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Bright Lankan students honored

July 9 (AN) Staff, students and parents of the Sri Lankan International School in Riyadh celebrated on Monday a night of awards and commendations at the Sitteen Palace Hotel. Twenty-six students, including a dozen girls, received their graduation certificates from Sri Lankan Ambassador Ahmed A. Jawad at the ceremony. “It’s really a sad occasion since we are leaving an institution where we learned our classroom and moral lessons from our teachers,” more..

No intention to enter politics – Murali

July 9 (DM) Spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan, who plans to retire from Test cricket, told reporters yesterday that he had no intention of entering politics. Murali is working with a charity organization and has obtained land in the North from President Mahinda Rajapaksa for some projects; but the spinner says he does not need to be in politics to do social work. Born in Kandy to Tamil parents, Muralitharan observed that it was the politicians and more..

No hand in protest - PM

July 9 (DM) The Prime minister of Sri Lanka says that the government is not involved in the hunger strike launched by Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa. "The government has nothing to do with this," said Prime Minister DM Jayaratne. However, he accepted that the government had withdrawn police from the scene of the protest against the panel appointed by the UN secretary general to advise him on alleged war crimes. more..

Govt. nurses protest to press for demands

July 9 (CT) Government nurses staged a demonstration in front of Colombo National Hospital today (July 08) to press for solutions to their problems. Speaking at the protest, president of the Government Nurses Union Saman Ratnapriya detailed their grievances. Mainly among them are the non-approval of a cabinet paper on granting promotion to class one after 12 years of service and extending the nursing degree course duration to four years again. more..

Lawyers protest Mangala for criticizing judiciary

July 9 (CT) A group of lawyers staged a protest at Hulftsdorp in Colombo today (July 08) against recent criticism of the judiciary by MP Mangala Samaraweera. Gathering in front of the Supreme Court complex, around 200 members of the Sri Lanka Independent Lawyers Association marched to the Sri Lanka Bar Association office located nearby. There, they held a demonstration against Mr. Samaraweera, who has asked his parliamentary colleagues to more..

Murali calls his bowling action 'a gift from God'

July 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's world bowling record holder Muttiah Muralitharan on Thursday brushed aside criticism of his bowling action saying his unorthodox style was a gift from God. Muralitharan's 18-year career was marred by controversy due to his bent-arm action -- the result of an elbow deformity since birth -- which helped him impart considerable turn and bounce even on the most placid wickets. more..

Editorial: Theatrics of death fast

July 9 (DM) One wonders how the death fast by Minister Wimal Weerawansa would end. There could be so many ways. The police may remove a worn out, dehydrated minister half way through the fast on the instructions of the president. Or else the minister’s supporters may rush him to a hospital saying his condition has turned bad. Surely the government would not allow Wimal Weerawansa to die on the road and he knows it better than anybody else. more..

Tamils registered again

July 9 (DM) The Police have begun registering Tamils in the Wellawatte area under the police ordinance, the police said. However, the Democratic People’s Front charged the police of registering Tamils under section 23 of the Emergency regulations. The General Secretary of the Democratic People’s Front and Western Provincial Councilor, Dr. N. Kumaragurubaran said that he made his protest to the DIG Colombo, H.M.D Herath on this issue. more..

Sri Lanka as Turkey and Ranil as Deniz

July 9 (DN) I am talking about a country where the lack of a credible opposition is a big weakness in the overall democracy. I am talking about an Opposition Leader who has not won an election in almost 20 years. I am talking about a man who has made a career out of blocking reform. Someone who has allegedly been caught in bed with his former private secretary and yet, strangely some might say, might still survive. more..

3D V AnandaSangari

Majoritarianism and Attempts at Devolution

July 9 (RW) In 1956 S W R D Bandaranaike became Prime Minister, in a coalition of nationalist forces dominated by the Sri Lanka Freedom Party that he established on leaving the UNP. Though initially he had presented himself as the champion of the common man against the elite which had dominated Sri Lankan politics, due to the pressures of political competition his victory was seen as the triumph of Sinhala nationalism. more..

Thousands in Kilinochchi and Mulativu Districts set to loose their voting rights

July 9 (LG) Registry revision process in some parts of the North has ground to a standstill due to the numerous unfilled vacancies at the Grama Niladari Divisions, the lack of resources and the total absence of Election Department officials to monitor how the revision process is carried out in the ground level says CaFFE. The Department of Elections have taken steps to appoint ‘counting officers’ for Grama Niladari divisions that does not have a permanent Grama Niladari while more..

Sri Lanka seeks end to crisis

July 9 (DM) The government says it is seeking a rapid end to the crisis resulting from the protest outside the UN office in Colombo. However External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris said that the government will not obstruct any peaceful protest. He said that it was the democratic right of any group to stage a peaceful protest and on that basis there will not be any attempt to obstruct the fast unto death by Minister Wimal Weerawansa outside the UN office. more..

Jokers are talking as if they engaged in war: Gen. Fonseka

July 9 (NF) “Now jokers are talking as if they are engaged in the war. I will take the full responsibility for the manner in which the war was conducted and its result,” said parliamentarian General Sarath Fonseka at a media briefing held today. “As the former Army commander, I have always stated that I will take full responsibility for the manner in which the war was conducted and its result. Now these jokers are talking as if it was they who engaged in the war. more..

Gen. Fonseka's FR petition postponed to Sep. 27

July 9 (NF) The fundamental rights petition filed by General Sarath Fonseka stating that his rights have been violated and seeking his release from the custody of the Army has been postponed until the 27th of September. This was due to the fact that the Attorney General and lawyers appearing on behalf of the respondent stating that they were yet to receive Fonseka’s objections. The fundamental rights petition was called up before a panel of judges more..

Besieging the UN and Rajapakse governance

July 9 (LG) We are living through a transformative time, a time when the hitherto inconceivable become the norm. Take, for example, the hostage-taking demonstration by Minister Weerawansa and his NFF. Until 6th June, the idea of a senior government minister leading a braying mob to besiege the UN complex in Colombo and turn some of its staff into hostages would have seemed preposterously impossible. more..

‘War crimes’ galore!

July 9 (Island) Ban- Ki- moon, instead of dissipating his energies chasing shadows of elusive evidence of non-existent ‘war crimes’ apparently based on some spurious and hearsay statement of a self -seeking, mentally disturbed General who is blinded by hatred and frustration and probably suffering from PTSD, imagined to have been committed on the penultimate days of the 30-year-old conflict between more..

Sri Lanka: Borrowing to get rich

July 9 (Island) With Sri Lanka vanquishing terrorism from its borders, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his armed forces have hitherto done something which no other country has achieved for a long time. All countries experience terrorism in one form or another and no country is exempt from this scourge. Unfortunately innocent civilians become potential targets and victims of terrorist agendas. On the other hand, the state could also discriminate and more..

Tamil Tigers beckon and wave at Chinese dragon

July 9 (DM) The Tamil tiger website – the Tamilnet, last week made a gesture of welcome to China. The website stated, unlike India and America which are the countries that destroyed the Tamil Tigers, China is a friend, and relationship with it must be cultivated via the Leftist Forces in Sri Lanka (SL). The website added that there were discussions between the Chinese officials and the Tamil activists, and China had declared that even if it couldn’t help in formulating a solution for more..

Without visas Ban Ki-Moon is heading nowhere

July 9 (DM) The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and Sri Lanka have locked horns and are fighting it out in the diplomatic, international and national arenas. Right now Sri Lanka has a sizeable battle on its hands in the international arena. Though it has formidable friends in Russia, China, Iran and the majority of the Non-Aligned Movement Europe and USA are playing an unfriendly role that is pushing Sri Lanka further away from the West to the East. more..

TN CM writes to PM on Lankan Navy attack on fishermen

July 9 (OI) As a fisherman from the state was killed allegedly in an attack by Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today sought immediate intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put an end to such incidents. "I am constrained to bring to your notice the continued atrocities being committed by the Sri Lankan Navy on Tamil Nadu fishermen despite the agreement between the governments of Sri Lanka and India not to cause any physical harm to more..

Sri Lanka has 'satisfactory' mobile broadband: study

July 9 (LBO) Mobile broadband quality of the two largest players in Sri Lanka's western province, where the capital Colombo is located, is satisfactory when compared to promised and international benchmarks, researchers have found. "Mobile broadband users in most places in western Province can expect a reasonable quality unless a rare issue like the distance from a tower or a higher number of simultaneous users hinders it," more..

Dear Trinco - more than a picture postcard beach town

July 9 (LB) Some cities have meandering cows, other Sri Lankan fortified towns wild goats and giant monitor lizards roam in search of fresh water, but nothing competes with seeing hundreds of wild deer, which have turned Trincomalee beach town into their natural wildlife reserve. Whether it’s shopping at the market or sunbathing on one of the many pretty beaches in Trincomalee don’t be surprised to find a deer more..

We can beat Sri Lanka this time: Rahul Dravid

July 9 (DNA) In an interview with DNA, Sri Lanka-bound Rahul Dravid says the key to stay atop the Test rankings is to stop worrying about it. Q: How have you prepared for the Sri Lanka series? A: I had a good time off after the IPL. I started preparing recently for the series. I spent some quality time with the trainer at the NCA. Now I’m feeling good and looking forward to the series. Actually, I’m looking forward to some good practice in Sri Lanka. more..

Going back to “Ham – ban – tot”

July 9 (ST) My Eurasian grandfather Allanson Duff Lamb called it “Ham- ban- tot” simply because unlike the rest of us he couldn’t pronounce the word “Hambantota”. Our previous visit was in January 2005 after the devastation of the tsunami. The Wild Life and Nature Protection Society bungalow in Yala had been booked way ahead of this tragic event, and we had driven through the night along the Ratnapura road via Embilipitiya, more..

Blame the beggars

July 9 (SL) Around 10 beggars have been murdered on the streets of Colombo in the past two months. The government’s response has been to start rounding up beggars. Never mind the killers, of course. They have instead set up a special unit to round up people on the streets, hold them in cop sheds and then send them to ‘rehab’ in the deep south, Hambantota. This is backwards policy, blaming the victim while the killers are still out roaming the streets. more..

Ki’linochchi police try to free SLA soldiers suspected of gang rape

July 9 (TN) Ki’linochchi police informed Ki’linochchi magistrate court Thursday that they have no objection in releasing the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers detained on suspicion of gang raping a mother of two children in the resettled Visuvamadu in Vanni, legal sources in Ki’linochchi said. The suspects, earlier identified by the victim in an identification parade, had filed a petition seeking their release on bail. more..

Fisherman drowns to death while fishing in Jaffna

July 9 (TN) A twenty-one year old fisherman from Kurunakar in Jaffna drowned to death Thursday while fishing in Jaffna lagoon, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, fishermen living in the coastal villages between Kaangkeasanthu’rai and Kaarainakar complain that Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) continues imposing the ‘pass’ system restricting fishing in their seas and of harassment by SLN soldiers while they are engaged in fishing. more..

Sri Lankan government speeds up slum evictions in Colombo

July 9 (wsws) The government is moving to speed up the military-supervised eviction of thousands of poor families who live in Colombo’s slums. On June 28, divisional secretariats were ordered to provide details of “unauthorised” structures within two weeks. The orders came from the defence ministry, which directed the UDA and the RLDC to conduct a survey of all shanties and huts on government land, reservations and waterways. more..

'Criticizing Judges without following proper procedure a dangerous trend'

July 9 (DN) Mangala Samaraweera, MP on July 2 abusing his privilege as a MP, unleashed a vituperative attack on the higher, Judiciary of the country and any right thinking citizen of the country, taking an objective view of the manner in which the attack was made would not fail to see that his intentions are dangerously sinister and clearly an attempt to send out a message of intimidation to the Judges. more..

Jaffna to develop as a knowledge hub

July 9 (MoD) An IT sector delegation led by the Board of Investment recently took several important steps in strengthening coordination and facilitating investments to develop Jaffna as a knowledge hub. The objective of the IT-related Investment Promotion Mission to Jaffna was to encourage IT companies to start operations in Jaffna by tapping into the peninsula's educated workforce. more..

Destroying mosquito breeding places: Defence Ministry co-operation sought

July 9 (MoD) The Health Ministry has sought the co-operation of the Defence Ministry in eradicating dengue by taking action to destroy mosquito breeding places. The Defence Ministry accordingly has agreed to give the co-operation of defence forces for the national campaign, the Health Ministry said in a press release yesterday. On a request made by Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Maithripala Sirisena, more..

'Big Ban lie' - Ki Moon misled media

July 9 (MoD) UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has misled the media and the public by giving the impression that the UNDP Regional Center situated in Sri Lanka had been closed as a result of the protest being carried out by Minister Wimal Weerawansa outside the UN country office in Colombo, press on Friday reported. Citing a UN Colombo official, daily mirror reported that preparations were underway for several months now to close down the UNDP Regional Center in Sri Lanka and more..

Wimal gets emotional

July 9 (LP) Leader of the NFF and Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s eyes were filled with tears for the first time yesterday (08) during his fast unto death. It was an emotional moment as Minister Weerawansa’s daughter paid a visit to see her father. She was accompanied by the wife of Wimal Weerawansa. Tears were pouring from the Minister’s eyes as he embraced his daughter who was also crying. more..

Parliament concentrates on the failure of hearing court cases on time

July 9 (LP) Parliament had discussions yesterday on the failure of hearing court cases and also giving verdicts on due time. Some receive verdicts of justice after they have passed away or else obtained justice after they are mentally worn out and as a result, Deputy Minister of Justice Reginold Cooray focuses to take necessary action to prevent such delay. Minister of Justice Athauda Senivirathne stated that to avoid further failure of hearing court cases and more..

Mangala’s statement in Parliament: SLFP Lawyers hold massive demo

July 9 (DN) The SLFP Lawyers Association yesterday held a mammoth demonstration to condemn the statement made by Managala Samaraweera MP in Parliament recently criticising the country’s Judiciary. The demonstration commenced near the Lawyers’ complex in Hulftsdorp and proceeded upto the BASL Head office in Hulftsdorp. Senior Attorney Upali Senaratne said the country has utmost confidence in the Judiciary for its robust independence and fearless integrity. more..

Import restrictions on flying devices to be removed

July 9 (N360) Civil Aviation Authority says steps are now underway to allow the importation of “all types of flying devices” to the country which were restricted during the war time. This move, the CAA says is aimed at boosting the domestic aviation sector. Deputy Director of Aviation Security of the CAA said, “We are awaiting Defense Ministry Clearance”, which he said is expected to come very soon. more..

Education in Western Province takes massive downward dip

July 9 (LT) Out of the 126278 school candidates who sat the G.C.E. O/L examination in 2009 from WesternProvince, only 25877 have qualified to study in G.C.E. A/L classes which is 20.5% of the total number of students who sat the examination. This was stated by Chief Minister for Western Province Prasanna Ranatunga responding to a question posed by JVP PC Member Sarath Pathirana. more..

'Country is already facing a lot of problems, says Ranil

July 9 (NF) Despite the fact that there are issues pertaining to certain decisions taken by the United Nations on Sri Lanka, there is a manner in which one should act regarding them, pointed out the Opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe joining the 4th day of the Committee Stage debate on the budget yesterday. "We are ready to render our support if the government will table a people-friendly constitution. more..

'Recall of Bhune a serious step'

July 9 (NF) The recall of the resident representative of UN, Neil Bhune from Sri Lanka is a serious step, says UNP parliamentarian Kabir Hashim. He was responding to a statement by Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L. Peiris, when the fast unto death being carried out opposite the UN compound in Colombo, came under discussion in parliament today. more..

'Ageing population will force Sri Lanka to import labour by 2025'

July 9 (NF) It won't be long before Sri Lanka would be compelled to get labour from other countries, says Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena. He noted that by 2025, Sri Lanka would have such a large ageing population that labour would have to be brought in from other countries. He also observed that there had not been a government that did not obtain loans. more..

India to manipulate Sri Lanka through Varadharaja Perumal

July 9 (LT) India is preparing to make a political intervention in the North and the East of Sri Lanka through the former chief minister for North-Eastern Provincial Council Varadharaja Perumal. The recently formed ‘Tamil Party Alliance’ is to be used for this purpose say reports. The ‘Tamil Party Alliance’ was formed by merging 9 Tamil political parties including TULF, EPRLF, PLOTE, TMVP and EPDP. more..

Sri Lankan Minister continues farce

July 9 (GV) The leader of the National Fiefdom Front (NFF) Mrs Wimala Weerahansa continued her farce unto death in front of the Unverified Notions (UN) office near Bulls Road in Colombo yesterday – only God knows why. Large crowds were seen gathering at the scene and shouting insults at a Chinese man in a show of moral support of the Cabinet Minister. Mr. Saman Gonagama – a protester at the scene speaking exclusively to Banyan News Reporters said that more..

All UN offices open in SL - Mohan Samaranayake

July 9 (CT) The UN has not decided to close down any of their offices in Sri Lanka, National Information Officer of the UN office in Colombo, Mohan Samaranayake said. Speaking to media, he said that all UN offices in Sri Lanka, including the Colombo office will function today as usual. He has also clarified that the UNDP office in Independence Square has been relocated to Bangkok according to a decision made earlier in the year. more..

'US $10 billion targeted from ten industries'

July 9 (LNP) The Government is looking at ten industries in Sri Lanka that will earn US$ one billion each in the future. IT/BPO, clinical trials and research industries are a few among the ten industries that have been earmarked as main export income earners of the country. These industries can drastically change the nature of exports of the country, Finance and Economic Development Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera said. more..

Editorial: Mending holes in the purse

July 9 (LNP) Sri Lanka is all out to ward off many external foes quite rightly so having neutralised the threat of terrorism effectively. But, sadly, she has taken an equally dangerous insidious enemy for granted. It is the rampant waste of public funds. Last week, Secretary to the Treasury Dr. P.B. Jayasundera revealed that the drug purchases for government hospitals a year cost only ten per cent of the annual waste in the public sector. more..

Ranil urged US Govt to pressurise Sri Lanka -Prof GL Peiris

July 9 (DN) Minister Prof GL Peiris told Parliament yesterday that Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has requested the United States to pressurise the Sri Lankan Government to publish an 'Incident Report' on alleged human rights violations and that war crimes took place during the last phase of the humanitarian operations to rescue people from the LTTE. He said this request by the Opposition Leader had been published in the US State Department publication titled Sri Lanka: more..

Palestine envoy tells Prime Minister: UN shouldn't interfere in Lanka's internal affairs

July 9 (MoD) The United Nations should not interfere with Sri Lanka's internal affairs, Palestine Ambassador to Sri Lanka Dr. Anwar H. Alegha said during an official meeting with Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne in Parliament yesterday. Dr. Alegha said the UN undertakings are clearly biased towards world power agendas. more..

Supreme Court directs AG: Issue rule on Irida Lanka Editor

July 9 (DN) The Supreme Court yesterday directed Attorney General President’s Counsel Mohan Pieris, who appeared as Amicus, to issue a Rule against the Irida Lanka Editor and charge him for contempt of court in respect of an article published in the newspaper. The Supreme Court also ordered CID to investigate on an authorship of an alleged article published in the Irida Lanka newspaper. more..

Need for special Courts to tackle public sector waste, corruption acknowledged

July 9 (Island) Justice Secretary Suhada Gamlath says special Courts may be necessary to tackle public sector waste, corruption and irregularities. The recently appointed President’s Counsel Gamlath says setting up of special Courts will be the prerogative of the Judicial Services Commission. The official was responding to a query by The Island whether the government would take tangible action to curb mounting public sector corruption as part of its strategy to end a backlog of cases. more..