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Sri Lanka approves Indian beverage investment

May 7 (LBO) India's North East Pure Drinks is to set up a beverage plant in Sri Lanka with an investment of 25 million dollars. The investment promotion agency said in a statement it had approved an investment agreement for the venture to establish an agro processing plant for beverages for the local market. The deal was signed with Varun Beverages Lanka which is sponsored by the Indian investor, North East Pure Drinks. more..

Sri Lanka coastal lagoons threatened by mangrove planting: researcher

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's coastal lagoons could be threatened by rapid sedimentation as a side-effect of fresh mangroves planted by humans for protection against a possible future tsunami, a researcher has warned. Sri Lanka's coastal 'barrier-build estuaries', where the mouth of the water body is partially blocked usually by a sand bar, are usually rich in mangroves, sea grass and fishery resources. more..

Indian Council for Cultural Relations presents Abhijñana Sakuntalam in Jaffna

May 7 (IL) The Indian Council for Cultural Relations presented the world famous classical Sanskrit play Abhijñana Sakuntalam (The Recognition of Shakuntala) of Kalidasa in the form of a musical dance drama in Tamil before a packed audience at the Veerasingham Hall in Jaffna on 5th May. Hon’ble Governor of the Northern Province, Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri, graced the occasion as Chief Guest. more..

Who rules Kuwait?

May 7 (AT) Ten thousand peace-loving Sri Lankans have arrived in Kuwait to earn a decent living and make our lives more comfortable. These people, along with their well-respected ambassador, gathered peacefully to celebrate their New Year recently. The gathering did not take place at Erada Square or in front of the Sultan Center restaurant along the Arabian Gulf. It was held at Al-Jahra Sports Club which was booked days before the event. more..

AHRC cautiously welcomes the move for the appointment of a commission for truth and reconciliation

May 7 (AHRC) The AHRC cautiously welcomes the announcement of the appointment of a commission to probe violations of internationally accepted norms of conduct during the final stages of the conflict and the circumstances that may have led to such actions and identify any persons or groups responsible for such acts. Despite of the fact that the obvious reasons for the announcement of an appointment of such a commission is the GSP+ issue, more..

'Tamil nationalism is still a force to be reckoned with'

May 7 (Island) In this interview, EPDP leader Douglas Devananda speaks to C.A.Chandraprema about the post parliamentary election situation in the North and the future trajectory of Tamil politics. Among the issues discussed here is why he who has done so much for the people of the north has got less votes than those who have done nothing and are indeed are responsible in large measure for the destruction of northern Tamil society. more..

The Achilles Heel of the EU and lessons for Sri Lanka’s policy makers and corporate sector

May 7 (GV) First it was the Swine ‘Flu and now it’s the PIGS. The four countries of the European Union; Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, saddled with the current debt crisis, weak economies, and high unemployment; are referred to by the acronym PIGS. Will it be the end of the road for the European Monetary Union (EMU)? The EU “fortress” was meant to withstand such crises and provide protection for it’s member states. more..

Budget or No Budget? It is a constitutional question

May 7 (GV) There has been speculation this week that the government is planning to present a Vote on Account rather than a full and proper budget. The DNA/JVP has already announced its opposition to this, and perhaps more importantly, the IMF has indicated that the next tranche of the loan granted last year in order to avert the balance of payments crisis may be affected if there is no proper budget in which more..

Sirasa Super Star grand finale on Saturday

May 7 (NF) With just two more days to the biggest musical night in the Sinhala music industry, the final round of the 'Sirasa Superstar' reality show is keeping everyone from fans to participants in suspense. The final showdown, which will be held at the CR & FC Grounds at Longdon Place in Colombo is slated to be a gala event. Over 100,000 contestants took part in Season Three of the Sirasa Superstar reality show, in a bid to be crowned as the best. more..

'Sri Lanka's writers must remember and speak out'

May 7 (Independent) On the island of Sri Lanka, an important anniversary will soon be celebrated. 18 May is the day last year on which the war ended in a government "victory" over the Tamil forces of the LTTE. In a token gesture, to coincide with World Press Freedom Day, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has pardoned Tissainayagam, the journalist sentenced unlawfully to 20 years in jail. Although many other journalists languish in prison and more..

Postal service boost in the North

May 7 (MoD) Special arrangement are under way to develop the postal service in the Northern province in line with the overall postal development initiatives, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga said yesterday. The Minister at a function held to hand over three vans for mail transportation in the Northern Province said postal service in the Northern Province was badly affected by three decades of terrorism. more..

'Internationally recognized nuclear-weapon-free zones reinforces nuclear non-proliferation regime'

May 7 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka said here Thursday that the establishment of internationally recognized nuclear- weapon-free zones strengthens world peace and reinforces the nuclear non-proliferation regime. This statement came as Palitha T.B. Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador to the United Nations, was addressing the conference to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), more..

A Sri Lankan can be a Tamil, Hindu and loyal citizen at the same time

May 7 (TC) The Sinhalese and the Tamils celebrated the New Year on April 14. They assembled in their ancestral homes, made offerings to their gods and fervently hoped that the New Year would herald a new dawn of peace and amity in their country. The preceding year was traumatic for them. The convincing victory in the Fourth Eelam War was accompanied by the death and displacement of thousands of Tamil civilians; more..

Jaffna coming alive

May 7 (MoD) Jaffna was experiencing a resurgence in economic, educational, cultural and sports activities and children and adults alike are happy with the freedom they enjoy. A complete change has come to the north in the last one year and people were looking forward to much progress in the next few months, Northern Province Governor G.A. Chandrasiri said yesterday. The Australian High Commission has started a housing scheme at Kilinochchi and more..

Orphan Sponsorship International

Jaffna Fishnet Factory opened

May 7 (TN) The Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Ms. Kathy Klugman, the French Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ms. Christine Robichon and the resident representative of the Holy See in Sri Lanka took part in the opening ceremony of the Jaffna Fishnet Factory Thursday located in Kurunakar on the coast of Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. Jaffna Caritas HUDEC constructed the factory with UN aid. more..

Editorial: Need of the hour is consensus and collective leadership

May 7 (TN) Colombo has embarked upon a vicious campaign as though a new power centre of Eezham Tamils had already set in after the elections for the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) last Sunday. Some elements among the diaspora who have been conceiving the TGTE as a ‘high power centre’ also seem to think that it is now ready for their occupation with some manipulations here and there. more..

Nirupama to inaugurate conference on Sri Lankan peace

May 7 (TN) Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Menon Rao will be inaugurating an international conference on ‘Taking the Sri Lankan Peace Process Forward’ in New Delhi, scheduled on May 10 and 11. The conference will be participated by experts from Sri Lanka and representatives of Sri Lankan Tamil. The business covered by the conference are: ‘Taking Rehabilitation and Resettlement Forward’, more..

Sri Lanka records world’s highest growth in tourism

May 7 (SLNN) Sri Lanka has topped another list by recording the highest growth in tourist arrivals during the first two months of 2010. An interim report of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) lists Sri Lanka with a 50 percent growth in tourist arrivals among 77 countries that have reported international arrivals data so far. more..

Sri Lankan government extends state of emergency

May 7 (wsws) The newly-elected Sri Lankan parliament ratified a proclamation by President Mahinda Rajapakse on Wednesday to extend the present emergency regulations, as is required monthly. The government indicated there would be no end to emergency rule, which, with the exception of a few years, has been in force since the start of the civil war with the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 1983. more..

Editorial: Has madness any limits?

May 7 (LG) An article published in Island today by pne C.A. Chandraprema under the title Prageeth Ekeneliagoda affair-1, is a clear example showing that madness has no limits and that a police informer can never cease to be mad. This C.A.C.P. argues that Prageeth Ekneliyagoda was so insignificant that it is unthinkable that “this most powerful of post independent governments led by the most popular leader political leader that more..

What motives of President Mahinda Rajapaksa push him towards a 'Truth Commission'?

May 7 (LP) After winning a second term as President and consolidating power through a general election, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has decided to appoint a committee to probe any right abuses committed during the decade-long war with the LTTE and to compensate the victims and their families who suffered during the conflict that killed nearly 100,000 people. more..

'LTTE threat shifted to diplomacy'

May 7 (MoD) The LTTE threat against Sri Lanka has only shifted from the field of battle to the field of diplomacy, with attempts of establishing a Transnational Government in exile to continue LTTE propaganda, said External Affairs Minister Professor GL Peiris yesterday. Stating that the Government has instructed the Sri Lankan ambassadors in relevant countries to take suitable action to handle the situation, more..

'Expectations of people in the post-conflict era must be fulfilled'

May 7 (GDI) Keheliya Rambukwella, the newly appointed Minister of Mass Media & Communication assumed duties this morning and addressed the media afterwards. Whilst addressing the media on this occasion he said that he would like to thank the President for choosing him as the Media Minister and appointing me to this post. Further, he would like to thank the media personnel for paving the way to assess him as the Media Minister”. more..

Minister emphasizes the relevance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

May 7 (LP) Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday when signing a MoU conferring the status of a Dialogue Partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Sri Lanka, emphasized the great relevance of the Organization to Sri Lanka. He noted that the MoU enables cooperation between SCO and Sri Lanka on areas such as ensuring security through combating terrorism, economic cooperation and more..

Jaffna after the war: Observations by a visitor

May 7 (GV) Large crowds rush to Jaffna every day. Some of them have never been there before. The 30 years war is over and thanks to president Rajapakse, (General Fonseka is already forgotten), they are now at last free to visit those territories the Tigers once claimed as theirs. They are eager to visit the many places of worship including a few recently discovered ones. more..

Rajapakses have it all!

May 7 (LT) When publishing portfolios allocated to ministries in the gazette all important portfolios have been assigned to members of Rajapakse family. The important portfolios are concentrated around three ministries and they function under Mahinda Rajapakse, Basil Rajapakse and Namal Rajapakse. Mr. Namal Rajapakse functions in a way similar to how Mr. Basil Rajapakse functioned in the last government as a Parliamentarian. more..

A man, a pact and the earth-fragrance of Divulgane

May 7 (DN) Sometime in the year 1986 I came to an agreement with a friend, Ananda Thilak Bandara Herath. Thilak and I were in our first year at Dumbara Campus, Peradeniya University. We shared a ‘chummery’ with ten others. There were six beds. The ‘chummery’ was located about a mile and a half from the campus in Polgolla. Thilak, when he entered campus didn’t know much English. He knew the alphabet. more..

Through the Eastern Eyes: Paalaiyadiththoona

May 7 (HA) The youth of Paalaiyadiththoona have taken a new turn in their lives today. They have had their maiden photo exhibition in their village. The 12 member Photo Voice team has undergone a professional training in Photo Journalism for one year, which was provided by Terre des hommes. The youth were trained professionally to handle still cameras, light, angles, composition, capture various moments, more..

'UNP Executive Committee is the final authority to decide'

May 7 (UNP) UNP Gen, Secretary Tissa Attanayake said, the many stormy issues which have arisen regarding changes being introduced in the party and the future course of action of the party for its revamping were taking up at the UNP Executive Committee meeting held on the 5th . As the Executive Committee which is the supreme decision making authority, all issues and agitation for changes in the party structure were discussed at length at the meeting. more..

Editorial: What a relief!

May 7 (LNP) It is a matter for happiness that sanity has prevailed at long last and Mervyn Silva`s resignation as Deputy Media Minister has been accepted. The problem is now confined to the `highways`. (He has been appointed Deputy Minister of Highways.) Our roads are dangerous anyway with so many asphalt cowboys around and his appointment will not matter much! Now, we learn that Mervyn resigned as Deputy Media Minister on Wednesday itself but, more..

Cader to be questioned

May 7 (LT) UNP Parliamentarian for Kandy District Abdul Cader will be questioned regarding his decision to vote with the government at the debate on extending emergency regulations says Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake. The Chief Organizer of the party would take a statement from Mr. Cader said Mr. Attanayake at a press conference held at the office of the Leader of the Opposition yesterday (6th). more..

Constitutional amendments : Govt proposals to House next month

May 7 (DN) The Government’s proposals for Constitutional amendments will be presented to Parliament next month, SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena said. The drafts in this regard are being formulated, he added. The Minister was responding to a query on the proposed amendments to the Constitution. He said the Government’s intention was to bring in amendments to the Constitution in keeping with the wishes of the people. more..

Oppose moves by government to increase burden of living - JVP

May 7 (LT) The measures of the present government taken to increase the cost of living should be opposed says the JVP. This is stated by the JVP issuing a statement regarding the increase of gas prices. The JVP statement reads: The government has taken measures to increase LP gas prices from midnight on the 6th May. Accordingly a domestic cylinder of shell gas has been increased by Rs.219 and Laugfs gas by Rs.323. more..

Lanka beats global recession

May 7 (DN) Sri Lanka has come out of the global economic crisis and would achieve a economic growth rate closer to six percent in 2010, Institute of Policy Studies Executive Director Dr. Saman Kelegama said. Sri Lanka should bring down the budget deficit and create a stable macro economic environment to make this growth sustainable and move further, he said. Addressing a press conference at the launch of ESCAP report 2010 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, more..

'Smoke-free' legislation on back-burner

May 7 (DN) New legislation to ensure 100 percent smoke free public and work places has faced snags due to official delays. Several organizations which are in the forefront of the country's Anti-Tobacco campaign yesterday charged that the proposed 100 percent smoke free legislation in the form of amendments to the National Authority on Tobacco an Alcohol (NATA) Act, submitted to authorities several months back were still pending. more..

Lal Kantha on YaTV

Sanath, Namal, Lakshman, Sarath et al to

May 7 (Island) The government has decided to assign UPFA new entrants to Parliament who polled the highest number of preferential votes last month to spearhead development activities in their respective districts, The Island learns. They will be appointed heads of district development committees in recognition of the trust people have reposed in them, according to sources close to President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Kerawalapitiya power plant: Champika rejects irregularity claims

May 7 (Island) Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday rejected claims of irregularities at the 300m MW Kerawalapitiya Combined Cycle-Gas Turbines and Steam Turbines Power Plant. He was speaking after inspecting the plant. The Ceylon Electricity Board, particularly its Engineers’ Union, has been criticizing the plant’s management saying that it was business-oriented and not sticking to its initial promises. more..

'SF’s release a precondition for GSP+'

May 7 (Island) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that the European Commission had demanded the release of General Sarath Fonseka as a condition for granting Sri Lanka the GSP+ preferential trade status which was facing suspension in August this year. "The continued detention of General Fonseka has become an issue in the European Parliament and we are aware that they want him released if the GSP+ is to be granted," more..

'Govt. institutions owe CPC Rs. 55 bn'

May 7 (Island) Newly appointed Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premjayantha says that government institutions owe Rs. 55 billion to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). Premjayantha said the CPC spent over 2 billion US dollars on crude oil imports. He said the CPC had recorded a loss of Rs. 12 bn during 2009 and he had ordered an inquiry to find the real causes of the loss. He said that the CPC was paying Rs. 50 million annually as rent for more..

Editorial: PSD and media freedom

May 7 (DM) One may still remember how the PSD notoriety reached dizzy heights during the days of President Chandrika Kumaratunga and one has all the more reasons to wonder whether Sri Lanka is heading back to those dark days. For a PSD officer to attack a senior journalist mercilessly in public after he was accompanied to an event venue by another set of PSD men, there must be something terribly wrong with the officer. more..

Sell Ceylinco Tower to pay depositors: SC

May 7 (DM) The Supreme Court ordered some Ceylinco group of companies to immediately repay their depositors yesterday. Supreme Court bench of Shirani Tilakawardena, S. I. Imam and K. Sripavan directed to immediately start the first stage of the repayment-up to Rs. 100,000 by paying those deposits below Rs. 500,000 first, and the others within three months. more..

Mervyn no more says Keheliya

May 7 (DM) Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella who assumed duties at the Ministry today responding to journalists said that Deputy Minister Mervyn Silva cannot decide if he will continue as the Deputy Media Minister and the decision can only be taken by the President. “My friend Mervyn cannot decide if he is going to continue being my Deputy. That is for the President to decide. more..

'Certain elements try to connect me with war crimes'

May 7 (DM) DNA Leader general (retired) Sarath Fonseka yesterday charged that there are moves by certain elements to connect him with war crimes which he said never took place. “Some elements are trying to dig dustbins and connect me with war crimes which never happened,” he told journalists at a news conference in parliamentary complex yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka allows forex accounts for overseas service providers, employees

May 7 (LBO) Sri Lankan companies providing a range of international services and their employees earning foreign exchange income can open foreign currency accounts at commercial banks from Friday, the central bank said. The new measures will entitle international services providers and their employees to make use of income tax exemptions, it said in a statement. more..

Sri Lanka calls on West to crack down on Tiger funding

May 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka's prime minister on Friday urged Western nations to crack down on Tamils using their soil to revive the Tamil Tiger separatist movement that was crushed last year. Premier D. M. Jayaratne said some of the 1.5 million ethnic Tamils living abroad were planning to form a movement to carry on the separatist cause to carve out an independent homeland for their community in Sri Lanka. more..

Windies aim to topple out-of-sorts Sri Lanka

May 7 (CI) Sri Lanka's problems are mounting: Only Mahela Jayawardene has turned up with the bat. Kumar Sangakkara, the captain, is struggling. Sanath Jayasuriya is playing as a bowler. Muttiah Muraltharan is injured. Tillakaratne Dilshan is having a nightmare. Angelo Matthews too hasn't showed up yet. Even Lasith Malinga had a bad game. Sri Lanka were the most consistent team in the last ICC Twenty20; more..

Rift in Sri Lanka cricket team denied

May 7 (BBC) The Sri Lanka cricket authorities have denied media reports that skipper Kumar Sangakkara is planning to resign at the end of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup at the Caribbean as a result of a rift in the team. Anura Tennakoon, the manager of the team, told BBC Sandeshaya from Guyana that he was not informed of any such decision. "But I sincerely hope he stays. He is a very special captain as well as a batsman and the country needs his service ", more..

Sri Lanka not given conditions for GSP renewal, says EU

May 7 (LBO) The European Union office in Sri Lanka said the EU had not given the island's government a 'list of conditions' to meet to renew a trade deal nor was it dependant on 'any single measure'. The EU office said in a statement a government delegation will visit EU headquarters in Brussels during May 20-21 for talks on renewing the GSP Plus trade deal that more..