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'Masses should be given the right of the victory'

May 19 (LT) They are never against celebrating victories but the right to celebrate the victory over tiger terrorism should be with the masses who are the genuine victors of the war against terrorism and not with a few individuals who try to pose as victors says General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He said, “You know that today is one year since the war against terrorism ended in victory to masses of this country. more..

Palliakuli village, a year on

May 19 (MAG) Palliakuli was on the front line during the civil war, its communities amongst the first to be displaced by the conflict. Forced to live away from their homes for more than two years, they suffered many hardships, including a daily fear for their lives and inadequate food and shelter. Like many, Rasaiya left in September 2007, moving between Arthimodai, Chethawadhi, Natuwan, Murippu, Anaivilunthan, Selvanagar and Mannar. more..

Scouts Jamborees in Jaffna after two decades

May 19 (MoD) The First Scouts Jamboree of the Northern Province and the Second National Cubs Jamboree were ceremonially inaugurated by Hon. Governor, Northern Province, GA Chandrasiri and Hon. Douglas Devananda MP, Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development at the Old Park Grounds in Jaffna on Saturday, 15 May 2010. The main idea to hold the Scouts Jamboree in Jaffna is to enhance mutual and cultural understanding among more..

Debrief News - 18. 05. 2010

Flights delayed due to floods

May 19 (DM) All international flights scheduled to depart the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) have been delayed as the Colombo-Katunayaka road has been flooded preventing passengers from reaching the airport on time, the Airport Duty Manager told Daily Mirror online. Earlier, the Airport issued a notice to all passengers to report to the Airport atleast four hours prior due to traffic due to the heavy rains. more..

Parliament meets: Questions on foreign dignitaries

May 19 (NF) Parliament met at 9.30 today. As the sittings got underway, the arrival of certain foreign dignitaries in the country came under discussion. Chief Government Whip, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that any parliamentarian had the right to know of the foreign dignitaries who visited the country and who they met with. He made this statement in response to a comment made by Parliamentarian Rauff Hakeem. more..

Sri Lanka’s way forward

May 19 (LMD) On 18 May 2009 the body of Vellupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the LTTE, was found at Nandi Kadal lagoon in northern Sri Lanka. Rajavarothaya Sampanthan, leader of the TNA, called for 18 May to be a day of mourning. Instead, it will be commemorated as Victory Day. The International Crisis Group (ICG) claims in its 17 May 2010 report that it has new evidence of war crimes committed by the government and the LTTE. more..

President calls an emergency disaster relief meeting

May 19 (GDI) The Director-General of Government Information Prof. Ariyaratne Athugala in a media release this afternoon said that the Government has provided Eight Million Rupees to the Government Agents of the Districts that have been affected by the torrential rains which were experienced over the past few days. These funds will be utilized to provide continuous assistance to the nearly 175,000 people badly affected by the pre-monsoon rains. more..

Families return home after bomb-making factory is cleared

May 19 (MAG) Tharmalingam Sountharrajan had little knowledge of the bomb-making factory 700 metres from the family home in the heart of his village. Containing hundreds of mines, explosives, mortars and other items, the site was a deadly cocktail of badly stored weapons. “Even a spark from someone burning something nearby could have set off a huge explosion over 200 metres radius, or even more,” said MAG Sri Lanka’s Technical Field Manager Frank Masche, who assessed the site. more..

Sri Lanka's civil war legacy one year later

May 19 (HP) Civil wars are particularly nasty affairs pitting neighbor again neighbor. Let bygones be bygones would certainly be a better approach. But when ethnic groups, like a a badly matched couple, can't get along, when anger mounts, when violence erupts, divorce is the better course. Whatever the outcome, the results can linger in the fabric of the disputants for decades, but civil war adds a particularly detrimental legacy. more..

'Prabhakaran’s flawed strategy sealed LTTE fate'

May 19 (EB) The LTTE chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was thought to be a military genius and invincible by most Sri Lankan and international analysts. Admittedly, he did hold the Sri Lankan state to ransom for three decades, and performed many military feats. But ultimately, he completely failed. Asked to explain the dramatic turn of events in the course of 2008-2009, Prof.Rohan Gunaratna, more..

Ex-Tamil Tiger fighters held in limbo

May 19 (BBC) Many bitter decades of civil war in Sri Lanka came to an end exactly one year ago. But some 10,000 people accused of fighting for the Tamil Tigers remain detained by the government. For years, the rebels were instructed to swallow a cyanide capsule rather than surrender to the Sri Lankan army. But in the final phase of war, many just gave themselves up. At first fighters mingled with the hundreds of thousands of people who fled the last days of the conflict. more..

Sri Lanka to dump Bank Note for Coin

May 19 (NM) It may be just an observation, but it appears as if the line of nations that are replacing a low denomination bank note with a coin is getting longer almost on a weekly basis. The logic is there. It is typically cost effective to have a coin that may circulate from between 20 and 40 years in use rather than a bank note that may circulate from between six months and perhaps two years. The latest country to announce it is joining this increasingly long line is Sri Lanka, more..

New British Government urged to help Sri Lanka's war displaced

May 19 (Ekklesia) Christian Aid is urging the new British government to make a renewed effort to work with the Sri Lankan government and the international community to reach conflict affected areas and people still recovering from the 30-year civil war. A year since the Sri Lankan conflict ended there are still 76,000 people living in temporary camps. "The British Government must step up efforts to work with the Sri Lankan government and more..

PM to submit proposals to create a righteous society

May 19 (GDI) Minister of Buddha Shasana & Religious Affairs, Prime Minister, D.M Jayaratna said that he would take measures to submit a complete report to the Cabinet consisting of proposals for creating a righteous society. He mentioned that he most respectfully expects suggestions from the venerable Maha Sangha and the other religious leaders on these proposals prior to cabinet perusal. He made this statement yesterday (17) during a special meeting with more..

Iran assures financing of Sapugaskanda Refinery

May 19 (N360) The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has informed the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa that the disbursement of the funding promised by Iran to expand the Sapugaskanda oil refinery is been delayed owing to “few technical reasons”. However Ahmadinejad has assured Rajapaksa that steps will be taken to resolve those issues as soon as possible and release the funds to start expansion work of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery. more..

Nearly 200 child soldiers released in Sri Lanka

May 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka on Tuesday released over 400 former LTTE suspects, including 198 child soldiers, to mark the first anniversary of its military victory over the rebels. The 425 cadres were handed over to their families at a function in Jaffna. At least 189 of the former child soldiers were being educated at a school in Ratmalana here, the Daily Mirror reported. more..

'G 15 leaders praise singular success achieved by SL'

May 19 (GDI) The leaders who attended the recently concluded G15 Summit in Tehran praised Sri Lanka for achieving most of goals identified at the Summit and said the country was an example to the rest of the world. "They especially appreciated the power and energy sector in Sri Lanka for looking for alternative energy sources to petroleum such as solar power, coal power and thermal power," Minister G.L. Peiris said. more..

Prabhakaran’s mother can come but only for treatment: India

May 19 (MO) The mother of slain Tamil Tigers chief Velupillai Prabhakaran can take medical treatment in India but only if she promises not to reach out to politicians, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi announced here Monday quoting an Indian government order. The chief minister told the assembly that the central government had given the green signal to let the 79-year-old Parvathi fly to India for medical treatment in Tamil Nadu subject to certain conditions. more..

Sri Lanka Tamil killings 'ordered from the top'

May 19 (C4) A senior Sri Lankan army commander and frontline soldier tell Channel 4 News that point-blank executions of Tamils at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war were carried out under orders. In August 2009 Channel 4 News obtained video evidence, later authenticated by the United Nations, purporting to show point-blank executions of Tamils by uniformed Sri Lankan soldiers. more..

Sri Lanka hosts next G 15 Summit

May 19 (GDI) Sri Lanka will host the next G 15 Summit in 2012, the Policy Research & Information Unit of the President's Office reported. Speaking to media Minister of External Affairs Prof. G. L. Peiris said the country will host the fifteenth Summit of the Group 15, a group of 17 developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America. The G-15 today accounts for one third of the global population and more..

Editorial: Appointing business leaders to run state enterprises

May 19 (BL) Following its recent electoral victory government has shown its commitment towards developing the economy in many ways. One such significant effort is setting up a separate ministry for economic development and declaring its intention of making Sri Lanka the economic miracle of Asia. Yet another noticeable development in the last couple of weeks is its effort to appoint business leaders with proven track records to manage some of the vital state enterprises. more..

Sri Lanka promotes specialty teas in Japan

May 19 (BL) Sri Lanka is promoting the manufacture of specialty teas by its industry, with a competition in Japan giving recognition to producers and earning top prices, officials said. They said they want to encourage estates to make specialty teas, which are sought after by discerning buyers and fetch higher prices than regular blends sold by food multinationals. more..

Leading LTTE Capt. Ainkaran arrested

May 19 (BL) A team of officers of the Mount Lavinia branch Crimes Division led by the OIC arrested a leading member of the LTTE, Shivagnanam Ainkaran alias Captain Maththalagu last Friday evening at a lodge situated at Station Road, Mount Lavinia. He was arrested while he was hiding inside the lodge. During the investigations it was revealed that the LTTer had sustained injuries during the final battle which took place in Vellamullivaikkal last year, and had been hospitalised. more..

UNP report yet again postponed

May 19 (BL) The much awaited report on how to restructure the UNP will constitute only a couple of pages, according to MP John Amaratunga, member of the special six-person committee appointed to formulate the report. However, the finalisation of this short report has been postponed yet again. “The report will most probably be ready by Friday,” Amaratunga said. Yet, at the end of last week Amaratunga announced that the report will be released by yesterday. more..

President Rajapaksa thanks the bishop of Colombo for the actions of the Church

May 19 (AN) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa met on 10 May Mgr Malcolm Ranjith, archbishop of Colombo. After greeting him, Mr Rajapaksa thanked the prelate for the help and work carried out by the Catholic Church. In an atmosphere of great warmth, Mgr Ranjith reassured his guest that the Church is resolutely committed to the development of the country. more..

Bahrain author faces Lanka court today

May 19 (GDN) A Bharain-based author arrested under Sri Lanka's emergency laws will appear before a court in Colombo today. Sarah Malanie Perera is facing charges over her book From Darkness to Light describing her conversion to Islam, but which has been deemed offensive to Buddha. The 38-year-old was detained on March 20 after being accused of "anti-state" activities and having links to Islamic militants. more..

Indigenous reality and prospect of reconciliation without devolution

May 19 (LG) The government appears to have made a hard headed assessment about the need to address local and international concerns about the human rights situation and the ethnic conflict by taking steps to form a Commission on Reconciliation. In its statement regarding the appointment of this Commission the government stated that it was due to the overriding interest in the need for restorative justice by the Sri Lankan people. more..

'Combined mechanism needed to provide immediate relief for flood affected'

May 19 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday instructed officials to put in place a combined mechanism that would provide immediate relief for the flood affected people and facilitate the gradual receding of flood waters. He said this mechanism should be formulated by the Disaster Management Ministry with the coordination of Local Government and Home Affairs Ministry, Divisional Secretaries and other Government officials. more..

Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa pays tribute visit to the military hospital

May 19 (MoD) Mrs. Ioma Rajapaksa, Chairperson of the MOD Seva Vanitha Unit Tuesday (May 18) made a special visit to the military hospital at Army Headquarters. Colombo. According to Seva Vanitha Unit sources, presents were distributed among all the valiant soldiers at the Army hospital who sustained injuries during the victorious humanitarian operation that ended the three decade long LTTE terrorist scourge. more..

Animal lovers- Divisarana for your satisfaction

May 19 (LP) 'Divisarana' Animal Welfare Society for the caring and protection of animals will be inaugurated tomorrow. The ceremony will be held at the Forestry and Environmental Science Auditorium at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila at 03.30 pm. The members of the society compromises of Prof Hemanthi Ranasinghe, a small group of people comprising students, academic and non academic staff members and others who share a love towards animals said the organizing committee. more..

SL peace keepers for Haiti receives training on IHL

May 19 (LP) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) held several training programmes on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) for army personnel who will leave for Haiti. The trainings which were conducted on the 13th and 17th of May at the Institute of Peace Support Operations Training Sri Lanka (IPSOTSL) in Kukuleganga were on a request made by the Sri Lanka Army. More than 800 Army personnel including officers benefited from more..

Jaffna to take part in Vesak celebrations

May 19 (LP) Arrangements are at foot to celebrate the upcoming vesak festival in the Jaffna District on the 27, 28 and 29th of May. Vesak festivities will be held in the area among the Alfred Duraiappah Stadium, Public Library and Jaffna Fort by the Armed Forces stationed in the north. The activities related to the festival will be held under the directions of the Jaffna Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinhge more..

Sri Lanka going for a hat-trick Gold Medal at most prestigious Flower Show

May 19 (LP) Sri Lankan Company Borneo Exotics is back again at London’s Chelsea Flower Show in the last week of May. After winning coveted Gold Medals in 2006 and 2007, Borneo Exotics took a well earned rest and declined invitations from the Royal Horticultural Society to exhibit in the following two years. Now however, they are back, in what may be their final entry into the world’s most prestigious flower show. more..

Check on money laundering and terrorists financing

May 19 (LP) The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has signed MOU with Department of Sri Lanka Customs to share information to facilitate the investigation and prosecution of persons suspected of money laundering and terrorist financing. The signing ceremony was held at Central Bank of Sri Lanka on 14th May 2010. Mr. P D J Fernando, Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka chaired the signing ceremony more..

Janakaraliya Heading North

May 19 (GDI) ‘Janakaraliya’ drama troupe will be performing their dramas at 10 schools in the districts of Mannar and Vavuniya in as a part of a 10 day tour in the Northern Province from May 16-26. They will also conduct Theatre Arts Workshops for the students and the Teachers of these schools. The Northern Province Governor’s office and the Ministry of Education, Sports and Cultural Affairs more..

One State Hospital to be developed by ministry in each district

May 19 (GDI) The Ministry of Health took over Polonnaruwa Hospital to develop it under the Ministry's hospital development project. Tangalle Hospital too will be taken over shortly, Health Ministry sources said. Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena handed over modern medical equipment worth four million rupees to the Polonnaruwa Hospital to mark the launching of the development program. more..

Farmer details to be published on a website

May 19 (GDI) The Ministry of Agriculture has taken steps to launch a special program to solve problems faced by farmers who are unable to sell their harvest. “It is a major problem in the country’s Agriculture sector that farmers have to face numerous difficulties when it comes to selling their produce. Therefore we decided to link all Agrarian Services Centres through a computer network and will publish each and every farmer’s details more..

Public affected by flooding in Colombo can seek relief at 10 centres now

May 19 (GDI) The public affected by recent floods caused by heavy rains in the Colombo District have been requested to seek relief with the Disaster Relief Centers set up in 10 locations, Colombo District Coordinator to the Ministry of Disaster Management H. Pathirana said. According to the District Coordinator, the 10 locations are ; Darusalam Vidyalaya – Colombo (Kettarama) more..

Balancing nature and development

May 19 (DN) Protecting the environment and carrying out development projects is a balancing act, says Environment Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa. Following are the excerpts of the interview. Q: How are you going to balance environment protection with the major development plans implemented? A: When considering development, it is also necessary that we have to provide facilities for development projects. more..

We are a smiling nation, thankfully

May 19 (DN) ‘Words don’t come easy to me’ is the title of an FR David song. It’s old and not exactly remembered or hummed often. It is just that I was thinking of how easy it is to smile and how smiles come so easily to some and not to others. The connection? Well, I was thinking that there could be a song that began like this: ‘Words don’t come easy to me, but smiles always do!’ Yes, tacky, I agree. I am thinking of smiles, pardon me, and words are not coming easy this morning. more..

'Politicians responsible for flooding in Colombo'

May 19 (LT) The reason for flooding in Colombo city by rain water is the unauthorized buildings that have been built with the authority of politicians says Colombo Municipal Commissioner Ms. Bhadrani Jayawardene. She points out that politicians, for their political interests, allow people to build unauthorized buildings in the city. Ms. Jayawardene said politicians have given permission for people to build shops, huts and more..

To Brussels with a begging bowl ….

May 19 (LT) A special delegation of government representatives went to Brussels yesterday to request for the ‘Development-GSP tax relief for 7200 items produced in Sri Lanka including garments. The special delegation includes Secretary to the Foreign Ministry Romesh Jayasinghe, Attorney General Mohan Peiris and Secretary to the Ministry of Finance P.B. Jayasundara. Another delegation visited Brussels in March this year to request for GSP+. more..

Two Budgets for 2010/11: Simple tax scheme soon

May 19 (DN) The Government will soon formulate a simple tax procedure, which will address loopholes in the existing tax structure. Deputy Finance Minister and Senior Presidential Advisor Dr Sarath Amunugama will chair a committee which will look at all rules and regulations and formulate a simple tax procedure closing all loopholes in the existing system. more..

Rapist forced victim to undergo abortion

May 19 (Island) Apropos our main news item headlined ‘Sexual harassment at govt. school: Sab PC dragging its feet,’ in last Monday’s issue, Provincial Educational Secretary H. P. Kularatne says the principal accused of raping a girl had been recently served a charge sheet. According to him, the suspect had been interdicted on February 22 and served a charge sheet on May 7. The official admitted that the alleged rape had taken place way back in 2004, more..

Danuna Tilakaratne still at large

May 19 (DN) Danuna Tilakaratne, son- in-law of General Sarath Fonseka is still at large absconding from the Courts and the police. A warrant has been issued for his arrest for defrauding a sum of US dollars 2,99,061.25 by forwarding forged documents to the Army. Although the CID has deployed five special teams to hunt him down he continues to elude the law to the surprise of many. Colombo Fort Magistrate on February 10 issued an order barring Danuna from leaving the country, more..

Editorial: Forgotten heroes

May 19 (LNP) The V-Day rehearsals were washed out and the main parade has been put off. Weather gods residing `above` this resplendent isle do not seem to be patriotic. (We hope the government will not brand them traitors for their unkind act of unleashing lashing rains in Colombo!) Yesterday, our front page had a nice picture of two soldiers taking shelter from a downpour, under a military vehicle. more..

Editorial: Mulleriya Wela

May 19 (DM) Mulleriya wela or the main paddy field in Mulleriyawa has long been held as a place of pride. The field which was there till this government came into power is the place where the Sri Lankan soldiers made a historic victory over the Portuguese invaders. A powerful government minister along with an extremely corrupt PS chairman got together and filled both sides of the field which has a road dividing the area into two. more..

Northern lawyers end boycott

May 19 (Island) Courts in the Jaffna District returned to normal yesterday as lawyers ended a two-week boycott they had launched to highlight their concerns about security. They had given up the protest following assurances given by Chief Justice Asoka de Silva and the military, Jaffna Lawyers Association Treasurer B. Thavapalan said. The boycott was sparked by alleged death threats to Chavakachcheri District Judge T. J. Prabhakaran, more..

Train services disrupted by obstacles on tracks

May 19 (Island) The rains continued to lash the Western Province and the Galle district yesterday, too. By yesterday morning the train services beyond Galle did not operate due to obstacles on the track between Galle and Matara, the CGR said yesterday. In the Galle district, 2,200 families comprising 7,150 members were affected, the Galle District Disaster Management Centre said. more..