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India, Sri Lanka to sign agreement on ferry service soon

Nov 11 (PTI) India and Sri Lanka would soon sign an agreement to commence ferry service between Tamil Nadu and the island nation, a step towards promoting tourism between the two countries. "The proposal would go to the Cabinet soon for approval and after that Memorandum of Understanding can be signed for the same," a shipping ministry official said. The ferry service would be from Tuticorin in Tamil Naduto Colombo in Sri Lanka and Rameswaram to Thalaimannar, respectively. more..

A mass kiribath to serve 65000 people

Nov 11 (GDI) People of this country will have a rare opportunity to witness and taste the largest Kiribath prepared by our well known chefs in the country. This will be a show on the first day of the Novel Exhibition and Ceremonies held at Independent Square on 17th instant when the grand ceremony is declared open by the Head of State President Mahinda Rajapaksa at 7.00 pm on that day. This novel exhibition and ceremonies has been organized by more..

Govt: Don’t talk about SF

Nov 11 (SL) A senior government minister called on opposition parliamentarians not to make comments to the media after visiting former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka in his prison cell and denied providing special facilities for him. Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation Minister D.E.W. Gunasekara has told parliament that such comments could place him in a difficult situation. more..

Who will receive grants from ‘Democracy Fund’ to propagate ‘UN values’?

Nov 11 (Island) The UN Democracy Fund or UNDEF, is offering fresh funding for NGOs to promote the rule of law and human rights, media and democracy among six areas earmarked for financial support for 2011. The Sri Lankan NGOs are among those expected to apply for grants which may go up to as much as $ 500,000 per project for a duration of two years. According to the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Colombo ‘civil society organisations’ could submit their project proposals on-line from Nov 15 to Dec. 31, 2010. more..

Indo-Lanka Coast Guard Chiefs meet

Nov 11 (DM) The curbing of drug trafficking through the Indian Ocean took the centre stage at discussions between visiting Indian Coast Guard Deputy Director General V.S.R Moorthi and his Sri Lankan counterpart Rear Admiral Daya Dharmapriya yesterday. During his stay in the country, Moorthi is also due to meet top ranking officers of the Sri Lankan Navy, representatives from the Fisheries Ministry, Police Narcotics Bureau and the Sri Lanka Customs mainly to discuss more..

Mother of Sri Lankan worker facing Saudi death sentence speaks to WSWS

Nov 11 (wsws) Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court recently confirmed a death sentence imposed on Rizana Nafeek, a young Sri Lankan domestic servant. Nafeek left her village in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province in May 2005, at the age of 17. Her job agent persuaded her to alter her age in order to be eligible for employment. Just two weeks later, she was charged with murdering the four-month-old son of the family who employed her as a maid. more..

Sri Lanka Navy assists in the Repatriation of Rescued Indian Fishermen

Nov 11 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the repatriation of eleven (11) Indian fishermen yesterday (09). The fishermen and their trawlers were handed over to the Indian Coast Guard Ship Avvaiyyar in the waters off Kachchativu by Sri Lanka Navy’s Fast Attack Craft P 465 and P 483. The repatriation reflects the close cooperation that exists between the two neighbouring Navies. Speedy action to dispatch the rescued Indian fishermen and their trawlers was undertaken on more..

Seminar against Student Oppression

Nov 11 (LT) A seminar organized by the Inter University Students' Union (IUSF) on 'Students Oppression and Democracy in the Country' was held at Jayawardene Centre yesterday. Representatives of many political parties expressed their views at this seminar. Among them were Messrs Mangala Samaraweera of UNP, Vijitha Herath of JVP, Wickramabahu Karunaratne of NLP, Mano Ganeshan of DPP, Ratan Kumarasinghem, Educational Secretary of NLP, Sumathipala Manawadu, more..

Sri Lanka estate workers get Indian aid for homes

Nov 11 (LBO) India will build 5,000 homes for workers on Sri Lanka's plantations in the central hills which are a key sector of the island economy. Indian High Commissioner Ashok Kantha announced the stepping up of Indian assistance for people in the hill country during a recent visit to the area, it said. The Indian government will build 5,000 new housing units for estate workers as part of a larger commitment for construction of 50,000 houses mainly for more..

Church collects entries for upcoming filmfest

Nov 11 (UCAN) A Catholic priest worries about the scarcity of quality films and soap operas to be awarded at a Church-run film festival in Sri Lanka. “We are struggling to find life-navigating shows and movies in our country,” said Father Benedict Joseph, national director of Social Communication and director of SIGNIS-Sri Lanka. “We find very few films to be awarded because of the commercialized industry,” he added. more..

Sajith halts his independent campaign and joins the ‘Grama charika’

Nov 11 (LeN) Hambantota District UNP MP Sajith Premadasa who launched a village development program ‘sasunata aruna’ two days prior to the UNP ‘grama charika’ program and did not take part in the grama charika, has expressed his desire to participate in the grama charika program which is to be held at the Kundasale electorate on the 20th and 21st of this month. UNP Gen. Secretary Tissa Attanayake stated that Sajith Premadasa has agreed to work for both programs, more..

Four top garment manufacturers planning to open factories in Northern Sri Lanka

Nov 11 (TC) Hobbled by the loss of GSP+ and rising costs, top garment manufacturers are moving north to gain an edge with lower labour costs and fast tracking development in the process. Brandix Limited, Hidramani Limited, Timex Garments Limited, MAS Holdings and Omega Line Limited are some of the companies keen on investing in the north. The officials of leading garment factories who are willing to set up their factories in more..

Uthuru Wasanthaya

Nov 11 (LG) My recent 10 day (25.10 - 3.11,2010) business trip to Jaffna was to take up the challenge of investment in my homeland. It was quite apart from my previous holiday visits. I returned to UK after a grueling schedule of meetings, discourses and form filling with officialdom which though daunting, was productive in that I was able to set up plans for The Consie Cherubim Centre for Women in heartland Jaffna. Everywhere I went I found delays and obstructions from bureaucrats, more..

Lanka Logistics & Procurement of Arms

Nov 11 (LG) Procurement specialist has defined the meaning of the word Procurement as: “To procure any goods, works or services using the best (contract) conditions available to procure a cost effective product or a project”. But, unfortunately in Sri Lanka, most people who engaged in procuring works, goods & services has very little knowledge about the above definition, and look for various means of making a good commission for themselves, more..

Sangakkara backs spinners to succeed

Nov 11 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has backed his spinners to succeed in the upcoming three-Test series against West Indies that begins in Galle on November 15. Sri Lanka will be playing their first full Test series after the retirement of Muttiah Muralitharan but Sangakkara, while admitting that winning Tests without Murali would be tough, said the current attack comprising Rangana Herath, Ajantha Mendis and Suraj Randiv more..

Eurosport bag Sri Lanka-West Indies rights

Nov 11 (CI) British Eurosport has secured the UK rights to the Test series between Sri Lanka and West Indies which gets underway on Monday, November 15. In a deal with Zee Network Europe, British Eurosport will have live coverage of the three-Test series as well as five one-day internationals and a one-off Twenty20 match throughout November and December. The West Indies Tour of Sri Lanka follows the channel's broadcast of the ongoing series between Pakistan and South Africa more..

A must, must: Politiccas at any show

Nov 11 (DM) Ceremonies to celebrate a religious occasion, a public event or an achievement–by an individual, a team or a country are as old as the hills. Depending on the nature of the event, ceremonies can be held on a small scale, a medium scale or on a mega scale. Small and medium scale ceremonies are common place: usually, they are low-profile private ones involving families and small groups of people. Mega celebrations open to the public are another matter. more..

'Politicians must not repeat mistakes of the first half century after independence'

Nov 11 (TC) In looking at the question of national integration, which should be our principal goal now that we have eliminated terrorism from at least Sri Lankan shores, we need to begin by considering the factors that so nearly caused disintegration. Firstly there was the sustained neglect of areas in which minorities lived. This was not particularly targeted at the minorities, since Sri Lanka suffered for more than 50 years after independence from more..

Why the Govt should not run enterprises

Nov 11 (DM) The current administration unlike any other previous regimes has made a conscious effort to extend its dominance in many economic spheres. All governments, in the last 25 years have in many forms tried their hand in running economic enterprises. Overall,it has been a terrible experience. The general thinking worldwide nowadays is that government should not run commercial enterprises, no matter whether they are profit-making or not, and the government should only more..

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith opposes continuing the emergency in peacetime

Nov 11 (DM) On 9th Nov, the government passed the continuation of the emergency regulations for a further month by 125 votes to 11. The outcome of the vote was never in doubt for a government, that if it so desired could muster a two-thirds majority in the legislative chamber. Catholic Christian leaders oppose emergency in peace time. However, a few days earlier Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, argued against and opposed the continuation of emergency rule in Sri Lanka, more..

Heavy fees incense travel agents

Nov 11 (LB) Travel agents warn that they will not promote Sri Lanka tourism any more as new regulations have resulted in imposition of heavy fees on them. Travel agents are aghast over Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) moves for amending the travel agents code and requesting them to register with SLTDA, where an agency should have a paid up capital of not less than Rs 1,000,000 on the date of application for registration more..

32 Sinhala families allowed to settled in Naavatkuzhi in Jaffna

Nov 11 (TN) Government authorities hurriedly took 32 Sinhala families claiming resettlement in Jaffna to the housing scheme in Naavatkuzhi area where they were allowed to erect temporary dwellings in lands claimed as government property. The Tamils who inhabit these areas since ancient times say the said lands belong to them. The Tamil families living in the housing scheme expressed fear that the Sinhala families may encroach into their houses in the future, more..

SLA, police protection to Jaffna GA Imelda Sukumar

Nov 11 (TN) Sri Lanka Defence Ministry has ordered protection to Ms. Imelda Sukumar, Jaffna Government Agent (GA) in response to complaint made by her to the ministry of continuous threat to her life through phone calls, sources in Jaffna said. Her residence in the Old Park in front of Jaffna Government Secretariat is being guarded by SLA from Wednesday morning while her office is provided with police protection, the sources added. more..

'I waited till the last moment to verify white flag incident'

Nov 11 (NF) Providing evidence before the High Court yesterday, the editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper Frederica Jansz said that she waited until the last moment to verify alleged white flag incident from Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, as she felt objections may be raised by the government, if the information had come to light. She made this statement responding to a question raised by defense counsel Attorney at Law Lalin Laduwahetti, more..

Editorial : Of that small issue

Nov 11 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to have taken a leaf out of the book of each of his predecessors. He has got JRJ's cunning, Premadasa's populism, Chandrika's profligacy and Wijetunga's brand of patriotism. These traits are amply reflected in his style of governance. His government may be given the credit for undertaking development projects which will benefit the country in the long run, but sadly it also allocates funds for harebrained projects more..

Editorial : To be wealthy and wise, we must be healthy

Nov 11 (DM) Hundreds or thousands of public service nurses belonging to the government nurses association launched a one-day strike yesterday causing serious problems for patients in hospitals all over the country. The GMOA, comprising 15,000 doctors and believed to be the biggest, most powerful trade union in Asia also warned this week it would take tough action if a salary increase of Rs.11,000 a month was not given to public service doctors more..

Sri Lanka in new campaign to promote tea

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's tea industry will launch a marketing campaign to promote Ceylon tea next year with funds from a new export tax on exports. The levy of 3.50 rupees a kilo that came into effect in November will raise about a billion rupees or 10 million US dollars a year, its director - promotions Hasitha De Alwis said. The island exports about 300 million kilos of tea, its main export commodity, a year. more..

Sri Lanka state lender chases investment banking business

Nov 11 (LBO) Sri Lanka's state-run Bank of Ceylon has beefed up its investment banking unit and is looking to win new business as the government is planning to sell down commercial enterprises in the stock market, a top official said. "The investing banking division will engage in equity participation, mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory, private equity the full gamut of capital markets," chairman Gamini Wickramasinghe said. more..

New bill proposed to stop Animal Cruelty

Nov 11 (LB) A petition urging the Government of Sri Lanka to enact the Animal Welfare Bill is being circulated in print format and online. The petitioners point out that the existing Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance, No.13 of 1907, is outdated and is incapable to deal with present ground realities. LAKBIMAnEWS spoke to several prominent environmentalists and animal rights activists to get their opinion on the proposed Animal Welfare Bill and the need to more..

UNP, JVP agitation for higher pay: Opposition demands unreal

Nov 11 (DN) The Government will be hard put to meet its development goals in this post war era if it is to accede to the unreasonable wage hike demanded by the joint opposition in the upcoming budget according to Treasury Secretary Dr P B Jayasundera. The main opposition UNP was demanding a Rs 10,000 pay hike for every public servant while the JVP is asking for a Rs 8,000 increase. more..

Economic fundamentals suggest rupee should depreciate

Nov 11 (Island) Sri Lanka needs to understand the underlying causes for movements in the exchange rate and bring in effective management in order to avoid catching on the Ditch Disease which could destroy the export sector as increasing foreign currency inflows put pressure on the rupee to appreciate against the dollar. The Dutch Disease refers to the situation where short term foreign investment appreciates a country’s currency, destroying the competitiveness of more..

Officials paint bright picture for apparel industry

Nov 11 (Island) The Ambassador for the Kingdom of Netherlands in Sri Lanka Leoni Cuelenaere said despite all internal and external factors, Sri Lanka could overcome all economic and social challenges to achieve a sustainable and vibrant economic growth. "Sri Lanka has emerged from a three decades of war, which it-self was a great advantage to solve all economic and social woes to achieve vibrant growth," Cuelenaere said at the more..

Computerized ID cards in the offing

Nov 11 (LB) The Department of Registration of Persons Jagath Wijeweera has taken measures to compile data regarding all identity card holders in Sri Lanka. According to a spokesperson of the department, they have so far gathered data of over one million locals who have official ID cards. Meanwhile, the department has also taken steps to introduce a newly designed computerized version of the identity card to all official ID card holders in the future, more..

Nurses TU action a failure - Ministry: ‘Sick note’ protest flops

Nov 11 (DN) The sick note campaign launched by the Nurses Trade Union was a failure, the Health Ministry said yesterday. According to Ministry officials, the routine work of almost all hospitals were carried out throughout the day without any interruption and this type of sabotage cannot be allowed under any circumstances. Health Services Director General Dr Ajith Mendis in a special circular on Tuesday evening cancelled leave of nursing staff and more..

Govt. to set up broadcast development authority for electronic media

Nov 11 (NF) The government is planing to set up a National Broadcast Development Authority for electronic media, says the Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media W. B. Ganegala. He made this revelation while addressing a media summit held at the Kelaniya university today. The National Mass Media Summit, organized by the Department of Mass Communication at the University of Kelaniya, commenced yesterday at the social science faculty board hall. more..

Photos allege Sri Lanka massacre

Nov 11 (AJ) Al Jazeera has obtained photographs that appear to show Sri Lankan army soldiers abusing Tamil civilians in the final days of the Sri Lankan civil war. The pictures show various graphic scenes, with dead bodies blindfolded and hands bound, shot through the head and mounds of bodies on the back of a farmer's trailer. It is claimed that the photos were taken in the closing months of the country’s long-running conflict that ended 18 months ago. more..

New fund to protect children

Nov 11 (Island) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), is planning to launch a child protection fund before end November to promote awareness among the people of the importance of child protection and to guard them from being abused by various anti social forces, Chairman, NCPA, Anoma Dissanayake told The Island. "The fund which should have been implemented a decade ago never materialized and President Mahinda Rajapaksa has urged the Authority to commence its implementation," she said. more..

special security in Parliament for Budget day

Nov 11 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday announced that a special security arrangement has been put in place in Parliament in view of the budget presentation on November 22. He said that on November 18 and 19 all rest rooms and lockers will be searched ahead of the Budget day. The public gallery will be restricted to invitees only on November 22 and no handbags, mobile phones or other items will be allowed into the building. more..

Colombo flooded, rains lash island

Nov 11 (LBO) Parts of Colombo went under water as unprecedented rains lashed the island, and authorities warned residents to use public transport to avoid traffic jams amid flood warnings in other parts of the country. Many of Colombo's streets, including the approach roads to Sri Lanka's parliament was impassable as water levels rose. Colombo had been inundated with an unusual 400 millimetres of rains as ceaseless rain lashed the country overnight. more..

WPC to ban polythene decor

Nov 11 (Island) The use of polythene in the Western province for decorative purposes would be banned within the next three months, Minister Udaya Gammanpila told The Island. "Polythene used for decorative purposes during election campaigns, funerals and other special occasions will be completely banned to minimise environmental pollution," the Minister said. The Western Provincial Council was waiting for parliamentary observations on the matter, more..

Victory for asylum seekers against legal fiction

Nov 11 (ABC) The penchant of both the ALP and the Liberal Party for creating legal fiction so as to deny asylum seekers their human rights has come unstuck this morning. The High Court’s ruling that the offshore processing regime - which denies asylum seekers fairness in how their cases are assessed - is procedurally unfair represents a victory for human rights and fairness over the cruel politics of immigration to which this country has become all too accustomed in the past decade. more..

Sri Lanka blocks BBC from travelling to war commission

Nov 11 (BBC) The Sri Lankan government has again blocked BBC News from travelling to the north to attend public hearings of a commission looking into the country's civil war. The defence ministry refused to give reasons for preventing the BBC covering the story in Jaffna. Post-war northern Sri Lanka remains heavily militarised and foreigners need defence ministry permission to visit most of it. Permission is often denied. more..

Peradeniya U’grads allowed bail

Nov 11 (Island) Kandy High Court Judge Preethi Padman Surasena yesterday (10) released the four undergraduates of the Peradeniya University, held in remand, on bail. Court ordered bail to be furnished in Rs 25,000 personal each with their parents furnishing a bond to the value of Rs.50,000 each. The four students had been remanded in connection with a protest demonstration against Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayaka four months ago. more..

GNOA warns of going before ILO

Nov 11 (DM) The GNOA yesterday warned that the suppression of their right to carry out trade union action will be taken before the International Labour Organization (ILO) next week. The GNOA added that if the government did not stop intimidating the nurses they would start a continuous strike in hospitals island-wide from today (11). Mr. Rathnapriya said that if such circulars were implemented in any hospitals the Association would begin a continuous strike until more..

Govt. regrets space given for Tiger propaganda

Nov 11 (Island) LTTE proxies operating in the US have formed a ‘cabinet’ for a Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) made up of a ‘Prime Minister’, three ‘Deputy Prime Ministers’ and seven ‘Ministers’ each having their own portfolios. Led by V. Rudrakumar, who has been appointed the ‘Prime Minister’, the ‘Cabinet’ members have already begun having meetings in the US with the participation of invitees and the US media. more..

DEW proposes writing off irrecoverable taxes

Nov 11 (Island) Rehabilitation and Prisons Reform Minister D. E. W. Gunasekera yesterday proposed in Parliament that all irrecoverable taxes be written off. Participating in the debate on Default Taxes (special provisions) Bill, the Minister said that total tax in default amounted to 134 billion rupees of which income tax amounted for Rs 88 billion. "In addition to this, VAT in default amounts to 85 billion. There are so many dead taxes, obsolete taxes. more..

Interim order on Nov. 18

Nov 11 (DM) A Special Bench comprising three judges of the Court of Appeal yesterday (10) reserved for November 18 its order on interim relief to enable former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka - who is the leader of the DNA – to sit and vote in Parliament. The Bench comprised Justices R.L.Ranjith Silva, A.W.A.Salam and Upali Abeyratne. This Bench was constituted to decide on the question of issuing Interim Order with the Writ application filed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. more..

President Rajapaksa's Interview with the Times of London

Nov 11 (LG) Q: January, Sri Lankans voted for an end to division and a new era of peace and development. This victory, you said, was merely the Start. What are your greatest priorities? A: The most important is to rebuild torn among all Sri Lankan communities. This will involve the normalization of the north-resettlement of the remaining displaced persons in the next few months, the reconstruction of infrastructure, more..

GNOA says won’t be intimated by Health Ministry threats

Nov 11 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association says it will not be intimidated by the Health Ministry’s attempt to prevent yesterday’s sick note campaign by issuing a circular cancelling their leave. GNOA President Saman Ratnapriya said that they would lodge a complaint with the International Labour Organisation next Wednesday against the Ministry for violating their trade union right to protest. more..

Economic, educational collaboration, to figure in Zardari - Rajapaksa talks

Nov 11 (Island) Economic and educational collaboration would dominate Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, scheduled for later this month in Colombo, government sources said. They said that Zardari, who will be making his maiden visit to Sri Lanka,would be accompanied by a near 30-member delegation,which would include the country’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and more..