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Sri Lanka to revamp aviation law

Sep 17 (LBO) Sri Lanka will revamp its outdated civil aviation law to cope with advances made over several decades and a new law will be brought to parliament quickly, minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said. "Civil aviation law is outdated. Since the law was brought 60 years ago the industry has moved by leaps and bounds," the minister said. "The act will be brought to parliament as early as possible as an urgent piece of legislation." more..

AG demands audited accounts of Hope Cancer Hospital committee

Sep 17 (Island) The Hope Cancer Hospital Project Committee has been given an ultimatum, by the Attorney General’s Department, to submit a fully audited report on the total funds collected and reasons for using the name of the Ministry of Health to collect funds or face legal action. The Committee has been directed to respond within 30 days or face prosecution under the criminal and civil laws. more..

No GSP+, no US$ 250,000 export orders

Sep 17 (Island) Sri Lanka has already lost more than US $ 250,000 placed export orders with the recent withdrawal of GSP plus trade concessions by the European Union, said the Chairman of Daya Group of Companies, Daya Gamage. "Sri Lanka had the advantage of exporting more than 2,000 items to the EU market without duties up to 15th August. With the removal of the GSP plus facility, we have to pay 9.6 percent tax on all exports to EU, more..

MR to object to UN panel

Sep 17 (PTI) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York next week and raise the government’s strong objections to moves by a UN Panel to begin its work on Sri Lanka despite a local commission hearing already underway. Government sources said that President Rajapaksa was expected to meet the UN Chief on September 24, a day after his scheduled speech at the UN General Assembly and more..

UN panel on Sri Lanka begins work

Sep 17 (PTI) A panel of experts, which has been set up to advise UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka during the LTTE era, has commenced its work amidst Colombo's refusal to allow its entry to the country. The three-member panel has commenced its work after a meeting with the UN Secretary-General, UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky said in a statement. more..

IMF praises Sri Lanka's surging economy

Sep 17 (IBT) Sri Lanka's economy advanced by 8.5 percent during the second quarter of 2010 on an annual basis -- the highest quarterly growth rate recorded since 2002 – following a 7.1 advance in the first quarter. The country, which suffered through almost three decades of civil conflict and violence until the government's May 2009 defeat of the LTTE terrorist group, has clearly rebounded economically, more..

Over 60 killed in Sri Lanka explosives depot blast

Sep 17 (AFP) An accidental blast at an explosives depot in eastern Sri Lanka on Friday devastated a police station and killed at least 60 people including two Chinese road builders, the military said. Three container loads of munitions being stored at a police station in Karadiyanaru, 235 miles (375 kilometres) by road from Colombo, exploded as officers distributed charges to the Chinese contractors. more..

Sri Lanka jails ex-army chief Fonseka

Sep 17 (AFP) A court martial Friday convicted Sri Lanka's former army chief Sarath Fonseka of engaging in corrupt deals and sentenced him to three years in jail. The military court found that Fonseka favoured an arms company run by his son-in-law, the official said, asking not to be named. Last month, Fonseka was stripped of his rank and pension after another court found him guilty of dabbling in politics while in uniform. more..

Sri Lanka lowers death toll from police station blast

Sep 18 (BBC) Officials in Sri Lanka say 25 people were killed in an accidental explosion at a police station, lowering the toll from the 60 deaths given earlier. Explosives meant for road building blew up as they were being handed over to a Chinese construction firm, Maj Gen Ubaya Medawala told the BBC. He said 16 policemen, seven civilians and two Chinese were killed and 52 others injured. Sabotage has been ruled out as a cause of the explosion in eastern Sri Lanka. more..

How Sri Lanka defeated the terrorists

Sep 18 (MH) If you think only Muslim extremists have used terrorism to further their aims, you should take a look at the recent history of Sri Lanka. This would-be tropical paradise, a tear-shaped island in the Indian Ocean, experienced a wrenching civil war between government forces and the LTTE, a group that had no qualms about blowing up civilians to terrorize the population, make headlines and achieve its goal of creating an independent state for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 17.09.2010

‘Intellectual’ critics of the administration in Sri Lanka are least conspicuous in search for an alternative

Sep 18 (TC) If God is dead, everything is permitted, said Dostoevsky, part echoed by Nietzsche who exclaimed “God is dead, and we have killed him”. The danger of announcing the death of democracy, when it isn’t dead, is precisely that ‘everything is permitted’. It permits dictatorial practices on the part of the authorities who no longer feel fettered by democracy. It permits violent protest by those who more..

Against Dictatorship – Subjects and Abjects

Sep 18 (LG) The fault is in ourselv0es, not in our Constitution, that we are slaves. After this oblique reference to a famous statement in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar I will refer to a hardly known statement in his play Richard 111. A character observes that he and others have no option but to obey the Queen because they are her abjects. The word "abject" used as a noun meaning a person of the meanest condition is according to more..

M.H.M. Ashraff: The legendary Muslim congress leader

Sep 18 (DBS) September 16th 2010 was the tenth death anniversary of Mohammad Hussein Muhammad Ashraff, the uncrowned sultan of the Amparai district Muslims and legendary leader of the SLMC. The pioneering president of the SLMC was Ahammed Lebbe of Kattankudi with whom Ashraff co-founded the party in September 1981. It was however MHM Ashraff who gave the Muslim Congress a new vision and direction after more..

AHRC condemns the politically manipulated verdict against Sarath Fonseka

Sep 18 (LG) The Asian Human Rights Commission categorically condemns the decision of the second court-martial delivered today in the case against Sarath Fonseka. The political use of the judicial process is a complete denial of the basic freedoms of a citizen. A court-martial manipulated by a political regime is a threat not only to the individual concerned but also to all the citizens of the country. more..

What will be Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka’s next student question?

Sep 18 (LG) In the next article by Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka you are likely to see some four letter words. Having no ideas to express and nothing to defend except the idea of the need of a strong leader, he now resorts to all the insults he can think of. He can’t think of much but he selects the most vulgar. Such is the natural end of anyone who wants to be an advocate for authoritarianism. The funny part of it is that to defend dictatorship he quotes the names of more..

'Lanka needs youthful leaders to achieve goals'

Sep 18 (DM) To achieve its development goals, Sri Lanka must nurture capable youthful leaders to head state institutions such as the Ceylon Electricity Board, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank and the Ports Authority, Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday. In his keynote address at the 136th birth anniversary celebrations of D.J. Wimalasurendra who pioneered hydro power in Sri Lanka and more..

Pariccaga: the third element of the Dasa Raja Dharma

Sep 18 (DM) The third article of the rules for good governance proposed by Siddhartha Gauthama, the Samma Sambuddha, the All-Knowing, is called Pariccaga or self-sacrifice. In the business of running a government or being custodian to a nation made of citizens, resources, a culture, a civilization and way of being, this refers to acts of renunciation to further the public interest. On the face of it this seems closely related to the first of the Dasa Raja Dharma, more..

USJP Students’ Union: Harassment and gender discrimination over clothing

Sep 18 (GV) Many believe that women in Sri Lanka are in a better place compared to its counterparts in South Asia. This is true up to a certain extent where women enjoy a high level of education, high life expectancy at birth (74 years) and access to economic opportunities. Sri Lanka elected the first ever female head of state and had since been governed by two female heads of state – namely Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunge. more..

Police hand in murder of Beruala student revealed

Sep 18 (LT) The cow thieves had not carried any shooting at the incident at Beruwala says DIG Anura Senanayake. He says the eight year old student had died of police shooting. DIG Senanayake also states that SP Deshabandu Tennekone and ASP – Nugegoda D.S. Senapathy have no connection with the shooting and they have been recalled to Nugegoda Police Division. He said according to the law a fire arm could be removed more..

'Fisheries industry is key to increase growth'

Sep 18 (NF) Sri Lanka has to maintain the country's growth between 9 and 10 per cent and the fisheries industry is the key to achieve that objective, says Rajitha Senaratne, Minister of Fisheries. The minister was expressing these views at a function to distribute aid amongst fisheries cooperative societies in the Kalutara town hall yesterday. “The per capita income in this country must be doubled. A person needs to draw in an income of at least US$ 4,000. more..

View From Jaffna: Strategic Thinking about Construction Materials

Sep 18 (Island) The lack of strategic policy and practice in relation to the supply of construction materials is affecting infrastructure building projects throughout Sri Lanka in varying degrees but more seriously, projects in the Northern Province. The implications of a lack of strategic thinking and a coordinated national plan to deal with the supply of construction materials for post war infrastructure rebuilding are many and carry serious consequences. more..

'18th amendment far more democratic, will not breed a dictator'

Sep 18 (Island) The 18th Amendment to the Constitution is far more democratic, when compared to the amendments made during the time of the UNP, said the Minister Susil Premajayantha. He made this comment in response to a statement issued by the Deputy Leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya recently, stating that time will be devoted towards gathering forces that are against the government's dictatorship. more..

Politics up on govt agenda, not public needs

Sep 18 (Island) The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA) listed a plethora of short comings in the country’s economy despite the end of the conflict 15 months ago while politicians continue to be preoccupied with political issues. Financing of projects to rehabilitate and develop the once war-torn regions of the North and East have been received through various bilateral and multilateral agreements but funds are not being sent to more..

CFA, security issues and Eelam War IV

Sep 18 (Island) In the wake of the ongoing inquiry by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) into the Norwegian arranged CFA signed in February 2002 and its subsequent collapse leading to the Eelam War IV, The Island examined two vital issues-(CFA & misconception of int’l ‘safety net’ and CFA & media issues, on Aug 30 and 31, 2010, respectively) and today the focus is on the CFA and security issues. more..

Multi-culturalism & State-religion

Coir Board seeks Lanka support to market products

Sep 18 (BS) The Coir Board on Friday sought the support of the Sri Lankan government to evolve a joint marketing strategy of collective bargaining in the growing global market for coir and coir products. The two countries put together account for 80 per cent of the world coir production. The suggestion was conveyed to the island nation when an official delegation headed by Minister Udalamatta Gamage called on Coir Board chairman VS Vijayaraghavan here. more..

TNA MPs to visit Valikaamam North HSZ

Sep 18 (TN) TNA spokesman and Jaffna district parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran said that a group of TNA parliamentarians will be visiting Valikaamam North Sri Lanka Army (SLA) occupied High Security Zone (HSZ) once they get the permission from Sri Lanka Ministry of Defence. Meanwhile, Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka minister who is in Jaffna has again said that the families uprooted from Valikaamam North by SLA will be allowed to more..

'Today is going to be a very sad day for all law abiding Sri Lankans'

Sep 18 (LG) I know you all have been there with my father since the presidential election and have been watching closely as to what the government has been doing to him day by day. Things are said to become better with time but so far we are yet to see that day. However, I feel like the time has come to voice out. What are we waiting for? If we do not fight for democracy now, when are we planning on fighting for it? more..

Coup in the chicken coop?

Sep 18 (DM) An association of egg producers would be formed today by the Internal Trade Ministry, officials said. There is already an association of poultry farmers in the country, but the government has no involvement in it. “This association hopes to break the monopoly held by one association and hopes to bring down the prices of eggs,” a Ministry said. According to the media release association would be formed in Paduwasnuwara Community Centre. more..

UN, EU reps discuss development with Batticaloa district GA

Sep 18 (TN) The delegation led by Neil Buhne, the UN Resident Representative and Human Coordinator, accompanied by representatives of European Union, met Batticaloa district Government Agent (GA) Suntharam Arumainayagam Wednesday and discussed matters related to the development of Batticaloa district, Batticaloa District Secretariat sources said. Meanwhile, the resettled families in Paduvaankarai complained that more..

Sri Lanka from Thattu Maru system to Head Table - Bottom Table set-up

Sep 18 (Island) The controversial 18th amendment (18 A) to the constitution has proved a fait accompli and Sri Lanka’s ruling class has further entrenched itself in this country’s power structure. In fact, this amendment has been one of the most lovingly nurtured dreams of our ruling stratum over the decades. Right away, it needs to be clarified that the term ‘ruling class’ or stratum, more..

UN celebrates‘International Day of Peace’ in Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (DM) The United Nations in Sri Lanka yesterday celebrated the International Day of Peace under the theme; “Peace, Youth and Development”, at the UN compound in Thunmulla. This year’s Peace Day was dedicated to the Youth by UN Secretary General Ban Ki -moon. “This month marks the beginning of the International Year of Youth. Its theme of dialog and mutual understating captured the very essence of peace,” more..

Prof. (Dr.) Tissa Vitharana MP — An outstanding sportsman

Sep 18 (Island) There are three highly respected Professors in Parliament today. They are celebrities in their own chosen field. Prof. G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs was a Vice-Chancellor of the University of Colombo, Prof. Rajiv Wijesingha, English scholar and an educationist and Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Minister of Technology and Research, in the field of Medical Sciences. All three of them are National List Members of Parliament and more..

Recruitment from Lanka may be stopped

Sep 18 (SG) The Sri Lankan Ministry of Labor has rejected a memorandum of understanding (MoU) seeking to streamline the recruitment process from Sri Lanka. The MoU also envisaged measures to fix recruitment charges and to organize the process so as to effectively check malpractices. The MoU, which was to be implemented on Sept.10, was signed between the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and more..

Editorial: Cussedness of a diplomatic hit man

Sep 18 (Island) The sickening abrasiveness and sheer arrogance that Ban Ki-moon exudes in his approach to the affairs of Sri Lanka are unbecoming of a UN Secretary General. Such opprobrious conduct is something to be expected of a swashbuckling street soldier in New York doing dirty contracts for a living, and not certainly of an international civil servant at the helm of the apex world body which boasts of impartiality and good governance. more..

Indian funded housing projects begin from Vavuniya

Sep 18 (DN) The Indian funded project to construct 50,000 houses for the displaced in the northern province will start within the next two weeks from the Vavuniya district. Work on 200 houses will start in four Divisional Secretariats within a fortnight as a pilot project. It includes the construction of 1,000 houses in the province. A Divisional Secretariat will get 50 cluster houses. Local manpower will be fully utilized for this project which is supervised by more..

Lalith Weeratunga elected CTO Chairman at 50th Council Meeting

Sep 18 (DN) Secretary to the President and Telecommunication Regulatory Commission Chairman Lalith Weeratunga was unanimously elected as Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) Chairman at the 50th Council Meeting in Colombo from September 16-17. As the President's Secretary, Weeratunga is the foremost civil servant in the country and the de facto head of the Public Service. more..

Move to save foreign exchange, brain drain: Concessions for private universities

Sep 18 (DN) The Government will take measures to provide more tax concessions and free land for investors willing to set up private universities in the country. Higher Education Minister S.B.Dissanayake said giving more opportunities for local and foreign investors to set up universities in the country will enhance the current education level to reach international standards. more..

LLRC's open sessions begin in Kilinochchi tomorrow

Sep 18 (MoD) The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission will conduct open public sessions today and tomorrow in Kilinochchi, in which interested persons or organizations could make their submissions to the Commission. Similar sessions will be held in Jaffna from 9th 13th Next month, which will be followed by similar sessions in the Eastern Province. President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the eight member 'Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation' Commission on 15th May, more..

'We have to solve our internal problems first'

Sep 18 (Island) Amidst threats by certain UNP MPs to sit as a separate group in parliament until the leadership issue in the UNP is resolved, C.A. Chandraprema speaks to one of the key UNP agitators for reform MP Talatha Atukorale about the situation in the party. Q. What was the reason for MPs present at Sirikotha last week for the protest against the 18th Amendment to ask for an emergency parliamentary group meeting after the protest? more..

Sri Lanka navy to return requisitioned church

Sep 18 (UCAN) The Sri Lankan navy is to hand back a Marian church on Mannar Island after deciding to relocate its base, says the local vicar general. For the last 20 years, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church located at Talaimannar Pier has been off limits after the navy established a base around it to combat arms shipments to Tamil Tiger rebels. After the civil war ended in May last year, several priests and lay centers asked the navy to return the church, more..

Caritas aims for a cleaner Sri Lanka

Sep 18 (UCAN) Solid waste management needs drastic improvement if people in Sri Lanka are to live in a healthier environment, parish environmental leaders have been told. “Inefficient collection and disposal of solid waste is a major problem,” said Nalin Mannapperuma, deputy director of the Solid Waste Management Authority of the Western Provincial Council in Colombo. He was speaking to about 50 Buddhist and Christian health and environmental committee chiefs from more..

Interview III - Prashan De Visser

UNP restrained from expelling Lucky and Earl

Sep 18 (Island) Colombo District Judge Ranjith N. Wathupala yesterday restrained, for two weeks, the Executive Committee of the UNP from expelling from the party, Members of Parliament Lakshman Seneviratne and Earl Gunesekera. The two MPs had complained to the Court that the UNP ExCo had recently notified them that they would be expelled because they had voted with the government for the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. more..

Health sector scholarships end in wrong hands

Sep 18 (Island) There is a racket in the Health Ministry where high ranking officers go overseas on scholarships offered to others, trade unions complain. Among the scholarships and training programmes so abused are those offered by World Health Organisation, the Japan International Corporation Agency and some high profile private sector companies, President of the Joint Council of Professions Supplementary to Medicine Ravi Kumudesh says. more..

'MPs crossing sides should be stripped of their seats'

Sep 18 (Island) With MPs changing sides at will in violation of the people’s mandate, UNP MP Rosy Senanayake said yesterday that there was an urgent need for the re-introduction of the law which caused MPs to lose their seats when they crossed from one party to another, followed with a by-election. Asked if the solution to preventing unprincipled politicians from abandoning the parties through which they were elected to parliament for more..

Notice issued on CP Chief Minister

Sep 18 (DM) The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on the Central Province Chief Minister and six others when the writ application filed by Loku Banda Aluvihare challenging his removal from the post of Kandy Mayor was taken up for inquiry. Appeal Court Judge Rohini Marasinghe also issued an interim order against the respondents and listed the matter to be taken up on October 4. The respondents were cited as Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake, more..

This month Sisara is nailing me: Ranil

Sep 18 (NF) Last month Sirasa showed Mrs. Ariyawathi being nailed and this month Sirasa is nailing me, says Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the United National party (UNP). Participating yesterday in a ceremony to commemorate the the 104th birth anniversary of president J. R. Jayewardene, the Oppostion leader also said that unlike before, politics was now engaged in through the media. more..

I have no magical power: Sajith

Sep 18 (DM) UNP MP Sajith Premadasa who aspires to be the next party leader emphasized last evening that the party should convey the correct message to the electorate through credible messengers for it to emerge victorious at future elections. Addressing a meeting organized by the Independent Professionals Forum, Mr. Premadasa said though many people cutting across the country had pinned high hopes on him, more..