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A'pura residents urged not to panic

Feb 5 (DN) The people of Anuradhapura have been requested not to panic in fear of rumours spreading that the bunds of Nuwara Wewa, Nachchaduwa or Eruwewa are about to break. Irrigation and Water Resources Management Deputy Minister W B Ekanayake appealed to the people of Anuradhapura to be extra vigilant to save their lives and property as all the tanks in the region were spilling. The Deputy Minister made a special appeal to those who have been threatened with more..

UN agencies provide additional assistance as further floods hit Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (UN) United Nations agencies are providing additional support to the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to respond to fresh floods, amidst existing efforts to help hundreds of thousands of people affected by earlier flooding that followed unusually heavy rainfall during the past two months. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that DMC had put the total number of people affected by the latest floods at 236,894. more..

Post-conflict, brighter economic prospects for Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (IMF) Sri Lanka, after emerging from a decades-long civil conflict, is seeing strong economic growth of 7.5 percent. The country now stands at a crossroads and needs to build on current reforms if it is to take full advantage of the favorable economic environment, says the IMF. Three decades of war distorted Sri Lanka’s economy, hindered development, and reduced the country’s potential growth. But since the end of the conflict in 2009 and more..

Israel aids flood victims in Eastern Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (AT) In coordination with the Sri Lankan Government, the State of Israel has decided to send emergency aid to alleviate the hardship of the many thousands of Sri Lankans who were left without shelter following the devastating floods that recently hit the eastern part of the country. This support is supplied through MASHAV, Israel ’s agency for International Development Cooperation. The aid, which includes half a ton of water purification tablets, designed to more..

Independence Day celebrated in Dubai

Feb 5 (AT) A prayer ceremony invoking blessings on Sri Lanka marked the South Asian nation's 63rd Independence Day from British colonial rule yesterday. About 150 expatriates bowed their heads at a function in the Sri Lankan consular office in Dubai as a Buddhist monk and Hindu, Muslim and Christian officials prayed for peace. "I ask that all people should live as one - Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus," said Abdul Mohammed Rawhan, who read from the Quran. more..

As UN says panel Sri Lanka visit desirable but not essential, Ban protested

Feb 5 (ICP) After the UN has repeatedly said that travel to Sri Lanka by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Panel on Accountability is “not essential,” Ban answered a question amid protests after his speech at Oxford by saying that his Panel “has not yet been able to complete its mission. They are still negotiating with the Sri Lankan Government.” On February 4, ICP asked Ban's spokesperson's office in writing and in person to explain this statement more..

Tamils take their plight to Toronto's streets

Feb 5 (TS) Toronto’s Tamil community have taken it to the streets again. About 200 people marched outside the Sri Lankan Embassy on St. Clair Ave. W. between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday protesting the treatment of their fellow Tamils in their homeland. “Our people are still in a very bad situation,” said Prab Alliah, 50, Ontario chairman of the National Council of Canadian Tamils. “In Sri Lnaka (Tamils) are not living as humans, they live as animals,” more..

Reflections on our National Day: Freedoms and Rule of Law

Feb 5 (Island) What is democracy for : If we wish for kings and military rulers? Why speak up against oppression : If we ask for laws of emergency and penal codes? Why fight for freedom of expression : If we ask writers to ‘know the limit’? Why ask for commissions on corruption : If we don’t forget to bring the corrupt to power? The above is a translation of a poem written by Mahesh Munasinghe, a young Sinhala poet and posted in a literary website ‘Boondi’. more..

Kataragama comes alive with pomp and pageantry

Feb 5 (DN) Sri Lanka’s 63rd Independence Day was celebrated yesterday with pomp and pageantry under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the historic city of Kataragama highlighting great qualities such as bravery, confidence, dedication, national unity, patriotism, nationalism, peace, national responsibility and awareness of national history in the minds of people. The Independence Day ceremony commenced with the arrival of more..

'Govt. keen to provide better transport facilities'

Feb 5 (Island) Transport Minister Kumara Welgama says the government is keen to provide better transport facilities to the public a number of measures had been adopted to achieve that goal. He said the Railway Department woul shortly get 33 coaches from China and India, apart from two luxury air condi tioned coaches. Speaking at a ceremony in Rambukkana, to release the longest stamp, he said "Our focus is to use new technology and give a smooth ride to the public." more..

Lanka’s Freedom day celebrated in Chennai

Feb 5 (Island) Economic development in India would be a complementary factor for Sri Lanka’s economic landscape, Sri Lanka’s Deputy High Commissioner in South India, Vadiwel Krishnamoorthy, said. Addressing a ceremony to mark Sri Lanka’s 63rd National Day celebrations in Chennai, Krishnamoorthy said that Sri Lanka’s Mission maintains close relations with the Government of India and other stakeholders to facilitate sustainable economic relations between the two nations. more..

'Politician behind attack'

Feb 5 (DM) A prominent Colombo politician is behind the attack on the UNP protest yesterday, but we will not be deterred by these obstacles as we owe it to the people, UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya told Daily Mirror online. “We don’t believe the police version of the account and several police personnel not taking action when these thugs were roaming about freely”, he said. more..

Minor tanks collapse; more breached

Feb 5 (DM) At least six more minor irrigation tanks have been breached and 50 others face the risk of being breached, with the country being hit by the second wave of floods, officials said yesterday. During the previous floods in early January, 408 minor tanks, 308 anicuts and 760 irrigation canals were damaged. Three more tanks had been breached this time in the Batticaloa District and another three in the Trincomalee District. more..

Roads go under water

Feb 5 (DM) The floods brought the transport system to a collapse in the affected districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ampara, Trincomalee and Batticaloa making it difficult even for relief workers to carry out their missions. Several roads including the Anuradhapura Madhu Road were closed as most of them were inundated. Some pilgrims who were heading towards Madhu were turned back by the police as the roads were impassable. more..

Delay in appointing VC to Jaffna University upsets teachers

Feb 5 (Island) Most of the academic staff of the Jaffna University and members of the University Teachers’ Associations are disappointed with the long delay in appointing a Vice Chancellor to the Jaffna University. The present Vice Chancellor, having completed his term of office, continues in an acting capacity. Both, the University Council and UGC, have recommend the names of three persons to the President to nominate one to the post. more..

Many countries send felicitations

Feb 5 (Island) Several countries, including the United States of America, Pakistan, Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia, have sent messages of felicitation to Sri Lanka on its 63rd Anniversary of Independence. ‘Sri Lankans have made numerous positive contributions to American culture and America has been a partner for economic growth and development in Sri Lanka’, stated US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her message. more..

Govt. celebrates ‘Independence’ denying freedom to students – IUSF

Feb 5 (LT) The present govt has come down to the low level of sending white vans to abduct students states the President of the Students Council of Kelaniya University Rasike Ekanayake. Speaking at a media briefing held yesterday against the arrest of the convener of the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) Sanjeewa Bandara, he said, “Today is the day independence of the country is celebrated. more..

LLRC wants immediate action against Jaffna gangs

Feb 5 (Island) The LLRC wants the Inter-Agency Committee (IAC) to push for immediate action to disarm all armed groups operating in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, particularly in the Jaffna peninsula. The LLRC’s requested in its interim recommendations announced on Sept. 13, 2010 that the government recover all unauthorised weapons in the hands of armed elements. more..

Over 40,000 druggies in country

Feb 5 (Island) There were over 40,000 drug addicts in the country, an official from the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB) told The Island. "Most of them are males," Director General of the NDDCB, K. Gamage said. The NDDCB has set up five rehabilitation centres for those addicted to narcotics, mostly heroine and cannabis. "The rehabilitation centres have been set up in Kandy, Galle, Piliyandala, Urapola and Thalangama to rehabilitate and more..

Thirteen dead in fresh Sri Lanka floods

Feb 5 (AFP) Renewed rains in Sri Lanka have flooded a large number of towns and villages and killed at least 13 people, officials said Saturday. Heavy monsoon downpours have driven some 800,000 people out of their flooded homes and into state-run welfare centres or to stay with friends and relatives on higher ground, officials said. "The situation in the Eastern, North and North Central Provinces is serious as monsoon rains continue," more..

Sri Lanka opposition warns of Arab-style uprising

Feb 5 (AFP) Sri Lanka's main opposition on Saturday warned of an uprising, a day after ruling party activists unleashed violent attacks against demonstrators seeking the release of a jailed opposition leader. The UNP said repeated violence against the opposition, arson attacks on anti-government news organisations and arrests of student leaders could lead to protests similar to those sweeping the Arab world. more..

Sri Lankan war criminals in UK

Feb 6 (DM) Hundreds of suspected war criminals are living in Britain including 73 from Sri Lanka, despite recommendations by a UK Border Agency unit that action be taken against them, UK media reported. A special war crimes unit within the UK immigration agency has recommended action against 495 individuals in the last five years believed to have taken part in torture, genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes. more..

NCP schools to close

Feb 6 (NN) All schools in the North Central Province (NCP) may close indefinitely from tomorrow owing to the flood situation, the media spokesman for the Chief Minister of the North Central Province Berti Premalal Dissanayake said a short while ago. He said that education officials in all the divisions within the North Central Province will be told to take measures to inform school principals on the decision to close the schools once the situation is assessed tomorrow. more..

Visits to A’pura suspended

Feb 6 (NN) The authorities have decided to temporarily suspend tourist and pilgrim visits to Anuradhapura owing to serious flooding in almost all parts of the district. DMC officials said that with the Anuradhapura town also partially submerged as of last night local and foreign tourist visits to the area have been suspended. A decision was also taken to close all sites for Buddhist pilgrims in Anuradhapura as the flood situation had aggravated and more..

'Child birth on board helicopter is a Govt. media display'

Feb 6 (LT) The news item regarding a woman giving birth to a child while on board an Air force helicopter is a fabrication state sources in Anuradhapura Hospital. According to sources the child has been born at thewoman’s residence at Horawapathana. However, the membranous sac or the water bag had not come out and the residents had admitted her to Horowpathana Hospital. There hadn’t been facilities at Horowpathana Hospital to treat her and more..

LTTE was a concern

Feb 6 (NN) India was concerned about the LTTE using human shields and had raised the matter with former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, the latest Wikileaks cable revealed. According to the cable made public by the British Telegraph newspaper today former Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had raised the issue when Miliband visited India in January 2009 just before the war in Sri Lanka came to an end. Mukherjee told Miliband he continued to be concerned by more..

Domestics court risks, defying age bar

Feb 6 (IPS) Sri Lanka has raised the age requirement for women wanting to leave the country to work as domestics abroad, but recruitment agents say this won’t prevent younger women from joining the exodus. And not even the fate that befell Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan domestic facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, is enough of a deterrent. Last week, the government announced it was revising the rule to allow only women over 21 years of age more..

West Indies seek consistency from batsmen

Feb 6 (CI) It took three Tests and two ODIs for the rain-hit tour(s) to yield an outright result. The comprehensive win in the second ODI was a boost to Sri Lanka, affirming their superiority in home conditions, and a blemish for the visitors who had appeared to punch above their weight in the contests thus far. But the outcome of the three-match series is unlikely to leave either team too demoralised or too elated ahead of the World Cup. The series, which was more..

Maid and Lankan lover arrested in Kuwait for theft

Feb 6 (AD) Personnel from the Capital Investigations Department (CID) in Kuwait have identified that a maid and her Sri Lankan lover had been involved in a robbery of gold jewelries and watches worth KD 8,000 from a citizen’s home in Kaifan, reports Alam Al-Yawm daily. Sources said detectives from the Capital uncovered the citizen’s maid and her Sri Lankan lover had stolen the items, after the case was reported to Kaifan Police station and later referred to the CID. more..

'Ready to accept KP into politics'

Feb 6 (AD) If the former LTTE international Wing Leader and Chief Arms Procurer Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP) seeks to get involved in politics we are ready to accept him, Minister Douglas Devananda told Ada Derana. He state that if a person seeks to get onto a democratic path after being involved in terrorist activities it is a something good while adding that even when Karuna Amman gave up his arms and sought a political path he was accepted. more..

Navy deploys 40 rescue teams

Feb 6 (SO) The Sri Lanka Navy has deployed 40 rescue teams in four flood hit districts – Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwe, Trincomalee and Baticoloa. Seven Navy personnel and a boat in each team is on rescue missions 24-hours. The Navy Media Spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said as the water flow was high yesterday the rescue teams had faced difficulties in performing their duties but they took the risk to makethe rescue missions success. more..

Police threaten JVP candidate for Pt. Pedro

Feb 6 (LT) The JVP candidate at the forthcoming local government election for the Point Pedro Urban Council Ms. Thavarasa Pushparani has been threatened by a group of police officers from Point Pedro Police station who had come to her residence states the media unit of the JVP. The police officers who had come to her residence today morning had questioned her regarding her relations with the JVP and had threatened her asking her to withdraw her nomination from the JVP list. more..

'Ranatunga willingly took on the Australians'

The government wins: TNA mouth strapped on war crimes issue

Feb 6 (LG) The government and TNA managed news reports stated that both parties have agreed to proceed with ‘a structured regular dialogue on constitutional changes for ethnic reconciliation and lasting peace’. Our External Affairs Ministry source in confidence stated that following hard talks in the sidelines, the government had won a major concession from the TNA to proceed with the structured talks on the issue. more..

Political will to settle national issue still not forthcoming despite awareness for permanent settlement

Feb 6 (TC) The Honourable Sri Lankan Judge Christopher Gregory Weeramantry, formerly a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991 to 2000 and currently the president of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms in his submission to the LLRC explained how Sri Lanka’s constitution blocks peace and reconciliation and the dire need for change. more..

Ten homeless families to get shelters from Army soon

Feb 6 (Cimic) 52 Division in Varani last week commenced the second phase of its humanitarian programme of constructing shelter for the poor in Vadamarachchi and Thenmarachchi Divisional Secretariats. After fruitful dialogues held between the GOC 52 Division Brigadier Anura Sudhasinghe and Director HABITAT organization Mr. Tony Senevirathne, the latter has agreed to provide building materials for 50 houses for the homeless families in Jaffna. more..

Editorial: Making Independence more meaningful

Feb 6 (SO) Sri Lanka celebrated its 63rd anniversary of Independence on Friday with pride and joy as the country is marching towards new economic horizons after terrorism was eradicated. Coincidentally, the 83rd anniversary of the Sunday Observer also fell on the same day. Sri Lanka's flagship English newspaper published its first issue on February 4, 1928 and on this same day after 20 years Sri Lanka gained its independence. more..

Editorial: Harvest of 63 years of independence

Feb 6 (SL) Sri Lanka has completed 63 years of independence. Even after 63 years of our own administration, we still blame the colonial rulers for our failures. We are not prepared to look back and find out whether it was the colonial rulers who prompted us to err or whether we erred on our own. India was important for the British because of its wealth. They plundered mercilessly from India the wealth required for the primitive accumulation of capital more..

'Where did the Rs. 31 billion flood relief money go'

Feb 6 (NF) The government is saying that they have spent Rs. 31 billion for the flood affected people while the people are claiming that they haven't received even 5 cents or food, says the UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake. Ravi K. expressed this view while addressing a public rally in the Mattakkuliya area yesterday afternoon. The monthly Bala-Mandala meeting of the Colombo North area and a meeting with the youth in the areas was held under more..

Will other Catholic Bishops take up matters raised by Mannar Bishop before LLRC?

Feb 6 (TC) Alleviation of people’s sufferings is primarily a spiritual concern. It is in that light we need to reflect on the insightful submissions made to the LLRC by the Bishop of Mannar Dr. Rayappu Joseph. As this particular commission is mandated by the President, the report will be handed over to him at a future date and what happens thereafter depends on the degree of accountability that the government holds over the lives of people in that part of the country. more..