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Sri Lanka News Debrief - 01.07.2011

Armed groups operating in East - Army

July 2 (DM) Certain armed elements are hiding behind political parties in the Eastern Province and we will take steps to disarm them, Eastern Commander Major General Boniface Perera said. He expressed these views at a meeting held between General Mangers and Political party representatives of the eastern province in the aftermath of the recent Batticaloa bank robbery. He added that for the last one and a half years there has been an increase in murders and more..

India must get Sri Lanka to keep its promises

July 2 (TP) For long now India has enjoyed a high level of influence over Sri Lanka. Yet, despite its long-standing relationship with Colombo, New Delhi’s attempts to encourage its southern neighbour to address crucial post-war challenges and work towards sustainable peace has only met with limited success. Active political engagement and a generous financial assistance package have failed to convince President Mahinda Rajapaksa to bring about an equitable post-war settlement more..

Lanka minister says India broke promises

July 2 (AFP) Sri Lanka's sports minister said his country had organised its inaugural cricket premier league on the understanding that Indian players, who have since been banned from playing, would take part. Mahindananda Aluthgamage said he had written to his Indian counterpart seeking intervention after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) blocked its players. "The BCCI promised us, they gave us in writing that more..

India to help Sri Lankan army to build capacities

July 2 (IANS) India has agreed to help the Sri Lankan Army in its capacity building by opening up more seats for its officers and men in its training academies and military colleges, apart from sharing experiences in counter-insurgency operations. The agreements were arrived at during the first structured army-to-army talks that ended here Friday. Apart from deciding to enhance the scope and number of training courses for Sri Lankan officers and men, the Indian Army more..

Sri Lankans flock to Indian oil fuel stations

July 2 (LBO) Long queues of cars have built up around some fuel stations of the Sri Lanka unit of India Oil Corporation after car owners complained of engine trouble after filling up from their competitor. Customers who used petrol sold by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation have complained that they had to replace petrol pumps in their cars after the vehicles broke down. Both CPC and Lanka IOC however use the same common user facility - more..

England v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI: Sri Lanka win by 69 runs

July 2 (CI) Alastair Cook gave a glimpse of his one-day credentials with a hard-earned 48 from 52 balls, but three wickets in the first 23 overs of their run-chase left England struggling to stay in touch with a tough target of 310 in the second ODI at Headingley. At the halfway mark of their innings, England had reached 126 for 3, with Jonathan Trott bedding in in his now-habitual fashion for 31 from 44 balls, more..

Safety measures urgent for three-wheeler passengers

July 2 (DM) One hears almost daily of three-wheeler accidents and invariably with their on the spot insurance schemes, the three-wheeler driver escapes generally with a couple of injuries and assurances that his vehicle will be repaired while his passengers often seriously injured have either to recourse to legal action from which they will get little compensation though usually they have to produce myriad medical bills , X ray reports and whatnots more..

Moon’s re–election: what is up his sleeve?

July 2 (DM) The Government of Sri Lanka (SL) expressed its opposition to the re- election of Ban Ki-moon to the post of UN Secretary General coinciding with the time when Moon appointed a panel of advisors to investigate the SL war crimes. The media also declared after the Moons’ report was released in April that the SL Govt. should not support Moon’s bid for re -election. On the 1st of May, the Govt. supporters went in a procession and agitated that the more..

'The CEB has recorded great financial stability during the tenure of the former Chairman'

July 2 (SL) The JHU maintains that people in the North and East have to be given democracy and basic needs before speaking of power devolution that has been pushed by some Tamil political leaders. After resolving the recent crisis at the CEB, Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said that while standards have to be set and technical audits need to be conducted at the CEB, with regard to reconciliation, the govt needs to more..

Govt of the corrupt, by the corrupt for the corrupt

July 2 (LG) The vast mass of the people in this country voted the Rajapakse government in power – more than once recently – in the hope the lot of the people will stand to improve by a man who assured them hour in and hour out “I am your man; My goal is to raise yourr standard of living” But what is the story after 5 years and more after the people placed their trust in Mahinda Percival Rajapakse? While they earn less in actual terms today, they pay very much more more..

Implementing the 13th Amendment

July 2 (LG) The on-going debate as to whether it should be 13th Amendment ,13 Amendment plus or no 13th Amendment, seems misplaced considering that it has been a part of the Constitution since 1987 and that under the 13th Amendment together with the Provincial Councils Act no 42 of 1987, Provincial Councils have been established since 1988 and are operating in all the provinces of Sri Lanka bar the northern province. In terms of the constitutional provisions the more..

A landmark case

July 2 (SL) Fans of Sri Lankan rugby will remember the chaos that ensued in 2009, when preparations for the Asian Five Nations Game held in Dubai, came to a grinding halt. It all began at the top (literally) with the issue of selecting a captain. The National Rugby Selectors Committee chose Dilanka Wijesekara to captain the team on the Dubai tour. However, in an unforeseen move, the decision was disregarded and the Sports Ministry via an interim committee, more..

Caste in Jaffna

July 2 (LG) I have read recent articles by Sebastian Rasalingam and Pearl Thevanayagam on the caste problem in Jaffna, with much interest. I respond here briefly on what I perceive as the extended dimensions of the caste problems of old, now. I will not name castes nor refer to them as high or low. I find such descriptions very distasteful personally. I also want to stress that my observations are not backed by any structured study. They are observations that more..

Arsenic Contradiction and Beyond!

July 2 (LG) Several weeks ago, a team from University of Kelaniya revealed the presence of arsenic in drinking water in the Rajarata area and in commonly-used pesticides. Furthermore, they related this finding with Rajarata’s chronic kidney disease. Later, another investigation carried out by Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) found that arsenic is present only in two brands of pesticides out of about twenty eight. These studies have resulted in considerable more..

Lanka among top 30 failed states, again

July 2 (LB) Sri Lanka, along with many of our neighbours Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, was once again featured in the list of the “most failed states”, as per the annual ranking prepared by Foreign Policy (FP) magazine. Sri Lanka was ranked No. 29 in a list of 60 countries dominated by African nations. Sri Lanka shows slight improvement from 2010, where it was placed at No. 25. Elizabeth Dickinson, journalist and former assistant managing editor of FP, more..

Living the nightmare…

July 2 (DM) Sundarlingam Kamaleswari* has a recurring dream. She is in a raging battlefield, surrounded by sounds of gun-fire and bombs. Even through the chaos around her, she distinctly hears her daughter call out to her – “Amma! Amma! Come to me, I’m here”. She spots her daughter lying on the ground – a look of pain registered on her face; the left leg missing. Unexpectedly she shuts her eyes, shocked by a loud blast. A second later she opens her eyes to find her daughter is missing. more..

Implement the 13th Amendment?

July 2 (DM) It should make even the casual observer wonder why the stridency of International calls for accountability in Sri Lanka has been increasing over time and has now reached a multi faceted crescendo. From the Indians to the UN system, from the US to the EU,from the Commonwealth Secretariat to the British Foreign Office, from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to the Shadow Foreign Secretary of Britain, the calls for Sri Lanka on alleged violations of international more..

Nuclear power for Sri Lanka?

July 2 (DM) China, France, India, Russia, UK, USA and a few other countries with enormous financial and technical resources, and highly trained and disciplined work forces, are going ahead with the construction of nuclear power stations whereas an equally advanced country like Germany has decided to phase out even its existing ones. What should Sri Lanka do? There is no question that, if you ignore certain major factors which apply particularly to small and more..

Editorial: Old bobbies in new garb

July 2 (Island) The police have undergone some visible changes since the defeat of terrorism. Repulsive looking perimeter walls around some police stations have come down and the govt is reportedly planning to end the practice of policemen carrying assault rifles, which are expected to give way to batons. Atop these measures, the govt is mulling over changes to the police uniform. Our police are not the worst in the world. During the past few weeks, we have more..

Editorial: Get involved in action for justice not party politics

July 2 (DM) Politics has been one of the most misunderstood words. What would immediately spring to our minds, is our understanding of party politics and governance within a democratic framework, besides the deception and double dealing, corruption and the desire for personal gain or glory that are often associated with party politics. Most people will naturally feel it has little to do with them. Still more to the common people, who go about their normal way of life. more..

The Colombo Plan at 60

July 2 (ST) The origin of the Colombo Plan dates back to the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers’ Conference held in Colombo on January 9, 1950. Sri Lanka’s (then Ceylon’s) ministerial delegation to the conference comprised Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake, Finance Minister J.R. Jayewardene, Justice Minister Sir Lalitha Rajapakse and Parlimentary Secretary to the Minister of External Affairs, R.G. Senanayake. At this conference, Minister Jayewardene proposed more..

Commemorative coin to mark People’s Bank 50th anniversary

July 2 (DM) The People’s Bank (PB) completes 50 years of operation on 1st July 2011. To mark this occasion, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) will issue a selective gold plated, frosted proof, crown size, silver commemorative coin in the denomination of Rs 1000. In terms of section 52A (1) (a) and (b) of the Monetary Law Act (Amendment) No.6 of 1998, CBSL issues commemorative coins and notes with the approval of Minister of Finance. CBSL has issued commemorative coins to mark important events and more..

Isn’t there a significant role for agriculture?

July 2 (ST) In view of the diminished contribution of agriculture to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that was discussed last week, is there a significant role for agriculture? Does agriculture have a significant contribution to make to the Sri Lankan economy now that its relative importance in GDP has declined? The answer is indeed, yes. Agriculture has a very significant contribution to make to the country’s development despite the increased contribution of other sectors to GDP. more..

'Colombo Plan serves as vehicle'

July 2 (DN) The Colombo Plan served as a vehicle to promote South -South Cooperation and provided the strongest possible foundation for economic and social growth of a number of countries, said External Affairs Minister Prof G L Peiris. He said that this characteristic of the Colombo Plan has also helped policy formulation in our country. He said that South- South Cooperation has become a geopolitical reality with the heightened economic power and more..

Jayawardene shows Cook the way, with no sympathy

July 2 (CI) Before the second one-day international, Mahela Jayawardene said he had sympathy for Alastair Cook as he tries to find his feet as England's captain. However, there was none of that sentiment on show at Headingley as Jayawardene ensured Cook was pushed to his limits in the field by a majestic career-best 144. It is a mark of the longevity of his career that Jayawardene set a new high 11 years after his previous best made in 2000. more..

GCE ‘A’ levels in Queen’s English in six years

July 2 (DM) The Minister of Higher Education, S B Dissanayake said the GCE Advanced Level classes in all schools will switch to the English medium in six years and that English will be the media of instruction in universities in three years. He said he was planning to re-introduce English as the media of instruction and to teach all subjects in the English language. Addressing the new university entrants who were at present undergoing leadership training at more..

Tamil destiny is inextricably intertwined with that of the Sinhalese

July 2 (DBS) Recently I responded somewhat passionately and emotionally to a comment posed by a reader on my blog. My response had something to with my worry and concern about the tragic plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Many readers have informed me that they were indeed touched by my response. They also opined that my response should be given wider coverage than being buried as a response to a comment made by a reader to a bundle of tweets. more..

Indian investors visit S’gamuwa to explore opportunities

July 2 (Island) A delegation of investors from New Delhi is on a tour of the Sabaragamuwa Province to explore available investment opportunities. The delegation comprises B. M. Sharma, President of the Durga Maya Development Private Institute and a team of investors. They met the Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath recently. Apart from tourism and higher education the Indian team is looking at the possibilities of commencing trade activities in Ratnapura. more..

Eezham Tamil coastal areas intensively encroached by Sri Lanka

July 2 (TN) Occupying genocidal Sri Lanka opens up the coastal areas of Eezham Tamils for intensive ‘invasion’ of Sinhala fishermen and ‘tourism’ fat cats of the south. The latest target is the eastern coast of Mullaiththeevu and Jaffna districts as well as the islands off Jaffna, news sources from Jaffna said. While thousands of Sinhala fishermen, officially permitted by Colombo, encroach the eastern coast of the northern province to deprive local fishermen, more..

Blue chip index dip tops 10%

July 2 (FT) The decline of Milaka Price Index (MPI) widely reflective of blue chip and active stocks surpassed the 10% threshold this week as a more credible recovery continued to be elusive for the Colombo Bourse. The MPI dipped by 1.47% to finish the week at 6,344 points, reflecting a year-to-date decline of 10.15%. Last week the year-to-date dip was 8.81%. When compared with MPI’s 2011-peak level of 7,327 points, this week’s closing reflects a dip of 13.4%. more..

Ban on fishing in Lagoon lifted by Navy

July 2 (DM) The residents of Panama town yesterday protested against an order prohibiting them from inhabiting two buildings belonging to the Fisheries Corporation, the lagoon and the Ulpassa sluices, sources said. More than a thousand persons participated in the protest. However, they called off the protest when Ven. Dr. Panama Chandrasiri took up the issue with the senior officials of the Naval Camp, who agreed to lift the ban thereafter. more..

Dengue: Principals to be hauled to court

July 2 (DM) Legal action will be taken against school principals who do not take measures to destroy dengue breeding sites within school premises, the Colombo Municipality said yesterday. “As we have warned school principals on several occasions about mosquito breeding sites in the school premises, we are not going to do it any longer but will go ahead with the necessary steps to take legal action against school principals who have ignored our warnings and have not destroyed such sites,” more..

Sam Perera

War affected youth given an opportunity to join Japanese-owned firm

July 2 (Island) Tos Lanka Co. (Pvt) Ltd was the only company in the Electronics manufacturing sector to win recognition at the Prestigious Presidential Export Awards held last Thursday at Temple Trees. The Presidential Export Awards which recognises exporters’ excellence in performance, was revived this year by the Export Development Board after a lapse of several years. Tuesday’s ceremony was for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Tos Lanka had the unique distinction of more..

UNP wants Speaker to stop IGP from interfering with Parliament

July 2 (FT) The UNP has requested Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa to summon the newly appointed IGP to parliament in order to request him not to interfere with parliamentary affairs. Acting UNP Leader Karu Jayasuriya in a letter to the Speaker had said that the summoning of UNP MP Ravi Karunanayaka by the CID to question him on a statement made in the House was a violation of his parliamentary privileges. Jayasuriya had asked that the IGP be summoned and ordered not to question the MP. more..

Canadian detainee wants probe into detention and alleged torture in Sri Lanka

July 2 (NP) A Canadian man has returned to Toronto after spending three years in the custody of Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorism police, whom he said detained him until he signed a false confession saying he had smuggled equipment to the Tamil Tigers rebels. Roy Manojkumar Samathanam, 40, said that while visiting Sri Lanka, where he was born, he was arrested by the country’s TID. He said he was beaten, threatened and witnessed torture while more..

'Some Western economic policies don't suit SL'

July 2 (DN) "Sri Lanka should not be guided by foolish economic policies designed by the West because some of them are not applicable to Sri Lanka," International Monetary Corporation Senior Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama said. He was speaking at the 60th anniversary of the Colombo Plan at Hilton Hotel, Colombo yesterday. He said that Sri Lanka's economic plans and proposals are more effective than some of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans and suggestions. more..

Cops to get a facelift via new uniform

July 2 (Island) The police department, which last made changes to its uniform in 1976, in the run up to the Non-Aligned conference staged here that year, is once again on the verge of introducing a new uniform. Police sources, however cautioned against expecting a major change as in 1976 when it did away with shorts worn by constables from the colonial period. The change mooted by previous IGP Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya is likely to be effected within this year. more..

'C 4 fiasco will face natural death soon'

July 2 (DN) “The massive propaganda campaign carried out by treacherous elements in foreign countries against the country’s sovereignty and independence resulted in the controversial Darusman Report, the infamous video footage telecast by British Channel 4, among others,” said Minister Basil Rajapaksa. He said that the much talked about Channel 4 fiasco will face a natural death. The original audio and visual clip are now with the Sri Lankan authorities. more..