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SL Army, Prisons directed to provide maximum security for Fonseka

July 13 (LNP) Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Rashmi Singappuli yesterday directed the Army and the Prisons Officials to provide maximum security for General (Rtd) Sarath Fonseka when he is brought to Court and back. The Judge further remanded General Sarath Fonseka and Capt. Senaka Harippriya de Silva, the election secretary of General Sarath Fonseka, till July 26. more..

Notice issued on three respondents

July 13 (DN) The Supreme Court directed to issue notice on three respondents who were absent and unrepresented when the Fundamental Rights application filed in connection with the death of two youths while in the custody of the Angulana Police was mentioned before the court, yesterday. The Court noted that respondent police officers PC T. Gayan Chathuranga Totawatte, J. Dhammika Nihal Jayaratne and G.A. Janapriya were absent and unrepresented. more..

Editorial: End Customs swindles

July 13 (DN) The Customs has bared a Rs 5 billion plus tax fraud involving a leading vehicle importer according to our main story yesterday. He has done this by producing fraudulent documents ostensibly for the import of single door cabs to evade a higher tax charged for the double cabs what he actually imported. This kind of Customs swindle are frequently being exposed in the press but the gravity of these crimes appear to be lost on the public who more..

Over 5,000 state officials went overseas in 2009 - report

July 13 (CT) A total of 5,927 government staff officers had gone overseas in 2009 for conferences, seminars, and workshops and on scholarships, a report from the Prime Minister's Office says. The Ministry of Higher Education top the list with 1,900 officers. Also, 315 officers of the Power Ministry, 301 officers of the Education Ministry, 295 officers of the Ministry of Port and Aviation Services, more..

Sri Lanka marks Sea Sunday with service

July 13 (UCAN) Seamen representing 20 countries and many religions gathered in Colombo on July 11 to seek God’s protection and to celebrate the annual “International Sea Sunday” service, an event observed by sailors around the world. “Seafarers have no religion or nationality, only an ardent faith in God”, said service organizer Tony I. Enas, General Manager of the “Mission to Seafarers in Sri Lanka,” which organized the event. more..

23 Anaconda babies at the Dehiwala Zoo

July 13 (NF) 23 hatchlings were born at the National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala on Saturday. Officials at the Zoo say that the necessary steps are being taken to protect these hatchlings. Incidentally, 23 hatchlings born to the same female Anaconda on a previous occasion had all died. The National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwala received this pair of Anaconda from the Czech Republic in 2003, through an animal exchange program. more..

IMF head affirms Treasury warning

July 13 (Island) The government is planning sweeping fiscal reforms and increased private sector investments that would take economic growth up to eight percent, but the IMF threw caution to the wind yesterday and warned of possible threats, as did the Treasury’s Fiscal Strategy Report for 2010. The International Monetary Fund cautioned Asian nations against spillovers from the European debt crisis and weak recovery of the US economy, more..

Elections Commission on Indian model

July 13 (DM) The appointment of an Elections Commission based on the Indian Model where the Commissioner has wide powers will be discussed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with top officials of the election secretariat, sources said yesterday. They said the government had decided to form an Elections Commission comprising seven members and recently, election officials met at the elections secretariat to discuss how this could be worked out. more..

SC allows Bank to recover Rs.165M from Yashoda

July 13 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday directed the People’s Bank to make arrangements to recover more than Rs.165 million owed to it by a well-known Colombo businessman. Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Shirani Tillakawardena, S. Sripavan and P. A. Ratnayake made this order following a special appeal filed by the People’s Bank against Yashoda Private Limited chairman Yasasiri Kasthuriarachchi. more..

BTI to market by the end of this month

July 13 (LP) In order to prevent the spread of Dengue disease the BTI bacteria produced locally is to be released in market by the end of this month said the Sri Lanka Industrial Technology Institute. The Pesticides Registration Bureau granted permission for bacteria to be issued in the market last week and it is to be sent to the Bio Power Lanka company for labeling. more..

Private Universities in Lanka by next year

July 13 (DN) Fee levying Universities in Sri Lanka is on the cards with a 20 percent share from the total intake being allocated as Scholarships for needy local students, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake said. The Minister Sunday hinted that introduction of such a market-oriented mechanism to the existing University education system may come into effect by no later than next year. more..

Sri Lanka state borrowings from banks higher in May: data

July 13 (LBO) Sri Lanka's loans to private borrowers rose by 7.7 billion rupees in May 2010 but the state borrowed more than double that amount from commercial banks to support its deficit spending, official data showed. Excessive state borrowing that appropriates people's savings at high rates has been the most important constraint to Sri Lanka's growth for years. more..

Operation KP to rebuild the north begins

July 13 (SLW) Vishvanath Rudrakumar was the International Legal Advisor of the LTTE for some time. He was a close friend of Prabhakaran and had taken part in several rounds of peace talks. He is a practicing lawyer holding US citizenship. The other leader of the LTTE after the death of Prabhakaran was another close ally of his Kumaran Pathmanathan and was more senior to Rudrakumaran in the LTTE. more..

'Ranil falls into government trap'

July 13 (LT) The General Secretary of the JVP Mr.Tilvin Silva stated that because of the constitutional reforms which are expected to be drafted by the government are anti democratic the President has started discussions intentionally to conceal them from people. However Mr.Wickramasinghe has joined that program unfortunately. He said this while addressing a press conference which was held at party headquarters today more..

No mention of advisory panel in joint statement - govt

July 13 (CT) The government says there is no mention in a May 2009 joint statement issued by president Mahinda Rajapaksa and United Nations chief Ban ki-Moon of the UN forming an advisory panel on Sri Lanka's accountability issues. It says in a statement the only reference to human rights issues made in the last paragraph of the statement calls for the government to take measures and does not refer to the formation of any outside commission. more..

More cases mount against Fonseka

July 13 (DM) Criminal cases against DNA leader and former Army Commander Gen. (retired) Sarath Fonseka mounted with the filing of yet another case before Colombo High Court yesterday. An indictment with 21 charges was filed against Gen. Fonseka and his son-in-law who has gone missing since the investigation for cheating public funds during the tender procedure to procure military ware to Sri Lanka Army. more..

'To replace Executive Presidency, We want a people friendly constitution'

July 13 (Island) The government and the UNP yesterday agreed to discuss a series of electoral and constitutional changes including the creation of an Executive Prime Ministership to replace the Executive Presidency. Leader of the UNP Ranil Wickremesinghe said that a consensus had been reached during yesterday’s meeting between delegations from the two parties led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and himself at Temple Trees. more..

Midwife death-'arrest doctor'

July 14 (BBC) A magistrate in northern Sri Lankan town has ordered the police to arrest the doctor in charge of Velanai hospital, Jaffna, on suspicion of killing a midwife two days ago. After recording statements from a relative and a colleague, the Kayts magistrate ordered to arrest RCN Priyantha Seneviratne, the doctor in charge of Velanai hospital. Hundreds of health workers earlier staged a protest in Jaffna against the suspected murder of Darshika Saravanan, 27, a midwife at Velanai hospital. more..

U.S government expands support to local authorities in the Eastern province

July 14 (USE) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Councils signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand the Supporting Regional Governance Program (SuRG) to all 37 Pradesihya Sabhas and one Urban Council in the Eastern Province. The Hon. A.L.M. Athaullah, Minister of Local Government and Provincial Councils, and Patricia A. Butenis, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, witnessed the signing. more..

Debrief News - 13. 07. 2010

Sri Lankan dies in twin explosions in Uganda

July 14 (DM) A Sri Lankan residing in Uganda was among the 74 killed in the twin bombings that occurred in Uganda last Sunday, a spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry told Daily Mirror online. The bombing which occurred in two sites during the FIFA World Cup finals claimed the lives of 74 people including several foreigners of Ethiopian, Indian and Congolese nationality. An al-Qaeda-linked Somali militant group has claimed responsibility for the twin blasts. more..

Indians flattened by three centuries

July 14 (CI) A strong Board President's XI gave the Indians a welcome as harsh as Colombo's humidity. Upul Tharanga ripped into all their bowlers, nearly reaching his century in the first session. Lahiru Thirimanne played the foil to Tharanga's assault, and Thilina Kandamby continued attacking, providing the visitors zero respite despite two quick wickets in the middle session. Thilan Samaraweera struggled a bit, but he too joined in the fun in the final session, more..

TNA seeks talks with MR

July 14 (DM) The TNA, subsequent to its meeting with the Indian government, was now planning to have another round of talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa as early as possible, MP Suresh Premachandran said yesterday. A TNA delegation led by its Leader R. Sampanthan met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi recently. He said the Indian leaders had requested his party to engage the Sri Lankan government in more..

Editorial: Confronting the UN

July 14 (AN) Against the odds and the predictions of international counterinsurgency experts, the Sri Lankan government last year ended a 25-year insurrection and completely defeated the rebel Tamil Tigers. That achievement no doubt underpins the angry reaction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration to what it sees as attempts by outsiders to meddle in the country's affairs. The main focus of its anger has been the United Nations. more..

Lanka needs some Gandhigiri-style protests

July 14 (HT) Minister Wimal Weerawansa is not known to be particularly fond of India. But if he secretly watches Hindi movies over Haldiram's bhujia and canned gulab jamuns, he could borrow the 2006-movie about the goofy don, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, from me. The movie will teach him a thing or two about Gandhigiri and how to say it with flowers next time he decides to go in a two-day 'fast unto death' against the United Nations. more..

Sri Lanka has grounds to challenge Ban-Ki-moon over legitimacy of UN panel

July 14 (TC) The UN Secretary General (SG) has maintained that: (1) he has the authority to seek advice on issues that are of concern to the UN. Under this authority he has appointed an expert panel to advice him on criteria that should be met to establish accountability in regard to alleged humanitarian and human rights violations during the final stages of the conflict; and more..

New trends in Tamil politics

July 14 (LG) There are new trends in Tamil politics and a quickening of activity in Tamil political society. The Tamil Political Parties Forum is one manifestation while the visit of the TNA to India is another. The Tamil Parties Forum, an initiative of EPDP leader Douglas Devananda has succeeded in drawing together most of the old EPRLF and much of the ex-Eelam Left, with a few prominent civil society activists and the odd ultranationalist thrown in. more..

President looks at energy sector development

July 14 (N360) President Mahinda Rajapaksa last evening checked the progress of the ongoing developments in the country’s energy sector. Minister of Power and Energy Champika Ranawaka and several other senior officials of the Ministry were present at the occasion. Ministry of Power & Energy is currently putting into action a short, medium and a long term plan to revive the country’s struggling energy sector. more..

In defence of Wimal

July 14 (LG) I would not have written this article if not for the comments made in the Sunday English language newspapers and by some political opponents of Sinhala nation and Sinhala nationalism. For some of these "celebrated" authors who have made a name among the English newspaper readers Wimal Weerawansa was at best a joke. They claimed that the fast had a script written by Wimal himself or more..

East is East, and West is West…

July 14 (SL) The on-going turmoil in front of the United Nations office in Colombo and the preceding controversy about GSP+ should tell us that those conventional views on the sovereignty of a state are now not as rigid as once believed. Whether we like it or not, these ideas keep evolving and those who do not comprehend the imperatives of such change will find themselves ending up losers. Not so long ago it was said that a man’s house was his castle. more..

The non-problem of SL English

July 14 (LB) In my article Standard English and SL English in the LAKBIMAnEWS of July 4 I dealt with the controversy about the use of SE and SLE that has been going on for several weeks in our newspapers. In my view, and very probably in that of most Sri Lankans who have been concerned over this subject, the controversy is really about a non-problem. It can easily be seen as a non-problem if it is approached from the stand point of utility. more..

Tamil refugee, Brami Jegan, seeks Senate seat

July 14 (TA) AS an ex-banker of Tamil heritage, Brami Jegan has hardly been plucked from central casting for a life in Australian politics. "I know, my background is a bit different," the newly anointed Greens Senate candidate says with a laugh. "But I've got nothing to hide. I'm here because I want to contribute to our society." Ms Jegan, 30, was born in the northern Sri Lankan city of Jaffna. more..

Children are all of our future

July 14 (DM) In recent times we read or see often in the electronic media pathetic stories of children who have been abandoned. Mothers attempting suicide after throwing their child into a river or well , new born babies kept on garbage heaps or near religious institutes . We also hear of children been abused either sexually or physically often by members in the same family or by those considered as family friends. more..

Education: Reforms need reform

July 14 (SL) I would like to say a few words about the comments of the Education Minister in on your paper of June 13. The Minister says that 300,000 students sit for the O/L’s and 240, 000 for the A/L’s every year. He says of this number who sit for the A/L’s only about 130,000 qualify for university entrance. Remarks: Shortage of teachers for teaching the five main subjects in the schools which creates this ratio of students who do not qualify for further studies. more..

'Wimal’s fast messed up sri lanka’s image'

July 14 (DM) Q: The manner in which the incident with Minister Wimal Weerawansa was handled by the government – what do you think will be the aftermath of this whole incident? A: This whole thing has messed up Sri Lanka’s image. Without intelligently addressing these accusations by the UN, they have made a mockery of the country. The UN is not always right, they could have wrong information. more..

To Sri Lankan ambassador: Fact trumps your fictions

July 14 (TH) The Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya, belongs to that nascent journalistic breed that thinks anything in print is swallowed hook, line and sinker by its readers. (“Sri Lanka: From War to Reconciliation,” July 6). Mr. Wickramasuriya wrote that he believes “the lessons learned and reconciliation commission” will enable Sri Lanka to bind up the nation’s wounds. more..

Retired senior Police officer talks about the devastating degeneration of the Police Department

July 14 (AHRC) Sri Lanka at the moment is undergoing a very bad situation in the field of human values and the deterioration of human values has caused the deterioration of departments under which all these people are recruited to. Now the police department has suffered great damage due to the deterioration of the society as well as what has been influencing the police department towards the worst. more..

Sri Lanka can seek advisory opinion from International Court of Justice about legality of UN panel

July 14 (TC) I have been back at home to witness and read the media coverage regarding the appointment of an International panel by the Secretary General of the UN to advise himself on matters pertaining to the ending of a 30 year internecine armed conflict in a member State- Sri Lanka. These are some random thoughts that I do wish to express through your columns. more..

A wonderland in paradise

July 14 (SL) Holidaying in luxury five star resorts is just not for us. Whenever we find that two or three days are in store for holidaying, we plan our travels — an exploration of our motherland. And what we love to feast on is the beauty that nature has endowed upon us. Places that have interested me have been low lying areas, marshes, forests, mountains and sanctuaries. It is like meditation; it is also a realisation more..

Responsibility of being TNA

July 14 (DM) Fresh from yet another visit to the Indian capital, the TNA leadership may have their hands full in the coming days. The temptation still for some may be to look around for alternatives, in terms of peace options, processes and possible allies from the Diaspora and the international community, alike but logically, they should look inwards, both within themselves and into the larger Tamil-speaking communities and the Sri Lankan nation, more..

Asin Lanka visit draws TN film industry anger

July 14 (GT) South Indian megastar Asin is facing Kollywood wrath over a visit she made to Sri Lanka Tamil refugee camps along with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s wife Shiranthi Wickramasinghe Rajapaksa on Sunday. While Tamil film industry cannot accept any association with the Lanka leader or his family, what adds fuel to the controversy is the fact that Asin flew on a Lanka military aircraft to Jaffna and Vavuniya. more..

Q+A - Sri Lanka's new deal on constitutional changes

July 14 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's president and opposition leader have struck a broad deal on constitutional changes, chief of which is a plan to return the Indian Ocean island nation to leadership by an executive prime minister. Here are some questions and answers about the agreement: IS THIS A FINAL AGREEMENT? Not at all. It's a broad agreement in principle. President Mahinda Rajapaksa enjoys sweeping and largely unchecked powers, but has long promised to reduce them. more..

The 2010 budget was partially appropriated before being presented to parliament

July 14 (TC) Article 148 of the Constitution gives Parliament full control over public finance. Since President Wijetunga retained the finance portfolio the authority of the Parliament over finance has been usurped, and created a conflict between the powers of the legislature and the Executive. Even though Article 44(2) of the Constitution provides that the President may retain any subject or function it transgresses the spirit of the Constitution when taken as a whole. more..

Crisis in the Maldives and its implications for the Sri Lankan 17th Constitutional Amendment

July 14 (TC) The Maldivian crisis is important for us from several points of view. It throws the spot light on the whole question of constitutional checks and balances, and how far those checks and balances should go. Checks and balances are necessary to ensure freedom. At the same time, there is the need for effective governance. more..

Protest by nurses in Jaffna triggers arrest of Sinhala doctor suspected in murder

July 14 (TN) Hundreds of family consultant nurses, public health officers, midwives and other health service employees picketed Jaffna Public Health Service office from Tuesday early morning and agitated demanding immediate investigation into the killing of Tharsika, a family consultant nurse, found hung inside Veala’nai government hospital Saturday morning. The agitators further demanded the immediate arrest of the Sinhala doctor alleged of killing Tharsika. more..

Madu uprooted Tamil families abandoned at school without food

July 14 (TN) 257 members of 110 uprooted Tamil families have been staying in Periyapa’ndivirichchaan Maha Viththiyaalayam buildings in Madu AGA division in Mannaar district since Saturday without food to elders and milk food to children. They were brought down from temporary shelters in Vavuniyaa and were left in the school building by civil authorities to find their own way to reach their abandoned houses in their villages, more..

Sri Lanka’s losing Battle against dengue

July 14 (Island) Why does a holiday have to be this stressful, especially if you have young kids? With an alarming rise in death toll I have to say Sri Lanka has lost the dengue battle or its losing it. The health ministry and the environment ministries have failed the young children of this country. Considering the high death toll in an ideal situation they should resign from their posts since there seemed to be no political will to rectify. more..

Murali retains contract but Jayasuriya misses out

July 14 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has received another blow after being left out of the 20 players Sri Lanka Cricket offered central contracts for the current year. Muttiah Muralitharan, who will retire from Tests at the end of the first game against India at Galle on July 22, has been retained in the top category. Jayasuriya, 41, who became a permanent fixture in the Sri Lanka side after playing a key role in the 1996 World Cup, found himself dropped from the list. more..

Murali v Warne

July 14 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan or Shane Warne? That's perhaps one of the most fascinating debates going around in cricket, and it's only likely to gather further steam with the other's decision to quit Test cricket in a couple of weeks. Both bowlers will undoubtedly go down as legends, and yet each camp has its staunch set of supporters, who not only lift their own hero, but also, unfortunately, enjoy tearing the achievements of the other. more..

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