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'Ensure rights of Lankan Tamils'

May 6 (Hindu) Govt of India had the moral responsibility to get equal rights for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has said. Addressing a protesting demonstration against the killing of Sri Lankan Tamils in the island nation and the killing of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, here on Thursday, the party State committee member, P. Sampath, said that international laws gave protection to women and aged during war between two inimical countries. more..

DIG Colombo on ‘Govt Sharks at Peliyagoda Fish Market’

May 6 (Island) Apropos The Island editorial dated May 5 titled "Government Sharks at Peliyagoda Fish Market," DIG Colombo Anura Senanayaka, sent the following clarification: "On a directive given by Defence Secretary a successful raid was conducted at the Peliyagoda Fish Market under my supervision, which resulted the total elimination of the gang involved in the extortion racket. A police post was established there, more..

Sri Lankan waters at risk of pirate attacks: IMB

May 6 (AFP) A Panama-registered cargo ship seized by pirates in the Arabian Sea has been rescued along with the 24 Chinese sailors aboard, the transport ministry in Beijing said Friday. US and Turkish teams freed the vessel, Full City, late Thursday, several hours after it had been hijacked about 800 kilometres (500 miles) off the Indian city of Mumbai, more..

Rice, wheat prices among highest in region

May 6 (IRIN) Sri Lankans are experiencing steep increases in two staple food sources, rice and wheat, because of severe floods and global shortages, says the UN. A World Food Programme (WFP) analysis states that rice and wheat prices increased by 30 and 26 percent respectively on a year ago, making Sri Lanka one of the worst affected by rising food prices in South Asia. more..

Report biased says Army

May 6 (NN) Army Commander Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya has rejected the ‘Darusman report’ compiled by the panel of experts appointed by UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon. He also said that a committee appointed by the Army is now working on a response to the report which was made public recently by the UN Chief. Speaking during a visit to the East today the Army Chief said that more..

CID probes more ATM scams

May 6 (DM) The CID is investigating several ATM scams that have been reported across the island, after a number of private banks lodged complaints Millions of rupees have been withdrawn from ATMs after obtaining customer information using advanced electronic devices fixed on the ATM machines. A Romanian couple was arrested in February for withdrawing Rs.14 million from private banks and more..

SB warns legal action

May 6 (DM) Minister S.B. Dissanayake has refused to give into the demands for a pay hike to University academic staff and warned that legal action will be taken if they resign from their posts. Dissanayake said that University academic staff cannot leave without giving three months notice as per existing regulations. He also said that he is not in a position to meet the demands for a salary hike and more..

Most vehicles pass test

May 6 (NN) Most vehicles running on Sri Lankan roads have passed the vehicle emission test since 2009 which has as a result contributed to reduce air pollution in Colombo and other districts, Transport Minister Kumara Welgama told the Parliament. Responding to a question posed by government MP A.H.M. Azwer, the Minister said that of the vehicles tested in the year 2009, 13.5% had failed the vehicle emission test. more..

'Meet with Blake positive'

May 6 (Island) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said, in an exclusive interview, that Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake hadn’t come across any Tamil speaking civilians wanting to have Sri Lanka investigated for war crimes during his visit to former LTTE strongholds at Mullaitivu and Kilinochchi on May 3. Assistant Secretary Blake, in the company of his successor Patricia Butenis met more..

Foreigners must register

May 7 (NN) Foreign passport holders must continue to register with the Ministry of Defence in order to enter Jaffna despite the war against the LTTE ending three years ago. A group of Foreign passport holders who were born in Sri Lanka told News that they were turned back at the Omantai check point while heading to Jaffna as they had not registered with the Ministry of Defence. The regulations which were implemented soon after the war with regard to foreign passport holders still more..

Minister requests President to pardon 2600 prisoners

May 7 (DM) Minister Chandrasiri Gajadeera appealed to President Mahinda Rajapaksa seeking amnesty for 2600 prisoners to be granted on Vesak Full Moon Poya Day in commemoration of the 2600th Sambuddhathwa Jayanthiya. Amnesty had been recommended for prisoners serving short prison terms for minor charges said the Secretary to Ministry, A. Dissanayake yesterday (5). Usually a Presidential amnesty is granted to around 1000 prisoners annually on Independence Day. more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 06.05.2011

Tiring practices in Justice System

May 7 (LG) I went to the Registrar's Office of the Magistrate Court, Moratuwa, to get photocopies of a case bearing number 51443, which is a historical case of a nine years old detainee named 'Somawathi'. I got four pages of photocopies after much effort. I had to go to the Registrar's Office for 5 days to obtain only the said four pages of photocopies. First day, on 27th March 2011 I filed the motion to get photocopies of the said documents. Then I had to go on 29th March more..

Innocent man illegally arrested, detained and tortured by Anamaduwa Police

May 7 (LG) Mr. Samayakkarage Ravi Nishantha (29) of No: 07, Mundakkuliya, Anamaduwa in the Puttalam district was illegally arrested, detained and severely tortured by police officers attached to the Anamaduwa Police Station on 17 March 2011. While Nishantha was visiting a patient at Anamaduwa Government Hospital a former police officer brought him to the Anamaduwa Police Station. Then this officer privately talked to the officers on duty. more..

Army donates water supply system to Puthumadam R.C. primary school

May 7 (Cimic) A new water supply system of the Puthumadam Roman Catholic Primary school at Inuvil was installed by the troops of the 9th Battalion Sri Lanka National Guard fulfilling a much-needed requirement to the school for a longer period. Students and the teachers suffered with difficulty in consumption of water during school hours drawing water directly from the old deep well. It was, on the other hand, risky for the primary grade students more..

Unity, Survival, Destination

May 7 (LG) The Diaspora Tamils and the Homeland Tamils in their collective capacities as well as in their individual capacities should concentrate in performing tasks which they can do best for moving towards the Destination and this structural unity is the highest form of unity. More than the Tamils, it seems that the GOSL and its foreign partner Establishments have understood the importance of this structural unity if one looks at the scale and intensity of more..

Tamil Diaspora: Difficulty and Dilemma

May 7 (LG) Since the decimation of the Tigers, many see the diaspora as the last and only hope of bringing justice to the Tamils, particularly since the “post-war policies of President Mahina Rajapakse have deepened rather than resolved the grievances that generated and sustained LTTE militancy”: The International Crisis Group, Asia Report, No 186, 23rd February 2010. It is a grave and daunting responsibility, and the diaspora must not – using the words more..

Lanka, Israel grow ties with agriculture

May 7 (FT) Sri Lanka and Israel this week struck a landmark deal to grow greater bilateral ties via agriculture development. The important first ever five year agreement was signed by Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and Israel Minister of Agriculture Orit Noked who was in Sri Lanka this week on a three-day official visit. It was highlighted that the field of agriculture carried great potential for joint cooperation between more..

Is President the Competent Authority On Songs ?

May 7 (LG) In a public speech President Rajapakse criticized the Song “Me Rate Minussu Thanikara Kelinne Pissisu”, everybody in the country is mad. President, who could not see the satire and the humour in this song, said that this means, that the things happening in the country are bad. In the past, we used to sing, Loke Uthum Rata Lankawai”,” the best country in the world is Sri Lanka”, he said. President failed to appreciate that more people in the country travel outside more..

Triumphalism time in USA after Bin-Laden like in Sri Lanka after Prabhakaran

May 7 (TC) It was triumphalism time in the USA (and frankly as a former New Yorker, I join in that US triumphalism). The “most wanted man” Bin Laden had been captured while using his own wife as a human shield. He was conveniently shot dead in the head and dropped in the Indian Ocean without outside witnesses. Indeed after the Vietnam War which the US lost because of direct and correct reporting, subsequent US wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere were often wars without reliable witnesses. more..

EU to assist SL with €10 m

May 7 (EU) The European Commission raised its humanitarian support to Sri Lanka by another €10 million today. This will finance further assistance for internally displaced Sri Lankans, helping them to return to their homes, and ensuring that basic services are in place for the returnees. These additional resources will also bring humanitarian aid to vulnerable Sri Lankan refugees in India, and will reach the most affected victims of the floods that ravaged more..

Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha MP writes to UNSG Ban Ki Boon

May 7 (TC) Dear Mr Ban, One of the young doctors who had spent long hours working at Manik Farm drew my attention yesterday to a serious fallacy in the Report handed to you by Messers Darusman and Rattner and Ms Sooka. In Para 161 they claim with regard to the Welfare Centres at Manik Farm that ‘Some women were forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for food, shelter or assistance in camps’. The footnote they insert to substantiate this claim refers to your Report more..

Feudal Democracies

May 7 (LG) The beginning of May brings yet another period remembrance, pain, feeling of inadequacy, anger, and regret to the tortured lives of the Sri Lankan Tamils. This year however, the publication of the UN Report on the events in May 2009 has brought in a sense of satisfaction for the ‘international recognition’ of their sufferings, along with it a feeling of responsibility of having to ‘do something with it’. Perhaps, they are grateful for finally seeing a more..

Sai Baba -- a good NGO man our politicos liked

May 7 (LB) Millions of devotees around the world mourned the death of Indian mystic Sathya Sai Baba; among them are dozens of national level politicians around the South Asian region. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the leader of the ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi paid their tributes to Baba, and others who did so are Sri Lankan politicians. Our politicians and their affiliates, much like their South Asian counterparts, more..

Uproar over inferior school uniforms

May 7 (SL) An adjournment motion on school uniform material was taken up for debate in Parliament last week where all speakers expressed their concern over inferior quality and delayed distribution. Moving the motion DNA Member of Parliament, Ajith Kumara stated that most schools haven’t received the necessary uniform materials although the first term is finished and the second term has also started. “These uniforms are given to school children in support of their education and it gives some relief to the parents. more..

'Abuser' monk's bail appeal rejected

May 7 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has ordered the authorities to produce five novice Buddhist monks allegedly abused by a senior monk to the forensic medical officer and submit his report to the court. Aparekke Punnananda thero, a former MP representing Sinhala nationalist JHU is accused of sexually abusing five underage novice monks in his custody. The court has earlier ordered the suspect monk to report to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) every Sunday. more..

Competent policy to systematize athletes’ training

May 7 (GDI) The report of the committee appointed to probe into the underperformance of the contingent who represented Sri Lanka at the 2010 Asian Games reveal that this has occurred due to the mere reason of not selecting the most suitable athletes under a comprehensive plan for the most desirable events at the Game. 104 athletes represented Sri Lanka to compete in 22 sports events at the Asian Game held from 12th to 27th Nov 2010 in more..

Editorial: Sponsoring terrorism and casting stones

May 7 (Island) Pakistan has reportedly warned of dire consequences for anyone who may be planning unauthorised military raids inside its territory. It has every right to protect its sovereignty. In the wake of last Sunday’s US military operation which took Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, several countries including India have adopted a holier-than-thou posture on terrorism and Pakistan has been at the receiving end of a vilification campaign; a black picture has more..

Editorial: Know the truth, it will set you free

May 7 (DM) All of civilization and human achievements we must admit are growing towards great and rapid progress. There seems to be something in the creative forces at work, pushing people to high levels of ascendancy. One could even say that there seems to be some extraordinary intelligence behind this creative force. The purpose undoubtedly being the wellbeing of all humanity. Yet, the process originates in and through every individual heart and mind. more..

Well really? Leopards into Kandy town?

May 7 (LB) The inactivity of authorities and encroachment of natural habitat of wild life by humans in Sri Lanka’s wetlands, which has led to loss of territory -- and scarcity of food, are driving leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) closer to human settlements, to target livestock, wildlife experts say. This has led to a large number of leopards being killed by being trapped in snares intended for wild boar, sambhur and deer. more..

New facelift for Colombo Flats .

May 7 (GDI) A National Steering Committee has been appointed to improve common amenities in flats in the Colombo district. The committee is chaired by Secretary to the Ministry of Construction Gotabhaya Jayarathne. The Urban Development Authority, Ceylon Electricity Board, Colombo Municipal Council, Water Supply Board and several other organisations would work in close collaboration under this programme. This committee has been constituted under the direction more..

Elimination of Kerosene lighting in Sri Lanka

May 7 (GDI) On a proposal made by Minister of Power and Energy, Patali Champika Ranawaka, Cabinet has approved the introduction of solar powered LED Lighting Products to power the basic lighting requirements of houses and other places in remote villages, numbering 150,000. Kerosene had been in use as a source of lighting for many decades in Sri Lanka and presently, it is at a historically low level due to expansion of the national grid to all corners of the country. more..

Iran to finance 70% cost of upgrading Sapugaskanda refinery

May 7 (Island) Sri Lanka was having talks with Iran on funds for the expansion of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery, an official from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources said. "The Iranian government has pledged to finance 70 per cent of the total cost expanding the refinery and the balance will be taken care of by the government of Sri Lanka," Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Titus Jayawardana said. more..

Address core concerrns - ANC

May 7 (NN) The ruling African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa has called on the government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to address the core grievances of the Tamil population. A statement by the part which includes the current and past Presidents of the country, also called for a genuine reconciliation process in Sri Lanka. The statement comes following the release of the report by a UN Panel of Experts which included Yasmin Sooka, a prominent South African jurist. more..

Court asks Defence Sec. to give evidence

May 7 (DM) Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was ordered by the Mount Lavinia District Court to appear in court to give evidence in the defamation suit he had filed against the Sunday Leader newspaper. Additional District Judge France Gunawardena informed the counsel appearing for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to notice their client to appear on August 15 and 16 to give evidence on his allegations against the newspaper. Mr. Rajapaksa had charged that articles published under more..

Galle road reconstruction behind schedule

May 7 (Island) The completion of the Rs. 100 million project to reconstruct the 1.9-km stretch of the Galle Road, from Bambalapitiya Junction to Kollupitiya Junction, is behind schedule. Special Commissioner of the Colombo Municipal Council Omar Kamil attributed it to the delay in the manufacture and installation of inter-locking locks needed for the foot walks. The former Mayor of Colombo and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Iran, said that more..

Sri Lankan minister begins official visit tomorrow

May 7 (TP) The Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera will begin an official visit here tomorrow on an invitation extended by the government. During this visit Minister Perera will hold talks with officials regarding employment opportunities in Qatar. A delegation comprising senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau and Chief Executive Officers of more..

New legislations for drivers

May 7 (DM) The Transport Ministry is to introduce tough legislations including increased prison terms and fines on drivers and compensation for victims of accidents, in an effort to stem ever increasing road accidents and resultant deaths and injuries, Minister Kumara Welgama said. He said that road accidents are becoming an increasing social, economic and health issue with five to six deaths from around 150 road accidents occurring a day in Sri Lanka. more..

Tillakaratne seeks protection over fixing

May 7 (AFP) Former cricket captain Hashan Tillakaratne demanded police protection before he shares information on alleged match-fixing with authorities. "As an eyewitness to match-fixing, I will reveal the names of those involved if my security is guaranteed," Tillakaratne told reporters after the CID grilled him for the second time this week. His wife Apsari said the family feared for their lives, as they have received several death threats more..

Mobitel, first in S Asia to successfully demonstrate LTE

May 7 (DN) Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, the National Mobile Telecom Service Provider, announced yesterday that it has carried out a successful trial of LTE (Long Term Evolution) Technology achieving speeds of up to 96 Mbps. Having launched the first Super-3.5G HSPA network in South Asia in December 2007, and subsequently carried out trial of HSPA+, MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) with downlink speeds of up to 28 Mbps in 2009, another first in the region, more..