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The good that enemies do

June 29 (LG) Now that the Sri Lankan nation has been rid of the greatest enemy that threatened ‘its unity, sovereignty, historicity’ etc., and the media upbeat on ‘pro Rajapaksa patriotism’ directing their volleys of heavy verbal artillery against ‘enemies of the government’, people are wondering whether Sri Lankans have found a new enemy or are searching for a worthwhile and an enduring one. We are certainly not professional historians but the little history we know of this island more..

Military Invasion of Universities in Sri Lanka?

June 29 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Leadership Training – Why Not the Universities?’ by Ms Anne Abayasekera, published in Sri Lanka Guardian. The article, to my mind, upholds the analyses by the Friday Forum. The author asks ‘It is surely the universities themselves that are best qualified to devise and implement appropriate programmes for university entrants?’ To the extent the Universities are Independent of the Govt – the answer is ‘yes’. more..

Watching ‘Killing Fields’ was ‘most painful fifty minutes I have ever spent watching anything on a screen’

June 29 (TC) Among some of my oldest relatives, there’s a custom of recording weddings gifts given and received in order to ensure that no family is left feeling cheated. So, for example, if Jupiter Uncle gave Volkswagen Uncle’s daughter one thousand and one ringgit* on the occasion of her marriage, then when Jupiter Uncle’s son is getting married, Volkswagen Uncle will consult his wedding-gift book, look under Jupiter Uncle’s name, and more..

Not emerging from political quagmire?

June 29 (LG) Sri Lanka, having weathered the trials and tribulation of a period plagued by a nasty spell of terrorism, and earned the wrath of those providing encouragement and ammunition for the LTTE, appears to be moving fast backwards to that despicable situation that prepared the background for terrorism to arise in this land. It is evident from history that the cause of the imbroglio created then was the interplay of ambitious, opportunistic and competitive politics that held sway in the country. more..

Who is leading the Revolution?

June 29 (LG) I write in response to the article ‘Enough’ by Dr Dayan Jayatilleka published in Sri Lanka Guardian. At the end of your tethers Dr. Dayan? Seems so to me after reading this ‘What do you do, or more correctly, what does a state do, and what does a leader at the helm of state affairs do, when faced with a situation of a heavily armed movement dedicated to dismembering the country through secession; a movement which has repeatedly resorted to terrorism; has more..

New Galle bus stand links railway station

June 29 (SO) Since the infamous invasion by the Portuguese in 1505 the Southern capital city of Galle has gone through good times and bad. The 2004 tsunami can be singled out as the saddest moment in the history of Galle. It not only took away lives and limbs of people and animals it also destroyed valuable property running into several billions. One such landmark that was destroyed was the Central bus stand that was built in 1987 by the then MP, Albert Silva. more..

Editorial: A cardboard hero

June 29 (Island) UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena appears to have risen from a deep slumber like Rip Van Winkle. Suddenly, he has found that the self-appointed LTTE leader KP is wanted by Interpol. He has appealed to the Indian govt to demand KP's extradition. Dr. Jayawardena was a prominent member of the UNF govt when Prabhakaran and several other key LTTE leaders were on Interpol's wanted list. But, never did he utter a word of protest against the CFA his leader and more..

Editorial: Diplo-muts drag Lanka towards disaster

June 29 (DM) Since the non-violent people power revolution of 1956 brought the S.W.R.D Bandaranaike govt to office, the bedrock and cornerstone of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy has been the hallowed, time tested principle of non-alignment. Successive govts of both the SLFP and the UNP essentially followed this policy, though we saw tilts to the socialist east block during the Sirimavo Bandaranaike era and to the capitalist western block during the Sirimavo Bandaranaike era and more..

Ceylon Biscuits, Akbar Brothers crowned export champs

June 29 (FT) Ceylon Biscuits Ltd., (CBL) and Akbar Brothers Group last night dominated the Presidential Export Awards ceremony at Temple Trees bagging the most number of honours. Famous for the flagship “Munchee” brand, CBL won nine main awards including the coveted Sri Lankan Exporter of the Year and Best Sri Lankan Brand of the year at the ceremony which combined annual competitions for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. more..

A recipe for vacillation

June 29 (SL) There was not much revealed by either party, of the detailed discussions that took place between the Indian delegation that visited Sri Lanka and the govt of Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was a considered decision to keep the outcome of the talks away from the media. Pranab Mukherjee, Mahinda Rajapaksa AND Shiv Shankar Menon Foreign Secretary of India Nirupama Rao, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon and Secretary Defence Pradeep Kumar met President Rajapaksa more..

Buying land, opposition and Rajapaksas without citizens’ right to information

June 29 (SL) For the second time in 9 months, the Rajapaksa regime foiled efforts to have a “Freedom of Information” Bill taken up for discussion in parliament. On the first occasion in September last year, when brought up as a private member bill by Opposition MP Karu Jayasuriya, he was made to drop it, with a promise that the govt would bring a more comprehensive Bill within 3 months. This time on 21 June, the govt voted it out as one that should not be discussed in the House. more..

Gas Oil story: USD 500 million purchase concluded by one man

June 29 (SL) In an astonishing revelation, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Industries, Titus Jayawardena, has signed off on an order for the supply of Gas Oil which has a staggering price tag of US$ 500 Million. It could well be the single largest value business transaction ever carried out by a solitary official. The new port of Hambantota cost the govt US$ 360 Million and the new airport in the South is costed at US$ 310 Million. more..

Call to Legalise lands

June 29 (BBC) Residents of Mihindupara held a demonstration at the Trincomalee town calling upon authorities to provide with documentation for the lands occupied by them. The protest was led by the Buddhist priests in the area. "The inhabitants of Mihindupra have lived for more than fifty years in this hamlet and now there are moves to chase them away," the Venerable Mihindupura Mahindawansa thero of the Trincomalle Fort Buddhist centre said. Among the protestors was more..

Navy launches bottled drinking water project

June 29 (DN) The Navy launched a bottled drinking water project at Andankulam in Trincomalee. Naval Health Services director general Surgeon Rear Admiral NELW Jayasekera opened the project on June 24. The first water bottle, marketed under the brand name Blue Water, was presented to Ven Ahungalle Siri Seela Wishudhi Anu Nayake thera. Meanwhile, Naval personnel attached to SLNS Elara in Karainagar commenced a mangrove tree planting campaign to ensure the conservation of more..

Judge Sri Skandaraja takes oaths as new Chairman of Appellate Court

June 29 (IL) Appeal Court Judge S. Sri Skandaraja took oaths before President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Chairman of the Court of Appellate, Court of Sri Lanka at the Temple Trees on Tuesday 28 June. Judge Skandaraja was appointed as the Chairman following the appointment of former Chairman, President's Council, Sathya Hettige to the Sri Lanka Supreme Court. Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga was also present at the occasion. more..

Hundreds of valuable plants destroyed in forest fire

June 29 (DM) About 30 acres of forest land in Digampathana at Sigiriya were completely destroyed by a fire that ravaged the area police spokesman Prishantha Jayakody said. He said the fire was finally doused by forest officers who were assisted by the Dambulla Urban Council fire Brigade, the Sigiriya police and villagers. SP Jayakody said investigations were being conducted to find out how Monday evening’s fire, which destroyed more than 500 valuable plants, had originated. more..

Thilakawardena Report meant for President’s eyes only – MR

June 29 (Island) The report issued by the Presidential Commission that probed allegations of irregularities in the arms purchases by the Navy was for the eyes of the President only and it was up to him to decide whether to release it into the public domain or not, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday stressing that his discretion in that regard could not be questioned. "I am a lawyer myself and I know the legal position," President Rajapaksa said more..

Websites may be publishing lies, yet Lanka violates signed treaties!

June 29 (LB) The United Nations (UN) recently released a report declaring that disconnecting the internet from the public is a human rights violation. Sri Lanka is a country that has seen the banning of several media websites in the recent past. The two websites: Tamil Net, and LankaeNews are good examples. LAKBIMAnEWS conducted an investigation to ascertain the truth in this regard: As the first step LAKBIMAnEWS contacted Minister of Technology and Research more..

Demonstration for Rizana

June 29 (BBC) A demonstrations was held outside the Saudi embassy in Colombo, urging that a Sri Lankan maid in Saudi Arabia be released from prison where a death sentence is hanging over her. She was convicted of murdering a baby in her care but insists she is innocent and her parents say she was in any case legally a child when the alleged killing took place. Charles Haviland reporting from Colombo said that about 100 Sri Lankans – including women’s’ rights and Muslim campaigners and more..

Goodbye, Sanath

June 29 (CI) All eyes were on Alastair Cook as the match began because Sri Lanka's decision to field first meant he had an early chance to prove that his game can adapt to one-day cricket. Much of the build-up had been dominated by talk over his strike-rate, but that wasn't a problem today as he clocked in at 166.6. Sadly for Cook, however, the innings only spanned three balls. He was off the mark straight away with a nudge off his hip, then clipped a boundary through more..

New legislation for Lankan maids overseas bound

June 29 (DN) Legislation will be introduced soon to make it compulsory for Sri Lankan women who go abroad as housemaids to hand over the welfare of their children to a close guardian in writing, Child Development and Women’s Empowerment Minister Tissa Karaliyadda said. He said that this will minimize social problems caused due to mothers leaving their families. “Arrangements will also be made to stop women going abroad as housemaids if they have young daughters. more..

Accident Investigation Unit set up to deter SLTB accidents

June 29 (Island) Deputy Minister of Transport Rohana Dissanayaka has set up a SLTB Motor Vehicle Accident Investigation Unit to arrest the accident rate involving the Sri Lanka Transport Board buses. Of the total number of motor vehicle accidents in annually, SLTB buses were responsible for 4 per cent, the Transport Ministry said. Deputy Minister Dissanayaka told The Island the years from 2011 to 2020 had been declared as accident prevention years. more..

IOM wants to enhance links between INTERPOL and GoSL

June 29 (Island) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will host a two-day workshop on integration of INTERPOL Database Services with Sri Lanka’s immigration information system through the National Central Bureau (NCB), and the establishment of a National Stolen and Lost passport database. The workshop takes place at the Taj Samudra Hotel today and tomorrow. Participants include senior officials from the Ministry of Defense, the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE), more..

President Rajapaksa inspects South East Asia’s largest Performance Arts Theatre

June 29 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa inspected the Sri Lanka’s National Performance Arts Theatre constructed in the old Colombo Municipal Council grounds at Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha in Colombo with financial assistance from China on 27 June. This five storied theatre which is the largest in Sri Lanka and the South East Asia is another monument of the China – Sri Lanka close friendship. more..

Sri Lanka not to vote on rotational policy change

June 29 (Nation) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) is neither supporting nor opposing the abolition of the proposed rotation policy for the ICC president, said SLC interim committee chairman, DS deSilva. He said: "If the issue comes on voting in the AGM here on Wednesday, we are going to abstain from the voting. The decision has nothing to do with the Indian cricket board's decision of not sending the players for the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) in Colombo next month. more..

Navy has not taken over Vihara Maha Devi Park

June 29 (DM) Responding to United National Party (UNP) allegations that the Vihara Maha Devi Park earlier administered by the then Colombo Municipal Council had been handed over to the Navy, Municipal Commissioner Badrani Jayawardene said the Navy was only helping out in keeping the park clean. She said because the municipality lacked sufficient staff it had obtained the support of the Navy and they had nothing to do with the administration of the park. more..

Felicitating Pandit Amaradeva: India honours doyen of Sinhala classical music

June 29 (IL) The Indian government felicitated legendary Sri Lankan musician and Magsaysay award winner Pandit Dr W.D. Amaradeva once again for his contribution to strengthening India-Sri Lanka ties through his music. The 85-year-old doyen of Sinhalese classical music was honoured for his outstanding and unique contribution to enriching the relationship between two countries through the promotion of music. more..

The Lankan govt's might to information

June 29 (HT) A two-thirds majority in a 225-member Parliament usually means that in the last election the people overwhelmingly voted for the current govt. But does that mean that citizens have abdicated the right to ask questions? Or, even better, have handed over the right to control their thoughts to the government? Last week, the UPFA effortlessly defeated the Right to Information bill put up by a senior opposition leader. No, silly, the govt said; more..

Another 1,066 resettled in North

June 29 (DM) One thousand and sixty six displaced people left their temporary camps in Vavuniya to be resettled in the original places of residence at Vallipuram and Puthukudirippu in the Mullaitivu district. The ministry said 630 of them had lived in the Kadirgamar temporary relief village while the rest were from the Ananda Kumaraswami village. Resettlement Minister Gunaratna Weerakoon said the displaced people had been resettled after the land mines had been cleared and more..

England v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI: England beat Lanka by 110 runs

June 29 (CI) Alastair Cook's personal contribution may have been modest in the extreme, but he will not care a jot about that, after England's new era of ODI cricket was launched with a crushing 110-run victory over Sri Lanka at The Oval. James Anderson was the hero with a spell of three wickets in his first 17 balls, and 4 for 18 all told, as the same opponents who brought England's World Cup campaign to a humiliating conclusion in Colombo three months ago more..

Army, Moratuwa university produce UAV

June 29 (Island) Army Chief Lt. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya says the Army and the University of Moratuwa are exploring the possibility of producing some equipment needed by the country. He says now that the war is over the military could work with institutions capable of producing items which were previously imported. The Army Chief said that the SLA in collaboration with the University of Moratuwa had produced an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and remote controlled de-mining equipment. more..

Sri Lanka police investigate attack on teenage girls

June 29 (BBC) Sri Lankan police are investigating an assault on two girls apparently accused of watching pornography in the east of the country last week. A group of men allegedly beat up the 17-year-olds after they came out of an internet cafe in the mostly Muslim town of Kattankudi, near Batticaloa. The father of one of the girls says they were accused of watching pornography - a charge the girls deny. The case has fuelled concern about a rise in radical Islam in that area. more..

US warns Sri Lanka on war crime charges

June 29 (AFP) The United States on Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to move quickly to address allegations of war crimes, warning of rising pressure for international action if it does not. The State Department stopped short of endorsing calls for an international investigation into the bloody finale of the island's civil war in 2009, saying that domestic authorities have primary responsibility to ensure accountability. more..

‘Resilient Sri Lankan Tamils lead normal life after tsunami'

June 29 (Hindu) Sri Lanka was the worst affected country in the tsunami on December 26, 2004, said M.Ganesamoorthy, Professor of Business Economics, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, here on Tuesday. Speaking at a national seminar on economic impact on post tsunami in the Bay of Bengal organised by Rajah Serfoji Government College and Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ganesamoorthy said, "We had lost 30,000 to 40,000 people in the tsunami. Property damage was heavy." more..

Canada to assist Languages policy

June 29 (Island) The Govt of Canada on Monday signed an agreement with Sri Lanka to implement a $ 5.6n project in support of Sri Lanka’s languages policy. Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara represented the Govt of Sri Lanka and High Commissioner Bruce Levy signed on behalf of Beverly Oda, Canadian Minister for International Cooperation. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), would facilitate implementation of the National Languages Project more..

Remandees allowed bail after filing FR case against police

June 29 (Island) The Supreme Court yesterday, released on surety bail, two remand prisoners, who had been held in remand custody, for a period more than double the maximum sentence prescribed for the offence committed by them. Remand prisoner Namal Senaratne, aged 29 years, was held in remand custody for two and a half years, without being charged, while remand prisoner, R.P. Dharmapala, aged 58 years, was held in remand custody for two years and 11 months. more..

The big leak

June 29 (DM) The leakage of refined fuel from the main pipeline from the Colombo Port to the storage in Kollonnawa had caused losses running to the tune of millions of rupees to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) for the last five years, officials said yesterday. The situation has worsened now with two more bursts in the pipeline on April 23 and May 2 this year, Secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) Ananda Palitha said yesterday. more..

Sri Lanka reservoir flood move may end elephant gathering

June 29 (LBO) A plan by authorities to flood an ancient reservoir in Sri Lanka during the dry season may disrupt a centuries old migration of wild elephants who congregate in what is possibly the largest such gathering in the world, a leisure group has warned. Around August each year elephants running into hundreds gather around the Minneriya reservoir known as a tank, build by Sri Lanka's ancient kings for irrigation. more..

‘I can’t print money to pay dons’

June 29 (Island) It was not possible for the govt to grant the salary increases demanded by university teachers, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday. There was a salary structure and the govt had to stick to it and paying a salary of Rs. 200,000 to a university professor was impossible, he said. When several editors pointed out that university dons deserved better pay, the President asked whether they wanted him to print money for that purpose. more..

Fervent moves to save Rizana

June 29 (DM) Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem has met the advisor to the Saudi Arabian Minister of Justice on the sidelines of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) yesterday to discuss Rizana Nafeek's case that has been making waves in the past few days. It is learnt that the Minister had sought the release of Rizana on humanitarian grounds and considering the poor family background. more..