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Sutherland flies to Sri Lanka to allay fears over Argus aftermath

Aug 23 (SMH) Cricket Australia supremo James Sutherland will arrive in Sri Lanka today on a 24-hour mission to ease concerns among touring players about the ramifications of the damning Argus report. Sutherland will brief players at their Colombo hotel as well as members of the team's support staff, including deposed selector Greg Chappell, before returning immediately to begin the process of implementing recommendations of the 40-page independent report released last Friday. more..

Sri Lanka deploys military to 'Grease Devil' towns

Aug 23 (Reuters) Sri Lanka on Monday deployed soldiers to quell unrest sparked by a fear of nighttime prowlers known as "Grease Devils", after at least five died over the past two weeks in a wave of vigilantism and clashes with police across the island nation. Sri Lanka's army also set up a new brigade in Kinniya near the eastern port of Trincomalee, where thousands of angry people last week besieged a govt office after fighting with the navy in more..

Minor offenders to be used in development projects

Aug 23 (SL) The govt is looking at using minor offenders in the many development porgrammes initiated in the country instead of incarcerating them in prisons. The Community Based Corrections Department has said that necessary measurers have already been taken for the purpose. An annual statistical report published by the Prisons Department state that about 91% of the prison population comprised of minor offenders. Senior community corrections officer more..

SL Tamils issue in Lok Sabha today

Aug 23 (PTI) With the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils slated to be discussed in Lok Sabha tomorrow, senior ministers today held a meeting to discuss the govt's stand on the matter. The meeting attended by Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy discussed the issue as also certain bills likely to be taken up. Several MPs are eager to express their sentiments on the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka through more..

Sri Lanka v Australia, 5th ODI: Malinga hat-trick sets up SL win

Aug 23 (CI) Chamara Silva struck a confident half-century to give Sri Lanka a strong chance of finishing the series with a consolation victory in Colombo. Australia have already secured the series and want to make it 4-1, but Sri Lanka can ensure a more respectable 3-2 scoreline if their batsmen don't throw their wickets away in their chase of 212. At the 25-over mark, Sri Lanka were 137 for 3 and needed a further 75 runs, with Silva unbeaten on 61 and more..

Bartering away land and security rights of all Sri Lankans

Aug 23 (LG) On a clear day, the waters off the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, abutting villages such as Panama and those further interior including Kumana, are of such a brilliant blue as to dazzle the eye. Set against soaring rock cliffs and sparkling white sand dunes, the scene is reminiscent out of the pages of a story book, with the pirate ship just about to round the cove. Yet in recent times, it is this very spectacular natural beauty that has ironically spelled doom for hapless villagers more..

Hambantota is Tamil as per Sinhalese Professor

Aug 23 (LG) I respond to the article ‘Was Nallur the capital of the Nagas in ancient Nakadeepa?, by Professor Chandre Dharmawardana of Ottawa, Canada; published in Sri Lanka Guardian. On the basis of this article – taken at face-value I say ‘Hambantota is Tamil because of Kathirgama Kanthan.’ Professor Dharmawardana says ‘The more well known aspect of the Nallur temple is the Kandaswamy Kovil, (or Nallur Murugan Kovil), probably constructed in the 10th century CE.’ more..

Large crowds at Searchlight Tattoo

Aug 23 (MoD) The Searchlight Tattoo display of the Sri Lanka Army took place between August 19 and 21 at the Anuradhapura Public Playgrounds. The Searchlight Tattoo display was held to provide an awareness to the people of the services rendered by the brave soldiers to end the 30 year old terrorist war. Various teams of Army personnel displayed their talents at the event which were greatly appreciated by more..

Muslim Fear Psychosis?

Aug 23 (LG) Just before I started writing this article I had an email from a usually reliable and well-informed Muslim friend stating that a campaign has been going on trying to turn the Sinhalese Buddhists against the Muslims. In that connection he provided some supporting details, but I don’t want to go into them because what seems to me important is to find out why Sinhalese-Muslim relations are too often troubled. There could be several reasons for that fact, not just Sinhalese racism as more..

Sri Lanka -Political Marginalisation of Tamils Continues

Aug 23 (LG) The recent announcement that the number of members of parliament to be elected from the Jaffna electoral district will be reduced to six is another illustration of the policy of marginalization of Tamils assiduously pursued by successive Sinhala dominated governments. In a letter to the Speaker of Parliament on August 8, 2011 the leader of the TNA R. Sampanthan rightly pointed out that it would only mean “the reduction of effective Tamil representation in Parliament and more..

LTTE terror victim vows to build a life for herself

Aug 23 (SO) "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.” this famous quote flashed through my mind when I met her recently. Reading her story, you would definitely think that she is a star. A star which struggles alone to make her life 'beautiful....' With nothing to call her own, she has only her soul, which is wrapped in immense courage, sheer determination and self-pride. ”You have become beautiful”, more..

Dr. Hoole – lacking in Intellectual Independence

Aug 23 (LG) I refer to the information provided by Dr. Ratnajeevan Hoole Under the heading ‘Brief Summary of the Background to my Fleeing under Harassment by Douglas Devananda’. This ‘confession’ confirms further my feelings as to Dr. Hoole’s lack of ability to manage the University of Jaffna as its Vice Chancellor. Intellectual Independence is an essential criterion to be the Vice Chancellor of any University. As a Tamil, I want the best available leadership for the University of Jaffna. more..

Sinhala Only Village Parliament in Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (LG) The former is like saying ‘Soul & Relativity’. The latter is like saying ‘Soul of Indonesia’. I am not able to relate to either. MARGA which is the institute through which Dr. Godfrey Gunatilleke is largely identified is not United Nations – the organization through which Mr. Darusman is identified. As I said recently to someone – Lord Muruga in the altar of Nallur Temple in Northern Sri Lanka and Lord Muruga in the altar of Westmead / Mayshill-NSW in Australia is the same. more..

'Drug issue a case of mismanagement'

Aug 23 (LB) Q: When you became the Minister of Health you made several grand statements including a promise of resolving the drug issue, regularizing the private hospitals and implementing the Senaka Bibile drug policy. Almost one and a half years later nothing has been done. A: I don’t agree with you. It’s been 16 months since I became the Minister of Health and we have made progress. Yes, still you may hear about an incident or two, but things have improved and more..

Editorial: How to banish the Grease Yaka

Aug 23 (Island) The Grease Yaka continues to wreak havoc in the country. It has even brought the public on a collision course with the law enforcement authorities in some areas, according to media reports. The Grease Yaka phenomenon is not of recent origin; there were isolated incidents of voyeurs in the buff with grease applied on their bodies (to avoid being caught in case of being pursued) peeping into others' bedrooms much to the horror of their victims. But, of late, there has been a more..

Editorial: True, sacrificial leaders will never die

Aug 23 (DM) In the ancient books of the sages, much emphasis is given to the enlightened role that leaders need to play. They are appointed by the people, for the people and are expected to be servants of the people. A govt is called into being, to care for the people of the country, be a watchman to the nation and to warn of impending dangers. The dangers could come from outside, or from within the country. They could be dangers to our moral values, health and the economy. more..

Tourism expectations drop amidst no promotions, adverse publicity

Aug 23 (ST) In the wake of lack of promotion and global economic setbacks, the tourism industry believes that the recent adverse publicity has also affected arrivals to the country. While expectations were a lot better, it was pointed out that there are always two sides to a story and most are beginning to realize the Channel 4 news is a fabrication, Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray said. He noted that however, the upcoming winter season is likely to be good although more..

Lanka promotes wildlife tourism, but great risks loom

Aug 23 (Island) While the month of September has been named as the month for nature and wild life to promote Sri Lanka as an all-round tourism destination, but the industry fears that certain development activities could pose threats to the country’s valuable flora and fauna. The Tourism Ministry in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators have organized several seminars for September to educate the public about the importance of promoting Sri Lanka as a safari destination. more..

The present system fails to produce quality cricketers

Aug 23 (ST) Generally a manhole is a surface indication about a network of underground capillaries that run through a city collecting refuse of the populace. Yet on the surface it is only a cover perched on the road that is run over by vehicle tyres morning, noon and night, but yet no one ever takes notice of. To be frank, last week I phoned a cricket insider about the wisdom of picking the oft-failing Chamara Silva for the third one-day squad. But he kept on playing in the same grove of low scores like more..

Gotabhaya orders tighter security for Mosques hit by ‘Grease Devil’ menace

Aug 23 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered tighter security for mosques hit by the ‘Human Grease Devil’ menace in the Eastern province, Puttalam and Kurunegala after representations were made to him about the worsening situation resulting in Muslims being unable to perform their religious observances in the holy month of Ramazan. Delegations representing the All Ceylon Jamaiyathul Ulema and Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, more..

LLRC’s interim recommendations: Friday Forum wants to know progress

Aug 23 (Island) The Friday Forum, ‘a group of concerned citizens’ has asked the government for access to information on the current state of progress in implementing the LLRC interim recommendations. In a letter written to Attorney General Mohan Pieris. early last week. former top career diplomat and UN Disarmament Chief Jayantha Dhanapala, writing on behalf of the Forum, has requested, among other things, "the details of the relevant strategic action steps taken in pursuit of such implementation, more..

SL Army begins registering Tamils in Colombo

Aug 23 (TN) Sri Lanka Army soldiers have been engaged in registering Tamil youths of both sexes who are staying Colombo with their relatives and friends and lodges in Colombo city and its suburbs. This has caused fear among Tamils living in the South. But the SLA says that this ethnic and selective registration is a ‘routine affair’ and not an especially implemented assignment, a new kind of explanation aimed at escaping criticism. In Mayoorapathi area in Wellawatte, more..

Interview - Mandhira de Saram

TNA thinks of ‘alternative ways’

Aug 23 (TN) “For six months we continued with talks, engaging the Government of Sri Lanka. But, there was no constructive outcome. The TNA cannot just keep continuing without any results, just for the sake of ‘engaging’ and ‘continuing’ the talks giving room for Sri Lanka to project an impression to the outside world that it is engaging in a constructive dialogue with Tamils,” said R. Sampanthan, the parliamentary leader of the TNA on Saturday in Jaffna, delivering a key speech at more..

'Varsities becoming a women’s world'

Aug 23 (ST) More females are gaining admission to national universities than males, over the past few years, an analysis by the Higher Education Ministry has revealed. The latest analysis on university admissions for the year 2009-2010 shows that 12,531 (59%) females were selected to universities, as against 9,016 (41%) males. In the previous years a similar trend has been observed. In 2008 -2009, of the 20,846 students who gained admission, 12,017 (57%) were females and 8,829 (42%) were males, more..

President’s stroll at Independence Sq. signals end of SL’s siege mindset

Aug 23 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa took a stroll in the Independence Avenue Park, on Sunday. In a city with many Army sentry posts and barricades, this marked another first: that of a President stepping out in an open, fairly crowded space and signalling an end to the siege mentality that has been the defining feature of Sri Lanka for many decades. President Rajapaksa, the most protected person in Sri Lanka because of the threats to his life from more..

Ploy to disrupt development plans: Basil

Aug 23 (DM) There is a ploy to disrupt the govt’s development plans which was going ahead in spite of some form of shortcomings said Minister Basil Rajapaksha at a meeting held on August 22, at the CTC hall, Anuradhapura District Development Committee. He said that there were some difficulties and shortcomings at the process of working with the govt, especially in difficult areas. He said people here lived with several difficulties. They have to face the threat of wild animals, drought and more..

Sri Lankan mum stabs herself in fear of deportation from Liverpool

Aug 23 (LE) A mum facing deportation reportedly stabbed herself with a knife when Border Agency staff turned up on the doorstep of her home. The Sri Lankan asylum seeker, in her mid-40s and from Walton, harmed herself in front of the three uniformed officers. The woman’s missing husband is said to be wanted by Sri Lankan authorities on suspicion of smuggling arms for the Tamil Tigers rebels. There is also said to be a warrant out for her arrest after weapons were found in their house after his disappearance. more..

'Corruption seems to be a way of life'

Aug 23 (Island) Corruption seems to be a way of life and if 40 to 45 per cent of corruption and waste could be eradicated the people could benefit as the astronomical cost of living would be brought down to a great extent, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said. He said that it was just unbelievable that the government does exactly what it wants and even blames the UNP for this miserable situation too. He demanded to know what the UPFA govt had done for the people regarding more..

Information centre of SLBFE will be open 24 hours a day

Aug 23 (Island) A 24-hour information centre, to benefit the Sri Lankans employed overseas, will be opened today (23) at the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), in Battaramulla, by the Minister Dilan Perera. This centre will be manned by well trained personnel who will do their utmost to resolve disputes that may arise involving Sri Lankan workers employed overseas and their employers through negotiations. This centre will also cater to those aspiring to find employment overseas as well as more..

Hotel schools in all main cities

Aug 23 (DN) The Vocational Training Authority (VTA) will establish hotel schools in all main cities with the support of the Tourist Hotel Association with the objective of creating Sri Lanka's largest hotel school network by 2012 to produce more and more skilled labour for the hospitality industry, said a VTA official. The tourism industry of the country is booming. Some leading companies in world tourism have come to Sri Lanka for investments. A large number of job opportunities will be generated in the hotel field. more..

Envoys of six nations present credentials to President Rajapaksa

Aug 23 (IL) Six foreign envoys including five Ambassadors and a High Commissioner, presented their credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony which was held at the Presidential Secretariat today (22). Welcoming the envoys, the President said, "They are all joining their assignments at a time when Sri Lankan economy is at a rapid growth after eliminating thirty years of brutal terrorism. The govt’s rehabilitation, reconciliation, resettlement, more..

No decision to resettle people living in shanties

Aug 23 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that neither the Ministry of Defence nor the Urban Development Authority (UDA) has not taken a decision to resettle people living in shanties or cottages in urban areas in Colombo. He denied all the allegations levelled that the people would be shifted to areas outside Colombo to areas such as Avissawella or Gampaha. The Defence Secretary stated that the plan of the government is to construct housing schemes for these people with all required facilities. more..

Honorary envoy to cement bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka

Aug 23 (Hindu) The newly appointed Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka K. Sudhakar has said he will work for cementing bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka and promoting trade, commerce and cultural exchanges between the countries, making use of the peaceful atmosphere in the island nation. Explaining the procedure of his appointment, Dr. Sudhakar, first to serve in that position, said that his name had to be cleared by the Indian intelligence and security agencies before President more..

American clout makes Lankan agri-farmers go bananas

Aug 23 (ST) State lands, including the region around the Somawathie Chaitiya Sanctuary have been issued to an American fruit company for banana cultivation, in various parts of the country, according to environmentalists. The company, Dole, has acquired 62,500 hectares in the following areas - Buttala, Uva Kudaoya, Galle, Puttalam, Dambulla and Somawathie, but has not obtained the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), according to them. more..

A few peas short of a full pod: Hillary Clinton & Jayalalithaa

Aug 23 (HP) Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake recently told the Indian Express that the meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Chief Minister for Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha, occurred "in the context of this recent film, the Channel 4 documentary that's gotten a lot of attention around the world, including here in the United States." Too bad for both the Secretary and the Assistant Secretary of State that the claims made in the more..

Ganeshan to contest for Colombo mayoralty

Aug 23 (Island) The General Secretary of the DPF Dr. Kumara Guruparan said yesterday that the party Politburo was unanimous in deciding to field Party Leader Mano Ganeshan as its Colombo Mayoral candidate. "After much deliberation we have carefully selected an excellent team of educated youth who enjoy a mass support base among the grassroot level residents of Colombo and could pose a challenge to any of the main political parties during the forthcoming local elections." more..

MCNS alerts on consequences: Violators of law warned

Aug 23 (DN) The government will take legal action against those who take the law into their hands, damage public property and assault public officials, MCNS Director General Lakshman Hulugalle said yesterday. He said that certain groups are trying to change the existing peaceful environment in the country earned after a great effort, by attempting to create a commotion. Hulugalle added that those who mislead the public would also be dealt with by law. more..

Committee to probe myths doing rounds

Aug 23 (DN) A special committee is to be appointed comprising representatives of the Social Services Ministry, Defence Ministry and all main religions in Sri Lanka to probe numerous myths, fabrications, obsessions and falsehoods and those behind them, which are currently tending to mislead the public. Racketeers and wrong-doers who are thus playing on the credulity of the public through these myths and fabrications, such as mythical creatures are to be exposed in the country through this committee. more..

Police vow to apprehend cop killers

Aug 23 (Island) The police yesterday vowed to apprehend those responsible for killing 30-year-old police constable Navaratne Bandara (61006) close to Palavi junction in the Puttalam police division on Monday (21). Police spokesman SP Prishantha Jayakody said that a mob had targeted him shortly after he rescued a person who was being attacked near Palavi junction. According to him, the gang had pounced on him after the rescued person was taken by the police to the local police station. more..