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'Country cannot be developed with gambling commissions'

Nov 30 (NF) A country cannot be developed with money earned as commissions from allowing people to gamble, says K.D. Lal Kantha of the JVP. He was addressing a public meeting at Ranmuthugala, Kadawatha. “If the Central Bank report says that a family's monthly income is Rs. 17,109, and the Consumer Price Index says the amount needed for a family is Rs. 40,194 by end October, then somebody has to tell us how to manage. more..

Iran to Build a fully equipped school for Muslim Students in Kurunegala

Nov 30 (GDI) At the request of the Chif incumbent of the Padeniya Purana Rajamaha Viharaya, Ven. Katumuluwe Sumarathna Nayaka Thero, Iran has offered to build a fully equipped school for Muslim students in Kurunegala. This undertaking has been given by the Iranian Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr. Mahmoud Rahimi Gorgi at an inter-religious conference held at the auditorium of the North-Western Provincial Council during the weekend. more..

IAC wants urgent measures

Nov 30 (NN) The Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) appointed to facilitate the implementation of the Interim Communication of the LLRC, has decided to request the relevant agencies of the State to take immediate measures to implement the interim recommendations of the LLRC as best as they could. The IAC had its initial session under the Chairmanship of Attorney-General Mohan Pieris last week and gave careful consideration to the interim recommendations. more..

CA to hear Sarath Fonseka's petition against 1st court martial

Nov 30 (NF) The Court of Appeal today decided to hear the Writ Application filed by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka challenging the findings of the First Court Martial. The Bench comprised justices Ms. Rohini Marasinghe and Upali Aberatne. Notice was issued on the respondents, Army Commander, the three judges of the first court martial, the judge advocate, returnable on December 17. more..

Ridding the cobs out of Dayan’s webs

Nov 30 (LG) This guy is a genius only second to GLP, the professori in manufacturing lies and spinning yarns out of them. He is also the court jester masquerading as a patriot and even President Rajapakse would cringe at his obvious bending-over-backwards technique to ingratiate himself into the President’s favours. So far, the President is not yielding but Dayan lives in serendipitous hope of securing the DPL posting promised to him. more..

Caught between the Government and the Media?

Nov 30 (LG) I refer to your communication dated 26 November, regarding your current activities. Your communication was forwarded to me by a fellow Australian Tamil. Your communication starts with the message that your current incarnation is through NERDO – the first one being to structure LTTE and the second to save your people. Your communication ends with the message that you are squeezed between the ‘Government Machinery’ and your Criticizers. more..

President Rajapaksa must be safeguarded from servile sycophants

Nov 30 (TC) The government, having sliced off large tracts of opposition MPs, represents most every party in Parliament other than the ITAK. Mahinda Rajapaksa purchased the purchasable MP’s from the UNP, the reliable and regular supplier to the government of MPs’ as the need arises. It’s an eternal spring that does not appear to run dry with Ranil Wickremasinghe being the source of the running water that needs no tapping. more..

Reflections on hope and on despair

Nov 30 (LG) When a faded woman in a tattered saree looks at you with hope still in her eyes and asks if you can find out what happened to her husband who had gone with his cousin to buy some masonry items and had disappeared after being stopped at a checkpoint in a junction in Trincomalee on April 4 2007, there is a sense of deep frustration and hopelessness at the inability to respond. The hopelessness comes not from the fact of the disappearance but rather from the fact that more..

White House debunks Sri Lankan diplomat’s story of meeting with President Obama

Nov 30 (LG) In addition to making false claims about a ‘meeting’ with the US President, a Sri Lankan diplomat appears to have violated US campaign laws by helping raise funds for a political candidate. Ending speculation about Sri Lankan Consul General Jeff Goonewardena’s ‘meeting’ with President Barack Obama, the White House has flatly refuted the diplomat’s claim, while Senator Barbara Boxer’s staff is preparing to return the funds he raised for her campaign, more..

'Western powers continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka with ulterior motive'

Nov 30 (LB) Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera was of the view that the Unites States led so-called western powers would continue to exert pressure on Sri Lanka with all kinds of allegations ranging from war crimes to human rights abuses. He said this would be done as the US-led western powers are only too aware of the close links maintained by both India and China with Sri Lanka. Dr. Amarasekera opined that the US will not veer from their stance knowing that more..

A school for the under-schooled

Nov 30 (DM) In the context of complicated modern day politics it is reasonable to expect political leaders to be educated. And, it appears that the majority of those who sit in parliaments around the world are academically qualified with many holding university degrees. A similar situation is seen in this country where in addition to a considerable number of graduates, lawyers sit in Parliament. (Honorary degree holders are not considered as more..

Filling bellies and empty pockets

Nov 30 (DM) Historically, the ‘have-nots’ at the lower-ends of middle-classness were always concerned with a bothersome subject–the cost of living. They spoke about it day and night because living costs hit them at every turn from eating and drinking to meeting the myriads of needs in bringing up children. (Strangely enough it seems that the ‘have-nots’ have more children than the ‘haves’. A visit to a poorer quarter of the city will enlighten anyone on that premise.) more..

Sailor missing following port ceremony

Nov 30 (ST) A crewmember on board a vessel that participated in the ceremonial opening of the Port in Hambantota on November 19 has gone missing without a trace and feared dead, according to officials. Director General Merchant Shipping, A.W.H.S.S.R. Weerakoon told the Sunday Times that Electrical Engineer Nimal Caldera was reported missing from the ‘Seruwila’, during a roll call of the crew on November 20, in the South Indian port of Cochin, more..

Serious thought needs to be given to the issue of political power-sharing

Nov 30 (TC) The most significant political achievement of President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his tenure as President of Sri Lanka (since 2005) has been the indubitable and unprecedented leadership he gave to ensure the defeat of the LTTE terrorist group. It was a most significant and commendable achievement, and while there were many others who contributed to this in large measure, the armed conflict could not have been successfully concluded in the absence of more..

The battle to be the chief opponent

Nov 30 (SL) He came, he conquered and he has now settled down to rule happily ever after. By all accounts, the President is a happy man with at least six years to go without a care in the world. With the opposition decimated, there is nothing to stop him from doing as he pleases with a two-thirds majority in the bank to rubber stamp all that he wishes to pass into law. While theoretically this might be the case on paper, there is a slight chance that life can become a more..

Pray for my new mission, Card Ranjith tells Sri Lanka faithful

Nov 30 (AN) A festive crowd welcomed Mgr Malcolm Ranjith home on Saturday, fresh from his appointment as cardinal. Waving flags and beating drums, people shouted “Hail! Long live our cardinal.” Upon arrival, the prelate went straight to Our Lady of Lanka, in Tewatta (Ragawa), for a prayer of remembrance in honour of Mgr Cooray, Sri Lanka’s first cardinal. After the brief ceremony, he blessed more than 3,000 people, Catholics and non-Catholics, more..

How to become an instant traitor in the Tamil World

Nov 30 (TC) I still remember that day clearly, Mr.Makendraraja allies Mathiah, the second leader of LTTE was visiting Thampalagamam; which is my native village in 1990. The people honoured and welcomed him with the traditional Hindu ritual at each and every house. I also placed a Pottu (Round mark on the forehead) on his forehead in front of my house when cour turn came. I was 14 years old when this was happening. I never heard about Tamil Nationalism and Liberation struggle or more..

Malinga saga -- nation or sensation

Nov 30 (ST) Goldilocks is the heart-throb of the new millennium. Not only with his naughty boyish looks, but, also with his sling arm express deliveries Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga has proved that he is the next generation of International Class fast bowler that Sri Lankan possesses. Right at this moment Lankan cricket is at crossroads. Faithful servants over one and a half decades – Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas - who really opened the doors for Sri Lanka to more..

Gargantuan cabinet but quality ZERO

Nov 30 (LB) Last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a gargantuan cabinet ostensibly to assist him in governing the country in his second term. The number of cabinet Ministers stood at 61, as of yesterday, including ten senior cabinet ministers. There were 31 deputy ministers on Monday when the cabinet was sworn in and three more were added later in the week when Sarath Kumara Gunaratna, Vijaya Dahanayake and Neomal Perera were appointed as deputy ministers. more..

Editorial : Reaffirming solidarity

Nov 30 (Island) President Mahinda Rajapaksa's second term has started off with a bang; the last few days have seen a flurry of diplomatic activity. No sooner had Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna come here to discuss bilateral matters and open Indian consulates in Hambantota and Jaffna than Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Colombo on a four-day visit. The timing of the two dignitaries' visits was such that the Opposition is likely to accuse more..

Editorial : Towards religious unity in diversity

Nov 30 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his 2011 budget speech outlined the vision and goals to make Sri Lanka not just a model for a small developing country but to transform it into one of the foremost countries in the world. To achieve this mission or reach this mountain top experience, one vital dimension is religious unity in diversity through an inner spirituality that brings about a gradual liberation from our slavery to self-centeredness, more..

'Look east, to counter strengthening rupee'

Nov 30 (Island) Exporters are concerned about the appreciating rupee but the IMF resident representative in Sri Lanka said emerging opportunities in Asian markets would make up for the strengthening rupee but this would entail hard work. Elected for a second term, National Chamber of Exporters President Sarath De Silva was optimistic the export sector would become a US$ 20 billion income earner ‘in the quickest possible time’ but more..

Sri Lanka commodity export tax seen hitting grower income

Nov 30 (LBO) An increase in tax on Sri Lanka's bulk tea exports is likely to reduce prices paid by buyers although it had no immediate impact owing to prevailing strong demand, brokers said. Last week, the government in its 2011 budget presented to parliament, said it raised taxes on exports of bulk tea and raw rubber amid global commodity boom, under the claim that is was to 'encourage value addition.' The discriminatory penal tax on more..

SLIC seek consultants to build a 5 star hotel

Nov 30 (N360) Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation has called on expression of interest from Architectural institute to provide a consortium of services to build a 5 star hotel in Hambantota. An advertisement by SLIC published in weekend news papers informed that the interested parties should be able to provide services relating to construction, architectural design, Structural project management and Quantity Surveying etc. more..

'Political solution close at hand'

Nov 30 (Island) Minister Douglas Devananda that a political solution for the Tamils could be expected very soon. He was speaking at a ceremony in Kilinochchi to mark the commencement of the rehabilitation work on the A-9 road. The work on the massive project ceremonimously commenced with the unveiling of the plaque by Namal Rajapaksa, MP. Devananda said that the rehabilitation of the A-9 road, was like opening the gate to heaven for the people of the North. more..

Regional development initiatives to double GDP

Nov 30 (Island) The government was planning to double the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) within the next six years by fast tracking regional economic development initiatives. Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Development Nihal Somaweera said: "The government is planning to increase Sri Lanka’s per capita income up to US$ 4,000 by 2016. The current income of a person per annum is US$ 2,000. more..

Sri Lanka SEC extends margin deadline

Nov 30 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Securities and Exchange Commission has extended a deadline to cut credit given by brokers to their clients by six months to June 2011, with half the credit to be cut down by March 2011. The SEC said it had decided to extend the December deadline following representations from market participants. Sri Lanka's stocks had gained 120 percent by September partly helped by margin buying and also purchases by a state run pension fund. more..

Sri Lanka’s unemployment percentage 5.1 percent

Nov 30 (DN) The unemployment rate has dropped significantly during the past few years, said Labour and Labour Relations Minister Gamini Lokuge in Parliament yesterday. The Government has implemented an employment creation and promotion program, a rural employment project to promote self-employment and a micro finance program islandwide to minimize the percentage of unemployed persons, the Minister said. more..

Fire in Kiribathgoda brought under control

Nov 30 (DM) A fire which broke out at a private bank in Kiribathgoda was brought under control by the Colombo Fire Brigade yesterday morning. The bank located on the second floor of the building in front of the Kiribathgoda Police Station has sustained extensive damage the Colombo Fire Brigade said. The fire was reported around 5am yesterday morning and three Fire Brigade vehicles were rushed to the area to bring the fire under control, the Colombo Fire Brigade said. more..

'Expedite shipping service to Colombo'

Nov 30 (Hindu) The MADITSSIA has urged the Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan to expedite shipping operations to Colombo.'A delegation led by its president N. Somasundaram accompanied by the Member of Parliament from Dindigul, N.S.V. Chitthan, met the Union Minister and presented him the pre-Budget memorandum for 2011. The association said that ferry and cargo services between Tuticorin and Colombo would benefit the small and medium enterprises. more..

Akasa Kusum named best film

Nov 30 (UCAN) SIGNIS-Sri Lanka has selected ‘Akasa Kusum’(Flowers of the Sky) as the best Sri Lankan creative film of 2009. Archbishop Joseph Spiteri, the Apostolic Nuncio to Sri Lanka, joined a large crowd of church people, film stars, film makers and well-wishers at the BMICH for the Nov. 26 SIGNIS awards ceremony. Akasa Kusum, which made its world premiere at the Pusan International Film Festival in October 2008, has won numerous awards at various festivals. more..

Sri Lanka: Squandering the peace

Nov 30 (ER) More than a year after the decisive defeat of the LTTE, the opportunities to deliver a peace dividend to all citizens, and of striking a dramatic new course to secure an equitable future for all communities have largely been lost to a polarized politics and the pursuit of personal political agendas. Nevertheless, the peace has held, and at least some of the more urgent aspects of post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation have been addressed with a modicum of efficiency. more..

Drug Policy from next year

Nov 30 (DN) The National Drug Policy will be implemented with the assistance of specialist doctors and professionals though illicit drug dealers will do their best to halt implementing it. A National Committee will be appointed to formulate the initial draft by next January, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said. Minister Sirisena said that illicit drug dealers and drug mafia agents will try their best to prevent the National Drug Policy coming into operation. more..

'Opportunity to build stable and durable peace'

Nov 30 (DM) Judge C.G. Weeramantry said while addressing the LLRC that the country had the opportunity to build stable and durable peace after a long devastating war. He said that peace education was necessary to rebuild the country. “It is the best means available to us to resort to goodwill and harmony in the community,” he said. He said island wide services for counselling and psychological assistance to more..

Sri Lanka connection key as ethnic war fears grow

Nov 30 (DT) With one thousand refugees fleeing fighting in eastern Myanmar into Thailand’s Tak Province over the weekend, fears are growing about renewed war in eastern Myanmar and elsewhere in the ethnic minority-populated borderlands close to Thailand, India and China. Several deadlines for ethnic militia, such as the 30,000 strong United Wa State Army (UWSA), to join the Border Guard Force have expired, amid speculation that more..

President reaffirms support for Palestine

Nov 30 (AV) On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, marked Nov. 29, President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a statement reiterating his commitment to Palestine, its people and “its efforts to bring justice and due international recognition to the rights of the Palestinian people,” according to the government information department. The president’s message was issued on the occasion of a photographic exhibition that more..

Lankan killed in UK robbery attack: Daughter sees attack on CCTV

Nov 30 (DM) A girl of 14 told last night how she found her father collapsed in a pool of blood after she and her 13-year-old brother had watched on CCTV as a gang allegedly attacked him in his shop before stabbing him to death. Methusa Tharmaseelan, who was in the family’s flat upstairs, saw the thugs allegedly chasing her father Suppiah around the convenience store and hitting him. She then ran down to find him at the foot of the stairs. more..

Hakeem wants Easterners given equal treatment as Northerners

Nov 30 (Island) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader, Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem, told the visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna that the people of the Eastern Province should be given the same assistance as their northern counterparts, according to sources. Hakeem, who led a high level SLMC delegation that met the Indian Minister, at Taj Samudra on Friday, raised this matter during their one hour-long discussion. more..

Carry forward efforts to ensure justice to Sri Lankan Tamils, India urged

Nov 30 (Hindu) The Tamil Parties Forum (TPF), the umbrella organisation of Tamil parties other than TNA, in a letter to External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said efforts by India to ensure ‘equality and justice' to Sri Lankan Tamils should be carried forward. The TPF, which recently met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has said that the Tamil political parties had come to an understanding and constituted a common forum to strive for a more..

Sri Lankan Accountants lure global outsourcers

Nov 30 (NYT) Southern China has its assembly plants. India has customer support centers, research laboratories and low-cost lawyers. And Sri Lanka’s contribution to global outsourcing? Accountants — thousands of them, standing ready to crunch the world’s numbers. As this tiny island nation staggers back from a bloody, decades-long civil war, one of its brightest business prospects was born from a surprising side effect of that conflict. more..

10 year old commits suicide after bieng told to study

Nov 30 (AD) A ten year old child in Mankulam, Vavuniya has passed away yesterday while being rushed to the Settikulam Hospital. The boy had allegedly committed suicide after his mother strictly advised him to study. The diseased, a grade 4 student of the Mankulam Al-Hamiya Muslim M.V, had rushed to a living room in the house after being firmly told to go study. He had then proceeded to wrap a saree/shawl hanging in the house around his neck, in order to commit suicide. more..

Undergrads kneel down before the Vice Chancellor

Nov 30 (DM) Thirteen student union activists of Rajarata University knelt down before the Vice Chancellor and begged pardon yesterday. The student activists were charged with taking the Vice Chancellor hostage earlier. They were held in remand prison and were released by the High Court Judge Menaka Wijesundara after they paid the fine. The charges against them were harassing the Vice Chancellor, disturbing the academic staff and damaging the university properties. more..

Floods go to court

Nov 30 (DM) A petition seeking an order to ensure the removal of all obstacles causing rain water to flood the Colombo city was submitted to the Western Provincial High Court yesterday. The petition includes the Western Province especially the Colombo city. The petition, which was filed by the Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ)-an environmental rights- against the relevant Government Ministers and Government Agencies, more..

'Cannot debate without knowing subjects allocated to ministries'

Nov 30 (LT) Participating at the committee stage of the budget that commences today would be a problem as the gazette notification indicating the institutions and subjects allocated to each ministry has not been made available said DNA MP Anura Dissanayake in Parliament yesterday. Raising a point of order he said the gazette notification that indicates the subjects allocated for each ministry has not been provided for opposition Members and more..

Sri Lanka turns rebel hideout into wildlife sanctuary

Nov 30 (AFP) Sri Lanka is to turn a vast jungle area that was a base for the separatist Tamil Tiger rebels into a wildlife sanctuary, 18 months after the end of island's bloody civil war, the government said Tuesday. The jungles of Mullaittivu, from where the rebels launched attacks for decades until they were defeated by government troops last year, has been declared a safe haven for wild animals, the information department said. more..

SF’s writ application: Notice issued on Army Chief, others

Nov 30 (Island) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice, returnable on December 17, 2010, on the present Army Commander, the members of the court martial I and the Judge Advocate. The members of the Tribunal I are Major General Weeratunga, Wijetunga, and Jayatillake. The Judge Advocate Shavindra Fernando and the Attorney General were also among the respondents who were noticed. more..

'Budget proposals full of errors'

Nov 30 (Island) The budget proposals, being debated in Parliament, were full of serious errors, the opposition claimed yesterday. UNP Hambantota District MP Sajith Premadasa told Parliament that those errors, related to the figures mentioned in the budget proposals, reflected the pathetic situation with regard to financial discipline and standards in public finances. Making the winding up speech of the opposition, at the conclusion of the second reading more..

Pakistan police arrest suspect in Lanka cricket team attack

Nov 30 (PTI) A key terror suspect has been arrested for his involvement in the March 2009 brazen attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore that left six players injured and six escorting policemen dead. Express Tribune on Tuesday quoted police officials as confirming the arrest of Qari Abdul Wahab, alias Umar alias Farhan alias Behram alias Umar Daraz, son of Akbar. At least six Sri Lankan cricketers more..

'No need to probe MPs’ speeches'

Nov 30 (Island) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa yesterday stated in Parliament that MPs should take the full responsibility for the accuracy of whatever documents they table in the House. Speaker Rajapaksa’s statement followed UNP Colombo District MP Sujeewa Senasinghe raising a privilege issue on government rankers challenging the facts and details of a speech he made in Parliament on Saturday. more..

'Fit enough to get loans'

Nov 30 (DM) Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, delivering the conclusion speech of the budget debate that lasted for one week, said that the government welcomes the latest move by the TNA. In his one and half hour speech, Minister Rajapaksa rebuffed, with facts and figures, the arguments raised by the Opposition MPs. Referring to the high defence budget, he said that various departments and institutions more..