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Sri Lanka’s credibility gap: A different perspective

July 23 (Island) Colonel R. Hariharan, who had served with the IPKF as Head of Intelligence, says Sri Lanka’s objections to the establishment of an expert panel to advice UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon on accountability issues during the last phase of Eelam war IV should be viewed against the backdrop of what he called Sri Lanka’s long term skirmish with foreign interference. Hariharan, who is associated with the Chennai Centre for China Studies and more..

Family of four missing

July 23 (DM) A Sri Lankan family, who had come to Sri Lanka fifteen years after leaving for Australia have disappeared, according to their relations who have complained to the Dehiwala Police. The missing persons are Lalithamanna Fernando (46) and Renuka Damayanthi (36) (who had resided at Bokundara in Piliyandala prior to their departure to Australia) and their two sons Tharindu Fernando (16) and Kavinda Fernando (06). more..

Govt. ready to face private bus strike

July 23 (Island) The government says it is ready to face the private bus strike scheduled for July 26. Transport Minister Kuamara Welgama said that he was ready to face any strike and necessary arrangements and the CTB and railway operation would be stepped up to cater to the commuting public. Minister Welgama said as far as he knew the planned strike had something to do with a tussle between the LPBOA and the Western Province Transport Minister Upali Kodikara. more..

Keheliya raps Local authorities, Environment Ministry for dengue menace

July 23 (Island) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday, that the local government authorities and Environment Ministry were more responsible for the dengue menace, than the Health Ministry. He said that the blame for the spread of dengue was being directed at the Health Ministry. But, that was wrong because it was the duty of the local authorities and Environment Minstry to deal with the problem on a daily basis. more..

Sri Lanka on track for record tea crop

July 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka, one of the world's biggest black tea exporters, produced nearly 30 percent more tea in the first half of the year and is on track for a record crop, an official said Friday. Tea is Sri Lanka's biggest cash crop and is sold in overseas markets as "Pure Ceylon Tea". The industry suffered a setback last year due to a drought and fall-out from the global commodities crash of 2008. more..

Parties disagree on executive PM’s powers

July 23 (DM) A divergence of opinion has emerged between the Government and the Opposition on replacing the executive presidency with an executive premiership under the proposed Constitutional reforms. An opposition delegation, led by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, met External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris yesterday regarding the proposed l reforms. SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, who also participated at this meeting more..

Lanka to reply to US

July 23 (DM) The External Affairs Ministry, Trade and Commerce Ministry and the Labour Ministry are collectively preparing a reply to a petition handed over to the US government by a US trade union alleging labour rights violations in Sri Lanka. The State Department has reportedly initiated action against Sri Lanka following a petition by AFL-CIO after FTZWU lodged a complaint with the AFL-CIO. more..

Sri Lanka told time running out for new trade deal with India

July 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka could lose more opportunities to access India's huge market owing to delays in striking a new economic partnership deal with her neighbour, the Indian envoy in Colombo has warned. An existing free trade deal between the two countries has led to a sharp increase in trade that could further expand with a planned new comprehensive economic partnership arrangement (CEPA), more..

Sri Lanka to make better use of idle state assets

July 23 (LBO) Sri Lanka will set up a state company to develop joint ventures and lease assets of other failed state companies with a capital of 100 million rupees, without 'privatizing' them. The State Resources Management Corporation will make better use of state assets which are uneconomical, minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. Analysts say Sri Lanka's state has lost billions of rupees trying to do business with people's money. more..

Matara students protest against Police brutality

July 23 (SL) Over 2000 University Students from the Ruhuna Campus organized a protest against police brutality in Matara today, after 24 year old Susantha Bandara; a third year student from the University of Ruhuna, succumbed to head injuries inflicted on him by the police, some three weeks earlier. The students, who had begun their protest in Welimadama, Matara and were walking towards the Matara town, more..

'Inquiry Panel: No change in Sri Lanka's stance'

July 23 (LNP) There is no change of the stance taken by the Government on the committee of experts appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Cabinet spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said. Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing, yesterday he said appropriate protests about the committee have been made by the Government and friendly nations have been briefed about the objection to the committee. more..

World Bank VP: Reconciliation for development in Sri Lanka

July 23 (SL) World Bank Vice President says that reconciliation is a pre-requisite for development. World Bank Vice President for South Asia, Isabel Guerrero has made this statement concluding a three-day visit to Sri Lanka pledging support to the country’s transit to a middle income country at peace. During her visit to Sri Lanka, Guerrero had called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and key officials of the Government. more..

Intel agencies to bust International LTTE terror racket

July 24 (MoD) Sri Lankan Intel agencies have unearthed vital information into remaining LTTE international terror activists engaged in human trafficking, arms smuggling and financial frauds bases in East Asia, Western Europe, Canada and Africa. According to reports, Sri Lankan Intel agencies & the INTERPOL has joined forces in a coordinated effort to bust the foreign based LTTE international terror network. more..

IGP clears the police

July 24 (DM) IGP Mahinda Balasuriya claimed today that there was no evidence of any assault injuries on the third-year student of the Ruhunu University who died on Thursday to blame the police for the death. He added that an aneurism had been the cause of the internal bleeding as evident in the post mortem report of the Judicial Medical Officer. The victim Susantha Aruna Bandara (25) was hospitalized on July 8 with continuous vomiting and fever. more..

Millions 'homeless' in Sri Lanka

July 24 (BBC) Over one million families in Sri Lanka are homeless, a leading opposition parliamentarian has said. Sajith Premadasa, the son of former President R Premadasa, also accused the government of trying to recollect loans –which was annulled by his father’s government - from poor house owners. “This government is so bankrupt that it is even struggling to pay salaries of Housing Development Authority workers,” the UNP MP told journalists in Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 23.07.2010

Sri Lanka: returning home to nothing

July 24 (IFRC) The physical scars left by the war in north Sri Lanka run as deep as the emotional ones. There are ruins where homes once stood, and 25 years of war have stopped development and destroyed livelihoods. Ouvurasa Anuba, 32, is the mother of two young children. She lost her husband in the final weeks of the war between the army and the ‘Tamil Tigers’ (LTTE). She also lost her mother and father-in-law during the conflict. more..

SriLankan Airlines to keep ground handling, catering monopoly: official

July 24 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines is to maintain its monopoly on ground handling and catering at the island's international airport which are its main money spinners, a senior official said. "There won't be any liberalisation of ground handling or catering," the airline's chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said. "We will maintain the monopoly in the years to come." Ground handling and catering have long been SriLankan Airlines' main sources of profit, more..

President receives Hindu Adi Vel procession

July 24 (SL) Today the Hindu Adi Vel procession returned to the streets of Colombo after 16 years. This procession of gods proceeded from Pettah and traveled through York Street, Achilon Square and Galle Road, stopping to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa in front of his residence at Temple Trees. It was organized by the trustees of the Sammangod Sri Kathir Velautha Swami Temple and Manicavinayagak Temple. more..

Sri Lanka ship agents voice concern over port delays

July 24 (LBO) Sri Lankan shipping agents said they are concerned over delays at Colombo port although they expect the situation to improve with new equipment and transport arrangements for moving containers between terminals. Nimal Ranchigoda, chairman of the Ceylon Association of Ships' Agents, said two issues of "very serious concern to the membership" were delays to vessels of shipping lines at Colombo port and productivity levels at government container terminals. more..

Move to grant citizenship to all who migrated to India due to conflict

July 24 (NF) A programme has been launched to grant citizenship to those who migrated to India due to the conflict in Sri Lanka and have now returned home. A part of this programme was launched at the Vavuniya Divisional Secretariat today. 120 individuals were granted citizenship at the Vavuniya Divisional Secretariat to return to the island after migrating to India during the conflict. more..

'Govt. forgotten Sirimavo legacy'

July 24 (BBC) The former president of Sri Lanka, Chandrika Kumarathunga, has accused the government of completely forgetting the legacy of the word's first woman prime minister. The younger daughter of Sirimavo Bandaranaike said that the government have an "obsession against" the Bandaranaike family. She said the government could still celebrate the 50 anniversary of "the Sri Lankan achievement" of voting the first ever woman PM in July 1960. more..

Peiris keeps Sri Lanka level

July 24 (CI) In a match that continues to swing between two evenly-matched sides, Sri Lanka Under-19s ended the third day at Northampton with a lead of 270 after Chathura Peiris's left-arm seamers kept England Under-19s to 286. The hosts had been well-positioned on 255 for 5 overnight but Peiris added three wickets to his tally to scythe through the lower order and finish with 5 for 44. England fought back almost immediately, as opener Yasoda Lanka was sent back by more..

Pakistan ‘A’ to play ODI, four-day series in Sri Lanka

July 24 (Dawn) Pakistan ‘A’ will play a tri-nation ODI series and two four-day Tests on their tour of Sri Lanka next month. The six-match tri-nation series involving Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa will be played from August 24 to September 6, according to the itinerary released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday. Pakistan will then face Sri Lanka in two four-day Test matches from 9-12 and September 15-18. more..

How Mrs. Bandaranaike became Prime Minister in 1960

July 24 (DBS) Fifty years ago on 21 July 1960, Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike was sworn in as Prime Minister of Ceylon. The 44-year-old widow of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike made history on that day as the world’s first woman Prime Minister. Large crowds lined up along the streets of Colombo to cheer the smiling lady as she was driven from Tintagel at Rosemead place to Queen’s House in Fort and then to Temple Trees in Colpetty. more..

Jaffna HRC to investigate cases of persons disappeared at the end of war on Vanni

July 24 (TN) An official of Jaffna Human Rights Commission (HRC) office said that the first stage of preliminary investigation to find out the fate of persons who had disappeared after leaving Liberation Tigers controlled area in Vanni at the end of the war, is in the offing. Representatives of Associations related to finding persons disappeared after arrest by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) or surrender, however, more..

Remembering 'Black July' to encourage Sri Lankan reconciliation

July 24 (AN) Catholic communities and NGOs are marking today the 27th anniversary of the Black July riots that left thousands of Tamil civilians dead at the hands of ethnic Sinhalese on 23 July 1983. Remembrance ceremonies are being held in the hope that reconciliation might come to the people of Sri Lanka. After Tamil Tiger fighters ambushed and killed 13 Sri Lankan soldiers on that tragic day, 27 years ago, ethnic Sinhalese attacked ethnic Tamils. more..

Sangakkara questions ICC Test rankings

July 24 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka's captain, has questioned the way the ICC Test rankings work. He was responding to a query whether the players take seriously a system that has India at No. 1 despite not having won a series in Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka since 1993, and whether that system needs a change. "You should have asked that question of Haroon [Lorgat, ICC's CEO], who was here a while ago…" Sangakkara said. more..

Child Protection Authority hotline receives over 200 complaints within first 24

July 24 (NF) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) says that over 200 complaints have been received thus far on the special hot line set up yesterday to lodge complaints with regard to incidents of child abuse. “Teachers, parents and third parties have filed these complaints on the ‘Child Line 1929’ which is open around the clock. The number of officers to respond to such complaints has been increased as well,” more..

Inventor comes up with new basket for Tea pluckers

July 24 (NF) A resident of the Mailagasthenna area in Badulla has succeeded in inventing a new basket that will make the task of tea pluckers less difficult. "This new invention overcomes some of the shortcomings in the basket which is used at present," said Lionel Harischandra, the inventor of the basket. The basket has been dubbed 'the light weight tea basket'. The inventor had obtained a patent for his invention in June. more..

Mahela appointed vice captain

July 24 (BBC) The cricket selectors in Sri Lanka have appointed former captain Mahela Jayawardana as the vice captain for the second Test against India. Jayawardana is the first ever former captain to be appointed as a vice captain in Sri Lanka's Test cricket history. Jayawardana, who was Sangakkara’s predecessor, was appointed as the vice captain by Sri Lanka selectors at a very young age to groom him for the future leadership. more..

'We've more in our cupboard'

July 24 (DNA) In the post match news conference on Thursday, Muttiah Muralitharan made a potent statement. Sri Lanka’s talismanic off-spinner said that the team “won’t really miss him”. Was he speaking the truth or being characteristically humble? Looking at the bunch of bowlers waiting in the wings, we may have to agree with Murali. Gone are the days when Sri Lankan bowling was just about Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas and a host of unknown players with long names. more..

Record Sri Lanka stock rise to boost initial share sales, NDB Bank says

July 24 (BN) Sri Lanka’s stock market, the world’s second-best performer this year, may see a near threefold rise in share sales in the second half from the first six months amid rising investor demand, according to National Development Bank Plc. “The recent high oversubscriptions of new issues show the liquidity that is available,” Vajira Kulatilaka, head of investment banking at NDB Bank, said. more..

Sri Lankan journalist’s disappearance remains unexplained

July 24 (CPJ) Six months after the unexplained disappearance of Sri Lankan journalist and cartoonist Prageeth Eknelygoda, the government has refused to offer any assistance or provide answers to his wife, Sandhya. The government’s attitude is a clear indicator of the anti-media polices of President Mahindra Rajapaksa, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. more..

How safe in Sri Lanka for diaspora investors?

July 24 (LG) The Island” (20/7/2010) reports Police have taken into custody a Canadian Tamil investor engaged in the building of costly Condos in the Wellawatta area in Colombo . The accusation is he is a front using illegal Tiger funds – an easily marketable “theory” in the psyche of the majority in the country - that includes the Police and sources within the government. This single project alone involves a reported 78 units - many of which already sold at Rs.15 million each. more..

Myth of Christian contribution to Tamil – 3

July 24 (LG) Another missionary who inflicted massive damage on Tamil Hindus was the Scot Robert Caldwell (1814-1891) who, along with his wife Elissa Mault, resided in Tirunelvelli and made huge conversions. While he focused on the male population, she converted the womenfolk. He sowed the poisonous seed called Dravidian Racism. He fully utilised the Aryan-Dravidian theories concocted by German linguist Max Mueller and imposed them on Tamil Hindus as true history. more..

Conch shell smugglers caught by Sri Lanka Navy

July 24 (IL) Sri Lanka Navy nabs two smugglers of conch shells in the seas north of Thalaimannar, North West of Sri Lanka recently. According to the Navy Headquarters the arrest was made by the Navy’s Fast Gun Boat (FGB) “Ranawickrama”, which was on a routine patrol in the Northern waters. Sri Lanka Navy FGBs are on routine patrol along the Sri Lankan waters 24/7 deployed by the Northern Naval Command and more..

Devolution will strengthen and uphold democracy and national unity

July 24 (TC) The object of this article is to explore viable means of uniting the ethnically divided Sri Lankan society and promoting democracy, real peace and development, neglected earlier and later damaged severely by the protracted internal conflict that is rooted in the inapt political system. The latter endows absolute power to the ethnic majority ignoring the diverse nature of the Sri Lankan society. more..

Running with the UN rabbits and hunting with govt hounds

July 24 (TC) On 11 July 2010, the Sinhala edition of Sunday “Lakbima” reported that minister of Heritage and Cultural Affairs, Ms. Pavithra Wanniarachchi appointed the Public Performance Board (PPB), better known as the "Censor Board" and advised them to be “honest and independent”. No qualms about the ministerial advice or request, though one could have strong and hard reservations on some of the names in the list of appointees, as members of the PPB. more..

From President Ltd to Executive PM unlimited

July 24 (TC) Constitutional impatience is the name of the game. Three weeks ago the move was to rescind Article 31 (2) to allow the incumbent president to go beyond two terms in office. That plan seems to have gone astray just like other best-laid plans of mice and men. Now the goal has been ostensibly downsized – from President Limited to Executive Prime Minister Unlimited. more..

Lanka learn to live without a legend

July 24 (IE) Sri Lanka woke up on Friday to a life without Muttiah Muralitharan. For the first time since 1992 the captain, players and selectors will realise, over the next few months if not just weeks, the full extent of what the absence of Muralitharan means to the team. His 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls speaks volumes of his skill and acumen but doesn't tell the full story. Of Muralitharan's 800 Test wickets, 438 have come in the 54 Test matches that Sri Lanka have won. more..

Lessons from two different anniversaries

July 24 (LG) There were two significant anniversaries last week that have relevance to present times. One was, the assumption to the office of Prime Minister fifty years ago of Sirimavo Bandaranaike. She was to remain an outstanding political figure in our country for over forty years. The other was the worst anti-Tamil pogrom that took place twenty-seven years ago during the executive presidency of J R Jayewardene. more..

Selling off the history via the ‘Ramayana Trail’

July 24 (DM) Plans by the Ministry of Tourism to allegedly distort the history of Sri Lanka, under the guise of tourism promotion through the introduction of a ‘Ramayana Trail” came under heavy fire of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka (RASSL). They argue that when Sri Lanka has a magnificent history of its own, the Tourism Authority is imposing an artificial one targeting a small segment of Indian travellers, more..

Measures for control of corruption - Part Four

July 24 (LG) Investigation for effective control of bribery suffers a further obstacle in the apparent requirement for formal communication to commence investigation. Such is the interpretation to the law given by the Bribery Commissioners to the relevant provision in the Act. Apart from that interpretation given by the Bribery Commissioners in open pronouncement, there are other consequences from such for effective control of bribery. more..

In the pigsty they come to their senses

July 24 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and congratulations on the dramatic change of course or hopefully a change of conscience in Sri Lankan politics. Essentially this turnaround or change of heart had personal agendas with adversity bringing about a strange political fellowship. So much so since July 10 we have seen an unforeseen change from confrontational party politics and dangerous trends towards a glorified family dictatorship more..

Boossa School Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan government pushes university privatisation

July 24 (wsws) The Sri Lankan government is pressing ahead with plans to open university education up to private businesses as a means of further cutting public spending. Perversely, ministers and the media point to the deterioration of public education—caused by successive Colombo governments—to argue that only the private sector can solve the problem. A report released by the National Education Commission (NEC) entitled more..

Amnesty for overstaying Sri Lankan migrant workers in Lebanon

July 24 (LP) Lebanon government has offered an amnesty for the Sri Lankan migrant workers overstaying in the country violating visa regulations. During the amnesty period, the migrant workers can surrender and return to the homeland without facing punitive actions. It is believed that around 2,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers are illegally staying in Lebanon. Some of them are accused of fleeing from the place of work violating their service agreements. more..

SLA personnel to be settled on uprooted civilians’ land in Ki’linochchi district

July 24 (TN) Five thousand houses constructed in Mu’ruka’ndi area in Ki’linochchi district including Skanthapuram along A9 road are to be settled in August with Sri Lanka Army (SLA) senior and junior officials and their families permanently while the uprooted civilians brought to be resettled in Skanthapuram are left in a school building by Sri Lanka government officials, sources in Ki’linochchi said. more..

“Vigil” and other works: An exhibition of installations,drawings and paintings

July 24 (HA) “Vigil” and Other Works by Chandraguptha Thenuwara is currently being held at the Lionel Wendt Gallery in Colombo. It was inaugurated today for special invitees. The exhibition will remain open from July 24th 2010 to July 29th 2010 from 10am to 7pm except the Poya Day on Sunday-July 25th 2010. There are 15 exhibits including installations, drawings and paintings displayed. more..