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Mixed fortunes for Sri Lanka on first day

July 10 (LNP) Sri Lanka's first step in the Asia/Oceania Zone 11 Davis Cup Tennis vs Hong Kong looked good but the second was the complete opposite on the opening day at the Sri Lanka Tennis Association Courts yesterday. Marking the inauguration of the tie, Sri Lanka s promising star Harshana Godamanne won his event in style, defeating Hong Hong Kong s Hiu-Tung Yu 6/3, 6/2, 6/0, giving Sri Lanka the perfect start. more..

Mouthpeace and mouthpieces

July 10 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum as the government – some thirteen months after defeating the Tiger guerillas – now faces virtual carpet bombing from international political titans like the United Nations Secretary General, the European Union and the United States. The urgent and potentially most devastating bombardment to the economy – vital for any sustainable development – is the August 15 withdrawal of the GSP plus concession more..

Ranil; first Gentleman in politics after D.S and Dudley- Ranjan

July 10 (DM) Q: The UNP’s talk of reforms has been mainly focused on bringing about a change in the leadership. Do you think the leader of the party needs to be changed? A: According to my knowledge- Ranil Wickremesinghe is the first Gentlemen in Politics since the time of D..S..Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake. He is a thorough gentleman, who holds true to the five precepts of Buddhism. more..

Arms haul recovered in Mullaitivu, Vakarai

July 10 (LNP) A large haul of arms were recovered by a Nuwara Eliya Police Special Task Force team led by Inspector Fonseka during a search operation conducted in Wellamullawaikkal, Mullaitivu on Wednesday evening police headquarters said. The haul included the following items one mm.60 mortar launchers with pouch, one mm60 commando mortar, two drums, 78 dongen cartridges, one T-56 silencer, three T56 magazines, more..

Nothing against UN – Ven Elle Gunawansa Thera

July 10 (DN) Sri Lanka has nothing against the United Nations Organization. It is only opposed to the so-called Advisory Panel appointed by its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at his own whim, Ven Elle Gunawansa Thera said. Ven Gunawansa Thera said Sri Lanka is not ungrateful to forget the financial assistance provided by the UN to uplift the living standards of poor and under privileged community in rural areas. more..

No umpire review system in India-Lanka Test series

July 10 (CI) The Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) will not be used during the upcoming Test series between Sri Lanka and India. "The decision at the ICC meeting was that both the teams should agree with having the DRS system. When we checked with India, they were not happy to have it," Nishantha Ranatunga, secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC), told Cricinfo. more..

Record number of visitors in Parliament

July 10 (DN) The Budget debate which ended yesterday goes to the records of local Parliamentary history as the debate which drew the highest number of visitors. An estimated 25,740 schoolchildren had visited Parliament during the nine days of the debate. From June 30 to yesterday, children belonging to 246 schools had witnessed the debate proceedings from the public gallery. Over 4,500 Government officials and guests of Parliamentarians had visited the Parliament during the nine days. more..

Editorial: Wimal vs Dengue

July 10 (DM) Entering a battle without a proper exit strategy has its own perils. When the LTTE got trapped in Vellamulli Vaikal at least a section of the cadres and seniors were prepared to die in the battle. However there was no consensus as some others wanted to flee. They remained confused and divided. It made things easy for the soldiers. When Wimal Weerawansa continued his death fast for the second day signs were there that whoever who gave him the confidence to more..

Trincomalee to get mega water supply scheme

July 10 (MoD) Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena and French Ambassador Christine Robichon signed an Agreement to implement a mega water supply scheme in Trincomalee. This mega water supply scheme is to be implemented in Trincomalee at a cost of Rs1,800 million. The French Government will fund this project and around 300,000 people in Trincomalee will benefit from this water supply scheme. more..

DMK stages demonstration protesting killing of Tamil Nadu fisherman

July 10 (PTI) DMK today staged a demonstration here to protest the recent killing of a Tamil Nadu fisherman allegedly by Sri Lankan navy off the Kodiakarai coast. DMK's fishermen wing, led by its state secretary Era Bernard, also submitted a memorandum to Sri Lankan deputy high commission condemning the recent incident. On Wednesday, Chellappan was killed and three others injured when they were attacked allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel more..

Editorial: When sinners stone others

July 10 (Island) NFF leader and MP Wimal Weerawansa, who is engaged in a fast unto death opposite the UN complex in Colombo has offered to resign as a Cabinet minister. He is on good terms with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and, therefore, he has no reason to resign out of any resentment towards the government. A logical conclusion may be that he has sought to resign to prevent embarrassment to the government as his protest is largely viewed as a government-sponsored one more..

Sri Lankan June tourist arrivals up 48-pct

July 10 (LBO) Tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka rose 47.9 percent to 44,730 in June 2010 from a year earlier, with strong growth from South Asia, Western Europe and North American, data from the island's tourism office showed. In June arrivals from Western Europe rose 36.6 percent to 13,881 in the off-peak season. The UK sent 6,262 visitors in June, up 6.4 percent and Germany sent 1,880 tourists, up 64.7 percent. more..

SriLankan Airlines awarded prestigious Imperial Mark again

July 10 (Island) The prestigious Imperial Mark Commission, one of the world’s oldest organizations that specializes in recognizing excellence in service standards, has once again awarded its Imperial Mark to SriLankan Airlines. SriLankan’s Head of Service Delivery, Captain Milinda Ratnayake, said: "SriLankan Airlines is on a mission to transform the entire customer experience, both in the air and on the ground. more..

After Sri Lanka, UN under fire in Nepal

July 10 (MO) After Sri Lanka, where a minister is leading protests against alleged UN interference, the world body is now under fire in Nepal, where the prime minister has accused it of trying to derail the Himalayan republic’s fragile peace process. An unusually strong outburst came from Nepal’s caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who objected to an unsolicited plan drawn up by the UN political unit in Nepal. more..

Thousands of Colombo slum dwellers rounded up by Sri Lankan military

July 10 (wsws) The Sri Lankan military and police violently attacked hundreds of people, and later rounded up thousands of residents at Mattakkuliya in northern Colombo last weekend. The assault began on Saturday night after several hundred people protested against the beating of a youth arrested by police. More than 1,000 security personnel, including soldiers and police riot squads, were deployed against the local people. more..

Stunning Silva century give Sri Lanka series

July 10 (CI) Chamara Silva sent a strong reminder of his abilities to the national selectors with a counterattacking 84-ball 104 that swept the visitors to a thrilling two-wicket victory and sealed the series 2-0. Chasing 247 in a 40-over match at the Allan Border Field, Sri Lanka seemed to be out of the game when they stuttered to 88 for 5 after 19 overs before Silva revived their hopes through a 72-run stand with Kosala Kulasekara. more..

Man held as security risk released; says he was tortured in Sri Lanka

July 10 (BG) A native of Sri Lanka who fled a bloody civil war in his homeland only to end up in a Boston jail for almost two years was released yesterday after a court battle to win his freedom. Baskaran Balasundaram still faces deportation and will return next month to US immigration court in Boston to argue that he should be allowed to stay in the United States, said Laura Rótolo, a lawyer who fought for his release. more..

Govt. accuses 'those who can't stomach victory over terrorism' of sinister moves

July 10 (MoD) The government says a section of the international community cannot stomach Sri Lanka's triumph over the LTTE and is still trying to undermine the country through devious means. Director General of Media centre for National Security (MCNS) Lakshman Hulugalle blames the 'West' for gunning for the incumbent government responsible for eradication of LTTE terrorism. more..

UN chief should disband Advisory Panel - Govt

July 10 (DN) The Government’s stance is UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon should disband the UN special advisory panel as it is baseless to appoint such a panel. The UN has to reconsider this issue, Ministers Maithripala Sirisena, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Prof GL Peiris said yesterday. The Ministers addressing the media at the SLFP Head Office said Sri Lanka maintains a good rapport with the UN and other countries. more..

Death farce: Harsha

July 10 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s death-fast outside the United Nation’s Office in Colombo is a government strategy to divert attention from the flaws of the 2010 Budget, UNP MP Harsha de Silva said yesterday. He said this kind of action might up whip up nationalist emotions, and cause an adverse impact on Sri Lanka’s fragile economy. He said that the economic crisis in the country had during the past six years increased the CCPI by 97 per cent. more..

Be pragmatic and move on, India tells TNA

July 10 (Island) India has advised visiting TNA MPs to accept the current realities in Sri Lanka, to be pragmatic, to move on, and work sincerely with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government to find an enduring political solution to the ethnic problem. A six-member TNA team led by R. Sampanthan arrived here on Sunday evening, met several top Indian leaders, called on Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday, and flew back to Colombo tonight. more..

'UNSG violated UN constitution'

July 10 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa told Parliament yesterday that incompetence and negligence of the government had left room for the incursions into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty by the UN. Mr. Premadasa, spea-king during the Budget debate urged the government to contain and limit the scope of this confrontation. He said the Secretary General had violated Chapter 7 of the UN Constitution in appointing the Panel. more..

Ranil wants govt to reveal amount of money seized from KP

July 10 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe addressing Parliament yesterday asked the government reveal the amount of the funds it had recovered from the LTTE arms procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP and channel it for the welfare of disabled soldiers and displaced persons. He said: "We would like to know what has happened to 18 ships that once belonged to KP. more..

Sri Lanka President meets Opposition Leader

July 10 (N360) The UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe met President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning to discuss the proposed constitutional amendments. The meeting took place at the President’s House. The government is looking to bring in amendments to the constitution. A constitutional change needs the approval of at least 150 members in the Parliament, which means a two thirds majority. more..

Wimal’s fast to death ends

July 10 (DM) Minister Wimal Weerawansa has ended his fast unto death after President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited him outside the UN office a short while ago. President Rajapaksa had offered Weerawansa water which the Minister accepted and he was later driven away in an ambulance to hospital. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the family of Minister Weerawansa also visited the site of the protest just minutes before the arrival of the President. more..

Ban-Ki-moon issue: However irritating Sri Lankans must not act in anger

July 11 (TC) The question in most people’s minds is whether Mr Ban Ki Moon’s action of appointing a Panel for Sri Lanka is legally ultra vires and high handed. The perception of the general public is that his action was illegal as it did not have the sanction of the UN Security Council. Mr Ban Ki Moon has however has done it without any compunction. The general perception too is that there is very little Sri Lanka can do about it and more..

The Great Game

July 11 (LG) The pressures that the Sri Lankan state is under at present are its own creation in failing to strategically position Sri Lanka in a rapidly transformed post LTTE landscape. It is remarkably similar to the predicament of the LTTE, which was also its own creation. Long before May 2009, the demise of the LTTE was quite obvious as the international community began losing patience with LTTE intransigence and violence. more..

The biggest con artist of our time

July 11 (SL) If ever there was an award winning con artist in the making first prize must indeed go to Wimal Weerawansa. Of course the political kingpin; able to pull strings, influence the UPFA administration, give employment to close associates at government institutions in mere seconds and to remove them, can only function as he does because he not only has the blessings of President Mahinda Rajapaksa but functions as his “blue eyed boy.” more..

Tragicomedy drama of two able actors ends

July 11 (LeN) The NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa who staged a non stop fast unto death in front of the UN Office in Colombo suddenly abandoned his fast today (10). Weerawansa abandoned his fast after the President Mahinda Rajapakse went to the site of his fast and offered a glass of water while requesting him to give up the fast. Later he was dispatched to the Hospital for treatment by an Ambulance. Weerawansa who made a huge din and more..

Lanka’s sovereignty is not unlimited

July 11 (LG) The buzz word in the political lexicon of the Sinhalese in the past weeks has been ‘Sovereignty’ — Swaireebawaya (in Sinhala). We say Sinhalese because Tamils have ceased to speak on politics for quite sometime. Political sovereignty — as anyone who ventures to discover its precise meaning, will find a bewildering number of definitions. The closest interpretation of our ardent defenders of sovereignty is: more..

Pilot shortage at SriLankan airlines

July 11 (SL) SriLankan Airlines is unable to recruit sufficient pilots to fill growing demand. A spurt of growth in the airline industry is projected to create a shortage of pilots in the near future. The growth is triggered by a positive outlook for business mostly in the Middle East and Far East. SriLankan Airlines too is dealing with an increase in traffic, according to its CEO Manoj Gunawardene. more..

Editorial: We the people

July 11 (SL) A wise man picks his battles carefully but our government touted to consist of many such men have not shown an inkling that it is possessed of wisdom. That Minister of Housing Wimal Weerawansa, was allowed to promote a protest leading up to a fast unto death outside the offices of the UN does not require an Einstein to guess that government approval was implicit. To believe otherwise would raise the question why the police were made inactive after more..

Keep the game simple

July 11 (SL) Cricket has largely had a set of rules that remained unchanged for a very long period of time. With the game reaching commercial viability things began to change. I might add that the changes were not merely due to the commercial viability but also to level off challenges from some nations who had a distinct advantage. I believe that cricket must go global. In that I mean the game should be played at the highest level by more nations in order to achieve longevity. more..

Mattakuliya mayhem: Mobs attack cops or cops run amok?

July 11 (SL) Mayhem began in Mattakuliya on the eve of Saturday, July 3, when a youth from the area directly behind the police station was arrested on suspicion of having drugs in his possession and sustained injuries whilst in police custody. Media reports said that the arrested youth had injured his hand whilst in police custody, prompting residents of the area to rise up in arms against police brutality, more..

Is ‘Big Brother’ watching you, even at Rugby games?

July 11 (SL) This is not a rugby story, though the anecdote relates to occurrences at a rugby match. Having arrived at the logical conclusion that the Kandy Sports Club’s (KSC’s) losses to the Navy in their last two meetings were nothing short of aberrant, given the records of the two teams, I had particular reason for wanting to witness their most recent meeting on Sunday, June 27. Even though, as a senior officer of the club, more..

IMF today too weak to dictate to borrowers

July 11 (SL) The government budget 2010 has created a disturbance that has travelled across political barriers. Some have condemned it as a copy of dictates given by the IMF and other global capitalist agencies. Many in the opposition treated it with ridicule while a few in the government leadership came out to make a serious defence. Those who defended dismissed the opposition claim that the budget proposals are nothing more than IMF dictates to the government. more..

Diplo Drama

July 11 (SL) The Sri Lankan Government is saying that this is a peoples’ pro- test. The UN is using words like ‘recall’ and saying its closing a UNDP office. Both are playing games. The protest has govern- ment support. The UN is not actually pulling out. The media has simply run press release headlines without analysis while the reality is far different. This is the most recent UN press release more..

'Trying to be a cardboard hero before foreigners, Wimal tarnished country's image'

July 11 (NF) Wimal Weerawansa, who began a death fast and gave it up within three days, has done immense damage to the country’s image by trying to be a cardboard hero before foreigners, says UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Commenting on the curtain suddenly coming down on the high drama which was taking place at Thunmulla this afternoon, he said that the damage brought upon the country by the actions of a government minister could not be measured easily. more..

Over 500 jaywalkers rounded up in Kandy city

July 11 (NF) Jaywalkers in Kandy were in for a rude shock yesterday morning when police rounded up 504 of them in the Kandy city itself. They are to be produced before court on the 19th of this month. The special operation to crack down on the undisciplined pedestrians was implemented by Senior Superintendant of Police Ranjith Kasthuriratne under the instructions of Senior DIG in charge of the Central Province, Gamini Navaratne. more..

President, Ranil want 'Executive Premier'

July 11 (LB) In an apparent bid to bring about constitutional reform, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe held extensive talks at Temple Trees yesterday. The president has agreed to explore constitutional amendments to create an executive prime ministership. Wickremesinghe met President Rajapaksa on the president’s invitation to discuss constitutional reforms. more..

Editorial: Hunger, anger and theatre

July 11 (LB) The potency of the drama concerning Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s fast unto death is, to say the least, watered-down by the fact that it is obvious that nobody would die in this stage-play. This is in character with the status that a fast unto death has acquired in this country —- it is now a form of protest street-theatre in which death is in fact the remotest possibility. This of course has traduced the true meaning of a death-fast. more..

Budget 2010: govt vs opposition

July 11 (LB) The opposition accusation that the 2010 budget confirms government a pawn of the World Bank and neither IMF nor government’s claim that its budget is excellent, is accurate --- Management Consultant and Chartered Accountant M Thiyagaraja said in an interview. He added that historically, Sri Lanka’s opposition, whether SLFP or UNP, accuses the government of being pawns of international lending institutions. more..

Journey to Kataragama

July 11 (LB) Kataragama belongs to the ancient Rohana Kingdom and it is an old village situated close to the Menik Ganga. According to present provincial borders it comes under the Monaragala district. According to Pali scriptures Kataragama is mentioned as Kacharagama It is one of the 16 principal places of Buddhist pilgrimage to be visited. According to the great chronicle, the Mahawansa, when the Bo-sapling was brought to Anuradhapura from India 2300 years ago, more..

CIFL Finance Co kaput: petition to President

July 11 (LB) Hundreds of defaulted depositors of Central Investments and Finance Ltd (CIFL) demonstrated last week in front of the company premises 191, Dharamapala Mawatha (opposite Viharamahadevi Park) Colombo. One placard warned: “Don’t underestimate the loss of public trust in Central Bank.” Chairperson of the faulted finance co Ms Patricia Fernando said that 2,200 depositors had made deposits of Rs1.8 billion. more..

Sajith tells G.L.: “Don’t fall victim and lose credibility”

July 11 (LB) Hambanthota District UNP MP Sajith Premadasa warned Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L Peiris in parliament last week not to become a victim and lose his credibility because of the ‘primitive and extremist ideology of the administration he has to serve.’ Premadasa also stated in parliament that UN Secretary General Ban-ki-Moon has violated the UN charter and interfered in Sri Lanka's domestic matters, in appointing the UN Panel on Sri Lanka. more..

NFF claims Weerawansa gave up death fast after reaching agreement with president

July 11 (LB) The NFF claimed that Minister Weerawansa gave up the death fast after the NFF politburo and President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to a set of conditions. “The government assured us that soldiers who fought terrorism will not be allowed to be tried in war crimes tribunals through this UN panel. Sri Lanka will not provide any facilities or support for this panel, no matter what aid we lose. more..

'Misuse of antibiotics complicates treatment of bacterial diseases'

July 11 (NF) The misuse of antibiotics has led to numerous complications when treating bacterial diseases, says the Health Ministry. A press release from the Ministry points out that a situation could arise where a resistance is developed when treating bacterial diseases due to the misuse of antibiotics. The situation is aggravated when certain physicians prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of viral infections, the release said. more..

'Replacing Muralitharan will be tough'

July 11 (Gulf) Aravinda De Silva is set to face the biggest challenge of his cricketing career as a chief selector. Muttiah Muralitharan, their strike bowler, has decided to call it a day while their most experienced batsman, Sanath Jayasuriya, is nearing the end of his career. De Silva, who retired at the age of 38 and played with both Muralitharan and Jayasuriya, is now left with the task of moulding a winning combination. Known for his ability to handle the finest bowling attack in the world, De Silva is a fighter to the core. more..

Bee Keeping in Sri Lanka

'Do not appoint jokers to hold hunger strikes'

July 10 (NF) We urge the government to take the required diplomatic steps to resolve this matter on the panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General. We are not asking them to appoint jokers attached to the government to hold hunger strikes, says UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera. He was responding yesterday in Parliament when Deputy Minster Weerakumara Dissanayake claimed that UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara was trying to insult the leader of the NFF Wimal Weerawansa. more..