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Minister GL Peiris’ cogent arguments in China

Sep 11 (island) Minister Peiris needs to be congratulated for the address he delivered at the China Institute of International Studies in Beijing. The substance of his address needs to be studied by all those interested in the situation in our country. He has not only set out the Governments policy in regard to the settlement of the ethnic issue, but it certainly gives us hope and reason to believe that more..

Govt. gets Rs. 10,000 on smoking fines

Sep 11 (DM) There can’t be smoke without fire. Recently five men who were accused of smoking cigarettes at a public place in Kollupitiya were ordered to pay a fine of Rs.2000 each by the Colombo Fort Magistrate. The Daily Mirror could not verify how many others were smoking in public at the time of the arrests. Smoking in public is now an offence under section 39(3) of Tobacco and Alcohol Act. more..

Tourist arrivals up 46.7 percent

Sep 11 (Island) Tourist arrivals during the first eight months of this year increased by 46.7 percent to 397,889 from 229,9582 a year ago while arrivals in August increased by 35.7 percent to 55,898 from 41,207 in August 2009, SLTDA data showed. During the first eight months of this year, tourists from North America increased by 70.2 percent to 26,881 from 15,771 while Latin American visitors declined by 18.8 percent to 388 from 478. more..

Embassy of Sri Lanka, Washington DC hosts Ifthar

Sep 11 (PRN) Sri Lankan Americans who are part of the Washington area Muslim community joined together at the Embassy of Sri Lanka Sept. 5 to celebrate Ifthar, or the breaking of the fast, as part of Ramadan. The Ifthar ceremony continued an embassy tradition of celebrating the important ceremonies of the religions of Sri Lanka. Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is celebrated by more..

Mahinda and Ranil’s done deal

Sep 11 (SL) Today is a day of many alarms and few surprises. There is no doubt that Mahinda will pass the 18th amendment, allowing him to run in and control elections (via the Elections and Police Commissions). Despite the protests (pro and con) in Colombo and the rump UNP marching on to Parliament, the bill will be passed in Parliament. This whole thing has been like watching a car crash in slow motion. It’s not like Mahinda didn’t give the opposition time. more..

A new traffic control system implemented

Sep 11 (DM) A new traffic control system (traffic lights) with a countdown has been implemented in several junctions in Colombo to reduce traffic and accidents, more will be setup according to their necessity, the Special Commissioner for the Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil said. He added the new traffic control system was put in place after identifying junctions which were prone to more accidents and that the new more efficient traffic control system will be implemented in Colombo first and more..

Bakery owners urge govt to intervene

Sep 11 (DM) While increasing the price of a bread loaf by Rs. 3, the All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association (ACBOA) said yesterday that the Government should intervene and take immediate measures to control bread prices. Therefore, a loaf of bread which is currently sold at about Rs. 42 will cost Rs. 45 with effect from midnight of yesterday. “Bread is sold at varying prices in various parts of the country ranging from Rs. 38 – 50. more..

Agriculture Information centres to guide farmers

Sep 11 (LP) Agriculture Department Assistant Director K.B. Gunarathna said that immediate remedies for agricultural problems will be met through the Agriculture Information centres set up by the Agriculture Department. He further added that the Agriculture Department has started 45 rural agriculture information centres. Information centres will be set up in all other 555 agrarian service centres in the country. more..

Pro-govt. journalist threatened, assaulted

Sep 11 (CT) A pro-government journalist has been threatened and assaulted for writing in support of the 18th amendment to the constitution, reports. T.C. Rajaratnam, editor of, has complained to police that he had received threatening phone calls after an article by him had appeared in Ceylon Daily News two days ago. A group of five men had confronted and attacked him in Colombo, more..

Losses due to duty free

Sep 11 (DM) The government had foregone revenue running to the tune of Rs. 14 billion due to the granting of import duty waivers last year, says the Performance Report of the Department of Trade and Tariff. Of this amount, Rs. 13 billion had been foregone for the imports of items related to the reducing of the cost of living. Besides, Rs. 4.6 million had been forgone for the items imported by charitable and religious organizations. more..

Poster printer files FR

Sep 11 (DM) A Fundamental Rights violation petition challenging the detention of the printer who allegedly printed posters against the 18th Amendment to the Constitution had been filed in the Supreme Court. Attorney-at-Law Lilanthi de Silva filed the petition on behalf of Jayampathi Bulathsinhala who is now in the custody of Mirihana Police. Mirihana ASP Nishantha Soysa, IGP Mahinda Balasuriya, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Attorney General had been cited as respondents. more..

Child charged with stealing Rs. 5.00 Allowed bail in Rs, 100,000

Sep 11 (Island) A 13-year-old girl, produced before Kaluatara Additional Magistrate Namal Perera, by the Thebuwana Police, for allegedly stealing five rupees, was enlarged on Rs 100,000 personal bail. The Magistrate directed the Probation Officer to submit a report on her to the Court and ordered that the suspect be handed over to her mother. IP Nalaka Nuwansiri told Court that the suspect was arrested on a complaint made by more..

Sri Lanka remittances rise to $3.8bn

Sep 11 (Island) Remittances from Sri Lankan expatriates may rise to a record US $ 3.8 billion in 2010, Asia Business Online reported. The ABO report said: In a telephone interview on Friday, Swarna Gunaratne, acting director of the central bank’s economic research department, said: "We are still getting sustained inflows from the Middle East and people are sending more money to their families in the north and east since the war ended." more..

To prevent sea erosion on Southern belt: Groynes, sea walls constructed

Sep 11 (DN) Groynes and sea walls have been constructed to prevent sea erosion on the Southern Coastal Belt, revetments by the Coastal Conservation Department, National Development Media Center sources said. The Department has spent over Rs. 515 million since 2006 for these constructions. The largest of these revetments is now under construction between Katuneriya and Mudukatuwa at a cost of Rs. 109.6 million. It stretches over two kilometers of the coastal belt. more..

Legal action against sea sand mining

Sep 11 (DN) The Coast Conservation Department and Ports and Aviation Ministry will jointly take legal action against those collecting sea sand illegally from the coast,Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena said. It has been revealed sea sand is being excavated and taken away on a large scale for construction purposes. This has become a menace and causes a severe impact on the environment. Removing sea sand is among the key factors for sea erosion. more..

Cuban Dengue-prevention bacteria has arrived

Sep 11 (SLNN) The Sri Lanka’s order of the bacteria to fight dengue fever has arrived from Cuba. Ten thousand liters of the bacteria reportedly cost the government more than $266,800 (Rs. 30 million). Director of the National Anti-Malaria and Anti-Dengue Program, Dr. Sarath Deniyage, said the bacteria will first be tested to determine if it meets the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). more..

Ranil faces another revolt: 28 MPs ready to desert him, unless he quits leadership

Sep 11 (Island) The UNP faces the threat of a group of its Parliamentarians switching allegiances to the ruling UPFA headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The threat came when 28 out of 43 UNP MPs were denied an opportunity to meet the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss matters regarding their party’s future. On Sept. 08, when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was passed in the House, more..

HiCorp investigations reach crucial stage

Sep 11 (Island) The Second Court Martial inquiring into former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka’s alleged complicity in irregularities in the procurement process during his tenure in office, is expected to complete its sittings before the end of this month. The court martial proceedings take place parallel to an ongoing case in the Colombo High Court regarding fraudulent transactions dubbed as the HiCorp deal. more..

'Those who join the govt. will be well looked after'

Sep 11 (NF) Whoever that decides to join the government and supports the president will definitely be well looked after, says Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe. “You know, I mean surely we can't abandon people who support us,” said minister Samarasinghe responding to a question by a journalist yesterday who asked whether the opposition party members had been enticed to the government and more..

'Dilshan slur a white conspiracy'

Sep 11 (TOI) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials on Friday lashed out at attempts by the British media to highlight batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan's alleged links with bookies, saying it was a "white conspiracy" intended to "malign" and "defame" the country's cricketers. The SLC admitted another player, Dilhara Fernando, had instead been approached by bookies a day before the terrorist attack in Lahore on Sri Lanka's cricketers in March 2009, and more..

Secret committee to monitor ministries

Sep 11 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a committee to evaluate the conduct and progress each Ministry during the past few months and submit a report to him, sources said. In his next Cabinet reshuffle scheduled for November, he is expected to consider findings of this secret committee when assigning portfolios. It is likely that there would be changes in portfolios held by some ministers after this reshuffle, more..

Ranil: Drastic action against dissidents

Sep 11 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said the party would have to take drastic action against those who work against the party, on Wednesday. Addressing a meeting in Bandarawela on Thursday, Mr.Wickremesinghe said new groups interested in the party would be given membership instead of those who work against the party. Therefore he disclosed that a series of public rallies would be held during this month. more..

'No training for LeT in Sri Lanka'

Sep 11 (MoD) Secretary Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that extremist groups operating in Pakistan have not received any type of training on Sri Lankan soil. He stressed that Sri Lanka is free from terrorists and there is no ground for terrorists to receive training in the country. The Defence Secretary's denial came in the wake of Lakshar-e-Taiba (LeT) suspect involved in the German Bakery blast in Pune claimed that he was trained in Colombo. more..

Tamil political parties to meet

Sep 12 (SL) Ten Tamil political parties in the country are to meet today (10) to discuss and arrive at a political solution regarding national issues faced by the Tamil people. Tamil National Liberation Alliance (TNLA) General Secretary M.K. Sivajilingam told the media that 10 Tamil political parties will be attend today’s discussions. Sivajilingam has said that the issues faced by the Tamil people have not been resolved even a year has passed since the end of the war. more..

NTUC: Govt. further burdening consumers

Sep 12 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) today (11) said the government’s decision that has resulted in the increase of a loaf of bread by Rs. 3 has added to the burdens of the people in the country. NTUC Head and JVP Politburo member K.D. Lalkantha said that in the backdrop of the cost of living index increasing close 220 units with the monthly cost for a family reaching close to Rs. 40,000 and without any increase in the monthly salaries of more..

U.S. says Sri Lanka amendment undermines democracy

Sep 12 (Reuters) The United States on Saturday condemned Sri Lanka's passage of a constitutional amendment granting the president vast new powers, saying it undermined democracy. Sri Lanka's parliament on Wednesday voted for the measure sought by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, which removes a presidential two-term limit and grants him more power over appointments to the police, judiciary, public service and electoral commissions. more..

Commander of the Navy visits Eastern Naval Area

Sep 12 (SLN) Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe visited the Eastern Naval Area on 10th September 2010 and made inspections of Naval establishments and training activities in the Eastern Naval Command. He visited SLNS Walagamba, Naval Deployment Pulmudai and Mullaithivu Radar Station and reviewed their administrative and operational readiness. Thereafter, he arrived at the Naval and Maritime Academy and more..

Gota refused BBC’s request for an interview with KP

Sep 12 (LG) The BBC Sinhala service has requested an interview with Tambiah Selvarajah Pathmanathan alias KP some few weeks ago. Subsequently they sent a list of 23 questions to KP through their sources. However they were informed that KP cannot give a direct interview to the media without the approval of the Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksha. When they forwarded the same questions to him for his permission the angry Defence Secretary threw them in his bin stating that, more..

GBV 5 - Rape - Sinhala

Bank making big profits: At what cost?

Sep 12 (LG) A senior citizen wrote this week to complain how unfair banks in the country are. Referring to the enormous profits made by the National Savings Bank which was reported in the newspapers, the citizen said in a letter published in our newspaper that these profits are being made at the expense of depositors like him. “They reduce interest rates from 15 % to 10 % on our deposits and gloat about how much profits they have made,” he said, more..

2nd PTGTE Int'l confab & 'unwelcoming' President Rajapakse

Sep 12 (LG) While indisputably the Rajapakses won the war against the LTTE, the widely held belief both within and outside the country that GoSL appears to continue to lose the peace and the goodwill of the Ilangai Tamil people by its own lack of finesse is plain to see. The victory on the ground should have been, many Lankan watchers feel, followed by a diplomatic blitzkrieg overseas to win over those governments and more..

The fast track to the loss of democratic freedoms

Sep 12 (LG) This is the kind of democracy against which we have agitated and all Leftists have agitated. What is this democracy? You elect a person. He comes in here by hook or by crook, and for five years the electors have no right to express their point of view whatever damnable thing this particular member may do, however blatantly he may betray the promises given to the electorate. He is entitled to continue whatever happens. Is this the kind of democracy they are advocating?" more..

Tamil minister in drunken state

Sep 12 (LG) According to a news report filed in the Tamil website, the former LTTE colonel and presently a Minister of the President Mahinda Rajapakse government Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan also known as Karuna was found in an uncontrollable state after drinking heavily at a dinner party few days ago at an embassy in Colombo. He was found fallen on the floor in a drunken state. The Neruppu website that publishes exclusive news very often on more..

Cover ups are worse than the crimes!

Sep 12 (LG) In the House of Commons debate (9/9/10) on the phone hacking row involving the former editor of the News of the World and the spin doctor (Andy Coulson) of the British Prime Minister, Jack Dromey, MP for Birmingham Erdington, said he hoped for ‘full cooperation from Downing Street, (to investigate) not least because the lesson of Watergate is that the cover up is worse than the crime’. more..

A govt viewpoint on why the 18th Amendment to the Constitution is necessary

Sep 12 (TC) The attention of this August assembly is focused on an important item of legislation. It is my privilege to commend this Bill for the Amendment of the Constitution, also known as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution to the Members of this House. The use of several inflammatory and emotive words and scare mongering has characterized the public debate regarding this legislation. more..

The 18th Amendment and the reawakening of President Rajapaksa

Sep 12 (TC) The 18th Amendment to the Constitution makes it clear that Sri Lanka, after the end of a brutal armed conflict, is moving in the wrong direction. It is also clear that President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as a leader, has got his national priorities mixed up, and this too, rather wittingly. The people of Sri Lanka were in need of a ‘national reawakening’; amendments to the Constitution were essential, but amendments which further promoted democracy and good governance. more..

Our death chant for democracy

Sep 12 (LG) There were passing antics on display this week over the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. One considerably amusing spectacle was the unholy difficulty with which apparent supporters of this perverse amendment stuttered and stammered over their positions or the lack thereof. For instance, we had the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem embarking on a defensively convoluted explanation of why his party is switching political hats, which hearkened back to his schooldays. more..

Compliance with Rajapaksas is the only way to prosper in the Rajapaksa-Land

Sep 12 (TC) “Today there was total confusion in Sri Rajapaksistan (formerly Sri Lanka) when thousands and thousands of people changed their name to “Rajapaksa” to get into Parliament or even get a job… Hospital authorities report that all new born babies are being named Rajapaksa by their parents (also called Rajapaksa)…. The police and the courts are having trouble with most victims and more..

18th Amendment: Legitimizing a culture of 'Hondamai Sir?'

Sep 12 (LG) The very short space of time that it took for the 18th Amendment to the Constitution to become law, allowed people little chance to realize what was about to hit them. The public didn’t have the benefit of the broad discussion that should have preceded a ‘game changing’ move of this kind. But going by the little information that has trickled into the public domain, it appears that this Amendment could have the effect of bestowing the seal of legality on more..

Craze for power

Sep 12 (LG) Last week a new political alliance originated at the political centre. It is a social democratic tendency that attracted individuals from various political parties and practices. The issue of the 18th amendment created a wide ranging political upheaval, affecting almost all political parties. In particular, the parties of the opposition were in turmoil. The government decision to eradicate the essence of the 17th amendment and to concentrate all powers to more..

Residing at Jaffna Railway Station: “Nobody cares for us and we have no where to go”

Sep 12 (TC) A family of three reside at the Jaffna Railway Station. Selvaratnam Jeyalingam (43) and his wife Jeyarubi Jeyalingam (40) have lost their legs and fingers in 1992 in Vasaavilaan, in Jaffna Peninsula. “We were at sleep, when a shell landed in our house during a heavy fighting. My husband lost his right leg, and I lost both of my legs and 10 fingers. We were lucky to have survived” says Jeyarubi Jeyalingam tears more..

18th amendment has created political stability, says Wimal

Sep 12 (NF) The political stability has now been created in the country through the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that was passed in the parliament recently, says the Minister of Construction, Engineering Services, Housing and Common Amenities, Wimal Weerawansa. The Minister expressed this view while attending the opening ceremony of the “EXCON 2010” exhibition, organized by the Industrial Development Board of Sri Lanka. more..

Hardly the death democracy or the Nation

Sep 12 (LG) The cynic in me is tempted to remark that the neoliberal, Rightwing Opposition and civil society groups wanted ‘regime change’ throughout the war years and boy, they’ve got it. They didn’t change the regime, the regime changed itself. What has it changed into, why and how? Reading the vibrant commentaries that accompanied the impending passage of the 18th amendment, two resonated with my own sense of what was going on. more..

LSSP statement on the 18th Amendment to the Constitution

Sep 12 (LG) It is with mixed feelings that I speak here in Parliament on behalf of the LSSP. In the course of the discussions among Government political leaders on Constitutional changes, we were heartened by the readiness that was shown to end the Executive Presidency and restore executive powers to Parliament. It is now evident that the Executive Presidency will continue, and more..

Thirst for profit hinders poverty fight, minister says

Sep 12 (UCAN) The global thirst for profit is the major obstacle preventing an end to hunger and poverty, according to a Sri Lankan government minister. “Hunger and poverty can be eradicated, if all our efforts were not concentrated on self gain,” said Science and Technology Minister Tissa Vitharana. He was speaking during the 12th Commemorative Lecture on Mother Teresa at Caritas Sri Lanka’s auditorium in Colombo on Sept. 6. more..

Christians join protest over constitution change

Sep 12 (UCAN) Sri Lankan Christian groups protested in Colombo yesterday as the nation’s parliament passed a controversial constitutional amendment including the abolition of a two-term presidential limit. As hundreds of police stood by, some 100 activists including Catholic, Anglican and Methodist priests, nuns and lay people took part in the protest in front of St. Philip Neri Church. more..

CWC's Radhakrishnan to sit as independent member

Sep 12 (CT) Ceylon Workers Congress MP V. Radhakrishnan has decided to sit independently in Parliament. Announcing the decision today (Sept. 11), the Nuwara Eliya district parliamentarian said he would continue to support the government. Mr. Radhakrishnan charged his party had continued to neglect him in party matters. Relations between him and the CWC soured after he was invited by more..

General to be penalized for sitting at tender committee despite no irregularities proved against him!

Sep 12 (LT) Second court martial which was appointed to hear the allegations against former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka is expected to hold its sessions daily from Monday to 18th Saturday of this month Army Head Quarters announced. Despite teh appoinment of this court martial to hear the allegations regarding alleged irregularities of purchasing military equipments when General Sarath Fonseka was the Army Commander, more..

Uncultivated paddy lands under the plough soon

Sep 12 (SO) The Government has decided to acquire uncultivated paddy lands and make them available for prospective cultivators. Agrarian Development Commissioner General Ravindra Hevavitharana said that this decision was gazetted in January 2009. Although the Government spent over Rs. 800 million to provide irrigation facilities to uncultivated lands during the past two years, the owners had not cultivated paddy. more..

'Mahendra Percival Rajapaksa is now the King of Sri Lanka'

Sep 12 (TC) As I pen these lines the knowledge bears heavy upon my soul that by the time these words go to press, Sri Lanka is well on the path to dictatorship and oligarchy: from the moment the Speaker puts his signature to the 18th Amendment bulldozed through Parliament on the 8th of Sept., his brother will become the constitutionally sanctioned autocrat of our troubled island. Perhaps 8/9/10 will go down in history as the day one of more..