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Caritas aids imprisoned fishermen

May 27 (UCAN) Caritas officials in Sri Lanka are continuing to deal with Indian authorities to release fishermen in Indian custody. They are negotiating for the release of six fishermen who left Kalpitiya parish in Chilaw diocese one year ago and who had strayed into Indian waters. “We have sent all the details to the Indian side through the foreign ministry to take immediate action,” said Father Abraham Barnabas, director of Caritas Chilaw. more..

Celebrating Victory over Terrorism

May 27 (Island) The tri-services parade today, accompanied by a fly past and a sail past by the Air Force and the navy respectively, marks the second anniversary of the Sri Lankan nation’s triumph over terrorism. The terror movement against the country which was defeated two years ago was of a much larger scale and more far-reaching significance than the Marxist insurrections of 1971 and 1989 in the south of the country, which were also decisively crushed by more..

Thugs assault Gampola UC officers

May 27 (DM) An unidentified gang of about 20 came in trishaws and assaulted the secretary, two public health inspectors and nine other employees of the Gampola Urban Council who were on duty at a project site. The Chairman of Gampola Urban Council, Sarath Hettiarasschchi said three of the assaulted persons including the UC secretary were admitted to the Gampola hospital for in-house treatment and others released after OPD treatment. The UC secretary in his complaint to more..

Stamps depicting 4 famous bridges out today

May 27 (Island) The Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts will issue four stamps today (Friday) depicting famous bridges of Sri Lanka. They will be in the denomination of Rs. 5.00. Posts and Telecommunication Ministry Secretary Hemasisri Fernando and Post Master General R.M.K.B. Dissanayake will cancel the First Day Covers of the stamps which have historic and artistic value. The stamps will depict the Stone Bridge of Mahakanadara, the Timber Bridge of Bogoda, more..

India and Sri Lanka sign MoU on bilateral air services

May 27 (Island) India and Sri Lanka today signed a MoU on Bilateral Air Services between the two countries. It was signed here by Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam and Indian Civil Aviation Secretary Naseem Zaidi on behalf of their respective governments. This MOU is the outcome of discussions between Sri Lankan and Indian civil aviation authorities last month, and in line with modern developments in more..

CPA withdraws petition

May 27 (Island) The Centre for Policy Alternatives yesterday withdrew the petition it had filed against the Commissioner of Elections for his failure to hold elections to the Colombo Municipal Council on schedule. The Court allowed the withdrawal and pro forma dismissed the application. The petitioner reserved the right to file a fresh petition, shortly. Deputy Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando objected to the petition on the ground that the affidavit was more..

Paranavitana shows he's at home, away

May 27 (CI) Much of the talk surrounding Sri Lanka leading up to this series has been about the amount of change the country's cricket has undergone since the World Cup. But there was little change in the weather from when they last played Test cricket as the rain that dogged their home series, against West Indies, made an appearance in chilly Cardiff to wipe out half the day's play. There was continuity in the personnel as well. The XI they chose for the first Test had more..

Sri Lanka fight on shortened opening day

May 27 (CI) Sri Lanka's openers, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Tharanga Paranavitana, gave their team a solid start to the first Test in Cardiff before England's bowlers hit back on a truncated day. The pair added 93 for the first wicket after play was delayed until mid-afternoon by regular showers, but Dilshan couldn't build on his half-century and Kumar Sangakkara also departed in somewhat controversial circumstances when the DRS became involved. more..

Senanayake and Dandeniya compete for cricket CEO

May 27 (DM) Controversial ex-Sri Lanka World Cup director Suraj Dandeniya and former Sri Lanka player Charith Senanayake are close contenders to become the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sri Lanka Cricket. There had been five contenders which included former Sri Lanka team manager Sriyan Samararatne, current cricket operations manager Ashley de Silva and former CEO Duleep Mendis in the running. But Mendis who is over 55 has age as a hurdle to clear while De Silva by more..

World Bank funds Rs. 16,650 million metro Colombo urban development project

May 27 (LBO) The World Bank is to provide 150 million US dollars to Sri Lanka to improve flood protection and infrastructure in and around the capital city of Colombo. The overall aim of the 'Metro Colombo Urban Development Project' under taken with World Bank funding is to improve planning and delivery of priority infrastructure and local services in the capital metropolitan region. The project will start in the latter part of 2011 and more..

Development Diaries May 25 2011

Greatest responsibility to protect hard-won freedom - President

May 27 (DN) “It is with very much pleasure that I send this message of greetings on Ranaviru Day - set apart to commemorate the War Heroes who made the supreme sacrifice for the unity of our motherland,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa said. The message: “The cherished dream of peace that we as a nation yearned for decades has now come true. “The honour for this should solely be with our armed forces. Let us bow our heads in homage to those thousands who sacrificed life and more..

Anura says 90 % of academics quit posts

May 27 (Island) DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Thursday said that about 90 per cent of university academics had resigned their voluntary posts in spite of a govt claim to the contrary. The JVPer told parliament university teachers weren’t ready to compromise their demand for the rectification of salary anomalies. Making a special statement on the university crisis, Dissanayake said that of the 318 heads of department in universities 278 had resigned to pressure the more..

All set for second Victory Day anniversary

May 27 (DN) The nation will celebrate the second anniversary of the annihilation of one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world, the LTTE, at a solemn ceremony at the Galle Face Green under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa today. Over 24,000 members of the Security Forces who made the supreme sacrifice for the protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation would be remembered by observing two minutes silence more..

Sri Lanka Northern Province GDP Grew by 14.2%

May 27 (GDI) A fast recovery of economic activities is taking place in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka since the end of the conflict in May 2009. In 2009, the Northern Province recorded a provincial nominal GDPgrowth rate of 14.2 per cent, the second highest in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's northern and eastern provinces were badly affected by the three decades war that ended in May 2009. The LTTE during its intensified fight made obstacles to govt's development initiatives. more..

India grabs Trevor Penny before Sri Lanka

May 27 (DM) One of the three contenders shortlisted by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) to be employed as the national coach to fill the void created by the exit of Trevor Bayliss will no longer be in the running. Australian Trevor Penny who had been High Performance Co-Ordinator / Asst Coach with Queensland Cricket Association has taken up the job as the fielding coach of the Indian team from this week. "Yes, it will be a great loss to us but we didn't want to come in his way when more..

Plantation talks break down

May 27 (Island) The fourth round of Tri-partite talks among the three Plantation Trade Unions, the Employers Federation of Ceylon, 22 Plantation companies and the Ceylon Plantation Association broke down on Tuesday. Meanwhile plantation workers have been holding several protests in the up country areas, including Kotagala and Hatton, led by Plantation Parties, including the Up country Peoples Front (UPF) demanding that their basic wage be increased to Rs. 540. more..

Dy British HC says re-integration of ex-combatants important part in reconciliation process

May 27 (Island) Sri Lanka has met the challenging task of rehabilitating ex-LTTE personnel, particularly child soldiers, says Rajan Asiriwathan, who once represented the govt at talks with the LTTE (1994/5). He says the country could be proud of the post-war rehabilitation of ex-combatants and those held for their involvement with the LTTE. The former Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon said so in answer to a query by The Island yesterday. more..

SB rejects JVPer’s claim

May 27 (Island) Minister S.B. Dissanayake said that there was absolutely no dispute over the necessity to increase the salaries of university teachers. However, salary increments couldn’t be made overnight, he said. Responding to MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Minister said that there would be a discussion on June 3 between the FUTA and Higher Education Ministry to explore ways and means of setting the issue. more..

Ranil playing double game, says Sajith

May 27 (Island) Dissident UNP MP Sajith Premadasa, on Tuesday alleged that those who visited Gen. Sarath Fonseka at the Welikada prison were secretly pushing for the war veteran’s detention. An irate Premadasa accused UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe of playing a double game at the expense of a war hero, whereas he (Premadasa) would never do that. He was reacting to an allegation by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena that more..

Salary issue: Dons to continue TU action

May 27 (DM) The education sector crisis may deepen further with university lecturers yesterday vowing to continue their trade union action after Wednesday’s meeting between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the FUTA ended in a stalemate. The FUTA President Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said though the President acknowledged the salary issue of the academics, they did not receive any positive response to their demands nor more..

Lasantha killing: The mystery deepens

May 27 (DM) The ex-army intelligence unit member who was arrested in connection with the killing of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunge made a special statement before the Mount Lavinia magistrate Nirosha Fernando in her chambers yesterday. The statement came in the wake of former intelligence officer Kandegedara Priyawansa alleging that TID OIC Prasanna Alwis had asked him to give evidence implicating a senior military officer in more..

They deserve a salary increase: Minister

May 27 (DM) The government has agreed in principle that salaries of university lecturers should be increased further, Higher Education Minister S.B. Dissanayake told parliament yesterday. He said President Mahinda Rajapaksa met representatives of the Federation of University Teachers (FUTA) on Wednesday, and would meet top government officials before taking a final decision on this matter. more..

‘White Flag’ Trial-at-Bar: AG accused of playing politics

May 27 (Island) General Sarath Fonseka on Thursday denied allegations that he had moved to Cinnamon Lakeside on the night of January 26, 2009 along with members of the Opposition to launch a take-over bid. "Citing unsubstantiated reports, the govt launched a witch hunt targeting me and my close associates, resulting in some 6o arrests," he said. The war veteran said that they moved to the hotel after more..

'Private Sector Pension a viable option'

May 27 (DM) While claiming that the Private Sector Employee Pension Fund would essentially be the responsibility of the govt as it was introduced by the Secretary to the Treasury, Dr. P. B Jayasundara yesterday said it would be made compulsory for all employees below the age of 50 to contribute to the private sector employee fund to be established by the govt, but explained that those over 50 could do so voluntarily. He also said that no benefits would accrue to family members of more..

Sri Lanka leader defends troops on war crime claims

May 27 (AFP) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday vowed to defend his military from war crimes allegations as the island marked the second year of its victory over Tamil Tiger rebels. "We will not betray you to the world," Rajapakse told troops during a colourful military parade at Colombo's seafront Galle Face promenade to commemorate the war success. Colombo is under pressure from the West, the United Nations and international rights groups to submit more..

Tauqir Zia slams Dilshan’s statement; not good for cricket

May 27 (INN) Former PCB Chairman Tauqir Zia has strongly berated statement of Sri Lankan Captain Tillakaratne Dilshan in which he said he would not play cricket in Pakistan again after an invitation to his side to play again. While reacting to the statement of the Sri Lankan Captain, Zia opined that as a captain he must refrain from giving such statements adding Pakistan has always supported Sri Lankan cricket through thick and thin. more..

Sri Lanka cracks down on illegal fishing

May 28 (LBO) Sri Lanka has told a regional fish management body that it is cracking down on illegal fishing that is seen hurting efforts to prevent over-exploitation of fish stocks and conservation. Fishing vessels caught engaging in 'IUU' (illegal, unregulated and unreported) fishing have had their licences cancelled and been de-registered, the ministry of fisheries has told the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). The IOTC held its 15th session in Sri Lanka in March where more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 27.05.2011

Landslide kills two

May 28 (NN) A two storied house was buried following a landslide in Kegalle early this morning killing two people, the police media unit said. The two victims were a mother and teenage daughter who were sleeping on the ground floor of the house at the time of the incident. According to the police, the house was situated in a rubber estate and the landslide occurred following heavy rain experienced in the area last night. The husband of the lady killed in the landslide more..

Local birds are safe

May 28 (NN) Sri Lankan birds have not been affected by migrating birds found dead off Puttalam last week, the Department of Wildlife said. Officials said that they had carried out tests on some local birds in the area and did not find any virus or a form of disease in their blood. Meanwhile officials also said they were continuing tests on the dead birds and still could not find the cause of death. At least 16 birds were found dead and falling from the sky in more..

Women 'key' to water projects

May 28 (IRIN) Women could prove key to the success of Sri Lanka's rural water and sanitation projects, experts and villagers say. As a five-year project to reduce time spent collecting water and to ensure safe drinking water jointly launched by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Sri Lankan government comes to a close, its leaders are reflecting on the lasting benefits of their decision to incorporate women in an unprecedented way. more..

Use net responsibly

May 28 (NN) Sri Lankan authorities have urged school children to use the internet responsibly especially when using social media networks. The Sri Lanka Computer Emergency Readiness Team Coordination Centre (SLCERT/CC) said it has begun an awareness campaign for school children on "Internet safety" and the first program was conducted at Royal College, Colombo. SLCERT said the awareness program looks at educating teachers and more..

Protest against mine

May 28 (NN) A protest was staged opposite a sand mine factory in Nathandiya, Welahapita today by villagers in the area. The protestors blocked the main road disrupting transport and called on the authorities to shut down the factory. According to the protestors, the sand mine factory is a threat to the environment as well as to people residing in the area. The protestors claimed that deep pits have been created in the vicinity as a result of the sand mining operations while more..

The real war commemoration is releasing Gen. Fonseka – Anura

May 28 (LT) The genuine commemoration of the war is the release of former Commander of the Army Gen. Sarath Fonskea says JVP MP Anura Dissanayake. He said this to the media after he visited Gen. Sarath Fonseka in Welikada Prison today. Mr. Dissanayake said the President commemorated the second anniversary of the end of the war in a grand scale today. Is there a meaning to such a commemoration that is held after imprisoning Gen. Sarath Fonseka, more..

Fresh probe on HR violation by an alleged criminal organisation is an eye wash

May 28 (LG) Media reports of government appointing a five member panel of judges to investigate into the Human Rights and Fundamental rights violations in the North-East following the newly appointed Chairman of Human Rights Commission (HRC), the retired Supreme Court Judge Priyantha Perera rises the eyebrows of those who are concerned about the approach the government is taking on the issues very central to the international outcry against Sri Lanka. more..

Editorial: The last will of the unknown warrior…

May 28 (LG) Nanthikadal lagoon was silent. The odor of the wind from the sea side stabbed the lungs of a survived warrior who was looking for the fallen. A craw was hovering above with an eagle eye yoked to the ground. He glided down, circled, and perched. Slowly hopped towards where my unknown warrior was resting in peace. His face had a gentle smile. Eyes still open, yet no breath to warm up his heart that was filled with a heavy last will few hours ago. more..

Experts gather to review progress of Jaffna Fort conservation project

May 28 (Cimic) A special meeting presided by Secretary to the Ministry of National Heritage Mrs. Kanthi Wijethunge was held on Thursday at the Jaffna Library Conference Hall to review the progress of renovation of the historical Jaffna Fort. Senior officials of the Netherlands Embassy, Archaeological Department, Urban Development Authority, Jaffna Municipality, Archaeology experts, students at the Universities of Moratuwa and Jaffna and more..

Sri Lanka Embassy does not respect a sentence of an Italian Tribunal

May 28 (LG) My name is Ms. Patrizia Falco, I am an Italian citizen, I decide to write to your newspaper to tell you my judicial history in the hope you will make public my history in Sri Lanka. Everything has beginning on May 2008 when after 3 years as Assistant of the Minister of Commercial Affairs (2005-2008) I has been dismissed from the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Rome, via Adige,2-00198 Rome. I don’t want to argue about my dismissal but I just want to make you more..

UN Report on Sri Lanka : Myths and Realities

May 28 (LG) Sri Lanka had been at war with itself for several years and sections of international community are getting sensitized to the horrendous crimes which took place in the island during the last stages of the Fourth Eelam War. The Report of the UN Secretary General’s panel of experts on accountability in Sri Lanka - not an investigative panel, but only an advisory group – has triggered off an intense debate within the island as well as the wider world. more..