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CID to record statement from UN representative over Fonseka interview

May 26 (TN) The Colombo Chief Magistrate Champa Janaki Seneviratne Wednesday allowed an application by the CID to record a statement from Keshunaka Seneviratne, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative in United Nations in Geneva regarding the comment by United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston on an alleged interview made by former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army General (retd.) Sarath Fonseka in a letter to her. more..

Govt to complete resettlement of IDPs within three months

May 26 (MoD) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed that immediate action be taken to resettle all IDPs who are in welfare centres within three months and close all welfare centres in the North. A family unit will be given Rs. 50,000, food items for six months and 20 roofing sheets. Earlier, the financial assistance was limited to only Rs. 25,000 per family unit. Plans are underway to recultivate around 100,000 hectares of paddy lands which had been abandoned for more..

Sri Lanka may not accede to India economic pact

May 27 (EB) The expected Indian attempt to secure Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's nod for an India-Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) when the latter visits New Delhi on June 8, seems doomed to fail. The moment it became known that CEPA was high on the Indian agenda, lobbies against it were activated in Sri Lanka. On Tuesday, hundreds of professionals (doctors and engineers mainly) demontrated more..

Video: 'A revolution to bring UNP leadership to Hambanthota'

May 27 (AD) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa today said that a revolution is about to take place within the UNP. He claimed that the revolution will bring the UNP leadership to the Hambanthota District. Premadasa stated that by deciding to elect the party leadership through elections the UNP took a revolutionary step. He added however said that he did not want to go behind positions and post but more..

Ganeshwary Santhanam, 'I’m blessed to be alive'

May 27 (IRIN) Ganeshwary Santhanam, 31, is one of thousands of women who joined the now defeated LTTE, which fought for an independent Tamil homeland for more than 25 years. She joined the movement - branded a terrorist group by many - and left during the ceasefire, got married to another fighter and gave birth to a son, before being pressured to rejoin the LTTE in 2006. Like thousands of Sri Lankans returning to their homes today, she hopes to build a new future. more..

Sri Lanka trade widens, apparel exports down

May 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's external trade volumes expanded with imports growing 6.5 percent to 1090 million US dollars and with exports growing 4.8 percent to 662.7 million rupees and but apparel exports fell. In March apparel exports fell 9.5 percent from a year earlier to 281 million US dollars. The trade deficit expanded 9.3 percent to 427 million US dollars, data released by the Central Bank showed. more..

Debrief News - 26. 05. 2010

Nurses protest against shortening of degree course, promise strike

May 27 (Island) The All Ceylon Nurses Union staged a protest outside the National Hospital yesterday (25) demanding that the UGC revoke its decision to reduce the duration of the Nursing Degree. Secretary ACNU, Anura Jayamanna said they would extend the protest to the Kurunegala and Kalubowila Teaching Hospitals today (26). Around 150 nurses from the National Hospital together with the IUSF participated in the protest. more..

Head of ADB meets president Rajapaksa

May 27 (CT) Visiting head of the Asian Development Bank Haruhiko Kuroda met with president Mahinda Rajapaksa for talks at Temple Trees today (May 26). Mr. Kuroda is in the island on a three-day tour to pledge the ADB's continuing support for postwar reconstruction and development activities. Also present at the discussion were ministers Dinesh Gunawardena and Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and more..

Proclamations on Dhanuna: Court

May 27 (DM) The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday allowed the Attorney General to publish written proclamations on absconding suspect Dhanuna Tillekaratne to appear in Court within 30 days in connection with the HiCorp deal. Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne directed the CID that written proclamation drawn in Sinhala and Tamil should be publicly read in more..

Dungeons are also peaceful: Enduring uncertainties in post-war Lanka

May 27 (GV) Is the world coming unhinged? In Spain a judge is on trial for a technicality relating to his attempts to go after war crimes committed by Franco’s fascist regime. The Sri Lankan government’s close buddy the Burmese guerilla dictatorship in preparation for the election, Burmese style, has forced Suu Kyi’s NLD into dissolution. Panama’s ex-dictator Noriega having done 17 years in US prisons for more..

Inter University convener ordered to appear before court

May 27 (CT) Convener of the Inter-University Students Federation, Udul Premaratne has been ordered to appear before court on June 11. Colombo Chief Magistrate, Champa Janaki Rajaratne issued the order yesterday (May 25). She was taking up a case in which it is alleged that the public was distressed by several protest demonstrations in Colombo against the President and the government organized by IUSF. more..

JVP's Chandrasekaran quizzed after meeting with missing Tamils' relatives

May 27 (LT) Former JVP MP Ramalingam Chandrasekar, who has had discussions with relatives of Tamil residents who had disappeared during the war, has been questioned for more than an hour by security sections. Mr. Chandrasekar was questioned after he had discussions at Narayanan Guru Hall at Grandpass today (26th) morning with relatives of the disappeared in the North. more..

Kent bow excites spinner Malinga Bandara

May 27 (BBC) Sri Lanka leg-spinner Malinga Bandara says he is relishing the prospect of playing for Kent. The 30-year-old is due for his debut in the county's opening Twenty20 match of the season on 3 June. Bandara told BBC "I've known about Kent for a long time - that they're a great team to play for. "Kent coach Paul Farbrace was Sri Lanka assistant for three years. He knows my talents. When I asked him to help me find an English team, he signed me." more..


May 27 (LG) It was reported widely that about forty bodies of house maids are brought back monthly from the Middle East to the Katunayake Air Port. That is more than one body a day. Our house maids in the Middle East are not moribund old grannies. They are mostly young women. These are certainly not natural deaths. This is like body bags brought back from a war front. It is not a war front but more like a slaughter house. more..

Aravinda de Silva takes over as chief selector

May 27 (CI) Former Sri Lankan captain Aravinda de Silva has been named chairman of a new four-member national selection committee by sports minister Chandrasiri Bandara Ratnayake on Wednesday. The other members of the committee are Ranjith Fernando, Amal Silva and Shabbir Asgerally. All four members have served in the capacity as selectors in previous committees. more..

Tamil Tiger child rebels go home

May 27 (BBC) All former Tamil Tiger rebels underage when the war ended last year have been returned to their families and communities, Sri Lankan officials say. A United Nations agency has confirmed the closure of both the facilities which housed children who had been involved with the separatists. Since the war ended, the government has been holding around 10,000 former Tamil Tiger members or fighters. They were captured or surrendered and screened off from ordinary civilians. more..

Dozens dead, half a million homeless in Sri Lankan flood chaos

May 27 (National) Sri Lankan officials are working on a strategy to stop major flooding after government troops were deployed to rescue thousands of people who were left stranded in some of the worst rains in recent memory. At least 28 people have died, more than 500,000 have been left homeless and more than 2,000 homes were either destroyed or damaged across the island. Thirteen of the island’s 25 districts were affected by the floods. more..

Pro-LTTE diaspora pursue Eelam agenda without any thought about Tamils living in Sri Lanka

May 27 (TC) It is one year since the LTTE was militarily defeated at Nanthikadal, 300,000 victims of this war ended up as 'Internally Displaced Persons' in camps and several thousands, both combatants and non-combatants, died. In the past year, Provincial Councils have been elected anew, the President has been re-elected and the general elections have been held for a new parliament. more..

Insidious assistants to eminent persons

May 27(RW) One of the most disappointing aspects of some international criticism of recent events in Sri Lanka was blatant recourse to double standards. When anyone connected to government did anything that seemed inappropriate, the whole of government was promptly condemned. Entertainingly enough, given recent Western affection for Sarath Fonseka, his conduct provides perhaps the most obvious examples of this tendency more..

The professor, his fan club and their sporadic howls

May 27 (LG) Prof. Tissa Vitarana is supposed to have sweated a lot over the All Party Representative Committee, whose mandate was to advise the President about salient issues pertaining to conflict and conflict resolution. The APRC and its Chairman, Tissa Vitarana, believed that it was mandated to find a solution to the conflict. For reasons best known to him, President Mahinda Rajapaksa went along with this misconception. more..

Beyond the war psyche in Sri Lanka

May 27 (GV) Dust is finally settling on the euphoria generated by last year’s military defeat of the LTTE. Old concerns naturally give way to the new and a year later, people have different realities to grapple with including how to keep their home fires burning. For President Mahinda Rajapakse and the government elected on an overwhelming ‘gratitude vote’ for providing political leadership to more..

Video: After the floods comes a new menance, Crocodiles!

May 27 (NF) Villagers around the Nilwala river are being terrorised by a number of these giant reptiles, who have come ashore with the raging flood waters. During the deluge experienced in the last few days and accompanying floods, the River Nilwala overflowed in Akuresssa, Malimboda and Aturaliya. Residents of these areas say that a number of crocodiles are now roaming in the area posing a threat to their very lives. more..

On the fallacy of infallibility

May 27 (LG) Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ was masterpiece in terms on political theatre for it gives us many, many insights into the complex web of political relations and the play of political forces. I first read the play when I was about 13 years and at the time, in the simple and simplistic black-and-white of a young boy’s perception of right and wrong and crime and punishment, Brutus was villain and Antonyhero. more..

U.S. lifts Sri Lanka travel warning

May 27 (IL) The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday that it was lifting its travel advisory on Sri Lanka, citing the peaceful atmosphere that has taken hold a year after Sri Lanka’s defeat of terrorism. “The Travel Warning issued for Sri Lanka on November 19, 2009 has been cancelled, effective May 26, 2010,” the State Department said in an announcement. more..

Sri Lanka: New taxes and the bad rule of law system

May 27 (LG) The new programme of the government is to introduce new taxes. To meet with government expenditure and also the demands of the IMF, dealing with taxes has become an unavoidable task for the government. The simple question that the government must ask is as to how with a failed rule of law system will it be able to establish a successful system of taxation? To have a successful system of taxation anywhere a precondition is to have a functioning rule of law system. more..

Bloody funny politics of Jaffna

May 27 (LP) I know the gravity of my crimes and how serious they are. -WANDA BARZEE, speaking Friday in court, where she was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the 2002 kidnapping of then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart. Fifteen years for kidnapping a child! In Sri Lanka, you believe, especially in the Northern Province, this is not a crime but a part of normal life. Yes, even in the post-Prabakaran period. Sometimes, you even elect child killer suspects to represent you. more..

Amnesty's report condemns 'politicisation of justice'

May 27 (BBC) Amnesty International has criticised the "politicisation of international justice" in its annual report, which documents torture in 111 countries. The human rights group accuses powerful governments of subordinating justice to political self-interest and of shielding allies from scrutiny. It expresses particular concern over possible war crimes committed during fighting in Sri Lanka last year. more..

Tamil diaspora in post-war Sri Lanka

May 27 (GV) One year ago today, the Sri Lankan army brutally and decisively ended its military campaign against the LTTE. The once hoped quiet dissolution of the national question through negotiation, devolution, and constitutional amendments were replaced by the unambiguous nature of the bullet, and the ferocity of the bomb. From firecrackers, and dancing on the street, to quiet celebration, and outright anger and despair, more..

Education in Sri Lanka - Expectations and the Expedient

May 27 (LBO) Education is an issue which many of us think we know how to fix, but, nobody is giving us the reigns. Lucky Minister Bandula Gunawardna – the education ministry has fallen on his lap. Unlucky Minister BG - expectations about the ministry are high but there is no way that they can all be met. The new minister for education is getting a lot of advice. Advice given covers everything from what should be taught in schools and more..

Sri Lanka, India arrive in Zim

May 27 (AP) An under-strength India and Sri Lanka arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday for a tri-nations cricket tournament and say they have no problems touring the troubled African country. The teams arrived in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second city, and will both be led by stand-in captains for a series with the hosts, who are rebuilding their cricket team following a decade of political and economic turmoil. more..

Politicos, sports heroes and “the people’s will”

May 27 (ST) In the good old days, elections – like cricket matches – were won or lost. Today, however, we find that an amorphous phenomenon by the misnomer of “the people’s will” has replaced mere victory. So, when politicos win at the polls, “the people’s will” has been done – irrespective of whether the margin was hollow or convincing. In addition, when pop stars get into parliament or sporting heroes are picked for the national squad, “the people’s will” is said to have been done more..

flydubai set to launch Sri Lanka flights in June

May 27 (AB) Flydubai, Dubai’s low cost airline, said on Wednesday that it will launch flights to Sri Lanka next month. It is expanding its network in the Indian sub-continent with flights to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, starting on June 23, with tickets priced from AED450. The Sri Lanka route is flydubai's 21st destination launch since it started operations last summer, the airline said in a statement. more..

Commercialism glitters brighter than the true message of Vesak

May 27 (ST) A fifteen-year-old in the middle of the last century, now in his seventies as the first decade of the millennium draws to an end, remembers the Vesak of his childhood and a few phrases from his English essay on the subject. An essay had to be written at the week-end to submit to his teacher on Monday. The beloved English teacher read this one out to the class as one among the good essays of that week; more..

Integrating biodiversity with development

May 27 (SO) We have been witnessing the drastic effects of climate change at an increasing frequency of late. Floods, droughts, earthslips, landslides and melting of icecaps are a few of the issues that have dominated international news headlines over the last few years. Freak weather conditions being experienced across the world including in our own country have been attributed to climate change, and more..

Central land authority to colonize Vaanaa’ru Muslim village with Sinhalese

May 27 (TN) The entire Muslim community of Vaanaa’ru new settlement has been opposing the move to bring their village under the administration of the Kantha’laay Divisional Secretary Division in Trincomalee district. Kantha’laay DS division is one of the five DS divisions where ninety-five percent of the population is from majority Sinhalese community. Vaanaa’ru village is now administered by Ki’n’niyaa Divisional Secretary. more..

SLA occupies 80% of agricultural land in North

May 27 (TN) Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupies around eighty percentage of agricultural land in Vanni and Jaffna peninsula in the name of High Security Zones (HSZs) and releasing this land back to the owners is the prerequisite to any attempt to explore possibilities of agricultural development in the North, representatives of agricultural organizations in Jaffna peninsula told the Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Jegath Pushpakumara, more..

Vesak: the day of enlightenment

May 27 (LG) All the past twenty four Buddhas have become their full enlightenment on the Vesak full moon days. So, Vesak is the day of enlightenment. Buddhists celebrate this auspicious day specially to commemorate the three principal events of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s life such as birth, enlightenment and passing away or attained parinibbana. The Sakyamuni Buddha was a historic person who was born to more..

Electric fences to keep elephants away

May 27 (GAO) Sri Lanka is testing a new approach to the increasing conflict between the human and elephant populations, keeping the elephants away from human communities using electric fencing. Despite being an integral element of Sri Lankan culture, a religious symbol for both the majority Buddhist and minority Hindu communities, elephants are becoming an increasing nuisance and danger for towns and villages. more..

CMC Vesak at Town hall

May 27 (LP) A Vesak Lantern competition is organized by the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) at Town Hall today (27). The National Vesak Festical has been conducted by the CMC annually for 10 years and seized in the year 2006 due to security and other reasons said the CMC Chief City Administrator Omar Kamil. As the security situation in the city is peaceful the National Vesak Festival is held in a peaceful manner", he added. more..

More Airmen and women pass out from Diyatalwa

May 27 (LP) A total of 640 trainees from the 145th Regular Airmen’s Recruit Course, 103rd Volunteer Airmen Course and 140 trainees from the 21 Regular Airwomen Course passed out yesterday after completing 14 weeks of challenging training. The training focused on drill, weapon training, tactics, field craft, map reading, fire fighting, and explosive handling, Humanitarian Law, Air Force Law and Combat First Aid. more..

Compassionate society need of the hour - PM

May 27 (DN) The first challenge we face is building a compassionate society, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne said. The Prime Minister issuing a message for Vesak said: "I consider it a privilege to address Buddhists around the world and most importantly in Sri Lanka, as the Religious Affairs Minister and the Prime Minister at this glorious moment where we all celebrate the Themangul Festival of the Buddha. more..

Caste origins of authoritarianism in Sri Lanka—Part 4

May 27 (LG) Dr. Rathnageevan Hoole in a recent article on the insecurities of the Tamils published in the Sunday Leader speaks of the intolerance of the moderate positions among the Tamils. This goes back to, not just something recent, but something that can be called part of a culture. In the caste-based social ethos there is no place for moderates. The very nature of the caste-based organisation is that it polarises society in the most naked ways. more..

‘Wesak’ message from the JVP

May 27 (LT) Today is Wesak full Moon Poya Day, the day Lord Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away are cerebrated. Wesak full Moon Poya Day is the most venerated of all Buddhist festivals. Most of the virtuous qualities that exist in the Sri Lankan society were established due to the influence of Buddhism. This society has been endowed with such qualities as alms-giving, discipline, non-violence and compassion by virtue of Buddhism. more..

Relatives of those disappeared in the North meet JVP leaders

May 27 (LT) A group of relatives of those who have been disappeared in the North have had discussions with Leaders of the JVP. According to the media unit of the JVP the discussion had been held at JVP head office yesterday evening. The Leader of the JVP Somawansa Amarasinghe, MP Sunil Handunneththi and former JVP MP Ramalingam Chandrasekar had participated in the discussion. more..

Will the island of Sri Lanka win peace?

May 27 (GV) On May 17, 2009 the LTTE, the major Tamil resistant movement, admitted defeat in the war that was waged without any witness and vowed to silence guns against the Sinhala-Buddhist state. In May 18, Sri Lanka security forces announced that the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, was killed by “Sri Lanka’s military in a firefight that signaled the effective end to one of Asia’s longest-running military conflicts.” more..

Editorial: Sri Lankan President to battle dengue

May 27 (LNP) It is feared that a massive outbreak of epidemics will follow the prevailing rains and the attendant floods. The monsoon on the horizon will aggravate an already bad situation. Besides the mass displacement, loss of life and damage to property caused by floods, diseases that usually come in their wake are sure to have a heavy toll on public health. The incidence of dengue is very likely to get a turbo boost from the current rains and floods. more..

Colombo city facelift continues for IIFA

May 27 (DN) Colombo Chief City Administrator Omar Kamil said despite the rain, work is continuing on giving a facelift to the Colombo city for the 11th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards. Kamil told the Daily News that the CMC had been called upon to beautify the environment and refurbish the roads. Roads from the outer areas of the city leading to some of the main venues of more..

Two hundred thousand words later...

May 27 (DN) There are times when a man takes stock. He looks back at the road taken, reflects on the million what-ifs along those other roads that were not taken; either by choice or circumstances, due to knowledge or out of ignorance; and says 'hmmm...ok'. Or perhaps something profound. Or else it's all just such a blur or is so bland that one reflects, blinks and moves on. There are no auspicious times for these reflect-now moments. more..

Thousands to throng shrines for Vesak

May 27 (DN) Vesak, the holiest event among Buddhists marks the Birth, Enlightenment and Passing away of the Buddha who was born at Kapilavastu in Nepal twenty six centuries ago. The Sri Sambuddha Jayanthi 2555th year of the passing away and the 2635th year of the Buddha falls tomorrow. There is much enthusiasm about Vesak this year since the defeat of terrorism had given freedom to people to move about without fear and more..