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Samurdhi Officers get pensions right with absorption in to a new Dept

Aug 26 (GDI) Around 30,000 Samurdhi officers who oversee the govt’s pro-poor program island wide will get pension right as in the case of other public servants shortly. A proposal made by minister Basil Rajapaksa to the Cabinet to establish a new department called Department of Divi Neguma Combined Rural Development was approved on Thursday. Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said that this new department will be established amalgamating the institutions such as more..

'Journalists should guide masses for a fruitful development process'

Aug 26 (GDI) New policies and new projects are being launched for the national development of Sri Lanka. It has become necessary to lure the people’s support for these projects and policies and inculcate an attitudinal change among them. If this requirement is appropriately carried out, it would also in turn assist the govt in reaching its targets. Although there had been several programmes launched with this objective in the past it is not possible to quantify the success of more..

Gordon Weiss on Sri Lanka's civil war

Aug 26 (EF) Gordon Weiss is driving across Sydney when I call. "Don't worry, I've got a hands-free doo-da," he says. "The police here will arrest me and do terrible things to me if they see me driving holding a handset." Of course, the Australian police are unlikely to do terrible things to anyone, even if they catch them breaking the law. In Sri Lanka, however, where Weiss worked as UN spokesman, from 2006-9, the police do terrible things all the time. more..

Lifting of emergency cautiously welcomed, activists say

Aug 26 (IRIN) Rights activists welcomed the lifting of the state of emergency as a step toward normality, but remain sceptical. President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced on 25 August that the govt would not seek an extension to the emergency law in place for most of the past three decades. "To carry forward the day-to-day activities in a democratic way, I propose there is no need for emergency regulations any more," Rajapaksa said. He added that there had been no terrorist acts reported since more..

Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.4-pct

Aug 26 (LBO) Sri Lankan share prices closed higher Thursday as some buying interest returned after four days of losses, brokers said. The main All Share Price Index closed at 6,839.20, up 0.39 percent while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.51 percent to close at 6,225.03, according to stock exchange figures. Turnover was 1.6 billion rupees. Colombo Land & Development Company was the most actively traded stock, closing at 64.10 rupees, up 2.60, more..

Four Sri Lankan policemen sentenced to death for murder

Aug 26 (Xinhua) A court in Sri Lanka Thursday sentenced four policemen to death over the murder of two young boys two years ago. The Colombo High Court handed down death sentence to the suspects including the officer who was in charge of the police station at the time. However the death penalty is not implemented in Sri Lanka, so the sentence will see the policemen serving life in prison. more..

Sri Lanka Dockyard wins supply vessel orders

Aug 26 (LBO) Colombo Dockyard has won a deal from a Singapore-based owner to build four 78-metre Multipurpose Platform Supply Vessels (MPSVs) each with a 3,600 tonne deadweight capacity. Details of the owner and price are not divulged owing to an agreement of commercial confidentiality with the owner, the yard said. "With the Offshore Support Vessel market on its way to a gradual recovery, the owner has made the right strategic move, taking steps to beef up their ship assets," more..

Defence Secretary opens Nachchikuda Navy camp

Aug 26 (MoD) Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared open a new permanent Navy camp in Nachchikuda in Mannar district today morning, (25). The new camp located along the Mannar - Pooneryn road comes under the North Central Command of Sri Lanka Navy and has been strengthened with sea and ground units to carry out security activities of the Nachchikuda marine zone and the land. Accordingly, the base will help prevent smuggling of drugs and other more..

India to press for probe into human rights violation against Tamils in Sri Lanka

Aug 26 (PTI) India will seek withdrawal of emergency regulations and probe into human rights violations against Tamils in Sri Lanka, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said on Thursday. Winding up a short duration discussion on the problems of Sri Lankan Tamils, Krishna said in the Rajya Sabha, India would pursue with Sri Lanka for a lasting political settlement that provides for harmonious co-existence of all communities. more..

Copeland five-for restricts SL Board XI to 258

Aug 26 (CI) At a time when the pay structure of Australia's cricketers has been questioned, Trent Copeland represents tremendous value for money. He nabbed 5 for 47 against Sri Lanka Board XI to make a compelling case for selection in the first Test in Galle next week. Following Copeland's incisions, the spin bowlers Michael Beer and Nathan Lyon were able to assist in restricting Board XI to 258 at P Sara Oval, as captain Michael Clarke assessed his options in the field after losing the toss. more..

Sri Lanka warned not to follow Australian example on spin

Aug 26 (Age) Sri Lanka must not follow Australia's model when attempting to find a successful long-term replacement for its retired champion spinner, according to former Test batsman and new New South Wales assistant coach Chandika Hathurusingha. Australia has changed spin bowlers relentlessly since the exit of Shane Warne five years ago, with left-armer Michael Beer the 10th post-Warne option used when he made his debut in Sydney in January and South Australian Nathan Lyon more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 25.08.2011

Removal of emergency laws a victory for the people -JVP

Aug 26 (AD) The proposal brought forward by the government to remove the emergency regulations currently being imposed in the country, is a victory for the people of the nation who value democracy, the JVP stated. General Secretary of the JVP, Tilvin Silva showed appreciation for the move despite claims that it came late, stating that his party continuously pressured the govt regarding the removal of these laws. He further added that in order to ensure democracy more..

Tamil Invigilators at exams for minority students

Aug 26 (LP) A request has been made from the Examination Commissioner to have a Tamil speaking Invigilator at examination centres where Tamil and Muslim students sit the exams, Ministerof National Languages and Social Integration said. The issue was raised after the recent Scholarship examination and the Advanced level examination where some Tamil speaking students faced difficulties. Several complaints have been made by their parents, the Minister added. more..

Fire at Norochcholai power plant

Aug 26 (Reuters) A fire broke out in Sri Lanka's first coal-powered power generation station on Thursday, the third accident in the Chinese-built plant since its installation, but officials said there was no damage or effect on production. "Things are under control," head of the state-run CEB Wimaladharma Abeyewickreme told Reuters. "There is no major damage as far as the plant is concerned. This is a highly volatile area. There had been smoke and small fire." more..

Volkswagen interested in invest in SL

Aug 26 (LP) The world renowned Volkswagen (VW) Company has forwarded a proposal to invest in the Southern Sri Lanka. The forwarded proposal is to assemble vans at the Ruhunu Magampura Port Investment Zone, according to the Port Authority. They are planning to assemble vans with 8, 10 and 12 seat capacity mainly for the local market as vans are in demand. These Volkswagen vans also would be exported. In addition, the Micro Car Company too has tendered to be the other player in the motor assembly facility at more..

Indian fishing boat, crew rescued by SL Navy

Aug 26 (PTI) A Coast Guard ship rescued an Indian fishing boat with four men on board that was anchored in Sri Lankan waters due to engine failure, officials said. Indian fishing boat 'Barashakti' and its crew were handed over by the Sri Lankan Navy to an Indian Coast Guard ship on patrol at 1600 hrs off International Maritime Boundary Line yesterday, officials said. The crew had ventured in their boat on Monday and were expected to returned yesterday. However, the boat had developed engine trouble more..

Parliamentary team from India may visit Lanka

Aug 26 (IANS) A team of parliament members from India may soon visit Sri Lanka to see the condition of Tamil-speaking people there, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna informed the Rajya Sabha Thursday. 'During a recent meeting with Tamil Nadu chief minister in Chennai, the Sri Lankan high commissioner to New Delhi has conveyed the Sri Lankan president's invitation,' Krishna informed the house of elders. 'He has also invited a parliamentary team.' more..

Lanka & Libya

Aug 26 (LG) I respond to the article ‘The Greasy President’ by Rajasingham Jayadevan, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. Like with Jayadevan, my mind went to how Sri Lanka would see and feel about Libya’s experience? Unlike Jayadevan, I did not focus just on the President but also on all those who speak even now against LTTE and JVP. We rebel against governments in our lives – starting with family. Unless we are able to ‘experience’ the rebellion – it is usually for more..

Caste and Politics

Aug 26 (LG) Over the years, the claims of the Tamil people for justice, equality and dignity have been rejected with a variety of specious arguments. It is not necessary to go into these exercises here again. However, the latest attempt in this direction is to raise the issue of caste in Jaffna society. Former civil servants, who spent three or four years being de facto kings of the North, have sought to comment on this issue in many recent hero-stories that they have more..

Making Sri Lanka Asia's aviation hub

Aug 26 (SO) The opening of the Colombo-Galle expressway would open new vistas in the local transport sector - just one hour's drive to Galle as against the present three hours, It would also be the country's only road where drivers have to pay a toll for plying on it. It would also be the only road where drivers would not be given a speeding ticket for high speed driving. Not only private vehicles even public transport would be allowed to ply on more..

The Greasy President

Aug 26 (LG) President Dr Mahendra Percy Rajapakse must be highly worried about the situation facing his buddy, the mad man Maumar Gadafi. The Greesy President of Sri Lanka is well known for going out of the way to make friendship with rogue nations to down play the international outcry on the war crimes charges and to secure the much needed funds for his deceptive development work to cover up his failures. The President personally made couple of visits to Libya. more..

Value of Opposition

Aug 26 (LG) I respond to the article ‘The curse of unprincipled oppositions’ by Milinda Rajasekera, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. As per my observations, the real opposition of the Govt of Sri Lanka is the Leadership of the Global Tamil Community. There is the Apparent and there is the Real. The legal opposition is as per votes. The real opposition is known as per the actions of the Govt. Where the real opposition is facilitated to express itself, the country would be more..

Reed industry: struggling for survival

Aug 26 (SO) Weaving mats and bags out of reed is a traditional industry and like in the case of a few other industries, the reed industry is doomed, unless the authorities extend a helping hand. A large number of people are depending on the industry. Reed is a small, fragile plant, grown in abandoned paddy fields and also in wet lands. However, reed cultivation and the reed industry is being continued in many villages in the country, Induruwa, more..

SL foreign policy might lead to Indo-Lanka Accord Two

Aug 26 (LG) The current foreign policy of the Rajapaksa administration is reminiscent of the tragic blunders made during the J. R. Jayewardene era. In the 1980s, President JRJ embarked on a foreign policy approach that explicitly drifted away from India and what was considered the Indian sphere of influence. As a product of cold war politics, Jayewardene to hedge his bets with the Americans at a time when India was officially considered non-aligned but, in fact, more..

Is Sri Lanka a target of Western regime change?

Aug 26 (LG) Wars are today considered “commercial opportunities” for economic success & define political power in today’s competitive political climate. It was these American MNCs that turned US into a great power so naturally all successive American governments end up governing the most liberal country according to the dictates of the businessmen who run the foreign affairs of mighty USA! The first regime change by the US took place in 1893 with the overthrowing of Queen more..

Modern Dictatorships through the Mirror: Time for us to be Conscious

Aug 26 (GV) In legal and political literature, the term ‘dictatorship’ includes authoritarianism and is synonymous with traditional terms such as absolutism, absolute govts, despotism and tyranny. In political and constitutional legal theory, a dictatorship is a political regime under which the power of govt is not limited by any law. Perhaps the main feature in all types of dictatorships is that there is a concentration of political power in more..

Editorial: Time to banish Polythene Yaka

Aug 26 (Island) Environmentally concerned citizens of this country usually shudder at the thought of an election. The government's recent announcement that the last leg of LG polls would be held in October must have sent a chill down their spines, given the prospects of unbridled pollution politicians in the fray cause in the name of electioneering. Colombo will probably be the worst affected of all areas owing to the sheer number of candidates in the race there. more..

Editorial: Tapestry of humanity

Aug 26 (DM) The pinnacle of all that's created is human kind. To him or her alone is given the custody of the earth. He or she is empowered to sustain it, but within also lies the power to destroy it. The destruction comes when we are unable to coexist with each other. Personal and national ego has driven us from time immemorial to strive for one upmanship. We want to be winners, at the expense of others. To be better than others, to be more important than others, to prove more..

Beauty and the beast

Aug 26 (ST) A visit to a salon left Indrani Subasinghe's face disfigured and blotchy with ugly burnt red spots-a severe allergic reaction to a beauty product. This was not the first time she had gone for a clean up, but this was the first time she faced such an ordeal. Ms. Subasinghe, an employee of a state institution said, "I had to seek treatment at Kalubowila Hospital and it was traumatic as I did not have the courage to face my family, friends or more..

Running for life made easy

Aug 26 (ST) Jogging tracks are to be introduced by the Economic Affairs Ministry, as part of their development plans. The first is to come up in the Gampaha district, with one of them extending to five kilometres. The others are to come up in the Mahara, Kelaniya and Minuwangoda electorates. Minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the main objective was to provide an opportunity for persons to engage in regular exercises, as the present environment does not provide such a facility. more..

Rupee takes a hammering, buoyed by CB

Aug 26 (Island) Strong demand for dollars put pressure on the rupee to depreciate yesterday, but Central Bank invention prevented the exchange rate from going beyond the upper limit of the trading band. "There was severe demand for dollars mainly to settle import bills and the dollar ended the day at Rs. 110 with state-names intervening to keep a check on the exchange rate," a dealer said. Dealers said the demand was so considerable that both buyers and more..

'Govt, Opposition must get together to minimize external influences'

Aug 26 (DN) External influences can be minimized if the Opposition and the govt get-together, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday. Addressing Parliament, the Opposition Leader thanked President Mahinda Rajapaksa for moving the motion to lift the state of Emergency. He said that the Opposition does not stand against that motion but supports it. Wickremesinghe also stated that it was important that the President made this statement in more..

Dehiwela Zoo won’t charge those carrying cameras

Aug 26 (Island) The National Zoological Gardens in Dehiwela and the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala yesterday decided not charge any money from visitors who carry cameras to shoot animals. Zoo’s Director General Senaka Gunaratne says that the Rs. 500 fee, charged from visitors for a long time, would be scrapped from September 1. He says there is no point in charging a fee from those carrying cameras when people are freely using mobile phones to capture the animals. more..

Freight forwarding industry to be regulated

Aug 26 (Island) Sri Lanka Merchant Shipping Division has taken steps to regulate the freight forwarding industry, Director General of Merchant Shipping Shantha Weerakoon said. "Regulations have been already gazetted to provide a license to all the registered freight forwarders," he said. Regulating the freight forwarding industry is a timely need due to the increasing number of complaints received on excessive amounts charged by the freight forwarders to clear goods. more..

CBK admirer nominates Vimukthi for Kurunegala MC

Aug 26 (DM) A nomination paper for the Kurunegala Municipal Council which contained the names of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s children Yasodara and Vimukthi had been submitted by an alleged “mentally unsound” person who had been sending letters and parcels to the former President for the past two years, her office said. The nomination paper which created a media flutter was rejected by Kurunegala Assistant returning officer more..

Govt. earned Rs. 803 mn from issue of licenses for Radio, TV etc.

Aug 26 (Island) The Govt has earned a sum of Rs 803 million during the last six years by issuing licenses to radio and TV channels, fixed wireless, cellular mobiles, broadband, data communication and internet services, satellite broadcasting operators and cable TV distributors. Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena said that licenses had been issued to 14 radio channels, 12 TV channels, one wireless service provider, one cellular mobile service provider, two broadband, more..

Fire at Peradeniya Children’s hospital

Aug 26 (DM) A fire that broke out at the MRI technical room of the Peradeniya Children’s hospital last morning compelled authorities to transfer in-house patients to the Peradeniya General Hospital. A hospital source said work at the hospital was crippled due to the fire but said the MRI scanner valued at Rs. 90 million and other equipment in the section were not affected by the fire. The Kandy Army Fire Brigade and the Municipal Fire Brigade rushed to the scene and more..

Boston Lanka News: Aug. 25, 2011

Tussle between two gangs ends at cop station

Aug 26 (DM) Two gangs, who were thought to have underworld connections, had pledged to call a truce and live in harmony after they were told to call over at the Mt Lavinia Police station by a minister of the area. Mount Lavinia SSP Hemantha Adikari revealed that he was not aware that these gangs belong to the underworld and said that he did not question them about weapons in their possession. This was stated by the SSP when the two gangs operating in the Ratmalana more..