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Tax defaults top a whopping 194 bn

Nov 11 (DM) Taxes in default had accumulated to a whopping Rs. 194 billion by December last year, according to the annual report of the Inland Revenue Department, an amount much higher than the country’s annual budgetary allocation for the vital sectors such as health and education. In the Appropriation Bill for the 2011 budget, the government has apportioned the highest sum of Rs.214 billion for the Defence Ministry, more..

'Don’t tarnish cricketers’ image'

Nov 11 (DM) Sports Minister C.B. Ratnayake told parliament yesterday that legal action would be taken against those who had made false match fixing allegations against the Sri Lankan cricketers. Mr. Ratnayake was responding to a request by UNP front-liner Ravi Karunanayake who moved an adjournment motion on this matter. He assured that he had instructed his ministry officials to take relevant action against those behind the sinister campaign. more..

Religious leaders mull pleading for Sarath Fonseka

Nov 11 (DM) Mahanayake of the Malwatta Chapter Most Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri Sidhartha Sumangala Thera said that he would discuss with the mahanayakes of the three nikayas and the Heads of other religions in the country and make a written request to President Mahinda Rajapakse to release former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. He made these remarks when Mrs. Anoma Fonseka met him on Tuesday evening at more..

'Work for greater good of country'

Nov 11 (DN) For a nation to grow the people must have a knowledge of having worked together in the past and the will to work together in the future. We have the knowledge of having achieved great things in the past. We have the will to work together for the greater good of our country. Let us dedicate ourselves to this task with courage and wisdom, faith and love, said Chief Justice Asoka de Silva at the National Law Conference held recently at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo. more..

Another attempt to tarnish Sri Lanka's image

Nov 11 (MoD) The Media Centre for National Security in a press release yesterday said there has been another attempt to tarnish Sri Lanka's image internationally by telecasting a series of news items in Aljazeera television against the Security Forces. Full text of the media release: Aljazeera Television has been telecasting a series of news items continuously since yesterday morning quoting false allegations of Human Rights violations during more..

Suranimala brings Angelo home safely

Nov 11 (MoD) Sri Lanka Navy assisted in the rescue of the fishing boat "Angelo II" which had been reported missing for 08 days in the Southern deep seas. Sri Lanka Navy's Fast Missile Ship Suranimala located the disabled boat at a distance of 135 nautical miles south-west of Galle and towed it to the waters off the outer Galle Harbour this morning (10). Thereafter, it was handed over to another SLN Vessel T 78 which more..

'Casino opened before Bill was passed'

Nov 11 (DM) Speculation was rife as to how a casino came to be opened in a building at D.R. Wijewardene Mawatha in Colombo, days prior to the introduction of the Casino Business Regulation Bill, the UNP charged in parliament yesterday. When the Bill was taken up for debate, UNP front-liner Joseph Michael Perera alleged that there was a powerful person behind this Casino. He urged the government to reveal the name of this person in parliament. more..

Sri Lanka floods force up to 300,000 from their homes

Nov 11 (AFP) Sri Lanka sent in troops to rescue thousands of marooned residents in the capital on Thursday after the heaviest rains in 18 years flooded the capital's streets and the national parliament. Speaker Chamal Rajapakse was forced to go by boat to inspect the parliament building located on an island in a man-made lake, which can usually be accessed by road. He was expected to cancel Thursday's session. more..

Govt. makes use of adverse conditions to pass financial bills without opposition

Nov 12 (LT) While the Parliamentary complex and surrounding areas were flooded, the Members of Parliament of the government were taken to Parliament by boats and Army buffel vehicles to get 8 financial bills passed. The access road to Parliament was about 3 feet under water and the Parliament met today at 1.10 p.m. to pass financial bills to the tune of Rs.150 billion within 8 minutes and adjourned Parliament till the 16th. more..

Chinese presidential envoy to attend Sri Lankan president's inauguration ceremony

Nov 12 (Xinhua) Chinese Presidential Envoy Sang Guowei will attend the inauguration ceremony of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa next week, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday at a regular press conference. Sang, vice chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, will visit the South Asian country from Nov. 17 to 20 as a guest of President Rajapaksa. more..

'Sri Lanka's interest rates at `appropriate' level'

Nov 12 (BN) Sri Lanka’s interest rates are at an “appropriate” level, central bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said, signaling he may hold off on raising borrowing costs next week even as the economy accelerates. Inflation is within policy makers’ targets and that may reduce the risk of interest-rate changes, Cabraal, 55, said in an interview in Singapore today. Sri Lanka’s $42 billion economy, which has been performing better than policy makers had expected, more..

University unrest seems to have come to a halt

Nov 12 (LG) Is the university system in Sri Lanka in crisis? I think the answer is resounding ‘no’. Things seem to be coming back to normal with the release of 4 students who were arrested after the hooting incident at Peradeniya and 23 students who were arrested after the clash with police at the higher education ministry. The Peradeniya University was reopened last week. We have witnessed a great deal of violence and clashes in universities in 1971 and again in 1988/1989. more..

How the Chinese helped to unite Sri Lanka in the 15th century?

Nov 12 (LG) Sri Lankan Chinese relations date back to the Anuradhapura period. This has been proven without any doubt from the findings of the excavations in Anuradhapura and Sigiriya. In this long history the Chinese never got involved in the politics of the Island except in the early 15th century during Admiral Zheng He’s visit to Sri Lanka. Admiral Zang He was sent on an expedition during the Ming China. At the time it was the largest, richest and more..

193 Graduated teachers recruited to Eastern Province schools

Nov 12 (MoD) The government has already taken steps to standardize the education of the schools in eastern province. Accordingly, measures have been taken to recruit more graduate teachers for the schools for science, mathematics and English subjects while developing the infrastructure facilities of those schools. In the initial stage, 193 graduated teachers are recruited and appointed to the schools in the province and more..

Real objectives of the LLRC

Nov 12 (DM) The writer focussed on two objectives of the Commission sitting on Lessons Learnt for Reconciliation while making submissions this week. They were: people are assured an era of peace, harmony and prosperity; multi-ethnic polity undertake a journey of common goals in a spirit of co-operation, partnership and friendship. The first of the objectives needs to ensure that IDPs no longer have needs specifically related to their displacement as a priority consideration. more..

Agriculture fighting climate change

Nov 12 (SL) Early signs of climate change evident in Sri Lanka is ruining the agriculture sector, admits Head of Agro-Climatology of the Natural Resources Management Centre of the Department of Agriculture, Dr. B.V.R. Punyawardena. This will have a severe impact on the country because, as the Department of Census and Statistics reveals, nearly 70% of the Sri Lankan population is from the rural area, where many depend on agriculture as their livelihood. more..

Rosy speaks out

Nov 12 (LG) An exclusive, comprehensive interview with Sri Lanka’s main opposition UNP MP Mrs. Bernadine Rosy Senanayake, at the protest rally against the illegitimate incarceration of former Sri Lanka Army Commander (Retired) General Sarath Chandralal Fonseka, held in Los Angeles, California USA, on October 22nd 2010. Q: As you know, there are at least 2 countries in the world, that does not hold Courts Martial at times of Peace. more..

The Pinochet factor and prophetic call

Nov 12 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam and assalamu alaikkum as you prepare for your week of glory hopefully aware that worldly glories pass away and even the biggest palaces could crumble in a moment with not a single stone left upon another. While the national support base for the government seems to be still widespread despite the soaring cost of living and unemployment, the international noose appears to be tightening with growing pressure from the West and India. more..

TNA now sets the ball rolling

Nov 12 (DM) Septuagenarian TNA leader Rajavarothayham Sampanthan could not have said it better. By declaring more than once in the course of a media interview that a political solution to the ethnic issue should be within a united Sri Lanka, he has put the clock back to the pre-LTTE era, where moderate Tamil polity both had a voice and direction. Now it is for the Sinhala polity and the Sri Lankan State to take the momentum forward and also set the tone and timetable for political negotiations more..

The ‘other’ side of prison life

Nov 12 (SL) Although it is said that prisoners are treated shabbily and inhumanely in prisons, it was not so when The Sunday Leader visited the Welikada women’s ward last week. The prison premises were calm and tidy and small groups of young and middle-aged women remand prisoners were seen chatting and laughing. Although I expected a totally different atmosphere there, the seemingly cheerful faces all over made me forget that I was in the women’s ward at Welikada prison. more..

Housemaid at National Hospital alleges she was assaulted by three sons in master’s house

Nov 12 (SL) Perumal Raja Kumari (35) a mother of three who arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport on November 2 was admitted to the National Hospital in Colombo after she began staggering — suffering from blackouts, bruises, dizziness and pain in the ears. “My sister arrived at the airport carrying a bag given by an airline. She had in her possession only her passport, her identity card and the mobile phone which she took from Sri Lanka,” more..

Reconciliation: Building Paradise

Nov 12 (SL) The following is in response to an article (Sunday, October 31, 2010) on reconciliation by Anne Abayasekara, a person I hold in high regard. Hers, in turn, was a response to earlier contributions: the intention here is not to contest but to contribute towards the on-going discussion. There are several meanings attached to the word “reconcile”, ranging from “restore friendly relations” to “make someone accept the disagreeable or unwelcome”. more..

‘I am not playing politics’ – Government Agent Jaffna

Nov 12 (LG) The Tamil media of Sri Lanka was singled out and came under criticism by the Jaffna Government Agent of Jaffna, Mrs Imelda Sugumar in a statement published in the ‘Tamil Mirror’ reproduced in the ‘’ Tamil website did not refer to the very same information published in the English media. The statement published in the ‘Tamil Mirror’ did not even filter in to the Tamil Mirror’s English edition ‘Daily Mirror’. more..

Duch fort is still elegant

Nov 12 (NS) The time is 10:30 in the morning and the cloudless blue sky lies over the Jaffna Fort indicating a bright sunny day. The gentle breeze blowing across the bluish Jaffna lagoon from the end of the Mandaitivu island touches my body giving me some sort of relief from the harsh sun rays. I am inside the Jaffna Fort. Once a gruesome battle field between LTTE terrorists and Sri Lanka Security Forces, today, it stands majestically sporting severe damages caused during the war more..

Reply to PBJ against his utterance on the economy

Nov 12 (LG) Today’s Daily news reported that according to the Secretary to the Treasury PBJ the demands made by the opposition to increase the pay of the public servants and the pensioners are unreasonable and the country cannot afford their demands. PBJ’s stand on the issues raised by the opposition about the sickening quality of life of the public servants, demands scrutiny of his own conduct and stand taken by him in relation to other major issues where more..

'It looks peaceful to the outside, but it is only appearance'

Nov 12 (Iam) We popped in to the Bishop’s House on a leafy road just outside Jaffna town. The gatekeeper told us that the Bishop was in Mannar and wouldn’t be back until late in the evening. So we decided to visit St Mary’s Cathedral, built in 1789, just next door and then took a short walk to St Martin’s Seminary, where the Bishop had schooled. These charming old buildings, full of history, have thankfully survived the war. more..

Vilifying Ms Sukumar is essential to procure funds from Tamil diaspora

Nov 12 (LG) I have highlighted in these columns ad nauseum the conundrum Tamils have been facing since independence is their attitude towards fellow Tamils. Raj Jayadevan and Ms Paramasivam are bringing in outside factors to vilify Jaffna GA Imelda Sukumar and they are unable to stomach the truth as stated by the GA at LLRC. It is inconceivable that a fellow Tamil was able to gain the confidence of both the government and the public and to be holding a more..

Following the footsteps of D. A. Rajapaksa

Nov 12 (SO) On that memorable day of 20th February 1965, I congregated at our village playground in Kadurupokuna with a view to having a closer look at the revolutionary leader of Giruvaya who stormed into limelight some 14 years earlier by giving strength and meaning to the ground-breaking political cross-over made by S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike in 1951. It was at the height of electioneering in the General Election 1965 that I was able to get a glimpse of D. A. Rajapaksa more..

Parliament under water: MPs travel by Army ‘buffle’ vehicles to Parliament

Nov 12 (LeN) The army security buffle vehicles which were put aside in the Army camps as the war is over were put to good official use today (11), but for a purpose that was not linked to the Army. That purpose was to take the Parliamentary ‘army’ to Parliament. Because the roads to the Parliament was 4 1/2 feet under water, they had to be transported by these buffle army vehicles. Due to the incessant rains from yesterday night, the Diyawadane Oya had spilled over more..

Editorial : Might is right

Nov 12 (Island) Former US President George W. Bush has earned notoriety for dropping bricks. He has it off to a fine art. Like father like son, one may say. This time around he has embarrassed Britain by revealing that 'waterboarding' used in interrogating terror suspects saved British lives, because information so elicited by the CIA helped thwart terror attacks on Heathrow and Canary Wharf. 'Waterboarding' or simulated drowning is considered torture by Britain. more..

Editorial : Building bridges over troubled waters

Nov 12 (DM) It was a floody hell as torrential rain reigned. Newly carpeted main roads were turned into mini Mahavelis, motor vehicles were seen floating and in some areas which were under four feet of water people were using boats for transport as the heaviest rainstorm in 18 years hit Colombo, its suburbs and other areas in the Western and Southern Provinces. The worst hit was Colombo City with more than 440 milimetres of rain during the 24 hours up to 8.30 a.m. yesterday more..

Removed? -- Nearly 10 checkpoints remain in Colombo

Nov 12 (LB) The government announced to the applause of the business community that check points and road blocks, which have become synonymous with the city of Colombo would be removed. Initially, two main check points in Bambalapitiya and Wellawatta were removed. For a city which has more resemblance to Kabul than any modern Asian city, it strives to emulate, that was a welcome change. The news was received by some quarters with a degree of sarcasm. more..

Tourism strikes back at banks

Nov 12 (Island) A top market analyst said some big banks are approaching the tourism sector offering them various credit packages only to be turned down. A leading foreign bank in the country has also tried through one of its officials based overseas, but without success. "During the war, the tourism sector was denied credit. Their proposals were not even looked at by banking officials who refused them point blank. Foreign banks in particular were cold. But some more..

People's Bank gets AAA RAM rating

Nov 12 (LBO) RAM Ratings Lanka has assigned long- and short-term ratings of AAA and P1 to Sri Lanka's state-owned People’s Bank (PB) with a stable outlook, a statement said. "The ratings are premised on the bank’s state ownership and systemic importance as Sri Lanka’s second-largest licensed commercial bank (LCB)," it said. "The ratings are also supported by the bank’s extensive branch network." People’s Bank accounted for 19.03 percent of the industry’s assets as at end-December 2009. more..

'Wijeweera’s command centre can help bring about national reconciliation'

Nov 12 (Island) Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said that ‘Attanayaka Walauwwa’ in Ulapane, the last hideout of slain JVP leader Rohana Wijeweera, would provide a platform to promote national reconciliation. Addressing a gathering after opening a vocational and aesthetic training institute at the former ‘JVP Command Centre’ on Thursday, he said that this should have been opened on Friday to coincide with the arrest of Wijeweera on Nov. 12, 1989. more..

Stenhousemuir sign Sri Lanka Test opener Malinda Warnapura

Nov 12 (SM) Stenhousemuir have pulled off a signing coup by announcing that Sri Lankan Test player Malinda Warnapura is to be the club professional for the 2011 cricket season. The 31-year-old opening batsman has played in 14 tests and three one-day matches for Sri Lanka and will arrive at The Tryst in time for the start of the inaugural SNCL Championship campaign in April. As well as his obvious on-field abilities, Warnapura is a highly-qualified coach and more..

Lanka’s air quality ‘moderate’

Nov 12 (Island) The air quality in Sri Lanka is moderate, a report on the air quality of eight piloted cities sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and submitted at the Better Air Quality (BAQ) Conference in Suntec Singapore on Tuesday said. Sixty percent of 230 surveyed Asian cities had annual average concentrations of particulate matter (PM10) in 2008 that did not meet World Health Organization air quality interim targets and only one percent met the annual guideline. more..

'Separation of powers is the best guarantee of liberty’

Nov 12 (DM) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva spoke to the Daily Mirror on the 18th Amendment, the erosion of democracy and the allegation of him being a person with shifting loyalties. Q: If every local judicial process of appeal is exhausted by the former General Sarath Fonseka what international measures can he take? A: On this there is a severe allegation against me also, there was an optional protocol under international conventions which more..

.Offshore detention 'likely to be longer' after High Court ruling

Nov 12 (TA) Failed asylum-seekers will be given access to the judicial system after a pivotal High Court ruling. The decision lands a significant blow to Australia's offshore processing regime and that the government warns will "elongate" detention times. But in a development that will increase pressure on the government to make good on its promised Timor Solution, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said plans for a regional processing centre would not be affected by the court's decision. more..

India to build 1,000 houses for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Nov 12 (Hindu) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said a pilot project to construct 1,000 houses for IDPs, ie. Tamils, in northern and eastern Sri Lanka will begin soon. In a letter to Communist Party of India MP from Tamil Nadu P. Lingam, he said the construction of the dwelling units was part of India's commitment to build 50,000 houses for the IDPs. Besides, to revive the agricultural activities in northern Sri Lanka, India was procuring 500 tractors and more..

Sayura rescues Supuni in the Eastern deep Seas

Nov 12 (SLN) Sri Lanka Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel SLNS Sayura assisted the fishing boat “Supuni 3” in distress in the Eastern deep seas in the early hours today (11). A crew member who was critically ill due to cut injuries was treated by the Naval medical personnel on board Sayura and he was transferred to the Trincomalee Base Hospital for further treatment. “Supuni 3” with five crew members on board had left for fishing from Dondra more..

Gold biscuits worth 17 million detected at KIA

Nov 12 (DM) A person, holding dual citizenship in Sri Lanka and India, was arrested in the early hours of yesterday by the Customs and Airport Security Services while was attempting to smuggle out 32 gold biscuits worth over 17 millions rupees to Singapore. Out of the 32 biscuits, weighing 3.7 kilos, 11 had been hidden in the underwear of the suspect while the balance 21 biscuits were found hidden inside a traveling bag belonging to him, Customs Superintendent Parakrama Basnayaka revealed. more..

Imelda says she discussed Ceasefire with Gotabhaya

Nov 12 (TN) Jaffna Government Agent (GA) Imelda Sukumar said Wednesday in a meeting in Jaffna Secretariat that Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa had consented to a ceasefire when she had held talks with him in Colombo during the August 2008 SARRC Conference but Liberation Tigers had rejected the offer missing the opportunity to create a peaceful atmosphere. Commenting on Jaffna GA's latest statement, political circles in Jaffna said that more..

Sri Lanka design festival 2010 begins

Nov 12 (Demotix) The Sri Lanka Design Festival opened today with a spectacular cultural show in front of Hon. Minister of Economic Development Mr. Basil Rajapaksa and His Wife, Mrs Pushpa Rajapaksa along with many other delegates from around the world who have flown in specially for the festival which will run form the 11th to the 17th of November, 2010. This years festival will have many things to offer its guests and visitors – more..

CID summons Jaffna Traders representatives to Colombo

Nov 12 (TN) CID has summoned the representatives of Jaffna Traders Association (JTA) to Colombo to record their statements and the representatives who left to Colombo expressed fear that may have to face interrogation by CID in Colombo. Meanwhile, another leading Tamil businessman in Jaffna has been arrested by CID alleged of funding Liberation Tigers in the past, sources in Jaffna said. SLA is engaged in rounding up the prominent Tamil traders claiming that more..

Floods play havoc

Nov 12 (DN) Floods following the heaviest rains in 18 years displaced at least 200,000 people in the Western Province. Many roads in Colombo and the suburbs were inundated bringing traffic to a standstill at times and severely affecting day-to- day activities of the public. The Colombo district experienced 440.2 mm rainfall from 7.00 pm Wednesday to 7.00 am Thursday, considered as the highest since June 04, 1992 when it received a rainfall of 493.7 mm. more..

Shavendra summoned to give evidence

Nov 12 (DM) The Colombo High Court-at bar trying former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka on the White Flag case yesterday issued summons on former 58th Brigade Commander Shavendra Silva to appear before court on November 15 to give evidence. The Trial-at-bar comprising Ms. Deepali Wijesundara (President), W. M. P. B. Warawewa and M. S. Razeen issued summons on Major General Silva who is one of the main prosecution witnesses in the case, more..

CEB can’t foretell power disruptions

Nov 12 (DM) The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday said it was immediately unable to say if further power interruptions would occur after power was knocked off in several areas yesterday due to four primary substations in the Colombo area going under water. A CEB source said the substations in Grandpass, Mattakkuliya, Colombo 7 and Maradana were switched off on Wednesday night and that it’s difficult to say if the power lines in the Colombo area would be disconnected again. more..

Over 100,000 flood victims in Colombo: Highest rainfall in 18 yrs, rains to continue

Nov 12 (Island) Heavy rains lashed Colombo from 8.00 p.m. on Wednesday till yesterday morning hampering all day-to-day activities and affecting over 100,000 people in Colombo city. Vehicular traffic came to a standstill due to a number of roads leading to the city being flooded. Electricity supply was disrupted in some parts as CEB substations were submerged. Schools were closed due to the low student turn out while office workers were stranded all round in the city. more..

Parliament: They came, they sat, they went

Nov 12 (Island) Parliament yesterday had a symbolical sitting, which lasted less than ten minutes as the ground floor of the Parliamentary complex was flooded due to the heavy overnight downpour. The offices on that floor including that of the Sergeant At Arms, the reception areas and the library were under three feet of water and the Diyawanna Oya had reached spill level at several points. more..