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SL worker beaten to death at Sex Shop in Brooklyn

Nov 20 (NYT) A Sri Lankan immigrant working the overnight shift at a 24-hour adult video store in the shadow of the Gowanus Expressway in Brooklyn was killed early Saturday in a violent encounter with a man in the store, the authorities said. Detectives were investigating the killing as a possible robbery, a law enforcement official said The killer quickly fled the store, Video Xcitement, at 746 Third Avenue in Sunset Park, more..

LLRC: Probe possible war-related incidents

Nov 20 (ST) The final report of the LLRC will ask the govt to investigate incidents that may have occurred during the final stages of the war that militarily defeated the Tiger guerrillas two and half years ago. This is on the grounds that there appears to be a prima facie case based on the information the commissioners have received. However, the commission has neither named the specific incidents nor identified the persons responsible for them. more..

Postal ‘overtime boycott’ leads to 2.5 million letters, parcels piling up at CME

Nov 20 (Island) A staggering 2.5 million letters, both ordinary and registered, and parcels have piled up at the Central Mail Exchange as the ‘overtime boycott’ by postal employees continued demanding the removal of Post Master General M.K.B. Dissanayake. A total 22,000 postal employees representing 17 trade unions have launched an island-wide ‘overtime boycott’ which has continued for seven consecutive days. more..

Lankan ship stuck in Sudan; crew in distress

Nov 20 (ST) A Sri Lankan cargo vessel has been denied entry to a Sudanese port for non-payment of dues and the crew are facing a terrible tragedy with food and drinking water fast running out. The ‘Lanka Mahapola’ the only remaining vessel owned by the Ceylon Shipping Corporation has remained in anchorage off harbour since November five after it was refused entry to berth at the Sudan port, the ITF local representative, Ranjan Perera said. more..

Bharatha Lakshman murder Investigation grinds to a standstill

Nov 20 (SL) The investigations into the murder of presidential advisor Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and three others, and the injury suffered by UPFA MP Duminda Silva on Oct 8 are at a standstill, reliable sources from the Police Department said. The reason for this has been inability of the CID to nab a leading underworld figure who is believed to have influenced a suspect named Galabada, more..

Ranil's 'Charge sheet'; Full text

Nov 20 (LB) The charge sheet handed over to General Secretary of the UNP, Tissa Attanayake by Southern Provincial Councillor, Maithri Gunaratne on behalf of the rebel group, alleges that the UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was trying to force UNP MP Buddhika Pathirana into illicit homosexual relations with him and when the MP had rebuffed, the UNP leader had resorted to punishing MP Pathirana by suspending his party membership temporarily. more..

A nation appeals for long overdue relief

Nov 20 (ST) With the Budget 2012 being presented in Parliament tomorrow, various sectors from industries and professionals to entrepreneurs and housewives await it with baited breath. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce has requested the Govt to, at the least, maintain the current tax structure for three years and make improvements to the present structure, with a view to correcting any anomalies, making the tax system more effective. more..

ICC chief, BCCI dismiss Kambli claims

Nov 20 (Reuters) International Cricket Council (ICC) President Sharad Pawar on Saturday joined the Indian cricket board (BCCI) in dismissing former player Vinod Kambli's claims of possible corruption in India's 1996 World Cup semi-final loss to Sri Lanka. A teary-eyed Kambli recently told a television channel he had doubts about some of the decisions, including opting to bat first, taken in the Kolkata match, which Sri Lanka won by default following crowd trouble at Eden Gardens. more..

Sri Lanka expropriation law interpretations may mislead: activist

Nov 20 (LBO) A Sri Lankan activist who had petitioned courts to review an expropriation law says recent interpretations given by state spokesmen may mislead citizens whose property was seized. Sri Ameresekere, an accountant who has been involved in several public interest petitions said statements by Sri Lanka's central bank and information minister had suggested that existing owners of seized assets could be re-offered management. The statements tended to more..

Vaiko gives Lankan spin to Centre’s push

Nov 20 (ENS) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Saturday charged that the Centre was keen on the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) since it had planned to supply a portion of power generated from the project to Sri Lanka. “Why should the people of Tamil Nadu risk their lives to provide electricity to Lanka, which had committed a genocide of Tamils in the island,” he asked. “The UPA govt has been insensitive on the Lankan Tamils issue and more..

Maldivian woman injured in a road accident in Sri Lanka

Nov 20 (Haveeru) A Maldivian woman living in Sri Lanka is receiving treatment for serious injuries sustained in a traffic accident in the country's capital Colombo. A Maldivian living in Sri Lanka said the accident occurred last evening while she was travelling to the country's airport in a van with a group of Maldivians. "The accident happened while they were going to the airport to fetch some people who came to Lanka from last evening's flight. more..

Five minutes with a Sri Lankan school cricket coach

Nov 20 (CC) International cricket is just the tip of the iceberg as the sport in its entirety involves a widespread network of individuals with varied characters who play a definitive role in giving life to this glorious game. Grassroot-level cricket coaches are one such specimen. Each one of them has a story and it makes for intriguing content. I met one such personality yesterday who is now in charge of the game in a reputed school of Negombo, a city that more..

Tamil refugees get Lankan birth certificate

Nov 20 (IBN) In a confidence gaining initiative, Sri Lankan authorities on Saturday began issuing birth certificates to children of Tamil refugees who have been living in camps here. Around 13 officials of the Sri Lankan Embassy led by the country’s Deputy High Commissioner in South India Vadivel Krishnamoorthy undertook the exercise of recording the birth of children at a special camp conducted at the district Collectorate. more..

Govt - TNA set dates for talks

Nov 20 (NS) The Govt and the TNA have drawn up an agenda and set future dates for talks aimed at finding a durable solution to the ethnic problem. This follows extensive discussions between the two sides last week centered on devolution of powers, land matters and powers to be devolved to the Governor and that of the Govet’s role. The new dates for talks have been fixed for December 1,6,14 and 15. The Govt was represented by Ministers GL Peiris and Nimal Siripala De Silva with more..

Highest allocation of funds for debt repayment in 2012

Nov 20 (SL) The highest allocation of funds by the govt in the 2012 budget would be for the repayment of loans taken by the govt, UNP MP Dr. Harsha de Silva. The debt repayment for 2012 is estimated to be Rs. 914 billion inclusive of a Rs. 314 billion for loan installments and loan interest. The capital repayment of loans stands at around Rs. 600 billion. Dr. de Silva said the loan repayment component was therefore far greater than the monies allocated for the Defence Ministry, more..

Displaced Sri Lankans return home

Pilgrims stranded in Chennai

Nov 20 (SL) A group of Sri Lankan pilgrims have been stranded in Chennai by their tour manager after cheating them to the tune of over Rs.6 million, the Monk –in-charge of the Chennai Mahabodhi Viharaya Society Ven. Kalawane Mahanama Thero said. The tour manager identified as E.L.P.R. Kularatne had left 38 Sri Lankan pilgrims in Purusawakkam in Chennai on November 6. It was later found out that the given address and the contact number of Kularatne was a fake. more..

Mahaweli Authority to increase Coconut production

Nov 20 (GDI) The Mahaweli Authority is planning to plant 700,000 coconut saplings in the Mahaweli Zones with the objective of increasing coconut production by 12%. The Coconut grown areas in the country amount to nearly 400,000 hectares which produce 2728 million nuts annually contributing 1.1% to the GDP. The per capita consumption of coconut per year amounts to 116 nuts. It has been estimated that coconut is the main source of income for 5% of Sri Lankans. more..

Sri Lanka says China's "win-win" philosophy benefits world

Nov 20 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka says China's "win-win" philosophy which has underpinned China's relationship with the rest of the world is beneficial not only to China but also to the rest of the world. The External Affairs Ministry quoted the country's envoy to the United Nations Palitha Kohona as saying that China's growing economic power and linkages with the rest of the world have provided an economic bounty, not only to China but to many developing countries. more..

Judge Warawewa harassed for judgment: Ranil

Nov 20 (DM) High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa who acquitted former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka of all charges in the white flag case has already been subjected to harassment, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe alleged today. Mr. Wickremesinghe said the computer which the High Court Judge was using at his chambers at courts has been damaged after this verdict. The opposition leader said his party would raise the issue with regard to the judgment in Parliament. more..

Sri Lanka budget to cut deficit, maintain capex

Nov 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka's budget for 2012 to be presented to parliament on Monday will seek to further narrow a deficit, maintain public investment and create an environment to improve productivity, officials have said. According to earlier statements, the 2012 plans to cut the deficit to 6.2 percent of gross domestic product from 6.8 percent in 2011 and maintain public investments at over 6.0 percent of GDP. If the target is met, the revenue deficit will narrow to just 0.2 percent of GDP, more..

President gets the LLRC report

Nov 20 (SL) The Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) handed over a much anticipated report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this evening. The document was handed over by the head of the LLRC. The 400 page document includes testimonials of victims and families of victims affected by the war between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE. In the final report the commission has made several recommendations to the Sri Lankan govt to address more..

Discussion tomorrow to resolve postal pickle

Nov 20 (AD) A special discussion between postal trade unions and Postal Services Minister Jeevan Kumaratunga is to take place tomorrow in an attempt to resolve the prevailing turmoil in the sector. Discussion will be held regarding the issues which have risen as of recently, Secretary to the Ministry Hemasiri Fernando said. The strike launched by postal trade unions based on several demands reached its 7th day today. Fernando however stated that distribution of more..

Kelaniya campus students released on bail

Nov 20 (NS) Six students of the University of Kelaniya in remand custody following a clash between two student groups at the campus were released on bail by the Colombo Additional Magistrate, Mahi Wijeweera on Thursday (17). The case is set to be taken up again on December 15. The students, all from the Science Faculty, were arrested on November 10. Officer-in-Charge Priyantha, Kiribathgoda Police, when contacted said that the clash had erupted between more..

Not afraid of 'traitor' brand - Hirunika

Nov 20 (BBC) The daughter of a murdered Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra says that she is not afraid of being branded as a traitor in Sri Lanka if the family is forced to seek international justice. Hirunika Premachandra said her family will have no other option but to seek international justice if the country fails to find justice for the killing of the presidential advisor. But it has been the practise of the govt, for which more..

Hotline to complain about food with questionable packaging

Nov 20 (NF) The Ministry of Health says that if complaints that are lodged relating to the unsuitable packaging of food items is not investigated properly, the Food Control Administration unit can be informed of it. Director of Environmental, Occupational Health and Food Safety, Doctor Ananda Jayalal said that a new hotline has been introduced for this purpose. Accordingly, the relevant complaints can be forwarded by dialing the number 0112 368 727. He also stated that more..

Study afloat for ferry service between Lanka, Maldives and India

Nov 20 (NF) A feasibility study has commenced with the view of launching a ferry service between Sri Lanka, the Maldives and India. Speaking to Newsfirst, Director of Merchant Shipping, Shantha Weerakoon said that attention was focused on commencing this passenger ferry service, during the SAARC Summit. The initiative will be launched with the participation of all three countries. During the study, special attention will be focused on the transportation of more..

University runs short of teachers

Nov 20 (DM) The university system runs short of 1200 teachers, and urgent steps are needed to fill these vacancies as soon as possible, officials said today. Higher Education Ministry Secretary Dr. Sunil Jayantha Navaratne said there are roughly around 500 university academics who left the country for further studies had not returned to the country. He said that the Ministry had decided to give incentives for them to return to the country, more..

Language Associations throughout the country

Nov 20 (NF) The Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration has decided to establish language associations throughout the island. Secretary to the Ministry Mallika Wickremasinghe said the objective of the programme is to expand the initiative taken to teach the Tamil language to the rural community. She further said the establishment of language associations has commenced at the village level. She added that a certified teacher will be provided to teach more..

Ex-Sri Lanka skipper reflects on career as an amateur

Nov 20 (GN) Former Sri Lanka captain Anura Tennekoon played his cricket as an amateur, much like those who play the game in the UAE. Despite leading the team at the first World Cup, he played in an era when his nation was yet to get Test status and had to take time off from his job to play the game. Speaking to Gulf News of his early days when he struggled to hold down a job and play cricket at the same time, he said: "It is very difficult to play international sport on more..

All-round Afridi secures series win

Nov 20 (CI) Aizaz Cheema produced an energetic new-ball burst to give Pakistan's spinners an early look at the middle order, but Sri Lanka's two best batsmen knuckled down to keep their side ahead in Sharjah. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene had added 41 runs by the 25-overs mark to revive the chase, but the length of Sri Lanka's tail will require them to continue for as long as possible. Misbah-ul-Haq gave his fast bowlers an extended run before more..

Democracy is too nice

Nov 21 (SL) There’s a lot of talk about cronyism in India, corruption in China and crony-capitalism in Sri Lanka. Many of the Newly Industrialising countries all over the world are accused of these things. Cronyism and corruption are a result, it is accused, of autocratic statism, of a fundamental failing in democracy but changing global conditions are seriously putting these conventional notions to the test. Another thing with democracy, it’s too nice. more..

War crimes is a waste of time

Nov 21 (SL) In 2009, the Sri Lankan govt ended a brutal 30 year war with a final push, eliminating the LTTE and a considerable amount of civilians the terrorist group held as effective hostages. At the time, thousands of Diaspora Tamils rallied for a cease-fire to save the LTTE, waving LTTE flags and carrying images of Prabhakaran. After the war ended decisively, they channeled their considerable energies into lobbying international govts for war crimes prosecutions into more..

The philosophy behind the language of cinema

Nov 21 (SO) In a wide ranging interview, Vishvanath Buddhika Keerthisena or Boodee Keerthisena spells out his vision and philosophy behind filmmaking which is highly influenced by his film education in the USA. Boodeee studied cinema at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He presented his feature film Veils of Maya (Sihina Deshayen - 1993) as his thesis. The film won 31 awards in many festivals including Best Director and Best Film. more..

What you didn’t know about Vanni and were too afraid to ask

Nov 21 (GV) This is the continuing story of Gajaman Nona, an accomplished Sinhala poet, who was born in 1758. Emerging from a time capsule, GN finds herself in year 2011. The lady, who during her lifetime experienced dire poverty and took care of her four children with much difficulty, finds that her economic circumstances remain much the same 250 years into the future. However, unlike in the 18th and 19th centuries, a little investigation reveals that in 2011, more..

Importance of psychosocial interventions in post conflict Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (GV) The war ended in May 2009 saw over 280,000 people being displaced for about one to two years largely in IDP camps before returning to their original villages in north and east of Sri Lanka. The returning process is not yet fully completed as pockets of IDPs still lingering in smaller IDP camps due to issues such as their lands being allotted for high security zones, and slow de-mining process, among other things. Before May 2009, over half a million more..

Sri Lanka & Belgium pledge to consolidate economic ties

Nov 21 (IL) Sri Lanka and Belgium have pledged to expand and facilitate bilateral trade and investment, taking note of the growing economic interaction between the two countries. This commitment was made during bilateral discussions held with Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, during the visit of the Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathudeen to Belgium. more..

Human Rights Watch testimony to Canadian MPs on Sri Lanka

Nov 21 (TC) Canadian House of Commons Sub-committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development had hearings on Sri Lankan Human Rights Situation in November 2011. On November 1st this sub committee heard evidence from Human Rights Watch (Deputy Director, Asia Division: Ms Elaine Pearson). The text of proceedings is given below: The Chair (Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, CPC)): more..

NORAD funded evaluation of peace efforts in Sri Lanka is useful and good but analytically flawed

Nov 21 (TC) The Norwegian (NORAD) commissioned study, Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian peace efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997-2009, is useful and good, but analytically flawed at its very core. It is useful because it shows us how the ‘liberal peace’ discourse goes and how that constituency views the conflict in retrospect. This does not mean that this perspective has it all wrong. Indeed the study has quite a few things right. In any case it is crucial that more..

‘I do not at any stage accept this verdict’

Nov 21 (TC) Text of statement made by Gen.Sarath Fonseka after being sentenced. I am unsurprised by this verdict. A large number of Lawyers discussed with me ahead of this decision, and doubted whether justice will prevail in this case. I told them the decision will take this direction. I truly admire justice Warauwwa for his guts for taking a dissenting stand in this judgment despite the odds arrayed against him. I do not at any stage accept this verdict. more..