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Unbeaten Sri Lanka back in Davis Cup group II

June 20 (DM) Sri Lanka tennis reached great heights finishing on top with an unbeaten record and assured the nation of promotion to group II next year. Sri Lanka trounced Lebanon 3-nil in a promotion group match yesterday. Lebanon fielded a strong team and were the other nation to have secured promotion to Group II next year along with Sri Lanka before the final match between the two teams began in the morning. more..

World leaders pledge support for SL’s development

June 20 (DN) World leaders who attended the 15th St Petersburg International Economic Forum have extended their solidarity and support to post conflict economic and social development efforts in Sri Lanka. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev have told President Mahinda Rajapaksa that they would stand by Sri Lanka in its moment of need. more..

Govt. to seize LTTE finances

June 20 (DM) As part of plans to seize the LTTE’s overseas assets and cripple its fund raising activities, the govt had decided to strengthen the legal framework by amending the Financial Transaction Act, the Money Laundering Act and the Prevention of Terrorism Financing Act. Tthe amended versions of these pieces of legislations were still pending approval by the Attorney General’s Department. more..

ICC to kick out SLC unless elections held

June 20 (DM) A fresh hope has emerged for the troubled Sri Lanka Cricket as the International Cricket Council (ICC), long lambasted as a toothless tiger, finally seems to have woken up from its deep slumber and taken a firm stand against the politicization of sports. If the proposed amendments to the ICC constitution aimed at ending direct interference in the sport by govts are passed at the next ICC Executive Board meeting more..

PCB to play Sri Lanka series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

June 21 (PTI) The Pakistan Cricket Board is likely to chose the neutral venues of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to host their "home series" against Sri Lanka later this year after the Lankan cricket authorities submitted their estimated expenses for hosting the full series. "The bid made by the Sri Lankan board is on the higher side. Normally five-star hotels charge around USD 100 per room for visiting teams but the estimated costs we have received recommended a tariff of USD 175 to 180 per night," more..

CBK's ex security chief's compensation put to good use

June 21 (ST) A Police officer who received compensation from the former Presidential security chief Nihal Karunaratne has made use of the funds for a meritorious act. Equipment needed for the Castle Street Hospital was donated from the Rs. 300,000 compensation ASP Hettiarachchi Samudrajeewa received following a Supreme Court order. The former head of the Presidential Security Division (PSD) SSP Nihal Karunaratne (Rtd.) who served former President Chandrika Kumaratunga was more..

SLC probing over massive ‘bonus’ payment

June 21 (ST) The Interim Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is said to have strongly opposed to the ‘bonus’ payment which all its employees received soon after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The total amount estimated at 14.5 million Sri Lankan rupees has been distributed among the staff of SLC regardless of their contribution or involvement at the ICC CWC 2011. Some employees who even did not sight the SLC office or the World Cup venues have more..

Teachers in the eastern province to fall sick

June 21 (NN) Teachers in the eastern province are to go on sick leave on Thursday over teacher transfers being carried out in the province. According to unions representing the teachers, a decision was taken today to go on sick leave after talks to resolve the issue had failed. Sri Lanka Teachers’ Association Secretary Joseph Stalin told News that negotiations were held today with the Governor of the eastern province Rear Admiral (retired) Mohan Wijeywickrama. more..

TU action if demands not met-LPBOA

June 21 (DM) Bus fares should be increased from a substantial percentage while issues faced due to the inadequacies of the National Transport Policy should be rectified or we will take trade union action on June 27th, the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association President Gemunu Wijeratne said. He added that if a satisfactory answer to their demands is not given before next Monday they would be forced to take an all island trade union action and take buses off the road. more..

'Dandeniya accountable’ – SLC Treasurer

June 21 (ST) Sujeewa Rajapakshe, the Treasurer of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) at a press conference in Colombo today at its headquarters held Suraj Dandeniya, the Head of the World Cup Secretariat office in Colombo for the missing hard disks. “If he’s the head of the secretariat then there is none other than to be blamed but him (Dandeniya). He is answerable for all what has been taken place,” Rajapakshe said. more..

Major default by IRB

June 21 (NN) A branch of the Inland Revenue Department (IRB) located at Access Towers at Union Place had its electricity discontinued for several hours today for nonpayment of a huge electricity bill. Officials at the department said that the power supply was curtailed as the IRB branch owed the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for seven months. The power supply was however restored by this evening. The PAYE department of the IRB owes the CEB Rs. 1,696,689.00 for seven months, more..

Special police for expressways

June 21 (DM) A special police division will handle the traffic on the expressways that are to be set up shortly according to highly places sources at the Police Headquarters. A new division is required since traffic regulations on the expressways are different from the normal traffic laws. New regulations are now being drafted by the police for the expressways. The new division of expressways traffic is to be administered by a DIG with powers vested similar to the Western Province Traffic DIG. more..

Jordan rapist jailed

June 21 (NN) A Sri Lankan man who was allegedly involved in the rape of Sri Lankan and other South Asian women at a factory in Jordan has been arrested, human rights activists said today. The Sri Lankan man, identified as Anil Shantha, was a General Manager at the Classic factory in Jordan and was mentioned in a report by the US based Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. The report had said that scores of young Sri Lankan women suffered routine sexual abuse more..

Ranil calls for concerted effort to defeat C-4 propaganda

June 21 (Island) Opposition and UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on Saturday called for a concerted effort to clear Sri Lanka’s name vis-à-vis the Channel 4 documentary aimed at demonizing the country. The government should shed petty political differences and cooperate with all patriotic forces for that purpose because the Channel four propaganda adversely affected the country as a whole, the Opposition Leader said addressing a UNP rally at Ehaliyagoda. more..

Island wide Farmers Special Conference

June 21 (GDI) A Special Conference will be held at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo, to educate the farmer community on the government’s fertilizer subsidy. This Conference will be held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa on the 23rd of this month, and more than 35 thousand representatives of the farmer community are expected to attend the event. The govt has extended the fertilizer subsidy from paddy cultivation to other crops as well. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 20.06.2011

Exiled media fight on, says RSF

June 21 (BBC) International press freedom watchdogs are paying tributes to media workers who continue working as journalists after being forced to flee their homelands due to threats to freedom of expression. Paris based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says, by continuing with journalism, exiled journalists defy those who tried to silence them. Commemorating Word Refugee Day on Monday, RSF has highlighted the threats to freedom of expression in Burma, Sri Lanka, more..

Lanka ex-soldiers continue protest in Iraq

June 21 (BBC) A group of former Sri Lankan soldiers in Iraq have decided to continue their week old hunger strike despite an appeal from Iraqi authorities. 28 retired Sri Lanka soldiers launched their protest on 13 June seeking the intervention of Sri Lankan and Iraqi authorities to claim their unpaid wages. Working in Al Amara, some 700km away from the capital Baghdad,They have not been paid for over 17 months. Two other Sri Lankans, including their spokesman Lalith Kumara de Silva, are not taking part. more..

Captain requested healer's services

June 21 (BBC) Former cricket captain made a written request asking for the services of Eliyantha White for for star cricketers during the World Cup, says Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). SLC Secretary Nishantha Ranatunga made the revelation when journalists questioned the controversy over President Mahinda Rajapaksa's physician allegedly prescribing a banned substance to Upul Tharanga. Kumar Sangakkara was the captain of the national team during the World Cup. more..

The Silence of Sri Lanka

June 21 (NYT) In April 2009, we travelled together as foreign ministers to Sri Lanka, as 25 years of fighting between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers neared its end. The remaining fighters were trapped in the northern most part of the country — along with large numbers of civilians. U.N. estimates put the numbers of civilians there in the last few months of the war at over 300,000. Our purpose was simple: to draw attention to the human suffering, to call for humanitarian aid and more..

Refugees are slowly returning to Sri Lanka – UNHCR

June 21 (GDI) It is little known by most Sri Lankans that there are refugees and people seeking asylum in Sri Lanka, said UNHCR's Representative Michael Zwack said. Issuing a statement to mark the World Refugee Day on June 20, the UNHCR's Representative said, although numbers are very small in comparison to most countries, Sri Lanka currently hosts 236 registered refugees and 141 asylum seekers. We appreciate the good cooperation received by UNHCR from government, he said. more..

England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test:: Sangakkara hundred earns Sri Lanka draw

June 21 (CI) England's fifth consecutive series victory was never in doubt since the third day of this match, but it was Sri Lanka who finished on a high after an impressive rearguard led by stand-in captain Kumar Sangakkara secured a draw at the Rose Bowl. Sangakkara filled in one of the few blank spots on his fabulous career record with his first hundred in England as the visitors showed impressive resilience with Thilan Samaraweera more..

Post-War Sri Lanka: Rethinking Reconciliation

June 21 (HP) As my doctoral dissertation deals with Sri Lankan Tamil activism in Canada, I was asked by a few people why I had not yet weighed in on the recent Channel 4 documentary, Sri Lanka's Killing Fields, which in conjunction with the United Nations Report released in March, provides a devastating account of war crimes committed by both Sri Lankan government forces and the LTTE. My answer often was that I had not yet gotten over my moment of sheer speechlessness. more..

Channel 4 revelation (Part 1)

June 21 (LG) Let me begin with a big thank you to the Channel 4 TV for coming strongly on the side of fair journalism to reveal the facts about the war fought behind the iron curtain in Sri Lanka. I write as a Tamil and am a multi facet victim of the political degeneration that is throttling the very credibility of a state that thrives on the very hatred that is embedded in the irredeemable degrading socio-political mechanisms and mechanisation of the country. more..

Where have all the coconuts gone?

June 21 (SO) History states that the first coconut tree was planted in Weligama and it's also ironic that a incurable Coconut wilt disease has come to light in this same area, threatening the existence of coconut plants in the area. Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said that this is something like AIDS or cancer for which there is no cure. "The only option is to fell the trees and destroy the leaves and other living organisms in the tree so that more..

Making manageable issues unmanageable

June 21 (LG) During past one year or so, we have witnessed that the govt headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa has been going through a series of problems in conflict management. The termination of the 30-year-long armed conflict in May 2009 in itself was definitely a success story. Nonetheless, it appears that the govt has underestimated the gravity of the problems and issues that are directly and indirectly associated with the protracted social conflict that more..

Let war crimes investigations begin, now

June 21 (LG) There is compelling evidence that Channel 4 video Killing Fields is a fake. The strongest argument put forward and editorialised in Colombo is that the brave soldiers ended terrorism by rescuing 300,000 civilians cooped up in small patch of land. It is also utter nonsense that British TV channels repeatedly aired reels of Tamil refugees arriving with bags at Heathrow in 1983. The July 1983 pogrom did not happen. It is the figment of imagination of more..

The Story of the Hypocrite in a Tamil Man

June 21 (GV) Reaction to the recent programme by UK’s Channel 4, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, has great variety, ranging from “Ah, didn’t we tell you all along, the Sinhalese and their army are nasty people,” from the side of a vast majority of ethnic Tamils, to, “Oh no, such horrors never happened, this is all just manufactured propaganda from the residuals of that terrorist outfit and its sympathisers,” from the Sri Lankan govt and its supporters. more..

London is celebrates major Hindu temple festivals

June 21 (LG) Three Hindu temples run by the Sri Lankan Hindu community have celebrated the most auspicious Kumba Abishegam festivals in London with overwhelming attendance of Hindu devotees. All three temples have celebrated this event on the twelfth year according to Hindu scriptures. Latest of the three successive festivals took place at the renowned Eelapatheeswarar Aalayam, (the Shiva temple) based in Wembley, Middlesex. The festival officially started on June 16, more..

Sinhala-Tamil strife: We are only small step ahead of Neanderthals now

June 21 (TC) The global exposure of war crimes committed is an ongoing sicking and depressing saga. It is now difficult to call yourself Sri Lankan. Discussions happening in news groups’ twitter and other social networks are further exposing our true nature to a world that remains revolted by what they have just seen on TV. Fights are no longer local. They are global. The internet has now made it possible for everyone to participate in it. more..

Election Time in North: EPDP’s dreaded Charles resurfaces

June 21 (LG) As Minister Douglas Devananda announced his candidature for the Chief Ministership of the Northern Province yesterday, the government intensified efforts at shutting down the potential opposition. Thursday night the army moved into a private TNA meeting of the leadership with its Local Government candidates in Alaveddy, assaulting all and sundry. About 60-75 were were in attendance. The intruders were all from the army, numbering 50 or so and more..

Editorial: Reconciliation with a stagger

June 21 (Island) The barrage of criticism the government came under following last week's attack on a TNA meeting in Jaffna has had the desired impact, we reckon. The defence establishment has been jolted into action. The government has sought to downplay the incident but undertaken to have it probed. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has attributed the incident to a sinister move by some TNA MPs to scuttle an effort by the TNA and the Defence Ministry to mend fences and more..

Editorial: Instead of PSC, we need statesmanship

June 21 (DM) None of the myriad of problems the Sri Lankan govt and its people are faced with can be whisked or wished away by ignoring them. It makes matters more complicated when govt spokesmen make confusing and contradictory statements at different times. Amid this cacophony and the Babel of voices the govt’s official stance is rarely clear. One of the main issues that need to be resolved is the national question. This must be done on a priority basis without allowing it to more..

Commonwealth Village to constitute 5,000 rooms

June 21 (BL) Sri Lanka will build 5,000 hotel rooms in the proposed Commonwealth Village in Hambantota while a sum of US $ 6 million will be spent in an effort to win the 2018 Commonwealth bid, the Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal said. “We intend building 5,000 rooms in the Commonwealth Village while the entire cost to host the event will cost an estimated US $ 6 million dollars,” the Governor said emphasising that more..

Bishop refutes multi million rupee loss at Trinity College

June 21 (SL) Dear Madam, Ref: Your Article on 12th June 2011 – ‘Multi Million Rupee Loss in Trinity College’ The Chairman and the Members of The Board of Governors of Trinity College Kandy were perturbed to read your article on 12th June 2011 by Dinouk Colombage under the caption ‘Multi Million Rupee Loss at Trinity College’ during the period 2000 – 2008. The Board categorically states that there is no truth whatsoever in the malicious and false statements as quoted in the said article. more..

'Stock price band bolstered investor confidence'

June 21 (LBO) A 10 percent upward and downward price band imposed by Sri Lanka's capital markets regulator after unusual price movements in some stocks helped strengthen investor confidence. Indrani Sugathadasa, chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) said in July 2010, the SEC introduced the price band to arrest volatility in the market. "The price band came into effect after prices of certain stocks were seen rising without being backed by sound fundamentals," more..

Hambantota 2018: A multi-billion rupees gamble

June 21 (SL) Hambantota prepares to rival the cost of Delhi’s hundred billion Indian rupee Commonwealth Games with its own two hundred and sixty five billion rupee games in 2018. The Games will be the catalyst for the development of Hambantota. The two hundred and sixty five billion rupees will see a hundred billion rupees spent on the construction of the sports venues and the athletes’ village. A further sixty five billion rupees will be spent on more..

Sri Lanka Textured Jersey to expand fabric production

June 21 (LBO) Sri Lankan fabric supplier Textured Jersey Lanka plans to use funds raised through a private placement and a forthcoming public offer to expand production and buy modern machinery to improve efficiency. The joint venture between Pacific Textured Jersey Holdings, a fully owned subsidiary of Hong Kong's Pacific Textiles Holdings, and Brandix Lanka, has been granted approval by the Colombo bourse for a listing on its Main Board. The subscription list for the IPO will open on July 07, more..

ADB loans US$ 120mn to develop rural power generation

June 21 (Island) The Treasury on Monday entered in to an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a US$ 120 million facility for the implementation of the ‘Sustainable Power Sector Support Project’ in Sri Lanka. "The project will contribute to a reliable, adequate and affordable power supply for balanced and sustainable economic growth in Sri Lanka and increase electricity connections in rural areas, specifically in the Eastern, North Central, Southern and Uva Provinces," more..

Mahinda to address 4,000 farmers

June 21 (FT) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will address over 4,000 farmers at a special conference that will be held at Sugathadasa Stadium to create awareness about the Govt’s new fertiliser subsidy, which is estimated to cost Rs. 50 billion. Scheduled to be held on Wednesday, National Fertiliser Secretariat (NFS) Director Ranjan Dharmawardena noted that the Government had previously only provided a fertiliser subsidy to paddy farmers. more..