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BOI signs new agreements for software & ice

May 25 (GDI) The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka signed two new investment agreements on May 13. Jayampathi Bandaranayake, Chairman of the BOI signed the agreements on behalf of the BOI. The agreement signed with Lanka Orix Information Technology Services Ltd is to develop software for the local market. The main objective of the company is to provide innovative IT solutions for the local banks and financial institutes. more..

Japan gives HR schols to young public officials

May 25 (GDI) The Government of Japan provides opportunities to pursue a two year Masters Degree in Japan for young public officers with potential to contribute to the development efforts of Sri Lanka under its Human Resource Development Scholarship scheme. A sum of 229 million Japanese Yen was provided for the scholarships programme to be utilized over a period of 5 years. This year 15 candidates were selected from four Ministries more..

'External pressures to Commission of Inquiry utterly unnecessary'

May 25 (GDI) Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris during his meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon stated that it was important to allow space for the Commission of Inquiry - appointed to address, among other things, the accountability aspect, to perform its functions without being pressured unnecessarily by external elements. more..

Sevavanitha hands over new houses to families of Naval War Heroes

May 25 (MoD) Sevavanitha Unit of the Sri Lanka Navy handed over five new houses, which were constructed at Paradise Housing Scheme at Athawa-Wariyapola by Sevavanitha Unit of Sri Lanka Navy, to the families of Naval war heroes on 24th May 2010. On the invitation of Mrs.Malathie Samarasinghe the President Navy Sevavanitha Unit, Mrs Ioma Rajapaksa the Chairperson of MOD Sevavanitha Unit graced the occasion as the chief guest. more..

Jaffna too joins Vesak celebrations

May 25 (MoD) The Jaffna Vesak festival, 'Yapa Patunai Daham Amawai' is to be launched on a grand scale for the first time after eradication of terrorism from the country. A Vesak Zone has been declared covering Jaffna Fort, Duraiappa Stadium and Jaffna library areas and the festival is scheduled to be conducted from 27 - 30 May. Features in the festival include attractive Vesak Pandals depicting various Jathaka Stories, more..

Sri Lankan companies urged to forge joint ventures with Indian firms

May 25 (Island) A top government minister says Sri Lankan companies should use a free trade agreement with India to try and enter into joint venture partnerships with Indian firms in order to share resources and diversify its export base while continuing to iron out problems and reap more benefits from the trade agreement between the two countries. more..

‘Smoking cubicles’ everywhere

May 25 (LT) The main propaganda programmes of the Rajapakse regime was ‘Mathata Thitha’ (Halt to intoxication) and ‘restrain from smoking.’ However, these programmes have proved to be mere media spectacles as production of liquor and cigarettes has increased when compared with the past years. Also, a programme has been launched to increase sale of cigarettes and liquor. One such programme is the‘smoking cubicles’ being constructed in many towns in the island. more..

Japanese assistance to enhance Jaffna Hospital

May 25 (MoD) Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is to build four storied new ward complex with modern accessories at a cost of Rs. 2000 million for Jaffna Hospital, the hospital source said. The authorities intend to accommodate a modern research laboratory, a modern operations theatre and an intensive care unit in the new facility. The four storied new facility will be built in the area where the 16th, 17th, 18th, 23rd and 26th wards are housed. more..

Sanath Jayasuriya agrees Worcestershire Twenty20 deal

May 25 (BBC) Worcestershire have agreed to sign Sri Lanka international opener Sanath Jayasuriya for part of this summer's Friends Provident t20 campaign. Jayasuriya is set to replace Steve Smith after five matches, who is joining up with the Australia squad. Director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: "He's a proven match winner and will be a great entertainer." more..

City hoteliers ready for IIFA visitors

May 25 (LNP) The Hoteliers Association said Colombo city hotels will reserve 400 rooms for four nights free to guests coming for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA). Hoteliers Association of Sri Lanka President, Srilal Miththapala said that the Association will give its fullest support with their expertise and logistics to make IIFA a success. By providing hotel rooms the entire hotel trade will benefit since the tourism industry is now on the up. more..

Editorial: Build drains or forget 'Miracle'

May 25 (LNP) The ancient drainage system in Colombo should be brought under the Department of Archaeology, we reckon. Chief City Administrator of the Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil has told this newspaper that when the existing drainage system was built way back in 1938, there were only 80,000 residents in the city and it has not been developed the way it should be in keeping with massive increases in population over the past seven decades or so. more..

The Family is the State!

May 25 (LG) There is good governance; there is bad governance; and there is Rajapakse governance. The remarkably smooth transition of Sri Lanka from a vibrant, albeit a flawed, democracy into a Familial Oligarchy, in just five years, symbolises the potency of Rajapakse governance, its remarkable ability to achieve the inconceivable and turn the abnormal into the new norm. more..

'So called Mahinda`s Govt. for the poor pampers the powerful tramples the destitute'

May 25 (UNP) A few weeks ago the Govt. took stern measures to evict the poor residents in Slave Island most unceremoniously. Now, these evicted families are roaming the streets without a proper shelter. Their unpretentious shelters were promptly destroyed using bull dozers despite the fact that they have valid documents to prove their ownership rights, as stated by them. more..

Women’s courts on way

May 25 (DN) The Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Ministry has focused its attention on suggesting to the Government to establish women’s courts. Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said that a court has to be established only for women and children in each district. This will safeguard the self respect and dignity of women and children, he said. However such courts can be established only in accordance with the legal background of the country. more..

Bandara to boycott UNP

May 25 (DM) UNP Puttalam District MP Palitha Range Bandara says he is fed up with his party and has decided to boycott party events and meetings. However he says he has not decided to quit the party. The UNP MP said he had reached the decision as the party has yet to take disciplinary action against UNP member Shantha Abeysekera over his involvement in the brutal assault on Bandara just prior to the General Elections. more..

'Futile attempt to tarnish Sri Lanka's image'

May 25 (LNP) The vestiges of LTTE terrorists are in a futile attempt to put the country in disrepute by issuing various reports which has neither factual nor legal basis after the failure of the US and western powers to meddle with its internal affairs, Senior Lawyer S.L. Gunasekera said. Referring to the recent report issued by the International Crisis Group on Sri Lanka, Gunasekera said this NGO has been taking the international community for a ride by issuing more..

Rare medicinal plant found in Mahiyangana

May 25 (DN) Duhudu (Celastrus paniculatus) a rare medicinal plant was recorded in a wild ecosystem in Mahiyangana, Sanjeewa Chamikara of the Sri Lanka Nature Forum said. This medicinal plant is included in the World Conservation Union local red list in 2007. According to the 1999 Sri Lanka red list, this plant was not recorded in a natural ecosystem after 1900, and therefore a severely endangered species. more..

Interview III - Shanthi Satchithanandam

No outbreak of infectious diseases since floods

May 25 (Island) The Director of Western Province Health Services Dr. Amal Harsha de Silva said yesterday that so far there had been no reports of an outbreak of any infectious disease such as as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid or infectious hepatitis anywhere in the Western Province. "We have stocks of chlorine tablets to cleanse the contaminated wells along with the diarrhoea tablets but we are short of skin ointments and hope to get these supplies quickly more..

Wilpattu guides assaulted

May 25 (DM) A group of tourists, including 15 civil defence force personnel, visiting the Wilpattu national park assaulted two park guides and two drivers and also damaged two jeeps. The Nochiyagama police said they had received a complaint over the incident and had commenced investigations. The incident occurred when a group of 40 tourists who were visiting the park last evening on board 4 jeeps with the two guides, more..

The first-ever Sri Lankan contingent to Chad leaves

May 25 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army, marking one more milestone in the annals of its sixty years of history, is to dispatch a new UN contingent of sixty-one Sri Lanka Army Engineers on earth-moving equipment assignments to Central African Republic and the Chad, a landlocked country in Central Africa today afternoon. In response to a UN request, made to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), more..

Legal action to eject ex-MPs et al from Govt. quarters

May 25 (Island) The government had decided to take legal action against some former parliamentarians, Ministers and deputy Ministers, who are refusing to vacate their official quarters at the Madiwela MPs’ Housing complex and Ministers’ housing complex at Keppettipola Mawatha, Parliamentary sources said yesterday. This follows a decision arrived at by the Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration more..

Only one sewage outlet for the whole city

May 25 (DM) While revealing the real situation in the Colombo city’s drainage system, CMC’s Engineer S.G.V.H. Gunasekera said Colombo’s waste water was released to Beira Lake and other canals while there was only one sea outlet through which rain water flows out of the land to the sea. He that a master plan to redesign the city and suburbs drainage system is on the cards as the present system it is in a duplicated state and needs an urgent repair. more..

UPFA freshers visit Kilinochchi

May 25 (DN) All newly elected Members of Parliament of the UPFA visited Kilinochchi yesterday. This visit was undertaken on a directive of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and co-ordinated by MP Namal Rajapaksa. The group of MPs were accompanied by the Minister of Housing Construction ,Common Amenities and Engineering Services Wimal Weerawansa and Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekera. more..

Counsel queries CM member conduct

May 25 (DM) Retired General Sarath Fonseka yesterday filed a writ application in the Appeal Court challenging the second general court martial and making serious allegations against the three major generals who have been appointed to the tribunal. Seeking an order to quash the hearings of this court martial, General Fonseka alleged that one of the members of the court martial was in the pay of the LTTE while ... more..

Govt, Opposition set on collision course

May 25 (Island) Even before the various parliamentary committees could conduct their inaugural sittings, the government and Opposition find themselves on a collision course increasing the likelihood of an election to decide the Chairmanship of the Committees on Public Enterprise and Public Accounts. Chief Opposition Whip John Ameratunga said that they would call for a vote to elect the chairmen of more..

Govt. provokes student clashes to divert attention: IUSF

May 25 (DM) The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) yesterday said the clashes between students in Universities were incited by the government to draw attention away from the government’s plans to invite private universities to the country. “These clashes are different from other clashes that the students are involved in,” the Convenor of IUSF, Udul Premarathna said. more..

Sri Lanka shuts camp for rebel child soldiers

May 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Tuesday closed a camp holding former Tamil Tiger child soldiers, but 52 of the youths will stay in government care to complete their education, an official said. More than 500 child soldiers were picked up after security forces defeated Tamil Tiger rebels in a bloody final battle a year ago. Most have since been reunited with their families, leaving 198 boys and girls when more..

'Delay in appointing panel not due to pressure from Sri Lanka'

May 25 (SLNN) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has rejected claims that the United Nations in any way abetted possible war crimes taking place in Sri Lanka during the final phases. He made this statement answering a question from a journalist during a press conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York City on Monday, before meeting with Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs G.L. Peiris later in the day. more..

External Affairs Minister discusses Commission of Inquiry with UN officials

May 25 (LP) Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, visited New York on 23 and 24th May. During his visit he met with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and a range of senior UN officials, including Chef de Cabinet, Vijay Nambiar and Under Secretary General Lynn Pascoe. During his discussions with the senior officials he addressed the issue of the appointment of the Commission of Inquiry by the Government of Sri Lanka, more..

Sri Lankan banks open more branches in former war zone

May 26 (LBO) Six new bank branches are to be opened next month in Sri Lanka's northern province which is recovering from the effects of war. "Six new bank branches will be opened in the Northern Province on June 07 to facilitate economic activities in the area," it said in a statement. State-owned People’s Bank is to open three new branches in the towns of Kilinochchi, Mankulam and Paranthan in the northern province more..

Sri Lankan asylum seekers threaten hunger strike in Malaysia

May 26 (IANS) A group of Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers has threatened to go on hunger strike if they are sent back home. They have been detained here by Malaysian authorities. Sri Lanka Tamil Refugees Humanitarian Programme coordinator Eashvara Lingam said the group would go on strike unless the Malaysian government and the UNCHR fulfil their demand to be sent to a third country without further delay. more..

Thousands of vehicles unclaimed in North Lanka

May 26 (EB) The land opposite the public playground in Kilinochchi, the former capital of the LTTE in north Sri Lanka, is now a dumping ground for over 17,000 civilian vehicles which government troops had recovered from the war zone last year. At the last count, there were 6,250 motobikes, 11,000 bicycles and 45 other vehicles parked there. Though it is a year since the war ended, more..

Sports bosses' tenures aren't limited in Lanka, says Indian official

May 26 (PTI) The Sports Ministry is citing a law in Sri Lanka to push through a tenure limiting regulation but the chief of the Olympic association in the island nation claims the law has been amended and there is no cap on the sports administrators' terms there. Hemasiri Fernando, who has been at the helm of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) in Sri Lanka for the last 13 years, said the Sri Lankan Sport Law of 1973, more..

Debrief News - 25. 05. 2010

Sri Lankan govt needs to heal fissures in society: US

May 26 (PTI) The Rajapaksa government should work towards healing the fissures that exist in Sri Lankan society and use its electoral mandate to achieve the purpose, the US said on Monday. The Mahinda Rajapaksa-led government returned to the Parliament last month with a thumping majority, but concerns have been raised internationally that the country remains polarised a year after the LTTE's rout. more..

A year after defeating terrorism, Sri Lanka embodies hope and change

May 26 (HP) Today is my first visit to Washington since my appointment as Sri Lanka's Minister for External Affairs. My visit marks a point of progress for Sri Lanka, following a difficult period in our history, one year on from the end of the Sri Lankan conflict. After 26 years of conflict and daily acts of terror, we have witnessed our first year of peace. After 26 years of conflict and daily acts of terror, more..

LTTE pose threat to Indian VVIPs: India

May 26 (HT) The LTTE might be militarily decimated in Sri Lanka but big neighbour India is not taking any chance. It recently extended the ban against LTTE as an "unlawful association" capable even now of jeopardising "VVIP security" and compromising India’s "territorial integrity." The notification’s mention of LTTE’s goal of creating a "Tamil homeland" is interesting. more..

Sri Lanka shares slip on retail profit taking

May 26 (Reuters) Sri Lankan shares closed weaker on Tuesday, as retail buyers and foreign funds booked profits in a bourse that has yet to see an expected correction this year. However, the fall was very low compared to the all other Asian markets except Vietnam, which plummeted mainly on worries over the Euro zone debt crisis. The Colombo Stock Exchange's All-Share Price Index closed 6.43 points or 0.15 percent weaker at 4,226.49. more..

Legal Aid aims the isolated places in Sri Lanka

May 26 (WT) Secretly displaced individuals due to armed warfare, Human Rights violations generalized violence, or fabricated disasters are incompetent of coming before correct authorities primarily due to the lack of suitable communication with Human Rights Agencies as well as the inexperience of Constitutional provisions and the Supreme Court Rules before which they might commence their cases of rights violations for contention. more..

War-affected women bewail their plight

May 26 (IPS) Although unmarried, Rajini Padamaraj, 32, is burdened with the responsibility of looking after the needs of her entire household, composed of her mother and two younger siblings. The slightly built woman who is of Tamil ethnic origin and originally from the Jaffna peninsula in northern Sri Lanka, found a job last October as a sewing instructor in a training centre for women funded by more..

War heroes week divides Sri Lanka

May 26 (AN) Postponed due to recent floods, the “War heroes week” (Ranaviru Sathiya), planned by the government to celebrate the defeat on the Tamil Tigers (LTTE), which occurred May 19, 2009. The population is divided between those who considered the defeat of the rebels as a day of glory and happiness, or as a sad event, which cost thousands of lives and displaced more than 300 thousand and many see the bad weather as a sign from God. more..

Sri Lanka tea, apparel exports to India rise sharply

May 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's exports of tea and apparel to India rose sharply in 2009 as impediments in a free trade deal between the two neighbours were removed, an Indian diplomat said. Overall trade between the two countries is also recovering from recession in the first part of this year, said Vikram Misri, Indian deputy high commissioner in Colombo. Tea and apparel, the island's main agricultural and industrial exports, more..

Colombo chief magistrate's transfer suspended till July 02

May 26 (CT) The transfer given to Colombo chief magistrate Champa Janaki Jayaratne has been suspended until July 02, Judicial Services Commission sources say. The suspension was the result of representations made by lawyers and top officials of the judiciary to the authorities. The reason cited for her transfer is said to be a dispute in connection with a CID-filed case against Gen. Sarath Fonseka. more..

Civilian toll in last phase of Lankan war 1,400

May 26 (EB) A well known expert on terrorism has put the number of Tamil civilians killed in the last phase of Eelam War IV, between January 1 and May 19, 2009, at 1,400, and not 40,000 as touted by the LTTE internationally. Prof. Rohan Gunaratna told Express over phone on Tuesday, that he had arrived at a the figure of 1,400 after talking at length to the Tamil doctors who had served in the war zone, more..

Brilliant decisions catapulted India's economic growth: Lanka

May 26 (PTI) "The country needs to take a cue from the statistical input and brilliant decision making process in India," Finance and Planning Deputy Minister Sarath Amunugama said. President Mahinda Rajapaksa holds the key portfolio of Finance. "India followed a reform agenda and has progressed much. The new thinking in India should be attractive to Sri Lanka," Amunugama who is also the senior Presidential Adviser more..

Protests in Sri Lanka over proposed trade pact with India

May 26 (AFP) Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in the capital Colombo Tuesday demanding Sri Lanka's government abandon a proposed trade pact with neighbouring India. President Mahinda Rajapakse met the demonstrators at his tightly-guarded Temple Trees residence in Colombo and vowed he would not enter any pact that was harmful to the island's economic interests. more..

IOM delivers emergency aid to flood victims in Sri Lanka

May 26 (IOM) IOM is delivering tents, tarpaulins and other relief items to thousands of people affected by ongoing flooding, rain and landslides in 13 of the country’s 25 districts. "We have now transported 1,348 family tents to southern districts, Colombo and Gampaha in the west, and tarpaulins to Trincomalee on the east coast. But there is no sign of the weather letting up yet and more aid may be needed," more..

Society's shunned and neglected

May 26 (DM) One wonders whether Sri Lanka's ever famous Mental Hospital in Angoda is now mostly an institution housing neglected women. According to the Hospital staff, some have been in the Hospital for over 40 years. The Hospital is supporting these women and continues to look after them. The Docters in the hospital state that families who leave the patients in the Hospital never return to take them back. more..

IT and Education in the 21st Century