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Temporary NICs for over 400,000 during elections

Nov 26 (Island) Temporary identity cards were issued to 400,039 voters who did not have a valid identification document, within a period of two months for the Presidential Election of January 26 this year (2010) and the Parliamentary Elections of April 8. The Registration of Persons Department sources told The Island’ that the number of eligible voters in the electoral register of 2008 which was utilized for the two elections was 14,087,776, more..

SDC hands over completed building to Education Department in Jaffna

Nov 26 (TN) Officials from the Switzerland Embassy in Colombo rushed to Jaffna Tuesday to open a school building built by Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) in Ma’ravanpulavu in Thenmaraadchi avoiding the standing instruction by Sri Lanka government to all Government and Non-government Organizations to invite its ministers and military officials to any public or ceremonial event held by them, sources in Jaffna said. The building was handed over to the more..

Arugam Bay Tourism Association organises handicraft programme for women and youth

Nov 26 (Island) The Arugam Bay Tourism Association (ABTA) organised a four-day Handicraft Programme for women and youth of Arugam Bay. The aim of the programme was twofold. While empowering community members and encouraging participants to engage in income generating activities and develop new skills, it also sought to address the issue of the lack of souvenirs for tourists visiting this popular beach town. more..

'Sri Lanka still faces challenges from outside'

Nov 26 (GDI) Sri Lanka is yet to overcome the international challenges though it has successfully over come the challenges faced locally by crushing the LTTE militarily said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. The Minister speaking to his ministerial staff after being re-appointed said that the staff of the media ministry should be vigilant about what is occurring in the national and international arena thereby to take prompt action against such elements. more..

Rajarata undergrads granted bail

Nov 26 (DN) Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri ordered the 17 university students who were arrested last month be released on bail. Mihinthalaya police arrested the students for assaulting students and damaging university properties at the Rajarata University. They were charged with forcible entrance to the examination hall and assaulting students who were sitting their semester end examinations during the protest that was being conducted against more..

Plans to set up 1,000 handicraft villages

Nov 26 (DN) The Government will set up 1,000 handicraft villages by providing infrastructure facilities. Handicraft villages will be developed to increase the economic growth, Prime Minister DM Jayaratne said. He was addressing the 'Shilpa' National Awards Ceremony for Handicrafts organized by the National Crafts Council in collaboration with the Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development Ministry at the Janakala Kendraya, Battaramulla. more..

Shangri-La objects to former Commercial property offer

Nov 26 (ST) Days after the Business Times hit the stands last Sunday with an explosive story on a deal being finalised to hand over the former Colombo Commercial Company (CCC) property located at a prime area in Colombo facing Beira Lake at Sir James Peiris Mawatha to a ’favoured’ blue chip group, a mega foreign investor is objecting to the sale on different grounds--- that a property he was offered was unfairly, more..

LLRC, next open public hearings in Trincomalee

Nov 26 (MoD) The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) will commence its next open public hearings in Trincomalee in December 2010. The commission expects to obtain views of the people in Trincomalee who have been affected by the 30 year long conflict which ended in May 2009. Meanwhile, the commission conducts its regular hearings at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo 7. The commission has scheduled to conduct the public hearings as follows: more..

SL Cadet Delegation to visit Maldives

Nov 26 (DM) The Sri Lankan Cadet Delegation including a Senior Officer and four male and female cadets will visit Maldives on the 27th of this month to participate in the Maldives National Cadet Corps Camp - XIII. This is a tour which takes place annually under the Youth Exchange Programme between SAARC Countries and courtesy of the Ministry of Defence. The delegation will stay in Maldives for 10 days from tomorrow 27 to December 08, 2010. more..

One country, two nations

Nov 26 (Economist) They look more like desperate refugees than the pampered vanguard of an organised mass colonisation. But that is how most local Tamils view the 600-odd ethnic Sinhalese who pitched up at the derelict railway station in the northern Sri Lankan town of Jaffna last month. As the new arrivals saw it, they were moving back home after a stay in the south. Now resettled in the crudest of tarpaulin shelters at Navatkuli, just outside town, more..

Garbage collection costs CMC Rs 2.1m a day

Nov 26 (DN) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) spends over Rs 2.1 million a day on garbage collection, Parliament was told yesterday. No charge is levied for the collection of garbage from houses but a tax is levied from commercial institutions, Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake said in response to a question raised by UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. The Deputy Minister said around 700 metric tonnes of garbage are collected in the CMC area per day. more..

Floods disrupt civilian life

Nov 26 (DM) The prevailing inclement weather condition has created a flood threat disrupting civilian life in many parts of the country. Thousands of families have been displaced and transport disrupted in many part of the country. More that 100 houses in Nugaduwa, Bambagala, and Lunuwilawatta areas had gone under water due to the torrential rains experienced in Galle from Wednesday evening to midnight. The residents of the area said obstructions caused to more..

'Opposition in pathetic position'

Nov 26 (Island) Senior Minister of Human Resources D.E.W. Gunasekera yesterday told Parliament that the Opposition had come down to a "pathetic position", that all its members talk of the budget with venom, rancour, malice and jealousy. With this approach the opposition only exposed the bankruptcy of their economic strategies, the minister said. \"The UNP is ideologically impotent, the JVP blind and the TNA deaf,\" the Minister said. more..

CID takes over Galgamuwa Tusker death

Nov 26 (DM) The CID has taken over the investigations of the mysterious death of the enormous Galgamuwa Tusker that died tragically in Thambuttegama on Wednesday, DIG Jayantha Kulathilaka said. The animal died while being transported in a Wildlife Department tipper to a forest reserve after been captured in Galgamuwa, the CID DIG said. The Tusker is believed to have had the largest tusks for a living wild elephant in Sri Lanka. more..

Japan gives Rs 1,650 m for bridge reconstruction

Nov 26 (DN) The Japanese Government has provided a grant of Japanese Yen 1,217 million (Rs 1,650 million) to reconstruct five bridges in the Eastern Province. The infrastructure facilities, including the road network in the Eastern Province had not been adequately developed for the last 30 years due to the terrorist activities. After liberating the entire Eastern Province, the Government has accelerated the development activities in the Eastern Province more..

Waste management for Jaffna too

Nov 26 (DN) The UNDP in collaboration with the HELP-O (Human Environmental Links Progressive Organization) implemented a waste management program in Jaffna recently. The Bio Gas project (producing energy using green waste and garbage) funded by UNDP has shown tremendous success in several other cities. The HELP-O has signed an agreement with the UNDP to carry out the project in Mutthu Thammpi School in Jaffna. more..

'Conductors deliberately disable ticket machines'

Nov 26 (Island) Private bus Chief Gemunu Wijeratne alleges that some conductors of private buses deliberately disable their ticket machines for their convenience. Although some repairs are needed to the machines from time to time, there cannot be regular repairs, he says, asserting a large section of bus crews can be involved in the racket. Wijeratne was responding to a query by The Island whether he was aware of the failure of some conductors to issue tickets. more..

Harsha says CEPA vital

Nov 26 (DM) UNP yesterday stressed in Parliament the need to sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India as soon as possible despite objections by a few. UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva said this agreement should be signed in the greater interest of the country. Recently, along with MP Sajith Premadasa and Senior Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, I went to India and met External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. Minister Krishna inquired about the CEPA,” he said. more..

Navy 60th Anniversary Celebrations

Nov 26 (SLN) A media briefing on Sri Lanka Navy’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations was held at SLNS Rangalla. It was presided over by Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe. Chief of Staff of the Navy Rear Admiral DWAS Dissanayake and Directors General of the Navy too participated in it. Addressing the media personnel who were present, the Commander of the Navy stated that the historic and memorable occasion will be celebrated in an impressive and befitting manner more..

Inclement weather to continue

Nov 26 (Island) Thundershowers will develop during the afternoon and evening and spread to Western coastal areas later. The inclement weather conditions are due to the inter monsoonal rains that the country has been experiencing, Meteorological Department Duty Forecaster Ms. Damayanthi Indiketihewage said. She told The Island that the inter monsoonal rains had begun to fall a little bit later than usual. Generally the rains would hit the country from October to November. more..

Jaffna: Govt. denies allegations

Nov 26 (DM) The government yesterday denied allegations of attempts to resettle Sinhala families in the North, and requested the TNA not to make racially inflammatory remarks in this regard. Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha told parliament there was a Sinhala School in Jaffna at that time and added that the Sinhala population within the Colombo municipal area had also dwindled to 28 per cent but unfortunately none of the ministers had spoken about it. more..

Sri Lanka to drill first oil well next year

Nov 26 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka is scheduled to drill its first oil well in the north western Mannar basin in the first quarter of 2011, a senior government minister said on Thursday. Susil Premajayantha, minister of Petroleum Industries told reporters that the drilling is being handled by Indian based Cairn Lanka Private Limited. Premajayantha said the drilling will first take place in the first three lots of the Mannar basin which had completed the seismic studies. more..

Sri Lanka gets US$460mn Indian credit for railways

Nov 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka and India has inked a deal for a 416 million US dollar credit from India's export import bank to rebuild railways in the island's war-torn north, a government statement said. The president's office said the deal was signed between Nadeem Panketan, managing director of the Indian export import bank and Sri Lanka's Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera. Sri Lanka has been investing heavily to re-build roads, water supply and sanitation facilities in the north more..

Udul further remanded

Nov 26 (DM) The Colombo Chief Magistrate today further remanded the convener of Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) Udul Premaratne till December 10. The Magistrate also ordered the Cinnamon Garden Police to file a report on that date clearly indicating the offences committed by Udul Premaratne and 21 other suspects, who were alleged to have forcibly entered the premises of the Ministry of Higher Education at Ward Place on October 14. more..

Indian bank to open Jaffna branch in six weeks

Nov 26 (Island) Indian Bank, the 103-year-old public sector bank, will open its branch in Jaffna by mid-January, 2011, according to A Dhandapani, the bank’s CEO in Sri Lanka. It has obtained the necessary permission from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. "We have identified four locations in Jaffna town for our retail branch. I am going there on Friday to choose one of them. It will take about six weeks to furnish the chosen location. more..

'Those seeking political mileage want SF behind bars'

Nov 26 (Island) UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe said that former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka had an opportunity to settle his dispute with the Rajapaksas even after a military tribunal sentenced him to 30 months RI for violating procurement procedures. He revealed that he had gone to extent of meeting Gen. Fonseka at the Welikada prison to discuss the move, though he couldn’t win Gen. Fonseka’s consent to proceed. more..

Top Navy delegation here on December 9

Nov 26 (DN) A high level military delegation representing 22 countries including several Navy Commanders are expected in Sri Lanka to attend the Sri Lanka Navy Diamond Jubilee on December 9. The delegation includes high profile Navy officers from China, Russia, USA, UK, India, France, Iran, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Singapore, said Navy Commander Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe. more..

No fuel hike in the offing

Nov 26 (DM) Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha said the government would stop purchasing fuel from the global market and buy directly from friendly countries through government to government agreements. Addressing the media after assuming duties afresh at his ministry following his re-appointment he said Sri Lanka had already resumed bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia, Oman and Iran and the outcome had been encouraging. more..

Pornographic websites: Move to net violators

Nov 26 (DM) If anybody feels that their photographs or videos are uploaded to pornographic websites without their consent or without their knowledge, they can inform the police and action will be taken against those who upload them, the Children and Women’s Bureau told Court yesterday. Filing a further report before Colombo Fort Magistrate, the Children and Women’s Bureau said it had taken necessary arrangements for those who are willing to come and reveal the details. more..

Remains brought in 24 bags for testing

Nov 26 (DM) A forensic team, excavating two mass grave sites in Vallipuram, Mullaitivu, found some remains of army and navy personnel beleived to be killed by the LTTE, yesterday morning and were brought to Colombo in 24 gunny bags for further forensic investigations, police said. A senior police official said that most of the remains were powdery substance, and was believed to be human ashes and a few bone parts. Sources said that initial investigations had revealed that sixteen of the victims could be traced more..

‘We should follow Indian example of taking PM to court over corruption’

Nov 26 (Island) UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe says the success of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s take over of privatised enterprises will depend mainly on tangible measures to tackle waste, corruption and irregularities in the public sector. Profits and funds available with State-owned enterprises can be used to acquire what was sold by previous governments, Rajapakshe says. more..

Multiple visas for genuine investors

Nov 26 (DN) The Government will issue Multiple Visa for investors and businessmen provided that they can prove that they are required to visit Sri Lanka several times for investments. The Multiple Visa will be issued as an alternative to the tourist visa being issued for all immigrants. Minister Basil Rajapaksa said this Multiple Visa will only be issued after scrutinizing the recommendations given by the embassies representing the countries of these applicants. more..

Intellectuals applaud Budget 2010: Budget deficit lowest in 18 yrs

Nov 26 (DN) The 2011 Budget has been designed with long-term goals to maintain low inflation, encourage investments, reduce tax distortion, enhance private - public sector partnerships to promote economic growth, a group of intellectuals said yesterday. Central Bank Economic Research Director K D Ranasinghe said Sri Lanka today was enjoying the dividends of peace in the form of economic gains and more..

Karu accuses govt of incompetence, corruption

Nov 26 (Island) Tabling a list of 54 loss making public enterprises in parliament on Thursday, UNP Deputy Leader MP Karu Jayasuriya accused the government of incompetence, waste and corruption. MP Jayasuriya said that among the biggest loss making institutions were the Sri Lanka Ports Authority with a Rs. 101,963 million loss in 2009, the CEB Rs. 16,800 million and Ceylon Fertilizer Company Ltd. Rs. 21,258 million. more..

Rain washes out play in Sri Lanka-Windies Test

Nov 27 (AFP) No play was possible due to rain on the penultimate day of the second Test between Sri Lanka and the West Indies in Colombo on Friday. The West Indies were 165-5 in their first innings in reply to Sri Lanka's 387-9 declared on Thursday, with Carlton Baugh unbeaten on four and Dwayne Bravo on one not out. With just one day remaining, the Test is heading for a draw. The opening match of the three-Test series also ended in a draw in Galle.

Sri Lanka economic data integrity under fire

Nov 27 (LBO) A Sri Lankan economist who is also a lawmaker has queried apparent contradictions in the island\'s poverty and consumption data, adding to an ongoing debate on the integrity of the country's economic statistics. Harsha de Silva, representing Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party, said a budget speech had claimed that poverty has suddenly fallen to 7.6 percent from an earlier 15.2 percent. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 26.11.2010

More students fall victim to insecticide spray, school closed

Nov 27 (AD) 75 students of the Westhall Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in Gampola have been admitted to the Nawalapitiya hospital after they suffered from nausea, hospital sources told Ada Derana. Hospital sources said that they had fallen sick due to inhaling contaminated air. The Westhall Tamil Maha Vidyalaya in Gampola was indefinitely closed a short while ago, the Principal Mrs. Ambiha told Ada Derana. A health inspector has been dispatched to asses the situation. more..

Tamil political prisoners appeal to Hakeem

Nov 27 (DM) Tamil Political Prisoners being held at the New Magazine Prison, in a memorandum to the newly appointed Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem, had appealed to him to find a way to enlarge them on bail. In the memorandum sent on Wednesday (24), they expressed hope that there would be a just resolution to their grievances at last. The memorandum states as follows: The country has now emerged into an era of peace and prosperity after a destructive war. more..

Krishna says Indo-Sri Lanka ties not at risk over China

Nov 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's relationship with India is not at risk over expanding ties with China or other nations, India's foreign minister said on Friday. Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna is on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa, sign trade and financing deals and open two new consulates. One is in the former Tamil Tiger stronghold of Jaffna in the north and the other in southern Hambantota, more..

Sri Lanka aims to double share market cap by 2012

Nov 27 (Reuters) Sri Lanka plans to double the Colombo Stock Exchange's .CSE market capitalisation from the present $19.8 billion over the next two years by listing companies partly owned by the state, the central bank governor said on Friday. Speaking at a Reuters forum, Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that will ensure there is enough liquidity for foreign investors to take part in the Indian Ocean island nation\'s post-war economic revival via equities. more..

UNP MP Jayasekera has phone confiscated in Parliament

Nov 27 (ST) The mobile phone of UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera was confiscated in Parliament today after he attempted to play a speech made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa which he had recorded on his phone, during today’s Budget debate. Mr.Jayasekera who was participating in the debate had recorded a speech made by the President during an election rally in which he promises a Rs2,500 pay raise for public servants. more..

Indian university to open branch here- Minister

Nov 27 (DN) The Manipal University of India would be the first international university to open a branch in Sri Lanka. Discussions are underway to set up a branch in Sri Lanka by next year, said Higher Education Minister S B Dissanayake. He was addressing annual prize giving of Hanguranketha Sirimavo Bandaranaike Balika Vidyalaya. "Sri Lankan students go to the Manipal University to follow a medical degree spending Rs. 35 million. more..

Right of reply: A week to remember fallen freedom fighters

Nov 27 (LG) I refer to your article about Remembering our dead ones. Freedom Fighters’ bodies may fall but the real freedom fighters never fall. They would find freedom through defeat also. The world in common sees the events of last year as an end to the armed war in Sri Lanka. As per the system of democracy, we need to accept the genuine expressions of majority at that time and place and proceed to base our logical actions in that environment, more..

Child was abused in a Hambanthota National School

Nov 27 (LG) Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Mallika is a 43 years old mother. The 11 years old Nimanka Jayamini is her only child. She is a year 6 student at Hambanthota St Mary National School. On 21.10.2010 during the 7th period there was no teachers in her class and year six B. At that time a school boy named Nasad was injured due to collusion with an S lone pipe. Because of this incident without an inquiry the principal named Chandrasiri Palliyaguru called Mallika’s daughter more..

If you cannot protect your people, why should the sun rise on your country?

Nov 27 (GV) On 25th November, far away from my motherland, I rang Sandya Eknaligoda to ask her, How are you? Yesterday was the 300th day that her loving husband has been missing. And for all Sri Lankans, one of our best cartoonists, writers, journalists, painters and activists has been missing for 300 days. Sandya told me that a group of about 60 people met yesterday at the Temple of the Innocents with lotus flowers and more..

Reflections on the President’s Inauguration Speech

Nov 27 (DM) The State media called the President’s oaths taking ceremony, simple, dignified and elegant. Undoubtedly the latter two it certainly was, while the former was debatable. However, it would be churlish for anyone to begrudge Mahinda Rajapaksa his moment in the sun or us Sri Lankans a celebration of our democratic choice for president. Certainly presidential election 2010 was better than any of its predecessors. more..

Thou shalt label at thine own risk!

Nov 27 (DM) For years anyone who opposed a ‘negotiated settlement’ to the conflict in Sri Lanka were called ‘war-mongers’. Since most of those who argued that the LTTE should and can be militarily defeated happened to be Sinhalese and indeed Sinhala Buddhists, they were gifted the additional tags ‘chauvinist’, ‘religious supremacists/fundamentalists’, ‘bigots’ etc. Now what if these ‘bigots’ had not turned idea into ideology and not convinced a more..

‘The Dragon’ goes to India

Nov 27 (NS) The new production of veteran dramatist, actor and film director Dharmasiri Bandaranayake’s stage play Makarakshaya (The Dragon), has been selected to represent Sri Lanka in the Bharat Rang Mahotsav Theatre Festival. The festival will be held from January 8 to 22 in New Delhi, India. It is organised annually by the National School of Drama in India. Stage plays representing various countries will be staged in the festival. more..

Spend less,save more and share more

Nov 27 (DM) My dear Mahinda Aiya, Ayubowan, vanakkam, assalamu alaikkum and best wishes in the afterglow of the spectacular show of shows for your inauguration with the portrait in the background raising questions as to whether your vision for the second-term includes a promise of the sun and the moon. The theme and thrust of your inauguration message watched or heard live by millions was poverty eradication and devolution of power directly to the people more..