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Hardtalk, Gothabaya and Sri Lanka’s future

June 11 (LG) While All the President’s Men in and around Temple Trees must be surely whispering the good tidings (?) to his ear – and, of course, to those of the Brothers Inc that now goes as GoSL, to the average well-informed reader, things are not going too well for the regime. Tamilnadu sources convinced MR is out to complete the task of removing from the island the Tamil physical presence that began during the regime in 1956 where his father was a minister, more..

Women's views on prevention of torture -- Interview 3

June 11 (LG) Inoma Karunatilaka has been involved in civil society organizations and women's organizations for several years. She has been an active member in helping torture victims. Now she is studying psychology. She made following comments on the issue of policing in Sri Lanka. Q:What do you think about the policing system in your country? First of all I would like to say I have no trust about our policing system. more..

1980s: When Lankan militants roamed TN

June 11 (TOI) Douglas Devananda is not the first Sri Lankan Tamil militant leader to meet an Indian head of government while facing criminal proceedings in India. The most important one, as many can easily guess, was none other than the slain LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who met late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi in July 1987. In the run-up to the signing of the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement on July 29, 1987, more..

Pacts will fortify ties: Rajapaksa

June 11 (Hindu) The seven agreements signed by India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday would help to strengthen the bilateral ties, both cultural and economic, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said here on Thursday. Mr. Rajapaksa was talking to journalists after arriving at the Annandale helipad on his two-day visit to Shimla. He immediately left for Wild Flower Hall, a private heritage resort, near Kufri, which is at the height of 8350 feet. more..

Vietnam trade delegation to Sri Lanka

June 11 (LP) The Vice Minister of Trade and Industry of Vietnam Le Duong Quang visited Sri Lanka recently. He was accompanied by a five member official delegation and a 23 member business delegation. The purpose of the visit was to explore opportunities for further strengthening investment and trade ties between the two countries. While in Sri Lanka, the Vietnam Vice Minister held a technical level Meeting at more..

I am going to get on that Bradby Train

June 11 (DN) The first Bradby Shied match I saw was the second leg of the 1976 encounter. Kandy. I didn’t know anything about rugby then. I mean, I knew far less than I do now and even now I am pretty ignorant. Back then, my maternal grandfather, then in his late seventies and suffering from weak eyesight, would get either me or my brother or sister to read to him the Daily News. He got us to read the headlines and if he found anything interesting, instructed us to read out the full report. more..

Ambani Brothers captivated by Sri Lanka

June 11 (LP) World’s 4th richest Business tycoon and billionaire Businessman who outdate Bill Gates will be arriving in Sri Lanka to explore investment opportunities in Sri Lanka. He’ll be accompanied by businessman brother and the Businessman of the year for India 2006 Anil Ambani. The duo have already started investments in a big way in India’s Telecom industry and would venture in to the same in Sri Lanka. more..

Students, schools in Vanni disregarded

June 11 (TN) The teachers and heads of schools which have begun to function in Vanni where people have been allowed to resettle are facing insurmountable difficulties as most of the school buildings and furniture have been destructed in the war on Vanni, education circles in Vanni complain. While the government does not provide even the basic facilities the humanitarian organizations in the North, both local and international, more..

Malaysian Business Organization pledges support for war heroes

June 11 (MoD) Number of local and international Organizations as well as donors pledged their fullest support to develop the northern and eastern provinces after security forces liberated the island from the clutches of LTTE terrorists. Accordingly, group of Malaysian ladies on business tour in Sri Lanka met chairperson of Defence Ministry's Seva Vanith Unit (SVU) Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa at the defence ministry premises last afternoon, 10 June. more..

Six VIR war heroes gifted with land plots

June 11 (MoD) In what could be identical to an exemplary move of letting your heart rule your head, a generous Wayamba-based lady has made a magnanimous gesture by donating a 90 perch plot of land in Kurunegala for construction of six houses to six disable War Heroes of the Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR). The philanthropist, Mrs Swarnapali Wickramasinghe, mindful of the numerous sacrifices, made by Sri Lanka Army more..

Jaffna diocese helps fishermen to a better net result

June 11 (UCAN) Jaffna diocese’s fishing industry support group has brought fishermen together to start a co-operative factory, making high quality nets at attractive prices. At one time, the northern Jaffna peninsula supplied most of Sri Lanka’s enormous appetite for seafood as well as for substantial exports. But the outbreak of civil in 1983 had a devastating effect on the industry. more..

'Escapes take place with help from prison officials'

June 11 (NF) The Prisons Department has decided to assign a jailor to look into an incident where another suspect escaped from the Maligakanda Magistrate's Court. “This step is being taken based on information received,” said Kenneth Fernando, Prison Commissioner. Police said that the suspect escaped after they handed him over to prison officials, in a bid for him to be produced before court. more..

Papaw plantation in Maho destroyed; Police maintain deafening silence

June 11 (NF) The Mahawa police is demonstrating its total incompetence by maintaining a deafening silence on the injustice done to Wasantha Kumara, a talented and award winning farmer who had won the Best Farmer of the Year for several years in his respective area in addition to winning several overseas tours in recognition of his talent. Today, what lies before him is a totally vandalised papaw plantation, which he had maintained for several years. more..

'Health sector in grips of doctor mafia'

June 11 (Island) Even if God Sakka was appointed to the post of Health Minister, he would not be able to salvage and find answers to the problems rampant in the local health sector, former Health and now Irrigation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told Parliament yesterday. He said the Health Ministry was in the grips of a mafia of doctors who are calling the shots in almost every department under the purview of the ministry. more..

Art Council Chairman blunders big time - the State Literary Festival may not be held

June 11 (LT) The Literary Board appointed before the General Election has been dissolved by the Chairman of the Art Council Pandula Andegama, jeopardising the plans for the annual State Literary Festival. The books lined up for evaluation for awards have not been reviewed since the Literary Board entrusted with the task has been dissolved even though the Board has not been legally informed of the move. more..

Three Lankans arrested in UK

June 11 (BBC) Three members of staff at a Norwich newsagents have been arrested and the shop forced to close after a visit by UK Border Agency officers. A tip off led to the raid on St Johns News in St Johns Close on Tuesday afternoon, the agency said. Checks revealed two members of staff, plus a newspaper delivery person just returned from his rounds, were all in the UK illegally. Three men, aged 35, 45 and 46, all from Sri Lanka had overstayed their visas. more..

'Statute to get rid of polythene habits'

June 11 (DN) A statute to prohibit the use of polythene in the Western Province for decoration and advertising purposes is compiled to guide the public to get rid of polythene habits said, Western Province Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Minor Irrigation, Industries and Environment Minister Udaya Gammanpila. He said that, in 2009, 162,253 metric tons of polythene are imported for various products. more..

Lanka can be Asia s knowledge hub - IT Expert

June 11 (LNP) Sri Lanka is well positioned to be the knowledge hub in Asia, Metanoia Partners (Pvt) Ltd Managing Partner/ CEO Nigel K.J. Dye told Daily News Business. The country is positioned to attract smart people as its environment, intelligent workforce and level of English education have positive impact in this regard. However, the momentum needs to continue forward, he said. Sri Lanka has the foundation and needs to build on this platform. more..

Editorial: CEPA -Festina lente!

June 11 (LNP) The metamorphosis of the Indo Sri-Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) into the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has been problematic. It has run into stiff resistance from a sizeable section of the Sri Lankan entrepreneurs who fear that CEPA will trigger an economic tsunami across the Palk Strait and sweep them out of business. While President Mahinda Rajapaksa was having talks with the Indian leaders in New Delhi on bilateral issues, more..

'UNP is only against non-discussion of CEPA'

June 11 (AD) The UNP is against the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) only because the Government has not discussed it with the Opposition or any other organization regarding its contents, says Dr. Harsha de Silva. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said that CEPA was just another agreement and that if negotiated properly it could benefit Sri Lanka, particularly from the rapidly increasing Indian middle class. more..

Ten fold increase in snakebites

June 11 (DN) Snakebites are rapidly increasing in Sri Lanka. The majority (60 percent) of snakebites are reported from the dry zone. Only 3,820 snakebites were reported from Sri Lanka in 1985 while 132 persons died from snakebites. This figure increased to 39,321 by 2007. This was revealed during a seminar at the Health Education Bureau yesterday. Ninety-one persons had died from snakebites in 2007 while this figure was 134 in 2005. more..

Editorial: When nationalism brings business...

June 11 (DM) Mahathir Mohamed is an archetype of nationalist though he may not be one’s prototype of a racist. The beauty of his regime however was the way he harnessed that very same jingoism to make Malaysia a little short of a miracle. By going for mass public-private partnerships in business where national interest superseded profit Mahathir Mohamed’s Malaysia redefined corporate nationalism as no other country has done in that part of Asia. more..

IGP confirred with a doctorate in Russia

June 11 (NF) The Inspector General of Police, Mahinda Balasuriya who was on a foreign tour of Russia arrived in the island yesterday. A main feature of the IGP’s visit to Russia was that he was conferred with a doctorate during his visit. IGP Balasuriya is the first IGP to be conferred with this academic honour. The IGP took wing to Russia on an invitation extended to him to participate in a conference on terrorism. more..

Apparel strategy to focus on new markets

June 11 (DN) The-five year strategic plan for the development of the apparel sector will focus on markets such as Japan, Russia, India and China and also emerging markets in South America. It emphasises the need to cater to high niche markets in countries such as Australia. The new market opportunities could be facilitated by entering into trade agreements with emerging markets. A proactive policy in this regard is vital not only for apparel, but exports as a whole, more..

Evicted persons appeal to SC

June 11 (Island) Seventeen residents of Mews Road in Slave Island, Colombo have complained to the Supreme Court that the Urban Development Authority demolished their residence without offering them alternative housing. They said they had been told on May 4, 2010 to vacate their houses within eight months. The petitioner objected to the suggestion. They had been told that they would be given new houses in Dematagoda and Grandpass. more..

Court releases IUSU convenor

June 11 (CT) The Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne today ordered the release of Inter University Students Union convener Udul Premaratne, who was charged of causing inconvenience to the public. Udul Premaratne was produced in courts on a notice by the Cinnamon Gardens Police. Police informed the court that Mr. Premaratne was produced in courts for his statement to be recorded on the alleged charges. more..

Power failures cause chaos at Biyagama EPZ

June 11 (Island) Investors say frequent power failures at the Biyagama Export Processing Zones (EPZs) are causing immense problems. They accuse Sri Lanka’s premier investment agency, BOI of turning a blind eye to the deteriorating situation there. Sources told The Island that the Biyagama Export Manufacturers Association had taken up the issue with the authorities in an effort to pressure the BOI to rectify the shortcomings. more..

Govt to take stern action against errant traders

June 11 (GDI) A special investigating team has been set up to inquire into the activities of errant traders by Consumer Protection Authority Chairman Rumi Marsook on the advice of Co-operative and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando. This unit will conduct countrywide raids to nab the errant traders. Under Section 09 of the Consumer Protection Act in 2003, a price list has to be displayed at every sales outlet for reference by consumers more..

Robber cuts off arm to remove bangles

June 11 (DM) A woman was hospitalized after a robber cut one of her fingers to take the ring on it and cut one of her arms to remove her gold bangles yesterday in Vavuniya, police said. According to the Vavuniya police, the husband and wife, who had been resettled in Nedunkerni. They had been going to a relative’s place when a man had blocked their way. He had then cut a finger of the woman and robbed the ring and then cut an arm and robbed her gold bangles. more..

Young Sri Lankan dancer with Down's Syndrome mesmerizes Washington audiences

June 11 (IL) It is indeed a sight to tug at your heartstrings. The solitary figure of a smiling young boy in colorful dancer's attire. Graceful, agile movements synchronized perfectly with the rhythm of music. The passion and the fire in his eyes. The unwavering poise of a professional dancer with a message for his audience at the Department of Education, as part of more..

Def. Ministry yet to decide on Fonseka's clearance for C'wealth meet

June 11 (CT) The Ministry of Defence says it has yet to receive a request from Parliament Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to grant clearance for detained DNA parliamentarian Gen. Sarath Fonseka to attend the Kenya to attend the four-day Commonwealth Parliamentary Association in September. Director General of the MCNS, Lakshman Hulugalle has told media that the Ministry will decide if to send Fonseka or not once a request is made. more..

No settlement possible in Golden Key case

June 11 (DM) Mt.Lavinia Magistrate- Harsha Sethunga said yesterday that the Golden Key Credit Card case couldn’t be settled at this point as repayment had already begun.The magistrate so ruled when the Rs.26 billion fraud case (filed by the CID) was taken up for hearing, and Counsel for the Petitioners said his clients were in favour of arriving at a negotiated settlement. The magistrate said that his court was concerned about the criminal aspect of the case. more..

More than 1500 prisoners at large

June 11 (DM) More than 1500 escapees remain at large since 1999 to date, statistics from the Prisons Department reveal. The numbers from 2009 to date had not yet been calculated, however. A total of 2452 prisoners have escaped since 1999 until 2008. However, only 894 of them have been arrested again. The highest number of escapees, 541, was reported in 2004, according to Prisons Commissioner. more..

'Foreign supporters are trying to resurrect LTTE'

June 11 (DM) Intelligence acquired by the Sri Lankan government showed that international supporters of the LTTE were attempting to resurrect the defeated terrorist organization, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said yesterday. Elaborating on this, Mr. Rajapaksa said that, despite the deaths of Prabhakaran and other leaders, the organisation’s international connections had not been destroyed. more..

Former News Director Kindelpitiya released on bail

June 11 (AD) Former MBC/MTV News Director and United National Party (UNP) candidate at the general elections, Susil Kindelpitiya was released on bail this morning by the Colombo High Courts. Mr. Kindelpitiya was taken days before the April general elections on a complaint lodged by a female that she had been threatened using a firearm and abducted by him and later freed. more..

'Sri Lanka should avoid excessive debt'

June 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka should target investment led growth and minimize borrowings which could lead to a future debt crisis, former Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamed said. "Don't depend too much on loans, the better thing of course is to invite foreign investors to come in and create jobs and bring in capital into the country," Mohamed told reporters at a media briefing in Colombo. more..

Consensus on the US dollar 50,000 duty-free car permits

June 11 (Island) The Opposition may not agree with the SLFP-led coalition on many contentious issues, but there is a general consensus on a recent decision to increase the value of the duty-free vehicle permits issued to MPs. Although both government and Opposition MPs blamed one another for pushing for a higher value permit, none of the political parties had opposed the move, political sources said. more..

Chinese Vice Premier opens visit to Sri Lanka

June 11 (DPA) Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang opened a three- day official visit to Sri Lanka where the two countries are seeking to enhance economic cooperation, officials said Friday. Dejiang, who arrived Thursday night, will meet with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other officials during his visit. China is expected to offer Sri Lanka a loan of 200 million US dollars to build a second international airport in more..

Arrest petition of Lankan Minister on June 14

June 11 (PTI) The Madras High Court today posted to June 14 a petition seeking direction to the Centre to take immediate steps for the arrest of Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda, who is part of the visiting Presidential delegation, in connection with a 1986 murder case. When the petition by a pro-Sri Lankan Tamil forum came up for hearing, Chief Justice M Y Eqbal posted it for further hearing on June 14. more..

Sri Lanka model developing country, but challenges in industrial, export sectors remain, says UNIDO Director-General

June 11 (UNIDO) The Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh K. Yumkella, said today that even as a model developing country Sri Lanka still faces challenges in industrial and export growth. “Sri Lanka is seen as a model developing country,” said Yumkella, who is on a three-day visit to the country. more..