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Sri Lanka to inaugurate leader with 'biggest rice cake'

Nov 19 (BBC) Some 12,000kg of white rice, 1,500 coconuts and 300kg of cashew nuts are some of the ingredients for a very special Sri Lankan recipe. It's the world's biggest ever kiribath, or milk rice cake, a dish being cooked up by a top chef for the public. Other revelries are under way at a special exhibition in the capital. The city is lit up and pasted with posters of the man at the centre of it all, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is being re-inaugurated as president on Friday. more..

Police unhappy about jail attack probe

Nov 19 (Island) The police are unhappy about the composition of the three-member committee appointed by the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prisons, to probe a recent attack on policemen by prisoner, during a search for banned items such as narcotics and mobile phones at the Welikada Jail. High ranking Police sources said all three members of the committee were from the Prisons Department and they could not expect an impartial inquiry from such a committee. more..

JVP lorry and dummies taken in

Nov 19 (DM) A Mitsubishi Canter lorry that transported dummies of loaves of bread and coconut made of cardboard was taken into police custody yesterday at Peliyagoda, JVP MP Vijitha Herath said. The dummies were to be used at the JVP’s protest rally. He said that three persons including the driver of the lorry were also taken in. “We do not understand why it is. We lodged a complaint against the police. Initially, they were reluctant to entertain our complaint. more..

Red hat for Archbishop tomorrow

Nov 19 (DM) Archbishop Rt. Rev. Dr. Malcolm Ranjith will be among 23 other Bishops to be elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican tomorrow where they will receive their red hats. A spokesman for the Catholic Church said yesterday Cardinal Ranjith was due back in Sri Lanka on November 27 and would be accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Bandaranaike International Airport from more..

Mosquito repellent in the market soon

Nov 19 (Island) An effective mosquito repellent is to be introduced to the market. It will be manufactured under the supervision of Ms. Indra Weerasinghe, Consultant Entomologist of the Medical Research Institute, with the assistance of the Sri Jayewardenepura University. The repellent which is in the form of a spray, can be used at any time of the day. It will be manufactured using mainly plants. more..

'President’s inborn patriotism, determination helped rout terrorism'

Nov 19 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa took up the reigns of this country at a crucial period of time like Dutugemunu, Parakramabahu, Gajaba, Wijayaba and national leaders like Anagarika Dharmapala to protect country, race and religion, states, the Most venerable Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Mahanayake thero of Asgiriya, in a congradulatory message on the occasion of the swearing in of President Mahinda Rajapaksa more..

'I’ve honoured my first two promises made 5 yrs ago'

Nov 19 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said he had honoured the two promises he had made five years back while coming out of a polling booth after casting his vote at the presidentialelection in 2005. He said he had told the media that if elected he would pave the way for an honourable peace and build a new Sri Lanka. "I have fulfilled both of them during my first term," he said. more..

Sri Lankan cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga's new mission

Nov 19 (IWC) Legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Arjuna Ranatunga was in Sydney last week to talk about everything but the great game. Mr Ranatunga, who is now a member of the Opposition in Sri Lanka, met with Australian politicans of all stripes, including Balmain MP Verity Firth, as part of his attempts to highlight what he calls the breakdown of democracy in his home. He told Ms Firth widespread corruption more..

'Leaking cell roof, lack of exercise make SF ill'

Nov 19 (Island) High Court Judge Mrs. Deepali Wijesundera on Thursday (Nov. 18) said that not only General Sarath Fonseka, but all those held in prisons shouldn’t be inconvenienced. The President of the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar comprising HC Judges, M. P. B. Warawewa and M. Z. Razeen, stressed that prisoners should held in proper conditions. Judge Wijesundera was responding to Defence Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty, more..

Kadirgamar assassination: Killer used a Chinese T 85 silenced gun

Nov 19 (Island) Responding to Senior DIG Nimal Lewke’s comments on the assassination of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in August 2005, former Government Analyst Dr. Ananda Mendis said that the assassin had used a Chinese T-85 Silenced (S) weapon to assassinate the Minister. Sri Lanka’s top ballistics expert said that he had told the police of the possibility of Chinese T-85 S being used more..

'The army killed no civilians; Tigers fought in civilian clothes'

Nov 18 (Island) Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva on Thursday said that the Army had had absolutely no reason to target civilians during the last phase of the Eelam War IV on the Vanni east front. Testifying before the LLRC, the former General Officer Commanding of the Task Force I/58 Division said that there couldn’t have been any reason for indiscriminate action at a time the LTTE was clearly on the verge of collapse. more..

President celebrates like a King

'President's speech at the swearing ceremony

Nov 19 (GDI) Our first task in our rise to be among the great nations of the world,is to ensure lasting national unity and sustainable, permanent peace in our motherland, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa after the swearing in of his second term of office today (19 Nov) at the Presidential Secretariat. Out policy is one of non-alignment, he said adding, ‘we do not have enemy states or such groups or blocs. more..

Sri Lanka president sworn in, vows economic revival

Nov 19 (AFP) Sri Lanka's powerful president, Mahinda Rajapakse, vowed to turn his battle-scarred nation into the economic "wonder" of Asia as he was sworn in Friday for a second six-year term. At a ceremonial inauguration that included a march-past by thousands of troops and traditional drummers, Rajapakse said his handling of the economy would replicate his military success in defeating Tamil Tiger rebels last year. more..

Paranavitana, Mahela ensure draw on final day

Nov 20 (CI) A lacklustre post-lunch performance from West Indies, and rain clouds that once again swooped over Galle in the afternoon, ensured that Sri Lanka held on for a draw in the first Test in Galle. The visitors were stiff in the field, allowing too many easy runs and despite the fall of two wickets in the afternoon session to go with two from the morning, West Indies failed to make sufficient inroads into the Sri Lankan line-up. more..

14 Eastern Uni students suspended for a year

Nov 20 (AD) The administration board of the Eastern University Sri Lanka has decided to impose a one year suspension each on 14 students from the university. The student are said to have been suspended due to them being involved in incidents of ragging and student clashes. The decision had been taken at a meeting held by the administration of the university. Five of the 14 suspended students are said to have been involved in the ragging of a female student, more..

Foreign Couple that sympathized with Handuneneththi arrested

Nov 20 (LT) A foreign couple who is in the island on a personal visit has been arrested in Kandy by the officials of the CID. Mr Mohamed Hotet who is the President of Lebanon Youth Society and his wife have been arrested at a hotel in Kandy today. They have been taken into custody for extending sympathy on Mr Handunneththi who was attacked in Jaffna by the Intelligence Unit of the Army. more..

Sangakkara not surprised by West Indies' performance

Nov 20 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lanka captain, has said he was not surprised by the way in which West Indies dominated the drawn first Test in Galle but added the difference in bowling between the teams was an "eye-opener". West Indies, led by Chris Gayle's 333, piled up 580 before their bowlers struck to help enforce a follow-on on the hosts. Sri Lanka managed to save the Test but West Indies were also held back by the weather on the last three days. more..

Three men from Sri Lanka plead guilty to immigration charge

Nov 20 (BH) Three men from Sri Lanka were in federal court Friday facing immigration charges after authorities said they had illegally crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the U.S. Rabahan Sivakirinathan, Richard Pathinathar and Rameesh Maheswaran were arrested Tuesday by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Brownsville near the river levee and charged with illegal entry. On Friday morning, the three men went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Felix Recio, more..

Sri Lankan suppliers shrug off GSP+ impact

Nov 20 (JS) Two of Sri Lanka's most prominent manufacturing groups say they have not yet felt the effect of losing the GSP+ (generalised system of preferences) status with the EU. Speaking to just-style at the Sri Lanka Design Festival this week, two key executives both say removal of the status hasn't impacted top line sales. "Ultimately we didn't see a sudden impact on business," says Ashroff Omar, chief executive officer, Brandix Lanka more..

Marshy Land in Parliament area to be used as Water Retention Area

Nov 20 (LP) On the instruction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa urgent measures have been take for the implementation and management activities of the Greater Colombo Flood Control and Environmental Improvement Project. The tasks which fall under the project are Identification of water retention areas, control of unauthorized activities in retention areas and maintenance of the network of canals of the Greater Colombo Areas. more..

'Fonseka not given exercise equipment yet'

Nov 20 (AD) The health status of Sarath Fonseka, who is currently admitted at the Prison Hospital is highly unsatisfactory, says UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Fonseka not receiving the due exercise equipment yet, has caused his health to gravely deteriorate, he stated to the media after visiting the former Army Chief at the Prison Hospital. He further added that it is highly important to direct more attention towards the security of Sarath Fonseka.

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 19.11.2010

Nation building efforts launched under your leadership effectively derailed by ST PB Jayasundara

Nov 20 (LG) Sir, in response to your clarion call to all Lankan professionals living abroad to return and serve the motherland, we understand that Mr N Kodituwakku, the former head of the Customs Revenue Task Force who is now a solicitor practicing in the UK, returned to Sri Lanka further to a telephone interview had with you. It is known fact in the Customs circles that Mr Kodituwakku was a unique character, and more..

On Indian Foreign Minister S.M.Krishna’s visit

Nov 20 (LG) Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna is scheduled to make the much awaited visit to Sri Lanka between November 25 th and 26th. That is he is going to be the first important foreign visitor to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa soon after his inauguration into the second term of office. The inauguration itself is not going to be a mere Constitutional event this time. From all indications it is going to be accompanied by much jubilation and more..

Thousands Attend Jaffna Naga Vihara Katina Pooja

Nov 20 (Cimic) The annual Katina pooja of the historical Sri Naga Vihara in Jaffna was held on 18th and 19th November in grandeur performing a number of religious activities with patronage of Chief Incumbent Ven. Meegahajandure Gnanarathana Thero. Security Forces-Jaffna (SF-J) on guidance of Commander SF-J Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe extended its fullest support in organizing all events that got underway since 18th evening. more..

The Dough Rises And The Baker Strikes Back

Nov 20 (SL) Cheers! Bakery owners say they won’t end up with crumbs. They are setting up a committee to recommend measures to be taken if the present protests and proclamations from Big Mouths whip up the campaign now being waged by government against wheat flour consumption. One thing they will have in plenty is short eats to go with the tea they enjoy during the heated protest mustering. So soon, 2,000 bakeries have been forced to close down. more..

Sri Lanka Becoming A Gambling Paradise

Nov 20 (SL) There is little hope that Sri Lanka is on the road to become another Singapore. It still hopes to get there, but it looks like it’s trying to arrive at its destination via Las Vegas after passing the Gaming Bill on November 10. What is mind-boggling is not the legalisation of gambling, but the fact that those who burned and vandalised churches and who vehemently protested against NGOs concerned with human rights in order to protect the religion, more..

The Lionel Wendt Theatre takes centre stage

Nov 20 (ST) What would Lionel Wendt himself have made of his most enduring legacy? The exhibition spaces, the theatre and the galleries housed within the complex his dear friend Harold Peiris erected in memory of him, have lasted over half-a-century. It has afforded space to which all kinds of artistes have thronged, where painters, dancers, musicians, singers and actors have plied their trade. more..

Sri Lanka to end tax breaks for small projects

Nov 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka will stop giving tax holidays for investment projects smaller than 5.0 million US dollars to close a loophole that has drained state revenues through the import of duty free equipment, a government minister said. "Some companies that get Board of Investment approval for one or two million dollars import several million dollars worth of equipment duty free and sell," deputy economic development minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. more..

Record-breaking rice cakes, but at what cost?

Nov 20 (GV) Most performances of Dhananjaya Karunarathne’s brilliant script Last Bus Eke Kathawa (The Story of the Last Bus) are memorable not just because of the acting, but also because the audience becomes, without at first knowing it, part of the theatre. Chewing gum or boiled sweets are distributed to the audience before a performance begins. Most take one. Some take a lot. Everyone takes a bite. It is only at the dénouement of the play that more..

WANTED: Pedigreed and a nose for the job

Nov 20 (ST) Tenders have been called to import 100 more dogs of “good” breeding to further strengthen the Police Kennel Division Headquarters in Kandy. They will be trained to facilitate the renewed ‘war on drug trafficking’ in the country. The Police Kennel Division Headquarters trains kennels and kennel handlers not only for the Police islandwide, but also for the Army, Navy and Air Force. more..

TNA opposes move to appoint a Sinhala Vice-chancellor to Eastern University

Nov 20 (TN) Batticaloa district TNA MP C. Yogeswaran in a letter to Minister S.B. Dissanayake has brought to his notice that steps are being taken to appoint a Sinhala person to the post of the Vice-chancellor of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka replacing the Tamil Vice-chancellor. Tamil academics in the East are perturbed over the alleged move by the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka to appoint a Sinhala person as the Vice-chancellor of more..

China urged to respect Tamil place names

Nov 20 (TN) The thermal power plant China builds in the Puththa’lam district is located at a Tamil village called Nuraichchoalai that simply means the grove of Nurai fruit trees (Nephelium longanum). But a corrupted and Sinhalicised form Norocholai is the one followed by Chinese official records. Even the media in India, including the media in Tamil Nadu, mutilate the name joining with Sinhalese and Chinese. Norocholai has no meaning in Sinhala or Tamil. more..

TNA MPs to study present political situation

Nov 20 (TN) The TNA parliamentary group is to meet Saturday and Sunday in its party office in Colombo to study the latest development in regard to finding a political solution and to the problems now faced by Tamil people in the North and East after the war. Meanwhile, the leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan has sent a congratulatory message to Mahinda Rajapaksa who was sworn in as Sri Lanka President for second term on Friday morning. more..

Police arrest TMVP operative in Batticaloa

Nov 20 (TN) Police Intelligence officers arrested Sunday an important operative of TMVP a political-cum-paramilitary party led by Eastern Province Chief Minister, Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillayan, in Ka’ruvaakkea’ni in Batticaloa. He was arrested for involvement in the theft of a van on information given by Vadivel Ravichandran, the Vice Chairman of the Vaazhaichcheanai Pradeshiya Saba in Batticaloa who was arrested and more..

SLA intensifies surveillance on ‘outsiders’ visiting Vanni

Nov 20 (TN) Sri Lanka Army authorities in Vanni have instructed all schools and other such public institutions and organizations in their areas to inform them in advance if any political persons, representatives of volunteer organizations and NGOs from outside Vanni visiting their places. On such occasions SLA being informed beforehand sends its men to watch and record the proceedings of the meetings and events conducted or attended by the above ‘outsiders’, more..

Fitch celebrates 10 years of being on ‘top of the ratings in Sri Lanka’

Nov 20 (Island) Fitch Ratings Lanka Limited (FRL) celebrates Ten Years of being on Top of the Ratings, and continues to cover a diverse spectrum of corporate institutions and debt instruments within Sri Lanka. FRL brings Fitch Ratings’ global competencies and best practices to local credit ratings, working closely with its regional offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, and India. Fitch Ratings is one of the top three more..

Sri Lankan GPs bid farewell to 'whanau' after 20 years working in the community

Nov 20 (WC) Tony and Nan de Sylva came to Wanganui for a five-year stint and ended up staying for 20 years. But tomorrow, the two doctors will return to Sri Lanka; excited at returning home but sad to be leaving their friends and a community they say took them to heart as part of the whanau. "Wanganui is a very special place and our children loved growing up here." When asked what was the defining moment to go home, Dr Tony said: more..

Editorial : Combatants as civilians

Nov 20 (Island) Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, who led the war against the LTTE from the front, made no revelation when he told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on Thursday that the army had not targeted any civilians during the final phase of the war but the LTTE had used its combatants in civilian clothes to carry out attacks against the military. That most LTTE fighters were in civilian clothes is only too well known. more..

Docs strike over death threat

Nov 20 (DM) A group of 870 doctors including Specialists, training doctors attached to the Kandy Teaching Hospital held a protest this morning urging the authorities to provide security for them, following a death threat to a doctor. Due to the protest that lasted for over four hours the functioning of the Hospital came to a standstill, including the OPD. Following a death of a sport official during an operation at the hospital, more..

Editorial : Enter into a simple and humble lifestyle

Nov 20 (DM) Launching what is being proclaimed from political rooftops as a new era of independence, President Mahinda Rajapaksa pledged yesterday the main goal of his vision for the second term would be the eradication of poverty through the provision of jobs, basic facilities like shelter, water and electricity to people of all races and religions so as to restore their human dignity. Poverty eradication and devolution of power directly to the people were more..

Lanka should not compete with China and India

Nov 20 (Island) Sri Lanka’s export sector is still struggling to recover as it depends on traditional markets of the west. But the island nation is in close proximity to two of the fastest growing economies of the world, China and India, and needs to explore these markets fully and create access for its exports. The centre of gravity is shifting from the West to the East but 60 percent of Sri Lanka’s exports still find their way to European and US markets. more..

IMF looks towards budget

Nov 20 (Island) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the budget to be presented in Parliament later this month will be an important signal of the authorities’ willingness to continue with the fiscal reforms. IMF External Relations Department Director Caroline Atkinson, responding to reporters in Washington, said that the IMF has a programme with Sri Lanka where there has been a review concluded recently as well as some discussions. more..

16 Sri Lankan fishermen detained by Indian Coast Guard

Nov 20 (PTI) Indian Coast Guard today apprehended 16 Sri Lankan fishermen who were illegally fishing in three boats in Indian waters off Karaikal in Puducherry. "ICG ship 'Sagar' on a routine patrol off Karikal this morning sighted three Sri Lankan boats with 16 crew, who were poaching in Indian waters. These boats with the fishermen are being brough to Chennai for handing over to the police", an ICG release here said. more..

Large number of Illegal liquor dens raided

Nov 20 (DM) Panadura – Walana Anti-Vice Squad carried out raids on illegal breweries in Wennapuwa and Marawila areas and arrested four suspects and seized a large stock of illicit liquor and distilling equipment. Anti-Vice Squad carried out the raids with the help of the STF, and the Police Naval Division. They arrested one suspect and seized 102 barrels of Goda and 40 bottles of moonshine and distilling equipment during raids on five illegal breweries in the Wennappuwa area. more..

Edu. Ministry to monitor national schools

Nov 20 (Island) The Ministry of Education has taken immediate measures to address the shortcomings in national schools islandwide, a senior official of the Ministry of Education told the Island. "Nearly 50 officials have been assigned to inspect 339 national schools islandwide," Education Ministry Secretary Sunil Sirisena said. The ministry is planning to finish the whole inspection process within three months. more..

Time for Sri Lanka’s apparel industry to go for revitalization

Nov 20 (F2F) The Minister of Industrial Development and International Trade, Rizad Bathiudeen, while speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association in Colombo, recently stated that, now it is the right time for the Sri Lanka’s apparel industry to consider revitalizing its textile producing industry so as to guarantee integration of the industries. Innovation, efficient workforce, and global standing in terms of quality and more..

Allround Edwards inspires England

Nov 20 (CI) A fine allround performance from captain Charlotte Edwards helped England ease to an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 at the Nondescripts Ground in Colombo. Edwards picked up three cheap wickets as Sri Lanka were restricted to 95 for 8, and then guided England's chase with a fluent, unbeaten 48 as victory was achieved with more than four overs to spare. Sri Lanka's innings got off to a solid, if unspectacular, start before more..

JHU slams US report

Nov 20 (Island) The JHU has slammed the annual US report on religious freedom, which says that the JHU did not fare well at the last general elections. JHU spokesman Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said that the JHU was a party built on Buddhist values and the party would do whatever it took to protect the country from religious extremists who worked with sinister agendas. "We do not accept the comments on Sri Lanka made in the US State Department report. more..