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Sri Lanka News Debrief - 15. 09. 2010

Man on iron post charged and sent for psychiatric evaluation

Sep 16 (SL) The man who staged a protest on top of an iron post near the Viharamahadevi Park yesterday, identified as Asanga de Soyza, was today (15) charged with violating public peace by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. He was remanded by court till September 29. Courts have also asked the police to refer him for a psychiatrist’s evaluation. He had told the Police that he had been distraught over an alleged injustice suffered by his wife who works as counselor on a more..

Role for Master

Sep 16 (DM) Former LTTE Media Coordinator and Spokesman, Daya Master is now leading a new life as the Head of Operations of the Tamil satellite television channel Dan Tv which has a regional studio in Kokuvil, Jaffna. Speaking to Daily Mirror online from Jaffna Daya Master said that he was happy with his new life and was satisfied with the present peaceful situation in the area. When questioned about his entry into the journalism field and more..

MR heads to US

Sep 16 (DM) President Mahinda Rajapakse left for the United States today to take part in the United Nations General Assembly where he will also deliver a speech next week. Government sources told Daily Mirror online that the President left a few days in advance for personal reasons and will stay on for the official part of the trip where he will attend the UN General Assembly. more..

Additional 3000 acres of land to be brought under cultivation in Jaffna district

Sep 16 (MoD) The District Development Committee Review Meeting was held at the District Secretariat, Jaffna on 15 September 2010 under the patronage of Hon. Basil Rajapaksa MP, Minister of Economic Development and Chairman, Presidential Task Force for Development, Resettlement and Security in the Northern Province. It was revealed that an 3000 acres from Thenmarachchi area would be brought under cultivation more..

No decision yet: AI

Sep 16 (DM) International human rights watchdog Amnesty International (AI) says they are still discussing Sri Lanka’s invitation fro them to send a representative to Colombo to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), an official from the organization told Daily Mirror online. Asia Pacific Press Officer of Amnesty International, Thomas Yocum said that his organization had received Sri Lanka’s invitation and were still discussing it. more..

Rupavahini Corporation in Financial crisis

Sep 16 (DM) The state owned Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) is facing a severe financial crisis with its annual profits dropping to a mere Rs. 4.7 million in 2009 from a satisfactory Rs. 137 million in 2006, the Auditor General’s Department, the Treasury and COPE sources revealed. A confidential report sent to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) by Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B.Jayasundara on more..

Canada 'target destination' for human smuggling

Sep 16 (TS) Up to 150,000 Tamils are being released from camps in Sri Lanka and federal immigration officials fear their "wealthy" families abroad can hire more smuggling ships to bring them to Canada and other countries, a senior official warned in a memo earlier this year. "Canada will be a target destination," said Brian Hudson, an immigration program manager at the Canadian High Commission in Colombo. more..

Degree rejected

Sep 16 (DM) The Government Medical Officers (GMOA) today said that the medical institute set up in Malabe was not authorized by the Medical Council or the University Grants Commission (UGC) and their degrees will not be recognised. The Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) had also recently, in a public notice, warned that the Russian degree offered by the institute set up in Malabe will not be recognized. more..

India hands over water harvesting project to Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (PTI) India has handed over a water harvesting project here to Sri Lanka with a hope that it would popularise the process for recharging underground aquifers in the country. Officials of the Indian High Commission here handed over the project on Artificial Recharge of Ground Water Resources at the Export Processing Zone in Katunyake to Sri Lankan authorities at a ceremony held yesterday. more..

Tourism goes eco-friendly

Sep 16 (MoD) Sri Lanka which has a rich heritage has begun its journey towards an eco-friendly tourist paradise, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa said. Attracting rich tourists where Sri Lanka could benefit is a key feature in this massive venture, he further added. Minister Basil Rajapaksa was visiting the Ulagalla Resort which was built at a cost of Rs 700 million. "It is our mission is to preserve Sri Lanka's culture and heritage, more..

Annual assessment camp (girls) successfully completed

Sep 16 (MoD) The first detail of the Annual Assessment Camp for Girls was concluded successfully on 07 September 2010. Final Parade of the Camp was held on 06 September 2010. The Director N.C.C. Major General Gamini Jayasundara took the salute of the girl cadets who passed out at the Parade. Rathnavali Girl's College, Gampaha of the 7 N.C.C. won the Major General Gamini Jayasundara RWP RSP Challenge Trophy while the second place was secured by Meegalewa National School. more..

First parachute competition in South Asia

Sep 16 (MoD) The first Parachute Competition in South Asia commenced concurrently to the 6th Defense Services Games at the Air Force Grounds in Uhana- Ampara on 06th Sept. 2010. Nearly 40 competitors representing Tri Forces, both males and females participated in the Parachute competition which proceeded till 14th Sept. at the same venue. The final competition was held on 13th Sept. and more..

Urgent questions to pose to the Leader of the Opposition

Sep 16 (GV) The opposition leader and party leader of the UNP, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, appears to be play acting before the public, playing the two key roles of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. An e-mail invitation that went out to leaders of Civil Society and Human Rights Non-Profit Organisations on Monday, September 13, 2010 from the Secretary to the Leader of the Opposition stated that the “Leader of the Opposition would like to see you at more..

Protection from thought: The Economist and National Security in Sri Lanka

Sep 16 (GV) In what may be explained as an utterly fatuous action in a country that apparently has no official policy on censorship – but is plagued by the arbitrary regulation and control of online content as well as print media – Customs officials have detained two issues of the Economist this year. In addition, reports indicate that several other issues of the Economist have been withheld by Customs, including two issues published in May of 2009. more..

GBV: 8 Sexual Harrasment

Will the 18th Amendment reduce the confusions that abound in our paradise island?

Sep 16 (DM) If one were to read all the various newspapers that are published on a Sunday one will discover that most of the news is on political issue. The need for a 18th amendment is greatly debated yet even though the amendment has been passed . Some consider it as an essential amendment ensuring the sovereignty of the people, others criticized it as the ultimate death knell to that sovereignty. more..

Can Mahinda Rajapaksa vanquish the UN ?

Sep 16 (DM) The forthcoming visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the United Nations (UN) annual General assembly this year will be his first since the Sri Lanka (SL) war was concluded. Mahinda did not attend the assembly last year even though the war was over. The Govt. explained that Rajapaksa was not attending the assembly because of the Presidential elections in Sri Lanka last year and he was occupied with making preparations for it. more..

'18th Amendment, joint venture between MR and RW'

Sep 16 (DM) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayaka spoke to Daily Mirror about the vices of the 18th Amendment and how it infringes upon the sovereignty of the people, the need for a strong opposition and the threats on the media. Q: The Government’s defence of the 18th Amendment and the removal of the term limit for a President is that it strengthens the sovereignty of the people by more..

Samitha sues BMICH for Rs. 555 mn

Sep 16 (Island) Final year student of the Colombo Medical Faculty Samitha Samanmalee arrives at the Colombo District Court yesterday for a case against the BMICH. She claims damages in Rs. 500 million, for crippling injuries she sustained, when a structure at the BMICH collapsed on her a couple of years ago. Samitha was visiting the BMICH while arrangements were being made for the Deyata Kirula Exhibition, when the accident occurred in 2008. more..

Midwives threaten strike unless Ministry delivers on promise

Sep 16 (Island) Irked by the cancellation of Monday’s scheduled meeting with the Secretary to the Health Ministry, the Government Midwifery Service Association (GMSA) warns that it will resort to a strike. The meeting had been convened to discuss the Health Ministry’s move to train nurses in midwifery. The GMSA Assistant Secretary Devika Kodituwakku said the discussion scheduled for Monday (13) had been cancelled by the Secretary’s office. more..

Sri Lanka sending fact finding mission to Iraq

Sep 16 (Island) Sri Lanka is sending a fact finding mission to Iraq to explore the possibility of obtaining employment for skilled workers. External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris recently called a meeting of relevant officials from his ministry and the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, in parliament in the wake of our front-page news item on Sept. 03, under the headline, more..

The other side of the eighteenth amendment

Sep 16 (Island) The eighteenth amendment has been passed and it is now part of our constitution. As usual the thousand or so pundits in Sri Lanka have been proved wrong again and we still have a democracy in Sri Lanka with of course Messrs. Tissa Vitharana and D E W Gunasekera holding ministerial positions and Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara still being an MP.It would be interesting to find out whether they would lose the membership of their respective parties in the name of democracy. more..

Nations don’t die, they are murdered!

Sep 16 (LG) Nations do die, in fact they get murdered despite all the claims on the contrary. Only problem is that one needs to have a little understanding of both the social sciences and the society in its everyday life to see that happening. This is no mean task though, especially, for the academicians living in their ivory towers. It helps, also, if the ivory towers have been provided to them by the powers that may. more..

Ramifications of no confidence motion against Minister GL Pieris

Sep 16 (TC) It is, in equal measure, ironic and amusing that the UNP has chosen to move a motion of No Confidence in Parliament, against the newish Minister of External Affairs, Prof GL Pieris. Antonio Gramsci notes that in an intellectual argument one must strike at the opponent’s strongest point, while in war and politics, one strikes the weakest spot in the defences. One certainly does not strike at a stronger point of more..

Defying Authority – Gayan’s Story

Sep 16 (LG) Respect for elders and authority figures is deeply ingrained in the culture of Sri Lanka. Children are instructed to show deference towards their parents, grandparents, as well as towards teachers, and members of the clergy. However, in some case, there can a fine line between demanding respect and inflicting abuse. That is the situation in which a young man called Gayan Mangala found himself. more..

China-Sri Lanka Economic, Political and Historic Relations

Sep 16 (LG) China and Sri Lanka were related connected and bonded together for thousands of years. Monk Fahian’s visit and the Buddhism with Asian way of life connected China/Sri Lanka uninterrupted and undisturbed. Even when China was in isolation Sri Lanka always made friendships and associations. The Sri Lanka- China Rubber Pact initiated by Hon. R.G. Senanayake and the other economic bonds has shown that the two countries are economically and more..

'My stand is the same'

Sep 16 (NF) In the event the reforms don't take place, then I would stand on behalf of every member of this party, says parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake. Responding to a statement by Ranil Wickremasinghe, she said that her stand was the same and all she was asking is for reforms to take place. Many UNP MPs have said that their decision to sit independently in parliament would not change unless party reforms are implemented immediately. more..

ANALYSIS: Sri Lanka’s opposition party crumbles in public

Sep 16 (SLNN) The ongoing internal conflict within the main opposition UNP is now unfolding in public with party members sending contradictory messages via the media. The independent statements, accusations and denials have highlighted the party’s fragmentation and catapulted this internal struggle onto the national stage. At a press conference on Tuesday, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told journalists, “The media is saying that more..

Editorial: Refugees risking lives to return

Sep 16 (Island) Refugees whom conflicts produce anywhere in the world basically fall into four categories. There are real victims of violence and persecution, who flee their countries for want of a better alternative. Economic refugees masquerade as victims and migrate to and sponge off the affluent countries with lenient immigration policies. They do not return home even after conflicts cease to be. more..

'Biggest problem in health sector today is the size of the collar'

Sep 16 (NF) The size and colour of the nurses' collar is developing into a major problem in Ratnapura, said Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena yesterday, while noting that many aspects of the state sector were not at a satisfactory level. The minister made this observation while attending a function held at the auditorium of the National Blood Centre in Colombo yesterday to more..

Mangroves mangled in the name of Eco-Tourism

Sep 16 (LB) While the authorities assure that they plan to keep the environmental damage to a minimum and not in anyway endanger the livelihood of 24,111 residents in 88 fishing villages in the newly developing Kalpitiya tourism belt, in a recent visit to the area LAKBIMAnEWS learn that environmentalists and the residents in the area are worried about the future of their livelihoods which are directly tied to the survival of mangroves. more..

Sri Lanka securities watchdog mulls new fines for price manipulators

Sep 16 (LBO) Sri Lanka's securities watchdog will bring new laws to make it easier to prosecute 'pump and dump' fraud and also bring in a new set of fines going up to three times of profits made by perpetrators. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed a 10 percent price cap in August to curb steep rises in stock prices especially in illiquid stocks. From September 20 a refined formula will be used to cap activity of the most volatile stocks. more..

Saudi fund provides: US$ 46mn for Kaluganga development project

Sep 16 (Island) The Saudi Fund for Development has agreed to provide a loan equivalent of US$ 46 million (approximately Rs.5,200 mn) for the Kaluganga Development project. The loan is provided on highly concessional terms at an interest rate of 2% per annum repayable in 20 years including a grace period of 5 years. The Kaluganga Development project is a part of the Mahaweli Development program and more..

More Facebook abuse complaints

Sep 16 (DM) More complaints have been lodged against the ‘Facebook’ and the authorities had blocked one account last week,an official of Women and Children Bureau said. He said that last week the Women and Children’s Bureau had received at least four complaints against the social network site being abused by some people who had put up altered pictures of Sri Lankan girls and women without their consent on the popular site. more..

Not implemented: Dr. Guneratne

Sep 16 (DM) Former Peace Secretariat Secretary General John Gunaratne said yesterday the implementation of the official languages policy, which is a vital aspect of the reconciliation process, is still at an uncertain stage, being subject to political weather conditions. Dr Gunaratne told the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that most government departments and ministries did not use Tamil in carrying out their work although more..

Sri Lanka could face 'constitutional dictatorship', warn churches

Sep 16 (ENI) Church leaders and activists in Sri Lanka are warning that the Indian Ocean island could become a "constitutional dictatorship" after the country's parliament voted changes to the nation's fundamental law. "We are totally disappointed and frustrated over the passing of this constitutional amendment which we had opposed in every way," Rohan Edirasinghe, the spokesperson for the church-backed Centre for Policy Alternatives, told ENInews more..

'CEB will be protected against vested interests'

Sep 16 (Islnad) The Ceylon Electricity Board, which has assets valued at Rs 600 billion, cannot be run according to the whims and fancies of a few individuals, Minister Champika Ranawaka says. He assured that he would not allow parties with vested interests to dictate terms to the CEB. He said that CEB was an institution comprising personnel with decent educational background at all levels, more..

With solar and dendro power: Ministry to expects reach target

Sep 16 (DN) The Power and Energy Ministry is set to reach its ‘Electricity for All by 2012’ target with solar and dendro power stations to be constructed in remote villages that have not been served by the national grid. Ceylon Electricity Board sources said some 4,593 rural electrification schemes will be constructed during the next two years. more..

Ill-treated children rescued from home

Sep 16 (Islnad) Probation and Childcare Services Department officials and the police removed 21 children from a children’s home in Vavuniya yesterday on the grounds that they were being ill-treated. Acting on information received from the public, the PCSD and police launched an investigation into the happenings at the home at issue and found that the children – 20 girls and a boy – were forced by the Matron to undertake menial tasks but their welfare was not looked into. more..

Colombo refuses visa to NGO official

Sep 16 (TN) The Sri Lankan Government has ordered Daniel Horgan, security coordination officer of Nonviolent Peaceforce, a foreign NGO, to leave Sri Lanka immediately, the Sinhala language Divaina newspaper said in an article. The order was made when Horgan sent in his papers seeking renewal of his visa to continue his work in Sri Lanka. In July, government also deported a Canadian national who functioned as the director of the Nonviolent Peaceforce organization and Ali Palh Ahamed, more..

Foreign minister to visit India next month

Sep 16 (TOI) As India and Sri Lanka further step up engagement over the issue of resettlement and political solution, Sri Lankan foreign minister G L Peiris will visit India next month. The visit will be followed by his counterpart S M Krishna's visit to the island nation in the last week of October. Peiris, who is slated to be here for the R K Mishra memorial lecture on October 15, is likely to call on PM Manmohan Singh and also have a meeting with Krishna. more..

All porn sites in Sri Lanka to be banned

Sep 16 (LP) Steps are taken by the Women and Children’s Bureau of the Police, to ban all porn websites in Sri Lanka. The Bureau together with the TRC will be taking the measures. At present steps were taken to ban over 188 porn websites under orders issued from the Battaramulla Juvenile Courts. The Women and Children’s Bureau said that they would request for an order to impose a permanent ban on all porn websites accessible in Sri Lanka via internet. more..

Red clay based cookware replaces traditional utensils

Sep 16 (DN) A high thermal shock resistant red clay based cookware has been developed by the Materials Technology Section of the Industrial Technology Institute (ITI). These cookware are light in weight and thin walled. This is introduced as a replacement for traditional cookware and as a partial replacement for aluminium cookware. This is produced by mixing locally available mineral with a suitable frit. more..

Sri Lanka war 'a waste of people's lives' - ex-Tiger

Sep 16 (BBC) A former media spokesman for the Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka has said the decades-long war between them and the state was a waste of people's lives. Velayutham Dayanidhi, better known as Daya Master, also said he was glad that the country was now at peace. It is the first broadcast interview by any of the former senior Tiger leaders since their movement was defeated on the battlefield in 2009. more..

TNA rejects RW’s appointment

Sep 16 (SL) The TNA today turned down the nomination of TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran as Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s nominee to the Parliament Council, which is to be established under the 18th Amendment. TNA MP Suresh Premachandran said that while Sumanthiran has already rejected the proposal, the TNA would not accept any nominations to the Parliament Council, as the party was opposed to the 18th Amendment. more..

'Where are those who thought they could rule forever'

Sep 16 (Islnad) There were people who thought that they could rule for ever but it didn’t turn out that way, UNP leader Ranil Wickrmesinghe said yesterday. Asked what he could do to stop President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who, considering the interpretations given to the law that governs crossovers, could take any number of his MP’s at will, Wickremesinghe said, "There were people who thought that they could rule forever, more..

'Rajapaksa using Sino-Indian rivalry in Sri Lanka'

Sep 16 (ET) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa is using the perceived Sino-Indian rivalry to keep at bay New Delhi's concerns over the Tamil community, says a leading rights activist from Colombo. But India has many options to ensure that promises repeatedly made by Rajapaksa to Indian leaders are kept so that minorities feel a sense of equality, P. Saravanamuthu told a group of Sri Lanka watchers here late Wednesday. more..

GMOA won’t oppose Private Medical Colleges

Sep 16 (Islnad) The Government Medical Officers’ Association says it will not oppose Private Medical Colleges in Sri Lanka nor support them. The GMOA asserts the public had the right to either oppose or support the establishment of the medical colleges. GMOA Deputy Chief, Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said that the GMOA was concerned about the qualifications of those passing out from PMCs. more..

Yeah right. We believe the spin on the 18th Amendment

Sep 16 (LB) “So, miss, will we have to vote under a different system now that this constitutional amendment is passed?” the cab driver asked, waiting for the green light. “Like, is the preferential system a thing of the past now?" The driver — an amiable, politically savvy young man from Balapitiya who had worked in Manusha Nanayakkara’s campaign during the last parliamentary poll more..