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Boston Lanka News: June 2, 2011

Fond Lord's memories seem a long way off for Sri Lanka

June 3 (CI) Traditionally, Lord's has been a venue to inspire visiting sides, and five years ago on their last visit to the ground, that was undeniably the case for Sri Lanka. Faced with a towering defeat in the first match of the series, they batted two-and-a-half days to secure arguably the most improbable draw of the decade. Had they displayed even a fraction of that dedication in Cardiff on Monday, this series would also be tied at 0-0 after one Test, and more..

'Pace and bounce hold no fear'

June 3 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara insists Sri Lanka have no fear of facing England's trio of tall quicks likely to confront them during the second Test at Lord's despite the humbling experience of their second innings in Cardiff when they were rolled for 82. Chris Tremlett blew the top order away - although not Sangakkara, who was classically removed by Graeme Swann - and some of the tourists appeared distinctly uncomfortable when the England bowlers found their rhythm. more..

Military confab concludes: Sri Lankan Forces take a bow

June 3 (DN) The military officers who attended the three day international seminar ‘Defeating Terrorism - Sri Lankan Experience’ were unanimous that Sri Lanka’s Security Forces were among the best in the world considering the strategies that were used and their humane aspect during the humanitarian operation. They made these observations during the panel discussion after the seminar organized by the Sri Lanka Army led by Army Commander Lieutenant more..

The oppressive Govt. & fraudulent ‘bill’ should be defeated – Tilvin Silva

June 3 (LT) The Rajapakse regime that murders workers and the fraudulent ‘pensions bill’ should be defeated says the General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva. He emphasized that the govt cannot evade the responsibility of murdering a worker of the FTZ adding that the JVP would never allow the govt to evade its responsibility from that murder. The General Secretary of the JVP speaking to the participants at the demonstration held yesterday at more..

Cashing in on the dead, JVP’s creed - Minister Dilan Perera

June 3 (DN) “From the beginning, the JVP got a person killed and then sold his body and blood stained clothes to gain political advantage. This time a garment worker became their victim. The police blindly assisted the JVP to kill this person,” Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said. Addressing a press briefing yesterday, Minister Perera said that taking advantage of bodies to grab power is the traditional and popular method used by the JVP. more..

England v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test: A huge test of Sri Lanka's resolve

June 3 (CI) Conjuring victories out of nowhere is the hallmark of an outstanding cricket team and England is certainly one of those. Their thrilling effort to bowl out Sri Lanka for 82 in 24.4 overs on the final afternoon in Cardiff secured their fifth innings victory in seven Tests. Regardless of the frailties in Sri Lanka's batting, it was a mind-boggling performance from Chris Tremlett, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad. more..

Vaiko at EU ‘hearing’ a joke says Lanka

June 3 (Island) Sri Lanka says Wednesday’s so-called hearing on Sri Lanka in Brussels had been a yet another attempt by the LTTE rump to flex its muscles. Sources say Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) General Secretary Vaiko had been present at the hearing aimed to discuss the way forward for Tamils in Lanka. The Indian press reported that Vaiko had been invited for the hearing by a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Paul Murphy. more..

China to undertake mega road construction job

June 3 (DM) The government had decided to purchase Plant and Machinery needed for road construction from China at a cost of Rs.12, 369.6 million (US $ 115.8 Million). President Mahinda Rajapaksa had directed that the provincial road network be upgraded by the Ministry of Economic Development, the government said. An improvement to provincial road network was a long felt need in the light of development activities currently underway throughout the country, it added. more..

Sri Lanka defence spending seen as 'vital investment'

June 3 (LBO) Sri Lanka spent 5.5 billion US dollars in its military campaign which crushed Tamil Tiger separatists, far less than what foreign powers spent on their current wars, central bank governor Nivard Cabraal said. "It was a vital investment not an expenditure like what many people would think it is," Cabraal said. "It was an investment in peace." The govt spent about four percent of gross domestic product on total defence investment or more..

Assets, liabilities must be declared before end June

June 3 (Island) All public officials are required to declare their assets and liabilities to the relevant authorities before June 30. The officials are required to declare their assets and liabilities in accordance with Assets and Liabilities Act No. 1 of 1975. The decision, for the officials to declare their assets, was taken as a result of the discussions held by the Bribery Commission officials with the Secretary to the President, more..

Dengue breeding grounds found in most WP schools

June 3 (DM) At least 75% of schools in the Western Province have been identified as havens for mosquito breeding according to an entomological research carried out in several provinces, the Health Ministry said yesterday. The mosquito larvae research had been carried out on all schools in the Western, Sabaragamuwa, North Western, Central and Southern provinces by the Health Ministry in collaboration with the Medical Research Institute. more..

Elephant spirited out of Pinnawela

June 3 (Island) A 10-year-old male elephant was secretly taken out of the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage in the wee hours of yesterday, according to senior officials in Pinnawela. Officials said that the operation was conducted under the leadership of National Zoological Gardens’ Assistant Director Renuka Bandaranaike. "She came with number of officials and Zoo employees and started separating the animal around 10.30 p.m. and more..

'JVP backed group drew workers into clash'

June 3 (DN) “A short sighted extremist group backed up by the JVP inveigled innocent employees of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) into an unnecessary clash with the Police aiming to ruin the industrial peace in the country,” Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said. “Inciting clashes or riots with the Police is not new to the JVP who are past masters in burning and attacking police stations since 1971.” more..

Now, US suspects credibility of LTTE surrender offer

June 3 (Island) Amidst a furore over unsubstantiated war crimes allegations levelled against the Sri Lanka Army, especially the ‘killing of a group of LTTE personnel and their families carrying white flags’ on the Vanni east front, US Defence Advisor Lieutenant Col. Lawrence Smith questioned the very basis of the allegation. Responding to a query by retired Indian General Ashok Kumar Metha on Wednesday, more..

'A life would have been saved if govt. had listened to us'

June 3 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe said yesterday that the life of Roshen Chanaka, the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) worker, would have been saved if the UNP’s request for an all party conference to discuss the private sector pension scheme had been acceded to by the government. He said his party had suggested an all party meeting to discuss the pension scheme but it had been turned down by the govt. more..

Govt. withdraws PSP Bill

June 3 (Island) The government has decided to withdraw the Private Sector Pension Scheme Bill after public protests, which left one youth dead and 145 workers injured, some of whom are still receiving treatment for serious head and limb injuries. Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the Cabinet, which met on Wednesday, resolved to withdraw the controversial Bill and introduce an amended version after discussions with all all stakeholders. more..

President tells officials in overseas missions: Play greater role in rebuilding country’s economy

June 3 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that Sri Lankan officials in overseas missions will have to play a greater role in rebuilding the country’s economy. He was of the view that Sri Lankan mission officials who are overseas should deviate from traditional diplomatic practices. The President made these observations at the presentation of credentials to 17 newly appointed Heads of Sri Lankan missions overseas more..

German envoy warns Def. Secy over ‘police excesses’

June 3 (Island) German Ambassador Jens Plotner has warned Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa over what he calls disproportionate use of police force during Monday’s clashes between the police and a large group of workers at the Katunayake Export Processing Zone (EPZ). Ambassador Plotner, while acknowledging that tackling violent demonstrations poses a challenge to the police the world over, more..

'Police opened fire without orders'

June 3 (DM) The government said yesterday that preliminary investigations had found that the policemen had opened fire without an order from a senior officer and caused the death to a protester during a clash between police and workers of the Katunayake Free Trade Zone. "Police firing at unarmed civilians without an order from a senior officer is very reprehensible and one should put an immediate stop to such actions," more..

Sri Lanka monks protest over police crackdown

June 3 (AP) Sri Lanka's powerful Buddhist clergy demonstrated Friday urging the president to restore rights of workers and students days after a violent police crackdown on a labor protest killed one factory worker. About 400 monks marched peacefully in Colombo, carrying placards and banners before gathering opposite President Mahinda Rajapaksa's official residence where they protested the crackdown that led to clashes more..

Sri Lanka judicial independence seen weakening

June 3 (LBO) The International Bar Association’s human rights arm said it was concerned over what it called "the increasing erosion of judicial independence in Sri Lanka." The association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) said recent and planned changes to the island's constitution could undermine the independence of the judiciary. The IBAHRI has raised these concerns in a confidential letter to to the govt of Sri Lanka more..

Four missing TN fishermen traced to Sri Lanka

June 4 (HT) Four missing Tamil Nadu fishermen have been traced to Nainar Island near Sri Lanka, officials said on Friday. The mechanised boat in which the fishermen, who had put to sea from Rameswaram on Wednesday, sank in the sea due to heavy winds. However, all the four swam to the Nainar Island. MH J awahirullah, state convener of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi, said he had taken up the issue with state fisheries minister KA Jayapal. more..

'Consider freeing hard-core terrorists'

June 4 (DM) Professor Rohan Gunaratne said he had requested the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to reconsider prosecuting hard-core LTTE cadres and freeing them like other ex combatants after rehabilitating them. He made these comments while speaking on the third and last day of the seminar on ‘Defeating Terrorism: The Sri Lankan Experience,’ organized by the Sri Lankan Army to share with 300 military and civilian delegates from 41 countries the experiences of more..

'My Lord’s Speech will be very Sri Lankan'

June 4 (Island) The greatest batsman produced by Sri Lanka to date, Aravinda de Silva achieved several milestones in his international career that spanned for two decades, but a Test hundred at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket, eluded him. (He scored 107 for Kent at Lord’s in the Benson and Hedges Final against Lancashire). Another Sri Lankan great, Kumar Sangakkara, who will soon be 34 and is unlikely to be around by the time the team tours England more..

Bus fares up from July

June 4 (NN) The Public Transport Ministry has decided to revise the price of bus fares with effect from 1st July. Accordingly bus fares, including the minimum fare will be revised from next month as per a request put forward by private bus operators. Private bus operators had yesterday issued a two week deadline for the authorities to increase bus fares. They said that if the govt fails to meet the deadline then private bus operators will be compelled to increase fares on their own. more..

India to provide 203 million rupees in grants to uplift lives of war widows

June 4 (HCI) An Agreement for providing Technical Assistance and Implementation support for establishment of a Trade Facilitation Centre and a Community Learning Centre at Batticaloa, Sri Lanka was signed on 31 May, 2011 between Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India and Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), Ahemdabad. The Government of India will provide SLR 203 million for the project as a technical grant. more..

Three national rugby players tested positive for a banned drug

June 4 (NN) Three national rugby players have been tested positive for a banned drug during an Asian five nation’s tournament played in Colombo recently, the Sports Ministry said today. Dr. Geethanjana Mendis of the Sports Ministry medical unit confirmed that the three players have been tested positive and an investigation is underway. The three players were identified as more..

Pathethic life for Tamils in Sri Lanka, says Tamil Nadu government

June 4 (DNA) The Tamil Nadu government today asked the Centre to pressurise the Sri Lankan government for the rehabilitation of Tamils displaced in war, saying they were leading a "pathetic life of subjugation." "Lakhs of Tamils have perished during the recent war in Sri Lanka and the remaining are leading a pathetic life of subjugation in their homeland," governor SS Barnala said in his address to the assembly. more..

Police shot from three directions: CID

June 4 (DM) The CID today informed the Negombo Magistrate that police had shot the workers of Katunayake Free Trade Zone who protested against the proposed Pension Bill last Monday from three different directions. The CID informed this to court producing Officer-in-Charge of Seeduwa Police station and an Inspector of the same police station before the magisterial inquiry conducting on the alleged murder and causing grievous injuries to 21-year-old Free Trade Zone worker Roshen Chanaka. more..

No fresh vegetables and greens on European flights

June 4 (AD) SriLankan Airlines today announced that all fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumber and leafy greens have been taken off their menus on all flights out of Europe, as a precautionary measure against the E.coli outbreak currently spreading in Europe. A release issued by the airline stated that it has decided to remove all such items ‘until it is once again safe to serve raw vegetables which may carry the E.coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria’. more..

Sri Lanka to provide training on Nuclear Power for its engineers

June 4 (N360) Sri Lanka is planning to send 30 young engineers abroad to engage in studies on how to operate Nuclear Power Plants. The Ministry of Power and Energy says they have made a request from the Government of Czechoslovakia to help train the CEB engineers. Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka has made this request yesterday when he has held a meeting with the visiting Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia Thomas Dub. more..

BOI rejects off day

June 4 (NN) The Board of Investment (BOI) has rejected a request by trade unions for staff of Free Trade Zones to be given leave tomorrow to attend the funeral of the employee killed during clashes between police and FTZ employees. BOI Chairman Jayampathi Bandaranayake said that it is for the companies operating at the FTZ to decide if they want to give a full day’s leave for the staff or not. Trade union leader Wasantha Samarasinghe said that he had written to the BOI asking for more..

Tharanga 'pressurised' not to reveal doctor's name

June 4 (BBC) A doctor who is described as Sri Lanka President’s personal physician is accused of prescribing a banned substance to Sri Lanka’s opening batsman Upul Tharanga. Upul Tharanga was reportedly informed by the ICC that traces of Prednisolone was found in his blood sample randomly taken during the World Cup co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The ICC refused to comment. “As a matter of ICC policy and in accordance with more..

Sri Lanka deploys troops at free-trade zone

June 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka deployed heavily-armed troops around the country's main free-trade zone on Friday as tension mounted ahead of the weekend funeral of a factory worker shot dead by police, officials said. Soldiers were placed in the Katunayake zone, just next to the country's only international airport where a range of international companies from India, Japan, China and South Korea are based, an official said. 'The army has been deployed to maintain order. more..

Q&A: Sri Lanka's outbreak of union protests

June 4 (Reuters) Thousands of Sri Lankan workers went on strike on Friday, the latest stoppage in five days of labour unrest supported by the Marxist opposition that has seen clashes between strikers and police that killed one and wounded at least 200 this week. The strikes, which have been mostly peaceful, have presented President Mahinda Rajapaksa with his first significant organised labour challenge since he took office in late 2005. more..

Jayasuriya eyes a comeback

June 4 (GN) Sri Lankan former captain and legendary all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya is aiming for a comeback during the upcoming one-day series in England. In an interview with Gulf News at Zabeel Park, Jayasuriya, who is on an invitation from the G Force Cricket Academy, said: "I hope to be selected for the England one-day series. I have been playing in the Provincial Series and have played well and got most runs in the domestic season. more..

A mission and a vision for universities of Sri Lanka

June 4 (LG) Even as an old academic who left the Sri Lankan Universities many years ago, I have been following the university teachers’ confrontations with Minster of education S. B. Dissanayake. The minister was one of my old student leaders with whom I had many a confrontation as well as a good understanding. The articles in the newspapers, as well as private conversations with Lankan colleagues suggest that once again a great opportunity may be lost. more..

Lawyers for Democracy urges govt to avoid repression

June 4 (LG) Lawyers for Democracy (LfD) is shocked at the violence meted out to protesters at the Katunayake Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and calls for an immediate halt to such violent practices and an independent investigation as to what transpired. The use of force was against workers who challenged the government's decision to introduce a contentious pension scheme, which is objected widely by trade unions, political parties and many other groups. The incident at more..

Patricians meet Rajans in friendly Cricket Match

June 4 (Cimic) Students and teachers of Dharmaraja College Kandy made another visit to St. Patrick’s College Jaffna recently to strengthen the friendship and develop mutual understanding with Patricians. This goodwill visit was organized by the Civil Affairs Office of the 511 Brigade. Dharmaraja boys received warm welcome from St. Patrick’s counterparts on arrival in the college where they met each other in a limited over friendly cricket match played at more..