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Customs seize medicine stock used for abortions

Sep 27 (DN) A consignment of unauthorized medicine worth Rs 1.2 million used for abortions was taken into custody by Customs Department on September 25. The consignment contains 3,860 capsules which had been brought in Chennai, India by a Sri Lankan. The Customs Department sources say the medicines had been concealed in infant food, soap and chocolate wrappings to avoid detection by Customs officers. more..

Sri Lanka rupee tops 112 to the dollar

Sep 27 (LBO) Sri Lanka's rupee soared above 112.00 rupees to the greenback Monday the highest since December 2008, when the country was in the midst of a balance of payments crisis, dealers said. The spot US dollar was quoted at 111.90/112.00 rupees in early morning trade Monday, up from 112.15 levels seen Friday. The International Monetary Fund approved 212 million US dollar tranche late Friday. more..

Controversy over Hope Cancer Hospital project: Project Comm. denies The Island report

Sep 27 (Island) Apropos The Island front-page news item headlined AG demands audited accounts of Hope Cancer Hospital committee in its September 17 issue, Project Chairman Mahesh Pasqual and Treasurer Upali Samarasinghe have admitted that the accounts were audited only up to 2005 and they were in the process of preparing accounts from 2006 to 2010. more..

lcs take on wimal

Sep 27 (DM) President of the All Ceylon Pradeshya Sabha chairman’s organisation Nimal Jayawardana had condemned a statement made to the Media by Minister of Housing and Construction referring to the local government council members. According to Mr. Jayawardana, Minister Weerawansa had allegedly said that local government council members rob. The Minister had also allegedly stated that those who wanted to get rich would not be able to win. more..

Sri Lanka organizes special job fair for ex-rebels

Sep 27 (Xinhua) The government has organized a special job fair in the northern town of Vavuniya for former Tamil Tiger rebels who have been rehabilitated and undergone vocational training, a senior government official said on Sunday. Deputy minister Vijithamuni Zoysa said over 25 private sector organizations from various fields such as garments and construction would participate in the job fair held in Vavuniya, more..

JVP has lost faith in UNP, says Vijitha

Sep 27 (NS) DNA Gampaha District MP and former Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Minister Vijitha Herath says, there no longer exists the possibility of forming a joint opposition to take on the government, as they cannot rely on the UNP, because they have lost trust in them in the light of what happened recently. However, he holds the hope of working with them in tackling anti-democratic measures of the government. more..

GCE AL students receive schol funds after exam

Sep 27 (DM) The Auditor General’s Report on the Accounts of the President’s Fund 2008 which was presented to Parliament last week had revealed that a total sum of Rs. 59.1 million which are paid to the GCE AL students as scholarships have been paid to them after they sat for the examination. The Auditor General had also noted that only a total payment of Rs. 1.8 million sent to the Uva Province as more..

'Summon court martial judges'

Sep 27 (DM) The panel of judges who sentenced DNA MP Sarath Fonseka to a prison term should be summoned to Parliament as they had violated MP Fonseka’s parliamentary privileges, Main Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Addressing a meeting organized by the National Youth Front in Kelaniya yesterday Addressing a meeting organized by the National Youth Front in Kelaniya yesterday more..

‘Lanka’s strong Parliament will see political stability’

Sep 27 (DN) United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the success in the two elections to the Presidency and a new Parliament. He said a strong Parliament had emerged in Sri Lanka and the process of reconciliation could be best achieved through such political stability. He also said that it was very rare for a national leader to obtain a majority of over two third in the country’s legislature, more..

Rights groups chastises Sri Lanka over rebel detentions

Sep 27 (BBC) The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) says Sri Lanka has failed to adhere to international law in detaining suspected Tamil Tigers. The watchdog says the detention of nearly 8,000 rebel suspects for months without a trial is perhaps "the largest mass detention in the world". It urges Sri Lanka's donors and the UN to urge Colombo to improve its human rights situation. It also questions the reasons for continuing the state of emergency. more..

Rehabilitees on electoral list

Sep 28 (DM) The Elections Department has begun the process of adding those persons who returned from Rehabilitation Centers to their respective villages to the Electoral list. Assistant Elections Commissioner Nishantha Diripriya Herath said that the Grama Niladari from each area began collecting information for this endeavor. Once the initial data for the list is compiled those who qualify to be added in the electoral list would be added to a second list more..

'Poverty may drive Lankan Tamils back to terror'

Sep 28 (EB) A leading Sri Lankan economist has urged the island nation’s government and the private sector to work together to bridge the yawning economic gap between the Tamil-speaking North-East and the rest of the country, to prevent the recrudescence of Tamil terrorism which had cost the nation US$ 200 billion over three decades. Rohantha Athulorala, who is with United Nations Operations (UNOPS), writes in more..

Fonseka indisposed, trial-at-bar refixed for tomorrow

Sep 28 (ST) The trial-at-bar over the controversial ‘white flag’ issue was re-fixed for tomorrow as the former army commander Sarath Fonseka was indisposed. The trial-at-bar presided over by Deepali Wijesundara and consisting of H.N.P.B Warawewa and Zurfick Razeen took up the case amidst tight security in the courts and surrounding areas. Key witness Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was among those present. more..

Sri Lanka Debrief News - 27.09.2010

NTUC gearing up for Union action to win demands

Sep 28 (SL) The National Trade Union Center (NTUC) today (27) initiated a meeting with trade unions that have agreed to extend their support to demand for a Rs. 8,000 salary increase for the working masses in order to form a joint trade union forum to continue with future union action. NTUC Head and JVP politburo member K.D. Lalkantha told The Sunday Leader that all trade unions that attended the meeting today decided to form a joint trade union forum to more..

Dollar out, Yuan in

Sep 28 (LG) I made a comment yesterday: ‘Malinda Seneviratne feels sorry for Barack ‘Monologue’ Obama’. The reference was to the walkout of the US delegation as the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the UN General Assembly. Ahmadinejad got to speak after US President Barack Obama. Obama had, in his speech, taken issue with Iran’s nuclear program. Not too long after, the US team gave their all to defend Israel’s non-peaceful Nuclear program. more..

Readers' paradise

Sep 28 (NS) With television and teledramas invading the day-to-day lives of our people, the common allegation we heard over the past 10-15 years was that people, especially the younger generation, was walking away from books. It is not only authors but even the literary experts accused the younger generations of becoming an insensitive, uncreative and inartistic bunch with barren souls. more..

In memory of Marhoom Al-Hajj Naleem J.P

Sep 28 (LG) Today Srilankan Muslim community sadly remembers Marhoom al- Hajj Naleem at the fifth anniversary of his wafath . It would be most appropriate to recall some of his contributions and communal services in the eve of this wafath anniversary. By remembering him we may revive our Islamic feeling and revitalize our dedication to Muslim course in Srilanka. It may also encourage leaders of Muslim community in Srilanka to emulate him in their service and more..

SOS for media reforms: staunch self-censorship, stand up for press freedom

Sep 28 (LG) What do Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein from Washington Post, Chitra Subramaniam and N. Ram from Indian Express and The Hindu respectively and Andrew Gilligan have in common? They caused the downfall of leaders such as Richard Nixon, Rajiv Gandhi and Tony Blair. Woodward and Bernstein are not your fly-by-night journalists who conduct their investigative journalism from their cubicles or more..

Till elephants storm Colombo...

Sep 28 (NS) Once the symbol of Sri Lanka’s heritage, elephants are now largely considered deadly in most parts of the country, due to the rising manmade human-elephant conflict. With development activities taking place in most rural areas, elephant habitats as well as elephant corridors are blocked, in order to pave the way for authorised and unauthorised establishments for the increasing population. more..

Study on Criminal Accountability in Sri Lanka

Sep 28 (LG) The decades-long conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE greatly intensified in early 2009. In the last few months of this conflict there have been widespread allegations of massive human rights and international humanitarian law violations. Numbers and reports of violations widely vary. As of May 2009 more than 40,000 civilians were reported dead and almost 300,000 were reported as being interned in camps. more..

Uplifting words and outcomes of president’s UN visits

Sep 28 (LG) President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s participation at the UN General Assembly gave him a special opportunity to inform the world how his government dealt with war and is now dealing with post-war issues. At the General Assembly the President delivered a well crafted speech with aplomb. At the UN General Assembly the President adopted an internationalist approach that also drew upon Sri Lanka’s own experiences of the recent past. more..

Vanni hearing brings out problems and thinking

Sep 28 (NS) The hearings of the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) held in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts had brought out the real problems of the war affected people and their thinking about the future. The main problem the people face was about their missing family members. For three days beginning last Saturday hundreds of women gathered opposite the premises where the hearing was held more..

Sri Lanka offers land for agri-business

Sep 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka is offering 200 acres of land for commercial agriculture on the bank of a major river bordering the island north-eastern region, meeting long-standing requests from businesses for land, a statement said. The land is available in plots of 50 acres each in the Maduru Oya river south bank of the Mahaweli River B zone, the statement by the Mahaweli Authority said. Investors will have to get water for irrigation from tube wells, it said. more..

Administrative moves to bring in law and order

Sep 28 (DM) Campaigns for controlling the spread of dengue, intensified action to ensure safe food, operation to clear pavements and remove unauthorized constructions and battles to eliminate underworld gangs are among recent administrative moves that have received much public appreciation, whatever the other government actionst have provoked much criticism. As a result of various campaigns launched, though belatedly, more..

President received warm welcome in Houston

Sep 28 (LP) President Mahinda Rajapaksa who is in USA to attend the 65th UN General Assembly toured the city of Houston recently. The President who was accompanied by First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa was warmly welcomed by the Sri Lanka Community in Houston while a reception was also held at Westin Hoke. Houston town’s congress member Sheila Jackson Lee and Mayor Annise Parker also attended the function. more..

Sugar icing on the cake - are reduced welfare measures in the offing?

Sep 28 (DM) It appears that a wonderful future awaits Sri Lanka. The millennium goals are almost all fulfilled and at the speech made addressing the United Nations General assembly at the UN headquarters the President stated; ‘The entire focus of our nation, is now on building a lasting peace; healing wounds , ensuring economic prosperity and guaranteeing the rights of the whole nation to live in harmony”. more..

Triple ‘S’ & failed TNA presence in Vanni rehabilitation

Sep 28 (GV) Nominating TNA National list MP Sumanthiran to the newly created Parliamentary Council under the 18th Amendment, by Opposition Leader and UNP MP Wickramasinghe, was rightly rejected immediately by Sumanthiran himself and by the TNA also. Wickramasinghe was rightly condemned too, for his stupidity and slimy politics by other political observers, in a round of disgust and dismay. The reason was apparent. more..

Sri lanka celebrates World Tourism Day in the southern coast

Sep 28 (GDI) As the world comes together to celebrate 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, this year World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrated today 27, under the theme “Tourism and Biodiversity”. The theme provides a unique opportunity to raise public awareness of the importance of biodiversity to tourism and the role of sustainable tourism in the conservation of life on Earth. more..

IUSF trying to kill me – Vice-Chancellor, His statement indicates he’s a lunatic – IUSF

Sep 28 (LT) The IUSF had attempted to murder him thrice says Vice-Chancellor of Sri Jayawardenepura University N.L.A. Karunaratne. He said this commenting on the incident when he attempted to send five female students of the university to Kalubowila Hospital to test their virginity. He said, “I never sent girls for such a test and I’m not aware of such an incident. Our students except for 5% are very good and disciplined. more..

Anura has talks with the main trade union in Italy

Sep 28 (LT) The JVP MP Anura Dissanayake, who is visiting Italy currently has had talks with the leaders of Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori - CISL (Confederation of Italian Workers' Syndicates) the main trade union organization in Italy states the media unit of the JVP. The meeting had taken place in the head office of the organization in Bracia Province states the media unit of the JVP more..

Sri Lankans in Italy demand immediate release of General

Sep 28 (LT) The first of the series of rallies organized by Sri Lankan expatriots to demand the governemnt of Sri Lanka to release Gen. Sarath Fonseka immediately and establish democracy in the country was held with the participation of a large crowd opposite Milano main Railway Station in Italy yesterday. Gen. Fonseka’s two daughters Apsara and Aparna too participated in the rally. more..

Editorial: A snail under the leaf

Sep 28 (Island) The government says it has got into the development mode since the conclusion of the war and several mega projects have been lined up for implementation in the next few years. Sri Lanka is obviously thinking big! However, there is an insidious enemy which, if not tackled urgently, is likely to put paid to the country's development efforts––nay, it may ruin her future. The Department of Census and Statistics has revealed something shocking. more..

Editorial: Police vs Politicians

Sep 28 (DM) One knows for sure that what happened at the Dankotuwa police station on Sunday is not going to be the last incident where a politician is found displaying his muscle power to a duty conscious police officer. So much so is the confidence that legislators would help law breakers to get out of a tight spot that it has become a public practice to contact a politician whenever somebody known is copped. more..

A step against bogus massage parlours

Sep 28 (LP) Masseurs will be given proper training and will be registered in order to better protect the art of massaging, which is a unique method of treatment to both physical and mental stress and is linked to Ayuruvedic practices, the Sri Lanka National Institute of Traditional Medicine stated. Those who already work as masseurs and massage parlours and those who have basic qualifications and more..

Farmers burn soya to demand govt. mediation to sell harvest

Sep 28 (LT) More than 3000 farmer families carried out an agitation on the bund of Kalawewa yesterday demanding the government to create a process to sell their harvest of soya beans. Farmers in Madatugama, Kekirawa, Kalawewa, Dambulla and Galewela have cultivated soya beans on a trade agreement with a private company. The company had made available funds on a loan scheme for the farmers to plant soya beans. more..

Three years' jail for three Sri Lankans, a Malaysian who abduct teenager

Sep 28 (Bernama) Three Sri Lanka nationals and a Malaysian were sentenced to three years' jail by the High Court here Monday after they pleaded guilty to abducting and wrongfully confining a teenage boy last year. Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah handed down the sentence on S. Selvakumar, 32, B. Jayanathan, 26, and J. Anthony, 22, all from Sri Lanka, and a Malaysian, T. Ramu, 22. more..

Winning the Peace

Sep 28 (FP) On a late-summer day, a dozen tractors stopped in front of a Hindu temple just north of Jaffna, the once-future capital of an independent Tamil state. Each vehicle held aloft long wooden planks from which young men, with large metal hooks piercing the flesh of their backs and legs, hung horizontally; enormous crowds gathered around to watch and make offerings to the Hindu goddess Durga. more..

Boat people a challenge from God, says Sri Lankan church leader

Sep 28 (AM) An Asian Christian leader told General Synod that God was challenging Australian Christians to remember their past through the arrival of refugees by boat. The Revd Dr Rienzie Perera, the Christian Conference of Asia's Associate General Secretary for Finance and Relations, also recalled the words of an early CCA leader, who told an Australian observer in the 1950s that "Australia and New Zealand have a colonial history but an Asian destiny". more..

Tamil migrant children start school in B.C.

Sep 28 (CBC) Some of the Tamil children who arrived on a boat from Sri Lanka last month have started attending school and early childhood development programs at a Burnaby, B.C., youth detention centre. The 41 children who started class on Friday were among the 493 migrants who arrived by ship on Vancouver Island on Aug. 13. While they are not officially being detained, the children are in the care of about 25 mothers who are being held at more..

CID recovers undeclared assets of Kotelawelas from vault

Sep 28 (DM) The CID yesterday found undeclared jewellery worth about Rs.65 million from a leading bank vault belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Lalith Kotelawela. CID Investigations Director SSP Vijaya Amerasinghe said they were kept in separate lockers. The jewellery included diamonds, gems and other precious stones. The search was carried out on a court order from the Fort Magistrate. more..

Probe to be held into sand transporters, police public dispute

Sep 28 (Island) A full-scale inquiry will be held into the dispute among the Naula police, the public and the sand transporters over death of a resident of Bowatenna, allegedly knocked down by a truck transporting sand. Arrangements will be made to hold a meeting with the sand transporters, as part of a series of measures contemplated to maintain peace and goodwill among the residents of the area and the sand transporters. more..

'Smooth functioning of health sector hindered'

Sep 28 (DM) Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena indicating a complete clean up at the health ministry said yesterday that the health machine was under performing and wobbling despite all his efforts to run it at full speed. “Every time I attempt to run the machine at high speed it does not run as I want. As such the speed-o-meter wrongfully indicates a speed of 90, 100 or 120 kilo meters per hour but in reality it was slower than that,” more..

New laws to control begging

Sep 28 (DN) Authorities will take a stringent approach and formulate new laws to halt organized child begging. Minister Tissa Karalliyadda said that the authorities had been advised to strictly enforce laws with stringent punishment for those who lure or force children into begging. “If the existing legal framework is not adequate to deal with matters effectively the Government is prepared to introduce new laws,” more..

'Sri Lanka's stock rally may enter `blow-off' on stock splits'

Sep 28 (BN) Sri Lanka’s stock rally may enter a “blow-off phase” as stock splits help draw individual investors to the world’s second-best performer this year, according to Nomura Holdings Inc. The Colombo All-Share Index has climbed 103 percent this year, the biggest gainer after Mongolia’s MSE Top 20 Index among 91 global benchmark indexes tracked by Bloomberg. The gauge has tripled since the end of a 26-year civil war in May 2009 on optimism that more..

Portugal to help develop SL tourism

Sep 28 (PRIU) Portugal Prime Minister Jose Socrates stated that assistance will be provided to develop the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. This was stated during bilateral talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Around 30,000 tourists from Portugal visit Thailand annually. As the President of the European Union, the Portugal Prime Minister stated that he will facilitate, through the EU, more..

Boston Lanka News: Sept 27, 2010

Parliamentary Council: UNP says Opp. Leader will name nominee

Sep 28 (Island) The UNP says party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe is ready to appoint his nominee to the five-member Parliamentary Council, though his first choice, TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran refused to accept the appointment. WPC member Kithsiri Manchanayake says the Opposition leader shouldn’t be deprived of his right to name his nominee. He alleged that Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa was planning to nominate an MP on behalf of the UNP leader. more..

Returned expatriates complain: UNF legalized LTTE land deeds

Sep 28 (DN) Government officials in the Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts yesterday said that they get a number of complaints from people who have returned to the country after a lapse of 20- 25 years over the illegal occupation of their lands. Lands taken over by the LTTE were distributed among Mahaveer families by them during the time of the Ceasefire Agreement. The UNF Government had issued the illegal occupants of these lands official title deeds. more..

JSC interdicts judge for alleged violence

Sep 28 (DM) The Tissamaharama Magistrate and Additional District Judge who had allegedly attacked a security guard and two waiters at a night club in Kollupitiya after threatening them by firing his official weapon in the air, was interdicted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) yesterday. Magistrate H. Anura Seneviratne was interdicted after JSC received a report that on Friday night he had allegedly behaved violently and more..