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'Foolish inflammatory speeches of Defense Secretary is sowing seeds of division'

June 23 (LeN) DNF Secretary Vijitha Herath addressing a media briefing said, the Govt. is pampering and cuddling the LTTE leader KP who devastated this country, but, harassing the Army Commander Gen. Fonseka M P. who saved the country from terrorism and won the war. The Govt. is so venomous that it is even obstructing the General from attending the Commonwealth conference for which he has been selected. more..

Trust built between North and South: Change is possible

June 23 (DN) Power devolution under the 13th Amendments would end the ethnic problem, Traditional Industries, Small Enterprises Minister Douglas Devananda says. Excerpts of the interview: Q: Your visit to India recently created a political controversy. What were the reasons for that? A: In my political life from the beginning I had experienced such incidents. Mud slinging and accusations were part of it. more..

'Bright prospects for Lanka's economy'

June 23 (LNP) Economic prospects for Sri Lanka are very bright now and the country must capitalize on it. The process can be accelerated with tourism, tea and garments, IMF Resident Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Dr. Koshy Mathai said. He was the chief guest at the tenth CIM Annual conference on Monday. IMF is very concerned about Sri Lanka s fiscal condition which is improving supported by the growth in the world coming out of recession. more..

Iraj detained in Chennai

June 23 (DM) Popular Sri Lankan singer and music producer Iraj Weeraratne says he was unfairly detained at the Chennai Airport for over six hours today and later released without an apology by the Indian immigration officials. Iraj said that he had landed in Chennai to receive the ‘Best Song of the Year Award’ for one of his songs which he had produced with Vijay Anthony and also attend the music launch of more..

Government strongly opposes the appointment of the Sri Lanka - Panel of experts by the UN

June 23 (MoD) The appointment of the Sri Lanka - Panel of Experts by the Secretary General of the United Nations is unwarranted and unnecessary interference with a sovereign nation, says the Ministry of External Affairs issuing a special statement today (23rd June). Following is the full text of the statement, more..

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee welcomes Tissainayagam pardon

June 23 (FRC) Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, Ranking Member Dick Lugar and Subcommittee Chairman on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr., today welcomed Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to pardon journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who had been convicted last year and sentenced to 20 years of hard labor. more..

Sri Lanka slams UN over war crimes probe

June 23 (AFP) Sri Lanka slammed the United Nations on Wednesday over its plans to investigate alleged human rights abuses committed in the final months of the island's savage civil war. Government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella accused the UN of having a "hidden agenda" on Sri Lanka, where government troops finally wiped out separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas last May after decades of ethnic bloodshed. more..

We will hit the ground running - Sangakkara

June 24 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan captain, is confident his team will pull off a hat-trick of Asia Cup titles ahead of Thursday's final against India in Dambulla. Sri Lanka enter the final having won all three league games, which included a convincing seven-wicket victory against India on Tuesday. They won the previous two Asia Cup tournaments in 2008 and 2004 and are aiming for their fifth title. more..

Salman Khan's Ready begins shooting in Sri Lanka

June 24 (SN) Salman Khan arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Wednesday, June 23 to film the Bollywood remake of south film, Ready, which co-stars Asin. Unmindful of boycott threats by the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce (SIFCC), Salman and the film's producers have decided to go ahead with the 10 to 15 days first schedule of the film in Sri Lanka. A total of 40 days shoot is planned in the country. more..

Sri Lanka President to visit Ukraine on June 29 to July 2

June 24 (KP) The President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa will make an official visit to Ukraine on June 29 to July 2, 2010, Director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's information policy department Oleh Voloshyn has said. Voloshyn said that this visit would be the first in the history of Ukrainian-Sri Lankan relations, and that it would help promote a bilateral political dialogue at the summit level, more..

Sri Lankan brotherhood

June 24 (SMH) Nations can be run as democracies or dictatorships, monarchies or even as products, for instance the widely admired production-to-port "Singapore Inc" model. But is there a country run by a fraternity? Step forward, Sri Lanka, a year after the end of the 30-year civil war between the ruling Sinhalese of the island's mostly Buddhist south and the separatist Tamil Tigers of the Hindu/Tamil north-east. The war was a triumph for the Rajapakse brothers, led by the President, Mahinda more..

Special security for Fonseka

June 24 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered special security for General Sarath Fonseka under the supervision of the Prisons Authority after it was revealed that there were threats to his life as he was the former army commander. General Fonseka was produced in courts today over the Hicorp arms deal case and was further remanded till June 28th. During the proceedings, the Magistrate ordered the military police to more..

Bread prices go up too

June 24 (DM) The price of a 450g loaf of bread will be increased by Rs. 4 with effect from midnight tonight as a result of the government re-imposing the duty of Rs 10 per kilogram on wheat grain imported into the country, Chairman of the All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association, N.K. Jayawardena said. Prima had earlier raised its flour prices by Rs.10.50 a kilo due to the government withdrawing the tax concessions. more..

Sri Lanka's Buddhist monk party JHU backs constitutional reform

June 24 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's Buddhist monk party JHU, said on Wednesday that it supports the government's proposed constitutional reform package among which is a move to allow the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa a chance to contest the presidency for a third time. "President Rajapaksa has achieved a lot for the country. If the people want to give him a third term so be it," more..

Gen. Fonseka to be indicted over HiCorp case -AG

June 24 (CT) An indictment will be filed against Gen. Sarath Fonseka on three charges regarding the HiCorp case. Appearing on behalf of the Attorney General's Department, Senior State Counsel Damith Thotawatta informed of this at the Colombo Fort Magistrate court today (June 23). Speaking on behalf of Gen. Fonseka, Attorney-at-law Nalin Ladduwahetti said that he objected to the above charges. more..

Debrief News 23 06 2010

Two million devotees expected to gather at Anuradhapura for Poson festival

June 24 (GDI) All preparations are in place to provide maximum facilities for the devotees who arrive in Anuradhapura for the Poson festival. Public sector organizations, NGOs, the Police, the Security Forces, health and the transportation sectors have jointly made arrangements to observe the Poson week and the Poson festival, District Secretary of Anuradhapura H.M.K. Herath said. more..

President initiates 'Vesak 2010' film festival

June 24 (LP) The “Vesak 2010” International Sambuddhi Jayanthi Film Festival and award ceremony was held at the President’s office with the initiative of President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (22). The theme of the film festival is the Buddhist background and many Buddhist films from foreign countries are also included in the festival. Creations were presented under many categories for the film festival including more..

Sri Lanka Cricket defends Dambulla lights

June 24 (CI) The low intensity of floodlights at the Rangiri Dambulla Stadium has been a talking point during the Asia Cup, and it could be a factor in Thursday's final as well. Kumar Sangakkara, the home team's captain, thought it was important enough to bowl first in the dead rubber against India on Tuesday so that his side could get some batting time under the floodlights. The Sri Lankan board has been surprised by the complaints from players and more..

Indian Hindus assist in Sri Lanka’s recovery

June 24 (UCAN) An Indian Hindu delegation has met senior Sri Lankan Buddhist monks to discuss post civil war recovery assistance, such as national conciliation, interfaith unity and repairing Hindu temples. The Hindu delegation, which included several priests, dignitaries and intellectuals, met the monks at the Mahabodhi Maha Viharaya, a Buddhist temple in Colombo on June 20. The meeting was arranged by the Buddhist MahaBodhi Society which has branches around the world including in India. more..

Muslim villagers of Kalmunaikkudi complain aid misuse

June 24 (TN) Residents of Kalmunaikkudi, a densely populated Muslim suburb of Kalmunai town, 40 kilometres south of Batticaloa, which suffered worst by the giant waves of Tsunami in December 2004, complain that the funds allocated for the Muslim residents under the tsunami rehabilitation scheme by the Sri Lankan government have been diverted for the benefit of the Sinhalese people who were not affected by the tsunami. more..

President rejects EU conditions

June 24 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa speaking at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting rejected the 15 demands put forward by the European Union (EU) as a pre requisite for the extension of the GSP+ trade concessions to Sri Lanka for a further period of six months. He is reported to have said he would not compromise the country’s sovereignty for the sake of the US$ 150 million by which amount the country would benefit under the GSP + facility. more..

Sri Lankans must unitedly use the weapon of "boycott" against international interference in our internal affairs

June 24 (TC) On the 18th May 2009, Sri Lanka awoke from the nightmare of separatist terrorism which had plagued it ever since the 22nd of May 1972. During this period, a foreign country, India, equipped trained and armed terrorists to commit mass murders of our citizens, both servicemen and civilians of all races, castes, creeds, genders and ages, and destroy our property on our soil; more..

Reconciliation; a step in the right direction

June 24 (DM) Sri Lanka received international scrutiny of gigantic proportions last week. Entertaining visits from a host of global watchmen from Japan’s special envoy Yasushi Akashi, UN Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe, Special Assistant to President Obama on Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Samantha Power, and National Security Council Director for War Crimes and Atrocities David Pressman, last week’s diplomatic dramas drew attention on renewed interest on Sri Lanka. more..

Challenges for ministers of education

June 24 (DM) The two education ministers, S.B.Dissanayake and Bandula Gunawardena who seem to be equally eager to bring about radical reforms in the national education system face a whole range of acute problems and controversies today. These issues are not of recent origin, but those that have got complex and complicated over the years as a result of the failure of successive governments to approach issues objectively and more..

A whiff of fresh air in ties with Sri Lanka

June 24 (GT) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse’s recent visit to India, his first since the comprehensive military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in May last year followed by his own stupendous victory in both the presidential and parliamentary elections, marked the changed contours of the nations’ bilateral ties and provided both sides the opportunity to signal a readiness to take the relationship to a new level. more..

An epigraphic perspective on the antiquity of Tamil

June 24 (Hindu) The legend that Sanskrit and Tamil emerged from the two sides of the damaru (drum) of Shiva says it all — the immemorial antiquity and the equal divine status accorded in our tradition to the two languages recognised as Classical. And yet, Western scholarship in the colonial period concentrated almost wholly on Sanskrit studies. It is only from the mid-20th century, when Burrow and Emeneau published the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary, that more..

Sri Lanka favourites in summit clash

June 24 (CI) India may have had the better results during the spate of contests against Sri Lanka over the last couple of years but, in this Asia Cup, the hosts have looked significantly superior. They have a more settled batting line-up, greater potency in their bowling attack and impressive reserves who filled in admirably during the dress rehearsal when the bigger names were missing. India's performance lacked the assuredness of their opponents, more..

Unhealthy: No gauze in hospitals

June 24 (LB) There is a considerable shortage of drugs and medical equipment in hospitals countrywide continuing, which is jeopardising patients’ health and lives. Chairman of the All-Island Health-care Society Gamini Kumarasinghe revealed to Lakbimanews that most of the state-run hospitals were experiencing a massive shortage of vaccines, gauze, and vital vitamins --- not to mention medical equipment to carry out tests etc. more..

Thantirimale to come alive as Poson dawns

June 24 (ST) Thantirimale is a place of worship with a historic background of significance. The area comes alive on Poson full moon poya day when millions of devotees arrive for worship. It is a beautiful location spanning nearly 200 acres and atop a conspicuously rocky area stands the Astapalala Bodhiya which adds to the beauty and majesty of the area. The place is unique in its majesty and is second to none of the other more famous places of worship in the country. more..

Country well aware why the General is being indicted: Ladduwahetty

June 24 (NF) Attorney at law Nalin Ladduwahetty, appearing for General Sarath Fonseka, said today in the Fort Magistrate’s Court that they totally rejected the allegations made against parliamentarian General Sarath Fonseka with regard to the Hicorp deal. He made this statement when the General appeared before magistrate Lanka Jayaratne as the third suspect in the case. more..

Victory celebrations – A religious reflection

June 24 (LG) I write this on the evening of the victory celebrations on 18 June 2010. Not having a television at home I could not watch it live, but what transpired was probably predictable. Also, while relief that the war is over is something almost all of us feel, I argue here that celebration is the last thing that is called for especially in the context of building a unitary state in the future. I bolster my argument with a reflection on the description of a post war event recorded in the Judeo-Christian scriptures. more..

Police officer apologises to MP Rosy Senanayake in SC

June 24 (NF) A chief police inspector apologized to the UNP MP Rosy Senanayake in the Supreme Court today. He was the first respondent named in a petition filed by Ms. Senanayake claiming that her fundamental rights had been violated. When the case was called up before a three judge bench comprising justices Shirani Thilakawardena, P. A. Ratnayake and S. I. Imam, the chief police inspector apologized to her. more..

Goodbye, Dr Kannangara

June 24 (LG) It is now obvious that the government plans to have private universities. These will locally satisfy part of the huge demand for university education, possibly saving a significant amount of foreign exchange. But many questions remain, which only time can answer. Many who favour private universities would find the current situation worth celebrating. But let me warn them. more..

Kollywood: Politics, Pretense and Perversion - 1

June 24 (LG) In India, the film world, like the cricket world, is inseparable from politics. Especially when ‘Kollywood’ and ‘Tamil Politics’ are involved, the settings get nastier, the script goes vulgar, the screen play becomes violent and acting reaches the height of hypocrisy, leading to a total anti-climax. Whether it is Sri Lankan Tamils issue or Cauvery water dispute, Kollywood acts as per the script written by the Chief Minister in power. more..

Reviving Relationships with the British

June 24 (RW) It was depressing, on my first morning in England this time round, to attend a debate at the House of Commons on Sri Lanka in which the usual suspects revived their attacks on Sri Lanka and its government. However, since unlike them one should look at what is in a half full glass, rather than concentrate on what is missing, it seemed to me that there was also reason for optimism. In the first place, there were fewer of the suspects than previously. more..

The returns of IIFA

June 24 (Indi) IIFA Colombo cost the Sri Lankan government about Rs. 850 million. The event was perhaps not a flop, but certainly not a hit. None of the A-Listers (Aishwariya, Amitabh, Abhishek) were there and neither were many of the Khans (Shah Rukh, Amir, Saif Ali). One Khan that did show up was Salman Khan, and he’s back in town today, to film a movie here. Another return visitor was Vivek Oberoi, hanging around with Namal Rajapaksa and visiting former LTTE cadres. more..

Blast wounds nine in Sri Lanka capital

June 24 (AFP) An explosion has ripped through a commercial area of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, wounding at least nine people, police said. The blast in the Pettah area early on Thursday was believed to have been caused by a hand grenade or an improvised explosive device, a police official said, adding that an investigation was under way. It was the first blast in the centre of the city since government forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in May last year, more..

Sri Lanka stock exchange delays fee reduction

June 24 (LBO) Plans by Sri Lanka’s Colombo Stock Exchange to improve liquidity by reducing transaction costs will be delayed by a month and will now be done from August 1 instead of July 1 as originally intended, a statement said. The move had been agreed after talks between markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the CSE and the Colombo Stock Brokers’ Association. more..

Interview III - Sherine Xavier