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Advise us on your ‘formulate advice’ for Ban Ki-moon, please!

June 29 (LB) The three-member advisory panel appointed by the UN Secretary-General is yet to decide to what extent they will be able to do the job Ban Ki-moon has assigned them to do and whom they would need to communicate with in Sri Lanka for this purpose, a UN spokesman said last week. External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris insisted last week that no member of the panel will be issued visas to enter Sri Lanka. more..

Schoolgirls in love and mobile phones that rang a bell

June 29 (SL) Police officials of the Women and Children’s Bureau inquiring into the case of a missing 16 year old school girl from a girls’ school in Colombo 7 since April, was unable to solve the case for over a month till the girl’s best friend finally broke down and mentioned in passing of a ‘crush’ that the missing girl had. “The crush was on a soldier on duty at a checkpoint nearby. more..

China and India competing over Sri Lanka

June 29 (JT) The recent visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to New Delhi appeared successful. India and Sri Lanka signed a range of agreements including loans for major infrastructure projects, sharing of electricity and cultural exchanges. India has extended a $200 million credit line to assist in setting up the NTPC-CEB Joint Venture thermal power plant (500 MW) at Trincomalee. more..

Sri Lanka may focus on narrowing budget gap after 26-year civil war ends

June 29 (BN) Sri Lanka’s budget will aim to cut the fiscal deficit and provide incentives for investments, Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said, as the island nation seeks faster growth after the end of a 26-year civil war. “We are very focused on reducing the budget deficit,” Amunugama said by phone in Colombo ahead of the budget announcement in Parliament today. “It will be an investor- friendly budget,” more..

Pest fighters brutally assaulted

June 29 (NS) Two officers of the Lunuwila Coconut Research Station sent to investigate the coconut blight now raging in the south had been brutally assaulted by a group of thugs opposed to them ordering the cutting down of some affected trees recently. The two research officers Ajith Nandasiri and E. Atapattu after completing their field work at Weligama had proceeded to a site in Habaraduwa. While on the site they had noted that five trees had been adversely affected by the pests. more..

Sri Lanka IMF deal extended, US$400mn released

June 29 (LBO) The IMF has released 407.8 million US dollars to Sri Lanka held back after a budget went off the rails, and extended the deal by a year on the promise of more responsible fiscal management. The IMF held back the disbursement of a third tranche in a two year program in February 2010 after a lavish spending pushed budget deficit to 9.8 percent of gross domestic product from a planned 7.0 percent. more..

Pussy governance has gone potty..

June 29 (DM) Most people regard four legged vagabonds floating around simply as ‘poor dumb animals’. On the contrary, animal psychologists and others associated with animal behaviour know that animals have cultivated their own codes of values and ethics within common boundaries and these codes have been in operation without change for hundreds of years. Importantly, these agendas worked. Most people regard four legged vagabonds floating around simply as ‘poor dumb animals’. more..

IFL depositors to march to Temple Trees

June 29 (NS) When Sakvithi and Golden Key duped the Sri Lankan people, the Central Bank said ‘we told you guys to invest in registered finance companies which are under the supervision of the Central Bank—so there’s nothing we can do’. But in this case what does the Central Bank have to say, question depositors of Industrial Finance Limited (IFL), a registered finance company with Central Bank, whose deposits were allegedly misused. more..

UN chief defends plan for Sri Lanka rights panel

June 29 (Reuters) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon dismissed on Tuesday objections by Sri Lanka to his plan to establish a panel to look into possible human rights abuses there and said he would set it up without delay. Ban told a news conference he was within his rights to appoint the commission of experts to probe possible violations during Sri Lanka's civil war despite a complaint from President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

Indian Navy chief on goodwill visit meets Army Commander

June 29 (MoD) Indian Navy Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, now in Sri Lanka on a five-day long official visit, called on Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya Monday (28) afternoon at Army Headquarters. His visit, a gesture of goodwill, meant to promote existing bilateral relations further, was accorded a Guard Turnout plus a Guard of Honour at the Commander's secretariat premises. more..

'KP-Diaspora programme operated by SL Military Intelligence'

June 29 (TN) Sri Lankan Director of National Intelligence, Major General Kapila Hendawitharana, the longest serving intelligence officer of the military, is in charge of the covert and overt programme of dividing and conquering the Tamil diaspora, alludes British Tamil doctor Velauthapillai Arudkumar, who visited the island recently as part of a ‘Tamil diaspora visit’ organised by Colombo through Selvarasa Pathmanathan alias KP. more..

Dengue declines: Public must continue to be vigilant

June 29 (NS) Following awareness raising campaigns and reduction of dengue breeding sites, the number of reported Dengue Fever and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DF/DHF) declined sharply in June. From a total of 1,881 cases reported in May this year, the number of cases reported in June dropped to 1,303 as of last week- a reduction of 577 cases. This is a sharp decline from 4,672 in January this year. more..

SLA harasses resettled civilians in Vanni - TNA

June 29 (TN) TNA Jaffna district MPs informed visiting British Acting High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Mr. Mark Gooding Monday, that the resettled civilians in Vanni are harassed by occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers according to several complaints they had received from the resettled civilians in Vanni. TNA MPs Mavai Senathirajah, Suresh Premachandran, Sritharan and Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy met the visiting British envoy in a hotel in Chu’ndukkuzhi. more..

British team touring North

June 29 (N360) A group of British High Commission officials are currently touring the Northern region to study the areas economic development and the available investment opportunities. A statement by the British High Commission in Colombo also said the team will look into the humanitarian requirements in the province, as well. Headed by Acting British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mark Gooding, the team is currently touring the areas of Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi. more..

Otara – A Business Icon

June 29 (SL) Otara Gunewardene, the charismatic owner of Odel, took some time off her busy schedule for an exclusive interview with The Sunday Leader ahead of the launch of her company’s Initial Public Offering (IPO). She speaks candidly about her humble beginnings, her life, what inspires her and her plans for the future. Odel has become a household name in Sri Lanka while still retaining its aspiration brand image. more..

Sri Lanka, India in joint navy training exercise

June 29 (LP) The Indian and Sri Lankan navies will hold a new joint exercise with the intention of strengthening the regional security. Matters pertaining to the joint-exercise were discussed at an official meeting held between Indian Admiral Nirmal Verma who’s on a three day visit to the island and Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, at the Prime Minister’s Office premises yesterday evening (28). more..

Brigadier Medawala takes over as Military spokesman

June 29 (LP) Brigadier Ubaya Medawala has been appointed Military spokesman and Director of Army Media. Brigadier Medawala replaces Major General Prasad Samarasinghe as spokesman. Brigadier Medawala’s strong point being his proficiency in all three language, Sinhala, Tamil and English, he was the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army’s 53 Division. Meanwhile, Major General Prasad Samarasinghe has been vested with a number of new responsibilities. more..

Visumpaya named PM's official residence

June 29 (CT) The 'Visumpaya' building in Slave Island has been named as the official residence of the Prime Minister, reports say. Accordingly, D.M. Jayaratne will be the first Premier to reside at Visumpaya. He is expected to move in to his official residence after a few minor repairs to the building. Earlier, the official residence of the Prime Minister was Temple Trees while Visumpaya was reserved for visiting foreign diplomats. more..

Sri Lankan authorities ban student group from Jaffna campus

June 29 (wsws) Authorities at Jaffna University in northern Sri Lanka prevented a group of student leaders from the Inter University Student Federation (IUSF) from visiting the campus on June 12. While the IUSF was the immediate target, the broader aim behind the ban was to suppress all political activity on the campus. On hearing of the IUSF visit, the university’s vice chancellor, N. Shanmugalingan, informed the student union not to meet with them and more..

Editorial: TNA – EPDP talks

June 29 (DM) Roping the TNA for formal talks is a move that would go to increase the credibility of the EPDP which is yet to muster the community’s support as the way the TNA has done. While informal discussions between the two parties had taken place earlier, in Switzerland, it would have dawned upon the government ally that there’s a greater need for formal talks and to be part of the ongoing post-war Tamil dialogue. more..

Sri Lankan monks walk to war-scarred cities

June 29 (UCAN) Sri Lankan Buddhist monks have made a peace pilgrimage to the nation’s war-scarred North. The monks took their message of love to the mainly Hindu northern Tamil region to celebrate ‘Poson Day’, which marks the coming of Buddhism to Sri Lanka with Arahant Mahinda in the 3rd century BC. Hundreds of Buddhist monks met with government soldiers, who are mostly Buddhists, and with resettled Tamils, more..

Cheap pleasure with high risks for Beedi smokers

June 29 (DN) Authorities yesterday voiced concern over the growing number of Beedi smokers in the country although the number of Cigarette smokers have rapidly decreased in the recent past. Excise Commissioner General Wasantha Hapuarachchi said that the use of White Cigarettes (Sudu beedi) and the normal beedi was quite prevalent with low income earners. more..

SB on why Sri Lanka`s university education a stinging mess

June 29 (LNP) Inability to differentiate between politics and education has pushed Sri Lanka s university education into a stinking mess, Minister of Higher Education S. B. Dissanayake said in Kandy during the launch of a set of new diploma courses and syllabuses. Some so called conveners who had organized strikes and inhuman types of ragging of freshers had had to leave the university without obtaining their degrees after studying for years at public expense. more..

Govt. to charge Rs.800,000 from houses built under ‘Api Wenuwen Api’

June 29 (LT) A protest campaign participated by more than 1500 families of war heroes was held against the decision of the government to collect money from families of war heroes for the houses built under the ‘Api Wenuwen Api’ (A House for Every Soldier) at Ipologama, Anuradhapura yesterday. The houses under this scheme were handed over to families of war heroes before the presidential election. more..

EDB wins Best Country Pavilion award

June 29 (LP) The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) won the prestigious golden award for the best country pavilion at the third South Asian Countries Trade Fair (SACFT 2010) recently held in Kunming, China. The Export Development Board Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said, Sri Lanka's participation at this event was organized by the EDB with the support of the Sri Lankan Embassy in China. more..

Editorial: Crime and no punishment

June 29 (LNP) Singapore, as is well known, brooks no nonsense where the rule of law is concerned. Whatever its critics may say, the strict enforcement of law has stood that country in good stead. It has set an example worthy of emulation for all other countries. Yesterday, we reported in the World View section that a Swiss national had been sentenced to five months in jail and three strokes of a wooden cane for trespass on a metro station and spray-painting graffiti on a train. more..

Budget today

June 29 (Island) A leading businessman says the budget should focus on development of industries motivating investment and focus on imports while widening the tax structure. "Investors are held back due to the high tax issues in investing, the government should focus on providing assistance to attract investment to develop each sector," Chief Executive officer, Edirisinghe Trust Investments Mahendra De Silva told The Island Financial Review. more..

Gen. Fonseka to form new political party

June 29 (CT) Several rounds of talks have been held to form a new political party to be led by retired General Sarath Fonseka, reports say. The new party, to be named as the Democratic National Front, will have MPs Arjuna Ranatunga and Tiran Alles holding the other key positions. Gen. Fonseka will continue to be leader of the Democratic National Alliance, said a DNA spokesman. more..

COPE can’t cope with all; sub committees appointed

June 29 (DM) In a bid to speed up investigations and follow-up action on errant public enterprises, the parliamentary Committee On Public Enterprises (COPE) will appoint two sub committees before it begins it work, COPE chairman and Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara said yesterday. “It is not easy to carry out a thorough check on audit reports of some 240 public enterprises. The COPE has accepted the suggestion I made to appoint two sub committees to more..

The UN is dishing out lunacy, idiocy and knee-slapping humour!

June 29 (DN) I thought it was just Ban Ki-moon and the chief of the panel he’s appointed recently, one Marzuki Darusman, who didn’t know if they are coming or going. Ki-moon said it was just a committee tasked to advice him on things pertaining to Sri Lanka. He said, through his representative, that there would be no investigation. Darusman says (magnanimously) that the panel will ‘also’ investigate the LTTE, as though he would be doing us some big favour. more..

Handing back abandoned vehicles in Kilinochchi

June 29 (NPC) Hon. Governor, Northern Province, GA Chandrasiri handed over back 350 Motor bikes, 3 Canters and 2 Tractors to their owners at a function in Kilinochchi. Over 7000 abandoned vehicles and 14000 bicycles are in the Kachcheri yard in Kilinochchi. The Government with the assistance of NAITA are repairing these bicycles and making arrangements to give them back to their owners. more..

Sunrise over Batti

June 29 (SL) Batticaloa has long fascinated many. It is here that the biggest internal rebellion within the LTTE began. It is also here that the Tigers, for years, maintained a made-formedia showcase at Karadiyanaru with a court, a police station and what not. The man who ran the show is the same man who is now tasked with the responsibilities of reconstruction: Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan. more..

Tamil diaspora confirms talks with govt.

June 29 (DM) The detained leader of the Tamil Tigers is playing a 'leading role' in helping the government in 'reconciliation process' after the end of the war, representatives of Tamil diaspora say. In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Charles Antonidas, a leader of Tamil Health Organisation (THO) said that Kumaran Pathmanathan, also known as KP, was instrumental in arranging a meeting between the Tamil diaspora and the Sri Lankan government. more..

Police brief Indian HC on probe into killing of Indian national

June 29 (Island) The police yesterday briefed the Indian High Commission on Sunday’s killing of an Indian national and the progress of their investigations. After briefing the Indian HC, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya said that he felt ashamed at the alleged involvement of an officer of the CID in the incident. Acting on a tip off, the police on Sunday arrested Chief Inspector of the CID Chandana Pushpalal de Silva and more..

Fuel use in SLTB to be monitored

June 29 (Island) Although 50 per cent of the total income earned by the CTB is spent on fuel at present, the figure could go up to 60 percent due to irregularities such as bogus technical faults, Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Dissanayake says. The Transport Ministry will mobilise a mobile team to check fuel consumption of each CTB bus. It will tour all depots for that purpose, the Transport Ministry said. more..

Top official: Tamil Diaspora realizes importance of working with the State

June 29 (Island) In a post-LTTE era, the government and the Tamil Diaspora can work for the betterment of the Tamil speaking people. Commenting on an unprecedented rapport between the government and the Tamil Diaspora, which at one-time backed the LTTE, a senior official told The Island: "They have realised the importance of working with the government than supporting an unattainable cause. By quitting their Eelam project and more..

Restaurant drama takes new twist

June 29 (DN) Police said the Indian national who was reported missing while serving at the Big Banana Restaurant at Stafford Road, Kirullapone was murdered at a nearby house owned by the restaurant owner and the body transported in a double cab before it was dumped in the sea at Mundalama. Police carried out a search of the residence that was occupied by the restaurant owner Leslie Rajkumar and his wife. The owner is currently been held in protective custody as a suspect. more..

Sri Lanka fights for peace after years of war

June 29 (Gulf) A white pelican tucks its long beak into its chest as its perches on top of a lamp post, swaying gently in the stiff wind kicking up white breakers on the deserted beach. It's warm enough to swim, but swimming is forbidden in Colombo 3 — too close to the Presidential Palace and too close to the Ministry of Defence headquarters at 15/5 Baladaksha Mawatha. more..

AG’s independence: Civic rights leaders express concern

June 29 (DM) Civic Rights and Social Justice leaders yesterday urged the government to reassure the people of the independent status of the Attorney General and that the AG’s Department be brought back under the Ministry of Justice. This appeal came amidst growing concern that the recent decision to bring the AG’s Department directly under the President might lead to further politicisation of more..

UNP urges govt. to discuss UN Panel on SL with Opposition

June 29 (Island) The government should in consultation with the Opposition adopt a diplomatic approach to the appointment of a UN Panel to investigate the alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, the UNP said yesterday. UNP MP Gayantha Karunathillake said that his party was in principle opposed to the UN meddling with the country’s affairs. However, common sense demanded a diplomatic stand when dealing with sensitive issues, more..