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Sri Lanka sees war tourism as survivors struggle

Nov 8 (AN) The packed buses hurtle along the once forbidden, dusty A9 highway from the Sri Lankan capital across the former frontline to the "liberated" north – a region held by the defeated Tamil Tiger separatists for the best part of a quarter of a century. Along the way, the buses stop and passengers descend into the hot afternoon sun, taking out their phones to photograph displays of blown-up water tanks, captured boats, armoured vehicles and more..

Sri Lanka's large chambers want expropriation bill deferred

Nov 8 (LBO) Sri Lanka's large business chambers have urged the state to defer a hastily drawn up law to expropriate three dozen business ventures which has drawn fire from many quarters. "Considering the likely negative impact of the proposed legislation and the wide spread negative publicity it has received, we urge the Government to defer this Bill until it is subjected to wider public and stakeholder discussion and debate," business chambers said in a statement. more..

Eye infection spreading, public requested to be cautious

Nov 8 (ST) The Eye Hospital in Colombo is overcrowded with patients suffering from viral conjunctivitis, an infection in the eye, said Director of Eye Hospital, Dr. S.A.H. Liyanage. He said around 50-70 patients receive treatment for this infection daily. Redness/pinkness of the eyes, swelling, tears, discomfort and pain are some of the symptoms of viral conjunctivitis. He said the viral infection, a seasonal disease, will last for about three days and cure even without medicines. more..

Sevanagala FR petition hearing delayed until tomorrow

Nov 8 (ST) A large number of Buddhist monks and employees of Sevenagala Sugar turned up at the Supreme Court Complex where a FR petition filed by 11 employees of the company over the proposed take over was due to be taken over. However, the hearing has been fixed for tomorrow – the day which the proposed Bill is due to be passed in Parliament. As the employees and monks turned there were also pro-government supporters outside the Courts. more..

Canadian indicted in terror case

Nov 8 (ST) A Canadian man has been indicted in Seattle for allegedly conspiring to support the Sri Lankan terrorist group the Tamil Tigers nearly six years ago. The single-count indictment against Ramanan Mylvaganam, 34, is the result of a jurisdictional dispute between federal prosecutors in New York City's Brooklyn borough and Mylvaganam's attorneys. Mylvaganam is a former Bellevue resident. Brooklyn prosecutors in 2006 had indicted Mylvaganam along with nine others more..

Sri Lanka tells UN it is acting to curb torture

Nov 8 (AP) Sri Lankan officials have told a U.N. human rights panel that the country's government is taking measures to curb acts of torture by security forces. A delegation led by Sri Lanka government legal adviser Mohan Pieris has told the U.N. Committee Against Torture that the South Asian nation struggled with decades of terrorism at the hands of the now defeated separatist Tamil Tiger rebels. But Pieris told the Geneva-based panel Tuesday that more..

Sri Lanka abandons round-up of military deserters

Nov 8 (BBC) The army in Sri Lanka says it is giving up a campaign to round up tens of thousands of deserters and will instead de-list or de-register them. It says there are nearly 60,000 such deserters - an apparent increase of 10,000 in just under a year. However, some of the deserters fled the forces many years ago. A military spokesman said that the forces were now pursuing just a few dozen deserters who are thought to have committed serious crimes. more..

Malinga, Fernando expected to tip scale in ODIs

Nov 8 (AP) Sri Lanka captain Tillakaratne Dilshan says savvy fast bowlers Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando could give his side the edge against Pakistan in the one-day cricket series beginning on Friday. Sri Lanka fielded an inexperienced pace attack during the three-test series that ended on Monday with Pakistan 1-0 victors. "It's a different team especially in the bowling. This (one-day) unit is really experienced," Dilshan said. "I have Lasith, Dilhara, more..

'SRM university has no plans to open offshore campus in Lanka'

Nov 8 (PTI) Private SRM University here today said it had no plans to open an offshore campus in Sri Lanka. The university had only launched its international admissions for the next academic year in Colombo recently along with an information centre to encourage students from the island especially of Tamil origin to take up higher studies, its Vice-Chanceller M Ponnavaikko said. The centre was aimed at providing detailed information about various programmes more..

380 vehicle owners compensated by CPC

Nov 8 (AD) The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has so far compensated 380 motorists, whose vehicles suffered damages after pumping substandard petrol, it was revealed by Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha today. The Minister said this in response to a special statement in Parliament by Chief Opposition Whip John Amaratunga, who also claimed the Global Market had nothing to do with the recent increase in fuel prices. more..

'I wanted to get rid of Gayoom at any cost'

Nov 9 (MN) The Island has published a two-part interview with Abdulla Luthufee, a Maldivian businessman once sentenced to death for his role in the 1988 coup attempt. “I wanted to get rid of [former President Maumoon Abdul] Gayoom at any cost. As the election process in my country never gave a reasonable opportunity to the opposition, I felt an outside force should be used to oust Gayoom,” The Island reported Luthufee as saying, on the 23rd anniversary of the Nov 3 coup attempt. more..

Saturn affects three main parties

Nov 9 (SL) Before one accepts spirituality, astrology is very powerful, like a lion. Then when one enters into a deeper spiritual life, astrology becomes a tiny household cat,” Sri Chinmoy. Politicians in Sri Lanka are complete adherents of astrology and are ardent followers of soothsayers. Accordingly, Saturn takes pride of place in a planetary context as the most powerful force according to its positioning at this time. Saturn is credited with springing many negative more..

'Reconciliation process is a must'

Nov 9 (NS) Brig. (Retd) L.C. Perera, former Chief Coordinator for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and also Coordinating Director for the Ministry of Resettlement during the last stages of the war says if the country is to move forward, ethnic reconciliation must come first. Speaking to The Nation, Perera said even though the war had ended, the wounds caused by it still create animosity and division in many quarters. more..

Redacted revolution

Nov 9 (NS) Riots are organic. To be caught up or part of one is to give up control as it snakes its way between barricades and alleys. It is a swell of sweat, shouting, smoke, seething. Under Tahrir Square, in a maze of pedestrian subways, I found myself, through sheer coincidence, caught up in a violence that was both frightening and foreboding. Young men, with scarce a hint of facial hair, shouting slogans we couldn’t understand, were in competition with their echoes to chant their anger. more..

Where do we stand on gay rights?

Nov 9 (DM) Amidst British Prime Minster, David Cameron’s statement at the CHOGM on the issue of states treating homosexuality as a crime it brings up an interesting debacle as to what exactly its the legal position in Sri Lanka. Section 365A of the Penal Code under the heading “Unnatural Offences” used to cite the following. ‘Any male person who in public or private, commits, or is a party to the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by more..

JVP now a failed Left party - Wimal

Nov 9 (DN) 'Due to abandoning their political role and national duty the JVP has become another failed left political party. At present the JVP is also facing the same fate which other left political parties had faced during the earlier days,' National Freedom Front leader and Minister, Wimal Weerawansa said. He was delivering the special lecture 'Wama Nodanna Wame Aula' at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on Tuesday. more..

Editorial: Kamare Jaramare (Rumpus over a room)

Nov 9 (Island) Newly elected Mayor of Colombo A.J.M. Muzammil finds himself in an unenviable position. He may have thought that in wresting control of the coveted CMC, winning the LG polls was half the battle. But, today, he has had to fight a war of sorts to consolidate his power with the UPFA all out to unsettle his administration and undermine his authority. Muzammil says the UPFA councillors have forcibly taken over two rooms at the CMC claiming that more..

Cricket is a political game now – Bukathir

Nov 9 (Island) Business tycoon Abdul Rahman Bukathir was, to Asia, what Kerry Packer was for Australia. The visionary businessman gave a new outlook to the sport bringing teams to the desert venue of Sharjah and taking cricket to living rooms of the middle-class of the sub-continent through television. Bukathir established Cricketers Benefit Fund Series (CBFS) to pay former and active players from the sub-continent unthinkable sums for their service to the sport with more..

State Capitalism: Revitalising under performing businesses the Mussolini way

Nov 9 (GV) The media these few days, especially the English media, provides unusually high anti govt coverage to the govt’s latest move to push through a bill, classified as urgent. Titled “Revival of the Under performing and Under utilised Assets Bill”. This bill sent many stories spinning round Colombo circles. More politically savvy circles talked about pressure on the govt from permit holders for spirits and the politicians who control those permits. more..

Cornel Perera says Hilton takeover not the solution, selling via bourse is

Nov 9 (FT) Promoter and former Chairman of Colombo Hilton-owning company Hotel Developers Lanka Ltd. Cornel Perera yesterday opined that taking over under the upcoming Bill was not the solution but suggested selling it via the Colombo Stock Exchange instead. Perera also said that there was no question of underperformance at Hotel Developers as it has been making operational profit though the bottom line had been impacted due to debt servicing and other issues. more..

SLIM introduces new course in Pharmaceutical Marketing

Nov 9 (Island) Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) launched a new course, the Certificate in Pharmaceutical Marketing (PharMa). It is a course designed for medical delegates who are already employed in pharmaceutical companies as well as for school leavers keen on a career of a medical delegate. It will help them to enhance their knowledge on pharmaceutical marketing and to prepare them for a higher career path in the pharmaceutical industry. more..

Annual Inter-Club sports tournament ends in grand finale in Jaffna

Nov 9 (IL) Annual inter club sports tournament organized by the Sri Lanka Army Civil Affairs Office of the 513 Brigade at Uduvil, Jaffna concluded recently with the finals of the tournament and presenting of awards and certificates to the winners at Sellamuththu ground, Manipay. This is the third consecutive year that the Sri Lanka Army organised the event for Jaffna youths after elimination of terrorism. Initially the Sri Lankan Army provided more..

Nihal Sri takes on ‘Expropriation Bill’

Nov 9 (FT) Hon. Speaker, Hotel Developers Lanka Ltd. – Hilton Hotel Colombo Application No. 52/2011/CO for Arrangement and Compromise under Part X of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 made today, 8.11.2011, to the High Court (Civil) of the Western Province. I attach copy of the Petition filed in the above Application, invoking the jurisdiction of the High Court (Civil) of the Western Province, under and in terms of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007, which is the applicable more..

Bid to resume ‘Hope’ cancer project

Nov 9 (Island) The Health Ministry will recommence building the ‘Hope’ Cancer Hospital Project initiated in 2002 by former Cricket Captain, Mahela Jayawardane in memory of his brother who died of cancer, and a number of other cricketers and the Lions Club. Health Ministry sources said yesterday that Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena would submit a Cabinet paper for recommencing construction work. Sources said that UK based Ahmad Tea Group would donate more..

The real threat of 'law of the jungle'

Nov 9 (DM) One could surmise that the masses are pushed towards unlawful action in the belief that the law does not take its due course. This has spread from setting fire to a bus after a fatal accident to attacking and setting fire to police stations. The attack on Angulana Police Station after a double murder and setting fire to Dompe Police station all point to the same trend. We could add several lives lost due to 'grease devil' incidents as well. more..

Acting UNP leader on the offensive

Nov 9 (Island) Acting Opposition Leader John Amaratunga yesterday accused the government of passing on Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s massive losses to those struggling to make ends meet due to escalating cost of living. MP Amaratunga lashed out at the Rajapaksa regime for increasing the price of diesel, petrol and kerosene, thereby burdening the poor. Making a special statement in Parliament, Chief Opposition Whip Amaratunga said the government had been forced to more..

Japan provides Rs 9.4 m for development in Ratnapura

Nov 9 (DN) The Japanese govt has extended Rs 9.4 million of grant aid to the rural development project in Ratnapura district to improve living standards through livelihood assistance of residents of Balangoda and Pelmadulla Divisional Secretariat divisions. Under the project water supply facilities will be improved, roads will be reconstructed along with four water supply schemes and seven agro wells. This development project will be implemented by the Sabaragamuwa more..

Development Diaries: Nov 2, 2011

Web censorship targeting critical voices in Sri Lanka

Nov 9 (Scoop) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the new registration rules introduced by the Government of Sri Lanka for websites hosting any manner of content on the country, which has led to the blocking of several websites for internet users in Sri Lanka. These include Lanka News Web, Sri Lanka Mirror, Sri Lanka Guardian and Lanka Way News. This latest move follows the persistent curbs imposed on Lanka-e-News, another website that more..

Farmers’ pension scheme collapses

Nov 9 (ST) Sri Lanka’s Farmers Pension Scheme, in existence since 1987, collapsed this week following a Treasury decision to stop releasing money due to a lack of funds, Finance Ministry sources said. This decision was conveyed to all post offices entrusted with the task of paying pensions to eligible farmers. The pension for farmers was paid from the fund set up for this purpose in accordance with the Farmers Pension Act No. 12 of 1987. However since 2009 the finances of more..

Setting sail to their homeland with hope

Nov 9 (Hindu) “It is a joyous moment for us. We had never dreamt that a day would come when we would be able to return home,” said S. Sivadharshan, a resident of the Kottapattu refugee camp for Sri Lankan Tamils at Tiruchi since 1990. “It is time to end the stigma of being a refugee,” remarked 32-year-old N. Maheswari. Both spent two decades in refugee camps after fleeing their homeland when hostilities broke out. more..

'Give peace chance in Sri Lanka'

Nov 9 (TS) The Star has once again issued an editorial to discredit Sri Lanka. Why harp on the final days of the war, conveniently ignoring the terrorist activities carried out in Sri Lanka by the LTTE for nearly 30 years? The FBI designated this group the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world. The Tamil Tigers remain a proscribed group by the U.S., E.U., India and Canada. The Star quotes the report issued by the Panel of Experts appointed by the United Nations more..

Games bid team appeals to underdog status

Nov 9 (SMH) The Sri Lankan city of Hambantota is appealing to the camaraderie of small Commonwealth nations to edge out the Gold Coast’s bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Bid teams from Sri Lanka and the Gold Coast are making their final pitches to Commonwealth Games Federation delegates on the Caribbean island of St Kitts, spending the next few days in formal and informal talks ahead of the weekend’s announcement of the winning bidder. But while the Gold Coast bid team was more..

Tribunal proposed to compensate those affected by disputed assets take-over bill

Nov 9 (Island) Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne yesterday presented a Bill titled "Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Bill to Parliament. The Bill envisages the appointment of a compensation tribunal to compensate those who are affected by the implementation of the provisions of the bill. The proposed tribunal would be appointed by the Cabinet. It would comprise the Chief Valuer and two other persons with experience in more..

Price hikes fuel market fears

Nov 9 (ST) The pre-budget hike in fuel prices is expected to lead to an increase in the prices of several essential commodities and services in the next few weeks, and the public will have to be ready to pay higher electricity bills from January. Three-wheeler fares and the prices of packeted foods have already gone up, including private bus and school van charges. Vendors of vegetables and other foods and owners of bakeries and launderettes say they too will have to raise charges to more..

Major employee lay off at Sevanagala - minister

Nov 9 (DN) The Sevanagala Sugar Corporation had 764 permanent workers and around 1,200 casual workers. This is now reduced and there are only 164 permanent workers and 300 casual workers. They have no EPF or ETF and most of them do not receive even basic allowances, Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said. Addressing the press he said that the sugar corporation has the ability to produce more sugar and they had met 12 percent of the national sugar requirement in 2002. more..

Central bank buys New York property

Nov 9 (LBO) Central bank has bought property in New York as part of a move to establish overseas offices where the foreign reserves are invested, Governor Nivard Cabraal said. "We have bought office space, we will be having some our operations in other countries," he said. "Initially we will give it to (diplomatic) missions." The property is near New York's United Nations building. Cabraal said property prices were also down at the moment. more..

Games rival owes $18m on stadium

Nov 9 (GC) The stadium that would host the opening and closing ceremonies of a Commonwealth Games in Hambantota has been taken over by the Sri Lankan army. The embarrassment happened after the cricket association that controls the stadium could no longer afford to pay upkeep on the venue. It has also emerged Sri Lanka still owes $18 million to a Chinese construction company that built it. The revelations came as both bid teams arrived in the Caribbean late yesterday for more..

A little help for flood-hit Thailand

Nov 9 (TS) VOLUNTEERS at the Sri Lanka Buddhist Temple in Sentul loaded goods onto two containers for the Thai flood victims recently. Most Venerable B Saranankara helped the volunteers load the items onto the containers. The volunteers from Seagull Logistics, led by Sally Chan, started their journey at 6am from Port Klang by picking up goods from the Chetawan Thai Temple in Petaling Jaya and later at the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields. Chan and company director Kumar supervised more..

'Nursing is the only service not tarnished with bribery allegations'

Nov 9 (IL) President Rajapaksa said the nursing community that their service is the only public profession which is free from allegations of bribery and corruption so far. The President made this remark at the ceremony organised by the Ministry of Health to award certificates to the first batch of Nursing Diploma graduates at the Temple Trees today (8). President further said allegations on bribes were not leveled against the nursing service and more..