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'Amendments to be made to civil and criminal code'

Aug 9 (DM) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem had said amendments would be made to the civil and criminal procedure code soon and the relevant legislature to modernize the country’s legal system would be introduced in Parliament. Minister Rauff Hakeem speaking to members of the Sri Lanka Summons and Writ Servers annual convention at the Valaichenai Court Complex said he discussed the issue with the Chief Justice and with the Judicial Service Commission. more..

Elephant survey 'to assist temples'

Aug 9 (BBC) The first ever survey of Sri Lankan wild elephants has run into controversy following environmentalists withdrawing their support protesting government moves to domesticate wild elephants. The Collective of Environmental Organisations in Sri Lanka announced on Monday that they are withdrawing from the survey after the government announced that the census will be used to identify suitable calves to be handed over to religious institutions. more..

War crimes heat on, Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa goes back to China

Aug 9 (Reuters) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa landed in China Tuesday in search of support against an aggressive Western push for a probe into war crimes allegations and tighter economic ties in a stormy financial world. Rajapaksa was due to attend the Universiade sporting event in Shenzhen and will later meet President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing. The Sri Lankan leader Monday said economic cooperation was his focus. more..

National policy on injury prevention soon

Aug 10 (Island) In a bid to curb the increasing number of injuries, the Health Ministry has decided to introduce a National Policy and Strategic Plan on Injury Prevention and Management. In 2007 the main factor for hospitalisation was neuro-truama. That year 669,052 patients were admitted and 1389 of them died due to neuro-trauma. In the same year 62,721 patients were admitted to hospitals with food poisoning and 17,723 with agro-chemical poisoning. more..

Nurses to launch protest today

Aug 10 (Island) The Government Nursing Officers’ Association warned they would stage a one-hour protest campaign today (10) against recruiting nurses with lower educational qualifications. GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya said yesterday that the Health Ministry was recruiting GCE A/L students with arts and commerce qualifications for hospitals in the North and East. The protest is scheduled to commence at 12.00 noon in front of the Trincomalee General Hospital. more..

Law Comm. back to tackle controversial laws

Aug 10 (DM) The newly appointed Law Commission which was appointed after a one and a half years delay is to give priority to some vital and controversial laws including the Freedom of Information Act. Law Commission Secretary Ms. Lakshmi Gunasekera said 12 important draft laws including the Freedom of Information Act which was prepared by the previous commissions were pending recommendations by the Ministry of Justice and other relevant ministries. more..

IDPs 'not allowed' to return home

Aug 10 (BBC) An opposition party in Sri Lanka says the government has decided that the original residents of a key area of the former war zone will not be allowed to resettle in their home villages. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), which is the biggest ethnic Tamil party in the country, has demanded an explanation. The govt has declined to comment. In early 2009, villages with names such as Mullivaikkal and Putumattalan became synonymous with the horrors of the Sri Lankan war. more..

Korean applications going smoothly

Aug 10 (DM) The SLBFE said that the ongoing issuing of exam applications for South Korean jobs is running smoothly after the chaos and disruption that took place at a number of application centres islandwide on Monday (8). The issuing of applications was cut short on Monday at Police Park in Havelock Road on Monday owing to a stampede of thousands of job seekers many of whom stood outside the premises for more than 24 hours without food or sleep to get the exam applications. more..

Vaiko wants UN supervised referendum held on Tamil Eelam question

Aug 10 (DBS) MDMK leader V.Gopalswamy now known as Vaiko wants a UN supervised referendum for worldwide Sri Lankan Tamils on the question of “Tamil Eelam”. Vaiko’s party the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (MDMK) will stage a non -violent political demonstration on August 12th in support. The MDMK demonstration will be held in the Indian capital city New Delhi at the Janthar manthar area near the Indian Parliament building. more..

Sri Lanka aim shot at the top of ODI list

Aug 10 (PTI) Sri Lanka will have a chance to go on the top of the ICC ODI Championship table for the first time in their history if they manage to beat Australia 4-1 or better in the five-match one-day series, which begins in Pallekele on Wednesday. India, meanwhile, will remain static at number three slot in the table with 117 points. Four-time world champion Australian team, which has been holding the top spot since September 2009, currently is on 130 ratings points and more..

Bhikku from ‘Buddhasrawaka’ in death fast against repression

Aug 10 (LT) Ven. Walipitiye Buddhasiri Thero, a second year student of ‘Buddhasrawak’ University for Bhikkus is engaged in a ‘fast’ opposite the university. The Thero has commenced the ‘fast’ protesting against the steps taken by the administrative council of the university to suspend him without any cause. There have been many suspensions of students in ‘Buddhasrawak’ University for Bhikkus during the past and within the past four months 48 Bhikku students have been suspended. more..

Maldivian FM “shocked” to hear about maritime agreement with Lanka

Aug 10 (HNS) Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem said he was “extremely shocked” to hear about a Maldives-Lanka maritime deal under which Maldives would provide safe passage for Sri Lankan fishermen traveling to the Arabian Sea. According to Naseem reports, that such an agreement had been signed in the light of Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister Neomal Perera’s recent visit to Maldives, are "baseless" and "we have not signed any agreement to that effect." more..

Mendis developing new delivery

Aug 10 (CI) Ajantha Mendis, the Sri Lanka spinner who became the first bowler in Twenty20 International history to take six wickets, has said that he is in the process of developing a new delivery that he hopes to unveil in the near future. Mendis bamboozled the Australia batting line-up in Monday's Twenty20, taking 6 for 16 off four overs as Sri Lanka successfully defended their total of 157 for 9 to win by eight runs and pocket the two-match series 2-0. "I am developing a new ball but I haven't still tried it," Mendis said more..

Lankan Tamils issue: CPM to demonstrate before Parliament on Sep 7

Aug 10 (PTI) CPI(M) today said it would stage a demonstration in front of Parliament on September 7, insisting that India force Sri Lanka to act on various demands pertaining to the welfare of Tamils in the island nation. "Even two years after the war in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan government has not taken any steps for a political solution for Tamils there. There was no investigation into violations of human rights and no security for the lives of displaced Tamils," more..

Protesters demand Fonseka release

Aug 10 (UCAN) Rights activists and relatives of political prisoners gathered yesterday outside the capital’s main prison to urge the government to release former army chief Sarath Fonseka and other political prisoners. Thousands of protesters donned black clothing and carried placards during what was dubbed by demonstrators as a ‘Black Protest’. Demonstrators shouted “Broke the laws and made laws” and “One year and six months – haven’t you any shame,” more..

3 ship loads of standard Malaysian cement unloaded

Aug 10 (LT) The rumours about a cement shortage are spread with the aim of releasing the stock of cement imported from Pakistan that has been condemned by the SriLanka Standards Institution (SLSI) and a group from the Ministry of Cooperatives and Internal Trade is involved in the attempt to release the stock of cement to the market say reports. According to sources in Sri Lanka Ports Authority three ship loads of cement from Malaysia with the appropriate standard have been unloaded in more..

Awareness Programme for Parliamentarians

Aug 10 (GDI) Under the patronage of Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development, a workshop was held today at the Auditorium of Central Bank of Sri Lanka for Members of Parliament. The aim of conducting the programme was to create awareness among Members of Parliament on the development programmes carried out by the Ministry of Economic Development and its future plans. According to the Mahinda Chinthana manifesto, the UPFA Government established the more..

Karunanidhi refutes Gotabaya’s remarks

Aug 10 (PTI) Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was “totally wrong” in his comment that all those in Tamil Nadu who supported the Sri Lankan Tamil cause were doing it for political mileage, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said. “If Gotabaya thinks DMK is doing it for political mileage he is totally wrong as the party has been fighting for the cause for long. He knows full well that DMK is for liberation of the Tamil race in Sri Lanka,” more..

Sri Lanka bourse loses but still best in Asia amid global debt fears

Aug 10 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's bourse fell near a two-week low on Tuesday but reclaimed its title as Asia's best performer as global malaise spooked local large investors and crashed other bourses, traders said. Sri Lanka's main share index edged up 0.17 percent in early trade but closed 0.83 percent or 56.78 points weaker at 6,750.19. That gives it a best-in-Asia return of 1.72 percent on the year, after other markets fell sharply over fears about the global debt crisis. more..

First Randoli Perahera today

Aug 10 (GDI) The first Randoli Perahera of the Historical Kandy Esala Festival, will parade the streets in Kandy tonight. The perahera will proceed from the Sri Dalada Maligawa across Dalada Veediya, D. S. Senanayake Veediya, Temple Road, Deva Veediya, Colombo Veediya, E. L. Senanayake Veediya and Cross Road and return to Raja Veediya. The Kandy Esala Perahera, the biggest Buddhist festival of Sri Lanka, held annually in honour of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha enshrined at more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 09.08.2011

Minister halts construction work

Aug 10 (SL) Environment Minister Anura Priyadhrashana Yapa and the Central Province Chief Minister Sarath Ekanayake have halted construction work on a hydro power plant on the Mahaweli River at Getambe. The project has been halted following protests from environmentalists and residents in the area. Environmentalists and residents have complained that the blasts on the center of Mahaweli River at Getambe have created cracks on houses on both hills on either side of the river. more..

Ranil walks out

Aug 10 (NN) UNP Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe walked out of the party parliamentary group meeting this after when a proposal was made to make Karu Jayasuriya the new leader, UNP sources said. UNP co-deputy leader Sajith Premadasa proposed Karu Jayasuriya’s name as party leader and it was seconded by Ranjith Madumabandara. However Wickramasinghe said the parliamentary group meeting cannot be used to discuss party issues but only parliament matters. He then walked out of the meeting in protest. more..

There was an intrusion; SLAF

Aug 10 (DM) The Airforce maintained yesterday that an intrusion into Sri Lankan Airspace had occurred in the face if another denial by the United States Embassy in Colombo. “We maintain that we saw an aircraft operating within our controlled Airspace,” Air Force Spokesperson Group Captain Andrew Wijesuriya told the Daily Mirror today. “At no time did the USS RONALD REAGAN or its aircraft approach Sri Lanka's territorial sea or airspace,” more..

JVP calls for the appointment of AG

Aug 10 (SL) The JVP is to request parliament to urge the govt to appoint an Auditor General. The JVP has said the matter would be raised in parliament today as a question under Standing Order 23-II. The post of Auditor General has been vacant for over a year and the government has so far failed to make any appointment. JVP MP Vijitha Herath has said that in the absence of an Auditor General, there were concerns over the transparency and accountability of govt transactions. more..

Jaffna bound Lankans from France involved in accident

Aug 10 (ST) A group of Sri Lankans residing in France and returning to Jaffna on a holiday were involved in a major accident in Thiladiya, Puttalam, leaving behind seven of them injured and theri vehicle badly damaged, Police said. The van in which they were travelling collided with a lorry today evening. Police said that the driver of the van had fallen asleep on the wheel. The condition of two passengers were serious and were due to be transferred to the more..

Fighting for press freedom in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (RNW) “If you are not with the govt, you become an instant traitor to the country. They said I should be killed; very clearly, they said I should be killed.” In his 30-year career as a reporter and editor in Sri Lanka, Sunanda Deshapriya says he was non-political, but his reporting on the 25-year civil war and human rights violations in the country rubbed the govt the wrong way. Branded a traitor, his life threatened, Deshapriya sought asylum in more..

Dabur India sets up new subsidiary in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (PTI) FMCG firm Dabur India today said it has formed a new entity, Dabur Lanka Pvt Ltd, as part of a strategy to strengthen its presence in Sri Lanka. In a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Dabur said Dabur Lanka has been incorporated under its wholly-owned subsidiary, Dabur International, which manages the company's overseas operations. "Accordingly, Dabur Lanka Pvt Ltd has become company's step-down subsidiary company," Dabur India said. more..

Sri Lanka to abolish emergency laws

Aug 10 (PTI) Sri Lankan govt on Tuesday said it would soon lift the draconian emergency laws in force in the country for most of the past 30 years. "Steps have already been taken to lift emergency regulations in consultation with the (National) Security Council," Prime Minister DM Jayaratne told the parliament. Jayaratne said the proposals would be presented to the parliament shortly. The tough emergency laws allow suspects to be detained indefinitely and without any charge. more..

'I support in enhancing UK-Sri Lanka relationships', says new British Deputy HC

Aug 10 (IL) New British Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Mr Robbie Bulloch said “I’m delighted to take up post as Deputy High Commissioner (DHC) in Colombo at a time of such great potential for Sri Lanka. I look forward to supporting the High Commissioner and the rest of the team in enhancing long established UK-Sri Lanka relationships.” He made these remarks when he assumed his duties as Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka recently. more..

Dangers of India's business in Sri Lanka

Aug 10 (LG) With the dawning of peace upon a nation that withstood 3 decades of terror, Sri Lanka is looking towards development & aiming at economic revival. While lobbying foreign investors to invest in Sri Lanka, it is no surprise to see India engage its neighbor – this time from the economic front. Indians are no strangers to Sri Lanka & with peace Indian companies are keener than ever to put their foot into Sri Lanka through various development projects in the goods & service sectors more..

Russell, Foucault on Truth, Lies in Sri Lanka context

Aug 10 (LG) "While the LTTE’s propaganda machine continues to spin its lies, and such lax standards of journalism continue to prevail in the west, the narrative on Sri Lanka may continue to be obscured by vicious falsehoods," says Sri Lanka's Defense Secretary in a media briefing convened in Colombo in a frontal assault on confronting the damage inflicted on Sri Lanka by the Channel-4 video, UN war-crimes report, and the Rights NGOs calling for International Investigations into war-crimes. more..

Hambantota to be Lanka’s best planned city

Aug 10 (SO) Just two or three decades ago, the only tarred road leading to Kataragama was confined to single file traffic. By next year Hambantota would have four flyovers. The four-lane carpeted road around the harbour would be expanded to six lanes, envisaging the future economic activity in the city. The southern town of Hambantota, currently witnessing a spate of development activities, is set to witness the construction of Sri Lanka’s biggest more..

Sri Lanka, Eelam Tamils and the ethical crime

Aug 10 (LG) Sound, it can be said, is relative to the silence that precedes it. Deeper the silence, louder the noise. There was indeed relative silence in the world on the Sri Lankan war and the Eelam Tamils’ struggle, a silence that benefited a fascist state the most. The ‘Killing Fields’ video of Channel 4 came with a devastating bang and exposed to the world the horror that was Sri Lanka’s ‘war on terror’. While the news was already old for Tamil activists, something that many have more..

No meeting point of the two war narratives?

Aug 10 (LG) There are two narratives of the end phase of the war that are battling for dominance. The first is that of the Sri Lankan government that emphasizes the victory over the LTTE and terrorism and the securing of the country’s unity and sovereignty. It also asserts that the war was conducted according to international law with a policy of minimising civilian casualties. The other is the account of the expert panel appointed by the UN Secretary General, which is a severe more..

Producing a skilled youth force - the aim

Aug 10 (SO) Minister Dullas Allahapperuma said President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only leader who openly challenged the theory adopted by the West and said terrorism can be defeated through military means. The President through his own theory eradicated terrorism and is an example to the entire world. The Minister said at present the West was faced with a severe problem where the theory they adopted over the past two decades to intervene into the internal affairs of more..

'I wrote what I wrote for the purpose of correcting my friend Devananda'

Aug 10 (TC) This is the text of a Statement by Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole regarding Minister Douglas Devananda’ complaint to the Kayts Police on his article “Pitfalls in the President’s Alliance with the EPDP–A Visit to Kayts on Elections Day” and the Police Questioning him about it). I was interviewed by the Kayts Police today (Aug 2) at my office at the University of Jaffna. Inspector of Police Silva of the Kayts Crimes Branch was nice and courteous and seemed to see interviewing more..

Deadlock in govt –TNA dialogue must be broken to avoid total breakdow

Aug 10 (TC) A deadlock looms in the dialogue between the TNA and the Govt of Sri Lanka: there is a danger of breakdown. It is needless because they are deadlocked on a matter they needn’t be discussing at all. The TNA avers that the govt is evasive with regard to three areas identified by the TNA. According to the TNA’s statement the stumbling block is the administration’s avoidance of a written response on (1) The structure of governance (2) The division of subjects and functions between more..

‘I look upon the Sinhalese people as my own brothers and sisters’

Aug 10 (TC) Tamil National Alliance Leader R. Sampanthan in the aftermath of last Thursday’s somewhat tough stand taken with the government in giving it ten days to respond to the devolution proposals the TNA had put to the government about five months ago sat with The Island for a long interview and insisted that they had not issued any ultimatum nor shut the door on anything and they were yet ready for discussion. more..

Editorial: Big debtors & small creditors

Aug 10 (Island) While the EU is struggling to tackle an ever worsening financial crisis with some of its member states like Greece and Portugal teetering on the brink of economic collapse, it is reported that India has granted a loan of $ 2 billion to assist the on-going campaign to bail out Europe. That money will go to the IMF's New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB), 'the facility of first and principal recourse in circumstances in which the IMF needs to supplement its quota resources'. more..