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India, Sri Lanka consider energy cooperation

June 10 (Hindu) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa has proposed discussions on establishing a joint information mechanism on the possibility of oil and gas fields straddling the India-Sri Lanka maritime boundary. In a joint declaration, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured Mr. Rajapaksa that this proposal would receive his government's attention and the matter could be discussed further between the two sides. more..

Goodbye, Snoopy

June 10 (LG) Everyone knows about Velupillai Prabhakaran’s military prowess and daring: How he defied and even taunted the Sri Lankan Army during Operation Liberation in 1987, ran rings around the IPKF in the Mullaithivu jungles and repeated outstanding feats of operational success, including the capture of Elephant Pass in 2000. Prabhakaran’s legendary bravery earned his Tigers the sobriquet of ‘invincible’. In the end he fell as an ordinary mortal. more..

The UNP’s end game

June 10 (IL) The 1994 Parliamentary elections marked an important watershed in the course of the UNP. Ranil Wicramasighe became the un-elected yet unanimous leader of United National Party due to the assassination of all prominent UNP leaders of leadership quality. This was the start of defeatist Ranil era of the UNP. The Ranil era in the UNP was supported by a few Colombo elites who continually poured money into the UNP machinery. more..

Sri Lankan state airline appoints two directors

June 10 (LBO) Sri Lankan Airlines had appointed two new directors from private sector firms to its board, and has re-appointed existing directors, the airlines said, with the government on track to buy back a minority stake from Emirates. Sri Lankan said Nishantha Wickremasinghe has been re-appointed as chairman along with Nihal Jayamanne, Kapila Chandrasena, and Shameendra Rajapaksa. more..

Sri Lanka businesses say Vietnam embassy needed to boost trade

June 10 (LBO) Trade and economic links with Vietnam could grow fast if Hanoi sets up an embassy in Colombo to grease official clearances and visas, Sri Lankan businessmen told a visiting Vietnamese minister. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce formed a Sri Lanka - Vietnam Business Council Tuesday in the presence of visiting Vietnamese deputy trade and industry minister Le Doung Quang. more..

The Military-Buddhist complex

June 10 (SL) This year, the Sri Lankan military organised Buddhist celebrations in traditionally Tamil/Hindu areas of the country, including Jaffna. “These celebrations were not for the Army, they were for the whole community,” said Army Spokesman, Major General Prasad Samarasinghe. The celebrations passed peacefully, but not without some dissent or at least confusion from local Tamil people and leaders. more..

Sri Lanka: A View from Afar

June 10 (LG) The war has ended, but it has left the Tamils with a bitter legacy, and more cynical about their future, while President Rajapaksa dilly dallies, and spends his time designing how to become a permanent fixture in the political landscape of Sri Lanka. The view from afar is of a government consumed with establishing a new order in the country, with a fresh constitution, appropriating to itself executive powers of a fundamentally flawed nature, restrictive of more..

For democracy in Sri Lanka

June 10 (ET) New Delhi must press upon visiting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapksa the importance of not just honouring his own past commitments on devolving political power to the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka but also of rapidly dispensing with the war-time regime of curtailed democratic rights including freedom of the press in the island nation. Democracy is desirable not just as a political virtue in its own right, but also as the surest way of realising the peace dividend that more..

Is there a move to make Venezuela part of the Tamil separatist network in Latin America?

June 10 (TC) 1. You are Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Cuba. What brought you to Caracas? Our attention was drawn to the active presence in Caracas of a delegation representing Canadian HART meeting Government authorities making false, fabricated and defamatory accusations against the Government of Sri Lanka, alleging that there was a ‘genocide’ against the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and ‘concentration camps.' more..

Indo-Lanka Relations: Full text of the Joint Declaration

June 10 (LG) 1. At the invitation of the President of India, Smt. Prathiba Devisingh Patil, the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, is paying a State Visit to India from 8th – 11th June 2010. The President is accompanied by Mrs. Shiranthi Rajapaksa. 2. The President of Sri Lanka was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapathi Bhavan on 9th June 2010. more..

IIFA: The award goes to mismanagement

June 10 (HT) India’s soft power was on display in Colombo this last weekend. And it wasn’t all pretty and mushy. The stardust of the IIFA awards might be settling down but not before leaving behind an angry trail of questions here. Sections of the government, the local media and opposition politicians are fuming over the expenditure incurred by Sri Lanka for the event — some 1 billion LKR — and the treatment some of them got in the hands of the Indian organisers. more..

Current situation in the Vanni: Report by the TNA

June 10 (TC) A Parliamentary Delegation of the TNA comprising 12 members of Parliament visited “Vanni” on 21st 22nd 23rd and 24th May 2010. We visited the following villages: (1) Mathiamadu (2) Nedunkerni (3) Olumadu in Vavunyia District (5) Thadchanamaruthaimadu (6) Palampiddy (7) Sinnapandivirichan (8) Eaachalavekai (9) Vidathaltheevu in Mannar District, (10) Vathapalai (11) more..

India's deals with Sri Lanka heighten stakes in 'Great Game' with Beijing

June 10 (Guardian) India and Sri Lanka signed a series of aid, economic and diplomatic deals today, the latest move in an increasingly intense struggle between New Delhi and Beijing for influence over the island nation. The signing took place on the first day of a visit by the Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, to Delhi, his first since winning his presidential election in January and parliamentary poll in April. more..

Congress, DMK 'on same page' on Lankan Tamils

June 10 (EB) With emotions running high in Tamil Nadu over the fate of thousands of displaced Tamils by the civil war in Sri Lanka, the Congress on Wednesday said that proper political autonomy should be granted to the aggrieved displaced population. "Our Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) has already raised the issue with the visiting Sri Lankan President. We hope the rehabilitation process as well as granting of political autonomy to the Lankan Tamils will not be delayed further," more..

“Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu” successful

June 10 (LP) “Api Wawamu Rata Nagamu” programme which was initiated to develop the Agricultural sector of the country has shown great progress. According to Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena from 2007-2009 agriculture production has risen. The Ministry said that there was a rise of 16% in Rice, 129% in Corn, 8% in green gram, and 15% in fruits production while consumption of rice has also gone up by 21% percent and wheat consumption reduced by 13%. more..

Service of Ex- Soldiers in Jaffna Admired

June 10 (MoD) A group of retired Tamil Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) who once rendered a dedicated service to the motherland as members of the Sri Lanka Army received warm welcome at the Headquarters 51 Division in Jaffna town during a special get-together organized by the Division on 9th June 2010. The get-together was organized by the 51 Division commanded by Brigadier Sarath Wijesinghe on direction of Commander Security Forces-Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe. more..

Widespread malnutrition among women and children

June 10 (wsws) Recently released surveys reveal that acute malnutrition is rife among Sri Lankan children and women, as a result of the country’s 30-year civil war and widespread poverty throughout the country. Data from a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) by Sri Lanka’s health ministry, revealed that child malnutrition is more than 50 percent in some areas of the East and North, more..

'Sri Lanka is one of the safest places in the world'

June 10 (MoD) Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne said that Sri Lanka is one of the safest places in the world today. Addressing the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) Asia Pacific Conference in Colombo he told the foreign delegates, 'you are in one of the safest countries in the world today as this is a country where terrorism has been completely eradicated and total peace has been gained.' more..

'International investigation on Sri Lanka inappropriate'

June 10 (MoD) Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris reiterated at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that an international investigation is entirely inappropriate in light of the establishment of an independent and effective mechanism in Sri Lanka. The Minister addressing an audience comprising over 300 Ministers, officials, diplomats, scholars and representatives of civil society from around the world, spoke on more..

There are republics I would die for

June 10 (DN) I got an email yesterday from a friend who calls himself 'Yakkho'. It referred to an interview given by the exiled Chinese poet, Liu Hongbing to Lucie Kalvachova in Prague in October 2004. The title of the write-up was 'The Republic of Poetry'. Hongbing says, 'This city of Prague has always been on the map of my heart. So much history has been created here!' My friend is a cynic but so informed that I sometimes feel that the well-informed cannot be anything but cynical. more..

Suresh Premachandran on moving forward

Singaporean medical team treats resettled Mannar civilians

June 10 (MoD) Members of the Maha Karuna Buddhist Society with a team of 28 Singaporean Medical Officers and assistants offered their generosity to hundreds of resettled Tamil people in Mannar and its suburbs by conducting a special medical clinic during June 7 - 8 at Adampan Rural Hospital, Mannar. Chen Su Lan Trust and Dr Bishop Yap, Singapore have also extended the support for the project in Sri Lanka. more..

Thalassemia controversy finally resolved after another six deaths

June 10 (NF) The Ministry of Health, which inconvenienced patients registered with the National Thalassemia Centre in Kurunegala twice within a span of 38 months, has finally rectified the situation. This is by re-issuing the medicine patients were used to, as opposed to the differently branded medicine introduced by them which was rejected by these patients. Since April 9, 2007, Action TV has revealed on more..

Cabinet approval for Economic, Technical accord with China

June 10 (NF) Cabinet approval has been granted to sign an economic and technical cooperation agreement between China and Sri Lanka, says Lakshman Yapa Abeygunewardena, the Acting Minister of Mass Media. This cabinet decision was announced at a media briefing held yesterday. “Through this Sri Lanka will receive a grant of 50 million Yuan,” he added. This cabinet paper had been tabled by the Acting Minister of Finance and planning Chandrasiri Gajadheera. more..

Lanka e news besieged by threats again

June 10 (LeN) The Lessors of the premises of Lanka e news office have stormed into the office on the 7th and demanded that the lessees (Lanka e news) shall immediately vacate the premises while forcibly cutting off all the phone lines. Further, on the 8th morning they have put padlocks to the entrance gates and closed them. Because the telephone lines were disrupted, Lanka e news could not maintain its website international linkage. more..

The Wilpattu case: Part 2

A sharp increase in business in Jaffna with voluntary payment of taxes

June 10 (MoD) An increase in commencing business ventures reflect in the Jaffna District and the enthused businessmen had come forward to pay due taxes to the government coffers voluntarily. The business community in the Jaffna Peninsula liberated from the terrorist clutches has commenced various business ventures on a massive scale and had contributed Rs. 41,967,409/= by way of revenue to the government coffers during the period of January to April this year more..

Mahinda Chinthana 's barren 'achievement' : 3 lakhs rendered jobless during last year alone

June 10 (LeN) The Agriculture, Industrial including the local production sectors have completely collapsed. The trade deficit has increased. Within a year from 2009 to 2010, in the first quarter of 2010 the deficit has increased by US Dollars 1660 million when compared with the first quarter of 2009. That is by 59 % !. Today, the Mahinda Chinthana is moth eaten. It is defunct. These facts were revealed by UNP M.P. Kegalla Kabeer Hashim more..

U.S. Ambassador and AmCham present donation to animal rights organization

June 10 (USE) U. S. Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis presented a donation of Rs. 100,000 to Sathva Mithra, an organization that advocates for the humane treatment of animals in Sri Lanka. The gift was from proceeds from the American Chamber of Commerce’s (AmCham) annual “Ambassador’s Ball” held in March 2010. Sathva Mithra is one of the most active animal rights organizations in Sri Lanka. more..

SriLankan to double fleet 2015

June 10 (LNP) SriLankan Airlines has drawn up a new five-year plan, which is targeted towards bringing the National Carrier to profitability while at the same time acting as the catalyst for growth. Nishantha Wickremasinghe has been re-appointed SriLankan Airlines Chairman. With him on the Board are Nihal Jayamanne, PC, Kapila Chandrasena, and Shameendra Rajapaksa, all of whom have been re-appointed. more..

UNP is not for CEPA – Kabir Hashim

June 10 (LT) The UNP will never agree to the CEPA agreement which brings adverse influence and results to the country says UNP Parliamentarian for Kegalle District Kabir Hashim. He said if there is an attempt to sign such an agreement the government should allow a broad dialogue regarding it in the country and charged that the government has not taken any measures to apprise the masses regarding the CEPA agreement. more..

Dulles’ wings clipped – removed from coordinating committee

June 10 (LT) It is reported that Minister Dulles Alahapperuma has been removed from the post of co-president of Matara District Coordinating Committee. Messrs Dulles Alahapperuma, Mahinda Wijesekera and Chief Minister of Southern PC Shan Wijeyalal were the co-presidents of the Matara Coordinating Committee. After Mr. Mahinda Wijesekera was injured in a bomb blast Messrs. Dulles Alahapperuma and Shan Wijeyalal acted as the co-presidents. more..

Wilpattu case; Part 1

New number plates for Govt vehicles

June 10 (DN) The Department of Motor Traffic has made preliminary arrangements to issue a different number plate to the vehicles imported by the Government institutions on the directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The public can identify the Government vehicles soon as the new number plate would be in blue colour. The Department can not issue new number series for Government vehicles as the numbering of vehicles has changed. more..

Rs.177,000 million for Defense;Rs.20,000 million for rehabilitation

June 10 (LeN) The highest allocation in this year's budget has been made towards the Defense Ministry expenditure. The amount is Rs. 201,000 million In 2009 when the war was on, the funds allocated for the Defense Ministry was Rs. 177.000 million. The new allocation is more than last year's by Rs. 24000 million. The increase in allocation towards the Defense is more than the allocation for this year's rehabilitation expenditure by Rs. 4000 million. more..

Assault on Indian: Politico's brother, five surrender to police

June 10 (DN) A brother of a politician and five others involved in the abduction and assault of an Indian national in Chilaw Tuesday surrendered to Police. The brother of the local politician had an altercation with the Indian national who owns a coir product factory in Bangadeniya, over a labour dispute. Police sources said this company has been terminating the service of its labour force every six months to prevent them from being confirmed. more..

Tax reductions applicable to all vehicles: Motor cycles, three wheelers included

June 10 (DN) The recent tax structure revision had been implemented to encourage local industries and make their products competitive in the market. There is also no truth in the speculation that no tax reduction had been made on three wheelers, motorcycles, vans and trucks. Refuting speculations, Finance and Planning Ministry Fiscal Policies Department Director General S. R. Attygalle, outlined the more..

Senior Lawyers to consider Constitutional amendments

June 10 (DM) The Bar Council of Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has appointed a special committee comprising eminent senior attorneys to consider the amendments to the Constitution. BASL President, Shibly Aziz PC with the authority of the Bar Council has appointed the committee comprised of well-known constitutional lawyers who are President’s Counsels and senior attorneys. more..

Editorial: It's war crimes stupid

June 10 (Island) One day a father cleaned an infected jab-wound on his son's left arm and was about to dress it when the latter requested that his right arm be bandaged instead. A puzzled father faulted the son for being so eccentric: "What do you know about wound-dressing?" he demanded to know. "Dad, what do you know about the brats in my class?" the boy asked. "The wound will be safe under my shirt sleeve but the dressing will only reveal where it is and the boys won't do anything in school but poke it." more..

Editorial: Global spectacle

June 10 (DM) As to why Sri Lanka should be the laughing stock of the world and why it cannot keep its domestic issues within its own boundaries is a question that any sensible person would ask these days. True, the victors fell out and pitted one against the other post-war but can Sri Lanka afford to be the eternal comedian providing entertainment to the rest of the world in daily doses. It is a fact that there are quite a few key players in more..