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Memorial for Tamils killed at Mullivaaikkal being constructed in Thanjaavoor

June 9 (DBS) An elaborate structure called”Mullivaaikkaal Martyrs Memorial”is to be constructed in the Thanjaavoor district of Tamil Nadu state in India. It will be a monument dedicated to the memory of all Tamils -both civilian &militant-killed in Mullivaaikkal area of the final phase of war. The monument will be modelled on the lines of the famous “Periya Kovil” (great temple)built by the Chola emperor Raja Rajan in Thanjaavoor. more..

Editorial : Leave no room for hospital disputes

June 9 (Island) Mercifully, doctors and nurses at the Polonnaruwa hospital have let go of eachother’s jugular at long last. A disputed room over which they fought like Chulodara and Mahodara (who, according to legend, vied for a gem-studded throne at Nagadeepa causing the Buddha to visit this country to resolve the conflict) has been given back to the warring doctors. The good doctors must be happy having got the room but the question is what the irate nurses will do next. more..

Editorial : Learning the lessons from India

June 9 (DM) The historical and cultural ties that bind us with our closest neighbour India have always incurred the wrath of political manoeuverings at regular intervals throughout recorded history. Tragic as it may seem the many cultural affinities we share with the neighbouring giant have failed good relations between us at every crucial turn. Our recent history especially since the late 1970’s is full of instances where uncalled for interferences have blocked our path to development. more..

Ports employees get golden handshake

June 9 (FT) The Sri Lanka Ports Authority said that it had budgeted Rs. 4.1 billion for a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS), to reduce the currently overstaffed institution with an employment base of 12,550. From the budgeted Rs. 4.1 billion, around Rs. 891 million has already been paid to a selected applicant base of 550 as at 31 May 2011. The organisation hoped to recover the monies within 19 months by way of savings in salaries of the employees who will leave. more..

Now a Prison visitors committee

June 9 (Island) The Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms has taken measures to appoint a Prison Visitors’ Committee to look into the problems in the prisons islandwide, an official from the ministry said. "The four-member committee will comprise distinguished citizens of the society, including retired government servants of high calibre," Secretary A. Dissanayaka said. The committee will be appointed next month and the members will be requested to more..

Sri Lanka R R Donnelley unit expands BPO facility

June 9 (LBO) R R Donnelley has opened a third business process outsourcing facility in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo as business grows with the end of the island's ethnic war. The company, which now employs over 750 people in the island, plans to increase its workforce to over 1,000 by year-end, said Meena Sinha, R R Donnelley vice president and head of human resources in Asia. It has BPO facilities in Manila, in the Philippines, and Chennai and Trivandrum more..

Housemaids to meet employer at embassy, not airport

June 9 (DN) Sri Lankan housemaids will not meet their employers at the airport in the future. They will meet the employer at the Sri Lankan embassy in that country, Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said. "This system will ensure the safety of Sri Lankan housemaids. It will also ensure that Sri Lankan officials know their whereabouts and where their employers take them," he said in an interview with the Daily News. more..

Call to restore floral traditions

June 9 (UCAN) A parishioner is urging all churches in and around Jaffna to ditch the use of artificial flowers to decorate places of worship and revert to the Tamil tradition of using real ones instead. “As far as I’m concerned churches have lost that fresh aura that real flowers bring and so are less appealing to devotees,” Anthony Jesuthasan, 67, a former chief executive officer in a state meteorology department and a parishioner of St Benedict’s church in Jaffna said more..

Local universities can provide only 2000 IT experts - Susil

June 9 (Island) Although the country’s annual need for information technology experts is between 4,000 and 5,000, the present university system is able to produce only 2,000, Minister Susil Premajayantha said. The General Secretary of the governing coalition said that country’s development has been severely affected by the lack of IT professionals. "We have to employ foreign IT experts in all fields because of the severe shortage of local experts," more..

'Some genius will come along and break my record'

June 9 (MO) The most successful bowler in the history of cricket smiles when reminded of the tribute paid him by his captain after he had taken an extraordinary 800th Test wicket with his last ball before retirement. But, then again, it is hardly unusual to see him smile. Muttiah Muralitharan is always smiling. He is known for it. He was smiling throughout his remarkable career, which truly saw him forced to tackle the twin impostors of triumph and disaster, more..

TUA to stage public discussions on PSPS

June 9 (Island) In its latest move to win pension rights for private sector employees, the JVP-led Trade Union Alliance has planned to launch a series of public discussions on the subject. President of the Inter Company Employees’ Union Wasantha Samarasinghe said yesterday that though the government withdrew the Pensions Bill, the fight for a true pension for private sector workers will continue. He said that they have started a leaflet campaign to make people aware of more..

Residents could be affected by pesticides and fertilizers

June 9 (DM) The residents of Jaffna and its vicinities could be adversely impacted due to the high volumes of pesticides and fertilisers used by the agricultural sector in the area, the Institute of Fundamental Studies (IFS) warned. IFS Researcher Dr. Meththika Vithanage said various chemical compounds contained in fertilizers such as Nitrates could result in various health complications including impacts to newborns such as the blue-baby syndrome. more..

Sustaining Urbanscapes

PM justifies extension of emergency

June 9 (DM) Pro LTTE groups abroad and anti government elements are attempting to recruit rehabilitated ex Tiger combatants for terrorist activities, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne told parliament yesterday. The prime minister opening the debate on the motion for the extension of the emergency said some 800 ex Tiger combatants had been released after being rehabilitated. The number of ex combatants released so far totals to 6984. The prime minister stressed the need for a proper more..

Dilshan arranged birth of his child to coincide his elevation as skipper

June 9 (Island) Had cricket followers known in advance that Sidath Wettimuny’s record for the highest score by a Sri Lankan at Lord’s was to fall this summer, most would have assumed that Kumar Sangakkara would be the man to take that honour, or possibly Mahela Jayawardene. Few, surely, would have backed the unconventional Tillakaratne Dilshan to do so. Dilshan, during his epic 193 at the Home of Cricket, kept on driving good length deliveries that were too more..

Legal action against factory that dumped oil in the Castlereagh reservoir

June 9 (NF) Around 3,000 liters of furnace oil has been dumped in to the Castlereagh reservoir Hatton early this morning. Nuwara Eliya District Secretary D.P.G. Kumarasiri said that this oil had been dumped by a privately owned factory. He added that the Hatton police have taken steps to take legal actions against those responsible. Kumarasiri noted that both the environment officer in the area and the divisional secretary have been informed of the matter. more..

300 Lankans to be deported from UK

June 9 (DM) Around 300 Sri Lankans are to be deported from the United Kingdom to Sri Lanka on June 16, Tamil Mirror online learns. Sources in the UK told Tamil Mirror that the UK Border Agency had arranged a special charter flight to deport around 300 persons whose asylum requests had been turned down by the authorities. Mr. Nishan Paramjorthy, a human rights advocate in the UK said that some of his clients had got notice about their “removal” from the UK Border Agency. more..

CEB Engineers lay down terms for new Board

June 9 (Island) The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union yesterday said they had requested Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka to instruct the new Board of Directors of the CEB that the Chief Legal Officer and the Chief Internal Officer be brought under the purview of the General Manager. Former Chairman of the CEB, Vidya Amarapala and former General Manager, Badra Jayaweera had left numerous issues unsolved thus compelling the CEB Engineers to intervene, more..

Now, pensions for those over 80 years

June 9 (Island) The Cabinet of Ministers has given the green light for a scheme to pay a pension to citizens over the age of 80 years. This follows a proposal forwarded to the Cabinet by Minister Felix Perera. Minister Perera, speaking at a social service event at the Sarasvathi Vidyalaya in Lindula, said that the scheme would be implemented from next year. He said that the ministry was able to increase the welfare grants from Rs.500 to Rs. 1,000. more..

Govt. won’t give in to LTTE rump – Nimal

June 9 (Island) Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva told parliament that the next round of talks between the Government and the TNA would be held on June 23. He said the Govt was committed to addressing contentious issues to achieve durable peace in the post-war era. "Any solution must be acceptable to all communities and not only to those living in the North and East," he said. The Minister was speaking during the debate on the extension of the emergency regulations in Parliament. more..

UNP requests increase in decentralized budget

June 9 (DM) The UNP had decided to request the govt to increase the annual decentralized budget for opposition MPs from Rs. 5 million to Rs.10 million to carry out various development projects in their respective, electorates, the party said yesterday. Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga told Daily Mirror that his party would move an adjournment motion in this regard in Parliament this week. Currently, he said that Rs. 5 million is given annually for the MPs in the opposition. more..

Katunayake clash: 82 police personnel transferred

June 9 (DM) Eighty two police personnel including the Katunayake OIC have been transferred, pending investigations being carried out by the CID on the clash between the police and Free Trade Zone (FTZ) workers on May 30, police media spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said yesterday. He said these transfers were a temporary measure and added that the personnel have been assigned to the police divisions of Kelaniya, Peliyagoda and Gampaha. more..

'Head of probe team ordered by SC to compensate FR victim'

June 9 (Island) The Supreme Court had ordered three police officers, including Inspector Anura de Silva, the chief investigating officer in the ‘White Flag’ case, to pay Rs. 5,000 each to a person whose fundamental rights they had violated, Deputy Registrar of the Supreme Court R.A.S.G. Ranawaka told the High Court Trial-at-Bar, when the White Flag case was taken up on Wednesday. more..

No clear cut policy on banning asbestos

June 9 (Island) The Government had not taken a clear cut policy on banning asbestos, immediately, Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa said. He told The Island yesterday that replacing roofing sheets is a very costly affair. Thus, there won’t be immediate steps to ban it. He said that however, steps will be taken to minimize the use of various kinds of asbestos that are banned in a majority of the countries. more..

American national slowly militarizing country'

June 9 (Island) UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera on Wednesday accused an influential ‘American national’ of gradual militarization of the country. Addressing the parliament, the former SLFP MP alleged that the American passport holder was rearing four man eating sharks in a tank at his official residence in Colombo. Samaraweera alleged the official thinks like slain LTTE leader V. Prabhakaran. more..

'Several schools without A/L science facilities'

June 9 (DM) Not even a single school in 72 of the 324 Divisional Secretariats has been provided with facilities for advanced level science education, Education Minister Bandula Gunawardane said. He said only one school in each of the 100 Divisional Secretariat areas had such facilities and added that if the government was keen on achieving its ambitious plan of making Sri Lanka the wonder of Asia then science education more..

'Emergency should be phased out'

June 9 (DM) Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said that the emergency was not needed but it had to be scrapped on a phase by phase basis till the country was free of the ideology of separatism. Speaking during the emergency debate he said the ideology of separatism still existed in the country though terrorism had been defeated. “Therefore the emergency should be imposed till this ideology is fully eliminated from the country,” more..

Ferry service to dock at Colombo harbour

June 9 (DM) The much awaited ferry service from Tuticorin to Colombo is to dock at the Colombo harbour next Tuesday (14) the Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) yesterday said. The Corporation said that the Indian vessel would leave Tuticorin next Monday (13) and would arrive in the country after a 10-12 hour voyage. The vessel is expected to carry VIP’s as well as a limited number of passengers and would be leaving the same week. more..

LG polls: Preference numbers given

June 9 (DM) Elections will be held to 64 of the 67 local councils on July 23 with political party and independent candidates having being allotted their preference numbers, an Elections Secretariat official said yesterday. Deputy Elections Commissioner W.P. Sumanasiri said elections to the Puthukudiyiruppu and Maritimepattu Pradeshiya Sabhas in the Mullaitivu District have been postponed again due to the ongoing demining operations while more..

Lanka appreciates Dutch probe, highlights limitations in global action

June 9 (Island) Until the collapse of the LTTE in May 2009, the Netherlands hadn’t given the go ahead for a comprehensive investigation targeting the LTTE, though the Dutch Intelligence and Security Agency (AIVD) recommended action in October 2008. Sjors van Beek, in an explosive article captioned ‘Cover for Tamil terror’ carried in Norwegian paper Binnenlands Bestuur, dealt with what he called a Mafia-like extortion racket run by more..

Jayasuriya back in SL limited-overs squad

June 9 (CI) Sanath Jayasuriya has been recalled to ODI and Twenty20 sides for the upcoming series against England and Scotland. The squad has several changes from the one in the World Cup: middle-order batsman Thilina Kandamby and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Chandimal have been recalled while there is no place for Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera and Rangana Herath. There was recent speculation over the possible inclusion of more..

Russian Amb. on meet with TNA

June 10 (Island) Apropos The Island lead story captioned ‘LTTE rump in fresh bid to exploit global community’ in the June 8 issue, Russian Ambassador Vladimir P. Mikhaylov has sent the following statement: It is stated that "A delegation of TNA MPs met the Russian Ambassador on Monday to urge Moscow not to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa's govt". "I have to say that this information has nothing to do with the reality and misleads readers of your newspaper. more..

‘Hands off’ mood strong in Sri Lanka

June 10 (TS) “Keep out of our affairs” is the distinct message from Sri Lanka to India despite the joint statement issued by the two countries on 17 May during the visit of Sri Lanka external affairs minister Prof. G.L.Peiris. The statement, speaking of a “devolution package building upon the 13th Amendment” had stoked a controversy in Sri Lanka that has still not subsided. A top level official delegation from India, including National Security Advisor Mr Shiv Shankar Menon and more..

Trade Ministry wants President to write off Rs. 1.8 b debt

June 10 (FT) Struggling with massive losses, the Internal Trade and Cooperatives Ministry has requested the President to write off Rs. 1.8 billion worth of debt incurred by the cooperatives. This request is still pending, with the Ministry yet to receive a response. Meanwhile the Ministry is also attempting to upgrade and improve the services of all cooperatives around the island. All cooperatives, mini cooperatives and govt trade outlets run by more..

Govt. jobs for top sportspersons

June 10 (ST) According to Ministry of Sports sources several governmental institutions have come forward to recruit athletes who have the potential to reach the national level. “Many govt institutions have responded positively to the special request made by Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to employ such athletes who have represented Sri Lanka both locally as well internationally. This measure is taken in an attempt to strengthen and safeguard the future of sport,” more..

Lankan patients swap livers at Global Hospitals

June 10 (ENS) Two Sri Lankan patients requiring urgent liver transplants underwent a rare swap liver transplant in Chennai. Reportedly the first of its kind to be performed in Chennai, the transplant took place at Global Hospitals last month. When 50-year-old Mohamad Nazeem from Kandy, Sri Lanka came to Chennai for a liver transplant a few months ago, little would he have thought that he would receive a part of the organ needed for the transplant from more..

Interview with wife of cartoonist Prageeth Ekneligoda

June 10 (RSF) Five hundred days have gone by since Prageeth Ekneligoda, a journalist and cartoonist who worked for the Lankaenews website, went missing in Colombo on 24 January 2010. In all this time, no progress has been made in the investigation into his disappearance. Reporters Without Borders condemns the lack of resources assigned to the case and reminds the Sri Lankan govt that it has a duty to find Prageeth and more..

Jayalalitha faults DMK for death of Lankan Tamils

June 10 (ENS) Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa charged that her predecessor M Karunanidhi had failed to protect the Lankan Tamils during the war in Sri Lanka. Instead of taking concrete steps to save the Tamils, Karunanidhi had enacted ‘dramas’, she said. Participating in the discussion on the resolution moved by her urging the Centre to impose economic sanctions against Sri Lanka until the country accorded equal rights to Tamils and resettled those internally displaced to more..

Govt. deals only with Indian Centre

June 10 (DM) The Government said today that it deals only with the Central Government of India and does not take interests in the activities of single Indian States. Cabinet Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella made these statements in response to a question on the Tamil Nadu Assembly Resolution to pass economic actions against Sri Lanka. “The negative statements made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jeyaram and the passing of, what appears to be, more..

Interpol notice issued against Karuna loyalist ‘Santhiveli Maamaa’

June 10 (DBS) An INTERPOL wanted notice has been issued against a Sri Lankan Tamil named Vadivel Mahendran at the behest of Switzerland Police authorities. Swiss Police in Basel have issued the arrest warrant for Vadivel Mahendran whose nom de guerre is”Santhiveli Maamaa”(Uncle from Santhiveli). He is wanted for “Crimes against Life & health” says the Interpol notice. Mahendran is suspected of torturing & murdering a Swiss Tamil couple. more..