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Project Tiger: Reintegration of the Surrendered LTTE Cadres

July 22 (IDSA) It is now over two years since the military defeat of the LTTE. According to the Sri Lankan Attorney General’s Dept, a total of 11,696 LTTE cadres have either been captured or have surrendered since the end of ‘Eelam War IV’. What is their status now? Are there any ‘reintegration’ programmes pursued to bring them back to the mainstream? If so, what is the progress, and how successful have they been? Appreciably, and thanks partly due to international pressure, more..

'Sri Lanka bond navigates market uncertainty'

July 22 (LBO) Strong demand for Sri Lanka's billion dollar sovereign bond among international fund managers indicated that the country's credit has matured in international market, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "It's really a reflection of Sri Lanka's maturity in the international markets," Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "In a sea of uncertainty, investors have really chosen Sri Lanka in an overwhelming manner which is very encouraging." more..

Muthuhettigama creates another buzz

July 22 (DM) Controversial UPFA MP Nishantha Muthuhettigama is in the news again after he is alleged to have removed an iron railing which was at the newly opened Galle bus terminus. Mr. Mutuhettigama had removed the railing after private bus operators on the Galle-Hikkaduwa route suspended services on Wednesday demanding that the railing be removed because it prevented commuters from boarding Hikkaduwa-bound buses. more..

Reforged Australia steeled for Sri Lanka

July 22 (EE) With the Ashes surrendered last summer, Australia's chances of qualifying for the ICC's inaugural World Test Championship will dwindle even further should they slump to a third consecutive series defeat in Sri Lanka. Ranked fifth in the world, eight points behind fourth-placed Sri Lanka, Australia will slip a further five points from the top-four status required to qualify if beaten in the three-Test series. Victory, however, will see Australia and Sri Lanka swap positions. more..

Sri Lanka, human rights and foreign policy in a tweet

July 22 (ABC) Kevin Rudd, or @kruddmp to his online followers, likes to tweet. I strongly support his use of Twitter - social media is an important new tool in the world of digital diplomacy - but I was struck by one message from the Foreign Minister on July 4. It read "4 corners tonight on Sri Lanka deeply disturbing. UN Human Rights Council can't simply push this to one side. Action needed. KRudd". more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 21.07.2011

Sri Lanka Bond Shines

July 22 (WSJ) Sri Lanka's $1 billion global bond gained sharply in initial trading, after the sale was massively oversubscribed by investors. A final order book worth $7.5 billion allowed the south Asian nation to price its fourth U.S. dollar bond offering to yield 6.25%, at the narrow end of guidance, a person close to the deal said. Final guidance had indicated a yield of 6.25% to 6.375% for the 10-year paper, while initial guidance was 6.5%. more..

Palestinians seek MR’s help

July 22 (DM) Palestinian Legislative Council Speaker Dr. Aziz Dwaik has appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene to get the Palestinian law makers released from Israel jails, the Sri Lanka External Affairs Ministry said. The appeal was made when Dr. T. Jayasinghe, Representative for Sri Lanka in Palestine called on Dr. Dwaik and two other members of the Legislative Council in Palestine. A written appeal addressed to President Rajapaksa was handed over to Dr. Jayasinghe. more..

Ranatunga leads protest against Sri Lanka

July 22 (AP) Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga helped launch a protest on Thursday against alleged corruption in the governing body and the politicization of its administration. Ranatunga is now an opposition lawmaker in Sri Lanka and joined several others to launch a petition on Thursday in Colombo, demanding an end to the government appointing interim committees to run Sri Lanka Cricket. Cricket officials were accused of corruption and more..

Youth rally to rescue sports from politics

July 22 (LT) A protest banner and a petition were signed in Colombo today (21) demanding the government not to politicize sports. Former cricket captain and Parliamentarian Arjuna Ranatunga, former cricket player Sanjeewa Ranatunga, the National Organizer of the Socialist Youth Union Bimal Ratnayake, MP Sunil Handunneththi and a large crowd participated in the event organized by the Socialist Youth Union. Speaking at the event Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayake said, more..

HRC Received Over 11,000 Complaints From 2009 Till 2011

July 22 (SL) The government says the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has received 11,732 complaints on alleged human rights violations between the 2009 and June 2011. The government has informed parliament that 2,329 complaints had been solved while some of the remaining complaints had been referred to other institutions and some withdrawn by the complainants. Out of the total complaints, 3,319 had not been violations of fundamental rights. more..

Sri Lanka, India sign deal to repair former war zone port

July 22 (LBO) India is to provide Sri Lanka with grants and soft loans to rebuild Kankesanturai port in the northern Jaffna peninsula that was damaged during the ethnic war, under a deal signed Thursday. India has already committed 20 million US dollars for the work which involves a hydrographic survey, wreck removal and dredging, along with rehabilitation of the breakwater and construction of a new pier and attendant port facilities, a High Commission statement said. more..

'People were brought to President’s election meeting by force'

July 22 (LT) People from various places were transported by 250 buses to the election meeting held under the patronage of the President at Killinochchi said former JVP MP Ramalingam Chandrasekar. He said people were brought to the meeting making false promises that they would be given houses and relief packages and some were threatened that relief to them would be taken away if they did not attend the meeting. Mr. Chandrasekar said he revealed these facts at the discussion held more..

Sri Lanka eyed by Four Seasons: minister

July 22 (LBO) Canada-based Four Seasons leisure group is in discussions to set up a resort in Sri Lanka following the end of a 30-year, deputy minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said. Abeywardene said the group was interested in Kalpitiya in the north western coast among other locations. He said a team was due on July 27 for discussions and evaluate sites. Sri Lanka's tourist development agency has offered several state-owned islets for development off Kalpitiya. more..

Sri Lanka’s economy: building bricks

July 22 (FT) Far away from the sovereign credit doldrums affecting Europe, a small island state in the Indian ocean seems to be attracting the attention of foreign investors. Sri Lanka raised $1bn on Thursday after its 10-year bond sale was seven times subscribed, in a sign that investors remain confident that the island’s sustained economic recovery is on track. Sri Lanka’s successful dollar-denominated bond sale – the third since the devastating more..

Health sector financial allocations insufficient

July 22 (SL) Health sector trade unions have said the annual financial allocations for the health sector was insufficient and that administrative failures have caused delays in purchasing medicines and other equipment. The Health Sector Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) has said that the annual budgetary allocation of Rs. 14,000 million was insufficient to purchase medicines and medical equipment and supplementary estimates had to be called by September every year to purchase more..

Sri Lanka should take immediate steps to resettle IDPs: Jayalalithaa

July 22 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today asked the Sri Lankan govt to take immediate steps to resettle Internally Displaced persons, who are currently housed in temporary shelters in the island nation. She conveyed her concern over their plight to the island nation's envoy to India, Prasad Kariyawasam, who called on her at the Secretariat today, an official release said. She also said the Sri Lankan Navy should stop firing at Indian fishermen and arresting them. more..

University teachers end trade union action

July 22 (ST) The FUTA today called off their trade union action after accepting government's interim solution on the demand for salary increases, Dr Mahim Mendis, spokesman for the Associaiton said. "It is a misserable solution, but still we have accepted it as we have taken into consideration the situation of the students", he said. "Originally a committee recommended in 2008 that a senior professor should be given a salary of Rs. 168,000 and more..

Is the Govt.t also responsible for the Kahawatte multiple murders?

July 22 (LG) Is the Government also responsible for the Kahawatte multiple murders? As per an Army Doctor attached to the Military Hospital in Colombo, the Government is responsible through Brigadier Kamal Sumanapala who is seen as being responsible for the closure of the Combat Trauma Treatment Center at the Military Hospital. That raises the question as to the role played by the Government through its armed forces, in the life of civilians. more..

Devolution or Separation?

July 22 (LG) In response to the question whether "ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco?", News Corporation’s Chief, Mr. Rupert Murdoch is reported to have said to the UK Parliamentary Committee in relation to the phone hacking scandal – ‘No. The people that I trusted to run it and then maybe the people they trusted.’ To my mind, they would be only if power had been devolved to them to operate as an independent unit. Otherwise the Chief is still responsible. more..

Jaffna “CIMIC” Farmers Win Heavy Prizes

July 22 (Cimic) Winners of the CIMIC Home Garden Competition 2011 conducted by the Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SF-J) received valuable prizes during a grand ceremony held at J / Sri Soma Skanda College, Puttur on Wednesday. A stock of prizes to the value of Rs. 1.3 million was distributed among 215 farmers who participated in the CIMIC Home Garden Competition 2011. All farmers were assisted by SF-J soldiers serving in respective areas to more..

Without a doubt Tamils are happier without the LTTE

July 22 (LG) Connotation for happy will have mixed results. In a Tamil population of just 2.4million wherein 1million are already domiciled (legally or illegally) overseas it is easy to fathom who are likely to be unhappy & happy. In determining who is happier without the LTTE, we need to place the feelings of the North & Eastern Tamils far ahead of others. It is they who suffered the bulk of LTTE terror & it is their lives that have stood still throughout more..

Dr Hoole opens the can of ugly caste worms

July 22 (LG) takes absolute honesty, exceptionally great mind and much soul searching to write openly about the injustice meted out to Professor Sivathamby. Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole’s article The Class Perspective recently in the Sri Lanka Guardian will no doubt open a can of ugly worms wriggling through the academia, public institutions and politics not to mention societal intercourses such as marriage and mingling in general. It is a crying shame and an indictment on more..

Parakrama Samudra - back to its pristine glory

July 22 (SO) Water has become the most needy component for the existence of human beings, animals and the plantation. Even the great king Parakramabahu who ruled the country for 33 years from 1153 AD- 1186 AD asked his countrymen to use water sparingly. Sri Lankan history reveals that King Parakramabahu had made an immense contribution towards the agricultural industry in the country. He constructed 165 dams, 2736 canals and 3910 small scale more..

The FMM: Reinvented, ostrich-like or same old, same old?

July 22 (LB) Much celebrated in certain circles with dubious agenda and forgettable track-records, and treated with disdain in journalistic circles in Sri Lanka where integrity, consistency and honesty have value, the Free Media Movement (FMM) is in the process of re-inventing itself. No organization, whatever its track-record, is not beyond redemption or reinvention. I doubt if there’s anyone in the FMM or anyone who has even passing interest in the issue of media rights is more..

Sanga’s MCC lecture revisited

July 22 (LB) There are a few remarks and some silences in Sanga’s Colin Cowdrey lecture at the MCC on July 03 that I do not concur with, but he has every right to say as he wishes and I too express my reservations, as I will do, anon. But first, it irks me that some pompous minister calls for a report as though expressing views not to the fancy of politicos is impermissible! Newspaper headlines scream ‘Sanga in trouble after MCC speech,’ what trouble, why? I do hope Sanga will more..

The (counter) evolution of the political chat show

July 22 (LB) The TV political chat show culture in Sri Lanka emerged as a trend in the mid 1990s. As I remember, TNL’s Jana Handa featuring Chamuditha Samarawickrama was a trend setter in this department; where, vibrant barrage (which, on occasions, surpassed all red lights of “Live TV” behaviour) was freely exchanged. Political chat shows, at that point, were a novel phenomenon to all concerned - viewers, marketers as well as to more..

Why does Australia attack Sri Lanka?

July 22 (NS) Sri Lanka and Australia are now engaged in a stiff competition in their bids to host Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in 2018. While Sri Lanka requests that the event be held at Hambantota, Australia wants it held in Gold Coast. A group of representatives of the evaluation committee of the Commonwealth Games Federation has recently visited Hambantota and inspected the area. The group had visited Gold Coast also. The country selected to host the games is more..

Jaffna voters look forward to continued progress

July 22 (DM) With the massive development taking place in Jaffna, people who are recovering from traumas of the thirty-year-old war have begun to have new hopes and aspirations for the future The Jaffna youth welcome the Government's plans to set up the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Jaffna. They also welcome the building of the Rs. 36,000,000 international sports complex in Kilinochchi," they told a team of journalists from the PRIU, currently more..

The Bubble Baby of Sri Lanka is one year old

July 22 (ST) Sanjana Praveen Shivanka, the Bubble Baby of Sri Lanka, is now on the threshold of becoming a toddler and is very fond of the few toys cars he has."Amme, amme, kiyanawa," says K.B.N. Damayanthi emotionally, going into detail about Shivanka's development, as over the phone baby talk and laughter can be heard. His room in their humble home in Dippitigala, Lellopitiya in Ratnapura has been cleared of everything except a mattress, more..

Editorial: Disarm all thugs

July 22 (Island) Incidents of violence reported from the former war zone, especially the recent ones in the East, should serve as a reminder to the govt of the pressing need to disarm all violent elements regardless of their political affiliations. Now that the threat of terrorism is a thing of the past, no one other than the members of the armed forces and the police should be allowed to carry weapons. Politicians and their private armies that have become a law unto themselves in more..

Editorial: Officials must pay for this hell of a mess

July 22 (DM) Embroiled in crisis after crisis, the fall out from the controversial hedging deal was not what the loss-making Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) least expected to be confronted with. The hedging deal was signed in 2007 between CEYPETCO and five banks – three international and two local. Though it might have been entered into to escape unscathed from the unprecedented increase in fuel prices it is apparent that the nuts and bolts or the steering more..

SL’s sovereign bond issue successful

July 22 (Island) The Central Bank yesterday announced the successful launch of a US$ one billion worth bond issue. "Sri Lanka successfully launched and priced a US$ one billion 10-year global bond offering. The transaction priced at a fixed-rate yield of 6.25percent," CBSL said in a statement. "This transaction represents the fourth US Dollar benchmark offering in the global bond markets by Sri Lanka since 2007. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, more..

Cargills Food City opens in Kilinochchi

July 22 (FT) Cargills Food City, Sri Lanka’s leading supermarket chain, yesterday opened its 163rd outlet Kilinochchi, marking it the fourth in the north. MP Namal Rajapaksa was the Chief Guest at the opening, giving official recognition for Cargills’ growing contribution to the former conflicted-affected region. Cargills said the opening at Kilinochchi, the former stronghold of the LTTE, comes as part of its accelerated expansion drive, through which Cargills more..

Kudos’ to the guys at the NIE: You have messed up GRC!

July 22 (FT) With the A/L exams looming around the corner, students all over the island are feeling jitters and butterflies; with each one of them dreaming of obtaining decent enough results to enter our prestigious universities. The majority of the students have now stopped all of their private tuition and are concentrating on revising and perfecting what they have learned in the past two years. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the students of GRC (Greek and Roman Civilization). more..

LLRC, accountability issues and Dhanapala’s advise

July 22 (Island) Delivering the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture in Colombo recently, British Defence Secretary Dr. Liam Fox expressed the hope that the LLRC would examine all evidence relating to alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka and make final credible recommendations to the Rajapaksa government. The British politician went on to say that those recommendations would play a key role in strengthening the process of accountability and support peace and more..

TNA candidate joins UPFA

July 22 (DN) A TNA candidate contesting the Karachchi Pradeshiya Sabha at the forthcoming LG election joined the UPFA on Wednesday in the presence of Tharunyata Hetak Organization’s chairman and MP Namal Rajapaksa. M Suppaiah, a resident of Karachchi PS lauded the services of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the government for the uplift of people in the Northern Province. He added that he was impressed by a massive development drive in progress covering all nooks and corner of the province. more..

Sri Lanka braces for rupee flood from dollar bond

July 22 (LBO) Sri Lanka's banking system is braced for a flood of rupees following the sale of a billion dollar bond but Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal says the groundwork to temper a shock, has already been laid. Officials have already said that some of the bond proceeds will go to retire more expensive foreign debt and only a part of the dollars will be converted to rupees and spent domestically adding to bank reserves and raising the spectre of inflationary pressure. more..

Bourse crashes to lowest level

July 22 (FT) The Colombo stock market yesterday sank to its lowest level so far this year, relegating the benchmark All Share Index to negative return territory as investors continue to lose heart despite highly favourable external developments. A drop in market capitalisation to the tune of Rs. 30 billion yesterday brought the total loss of value to the week to Rs. 63 billion. The ASPI dipped by 1.25% forcing it to languish with a 0.56% negative return more..

Traders dye white rice red; risk of cancer increases

July 22 (Island) Some unscrupulous rice traders take consumers for a ride by adding artificial colouring to white Kekulu and selling it as red Kekulu. The chemical is carcinogenic. Medical experts say the number of cancer patients has increased significantly as a result. Likewise, some traders add various artificial colouring to pork, beef and mutton to make them look fresh. Minister Maithripala Sirisena has instructed to have checks conducted on stocks of rice in the market. more..