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Over 450 errant traders netted

July 1 (DN) Following the continuous countrywide search operations to net errant traders, legal action will be taken against 450 traders by the Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry. The Special Investigation Unit of the Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry has been conducting search operations throughout the country aiming to protect customers from errant traders especially who are violating the Consumer Protecting Act. more..

UNP raises privilege issue

July 1 (DN) Dayasiri Jayasekera MP (UNP) raising a privilege issue said the behaviour of the UNP while the budget was presented, was not reported in the media. Minister Wimal Weerawansa speaking in response said that the assumption that it has not been reported was a serious mistake as it was reported in media. Minister Weerawansa further stated that the issue raised by the UNP MP was not a privilege issue. more..

National energy exhibition

July 1 (DN) The Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority has planned to host a national energy exhibition themed " Vidulka Energy Week" from August 03-08 at the BMICH, Colombo. The main objective of the exhibition is to educate people on energy conservation and to function as a focal point to all stakeholders including energy professionals, energy industries, academia, general public and the student community. more..

Indian HC refuses to accept body

July 1 (DM) Indian High Commission yesterday refused to take over the body of the Indian national which had been dumped on the breach in Thoduwawa, Mundalama on Sunday (27) afternoon. It is alleged that a senior police official of the CID and a businessman in Wellawatta, Colombo had carried the body to Thoduwawa by double cab and left it on the beach. Mudalama police and the Police Emergency Unit lay in ambush on information from the public and more..

NCCSL calls for effective implementation

July 1 (DM) The National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), one of the oldest chambers in the country, commenting on the 2010 Budget said its main objective was very clear – that the Government was engaged in the difficult task of a balancing act in managing the economy. The main message emanating from the Budget proposals was that the Government was trying to implement a medium-term policy for development. more..

'IMF cannot dictate terms to Third World'

July 1 (Island) No sooner had Sri Lanka received the third tranche of a $ 2.6 billion IMF stand-by facility than Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Minister D. E. W. Gunasekera lashed out at the IMF. He told Parliament yesterday that the IMF could not dictate terms to the Third World any longer as it was in the throes of a mega crisis. He said that the G-20 had succeeded the G7, which earlier dominated the IMF. more..

To obtain pay hike for public servants: UNP warns of street protests

July 1 (Island) The UNP yesterday warned that it would lead a joint opposition protest onto the streets, if the government does not speedily implement its election pledges, including a Rs. 2,500 salary increase for public servants. MP Kabir Hashim said that the working class gave Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA big mandates at the Presidential and Parliamentary Polls expecting relief in the form of pay hikes and a reduction in the high cost of living. more..

‘Invisible hand prevented reportage on UNP protest in Parliament’

July 1 (Island) UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera, raising a privilege issue yesterday, said that ‘an invisible hand’ had forced the media not to report the protest staged by the Opposition in Parliament on Tuesday, when the Acting Finance Minister delivered his Budget speech. That ‘invisible hand’ was so powerful that media had abstained from reporting the UNP protest, MP Jayasekera said claiming that the privileges of the Opposition MPs had been violated by what he termed a news blackout. more..

‘We will have a surplus of 449,113 metric tonnes of rice’

July 1 (DM) The country will have a surplus of 449,113 metric tonnes of rice by December with fresh harvests from the North, Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. As a result the government has nothing but to encourage the rice consumption more and more. “In this case, we cannot help increasing duties on wheat flour. We want our people to eat three meals of rice a day. Otherwise, what are we to do with this additional rice stock, he asked. more..

Simple, efficient tax procedure: Futuristic tax reforms

July 1 (DN) The Government hopes to have an efficient tax management system in the country and it is a timely need to have a change in people’s attitude to make this effort a reality. Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B.Jayasundera said the Govt is planning to implement comprehensive tax reforms shortly. Dr. Jayasundera speaking at the seminar on budget proposals 2010, said the Presidential Tax Commission is scheduled to handover its report to the Govt in August. more..

'Best of facilities for KP, while Gen. Fonseka suffers in prison'

July 1 (CT) The government is keeping LTTE leader Kumaran Padmanathan in the luxurious Colombo mansion 'Visumpaya' with the best of facilities while leaving the war hero Gen. Sarath Fonseka to suffer in remand prison, said UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake. He said the late president R. Premadasa had built 'Visumpaya' for distinguished foreign guests, but it was unfortunately being used at present to accommodate a Tiger leader. more..

'Sri Lanka called for UN panel'

July 1 (DM) Democratic National Alliance MP Vijitha Herath spoke to the Daily Mirror about the parties intentions to educate the public on the vices of the Executive Presidency and the failures of the government’s foreign policy. Q: The Government is thinking about constitutional reforms. What are the JVP’s concerns about the reforms that have already been implied or suggested? A: The Mahinda Chinthana very clearly states that it will abolish the Executive Presidency and more..

Constitutional reforms on staggered basis delayed, MR taking fresh look

July 1 (Island) NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa admits what Acting Finance Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama presented on Tuesday was not really a budget. The real financial plan, he says will come in November ahead of the LG elections. Minister Wimal Weerawansa says proposed constitutional reforms are likely to be delayed. He attributes the holdup to fresh discussions on the subject. more..

Sri Lanka's sovereign rating may be raised, Standard & Poor's Benard says

July 1 (BN) Sri Lanka’s sovereign rating, which is on par with Kenya and Ukraine, may be raised as funds from a $2.5 billion International Monetary Fund loan improved the “external liquidity situation,” Standard & Poor’s said. The South Asian country, which is rebuilding its economy after ending a 26-year civil war, turned to the IMF last year after foreign-exchange reserves dropped to an eight-year low. more..

Sri Lanka trade concessions to be reviewed: US

July 1 (LBO) The United States will review trade concessions granted to Sri Lanka under its Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) affecting 116 million US dollars of goods exported by the island, the US embassy in Colombo said. Under the US GSP system preferential duty-free treatment is given for over 3,400 products from 131 designated countries including Sri Lanka. more..

No reason for Sri Lanka anger at UN war panel -Ban

July 1 (Reuters) There is no reason for the Sri Lankan government's angry reaction to the formation of a U.N. advisory panel on possible war crimes at the end of Sri Lanka's war against rebels, the U.N. chief said on Wednesday. Last week U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named a three-member panel chaired by Indonesia's former attorney general, Marzuki Darusman, to advise him whether war crimes were committed more..

Former deputy minister Chandana Kathriarachchi, 3 others remanded

July 2 (CT) Former deputy minister Chandana Kathriarachchi and three others have been sent into remand custody until completion of the hearing of a case in which they are suspects in a political murder 14 years ago. Colombo High Court judge Kumuduni Wickramasinghe today (July 01) took up the case which will be heard on a daily basis. The four are charged with the murder of C.D. Chandraratne in Piliyandala in August 1996. more..

No change in DNA leadership

July 2 (CT) The leadership of the Democratic National Alliance will remain with Gen. Sarath Fonseka despite his having applied for the registration of a new party, said DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake. Gen. Fonseka yesterday sent an application to the elections chief, seeking registration of a party to be named the Democratic National Front. Mr. Dissanayake also said the DNA would vote against Budget 2010 along with other parties in the opposition. more..

Debrief News - 01.07.2010

China backs Sri Lanka's opposition to UN rights panel

July 2 (PTI) China today backed Sri Lanka in its opposition to the setting up of a human rights panel by the UN to look into alleged rights abuses during the ethnic war, saying the government was capable of handling it. China said Sri Lanka and its people were capable of handling the issue and asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and world community to help the Colombo stabilise its internal situation. more..

Sri lankan family caught in major benefit fraud in London

July 2 (IANS) Eight members of a Sri Lankan family have been served prison terms for fraudulently claiming nearly pound 170,000 in housing benefits over a period of 17 years. Their luck ran out when the local council was tipped off and began to investigate. They used a simple method to hoodwink the council authorities where one relative would apply for a mortgage, often using false information, then rent the house to a family member. more..

First liver transplant here

July 2 (DM) Marking a turning point in the Medical History of Sri Lanka, a team of local surgeons have succeeded in performing the first Liver Transplant in Sri Lanka. A team led by Dr. Mandika Wijeratne had performed the surgery and the patient who underwent the operation is now being treated under supervision at the Intensive Care Unit, National Hospital Director Dr. Hector Weerasinghe told reporters. more..

Deadline ends, EU for talks

July 2 (DM) The European Union (EU) is attempting to establish contact with the Sri Lankan government over the GSP+ trade benefits to the country after the deadline by the EU for the government to respond to its conditions ended today. EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Bernard Savage said that the government had not met the deadline which was issued in order to enable the Commission to revise its recommendations on the status of the GSP plus. more..

Sri Lanka 'ready for GSP+ challenge'

July 2 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government says it is prepared to face challenges posed by the withdrawal of trade concessions by the European Union. In a statement issued on Thursday the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) said that the government and the bank as well as many Sri Lankan exporters to the EU "have already taken many measures to deal with this risk". more..

Reluctant Sri Lankan pilgrim arrested for fake terror SMS

July 2 (DPA) Sri Lankan police arrested a businessman accused of having a fake text message sent to his wife about a possible terrorist strike because he did not want to accompany her on a pilgrimage, a police official said Thursday. The man, a manager of a private company, allegedly told a friend to send an SMS saying Tamil suicide bombers were planning to carry out an attack in the ancient capital of Anuradhapura last week, more..

Tamil political prisoners seek Church help

July 2 (AN) “Despite it being one year since the war was over the authorities have failed to address their [the prisoners’] concerns,” said the Daily Mirror in an article that appeared on 29 June. In it, the newspaper writes that a group of Tamil political prisoners, detained for months under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, wrote to Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic Bishops in Sri Lanka, asking for help. However, the Church said it has not received any such letter. more..

No War Zone: Final Episode-3

Navy assists in the Repatriation of 13 Sri Lankan Fishermen

July 2 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of 13 Sri Lankan fishermen, who had been released by the Government of India, on 30th June 2010. These fishermen were under the Indian custody and their fishing trawlers named “Dedunu 6” and “Wasana” had been damaged beyond repairs due to the cyclonic storm “Laila”. Sri Lanka Navy Ship Ranawickrama was dispatched for more..

Sri Lanka sees 50pc surge in ME tourists

July 2 (TA) Sri Lanka reported a 50 per cent surge in tourist arrivals from the Middle East in January 2010, compared to the same period last year, according to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Board (SLTPB). For the sun-sea-and-sand enthusiast, Sri Lanka offers unbeatable value. Due to its location along the equatorial zone it has a tropical climate which varies with the regions and the seasons. Summer temperatures range between 24 to 26 degrees Celsius and more..

Sri Lanka electricity utility goes for wind power

July 2 (LBO) Sri Lanka’s state-run electricity utility will form a separate company to set up wind power plants, Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said. “There is great potential to develop wind power in the country,’ he told a news conference. “The Ceylon Electricity Board intends to have its own company to harness our wind power potential which is now being done by the private sector.’ more..

TNA on the brink of breaking apart

July 2 (TN) Senior members of Ilangkai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) have begun registering strong protests against Tamil National Alliance (TNA) led by R. Sampanthan for tendering application to register TNA as a political party in Sri Lanka, accusing TNA for trying to completely block the activities of ITAK and other political parties which are fellow constituent parties of TNA, according to sources in Jaffna. more..

SF warns State over KP

July 2 (DM) General Sarath Fonseka has warned the government not to trust former LTTE Chief Arms Procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) as he is a terrorist and could mislead investigations into the activities of the LTTE. Questioning as to why the government had failed to take legal action against KP despite it being several months since his arrest, General Fonseka said that the government’s interest in working with the former LTTE Leader was demoralizing for all the security forces who more..

Earthquakes and tsunamis: How vulnerable is Sri Lanka?

July 2 (ST) The question that every one keeps asking geologists is - “What are the chances of another tsunami occurring in Sri Lanka and is the country now earthquake prone?” The fear of another tsunami gripped the coastal people in the eastern and southern sectors of the island last week. The enormous calamity that occurred in 2004 culminating in the loss of over 30,000 lives in addition to the complete destruction of house and property in a vast stretch of land, more..

Moving away from democracy in Sri Lanka

July 2 (GV) The present Sri Lankan government has proved that though Sri Lanka is a small country, it has been able to achieve many things that other countries, specially in the West have not been able to. Nowhere in the world has terrorism been crushed and destroyed using only force. “Destroying terrorism is not a crime” the Defense Secretary told Stephen Sackur of the BBC. What was implied is that the means we used cannot be questioned. more..

'UN should not hinder development and political process'

July 2 (DM) EPDP leader Minister Douglas Devananda speaks to Daily Mirror about his views on a political solution to the national question and the appointment of UN experts’ panel to look into the alleged human rights violations during the last phase of war. Minister Devananda stood against the LTTE right throughout. He narrowly escaped from death on several occasions in the LTTE suicide attacks. more..

No War Zone: Final Episode-2

Killing beggars and disabled; Sri Lanka's new found solution for poverty

July 2 (LP) Sri Lanka's ruling family boasts they would make this country 'the wonder of Asia.' It is already true in some aspects. Sri Lanka is a poor country where the new found solution for poverty is 'killing beggars.' An organized group that is ubiquitous and elusive to police in Colombo and suburbs is in a killing spree of beggars whilst no one raises voice regarding the misery of this human waste. The method more..

A TNA solution to the UN Panel

July 2 (DM) The past week was certainly a bad one for Sri Lanka from a foreign relations standpoint. Firstly Sri Lanka received the news that despite much lobbying, the UN Secretary General had proceeded with the appointment of a panel of experts to assist and advice him on issues regarding Sri Lanka. Then there was the missive by the European Union giving fifteen conditions the government must pledge in writing to fulfill in order to receive more..

Compilation of special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka

July 2 (GV) Download the 162 page compilation of content as a PDF in high quality (25.4Mb), or low quality (3.7Mb). The low quality version is good enough to read, but the photos will look and print much better in the high quality version. From 19 – 27 May 2010, Groundviews ran a special edition on the end of war in Sri Lanka. Over this week alone, the site received over forty thousand readers and more..

Editorial: CID should investigate minister Weerawansa for calling hostage taking

July 2 (LG) According to the Daily Mirror report, “Government Minister Wimal Weerawansa has urged the public to surround the UN office in Sri Lanka and trap the staff inside until a decision is taken by the UN Secretary General to dissolve the panel he appointed on Sri Lanka.” There were similar reports of Minister Weerawansa’s statement to a Media in other news papers. Instigation to hostage taking is a crime. more..

Freedom to create, censorship and the future of Sri Lankan cinema: an anecdote

July 2 (GV) The following is a brief (and therefore rather incomplete) note on the censorship and state-control imposed on present-day Sri Lankan cinema, where filmmakers are forced to be conscious of the prevalent political discourse on artistic expression. Hiding behind a so-called (‘Victorian-inherited’) culture and blocking creative energy being an act of sheer hara-kiri on artistic expression, more..

Reaching the day of forgetting and forgiving

July 2 (DM) A definition of reconciliation states as “restoration of peaceful or amicable relations between two individuals who were previously in conflict with one another.” Researcher Dan Sinh Nguyen Vo says that “reconciliation, at its core, is about restoring the right relationship between people who have been enemies.” Another writer De Gruchy observes reconciliation “as implying a fundamental shift in personal, and power relations.” more..

Karunanidhi a war criminal, says Jaya

July 2 (DC) Chief minister M. Karunanidhi was as guilty as the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa of war crimes against the Tamils in the island because he facilitated their ‘massacre’ by misleading them into coming out of their safe bunkers believing his statement that the war ended when the army barrage was still on, opposition AIADMK leader Ms Jayalalithaa said on Thursday. more..

Sri Lanka participation at the Smithsonian festival of American folk life 2010

July 2 (SLE) For the first time in its history since founding in 1967, the festival will focus on the lives and experiences of the local Asian groups who make Washington DC metro area their home. The theme is "Local Lives, Global Ties." The program will focus on what it means to be a person of Asian descent living in the U.S. today. Highlights will be cultural traditions and diversity whilst examining strategies for adaptation. more..

There are wells even in the desert, thankfully

July 2 (DN) Today (as I write), June 30, I am thinking of deserts. And wells. Deserts and wells mark this day on account of two notes sent to me, the first a quote and the other a speech, the first a timeless love story and the second a signal to two murderous governments and a most ‘natural’ death. The first, a line from Antoine de Siant-Exupery’s lovely story, ‘The Little Prince’: ‘What makes the desert beautiful,’ (says the Little Prince), ‘is that somewhere it hides a well.’ more..

Commercial Bank wins top award

July 2 (N360) FinanceAsia has ranked Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank as the Sri Lanka’s best bank. FinanceAsia, leading financial publications in the Asian Region has evaluated the financial institutions based on the 2008/9 finance performance. Accordingly the areas such as capital adequacy, liquidity & cost income ratios, pre and post tax profits, provisioning for possible losses, return on equity, strong network of branches, agents & correspondents have more..

No War Zone: Final Episode-1

'Govt. activates various mouthpieces and claims they are personal remarks'

July 2 (NF) UNP deputy leader said today that the party was astounded by the irresponsible and deplorable call by minister Wimal Weerawansa calling on the Sri Lankan public to take up violence and aggression against the UN office and its staff in Colombo. The UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya, issuing a statement said that those kinds of statements would have serious repercussions for the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Attack is the best form of defence for Sri Lanka

July 2 (LG) The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) and its front agencies are engaged in a boisterous campaign to counter the government’s questionable conduct on good governance and war crimes. Instead of approaching the concerning issues in a responsible and accountable manner, they indulge in mudslinging campaigns against the parties. Their attack spree has not spared even the reputable international figures and organisations. more..

GSP plus: some misunderstandings and understandings

July 2 (PA) The European Commission (EC) introduced a Generalised Scheme of Tariff Preferences (GSP) in 2003 for low and middle-income countries to mitigate the impact of the removal of quotas in 2001 for garments exports to the European Union (EU) countries. While the least developed countries had duty free access to the EU markets, middle-income countries like Sri Lanka had a very low tariff barrier under the GSP. more..