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Killinochchi ‘Army administration’ further obstructs agitation by ‘We are Sri Lankans’

June 24 (LT) Security forces continue to obstruct the agitation of parents whose children have been disappeared and organized by ‘We are Sri Lankans’ organization in Killinochchi today (23rd) says Member of the Executive Committee of the organization Udul Premaratne. ‘We are Sri Lankans’ Organization accuses that a group of army men who had arrived from the Army camp at Depot Junction at Killinocchi had abducted Messrs. more..

'President’s attitude regarding education was chaotic'

June 24 (LT) A seminar was held in Public Library in Colombo on Wednesday (21st) by the FUTA regarding several issues confronted by university teachers including the demand to increase their salaries. A lrge numberof people including university teachers who had walked in a demonstration from Colombo University participated. It was revealed at the seminar the struggle by the university teachers was not only to increase their salaries but more..

Getting away with murder in Colombo

June 24 (SMH) When govts kill the people they are mandated to protect and help prosper, what is the world's tipping point for outrage? How horrific must despotism be to compel the 'international community' to pursue and prosecute national leaders whose regimes commit war crimes? In the Bosnian war of the 1990s, it was incontestable; Srebrenica, the largest mass murder in Europe since the Holocaust, a massacre directly witnessed by the very international peacekeepers deployed to stop it. more..

'Govt. should investigate allegations against Tharanga'

June 24 (AD) National Cricketer Upul Tharanga who is currently under investigation over taking an illegal substance before a World Cup game should come forward and an account of what happened amidst allegations that high profile healer Eliyantha White was involved in medicating him, JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake stated. He claimed that White had no medical training or license to treat patients while stating that no investigation was taking place because he was under the protection of more..

Govt. to present RTI Bill

June 24 (DM) Days after the govt rejected UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya's private members Bill on ‘Right to Information (RTI) presented in Parliament the govt announced that it would draft a Bill to ensure the right to information, to enhance the press freedom and participatory democracy. Cabinet spokesman, Minister Anura Priyadharshana responding to a journalist on the rejection of the private members Bill on ‘Right to Information’ presented by more..

Sri Lanka’s bloody secret

June 24 (LM) In 2009, the Sri Lankan army decided to move forward relentlessly to annihilate the Tamil Tigers. The government had tacit Western support and access to weapons from China, and India was not about to help the LTTE, despite the exigencies of coalitions, particularly when the coalition was led by a party (Congress) whose leader, Rajiv Gandhi, the LTTE had assassinated in 1991. And so when Sri Lanka declared victory on 16 May that year, there were few tears shed for the LTTE. more..

'Deported Lankans never mistreated'

June 24 (DM) While claiming that the British govt does not accept that all Tamil asylum seekers are in need of international protection, British Immigration Minister Damian Green said there is no evidence that those previously deported Sri Lankan asylum seekers to Sri Lanka have been mistreated by the Sri Lankan authorities. MP Green told the British House Commons,” the UK Border Agency does not routinely monitor the treatment of individual failed asylum seekers who more..

Policemen who defended TNA MPs in Alaveddy may be penalized for doing duty

June 24 (DBS) Plans are afoot to “scapegoat” & penalise the Police Bodyguards who defended TNA MP’s in the June 16 Alaveddy army attack. Instead of being commended for doing their duty courageously these brave Policemen attached to Ministerial security division are now blamed. Powerful people in the defence establishment seem to be annoyed with these bodyguards for defending the MP’s they were assigned to protect. more..

No information for relatives on Sri Lanka missing

June 24 (BBC) Hundreds of people in Sri Lanka's north who responded to a police announcement about relatives held in detention say they have been given no information. Ten days ago police said they would give details about those detained in the war, which ended in May 2009. BBC has learned of only one man out of hundreds who went to the former war zone of Vavuniya and actually found out where his relative was. Thousands of families are still seeking loved ones two years after the war. more..

TID providing detainee information

June 24 (DM) The police today refuted claims made by the TNA that it had received complaints that TID officers had failed to provide vital information about a number of detainees in their custody as promised. TNA MP Sivashakthi Anandan said that he received a large number of complaints from the families and close relatives of detainees who said that TID officers at the TID center in Vavuniya failed to provide information on the detainees. more..

Private bus fares to go up from 1st July

June 24 (NN) The minimum private bus fare of Rs. 6 will be increased to Rs. 7 with effect from 1st July, the Private Transport Ministry said today. Minister C.B Ratnayake said that all other private bus fares will be increased by 7.6 percent also from next month. The move to increase private bus fares comes after private bus operators had threatened to go on strike on Monday demanding a bus fare hike. The move to increase private bus fares comes after more..

Rs. 20 billion supplementary budget for defence HQ presented in Parliament

June 24 (AD) Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathne today presented a supplementary budget for Rs. 20 billion for the construction of the Defence Headquaters in Akuregoda, Battaramulla. Accordingly the Ministry of Defence, Office of the Chief of Defence Staff, Army Headquarters along with Headquarters of Air force and Navy will be relocated. The land where the Ministry of Defence is situated at Galle Face is to be alienated on an earlier cabinet decision for more..

Cabinet Decisions

June 24 (GDI) Cabinet Decisions announced by the Acting Cabinet Spokesman, Hon Minister of Environment Anura Priyadarshana Yapa at the Post Cabinet Press Briefing. 1. 7500 More Housing Units for Underserved Settlements in Colombo and adjoining areas: 0n a proposal made by the President, the Government has launched a development programme through the Urban Development Authority (UDA) to provide housing facilities to the Underserved Settlements in and around Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 23.06.2011

Sri Lankans sign banner to celebrate CPC anniversary

June 24 (Xinhua) The Communist Party of China (CPC) received a banner bearing signatures by 1,000 Sri Lankans as a gift to celebrate the CPC's 90th founding anniversary. "A friend in need is a friend indeed," said the SLFP's vice chairman Alavi Mowlana after presenting the banner to Ai Ping, deputy head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee. Mowlana, who is also head of a visiting delegation from Sri Lanka, congratulated the CPC on its 90th founding anniversary. more..

Top cop transferred

June 24 (NN) A top police official has been transferred to police headquarters, despite the transfer being a violation of election laws, police sources said. The Director of the Fraud Investigations Bureau SSP Maxi Proctor has been transferred to the ‘Disciplinary Control’ unit of the police headquarters with effect from today. The move is a violation of election laws as police transfers cannot take place just after the date of a national election is announced and before the election is held. more..

Sri Lanka to establish of Atomic Energy Regulatory Council

June 24 (Bernama) Sri Lanka is concerned over nuclear power plants in neighbouring India and has decided to establish a body which will monitor any security concerns which may arise from the South Asian giant, reports China's Xinhua news agency. The Sri Lankan cabinet has approved the establishment of Atomic Energy Regulatory Council which will address the security concerns of radioactive sources and deal with radiation emergencies, the government said more..

Innocent man and his family members were tortured by police officers at the behest of a third party

June 24 (LG) Mr. George Jayakody (55) of No: 24, Kundalagama, Kundasale, Kandy is a businessman. In 2008 he wanted to sell his land he came to an agreement in the presence of a lawyer. The second party who happened to be the relative of a police officer reneged on the contract and instead of abiding by the law used the power of police. He assaulted the Jayakody's family and caused damage to his house. Jayakody complained to the Manikhinna Police, more..

Crocodile parks -- eco-tourism and garbage disposal

June 24 (LG) The govt of Mahinda Rajapakse has outdone itself once again by combining eco-tourism and garbage disposal all in one fell swoop. The soon-to-be-opened Crocodile Park just south of Negombo will be, ostensibly, to promote eco-tourism but the wily intelligentsia at Templetrees has another aim in mind for the denizens of the park -- garbage disposal! And what better way of getting rid of unwanted dissidents than to feed them to a dozen or so hungry crocodiles. more..

SLC and Agriculture Ministry on a collision course

June 24 (SL) The Sri Lanka Customs (SLC) on a collision course with the Agriculture Ministry continues to insist some nine containers holding imported weedicides, insecticides and fungicides contain toxic levels of arsenic while the Ministry has rejected allegations that banned chemicals have been included in pesticides used in the country. A senior officer from SLC who spoke to The Sunday Leader on conditions of anonymity said that a campaign has more..

A response: ‘ The Silence of Sri Lanka’

June 24 (LG) I write in response to the above article by yourself and Mr. Bernard Kouchner, published yesterday in The New York Times. You say in this article ‘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. more..

Mervyn de Silva’s progressive realism in world affairs

June 24 (LG) In his controversial book ‘The Cage’, the best known anti-Sri Lanka publicist, former UN spokesperson Gordon Weiss, had this, among other things to say: “Dayan Jayatilleka, one of the most capable diplomats appointed by the Rajapakse regime, had outmanoeuvred Western diplomats to help Sri Lanka escape censure from the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He had also been one of the most trenchant advocates within the govt for meaningful more..

‘Pious statues -- zero morals’

June 24 (LB) Due to the Sambuddathva Jayanthi commemoration programme since the beginning of this year, a lot of Buddhist ceremonies and events were celebrated all over the country while the word ‘Buddhism’ was used a lot by various politicians and political parties in Sri Lanka. The authorities try to give the impression that virtues and morality are present in our society. Recently Buddha statues were also presented to Sri Lankan embassies more..

Lankan Foreign Policy Imbroglio

June 24 (SL) Last week London fellow travellers of the LTTE—whom the faithful pro-state media here has been calling the ‘LTTE rump’ won the propaganda war over ‘war crimes against the sovereign and independent Republic of Sri Lanka. British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt publicly expressed shock after seeing “horrific scenes” on the Channel 4 TV on what he called the killing fields of Sri Lanka. He said that it contained “convincing evidence of violations more..

An international school for scoundrels

June 24 (SL) Leaders, we have been told are born, not made. The born leaders who come to our mind are: Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Churchill and the Rajapaksas. Now we want to make leaders. We need ‘leadership trainers’ of all sorts – management gurus from America, just simple Swamijis across the Palk Strait or our own political gurus. Placards or cut outs of some of them – if approved by relevant authorities can be seen on the streets. more..

Channel 4 war crimes video: believable or bunk?

June 24 (LB) The pre-publicity given for the Channel 4’s war crime video, “Sri Lanka’s killing fields,” screened on Tuesday night was unprecedented for a video shown on the public service broadcaster. The telecast was announced two months before its actual screening. Since then, there had been promotional media releases, opinion pieces in British broadsheets and even the active endorsement by the international human rights watchdogs. more..

Teaching a new lesson or two

June 24 (HT) We know about the seminar that the army proudly held on how to tackle terrorism without getting their soft, saintly hands bloodied. Three days of lessons and lectures to fellow army men from other countries about smoothly carrying out humanitarian operations, hostage rescue missions and all that. Lately, army personnel have been teaching lessons of a different kind to academics and politicians in Jaffna. These incidents brought to focus that in spite of all more..

With Channel 4 accusations, Jayalalitha a new caveat in Indo-Lanka politics

June 24 (SL) Channel 4 video, “Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields” that went on air on 14 June had the usual geo blocking software removed to give those outside the UK and Ireland a chance to see. A unique decision, they usually don’t take. Jon Snow who anchored the programme said, “…this footage represents devastating evidence on war crimes and crimes against humanity”. The decision to allow the whole world to see this programme for 7 days from 14 June, speaks much politics. more..

Leopard traps end of these cats?

June 24 (Island) Two days before Poson Poya Day a female leopard in her prime died as a result of being caught in a wire trap set for wild boar in Piduruthalagala. The tragic death of this leopard is the latest in a series of disasters caused by snares/wire traps meant to capture wild animals for whose meat there is a rapidly increasing demand. Although these traps are not set for leopards, the cats have become frequent victims of such devices as more..

Editorial: An elephantine dilemma

June 24 (Island) The dwindling number of strong, aggressive, male pachyderms, which usually perish at the hands of bipeds, on cultivated land, has led to the weakening of Sri Lanka's elephant population, as we reported the other day quoting a group of wildlife researchers. (For, the lesser males in the herd, which would otherwise have been forced into celibacy perhaps unto death by the stronger bulls, get the opportunity to procreate.) The same fate seems to more..

Editorial: Mother Lanka needs leaders with noble vision

June 24 (DM) From the beginning the creative force has been intelligently creating and transforming society. If we look within, we discover the seeds of that transformed society that is to be one day, a society that is free from fear and want. A good leader is one who is gifted in discovering that seed within. He or she yearns to want “put right” that what is wrong in society. All of us have it in various degrees; this desire. Some have it more than others, or they work into it, more..

SLIC after fake diamonds?

June 24 (FT) Is Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) betting on fake diamonds was the immediate poser from some market analysts to the news of state owned giant investing in a 13% stake in loss making and not so fundamentally sound Blue Diamond Jewellery Worldwide Ltd. In a filing Lanka Securities disclosed that its client SLIC General Fund has bought 13.12 million voting shares or 12.7% of Blue Diamond. When it was purchased or at what price wasn’t disclosed however. more..

Airport Express to promote tourism

June 24 (DN) Airport and Aviation Limited of the Civil Aviation Ministry will offer the use of "Airport Express" Luxury Train to inbound tourists, Civil Aviation Minister Priyankara Jayaratne said. The Airport Express train will reach many tourist destinations. The train operates between the Bandaranaike International Airport and the Colombo Secretariat railway station daily, providing transport for inbound and outbound air-passengers at a reasonable fair with comfort. more..

Sri Lanka’s ICT workforce doubles, demand expected to surpass supply

June 24 (Island) The Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) says Sri Lanka’s IT workforce has doubled during the last four years to 62,000 at present from 30,120 in 2006. The National ICT Workforce Survey released by ICTA on Thursday, based on information gathered from 510 organizations consisting 80 government institutions, 325 private sector organizations, 30 IT BPO companies and 75 IT training institutions, showed that the demand for IT professionals more..

Sri Lanka appoints four foreign banks to manage bond issue

June 24 (Island) The Central Bank on Thursday announced the appointment four leading international financial institutions as joint managers to an upcoming US$ 1 billion sovereign euro bond issue, the proceeds of which the government hoped to retire public debt and finance infrastructure. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital PLC, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC were appointed joint managers after the Central Bank had more..

Sri Lanka state insurer to run highway rest areas

June 24 (LBO) State-run Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation will develop and run rest areas on a tolled expressway running from the capital Colombo to Galle in the south of the island, a government minister said. Minister Anura Yapa said SLIC will be given state land on a 99-year lease to develop operate and maintain rest areas on either side of the expressway at an interchange near Welipenna. The rest area will have parking, water, communications and restaurants. more..

Lankans are superrich

June 24 (NN) Sri Lanka is among the 10 economies with the fastest growing millionaire populations, according to the 15th annual World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch's wealth management division and consultancy Capgemini. Overall six were in Asia, led by Hong Kong and Vietnam, which each saw annual growth of 33%. Others included Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Singapore and India, the Associated Press reported. Booming Asia had more millionaires than Europe for the first time last year and more..

Agreements to lease four islands signed

June 24 (DN) "Agreements have been signed for the leasing of four islands off Kalpitiya to be developed as tourist resorts," Deputy Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said. He said that Sri Lanka Tourism Authority had already signed the lease agreements with the related investors to develop four islands, namely Vellai 1, Vellai 2, Vellai 3 and Ippantivu, as tourist resorts. In addition, the survey is in progress for the potential investors for more..

How the world should react to ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’

June 24 (TS) Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields — the title echoes the Cambodian genocide — is a documentary that was aired by Britain’s Channel 4 Television earlier this month. It describes the final weeks of the brutal civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE in 2009. This was also around the time when thousands of Tamil Canadians demonstrated in Ottawa and Toronto to pressure the Canadian government to ask its Sri Lankan counterpart for a ceasefire. more..

Police refutes non- disclosure claims of TNA

June 24 (DM) The Police yesterday refuted recent statements by the TNA which said that it had received several complaints that TID officers had failed to provide vital information about a number of detainees who were being held by the TID over charges of involvement in terrorist activities as well as withholding information on missing persons. TNA MP Sivashakthi Anandan said that he had received several complaints from the families and close relatives of detainees who said that more..