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Karadiyanaru blast: Was it simply negligence on the part of the construction workers?

Sep 21 (Island) The JVP yesterday called for a thorough inquiry into last Friday’s blast at Karadiyanaru, Batticaloa, which claimed the lives of over two dozen persons, including two Chinese workers. Responding to a media query yesterday, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, MP, pointed out that a particular country had been opposed to investment by another country in Sri Lanka’s north-east. more..

‘Save SF op’: Supporters of Fonseka’s presidential bid divided

Sep 21 (Island) The JVP yesterday acknowledged that it was extremely difficult to muster those who had supported General Sarath Foneka’s candidature at the 2010 presidential election to defend the former Army Chief against what JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva called, a vengeful Rajapaksa administration. He said that the UNP couldn’t be trusted and it wouldn’t throw its weight behind a joint campaign to save the DNA leader General Fonseka. more..

Police draw blank on Siyatha attack

Sep 21 (DM) None of the eyewitnesses were able to identify the suspects who were allegedly involved in the recent attack on the Siyatha Media office, the Kompanna Veediya police told court yesterday. The police made this submission at the magisterial inquiry into the attack on the Siyatha Radio and TV station at Hunupitiya Lake Road in Colombo 2. Police also said they were yet to receive a damage assessment report from the complainant. more..

Govt. to talk with TNA

Sep 21 (DM) The government has decided to invite the TNA for talks when President Mahinda Rajapaksa returns from his UN tour, government sources said. The main purpose of the meeting would be to get the TNA’s support for the northern development activities. Sources said that the government was expected to discuss forthcoming local government elections, resettlement projects and development activities in the Northern Province. more..

DNA briefs Commonwealth leaders on Fonseka’s plight

Sep 21 (DM) DNA front-liner Vijitha Herath, who attended the recent summit of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union at Nairobi, in Kenya, briefed several Commonwealth leaders about the plight of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that Mr. Herath had returned to the country after attending the Nairobi summit where he briefed several world leaders about the harassment faced by Mr. Fonseka. more..

Major change in election of LC heads

Sep 21 (DM) Under the proposed election law, only political parties which win more than 50 per cent of the votes will be permitted to appoint the heads of local bodies, Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardene said yesterday. Mr. Gunawardene who heads a parliament committee on electoral reforms told a meeting in Anuradhapura that mayors; chairmen and deputies would be elected by way of a resolution approved by more..

Two linked to Tigers fighting extradition

Sep 21 (NP) Two Canadians wanted by the United States for allegedly helping supply Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels asked the Ontario appeal court on Monday to overturn their extradition orders. Pratheepan Nadarajah and Suresh Sriskandarajah surrendered to authorities on Sunday night to face possible extradition to New York to stand trial on terrorism-related charges. more..

Sri Lankan to face firing squad in Dubai

Sep 21 (National) A 23-year-old man who stabbed his lover’s husband to death in a jealous rage is to face a firing squad. Rowan Kumar, from Sri Lanka, was convicted in April by the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance and sentenced to life imprisonment. In June, the Dubai Court of Appeals accepted the public prosecutors’ case for the death sentence on the ground that the murder was premeditated. more..

Central bank holds policy rates steady

Sep 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's central bank said it has decided to hold policy interest rates steady at a meeting Tuesday given falling market rates and increased credit flows to the private sector. The Repurchase rate of the Central Bank would remain at 7.25 percent and the Reverse Repurchase rate at 9.00 percent, a statement said. The central bank said it expects market interest rates to fall further. more..

Move to lift ban on Sri Lankan domestic workers is snagged

Sep 22 (GT) Jordanian recruitment agencies say that conditions introduced by the Sri Lankan authorities have stalled an agreement that would have lifted a ban on sending Sri Lankan domestic helpers to Jordan. The Sri Lankan government imposed the ban in July over the non-payment of Sri Lankan domestic helpers’ salaries. According to DHRAA, the conditions contradict Jordan’s labour aw and regulations governing the recruitment of domestic helpers. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief 21. 09. 2010

Where The Economist is censored

Sep 22 (Economist) Since January 2009 The Economist has been banned or censored in 12 of the 190-odd countries in which it is sold, with news-stand (as opposed to subscription) copies particularly at risk. India, the only democracy on our list, has censored 31 issues and at first glance might look like the worst culprit. However its censorship consists of stamping “Illegal” on maps of Kashmir because it disputes the borders shown. China is more proscriptive. more..

Sri Lanka B+ sovereign rating outlook lifted to positive: Fitch

Sep 22 (LBO) The outlook on Sri Lanka's 'B+' sovereign rating has been lifted to 'positive' from 'stable' on the end of a 30-year war and an agreement with the IMF. The full statement issued by Fitch is reproduced below: Fitch Ratings has today affirmed Sri Lanka's Long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) at 'B+', and simultaneously revised the Outlook to Positive from Stable. more..

Vaiko appears before tribunal to support LTTE, plea rejected

Sep 22 (PTI) The special tribunal, headed by a High Court Justice to examine the legality of extension of ban on LTTE, today declined a plea made by Vaiko, General Secretary MDMK, to hear him before passing any order. Vaiko, a known LTTE sympathiser from Tamilnadu, pleaded before Justice Vikarmjit Sen to allow him to argue before the tribunal saying that a supporter of the banned organisation has a right to be heard but the plea was turned down. more..

Dr. Wijaya Godakumbura and the Wonderful Lamp

Sep 22 (LG) When I was working in the Colombo North General Hospital in late 1999 I had an opportunity of listening to a lecture that was delivered by Dr Wijaya Godakumbura . He spoke of an unseen but an acute problem in Sri Lanka. He spoke of burn injuries that occur due to the unsafe kerosene oil lamps. According to the worldwide statistics over 310,000 people die of burns globally in the world every year and 95% of them occur in developing countries. more..

'The most unkindest cut of all'

Sep 22 (LG) The jailing of Sarath Fonseka (SF) is not the only example outcome of the repertoire of Rajapaksha skills which are predominantly wily, unethical, unprincipled, unjust and self-centred. In the context that SF was instrumental in creating the path on which Rajapaksha trod towards the glory that he and his family are basking in today, revenging upon SF becomes ‘the most unkindest cut of all’. SF, like any of his predecessors, faced the insurmountable obstacle of more..

Secretary Defence declares open Vahalkada at Swarnamali Viharaya - Angulana

Sep 22 (MoD) The newly constructed archway (Vahalkada) at the Swarnamali Viharaya in Thelawala, Angulana was declared opened by Secretary Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday. Construction work was made possible under the patronage of Mrs A.G. Chithra Perera on instructions of the Vihara incumbent, Mahanayaka Thera of Amarapura Nikaya, Ven Ambalangoda Sri Sumangala Thera. more..

NSB in deal to boost remittances from Jordan

Sep 22 (LBO) National Savings Bank (NSB) has inked inked a deal with a financial partner in Jordan as part of a bid to expand its remittance business tenfold over two years. NSB announced a deal with JRM Alami and Partners Exchange Company in Jordan Monday to help channel remittances of Sri Lankan expatriates in that country more easily. Last year expatriate Sri Lankans working in the Middle East, Far East and Europe sent 3.3 billion dollars to the country officially. more..

Promised jobs in UK: Father, son arrested for fraud

Sep 22 (NF) A father son duo, who had allegedly defrauded more than Rs. 20 million from several persons after promising them employment in Britain have been arrested by a special police team in the Anniewatta area in Kandy. Police said that the special police team, acting under the supervision of the Director of the Colombo Fraud Investigations Unit, SSP Maxi Proctor, who had gone to Kandy yesterday had arrested the two suspects and returned to Colombo. more..

Emotional homecoming after 21 years for Sri Lanka widow

Sep 22 (BBC) After 21 years she has returned to the residence where her family stayed in Colombo on the fateful day her husband - one of the most prominent Tamil political leaders of the past half-century - was shot dead by the Tamil Tiger rebels. "Sri Lanka is a beautiful country but the war destroyed everything," she reflects ruefully. Mrs Amirthalingam is at the place where her husband - who more..

RTN Anti-piracy mission commander calls on commander of the Navy

Sep 22 (SLN) Rear Admiral Chaiyot Sundaranaga, Commander, Frigate Squadron, Royal Thai Fleet and the Counter Piracy Mission Commander called on the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe today. He was accompanied by Ambassador of Thailand in Sri Lanka His Excellency Thinakorn Kanasuta, Commanding Officer of HTMS Similan Captain Poollarp Tattathongkom and Commanding Officer of HTMS Pattani Commander Sathip Chitnawa. more..

Sri Lanka is no more a destination of cheap labor for investors

Sep 22 (LP) Sri Lanka appears no more an oasis of cheap labor for foreign investors in manual labor is prime. That is not because the majority of Sri Lankans have better living standards now. The reason is that life conditions are so difficult that a few rupees thrown by factory owners as salary cannot save them from misery. Reports say that the garment and other similar factories country wide have around 30,000 regular and increasing number of unfilled vacancies. more..

Northern landowners call for compensation

Sep 22 (BBC) The Sri Lankan Military deny that property it returned to owners were heavily damaged. Military have vacated houses they occupied in Mulathivu, Kilinochchi and Mannar districts in order to hand them over to the owners. Kanapathi Pullai Kailanadan of Thandikulam said he was given a piece of bare land without the house. "Military occupied my house since 1993 and it was used as an armoury. more..

Editorial: Power grab in Sri Lanka

Sep 22 (JT) One year ago, Gen. Sarath Fonseka was a hero in Sri Lanka. As head of the army, he played a key role in crushing the Tamil insurgency that had waged civil war against the government in Colombo for decades. Last week, Mr. Fonseka — he had already been dishonorably discharged for politicking while in uniform — was found guilty of fraud by a military court and faced the prospect of jail time. more..

Caritas seeks to bring Muslims, Tamils closer

Sep 22 (UCAN) Nearly 20 years after an alleged rebel attack killed 147 Muslims in an eastern Sri Lanka mosque, a local Caritas team is working to promote reconciliation between Tamil and Muslim communities. One hundred Tamil men and women from neighboring villages joined a religious ceremony for the recently concluded Ramadan month. They sat together with Muslim families on the carpet at their local Manba’ul Hairath Mosque in Kattankudy village, more..

3D - Beyond Bambara Walalla

Colombo cathedral enforces dress code

Sep 22 (UCAN) Priests at St Lucia’s Cathedral in Colombo are insisting that young women cover their heads while at Mass. The move is part of a drive to have churchgoers dress appropriately during religious ceremonies. Many Catholics have complained that churchgoers in Colombo turn up for services in short skirts, halter tops, low cut blouses and shorts. In a recent Sunday homily, Father John Paul Vinoth, said that modest dressing would help create an atmosphere that more..

Sri Lanka post-war recovery draws interest: India's Religare

Sep 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka post-war recovery is starting to capture the interest of foreign investors, making India's Religare group put more than 10 million US dollars in a financial group that has stockbroking, officials said. India's Religare group is buying into Bartleet Mallory Stockbrokers, and its parent Bartleet Transcapital which has interests in other areas like commodities and insurance. "Sri Lanka is a sunrise sector with huge opportunities," more..

Tamil Nadu justifies ban on LTTE

Sep 22 (Hindu) The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday strongly defended the ban on the LTTE, which was extended on May 14 for two more years. Delhi High Court judge Justice Vikramjit Sen is the one-man tribunal set up by the Centre to go into the validity of the ban, which was clamped under the Unlawful Activitie Act. Tamil Nadu said lifting the ban at this juncture would imply allowing such a deadly foreign terrorist organisation to more..

Sampoor: Govt creates conflict where none existed

Sep 22 (LB) With the LTTE gone, our common objective should be creatively to use the potential the people of this country have to live and prosper together. We see instead fears of an LTTE resurgence being drummed up artificially to justify policies that foster division and discord. The strength of a nation depends on its ability to speak the truth about its actions and be transparent and respectful of the law in its dealings. more..

There are dictators and dictators

Sep 22 (DM) Emperors, kings, queens, dictators, governments–democratic ones, communist ones, and others of various indefinable mixtures affect the lives of ordinary people. Kings and queens become what they are through hereditary rules in royal families. The chorus ‘the old king is dead, long live the king’ gives credence to this royal lineage. Emperors may or may not be of similar backgrounds as most were self-proclaimed war mongers. more..

CMC files 267 cases against unhygienic hotels in city

Sep 22 (NS) The Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) will file legal cases against 267 hotels and restaurants in the city next week, for operating under unhygienic conditions. According to its Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam, they have raided over 687 hotels and restaurants within the municipality during the past few weeks. During these investigations, out of 299 food samples taken for testing, 102 were identified as infected with bacteria. more..

UNP’s contribution towards one party rule

Sep 22 (DM) Sri Lanka is apparently heading towards one party rule with the leadership crisis in the main Opposition party; the UNP. Therefore the blame should go not only to the ruling coalition, the UPFA or President Mahinda Rajapaksa, but also to the UNP as well. Defeats for long or defeats of serious nature would normally lead to divisions in any organization, and history has ample examples to prove it. That is what taking place in the UNP now. more..

Scholarship exam: producing young scholars or stifled adolescents?

Sep 22 (DM) They say childhood is the best time of ones life; it’s supposed to be all rainbows and flowers and fairies in the air. Sadly though an increasing number of young children are being robbed of their childhood owing to the undue pressure they face at examinations. Examinations and education are undeniably integral aspects of a child’s life, yet making a child who is barely in the double digits sit a pressuring government exam is more..

Bonanza for depositors

Sep 22 (DM) The Central Bank is to introduce a novel Deposit Insurance Scheme (DIS) to protect 13 million small scale depositors with deposit of Rs. 200,000 or less at licensed and registered commercial banks and registered financial institutions with effect from October 1st, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. He said some 23 commercial banks, 09 specialized banks and 36 finance companies will more..

Editorial: Keep smiling!

Sep 22 (Island) This country is world famous for smiley faces. Sri Lankans smile generously even with total strangers. Politicians are no exception. Probably, theirs are the broadest of all smiles. Yesterday, our sister paper, the Divaina, carried a front-page picture of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Minister Basil Rajapaksa sporting broad smiles and exchanging pleasantries at a religious function in Attanagalla, where, more..

Editorial: Spoiling South Asia’s Commonwealth Games

Sep 22 (DM) Whatever other differences, the New Delhi Commonwealth Games slated to be held in two weeks time has created a degree of excitement among all sporty South Asians. After all it is South Asia that is playing the host this time. The news that a group of spoilers are attempting to sabotage the grand event has disturbed the enthusiasts and they hope that New Delhi will prevent the militants from reaching their ends. more..

BTI only a supplementary control measure

Sep 22 (NS) The long-awaited BTI which has now arrived in the country is only a supplementary control measure against the spread of dengue. The most effective method of prevention is to eliminate or drastically reduce the number of mosquito breeding sites. This can only be done by keeping one’s own environment clean. Speaking to The Nation ahead of the second phase of the Colombo Municipal Council’s Shramadana campaign to more..

7 fishermen injured in alleged attack by Sri Lankan Navy

Sep 22 (Hindu) Seven fishermen of Rameswaram and Thangachchimadam were injured, after they were allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan naval personnel early on Tuesday. While Sahayaraj, Kumar, Murugesan, Suganthan, Dominic, Chinna Thambi were treated at Rameswaram, Keba has been admitted to a private hospital here for an injury on his right hand. Keba, owner of a boat, said that a group of seven naval personnel boarded his boat when more..

NFF calls for Cess on wheat flour imports

Sep 22 (DN) A Cess should be imposed on wheat flour to protect the local paddy farmers, said National Freedom Front (NFF) Political Bureau Member Piyasiri Wijenaike at a media conference held at the NFF head office yesterday. "About one million MT of wheat flour is imported to the country annually. No tax is imposed on it up to now. The country's paddy production has increased, and it has become self-sufficient in rice. more..

UNF rebel joins Namal on visit to Vanni East

Sep 22 (Island) Close on the heels of UNF MP Sri Ranga switching his allegiance to the ruling party, he received an invitation to accompany MP Namal Rajapaksa on a visit to Vanni east, where they visited several places, including the scene of the final battle. The VIR (Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment) troops killed LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on May 19 morning, 2009 to bring the war to an end. more..

Crew diaries reunited with HMS Trincomalee on Teesside

Sep 22 (BBC) Crew diaries which had been locked away for 150 years are being reunited with Britain's oldest surviving warship at a special ceremony on Teesside. The journals were written by sailors on board HMS Trincomalee, which is berthed in Hartlepool. The vessel, built in 1817, is being incorporated into the new National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN). The journals have been sitting in Royal Navy archives in Portsmouth for the past 150 years. more..

Abandoned rail engines back on track

Sep 22 (DN) The Alstom (AD 32 C) M-09 French rail engines imported to the country in 2000 and were found to carry defects are to be fully repaired using modern technology and put into operation, Deputy Transport Minister Rohana Dissanayake said. He said the Arthur C. Clarke Centre will provide the necessary technological advise to the Railways Department to remedy the shortcomings detected in the Microprocessor and Digital Signal control network. more..

Sri Lanka's first lady visits Mamaroneck

Sep 22 (LMP) Tuesday could have been a very stressful day for students at Liberty Montessori School, who had to sing two national anthems in two different languages for a very high-profile audience. But even if this was their first time welcoming a president's wife, the young performers did wonderfully. Students from both the New Rochelle and Mamaroneck campuses gathered in Mamaroneck to meet and greet Sri Lanka's First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, more..

Underworld leader killed in police fire

Sep 22 (NF) Dematagoda Kamal, said to be a leader in the underworld, died in police fire at Diddeniya in Hanwella last night. According to police, the suspect had been arrested last evening in the Diddeniya area in Hanwella along with a pistol and ammunition. A high-ranking police officer said that when the suspect was taken to the Diddeniya area to locate a firearm and a haul of drugs, he had attempted to lob a hand grenade at them forcing police to open fire. more..

Jeevan: 18A won’t deny people chance to decide on third term for MR

Sep 22 (Island) Posts and Telecommunication Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga says the UPFA can comfortably move ahead with development programmes due to the absence of threats on the political front. A strong Opposition can cause a lot of problems and may derail the ongoing development drive, the Colombo district MP says. Kumaratunga told The Island that Sri Lanka’s economy would be in a better shape by this time next year, due to more..

GNOA warns of union action if merit list ignored

Sep 22 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association, warned that they would have to resort to trade union action if the Health Ministry did not appoint diploma qualified nurses according to the merit list. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya accused health officials of the Ministry of interfering in the appointment of 319 newly qualified nurses to the government health sector. more..

Fonseka appeals to SC

Sep 22 (DM) The Supreme Court yesterday fixed the application for Special Leave to appeal filed by former Army Commander and DNA leader Sarath Fonseka challenging the order of the Court of Appeal which dismissed his application against the 2nd Court Martial hearing.The Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Asoka de Silva and Justices K. Sripavan and S.I. Imam fixed the case to be supported for December 3. more..

Northants secure Vaas return

Sep 22 (SKY) Northamptonshire have announced that all-rounder Chaminda Vaas will return to the club for the majority of the 2010-11 season. The Sri Lankan veteran has just finished his first spell with the Steelbacks, where he was one of their star performers in the Friends Provident t20 competition. As well as spearheading their FP t20 campaign, Vaas, who played 111 Test matches and 322 one day internationals for Sri Lanka, more..

UNP to fight for CMC

Sep 22 (DM) The main opposition UNP is planning to hold 600 protest rallies within the Colombo city next month to sign a public petition against the proposed conversion of the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) into an authority. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the government was planning to hold elections of all local bodies except for the Colombo Municipal Council in January next year. more..