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Editorial: Terrorists using US law as a weapon

Jan 31 (Island) Some LTTE activists have filed a lawsuit against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the US, seeking $ 30 million in damages over alleged extrajudicial killings in Sri Lanka. This case is the brainchild of former deputy US attorney general (for less than one year) Bruce Fein, who has sold his soul to the LTTE like some US lawmakers, diplomats and bureaucrats. He is said to have evoked a 1991 Act, which allows the US to act against foreign officials over more..

Editorial: Election tamashas

Jan 31 (DM) Last week the country witnessed the nominations submitted to the upcoming Local Government elections. We also witnessed the glimpse of violence that is in store during the run up to the polls. Wonder how many would have been ‘fortunate’ enough to get caught in the traffic created by the nomination tamashas and the festivities associated with elections… the pelapalis and the banners, posters , vehicle processions and buses carrying representative citizens of Sri Lanka… more..

Court blaze: Police follow three leads

Jan 31 (NS) The fire that broke out at the Anuradhapura magistrate court complex in the wee hours of last Monday has destroyed records of nearly 25,000 cases and the investigations are currently being held on three leads. Officials attached to court’s record room were still retrieving bits and pieces of the court cases that were not destroyed in the fire even by the latter part of the week. more..

UPFA contesting on Independent lists

Jan 31 (LB) LAKBIMAnEWS learns that one such defect was the last minute deletions made on the list by using Correction Fluid (Tipex) and the careless preparation of lists. A senior politician of the government had told former members of the Wilgamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha in Matale that the government will support them at the local polls to win through an Independent list, a Wilgamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha member told this newspaper. The government also plans to muster opposition more..

Hypocrisy at the University Of Colombo

Jan 31 (SL) What happens when an institute of higher education, endowed with the responsibility to provide everything in its power towards improving the educational experience of its students, fails to do so? What happens when an esteemed institute of learning, renowned for its fame as one of the best universities in the region, gets pulled down by petty political interest and makes decisions contrary to the spirit of education and free expression? more..

Renal failure: Drinking water scheme required in NCP

Jan 31 (ST) According to a research study carried out by the BMARI between 1996 and 2008, Chronic Renal Failure is spreading rapidly in the North- Central Province (NCP). 25,000 people have been affected by the ailment and 3,000 have died over the last five years. Around 20 kidney patients attend clinics weekly. The studies carried out by the BMARI indicates there were 18,281 kidney patients in Anuradhapura and 4,607 in Polonnaruwa afflicted by the ailment. more..

Brothers remanded in swindle case

Jan 31 (DN) Two brothers suspected to have swindle over Rs two million using false credit cards were remanded by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando until February 12. The two brothers who had been employed in Italy had become friendly with a Romanian couple. After returning to Sri Lanka with the couple, the two had withdrawn money from locals’ and foreigners’ accounts. Investigations are on to arrest the Romanian couple, who are missing. more..

Deyata Kirula to display ex LTTE cadres’ handicrafts

Jan 31 (DM) Handicraft creations of former LTTE cadres in rehabilitation centres are to be exhibited at the ‘Deyata Kirula’ Exhibition, Rehabilitation Commissioner General Brigadier S. Ranasinghe said. He tsaid that there were 4,500 former LTTE cadres at Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centres (PARCs) under the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms. The ex-combatants are given training in masonry, carpentry, life skills and several other skills; more..

Roadside vehicle emission tests soon

Jan 31 (DN) Vehicle testing teams from the Motor Traffic Department (MTD) will soon stop any vehicle that emits black smoke and conduct random emission checks with roadside vehicle emission testing to be introduced all over the country for the first time. The Department is in the process of procuring smog analyzers and opacity metres to conduct the operation, said Motor Traffic Department (MTD) Vehicle Emission Testing Project Director A W Dissanayaka. more..

Foreign Secretary's visit to Sri Lanka an eyewash: Gadkari

Jan 31 (Hindu) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Sunday dismissed as mere “eyewash” the visit of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Sri Lanka to take up the killing of fishermen, allegedly by the country's navy. He said that compared to the National Democratic Alliance regime, the present government had failed in its foreign policy, especially with regard to Sri Lanka. It was because of the “wrong policies” the government was unable to more..

Sri Lanka’s inflation, interest rates and fiscal deficit can be much lower

Jan 31 (Island) A senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Sri Lanka’s economy was enjoying stability but cautioned that the fiscal performance was still weak, that the debt to GDP ratio, inflation and interest rates had a lot more room to go down further. Speaking at the 60th anniversary oration of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka last Friday (28) in Colombo, IMF Director Asia Pacific Department, Anoop Singh, said Sri Lanka was a ‘rising’ economy at more..

Ripples as Navy sails into whale-watching business

Jan 31 (ST) The Sri Lanka Navy will engage in the tourist promotional business by deploying one of its craft for whale and dolphin watching from today. The move has drawn reactions from those already engaged in the trade and those involved in conservation of whales. Navy Spokesman Athula Senarath said the service to be launched today would be operated between Galle and Mirissa and during the next monsoon would extend to areas between Colombo and Kalpitiya more..

Student leader Complaints baseless - VC

Jan 31 (Island) Undergraduates of the Ruhuna University complain that a group of unidentified persons has been carrying out systematic attacks on them both inside and outside the university. Secretary of the Students Council Randika Gunasekera told The Island that some masked thugs had targeted several students during the past few days but neither the university authorities nor the police had taken any action to protect students in spite of complaints. more..

Nawalapitiya hospital staff under probe

Jan 31 (Island) Healthcare Minister Maithripala Sirisena has ordered an inquiry into the death of a four-year-old male child at Nawalapitiya hospital, after being given an injection on Jan. 26. A Healthcare Ministry spokesman said that a nurse had administered the injection after the child had been brought to the hospital following a leech bite. The child died a few hours later. The Minister had ordered the probe following a complaint from the parents of the child. more..

Sri Lanka’s skies are looking up

Jan 31 (ST) Six airplane and six helicopter operators are awaiting Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sanction to operate their flights with the local aviation industry ready to capitalise on the peace dividend, according to a CAA official. “There has been an increasing demand for both airplanes and helicopter operations domestically by individuals as well as entities,” H.M.C. Nimalsiri, Director General and CEO, CAA told the Business Times. more..

Now the JVP sans their War Hero

Jan 31 (SL) The decision wasn’t anything surprising. Politically it was pretty clear, the arrest of presidential ‘Common Candidate’ Sarath Fonseka (SF), was not just to investigate his conduct and let go. Leaving the discussion on how independent the judiciary is for a later date, perhaps in a more tolerant and decent society, it was not difficult to guess, decisions on SF would come the way the Rajapaksa regime would want them. Let it be also said here and now, SF can not more..

Flood victims express anger on public servants for lack of relief in Batticaloa

Jan 31 (TN) Civilians in Batticaloa district have started to show their anger on government servants for the failure to provide relief as promised by Colombo authority. The latest attack on a Village Officer of Makizhadith-theevu in Paddipazhai DS division in Batticaloa district took place Friday while he was in the act of distributing relief items donated by a non-governmental organization. Over five hundred thousand flood affected people in more..

Shoddy exposure of SLC hubris over World Cup venues and TV issues . . .

Jan 31 (Island) It is more than three years since Marvan Atapattu exposed the national selectors as a bunch of "Jokers headed by a Muppet". Well, now, Yahaluweni, maybe it is time for the public to attach that accurate laconic observation to the ‘men from the ministry’. Better known as the government appointed ad-hoc mob, they parade under the inglorious title of Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Five year old girl swims across Kelani Ganga

Jan 31 (DM) A five year old girl swam across the Kelani Ganga last morning at a point where it was about 1000 metres wide, to the amazement of a large crowd that had gathered to witness the event. The small girl who performed this amazing feat is Viyama Oshadhi of Sedawatta, Wellampitiya. She swam across the river starting from Kelani river bank in Sedawatta under the observation of two instructors of the Sports Medical Institute -- G.A. Ranil more..

Kalpitiya hotels - still no decision

Jan 31 (ST) After Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera's meeting with some of the short-listed parties for the Kalpitiya Integrated Tourism Resort Project (KITRP), the authorities are yet to make a decision, informed sources said. “The Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) has submitted their recommendations short listing six parties and the tender board should meet to discuss the TEC’s recommendations. This hasn’t happened as yet,” more..

Shavendra Silva in Boston

Third int’l airport in Sigiriya?

Jan 31 (DM) An idea had been mooted to construct a third international airport in Sri Lanka shortly after the completion of work at the second such airport in Mattala, Hambantota, Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. He said that this idea was discussed at a recent meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. He said that there was the need to construct a third international airport because of the government’s plan to develop Sri Lanka as a trade and tourism hub. more..

Borella killers nabbed

Jan 31 (DM) The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) arrested two suspects last week on charges of killing a 68-year -old-woman at her house in Punchi Borella on January 13. CCD said the suspects had confessed how they entered the house in the morning and attempted to take the car. The suspects, who had worked as a mechanic and a domestic respectively, in the vicinity had given up the jobs several months prior to the killing, the police said. more..

Offices of anti-govt website burt

Jan 31 (AP) A group of men broke into the offices of a website critical of Sri Lanka's government and set fire to it Monday, a journalist from the publication said, adding that he suspected a government role in the attack. Bennett Rupasinghe, news editor of, said the fire destroyed everything in the offices. He said the attackers could have been sent by the government as punishment for the website's critical articles. more..

UNP study SL refugee situ in TN

Jan 31 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena is in Tamil Nadu on a week-long visit to study the condition of TN refugee camps in the wake of more Sri Lankan Tamil refugees returning home at the end of the war. Dr. Jayawardena told The Island that he would discuss the situation with Indian authorities and UNHCR. Responding to a query, he said that the UNP, too, was exploring the possibility of providing some assistance to those returning home. more..

LTTE fails to thwart SL’s UN No 2 in Boston

Jan 31 (Island) In spite of an LTTE protest on Sunday, Sri Lanka’s deputy permanent UN representative Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva went ahead with his speech, in which he explained post-war developments, including measures taken by the government to rehabilitate ex-LTTE cadres to a gathering in Boston. Sources told The Island that the protest had been led by a woman, whose daughter launched a fast during the last phase of the war in early 2009. more..

Post-war SL: No special role for Norway

Jan 31 (Island) Norway is unlikely to win any special role in the post-war Sri Laka in spite of its offer to make its services available in that capacity. Government sources said that Sri Lanka was not interested in a Norwegian offer to mediate between the government and the LTTE rump or so-called Tamil Diaspora groups pushing for UN ‘war crimes’ probe, targeting the country’s political and military leaders. more..

Landslides man-made

Jan 31 (DN) The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) investigations on recent landslides have revealed that 90 percent of the reported cases have been activated due to man-made causes. Haphazard steepening of slopes for housing and other construction have been identified as the cause for a majority of the slides. Based on the findings, the NBRO is set to issue new guidelines for development, construction and more..

Ranil warns of revolution

Jan 31 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe warned yesterday that a revolution similar to the one in Tunisia would be inevitable in Sri Lanka if the price of a kilo of rice went up to Rs 125 as expected. Addressing a rally in Gampaha, he said the price of rice was slated to increase during the time of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, as the government lacked a proper vision with regard to food security. more..

Reveal those responsible for attack on ‘Lanka-e-News’ - JVP

Jan 31 (LT) The JVP while condemning the attack on ‘Lanka-e-News’ web site demands the government to reveal those responsible for the act without attributing it to ‘unidentified’ groups. Issuing a statement regarding the attack on ‘Lanka-e-News’ the Political Bureau of the JVP states such deplorable attacks that ring the death knell for free media at a time an election has been announced and more..

Private sector firms invited to fund university research

Jan 31 (DM) The government has decided to give income tax concessions to private sector companies that invest in research work at local state universities in Sri Lanka, officials said. Higher Education Ministry secretary Dr. Sunil Navaratne said that any university could now undertake research in various fields under private sector sponsorship. He said that the public sector had insufficient funds for investment in this sector and, more..

Mumps vaccine in NIP from mid-2011

Jan 31 (DN) The mumps vaccine will be included into the National Immunization Program (NIP) from mid 2011, said Health Ministry Consultant Epidemiologist Dr Sudath Peiris. He was addressing a public seminar on Vaccines at the Public Library Auditorium yesterday. This vaccine will be introduced as a combine vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine will be given free of charge to all children in the country under the NIP. more..

Be vigilant of bombs, mines

Jan 31 (DM) The army had issued a fresh warning to the public to be vigilant about suspicious articles and to inform the nearest army detachment in such an instance. This comes in the wake of army discovering a claymore mine weighing 2 kg and four unserviceable grenades in Nittambuwa. Army Spokesman Ubaya Madawela said that a few isolated incidents such as these were recorded after the war and that the public were requested to be on the alert for explosives that more..

Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Jan 31 (ST) Communications, or public relations to be more precise, are a serious field. Those practising this fine art could make or break personalities or institutions. This is why most go seeking for the services of professionals when it comes to image building. That is the reason that even the Government of Sri Lanka has chosen to hire multi national PR firms paying them millions of dollars or billions of rupees from public funds. more..

Sri Lanka suing diaspora

Jan 31 (NN) The government is to sue LTTE front organizations and individuals who gave money to the LTTE during the war to purchase weapons and explosives, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya said. He said that the government is also working with US authorities to crackdown on LTTE front organizations operating on US soil with a new name but with the same agenda as they did before more..

Rao meets Mahinda: India, Lanka agree

Jan 31 (NN) Sri Lanka and India today reached an agreement that the use of force cannot be justified under any circumstances when Indian fishermen cross into Sri Lankan waters. It was also decided that the next meeting of the Joint Working Group on Fishing would be convened at an early date, which would, inter-alia, address various issues relating to fishing by the two sides. A joint statement released by India and Sri Lanka this afternoon said more..