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Six soldiers remanded for rape

June 10 (Island) The police said that six soldiers, who had been arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a young mother, were yesterday remanded by the Killinochchi Magistrate P. Sivakumar. The Army confirmed the incident. According to police, the suspects who were under the influence of liquor, had allegedly raped the woman in an abandoned house at ‘Red Barna’ village in Viswamadu in the Vanni. more..

Ex-combatants join the work force

PC members to get pensions

June 10 (DM) Cabinet approval has been sought by the Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry to award pension benefits to all Provincial Governors, Chief Ministers, other ministers of Provincial Councils and Provincial Council members who have completed ten years in their respective positions, a high ranking official at the Ministry said. Earlier Provincial Governors had requested the Government to grant pension rights to them. more..

JVP threatens to take to streets if CEPA signed

June 10 (Island) The JVP yesterday threatened to take to the streets if the government goes ahead and signs the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India. JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti charged that the Government, despite several requests by Opposition parties, has still not revealed the contents of the CEPA. "We demanded that the Government reveal the contents of CEPA in Parliament and requested a debate," more..

Indecent hoardings removed

June 10 (DM) The police women and child’s bureau has decided to remove indecent hoardings and posters from around the city. The bureau also warned that legal action will be filed against newspapers and magazines publishing indecent pictures. It will begin removing at least 15 hoardings from the city beginning today for displaying images of semi nude women. The bureau added that subsequently similar hoardings from around the island will also be removed. more..

'Con. Council to be scrapped, presidency strengthened'

June 10 (Island) Among far reaching constitutional amendments under consideration is the drastic modification of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution to enable the President to constitute commissions to run the public service, the police, judicial services, and Elections Secretariat. The fresh amendment will empower the President to make appointments to those commissions in consultations with the Prime Minister, Speaker and Opposition Leader. more..

Wanted man part of Rajapakse delegation

June 10 (IANS) Sri Lankan minister Douglas Devananda, who was declared a proclaimed offender by a Chennai court in 1986 and is accompanying President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his India visit, said Thursday that all political leaders were pardoned under the 1987 Indo-Sri Lanka accord. Devananda, whose presence in the presidential delegation created a stir in India as he was accorded treatment due to a state guest despite being declared a proclaimed offender by a Chennai court in 1986, more..

'UNP will oppose haphazard amendments to constitution'

June 10 (AD) Though the government claims the war is over, it has allocated over 240 million rupees more than last year for the Defence budget, said United National Party (UNP) General Secretary Tissa Attanayake this morning. Funds for vital sectors like health, education and rehabilitation are a mere one tenth for this year’s budget where these are the sector that should receive the most, Mr. Attanayake said, more..

Fonseka may visit Kenya for CPA meeting in September

June 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka's detained ex-Army chief and opposition MP Sarath Fonseka is likely to be allowed by authorities to visit Kenya in Nairobi to attend the four-day Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in September, his party said on Thursday. The name of Fonseka, who heads the DNA, has been cleared by a parliamentary committee to represent the Opposition along with the UNP MP Earl Gunasekara. more..

'India agrees $1 bln loan for post-war Sri Lanka'

June 10 (Reuters) India has agreed to lend $1 billion to fund Sri Lanka's infrastructure projects, mainly in former war zones in the country's north and east, the island nation's treasury secretary said on Thursday. "India assured us $800 million for the reconstruction of railway and a further $200 million for a power plant," P.B. Jayasundera, the secretary to the treasury and the ministry of finance, told Reuters more..

Cabinet nod for Constitutional amendment as an urgent Bill

June 10 (GDI) Sri Lanka Government has decided to amend important clauses of the constitution dealing with Presidency, the Procedure and Powers of Parliament and the establishment of Provincial Councils, Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. Cabinet has approved for the amendment of Section VII a, XI and section XVIII a, of the Constitution as appropriate and the proposal to be submitted as an urgent Bill in Parliament more..

Jailed maid’s parents appeal for clemency

June 11 (AN) The parents of the Sri Lankan maid who is accused of murdering a Saudi newborn in 2005 have appealed to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) to take suitable action for their daughter’s release since she has been languishing in jail for the past five years. The appeal for clemency was handed to Bandar Al-Aiban, president of the governmental Human Rights Commission through a proxy in Riyadh on Monday. more..

Why India embraces Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa in first postwar visit

June 11 (CSM) India and Sri Lanka bolstered their friendship following a meeting between their leaders in New Delhi Wednesday, despite deep resentment among many Indians at the neighbor. The state visit by President Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka this week sparked protests from India’s Tamil community. Like Tamils around the world, they blame him for the deaths of thousands of Tamil civilians during the last phase of the war against the LTTE, more..

'Mendis was left out for tactical reasons'

June 11 (CI) Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, said poor form was the reason for Sanath Jayasuriya's exclusion from the team for the Asia Cup, while Ajantha Mendis was left out for "tactical reasons". "Sanath has not had a decent run lately we sidelined him after considering his performance over the past one year," de Silva said. "The decision to leave Mendis out was for tactical reasons. more..

India and Sri Lanka Enter new era

June 11 (WSJ) A year ago, Sri Lankan government was being sharply criticized by human rights groups and some western government officials over the severity with which the government destroyed the remaining forces of the LTTE. Still, the country is seeking to rehabilitate its reputation in some international circles, going so far as to hire a public relations firm, London-based Bell Pottinger, to get the small nation more favorable press and more..

Debreif News - 10. 06. 2010

Sri Lanka CB appoints top committee to boost sovereign rating

June 11 (LBO) A committee made up of top central bank, finance ministry and private sector representatives had been appointed to develop strategy to push Sri Lanka's sovereign rating to investment grade, the island's monetary authority said. The committee is charged with devising a strategy of taking Sri Lanka current speculative B+ (Fitch) and B (S&P) rating to an investment grade 'BBB-' or higher over the next four years, the Central Bank said. more..

Sri Lanka higher education minister makes promises

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's newly appointed higher education ministry has promised better syllabuses, elimination of 'ragging' of freshmen and stronger English language skills to boost the employability of graduates from state universities. Seniors in Sri Lanka's universities 'rag' freshmen which is a form of mental, verbal and physical harassment, with some reports claiming extreme forms including assaults of a sexual nature more..

Sri Lanka plans new tariffs to smoothen power peaks

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka state-run Ceylon Electricity Board is devising new tariffs with low off peak rates and penal peak rates to smoothen the daily peak load and push some industrial activities to low demand hours, officials said. "Industries will low profits margins can reduce their cost substantially if they can shift a bulk of their operations to a night shift," power minister Patali Ranawaka told reporters. more..

Footloose in Colombo

June 11 (DNA) Like many, I was under the impression that there won’t be too much to do (forget partying) other than work when I was travelling to Sri Lanka to cover the IIFA awards that was recently held in Colombo. Being quite a party person myself, coupled with being a sort of insomniac, I have to admit that the thought of retiring to bed early everyday was freaking me out. My apprehension was that a country that is just limping out of a bloody war against the LTTE more..

Foreigners barred from visiting Jaffna

June 11 (SL) Small businesses in the North are unable to reap any benefits of the post-war tourism boom due to travel restrictions to foreigners traveling to the North, Jaffna businessmen complained. Foreigners traveling to the North are required to obtain a travel permit from the Ministry of Defense, according to the military. Several foreign travelers told The Sunday Leader they preferred avoiding traveling North altogether rather than more..

Devananda on his case in India

Sri Lankan recounts Israeli ordeal

June 11 (SMH) The challenge for 20-year-old Ahmed Luqman Talib was to follow the trail of blood. Blacking out several times as his captors forced him to drag his broken body up a flight of stairs, pushing and kicking him, the 20-year-old Gold Coast student finally fell through a door. It led to the top deck of the Mavi Marmara, the protest ship on which Israeli commandos killed nine activists during a dawn attack last week. more..

Shiranthi Rajapaksa encharmed by beauty of Shimla

June 11 (PTI) While Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa remained confined to Hotel Wildflower Hall at Chharabra, where he is staying, his wife Shiranthi Rajapaksa enjoyed stroll and some shopping on the famous Mall Road with her aides. "It is nice and homely to be in this town", she told reporters. "It is my first visit to Shimla and of course memorable one", Shiranthi, who spent more than two hours on the Mall road said after picking up some woollens more..

Equality is not always fair, says Dr. Mahathir Mohamed

June 11 (NF) “Equality is not always fair. Some people can have wealth but it may not be as much as the others,” said Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, former prime minister of Malaysia today in Colombo. Addressing a media briefing this afternoon, just before leaving the country, Dr. Mahathir said that when he was quite young, he had noticed the disparities among the communities. more..

Fiji Appoints New Sri Lanka Judges

June 11 (AHN) Two new judges were sworn in at Government House in Suva Thursday by Fiji’s President, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau. Sithambarampillai Thurairaja and Nawange Don Peiyantha Nawan, both from Sri Lanka, took their oath of office in the presence of senior government officials. Present at the ceremony were Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Solicitor-General Christopher Pryde and Chief Registrar Ana Rokomokoti. more..

The “Perils of Presidentialism”: Lessons from Sri Lanka

June 11 (GV) Transcript of a presentation made at the session on Forms of Government at the International Conference on Dynamics of Constitution Making in Nepal in a Post-conflict Scenario held in Kathmandu, Nepal in January 2010. The other panelists were the Hon. Bob Rae Q.C. M.P.Canada and Justice Pekka Hallberg, President, Supreme Administrative Court, Finland. The conference was co-hosted by the Nepal Constitution Foundation (NCF), more..

Removal of two term restriction on Presidency opposed

June 11 (BBC) The United Notational Party (UNP) said that it will oppose moves to any constitutional amendment that would pave the way for President Rajapaksha to contest for another term in office. The general secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayaka pointed out that president Rajapaksha who promised to abolish the executive presidency has now gone back on his word. more..

New Bitumen to double the life span of roads

June 11 (N360) A local bitumen supplier is planning to introduce a new Bitumen product which will help double the life span of Sri Lankan roads. Bitumix Private Limited the initiator of this project says the new product which is a “polymer modified Bitumen” will help extend the life span of local roads from current 15 years to 30 years. The new version of the Bitumen which his company is planning to introduce is being currently used successfully in developed countries. more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisions

June 11 (GDI) The Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by president Mahinda Rajapasaka as the Minister of Finance and Planning to table in Parliament, the Annual Report and accounts showing details of the performance and accounts of Sri-Lanka savings Bank for the year ended on 31st December, 2008. In relation to the Pre-tax profit of Rs18.8 million earned during the year 2007, the bank has earned a sum of Rs.149.8 million during the year 2008. more..

Sri Lankan community celebrates "Vesak" in Kuwait

June 11 (IL) The "Vesak" celebrations jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Cultural Association and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Kuwait were held from 26th to 29th May at the Embassy premises amid a large gathering of Sri Lankans and well-wishers. The Embassy compound was decorated with Buddhist flags, Vesak lanterns, a pandol and illuminations for the occasion which was reminiscent of a typical "Vesak" festival in Sri Lanka. more..

Proposal to resume ferry services welcomed

June 11 (Hindu) The proposal to resume ferry services between Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar and Tuticorin and Colombo, as agreed by India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday in New Delhi, has received good response from people of the region and trade bodies. The Dhanushkodi-Talaimmanar service, which began in 1914 during the British rule, was stopped after the 1964 cyclone that destroyed Dhanushkodi town. more..

Suicide bombers of Sri Lanka -Part One

June 11 (LG) The phenomena of suicide bombers in Sri Lanka share some similarities with but also have some marked differences with what is seen in other parts of world today. Increasing discrimina¬tion, state humiliation and violence against the minority Tamils brought out a militancy and the phenomena of suicide bombers. The underlying socio-political and economical factors in the North and East of Sri Lanka that caused the militancy at the onset are examined. more..

'The Sri Lankan Govt has tarnished its own image'

June 11 (LG) The Sri Lankan Government has tarnished its own image, without help from anyone else, Bruce Douglas Haig, former Deputy High Commissioner of Australia to Sri Lanka in 1994, said in an exclusive interview with the Sri Lanka Guardian. Bruce Haigh joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1972. He served in South Africa from 1976/79 with the Australian Embassy. more..

'Indians working in Hambantota, Ampara paddy fields'

June 11 (NF) With the relaxation of visa restrictions, Indians can be seen working in paddy fields in Hambantota and Ampara, said Minister Wimal Weerawansa at a media briefing yesterday. He was responding to a question by a journalist on the CEPA agreemment scheduled to be signed by Sri Lanka and India. The media briefing was, in fact, on the proposals put forward by the National Freedom Front on constitutional reform. . more..

Tamils must work hard and seriously to win the support of India

June 11 (TC) The President of the US, Abraham Lincoln once said, “you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Likewise, “we can please all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but we cannot please all the people all the time.” I would like to share my views regarding various ground realities and facts which are not seriously considered by some. more..

Ussangoda: Beauty, mystery, myth and science make for unique experience at Sri Lanka’s newest national park

June 11 (SLNN) Is it the place where a meteorite landed? What makes the soil so red? Was this where King Ravana of India’s epic Ramayana landed in his flying chariot after abducting Princess Seetha? These are just a few of the questions that cross your mind as you step across the starkly red, caked earth at Ussangoda on Sri Lanka’s southern coastline at Hambantota. more..

Sri Lanka government must stop bashing the Tamil Diaspora

June 11 (LG) Since the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is on the spree of whipping up anti Tamil Diaspora sentiments. Unable to articulate a peaceful way forward to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka in a positive and pragmatic way, the GoSL is preoccupied with its hysterical anti sentiments to silence and paralyse the vocal cords of the Tamils overseas by branding even the legitimate democratic campaign of more..

Will state capitalism be a solution to global crisis of the capitalism?

June 11 (LP) We reproduce this column written by Dr. Wickramabahu Karunarathna to LakbimaNews since it is one of the very rare occasions the leftist activists of Sri Lanka attempt to address the core political issues rather than the day to day economic struggles. As far as we have understood, Dr. Wickramabahu seems to say that state regulation of the capitalist system will be inadequate to overcome the global economic crisis. more..

Secretary Defence meets East-based Security Forces

June 11 (MoD) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accompanied by military chiefs and the acting IGP paid a visit to the East today morning (10 June) and spoke to a large gathering of Tri-service and Police personnel serving there. Mr Rajapaksa, as one more important item of the day's itinerary also met former LTTE combatants, now almost completely rehabilitated at Senapura Rehabilitation Centre, Welikanda and more..