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Sri Lanka Marxists oppose expropriation law

Nov 4 (LBO) In a bizarre development, JVP, a Marxist opposition party has opposed a state plan to expropriate assets of private citizens, contrary to the original teachings of a German theoretician. The state has been accused by the main opposition of using the laws to wrest land belonging to businessmen supporting them through the expropriation law, on the pretext that they are 'underperforming' while state enterprises themselves are making billions of losses. more..

JVP yet committed to Rohana Wijeweera policies

Nov 4 (DM) The General Secretary of the JVP Tilvin Silva reiterated his party’s commitment to the policies of the JVP founder leader Rohana Wijeweera. Addressing a public meeting at the Horana Town Hall to create awareness on future programmes of the party he said Rohana Wijeweera formed the JVP to revolutionise the country under a real socialist policy and that the party would always follow his footsteps. more..

Train drivers on work-to-rule campaign from November 8

Nov 4 (DM) The Locomotive Operator Engineer Drivers’ Association attached to the Railways Department had decided to commence a work-to-rule campaign effective from November 8 and would drive their trains while adhering to speed limits, light signals and other security regulations. Executive member of the Locomotive Operator Engineer Drivers’ Association (LOEDA) K. A. U. Konthasinghe said that more..

Jaffna students make a four day tour to Colombo

Nov 4 (MoD) Civil Affairs and Public Relations Office of Security Forces Headquarters - Jaffna (SF-J) last week organized an educational trip to Colombo for a team of students of 11 schools in various parts of the peninsula. This four day trip covered a range of significant places in Colombo capital which enhanced the knowledge of Jaffna students who found an opportunity to enjoy the brotherly affection of people in the south. more..

US has high expectations for LLRC report

Nov 4 (LS) The United States says it has high expectations for the report of Sri Lanka's LLRC appointed by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to probe the last seven years of the armed conflict between government forces and Tamil Tiger terrorists. Responding to a media query at the daily press briefing Thursday the State Department Spokesperson Ms. Victoria Nuland said the report will be of 'highest quality'. When asked about TNA parliamentarians' meeting with the State Department officials last week, more..

Sri Lanka factory occupied over govt takeover plan

Nov 4 (AFP) Govt supporters in Sri Lanka have stormed and occupied a private sugar company earmarked for nationalisation under a controversial law, owners said on Friday. Sevanagala Sugar Industries, which is controlled by an opposition politician, said that ruling party activists had forcibly evicted the management from the sugar plant on Thursday. The govt, which declined to comment on the raid, has defended the proposed law to nationalise more..

Sri Lanka stock close flat

Nov 4 (LBO) Stocks closed flat in thin trading Friday while sugar producer halted a capital raising, after it was listed in a bill to expropriate land in over three dozen private firms. The Colombo All Share Index closed up 0.14 percent at 6.406.5 points and the Milanka Index of liquid stocks slid 0.18 percent to 5,698.8 points. Earlier in the week the market closed up 2.7 percent, in what some brokers called the 'Malik rally after Sri Lanka's cabinet of ministers removed the more..

Editorial: The silent majority must speak out

Nov 4 (DM) The sad news of the manner in which Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled the country for 42 years was killed or executed and his body exposed in a slaughter house for three days before being buried in an undisclosed place reminds us about the age old dictum “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. What happened in Libya was part of what is being hailed as the Arab Spring or the people power revolutions against dictatorial rule and more..

On-line Visas: Part of integrating technology into tourism

Nov 4 (DM) The online visa system that is to be implemented shortly is a part of an initiative in integrating technology into the promotion of the country's tourism product, according to a top official of Sri Lanka Tourism. "As an emerging tourism destination, we are quite keen to innovate in the technological front. We believe that the future of tourism belongs to technology. Over the last two years, since the end of the war, a number of more..

I didn't visit Duminda Silva : Keheliya

Nov 4 (LS) Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that he did not visit Duminda Silva while receiving treatment at Srijayawardenepura hospital for the injuries he faced during the Kolonnawa shooting incident. Minister said that they have released the name list of 5 Ministers who visits Duminda Silva at hospital. He added his name was not included in the name list released to the media and also said due to the busy schedule he did not receive time to visit Duminda Silva. more..

Sri Lanka listed firm heading for expropriation halts capital raising

Nov 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's Pelwatte Sugar, a firm listed for expropriation in a controversial bill to be brought to parliament next week has halted a plan to raise fresh capital on the Colombo stock exchange. Pelwatte Sugar had announced a plan to sell 16.9 million shares at 18 rupees to raise 305 million rupees to boost its capital. Earlier this year the firm was bought by Distilleries Corporation, another listed company controlled by Harry Jayewardene. more..

Muttiah Muralitharan to play crucial role in Sri Lanka's CWG bid

Nov 4 (PTI) Spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan is expected to play a key role in Sri Lanka' s bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the Sri Lankan govt said. Sri Lanka has expressed confidence of winning the Games bid with just days to go before the host city is selected by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF). The Sri Lankan city of Hambantotoa is vying to host the games with Australia's Gold Coast and the winning bid will be announced on Nov 11. more..

Rakna Lanka & university students at odds

Nov 4 (SM) A tense situation was reported from the male hostel of Ruhuna University on November 04 after Rakna Lanka security raided and attempted to deploy its personnel there. According to a statement issued by the IUSF, neither the deputy vice chancellor nor the deans were aware of these deployments. However, the security service’s attempt was foiled in the face of strong opposition by the students. The IUSF statement says the students’ union of the university has alleged more..

Children of war documentary recounts a country’s grief

Nov 4 (AN) "Freedom Speaks" is the title of a documentary produced by a group of young people working in the film industry in Sri Lanka, based on eyewitness accounts of the war. "The remarkable fact is that each source is identified and authenticated to provide credibility to the story. The documentary sends a loud and clear message and it is directed toward Western audiences”, says Gomin Daysari, a lawyer with extensive experience as he presented the key note speech. more..

Sri Lanka war displaced resettlement nearing end

Nov 4 (PTI) The Sri Lankan govt on Friday claimed that the resettlement displaced Tamils is nearing completion with only 10,000 out of over 300,000 conflict-affected civilians left to be resettled. “We have just 2100 families or around 10,000 people left to be resettled,” Minister of Resettlement Gunaratna Weerakoon on Friday said, adding that they are currently housed in the displaced camps at northern Vavuniya district’s Settikulam. more..

Central Bank seen holding rates steady

Nov 4 (Reuters) The central bank is expected to keep its repurchase and reverse repurchase rates steady at 7.00 percent and 8.50 percent respectively, their lowest levels in more than six years, for a tenth straight month, according to all 15 analysts polled. One analyst expects at least a 25 basis point cut in Statutory Reserve Ratio (SRR) for commercial banks. All others expect it to be unchanged at 8 percent. If the private sector credit growth has cooled in September as more..

Man goes berserk on SriLankan flight

Nov 4 (ST) There was a scare on board a scheduled SriLankan flight from Milan to Colombo yesterday after an unruly passenger went berserk and tried to break the cabin windows, airline sources said. They said the man-a Kuwaiti national was later floored by the flight attendants with the assistance of fellow passengers and kept bound until the plane landed at the Bandaranayake International Airport (BIA) during the early hours of yesterday morning. more..

The absence of justice hurts even more than murder

Nov 4 (AHRC) This rather hypocritical comment may not deserve a reply. However, perhaps unintentionally the commentator has pointed out something relating to the hurt that is caused by the knowledge that, not only the murderers, but also the country's justice system has betrayed the survivors of the families of the victims. In this particular instance the family happens to be that of the late Baratha Lakshman Premanchandra, who was assassinated, more..

Case to be filed against Anoma

Nov 4 (LG) The President’s Attorney General’s Department is preparing to file a case against former Army Commander who is currently in jail, Sarath Fonseka’s wife, Anoma Fonseka. She is to be accused of conspiring to send their son in law Danuna Thilekaratne out of the country. CID officers who investigated into the matter have handed over the relevant files to the Attorney General’s Department. The CID has also informed the Attorney general’s Department that Danuna Thilekaratne more..

New JVP members list is illegal; says reformists

Nov 4 (HN) The JVP Reformists Group says that amending the party member list at a time when a crisis has arisen within the party is illegal. JVP Reformists Group member and JVP Central Working Committee Member Pubudu Jayagoda says that amending the party members list instead of providing solutions to the issues that have arisen is an unproductive act. The JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva had submitted a new party members list to the Commissioner of Elections within the last 3 days. more..

Food outlets to be graded

Nov 4 (DM) Restaurants, eateries, tea kiosks, cafeterias and bakeries are to be graded based on the quality and cleanliness of the foods and drinks they sold by the health ministry to ensure consumers purchase the best and hygienically prepared food from these places, a spokesman said. Accordingly, all food and drink parlours will be graded into A.B.C.D. after an inspection carried out on national level on November 28, 29 and 30 covering all districts, more..

Accident in Balapitiya injures three

Nov 4 (DM) Three pedestrians including a schoolgirl and a teacher waiting for bus by the roadside were knocked down by a car at the Beratuduwa Junction in Balapitiya this morning. They were immediately admitted to the Balapitiya Base Hospital. Two of them who were in serious condition were transferred to the Karapitiya Hospital. It is alleged that the Galle bound car had attempted to pass the bus that was stopped by the roadside and knocked down the victims. more..

Mervyn calls for nationalization of ‘unsuccessful’ parties

Nov 4 (AD) Minister Mervyn Silva says that a new law should be introduced for the government to take over ‘unsuccessful’ political parties and parties which mislead the public, similar to the proposed nationalization of under-performing private companies. Criticizing opposition parties for remarks made against the Revival of Under-performing Enterprises and Under-utilised Assets Act, which is scheduled to be presented to parliament next week, he said: more..

Gender income gap widens in Sri Lanka

Nov 4 (IANS) The Sri Lankan govt should ensure better pay for women, rights activists said after Sri Lanka dropped 15 spots in the latest World Economic Rankings. Sri Lanka's gender gap has increased over the last year and gender equality ranking declined from 16th in 2010 to 31st this year. The World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2011 showed that Sri Lanka has slipped several places from its privileged position in the top 20 over the last five years. more..

Expropriation law an act of ‘political vengeance’

Nov 4 (AD) The UNP today (4) condemned the government’s proposed move to expropriate assets of under-performing private companies, claiming that it is an act of ‘political vengeance’. The government, through this bill, will wrest 20 acres of land within Colombo, MP Dayasiri Jayasekara said. Speaking during a press briefing today the Parliamentarian claimed that while 36 companies have been identified to be taken over, these include two profitable establishments. more..

Looming sugar shortage: UNP

Nov 4 (DM) The main opposition UNP today warned of a looming sugar shortage because officials of the Sevanagala and Pelawatte Sugar Companies -- listed for acquisition under the government’s controversial Bill -- were being prevented from sending produced sugar to the market. UNP MP Dayasiri Jayasekera told a news conference the move might be aimed at creating an artificial shortage as an excuse to import sugar and allow some people to earn large commissions. more..

Sri Lanka’s Lies Agreed Upon screened in U.S. Congress

Nov 4 (LP) Congressman Jack Kingston: “I’ve never seen a people who have come so quickly together, and after 26 years of division.” Congressman Jack Kingston, (R-GA.), who two weeks ago was one of three members of Congress to visit Sri Lanka, also said things are different now. People are getting back to normal. People are happy and pleased. The Sri Lankan Congressional Caucus and Embassy of Sri Lanka sponsored Nov 2 the screening of the video more..

Swiss Court upholds Tamil repatriation decision

Nov 4 (WR) The Federal Administrative Court has ruled that rejected asylum seekers from Sri Lanka can be sent back to their country. The Swiss Federal Office for Migration had ruled Tamil refugees could return to Sri Lanka, and a previous Senate vote confirmed that view. Opponents appealed to the court, saying Tamils face arrest, intimidation or in some cases torture if they return. The court said the general security situation in Sri Lanka has improved and stabilized more..

Floriculture Development Programme launched by Minister Basil

Nov 4 (GDI) Handing over of shade houses to Divi Neguma householders under the Divi Neguma Domestic Economic Unit Development Programme, took place under the patronage of Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Economic Development at Divulapitiya on Thursday. The programme was organized by the Liya Abhimana organization under the patronage of Pushpa Rajapaksa, Chairperson of the Liya Abhiman, in order to encourage the flower growers of Gampaha District. more..

Sri Lanka hold the edge on spinning track

Nov 4 (CI) Sri Lanka had been clear winners of the first day, and though the scorecard suggested a more even second day, Sri Lanka still hold a big advantage over Pakistan given how much help the spinners are getting from the track. Pakistan were back in the game after grabbing four wickets in just over an hour's play, before Rangana Herath's swing-at-everything cameo pushed Sri Lanka past 400. The loss of both openers in the 20 overs before stumps more..

Sri Lanka tea prices up on winter buying

Nov 4 (LBO) Buying for the winter mainly by Russia helped prop up tea prices at the Colombo auctions this week although they are expected to come down once demand tapers off, brokers said. There was demand both for tea from estates as well as low grows teas made by smallholders. "With the knowledge that rains have now set in, buyers were eager to secure the better teas on offer, and the leading buyer of liquoring teas was seen to bid actively," brokers John Keells said in a report. more..

Colombo Mayor condemns forceful acquisition of rooms in CMC

Nov 4 (DM) Vehemently condemning the alleged forceful acquisition of rooms in the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC), by the opposition UPFA members, Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil said these members could have discussed the matter with him as it would have been possible to provide a room for the opposition leader subject to a council approval. Mr. Muzammil told journalists yesterday that these opposition members should not have acted in such a brutal manner. more..

Lanka News Debrief - 04.11.2011

Performance enhance drugs 'spread to schools'

Nov 4 (BBC) Performance enhancing drugs has even been spread to school children in Sri Lanka, says the new head of the sports ministry’s medical unit. Prof Arjuna de Silva said that the unit is facing a serious task of eradicating banned substances from the all sports. “We have heard reports that these substances are even used in the schools. The parents have a right to ask the trainers what that medication was and whether it is suitable for the child,” more..

15-year-old kidnapped, demand Rs. 5 lakh ransom

Nov 4 (AD) The Koswatta Police has commenced investigations into the abduction of a youth from the Hal-aduana Catholic Church. The kidnappers have reportedly demanded a ransom of Rs. 500,000 from a priest of the church. Fr. Don Francis Laus had lodged a complaint at the Koswatta Police stating that the 15-year-old who had been under his care was last seen on Nov 01 and that he had received a anonymous phone call yesterday demanding Rs. 500,000 as ransom for the safe return of the boy. more..

Sri Lanka lawyers say expropriation bill should be withdrawn

Nov 4 (LBO) Sri Lanka's lawyers have called for the withdrawal of a secretly hatched draft law to expropriate assets of citizens which is being rushed to parliament next week as an 'urgent bill.' The draft bill seeks to expropriate assets of three dozen ventures including two listed companies, violating the property rights of citizens. One company Pelwatte Sugar halted 300 million rupee capital injection. more..

Indian High Commission taking up Tamil prisoners’ issue on priority basis

Nov 4 (Hindu) The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has taken up the issue of prisoner-swap with Sri Lanka on a priority basis and was working out the details of the transfer of prisoners. It was because of the interest of both India and Sri Lanka that an agreement on the transfer of prisoners could be signed last year. “Now we have the legal frame-work. We have been working on the remaining of the details ever since,” an official said, and added that the whole process was quite complex. more..

Sri Lankan refugees believed to be Tamil Tigers

Nov 4 (TA) At least 40 of the 44 boatpeople who have been declared security threats by ASIO are believed to be Sri Lankan Tamils. The Tamils are thought to have links to that country's terrorist organisation. All 44 have been found to be legitimate refugees, meaning they cannot be returned to their homeland. The growing number of asylum-seekers in Australian detention centres who are both refugees and security threats represents a serious long-term challenge for the govt. more..

WikiLeaks: Govt. refused salary hike – then because of the war and now because of the IMF

Nov 4 (CT) “The GSL refused to provide salary increases, initially due to the war against the LTTE, and now because of the IMF agreement” the US Ambassador wrote to Washington. A leaked unclassified US diplomatic cable records the trade union actions against the govt. The cable written on November 16, 2009 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Patricia A. Butenis. more..

Sri Lanka Unites – School Tour

Nov 5 (SL) Sri Lanka Unites is a group of young people changing the country, and they are keeping at it. After bringing students from all over the island to two youth leadership conferences, they are now on a bus tour of the island. I have been following their videos and stories online and it is really amazing to see. Some people believe in boycotting Sri Lanka or punishing the govt before reconciliation begins, but I don’t think that works. What about the young people that have to wait? more..