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20,000 workers from India will arrive soon to build houses in northern province

Aug 30 (TC) A 20,000-strong Indian workforce will arrive in Sri Lanka to carry out mega housing projects in northern districts. The first phase of the scheme, the construction of a pilot project to build 1,000 houses in Jaffna, will get underway in October this year. Similar pilot projects will be launched thereafter in the districts of Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya. more..

'Govt. members who pledged to repeal presidency are now in favour of it'

Aug 30 (NF) Various views are being expressed on the proposed amendments that are scheduled to be introduced in to the Constitution soon. While two ministers, Susil Premajayanth and Wimal Weerawansa, expressed two views on Saturday with regard to the much-talked-about issue, attorney at law S. L. Gunasekera pointed out that most members of the government, who had pledged to repeal the executive presidential system of government, are now in favour of retaining it. more..

A-Z of Sri Lankan English: D is for deffa

Aug 30 (GV) Eyebrows were raised when I included the word deffa on the mirisgala website under “new entries”. And it’s true that it is stretching the point to claim that it qualifies as standard Sri Lankan English. But perhaps it also gives us an insight into the future of SLE. Deffa (or defa) is a word that is increasingly common in internet chatrooms etc. It is an abbreviation of the English word definitely, which is used in colloquial Sinhala as an alternative to more..

Commander unveils cenotaph to honour Fallen Heroes

Aug 30 (MoD) First ever war heroes monument in Eastern Security Force Command area to honour the valiant soldiers who have laid down their lives fighting the separatist terrorist in the 30 year prolonged war was declared open by the Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya on 28th August in Minneriya amidst a gathering of many distinguished guests and family members of war heroes. more..

Lie is followed by truth and hopefully by embrace

Aug 30 (NS) There was one factor which worked for the LTTE. For decades. Propaganda. This, more than anything else, was what tripped the Sri Lankan security forces. The LTTE, as a unit, was the Grandmaster of the Lie. When lie is received as truth, it is more potent than truth, the LTTE showed the world. Successive governments were put under immense pressure to bend to the will of Prabhakaran by powerful sections of the international community who more..

Increase in wheat price poses policy problem

Aug 30 (NS) The sharp increases in international wheat prices are a serious problem to the government. It is basically in a no-win situation. Whatever the government policy response to the sudden rise in the international wheat price, there would be serious repercussions on several aspects of the economy. The trade balance, inflation and the living standards of the people are linked to this issue. more..

Nanda returns with ‘Shwetha Rathriya’

Aug 30 (NS) Veteran Sri Lankan vocalist Nanda Malani is go public with ‘Shwetha Rathriya’ on the 14th of September 2010. Nanda Malini is the winner of twelve Sarasaviya awards and ten Presidential awards for her singing. She has traditional style of music made her reach a top spot in the music industry of Sri Lanka. She contributed her voice to many of the Sri Lanka films and has gained international recognition has well. more..

IMF says economy on track

Aug 30 (ST) The IMF is satisfied with the economic progress this year and the next tranches of the IMF stand-by facility will undoubtedly be disbursed. This would further strengthen the foreign exchange reserves that have fallen somewhat recently. Not withstanding the IMF assessment, the external trade situation is not at all encouraging. The merchandise trade deficit is heading to a huge amount this year, very similar to the experience of 2008. more..

Honey, don’t you ever leave me

Aug 30 (ST) My dear Rauf, I thought I must write to you after hearing that you and your party would be supporting Mahinda maama. Of course, knowing you and knowing Mahinda maama, this does not surprise me but then, all this sounds a little bit funny, considering what you have been saying in the recent past. We must of course realize that nothing should surprise us anymore when we are dealing with our politicians. more..

Spotlight on Jaffna as Nirupama visits Lanka

Aug 30 (HT) The highlight of foreign secretary Nirupama Rao’s three-day visit to Sri Lanka beginning on Monday would be her trip to Jaffna — the first ever by an Indian foreign secretary in decades. In Jaffna, the heartland of Sri Lankan Tamils, Rao is expected to meet both government officials including the governor and mayor and members of the civil society and academics. more..

On Sunanda Deshapriya’s ‘nationalist’ angst

Aug 30 (Island) Sunanda Deshapriya, former convenor of the Free Media Movement and forced-to-resign employee of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (for pilfering money) is livid. He has written to the Ravaya expressing chagrin about the powers that be going soft on ‘KP’, the former head of the LTTE’s international network and, according to many, the key player in the terrorist outfit’s global crime operations and weapons procurement more..

Cader get’s a `line’ over the phone

Aug 30 (Island) UNP Kandy District MP Abdul Cader who recently told SLFP bigwigs that a Tory MP asked him not to switch his allegiance to President Rajapaksa is now believed to have been hoaxed by a UNPer who had called him from London pretending to be a British politician. The MP claimed that he rejected the British MP’s appeal as his primary duty was to strengthen the president’s hands in the wake of the recent general election. more..

Garment factories exploiting Northern girls, union charges

Aug 30 (TC) A garment sector trade union leader charged yesterday that some garment manufacturers were seeking cheap female labour from the one time battle areas of the north.“Factory workers were leaving due to poor wages, work and living conditions. Most in the north are ignorant of the labour laws and are falling prey,” Anton Marcus, President of the Progressive Free Trade Zone and Apparel Union told more..

Hambantota: The main tasks lie ahead

Aug 30 (LB) The euphoria that accompanied the ceremony marking the filling of the first waters into the new Hambantota harbour was troubling for its naivet‚ and silly expectations. There is a long way to go and greater difficulties to overcome than half completed civil engineering works, before the project bears fruit. The most complex challenges are still to come and Hambantota, while important, also has intrinsic limitations. A cold-blooded appraisal has its uses. more..

Animal slaughter, legality, religious freedom and hypocrisy

Aug 30 (LB) Some 1000 animals (approximately 300 goats and 700 fowl) were slaughtered a few days ago in what is said to have been a Hindu ritual. Earlier, some Hindu clergymen had expressed their objection to this practice, along with some bikkhus. On the day of the ritual, some bikkhus had attempted to march to the place where the slaughter was taking place. The police, acting on a court order had stopped the bikkhus who had then staged a satyagraha. more..

Operation Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka concludes

Aug 30 (AF) Representatives from the U.S., Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Mongolia concluded Operation Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka Aug. 14 through 22 here after providing humanitarian civil engineering and medical aid to people living in the Anuradhapura and Puttalam communities. Pacific Angel-Sri Lanka medical teams provided primary, dental and optometry care to 4,647 patients in three locations and dispensed 4,462 prescriptions. more..

Human rights defenders programme Visa cancelled

Aug 30 (SL) Sri Lanka’s Chief of Immigration has terminated the visa given to Ms. Elizabeth Ogaya who is the Project Co-ordinator of the Human Rights Defenders Protection Programme (HRDPP). Ms. Ogaya, the Kenyan born HR professional is attached to the US-based Non Violence Peace Force (NVPF) in Colombo and was given until the 30th of August to prepare to leave the country. Ms. Ogaya becomes the fourth foreign national to have their visa terminated by more..

Decision to separate remand prisoners from convicts in Welikada

Aug 30 (NF) A decision has been taken to completely separate the remand prisoners from convicts of the Welikada Prison. “The two categories of inmates do have certain opportunities to meet in the prison and as such convicts too employ clever methods to get facilities, which are only allowed to remand prisoners,” said Prisons Commissioner. “A decision has been taken to build a wall to divide the prison into two and have two separate entrances,” more..

Sigiriya frescoes: No cause for alarm

Aug 30 (SO) An in-depth review of the Sigiriya frescoes, matching its original images with the pictures of today has concluded there is no cause for alarm Archaeology Director General Dr.Senarath Dissanayake said. Dr.Dissanayake said that a team of archaeologists and chemical experts was carrying out tests on the frescoes to determine if there was a chemical reaction or fungi attack. "We did an in-depth review of the frescoes last Thursday more..

Indian Army chief to visit Sri Lanka

Aug 30 (DC) indian Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao’s visit to Sri Lanka this week will be followed by that of Indian Army chief, Gen V.K. Singh, early next month. The general’s visit will be part of a series of high-level visits that have been pencilled in for the next few months. Also on the anvil are the visits by Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik and defence secretary Pradeep Kumar, in that order. more..

Editorial: Fate of GKCC Depositors

Aug 30 (LG) Since the Sri Lanka Guardian carried an article last week highlighting the pitiful state of many of the smaller investors, there appears to be a hive of activity in the CBSL entrusted with handling the disposal of these funds - now in the safe hands of the State. In an interview last week the Chairman of the Panel of Chartered Accountants Prof. Lakshman Watawala seems to suggest lack of funds to carry out the Supreme Court order to pay more..

Private Sector banned from printing past Question Papers

Aug 30 (LP) The Department of Examinations has decided to revoke the permission given to the Private sector to print past examination papers. Commissioner General of Examinations Anura Edirisinghe stated that this decision was made in accordance with the wishes of the Minister of Education and that hereafter past papers would be printed by the Educational Publications Department and sold to students at affordable prices. more..

'India can’t act as policeman in Sri Lanka'

Aug 30 (EB) India can help Sri Lankan Tamils, but it cannot act as a policeman and impose its will on the island nation, the DMK’s parliamentary group leader, T R Baalu, said. Asked specifically about the Lankan Tamils’ complaint that even the Indian aid was not reaching the war refugees in the North, Baalu said that the issue had to be approached cautiously and with a sense of responsibility more..

Samurdhi ‘wastes’ millions

Aug 30 (DM) Samurdhi had wasted over Rs. 16 mn by investing in projects which did not bring results, an AG report said. These matters had been raised by the AG’s annual report. An official of the Authority told Daily Mirror on condition of anonymity that Rs. 3.2 million had been spent in 2007 from the Samurdhi Authority Fund for a rice processing centre in Kebetigollewa in order to provide employment to the poor. more..

Minister visit zone which needs more apparel workers

Aug 30 (N360) Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena visited the Koggala Export Processing Zone, recently. The Minister during his visit to the southern zone inspected the production activities of several factories. Among them ranked plants such as Flintech who manufactures electronic chips, Baramundi which builds boats and Brandix the Apparel manufacturer. Koggala BOI zone currently operates 22 factories with a workforce of 7,000 employees. more..

Visit of Sri Lanka delegation led by Minister Basil Rajapaksa to India

Aug 30 (GDI) Minister Basil Rajapaksa undertook his first visit to India, since his election and assumption of the current portfolio, from 24th – 26th August. During the visit he called on Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, Minister of External Affairs S.M. Krishna, Minister of Finance Pranab Mukherjee, Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation & Tourism Kumari Selja, and National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon. more..

Candidates answering A/L question paper asked to fill extra form

Aug 30 (LT) The candidates who were sitting G.C.E A/L examination in Sabaragamuwa province had been given an extra form to be filled while answering the question paper. Without making an early announcement the Examination Department had taken measures to distribute this form among students with the general test question paper of University entrance, telling them to fill while answering the question paper. more..

President's henchman builds hotel in Diyadawa forest reserve

Aug 30 (LT) It is revealed following a search of our Matara correspondent that a Coordinating Secretaries of President Mr. Kumarasiri Hettiarachchi is building a hotel in Diyadawa Forest Reserve in Kotapola Deniyaya which is secondary only to Sinharaja forest reserve among tropical wet evergreen rain forests in Sri Lanka. Even Ordinary man should get permission from Forest Conservation Department to enter this reserve which is spread over 2513 hectares. more..

'Ranil paved the way for govt. to get 150 seats'

Aug 30 (NF) It is Ranil Wickremasinghe who paved the way for the government to get the required 150 seats in parliament, says the JVP. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the JVP politburo member made this allegation while addressing a public meeting in Walasmulla on Saturday. He also charged that the protests that arose in the country against Constitutional amendments were suppressed with the support of Opposition leaders. more..

In a Nutshell

Aug 30 (SL) A One Way Street: It’s all one way traffic these days. With the Mussalmans and some Green types thinking of doing a high jump. No, not to give the Boys in Blue the two third to change the rules of the game, but because the grass is so much greener on the blue side. One could almost predict the outcome immediately after our Leader of the Opposing kind met the Benevolent Leader. Deja vu! more..

Reconstruction of Kandy-Mahiyangana road after a lapse of 150 years

Aug 30 (LP) The ancient Kandy- Mahiyangana road which was constructed by the British during their reign is now being reconstructed after a lapse of 150 years. The road is being reconstructed under the “Mahinda Chinthana” programme of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The road was used by Sri Lankans in the past to reach Mahiyangana to worship the sacred place, and during their visit the devotees used to hand over all their property to more..

SL looking to raise funds from international banks to expand oil refinery

Aug 30 (N360) Sri Lanka is likely to raise funds in the international market to find part of the money required to finance the expansion of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. According to the initial agreement reached between the Government of Iran and Sri Lanka, Iran will finance 70% of the project cost while GOSL agreed to pump 30%. This 30% runs up to US$ 450 million, which the GOSL intends to borrow from international Banks. more..

Road rule lessons for jaywalkers

Aug 30 (DN) Police will launch a major awareness campaign shortly to educate the public on the hazards of jaywalking with possible penalties considered in the future, if the public fails to abide by the rules. Police officers deployed in all major roads with special emphasis on identified hotspots will be talking to pedestrians and passengers about safety while keeping an eye on jaywalkers, Police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody said. more..

Sri Lankan human trafficking victim dies in Malaysia

Aug 30 (Xinhua) A Sri Lankan man believed to be victim of human trafficking died in Malaysia when he was trying to escape from people smugglers' detainment. Rosly Hassan, deputy police chief of Gombak, a distrit in the Selangor State bordering Kuala Lumpur, told reporters on Sunday that the incident took place on Saturday evening. According to Rosly, a garage worker told police he saw two Sri Lankans, both naked, jump out from a building's balcony. more..

Devolution plan ‘must include merger of North and East’

Aug 30 (NS) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) says it continues to stand for meaningful devolution of power and that the constitutional reforms should be within a united country and should take the form of a federal structure. In an interview with The Nation, TNA parliamentarian M A Sumanthiran said the President also was looking towards meaningful devolution of power, which was the view of the TNA as well. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Aug 30 (ST) Some Rs. 50,000 worth of crockery and cutlery brought to the Dambulla Cricket Stadium to serve the VIPs who were there, have all gone missing. The items belonging to a leading hotel in the area had been packed into a box to be taken away at the end of the India-Sri Lanka match, but hotel staff found that the box had gone missing. Police have been asked to trace the missing ware. Last Wednesday, President Rajapaksa visited the Gampola residence of UNP MP Abdul Cader for Iftar. more..

CMC on kitchen cleaning spree

Aug 30 (DN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) has set new quality standards for hotels and restaurants under its purview. CMC Chief Medical Officer Pradeep Kariyawasam said Five Star Hotels to small outlets in Pettah had been advised to abide by the rules or face severe penalties. According to him, the CMC has initiated legal action against 212 hotels and restaurants which had served unhygienic food. more..

'Mahela knew how to use the review system'

Aug 30 (ST) Sri Lanka’s most successful seam bowler to-date Chaminda Vaas believes that the ICC should make the Umpires Decision Review System (UDRS) mandatory at least for all test matches in the future. The 36-year-old Lankan spearhead who has represented his country in 111 tests and over 300 one dayers is perplexed as to why certain players are averse to the usage of the URS system. more..

Editorial: Crawling out of the woodwork

Aug 30 (LNP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has cleared all the obstacles to the passage of his constitutional reforms to be presented to Parliament shortly. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has affirmed its support for the President. The SLMC`s U-turn has raised many an eyebrow. It is now all out to help President Rajapaksa secure a third term, among other things, though in 2005, it did not want Mahinda as President even for a single term. more..

Port Authority auction: Police, Army end mafia control

Aug 30 (DN) In a coordinated operation, the Police and the Army raided the Port Authority auction during the weekend and arrested four persons linked to the underworld while some others fled. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on information that an organized underworld gang is controlling the auction had instructed the Security Forces and the Police to end this mafia control and ensure a secure environment for the auction. more..

Doha jobs: Embassy sets age limits for Lankans

Aug 30 (ST) Foreign employment agencies were yesterday fuming over a new age limit for Lankan workers heading to take jobs in the state of Doha, saying it would ruin employment prospects there. The Lankan Embassy in that country has stated that those taking up employment in Doha should be above the age of 25 and not exceed 45 years, creating fears among employers who will now look elsewhere to fill vacancies, more..

Police looking for missing GCE A/L student

Aug 30 (Island) The Kandy police are looking for 19-year-old GCE Advanced Level student Asha Erandi Kumari of Swarnamalie Balika Vidyalaya of Kandy missing since August 25. Although the student had left home for school, she did not turn up at the examination centre, the missing girl’s farther U. D. M. Bandaranayaka of Udunuwara Wegiriya told The Island. Bandaranayake said that he had lodged a complaint at the Daulagala police station. more..

Editorial: A Land without Opposition

Aug 30 (DM) It certainly is sweet music for any Head of State. You have a near two-thirds majority in Parliament and a Cabinet bending backwards to please you and an opposition of which half of the MPs are waiting for a signal from you to join the government ranks. There are only five slots available and everyone wants to be among the fortunate five. Then a minority party renders even these possible long jumpers from the key opposition redundant by offering all its eight seats to more..

Tougher laws to curb theft of medicine from hospitals

Aug 30 (Island) SLFP General Secretary Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena says he will push for tougher laws to punish hospital employees and pharmacy owners found guilty of selling drugs stolen from government hospitals. He said that he would seek parliamentary approval for laws to have those who made money at the expense of state hospitals, sentenced to life imprisonment. more..

Govt. to purchase paddy at Rs. 60 a kilo: Agriculture Minister’s claim dismissed

Aug 30 (Island) Controversy surrounds Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardene’s recent declaration that the government was ready to pay Rs. 60 for a kilo of paddy. Minister Abeywardene went to the extent of offering to sign an agreement with paddy farmers in this regard, while the Cooperatives and Internal Trade Ministry insists the Agriculture Minister’s claim is baseless. more..

In a Bangkok apartment, Tamils wait for a ship to Canada

Aug 30 (TS) The four men, Sri Lankan Tamils, say they are in Thailand on vacation, though they rarely venture outside their one-room apartment on the outskirts of the Thai capital. They sit together on the bed, endlessly watching old movies in English and Thai that they barely understand. They have a standard answer when asked why they have come to Thailand. “Tourists. Arrived last week. Leaving next week,” more..

Varsities to strike

Aug 30 (DM) The entire academic staff of all 15 Universities, for the first time in the history of the country’s highest seat of education would strike work if the government failed to respond positively to their demand to increase salaries, the FUTA said yesterday. “We have reluctantly decided to stage a one hour picketing from 12.00 noon to 1.00 p.m. on next Tuesday at all Universities including the Open University as a forewarning. more..

Wimal’s Constitutional proposals back on stage

Aug 30 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa says constitutional reforms will be implemented on a staggered basis. Addressing a gathering after the recent launch of the second stage of ‘Nagamupurawara’ project at Nawagampura housing scheme, Minister Weerawansa said that the constitutional reforms would take place in three stages. He said the need for constitutional reforms had been felt in the wake of the conclusion of war. more..

Sri Lanka cabinet backs change for president

Aug 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka's cabinet on Monday backed changing the constitution to allow President Mahinda Rajapakse to run for office for a third term, opening the way for a vote in parliament. Rajapakse, who oversaw the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels last year after decades of civil war, has a firm grip on power and has been criticised for crushing dissent and opposition media. more..

Chinese take ‘Ampara’ too

Aug 30 (DM) Three Chinese working in a road project in Ampara were sentenced to three year imprisonment by the Ampara Magistrate last Thursday, for removing soil from a state land. Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam also issued warrant to arrest the Chinese men. They had removed some 2000 Cubes of earth, worth about Rs. 420,000 illegally from state land in Miriswatta, Eggaloya in Damana area. more..