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Now, polls to two Vanni LG bodies put off

Feb 24 (Island) Elections to two Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu District have been postponed due to transport problems faced by IDPs in the Chettikulam welfare centre. Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake yesterday informed that elections to the Maritimepattru and Pudukudiirruppu Pradeshiya Sabhas had been postponed due to transport problems. more..

KP’s NERD registered

Feb 24 (DM) An organization called the North East Rehabilitation and Development (NERD) with KP as the Secretary had been registered on July 9, 2010, the government revealed. In response to a question by UNP MP Dunesh Gankanda, Chief Government Whip Dinesh Gunawardane tabled this answer in the House yesterday. According to the answer, Thavaratnam Sinnaiya has been cited as the President of the NERD. more..

Indian tractors go south says TNA

Feb 24 (DM) The government had transferred 200 tractors to two state institutions out of a total of 500 tractors donated by India for the use of war affected farmers in the North, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) charged in Parliament yesterday. The Subject Minister denying the allegations said that the tractors were being used for the preparation of lands for coconut cultivations in these areas. more..

Rehab of ex-LTTE cadres: Sri Lanka an example to world - President

Feb 24 (Island) Sri Lanka has set an example to the rest of the world with the speed with which the rehabilitation and reintegration process of ex-LTTE combatants took place, stated President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the progress review meeting of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms held at Temple Trees on Tuesday (22). He added that many ex-LTTE cadres have been reintegrated into civilian life and more..

Ship sent to evacuate Lankans from Libya

Feb 24 (NN) The government has sought Indian assistance to evacuate Sri Lankans stranded in Libya by ship as tensions in that country escalated further, Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said. The Minister said that an Indian ship had been sent to evacuate some foreigners stranded in Libya and other Middle Eastern countries and the Sri Lankan government had requested its help to bring home the stranded Sri Lankans in the same vessel. more..

Sri Lanka urged by World Bank to control trans fat content in food

Feb 25 (LBO) The World Bank has urged Sri Lanka bring laws to encourage good food processing practices and control trans fats content in food in the fight against rising non-communicable diseases (NCD) like heart attacks. A recently released bank report encourages Sri Lanka to adopt population-based and individual patient-based approaches to reduce unhealthy behaviors in the general population and control heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other NCDs. more..

'Limited number of Papare bands will be allowed'

Feb 25 (AD) A limited amount of papare bands will be allowed into World Cup venues once the Cricket Board is duly notified and permission is given to anyone who wishes to bring the band to the match, Sri Lanka Cricket World Cup Organizing Committee Director, Suraj Dandeniya stated. Mr. Dandeniya invited all those who wish to bring papare bands to these venues to come to the Sri Lanka office, No.35, Maitland Place, Colombo and speak to the Head of Security or more..

Jaffna ICRC closes

Feb 25 (NN) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has closed its office in Jaffna after 21 years of service, the ICRC said today. "We are closing after 21 years of service. This is an important moment in the history of the ICRC's work in Sri Lanka," said Florence Gillette, the head of the office in Jaffna. "We remain committed to responding to needs arising from the conflict, which we will often do in partnership with the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society." more..

Sri Lanka relaxes price cap, private placement rules

Feb 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka securities watchdog has eased rules on volatile shares under price caps, trimming the period and also lifting a requirement for a 50 percent up front deposit prior to purchase, an official said. "The period of the price band has been reduced to 10 days from 15," Securities and Exchange Commission chairperson Indrani Sugathadasa said. "The requirement for a 50 percent up front deposit has also been lifted." more..

JVP calls for withdrawal of emergency

Feb 25 (LT) An adjournment debate on withdrawal of emergency regulations will be held in Parliament today. The debate will be held on a request made by the JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said emergency regulations that were used to defeat tiger terrorism are now being used by the government to repress masses. He said in the debate special attention would be drawn regarding the current situation in the Northern and Eastern provinces and the attempt to use emergency regulations to more..

Heavy Industrial Zone to be set up in Trinco

Feb 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka is considering a proposal by an Australian consortium to set up heavy industries in the eastern port of Trincomalee with an investment of 700 million US dollars, a government statement said. The government is to set up a special zone for heavy industries in Trincomalee to provide access to a deep-water port for investors keen to enter the island after the end of its 30-year ethnic war, more..

CPC not privatized

Feb 25 (NN) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will not be dissolved or privatized, Petroleum Resources Minister Susil Premajayanth told parliament this afternoon. Responding to a question posed by JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake the government Minister said that CPC has now become a profit making institution. The Minister said that privatizing State institutions is not the policy of the government, especially profit making State institutions. more..

Retired Judges to be employed to sit for cases older than 10 years

Feb 25 (AD) The Chief Justice has given his approval on a pilot project to employ retired Judges to sit for cases over the weekends in order to dispose of some 800 cases which have been pending for over ten years, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem stated. He stated that a study showed that the eight District Courts of Colombo had around 800 cases which were older than ten years and that the it was necessary to dispose of these cases in the interest of the litigants and the public. more..

Over Rs.30 mil spent on Hambantota Harbour opening

Feb 25 (DM) The government had spent a sum as much as Rs. 30 million for the function ‘Karadiyawara Mangalaya’ to mark the filling of the Hambantota port with sea water, and of this amount Rs. 18 million had been given to the institution called ‘Creative Helanka PVT LTD of Artiste Jackson Anthony, Parliament was informed today. The activities of the function had been done by this organization. The function was held in August last year. more..

Sri Lanka Tamil Tiger chief mother's grave 'desecrated'

Feb 25 (BBC) The cremation site of the mother of Tamil Tiger leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran has been desecrated, relatives say. They say that the bodies of three shot dogs were left at the site on Tuesday night - a gesture which correspondents say is a major insult to the dead. Relatives of Mr Prabhakaran have said that the incident was a "barbaric act". His mother, 81-year-old Parvati Pillai, was cremated at the site in the north of the island earlier on Tuesday. more..

Lahiru issues an apology

Feb 25 (DM) Popular Sri Lankan singer Lahiru Perera today expressed his deepest regrets and apologies to any person or party that may have been offended by this song, which was recently banned due to its "insulting" lyrics. Reportedly the song known as “Enna” was banned after directions were received by President Mahinda Rajapaksa who thought the song was of poor taste.Government and private radio and television channels also stopped broadcasting the song after it was banned. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 24.02.2011

Decisions taken by the Cabinet

Feb 25 (GDI) The Govt mulls bringing in more Development, Expansion and introduction of new technologies to improve the growth and production of the poultry and the livestock industry in the country. The Ministry of Livestock and Rural Community Development is making arrangements to hold a three day International Livestock and Poultry Exhibition in Colombo in July. Parallel to this trade fair a conference will also be held on nutrition, management, disease prevention and more..

Police use water canons on protesting Rajarata university students

Feb 25 (NF) The police have used water canons on a protest march by students of the medical faculty of the Rajarata university demanding the government to provide solutions to their problems, near the Lake House roundabout. According to our correspondents, the students who commenced their protest march at the Fort Railway station, were headed towards the presidential secretariat. Our correspondent said that it was at this point the police used the water canons on them. more..

Malinga fitness sets a poser for Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (Reuters) Sri Lanka and Pakistan slip out of their World Cup comfort zone on Saturday when they face each other in a subcontinent Group A "derby" for their first serious test after both claimed comfortable opening victories. The match has added significance too as it was a gun attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009 in Lahore which led to Pakistan's ongoing bar on staging international fixtures. more..

Sri Lanka want World Cup win for Murali

Feb 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka want to win the World Cup as a farewell trophy for legendary spinner and world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan who will retire from international cricket after the tournament. The spinner, who holds the records for Test (800) and one-day wickets (521), is playing his fourth and final World Cup. He retired from Tests in July last year. "He is a special person, a legend," teammate Chamara Kapugedera said of the wily 38-year-old more..

Pakistan geared up for Murali threat: Misbah

Feb 25 (AFP) In-form batsman Misbah-ul-Haq told Pakistan not to fear Sri Lanka’s world record wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharan when the two sides clash in the World Cup on Saturday. “We should keep it simple, play tough cricket and not be overawed by their home advantage or their bowlers. We have played Muralitharan well in the past,”said Misbah, of the off-spinner who has 521 wickets in 342 one-dayers. more..

Sirasa TV attackers contesting election

Feb 25 (DM) Some members of the gang that attacked Sirasa TV last year are contesting the March 17 local government election in the Kelaniya area, DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake charged in Parliament today. Mr. Dissanayake, making remarks during the debate on the state of emergency said, Sirasa TV showed video clips of those gangsters at that time, yet the government failed to bring any of them to book. more..

HRC and its contribution towards human rights violations

Feb 25 (LG) According to the news filed in the government portal, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) will meet for the first time following the appointment of the Chairman and members by the President under the recent 18th amendment to the constitution. The website news stated: ‘Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa acting on powers vested in him under the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution has appointed Chairman and Members to the Human Rights Commission. more..

Serving unhygienic food to people

Feb 25 (LG) The authorities have acted with commendable swiftness after the death of a young girl who had consumed a drink from a bottle of soft drinks. Media reports said that the police immediately raided the shop that sold the soft drink bottle to the girl’s father. This shop that had allegedly sold soft-drink bottles with elapsed expiry dates has now been prohibited from selling the item. This indeed is not the first time that people in this country have more..

Indian business baron on a 3-day holiday with wife, mother

Feb 25 (ST) In a possible first for Sri Lanka, Indian business tycoon Vijay Mallya was in Sri Lanka this week on a 3-day holiday flying into the country in his personal jet and then using his luxury yacht to travel to southern Galle and back, friends and colleagues said. “He was here purely on a holiday with his wife and mother,” said Suren Mirchandani, a close friend and Director at Sri Lanka’s Deccan Aviation. more..

Will LTTE [NCCT] pave a way to destroy the Conservative government?

Feb 25 (LG) It has come to the limelight of the penetration of the LTTE into the Conservative Government through a narrow path was exposed on January 15th, 2011 when Paul Calandra, MP for Markham Oakridges, participated in the official opening ceremony as the chief guest of the National Council of Canadian Tamils [NCCT] at 5310 Finch Avenue East, Toronto. None of the Liberal and NDP parliamentarians attended the event including the home riding MP Jim Karigiannis. more..

Jaffna University: Giving the UGC its Due

Feb 25 (LG) In two articles on February 7 and 11 2011, in collaboration with Sri Lanka Guardian, I brought out the corrupt goings-on at University of Jaffna. An incident I drew attention to involved an LTTE police high-up who had risen in Jaffna’s Faculty of Agriculture and was made Professor very recently though he did not have the required points. A UGC Vice Chairman who came as one of the UGC’s two nominees on the Selection Committee objected when more..

The forgotten people

Feb 25 (NS) “I died the day I was brought to the Leprosy Hospital” – patient. The year 1943. The town, Colombo. Young David (not his real name) was just 16 years old and still schooling when he was hauled out of his school and forced into a covered bullock cart with a huge red cross marked on it (a sign of danger) with a bell warning bystanders to keep away from the cart as it was carrying a highly infectious patient, and driven at top speed to more..

Ethnicisation of History writing in South Asia/Sri Lanka - Part 5

Feb 24 (LG) For the purpose of this article, it is not proposed to engage in a discussion over present day thinking among some of the Sinhalese, whether they be Buddhists or otherwise, but suffice it to point out that this ‘post-modern’ argument of associating Anagarika Dharmapala as the villain of the alleged present day Sinhala-Buddhist prejudicial perception of the “other” has gone too far. It is time to call off this misdirection and call for a reappraisal, pointing out more..

A Sri Lankan Problem for India

Feb 24 (DM) India, has a Sri Lankan problem which is two dimensional, one aspect of the problem having a technical solution and the other requiring a political one. The first part of the problem was mitigated for the moment last week with the release of over one hundred Indian fishermen that had been arrested and remanded by the relevant authorities for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Now the attraction of Sri Lankan waters for fishing is understandable. more..

Migration plays an important role in the Sri Lankan economy

Feb 24 (SL) Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Leader covering wide range of migration related issues, Richard Danziger, Chief of Mission of International Organization for Migration highlighted the importance of migration related activities to Sri Lanka. “Migration plays an important role in the Sri Lankan economy and has enormous impact on society as a whole. There are some 2 million Sri Lankans abroad. That is almost 10 percent of the population. more..

Editorial: Donkeys, Pigs and other animals

Feb 24 (Island) Minister Maithripala Sirisena has likened the UNP and the JVP to donkeys. He says the JVP is like a headless donkey because it has no vision; the UNP is like a donkey with three heads (meaning its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa aspiring to leadership and deputy leader Karu Jayasuriya), making no progress as it cannot move in one direction. We have better sense than to get involved in a political donkey fight and risk wild kicks. more..

Editorial: Clean suit, empty pocket

Feb 24 (DM) If one takes a ride in a double-decker bus in Greater Colombo, the proposed Garden City of Asia, one gets the impression that Colombo, and therefore Sri Lanka, is a rich Country. The numerous apartments that dot the City, the monster like huge buses that speed along Colombo streets, the brand new vehicles that rush past every moment and the many supermarkets, do not convey the correct image. The real picture is different. more..

SL refugees in Tamil Nadu waiting to return home

Feb 24 (DM) It was on a pitch-black night exactly 22 years ago that Selva (65), a resident of Trincomalee, with his wife and two sons fled Sri Lanka on a vessel that was carrying hundreds of Sri Lankans to India. With the sound of chaos ringing in their ears and the haunting smell of burnt flesh, Selva was thankful to God for helping him escape death although he was unaware of what would befall him and his little family in this foreign land. more..

Hadabima helps to push cultivation drive

Feb 25 (MoD) Chairman of Sri Lanka 'Hadabima' Authority, Mr. Nandasena Herath said that they would cultivate vegetables and other subsidiary crops in 1000 acres in the North and Eastern Provinces with Army and Civil Security Forces' labour. The aim of this massive programme is to provide quality vegetables throughout the country and it will be launched on the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and on the guidance of Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abewardana. more..

PEO TV delays new installations

Feb 25 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Personalized Entertainment Option (PEO) TV currently managed by SLT Vision Com (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) runs has failed to install units for around 3,000 customers who were eager to watch the World Cup Cricket on PEO TV, SLT sources said. The company has a shortage of accessories such as ADSL routers, set top boxes, and cables needed to provide new installations at present. According to SLT union sources the more..

'SLAF will continue to look into the welfare of the people'

Feb 25 (DM) After six decades of service to the country, the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is geared to commemorate its 60th milestone on March 2 to celebrate its remarkable victories. The Daily Mirror caught up with Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetileke to discuss the past, the present and the future of the SLAF. Q: Commander, the Air Force played a pivotal role in ending the war. Now that more..

Fleeing from home, fighting for freedom; Pakistani sisters seek religious asylum in Sri Lanka

Feb 25 (SL) Asmaa Azeem is 22, Fatima is 16. They are sisters from Pakistan, seeking asylum in Sri Lanka. Their parents are religious fundamentalists and the girls want out. They want an end to the abuse, they want an end to the old religious order and they want a life of freedom; freedom of thought, freedom of expression and more importantly, freedom of religion. The girls are atheists, and proud ones. “From a very young age, the physical abuse began. more..

Sri Lanka IPO flow to pick up pace in 2011

Feb 25 (LBO) Sri Lanka will see around 50 initial public offerings in 2011, with at least two issues over five billion rupees (50 million US dollars) by April, securities exchange commission director general Malik Cader said. "We expect about 10 IPOs to come by March-April this year," Cader told reporters. "About two of them will raise over 5.0 billion rupees each from the market." Cader said a number of state firms were also slated to come to the market. more..