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No evidence of another Tamil ship

Aug 25 (TS) The RCMP say they’ve interviewed almost all the Tamil migrants who arrived in B.C. by boat and so far found no evidence of another smuggling ship making its way here. And the Mounties believe they’re getting closer to nabbing the organizers of the smuggling ring who used the rickety MV Sun Sea to bring 492 Tamil migrants to the coast of B.C. this month. They all filed refugee claims. more..

Editorial: Pay hikes for MPs: the flip side

Aug 25 (DM) A 300% pay hike for MPs is certainly something that any parliament would warmly welcome. However that has not been the case in India. Last Friday the Lok Sabha had turned into a battle ground after it was announced that salaries of MPs would be increased from the present Rs.16,000 to Rs.50,000. The protests are yet to die down and another around of protests is slated to begin today. The reason – a parliamentary committee had recommended that the MPs salary should be raised to Rs.80,000. more..

The withdrawal of EU GSP+ scheme: its impact on Sri Lankan exports and its economy

Aug 25 (Island) Sri Lanka was among the 16 beneficiary countries and the only South Asian country that qualified for GSP+ arrangement, from July 2005. The EU-GSP+ concession was withdrawn from Sri Lanka with effect from 15th August 2010. This article critically, analyzes the progress achieved by the Sri Lankan exporters in the EU market under the EU-GSP+ Scheme since its enforcement and evaluates the resulting impact on the exports and more..

Sri Lanka to lift ban on domestic helper recruitment

Aug 25 (JT) The Sri Lankan embassy on Tuesday agreed to lift a ban on sending domestic helpers to Jordan after a compromise was reached between the Sri Lankan government and Jordanian recruiters. The ban, which was imposed last month over the non-payment of Sri Lankan domestic helpers’ salaries, was eased after the Domestic Helpers Recruitment Agencies Association (DHRAA) pledged to the embassy in Amman to ensure wages are paid in full. more..

Lankan boxers arrive for joint training camp

Aug 25 (PO) Six member Sri Lanka boxing party arrived on Tuesday to attend eight-nation joint boxing for the build up of Commonwealth Games being held in India in October. Over 100 pugilists from Central African Republic, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nigeria Sri-Lanka, Rwanda, Uganda and hosts Pakistan will be attending the camp commencing from tomorrow, Wednesday at Islamabad. The Lankan boxing squad comprises five boxers and one official, more..

Action over GMR

Aug 25 (DM) The cabinet will decide on what action to take on General Manager Railways R.P. Wijeysekara tomorrow according to a memo submitted by Transport Minister Kumara Welgama. Wijesekara was produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate on charges of misappropriation of public funds amounting to Rs. 10 million by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption. There is a prima facie case against Wijesekara and the date of the next hearing more..

Sri Lanka is a 'Cinderella' story

Aug 25 (CNBC) Sri Lanka, despite its turbulent political past, presents many attractive opportunities for investors, said Roman Scott, managing director at Calamander Capital. "This is a bit of a Cinderella story here because of the ethnic war, people didn't realize that structurally Sri Lanka was a very, very good economy," Scott said. Unlike many Asian nations, the country is not dependent on exports and is largely consumer and services driven, and more..

Apples and tomatoes end in 24 nails

Aug 25 (LP) A statement made by the Sri Lankan woman who got 24 nails in her body as punishment during her time as a domestic servent in Saudi Arabia is to be translated in to Arabic and taken to the Saudi Arabian Embassy to get monetary compensation and to take legal action, and talks are being done to that end, stated Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. He that the needful is being done through the Foreign Employment Bureau of Sri Lanka. more..

President open Second largest water supply project in Central province

Aug 25 (LP) The Harsipatthuwa Ruwanpura Sevana praja water supply and hygiene project in Kandy was launched by President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning (25). The World Bank contributes 70% of its assistance to the project which is beneficial for around 438 families in the area. There are 594 sevena praja water supply projects launched in the centrel province and the Harispatthuwa project is the second largest project in the area. more..

Colombo air cleaner

Aug 25 (DN) There is a marked improvement in the air quality of Colombo since the introduction of Vehicle Emission Tests by the Central Environment Authority. Microscopic dust particles in the atmosphere over the city have declined from 71 milligrams per cubic meter in 2008 to 61 milligrams per cubic meter in 2009, according to Ambient Air Quality reports. The current value of air pollutants is the lowest recorded during the last ten years. more..

SLBFE seeks compensation: State level action against maid torture

Aug 25 (DN) Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) General Manager H. Batagoda yesterday said they will take state level action against the Suadi Arabian employer who tortured a housemaid from Sri Lanka with iron nails. Batagoda said, the Bureau informed the Sri Lankan Emabassy in Riyadh and the Saudi Arabian embassy in the country about the incident. ”The Bureau will take every action to get maximum compensation from the employer for the inhumane treatment more..

Fighting dengue in Colombo: Pilot project with local BTI

Aug 25 (DN) The Health Ministry as a pilot project will utilize the much awaited locally produced BTI bacteria in the dengue control campaign in pre-identified locations in the Colombo district this week. The Ministry will purchase 400 litres of BTI bacteria initially and further purchases will be made on the success of the pilot project. Meanwhile, Health authorities have faced another hurdle in more..

Railway TUs issue warning

Aug 25 (DN) An invisible hand is interfering with action taken towards the progress of the Railway Department, Railway Trade Union Collective said at a press conference in Colombo Monday. Twelve years ago, General Manager Railways P P Wijesekara was accused of bribery and the charge was not proved after an audit inquiry. The same incident has been dug up to sling mud at this official, Sri Lanka Freedom Railway Workers Association Secretary, Nadeera Manoj said. more..

Trans-border fishing: team to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (Hindu) A team will visit Sri Lanka in the next few months to hold another round of discussion to sort out trans-border fishing problems and discuss other issues, V. Vivekanandan, convenor, Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), has said. In a release, he has stated that an agreement was arrived at the conclusion of a three-day meeting held in Chennai from August 20-22 between fishermen from Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu to find a solution to more..

Sakvithi owns lands in Nugegoda, Kurunegala - CID

Aug 25 (Island) CID investigations into fraudster Sakvithi Ranasinghe, reveal that he owns lands in Nugegoda and Kurunegala, bought from his ill gotten money. Ranasinghe, who floated a firm by the name of Sakvithi Investments, inveigled over 2000 people to part with over one billion rupees, promising them higher interest rates. He defaulted on the interest as well as the repayment of the investments and more..

CEB, CPC on track to breakeven

Aug 25 (Island) IMF Review Mission to Sri Lanka headed by Dr. Brian Aitken said the financial performances of the two largest debt-ridden public corporations are on target this year, although their debt may have increased. Under the US$ 2.6 million standby facility arrangement with the IMF, of which US$ 1 billion has already been disbursed, the government is committed to breaking even and turning around loss making CEB and CPC into profit making institutions by 2011. more..

HSTUA demands promised pay hike

Aug 25 (Island) The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA), has urged the government to grant the promised salary increase of Rs. 2,500 and rectify salary anomalies. President Mahinda Rajapaksa on July 28, called all trade unions for discussions. During the meeting, the unions have urged him to grant the salary increase of Rs. 2,500 promised during the Presidential and General Elections early this year. more..

Sri Lanka mercy mission in Pakistan

Aug 25 (MoD) As directed by the President of Sri Lanka, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, a 16 Member Sri Lankan Medical Team arrived in Pakistan, with a cargo of medicine and surgical equipment, on a medical relief mission for the flood affected victims of Pakistan. The Medical Team has been treating the flood affected patients in the Charsadda District Hospital in North West Pakistan, close to the Afghan border. more..

MR orders pavement hawkers in Colombo 7,2,10 be relocated

Aug 25 (Island) Hawkers on the pavements of Colombo 7, 2 and 10 are to be relocated, on a Presidential directive. Informed sources said that the order had been given during a meeting between the President and Chief City Administrator Omar Kamil on Monday. "Those evicted,would be housed in five by four feet stalls in close proximity to the pavements they had earlier occupied. more..

Redlight on blue films for children

Aug 25 (DM) A filtering system at the point of access is to be introduced on home computers by the Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (TRC) to prevent children from accessing pornographic websites, a senior TRC official said. Director General Anusha Palpita said a decision would be taken whether the filtering system should be introduced by the service provider or domestically. “But it will be much easier if the parents can do it using a soft ware. more..

CPC responds to fire on fuel prices

Aug 25 (DM) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has a profit margin of Rs.2.50 from the sale of a litre of 90 Octane Petrol, and Rs.18 from a litre of 95 Octane Petrol according to present prices as revealed in parliament. According to a document tabled in the House, the selling price of a litre of 90 Octane Petrol is Rs.115 despite the world market price being Rs.58.63 a litre while more..

Monks protest in Chilaw

Aug 25 (SL) Police personnel have today (25) prevented a group of protesting Buddhist monks from marching towards the Munneswaram Kali Amman Hindu Temple in Chilaw. The protesting monks have decided to march to the Kovil to protest against an animal slaughter ritual that is expected to take place today. Media personnel in the area have reported that a tense situation has developed in Chilaw as the monks have been prevented from marching towards the Kovil. more..

Vaiko denies former LTTE leader's charge

Aug 25 (Hindu) MDMK general secretary Vaiko has denied that he stood in the way of a ceasefire between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan forces, as claimed by former LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan. Accusing KP of betraying the cause of Tamil Eelam, Mr. Vaiko said KP had joined the long list of those who had acted against the cause. Mr. Vaiko described KP's charge that he stood in the way of a ceasefire as a “blatant lie” and more..

Govt monitoring Indian aid to displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka

Aug 25 (PTI) With members in Lok Sabha alleging that Indian aid was not reaching the displaced Tamils in Sri Lanka, government today said it was continuously monitoring the issue based on periodic assessment of the situation. "Doubts have been expressed whether the beneficiaries are receiving the aid sent by India. We are heavily dependent on the International Red Cross the UN Commission on refugees more..

Sri Lanka revenue soars after vehicle import tax cut: official

Aug 25 (LBO) Sri Lankan government tax revenues have risen sharply after import duties on vehicle imports were slashed, a senior finance ministry official said. The government earned 1,700 million rupees in July alone on vehicle import tax revenue after import taxes were slashed in June, S R Attygalle, director-general of fiscal policy at the finance ministry told our sister news website more..

SC Discharges Lanka Editor

Aug 26 (SL) The Supreme Court today (25) warned and discharged the Editor of the Lanka Irida newspaper, Chandana Sirimalwatte from the alleged contempt of court charges and ordered him to publish a correction on a news item which appeared in the newspaper in June this year. The Supreme Court delivered the order following an apology in court by Sirimalwatte. more..

Sri Lanka shares rise on banks as rupee falls

Aug 26 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's benchmark share index rose on Wednesday led by a surge in banking stocks boosted by expectations cuts to import taxes and the central bank's interest rate will lead to an increase in lending. Sri Lanka's main share index .CSE rose 0.34 percent from Monday to 5,582.87 points. Markets were closed on Tuesday for a public holiday. It hit an all-time high of 5,679.14 on Friday and is Asia's best performer with around 64.9 percent gain so far this year, more..

Former battle zone in search of a business boom

Aug 26 (IPS) It is an odd location to open a new restaurant, right in front of a row of buildings whose roofs have been blown off by artillery fire and whose walls are pockmarked by gunfire. But the new Rusi Restaurant in Paranthan town in Kilinochchi district here in the north of Sri Lanka, is all set to make big business in what was not so long ago a war zone. The restaurant lies on the side of the A9 highway, where heavy battles were fought less than 20 months back. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 25 08 2010

Windsor family feels Sri Lankan priest deserves holiday

Aug 26 (WS) Seventeen years after founding a busy orphanage in Sri Lanka, Rev. Frank Tissera is finally taking a break. He’s spending two weeks of his rare vacation time in Windsor. Tissera’s plane fare and accommodations come courtesy of cousins Mary and Peter Parara, and their children. “I’m very happy,” said Tissera, 60, while clutching a Bible at his relatives’ Dominion Boulevard home. “It’s a very quiet place. I can meditate here.” more..

Subjecting the Rajapakse regime to the litmus test

Aug 26 (LG) In most developing countries where the democratic rule is in practice, the gulf between promises during elections and actual performance after a few years of those entrusted governance coming to power - on the basis of those assurances - usually shows ugly and gaping holes. But there is very little the electors can do – except, like ours, go out for an hour or opposite the Fort Railway Station or de Soysa Circus (Eye Hospital Junction) more..

Tamil migrants can call Sri Lanka — free

Aug 26 (ES) Frustrated Tamil migrants were finally given the free use of telephones to call their loved ones in Sri Lanka after losing contact with them for more than 14 weeks, including 12 spent on the rusty MV Sun Sea that smuggled them into Canada. The migrants, who are being held in B.C., were allowed to call family members Wednesday. Calls to Sri Lanka can average about 10 cents a minute and the migrants had complained about not being able to phone home. more..

Tests for adulterated diesel at fuel sheds

Aug 26 (ST) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation yesterday sent out teams armed with police guards to examine diesel samples in fuel stations after evidence emerged that diesel stocks had been mixed with waste oil in a manner that could cause damage to vehicles. Petroluem Resources Minister Susil Premajayantha told the Sunday Times inspection teams were dispatched yesterday morning Tests for to obtain samples from fuel stations and more..

Lankan labour in demand in Korea

Aug 26 (ST) Sri Lankan workers occupy fifth place in a list of 14 countries whose labour is in demand in South Korea, according to an official from the Korean Human Resources Development Bureau who visited the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau recently. Mr. Kim Kyun-Hyun, the Director of Human Resources Development stated that a MoU was signed between South Korea and fifteen other countries allowing nationals of those countries entry into the Korean labour market. more..

Damage caused by writing inaccurate news, cannot be rectified: CJ

Aug 26 (NF) Even though there is freedom to write news that is accurate, damage caused by writing inaccurate news cannot be rectified, cautioned the Chief Justice Ashoka N. De Silva when the case pertaining to the Irida Sangrahaya newspaper was taken up at the Supreme Court today. Subsequently, journalist Chandana Sirimalwatta was warned and released in the contempt of court case heard in the Supreme Court. more..

Life can begin at 60, it is all in in your hands!

Aug 26 (DM) Many people feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, after 60 years of age owing to the diminishing importance given to them and their opinion. But it need not be so, if only we understand the basic principles of life and follow them scrupulously. Here are ten mantras to age gracefully and make life after retirement pleasant. 1. Never say ‘I am aged': There are three ages, chronological, biological, and psychological. more..

Refugees, Who?

Aug 26 (DM) Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s reported declaration that his Government would not hesitate to re-think on conferring ‘refugee status’ and/or ‘political asylum’ for all-comers in the country of his should be an eye-opener for late entrants into this game, now particularly from Sri Lanka. A subsequent media survey in that country has also highlighted the increasing societal reservations in Canada, for instance, for encouraging foreigners to take a short-cut to more..

Human Rights and Conflict

Kalpitiya farmers: Agriculture Dept. blind to our woes

Aug 26 (ST) During an earlier era the Kalpitiya area was famous for its production of dried fish. However today, the area despite its sandy soil and arid climatic condition, is better known for its production of fruits and vegetables. This unbelievable change is solely due to the untiring efforts of the farming community who have transformed the once arid area into a lush orchard. Around 8,000 families live in the area extending from more..

Canada’s open facilitation of international terrorism

Aug 26 (DM) Canada has over the past two decades, at least, remained one of the LTTE’s closest friends. Successive Canadian regimes have allowed the open promotion of the banned terror group cited by the CIA as one of the most ruthless in the world, fund raising for its terrorist activities in Sri Lanka and providing safe haven for a growing number of its key operatives. Its open endorsement of a group well documented to have recruited children for war, more..

Sri Lanka FDI slows, govt to speed up approval process

Aug 26 (Reuters) Foreign direct investment (FDI) into Sri Lanka fell 16.8 percent in the first six months of the year compared with the same period last year, officials said on Wednesday, with analysts citing doubts over policy in the wake of the 25-year civil war that ended last May. A junior minister said the island nation would pass a law within two weeks to speed up the FDI approval process to dissuade investors from taking their money elsewhere. more..

Tamil politics and Tiger strategy in perspective

Aug 26 (TC) KP’s story continues to provide insights into the history of the LTTE, Tamil politics and the contemporary history of Sri Lanka. One disclosure stands out. "The then TULF leader A. Amirthalingham introduced me to Prabhakaran in mid 70s, most probably in 1976 and since then we worked together". An exegetical attempt is subsequently made to downgrade its significance and in with the grassroots as well as the violent upstarts." more..

Branch of British Council to be opened in Jaffna

Aug 26 (ST) Ms. Gill Westway Country Director, British Council said the Council would be opening a branch office in Jaffna early next year, She said discussions had been held with the External Affairs Ministry in Colombo and added the Council had carried out a survey in Jaffna regarding the feasibility of opening a branch in the city. The survey result showed a massive 83% of the people awaiting the opening of a branch of the British Council in Jaffna. more..

Hakeem meets MR

Aug 26 (DM) A one on one discussion was held today between SLMC leader MP Rauff Hakeem and President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kandy regarding proposed constitutional amendments, the SLMC leader said. Hakeem said that he would take up what transpired at this meeting, with the High Command of his party tomorrow. He said that his party would not oppose any proposal that would not have any implication on the Muslim community. more..

The article that made The Economist barred entry to Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (LP) The following article was published in 'The Economist' on August 19. It is a half-baked unprofessional journalistic piece, that portrays half truth regarding present situation in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. But it is published in prestigious The Economist that can have an influence in the minds of the possible investors in Sri Lanka. Overall image created by the article is that Sri Lanka under Mahinda Rajapaksa regime is anti-Tamil, undemocratic, corrupt and nepotist although more..

My trip to Jaffna: "That somewhere life was taking root again…"

Aug 26 (TC) When I got the email telling me I had been selected for Nkabom, I had just left home on the first leg of my trip to the Jaffna peninsula in the North of the country. Driving through areas that had very literally been at the center of the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict was for me more than just a tourist tour to the north. I was traveling to the North with my uncle, to visit his home – a home he was rebuilding for the second time. more..

Women's Rights

Eastern bus commuters fleeced further

Aug 26 (NS) Private bus owners operating from Kalmunai, knowing that there isn’t anybody to regulate them, had gone up a step further, after the news story The Nation carried in its issue of June 20, titled, “No rules for bus cowboys of the east”, and increased fares unilaterally, when other private bus owners elsewhere are only urging the government for a fair hike. Private buses transporting passengers from Colombo to Kalmunai via Batticaloa charge Rs 450 for more..

Investors of bogus teak company diddled

Aug 26 (SO) Police have blown the lid off another multi-million dollar fraud where millions of rupees of hapless investors have been embezzled by a Managing Director of a so-called teak company in Battaramulla. The core business of the company was growing teak in remote areas and offering the profits to investors after the harvest, police sources said. "We have already received 35 complaints from those who invested in the company. more..

At UN, Sri Lanka move to place alleged war criminal as ambassador questioned

Aug 26 (ICP) Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN post, vacant following Bandula Jayasekera's department triggered by a sexual harassment scandal, is now reportedly slated to be filled by Major General Shavendra Silva, who “was allegedly among those mentioned by MP Sarath Fonseka in a media interview where he had said that the former 58 Division Commander had received orders to shoot at sight LTTE suspects who more..