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Killing beggars under the pretext of eliminating terrorists?

July 3 (LG) A news report published on June 11th from Colombo stated, "Members of the vanquished Tamil Tiger terrorist organization, LTTE are posing as beggars in the cities throughout the country to gather information, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said today. The Premier said the government intelligence services have identified that these beggars having been trained and deployed by the LTTE. more..

Former CM Varatharaja Perumal back in Jaffna

July 3 (TN) Former Chief Minister of North East Provincial Councils, Varatharaja Perumal from the EPRLF, is back in Jaffna actively engaged in political activities accompanied by his supporters. Varatharaja Perumal was on a short spell of visit to Jaffna after years of exile during last parliamentary election in which the coalition party candidates he fielded had failed even to get their deposit money back, more..

Sri Lanka may apologize

July 3 (DM) The government may tender an apology to the United Nations (UN) over comments made by government Minister Wimal Weerawansa urging the public to surround the UN office in Colombo and prevent the staff from leaving the premises in protest over the UN panel appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon. UN spokesman Farhan Haq said that the UN has received some indications that an apology might be in order. more..

Netherlands backs IOM programmes in Sri Lanka

July 3 (IOM) The Netherlands has pledged EUR 2 million (LKR 277,820,000) to support two IOM programmes that are helping IDPs to return home and reintegrating former LTTE Tamil Tiger combatants into civil society. The contribution of EUR 1 million to each programme will allow IOM to continue to help families to return to their home areas in the north and east of the country from Menik Farms and other displacement camps in Vavuniya. more..

The lies and double standards of International Humanitarian Laws

July 3 (DM) We have countries like the US and alliances commit war crimes as a matter of institutional necessity to maintain their imperial role and ensure favorable climates of investments and advance capitalism. We also have countries that have supported despots like Suharto, Marcos, Fujimori, Mobutu, Savimbi, Pinochet, and media of these countries backing their Governments and more..

'Jaya justified killings of Tamils'

July 3 (EB) In his repartee to AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa's accusation that he was a "war criminal," visàvis the Sri Lankan issue, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday said the AIADMK supremo had sought to justify the killings of Lankan Tamils during the last year's war. In a statement, he referred to a statement of Jayalalithaa on January 17, 2009 in which she said: "The Lankan army's intention is not to kill the Tamils. more..

Sri Lanka budget on track in April

July 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka's budget deficit in the first four months of 2010, though high, is in line with the gap for the full-year estimates presented in parliament last week, official data show. In the first four months revenues rose 26.6 percent to 240.7 billion rupees from a year earlier. But most of the revenues came from a jump in profits transfers mainly from the Central Bank and the telecommunications regulator, more..

Sri Lanka mulls energy audit to save electricity

July 3 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government is to have energy audits for all state organisations in an efforts to save electricity and minimise wastage, a senior official said. Kithsiri Dissanaike, chairman of the Sustainable Energy Authority, said an awareness campaign for school children as well as industries is also being done to reduce waste of energy as much as possible. “We see many buildings with unnecessary light bulbs which is a waste of electricity,” more..

Sri Lankan budget imposes IMF austerity demands

July 3 (wsws) Sri Lankan deputy finance minister Sarath Amunugama presented a delayed interim budget for 2010 on Tuesday, outlining plans for austerity measures to meet the demands of the IMF. Amunugama claimed that the budget would reduce the fiscal deficit sharply from 9.9 to 8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while providing for tax concessions and infrastructure programs to boost big business. more..

Sri Lankan state has not yet grasped in full the new Tamil diaspora configuration

July 3 (TC) The UN panel of experts, the EU condition GSP plus concessions drew a plethora of responses in Sri Lanka from politicians, policy makers, media personalities, eminent public figures. These international developments have been revisited in many newspaper articles with the arguments focusing on the threat to sovereignty of the country. This article attempts to focus on the issue of more..

Instability in spite of Power, Insanity in the wake of Victory

July 3 (TC) No previous Sri Lankan government has been as powerful as the present one. It has an elected Executive assured of tenure for another seven years. It just won a majority in the legislature that is incredible under proportionate representation. The judiciary is institutionally independent but individually subservient at the highest levels, save for a handful of gutsy female and male judges in the lower courts. more..

New school For Morawewa

July 3 (MoD) Yesterday (02 July) the Hon. Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksha and Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksha opened a school which was built for the children of the Diwulwewa. Funded and guided by the Sri Lanka Air Force Seva Vanitha Unit SLAF Detachment Diwulwewa constructed a Primary School for the children of the families who were returning after the ushering in of peace. more..

Housing loans for displaced

July 3 (MoD) A special loan program has been introduced for displaced families in the Northern Province by the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA). The renovation of the NHDA District Office in Kilinochchi also commenced Thursday. Under the new loan scheme Rs 325,000 will be provided to each householder. The construction of these houses should be done by the householders with NHDA technical assistance, more..

Facilities for bakery owners to go North

July 3 (MoD) Internal Trade and Co-operatives Minister Johnston Fernando who met the Association of Bakery Owners said the Government would provide facilities to open bakeries in the North when he met them at the Ministry on Thursday. The Bakery Association expressed their willingness to start business in the North. The association requested the Minister to exempt bread from the Defence Levy and more..

Govt to probe large scale fraud

July 3 (LP) A group of Doctors in one of the leading Hospitals in Colombo are involved in a large scale fraudulent business in medical items. It was revealed that a packet of Surgical Sutures (thread) is sold at a price of Rs 15000 while the normal price of it is Rs 500. The patients face many difficulties as Doctors conducting surgeries ask for the most expensive type of surgical thread. more..

Netherlands' appreciates Govt stand

July 3 (MoD) The Netherlands' Ambassador to Sri Lanka Leoni Cuelenaere who called on Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne yesterday said her government appreciates the stand taken by Sri Lanka on international pressures. The Government of the Netherlands appreciates the diplomatic and strategic position upheld by the Government of Sri Lanka with respect to the pressure exerted by certain countries in connection with the internal political issues of the country, more..

A fair for Hobbyists in Colombo

July 3 (LP) A fair for hobbyists, Hobby Fair 2010 commenced at the Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLEC) yesterday. The fair is held for the first time in Sri Lana and it is of individual arts and crafts by dedicated enthusiasts and a forum for would-be entrepreneurs. Hobbyists at the fair showcase as well as sell their arts and crafts such as painters, sculptors, lace and pottery makers and photographers. more..

Trade unions oppose permanency to 3,000 acting principals

July 3 (LP) Three thousand principals serving on acting capacity will be given permanency in their postings on a request by provincial chief ministers, said ministry sources. The chief ministers have also proposed giving permanency to 800 officers of the education administration service. However, teacher trade unions are opposing these moves, claiming injustice to 4,318 fully qualified principals who more..

Minister Dullas peeps into the past

July 3 (LP) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, addressing a district Committee meeting recently recalled a past of disturbed 30 years. The Minister was informed during the meeting that over 280 young couple who were in the Matara beach were arrested by the police and the news was brought to the Minister by the Matara DIG. “if the Police had arrested young couples who were walking in the beach, Mr Daluwattha wouldn’t be in this position today" more..

From majoritarian to authoritarian rule under the guise of necessity

July 3 (TC) The Government of Sri Lanka has been successful in brushing off the alleged accusations of war crimes during the final stage of the war and violations of the basic rights of the survivors after it ended May last year with the crushing defeat of the Tamil militants (LTTE), who fought for a separate independent Tamil State (Eelam). Their ruthless methods of warfare that ignored completely international laws and norms, more..

Netherlands pledges 2 million Euros to support IDPs

July 3 (LP) The Netherlands has pledged EUR 2 million (LKR 277,820,000) to support two International Organization for Migration (IOM) programmes that are helping IDPs to return home and reintegrating former LTTE Tamil Tiger combatants into civil society. The contribution of EUR 1 million to each programme will allow IOM to continue to more..

Authoritarian Regimes Vs. NGOs

July 3 (LeN) This article is a continuation of the previous article Breaking the Backbone of the Sri Lankan Civil. Previous Article discussed three issues i.e. What is an NGO? Is it a human right? and the advantage of having NGOs. The constant struggle between authoritarian regimes and NGOs reminds us of the historic struggle for freedom - the world over against oppression. Determined groups defeated feudal leaders to authoritarian dictators in the past. more..

Budget in step-motherly treatment to education - IUSU

July 3 (LP) The Inter University Students Union has alleged the education field has received step-motherly treatment by the budget for this year. IUSU convener Udul Premaratne said that they would organize a protest and a poster campaign next week against this situation. The government has curtailed the budgetary allocation to education as Rs. 570 million to the education ministry and Rs. 1,370 to the higher education ministry, he said. more..

Full loaf if tax is removed: Bakers

July 3 (DM) The All Ceylon Bakery Association (ACBA) yesterday urged the government to remove the Nation Building Tax (NBT) charged on wheat, ACBA chairman H.K. Jayawardena said. “The Nation Building Tax is the first tax to be charged on wheat. It came into effect a few years back. We are asking the government to remove this. Otherwise the standard weight of a loaf of bread needs to be reduced to 400g,” he said. more..

Thunkala 01

Editorial: Busy bullies

July 3 (DM) Sri Lanka certainly needs to improve its human rights record. There are no two words about it. However the situation here was never as bad as what was made it out to be by the pro-LTTE media and those who believed their story. When Hillary Clinton, who was strongly supported by the LTTE lobby in the US, lost to Barack Obama at the nominations anti-LTTE Sri Lankans heaved a sigh of relief. more..

'No country has ever achived economic prosperity for the people by suppressing the Rule of Law'

July 3 (LNW) The budget presented on the 29th, the first since the defeat of the LTTE in May last year, could well have been the most important budget to have been presented in Sri Lanka, in recent times, heralding a new era of peace and economic prosperity. Instead we were presented with an IMF approved wish list without any reference whatsoever to the practical day to day nightmares our people have to face today. more..

'Jayalalithaa got Assembly to adopt resolution seeking Prabakaran's arrest'

July 3 (Hindu) A day after AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa accused him of betraying Sri Lankan Tamils, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi said she had provided him an opportunity to expose her earlier stands against the Tamils. The Chief Minister said it was Ms. Jayalalithaa who got the Assembly to adopt a resolution urging the Sri Lankan government to arrest LTTE leader Prabakaran, more..

Failure to appoint Consultative Committees: Inefficiency of Opposition

July 3 (DN) Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardena told Parliament yesterday that appointment of Consultative Committees of the Seventh Parliament hit a snag owing to the inefficiency of the Opposition. An undue delay was caused because the Opposition had failed to submit the list of their nominees for these Committees. The Minister said that the delay was caused by the inefficient Opposition and this resulted in the delay of work of the Consultative Committees. more..

Rights application: CJ orders petitioner be issued temporary permit

July 3 (DN) Chief Justice Asoka de Silva yesterday ordered the Colombo North Motor Traffic Division Assistant Police Superintendent to issue a temporary permit in lieu of a vehicle licence to a petitioner in a rights application before 12.30 p.m. The Chief Justice further ordered to mention the application before Court on Monday. The Bench comprised Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice S.I. Imam and Justice R.K.S. Suresh Chandra. more..

Sri Lanka state-run budget carrier gets more competition

July 3 (LBO) Middle East budget carrier Flydubai has started four weekly flights to Colombo, providing fresh competition for state-run Mihin Lanka, which lost 900 million rupees last year. Flydubai's is kicking off this month offering a one-way ticket from Dubai to Colombo at 13,000 rupees, almost 3,000 rupees cheaper than Mihin Lanka. The Mid-east no frills carrier operates nine aircrafts more..

Learning to live without GSP Plus

July 3 (DN) On May 19, 2009 we entered a post-LTTE period in our post-Independence history. A year later we were told that in August 2010 we would enter a post-GSP Plus period. Those who salivated when they promised that this ‘mechanism’ will be used to arm-twist us into giving Prabhakaran enough of a breather so that terrorism could survive (I am thinking of the likes of Benito Ferrero-Waldner here) are salivating less now (the Sri Lankan Government didn’t blink on that occasion, as many of its predecessors had) more..

Sabaragamuwa health ministry under heavy flak by Chief Minister

July 3 (Island) For want of proper accounting and official scrutiny about 40 per cent of funds invested for development activities are squandered, Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath says stressing the need for a determined effort to deal with waste, corruption and irregularities in the public sector. Chief Minister Herath emphasised the importance of tackling problems swiftly and decisively. more..

Budget hopes fizzle, but top official offers hope

July 3 (Island) The private sector is feeling let down that the 2010 budget was limited to a policy direction without clear implementation strategies but a top Treasury official promised the best is yet to come which include personal and corporate tax cuts and other sweeping reforms that would make Sri Lanka business friendly. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce invited senior officials of the Treasury, more..

Charges against 12 monks who fasted

July 3 (DM) A Colombo Court yesterday ordered the Fort police to file charges against 12 Buddhist monks who were on a fast unto death opposite the Fort Railway station calling for the release of retired General Sarath Fonseka. When the matter was taken up for inquiry by Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, the police said the monks were arrested for unlawful assembly and for obstructing police officers from performing their duties. more..

Bail denied in cook’s killing

July 3 (Island) Sivakumar Sivani, wife of the Big Banana Restaurant owner, was yesterday refused bail and re-remanded till July 16 by Mt. Lavinia Additional Magistrate Ruchira Weliwatte. Sivani, a suspect in the murder of Tennrasu Selvaraja, an Indian national and cook at Big Banana Restaurant at Stafford Place in Kirullapona, who had been remanded, filed an application for bail through her lawyer Kalinga Indatissa. more..

Youth Parks for young couples

July 3 (Island) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma, yesterday emphasised the need to establish youth parks in the country where young couples could enjoy their freedom and spend their time free of obstacles from the outside world. He said that young boys and girls have the freedom to hold hands and move about on the beach or similar places as long as they did not misbehave and if such couples end up in a police station, it is a tragedy. more..

'Sri Lanka would not allow International Intervention'

July 3 (LP) Water Supply and Drainage Services Minister Dinesh Gunawardhana said in parliament yesterday this Government doesn’t allow intervening by any International organization on internal affairs of Sri Lanka. Some of our own people helped LTTE to destroy the economy and pressurize the people of the country. There was a group of Internationals also who fed the LTTE. more..

Human-elephant conflict: Over 220 jumbos killed last year

July 3 (DN) Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said yesterday in Parliament that 228 elephants and tuskers were killed as a result of the human-elephant conflict in 2009. Fifty persons were killed as a result of elephant attacks during the same period, he further said. He told Parliament that there were around 6,000 elephants and tuskers in Sri Lanka as at the end of 2009. more..

Executive subverting judiciary: Mangala

July 3 (DM) The main opposition UNF charged yesterday that the executive was making the most serious assault on the rule of law by encroaching into the Judiciary. SLFP (M) leader Mangala Samaraweera in a hard hitting speech in parliament said while some lower level judges and magistrates were making a valiant effort to preserve the independence of the judiciary when discharging their duties, more..

'Terrorism overcome without HR violations'

July 3 (DN) Sri Lanka which overcame ruthless terrorists without infringing human rights of the people is now stepping into the future. With hope after overcoming the crisis situation a year ago. It is now shouldering the responsibility of building national unity and co-existence by rehabilitating the economy and social structure and upgrading infrastructure facilities after strengthening security throughout the country, more..

KP as Northern Province Chief Minister?

July 3 (Island) In this interview, C.A.Chandraprema talks to Minister Douglas Devananda about several recent developments in Tamil politics including EPDP moves to talk to the TNA, and moves by the government to talk to the TNA and to rope in KP, the ex-LTTE financial wizard and arms procurer. Q: You have decided to hold talks with the TNA, what do you really hope to gain from that? more..

Now Lakshman wants people to surround Sirikotha

July 3 (NF) The UNP is the strongest political party in the history of Sri Lanka and unless the party changed its leadership to take the party on to a victorious path, the great party will be in the Opposition for eternity, says the UNP Deputy General Secretary Lakshman Seneviratne. A new leadership was needed to take the party on to a victorious path. However, the indications were that the party could be in the Opposition even beyond 2017, more..

Editorial: How we Provide home-grown solutions for the needy

July 3 (LNP) The government is groveling before the IMF seeking the release of tranches of a standby facility and begging for foreign aid while bellowing shrill rhetoric for the consumption of the gullible public here. But, one may wonder how on earth the country could be so broke as to send its government panhandling, if one happens to see the large number of flashy vehicles in the parliament car park and to witness the luxury lifestyles of most parliamentarians. more..

The importance of being Sri Lanka

July 4 (BS) On the face of it, the visit of the Sri Lankan President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to New Delhi last month was rather successful. India and Sri Lanka signed a range of agreements including loans for major infrastructure projects and sharing of electricity. India has extended a line of credit of $200 million to assist in the setting up of the NTPC-CEB joint venture 500 Mw thermal power plant at Trincolamalee. more..

A people’s tribunal for people displaced by war and tsunami

July 4 (AN) A People’s Tribunal will be set up on 10 July in Puttalam District, some 125 kilometres north of Colombo, Praja Abhilasha Network representatives said at a press conference last Monday. The Network is an organisation that defends the rights of people who are landless or who lost their land. It is linked to the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement (NAFSO). For its promoters, the goal of the People’s Tribunal is to more..

Mystery killings in Colombo unsolved

July 4 (BBC) In a horrific turn of events in Sri Lanka's biggest city, Colombo, between seven and ten hawkers, homeless people or beggars have been murdered in the space of a few weeks. The murder methods have been particularly violent, the victims crushed with rocks or beaten with poles as they slept. The police have not solved the mystery series of killings. more..

Manufacturing facility of MAS bags ‘Leed Gold’ certificate

July 4 (F2F) “Linea-AITC”, MAS Active’s Strategic Business Unit established in September 2009, that exclusively manufactures Sportswear for Nike Inc, was recently awarded LEED GOLD certification for New Construction, by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Linea AITC was launched to support the Nike Apparel Innovation and Training Centre (AITC) which provides training and education to create industry leadership in lean manufacturing. more..

Sri Lanka expects record tourist arrivals this year: official

July 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka expects to get 600,000 tourists this year with the end of a 30-year war making the island an attractive destination once again, a senior tourism official said. S Kalaiselvam, director general of Sri Lanka Tourism, said tourist arrivals could hit a record high this year if the rapid increase in the number of visitors continues. He was speaking at a news conference held to announce the World Spice Food Festival starting on July 16 in Colombo. more..

Wimal’s party proposes constitutional amendments

July 4 (SL) The NFF led by Minister Wimal Weerawansa has proposed the inclusion of a constitutional amendment that any person charged with the crime of separatism and acts in contravention of the country’s unitary state concept be tried before the Supreme Court and final verdict issud within a stipulated period of time. The NFF has handed over a set of five proposals to be included in the government’s proposed constitutional amendments. more..