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'We didn’t want any match fixing to win World Cup'

Nov 29 (LB) Sri Lanka did not need any outside help in their march to win the cricket World Cup in 1996, contends the team’s captain. Arjuna Ranatunga who led Sri Lanka to a seven-wicket win over Australia in the final in Lahore, was reacting to the comments made by former Indian batsman Vinod Kambli who said he had doubts if the semifinal clash between India and Sri Lanka was fixed. Kambli said he was suspicious of then captain Mohammed Azharuddin’s decision to more..

Sri Lanka Design Festival ends on successful note

Nov 29 (ST) The Sri Lanka Design Festival (SLDF) 2011 organised by the Academy of Design (AOD), Sri Lanka’s leading design campus, ended on a successful note this week at the Mount Lavinia Hotel. A prestigious group of industrialists, government representatives and leading businessmen were key partners of this annual event, the organisers said in a statement. During the early days of the event, a press conference was held where Mike Tadaro, MD of AAPN Network and more..

Budget 2012 Cross section views

Nov 29 (NS) President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Finance Minister on Monday (21) presented the 2012 Budget. Despite commotion and uproar by the Opposition in the Chamber, he unfolded his development plans for the coming year. He highlighted issues pertaining to the rupee devaluation, economic growth, taxes, infrastructure development, tourism visa fees and several other matters. While some claimed it was a “development oriented budget” more..

Statues of the Norwegians?

Nov 29 (CT) “The Europeans wanted gold and slaves, like everybody else,” V. S. Naipaul’s narrator muses in A Bend in the River, his classic, subtle rewriting of Conrad’sHeart of Darkness, “but at the same time, they wanted statues put up to themselves as people who had done good things for the slaves.” And so it is with Pawns of Peace, the supposedly self critical analysis of the failed Norwegian peace process, published recently. A certain self interest for international prominence more..

Response to Michael Roberts’ ‘Turning former LTTE personnel into Sri Lankan citizens?’

Nov 29 (GV) Michael Roberts’ recent Groundviews piece on the government’s rehabilitation programme of alleged former LTTE combatants is generally approving of that programme, not only directly but also indirectly in making the kinds of criticisms that actually add to the approbation. Professor Roberts has added his distinguished academic authority to a set of circumstances that perhaps justifies a more discriminating analysis. more..

Mahinda magic!

Nov 29 (FT) The mere news of President Mahinda Rajapaksa meeting brokers, as exclusively reported by the Daily FT yesterday, was the tonic the bulls-starved retailer investors needed to lift their spirits as they powered a massive rebound, propelling the ASI to record its biggest day gain in 15 months. The Bourse’s value soared by a record high Rs. 79 billion, even bettering the gain (Rs. 61 billion in value terms and by 2.7% by the ASI) over the news of more..

Cabinet approves Rs 1,000 m to resettle remaining IDPs

Nov 29 (DN) Cabinet has approved a fund allocation of Rs1,000 million to resettle the number of IDPs at Manik Farm and Sampur. “This will be the final phase of resettlement of IDPs,” said Resettlement Ministry Secretary Uthpala Basnayaka. Of those displaced as a result of the 2009 humanitarian operation in the North and East, 97 per cent have been resettled. President has directed Resettlement Minister Gunaratne Weerakoon to complete the Resettlement Process with the use of funds, more..

Independent Palestinian state, Lanka’s wish - President

Nov 29 (DN) “On this solemn occasion to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to reaffirm, on behalf of my government and the people of Sri Lanka, our sincere support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve their inalienable rights, including the right to statehood,” states President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a message to mark International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People which falls today. more..

PMG to be removed next month

Nov 29 (Island) Postmaster General M.K.M.B. Dissanayake will be removed from his post next month, according to well informed sources. Dissanayake will be replaced by another member of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. The top position of the Postal Department will be handed over to an individual from another department. The three-member committee, headed by retired Supreme Court Judge C. N. Silva found the Postmaster General guilty on 16 counts more..

Minister Vitarana says they did not recommend devaluation

Nov 29 (Island) Senior Minister Prof Tissa Vitarana yesterday said in Parliament that his party LSSP did not recommend the suggestion to devalue the rupee by the budget proposals. Participating in the second reading of the budget debate, Prof Vitarana said: "The LSSP is of the view that the devaluation of the rupee by three percent will contribute to a further increase in the cost of living and other adverse effects. There are more sustainable ways to increase exports." more..

Fundamental rights violation plea on cricket election terminated

Nov 29 (Island) The Supreme Court was yesterday informed, by the connected parties, that the date was already fixed to hold elections to select members to Sri Lanka Cricket. The Southern United Cricket Club had filed fundamental rights violation application complaining that the Interim Committee had been appointed arbitrarily by the Minister of Sports and that elections had not been properly held, according to the Sports Law, to appoint members to Sri Lanka Cricket. more..

Development Diaries, Nov 23, 2011

CSC to deploy new vessel for Colombo -Tuticorin ferry service

Nov 29 (Island) Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) was negotiating with prospective investors with a view to deploying a new vessel for the Colombo – Tuticorin ferry service, which had been suspended, a CSC official said. "Currently, discussions with two potential investors to deploy a new vessel are underway," Consultant of the CSC, A. T. K Chandradasa said. However, he refused to disclose any details about the investors till investment plans were finalised. more..

'No investigation on furore inside High Court'

Nov 29 (ST) An investigation into the unruly behaviour of several persons inside Colombo High Court Number One shortly after the judgment in the ‘White Flag’ case was delivered, which led to damage of some courthouse property cannot be investigated as no formal complaint has been lodged in this regard, Police media spokesman SP Ajith Rohana said. “If the Police receive a formal complaint, then we can begin an investigation but so far no such complaint has been lodged,” more..

GMOA claims govt. planning take over of SLMC as state enterprise

Nov 29 (Island) The Govt Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday warned the government not to take over Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) as a state enterprise and not to appoint an unqualified person as the President of the Medical Council as its current President Prof. Lalitha Mendis had tendered her resignation to the Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena. Minister Sirisena had accepted the resignation. more..

University student missing in Jaffna

Nov 29 (TN) A student of the University of Jaffna, 27-year-old Vetharaniyam Latheesh, was missing after he left the gents hostel (Balasingham Hostel) of the University of Jaffna in Thirunelveali by 6:45 pm, Sunday evening. The student, studying at the Siddha Medicine department of the university located at Kaithadi, and used to stay in the hostel there, had come to the university hostel in Thirunelveali to meet a friend. University circles fear that the SL Army that was more..

Sri Lanka: Reports of the UN Commitee Against Torture

Nov 29 (AHRC) The Committee against Torture, presided over by Mr Claudio GROSSMAN1 , began its consideration of the third and fourth periodic reports submitted by Sri Lanka pursuant to Article 19 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on 8 November 2011, in the morning, in Geneva, in the headquarters of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Palais Wilson with a nice view over Lake Léman. more..

Thilan recalled for South Africa

Nov 29 (Island) Thilan Samaraweera has been added to the national cricket squad to tour South Africa early next month. "I had a meeting with the national selectors today and they made a request to add Thilan as an additional player and I have approved that request," Sports Minister Aluthgamage said. Former captain Mahela Jayawardene is nursing a knee injury and although there’s no danger in him missing out on the tour, the national cricket selectors more..

'We need to put the Pakistan series behind us'

Nov 29 (CI) The UAE tour was frustrating because we had our opportunities but didn't convert them - especially in the fourth and fifth ODIs. In the fifth match we didn't hold onto our chances, while Pakistan had a couple of good partnerships and finished it off. We needed to be consistent with the momentum. The pitch conditions are pretty similar to Sri Lanka, of course, but we were up against a very good bowling unit, who have a lot of variations. more..

Indian fishermen protest against petition by CG

Nov 29 (TOI) Fishermen in Rameswaram staged a protest demanding that the Indian Coast Guard withdraw its petition submitted in the Madurai bench of the Madras high court which would affect their livelihood. On October 14, this year, the court directed the Central govt to provide adequate forces to protect the Indian fishermen, especially those from Tamil Nadu against attacks from Sri Lankan naval forces. In his counter affidavit, the inspector general of the Indian Coast Guard more..

Russians here to look for oil

Nov 29 (DM) Russian oil and gas giant GAZPROM has sent a four-member technical team to check on the viability of oil and gas exploration in northern Sri Lanka’s Mannar Basin, Minister Susil Premjayantha said. He said another team was expected from the Indian Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC) next week. “The GAZPROM team which arrived yesterday was a sequel to discussions between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Russian Authorities when he visited more..

Sri Lanka urged to withdraw new tax on agriculture products

Nov 29 (ITN) The Pakistani exporters on Monday urged the Sri Lankan govt to withdraw its decision of levying new tax on the import of agriculture products as it would affect Pakistani exports to the country. “With the imposition of new ‘Special Commodity Tax’ by Sri Lanka, the duties on many export items from Pakistan have been doubled,” CEO of Harvest Trading Ahmad Jawad said. He said that Sri Lanka was the major importer of onion, potato and kinnow from Pakistan and more..

Undergrads run amok, take Rajarata VC hostage

Nov 29 (Island) Vice Chancellor Prof. K.A. Nandasena, Registrar A.G. Karunaratne and Medical Faculty Dean Prof. Malani Udupihilla of the Rajarata University were held hostage for nearly two hours yesterday by medical undergraduates who demanded a Professorial Unit in the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital for the clinical training of the final year medical students. President of the Rajarata Medical Faculty Students’ Union Chaminda Pushpakumara said that they had been more..

Duminda’s bed ticket filed in court

Nov 29 (DM) The CID yesterday filed in court, parliamentarian Duminda Silva’s bed ticket issued by consultant Neurosurgeon Maheshi Wijeratne. This was based on a directive made last Thursday by Colombo Fort Magistrate Prasanna Alwis on a request made by Mr. Silva’s Counsel Hemantha Warnakulasuriya. CID Inspector Merryl Ranjan filed the bed ticket at yesterday’s inquiry into the October 8 Mulleriyawa shooting incident. more..

Farmers, teachers see real wages decline this year

Nov 29 (Island) Adjusted for inflation, the real wages of the services and industrial sector have grown substantially this year while real wages in the agriculture sector declined along with public sector wages, with real wages of teachers seeing the biggest dip. The wages of public sector employees increased by 6.7 percent in nominal terms during the first eight months of 2011 as compared to the corresponding period of 2010 while wages of the formal private sector, more..

‘The UNP sold govt institutions to bridge the budget deficit’

Nov 29 (DN) Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa presided yesterday when Parliament met at 9.30 am. After the presentation of papers and oral questions, the House took up the second reading of the Appropriation Bill for the fifth alloted day. Joseph Micheal Perera (UNP): There is nearly a 50 percent difference between the inland revenue and its expenditure. It has been planned to fill this gap out of loans taken from within the country and from outside the country. more..

'Census can dispel doubts about civilian deaths'

Nov 29 (Island) Former Japanese peace envoy Yashushi Akashi yesterday said that a recently conducted census in the Northern and Eastern Provinces could help Sri Lanka to establish the number of civilians killed in the final phase of the conflict in 2009. The 80-year-old Japanese special envoy said that census could drastically bring down varying counts of deaths given by different parties. Akashi was responding to a recent statement attributed to more..

5 Lankans held for fake ATN card racket

Nov 29 (PTI) Five Sri Lankan nationals were arrested here today for alleged involvement in a fake ATM card racket with a nation-wide network and Rs 40.4 lakh in cash and a large number of fake cards seized from them, police said. The five, belonging to Mannar district of Sri Lanka, told police that they used the fake cards to withdraw money from ATMs with PIN numbers and other details made available by a gang based in their country. They also said they had a network throughout India. more..

Polls chief to sue two LG members

Nov 29 (Island) Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya will initiate legal action against two Local Government members who have not declared their assets and liabilities. They are Nadil Dhushantha Malagoda (UNP) in the Colombo Municipal Council and Amir Abdul Rahuman (SLMC) in the Kalmunai MC. All LG members were required to declare their assets on or before Nov. 25, 2001. The Elections Secretariat had duly informed all candidates, group leaders, more..

Sri Lanka’s Shame

Nov 29 (SL) The presentation of the 2012 budget last week in parliament resembled a scene out of a boxing ring or a rugger match gone rowdy when governing party lawmakers clashed with the protesting UNP legislators. The attack on UNP MPs by the UPFA legislators during the budget speech delivered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa was an embarrassing sight for the foreign dignitaries who were following the proceedings from the gallery. more..

The Americans pull out leaving Lankans to destroy Somawathie by themselves

Nov 29 (LB) It is not often that a multinational company which is renowned for unethical practices admits to its mistakes and halts its ‘development activities’ in ecologically sensitive areas. However environmentalists and affected local communities realized such things do happen when US based Dole Food Company decided to withdraw from investing in the 5000 acre banana plantation established inside more..

No solutions through total socialism: LSSP

Nov 29 (DM) In what appeared to be a policy shift, longstanding member of the leftist Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) Professor Tissa Vitharana yesterday said that total socialism could not find solutions to the current economic problems confronted by the world in the present context. He said the mixed economic systems had proven to be more effective today. He said many socialist countries were shifting towards the mixed economic systems today as a result of this development. more..

TNA MPs brief Yasushi Akashi on present situation

Nov 29 (AD) A group of Parliamentarians of the TNA today met Japan’s special peace envoy and representative to Sri Lanka, Yasushi Akashi in Colombo and briefed him on several key issues, including the delay in providing a political solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. TNA spokesman Suresh Premachandran said that Sri Lanka’s current political situation, the resettling of Sinhalese and the military control in the North and East, more..

Still no heavy shower experienced over catchments

Nov 29 (Island) Despite incessant rains in many part of the country, the Ceylon Electricity Board officials yesterday said that heavy showers were yet to be experienced in the catchments. An official of the Systems Control Department of the CEB, said that despite rains in most parts of the country, the hydro power generated remained at 22.3 per cent as against thermal 77.7 per cent. more..

UNP calls for SF’s immediate release

Nov 29 (Island) The UNP will launch a three-pronged protest from Hyde Park today against what it calls revengeful policies of the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt. General Secretary of the UNP Tissa Attanayake said that the people expected fair treatment and a better standard of life in the post war era, but the Rajapaksa regime had not only heaped economic hardships on them but was also on a voyage of revengeful politics. more..

Ranil not allowed to make statement in Parliament

Nov 29 (DM) Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe today in Parliament removed his tie bearing the logo of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) as a mark of protest against the govt for not allowing him to make a statement under the Standing Order 23-II. When Mr.Wickremesinghe rose on his feet to make his statement, the Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva said that the Opposition Leader, more..

Norochcholai power plant shut down after coal fire

Nov 29 (LBO) A 300 MegaWatt power plant in Sri Lanka was shut down following a fire at a coal crushing plant but is expected to be re-connected to the grid by noon, an official said. A power ministry spokesman said there was no disruption to supply as it happened in the early hours of the morning and the energy utility had spare capacity. The Chinese built plant in Sri Lanka's Northwest coast in the island's first coal power plant. more..

Sarana Gunawardana suspended from Parliament

Nov 29 (AD) Deputy Minister of Petroleum Industries Sarana Gunawardana has been suspended from attending Parliament for a period of one week over his behavior during the President’s budget speech. Earlier today (29) the Speaker ordered Leader of the House Nimal Siripala de Silva to propose a motion preventing Sarana Gunawardena from attending Parliament for one week, more..

Duminda will be arrested as soon as he arrives in Sri Lanka – CID

Nov 29 (LT) The supervising MP for Defense Ministry Duminda Silva who is a suspect in the killing of Presidential adviser on trade union affairs Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra on election day at Kollonawa will be taken into custody as soon as he arrives in Sri Lanka states the CID today. This was stated when the relevant complaint was taken up before Colombo Magistrate Prasanna Alwis today (29th). more..

Editorial: Don't undermine the judiciary

Nov 29 (DM) More than 150 members of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) have called for a special general meeting of this premier body of lawyers to consider a resolution protesting the govt’s decision to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the conduct of retired Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva during his often headline-hitting term in that highest judicial post. As in the case of former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka – who was once described by more..