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'Displaced return with more grit to work hard'

July 21 (SO) In an interview with the Sunday Observer Resettlement Minister Gunarathna Weerakoon said that the Displaced Persons (DPs) have now been relocated in their original lands, so that they could resume their earlier livelihoods. He said that only 3822 families comprising 12616 members are yet to be resettled. Others have been already resettled in their own lands. Excerpts of the interview: Q: Surely the DPs have to begin their lives afresh? more..

Editorial: Hillary's words of wisdom

July 21 (Island) US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said, in New Delhi, that the US would fully cooperate with India to thwart terror attacks against the latter. This pledge is ironic in that about three decades ago the US just looked the other way when Sri Lanka pleaded for help to protect itself against separatist terrorism which India, a Russian ally at that time, promoted to penalise it for having crossed over to the US camp under pro-American President J. R. Jayewardene's govt. more..

Editorial: Ending thirty years of terror and hatred…

July 21 (DM) Celina Cramer is an inspiration to all trying to grasp the true meaning behind being Sri Lankan. She is a young French born Sri Lankan studying at the Sorbonne university, who writes of the struggle being one Sri Lankan to another- one that tragically faces many young of the post war era. To quote her from our opinion piece ‘I am’; “ in the end, when your country is at stake, which is the case for Sri Lanka, there is no time to think of your ethnic origin, more..

Leave the animals their territory

July 21 (ST) The anguished shriek of "Appah" rent the early morning stillness, sending the bleary-eyed Pada Yatra devotees running to the bank of the Menik Ganga in the Yala National Park. It was dawn on Sunday, July 10, and the scene that met the devotees who rushed to the scrub jungle on the river-bank sent chilling fear up their spine. Right before their eyes, a leopard with its jaws clamped over the bloodied neck of 31-year-old Krishnapulle Chandrakumari was dragging her into the jungle. more..

Experts lock horns on insider trading

July 21 (FT) Stock market experts on Tuesday locked horns on the contentious issue of insider trading at a Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) forum spiced with impish remarks and exposing clear division on how to deal with the criminal offence under the law. Panelist top investor and director of several companies Nimal Perera’s choice of words in his natural style perhaps made senior and more conventional SLID members’ red-faced but he drove home the point that more..

Tamil Separatism Vs. The Arab Spring

July 21 (SL) How is/was Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka different from the Arab Spring? I don’t mean federalism (good idea, people deserve to be troubled by a government that at least speaks their language). I mean separatism, the idea of a separate state for the Tamil race in the North and East of the island. After the peaceful satygraha by Tamil parliamentarians was crushed on the Galle Face Green (1956), non-violent Tamil resistance went into growing disrepute. more..

Statement made by Mr. R. Sampanthan, on the L/G elections

July 21 (TC) The TNA is contesting the Local Authority elections in the North and East and is opposed by the UPFA, the governing party. The TNA’s election campaign focuses principally on three issues. (1) Resettlement and Rehabilitation of all displaced Tamil families in the North and East on the lands originally occupied by them, with proper housing, adequate livelihood opportunities, effective civil administration that will address their socio-economic more..

“Bemusement” is the word!

July 21 (SL) As someone who was born in this country before World War II and who regretted, as a school-going child, the arrival of independence in 1948 because my birthday ceased to be a public holiday (“Empire Day” in what was then Ceylon and “Victoria Day” in other parts of the “white” British Empire), what I have seen unfold while living here – up to 1973 – and then from half way across the world and then right back here, at first hand once again, on the shores more..

Pool packed with spinners picked for Australia series

July 21 (Island) The national selection committee picked a pool of 20 players for the five match ODI and two match T-20 series against Australia that starts early next month. Thilina Kandamby, who was the vice-captain during the tour of England, has been axed from the pool. The selectors named six spin bowlers in the pool with Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake and Malinga Bandara joining ranks with Suraj Randiv, Ajantha Mendis and Jeevan Mendis, who played the ODIs in England. more..

Govt. to order prominent warnings on cigarette packs

July 21 (Island) Sri Lanka is in the process of urging cigarette companies to have mini billboard pictorial warning on every cigarette pack, which is one of the steps an international legal convention on the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organisation advocates. "The objective of the FCTC is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of more..

Struggle of IDPs in Kilinochchi

July 21 (BBC) Two years after the end of the Sri Lankan war, hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamil civilians are returning to the northern villages which they fled as the army chased the Tamil Tigers from the land they had controlled. Outside access to the north has long been heavily restricted. BBC correspondent Charles Haviland recently secured unconfined access to Kilinochchi, once the headquarters of the Tamil Tigers, and met some of those trying to rebuild their lives. more..

Taylor shines against Sri Lanka A

July 21 (CI) James Taylor hit an unbeaten 161 to provide nearly half of Leicestershire's total on the opening day of Sri Lanka A's tour. The county side reached 332 for 8 as Kosala Kulasekara took 4 for 64 for the visitors at Grace Road. Taylor hit 17 fours and two sixes in his first first-class hundred of the season after averaging a slightly disappointing 34.50 in the first half of Leicestershire's County Championship campaign. He added 109 with Matthew Boyce (43) more..

Mangala exposes inside of CSN

July 21 (LT) Parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera exposed the doings of Carlton Sports Network that is being maintained using assets of the National Rupavahini corporation and the ITN. Mr. Samaraweera said the head of the network is Yasara Abeyratne and its chief executive officer is Nishanthe Ranatunga, the former Secretary of the Cricket Interim Board who has been accused of fraud. A building belonging to the Presidential Secretariat has been used as more..

UGC, SLMC agree to hold next Act 16 exam before Aug. 1

July 21 (Island) The University Grants Commission and the Sri Lankan Medical Council yesterday, agreed before the Supreme Court to hold the next Act 16 Examination on August 1, 2011. The SLMC will shortly issue the index numbers to the foreign medical graduate who will sit this examination. Shibly Aziz PC, appeared for the SLMC, while the Deputy Solicitor General, Sanjay Rajaratnam appeared for the UGC, both parties being respondents in a fundamental rights violation more..

Int’l groups have LTTE mindset: DEW

July 21 (DM) Responding to International Crisis Group allegations that Sri Lanka was nowhere close to reconciliation, Senior Minister DEW Gunasekera said the viewpoints of international groups would always be different to that of the ground situation because of their LTTE-like mindset. “These international groups are all looking at the situation from the viewpoint of the LTTE therefore, their opinions of what is happening and the truth will always be irreconcilable,” he said. more..

TMVP mastermind of Rs. 175 mn bank robbery arrested

July 21 (Island) A senior cadre of Eastern Province Chief Minister S. Chandrakanthan’s party TMVP was arrested yesterday by the CID at Wennappuwa for masterminding the robbery of Rs. 160 million cash and Rs 15 million in jewellery from the People’s Bank branch at Puttur two weeks ago. The police said a person who resembled a leading politician in the Eastern Province had been seen riding a motorcycle towards the house of the suspect in Batticaloa more..

Protecting Human Rights in Sri Lanka

July 21 (HP) U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to India this week offers a vital opportunity for the world's two greatest democracies to jointly promote their common values supporting freedom and civil rights in South Asia -- a region where extremism and China's influence continues to grow. More specifically, the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue must include a strategy for protecting human rights and fundamental democratic principles in Sri Lanka. more..

Anti-corruption group accuses govt. of financial indiscipline

July 21 (DM) The Corruption Watch headed by human rights lawyer and Western provincial councillor Shiral Lakthilake yesterday challenged Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara to state how the govt plans to revive the 54 state institutions running at a loss for the past three years. Speaking at the news briefing held yesterday at the Office of the College of Politics, Nawala, Rajagiriya, he also said that the Govt should take total responsibility for the loss making of the institutions. more..

Plan to develop 15 towns as disaster prepared cities

July 21 (Island) The Disaster Management Ministry has planned to develop 15 towns as disaster free cities under the first stage of the project to make Sri Lanka a disaster preapred country. Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that of the 15 towns, three would be developed first as models. The three towns are Mannar, Eravur and Balangoda, he said. He said that the programme would be implemented in association with the Ministry of Local Govt and more..

Tamil diaspora briefs BJP on misery

July 21 (DC) Continuing with its effort to strengthen global awareness about the pathetic plight of the brethren in Sri Lanka, the Tamil Diaspora here met with senior BJP leaders on a tour of the UK and briefed them extensively with the help of the recently released British Channel Four video that showed gruesome war crimes in the island. Senior delegates of British Tamils Forum (BTF) met the BJP delegation which included party president Nitin Gadkari, women’s wing president more..

Teachers issue ultimatum to Govt.

July 21 (Island) Three leading teacher trade unions yesterday threatened stern trade union action if the authorities fail to solve the problems faced by the teaching fraternity before August 05. The Education Professionals Association, Samastha Lanka Eksath Guru Sangamaya and Lanka Guru Sangamaya have adopted the tough stand. Among the demands made by the teacher unions were, to implement the interim salary proposals made by the Education Ministry, rectify the more..

Development Diaries July 13, 2011

Minister Gamini Lokuge in slumber land

July 21 (DM) Labour Minister Gamini Lokuge was unable to respond to the Opposition during the question time in Parliament yesterday because he was dozing off in his seat. Having realized that Mr. Lokuge was asleep, Chief Govt Whip Dinesh Gunawardane had to respond to the Opposition. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekara, in his question placed on the Order Paper, asked about the total value of deposits in the Employees Trust Fund and various investments made out of it. more..

Endangered fish die in a project

July 21 (DM) Environmentalists yesterday called on the authorities to suspend a private hydro power project in Warathenna, Kandy after dead fish of a critically endangered species known as Labeo Fisheri, commonly known as the ‘Gadaya’, were rediscovered in Sri Lanka recently. The rare species of fish was believed to be extinct for several years up until recently when it was rediscovered at a hydro power project on the Peradeniya-Katugastota highway in Warathanna, more..

President inaugurates the construction of the International sports complex in Kilinochchi

July 21 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse inaugurated the construction of the first international sports complex in the north, which will be constructed at a cost of 325 million rupees in Kilinochchi. The complex will consist 8 tracks and the indoor stadium will have facilities for 25 sporting events. It will also have an international standard swimming pool and many other facilities. more..

100 arrested for election violence

July 21 (DM) The police had arrested about 100 individuals for violating election laws, Police Elections Desk said. “So far 75 complaints have been lodged with the Police Elections Desk,” it said. Most of the incidents were reported where supporters of major political parties engaged in removing or tearing down cut-outs, banners and other election propaganda material, DIG Gamini Navaratne who is in charge of the police elections desk said. more..

‘No proper transport for northerners to vote’

July 21 (Island) If proper transport facilities are not provided for the Northern voters, the voting rights of a large number of citizens will be violated at the upcoming local govt polls, Executive Director of the CaFFE, Keerthi Tennakoon said. "Certain areas in the Northern Province such as Tunukkai, Palei, Kandapuram and many other areas do not have any transportation facilities," he said. In the Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu districts the citizens might have to walk at least 5km to more..

'People have a right to rise against dictatorial rulers'

July 21 (Island) Sri Lankans today had the same right as their ancestors who rebelled against ancient kings who did not rule the country according to established laws and traditions, to resist the present-day rulers, former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said on Tuesday. Delivering a lecture, ‘Is the executive a challenge to people’s sovereignty’, at the invitation of the Democratic People’s Forum, the former CJ, said the rulers of today more..

United States is looking towards provincial council elections

July 21 (NN) The US govt is looking towards provincial council elections being held in the north of Sri Lanka, the US State department said. A senior US State Department official told reporters that such an election will see for the first time, an indigenous leadership in the area which was ruled by the LTTE for 30 years. “They need to organize provincial council elections up in the north so that there will be, for the first time, an indigenous leadership in more..

Mafia at SLC says Arjuna

July 21 (ST) The newly appointed Interim Committee for Sri Lanka Cricket will end up as a mafia-style unit since individuals appointed are questionable persons with political affiliations and with zero love or interest in the game, Democratic National Alliance (DNA) MP Arjuna Ranatunga said today. He said the entire cricket administration has been politicized with corrupt officials appointed to watch the interests of a gentleman’s game, and this should never be the case. more..

Govt. changes law to accommodate illegal activity

July 21 (LB) The govt’s decision to amend the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance (FFPO) and Forest Conservation Ordinance (FCO) relaxing the limitations on activities carried out in the buffer zone of nature reserves and sanctuaries will lead to massive ecological destruction and would also increase the already grave human-elephant conflict. Last week, the govt. announced that it will authorize eco hotels to be built within the one mile buffer zone of more..

Building a new life after the war in Sri Lanka

July 21 (BBC) Hundreds of thousands of displaced Tamil civilians are returning to their home villages in the north two years after the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka. Access to the region for outsiders has been heavily restricted by the military for many years but the rules have just been relaxed. The BBC's Charles Haviland is the first journalist to travel there and meet those trying to rebuild their lives. more..

LG polls: Additional officials to vulnerable stations

July 21 (DM) The Elections Commissioner said yesterday that measures had been taken to deploy an additional number of officials to vulnerable polling stations located in areas where a high number of complaints concerning election violence had been reported. Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya said that polling stations located in Kaduwela, Warakapola, Minuwangoda, Attanagalle, Wilgamuwa and Chilaw more..

Drug shortages in main hospitals

July 21 (DM) A shipment of medical equipment ordered for soldiers during war in 2009 had only now reached the medical hospitals, Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) said yesterday. Speaking at a press conference HSTUA Convener, Saman Rathanapriya said that these equipment were of no use today as it was required two years ago to perform surgeries for severe gun shot injuries. more..

UNICEF supports effort to trace missing children in post-conflict Sri Lanka

July 21 (UNICEF) Jhoncy sits in the shaded courtyard of a children’s home, alone in quiet thought. Understandably, she has a lot on her mind. When we arrive, Jhoncy, 20, gets up from her chair and wanders over to greet us. We shake hands and she looks us in the eye. Her first question is, “Can you help me find my brother?” More than two years have passed since she last heard of Jhonson, who should be 17 years old. more..

'Executive’s disregard for SC rulings may cost country over US $ 400 mn'

July 21 (Island) If the Executive had carried out two Supreme Court rulings way back in 2008 in respect of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) hedging deal, the country would not have been faced with the prospect of having to pay as much as 400 million US dollars to three banks, former Chief Justice Sarath N Silva said on Tuesday. Lack of transparency at the highest level of govt had helped the more..

Dilshan to lead Sri Lanka against Australia

July 21 (CI) Tillakaratne Dilshan has been retained as Sri Lanka captain for the home series against Australia beginning in August. Sri Lanka Cricket named a pool of 20 players in contention for spots in the ODI and Twenty20 squads, and left out Thilina Kandamby, who was vice-captain in the ODIs in England. Dilshan had led Sri Lanka on the tour of England in the wake of Kumar Sangakarra's decision to resign after the 2011 World Cup. more..

President tells people of Kilinochchi: HSZs to go in due course

July 21 (DN) The remaining High Security Zones will be removed in due course, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, while stressing that the rights of the people have been safeguarded by the govt. No one will be allowed to violate these rights again, he said. President Rajapaksa was addressing a large gathering at Kilinochchi in Jaffna last afternoon. In line with the event, a foundation stone was also laid for more..

Ranil’s vehicle ‘Kota Uda’ due to bad petrol

July 21 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s vehicle was among the thousands of vehicles that had stalled due to substandard petrol imported by the CPC, UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake said today. He displayed the damaged parts of the vehicle of the Opposition Leader to the journalists yesterday. He said even though substandard fuel had been imported in previous instances, the problem did not affect the public in a major way. more..

Brandix world’s first apparel maker to get ISO 50001

July 21 (FT) The Brandix Group has achieved another global first for Sri Lanka by becoming the first apparel manufacturer in the world to receive ISO 50001, less than a month after the stringent Energy Management Systems standard was introduced by the International Standards Organisation. On Thursday 14, auditors from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) – Netherlands confirmed that the Brandix Eco Centre at Seeduwa, more..