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'Sri Lanka large bank note shows recent inflation'

Feb 7 (LBO) A large denomination banknote issued by Sri Lanka's monetary authority is a testament to the recent high inflation created in the country, an economist and UNP lawmaker has said. Central bank issued a 5,000 rupee note, more than twice the value of 2,000 rupee, note also issued after the post-2004 inflation bubble in the country when fiscal probity was thrown out in favour of state expansion, deficit spending and money printing. more..

Kekirawa market near collapse: Local authority indifferent

Feb 7 (Island) Traders engaged in business at the Kekirawa Public Market are inconvenienced as the building which houses the market is in a dilapidated condition due to neglect over the years and some parts of it are on the verge of collapse. "We cannot do business any longer in this building because it is a risk to our lives as well as the customers," said K.Samare, a trader. He said that the market was declared open by the then Prime Minister R.Premadasa in September 1983 more..

Flood victims get dry rations for six months

Feb 7 (DM) Govt with the assistance of the World Food Programme has decided to implement the provision of a flood relief package to be distributed weekly for the next six months. The distribution will commence from Friday. On the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Economic Development Ministry will provide each person affected by the recent floods a food parcel consisting of Rice – 1,200 grm, Dhal- 60 grm, Coconut Oil - 60 grm and Sugar- 60 grm for six days. more..

Three Tamil Nadu fishermen injured in mid-sea attack by Lanka Navy

Feb 7 (DNA) In yet another incident of attack on Indian fisherfolk, three fishermen from Rameswaram were injured when they were pushed into sea and their country boat ransacked allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy personnel on the charge of straying into their waters. Two fishermen from Tamil Nadu were killed allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy in mid-sea incidents recently, causing an outrage in India and prompting the government to tell Colombo that more..

Row over Bodhi sapling arrival

Feb 7 (TI) The proposed arrival of a sapling of the sacred Bodhi tree from Sri Lanka on the premises of the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya has sparked off a controversy. The sapling, to be brought here by Sri Lankan prime minister D.M. Jayaratne, belongs to the same generation as the holy Bodhi tree present on the campus of the world heritage site at Mahabodhi Mahavihara, under which prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment. Former member secretary of Bodh Gaya Temple Management more..

Sri Lanka also mindful of reasons for conflict

Feb 7 (DM) Sri Lanka was proud that it had prevailed over the long standing challenge of armed secessionism that sought to dismember the country, but it was also mindful that the errors, gaps and contradictions of the past led to that thirty-year war, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France said. The Ambassador added that Sri Lanka was in the complex and difficult transition from the termination of an armed threat and large-scale violence, to a sustainable peace. more..

Development Diaries

What was on the memory card?

Feb 7 (DM) A Russian woman who had allegedly played on the Sinhapada (foot of the lion) of the Sigiriya fortress had swallowed the memory card of a camcorder seeing police personnel arriving there, reports said. According to the police the woman who was among six Russian tourist couples visiting the historic Sigiriya rock and one tourist had climbed on the Sinhapada and played on it while another person had recorded them in a camcorder. Similar acts have been prohibited as offensive and more..

Ranil demands PSC on Friday’s attack

Feb 7 (Island) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe demands that a special Parliamentary Select Committee be appointed to probe Friday’s attack on Opposition MPs and activists who were participating in a protest march, at Punchi Borella. Wickremesinghe addressing a party rally held at Welimada on Saturday said those who would oppose appointment of such a committee were the persons that carried out what he termed the government’s suppression of the media. more..

Govt targets one million home gardens

Feb 7 (DN) The Government will establish one million home gardens throughout the country aiming to achieve self-sufficiency in vegetable requirements and as a measure to reduce vegetable prices, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The President said so inspecting the Deyata Kirula exhibition premises in Buttala Saturday. “The Government’s aim is to safeguard the local farmer and not the foreign wheat farmer. more..

Friday’s attack on Opposition protest

Feb 7 (Island) The police were trying to trace those responsible for the attack on a UNP-led protest march at Punchi Borella on Friday, Colombo DIG Anura Senanayake said. He said the UNP had not changed the venue of their protest in spite of a police warning. "The police officers providing security to UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera informed us around 1.30 pm that there would be a candle light protest march from Punchi Borella to Welikada and asked for additional security. more..

KP doesn’t seek political recognition

Feb 7 (Island) S. Pathmanathan aka ‘KP’, described as LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s successor, says his North-East Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (NERDO) will not seek political recognition. Addressing a cross section of people during a three-day tour of Kilinochchi and Jaffna beginning Jan. 28, Secretary of the NERDO assured supporters that he had no political ambitions. more..

Free Fonseka: UNP, JVP plan big protests

Feb 7 (ST) Both, main opposition parties – the UNP and the JVP -- are planning to rally thousands of their supporters to Colombo next week to demonstrate against the detention of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who completes one year in custody next Tuesday. The JVP plans to bring its supporters from all parts of the island for a protest campaign near Lipton’s Circus on Tuesday followed by a similar protest by more..

Lankaenews dismisses claims of contract attack

Feb 7 (ST) Police probing the torching of the Lankaenews office at Malabe are investigating a foreign call said to have been received by a man who reportedly undertook a contract attack, which the editor and the journalist of the website office are dismissive of. Deputy DIG Daya Samaraweera said that one of the suspects already in custody claims that the chief suspect had received a telephone call from overseas, for a contract to attack the office, more..

Interest rates are at a 'comfortable level'

Feb 7 (WSJ) Sri Lankan interest rates are now at a "comfortable level," the country's central bank governor said, a day before the central bank meets to set monetary policy. Ajith Nivard Cabraal told Dow Jones that a future loosening in policy couldn't be ruled out, while a tightening was "very, very unlikely" anytime soon. He also said Sri Lanka's economy has been able to cope with the rupee's rise over the past year, more..

Sri Lanka miss chance to train at new venues

Feb 7 (AFP) Sri Lanka have missed out on a home advantage after being denied a chance to train at two new World Cup venues because of construction delays, skipper Kumar Sangakkara has said. The Sri Lankans open their campaign against Canada at the new Mahinda Rajapakse stadium in Hambantota on February 20, but delays in meeting building deadlines meant the venue could not be used for training. more..

Floods hit over 1.2 million

Feb 7 (DN) Around 1,243,478 people in 18 districts have been affected by floods. Eleven deaths due to floods and landslides have been reported so far while 250,501 people have been displaced, the DMC yesterday said. Meanwhile, the Government yesterday said it has taken all possible measures to help more than one million people affected by the monsoonal flooding. Govt had spent nearly Rs 150 million to help the affected. more..

JJ says anti-Sri Lanka sentiments running high in TN over ‘fishermen issue’

Feb 7 (DM) The UNP says the government should be concerned about the growing anger in South India over alleged attacks on TN fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy, a charge denied by Sri Lanka. UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardene emphasized the importance of the two countries initiating a dialogue to settle what he called an explosive issue, particularly due to forthcoming elections in South India. more..

Flood relief items end up in UPFA houses, says JVP

Feb 7 (DM) As the government had failed to reimburse officials such as Divisional Secretaries and Village Officials (GS) for the flood relief earlier, they were hesitant to assist through such measures this time, the JVP charged yesterday. “Relief materials donated by various organizations had been stacked up at the houses of some persons contesting the local government elections under the UPFA ticket,” more..

Presidential Task Force for flood

Feb 8 (NN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has appointed a task force to assist the people affected by the floods. The decision was taken during the SLFP Central Committee meeting today. Meanwhile several people have been evacuated in parts of Kandy owing to the threat of landslides, officials in the area said. Disaster management officials said that at least 21 families were evacuated in Udadumbara while another 28 were evacuated in Hantanawatte today. more..

People 'going hungry' due to floods

Feb 8 (BBC) People in Sri Lanka are going hungry as a fresh wave of floods has hit the east, centre and north of the island. Some 320,000 people have been forced to take refuge in makeshift camps in schools, temples and mosques. Eleven lives have been lost and three more people are missing. A million and a quarter people have been affected. In what is nominally known as Sri Lanka’s dry zone, people are once more getting around by boat. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 07.02.2011

Sri Lanka island resort project off, says Six Senses

Feb 8 (LBO) International luxury hotel chain Six Senses has pulled out of a deal to manage a resort being built on an islet off Sri Lanka's north-west coast, according to company officials. The Dutch Bay Resort project, in Dutch Bay in Kalpitiya, was to have been a joint venture between Six Senses and Swarna Dweep, an investment vehicle set up by European investors and a Sri Lankan entrepreneur. But Six Senses chief executive Sonu Shivdasani told more..

Four JVP members arrested while pasting posters

Feb 8 (SL) Several JVP members have been arrested by the police today (7) when they were pasting posters on the party’s national convention scheduled for Thursday. The Moratuwa Police have arrested four JVP members around 2 am when they were pasting posters and the party’s media unit state the members have been arrested and detained without giving any reason. Meanwhile, Colombo Municipal Councilor and JVP member Hemantha Weerakoon has lodged a complaint with more..

Tense situation in front of SLC demanding tickets for World Cup matches

Feb 8 (NN) A large queue was seen outside the Sri Lanka cricket board headquarters from this morning as the board announced that reserved tickets for the world cup matches to be played in Sri Lanka will be distributed from this afternoon. Several people lined up outside the cricket board expecting tickets to go on sale. However the board said that only reserved tickets were being issued while Rs. 50 tickets will go on sale for more..

Bus fare hike soon

Feb 8 (NN) Private bus operators will meet this week to decide on a fare hike after Lanka Indian Oil Corporation (LIOC) raised the price of diesel on Friday night. Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) President Gamunu Wijeyratna, speaking to News today said that they will be compelled to go for a bus fare hike soon. He said that the LPBOA will meet this week and decide on the fare hike despite a bus fare hike expected by July as well under an existing bus fare price formula. more..

'Joint patrolling by India, Sri Lanka can end attacks on fishermen'

Feb 8 (PTI) Expressing concern over continued attacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, Congress today favoured joint patrolling by the navies of both nations to address the issue. 'We are equally concerned about this issue and condemn the killings,' Congress member and party whip in the Tamil Nadu assembly, S Peter Alphonse said. Participating in the debate on interim budget, he said 378 fishermen have so far been killed in attacks. more..

PM will quit SJOC

Feb 8 (NN) Prime Minister D.M Jayaratna says he is ready to quit the Sambuddha Jayanthi Operational Committee (SJOC) which oversees the events in Sri Lanka to mark the 2600th Buddha Jayanthi Anniversary this year. HE said that if the Mahanayake’s accept the stand taken by some Buddhist monks and oppose his decision to involve other religions with the Buddha Jayanthi events, then he will quit. The Premier said that he stands firm on his decision more..

Home away from home

Feb 8 (TA) Tiny hands squish yellow play dough. Little feet patter out to the sandpit past pinned-up and paint-splattered newsprint flapping in the breeze. The scene suggests a normal playgroup, just like many others across Auckland. But the children and mothers who attend the Multicultural Safari Playgroup have come from far-from-normal circumstances. Sandananayagy Marusalin and her 2-year-old daughter, Thamilini Pathmanathan, are Tamil people from Sri Lanka. more..

Police doing politics

Feb 8 (NN) Election monitors have received complaints of the police being involved in politics leading up to the local government elections. The Executive Director of PAFFREL, Rohana Hettiarachi, said that he had received a complaint from Nawalapitiya today regarding some police officers carrying out political work. Hettiarachi told News that he will take up the matter with Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake tomorrow. more..

SF’s replacement to be named

Feb 8 (SL) The Elections Department has said the name of the DNA member to fill the vacant parliamentary seat of former Army Commander and DNA Leader Sarath Fonseka would be gazetted today (7). Additional Election Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya has told the media today that the name of well known tele drama actor and DNA Colombo District member Jayantha Ketagoda would be gazetted as the person to fill the vacant DNA seat in parliament. more..

Sri Lanka stock broker in bid to lure foreign funds

Feb 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Richard Pieris Securities is in talks with big foreign funds to attract more investments to the Colombo bourse and plans a separate unit to lend money for trading, an official said. The firm, a subsidiary of the Richard Pieris & Co group, has just got its stock broking license from the regulator, the newest broker in Colombo's booming bourse. Richard Pieris Securities chief executive Jayantha Perera said more foreign funds were needed in the market more..

Horana bus strike

Feb 8 (NN) Private buses operating along at least 15 routes from Horana including the 120 route have launched an indefinite bus strike from this afternoon. President of the LPBOA Gemunu Wijeratna said that the strike was launched after an unauthorized route permit was issued by the authorities. Wijeyratna said that the Western Province Transport Authority had issued the unauthorized route permit and as a result private buses operating from the Horana bus stand went on strike. more..

Germany indicts Sri Lanka Tamil spokesman on terrorism charges

Feb 8 (DPA) A spokesman in Germany for the LTTE has been indicted on terrorism charges, federal justice authorities said Monday in Karlsruhe. Agilan W, who now holds German citizenship, was arrested in November and indicted on January 24. Prosecutors said he was spokesman in Germany for the Tamil Coordination Commitee, a front for the LTTE, from 2004 to the end of 2009 and oversaw its public relations. more..

To survive Sri Lanka must re-invent herself

Feb 8 (LG) It was the mid-1970s. I was at Dinner in residential Colombo at the hospitable home of a dear friend – senior in age to me, His wife and mine had developed a close - albeit recent friendship. These meetings at both sides were becoming a regular and welcome feature. He was high-up in the government he had faithfully and honourably served for four decades. His parents were respected English teachers. The land-owning family was from a Colombo suburb. more..

Public Administration in Northern Sri Lanka

Feb 8 (LG) I refer to my telephone call to you regarding an appointment to discuss some issues that have been of concern to me regarding my Home Area in Northern Sri Lanka. I appreciate that despite your busy schedule, you did allocate time for me on Poya Day, last month, even though some other urgent call prevented you from making it. This shortage of Time, to me means, a need for Restructure of the Administrative system towards implementation of ‘User Pays’ system. more..

Suba Sundaralingam of TGTE confronts Maj Gen Shavendra Silva in Boston

Feb 8 (LG) Does the shaking of hands, a hand-shake, this decent act of touching human flesh, mean anything, anything significant and meaningful? In the realm of politics and public engagement of politicians, this act has come to mean very little; in fact, it almost amounts to nothing. After all, a president and a former army commander shook hands too, smiling. After all, politicians across the divide shake hands too. more..

Mafia rule in Jaffna?

Feb 8 (LG) We have been hearing various reports about unusual goings on in Jaffna. When one hears of these occurrences from the side of the Tamil National Alliance, one tends to brush them away as propaganda. However, a young Sinhalese official working for a government department who has had interaction with the present columnist in a professional capacity over the past three or four years went on an extended tour of Jaffna and more..

Jaffna University: A poor case for privatisation by SB

Feb 8 (LG) I read with some puzzlement the news on the public anger over the delay in appointing Jaffna’s Vice Chancellor and the earlier interview with the Minister for Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake. He complained of bad management and neglect at Jaffna under the present VC (Acting VC since mid-December) despite ample allocation of money. The UGC recently transferred several tens of millions in generous building funds allocated to Jaffna to Rajarata University because more..

Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters has assumed menacing proportions

Feb 8 (TC) The Foreign Secretary, Amb. Nirupama Rao, along with senior officials of the Ministry of External Affairs, visited Colombo on January 30-31, 2011. Nirupama called on President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister for External Affairs Prof. GL Peiris, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and External Affairs Secretary CR Jayasinghe. more..