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Sri Lanka tea prices fall as crops increase

May 15 (LBO) Sri Lankan tea prices fell at this week's Colombo auctions owing to bigger quantities and lower quality and are likely to fall further in line with seasonal trends, brokers said. Prices of most teas from both the main low grown sector, which accounts for the bulk of the crop, and high growns cultivated mainly by estates run by listed plantations companies, fell. "The weak market across the board at more..

May is the another Black July for Eelam Tamils

May 15 (LG) Tamils throughout the world, remember the victims of Black July ’83. Twenty-six years ago, the state-sponsored pogrom against Tamils in Sri Lanka resulted in the deaths of 3000 people, and property damages of over $300 million U.S. The days between July 24 and July 30, 1983, were tragic, and unforgettable, for the Tamils. The May 2009 war, which killed nearly 40,000 Tamil civilians, was record high, beating the July ‘83 holocaust. more..

6 Jaffna Halo Trust deminers injured in accident

May 15 (TN) A vehicle transporting deminers of Halo Trust, a humanitarian organization, on its way to Halo Trust office in Jaffna from Ki’linochchi met with an accident Friday injuring six women deminers, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, a male deminer engaged in demining in Mirusuvil in Thenmaraadchchi was seriously injured when a landmine went off unexpectedly, the sources added. more..

Old feature films & news footage to be conserved

May 15 (GDI) The conservation of past feature films and news coverage footage has been launched. Arrangements are in place to conserve 152 feature films produced after the country gained independence. It includes several past cinema productions. The Conservation Fund of the US Embassy is granting the funds required for the programme of conserving cinema productions. This is an effort of the Government Film Unit. more..

Dogs crack timber racket

May 15 (DM) Two dogs have helped expose a massive timber racket near the Moragahakanda reservoir where more than 500 valuable trees were found razed to the ground. However the authorities have not taken action to nab the culprits, residents in the area said. According to residents in the area the timber racket has been going on for some time but was exposed only after the two dogs alerted the residents and led them into the thick jungle. more..

Debrief News - 14.05.2010

Bring Parvathi Ammal to Chennai for treatment: SLP

May 15 (Hindu) The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a petition for a direction to the Union government to bring forthwith the ailing mother of the slain LTTE leader V. Prabakaran from Colombo by a special plane for treatment in Chennai. Chennai-based advocate R. Karuppan has filed the special leave petition against an order of the Madras High Court asking him to make a representation on behalf of Parvathi Ammal or more..

'Persisting with Jayasuriya did not help'

May 15 (CI) Andrew McGlashan: Hello and welcome to Cricinfo Talk, and this afternoon I am joined by Sanjay Manjrekar to look back on a convincing victory for England in the first semi-final of the World Twenty20 here in St Lucia. Sanjay, that was a mighty performance by England, what did you make of it? Sanjay Manjrekar: Well, tremendous. England has been in great form, and they continued that form in a very important game. more..

Tamil fundraiser to serve six months in jail

May 15 (G&M) Tamil Canadian Prapaharan Thambithurai has been sentenced to six months in jail for raising funds for a banned terrorist organization in the first test in the courts of Canada’s terrorism financing law. Mr. Justice Robert Powers, of the B.C. Supreme Court said the jail sentence was intended to send a message to Mr. Thambithurai and others who raise funds. more..

Are more price hikes in the offing?

May 15 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, asalamu alaikkum and best wishes as the new government launches what it proclaims as a golden era though unfortunately it began with a price hike that made the people wonder whether further such hikes were in the offing. Last Thursday the burden and all the political backfire of announcing a huge increase in the prices of LP gas went to the UNP poll-vaulter and now Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando. more..

The absent fundamental

May 15 (DM) Our understanding of this Symposium on Sinhala Only Legacy and its Impact on Sri Lankan Society is to critically come to terms and put in its correct historical perspective, a topic of central interest today. That is, on the politics of language in this country. But one cannot really understand the politics of language without examining it in its larger framework of Nation Building hence the Absent Fundamental: in Nation Building. more..

Sri Lanka offers Emirates $55 million for airline stake

May 15 (Reuters) Sri Lanka has offered $55 million to buy back the 43.6 per cent stake Dubai’s Emirates airline holds in national carrier SriLankan Airlines, the island nation’s treasury secretary said on Friday. Emirates, the Arab world’s largest airline, had no immediate comment, but earlier this week had said it was willing to sell the stake “at the right price.” more..

The Internet and Mobility in the Reconstruction of the Past

May 15 (TC) S.Ratnajeevan H. Hoole and Mariyahl Mahilmany Hoole, “The Internet and Mobility in the Reconstruction of the Past: A Study through a Reassessment of Navalar and Caste Claims,” Fifth Annual Tamil Studies Conference, University of Toronto, May 13-15, 2010. The theme of the conference is how the movement of people across time and space has established and destabilized notions of culture and identity. more..

Colombo goes under water, and not for the first time

May 15 (GV) These pictures were taken between 10.00am and 11.30am on the 14th of May 2010 after Colombo experienced rains for about 2 hours. It speaks volumes of the continued failure of the CMC to deal with drainage and flooding issues for the last 20 – 30 years. Furthermore, I was trying to get from my house to work and the following roads were blocked due to flooding, Duplication Road, Reid Avenue, Horton Place, Both Viharamahadevi – Museum Roundabouts more..

Flooding and Canals - IDRC

A Response to International Crisis Group report

May 15 (TC) The International Crisis Group (ICG), an organization dedicated to preventing and resolving conflicts all over the world, published a report titled “The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora after the LTTE” on February 23, 2010. The report provides an opportunity to the Tamils in diaspora to constructively engage with the ICG and others in the international community working to bring about a resolution to the conflict in Sri Lanka. more..

Indigenous insensitivity and the reconciliation commission

May 15 (AHRC) The BBC Sinhala Service reported today of a press conference held by the Minister of Media, Keheliya Rambukwella. At this press conference he was questioned on the announcement by the government about a commission for reconciliation and lessons learned. He was questioned as to whether the commission will be something like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. more..

Expatriate Eelam Tigers: There they go again!

May 15 (SLW) Now what did the Duke of York do to be remembered by some Canadian Tamils who said good bye to Sri Lanka most by devious means that they could not tolerate the terrorism of the Tigers of the LTTE in Sri Lanka? In fact it was on this they based their refugee claims; at least nearly all of them. The real refugees are the devastated people in Sri Lanka who were victims of a protracted civil war without a political solution because the Canadian Tamil Diaspora, more..

CaTpad expresses concern over judicial system in the North

May 15 (SLW) In an open letter the President Mahinda Rajapaksha, Prime Minister D M Jayaratne and Governor of North retired Maj Gen G A Chandrasri and Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, the Canadian Tamils for Peace and Democracy (CaTpad) and the Forum of Srilankan Canadians for Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction have expressed their collective concern at the failure of Sri Lankan government to protect the more..

How the Chinese dragon is gobbling up the Sri Lankan lion

May 15 (TC) China is recreating its Africa story in Sri Lanka. Little China enclaves are sprouting up in the Buddhist majority island nation in the Indian Ocean as President Mahinda Rajapaksa has spread the red carpet all the way from Colombo to Jaffna. Already he has ‘gifted’ projects worth US$ 6.9 billion in railways, ports, power plants and military cantonments by way of more..

Thought crime, torture and kingly fiat

May 15 (TN) “Tissainayagam’s pardon is clearly an act of Sri Lanka’s international diplomacy, an act made possible by the complete absence of the rule of law as an operating principle in its legal system,” writes a columnist in the Tamil Guardian newspaper. “[While] the legal system’s ability to convict Tissainayagam on the basis of a confession obtained under torture on charges that amount to accusations ‘thought crime’ reveal that more..

Editorial: PRA and the Intellectual Cesspit

May 15 (LG) C. A. Chandraprame, who tried to create a fairytale story of Pregeeth Ekenaliyagoda being in hiding and urging him to return, drew a sharp response from many people which demonstrated that disapproval of such a fairy tale approach. Such an attempt was seen in fact as a cover up of the cruel disappearance of Pregeeth Ekenaliyagoda, and the government’s incapacity to inquire and reveal the truth about this disappearance. more..

New programme to improve services of CEB

May 15 (GDI) Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka has announced a new programme to uplift the Ceylon Electricity Board. It will be unveiled on the first of next month. The Minister pointed out that they planned to introduce a programme for consumer services soon and also to minimize disconnections. The purpose is to extend an efficient service to the public. more..

The more the madder attitude of President maddens Ministers: grabs the shares of the Ministers too

May 15 (LeN) It is reported that the frustration and disillusionment of many of the Ministers have increased manifold following the President appropriating to himself some of the Corporations and Statutory bodies coming under their Ministries to himself. They are of the view that they have been divested of their political freedom and right to appoint chairmen and Directors to the Institutions. more..

Driving under liquor and drugs at a price

May 15 (LP) Private Bus Drivers Association must take heed of the warning of the penalty the drivers face for driving under liquor or drugs. Their driving licences will be suspended for 10 years- for taking the lives of the passengers to ransom. Action will be initiated in the Western Province with a view to prevent the road accidents which are caused by drunk drivers said the Deputy Minister of Transport Rohana Kumara Dissanayake. more..

A clueless regime’s parade for glory with a bumpkin polity

May 15 (GV) While a victory parade with military highlights is on to commemorate the war victory, that provides occasion for this regime to revel on its own pride in defeating the LTTE, what is the most important need of the 19 million people, right now ? In a more direct way, does the Sri Lankan polity know what they most urgently need ? more..

Dates set to take up petitions against election results

May 15 (LT) The Appeal Court set dates yesterday (14th) to inquire into the election petitions that have been filed challenging election results in Galle, Nuwaraeliya and Trincomalee districts. Accordingly, the petition against results in Galle district will be inquired into on the 20th May. The petition against Trincomalee will be taken up on the 24th May and the one against Nuwaraeliya will be on the 25th May. more..

While there is a petition against President, the latter bringing AG Dept. under him is for a deceitful purpose

May 15 (LeN) Experts of the legal circles say , the Attorney General (AG) Dept. and the legal draftsman Dept. being bought under the control of the President create a serious dent in the independence of the Judiciary and the legal foundations. The Executive Committee of the Sri Lanka Lawyers Association were to take up these issues for discussion at their meeting today (14). more..

Lanka's potential for renewable energy stressed

May 15 (LNP) Since Sri Lanka is a tropical island with plenty of sunlight and wind, it can definitely outbeat any other country in the region in the production of renewable energy, Conference and Exhibition Management Services Global Operations Group Director S.S. Sarwar told the Daily News Business. In renewable energy production, Sri Lanka is behind even Bangladesh. more..

Editorial: Of asphalt cowboys, from the horse`s mouth

May 15 (LNP) So, what we have been saying in these columns all these years about the private bus Mafia has been proved right. Some private bus drivers and conductors are hooked on drugs and alcohol. It is official! No less a person than the plain-spoken President of the SLPBOA Gemunu Wijeratne was quoted by this newspaper yesterday as having said that about one third of the bus crews in the Western Province were addicted to liquor, cannabis etc. more..

Inner party democracy

May 15 (DM) During the past few weeks we have seen many UNP Members of Parliament seeking to introduce democracy to their party. The leadership of the working committee appointed by Ranil Wickremasinghe which in turn appointed him as leader has been able to resist the efforts of the MPs to have the leadership elected instead of them being appointed. It now seems that with the fifteenth defeat of the party, matters appear to have come to a head, more..

Rain havoc

May 15 (DN) At least one person was killed, seven houses partially damaged and over 16,000 people affected due to heavy rain and strong winds, as pre-monsoonal rain wrecked havoc in the Colombo city and its suburbs yesterday. Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara districts experienced heavy rain and thunderstorm. “Strong winds partially damaged seven houses in Nugegoda. Roofs of five houses were blown away by the strong winds,” more..

What kind of hero do you want to be?

May 15 (DN) There are two kinds of radicals in universities. Well, to be honest, I can’t speak for today’s undergraduates. Back then, in the eighties there were two kinds of radicals and I suspect these two categories exist today as well, wearing different clothes, speaking different languages, screaming different slogans etc., but beneath it all, the same two individuals I noticed when I was an undergraduate. more..

If schools make a difference, we need different kinds of schools

May 15 (DM) No nation needs all its citizens to hold doctorates. Indeed, there cannot be a nation where every citizen aspires to have a doctorate. Doctors earn a lot of money but this does not mean that everyone should or could become one. My friend Nilooka Dissanayake, while not exactly defending the confused and inadequate education policies of successive governments, alerted me to the following: more..

UNP seniors want Ranil as leader sans elections until next year

May 15 (Island) The report of the six-member Political Reforms Committee of the UNP is to be handed over to the party’s Working Committee on Monday, while some of the senior UNP MPs were of the opinion that Ranil Wickremesinghe should continue as leader till next year's Party Convention. They also said that Sajith Premadasa, should be made Deputy Leader until he gained enough experience to lead the party. more..

Treasury to the rescue of hospitals

May 15 (Island) The Treasury has agreed to pay Rs. 1,400 million to cover costs incurred by several hospitals under the Health Ministry, which includes the Eye Hospital. A spokesman for the Ministry said yesterday that several hospitals had faced power and water cuts during the past few months as they had not been able to pay their bills. Catering, laundry and janitorial service had also been adversely affected due to outstanding bills. more..

Residents protest against demolition of homes

May 15 (wsws) About 200 people held a protest at Slave Island in central Colombo yesterday, opposing the demolition of their houses by the military. Twenty houses where 45 families—mostly Muslim—lived were bulldozed last Friday on the orders of the Defence Ministry. Hundreds of policemen and army soldiers were mobilised last weekend to block angry residents as the homes were reduced to rubble. more..

Govt to rehabilitate street children

May 15 (DN) The Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Ministry will implement a rehabilitation program for street children, the Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said. The Ministry has been conducting a survey and analysis regarding street children. After the analysis, the rehabilitation program will be implemented. more..

Budget deficit targeted at 5% by 2012

May 15 (Island) The Presidential Media Unit in a recent report quoting Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera says the budget deficit would be brought down to 5 percent of GDP by 2012. Sri Lanka overshot its 2009 target of 7 percent of GDP, reaching 9.8 percent and the IMF has delayed the disbursement of the third tranche under the US$ 2.6 billion standby facility programme until the government shows, in the next budget, that it is committed to containing high budget deficits. more..

'CEB’s projected loss in next 10 years would be Rs. 391bn'

May 15 (Island) No Government can continue with a debt ridden institution for a long period. The projected loss of the Ceylon Electricity Board in the next 10 years was Rs. 391 billion and to turn it into a profit earning institution, every employee’s dedication is necessary, said, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka when he visited the CEB headquarters yesterday to participate in more..

School admission to be simplified

May 15 (DM) Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena said school admissions would be conducted in a simplified manner by a committee consisting of the school principal, representatives of the staff, past pupils and parents. He made the announcement when addressing education officers of the Kurunegala district. “If any injustice appears to have been done to any student, the Education Ministry will get directly involved,” more..

Fonseka funds: CID awaits AG’s advice

May 15 (DM) CID detectives yesterday informed Court they were checking with the Attorney General whether Asoka Tillekaratne and Solis Director Sanjeewa Kumara could be charged with taking Rs.75 million from General Sarath Fonseka’s campaign office to be deposited in a bank. Following this submission, Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Harsha Sethunga postponed the case for October 1. more..

Editorial: Eternal cricketers in Sri Lanka

May 15 (DM) It is indeed disgraceful the manner a legendary Sri Lankan cricketer continues to postpone his day of retirement from cricket and blocks a whole host of extremely talented youngsters from joining the national squad. Worse is the way he has got the political patronage to remain in the team even when the rest of the players were protesting. The latest one hears is his intention to play in the 2011 World Cup. more..

Praba's mum rejected treatment

May 15 (DM) India's Supreme Court has rejected a plea seeking direction to the central government to fly the ailing mother of the slain Tamil Tigers chief to Chennai for medical treatment. Parvathi Ammal, 86 and mother of Velupillai Prabhakaran, is suffering from paralysis. She is presently in Colombo. A bench asked the petitioner-counsel: ‘Is it a case for interference by this court?’ more..

USACA cancels Twenty20 curtain-raiser

May 15 (CI) New Zealand's Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in Florida - the first international series between two full ICC members to take place in the USA - has been reduced from three matches to two following the cancellation of the opening match in Lauderhill on Thursday. The decision was taken in the interests of promoting USA cricket in the best possible light, with a thunderstorm threatening to wash out the opening fixture and more..

Resettlement of uprooted civilians remains rejected in Jaffna

May 15 (TN) The civilians uprooted from Valikaamam in Vadamaraadchi by occupying Sri Lanka Army (SLA) converting their lands into High Security Zone (HSZ) 20 years ago have lost all hopes despite repeated promises and announcements made by government ministers, officials and Jaffna SLA Commander as SLA authorities continue to deny permission for resettlement, according to A.C. Nadarajah, one of nearly a hundred thousand uprooted persons in Jaffna peninsula. more..

Mano Ganesan writes to Ranil: You have deceived DPF, Tamils

May 15 (DN) DPF leader Mano Ganesan in a letter to UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said he will not have any personal meetings with him [Wickremesinghe] as he has deceived the DPF and the Tamil people. “No more personal meetings are necessary with you as we are convinced that you have deceived my party and Tamil people. And we consider the national list dispute over,” more..

England target first trophy at ICC World Twenty20

May 15 (BBC) England's cricketers will be seeking to end 35 years of hurt when they take on arch rivals Australia in the ICC World Twenty20 final in Barbados on Sunday. England are the only one of eight major international sides not to have won an ICC tournament - a miserable run dating back to the first World Cup in 1975. Coach Andy Flower is likely to keep faith in the side which thrashed Sri Lanka in the semi-final in St Lucia. more..

Rebel Bagman

May 15 (NP) At 9:22 p.m. on March 14, 2008, members of the RCMP's counter-terrorism squad in British Columbia pulled over a gray Mazda 3 and arrested the driver for financing terrorism. It was a first for Canada. For more than a decade, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers rebels had fundraised in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver to finance their liberation struggle, but this was the first time anyone had been criminally charged over it. more..

Rajapaksa to be new chairman of G-15

May 15 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa will take over the chairmanship of Group of 15 countries (G15) from his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the forthcoming summit in Tehran on Monday. Mr. Rajapaksa will serve as the chairman of the grouping, of which India is also a member, for a two-year term. The G15 Summit to be held in Tehran on Monday will focus on cooperation among developing countries in the areas of more..