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Sri Lanka says Tamil rebel international network still active

June 22 (DPA) Sri Lanka's defence secretary warned Monday that the minority Tamil rebel international network was still active, after the separatists were defeated militarily last year. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who is also President Mahinda Rajapaksa's brother, said Tamil groups in Europe and the US still carry the ideology of the LTTE. 'The intelligence units of the army and other security services have to be vigilant,' he said, more..

Lankan monks to take Tamil lessons

June 22 (IE) Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka plan to learn Tamil language to create greater harmony and heal the decades old animosity between the majority Sinhalas and the minority Hindu community in the country. The All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC) has sought funds from the Sri Lankan government to commence Tamil classes for Buddhist monks to create greater harmony among the two communities. more..

‘Sri Lankan Model’ is no model

June 22 (MSN) If it takes a thief to catch a thief, can we say it requires terrorism to defeat terrorism? That is the theory Mahenda Rajapakse put into practice in Sri Lanka. Because he succeeded in crushing Prabhakaran’s LTTE, the “Sri Lankan Model” is now attracting the attention of other governments that face internal insurrections. Perhaps the most notable example is the not widely publicised visit Burma's military dictator Than Shwe paid to Colombo recently. more..

Mahanayaka opposes use of cultural dance during Asia Cup

June 22 (CT) The Mahanayake of the Rangiri Dambulu Chapter of Siyam Nikaya Ven. Inamaluwe Sri Sumangala Thera stated that the use of cultural dance during cricket matches of the ongoing Asia Cup was a blow to the country's cultural heritage. Speaking to 'Colombo Today', he said using cultural dances thus degraded the country's heritage and culture. Meanwhile, reports say that several dance veterans and teachers have opposed the move as well and more..

Debrief News - 21.06.2010

Army occupied buildings in Mullaittivu handed back to legal owners

June 22 (SLA) As all kinds of buildings, belonging to northern people in areas under Security Forces Headquarters, Mullaittivu, are now being vested back in legal owners under government’s ‘Uthuru Wasanthaya’ (Northern Spring) programme, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence, accompanied by Chief of Defence Staff, Commander of the Army, Commander of the Navy and the Inspector General of Police on Monday visited Mullaittivu and more..

Tamil refugees did not choose to come here

June 22 (MK) We wish to call on the Ministry of Home Affairs to take speedy action for the release of the 75 Sri Lanka Tamil boat people who were detained about a month ago. There are several women and children in this group. It is reported that several of them have fainted and are in bad health condition due to their indefinite fast over the last five days. Urgent attention is needed on medical care for these detainees. more..

'Gota going beyond his limits'

June 22 (LT) The comments made by Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse regarding the visit made by leaders of the JVP to Jaffna and other areas in the North do not conform to the position of a secretary to a ministry and he has overstepped his limits says JVP MP Vijithe Herath. Mr. Herath said Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse is a government official but recently makes comments regarding political parties and their activities. more..

Sri Lankan stocks close 1.11-pct up, foreign inflow

June 22 (LBO) Sri Lankan stocks closed up Monday on the back of price gains on midcap and selected high value shares, while there was a foreign inflow of funds, brokers said. The All Share Price Index closed at 4,658.68, up 51.34 points, while the Milanka index of more liquid stocks rose 1.30 percent (68.29 points) to close at 5,339.76. Turnover was 3.55 billion rupees, boosted by large deals on Dialog Telekom and Ceylon Hotels Corporation. more..

Ranjan demands IIFA money back

June 22 (CT) Actor turned UNP parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake has demanded the government ensured that it had obtained a reimbursement of the more than one billion rupees spent on the Indian International Film Academy awards ceremony in Colombo. Mr. Ramanayake has told local media that his party was contemplating legal action against what he termed as a massive financial fraud in IIFA 2010. more..

Toronto street gang leader deported to Sri Lanka

June 22 (NP) The leader of a violent Toronto street gang has been deported to Sri Lanka, six years after he was first ordered out of Canada for his crimes. Canada Border Services Agency officers escorted Jothiravi Sittampalam back to his homeland on June 10 but federal officials only confirmed the removal today. The convicted drug dealer was the boss of AK Kannan, an ethnic Tamil gang whose more..

Finalists clash in dress rehearsal

June 22 (CI) The neighbourly affection between India and Sri Lanka knows no bounds. What was meant to be a ceaseless flow of riveting action between the two teams was rudely interrupted by an inspired Zimbabwe, who deprived India of a place in the tri-series final in Harare. But India bounced back in the Asia Cup, upstaging Pakistan to seal another meeting with their favoured rivals and restore the trend. more..

LTTE wipe-out curbs ‘Hawala’ trade

June 22 (ST) The end of Sri Lanka’s bloody conflict not only brought peace to the country but has almost wiped out the ‘Hawala’ or illegal banking channel that Tamil rebels used extensively as a means of raising money for their cause, a top banker said this week. According to the Bank of Ceylon (BoC), remittances from the Tamil Diaspora in the UK to their relatives in Sri Lanka through the BoC has risen sharply to a monthly average of three million sterling pounds now from 50,000 pounds earlier. more..

Desktop PCs have come down to Rs 30,000 from Rs 90,000

June 22 (ST) Around three years ago the price of an average personal computer was in the range of Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000. But today such computers could be purchased at prices ranging from Rs 30,000 and this would effectively tackle the piracy of computer software issue, according to Indika De Zoyza, Country Business Manager, Intel. He was speaking at a press conference held in Colombo last week to announce the holding of Infotel 2010 more..

Moves to tap earth’s heat for electricity

June 22 (ST) With Sri Lanka having fully exploited its ability to generate hydroelectricity and now moving towards coal power which is not environmental friendly, geologists say the country has the potential of using geothermal power. The geologists say world-renowned experts will begin a survey next week to locate these underlying geothermal energy sources and produce a resource map for Sri Lanka. Geothermal power is extracted from heat stored in the earth. more..

No hostage to the past: An encounter with Mervyn de Silva

June 22 (TC) The eleventh anniversary of the death of Mervyn de Silva, the great Sri Lankan journalist and editor, falls on 22nd June. I once had an extraordinary encounter with Mervyn, although sadly as it turned out, at the very empennage of his life. In a wholly spontaneous chat that lasted less than two hours, we (mostly he) talked about the international use of force for humanitarian interventions and more..

Ex-'Mahaveerar' family school students on goodwill tour to South

June 22 (MoD) Eighty Tamil school students including those belonging to former so-called LTTE 'Mahaveerar' families in the East had the rare chance of visiting and interacting with the South for the first time in life when they were recently taken on a five-day picnic, organized by the 222 Brigade Headquarters in Jayanthigama, Kantale. Those eighty students, ten teachers and ten parents from more..

Contribution of Sri Lankan Tamil priest Thaninayakam

June 22 (TC) The World Classical Tamil Conference is scheduled to be held from 23rd to 27th of June, 2010, at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu fulfiling the wishes and aspirations of Tamil scholars, not only from Tamil Nadu but also from all over the world. Several Tamil scholars, linguists and Tamil patriots from around the globe will participate in this great event. At this memorable occasion, it is very much appropriate to remember gratefully Rev. Prof. Thaninayagam (1913 – 1980) more..

Living and Dying for the finest cause in the world

June 22 (LG) Today, twenty two years ago, Kandiah Kanthasamy, lawyer and human rights activist, was abducted in Jaffna by one of many armed groups that roamed the streets of Jaffna then. Those who knew him have written of his unassuming and modest nature but with a total commitment to the cause of peace and justice. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Secretary of the Civil Rights Movement who edited a commemorative volume for Kanthasamy, wrote of him: "His vision of justice knew no narrow boundaries. more..

'I won’t destroy UNP for private purposes'

June 22 (LB) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview with LAKBIMAnEWS says how the UNP is reorganising itself and adds that after the budget, the party will find its voice. Q: UNP always goes for re organization after each post poll defeat. Yet, what is the reason for its failure? A: After a victory or defeat, a party must re organize itself. There is no need for re organization immediately after a victory. Yet, re organization is necessary amidst the progress. more..

Oh dear! Lankan Embassy's filthy Italian job

June 22 (LB) Public lavatories in Sri Lanka are better kept than the toilets of Consular Division of the Sri Lankan Embassy in Italy! A Sri Lankan residents living in Italy for 20 years says: “We are treated like animals by the Sri Lankan embassy staff. Pictures of the Consular division speak a thousand time better than any words. See them for yourself. But the residences of embassy officials are like palaces. Their houses are decorated with expensive material costing millions to the Sri Lankan exchequer. more..

Debts we owe to the war-wounded, war-dead and our children

June 22 (NS) The weather intervened and forced a postponement of the celebrations associated with the first anniversary of defeating the LTTE. To the detractors of the Government and the Rajapaksas, this was a ‘hand of god’ thing. To those who are loath to see any wrong in the President, the Government and the UPFA, it was, I suppose, a tad disappointing. To the general citizenry, I believe, it was a non-issue. more..

Dandeniya stumped on Tracy

June 22 (Island) Officials of Sri Lanka Cricket have been left speechless at some of the questions posed to them with regard to the appointments being made to the World Cup Secretariat. First came the appointment of controversial Suraj Dandeniya as Sri Lanka’s Tournament Director for the 2011 event co-hosted by Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh for a salary of US$ 5000 per month (approximately Rs. 600,000) and other perks. more..

Hard Talk

June 22 (GV) Many readers may have seen if not read about Defence Secretary Gothabhaya Rajapaksa’s interview with Stephen Sackur of the BBC HardTalk programme in which he calls Sarath Fonseka a liar and threatens to hang him for his position on a war crimes investigation. Local opinion, not surprisingly, given the current political context, has been divided on the propriety of Mr Rajapaksa’s outburst and the damage it could do to the image of the regime and of the country internationally more..

Confidence revived, economy rebounded with end to conflict - ADB

June 22 (MoD) The end of the 30-year internal conflict in May marked a major turning point, and an immediate revival of confidence coinciding with global economic improvement sparked an economic rebound, the annual Asian Development Outlook 2010 issued by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) stated, with reference to Sri Lanka's overall economic performance. The outlook is positive, despite large budget deficits weighed down by reconstruction costs, it further said. more..

Martin Wickramasinghe at 120

June 22 (SO) The multi-layered domain of Sri Lankan literature, originated in the hoary past. Some volumes of high literary stature and the personalities of distinguished wisdom who produced those volumes, still address as across the chasm of long centuries. The verbal resonances of Gurulugomi as he sedately recites his "Amavatura", the quaint rural idiom of the Venerable Monk, who is behind the gem of Sinhala prose "Saddharma Ratanavali", more..

Horror in the Middle East: Abused Sri Lankan women speak out

June 22 (MR) Padma and Chandrangani, two young Sri Lankan women, both went to Kuwait to work as maids with the hope of earning enough money to support their families. Both faced horrific physical and mental abuse at the hands of their employers, and were treated by their Sri Lankan recruitment brokers as though they were mere commodities. Today’s Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) carried this feature telling their stories. more..

The diffidence of European guilt

June 22 (RW) I am always touched when I hear Europeans respond to criticism of Israel. Even when, as today, they know Israel has done something naughty, they bend over backwards to make it clear that their criticism of any action is not a criticism of Israel itself. This is perfectly understandable, given the appalling treatment by many European countries of Jews, not only during the Second World War, but over hundreds of years previously. more..

Srí Lanka - Hotel Seaschells

Herath, Randiv and Kandamby may get a game in Asia Cup dead rubber

June 22 (IC) Sri Lanka will take on India in the last preliminary round match of the Asia Cup tournament in what would be a warm-up for Thursday's final today. The Sri Lankans were expected to make a few changes to this inconsequential game after a meting with the National Selection Committee. Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath and Thilina Kandamby, who haven't played a game so far are expected to get a game. more..

130 Tamil civilians reported disappeared in Batticaloa district since 2007

June 22 (TN) One hundred thirty Tamil civilians are reported disappeared during the last three years in the Batticaloa district since 2007, relatives of the disappeared told Batticaloa district TNA parliamentarians at a discussion held Sunday at Batticaloa American Mission Hall. They requested the TNA parliamentarians to help trace the disappeared. Most of the disappeared were between the ages 20 and 35, they said. more..

Sri Lankan government holds victory celebrations

June 22 (wsws) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse presided over celebrations last Friday to mark one year since the defeat of the separatist LTTE last May. His speech combined militarist triumphalism and a whitewash of his government’s war crimes with another call to working people to “sacrifice” to build the nation. The nationally-televised event was delayed for a month due to heavy flooding in the capital. more..

Paramilitary link, screening competition behind arson in Batticaloa

June 22 (TN) Batticaloa CID police arrested Sunday the owner of Chengkaladi Sellam cinema theatre on suspicion of involvement in setting fire to the screen and stage of Shanthi theatre in Kaaththaankudi police division 17 June night, sources in Batticaloa said. The persons who had set fire had left handbills that warned no theatres in the North and East should screen any South Indian Film for a week. more..

Journey from Victory Day to future

June 22 (MoD) All Sri Lankans who took part in the long walk to free the nation from the blight of terrorist violence stood in attention to pay a glowing tribute to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, heroic Armed Forces and the Police last Friday as the Nation marked the first anniversary of the Victory over Terrorism. more..

President Rajapaksa, chief guest at Army 'Poson' devotional song presentation

June 22 (MoD) A Presentation of 'Poson' devotional songs, coloured with symbolic events of historic importance was staged at Army Headquarters ground by Army personnel on Monday evening before a galaxy of distinguished guests, including HE the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, First Lady Mrs Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mrs Rajapaksa, more..

Tri-Star Apparel provides jobs for 400 rehabilitated ex-LTTE cadres

June 22 (MoD) 400 ex-LTTE female cadres who received vocational training in rehabilitation centres have received jobs at the Tri-Star Apparel Factory in Alawwa. Accordingly, these ex-LTTE female cadres who were rehabilitated at the Weppamkulam and Punthottam centres embarked on a new journey in their lives yesterday, 21 June. 300 female cadres were rehabilitated at Weppamkulam canter while 100 were rehabilitated at Punthottam. more..

UNICEF hands over new schools in Sri Lanka

June 22 (MoD) UNICEF Sri Lanka handed over six new schools to local communities in eastern Sri Lanka during two days of official ceremonies. The six schools represent a total investment of 420 million rupees and will benefit thousands of pupils and families. "These schools represent hope for the communities after years of being blighted by the consequences of the 2004 tsunami and civil conflict. more..

Would you be willing to let a few memories go?

June 22 (DN) A few weeks ago, my friend Renton de Alwis made a request. Books. He had devised a modest but potentially path-breaking scheme to give children in Kiula, Hungama, the reading habit. He had found that the issue is not one of there not being enough books (schools have libraries, as do temples, and most towns have public libraries), but that children (and indeed adults as well) are so entrapped in the diurnal of ‘learning’ (or ‘earning’) that more..

Chinese man arrested with 55 pigeons at a restaurant kitchen

June 22 (LT) Daily Mirror has reported Police has arrested a Chinese man with pigeons allegedly for human consumption. A Chinese who had possessed 55 pigeons at a Kollupitiya restaurant kitchen allegedly for human consumption was remanded till July 1 by the Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday. On a tip off given to the Kollupitiya police by an anonymous caller, a police team had inspected the restaurant located at more..

Ex parte resettlement irks Batti. Muslim refugees

June 22 (PSM) Muslims refugees were totally left out at a meeting held yesterday at the Baticaloa Kacheri to discuss the resettlement of families affected by war in the district since 1983. This meeting was convened at the instruction of Deputy Minister of Resettlement Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan at the Batticaloa Kacheri yesterday morning, according to informed sources. more..