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Hillary Clinton’s wagging tongue

July 30 (LG) The Island’s Special Correspondent S Venkatanarayan reported on 19/7/11 that Ms Clinton has said: "We do not believe that there are any terrorists who should be given safe haven or a free pass by any government, because left unchecked the consequences of that kind of terrorist activity or intimidation can become very difficult to manage and control.". Mark the highlighted words. How about LTTE? While Hillary Clinton is uttering the nonsense, USA has made a more..

Over 295,000 students to sit AL exam this year

July 30 (SO) A record number of 295,000 private and school candidates including 302 ex-LTTE cadres will sit for the GCE A/L Exam this year which will begin on August 8. "This is 50,000 more students than last year," Examinations Commissioner Anura Edirisinghe said, attributing the higher number of candidates mainly to restoration of peace in conflict battered areas in the North and the East. There were only 242,000 private and school candidates for the AL exam last year. more..

The Local elections in the North, a futile exercise without prior Land Reform

July 30 (LG) The TNA, the TULF, and the UPFA, as well as fringe parties like the UNP, the JVP, and the SLMC have contested the local elections of the north. It is with utter shame that I note that the "Tamil" parties have failed to shed their communal names, and continue with the old Racist labels, even in the 21st century. It is with utter shame that I note that the "Tamil" parties have failed to shed their communal names, and continue with the old Racist labels, more..

Why fear when I am here

July 30 (LG) I write in response to the article the ‘Pricking the Conscience on Reminiscences of Black July ’ by Austin Fernando, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. It is one of the few articles by someone else - that I identified with through my heart. Thank you Austin for looking at your side before ours. I believe that real solutions to our problem would come from Truth and Truth alone because we have failed to contain the issue to stay within intellectual circles. more..

Jumbo operation to count elephants

July 30 (SO) After months of careful planning, training and organising, wildlife authorities are ready to launch the mammoth task of counting and studying the Sri Lankan elephant population. The islandwide elephant survey will be conducted from August 11 - 13, 2011 covering 15 national parks. The ultimate success of this mission would be laying a proper path for a sustainable elephant conservation to which the survey and study will be a foundation. more..

Making Tamil people vote voluntarily for national parties

July 30 (DM) The interpretations and attributions of the local government election results in the Northern and Eastern Provinces by the ruling UPFA are interesting and also strange. UPFA leaders wanted the Tamil people to vote for it while there were allegations by the Tamil political parties that the ruling coalition used state power and muscle power to achieve that end. However, when the election results were released with the main Tamil coalition the TNA bagging almost more..

'C4 has many concoctions'

July 30 (MoD) The govt yesterday totally rejects claims made in the latest Channel - 4 video, Mass Media and Communications Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday. Answering queries raised by the media during the weekly cabinet briefing, the minister said that it was another attempt to tarnish the image of the country using fabricated material. The minister recalled, he had predicted that the Channel - 4 possessed several such videos at the time when the first one surfaced. more..

Reconciliation one thing, retribution is vengeful God of old testament

July 30 (LB) Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, National List MP and President’s advisor says the criticism of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission is prejudiced. In an interview with Ranga Jayasuriya, he defended the record of the LLRC, including its limited mandate and what many observers view, as the partisan nature of some of the key panelists. Excerpts: Q: During your BBC HARDtalk interview with Stephen Sackur, more..

Editorial: Swapping ginger' for chillies?

July 30 (Island) We said once in these columns that President Mahinda Rajapaksa may not have got his dream govt but he had certainly got his dream Opposition, which apparently had a wish to remain in the political wilderness indefinitely and was adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, as it were. The President must be grinning from ear to ear on seeing what is happening in the Green Corner. The UNP rebel group has called upon Co-Deputy Leader of the party, Karu Jayasuriya, more..

Editorial: Peace without honour is no longer peace

July 30 (DM) Another election has come and gone and on this occasion it was to 65 local councils. The ruling UPFA won 45 of them, the main Tamil political party the TNA won 18 councils in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, while two councils were won by the TULF with the backing of the TNA. The once formidable UNP and the JVP failed to win a single council. Media reports said the local council elections in the Northern and Eastern Provinces were held in a climate of intimidation, more..

Govt. inhales Rs. 5.1 b extra from fags

July 30 (FT) Ceylon Tobacco Company said yesterday it has contributed Rs. 30.6 b to Govt revenue in the first half of 2011, up by Rs. 5.1 b over last year. The increase was mainly attributed to the positive business environment especially in the north and east, the significant increase in tourism and active enforcement by law enforcement agencies to minimise counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes in the country. CTC’s profit after tax stood at Rs. 2.6 b, more..

Cricketing controversies

July 30 (GV) I have always been a cricket fan. Cricket turns me into a flag waving, national anthem singing patriot and believer in the power of cricket to unite, to overcome all that is ugly and divisive in our country. As a child I even collected newspaper articles about my favourite cricketers which I pasted neatly in large exercise books. I remember reading with pride what foreign cricketing correspondents had to say about Sri Lanka’s first test match at Lords, more..

The need for an honest conversation about ‘Sri Lankanness’ and ‘Sri Lankan identity’

July 30 (GV) Groundviews pages are engaged in an important debate on the nature of Sri Lankan identity, a debate that is not new but rehearsed as a response primarily to Kumar Sangakkara’s Cowdrey lecture and to a lesser extent the exchange that I[1] had with Indi Samarajiva on Al Jazeera stream. Less than 10 minutes on Al Jazeera’s stream was obviously insufficient to articulate my views on ‘Sri Lankanness’ as a matter of belongingness and identity. more..

A clifftop concrete house in southern Sri Lanka

July 30 (Telegraph) The Japanese architect Tadao Ando calls it 'the house in Sri Lanka’ and he has set it against a paradise on earth. White sandy beaches, dotted with palm trees and huts draped in coconut leaves, weave around cliffs in Mirissa on the southern tip of Sri Lanka. Crocodiles, monkeys, elephants and leopards roam freely in the jungle behind it. Clad in exposed concrete, the house perches on top of a cliff, looking for all the world like the more..

Browns to add 16mw to national grid

July 30 (SO) Free Lanka Capital Holdings and Hydro Power Free Lanka, companies within the Browns Group will supply around 16 MW to the national grid by end 2013 said Group Chief Operating Officer, Browns Group of Companies, Rimoe Saldin. He said Hydro Power Free Lanka presently operates two mini hydro power plants Sanqhuar and Delta which adds 3.2 MW of power to the national grid. Each power plant generates 1.6 MW. The plants are set up on estates run by Hydro Power Free Lanka. more..

On living in glass houses and throwing stones

July 30 (SL) While this is going to bring down on my head the wrath of the B&PF (Bought-& -Paid –For) horde of the Rajapaksa Sycophancy, AGAIN, that certainly does not provide me or anyone else with a smidgen of morality left with the excuse of silence in the face of the monumental hypocrisy practiced by the lot that claims to represent you and me as “our” govt. There is, literally, no end to the finger-pointing against the “International Community” (the so-called more..

'Banks responsible for evaluating repaying capacity of politicos'

July 30 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that it was the responsibility of the banks to evaluate the repaying capacity of ministers or political leaders, when they apply for massive loans as it would affect the stability of the bank and the economy if they default. He made this observation yesterday at a ceremony held to hand over appointment letters to 300 new management graduands to the Bank of Ceylon that was held at Temple Trees. more..

'Sri Lanka wants intra-regional linkages'

July 30 (Island) Minister Rishad Bathiudeen yesterday declared that it is vital to set linkages among members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation to promote and develop products and services. Addressing the inauguration of the tenth apex body body meeting of SAARC diploma Engineeing forum he said that the regional integration in trade, services including engineering services and investment should be placed as priorities for the region to develop its economies. more..

Flemingo awarded duty free contract at BIA

July 30 (FT) Flemingo Group has been awarded a contract to open a 6,000 sq feet duty free shop at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), giving competition for the estimated US$ 55 million revenue from travellers. At present there are about 5.5 million travellers though Sri Lanka’s only operational international airport annually. If every traveller spends an average of US$ 100, the revenue would be over US$ 55 million, the company speculated. more..

'Karu won’t stand a chance against Ranil'

July 30 (Island) Amidst a mixed reaction from the UNP rank and file, Chief Opposition whip John Ameratunga says that Karu Jayasuriya would not stand a chance if he contested Ranil Wickremesinghe for the post of leader. He said that if an election was held among members of the Working Committee and Parliamentary group, Wickremesinghe would emerge victorious. Asked if the situation in the UNP had not changed after it suffered a heavy defeat at more..

SLTB to introduce more luxury buses

July 30 (DM) The Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) hopes to introduce some 100 buses as part of a super luxury city bus service on 12 Colombo District routes to provide comfort and convenience to passengers. The SLTB operated its first trial luxury bus service on the Moratuwa-Pettah route using a bus provided by the Volvo Company in mid July. Transport Ministry sources said the trial service had been earning a daily revenue of about Rs.18,000. “The service has so far proved to more..

Students suspended for ragging

July 30 (DM) Thirty five students were suspended from studentship yesterday at the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technology (SLIAT) in Mattakkuliya charged with assaulting a group of junior students. Director General- Students Affairs Keerthi Mavellage told Daily Mirror that there were 17 of these suspended students who had been involved in violence at the institute on previous occasions too. Mr. Mavellage said that tough action would be taken against them once inquiries were over. more..

Former Tamil Tigers complain of harassment

July 30 (BBC) Former LTTE rebels in Sri Lanka say they cannot find jobs or reintegrate into society, a year after they were freed from govt "rehabilitation" and detention camps. In a series of exclusive interviews with the BBC, some also said they were being harassed by the security forces, though others were being left alone. After the LTTE were defeated in 2009, more than 11,000 former militants or alleged militants were taken to the special camps more..

Spectacle manufacturing centre at Kandy Hospital

July 30 (Island) A centre for manufacturing spectacles will be opened at the Kandy Teaching Hospital on August 9. The spokesman for the Health Ministry said that under the Vision 2020 programmem a spectacle manufacturing centre had already been inaugurated at the National Eye Hospital. More manufacturing centres would be opened in all provinces, he said. Over four thousand spectacles have been manufactured this year while 18,000 more would be manufactured next year. more..

Colombo targeting Tamil civil service is more than revenge

July 30 (TN) Orders have been issued by Sri Lanka president Mahinda Rajapaksa and by his sibling Basil Rajapaksa to colonial governor Maj. Gen. Chandrasri for immediate and full-swing replacement of Tamil civil service in the north. The act may superficially look as a revenge for the defeat in the civic elections, but it is actually aimed to make any political solution that will be ‘accounted’ to the outside world completely meaningless to Eezham Tamils, and more..

AmmA Means Mother

Sri Lankan Navy helps Indian trawler

July 30 (Hindu) The Sri Lankan Navy helped an Indian fishing trawler in distress off the Delft island on Thursday, a senior Navy officer said. “The Indian fishing crew onboard was provided with food and the defective fishing trawler was towed to the Delft Island by a Sri Lanka naval ship.” The incident occurred on July 28. The Sri Lankan Navy was attempting to repair the defective engine of the trawler and would hand the vessel over to the Indian Coast Guard. more..

Durham beat Sri Lanka A in a tight contest

July 30 (CI) A 112-run stand for the eight wicket dragged Durham over the line in a tight contest against Sri Lanka A at Chester-le-Street. Entering the day with Sri Lanka A 184 for 4, Durham did well to force a result but on a day when 14 wickets fell, they will be relieved it was the result they wanted. Some gutsy lower-order batting Sachithra Senanayake and Shaminda Eranga pulled the visitors up from 192 for 6 with a 75-run stand. Both batsmen were positive, striking at over a run a ball more..

Ch-4 video, a personal attack on me and Defence Sec: Shavendra

July 30 (DM) Sri Lanka’s UN deputy ambassador Shavendra Silva commander of the frontline 58th brigade during the final phase of the war, said the latest Channel-4 video was a personal attack on him and Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the first killing fields documentary failed to attain its objectives. “In the latest Channel-4 video a person called Fernando is accusing me and the Defence Secretary that orders were given to me to execute some of more..

Stop aid to Sri Lanka, says D. Raja

July 30 (Hindu) CPI secretary and Rajya Sabha member D. Raja has asked the Central government to stop financial aid to Sri Lanka and demand inquiry in International Court of Justice against the atrocities committed on Sri Lankan Tamils by that government. Addressing a meeting here on Friday as part of a nationwide campaign by CPI to express solidarity with Sri Lankan Tamils, Mr. Raja said both Indian and Sri Lankan governments were responsible for the situation. more..

UPFA Council heads to take oaths on Monday

July 30 (DM) The Heads of 45 Local Authorities won by the UPFA will be sworn-in before President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Monday, UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha said. He said all Mayors, Deputy Mayors, Chairmen and Vice Chairmen would be sworn-in at a ceremony to be held at Temple Trees. The list of the Heads of the Local Authorities has been sent to the Commissioner of Elections. The heads of all 45 Local Authorities have been appointed on the basis of more..

Karu in sudden flight to Delhi for blessings?

July 30 (Island) In a surprising move, acting leader of the UNP Karu Jayasuriya yesterday suddenly took off to India with his wife, which the reformist camp termed a family holiday, but left the party rudderless. Observers were, however, of the view that the sudden visit to New Delhi was to test the reaction among Indian leaders to Jayasuriya’s bid for party leadership. Unfortunately, many Lankan political heavyweights have been in the habit of rushing to more..

Sri Lanka, Iran ministers agree to further bilateral ties

July 30 (DM) Sri Lanka and Iran met for bilateral talks on Thursday and discussed ways in which they could further improve economic cooperation between the two nations. During a meeting with visiting Iranian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Acting Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs Amir Mansour Borghai, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa thanked the Iranian Government for the assistance it had given to Sri Lanka after the Tsunami and also more..

Confusion as Karu flies to India

July 30 (DM) The unfolding drama in the UNP left the rank and file more confused when Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya left for India yesterday after expressing his willingness to take over the party leadership. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake, meanwhile, telephoned leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and asked him to return to the country as soon as possible and resolve the deepening crisis. Mr. Wickremesinghe, accompanied by party stalwarts such as Ravi Karunanayake, more..

'Divided we fell, united may not'

July 30 (DM) UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe who is in Britain to attend a meeting of the CPA broke his silence on the tussle for post of party leader and said he had assigned Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya to unite the party as asked for by a majority of the members. But Mr. Wickremesighe who said this when he met central committee members of the London branch of the UNP had reportedly stopped short of saying whether he would step down as party leader. more..

Self sufficiency in milk by 2015

July 30 (Island) Sri Lanka will be self sufficient in milk by 2015 as all stake holders, from President Mahinda Rajapaksa downwards, are on the fast track to develop the industry, as the government spends US dollars 1.5 million per year to import milk powder alone. Chairman of Milco (Pvt) Limited Sunil Wickremasinghe told The Island that this was one of the main reasons to do everything possible to be self sufficient in milk and he was very confident of achieving it by 2015. more..

15 National Parks closed for three days - Elephant census to cost Rs. 20 mn

July 30 (Island) The Department of Wildlife Conservation is conducting sessions to train its officials on how to conduct the countrywide elephant census, scheduled to take place next month, sources from the Wildlife Department said. "Mock training sessions have been conducted in all parts of the country and are now being carried out in the Northern Province with the assistance of the armed forces," the DWC said. The DWC is planning to obtain the more..

Rise up for media freedom & democracy – JVP

July 30 (LT) The attack on the editor of ‘Udayan’ newspaper is not only an issue regarding media freedom. It is an issue regarding national unity; an issue regarding the right to live freely; an issue regarding the freedom of expression and it is also an issue regarding democracy states a communiqué issued by the Political Bureau of the JVP regarding the savage attack on the Editor of ‘Udayan’ newspaper. more..

Lanka to share foreign fishing zones

July 30 (DM) The government yesterday said four Asian countries had agreed to share their respective economic zones for fishing activities with Sri Lanka. Fisheries Minister Rajitha Senaratne said Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and North Korea had made the pledge at the recently concluded Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Ministerial Meeting on Aquaculture for the Asia Pacific Region. more..

Gem merchants’ move on Gemunu Watch Regimental Centre thwarted

July 30 (Island) A move to release about two acres of land belonging to the Kuruwita army camp for gem mining has been foiled due to intervention by the Opposition Leader of the Sabaragamuwa Provincial Council A. A. Wijetunga. The UNPer demanded that Sabaragamuwa Chief Minister Maheepala Herath not allow the gem industry to take over land belonging to the Army. Sources told The Island that more..