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Navy help sought in Ratnapura

May 20 (MoD) Ratnapura District Secretary H.W. Gunadasa has sought Navy assistance for rescue and relief operations with water levels of Kalu Ganga, Weganga and Hangamu Oya rising fast. The decision for Navy assistance was made at an emergency official meeting at the Kachcheri yesterday. The water level on Kalu Ganga had reached 17 feet eight inches. When it reaches 19 feet it is considered flood level, the District Disaster Management Centre said. more..

China supports Sri Lanka’s accelerated economic development

May 20 (LP) Meeting Prime Minister of Sri Lanka D M Jayarathne, the Ambassador of China MrsYang Xiuping expressed that China would always support accelerated development work in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister in return thanked China for Sri Lanka for the friendship and co-operation extended to Sri Lanka over so many years. Prime Minister further explained that with the end of a 30 year war specially in the North and East, the Government was concerned on developing those areas. more..

Looking for a Certificate level course at Hotel Management institute ?

May 20 (LP) Applications are now being called for the five month course at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management for the academic year 2010. Those who undergo the five month Certificate level course are eligible to follow the 4 year course at the Institute. Those who follow the course also have chances of finding foreign employment. more..

U.S. Embassy presents baseball equipment to Sri Lanka

May 20 (USE) The U.S. Embassy Colombo recently handed over a supply of baseball equipment to the Sri Lanka Amateur Baseball Association. Pitch in for Baseball, an organization based in the United States, donated the supplies. At the American Center Ms. Valerie Fowler, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy, Colombo, made the symbolic presentation of the equipment to more..

May remembrance observed in Jaffna amid SLA intimidation

May 20 (TN) Despite hindrances and intimidation including death threats to the organizing clergy of the Tuesday memorial events for the people killed in the war on Vanni last year, Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) and All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) observed the commemoration events Tuesday in a peaceful manner, sources in Jaffna said. Meanwhile, Jaffna Bishop Rt. Rev. Thomas Saundaranayagam, commenting on the behaviour of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) officials, more..

Wayamba University celebrates Biodiversity day tomorrow

May 20 (LP) The International day for Biological Diversity day falls on the 22nd of May and is celebrated around the world annually. This year’s celebrations are conducted worldwide under the theme is “Biodiversity for Development and Poverty Alleviation”. The United Nations proclaimed May 22nd the International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. more..

Sharukh Khan leads bollywood team against Sri Lanka

May 20 (LP) Sri Lanka will host International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards, 2010 from the 2nd to the 4th of June at the Sugathadasa Stadium. The ceremony is followed by many other events and a highlight of the celebrations is the cricket match organized for the event. A cricket team with mega bollywood stars is due to be played against the Sri Lankan cricket team in June. more..

Dr Muttukrishna Sarvananthan on ...

BOI signs a $ 5 million investment agreement with Alubond Australasia

May 20 (BOI) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka granted investment approval to Alubond Australasia to commence operations under the BOI. Mr. J.D. Bandaranayake after assuming duties as the BOI Chairman, signed the agreement on behalf of the BOI and formally presented the BOI Certificate of Registration to the investors. The venture representing an investment of over US $ 5 million is sponsored by UAE based Eurocon Building Industries and Belize based Lofthouse Trading Inc. more..

'Sampoor handed over to India'

May 20 (LT) It has been confirmed that more than 2000 acres from ‘High Security Zone’ at Sampoor have been handed over to India with complete autonomy states ‘Lanka’ midweek newspaper. According to ‘Lanka’ a soldier of SL Navy had died in the area and Mutur Magistrate had not been allowed in the zone to conduct the magisterial inquest to the incident. The Minister of Justice had to mediate in getting permission for the inquest to be conducted states ‘Lanka.’ more..

On Education

May 20 (LP) More than 10% of the Government’s provisions are spent on Education stated Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena. He made this statement in response to an adjournment motion moved by UNP MP Akila Viraj Kariyawasam in relation to the present situation of the education in Sri Lanka in Parliament yesterday. He also said that the last year’s allocation was Rs 100.5 billion up to secondary education. more..

Cave Art of 21st Century-An exhibition of Cartoons

May 20 (HA) “Cave Art of 21st Century”-An exhibition of Cartoons by Prageeth Ehnalygoda is currently being held at the Lionel Went Gallery in Colombo. It is an exhibition dedicated to freedom, equality and brotherhood. The illustrations on display are by the disappeared journalist Prageeth Eknalygoda. Journalist, Diplomats, Academics, Activists and Politicians attended the inauguration in large numbers. more..

Sri Lankan Apparel industry must move upmarket

May 20 (LNP) Sri Lanka has made impressive strides in development of industries especially in the garment sector. The country is poised to make greater strides in this peaceful environment, European Union Ambassador Bernard Savage said. He said the apparel industry should capitalize on opportunities. The country will be strong enough to stand without specific concessions. The EU recognises the important role played by the GSP+ facility in apparel and supported industries. more..

Editorial: Disaster Management – Getting it right

May 20 (DM) With nearly 50,000 families rendered totally homeless and over two million affected some way or the other the destruction of the deluge has reached crisis proportions. Unfortunately while the rains continued to play havoc for the last four five days till Tuesday evening the government failed to hold a proper meeting to take stock of the situation and come up with a proper plan. more..

Editorial: Justice on crutches

May 20 (LNP) This is a country where no one but the law-abiding fears the law, which, to all intents and purposes, is an impotent lame ass. Inefficiency of the police is monumental and the judicial process is woefully tardy. The conviction rate stands at four per cent! So, little wonder that the law breakers are having a field day! We reported the other day that a principal who had allegedly raped a schoolgirl in Embilipitiya in 2004 and forced her to undergo an abortion more..

2009 - 2010: Social & political highlights

Sri Lanka`s Dilantha opens season on a winning note

May 20 (LNP) Sri Lanka's Dilantha Malagamuwa is the first driver to win the first ever race of the GT4 held in Asia. This event was held over the week end in Malaysia. He was to drive a Nissan 350Z prepared by Nissan Works team Nismo who sponsors him for the event but as he failed to receive the car in time. Adrian de Silva, a Malaysian, racing in the same series invited him to drive his car with him. more..

Gen Sarath Fonseka’s MP status challenged

May 20 (DN) A petition was filed before the Court of Appeal yesterday challenging the appointment of General Sarath Fonseka as a Member of Parliament. The petitioner moved Court to issue a Writ of certiorari to cancel the name of General Sarath Fonseka as a Member of Parliament. Petitioner Anandan Mohandas of Ratmale, Haputale cited Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake, General Sarath Fonseka, DNA General Secretary Vijitha Herath and more..

Chaminda Vaas joins Northants

May 20 (SKY) Northamptonshire have contracted former Sri Lanka paceman Chaminda Vaas for this summer's Twenty20 campaign. The 36-year-old will remain for the entirety of the Friends Provident t20 tournament, but should also arrive in time to feature against Surrey in the LV= County Championship clash next week. Vaas becomes the county's second signing for the Twenty20 format, more..

They ignore police warning, ruin thier vehicles on flooded roads

May 20 (Island) The police blame motorists for causing chaos on roads which have been turned into ‘waterways’ by heavy rains over the past few days. Officers say that those trying to drive through flooded roads caused damage to their own vehicles and disrupted efforts to maintain public transport. Some owners of cars, vans and SUVs had disrupted their efforts to facilitate the traffic flow through a stretch of road between Ambalanmulla and Dandugama on the Colombo-Negombo road. more..

Bad weather to continue

May 20 (DN) The Western slopes and central hills (Ratnapura, Kegalle, Maussakelle etc) will continue to experience heavy rains while the prevailing windy condition will continue over the sea area during the next few days. Heavy showers will also continue in Sabaragamuwa, Western, Central and Southern Provinces, Meteorology Deputy Director S. R. Jayasekara said. Jayasekara however said since cyclone Laila was moving away from Sri Lanka, there could be some improvement in the weather conditions. more..

The IDP situation, one year later

'SL is the only country which feels no shame to celebrate war victory keeping the War hero who won the war in jail'

May 20 (LeN) I am commemorating the war victory today (19) while my photograph is banned. Even announcing my name is banned. After I won the war, I was described as a great war Hero and patriot. I was lauded as the greatest Army Commander in the world. The war Hero then is now made a villain. The patriot then is made a traitor now on flimsy and false charges of a conspiracy filed against me. more..

Justice Minister won’t discuss ‘isolated case of rape by school principal’

May 20 (Island) Justice Minister Athauda Seneviratne says he is not concerned about an isolated case of rape by a school principal. He is of the opinion that controversial issues are raised by the media only to highlight such issues and cause embarrassment to the government. He said so yesterday when The Island asked him what action his ministry had taken against a principal in Embilipitiya who had allegedly raped a schoolgirl and formced her to undergo an abortion. more..

‘A stunning silence’: Response

May 20 (Island) Gamini Gunawardane has bravely spoken out in his letter published in your issue of May 18 about "the dangerous move of bringing the AG’s Dept. under the Executive President." under the heading ‘A Stunning Silence’. He considers "the stony silence" on the part of all who should be concerned, "truly a strange phenomenon." I’m not sure whether Gunawardane is a visitor from abroad, for surely it has been apparent for quite some time now that Sri Lankans in general - with a few exceptions - are afraid to speak out in public. more..

'Drug shortage to be sorted out soon'

May 20 (DN) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena told Parliament yesterday that the problem with regard to the drug shortage will be sorted out within ten days. The Minister responding to the special statement made by DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said that the Government has paid full attention to completely solve this problem to minimize the inconveniences faced by the public. more..

'Effective road network mechanism must'

May 20 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday stressed the need for having an effective mechanism for the maintenance of the road network to pass the dividends of the country's development effort to the common masses. He said there should be a common approach to uplift and maintain the country's road network. President Rajapaksa made these observations when he met officials at a more..

'Govt ready to establish foreign universities'

May 20 (Island) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake yesterday said in Parliament that government would allow international universities to set up branches here on the condition that each university accommodated 20 percent of local students through scholarship programmes. Even Cambridge and Oxford had such scholarship quotas, he said adding that there was a 10 percent quota for British students and more..

'Education budget cut by 42% over 3 years'

May 20 (DM) Capital expenditure granted to Education sector had been slashed by 42 percent in the last three years, causing a collapse in the entire education system, the DNA said in parliament yesterday. DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that capital expenditure in the national budget for Education in 2007 was Rs. 8 billion. However in 2008 this was reduced to Rs.5.2 billion and in 2009 to Rs.4.6 billion, the MP noted. more..

One year on after the guns fell silent at Vellamullivaikkal: Is there foresight to settle the political score?

May 20 (GV) Following the victory against the LTTE it appears that the hopes of a political solution have been somewhat dashed as the Sri Lankan government has yet to give any gestures towards such a move. The Sinhala political leadership appears to be playing a waiting game. A hawkish element within the Sinhalese leadership in government has been fostered by an ideology which does not recognize the humanity of other ethnic groups other than Sinhala people. more..

The Mews Street incident

'Law of the Sea not properly observed by India'

May 20 (DM) Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne told Parliament yesterday the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea had not been properly observed with regard to the Sri Lankan fishermen arrested by the Indian authorities. Dr. Senaratne said there was no provision in this Law to arrest or punish fishermen straying into foreign territorial waters. more..

'Constitutional Council not independent'

May 20 (DM) The main opposition yesterday said the constitutional reforms, including the amendment of the 17th Amendment proposed by the government, were unacceptable as the constitutional council to be set up would not be independent. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella told a news conference that the constitutional council under the amended 17th constitution proposed by the government would not be independent one as three of its members would be from the government. more..

'Situation in Sri Lanka similar to Greece'

May 20 (NF) The situation in Sri Lanka is similar to the situation in Greece, where the Greek government has hidden the real situation as far as the state monetary transactions are concerned, said UNP MP Dr. Harsha De Silva addressing the parliament. “This Parliament does not know the monetary situation of this country. They do not know what is false and what is correct. According to my knowledge, there has been no government that has not presented a budget for eight months. more..

'Sri Lanka failed to build on war victory'

May 20 (AFP) The detained Sri Lankan general who led soldiers to victory over Tamil Tiger rebels one year ago accused the government Thursday of failing to convert his success into a new era of peace. Sarath Fonseka, a key architect of the strategy that finally defeated the Tigers after decades of bloody conflict, said the public's fear of rebel suicide bombs had been replaced by the fear of political persecution. more..

Sri Lanka vows to prevent Tiger revival

May 20 (AFP) Sri Lanka must strengthen its intelligence-gathering to stop Tamil Tiger rebels regrouping abroad a year after they were defeated, a top defence official said Thursday. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse said Tiger sympathisers outside the country were trying to revive the Tamil separatist movement. "The security forces, police and intelligence services must take certain steps to ensure that terrorism does not raise its head again in this country," he said. more..

Lalith Kotelawala to quit Ceylinco Insurance board

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Ceylinco group chairman Lalith Kotelawala, who spent months in remand over fraud charges at an unlisted subsidiary that collapsed, is to step down from the board of Ceylinco Insurance, a stock exchange filing said. Kotelawala has informed the board and staff that he "will not be available for re-election as a director of Ceylinco Insurance due to personal reasons," it said. more..

Dilshan to lead Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe

May 21 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan will lead Sri Lanka in Zimbabwe in the absence of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, both of whom have been rested for the triangular series also involving India. Sanath Jayasuriya, who had a horrid World Twenty20, and Lasith Malinga also have been rested. Angelo Mathews, the allrounder, will deputise for Dilshan, who is on his first assignment as captain for an ODI series. more..

'Sri Lanka floods could get worse'

May 21 (LBO) Floods in Sri Lanka are expected to get worse with the arrival of south-west monsoon rains over the weekend, and residents close to river banks in low lying areas are most at risk, a senior minister said. Water levels in two rivers in the southern Ratnapura district are rising, A H M Fowzie, disaster management minister, told reporters at the weekly cabinet briefing, Thursday. more..

Next Indian Ocean cyclone to be called Bandu

May 21 (IANS) It might not be known when the next cyclone will hit the northern Indian Ocean, but what is already known is its name - Bandu, an official said Thursday. Cyclones derive their names through a systematic procedure laid down by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations ESCAP. The next to hit countries in the north Indian Ocean region will be called Bandu - a name given by Sri Lanka, more..

Summary of Cabinet Decisions

May 21 (GDI) The Cabinet granted approval to a memorandum submitted by the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena to appoint a Cabinet Sub Committee to prepare a National Policy Framework on Admission of students to Grade 1 from year 2011. Due to the urgency of this matter, the report is to be submitted within one week for discussion at the Next Cabinet Meeting. The Committee comprises of the Minister of Education Bandula Gunawardena, more..

Debrief News - 20.05.2010

Susil Kindelpitiya refused bail again

May 21 (CT) Journalist and unsuccessful general election candidate of the UNP Susil Kindelpitiya has been refused bail once again. He appeared before Colombo additional magistrate Kumari Abeyratne today (May 20). The court rejected a bail application filed by him on the ground that police were yet to identify the type of a firearm said to have been found from him at the time of his arrest. Earlier, a request for bail was turned down on April 16. more..

Extreme weather closes 20 schools in western province

May 21 (CT) Prevailing extreme weather conditions have led to the closure of at least 20 schools in western province by yesterday (May 19), reports said. Student attendance was at a low level at these schools in the past few days. Some of the families displaced by flooding are also using them as temporary shelter. Provincial director of education J.A.L.D. Hemachandra has instructed all his zonal directors to release schools for sheltering the homeless, if requested. more..

Sri Lanka gets donor funds for road rebuilding

May 21 (LBO) Sri Lanka is to get 133.9 million dollars from the World Bank and the ADB to repair four rural roads. Sri Lanka will also get a loan of 50 million dollars from International Development Association (IDA) to support local government administration in the former north-east war zone. The World Bank will give 100 million dollars to rehabilitate 90 kilometers of road between the towns of Dambulla and Ambepussa more..

Opinion: A year on, Sri Lanka suffers

May 21 (GP) This week marks the one-year anniversary of Sri Lanka’s military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the end of the island’s civil war. In Colombo, the mood is festive — or was until heavy rains postponed a celebratory parade planned for May 18th. During rehearsals, decorated soldiers hoisted Sri Lankan flags and filled Galle Face Green in preparation for the affair. more..

Inmates on hunger strike in Japan immigration centre

May 21 (AFP) Scores of foreigners in a Japanese immigration detention centre have been on hunger strike for more than a week, demanding to be released and protesting the mysterious death of an African deportee. Some 70 detainees -- many of them Sri Lankans and Pakistanis -- have refused food since May 10, also seeking to highlight suicides there by a Brazilian and a South Korean inmate, say their outside supporters. more..

'LTTE chief wanted to live to fight another day'

May 21 (EB) The LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran died fighting in an islet in the Nanthikadal lagoon on the morning of May 19, 2009. But to die fighting was his last option. He wanted to escape and live to fight another day. Prabhakaran had a number of escape plans in his mind, says Prof. Rohan Gunaratna, Head, International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at more..

We regret to inform you that your condolences cannot be accepted at this time

May 21 (GV) We regret to inform you that your condolences cannot be accepted at this time. At present, both our pain and our hope defy that word, which has been offered and denied us, which we need and do not need, and which in any case we cannot accept, because they (your condolences) will not reach from what has happened to what will come. We find the word condolences stunning in its insufficiency for past and future. more..

Jaffna: One year after the end of the war

May 21 (wsws) It is now a year since President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government claimed to have “liberated” the Tamil population from the “terrorism” of the LTTE. However, there has been no improvement in the lives of the people of Jaffna and other northern towns since the LTTE’s defeat last May. Instead, there is an intensified military occupation, with many people living in refugee camps or makeshift huts and thousands of youth still under detention. more..