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Salute the heroes

Nov 8 (Island) Headlines, Yahaluweni, are curious identification tags. Often as not they merely hint at the story below it, enticing the reader to look deeper at the meaning behind the catchword or metaphor used. Unfortunately there are those which are often misleading and or without explanation. Take the fancy cliché of Saturday’s backpage report of how Sri Lanka’s win over Australia at a rain-soaked Sydney Cricket Ground, is achieving the ‘Final Frontier’. more..

'Bar UNP MPs from reality shows'

Nov 8 (DM) The UNP Members of the Central Provincial Council have decided to send a proposal to the party Working Committee that it is not proper for party MPs to participate in television reality shows. Sanjeeva Kaviratne, a Central Provincial Council Member from the Matale District said that the UNP central provincial council members wished to send the proposal to the party’s Working Committee. He said the decision on whether to send the proposal to the working committee more..

SLT to make proposals for Southern Highway fibre optic cable network

Nov 8 (Island) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT), majority owned by the government, will be invited to make technical and financial proposals to install a fibre optic cable network along the 126 km long southern expressway. Cabinet approved a recommendation to this effect made by the President in his capacity as Highways Minister. Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told reporters that the fibre optic cable network will facilitate a toll collection system. more..

GK assets including Ceysands Hotel sale suspended

Nov 8 (ST) The sale of all assets of the defunct Golden Key Credit Card Company including Ceysands Hotel in Aluthgama has been suspended pending the Supreme Court order on modalities of the GK Special Purpose Vehicle Company Ltd (SPV). A member of the official committee assigned to dispose GK assets told the Business Times that transfer of shares of 20 Ceylinco Companies to the SPV is now underway and the sale of shares will begin after some time. more..

Death certificates for missing people

Nov 8 (ST) Family members of hundreds of people missing as a result of terrorist or subversive activity or civil commotion for more than one year will be able to apply for death certificates under a special provisions bill to be taken up in Parliament on Tuesday. This Registration of Deaths (Temporary Provisions) Bill also enables the next of kin of members of the LTTE, including its leaders to apply for death certificates. Minister John Seneviratna who is introducing the Bill said that more..

Be specific, Lanka tells UK

Nov 8 (NS) The Sri Lankan High Commission in Britain has asked the British government to clarify the war crimes they believe was committed by the Sri Lankan government or President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Diplomatic sources said High Commissioner Nihal Jayasinghe has informed the British government to base their allegations on facts and not to make vague comments about war crimes. more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Nov 8 (ST) Sri Jayawardenapura University Vice Chancellor N.L.A. Karunaratne is one who believes that a camera never lies. So, he set up surveillance cameras at strategic locations in his campus including the library and other places where students gather. The students became aware that they were being watched only after 36 of their colleagues were suspended. They had all been identified taking part in a demonstration. The cameras showed that two students were pasting posters. more..

MPs still occupying flats

Nov 8 (DM) The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry has issued final notice for three former MPs to vacate their residences in Summit Flat making way for three other members in new Parliament to occupy them. The official who insisted on anonymity said that legal action would be taken against these former parliamentarians unless they act according to the deadline. The members who occupy these houses are former TNA MP M.K. Sivajilingam, UPFA MPs Amir Ali and Vadivel Suresh. more..

Prison workers behind attack on police?

Nov 8 (Island) A section of the Welikada prison staff is alleged to have instigated the inmates who set upon a special police squad during a search carried out at the ‘Chapel Ward’ yesterday morning. Officials say convicts had pounced on the unarmed officers shortly after they entered the complex. Among the personnel wounded in the incident were SP Ravindra Karavita, five Inspectors, six Sergeants, five Sub Inspectors and 28 constables. more..

Action committee against evictions appeals to workers

Nov 8 (wsws) The Action Committee to Defend the Right to Housing (ACDRH) has issued an appeal to all workers and young people, urging their support for the struggle to protect the homes of Colombo’s shanty dwellers. The ACDRH has also decided to launch a campaign to explain to working people the government’s plans to evict 66,000 families in central Colombo. The committee was formed in early October with the political assistance of the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). more..

Sea displaces 150 families

Nov 8 (DM) Due to heavy rains, rough seas and strong winds the seawater has inundated the area from Thaakwanagar to Kabirnagar in Muttur displacing more than 150 families. These families have been displaced due to the sea water invading the houses forcing them to take lodgings in Thakwanagar mosque and Muthur Umar Farook Vidyalayam. The flooding of the area of the Nadathiv Grama Niladari Division of Muthur from Thakwanagar to Kabirnagar have disrupted the more..

Sri Lanka among UNEP annual SEED award winners

Nov 8 (DM) Sri Lanka is among 30 winners of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) annual SEED award that honours innovative start-up ventures in countries around the world. The “Rural Enterprise Network (REN)” from Sri Lanka was placed among entries from countries like Burkina Faso, China, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. The REN aims at linking small-scale farmers to input-output markets through improved product quality, more..

'Those who want to hang can use saataka'

Nov 8 (Island) UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe says President Mahinda Rajapaksa should give a Rs. 3,500 salary increase to public servants at the forthcoming Budget 2011 scheduled to be presented in Parliament on Nov. 19. The Opposition leader says this should be the first increment followed by two increments in 2012 and 2013 amounting to Rs. 6,500. He said that people were struggling to make ends meet, though the boast of rapid development and more..

BOI workers demand 30% pay hike

Nov 8 (Island) The Apparel-Industry Labour Rights Movement (ALARM) has written to the Director-General of the Board of Investment (BOI) Jayampathy Bandaranayake to honour the promises made by his predecessor Dhammika Perera and grant the 30 percent salary increase to workers in BOI factories. At a meeting between former DG Dhammika Perera and representatives of ALARM on January 19, Perera promised that salaries of workers more..

New institute planned to train politicians

Nov 8 (DN) The Government’s attention has been directed towards establishing a separate institute to train politicians, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. He observed that in many developed countries there are similar institutes and that the need of such a body is highly felt in the country. He was addressing a ceremony to launch a Health Promotion Diploma to train health sector employees. more..

Sri Lanka unemployment lower in 2Q, but industry jobs fall: survey

Nov 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's unemployment fell to 5.4 percent of jobseekers in the second quarter of 2010, down from a peak of 6.2 percent a year earlier, but there was fall in industrial workers. The survey conducted by the statistics office includes Eastern province, but excludes the Northern Province, which emerged from a 30-year war in the second quarter of 2009. Compared to the first quarter unemployment was up from a trough of 5.0 percent. more..

Thalassaemia test a must for Muslim marriages

Nov 8 (DM) With regard to the marriages between Muslim men and women most of the Mosque heads in Kurunegala District had decided to make Thalassaemia blood test compulsory stated the Acting Head of the National Thalassaemia Centre Dr. Ashok Perera. He said that the governing body of the Panduwasnuwara Muslim Mosque stated so at a meeting to create awareness among the Muslim community of the Thalasemia disease. more..

Telecom: 95% country covered

Nov 8 (DM) Sri Lanka’s telecommunication industry has grown by a whopping 1000 percent during the last ten years covering 95 percent of the country, UNDP Country Director Douglas Keh said. The Country Director told Daily Mirror in an interview that even rural people use telecommunication facilities today in the country. “This is a very high achievement,” he said. In the human development sector, Mr. Keh said that the country had made significant strides during more..

New Sri Lankan tourism logo to be launched at WTM in London

Nov 8 (NF) Sri Lanka Tourism is scheduled to launch a new logo tomorrow at the World Travel Market (WTM) the global travel and tourism event in London with the participation of Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Deputy Minister of Tourism. Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman and Malraj Kiriella, Acting General Manager of Sri Lanka tourism are also taking part in the annual mega event taking place from November 8 to 11. more..

Prabhakaran’s mother yearns for visit by family

Nov 8 (EB) Parvathy Ammal, the ailing octogenarian mother of the slain Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, is being looked after well. M K Sivajilingam, a former TNA MP and a relative of Prabhakaran, who is looking after Parvathy with the approval of the Sri Lankan government, told Express on Sunday that he had appealed several times to her eldest son, Manoharan (63), living in Denmark, to visit her, but he had been evasive. more..

S’kanda oil refinery expansion project: Agreement with Iran likely soon

Nov 8 (Island) In the wake of Iran extending an unprecedented $ 1 billion on four-month interest free credit facility to help Sri Lanka purchase Iranian crude oil, the two countries are moving closer to an agreement on the expansion and modernisation of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. According to a feasibility study carried out, the cost of the project could come down to $ 1.3 billion from the original estimate of $ 1.4 billion more..

Roach ready for Sri Lanka challenge

Nov 9 (CI) Kemar Roach, the West Indies fast bowler, is ready to battle the tough conditions of Sri Lanka and lead his team's attack during the three-Test series. West Indies arrived for their tour on Sunday, having prepared at a training camp in Barbados, and Roach is eager to build on the promising start to his international career. He made a name for himself by roughing up Ricky Ponting during last year's tour of Australia, more..

Student monks to hand complaint to HRC

Nov 9 (AD) A decision has been made to lodge a complaint at the Human Rights Commission regarding the alleged injustices faced by the student Buddhist monks of the Sri Jayawardenapura University, Venerable Kamburupitiye Gnaneswara Thera said. The Thero, who is the Arts Faculty Students’ Union Secretary at the J’pura Universiity, stated that the complaint will be handed today morning. 17 student Buddhist monks were suspended recently due to an alleged incident more..

Sri Lanka gets World Bank loans for small business, tourism

Nov 9 (LBO) The World Bank said it will give Sri Lanka 125.4 million US dollars for three projects to support Small and Medium Enterprises, tourism and local service improvements in the former north-east war zone. "The three projects will help Sri Lanka reap maximum benefits of the peace dividend and make further progress towards becoming a Middle Income Country,” more..

Sri Lanka govt gas share sale in three months

Nov 9 (LBO) The Sri Lankan government will sell shares in a liquid petroleum gas business it acquired after buying out Shell for 63 million US dollars within three months, a senior Treasury official said. State-run Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation will fund the government buy-out of Royal Dutch Shell, B M S Batagoda, director general of the public enterprises department of the finance ministry told, our sister news website. more..

NTUC demands Rs. 9,000 Salary Hike

Nov 9 (SL) The JVP affiliated National Trade Union Center (NTUC) that called for a Rs. 8,000 salary increment for the working masses has now increased the amount to Rs. 9,000. The UNP affiliated trade unions last week called on the government for a Rs. 10,000 increase in salaries in its 2011 budget. NTUC head K.D. Lalkantha said the trade unions affiliated to the NTUC will demand the government to grant a Rs. 9,000 increase in salaries in the 2011 budget due to more..

21 Uni students released on bail, banned from protesting

Nov 9 (AD) Colombo High Court today ordered that the 21 university students who were arrested on October 14 be released on bail. The students were charged for forcibly entering the Ministry of Higher Education and damaging state property. Judge Deepali Wijesundara who considered the bail application presented on behalf of the 21 students, ordered that each suspect be released on a personal bail of Rs.20,000. more..

Sri Lanka's fight against 'wheat terrorism'

Nov 9 (BBC) A year and a half after defeating the Tamil Tiger militants, the Sri Lankan government seems to be intensifying its struggle against an unlikely enemy but one which it says is very real-wheat. In recent days it has been banning wheat products from various public institutions. Nationalistic elements of the governing coalition have gone so far as to speak of "wheat terrorism". Wheat products enjoy great popularity in Sri Lanka - more..

‘B report’ on sex education book

Nov 9 (AD) The National Child Protection Authority says that a ‘B report’ regarding the book on sex education which was reported to have been distributed to grade 6 students of a certain leading international school will be presented to the Children’s Courts at Battaramulla. The case will be handed over to the Children and Women Bureau of the police in order to carryout extensive investigations, NCPA Chairperson Anoma Dissanayake said. more..

'Half of Colombo population in shanties'

Nov 9 (AD) Approximately 75,000 families, which is half the population within the Colombo city limits are without houses and are living in shanty houses. They are living in unauthorized buildings and mostly occupy property belonging to the government, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stated. Hee said that the government treasury cant afford to relocate all 75, 000 families, as the cost for building a single unit for a family costs some Rs. 2.5 million. more..

Sri Lanka extends war commission by six months

Nov 9 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Monday extended the mandate of a commission probing the final years of a three-decade separatist conflict, which it says is a crucial mechanism for reconciliation after the end of the war in May 2009. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has resisted external pressure for an international probe into allegations that both the Tamil Tigers and the military committed war crimes in the waning months of the conflict, more..

If handed over the reins; I will make a revolutionary change – Sajith

Nov 9 (AD) If the people hand me the reins of power I’m ready to make a historic, revolutionary change and serve the country, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa said. He added that if our nation is degrading it is mainly due to the political hypocrisy. He said this addressing a gathering at the Sri Sudarshanarama Viharaya, Bopitiya. There are certain politicians who do their work from air-conditioned rooms in Colombo 7. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 08.11.2010

Care in danger; true prisons (Part 5)

Nov 9 (LG) Sudarshani Priyanka is a 31 year-old mother with one child. She resides in Baddegama. On 4 June 2010 at 8 p.m., Baddegama police brutally assaulted her and arrested her on fabricated charges. Sudarshani fainted as a result of the police beating. She was sent to remand prison with her two and eight months-old daughter. On her second day at the prison, the female prison officers told Sudarshani that she had to work although she had her young child with her. more..

Fishing communities engage – Govts could help

Nov 9 (LG) The fishing imbroglio in Palk Bay had taken a favourable turn, with the fishing communities on both sides engaging each other in a dialogue, to further mutual interests. This significant event at the end of August 2010 went largely unreported in the Indian and Sri Lankan media. This was the decision, among others, jointly taken by the fishermen of southern India and northern Sri Lanka to stop bottom trawling in the Palk Bay within one year. more..

State Complicity in Jaffna Library incident?

Nov 9 (TC) There has been considerable publicity given by the Hindu and Hindustan Times, the BBC etc to an incident at the Jaffna Library last week perpetrated by Sinhala vandals against a sensitive icon of Tamil culture. Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan state’s response has been disappointing. Its primary response, which emanated from the Presidents Secretariat was to play down the incident and to accuse a Sunday newspaper in Colombo of misreporting. more..

Emergence of a just peace can be the criterion to evaluate whether the war was just or unjust

Nov 9 (TC) It was gratifying that the argument I consistently made three years ago at the UN Human Rights Council and in every space available to me, namely that Sri Lanka’s war met the criteria of a Just War, has been made at the LLRC. There were extensive references to Hugo Grotius, but no acknowledgement that Just War doctrine definitively originated many centuries before Grotius (AD 1583-1645), with St Ambrose (c. AD 339-397), St Augustine (AD 354-430), and more..

Some say: 'all's fair in love and war' Others say, 'Go, tell that to the birds.'

Nov 9 (DM) Their day’s chore of clearing out the Wallside Restaurant kitchen and store room of vermin completed, Tommo a pussycat and Ooty an owl were sipping customary on- the- house beers while watching local news on TV. “I say, Ooty,” meeoowed Tommo drawing on his half smoked Gold Leaf. “Asking for an apology or an appeal to be pardoned is a hell of a thing to hope for, isn’t it? Besides it’s not fair.” Pussy was referring to a piece of news featured a few moments before. more..

Ranaviru Real Star Glitter in Jaffna

Nov 9 (Cimic) A majestic show of Melody coupled with Bravery was staged at Security Forces Headquarters-Jaffna (SF-J) auditorium on 5th and 6th November when the fresh round of “Ranaviru Real Star”, the most vibrant singing competition of the year was held at Palaly. Seventy five war heroes presented their talents singing on a stage put up with a setting of full military outlook and live movements of combatants. more..

Colombo facing competition from H’tota, Jaffna

Nov 9 (DM) Many development plans have been prepared for the City of Colombo from early 1900s. Yet, the city could not overcome the enormous problems that it has been experiencing for many decades and gradually aggravating to decay its physical and social environments. At the same time it could not effectively use the enormous potentials available for its future development. City authorities will have to realize that the advantageous position that Colombo enjoyed is more..

Time to look beyond petty politics for greater national good

Nov 9 (DM) Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa isn’t the first man to attempt a positive change for the city of Colombo. He is possibly one among a hundred who envisioned such change, drew up impressive plans and impressed upon the tax payers the potential that lay beyond. Sadly as he lays down the plans and marks the finer points, everyone else before him had failed. And failed miserably. It is impossible not to draw comparisons, given the faith placed on him by the tax payers to deliver the goods. more..

Lokuge cries foul over labour double standards of West

Nov 9 (NS) Low-profile Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge, who is no stranger to labour issues having at one time led the union arm of the United National Party, answers some serious allegations made against Sri Lanka this week by the International Trade Union Confederation before the World Trade Organisation in Geneva. He particularly castigates western countries for having double standards on this issue. more..

Saiva stone inscriptions in Easteren province destructed - EHAF

Nov 9 (TN) East Hindu Associations’ Federation (EHAF) has brought to the urgent attention of the Sri Lankan Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne who is also the Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs, the schemed destruction of several centuries old stone inscriptions recovered from Saiva temples in the Eastern Province declared as archaeological sites. EHAF has urged the Prime Minister in a memorandum submitted to him when he visited Batticaloa district, more..

International Floriculture Trade Fair

Nov 9 (GDI) The Minister of Agriculture of Sri Lanka Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, who was on a visit to The Netherlands on the invitation of the Dutch Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Trade Dr.Henk Bleker to attend the Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security, and Climate Change held in The Hague, inaugurated the International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) at the Expo Haarlemmermeer on 3rd November 2010 in Vijfhuizen in The Netherlands. more..

Diplomats to get a new bank account

Nov 9 (N360) Under the latest forex liberalization program Sri Lanka is planning to introduce a new Bank account for foreign diplomats and foreign nationals working in foreign Embassies here in the country. A senior Central Bank official said the new facility would be included in the upcoming foreign exchange liberalization program which the country is intending to introduce. more..

Jaffna sees true light of DEEPAVALI after thirty years

Nov 9 (Cimic) Jaffna town burnt by the flames of war in the recent past was illuminated by the light of peace, hope and prosperity on the Night of DEEPAVALI when the Security Forces-Jaffna (SF-J) joined Jaffna civilians in celebration of the festival of religious significance. Main roads in the town were lit up with many thousands of coconut oil lamps placed by the Jaffna soldiers together with city dwellers. more..

A land of wannabes

Nov 9 (SL) The colourful S.B. Dissanayake, now the Minister of Higher Education, can be counted upon to come up with a few home truths every now and then. Last Monday speaking at an official function he bemoaned the fact that Sri Lankan university students were not keen on taking up part time employment so as to be financially independent and not be a burden on parents. He pointed out the fact that when Sri Lankan students go abroad to study more..

'New visa rules a little premature'

Nov 9 (NF) "Britain and the United states could be exempt from the new visa rules of Sri Lanka, and in my opinion, it is premature to take such drastic steps,” said Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Nihal Jayasinghe this morning in London. He was expressing his views just after the opening of the Sri Lanka stand at the World Travel Market, the four-day premier global travel and tourism exhibition, more..

Economic policies and expectations

Nov 9 (NS) Being clear about government policy is as important as the policies themselves. Ambiguity, uncertainty and doubt are a hindrance to the pursuance of investment decisions. In this context, there have been some clarifications on economic policy recently. These clarifications and elaboration of the government’s policies are not necessarily sweet music to everyone’s ears. They may not be palatable to the business community. In fact, they may not be good for the economy. more..

EPF invests in power projects

Nov 9 (SL) Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) administered Rs. 850 billion EPF fund, shrouded in controversy over its investments in banking stocks in the Colombo Stock Exchange, has also invested in the mainly Chinese funded Norochcholai and Kerawalapitiya power projects and in state owned institutions such as HDFC Bank. The Norochcholai power project was subjected to alleged sabotage recently, which resulted in a fire, allegedly caused by the Chinese labourers more..