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Conspiracy Theory

Aug 24 (SL) The monk organization affiliated to the UNP says the current conflict in the party is due to a conspiracy by certain forces within the party and some media organizations. The United National Bhikku Forum (UNBF) has said the crisis could also be a government conspiracy that is being carried out by the UNP reformists. Head of the UNBF, Ven. Malabe Seelaratana Thero has said the pro-reforms group could be carrying out a contract by the govt to more..

No Lankan migrant workers in Libya - SLBFE

Aug 24 (AD) There are no Sri Lankan migrant workers currently in war-torn Libya, where fighting have escalated, according to the Bureau of Foreign Employment. It said that several migrant workers had returned to Sri Lanka in the initial stages of the clashes in the Middle Eastern country. The Bureau stated that so far their have been no reports of any Sri Lankan migrants being caught in the fierce clashes. Meanwhile foreign media reported that intense fighting has broken out in more..

Delhi opens whole new world for Jaffna's 'war born'

Aug 24 (IANS) It is their first trip outside of Jaffna, Sri Lanka's once war capital. And the 10 Tamil students of a 160-year-old school in Jaffna find their tour of Delhi simply amazing. Since flying into the capital on India's Independence Day, the still shy students have been captivated by a whole new world -- Indian students, local cuisine, lifestyle, historical monuments and more. 'This has truly been an enriching experience,' said Rev. Jero Selvanayagam, more..

UK war crimes in Iraq

Aug 24 (LG) The invasion of Iraq had nothing yet everything to do with weapons of mass destruction. While Iraq did not have WMD, UK & US political leaderships wanted to use WMD as a strategy to bring about “regime change”. If that rings bells about current accusations & allegations against other countries by the US & UK the world must be ready to admit that it is all because of their desire for “regime change” or to secure “economic & resources”. So the March 2003 invasion of Iraq was illegal. more..

The Grease Yakas -- an international conspiracy to embarrass Sri Lanka!

Aug 24 (LG) The Sri Lankan people will be pleased to know that investigations carried out by a freelance foreign journalist has discovered that the 'Grease Yaka' incidents are just another plot to discredit the govt. Working under cover, and at considerable risk to himself, the journalist was able to interview three of the Grease Yakas that the govt claim does not exist! The report by the journalist: Acting on a tip off I went to Siyabalanduwa, an area which, more..

Can Sri Lanka get out of the ‘Grease Yakka’ syndrome of political paranoia?

Aug 24 (TC) Sri Lanka is currently rocked by reports of ‘Grease Yakka” (Grease devils) suddenly appearing in rural areas and terrorising villagers. Traditionally a grease yakka is a prowler in the dark who attacks women; he is said to wear only a loin cloth and cover his body with oil to escape capture. Already five lives have been lost in more than 30 incidents of vigilantism against grease yakkas by paranoid villagers. more..

Is an ecologically sustainable development possible?

Aug 24 (LG) While I was preparing a lecture on sustainable development for my political economy class, I received an invitation to a seminar entitled Greening the Economy organised by the Central Environment Authority. However, this is not a comment on the event as I was not in a position to attend it. My lecture at the university fell on the same day. The question I posed at the lecture was: Is an ecologically sustainable development possible? Although I presented more..

Bloody Hell, Appé Thel

Aug 24 (LG) In the post Independence days when the UNP ruled the country, foreign oil companies—Shell, Caltex, Mobile Oil, etc., competed with one another to sell their products. Shell, the leading company had an advertisement with a picture of a playboy with a girl in an open sports car speeding along a road with the caption: Going well going Shell. Today, we could have the same advertisement but with the car stalled on the road with the caption: Bloody hell, Appé Thel. more..

India as a source market for tourism industry of Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (SO) Out of over 11 million outbound tourists from India, Sri Lanka receives just over 1 percent only. India is not only a ‘big market’, but also ‘many markets’ and ‘fast growing markets’ for a given differentiated product for industry expansion and economies of scale. Even without much effort at policy level in either country, Sri Lanka has an easy access to India as an important source market for tourism industry. more..

If military commander Gen Hathurusinha contests he would get more votes than Minister Devananda in Jaffna

Aug 24 (TC) Dear Friends, Having spent many holiday’s of my childhood in Jaffna the trip last week was a particularly nostalgic trip down memory lane for me. After 30 years we drove down the A9, passing the towns Omanthai, Mankulam Murukandi Paranthan Pallai. Kodikamam and Meesalai …these names echo in my memory never forgotten. Then almost like an old friend rising to greet you, we approached Jaffna, it is astonishing how most things are still the same. more..

Hoole on Sivathamby

Aug 24 (LG) One can admire Prof.Hoole’s courageous and principled stand on many issues—as I do-- concerning Sri Lankan politics and academic life, but his tribute to the late Prof. Sivathamby contains many claims that should be challenged. It is indeed full of polemical nonsense that one should not let it pass without commentary. To begin with, I have known Sivathamby for over 50 years and even after I migrated to the United States I have been keeping in touch with him. more..

The new face of old-school NDP values: rookie MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan

Aug 24 (TC) Is Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Canada’s first Tamil MP, the kind of secret weapon her party needs to win over immigrant voters at the ballot box? In her orange blouse and mesh cowboy hat, Rathika Sitsabaiesan cuts a striking swath through the stalls at the 10th annual Scarborough Rotary Ribfest in northeastern Toronto. It’s a sweltering Saturday, and the MP for Scarborough-Rouge River is, like any good pol in the summer, where her constituents more..

Editorial: Libya: Spring or Winter?

Aug 24 (Island) Tripoli is reported to have fallen to the pro-western rebels, though fighting continues, and the Gaddafi's 42-year-old dictatorship has apparently crumbled earlier than expected. His whereabouts were not known at the time of writing but, if the western media reports are true, wherever he may be, he is as good as dead. The moment the West decided to throw its weight behind a disparate band of Gaddafi's enemies who cobbled together a ragtag force and more..

Editorial: Dig deep into drug abuse in sports

Aug 24 (DM) The Sports Ministry is planning to set up a separate unit to handle matters relating to drug abuse by sportsmen and women in Sri Lanka and we hope the new unit will go deeper than mearely scratching the surface. Previously this was the responsibility of the Sports Ministry’s Medical Unit headed by Dr. Geethanjana Mendis. Minister Aluthgamage said he would give top priority to the revamping of the entire medical unit and the setting up a separate Drug Abuse Unit. more..

The UNP – A Pusswedilla

Aug 24 (SL) The incidents that took place in the UNP last week could be summed up in one word, a fiasco. The country continues to suffer without a vibrant opposition while the UNP continues its circus act with a tired public at its periphery. The grand old party, which was at one time considered the single largest party in the country, has now been reduced to a joke recording electoral defeat after defeat due to a dictator type leader who would have done well in the Middle East. more..

De-greasing social speculation over “grease devils” in Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (GV) Whispering campaigns in Sri Lanka are the most speedy and penetrating campaigns that product promoting advertisers have not been able to make use of. Often in Sri Lanka these whispering campaigns have been political. They have also been on “negative impact” mode, socially. The latest is on the very sensational “Grease Devil” that is said to be after young women. This has many stories making rounds and each round making it more bizarre than the previous round and more..

Grease devils: trick to extend emergency

Aug 24 (DM) There is immense controversy surrounding the so-called ‘grease devils’ but the people should not fear as it is not a reality but a creation of the govt to extend emergency laws without external interference. The people are asking for the removal of emergency regulations but instead the govt has attempted to divert the people’s attention to dubious pranks just so that they can continue to infringe the laws of the country. If the govt can defeat the LTTE then more..

Net foreign outflow tops Rs. 10 b

Aug 24 (FT) Net foreign outflow from the Colombo Bourse has now topped the Rs. 10 billion mark on the back of Rs. 26.3 billion in 2010 prompting analysts to call for urgent and aggressive promotion overseas given Sri Lanka’s positive post-war growth opportunity. It was pointed out that except for two events organised by those other than the CSE or SEC in June, the Colombo stock market as a high potential investment location hadn’t been effectively more..

1 million bags of cement in need

Aug 24 (FT) Around one million 50-kilo bags of cement need to be imported urgently to offset the current shortage say industry experts warning that scarcity and increase in price would hit Sri Lanka’s Rs.250 billion Construction Sector hard. Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB) President Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said that if prices are increased, the contractors would have to take on the added costs. “At the moment we can estimate that there are about Rs.1 billion worth of contracts being carried out. more..

Water Board employees in protest today against UPFA MC

Aug 24 (Island) Workers of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) will satge a protest at Maradana today (24) against a UPFA CMC member who forcibly occupied a section of the Board’s new building at Maligakanda. General Secretary of the Water Supply and Drainage Workers’ Union, Engineer Upali Ratnayake said that the particular section was designed for the Colombo City manager, but it was being held by the politician for his work for the last two months. more..

‘Nothing short of equitable rights to Tamils will do’

Aug 24 (DM) Leader of the Tamil National Alliance and veteran MP R. Sampanthan expresses his concerns on devolution, emergency laws and the Indian role, maintaining that no ultimatum was issued to the government on the ongoing talks or a decision to terminate talks taken. ‘All we ask is that before the next round of talks, there be a response to (our paper) to enable the talks to continue in a meaningful way,’ he adds. more..

Legal records disappear

Aug 24 (DN) Records of certain criminal and traffic cases pending trial before the Panadura Magistrate's Court are allegedly missing from the record room, baffling the legal authorities. Panadura Additional District Judge and Magistrate R S A Dissanayake summoned the Criminal Investigations officials to investigate into the modus operandi continued at the record room in the past. The first case record was stolen in 2007. An accused in the relevant case in a statement to more..

No change in LG elections ordinance

Aug 24 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya has informed Party Secretaries that Parliament had not endorsed any new reforms and that the Returning Officers would adhere strictly to the very same local elections ordinance that led to the rejection of a large number of nomination papers. When asked about the controversy surrounding the earlier reports that the Elections would be held on October 15 and the latest news report stating that October 25 was auspicious, more..

Tamil Nadu reverts to observing Tamil New Year from January to April

Aug 24 (DBS) Tamil New Year will once again be officially observed in Tamil Nadu in mid April instead of Thai Pongal day in mid January as being done now. Although Tamil new year had been observed in April by Thamizhians for centuries the DMK govt of M.Karunanidhi changed it officially in 2008. The Tamil new year day was changed from first of Sithirai (April) to the first of Thai (January) in the Hindu almanac in a controversial move. more..

SLA terror unleashed in Jaffna after public unmasks ‘grease devils’

Aug 24 (TN) Sri Lanka Army entered into houses at Naavaan-thu’rai in Jaffna city Monday night, dragged out hundreds of youth and children and tortured them in their camps during the night, following public in Naavanthu’rai on Monday identifying the ‘grease devils’ as SLA soldiers. Many houses were destroyed and plundered by the SL soldiers. On Monday when five ‘grease devils’ entered into a house at Naavaanthu’rai and when the public chased them, the intruders escaped by more..

India won’t arm fishermen

Aug 24 (PTI) Ruling out the possibility of issuing guns for Indian fishermen to protect themselves in case of mid-sea attacks, two senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs told the Madras High Court here today that such a course of action would lead to 'law and order problem and result in anarchy'. The submission was made by a Director of External Affairs, Deepak Mittal and a Joint Director of the External Affairs Ministry, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, in their counter to more..

Pacific Airlift Rally starts in Sri Lanka

Aug 24 (PAF) More than 300 military members from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the Sri Lankan Air Force, the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the U.S. Air Force gathered together on Aug. 22 for the start of Pacific Airlift Rally (PAR) 2011, a Pacific Air Force sponsored, biennial multilateral tactical military airlift symposium held in Colombo, Sri Lanka. PAR is designed to enhance military airlift interoperability and cooperation between more..

Govt. won’t take over Telecom –S’pitiya

Aug 24 (Island) Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya yesterday told Parliament that the government has no intention of acquiring Sri Lanka Telecom. The government had always made its decisions giving priority for public benefit and this policy would prevail in future decision makings too, he said. Sri Lanka Telecom was privatized on August 05, 1997 and 35 percent of its shares had been sold for a sum of US $ 225 million, he said. more..

UNP to refrain naming mayoral candidate

Aug 24 (DM) UNP had decided to refrain from naming its mayoral candidates till all the nominations are finalized and approved by the Nomination Board, Tissa Attanayake said. He said nominations have been finalized for six local bodies including Hambantota UC, Hambantota PS, Sorriyawewa PS, Matara MC, Kundasale and Kalmunai MCs. He said 90 per cent of the lists were completed in other local bodies. The UNP is expected to handover the nominations for the CMC on Thursday more..

'Sri Lanka prefers to look forward'

Aug 24 (OC) Not surprisingly, in the face of NDP members urging the United Nations to set up an independent, international and impartial mechanism to ensure “truth, accountability and justice” for Sri Lankans after a long civil war, the Sri Lankan high commissioner prefers to look to the future. “I don’t want to keep on talking about the conflict and the war that went on for nearly three decades,” Chitranganee Wagiswara said at her residence this week. more..

Twenty arrested over PC’s killing

Aug 24 (Island) Police investigating Sunday’s killing of police constable Navaratne Bandara, near the Palavi junction in the Puttalam police division, have arrested 20 persons, including the main suspect wanted in connection with the killing. Police headquarters said that the arrests were made by a joint team comprising the CID and Puttalam police. Investigators also recovered a locally made galkattas belonging to a brother of a local Grama Sevaka. more..

Bathiudeen urges Moulavis not to take law into their hands

Aug 24 (Island) Moulavis have a great responsibility to safeguard the Muslim Community in Sri Lanka. The latest wave of the ‘Grease Devil’ issue has created unnecessary tension and confusion in the country. "I believe it is an attempt by organized anti-government forces to disrupt the peaceful co-existence amongst communities that prevails in the country at present after 30 years of destructive war", Minister of Industry and Commerce, Rishad Bathiudeen said yesterday. more..

Govt. hospitals to stop private lab tests

Aug 24 (DM) The Health Ministry prohibited laboratory technicians of government hospitals from referring patients to private medical institutions for specimen tests with immediate effect. Minister Maithripala Sirisena after an inspection tour of the laboratories at the National Hospital in Colombo instructed Health Services Director General Dr. Ajith Mendis to issue the relevant circular to all govt medical institutions within the next few days. more..

Milinda Moragoda joined SLFP

Aug 24 (AT) Sri Lanka’s former justice, law reforms and also tourism minister and the leader of Sri Lanka National Congress Milinda Moragoda today joined the Sri Lanka Freedom party, the President office announced today. UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said that the decision to nominate Moragoda was taken following a meeting held yesterday. The President Office said, Milinda Moragoda and other five of his party members today took the SLFP party membership from more..

HDL saga: Hilton feasts as Govt. loses

Aug 24 (FT) Despite a staggering Rs. 10.3 billion accumulated loss at the owning company of Sri Lanka’s premier five star hotel and the Govt at large, world famous Hilton has been feasting with earnings. Following the release of annual accounts for two decades this week, questions have been raised by leisure industry experts over the highly exorbitant management fees and other charges by Hilton. Hotel Developers (Ceylon) Plc as at end 31 March, 2010, had accumulated Rs. 10.3 billion loss. more..

'Let’s take the first step to defeat failed, inefficient govt'

Aug 24 (LT) The signing of nomination papers for the JVP candidates contesting the forthcoming local govt elections was carried out at the party head office today. Speaking at the occasion the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva said the party expected to contest all 23 local councils for which the elections are to be held. Mr. Silva said nominations will be signed today and nomination papers for all councils will be handed over tomorrow and the day after. more..

Ranil wants to know what govt. is doing about ‘grease yaka’

Aug 24 (Island) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demanded to know from the Govt what action was being taken to relieve the country from the threat and fear of problem called ‘Grease Yaka’. Making a special statement in Parliament yesterday, the Opposition Leader said that the entire country is terrorized by this fear. The police has not been able to arrest the Grease Devil. A group of residents in Navaththurai area in Jaffna had clashed with security force members on more..

Aussies relieved Malinga won’t play Tests, but are we?

Aug 24 (Island) Tillakaratne Dilshan will be cursing his luck. Lasith Malinga having devastated the Australian lower order during the final ODI at Premadasa Stadium, where he became the first man in the history to take three hat-tricks in ODIs will not play the Test leg of Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka because at the age of 27 he’s retired from Test cricket. Australian captain Michael Clarke admitted that his players were relieved that Malinga’s would not be around for the Tests, more..

Maximum penalty for peace violators: Govt will ensure security of everyone

Aug 24 (DN) The govt stressed that it will deal firmly with terrorist elements who were responsible for recent incidents in several parts of the country. According to Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the maximum punishment will be meted out to the criminals who were involved in the murder of a policeman in Puttalam. He said that the govt is bound to ensure the security for each and every person in the country and criminals who are involved in more..

'No decisions taken to extend retirement age of public employees'

Aug 24 (LT) The govt has not taken any decision to extend the retirement age of public employees says Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne. Mr. Seneviratne said despite the Director General of the Department of Pensions stating that the retirement age of public employees should be made 65, the govt has not taken any such decision yet. He further said that the Director General of Pensions would have made the statement to save Rs.105 billion paid as pensions annually and more..