging that the Bank’s action is both immoral and unethical. There are already signs that the debate degenerating to personal levels creating an ‘ugly scene’ which more..

Checkpoints blamed for beef price rise

Aug 23 (NS) Delays at checkpoints are being blamed for the current shortage of beef in Colombo. The issue has been brought to the notice of Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who has directed the IGP to investigate the situation, said former Colombo deputy mayor Azath Salley. “Today, beef has become costlier than poultry,” Sally added. “It is as much as Rs.520 with two main slaughterhouses in Colombo on the verge of shutting down. more..

More Malaysians visiting Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (TS) The number of Malaysians flying to Sri Lanka has increased sharply since February this year. Sri Lankan Airlines country manager Niran Seneviratne said the increase was attributed to the end of the long-standing conflict between Sri Lankan troops and fighters from the Tamil Tigers. “The peaceful situation has prompted many people to visit Sri Lanka. Tours in the country have also increased,” he told The Star. more..

UNP minutes ‘doctored’

Aug 23 (NS) Firebrand UNP MP Lakshman Seneviratne alleges that minutes of UNP Working Committee meetings are not maintained accurately and do not reflect the actual proceedings that take place during the meetings. In a letter addressed to UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, the MP states, “In recent times minutes of UNP Working Committee meetings have not been accurately kept and do not reflect correctly the proceedings of such meetings.” more..

Did we fail to market the atrocities of the LTTE?

Aug 23 (Island) Last week when I saw my former colleague from the Government Peace Secretariat appearing before the "Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)’ and later that evening we saw the adverse publicity on BBC and CNN, it was very evident that global perception were very sympathetic towards the LTTE. It was then that I decided that it is my duty to write these thoughts, given that we were part of the larger team that fought the war with the LTTE. more..

Tamil Tigers use human smuggling in bid to rearm

Aug 23 (National) Tamil Tiger militants based outside Sri Lanka are turning to human-smuggling operations to raise money in a bid to revive the group, which was decimated by government forces last year, a Sri Lankan terrorism specialist said yesterday. The rebel operatives who organised a human shipment aboard the Sun Sea cargo vessel that arrived in Canada last week charged up to C$50,000 (Dh31,333) per person, more..

None had life jackets in Kirinda tragedy

Aug 23 (LB) Preliminary investigations on the naval dinghy accident in Kirinda have revealed that no one in the boat was wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident. Normally, if civilians are on board a naval boat, they must be given life jackets. It is said that the main reason behind the five unfortunate deaths in Kirinda was the failure to observe the aforesaid rule. Sub-Lieutenant N.P Perera of Kirinda Naval base, who handled the boat, also lost his life in the mishap. more..

Iranians nabbed attempting to smuggle in ‘ice’

Aug 23 (LB) Two Iranians in a daring attempt to smuggle in a drug identified as Methamphetamine were nabbed recently. Narcotics sleuths say the drug has a street value of Rs 2000 million. However, a sharp customs officer Wipula. M. Fernando did not accept the Iranians’ story and stopped them in their tracks as something had aroused his suspicion. He personally checked their suitcases and on a surface perusal there was nothing in them more..

Sri Lanka aims to revive historic silk route

Aug 23 (Gulf) Sri Lanka is reviving the historic silk route, which was used by Arabs to explore Asia with the opening of a new seaport in southern Hambantota last week, according to the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE. Reviving the silk route means it will greatly benefit the Middle East, Sarath Wije Singhe said at a discussion meeting at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi recently. more..

Sri Lanka builders moot 'green' building to cut costs

Aug 23 (LBO) The Ceylon Institute of Builders, an organisation of professionals in Sri Lanka's construction industry, is calling for 'green' building standards, initially to be voluntary but eventually to be made mandatory. The introduction of 'green' or sustainable building concepts will yield not only environmental benefits, but economic ones as well, they said in a statement. more..

Editorial: Safe energy options

Aug 23 (DM) Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka has in recent weeks being spotlighting the need for Sri Lanka to find new sources of renewable, inexpensive and green energy as a vital factor in reaching the country’s development goals. In reaching this goal we need to be aware that during the past 60 to 70 years of developing nuclear weapons, scientists became aware that the tremendous heat produced in the process could be harnessed for generating electricity—but more..

Archbishop commends Government for Northern Resettlement programmes

Aug 23 (LP) The Government was commended by the His Grace the Archbishop of Colombo and President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Rt. Revd Dr Malcolm Ranjith, for the efforts taken in establishing the development projects in the North and East. He also commended President Rajapaksa and the Government for all efforts to speed up the resettlement of the IDPs, especially in the North, more..