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‘Lostteries’ bared

Sep 2 (DM) Financial irregularities and non-confirmation of liabilities amounting to the tune of over Rs. 100 million had been queried by the Auditor General at the National Lotteries Board last year. According to the annual report of the Board released to Parliament recently, the Board had failed to confirm the liabilities amounting to Rs. 66 million as at December 31, 2009. The housing and distress loans amounting Rs. 1.3 million and Rs.311, 679 due from more..

Editorial: Blackmailing of a Regime

Sep 2 (DM) Mervyn Silva has once again emerged the most powerful person of the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration blackmailing the entire regime as no other person has ever done. ‘To hell with the credibility of the government, if Mervyn is not saved we are all gone’, seems to be the attitude with which orders have been given for the committee to exonerate the former deputy minister. Given the manner in which the notorious deputy minister calls the shots in the present regime, more..

Facets 2010: International Gem and Jewellery show opens today

Sep 2 (DM) FACETS SRI LANKA 2010 will offer new opportunities for the local gem and jewellery industry as India participates at Sri Lanka's only international gem and jewellery exhibition for the first time in 20 years. India will be joined by other front runners in the global industry such as China and Russia. They will be represented by top industry personnel from their respective gem and jewellery industries. more..

First Lady battling against Dengue – BTI at last!

Sep 2 (LP) Dengue is something we hear every day. This deadly menace has not yet been eradicated. According to a concept of First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa an islandwide Dengue Eradication Campaign under the “Carlton Suwa Udana” healthcare program aimed at enhancing the Standards of Health, nourishment and life skills of people was started in Colombo suburbs yesterday. more..

Dengue control programme with use of BTI to be launched

Sep 2 (Island) The Health Ministry initiated its pilot project of spraying the locally cultured Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis, within the premises of the State Engineering Corporation, Pre-Cast Yard on Negombo Road in Peliyagoda. Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday, that the use of BTI to control dengue would be launched as an islandwide programme within the following weeks. more..

SLFP 59th Convention today: Key resolutions expected

Sep 2 (Island) The SLFP will mark its 59th anniversary today with the main ceremony held at Temple Trees under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The ceremony would be attended by over 15,000 persons including ministers, MPs, Provincial Council, and Pradeshiya Sabha members of the SLFP, representatives of the parties in the UPFA coalition and the SLFP unions. more..

Sri Lanka bonds better than BRIC’s

Sep 2 (Island) After the end of a thirty year old war last year, Sri Lanka’s sovereign bonds have out performed bonds from Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) in international capital markets according to a survey carried out by JP Morgan Chase and Co, which augurs well for US$ 1 billion sovereign bond issue later this year, a report by Bloomberg newswire service said. "Sri Lankan debt has returned 39 percent since May 18, 2009, more..

Gutted parts of LTTE planes recovered

Sep 2 (SLA) Troops of the 19th Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment (SLSR) in a startling recovery in the general area of VELLAMULLIVAIKKAL, AMPALAWANPOKKANAI uncovered several torched LTTE light aircraft parts that had been hurriedly kept hidden inside a container, most probably during the peak of the battles in Wanni. Those burnt parts, according to Sri Lanka Air Force belonged two light aircraft engines or gliders. more..

Shocking Rs.1bn loss at SPC

Sep 2 (Island) UNP MP Wijedasa Rajapakshe says that for want of scrutiny on the part of Parliament, the State sector continues to suffer massive financial losses. Former PA Minister and ex-Chairman of Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Rajapakshe says that a case in point is the State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC), which recorded a loss of Rs. 510 million in 2008. more..

CC made impotent by reforms-UNP

Sep 2 (DM) The proposed Parliamentary Council which would replace the current Constitutional Council would be made ‘impotent’ by the reforms as all appointments in the govt. would be made by the President, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe charged yesterday. Mr. Wickremesinghe as the Leader of the Opposition is also a member of the Parliamentary council proposed by the government. more..

Union challenges SLFP decision

Sep 2 (DM) The Samurdhi Development Officers Union (SDOU) yesterday condemned the decision made by the SLFP committee clearing Minister Mervyn Silva of charges of harassing a Samurdhi Officer in Kelaniya and said they would not hesitate to take further action. The Union asked Samurdhi Officers not to be fooled by the decisions made by the government and asked them not to keep any hope that justice would be served. more..

Maid denies Saudi accusations

Sep 2 (BBC) The Sri Lankan housemaid tortured in Saudi Arabia described to the BBC Sinhala Service how her employers hammered heated nails in to her body. Earlier, Saudi authorities denied her allegations of torture. "The employer's wife used to hold me down and the daughter held a knife to my neck while the employer stuck heated nails to my body. This torture went on for months," LP Ariyawathie told BBC Sandeshaya. more..

Indian investor interest growing, says Rajapaksa

Sep 2 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said Indian investor interest in Sri Lanka was rapidly growing and several leading Indian entrepreneurs in industry and other sectors had expressed interest in setting up business on the island. Mr. Rajapaksa made the comment when Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao called on him here for an exchange of views on bilateral relations in general, more..

UNP MP granted bail after nine months

Sep 3 (NF) United National Party parliamentarian Palitha Thewarapperuma, who was in remand custody, was released on bail today. Based on an order issued by the Court of Appeal recently, the Matugama Magistrate enlarged him on cash bail in Rs. 25,000. The UNP MP was apprehended for his alleged involvement in a brawl with a group of Sri Lanka Freedom Party supporters on December 2009. more..

Massive campaign by JVP against amendments

Sep 3 (SL) The JVP has decided to intensify its campaign against the government’s proposed constitutional amendments. The JVP is to launch an island wide campaign to distribute handbills against the constitutional amendments today (2). The campaign is to commence from Fort in Colombo. The leaflet distribution campaign will be launched by the JVP leaders today and will be carried out in all districts. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 02. 09. 2010

'Many doubts in Ariyawathi's case'

Sep 3 (NF) The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Colombo states that there are many doubts in the allegation regarding a Saudi employer driving solid materials into the body of a Sri Lankan migrant worker, employed in Saudi Arabia. A release issued by the media officer at the embassy of Saudi Arabia in Colombo notes that the housemaid could not have passed security check points and sophisticated machines in the airports of Riyadh and Colombo, with such solid materials inside the body. more..

Lakshman Jayakody, tower of strength to SLFP - President

Sep 3 (DN) The death of Lakshman Jayakody a senior member of the SLFP who had been a tower of strength for it in the Gampaha district is a cause for grief. I take this opportunity to express deepest sympathies on my personal behalf and on behalf of not only the entire SLFP membership but all countrymen because he had rendered a great service towards the country, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a condolence message issued yesterday. more..

'Lankan army to return lands of Tamils of Indian origin'

Sep 3 (PTI) Sri Lanka has assured New Delhi that its army will return the land of the displaced Tamils of Indian origin in the country's northern Vavuniya district, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao said today. Rao, who ended her three-day trip to Sri Lanka today, said she had taken up the issue with the top leadership in the country. "So we have taken it up with the Sri Lankan government. more..

UNP MP Earl Gunasekera backs MR

Sep 3 (DM) UNP Polonnarauwa District Member of Parliament Earl Gunasekera has decided to vote with the government for constitutional reforms when the proposals are presented in Parliament next week. Speaking to Daily Mirror online the UNP MP said that he has already informed the UNP working committee about his decision to support the government proposals and is even ready to face any action by the party over his decision. more..

Lankan Navymen snatch Rameswaram fishermen''s fish

Sep 3 (PTI) A group of fishermen from this island were relieved of their fish catch and mobile phones allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel when they were fishing near Katchatheevu. The affected fishermen numbering around 20 told reporters here that when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India, the Lankan Navalmen entered their five boats and took away their fish catch and mobile phones. more..

CBK snubbed

Sep 3 (DM) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was snubbed for the SLFP annual convention held today and was also a notable absentee from the massive poster erected behind the stage of the event depicting former leader’s of the party. The former President said she did not receive an invitation for the convention held at Temple Trees today under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa despite being the patron of the SLFP. more..

Two currency smugglers arrested at airport

Sep 3 (NF) Two persons including a Maldivian businessman attempting to smuggle foreign currency worth over Rs. 7 million were arrested by Custom officials at the Katunayake airport. Airport Customs Superintendant Parakrama Basnayake said that foreign currency worth over Rs. 3 million was in the possession of the businessman. The suspects were detained around 10.05pm, and were released after the currency they was carrying was confiscated. more..

Synthesis of personal reflections: Reconciliation, Sri Lanka unites and me

Sep 3 (GV) Ever since reading the article by E Pluribus Unum on Groundviews “A Critique of Sri Lanka Unites: Freedom has not made itself known”, I have felt compelled to respond to it, but was unsure about how and when. At the back of the triumph of the “Future Leaders Conference, Season-2”, I think the time is now ripe. This reflection serves to share my personal insights into several arguments raised by Mr. E Pluribus Unum and other relevant issues. more..

Sri Lanka, China form strategic shield against the West

Sep 3 (WPR) On a steamy afternoon in the Sri Lankan capital, if you glance across the water at Colombo's legendary Galle Face Green seaside promenade, past the spray of the Indian Ocean, you can make out a milky line of giant cargo ships at the point where the sky blends with the sea. That ocean traffic on the horizon, those dashes of gray steel, glide along the world's busiest sea lane, navigated by anywhere from 100 to 200 ships every day. more..

The 18th amendment to the constitution: Process and substance

Sep 3 (GV) The President has proposed to make changes to the constitution via an urgent bill. The changes known as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, seek to remove the two term limit on being elected to the office of the President and the Constitutional Council under the 17th Amendment. As required under the Constitution, the President has referred the urgent bill to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court heard the Government’s arguments and the arguments of six intervening petitioners on Tuesday more..

Synthesis of personal reflections: reconciliation, Sri Lanka unites and me

Sep 3 (LG) A simple way of understanding the 18th Amendment is to compare it to the situation in the United States of America. The president of the United States is elected for a term of four years and is entitled to remain in power for a maximum of two terms. This is an absolute limit. Suppose this limit was removed and a US president could contest the election and remain in power for an indefinite period of time. more..

Point of view: Apsara Fonseka

Saudi Arabia and Aariyawathi: Where is Justice?

Sep 3 (TC) “The Saudi sponsor, who is over 60, suffers from heart conditions. The sponsor’s doctors have advised him to do only 25 percent of his normal work because of his weak heart. How can a person in such poor health be able to do a strenuous activity like hammering nails into a woman’s body”?. This was the outburst of Saad Al-Baddah, Chairman of the SANARCOM, which is responsible for the recruitment and management of foreign workers in the Kingdom. more..

Rauff tips the scale to a perpetual presidency via the 18th Amendment

Sep 3 (DM) It was President JR Jayewardene who was referred to as the “old fox” by some of his more critical admirers who often contended that President Jayewardene could have taught Machiavelli, a lesson or two in manipulative power politics. However current events should clearly indicate that such a prize should go to Sri Lanka’s current President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has to operate in a political environment more difficult to navigate than his UNP fore bearer in office. more..

Sri Lankan Airlines cuts losses

Sep 3 (LBO) SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka's state-run national carrier said it lost 6.06 billion rupees in the year to March 2010, down from a 9.99 billion loss notched up an year earlier. The airline said it had cut cost and improved revenue under turnaround plan and losses in the second half of the year was 44 percent lower than the first half. A 30-year civil war ended in May 2009, and tourist arrivals had since picked up. more..

Is Nirupama Rao the charming choice as Special Envoy?

Sep 3 (DM) The advent of Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Sri Lanka last Monday has sparked speculations that she is going to be appointed as the Indian Govt.’s Special Envoy. Nirupama Rao, the Foreign Secretary is to go on retirement shortly. It is speculated that the Indian Govt. after her retirement is to appoint her as the special envoy concerning the issues of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka. more..

Fraud CID officer: acting at its best

Sep 3 (LP) A suspect who had cajoled many young women saying that he was an Investigator of the CID has been apprehended by police. The imposter, who is a resident of the Minuwangoda Kotugoda area, had managed to hoodwink many beautiful young women including a policewoman. The Katunayake Avariwaththa and Airport High Security Zone had been a frequent haunt of the suspect, who had frequented around the area in a vehicle bearing the VIP logo and carrying a fake pistol. more..

SC releases forgotten prisoner

Sep 3 (DM) In a most pathetic sequence of events, a case where a man had to spend more than five years behind bars due to the careless and irresponsible conduct of the judicial and administrative authorities was reported from the Supreme Court yesterday. Shanthalal Jayawardena, a resident of Yakkala, who was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2002, had been remanded as he was unable to pay the cash bail imposed on him or find sureties. more..

Landslide risks in 10 districts

Sep 3 (DM) The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) yesterday said there were more than 60 areas in 10 districts that were prone to landslide risks. The NBRO said it had already made the necessary proposals to the government asking them to provide the necessary funds to mitigate the risk of landslides in these areas. “We have to mitigate the risk of landslides in these places within the next two years or so as more..

CEPA link to Asian economic power

Sep 3 (Island) Asia is expected to lead the global economic recovery and the world expects the region to be the largest trading bloc after the crisis. Sri Lanka is out of the picture but could gain entry through a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with India which would help the country to gain access. Prof. Rohan Samarajiva said after the recession, the world was looking at the Asian region to lead the global economy, and more..

Krishna to talk resettlement of Tamils during Lanka trip

Sep 3 (TOI) Foreign minister S M Krishna will visit Sri Lanka soon for a first-hand view of the situation there as India tries to expedite the resettlement process in the island nation. Government officials said Krishna's visit is likely to take place by the end of this month or early October. Officials said Krishna will emphasise before the Lankan leadership the need to move from resettlement of IDPs to more..

Co-ops purchasing Paddy will begin from Polonnaruwa

Sep 3 (NF) The Ministry of Co-operatives and Internal Trade says that the purchase of rice through Multi-purpose Co-operative Societies had commenced in the Polonnaruwa district. The ministry points out that the rice will be purchased at 91 co-operative society centres in Polonnaruwa. It noted that purchasing rice through co-operative societies will be launched in other districts as well in the near future. more..

Two handcuffed remand prisoners escape in Kalmunai

Sep 3 (NF) Investigations have commenced into the incident where two suspects in remand custody in the Akkaraipattu area in Kalmunai had escaped from remand custody. Prisons Commissioner, Major General V. R. Silva said that the incident took place yesterday. The two prisoners had escaped while being transported to Kalmunai after having been produced before court in Akkaraipattu. The Prisons Commissioner said that the two escapees had been arrested in more..

GBV 1 Overview

Wild Jumbo teaches 'Watchers' on how to stay alert!

Sep 3 (NF) Four persons have been injured in an encounter with a wild elephant at Kohombakadawala in Talawa. According to police, the foursome, who were supposed to be watching over their fields, especially to guard them against threats from wild animals, had been fast asleep on the bund of the Kohombakadawala tank. They had been in such deep slumber that they had not even heard the huge pachyderm approaching along the bund. more..

Sri Lanka gem show lures Chinese, Russians

Sep 3 (LBO) An international gem and jewellery exhibition in Sri Lanka has drawn large groups of buyers from China and Russia which are emerging as important markets. Chanaka Ellawala, head of the 20th Facets gem and jewellery show organising committee, said foreign participation had been increasing over the years, making it an international exhibition. There were also delegations from Azerbaijan, India, Tanzania, Myanmar, Thailand and Hong Kong. more..

Indian fishermen happy with new proposal

Sep 3 (Hindu) The consensus reached at the recent negotiation between the fishermen of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu to find a solution to problems over trans-border fishing has been widely acknowledged by the fishermen of Rameswaram. As per the agreement, which needs to be ratified by the governments of India and Sri Lanka, the Rameswaram fishermen can engage in fishing till three nautical miles from Talaimannar-Mannar in Palk Bay. more..

Govt has taken all steps to resettle Muslims - Minister

Sep 3 (DN) The Government has taken all steps for the resettlement of Muslim people displaced due to the war, Justice Minister Athauda Senevirathne said, The Minister expressed this when he met Libyan Ambassador Hateem M.A. Maksumi in Sri Lanka the Justice Ministry recently. The Minister said a large number of Muslims were displaced due to the war. The Government settled them in Puttalam and provided the facilities to them. more..

Naturalized Chinese to become Lankan citizens

Sep 3 (DM) Eighty Sri Lankans of Chinese origin who have been living in Sri Lanka over a period of time have been given Sri Lankan citizenship, the Department of Immigration and Emigration said. Such citizenships could be given after a special act was passed by Parliament in 2008 and that they would continue issuing the document until 2013. It has been reported that the first batch of Chinese arrived in Sri Lanka even before Sri Lanka declared its independence in 1948.

Sri Lanka to set up military bases in strategic locations

Sep 3 (MoD) Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accepting the invitation of the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, declared open the new North-Western Naval Command Headquarters in Mullikulum. The strategic shifting of the North-western Naval Headquarters from Puttalam to Mullikulum enables the Navy to safeguard the waters and land under its purview more effectively by conducting more..

India's intervention needed for rehabilitation, reconstruction: Ranil

Sep 3 (NF) Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the UNP says that India's intervention is necessary for Sri Lanka's rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. Speaking to reporters in Chennai, while on a tour of India, Wickremasinghe said that Sri Lanka would not be able to carry out those activities successfully without India's help. He also lauded India's aid package to rehabilitate and provide relief to Sri Lanka's IDPs. more..

More than 300,000 landmines cleared

Sep 3 (DN) Military Spokesman Major General UAB Medawela said that more than 300,000 landmines laid by the LTTE terrorists in the North and East have been cleared by the de-mining groups. There is still another area of 2000 square kilometres to be cleared. Making this observation, the Military Spokesman said that an area of 1,800 square kilometres of the Northern, Eastern and North Central Provinces have been cleared by the de-mining groups. more..

'Political solution should be priority'

Sep 3 (Hindu) Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said here on Thursday the time had come for Sri Lanka to move beyond re-settlement of displaced Tamil civilians to resolution of the ethnic conflict. Interacting with Colombo-based Indian journalists at the end of her four-day visit, Ms. Rao said she stressed the need to move beyond resettlement to a political solution in her interactions with all parties concerned. more..

'Asylum seekers tortured upon return'

Sep 3 (HS) Three asylum seekers forcibly removed to Sri Lanka in 2009 are believed to have been tortured and jailed following an attempt to return to Australia, says Amnesty International. The human rights group said it held grave fears for the men who now risk further torture and abuse from guards and prisoners. The development comes amid warnings from the coalition that Australia faces a surge in asylum seeker traffic following a deal between Labor and the Australian Greens. more..