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China gives Sri Lankan infrastructure a shot in the arm

Mar 10 (Hindu) China, through its funding arm the Exim Bank, has concluded with Sri Lanka a Concessional Funding arrangement to construct the island nation’s second airport in Mattala at a cost of US $ 190 million while also pledging Concessional financing of US $ 100 million to augment the capacity of the Sri Lankan Railway. An official statement here said on Wednesday that the two Concessional Loan agreements were signed more..

Debrief News - 10.03.2010

Indian team from Jaipur to help Sri Lanka amputees

Mar 11 (BBC) An Indian charity has sent a team to northern Sri Lanka to provide 1,000 amputees with artificial limbs. Workers from the BMVSS charity, which makes the so-called "Jaipur foot", will spend a month in the town of Vavuniya. The Jaipur foot is regarded as the most inexpensive and cost effective artificial limb in the world. Tens of thousands of people died in Sri Lanka's long civil war and thousands more lost limbs as a result of mines and unexploded ordnance. more..

UK explains Miliband’s actions

Mar 11 (DM) A visiting British official today explained to Sri Lanka that UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband’s recent participation at the Global Tamil Forum conference in London was aimed at encouraging them to support efforts to achieve peace in Sri Lanka. Sir Peter Ricketts, the Permanent Under-Secretary (PUS) of the British Foreign Office, at a meeting with Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama today had said that more..

Dilshan swings into Sussex

Mar 11 (ECB) Sussex have pulled off a major coup by signing Sri Lanka batting star Tillakaratne Dilshan as an overseas player for the 2010 Friends Provident t20. Dilshan, 33, has emerged as one of the finest limited-overs players in world cricket over the past two years, since being asked to open the batting for Sri Lanka in all forms of cricket. The 2009 Twenty20 Cup champions expect him to be available at the start more..

Sri Lanka tax system, state consumption hurting private investment: analysts

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's high income taxes is making local firms weaker against others in developing countries, while a government living beyond its means is eating up long terms funds available for private investment, analysts said. "I'm a firm believer until this country drops the tax rate to 15 percent or 20 percent this country will not grow," Channa De Silva, director general at the Securities and Exchange Commission said. more..

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe launches website

Mar 11 (UNP) Welcome to my website and i hope you take a tour around the site and familiarize yourself with my work and what we hope to achive in the future. Throughout my career in politics, I have sought to represent the values and hope of the Sri Lankan people, and i look forward to your support towards my efforts to become Sri Lanka's next Prime Minister. more..

India, Lanka sign $67.4-mn pact for rail upgradation project

Mar 11 (Hindu) India and Sri Lanka on Wednesday signed a Line of Credit agreement for $67.4 million to fund the second phase of upgradation of the Southern Railway Line from Colombo to Matara. A statement by the Indian mission here said that the agreement was signed by P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning, and Prabhakar Dalal, Executive Director, Export-Import Bank of India, more..

Officials told to expedite development works in Lankan refugee camps

Mar 11 (PTI) Tamil Nadu government has allotted Rs100 crore for various devlelopment works in the 115 Sri Lankan Tamils refugee camps in the state, a top official has said. The works included drinking water, street lights, power, toilets, borewell and drainage facilities and also repairs of houses and roads in these camps, director of rehabilitation Muthiah Kalaivanan said. Addressing a meeting of personal secretaries and more..

Tamil, Sinhala unity displayed in Switzerland

Mar 11 (AD) In showcasing peace and unity between the two communities hitherto thrust into misunderstanding, the Tamil and Sinhalese of the Sri Lankan diaspora in Switzerlandheld a cultural event to enhance the fresh bonds arising after the defeat of separatism in the island nation. This event held in the amiable Swiss town of Fribourg was perhaps the first where the Tamils and Sinhalese from the Sri Lankan diaspora have openly come out together in solidarity. more..

'I would love to do a Lankan film'

Mar 11 (DNA) It happened right in front of us — in a bid to duck the crowd who had gathered around her vanity van last week — Jacqueline Fernandez’s mobile slipped out of her hands. And before she could recover it, the device was already broken into bits. “Let that go. It’s already beyond repair. It’s better that I get a new set for myself,” says the former Miss Sri Lanka as we sat down in her vanity van for an interview. more..

Nearly hundred thousand IDPs in camps

Mar 11 (BBC) The United Nations says that nearly a hundred thousand ineternally displaced people (IDPs) are still accommodated in temporary camps. All of them were displaced due to the conflict between the Tamil Tigers and Government security forces. A report published by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that about almost twice the amount have been released. more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisions

Mar 11 (GDI) Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance and Planning to enter into a Loan Agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to obtain Japanese Yen 4,522 Million (approximately Rs.5,700 million) to meet the additional funding requirement of the Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project and to re-lend the proceeds of the loan to Ceylon Electricity Board more..

Sri Lankan attorney general assures exiled journalists

Mar 11 (CPJ) In a meeting with a CPJ delegation today, Sri Lankan Attorney General Mohan Peiris said he was prepared to offer protection to any of the nation’s journalists who return to the country from exile. "Speaking for myself, and I’m fairly sure the government will back me up on this, there is no question that the government needs our journalists,” Peiris told the delegation in his office. more..

The right moves in Jaffna

Mar 11 (EB) The news that India will soon open a consulate in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, is to be welcomed. It has been a long time coming, more than eight months after the crushing of the Tamil Tigers. Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said the consulate would help the Tamils living on the peninsula and it would restore full connectivity with south India. The last is perfectly true, for apart from everything else that they have lost, Sri Lanka’s Tamils have lost that more..

Jaffna Technical College principal compels students to campaign for UPFA

Mar 11 (TN) JTCSU raised accusation against Yogarajan, their principal and President Mahinda Rajapakse’s Alliance candidate in the parliamentary election, for compelling them to campaign for Mahinda Rajapakse’s Alliance. Yogarajan had welcomed Namal Rajapakse, President Mahinda Rajapakse’s eldest son and his ‘Blue Warriors’ group accompanying him when they arrived in Jaffna Tuesday to canvas votes for his father’s party, JTCSU said. more..

Pathways of Dominance?

Mar 11 (LG) On May 19th, 2009, with the violent deaths of the top rung of the LTTE leadership, including that of its leader V. Prabakaran, the 30 year old civil war came to an abrupt halt. While the conclusion was a traumatic event to many in the country, not necessarily because of the destruction of the LTTE, but because of the huge loss of life and immense suffering of roughly 300,000 people and more..

Defeat Ban Ki – Moon at UNO

Mar 11 (LG) It is clear that the western countries led by USA and UK would like to brand Sri Lanka as a pariah state sooner than later. The fast by Sarath Fonseka on the issue of having telephone conversations allegedly with his daughters is connected with Ban Ki- moon’s decision to go ahead with the appointment of a so called advisory panel on "accountability issues" relating to possible human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. more..

Not so “Perfect A Blunder”

Mar 11 (LG) The purpose of my exercise here is not really to contradict or confirm the views expressed therein by Dr. Jayatilleke, but with a view to provide some, may be relevant or may be even considered irrelevant, different dimensions to look at some of his contentions. Not being a political scientist by any means, I would look at some of the issues from the point of view of a onetime enforcement officer/ investigator. more..

Sri Lankan migration to the Gulf: Female breadwinners — Domestic workers

Mar 11 (eR) Several waves of Sri Lankan migration have taken place since the country gained independence in 1948. Beginning in the mid-1950s, wealthy, educated, English-speaking elites have migrated to Commonwealth countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition, since the upsurge in ethnic hostilities in the early 1980s, Tamil speaking Hindu migrants have left the country, with many settling in Canada. more..

My lawless motherland - Part One

Mar 11 (LG) The motherland is something natural, something that comes with birth; something to which one is connected, biologically, psychologically and emotionally, in short, in every way. It is not something conditional; it is something that conditions almost everything else. On the other hand if one's father becomes an alcoholic or one's mother becomes insane, despite of that the basic relationship still remains. more..

Patriotism disregarded?

Mar 11 (IL) The war has produced deep divisions of opinion in our country. The Cold War is now a memory. Sri Lanka may continue to face a threat: of disorder and chaos born either of brutal activities of terror by the terrorists. Who are the Terrorists? Terrorists are those who impute fear into the lives and minds of civilians by their chaotic acts and this qualifies not only the LTTE but all other armed militant Tamil groups who are carrying arms like the underworld mafia in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lanka: End witch hunt against the media and NGOs

Mar 11 (HRW) The Sri Lankan government should end its harassment of journalists and activists and take steps against those making threats, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a joint statement today. Since the January 2010 presidential election, the government has engaged in a campaign to silence and discredit journalists and nongovernmental organizations. more..

From barbaric Buddhism to civilized Buddhism

Mar 11 (LG) The Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka, better known as Sinhala-Buddhism (or Mahavamsa-Buddhism) is different from the Theravada Buddhism practiced in other countries such as Thailand, Cambodia and so on. The Buddhists in these countries follow only the Buddhist scriptures Tripitaka (Viniya, Sutta, Abhidhamma), whereas in Sri Lanka the 'Mahavamsa,' which was written by one of the Mahavihara monks (Ven. Mahanama) more than 1000 years after more..

Sri Lanka gets DHL airport facility

Mar 11 (LBO) DHL Express, a global logistics company, said it has opened an 'airside gateway' facility at Sri Lanka's sole international airport north of the capital Colombo that will help speed up air cargo shipments. Malcolm Monteiro, DHL's senior vice president and area director - South Asia, said the facility at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake offers quicker turnaround time for customers and would boost trade flows. more..

We need to stay with the presidential system that has proved so successful

Mar 11 (TC) Amongst the many sticks used to beat me and the Liberal Party of Sri Lanka now is the claim that we have abandoned our commitment to the abolition of the Executive Presidency. Martin Lee, the Hongkong Lawyer who allowed himself to be used by Basil Fernando, the strange Sri Lankan who in effect runs the Asian Human Rights Commission, talks about the 2005 manifesto of President Rajapaksa, more..

Sri Lanka MPs' salary sacrifices and other stories

Mar 11 (LP) Minister of Labor Dr. Mervin Silva proposed the parliamentarians on March 08 not to withdraw this month’s salary because the parliament met only for one sitting this month. The MPs are to get paid the full salary including all other perks such as fuel and mobile phone allowance and MSD security for the month of March and April for a few hours of job which was to participate in the emergency debate in Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka looks east to China for funding and support

Mar 11 (National) The Sri Lankan president’s decision to shift foreign policy “eastward” after persistent and damaging human-rights abuse allegations from the West was confirmed last week when China emerged as the island’s biggest financial donor in 2009. Europe, Japan and the United States have been the biggest donors until a few years back when the president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, was compelled to rely on more..

'Import of paper from India for printing ballot papers is for counterfeit voting'

Mar 11 (LeN) UNP M.P. Kurunegala District, Dayasiri Jayasekera speaking in Parliament at the debate on extension of emergency regulations said, there are doubts in regard to the import of paper from India on the ground that there is a shortage of them for the printing of ballot papers. It is suspicious, and is questionable whether the Govt. is trying to get a 2/3 majority by using them for counterfeit voting. more..

Sri Lanka gets US$250mn in loans from Japan for power, roads

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka will get 22.5 billion yen in loans (250 million US dollars) from Japan for hydro power, water supply and provincial road development in former war torn areas in the east, a government minister said. The Japan International Co-operation (JICA) will loan 5,522 million yen (50 million US dollars) for the second stage of a hydro power complex in Upper Kotmale in Sri Lanka's central hills, more..

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up 68-pct in February: data

Mar 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka tourist arrivals surge 67.7 percent to 57,300 in February 2010 from a year earlier, with steep increases in generating markets in India, UK and Germany, official data showed. In 2009 38,464 visitors came to Sri Lanka amidst an intensifying war with Tamil separatists that ended in May 2009. In 2008, 40,551 tourists came in February, Sri Lanka's tourism development office said. more..

KDU Aeronautic Engineering course open from this year

Mar 11 (MoD) General Sir John Kotalawala Defence University (KDU) Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Peiris yesterday stated that the Aeronautic Engineering Faculty of KDU is open from this year for the civil students who are qualified for university entrance. The Aeronautic Engineering stream of the Engineering Faculty was open only for the officer cadets of the Sri Lanka Air Force more..

Secretary Defence directs program to ensure security

Mar 11 (MoD) The Director General of the MCNS, Mr. Lakshman Hulugalle stated on Tuesday that at a time when there is intense political interest generated as a result of representatives of political parties struggling to secure preferential votes to represent their electorates at the forthcoming elections a series of conferences under the direction of Secretary Defense will be held island wide to ensure national security. more..

'Greater the authority, greater then was the accountability'

Mar 11 (TC) Hon Minister, past and present Principals of our revered institution, our eminent guests of honour, the Principal of Ladies College and Warden of St Thomas' College, distinguished fellow Royalists and their equally distinguished spouses, I consider it a great privilege indeed to have been invited this evening, to propose a toast to two outstanding schools rich in shared values, and for whom we Royalists have the greatest respect and admiration. more..

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presents award to Jansila Majeed of Puttalam

Mar 11 (TC) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the Women of Courage award to Sri Lanka’s Jansila Majeed at a ceremony held at the US State Department in Washington, March 10. Majeed was among 10 recipients of the 2010 award. Ms. Majeed is the Managing Trustee of Community Trust Fund in Puttalam province. The Trust oversees a number of programs on minority and women’s issues, more..

Third Mu'l'livaaykkaal in the name of 'development'

Mar 11 (TN) After abetting a military defeat and subsequently blessing a political defeat, the coterie of countries propping up Sri Lankan state is now bent upon enacting a third Mu’l’livaaykkaal, by bringing in a ‘development defeat’ of Eezham Tamils through handing over development management to the Sinhalese, said a concerned group of diaspora Tamils who recently had an experience of negotiating development in a peace-facilitating European country. more..

National Council for Sustainable Development to be formed

Mar 11 (GDI) The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has taken steps to set up a National Council for Sustainable Development. Further, a national action plan called Haritha (Green) Lanka Program will be implemented from 2010 to 2016 for sustainable development of the country, Minister Patali Champika Ranawake said at a seminar on Global Warming and Green Economy organized by the Ceylon Institute of Builders more..

I don’t like tree-cutters and am wary of big-spenders

Mar 11 (DN) I, Malinda Seneviratne, citizen of Sri Lanka, nondescript and unknown in the poster-pasting, cut-out putting and cutting, ad-taking, loud-speaking, fire-cracking electioneering firmament, humbly request that you vote for me at the upcoming General Election. I think I have about 10,000 rupees that I could spend on an election campaign. more..

It’s one year since the brutal suicide attack in Akuressa

Mar 11 (GDI) One year has passed since the bomb attack by Tiger terrorists took place targeting the procession at the Jumma Mosque in Akuressa. It was the final bomb attack carried out by the Tigers in the South. March 10th 2009 was a significant day for Islamists as it was the Birthday of Prophet Mohammed. The National ceremony to mark the event that year was held at the Jumma Mosque in Godapitiya. more..

Phase 1 of Omanthai Railway Station to be completed by April 5

Mar 11 (GDI) Phase I of the reconstruction of the Omanthai Railway Station will be completed and the Northern railway line up to Omanthai open for public use by the 5th of next month, Railway Department sources said. Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri said that they hope to finish construction of the 200-metre long railway platform within a few weeks. Once construction is finished, a special train will set out from Thandikulam to Omanthai declaring the station open. more..

Maha Shivaratri comes to life again at Thirukketheeswaram Kovil

Mar 11 (GDI) After more than two decades of constant strife due to terrorist activities, the Thirukketheeswaram Kovil is preparing itself for Maha Shivaratri festival due be held in the forthcoming weekend. At a Progress Review Meeting held at Thirukketheeswaram recently under the patronage of Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and the Governor of Northern province GA Chandrasiri, the importance of the reconstruction and rehabilitation work more..

Kandy to be made one of the most attractive cities in Asia – SB Dissanayake

Mar 11 (LP) There are more things to be protected in Kandy, being a historic city than the things that should be established and developed said UPFA candidate SB Dissanayake. Addressing the members of the Kandy BAR Association recently, he said that Kandy has many things with great historic value that need to be protected and preserved for the future generation of the country. He emphasized the need of the good dialogue between more..

Sri Lanka opts for her own rights – Foreign Minister

Mar 11 (LP) Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama participating in the emergency debate said that it is significant that the European side when they announced their decision for withdrawal of GSP+ facility also chose to emphasize their own commitment to continued engagement. In fact, they said it is their hope that the next six months can be used for contacts between the two sides which would hopefully lead to a reversal of the decision. more..

Rally to "Bring victory for Trophy for justice" tomorrow at Gampaha

Mar 11 (LT) The first district rally of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will be held at Gampaha tomorrow (12th) under the theme "Bring victory for Trophy for Justice" states the media unit of DNA. The rally held under the leadership of the General Secretary of the DNA and its candidate for Gampaha District Vijithe Herath will be shown online live through web site. more..

Electricity throughout Sri Lanka by 2011

Mar 11 (LP) net granted approval to a memorandum submitted by Minster of Power and Energy W.D.J Senaviratna to achieve 100% electricity coverage throughout the country by 2012 to be advanced to 2011 in view of the commitment given in the “Mahinda Chintanaya” to attain targets for sustainable economic growth and to make Sri Lanka a power hub in the region. more..

Protest against three Majors General at the Ananda-Nalanda match

Mar 11 (LNW) The police was called in to intervene in case any fighting erupted at the annual Ananda-Nalanda cricket encounter that took place last week. A tense situation has erupted at the venue when supporters of General Sarath Fonseka had raised objections to a proposal made to acknowledge the services rendered by three old Anandians and Army Majors General Prasanna Silva, Chagi Gallage and Kamal Gunaratne at the annual Ananda-Nalanda cricket encounter. more..

Mannar Traders call off protest after DJ's assurance

Mar 11 (PSM) A protest staged by the Mannar Traders’ Union over the assault of a Muslim businessman Mohamed Fowzi (37) has been called off after the Mannar District Judge gave them assurance that action will be taken immediately to have the offenders arrested. Mr. Fowzi, the owner of a pharmacy was assaulted by an unidentified group Monday night when he was returning home after closing business. He is now being treated at the Mannar Hospital for his injuries. more..

Norwegian and Sri Lankan musicians meet

Matara Army Camp becomes tavern for Nil Balakaya

Mar 11 (LNW) Opposition Leader of the Southern provincial Council Buddhika Pathirana said that the Army’s Gemunu Camp in Kotuwegoda, Matara has become a tavern for members of Tharunyata Hetak and the Nil Balakaya. The Commanding Officer of the Camp, Captain Bharatha Kodituwakku has been tasked to provide security to persons involved in removing posters and cutouts put up by opposition members and putting up posters more..

Excessive heat would cease soon - Meteorological Dept.

Mar 11 (LT) The excessive heat experienced at present in Sri Lanka would decrease within the next few days states Department of Meteorology. Due to gradual cessation of the North-East monsoon and the commencement of inter-monsoonal climatic conditions thunder showers would occur at certain areas in the island points out the Department of Meteorology adding that this would ease the heat experienced at present. more..