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Exclusive zones for tourists for gambling

Nov 5 (DM) The government is considering the possibility of setting up a separate gambling zone to attract tourists, Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. He said such an idea had “crossed the mind” of the Government. He justified this move given the tourism factor. “Even Muslim countries have zones of this nature designated for gambling and the like in order to attract tourists,” he said. more..

Conditional support by JHU

Nov 5 (DM) The JHU, a party of the ruling coalition, yesterday said it would vote against the Gaming Levy (Special Provisions) Bill unless the amendments proposed by them were incorporated in the new legislation during the committee stage in Parliament. JHU MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera told a news conference that there were plusses and minuses in the proposed Bill now pending parliamentary approval. more..

'White flag civilians not shot'

Nov 5 (DM) Jaffna Government Agent, Imelda Sukumar who was the Mullaitivu GA during the war, yesterday vehemently denied claims that those who crossed over from LTTE controlled areas to Government controlled areas carrying white flags were fired at by the army during the height of the war. Mrs. Sukumar said this while responding to a question posed to her by the LLRC Chairman, C.R de Silva, on the issue, during a LLRC session more..

'Mahinda’s, Ranil’s cows would consume entire country'

Nov 5 (AD) DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake at a seminar in Kandy spoke about economic management in a novel way. “A heard a nice joke that is going around these days….. what will a family do if they receive two cows? The best method would be to sell one cow and buy a bull for that money. In a country such as India it is said that the family would sell one cow and worship the other. But in Pakistan they won’t have a single cow but would keep claiming ownership of the Indian cows. more..

Sri Lanka says Mahinda Rajapaksa's UK visit postponed not scrapped

Nov 5 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said President Mahinda Rajapaksa visit to United Kingdom had been postponed till December and not cancelled, dismissing reports that the trip may have been scrapped over fears that he could face arrest. Reacting to an Indian press report that the president had cancelled the visit fearing arrest, a Sri Lankan external affairs ministry official said the report was "false and misleading." more..

Sri Lanka break series drought on rainy night

Nov 5 (CI) Sri Lanka came on this tour with one goal and achieved it with a match to spare. By handing Australia a seventh straight defeat, Kumar Sangakkara's men delivered their maiden series win in Australia in 26 years of trying. When the hosts slipped over for 210 in the greasy conditions it gave Sri Lanka victory by 29 runs - and it had come more easily than expected. more..

Sri Lanka Dialog broadband speeds rated best

Nov 6 (LBO) Broadband download speeds delivered by Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka's dominant mobile operator, exceed expectations although its main rival Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) does better on other measurements, a report said. Dialog's 1Mbps (megabytes per second) post-paid broadband package delivers more than promised in download speeds, recent Quality of Service Experience (QoSE) tests by regional think tank LIRNEasia said. more..

Palmyrah to 'keep away elephants'

Nov 6 (BBC) Palmyrah trees have been identified as a way of keeping wild elephants away from human habitats. At a presentation convened by Practical Action, a non governmental organization it was revelled that the electrified fence erected to keep away elephants has failed. Elephant corridors have been obstructed by the expansion of human settlements. Farmers from Vanathavilluwa of the Puttalam district said that cultivation of crops such as Manioc has become impossible. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 05.11.2010

Open Letter: Sri Lanka’s Inglorious Democracy

Nov 6 (LG) I am Sri Lankan and have been living in France for the past 2 decades, enjoying European life style and its democratic values. It is with great sadness and regret that I have to present you with few facts about the current situation in Sri Lanka for your information and consideration. Referring to the invitation you have proposed to the President of Sri Lanka to address the Union. I have no doubts that your invitation was extended prior to more..

SRI LANKA: Can Singapore be used as a model?

Nov 6 (LG) Before turning to the question the title of this “conversation” poses, I want to express my appreciation for the privilege it is to be living in Singapore, and affiliated with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the Global Asia Institute and the National University of Singapore. Professor K.E. Seetharam, especially, has made this possible. This occasion provides me with an opportunity to both acknowledge the inspiration his leadership has more..

Student violence: A manifestation of general political culture

Nov 6 (DM) It is the JVP that is the strongest in universities, owing to their theories such as social equality which are so logical and appealing to the youth, in spite of the degree of the practicality of those theories on the ground. Imagine a situation where a poor student, who had toiled hard to enter the university with the meagle resources of his parents, giving up the hope of becoming a future medical practitioner or an engineer, more..

The war ended onthe ground but it’s still there in the head

Nov 6 (LG) Over two days last week-end, the Goethe Institute auditorium in Colombo was packed to capacity as a small but very appreciative audience watched fourteen young actors superbly role-play the stories of children caught up in the war in Gaza. The above quote was the comment of one of the young actors on stage in this Gaza Mono-Logues which, on the initiative of the Ambassador for Palestine, was performed in Sri Lanka by Floating Space, more..

New ruse to find dowry potential

Nov 6 (DM) In matrimonial affairs particularly in Asian countries, dowry is a common feature. When ‘giving’ their daughters ‘away’ in marriage parents give dowries in the form of money and property to assist newly married couples to set up house and begin their married lives. In the old days, therefore, to help tide over their material needs, ordinary folk included items of furniture, kitchen utensils, a miris gala to make lunu-miris and pol sambol, a wan gediya to more..

New hope for pre-school children of Ramanathanpuram

Nov 6 (MoD) Heralding a new era in the now peaceful terrains of Kilinochchi, the Sri Lanka Air Force Seva Vanitha Unit handed over a newly constructed pre-school at Ramanathanpuram to the general public yesterday morning on 4 November 2010. SLAF SVU Chairperson Mrs. Nelun Goonetileke, whose dedicated patronage made the project a reality, graced this joyous occasion as Chief Guest. more..

Can the fiscal deficit be reduced?

Nov 6 (NS) The containment of the fiscal deficit is vital for sustained economic growth. A sustained high economic growth depends very much on the government’s ability to contain the fiscal deficit and bring the future deficits to more acceptable levels. The economic growth targets of the government of the next six years would be difficult to achieve unless there is a reduction of the fiscal deficit. The fiscal deficit should be contained at about five percent more..

Growth requires efficient management in Public Administration

Nov 6 (Island) The role of innovation in promoting faster economic growth is well established in economic theory. In the long term improvements in economic wellbeing can come only from innovation. Often we associate innovation with new technology or new products, but in reality a significant amount of innovation is also about new ways of producing the same old things i.e. better management and better organisation of production. more..

Sri Lanka: The people of the lion

Sri Lankan conference promotes Tamil revival

Nov 6 (UCAN) Tamils must hold on to their language even as they rebuild their homes and villages in northern Sri Lanka, a conference has heard. “Today we Tamils are stranded in our villages as political and economic orphans. We have lost everything,” Catholic priest Father Thamil Nesan told the recently concluded ‘Classical Tamil Conference’ in Mannar, northern Sri Lanka. “Only our language, heritage, literature and arts remain. Let us rejuvenate them,” more..

The Tea Party gives new hope to the Thottam

Nov 6 (Island) Visitors from Sri Lanka to the White House in Washington DC or to the offices of leading Democratic Congressmen may have to think twice before they take even the best packs of Ceylon Tea as gifts to their friends or hosts. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, except for those who played double games with the "Tea Party" Republicans, in the hope of preserving their seats in this week’s polls that saw Democrats lose control of the House of Representatives, more..

How can a mother live without her sons?

Nov 6 (SL) The story of one woman who took the law into her own hands and went in search of her young sons. It was not merely a story that The Sunday Leader published on February 21, 2010 : it was a heartbreaking appeal by a young mother who begged us to get her sons back. “I am complete now,” she said last week as she held close her most cherished possessions, as if never to let them go… more..

Now, a controversial History book at international school

Nov 5 (ST) Amidst a continuing controversy over a sex education book used in an international school, officials have now launched a probe on the contents of a history text book which suggests Sri Lankans are the off-spring of murderous ancestors and this was the possible reason for the 30 year ethnic war. The offending book taught at an international school in Colombo suggested that both Kuveni and Vijaya came from dubious backgrounds that spawned evil. more..

Central Bank scrutinizes Harry J’s claims in HNB sale issue

Nov 6 (ST) The Central Bank (CB) is investigating whether business tycoon Harry Jayawardena still has a stake in CBD Exports, which sold its holdings in HNB recently, after the businessman some years back swore in an affidavit that he had no links to CBD Exports. The new probe came after Zaki Alif, Chairman CBD Exports (CBD) along with director Raj Obeysekera, wrote to the CB early this month complaining about Mr. Jayawardena’s letters to some institutions alleging that more..

Sri Lankan born ‘Container King’ Ian Kiru Karan becomes German minister

Nov 6 (SL) From rags to riches: documents the progress of Hamburg’s flagship entrepreneur, Ian Karan Kiru’s career, as he becomes Hamburg’s Economic Senator. Ian Kiru Karan who was born in Point Pedro in 1939, moved to Germany in 1970 after studying in the United Kingdom — where he went on to build one of the world’s biggest container leasing companies in Hamburg. more..

Diabetic escalates among young in Sri Lanka

Nov 6 (TN) Diabetes is on the increase in Sri Lanka among young men and women and among persons living in urban areas, according to Professor Chandrika Wijeratne. She addressed a media briefing on Friday to mark the Global Diabetes Walk 2010 at Sri Lanka Medical Association auditorium. She further said that one in ten adults over twenty years of age and one in five persons living in urban areas are affected by diabetes. more..

No development in Jaffna worthy of mention – German delegation

Nov 6 (TN) A delegation of German MPs led by Ms. Petra Ernstberger visited Jaffna accompanied by German Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jens Ploetner and Mr. Guido Baumann, officer in charge of press affairs. Mr. Guido Bauman, at the end of the visit Thursday, told local press that the delegation saw no development worthy of mention in Jaffna. He added that the main intention of the delegation was to find out how the German tax payers’ money given as more..

Sri Lanka refinery deal eyed by Indian Oil Corp

Nov 6 (LBO) State-owned Indian Oil Corp is eyeing a contract to revamp and expand the sole refinery in Sri Lanka. IOC's interest in upgrading and doubling capacity of Ceylon Petroleum Corp's (CPC) Sapugaskanda Refinery to 4 million tonnes a year came up at a meeting between Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora and his visiting Sri Lankan counterpart, Susil Premajayantha, here on Wednesday. more..

Train to nowhere

Nov 6 (SL) The Tourism Ministry along with Airport & Aviation Services, on the request of MP Namal Rajapaksa, undertook to facilitate a luxury train service between Colombo and the Bandaranaike International Airport in May this year. The project was hastily implemented to cater to the visiting guests attending the IIFA awards in June. Despite promises made that this would provide an impetus to the tourism industry, it has failed to yield any visible results. more..

Commission recommends taxing public sector, politicos

Nov 6 (SL) Increasing the tax free threshold, lifting the tax free exemption on public servants and politicos salaries and rationalizing BoI tax holidays are among the recommendations made by the Tax Commission which submitted its report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa last week. “When public servants and politicos are brought into the tax net, though revenue accrued as a result may be marginal, we are however then laying the foundation for an equitable tax base in the country,” more..

Landmines delay IDP resettlement

Nov 6 (DN) The government's resettlement program of Internally Displaced People (IDP) in the North and East will be completed once all landmines are cleared. Deputy Resettlement Minister Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan said. He was speaking at a progress review meeting held at the Mullaitivu District Secretariat where about 24 ,000 IDP's still remain in the district's IDP centre, Vettikulam Menik Farm. more..

Money changed hands through ‘Ugodial’

Nov 6 (LB) In a recent crackdown it has been revealed that corrupt customs officers were responsible in facilitating the illegal import of cigarettes into the country. According to information unearthed, contraband cigarette cartons had been imported under the ruse of textile quotas being brought down to an apparel firm situated in the Free Trade Zone in Katunayake. Investigations revealed that the racket operated while information was being exchanged through telephones and more..

Fishery harbours to add colour

Nov 6 (DN) Construction of six modern fishery harbours in the North will begin soon. The harbours will be constructed to meet with international sanitary standards. New fishery harbours are also being built along the Western and Southern coastal belts in Negombo, Ambalangoda, Hambantota, Chilaw, Dodanduwa and Dikowita fishing areas. The fishery harbours in the Northern Province will be constructed with foreign aid. more..

Sangakkara credits Sri Lanka's self-belief in series win

Nov 6 (CI) Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara was unsurprisingly full of praise for his team after they wrapped up their first ever series victory on Australian soil with a 29-run win in the second one-dayer at the Sydney Cricket Ground. "There's a lot to be taken out of the way we played these games," he said. "It's fantastic. We played the way we believed we could coming here. It was just a case of us fighting to convert every opportunity and more..

Editorial : Appreciating 'Art of Terror', the French way

Nov 6 (Island) This world can never be rid of terrorism. The West harbours and promotes terrorists from other parts of the world and the enemies of the West pay it back in its own coin. The West condemns others for aiding and abetting terrorism and vice versa. There are also some countries––like Sri Lanka––that do not promote terrorism at all but have become victims of the scourge sponsored by the West as well as its enemies. more..

Editorial : Education: The writing on the blackboard

Nov 6 (DM) With mega plans being finalized for the November 19 inauguration – opposition critics call it more an enthronement – of President Mahinda Rajapaksa for his second term, government leaders are proclaiming from their star class though shaky rooftops that the new term would be an era of development to make Sri Lanka the wonder or economic website of Asia. Words, slogans and promises are probably the only commodities that go cheap in these post-war times when more..

Murali's communist confusion

Nov 6 (DM) Muttiah Muralitharan has made a confusing claim about the recent Sri Lankan political history, when he told an Australian newspaper that a lot of Sinhalese were killed when “Communist Party came”. Murali who is currently touring Australia had made this statement during an interview with renowned cricket writer Peter Roebuck. It was published in the leading Australian newspaper Sydney Morning Herald. more..

Commerial Bank expands money transfer services in Saudi Arabia

Nov 6 (AN) The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has expanded its instant money transfer service, in Saudi Arabia for the benefit of thousands of Sri Lankans working in the Kingdom. The Bank said it will also deploy banking officers in Saudi Arabia to assist its growing Sri Lankan customer base in the country with their diverse financial needs. The money transfer service can be obtained via the Bank’s representatives in Saudi Arabia, more..

Colombo bound train breaks down causing delay to office workers

Nov 6 (DM) A train transporting office workers broke down on Thursday (4), on the railway track between Polgahawela and Colombo as it was nearing the Wilwatte Railway Station. Other trains too had run two hours late thereafter, an official from the Department of Railways said. The train, which started from Polgahawela at 4.35 am, broke down at around 5.30 am, apparently due to an engine fault. That had in turn made the following six (6) trains late and more..

Govt. planning to suppress students legally – IUSF

Nov 6 (LT) The government comes out with blatant lies to suppress unarmed students who do not carry even a catapult with them says the acting convener of the IUSF Sanjeewa Bandara. He said this responding to a question posed by ‘Lankatruth’ regarding a statement made by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella. Minister said the government has received information that there was a threat of another insurgency arising from the universities and more..

UNP‘s Grama Charika in Matara for two days

Nov 6 (DM) The Grama Charika or the Village Tour of the UNP moves to Matara headed by Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe and would remain there today and tomorrow. Among the events scheduled to take place would be a programme to invoke blessings on the future programmes of the party where Buddhist rites and rituals are expected to be held at Sudharmarama Temple in Thudawe, Catholic service at Our Lady’s Church, Islamic observances at more..

Kudu Naufer runs narco racket from his prison cell

Nov 6 (Island) Notorious gangster ‘Kudu’ Naufer, serving a life sentence at Bogambara for ordering the assassination of Colombo High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, is allegedly running a major heroin distribution racket from his cell. Senior DIG Gamini Navaratne, in charge of the Central Range, told The Island that the police had questioned Naufer after receiving information regarding his activities. more..

Will there be a violent resurgence of the LTTE soon?

Nov 6 (DBS) The LTTE organization was virtually demolished in May 2009 by the Sri Lankan armed forces in a series of battles in the Karaithuriapatru AGA division of Northern Mullaitheevu district. The LTTE leader Veluppillai Prabhakaran and almost all his senior deputies and commanders were killed along with thousands of cadres in the fighting that also incurred a large number of civilian casualties. more..

Tense situation arises when Sarath Fonseka comes out from court

Nov 6 (NF) A tense situation arose when the former army chief Sarath Fonseka was escorted out from the court premises yesterday, where an unidentified group tried to creep in near Sarath Fonseka. “So much was said but what was done? An unidentified group tried to creep in between the general. They crept through despite the prison officials being there. There are ASPs and DIGs here. When we pointed this out to them, these officers simply had no reply,” more..

Arisen Ahubudu behind Litro Gas

Nov 6 (N360) “Litro Gas” the new name given to Shell Gas Company acquired by the Government during this week, has been provided by one of Sri Lanka’s famous scholar Arisen Ahubudu. Ministry of Finance has sought the help of Ahubudu who is famous for providing auspicious names to new born children and institutions to find a suitable name for the gas company. The scholar Ahubudu gave 20 names to select from. He said Litro means “Sun produces energy”. more..

Celebrate Deepavali with freedom and in the spirit of unity, says President Rajapaksa

Nov 6 (IL) “With peace restored in the country, Hindus can now celebrate this festival with freedom and in the spirit of unity that is marked by the increased harmony and understanding among communities irrespective of ethnic, religious and other differences that have kept them apart for a long period” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Deepavali National Festival. more..

'Lanka asked to expedite construction of houses for IDPs'

Nov 6 (PTI) India has asked Sri Lanka to expedite the construction of houses for Internally displaced persons (IDPs) as part of the rehabilitation process and the latter has promised to take it up after the monsoon period, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Saturday. India had conveyed this message during the recent visit of Sri Lankan Mahinda Rajapakse to India, Chidambaram told reporters here after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi. more..

Beware cyclone ‘Jal’ coming today

Nov 6 (DM) A depression in the Bay of Bengal may intensify into a cyclone named ‘Jal' and the resultant gale force winds and heavy showers could hit the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka today, the Meteorology Department warned yesterday. The cyclone was expected to head towards Tamil Nadu after moving along the eastern and northern coasts of Sri Lanka. He said the rest of Sri Lanka would also experience intermittent rain accompanied by strong winds. more..

'IUSF warned freshers against wearing undies'

Nov 6 (Island) Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake alleged that the IUSF, affiliated to the JVP, had, according to teachers, threatened new entrants not to wear undergarments. He producing a letter allegedly written by a JVP student wing leader now in remand at Bogambara, said that the JVPer was obviously scared of the on-going government efforts to rid universities of disruptive elements to ensure their smooth functioning. more..

UPFA moves to neutralize JVP in universities

Nov 6 (Island) Higher Education Minister S. B. Dissanayake yesterday revealed that President Mahinda Rajapaksa had intervened to re-open the Peradeniya University following clashes between student factions last month. He said that President Rajapaksa personally got in touch with the University administration to push for immediate re-opening of the university. more..

High Courts to get more clout

Nov 6 (DM) The government is planning to introduce new legislation in Parliament next week to give wider powers to district High Courts to grant bail for suspects involved in crimes related to offensive weapons, Justice Minister Athauda Seneviratne said yesterday. The existing Offensive Weapons Act will be amended and the new Bill will be presented in Parliament next Tuesday to be taken up for debate later. more..