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Constructions at Sigiriya temporarily stopped

May 19 (LT) The relevant authorities have been instructed to temporarily halt all constructions carried out by the Central Cultural Fund at the ‘Lion Feet’ in Sigiriya says Director General Dr. Senarath Dissanayake. Central Cultural Fund had begun constructing a restaurant and a system of lavatories at the feet of the lion, the ancient entrance to Sigiriya fortress. more..

SC to hear Police petition on June 16

May 19 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday re-fixed to be resumed on June 16 the hearing of the rights petitions filed by a total of 634 police sergeants who are aggrieved of not being promoted to the rank of Sub Inspectors challenging the purported decision to promote 72 others. The Bench comprised Justices Shirani A. Bandaranayake, P.A.Ratnayake and K.Sripavan. Sanjeeva Jayawardane with Rajeev Amarasuriya appeared for the Petitioners. more..

Palitha Kohona on Sri lanka war crimes

Louise Arbour on Sri lanka war crimes

Double act of Jayasuriya and Rajapakse: The two utterly self-centred men

May 19 (LG) Constitution of Sri Lanka provides that the sovereignty of the country is in the people and that includes the executive and the legislative power that is being exercised through President and Legislature elected by the people. The people elected to these two institutions are required by law to discharge the functions of their office honestly and faithfully with full respect to the provisions of the Constitution, which include the sovereignty of the people. more..

'Reveal names of MPs who took away large quantities of medicine from Parliament'

May 19 (LT) Raising a question of privilege UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera asked the Health Minister yesterday to reveal to Parliament the names of the MPs who are alleged to have taken large stocks of medicine with them from the medical centre in Parliament before the dissolution of the former Parliament. The media had reported that Parliamentarians had taken away medicine worth hundreds of thousands of rupees from the centre. more..

Over 2,20,000 affected as stormy weather continues to wreak havoc

May 19 (Island) Several main roads and roads in rural areas of the Western, Sabaragamuwa and Southern provinces remain impassable though rains have subsided. The country will experience more thunderstorms during the next 48 hours in the Western and Sabaragamuwa provinces and in the Galle and Matara Districts in the South. In Kalutara, Colombo, Gampaha, Ratnapura, Kegalle, Kurunegala, Galle, Puttalam and Trincomalee over 2,20,000 more..

'Shakthi on Ch 46 in two months time'

May 19 (DM) Telecommunication Regulatory Commission yesterday moved for two months time for the formal approval to allocate Channel Frequency 46 to the MTV Channel Ltd to telecast Shakthi TV in Jaffna peninsula. It also informed the Court of Appeal that this matter could be settled. The petition on the impugned order to shut down the transmission station of Shakthi TV in the Jaffna peninsula came up before the Court of Appeal. more..

'Quality drugs will be imported from India'

May 19 (PTI) Sri Lanka Wednesday said quality drugs will be imported from India to meet the shortage of essential medicines in the country. The country faces an emergency due to shortage of essential medicines, particularly saline. It may be recalled that late last year, the Sri Lankan government suspended six Indian pharma companies for supplying inferior quality drugs. No sub-standard drugs will be bought from India from where the medicines will be imported, more..

Special statement by ‘Trophy’ regarding shortage of medicine

May 19 (LT) A special statement was made in Parliament today on the shortage of medicine, which is an acute crisis faced by Sri Lanka. The statement was made by the Leader of the group of Parliamentarians of the DNA Anura Dissanayake. Mr. Dissanayake’s statement: I would like to draw the attention of this august assembly to the shortage of medicine which is an acute crisis in hospitals more..

'Sri Lanka-EU talks on trade deal positive'

May 19 (LBO) The European Union is likely to remain a lucrative market for Sri Lankan exporters with talks to extend a trade deal giving duty free access to Europe being positive, the EU envoy said. EU ambassador Bernard Savage said talks between Sri Lanka and the EU on extending the GSP Plus trade deal would resume in Brussels this week. "The European Union, I hope, I'm convinced, will continue to be a very lucrative market for Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lanka marks victory anniversary

Sri Lanka former Tamil Tiger 'mass wedding' planned

May 19 (BBC) The Sri Lankan military official in charge of "rehabilitating" former Tamil Tiger fighters says he is planning a mass wedding for some of them. Commissioner-general of rehabilitation Brig Sudantha Ranasinghe said about 20 couples were expected to be involved in the ceremony, probably by mid-June. Their relationships predated the end of the war, in which both the men and women had served, he told the BBC. more..

Court suspends Mayor’s removal

May 19 (DM) The Southern Provincial High Court issued an order today suspending the decision to remove Matara Mayor Upul Nishantha and appointing anyone else to the post following a writ application filed by him after he lodged a complaint that he was being removed for supporting Sarath Fonseka. Provincial High Court Judge Devika Abeyratne made this order following a writ application filed by more..

IMF team visits war-torn Northern Province of Sri Lanka

May 19 (PTI) The IMF, which is providing financial assistance to Sri Lanka in post-war rebuilding efforts, sent a high-level team of officials to Jaffna to discuss rehabilitation efforts and estimate the financial requirements needed for the crucial development. Sri Lanka has so far received two tranches of the SBA loan totalling $658.8 million and discussions are on for the third instalment of $320 million. more..

Sri Lanka's aborted victory parade 'sign from gods'

May 19 (AFP) Heavy rain that scuttled celebrations planned Thursday marking the end of Sri Lanka's civil war were a divine message that the general who secured victory was denied the credit he deserves, his party said. Government troops led by Sarath Fonseka finally defeated the Tamil Tiger rebels last May after decades of fighting in which up to 100,000 people were killed. more..

A year after the defeat of the LTTE, human rights are still pivotal in Sri Lanka

May 20 (Telegraph) A year to the day, after the defeat of the LTTE, Sri Lanka faces profound ongoing challenges in terms of establishing lasting peace, reconciliation and unity. Demonstrable progress in these fields is essential in order for the country to move from the current post-war situation, where fractions and resentments remain, to one where there is a marked progress in these areas. more..

Kelaniya Uni. closed indefinitely

May 20 (DM) The Kelaniya University has been closed until further notice following clashes between two student groups, the police said. However the medical faculty remains open. The Kiribathgoda Police have been rushed to the scene and students residing in the campus histel have been issued a notice to vacate the university premises before 8.00 a.m. tomorrow morning. The clash has taken place between students of the Arts and Science faculties. more..

Sri Lanka air force offers flights after floods block road

May 20 (LBO) The Sri Lanka Air Force is offering services to transfer by air passengers traveling to the main international airport at Katunayake, north of the capital Colombo, because of floods on the main road, officials said. A 15-seat Y-12 light aircraft can be charted by groups at the rate of 55,300 rupees for flights from the airbase at Ratmalana, a suburb south of Colombo. more..

Jaffna editors navigate minefield

May 20 (CPJ) M.V. Kaanamylnathan hasn’t left his office for four years. Sri Lanka’s civil war is over but the editor-in-chief of the Tamil daily Uthayan still thinks it’s unsafe to venture out. He’s become famous among the island’s media community for his self-imposed house arrest. The colonial-era compound housing the editorial offices and printing press are guarded, but not especially tightly, reflecting an easing of tension since the defeat of Tamil secessionists in May 2009. more..

Navy continues Flood Relief Operations

May 20 (SLN) Naval troops and boats are continuing their flood relief operations in the areas affected by floods. 23 Naval teams and 22 SLN boats are operating in the Gampaha district providing relief assistance. In addition, special Naval teams have been dispatched to Wattala, Negombo, Gampaha and Katana areas for emergency operations. 30 Naval personnel remain deployed in Wattala while 26 Naval personnel are providing assistance in Negombo. more..

Sri Lankans hit Tamil Tiger tourist trail

May 20 (AFP) The wreckage left by a brutal war has created a new tourist trail in Sri Lanka just a year after the Tamil Tiger rebels were crushed by government forces. A giant water tower smashed to the ground is a star attraction for hundreds of people driving through the former war zone where the rebels once had their de facto capital. more..

Sri Lanka not safe for deportees: group

May 20 (AAP) Sri Lanka is not safe for deported asylum seekers who face arrest and imprisonment, a Catholic social justice organisation says. Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning, who recently returned from Sri Lanka, said Sri Lankan authorities took the view that any Tamil who fled the country had to be a sympathiser of the defeated Tamil Tigers. If Singhalese, the person was regarded as a traitor, he said. more..

Sri Lanka's war-torn east beckons business

May 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's eastern province is recovering rapidly from the effects of war and provides opportunities for business, especially in agriculture, a senior official said. Eastern province governor Mohan Wijewickrema said the region's civil administration has been restored after being battered by years of war. "There were weaknesses visible in the delivery systems which are now being transformed," he said. more..

Debrief News - 19. 05. 2010

Malaysians mark Sri Lankan massacre

May 20 (FMT) Some 200 Malaysians joined Tamils from 25 major cities in the world to mark the first Mullivaikal Remembrance Day, where some 40,000 Tamils had perished during the final stages of the bitter Sri Lankan civil war. Similar gatherings were also held in London, Melbourne (Australia), Ottawa (Canada), Stockholm (Sweden), Chennai (India), Washington DC (United States) and several other major cities. more..

Sri Lankan Hockey team cancels Bangkok tour for security concern

May 20 (Bernama) Sri Lanka women's hockey team has cancelled a tour to Bangkok citing security fears in Thailand, officials said. "We cannot allow a women's team which includes three school girls to tour a country which is unstable," Gamini Jayasinghe, secretary of the National Hockey Federation said. The 18-member Sri Lanka team was to leave on Wednesday for the tournament starting on Saturday which is the qualifier for the next Asian Games. more..

UN to continue with panel

May 20 (DM) The United Nations says the forming of a commission by President Mahinda Rajapakse to investigate alleged incidents which took place during the war will not substitute the need for a panel of experts to brief the UN Chief on accountability issues relating to Sri Lanka. A UN official from the UN Headquarters in New York, Chois Soung told Daily Mirror online that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was going ahead with more..

'Give autonomy to Tamil areas in Lanka'

May 20 (EB) Pattali Makkal Katchi founder president Dr S Ramadoss on Monday sought the assistance of the United Nations and the international community to initiate steps to provide autonomy to the Tamil dominated north and east regions of Sri Lanka, on the lines of the special status that had been accorded to J K. Briefing newspersons at a candlelight vigil organised by the PMK here to pay homage to Lankan Tamils who were massacred during the final phase of the Eelam War IV last year, more..

Lanka offers India 'LTTE expertise' against Naxals

May 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka has offered India its expertise in defeating the LTTE to help fight the Naxals. Sri Lanka has said its armed forces could train Indian paramilitary personnel to successfully fight the Naxals. The offer was recently conveyed by Lankan High Commissioner Prasad Kariyavasam to National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. The assistance was offered only for the areas where Naxals have made their presence felt and covered all aspects of training. more..

Singer Narada Disasekara is no more

May 20 (CT) Acclaimed singer Narada Disasekara passed away this afternoon (May 19). He had been ailing for some time. Mr. Disasekara was the first recipient of the Sarasaviya Award for the best singer. It was for the duet "Galana Gangaki Jeewithe" with Nanda Malini in the film 'Ranmuthu Doowa' that he had won this award in 1964. He had sung more than 50 songs in his singing career more..

People living along Colombo canal banks to be relocated

May 20 (CT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered authorities to relocate people living along canal banks in Colombo and suburbs due to flood threats, Deputy Minister of Irrigation and Water Management S. M. Chandrasena said. Speaking at a media briefing today (May 19), the deputy minister said that the public as well as governments should be responsible for the drainage problems in Colombo that has occurred due to unauthorized constructions. more..

Truth commission dogged by scepticism

May 20 (IRIN) Local activists have expressed doubts over the effectiveness of a truth and reconciliation commission established by the Sri Lankan government, which will investigate events in the final years of the civil war that ended a year ago. Activists say the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission might not complete its mandate to investigate events during the last phase of a civil war between 2002 and 2009 - claiming that several short-lived commissions in the past two decades have failed. more..

Sri Lanka denies fresh Channel 4 allegation

May 20 (CT) Sri Lanka has totally denied a fresh allegation of extrajudicial killings in the island, as leveled by Britain's Channel 4 television. In a report yesterday (May 18), C-4 claimed that a video it had previously aired, showing executions of Tamils by soldiers, was authentic. Responding, the Sri Lankan High Commission in London has asked the channel to forward the said video for viewing and for verifying its authenticity prior to its telecast. more..

Post-war Sri Lanka searches for 'just peace'

May 20 (BBC) It is exactly a year since Sri Lanka declared victory in its decades-long war against Tamil Tiger separatists. It ended with the top Tiger leaders killed after being besieged with thousands of civilians they had herded into their final stronghold. On the strength of that victory, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government won landslide elections. Charles Haviland reports from Colombo as Sri Lankans reflect on a remarkable anniversary. more..

Editorial: In Lanka, a job half done

May 20 (HT) It’s been a year since the longest civil war in South Asia ended. But the Sri Lankan army’s search missions continue to recover arms, live ammunition and even buried sea vessels that once belonged to the vanquished Tamil Tigers from the northern district of Mullaitivu. More than 300 km away in Colombo — drenched this week in pre-monsoon showers and celebrations over a famous military victory — the search is on for something more elusive — a lasting peace, more..

Maharoof, Udana and Udawatte in Sri Lanka A team for Australia

May 20 (CI) Three senior team discards - allrounder Farveez Maharoof, fast bowler Isuru Udana and opening batsman Mahela Udawatte - have won a place in the Sri Lanka A team's one-month tour of Australia from June 10. All three players have been picked for the one-day squad which will play three matches against Australia A. Maharoof has been out of the senior national team since playing an ODI against India in February 2009, more..

ICRC requests access to the rehabilitation camps

May 20 (BBC) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says they have two main requests to the government of Sri Lanka. Speaking to the BBC correspondent in Geneva today, the president of the ICRC, Jakob Kellenberger said the two main requests are to provide access for the ICRC "to visit rehabilitation camps and to be present in the places where the civilians are been re-located". He accepted that the ICRC was the only humanitarian organisation remained in the last stages of the fighting and more..

Critics accuse Sri Lanka of using scorched earth tactics against Tamils

May 20 (National) One year after Sri Lankan forces concluded their brutal endgame to a 26-year civil war against Tamil separatists, rights groups accuse the government of failing to secure justice for the tens of thousands of civilians killed in the fighting. In a report this week, the International Crisis Group lambasted Sri Lankan forces for indiscriminately attacking civilian refuges, hospitals and aid depots during their final assault on the rebel Tamil Tigers from January to May last year. more..

The Tamil question in Sri Lanka: Part 3

May 20 (TA) The LTTE was mainly dependent for funding in its early days on robberies and extortion. Even before 1983, the Tigers were able to procure arms from funds provided from individuals abroad as is evidenced by seizures of shipment by the Egyptian and Greek authorities. Later, the LTTE became expert at generating funds from a Tamil diaspora of about 80 million spread over 50 countries who were linked by the internet. more..

The war and politics

May 20 (LG) The hot war on Lankan soil is over; the Cold War against Sri Lanka continues. The International Crisis Group (ICG) report calling for an international investigation into so-called ‘atrocities’ committed in the main by Sri Lankan armed forces in the last phase of the conflict by allegedly killing tens of thousands of civilians through shelling and bombing, is an onslaught in that Cold war. It is also an escalation of the worldwide ‘battle of interpretations’ on the war we won a year ago. more..

I remember – 19 May 2010

May 20 (GV) As we come together to commemorate the anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s long and bloody civil war, these are some of the things I remember: I remember hearing reports in late January 2009 of UN workers and their families being shelled by government forces in the Vanni while hiding in bunkers and under UN trucks. I remember not quite believing these stories. I remember the hospitals and medical centres shelled, and more..

Report: The sins of Sri Lanka's great war victory

May 20 (Time) The International Crisis Group, an international human rights group based in Brussels, released an alarming report on Tuesday, timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka's civil war. The report, "War Crimes in Sri Lanka," calls for an international inquiry into violations by Sri Lankan security forces, describing several incidents in which civilian targets, more..

170 thousand houses needed for the refugees of civil war

May 20 (AN) 170 thousand homes are still needed for refugees of the bloody civil war in Sri Lanka, which lasted more than 30 years. Exactly one year after its end, the situation of thousands of people who lost homes and jobs, remains grave. According to the Red Cross at least 260 thousand homes were damaged in the war. Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, Deputy Minister for Rehabilitation, last week said that "about 17 thousand homes are required in the east, the rest are needed in the North”. more..

Sri Lanka acclimatise to a new venue

May 20 (CI) A relaxed and refreshed Sri Lanka are looking forward to the new experience of playing in the United States this weekend, according to the batsman Mahela Jayawardene. It's a week since they lost their World Twenty20 semi-final to the eventual champions England, and while the time off wasn't exactly part of their plan it has given them time to focus on this weekend's Twenty20s against New Zealand in Florida. more..

CCTV inaugurates services in Sri Lanka

May 20 (ST) With the inauguration of CCTV (Chinese Cultural TV) services in Sri Lanka, the doors will be wide opened to China, focusing Sri Lanka as a destination for holiday, business, investment, with special emphasis on the vast attractions that Sri Lanka can offer to the visitors to Sri Lanka. The services of CCTV projects to the world where special events take place, with an excellent coverage beamed the world over. more..

Film premiere: The truth that wasn’t there

May 20 (GV) I am always wary of write-ups by filmmakers of their films. Labours of love often elicit painful diatribes. The messy, malleable margins of Sri Lanka has long been an issue that many would-be filmmakers have wrestled with yet fail to come to grips. Any attempt to filter its society and polity into a coherent hour and a half is destined to polarise and ultimately filmmakers find themselves lost within the country’s many contradictions, more..

Editorial: One year after the end of war

May 20 (GV) One year after the war ended, when Groundviews invited contributors to contest and complement our understanding that peace is not just the absence of war, or the defeat of the LTTE, we did not expect the response we received. Over the next week, we will publish close to 80,000 words and content from over forty different authors, in prose, verse, photography and video. A leitmotif through all contributions is that a government supremely more..

Interview with Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne

Rain, drains and brains

May 20 (DN) ‘Rain, rain, go away, come again another day...’ so goes the old nursery rhyme. I’ve never understood it; as a child I didn’t want the rain to go away because raining was like Santa Clause’s arrival except that Santa only promised, the rain delivered. Rain turns paddy fields into mirrors, gardens into pools, roads and all pathways into rivers and rivulets respectively. Rain produces waterfalls from several corners of a house courtesy corroded or broken gutter. more..