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No need to panic about expert panel: Karu

July 9 (DM) Since Sri Lanka has not signed the Rome Statute which enables citizens of a country to be tried in the International Criminal Court, there is no need to create a commotion regarding the UN expert panel, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya said. According to Mr. Jayasuriya since opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister in 2002 refrained from signing the Rome Statute, Sri Lanka does not have to abide by its regulations. more..

Weerawansa’s protest a comedy — JVP

July 9 (Island) DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, who attended the media briefing given by DNA Leader Gen. Sarath Fonseka, dismissed the ongoing hunger strike opposite the UN office in Colombo as a comedy. Dissanayake said: "The script is by Mahinda Rajapaksa; the main comedian is Wimal Weerawansa and the production cost is borne by the Sri Lanka police." Dissanayake said that the DNA too accepted any political party’s right to stage demonstrations and protests. more..

TRC recovers 400 lost hand phones, informs public how to trace missing phones

July 9 (Island) The TRC has traced over 400 mobile phones that had been reported lost. TRC Director General Anusha Pelpita said nearly 2,500 complaints had been received by the Commission over loss of mobile phones and 400 of them had been recovered. He said that all mobile phones had an IMMI number and if a complaint was made to the Police indicating that number, more..

President advises children on value of freedom

July 9 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa while expressing his delight at the large number of children present at Temple Trees yesterday to witness the launch of the book Wedana Manasata Aharak (Nutrition for the Growing Mind) written by Ven. Badagiriye Somawansa Thera, gave the youngsters a number of advises on the value of freedom, expressing their natural talents and how to become a productive and erudite citizen. more..

Whither case against Cader?

July 9 (DM) Moves are underway to withdraw the indictment against UNP Kandy District Parliamentarian Abdul Cader who is an accused in a double murder case before Kandy High Court, legal sources said. At the last hearing when the murder trial was taken up the defence counsel had informed court that there was discussion with the Attorney General to remove the case from the trial role. more..

Govt. agreed says Ranil; Govt says NO

July 9 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament yesterday that the UN had appointed the advisory panel on alleged human rights violations consequent on a joint-statement signed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, in response, External Affairs Minister G.L.Peiris said that there was no connection between the joint statement issued by the UN Secretary General and the government, and the appointment of the UN panel. more..

LLRC formal sittings tomorrow

July 9 (DM) The formal sittings of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission headed by former Attorney General C.R.De Silva will begin tomorrow. “The Commission expects to start its public hearing in August. After the recording of statements from witnesses we would visit North –East to hold public hearing their as it will be convenient and hassle free for witnesses who want to give evidence,” Mr. de Silva said. more..

No war crimes committed in Sri Lanka - SF

July 9 (Island) Former Army Commander and DNA Leader General Sarath Fonseka yesterday vehemently denied the allegations that war crimes had been committed during the last stages of the military operations in the Vanni. He said that had war crimes been committed in Sri Lanka, he would have been the first person to get into trouble. He was answering queries by journalists about more..

Sri Lankan motorist get directions from the heavens

July 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Sala GIS (Geo Information System) has developed the country's first GPS (Global Positioning System) map, where a space-based network of radio navigation system satellites can assist motorist find directions and plot routes. Sala ProSat is the first company to offer GPS navigation that works in Sri Lankan as local maps and landscapes had been already programmed to the system. more..

Sri Lanka denies shutting down UN offices

July 9 (Xinhua) There has not been any decision to shut down UN offices in Sri Lankan capital, External Affairs Minister G. L. Peiris told parliament on Friday. "Reports of a closure are incorrect. Its country representative Neil Buhne was only called for consultations," Peiris said. Peiris referred to a statement from the spokesman for the UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon which said "the secretary-general finds it unacceptable that more..

Sri Lanka minister resigns, vows to pursue anti-UN fast

July 9 (AFP) A Sri Lankan minister quit his post Friday and vowed to pursue an anti-UN hunger strike, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon recalled his top envoy in Colombo and closed the world body's besieged offices there. Housing Minister Wimal Weerawansa had begun a "death fast" Thursday outside the compound of the UNDP to protest a UN probe into alleged rights abuses committed in the final stages of Sri Lanka's decades-long civil war. more..

Sri Lankan president rejects death fasting minister's resignation

July 9 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapksa here Friday rejected the resignation of his minister who is on a death fast opposite the UN compound in Colombo, a spokesman of the minister said. Wimal Weerawansa, the minister of Engineering Services resigned his ministerial job on Friday as he lay on a mat inside a temporary enclosure. "I am aware that accusations can be leveled that I have chosen the wrong course of action. more..

Sri Lanka a victim of global garment politics

July 10 (JS) The Sri Lankan government has failed to understand the serious repercussions of its decision not to accept EU conditions that would have extended the GSP+ duty-free trade scheme for another six months. The country has been caught up in the politics of the global garment industry, asserts David Birnbaum, and the real losers will be workers who desperately need factory jobs. The global garment industry has always been politicised. more..

Apollo Hospitals considers to enter Sri Lanka again

July 10 (PTI) Four years after exiting Sri Lanka after failing to stave off a hostile takeover from a local tycoon, Apollo Hospitals on Friday said it is reconsidering to enter the island nation's hospital segment. "We are re-considering Sri Lanka now. Political situation is far more stable. So we are very happy to re-look at Sri Lanka," Apollo Group Executive Director Sangita Reddy told. In 2006, Apollo Hospitals decided to sell its 30 per cent stake in Lanka Hospital Corporation more..

CBK denies 'influencing' GSP+

July 10 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s former President, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga, has denied accusations that she influenced the European Union to withdraw the special trade concessions to Sri Lanka. The EU has decided to temporarily withdraw the concession, widely known as GSP+, from 15 August as Sri Lanka has failed to respond to its demands on improving the island’s human rights situation. more..

Chariot festival brings Hindus and Christians together

July 10 (UCAN) The ravages of war usually widen divisions between people, but the end of Sri Lanka’s civil conflict has seen Catholic and Hindus forging closer links. Religious festivals are playing a prominent role in helping Catholics and Hindus live together as one community instead of being divided along spiritual lines. In the Jaffna peninsula, healing within the Tamil community through joint Catholic-Hindu participation in festivals is very much in focus. more..

Budget 2010 passed by 68-vote majority

July 10 (CT) Parliament passed the government budget for 2010 by a 68-vote majority this evening (July 09). At a vote, 138 members of the ruling UPFA and UNP's Abdul Cader supported the budget proposals. The UPFA was without NFF leader Wimal Weerawana, who is staging a fast unto death in front of the UN Office in Colombo. Seventy one members of the UNP, DNA and TNA opposed the budget.

Maldives praises Rajapaksa's role in ending pol stand-off

July 10 (PTI) Maldives on Friday praised the role of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for helping end a stand-off between the government and the opposition-led parliament that had forced the Cabinet to resigned en masse on June 29. The ministers were reappointed as Rajapaksa undertook a one-day goodwill visit to Maldives on July 7 to help mediate in the political crisis. more..

MP calls for national policy for home-based workers

July 10 (CT) UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana has called for the introduction of a national policy for home-based workers in Sri Lanka. Home-based workers are an important segment in the country's economy, he told the committee stage debate of budget 2010 yesterday (July 08). HomeNet Sri Lanka has laid the groundwork for a policy for these workers and is now in the process of collecting one million signatures to a petition to be presented to the government, he noted. more..

'We shot ourselves in the foot '

July 10 (AD) Foreign policies cannot be formulated on the streets and diplomacy cannot be achieved through protests and blackmails said Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations at Geneva. He made this statement, commenting on the protests and the hunger strike going on outside the UN office in Colombo. The only use for the hunger strike is that it serves to expand Wimal Weerawansa’s waste plan, more..

Malinga returns to Test squad

July 10 (CI) Fast bowler Lasith Malinga has been named in the 16-member Sri Lanka squad for the three-Test series against India beginning on July 18, setting him up for a return to Tests after two-and-a-half years . However, there was no place for spinner Ajantha Mendis, who tormented India during their previous Test visit two years ago. Malinga played his last Test against England at Galle in 2007 more..

Debrief News - 09. 07. 2010

Sri Lanka relaxes monetary policy

July 10 (LBO) Sri Lanka has relaxed monetary policy cutting policy rates by 25 basis points and raising its target from reserve money, the narrowest money supply through which final transaction in the economy are cleared. The central bank cut its reverse repo rate to 9.50 percent and the repo rate to 7.25 percent and increased its annual (average) increase for reserve money to 334 billion rupees, or a 21.2 percent growth, up from an original target of 14.5 percent. more..

Sri Lanka construction industry faces labour shortage

July 10(LBO) Sri Lanka's construction industry faces a possible labour shortage given the reluctance of youth to join the vocation if a post-war building boom gets underway, an official said. Rohan Tudawe, of the Tudawe Brothers construction firm, said almost 500,000 people are employed in construction which contributes about 6.5 percent of gross domestic product. But he said there are few new entrants into the trade with school leavers preferring alternative work. more..

Nine countries and the EU 'dismayed' by blockade of UN office in Sri Lanka

July 10 (UND) Hot off the presses, ten embassies in Colombo issue a joint statement on the protests that forced the UN to close it's offices in Sri Lanka. STATEMENT BY HEADS OF MISSION OF GERMANY, UK, US, FRANCE, ITALY, SWITZERLAND, THE NETHERLANDS, ROMANIA, NORWAY AND THE EU DELEGATION. We are deeply dismayed by the blockade of the UN-compound this week in Colombo and the role played in it by a Government minister. more..

Protest against Sri Lankan President in Tamil Nadu

July 10 (ANI) Activists of Hindu Makkal Katchi (a political outfit in Tamil Nadu) staged a protest in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore city on Friday against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for not allowing the United Nations Committee to investigate into the war crimes that were committed at the end of Sri Lanka's 25-year conflict with the LTTE. The protestors raised slogans against Rajapaksa and more..

Over 1000 abortions daily

July 10 (DM) In a shocking disclosure, which amounts to a massacre of the innocents, illegal abortion centers that have sprung up all over the country are alleged to be carrying out more than 1,000 abortions daily, a survey has revealed. According to Health Education Bureau Media Unit Chief Dr. Shantha Hettiarachchi the survey conducted last year said about 3,000 illegal abortion centers were operating in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka says UN chief 'acted in haste' with envoy recall

July 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka said Friday that UN chief Ban Ki-moon had "acted in haste" by recalling his top envoy on the island in response to angry protests over a UN war crimes panel. Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris said the government had told Ban's chief representative Neil Buhne that the days of protests outside the main UN office in Colombo would end on Friday. more..

Lankan expat gets five-year jail for ‘raping housemaid’

July 10 (GT) A Sri Lankan expatriate was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for “raping a housemaid” in April 2009 at her sponsor’s house. The Doha court of first instance heard that the convict, a garment shopkeeper, and the victim were working under the same sponsor. The suspect (24) saw the victim in the hospital where the sponsor was treated. After a few days, the suspect “visited” the house holding a bag and more..

Sri Lanka and the U.N. in a Confrontation

July 10 (Time) An already testy relationship between the United Nations and the Sri Lankan government came under greater strain this week after a firebrand government minister's hunger strike at the gates of the main U.N. office here prompted the U.N.'s resident representative to be recalled. The tough action by the world body seems, if anything, to have only hardened the resolve of the angry protesters who are vowing to press on. more..

Sri Lanka: Peace Heaven

UN contradicts UN again

July 10 (DM) Just hours after the UN office in Colombo said that the closing down of the UNDP Regional Center in Sri Lanka was not linked to the protests outside the UN in Colombo, UN Associate spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that both were linked. He said that a decision was earlier taken to scale down the activities of the UNDP Regional Center in Sri Lanka but following the protests in Colombo the UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon had decided to completely shut down the UNDP Regional Center. more..

No evidence Sri Lankan refugees were terrorists, admits CBSA

July 10 (MG) The Canada Border Services Agency now admits it has no proof that 25 Sri Lankan boat migrants it labelled as terrorists and kept behind bars for months were in fact members of the outlawed Tamil Tigers. Last month, The Vancouver Sun obtained a secret CBSA report that stated there were "reasonable grounds" to believe a third of the 76 migrants who arrived in B.C. on the Ocean Lady migrant ship last October were members of the Tamil Tigers. more..

Ban urges Sri Lanka to normalize conditions around UN office in Colombo

July 10 (UN) Following his decision yesterday to recall the top United Nations official in Colombo and close the UN office there, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called again on the Sri Lankan Government to take urgent action to normalize conditions around the office so the world body can continue its vital work. The UN office in the Sri Lankan capital has been the scene of recent protests against more..

Cabinet Meeting at Kilinochchi

July 10 (LG) While welcoming your decision to hold the next Cabinet meeting in Kilinochchi, I wish to point out that you are doing it in haste. If I had been consulted I would have advised you to wait for some more time. You are aware that Kilinochchi and the Mullaithevu districts are the worst affected. Loss of life and property were in abundance. The people of Kilinochchi and Mullaithevu have not yet got over the shock they received. Some are still looking for their dear ones. more..

Looking at Sri Lankn English with hindsight

July 10 (Island) As an ordinary citizen and an English language teaching (ELT) professional with some experience, I have no quarrel with the notion of Sri Lankan English/es or the idea of a standard form of it being advocated for teaching in our country, provided that the two basic questions of what Sri Lankan English is, and why it should be promoted are answered to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders more..

Embassies angry after Sri Lanka protest blocks UN

July 10 (BBC) Embassies in Sri Lanka have expressed dismay over an "intimidating" protest which has blockaded the United Nations compound in the capital. Hundreds of people are demonstrating against a UN panel investigating alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Diplomatic missions including those of the UK, US and Germany said blocking access to the UN and "intimidating" its workers breached "international norms". more..

Duminda Silva and his 400 pink colour shirts

July 10 (LP) Duminda Silva is a youth MP of Sri Lanka parliament. He is the younger brother of Raynor Silva, a businessman owns several radio stations. One of these radio channel was shut due to dissemination of a wrong news regarding a terrorist attack in the home district of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Duminda Silva was a Provincial Councilor of the opposition UNP by the time and he crossed over to the ruling SLFP and the radio channel license was reinstated to Raynor Silva after that. more..

Managing diplomacy with melodrama: Sri Lanka’s Madness

July 10 (GV) The point of departure for this note is the fast unto death by a government (cabinet) Minister, hereinafter referred to as VW, in front of the UN’s Colombo office. The protest campaign launched by the said individual, and his decision to fast, are meant at demonstrating his party’s opposition to the investigative panel appointed by the UN SG on alleged war crimes during the last phase of civil war in early/mid 2009. more..

Batticaloa Tamils fear establishment of civil youth committees

July 10 (TN) Civil youth committees are to be formed in all thirty Grama Niladhari divisions in the Batticaloa police division, according to Superintendent of Police in charge of the division, I. M. Kaurnaretna. Each committee will comprise of ten youths including the Grama Niladhari of the area in charge, he said. Tamil residents in Batticaloa district are perturbed over the move of setting up civil youth committees in more..

Ex-LTTE Chief “KP”: The Tiger who changed his stripes

July 10 (DBS) The tiger, they say , does not change its stripes. The leopard too wont change its spots. This inability or refusal to change is certainly true of the four –legged felines. There are some – perpetually paranoid- who would say this is applicable to the near extinct two –legged tiger in Sri Lanka too. “Once a tiger always a tiger”. In fact there is a proverbial saying in Tamil “Puli Pasithalum Pullai Thinnaathu” (even when hungry the tiger will not eat grass). more..

Tension prevails in Veala’nai following alleged killing of nurse in government hospital

July 10 (TN) More than a hundred residents of Veala’nai in the islets of Jaffna attempted to attack a Sinhalese doctor in Veala’nai government hospital Saturday morning on finding a native young woman nurse dead, hung inside the hospital, sources in Vela’nai said. Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) soldiers occupying the islets of Jaffna rushed to the scene and took away the Sinhalese doctor to their base, the sources said. more..

Independence of the Attorney General and the Public Interest

July 10 (LG) Questions have been raised in Parliament about the conduct of some Judges. Judicial independence is the cornerstone of a democratic system based on the Rule of Law. Over the years, the Sri Lankan Judiciary has enjoyed a well-deserved reputation for adherence to traditions of independence and impartiality in the dispensation of justice. It is therefore a matter of regret that there is now some disquiet for the conduct of Judges to be questioned and more..

'Lankan expats can act as unofficial ambassadors'

July 10 (DN) Sri Lankan expatriates working in the West number around 60,000 and if each one of them act as unofficial ambassadors in helping to develop tourism they could canvass at least ten people to visit Sri Lanka as tourists. We would be assured of a boom in tourism, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa told Sri Lankan Expatriate Forum Chairman Senaka Rajapakse at a meeting at the Parliament complex Thursday. more..

First ever SEA in North

July 10 (MoD) As the Government has stepped up action to develop the Northern Province, the Central Environment Authority (CEA) has carried out the country's first ever Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Northern Province that will help identify suitable areas for proposed development programs in the province. The SEA was carried out with the help of Disaster Management, Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development Ministries. more..

Prison officials go North to serve displaced

July 10 (MoD) The Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry has organized a mobile service to be held in Jaffna, Killinochchi and Vavnuiya districts to cater to the needs of the North and East displaced on July 10, 11 and 12. This service will be conducted in Thelippalai Rehabilitation centre, Jaffna Prison, Killinochchi, St Thisera Ladies College and Vavuniya Punthottam Rehabilitation centre. more..

VIDEO: UNP protest also to send KP in and take Fonseka out, says Ranil

July 10 (AD) Kicking off the UNP protest against the rising cost of living, party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the protest was aimed at filling the people’s stomach. They will continue till the government provides relief to the masses, Mr. Wickremesinghe said. Addressing the first such protest meeting at Kadawata this morning, Ranil Wickremesinghe said the protest was also to send KP in and to take Fonseka out. more..

'Protests such as Weerawansa’s are a common scenario'

July 10 (LP) Protests and Fast unto death of such manner as Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s are common to third world countries says Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva. The Minister stated that it is the right of the Ruling party of any country to demonstrate their identity when a country is under international pressure. He also says that the best example for this is the neighouring country India. The Minister remembered the incident where more..

EU launches LKR 6.3 billion projects in Ampara

July 10 (LP) The European Union (EU) is pleased to announce the opening of 400kms of rural and provincial roads and the Solid Waste Management Facility in Ampara, constructed at a total cost of LKR 6.3 billion. The infrastructures were inaugurated by the European Union Delegation Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Mr. Bernard Savage and the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chanrdakanthan in the presence of more..

Step-motherly treatment for schools run by PCs - IUSU

July 10 (CT) The budget for this year has meted out step-motherly treatment to schools run by provincial councils when allocating finances, alleged convener of the Inter University Students Union Udul Premaratne. He told 'Colombo Today' that both national schools and those run by PCs have received similar amounts of money, despite the latter having to cater to a far higher number of students. more..