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Sri Lanka hardliners angrily protest U.N. war crimes probe

July 6 (Reuters) A Sri Lankan cabinet minister on Tuesday led protesters on a march on the U.N. office, demanding Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dissolve a panel he appointed to advise him on possible war crimes. Sri Lanka's government is furious at Ban's appointment of the three-member panel on June 22, saying it is a violation of its sovereignty and a hypocritical application of double standards by Western governments engaged in the war on terror. more..

Muralitharan to retire from tests

July 7 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan, the leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, will retire from Test cricket after the first Test against India in Galle, which begins on July 18. While he will not play the subsequent tri-series, and will pick and choose which ODIs to play in, Murali will be available for selection if the team needs him for the 2011 World Cup, which Sri Lanka is co-hosting. Cricinfo has learnt that Murali met Aravinda de Silva, the chairman of selectors, more..

Debrief News - 06. 07. 2010

Sleepless in Sri Lanka

July 7 (HT) An angry UN, a sulking EU and now a furious Buddha; Sri Lankan diplomats have their plates full and cups overflowing these days. For one year they were fighting international pressure on human rights issues related to the end of the civil war in 2009. But finally, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon went ahead and set up a three-member panel to advise him on the allegations. Then the EU in spite of all diplomatic efforts suspended trade concessions more..

Chathura Peiris to lead Sri Lanka U-19 in England

July 7 (CI) Fast-bowling allrounder Chathura Peiris, who led Sri Lanka to the semi-finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand this year, will captain the Under-19 team on a tour to England from July 14 to August 7. Peiris has with him nine others who played in the U-19 World Cup, including Sri Lanka's highest run-getter in the tournament, Banuka Rajapakse, who scored 253 runs. more..

'I did not condemn annihilation of LTTE in war'

July 7 (Hindu) AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Tuesday clarified her stand on the LTTE, saying that she did not condemn the annihilation of the LTTE in war. “What I condemn is the wanton killing of LTTE activists surrendering, waving white flags before the Sri Lankan Armed forces. What I condemn is the killing of 50,000 unarmed civilians coming out of their bunkers, lured into believing that the war had come to an end,” more..

Murali an outstanding servant to cricket - Warne

July 7 (CI) I think Murali has got to the stage where that hunger and enjoyment has started to wane a bit, the body sometimes tells you it's time to give up. But he's been an outstanding servant to the game of cricket, and what he's been able to achieve for Sri Lanka has been a real credit to his country and to himself. He's always had a smile on his face, even when he's had to live through the doubters, because there will always be those people who say 'did he, didn't he?' more..

After Iraq and Iran, UN pushes its luck in Sri Lanka

July 7 (KT) Last month, the Sri Lankan government refused to issue visas to members of a UN panel selected to look into the possibility of war crimes in Sri Lanka’s war against Tamil Tigers, and turned down conditions by the European Union for relaxed trade concessions. Foreign Minister G L Peiris stated bluntly, “We will not issue visas to the panel. We don’t think we need them,” adding that such charges were the malicious fabrications by LTTE supporters. more..

Sri Lanka state refiner makes Rs13bn loss in first half

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-owned oil refiner, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), suffered a loss of almost 13 billion rupees in the first six months of this year, a senior official said. Petroleum ministry secretary Titus Jayewardene said the refiner, which has a 50,000 barrels a day refinery at Sapugaskanda, north of Colombo, suffered a loss of 7.5 billion rupees in the first three months alone. more..

'Officials briefed Parvathiammal about treatment'

July 7 (Hindu) Officials of the Indian High Commission, Colombo, who visited Parvathiammal, mother of the slain LTTE chief, V. Prabakaran, in Colombo in May, had indicated the offer to arrange for her treatment at a government hospital in Tamil Nadu at government expense, the Centre submitted before the Madras High Court on Tuesday. In a counter to a petition filed by R. Karuppan of Royapettah here which stated that the Union government should more..

Retiring Murali is the greatest ever, says Prasanna

July 7 (DC) India’s spin legend E.A.S. Prasanna on Tuesday hailed Sri Lankan record-breaking offie Muttiah Muralitharan as the greatest ever. “He’s the best I’ve seen and by a long mile. What he has accomplished despite bearing the brunt of so many controversies is incredible,” Prasanna told this newspaper. The Sri Lankan, the world’s highest wicket-taker in Tests with 792 wickets, has decided to retire from Test cricket more..

Sri Lanka applauds new asylum policy

July 7 (TA) Julia Gillard's warning that more Sri Lankan refugee claims will fail has been applauded by the Sri Lankan government. Yesterday, Ms Gillard announced the government would lift the three-month freeze on new Sri Lankan asylum claims and immediately resume the processing of 184 detained Sri Lankan boatpeople. "I have a message for people in Sri Lanka who might be considering attempting the journey to Australia," more..

A pragmatic Tamil consensus would put moral pressure on the state

July 7 (TC) The UN Human Rights Council has a new president, the ambassador of Thailand. A serious minded and senior diplomat, he is a fine choice indeed. The uninitiated may wonder how this honour went to Thailand, which was the unanimous Asian choice, so shortly after the bloody denouement of the streets protests in Bangkok, the extensive coverage in the global media and the sharp criticisms of the western media and western ‘neo-colonialism’ by more..

President opens new national postal museum

July 7 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa today (July 06) opened a new national postal museum at the Postal Department head office in Colombo to mark 200 years of postal service in the country. A philatelic exhibition centre too, is located in the premises. A new postage stamp was issued on the occasion to mark the postal anniversary. Posts minister Jeevan Kumaratunga, western province governor Alavi Moulana and more..

Protest at UN to continue

July 7 (DM) The government says it understands that those who are demonstrating outside the UN office in Colombo intend to continue with their protest until the UN system revisits the matter of the Panel on Sri Lanka. A statement by the government information department said the government hopes that the UN complex in Colombo would continue to function as normal in the days ahead. more..

III – Independence and the power of the Prime Minister

July 7 (RW) It was D S Senanayake who presided over negotiations towards independence, with the Commission led by Lord Soulbury, which was sent to Ceylon to commence discussions during the war, in recognition of the loyal service to the British war effort made by Ceylon and the Board of Ministers. Though initially what was planned was simply a larger measure of self-government, the logic of history, and the imminent independence of India, more..

NTUC meets to discuss action to win salary demand

July 7 (CT) The JVP affiliated National Trade Union Center was due to meet this evening (July 06) to discuss action to be taken to win relief and salary increases for the working masses. JVP politburo member and NTUC chief K.D. Lalkantha told 'Colombo Today' that over 100 trade unions affiliated to the NTUC would consider launching a joint trade union action to win the demands of the public, private and estate sector workers. more..

UN speaks out against protests trapping staff inside Colombo office

July 7 (UN) The United Nations has registered its strong objections to protests organized outside its offices in Colombo today by a Sri Lankan cabinet minister that prevented the world body’s staff and visitors from entering or leaving the premises. “While respecting the right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully, preventing access to UN offices hinders the vital work being carried out by the United Nations each day to help the people of Sri Lanka,” more..

Hunger strike to protect soldiers will continue: NFF

July 7 (NF) Chairman of the NFF Minister Wimal Weerawansa says that the hunger strike launched opposite the United Nations office in Colombo this evening will go on until a solution is provided. The NFF launched this hunger strike calling for the removal of the advisory panel on Sri Lanka appointed by the UN Secretary General. However Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Romesh Jayasinghe visited the UN office following the tense situation and commenced a discussion. more..

Clarke and Waqar salute 'amazing' Murali

July 7 (AFP) Australia's Michael Clarke paid tribute to Muttiah Muralitharan after the prolific bowler announced on Tuesday his intention to retire from Test cricket, saying the Sri Lanka off-spinner was an "amazing player". A Sri Lanka Cricket statement issued earlier Tuesday said the 38-year-old, affectionately known as Murali, had decided to quit Tests after the home series opener against India in Galle starting on July 18. more..

US backs UN in Sri Lanka war crimes dispute

July 7 (AFP) The United States on Tuesday stood behind UN chief Ban Ki-moon and his advisory panel on war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka, where protesters including a cabinet minister surrounded the UN office. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the United States supported "people's right to free expression" but also sought a "robust accountability process" to help the island reconcile after decades of war. more..

Women's views on prevention of torture - Interview 8

July 7 (LG) Sarani Fernando is a lawyer living in Negombo. She has been active in human rights work for about ten years. She made following comments in answer to questions posed to her. Q: What do you think of the policing system of Sri Lanka? A: The policing system we have now is one of the most corrupt places within the public sector. It is not possible to say that it is a good one at all. more..

Sri Lanka: Criminalization of Northern Politics

July 7 (LG) World renowned LTTE mafia boss and The Interpol wanted Kumaran Pathmanapan alias K.P getting more importance in the Northern politics and backing of the Government very much shows the criminalization of politics in the North. It raises the question of honor and respect to our beloved armed forces that sacrificed themselves to destroy Terrorist forces from Srilankan soil. more..

An amicable request by Namal to President Father

July 7 (LP) Hambanthota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksha makes a request from President Mahinda Rajapaksha and from all the Ministers forwarding a letter. In this letter he emphasizes that there are no representatives appointed him. Some people pose as his representatives and make requests for favors through the ministers and government officials. He states that there is no connection with such people more..

Parliament: Mervyn Scares Children, Basil Calls Ravi Useless

July 7 (SL) Disruption was bound to occur when parliament re-convened on Wednesday to discuss the 2010 budget. On Tuesday, opposition MPs waved placards protesting high prices and claiming the new budget was not people-friendly. “I’m not going to answer until they behave themselves!” shouted Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva, presumably referring to the protest, when UNP MP Sajith Premadasa posed a question during oral question time. more..

Editorial: Unfazed by calumny

July 7 (DP) After winning a war that no Sri Lankan President dared even try to, and emerging triumphant from every election he has fought since 2005 President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is directly responsible for altogether 78 institutions, and Minister for the country’s Defence, Finance, Planning, Ports and Aviation and Highways, would unarguably be the most powerful man in Sri Lanka today. Not correct. more..

'Achieved what I wanted to'

July 7 (DNA) When and why did you think of retiring? I was thinking about it for a long time. I wanted to retire after playing the West Indies (November). However, I didn’t want to keep so many talented youngsters waiting. I changed my decision and thought ‘why not retire against India’ as they are the No.1 Test side. (The Galle Test — the first of the three-match series will be Muralitharan’s last). more..

IMF staying in business: Certifies good economic performance

July 7 (ST) The IMF announced that it was continuing its standby facility of US$ 2.6 billion and restoring the delayed tranches. Its announcement on the eve of the 2010 mini Budget last Tuesday also praised the government’s economic policies and predicated a strong economic growth. The IMF statement, as well as its continuation of the credit facility, would enhance confidence in the economy, boost international confidence, improve the government’s capacity to borrow more..

Businessman challenges 'traffic police tyranny'

July 7 (ST) A businessman has moved the Supreme Court and challenged what appears to be traffic police tyranny on roads after his driving licence was retained by the City Traffic. A Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, Justice I. Imam and Justice R.K.S. Suresh Chandra on Friday directed the Attorney General to instruct the City Traffic to issue a temporary permit to petitioner Ravindra Lasantha Ratnayake. more..

Poll excites UNP members

July 7 (SL) The Sunday Leader SMS/EMAIL poll of your preference for the next leader of the UNP caused unprecedented interest – both from our readers and from the coterie of interested factions within the United National Party. Our poll, advertised and begun last Sunday, when publishing the profiles of MPs’ Ravi Karunanayake and Sajith Premadasa, was an attempt to seek the opinion of each subject from amongst the people of this country. more..

Private bus owners divided on strike

July 7 (NS) The Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) announced yesterday that they will not be participating in the bus strike on July 9. Speaking to the Nation, President of the LPBOA Gemunu Wijerathna said that the move by the Lanka Omni Bus Owners Association (LOBOA) to go on strike was “a very foolish and short sighted,” one. The LPBOA president said that this move will be counterproductive for their operation. more..

Colombo Airport to add a new terminal

July 7 (N360) Sri Lanka’s only International Airport in Katunayake will start building its second terminal from next year. Vice Chairman of the Airport and Aviation Authority Kamal S. Ratwatte said the US $ 300 million “terminal” once in operation will cater to 6 million passengers per annum. He said, currently the Colombo Airport only operates with a single terminal consisting of 10 gates and is only capable of catering to 6 million passengers per annum. more..

Serendib Dreaming- Episode 3

Sri Lanka war torn small business to get French credit

July 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Lanka Orix Leasing Company will expand credit to war torn northern and eastern areas of the country armed with a credit line from the French government, officials said. PROPARCO, the private sector funding arm of the French foreign aid agency gave a 10 million euro credit line to LOLC Tuesday. French ambassador to Colombo Christine Robichon said France had earlier worked with LOLC give credit to small entrepreneurs who more..

KP’s reported reformation on the sidelines of talks on reconciliation

July 7 (DM) The following are some of the paragraphs of an exclusive news item in a state owned newspaper published on June 20. “A group of nine Tamil intellectuals including former prominent militant sympathisers who had been operating internationally for the militant outfit along with Pathmanathan (Kumaran), the former head of the LTTE’s activities abroad said they would assist in the post conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in the country. more..

Ban Ki-moon and human rights

July 7 (Island) I write further to my article published in your paper today on the letter the EU has sent to the Sri Lankan government over the GSP Plus issue. I have received a huge response by email that I decided to revisit the subject. In that article, I said that those who had sought to teach us how to conduct ourselves "may have come down from trees in the not so distant past. more..

As Sri Lanka burns UN Ban in effigy, Some NAM members abandon It, UN in disarray, Kohona dressed down

July 7 (ICP) In the wake of the government sponsored or allowed hostage taking of UN staff in Colombo, Inner City Press on Tuesday asked the Permanent Representative to the UN of a major South Asian country if he still supported Sri Lanka's requested Non Aligned Movement statement opposing the UN's war crimes panel. We'll just stay out of it now, the Permanent Representative said. more..

'If Lanka is deprived of GSP+: Govt has alternative option'

July 7 (DN) The Government has an alternative option if the European Union deprives the GSP+ trade concession to Sri Lanka. There are local and International elements attempting to destabilize the country and create tension among communities using the opportunity. MP Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha said the country is doing very well and moving forward to reconciliation. There is massive development taking place in the North and the East. more..

A fitting tribute to, the heroism of the members of the tri forces

July 7 (MoD) War heroes of the Tri Forces of Sri Lanka are the heroes of our times for they crushed the most brutal terrorist outfit of the world who possessed even air power, the LTTE. Unfortunately war heroes who hoisted the banner of victory in the battlefield, face economic constraints in day - to - day life. In the battlefield they had to undergo untold suffering without a shelter in sun and rain. more..

Weerawansa’s protests wreak havoc – DIG assaulted; Piyasiri Wijenayake also attacked

July 7 (LeN) A number of protestors who were staging a fast in front of the UN Organization office entered into a scuffle with the DIG Pathirane of the Colombo range three. His cap was forcibly removed and thrown, and he was assaulted. This incident occurred while Minister and leader of NFF Weerawansa was speaking over the phone to the Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse, and after a senior Police officer nearby overheard the conversation. more..

Paba doesn’t want to be teased

July 7 (LP) UNP Parliamentarian Upeksha Swarnamali, otherwise famous as “Paba”, yesterday (6th) was at the Parliament Library preparing a speech she is to deliver today (7th). Enter a group of MPs including Acting Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and MP Namal Rajapaksa. Upon Mahindananda’s inquiry as to what she was up to, Upeksha has replied that she was writing her speech for the following day. more..

Sri Lanka Navy conducts a Medical Clinic for civilians

July 7 (MoD) North Central Naval Command conducted a medical clinic at Madukarai Vidyalaya on 3rd July for the benefit of the resettled families and civilians living in Vankalai area in the Mannar district. During the clinic, about 400 including adults and children were examined by the doctors and prescribed medicine for needy ones. Subsequently, the medicine were provided by the Command Naval Hospital and more..

Compensation for Labourers’ Families

July 7 (LP) The Labour Compensation Commissioner’s Office informs those who are owed compensation for those dead while in employment as labourers from the years 1982- 1992 to present themselves in order to collect their due compensation money. The Office said that the compensation due for the then underage children of the deceased labourers has been stored in the National Savings Bank under the name of “Labour Compensation Commissioner”. more..

'Even Premadasa's Teak trees have vanished from Khettarama'

July 7 (NF) The money that comes from TV rights deals has gone into the pockets of some individuals, says MP Arjuna Ranatunga. Even the valuable teak trees planted by President Premadasa have been cut down and the logs have vanished, said Arjuna. The DNA member of parliament, was drawing the attention of the government to the alleged corruption that was taking place in the field of sports. more..

3D - Hon. D.E.W.Gunasekara

White Flag issue: AG indicts Fonseka

July 7 (DN) Attorney General Mohan Pieris yesterday indicted General Sarath Fonseka before the Colombo High Court to be tried without a Jury, before a Trial-at- Bar in respect of the White Flag Issue. The Attorney General indicted him with three charges i.e General Sarath Fonseka in an interview with Sunday Leader Editor Frederica Jansz had said that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered more..

School girl killed and burnt: Probe begins into suspect's escape

July 7 (NF) Extensive investigations have been launched into the escape of a member of the Civil Defence Force, who had been brought in for questioning over an incident where a girl in the Morawewa area is alleged to have been murdered and burnt. A senior officer in charge of the area said that the police officers who were providing security for the suspect were being investigated as well. more..

The Govt will continue its Investment Programmes

July 7 (LP) According to Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, the Sri Lankan Government will continue its six billion dollar public investment programmes. “The Government’s commitment to social support scheme will continue.” He said, pointing out that this years Budget was also designed to assist in the development infrastructure and all related sectors. He also remarked that the Government will pay special attention to more..

366 Trade Unions to take stern action

July 7 (CT) At a meeting yesterday, 366 trade unions have agreed to resort to a trade union action to demand a salary increase. Speaking to 'Colombo Today', convener of the National Trade Union Centre, Samantha Koralearachchi said that these trade unions include unions from state institutions, private companies and estates island wide. As the initial step, the TUs will distribute leaflets more..

Sri Lanka to allow foreign Universities here

July 7 (GDI) Sri Lanka is to set up a special council with powers to regulate foreign universities. The government for the fist time in the recent budget announced its readiness to allow foreign universities to set up their branches in Sri Lanka. Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayka speaking in parliament said that legal drafts and standards will be prepared to establish foreign universities in the country. more..