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IDPs: Minister refutes claims made by IUSF

May 4 (DM) Minister of Resettlement, Milroy Fernando yesterday refuted claims made by the Inter- University Student Federation (IUSF) which recently charged that the IDPs in the North were being severely neglected. IUSF Convener, Udul Premaratne recently said that five Jaffna University students who had lived in IDP camps had recently committed suicide and that some 300 IDPs had gone missing after the war. more..

Fonseka complains to Speaker

May 4 (DM) MP General Sarath Fonseka lodged a complaint with Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa this morning saying his parliament privileges have been violated as he has been asked to attend the second Court Martial hearing against him this afternoon despite Parliament sessions ending this evening. The second court martial hearing into the alleged illegal arms deal conducted by General Sarath Fonseka will resume today. more..

Video: Tense situation outside UGC, one Uni. student injured

May 4 (AD) A tense situation has erupted in front of the University Grants Commission, Ada Derana reporter confirms. One university student has been admitted to the National Hospital following clashes, hospital sources said. A representative Allied Health Science Unit of the Peradeniya University who organized the protest told Ada Derana that they had begun the protest from more..

Sri Lanka refusing to give up on Murali

May 4 (AFP) Muttiah Muralitharan could still feature for Sri Lanka in the World Twenty20, according to captain Kumar Sangakkara, after officials said he'd been ruled out with a groin injury. A statement released by Sri Lanka Cricket in Colombo earlier on Monday said the star off-spinner had been "advised to rest for two or three weeks" following a groin problem he suffered during the team's opening match more..

IMF to discuss Sri Lanka Budget as it evaluates aid

May 4 (BN) An IMF mission will visit Sri Lanka next week to discuss the 2010 budget of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's newly elected government as it evaluates whether to lend the island more money. The IMF will conduct a "qualitative assessment" beginning May 12 and wait until the budget is presented to decide whether to grant Sri Lanka a third loan tranche under its $2.6 billion aid package, more..

Long struggle for displaced Sri Lankan Tamils

May 4 (BBC) It is early morning but sweat pours from the brows of labourers on a railway track north of Vavuniya. With a roar of exertion, they heave a piece of rail into place with a loud clanging of hammers and crowbars. These men are literally rebuilding the Sri Lankan railway. It is part of what the government calls the "northern spring" - the reconstruction of northern Sri Lanka's infrastructure after the war which ended a year ago. more..

First things first: Tax free vehicle permits to all MPs

May 4 (NF) The government has decided to grant tax free vehicle permits to all MPs elected to parliament at the recent general election. Sumedha G. Jayasena, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs said that a cabinet paper in that regard would be presented on Wednesday. Accordingly, MPs who have completed five years in parliament and MPs elected for the first time will be granted these permits. more..

President to take over AG’s department?

May 4 (DM) There is high speculation in the legal circles that there are moves to bring the Attorney General’s Department under the President. A gazette notification is to be released soon with regard to the move, a reliable source told. When inquired Attorney General Mohan Peiries said that he was not officially informed about the move and had to wait till the Gazette was released. more..

Sri Lanka blocks cricketers visiting Dalai Lama

May 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka stopped national cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara and another player from calling on the Dalai Lama out of fear that a meeting would anger China, an official said Tuesday. Sangakkara and former skipper Mahela Jayawardene were advised not to join their Indian Premier League teammates who paid a courtesy call on the Tibetan spiritual leader last month, the official said. more..

Hotel bombing LTTE suspect arrested in Lanka

May 5 (PTI) An LTTE suspect linked with a bomb attack on a leading hotel here two years ago has been arrested by the police in northern Sri Lanka. Vavuniya Police arrested Selvanayagam Vernon alias Arvinda who is a suspect in the bomb attack on the Nippon Hotel in the heart of the city on January 2, 2008. Vernon was later produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate Judge Lanka Jayaratne who directed police to hand over the suspect to more..

Mahela Jayawardene shows beauty can thrive in game of beastly hitters

May 5 (Guardian) It would be a rare cricket visit to the South American coastal region that was not enhanced by some significant rain and it did not disappoint, ruining the opening match of yesterday's double-header. Having lost to New Zealand in the best game of the tournament so far, Sri Lanka needed to beat a Zimbabwe side that last week overcame both the current champions Pakistan and Australia in warm-up matches. more..

Debrief News - 04. 05. 2010

Corruption charges on Principal

May 5 (DM) The Director General of the Bribery Commission complained to the Colombo Chief Magistrate that the Principal of Ananda College, Colombo had committed corruption while admitting students to grade one in the year 2005. The Director General Lukshmy Menaka Chitra Jayawickrama of the Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption filing a report before the Chief Magistrate Ms. Champa Janaki Rajaratna complained that more..

Sri Lanka must respect memory of war

May 5 (Guardian) It was heartening to hear President Mahinda Rajapakse identifying reconciliation and development as the priorities of his new government. However, it is crucial that both processes should unfold with the active involvement of Sri Lanka's citizenry, rather than being imposed from above by an omnipotent state. We seem to already have plenty of intimations of the latter. more..

Pardon 'welcomed' but questions remain

May 5 (BBC) The United States and international watchdogs have welcomed the presidential pardon issued to journalist JS Tissainayagam. But there are still questions remain over the announcement and the press freedom in Sri Lanka, they say. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to offer a pardon to the jailed journalist, Foreign Minister Prof. GL Peiris announced on Monday. more..

Emergency regulations relaxed

May 5 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has announced that it is relaxing certain aspects of the emergency regulations (ER). External Affairs Minister Prof. GL Peiris told the parliament that tough measures with regard to holding meetings and gatherings, imposing curfew, spreading rumours, printing certain literature and obligation to provide the householder's names to the police would be relaxed with immediate effect. more..

Two guidebooks published for Sri Lankan migrant workers

May 5 (AN) Caritas Sri Lanka presented two guidebooks for migrant domestic workers with phrases in Tamil, Sinhalese, English and Arabic and other relevant information as well as a docudrama by filmmaker Bertram Nihal on domestic workers. The launching was held yesterday before an audience that included clergymen and members of the laity. Caritas Sri Lanka Director Fr George Sigamoney used the occasion to slam the Sri Lankan government for its lack of interest in the plight of migrant workers. more..

Dramatic drop in Sri Lankan boatpeople

May 5 (TA) Sri Lanka's once-booming people-smuggling market is cooling, with Australian authorities recording no new boat arrivals since March. But while the Sri Lankan pipeline may have dried up, figures issued by the Immigration Department showed mainland detention centres are straining under the weight of boat arrivals from other countries. Some centres have been forced to move into so-called surge capacity, and more..

Sri Lanka to double big onion output

May 5 (FP) Sri Lanka’s central bank in association with country’s agriculture department are planning to boost big onion output in the country. The central bank has taken measures to encourage farmers to cultivate big onion. They have already selected farmers to cultivate big onions in Dehiattakandiya and Kandaketiya, Badulla areas. They also hope to select farmers from Panama, Ampara to do big onion cultivation. more..

International Pre-School opens at SLAF Morawewa

May 5 (MoD) International Pre-School opens at SLAF Morawewa A new Pre-school named "Apeksha" was declared open by the Chairperson of the Seva Vanitha Unit of the Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Ayoma Rajapaksha this morning (03 March 2010) at SLAF Morawawa 10th mile post. Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Air Force Seva Vanitha Unit, Mrs. Nelun Goonetileke accompanied the chief guest on a tour of the newly built pre-school. more..

'Tiger military wing forming'

May 5 (DM) Prime Minister D.M Jayaratna warned this morning that a new military wing of the LTTE was forming to seek a separate state and as such the Emergency regulations should continue. He also said that Tiger proxies were making preparations to convene their ‘Transnational government of Tamil Ealam’ in Switzerland next week to coincide with the first death anniversary of LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabakaran. more..

Sri Lanka tea output recovery slows in March

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lanka's total tea production, including green tea, rose 7.8 percent to 20 million kilos in March 2010 from a year ago when output was hit by drought and the effects of the global commodities crash. Tea Board data showed that most of the increase in output in March 2010 came from small farmers in the southern lowlands who cultivate low grown teas. Tea production in the first three months to March 2010 was up 47 percent to 73.3 million kilos more..

Sri Lanka tax reforms, economically sound budget awaited by IMF

May 5 (LBO) The IMF is looking for an economically sound budget for Sri Lanka this year with tax reforms to cut the deficit as the lender looks to resume a deal with the island, an official said. Sri Lanka's government got parliamentary approval to spend money until April amid two elections through a 'vote on account'. Reports have said that authorities may continue to spend money under a under a presidential directive until June, though a new parliament has now been elected. more..

Sri Lanka Brandix opens apparel export hub in India

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lankan apparel exporter Brandix has opened a 1,000-acre 'Apparel Park' in India to serve as a hub for manufacturers and suppliers in the south Asian region, a statement said. The facility near the eastern Indian port city of Vishakhapatnam when fully occupied will accommodate up to 20 apparel manufacturing plants, three fabric mills, eight accessories manufacturers and a finishing plant. more..

Editorial: Separate ministry, a boost for economic development

May 5 (BL) We in this country have been talking quite a lot about the economy, the need to develop it, the ways of developing it and so on. But never in the history of Sri Lanka have we had a ministry dedicated to economic development. The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration having won its second term of office with an unprecedented majority in the parliament has done it. Where Sri Lanka is concerned it’s a novel idea, a step that proves the kind of more..

Colombo Management Faculty reopened

May 5 (BL) Management Faculty of the University of Colombo resumed regular academic activities after being closed for over a month following a clash between two student groups, according to Dr. P.S.M. Gunaratne, Dean of the Faculty. Dr. Gunaratne said, “The exams that were postponed for the First Year and Final Year students are now underway. We hope to start the postponed exams of the Third Year students before May 15.” more..

Health Science students injured in protest

May 5 (BL) President of the Allied Health Science Unit Student Union of the Peradeniya University, Janaka Udara claimed that they came under Police baton attack yesterday when they attempted to proceed towards University Grants Commission (UGC) in a protest march last afternoon. “We started our protest march from the Vihara Maha Devi Park and were peacefully proceeding towards the UGC. more..

Labour Ministry to go ahead with private sector pension plan

May 5 (BL) The Labour Ministry is scheduled to begin talks on a possible pension plan for private sector employees this week. According to Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge, during his first week in office he will concentrate on the insecurities faced by private sector employees. The minister said that he aims to address not only matters pertaining to the public sector but also to the private sector as well. more..

Has journalist J.S. Tissanaiyagam really received a Presidential pardon?

May 5 (GV) The External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris, who has absolutely nothing to do with the judiciary, claimed at his first press briefing yesterday, 3 May, that President has DECIDED to pardon journalist J.S. Tissainayagam, who was ruled guilty by the HC of Colombo and sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment. The Minister for External Affairs, who was a Professor of Law, said the President has powers to do so and more..

Sri Lankan Culture Troupe stuns Kuwait

May 5 (IL) The first ever "Sri Lanka Culture Week" in Kuwait was held from 26th April - 02nd May 2010 jointly hosted by the Embassy of Sri Lanka and the National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters. The Culture Week was officially inaugurated on 26th April 2010 at the Keifan Auditorium by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah, Minister of Information & Oil, accompanied by the Secretary General of the Council Sheikh Bader Al-Rifai, more..

Sri Lankan Tamil journalist Tissainayagam released; his friends unhappy

May 5 (LP) We hail the Presidential pardon to English writing Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam who was sentenced to twenty years by a Sri Lanka court for charges framed under draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). This move can lead to building up of national harmony and promotion of democracy. Tissainayagam was sentenced to twenty years rigorous imprisonment by a motive to teach a lesson to the pro-Tamil nationalist media. more..

Sri Lanka ad agency sues awards organizers, alleges scam

May 5 (LBO) Sri Lankan advertising agency Triad said it has sued the organizers of an ad awards scheme for 100 million rupees alleging the contest was a 'scam' subject to manipulation. “It is our contention that today, Chillies has become a scam,” Triad said in a statement, referring to the advertising awards contest organized by advertising agencies. “We have taken our grievances to court and we prey that the judiciary will more..

Education revitalizes displaced communities in Sri Lanka

May 5 (UNICEF) In a remote part of eastern Sri Lanka, the rhythmic chant of children’s lessons reverberate through one of the region’s newly re-established schools. Students here are learning the basics of reading and writing after having had their education interrupted by armed conflict. Many of the students at this school were displaced by violence during Sri Lanka’s more than two decade-long civil conflict. more..

Freedom of expression, arrogance and the Media minister

May 5 (SLW) We commemorated world Press Freedom day on Monday. Ironically, Sri Lanka was busy making arrangements; preparing speeches and workshops for a day exploited and harassed to the extreme on rest of the 364 days. That outspoken vociferous writer from Lanka e news Prageeth Eknaligoda has disappeared; 100 days have elapsed and not even a whiff of his whereabouts up to now. Authorities seem strangely reluctant to pursue the case. more..

The Karapincha Alternative: Swim Or Sink

May 5 (SL) The political sink is gathering quite a lot of karapincha. Karapincha, as we have explained before in this column, is a curry leaf used in Sri Lankan cuisine and discarded once its flavour has been imparted to the curry. The first Mahinda Rajapaksa government has been credited (or discredited) with many political karapincha in the sink about whom we commented on in a previous column. more..

'I will take care of the media like my child'

May 5 (SL) Walking into the residence of newly appointed Deputy Media Minister Mervyn Silva, The Sunday Leader was greeted effusively and directed to the breakfast table where Silva invited us to share a meal with him. Pushing aside our protestations he insisted we break bread with him, maintaining this is “our way – this is how we do it in the South.” more..

Samples of brutality that happened in the late eighties

May 5 (LG) Since I was secretary at two of the separate evidence commissions that were conducting inquiries into disappearances during the so-called period of terror, from the late 1980s to the middle of the 1990s I was able to listen to the evidence given by many of the complainants personally, I was present when the inquiries were being conducted. And some of the cases remain in my mind, because they were so gory, more..

Human rights, people’s sovereignty & national sovereignty the south Asian way

May 5 (LG) The concept of human rights is damaged, discredited and rendered less effective by those who deploy it as part of a discourse that urges surrender of national sovereignty and is nihilistic towards the nation. The attack on national sovereignty and the nation-state proceeds by way of a number of false arguments and suggestions. One is that there is an all powerful global revolution which is enthroning human rights. more..

Hundred days since Eknaligoda was made to disappear

May 5 (LT) An agitation was organized by ‘Journalists Against Suppression’ today being the 100th day since journalist Pradeep Eknaligoda was disappeared. The agitation against the delaying tactics of the authorities regarding investigations into the disappearance of journalist Eknaligoda was held opposite Fort Railway Station. more..

Five Proposals for Constitutional Reform

May 5 (TC) At the parliamentary election held last month, the United Peoples’ Freedom Front (UPFA) requested that it be given 150 seats in the new Parliament so that it could initiate necessary constitutional changes. People gave the UPFA 144 seats, very close to two-thirds that it had asked for. Constitutional change is long overdue; but previous attempt failed as the ruling party did not have a two-third majority in Parliament. more..

Dy. minister plans to find ways to reduce fuel prices

May 5 (NF) The Deputy Minister of Petroleum Industries says that his attention will be focused on finding ways through which fuel prices could be reduced. Deputy Minister Sarana Gunawardene made this statement while addressing the media after assuming duties at the CPC head quarters in Colombo today. He pointed out that the CPC’s business had seen a downward trend although it was a profitable venture. more..

Karunanithi recommends visa for Pirabhakaran’s Mother

May 5 (TC) In response to what Tamilnadu Chief Minister Karunanithi said in the Legislature that his government was prepared to recommend to Delhi if Pirabhakaran’s mother Parvathy Ammal was still interested to come to Chennai for medical purpose, she sent him the following letter in Tamil with her finger print, through Damai Service Hospital in Kuala Lumpur to more..

Vavuniya back to normal

May 5 (MoD) Normalcy has returned to the North and the entire Vavuniya district except for a very small patch near the town has been cleared of land-mines. People travel freely now and it takes only two to three hours to reach Jaffna. Earlier, it took nearly two weeks for a person from Vavuniya to reach the Jaffna District. It is now like the pre-1983 period, Vavuniya District Secretary Mrs P.S.M. Charles said. more..

Quick bridge constructions showcase engineer skills during offensives

May 5 (MoD) Sri Lanka Army Engineers, providing the best of combat support during the peak of the successfully-completed fight against LTTE terrorism, have effectively renovated or restored then and there over twenty LTTE destroyed bridges in Wanni and elsewhere facilitating the onward march of offensive troops in the East and Wanni. more..

Police has a new role to play in the North

May 5 (MoD) With the view of curbing crime and vice, maintaining close interaction with the resettled people, visitors and state officials, the Police has set up a Special Criminal Intelligence Unit in the Northern Province. Over 10 percent of Policemen from all police stations in the province are deployed to this unit. This unit will carry out patrolling and more..

Teachers invited to join National Cadet Corps

May 5 (MoD) Teachers with talent, skill and motivation have been invited to join the National Cadet Corps and become Commissioned officers which will carry several benefits and privileges to them as teachers. Among these are the privilege of getting a transfer to a leading school for a better service; be mobilized in the Sri Lanka Army and Navy where emoluments will be according to rank. more..

Ragging victims asked to call 119

May 5 (GDI) Victims of ragging in universities or any other higher educational institution, can now complain to police on emergency number 119, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced. UGC Chairman Prof. Gamini Samaranayake said police would take tough action against undergraduates accused of ragging or any other violent act inside universities. The Chairman rejected claims that police cannot enter the university premises. more..

'Emergency regulations relaxed without compromising national security'

May 5 (GDI) External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris said the government had relaxed the emergency regulations without compromising the national security. The government announced in parliament the relaxation of provisions of several emergency regulations. They include withdrawal of the provision with regard to the imposition of curfews and more..

NIBM convocation today at Waters Edge, Battaramulla

May 5 (LP) The 12th NIBM convocation of BSc degree would be held tomorrow (5) at 3 pm at hotel Waters Edge in Battaramulla under the distinguished patronage of Minister Youth Affairs Dullas Alahapperuma. The Degree programes relating to the above, affiliated to Ireland’s Dublin University is conducted at the National Institute of Business Management (NIBM) at Vidya Mawatha Colombo. more..

Artificial limbs received from New Zealand donated to War heroes

May 5 (LP) Mr Channa Ranasinghe, Chairman, United Sri Lanka Association in New Zealand, has once again donated ten more artificial limbs to be distributed among disable War Heroes. Mr Ranasihngha in a previous occasion also assisted the Seva Vanitha Army Branch. On the sidelines of the SVAB monthly meeting for April on Monday, ten disable War Heroes from Sri Lanka National Guard, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, Gajaba Regiment and Gemunu Watch received more..