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Ex-Sri Lanka president warns of short-lived peace

July 25 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former president has warned of a "short-lived peace" unless the government shares power with the ethnic Tamil minority after the end of the island's civil war, her office said Monday. Chandrika Kumaratunga, who ruled the island between 1994 and 2005, said her successor President Mahinda Rajapakse had followed a policy of "winner takes all" after crushing Tamil rebels in 2009. more..

Sri Lanka Australia education centre to teach customs, tax courses

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Laugfs group has started an educational facility with Australia's University of Canberra to offer courses on customs, border management, tax and excise administration, officials said. LAUGFS Australia Higher Education Services, a unit of the Laugfs group has tied up up with Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES) at the University of Canberra to start the courses. Laugfs chairman W K H Wegapitiya said the group had decided to enter more..

Two foreign journalists threatened, harassed and robbed in Jaffna

July 26 (LG) NfR Sri Lanka, a network of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights defenders living outside the country is shocked and dismayed that despite claims that freedom and democratic rights are re-established in the form ER war zones, recently two foreign journalists were threatened, harassed and robbed in Jaffna the capitol of the northern province. Two under cover journalists from the Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) were doing a assignment in Jaffna when, more..

Boulders, gardens and green roofs

July 26 (Hindu) The entry sequence, like the design of the entire hotel, is spectacularly choreographed by Geoffrey Bawa. A visitor to Kandalama in Sri Lanka has a long and adventurous drive through the densely vegetated forest and along the Kandalama tank, up a ramp and then is unexpectedly confronted by the sweeping roof of the entrance and a grotto-like reception with a stunning boulder backdrop. The Kandalama hotel is located in the cultural triangle more..

Fonseka asks for another fan

July 26 (DM) The Colombo High Court today ordered the prison authorities to provide an additional fan to former army commander Sarath Fonseka who is currently serving a prison sentence. The trial-at-bar judges made this direction to prison authorities when Counsel Niroshana Perera defending Sarath Fonseka submitted that Consultant chest physician Vajira Tennakoon who is treating Sarath Fonseka is in the opinion that the present chest ailment of Sarath Fonseka is due to dust. more..

Night clubs and pubs default VAT

July 26 (NN) Several night clubs and pubs in Colombo have defaulted payments of the Value Added Tax (VAT) to the Inland Revenue Department which is now running into the millions, officials said. An official at the department said that VAT collection officers are finding it hard to obtain the money as the clubs and pubs are closed at daytime. “At least 98 percent of the clubs and pubs are closed at day time and that is the time our officers are working. more..

Sri Lanka mulls over the discovery of Natural Gas in Chilaw

July 26 (AT) Rural community resided in the closed proximity of Sri Lanka’s Munneshwaram Kovil, in Chilaw had recently discovered Natural Gas in an attempt to dig a tube well to get water in the area. Accordingly, residents in the area had told that Natural Gas has been released from a Pipe when a tube well was being dug. Later it has been identified as Natural Gas or methane by energy specialists and had then taken the gas through another pipeline for more..

Sri Lanka stx at 7-mo low on margin calls, insider dealing worries

July 26 (Reuters) Stock market fell to a more-than seven-month low on Monday as margin calls to meet a regulatory directive fuelled selling, and a top investor's comments about insider trading weight the bourse down. The main share index fell 1.57 percent or 102.91 points to 6,434.34, its lowest since Dec. 21. It has fallen 3.7 percent in the last three sessions. The bourse is down 3 percent so far this year, after being Asia's best performer in 2009 and 2010, more..

Sri Lanka plans inland fisheries expansion

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka is expecting inland fish production to rise 15 percent to 60,000 tonnes in 2011, and is targeting 90,000 tonnes by 2013 backed by a program to push up production, officials said. In 2010 Sri Lanka had produced 52,000 tonnes of inland fish which, at around 130 rupees a kilo is value at between 6 to 7 billion rupees Jayantha Chandrasoma, chairman of the National Aquaculture Development Authority said. He said Sri Lanka had 12,000 inland water bodies more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 25.07.2011

Kumara Sangakkara Flies With Helitours

July 26 (SAF) Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lankan cricketer and the former captain of the Sri Lanka cricket team took off for Jaffna from Katunayake on a Helitours Antanov 32 flight today (25). Sangakkara will participate in the 25th day of the 'Trail', a fund raising walk to build a children's cancer ward in Jaffna, from the 'Mirusuwil check point to the Jaffna water tank/Doraiappa play ground. Sharing his thoughts about the 'trail', Sangakkara mentioned that this is a more..

President to declare open Abimansala

July 26 (GDI) The 'Abimansala', the wellness resort for totally dependent disable War Heroes at Anuradhapura where they are provided a lifeline for the rest of their lifetime, will be declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow. Construction of the Abimansala, conceptualized by Lieutenant General Jagath Jaysuriya, Commander of the Army has been carried out at a cost of over Rs 200 million, and was extensively sponsored by the Army's theme project, 'Brave Hearts' more..

'Water levels dwindling, no power cuts'

July 26 (AD) The Ministry of Power and Energy stated that even though the water levels in the reservoirs in the catchment areas had dwindled due to the dry weather that prevailed during the past few weeks, this situation will not affect the power supply. The ministry stated that by yesterday (24) the water level of Castlereigh stood at M 12.53, Mausakale M 15.02, Kothmale M 30.53, Victoria M 31.16, Randenigala M 15.94 and Samanalawewa M 27.16. more..

Do not toy with promises - FUTA

July 26 (ST) The Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) today vowed to return to trade union action if the government fails to keep to its promises given last week. Spokesman for the FUTA Dr. Mahim Mendis told a news conference in Colombo that currently they have stopped their trade union, but expect the government to keep to their promises during a meeting with Treasury officials. “We are not satisfied with the interim solution given, but we have accepted it for the moment”, more..

Construction fair next month draws foreign companies

July 26 (ST) The National Construction Association of Sri Lanka is to hold its 11th trade fair from the 19th to 21st August 2011, an event that has so far attracted over 35 foreign companies as participants. The main trust of this year’s fair will be to develop the domestic construction industry. This year’s exhibition will showcase some of the latest products and services available along with the latest state of the art equipment presently used in the industry, officials said. more..

In Sri Lanka democracy rides on wheels

July 26 (IPS) If voters in this remote village, deep inside Sri Lanka’s former war zone, turned out in strength for the historical Jul. 23 local body elections, it had to do with the availability of buses to ferry them to the nearest polling station 20 km away. Election monitors feared that the villagers of Thunukkai would not take the trouble to travel 40 km to cast their votes, even if local body elections were being held after a gap of 25 years. more..

Boomerang On Norway

July 26 (LG) I have quoted a below a part of a letter I sent to media soon after the bomb blast in Bombay saying that we should not condemn any bomb blasts killing innocent civilians in the countries who have been supporting the LTTE by providing safe haven, assisting financially and propagating their Eelam Agenda. Quote “Sri Lanka is the most affected country in the world by terrorism. We have seen how the LTTE terrorists have killed thousands of innocent civilians, destroyed remote villages more..

Reconciliation orders from true Sri Lankans

July 26 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘A New Messiah in Nalin De Silva ’ by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. I did read some of Professor Nalin De Silva’s work published in the Sri Lanka Guardian but did not think much about it until I read the above caption. ‘Messiah??’ I went back and read again and registered yet again the haste with which status seems to be allocated within the ruling classes under threat. Is it a sign of lack of self confidence? more..

The humble telegram bows out

July 26 (SO) The messenger will not come to your doorstep again and ring the bell to deliver a telegram. The days he brought good and bad news are over. Instead switch on your mobile phone and let it bring both tidings of great joy and misery. The Govt's decision to scrap the telegraphic service did not cause a flutter of excitement because everybody anticipated it. A few decades ago post offices were extremely busy accepting, transmitting and delivering thousands of more..

The day I realised I was poor

July 26 (LG) When school boys from Royal, Ananda and Nalanda set about looting, burning and plundering the properties of Tamils in Colombo with the blessings of the government of J.R. Jayewardene under the direct guidance of PM Ranasinghe Premadasa and ministers Gamini Dissanaike and Cyril Matthew, tens of thousands of Tamils who made South their homes were herded into camps in Kovils, airports, schools and temples. While I stood outside a Sinhalese neighbour’s house in Nugegoda who more..

Police involvement in drug disappearance

July 26 (LG) Panadura police arrested a person and remanded him for possessing of 3g and 280mg of heroine. He was arrested at Diggala area in Panadura North. According to police, the above amount of heroine was packed in 8 packets. In a case, bearing number 51443, Moratuva police informed that there was 1100mg of heroine in possession of the suspect, Uva Adikarige Somavathi, however, only 253mg of heroine was sent to the Govt Analyst. In the case, bearing number 1694/08, more..

Colombo Plan comes of age

July 26 (LB) The origin of the Colombo Plan, dates back to the Commonwealth Foreign Minister’s Conference held in Colombo on January 9, 1950. Sri Lanka’s ministerial delegation to the conference comprised Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake, Minister of Finance, J.R. Jayawardene, Minister of Justice, Sir Lalitha Rajapakse, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of External Affairs, R.G. Senanayake. At this conference, Minister Jayewardene came out with more..

Democracy and Ethnicity

July 26 (DM) It’s not always that visiting officials from other nations discuss Sri Lanka with India and Indian States. Norway and Japan did so, engaging only New Delhi, when they were involved in peace-facilitation. They had as much to learn from the Indian experience as they had to tell India on what was in the pipeline. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s references to Sri Lanka, both in New Delhi and later in Chennai, where she called on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa more..

Let's talk about innovation and creativity Ms. Clinton

July 26 (DM) US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has voiced concern over the plight of IDPs in Sri Lanka and said that the United States was looking at some innovative and creative ideas to break the impasse over the Sri Lankan Tamils issues. This was in Tamil Nadu, where she was being hosted by Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, once an LTTE sympathizer and a willing approver of Delhi's policy of arming, funding and training Tiger terrorists. These are lovely and thought-provoking words and more..

TNA MP Suresh Premachandran on the result of the L/G elections

July 26 (GV) This statement on the results of the recently concluded local govt elections was issued originally in Tamil by TNA MP Suresh Premachandran. Download PDF here. Only brief excerpts in English have been picked up by domestic and international media. In order to stimulate wider debate over its content and points, we’ve translated Premachandran’s full statement in English. more..

Editorial: A tale of two isles

July 26 (Island) Norway, still reeling from last week's twin terror strikes, is said to be struggling to make sense of the carnage. The criminals responsible for those cowardly attacks stand condemned for their barbarity. Living in a country which had been known until last week as one of the most peaceful places on earth, the Norwegians may not have ever thought they would one day have to taste terrorism in this dreadful manner. It is only natural that, stunned, they find it extremely difficult to more..

Editorial: Truth and goodness will eventually triumph

July 26 (DM) All people have within themselves, a productive seed; that is, to live for the wellbeing and happiness of the other, more than for themselves. The awareness of self sacrifice, and to lose themselves for the other, to discover themselves. There is also something negative as well within each one of us; that seed, which produces nothing. It offers a counterfeit or pseudo happiness and wellbeing. One fulfills, the other disappoints. The productive seed brings life and more..

Amanthi clears Deepika’s 31-year-old discus mark

July 26 (ST) Amanthi Silva of St. Bridget's Convent broke a record that stood for 31 long years at the 29th Women’s Athletic Championship. In addition another meet record and a new Sri Lankan record were established after the end of first day where a total of 56 events took place in six different age groups. Silva, competing in the Under-18 discus throw event cleared a distance of 37.56 metres bettering the existing record set by Deepika Rodrigo in 1980. more..

Post-conflict peace-building: A gradualist perspective for evolutionary reform

July 26 (TC) In his most famous and controversial work, Prof Samuel Huntington listed Sri Lanka’s armed conflict as an example of his key category of ‘fault line wars’. The war is over but the fault lines perhaps remain. Are the fault lines staying static, widening, narrowing, or in a dialectical sense, both widening and narrowing? Is it still too early to tell? Ours is an uneven peace, but it is not unusual, two years after a war, especially a decades-long one. more..

University Teachers’ trade unon actions: FAQs

July 26 (Island) The Federation of University Teachers’ Association (FUTA) decided last Thursday to call off trade union action it had embarked on May 9, 2011. The decision to that effect has raised some issues among the university teachers. Was it a sell-out? Was the decision incorrect in the given context? Is it true that FUTA could have won more had it taken a decision to continue the trade union action? As a person who was actively involved in the trade union action and more..

Harsha challenges Yapa on CATIC deal

July 26 (FT) UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday alleged that Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena was lying on the CATIC deal and threw a challenge for a public debate. Dr. de Silva said the State owned ‘Lankapuvath' in a 20 July 2011 datelined news item under the heading “Lakshman Yapa refutes Harsha’s allegations” reports that the Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena as saying that Parliament approval had been obtained for the now infamous CATIC project. more..

SLT Megaline re-launched with enhanced value

July 26 (BL) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) has announced the re-launch of SLT Megaline with a new value proposition. Positioned as ‘one line that offers three unique experiences: best-in-quality telephone (voice), Broadband (uninterrupted, high speed internet) and personalised entertainment (interactive Peo TV)’, SLT Megaline spans the entire gamut of technological innovations in telecommunications services that any residential and business user could possibly wish for. more..

Decision review only for the three Tests

July 26 (ST) The Decision Review system (DRS) will definitely be in place for the Australian tour of Sri Lanka, but in all probabilities it will be in effect for only the three Test matches starting 31 August. SLC’s Interim Committee Chairman Upali Dharmadasa said “Originally there was confusion with the date that the system was coming to effect, but, ICC CEO Haroon Loghart made it clear to us that the system was in effect after the last ICC meeting that was held in Hong Kong. more..

SLT CEO’s service contract creates controversy

July 26 (ST) Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) was faced with a crisis this week as trade unions demanded that the company should reveal the validity of the company’s CEO’s service contract. The joint trade union front wrote a letter with signatures of 13 SLT trade union leaders to SLT Chairman Nimal Welgama urging him to reveal as to whether the CEO’s service contract is expired or not. They questioned the validity of decisions taken by the CEO if more..

Sri Lanka foreign reserves move towards US$8bn

July 26 (LBO) Sri Lanka's foreign reserves would be close to eight billion US dollars after proceeds from a billion dollar sovereign bond comes to the country, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said. By end May Sri Lanka had 7,025.6 million dollars of foreign reserves. In June the Central Bank was a net buyer in forex markets. But in the first three weeks of July the central bank had sold dollars, according to available money supply data. Officials had earlier said that a part of more..

Govt approves purchase of seedlings from India

July 26 (Island) The Govt has approved emergency purchases of agricultural seedlings from India so that they could be distributed free among the thousands of farmers who had lost all their stocks due to the recent floods that ravaged the country, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Shantha Ametiyagoda said. He said that the Treasury has released the necessary funds required for the import of maize, black gram, big onion, cow pea and ground nut seedlings for distribution more..

'Govt’s popularity intact'

July 26 (DN) The popularity of the UPFA govt led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the immense faith and confidence placed in it by the people has not wavered one bit. This is the foremost message conveyed by the results of the elections held for 65 local council institutions, said Minister Dullas Alahapperuma. The minister said the percentage of votes gained by the UPFA at this election is almost the same as that recorded at the 2010 Presidential Election. more..

Two suspect brothers in Putur bank heist yet absconding

July 26 (Island) The CID has not yet been able to trace the whereabouts of two brothers, Krishnan Subesh Anthonydas and Krishnan Ramesh, wanted in connection with the Rs. 175 million heist (Rs. 160 million in cash and Rs. 15 million in jewellery) at the People’s Bank branch in Putur on June 30. Police sources said that the two suspects from Batticaloa were absconding and six persons, including the mastermind of the robbery had been arrested and they were being interrogated. more..

Card system for public transport

July 26 (DM) The Transport Ministry said yesterday that transport authorities are currently in the process of carrying out a detailed study and analysis on a pre-paid card system for public transportation with the aim of introducing the new system in 2013. Transport Secretary, Victor Samaraweera said the matter has been discussed with the passenger transport unions and transport authorities who have all shown their interest in starting the new system. more..

First Lady speaks at the autism conference in Bangladesh

July 26 (DN) First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa yesterday said that the special seminar on children suffering from Autism will help promote the health condition and the welfare of affected children. She said that this seminar gives an opportunity for various countries to share information on Autism. The First Lady was speaking at a seminar on children suffering from Autism at the Ruposhi Bangala Hotel in Dhaka yesterday. more..