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'India to pump in more aid for war ravaged Sri Lanka'

May 12 (ANI) Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on Monday said that New Delhi would continue to give financial aid to Sri Lanka for rehabilitation and reconstruction of the war-ravaged Tamil dominated northern areas. "Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has announced an assistance package of Rupees 500 crores for the rehabilitation and resettlement of the north last year," said Rao, more..

Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation rating raised to AAA by RAM

May 12 (LBO) RAM Ratings Lanka has upgraded Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation's claims-paying ability rating, from AA- to AAA, with the outlook on the long-term rating revised from positive to stable, a statement said. Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation's rating had been placed on a positive outlook in June 2009, after it came back under state ownership when a supreme court order overturned a previous privatisation of the state entity. more..

Golden Key depositors 'yet to be paid'

May 12 (BBC) Depositors of the collapsed Golden Key Credit Card Company have accused the authorities of putting the victims "from the frying pan to fire." Anusha Emmert, the president of the Golden Key Depositors' Association told BBC Sandeshaya that the process of compensating the depositors is not properly conducted. The depositors staged a silence protest in front of the Supreme Court premises as the Court heard a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition against more..

Debrief News - 11. 05. 2010

Sri Lanka Colombo Dockyard lays keel for new tug

May 12 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Colombo Dockyard, a listed ship builder, has laid the keel for the construction of an Anchor Handling Tug Supply Vessel for the Pacific island state of Samoa, a statement said. The yard, which is majority owned by Japan's Onomichi Dockyard, said the tug was the first of two to be built for Samoa. It would have a 'bollard pull', an indication of the tug's power, of 130 tonnes and would be the most powerful tug built by the yard, more..

Video: Missing child found from Marawila

May 12 (AD) 2 1/2 year old child Senuthi Limansa Maapalagama, who went missing on Sunday at the Kelaniya temple while attending a Bodhi pooja has been found from Marawila, Police confirmed a short while ago. The child was suspected to have been abducted while attending the temple on Sunday. Police launched an island wide effort to secure the whereabouts of the child. Senuthi Limansa is the youngest daughter of Nalin Maapalagama and Nilushi Maapalagama. more..

'Rajapaksa’s constitution unacceptable'

May 12 (EB) The TNA which is the single largest Tamil party in the Sri Lankan parliament with 14 members, has said that the Rajapaksa government’s constitutional proposals are unacceptable to the Tamils and other minorities. “The proposals do not meet the needs of the minorities. They will put the minorities at a disadvantage,” TNA MP for Jaffna, Suresh Premachandran, told Express more..

Jaffna Mayor demands detained deputy mayor to be released within 3 days

May 12 (TN) Ruling SLFP Jaffna Mayor, Ms. Yogeswari Patkunam said that unless Jaffna deputy mayor, Ilango alias Regan arrested and detained in Jaffna remand prison is released within three days Jaffna Municipal Council (JMC) employees will abstain from their duties bringing all the work of JMC to a stand still. Meanwhile, JMC opposition parties accused Mayor’s husband Patkunam of forcing JMC employees to abstain from duty Tuesday. more..

'SLFP does not like new leadership in UNP'

May 12 (NF) Maithripala Sirisena, General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party disclosed yesterday that the SLFP did not like a new leadership in the UNP and wished Ranil Wickremasinghe continue within the UNP for a long period of time. Claiming that a voice had emerged for a new leadership, Sirisena said that too many cooks would spoil the soup. The General Secretary of the SLFP was expressing these views about party reforms at a media briefing held yesterday. more..

Tamil Tiger case puts spotlight on laws against financing terrorism

May 12 (G&M) Federal terrorism financing legislation will be on trial Tuesday when the first person in Canada to be charged with raising funds for a banned terrorist organization stands up in a B.C. courtroom and enters a plea. Prapaharan Thambithurai was charged in March, 2008, in Vancouver with soliciting funds for the LTTE, a terrorist group officially banned in Canada in 2006. more..

Sri Lanka: No alibis for ethnic minority leaders

May 12 (SAT) For Sri Lanka observers comfortably perched in Delhi, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is LTTE by another name. Its leaders barring a couple of exceptions have contributed to furthering this image by their antics. So, TNA’s longevity always carried a question mark in the discussions over endless cups of tea. Now after the parliamentary elections, TNA has become a political gobbledygook. more..

Tagore's influence on Lankan culture and aesthetics

May 12 (HT) Rabindranath Tagore wrote the national anthems of two countries, India and Bangladesh. But he deeply influenced the words and music of a third, the Lankan national anthem, 'Sri Lanka Matha'. The anthem was written and composed by Ananda Samarakoon, most probably in 1939-40, while he was Tagore’s disciple at Visva-Bharathi University. Samarakoon’s first Shantiniketan stint ended after six months but more..

India calls for 'effective devolution'

May 12 (BBC) The Indian government has called upon Sri Lanka to ensure effective measures to devolve power to the provinces to contain "fissiparous forces." Addressing an international conference in Delhi on "Taking the Sri Lankan Peace Process Forward, Indian foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said : "Political settlement of course is not a zero-sum game. It need not and should not come at a cost of another." more..

Editorial: Economic growth and challenge of reforming the state sector

May 12 (BL) Terrorism, the biggest obstacle to economic development in our country has been removed. The President Mahinda Rajapaksa has won his second term of presidency as well as the general election that followed. People have given them a near two thirds majority in parliament and the country is looking forward to a period of rapid economic growth. To win the war we had efficient armed forces and a set of determined men to lead it. more..

“60% IT literacy by 2012”

May 12 (BL) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that Sri Lanka has been the fastest developing nation in Asia in the field of Information Technology over the past couple of years. The Minister expressed these views at the opening of a new computer lab at Royal College yesterday. “Sri Lanka has had a 30% increase in IT literacy over the past year. Out of all the Asian countries, we have been the fastest developing when it comes to IT literacy. more..

Sri Lankan win knocks India out

May 12 (CI) Will Sri Lanka go for a win or will they seek to knock out India and hope Australia will defeat West Indies to enter semi-finals? That was the question that hung in the air during the chase. Sri Lanka's answer was emphatic: They first sealed India's fate by going past 143 before they wrote their own destiny by winning of the last delivery of the game. Kumar Sangakkara set up the chase and Angelo Matthews took them to more..

Dialog expects to gain from Number Portability

May 12 (BL) Mobile telephone giant Dialog Telekom PLC announced yesterday that it expects to gain from the proposed implementation of the Mobile Number Portability. Speaking at an Investor Forum, Dialog Group CEO, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said that the company was unlikely to lose from it as previously anticipated. “In fact what we advocated not only for Number Portability for mobile but also for fixed lines, as well. more..

Stampede in Somawathi of Sri Lanka and Lord Buddha's ban on miracles

May 12 (LP) Sri Lankan W. Podi Appuhami, a 70 years old farmer of Welimada went to Somawathi in a goods transport truck to see the ancient pagoda emanate the light rays of Lord Buddha came home as a dead man. Media says that the man was killed when he fell from the lorry. Forty two years old M.P. Lionel Samarawickrama of Galewela and 53 years old M. Karunawathi of Rajagiriya were killed in Somawathi by heart attacks. more..

GK depositors invite Kotelawala for talks

May 12 (BL) Golden Key depositors, who have been left high and dry for nearly one and half years, and who had been all out against infamous Ceylinco Consolidated Chairman Lalith Kotelawala, have decided to co-operate with him and had invited its Board of Directors for talks. President of the Golden Key Depositors’ Society, Anusha Emmert said that they decided so as they have no resort as at present. more..

V-day May 18: Right to do, but do it it right

May 12 (TC) Opinion in and on Sri Lanka today is divisible into eight strands, streams or categories: those who agree that the war which was fought and won was basically a just war and those who do not; those who believe that what Sri Lanka now has or is headed for is a just peace and those who do not; those who hold that a just peace is desirable and imperative and those believe it is desirable but not imperative; those who believe that a just peace is possible and those who do not. more..

A remedy worse than the cure?

May 12 (DM) It is said that amendments to the Constitution will come to Parliament as early as June. It is said that proportional representation may be on the way out, especially because this electoral system is held responsible for intra-party violence (respectable reason) and unnecessary power held by minority parties (not-so-respectable reason). It is said that at least as far as elections for local authorities go, PR is definitely to be replaced by first-past-the-post. more..

Lost in Sinharaja

May 12 (ST) With the experience gained on our many expeditions starting with Bible Rock, we thought we should go in for some real adventure in a countryside yet unknown - the Sinharaja rainforest. We selected the eastern part of Sinharaja entering from Deniyaya and trekking through the wilderness with the hope of coming out in three days at Pothupitiya on the other side of the sanctuary. more..

Await! The mother of all shows

May 12 (SL) The Rajapaksa saga so far has been a well-scripted one. From day one back in November 2005, Mahinda Rajapaksa could not have asked for a better story. Looking back five years later, hardly anything outside the script has been allowed to happen and the caravan rolls merrily on with the commencement of his second term still months away. If the past five years is anything to go by, a striking feature of the first citizen has been his unrestrained love of showmanship more..

The future of the Sri Lankan economy: with or without IMF?

May 12 (ST) Two economic issues have dominated discussions on the economy recently. One has been whether the government should present a budget rather than a vote on account and the other is whether the government should abrogate the IMF stand-by arrangement. The decisions on these do not appear to have been made. The latter issue has been quite comprehensively discussed in the Sunday Times Business section of last Sunday more..

CORE: Inside Kite - Production Sri Lanka

Diaspora Tamils ridicule proxy LTTE stunt for 'separatism'

May 12 (MoD) Despite an 11 month prolonged effort from LTTE separatist agents to stir-up anti-Sri Lankan sentiments in Europe and Canada, a stern reply by majority Tamils expatriates have reportedly irked the hardcore terror activists, said diaspora activities observer Kumaran Selvarasa. According to finalized reports released by LTTE propaganda cells overseas, a mere 90,866 Tamils have pledged support for separatism, while more..

Northern Province Sports Festival - 2010 held in Jaffna

May 12 (NPC) The Provincial Sports Festival - 2010 held at the Duraiappa Stadium, Jaffna on 09 May 2010 under the auspices of the Department of Sports, Northern Province. The Marathon Race for Men and for Women, the Bicycle Race for Men and for Women and the walking Race for Men and for Woman were worked off in the morning whilst the Bicycle Race for Woman was held in mid afternoon. more..

Man pleads guilty in landmark terrorism financing case

May 12 (G&M) The federal prosecutor has recommended two years in prison for a man who pleaded guilty Tuesday to collecting money for the Tamil Tigers – Canada’s first court case involving fundraising for a banned terrorist group. Prapaharan Thambithurai, 46, pleaded guilty to raising $600 for the LTTE. He also collected pledges for another $2,000 from Sri Lankans in the Vancouver area, more..

Sri Lanka and Britain: A tale of two elections

May 12 (TC) For lovers of politics like me, the last month or so has been pretty exciting. First a general election in Sri Lanka - the country in which I have lived and worked for a number of years and of which I am very fond - and then at home in the UK. However much we tire of listening to candidates attack their opponents while grovelling before every member of the public they can find during their campaigns, there is nothing quite like watching people go out to vote. more..

Delhi grants visa to Pirabhakaran’s mother but she arrived in Colombo

May 12 (TC) From the time Prabhakaran's mother Parvathi Ammal was turned back in Chennai, the media carried conflicting and confusing report. While the Indian media reported on Monday 10th that she was granted six month temporary visa to visit India, a Tamil daily in Colombo quoted that Parvathy Ammal landed in Colombo from Malaysia on the 10th evening. more..

In Sri Lanka, cricket leadership programme helps former child soldiers

May 12 (UNICEF) Gopi, 16, makes a dash and lunges to take the catch. “You’re out!” she yells. Elated, with her short hair bobbing from under her cap, she joins the rest of her team to celebrate the victory. A former child soldier, Gopi is part of an innovative sport-for-development programme in conflict-torn Sri Lanka. Through the vehicle of cricket, partners including UNICEF, more..

Follow Traffic arrangements on Victory Day rehearsals

May 12 (LP) Police headquarters informs motorists that the Galle Face road will be closed for traffic from 6 am to 2 pm from May 13 to 19 in view of the parade rehearsals for the Victory Day celebrations to be held at Galle Face on May 20. Accordingly all buses and heavy vehicles will be diverted from the Kollupitiya junction to proceed up to the Pittala junction from where they could turn left and proceed through Slave Island to Pettah. more..

Somethings get lost, some ‘lost-ed’

May 12 (DN) Years ago, as a young undergraduate, I was given a book by Arjuna Parakrama. It was called ‘Fire from the mountain: the making of a Sandinista’. It was the story of a rebel, the author, Omar Cabezas. It relates how Omar, at the time a student leader in the university is recruited by the Sandinistas and taken into the mountains to be trained to fight the guerrilla war against Somoza. more..

Community tourism gets boost

May 12 (LNP) Six rural villages that have tourist attractions will be developed based on the eco-tourism concept by the Economic Development Ministry s Tourism Division. The project called the Community Tourism Development Program is expected to promote tourism with less damage to the environment. We have had discussions with community leaders of the villages and what they expect from this development, a senior official said. more..

'554 new English medium A/L teachers'

May 12 (GDI) The Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardene said that the President had granted permission to recruit English medium teachers. The teachers will be 554 in number. This statement had been made by the new Minister when he was attending a function at the Kegalu Vidyalaya in Kegalle yesterday to unveil a book titled 'Deye Daruwange Mang Peth Vivara Karamu'. more..

A new travel & tourism M-Learning diploma now in SL

May 12 (GDI) This course will be introduced as Diploma in Eco -Tourism, Science and Hotel Management. The introduction of this course with state -of –the- art M-Learning is facilitated by the Sri Lanka Telecom. There is no necessity for the followers of this course to attend lectures. Instead they can download live lectures to a lap- top through a mobile broadband connection. This is the first of it’s kind introduced in Sri Lanka and more..

North returns to normalcy steadily

May 12 (MoD) While the Kilinochchi District Courts resumed sittings yesterday marking a clear return to normalcy after the war, other development activities kept apace with the general trend in the North. The Government has negotiated with the World Bank to construct 3,640 houses, the Sri Lanka Red Cross society for 100 houses and the UN Habitat Agency 300 houses for the IDPs who had been resettled in the Killinochchi District. more..

With quality service Nurses Leading Chronic Care

May 12 (LP) International nursing day falls today and it is being celebrated around the world on a grand scale. The Nurses week is celebrated from the 06th of May to the 12th of May and this year’s Nurses day is celebrated under the theme “Delivering Quality, Serving Communities: Nurses Leading Chronic Care”. more..

UNP will not allow state media says ITN

May 12 (GDI) The handing over of the report of the committee appointed to make recommendations on the restructuring of the United National Party has been postponed. UNP Media Spokesman and Parliamentarian Gayantha Karunatilake said that a six-member committee headed by MP Joseph Michael Perera was appointed to secure a report on what changes should be effected to the party. The report was due to be handed over today. more..

Mother talks about child sex abuse by a monk

May 12 (LG) “I send my 8 year old son to the temple and trust the monk to bring him as a good person. But see what he did , laments a mother, telling a story about child abuse by a monk. He sad story can now be seen in U-tube. Catholic church has been under severe attack in the West, for hushing up sex abuses by the Catholic priests. Even the Pope is been criticised for neglect to impose discipline on priests and failure to protect children. more..

How the LTTE was 'military' defeated: A Soldier’s view - Part Nine

May 12 (LG) Two Costly Mistakes LTTE Committed: The Killing of Rajiv Ghandi and the closing down of Mavil Aru sluice gates. 1. The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the seventh Prime Minister of India by the LTTE suicide bomber Gayatri also known as Dhanu supported by Nalini and others was the one of the two gravest mistakes LTTE had committed ever. If the LTTE leader and his theoretician thought for one fleeting moment that more..

Ministerial spouse a land thief

May 12 (SL) Startling revelations have surfaced that new Transport Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayake has misled the Urban Development Authority (UDA) in order to obtain 15 perches of UDA land for his wife in Battaramulla on a 30-year lease, while serving as the Non Cabinet Minister for Urban Development. L.R.M. Abeysinghe, wife of Rohana Dissanayake, in a letter dated May 2, 2009 to more..

Govt. owes owners billions for land acquired

May 12 (Island) Payment of compensation for lands acquired from private owners, by the Government, for large scale development projects, had come to a standstill from January this year, sources in the Ministry of Lands and Land Development said. They said the Ministry has to settle a total of Rs 5 billion to individuals as at January this year. The Ministry owes Rs. 60 million for a single project to owners of land acquired in Moratuwa alone, sources said. more..

Petition challenging election of Punchinilame

May 12 (LT) A petition has been filed at the Appeal Court against the election of Mr. Susanthe Punchnilame to Parliament from Trincomalee District. Mr. K. Thiruchelvam who contested the general election for Trincomalee District from Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi filed the petition yesterday requesting the Appeal Court to declare the general election held for Trincomalee District on 8th April null and void and cancel the election of Mr. Susanteh Punchinilame as more..

In cynical gesture, Sri Lankan president pardons journalist

May 12 (wsws) Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister, G.L. Peiris, announced at a press conference last week that President Mahinda Rajapakse had decided to grant a pardon to journalist J.S. Tissanayagam to mark World Press Freedom Day. Tissanayagam was convicted on trumped-up charges last August and sentenced to 20 years jail with hard labour in a decision that provoked outrage in Sri Lanka and internationally. more..

'No salary increase or new proposals until the budget'

May 12 (LT) There will be no salary increase or any new proposal until the next budget is presented says Deputy Minister of Economic Development Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. He has said all new proposals including proposals for salary increments could be presented through the budget proposals. He said, “We need at least 6 weeks from the day the Parliament is convened to bring in a budget and another day has to be allocated to discuss the subjects more..

Army ordered to provide protection to Gen. Fonseka

May 12 (LT) SL Army was ordered to provide protection to Gen. Sarath Fonseka by Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate on a request made by counsels appearing for the State and for Gen. Fonseka at the hearing today. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was called before Colombo Magistrates Court today as a suspect of a complaint made on a statement he had alleged to have made in an interview with an English newspaper that more..

Why Prageeth Ekneliyagoda went missing ? -Lanka e News Editor reveals

May 12 (LeN) Prageeth Ekneliyagoda was a political columnist for Lanka e news. From the outset, he was a cartoonist with us for two years. As at today, it is 106 days since he went missing. During this whole period, his friends were searching for him, Ravaya newspaper Editor Victor Ivan wrote an article based on his imagination about his disappearance while making derogatory references to Prageeth. more..

‘Reorganization’ - another humbug – Abdul Cader

May 12 (LT) He has several issues with the UNP but the party has not taken any steps regarding these issues and he would never join the UNP again says UNP Member of Parliament for Kandy District Abdul Cader. Mr. Cader who contested for Kandy District at the general election from the UNP voted with the government at the debate for extension of emergency regulations. All other MPs of the UNP were against government’s motion. more..

Police seek mobile porn ban

May 12 (DM) The police women and Child’s bureau has written to the Telecom Regulatory Commission (TRC) seeking a ban on access, via mobile phones, to at least 400 porn websites, an official at the bureau told Daily Mirror online. When contacted Director General of the TRC Anusha Pelpita confirmed to Daily Mirror online that he had received such a request but added that Cabinet approval is required to implement such a move. more..