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The value of face saving measures

July 15 (NPC) The events that took place last week outside and inside the UN office complex in Colombo reveal just how much the human rights advisory panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has generated agitation within the Sri Lankan government. From the outset itself, no sooner had the intention to appoint the advisory panel been announced, the government protested against it as an unwarranted interference motivated by an anti Sri Lanka agenda. more..

Interview III - Prof. Jayati Ghosh

Colombo parishes to boost kindergartens

July 15 (UCAN) A fact-finding group of priests, nuns and civic activists has vowed to assist villages in the war-torn north of Sri Lanka re-establish adequate kindergarten facilities. Facilities and learning materials for pre-school pupils are basic and grossly inadequate, said Father Terrance Fernando, coordinator for human rights and dignity in Colombo archdiocese. He and the other delegation members returned on July 12 from Alkattively, more..

India to export rails to Sri Lanka

July 15 (BS) Trains in neighbouring Sri Lanka will chug on the rails produced by the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) the flagship entity of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). BSP, which is located about 40 km from here, had bagged an order to supply 6,500 Tonnes (T) of rail in Sri Lanka. The profile of rail for Sri Lanka is 45 E 1 and will be rolled as per Euro norms. Though quantity wise, the order received by the BSP was not a big deal, more..

Can panel heal Sri Lanka’s wounds?

July 15 (National) Sri Lanka’s cabinet met yesterday in a town formerly held by Tamil rebels during the country’s 30-year civil war in the latest effort to try to heal the wounds left by the bloody conflict. The meeting in the northern town of Kilinochchi came as details emerged of a government reconciliation panel set up to search for answers to the conflict, which ended in May 2009. more..

Cabinet rejects ‘N’ pass

July 15 (DM) Cabinet today rejected a proposal by Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena to introduce a new grading for the Ordinary Level examinations to enable students enter Advanced Level classes. The near pass system or ‘N’ pass was to be given to students who obtain marks between 25 and 34. President Mahinda Rajapaksa had reportedly told his Cabinet which met in Killinochchi today that instead of introducing such a grading the knowledge of the student should be increased. more..

Most Tamils real refugees, say experts

July 15 (Age) THE majority of Tamil asylum seekers are genuine refugees and claims they are radicals and terrorist sympathisers are a fiction being pushed by the Sri Lankan government, experts say. The response comes after claims were aired that as many as half of the more than 1000 Tamil asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia since 2008 are either former Tamil Tigers or their supporters. more..

'Sinhalese people have to bear the burden of the destruction of North by Tigers'

July 15 (TN) “All should understand that the Sinhalese people also have to bear the burden of foreign loans Sri Lanka has to borrow to develop the North which was destructed by Tigers,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a public meeting in Ki’linochchi Wednesday after having held the Cabinet Meeting in Ira’naimadu Sri Lanka Army (SLA) head quarters in Vanni. more..

Residents forced indoors as SL armed forces take control of Vanni

July 15 (TN) The recently resettled people in Vanni were forced to remain indoors Wednesday as Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers, Special Task Force (STF) commandos, Sri Lanka police and the President’s Special Security Force soldiers took control of A9 road and the main streets in the districts of Ki’linochchi and Mullaiththeevu as a part of security measures related to the Cabinet meeting held by President Rajapakasa in Ki’linochchi Wednesday, more..

Cabinet meeting held in Kilinochchi

July 15 (NF) At the cabinet meeting held today at Kilinochchi, several decisions were taken and chief among these was the decision to reduce the prices of fuel in the Jaffna peninsula. This was the first time a cabinet meeting was held in the north. It was held in the security forces headquarters in Kilinochchi located near the Iranamadu tank. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who arrived for the meeting by chopper, was welcomed by several dignitaries including the Army Commander. more..

Left to his own devices, MR a better man -Mangala

July 15 (DM) Leader of the SLFP (M) Mangala Samaraweera spoke to Daily Mirror on the metamorphosis of President Rajapaksa, the diplomatic crisis faced by the country and his serious consideration of joining the UNP. Q:What is your view on the manner in which the government handled the appointment of the Panel of Experts, by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and more..

SL and Israel to pay the price for Moon’s survival

July 15 (DM) According to Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry sources, Pakistan and Malaysia were two of the main countries among the Muslim countries of Non Aligned Movement (NAM) which were reluctant to place their signatures to the letter signed by the member countries opposing the panel of experts appointed by Ban Ki-Moon against Sri Lanka. It is well to recall that Pakistan was one of the main countries which helped Sri Lanka to defeat terrorism. more..

‘A state within the state’ of a paramilitary leader and the government minister Douglas Devananda

July 15 (LG) Following the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, the LTTE branded Tamil quisling group under the pseudo political party name EPDP, headed by the government minister Douglas Devananda is stretching its wings violently and clandestinely to stranglehold the Tamil people in the north. Douglas Devannanda’s political party is heavily embroiled in violence to exercise its control over more..

M.I.A. brings 'Born Free' to Letterman: Awesome or irritating?

July 15 (EW) Last night, M.I.A. dropped by CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman to promote her new album, /\/\/\Y/\. She announced the performance on Twitter with typical caustic sarcasm: “whoring myself on letterman tonite americca, see u there!” Okay then! The song she chose was thuddingly confrontational single “Born Free.” In place of the hair-color death squads of that song’s video, M.I.A. brought along a more..

Top priority towards eradicating poverty in North-East

July 15 (MoD) The Agriculture Ministry will give top priority towards eradicating poverty in the North and East by developing the agriculture sector with the assistant of the Food and Agriculture Organization, Agriculture Deputy Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said participating in the National Stakeholder Re-validation Workshop on Pro-poor Policy Formulation held at Renuka Hotel, Colombo yesterday. more..

Mullaitivu gets Rs 170 m power supply scheme

July 15 (MoD) The newly set up Mullaitivu Electricity Supply Scheme costing Rs 170 million was opened by Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday. This replaces the old electricity scheme under which the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) supplied electricity to Mullaitivu using generators. The new scheme also involved the relaying of a new high velocity distribution line from Mankulam to Kilinochchi through Omanthai more..

Highest financial allocation for North

July 15 (MoD) During a public gathering in Kilinochchi yesterday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the Government's largest financial allocation for regional development went to uplift the conflict ravaged North. The President pointed out to the public that the infrastructure that the Government had built at great cost such as Kilinochchi hospital, rail roads and A-9 road were destroyed by the LTTE. more..

Subpar Construction On Colombo-Matara Expressway

July 15 (SL) Following a University Of Moratuwa report, three bridges on the new Southern Expressway have been demolished and reconstructed to adhere to better safety standards. They have recommended the overhaul of twenty-eight more. The 126 km long expressway is expected to connect Colombo and Matara in one and a half hours, bypassing the congested coastal Galle Road. There are also plans to extend the road to Sri Lanka’s second international airport in Weerawila, Hambantota. more..

Wild life Vets on strike; I've not been informed, says Director General

July 15 (NF) All the veterinary officers of the Department of Wildlife have gone on sick leave and commenced trade union action. "Their trade union action may intensify in the future," said Dr. W. A. Dharmakeerthi, the Veterinary Officer of the Wildlife Department in charge of the Mahaweli and Central zones. The trade union action has commenced based on several demands. more..

Sangakkara on Hot Seat live

Editorial: Eliminating CEB losses

July 15 (DN) "Cut back on your losses," President Mahinda Rajapaksa has enjoined the CEB officials at a meeting at Temple Trees on Tuesday adding that the CEB should cease continuing to be a burden on the economy. What the President meant was the Government cannot go on pampering State institutions running at a loss by milching the Treasury. The CEB is one of the State institutions that is perennially in the red and also expects the Treasury to bail it out. more..

Editorial: Ronald Reagan and the Kilinochchi Cabinet

July 15 (DM) The latest issue of the Newsweek has an interesting article about how the down and out Republicans of the US have found an unlikely role model in actor turned Republican President Ronald Reagan. While the no-nonsense Republicans had earlier found him to be far less serious to be considered iconic, of course other than as an actor, the 40th President of the US has suddenly shot up to fame as never before, posthumously, all thanks to the Republican efforts to inject Reagan values to the party. more..

Random musings on Sri Lanka today

July 15 (GV) The swift annihilation of the Tamil Tigers was a surprise to me. A war that was 30 years long, finished so quickly with an undignified death for the leader of the LTTE. Yet, so many unanswered questions. The man on the street, people like myself, we’ll never know the whole truth. Some of us don’t care, terrorism, the LTTE were wiped out. That’s all that matters. We celebrated the great victory. more..

Rate or Tax Payers’ Association and Accountability in Local Governance Process

July 15 (LGF) Tax, fees and charges collection include as one of main responsibility of a Local Government Authority. Local fees are considered as current account. Local people pay the fees to water supply, sewerage, trash collection, entry of museum or local parks, local public transport, elementary school, building permits, license and libraries. Also, Charges are based on sewer and street constructions. more..

Sri Lanka cabinet's Kilinochchi show and the message delivered to Tamils

July 15 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa held a meeting of his cabinet in Kilinochchi in the heart of the former rebel-held territory sitting comfortably in Kilinochchi headquarters of the security forces in close proximity to Iranawila reservoir on which late Tiger theoretician Anton Balasingham landed the sea plane he was travelling from Maldives. The venue of the meeting was also the headquarters of the Tamil Tigers' proud air wing that one time was a nightmare to Colombo dwellers. more..

'President and Opp. Leader should take minorities into confidence on electoral reforms'

July 15 (TC) The issue of electoral reforms are very fundamental for the Tamil and Muslim minorities live in the southern districts than their counterparts in the northern and eastern provinces. President and leader of opposition should take the Tamil speaking minorities into confidence when dealing with this issue said DPF leader Mano Ganesan in a release issued by the DPF media office. more..

Steps taken to bring down body of Lankan from Uganda

July 15 (NF) Steps have been taken to bring down the body of the Sri Lankan national who was killed in a bomb blast in the Ugandan capital Kampala recently. The Sri Lankan ambassador to Kenya has been given the necessary instructions in this regard. The ministry said that it could take several days to bring down the body. It was on the 11th of this month, a Sri Lankan national was killed in the twin explosions in the Ugandan capital of Kampala more..

Pearl harbor crew assits in renovation of children's home, school

July 15 (NF) The sailors who arrived on board the US naval vessel 'Pearl Harbor', berthed at the Trincoomalee harbour, have assisted in the renovation work at the Methodist children's home in Trincomalee and the Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in Thiriyaya. "USS Pearl harbor arrived on Tuesday on a mission to develop ties between the US and Sri Lankan navies," said Captain Athula Senarath, Navy spokesman. more..

The tale of two schools at Parasangaswewa

Face book misuses discovered

July 15 (LT) Daily mirror reports that police women and child’s bureau has received over 50 complaints against the social networking website Face book. According to the bureau the complaints include individuals copying pictures of Face book account holders and creating indecent images. The bureau said they have received close to 20 such complaints within the last two months and they have launched an investigation into these complaints. more..

Red signal on for NGOs

July 15 (LeN) At the recent meeting of the security Council it was decided that all International and local non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) shall be registered again, it is reported. The Govt. had been watchful and had been paying careful attention to the activities of the NGOs during the war. Some Ministers have indeed criticized the action s of these NGOs. Following the decision of the Security Council, it is likely that those NGOs towards which more..

Karu condemns govt. disruptive actions against 'Debiddo'

July 15 (CT) UNP deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya has condemned what he called the government's disruptive actions against 'Debiddo', a stage drama by veteran director Prasanna Vitanage. In a statement, Mr. Jayasuriya said it was only due to politics that this stage drama is facing trouble created through police. 'Debiddo' is an adaptation of Italian playwright Dario Fo's 'Trumpets and Raspberries.' more..

Editorial: Battling dengue in Sri Lanka

July 15 (LNP) Mosquitoes seem to be a protected species in this country. Else, there could not have been so many of their breeding places untouched by the public, the health authorities and local government institutions. The government, for its part, keeps delaying the importation of the BTI bacteria from Cuba as if to give a turbo boost to the on-going `Save the Mosquitoes` campaign! It is only natural that the incidence of dengue is extremely high and people are dying of the disease in all parts of the country. more..

Harry ends alliance with Sampath

July 15 (ST) Harry Jayawardena-controlled Stassen Group’s relationship with Sampath Bank ended this week after the company and its related parties sold nearly 10% it owned in the bank, to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), analysts said. In 2000, Mr Jayawardena failed in a bid to take over the bank. Stassen’s sold its 5% in Sampath while Piyadasa Singappuliarachchige Don, who takes care of the group’s warehousing and packaging, disposed his stake of 4.04%, they said. more..

Woken up to a paradise

July 15 (DN) I am woken in the middle of the night by the silence. A world away from the all-night bustle that is the bus stop outside our London flat, I have been disturbed by the absence of noise. When I step on to the veranda, the night sky is crowded with stars, the moon is a sliver and the hills that surround our cottage are lost in darkness. They are back in the morning, edges blurred by early mist but stretching out as far as the eye can see. more..

Doctor's dengue death: President wants report

July 15 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed health authorities to submit a report immediately into the death of Dr Nadeeka Lakmali Wijenayake who died of dengue fever. Dr Wijenayake was the doctor in charge of the Badulla General Hospital children's ward treating dengue patients. Dr Wijenayake's father has complained to the President that his daughter died as she did not receive proper treatment from hospital staff while taking treatment. more..

Second language now compulsory

July 15 (DM) The government has decided to make proficiency in second language compulsory for the officers who joined the Government Service after June 7, 2007. Consequently, The Official Languages Department has already taken steps to teach the second language to those officers. For the teachers who are assigned to teach Tamil Language, conducted by the Official Languages Department, a workshop has been organised to be held on July 23 at more..

Sajith Premadasa opposes UN panel

July 15 (SL) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa has opposed the UN Panel investigating war crimes in a Parliament speech last week and a recent statement. “The UN Secretary General has acted beyond the powers provided by the UN Charter. Article 2:7 specifically prohibits the UN to intervene in internal affairs. Unless Chapter 9 in invoked, in which case the issue is put to the Security Council. more..

Presidential Election Petition: AG seeks week's time to file objections

July 15 (DN) The Attorney General (AG) filed a motion seeking one weeks time to file objections on behalf of the Elections Commissioner in the Presidential Election Petition. The (AG) in his motion seeking further time stated that the Elections Commissioner was out of the country and is not contactable. On the last occasion the Court granted the AG on behalf of the Elections Commissioner one week time to file objections. more..

SriLankan to resume flights to Kochi

July 15 (Hindu) Srilankan Airlines, the flagship carrier of the emerald island will be resuming its services in the Kochi- Colombo sector from the next winter schedule of the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), according to senior airport officials. “CIAL has been in consultations with the airline for sometime now and as of now, the plan is to operate three flights per week between here and Colombo and providing onward connections accordingly,” more..

CCD ordered to look into Mattakkuliya case

July 15 (DM) A Colombo Magistrate yesterday ordered the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) to record the complaints of the victims who were assaulted and whose houses and the vehicles were damaged, allegedly by the Police, in Mattakkuliya recently. Colombo Additional Magistrate Lal Ranasinghe Bandara made this order to the CCD on considering the submissions of the counsel for the victims. The Counsel complained to the Magistrate that the whole incident had become a one sided issue and more..

UNP-SLFP talks: Win win situ for both govt and Ranil W

July 15 (Island) An influential section of the UNP fighting to oust Wickremesinghe believes the beleaguered Opposition Leader is seeking a lifeline from President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government amid a bid to remove him. Political sources said that this was not the first time that President Rajapaksa had stepped-in to help Wickremesinghe’s hand during an internal crisis. more..

Girls of Durgadevi Temple

Factory closures not due to GSP Plus withdrawal

July 15 (Island) A top industrialist said Sri Lanka’s mature apparel sector would survive post GSP Plus but warned that cowboy investors could withdraw their investments and shut down factories. "There is a lot of hype about losing GSP Plus. If factories close it is not because Sri Lanka lost trading concessions to Europe, but because cowboy investors who were looking to make short term gains would no longer be interested in staying around," more..

Ministry to set up beach parks in coastal areas

July 15 (DM) Ministry of Ports and Aviation has decided to establish beach parks at all narrow coastal areas along the coast and under the scheme steps have been taken to establish one of them at Kalutara Caledo coastal belt. Parallel to the plan to make Kalutara a model town the beach park is to be established. Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena stated that this proposed park will be useful for local and foreign tourist as well as those coming to pay respect to the “Kalutara Bo Samindu”. more..

A minimum call rate for new phone connections

July 15 (LP) All new telephone connections are to be introduced with a minimum rate says the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). Accordingly the TRC has taken steps to introduce a minimum of Rs 2 per call outside while Rs 1 will be charged for calls within the network. This is effective for all new connections obtained from today (15) said TRC Director General Anusha Palpita. more..

Port employees defeat SLFP led union at bank election

July 15 (SL) The JVP affiliated All Ceylon General Port Employees Union (ACGPEU) has secured 70 out of the 86 slots in the election held to elect board members to the Port Employees Bank. ACGPEU Secretary Chandrasiri Mahagamage said that the Team led by the JVP union and supported by many other trade unions in the Sri Lanka Ports including the UNP’s Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) won a majority slots in the Bank at the election held on July 7. more..

Indians outplayed in tame draw

July 15 (CI) Lahiru Thirimanne joined the centuries club as Sri Lanka Board President's XI once again dominated the Indians, on the final day at Colts Cricket Club. Pragyan Ojha was the only Indian player to gain as he finished with three wickets - to go with his first innings five - to push his selection for the second spinner in Galle, assuming Harbhajan Singh recovers from his illness on time. Batting practice was the objective of the final day, more..

Over 152,000 new vehicles on the road

July 15 (Island) During the first six month of this year 152,174 new vehicles have been registered with the Commissioner of Motor Traffic. This is an increase of 66,153 vehicles compared to the corresponding period last year. Of the 152,174 vehicles registered so far, motor cycles accounted for 94,146, three-wheelers 35,032 and motor cars 2,610. 204,475 vehicles had been registered last year, that included 135,421 motor cycles, 37,364 three-wheelers and 5,762 cars. more..

NTUC launches struggle for Rs.8000 increment

July 15 (LT) National Trade Union Council which is the largest trade Union consisting of state, private and estate consolidated trade unions is about to launch a struggle to win over a salary increment of Rs.8000. NTUC has already begun a country wide awareness program regarding this. Convener of Inter Company Employees Union Mr.Wasantha Samarasinghe said, "At the last presidential election president deceived masses stating he would grant a pay hike of Rs.2500. more..