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'I am a strong believer of Corporate Nationalism'

Aug 26 (DM) Daily Mirror spoke to Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka in order to know the JHU stance on the current issues and his plans for the power sector in Sri Lanka. Q: There’s a school of thought that believes that the silence of the coalition allies has given rise to corruption by certain individuals in the government. What’s your opinion about this criticism? more..

Resettlement at final stage

Aug 26 (MoD) The resettlement program has come to its last phase and still the Government is trying to assist the resettled in the North and East, Resettlement Ministry Secretary M.B. Disanayaka told the Daily News yesterday. The Ministry had held talks with the donor forum to bring more facilities to the resettled people in their native places. The donor forum comprises the USA, U.K, Canada and Netherlands, he said. more..

Vets left in the wilds

Aug 26 (ST) Serving as a wildlife veterinarian is a dangerous job in Sri Lanka. Whether it is to tranquillise a rogue elephant for translocation or treat a dying jumbo, these vets -- there are just seven of them -- have to go on foot in dense jungle braving numerous dangers. They run the risk of being killed by the elephants – even one mistake could be fatal for the whole team. Recalling one such incident, veterinary surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe, more..

UN mum on post

Aug 26 (DM) The United Nations (UN) refused to comment on the appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva as the new Sri Lankan Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York. When asked about the appointment, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky refused to comment. The spokesman was also asked if UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon can refuse to accept the appointment but the UN spokesman said he needed to check on the general procedure. more..

Lankans guzzled over 140 million litres of liquor

Aug 26 (Island) Sri Lankans have consumed over 140 million litres of liquor in 2009, according to the administrative report of the Commissioner General of Excise. Of that, 100 million litres were locally manufactured and the balance imported, the report says. In the same year, 970 new liquor licences were issued. Of that, 163 were issued in the Colombo District and 157 in the Jaffna District. more..

Sri Lanka’s experience and its lessons for the world

Aug 26 (Island) Address delivered at the china Institute of international Studies, Beijing, on 12th August 2010 by Professor G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs. First of all, let me express my warm appreciation of the honour that you have bestowed on me, by inviting me to come here, to the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing and to share some thoughts with you on a subject which is of importance, not only to Sri Lanka, but to many countries, more..

Editorial: House maids

Aug 26 (DM) Dozens and dozens of young Indonesian girls all house-maids-to be heading for western Asian countries are a common sight at the Katunayake airport. Having transited at Katunayake they were to be flown to the host country to meet with their unknown destiny. One cannot help but feel very sorry for them and for a moment forget the misery of our own Sri Lankan maids in the Middle East especially ones in countries which are notorious for their treatment of domestic workers. more..

Special education programmes for ex-combatants

Aug 26 (MoD) The Government of Sri Lanka under directives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa has already laid out a key aspect of the roadmap to reconciliation by initiating the rehabilitation of ex-LTTE combatants whilst getting them absorbed into the country's development drive. During the final phase of the humanitarian mission launched by the security forces, over 250,000 civilians who were held hostage by LTTE terrorists were rescued. more..

Ringo's 'good samaritan' given time till sep. 23 to file objections

Aug 26 (NF) The case pertaining to the ownership of Ringo, the Labrador Retriever, came up for consideration before justice Deepali Wijesundara at the Colombo High Court. The party claiming ownership over Ringo and the party taking care of the dog with the permission of the Mount Lavinia magistrate's court, appeared before court. An individual named Sudesh Perera has filed this case against the act of the dog being handed over to the care of more..

IDPs in Kiliwetti camp to be resettled soon

Aug 26 (NF) Measures will be taken to resettle all IDPs at the Kiliwetti Welfare Camp in Muttur in an expeditious manner, says Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, Deputy Minister of Resettlement. He noted that the ministry expects to complete this task before the commencement of the rainy season. The Deputy Minister undertook a tour of the Kiliwetti welfare camp to look into the problems faced by the IDPs housed there. more..

'Govt.’s obscure constitutional amendments are changing direction like the prevailing wind'

Aug 26 (LeN) UNP Gen Secretary Tissa Attanayake speaking to the media to reveal the matter s discussed at the Temple Trees at the meeting between the President and the UNP representatives who were invited by the President, said, The Govt. has no clear stand regarding the constitutional amendments. Their agenda is changing from time to time. The UNP cannot agree to a constitution geared and tailored for a family. more..

'A plan to exile five lakhs people in Colombo'

Aug 26 (LeN) Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse had declared that he knows nothing about the impending eviction of 66000 Colombo families from their houses, and had added, regarding this eviction and the provision of alternative shelters to them have to be asked from the politicians. The Defense Secretary has answered thus when the Ven.Weligama Dhammasara Thero of the ‘People desiring network‘ had inquired from him over the phone as to what steps more..

Sri Lanka urged to lift land controls by World Bank

Aug 26 (LBO) A World Bank study has called on Sri Lanka to loosen controls on land ownership and use, saying restrictions tend to keep poor farmers poor. "Land-development ordinances that regulate the use and transfer of land keep a larger proportion of people dependent on agriculture," the report said. "They also keep people poorer because they earn less for their labour." more..

Editorial: What colour is dengue?

Aug 26 (LNP) The government and the Opposition see eye to eye only on one thing feathering their nests. They are at one with each other in Parliament whenever there is a motion to enhance their salaries and perks. But, on burning issues affecting the public, they cross swords to score political points. The UNP is reported to have launched its own dengue eradication programme. Battling dengue is a noble task and it is a matter for happiness that the UNP has realised the need to more..

Ramani’s Story

Aug 26 (LG) Ramani Perera’s house in Panadura, Sri Lanka, seems abandoned. Daylight shines through holes in the back wall, and the cobwebbed ceiling beams bend under the weight of the corrugated metal roof. After calling her, Ramani and her son Sugath appear though the green tangle of the yard. They built a new shelter a bit further back, she says, since this one has become unsafe. Their new home, though more stable, still holds no luxuries, more..

Interview III - Tissa Jayathilaka

GSP + withdrawal by european Union: No job loss

Aug 26 (DN) The withdrawal of the General System of Preference Plus (GSP+) facility by the European Union has not led to the closure of a single factory in Sri Lanka or retrenchment any factory worker, Economic Development Deputy Minister LakshmanYapa Abeywardena said. It is also confirmed by the existing job opportunities for over 7,400 in the Board of Investment approved garment factories, he added. more..

Wheat flour consumption, imports drop

Aug 26 (DN) Per-capita wheat flour consumption and wheat flour imports have been reduced since 2004 due to the rapid increase of local food production and consumption, Statistics Department Agriculture Division Director, A M U Dissanayake said. Per-capita wheat flour consumption in 2004 was 35.99 kg. In 2005 it was 42.23 kg, in 2006 34.82 kg, in 2007 31.25 kg, in 2008 26.24 kg and in 2009 it was 29.22 kg. Wheat flour impots in 2004 was 706,530 mt. In 2005 it was 842,060 mt. more..

Countrywide audit on medical equipment

Aug 26 (DN) The Health Ministry has commenced a countrywide audit to form a list of all medical equipment used in State hospitals, a Ministry spokesman said. There are about 80,000 of medical equipments used in State hospitals in the country, but there are no records about those equipment. The Ministry receives lists of medical equipment from State hospitals, he said. The main objective is to ensure all State hospitals have the required medical equipment. more..

Forest land to be taken over by Forest Department

Aug 26 (DN) Moves are under way to take over forest lands adjacent to Forest Reserves belonging to the Land Reforms Commission (LRC), Forest Conservator General M P Sarath Fernando told the Daily News. According to a Cabinet paper submitted on July 22, 2004, the forest lands owned by the LRC within half a kilometre from the reserve should be handed over to the Forest Department. more..

Driving licences from RMV district offices soon

Aug 26 (Island) Branch offices of the Commissioner of Motor Traffic will be set up soon at all District Secretariats to enable applicants to undergo driving tests and obtain driving licences. Currently, licences are issued only at the RMV head office in Colombo though applicants could undergo tests at the district level. Under the new scheme it will be possible for a successful applicant to obtain his license within a few days. more..

Another policy rate cut? T-bill rates fall as banks swim in liquidity

Aug 26 (Island) The Public Debt Department of the Central Bank offered Treasury bills amounting to Rs. 10,000 million yesterday which attracted bids amounting to Rs. 27,508 million of Rs. 10,285 million was accepted. The three month Treasury bill yield fell to 7.28 percent from 7.40 percent a week. The bills on offer amounted to Rs. 1,000 million and attracted bids amounting to Rs. 3,642 million. The Central Bank accepted Rs. 1,000 billion. more..

'Intl. laws shouldn’t apply to conflicts between States and terrorist groups'

Aug 26 (Island) Veteran diplomat Jayantha Dhanapala says International Humanitarian Law should not be applied to Sri Lanka’s war against LTTE terrorism and the time is opportune for the country to push for new guidelines. The former head of the Peace Secretariat says a conventional army cannot be bound by international laws in fighting a terrorist organisation, which deploys suicide cadres, more..

CM wants probe

Aug 26 (DM) Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan has urged the army and police to investigate the incident where a Batticaloa Municipal Councilor was reported missing and allegedly abducted. The family of a Batticaloa Municipal Councilor at a meeting with the Eastern Province Chief Minister last evening, had raised suspicion over who is involved in his alleged abduction. more..

Govt. tries to get Saudi maid compensation

Aug 26 (DM) Embassy of Sri Lanka in Saudi Arabia would lodge a complaint with the Saudi Arabian Police to arrest the employers of the Lankan house maid who had been tortured with nails. Authorities were trying to black list both the employer and the recruiting agency while getting her due compensations. Deputy General Manager of Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Services Bureau Mangala Randeniya said that action has been taken by more..

No more free Medi-Care for alcoholics

Aug 26 (LP) The Ministry of Health has decided to charge money from those hospitalized as a result of excessive consumption of alcohol, so that the treatment could be got at their own expense. This new step will be implemented from next year onwards, Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena stated. The Government hopes that this step would assist in stifling Sri Lanka’s alcohol consumption. more..

Tax revenue up after slashing import duties

Aug 26 (SL) The Finance and Planning Ministry has stated that it has recorded an increase in its tax revenue following the government’s decision to slash import duties on vehicles. Director-General for Fiscal Policy of the Finance and Planning Ministry S.R. Attygalle has said the government earned Rs. 1,700 million in July on vehicle import tax revenue alone after import taxes were slashed in June. more..

JVP slams UNP

Aug 26 (DM) The JVP today slammed the UNP leadership for having talks with the government on constitutional amendments. “We managed to create a public upheaval against the government’s attempt. In this respect, we conducted seminars to educate the masses on the dangers involved in amending the Constitution in a peaceful approach. However, the government was able to distract the public attention from it by engaging the UNP for talks. more..

UNF to form grand alliance

Aug 26 (DM) UNF allies who met Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday decided to form a broad alliance and for this purpose will hold talks with the DNA led by retired General Sarath Fonseka and the JVP. This was after some parties including DPF led by Mano Ganesan told Mr. Wickremesinghe that an alliance with minor parties would alone not be sufficient and as such a broader alliance was the best option. more..

Tamils seeking equal rights: LLRC chairman

Aug 26 (DM) Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) Chairman C.R de Silva said yesterday residents of Vavuniya and its outskirts had complained to him when he visited the area that they lacked equal opportunities in the country. Mr. de Silva said this when he asked a question from former Government Peace Secretariat Head Jayantha Dhanapala who made his submissions to the Commission yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka blocks over 100 porn websites

Aug 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka has blocked over 100 porn websites that allegedly feature local men and women, the government said Thursday, in its biggest yet Internet censorship move. The Sri Lankan Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) has been asked to prevent users in the country accessing some 107 adult websites, the government information department said. more..

Sri Lanka maid says Saudi boss stuck nails in her

Aug 26 (AP) A Sri Lankan maid returned from her job in Saudi Arabia with 24 nails inside her body — the result of torture by the family who employed her, a doctor and government official said Wednesday. L.G. Ariyawathi's body is riddled with needles and nails, which are scheduled to be removed Friday, a doctor confirmed Wednesday. Ariyawathi, 49, returned to Sri Lanka on Saturday from Saudi Arabia and more..

Sri Lanka news debrief - 26. 08. 2010

U.N. asks $165 mln for Sri Lanka post-war resettlement

Aug 27 (Reuters) The United Nations on Thursday urged donors to provide $165 million to Sri Lanka this year to help resettle around 100,000 people displaced by decades of fighting. While 200,000 people have been resettled since the war ended last May, the others remain in transit camps near their home areas and less than 35,000 in emergency sites. more..

Hey buddy, what’s your other-side?

Aug 27 (LG) I do know, however, that people are not always who they appear to be and believe that life has a way of rubbing the two elements long and hard enough to produce distinction melting heat. I believe people trip over themselves or their many selves sooner or later and as they fall flat on their faces there is an unceremonious stripping of facade. What got me thinking about these other, more hidden and (let’s say) dodgy elements of an individual (self included of course) more..

Where do they go from here?

Aug 27 (GV) On our way to the first scheduled hearing of Northern Muslims who were expelled by the LTTE in 1990, we spotted a group of men working hard out in the open, under the midday sun, and we stopped to have a conversation with them. Eight days earlier they had made their way from Puttalam to Marichchakatty with the goal of initiating the ‘journey home’ after the expulsion almost two decades ago. more..

Constitutional reforms for democracy or another dictator?

Aug 27 (LG) After nearly four decades of bloodshed since Sirima Bandaranaike’s regime (1970-1977) MPs in Sri Lanka have come to the most crucial juncture of our history. The key question everyone has to ask themselves is: Are we going to vote for democratic changes (constitutional reforms) or another dictator? Should we go back to the era of elected dictators such as Sirima Bandaranaike or JR Jayewardene? more..

Rudra and Nediyawan ‘renditions’ flop but haunting continues

Aug 27 (DM) It was reported in the media that, Nediyawan, who is recognized by the Sri Lanka (SL) intelligence unit as the new Tamil Tiger leader, was attacked during a Hindu Temple Festival in Norway about a week ago by a group of Tamils who have an animosity to the Tamil Tigers, and Nediyawan who sustained injuries due to this attack is receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit. more..

The Buddha was against animal sacrifice

Aug 27 (LG) The Buddha was against animal sacrifice. He had to be, for he was staunchly opposed to killing. Killing, not just human beings, but all beings without exception. He expressed the view that it was all beings (sabbe sattaa/ sabbe bhuutaa) that deserved our compassion. During the time of the Buddha, many kinds of sacrifices were practised by Brahmins who were the priests of the Vedic religion professed by the upper castes of contemporary Indian society. more..

From Catapult Killer to Ruthless Insurgent

Aug 27 (DM) Nothing describes the life and times of Velupillai Prabhakaran better than the title of one of the concluding chapters of MR Narayan Swamy’s book on the LTTE, the world’s most dreaded terrorist outfit until decimated by the Sri Lankan armed forces with its leader in the third week of May 2009. ‘Prabhakaran: from catapult killer to dreaded insurgent’ is the title of more..

Jehan and Sara must stop whining and do some talking now

Aug 27 (LB) We now have a thing called LLRC. We didn’t have one a few months ago, but now we hear about this Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission all the time, who goes there, what is said, what is asked, what kinds of answers are given etc. The cynic would say it’s nothing more nothing less than keeping up with the Joneses. South Africa had a conflict. They sorted things out. They felt they needed to look back. They wanted the truth. more..

Student who sat for GCE A/L exam goes missig in Kandy

Aug 27 (NF) A student who sat for the GCE Advanced Level (A/L) examination in the Dawulagala area in Kandy has gone missing. According to the complaint lodged by the mother of the student, who had sat for GCE Advanced Level (AL) examination yesterday had not returned home as yet. Meanwhile, Police who have launched an investigations into the incident have received information that the student had, in fact, sat for the exam. more..

Sri Lanka drafts mobile phone payment guidelines

Aug 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Central Bank has drafted guidelines for mobile phone payment systems and called for public comments, according to a notice on its website. Mobile payments will be allowed through accounts in licensed banks and registered finance companies as well as Custodian Account Based Systems operated by non-bank service providers. Service providers can open 'e-money' accounts for customers and more..

Czech man fined for collecting rare insects in Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (DPA) A Czech national was fined 1,000 dollars by a Sri Lankan court for collecting a rare species of insects and attempting to smuggle the specimens out of the country, court officials said Thursday. The man, identified as Jan Pyrih, was arrested collecting the insects from the Horton Plains forest reserve which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in July. He was fined 125,000 rupees (1,095 US dollars) and more..

Man confesses selling LTTE firearms to the underworld

Aug 27 (DM) An underworld gangster who mediated in selling LTTE firearms to the underworld made a voluntary confession before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Alex Rajah today. The suspect, Mohamed Yasar Arafath, was arrested by the CID sequel to the revealing of his involvement into the disposing of LTTE firearms to the underworld in the South. A team of CID officers had conducted a raid on an LTTE hideout in Narakamulla in the North. more..

Human rights and development

On Sri Lanka, UN's Holmes speaks of gov't shelling, casualties, 2 sides' propaganda

Aug 27 (ICP) Asked about Sri Lanka on his final day as UN Humanitarian Coordinator, John Holmes offered a defense of his department's funding of the government's internment camps while admitting the government may have “deliberately shelled” civilians and hospitals. Inner City Press asked Holmes about criticism of his and the UN's actions in Sri Lanka, for example pulling out of Kilinochchi, more..

Reflections of campus life 1967-1970

Aug 27 (NS) The Science and Law graduates of 1970 of the University of Ceylon, Colombo Campus, celebrated their 40th anniversary recently, with a weekend at the Pegasus Reef Hotel. The National Anthem, followed by solemn moments of silence in remembrance of departed colleagues, preceded an evening of revelry, where the men in colourful sarongs and matching shirts, sang and danced into the wee hours of the morning, with their comely fellow graduates dressed in traditional attire. more..

Sehwag backs Indian youngsters

Aug 27 (CI) India's misfiring young batsmen are getting plenty of support from their seniors. Two days after captain MS Dhoni said he was not too concerned about the batting collapses in the Dambulla tri-series, Virender Sehwag has also backed his less experienced team-mates to deliver. The quartet of Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthi, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have managed just 94 runs between them through the tournament. more..

No legal action yet against Daya Master & George Master

Aug 27 (LT) Former Media Spokesman for LTTE Daya Master and its official Interpreter George Master were produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate today (26) against charges of supporting the LTTE and encouraging terrorist activities. When Magistrate asked the lawyers who appeared for Attorney General whether charges were filed against the two they said that no effective action has been taken yet. more..