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UNP MP remanded once again

Aug 27 (CT) UNP MP Palitha Thewarapperuma, who was released on bail just days ago, has been remanded once again. Kalutara additional magistrate Namal Perera has sent him into remand custody until September 01 since prison officials reported that he had a mobile phone in his possession while in jail. He was given bail three days ago after spending nearly eight months in prison over a charge of possession of illegal firearms and assault in January this year.

Twitter users meetup in Colombo

Aug 27 (SL) Sri Lanka held its first Twitter meetup, a physical manifestation of an online community. At least 70 people gathered at the Coco Veranda coffee house, itself a prominent social media presence. Twitter is a real-time information network where people post short messages view computer and phone. It has millions of users worldwide and thousands in Sri Lanka. Commenting on meeting some online friends for the first time, more..

Ven.Sumana Thero who was remanded for alleged possession of arms released on bail

Aug 27 (LeN) Maligawatte Temple Chief incumbentVen. Uwathenne Sumana Thero who was arrested before the last Presidential election for illegal possession of a bomb and other arms by the Police special task force and remanded ,was released on a cash bail of Rs. one lakh and two surety bails by the Appeal Court on the 25th. The Ven. Thero who supported Gen. Fonseka at the last Presidential elections was arrested three days prior to elections for being in possession of more..

Hammad Azam steers Pakistan A to tight win

Aug 27 (CI) Hammad Azam, the 19-year-old Rawalpindi allrounder, struck a 54-ball 63 to guide Pakistan A to a narrow victory over Sri Lanka A with eight deliveries to spare at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. Pakistan looked set to lose their second match of the tri-series as well, after defeat in the opening game to South Africa A, when they sunk to 166 for 7 in the 43rd over, still needing 59 off 46 deliveries. more..

Suspicion on how nail-ridden worker was undetected at Saudi airport

Aug 27 (NF) Suspicions have arisen as to how the metal objects inside the body of the Sri Lankan migrant worker were not detected, when she was scanned at the airport from which she left Saudi Arabia. The Lankan migrant worker I. P. Ariyawathi, who was allegedly tortured while employed at a Saudi Arabian household, claimed that the officials at the Saudi Airport did not inspected her. more..

Tamils taking advantage of Canada? Facts tell a different story

Aug 27 (VS) The 492 Tamil refugees arrived by boat and a clamour over bogus claimants flocking to Canada because it's so easy to get in arose once again. How about a few facts? The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says there is no upsurge in asylum seekers trying to get into the rich countries of the world. Analyzing its exhaustive statistics, the UN agency says the numbers of asylum seekers remain stable and more..

Sri Lanka lays foundation for biomedical sector: educators

Aug 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka is laying the foundation to build a biomedical sector by offering courses in the subject based on British standards to train much needed human resources, educators said. "The development of the human capital base of the country is an important factor for that country to attain a sustainable economic growth," W A Wijewardene, president of the Business Management School (BMS) in Colombo, said. more..

Rajah Rutnam — Sri Lanka’s first immigrant to US

Aug 27 (LR) Typical of the man, my brother the former Marine Corps veteran Rajah Mahendra Rutnam, 74, fought a valiant battle against failing health before passing away last year. Aged 19 in 1953, Sri Lankan-born Rutnam set sail for the United States and thus gained the single honor of becoming the first immigrant from the island nation to set foot under the McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 on American soil. more..

Vehicles abandoned during war being returned to owners

Aug 27 (MoD) The Government last week commenced a programme in Kilinochchi to restore to their rightful owners a large number of motor vehicles abandoned in Mullaitivu and the adjoining areas when civilians fled the heavy fighting between security forces and the LTTE in May last year. The first batch of 780 motor cycles and 12 heavy vehicles were handed over to the owners on August 21 and 22 by the Governor of the North Major General (rtd) G. A. Chandrasiri more..

60 ex-LTTE combatants receive industrial based vocational training in Kalutata

Aug 27 (MoD) Sixty more ex-LTTE combatants as the 5th batch of the vocational training project which is a specially designed industrial based training to produce skilled labour, commenced their training at vocational training center in Payagala, Kalutara last Wednesday. The project will impart skills in Mason, Carpentry, Welding works and Electrical works; to the trainees for two weeks under professionally qualified panel of instructors, more..

More Lankan fishermen released

Aug 27 (MoD) The Indian Coast Guard yesterday handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy , Sri Lankan fishermen and two boats that were in the custody of Tamil Nadu State Authorities. The fishermen were handed over to the Navy in the sea off the Kalpitiya coast yesterday (26) morning, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Ministry sources said. The fishermen were held in Tamil Nadu for trespassing in Indian maritime waters. more..

War on biopiracy: Police, Customs brought in

Aug 27 (DN) The Wildlife Department has combined forces with both local and international stakeholders in an information sharing network to halt biopiracy and environmental crime in general. Wildlife Assistant Director of Raids Upali Padmasiri said that Sri Lanka had joined hands with other Asian countries with similar interests and the ENVIRONET information sharing network of World Customs Organizations in strengthening its capabilities in addressing gene piracy, more..

Kotmale Hydro Power Project: Over 70 percent work complete

Aug 27 (DN) Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project Director Shavindranath Fernando said over 70 percent of work on this project has been completed. The full project could be completed by December 2011. He was addressing the Media at Upper Kotmale Project site at Niyangamdora Tuesday. He said the Upper Kotmale Project has the longest tunnel among power projects in Sri Lanka. The construction of this tunnel has been completed. more..

Fuel transport by train will reduce cost

Aug 27 (DN) It will be possible to reduce the price of fuel further in the near future by transporting fuel by train and not paying delaying charges for ships, Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha said. During an inspection tour to the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery yesterday, Minister Premajayantha said a significant amount of money can be saved by transporting fuel by train and not paying additional charges for ships while pumping oil from ships. more..

Southern Highway: Two phases to be vested next year

Aug 27 (DN) Two phases of the Southern Highway from Kottawa to Kurundugaha Hathapma will be vested with the public next year, said Highways Deputy Minister Nirmala Kotalawala. The Deputy Minister said there are still some practical problems in the completion of the project but hopefully the first phase could be vested with the public in May, 2011 as planned earlier. He said that 90 percent of the highway between Kurundugaha Hethapma to Godagama is completed. more..

India to normalise defence ties with Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (Hindu) With the end of ethnic conflict, India and Sri Lanka will revert to a more normal defence relationship. Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar will visit Colombo soon to get an idea of the issues to be taken up at the first annual defence dialogue between the two countries. The institutional mechanism of a yearly defence dialogue was decided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and more..

'Micro, SME lending must increase for equitable growth'

Aug 27 (Island) With low interest rates and a recent policy rate cut, the country’s commercial banks are still cautious in their lending, preferring to invest excessive rupee holdings in government securities, but a top banker says this must change with more lending directed to rural entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises, as they would drive the country’s economy forward, until large, long term investments come in, more so for the North and East. more..

Editorial: First things first!

Aug 27 (Island) Marie Antoinette, on hearing that Parisians were rioting in the streets in protest against a scarcity of bread, had the chutzpah to say, with arrogance oozing from every pore, 'Let them eat cake.' Centuries later in a different country called Sri Lanka, it looks as if the masses demanding bread/rice at affordable prices had to settle for constitutional reforms! Food prices have gone through the roof and people are struggling to make ends meet. more..

Basil meets Indian Agriculture Minister

Aug 27 (Island) India will rush 500 tractors and several tons of groundnut and black gram seeds to help kick-start agriculture in the civil war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces after a gap of 30 years during the maha season, beginning next month. This was disclosed by visiting Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa in an interview to The Island here day. more..

Editorial: Animal sacrifice; let's follow Andhra

Aug 27 (DM) Hindus form 88 percent of the 80 million population of Andhra Pradesh in India. Three years into Indias independence the region was still in the cultural backwaters with a very poor literacy rate and many primitive rituals and rites being performed. Despite this the State government introduced the Animals and Birds Sacrifice Prohibition Act of 1950 and it is strictly adhered to till this date. more..

Sri Lankan government evicts street hawkers and shanty dwellers

Aug 27 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government recently approved a plan to evict 66,000 families from shanties in Colombo to make way for private developers and investors. At the same time, police have been deployed to clear the streets of hawkers to make the capital more attractive for tourists. The scheme will be extended to cities and towns in other parts of the island. Significantly, this program is being implemented by the defence ministry, more..

SLMC to decide today

Aug 27 (SL) The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) High Command is to meet today (27) to arrive at a final decision whether the party should extend its support to the government to approve the proposed constitutional amendments. The meeting is to be held at the party headquarters Darusalam today. SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem met with President Mahninda Rajapaksa in Kandy on the 25th and more..

Paddy crisis reaching boiling point: UNP

Aug 27 (DM) The main opposition UNP yesterday warned that it would be compelled to take to the streets and protest if the government failed to rectify the ongoing paddy crisis. UNP MP P. Harrison said that his party had not resorted to getting the farmers to burn their paddy harvest yet but will be compelled to go for such protests if no justice is meted out to the farmers. more..

Jayalath urges Sarath Fonseka to take his case to ICCPR

Aug 27 (Island) DNA leader Sarath Fonseka, facing Courts Martial and legal action instituted by the government could successfully take his case to the International Committee for the Protection of Civil and Political Rights, UNP MP Jayalath Jayawardena said yesterday. He told The Island that Fonseka had been hauled up before courts on flimsy charges and more..

Millions of funds wasted in SPC

Aug 27 (DM) In another instance related to alleged state mismanagement and corruption, the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) had wasted Rs. 515 million in 2008, according to the Auditor General’s Report. Besides, the SPC had failed to recover loans running to the tune of Rs.660 million during the year. The SPC had destroyed drugs worth Rs. 15 million and medical equipment worth Rs. 3 million due to inferior quality. more..

Court Martial refuses to acquit SF

Aug 27 (DM) The General Court Martial Tribunal trying former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka on the alleged contravention of military procurement procedure yesterday refused to acquit Fonseka without calling the defence case. The tribunal made this direction overruling an objection made by the defence on three grounds and asked to acquit Sarath Fonseka from the charges. In its direction the tribunal unanimously held that the prosecution had established case against Fonska and he could not be acquitted. more..

Lanka offers expertise to UN to combat piracy

Aug 27 (Island) Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Palitha Kohona welcomed UN Secretary-General’s options for ensuring that suspected pirates were brought to justice and maintained that it was important for the international community to share experiences and responsibilities, through imprisonment in third countries and capacity-building in the States concerned, New York based media reports said. more..

Neil Buhne wants much more for Sri Lanka

Aug 27 (DM) While claiming that the United Nations is facing a shortage of millions of dollars needed to carry out humanitarian work among the displaced in Sri Lanka, Neil Buhne, the UN’s resident coordinator, urged donors to continue their funding to ‘meet the remaining crucial needs in Sri Lanka’. A shortfall in funding has not only impacted the thousands of displaced remaining in camps for the IDPs but more..

Govt. MPs 'grounded' till Sept. 15

Aug 27 (DM) All government MPs were directed not to leave the country till September 15, informed sources said yesterday. The reason for this order is believed to be that the government has planned to table the proposed Constitutional Amendments when Parliament meets next month, and the ministers need to be present, political sources say. The SLFP MPs have been informed by their party headquarters while more..

2018 Commonwealth Games In Hambantota

Aug 28 (SL) Today (27) the Sri Lankan cabinet gave approval for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka. The 2010 games will be held in India and the 2014 games will be held in England. This is part of the government development plan for Hambantota, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s home district. With the recent opening of a port, upcoming construction of an international airport, convention center and more, more..

More Chinese loans for planes and North

Aug 28 (SL) The Cabinet today (27) approved a set of proposals to borrow over US $375 Million from the EXIM Bank of China for projects including planes, northern road development and northern power sector development. These requests were tabled directly by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Planes ($41.1 million) – The cabinet has approved the purchase of two MA-60 aircraft from China. These small aircraft were estimated to cost $12.5 million each in 2006 more..

Sri Lanka to withdraw visa on arrival

Aug 28 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government has decided to withdraw the on-arrival visa facility to tourists from September 30, 2010, a public notice said. The Department of Immigration & Emigration website said on-arrival visas will be given only to visitors from countries that reciprocate. No reason was given for the change and immigration department officials were not immediately available for comment. more..

Sri Lankan leader has votes to change constitution

Aug 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday secured the two-thirds parliamentary majority he needs to change the constitution after an opposition party with eight legislators pledged its support. "We will not join the government, but we will support the proposed constitutional amendments," Basheer Segu Dawood, the chairman of the ethnic minority party SLMC, told Reuters. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.08.2010

Editorial: New Visa rules announced today

Aug 28 (LG) At last Colombo has flexed its muscles and, probably targetting inflexible Indian officialdom, reminded them if our people do not secure reciprocity on the Visa-on-Arrival matter, the other side does not get it too. As usual, Sri Lanka has been reasonable - and quick to respond to SAARC resolutions to dismantle travel restrictions within the region. But India has been mute to growing demands from Sri Lanka to make travel easier. more..

Waiting for budget 2011

Aug 28 (LG) After the war on terrorism, it’s the economic war that is drawing the attention of the government, the opposition and the public in recent months. With tax revenue falling, tax officers getting assaulted for ‘pushing’ taxpayers to cough out their dues under strict Finance Ministry guidelines to maintain targets and also reduce the shortfall in 2009, and Treasury bills being offered as compensation in lieu of cash to residents whose properties have been acquired; more..

Laksala Viskam 2010 - Handicrafts and Cultural show

Aug 28 (LP) Laksala Viskam 2010 a handicrafts and cultural show commences today (27). Minister of State Resources and Enterprise Development, P.Dayarathne will grace the Opening Ceremony today at 6.00 pm at Thummulla Laksala Showroom premises. This Show will be open till Sunday (29) from 10.00 am to 9.00pm. The three day Laksala Viskam handicrafts and cultural show will be a special venue to buy gift items and more..

The last debate on the constitution

Aug 28 (LG) Sri Lanka has turned out to be a land of many quarrels but no debates. Often quarrels turns into violence, sometimes murder and even worst. And the violence itself leads to new quarrels and the circle goes on. Sadly however, hardly anything ever turns into a debate. Debate has become a lost art and no one even seems to remember what it is. Take for example the question of the constitution. more..

KP and the SL government must tell the truth

Aug 28 (LG) The LTTE’s arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan known as KP is currently fully engaged with the government of Sri Lanka enjoying the luxuries facilitated to him by the defence establishment. He has made some irking revelations recently, causing political stir for the Sri Lanka government’s opponents including some of the Tamil Nadu politicians. He has reproved many of his staunch enemies with the publicity provided by the government of Sri Lanka. more..

'A quarter of country's electricity goes waste'

Aug 28 (NF) Around 25 per cent of the country's electricity consumption goes waste, says the Ministry of Power and Energy. The ministry points out that there are around 3.8 million industrial, commercial and household electricity consumers. Meanwhile, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) says that electricity consumption goes waste mainly due to the unwanted use of electrical appliances and light bulbs after 10 pm. more..

Police fire kills suspect alleged to have abused a woman

Aug 28 (NF) Police have shot dead a suspect accused of sexually abusing a woman in the Pitigala North area. When the police attempted to arrest the suspect who had allegedly sexually abused a woman after threatening her with a hand grenade, had lobbed a bomb at the police prompting retaliatory fire. Police noted that they had received information which revealed that the suspect was an Army deserter. more..

Over 100 Lankan Athletes at Commonwealth games

Aug 28 (LP) Minister of Sports C.B. Rathnayake gave Approval for over one hundred athletes to take part in the Commonwealth Games in October by the. Accordingly a 90 member contingent accompanied by 42 officials is set to participate in the games. The events to be represented by Sri Lanka athletes are Swimming, Synchronized Swimming, Para Swimming, Archery, Athletics, Para Athletics, Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rugby sevens, more..

The role of the Central Environmental Authority

Sri Lankan who crewed Tamil Tiger boat free to seek refugee status

Aug 28 (NZH) A Sri Lankan citizen who was a crewman on a gun-running boat for the Tamil Tigers has been given the right by the Supreme Court to apply for refugee status in New Zealand. In a unanimous decision, the court has dismissed an appeal by the Attorney-General against a Court of Appeal judgment that the applicant, who cannot be named, was eligible to claim refugee status. The court has referred the matter back to the Refugee Status Appeals Authority for more..

Government releases Rs 5650 million to purchase paddy islandwide

Aug 28 (GDI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed the authorities to implement an accelerated program to purchase paddy harvest of Yala season within the next 30 days. The government expects a harvest of 1,360,000. MT of paddy in this Yala season. Based on the market trends it is estimated that farmers will sell 867,000 MT to the market and the government expects to purchase 218,000 MT of paddy from the farmers under this accelerated program. more..

Sangakkara calls for mental toughness

Aug 28 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara looked relaxed and confident, patiently posing for photographs when requested by members of the groundstaff after a long net session and an examination of the pitch on Friday morning. At the pre-match press conference, he sounded unfazed by India's formidable recent record in Sri Lanka, pointing out that his side has also won two tri-series involving India this year. more..

Sambhodhi Viharaya flattening case fixed for September 09

Aug 28 (LP) Sambodhi Viharaya, a Buddhist temple situated close to Arugam Bay lagoon was flattened to the ground using bulldozers by a gang that descended on the place under Police protection on July 23 rd. The Supreme Court granted the Attorney General time to obtain instructions in respect of the rights application filled against the bulldozing of two buildings. Petitioner Sambhodi Viharaya chief prelate Ven.Sivuramulle Dhammasiri thero complained to court that more..

Left parties in government oppose proposed constitutional amendment

Aug 28 (LT) Leftist Parties in the government oppose the proposed constitutional amendment which further strengthens the powers of executive presidency. Technology and Research Minister Tissa Vitharana expressed his views when Lanka Truth raised question about this issue. "We oppose executive presidency system. It is a firm decision taken by our party. Executive Premiership is also not suitable to our country. more..

'Dayata Kirula 2011' the National Development Exhibition in Monaragala

Aug 28 (LP) ‘Dayata Kirula’, the National Development Exhibition of Sri Lanka will be held in Monaragala in 2011. There are several development projects to be implemented along with Dayata Kirula exhibition in Monaragala. A discussion was held to launch a Housing Development project in Monaragala District, in Monaragala District Secretariat. Minister Wimal Weerwansa participated in this discussion. more..

Summary of Cabinet decisions

Aug 28 (GDI) On the recommendation of Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena, Cabinet of Ministers granted approval to proceed with the project for the supply, installation, testing and commissioning of 02 numbers of Cardiac Catheterization Systems and 02 numbers of Echo Cardiograph Machines to the Cardiology Department of the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. The 3D echo cardiology machine is to be installed for the First time in the country and more..