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Nirupama Rao to assess Indian aid to displaced Tamils

Aug 30 (Hindu) Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao is arriving here on Monday on a four-day visit for a first-hand assessment of India's assistance to the nearly three lakh displaced Tamils. Besides exchanging views with the authorities here on ties between the two nations, Ms. Rao is scheduled to travel to some of the areas where the displaced civilians were resettled as well as the camps that house those awaiting resettlement. more..

Vanquishing the victor

Aug 30 (ST) The ICCPR guarantees to every citizen the right and the opportunity to be elected at periodic elections to ensure the free expression of the will of the electors. Sri Lanka, as a party to this Convention has an obligation under Article 2 of the ICCPR to ensure that all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction are granted the rights recognized in the Convention. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 30. 08. 2010

UNP gets draft of amendments

Aug 31 (SL) The UNP today (30) said it has received a copy of the proposed constitutional amendments. The party has also said it would oppose the government’s decision to continue with the executive presidency by extending the terms of office held by the Executive President. The UNP has said it would formally respond to the reforms proposals after the party’s Working Committee meeting on Wednesday (1). more..

Sri Lanka govt inaction on theft seen threatening spice trade

Aug 31 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government's failure to crack down on theft in spice plantations is threatening the industry, a key foreign exchange earner and provider of employment, a senior official has warned. Christopher Fernando, chairman of the Spices and Allied Products Producers’ and Traders’ Association (SAPPTA), said theft of produce was a serious concern to the sector especially at a time when it was trying to increase production. more..

Arrests made in maid's nail torture, Sri Lankan officials say

Aug 31 (CNN) A Saudi employer and his wife, who are accused of torturing a Sri Lankan housemaid by hammering nails into her body, have been arrested in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, officials at the Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry said Monday. Saudi Arabian authorities could not be reached immediately for verification. No further details were available. The two suspects have not been named. more..

Activist seeks international probe

Aug 31 (BBC) A journalist union leader who was abducted and tortured by yet unidentified group says he will seek international justice as authorities in Sri Lanka have failed to bring the culprits to books. Poddala Jayantha was one of the remaining journalist leaders in Sri Lanka when he was abducted, beaten and alter thrown away from a vehicle on 01 June 2010. The former President of the SLWJA, Mr. Jayantha has since left the country on security grounds. more..

'Ban' housemaids to Saudi

Aug 31 (BBC) Human rights activists in Sri Lanka have urged the Sri Lankan government to ban sending housemaids to Saudi Arabia until the country signs international agreements on labour rights. Opposition MP Ranjan Ramanayake also accused the government of failing to provide enough assistance and compensation to the housemaid LP Ariyawathie, who was tortured in Saudi Arabia. “She is entitled to Rs. 100,000 from her insurance but she is only paid Rs. 15,000,” more..

Rajapaksa 'on way to third term'

Aug 31 (BBC) The Cabinet of ministers in Sri Lanka has approved the proposals to amend the constitution paving the way for a sitting president to contest more than two terms. Secretary General of the largest political party in the ruling coalition Minister Maithreepala Sirisena told journalists in Colombo that a sitting president could contest as many times as he or she wishes, according the proposed amendment. more..

Five Jaffna schools to be rehabilitated under "Isuru" project

Aug 30 (MoD) Five leading schools in the Jaffna peninsula are to be rehabilitated under the ISURU project, Jaffna zonal education official said. Accordingly, Chunnakam Skandavarodhya, Chulipuram Victoria College, Karaveddy Vigneswara, Puttur Somaskanda and Varany Maha Vidyalaya have already been identified for the rehabilitation under the project. The foundations stone for new buildings had already been laid four months ago and now tenders are being called from contractors. more..

"North-South Business Bridge" to grab Northern youths to country's productivity

Aug 31 (MoD) The government has initiated a "North-South Business Bridge Program as part of the Gampaha Integrated Accelerated Program, bridging North and South towards sustainable development. The aim of the programme is to make aware Jaffna youth on modern material and equipment and disseminate the business knowledge and technology from successful entrepreneurs of the Gampaha District to the Northern youth to boost opportunities to more..

'Outline of submission made to commission on lessons learnt and reconciation'

Aug 31 (TC) In response to an invitation from the Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC), I appeared before the Commission at 2 p.m. on Wednesday the 25th of August in Colombo having sent a written submission ahead. I considered this a performance of a civic duty on my part. In my oral presentation, based on scribbled Talking Points and more..

What has happened to Political Parties?

Aug 31 (Island) While the deputy leader of the UNP is campaigning for a grand opposition including the UNF and the Democratic National Front headed by Gen. Sarath Fonseka, one of the constituent parties of the UNF, the SLMC that contested under elephant symbol in the last Parliamentary election, has taken a step to move away gradually from the UNF towards the UPFA government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

CFA & misconception of int’l ‘safety net’

Aug 31 (Island) Before leaving for New Delhi for a three-day visit, the then Premier, Ranil Wickremesinghe, ordered the armed forces to observe a month-long ceasefire with the LTTE with effect from midnight, December 24, 2001. The UNP leader, Wickremesinghe, was responding to the LTTE’s decision to declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities, announced two days before, in the wake of the PA’s defeat at the December 5, 2001, parliamentary elections. more..

Sex and Sri Lanka Cricket

Aug 31 (Island) Sri Lanka Cricket gave an erotic touch to the country’s representatives in the Champions League when it was announced that ‘Musli Power’ a ‘sex enhancer’ will be the sponsor of Wayamba, the champions of the Inter-Provincial T-20 tournament. However, the endorsement hasn’t gone down well with Sri Lankan cricket supporters as there have been several moral and ethical questions being posed about the association. more..

MR’s third term, mosquitoes and Ranil’s opposition

Aug 30 (SL) All government MPs have been advised to stay put in the country, expecting constitutional amendments to come up in parliament and what grand confusion there is, in the opposition. The JVP slams UNP for discussing constitutional changes with Rajapaksa. UNP wants MR to provide proposed changes in writing. Karu J as Senior Deputy Leader wants a broad alliance outside parliament to challenge MR’s “rogue government”. more..

Arrest warrant on NCP agency Chairman, Accountant

Aug 31 (NF) Arrest warrants were issued on the Chairman of the Development Construction and Machinery Agency of the North Central Provincial Council and the Chief Accountant of the Provincial Ministry by the Anuradhapura magistrate's court. The warrant was issued against them as they were evading court regarding a case for failure to include the EPF payments of 80 workers attached to the Development Construction and Machinery Agency of the North Central Provincial Council. more..

Boston Lanka News Edition: August 30, 2010

Squatting Toilets may be best

Aug 31 (SL) Recent studies have shown that the traditional squat toilet may be healthier than the Western seated toilet. While this idea has had currency for years, recent studies have precisely measured the anatomical differences between sitting and squatting and found that squatting may be both easier and faster. Squatting has been found to have health benefits, including preventing painful haemorrhoids. It has also been found to be a faster method of relieving oneself. more..

Shuttle bus service in Kandy to curb traffic

Aug 31 (LB) Police have forwarded a proposal to the Central Provincial Council seeking permission to permit vehicles of Kandy city residents only to enter into the city, while those living outside would have to enter the city through a shuttle bus service having parked their vehicles outside the city limits. The SDIG of the Central Province, Gamini Navaratne has made this suggestion in order to curb the large inflow of traffic into Kandy city from the outstations. more..

Mass animal slaughter at Arulmigu Sri Maha Bathrakaliyam Kovil

Aug 31 (SL) A kovil in Chilaw, namely the Arulmigu Sri Maha Bathrakaliyam Kovil was the cause of much commotion a few days ago. The slaughter of 300 goats and a countless number of chickens was to take place in celebration and devotion to the goddess Kali. This annual festival and slaughter has been taking place for over 13 generations and has in recent years, come into the radars of more..

Exam paper found in Anuradhapura bookshop

Aug 31 (NF) Police have begun investigations into the incident where an Year 5 Scholarship Exam question paper had been given to a bookshop in Anuradhapura. The probe has begun on a complaint by the Commissioner General of Examinations and the police were able to detect several photocopies of the question paper. The owner of the bookshop has already been taken into custody. Suspicions have arisen whether the question paper had been given to the bookshop owner by more..

Canvassing constitutional reforms in true spirit

Aug 31 (NS) The talks between the Government and the main opposition UNP on the proposed constitutional reforms appear to be just a formality and part of Parliamentary Democracy practiced as a mere tradition. In today’s political context, the Government is confident or may be over confident that they are in a position to garner the necessary support to amend the Constitution as and when they please despite what the Opposition has to say. more..

Rehabilitation should follow resettlement

Aug 31 (NS) I cried silently as 64-year-old Kanagam Sivakumar related her story. I shared her ordeal emotionally because I underwent a similar trauma 27 years ago when my house was burnt. Kanagam’s plight is worse. I broke my journey to Jaffna last Saturday south of Kilinochchi and walked to a white tent on the road side. It was drizzling. Kanagam who was cooking outside was taking the utensils inside. She greeted us with a smile. more..

The point of animal sacrifice

Aug 31 (SL) There has been much commotion about the recent (and ancient) animal sacrifice in Chilaw. On the news has drawn hundreds of comments, most condemning the practice. There is no similar condemnation, however, of the daily killing of thousands of animals to supply the appetites of Sri Lankan omnivores. The issue cannot be the killing, as that is done everyday, displayed in every market and supermarket. The issue, therefore, must be killing and not eating. more..

2300 vacancies go abegging

Aug 31 (LB) Due to bureaucratic bungling and University authorities turning a blind eye to syllabus requirements and changes in course structures, many would-be varsity aspirants have sought other pastures and not registered with local universities to follow higher studies, even though they have been selected. Meanwhile, universities have failed to fill up these undergraduate vacancies in campuses islandwide. more..

Local, foreign help sought to restore Sigiriya ladies

Aug 31 (ST) The Ministry of National Heritage and Cultural Affairs has sought local and foreign expertise in its struggle to restore the discoloured frescoes of the historic Sigiriya rock fortress. Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary Wimal Rupasinghe said through there is no major damage caused to the frescoes there is a problem of discolouring of the frescoes. more..

Waltzing with the feline kind

Aug 31 (DM) Ooty, an owl and Tommo a pussycat were seated on a bench watching the happenings in Gaul Face–a park–an unusual one stretching out long and narrow by the edge of the sea. The place was teeming with people. Gangs of young, middle aged and old men and women were walking around the green aimlessly enjoying the freedom of the vast green while a salty breeze played on their faces. Kids enjoyed the outing most. more..

SLFP: From abolition to extension of Executive Presidency

Aug 31 (DM) Three weeks ago, when two UNP parliamentarians crossed over to the Government we predicted that the President Mahinda Rajapaksa would again turn towards extending the number of terms a person can be elected to the post of President of the country. The prediction has now come true, with the crisis in the SLMC, the main Muslim political party, beginning to emerge early last week. more..

Public should be joining in dengue battle

Aug 31 (ST) The public could be doing a lot more to help eradicate dengue and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites, according to health officials. Colombo is a veritable breeding ground for the dengue mosquito, with public housing schemes and leading schools found to be especially negligent about keeping their premises clean. Last year, some 4,810 Colombo residents were hit by dengue. more..

Many sex workers executive grade female officers

Aug 31 (LB) 35,000 to 47,000 full time professional prostitutes operate islandwide, says Dr.Shantha Hettiarachhi of the Health Education Bureau, quoting a recent survey. However, if part time prostitutes also came under this survey the number could have been much more, according to Dr. Hettiarachchi. A considerable number among these part time sex workers are said to be executive grade female officers. more..

Light at the end of a tunnel

Aug 31 (DM) The excavation of the 13 kilometer tunnel of the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project (UKHP) - a major component of the master plan- was completed on August 17th. A team of engineers and media personnel walked down the tunnel for the first time on last Wednesday. The US$ 384 million project that will add 150 MWs to the national grid is scheduled to be commissioned before the end of 2011. Drawing attention of the journalists to the history of the UKHP, more..

'I will terminate Dilka’s media life'

Aug 31 (LeN) The UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake who participated in the Derana 360 TV show whose convener was Dilka Samanmali had threatened her father menacingly over the phone that he would put an end to Samanmali’s media life. The Parents of Samanmali live in Australia. Her father is a friend of Ramanayake, it is learnt. It is reported that during the Derana program 360, Ramanayake had been questioned on some personal matters of his. more..

Sri Lanka new port to China-Lanka firm

Aug 31 (LBO) A concession to build and operate a 450 million US dollar container terminal in an expanded port in Colombo port has been awarded to Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence and China Merchants Holdings, an official said. The decision was taken at a meeting of Sri Lanka's cabinet Monday, chairman of the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority Priyath Wickrama told a forum in Colombo. Construction of the new terminal is expected to start within six months, more..

Misunderstanding India!

Aug 31 (DM) Two or three news reports, and ‘quick follow-up’ over the same event or an extension thereof, and you now have evidence as to how ignorance could become an avoidable embarrassment for Governments. Worse still, it would also go into the record-books without ‘Corrections’, and thus leave lingering suspicions in the minds of future generations of Sri Lankans on the status of present-day bilateral ties with neighbouring India. more..

Death of former Minister Lakshman Jayakody

Aug 31 (DN) Former Minister Lakshman Jayakody passed away at the General Hospital, Colombo after a brief illness, yesterday . He was 80. Born on August 24,1930, Lakshman Jayakody was serving as a Senior Presidential Advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He was a Cabinet Minister of Buddhist Affairs from 1994 -2004. He was a Sri Lanka Freedom Party stalwart and was educated at Trinity College, Kandy and Ananda College, Colombo. more..

Army shooters clinch handgun championship

Aug 31 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army team clinched the year's championship in National Handgun Championship 2010, held at ICSP range at Welisara Naval Base on Sunday. He the President Mahinda Rajapaksa witnessed the event as Chief Guest in the company of the First Lady Mrs Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Tisara Samarasinghe and IGP Mahinda Balasuriya. more..

Editorial: Imagine there’s no havens

Aug 31 (G&M) Sri Lankan Tamils in need of protection should not have to hide out for days in Bangkok safe houses, and pay $50,000 to smugglers to board a dilapidated fishing trawler to Canada. One of the 492 passengers aboard the MV Sun Sea died at sea during the journey from Thailand to the coast of British Columbia. Now, according to a member of Bangkok's Tamil community, another group of Tamils is waiting in a five-storey apartment block close to more..

Editorial: 20,000 Indian workforce

Aug 31 (DM) The Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) had 80,000 troops at its peak. However, most of the time, the strength of the force remained around 70,000. Right now thousands of Indians who use the visa on arrival facility to seek work here are employed in restaurants, industries, paddy fields and even at houses as domestic workers. A 20,000 workforce means one fourth of the strength maintained by the IPKF at its peak. more..

Addressing needs of stressed children

Aug 31 (IRIN) Few studies of children in Sri Lanka have examined the daily stress they continue to face since the tsunami and civil war, focusing instead on the direct impact of both, according to two studies in the latest Child Development journal. Family trauma and economic problems, including domestic violence, the death of relatives or losing access to healthcare, housing and schooling can be more closely related to a child’s mental health than the 2004 tsunami or more..

Mendis leaves as CEO: Dictatorial Nishantha Ranatunga eyes top post

Aug 31 (Island) Former Sri Lanka captain Duleep Mendis, who held the position of CEO at Sri Lanka Cricket for the last six years will leave the job today after a successful time running the sport. Duleep was harshly treated by the current Interim Committee, who virtually sidelined this much respected cricketer due to what could be seen as personal gains and last month the Interim Committee decided that his services were no longer required. more..

'Polythene ban impracticable'

Aug 31 (DN) Banning polythene has become impracticable as no successful alternative is found, Central Environmental Authority (CEA) Chairman Charitha Herath told the Daily News yesterday. He said the CEA has taken an initiative with stakeholders to introduce measures to minimize negative impact on the environment and human health due to thin polythene. Herath said the Post Consumer Plastic and Polythene Waste Management Unit (PCPPWMU) had been established attached to the CEA. more..

India to construct new Agriculture and Engineering Faculty for Jaffna University

Aug 31 (MoD) The Indian Government has consented to construct an Agriculture and Engineering faculty equipped with hi-tech laboratories for the Jaffna University on a 300-acre site in Ariviyal, in the Kilinochchi District, Minister of Higher Education S. B. Dissanayake said. Minister S.B Diaasanayaka who had a series of discussions at the Jaffna University last Sunday, more..

Middle East jobs: New guidelines to be mooted

Aug 31 (DN) The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is contemplating to introduce a new set of guidelines when sending migrant workers to the Middle East for employment. The initiative which is still in the discussion stage, is to focus on enhancing safety and welfare migrant workers, SLBFE sources said. Meanwhile, in the backdrop of a female domestic worker returning to the island from Saudi Arabia suspected to have undergone physical torture, more..

Editorial: A rusty nail in our conscience

Aug 31 (LNP) A protest was staged in Colombo yesterday against the brutal torture of a Sri Lankan housemaid, L. P. Ariyawathie, in Saudi Arabia. Last Friday, a team of doctors at the Kamburupitya Hospital performed a three-hour surgery and removed pins and nails from her body but had to leave some mettle pieces embedded in her flesh as their removal would have damaged her nerves. The government has launched an investigation into the incident, we are told. more..

President’s vehicle reserve increases from Rs 3 billion to Rs 241 billion within four years

Aug 31 (LT) When Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected as the President of Sri Lanka Democractic Republic in 2005 the value of vehicles allocated to him was Rs 30,910,000/-. This has been increased to Rs 2,410,346,000/- by the year 2009. Accordingly during the last four years a sum of Rs 2,379,436,000/- has been reserved for President’s vehicles Unit. more..

Four guava varieties introduced

Aug 31 (DN) Fruit Crop Research and Development Institute has introduced four guava varieties. They are named Horana Rathu, Horana Sudu, Pubudu and Kanthi. Horana Rathu is an oval shaped guava variety with red flesh, weigh in 200g and a yield of 45kgs per tree per a year can be obtained. Horana Sudu is a more sweeter and has a round shape with white flesh. Its weight is 230g and a yield of 50 kg per tree per a year can be yielded. more..

Hundreds of fish die in fishy way

Aug 31 (DM) More than a thousand valuable female fish imported from Malaysia to stock the Dambulla, Ibbankatuwa Inland Fishery Breeding Centre have died in a mysterious manner, sources said. They said some of the dead fish had been sold for consumption while the others had been buried. Sources said the Dambulla police had found about 500 of the dead fish hidden in the jungle. Police alleged that the Inland Fish Breeding Centre Administrator and more..

Ariyawathie’s many visitors cause problems

Aug 31 (Island) Hundreds of people visit the Kamburupitiya Hospital to see Ariyawathie, who recently underwent a three-hour operation to remove nails and pins driven into her body by her Saudi Arabian employer. This has become a problem to others in her ward and the staff, according to hospital authorities who said that they would be forced to take steps to restrict the number of her visitors. more..

More powers for ministers

Aug 31 (DM) The new Constitutional Amendments will authorize the Cabinet Ministers to appoint heads of departments, commissioners and directors of state institutions, the government announced yesterday. The new amendments which allows the President to contest for more than two terms, to reduce the composition of the Constitutional Council from the present 10 members to five and to make it compulsory for the President to come to parliament at least once in three months more..