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WikiLeaks: ‘white flag’ accusation particularly was egregious – Gota to US

Nov 18 (CT) “Rajapaksa said the govt would have to take legal action against Fonseka for illegal involvement in politics while still serving as Chief of Defense Staff and for enticing serving officers to support his campaign for president. He stressed that unlike outrageous claims by regular political opponents, Fonseka’s threats and betrayals had to be taken more seriously. He said the ‘white flag’ accusation was particularly egregious.” more..

Sri Lanka stocks end up 0.8-pct

Nov 18 (LBO) Shares ended higher for the second day running with turnover boosted by big chunks of a tile maker which changed hands at a premium. The main All Share Price Index rose 0.79 percent to 6,140.52, while the more liquid Milanka index rose 0.73 percent to close at 5,349.54, according to stock exchange figures. Turnover was 1.8 billion rupees. Lanka Ceramic bought 5.5 million shares of its subsidiary Lanka Walltile, almost all at 112.50 rupees each, more..

Sri Lanka urges more Gulf investments

Nov 18 (KUNA) Sri Lanka's Minister Rishad Bathiudeen is urging businessmen in the Gulf countries to increase investments in his country, particularly in tourism. "The Gulf countries and Sri Lanka have cordial relations," he said to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) in Brussels. Bathiudden is leading a business delegation, currently on an European tour including Belgium, France and the Netherlands to expand commercial and economic cooperation with Europe. more..

'Lankans should stand up against lawlessness'

Nov 18 (AD) All Sri Lankans should stand up against the lawlessness in the land, Anoma Fonseka stated following the three year sentence given to her husband Sarath Fonseka today in conclusion to the White Flag hearing. She claimed that she was already prepared for the outcome of the verdict while stating that she was neutral towards the decision of the High Court. Mrs. Fonseka added that all those who wish to stand up for democracy should unite more..

Sri Lanka's October tea output falls 15 pct y/y

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tea production fell in October for a seventh straight month due to adverse weather and a high base effect, the island nation's state-run tea board said on Friday. Tea production in October recorded 23.69 million kilogrammes (kg) against 27.88 million kg in the same month last year. The output in the first 10 months has slipped 2.3 percent to 269.89 million kg from 276.15 million in the same period last year. more..

Sri Lanka seen as option in Japanese factory shift

Nov 18 (LBO) Sri Lanka is one of the destinations being considered by Japanese industries looking to relocate their manufacturing plants, its envoy has told a business chamber. Japanese investors are attracted by the island's geographical position, skilled labour and natural resources, Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo said. But Hobo told a meeting with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce it was important to have clear policies to attract Japanese investors, more..

Contrasting fortunes for Sri Lanka's president and the man who stood against him

Nov 18 (NBC) Sri Lanka's jailed former army chief was sentenced Friday to three more years in prison for reportedly implicating the defense secretary in war crimes at the end of the country's civil war. Former presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka, who claimed at his trial he was misquoted, rejected the verdict as unjust but said he was not surprised because Sri Lankan authorities did not want him active in politics. more..

Coast Guard line will force us to kill self

Nov 18 (ENS) Fishermen in the district have warned that will be left with no other option but to commit suicide if the govt imposes an order making it mandatory for them to net only in Indian waters. Reacting to the affidavit filed by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday seeking declaration of the Indo-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) as a ‘No Fishing Zone’, N J Bose, general secretary, more..

Sri Lanka 2012 budget eyes deficit cut, 8 pct growth

Nov 18 (Reuters) Sri Lanka aims to maintain 8 percent economic growth and cut its fiscal deficit to a 20-year low in the 2012 budget due to on Monday, with investors concerned after the govt sent several conflicting signals on investment policy. The 2012 budget will be President Mahinda Rajapaksa's second full-year budget since the end of a 25-year war that had hindered the island nation's $50 billion economy. The budget is expected to focus on development and more..

Sri Lanka to acquire ships from India

Nov 18 (Hindu) Given its proximity to one of the busiest sea lanes in the world, Sri Lanka has embarked on a plan to expand its Navy with Indian support to tackle the twin challenges of piracy and narco-terrorism. Emphasising this, Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, told senior Naval officers who gathered here for the Galle Dialogue that Sri Lanka had recently revamped and expanded its Coast Guard Department whilst further strengthening more..

Explosives found in Sri J’pura University

Nov 18 (DM) Police found explosives contained in five small hand grenades when they were hidden inside a roof of a building in the New Arts Center of the Sri Jayawardenapura University. The Mirihana police are investigating into the incident and no suspects have being arrested in connection with the incident. Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said that the explosives with detonator codes were found when the Arts Center was undergoing repairs.

Fonseka to appeal 'white flag' verdict

Nov 18 (BBC) A court in Sri Lanka has jailed former army chief Sarath Fonseka for three years for implicating the government in war crimes. The court ruled that he lent credence to allegations the defence secretary ordered Tamil Tigers to be killed as they tried to surrender in May 2009. Fonseka rejected the verdict, telling the court was it politically motivated. He is already serving 30 months after a court martial last year convicted him of irregularities in more..

Sri Lanka News Debrief - 18.11.2011

Two vaccines removed from supplies

Nov 18 (LP) Two vaccinecategories namely cloxacillin and flucloxacillin which were being used at government and private hospitals have been removed from hospitals, Director Medical Supplies, Dr. Kamal Jayasingha said. The KalubowilaHospital has found an insect inside cloxacillin vaccine container last week while another incident reported from Colombo National hospital where glasscullet were found in a flucloxacillin container, he added. more..

Thalaimannar IDPs 'made refugees again'

Nov 18 (BBC) Nearly 600 families recently re-settled in their ancestral lands in Thalaimannar say they were made homeless again due to "land grab" by the military. The families who were evicted from Thalaimannar by the Tamil Tigers in 1990 were recently requested by the govt to resettle in their ancestral lands. But once resettled, they say, they were once again evicted by the police and military. The families are currently camping in a land belonged to local mosque. more..

Eight drown during Tank swim

Nov 18 (ST) Eight persons, including four women drowned in separate incidents while bathing at Tanks in Girulla and Batticoloa earlier today, police and hospital officials said a short while ago. They said in the first incident six persons, including the four women drowned while bathing at the Avarathota Tank in Giriulla. The six were a part of a larger group of 17 persons from Wellawatte who were visiting relatives in the area and had taken a dip at the Avarathota Tank. more..

Lessons to learn for Europe and the West

Nov 19 (Island) With technocrats replacing politicians as prime ministers in Greece and Italy, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters driven out from their camping ground by Mayor Bloomberg in New York, there are many questions being asked about the future of western democracy. The countries and leaders of the West that gave the impression it was their God given duty to teach democracy to those of us in the other regions of the world, are suddenly unable to face up more..

Is there no method in our madness?

Nov 19 (Island) Sri Lanka’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 was lost at the vote taken at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly held in St Kitts and Nevis lasr week by a margin of 16 votes. Going by the correspondence columns in our newspapers, many Sri Lankans appear to have heaved a sigh of relief that we lost the bid. Some months ago, hundreds of Sri Lankan environmentalists sent a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa pointing out the irreparable harm more..

Plea of a patriot for a permanent solution

Nov 19 (Island) Although both of us entered Parliament together in 1970, I am more senior to you in age and in politics. Hence I have a moral duty to tell you frankly what I feel about every one of your actions and decision. I am one who is not communal and had been always saying that I wish to have a Sinhalese family as my neighbour on one side and a Muslim family on the other. I have still not changed my views in this matter. more..

Going back to the golden 70s with our very own local stars

Nov 19 (ST) “This concert is all about my experiences and my unforgettable memories woven together,” he says. Damayantha Kuruppu is the name that comes to mind when you recall concerts that featured the likes of Clarence Wijewardena, Milton Mallawarachchi, Dalreen and more recently Ronnie Leitch. He is also the person responsible for bringing down international stars such as Sir Cliff Richard and Lobo to our shores. Now Damayantha Kuruppu is set to embark on his latest venture: more..

'Two-fifty is a good score under the new Powerplay rules'

Nov 19 (CI) It was quite pleasing to finally get that first win, considering how we lost the first one-dayer by a big margin. In the Test matches, we played some good cricket but didn't grasp some of the opportunities, and we repeated that in the first ODI. We had to make sure we didn't do that again in the second match, which we did. I think we controlled the game very well. We had a very good chat after the first one-dayer, particularly about the areas we were found lacking in. more..

National Policy for Human Resource Development in the offing

Nov 19 (SO) A National Policy for Human Resource Development and Employment will be launched, said Senior Minister of Human Resource Development DEW Gunasekera in an interview with the Sunday Observer. He said that the task for which Cabinet approval had been obtained is nearing completion. Excerpts of the interview: Q: The education system plays a major role for the optimum utilisation of human resources which is vital for development. more..

New card protection guidelines from 2012

Nov 19 (BL) Many banks are in the process of installing the Terminal Line Encryption Solution (TLES) as a safeguard against payment card frauds from January 2012, according to a top official of the Payment and Settlements Department of the Central Bank. This would be made compulsory for all banks and accordingly, already all card companies had been directed by the Central Bank to complete the process by December 31 this year. The Central Bank directive is in the wake of more..

Changing economics of marriage: The rise of the Sri Lankan wife

Nov 19 (FT) Good evening. Before I begin let me sincerely apologise to Lilamani for having given false hope that I will be by her side this evening! I am sure the women in the audience are saying “Men! Never keep promises! Useless.” Ladies, seriously, I was intending to talk to you about ‘Changing Economics of Marriage: The Rise of the Sri Lankan Wife,’ but, unfortunately my plans were rudely disrupted by no less than the President and his Cabinet. more..

Mahela Jayawardene reaches 10,000 ODI runs

Nov 19 (CI) Since the 1996 World Cup triumph, Sri Lanka have been one of the most consistent ODI teams reaching one World Cup semi-final and two more finals. They owe much of their success in the format to an array of outstanding fast-scoring batsmen starting with Aravinda de Silva and Sanath Jayasuriya. In the last decade, Sri Lanka's batting stats have been dominated by the classy Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. more..

Editorial: Norway's failed bid

Nov 19 (Island) The foreign powers involved in Sri Lanka's failed 'peace' process couldn't have been unaware that the LTTE was making preparations for war as they received intelligence feeds from even NATO, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said, in a brief interview with this newspaper, commenting on Norway's recent admission that the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) received assistance from foreign intelligence agencies. more..

Basil throws out Mahinda Chinthana

Nov 19 (SL) The proposed Sri Lanka Tourism (SLT) Act has no place for small players in the industry. A former president of the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises in Tourism (ASMET) said that they have not been offered any slots in under the proposed Act which is a contravention of the Govt’s Mahinda Chinthana policy document which seeks to uplift the SME sector. However when this reporter brought this matter before SLT Chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa, he said that more..

'Unless we live together in goodwill and with understanding tensions can develop and be exploited'

Nov 19 (TC) They say that every journey starts with a step. In truth Sri Lanka’s journey towards peace and reconciliation started when the man Sri Lanka had been waiting for – Mahinda Rajapaksa – finally arrived. After taking the reins of the presidency in 2005, the bold leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa brought an end to the war against the LTTE which cost a staggering amount of lives. more..

Don Bosco: A mission for youth in need

Nov 19 (ST) The words conjure up images of workshops where young people are set to work and taught a livelihood. What many don’t realize is that the concept of vocational training which included love for and caring of the young, abandoned by society, was initiated by a living, breathing person who himself had suffered much during his childhood. It was none other than John Don Bosco, who having lost his father at the tender age of three and struggled with his mother and more..

Jumbos hit by trains: When will these tragedies end?

Nov 19 (ST) One is dead and will more follow, for three elephants have been mowed down by the Colombo Fort-Omanthai mail train at the 97.5 milepost between Galgamuwa and Ambanpola at about 3 a.m. last Tuesday. Ironically this is not the first but the third time that elephants have been knocked down at the same location. It was in June this year that three gentle giants died an agonising death after being hit by a special train carrying Poson pilgrims. A few years prior to more..

Sinhabahu : Fifty Years’ Memories

Nov 19 (Island) The year 2011 marks fifty years after the first staging of Professor Sarachchandra’s play Sinhabahu which shares with his own Maname (1956) the record of enduring presence among theatre goers in Sri Lanka since the day they were first staged. The University of Peradeniya, the birth-place of the play, will ceremonially celebrate this golden jubilee on the 22 nd and 23rd of this month. The first item of this celebration will be more..

President met over 2,700 reps before preparing budget

Nov 19 (DN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Finance Minister met a large cross section of the public representing all sectors, communities and women’s bodies when the budget proposals for the financial year 2012 were drafted. They are to be presented in Parliament on Monday, said Minister Basil Rajapaksa. The minister said that the President and Finance Ministry officials had met 2,718 representatives from different walks of life apart from meetings with more..

Telephone allowance not paid even to doctors in Health Ministry

Nov 19 (Island) None of the doctors in the country had received their telephone allowance - not even those serving in the Health Ministry, Director General Health Services of the Western Province, Dr. A. Harsha De Silva said. He said that although the Health Ministry had issued the circular for the payment of doctors’ telephone bills none of the provincial councils had the financial allocations to do so. Dr. De Silva said that doctors of the National Hospital and even those more..

Spinners and Gul give Pakistan 2-1 lead

Nov 19 (CI) For the second time in five days, a game was won and lost in the batting Powerplay. This time, however, Sri Lanka were at the receiving end as they fluffed the phase, picking up just 19 for the loss of two huge wickets, leaving their tail needing 72 off the last 10 overs. In conditions aiding spin, especially of Pakistan's varied vintage, that was a bridge too far for Angelo Mathews to cross. Batsmen from both sides survived prodigious seam bowling more..

Discrepancy meted out by meter?

Nov 19 (NS) Plans are afoot by the Transport Minister Kumara Welgama to fix meters on all three-wheelers across the country. But his proposal, allegedly prompted by the wide discrepancy in the fares charged by non-metered three-wheelers, as compared to those charged by the metered three-wheelers, have already raised a hornets’ nest with many non metered three wheelers expressing mixed reactions to it. The Nation interviewed some of them to find out their views. more..

IDs for G.C.E.(O/L) students

Nov 19 (GDI) Issue of ID cards for students sitting for the GCE (O/L) examination this year has been expedited. The Registration of Persons Department informed that a special programme has been launched in this connection. The Commissioner General of the Registration of Persons Department in Colombo Jagath P Wijeweera said that no students need to entertain any doubts about their identity cards. He said that students who were 16 years on October 30, 2011 can apply for more..

Southern Expressway toll fees under four categories

Nov 19 (DN) The Road Development Authority (RDA) has announced the toll fees to be levied on vehicles plying on the Southern Expressway which is the country's first Expressway running from Colombo to Galle. Toll charges will be levied in four categories for all vehicles. The access controlled Expressway has eight interchanges at Kottawa, Kahatuduwa, Gelanigama, Dodangoda, Welipenna, Kurundugahahethakma, Baddegama and Pinnaduwa. more..

Govt to complete new highways and railways by 2016 - Wimal

Nov 19 (DN) The government plans to complete the construction of new highways and railways by the end of 2016 under the National Physical Plan, Minister Wimal Weerawansa said at the launching ceremony of the National Physical Plan of Sri Lanka held at the BMICH under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to the minister these highways will be constructed by connecting Mannar, Padukka, Ratnapura, Hambantota, Moneragala and Batticaloa cities. more..

VTA ties up with global leader in IT education

Nov 19 (Island) Sri Lanka’s largest State training body, the Vocational Training Authority (VTA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Certiport, a leading provider of global, certification programmes and services in IT, last Monday (14) at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. This MOU will enable it to enhance the computer literacy in Sri Lanka and to produce a productive work force with knowledge of modern technology for the betterment of the country. more..

Police on trail of those who caused violence after verdict

Nov 19 (Island) Police intelligence units are on the trail of those who resorted to violence following the delivery of the judgment in the White Flag case at Hulftsdorp yesterday. Police said they were confident of arresting all the troublemakers within a day or two. Those violent elements caused damage to at least two prison vehicles and a police jeep by attacking them with stones. Four prison officers who got caught amidst the mob had had been pulled by more..