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Amicable settlement of human-crocodile conflict in Meepe

June 9 (NF) A female crocodile that had laid eggs in a village in Habaraduwa, Galle, was safely removed from the area. The Wild Life Conservation Society (WLCS) in Galle spearheaded the operation, which was carried out on Monday and Newsfirst correspondent Sajeewa Wijeweera was on hand to capture this rare scene. The crocodile had created the nesting place in a swamp located close to several houses in the Meepe village in Habaraduwa. more..

CEB officials against Indian wind power project

June 9 (Island) Senior CEB officials are against a wind power project, which an Indian company is determined to construct between Puttalam and Kankesanturai for the generation of 4,500 Mw. Their objection is on the grounds that the Indians are planning to export the power back to India. The Island reliably learns the Indian company is lobbying their project with senior Sri Lankan government officials. more..

Fonseka does it again: Tells BBC ready to give evidence at any Court anywhere

June 9 (DN) General Sarath Fonseka has betrayed the President, Defence Secretary, Security Forces and the whole nation before the international community through an alleged clandestine telephone interview with the BBC, Media Centre for National Security Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said. BBC hard talk presenter Stephen Sackur in a report posted in a BBC website said more..

It’s ‘Community-Education’ and not ‘Free-Education’!

June 9 (DN) Harin Corea, contemporary at Peradeniya University, has opined that the ‘free’ in ‘free education’ is a misnomer and moreover dangerously misleading in terms of the mindset it creates, nurtures and entrenches. He elaborates thus: “Free” implies at-no-cost. However, the cost of this education is borne by the community and should probably be called “community-sponsored” education, and in our case, more specifically “tax-payer- sponsored” education. more..

Danselas, trade stalls prohibited in archaeological sites

June 9 (DN) Organisations planning to hold danselas in the Mihintale sacred area during Poson should obtain prior permission from the Anuradhapura District Secretariat, District Secretary H.M.K. Herath said. He said traders wishing to put up temporary trade stalls for Poson should also seek permission from his office. People will not be allowed to conduct danselas and trade stalls in Archaeological sites more..

Build better infrastructure or expect more floods – Experts

June 9 (IPS) Sri Lankans should be ready for more urban flash flooding, like those experienced in May, unless proper infrastructure is built to allow the onrushing waters to flow unhindered, experts warn. Sri Lanka was hit last month by its worst flooding in 10 years, as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has described it. more..

CEPA will fill Lanka with Indians, claims Weerawansa

June 9 (AD) The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) envisaged between India and Sri Lankais not an agreement but a ploy to fill the island with Indians, charged JNP leader Wimal Weerawansa. He said that the CEPA, if signed, it would adversely affectSri Lanka. The existing agreements allow more import of materials to the island. But CEPA will open the gates for workers too to flood the island. more..

IIFA a damp squib - 1100 million down the drain! Even President Fights shy of attending the event!

June 9 (UNP) The much hyped Indian International filmfare academy awards ceremony towards which the Govt. and its Organizers spent over Rs. 100 million to make it a stupendous success began and ended as a damp squib. The main actors and actresses, Amitab Bacchchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Amir Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif, Priyantha Chopra and music director Rahman were notable absentees. more..

Sri Lanka consumer spending rebounds: FMCG firm

June 9 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Hemas group said its fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) division grew revenues at double digit rates in the latest financial year and it re-launched brands as consumer spending rebounded. Sri Lanka had high inflation in 2008. It hit a peak of 28 percent in mid-2009 but fell thereafter. There was nominal deflation and the economy recovered in the second half of 2009 from a steep slow down in the first half of the year. more..

Ussangoda- one more national park in South Sri Lanka

June 9 (LP) Ussangoda in the Hambantota district was declared as the 21st National Park in Sri Lanka by the Department of Wild Life Conservation. The declaration of the national park was made together with many Departments of Sri Lanka including, the Divisional Secretariat, Department of Archeological, Coastline conservation Department, Geological Survey Department etc and under a gazette notification more..

Sri Lanka's post-war boom accelerates

June 9 (AFP) Sri Lanka's central bank raised its growth forecast for the year on Wednesday, citing strong post-war expansion in reconstruction and agriculture, particularly in former conflict zones. The bank tipped the economy to expand seven percent in 2010, higher than its previous prediction of 6.5 percent and a sharp rise on the 3.5 percent recorded in 2009. "We are seeing growth in virtually all sectors, after the war ended," more..

Plans for new voluntary teaching scheme

June 9 (DN) A new voluntary teaching scheme, utilising the resources of schools will be mooted in the near future, said Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena at a welcome ceremony held at his alma mater, the Hanwella Rajasinghe MMV recently. The ceremony was organised by the Hanwella Central College Friends' Forum and the Past Pupils Association. He said that several university lecturers, professors, retired teachers and intellectuals who met him recently expressed their willingness to more..

Apartments will come under scrutiny: PM

June 9 (DM) The government has received information about plans by the LTTE to construct apartment buildings in Colombo and its suburbs for the use of Tamils who sympathise with the organisation, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne told Parliament yesterday. The Prime Minister said money belonging to the LTTE was being invested in these housing projects meant to be used for sinister purposes. more..

Freeze on Dhanuna’s accounts

June 9 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered the managers of two banks to freeze seven bank accounts belonging to Dhanuna Tillekaratne, the son-in-law of General Sarath Fonseka in line with the written proclamation on the absconding suspect. When the matter pertaining to the controversial HiCorp deal was taken up for hearing today, the CID presented a report of assets belongs to the second suspect Dhanuna Tillekaratne. more..

Editorial: TNA talks

June 9 (DM) Mutual suspicion – one certainly cannot avoid it when the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) meets President Rajapaksa. The smiles certainly belie the misgivings between the party that backed the LTTE and the President who virtually wiped out the latter from the Sri Lankan soil. And the change of circumstances has made one party overly powerful while the other very much weaker thus making the outcome of the talks quite predictable. more..

'There cannot be double standards to judge counter-terrorism measures'

June 9 (NF) “There cannot be double standards or different yardsticks to judge counter-terrorism measures,” said Githanjana Gunawardena, Acting Minister of External Affairs. He expressed these views addressing the inauguration of the Regional Workshop for Police Officers and Prosecutors in South Asia on Effectively Countering Terrorism held in Colombo yesterday under the patronage of Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. more..

Colombo braces for dengue outbreak

June 9 (IRIN) Health officials are stepping up their efforts to avert a dengue outbreak in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. According to the Ministry of Health's Epidemiology Unit, 1,806 dengue cases were reported in the city of more than half a million people in May, resulting in nine deaths, for a total 95 deaths this year. In 2009, 4,813 cases were reported, with 42 deaths, in Colombo. “We are taking this situation seriously,” more..

Sri Lanka faces significant challenges in poverty

June 9 (Island) A Nutrition and Food Security Survey report was released yesterday as part of a joint effort with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and WFP. This is the first survey to assess the underlying causes of malnutrition in Sri Lanka and the related impact of the increase in global food prices. The UNICEF and WFP funded survey revealed that there are significant disparities between different regions of the country. more..

Dandeniyas have a field day while government turns blind eye

June 9 (Island) Following the government’s amazing turn around in reappointing Cricket Interim Committee bigwigs Chairman D.S. de Silva and Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga after accusing the board of being the third most corrupt institution in the country, some cricket officials seem to be thriving in questionable activities knowing all too well that they are untouchables. more..

IIFA cost Rs. 850 mn, including Rs. 400 mn on stadium repairs

June 9 (Island) Amidst growing controversy over the expenditure incurred by the Sri Lankan government for the recently concluded IFFA awards ceremony in Colombo, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena yesterday Rs. 850 million had been spent. He revealed that improvements to the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium had cost Rs. 400 million. The balance Rs. 450 million had been spent on the groundwork and events connected with the show. more..

TNA urges government to release innocent civilians accused of rebel ties

June 9 (CP) Ethnic Tamil lawmakers urged Sri Lanka's government to free innocent people detained for months without trial over alleged links to the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels. Nearly 10,000 people are in government custody after Sri Lankan forces crushed the rebels last year and ended the island nation's 25-year civil war. The government says the detainees are being rehabilitated. more..

Dilshan century drives Sri Lanka to victory over Zimbabwe in the tri-series final

June 9 (CI) On the final day of the tri-series, the clock struck 12 and Zimbabwe's Cinderella XI ran into harsh reality. Put into bat, they were accosted by top-quality swing bowling from Nuwan Kulasekara and Dilhara Fernando, and the damage done in those early overs was too great to reverse for a resourceful Tatenta Taibu, who swept and hustled his way to 71. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga were ruthless in finishing Zimbabwe off with a 160-run opening stand. more..

SF slams those who want to 'hang' people

June 9 (DM) DNA Leader General (Retired) Sarath Fonseka told Parliament yesterday that discipline of the Parliament and the country at large had declined so much so that even top government officials were talking of “hanging” people. Speaking during the Emergency debate in the House yesterday General Fonseka said even the Attorney General’s Department was highly politicized. He said wrong advice of the Attorney General on the military had made many to leave the Army. more..

India, Sri Lanka ink pacts, discuss devolution of powers

June 9 (Hindu) India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday signed seven agreements and discussed devolution of powers to the provinces and opening of negotiations with Tamil groups. In delegation level talks led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the two sides also touched upon ensuring livelihood to Sri Lankan Tamils and steps to ensure the speedy resettlement of more..

India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan much less peaceful: Survey

June 10 (IANS) India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan experienced the greatest loss of peacefulness with South Asia's increased involvement in conflicts, rise in deaths from internal conflict and human rights abuses, according to a new survey. Year-on-year, Latin America had the steepest fall in peacefulness because of more internal violence, homicides and increased levels of perceived criminality as the world became less peaceful for the second consecutive year, more..

India, Sri Lanka pact raises hopes for Indian prisoners

June 10 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka Wednesday signed an agreement on exchange of sentenced prisoners, an important step that has raised hopes for at least 40 Indians languishing in Sri Lankan jails. The agreement was signed on a day Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. IANS had first reported July 22, 2009 that some 40 Indian prisoners languishing in Sri Lanka's prisons were seeking humane treatment, more..

Sri Lankan shadow coach suspended

June 10 (CI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has suspended the national cricket team's shadow coach Chandika Hathurusingha on disciplinary grounds. Sri Lanka Cricket interim committee chairman DS de Silva told Cricinfo that the decision to suspend Hathurusingha was taken after he had disobeyed orders to not abandon the team and return home ahead of the one-day tri-series final where Sri Lanka is meeting Zimbabwe at Harare on Wednesday. more..

Debrief News - 09. 06. 2010

India to build houses for Sri Lanka's displaced Tamils

June 10 (IANS) With over 50,000 displaced Tamil civilians remaining in relief camps in Sri Lanka, India Wednesday announced a major initiative to build 50,000 houses for what the government calls IDPs in the war-ravaged northern and eastern provinces of the island nation. After wide-ranging discussions between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao disclosed a host of initiatives taken by India for more..

Sri Lanka president's India visit marred by protests

June 10 (AFP) Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday began his first foreign trip to influential neighbour India since being re-elected, in a visit that has drawn protests from Indian Tamils. Rajapakse, who was re-elected in January on the back of a resounding victory over Tamil separatists that ended a 37-year-long civil war last May, has come under fire for his treatment of Tamil civilians. more..

Displaced Tamils to be resettled in three months: Rajapaksa

June 10 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday assured a delegation of DMK and Congress MPs from Tamil Nadu that over 54,000 Tamils displaced due to the civil war there will be resettled in their towns and villages within three months. The visiting President also told the delegation that his government was committed to implement the 13th Amendment under the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord. more..

Jayasuriya, Mendis dropped for Asia Cup

June 10 (AP) The 40-year-old Jayasuriya has been in poor form recently and was widely criticized by the media and fans after his disastrous showing at the World Twenty20 in the West Indies, where he made just 15 runs in six matches. One of the world's most destructive batsmen in his prime, Jayasuriya has played 444 one-day matches for Sri Lanka, scoring 13,428 runs and averaging 32.43. He has picked up 322 wickets in one-dayers with his left-arm spin. more..

Taxes on several essential items reduced

June 10 (CT) The government today (June 09) reduced taxes imposed on several essential items. Deputy Finance Minister Chandrasiri Gajadheera said the government has granted relief to the people by removing taxes on a dozen essential commodities last year although the measure incurred a loss of Rs. 6,320 million. Mr. Gajadheera was speaking in parliament while submitting several regulations and orders under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act, Tobacco Tax Act, more..

TNA calls for donor support

June 10 (BBC) The TNA has appealed to donors not to forget the situation in the north of the island, where some 60,000 displaced people remain in camps and many more are trying to resettle in devastated villages. Last month the United Nations warned that funds for this part of Sri Lanka had sharply declined. The leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, painted a picture of devastation after he led a party delegation visiting the north, where fighting ended a year ago. more..

India-Sri Lankan knowledge initiative launched

June 10 (IANS) India and Sri Lanka have agreed to start a knowledge initiative that will assist in making the island nation into a trilingual society and improving linkages between universities in the two countries. A joint declaration signed Wednesday between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said both leaders agreed to launch the initiative. more..

Sri Lanka police detain young couples for kissing

June 10 (BBC) Police in two Sri Lankan towns have detained nearly 200 young couples they accuse of indecent behaviour. Locals complained the young lovers were kissing, cuddling or simply holding hands, reports say. In the central town of Kurunegala about 350 youngsters have been detained and reprimanded in the past two weeks. Police have gone further in another town - Matara in the south - where 22 allegedly offending couples are to appear before a magistrate on Friday. more..

'Govt's top priority is re-settlement of war displaced'

June 10 (CT) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa told parliament that the Sri Lankan government is the first in the world to have re-settled the war displaced within a very short period and that the government's re-settlement programme has been commended even by the United Nations. He said this in response to a statement made by TNA parliamentary group leader R. Sampanthan this morning on the plight of the displaced civilians in the North. more..

Dilshan thrilled with young team

June 10 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sri Lanka's stand-in captain, has said he is thrilled with the performances of youngsters like wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal and allrounder Jeewan Mendis, who were given an opportunity in the tri-series in Zimbabwe while senior players rested. Sri Lanka entered the tournament without four of their senior-most players - Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene and Sanath Jayasuriya - but more..

US ambassador to Sri Lanka visits Jaffna

June 10 (TN) Ms. Patricia A. Butenis, Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives arrived in Jaffna Wednesday on a two-day visit where she first went to the ‘Periya Pa’l’livaasal’ (Big Mosque) of the Muslim community in Jaffna town, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, the Intelligence wing men of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) were active in covering all her visits collecting particulars of the places she went, persons she met and also the subjects she discussed, more..

Can Tesco and Marks & Spencer help bring peace to Sri Lanka?

June 10 (FT) It is hard to imagine things could change so much in just a year after the end of a bloody civil war. In Sri Lanka’s east, in rural Punani near the coastal city of Batticaloa, Tamil, Sinhalese and Muslim women work together in a modern factory owned by textile maker Brandix producing garments for Marks & Spencer and Tesco. As other potential foreign investors should note, the state of the art, more..